Mazin Qumsiyeh speaking in Natick on the Palestinian Resistance

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Mazin Qumsiyeh on Palestinian Resistance

Jesus as first martyr of Palestinian resistance,

[note: that is *not* a good early/opening line for Jews in attendance, as a fair number will have at some point been treated as personally

because of course he non-violently resisted.

since the advent of the political zionist idea

all Germanic-speaking people

sent two rabbis to palestine

"the bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man"

Jewish colonization project

as Herzl put it, "we need to spirit them out"

but it mostly happened 1947-1949

half the refugees created before the state

with his wife

Edward Said - "we Palestinians not allowed to tell our story"

i was a professor at Yale University -

this was after submitting thousands of letter

my grandmother comes from Nazereth, northern Palestine. Yes, where Jesus grew up.

It is now half-Jewish, it was once a mostly Christian town. The few Palestinians still there don't come from Nazerith, they come from villages that are

Israeli not good PR, some 6-7 "Concentration areas" they want people to moved in

annexed not just East Jerusalem, the old city, the historical definition (which was illegal in itself) but a large and fairly arbitrarily-drawn line in addition.

as the zionist project said from the beginning, "we want the maximum geography with the minimum demography"

arrested a hundred people in their own homes, had deeds to and everything, lived there their whole lives, charged with illegally entering the municipality of Jerusalem

33 house demolitions since 1985
88 pending demolition orders

What do the people of Anwella (?sp) do about this?

they've been dealing with this for 62 years

villagers have never picked up an arm against Israeli army or civilian or anything else --

i was arrested myself, detained two or three times
tear gas, pepper spray

the graves of his parents and grandparents would be on the other side of the wall being built

they all sit in front of bulldozers

cropdusters spraying crops with poison

this one village was destroyed 18 times
and rebuilt

persistence, resilience, strength of character

and hope.

130 years.

Also a few Palestinians in Jaffa-- but it's being taken over by Tel Aviv.

All the areas Palestinians are allowed to live in, it is 8.3% of the original land of Palestine.

Israel's dependence on the United States is far greater than $3B. The sheilding from international law.

This is me, Palestinian Christian, Palestinian Muslim, Israeli Jew, together opposing Apartheid

Ultraorthodox jews: "Stop Zionist Massacre in Gaza"

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions.

This is a human rights struggle.

Palestinians took the language of Barack Obama's and Hilary Clinton's speeches on the illegitimacy of Israel's settlements in the West Bank and made a UN resolution out of it. The US vetoed it.

I pay taxes and i vote in this country-- i am guilty also.

Besides the American government and Israeli government, we should blame the leaders of the Arab countries. 22. Many of them put in power and maintained in power by US. Because good for Israel, good for maintaining division in the Arab world.

All the Arab country lines were drawn by colonial, European powers.

Not just countries pitted against each other.

Saudi Arabia just invaded and occupied Bahrain, no UN Security council resolutions, not a topic-- not like when Iraq invaded Kuwait. [Note that one difference is in the opinion of the unelected rulers of the respective countries.]

I think they chose to [support] the Jewish state to cut the Arab world in half.

Ruhi AlKhalidi - my own personal role model from 130 years ago, academic and activist - was able to convince the Ottoman

84-85% Muslim, nearly 15% Christian, 1-2% Jewish.

We have never called for the exclusion of others based on religion.

Many Armenians came to Palestine and settled by the 10s of thousands-- they were welcomed.

Jews welcomed from the Russian programs, became equal citizens.

Despite no connection to Palestine, other than

Today, schools segregated.

My grandfather went to school with a Jewish kid.

And that [equality] is what we continue to call for

Up to the 1920s-- 45 years of nonviolent resistance.

When British began shooting crowds, a small minority, no more than a few hundred, took up arms against the British occupation and the Zionist project.

Mateil Moghannam, a Protestant Palestinian feminist and author of The Arab Woman and the Palestine Problem, 1937.

what Palestinian women led:

1929: the first time a demonstration used cars, i believe, driving through the old city of Jerusalem.

And wrote letters to the editor in the London Times-- needed to influence opinion of the colonial power.

1987- uprising where for the first time a trickle of news reached the US etc.

village decided to not pay taxes
non-violent revolt
no taxation without representation

nothing in the Western media-- i saw nothing where i was at university in Memphis. I called up the newspaper. That's when i began to understand

If this one story had been leaked and widely published, i think it would have changed history.

*Nonviolent resistance requires media coverage.*

Army told that they had to pay their taxes-- arbitrary taxes, some people could not afford, other people told to pay less than you would think they should.

Surrounded town with armored personel carriers.

Like a medieval siege.

Except that Israel added a curfew: you cannot leave your house.

People didn't pay their taxes.

They survived both the curfew and the siege.

They had prepared for this.

Grew vegetables in the backyard.

Moved between the houses, signaling the location of the

Everybody go out and barbecue meat in the front yard, or their balconies and roofs,
Israeli soldiers smell all this barbecuing.

Amazing act of defiance.

Went in and began to pillage the town: taking furniture, TVs, cars.

People began to be offered a chance to get off if they pay nominal amounts, $100 shekels. One guy, one agorah-- one penny. And the guy refused. Resilience.

I'm sitting in Memphis hearing all this news from telephone conversations with my family, and getting nothing from the media.

"To exist is to resist."

Palm Sunday last year. Walk from Bethleham to Jerusalem. 170 year tradition. The only occupation to prevent this is the Israeli.

I even taught high school in Jerusalem. It's six miles away from me. It's my city, Arab East Jerusalem.

We walked where the tour buses go. They couldn't close the gate. We pushed through the other one.

We were able to get 400 meters into the forbidden zone before they gathered enough forces to begin arresting us.

They even arrested the donkey and mule and charged them with entering Jerusalem without a permit.


Of course, we pay a price.

lost thousands and thousands of people in non-violent resistance. My own guess is 50,000. Two of my own friends have died.

My village was innovative in the International Solidarity Moveent too-- Tax revolt in Beit Sahour and founding of PCR in 1988.

Once Israel sees internationals they are more careful of course.

Emily , American Jew-- her family was actually zionist, changing their views-- shot in the eye.

And Rachel Corrie, 1980-2003. Standing in front of a bulldozer destroying the home of a Palestinian pharmicists.

Then there's the 9 people killed in international waters.

I send an e-mail about once a week.

Susan M. - Massachusetts considered more liberal-- even our most liberal members of Congress will not give us the time of day on Palestine. Is there any hope that the US will ever change their policy?

MQ: The governments are the last group to buckle, almost always. Take women's right to vote, ending Apartheid in South Africa. Politicians were last.

But confronting is worthwhile-- they cannot claim they did not know.

Chance of

man in back: merging of Palestine solidarity movement with broader anti-war movement, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. "Demand of no US aid" - April 9

MQ: There will be buses from Boston.
100,000 in the streets of NY would make a difference.

demands not selecting of our next favorite dictator.

Obama could get Saudi forces out of Bahrain with a phone call.

Man with question: The rocket attacks against Sederot. Is the purpose of that to kill or terrorize women or children or is there some other purpose?

I don't support Hamas personally and i am against that and all forms of violence, including Israel dropping bombs, against violence from anyone. What's Hamas' mindset is -- and i argued with them -- their logic is we are in the Gaza strip with 1.5M people being beseiged and starved -- and we can see , and we have nothing

what do we have? we can do it.

It's more harmful than good. Every time they send one of these homemade rockets,

of course a piece of metal can kill you if it falls on your head, and it has-- including Israeli civilians.

Yes, idiocy.

Hamas leadership does it to stir up pot, what is there more to lose-- when they feel they are being ignored, shoot some.

Hamas, surprisingly, as a movement was going to move in the right direction.

in 2006 everyone told them these suicide bombings and such will not get you anywhere

indeed it's not going to get them anywhere

stop this nonsense

i even had a full-page ad with other intellectuals in the 1990s

made a political decision

they won, not a majority of Palestinian votes, but enough to form a government. As soon as they formed the government, all hell broke loose, the US and Israel declared war on Hamas, and even Fatah declared ware on Hamas. Instead of accepting this positive step, and giving them a chance to rule.

So now we have the

they rule nothing, because really Israel is still the occupying army.

When the Minister of Transportation

Woman with question:
When did the Palestinian people become a political entity

does not have a voice.

Popular front, Communist party, Islamic Jihad

just like Israel has many factions.

the political ideologies of all the Palestinian factions still have more moderate agendas than the Israeli middle.

I'm not of the opinion we need a grand strategy or grand leader. I argue that political leaders do more harm than good.

Woman: As psychologist, paranoia on the Zionist side, must be addressed.

You will always find resistance.
1M French in Algeria for 130 years
most of it will be nonviolent
find an anti-colonial struggle

and of course the colonizer [always causes more violence]
nature of the weapons they have, nature of colonization. "Would you kindly leave your farm and house so i can take it over?"

We saw it here, with Native Americans. Violence always lopsided.

As a non-violent resistor, i don't want to beat people, i want to convince them and bring them over to my side.

When i was arrested, there were Jewish Israelis with us.

Number one thing to do is to always tell the truth. When people see you are consistent, and you respect them as human beings.

Essence of our Christian tradition. In Islam, it's the same thing: "Hate the evil, do not hate the evildoer." That's what Jesus meant when he said love your enemies. You must convince what they are doing is wrong.

Most of the soldiers i talked to don't know the facts. They didn't even know where they were, let alone that the bulldozer they were protecting is for uprooting people's trees.

Many Jews in this country don't know about Zionist-Nazi collaborations-- helped break boycott of Nazi Germany. Zionists in this country lobbied Congress to not open doors to Jews, so that they had only one place to go: Palestine.

The only way to convince people is to sit with them, with documents, and convince them.

MQ: I don't care about mainstream media. Now i have an e-mail list, 50,000 people on my e-mail list.

Let them control the media and Congress.

Pretty soon we can rule ourselves, and Congress will be out of a job. What do we need a president for. Can't we govern ourselves?

Once we withhold our taxes from them, end of story.

Our old friend from the Natick vigils: Support from Christian churches?

deluded Christian zionists... we have to educate them too.

Psychologists: Muslim countries will have to come together.
Why isn't Israel looking to make friends in the region?

Zionist Jews, who think of not just religion but a nationality, state for and on behalf of Jews, project this belief on Muslims. There are some Muslims who think like that, such as Osama bin Laden, but not most.

And attacked all Islam.

This has backfired, as people who don't care about Palestine, why African-American

I don't think all the Muslim world will unite-- nonsense. It's like saying all the Christian countries will unite. There is a potential for the Arab countries to unite-- more potential than in Europe, because share a language, and share a culture.

Some of the questions that have come up have sort of touched a nerve. The question of Zionist paranoia, i found very interesting. In part, i wonder-- you're not really paranoid if someone is out to get you. And i think history, past history, a few thousand years, give us a hint of what is paranoia and what isn't. It's not a matter of supposition or psychology, it's a matter of fact what happened to the Jewish people throughout the last several thousand years. Kings invited Jews to settle in their countries, or live under our rules, if you don't change you will be wiped out. We know about ethnic cleansing. To use the term paranoia in context of Jewish people, Jewish state, or Israel, is the height of-- i don't know that i need to give it a name.

MQ: Do you want me to answer this?

Of course, Jews have a history, which you are very well acquainted with, it's one of the best-studied histories, in textbooks, museums, films. And everyone knows it--

and you don't know the half of it.

MQ: I think i do, it is best studied.

Many Israelis deny the Nakbah,

You can call me paranoid as a Palestinian-- genocide, massacres happening to us.

Read a book by Mark Ellis, Jewish theologian, "Out of the Ashes" -- are these lessons for humanity?

start to challenge oppression wherever it happens-- argue from a humanitarian perspective, not from a tribalist perspective. Then you begin to see the possibilities for humanity as a whole.

I marched for South Africa.

Part of the reason Yale did not renew my contract-- not just because Zionists lobbied against me, and they did, but because i acted in solidarity with the labor union-- i'm not a laborer, i'm a professor

but people

Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, thinking in humanistic terms.

I think it is wrong to think in tribal terms.

My unasked questions:

Splitting Jews from movements for justice and liberty and peace has been successfully used in the past to really hamper these movements.

To prevent this, we do have to argue, with something to back it up, that the next step in Palestine will be an improvement.

That there won't be an oppressive regime-- oppressive to everyone-- that takes power if Israel falls.

The argument that Israel should make friends in the region is just a little too fear-based to work.

The positive argument of true democracy, directly self-governing peoples - which you turned to in answer to a question - is more attractive but very hard to argue that this is suddenly going to work in Palestine when it has not yet anywhere else in the world.

So what is the intermediary step, how do we work toward it, and how do we communicate it?

Not expecting an immediate full answer :-) Can post the question or any part publicly wherever you like.


claims: people telling me that "if i went to Gaza, i would be killed in a moment" -- a variation of the claim of Israeli Jew goodness over Arabs. What is a more effective response to this than "you don't have a grip on reality, the will for peace is overwhelming given the last 100+ years?"