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Woe to those who plan iniquity, by Mazin Qumsiyeh

"Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At
morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.
They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud
people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance. Therefore, the
Lord says: “I am planning disaster against this people, from which you
cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a
time of calamity. In that day people will ridicule you …Hear this, you
leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel! You who
abhor what is just, and pervert all that is right; Who build up Zion with
bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickness!..." (Old Testament/Torah, Micah 2
and 3)

I just returned to my beloved Palestine after a short (five day) trip to
the United States. Harassed by officials, losing my luggage (still not
located) and lack of sleep reminded me why I do not like to travel much
(but must do occasionally). Most painful for me was being away from friends
and colleagues and compatriots being injured or killed and their
livelihoods destroyed. Just before I left, we paid respect to family of 23
year old Muataz Zawahra, a brilliant, bright young man who was shot in
Bethlehem as he demonstrated against the wall that strangles our ghetto.
Now I need to go pay respect to family of another non-violent activist (our
colleague Hashem Azziz) who died from inhaling the poisonous tear gas that
Israel is using on us. This gas has already caused one of our bee colonies
at the museum to leave us because gas does drift to our botanical garden
almost daily now. Israel also is blocking more roads and making what used
to be a very difficult life virtually impossible (today traffic is
impossible getting to Bethlehem University by cars).

My master students have not had classes for two weeks. We all feel
frustrated by most of us know that the brutality Israel is inflicting will
not work and that freedom will be coming after decades of colonial
occupation. In fact there are reports of leaked CIA documents that predict
that since the two state solution has been ended (due to the fact that
650,000 Jewish settlers live inside the West Bank), that the one democratic
state solution is the only possible outcome. This will mean the end of
Zionism and many racist Zionists understand this and want to use these last
opportunities to exercise their freedom of killing and destroying
Palestinians with impunity. Perhaps to the set the stage for that
internally, the Prime Minister of Israel just absolved Hitler of his crimes
and ludicrously claimed that he only wanted to expel Jews and that a
Palestinian convinced him to kill the Jews. An Israeli representative at
the United Nations also (unbelievable) claimed that Palestinians are
teaching their students in school how to stab Jews. This is a prelude to
justifying genocide.

Social media like facebook is full of videos and documented evidence the
reality of what is going on here (brutality of the colonial occupation,
Palestinian anger facing repressive measures, Israeli soldiers planting
knives next to victims  etc). I do not want to make this letter long by
describing this here. Those who are interested can read also alternative
media like or or or .   This compared to the spineless “coverage” of mainstream
Western media outlets (many of them dominated by establishment figures).
But even there in these outlets, we see occasionally stories of reality.
And even in Israeli media we see occasionally glimpses of hope (see for
example article below in Haaretz). We look to a post-Zionist (post
apartheid) future when people of all religious faiths live here in harmony
and mutual respect in a pluralistic democratic society.

We will not give up. We will live. We will educate our children well. We
will build institutions for the future where we respect our-seves, respect
others, and respect nature (as we are doing with our botanical garden and
museum of natural history at Bethlehem University
In good news, Scandinavian Airlines, SAS announced yesterday that it has
stopped flights to Israel because of lack of profitability and risky
business. But in bad news: Israel is now blocking off Palestinian
neighborhoods in and around East Jerusalem with concrete blocks and walls.
This is ghettoization and apartheid implemented and is a crime against
humanity done with impunity, This culture of impunity must end.

Summary of my talks at HCEF meeting (mostly Christian clergy and lay
people) in Washington DC: “Living in Palestine takes sacrifices and
Christians leave not because of economic reasons but because of political
reasons (persecution by colonial Zionists). Reporting on some of the
horrors last week, Qumsiyeh explained why MLK Jr was disappointed in “white
moderates” and hence we Palestinian Christians called for action (for
example via BDS, [in the second session on Western
policies] Qumsiyeh chronicled the 140 year documented history of Western
involvement in fragmenting the Arab world. He explained that resistance is
the most hopeful and empowering and why he is optimistic that the path of
“might makes rights” is coming to an end. The suffering in these last few
years might escalate as colonialism and imperialism never up power easily.”

I also talked at Boston College, attended part of the wonderful Boston
Palestine Film Festival (, and spoke at the
First Baptist Church, I also got to visit natural history museums to build

Sick and should be protested: EU funding to Israeli military companies and
institutions trough Horizon2020

The European Union is Complicit in Israeli War Crimes

International BDS wave of solidarity with Palestinian Popular Resistance

The Single-state Solution Is Already Here

Stay human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine


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