Mazin Qumsiyeh — A Voice from Bethlehem

Mazin Qumslyeh
Mazin Qumsiyeh

In this posting from the West Bank, Mazin Qumsiyeh speaks in a strong yet hopeful voice about Palestine. He self-identifies as a Bedouin, Professor, Director of Palestine Museum of Natural History Bethlehem University in Occupied Palestine. He works as a biologist preserving endangered plants, he writes with authority and he lives on the precipice.

Albert Einstein wrote in 1948 “When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British [now Americans] and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organizations build up from our own ranks.”

From Palestine, I can only say thank you to all who work tirelessly for peace and justice. From over 200 emails a day, I learn of so many great actions. From 2000 people who gathered in Oslo, Norway, to show solidarity for the massacre in Gaza, and to lone individuals who wrote letters to editor or who sent a donation or prayed. Each of you lights candles in the darkness. We will not conquer darkness but we will at least see ourselves and fellow human beings in new light. For that we are deeply thankful.

Shepherdess Near Hebron. Photo: Minga Claggett-Borne

To our Muslim friends who begin the fast of Ramadan, they know that the best and most difficult jihad is internal jihad: changing our hearts and minds. May they find this month a real blessed season of enlightenment. My wish is for more people to shed apathy. History and inner conscience will not be forgiving to those who do not act. You cannot be neutral on a moving train especially if you are Israeli, Jewish, or live in the Western Countries that helped keep tragedies going (USA, England, France etc).

There has been 70 years of ongoing Nakba, conflict and war since 1948 when Zionists ethnically cleansed hundreds of Palestinian villages. That experiment continues to cause unspeakable horrors (like those committed in Gaza). In 1948, on the other side of the world a remarkably different vision. In 1948, Costa Rica abolished its military and has reaped benefits since then (http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/bold.html ) Dare we dream of a demilitarized world and of living together (see my 2004 book “Sharing the Land of Canaan”)

Great March of Return, Gaza

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