Monday, February 29, 2016

Report from Occupied Palestine.

We are sharing this report for the interest of our readers and our respect and admiration for the courage and heroism of the Palestinian people in their struggle against imperialism and Zionism. If you like it please share it widely.

from  Mazin Qumsiyeh

A Syrian colleague who is in his 9th decade of life wrote commenting on what he had witnessed in his life. Starting with the Ottoman rule (that many Turkish leaders long to revive) he went on to describe why we Arabs fell for the binary notion of having to choose those who oppressed us for five hundred years and those who were to become the new oppressors from the West (starting with France and Britain and now the USA). It made me think about the same dichotomous false choice they give us today: we either side with Iran and Russia or with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US. My friends’s conclusion about the earlier periods is that the people moved in these directions because they had limited social and economic progress. I wish he elaborated on this issue of social progress. I am an educator dealing with students and with society under tremendous pressure all the time. When I look back to the 1960s and 1970s I recall as a child and then youth how there was indeed more curiosity about the world. Young and old would sit together and talk about new discoveries in the world. We would discuss science, we would think about advances in astronomy and in physics and in chemistry. 

No topic was off limits and we debated evolutionary theory, nature of and existence of a god, environmental issues and more. Politics was simpler: we all rallied against Zionism and imperialism. We did it based on objective observable evidence and logic. We viewed notions of sectarianism and religious-based governance as “retrograde” ideas that can be dismissed and dismantled with logic and the revolutionary spirit.

Things have changed since then. Zionism and imperialism did suffer setbacks (in Vietnam, in 1973, in liberation struggles). However, being flush with cash and the weakness of the human condition, they were able to create counter-revolutionary structures that ensured dominance. In regimes like those in “Israel” and “Saudi Arabia” repression increased gradually and right-wing fanaticism became main-stream in society. Arab leaders became more and more subservient to Zionism and imperialism. The regimes learned to manipulate the masses to give them another false choice: stability (with dictatorship) or chaos. In Egypt, people were forced by propaganda to believe that he choice was between a retrograde Islamic rule (recreating a society of the Middle Ages) or a brutal military dictatorship subservient to the US/Israel. In Palestine we are supposed to either take theocratic Hamas rule or autocratic Fatah rule. School teachers are on strike after failed promises for the past 10 years from the Palestinian authority (PA) which spends 43% of its budgets on “security”.

These teachers should be honored instead. Yet at Bethlehem University we displayed photos of the
dozens of martyrs fallen and more falling each day as Palestine remains under colonial brutal occupation. That Mohammad AlQeeq ended his 93 days of hunger strike and will survive is a small ray of light in this sea of darkness. We understand that all choices are risky for the PA but this cannot be an excuse for maintaining a status quo that is increasingly untenable. We still do not accept that the PA does not want to pursue Israel in international tribunals because they are afraid for their petty positions of power.

Warning – Graphic video of the suffering of political prisoner Mohammad
Al-Qeeq (held without trial and on hunger strike for three months now)

The PLO did issue a statement about the British attempts to stifle BDS at the behest of the Zionist lobby. In part it says:

“In practical terms this means that such bodies are forbidden from
exercising their democratic right and freedom of choice not to be complicit
in the Israeli settlement project and to take a positive, moral and legal
stand in the face of such a war crime. This represents a serious regression
in British policy and it would empower the Israeli occupation by sending a
message of impunity. In order to accommodate the Israeli occupation, the
British Government is undermining British democracy and their own people’s
rights. Such a law would have prevented British citizens from taking
peaceful actions against the South African Apartheid. Such a law also
contradicts international responsibility and even the UK’s own practice
when it comes to entities violating human rights.”

Hillary Clinton in a letter to Haim Saban (leaked to the Guardian): if elected president she will give a green light to Israel to kill not just 2000 Gazans but 200,000. But we also do not accept much from someone who considers Henry Kissinger her friend (a rabid Zionist war criminal responsible for destruction of millions of lives). All other leading US candidates (Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Sanders) are no better. The reason western elites could get away with this is the friendliness of local “Arab elites”.

Take Egyptian dictator Sisi who praised Netanyahu or Saudi king Salman who is funding Wahhabi terrorism education and weapons around the world and is committing genocide in Yemen. But despite all the subterfuge, Zionism remains the largest promoter of these activities around the world (we must
remember that it was British Zionists who appointed the Saud family as rulers of Arabia). Just yesterday, we heard sirens here at the Jewish only colonies built on stolen Palestinian lands. This was an exercise in preparation for the upcoming attack on Gaza. Israeli terrorist army has to attack Gaza to test new weapons. Most “Israeli” weapons are repackaged US weapons tested on the captive guinea pigs or the two million residents of the Gaza strip (an open air prison under siege).

And Indian elite leaders plan to buy 3 billion worth of these "battle tested" Israeli weapons. But
how we common human beings away from positions of authority behave will be critical. Apathy cannot be the answer. Our work with young Palestinians is expanding at Bethlehem University, in the fields, in high schools etc. We are also writing and speaking (just finished two articles one on BDS and the other on role of civic society in a changing world). We wish more people join us (

Warning – Graphic video of the suffering of political prisoner Mohammad
Al-Qeeq (held without trial and on hunger strike for three months now)

BDS movement faces attack in six state legislatures by Alex Kane

Israel violates over 80 UN Security Council Resolutions

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

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