News about the Coronavirus from Bethlehem

1) Regarding Coronavirus, it has become officially a pandemic and the
failure of many governments to take it seriously will have catastrophic
consequences in those areas (like Italy and the US). Some governments are
using the pandemic as an excuse to increase repression and discrimination
instead of using it to bring peace with justice. The genocidal sanctions on
Iran for example has been tightened causing needless deaths of many. And
even though Israeli cases are far more than Palestinian cases, restrictions
and blockade tightened in our ghettos/bantustans (our own apartheid regime)
and settlers are free to travel anywhere. Bethlehem is blockaded only for
its Palestinian residents not for the illegal Israeli colonial settlers
living here. Iran released tens of thousands of prisoners to protect them;
Israel brought in a sick doctor and cut services and stopped family visits
to the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. The catastrophic
economic situation around the world impacts the most vulnerable
communities. Poverty will skyrocket and the billionaires will stay
billionaires! “Israel” with all its money and resources (fleeced from us
and others) is focused on being anti-Palestinian instead of working to
better the lives of all its citizens including Palestinians. Greece and
Turkey play football with Syrian refugees and the genocide in Yemen is
ongoing and I shudder to think what would happen as the virus spreads in
such devasted countries like Syria, Yemen, and Libya.

2) The climate change catastrophic situation is not dealt with and the
political structures look like will not be changed. Because of cheating and
rigging to prevent Bernie Sanders from getting the democratic nomination
(driven mostly by Zionists), the choice in November will be to vote for one
xenophobic puppet and another (Trump vs Biden) or sit it out. Trump will
win (the power of incumbency and more money from Zionist billionaires) and
we will be run for four more years by a fumbling megalomaniac. In either
case the US will continue to topple governments that serve their people and
install puppets similar to the one they put in charge of Brazil who will
finish off the Amazon rainforest.

Good news:

1) In many locations, people quickly responded aggressively to the virus
and seem to have contained the situation including at the source of the
virus (Wuhan province in China) where new cases continue to decline.
Medical personnel around the world have been nothing less than heroes.
Among Palestinians we were pleasantly surprised by how serious it was taken
and every one of the 31 cases reported in the past few days has known
source and well controlled with hundreds observing the self-quarantine
(only two people did not and they are now forced to do so and maybe
penalized!). So many people are helping other people. Other good news on
this front is the scientific development of simplified cheap tests and
quick progress on anti-viral cures.

2) Young people around the world are aware like never before. Part of it is
they understand increasingly how the system is rigged, that 99.9% of
politicians lie to them, and that their future cannot be left to
politicians. They take things into their own hands, mobilize, help fellow
human beings and are increasingly realizing that their future is at stake.
Extinction Rebellion is the fastest growing movement on our planet.

Now there are things that we cannot predict where they go yet. Will
decision makers do the right thing and learning from the past realize that
“business as usual” cannot go on and that they need to think of the
collective human interest? Will we learn that the horrors of World War I
and WWII were indeed repeated including actions of ethnic cleansing and
slow genocide even by some people claiming to be heirs to the victims of
similar atrocities? Will some countries use Israeli made drones to oppress
people & shut down borders to refugees or will they really work for peace
and justice instead of supporting repressive regimes like “Saudi Arabia”
and “Israel” who cause these problems? Will those who attended the large
AIPAC conference including congress people realize there is so much more
hard from that besides getting Coronavirus (four were infected and
mingling)? Will politicians put their personal financial and political
interests ahead of our (and their’s) children future? Will the world
(including our Arab countries and Palestine) remain run by mediocre people
focusing on their own narrow self-interest? Will Israeli society and global
Zionists continue to drift farther to the rights (racism, fascism etc)?

We did not learn from our history. As WWII was ending and Germany and Japan
were already defeated, the US fired the first two shots of the next war
with the Soviet Union (that is the Hiroshima and Nagazaki terror bombing).
Then we had Korea, Vietnam, Palestine and many many more atrocities against
peole to serve colonial and imperial powers. In the past they got away with
it. Today, this is existential to all humanity and as was said by a
prophetic voice: we either live together as fellow human beings or we
perish together as fools. When I said this to an audience in a recent talk
in Europe, they asked about probabilities: I said 20% and 80% but the
probability of 20% to survive as a species is getting smaller – the window
of opportunity is closing. We must all reach deeper in our hearts and minds
(and soul if you believe) and summon our best to fight. It is the epic
struggle for our existence.

One thought on “News about the Coronavirus from Bethlehem

  1. judywashbush April 1, 2020 / 12:17 am

    Hi Paulette!

    I hope you’re well. I just got around to reading this. My inbox has been crowded with coronavirus emails and forwards.
    Oh, my! Deep breath.

    Almost everything you say here resonates with me. But I have to take issue with one phrase in paragraph 2: “or sit it out.” Bernie would disagree with you vehemently. Bernie would say that sitting it out is not an option this year, and neither is voting third party or write-in. (If you don’t believe me, contact his office and ask.) Bernie would tell you that Donald Trump is an existential threat to our country and our world, and we must vote for the Democratic candidate, whether it’s Biden or Bernie or some surprise candidate who will come out of the convention. Can you please encourage your readers to vote in November?

    I am working with an ex-prisoners organization in Milwaukee to get out the November vote in their inner city. Ramiah, my ex-prisoner partner, and I have been excitedly planning to set up card tables in neighborhoods that never get any political attention. Depending on the coronavirus’s plans, we may have to change that to making phone calls and holding up signs on street corners. Ramiah has approximately 50 inmates who have each sent him 20 names of family members and friends to call. Isn’t that inspiring?

    Please stay well! There are now more than 200 virus cases in my county. Needless to say, John and I are staying home, taking a walk in our neighborhood every day. I am sure that life as we knew it is not coming back. I hope and pray that our society takes this opportunity to change is good ways!

    Love you much,


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