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How Israeli Occupation Soldiers Harass Palestinians

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 25, 2010

After a third trip to Ofer military compound near Ramallah on October 18, 2010, and much expenses in terms of time and money, I am pleased to report that my trial based on manufactured charges by Israeli police was dismissed by the military judge.  It was partially observed by Tamar and Aya, Israeli women of conscience who report regularly from the West Bank (see . It was a manufactured "traffic violation" but in reality it was for "driving while being Palestinian" and even though both the policewoman and the prosecutor both lied and tried to twist the facts, the judge was decent enough to see through this.  Unfortunately, upon arriving home, I found a delivered registered letter (my mother signed for it) that says that the Israeli police have now "evidence" and have sent a file to the prosecutor to charge me with new "security offenses" based on a military rule enacted in the occupied areas in 1982.  They did not specify the offenses in the letter but gave me 30 days to respond to them in writing.  The letter was in Hebrew and dated October 3, 2010 but mailed on October 6, 2010 and received October 18, 2010. This gives me and my lawyer little time to find out what the (trumped-up) "security" charges are and respond to them! This is obscene injustice but if the authorities think that this endless harassment helps in anyway to achieve their goals (whatever those may be), then they miscalculated and will sadly be disappointed!  We will keep you informed.
Under a most extremist government in Israel's 62 year history, the extent of the absurdities here have accelerated to become almost unbelievable.  From attacking humanitarian ships in International waters, to laws to strip Israelis of their citizenship, to laws to demand loyalty by non-Jews to a Jewish state (imagine if South Africa under apartheid demanded loyalty to the white government), to laws to punish peaceful protesters (Abdullah Abu Rahma sentenced to one year under the charge of "incitement" for merely engaging in nonviolent protests in Bil'in), to laws to allow criminal prosecution of those who call for boycotts, to arresting children hit by a colonial settler car while driving in the children's neighborhood that the settler is trying to take over*, and the list goes on.  My study of history tells me that Israeli governments engaged in such irrational behavior the year before every major uprising in the past 62 years. One is tempted to accept the notion that "what we learn from history is that we (humans) learn nothing from history".  But we must maintain our faith in humanity and that maybe, just maybe, there are still enough rational people of all faiths and persuasions to salvage this (un)Holy Land from total descent into fascism and self-destruction.
*Second child detained seen struck down by settler
Good News and Actions to emulate:
-Boycott Aroma Café
-Breaking news: Dutch police raided the offices of a company leasing cranes for building the West Bank Separation Fence and settlements.  Company executives, including the Israeli Doron Livnat, may face trial for violating International Law. Background at:
Events worth attending:
- Conference of the Movement for One Democratic State in Palestine, October 23-24, 2010 in Dallas, Texas
- US Palestinian Community Network invites you to attend the second popular Palestinian conference (starts October 29, 2010 in Chicago)
- Invitation from OPGAI: United in Struggle Against the Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism
'Education as a Tool for Building, Interaction and Freedom' Conference  (Within the activities of the World Education Forum ), October 30, 2010 at Bethlehem University.
- 6th Annual Interfaith Tree of Life conference, Old Lyme, CT (great speakers, great program) November 6-7, 2010, and
Letters from Palestine: Palestinian Speaks Out about Their Lives, Their Country, and the Power of Nonviolence
Dr. Kenneth Ring, prolific author and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, and co-author Ghassan Abdullah offer new insight into the suffering of Palestinian people. Their book presents firsthand accounts from individuals in Gaza under the Israeli siege, from those in the West Bank who are living under occupation, and from American-born Palestinians.
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home   





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