090510-qumsiyeh41Dr 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)

(occupation forces uprooting olive trees in Nahhalin this Monday morning; call me or email me for details)

We had a demonstration in Al-Walaja on Sunday morning (23 May 2010) which went smoothly.  At 11:30 we went to Beit Jala for the weekly demonstration.  Palestinian Security Forces detained children ahead of the demonstration.  Then we demonstrated at the site below with mostly internationals and Israelis.  Israelis are arrested blocking bulldozers.  One reporter is taken via ambulance having fainted from the gas.   Later some young Palestinians join the demonstration higher up the hill. After some tear gas shooting from the Israelis in area C, Palestinian security (apparently in coordination with Israeli security) beat s some youth (although these were not the two young men who threw stones earlier).  Security forces also threatened organizers.  Previously some activists in Al-Walaja where also called for Palestinian security interrogation. Amazing footage here:

The attacks from the Israeli soldiers at the peaceful demonstration in Al-Masara 21 May 2010 (here no Palestinian security are allowed in the area)

In bad news, Israel is still detaining and imprisoning political activists and denying them due process.  Even  Moredechai Vanunu who served 18 years in Israeli jails for exposing Israel’s nuclear weapons capability is now back in jail for three months for talking to media!.

In good news “Following lobbying efforts by the Italian Coalition Against Carmel-Agrexco, two major Italian supermarket chains, COOP and Nordiconad, announced the suspension of sales of products from Agrexco, the principal exporter of produce from Israel and the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” (over 6,200,000 members and annual revenue of €11.8 billion).  And the world is holding its breath as a flotilla of ships with lots of supplied an hundreds of decent people try to break the siege on Gaza again.  See and support:

ACTION: Right of Return and One Secular Democratic State event in Bethlehem area to parallel with the Haifa conference ( ): In conjunction with this weekend’s Haifa conference regarding right of return and a one state solution, a two-day parallel event will be held in the Bethlehem area, May 28th and 29th.   The event, to be held at the Alternative Information Center in Beit Sahour, will feature a Friday evening link-in to the Haifa conference. A panel discussion is scheduled for Saturday (More details to be sent to those interested).  Overnight accommodations are available.  For information, contact

Twilight Zone on Capitol hill (or should I say Israeli occupied Congress of the US).  Watch this groveling to AIPAC as an additional US $205 million is given to the apartheid state from US tax payers

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