Miscellaneous positive messages
I just want to say SABAH AL KHER and thank you for your impressive presentation and truly amazing skill in handling a difficult audience, particularly Mr. Obnoxious. You always blow me away with your ability to remain focused on fact-based responses to the most misinformed and unfair obnoxious people. I don't know how, as a Palestinian from the West Bank, you are able to do it, but it is a gift and only people like you --and there are not many from any side--will ever be able to bring about change and peaceful relations, although it may not be in your lifetime, I fear. Your command of the history coupled with your clear message of nonviolent resolution and your peaceful (though not at all wimpy) demeanor make you, in my opinion, a person who should be in a leadership role for the Palestinians. The sad part is that most of the people who are in leadership roles have don't have half of your intelligence, strong sense of what true justice is, calm manner, or deep and broad knowledge. this is, I think because things are so far gone--the Israelis have created a rage so deep and destructive in most of the Palestinians back home (and even here) --that they would probably not agree with you.
As published in Northeast Magazine (Hartford Courant) 11-10-02
Mazin Qumsiyeh's gently told story stirred me deeply. Thank you so much for printing every last word. It reminded me of Za'atar. (Crazy lady, you are probably thinking, but let me explain). Za'atar is a mixture of several carefully chosen herbs dried, but still a bit green and crumbled together.
You take a round piece of warm, Arabic bread and tear off a bite-sized wedge, and you gently dip that wedge into a small bowl of smooth silky greenish-gold olive oil, and then you carefully dip the oiled bread into a small bowl heaped with the fragrant Za'atar and the crumbled herbs cling to the bread and there is something mystical about the history of herbs and family recipes and rituals and the olive trees and the bread and the tart aromatic taste and the texture all coming together and you can't help but close your eyes and think kind and good thoughts.
Thyme is one of the main herbs in Za'atar, and you simply can't eat Za'atar and stay in a hurry no matter how hungry you are. And somehow it tastes better when shared. Personally, I like sharing it with family, and children are welcome and their company is savored, as are stories of olive trees or cucumbers or cactuses or the weather or whatever.
Here in America, we are so inundated with negative stories and assumptions about the Palestinians. It is hard for most Americans to comprehend that the Arab world is more than just Muslim, and the Middle East is much much more than what we see in our headlines. The world is full of regular people - warm intelligent and compassionate human beings with histories and hopes and dreams and sometimes even happiness no matter what.
Like Za'atar, Mazin Qumsiyeh's beautifully told story was awelcome reminder of exactly that.
20 March 2003
Mazen, what a great piece. It is orwellian, and the media has taken on the role of the Ministry of War's Disinformation Unit -- it's shameful.
Thanks for the latest posting. I am definitely going to get a copy of your book !
I must admit to not realizing that you had published so much on zoology and ecology. I am most impressed. Not only is human civilization all-to prone to racist attitudes that cause immense suffering among other human beings, but it is incredibly anthropocentric as well, and the other living things of creation are all too often treated as nothing more than inanimate objects placed on earth for our convenience. The suffering endured by
members of other species and the possible extinction of such other species is, for all to many of our own species, a matter of absolutely minimal concern. The fact that so much of your career has been spent studying these "other species" is, for me, a matter of great consequence and a basis for special respect.
I am keen to read and understand better what ideas you have for protecting human rights, the rule of law and the basic principles of democracy (other than simply the essential, but crude principle of majority rule) in multi-ethnic states with a "bad" history of legal discrimination, racial incitement in political life, and grouo-based, economic competition. Delicate questions arise, of balancing group cultural rights versus individual human rights, of redressing historical economic inequities while not arbitrarily punishing individuals for entrepreneurship and economic success and holding back those with the potential to contribute disproportionately to future progress etc.
The old "Progressive Party" in the "old" South Africa (in which I was quite active from 1970 to 1976) struggled hard with this question for 3 decades, and although some of its earlier attempts (e.g. the Molteno Commission Constitutional Proposals) will today seem to be rather elitist and to reflect a certain arrogance common amongst Europeans and settlers of European origin in other parts of the world about the superiority of "Western" (and particularly Anglo-American) ideas, yet they were, in my opinion honest attempts to design a non-racist, just (and efficient) system for governing severely divided societies, thought up in the midst of a society with the pervasive system of legally based racial discrimination since Nazi Germany. In the end, the ANC, many of whose leaders held much more centralizing, collectivising and majoritarian views about constitution-making, adopted many of these Progressive Party ideas into the constitution of the "new" South Africa - a constitution that 10 years later, seems to be working reasonably well.
My current support for a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine/Canaan is purely based on thinking of "temporary expedience" . It will not be that hard to convince me that a one-state solution is conceptually far more preferable in the long-term.
Best Regards and Good Luck with the sales of your book.
Dear Professor Qumsiyeh,
I hesitate to bother you with an email. I can only imagine how extremely busy you must be. But I just had to say Thank You for the wonderful Op-ed you wrote that was published in The San Francisco Chronicle. You really managed to capture the whole picture of the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict in a few short paragraphs. I am sure that you have done much to help educate the public on this very important issue. I am so grieved in my heart about the cycle of revenge in the area. I am so sad for your family and friends living in Palestine; they certainly deserve a secure and stable life, which I know they don't have at this time. Thanks again for telling the truth.
I have been reading your book since you spoke here and am feeling so grateful for the clarifying information, inspiration and affirmation of the kind of future which I personally envision as the only viable one: one where strength and security is seen to come from justice and profound and universal respect for human rights.
I was so sorry - that for what was probably a host of reasons-- the local community did not come in numbers to hear you speak - but rest convinced that your voice of reason, compassion and brotherhood contains the only logic which can prevail and in the mix of those in Albany who heard you this voice was heard by some who need to hear it - and this hearing will bear fruit.
Dear Professor Qumsiyeh:
What you have accomplished via ACADEMICS FOR JUSTICE is now known world-wide.
I know that from my own forwardings alone that your messages reach more than 2000 people, and the knock-on effect is more substantial. Thanks, my dear comrade, for your guts and for your selfless efforts. I remain:
Yours most sincerely:
Jeff, Boston University. 6/22/04
I have read the Marc Ellis volume and am part way through your book. Both are very valuable. I am so glad you mentioned the good deal to get both of the books. I regret making the double payment and causing you to have to spend your time on it.
May I also express my admiration for all the leadership you provide on the Palestinian cause and work you do for it. It is clear your lead a very busy life and I have wondered many times how you manage to do so much. And I am sure there is much I don't know about that does not come through the emails you send. Best wishes in all your endeavors. And sincere thanks. Joe
We've talked and met before when you came to Manhattanville College last year. You made us all proud. MY turn this time to do it my way.
I swam in the 7th FINA World Swimming Championships in Indianapolis and represented Palestine. I made all Palestinians all over the world feel proud. I set new country records and I placed 33rd in the world in the championships in Indianapolis and there is more coming next. My big goal now is the Olympics. I will be swimming in a series of world meets til I make the olympics cuts in the next 4 years.
For more information about the Palestinaian Swimming Federation please visit http://www.palsf.com
PS, please check out the following links
http://palsf.com/usa.htm (more pics)
College athletics website
http://govaliants.com/newsroom/?id=1396 (pic with michael phelps)
You have been a great help for us to stay in touch with what is going on around the world concerning the Palestinian cause and the refugees. Congrants on your new book. I wanted to ask u can if there is a possibilty I can find it in Lebanon?
Thanks again and God Bless U
I know the writings and letters of Lincoln will remain as another source of wisdom, critical thought and insight into modern political theory for you. It's a part of our evolution and I am glad I could bring this to your attention.
Miranda was surprised that I had left the text with you as she knows how much I embrace and cherish it. I will certainly get another. That kind of text tends to stay in print.
In this very short time we had to converse and share our ideas, I have become very fond of you and your passion and determination to work for the causes you find worth while. What a different world we have because of the efforts and struggle you engage in to pursue the goals of a more humane world. I am thoughtful of the strength and conviction you have to continue and multiply as it's effect spreads throughout our world. Your strength and health must proceed. Your voice and actions in the movements toward a still better condition for humanity and our delicate environment is precious and inspiring.
Thanks again and I hope to stay in close contact.
Mabrook! I send you multiple congratulations on the publishing of your new book. You are just a phenomenal person -- you do the work of 20 people, and with so much commitment, erudition and heart, all at the same time. I think you're amazing, and I can't wait to sink my teeth (eyes!) into the book. Thank you for letting us know about it.
With respect and appreciation for all that you do,
Alisa, eds, MA
"One thing that I learned from Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh's presentation about Israel & Palestine is that our U.S. tax dollars (billions every year) are being sent to Israel so that, among other things, Israel can turn entire Palestinian towns into prisons. The "fence" that Israel is building is actually more like the Berlin Wall. In some places it encircles entire Palestinian towns, thereby turning them, effectively, into prisons. People are not allowed out without permission from the Israeli government, and things like food, water and medical supplies are not allowed in. The rational behind this action is to make the Palestinians' lives so horrible that they leave Palestine. This is one of the things that our U.S. government is fully supporting, and we are paying for." Report on the Wheels of Justice Bus Tour by Clifton McQueen http://www.tcap.mahost.org/
I was given two books that night in Hamdes, your new one and, "out of the Ashes". I have only gotten a little way through yours so far, as I am under rigorus time constraints. However, there info so far, aside from being presented in a clear and forthright manner, is invaluable and enlightening. It has changed my perspective and understanding far beyond the framework that I had been thinking in previously. And it had taken several years for me to develope that frame work as it was! This has so far, been by far the most advanced, revolutionary, and civilized book on the subject(s) that I have read to date. So thank you for your amazing efforts!
Thank you, and Jessie, for hosting the Green Party Fund Raiser last night. Your hospitality was most appreciated. I thought we had some interesting discussions, and we raised a few dollars, so the evening was a success. Thanks again for opening your home to all of us, and for being such considerate hosts.
Naila and I, along with all the other members of the UJP Israel/Palestine Task Force, would like to express our deepest thanks for your participation in all of all our events at the BSF. We could not have accomplished what we did without your support, participation, and humour. You went above and beyond what we expected. Thank you.
I'm sure our paths will cross again...
All the best,
Thank you for all your work, and especially, right now, thank you for speaking out against Kerry and all the progressives who are mindlessly supporting him. Bless you.
Your articles and efforts are commendable. I applaud you in all your efforts for achieving equality and peace.
Thank you again for a brilliant piece of writing (on dealing with Israel as we dealt with South Africa); I intend to pass it on. This is a great, hopeful idea, but I am concerned that we all keep in mind the huge difference between the two situations: Israel is less dependent on international commerce than South Africa was - their support comes from our tax dollars. Specifically, of course, I'm referring to the support for the Israeli military machine that maintains the repression. The people of Israel do not significantly benefit from it, and I don't believe that the Israeli government cares about its own people. I don't think they will care about economic sanctions as long as they have our Congress in tow, even if the Jewish citizens of Israel are damaged by them. Like the American people, the Israeli people need to be made aware that their government is being controlled by a military/corporate complex that does not have their interests in mind, but only their own power. If Israeli and American resistance groups are supported by the international community, and if strong educational and media campaigns are directed at the mindless "patriots" (including legislators) in both countries, this plan could work as well as it did in South Africa.
I really enjoy the good work you are doing through the Academics for Justice list. I want you to know that from time to time, I write
letters on the relevant topics to the parties you suggest. I am sure there are others like me you perhaps don't know about.
Keep up the good work!
I have to commend you on your tenacity to bring forth as much information as you do to the group. I am a 43 year old man who has just gotten politically involved (finally). I have marched for peace in Hartford. plan on attending the RNC protests, and subscribe to this and other groups to educate myself with the "real news" around the world.
In case no one has told you lately, thank you for all you share with this group. I look forward to all the information that you and others bring. My friends and family think I am becoming too militant with my opinions, which I respond with "thank God someone around you is!"
My credo from now on is "If you're not outraged, than you're not paying attention!" And I have people like you to thank for my education!!
well, mazin, they really want you in cleveland, which is way past your departure date, so...heck, you wanna fly out for a special occasion with some book signings?
Subject: Re: wheels of justice in cleveland
i want to be sure that Mazin will be on the tour when it gets to Cleveland. If so, I think it would be good to get into as many Muslim communities as possible. Not that others couldn't or shouldn't attend, but that Mazin be seen as a draw for Palestinians and other Muslims. He is so very, very fine as a speaker and energizer, and I think it would give people in our Muslim neighbors' communities some hope for the future. By the way, that weekend will be just before the election - gaaaaackkkkkkk!
I am truly enjoying reading your new book, Sharing the Land of Canaan. I asked the staff at the Jerusalem Fund to purchase 2 copies for me at the signing on 8/13/2004.
Today's issue of the NYT carries an article about the expansion of settlements and the new position by the USA. The expansion of settlements as well as the current state of settlements makes a 2 state solution an impossibility as a solution that would lead to Peace. The course of events support your inevitable solution.
I look forward to reading the entire book
I always appreciate your writing, but "The Choices One Makes" is even better than usual. It is an exceptional piece of writing. It's just too bad that it doesn't appear in the New York Times and the LA Times as well as the Jordan Times.
Thank you so much for your outstanding article. It's encouraging to read an excellent moral assertion at a time when one is so often overwhelmed by the usual arguments that this is simply not realistic. Although I fear that a Palestinian state in all of Palestine and for all its citizens is not going to come about in my lifetime (I'm 77), I firmly believe that it is bound to happen. ....
Professor Mazin of Yale is the pride of every Palestinian, every human rights activists and every universalists. Humility that stirred by the great passion of a lover guides this superhuman. Love of justice, in its absolute and indivisible definition; Love of freedom, in its open-ended unfettered horizons reaching the realms of the creator; and, finally, love of fellow human in the brightest hallo predistined to the vicegerent of an indiscriminating God.
Just one would wish, of all of you, if you could emulate this saint of a superhuman in fraction of his dedication to humaniterian causes, unfettered, and unconditionally.
I am so very grateful for your presentations here in West Burlington. Thank you for taking the risk and the time to speak with us.
Sent to UW Post
Thanks to the UWM Muslim Student Association for hosting The Wheels of Justice Tour in the Merrill Hall last Tuesday evening, which had two speakers speaking to a small gathering of approximately 60 people on the US occupations of Iraq and Palestine.
Mark Birmingham from Dublin Ireland shared his experience of living 18 months in Iraq. Birmingham lived in Sadr city before, during and after the invasion of Iraq. He said unfortunately the Iraqi children have become accustomed to bullets flying in the air and are now sadly becoming accustomed to missiles from Apache helicopters. Birmingham said he saw no rebuilding of any significance going on and pleaded that America end its occupation, pay war damages and allow the Iraqis to rebuild their country themselves.
Mazin Qumsiyeh, an associate professor of genetics at Yale University and a native of Beit Sahour, Palestine gave an historical context of the conflict in Israel/Palestine and spoke on the occupation. Qumsiyah said that Zionism (the Jewish state of Israel) was originally a British colonial concept that the US has since assumed pratronage of to the tune of billions of dollars annually. Israel has created the largest refugee population in the world as roughly two-thirds of the Palestinian population has been forced to live in exile from their home, said Qumsiyeh.
A two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict is not feasible with less than 20 percent of the land that was originally the territory of Palestine left for the Palestinians, Qumsiyeh said. It would be equivalent to what was tried in apartheid South Africa. Apartheid didn't work before and it won't work now, he said. Zionism, he said, is a 19th century concept that was unjust then and even more inappropriate for the 21st century. Instead, Qumsiyeh proposed what he called a "post Zionist" solution of one state in which all people share equal rights. Any solution has to consider human rights and be just, he said.
Qumsiyeh's presentation was especially compelling considering that the 9/11 Commission recently acknowledged that a primary motive for the attack on the World Trade Center was this country's support of Israel's maltreatment of the Palestinians.
Since 9/11 showed that we are no longer immune from consequences of our policies abroad, and that we're conducting a global "war on terror", we Americans should be more aware of what our foreign policies are. Americans should at least be cognizant that in Israel, we are sponsoring an ethnic-cleansing, apartheid colonialist state in the heart of the Arab/Muslim world. Our occupation of Iraq compounds that imposition.
I salute the courage and wisdom of the UWM Muslim Student Association for sponsoring this event and attempting to shed light on the matter. Considering the importance of this issue, I expected Merrill Hall to be full. But then again, the indifference reflected in the small audience turnout is the reason we Americans are in the situation we are in.
It was an honour meeting you in New York, and thank you for putting me on our mailing list.
I've finished your book, and found it very stimulating. There were quite a few things that were new to me, in particular the fact that the French got there first with their own "Balfour Declaration".
Here in Europe there is a deepening sense of anger and disgust at the hypocrisy of our governments. Next stop is the European Social Forum between 14-17 October, at which Palestine features prominently.
In solidarity -
Chair: Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Thank you very much for this encouraging and detailed report. (I was present at the Conference in Ann Arbor two years ago; and have been trying to do what I can in our community here, working with several active groups to ameliorate the Israeli/Palestine conflict.)
And I thank you for your persistent and very helpful work.
Thanks again for the excellent presentation you made at Hofstra's Day of Dialogue.
We got positive feedback on the conference in general, and on the workshops in particular. Thank you for adding your expertise to the workshops. I hope you got some recruits out of it for your specific advocacy work. Best regards,
It is refreshing to read something different than the propaganda we are continually bombarded with. Although I agree with to goals of most Palestinians, I think the indiscriminate bombings and suicide bombers are counter productive to meeting the goals of the Palestinian people. I also think that Israel's unrestrained use of force that has killed so many innocent people is remenicent of Natzi Germany and why it is tolerated by the U.S Government and so many of its people is beyond me.
I belieive that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people will never be resolved as long as Israel can keep taking land from Palestiniansl and get 5 billion each year from the U.S. These are only two of the benefits Israel gets from continued conflict, there are many many more. Greed and land grabbing are the basis of Israel's policies.
My idea for achieving peace is very simple. Israel has to have a real incentive to achieve peace. The incentive of giving them more just does not work. They have to be told that each month that there is no peace, 2% of what they get from the U.S will be reduced. In a years time, that would be 24%. And, that if after 1 year they did achieve peace, they would continue to get only 76% on a continuing basis. So, they would have a double incentive, first to stop a reduction every month and to prevent future aid after peace to not be drastically reduced.
As a citizen of CT, I would certainly like the federal government giving our state 5 billion and not having to pay any U.S income tax.
Keep up your good work of educating a sleeping country.
Al Sanders 11/19/04
I have been reading your book (Sharing the Land of Canaan) with great interest since this weekend's forum. Thank you. It is a great source of factual information that I have not previously found in one text. I never feel knowledgeable enough about the history of Palestine, but at least now I have a reliable compendium of information.
I also enjoyed your cogent talk. Enlightening people is really a privilege and you project humility as well as expertise.
I had meant to introduce myself; unfortunately, I'm very shy and find it difficult to meet people, especially those I consider to be erudite. So I just sat and listened and gleaned a lot of information to share with others. I copied pages from the Wheels of Justice site & will bring it to my church's peace and justice committee.
I had really wanted to direct a question to Dr. Frangieh during the workshop. I was very moved by his autobiographical account, and feel
that such accounts are a vital part of the record. People who know nothing about world history (or human genetics) often respond well to personal
histories. Ghada Karmi's book is an eloquent testimony. I wanted to ask Dr. Frangieh if he could recommend other autobiographies and to tell us more about
Arabic poetry, which also contains moving and convincing testimony.
Perhaps you could answer this question? Or, is there a way to contact Dr. Frangieh via email?
Thanks again, Mazin, for a great talk and discussion.
Thank you, Mazin, for the quotes below. The first Arabic proverb can be interpreted/understood in two ways, and either way gives a wonderful meaning.
May the New Year year bring you and your family warmth and peace of mind,
Enjoyed meeting and talking with you at Koininia in early December, and want to thank you again for your excellent presentation there and especially for adding me to your email list. Please keep me on it!
Best wishes for 2005. You are a true soldier for justice. I have always said that it takes so many of them and their $$$ to stand up to one determined palestinian. My hat is off to you and other palestinian intellectuals.
We have never met, and I assume you have little need for me to tell you that your efforts are invaluable, and that you present the issues cogently and articulately. However, I would like to comment on what is being ignored regarding the upcoming Palestinian "election." No where in the mainstream media have I read or heard anything that raises the question of the Palestinian refugees now living outside of the territories, and especially, those living abroad in Western countries. Although many of them may no longer identify with local Palestinian political issues, many of them do, and even more of them identify with the wider Palestinian issue. If the elections are to even appear "democratic" should not the voices of Palestinians outside the territories be heard? If raising a clamor about their rights does nothing else, it might delay or postpone this ridiculous election. The Palestinians of the territories have more immediate priorities than participating in phoney, democractic theatre, and those outside hardly deserve to be forgotten.
Just a comment.
Thank you for your e-mail and effort on behalf of the Palestinians. I do quite a bit of writing to my local papers, and do talk to community groups here. Would appreciate remaining on your mailing list. Here is an example of responses I get sometimes. The editor this time was wise and refused to print this response.
Dear Mazin: An excellent piece! I think the fundamental mistake of almost everyone in the West is to imagine that the Zionists (as opposed to the many non-Zionist Israelis) want peace. On the contrary, Zionists need perpetual war as the only way to hold Israeli society together, just as they need constantly renewed anti-Semitism to persuade non-religious Jews to support
their cause. The covert and endemic anti-Semitism in America is one of the chief assets of Zionism, persuading Americans that they must support Israel to hide their real views. Best regards,
Thank you very much for including me in your address list. Also, I wish to congratulate you on your persistence, your steadfastness and your religious perseverance in following up on your convictions.
You are gifted, and I wish you full success in your pursuits. To have justice and peace in Palestine and for the Palestinians is a noble objective. May our Merciful God Keep His Eye on you and help you to achieve the just and peaceful solution to our cause : Justice and security to the Palestinians in a recognized and viable State......
God Bless you, my friend, and may He give you the good health, the strength and the wisdom to go ahead in your struggle against the despotic gangs who have usurped the land, terrorized the world into submission to their tactics. God is Greater !
Most sincerely and respectfully yours,
Just had to e-mail you to tell you how heroic a person I think you are. I don't know how you can keep from being angry and bitter over what Israel hae been getting away with for decades, now. They're just so duplicitious and unfair. If I were a Palestinian I don't know what I'd do! Nothing seems to work , especially with the PR groups ready to cry "anti-semitism" at the drop of a hat.
I loved that book written by congressman Paul Findley " They Dare ToSpeak Out" -- but that was published in 1985 - and nothing has been done. I really feel that Israel controls us-- not the other way round and that really presents the world with a terribly complex problem!
I print out all your e-mail to the Ct. Peace groups and pass them out to friends.I think it helps them to see another side of the mid-east "problem". A side most of them have never been exposed to before. It does get them thinking. If you think it would help to speak to the Bridgeport Unitarian church*(located in Stratford) let me know. My sister is a member and they do lots of international outreach. Of course, in their case if would be like "preaching to the choir" Good luck in all the good work you're doing. It is really an inpiration to many people and gives them hope. I wonder if Ghandi were alive today, if people would listen to him? People seem to be under so much stress in these chaotic times they don't have time to really think things through. I wonder if the neo-cons actually wanted to throw Iraq into a deep quoqmire - and deliberately threw a rock into a hornets nest, in order for people to forget the Mideast delimina and to keep the Arab world off-guard?I hope you keep up your wonderful work and that eventually it pays off! Thanks so much!
THANK YOU for all your reports. They are extremely helpful. I am working trying to get Democracy Now aired daily by every college radio station and on every community access cable TV station.
I read your fine report in the Voices in the Wilderness newsletter of your trip to Danbury, Ct. and the campus media center. I am looking for a contact person in Danbury and one at the college who would tell me about what they are doing re. airing Democracy Now. Can you help me?
And what about in your area? We find that when a person listens or views Democracy Now regularly they change their way they see the world
They become much more political, become aware of where they fit into the scheme of things globally and thus work to build the Beloved Community not just a consumer.
In great admiration of your work.
I am reading your book and will probably get another to lend and keep mine for info to share. I'm appreciating reading it for clarification and it is a marvelous resource for me and others.
Thank you for your email. I appreciate it a lot since I'm an activist for the Palestine cause in my country Malta. I would like if you keep my email address and sent me more email like this.
I will forward this email to all my friends so to help raise more awareness about the reality in Palestine.
Your sister in spirit for an independent, free and human rights in Palestine.
I appreciate your courage in reporting and your incisive analyses. Please keep them coming.
(Durham, NH. Psychology Prof.) 1/8/05
The path of the truth is a lonely one. Somehow, Mazin, as we reach to the very depths of our inner selves and draw from that reservior of faith and deep convictions finnesed by intellectual curiosity unbounded by the confines of social conditioning - the agendas of the mediocres and opressive interest elites - we do not only find solace and validation for the adamance and defiance in the face of overwhelming doubting and appeasing forces; in the very truth, we live the very reality of who we really meant to be. I find solace in your words below, Mazin, yet far more, an inspiration as we both, along with other seekers of the truth, face the challenges of doubt and hypocracy in its myriad manifistations and authority. Your words below, Mazin, are inspiring. To them, I add a poem that I long written that in many ways shares the bewilderment of Rachel Corrie: does the world really know and see?
Dear Dr. Qumsiyeh,
your commentary on secretary general Kofi Anan's UN speech and the rest, is of great value. You should send it to Kofi Anan's personal office. One item I would like to add: since several days all media, public (this morning in Deutschlandfunk) and private, electronic and print, make much noise, say propaganda, in my country, which is Germany, about votes of refugees from Iraq - even of those having opted and accommodated German citizenship (which would led in the case of turcs to losing automatically the german one in case of renewal of the turkish, not so for ex-Iraqis) - for the Iraqi presidential election, will they be held or not. Some election offices are being installed in major German cities.
Who talked about Palestinian refugee's votes some weeks ago ? They just didn't exist. There was no propaganda machine doing this work, no financing from obscure NGOs. Palestinian refugees haven't even been mentioned. except by one honorable article, written by Juerg Bischoff in the swiss-based '*Neue Zurcher Zeitung", NZZ, 11th of January.
It is good that you mentioned the Non-Zionist Jews ! They also do exist, en spite of frequent official neglect.
Why didn't Kofi Anan talk about them?
in solidarity yours
(member of the "Collectif Judeo-arab et citoyen pour la Paix, Strasbourg")
Post scriptum: I appreciate very much your articles. Thanks for sending them. You honor late Edward Said.
I love and appreciate the work that you do. You provide excellent information, and insights about many things that I would never hear about otherwise. I have started forwarding your emails to my brother who is working on his dissertation. I also forward emails to friends and family from time to
This is to express my deepest respect and admiration for what you do, day in and out!
As a fellow Palestinian I am amazed at your spirit and determination. I am proud of our people struggle and especially proud of the magnificent effort by people like yourself and all who are fighting the propaganda machines being waged against the truth about Palestine.
The Gaza pull out plan is nothing but a smoke screen and an excuse for the Sharon government to strengthen the occupation in the west bank.
Like the writer Israel Shamir's saying..."Palestine is for all who loves her" which I totally agree with.
We all lovers of the truth, lovers of Palestine.
You are such a source of hope and such an inspiration. Inspiring just one of us is enough. More power to you my friend and may god give you strength of body, soul, heart and mind.
I think it is a good idea to move back to Palestine: afterall, the brain drain is real and now is a crucial moment to participate in what I hope will finally lead to tangible peace agreement rooted in true justice.
Good luck and thanks again for everything you have shared with us through your list-serve and when we spoke side by side in various places. I have learned a great deal from you.
Dear Dr. Qumsiyeh
On behalf of the Political Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania, I write to express my gratitude for your informative and stimulating presentation on Thursday January 20th. As evidenced by the impressive turnout, the talk generated significant interest and was a tremendous success. Many members of the audience have approached me to compliment the pertinence of eth topic and the eloquence of the speakers. In light of the recent developments in teh region, your comments were both relevant and thought-provoking.
The Political Science Department prides itself on providing a forum not merely for students and faculty , but also for the greater Philadelphia community. Therefore, we all wereparticularly pleased that you drew so many members of the surrounding community to hear your contribution to the pssnel. I would like especially to thank you for your graciousness in staying after the talk to answer qauestions.
Dear Mazin Qumsiyeh,
I finished reading your book "Sharing the Land of Canaan" a while ago but only got around to thanking you today. What a great and hopeful vision you have given us! I only wish I were younger so I could still see the new Canaan and return to live there. (We emigrated from what had already become Israel in 1958, and since 1978 I cannot even bring myself to go there on holiday, although I do go to the Palestinian Territories fairly regularly).
I would have loved to nominate you as our first president.
Incidentally, your research into the roots of Yiddish also helps to explain the baffling fact that hailing from North Germany as we did, we never managed to come to grips with it.
Thank you again,
I just skimmed the PRIMERCT analysis. If one repeats a narrative enough times, one believes it, can pass it on to their children and, suddenly, it appears as Truth. All delusional.
We can provide such people with data, including citations and reasonable explanations. It will just go over their heads. They only understand metaphors, images and emotional phrases.
The logic and the citations are for those who are open to learning. That is why what you are doing is so important.
I thank you and salute you for your diligence in advocating our just cause.
I wonder if it is worth responding to the nonsense written in response to your letter. It is not enough that they are changing facts on the ground with impunity, but they are also bent on plagiarizing history . So it transpires that we, the Palestinians are the aggressive occupiers! What travesty!.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts, and thank you most of all for keeping your heart and your hope and your fire alive. Your fire is an inspiration,Mazin
Thank you so much for your excellent, clear, first person reporting. My wife and I (Protestant and Jewish respectively) are leaving soon to join a 10 day study tour with ICAHD (committee against house demolitions) and will be visiting many of the same places you have written about. Your letters are a good preparation for us. I was raised to oppose all forms of imperialism and racism.
The idea of Jews imposing Apartheid on others (which is clearly what is going on in Israel and Occupied Palestine) is something I can never accept. Again, thank for your letters.
I hope this finds you well! I have been reading your chronicle of activities in Palestine and enjoying every bit, it is very energizing!
Im Tala A. Rahmeh, I'm one of the students who you met with during your visit to BZU, I would like to be part of your team and participate in your activities in everyway I can! I study English literature and politics, I was also an intern for a year at MIFTAH and now Im working for DCI/PS.
I wrote lots of articles and special studies for MIFTAH's website, and I would be grateful if you could take a look at some of them and give me feedback!
thanx a lot! it was great meeting you!
Thank you for your article, lucidly and passionately written - we have posted it on the Right to Education website at http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article265 (thank you
also for encouraging people to visit the right2edu website!).
It was good to meet you in Birzeit, and I hope we can stay in touch.
All best wishes,
Right to Education Campaign
I have relished your notes from Palestine - notes from home. I know it all so well - Wadi AnNar, the Container, Beit Sahour, Bir Zeit, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, so many of the people and all of the frustrations. Yesterday I called Suzan (Sahouri) and she said she had spoken with you and that you are thinking of moving back to Beit Sahour permanently. Good for you. People need to see that leaving or immigrating to another country is not always the best the answer.
We'll be back in Beit Sahour the end of March. For me it is always a trip home for that is where my heart is. We do what we can to help but I know it is never enough. Yet, if nothing else it serves to let the people know that they are not forgotten - that someone in the outside world knows what's going on - that there are people out there that care - lots of us!!!!
Keep up all your wonderful work - maybe we'll meet again in Beit Sahour.
Grace and peace,
United Methodist Volunteer In Mission - Palestine
It is always enlightening to read your journal. Even though there is great suffering among the Palestinians your writing always conveys a great sense of the life, spirit and courage of the People of Palestine. To the renaissance of Palestine and the end of the Israeli occupation I am with you and yours in the struggle to achieve self-governance and the unification of a people with their homeland.
Thank you, Mazin, for adding to the pleasures of my breakfast this morning. There is no more satisfying an accompaniment to reading the Sunday papers than some fresh bread, oil, salt, and za'tar and a rich cup of coffee. Then your letter to the LA Times took it over the top. It was an explosion of reason and outrage at injustice. Excellent for the digestion.
Thank you for the beautiful notes you send about Palestine. I was in Palestine the past December to January 2004/2005. i went to visit my family who are from Dheisheh Camp, Bethlehem. i so much admire your detailed description of life in Palestine, and specially the daily conversations of average Palestinians. i came back to DC wanting to go home and stay in the US for longer time. life has a different taste in Palestine.
before i go on, i want to remind you of me. my name is Reem Jafari, we met at the School for International Training in Vermont. at that time we had organized a film festival about Palestine, and you spoke about your book and the conflict in Palestine. are you just visiting Palestine, or staying there for a longer period? i am wondering if you can e-mail me all your notes about this visit. i would love to have the whole collection.
my name is malak qamhieh from nablus , 19 years old , studying jornalism in annajah national universty and i shared in the lecture you gave in the universty , i will be very glad if you added my email to your list
I found this link from Najah University regarding your visit to their school http://www.najah.edu/arabic/default.htm
Please allow me to THANK YOU for choosing to remain Palestinian.
Your brother, Maher presented me today with a copy of your book, Sharing the land of Canaan. I write to express my sincere appreciation for contributing this book to our library collection. You present an interesting and thoughtful view of the conflict. Our students will be able to profit from this donation.
Br. Dominic Smith Library Director, Bethlehem University
Hi Mazim and Bill and Ed,
Thank you again for speaking in Marshalltown. I have heard from everyone who attended that it was a very enriching evening and they all learned a great deal about the Israel/Palestinian conflict.
I think you all are doing a very courageous thing but knowledge is the one way to help people understand. I wish you the best. I am going to read Mazim's book to better understand the why about the Israel/Palestinian conflict.
Peace is the only way
I'm happy to hear that you're in Iowa again. Your visit here at Southeastern Community College was a highlight for our fledgling SCC Students for Peace group. I wish you well!
Thank you for your comprehensive account of your trip, and the photos. For someone like me,, stuck in London because of difficulty in movement, and 81 years old, and in the past so active , it is a real help to see all you have sent us.
Congratulations and many thanks for ALL your splendid work for Palestinian Rights - your e-mail messages are always read - Elaine's review has me running to the bookstore - You are making a difference Peace Hannah S
As always, your indefatigable work for justice amazes me. You remind me that victory, though never assured, is always worth working for. I felt, Saturday night when I was sweeping the sanctuary, a profound sense that I had been on sacred ground that night. I also had a strong premonition that history was being made in our midst. I know that our paths will continue to cross in our efforts - mine small, yours mighty. I covet having but a fraction of the courage you demonstrate daily. I think about you and your work often. That you were willing to extend yourself to come to our church and participate meant a lot to me. I look forward to reading your book. In gratitude.
First, a heartfelt thank you for all the thoughtful and informative posts. You have become a 'source' for me to understand what is going on in this world. I needn't mention MSNBC, FOX, CNN, etc..... I hope you have seen the Democracy Now video or audio that featured Bill Moyers commenting on Tomlison's CPB antics. It is an accurate analysis of the state of
Brief bio: My mom's mom was a Lebanese immigrant and I was her favorite grandchild. Even in the 60s, she would scold me if I said we were 'Arabs' insisting instead that we were 'Christians.' I never got to the heart of why she was so adamant. Was I ever spoiled by her middle eastern breads, kibby (kras mish-wee-yee, my far and away favorite), mihshee (koosa was my favorite), date cakes that I can only guess at the spelling but phonetically I'd say ahross, and baklava, among others.
I agree with nearly everything you noted. I find the idea of two sides worse than useless, too, and that was not the thrust of what I attempted to communicate. I meant that humans tend to view what are simply stated struggles, such as racism and discrimination, as political, ideological, or as the American theo-cons propose, religious and two-sided issues, with
all the demonizing and ultimately killing that attends such divisive constructs The essence becomes lost in drawing lines and taking sides.
Yet, that is exactly what is happening, has happened, in human affairs and I hope we agree on that. I also identify myself as a human being first; a member of the family of God is my preferred way of identifying myself. As such, I find myself at odds with world leaders who depend upon humans willing to take up the party line or bottom line in order to draw power
unto themselves. I do not know you, though from your posts I feel passion and reason, a vital pairing. I do know Jim and Linda and they too are passionate and reasonable.
My comments arose from what I perceived as conflict between you and them,and how little I value conflict. Perhaps I am over-sensitized to what I perceive as conflict. Perhaps the "two sides" simply engaged in healthy dialogue, and if I overreacted, please accept my apologies. Perhaps I projected conflict where there was none. Perhaps I overstepped my bounds. My alibi centers on what my eyes see and heart feels as a family of man determined not to accept one another and the differences that make each of us unique beings. As a human being I am concerned with basic human rights, and environmentally speaking, planetary rights. I see equal sense in promoting and defending human rights as well as promoting and defending the integrity of our home, the planet Earth, for what point is there to ensure that everyone has their own room in a house that is burning down?
It is an abrogation of one's duties to say "bad things happen." "The disasters we are creating to serve narrow interests (Zionist wed to military industrial interests) are coming back to haunt us and it is right to speak clearly and speak the truth. Were correcting Zionism wed to military industrial interests all we needed to do to set the planet and everyone
living upon it straight, we'd be blessed indeed. Yet, you and I know this is not the case. Major challenges with ticking clocks confront human beings, survival issues begging for solutions and begging for people to care enough to engage their energies when solutions are known. Nonetheless, we must speak out against the madness. We must be optimistic. We must continue to spread the truth as we see it. Most of all, we must love each other until we feel like we just can't do it anymore, and then do it some more.
Yes, let us hope for peace. Without it, little meaningful progress on any issue before humanity is possible.
I think we all will be the wiser to acknowledge that perhaps when Mazin points out that there are no sides in the Israeli/Palestinian situation, only a question of human rights, he is correct. Or, if one must think in terms of sides, it's the actions of some Israelis/Palestinians vs. universal respect for human rights.
According to the data of which I'm aware, Palestinians currently occupy approximately 18 percent of their former homeland. More, of that 18 percent, some is peppered with Israeli settlements. More, the wall in some cases has left Palestinians with homes on one side and occupations on the other, and it has in some cases literally uprooted Palestinians from homes and farmstheir families have owned for hundreds of years. We may accurately document that the Israelis never honored the provisions of the U.N. resolution which carved a Jewish state out of what had been Palestine, and the world stood by, the rights of Palestinians somehow inferior to the rights of Jews,somewhat understandable given the freshness in the late 40s of the Holocaust, perhaps, but clearly an assault on human rights and the sagacity of the U.S. nation's cornerstone that "all men are created equal."
Here, a pause. The architects of the United States who made that declaration owned slaves and dispossessed the Native Americans, our shameful past. I ask, what value has shame in the now, except to motivate us to continue expanding the concept and application of "all men, and women, are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights"? This cause, and no other, is worth sacrifice. That is what I believe once illumined the hearts and souls of brave people world wide, who relentlessly pushed on the edge of darkness, this action not to be confused with the economic empire-building euphemistically called "progress," and often diametrically opposed to it.
To best understand a situation, one must try on the shoes of those involved in it. Had I been a Jew whose ancestors and been mercilessly persecuted for centuries, would I not want a homeland, and would not that homeland logically be the historical Israel? Had i been a Palestinian uprooted for a Jewish state, would I then have said, 'OK, great'? Had I been a Palestinian looking for justice and equality while the world turned its back on me, to where would I turn to seek justice? If the U.N. decided to 'return' my house, my farm, my means of supporting my family to the Utes and if that international body stood by while the Utes used force to take my home, and more, if the most powerful nation on Earth gave military aid to the Utes, would I not resist? And if I did resist with whatever means were at my disposal, would that de facto make me a terrorist?
Isn't it enough to ask, why after nearly 60 years are there still Palestinian refugees? In Amy Goodman's interview, Jim Tully posed, "... the empire of Japan was amply compensated, and the Navajo Nation is still waiting for compensation." So are the Palestinians.
The Israeli/Palestinian situation is a very complicated problem, and one can understand the passions on both sides without justifying the actions both have taken. Peace will remain elusive as long as people place faith in tanks, helicopter gunships and suicide bombers. The biggest obstacles to peace are people who continue to hold the Israelis blameless for their actions while referring to a people fighting a nuclear-armed occupier with the pitiful means at their disposal as terrorists. In the continuing effort to embrace truth, is it not accurate to say, both are terrorists, and neither are?
....Part of the answer, as Jim says, likely is to deal with things as they are, and champion, as Mazin says, true respect for human rights. That will happen only when, as Mazin says, people stop taking sides for a variety of ulterior motives, and pursue, with the same vigor that war now is pursued, the only worthy objective: respect for human rights. Unfortunately, whether the world view is real or perceived, the U.S. - clearly the player holding the trump card - has seldom been in a weaker position to champion human rights.
In large measure this is due to the "theo-con" position: Peace in the Middle East and anything standing in the way of Israel occupying its "historical" boundaries is satanic and only serves to delay the return of Jesus Christ (check out their websites it's true). This stance is real and has real effects, unfortunately. As a disciple (student) of Christ, my repulsion
to this position cannot be overstated nor reconciled His essential teaching: to love my neighbor including that special-case neighbor known as my enemy.
In regards to article Is Israel unique
Althugh English and therefore rather ashamed that many of my countrymen (like Churchill and others who had altruism as their motivation) were highly instrumental in the dispossession and humiliation of Palestinians by allowing Jewish immigration I'd just like to say how well (albeit critical of GB) written I think this is. Incidentally I didn't actually know Balfour had said these things. Actually I thought the Balfour declaration was something on the lines of "H.M. Government approves the idea of a Jewish state PROVIDED the rights of the existing inhabitants (i.e. Palestinians) were protected." I'm therefore very shocked (even given the times) that he made this statement. Whatever the case I will send this on. I am SICK AND TIRED of how these scum manipulate and twist the truth about how the state of Israel was born. And how dare they make out they are being magananimous when they are giving back a tiny piece of land (some of Gaza) to people they stole it off anyway. We all know that they only want to consolidate their settlements in the West Bank.
Recently the BBC (with all its faults) did a good piece on how the Israelis are trying to demolish 90 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. I am pleased that at least sometimes there is SOME balance. I feel sure that if more people were aware just how the state of Israel was formed and just how long the Palestinians had been there (i.e. thousands of years) before these usurpers came along, then there would be a lot more support for right to return etc. However the Jewish/Israeli lobbies are masters of disinformation aren't they?
Thank you Dr. Mazin:
I sent this article to folks at my church in xxxx where we have a Middle East Study Group - a group of people who looked at the history and the present and concluded that the modern state of Israel is behaving in ways that are not compatible with the articles of faith of our liberal church, nor with international law. Well, this has gotten our little band labeled as racist, Jew-hating and all the other tricks, including "this is a very divisive issue". Classic Zionist work: create a diversion, frame the (wrong) issues, smear those who ask straight questions, do all possible to eliminate the possibility of rational discourse.
So this essay of yours seemed to fill the bill. I hope that my friends back in xxxx can endure and prevail - just for the right to talk about the issues. We can learn Sumud from our Palestinian friends. Too bad to waste it on internal wrangling within an (otherwise) liberal church, so no energy is left to work for the real issue: land and self-determination for Palestine.
Thank you .
Mazin, my friend, you prove with this piece that there is eloquence in simplicity...and therein is the frustration of our cause, because no matter how eloquent, detailed, fact-backed or logical, there is, within this concept of Zionism, this resistance to fair play...and it is spawned not in who they are, but who they think they are....and I am reminded of the profound end of the movie "The Mission".
The slave trader says...'The world is thus" the church leader replies "Thus we have made the world"
I didn't feel very happy today. Nothing seemed to be going as I wanted it to go. I started to feel sorry
for myself, my problems, my disapointments. I sat down at my computer and answered e-mail as a distraction. I opened your e-mail and looked at the pictures and they gave me strength, and made me feel very happy! God
bless you. I have sent your e-mail to our xxxx list for circulation. In the future please send e-mails
directly to xxx so our listmembers can enjoy them. I am sure that all of our list members
will love to see these children, and to read updates on Palestine, and that it will make them as happy as
these photos have made me. Thank you.
Thank you for doing the work of the Palestinian authority
I've been reading your emails for almost a year and it really changed the way I look to our case so I really want to thank you for what you're doing......
University of Kansas
I just would like to thank you for all of the informative emails you have been sending. Being an arab, I thought I knew so much about what goes on in Palestine, but your emails have truly humbled me. I will hopefully use the new acquired information at the next PCSS meeting. Shukran, wa asalamu alaikum.
I'm glad you wrote in support of the letter seeking unity between UFPJ and ANSWER. Your extraordinary work in keeping the bus going shows that it's possible to forge bonds rather than push for widened divisions.
Thanks, Mazin, --you are one of the finest educators and activists alive!
Dear Dr. Mazin,
Thank You very much for all the nice e-mails you've sent. Just keep being as you are; and all the best for you.
Dr. Ahmed Sabra 7/19/05
Just wanted to tell you an interesting thing that happened to me in Venezuela. I left my sweatshirt in our bus and never got it back so I was using the Palestinian Shawl (how do you call it?) to keep warm every day and everywhere I turned, people are so conscious of what is happening to Palestinians that they'd say "VIVA VIVA PALESTINA!" I thought that was so wonderful. When we'd pass by the streets and barios (ghettos) we'd see people reading all over the place. The president has a literacy campaign to educate people all over Venezuela from the ghettos to the furthest places deep in the mountains. They know what's happening in the world meanwhile our government tries to keep our minds dead without info on the world. Ofcourse they have their reason, our gov't has been a big bully around the world, unfortunately and sadly no one has been held accountable yet.
Just thought I'd share that with you.
I have been away from my desk and email this week trying to finish writing something, and so only read this now. I am SO sorry and sad that you had to go through all that craziness! Your work, your character, your shining spirit, and especially your commitment, is an example to Palestinians everywhere. More important, your understanding of strategizing, planning and organizing grassroots campaigns is principled and makes such common sense, that you provide a real guide to others who want to engage in this type of work. You show it is possible and can be practical, and that it must be done. Anything you ever need from me, never hesitate for a second!
In strength and hope,
I am in the middle of reading Mazin's book, Sharing the Land of Caanan. The central thesis of this book is that a just solution of the conflict requires a return of Palestinians to the land from which they were expelled and the ending of a racially or ethnically distinct state in favor of one based on egalitarian principles that is truly democratic. In a word, the end of Zionism.
Because of the cogent reasoning and richness of disciplines Mazin is able to integrating into this work, it should remain as a most influential in disseminating the Palestinian narrative and inducing people to reason soberly about the desirability and the morality of a racially pure Jewish state
Dear Mazin Qumsiyeh,
As a Native American, I am touched that we are mentioned in the light of truth through your words on this day of so called "thanks". I give thanks every day that I am carried through this life alive and well. Exactly so for my young son and family and those of my tribe that have survived the assaults of living in the society that yet does not know us. Every day is thanksgiving for me and ours.
I agree with everything you have said and yet, I feel realistically that there will not be peace on earth in all our near futures, if even in this century. I'm sorry about that. There is no other goal that reaches the heights than the goal of peace for all of us human beings on the grand earth the Creator has given to us.
My heart does especially go out to all the Genocided ones around the world. At this time and for all time. I have a special affinity for the lands and peoples of Palestine as I have felt like we are more like twins than anyone. Even though my hopes are not as high as yours, nor my outlook as pleasant towards the humanity that now resides everywhere, I remain in my stance of caring, observing, sharing and trying to give back where ever I am able to -the solidarity of those suffering grievous and criminal social injustices both here and everywhere, and especially to the peoples of Palestine and their children. I focused on Palestine for many reasons, not the least of which is the love of their culture, language, history, music and the tradition of welcoming happily all those who visit and reside in peace with them. I have loved, do love and will love these peoples of God's creation.
May your day be peaceful and filled with love and happiness as far as is possible. Long live Palestine. In solidarity and hopes for peace,
Darlen Cheatham, Alaska USA and Portland, Oregon
Dr Qumsiyeh: many thanks for your words on Thanksgiving. I am seeing that it is becoming more and more, now, a time to reflect on what to be THANKful for, and also to reflect on what we need to GIVE more attention to. You have been most helpful in highlighting that for we Americans who are slower on the real crisis in the Middle East. Thank you for your efforts.
I also am most appreciate having read your book, Sharing the Land of Canaan. You have many insights for those of us starved for them, including your added voice to the growing number for a one state solution. Even the term Canaan gives the open-minded reader a chance to think of the area with a new name, and thus a new chance for change. If only our leaders were more open-minded and daring than they are. Yet, I am convinced of a grassroots groundswell developing, that is seeping into the consciousness of those in power, thankfully.
A wonderful Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Priscilla Rich Sept11Action Piedmont CA
Hi Mazin, thank you again for your contribution to our conference.� You had people mesmerized by your clear presentation and you really carried the political content of the conference.� You have a wonderful way of presenting very controversial material in a reasonable and nonthreatening way so that it is very hard to refute what you say and people don't get overly emotional about the discussion.
Global Agenda Magazine
World Economic Forum
First of all, let me commend you for having the courage to publish Mazin Qumsiyeh's excellent article "Boycott Israel", outlining the history of the colonization of Palestine and the urgent need to resist the blatant apartheid and ethnic cleansing practiced for *58 years* now by Israel. I'm sure that this decision was taken against great resistance and with much anguish.
However, your decision to subsequently pull the article from your site and to withdraw the entire magazine from circulation is most sad. I can only visualize a dog with its tail between its legs, yelping as it crawls under the porch after being kicked. While I can pity the dog, it is nonetheless a dog and not a person with morals and ethics.
I am reminded of Cindy Sheehan's brave words about her son 'dying to protect Israel'. She too was trounced by the Jewish lobby and forced to eat her words. In her case, I also felt pity - the threats of this lobby are not to be taken lightly. At least Sheehan has continued to act bravely in the face of US imperialism, and is at present addressing the World Social Forum in Caracas.
I urge you to join those of us who support a new approach to world politics, one based on social justice and peace. And to stand up to the forces of oppression and war.
Dear organisers of the world economic forum,
I would like to respond to your censorship of the call for a boycott of Israel which you had initially agreed to publish; in so doing you have missed an opportunity for effective non-violent action to change the extremely violent, unjust politics of a state which has lost its moral bearings, Israel.
I am writing to you as a South African born Jew who left his country under the apartheid regime at a time when the only alternatives appeared to be violent revolution or violent represssion. Through the wise strategy of Nelson Mandela and his comrades, a world-wide economic and military boycott was launched which, in the end, paid off, leading to a just, political solution for all of South Africa's people. There was no vengeful political slaughter of whites and in its place the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Israeli government is in a strong position so it thrives on war and destruction. Terrorist actions just strengthen it further, military struggle has not helped the Palestinians regain their land. The world needs to help both sides recognise that cooperation and compromise are necessary to establish peace. and share the resources of the region This will not be done by America invading another country, but it can be done by bringing moral and then economic pressure to bear to create conditions for a true democracy.
In submitting to Israeli and other pressures, in withdrawing your support of the Call for Boycott of Israel you have lost not only a political opportunity but an opportunity to take an essentially moral initiative for peace.
Please reconsider in the future. You have some power, please use it wisely.
From: Ganzfried Ron, IT-TBU-TKM-RSG
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 11:32 AM
To: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'
Subject: Danke f�r den Artikel von Prof. Qumsiyeh
Sehr geehrte Redaktion,
ich m�chte mich auf diesem Weg bei Ihnen bedanken f�r Ihren Mut, Kritik an der vom Westen unterst�tzten Politik des Staates Israel zu ver�ffentlichen.
Ich hatte Ihnen das nicht zugetraut. Diese Kritik ist fur grosse Teile der "nichteffentlichen" Offentlichkeit und allen nicht politisch gebundenen Menschenrechtsorganisationen (auch israelischen) eine Selbstverst�ndlichkeit. Als Schweizer Jude hoffe ich, dass dies n�chstes Jahr eine Fortsetzung in einer �ffentlichen Podiumsdiskussion findet.
Ron Ganzfried, Bern, Schweiz
Dear Mr. Qumsiyeh,
I read your news since quile a while back. And I admire your capacity of work and action. I wish I were able to develop in such way.
I went to Israel some 25 or so years back. And just after landing al Ben Gurion airport I began to realize what was in process over there. And situation was in
any way as bad as nowadays, indeed. Many people all over the World have problems. Many, if not all of them have a common root. Maybe if a cooperative way to synchonize actions could be put in
place, some improvements would arise, and individual and collective moral as well.
I wish all the best for you and what you do pursuit.
With my compliments,
Angel-Luis Garrido Simon.
It was thrilling to read about your superb article in Global Agenda Magazine while we were in Jerusalem (I just about fell out of my chair when I read your name in the International Herald Tribune!). I did not actually read the article itself until our return. A thousand congratulations! I have only just now read all the details of the controversy. Were you able to have someone get a hold of one of the copies before it was withdrawn? It is an amazing - almost incredible - example of Zionist censorship, and should be publicized to the fullest. A tremendous accomplishment on your part!
I am glad you talk about the "real anti-Semitism". I live in France and there has been a whole uprising against anti-Semitism. I do believe racism is wrong, but I don't think being anti-Jew is the same thing as being anti-semitic. Most European Jews haven't anything to do with Semitism. How can one be anti-Semitic to European Jews?
On the other hand, there is far more racism against Arabs and Muslims in France and I have never heard so many insulting terms such as "bikko" and "beurs" and they are for Arabs and not for Jews. It is racist to say
that racism is racism if only directed to the Jews.
I believe the world isn't so much being anti-Semitic as it is being forced to be pro-Zionist. That is racial harassment. We are all being blackmailed into being pro-Zionist just so we should not be accused of
Thank you for your many wonderful articles and such thought-provoking material written clearly and without prejudice.
xxxxx (An American in Paris)
What an interesting piece of analysis. Your questions are far more thought provoking than many analysts' facts and assertions. Labels that prefer to focus on the "ism", as it were, and ignore the individual do, it seems, lead to a generalized depersonalization that is unhelpful in that it tends to obscure if not negate entirely the possibility of person-to-person contact and communication that can and often does change lives.
But there are some general statements that, to me, seem to make a great deal of sense precisely because they are so inclusive and yet speak directly to
the personal arena of choice:
While Jesus has shown the way to the immediate attainment of spiritual brotherhood, the realization of social brotherhood on your world depends much on the achievement of the following personal transformations and planetary adjustments:
52:6.3 1. Social fraternity. Multiplication of international and interracial social contacts and fraternal associations through travel, commerce, and competitive play. Development of a common language and the multiplication of multilinguists. The racial and national interchange of students, teachers, industrialists, and religious philosophers.
52:6.4 2. Intellectual cross-fertilization. Brotherhood is impossible on a world whose inhabitants are so primitive that they fail to recognize the folly of unmitigated selfishness. There must occur an exchange of national and racial literature. Each race must become familiar with the thought of all races; each nation must know the feelings of all nations. Ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion is incompatible with the essential attitude of sympathy and love.
52:6.5 3. Ethical awakening. Only ethical consciousness can unmask the immorality of human intolerance and the sinfulness of fratricidal strife. Only a moral conscience can condemn the evils of national envy and racial jealousy. Only moral beings will ever seek for that spiritual insight which
is essential to living the golden rule.
52:6.6 4. Political wisdom. Emotional maturity is essential to self-control. Only emotional maturity will insure the substitution of international techniques of civilized adjudication for the barbarous arbitrament of war. Wise statesmen will sometime work for the welfare of humanity even while they strive to promote the interest of their national or racial groups. Selfish political sagacity is ultimately suicidal-destructive of all those enduring qualities which insure planetary group survival.
52:6.7 5. Spiritual insight. The brotherhood of man is, after all, predicated on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The quickest way to realize the brotherhood of man on earth is to effect the spiritual transformation of present-day humanity. The only technique for accelerating the natural trend of social evolution is that of applying spiritual pressure from above, thus augmenting moral insight while enhancing the soul capacity of every mortal to understand and love every other mortal. Mutual
understanding and fraternal love are transcendent civilizers and mighty factors in the world-wide realization of the brotherhood of man.
Sadly, it is far easier to read of these ideas and ideals in books than to actually put them to work in the world of realpolitik, the world of red tooth and claw, as it were. For what it may be worth, I notice that your writings and the way you live your life strongly suggest that your consistent work in behalf of truth, justice, and peace is based on high ideals and sound principles. The example you set, in which theory and practice seem to achieve a harmony that is all too rare in this day and
time, is well-nigh inspirational. Thank you for that.
Just had to respond quickly, to tell you I read this one all the way through--I appreciate your thoughtful analysis, and actually, quite a statement of faith in the future and in people. Thank you. Hopefully such open, human, and dedicated efforts for more peace and justice will keep growing all over the globe, and the little pockets of such thinking and action will keep popping up, until they start touching each other, whereupon new energy is released to grow more pockets. As this process continues, one
day, the individual "pockets" will transform into the matrix. Your approach, to seek to understand the complexity of motivations of others and continue to dialogue with them, is a necessary methodology for this science to unfold. It is hard to stick with this methodology, when it is so tempting to oversimplify and categorize the villains. Keep it up!
13 April 2006
I have so much respect for the work you do. I read much of what you suggest. I am with you. Over the last few years, I have spent a lot of time reading about the conflicts in the middle east, mostly Juan Cole, Haaretz, you, human rights websites. When I first started people what I thought I got blank stares or basically told politely not to give those opinions. These days, I don't know how or why, I hear and talk with people all the time who are really sick of the US unadulterated support for Israel. You are making a difference. I know it feels lonely. I do my part in a very small way, with some very influential people. I wish you the best. Your comments about the Southern Poverty Law group are unfortunately correct. I have pointed this out to groups of people. It's very sad. Keep up the good work. I prefer that you not share my email with others.
May 31, 2006
You are truly an inspiration. I was sickened at the spectacle of the U.S. Congress giving standing ovations (several) to Olmert....and I couldn't help thinking 'the Palestinians don't stand a chance' with the sycophants in this administration. But you have
shown me otherwise. Thank you.
P.S. I am neither an Arab nor a Palestinian, but injustice anywhere needs to be confronted and resisted
June 5, 2006
Thank you for the good news. This is to let you know that our hearts are with you and that we are assisting your cause in many ways. One of them is to disseminate news about the injustices against and immense suffering of the Palestinian people. If Americans were to know fully, the tide would quickly turn. But the thought police and propagandists that have hijacked the US government are very powerful. In many ways, the tragedy of the Palestinians is also the tragedy of America.
1 Oct 2006
Your mails are always like a breathe of fresh air, but this was a particularly excellent edition. I forwarded it to my entire list, and received good feedback. The hatemail you received in response is sickening, and illustrative of the poverty of the zionist position.
All power to you. I am sure your policy of debate and confrontation is correct. If you can get sympathetic Academics to open their University portals to this debate, which brings people into the University to hear free speech. The invite these people and if they refuse, then keep a chair open to them, so people can see they have not the courage to come.
As we say, all power to your voice.
Thank you for your weekly newsletters. They are excellent. I hope your affairs are going well. Those of the world are not, as you know.
Bob, Somerville, MA
I wish to take this very special time of the year to thank you truly from the bottom of my heart for your emails which contain such invaluable information and links. Often your emails save me time and effort because the information is at my fingertips....
May God in His grace give you the strength to continue on with the struggle and the impartation of such pertinent information as you routinely pass along.
(in response to articel about Zionist treachury of Jews in WWII and in bombing synagogues in Iraq etc)
Thank you Mazin for your erudite article. Some of it reminded me of my own life, with the explosions or attacks in sinagogues in Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, somethimes Jewish schools, etc, to drive people out of their country of birth and go and live in Israel.
Your paragraph on the Iraq study group, explains clearly "why" the situation is SO BAD.
The .....loss of US credibility,...... is seen by Wasington as something very easy to repair "send more troups". All it matters is to show to the Iraqi that the US is a big and stromg country and no country should dare challenge that. The change you suggest is the only change Washington will never consider. I see that you are a very American citizen, if you really believe that the US is interested in the promotion of Human Rights and International law.
I have seen CIA and American Embassies work in South America for many years and in my work as a musician I have travelled to many countries and met a lot of American diplomats. I think I know what I'm talking about. I wish I was wrong.
All the best, Alberto
Just want to say thanks for the wealth of information you have shared this year. This subject is crucial to global events and I applaud your courage for standing up to the challenge, and I admire your grace and dignity in speaking for your people, who truly need a voice. Great success in the new year!
I am totally in awe of your work!
Thank you for your post on the Andover event.
Read with great interest your, Joe Carr's and Hassan's reports on the Andover event. What happened there is very encouraging. The Zionist attempt to silence the Wheel of Justice speakers certainly backfired. In that respect, I welcome their efforts. It results in the events they oppose getting far more publicity than they would otherwise do. This has happened again and again. And this is good for us. It only serves to expose them and strengthen our cause.
I am absolutely convinced that the American people as a whole are kind and justice loving. If they knew the truth, and all the truth, about the Israeli/Palestinian issue, about Israel's continuing illegal and brutal occupation, its oppression and the Palestinians' longing for peace and a state of their own on just 22% of their original homeland, they would support the Palestinian cause and insist that their government do right by the Palestinians.
Unfortunately, American media keeps the truth hidden from the Americans at large. It is only efforts by people like you and Hassan and Stanley Heller and Joe Carr and Gale Toensing that can give glimpses of the truth to the Americans. The Wheels of Justice is doing an excellent job in this regard. Reaching out to the students is extremely important.
My hats off to you and my thanks and gratitude to Wheels of Justice, to you and all the others seeking justice for the Palestinians.
Please keep up your good work. May you be blessed.
Justice for Palestinians Committee
Esteemed Champion of Justice,
Thank you so much for your superb newsletters and all of your efforts behind it. You must have SUPER GENES! Doctors say that the best thing you can do for your health is to choose your parents carefully; and you did!
You continue to inspire so many of us - your words are truly captivating and compelling. The height of injustice executed by the pro-Zionist forces (and their sympathizers) worldwide is unparalleled in history. We continue to hope that are voices will gain momentum and unisom in our rejection of their efforts to erase Palestine and its people. Always remember that fabrication of lies, irregardless of their profound monumental proportion, will never become factual and be sustained as the truth (When we were young, I remember my mother telling us that the "the rope of lies is very short" I later (as I grew older) would naively proclaim "but the Israelies must have a very long rope!") And she would say - you are right about that - and thus you must be destined for politics - I, like probably most Palestinians - have an innate interest in politics. I just ordered several copies of "Occupation 101" and remember reading on their website a statement to the effect that "worse than ignorance is the illusion of knowledge." Carry on in your struggle and aspiration, to educate, chiefly the American public - we are in dire need of it.
Your friend in California,
Dearest Mazin! I met you at a talk hosted by Nada Khader and WESPAC, at Pace University in February 2005. (I brought your book: Sharing the land of Caanan and was truly amazed at the patience you showed to the antagonistic attitudes by some in the audience. I learned what a true humanist and seeker of justice you are.) And now you're working so hard for the "Wheels of Justice". But your up-lifting message in this email regarding the waning influence of the Israeli lobby and the fact that two 2008 presidential candidates: Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich are NOT in the pay of AIPAC gives us some heart in an otherwise dismal world. That so many political figures are not outraged and discomforted by the abuse, suffering and pain in Gaza, Lebanon, and Iraq makes me sick. However, I shall not give up the struggle against injustice, knowing precious souls like you.....Thank you for this email! Ellie 9/6/07
9/12/07 (response to Sixth Anniversary Reflections)
Deep and meaningful.
Not only will your efforts et al on the activist front leave behind a great legacy and an extraordinary exercise of shared experiences united in human action expressing a common humanity to future generations, but rest assured those who have left us already must surely be smiling down upon you right now. :-)
And to those who we speak for, protest on behalf of, dig deep into our pockets for, sacrifice our own family time, shed tears for strangers, put our own lives in harms way treading on the path of human rights seeking justice for all, dignity for all, peace for all ... they know we do not only do it for them alone, we do it for all humanity irrespective or color class and creed.
And despite the hardships, the constant trials and inexplicable tribulations, they still can find a reason to smile.
Because of you and many like you Mazin.
This is the greatest gift any human being can give to another, the gift of hope.
Thank You always.
I am sick of all the "hype" surrounding 9/11. Yes, it was truly a tragedy, and I am grieved every time I think about the senseless loss of life and property .. . But then I feel that way every day as I look around our cities, states, nation and world.
I didn't think I could bear to hear another speech about the "Tragedy of 9/11" or read another piece about "How we must never forget" . . . That is until I read your poignant and yet inspirational reminder that all life is sacred - not just those lives lost on 9/11 - but those lives lost every day.
I would like to thank you for your continuous emails.
your writings are amazing !!! that's not an exaggeration or flirting.
Have a nice day !!
Thanks for keeping on reminding all of us what is going on. You are an inspiration for presenting bad new in a way that we can "take it."
All the best,
Thanks for this wealth of info. You put a hell of a lot work into this, and you are doing this with most of your material.
Blessings, and keep up the good work.
Thanks very much for this wonderful compilation of material on Palestinian Christians. Thought you might be interested also in a video produced by two young American--i.e., non-Palestinian--missionaries who spent three years in Zababdeh, from 2000 to 2003. Marthame Sanders is a Presbyterian minister, now a pastor in Atlanta. He his wife Elizabeth taught school in Zababdeh and assisted the Melkite congregation (since there aren't any Presbyterians there, to speak of). They made a very professional and very powerful video about the Christian community in and around Zababdeh, with nine segments on both the religious communities and life under occupation. It's available at www.saltfilms.net. Marthame has returned to Palestine a couple of times for brief trips since they left in late 2003. He studied Arabic while there, and some Palestinian friends of ours swear he speaks with no accent! When you go to the website, you can hear Marthame singing/chanting, I believe in Arabic.
Incidentally, we met Bernard Sabella's daughter Margo, last year in Jerusalem and, although Sabella doesn't sound like an Arab name, she identifies herself as a Palestinian, so I presume he does too.
There aren't many people who I think can always be counted on to say something worth my attention. One of them is William Blum whose monthly Anti-empire reports are never a disappointment. Even someone as attentive to current developments and historically grounded as Immanuel Wallerstein , whose twice-monthly commentaries are usually very impressive with their broad historical sweep, can sometimes be less than I hoped for. In a different category than either Blum or Wallerstein is Mazin Qumsiyeh, who is both a keen intellectual, as are Wallerstein and Blum, but also an activist par excellence, in my opinion an admirable combination of thought and action. I envy him, of course, but let myself off the hook with the excuse that I'm old. At any rate, here's Mazin's latest, which I highly recommend. The Black Agenda Report on the disgraceful Islamofascist Awareness Week is excellent.
Thank you for all your valuable work for the Palestinian people, that is, for the cause of peace and justice and, therefore, ultimately for the Jewish people too.
Also thank you for your valuable contribution to the politico-historical education of many people in our group here in Des Moines; although the fanatical Zionists in the group are quite adamant in pursuing their misguided agenda.
1 Dec 2007
Thank you for this and all your other messages. You are a hero, and an inspiration to those of us who are trying to make a difference.
May the holidays give you rest and light.
re Christmas 2007
Thank you so much Mazin Qumsiyeh for this very great article I almost missed. But then I started to take a quick look and couldn't turn away. You have put together such an informative article, which also gives us hope in the midst of all the bad news, that I had to stop, read it, and send it on. I hope to go back and read it in depth later, but it is important to send on your article which remains encouraging in spite of all the realities you point out, as soon as possible.
And to Everyone else: Here is a very small sample of the wealth of positive reading here:. "Each activist who does positive work (and there are millions globally) is a point of light in a growing galaxy of light". Everyone who sees and reads this often poetic piece can't help but feel uplifted and encouraged that Qumsiyeh feels this way.
Best regards to all,
thank you so much for sending me your inspirational mailings throughout the year. The incidents you quote do indeed give us hope. I feel the tide of opinion turning in the UK due to so many more people actually going to Palestine and witnessing the situation at first hand.....
I was added onto your mailing list after attending a Wheels for Fustice event in Red Lodge, MT (small town in SW Montana) last summer.
I just wanted to thank you for your emails and to say that I am heartened by this most recent one. I write and have my senators and representatives opposing funding to Israel due to their actions against Palestinians and their continued colonization of of the Occupied Palestinian Territories for many years now.
I can't remember where I first heard of the radical idea of plain old equal rights (including the right to vote) for ALL in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories, regardless of religion or who your parents are, but it resounded in my mind as the only possible way to peace and reconciliation (like South Africa).
Anyway, you know all about this much better than I do. I just wanted to express my thanks for your message of hope. I'm going to re-read this particular email from you before I write my regular letters to my "elected" representatives and especially the candidates during this primary. I always mention the "equal rights solution" when I write comments to news articles on the web.
Well, thank you again for raising that most powerful tool, HOPE. Even though I do not suffer directly from the injustice and inhumanity my government subsidizes at the hands of Israel, I sometimes allow myself to feel like peace and justice in Israel and the OPT are impossible and my small efforts don't make a difference. I really appreciate your reminder of hope. I'll keep sending my letters and emails.
Thanks again for your email. It is so important to have that hope.
To a New Year filled with hope for Equal Rights for ALL In Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Peace,
Just a bit of interesting information: This phrase, "Showing-up is half the battle", is a shortened version of "Eighty percent of lfe is showing up" that was coined by Jewish comedian and film maker Woody Allen who once denounced the israelis for their treatment of Palestinians. A and added: "Are these the same people that i used to collect money for in those blue and white for The National Jewish Fund?" He also said "What gives the Jews the right to beat up Palestinians who want only the same rights that Jews have in the country that used to be theirs." He has long been one of the zionists most despised "self-hating Jews".
Greetings from Costa Rica. You nurture us, you inspire us to continue, no matter what. Thank you! Celina García.
Folks, let me tell you a bit about Mazin.
At a forum about Palestine-Israel in Norwalk, Conn. a few years ago, Mazin was one of the speakers. I was the last person, from the audience, to speak. I told about Judah Magnes and Martin Buber and the early efforts by a sector of Zionism to help achieve Arab-Jewish co-operation and a bi-national state. Mazin came down from the speaker's table, walked to me, and embraced me. Later, he and Jesse, his Chinese-American wife; warmly, firmly, and successfully invited me to spend the night with them. Their home was/is stylish, tasteful, and universal. So too was our middle eastern breakfast the next morning, after which the Qumsiyehs showed me around the area a bit; including a nearby lake where-perchance- Mazin sometimes comes to wind-down, and relax. He eagerly listened to whatever I could tell him about the efforts of Jews, and others, to bring justice and peace to Palestine-Israel, and about the struggles within Judaism to reach its humane potential.
Dear Friends and relatives:
In looking for something good to send as my (late) Christmas message, I was hard-pressed, as 2007 was not a great year, either in the U.S. or my own family. However, when I received Mazin Qumsiyeh's message - he is a friend and 2005 speaker at my Public Policy Forum in Crested Butte - it was perfect. I have excerpted it and attached it hereto.
Blessings to you all, and may 2008 be a vast improvement over its predecessor!
My best wishes for a new year filled with every joy you could wish for,
I hope your day is progressing expressly well.
It has been my impression that dark times lie ahead for many Americans with the impending and unavoidable collapse of the economy.
As a long time observor of the I-P conflict, my worry is that those who are intoxicated with power will sink the country. How incredible that a Zionist lobbyst accompanied the French president to the U.S after playing a decisive role in his ascension to power !
But there is a ray of hope, insightful Jews including Zionists I know see the dangerous future with the Israel of today confronts Jews, the people of the middle east and indeed the world.
But will they let go of a Century's goal? For most informed people outside the United States, the complete Isolation of U.S public oppinion from the rest of the world is indeed a remarkable achievement. How else is one to assess that fact?
Thanks, Best Regards,
You are doing a great service for human rights. I read much of what you publish in these communications. My time does not allow me to read everything I agree with. I tend to concentrate on statements and people with whom I disagree. God, Who is Truth, already knows who I agree with. Nobody else needs to know. Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, but nobody has a right to their own truth. My mother-in-law said in Arabic what could be paraphrased as, "Don't defy God with foolish acts."
I will be 80 years old later this year. I have seen low points in US history. I lived through the Great Depression in a poor family. I saw the rise and fall of Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini. I have lived under 13 presidents. I remember Roosevelt's fourth term. I resent the reference to the US President as '...leader of the free world...' in an arrogant assumption that the rest of the world has voted him into that office. I also resent the reference to USA as "...the only superpower...' as though no other people in the world count or that we could dominate all human enterprise.
I have been so lucky to be in your mailing list.
Your articles and specially The illusion of choice in US elections is very clear and on target. I thank you so much for your analysis and I continue to be in solidarity with the Palestinians.
The lastest article: The illusion of choice in U.S. elections...I consider a masterpiece and forwarded the entire message to various friends living abroad.
Thank you much for sharing them with us, and I am confident that they are well received and understood.
A well-informed friend has sent me your Christmas message and I wanted to respond. Please add my light to your other candles, for I have had my eyes opened to the horrendous abuses that the Palestinians have been suffering at the hands of Israel. I cannot tell you how ignorant I was until very recently, but I now see that the people who were once the oppressed have become the oppressors. It has been a painful thing to accept.
I grew up Jewish but have since converted to the Bahai faith. I was in Israel when I was 20 years old, in 1970. I was not from a Zionist family...I had a friend living in Israel and was invited to visit his family and came on vacation for 2 weeks. I took a 9 day tour of Israel. I spent most of my free time eating in Arab restaurants and roaming the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem. Somehow I felt most at home there. Even though I "bought" the Israeli propaganda, I had vowed never to return to Israel until the Palestinians had a homeland of their own. It just seemed right and just.
Recently, I was faced with a difficult decision. As a Bahai, I had been on a waiting list for 7 years to go on pilgrimage to Haifa. My name came up and I had to decide if I would break my vow and return to Israel. I decided to come back and will be there in May, 2008.
Now that I understand what has become an increasingly vile policy of Israel toward the Palestinian people, I intend to spend some time in Jerusalem and go to Bethlehem to see for myself what is going on. I have become involved in organizations that work for the welfare and freedom of the Palestinians. I will see for myself, I will take pictures, I will speak with Palestinians and I will come back to the U.S. and bear witness to what I have seen.
Just this morning I went to a program at a local church where many Christians and Jews who had recently gone to Bethlehem explained the horror of what is going on. There are many Jews here who have finally opened their eyes (I was as blind as most) and are speaking out for justice. I was raised on a myth about the role of Israel and the treatment of Palestinians. But I believed it because most of the people who told it thought they were speaking the truth. We have had blinders on and for that I am so sorry. We could not conceive of Jews being the oppressors. So, please add my candle to yours.
You are a lovely human being! Your talk here in Boston was incredible, every sentence brilliant even tho you were overtired, not to say totally exhausted. It was the best talk I've heard in years, and I'm hoping that it will be on the radio multiple times so that others can hear it too. I loved seeing the film of your Museum and your work with the children, so valuable, and each child so precious. When I mentioned to Cornelia that it was a shame she had to miss your talk she said: "Oh Mazin Qumsiyeh, he is a light in the wilderness" and I thoroughly agree. Please take care of yourself and blessings to you and all of your family!
Much affection and appreciation,
Amy and Jonathan
Dear Mazin, thank you for this report.. and thank you for your enduring courage, compassion and insight. I will never forget our visit to the museum- it is indelibly fixed in my memory and will there until my dying day. It represents everything that is good about the good.
A warm embrace to you all
Thank you for this personal history, Mazin. You were why I got involved in this work. Your talk at Cape Cod Community College changed the issue for me. I hope we are making progress. love and peace, Dianne 7 Sept 2015