Letter from Mazin | 9/23/09

In this digest: 1) A call to join a large gathering of students, faculty and staff to promote boycott, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) at academic institutions.  2) An action call for the release of our friend and nonviolent activist Mohammed Othman. 3) Why the Goldstone report matters by Richard Falk and a call to action from the US Campaign to End the Occupation, 4) two Jewish songwriters on Palestine, 5) A rough poem I wrote after the Obama-Netanyahu-Abbas meeting titled “We are angry”

ACTION 1: This fall from November 20th through the 22nd, students, faculty, and staff from around the country who are engaged in Palestine solidarity activism will converge for a conference on campus Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).

Announcing the 2009 Campus Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference at Hampshire College

ACTION 2: My friend Mohammad Othman (from Jayyous, a village that lost a lot of its lands to the apartheid wall), was arrested by Israeli authorities when he returned from a trip to Norway. A colleague wrote”It is not the first time, Palestinian human rights defenders are arrested after trips abroad. Muhammad Srour, an eye witness to the killing of Arafat Khawaje, 22, and 20-year-old Mohammed Khawaje, who were both shot on a Gaza solidarity demonstration in Ni’lin on 28th December. He testified in front of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza and, in a clear act of reprisal, he was arrested on his way back. This strategy of arrests complements the overall policy of isolation of the Palestinian people behind checkpoints, walls and razor wire. “More at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36429272741&ref=ts

Urge your representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah to demand the immediate release of Mohammad Othman. (For your consular contacts, see: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Israel#11725) and Let the Israeli Embassy in your country know that you are campaigning for Mohammad’s release and for a just and lasting peace based on international law.


Action 3: Read Richard Falk’s “Why the Goldstone report matters”

http://intifada-palestine.com/2009/09/21/why-the-goldstone-report-matters/ and then act by going to this link http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2352

Two Jewish song-writers do a song for Palestine and suggest that you donate to charities to support Palestine

Video, high def, about 12 minutes long: http://vimeo.com/6630724
 Youtube, in two parts, about 6 minutes long each:
 Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x2axqjhI6g
 Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojv1FWFGCgw&feature=channel
 “For audio download, pay what you want, 20% goes to charities that help Palestinian kids, (the other 80% goes to helping me recoup the $2K I spent on this video!): http://www.richsiegel.bandcamp.com

We are angry, by Mazin Qumsiyeh

We are angry at rhetoric of oppression
Hafrada-Segregation-Apartheid and Security
Two-states, one state, cantons and autonomy
The chosen state’s right to exist

While colonialism can persist
Addictws now to talk about talking
And hold meetings about more meetings

Maybe to revive the “peace process” charades

to ensure no peace for a few more decades

giving the monster created by Western powers

time to gobble more of the holy pieces

and belch its pleasure in more negotiations

devoid of human rights or UN resolutions


We are angry at statistics of oppression
11,000 political prisoners
534 Destroyed villages and towns
35% seeking stolen jobs
450 km of apartheid walls
7 million displaced or refugees

1.5 million uprooted fruiting trees

1.5 million in Gaza besieged
62 years of justice denied

We are angry at manufactured misery
Epidemics and pandemics
Genocides hidden with polemics

Swelling ranks of the disempowered

Phosphorous bombs on Gaza showered

An apartheid wall that snakes around

Running sewage in the streets abound

Children barefoot in a refugee camp in 2009!
While the unelected leaders repeat the same line

We are angry at spies
Some come take pictures and pretend to care

Others just watch and hope to avoid the glare
Some punished by law or by a guilty conscience

Others abandoned by their racist masters
Some feed stomachs but starve their souls

Others fall for carnal desires as fleeting as the empty goals
Some serving the colonial racist regime

Others think it safer with the quisling theme
Some commit suicide or die forgotten
 Others repent and are soon forgiven

We are angry at hypocrisy
Those who claim then need their human right

While not sparing children from their plight

Those who champion International laws

While leaving heavy trails of bloody claws
Those who smile plunging knives in your back
While screaming loudly that they are under attack

Those who use a religious heritage to support overt racism

While defaming anyone who dares to speak out: “anti-semitism”!

We are angry at collaborators
Those with nice suits and those with guns
Those who sell their people for shekels
Those who do it out of ignorance

And those who with malice and malfeasance

Presidents, Pundits, and peasants

Large or small petty criminals

We are angry at being angry
While it may help us break the chains
Yet our love through anger diminishes

And our faith in humanity shrinks

And even what we want for ourselves

So maybe this final anger motivates ….
To shed anger and keep high our heads and spirits
In our world there are many who deserve merits
good, honest, brave activists
Philanthropists, protestors, poets…

men and women of all life stages  

tailor-made therapists for all ages
Political Prisoners and Martyrs

Intellectuals and small farmers

Working to plant the blood-soaked lands

With cactus, figs, olive trees, and  almonds

watering hopes and dreams like a growing grape vine

tendrils reaching out to free beloved immortal Palestine

 Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home


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