Sunday, February 7, 2016

Life, culture and education in Occupied Palestine

This is a report from Mazin Qumsiyeh Professor and (volunteer) Director Palestine Museum of Natural History, it describes one small aspect of life under the Zionist occupation. We share it with our readers. We do not necessarily agree with the political conclusions it may draw with regards to the solution of the crisis in Israel and the Middle East but share it in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle against colonialism.


Hypocrisy land news and Actions this coming week:

The Israeli Knesset rejected a bill that calls for equality (after all this must remain a state by and for Jews). And a video emerged of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu praising Israeli Fascist Group Im
Tirtzu which believes in "Jewishness" of Palestine and acts and supports to effect ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians in favor of European and other Jewish colonization.

The Zionist leaders attacked Ban Ki Moon for mildly speaking about the need to end the occupation
and let Palestinians live free. The heads of the EU missions in Jerusalem issued a report saying that Israel must respect human rights. They explained that 660 Palestinians are being held without charge or trial. They also mention Mohammad AlQeeq, a Palestinian Journalist on hunger strike for 70 days since his illegal detention.

The tragedies around us continue and we sympathize with suffering people seeking freedom from tyranny and from terrorism (much of it emanating from the USA through its its "protectorates" like Israel and Saudi Arabia).

My students struggle to come to class through tear gas and other challenges of Israeli repression. This past week I gave courses on research, critical reading, and writing for master students in tourism
and also for diploma students in drug education and prevention at BU.

In good news, more and more people acting on their convictions to challenge oppression and/or build a better future. For example the boycott campaign continues to grow around the world (for examples of successes and Do act to promote BDS. in the media work and other actions. We were impressed with the action of distribution of over 10,000 "spoof" New York Times (major US newspaper). This biased newspaper not reporting on Israeli colonialism but parroting Israeli propaganda about terrorism was taught a good lesson by this action and thousands of New Yorkers appreciated the gesture (electronic version of spoof here:

Action: Over 330 people in 12 countries help the work of the Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and its Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) of Bethlehem University (see  We wrote to them to get our organizational structures better in 2016. We are working to create friends of Palestine nature committees/communities in many countries and cities. The main tasks for these groups include:

1) Recruiting volunteers to come to Palestine and work with us at PMNH/PIBS
2) Help in networking to build awareness and education on environmental and sustainability issues
3) Help raise funds to support the work of PMNH/PIBS
4) Organize fact-finding and/or support  visits for ecotourism, political tourism, & cultural tourism to Palestine.
5) Any other task agreed to by the local committee and the PMNH/PIBS administration (must be consistent with our mission and goals)

If you have not done so already, please write to us if you like to help create a committee or support an existing committee in your area or help in any other way (write to email
Note that if you decide to create a group in your country you will receive policy and operational documents that will allow us to build a fruitful collaboration. For those in Palestine, we have volunteer meetings coming up 11 February in areas like research, garden, agriculture, and education so please join us (again email us for detail).

Our philosophy is similar to this one below and we are promoting respect: How I Became a Localist by Deborah Frieze: TEDxTalk - 13 min video

Do come visit us and do Stay human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
HumanRights newsletter

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