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Mar-18-2010 13:47printcomments

Israeli Apartheid Continues

Together we are making a difference despite the oppression and together we can effect real change in our circumstances.

West Bank Protest photo by Dexter Phoenix
West Bank Protest photo by Dexter Phoenix

(BETHLEHEM) - The Israeli military finally constructed the watchtower in Ush Ghrab in the middle of our town of Beit Sahour today. An ugly reminder to us of the apartheid military power and an eye-sore too.

News also indicates that the army decided to declare areas of Bilin and Nilin as closed military zones on Friday so that they try to prevent the weekly demonstrations.

The occupation army today injured 10 demonstrators including some with live bullets (I always hated this term for neither the bullets nor those who fire them know anything about the value of life).

They also arrested an activist with the Popular Campaign from the village of Al-Masara, 25-year old Omar Ala' Edin. There is hardly a day that goes by without such injustices that some in the outside world only hear about through the internet and others never hear about it.

But we also see acts of heroism and self-sacrifice daily that go unreported. The dignified resistance starts by refusing to succumb in one's own heart. After all, if you accept injustice and believe in powerlessness, then you have already lost the struggle before it starts.

Many refuse to accept the injustice and thus are instrumental in keeping the hope alive and the fires of the struggles burning. This can progress to acts of solidarity and support. I meet many internationals daily in Palestine who care deeply about what is going on. The Tree of Life group that was here Sunday was a blessing to us (see:

Families in Beit Sahour hosted them in their homes and many life-long friendships were made. Several other groups come to learn and support the people struggling to hang on to what is left of our land. Many locals engage in activism and it does work. As an example, the initial work to prepare for the watchtower was done weeks ago. The time to put the tower today only took less than two hours. Why the delay? The answer is clearly related to the resistance encountered at the site. Why the timing today? Because there was a division about best tactics to respond between the popular campaign and a city official. There are lessons to be drawn from this as from a long history of popular resistance in Palestine. The lessons are: we must act, we must act strongly, and we must do it regardless of "politics" (in its banal sense). It is possible to act from wherever you are and by whatever tool available to you: speaking, writing, blogging, demonstrating, boycotting, shouting, singing, whispering, dancing, helping… We have great opportunities and significant openings; e.g. letters about settlements and Israel's apartheid policies are more read and published now. Together we are making a difference despite the oppression and together we can effect real change in our circumstances.

Action: Stop the Wall and are organizing the first international Israeli apartheid short film contest. Please consider making and submitting a film to this contest. For more information go to:

Background: Is Israel an Apartheid State?

View: A powerful speech by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb

Open Letter: to Mazin Qumsiyeh from Howard Cort

Mazim Qumsiyet [sic], una storia di resistenza che nasce dai libri (in Italian)

Video from a Spanish group about Mazin's visit to Spain: Vídeo donde se ve al profesor Qumsiyeh en una acción:

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Popular Committee to Defend Ush Ghrab (PCDUG)
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home

HumanRights newsletter:


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:

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