Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, June 2009
A Moldovan Racist Bigot Becomes Israel's Foreign Minister Living on Usurped Palestinian Land
By Mazin Qumsiyeh
ccun.org, June 3, 2009
From Moldova to Qalqilia
Many of you wrote after the last email to tell of health-care experiences. Many told stories of unsung heroes among medical personnel in Palestine and elsewhere. Many stated their desire to change the capitalist healthcare system in some western countries and cities that makes humans into “consumers” receiving “services” from “professionals”. Some of the stories were truly remarkable (one about the loving care given to her dying mother). I think these stories and first Faqoos harvests (variety of vegetable related to the cucumber famous in Beit Sahour) nicely balanced the spat of sad and surreal news that we have received the last few days.
But things are changing for the better as the myths long propagated are
dissipating and reality and realism sets in that peace and freedom in this
world are not without price in struggle and clear demands of justice.
Saturday I had the honor of speaking to an audience of Internationals and
Palestinians on a panel that included a representative of the civil
resistance committee against the wall in South Bethlehem. Earlier we
had dinner with other brave souls from Bilin and elsewhere. These
Palestinians risk their lives (we marked 40 days on the murder of our friend
Basem AbuRahma), spend jail time, pay huge fines, and at a minimum lose the
ability to travel out of the country once they participate in a public
nonviolent demonstration. But not only Palestinians are involved.
Other fellow human beings join us. On the same panel Saturday was an
Israeli who faces jail time for his nonviolent actions to protect basic
human rights (visit
http://www.supportezra.net/ and especially view the videotape of Ezra's
arrest by Israeli occupation forces).
Another Jewish man killed a Palestinian in Jerusalem (and unlike if the situation was reversed, the Israeli government refused to attribute “nationalist motives” and instead and as usual mentioned that the guy may have been mentally disturbed). Many Israelis see these actions as a warning to the right wing government in Israel not to evacuate the colonial settlement outposts that have been added to the 250+ illegal colonial settlements that dot the area Israel illegally occupies since 1967.
But they are better understood as a symptom of the same forces that brings a racist bigot from Moldova to live in a colonial settlement deep in the West Bank (near my home in Bethlehem area) AND become Israel’s foreign minister! But we also share responsibility to speak out against other symptoms such as the needless killing of six people in Qalqilya in a Fat'h attack on Hamas men killing members of both sides. That incident came after Mahmoud Abbas went to Washington and reportedly got some promises about settlement freeze, though not rollback let alone concessions on basic International law (right of return and ending the occupation recede in the background).
In return for these vague promises, a crackdown on resistance forces in
the West Bank was anticipated. I believe all these things are symptoms
of the original injustice of dispossession and ethnic cleansing that now
lasted an unbelievable 61 years. Is it not time for all people of good
conscience to say enough is enough to the charade of a peace process not
based on justice? Isn’t it time we all take on our role as care-givers of
fellow human beings. I will save the rest of this email for other
material (symptoms) that might be of interest...
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