May 30, 2015


Israeli FIFA head shakes hands with Rjoub and declares victory 

Life here goes on in all its ups and downs. On the down side we noted with dismay how Mr. Jibril Rjoub decided unilaterally to capitulate to the Israeli government and not pursue them in FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) even though they violate basic human righst including rights of athletes. The capitulation decision was with no democracy, no consulting of people (even our own athletes). There is an Avaas campaign to gather signatures to "red card" Mr. Rjoub (see ) . This is one of a series of setbacks that keep proving that the Oslo process was indeed a second Nakba for us. It created a cadre of benefited elites who for the sake of PR must keep speaking as if they are against the occupation but in practice facilitate and entrench the occupation/colonization. 

Questions for philosophical thought to the likes of Jibril Rjoub: who was the women who refused to give up her seat to a white man in a bus in America? Now who was prime minister of England at the time or minister of youth or athletes etc? Who made the difference and who is remembered? In 50 years who will remember you and if they do how will they remember you? How do we remember Vichy or Buthalesi?

We think philosophically of how many humans are weak and do not show a backbone. They do not respect themselves or believe in themselves. They get down the slippery slope of "getting along" to advance their individual financial or personal ego interest. Jesus said "what good is it for man to gain the whole world and lose himself". I have compiled hundreds of such examples maybe for my next book.

On the up-side good people keep doing amazingly good work. We had a Bethlehem Rotary gathering to celebrate end of one project in Gaza (maternal and Child health) and start another with help from our Japanese colleagues. Dr. Asaad Ramlawi (ministry of health) gave us a sobering presentation on malnutrition in Palestine. We had growth in our activities. Museum volunteers do two field trips every week with volunteers (this week was to Wadi Fukin and Neni Naim/Kufr Breik). We had a productive discussion about the Jordan Valley project (sustainability and biodiversity). We planted new plants. We met with numerous visiting delegations including a group of visiting innovators (writers, artists etc) who came for the first time in Palestine (program has been doing this  ). We had an event in the Manger Square to gather fingerprints for freedom (initiated by colleagues from Nazareth  to break three records, see ) and had the honor to meet Waheeb daughter of Tawfiq Ziyad. He is the famous Palestinian poet and we with help of Mr. Qavi (donor) in the Museum of Natural History have been distributing plaques for two months with part of his poem Baqoun:

Here we will stay
In Lidda, In Ramle, in the Galillee
We shall Remain
Like a wall on your chest
and in your throat
like a shard of glass, a cactus thorn
and in your eyes
a sandstorm....

On personal news: I finished writing a chapter on BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) highlighting opportunities (e.g. with churches) and challenges (e.g. with Oslo and the PA structure). I also finished two reports. I am going to Amman (3 days) for a conference on biodiversity then to Marseille briefly (2 days) for a conference on climate change. Next month to Germany. Biggest challenge is shortage is time.  Biggest opportunity/pleasure is working with youth.

A luta continua.

Come visit us in Bethlehem under Israeli apartheid.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University


  1. Here is a post on my own blog in reply to your blog-post.

  2. Praise to you, Mazin, for your strong and good words at the right time to all of us to deal with.

    Yours Hans

  3. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD Job~~~Thanks for this good article. Excuse me go read it. Hopefully more fifa coins