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