Happy Eid AlAdha to all Muslim friends and Colleagues. May this holiday return to us with advance in justice and freedom and a retreat in the forces of darkness, hate, and violence in this world.
A trip to Jenin Monday turned into another detour on the way back. The trip already takes 2.5 hours (see award winning video below) and this is when the roads are open. Soon major sections will be closed to us as Israel closes off other roads and make them available only to settlers. But on the way back, military contingent closed the road (simple spite as there was clearly nothing to justify it), they simply asked us to turn around. Since it was the only way I knew back to Bethlehem, for a while I did not know what to do. We tried to ask locals but the ones we asked did not know or speculated on alternative routes. Finally we found someone in a car who was also turned back and we followed him to go in a round-about-way to connect to eth road on the other side. Wasting much time (and obviously indicating since it was doable that this had nothing to do with security but with making life as hard as possible). But we will persist despite everything.
In Bad News: We heard that the US decided not to sign the Land Mine Treaty signed by over 150 countries (Israel and the US want to continue to allow the killing of Children). And local authorities and human rights groups warned that Gaza is on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. Most of its water is unfit for human consumption (and also below needed quantities). Israel refuses to deal with this man-made catastrophe. Ethnically cleansing the Palestinians and concentrating them in Gaza (70% refugees on a tiny desert strip) and now denying them even import of pipes and equipment to deliver water, to filter water, or to treat sewage is simply a crime against humanity.
Walls and water: Ripple effects of the occupation (interview with me, information useful on our situation, picture not useful so just listen in the background if interested ;-)
Right of Return to refugees: fact sheet in Arabic and English
Award Winning video
Control, Alt, Shift. No way through. Palestine in London
Action: The One Democratic State Group -Gaza
"The One Democratic State Group is committed to the struggle for Palestinian rights. These rights will never be realized outside the framework of a unitary state with equality for all its citizens. For too long this aim has been a vision. It is time to make it happen, and the ODSG is at the forefront of that effort. They deserve our full support."~ Ghada Karmi
"In this time of despair and ever-growing violence that threatens to destroy the Palestinian people, it is most refreshing to hear about a humanist and genuine initiative to find a just solution for the Palestine question. It is most amazing that it grew on the killing fields of Gaza, which bore the brunt of the Israeli criminal policies. It carries with it a hope that despite the various Nakbas the Palestinian people have gone through, there is still a valid possibility for Jews and Palestinians to share the land on the basis of equal and human rights. This is the only way forward and it is in particular the people of Gaza who can show us the way forward."
~ Ilan Pappe
"At a moment when ever more people are recognizing the futility at again attempting to partition Palestine/Israel, and the failure of the 'two-state solution,' there is an urgent need for a new vision to bring about decolonization, equality and justice. The One Democratic State Group is at the forefront of thinking, advocacy and action to bring about such a new vision from within Palestine. Their important and courageous work inspires real hope and deserves all our support."
~ Ali Abunimah
"Durable peace can only be based on justice especially the implementation of the basic right of return and restitution for Palestinian refugees. This can only be done in a context of a democratic pluralistic state for all its people. Institutions and movements that promote this logical and just vision for peace are growing and should be supported. The ODSG stands at the forefront of dynamic grass-root movements that are changing the political landscape and thus are creating a better future not only for the native victims but for all people."
The ODSG, One Democratic State Group, is a Palestinian non-violent popular resistance group based in Gaza. We are Palestinian activists, from various backgrounds, who have come together to further peace with justice in the Middle East. We believe that the One State Solution is the only viable option that guarantees comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We believe that justice and peace can be achieved in the context of a single Democratic State that would include and benefit equally all current residents of historic Palestine--after the return of Palestinian refugees--irrespective of race, ethnicity or religion. We pledge to work actively towards this end.
We are also active in the Palestine-initiated campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. These measures, similar to those applied to South Africa during the apartheid era, are necessary to bring an end to Israel's genocidal policies towards Palestinians both within Israel and throughout the Occupied Territories. We believe that these non-violent measures should be maintained until Apartheid Israel recognizes the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and the establishment of a democratic state on Mandatory Palestine; a state for all of its citizens.
As we are not an NGO, all our funding comes from our own pockets. As our movement is now rapidly growing it is becoming more difficult to financially sustain our projects and hire greatly needed staff. Due to lack of funds we have been forced to freeze some of our projects.
Our current projects include the following:
Organizing for the Gaza Freedom March (31 December 2009). We are represented on the March Steering Committee.
Collecting video testimonies of refugees who survived the 1948 Nakba for an oral history project that will be posted at Palestine Remembered.
Working on the "Right to Read" Campaign in partnership with solidarity groups. Challenging the siege by getting books for Gaza university students.
Producing a documentary, Forbidden Dreams, and copying thousands of a Palestinian-South African CD, Amandla Intifada.
The promotion of the one state solution and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli military occupation, colonization and Apartheid by:
Networking to strengthen connections among people and groups in Gaza and with solidarity activists around the world.
Running BDS workshops across the Gaza Strip
Organizing video conferences with activists, intellectuals and students based in the Arab World, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and the US.
Conducting media advocacy and writing articles in Arabic and English. In order to keep ODSG productively running, we are in need of your generous support and donations.
We invite you to visit our website, and join us in our work to in an act of people to people solidarity, and anti-apartheid activism for peace with justice.
Through your help we will be able to make our vision a reality and thereby ensure that our children and grandchildren may live together in more just and equal world.
The One Democratic State Group, Gaza, Palestine
READ HIS BIO AND MORE STORIES AND ESSAYS
BY MAZIN QUMSIYEH ON AXIS OF LOGIC
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home