Mazin Qumsiyeh: Friedman and Neveen
- Friedman and Neveen
Mazin Qumsiyeh - qumsi001 @ hotmail.com
Because I have a trhousand stories to tell you if I had time and
energy, I must unfortunatelyl also limit myself to those most telling.
In the past two days, there are certain things difficult to talk about.
To me the abduction of two women, both in their 20s, in this area of
Beit Sahour/Bethlehem in the last two nights by the Israeli occupation
foprces was one such story. Five military jeeps packed with soldiers
surrounded the home of one girl who is a neighbor to my sister.
Neveen was taken about 1 AM just after the Italy-Germany game (perhaps
the soldiers had to finish watching?). Her grieving family was told
nothing other than their daughter is wanted.
Last night, I heard shooting of machine guns. Many told me it is not
unusual after midnight. I could not sleep. The next morning I learn
that another women was taken around that time. I also learn that a
man was asked to strip and he did to his underwear and when he refused
to remove his underwear, they shot him dead.
I also heard a story about a hungry Palestinian who brought a knife to
the checkpoint and was arrested. His family said taht he wanted to be
jailed to get access to food. But that is an anomaly. Israel now has
nbearly 9000 political prisoners.
I also read in Haaretz that six Palestinians were killed in Gaza in
what some called reoccupation after they stated that Israel redeployed
its troops to the periphery of Gaza
Hearing US spokespersons like Condaleeza Rice gives little hope that
the US can have any foreign policy that is not dictated by Zionist
lobbies; in other words rational foreign policies are not forthcoming
(see U.S. Seen Backing Israeli Moves To Topple Hamas By Ori Nir in the
Forward http://www.forward.com/articles/8063 )
Then I heard squeeky Zionist wheel Thomas Friedman bewail the war
criminal occupying soldier being held by Palestinian resistance
fighter say thee following nonsense in his column today:
"The Palestinians could have a state on the West Bank, Gaza and East
Jerusalem tomorrow, if they and the Arab League clearly recognized
Israel, normalized relations and renounced violence. Anyone who says
otherwise doesn't know Israel today. But those driving Palestinian
politics seem determined to destroy Israel in its territory - even if
it means destroying themselves in their own territory. Species that
behave that way in the rain forest become extinct."
I decided against saying anything about this to anyone I meet today
lest I lose my cool (imagine a statement like this from an apologist
for South African Apartheid!). I did discuss with some media folks
here the need to fix the catastrophic situation with regards to media
coverage. Solutions are not easy to come by (see for example, Crisis
in US Media Coverage of Gaza By Patrick O'Connor The Electronic
Intifada http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4910.shtml )
Yesterday, I had visited Suleiman, a childhood friend whose house is
surrounded by the apartheid fence on three sides. We looked out on
all sides to see the destruction wrought by the ever growing cancer of
the colony of Har Homa. Caterpillar bulldozers paid for by our taxes
in America were hard at work clearing more Palestinain lands uin the
area (north of Bethlehem). In fact most agricultural lands was
already taken. Natural areas were decimated. After destroying most
of teh forest on AbuGhneim mountain, now the nearby natural areas were
being burned clearing brush and leveling the area to build more
massive concrete structures that irritate the eyes and teh heart.
Suleiman's relatives ended up on the so called "Israeli side" of the
wall and must have permits to live in their own homes and cannot visit
or move to the other side.
The illegal colony that saw the beginning of its construction in 1997
on Jabal Abu Ghneim is now a large Jewish-only section of an ever
enlarging urbanization and development of Jerusalem for the benefit of
Jewish settlers and the harm of its natives. Palestinian Christians
and Muslims in Jerusalem are squeezed out and those in suburbs like
Bethlehem are walled out of the urban center. Jewish hotels and
infrastructures are being built to take care of the economic
colonization that is being planned to replace the military occupation
after finishing teh colonization of the best lands.
Palestinian workers who used to work for $20-30 per day are now
unemploeyed and the few who are employed make $2-3 per day. Meanwhile,
many settlers make $40-50,000 per year and have lush swimming pools
brimming with Palestinian water. Lush gardens while agriculture was
decimated among the native Palestinians. I have never seen hungry
Children in Bethlehem before, I saw them today. Nothing prepared me
for how bad things have gotten since my last visit just over a year
ago. I am now sure that unless we, citizens of the world finally
break through to our obstinate governments, we are headed for
worsening of an already terrible situation.
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