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To All Those Who Yearn for Peace With Justice:
Happy New Year from Palestine

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 5, 2015

Happy new Year 2015.  May it bring all of you peace (internal peace at least!). We Palestinians have one top wish for 2015 as in every year since 1917: freedom. Freedom means self determination, it means refugees will be finally allowed to return home. Freedom means I can go to my city of Jerusalem without having to hide from checkpoints and walk around walls. Freedom means my students will arrive on class on time without being harassed by soldiers. Freedom means having students from other parts of Palestine at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities where I teach. Freedom means not being discriminated against, not having to apply or be denied passes (ala apartheid South Africa pass

system) to move around simply for being not Jewish. Freedom means having a functioning economy not stolen by the occupier who took over our tourism, our agriculture, our industries, our natural resources.

Freedom means not having friends and relatives killed or homes demolished because they are not Jewish. 

2014 opened with it being declared by the UN an ‘International year of solidarity with the Palestinian people’ and closed with the UN Security Council under pressure from the Israeli-occupied US government rejecting affirming their own resolutions on applicability of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories! In between thousands of Palestinians were massacred in 2014 including over 500 children by the racist apartheid system. The Egyptian army shot and the Israeli army shot Palestinians to open the new year 2015.

Western politicians and other talking heads want to obfuscate the reality that solving this colonial conflict here in Palestine is key to bringing peace to Western Asia (aka “Middle East’). I wrote a book over 12 years ago which lays out why peace has eluded us all these decades and the only and inevitable solution going forward. The book is titled “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli Palestinian Struggle”. “It is indeed a journey of awakening at the individual level that is not only spiritual, but also require concrete action to bring true peace and justice to fruition. We Canaanites, who invented the alphabet, domesticated animals and developed agriculture, and made this arid land into a land of milk and honey, surely can do this. An Arab poet wrote "Itha Asha3bu yawman Arad al-7ayata fala budda an Yastijeeb al-qadar. Wala budda lillayal an Yanjaili wala budda li-thulm an yankasir." Roughly translated, it means: If the people one day strive for life, then ultimately destiny will respond and the night will give way and the injustice will be broken. The path to peace is not served by the creation of more states or unjust "fixes" to perceived demographic "problems."  It has to do with justice and implementation of human rights and international law. It requires grass root action to accelerate its arrival but it is the only solution possible in the long tern.  We can either remain locked in our old mythological and tribal ways or we can envision a better future and work for it.  The choice is obvious.” You can read that last chapter and more on this link (I believe this is still the only path towards peace we have): 

Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh 45 minutes interview on Voice of Palestine in Canada with Hanna Kawas 

Lastly, I hope you help Palestine more in 2015. Here is the new project we are focusing on now and that accomplished significant progress since it was launched a few months ago: Palestine Museum of Natural History and its Institute of Biodiversity Research (concerned with research , education, conservation, and sustainable living): We could use your time, your advise, your volunteering, your donations-in-kind etc.  Also facebook as Palestine Museum of Natural History


Mazin Qumsiyeh

Professor and Director

PMNH, Bethlehem University





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