Ramzi Kysia

Nonviolent direct action, solidarity and struggle

The purpose of nonviolent direct action and civil resistance is to take risks and put our selves in the way of injustice. We take these risks well aware of what the possible consequences may be. We do so because the consequences of doing nothing are so much worse. Any time we allow ourselves to be bullied, every time we pass by an evil and ignore it, we lower our standards and allow our world to be made that much harsher and unjust for us all. Ramzi Kysia comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Freedom Riders on the sea

This morning I walked to the Indian Ocean and made salt in defiance of the British Occupation of India. This morning I marched in Selma, I stood down tanks in Tiananmen Square, and I helped tear down the Berlin Wall. This morning I became a Freedom Rider. Ramzi Kysia of the Free Gaza Movement writes from the Gaza Strip. 

Standing up for justice in the Middle East

The Free Gaza Movement, a diverse group of international human rights activists from 17 different countries, will soon set sail from Cyprus to Gaza in order to challenge the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. I’m proud to stand with them. Over 170 prominent individuals and organizations have endorsed our efforts, including the Carter Center, former British Cabinet member Clare Short, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Mairead Maguire and Desmond Tutu. Ramzi Kysia comments. 

For Israel's Security: Zainab Fawqi-Sleem and the Question of Lebanon

Yesterday, I shed my first tears for Lebanon. Yesterday, I visited Houla, a stone’s throw from the Israeli border. Yesterday, I was discovered by Zainab Fawqi-Sleem - a young, Lebanese woman who was killed in Houla, alongside her sister-in-law, Selma, on July 15th. Zainab is but one of over 1,300 innocents killed in this war, but she is the one who found me. On October 31st, 1948, in one of the few massacres of the Nakba to occur inside Lebanon, proto-Israeli militas seized the town of Houla, setting off bombs and burning down several houses. There’s a memorial to the massacre in the center of town, not far from homes smashed flat by this current war. 

A Resistance to War

Last week, I made my first trip to South Lebanon since the war began. Having traveled a fifth of the world, and been present during “wars” in Iraq, Palestine, and New York - I can honestly say that I have never seen such complete devastation in my entire life. The only thing that even comes close are the pictures I’ve seen from World War II. Much of South Lebanon simply lies in ruin. In the South, Israeli warplanes occasionally break the sound barrier, rattling people as they fly off on God knows what missions. Israeli drones constantly fly overhead. The low, insistent hum of their engines serves as a continual reminder that Lebanon is not yet safe. 

Lebanon's Children: Voices of the Unheard

“Israel made us refugees and destroyed our homes, and this is why we came here [to the refugee center] with our families… I saw bombing and I was so afraid… They are not bombing a certain place, they are bombing everywhere. I want to tell people in America to ask Israel to stop bombing because we didn’t do anything. We’re not the ones threatening anyone. Stop bombing because it’s not the fault of the children. Why are they bombing and killing children?… They are killing lots of children and they are bombing everywhere. Hezbollah is just trying to resist, and to defend from what Israel is doing…” 

Lebanon burns while the US feeds the flames

The tactics used by many Arab militants should be resoundingly condemned, both for targeting innocents and for bringing disaster on their own peoples. Even so, underneath America’s scorn for Hezbollah and Hamas lies an incredible racism that pretends to believe that no Arab could possibly have any legitimate grievance with Israel, even as Israel smashes their nations into oblivion. To deliver a solution to this crisis from out that racism is to birth a monster. For a short time this week I allowed myself to feel some hope. But America’s plan for “peace” amounts to throwing gasoline on an already raging fire and standing back while we all burn.