Work for the future

Mazin Qumsiyeh

palestine-israel-400-x-267

First the positive news: Large demonstrations last Monday in front of 10 Downing street for the Theresa May-Benjamin Netanuyahu visit. The demonstration was a mixture of people of all religions, skin colors, and backgrounds.

By contrast, the much smaller group of paid Zionist elites was very homogeneous (Jewish white Ashkenazi). Let us hope for an even larger demonstration for Netanyahu’s visit to Trump on February 15.

Locally, Israel is proceeding with more colonial settlements hoping that if they saturate the landscape, we native Palestinians will leave and they can have their racist Jewish state. But people are not leaving and much of the world now sees that there was never a “two state solution” to a colonial anti-coloniial struggle.

The best scenario forward is like in most postcolonial countries, such as South and Central America and much of SE Asia.

We are working on that with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and other colleagues here – some of them also hold “Israeli” citizenship.

We are collectively building things on the ground, not leaving, and resisting daily (yes sometimes injured, sometimes killed, sometimes jailed, sometimes arrested…).

One small project involving daily work by dozens of international and local volunteers is our museum, botanical garden and institute of sustainability (please see this https://www.palestinenature.org/achievements-20152016/ ). We are partnering with many NGOs, governmental agencies, universities, etc to do very good work. Just the past two weeks we finished two research papers, hosted students from many universities and schools, started three other research projects (on snails, on environmental changes over the past on amphibians as indicators of environmental damage),
said goodbye to some volunteers and welcomed others, wrote proposals and received grants, we were sad to see some students fail their courses and happy to see others succeed (and they all learn through the challenges in life), and we buried friends and welcomed new births. We hope you can join us.

The Not Good News

Now for not so good news. More Israeli Knesset bills to move it faster down the path of Nazi Germany of the 1930s:

Punishing any university that has diversity of opinions on Israel’s apartheid system:

Preventing any critics of Israel who call for non-violent resistance from entering (and of course passing on to Palestinain areas). Over a million Palestinians and Internationals pass every year across borders support human righst including supporting the right to boycott apartheid Israel. Thus we will be living in an even more isolated
prison under a more fascist government if this law passes.

Adalah has good reports on human rights violations inside the Green line,
especially their database of Israeli discriminatory laws, and reports about the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

The fraudulent binary options industry flourished in Israel for the past nine years, Thousands of Israelis work in the “industry” (getting rich) scamming hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide out of billions of dollars with little to no intervention from Israeli law enforcement. Many victims committed suicide.

View from Nazareth by Jonathan Cook: Netanyahu scandals reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society.

Ali Abunimah tweeted: Fiscally insolvent mouse warns lumbering elephant not to boycott Israeli settlements

Construction not Destruction

Our job is to stay vigilant and respond to the bad news (like Netanyahu’s visit to Washington to push for more wars for Israel). But another and perhaps more important job is to build a new society based on RESPECT (for our selves, for others, and for the environment). In other words, work for the future by challenging those who want to destroy it and by actually doing positive things for achieving it (sustainability, peace, justice).

Come join us as we do that in Palestine under occupation.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home

Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
Join me on facebook