090510-qumsiyeh4Dr MAZIN QUMSIYEH is a tireless activist for Palestinian human rights who returned to his hometown of Beit Sahour in the Israeli-occupied West Bank last year and now teaches at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. The author of Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle (2004), Qumsiyeh is both a human rights activist and a scientist who has a lengthy list of publications on genetics to his credit. The Electronic Intifada contributor Ida Audeh met with him in April and discussed advocating the Palestinian cause in the United States and his impressions about the current direction of the Palestinian struggle.

During the 29 years he lived in the United States, Qumsiyeh earned masters and doctoral degrees; taught at several prestigious universities, including Duke and Yale; co-founded activist organizations (Al-Awda, the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition and the Wheels of Justice Tour — a traveling tour bus that stops at different communities to educate them about Palestine and Iraq); and was a board member for numerous organizations. Since the mid-1990s, he has maintained email lists that focus on human rights and international law. His weekly postings now reach approximately 50,000 individuals and include reports of events and comments that are informed by a deep understanding of common struggles in other parts of the world. An optimist who advocates “having joyful participation in the sorrows of this world,” he includes in every e-mail at least one action that the reader can take to make a difference. (From an interview with Ida Audeh, The Electronic Intifada , 11 May 2009)
Palestinian Organizer Tortured in Israeli Jail, 23.03.2010

Yesterday, after 6 days of kidnapping and beating our friend Omar Mousa Ala’eddin from the village of Al-Ma’sara, the Israeli occupation authorities released him broken and battered.  We spend much of the day with him.  Omar is an English student at Hebron University and was returning with other students and two of his professors from a field trip to Ramallah where they watched a play. On the way back, a soldier at the checkpoint entered into a verbal exchange with Omar when Omar tried to explain to him about a fellow female student who did not have her ID card with her since Omar spoke Hebrew.  The soldier ordered him out of the bus and the first blows were delivered to Omar in front of his friends and teachers.  After they took him to a back room and have received information about him (perhaps that he had been in jail or that he participated in the weekly nonviolent protests), the beatings became more regular. The initial beating of Omar on the face and head made his mouth bleed and his head hurt and he was not able to speak to the soldiers and this only made them beat him more for not answering their questions. Omar told our friend Sevtap that one of the soldiers told him “do you think the international solidarity will protect you”. Omar was transferred during those 6 days from the container checkpoint to  a police station in the settlement of Maale Adumim, then to a military doctor at an unknown location (but the doctor only looked briefly at him and basically told him to shut up, then to the Russian compound prison in Jerusalem, then to Ramle prison, then to Ofer prison, and finally to Ramleh prison again. On the last day, he was brought before a judge and assigned a state lawyer who made a deal for him to be released on bail.  Many hours passed because the prison authorities refused to let him make a call to get someone to come pay the bail.  After the bail was paid, Omar was not released but finally, the military brought him to the South of Ramallah and dumped him on the side of the road.  Omar was initially treated at Al-Hussain hospital in Beit Jala and released but his condition deteriorated and his family decided to take him to a hospital in Hebron where he spent last night.  He might be released at noon today. Video of Omar at Hospital

More photos of Omar’s injuries here

Fatenah animation is now on You Tube! Summary: Fatenah is a 27 year old woman living in the Gaza Strip. Her life is similar to the lives of many other women in Gaza. Her life changes the day she discovers to have breast cancer.  This animation, the first produced in Palestine, shows with great accuracy the scenarios of Gaza city. The 27 minutes long story is a breath-taking journey into Fatenah’s daily struggles. It uncovers the human drama of her fight to survive. This journey into the heart of the Gaza Strip will touch and move you.

Part 1/3

Part 2/3

Part 3/3

Directed by Ahmad Habash, Screenplay Saed Andoni, Ahmad Habash, Ambrogio Manenti, Produced by Saed Andoni, Music Said Murad, Editing Saed Andoni, Animation Ahmad Habash, Director of Photography Ahmad Habash, Sound Designer Zaher Rashmawi, Voices – Actors: Buthaina Sumairi (Fatenah), Ahmad Abu Saloom (Abu Rasheed), Shaden Saleem (Amal), Imad Ahmad (Mualem), Mesbah Deeb (Ayman), Waleed Aqel (Dr. Salah / AMB. Driver), Nibal Thawabteh (Lutfieh), Hanan El Hilu (Dafna), Amira Habash (IDF soldier), Ahmad Habash (Palestinian Dr. / IDF soldier), Saed Andoni (IDF sergeant), Gabriel Lambert (Israeli Dr.), Chiara Stefanini (Israeli nurse)..

Quote from US Secretary Hilalry Clinton at the powerful AIPAC lobby: “Under President Obama’s leadership, we have reinvigorated defense consultations, redoubled our efforts to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge, and provided nearly $3 billion in annual military assistance. (Applause). The United States . did lead the boycott of the Durban Conference and we repeatedly voted against the deeply flawed Goldstone Report. (Applause.) This Administration will always stand up for Israel’s right to defend itself. (Applause.) And for Israel, there is no greater strategic threat than the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. (Applause.)”

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall and Settlements-Beit Sahour
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home

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