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Mar-20-2011 14:55printcommentsVideo

'I Shall Not Hate'

Israel apartheid week is packed with events and the opposition is not able to mobilize against it.

Boy in Palestine
Courtesy: tadamon.ca

(BETHLEHEM) - Israel apartheid week with events in over 100 cities around the world is going great (see http://apartheidweek.org/).  I participated already in some of the events and will join others (see my schedule at http://www.qumsiyeh.org/upcomingevents/).

Events are packed and the opposition is not able to mobilize even among Zionist Jews in America.  The few Zionists holdouts are getting smaller in number though they still try to do some damage by attacking and insulting people. Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun had his house attacked by extremist Zionists for the third time.

The reason this time is the award Tikkun made to Richard Goldstone of South Africa. But the geopolitical shift is happening and is unstoppable. People around the world decried the shameful behavior of Hilary Clinton and the Obama administration support of the Saudi invasion of Bahrain (intended to save a murderous dictatorial regime)

The many workshops on Palestine at the Left Forum are filled with Jewish and other voices speaking for human rights and against the apartheid system (nearly 3000 are attending here in New York, see http://www.leftforum.org/).

In other good news, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated (inspired by Arab uprisings elsewhere) demanding elections to the Palestinian national council and real unity for Palestinian rights.  Both Hamas and Fatah tried unsuccessfully to co-opt the message of the demonstrators (most not affiliated with ANY Palestinian faction) who promised to up the pressure. (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12742761).

On the road, we met so many new people who are becoming involved in activism for human rights and justice. But travel also gives us time to read and reflect while on the many planes, trains etc. I finished reading the book ”I shall not hate” by Dr. Izzeldine Abueleish on the trip from Cleveland to Philadelphia.  It is a remarkable book about his life and about the murder of his three daughters and his niece, one of the few cases when such tragedy appeared on Israeli television. See this video about the tragedy of this family.

In one part of his book, Izzeldine writes ”We have to find the light that guides us to our goal. I’m not talking about the light of religious faith here but light as a symbol of truth.  The light that allows you to see, to clear away the fog- to find wisdom.

To find the light of truth, you have to talk to, listen to, and respect each other. Instead of wasting energy on hatred, use it to open your eyes and see what is really going on.” When I finished the book and arrived in Philadelphia, our hosts Mary and Roger Allen had a book laying out titled “Peace Prayers: Meditations, Affirmations, invocations, poems, and prayers for Peace”.  The first was remarkably this relevant poem by W. H. Auden:

Defenseless under the night

Our world in stupor lies

Yet, dotted everywhere,

Ironic points of light

Flash out wherever the Just

Exchange their messages:

May I, composed like them

Of Eros and of dust,

Beleaguered by the same

Negation and despair,

Show an affirming flame


Examples of other good actions by affirming flames from around the world

Monday is the beginning of Israel apartheid week in Connecticut (USA) http://mecc.thestruggle.org/iaw2011

Join Birthright unplugged travel July 10-16 in Palestine http://www.birthrightunplugged.org/unplugged/application

Join the events July 8-16 in Palestine http://www.palestinejn.org

In Brussels a checkpoint was set up in the middle of town. The actors are very convincing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9JphTB2V_Y&feature=player_embedded#at=234

Belgian activists made a blockade to protest import of Israeli produce by Agrexco!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnC10zFu1rA&feature=player_embedded#at=279

Roger Waters about his decision to respect the call for cultural boycott of Israel: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/11/cultural-boycott-west-bank-wall

======================================================

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.




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