Feb 25, 2011

Jesus Challenged Empire

Today, there was hundreds of confrontations between the power of states (armed to the teeth) with peaceful, unarmed demonstrators in cities like Hebron (Palestine), Tripoli Libya), Faluja (Iraq), Amman (Jordan), Aden (Yemen), Manama (Bahrain), and other places. Hundreds of people were injured, many were killed (especially in Libya).  I joined the large demonstration in the old city of Al-Khalil/Hebron that is commemorating the day 17 years ago when a Jewish settler massacred worshippers in the Haram Ibrahimi (and this racist act was supported by the Israeli authorities because they followed it by expanding the colonial Jewish settlement and restricting Palestinian more (i.e. strengthening racism). Despite attempts by Israeli forces to encircle the city and prevent demonstrators from arriving, over 100 people came from around the west Bank (and many Internationals) to join the over 200-300 local people.  THe Israeli army would not even let us assemble peacefully and started to use tear gas and concussion grenades (some of the gas drifted in the soldier's direction ;-).  A back and forth ensued when demonstrators stood the ground and regrouped to advance again (at least three times). 

I included a short but powerful video from Hebron event today in the second half of this video which also include segments of our demonstration in Bethlehem in support of Egyptian and other Arab people (Feb. 13, note Palestinian security officers tried to stop us) and a demonstration last Friday (Feb. 18) in Al-Ma'sara. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MufoYyA2JjU

Feb 24, 2011

Bethlehem, Occupied West Bank -- About 200 international participants have come to Bethlehem for the Eighth Sabeel International Conference. The group gathered at the Bethlehem Hotel under the theme, "Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness and Resistance." Sabeel is the ecumenical liberation theology center based in Jerusalem.

Dr. Richard Horsley told participants, "Jesus was a Palestinian under imperial rule. Just as the modern state of Israel and other states in the Middle East were the creation of Western colonialism, so the ancient temple-state in Judea" was set up by foreign powers.

Horsley described Jesus as a community organizer working to renew in village communities a commitment to the covenant laws of God. He said, "... all of the Gospels ... portray Jesus as having the same basic agenda, the renewal of the people of Israel in opposition to the Jerusalem and Roman rulers of the people." Jesus' program "tapped into the people's deeply rooted cultural traditions," he said. Horsley is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA.

Jesus' commitment to renewal in village communities was strategic, Horsley said. It was "a key component in a strategy of resistance to the rulers, a confrontation of Empire. By restoring their mutual cooperation and solidarity, villagers could resist the further disintegration of their communities." Vulnerable families could be encouraged "not to succumb to the outside forces that would turn them into share-croppers or force them off their ancestral land and out of the village community," he said. "By mobilizing people power and building community solidarity, Jesus' renewal of the covenant also became a form of resistance to the predatory pressures of the Empire," he said.

Horsley pointed to "a new form of Empire, global capitalism." He said, "The transnational megacorporations that constitute this dominant imperial apparatus are far beyond any attempt at regulation (...). The U S still is, or has, an Empire. But it is now interlocking with the new Empire of global capitalism (...) while the US military serves as the enforcer of the New World Order which aids and abets the operation of global capitalism."

Ambassador Hind Khoury told the group Wednesday that they could not be meeting at a more interesting moment in history, "a historical moment for us Palestinians and Arabs, for empire and for the world. While the situation in Palestine has been dramatic for too long, events are now snowballing in front of our eyes planting the seeds of change for the region and forever." Khoury is the former ambassador to France from the Palestinian Authority. She serves on the Sabeel Board of Directors.

Khoury described "the hegemonic grip of the global American empire, with Israel constituting an integral and essential strategic partner" in the Middle East. Disregard for "the human factor" is both shocking and consistent, Khoury said.

"People and values simply do not matter, you walk over them, you crush them, you bombard them, you assassinate them, you deny them a present and a future, and all is legitimate on the altar called the security of the state of Israel," Khoury said.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh described "the 13 percent of Bethlehem that is the concentration camp we (Palestinians) are allowed to live in," while the remainder is either zoned restricted or is "illegally annexed." He said, "Israel continues building its Wall, which in Bethlehem is 60-70 percent complete." Qumsiyeh, a professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, addressed "Mapping Empire Today in Palestine and Israel."

"Shedding fear is the most important part of people-power resistance," Qumsiyeh said. "State power requires fear," and it employs "unimaginable" tactics such as demolishing homes six and seven times.

 As for "empire," we have to ask who is behind all this, Qumsiyeh said. "Greed and interests of greed that cannot be ignored. We must understand the biology of the disease we are facing so that we can treat it." Palestinians are facing world powers, not just another state, he said.

"Justice, peace, truth - these are not just words. Leaders blurt them unconsciously. I say as a Palestinian Christian, look to Jesus Christ. He was the first Palestinian martyr. He spoke Aramaic, a precursor to Arabic, and he was killed for acting, not just for saying these words," Qumsiyeh said.

The Rev. Christopher Ferguson, United Church of Canada, said the gospel message "has been grabbed and imperialized, the message of liberation made to destroy and oppress.

Ferguson said, "Freedom is the message of the Jesus movement. Where we stand is resisting empire with the Palestinian people. It is not an optional extra but at the core of our faith and our relationship to God."

The Rev. Mitri Raheb preached at the Wi'am Center, located next to the Separation Wall in Bethlehem. He spoke to the familiar text from the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth," saying it would more correctly be translated, "for they shall inherit the land." Raheb is the pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church and president of the Diyar Consortium in Bethlehem.

"We really think empire will last. Jesus says it will not," Raheb said. "How wise Jesus was. No one of Jesus' time would have imagined that Herod was not here to stay. Jesus tells us through this verse that we are released from the power of empire. Jesus speaks and empire has lost its power over us. We see it in the Arab world in these recent weeks. Young people saw that empire could be shattered. God won't do it alone, only with us."

The Rev. Alison Tomin and Deacon Eunice Attwood, president and vice-president respectively of the Methodist Church in Britain, discussed the process that led to adoption of an important report and resolutions on justice and peace for Palestine and Israel at last summer's Methodist Conference in Portsmouth.

Methodist people should take seriously the deepening of their understanding of issues (here), said Attwood. "They should examine their understanding, though it will bring some discomfort into established Methodist-Jewish discussion groups. The vast majority have decided to face discomfort and face these issues, bringing the possibility for more discussion with other Christians as well as with Muslims," she said.

"Methodists are committed to listening to every voice, but particularly the poorest, the most vulnerable, the oppressed and the most needy," Attwood said.

Thanking the UK Methodists, the Rev. Naim Ateek, director of Sabeel, said Wednesday, "Today if you stand for justice and truth, you will be attacked. Churches suffer from weakness of the prophetic. Israel wants you silent, then you are okay. Once you speak out, immediately you will be attacked. Then the question is: Can you stand? And I thank God for every person who does that."

The Sabeel International Conference continues at the Bethlehem Hotel through Monday, 28 February.
-- 30 --
Reporter: Ann Hafften
Sabeel Media Coordinator: Nicolas Atallah
phone: 0526822443

Feb 22, 2011


يتوجه الشباب المنظمون للتظاهرة التي نظمت مساء يوم الجمعة الموافق 18\02\2011، الساعة التاسعة مساءً، على دوار المنارة في مدينة رام الله، بجزيل الشكر والامتنان إلى كل من لبى نداءنا للحضور والاحتجاج السلمي ضد الضغط الأمريكي على منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية لسحب مشروع القرار المقدم منها إلى مجلس الأمن ضد الاستيطان. إن هذا الاحتجاج يعكس مدى معارضة الشعب الفلسطيني للسياسات الأمريكية المنحازة بالكامل للاحتلال الإسرائيلي والتي لطالما غطت على جرائم إسرائيل المستمرة على مدى عقود، ومنها استمرارها في بناء المستعمرات على الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، مما يعد جريمة حرب.

إلا أننا نأسف لمحاولة البعض تصوير المظاهرة وكأنها إنجاز لجهة سياسية معينة ولمحاولة توجيه الاحتجاج عنوة ليصبح وكأنه وقفة دعم ومبايعة للقيادة الفلسطينية ولرئيس السلطة الفلسطينية تحديداً، وهو ما لا يعكس أهداف المظاهرة ولا آراء عدد كبير من المتظاهرين الذين انفضوا فور رفع الصور والشعارات الفئوية. نطالب الجميع باحترام رأي الأغلبية بالامتناع عن رفع الشعارات الحزبية في الأنشطة الوطنية العامة والالتزام بالشعارات الوطنية المتفق عليها والتي تخدم قضيتنا وحقوقنا غير القابلة للتصرف.
المعصرة: عشرات حالات الاختناق بالغاز في المظاهرة الحاشدة في الذكرى 42 لانطلاقة الجبهة الديمقراطية
اصيب اليوم العشرات من المتظاهرين بحالات اختناق شديدة بالغاز أثر قمع قوات الاحتلال للمظاهرة الاسبوعية في المعصرة والتي انطلقت في الذكرى الثانية والاربعين لانطلاق الجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين.

وقد توجه المتظاهرون من أمام مدرسة الزواهرة بالقرية تجاه الاراضي المعزولة خلف الجدار بمشاركة من قبل أعضاء وكوادر الجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين والمتضامنين الدوليين، وحمل المتظاهرون الاعلام الفلسطينية واعلام الديمقراطية وصور نايف حواتمة ورددوا عددا من الهتافات الداعية لانهاء الانقسام واسقاط الاحتلال.
وعند وصول المتظاهرين الاراضي القريبة من الجدار قامت قوات الاحتلال بإلقاء قنابل الغاز والصوت تجاههم، ما أدى أصابة العشرات بحالات اختناق، المتظاهرون بدورهم ردوا بإلقاء الحجارة ودارت اشتباكات بين قوات الاحتلال من جهة والمتظاهرين والمتضامنين الدوليين من جهة أخرى.

وقد نظم المتظاهرون مهرجانا خطابيا بمناسبة انطلاق الجبهة الديمقراطية ، و القى عضو المكتب السياسي في الجبهة الديمقراطية رمزي رياح كلمة أشاد فيها بثورتي مصر وتونس وبالمقاومة الشعبية، كما حيا أهالي المعصرة على مقاومتهم الشعبية داعيا الى ضرورة وقف التفاوض بشكل كامل حتى قيام كيان الاحتلال بتجميد الاستيطان.

وعن اللجان الشعبية في الضفة الغربية القى الدكتور مازن قمصية كلمة تحدث فيها عن ضرورة الارتقاء بالقاومة الشعبية في فلسطين على غرار الثورتين الشعبيتين في مصر وتونس وضرورة أن تنتشر هذه المقاومة لتدخل كل مدينة وقرية ومخيم وشارع.
وعن اللجنة الشعبية في المعصرة القى محمود زواهرة كلمة حيا فيها الجبهة الديمقراطية بمناسبة ذكرى الانطلاقة متمنيا أن تحتفل الجماهير الفلسطينية بهذه الانطلاقة السنة القادمة من القدس.

وقد أدار العرافة المتحدث الاعلامي للحملة الشعبية في بيت لحم محمد بريجية الذي أكد على ضرورة التحرك الشعبي تجاه اسقاط اتفاقيات السلام مع كيان الاحتلال من كامب ديفد الى اوسلو، وضرورة أن تعود الشعوب العربية لمكانتها وتأخذ دورها التاريخي خاصة الاشقاء في مصر.
 قصر مملوء بسرقات الرئيس بن علي المخلوع

-الخميس 24/2 الساعع الخامسة  جماعة الباب الثقافية الأدبية مناقشة رواية "رائحة الزمن العاري" للروائية الجليلية هيام مصطفى قبلان وقراءات شعرية للشاعرة الجليلية آمال عواد رضوان من ديوانها "رحلة إلى عنوان مفقود. بيت ساحور
-الجمعة الموافق 25/2: بعد صلاة الجمعة تظاهرة حاشدة سلمية لفتح شارع الشهداء في الخليلwww.youthagainstsettlements.org/
--الجمعة الموافق 4/3: بعد صلاة الجمعة تظاهرة حاشدة ومسيره سلمية في الولجة. للمعلومات شيرين 0522054595

Feb 21, 2011

Video of Ethhnic Cleansing and more

The global Intifada events are accelerating.  Tunisia is asking Saudi Arabia to extradite ex-President Bin Ali to stand trial for serious crimes including consipracy to murder and theft of public money.  The Egyptian people continue to push for more changes and for real democracy even as there is now moves to freeze billions of stolen assets.  Neither of the two countries developed in the direction of civil war or have evolved into a theocracy as their ex-dictators and Zionist leaders have claimed would happen.  The Bahraini ruling family of thugs which normalized with Israel are now claiming their detractors are funded from Iran. The lunatic Libyan leader's son came on Libyan TV in a rambling speech threatening the Libyan people with even more massacres as his airplanes bombed protesters and his goons cut off all land and wireless commnications (Qaddafi ruled with an iron fist for 40 years).  But the people of Libya have already liberated many areas including most of the city of Benghazi and they are now in heated battles in the capital Tripoli. Already many units in the army defected and two jets landed in Malta after tehir pilots refused to obey orders of bombing civilians.  In Yemen, the 30 year dictator Saleh (a close ally of the US) is under siege. All these brutal dictators blamed everyone and everything from their supposedly ignorant public to "foreign" TV stations.   The great sacrifices of the Egyptian, Tunisian, Bahraini, Libyan and other Arab people inspire and humble many of us.  We go out and demonstrate in the streets where we live (and everyone should do that).  But we must do much more if we are to live with our conscience.  Each of us can do far more than what we are doing.  Writing to media, writing to politicians, civil disobedience in our cities, and 101 ways that we can show that we are one people called humanity and that this global uprising must be supported and must lead to giving us, the people, collectively the power over ouer own lives.  Human rights and democracy are basic demands.

More repercussions came of the US veto at the UN against the wishes of the rest of their world (a veto of its own language also!).  The US and Israel are increasingly isolated and are left as spectators as geopolitics is reworked.  By this veto, the US administration now solidified its reputation for hypocrisy in the Arab world and more people will rise against the dictators beholden to US-Israeli policies. With Egypt and Tunias down, there are 20 to go.  We pointed out 20 years aho this hypocricy was evident when the US formed a coalition to attack Iraq and liberate Kuwait but continued to pump billions of dollars annualy to Israel which occupied other people's lands for decades and refused to comply with International law (e.g. on the return of Palestinian refugees). But now the whole world sees it.  The unbalanced Oslo accords are dead and more and more Palestinians are vocally demanding a reconstitution of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) to represent all 11 million Palestinians and to start preparation for massive movements by the millions to end our repressive colonial apartheid regime.

Actions in Palestine
-Thursday 24/2/2011 at noon: Palestinian NGO network (PNGO) representing over 80 NGOs in Palestine calls you for a demonstration in Al-Manara Square in Ramallah  
-Friday 25/2/2011: A non-violent demonstration in front of the closed Shuhada Street. Gather in front of the Hebron Municipality building in Ein Sarah at 12 pm that same day OR AFTER Friday Praying from Ali Baka mosque in haret al shaikh. For more information please call: 0599240994 Or email : info@youthagainstsettlements.org. see also http://openshuhadastreet.org/?p=1011
-Friday 4 March 2011 after prayers: Demonstration and March in Al-Walaja village

Action to be done from anywhere: My friend Dr. Haidar Eid is stuck outside of Gaza and thousands like him are stuck on both sides of the crossing.  Call on Egypt to open Rafah's crossing by writing the nearest Egyptian embassy or consulate. The new administration should not be complicit in this crime against humanity of a siege on 1.5 million people to please the apartheid state. For listing of Egyptian embassies and consulates, see http://www.embassyworld.com/Embassy_Of_Egypt/

PA elections announced, but democracy a long way off ; Jillian Kestler-D'Amours, The Electronic Intifada
"There are Palestinian laws about freedom of assembly and demonstrations and so forth and [the PA is] not obeying it. I think the indications are very negative for our own democracy. Eventually people here are going to rise up," Qumsiyeh said. "My advice to all leaders, Palestinians, Egyptians, Israelis ... they better start looking for what the people want," he added. "The people want democracy. They want freedom. This is the big picture. There's a global uprising that's happening and empowerment of people. If the leaders want to keep going with the status quo, it won't succeed."

Ethnic cleansing in practice: Must see Video about the destruction of the Palestinain village of Al-Arakib http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3crZgJ5U0AA

Egypt's revolution and Israel: "Bad for the Jews", Ilan Pappe,

After being passed over for promotion, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations’ only Palestinian professor is leaving Yale. Hala Nassar, assistant professor of modern Arabic culture and literature, was not promoted to associate professor this year. According to Yale’s promotion policies, Nassar — the department’s only professor of Palestinian descent and only expert on modern Palestinian culture and thought must leave at the end of this spring.
Story at: http://tinyurl.com/6fdscnn
(Hala is a good friend and tried her best to stay away from taking any politically controversial positions. It was merely that she is Palestinian.  I myself was at Yale for five years and my contract was not renewed after some pressure from Zionist groups. I and Hala regret nothing.)

Feb 20, 2011


 مظاهرات عارمة وضحايا لوحشية ألأنظمة في عدة دول عربية. لكن هذا سيسارع التغيير في عالمنا. وهنالك أمور أخرى ستسارعنا. في المحك اليوم ما سيحدث في مجلس ألأمن الدولي حول المستوطنات. إما أن يسحب عباس مشروع القرار (بعد إجتماع اللجن المركزية) ويخسر دعم الشعب الفلسطيني (جولدستون 2) أو أن يقوم أوباما باستخدام حق النقد الفيتو لقرار هو في الواقع اللغة التي إستعملها أوباما شخصيا بإدانة المستوطنات. بعد مثل هذا الفيتو تسقط ورقة التوت عن ألأمراطور وسيهتف الشعب العربي من المحيط للخليج ما هتفته الملايين المتظاهره ((لتسقط التبعية والفساد ولننهي عصر التعامل مع الإمبريلية والصهيونية)).  في كلا الحالتين نحن كشعب فلسطيني سننتصر حتما. يبقى التسائل حول من سيكون معنا ومن سيخسر بكونه ضدنا. الشعب بدأ يتحرك وبصور منظمة. نحن على إتصال مع إخوتنا في كل العالم العربي وبدأت الحركات تنسق إعلاميا مع بعضها البعض. لن نسمح للأنظمة بالتعميم على ما يجري. هنا فلسطيني يرسل للآلاف من الصحفيين ما يحصل في البحرين والعكس صحيح. إنها حقا إنتفاضة عالمية. سيندم من يراقب وينتظر التغيير --- لنشارك جميعا في هذه الحقبة التاريخية.

الاستجابة المفقودة لاستحقاقات التغيير. هاني المصري

المتقاعدون العسكريون يفتحون ملفات الفساد في الأردن بتفاصيلها

رجال ورجال  بقلم عبد الحكيم جمال عبد الناصر

‏فيديو حلو: الثورة التونسية للخدمات

عناوين 11000 سفارة وقنصلية في العالم لاستخدامه وقت اللزوم

د. عبدالفتاح ابوسرور
رئيس رابطة المسرحيين الفلسطينيين
مدير عام جمعية الرواد للثقافة والمسرح

ايها الفلسطيني توقف، وفاوض
اغتصبوا الارض، اغتصبوا الشعب، انحني وفاوض
كن متسولا، امسح الجوخ والعق الأحذية وفاوض
اعطي شرعية للمحتل، واشكره على اغتصابك بلا حياء، وفاوض
اخلع عنك ورقة التوت الأخيرة، وانحني لأغتصاب جديد وفاوض
كي تبيع الحق بلا عودة،  قطعة ... قطعة
وكي تكرس الأحتلال على الارض، بقعة ... بقعة
وكي تروض الشعب ليقبل بالأمر الواقع، نتفة... نتفة
وكي نغسل كرامتنا بماء المجاري حتى تسيح امام دولارات الذل
وكي يخرج علينا من هب ودب يهز سبابته منتفضا بالرفض
ان استمرت اسرائيل بالاستيطان ان لا تفاوض
وتشمر اسرائيل عن عورتها وتخرج قذارتها في وجه الصارخ بلا حياء
ونلين سكارى من رائحة الذل والانبطاح ونمضي
حتى لا يخرج علينا من يطالبنا بمعاش اخر الشهر
فهنا ارض يُجبر الانسان فيها ان يعيش مرتزقا
ويبيع كرامته وروحه وانسانيته في سوق العبيد
ويفكر كيف يختلق طرقا للتسول، والتنازل، والبغاء ...
مع حفظ ماء الوجه... ان بقي في الوجه ماء او حياء

ايها الفلسطيني، اقعد، فلا مجال للوقوف بعد اليوم
اقعد، وتشدق امام شاشات التلفاز واستمتع بالنوم
وتذكر كيف تُرضي العالم وتحتفظ بالهوان
وكيف تتنازل عن الحق لتلتقط فتات الموائد
في بلادنا، كالاسفنج  يلين الصوان،
لا هيكل بعد اليوم يسندنا
ولا مبدأ عاد يجمعنا
ولا حزب في هذا الوطن يمثلنا
ككلاب مسعورة نتصارع على عظام وهمية
لا تسكت جوعا ولا تسترجع حقا، ولا تبقي كرامة
ونتغني بالخطوط الحمر التي تذوب حمرتها في بياض عارنا
و تضيع مبادؤنا في الفراغ صارخة
فاوض ... فاوض ... فاوض
فما نحن بأهل الأرض، وما القدس قدس لنا
ولا العودة حق لنا
ولا الأرض موطأ قدم لنا

وتلمع في الأفق ومضات ضوء يقترب
اراه ابني، كنعان
يحمل مفتاح باب بيت جده العتيق
رغم الصدأ المعمر من سنوات تجاوزت الستين
ما زال يبحث عن ثقب الباب، كي يحيي ذكراه
ويضربنا ويقرع خزان ذاكرتي
ان لا تفاوض على الذل، لا تنازل عن الحق
لا دموع تماسيح، ولا لقمة مغموسة بالذل والهوان
كيف يرضى شعب محتل ان يأكل من يد مغتصب،
ويبارك الطعام؟
كيف نمضي بلا حياء ونقبل بالذل مع خالص الشكر والاحترام؟
كيف نبارك للأحتلال ارضنا واغتصابنا وترويضنا كحيوانات السيرك في حفل الختام
وننحني انبطاحا ويصفق لنا الحضور على تحولنا مماسحا للأقدام
وجسورا يعبرون عليها الى ارض ميعاد بلا ميعاد؟
يا بني، يا كنعان
احمل مفتاح عودتك واصمد
فربما لسنا في زمان العائدين
ولا تستمع لخزعبلات الحكام والسلاطين
ولا وعود قادة مخصيين
ولا تنازلات فلاسفة الاحتلال ومرتزقة الملايين
فلا الحق حق يبقى ان غاب المطالب
ولا الباب يحيى بدون ذاكرة مفتاح، ولا غالب
ولا الأرض تحتفظ بذكرى العابرين كالغبار
نحن الباقون هنا، ويعبر "المارون بين الكلمات العابرة" بلا رجعة
نحن الباقون هنا كالزيتون والبرتقال والصبار

ايها الفسطيني، قف ولا تفاوض
كي تبيع، كي تتنازل، كي تضيع
لا تأتي الحرية وملعقة ذل ذهبية في الفم
لا الشعارات تحررنا ولا الاستسلام
ولا اليأس ولا التشدق بحلو الكلام
ولا التسول ولا محاولات تفسير الأحلام
ولا الوعود الممسوخة في اسفار عهر السياسة
انفض عنك الصمت، والسكون
واصرخ كما حنظلة، لا لكاتم الصوت
لا لبيع الحق، لا للتنازل، لا للتوطين
نحن روح الارض وملحها
اقدامنا لها جذور وذاكرة ومسار
تعرف طريقها في عمق الجغرافيا وقلب التاريخ
على هذه الارض ان مشينا لا نضيع
هنا نحن، وجع الارض الأول،
صرخةالميلاد الاولى
هنا تنشقنا اول هواء لنا، وشربنا اول ماء
هنا، داعبت ايدينا اول تراب
هنا نطقنا اول الحروف والكلمات
هنا تألقت في حبنا اولى النظرات
هنا رسمنا الكتابة الاولى واولى الذكريات
هنا ذاكرة التين والزيتون والبرتقال والصبار
هنا لا بسط حمراء، ولا حفلات نكراء
ولا احتفالات بعيد استقلال تحت احتلال
هنا لا اتفاقيات سلام للاستسلام
ولا بناء ممالك على اراض في الاوهام
ولا توزيع مناصب ومراكز في دولة سراب
هنا انت، وانا، وكل الحضارات
هنا ذريتي، والامل الموعود والحق الذي لا يموت
هنا فلسطين، وحنظلة ومفتاح عودتنا، ورائحة بيتنا القديم
هنا قبر امي وابي، وقبري المفتوح في الانتظار

Feb 18, 2011

Obama versus Abbas

Tomorrow, we were scheduled to go for a demonstration in the Nativity Square.  The collective decision was to delay this for a  few days to give us time to digest the changes happening (see below) and soon to happen around us and put the best strategy to achieve our collective goals.

Today/Friday, a critical vote may or may not happen at the UN Security Council but in either case, it will create a shift in the political landscape.  If there is a vote, the US will veto it (against the wishes of 14 other UNSC members).  In vetoing a resolution that uses the same language as the US always says (settlements are illegitimate and an obstacle to peace), the US will have solidified its reputation for hypocrisy in the Arab world and more people will rise against the dictators beholden to US-Israeli policies. Two down, 20 to go.  The Israeli-occupied US administration is thus pushing hard to get the proposed resolution withdrawn. If the US has succeeded in its threats to make Mahmoud Abbas and company cave and withdraw the resolution without a vote, then we have Goldstone II and it could be fatal to the Oslo "process."  I say Goldstone II, because the Abbas administration made the mistake of succumbing to US pressure and asked for a delay in the UN HRC consideration of the Goldstone report about Israeli war crimes in Gaza.  Whatever happens today, people will come out ahead.

I just revisited a speech I wrote for President Obama and shared with those on my email lists on 11 Oct 2009.  I think it is still valid and worth reading especially for US citizens in light of rapid changes around us.  Notice item 7 (still pertinent for the many other dictators the US continues to support): "7- We will no longer support dictators and corrupt leaders. We will demand removal of dictators like Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak who has been in office for three decades with Western support.  We will support democratic elections even when parties that get elected are not supportive of Israel or the previous US policy shaped in Tel Aviv.  We will instead engage in immediate talks with groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and with countries like Venezuela and Iran to build a better future for all of us inequality and we will push for democracy and support of the will of the people even when this means resistance to Israeli hegemony. As John Kennedy stated once "If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable." http://www.qumsiyeh.org/presidentobama/  

I had read the two books of Barak Obama three years ago and was very skeptical of the rhetoric of "change" that he espoused especially when the first thing he did when deciding to run for US Senate is ditch his Arab friends and make friends with the Israel lobby.  But many of my friends not only voted for him but worked hard to get him elected.  I left the US three years ago because I felt change there is indeed inevitable but not because of Obama. It is coming if nothing else than the total destruction of the US economy that the Zionist lobby is inflicting on America by leading politicians to endless wars against Muslim and Arab countries.  Twelve trillion in US government debt and more than that in corporate and personal debts are catching up with the U.S.

If we study history we can learn something from it.  IN 1953, the CIA toppled a democratic government in Iran that was led by a western-educated Prime Minister Mousaddak and shamefully, the US and British governments brought back a despicable regime (the Shah).  His brutality led to the growth of fundamentalism which is now decried.  It later also transpired that much of the fundamentalism here whether Mujahedeen in Afghanistan or many acts attributed to Al-Qaeda were supported or carried out by US backed elements (e.g. the bombing of the Church in Alexandria is now shown to have been carried out by the Egyptian interior ministry).   So instead of creating and using the boogeyman of Islamic fundamentalism, it would be wiser for the US administration to actually support democracy and human rights.  Stop blindly supporting the Apartheid state of Israel would go a long way to redeeming some credibility.  Anything else the US does (pressuring or bribing Abbas, empty rhetoric and phone calls to aging dictators etc) will be counterproductive.

At a minimum, the US government should remove all those Zionists in its midst with loyalty to Israel (people like Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross, Rahm Emanuel, and Larry Summers) and gather real independent experts of various religious backgrounds (like professors Mearsheimer and Walt, Professor Richard Falk, Professor Francis Boyle etc) who can truly give a road map to change in policy.  Congress and the State Department can also start immediately to investigate its "allies" in all Arab countries for human rights violations as is required by US laws before disbursing weapons and money to brutal regimes.

I wrote last year that “there are also signs of the beginnings of a new and now perhaps global intifada (uprising) against repression characterized by spread of information virally though the internet (bypassing the controlled “mainstream media”)  and by the spread of the boycotts, divestments, and sanctions movement (BDS, see bdsmovement.net).” http://ramallahonline.com/2010/11/al-walaja-demonstration-zionist-french-president-and-more/

People are liberating themselves from fear. Governments and the military-industrial complex of repression are panicking.  Yesterday many people were killed in Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen.  Repression is increasing in Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. But all this will do is accelerate the demise of repressive regimes.  If only one Arab ruler would volunteer to take the lead in ending his own repression and save himself the humiliating fate of Mubarak and Bin Ali!

ACTION: You can contact embassies and consulates of different countries here http://embassy.goabroad.com/  

A review of my new book on Popular Resistance in Palestine (which is now being reprinted). Book Review: Millions of Heroes by Sally Bland, Jordan Times, 14 February 2011 http://www.jordantimes.com/?news=34451

Feb 16, 2011

Echos of the past, paths to the future

 Who wrote this and when: "I have been keeping up with the situation in Egypt, and as you know this is one of the most important issues in world today. It will determine whether we live in peace or whether we will die in war. Naturally my sympathies are with Egypt, rather than with the Western
Colonial and imperial powers."
Answer: Martin Luther King, Jr., letter to Jimmy Bishai, 7 January 1957 in context of tripartite (France, England, Israel) aggression on Egypt (http://www.qumsiyeh.org/martinlutherking). A translated version of a 50 years old comic book relating the non-violent civil disobedience movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. was distributed throughout Tahrir Square in Egypt.

leadership anyway. The British responded by arresting the leaders and this led to general strikes and massive demonstrations; a popular uprising. This In Egypt on 11 November 1918, Saad Zaghloul and other grassroots leaders asked the new British occupation forces to permit the development of an Egyptian leadership with a view to independence. When this was rejected, these leaders collected over two million signatures which endorsed a new accelerated in 1919 and continued until 1922 when the British finally allowed the formation of an Egyptian constitutional government, albeit ruled by a monarch friendly to British interests. But today, the Egyptian people will only accept a government of and by the people.

I received so many calls and hundreds of emails from fellow activists in Palestine saying Mabruk (congratulations) about Egypt.  We rightly feel validated, elated, gratified, and happy because an end of repressive and corrupt regimes allied with the US Israel would finally make governments accountable to people. Egypt and Tunisia together are a quarter of the Arab world (Lebanon is also democratic so that is nearly a third down, two thirds to go).  Algeria, Yemen, and Bahrain are starting now. People demand not only an end to dictatorships in their countries but  an end to their governments’ acquiescence in apartheid policies.  And when the support for Israeli apartheid from the West ends, democracy will be easier to spread to countries like Iran and Syria (that pulls a major leg of popular support for them).  It will be hard to predict sequence of change but my guess is that Israel and its western backers may come later in the game of popular revolts.  A new intifada/uprising is due here in Palestine against Israeli colonialism. There is a god likelihood of a global uprising this year or next.  Israeli right-wing government is trying to act ahead of that by outlawing boycotts and by shooting and jailing nonviolent protesters; they just passed a law in the "Knesset" to levy heavy fines on Israeli citizens who call or promote the boycotts (See last item below). Israel still holds hundreds of political prisoners. To respond we must intensify our popular uprisings everywhere including using boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS, see http://www.bdsmovement.net ). The 21st century will be the century of popular revolts. By the end of it, concentration of wealth in the hands of a few while billions live below poverty lines will be ended.  Wars will be ended. And we will address the environmental problems that face us that our governments and corporations created by their greed.  We are charting a path to the future.  You can either join us, fight us, or get out of the

Rallies throughout Occupied Palestine in Solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia by Hanadi Omar and Mazin Qumsiyeh http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/oq060211.html

(about the first demonstration in Bethlehem)
In Solidarity with Egypt, Fifty Gather in Bethlehem's Nativity Square

 (about the second demonstration in Bethlehem) Despite Police, Palestinians
Celebrate Egypt's Revolution in Bethlehem
(in Arabic) http://www.alquds.com/node/327141
(In Arabic) http://www.fateh-voice.ps/arabic/?action=detail&id=24634
 (In Arabic) http://www.maannews.net/ARB/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=359640
We will gather also Saturday at 2 in the Nativity square

Miftah Editorial: The Winds of Change Should Shift Our Sail Too http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=23155&CategoryId=3

Sout Al Horeya صوت الحريه Amir Eid - Hany Adel - Hawary On Guitar & Sherif
On Keyboards http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgw_zfLLvh8

Names of Egyptian martyrs of the revolution http://www.box.net/shared/e0zar7kcar

Pictures of the uprising in Egypt http://1000memories.com/egypt

A Birds eye view of the Tahrir (Liberation) square that helped topple a regime. Click on the locations, and see details of the arrangements. Excellent and makes you feel you were there walking around the square http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12434787

Mubarak Regime Orchestrated the Church Blast to Please USA &Israel

Hostages to Zionism by MARK BRAVERMAN on FEBRUARY 14, 2011http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/hostages-to-zionism.html#more-36234
Knesset committee approves bill allowing Israel boycotters to be fined: Bill calls for heavy fines to be imposed on Israeli citizens who initiate or incite boycotts against Israeli individuals, companies, factories, and organizations.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD