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Is Israel Waging a Military Assault on Intellectuals?Tim King Salem-News.com
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh has been arrested again by Israeli occupational forces. - Originally published in May 2011.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Yesterday we reported the arrest of Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Salem-News.com writer and high profile educator and peace activist in Occupied Palestine, who in the past has been a professor at both Yale and Harvard.
It seems clear that Israel fears no boundaries, and that occupational forces are acting with a blatant disregard for even their own public image.
More than the fact that arresting peaceful men for speaking out is unconscionable; there seems to be a particular level of vengeance connected with this case.
According to what we are hearing, he will be released soon, though two other activists arrested with him who were American, were released while Dr. Qumsiyeh remained in custody.
Lawyers in Palestine say Mazin and two other Palestinians will be released on bail within the coming hours.
Their cases will be reviewed later, and if there is no evidence to bring charges then the case will close and bail money returned.
Mazin's family advised:
"We can all breathe a sigh of relief now. Your support and prayers meant so much to our family and made us strong. We thank each and every one of you. Next message hopefully will be coming from Mazin himself. In the meantime, our work continues until the rest of them are free."
Salem-News.com published contact information for the Israeli embassy in yesterday's report, urging readers to contact embassy staff in their respective countries and demand that the professor be released.
At one point it was relayed via the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, that:
"They are aware of the many calls people made calling for Mazin’s release. They said at this moment, any additional calls would not change Mazin’s status."
However, it appears that may not have been the case.
We continue to be horrified and amazed that Israel targets intellectuals in this way, but then the first thing the Nazi's did to Jewish resistance was to eliminate the ranks of academics and journalists.
This is the way of oppressive occupational armies that believe they are part of a supreme race. There is no reason to mince words over it. Zionist Jews consider themselves superior to non-Jews, or 'goyam', and a lower species, here to serve the needs of Zionist Jews.
We're talking about a wide breadth of humanity who doesn't qualify. Problems in Israel don't stop there either. Dark complected Jews receive a lower level of regard and in some cases they are not allowed to attend schools with white Jewish students. There are many reported assaults and worse on Jews of color in Israel.
This is not the first time Mazin has been arrested for participating in peace protests in occupied Palestine. We have in fact reported a number of prior arrests, all within the span of just over a year:
Does anyone else see a pattern here? He had never been arrested in his life, and then all of a sudden, while touring the U.S. in March 2010, Mazin learned that:
"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 U.S. After many more questions, they left a paper that states I am to appear at the military liaison office next Monday."
It only got worse from there, and the fact that they did this when he was on tour is even more of an insult.
During the early morning IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) 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- that was their only beef with him.
He said at the time, back in March 2010, that was really disturbed him was 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 U.S. 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."
That is everyday life for Palestinians, but Americans need to comprehend that the most accomplished professors here, people who would normally be granted a great deal of respect, are treated brutally and illegally. This is a message from Israel; that it doesn't matter who we are talking about, it only matters that they are Palestinian or on the side of Palestine. Rally for humanity and the Israeli government will strike you down one way or another. We always have to remember though that this is not the greater population of Israel.
Hope from Israel
It is important to note that the Israeli population is not all Zionist, and a growing contingent of Jews are standing up and speaking out over the terrible inhumane treatment of Palestinians.
Equally important is the fact that hundreds and hundreds of young Israelis are imprisoned for refusing to be a part of their oppressive military system. Israel is such a militant government that every single individual is forced to enter the Israeli Apartheid Forces at the age of 18.
Nakba - Palestine's Continuing Catastrophe
The Palestinian catastrophe, known as the 'Nakba' began sixty three years and one day ago, when Israel became independent and began an ethnic cleansing program of indigenous Palestinian people. It was at a demonstration where people object verbally and peacefully to these policies, on this historic day, where Dr. Qumsiyeh was arrested.
In Israel, speech can be a crime.
In Israel, laws are specifically designed to discriminate against Palestinians, people exactly like Professor Qumsiyeh, whom in my opinion, is one of the world's greatest champions for peace and fairness.
For anyone who isn't familiar with Israel's practices, a simple answer is to watch this highly informative documentary called Occupation 101 which features another highly valued Salem-News.com writer, Allison Weir of IfAmericansOnlyKnew.com.
The very best thing you can possibly do, is stop what you are doing and watch this riveting, compelling documentary about Israel's occupation of Palestine.
The problems are far from new, and in fact they are as old as Israel itself, which is a diaper laden infant of a country that badly needs to be changed.
In the January/February 1998 edition of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Dr. Israel Shahak wrote in the article Israeli Discrimination Against Non-Jews Is Carefully Codified in State of Israel's Laws:
The legal system of the State of Israel can be described as a weird mixture of advanced democracy and retrogressive discrimination, combined with clumsy attempts to hide the discriminatory reality. For example, in all Israeli laws except one, the Law of Return, the word "Jew" does not appear. The term employed when the law gives discriminatory privileges to Jews is that those privileges are granted to "persons who would have benefited from the Law of Return had they been outside the borders of Israel." The Law of Return specifies that its benefits can be given only to Jews. However, Israeli propagandists calculate, correctly in my view, that a great majority of the opponents of discrimination would not dare to criticize this law.
The problems Mazin and so many others are wrestling with today, date all the way back to Israel's conception, as Dr. Shahak described above.
They were wrong and unacceptable in a human sense then, and today this unwarranted apartheid legal system of Israel's runs totally afoul of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
The bottom line is that people all over the world are watching this treatment of Dr. Qumsiyeh like hawks. All will remain vigilant and I suspect I am far from the only one who will continue to write about this frequently. It all serves as a distraction from the point Professor Qumsiyeh has been trying to make about the very place where he was arrested: Al- Wahala. The reports about this place are numerous and tragic and it seems proper that we list not all, but just some of the stories we have carried about this historic Palestinian town whose people deserve to live in peace, but have no such luck.
More on Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities.
He served on the board/steering/executive committees of a number of groups including Peace Action Education Fund, the US Campaign to End the Occupation, the Palestinian American Congress, Association for One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine, and BoycottIsraeliGoods.org.
He is now president of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour. He advised many other groups including Sommerville Divestment Project, Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project, Palestine Freedom Project, Sabeel North America, and National Council of Churches of Christ USA. He is an active member of a number of human rights groups (Amnesty, Peace action, Human Rights Watch, ACLU etc.).
He published several books the most acclaimed of which is "Sharing the Land of Canaan: human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle" which was also translated to spanish.
He also has an activism book published electronically on his web site (http://qumsiyeh.org). His main interest is media activism and public education. He published over 200 letters to the editor and 100 op-ed pieces and interviewed in TV and radio extensively (local, national and international). Appearances in national media included the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, CNBC, C-Span, and ABC, among others. He also regularly lectures on issues of human rights and international law. He has a new book out shortly titled “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment" which reviews resistance going back to the beginning of the Zionist project in the 19th century until today.
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