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December 23, 2010

Mazin and Al-Walaja Update

The good news is that the bulldozers stopped working today thanks to the
brave people of Al-Walaja but they still need our collective support.  100
internationls will be in Al-Walaja tomorrow morning (Friday at 9 AM).

The video that I recorded and loaded this morning summarizes what happened
to us after our arrest in Al-Walaja, a peaceful beautiful village that is
slated for ethnic cleansing (for the second time). The beatings and pepper
spray used on Sheerin and the young men of Al-Walaja was truly vicious.
During the arrest, I managed to text message, take notes, and even take a
couple of pictures from under the stairwell without the soldiers being aware
(details maybe for my next book!).  We challenged the soldiers’ demand that
we not speak to each other or to them.  Many of the soldiers kept saying
they are obeying orders and I and others reminded them that obeying fascist
order is not an excuse in international courts of justice (we are not there
yet, but I believe the day is coming). I was truly inspired by the courage,
vision and dedication of villagers like Sheerin and Dia who exemplify
decency and dignified poise in front of the machine that still comes up
among humans every few decades.  From fascism to Nazism to Zionism, the
enemy is one: racism and greed that in the end is self-destructive. But if
enough good people stand-up, the end may come sooner and more people on all
sides would be saved the physical and emotional scars of colonization.
Anyway, here is my statement on youtube:

Our friend Olivia Zemor and many others were denied entry on Ben Gurion
airport.  You can read her statement here (in French, may translate using
However, thousands of people from around the world still managed to enter
Palestine through Israeli controlled ports of entry like Ben Gurion airport.
Some were asked to sign stupid statements about not entering “Palestinian
areas”. Of course all of this land is Palestinian areas, they should state
entering the ghettos or bantustans to make it clearer.

In the holding cell with tight handcuffs cutting our circulation, we had a
sense of peace and self-confidence.  We shared smiles and whispered words of
encouragement to each other. It was uplifting experience and camaraderie. I
myself started singing (Fairuz-Zahrat Al-Madaen, Christmas songs, the
Palestinian national anthem etc).  After all we were told not to speak to
each other but they said nothing of singing.  I wished to dance but then I
thought this might be too much for my cell-mates. We all believe that it is
a sign of weakness and desperation that the Israeli army increasingly
brutally attacks unarmed people who are simply challenging occupation
nonviolently or merely asking pointed questions. From the Gaza freedom
flotilla to Rafah to Bilin to Al-Walaja, to Stuttgart, to Paris, and to the
rest of the world,  the cracks in the walls holding empire of lies are being
felt. Again, there will be an event in Al-Walaja Friday at 9-11 AM. For
those outside Palestine, thank you for acting in your spheres of influence.
Auschwitz Survivor on Palestine

Why will there not be a US foreign policy that benefits US population? Is it
because certain Jews make money out of the tribalism that is Zionism? An
article in Haaretz on “How much do U.S. Jewish leaders [sic] make?”

Song for Kairos Palestine (Manal abdo)

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Arrests from Al-Walaja

Description of an arrest. Three of us released after about 10 hours. Five others were kept overnight. Some will have to go to (unfair) trials where Colonial Israeli Judges and prosecutors execute their bureaucratic punishments with no real law other than apartheid racist laws that befit Jewish immigrants at the expense of native Palestinians.

Mazin Qumsiyeh has been arrested

Mazin Qumsiyeh former of the faculty of Duke and Yale and now teaching at Bethlehem University has been arrested for objecting to an exapnding settlement in a Palestinian town. (details below)

The best time to make contact on arrests is immediately, before anything goes too far. Note from Jesse Qumsiyeh that they’ve already thrown water on the prisoners.


the U.S. office in Jerusalem for the Territories is

011-972-2-622-7221 or 011-972-2-622-7207

from 1 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time

at all other times for emergencies like arrests, use this number


[ I just called so they do know the facts. What they need to see is that lots of people are behind Mazin ]

ask to speak to a duty officer

also make an email

Explain that you’re worried that American citizen Mazin Qumsiyeh will be mistreated, that the reason for the arrest is false, that Israelis have no right to build or expand a settlement on Palestinian land.

The arrest took place in the West Bank, in Al-Walaja, in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. If you didn’t get Jesse’s email the main part is below

The other person to contact is Richard Blumenthal, the current Attorney General of the State of CT, Mazin’s last address. (Blumenthal was just elected Senator, but he still is AG) I’ve spoken to him in the past about Mazin.

Civil Rights/Torts Department
(860) 808-5160

And let your friends know about this.

Greta Berlin

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