When we think of politics we get depressed but when we think of activism and nature, we get optimistic and energized.
Our thoughts are still with our friends and colleagues in Gaza where drone footage * reveals the horrific damage done and we need to do more to ensure that those responsible pay for their crimes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor responded to my inquiry about these war crimes and crimes against humanity by stating that the ICC “may only exercise jurisdiction over international crimes if (i) its jurisdiction has been accepted by the State on the territory of which the crime was committed, (ii) its jurisdiction has been accepted by the State of which the person accused is a national, or (iii) the situation is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. Based on the information currently available, it appears that none of these preconditions are satisfied with respect to the conduct described [Israel in Gaza].”
The first condition is not fulfilled because Mahmoud Abbas blocked the Palestinian state from accepting the jurisdiction of the court on its territories (to please Israel and Israeli-occupied USA.** Second Condition is not fulfilled because Israel does not accept. Third condition is not fulfilled because US would veto any resolution to that effect. So the only route open (the first condition) is being blocked by the authority claiming to represent the state of Palestine (Mahmoud Abbas). At first he stated that he did not want to open a way for counterclaims against Hamas for resistance tactics and needed to get Hamas approval. Hamas leaders told him to go ahead. Now he ran out of excuses so many here consider it merely part of the same subservience to US/Israel wishes.
We the people must pressure politicians and make them accountable (and I mean Israeli, Egyptian, American, Palestinian and other politicians). In parallel, we must do positive work on the ground: thinking globally and acting locally as the old saying goes. In that regard it was refreshing to see the contrast between Abbas's continuing to jail Palestinian resistance fighters, spy on them and refusal to go international courts and the Israeli intelligence unit members who said they refuse to spy at Palestinians any more.*** The contrast is a reminder of importance of following principles. I know first hand that within Fatah there is opposition to Abbas's policies from some of the highest ranking members of the central committee and the revolutionary committee. We hope this results in a truly revolutionary change along the spirit of Fatah's founding charter (which to my knowledge has not changed as a revolutionary charter). The struggle continues on many fronts (la luta continua). Volunteers had a number of activities here in the Palestine Museum of Natural History ranging from rescuing an injured owl, to supervising master student and undergraduate research, to visiting families that lost loved ones, to working on creating a natural pond for the museum (that when finished will attract animals), to doing interviews and media activities, to showing our first visiting international delegation the museum of Natural History (25 Irish visitors), to working with 4th and 5th grade students on scientific experiments in class. These and many more activities give us hope for the future. Hope of a future of dignity, justice, and peace. To keep up with some of the activities of the museum, visit http://www.
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