Monday, August 15, 2011

UPDATE: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Beit Sahour, Palestine

It's been awhile since I've written--I think I'm feeling like our President, Senators and Representatives are not listening. They seem captive to Israel's propaganda machine that drowns out the reality of Palestinian life and human rights. But then today I read Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh's call to action.
Last March Dr. Qumsiyeh visited Denver and spoke about the ongoing confiscation of Palestinian land by Israel's occupation and construction of the wall. In the post below he writes about non-violent actions in the West Bank, urging us to keep working for Palestinian human rights with our own policmakers in the US. Read more about his work: [photo is of his arrest in 2010; he was released shortly after]

From Dr. Qumsiyeh--
Four actions: Please take at least two of them

Action 1: Join us Saturday 10 AM Palestine Ramadan Time in Al-Walaja as villagers continue to see their lands destroyed. Last Wednesday at 8 AM, some 60-80 human rights advocates marched with drums and chants to the sites inside Al-Walaja al-Jadia (the new Al-Walaja) where the Israeli occupation forces are uprooting trees and destroying the beautiful landscape to separate people from their agricultural lands and to allow for further expansion of illegal colonies built on Palestinian lands. Five Israelis were kidnapped. Later after the actual event, the Israeli soldiers came into town to terrorize the locals and one Palestinian was taken from his house and treated badly even though he was not in the demonstration with us.
The Struggle video network featured Al-Walaja and part of my talk in March abou the town

Action 2: Marwa was shot in the head 10 years ago. She is now 20 and a university student. However, her original injury has led to severe dental problems that her family cannot afford. Some friends in Palestine have arranged for a dentist to begin work with some money we've already raised, but the work will not be finished until we raise another $4000. If anyone is interested in helping Marwa you can send a contribution to the Hartford Catholic Worker with Marwa noted on the memo line. See

Action 3: This August break is for Members of Congress to be at home, meeting with constituents to hear about our concerns. . Instead, 81 Representatives--nearly 20% of the House--are hightailing off to Israel on an all-expense-paid junket organized by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Israel's goal there is to lobby the Representatives to continue sending the Israeli military $30 billion of our tax money -- the amount pledged for these 10 years (2009-2018). That means sending money we won't have for jobs and healthcare to buy weapons for Israel to perpetuate its illegal military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. It's time to "name and shame" these Members of Congress who put more weapons for Israel ahead of their own constituents' economic rights. We need you to take action today
Also similar actions called by Code Pink
See also "Israel Lobby Dominates Congress, Media Covers it Up" by Alison Weir, August 11, 2011

Action 4: Roadmap to Apartheid, a documentary film examining the apartheid analogy is near completion! Narrated by Alice Walker, Roadmap to Apartheid is promising to be the definitive documentary that compares and contrasts South African apartheid with Israeli policies and practices. It will be a very important and useful tool for BDS organizing worldwide. Finishing funds are lacking to take it through the home stretch. Learn about the current fundraising campaign here:

Inspiring Video on a group of activists who rode bicycles from London to visit with us in Palestine

In Tumult, New Hope for Palestinian Cause

How Palestinian Authority's UN "statehood" bid endangers Palestinian rights

Come visit us in Palestine this October for the Olive Harvest season and this Christmas for a week of activities. Watch for more details next email.
Meantime, act, act, act.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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