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Jun-02-2011 18:31printcomments

Human Right Berlin Wall

Walls three meters high in Berlin are mostly gone but walls 8 meters high in Palestine still stand.

Palestine Berlin Wall
Artwork by Carlos Latuff, friend of Salem-News in Rio de Janeiro. To see more of his work, visit: Latuff Gallery

(MUNICH) - I continue to be sad, shocked but also inspired by what I see and hear in my working tour in Germany. I remain cautiously optimistic because lessons of history, as sad as they are, provide an unmistakable map for the future. Hitler (and Zionists) who aimed to leave Europe with no Jews have failed.

Here in Germany is the fastest growing Jewish population on earth and more than half of them come from Israel (the supposed haven of Jews). Many of the activists for human rights here are ex-Israeli or ex-Zionist Jews. Gideon Levy explains in Haaretz this week how and why Israelis are getting foreign passports at unprecedented rates.

As you examine the sites of former Nazi interrogation camps and as you look at pictures and read stories of the past, you are struck by the idiocy of humans who thought they could get away with treating fellow human beings with such indignities. There are enough resources for everyone on earth but greed and racism seem to dog our species and rear its ugly head here and there. The folly and arrogance of power confronting indifference and subjecting fellow humans to such cruelty is beyond description in certain periods of our history. In other periods, denial (of the Nakba or of the Jewish holocaust) can hurt the feelings of survivors. No human can claim they are not impacted by these things. But I as a Palestinian found the microcosm of this all too human history truly disturbing and resonating with our reality.

Today, it was reported that the government of Israel is considering a new plan to move 30,000 Bedouins to concentration areas from their unrecognized villages in the Negev because of “environmental reasons”. Seventy years ago, thousands of Roma (Gypsies) were also relocated to improve the environment. Gypsies (Roma) are still treated bad in Germany and they are still around despite those early attempts to clear them out.

Seven years ago, uprisings in the Jenin Refugee Camp and in Nablus old city (ghettos) were put down brutally, sixty years before, an uprising in Warsaw ghetto was put down. Stories about Jewish collaborators with the Nazis bear uncanny resemblance to descriptions of Palestinian collaborators with Zionist plans (including stories of extortions, use of family members, use of medical or economic levers etc).

Walls three meters high in Berlin are mostly gone but walls 8 meters high in Palestine still stand. I bought a piece of the wall in Berlin. I imagined that very soon, some Palestinians will be making a lot of money selling pieces of the Israeli apartheid wall. Dreams and memories and lessons and tears and hopes know no state boundaries and no national or religious boundaries. I recalled the remarkable book by Jewish theologian Marc Ellis “Out of the Ashes” and his message that the lessons of horrors should be “never again to all humans” not “never again to my group.” That is the lesson I hope will finally sink in to all of us.

We held a press conference about planned actions of bringing Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza in late June and bringing hundreds of peace activists to the rest of Palestine July 8-16 (sponsored by 30 Palestinian groups so far and supported by hundreds of organizations around the world, see The press conference was on the same day as the day that one year ago, Israeli navy commandos attacked humanitarian ships of the Gaza freedom Flotilla murdering 9 activists and injuring many. All of us are inspired by the determination of the International civil society (people of all walks of life who act on their conscience) to keep working for peace with justice. This determination stands in contrast with the collaboration of Western governments in supporting the last remaining apartheid colonial state. As we see in the Tunisia, Egypt and the rest of the Arab world, we can safely bet on the power of the people.

Press Conference in Berlin May 31, 2011 (Gestrige Pressekonferenz mit Mazin):

Action in Palestine: A new colony has been put off on the land of Kufr Malek east of Ramallah. The villagers are planning the first in a series of protest this Friday June,3 2011 at 12:30

Please come and lend your support. For more information contact: Majed Fahim 0599201411

Action especially for those in the USA: Call TIAA-CREF:

International Women Peace Service seeks volunteer women for work in Palestine

Actions around the world: June 5th in front of Israeli embassies and consulates and at major apartheid barriers (borders, checkpoints etc). For example Sunday there will be an event in Al-Walajah starting at 10 AM.

Remember we still seek volunteers and activists for Palestine. Wilkommen.

PS I will be in Stockholm June 3-8 (June 4-6 Sjövik Seminar, see


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. Those are just a small list, visit Mazin Qumsiyeh's amazing and informative Website to learn more:

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Arturo June 3, 2011 5:59 am (Pacific time)

The Berlin Wall was designed to keep people in. The security barrier between Israel and its neighbors is designed to keep murderers out.

 Editor: So Gazans and East Germans, you are saying, are equally fortunate? 

I've been there. The only part that is a wall, is designed so, because Arabs on the other side were firing rifles at civilians from rooftops. It makes perfect sense to protect your citizens.

Editor: It sure didn't prevent Israel from attacking Gaza during Cast Lead did it?

 The security barrier is a passive means ofdefense. The alternative isn't very pretty.

Editor: Well it isn't 'pretty' for the oppressed occupied people of Palestine is it?  I'm curious, do you see yourself as superior to other human beings over your religious choice?  Do you believe you are more entitled than other human beings?

Anonymous June 3, 2011 2:34 am (Pacific time)

Dr. Qumsiyeh: It appears that any action can be justified once humanitarian though processes have been numbed. There is much in the news about the dumbing down of America . . . however, there should be even more about the numbing down of America. The repeated daily assaults by media based propaganda actually numbs the senses to the point where too many no longer feel for their brothers and sisters around the world. It is a crafted attack meant to numb all feelings that smack of humanity. Retain the hope that keeps us all going as more recognize what is really happening every day. Colli

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