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11,000 Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli Occupation Prisons

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Al-Jazeerah, ccun.org, April 19, 2010

 

Prisoners Day in Palestine

Friday, we had demonstrations in a number of locations in Palestine mostly in honor of prisoners (11,000 kidnapped Palestinians held in Israeli jails).  The demonstration in Al-Ma'asara went smoothly even though the night before the Israeli army came in at 1 AM to raid and scare the family of Mohammed and Hassan (their brother is in an Israeli jail). The demonstration was joined by scouts from Sur Baher and other areas in Jerusalem (a sign of Palestinian unity).  It was a chance to honor families of prisoners and remember all the political prisoners. It was a chance to remember martyrs like our friend Bassem Abu Rahma who was murdered one year ago in a nonviolent demonstration in Bi'lin. On this anniversary this amazing video is produced in four languages:

http://blip.tv/file/3480954  (┌Đ╚Ý)
http://blip.tv/file/3481361  (עברית)
http://blip.tv/file/3471631  (English)
http://blip.tv/file/3481174  (Franšais)

(the Israeli occupation forces declared recently that they found no reason to investigate the murder as a wrong-doing!)

Here is a video of Al-Ma'asara demonstration today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm4c1OTyx5Y
Israeli authorities used violence in other towns today (Al-Walaja, Bil'in etc) and there were several injuries.

The demonstrations today in many locations were also wa chance to denounce the renewal of the illegal orders that would make 70,000 Palestinians in the West Bank to be considered by the fascist Israeli laws as "infiltrators" in their own country. These orders are of course a violation of International and humanitarian laws.  Abbie Lipschutz, who volunteered in the Israel 1948 war, wrote to me: "Those deportation orders are Nazi orders. At least there is a wave of protests by Israelis. I hope and think the orders can be cancelled. But with that fascist Netanyahu in charge, we can expect anything. By euphemisms and subterfuge, AND official acts he is trying to foreclose ANY peace agreement. He tries to ethnically cleanse the occupied West bank so that he can replace the deported Palestinians with Hebrew Talibans."

As if to show this, the government demolished a home in Bethlehem area yesterday.  See the heart-wrenching images at http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=276700  

And this blog from an American Jewish young man who joined the "Birthright" program but then chose to come spend time with us in the real Palestine is amazing. Buddhists list the big three sins as hatred, greed, and illusion. The settlers depicted here illustrate this more than anything else.
http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2010/04/11/the-darkest-side-of-occupation-hebron-2/

Considering the above, we find it contemptible that the Zionist movement is pulling its big gurus in the US, people with loyalty to racist ideologies rather than their own country (Elie Wiesel and Ronald Lauder) to regurgitate discredited myths about Jerusalem and Israeli "security" on pages of biased newspapers like the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Fortunately the internet had made finding the facts far easier and within reach of millions who no longer bother reading discredited newspapers.  But I sometimes wonder about the mental status of people who continue to justify ethnic cleansing.  But then again, the Israeli army  are still imprisoning the donkey and a horse from Bethlehem arrested on charges of entering Jerusalem illegally!! How more loony can this tribalistic crowd get and how far will the world let them continue to indulge the fantasy and racism of being God's chosen people while enslaving others.

Does U.S. Policy on Israel and Palestine Uphold Our Values? Chicago Hearings Sunday, April 18, 2010, from 1:15 PM to 5:30 PM CST. Mock congressional hearing. All you need is an internet connection, a computer, a projector and a screen. And a protected password guaranteeing you a spot on the live bandwidth (email contact@chicagohearing.org to reserve).
Bring your friends together to watch a live mock Congressional Hearing. Critical for US citizens who pay for Israeli aggression http://www.chicagohearing.org/
 
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home
http://www.qumsiyeh.org   

Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall and Settlements-Beit Sahour
Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities
Chairman of the Board, Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People, http://www.pcr.ps

===========================

Southern Europe and popular resistance to apartheid

Note: I am available this summer from June 26-July 10 for talks in Southern Europe especially on issues of popular resistance to Israeli apartheid and direct stories from under the colonial occupation. Invitations to speak to groups, universities, and conferences would be considered depending on the tour schedule and first contacts receiving first priorities.  For a biography, see  <http://www.qumsiyeh.org/aboutqumsiyeh/>
http://www.qumsiyeh.org/aboutqumsiyeh/
 
We had a meaningful event commemorating Deir Yassin massacre in Beit Sahour on Friday even as the Israeli regime holds memorials at Yad Vashem overlooking the village ruins and ignoring the injustice of building a state on the ruins of another people's lands.  We had a good trip to Birzeit and Ramallah Saturday (and a talk by the mayor of Bethlehem Saturday night) and participated in more actions on Sunday. Representing the popular committee against the wall and settlements in Beit Sahour, we joined with our friends in Beit Jala, a town which lost nearly half its land to Israeli Jewish-only colonial settlements over the past four decades.  Now town residents are prevented from getting to additional areas near the apartheid walls and bypass roads (all to serve illegal Jewish colonies on Palestinian land).
The weekly Sunday demonstration proceeded as expected: soldiers stretching barbed wire across the road, activists speaking to those present (including
soldiers) in Arabic, English, and Hebrew.  There was a poignant moment when a young German girl tried to speak to a soldier who even refused to look her in the eye. 
 
We then drove to Hebron to show a visiting teacher from Denver what it is like to have 400 racist settlers ruin life for 150,000 Palestinians.  The settlers took over some buildings, built a few other sites and make life in this largest Palestinian city hell for its inhabitants (Hebron is largest now because cities like Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Jaffa have had much of their Palestinian population ethnically cleansed).  On the way to Hebron we stopped by to visit our friend Musa Abu Maria in Beit Ummar only to be told by his family that he was arrested the day before by the Israeli occupation authorities.  He was arrested while helping farmers in their land where settlers repeatedly uprooted trees. 
 
I am trying to get a steadier hand and better editing for youtube videos of these things.  Below is my latest attempt which I end by a more mundane segment showing poor children who we took to a park ( they have not been to a park for 2 years). We had Knaffa (Palestinian dessert) with those children at that time but did not have the camera then so I show what Knaffa looks like in Bethlehem with our small group that visited Hebron earlier. Awad Abu Swai, spokesman of the Popular Campaign against the wall and settlements is visible. Anyway, here is the video <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHd-8PqT0UA>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHd-8PqT0UA
 
In other news, Israeli authorities instituted new regulations that will allow them to deport thousands of Palestinians in contradiction to International law. According to Haaretz "the first Palestinians likely to be targeted under the new rules will be those whose ID cards bear home addresses in the Gaza Strip - people born in Gaza and their West Bank-born children - or those born in the West Bank or abroad who for various reasons lost their residency status. Also likely to be targeted are foreign-born spouses of Palestinians."  (IDF order will enable mass deportation from West
Bank   <http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162075.html>
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162075.html ) And according to the Haaretz editorial: "Implementing this new military order is not only likely to spark a new conflagration in the territories, it is liable to give the world clear-cut proof that Israel's aim is a mass deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank. While all Jews can settle wherever they wish, in Israel or in the territories, Israel is trying to deprive the Palestinians of even the minimal right to choose where to live in the West Bank or Gaza."
 <http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162382.html>
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162382.html
 
And the summer looks like will come with even more drastic restrictions on use of water (already Israeli settlers use 80% of the West Bank Water).
Maan news reported that "Four days after an Israeli minister threatened to restrict the West Bank's water supply, Israeli authorities closed off the main water source used for agriculture in a Jordan Valley village on Sunday, committee members and lawyers said. " (Israel shuts off water to Jordan Valley farms  <http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=275681>
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=275681 )
 
In positive news, the Israeli authorities are under pressure after having exposed how little freedoms exist in the fascist state.  There appears to have been a 4-month Israeli gag order and undue pressure on a  journalist plus house arrest for his alleged source.  Now that the gag order was lifted thanks to the leaks internationally and over the internet making it illogical, there are many questions.  Yet, Israeli media are not asking why journalists are being punished for revealing that Israeli occupation authorities engaged in extrajudicial executions even after the Israeli high
court ordered the practice ended?    In any other country, the revelation
would ensure the punishment not of the journalist but of the military leaders (violating in this case not just International law but even Israeli high court rulings).
 
In other good news, there have been growth in the Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions; for example see this good action at H&M in Europe:
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IXglFpSTvM>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IXglFpSTvM

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home
http://www.qumsiyeh.org   

Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall and Settlements-Beit Sahour
Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities
Chairman of the Board, Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People, http://www.pcr.ps



 

 

 

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