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Aug-01-2010 23:13printcomments

Abu Mazen Faces Hard Choices, as Palestine's Hope for Peace and Freedom Grow Distant

Updates include this week's missing headlines from Israel and Palestine; Peace Activists Bid Farewell to Art Gish.

Abu Mazen
Abu Mazen photo courtesy: AsiaNews.it

(BETHLEHEM) - Palestinian sources revealed a letter sent by Obama that outlines a carrots and sticks approach to get Mahmoud Abbas to go to direct and endless negotiations so as to keep the disastrous Oslo cover for the occupation going a few more years. This revealed once and for all that Washington is indeed Israeli-occupied territory.

Despite our political differences, we can only feel pity for Abu Mazen whose two open choices are both bad: a) negotiate while Israel continues to colonize and ethnically cleanse what remains of the occupied areas and thus lose what little credibility remains among the Palestinian public, OR b) insist on reference to International Law (and thus a settlement freeze) and lose hundreds of millions in funding and lucrative positions of power over the now de facto self-rule areas.

In either case there will be no end to the occupation and no real or sovereign Palestinian state in the foreseeable future. Will he choose a third route that preserves dignity and self-respect and give up the charade of Oslo and its trappings that he started (and convinced Arafat to follow for years until Israel killed him when he hesitated)? (there are ways to do this since an agreement signed under duress and especially one that violates basic international law is null and void anyway and does not remove the rights of native people even when someone representing them signs it).

Will PLO reclaim its name sake as Palestine Liberation Organization or degenerate into the Palestinian Leftover Officials? Will the Palestinian people realize that they hold the keys to their own future and that salvation will not come from anyone else?

The late Art Gish was loved by many

Art Gish

We lost our friend Art Gish, a longtime active volunteer member of Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron. Art was 70 years old and died in a farming accident with his tractor in Athens, Ohio.

Art was a graduate of Manchester College and Bethany Theological Seminary. He is the author of The New Left and Christian Radicalism (Eerdmans, 1970), Beyond the Rat Race (Herald Press. 1972), Living in Christian Community (Herald Press, 1979), and Hebron Journal: Stories of Nonviolent Peacemaking (Herald Press, 2001).

Art Gish has been part of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron since 1995, getting in the way of Israeli military and settler violence against Palestinian civilians. (see: Christian Peacemaker Art Gish Dies at 70 - rosemarieberger.com.)

Art is survived by his wife Peggy Gish (herself an activist in Iraq and Palestine and author of "Iraq: A journey of hope and Peace" ). For an interview of Art and Peggy by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, please go to Five Years After Helping to Expose Abu Ghraib Scandal, Christian Peacemaker Teams Continue Human Rights Work - Democracy Now!

We will miss this gentle man who acted on his principles. He is an example for us to follow! You can purchase his book on Hebron from the Mennonite Publishing Network: Hebron Journal: Stories of Nonviolent Peacemaking

Shafiq Al-Hout Tribute

Shafiq Al-Hout

One year has passed since the death of Shafiq Al-Hout, a principled Palestinian leader: A video biography 'It all started in Jaffa' is shown on the right, a text biography is available at: Shafiq Al-Hout - wikipedia.org

The missing media headlines this week:

The US Army reported that 32 soldiers committed suicide in June. Dozens of others were killed. Wikileaks published US documents that basically should make every American question the illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, the US media conveniently ignores all this and obediently publish the lies of their Zionist masters instead of exposing those who profit from wars and mayhem.

Preparations for WWIII & Israeli Helicopter Strikes on Mountain Tunnels

Israeli Air Force helicopter
in Romanian search area

According to debkafile's military sources: "The Israeli Air Force had been drilling high-risk attacks on precipitous cliff caves similar to the mountain tunnels in which Iran has hidden nuclear facilities. The crash occurred in the last stage of a joint Israeli-US-Romanian exercise for simulating an attack on Iran. Aboard the helicopter were six Israeli airmen and a Romanian flight captain.

"The Israeli helicopter is reported to have flown into a cloud patch hanging over its simulated target and crashed into a steep mountainside, while the second helicopter flying in the formation avoided the cloud and continued without incident." Crashed Israeli helicopter drilled perilous strikes on Iran-style mountain tunnels - debka.com

The Israeli government extended for two more decades the closure on the information from 50 and 60 years ago that shows it had committed ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity, deception and lies (and of course still doing it). See 'A state afraid of its past' by Haaretz: A state afraid of its past - Haaretz.com

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD (formerly of Yale and Duke universities) teaches at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine and chairs the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People. 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 include 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. Those are just a small list, visit Mazin Qumsiyeh's amazing and informative Website to learn more: qumsiyeh.org, and also pcr.ps.

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