News by Mazen Qumsiyeh

by Mazen Qumsiyeh, October 22, 2015. See our interview with Mazen Qumsiyeh:
“Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot
evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their
power to do it.
They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take
them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance.
Therefore, the Lord says: “I am planning disaster against this people, from
which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will
be a time of calamity. In that day people will ridicule you …Hear this, you
leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel! You who abhor
what is just, and pervert all that is right; Who build up Zion with bloodshed,
and Jerusalem with wickness!…” (Old Testament/Torah, Micah 2 and 3)
(Micah 3, 9-10 in Hebrew:)
I just returned to my beloved Palestine after a short
(five day) trip to the United States. Harassed by officials, losing my luggage
(still not located) and lack of sleep reminded me why I do not like
to travel much (but must do occasionally). Most painful for me was being away
from friends and colleagues and compatriots being injured or killed and their
livelihoods destroyed. Just before I left, we paid respect to family of 23 year
old Muataz Zawahra, a brilliant, bright young man who was shot in Bethlehem as
he demonstrated against the wall that strangles our ghetto.
Now I need to go pay respect to family of another
non-violent activist (our colleague Hashem Azziz) who died from inhaling the
poisonous tear gas that Israel is using on us. This gas has already caused one
of our bee colonies at the museum to leave us because gas does drift to our
botanical garden almost daily now. Israel also is blocking more roads and
making what used to be a very difficult life virtually impossible (today
traffic is impossible getting to Bethlehem University by cars).
My master students have not had classes for two weeks. We
all feel frustrated by most of us know that the brutality Israel is inflicting
will not work and that freedom will be coming after decades of colonial
occupation. In fact there are reports of leaked CIA documents that predict that
since the two state solution has been ended (due to the fact that
650,000 Jewish settlers live inside the West Bank), that
the one democratic state solution is the only possible outcome. This will mean
the end of Zionism and many racist Zionists understand this and want to use
these last opportunities to exercise their freedom of killing and destroying Palestinians
with impunity. Perhaps to the set the stage for that internally, the Prime
Minister of Israel just absolved Hitler of his crimes and ludicrously claimed
that he only wanted to expel Jews and that a Palestinian convinced him to kill
the Jews. An Israeli representative at the United Nations also (unbelievable)
claimed that Palestinians are teaching their students in school how to stab
Jews. This is a prelude to justifying genocide.
Social media like facebook is full of videos and
documented evidence the reality of what is going on here (brutality of the
colonial occupation, Palestinian anger facing repressive measures, Israeli
soldiers planting knives next to victims 
etc). I do not want to make this letter long by describing this here.
Those who are interested can read also alternative media like or or or   This
compared to the spineless “coverage” of mainstream
Western media outlets (many of them dominated by
establishment figures).
But even there in these outlets, we see occasionally
stories of reality.
And even in Israeli media we see occasionally glimpses of
hope (see for example article below in Haaretz). We look to a post-Zionist

apartheid) future when people of all religious faiths
live here in harmony and mutual respect in a pluralistic democratic society.
We will not give up. We will live. We will educate our
children well. We will build institutions for the future where we respect
our-seves, respect others, and respect nature (as we are doing with our
botanical garden and museum of natural history at Bethlehem University In good news,
Scandinavian Airlines, SAS announced yesterday that it has stopped flights to
Israel because of lack of profitability and risky business. But in bad news:
Israel is now blocking off Palestinian neighborhoods in and around East
Jerusalem with concrete blocks and walls.
This is ghettoization and apartheid implemented and is a
crime against humanity done with impunity, This culture of impunity must end.
Summary of my talks at HCEF meeting (mostly Christian
clergy and lay
people) in Washington DC: “Living in Palestine takes
sacrifices and Christians leave not because of economic reasons but because of
political reasons (persecution by colonial Zionists). Reporting on some of the
horrors last week, Qumsiyeh explained why MLK Jr was disappointed in “white
moderates” and hence we Palestinian Christians called for action (for example
via BDS, [in the second session on Western policies]
Qumsiyeh chronicled the 140 year documented history of Western involvement in
fragmenting the Arab world. He explained that resistance is the most hopeful
and empowering and why he is optimistic that the path of “might makes rights”
is coming to an end. The suffering in these last few years might escalate as
colonialism and imperialism never up power easily.”
I also talked at Boston College, attended part of the
wonderful Boston Palestine Film Festival (, and
spoke at the First Baptist Church, I also got to visit natural history museums
to build collaborations.
Sick and should be protested: EU funding to Israeli
military companies and institutions trough Horizon2020
The European Union is Complicit in Israeli War Crimes
International BDS wave of solidarity with Palestinian
Popular Resistance
The Single-state Solution Is Already Here
Stay human
Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine