Jul 19, 2024

Implosion and rebuilding

 Langston Hughes poem ("Lenox Avenue Mural" in the 1930s)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

The “Israeli” Knesset voted to deny any possibility of a Palestinian state in Palestine. I read polls indicating most Israelis support the ongoing genocide of our people. I heard Donald Trump (next President of the “USA”) stoke colonial language and defend racist ancestors (who he called “our great ancestors”). The remaining indigenous people of that country, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants and people of conscience all felt the horror of colonial racism that Trump epitomizes. Genocide Joe Biden does not provide an alternative. The Green party does. But in any case, as the US Empire implodes, I am thinking of how such colonial powers (US and Israel) dehumanize their victims and get more cruel in their last days. The biggest current victims of the empire's dehumanization is of course us, the Palestinian people.  It is abundantly clear that oppressors spend an inordinate amount of time and resources to dehumanize their victims. But we humans spend an inordinate amount of time also trying to suppress our own humanity. To dehumanize someone is to deprive them of essential human qualities such as compassion, individuality, love, and social contact. Making a family line up in the sun for hours to cross a checkpoint is a form of dehumanizing. It is dehumanizing to deny food, water, and medical care, to destroy means of livelihood, to take someone's land, to torture prisoners, deprive them of food, and countless other brutal actions that constitute genocide. Ecoside and scholasticide are also part of this and it is happening.  Dehumanizing makes it easier for the colonizers to not feel compassion for their victims as they rob them of their lands and natural resources. In so doing the colonizers thus also dehumanize themselves because they have to desensitize themselves to human suffering. But the victims themselves can also internalize the dehumanization to think of themselves as somehow unworthy or that their life can only gain meaning if they emulate their oppressors and thus become oppressors themselves.  This spiral of dehumanizing can and must be challenged and the obvious way to do it is via our efforts to humanize ourselves and others: show compassion, mercy, love, and connectedness. The struggle is mostly inward and it is our own negativism that must be challenged every day, nay every hour. That is the humanizing struggle that is the hardest struggle of all.

To remind those who may have forgotten, below is the charter of the PLO which was never legally amended (perhaps it should be). Today 8 million of the 15 million Palestinians in the world are refugees or displaced people. Most of us are calling for a democratic election to the Palestine National Council per the charter after which some things can be reconsidered democratically by those representing us (Jews, Christians, Muslims). Some of the things we believe would then be brought up and voted upon include the issue of inclusion of all Jewish (now Israeli) residents of the country who reject Zionism/colonialism and the issue of increased emphasis on popular resistance (see my book http://qumsiyeh.org/popularresistanceinpalestine/). Bringing the PNC back to life in a democratic way can ensure modernization, updating, and ultimately success of the mission and goals of the Palestine LIBERATION Organization instead of the current untenable situation hwre a Palestinian authority is disconnected from reality and is irrelevant except in serving the security needs of occupiers. The other option is to create a new PLO that addresses today's main challenge which is the US/Israel intensified efforts not only to liquidate the Palestinian struggle but to liquidate the people of Palestine (genocide) by a most fascist government. We are at a historic moment and the crisis provides an opportunity for renewal now with support of hundreds of millions of people around the world after the genocidal intent of imperial and Zionist forces became as clear as sunlight. Everyone now knows that no durable peace or progress in this area will happen without justice to the Palestinians and ending Zionist racism and creating real democracies. We must agree on tactics and strategy to do this. The alternative is a World War and we all die!

Resolutions of the Palestine National Council, July 1-17, 1968

Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.
Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.
Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people possess the legal right to their homeland and have the right to determine their destiny after achieving the liberation of their country in accordance with their wishes and entirely of their own accord and will.
Article 4: The Palestinian identity is a genuine, essential, and inherent characteristic; it is transmitted from parents to children. The Zionist occupation and the dispersal of the Palestinian Arab people, through the disasters which befell them, do not make them lose their Palestinian identity and their membership in the Palestinian community, nor do they negate them.
Article 5: The Palestinians are those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or have stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father - whether inside Palestine or outside it - is also a Palestinian.
Article 6: The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.
Article 7: That there is a Palestinian community and that it has material, spiritual, and historical connection with Palestine are indisputable facts. It is a national duty to bring up individual Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner. All means of information and education must be adopted in order to acquaint the Palestinian with his country in the most profound manner, both spiritual and material, that is possible. He must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland and bring about its liberation.
Article 8: The phase in their history, through which the Palestinian people are now living, is that of national (watani) struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Thus the conflicts among the Palestinian national forces are secondary, and should be ended for the sake of the basic conflict that exists between the forces of Zionism and of imperialism on the one hand, and the Palestinian Arab people on the other. On this basis the Palestinian masses, regardless of whether they are residing in the national homeland or in diaspora (mahajir) constitute - both their organizations and the individuals - one national front working for the retrieval of Palestine and its liberation through armed struggle.
Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. Thus it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it. They also assert their right to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.
Article 10: Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness, and the mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution. It also requires the achieving of unity for the national (watani) struggle among the different groupings of the Palestinian people, and between the Palestinian people and the Arab masses, so as to secure the continuation of the revolution, its escalation, and victory.
Article 11: The Palestinians will have three mottoes: national (wataniyya) unity, national (qawmiyya) mobilization, and liberation.
Article 12: The Palestinian people believe in Arab unity. In order to contribute their share toward the attainment of that objective, however, they must, at the present stage of their struggle, safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity, and oppose any plan that may dissolve or impair it.
Article 13: Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two complementary objectives, the attainment of either of which facilitates the attainment of the other. Thus, Arab unity leads to the liberation of Palestine, the liberation of Palestine leads to Arab unity; and work toward the realization of one objective proceeds side by side with work toward the realization of the other.
Article 14: The destiny of the Arab nation, and indeed Arab existence itself, depend upon the destiny of the Palestine cause. From this interdependence springs the Arab nation's pursuit of, and striving for, the liberation of Palestine. The people of Palestine play the role of the vanguard in the realization of this sacred (qawmi) goal.
Article 15: The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine. Absolute responsibility for this falls upon the Arab nation - peoples and governments - with the Arab people of Palestine in the vanguard. Accordingly, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, moral, and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine. It must, particularly in the phase of the armed Palestinian revolution, offer and furnish the
Palestinian people with all possible help, and material and human support, and make available to them the means and opportunities that will enable them to continue to carry out their leading role in the armed revolution, until they liberate their homeland.
Article 16: The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual point of view, will provide the Holy Land with an atmosphere of safety and tranquility, which in turn will safeguard the country's religious sanctuaries and guarantee freedom of worship and of visit to all, without discrimination of race, color, language, or religion. Accordingly, the people of Palestine look to all spiritual forces in the world for support.
Article 17: The liberation of Palestine, from a human point of view, will restore to the Palestinian individual his dignity, pride, and freedom. Accordingly the Palestinian Arab people look forward to the support of all those who believe in the dignity of man and his freedom in the world.
Article 18: The liberation of Palestine, from an international point of view, is a defensive action necessitated by the demands of self-defense. Accordingly the Palestinian people, desirous as they are of the friendship of all people, look to freedom-loving, and peace-loving states for support in order to restore their legitimate rights in Palestine, to re-establish peace and security in the country, and to enable its people to exercise national sovereignty and freedom.
Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and to their natural right in their homeland, and inconsistent with the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly the right to self determination.
Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.
Article 21: The Arab Palestinian people, expressing themselves by the armed Palestinian revolution, reject all solutions which are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine and reject all proposals aiming at the liquidation of the Palestinian problem, or its internationalization.
Article 22: Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity, and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland.
Article 23: The demand of security and peace, as well as the demand of right and justice, require all states to consider Zionism an illegitimate movement, to outlaw its existence, and to ban its operations, in order that friendly relations among peoples may be preserved, and the loyalty of citizens to their respective homelands safeguarded.
Article 24: The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and in the right of all peoples to exercise them.
Article 25: For the realization of the goals of this Charter and its principles, the Palestine Liberation Organization will perform its role in the liberation of Palestine in accordance with the Constitution of this Organization.
Article 26: The Palestine Liberation Organization, representative of the Palestinian revolutionary forces, is responsible for the Palestinian Arab people's movement in its struggle - to retrieve its homeland, liberate and return to it and exercise the right to self-determination in it - in all military, political, and financial fields and also for whatever may be required by the Palestine case on the inter-Arab and international levels.
Article 27: The Palestine Liberation Organization shall cooperate with all Arab states, each according to its potentialities; and will adopt a neutral policy among them in the light of the requirements of the war of liberation; and on this basis it shall not interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab state.
Article 28: The Palestinian Arab people assert the genuineness and independence of their national (wataniyya) revolution and reject all forms of intervention, trusteeship, and subordination.
Article 29: The Palestinian people possess the fundamental and genuine legal right to liberate and retrieve their homeland. The Palestinian people determine their attitude toward all states and forces on the basis of the stands they adopt vis-a-vis to the Palestinian revolution to fulfill the aims of the Palestinian people.
Article 30: Fighters and carriers of arms in the war of liberation are the nucleus of the popular army which will be the protective force for the gains of the Palestinian Arab people.
Article 31: The Organization shall have a flag, an oath of allegiance, and an anthem. All this shall be decided upon in accordance with a special regulation.
Article 32: Regulations, which shall be known as the Constitution of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, shall be annexed to this Charter. It will lay down the manner in which the Organization, and its organs and institutions, shall be constituted; the respective competence of each; and the requirements of its obligation under the Charter.
Article 33: This Charter shall not be amended save by [vote of] a majority of two-thirds of the total membership of the National Congress of the Palestine Liberation Organization [taken] at a special session convened for that purpose.

Jul 9, 2024

May he live

I tried to cross into Jerusalem today (where I used to be a high school teacher) and was denied by the apartheid colonizers. My wife too. Our US passports notwithstanding. This is a clear violation of the agreement reached with the US State Department that allowed Israelis to enter the US on a visa waiver program. US citizens are not treated with respect agreed to. Over the weekend we were stopped from doing our field work in the Jordan valley by these apartheid regime forces. This was not the first time. In so many occasions we are harassed and prevented from having any normalcy. In other parts of Palestine, the situation is much worse. In the Gaza Strip alone over the past nine months 186,000 Palestinians were killed by bombing them, by denial of food, water, medicine and by destroying their infrastructure etc. As I am in touch with many families in Gaza by phone I hear horror stories including literally starving to death and if there is a food it is only bread or only rice (no proteins, vegetables, milk, fruits etc.). And what worries me more are families we lost touch with (no phones). The regime tramples our right of religion, right of movement, right of education, essentially our rights of life.

I reflect on these horrors. I reflect on Western (US, Germany, UK, Australia etc) collusion and collaboration with an ongoing genocide and ongoing process of ethnic cleansing. I reflect on hypocrisy and on cowardice. I reflect on racism and hate that left 8 million of us refugees and displaced and the rest squeezed into concentration camps. I reflect on 21,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails being treated worse than any regime ever treated its oppressed people in its prisons. Torture, starvation, amputations, denial of medical care and dozens killed under torture that we know off (but fate of 98% of prisoners unknown since no legal reprentation or visit by Redcross/Redcrescent is allowed). I reflect on the control of western mainstream media that ensures little or no coverage of reality and lots of regurgitation of lies and distortions. I reflect on all of that but I do not get despondent. Why? Because of one thing: resistance. My book "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of hope and empowerment" summarized over a 120 years of resistance, 14 uprisings (this Gaza Ghetto uprising makes number 15). This includes hundreds of forms of resistance; only tiny minority armed and that is also legal and encouraged by international law.

May he live (and die) resisting
by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Bulldozers uprooting 2000 year old olive trees
While refugees still to doors they hold the keys
Settlers and soldiers marauding and killing
Of lands and homes they enjoy pillaging
A grandfather laments 7 year old girl, soul of his soul
Colonial partners send money and soldiers to play a role
Chldrens' brains in their fathers hand
While Netanyahu's son on florida beach gets tanned
Bloodied heads tossed far from bodies
Decaying bodies left in destroyed hospitals
While politicians verbal acrobatics belittles
the 2000 pound bombs leveling neighborhood supplied by the USA
while Zionist Blinken pressures ICC and ICJ to stop or delay
A girl insists that she recognized a mother from her hair
But a consumerist world shrugs - we don't care
Soldiers and politicians of a most fascist army threaten and mock
as F35s bombs Nuseirat, Gaza city, Bureij, Rafah... and every block
No safe place in a concentration camp packed by refugees
Being denied food, medicine, fuel, and all amenities
D9 bulldozers, buzzing drones, white phosphorous, fire belts,
moans of death under the rubble and babies flesh melts
to get stock prices of weapon makers soar
while genocide Joe plays the role of a whore
all for Palestine's gas fields to steal
a new Asia-Europe 6 trillion road deal
the Suez replaced by the Ben Gurion Canal
Nile to Euphrates "promised people" cabal
Belt-and-Road initiative replaced
a new empire to be created
Old ones subjugated
Via lobbies dominated
Olive trees destroyed
Pine trees planted
Communities uprooted
Racists validated
A global war initiated
To make the rich richer
and the poor poorer

To all this there is antidote available
Resistance is possible
We resist by insisting on our rights
to return, to live, to eat, to kindle our lights
to hope, to live, to plant our trees
to tend to our vegetables, and our bees
for we believe that to exist
means to resist
and to resist means to live free
like human beings should be
For there is no other path
to avoid the wrath
to live meaningfully
and die peacefully
And when I am dead
Let it be said
here lies a good troublemaker
of actions and ideas a baker
born poor, died poor
helped others in the short tour
in the land of his birth
lived a rich life in resistance
with dogged persistence
the hope alive he kept
for injustice he wept
the path of struggle he travelled
through storms he peddled
may he get his wish to die resisting
as he lived joyfully participating
In life's sorrows
dodging arrows
Not resting
Fully Loving
Meaningfully Living
Peacefully Dying

On Julian Assange

Gaza toll could exceed 186,000, Lancet study says

Some zionists are racists and discrete, others are racist and more open about their intentions https://x.com/Kahlissee/status/1809485517483852029

5 more journalists killed in Gaza bringing number of journalists killed by Israeli forces to 158 in 9 months (more than all other countries combined in five years) https://efe.com/en/latest-news/2024-07-06/journalists-in-gaza-tragic-toll-reaches-158-amid-ongoing-conflict/

90 Minutes that shook the Liberals awake . An opinion about the dismal state of affairs of US/Israel empire (with a quote from me)

Stay Human and keep Palestine alive

Jun 23, 2024

Moral test of our time

Why Palestine matters: The most important moral test of our time
[References at end]

This was said 30 years ago: “This is a unique colonialism that we’ve been subjected to where they have no use for us. The best Palestinian for them is either dead or gone. It’s not where they want to exploit us, or that they need to keep us there in the way of Algeria or South Africa as a subclass.” (Edward Said, in The Pen and the Sword: Conversations with Edward Said, by David Barsamian, 1994.)

Day 262 of the murderous and genocidal attacks on Gaza Strip. Over 150,000 Palestinians killed or injured. 80% of buildings destroyed including residential buildings, hospitals, schools, universities, streets, and other infrastructure [R01]. But this genocide is implemented not merely with bombing civilians but with starvation and denial of water, medicine, and all aspects of livability. More people are now dying of diseases and famine than from bombings. The environmental impact of this genocidal war has also been devastating [R02]. In parallel with this, there is an attack here in the West Bank (including Jerusalem) that is no less mean and no less important. I was just in the Jordan valley and the situation is dire: some 3000 Jewish colonial settlers pillaged the land and the natural resources and the population of Palestinians there has shrunk from 350,000 to some 75,000. The armed settlers and soldiers are on a rampage [R03]. The onslaught throughout Palestine not being halted by UN security council resolution calling for a ceasefire not by the cases at the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court. Nothing seems to deter this fascist government running this apartheid state. Zionist occupied White House is hosting ICC criminal Gallant and the Zionist-occupied US congress extended an invitation to ICC lunatic criminal Netanyahu to give a speech to a joint session of congress. This is working against US laws and against US interests to serve Zionazi genocide. Imagine inviting Hitler and Himmler as a genocide goes on? Will the US public (taxpayers) rise-up in arms against this?

Will the massive demonstrations happening in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against the Israeli government make them pause? It is unlikely. Not even the perilous threat of a catastrophic regional war. In the north of Palestine, the Lebanese resistance showed that there is not Israeli target that is off-limits to it [R04]. This time unlike previous wars, Israel cannot destroy Beirut again without Tel Aviv being destroyed. Yet again Netanyahu is unphased. He disbanded his "war cabinet" and feels empowered by the Zionist lobby's hold on the US government [R05].

Zionism is not merely what the ideology that devastated our ancient society and culture with ethnic cleansing and genocide but what it has done to a three generations of Jews (both indoctrinated here or abroad) has been equally troubling. The majority have bought into this idea of colonial supremacist Zionism [R06]. This allowed them to directly do or at least financially and publicly support the most atrocious crimes with cruelly, hatred, and dehumanization that no words can do justice to describe [R07]. Thus in so many levels Zionism is not only racist and genocidal but also suicidal [R08]. That is why hundreds of millions around the world including a growing number of Jews are saying that once Palestine is free from the river to the sea, Jews and all humans will be free. It is logical: there should NOT Be a Jewish State, Nor a White State, Nor a Christian State, Nor a Slave-based Confederacy State, Nor an Islamist State, Nor a Master-Race Third Reich State, Nor an Apartheid South African State. We should learn from history that these are genocidal suicidal states. But the stakes are much higher now as the genocide is streamed live and the world is armed to the teeth and technology is such that walls, tanks, and airplanes cannot “win” wars. If you want proof see what Hamas, Houthis in Yemen or Hizbollah are able to do to challenge empire (challenging western governments who spend trillions arming themselves).

Will the growth of the global popular mass movement cause the fall of empire or will the US/ Israel be allowed to continue to drag the world to a final Masada, an apocalypse, an end of the world? [R09]. We can and must win this this quest to end war and impose justice including Palestinian refugee right to return to their homes and lands. They are the few and we are the many!! In my talks around the world including my recent trip to the Australian continent (including Aotearoa) I explained that there is a 50:50 chance we will manage to change the direction of history. The alternative of regional followed by Global war is far too catastrophic to allow to happen. In either case, the empire will lose.

It is worth reiterating Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."

There are many people doing what is right. One can cite the defections within the empire [R10]. One can only cite the growing campus movements around the world [R11] and the growth in the movement for Boycott, Divestments sections [R12]. We ae moved to accelerate our work as the moment of truth is upon us. "We either live together as fellow human beings or we die together as fools". The Palestine situation provides a moral test of our time but it is far more than that: it is an existential struggle in which people need to choose to be on the side of life not on the side of genocide/suicide.

Or you can read Langston Hughes, "Harlem" :
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

[R01] See for updated reports: https://www.ochaopt.org/ and https://www.pcbs.gov.ps/default.aspx
ICC case: https://www.commondreams.org/news/icc-war-cimes-gaza
The UN Human Rights Council has investigated Israel's war in detail - and the conclusions are DAMNING: "We conclude that Israeli authorities are responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity... including extermination, internationally directing attacks against civilians... using starvation as a method of war... sexual and gender-based violence..." All those states that touted the Rules Based Order in Ukraine must now act to impose a UNSC-sponsored arms embargo on Israel.
An important message about Genocide from the leader of Human Rights Watch

[R02] UNEP: Environmental impact of conflict in Gaza https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/45739/environmental_impact_conflict_Gaza.pdf
Warning about loss of biodiversity in Gaza
It is time to seek justice for environmental war crimes
and my own paper on environmental impact of war

[R03] https://www.btselem.org/media/3826

[R04] Hezbollah releases close-up surveillance footage captured recently by its reconnaissance drones, showing sensitive Israeli targets in the north – including Haifa Port, a number of Iron Dome Platforms, and military complexes. https://x.com/TheCradleMedia/status/1803051154139496797
also there is realligment of powers and enhancement of BRICS+

[R05] AIPAC (Israel's lobby) will spend $100 million to interfere in US elections this year!
Israel lobby gets bills to silence US media and other organizations (enforced by "Secretary of Treasury" who is always selected by the lobby) https://theintercept.com/2024/05/10/terrorism-bill-nonprofit-journalists-israel-hamas/
See also exposure of the lobby on MSNBC https://twitter.com/Jonathan_K_Cook/status/1769857621878612335?s=20
Jill Stein, Green Party calls it like it is: They are destroying the united states
[Donate to her campaign)

[R06] see example from the second largest Jewish population, USA: https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2021/05/21/u-s-jews-have-widely-differing-views-on-israel

[R07] How colonial Israeli regime treats children
If the world livestreams genocide
Torture is now rampant in Israeli gulags for thousands of Palestinians
Whistleblowers describe abuse of Palestinian prisoners
Poignant Dr. Mads Gilbert https://x.com/drmadsgilbert/status/1781417942514622608
New York Times investigates

[R08] Why Zionism is bad for jews too by Alon Mizrahi
How the Gaza genocide will lead to Israel's collapse https://youtu.be/ly7qO9fGYZA
See also Suicidal empire https://popularresistance.org/suicidal-empire/
Amir Hass in Haaretz: The Destruction, Starvation and Death in Gaza Are Israel’s Defeat

In 1938 David Ben-Gurion said: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the [Jewish] children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative. For we must take into account not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel." [Tom Segev, The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust, Henry Holt & Co., New York, First Owl Books Edition 2000, p. 28 ]
“Israel Should Be Eliminated, It’s A Genocidal Apartheid Regime” | Miko Peled
Hamas is winning https://www.foreignaffairs.com/israel/middle-east-robert-pape

[R09] Israel is dragging the world into darkness
Toward the Abyss: United States’ fatal relationship with Israel

[R10] DemocracyNow! A resignation following White House lies:
Action: More resignations from US State Department. Tell the Biden administration to stop partnering in genocide

[R11] Shruthi Kumar delivers an important graduation message in Harvard (a university succumbing to Zionist lobby to prevent graduation of 13 students)
Palestinian Harvard Student describes her family suffering in Gaza

[R12] For more on BDS actions see BDSmovement.net and here are relevant news
Elbit Systems:
Abandoning a sinking ship of the Israeli economy, Intel pulls investments
In an open letter, a group of self-described Apple workers, former employees, and shareholders are calling on the company to halt donations to nonprofits linked with Israel’s war effort
How Western Tourism Giants Illegally Enrich Israeli Settlements on Stolen Land
Pro-Palestine and climate justice movements converge against Citigroup in New York

May 19, 2024


[Please circulate, read (especially last paragraph), and act]

Some of you wondered why you have not heard from us in 11 days. Others signed our email lists and have not heard from us. Jessie and I have been simply overwhelmed with events (2 to 5 events daily plus travel around this southern hemisphere continent). This morning only we had time off (due to an unexpected cancellation) to catch up, enter emails, and write you this note thanks and brief reflection. In our one-month tour of Australia, over 15,000 people heard our message of environmental justice and human rights and our tour of Aotearoa (New Zealand) is just beginning and already had 10 events over the past two days. We and our old and new friends were inspired over the past month from these events:

-Several university encampments where we are inspired by students and faculty who demand their universities disclose any ties to genocide and divest and call for boycotts like we did with South Africa under apartheid. For more on encampments, see https://www.palestineiseverywhere.com/ and here 
-Several rallies like the one in Gadi (aka Sydney) with 10,000 people
-Dozens of lectures at public events like the two events booked solid (300 and 100 people) at the Australian National University (ANU) to many others around the two countries in this continent
-Consultative and welcoming gatherings of activists and aboriginal leadership planning meetings. Here in Aotearoa (aka New Zealand), the Maoris were equally welcoming and inspiring.
-Conferences and conventions like the one of Australia Palestine Action Network and the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa
-Many churches and seminaries of various denominations. As a Palestinian Christian, the message resonated of the need for christian communities to take a stand in line with what we Christian communities in the Holy Land have called for which is taking a moral and ethical stand in line with tenets of the faith (see https://www.kairospalestine.ps/ and https://sabeel.org/ )
-Other religious and secular community gatherings sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. I was especially inspired with the dedication of muslim communities from various backgrounds and the Arab communities (Chrisristan, Muslim, others). Their hospitality and kindness helped me feel at home and mitigated my feelings of "homesickness"
-Meeting with parliamentarians. Even during my brief visits over two days, I noted Zionist lobbyists who were not happy to see a Palestinian with a Kufiya in the parliament building. Outside activists organized a rally in front of the parliament building in commemoration of the ongoing Nakba. One MP from the labor party broke rank with her ruling party to say the truth (that it is a genocide and needs to stop). Other MPs show promise.
-Talks at high schools (the kids are amazing)
-Meeting with Rotarian Clubs (I am president of Rotary Club Bethlehem) to tell them of our humanitarian work and look for joint efforts
-Meetings and talks at Botanic Gardens, seed banks, museums and other institutions doing similar work to ours (see palestinenature.org)
-Media appearances (Social, TV, radio, newspapers, websites): Examples
https://www.youtube.com/live/ylnlldgLUys (St Mary’s Church/Anglican Cathedral Parnell)

We had positive vibes in every one of these engagements and also grew ourselves with knowledge, new friends (thousands), and energy (spiritual and mental and physical- good food for heart, spirit and even stomach) and we thank all hosts and organizers for exceptional arrangements. We really feel the world changing but we must work hardeer to stop the genocide and decolonize globally. For me and Jessie, onward to more cities and then back to our beloved Palestine which we miss so much and then resume our volunteer and humanitarian work there. To support our collective work in Palestine (which has global reach), PLEASE
1) See and act on our call for partnership
2) Volunteer (remotely or on site)
3) Donate 

Stay Human and keep Palestine alive

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
facebook pages
Personal https://www.facebook.com/mazin.qumsiyeh.9
Institute https://www.facebook.com/PIBS.PMNH

Apr 18, 2024

Australia and Palestine

Mar 26, 2024


 I am redirecting these emails and my blog ) for positive emphasis and less on describing human rights violations. I appreciate feedback on this “experiment”. I started emailing some thirty years ago. I reached perhaps hundreds of thousands of people through my writings and occasional emails (55,000 of you receive these messages and many more through ripple effect). I recently started using Facebook, X and Instagram more but even on those I will do redirection.  WHY do I want to cut down this aspect and increase another aspect? Three reasons:

1) There is now no shortage of information on the internet (if one looks for it and follows others who write/share). Ideas spread (memes). For example the shrinking map of Palestine first drawn by my son in 1998 is now ubiquitous. This flood of information and memes grew in the past 6 months despite the whitewashing and hiding of information in mainstream corporate media. Actions for Palestine has and will/must continue to grow including delivering information (important), direct action, BDS etc.

2) I need to focus more on positive alternatives and actions to make a better world. During the break, I will post inspiring stories of resilience and resistance (sumud) and actions globally that collectively should result in a better world (examples below).

3) My wife and I are full time volunteers (seven days a week 16 hours a day) at the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS). PIBS staff and volunteers are focused on our vision of sustainable human and natural communities and benefited thousands of human beings but also conserved nature (see palestinenature.org). Devoting more time to positive items helps to balance my life and make me more productive.

Feedback is appreciated. If you find the ten items below useful do let me know or suggest changes. Also if you want to share a particularly inspiring issue related to Palestine, then let me know.

ITEM 1: Writings and photography from young people give us a glimpse of a better world https://atmos.earth/

ITEM 2: The American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) was commissioned by the United Nations in 1948 to provide aid to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza strip and was the first international aid agency working on the ground. They still act based on the principles

ITEM 3: Few (of hundreds of thousands) inspiring Palestinians
Wael Al-Dahdouh https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wael_Al-Dahdouh
Refaat Al-Areer https://afsc.org/newsroom/memory-refaat-alareer
Basil AlAraj https://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2017/03/basil-of-al-walaja-rip.html
Shireen AbuAqleh https://cpnn-world.org/new/?p=27263
Ramzy Baroud https://ramzybaroud.net/
Salha Hamdin https://alray.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=112

ITEM 4: UNSC RESOLUTION 27/28 [Short and to the point. The resistance accepted, Israeli government rejected and will continue the genocide]
The Security Council, Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, Recalling all of its relevant resolutions on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Reiterating its demand that all parties comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and in this regard deploring all attacks against civilians and civilian objects, as well as all violence and hostilities against civilians, and all acts of terrorism, and recalling that the taking of hostages is prohibited under international law; Expressing deep concern about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Acknowledging the ongoing diplomatic efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United States, aimed at reaching a cessation of hostilities, releasing the hostages and increasing the provision and distribution of humanitarian aid,
1. Demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs, and further demands that the parties comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain;
2. Emphasizes the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance to and reinforce the protection of civilians in the entire Gaza Strip and reiterates its demand for the lifting of all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale, in line with international humanitarian law as well as resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023);
3. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

ITEM 5: A Digital Future of Hope and Connectivity

ITEM 6: Israel’s Conscientious Objectors Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

ITEM 7: To Exist Is To Resist: Sumud, Heroism, and the Everyday

ITEM 8: Everyday life in the face of conflict: Sumud as a spatial quotidian practice in Palestine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8853419/

ITEM 9: We see so much charity and good will around for the needy Palestinians throughout Palestine from the Galilee to the West Bank to Gaza Strip. Ramadan brings the best in all people.  Giving as once said is twice blessed for the giver and the receiver.  We also give by holding to our humanity, doing good work like teaching our children and holding events for them at the museum and in the botanic garden. If you want to be inspired by what the team is doing, browse the posts and pictures at our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PIBS.PMNH

ITEM 10: Finally, we are grateful for the very good people organizing events for our speaking tour in Australia and New Zealand April 17 to 3 June. My wife and I are so much looking forward to a productive trip building support for Palestine. We are also grateful to many who write to encourage us in occupied Palestine or to tell us of actions they took. We love you all.

I do realize and cannot promise that this experimental change will make my emails shorter or more readable/palatable. You can always select which items to read or act on.  But in any case, do give us feedback.

Stay Human and keep Palestine alive
Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
facebook pages
Personal https://www.facebook.com/mazin.qumsiyeh.9
Institute https://www.facebook.com/PIBS.PMNH 

Mar 17, 2024

Ego is the enemy

 Our email list was 51,000 before and increased by 4000 new people since early October 2023. In the past five months I gave over 52 talks to audiences around the world. >120 radio and TV interviews and sent over 70 emails with information and actions people do not see on mainstream media. We expected (logical) formation of a unity government in the West Bank and Gaza  during a genocidal war on our people. Instead we see that Mahmoud Abbas (whose term expired 15 years ago) appointed yet another "Prime Minister". The Oslo governments kept this heterogeneous mix of service (in some cases good service) to the community as an autonomy while also benefiting many in a corrupt system encouraged and facilitated by the US and Israel to keep divisive corrupt rule while protecting Israeli (colonial) security. It is what such a system was designed for under Oslo agreements. While those agreements were supposed to be interim for five years (to 1999) they are what is the maximum that was intended. All resistance including non-violent was squashed and the only resistance partially allowed was " diplomatic resistance" (even then the authority was not allowed to challenge Israel in international courts). This pathetic state of affairs has continued for 30 years with colonial settler population mushrooming from 150,000 to 950,000 and Israel kept drifting to the right to become the most fascist and racist society on earth while Palestinian politics remained frozen.  If I was asked why, the answer will be long.  As an academic and grassroots activist (not a politician), I have argued over the past 40 years for two themes: 1) more scientific and logical analysis of our situation which leads to different discourse, 2) For positive strong engagement not merely criticism. Let me explain.

THEME 1: I am not proud that the lessons from history predicted this dual state always repeated: innovative and amazing sumud and resistance by our people while pathetic and selfish leadership that leaves our people orphans to fend for themselves.  It is not difficult to see things coming and history repeating itself (a second Nakba with Arab and Palestinian collusion). See my earlier books like "Sharing the Land of Canaan" and "Popular Resistance in Palestine, a history of hope and empowerment" where I explain this redundant history in detail but where I also show points of optimism and especially emanating in every generation from young people. Young people born in the past 30 years of failed politics are in my opinion the generation of real liberation. This is tre not just in Palestine but globally (the global intifada is unfolding). I think young people intuitively understand the corruption and decadence of politicians. My only advice to the younger generation is to read more books.  Ho Chi Minh used to insist on a library in each of the tunnels dug to resist the American imperial genocide in Vietnam. This was a secret to success of the Vietnamese freedom struggle against the French and then the American genocidal occupation (3 million killed or starved to death). The same can be said for the Algerian and South African liberation struggle. It is not enough to have a just cause or to look for answers in ancient Holy Books. There is a body of knowledge that exists that developed over centuries. Ignorant masses are easier to manipulate than educated masses. Even empires collapsed (Roman, Umayyad, Spanish, Portuguese, Ottoman etc) or are collapsing now (US, Israeli) partly if not mostly due to intentional programs of distancing the people from real knowledge. Brainwashing them to be good consumers but not involved, educated, and critical thinkers.

One of the books that needs to be read by all people (including our frozen politicians) to achieve real success for our causes is "Ego is the Enemy" by Ryan Holiday. Another is Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet". There are many others. Reading is empowerment but at the same time provides that needed humility to recognize how little we know and that scientific knowledge is both repeatable and falsifiable. We all make mistakes. Political factions and people who do not admit their mistakes and fallibility are not those who make history.

THEME 2: It is not enough to have an understanding of things or to criticize. It is not enough to protest or resist the evil that surrounds us. It is important to envision a better future AND WORK FOR IT. I am grateful that I am surrounded by groups of educated young people who share a vision of sustainable human and natural communities locally and globally. This is shared by hundreds of millions of people who work on environmental justice, climate justice, decolonization, and building shared sustainable communities (and these things are linked). Locally we work on the one democratic country (a country that is pluralistic and serves all people regardless of religion or background) and we work on sustaining indigenous people on their land while protecting nature (see palestinenature.org and browse our annual report). This second theme is reason why, while having built institutions in the US, I returned to Palestine 16 years ago to build things here where they are most needed. We have been very lucky in those years to find hundreds of volunteers, staff, and supporters to help build something positive in the midst of this chaos.

We keep the hope alive that we shall overcome someday. As before I welcome feedback.