Mazin Qumsiyeh, a voice
worth listening to

by G.S.   <george.salzman@umb.edu>    27 October 2007

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-27.htm

Subject: Mazin Qumsiyeh, a voice worth listening to
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2007 22:40:05 -0500
To: undisclosed-recipients

Friends,
      There aren’t many people who I think can always be counted on to say something worth my attention. One of them is William Blum <bblum6@aol.com> whose monthly Anti-empire reports are never a disappointment. Even someone as attentive to current developments and historically grounded as Immanuel Wallerstein <immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu>, whose twice-monthly commentaries are usually very impressive with their broad historical sweep, can sometimes be less than I hoped for. In a different category than either Blum or Wallerstein is Mazin Qumsiyeh, who is both a keen intellectual, as are Wallerstein and Blum, but also an activist par excellence, in my opinion an admirable combination of thought and action. I envy him, of course, but let myself off the hook with the excuse that I’m old. At any rate, here’s Mazin’s latest, which I highly recommend. The Black Agenda Report on the disgraceful Islamofascist Awareness Week is excellent.

Subject: [HumanRights] Silence is complicity news
From: Mazin Qumsiyeh <qumsi001@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 21:07:53 -0400

      My visit to England reminded me of the role of English royalty and elites in pushing for a conflict starting with the leadership of the first Crusade and on to the Sykes-Picot agreement (1916, dividing Western Asia into British and French interests) the Balfour Declaration (1917, promising a homeland for Jews to get support for the war effort) to the first British occupation of Iraq and Palestine (1919-1920 and beyond) and to the latest British occupation (with the US) of Iraq and its support of the continued occupation and colonization of Palestine (so far 7 of the 10 million Palestinians were made refugees or displaced people).
      But on the other hand, now as then many individual citizens and groups were doing such fantastic jobs for human rights and justice. Believing indeed that silence is complicity, these groups are making a huge difference (e.g. at the University of London, and an excellent group that does twinning with Palestine: http://www.twinningwithpalestine.net/)
      The intensified media and educational campaign to vilify Muslims and Islam reached a new low with the David Horowitz blitzkrieg on campuses to promote Islamophobia and titled “Islamofascist awareness week.” Imagine the outrage if we had a Christofascist or Judeofascist awareness week on campuses!!. A good summary of this campaign is found on the Black Agenda Report http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&
amp;id=404&Itemid=36
. (My own guess is that this will help further awaken the sleeping giant, which is the Arab and Islamic world) The intensified efforts and plans to attack Iran (thinking of it as a supposed preempting of a potential/supposed liberator of the Holy Land). On this front, the attack on Iran is acting as a significant factor in the choice of a presidential candidate: de jure by the US public but de facto by the Israel lobby. In fact, Israel has the Chutzpa to even rate them on their allegiance: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerPage.jhtml . Giuliani and Clinton are top in subsuming US interests to serve Israeli interests. And here are the Israel positions of these presidential candidates taken from the Zionist think tank, the “Council of Foreign Relations”: which claims the conflict goes back thousands of years: http://www.cfr.org/publication/13579/ .
      There is now a malicious campaign of vilification and attacks on any one who dares discuss Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. It was interesting to note the hysterical reactions of the Zionist establishment to publications of books like Paul Findley's They Dare to Speak Out, Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace not Apartheid and Profs. Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby: Iinfluence on US Foreign Policy.
      It is interesting to note that at every talk I give, the requisite quorum of at least three Zionists show up (a bad cop, a good cop, and a supposed psychological commentator). This weekend, they are going full force against the Sabeel Conference (Sabeel is a Palestinian Christian liberation theology group with friends around the world). See Friends of Sabeel Website at http://fosna.org and the article promoting the racist demonstration at http://www.thejewishadvocate.com/this_weeks_issue/news/?content_id=3885 . In all cases and failing to really address the substance, the attackers resort/ed to name calling, the most common ones used over the years to silence people were “anti-semites” and/or “self-hating Jews”.
      For apologists of an apartheid regime to claim victimization is not unusual (white rulers in Apartheid South Africa and their elite supporters in the West for decades claimed victimhood of ANC Terrorism and being trapped on the tip of a black and backward continent. The white rulers literally looked at themselves as a beacon of democracy in the barbarity of those who burn people alive (called neck lacing). Today it seems unusual to speak about blacks in Africa in denigrating terms (although it is still done in the elite think tanks of Washington and behind the scenes in academic and other elite circles).
      The attack on Arabs and Muslims is now full fledged and is out in the open. The list is long from the Patriot Act to warrantless surveillance, to profiling, to verbal abuse, to denial of the right to speak, to denial of employment and promotion, to Guantanamo and Abu Ghrieb, to “rendering” and secret CIA prisons, and on and on. One looks to history to understand the period we are in. The closest I could come-up with is the eleventh century when the Crusades were the norm. For the first 100 years of the crusader onslaught, the Arab and Muslim masses were divided and leaderless. The Crusaders were pragmatic and even established treaties and trades. Then they got greedy and expanded and broke treaties (see Karen Armstrong's book Holy War) and aroused anger and aroused the sleeping giant of Islam. We see the signs of a similar thing today (as posted above). Here is one more: “Jerusalem church officials suspect extremist Jews behind arson” http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/916567.html (Of course hundreds of religious sites were destroyed by Israelies when they depopulated 530 Palestinian Towns and Villages between 1947-1950 and later in 1967 and beyond)
      Bizarre news: Israel to purchase Chinese fighter jets that have US technology (the article claims Israel technology when everyone knows that the Israeli Lavi was based on US F-16 technologies and that is the reason it was canceled but Israel profited handsomely). http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1192380641058&pagename=JPost/J
PArticle/ShowFull

      On good news, in a win for freedom of expression (and against Zionist attempted censorship) the University of Michigan Press will continue the distribution agreement with Pluto Press (the publisher of my book Sharing the Land of Canaan). And in a visually impressive action: Condoleeza Rice was confronted by Code Pink activist Desiree Firoos calling her a war criminal (in the opening of the hearings in Congress presided over by AIPAC stooge Tom Lantos, Lantos was visibly shaken).: see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9GytISiHzw (a worthwhile nugget).

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD http://qumsiyeh.org


All comments and criticisms are welcome.  <george.salzman@umb.edu>

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