Back in Palestine: Reflections, by Mazin Qumsiyeh


To laugh often and much

to win the respect of intelligent people

and affection of children; to earn the

appreciation of honest critics and

endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty, to find the best

in others; to leave the world a bit

better, whether by a healthy child

a garden patch or redeemed

social condition; to know even

one life has breathed easier because

you have lived. This is to have

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

After two days on the road Jessie and I are back to Palestine 'safely' from
our 503 day tour of the Australian continent. The smell of the hot summer
air laden with memories made me nostalgic. In crossing the bridge from
Jordan to Palestine through Israeli checkpoints, Jessie and I both wore our
necklace gifts given to us by the Maori people of Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Mine is called a Manaya in Maori and it is to guard us from evil and to
exude a blessing of the land. It worked as we made it to the ghetto of
Bethlehem (the concentration camp or “people warehouse”). The long trip was
worth it in every conceivable way. A nice reception of staff and volunteers
at the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability ( I reflect on the goodness of so many people we have
met on this successful tour, so many great memories and great friends we
made, on the hard work and its anticipated results for Palestine. I reflect
on the remarkable transformation in our country in the past 76 years. There
was a methodical diabolic program to transform our country from a
pluralistic country called Palestine (multiethnic, multicultural,
multireligious, multilingual) to a monolithic rogue state called “Israel”
(by Jews for Jews). That meant by necessity attempts at ethnic cleansing
and genocide of our people. The entity created is monstrous in other ways
and it is now culminating in a frenzy of slaughter and genocide by famine
the world has not witnessed in the past 100 years. Here to "rescue" 4
prisoners, 43 other Israeli prisoners were killed by Israeli airstrikes and
during the "rescue" operation, a mass slaughter of 274 Palestinian men,
women and children were killed as distraction and with US direct support
channeled through a pier system that allegedly was built for humanitarian
purposes. To sustain the system meant convincing enough Jews that it is
good for them, it is worth fighting and dying for, it is worth lying for
and selling your soul to the devil to defend this golden calf of Zionism. I
reflect on the racist education that Israelis and their Jewish Zionist
supporters around the world that makes them callous to the slaughter of
children. In editing my forthcoming book on “Joyful Participation:
Reflections on activism for sustainable human and natural communities” I
was rereading sections relating to the massive Zionist backlash against
human rights including those who serve in the system of colonization and
apartheid and those who support that system financially or politically.

I thought I need to expand the section relating to good people and work we
encountered on this and earlier speaking tours to 45 other countries. These
are people who have that “joyful participation in the sorrows of this
world” but also people who help us . I reflect on the thousands of people
we met on this tour who support human rights and justice.  We have much to
catch-up on in Palestine. The work accumulated. There are research papers
to submit, hundreds of emails to write/respond to, proposals to write,
projects to work on (like our work on wetlands, our new exhibits, our field
work etc), management issues (personnel and resources), garden work and
much more. Please visit our facebook page to see pictures of our tour (in
four installements/ posts):
but also think seriously of visiting us! We would welcome you.

Bisan reporting from Gaza

Christ at the checkpoint conference concludes. Recordings here:

US and British aiding genocide in Gaza

The Australian Greens and their campaign for Palestine:

The Olympic committee banned Russia just four days after its invasion of
Ukraine in 2022, and they barred South Africa in 1964 as a way to
demonstrate unified international disapproval for apartheid. As with
Russian athletes, a ban could still allow Israeli athletes to participate
as neutrals, unaffiliated with a government whose leaders have now been
charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Tell US Congress: war criminal Netanyahu is not welcome

Sign to help academics in Gaza

Manduca et al. 2024. On the duty to protect the people of Gaza: how the
collapse of the hospital health care system has reinforced genocidal
intent. Journal of Public Health and Emergency, 8.

Attacking ambulance drivers

Crackdown on Israeli universities

Stay Human and keep Palestine alive

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
facebook pages