by Mazin Qumsiyeh - Qumsiyeh.org
October 26, 2016
European support of “Israel” and Palestine come up a lot in our discussions with politicians and even common people here in Spain.
Most of the time it is obvious that European elites feel that they are being fair by giving a lot of political and financial aid to “Israel” and some aid to the Palestinian authority. I try to give them some context by explaining that this is like aiding and abetting Nazi Germany while also helping the Vichy government in France under Nazi occupation. Or if this is too harsh an analogy, it is like supporting
apartheid South Africa while also supporting chief Buthalesi (king of the Zululand).
It is blunt but at least it opens up a discussion to explain about colonialism. 193 countries are members of the UN, more than 70% of them live in a post-colonial era (ie. Have been European colonies at one point or another).
The post-colonial countries are stabilized under one of three scenarios:
- a) The Algerian model (liberation and removal of colonizers, many of them generations in the colonized country),
- b) the Australian model (genocide leaving so few natives),
- c) the South and Central American model (most countries in the world: integration and coexistence in one country).
There is no fourth model that is sustainable.
Israel like South Africa tried containment in enclaves (bantusanization, people warehousing). It is failing and Israel and its imperialist allies are trying desperately to keep the mirage alive of “wanting peace” and “two-states for two people”. That mirage is merely intended to lengthen the time frame so that more billions can be pocketed. This is the most profitable occupation in human history and Israel makes tens of billions of dollars annually (if not over 100 billion) from the occupation.
Israel’s economy has been structured to profit from the conflict and currently over half of government revenue is dependent on three streams of income all of them would be threatened if there is peace;
- a) weapons/security related exports (tested on the guinea pigs of Gaza every three years),
- b) foreign aid ($40 billion package of military aid just given to Israel by “Nobel peace prize” winner Obama as a parting gift of his presidency, and
- c) nearly $12 billion from us (captive Palestinians). Some 70% of European humanitarian aid to Palestinians ends up in Israeli pockets.
We spoke to various groups in areas ranging from environmental conservation to human rights. I publicized my book on “Sharing the Land of Canaan” which is published in Spanish. We met with politicians and with poor people. We met with a research association in San Sebastian with 1700 members and over 100 researchers working on everything from forensic anthropology to mushrooms to insects to environmental impact studies to birds. Like other similar important institutions (including ours of the Palestine Institute of
Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University), they suffer from shortage of funds, shortage of government support, and from the neo-liberal models of an economy emphasizing more on consumerism and
less on environmental conservation.
We must keep trying though to convince people that the neo-liberal socio-economic system is not sustainable and that we residents of this one blue planet face a challenge that we never faced before with the potential of massive extinctions of species, massive disruptions, hundreds of millions of environmental refugees, and much more.
We must act TOGETHER urgently to address these challenges. The elites instead want us to fight each other based on sects (Jews, Shia’, Sunni, Christian, Kurds etc). That way they can milk us for a few more billions and some of them think they will be dead before the world ends!
But almost every minute I am here I am thinking of home. I appreciate our volunteers and museum staff taking care of things admirably including the educational and general maintenance activities. School children and university students come to our Palestine Museum of Natural History at Bethlehem University to grow and get empowered.
While what I am doing here is important, our work in Palestine is far more important and I cannot wait to go back. Just yesterday, the racist apartheid regime demolished a building in Silwan housing 30 people. I thought of that as I noted the forecast that rains are on the way. I also think of the work accumulating. Next week is a busy week for us
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability