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May-17-2011 01:37printcommentsVideo

Is Israel Waging a Military Assault on Intellectuals?

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh has been arrested again by Israeli occupational forces. - Originally published in May 2011.

Israeli Harassment of Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Photo titled: 'Harassment of Qumsiyeh'
Courtesy: DesertPeace

(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.

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.

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.

Targeting Intellectuals

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:

>

May-17-2011: Is Israel Waging a Military Assault on Intellectuals? - Tim King Salem-News.com

May-15-2011: Demand the Release of Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh and Others - Salem-News.com

Dec-22-2010: Israelis Arrest Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh and Others Again During Peaceful Protest - J. Qumsiyeh for Salem-News.com

Jun-11-2010: Israeli Forces Release Distinguished Educator Under Threat of Future Harm - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

Jun-09-2010 Salem-News.com Writer Arrested After Protest Near Bethlehem - Tim King Salem-News.com

May-09-2010: Israeli Occupation Forces Arrest Former Yale Professor - Mazin Qumsiyeh for Salem-News.com

Mar-02-2010: Israel Does Not Give Peace a Chance - Tim King Salem-News.com

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."

Stranger than fiction Order Now

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.

Apartheid

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 second trick, especially beloved by the Meretz Party and other "leftist" hypocrites, is to campaign for and then pass a high-sounding law in favor of equality or human rights. Such laws, however, always contain one little paragraph stating that their provisions will not affect any laws or regulations enacted in the past. The high-sounding preambles of the new laws then can be solemnly quoted without mentioning that since discriminatory laws and rules were passed in the 1950s and early 1960s (by Labor, of course), the new laws cannot change the existing discrimination. When one understands those two tricks, one comprehends that Israeli laws, and even more so government regulations on all possible subjects, are full of discriminatory measures which, if employed against Jews anywhere else in the world, would be regarded as anti-Semitic.

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.

Nov-10-2010: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied - Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD. Salem-News.com

Nov-03-2010: Come to Al-Walaja Friday and to Palestine this Christmas - Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

Aug-21-2010: Viva, Viva Negotiations! - Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD Salem-News.com

Aug-14-2010: First Friday of Ramadan: When 5 Seconds Seems Like Five Minutes - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD Salem-News.com

Aug-08-2010: Follow Up on Incident at Al-Walaja - Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD Salem-News.com

Jun-22-2010: Popular Resistance Continues at Home and Abroad - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

Jun-08-2010: Soldiers Uproot Agricultural Lands Near Bethlehem - Salem-News.com

May-25-2010: Bob Birch Reports from Palestine's Occupied Territories - Bob Birch Special to Salem--News.com

May-22-2010: Arrests and Injuries at Al-Ma'sara - Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

May-08-2010: Palestine's Popular Resistance Continues - Mazin Qumsiyeh for Salem-News.com

Apr-14-2011: Human Rights: Optimism and Change - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

Jan-16-2010: Tunisia and Reshaping the Arab World - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

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.

_________________________________________________________

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

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 awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), 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. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Egypt June 2, 2011 3:25 am (Pacific time)

Home run! Great slugging with that aneswr!


jgrosman May 18, 2011 7:13 pm (Pacific time)

I can not believe that you are so full of hate. Do you hate anyone else beside Jews? I think that it is funny that when you can not argue with the facts you attach me. I hope for you a better life.

Editor: You know you're the one excusing and minimizing Israel's hate crimes, you make no sense frankly.  I just published a story out of Cairo from our writer there who explains how Norm Finklestein worked with other activists trying to storm the Israeli embassy and take their flag.  It's time to wake up and smell the coffee and get on the right side of this fight.  I hate suffering, I hate indifference, I hate lies, I hate Genocide.  Is that not OK with you?  Stop your whiny 'picking on the Jews' crap because you know that isn't the case.  It is about the way Israel treats people it needs to fairly share space with.  How is this complicated?  I hate no people because of their religion.  I don't believe this is a problem relating to Jewish people, this is a problem relating to Zionist politics.  You can't have your cake and eat it too, sorry.  And for the record, I am a student of the Second World War and might just know more about the Jewish tragedy than you and I never, ever minimize that terrible event.  


jgrosman May 18, 2011 3:22 pm (Pacific time)

To Editor; I have never had to talk with someone so full of hate. If you can listen lets discuss this like humans that want peace. "Jews are people of law". Jews follow the Torah and the Torah is the laws we live by. They have not changed sense the time of Moses. We read the laws every day of our lives. Our mission it to teach the rest of the people the laws of G-d, not fly airplanes into buildings.

 Editor: I can't believe we have to walk through all of this.  First, again, neither you nor I can judge all people who are Jewish, or Muslim, or Christian,, as they are individuals and there are good and bad people among them.  I actually think in you are being racist right from the top.  I know great people and I have known horrible people of all faiths.  The most dangerous of all are those who parade behind religion as if it is some kind of protective cloak.  Second, a growing number of millions of US residents do not believe that Arabs had very much to do with flying into buildings, and those who did were Saudi, does anyone remember that part?  Usama bin Laden is Saudi, they are allies of Israel and the U.S.  What gives?

If you have an open mind then you would see that. The man Mazin Qumsiyeh was at a fence where he protested to the army there. He made trouble. He was arrested. He is given a summons and must show up on his date of the summons. He fled. That is how laws work in the U.S. and that is how they work in Israel.

 Editor: You know that every Friday peaceful protesters are arrested in the occupied areas, I can't believe you accept this as 'the law'.  In '36 being friends with a Jew in Germany was illegal, do you really justify unfair and unconscionable rules as OK simply because they are 'law'?  I wonder if you even read this article.  The 1998 excerpt shows how even the greatest sounding Israeli civil rights laws are mired by the fact that they do not supersede existing law.  That is your apartheid law and it is inexcusable.  Really, shame on you.  And especially for referring to this distinguished professor as 'the man Mazin Qumsiyeh'.  Don't think I miss your utterly demeaning tone.  

You say "Occupied Palestine" well who in the last 2000 years was their president? What money did they use? What language did they speak. There is not such thing as Palestine. There never was, just nomad Arabs.

 Editor: You are a Zionist racist.  

When you say "Jews consider themselves superior to non-Jew", I have been a Jew for 65 years and have never been tough that, maybe it is in your mind and you are just jealous of Jews. Maybe that is what is fueling your hate.

Editor: I hate the way our writer was treated, it is a violation of international law, where does that leave you?  For God's sake, people of Jewish heritage should be the first to stand up for humanity, you fail at this.

Some facts that you might not like are that Arabs make up one third of the college students in Israel. Arabs are also doctors, bankers and members of the Knesset.

Editor: Oh we know about Arab Knesset members, however I doubt that you know very much.  They are virtually powerless, Hanin Zoabi was aboard the Mavi Marmara last year pleading for the IDF thugs to allow medical care for their wounded.  The Israelis refused, people laid there in front of them and bled to death.  Be glad you have made it 65 years, most Palestinians will never get close to that age thanks to Israel.  I hate Israel's lack of humanity.

Arabs are a big part of the Israel society and would not like to live in any Arab country according to the latest polls. That does not sound like apartheid. Arabs are killing their own people in most of the Arab world at this time. The question must therefore be asked: how can Israel be expected to make peace with an enemy that denies even its very right to exist and is committed to the elimination of the Jewish state? Where did you come up with all your hate?

Editor: Arabs are discriminated against in every segment of society.  Those who are Israeli citizens sometimes are better off, so what.  There is nothing close to equity and our readers know this well.  Why don't you start by striking down your laws of separation, then boot those religious fanatics with their settler terrorist training cells out of Palestine, then keep going, draw back to the 1967 borders, because that is what you are going to do.  


JGrosman May 18, 2011 7:13 am (Pacific time)

A news organization is know for its reporters. Reporters only report news, not make it up. Reporters always just report and do not push one side or the other. This was so one-sided that it go to bad journalism. Traitors are traitors anywhere. If you are given a summons to appear in court, it is your obligation to be there, if not a arrest warrant is issued. Jews are people of the law. Try to get your facts correct. If you are not from Israel and commit a violation of the law you should be arrested. I do not want trouble makers here. If Israel was an Apartheid then why are one third of the students in college Arabs? Why are there Arabs in the Knesset? Why did the Salem-News let this piece of garbage be printed?

Editor: Why don't you try to comprehend that Israel's mission is one of madness and cruelty?  'Jews are people of the law'- what is that supposed to mean?  You think you can classify all Jewish people with the stroke of a pen?  I happen to know plenty of people who are Jewish that would wholeheartedly disagree with you.  This article is not one sided at all, sort of like how telling the story of the Holocaust is not one-sided.  It is fact, that's the breaks. 


jimmy May 17, 2011 2:28 pm (Pacific time)

Well, it worked for the Soviet Union didn't it? Oh, wait...

Editor: You're right on target Jimmy.

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