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Mar-27-2014 17:43printcomments

Human Rights in USA, Canada and More...

The Israeli Knesset passed more laws to discriminate and intensified its repression and denial of rights while the Arab governments exchanged more flowery language about supporting Palestine in their "summit".

Israeli Knesset
Israeli Knesset Photo:

(BETHLEHEM) - I leave Palestine to the USA and Canada (West Coasts) Saturday. I will be speaking at a few venues about human rights and why I am (still) optimistic about our common humanity.  My tentative schedule is posted here

I feel guilty to leave for I am always glad to be in Palestine despite the difficulties. Sharing in sad events and in good events both help me stay sane. Just today (Wednesday), we buried my uncle Fawzi (the last of six brothers on my father's side).

I felt very sad but also strangely comforted by the family unity with dozens of my cousins all around supporting each other. I felt sad as Palestinian factional leaders traded accusations as Israeli forces invaded Jenin Refugee camp and killed 21 year old Hamza AbuHaija (of Hamas, father and brother in Israeli jail), Yazan Jabarin (16 year old from Fatah), and Mohammad AbuZaina (23 year old from Islamic Jihad).

But thousands attended their funeral and people here show solidarity in ways totally unexpected (e.g. camp people joined hands regardless of faction and all were angry at the Palestinian authority which continues to "negotiate" with the obstinate Israeli government even as Israel increased settlement activities 120% more than last year.

A visit by the British consul to Bethlehem University elicited a demonstration by students who recalled the Balfour Declaration. Continued denial of rights of refugees to return and even their right to free movement within the occupied areas elicited a breach of the segregation wall followed by Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinian youth in Aida camp injuring seven. A home was demolished in the Jordan valley.

The Israeli Knesset passed more laws to discriminate and intensified its repression and denial of rights while the Arab governments exchanged more flowery language about supporting Palestine in their "summit". And on and on.

But I see goodness in common people: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics and others from around the world come to help advance peace and justice. May all of us move beyond this very difficult stage and rise to the challenge before us: staying individually human and building our common humanity.

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Mazin Qumsiyeh



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. He is author of “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle” and just published “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment.” Visit Mazin Qumsiyeh's amazing and informative Website to learn more:


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