Sunday May 19, 2013
The Global Uprising Begins to Take ShapeDr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com
The choices we make must be rooted in morality, justice, and caring for one another especially the most vulnerable sectors of our society.
(BETHLEHEM) - Watching the tragic unfolding events around the world from starvation in Somalia to rioting in London, we are not feeling vindicated but merely sad and angry.
For a long time many of us said that the increasing chasm between the rich and the poor (the haves and the have nots) has grown to obscene levels. The Soviet Union had in many ways replaced the chasm between workers and owners of capital to a chasm between elites of the communist system and millions of impoverished people.
But the cold war had kept the rains externally on unrestrained privatization and capitalism in the third world. Once the Soviet Union collapsed, a vacuum was created and the greedy capitalists moved in. In the privatization mania in the 1990s, wealth of nations was replaced with debts of nations. With the help of the IMF and the world bank (some with key connections to Israel), third world countries were saddled with debts that were in some cases many times the size of the GDP of those countries.
But the capitalist mania effected countries large and small.
In Russia, the phenomenon stripped Russia of its natural wealth to put billions in the hands of oligarchs, most of them ended up in Israel as Russia tried to reclaim some of its plundered wealth. In Greece, the debt and government expenditures could not be sustained by the tourism industry (itself shrinking world-wide as the middle class shrinks). Spain, Portugal, and Italy also have problems.
In the Arab world, the Arab spring turned into a bloody summer. Dictators thought that if they were more brutal they could survive longer than the dictators of Egypt and Tunisia. But people also have no clear alternatives and some of these revolutions need to take time to hold meetings and plan for the day after (the post regime collapse).
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (family is from the US) had pushed for privatization in his first term in office in 1996 and 1997 and continued now with his extreme right-wing coalition. The more moderate and reasonable Israelis saw the damage this was inflicting and now, a small uprising ensued (300,000 out on the streets). Protesters just gave their demands which include social and economic equality. The Israeli stock market plunged in line with the plunging stock markets around the world. There is a price to be paid for spending billions on apartheid walls while 25% of your population lives below the poverty line.
There ia a price to be paid when the US wages a $3 trillion war on Iraq (to control oil and to help Zionism) and other costly wars on Afghanistan, costly help to Israel, and more. The US racks in debt and lives beyond its means (as China rightly points out). The value of the US dollar plunges and gold which is now $1754/ounce will keep going up. Around the world, prices of commodities and basics (food, housing etc) goes up while incomes do not even grow as fast as inflation. Worse is yet to come as countries grabble with the widening social and economic gaps brought about by misplaced priorities that allocate trillions to the military and leaves crumbs for food, education, and healthcare.
As the world spirals seemingly out of control, millions of Palestinians are remarkably quiet and philosophical about these things. We Palestinians used to lead social transformation and provide models for transformation and challenging oppressive regimes. The PLO leadership used to help mediate conflicts around the world but under the new unelected leadership, they cannot even solve the conflicts between Fatah and Hamas (a prerequisite for moving forward). It seems that after decades of challenging the system, the older generation of Palestinians got tired and weary. But a new generation inevitably arises. This happened repeatedly with each uprising; so far 15 or more uprisings, waves that are 7-15 years apart. But still, many people rightly see peace here as critical to peace around the world. This is not only because it is so obscenely wrong to keep denying 11 million people their basic human rights. It is also because billions around the world believe in Christianity and Islam and they will not continue to allow few Zionists in power centers to foment conflict and war to avoid facing reality.
We are in the middle of a transition in global power, a global intifada that I spoke of in my messages and articles last year. The old centers of global power (in Russia, Europe, North America and by extension Eurocentric Ashkenazi Israel) will lose power and new emerging powers will take place. It is a shift from the Northern to the southern hemisphere. All global transitions in power in the past 4000 years involved tremendous dislocation and pain and upheaval. Population trends (aging among Euro-Caucasian populations around the world, growing in other countries) and the global environmental impending Nakba will accelerate the trend. As activists who care about fellow human beings and about earth must help move things in the right direction by minimizing the pain of transition while not standing in its way.
For those who are religious, they can take scriptures that deal with that and disregard the fanatical scriptures of their religions. From the Torah, they can take "What does god require of us: to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God" and discard the tribalistic notions where God gives license to murder the other. From the New Testament take the sermon on the mount and things like “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called Children of God” and ignore the notions of unique salvation only through certain beliefs. From the Quran, take the statements about no compulsion in religion and disregard the notions of religious superiority. For those who are not religious, a reading of history and social transformations can show indeed the natural transformation of societies and give equally valuable lessons. We can emphasize how we achieved good things such as ending slavery and ending many wars and gaining civil and women rights.
The choices we make must be rooted in morality, justice, and caring for one another especially the most vulnerable sectors of our society. We do have an untapped reservoir of ingenuity, resources, and beauty to more than make-up for the ugliness around. Humanity that creates great science, great art, great music, and great social movements surely can cope. We just have to believe in each other and more importantly act on our beliefs.
Action item: 81 US congressmen are visiting "Israel" to pander to the lobby. Ask your congressman to come visit us in the ghettos and the refugee camps.
THE ONLY HOPE: A Palestinian Revolution By: Gulamhusein A. Abba http://defyingsilence.blogspot.com/2011/08/only-
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: qumsiyeh.org.
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