OLIVES AND BALFOUR AND MORE 1Nov10 November 1, 2010

We just finished our olive harvest.  This year we got over twice as much olives as last year from our own grove. Here is an article I had written last year about the importance of the olive harvest in Palestine http://ramallahonline.com/2009/10/palestinian-olives/

This year hundreds of trees were damaged and/or harvest stolen by settlers.  People are still harvesting near the apartheid wall/colonial settlements and if you are in Palestine and interested, you may still get a chance (see below for an event in Wad Rahhal tomorrow/Tuesday and other related events).  Email me if you want to buy extra virgin olive oil (baladi) from struggling farmers in the villages at the seam zone (between the wall and the green line).

2 November is the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.  This is a section from my upcoming book dealing with popular resistance (http://qumsiyeh.org/popularresistanceinpalestine/) that addresses this infamous declaration:

The energetic and charismatic Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann relocated to London in 1904 after failing to get Ottoman support. The Zionists had a slow start securing British backing, but a breakthrough came during World War I. Germany had offered generous peace terms to an exhausted England and France as the war appeared to be approaching stalemate with a slight advantage to Germany. Precisely at this opportune time, the Zionist movement offered to get the US to join the allies in exchange for a public commitment of support on the part of France and England to a Jewish homeland in Palestine.2 The promise from France came via a letter sent from Jules Cambon, Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry, to Nahum Sokolow, an official of the World Zionist Organization:

“You were kind enough to inform me of your project regarding the expansion of the Jewish colonization of Palestine. You expressed to me that, if the circumstances were allowing for that, and if on another hand, the independency of the holy sites was guaranteed, it would then be a work of justice and retribution for the allied forces to help the renaissance of the Jewish nationality on the land from which the Jewish people was exiled so many centuries ago. The French Government, which entered this present war to defend a people wrongly attacked, and which continues the struggle to assure victory of right over might, cannot but feel sympathy for your cause, the triumph of which is bound up with that of the Allies. I am happy to give you herewith such assurance.”3

Five months later, on November 2, 1917, the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, sent Lord Rothschild a similar declaration of sympathy for Zionist aspirations; this later became known as the Balfour Declaration. These promises to European Jews of a ‘national home’ were issued when Britain and France had no jurisdiction over the area, against the wishes of the inhabitants of the land and when the Allies were receiving significant support from the Arabs who had revolted against the Ottoman Turks. Three years earlier, Britain had promised the Arabs (in the McMahoneHussein correspondence) independence and self-government. …

And tomorrow (Tuesday) is election in the US.  Some pro-Israel congressman are to be replaced by extremely fanatic pro-Israel congressmen (money speaks not the interests of constituents)

AIPAC: The voice of America

Segregation of Jews and Arabs in 2010 Israel is almost absolute

For those of us who live here, it is something we take for granted. But visitors from abroad cannot believe their eyes. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/segregation-of-jews-and-arabs-in-2010-israel-is-almost-absolute-1.321728

Selected events in Palestine the rest of this week

Tuesday 02 November 2010 AM: olive picking in the village of Wad Rahhal. For more info, contact Shadi: 0598366884

Also Tuesday, at 6 PM at Al-Kasaba Theatre in Ramallah, showing of the new DVD put out by Al-Mubadara titled “Our Story” with discussion by Dr. Mustapha Barghouthi to follow

Thursday and Friday: Sustainable Tourism in Palestine- International Workshop in Thursday November 4th at Birzeit University, there is no need for previous registration, just simply come at 9:00AM as for the Maftoul Festival, it will be at the Catholic Church Hall in Birzeit town at 7:00PM same day November 4th please come and invite your friend, only NIS 50 for a ticket including Dinner. The next day Friday November 5th we will have three walks at different trails around Ramallah, starting at nine from front of the catholic Church in Birzeit, NIS 40 for lunch, bus and guide will be provided by organizers

Another great flashdance for BDS (this one in Philadelphia)

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine. He serves as chairman of the board of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour He is author of “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle” and the forthcoming book Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment.

A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home
http://www.qumsiyeh.org

http://www.pcr.ps

2009 Olive Harvest with Mazin Qumsiyeh

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