Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Remembering Palestine, Commemorating Nakba

Nakba and More

by Mazin Quminseh - Popular Resistance

On the eve of the 67th year anniversary of the Nakba (the catastrophic ethnic cleansing of Palestine), Benjamin Netanyahu finally formed a “coalition government” a group of ministers who are honest about their
racist and genocidal tendencies (see article by Gideon Levy below).

It includes a “Justice” who called for murdering Palestinian mothers so that they do not bring out more “snakes”. It includes the head of “civil administration” who openly supports ethnic cleansing and genocide.

A government more right wing in its composition than Germany was in 1933-1939 or South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s but an honest one indeed without double talk or hypocrisy. What is disappointing is not the make-up of the government but the hypocritical response to it.

Words from the “Palestinian Authority” whining about the new government were accompanied by continuing security coordination with Israel and the PA arrest of dozens of Palestinians simply for having different political affiliation (e.g. students who against all odds were voted to student councils at Palestinian Universities).

Geopolitically, there are now two choices: US/Israel that attempt to dominate the Arab World and Western Asia through a class of puppet dictators (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Egypt) and the axis of Russia, China, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon (led by Hizbollah) and large segments of Iraqi society. It would be nice to have a third axis (like the non-aligned movement led by Egypt and India in the 1960s) but it does not currently seem possible.

Yasser Arafat managed to steer the PLO leadership to semi-neutrality or at least flexibility in building alliances as need arose. But even acting as a good honest broker to solve some regional disputes many times by asking people to put the interests of their people ahead of their superpower sponsors (then it was Soviet Union and the USA/NATO).

In the time of Abu Mazen, we see more a definitive side-taking (e.g. with Saudi Arabia against Yemen) in a fashion that actually weakened the Palestinian cause dramatically. The black and white attitude was applied in a way that is like George Bush “you are either with us (USA right wing government) or with the terrorists. In this case you are either with us (Fatah) or with the terrorist Hamas.

There seems no room left for nuances or indeed for diplomacy. From the agreement with Hamas, there is only the part about holding elections for the PA that Abbas wants to implement. Other parts of the agreement (holding elections for the PLO, economic issues etc) were supposed to happen synchronously but they are  now off the table. Meanwhile Gaza was devastated and is still under siege (civil society is responding and a flotilla of ships is moving to break the siege).

Last time this happened, there were martyrs and some high level PA officials ridiculed the Free Gaza movement. Instead, it would have been nice to see PA officials join Haneen Zoabi and Raed Salah on the boats. Alas wishful thinking for change.

The old definition of madness still apply: repeating the same (failed) tasks and expecting different results. And we live in a mad, very mad world. US/Israel still fund terrorists, support dictators, and support ethnic cleansing. Those who bet on them to help them achieve “independence” still do not understand and still hope somehow magically, things will change.

They would be wise to listen to Russian President Putin. He was speaking at the 70th anniversary of the win over Nazi Germany (26 million Russian lives were lost) and was flanked by other world leaders including China (though noticeably absent where key NATO leaders). He said, the attempt at creating a unipolar world is failing and that we should look towards a new system. Iran, China, most of Latin America and other
countries which long suffered from Western Colonialism agreed. President Abbas was there but had no comment.

I was reminded of Naji Al-Ali 1964. I was reminded of Orwell 1984. I was reminded of the book Majanin Beit Lahmem (the crazy people of Bethlehem) published 2014.

Life goes on in occupied Palestine. A Palestinian community (Susya) is about to be uprooted. Colonial settlers and soldiers still attack native Palestinians with impunity. Corruption and heroism happen, poverty  and greed happen, cooperation and collaboration happen, resistance and normalization happen. Poor people struggle and rich get richer. It is hard to cope sometimes but we keep going against all odds.

[Note: 24 people registered but we still have six places available for Saturday's workshop (see below).]

What do Israelis know about the Nakba?


Stop whining. Long live Israel's new and honest government. Israel's new government won't spout hollow slogans about peace, human rights, and justice. The truth will be thrust in the faces of Israelis - and the world.

Violent settlers cleared despite smoking gun (literally)


If you have not registered, there are six places left:

What: "Developing a Peace Garden: Biopsychosocial & Eco-Spiritual Models for sustainable world"

When: 9 AM - 4 PM Saturday 16 May 2015 (lunch included)

Where: Gardens of PMNH, Mar Andrea, directions here http://www.palestinenature.org/visit/

How: To register, send your name, your email, your phone number, and a brief background about you (two sentences but no more than 50 words) to info@palestinenature.org before Midnight Wednesday May 13 but register early as spaces are limited).

Why: The workshop explores the power of nature to cure body and soul and maintain our health and encourage us in difficult circumstances. In the beautiful setting of the developing ecosystem at Mar Andrea campus of Bethlehem University. The Palestine Museum of Natural History and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and. Sustainability with cosponsors Al-Rowwad Center, Institute of Community Partnership at Bethlehem University, and Palestine Center For Rapprochement Between People (list in formation) invite you to enjoy a beautiful day in the garden and helping us build a peace garden that will attract people throughout Palestine to learn about the healing power of nature.

Facilitated by Dr. Ani Kalayjian is a psychology professor (American Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress, logotherapeutic psychotherapist, traumatologist, Genocide Scholar, conflict resolution expert, researcher, community organizer, and international consultant).

More here: com and in the attached (in Arabic and English). We will also have locals helping connect us to nature (animal and plant life including folklore and medicines.) in Palestine: Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh and Dr. Omar DarIssa (others may join).

And come visit us any time. We also welcome volunteers: palestinenature.org

URL: <http://lists.qumsiyeh.org/pipermail/humanrights/attachments/20150512/3f49bae5/attachment.html>
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