Mazin Qumsiyeh, 5/9/2004
Here is something to inspire you. Read this. It will help you believe your efforts are all worth it. — Jennifer Loewenstein
The UN General Assembly passed a resolution (again overwhelming support) to affirm that the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, remain subject to the 4th Geneva Convention (Israel as the occupying belligerent power). By a vote of 140 in favour to 6 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), the General Assembly also affirmed that the Palestinian people had the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over their territory, and that Israel had only the duties and obligations of an occupying Power. Does anyone still believe the US and Israel (and their minor four client states) can defy the will of 140 countries and the majority of the people (even in the US)? And besides countries and their politics, we have public opinion which ultimately no government can ignore (governments stand only as long as people give them permission to stand).
On Monday evening I was in Brattleboro, VT for the showing of Jenin, Jenin. Some 80-100 people jammed the room at the School of International Training (SIT) in this lovely New England town. A brief description of the event is provided at http://www.ibrattleboro.com/article.php?story=20040430120322712&mode=pri. I spoke before the film and then answered questions afterwards. I read a section from my contribution in the book “Searching Jenin” (an edited book I highly recommend; see http://www.searchingjenin.com/ ). Reem and all the organizers were just wonderful but those who took the time to attend really were the stars of the show. They all helped by donating and acting (money going to bring a Palestinian to SIT). We had the pleasure to meet Kate Casa, a journalist who was unfairly dismissed due to her truth telling. We spent the night in a home of a wonderful lady by the name of Rupa Cousins who has merged traditions from cabalist to Sufi mysticism in her healing techniques; we talked about poetry and philosophies from Hafiz to Rumi.
On Tuesday Morning I interviewed with two radio Stations in Brattleboro and then drove to Concord, New Hampshire for a meeting with the editorial board of the Concord Monitor. The editors were gracious and receptive. Later Tuesday evening, we had a lecture and a book signing (for my book “Sharing the Land of Canaan”) at Portsmouth, NH. This event was well publicized well ahead of time (e.g. at www.seacoastnh.com and thenewhampshire.collegepublisher.com ) and well attended. Those attending were quite interested (e.g. 22 books were sold by the cosponsoring bookstore). It was heartening to hear several Jews in the audience speak out in support; this followed a comment by one self-described “left Zionist” who seemed to grope for words of opposition against the one state solution. On Wednesday early morning (following a night at a home of an 81 year old WWII veteran and peace activist by the name of Robin Willits), we met with a reporter for the Portsmouth Herald who did a story on the book signing and on the local Seacoast Peace Response group that sponsored the event. I also got a $216 speeding ticket (unfairly I might add as I was not speeding). 🙁
On Thursday evening I hooked up with the Wheels of Justice (WOJ) bus tour in North Hampton, MA. I joined Mike Miles (bus driver, Iraq and Palestine volunteer, speaker, father, farmer, deep thinker, etc.) and David Lippman (entertainer, manager, artist, singing “CIA agent”). We spoke at the largest Catholic church in the area thanks to the efforts of Jacob and many local volunteers. Those who attended were extremely generous.