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Mar-02-2010 23:01printcomments

Israel Does Not Give Peace a Chance

Is Peace Against the Law in Israel?
Citizens of the world should be outraged.

Israeli soldier shoving Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Photo from video showing Israeli soldier shoving Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh for no apparent reason. "Shame on you" the professor said to the soldier.

(SALEM, Ore.) - One of the more distinguished writers we carry, former Yale and Duke Professor Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, teaches today in Palestine. While he is already very familiar with the dark side of Israeli politics, he learned in recent days and hours that the punishment for demonstrating in the name of peace, is worse than he imagined.

Man holds a small child as he
kicks the gas grenade tossed at
their unarmed group by an Israeli
soldier, at a recent peace march.

A few days ago in Palestine, he chose to take his advocacy for the Palestinian people from the classroom to the field. His group, completely peaceful and unarmed, except for two unruly youngsters who threw rocks, was met by an Israeli military attack[1].

In my mind there is an analogy to Gaza; Israel slaughtered more than 1400 people, mostly civilians, for Hamas rocket attacks that even according to Israeli figures, counting their own five friendly fire casualties, cost a total of 14 Israeli lives.

Nobody died on this day, but once again the military response was overwhelming.

Mazin's group tried to reason with Israeli Defense Forces, you see this clearly in the video in this report, but the soldiers were intent on halting the peace march and demonstration. Palestinians hold these events to show solidarity against Israeli policies that many say border on sub-human. It is a fact that no group of people deserve this treatment[2].

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Mazin's writing conveys the struggle of the people of Palestine; a place that has been under occupation since the late 1940's when Israel was formed. His quest for peace and non-violence is present in everything he expresses.

But simply for speaking up, he is "in trouble" and the Israeli military has already announced it is "looking" for him. These are incredible developments in our modern world. Israel has never been particularly kind to the Palestinians, and over the first twenty years, they managed to seize almost all of Palestine. The Zionist government, on the basis of a religious belief, appears intent on simply eliminating the local population so the land can be theirs lock, stock and barrel.

One Israel settler we quoted in a video, put it this way, "This is God's land, he gave it to me. We'll kill all of the Palestinians, you Nazi son of a sh*t".

Mazin wrote today after learning that the IDF came banging on the door of his home in Palestine in the middle of the night.

"The Israeli army invaded our neighborhood at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, waking up my mother, wife and sister. Heavily-armed soldiers blocked roads during 'the operation'. When my family opened the door, they demanded to see me. They were told I have already left to the US. After many more questions, they left a paper that states I am to appear at the military liaison office next Monday."

Now Mazin faces what will probably amount to several hundred dollars in fines[3].

Israeli troops fired tear gas and concussion grenades on Sunday midday at a Mass held by residents of
Beit Sahour city, southern West Bank.

He says during the early morning IDF raid on his otherwise peaceful neighborhood, his sister and wife told the soldiers that the professor will not be back by the court date they had set. All because he participated in peace activity.

"I guess I am a wanted man now for engaging in nonviolent protest! Those who were at that event and have video, please contact me. What disturbs me is not the risk to me; any action against oppression is taken knowing there are personal risks."

He says what is disturbing, is the effect on his family and thousands of friends around the world who care.

"My 76-year old mother asks on the phone that I not go back and that I work in the US for a while, a very painful suggestion for a mother to make about her only remaining son near her! I try to assure her that I have done nothing wrong and will not leave her… but she brings up many examples of people who also did not do any violence and were arrested, imprisoned, and their families had to go through a lot."

Anyone who steps out of line here is subject to the wrath of Israel's mostly unregulated military troops. A few days ago, I told you about a Palestinian restaurant/cafe owner whose established and observed policy of 'no military uniforms' got under the skin of one huffy Israeli soldier, a twenty-year old with connections. Soon came police, and then petitions, and then death threats, because armed and uniformed Israeli soldiers were not being served{4] in a place with a dress code.

People like Dr. Mazin Quimsiyeh are speaking up; individuals with brains, highly advanced world class professors charged with preparing the world's future leaders.

Does it matter?

Video of Israeli military attack on Palestinian nonviolent demonstration at Al-Masara Friday, 19 Feb.
Without warning the Israeli army shoots concussion grenades and tear gas canisters.

It certainly mattered to past brutal regimes in the world. People with minds who spoke out were taken out. It seems little changes under oppressive governments, and yet it does, if you consider how the Internet allows us to keep tabs on things in a whole new and different way.

Dr. Qumsiyeh says what is happening to him is no different from what happens to hundreds of others.

"Israel is cracking down on all popular/civil resistance activities in Palestine because: 1) There is no armed resistance now, and 2) Civil resistance is escalating and portending a new powerful uprising. Israel’s repression of dissent reinforces in our minds the importance of civil resistance and that there is a price to pay for it. Over 30 activists were arrested in Bilin over the past year, many others in Ni’lin, Al-Ma’sara and elsewhere."

He says the repression reveals the bankruptcy of the Zionist regime and its excessive paranoia that could eventually lead to its demise.

"It is paranoia inherent in the philosophical underpinnings of the ideology," Mazin said.

He explains that the ideology embraced by a subset of Jews (Zionism) simply teaches that, "we are God’s chosen people, He gave us this land, we cannot go wrong when behaving against the Goyim especially those who happen to be here when we arrived to reclaim and cleanse our lands, and International law and human rights laws do not apply to us."

Mazin said, "It is self-destructive delusions that are inculcated during early education and perpetuate the myths of uniqueness. It leads to the kind of behaviors that are now difficult to hide (the ethnic cleansing of 1948 was only the beginning). But even some Israelis are shedding these mythologies and joining the struggle. In the end, we will live together despite all this repression."

It is worth noting that Israel's attack on Gaza during the winter of 2008/2009 involved many highly documented incidences of war crimes and flagrant human rights abuses. These violations of International Law are currently under investigation in the now continuing UN investigation that was launched by Judge Richard Goldstone[5].

Mazin said, "We can’t be neutral on a moving train and there are times, whether in the US in the 1950s and 1960s or in South Africa under apartheid, when silence was indeed complicity in crime."

He is currently in the U.S. on a tour[6].

As long as Israel's leaders are willing to use high tech weaponry to wipe out civilians and later claim that they "went to extraordinary effort to avoid civilian targets" in places like Gaza, we are all doomed.

As Americans and Britons and Canadians, we are raised to only know the triumph of Israel. We learn a great deal about the slaughter of six million Jewish people by Hitler's Third Reich in school, though we hear little about the other civilian casualties.

Bright, intelligent people are being routed from their homes in Palestine every day and Israel uses bulldozers to reduce them to rubble, or they simply allow an Israeli family to move in.

Americans should contact their elected representatives and tell them what they think of Israel's suppression of speech and support of peace.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh says The BDS National Committee (BNC) is calling on you to unite in your different capacities and struggles for a Global BDS Day of Action on 30 March 2010 in solidarity with the Palestinian people and for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel: electronicintifada.net/v2/article11107.shtml

Dr. Qumsiyeh says good and relevant reading on this subject is: The Goldstone Report and the Israeli "Right of Self-Defense" By Jerome Slater - Professor Emeritus of political science, SUNY Buffalo

[1] Feb-21-2010: Israeli Troops Attack a Sunday Mass and Moral Responsibility - Mazin Qumsiyeh for Salem-News.com

[2] Feb-21-2010: Israel Falling Apart and Lashing Out - Mazin Qumsiyeh for Salem-News.com

[3] Feb-26-2010 An Encounter with Israeli 'Police' - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh for Salem-News.com

[4] Feb-27-2010: Palestinian Cafe Owner Faces Threats for 'No Uniform' Policy - Tim King Salem-News.com

[5] Mar-01-2010: The Goldstone Report and the Israeli "Right of Self-Defense" - Jerome Slater Huffington Post.

[6] Mar-01-2010: Seeking Peace for Palestine - Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

maurice March 5, 2010 4:13 am (Pacific time)

Dear Mr. King,
I disagree many (most) of your beliefs, and am personally hurt by your positions on things like 9/11. But on one thing we do agree. I do pray for peace, for all of us.

Dear Maurice, you discuss serious problems in the world with a civil tone, I appreciate that.  Shallom.

maurice March 4, 2010 4:49 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Mr. King,

It is true that Israel strictly limits what gets to Gaza through the Israeli/Gaza border. But the Egyptians let NOTHING through their border with Gaza. Do the Egyptians not care about the people of Gaza?

Tim King: Maurice, Egypt is obviously offering strong cooperation to U.S. and Israeli demands, it is sad and I can not explain.  Egypt did no favors and was terrible at times for the recent Viva Palestina Convoy that simply tried to deliver much needed aid.  But we learned from Cynthia McKinney's experience that the Israeli Navy will actually board and seize relief vessels bound for Gaza. All the things you suggest are, and I wish were happening, would indeed appease the situation.  Anything Israel did to help, would help.  I shot a story in Iraq about Israel and Jordan working together to help little Iraqi kids: Sep-21-2008 : Marine Corps, Jordan and Israel Offer Hope for Iraqi Child Heart Patients (VIDEO) - Tim King Salem-News.co  Trust me, we all want to be telling the great stories about everyone, pray for peace, inshallah  

Michael Druck March 4, 2010 3:53 pm (Pacific time)

WE do not want peace-WE want ALL of our land back as stated in the Torah/

Larry March 4, 2010 5:54 am (Pacific time)

I saw the video and I must say first that I lived in Israel for over thirty years, I spent time in the Army and worked with many Arabs who I counted as friends. I number amongst the many Jewish liberals who are increasingly growing disillusioned from today's modern liberalism is Antisemitism in new wraps.

Editor: Sorry Larry, the system cut off the second part of your comment.

maurice March 4, 2010 12:12 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Mr. King,

I noticed that while both Egypt and Israel share borders with Gaza, only Israel sends food and fuel to the Gazans. Is it possible that Israelies care more about people in Gaza than Egyptians?

Maurice: Israel has allowed almost no reconstruction material in.  Did you watch the video I suggested?  Would you please?  It is Gaza in Plain Language.  Just drop the italicized words in Google.  Our version is the fourth one on the Google page today.  I hope you realize that if it were not for this specific subject, we might have a lot in common, this means something.  The only goal is peace, with maybe a little dab of freedom tossed in.   

Vic March 4, 2010 8:08 am (Pacific time)

Maurice wrote "Let's say a foreign group was setting off bombs in Salem every day. Let's say the US knew who the bombers were and where they were. Let's say the bombers chose to hide in a densely populated civilian area. I assume you would tell your fellow Salem residents that the US should not stop the daily bombings because, after all only a few Salem residents were dying. That is what you'd say, isn't it? " When the police located serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, he was in his apartment. Did they fly over that night and drop a one ton bomb on the apartment complex, killing scores of innocent people? That is the Ameri-Israeli approach, which is evidently bases on racism...we dont do it here, but collateral damage is no big deal when it is other people in other countries, and especially if they look different.. I read yesterday where Yemen killed 43 mostly women and children in an US sponsored airstrike that killed two "terrorists". Who is the terrorist here? Yemen said they will pay compensation....how much would any of you take for your children, your loved ones? How much money would "compensate" you for having to dig the shredded remains of your children out of the rubble? Warmongers are sick people, poisoned by their own hatred and arrogance. Decent people everywhere need to get off their asses and there need to be hundreds if not thousands of arrests made soon, (without bail) or I am afraid for all of us. Am I being dramatic? I dont think so.

Nasser March 4, 2010 7:01 am (Pacific time)

While Israel has HAD all the military power, it wants Palestinian land first and foremost. While its propaganda machine churns peace, it has waged wars of expansion. It used the same excuses Hitler used to capture more land. All while claiming to be the victim. In 10-20 years they will seek peace when there will be no more land to conquer.

Anonymous March 4, 2010 5:22 am (Pacific time)

larry...1400 people were killed. 1400. they were brutally murdered with white phosphorous and F-16's dropping bombs on them. they had no shelter. your argument that they were being used as 'human shields' is simply ignorant at best. your statement that 'israel has not and never willtarget children, again is ignorant. they do it EVERY day. little babies even. your statement that 'terrorists' kill women, children and tourists indiscriminately' is TRUE...however, it is true of what ISRAEL is doing. so, using your logic, then one can safely assume that Israel is a terrorist nation. you really need to stop parking yourself in front of the zionist owned media and find out the truth. cuz you have been brainwashed.

maurice March 4, 2010 5:04 am (Pacific time)

Dear Mr. King, On 9/11/2001 thousands of Americans were killed by members of a foreign group. Since then there have been several attempts by that group to bomb American cities and planes. The American government, in its attempt to protect you, has killed, and continues to kill, civilians in other countries. You have said that this is wrong, that Americans should be willing to die rather than kill others. I am eagerly awaiting your articles calling on America to stop defending you and all other Americans.

Tim King: Maurice, can we stop this already?  You know I don't believe that an Islamic terrorist group with nothing in the world to gain had much to do with it, maybe they had something to do with it, but if you follow the money trail it leads back to the star of David.  The U.S. didn't benefit from the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.  Nobody did, but it scaled the opposition to Israel down a little.  And now the surprise slam of all; Haliburton is doing business with Iran.  What a twisted world, not that I blame Iran for wanting to profit, but they compromise their position in the world by working with people like Cheney.  

Maurice March 4, 2010 4:26 am (Pacific time)

Dear Mr. King, Isn't Hamas committed by political charter to the destruction of the state of Israel?

Tim King: Well your uncle Neti is elected and manages to stay in office, and most of the world agrees that Israel is a sponsor of terrorist action like what took place at Gaza, and so many places in the occupied territories every day, why doesn't the elected group Hamas have any credence if you guys do?  Hamas and other groups are a reaction to the occupation and all of the bloodshed among Palestinians, that is pretty easy for most people to see.  

STOP THE INSANITY March 3, 2010 8:39 pm (Pacific time)

did it ever occur to that settler who said, "This is God's land, he gave it to me. We'll kill all of the Palestinians, you Nazi son of a sh*t", the HE IS THE ONE ACTING LIKE A NAZI??? HE IS DOING THE EXACT SAME THING THAT THE NAZI'S DID IN WWII... the zionists ARE the nazi's.

Larry March 3, 2010 8:02 pm (Pacific time)

Those little children targeted by the bombs of the IDF?  Come on NOW!  Israel never has and never will target children. This is lie. Israelis target terrorists who hide behind children, who launch missiles from schools. Why not complain to Hamas about this?  You are totally seeing one side.  Terrorists kill children, woman and tourists indiscriminately, does this bother you? Yet you 'claim' that Israel targets children, this is an unsubstantiated claim made by the terrorists to justify their killing totally innocent people. No I am sorry. This article is totally one sided and an insult to intelligent readers.

Tim King: No offense Larry, but if there are two sides here, one is the human race and one is Israel.  You are either another Israeli government person paid to troll these pages and post lies, or you are completely in the dark about what is really taking place.  So, if you would please, watch this video narrated by Joe Mowery and then reevaluate the way you think about it, I appreciate it, thanks: Gaza in Plain Language (VIDEO) - Anthony Lawson Special to Salem-News.com   

Maurice March 3, 2010 6:07 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Mr. King,
You did not answer my question.

Dear Maurice, I answered it in the story.  You ask me to compare apples and oranges, and I can't enertain impossible scenarios.  I am not part of a religious extremist group (Zionist) that thinks it can treat people like caged animals, and wonders why they are bitten from time to time.   

Co-Existence? March 3, 2010 11:23 am (Pacific time)

Complacency and appeasement on the part of the ...

I don't know what you ate for lunch today you sick little bigot, but don't even try to spread your hate of Muslims or any other religion here.  The only people causing problems are the Israelis. 

Larry March 3, 2010 10:02 am (Pacific time)

Would you think that this is an impartial article or that the author has a axe to swing at Israel?
In my mind there is an analogy to Gaza; Israel slaughtered more than 1400 people, mostly civilians, for Hamas rocket attacks that even according to Israeli figures, counting their own five friendly fire casualties, cost a total of 14 Israeli lives.
end quote.
Does Israel not have the right to defend itself? Must we play number games? You guys killed only x so we can only kill x too?
In WWI and WWII did we condemn the Allies who killed enemy civilians? It is part of being on "their" side!
If the people in Gaza do not support Hamas and terror, let them demonstrate, the fact that they do not demonstrate means that they are most likely very happy with their rulers. Like the Nazis and the civilians who supported them.
It is an embarrassment for the Salem News to have such one sided article.

Tim King: Larry, I appeal to your sense of human decency, speak up about what is right, don't keep beating the war drum.  The 'people' of Gaza, do you really want me to get into this?  Those little children targeted by the bombs of the IDF?  You can actually justify this and sleep at night?  You don't think Israel overreacts?  Just accept that Israel specifically targets civilians, and that it is responsible for a number of war crimes.  You can deny it forever but you still can't change it.

When I grew up in LA one thing was clear, if you messed with a gang member, you paid big with the whole gang. 

A gang member picks on somebody, the individual goes into self defense mode, and ultimately receives the wrath of the whole gang.  You're darned right I have an ax to grind because I'm a human being and I have seen some pretty bad examples of war and death and hatred and oppression and environmental damage.  I believe Israel's actions are at the crossroads of our future as a planet and as a people.  There are many Iraeli's who agree.  Please consider this, and know that all of our writers speak out about Israeli policy; in the end everyone has a right to exist.  The settlements must stop, you have to leave what is left of Palestine as a start, but I don't think your country has interest in anything but killing and oppressing and I fear that it is a justified attempt at genocide.  This must be stopped. 

Maurice March 3, 2010 5:25 am (Pacific time)

I was intrigued by your comment on 'Cast Lead'.
I wanted to try a little thought experiment.
Let's say a foreign group was setting off bombs in Salem every day. Let's say the US knew who the bombers were and where they were. Let's say the bombers chose to hide in a densely populated civilian area. I assume you would tell your fellow Salem residents that the US should not stop the daily bombings because, after all only a few Salem residents were dying. That is what you'd say, isn't it?

Tim King: Well, did you start by referencing the blockade that had been in place for two years and the fact that the people are treated like caged animals.  Did you mention the IDF soldiers in towers shooting sniper bullets at little old ladies and small children trying to get to school?  Did you mention the excessive violations of international law?  Dod you mention that the people are living under Israel's laws of racism.  You see this would never happen here because Americans are not allowed by law to treat people the way Israeli's treat Palestinians, we would be locked up and the key thrown away.  I wonder if there is any hope at all when the majority of Israel's people seem so happy to never wash their hands of the blood their government spills.  Of course there are plenty of good Israeli people who are well intended, but we don't hear enough from them.  They probably fear that the IDF will take them away in the middle of the night.  Oh year, did you mention the theft of land?  But the funniest thing you wrote was about 'a foreign group'.  You see we have Native Americans and you have Palestinians and none of the above are foreign.  

Sigismond (Michel-Hervé Naviseau-Be March 3, 2010 1:46 am (Pacific time)

Peace cannot exist in land of circumcision, spanking and claps..., which means the whole earth!

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