Over 2,000 take to the streets of London as part of ‘International Wave of Solidarity for Palestine on October 19, 2015

 Sara Anna and Lydia NooIncrease Text Size

“Palestinians don’t want to dance in the darkness,” Mahmoud Zwahre from the Palestinian village of al-Masara shouts in our ear over the deafening chants of the crowd. “Advocacy is the most important thing that people outside Palestine can do,” adds the Palestinian Popular Resistance Coordinating Committee member. “Because in Palestine is the struggle, here is the advocacy and then there is the change.”

Around 2,500 men, women and children attended a demonstration outside London’s Israeli embassy on Saturday, as part of an International Wave of Solidarity for Palestine, called for by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Police guarding an entrance to the Israeli embassy on High Street Kensington. There was a heavy police presence during the peaceful demonstration. (Photo: Sara Anna)

Since 1 October, 41 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers and over 1,600 injured. Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and Israel are participating in mass demonstrations to stand against 67 years of occupation, oppression and ethnic cleansing. The ‘Oslo generation’ of young male and female protesters is inspiring solidarity efforts around the world.

To follow Palestinians’ lead, Sarah Colborne, director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), strongly urged demonstrators at Saturday’s London protest to wave only the Palestinian flag. “We are here united for Palestine and it is this flag that connects us. It is a symbol of Palestinian struggle, justice, peace and freedom.”

Two flags are better than one. Support for Palestine is growing among all sectors of society in the UK. (Photo: Sara Anna)

Addressing the crowd, Glyn Secker from Jews for Justice for Palestinians spoke of the hypocrisy of the Israeli state and international community. “Push a people you have impoverished to the extremities of endurance, push and push again and they will respond with the only repertoire available to them – stones and implements against the overwhelming force of the fourth most powerful army in the world. Then, with all the hypocrisy you can muster, blame them for the violence.”

Metres away from a lone figure brandishing an Israeli flag, he added, “As one of many Jewish voices, we proclaim our anger and sorrow – Israel you do not speak for us. Not in our name.”

Yaman Birawi from the Palestinian Forum in Britain. (Photo: Sara Anna)

Yaman Birawi from the Palestinian Forum in Britain took to the stage to speak of the growing unity of Palestine between the young and the old and the different political parties. “This has given hope to a third Intifada, an uprising, because enough is enough!” he said, before beginning the familiar chant of “Free, Free Palestine!”

Mahmoud Zwahre agreed with the previous speakers. “The situation is different to other waves of uprising, inside Palestine and outside; there is a massive participation of people from all over historical and occupied Palestine. I know that the political atmosphere outside has not changed and mainstream media remains biased, but the way to change it is by organizing these actions.”

A leader in his community’s struggle in Palestine, Zwahre has a unique perspective on solidarity efforts, and is optimistic. “This is not the atmosphere of the first intifada internationally, but it can come step by step. Palestinians are not the people who are going to have cycles of intifada forever. So now is the time for people outside Palestine to increase the pressure and resistance.”

London Palestine Action protestors set off red and green smoke bombs, two of the colours of the Palestinian flag, while blocking traffic at Oxford Circus. (Photo: Sara Anna)

After the confines of the organized demonstration where police and stewards squashed protesters into a small area, direct action group London Palestine Action coordinated acts of creative dissidence in central London. Around 150 people stopped traffic in Oxford Street – London’s busiest shopping street – before forming a human chain in Oxford Circus and marching to the BBC headquarters to protest against biased media coverage of Palestine.

Protesters link arms stopping traffic on Oxford Street. Some hold representations of Handala, a creation of the late Palestinian cartoonist Nagi Al-Ali. Handala bears witness to the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people. (Photo: Sara Anna)

In front of London’s double-decker buses, Palestinian performance poet and activist, Rafeef Ziadah, warned companies such as G4S and Elbit systems, an Israeli weapons company and a previous target of London Palestine Action, to stop arming the Israeli government. “The games are over and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is going to shut you down!” roared Ziadah, to loud applause.

Palestinian artist and activist Rafeef Ziadah stops traffic on Oxford Street. (Photo: Sara Anna)

For some, it was the first direct action in which they had participated. One London student explained that as she cannot be in Palestine, she thinks that it is important to build solidarity and pressure in Britain using many different forms of protest, so that “people you are supporting know they are not alone.”

Creative dissidence is one of the most “in your face forms of action,” says Sara, media spokesperson for London Palestine Action. The group believes that the publicity puts companies supporting the Israeli occupation under the limelight. As actions often result in a loss of profit, this also provides an incentive for the companies to divest or end their contracts with the Israeli government.

“We chose Oxford Circus because it would be the most visible place: we wanted to show that there was solidarity for the Palestinian resistance.” And it isn’t just about Israel, Britain is complicit, Sara adds. “The colonial violence, the killing and the occupation has to stop, and the right of return for Palestinians and full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel guaranteed.”

Families participated en masse, hoping for freedom for future generations of Palestinian children. (Photo: Sara Anna)

14 Responses

  1. Ossinev

    October 19, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Great to see this and hopefully it is the start of something bigger and more widespread throughout the UK and Europe. Judging by the increase in overt brutality by the Zionist scum currently running the show in Israel and the occupied territories, the complicity of the US and the cowardice of the EU and European governments in failing to take any meaningful action , the only way forward is BDS and mass demonstrations. I hope that the BDS movement can crank up it`s campaign and would suggest an increased focus on sporting events and Israeli participation in international sporting events. BDS should directly address national and international sport government bodies over their complicity in allowing representatives of an apartheid nation to participate in their events. A good starter would be online appeals to the growing world wide running community to distance itself from Israel and Israeli Athletics eg a call to boycott next year`s Jerusalem Apartheid Marathon and any and other race events or triathlon type events in the country.

    Yes innocent and undeserving Israeli Jews and Palestinians will suffer and be deprived as a result of these actions but such also was the case with South African apartheid.

    • Rodneywatts

      October 19, 2015, 3:59 pm

      Absolutely with you Ossinev. I just wish I lived nearer to London at times like this. Sadly the situation in I/P is so much worse than it was in SA, and, as I have pointed out previously, whilst BDS was important in SA there were also important military/armed contributions. Of course the latter meant sacrifice of life for some such as the brother of a friend of mine who chose the ‘terrorist’ path.
      Unless something dramatic happens soon to remove support for the heinous regime in Israel, on an international governmental level as you suggest above, I can only see more and more bloodshed. Israel is surely about to reap the whirlwind and yet more innocents will also die. So much for the security promised by the thieving oppressor racists in charge of Israel.

      Of course many thanks to the reporters Sara Anna and Lydia Noon for the article. Come on UK lets show the way!!

  2. Citizen

    October 19, 2015, 5:12 pm

    In my area of USA there has been no coverage of these demonstrations at all on the main stream TV cable news & infotainment shows.

  3. Palikari

    October 20, 2015, 10:51 am

    Funny.

    Hundreds of Madrid residents took to the streets a few days ago to show their solidarity with Israel. Also in Rome. Those demonstrations had much less propaganda than anti-Israel demonstrations. Viva Espana and Italia!

    Europe is starting to wake up.

    • Annie Robbins

      October 20, 2015, 11:46 am

      yes, we heard “the Jewish community brought over 300 people to stand by Israel” in madrid. link to ynetnews.com

      in a city of over 3 million people this is not surprising. it would be the equivalent of 80 people showing up in san francisco in support of israel.

    • Rodneywatts

      October 20, 2015, 2:29 pm

      ‘Europe is starting to wake up.’ Right on Palikari , or should I call you ‘Lad’ as one of the translations of the Greek word palikari? How on earth did you have the audacity to choose the name of a film about Louis Tikas, brutally murdered in the corporate oppression of miners in the US in 1913/14 ? However you do clearly put yourself on the side of the brutal oppressor corporations which were forerunners of regimes like Israel. link to palikari.org

      Annie, thank you for your link and comment — The truth is that more and more anti -Israel sentiment is being expressed (without much conflation with anti-semitism, due to the increasing, so important, part being played by members of Jewish communities). Your link points out the placards with ‘Yo estoy con Israel’ but zionistas are only dreaming if they think that there would be less placards with ‘Yo estoy en contra de Israel’ – ‘I am against Israel’ in rival demos.

    • Marnie

      October 21, 2015, 7:53 am

      And you put me right to sleep. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    • eljay

      October 21, 2015, 8:07 am

      || Palikari: Funny. Hundreds of Madrid residents took to the streets a few days ago to show their solidarity with Israel. Also in Rome. … ||

      Only a hateful and immoral idiot would celebrate a show of support for oppression, colonialism and supremacism. Not funny at all.

  4. Ossinev

    October 20, 2015, 1:24 pm

    @palikari
    “Those demonstrations had much less propaganda than anti-Israel demonstrations. ”

    “Those demonstrations had much less propaganda than anti-Israel demonstrations. ”

    “Those demonstrations had much less propaganda than anti-Israel demonstrations. ”

    Yup. Tried to get my head round this at least three times and counting. On the face of it it seems like a”balanced” statement however I think it has more likely been a DIY amendment to a Hasbara manual staple which has spun out of control and flopped on its side rather like a robot which has run out of battery power.

    Please ease my misery. Are you saying that both the Pro Israel and the Anti – Israel
    demonstrations had”propaganda” but that the Pro-Israel ones had”less”. If so can you give me an idea of notional percentages . And to really put me out of my misery would you please define what you mean by “propaganda” in both instances and give examples from each of the demonstrations.

  5. Rashers2

    October 20, 2015, 2:21 pm

    It is a pity that the number weren’t 25,000 rather than 2,500; and that I couldn’t participate. A good, “Welcome to Britain,” however, for that nice Ambassador Regev.
    Listening today after dinner to Mileikowsky spinning his, “We only want to preserve the status quo [at the Noble Sanctuary]…” line in his joint press appearance with Ban Ki-Moon, I had to switch the TV news off as it was interfering with my digestion.

    • Kay24

      October 20, 2015, 2:38 pm

      A few posters showing the shrinking map of Palestine should have been flashed around. It would have been a great welcome for Lying Regev.

    • Rodneywatts

      October 20, 2015, 2:44 pm

      Hey Rashers2, nice to see you again using that truly ancient Jewish name of Mileikowsky to correctly refer to the king of muppets and at least it is more respectful than Nuttyyahoo.

      • Rashers2

        October 21, 2015, 2:13 am

        Rodneywatts, the reasons I call him “Mileikowsky” are: a) it is his family name; b) the adopted name means “Gift from God” and, even as an agnostic myself, Mileikowsky’s conduct makes acquiescing in such a conceit difficult for me; and c) it may serve to remind any who reflect on the usage that he (in common with the great majority of Ashkenazim colonists) has few genuine, Levantine pretensions but that his heritage is solidly European.

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Wanted…………..

Wanted by the Israeli Military

Pictured here: In a sickening new development, the Israeli military have stuck images of dozens of children who are accused of stone-throwing and whom they plan to arrest on the wall of Shuhada checkpoint,   Soldiers have stopped the boys and and compared them with the photos.  Some of them them were taken into military bases and then police stations for interrogation.
 boys pictured

Of course, It is an Intifada: This is What You Must Know

This is a Palestinian Intifada, even if it ends today. (Quds Press)

This is a Palestinian Intifada, even if it ends today. (Quds Press)
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By Ramzy Baroud

When my book ‘Searching Jenin‘ was published soon after the Israeli massacre in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002, I was quizzed repeatedly by the media and many readers for conferring the word ‘massacre’ on what Israel has depicted as a legitimate battle against camp-based ‘terrorists’.

The interrogative questions were aimed at relocating the narrative from a discussion regarding possible war crimes into a technical dispute over the application of language. For them, the evidence of Israel’s violations of human rights mattered little.

This kind of reductionism has often served as the prelude to any discussion concerning the so-called Arab-Israeli conflict: events are depicted and defined using polarizing terminology that pay little heed to facts and contexts, and focus primarily on perceptions and interpretations.

Hence, it should also matter little to those same individuals whether or not Palestinian youth such as Isra’ Abed, 28, shot repeatedly on October 9 in Affula – and Fadi Samir, 19, killed by Israeli police a few days earlier, were, in fact, knife-wielding Palestinians who were in a state of self-defense and shot by the police. Even when video evidence emerges countering the official Israeli narrative and revealing, as in most other cases, that the murdered youth posed no threat, the official Israeli narrative will always be accepted as facts, by some. Isra’, Fadi, and all the rest are ‘terrorists’ who endangered the safety of Israeli citizens and, alas, had to be eliminated as a result.

The same logic has been used throughout the last century, when the current so-called Israeli Defense Forces were still operating as armed militias and organized gangs in Palestine, before it was ethnically-cleansed to become Israel. Since then, this logic has applied in every possible context in which Israel has found itself, allegedly: compelled to use force against Palestinian and Arab ‘terrorists’, potential ‘terrorists’ along with their ‘terror infrastructure.’

It is not at all about the type of weapons that Palestinians use, if any at all. Israeli violence largely pertains to Israel’s own perception of its self-tailored reality: that of Israel being a beleaguered country, whose very existence is under constant threat by Palestinians, whether they are resisting by use of arms, or children playing at the beach in Gaza. There has never been a deviation from the norm in the historiography of the official Israeli discourse which explains, justifies or celebrates the death of tens of thousands of Palestinians throughout the years: the Israelis are never at fault, and no context for Palestinian ‘violence’ is ever required.

Much of our current discussion regarding the protests in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and as of late at the Gaza border is centred on Israeli priorities, not Palestinian rights, which is clearly prejudiced. Once more, Israel is speaking of ‘unrest’ and ‘attacks’ originating from the ‘territories’, as if the priority is guaranteeing the safety of the armed occupiers – soldiers and extremist settlers, alike.

Rationally, it follows that the opposite state of ‘unrest’, that of ‘quiet’ and ‘lull’, are when millions of Palestinians agree to being subdued, humiliated, occupied, besieged and habitually killed or, in some cases, lynched by Israeli Jewish mobs or burned alive, while embracing their miserable fate and carrying on with life as usual.

The return to ‘normalcy’ is thus achieved; obviously, at the high price of blood and violence, which Israel has a monopoly on, while its actions are rarely questioned, Palestinians can then assume the role of the perpetual victim, and their Israeli masters can continue manning military checkpoints, robbing land and building yet more illegal settlements in violation of international law.

The question, now, ought not to be basic queries about whether some of the murdered Palestinians wielded knives or not, or truly posed a threat to the safety of the soldiers and armed settlers. Rather, it should be centred principally on the very violent act of military occupation and illegal settlements in Palestinian land in the first place.

From this perspective then, wielding a knife is, in fact, an act of self-defence; arguing about the disproportionate, or otherwise, Israeli response to the Palestinian ‘violence’ is, altogether moot.

Cornering oneself with technical definitions is dehumanizing to the collective Palestinian experience.

“How many Palestinians would have to be killed to make a case for using the term ‘massacre’?” was my answer to those who questioned my use of the term. Similarly, how many would have to be killed, how many protests would have to be mobilised and for how long before the current ‘unrest’, ‘upheaval’ or ‘clashes’ between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army become an ‘Intifada’?

And why should it even be called a ‘Third Intifada’?

Mazin Qumsiyeh describes what is happening in Palestine as the ’14th Intifada’. He should know best, for he authored the outstanding book, Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment. However, I would go even further and suggest that there have been many more intifadas, if one is to use definitions that are relevant to the popular discourse of the Palestinians themselves. Intifadas – shaking off – become such when Palestinian communities mobilise across Palestine, unifying beyond factional and political agendas and carry out a sustained campaign of protests, civil disobedience and other forms of grassroots resistance.

They do so when they have reached a breaking point, the process of which is not declared through press releases or televised conferences, but is unspoken, yet everlasting.

Some, although well-intentioned, argue that Palestinians are not yet ready for a third intifada, as if Palestinian uprisings are a calculated process, carried out after much deliberation and strategic haggling. Nothing can be further from the truth.

An example is the 1936 Intifada against British and Zionist colonialism in Palestine. It was initially organized by Palestinian Arab parties, which were mostly sanctioned by the British Mandate government itself. But when the fellahin, the poor and largely uneducated peasants, began sensing that their leadership was being co-opted – as is the case today – they operated outside the confines of politics, launching and sustaining a rebellion that lasted for three years.

The fellahin then, as has always been the case, carried the brunt of the British and Zionist violence, as they fell in droves. Those unlucky enough to be caught, were tortured and executed: Farhan al-Sadi, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, Mohammed Jamjoom, Fuad Hijazi are among the many leaders of that generation.

These scenarios have been in constant replay since, and with each intifada, the price paid in blood seems to be constantly increasing. Yet more intifadas are inevitable, whether they last a week, three or seven years, since the collective injustices experienced by Palestinians remain the common denominator among the successive generations of fellahin and their descendants of refugees.

What is happening today is an Intifada, but it is unnecessary to assign a number to it, since popular mobilization does not always follow a neat rationale required by some of us. Most of those leading the current Intifada were either children, or not even born when the Intifada al-Aqsa started in 2000; they were certainly not living when the Stone Intifada exploded in 1987. In fact, many might be oblivious of the details of the original Intifada of 1936.
This generation grew up oppressed, confined and subjugated, at complete odds with the misleading ‘peace process’ lexicon that has prolonged a strange paradox between fantasy and reality. They are protesting because they experience daily humiliation and have to endure the unrelenting violence of occupation.

Moreover, they feel a total sense of betrayal by their leadership, which is corrupt and co-opted. So they rebel, and attempt to mobilize and sustain their rebellion for as long as they can, because they have no horizon of hope outside their own action.

Let us not get bogged down by details, self-imposed definitions and numbers. This is a Palestinian Intifada, even if it ends today. What truly matters is how we respond to the pleas of this oppressed generation; will we continue to assign greater importance to the safety of the armed occupier than to the rights of a burdened and oppressed nation?

– Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His books include Searching Jenin, The Second Palestinian Intifada and his latest My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. His website is: www.ramzybaroud.net.

The Question of the Third Intifada

By Oraib Al-Rantawi

TpalestinianThe issue of the moment is the question of an impending third intifada. Are the events taking place in Jerusalem and the West Bank heading towards another Palestinian uprising? What are the opportunities and the possibilities? What are the obstacles and the challenges? Who is working to prevent this from happening and who is working towards encouraging such an eventuality?

The truth is that the Palestinian situation, especially in the occupied West Bank, has become more complicated and this reality has prevented us from finding any straightforward or easy answers; in any case and under any conditions it would be a mistake to underestimate the possibility of events unfolding where there will be a third intifada. There are many factors contributing to the outbreak of an uprising in the occupied territories and these are currently restrained by a low ceiling. The Palestinians have many reasons to break through this ceiling and head for the streets in protest.

Israel has closed every window of hope for the Palestinian people; there are currently no portals leading to a brighter future. All the pathways to freedom and independence for a viable future state have been blocked. This does not stop at the growing expansion of the settlements or the daily violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque, or the siege imposed on Gaza; in truth, it goes beyond all of that. There is very little left for the average Palestinian to lose.

In addition, there is the bloodshed that has occurred in light of Palestinian division and the absence of national unity. This requires a new strategy because the cause has been abandoned and this reality is among many factors causing the average Palestinian to feel as though he has nothing left for himself. Many have come to realise that they must take matters into their own hands and demand that their voices are heard and that their rights are given to them in the face of all these closed doors and pathways.

The question of Jerusalem and the rights of its citizens, as well as its sanctity in both the Muslim and Christian traditions, has been transformed – because of the Hashemite Kingdom’s sponsorship – into not only into a bone of contention between the Palestinians and the Israelis but also between the Israelis and the Jordanians. Palestinian Jerusalemites have been ringing alarm bells time and time again in the past few months, and are doing so today, but the city has been demarcated and divided between occupation forces and settlers on one side and the Palestinians on the other.

Even so, this does not mean that we are headed towards an intifada, for the question at hand is far more complicated than this. We have gone through many points before and any one of them could have been an indication of another uprising, but it did not take place. Our expectations have exceeded far beyond this with three wars in Gaza, human rights violations and abuse of Palestinian Jerusalemites in Al-Aqsa, all of which have failed to ignite the fuse. Indeed, Israel’s brutal, lawless ways have become the norm for Palestinians in their everyday West Bank life.

However, recent events have affected the way in which we have started to interpret the effects that the Israeli occupation has on Palestinian life and human rights. We are now in search of a new social and political structure that will enable us to combat the security apparatus, although the catalyst for this was the fateful broadcast of a tape showing Israeli policemen severely beating a boy from Bethlehem a few weeks ago.

Yet, with all of these factors there are still those who believe that the current violence taking place in Jerusalem and the aggression taken out on Al-Aqsa is different to that which we have seen in the past and that the third intifada is undoubtedly on its way. Is this the case?

I believe that there are visible differences between how things are taking place this time around in comparison to the previous rounds of violence; the responses of the people in Jerusalem and those in the West Bank differ, for a start. The current public mood is tense, especially within the upper ranks of Fatah, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not flick any switches in his recent speech at the UN, although he did shake up Israel’s sense of security by threatening to detonate a metaphorical bomb. Moreover, Israel’s arrogance may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back since Abbas has made no promises to keep the lid on popular anger for much longer. All of the tension that currently exists indicates that there is in fact an impending uprising on the horizon and that the chances for confrontation may reach a peak as chaos continues to define this political game.

In light of the ongoing division between the two main Palestinian factions and the sense of fear that has overtaken both parties, there is no doubt that a dark period awaits us. Fatah is not comfortable with the escalation in confrontation that Hamas has been promising the West Bank, especially at a point when many agreements are contingent upon a longstanding ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. It seems as though the leadership in Ramallah has considered the Hamas call for resistance in the West Bank to be a veiled threat to the Palestinian Authority under the pretext of standing up to the occupation. In short, Fatah believes that Hamas is planning a coup after which the latter will gain control of both Palestinian territories.

Yes, it is true that the president of the Palestinian Authority stood in New York and declared that it is no longer obligated to abide by the Oslo agreement, and that there is also a threat to dissolve the PA itself and thus bring an end to security coordination with Israel, but Abbas has yet to carry out his threats. This has more to do with the PA’s delusional outlook that there is still room for negotiations and a two state solution. Even as it waves its last playing card in the air, the PA does so under the false assumption that there will be regional and international initiatives that will change the status quo.

For all the reasons mentioned above it seems as though a third intifada is a possible scenario but it’s not the only one. There are many others that we must not underestimate. It is as if there are initiatives taking place to create a sense of calm between Israel and Palestine and to achieve economic peace and stability as well as a long-term ceasefire in Gaza. The goal is to buy more time in an effort to prevent a comprehensive explosion. As for the two state solution, it is no longer going to be the pacifier that satisfies the Palestinian people’s emotions, as many now believe that this option is a thing of the past and is no longer viable.

(Translated by Middle East Monitor from Addustour, October 05, 2015)

SELECTED

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh shares part of a lecture he is to give:

The importance of what is happening here (in Palestine) to regional and international issues will be highlighted in my upcoming talks. For example here is my abstract for Rhodes Forum:

In this paper we discuss the current mayhem in the Arab world as an
inevitable outcome of a historical process originating in Europe 100 years ago with three key dates: the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreements, the 1917 Balfour and Cambon declarations in support of Zionism, the 1919 Paris “Peace Conference”, and the 1920 San Remo Conference. The  unifying thread of these key events was western support for fragmentation of the Arab world via sectarian and ethnic divisions spearheaded by the formation of a Jewish state in the heart of the area. Rational voices in the Western world argued for a more collaborative approach that takes into account the interests of the common people of those areas (i.e. self-determination). Such voices were silenced because of elite and moneyed interests. Some of those rational voices correctly predicted the mayhem that we see ourselves in this year including extremism, terrorism, flood of refugees, and apartheid
racist systems. To reverse this trend is difficult but not impossible. We
must first recognize the above diagnosis and begin to reverse western
discourse that is now dominated by the USA (itself under significant
influence from the Israel or Zionist lobby). We show that there are really
only two paths:1) the path of status quo, militarization, and hegemony
aided by puppet dictors which leads to no winners, or 2) the path of human rights and justice which leads to accommodation, justice, and equality. The latter path is explored in detail showing that key to it is starting with democratization in Western dependent countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia. In particular, evidence shows that it is critical to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands and create a secular pluralistic democracy in historic Palestine as this was and is the main destabilizing element in Western Asia. We show that it is possible to arrive at this humanistic outcome throughout the region via non-armed methods such as popular resistance and the growing boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research (http://palestinenature.org). He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke, and Yale Universities. He published over 130 scientific papers on topics ranging from biodiversity to cancer. He published hundreds of refereed articles and several books including “Mammals of the Holy Land” and “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle”
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