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Colonial Settlers | Mazin Qumsiyeh

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This post first appeared on the website of Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor and Director, Palestine Museum of Natural History, Bethlehem University. http://palestinenature.org, http://qumsiyeh.org, http://popular-resistance.com.

I just attended a demonstration by Israelis and Palestinians that fell under the rubric of demonstration for “peace based on two states for two people.” I won’t get into the issue of the two state “delusion” since I wrote a whole book on the subject which you can read below [1]. But I do want to reflect on what I observed and show you some illustrative pictures of how such events are used in the Israeli hasbara (propaganda) campaigns. The Israelis were a mix of good-intentioned individuals who knew nothing of the reality of settler colonialism that is the state of Israel or really knowledgeable Zionists who wanted to prove to Palestinians (us) that they are not as bad as they really are (and in the process say “look Israel is a democracy that allows opinions to be expressed).  A good example of the latter category is this guy who is a good friend of a settler security official.

The banner says "freedom" but verbally they call for two states.

The banner says “freedom” but verbally they call for two states.

Settler colonial entities like Israel [2] ace one of three possible outcomes and never get resolved via a two state scenario. The three models historically known are:

  1. The Algeria model,
  2. The Australia/New Zealand model, and
  3. (most common) the Latin America/South Africa model. The third model is the most common outcome of colonialism and the one that the vast majority of native people always support whether in South Africa or Palestine.

Many of the Israelis attending the demonstration as I said are good-intentioned “left wing” who did not study their own history well. They have this delusion that the problems for Israel and Zionism started in 1967 with the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But the main problem started much earlier in the late 19th century with the notion of transforming a multi-religious and multi-cultural society called Palestine (at the time 97% not Jewish) to a “Jewish state of Israel.” This idea called Zionism by necessity entailed ethnic cleansing, massacres, home demolitions, 1967 occupation and other symptoms. We should not confuse one of the symptoms (e.g. 1967 occupation) with the underlying etiology of this disease.  Unfortunately many Palestinians (like Chief Buthalesi in South Africa during apartheid) adopted the Zionist language. So some of the Palestinian demonstrators today wanted freedom for Palestine “from Hebron to Jenin”!!! But even these soft demands for 1/5th of the Palestinian land stolen got booed by passing settler cars who honked and gave us fingers.  The demonstration was mainly drawing attention to the plight of the Palestinian political prisoners, many of them where on hunger strike hoping to end their detentions without trial for months (also called “administrative detention”).

These demonstrators are kept from crossing the street while the person in the next image is not.

These demonstrators are kept from crossing the street while the person in the next image is not.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian public is numbed by economic need, accumulated debts, mental occupation, lack of water (our museum guest apartment had no water for two weeks now), and much more. The self-declared leadership is not concerned with people’s lives but is merely concerned with their own selfish interests. The idea of holding municipal elections under occupation used to be a challenge to the occupation when held in 1976. Today it is a distraction and a chess game between various factions. The real significant events happen elsewhere with little media coverage.


It has been almost 100 years from the time of the British Balfour declaration and French Jules Cambon declaration in support of Zionism issues in 1917 partially as a quid pro quo to get Zionists to lobby for the US entrance into World War 1.  Much mayhem has happened since then. Some more important events than others. There was the formation and Zionists take-over and of the “Federal Reserve Bank” in the US that ensures printing money backed only by US military power to become the world “reserve” currency (a sham system of debt and credit that enriched thousands by that impoverished billions). There was the financing of both sides of wars from WW2 to the Iran-Iraq war. There was Vietnam and Cambodia where millions were massacred. The war on Iraq that cost three trillion dollars and the lives of about a million Iraqis was a war for Israel (see [3]).  The Zionist elite are enjoying major political successes: normalization with many Arab governments, PLO now exists only in name and only to help be a subcontractor for the occupation. But they are suffering from some setbacks:

  1. Strengthening of the Iran-Syria-Hizbollah-Russia-China alliance,
  2. Growth of the boycotts, divestments, and sanctions movement [4],
  3. Population growth of non-Jews under the apartheid Israeli rule (now and for the first time since the 1948 ethnic cleansing, there are less than 50% Jewish),
  4. The dream of creating sectarian states in the Middle East by the intelligence services of Israel and the US is evaporating (this was supposed to normalize sectarian Israel).

Much has been happening that causes rational people to question the future of the Zionist project known as the Jewish state of Israel. The last pregnant Palestinian young women shot by an occupation army was Sara Haddoush Trayra.  It is too soon to declare that she will be the last victim. Israel also released the body of Bahaa Ulayan, a bright young man who helped form a reading ring around the old city of Jerusalem and promoted reading among many young people in schools and universities throughout the occupied areas. Israel had murdered him and held his body for 11 months. Israeli colonial settlers continue their theft of Palestinian lands, their destruction of Palestinian homes and their promotion of racism as law of the land [5]. These and millions of other examples are the signs of a moral bankruptcy that is acceleration t is too soon to declare the Zionist empire failing but many signs point to an arrogance of power that is only seen in dying empires that stretch themselves too thin. Yes, Israel gets $4 billion of U.S. taxpayer money (more federal aid to Israel than any state of the United States).

The author stands next to police who are heavily armed "just in case"

The author, Mazin Qumsiyeh, stands next to police who are heavily armed “just in case”

The explosion yesterday that destroyed an Israeli satellite two days before it was to launch is causing many in the circles of elite power to ponder the changing landscape. The Israeli company Spacecom was to be sold for $285 million to a Chinese company. The deal, announced only last week was pending the successful launch of the satellite (dubbed Amos-6) but now the deal is off. Whether accident or divine intervention or something else, this is worrying Israeli elite apartheid rulers. The wind, as the Arabic proverb goes, does not always go the way the ships want to go.

…. Meanwhile, we the people must change our approach and stop playing the game using the rules placed on us by the bankers.

NOTE: This is an edited version of Mazin’s original post that first appeared on his website http://popular-resistance.com.


[1] http://qumsiyeh.org/sharingthelandofcanaan/

[2]  Israel the last of the Settler Colonies

Israel – The Last of the Settler Colonies

[3] http://qumsiyeh.org/connectingthedotsiraqpalestine/

[4] http://bdsmovement.net

[5] See the list of over 50 laws that discriminate against non-Jews in the “Jewish state” https://www.adalah.org/en/law/index (ofcourse for those of us in the West Bank there are hundreds of other discriminatory “laws” being the military orders)

[6] Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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