Human rights activist and Pluto author Mazin B. Qumsiyeh has been arrested, along with four other demonstrators, by Israeli soldiers, after he took part in a peaceful protest to mark Nakba day – the anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 when Israel was created.
The protests were part of a wave of unrest in the West Bank, Gaza, the Arab villages within Israel and along the Israeli border with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Thousands protested for the right of the Palestinian refugees to return and for an end to the Israeli occupation. Israeli troops responded with force, killing 13 protesters and injuring many more.
Mazin has now been released on bail, but other peaceful protesters remain imprisoned.
You can watch a video of the protest and arrests here (Mazin is interviewed at 1.33)
Writing on the AlJazeera website, Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: a Beginner’s Guide, puts the refugees demand for justice in historical context and considers how they can win justice today:
The centrality of 1948 is being embraced as part of a language and mode of resistance by Palestinians around the world. The fight of Palestinian citizens of Israel as a discriminated, segregated minority has evolved over the years – from emphasising “rights” to challenging the very legitimacy of a Jewish state. The BDS call, endorsed and driven by Palestinians under military occupation, aims to bring an end to the injustices that began with the Nakba.
This is what makes the Israeli government, and its apologists, so nervous: they know that 63 years on, contrary to Ben-Gurion’s prediction, not only have subsequent generations of Palestinians remembered the Nakba, but their ongoing struggle for justice and equality is now understood and supported by growing numbers around the world.
Visit AlJazeera to read the article in full.
A History of Hope and Empowerment
Mazin B. Qumsiyeh
A detailed yet engaging study showing that the vast majority of Palestinian resistance over the last 100 years has been peaceful and creative.
“This is a timely and remarkable book written by the most important chronicler of contemporary popular resistance in Palestine. Mazin Qumsiyeh brilliantly evokes the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Edward Said, Rachel Corrie and many others, to tell the unvarnished truth about Palestine and Zionist settler colonialism. With its focus on ‘history and activism from below’, this is a work of enormous significance. Developing further his original ideas on human rights in Palestine, media activism, public policies and popular, non-violent resistance, Mazin Qumsiyeh’s book is a must read for anyone interested in justice and how to produce the necessary breakthrough in the Israel-Palestine conflict.” – Nur Masalha
“Qumsiyeh’s inspiring accounts of both the everyday and the most extraordinary acts of Palestinian indigenous resistance to colonialism expose the misguided claims that Palestinians have never tried nonviolence; in fact, they are among the experts, whose courage, creativity, and resilience are an inspiration to people of conscience everywhere. Even with the arms of a military superpower, the Israeli government’s failure to quell the Palestinians’ spirit and insistence on human rights reminds us that the greatest strength of all belongs to those with justice on their side, who will ultimately triumph.” – Anna Baltzer, author of Witness in Palestine
A Beginner’s Guide
Indispensable introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict, examining the current structures of Israeli domination.
“A very strong and clear voice that does not shun from exposing in full, and in a most accessible manner, the essence of Zionism and Israeli policies in Palestine. In a world confused by competing narratives, disinformation and fabrication, this book is an excellent guide for understanding the magnitude of the crimes committed against the Palestinians and the nature of their present suffering and oppression.” – Professor Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, Israeli historian and author of ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’ (2007)
“This book deals rationally and cogently with a topic that almost always generates considerable heat even just with book titles. The reader may not agree with everything that White asserts but it is a highly commendable effort to throw light on a fraught subject.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate