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Sunday, September 13

We chose action
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Things are moving along as usual with some negative and other positive developments both at the local level and the global level. Globally we see news of flooding in Japan and the burgeoning refugee crisis among other negative news. But we also see how common people mobilized to help others in these areas. The generosity and quick mobilization of individuals puts to shame the failure f governments to act, governments who created some of the problems by accepting the US disastrous foreign policy (made in Tel Aviv). In other positive news we see the failure of AIPAC (Zionist lobby) in getting its way with the US congress and this shows that when a US president actually begins to show a backbone, that they can get a different course than the course that led us to endless wars and endless flood of refugees from 1948 until today.

On the local level, a third member of the Dawabsheh family died from the severe burns inflicted in the terrorist attack on their homes about a month ago. Reham, the mother and mathematics teacher was laid to rest in a grave next to her husband and toddler baby. Thousands of mourners attended her funeral. The only remaining family member is a boy who is slowly recovering from severe burns but still was not told of his tragic loss of family members.The criminals are still free and the Israeli government continues to subsidize and encourage the racist Jewish colonial settlers living in that area and attacking Palestinians with impunity. Israeli forces still besiege Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock and prevent free access. Jerusalem is still besieged and millions of us are prevented from entering our city in violation of International law. Gaza is even worse and people are literally going hungry.  My friends in Gaza ask for help and we can only send them so little. Still 40% of the meager humanitarian aid that comes from abroad ends up in Israeli hands thanks to the disastrous Oslo accords (Paris economic supplement). On positive news: people still struggle, resist, build and innovate. We started a new academic year last week and I am teaching an advanced course in molecular genetics at Bethlehem University. At Birzeit University we started a new master in Environmental studies. Today we open the first Palestinian National forum for innovation and excellence highlighting innovations from young people (organized Higher Council for Innovation and Exellence, of which I am a member).

We continue to develop our museum of natural history and its botanical garden. We have 13 senior students from Bethlehem University doing their community service with us and we have a dozen other volunteers on a regular basis which will allow us to accelerate our development (see first year accomplishments here ). But we still seek volunteers and activists in all areas. We still have a choice whether we are pessimistic or optimistic; the choice is apathy or action. We chose action ....

Good news: First national trade union in the US votes to endorse BDS

Action: October 14 is International day of action for Palestine on college campuses. It is on the 62nd anniversary of the Qibya massacre. October 12 is also indigenous people day in the US. Organize an event on your university or college campus for freedom including for ending the siege on Gaza and for all indigenous rights

Action: Vote for Adalah to receive the Tulip award

Arrests and chaos outside Downing street for visit of war criminal Netanyahu

Israeli soldiers ordered to "map entire Palestinian civilian population"

EU Council on Foreign Relations slams Israeli settlements and demands differentiation of products

US Aid to Israel updated 2015

Higher education in Palestinian areas (EU report)

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Bethlehem University

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