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Apr-01-2012 20:21printcomments

Americans Among Those Injured by Israeli Forces on Land Day

*Injuries to our friends, death and mayhem on Land Day and the Global March to Jerusalem*

Land Day 2012
Land Day 2012 Photo courtesy: albawaba.com

(BETHLEHEM) - Two of our friends were among the over 150 people injured on Land Day by the Israeli occupation forces. Demonstrations were held in dozens of locations in Palestine and the border areas of Palestine.

Other demonstrations were held for Land Day in cities around the world. The ambulance took our friend and home guest Don Bryant (US Citizen) to the hospital as he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister. We quickly gathered the rest of the group and rushed to the hospital.

There we find many injured people (I counted 8 in the emergency room and two at the X-ray). One of the injured there was our friend Yusef Sharqawi hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet that fractured his shoulder blade. Mohamed Zakout, 20 year old was shot and killed by Israeli forces in Gaza as he participated in a demonstration near the Erez checkpoint.

In Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces used horses to trample on people and arrested 36 individuals. Before all is done Israel will likely to arrest 300 people. Below is our video and other relevant videos.

Some of my students have more logic/sense than the political leadership of the USA, Israel and the "Palestinian authority" combined. For example, last week we had a lively discussion about roles of politicians in creating the problems and perpetuating the disastrous human rights violations here.

I don't teach this course human rights but I coach it so after we exchanged significant information about these issues all of it showing the bad things of politics (collaborations, agreements of surrender, etc), I asked to take time for us to talk just about the positives (no negatives). I was surprised at some of the good comments that came out: persistence of the Palestinian people, demonstrations and many forms of popular resistance happening, the fact that rights are not lost for people even when their leadership is corrupt and weak, the fact that many were martyred/injured/imprisoned for their work for Palestine, the fact that while some collaborated and even sold their conscience and their heritage, more simply refused ……

So it is that we can always look at the glass half empty or half full. We can always curse the darkness or light a candle and hope for the best. We can feel depressed and powerless or we can actually do something. I was anxious before the demonstrations today. Our mind racing to worry about level of participation/attendance and about Israeli authorities' violent reaction to peaceful demonstrators (there is after all a long history of that including shooting at unarmed demonstrators). We have to remind myself of the positives and forget all the negatives (or at least just learn from them lessons and keep them in the back of our mind). The march was a success even before it started. The thousands who tried to arrive to us here in Palestine got an education THROUGH the process of preparing to come to nearby borders and they each told many others where they are going and why. This ripple effect that started months before today's events is critical. Here are a few other positives before, during and after this event today:

-37 Indian activists were stranded in a ship off the port of Beirut for 36 hours. Activists in India mobilized speaking to parliamentarians and other officials and the Indian embassy was able to get the Lebanese government to finally issue the visas for them. This ensured that more people because aware of our predicament here: not onlt the Zionist regime but the collusion sometimes of Arab regimes. It also meant more activism in India will be growing and more boycotts, divestments and sanctions.

- Hundreds of activists from different countries did not know about each other or their common interests until this event. The process of linking together via physical meetings and internet empowered many of them and they became more active in their local communities. I know of several example where new projects (e.g. on boycotts divestment, sanction, different ways of media work etc) were started in some countries or localities because they learned from the networking with other activists.

-Activists learned via doing how to work in team efforts, how to make collective decisions etc. These skills are useful for any kind of collective work.

-The attempts by the Zionist manipulated media to hide and ignore the brutality of the apartheid regime is backfiring. More and more people stopped seeking news via these corporate outlets and started to get news directly via blogs, live feed, email etc.

-Israeli Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said about the events today "It's important to remember that this is the first day. The Nakba and Naksa days are ahead of us, and that is where the challenge will be." It is obvious that they start to worry!

I could go on to list a few more. But we need now to focus on our next events: the Welcome to Palestine Campaign for 15-21 April. We do need people to work hard on this (volunteers are always welcome). Action is the best antidote to despair.

*Our video in Bethlehem: http://youtu.be/7U1qQVqVnsM*

Other videos







Pictures http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/30/10940732-violence-on-land-day-as-israeli-forces-and-palestinians-clash

Take action Land Day http://www.stopthejnf.org/unitedstates_takeaction_landday2012.html

Israel Defense Ministry plan earmarks 10 percent of West Bank for settlement expansion. Newly released maps indicate Civil Administration secretly setting aside additional land for Jewish settlements, presumably with the intention of expanding them. By Akiva Eldar http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-defense-ministry-plan-earmarks-10-percent-of-west-bank-for-settlement-expansion-1.421589

More links/news on this land day events



Thousands of demonstrators mark Land Day in Jordan http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-30/168555-thousands-of-demonstrators-mark-land-day-in-jordan.ashx#axzz1qc3PlPcd

Rabbis of Anti-Zionist Group Join Protest Marking Land Day on Lebanon-Israel Border http://tv.ibtimes.com/rabbis-of-anti-zionist-group-join-protest-marking-land-day-on-lebanon-israel-border/4523.html

Why Land Day still matters: Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.

By Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/why-land-day-still-matters-1.421606


Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD - Popular Committee to Defend Ush Ghrab (PCDUG) "A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home. Mazin has been an Associate Professor of Genetics; Director, Cytogenetics Laboratory at Yale University School of Medicine since 1999. He previously held a similar position at Duke University. Professor Qumsiyeh has authored over 110 scientific papers in areas of mammalogy, biology, and medicine including mammalian biology and evolution, clinical genetics, and cancer research. He has published over 100 letters to the editor and 30 op-ed pieces in International, national, regional and local papers on issues ranging from politics to environmental issues. His appearances in national media included the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, CNBC, C-Span, and ABC, among others. He is the founder and president of the Holy Land Conservation Foundation and ex-President of the Middle East Genetics Association, and Prof. Qumsiyeh won the Jallow activism award from the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee in 1998. He is author of “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle” and just published “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment.” Visit Mazin Qumsiyeh's amazing and informative Website to learn more: qumsiyeh.org.

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Anonymous April 2, 2012 5:22 pm (Pacific time)

Israel is so murderous, they all can be lucky for not being killed. Israel should just stand up and start shooting real bullets at each other, that would you scumbags a lesson.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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