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Apr-30-2019 11:31printcommentsVideo

Think big.... dreams do come true!

Our motto is respect: for ourselves, for others, and for nature.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Using largely volunteer efforts and local donations, Palestine Museum of Natural History has a mission focused on research, education, and conservation of our natural world.
Photo: Mazin Qumsiyeh

(OCCUPIED PALESTINE) - We just celebrated Easter in the Holy Land and we look with anticipation to Ramadan. While many of us are not religious, we do recognize the value of these “traditions” to social fabric in our society.

Tradition and culture actually has much more nuance and mix than meets the eye. Easter is Ishtar and fertility holiday and Passover is not a historical event but based on earlier mythologies of Gods and redemption.

Staff and volunteers worked over the holidays. Some work every single day to achieve what would otherwise be an impossible dream: to build positively an institute for biodiversity and sustainability in the middle of an area of mayhem, greed, ecocide and genocide.

Today at 10 a.m. was the opening of our cultural heritage exhibition (ethnography) at the Palestine Museum of Natural History (location here: palestinenature.org).

For more on this exhibit project funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, see https//www.palestinenature.org/cultural-heritage-roject/*

A dream to join hands and shape the future we want instead of merely complaining about the present and past circumstances. If you will it, it can happen. Dreams only come true with hard COLLABORATIVE work (not petty selfishness so easily seen in political leaders around the world).

Our motto is respect: for ourselves, for others, and for nature. A short video of our earlier activities (before this new exhibit and the many other projects we worked on) is here: https://youtu.be/BPhFLOsEIM0 (8000 views so far).

In response to my easter message, a student said that Jesus was not born in Palestine but in Israel and that he was Jewish.

1) Palestine (geographic name used for nearly 4000 years*) was used at the time of Jesus' birth under Roman rule. There was no "Israel" then. There was Judea and Philistia (geographic parts of Palestine).

But Jesus was not Judaic, He was Nazarene (GALILEE). Geography is why even Israel Academy of Sciences publishes book series Fauna Palestina and Flora Palestina (not Israeliana!).

2) Jesus was a follower of the mosaic law (law of moses and abraham at the time). That is not being "Jewish" since that designation as a religious one only came in the fourth century AD (after the writing of the Talmud).

Samaritans who lived in Samaria (now Nablus) for example even today would be insulted if you call them Jewish (even though they follow/ed the Torah). But even if you assume a religion why are Christians not called Jews if Jesus is called a Jew by religion.

Jesus was neither Judaic by geography (he was Nazarene) nor Jew or Samaritan by religion (though he was a follower of the Mosaic law).

*If you want more info I suggest this book "Palestine: A four thousand year history" (www.goodreads.com/book/show/36645450-palestine)

Readers and some media outlets have asked me to comment on the pledge of Arab countries to support the Palestinian Authority (PA) via $100 million in funds every month.

Here are my thoughts: The Palestinian Authority was created by the faulty process of Oslo negotiations. The Israeli plan for this was a permanent self-rule acting as (unpaid) subcontractor for the occupation (ala "Vichy government" of France under the Nazi occupation).

The PLO leadership thought it was an interim 5-year arrangement leading to statehood (this was naive at best and complicit at worst).

Here we are 26 years later and the PLO assets of over $1 billion were turned to a debt of >$4.1 billion (on the PA) and the number of settlers went from 150,000 to over 900,000 and land access to Palestinians shrunk significantly (not to mention walls and restrictions and home demolitions etc).

This context is important to understand that even if the Arab countries do give $100 million a month (unlikely since previous pledges were not met), it will do little to correct the structural problem of a captive Vichy economy under occupation/colonization.

What is needed is to dissolve the PA, recreate the PLO and get liberation first. This will happen anyway because bandaids placed on a severed main artery will not solve the problem of need for radical surgery!

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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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