mazin Qumsiyeh’s report on the Olive pickings this year and more

We just finished harvesting our olive trees.  It is hard work and in our
case produces a limited material since we only have five trees in our yard
(this year 45 kg of oil and we pickled some jars of olives). But many of
our friends and relatives can only dream of their olive trees which are now
on the other side of segregation and annexation wall. One of the volunteers
in our museum of Natural History ( tells me that his
family had 150 olive trees and they were able to visit  through a special
permit four years ago and they had to walk through a special gate in the
apartheid wall many kilometers away from their land (no mechanized
transportation allowed on the land). Alas Israel then uses many rules to
steal Palestinian lands (they restrict or prevent access to the land and
then they confiscate it because it is “not tended”).  But this is one of
the 100+ ways to steal land. Zionists are sophisticated 20th and 21st
century land pirates. But still Palestinians who still have access to some
of their lands or some of their olive trees keep trying and keep
persisting. It is what we call sumud. Activists from around the world come
to help especially in the areas near the Jewish racist colonies built on
stolen land. Settlers this season like in other seasons, steal olives, burn
olive trees, and attack farmers. The Israeli government encourages them
with subsidies and military protection.

Many of the readers of my weekly emails ask that I tell them what is going
on here and I do but I am also focused on what we (every one of us) can do
to change circumstances and not just here but around the globe. I try to
make suggestion for actions but I believe fundamental transformation in our
societies is needed to transform our world from this suicidal path we are
going down (wars, conflicts, climate change, consumerism etc). Sometimes it
is very difficult to effect transformation in societies. Transformation
comes from people but most people follow the their own minds which are
shaped by preexisting conditions and prejudices. Most people (especially
older ones) have limited capacity to change because they are trapped in
their own minds which are shaped by years of conditioning through family,
through religious teachings, through schools, and through a community.Early
education is important but we also do not despair of changing adults
starting with ourselves. Change is integral to life. We as a species can do
better and must do better.

An important article about our Palestine Museum of Natural History
published in the excellent magazine called “This Week in Palestine”
(even though the museum is not open to the public now, we welcome visitors
by arrangement especially those who may help us through volunteer or other
ways, see )

An article I wrote 5 years ago about the olives and the olive harvest

Under cover of reconstruction, UN and PA become enforcers of Israel’s Gaza

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
personal webpage
————– next part ————–

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