One of the people on the ground in Palestine that I look to for a reality check of the current status is Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh. He shares his observations in his “Human Rights Newsletter”. In light of the current tension in Jerusalem and the West Bank, I have chosen to share the latest newsletter issue. We met him on our visit in November 2013.
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh of Bethlehem University describes the increasing urgency of the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
At the James Graff Memorial Lecture Wednesday night in Toronto, Dr. Sara Roy described the desperate situation of the Gazans – the destruction of land and infrastructure, psychological impact of the trauma of 3 assaults in the last decade, the economic poverty, environmental disaster affecting Israel not just Gaza, and perhaps most seriously, the disappearance of the culture, what has been described as a “zone of non-existence”.
Mazin states that the USA is increasingly “exposed as collaborators with Netanyahu in the slaughter” in the Middle east. But he also says that “we continue to build for the future” and “We teach life.”
Sara Roy was asked where she sees hope in Gaza. She saw artistry flourishing, people trying to rebuild and educate their children in the midst of a desperate situation but she fears for the impact on the psych of the people if they are not given their freedom to live. She believes that the change must come from the people of Israel and the Israeli organizations working for change.
14th Intifada on the way and its global ramifications
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem University Oct. 7, 2015
Below I discuss briefly why I think Israel is intent on ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories, the recent upheaval here and the killing of children, who is Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) behind the spate of recent war crimes including murdering a 13 year old child (pictures below), ask whether a 14th Intifada on the way and its global ramifications, and progress in building something positive in Bethlehem.
There has been a significant escalation of violence in the apartheid country in the past few days. If this is a new uprising it is expected as we have one on average every 10 years (we had nearly 14 in the past 140 years of Zionist onslaught). When we analyze the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for this particular wave of unrest, we see the arson attack 31 July 2015 on the Dawabshe family (father, mother and child murdered) and the calls for revenge. Since then some 30 Palestinians and 4 Israelis were killed.
The past week saw further escalation that started with storming Al-Aqsa mosque area with extremist settlers who call for destroying the mosque to build a Jewish temple. A Jewish settler husband and wife were killed by a cell from Hamas (probably acting without direct orders from hierarchy). They were residents of an illegal Israeli colony built on Palestinian land and the husband was a high level Israeli officer (the wife also served in the Israeli military).
Whether one supports such actions or not, the action predictably unleashed a torrent of settler revenge attacks supported by the Israeli military. Netanyahu came back from his US tour after receiving a green light from Washington for ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and for killing Palestinians. He told his commanders to shoot any Palestinian throwing stones and if they arrest such youth to give them mandatory minimum sentences of 4 years. Settlers and soldiers in turn got the green light to torch cars, shoot civilians, burn crops and more. Tensions escalated and 650 Palestinian civilians were injured and many killed.
Here in Bethlehem a 13 year old child Abdelrahman Obeidallah was gunned down when he was returning from school. Pictures showed he was not participating in the demonstration. It is hard to justify shooting a child in the chest who is not posing a threat. I cried as I paid a visit and extended condolences to his father and other family members today.
In a videotaped incident in Jerusalem, there was clear execution of a young man who was posing no threat. Israeli settlers chased a 19 year old Fadi Alloon heading for his early morning prayers. He tried to get protection even from Israeli police officers but settlers screamed at the police telling them to shoot him and the police followed settler orders without the victim posing any threat to anyone. Full evidence with translation by Ronni Barkan from Hebrew of the Nazi like behavior is found here: https://youtu.be/nj8gXqGh2V0
The murderers like in thousands of similar incidents will remain free and even be praised for their actions. It is clear now that there is an orchestrated campaign to destroy native presence here to extend the geography and hegemony of the racist “Jewish state” and western media have done little or no reporting on what is going on in here. The few local reporters trying to cover events are targeted physically and shot at regularly. Father of 13 year old Abdel Rahman, victim of Israeli terrorism on the spot where he was murdered
Israeli military occupiers decided to close down the old city of Jerusalem selectively to Palestinians while Israeli Jews were allowed in to rampage and taunt and attack the native Jerusalemites (Christians and Muslims). Such a military order shows once again that we are deeper into fascist apartheid. Palestinians rightly wonder why the cell that firebombed the Dawabsheh family is still free while those who killed the settler couple were tracked down within 24 hours? Denying a city to the native people while opening it up for colonizers is against International law. Murdering at will, injuring hundreds, kidnapping citizens (600 in September alone) and holding them for months and years without trial, torturing people, demolishing homes. Many consider it a beginning of a new (14th) uprising against the Zionist colonization of Palestine. The conditions of an uprising are indeed there and I explained in detail in my book about its trajectory (see http://qumsiyeh.org/popularresistanceinpalestine/ )
The “Arab and Islamic world” and the USA are increasing exposed as collaborators with Netanyahu and company in the slaughter stretching from Yemen to Syria passing through Palestine. Palestinians in the streets are increasingly frustrated at their own leaders (whose terms have expired and can’t seem to let go of their seats). Political paralysis. New actors are coming to fill the gap left after the mess created by imperialism here. Russia entered the fray in Syria. Russia entered Syria at the request of the Syrian government while the US did not have such permission nor a decision by the UN Security Council. But more importantly, Russian jets did more damage to ISIS in the first 48 hours that US “coalition” did in one year. Russia says it will talk to the “moderate rebels” that the US claims to exist if they can be found. Problem is all non-government held territory is in the hands of Nusra, ISIS or others (many of them equipped by USA and its coalition). US security establishment already admitted that most of the weapons they sent to supposed moderate people (mercenaries?) switched to be held by the extremist rebels. Perhaps the US was interested in what Henry Kissinger described as policy is “to get them to kill each other”. Perhaps Russia will upset this and finally succeed in ending 5 years of stalemate in Syria.
The pivot remains here. Leaders of the Zionist forces ordered soldiers to shoot children, to torture prisoners, and to demolish homes and repeat the ethnic cleansing done in 1948. Since he is in the headline for staring down the UN and meeting with world leaders to bully and threaten them, it is worth looking who is Netanyahu.
Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) was born to Benzion Mileikowsky (later changed names to Netanyahu), a Polish settler who came to Palestine and to the USA (dual citizenship acquired). His American father became secretary to terrorist leader Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky (aka Zeev Jabotinsky) founder of “revisionist” Zionism and supported groups like Irgun terrorist organization during the mandate in Palestine. His son continues to idolize these early Jewish terrorists. Both Benjamin and his brother served in units of the Israeli forces responsible for assassinations on foreign lands (in violations of international law) and committed war crimes. He is known both among Israelis and globally as a consummate liar who refused to accept the Oslo accords (even though they were partial to Israel) and has gotten rich off of his political activities.
Here is a video of him thinking the camera was off explaining his true contributions during his first stint as Israeli prime minister in the 1990s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrtuBas3Ipw .
This is after all the same terrorist who gave a speech to dozens of Likud Party members in Eilat in which he admitted this is his strategy. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (15 July 2001): “…giving his audience a bit of advice on how to deal with foreign interviewers (Netanyahu said): ‘Always, irrespective of whether you’re right or not, you must always present your side as right.’ In 2011 at the G20 summit, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, described Netanyahu as a liar in a private exchange with US President Barack Obama (it was inadvertently broadcast to journalists). “I cannot stand him. He’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama. US President Obama responded by saying: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day. “http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/08/sarkozy-obama-netanyahu-gaffe-microphone. But Obama was exaggerating: he does not have to deal with Nothingyahu every day. We do and we are sick and tired of it and that is why Abbas’s efforts to stem an uprising will fail.
Sadly civilians suffer for US/Israeli policies of destabilization and mayhem. My view is that Palestine will remain an Achilles heel of western hypocrisy, and the key to conflict generation in Western Asia. Our freedom will be a key to regional and global stability. Perhaps that is why demonstrations were in over 50 cities and towns in occupied Palestine (including Jaffa, Haifa, Nazareth, etc) and dozens of cities around the world. The world is waking up. We pray that politicians do not be the last to wake-up.
Besides engaging in popular resistance, we continue to build for the future. We have several new volunteers at our Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University (see http://palestinenature.org). We just had our first rains of the season. Olive picking will commence shortly. We have visitors daily. We plan and execute projects that help people stay on their land and do productive work. We have students learning and growing in their skills. We learn new things every day. Life goes on even in the midst of decades of Zionist genocidal actions. We teach life. Join us, visit us.
Missing the target, forgetting the point, forgetting the profession by Dr Paola Manduca: https:www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/19300-missing-the-target-forgetting-the-point-forgetting-the-profession
Professor, Bethlehem University
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