May 14, 2022

Tears and hope from the last few days

A world renowned journalist Shireen AbuAqleh was intentionally murdered by an Israeli sniper in Jenin. Millions of tears were shed for her including ours at the Palestne Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (palestinenature.org). We planted ten trees in her honor. The constellation of events and circumstances and her background actually were so amazing that it provided a huge dose of sadness but also a big ray of hope for us.

Jenin, where she was murdered, is a center of heroic resistance to occupation (resistance not suported by any government, international or even Palestinian). She was a journalist and wearing protective blue journalist vest and helmet. Thus she mobilized the media. She was beloved by every Palestinian home for her coverage of their daily miseries inflected by foreign occupiers for decades. She was a US Citizen thus exposed by her death the hypocrisy of the Zionist run state department that like with Rachel Corrie and other US citizens killed by Israel (a "special country immune from accountability because of a strong lobby in Washington DC). Her body underwent autopsy in Nablus att a Palestinian Medical School then taken to Ramallah and then to Jerusalem. That she is a Jerusalemite with both her Parents burried there was fortuitous bliss. She was also Christian and all Christian churches in Jerusalem rang their bells. Muslims prayed for her on their holy day in Friday just before she was burried. Millions watched and thousands participated in her burial in Jerusalem on a Friday. Mourners were Christians, Muslims, and conscientious Jews and adorned with Palestinian flags (forbidden by the Israeli occupation forces).

Occupation forces then attacked the funeral including pallbearers of Shireen after they murdered her. Here are the shocking video from different angles
https://youtu.be/WHqytR_y0I8
https://youtu.be/8r2eR6-rSHw
https://www.facebook.com/MQaddoha/videos/742322280233193/

Initial investigations and human righst statements on the murder of Shireen:
AlHaq investigation https://www.alhaq.org/ar/advocacy/19990.html
BTselem https://youtu.be/nguevm1CHXM
Amnesty https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/05/israel-opt-increase-in-unlawful-killings-and-other-crimes-highlights-urgent-need-to-end-israels-apartheid-against-palestinians/

The hypocrisy of the west is becoming even more blatant. In the murder of Shireen Aby Aqleh, they simply "call for investigation". But Shireen was reporter number 49 murdered by occupation forces and certainly Israel murdered tens of thousands of civilians (including American citizens like Rachel Corrie). They always got away with it.  Here is what the state department said about a reporter of the same age as Shireen killed in Ukraine:  "We are horrified that journalists and filmmakers—noncombatants—have been killed and injured in Ukraine by Kremlin forces. This is yet another gruesome example of the Kremlin’s indiscriminate actions.” They did not call on the Kremlin to "investigate". Now imagine if they were not hypocritical and said the same thing about Shireen. It would read: "We are horrified that journalists and filmmakers—noncombatants—have been killed and injured in Palestine by Zionist forces. This is yet another gruesome example of the Zionists' indiscriminate actions.” We did not hear of sanctions let alone ramping up pressure against the Zionist regime for doing a hundred fold more than Russia did in Ukraine. Like with South Africa, governments supported apartheid, people opposed it and engaged in demanding and putting together programs for boycott, divestments and sanction (BDS - see BDSmovement.net). Western corporate media is also complicit and must be challenged.
How the media failed in their duty to honor one of their own: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/shireen-abu-akleh-media-failed-journalist-killing

Meanwhile this same week, the Israeli regime with US government support approved removal of over 1200 people from the homes in South Hebron hills and simultaneously announced thousands of new housing units in illegal colonial settlements in the illegally occupied areas (both violations of international law). The announcement of 4427 new units was done after lengthy negotiations with the US who also was given greenlight from AIPAC to state they oppose them (even though they actually approved and funded them). The EU also produced empty words of opposition while continuing to fund the occupiers/colonizers. Here is what Jewish Voice for Peace (braver tahn all these arab and western governments) said on one incident: "Taking advantage of Palestinians’ grief [over the murder of Shireen], American Jewish settlers took over a Palestinian home in Hebron, known to Palestinians as Al Khalil before its Judaization. This theft of Palestinian homes by foreigners is a feature of Zionism, not a bug. Settlers — and of course their Palestinian victims — are clear on this. 'We are continuing the Zionist endeavor of redeeming the Land, said Shlomo Levinger, a representative for the settler families said. And by “redeeming the land,” they mean Judaizing it, erasing Palestinians’ history and connection to it, and ethnically cleansing the Palestinians who live on it. To prevent future settler home theft, we must oppose Zionism, which has always required the forced displacement of Palestinians — as both early Zionists and today’s settlers have made explicit."

Shireen's voice is amplified by her murder just like Nizar Banat's murder and just like >110,000 civilians murdered here in Palestine since Zionists arrived from Europe. We must amplify victims' voices especially in cases like this where the constellation of events are what they are. Shireen was our voice to the world and now we must be her voice. A Jerusalem main street was taken over by its rightful owners - Palestinians with Palestinian flags and sounds of Christian and Muslim prayers. Shireen plby her sacrifice list the road for resistance and resilience. Her coffin, carried by Muslims and Christians, reminded us of what beauty and unity was like in Jerusalem before this horrific gruesome occupation. It was a sign of hope and it is a beacon of courage despite the overtime hasbara/propaganda that spends billions to keep western audiences in teh dark. We must redouble our efforts to end this nightmare and liberate Palestine. The harder we work the quicker this will happen and this in turn saves lives. 23-year old Palestinian Walid Al-Sharif died of wounds sustained two weeks ago in Al-Aqsa mosque by occupation forces who attacked Muslim worshippers. We all must say enough is enough of this. EVERYONE is called upon to act in their capacity to end this nightmare (exposing Western Hypocrisy is just one of many tools)

David Shulman- Israel Prize Winner on South Hebron hills
https://www.facebook.com/Taayus/videos/10153404346511986/

A great speech by Charlie Chaplain during the heat of the horrible 1940s when Hitler whipped-up hatred in the name of safety for the German people as the Zionist regime does today. Still valid today if people would listen. How much better we would be if Zionists stop regurgitating hate and oppression that was inflicted on hundreds of millions throughout the ages. Listen to these very powerful words
https://www.facebook.com/CryptikMovement/videos/10152590620669485/

Apr 8, 2022

Trumping Environment

 We went from winter to summer fairly quickly with spring almost non-existent in this part of the world. In Europe at the same time they encountered 8 degrees below average for 2-3 weeks with winter extended. In the arctic, a block of ice the size of Manhattan crumbled. Soon multiple forest fires will wreak havoc on our planet. These and many other catastrophes are expected to only increase as we scientists studying our planet continue to warn that drastic actions need to be undertaken to stop a doomsday scenario related to climate change, pollution, overexploitation, and habitat destruction. Side effects of human activities also include increase in invasive species, refugees who will be mostly climate refugees, and much more. Under colonization and during conflicts  (which are always rackets for money/profit of the elites)  these environmental declines get accelerated. For those like me who actually study these things and write about them, we find that the most disheartening aspect is indeed the way comon people who suffer are duped to be partisan to conflict and thus enrich the oligarchs. The latter sometimes profit on both sides of the conflict. For example the oligarchs of the Rothschid and Bush families who got enriched on both sides of the WWII conflict.


I continue to give talks 2-4 times a week and I am always inspired by connectivity of struggles around the world Mexican immigrants in the US, Black lives matter movement, native struggle against the pipeline in the US, struggles of Palestinians against continued genocide and ethnic cleansing etc.   It is challenging trying to encourage people to seek the truth when mainstream media (Western or Eastern) spread lies and distortion!.  We also noted the political maneuvering in the last two weeks in Geneva to try and set targets and milestones for the critical biodiversity conservation globally. Politics in its worst manifestation trumps the environment. That is why we enjoy the company of enlightened people and especially youth who do not get sucked in by propaganda or consumerism (consumerism of products and (mis)information). Most of us attending daily iftars at the museum during Ramadan are not muslim but it is the communal gathering that brings the best in people. Visitors to the institute (palestinenature.org/visit) such as a group from Luxemburg yesterday are happy to see camaraderie and teamwork in action. Yesterday and today we held children's activities. I see people doing good for other people daily. I reiterate Howard Zinn's statement which I included in my 2004 book "Sharing the land of Canaan"

"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.”

And herew is Daniel Berringen poignant statement about peace-making: “We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price. And because we want the peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total—but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial. So a whole will and a whole heart and a whole national life bent toward war prevail over the veilleities of peace. In every national war since the founding of the republic we have taken for granted that war shall exact the most rigorous cost, and that the cost shall be paid with cheerful heart. We take it for granted that in wartime families will be separated for long periods, that men will be imprisoned, wounded, driven insane, killed on foreign shores. In favor of such wars, we declare a moratorium on every normal human hope—for marriage, for community, for friendship, for moral conduct toward strangers and the innocent. We are instructed that deprivation and discipline, private grief and public obedience are to be our lot. And we obey. And we bear with it—because bear we must—because war is war, and good war or bad, we are stuck with it and its cost. But what of the price of peace? I think of the good, decent, peace-loving people I have known by the thousands and I wonder. How many of them are so afflicted with the wasting disease of normalcy that, even as they declare for the peace, their hands reach out with an instinctive spasm in the direction of their loved ones, in the direction of their comforts, their home, their security, their income, their future, their plans—that five-year plan of decent life, that ten-year plan of family growth and unity, that fifty-year plan of descent life and honorable natural demise. “Of course, let us have the peace,” we cry, “but at the same time let us have normalcy, let us lose nothing, let our lives stand intact, let us know neither prison nor ill repute nor disruption of ties. And because we must encompass this and protect that, and because at all costs—at all costs—our hopes must march on schedule, and because it is unheard of that in the name of peace a sword must fall, disjoining that fine and cunning web that our lives have woven, because it is unheard of that good men should suffer injustice or families be sundered or good repute be lost—because of this we cry peace and cry peace, and there is no peace. There is no peace because there are no peacemakers. There are no makers of peace because the making of peace is as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake”.

What is happening in the Naqab? https://youtu.be/ahQH-7WobAE

Was the great march of return the best way to confront Israel?
https://electronicintifada.net/content/was-great-march-return-best-way-confront-israel/35091

The Climate Emergency makes Zionism obsolete, but Judaism could help save the planet
https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/climate-emergency-makes-zionism-obsolete-but-judaism-could-save-the-planet

Harvard Law School ‘apartheid’ report leaves Israel’s defenders speechless
Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic's recent report declaring that Israel is practicing apartheid is a victory for Palestinian human rights
https://mondoweiss.net/2022/04/harvard-law-school-apartheid-report-leaves-israels-defenders-speechless/

This map of the situation in Ukraine on March 24 is provided by the French Ministry of Defense. https://www.moonofalabama.org/12i/ukrfmap1.jpg

Zelensky: Don't forget Ukrainian Jewish role in the dispossession of Palestine
https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/israel-palestine-zelensky-ukrainian-jewish-role-dispossession

Attack on human rights organization
https://masspeaceaction.org/event/an-attack-on-human-rights-how-should-we-respond/

Mar 12, 2022

Virology of ideas and colonialism

This brilliant talk by a Nobel Prize Winner George Smith on “The Virology of Ideas — An Indispensable Pandemic” calls us to a higher level of (re)thinking our world https://www.scientists4palestine.com/virology-ideas/

There will be other lectures in this series sponsored by Scientists for Palestine and Bisan Center for Research and Development. The latter is a great center that has been targeted by the Israeli occupiers. This lecture I attended prompted me to summarize my thoughts that I usually give in lectures (now 3 times weekly on average to diverse audiences):

My background in biology (especially evolution) and medicine (immunology and medical genetics) helped shape my own thinking in on evolution of ideas and therapies for colonial struggle. I told my medical students you need to take a patient's history, check the symptoms carefully, make the right diagnosis, offer the appropriate therapy and counsel the patient on prognosis.  I explained in hundreds of lectures that the same applies for social ills (wars and conflict are also diseases). To make this short I will say a few words here about each of these in relation to Palestine but this also applies to other situations.

Patient history: Palestine was multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society and fairly healthy in its 11,000 year history (since our ancestors' development of agriculture and beginning of so-called “civilization” in our - western- part of the Fertile Crescent). In those 11 millennia, the patient was mostly healthy with very few conflicts (vast majority of time with little conflict or war certainly less in % than Europe or North America). Conflicts arose from the very few attempts to reshape the country  to be monolithic (one Muslim ruler, Cusaders, Zionism, Persian invasion).

Symptoms:  Colonialism does what colonialism does (no need to detail that familiar history around the world or here) and the indigenous people suffer. For native Palestinians, >100,000 were killed (>90% civilians), more than 800,000 injured, >1 million imprisoned, more than 500 towns and villages depopulated, apartheid system installed on the remaining natives. Empires ruled here but we never had the kind of ethnic cleansing or apartheid system perpetrated as we did under Zionism in the past 100 years. Now 8 of 14 million Palestinians are refugees or displaced people. This is the crux of the problem (not statehood). Of course as expected in such situations, some of the colonizers (thousands) were also killed but mostly in wars with nearby Arab countries (all these wars, except 1973, were started by the Zionists). The West (Britain and France first now US) were and are key partners to perpetuate this situation/illness here.

Prognosis: Colonial situations have only 3 possible outcomes/scenarios: Algerian model, US/Australia model (genocide of natives), or living in one country (most common outcome found in 95% of the 194 countries on earth). The attempt to suppress the idea of liberation and freedom among Palestinians has failed and the third outcome is inevitable (this means the end of Zionism). Ideas mutate as articulated well by Prof. Smith. For outline of the evolution of the idea of "Sharing the Land of Canaan" based on human rights, see my book by that name (http://qumsiyeh.org/sharingthelandofcanaan/).  I also recall how the idea of the shrinking map of Palestine drawn first by my son when he was 13 years old mutated over time (map shown on same link). I recall how the ideas of primacy of human rights, secular democracy, opposition to apartheid evolved among intellectuals. For Zionists and imperialists, I say “when you find yourself stuck in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”. The same applies to those Saudi/UAE wars on Yemen or in Syria or in Ukraine hat are for anachronistic ideas like hegemony. Today's world cannot take ancient ideas that are going extinct and the ideas gaining strength especially among the young generation is a world free from borders, free from hegemonic "nation-states", a world of love, kindness, morality, and justice.

Therapy: The therapy to accelerate arrival at the inevitable prognosis is to work harder collectively towards that. That means resistance and joint people-centered struggle. See my book on "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment" (http://qumsiyeh.org/popularresistanceinpalestine/) as one example of many around the world (for the US see Howard Zinn's "A people's history of the United States"). We must work together also via building alternative models of intentional communities ranging from more militant ones like the Zapatistas (see https://nacla.org/news/2019/01/18/spark-hope-ongoing-lessons-zapatista-revolution-25-years ) to localized projects like https://www.tamera.org/ and our own Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (http://palestinenature.org).

Oct 17, 2021

Pity the nation

 Pity the nation

Poetic reflection by Mazin Qumsiyeh 17 October 2021

 

Whose citizens do not have time to reading… especially the serious reading that can make a difference

Whose leaders care about their villas and privilages and not their people

Whose young people of affluence and do not know the meaning of hard work

Whose middle class has no kindness… not even to their family

Whose healthcare system is falling apart while its police forces are armed

Whose poor are angry but feel helpless to change

Whose children are not connected to the land

Whose elderly are not valued

Whose education system is a regurgitation system

 

Pity the nation

Which produces waste and damages its environment

Which eats junk food packaged in plastics or sprayed with chemicals

Which cares to build houses of worship more than houses of education

Which does not teach the value of time, the values of respect (for ourselves, for others, for nature)

Which lives in concrete “jungle” while not protecting its forests

Which does not know the taste of real freedom

….Freedom from oppression

….Freedom from guilt

…Freedom from hate

…Freedom from self-pity

…Freedom from powerlessness

 

Pity the nation

That has more cars than bicycles

That is crowded but has so much loneliness

That has more houses than homes

That imports its food, cloths, and tools

That does not know how generous is its land

….if only it is tended

That has few bird watchers and few hikers

That has many talkers and few listeners (to nature) and doers (of good deeds)

 

We must chose to be different

…to rebel

…to fight

…to work

…to love

…to respect ourseves, others and nature

Jun 29, 2021

Changing ourselves

 Changing others? Changing ourselves!

As a zoologist and geneticist I am always puzzled about human (optimistically named Homo sapiens) behavior. It was always important for me at least to try to understand this complex species. Not just only out of curiosity but out of necessity because I was to become a teacher and team “leader” (in research or clinical service). It was to understand and effect first my own behavior. Thus, when I could take non-required courses for my academic degrees, I chose courses like Animal Behabior (yes we are animals), Psychology, and Anthropology. I also managed to read many books on motivation and so called “leadership” (I do not like these term)

I was put in positions of responsibility for team productivity for example when I was director of clinical laboratories each with many employees or head of a research team at universities like Duke, Yale, University of Tennessee, and Bethlehem. Yet, as time passed by, the more I learned the more I realized how little we know about human nature or human motivation. What we can agree to is that the human mind is shaped by lifelong experiences that make it hard to change except in limited areas.

Is it possible then to have revolutionary change such as the one needed to change course on climate change or corruption of our political systems? Does that require drastic behavioral change by many individuals ill-structure to do so? Sometimes I think like that and then sometimes I do see drastic changes in individuals that are amazing. I see young people move from being placid consumers of products and ideas in their teens to rebellious innovators who even becomes a teachers of others. But hey have to want to change and grow. It is possible as evidenced by so many stories of people. It is like a seed that grows into a mighty tree of productivity. I saw it in people I knew like Basil Al-Araj and Nizar Banat and many more we learned about through books, diaries, and biographies such a Matiel Mughannam, Naji Al-Ali, Malcolm X and Che Guevera.  

Of the hundreds of employees and students over the years that worked directly or indirectly under my supervision, I found many who succeeded at this: worked hard, changed themselves, became innovators. I also saw that the learning curve differs between people….. some took longer than others. And of course there were some who never changed and went on to continue year after year living mediocre lives that barely touched anyone. Age, mental capacity (IQ), physical abilities, family background or religion were not predictors. It is only a spark in the eye… an “aha” moment that some have and use and some ignore and go in their pre-programmed way. We see it in our students: about 5% go on to do great things, majority to live mediocre lives and 3-5% who join the ranks of the greedy oppressors of others. As we try to influence people, it is not enough to give them knowledge… we need to create an environment that shelters and promotes the spark that I believe is found in most people (and that gets extinguished in most).

In starting our own Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (palestinenature.org) we tried to create such an environment. It is creating conditions of growth and freedom to create. We continue to experiment with better ways to do that. It is important: just like we test and create best conditions for a seed to grow (water, soil, air, sun), we need to always look to do the same for human minds. But unlike plants, having conditions available for human minds (books, smart people, healthy air and food) is not sufficient. The English saying is you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. So the question remains about what can be done to facilitate enlarging the spark that is in each of us. Plato once noted that opinion is the lowest form of knowledge and the highest is empathy. Empathy is perhaps the key. We must suspend our ego, and listen carefully to others. My grandfather’s advice to me when I was 17: the world changes, change yourself by shedding the chains around your mind created by society, religion, and indoctrination (otherwise known as education). That was the best advice given me and the best advice I give my students. Shed the chains.

Liberation from Mental Colonization: a case study of the indigenous people of Palestine

https://www.palestinenature.org/research/B46-QumsiyehandAmr.pdf

May 31, 2021

فشل سلطة

 فشل سلطة أوسلو في الوظيفة الوحيدة التي تركتها لنفسها لتحقيق مكاسب فلسطينية



تم تكليف السلطة الفلسطينية (مجموعة أوسلو) بـ 1) إدارة مناطق حكم ذاتي لمراكز سكانية للفلسطينيين على أجزاء صغيرة جدًا من الضفة الغربية ، 2) حماية الأمن الإسرائيلي (هذه المهمة مهمة رئيسية و "مقدسة"). كخط جانبي مُنعت السلطة من أي شكل من أشكال المقاومة أو تنظيم المقاومة إذا كان ذلك مكلفًا لإسرائيل (سُمح بتنظيم مظاهرات في ميادين داخلية كالمنارة أو إحياء ذكرى النكبة في قاعات وطرح خطب رنانة). الإجراء الآخر المسموح به هو أن يكون لديهم تمثيل دبلوماسي في بلدان أخرى (وكان هذا موجودًا بالفعل قبل أوسلو). تكلفة وجود "وزارة خارجية" وبعثات دبلوماسية مرتفعة للغاية طبعا ليست بمستوى الأمن (66000 موظف لحفظ أمن إسرائيل واستقرار النظام المستبد). كان العائد على هذا الاستثمار ضئيلاً لأن معظم الأشخاص المعينين كانوا مجرد واجهة لإظهار الولاء لـلرئيس المنتهية صلاحيته وليس لديهم أي معرفة أو مصلحة في القيام بأشياء تكسب دعم الفلسطينيين. المكاسب جائت من الجاليات الفلسطينية في تلك الدول ومن المتضامنين األأجانب. لقد أحب ممثلين السلطة الجلوس على المكاتب والعيش في فلل راقية ومكاتب فخمة. أعرف هذا لأنني قابلت العديد منهم وأعرف كيف يقضون وقتهم. في مكاتبهم أو بيوتهم  وخدمات لطيفة وحضور الحفلات في الفنادق الراقية لكن لا يوجد أي عمل لفلسطين. معظمهم لا يتحدثون لغة البلد الذي تم تعيينهم فيه. على سبيل المثال "سفيرنا" في إسبانيا الذي يجني مبالغ طائلة من المال لا يتحدث الإسبانية (لغة رئيسية يتحدث بها مئات الملايين) وليس له علاقة حقيقية بحركات التضامن مع فلسطين في إسبانيا. حتى أنه سئم في إحدى المقابلات الإعلامية وطلب من مترجمه إنهاء المقابلة نيابة عنه. سفيرنا في الهند (1.3 مليار شخص) لا يتحدث اللغة المحلية (حتى بالحد الأدنى) وقد أخبرني شخصيًا أنه لا يزعج نفسه لأنه يستطيع التحدث لهم باللغة الإنجليزية! اشتكى "سفيرنا" في الدنمارك مؤخرًا من أنه لم يتلق أي مكالمات من وسائل الإعلام أثناء الحرب على غزة! لماذا تتصل وسائل الإعلام الرئيسية بناشطين مثل عيسى عمرو وعلي أبو نعمة وأنا وغيرنا ولا تتصل بسفرائنا (وزارة الخارجية) ووزارة الإعلام / الاتصال؟ أعتقد أن الإجابة واضحة. نتطوع ونخرج ونطرق الأبواب بينما يجلس أصحاب الرواتب في المكاتب والمطاعم كعادتهم وكانت خبرة الصحافة أن ممثلين فلسطين الرسميين لا يعلرفون فن التحدث. خلال 11 يومًا من الهجوم على غزة في مايو أجريت أكثر من 15 مقابلة وأكثر من اثنتي عشرة محاضرة لجمهور أجنبي فقط.  لست متأكدًا من أننا نريد أن "يتحدث" هؤلاء الأشخاص أنفسهم. معظمهم عندما يتحدثون يضرون أكثر مما ينفعون. إنهم يعرفون القليل عن التاريخ الفلسطيني، ولم يدرسوا استراتيجيات التخاطب (انظر مثلا هذه المهزلة من سفيرنا في الباكستان http://fb.watch/5QL8sfBbxM ) ويميلون إلى الهجوم على عناصر المقاومة ويظهرون الضعف والجهل واعادة مقولات الغرب الداعم لهم. مرة أخرى مع استثناءات قليلة (يتبادر إلى الذهن حسام زملط كاستثناء يخالف القاعدة). تمت إزالة سفراء فتح القادرين على التحدث مع المجتمع المحلي لأسباب شائنة (مثل عفيف صافية).

كانت هذه فرصة للسلطة الفلسطينية لإثبات للعالم (بدءًا من الفلسطينيين العاديين) أنها ستفعل على الأقل الحد الأدنى المطلوب لمساعدة القضية الفلسطينية ودعم المقاومة بدل من محاربتها. الحد الأدنى كان التعلم من فضائح مثل إفشال استخدام تقرير غولدستون أو حكم المحكمة الجنائية الدولية بشأن الجدار وأكثر من ذلك. كان بإمكانهم اغتنام الفرصة لشرح شرعية المقاومة (بموجب القانون الدولي لدينا الحق في مقاومة الاستعمار) وإيقاف مسرحية "الحديث" عن دولتين (حديث بدأه بن غوريون في عشرينيات القرن الماضي لأغراض دعائية ولإعطاء الوقت لأنشطة استعمارية موسعة). بدلاً من ذلك على الأقل وهذا أضعف الإيمان كان بإمكانهم التحدث عن الحقوق ، وتقرير المصير، والعودة ، والمساواة ، إلخ مقابل نظام الفصل العنصري الاستعماري. من المدهش أن الذين نصبوا أنفسهم قادتنا ما زالوا يرفضون التحدث عن كامل فلسطين التي يوحدها شعبنا وهم يقسموها. أبو مازن كان بإمكانه زيارة شعبه في القدس والداخل وفي غزة هاشم (على الأقل الاجتماع معهم افتراضيا). ولماذا يتخلى عن 78٪ من فلسطين ويصر على اتباع وهم أوسلو ومقابلة ممثلي حكومة أمريكية لم تغير سياستها بسقوط ترمب وكوشنر؟ لو اتعظوا واستغلو هذه الفرصة الذهبية لزاروا غزه ووحدوا صفوفهم مع المقاومة في كل أرجاء فلسطين والشتات. كان بإمكان محمود عباس رفض مقابلة وزير الجارجية البؤريطاني انصياعة لإرادة الشعب. بس على الأقل كان بإمكانهم  تبديل معظم دبلوماسييهم بأشخاصًا أذكياء (موجودون بالفعل- أنظر الفقرة الثالثة). وحتى بعد تصويت مجلس حقوق الإنسان لصالح التحقيق في الجرائم لم ترقا سلطتنا إلى مستوى الدبلوماسية المطلوبة. دبلوماسية السلطة الفاشلة إما تنتج عن جهل وإما عن سوء نية (ولا أعرف أيهما أسوأ).

إذا كانوا يريدون اقتراحات لإستبدال الفاشلين بأشخاص فاعلين فالحمد لله شعبنا لديه موهبات كثيرة تصلح للدبلوماسية, هناك في جالياتنا في الخارج موهبات مثل نورا عريقات وعلي أبونعمة ولميس ديك ورندة عبد الفتاح. حتى هنا في فلسطين هنالك أشخاص مثل حنين الزعبي ورنا بشارة ولبنا مصاروة وعيسى عمرو وإبراهيم نصار و منى الكرد وميس أبو غوش وحتى من فتح هنالك موهوبين (مثل دلال صائب عريقات). لا ينبغي أن يكون الدبلوماسيون من حزب فتح فقط. فتح تحصل في أحسن الأحوال على 25٪ من دعم الفلسطينيين (13 مليون منا ليس فقط تلك الأقلية في الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة). لذلك يجب أن يكون من دبلوماسيونا الربع من المهنيين من فتح (وليس الفاشلين الفاسدين) والباقي من المهنيين الآخرين. بما أن السلطة تعمل ضد جميع أشكال المقاومة (حتى المقاومة الشعبية) لكنها ادعت عباءة "المقاومة الدبلوماسية" فهذا التغيير الملح هو الحد الأدنى الذي يمكنها القيام به. لكن حتى عند هذا الحد الأدنى (وباستثنائات نادرة) فشلوا فشلا ذريعا. كنت قد اقترحت قبل ذلك من أجل (فتح) أنهم بحاجة إلى إجراء تغييرات جذرية. دائما يسألني المتضامنون الأجانب لماذا عندنا قيادة فاشلة لأعدل قضية في التاريخ. الشعب الفلسطيني اكتفى من هذا الجهل وسوء الأداء والفساد. هل ضحت فلسطين بمئة ألف شهيد ومليون جريح ومليون أسير عبر ثمان عقود لننتهي بحكومة فيشي أو كارزاي أو إمارة موز Banana Republic

مش عيب علينا

عريضة للتوقيع http://chng.it/NFrp2zXxtY


The Palestinian (Oslo) Authority was tasked with 1) running autonomous regions with population centers of the Palestinains only on very small parts of the West Bank, 2) protecting Israeli security (this task is main and “sacred” task). As a sideline, the authority was prohibited from any form of resistance or organizing resistance if it is costly to Israel (organizing a demonstration on Al-Manara or a Nakba commemoration in a hall with speeches was allowed). The only other action allowed was to have diplomatic representation in other countries (this was already there before Oslo). The cost of having a “foreign ministry” and diplomatic missions is very high. The return on this investment was miniscule because most of the people appointed were only ale to show loyalty to El Presidente and have no knowledge or interest in doing things that gain Palestinians support. They liked to sit at desks. I know this as I met with many of them and know how they spend their time. Lush offices, nice services, parties for diplomatic core but hardly any really work for Palestine. Most of them do not speak the language of the country to which they are appointed. For example, our “Ambassador” to Spain who has been drawing nice sums of money speaks no Spanish (a major language spoken by hundreds of millions) and has no real relationship with any of the Palestine solidarity movements in Spain. In one media interview he even got tired (he is OLD) and asked his translator to finish the interview for him. Our Ambassador to India (1.3 billion people) does not speak the local language (even minimally) and he personally told me that he does not bother because he can just speak to them in English! Our “Ambassador” to Denmark complained recently that he got hardly any calls from media during the war on Gaza! Why is the mainstream media calling me and activists like Issa Amro and Ali Abunimah and not calling our ambassadors (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and our ministry of Information/ Communication? I think the answer is obvious. We volunteer and we go out and knock on doors while the paid people sit in offices and draw salaries. In the 11 days of the attack on Gaza in May, I did over 15 interviews and over a dozen lectures to foreign audiences alone. But then again with very few exceptions, I am not sure we want those same people “speaking”. Most of them when they speak do more harm than good. They know little of Palestinian history, they have not studied communication strategies, they tend to regurgitate lines of attack on resistance, and they project weakness and ignorance. There are very few exceptions (Husam Zomlot comes to mind as an exception that proves the rule). Fatah Ambassadors that are able to speak or work with the local community are removed for nefarious reasons (e.g. Afif Safieh). This would have been an opportunity to prove to the world (starting with us common Palestinians) that the Palestinian authority will do at least the minimal needed to help the Palestinian cause.

That minimum would have been to learn from their own treachery of scuttling the use of the Goldstone report or of the ICC ruling on the wall and more. They could have grasped the moment to explain the legitimacy of resistance (under International law we do have a right to resist colonization). They could have stopped this charade of “talking” about two states (a talk that started in the 1920s by Ben Gurion for propaganda purposes and to give time for expanded colonial activities). Instead they could have talked like we activists do: about rights, self determination, return, equality etc versus the colonial apartheid system. It is amazing that our self-appointed leaders still refuse to acknowledge that 78% of Palestine is occupied and they abandoned our right to this (larger) part of Palestine. If they learned, they would fire most of their diplomats and would hire smart people (already around). If they want suggestions, I have many to suggest including people from Fatah (like Dalal Saeb Erekat) but really the diplomats should not be from the minority Fatah party. Fatah at best gets 25% of Palestinian (13 million of us not only those minority in the WB and Gaza) votes so our diplomats should be about a quarter from Fatah professionals and the rest from other professionals. Since the authority works against all forms of resistance (even popular resistance) but claimed the mantle of “diplomatic resistance” this is the minimum they could do. But even at this (save) minimum they failed miserably. I had suggested before that for their own (Fatah) sake they need to make drastic changes. The Palestinian people have had enough of this ignorance and bad performance.


May 30, 2021

Terror

 Idelber Avelar’s The Letter of Violence: Essays on Narrative, Ethics, and Politics is a brillian little book gifted to me over 16 years ago by the author. Avelar traces how violence was pervasive tool in western ideologies including its presence ffrom Greek “democracy” to the catholic church structures in the Middle Ages to the modern usage of this by states like the USA and Israel. One chapter from my book on “Sharing the Land of Canaan” Violence and terrorism written soon after the events of 11 Sept 2001 addresses some of those issues http://qumsiyeh.org/chapter8/

But much more needs to be written on this subject. I remain haunted by such horrors like the killing of 67 children in Gaza in May 2021 or by the murders and butchery witnessed in Nanking (Nanjing) in 1937 or by the hundreds of other atrocities committed in our history of misnamed "civilization". Such images should give us pause to think about this species of ours optimistically named by Linnaeus as Homo sapiens. The methods of murder may change (from swords and bayonets to F-35s) but we must face the fact that the story of our species is that horrors repeat and only the actions of few people advance peace and justice. What is to be done to stop it? Your thoughts please in the comments section below