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Sunday, December 23

A response to a Jewish friend of mine (who's dedicated to human rights)
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I normally do not respond to such emails as from this person named F below because if they truly wanted to learn, they would follow a different tack. I normally do not respond but perhaps I am angry at being a Palestinian Christian living in the Bethlehem Ghetto or perhaps it is because I lost last week a friend, a young Palestinian woman in her 20s who died suddenly and mysteriously in the US while she gave talks on Palestine.  The Israeli authorities are now even stalling to prevent her body from being returned to be buried in her homeland (her name is Mira Bishara Dabit). Perhaps because I lost many friends murdered by this illegal occupation. Perhaps I am angry because this is the 64th Christmas we commemorate after 530 villages were depopulated and millions of us are left refugees and displaced people because of a racist apartheid ideology. But what ever the reason, let me respond with just two key points to make:

1) Did your friend ever write in this same vein to the Israeli government or to the thousands of lackeys who write hundreds of thousands of stories every year to support the racist Zionist project.  Just imagine a Zionist writing to the mainstream media and telling them: hey you did not mention the fact that 10 more Palestinian civilians were killed for every Israeli civilian (actually 80:1 in Gaza) and how come you never mention Palestinian civilians murdered.   No, the Zionist script is to expect the victims to sympathize with their colonizers but never expects the colonizers to sympathize with the victims.

2) The propaganda article that was sent makes no mention of colonization or occupation.  Equating colonizers with colonized, occupiers with occupied is not acceptable in International forum on moral or legal grounds. It is especially not acceptable from someone who you would describe as supportive of human rights. Occupied and colonized people do have a right (and an obligation) to resist.  This is recognized in a number of conventions and UN resolutions.  Just imagine if a white person living in America said the same thing as F after one of the many massacres and pogroms in Apartheid South Africa (and yes, there were whites killed by blacks).  But, wait that was said and repeatedly even by Ronald Reagan who called the ANC a terrorist organization in 1981 before he was forced to change  by 1985-1986.  The same language was used against by racists against the Warsaw ghetto uprising! And the same language was used against native Americans (Savages who butcher innocent white people and what would you do since we were just protecting ourselves, circling the wagons etc). For the real story of "Sderot", one of the so called Israeli towns on which "Rockets" were fired, see http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-suffering-of-sderot-how-its-true-inhabitants-were-wiped-from-israels-maps-and-memories-8348734.html
For the real story of "Ashkalon" mentioned in the article (original Al-Majdal Asqalan), see 
http://www.palestineremembered.com/Gaza/al-Majdal-Asqalan/index.html#Statistics (where you can also click for videos, pictures and testimonies). As Nathan Chofshi wrote in the Jewish Newsletter: "We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we have to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the evil we committed...we  justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them."(New York, 9 February 1959, cited in Erskine Childers, 'The Other Exodus' in Spectator, London, 12 May 1961)

Please do not misunderstand the above in any way as supportive of any violence (I and many Palestinians even took out ads in Arabic against things like suicide bombings). I also wrote a book on Palestinian nonviolent resistance "Popular Resistance in Palestine" which I hope people will read since that is also a story being hidden by the propaganda about Palestinian violence (actually from a strictly academic perspective, it is amazing how little violence Palestinians engaged in compared to other colonized people).  Saying the victims did bad things is done to hide victimization and colonization!  It is like a woman being raped and a lawyer of her rapist saying "well, you failed to mention the horrific scratches she inflicted on my client."

For more relevant material on the issue of violence and terrorism, see myth number 24 posted here http://qumsiyeh.org/liesandtruths/  and this chapter from my book "Sharing the Land of Canaan" 

Hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.  May this year bring us justice which is the only route to peace.

Sincerely,

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor
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