Thursday, November 15, 2012

GAZA: Huge Loss for a BBC Arabic Correspondent

Jihad Misharawi carries his son’s body at a Gaza hospital. (AP)

Yahoo News
Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic correspondent who lives in Gaza, tragically became part of the story he's been covering on Wednesday, when an Israeli airstrike killed his 11-month-old son.

A chilling photo showing Misharawi carrying his son's body through al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City was published by the Associated Press and printed on the front page of Thursday's Washington Post.

According to Paul Danahar, the BBC's Middle East bureau chief, Misharawi's sister-in-law was also killed in the the airstrike that hit his home in Gaza. Misharawi's brother was also seriously wounded, Danahar said.

"This is a particularly difficult moment for the whole bureau in Gaza," BBC World editor Jon Williams wrote in a memo to colleagues. "We're fortunate to have such a committed and courageous team there. It's a sobering reminder of the challenges facing many of our colleagues."

At least 10 Palestinians, including Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jabari, were killed during the Israeli airstrikes on Wednesday, Palestinians officials said.

Israel launched the operation targeting militants in response to successive days of rocket fire coming out of Gaza. Hamas, meanwhile, warned Jabari's assassination "had opened the gates of hell."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Important Updates on Gaza (Beit Sahour)

Be sure to notice the qualifiers & concerns about the Hamas securities rights abuses below...see that all the Palestinian issues are not based on Islam while some certainly are...

I am leaving the links as they are for easier cut/paste/sending this post on (plz do!)


Post blogged at

Today, Jewish settlers came to Beit Sahour to look over the area they want to build the new settlement/colony on. Last night, settlers tried to burn a Palestinian family home in Tequa. This week, Israeli ministers give speeches that says they support new settlements and expanding existing colonial settlements. The Jewish state's finance minister even admitted doubling the financial support for these settlements built on stolen native Palestinian lands. The last few days there was an escalation of the Israeli bombing raids in Gaza.

US-made airplanes, paid for by US taxpayers, and painted with the star of David, were used to kill several Palestinian civilians and at least two Palestinian militants (extrajudicial assassinations).

Israeli occupation forces are threatening more strikes and
more colonialism. Many Palestinians were relieved to see Obama win the US presidency and some 80% of Arab Americans voted for him. But Obama said nothing about these atrocities since his election.

The US position is what it is and will change only when more Americans are made aware of the Zionist damage to US public and economic interests.

The Israeli position is also predictable until more Israelis can transcend their brainwashing. What is less understandable and more disturbing is that we still hear the same rhetoric from the two "Palestinian authorities" which have no authorities and whose terms in office expired nearly three years ago: Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank. Some "leaders" of these factions reserve their most bitter verbal and even physical attacks against the other faction or anyone who might question the status quo.

Hamas "security" beat women in Gaza protesting for unity and Fatah
"security" regularly arrest and imprison Hamas activists in the West Bank or even normal ordinary citizens who they suspect are not agreeing to their policies. This included one of my own students who missed important lectures as he was being questioned by fellow Palestinians.

Absent a reasonably responsible leadership that puts the Palestinian cause ahead of factional and financial interests, this leaves most Palestinians desperate and frustrated. Decent people are in all Palestinian factions but they are afraid to speak out within their own faction. But then again, I say the Palestinians need to stop looking for salvation from current leaders, from Obama, from the Arab Spring or from anyone else.

The 1936 uprising started when the young people took to the streets despite the bickering Nashashibis vs Husseinis of that era. It is time to do what young people have always done: depend on themselves unencumbered by the baggage carried by the older generation. I see this spirit in the young when I browse facebook pages in Palestine. We need to only put our own necks out and also help our children show courage to liberate us all from the corruption that has become like an illness spread among families and among factions. History will not be kind to those of us who join the corruption nor will it be kind to those who are apathetic and sit and wait.

*Relevant links for today:*

Kairos Palestine: Christians of the Holy Land ask you to act this

What Zionism means to Uri Zakheim

Israel is responsible for "price tag" attacks, not just a few settler
extremists Philip Bato

Israel Doubles West Bank Settlements Budget

Palestinian Fighter killed In Gaza, Seven Palestinians Killed Since
Saturday Evening

The Rothschild family wealth was critical in the formation of Israel.
Money still directs interests of wealth Zionist leaders who profit while poor Israelis and millions of Palestinians suffer. For a background on the family, see

Still having "joyful participation in the worries of this world" and
inviting you to come visit us in Bethlehem, the birthplace of the prince of peace

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
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Monday, November 12, 2012

On US Armistice Day 2012, let's remember Rumi's timeless teaching

Let us seek the peace with which this poet/teacher gifted the world...

"Rumi was born to native Persian speaking parents,[17][18][19] likely in the village of Wakhsh,[2] a small town located at the river Wakhsh in Persia (in what is now Tajikistan). Wakhsh belonged to the larger province of Balkh (parts of now modern Afghanistan and Tajikistan), and in the year Rumi was born, his father was an appointed scholar there."

Perhaps it's not of naught that Rumi once lived in Afghanistan and we find ourselves today looking at the ways of men at war vs those of peace in the backdrop of such a poet as this...

"In the Mevlevi tradition, samāʿ represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth and arrives at the Perfect.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Rumi

'The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations.In other verses in the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes Love is the astrolabe of God's mysteries."

Many resources are available on similar texts about/from Rumi yet today I am using this for the excerpts above due to the pertinent references to Afghanistan here and quotes here

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi

Here is another recent expression of Rumi's message " clamour and rancour and without malice and bitterness. It was sweet and pure as if gushing forth from a mountain spring; and it was love of a man mellowed with spiritual contemplation; and of a man who had experienced vagaries of life and tasted the bitterness of exile. So, it was not exclusive, disdainful and full of spite for others.

'Recurring interminably in Rumi’s poetry, Muhammad’s path has been held as an emblem of spiritual journey. Maulana has described it as a path that could illuminate the ultimate reality of Allah.

'Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had to weed away nettles of murderous vendettas, inequity, pride and avarice to set the contours of a new way leading to Allah. Breaking apart the linear and biologically determined ties between parents and children, he created community bonds on the basis of compassion, justice, tolerance and eschewal of worldly desires. Prophet’s (pbuh) whole life was a shining emblem of this righteous path.

'Persecuted by rich, powerful Quraish cheftains, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) found refuge in Medina and established a confederate of different communities on the principles of mutual respect and tolerance. At the time of the Prophet’s (pbuh) victorious march into Mecca, not a single drop of blood was shed, no house was set ablaze and no one was forced to convert to Islam.

'A year later, during Hajj pilgrimage, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had the realisation that his earthly existence was nearing an end, which would mark a new beginning and terminate one part of history. He also had the realisation that history had the tendency to repeat itself in cycles and cruelty of past could recur. So, in his last sermon, he enjoined;

“Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you,” and “Do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”

'Rumi understood the necessity of a righteous path to live a purposeful and dignified life. Maulana and his family had experienced displacement and exile and journeyed through unfamiliar lands to reach their final destination in Konya.

'He also understood that despite the impermanence, uncertainty and mortality inherent in human life, it had to be lived according to a divine plan...

'The verses of Maulana a way of inner reality and the other of outer form; one is a way of clemency and the other of mercilessness; and one is a way of inclusion and the other of exclusion. Finally, the rhythm of Maulana’s verses subdued ...inner clamour...

"Come, come whoever you are.

Come even though you have,

Broken your vows a thousand times,

Come, and come yet again,

Ours is not a caravan of despair." '

Find the above here

Find related references here -- be sure to see the top footnote "Can Rumi Save us Now?" from "The San Francisco Chronicle" here ;

Along the same lines, plz refer to Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010): "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love." 1 John

A crazy "no more crusades" story or what?

I have not much idea yet what all this means...yet I like some of the humor & want to post it here for a record to read much more thoroughly later...

...if for no other reason than that it refers to "no more crusades" sort of story...

GO here

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reaping what we sow?

Military Stats Reveal Epicenter of U.S. Drone War

By Noah ShachtmanEmail Author
November 9, 2012 |
4:00 am |

Forget Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and all the other secret little warzones. The real center of the U.S. drone campaign is in plain sight — on the hot and open battlefield of Afghanistan.

The American military has launched 333 drone strikes this year in Afghanistan. That’s not only the highest total ever, according to U.S. Air Force statistics. It’s essentially the same number of robotic attacks in Pakistan since the CIA-led campaign there began nearly eight years ago. In the last 30 days, there have been three reported strikes in Yemen. In Afghanistan, that’s just an average day’s worth of remotely piloted attacks. And the increased strikes come as the rest of the war in Afghanistan is slowing down.

The secret drone campaigns have drawn the most scrutiny because of the legal, geopolitical, and ethical questions they raise. But it’s worth remembering that the rise of the flying robots is largely occurring in the open, on an acknowledged battlefield where the targets are largely unquestioned and the attending issues aren’t nearly as fraught.

“The difference between the Afghan operation and the ones operations in Pakistan and elsewhere come down to the fundamental differences between open military campaigns and covert campaigns run by the intelligence community. It shapes everything from the level of transparency to the command and control to the rules of engagements to the process and consequences if an air strike goes wrong,” e-mails Peter W. Singer, who runs the Brookings Institution’s 21st Century Defense Initiative. (Full disclosure: I have a non-resident fellowship there.) “This is why the military side has been far less controversial, and thus why many have pushed for it to play a greater role as the strikes slowly morphed from isolated, covert events into a regularized air war.”

The military has 61 Predator and Reaper “combat air patrols,” each with three or four robotic planes. The CIA’s inventory is believed to be just a fraction of that: 30 to 35 drones total, although there is thought to be some overlap between the military and intelligence agency fleets. The Washington Post reported last month that the CIA is looking for another 10 drones as the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) become more and more central to the agency’s worldwide counterterror campaign.

In Pakistan, those drones are flown with a wink and a nod, to avoid the perception of violating national sovereignty. In Yemen, the robots go after men just because they fit a profile of what the U.S. believes a terrorist to be. In both countries, people are considered legitimate targets if they happen to be male and young and in the wrong place at the wrong time. The White House keeps a “matrix” on who merits robotic death. Congress (outside of the intelligence committees) largely learns about the programs through the papers.

None of these statements is true about the drone war in Afghanistan, where strikes are ordered by a local commander, overseen by military lawyers, conducted with the (sometimes reluctant) blessing of the Kabul government, and used almost entirely to help troops under fire. The UAVs aren’t flown to dodge issues of sovereignty or to avoid traditional military assets. They’re used because they work better — staying in the sky longer than traditional aircraft and employing more advanced sensors to make sure the targets they hit are legit.

Find plenty of stats, etc. here

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EVERY EGG MATTERS: No more bloody crusades...HOWEVER....

See High Above

by Malena Morling

You step outside
into the early morning
in autumn—

And at the exact same instant
a scrap of paper
floats over—

High in the blue
blustery library
of the air—

You look up
and you see it rushing
and lifting

even higher
into the transparent layers
of the sky—

And at once,
you know
it is a message—

A message
that there is no message.
The scrap of paper

is just a scrap of paper!
It is weightless
and free—

The world is just
the world—
And you are exactly

who you are—
Also floating now
high inside

the invisible
balloon of
another moment.


HEY everyone, RIGHT after a friend of mine sent me the above poem,

This item on edible foods showed up...Not exactly a scrap of paper with a message, the sender said, "This is a truly inspiring (and done with humor) 13-min TED talk by Pam Warhurst regarding the empowerment of people and small actions that can charge the world" -- and a great educational opportunity here

Imagine if the people added Sociocracy (aka Dynamic Self Governance) to optimize the collaboration and kindness. Also, imagine if after all the devastation of hurricane Sandy, that communities rebuild with these ideas.

love and blessings,
SO, RIGHT AFTER THESE BLOODY ELECTIONS, there are some really positive messages flowing in...maybe not for any of us to exactly copy...however...don't you feel this energy that may help us all? If nothing else, what a relief to imagine what YOU & I and all our little & big groups could do with a little imagination...


A few more related links...plz add your own suggestions in the comments below...

More Edible Gardens/Ideas here here

I found the image from a boat at this site via Teresa's blogsite: "Teresa Carey's Sailing Simplicity and the Pursuit of Happiness Blog

... and the other photo was taken in Winnipeg Oct 2012 found here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh's recent letter (Palestinian Peace Work)

Returning from the USA (letter just out 1 November, 2012)

Our hearts and minds are with the people in the Eastern USA (including many friends) as they recover from the devastation of hurricane Sandy. I just returned to Palestine after a trip to the USA though not to the affected areas. I gave 15 talks in 8 days (links to videos of two of these talks below) and engaged in a number of informal and formal meetings that could help bring joint collaborative efforts between Palestinian and American academic institutions. Trips like this are stressful physically but with occupation and colonization continuing back home, are also emotionally stressful to be away. But I also met remarkable and dedicated people and will never forget the kindness of the people in Minnesota (hospitality, meetings on short notice, interest). I talked on a range of subjects from bat research (yes!) to water issues to history to human rights.

I came back to find messages and phone calls from colleagues and friends about settler attacks, about new building of colonial Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, about theft of Palestinian olives, about homes demolished, and about new arrests. However, I also find goodness in the harvest season, the anticipation of spring, and new births and new projects. Little pleasures like pictures of a young hedgehog in the yard of a friend tell us life goes on. It is good to be home and great to be among people who work day and night for justice and peace. It is also good to be back doing science, feeding animals, and preparing lectures in genetics and immunology.

On a related note, I was harassed upon entering the US in Minneapolis airport by US Security officials (almost missing my connecting flight to Fargo). I will pursue this legally to find out if it was done at the behest of Israel or was simply profiling of an Arab American citizen. Ten years ago, something similar happened to me and I pursued it and got an acknowledgment that it was forgery-related unjust inquiries (see my summary of that at

Examples of lectures I gave in Minnesota (total hundreds of people)

-At Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

-Joseph Thompson Lectureship hosted by Concordia

Remarkable video and photographs from Gaza

Israel is an apartheid state (no poll required): A new Ha'aretz poll indicates a majority of Jewish Israelis favour apartheid - but that's nothing new.

Religious leaders ask Congress to condition Israel military aid on human rights compliance

Presbyterian Church(USA)’s Parsons, others see ‘troubling,consistent pattern of disregard’ by Israel government for U.S. policies

We Welcome You to Palestine

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD