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Friday, June 19

Dignity and Solidarity
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Tabghe Church in the Galillee withstood 1700 years of various rulers in Palestine. It is the church on the location we are told where Jesus multiplied the fish and the bread. For the first time in its long history it was burned nearly completely (arson) this week. The perpetrators wrote in red Hebrew graffiti that the “idol worshippers” will also be killed! It joins other churches and dozens of mosques destroyed since the founding of the “Jewish state” in Palestine. Israel is a repressive country that violates basic human rights including freedom of religion. It inculcates in its public and private Jewish only schools notions of chosenness and racism (just read Nurit Peled-Elhanan research into this subject). Just see these two examples of the products of Zionist indoctrination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX9Tk2TMA6Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=168&v=dPxv4Aff3IA

If you want to know what most of us Christians think of Zionism (not of Jews because these are different issues), visit thishttp://qumsiyeh.org/christianlinks/

Incidentally Ilan Pappe, author of “the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” spoke to hundreds in the occupied territories (in person in AlBireh with live teleconference in Gaza) and articulated brilliantly why peace with the Zionist ideology and the “two-state solution” are both impossible. He articulated the need for a  new strategy based on human rights including return and self-determination in one democratic state.

Now we are in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Gaza families are fasting like others even with the meager foods they have to break their fast and they have to do this next to their demolished houses (tens of thousands are without their homes after the genocidal assault last summer). Millions of Syrian and Iraqi refugees (of all religions) face similar conditions of deprivation and misery thanks to the conditions created by the Israeli lobby’s push for the war on Iraq in 2003 that cascaded into ISIS and other horrors. Looking around us, we miss the rational voices of colleagues like Edward Said and Faisal AlHusseini. Here is one of my favorite prophetic writings of my friend Edward Said:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/09/25/dignity-solidarity-and-the-penal-colony/

As for Faisal Al-Husseini, he was born in Baghdad on July 17, 1940 during his father's forced exile from Jerusalem. In 1944, his family moved to Mecca where they lived for one and a half years, and from there moved to Cairo where Faisal pursued his elementary and secondary education. His father Abdel Qader Al-Husseini was a leader in the armed struggle in Palestine and fell a martyr defending his homeland in the battle of Al-Qastal in 1948. Faisal passed away during his visit to Kuwait on 31/5/2001 and was buried on 1/6/2001 in the courtyard of Al-Haram Al-Sharif beside his father and grandfather. With tens of thousands attending his funeral (at least for that one day, the barriers around Jerusalem disappeared). Here is what he wrote after one of the many Zionist massacres that shows the level of his humanity and it is appropriate in this holy month:

Oh God, the chest is replete with bitterness… do not turn that into spite.
Oh God, the heart is replete with pain… do not turn that into vengeance.
Oh God, the spirit is replete with fear… do not turn that into hatred.
Oh God, my body is weak… do not turn my weakness into despair.
Oh God, I your servant am holding the embers… so help me maintain my steadfastness.
Oh God, faith is love… Oh God faith is forgiveness… Oh God, faith is conviction…
Oh God, do not put of the flame of faith from my chest.
Oh God, we wanted for the Intifada a white one, so please protect it.
Oh God, we wanted freedom for our people, we did not want slavery to others.
Oh God, we wanted a homeland for our people to gather them, we did not want to destroy states of others, nor to demolish their homes.
Oh God, our people are stripped of all things, except their belief in their right.
Oh God, our people are weak except in their faith and in their victory.
Oh God, grant us conviction, mercy and tolerance in our ranks, and not make us war against ourselves
Oh God, turn the blood that was shed into light that will guide us and strengthen our arms, do not let it turn into fuel of hatred and vengeance.
Oh God, help us over our enemy so that we can help him deal with himself.
Oh God, this is my prayer to you..my invocation, so listen to it and grant us our supplication and guide us to the right path.

This past week we had good activities with many volunteers. If you want to see our activities, please follow us on facebook under Palestine Museum of Natural History and do Come visit us anytime.


Meanwhile.. stay human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
Palestinenature.org
Tel 972-22773553

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