Sep 24, 2013

Obama and Abbas

(much of this information was sent in Arabic also to a large list of key leaders)

President Barak Obama  said in the middle of his 40 minutes of lies and hypocrisy at the UNGA as world leaders looked on in dismay: “With respect to Syria, we believe that as a starting point, the international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons.” (The US and Israel both possess and have used chemical weapons, see below) and added “Although we will at times be accused of hypocrisy and inconsistency [!], we will be engaged in the region for the long haul” [to serve Israel].  Incredibly he also said he believed in American "exceptionalism" [white man's burden]. Hypocritically he also mentioned Martin Luther King Jr. But MLK opposed American imperialism and exceptionalism and who said in a speech in 1968: “God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war ….. We have committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world.”[we still do]

In my trip to Poland two weeks ago, I challenged Mr. Robert Wexler, a life-long Israeli-apologist who was a US Congressman and now runs a Zionist non-governmental organization.  I also asked him “if indeed you did not effectively work for AIPAC, why did you vote yes for every single AIPAC bill in your 18 years in Congress including all the bills promoting US wars for Israel?”  He did not have an answer.  Wexler is being groomed to be the next Jewish Zionist who will take over as a “peace envoy” in the endless peace process [industry].  Yet we learn that Mr. Abbas [term long expired, disdained by Palestinians not employed by his authority] chose to elevate Mr. Wexler by having him host a meeting with right-wing Jewish American establishment figures to "reassure them."  What did Mr. Abbas tell the gathered pro-apartheid leaders? As documented by notes to reporters handed out by Mr. Wexler’s outfit, Mr. Abbas:

- condemned the killing of two Israeli occupation/apartheid soldiers who were enforcing occupation and apartheid

- said that he had agreed to resume negotiations by Israeli conditions (suspension of going to UN agencies for basic human rights of the Palestinians).

- he begged the audience and the Israeli government to work to stop settlement "expansion" (previously he had said we will not go back to negotiations without this). These colonies are actually a crime against humanity per International law (see ruling of the International Court of Justice).

- he said that six of his eight grandchildren attended “seeds of peace” program with Israeli youth (an outfit normalizing occupation)

- he repeated his mantra that the 2000-2005 intifada was “wrong”. This was latest of 14 uprisings against the brutal colonization of Palestine ( international law supports resistance to occupation by all means).

- he stated that the US is the key to the “peace process”[industry].  The US administration continues to give billions to support Israeli apartheid and to have Mr. John Kerry lead this “process” (who also voted in the Senate strongly for AIPAC bills).  President Obama focused his speech at the UN and his policies to protect his paymasters in Tel Aviv by lie after lie.

Mr. Abbas DID NOT MEET with even one of the tens of thousands of Jewish anti-Zionists in America.  He did not even meet with moderate Jewish organizations like “Jewish Voice for Peace” or any of the key organizations that support human rights (like the US campaign against the Occupation or Al-Awda).

I think every Arab with dignity must read the speeches of global leaders at the United nations including the president of Brazil (who devoted half her talk to chastise the US for its illegal spying) and the US president who lied at just about every other sentence of his lengthy speech.

Even though we may disagree with some world leaders, we see many who did not grovel and beg for their people’s rights from the United States (of Israel!?).  History will judge harshly those politicians who lied and sold the people’s rights.

Final thought: I wish more world leaders talk about nuclear and chemical stockpiles in Israel and the US.  It is time to either wrestle the UN out of the grip of the US or reform the USA so that it is no longer dominated by the Israel lobby.

Must read articles

Israel's History Of Chemical Weapons Use By Dr. Elias Akleh

Birth Defects And Cancer Rates At Devastating High In Basra And Fallujah (VIDEO)

Two-State Solution or Illusion?  An Analysis by Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Analysis of the success and failure of so called “aid” to the Palestinians: Palestinians are far worse off today than they were in 1993 using any economic or political criterion. According to the income-based definition of poverty, 50% of Palestinians lived in poverty in 2009 and 2010, 38% in the West Bank and 70% in Gaza. The World Food Programme has found that 50% of Palestinian households suffer from food insecurity. Unemployment has been stuck at around 30% since 2009, with 47% unemployed in Gaza in 2010 and 20% in the West Bank.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Sep 22, 2013

Common morality

It is very hard sometimes to go on “having joyful participation in the sorrows of this world” (The Buddhist motto that I try to keep as a guiding principle) when we witness so much injustice, so much poverty, so many deaths, and so much hypocrisy.  The key word and the most difficult is “participation”.  How do we participate in a meaningful moral way in such a world?  How do we know if we are doing something to make a difference, or we are unable to make a difference?  “God grant me the courage to change the things I can, patience for those I can’t change and wisdom to know the difference.”  How can we find this wisdom to know.  We struggle with these questions daily because we see so much destruction, death, hypocrisy, and stupidity.  Here are just seven examples from many that occurred to us this week under occupation:

1. Two women (one handicapped) were murdered in the Israeli occupied areas this week, one in Deir AlGhosn area (Tulkarem) and one in Yatta (Hebron). This is called “honor killing” by some!  Is there a more horrible thing than to claim there is honor restored through murder. I think we should all write to the Palestinian authority to demand accountability for the murderers (they must be treated as any other premeditated murders).

2. The US and Israeli governments feverishly lobbied other countries to narrowly defeat a non-binding resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that would have simply asked Israel to join the International Atomic Weapons Treaty. I think each of us should write to their governments that voted against or abstained to complain about this hypocrisy and collusion with an apartheid dangerous nuclear state.

3. The Egyptian military joined the Israeli military as Gaza's jailer making a desperate situation grow even more desperate. Sign petition here and write also to your media and politicians to demand pressure on the Egyptian military rulers: more info at:

4. The Israeli occupation forces manhandled EU diplomats and seized humanitarian aid for Palestinians being ethnically cleansed from the Jordan valley.  You can write to politicians and media.

5. The World Health Organization Refuses to Publish Report on Cancers and Birth Defects in Iraq Caused by Depleted Uranium Ammunition We should write to them and complain.

6. Nearly seven million Palestinian refugees still await implementing their internationally recognized right to return to their homes and lands.  Now we add two million Syrian refugees who are hosted by bordering countries (except Israel who does not take such refugees because it is a state for Jews).  Saudi Arabia and other gulf states who fund US wars and their own proxy wars on other countries  (including Syria) must be asked to pay poor countries like Jordan and Lebanon for the cost of hosting these refugees.

7. Israel continues to profit from the occupation to the tune of $10-12 billion/year. The boycott, divestmen, and sanctions movement is spreading.  You can help.  As an example, some activists decided to target Sodastreamwith a National Sodastream Day of Action - Saturday 28 September. Sodastream is a home carbonation device that is made in violation of International Law in an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land. The Geneva Conventions specifically prohibits this, and the International Court of Justice has advised that Israel’s settlements in the occupied  West Bank are illegal. Sodastream is profiting from the theft of valuable Palestinian water and land, and the exploitation of Palestinian labour.
To get involved please:
- Like and share the Facebook events page:
- Join your local action, posted here:
- Write to your local stockist – sample letter here:
- Organise your own action in your area on 28 September
- Invite your friends, colleagues and family to take action
- Leaflets and more information here:
- Get in touch/order campaigning cards:
Occupation Is Not Green: Boycott SodaStream!

The least you can do is be an arm-chair activist and use the wonderful gift of the internet to send politicians and media letters and inquiries.  It does make a difference.  Sometimes a short letter with two sentences is enough.  I find to be disciplined dedicating a set time every week to do that even 20 minutes or half an hour a week) can make a big difference.  The biggest difference is in our own hearts (satisfying our conscience that we were not just spectators).

I wrote before about “mental occupation” which is an illness that is much more dangerous than physical occupation/colonization.  But the more I consider the subject the more I realize that to liberate people’s minds we mush shed all chains that justify using culture, religion, and societal norms to justify our lack of action.  We must have an internal revolution that liberates our minds.  We must create a new human being.  I am not talking here about replacing a cultural and religious slavery with a materialistic capitalist slavery.  I am talking about real freedom that starts with acting on our common morality. What is this common morality?  If you try to distill the earliest ideas of all religions into their basic and common principles you find that the bottom line is “do no harm” or equivalently the golden rule which is to treat others as you would like to be treated.  Do no harm means no stealing, no killing. no rape, no  lying etc.  I know atheists and agnostics who lived all their lives with this common morality so it is not even related to religion.

We “can’t be neutral on a moving train” (Howard Zinn) and we must take actions based on this common morality or we join the hypocritical silent masses that allow evil to do what it does.  Each of us knows these truths at some deeper level and each of us must choose how to have “joyful PARTICIPATION in the sorrows of this world”.

Mazin Qumsiyeh  

Sep 16, 2013


I am back to Bethlehem which is physically under Israeli occupation. But then again that is less significant than mental occupation from which so many people in Palestine and elsewhere seem to suffer.  Perhaps if more of us free their minds of this mental occupation we can more easily rid ourselves of the physical occupation and colonization whether here or in America or the rest of the world.  The following are just samples of the symptoms of this Orwellian world.

-Israeli occupation forces demolish yet another Palestimoam village and the Western goverments remain silent

Meanwhile, the Palestinian authority continues to “negotiate” for the 21st year in a row. 

-31 years passed and those responsible for the massacre at Sabra and Shatila have not been brought to justice

Meanwhile, the Palestinian authority succumbed to US pressure and decided never to take Israel to International courts.. 

-NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Apartheid Israel

Meanwhile, the US administration continues to claim that it respects human rights.

-Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, can make 115 to 190 more, report says (and the US says nothing)

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority sides with the US against Iran

-Israel refuses to ratify chemical weapons treaty (and the US says nothing)

Meanwhile, the Palestinian authority refused to join any UN bodies (beyond UNESCO) in deference to a request by the US (Israeli occupied) administration.

-Egyptian authorities stepped-up their punishment of Gaza in collusion with Israel. Closing the lifelines and choking Gaza are ongoing crimes against humanity.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian authority signs onto all dictats of COGAT (Israeli occupation arm in the West Bank) to round-up all Palestinians who do or might resist occupation.

-An excellent article was published by Ian Lustick in the NY Times explaining the “Two-state illusion”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian authority refuses to consider that there was never a viable two-state solution and continues to play the make-belief game that peace is possible with Zionist apartheid.

For the rest of us, we must strive to stay sane and to stay human in this Orwellian world,

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Sep 13, 2013


Part of the comments I made at a conference in Warsaw, Poland on Arab Revolts.  Speakers included people from Lebanon, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Russia, France, US and more

It is very meaningful for me to be in Poland for the first time. In 1989, you had the peak of your inspiring uprising in Poland. We in Palestine also had an inspiring uprising that peaked in that period.  Unlike your uprising, we did not succeed then.  We have had a total of 15 uprisings in the past 130 years. Gaza had several uprisings each reminiscent of the Warsaw uprising.  In Gaza 1.5 million people, most of them refugees are forced to live on a small desert regions, now one of the most densely populated areas on earth. In fact, we draw inspiration from each other.

There is a joke about a reporter in Jerusalem visiting the wailing wall and noticing an old Jewish man praying so he interviewed him.  What do you pray for at the wall? I pray for world peace!  How long have you been praying for world peace at the wall? 27 years! And how does it feel to be praying for 27 years at the wall for world peace? How do you think if feels like praying to a freaking wall!!!

I said yesterday I am optimistic about the future in our part of the world.  I actually wrote a book called sharing the land of Canaan looking to a shared future, one democratic state for all its people in our homeland.   I was talking to Dr. Geremek yesterday over dinner and we both share medical background which makes us optimistic always.  For knowing the diagnosis is important but giving therapy and giving patients some information on prognosis is equally important.

Yet, we live in an age of universal deceit where proper diagnosis is obfuscated by propaganda.  This is the age in which truth telling, as one author said, becomes a revolutionary act.  Words seem to be switched on us in this Orwellian era. Two speakers yesterday tried to use verbal acrobatics to justify the unjustifiable while proclaiming that French and US governments are trying to promote human rights in the middle east. One thing that brings to mind is the Orientalism discussed by my late friend Edward Said. Western governments have been engaged in destructive partnership with the most repressive regimes from Saudi Arabia to Israel. Just imagine what would have been the reaction if the roles were reversed.  What if Arabs and Muslims who were living in their golden age joined party with the repressive kingdoms of Europe during the Middle Ages! The best thing European and American governments can do is stop being partners in crime with those who repress us and leave us alone.  We would surely develop much faster.  Certainly faster than what even we expect.  Surely the Berlin Wall tumpled faster tahn we expected.  Certainly Soviet collapse also happened faster than we expected and also the end of apartheid in South Africa.

We have to remember that France, England and Russia joined forces to divide the Middle East in the Sykes-Picot agreement.  It was France that issued the Jules Cambon declaration in 1917 just before England issued the Balfour declaration in support of the racist Zionist idea which was to give our country to the Zionist movement.  And it is the US and the Soviet Union that almost simultaneously recognized the theft of Palestine to create a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab world. America, far from being a promoter of human rights used nuclear bombs on civilians and used Napalm and Agent Orange in Vietnam.  They then played their chess game at our expense. People do not forget things like the CIA’s toppling of the democratically elected Iranian government in 1953 to install the brutal Shah!

Martin Luther King who opposed American imperialism and exceptionalism gave his last speech in 1968 stating:

God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war ….. We have committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world.

King went on to talk about peace and economic justice saying:

What I'm saying to you this morning is that communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problems of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together.

Israel provides the most blatant case of double standards and the achille’s heel of empire that tries to cover its nakedness by empty talk about human rights, democracy, and international law while everywhere the same people mouthing those directly support war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the antithesis of democracy.

The largest remaining post-WWII refugee crisis is the Palestinian refugees.  We have 7 million refugees or displaced people coming from 530 ethnically cleansed villages and towns.  Israel still refuses to allow us to return to our homes and lands.  Why does the West tolerate this and continue to support Israel

Israel has over 50 laws that make it an apartheid racist state that discriminates against non-Jews.  And even though both US law and European law says that countries that persistently violate human rights should not be supported, yet Europe follows US policy of blind obedience to the short-sighted Israel lobby. One wonders why every neighboring country to Syria except Israel each received at least half a million Syrian refugees?  There is so much that is not being discussed in discussing the Arab revolts including the negative role that global and regional powers play. We have to remember who pushed for US war on Iraq and who is now pushing for the US war on Syria and Iran.

I am optimistic because I travel a lot (just in the past few months to Jordan and its Syrian refugee camps, to Egypt, Turkey, India, South Africa, and Japan) and see a growth of the same kind of global movement that helped end apartheid in South Africa trying to end Israeli apartheid. I am optimistic because wars no longer achieve their intended goals of promotion of imperialism and racism.  Good examples of this in the past 10 years are the US war on Iraq and Israel’s war on Lebanon and Gaza.  I am optimistic despite the stupidity of both the Hamas leaders in Gaza and the Fatah leaders in Ramallah; both focused on their narrow personal interests than they are the interest of millions of Palestinians.

So I have the same dream as Martin Luther King. Getting past the European 19th century ideas of ethnocentric nation states towards a a socjety in which citizens share and live in equality and with respect to human rights.  A society in which war is a thing of the past, where justice rolls like a mighty stream, where each person is valued regardless of his/her skin color or religion. This is the dream of our world and it is a dream that is worth for us to sacrifice and struggle for.

Sep 6, 2013

Painful times

There will be a demonstration in Ramallah tomorrow (Saturday) at noon (Manara square) against the ongoing Oslo capitulations

On Thursday we visited a 16 year old young man (Udai Sirhan) who had his skull chattered months ago by an Israeli bullet in Bethlehem and he is still hospitalized after three operations (photos at  The bullet is still in his brain.  We also visited a friend from Al-Walaja (Basel AlAraj) who was beaten by “Palestinian Authority” security services trained by the US when he and other young people tried to demonstrate holding four mock coffins for four Palestinians killed earlier that week (3 killed by Israeli forces, one by Palestinian forces).  Video at

Basel and I were twice arrested together by Israeli forces in Al-Walaja. He is a most decent, kind and gentle human being.  He and others like him are being targeted by the Palestinain authority which continues to cooperate and coordinate with the occupation forces. This is painful. Sometimes we feel pain that is at a far deeper level than any physical pain.  It is visits like these that makes us lose sleep. We wish the world to wake-up to the continuing injustice inflicted on the people and landscape of Palestine with the collusion and support of many Westerners but also many Arab leaders and even some Palestinians.  

Three influential pro-Israel groups urged US lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize US President Barack Obama to launch an attack on Syria, signaling a stepped-up lobbying effort for American military action.

Reminder (if needed) of why war is horrible: Birth Defects And Cancer Rates At Devastating High In Basra And Fallujah (VIDEO)

Quakers take steps towards BDS and Statements.htm

Kairos Palestine statement on Syria

Leaked secret budget details for US intelligenece a gencies: staggering $52 billion spent on spies (this does not include military intelligence agencies)

Secretary of State John Kerry referenced a photograph run by BBC purporting to be of a Syrian massacre when it was from Iraq 2003. See BBC mistakenly runs dated Iraq photo to illustrate the syrian massacre
and the New York times finally published an article about the brutalities/atrocities committed by the US-backed “rebels” (most are mercenaries from other countries financed by Saudi Arabia and trained in neighboring countries to Syria)

The US government daily commits crimes against humanity around the world either directly or indirectly through regimes the US supports (like Israel and the Saud royal family).  Yet, they try to lecture the world about “human rights”.  That so many people fall for it is pathetic but that some Palestinains also do is really painful.  Pain is something we expect under Israeli occupation but increasinglyour pain cmes from knowledge of horrors of collusion/collaboration/complicity with crimes against humanity.

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Sep 5, 2013

السلطة واسرائيل والشباب الفلسطيني

اليوم زرنا في المستشفى شاب فلسطيني عدي سرحان جرح من جنود الإحتلال الإسرائيلي وثم زرنا صديقي باسل الأعرج من الولجة شاب فلسطيني ضربته االأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية المدربة من أمريكا خلال تظاهرة ضد قرار أبو مازن العودة للمفاضات العبثية والمستمرة منذ 20 عام والمساعدة للإحتلال الإسرئيلي.

 عدي وبعد حوالي 7 أشهر ما زال يرقد في مستشفى " الجمعية العربية للتأهيل"، إذ فقد نصف جمجمته، وما زالت الرصاصة التي اخترقت رأسه، مستقرّةً في دماغه، بانتظار اجراء عمليات لاحقة، كما ولا زال عدي يعاني من شللٍ شبه كاملٍ في أداء ِ قدميه ويديه، لكنّه يبقى محتفظاً بالأمل إلى أن يعود لمتابعة تعليمه وتدريبه في مهنة "الحلاقة"، عساه يمسك مقصّاً في يومٍ قريب.

فيديو التظاهرة الذي نشر وأثار الاهتمام
ضرب المتظاهرين بدأ من تحت على الأرجل بشهادة كل الوطنيين

هذا تصوير المتظاهرين لجزء من التظاهرة 

هنا فيديو مقابلة لبعض المتظاهرين بحضور عدنان الضميري (الذي كان قد شتم المتظاهرين) الصديق باسل الأعرج وياسر صلاح من الهيئة المستقلة لحقوق الإنسان 
عسكري وأرببعة نعوش مقالة

مقالة على رصيف المقاطعة لريتا أبو غوش

مقالة عاشت الازدواجية عاش الانفصام لعبير قبطي

استئناف المفاوضات وعزل مرسي