PRISONERS’ DAY IN PALESTINE 17APr10 April 19, 2010
Dr 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 â 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 âhaving joyful participation in the sorrows of this world,â 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)
Friday, we had demonstrations in a number of locations in Palestine mostly in honor of prisoners (11,000 kidnapped Palestinians held in Israeli jails).Â The demonstration in Al-Ma’asara went smoothly even though the night before the Israeli army came in at 1 AM to raid and scare the family of Mohammed and Hassan (their brother is in an Israeli jail). The demonstration was joined by scouts from Sur Baher and other areas in Jerusalem (a sign of Palestinian unity).Â It was a chance to honor families of prisoners and remember all the political prisoners. It was a chance to remember martyrs like our friend Bassem Abu Rahma who was murdered one year ago in a nonviolent demonstration in Bi’lin. On this anniversary this amazing video is produced in four languages:
(the military declared recently that they found no reason to investigate the murder as a wrong-doing!)
Here is a video of Al-Ma’asara demonstration today:
Israeli authorities used violence in other towns today (Al-Walaja, Bil’in etc) and there were several injuries.
The demonstrations today in many locations were also wa chance to denounce the renewal of the illegal orders that would make 70,000 Palestinians in the West Bank to be considered by the fascist Israeli laws as “infiltrators” in their own country. These orders are of course a violation of International and humanitarian laws.Â Abbie Lipschutz, who volunteered in the Israel 1948 war, wrote to me: “Those deportation orders are Nazi orders. At least there is a wave of protests by Israelis. I hope and think the orders can be cancelled. But with that fascist Netanyahu in charge, we can expect anything. By euphemisms and subterfuge, AND official acts he is trying to foreclose ANY peace agreement. He tries to ethnically cleanse the occupied West bank so that he can replace the deported Palestinians with Hebrew Talibans.”
As if to show this, the government demolished a home in Bethlehem area yesterday.Â See the heart-wrenching images at http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=276700
And this blog from an American Jewish young man who joined the “Birthright” program but then chose to come spend time with us in the real Palestine is amazing. Buddhists list the big three sins as hatred, greed, and illusion. The settlers depicted here illustrate this more than anything else.
Considering the above, we find it contemptible that the Zionist movement is pulling its big gurus in the US, people with loyalty to racist ideologies rather than their own country (Elie Wiesel and Ronald Lauder) to regurgitate discredited myths about Jerusalem and Israeli “security” on pages of biased newspapers like the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Fortunately the internet had made finding the facts far easier and within reach of millions who no longer bother reading discredited newspapers.Â But I sometimes wonder about the mental status of people who continue to justify ethnic cleansing.Â But then again, the Israeli armyÂ are still imprisoning the donkey and a horse from Bethlehem arrested on charges of entering Jerusalem illegally!! How more loony can this tribalistic crowd get and how far will the world let them continue to indulge the fantasy and racism of being God’s chosen people while enslaving others.
Does U.S. Policy on Israel and Palestine Uphold Our Values? Chicago Hearings Sunday, April 18, 2010, from 1:15 PM to 5:30 PM CST. Mock congressional hearing. All you need is an internet connection, a computer, a projector and a screen. And a protected password guaranteeing you a spot on the live bandwidth (email email@example.com to reserve).
Bring your friends together to watch a live mock Congressional Hearing. Critical for US citizens who pay for Israeli aggression http://www.chicagohearing.org/