It is indeed interesting to witness what is happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Syria or in the social protests among Israelis. But hitting home more directly is the daily challenge of survival here as Israel gobbles up more land and people resist. We could comment on how Egypt is showing more assertive actions demanding a serious apology from Israel for the murder of three Egyptians. When Israel’s meek apology was not enough, the price was that Egypt demanded that Israel ends its military aggression against the Gaza population. When Israel refused to apologize to Turkey, the Turkish government decided to up the pressure diplomatically and otherwise. We could comment a lot about Mahmoud Abbas’s statement last Thursday that to allay Israeli fears, the future Palestinian state will be under the security responsibility of a third party, NATO forces, led by the USA. Many including myself occasionally write thoughts and analysis. This is done in the hope of changing perceptions and getting people to join us in acting for peace with justice. History is made by the few people who act.
Yesterday, the Israeli High Court ruled in favor of the Israeli colonial system on the lands of Al-Walaja (see AP story below which quotes me). With Israeli court systems created to serve Zionist interests, this was not unexpected. Not responding to peaceful non-violent resistance is shameful. Would President Kennedy have been right when he said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”? But the question that always come back to each of us is what am I doing to change things? I believe there are two types of people: spectators and activists. Spectators are consumers of information and products. Spectators watch the news, may comment to their family members about how they like and dislike this or that. Activists organize, challenge the system, and change history. Now, on the last Friday of Ramadan, activists from the popular committees in Palestine have called for this Aug 26th to have a campaign to go after Friday prayers to demand access to Jerusalem. The “Knock on the doors” campaign will focus on four areas:
1. In the North of Jerusalem: Qalandia.
2. In the West: the Apartheid Wall in the village of Biddu, northwest of Jerusalem.
3. In the East: Shufat.
4. In the South: Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem
Those who wish to remain spectators can do so. Those who wish to join activists can do so. But remember that silence is complicity.
Quote of the day “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak offered [ in a 4 hour cabinet meeting] various arguments for why Israel must exercise restraint – its international isolation, the fact that the Iron Dome rocket interception system still offers only partial defense, and the fear of worsening the diplomatic crisis with Egypt. Under these circumstances, Netanyahu said, all-out war against Hamas-run Gaza would be inadvisable.”
On Saturday I gave a talk to a group of visiting Italians and then we took a bus to the demonstration in Beit Ummar. This video showes the peaceful demonstration against the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur as it was met by extreme violence from the Israeli military, who fire live ammunition, throw concussion grenades, and injured protesters. Several people were also abducted by the occupation soldiers (2 Palestinains, one injured, and four internationals).
Associated Press: Israel rejects challenge to West Bank barrier path
Mazin Qumsiyeh Interview about September
INTERVIEW/003: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh – Akademiker und Aktivist im Nahostkonflikt (SB)
Palästina-Tage Freiburg 2011 / Palestine Days Freiburg 2011 – 10./11.9.11
What will we do? Article includes Israeli preparations and scenarios for Palestinian popular action in September and beyond. I ask that we get together and organize
[This is shameful and should be reversed immediately; totalitarianism should not be tolerated] The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy MIFTAH, strongly condemns the unjust decision by Gaza’s education ministry to ban eight honor students from traveling to the United States on a one-year scholarship. http://www.miftah.org/Display.
BTW Hamas also is holding a member of the nonviolent resistance group Abu Yazan
[Wonderful, though a bit lengthy analysis] Social Origins of the Tent Protests in Israel
by Max Ajl http://mrzine.monthlyreview.
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine. He serves as chairman of the board of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between Pehttp://ramallahonline.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4326&action=editople and coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour He is author of “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle” and the forthcoming book Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment.
RO: Ramallah Online