FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Issam Nashashibi

Palestinian activist Issam Nashashibi died at home in Dawsonville, GA on Thursday, August 28th. His untimely death at the age of 52 will be felt deeply by many. His spouse, Margaret, and his two siblings survive him.

Issam was born in Jerusalem. His family was unable to return to their Jerusalem home in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War. Ethnic removal by Israel of Palestinian Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, gave form to Issam’s political consciousness.

Issam, in the best sense of the term, was the product of the Enlightenment. He was raised in what was once the cosmopolitan environment of Jerusalem where Christians, Jews, and Muslims mixed easily, intermarried, and shared holidays. Despite the offenses his family and friends suffered at the hands of the Israeli state, Issam was never reflexively anti-Semitic. Indeed, he worked closely with Jews who saw the injustices of the Zionist project of expansion, while conversely admiring the vigorous political and intellectual life of Israel’s people.

Issam was an atheist who admired and easily worked with people grounded in religion. He was tolerant, forgiving, understanding, and compassionate. Yet, he was motivated to act against injustice and did so with great vigor and effect throughout his life.

Issam often took leading roles in activist organizations. He headed the Arab student organization in London in the early 1970s. In his usual humorous self-deprecating way, he always explained this was more a function of geography than a testament to his leadership, as selecting a Palestinian was an acceptable compromise to the far more numerous Egyptian and Iraqi students. Yet, knowing Issam I am sure there was more at work than geography and compromise in his selection as a student leader.

In the tradition of successful Jewish businessmen of yesteryear that hated capitalism, Issam received his MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill and thrived in business, while always questioning the inhumanity of “really existing capitalism.” He continued to dedicate his life to activism through the Palestinian cause. He was active with the Americans for Middle East Understanding (AMEU). He served the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee as a board member and was President of the US chapter of Deir Yassin Remembered.

Issam was a regular contributor of essays to CounterPunch, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Yellow Times, along with newspapers in San Diego and other cities. Issam had strong links to the African-American community. He moved to Georgia for family reasons in 2001 and volunteered for then Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. At the convocation ceremony for Martin Luther King at King’s Ebenezer church, Issam was one of the few non-African Americans selected honored to speak on behalf of King’s legacy.

Issam never led for reasons of ego. Indeed, he was happy to write articles for other persons and organizations and to work invisibly where this proved more effective.

Issam was steeped in education projects. His last was s a lesson-module on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict designed for use in schools and for community groups. This innovative project placed that issue in world historical context. He just began using it in schools only days before his passing.

Donations in Issam’s memory can be made to the Deir Yassin Fund: http://www.deiryassin.org/donation.html

JEFFREY SOMMERS is an Assistant Professor of History
at North Georgia College & State University. He can be reached at: jsommers@fulbrightweb.org

 

More articles by:

Jeffrey Sommers  is a proud Dairy Stater and Visiting Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga His book on the Baltics (with Charles Woolfson), is The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model

December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Jasmine Aguilera
Lessons From South of the Border
Manuel García, Jr.
A Formula for U.S. Election Outcomes
Sam Pizzigati
Drug Company Execs Make Millions Misleading Cancer Patients. Here’s One Way to Stop Them
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Agriculture as Wrong Turn
James McEnteer
And That’s The Way It Is: Essential Journalism Books of 2018
Chris Gilbert
Biplav’s Communist Party of Nepal on the Move: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian
Judith Deutsch
Siloed Thinking, Climate, and Disposable People: COP 24 and Our Discontent
Jill Richardson
Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count
John Feffer
‘Get Me Outta Here’: Trump Turns the G20 into the G19
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail