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Wednesday, December 18

Sarraj, science, and sanctions
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Mohammed on left, Sarraj and Wife on right

Our colleague and friend Gaza Psychiatrist Dr. Eyad Sarraj died today at age 70 from cancer. Eyad was a great man of integrity, a refugee from Beer Al-Saba' (renamed Beersheba by Zionists), and one who dedicated his life to help people in Gaza and throughout Palestine. I got the call about his death from a friend soon after I got a call from the father of Mohammed (8 year old child who spent two weeks with us in Bethlehem area for treatment) that they have crossed into Gaza at the "Erez crossing" after a long journey through checkpoints.  Here is a recent interview with Dr. Eyad Sarraj about situation of Palestinian children:

On good news, the success of mass demonstrations against the Prawer-Begin plan to ethnically cleanse 40,000 Bedouins of the Naqab (Negev) forced the Israeli government to back down. This should give us pause to think about strategies of liberation (besides endless negotiations).  There are also other successes namely growth of the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement (see below).  And Palestinians continue to miracles with little resources in their own communities despite incredible odds.  For example, today we had a conference to discuss the future of the Faculty of Science at Bethlehem University and attended by community leaders in and outside the university.  It was an inspiring event held as part of a series of events commemorating 40 years of Bethlehem University and as preparation for a significant expansion of the University. We can indeed challenge occupation and transform challenges into opportunities (freeing our minds before freeing our bodies!).  

Richard Forer, Author, Breakthrough-The Autograph-09-28-2011
In telling the story of how he himself went from being a diehard supporter of Israel, from someone raised in a Reform Jewish household who saw Israel as that plucky little democracy trying to provide a secure home for the long-beleaguered Jews to someone who now supports the Palestinians in their struggle for justice, he provides us with an inside look into the mind of a Zionist -- his own -- and how being confronted with the more grim reality changed his mind and the reality of the Palestinian struggle.

(and another Jew who saw reality) Matthew Cassel examines why so many American Jews defend Israeli policies regardless of the issue or cost.

How the worst video song made exposes Zionist racism and stupidity.  A Jewish settler sings why “Jews can’t stop”: Watch the video and Read the lyrics here (also read some of the comments on the video)
and see comment on the Israeli liberal website 972mag

Another AIPAC loss, win for us

American Studies Association the largest scholarly association dedicated to American Studies voted to endorse a resolution supporting the boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education.

Academics should boycott Israel: Growing movement takes next step

(enjoy) SODASTREAM: Keeping Apartheid in Business

It's been a great week for Israel in the US Congress this week. But not for the American taxpayer. While many Americans are gearing up for the Christmas holidays and trying to earn the money to buy their children presents, and while the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits surged, Congress voted yet more money to Israel.

ACTION:  Open Letter to boycott a cinema studies conference scheduled at Tel Aviv University for next June.  Below is a link to the letter and a means to sign it.  We hope you will add your signatures--and share the links widely with friends.
Click here to read and sign letter:

Mazin Qumsiyeh,
Professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities
Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People
Al-Rowwad Children Theater Center
Technology Transfer Association
Higher Council on Excellence and Innovation
Author of several books including “Sharing the Land of Canaan” and “Popular Resistance in Palestine”
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at Home
Beit Sahour, (occupied but soon to be free) Palestine

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