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Palestinian Prof on US Speaking Tour Harassed by Airport Security

Mazin Qumsiyeh is author of Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History. He will be speaking in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 20; in Austin, Texas June 21-23; New Orleans on June 24-25; and Houston June 26-27 (see full schedule here.) The following was posted on Facebook by Jeff Blankfort:

Israel Occupied USA. Mazin Qumsiyeh, latest adventure in Israel’s most important occupied territory where he is now on a speaking tour (see link to his schedule below).

I think, after reading this (and admittedly did before) that the issue of US control over our Congress as it relates to the Middle East which has cost, from a US perspective, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives and permanent injuries, is what needs to be taken to the American people, and the exclusive focus on the BDS campaign (in the US as opposed to Europe and elsewhere) has been, on reflection, a diversion from doing the work that needs to be done in the US. With that as an intro, here’s Mazin Qumsiyeh:

From: Mazin Qumsiyeh <mazin@qumsiyeh.org> [
Cc: Human Rights Newsletter <humanrights@lists.qumsiyeh.org>
Subject: [HumanRights] Israeli occupied USA
Date: Jun 17, 2017 9:09 PM

I spent 40 hours on grueling travel between Palestine and the USA and my documents (and luggage) were checked 15-20 times along the way. The Israeli occupied United States is not much different from Israeli occupied Palestine. I will not bore you with details of going from Bethlehem to Jordan. I do want to tell you that US security agents were at the exit from the Amman-Chicago flight waiting for me checking IDs and when the one checking my ID announced “we got him” loud enough for the other passenger to hear, four of them escorted me to get my checked-in luggage and then to a special security area where agents went through everything I had thoroughly.

They looked through my note book/diary and also copied my speaking schedule. When I got my boarding pass for Chicago to Denver I noted with dread the SSSSS marked on it for extra checks and so between that special examination and the gate I had to undergo two more examinations and rifling through my luggage beyond the already tight security checks of all other passengers.

I took it as an opportunity to lecture the agents about how they are being used not in the service of the US but in the service of a foreign country (Israel). I told them that it seems I have left one Israeli occupied territory to arrive at another one.

US interests are not served by obeying dictates of Zionists who do not want a professor (who happens to be a US citizen) from speaking the truth. Trying to shoot the messenger will not kill the message!

This harassment happened to me repeatedly even after I was told by the USgovernment in 2002 it would not happen again (see http://qumsiyeh.org/thecaseisclosed/ ). It happened to me again in 2011 and 2013. I do have more flights in the US coming up.

I am a US citizen and I would appreciate it if anyone on this list has advise how to sue or go after the US government (e.g. freedom of information act) for harassment to stop them from doing this. In the meantime such harassment only adds to my determination to work even harder for human rights, peace, and justice.

By comparison, the last 17 hours in Denver area so far were very pleasant as I recovered from the ordeal (though not the jet lag) and reveals the disconnect between the government of the US and the people of the US. I saw the good people of Colorado who are lighting candles instead of cursing the darkness or as the Israeli controlled US agents trying to snuff out the candles. I already gave two talks; one at Longmont library and one at Posner Center.

The latter was shared with Joseph Medicine Robe who spoke on Environmental and Justice matters from Native American perspectives. We both connected the dots as to how wars, conflict, militarization of society and corporate profit are connected at the expense of native people from North Dakota to Palestine. We both agreed that weapons were manufactured to be used in wars before but now wars are manufactured and not just to sell weapons to make money in other ways (pipelines etc.). We also agree that the governments use false flags, lies and distortions and capitalize on these key areas to push their anti-nature, anti-people agenda: fear, distraction, racism (divide and conquer), and consumerism.

Two weeks ago I wrote about looking for goodness & emphasizing the positive rather than focusing on opposing the negative energy. This was emphasized to me also by a fellow panelist Iman Jodeh, spokeswoman of the Muslim community who spoke of leading groups to Palestine to learn objectively about what is going on. It was emphasized to me last night by my host in Denver Joann and tonight by the other host in Lafayette Richard Forer. Rich incidentally published a remarkable book called “Breakthrough: Transforming fear into compassion” describing his own transformation from a Zionist to a compassionate caring human being (see http://www.richardforer.com/ ).

The only other reading I want to list for this message is for those of you who did not read it is a chapter in my book that deals with violence: http://qumsiyeh.org/chapter8/

Again please look at my schedule posted here: http://qumsiyeh.org/upcomingevents/ and do contact people you know in those cities, ask them to attend and help. Those who cannot help in this tour, can donate and/or support our efforts via our website:

http://palestinenature.org

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
http://qumsiyeh.org
http://palestinenature.org
Join me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/mazin.qumsiyeh.9

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