Bethlehem, November 28, 2015 – This is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people as declared by the United Nations general assembly ! But locally people see so little solidarity and Israel continues to violate basic human rights with impunity. For the past week, we mourned ten more young Palestinians killed, and we saw home demolitions, we saw the continued horrific siege of Gaza, we saw health and religious rights violated daily, and we saw roads blocked to traffic (getting from one Palestinian area to another is becoming impossible).
I have just returned from Hebron to Bethlehem, a distance that should take no more than half an hour. It took more than five hours because of closures etc. It is a police apartheid state that makes sure we do not have a normal functioning life. We watched as Turkey shot down a Russian airplane over Syrian territory (and lied about the issue since there is no way, they could have provided warning in the few seconds that the airplane moved across that tiny jetting Turkish territory), we watched as Russia provided evidence of convoys of stolen Syrian oil traveling to Turkey and funding Daesh/ISIS, we shared on facebook videos of horrors committed by deluded human beings against other human beings, continued to see French government go down the same deluded path that the US government did after 11 September 2001, and continued to suffer from tear gas and other weapons used against us by Israeli occupation forces.
Amid the horrors, at Bethlehem University, we welcomed Professor Zuhair Amr who is helping us in research areas on biodiversity, we worked at the museum and botanical garden, we continued our teaching (though students may miss some classes), we received more donation of time and resources from kind people, I gave a talk at an environmental conference about importance of research in environmental and health fields, we met great new people including award winning book writers and artists, and we continued to have “joyful participation in the sorrows of this world”. To light a candle in this darkness keeps us sane.
For those in Palestine: You are invited to a workshop at the Palestine
Museum of Natural History (http://www.palestinenature.org/visit/ ) 3-6 PM
Wednesday. Prof. Zuhair Amr and Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh leading discussions
and practical training on areas of biodiversity and environmental
conservation. Reservations required 02-2773553 or email
For those who cannot attend, please donate to keep these activities going:
For all, please continue and expand your work in boycotts, divestment, and
sanctions (BDS), a movement that is accelerating the arrival of peace with
justice. Here is a good report by the American Anthropological Association
that is very well done which can be adapted to push for BDS in others
American Anthropological Association Report
Prominent Artists Endorse the Cultural Boycott of Israel
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History