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Feb-16-2011 18:03printcomments

Echos of History, Paths to the Future

A new intifada/uprising is due here in Palestine against Israeli colonialism.

Palestine women
Courtesy: d3mha.com

(BETHLEHEM) - Who wrote this and when: "I have been keeping up with the situation in Egypt, and as you know this is one of the most important issues in world today. It will determine whether we live in peace or whether we will die in war. Naturally my sympathies are with Egypt, rather than with the Western Colonial and imperial powers."

Answer: Martin Luther King, Jr., letter to Jimmy Bishai, 7 January 1957 in context of tripartite (France, England, Israel) aggression on Egypt (http://www.qumsiyeh.org/martinlutherking). A translated version of a 50 years old comic book relating the non-violent civil disobedience movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. was distributed throughout Tahrir Square in Egypt.

In Egypt on 11 November 1918, Saad Zaghloul and other grassroots leaders asked the new British occupation forces to permit the development of an Egyptian leadership with a view to independence. When this was rejected, these leaders collected over two million signatures which endorsed a new leadership anyway. The British responded by arresting the leaders and this led to general strikes and massive demonstrations; a popular uprising.

This accelerated in 1919 and continued until 1922 when the British finally allowed the formation of an Egyptian constitutional government, albeit ruled by a monarch friendly to British interests. But today, the Egyptian people will only accept a government of and by the people.

I received so many calls and hundreds of emails from fellow activists in Palestine saying Mabruk (congratulations) about Egypt. We rightly feel validated, elated, gratified, and happy because an end of repressive and corrupt regimes allied with the US Israel would finally make governments accountable to people.

Egypt and Tunisia together are a quarter of the Arab world (Lebanon is also democratic so that is nearly a third down, two thirds to go). Algeria, Yemen, and Bahrain are starting now. People demand not only an end to dictatorships in their countries but an end to their governments’ acquiescence in apartheid policies. And when the support for Israeli apartheid from the West ends, democracy will be easier to spread to countries like Iran and Syria (that pulls a major leg of popular support for them).

It will be hard to predict sequence of change but my guess is that Israel and its western backers may come later in the game of popular revolts. A new intifada/uprising is due here in Palestine against Israeli colonialism. There is a god likelihood of a global uprising this year or next. Israeli right-wing government is trying to act ahead of that by outlawing boycotts and by shooting and jailing nonviolent protesters; they just passed a law in the "Knesset" to levy heavy fines on Israeli citizens who call or promote the boycotts (See last item below).

Israel still holds hundreds of political prisoners. To respond we must intensify our popular uprisings everywhere including using boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS, see http://www.bdsmovement.net ). The 21st century will be the century of popular revolts. By the end of it, concentration of wealth in the hands of a few while billions live below poverty lines will be ended. Wars will be ended. And we will address the environmental problems that face us that our governments and corporations created by their greed. We are charting a path to the future. You can either join us, fight us, or get out of the way.

Rallies throughout Occupied Palestine in Solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia by Hanadi Omar and Mazin Qumsiyeh http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/oq060211.html (about the first demonstration in Bethlehem)
In Solidarity with Egypt, Fifty Gather in Bethlehem's Nativity Square http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?Itemid=59&id=9515&option=com_content&task=view

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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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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.




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