December 12, 2013 email by Mazin Qumsiyeh ( to Captain Rodney Stich:

Snow and subservience

It is snowing here in Palestine.  My visitors from Gaza (a child being
treated and his father) wish to go back to their family even though
their wife tells us that they have no water and no electricity and
that parts of the refugee camp that they live in is flooded (in
Rafah).  But we are all concerned for the even more precarious
position of refugees from Syria (both Palestinian and Syrians who
escaped the fighting and now live in tents in a snow blizzard).

Those horrific conditions in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan make it
even harder to understand the subservience to Israel of Mahmoud Abbas
and company. In meeting with journalists in South Africa, Abbas went
against the growing BDS movement that is supported by hundreds of
Palestinian civil society organizations.  Abbas said to journalists in
answer to a question: “No we do not support the boycott of Israel. But
we ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements. Because
the settlements are in our territories..… But we don’t ask anyone to
boycott Israel itself. We have relations with Israel, we have mutual
recognition of Israel.” What mutual recognition is he talking about
since Israel does not recognize any rights nor does it recognize there
is a Palestine. His comments drew condemnation from South African and
Palestinian activists. Abbas also did not mention the refugees, the
ethnic cleansing, the Israeli apartheid, or even the close cooperation
between Apartheid South Africa and Apartheid Israel including in
nuclear weapon development.[that was part of the reason Netanyahu and
Peres both skipped the ceremonies as there was a call in South Africa
to protest their attendance]

The denial of Palestinian rights to please Israel seems to know no
boundaries.  The World Bank just sent a press release (available in
Hebrew and English but not Arabic at the world bank website).  The
release hails the signing a Memorandum of Understanding  (MoU) for
implementation of Phase 1 plans of the horrific Red Sea-Dead Sea
project.  The Phase 1 MoU was signed by Israeli apartheid minister and
war criminal Silvan Shalom, by Minister Hazim El-Naser for Jordan and
Minister Shaddad Attili for the Palestinian Authority. The MoU
includes: a) the development of a Jordanian desalination plant in
Aqaba where the water produced will be shared with Israel free, b)
releases of water by Israel from Lake Tiberias for use in Jordan
(Jordan will pay for it even though it is part of the 1994 agreement),
c)  the sale of about 20-30 million m3/year of desalinated water from
Mekorot (the Israeli water utility) to the Palestinian Water Authority
for use in the West Bank (this is also Palestinian water), d) a
pipeline from the desalination plant at Aqaba would convey brine to
the Dead Sea to study the effects of mixing the brine with Dead Sea

My field of research focuses on environmental issues. All
environmental groups (even Israeli ones) opposed these plans from the
time that Israel as a colonial power tried to peddle them in the
1990s.  As all colonial powers, they destroy things and then destroy
in other areas.  The Red-Dead Canal is it is now known intends to
“save the shrinking Dead Sea”.   But there are two main sources of
decline in Dead Sea Water levels: A) Diversion of upstream waters
which resulted in decrease in water flow in the Jordan River from 1300
million cubic meters (mcm) annually in the early 1950s to about 200
mcm and B) Dead Sea water used per year by the chemical industries is
estimated at > 262 MCM. Both of these environmental problems are from
Israel.  Instead of reversing them, Israel (now with help of Jordanian
and Palestinian authorities) intends to create a new problem. It is
highly disturbing to see this trend of destruction, collusion, lack of
direction, and continued people suffering.

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons
Exclusive: Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of
Israeli nuclear weapons

Red Sea – Dead Sea canal and desalination, destruction of the Wadi Araba area

Palestinian activism grows at US universities: Despite heavy
backlashes, academic institutions are increasingly endorsing boycotts
against Israel's occupation

In South Africa, Abbas opposes boycott of Israel

Walid Khalidi’s classic book “Before Their Diaspora: A photographic
history of Palestinians 1876-1948” Now available online

Better Six Billion than 6 Trillion! Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama..
What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies
(meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the
tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is
pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US ‘terrorist’ wars
of the past decade.

On The Side Of The Road by Israeli journalist Lia Tarachansky poses
difficult questions about memory and responsibility and relates to how
Israeli Zionists refuse to face the past and own-up to the crimes of
ethnic cleansing (that are still ongoing)

Silence is complicity

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities
Occupied Palestine
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