Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Gaza under seige and more," July 11, 2009.

[Mazin Qumsiyeh calls himself a bedouin in cyberspace. I have reproduced the whole of his newsletter. You can subscribe to it here => -jlt]

Quote from the past (1938):
"There is in existence already a considerable body of literature in English and other European languages on the history of the British mandate in Palestine. But it has to be used with care partly because of the high percentage of open or veiled propaganda, and partly because the remoteness of the indispensable Arabic sources has militated against real fairness, even the works of neutral and fair-minded historians...Zionist propaganda is active, highly organised and widespread; the world Press, at any rate in the democracies of the West, is largely amenable to it; it commands many of the available channels for the dissemination of news, and more particularly those of the English-speaking world. Arab propaganda is, in comparison, primitive and infinitely less successful: the Arabs have little of the skill, polyglottic ubiquity or financial resources which make Jewish propaganda so effective. The result is, that for a score of years or so, the world has been looking at Palestine mainly through Zionist spectacles and has unconsciously acquired the habit of reasoning on Zionist premisses. ...No lasting solution of the Palestine problem is to be hoped for until the injustice is removed. ...To those who look ahead, beyond the smoke-screen of legend and propaganda, the way to a solution is clear: it lies along the path of ordinary common sense and justice. " From The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement by George Antonius Intl Book Centre (1938, reprinted 1985)

If it was in any other situation this smuggled video would be all over the news. This is a video of the "Spirit of Humanity" ship under attack in open sea in International waters by an occupying army that claims it is not an occupying army.
Activists in many part of the world do things to protest. A Houston, TX campaign featuring billboards around the city referred residents to its website
and this action was met by the Zionists putting up their own billboards "Save Gaza from Hamas" (as if it is Hamas who is blockading people. Meanwhile another patient died in Gaza due to the siege with the death toll reaching 349 due to the Israeli blockade

The largest ever US humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza left the US July 4th and is now gathering in Egypt to head across the border into Gaza on Monday, July 13. They are encountewring delays and the Egyptian government representatives have stopped over 100 of the estimated 200+ activists from reaching the border. Activists are now sleeping at the Suez canal (see

Action: US citizens can set-up a meeting with congressmen and senators during the summer recess (see )
Also write to media, inundate list and commentary sections on websites (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) with information demanding action.

The United Nations demanded Wednesday that Israel implement a five-year-old ruling of its International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that deemed most of the West Bank apartheid wall illegal and affirmed illegality of settlement and infrastructure construction in the occupied West Bank. And according to the Christian Science Monitor "Risking Israel's ire, US takes 1,350 Palestinian refugees" (these are some of the thousands of 1948 refugees who were living in Iraq peacefully until the US invasion when they were driven out and stayed in limbo at borders between Iraq and Syria with no place to go).

Last week's email mentioned how we miss departed friends and activists. Many of you emailed with their own memories on people they miss. I reflect on how intellectual contributions by people like Edward Said made a difference in the way we think. I reread some of his articles and we see that they are relevant today (here is one for example that shows how little has changed since 1998:

Israel has started to quietly sell refugee property to private individuals. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab minority rights in Israel has issues details reports and press releases on the subject of these basic violations of rights.

Action: The Palestine Freedom Project Speakers Bureau is pleased to a the Fall 2009 North American speaking tour of Ghada Karmi, author of In Search of Fatima and Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine. Karmi is a powerfully eloquent speaker, a renowned commentator, who deals critically and honestly with the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. To celebrate the 2nd edition of her memoir, Karmi will be speaking across North America from September 24 - October 10, 2009. We invite you to read about her work, and if you are interested, to host a lecture and book signing in your community. For details, please visit

.(in Spanish) Interview in spanish about the Pope's visit to occupied Palestine (with Nicole Safie)
Una de las vocas mas lucindas de la cause palestina. Al Damir (Fundacion Paestina, Bethlehem-Chile), Vol 71, June 2009, p. 20-21

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
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