Israel #8

É uma continuação do tópico Israel #7.

DiscussãoPro and Con

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Israel #8

Editado: Jan 16, 12:32 am


The UK military’s latest bombing of Yemen comes on the 60th anniversary of a forgotten British campaign in the country involving brute force and deliberate attacks on civilians, declassified files show.

British soldiers were ordered to confiscate property, burn fodder, and destroy grain stores and livestock. Rules of engagement allowed commanders to use aerial and artillery bombardment “to the maximum extent necessary” when villages refused to surrender.

In such circumstances, “casualties to women and children must be accepted”, the UK directive stated.

As part of a British army deployment, which involved the Parachute regiment and marines, a small SAS team was also sent in April, assisted by ground attack Hunter warplanes. The SAS killed some 25 rebels but lost its commander and radio operator, whose bodies had to be left behind.

These were decapitated and the heads displayed in Yemen, an incident that caused anger and shock throughout Britain.

If we really intend to stop the missiles by force, it will require a ground invasion. To fight against hardened fighters with the determination of honey badgers. Good idea?

Jan 16, 12:55 am

I do hate articles which make generalised claims of things being "forgotten", when in fact there are many in both Britain and the Middle East who are aware of these campaigns. "Cancelled" by the establishment maybe, but not forgotten. But the substance of the article is valid nevertheless.

Jan 16, 3:23 am

I would have been 6 years old so I wasn't aware of this but it's pretty typical of shit the British govt. has done from its colonial past. In Derry in Northern Ireland the 1st battalion of the Parachute Regiment murdered 14 civil rights protesters on January 30, 1972. That's known as Bloody Sunday. Back in that day before 24-6 news channels came into being the Vietnam war was the biggest deal but I remember quite often events in Northern Ireland doing the rounds of the 30 minutes a night news from NBC or CBS on American television in the late 60's and early 70's. For some time there was almost some degree of sympathy for the oppressed nationalist community of Northern Ireland who were often getting the shit wailed out of them. After the IRA came back on the scene the British govt. got all the sympathy but at the same time they were planning and training with UVF paramilitary loyalists for what would become the Dublin/Monaghan bombings which killed over 50. The UVF get all the official credit though. The British Army and MI6 were very humble when it comes to their own credit for that. The SAS in Northern Ireland did a lot of illegal cross border murders. Again they don't like to talk about it. In the late 80's they also murdered 3 unarmed IRA activists in Gibraltar in broad daylight in front of lots of witnesses and were hauled before an international court for that one. It's somewhat unclear what those activists were up to but there was no question at all when it came to say arresting them or murdering them. Arresting was never an option. Later on the burial of the one those activists led to another series of atrocities and deaths because the British Army couldn't let a funeral go unharassed.

Editado: Jan 16, 11:26 pm

It’s not only Israel on trial. South Africa is testing the west’s claim to moral superiority (Guardian)

For weeks now, anger at events in Gaza has spilled out on to the streets across Europe. Yet this anger has been resolutely ignored, dismissed, banned, or vilified by political leaders. Public support for a ceasefire, now at more than 70% in the UK, is not reflected in the positions of either the government or the opposition. Globally, condemnation of the violence from human rights organisations, the United Nations and even the pope has yet to translate into meaningful action from political leaders. A UN resolution calling for a ceasefire was blocked by the US. Even the language of protest has been forensically analysed to render it problematic or ignorant; protesters have been accused of “shoehorning” the conflict into “trendy academic theory”, an indulgent modern preoccupation of “leftists and academics”. The foreign secretary, David Cameron, thinks we should not “bandy about” the charge of genocide. All this does is reflect what supporters of Palestine have been told for years: your position is fringe. It is not based on evidence or morality, but rather on prejudice, radicalism and (more recently) on “wokeness”. In other words, the Israel-Palestine conflict is complicated, best left to the grownups... The submission to the ICJ challenged that portrayal both in appearances and in substance. It matters to hear things that were not taken seriously enough spelled out at a pitch that matches their graveness. It matters that these things, investigated by media outlets, reported by human rights organisations and narrated by Palestinians on the ground, are collected and listed in one address... It matters that these claims are linked to the Geneva conventions and human rights law. And it matters that they are spoken in a formal setting, within a legal framework, uttered by lawyers and listened to by judges... This is not the only challenge to an international order that has made Palestinian claims so difficult to validate. The ICJ case shows how western logic is wearing thin and its persuasive power waning in a multipolar world. The significance of the fact that the country bringing the case is South Africa – an icon of the ravages of colonialism, settlement and apartheid – cannot be lost on anyone. It symbolises a vast racial injustice, too raw and recent to be dismissed as ancient history. In the figure of Nelson Mandela, there lies an evocative example of moral clarity undimmed by persecution. It is no surprise that the support expressed for South Africa is entirely from countries in the global south... There is an experience, woven into such countries’ borders, memories and contemporary politics, of colonial occupations and postcolonial imbalances that render Palestine a totemic cause, one that aligns with resentments towards hegemonic western interests that serve a few and expect the rest to fall in line. Namibia rejected Germany’s support of Israel at the ICJ, referring to Germany’s action in Namibia committing the “first genocide of the 20th century”, one for which it is “yet to fully atone for”... The case will be dismissed, of course, as it already has been, forcefully by the US, UK, Canada, Germany and others. But there is a cost to dismissing concepts and processes that underpin the very legitimacy of these countries’ claim to moral authority. Crucially, this moral authority is the reason for appointing themselves the sound custodians of a global foreign policy where the weak are protected and the aggressive arrested. The conflict has put such allies in the position of undermining their own systems or ignoring them, leaching away credibility. When you are on the wrong side of the UN secretary general, numerous human rights organisations, and objecting to a submission in a global court to which you are a signatory (and in the case of the US and the UK, a court that you established), you are dismantling your house with the very tools that built it... “The very reputation of international law hangs in the balance,” said South Africa’s representative in an opening statement in The Hague. But it is Israel and its allies that put that reputation in such jeopardy. In doing so, they have teased out the changing geopolitical winds that have made consent for western political agendas increasingly difficult to secure by force, threat or default. By creating such a focal point for that shift, the case brought by South Africa has illustrated that perhaps it is those who are obstructing attempts to end the severe distress in Gaza who hold the fringe position.

Jan 17, 1:25 am

>4 John5918: Here in the United States there is a disconnect between those with political power and the public. I'm not sure of %'s but it's probably at least around half that are not happy with Biden's carte blanche support of Israel in this conflict of theirs. That said a lot of people as well have only a casual interest but even so there have been massive protests against Israel's genocide and an attack from these elites on speech with regards to college campus's and even into the public sphere of things. I don't think these kind of measures would be so out front if our political and media elites didn't feel the control of their narrative was threatened. The major media here for the most part it's been pablum. It's been Israel defending real danger of being destroyed by Hamas, the ultimate victim and no real attempt at all to voice what led up to the Hamas terror attack.

For me the better of the two major political parties.....the Democratic Party takes those on the left for granted. They're all the time conflating the left as extreme. It's the fault of voters when their candidates lose and if there's a third party option that got yada amount of what amounts to protest votes that's their easy fall back if or when they lose. It's never their own fucked up candidates. There's never self critique. Those who don't fall in line to support a centrist or a center right democratic candidate who might be better but badly represents their thoughts and hopes are continually vilified and mocked. Lip service to climate, lip service to medicare for all, lip service to lots of things but also it's shit like the arrogance of the Dem party to think that a Senator's interview with a Supreme Court candidate is enough to take for granted that a woman's right to choose will be protected when they could have legislated and codified it long ago.

Personal morality is in play when a candidate asks you to vote for him and he stands for the deaths and collateral damage to the lives of 2.3 million people half of whom are under 18 years old. Whatever happens to them secondary to whatever obscene need an out of control right wing govt. uses to eradicate a resistance group.....and it's a resistance group of its own making from a part of its own population that this govt. has been oppressing for 75 years now. None of its neighbors have been really threatening nuclear Israel. Israel since Oct. 7 has threatened some of them though. I find Biden's support for Netanyahu etc. unconscionable and a war crime. We are sending Israel weapons like 2000 lb. bombs to drop on the heads of a civilian population so as to appease the murderous imaginations of people like Netanyahu, Ben Gvir, Smotrich, Gallant but also a large part of the Israeli population who have grown up demeaning and dehumanizing those who are not like them. The Biden administration continually wringing its hands over the victims of Oct. 7 but hardly a word of sympathy for the 23000 + dead Palestinians and almost countless number of other casualties and hardly a thought to a population that Israel is attempting to starve into extinction.

Jan 17, 2:52 pm

What Will the International Court of Justice Order on Genocide in Gaza?
Mark Lattimer* | January 17, 2024

While a determination on the merits of the case could take years, the Court could order Israel to comply with provisional measures within weeks.

...The key thing to watch here is the extent to which Israel is required to allow access to independent fact-finding or investigative missions, which may include those from the United Nations or the International Criminal Court (ICC). For the ICJ, such a provision would have the advantage of bypassing one of the chief difficulties with the case, which is that it is only addressed to one party in an ongoing armed conflict. Despite the ICJ only having jurisdiction over disputes between states, Israel spent a significant portion of its allotted time in court detailing the Oct. 7 crimes and continued violations committed by Hamas, a non-state armed group. By requiring access for independent investigators, a provisional measure could effectively link the separate ongoing investigation by the ICC which covers alleged crimes by members of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups, as well as by Israelis.

...An order from the ICJ is not going to end this war. But a carefully-crafted set of provisional measures, focused on limiting the impact of military operations on the population of Gaza, could prove more of a restraint on Israel than Secretary Blinken’s shuttle diplomacy has achieved so far. Israel will argue that it is unjust, but it will be watching the U.S. reaction closely. Palestinians will argue that it is too little, too late, but it could save many civilian lives.

*Mark Lattimer is executive director of Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights. His books include The Grey Zone: Civilian Protection between Human Rights and the Laws of War (Bloomsbury, 2018).

Jan 17, 3:33 pm

>6 margd: I would expect Israel to ignore whatever measures are taken against it but it has the potential to really put a damper on international trade not only to Israel but to the United States and the U.K. Other nations are obliged to do what they can to stop genocide. Canada today joined other nations saying they would abide by whatever the ICJ ruled.

Personally the United States is as culpable as it gets and it goes back long before the current regime. Our military industrial complex/weapons industry has clients everywhere.....if a war is going on anywhere around the globe our manufactured weapons are almost guaranteed to be front and center in the killing and maiming of people. Not only do we need to not hand out assault rifles etc. like candy to our own population but also we should start seriously restricting the sales to other nations and Israel would be a great place to start.

Jan 17, 6:57 pm

Irish politician Clare Daly in a speech to the European Parliament referenced Biden as 'Butcher Biden'---told him to keep Ireland out of his mouth and that the Irish disowned him. Kind of how I feel about this guy right now.

Jan 17, 7:39 pm

>8 lriley: She is a gem.

Editado: Jan 17, 10:23 pm

As far as the hosting of Israeli family members of hostages by US Senators currently happening in DC.....I can understand the desperateness of these families after 100+ days.....knowing that they are starving and lacking medical help pretty much like everyone else in Gaza and with the threat of bombs raining down on them. That said I look at the main sponsors of this as cynically manipulating them for their own ends. When Senator Schumer says shit like they're 'making slow, slow, slow but important progress' (to effect getting the hostages back safely) I'm pretty damn certain he's just gaslighting those families and the rest of us. He's been a cheerleader of the bombs and the genocide from the beginning. The IDF has not rescued's questionable at this point that if they came upon hostages they wouldn't shoot them first before checking who they were. There is no progress and probably not a lot of time left before many of those starving both Palestiians and hostages start dropping dead. I don't think most of the remaining hostages have time for slow, slow, slow. Ceasefire and negotiating for their release has been the only thing that has worked. The Israeli govt. doesn't want to do it and Schumer is always 100% in line with them.

Editado: Jan 17, 11:02 pm

>10 lriley:

There is a great deal of focus on the Israeli hostages, and rightly so. I have been a hostage myself, and from personal experience I believe every effort should be made to ensure the safe release of any and all hostages. But is is disappointing to see so little international interest in the thousands of Palestinians who are being detained by Israel, some for months or years, in appalling conditions and who are basically hostages, whatever Israel chooses to call them.

Editado: Jan 18, 1:31 am

Max Blumenthal & Miko Peled : Where is the War in Gaza Going?
Committee for the Republic
18.8K subscribers

Armed with unique first-hand knowledge of the history of Zionism, Palestine, Israeli politics, Gaza, Hamas, the Israeli lobby, and congressional cravenness, Max Blumenthal and Miko Peled will explore the ongoing post-October 7th war in Gaza: Hamas, genocide, war crimes, the probable end game, the successes or failures of the IDF, the fate of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a one-state solution, a two-state solution, or indeterminate upheaval, the role and co-belligerency of the United States in the Israeli government’s freely confessed eagerness to exterminate Palestinians, the responsibility of American citizens for Israel’s war crimes, and the likely spread of the war to the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran risking nuclear exchanges. Max and Miko will unveil the massive de facto censorship that has rendered Palestinian viewpoints virtually inaudible in the establishment media amidst the daily thunder of Israeli propaganda.

The editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including best-selling Republican Gomorrah, Goliath: Life & Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty-One-Day War, and The Management of Savagery.

A third-generation Israeli and an American citizen, Miko Peled is an author, writer, speaker, and human rights activist living in the United States. He is considered by many to be one of the clearest voices calling for justice in Palestine, support of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and the creation of a single democracy with equal rights in all of historic Palestine. In his memoir, The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, Miko writes powerfully about how his human rights activism led him to reject Zionism.

The Grayzone:
The General's Son:

Jan 18, 6:09 am

DW News @dwnews | 12:36 AM · Jan 18, 2024:

"We come to protest against the massacre of children, women, and men in Gaza."

Police in Tel Aviv clashed with Israeli demonstrators opposing the war in the Gaza Strip, calling for an end to "a vicious cycle."

1:20 ( )

Jan 18, 3:40 pm

>13 margd: The Mea Shearim area of Jerusalem is pretty much home to anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews. They could give lessons in community style civil disobedience. Every once in a while the Israeli govt. sends squads of military and police into this area to take down Palestinian flags and these people are masters at getting under their skins. Little kids, junior high and high school age kids, parents and grandparents they're all involved and it's a street level and looking down from above taunting and harassment running along on all sides like a gauntlet of abuse though when there's physical force it's always the police and military. This goes on from entrance to exit.

Jan 18, 10:59 pm

>14 lriley:

A classic and effective example of active nonviolent resistance. It was used during the Troubles in Northern Ireland when the British army would enter republican areas, as explained in this song, The Lid of Me Granny's Bin. The bin in question is a metal dustbin, known as a trash can on the other side of the Pond.

Editado: Jan 18, 11:06 pm

‘Different rules’: special policies keep US supplying weapons to Israel despite alleged abuses (Guardian)

Top US officials quietly reviewed more than a dozen incidents of alleged gross violations of human rights by Israeli security forces since 2020, but have gone to great lengths to preserve continued access to US weapons for the units responsible for the alleged violations, contributing – former US officials say – to the sense of impunity with which Israel has approached its war in Gaza... An investigation by the Guardian, which was based on a review of internal state department documents and interviews with people familiar with sensitive internal deliberations, reveals how special mechanisms have been used over the last few years to shield Israel from US human rights laws, even as other allies’ military units who receive US support – including, sources say, Ukraine – have privately been sanctioned and faced consequences for committing human rights violations. State department officials have in effect been able to circumvent the US law that is meant to prevent US complicity in human rights violations by foreign military units – the 1990s-era Leahy law, named after the now retired Vermont senator Patrick Leahy – because, former officials say, extraordinary internal state department policies have been put in place that show extreme deference to the Israeli government. No such special arrangements exist for any other US ally. The lack of enforcement of the Leahy law in Israel appears especially troubling to its namesake. In a statement to the Guardian, the former Vermont senator said the purpose of the Leahy law was to shield the US from culpability for gross violations of human rights by foreign security forces that receive US aid and deter future violations. “But the law has not been applied consistently, and what we have seen in the West Bank and Gaza is a stark example of that. Over many years I urged successive US administrations to apply the law there, but it has not happened,” Leahy said...

Netanyahu publicly rejects US push for Palestinian state (BBC)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has told the United States that he opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state once the conflict in Gaza comes to an end... Israel is under intense pressure to rein in its offensive and engage in meaningful talks over a sustainable end to the war. Israel's allies, including the US - and many of its foes - have urged a revival of the long-dormant "two-state solution", in which a future Palestinian state would sit side-by-side with an Israeli one. The hope in many circles is that the current crisis could force the warring parties back to diplomacy, as the only viable alternative to endless cycles of violence. But from Mr Netanyahu's comments, his intention appears quite the opposite... the very public rebuttal of Washington's diplomatic push, and determination to stay the current military course, show the chasm widening with Israel's western allies...

Editado: Jan 19, 1:18 pm

>16 John5918: Lottaz picks up on that Guardian piece, as well as one in Foreign Affairs

The Greater Goal in Gaza
For Lasting Peace, Israel Must End Its Occupation of Palestinian Land
By Marwan Muasher
January 15, 2024

As well as the EU Parliament vote for a ceasefire, among other points.

He registers a sea change.

MSM admits US is breaking domestic law for Israel!!
Neutrality Studies
60.5K subscribers

Editado: Jan 19, 2:51 pm

James Ker-Lindsay

ISRAEL | A Gaza Genocide?

"On January 8, the world watched as..."
Except it didn't. Media blackouts in the West meant that only those who actively sought it out watched there. Serious, streaming coverage in the West only started on the 9th.

Pro-Palestine voices blast lack of Western media coverage of ICJ Gaza genocide case against Israel

Muhammed Shehada, communications chief for the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, which has been documenting some of the atrocities committed by Israeli forces in Gaza, said in a post on X: "I can NOT find the International Court of Justice hearing on CNN, BBC, Channel 4, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS, NBC, I24, DW, Sky News, or any mainstream US/EU TV channel... What explains this unprecedented campaign of disinformation by omission?"

Jan 19, 11:54 pm

Eisenkot: Key Israeli war leader challenges Netanyahu over Gaza strategy

A key member of Israel's war cabinet has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of not telling the truth about the military goals in Gaza. Mr Netanyahu has publicly rejected the US push for a future Palestinian state and insisted the offensive would continue "until complete victory". But Gadi Eisenkot said those advocating "absolute defeat" of Hamas were not "speaking the truth". The retired general's son was killed fighting in Gaza. He also said Mr Netanyahu shared "sharp and clear responsibility" for failing to protect his country on 7 October and urged fresh elections, saying there was "no trust" in Israel's current leadership... Tensions among the cabinet, with reports that the prime minister and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant are barely on speaking terms, come as the chasm between Israel and its Western allies widens...

Palestinian envoy Husam Zomlot says UK guilty of hypocrisy

The Palestinians' top envoy to the UK has accused the government of "double standards and hypocrisy" in its policies towards them. Husam Zomlot criticised PM Rishi Sunak for opposing an application at the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide in the war in Gaza. The UK had suffered "reputational damage" in the Middle East, he said. But he welcomed a recent decision by the government to ban violent Israeli settlers from entering the UK...

Both from BBC

Jan 20, 8:08 pm

The chunk of rock or wood or shit known as Admiral Kirby---spokesperson for the State Department and Biden administration on being asked whether he read the South African indictment against Israel and that 'did he think that cutting off of food, water and fuel to a civilian population constituted a war crime' said that he had read the indictment (and skipping over saying yes or no on the question of food, water and fuel) and that he still found the indictment without any merit.

Jan 20, 11:29 pm

Netanyahu defies Biden, insisting there’s ‘no space’ for Palestinian state (Guardian)

Defiant Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down on opposition to Palestinian statehood, deepening the divide with Israel’s closest international allies, as cracks in his wartime “unity” government became increasingly evident. Anger with Netanyahu is also increasingly visible on the streets, even though there is broad public support for the war. On Saturday, protesters gathered in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Caesarea and Kfar Saba, some calling for bolder action to secure the release of hostages, and others demanding the prime minister step down. One in Jerusalem held a placard that read: “Mothers’ cry: we will not sacrifice our children in the war to save the rightwing”...

Netanyahu defies pressure over Palestinian state (BBC)

Benjamin Netanyahu has again insisted Israel should retain security control over all the Palestinian territories. The Israeli prime minister said this condition was "contrary" to a future Palestinian state being established. His comments on Saturday defied pressure on his government from the US and others to commit to future Palestinian statehood...

Jan 21, 1:28 am

Ben Cardin---key Biden ally and Democratic Senator from Maryland says when the slaughter is over and the dust settles Mr. Netanyahu will dramatically change his mind and be fine with a two state solution. He's got nothing to base that on except for pure unadulterated fantasy. I will say Cardin is 80 years old and like other 80 year olds it could be he's having issues with his mental cognitiveness. This seems to be an issue though for quite a lot of his Democratic Senate colleagues. In that they have this wistful idea that Netanyahu and the coalition of bloodthirsty right wing ideologues who support him don't really mean what they've been saying for the last yada amount of years. It's not just Feinstein who's lost it and we can certainly argue the same for some republicans including Trump and McConnell but so many of our congresspeople and Senators these days are complete imbeciles.

Jan 21, 7:24 am

Samuel Ramani @SamRamani2 | 5:27 PM · Jan 20, 2024:
DPhil/PhD Intl Relations @UniofOxford. Assoc Fellow @RUSI_org. Author "Russia in Africa" & "Putin's War on Ukraine" {no touchstones}

Beyond the Israel-Iran proxy war in Syria, there are other potential axes of conflict

Turkey could step up military operations after the deaths of 9 Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq through clashes with PKK militants

Meanwhile, Jordan has launched three aerial attacks in 2024
Curbing narcotics sumuggling is the main goal and the latest attack has resulted in the deaths of 10 people

The IRGC* and Hezbollah are on the ground overseeing Houthis attacks on Red Sea shipping
Saudi Arabia has long claimed casualties of Hezbollah affiliates in the Yemen war, this cooperation endures to the current Red Sea standoff

{* The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC; Persian: سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی Sepāh-e Pāsdārān-e Enqelâb-e Eslâmī, lit. 'Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution'), also called Sepah or Pasdaran, is a multi-service primary branch of the Iranian Armed Forces. (Wikipedia)}

Jan 21, 12:49 pm

>23 margd: Getting drawn into this through our support of Israel's killing thousands of Palestinian civilians would be bonkers. Why we're in the Red Sea I don't know. The Houthis have had years of practice being bombing by Saudi airstrikes and as long as the Houthis have missiles to attack shipping the threat is there and it's going to drive commercial shipping away from that route. All it takes really is the threat. We've lost two Navy seals already over nonsense we can't stop from that direction but if we pressured Israel to stop its murder campaign against civilian Palestinians the Houthis say they would stop too. It would be at least half assed intelligent to give it a try or at least a lot smarter than anything the Biden administration has done up until now.

Editado: Jan 21, 3:13 pm

>24 lriley: a lot smarter than anything the Biden administration has done up until now.

I thought Biden Admin was trying to leverage Natanyahu, but it doesn't seem to be working. Maybe he's thinking of leaders he knew back when he was a senator? I can't believe he would be complicit in letting so many innocents die for political gain. Say it ain't so, Joe?

Jan 21, 5:20 pm

>25 margd: Have you seen the 2000 lb. bombs the United States has been sending Israel to bomb Gaza's cities? The New York Times had a YouTube video about it a couple/three weeks ago. The Biden administration has to know what the Israelis are doing here. Dropping them on many storied apartment buildings these bombs take those buildings all the way to the ground along with whoever is in them and leave massive craters in the ground out of what were once the homes of lots of people. The white phosphorus they were caught out using isn't a joke either. If that shits gets on a person it doesn't come off until it pretty much burns them alive. These are things you should absolutely never ever use against civilians. We shouldn't be sending them to a country no matter how big an ally they are to use so callously without any regard to a civilian population.

Editado: Jan 22, 4:49 am

The west’s complete contempt for the lives of Palestinians will not be forgotten

Our political and media elites are complicit in Gaza’s nightmare. Any vestige of moral authority has been lost for ever...

‘War hurts our hearts’: silent multi-faith peace walk held in London

Without flags, placards or chants, hundreds of people joined a silent multi-faith peace walk in London on Sunday in response to the Israel-Gaza war. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists walked side-by-side from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and back in solidarity with people affected by the conflict in the Middle East. “War hurts our hearts,” said Rabbi Alexandra Wright, the president of Liberal Judaism and senior rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, as faith leaders read prayers on the steps of Trafalgar Square before setting off on a one-mile walk alongside non-religious people. “We pray for those who are still held hostage and for their release from captivity, and for the thousands in Israel and Gaza, who have been displaced from their homes... We pray for peace in the region, for the safe passage of humanitarian aid to all those who need it, for the wisdom and moral courage of world leaders, and for civility here in the UK, and across the west, among those who may find themselves on opposite sides of this conflict”...

Both from the Guardian

Edited to add:

Will the United States Again Look the Other Way When the World Court Rules? (The Progressive Magazine)

Genocide is one of those rare terms where the legal definition is broader than the popular understanding. It does not just include systematic mass extermination—such as the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, or the 1994 Rwandan genocide—but also military campaigns “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” Recent examples would include the Guatemalan junta’s campaign against Indigenous peoples in the highlands during the 1980s, Sudan’s war in Darfur, the attacks by Bosnian Serbs against Bosnian Muslims, Serbia’s war on Kosovo, Iraqi and Turkish campaigns against the Kurds, and the U.S. designation of “free fire zones” in rebel-held areas of Vietnam. Israel’s indiscriminate military assault on crowded civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, the most destructive bombardment over a comparable time period in any war this century, would appear to meet such a definition. Despite this, the Biden Administration and Congressional leaders have categorically denounced South Africa for submitting the application and the Court for considering it. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence presented by the South Africans, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has insisted that the submission is “meritless, counterproductive, and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.” By contrast, there have been no objections raised over the concurrent application by Gambia that accuses Myanmar of genocide for its war on the Rohingya, or disagreements with previous genocide cases before the ICJ. While the Biden Administration has stridently objected to South Africa’s case, it has also acknowledged that it has not conducted any formal assessment as to whether Israel has violated the genocide treaty or other international humanitarian laws...

Adam Schiff’s hawkish foreign policy views alienate progressive Democrats (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Democrats in Santa Cruz County and the rest of California will be choosing their nominee for U.S. Senate in the primary election coming up March 5. The open seat held by the late Dianne Feinstein is being contested by three U.S. House members: Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff. Schiff has become something of a hero among many Democrats from his impressive role in leading the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. However, his hawkish foreign policy and dismissive views toward human rights and international law have alienated him from much of the party’s progressive majority. His strident support for Israel’s war on Gaza, which has killed close to 20,000 civilians — nearly half of them children — has put him at odds with the vast majority of Democrats, over 80% of whom support a ceasefire. He has also rejected calls for conditioning offensive military aid to Israel, also supported by a majority of Democrats, along with virtually every major peace and human rights organization. Schiff’s support for Israel’s war on Gaza is hardly an aberration. He was among the right-wing minority of Democrats who voted to authorize the illegal, unnecessary, and predictably disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq...

Prof. Stephen Zunes : « Freedom for Palestine and Western Sahara is critically important » (La Tribune Diplomatique Internationale)

Professor Stephen Zunes making the links between the Israeli and Moroccan occupations.

Editado: Jan 23, 7:27 am

From CNN whose news coverage has hardly been the same time very biased towards the Israel govt.

It would seem to me that to desecrate....sometimes completely destroy 16 separate cemeteries takes an extraordinary amount of ill will, malice and hatred. An IDF spokesman claiming that they were searching for the bodies of Israeli hostages? Yeah....I don't buy that. That they returned the bodies to the graves....will the evidence speaks for itself. Dead bodies strewn all over, gravestones and other markers smashed by bulldozers and other heavy equipment. Pretty fucked up when you're even at war with the dead. Does Biden ever look hard at what's going on? or is he asleep all day. I know lots of his spokespeople lie out of their asses too.

Editado: Jan 23, 7:57 am

>28 lriley: I read that IDF destroyed Gaza's last university: it did not look to me like a legitimate target, nor proportional. IDF used (28?) missiles. The building simply evaporated in a puff of smoke.

On the up side, sounds like Israel has agreed on a two month ceasefire if hostages released. Also, Israel gets to pre-position troops for next phase. I imagine Hamas will have demands of its own before we see any ceasefire...but maybe hostages and Gaza's civilians will soon see some relief?

Jan 24, 12:05 am

UN secretary general says Israel’s rejection of two-state solution is ‘unacceptable’ (Guardian)

Israel’s “clear and repeated rejection of the two-state solution” is unacceptable, and could only prolong the conflict in Gaza, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said, at the launch of a highly charged security council debate focusing on aid shipments to Gaza. Gutteres told the meeting in New York on Monday that the denial of a Palestinian state will only embolden extremists everywhere and indefinitely extend the conflict. “Last week’s clear and repeated rejection of the two-state solution at the highest levels of the Israeli government is unacceptable,” Guterres told the council. “This refusal, and the denial of the right to statehood to the Palestinian people, would indefinitely prolong a conflict that has become a major threat to global peace and security,” he said...

Jan 24, 1:21 am

>30 John5918: Do people really believe that a "two-state solution" is a solution? To me it seems a cowardly concession to the base nationalism of the worst elements of Israeli society. If Israel, founding itself on nationalism, has failed as badly as we see it doing today, how could we possibly expect two states founded on the same basic mistake to do any better?

Editado: Jan 24, 1:48 am

>31 kiparsky: My understanding is that existing UN resolutions more or less lock the UN into this position, at least in formal terms, such that it more or less has to be the starting place, however much the facts on the ground have been (intentionally) altered in the meantime such that those resolutions can no longer longer be implemented feasibly. I'd be interested to know if anyone can shed more light on the question.

Jan 24, 2:27 am

>32 davidgn:

Yes, my understanding is the same as yours, that the two-state solution is what had been agreed by all parties the last time there was any serious attempt at negotiation, so it has to be the starting point for new negotiations.

Jan 24, 8:45 am

Equal rights, equal votes, equal opportunities in civil and government life. That would have to be baked into the negotiation. I don't know what you would do about the illegal settlements or making Gaza livable again. Maybe turn some of those settlements over to Palestinians?.....allowing Palestinians to live throughout the entirety of the territory might ameliorate some of that issue. I just don't see the Israeli govt. or people particularly the settlers (many of whom are about as racist as it gets) accepting these kinds of solutions and there are guns all over the place. In South Africa the black to white %'s of population seems to me favored a more peaceful resolution. Not that weren't problems. In Northern Ireland the communities had already segregated themselves so there really wasn't an issue over land or territory. It was more about civil rights and how the new government was going to work for everyone instead of just the one side. Here we have equal sized populations but one side has everything and getting them to share and significantly compromise more than the other side seems to me to be a near impossible task.

Jan 25, 6:48 pm

A children’s book Olive Harvest in Palestine is partly read and reviewed by a book nerd on Instagram:

It gently reminds us of the humanity of the Palestinians and their deep roots to the land.

Jan 26, 6:46 am

Proceedings in 15 mins.
THE HAGUE: South Africa v. Israel - ICJ ORDER

cf. Amb. Murray's recap (cited below):

and predictions:
https:// www. craigmurray. org. uk /archives/2024/01/armed-conflict-and-the-icj/

Tomorrow the International Court of Justice will give its decision on the South African interim request for provisional measures to prevent genocide in Gaza. Many are holding their breath for something that will help. How will this go?

You can read my views on some of the arguments in play in my article for Middle East Eye. There is no comment section on MEE, so feel free to discuss that article here.

You will recall that my observation of the demeanour of the judges at the Hague left me not too hopeful. They definitely appeared very uncomfortable to be taking a case which effectively puts the actions of the entire western political establishment on trial, not just Israel. Yet it was impossible to say that South Africa had not presented a strong prima facie case of genocide, including plentiful evidence of intent, which at this stage was all South Africa needed to do.

As I reported the judges got most visibly interested by the procedural arguments that South Africa could not bring the case because it was not in a dispute with Israel at the time of filing. But I don’t think that will stand. Firstly, it doesn’t pass the commonsense test; there is no doubt there is a dispute between South Africa and Israel over whether Israel is committing genocide. While the procedural problem does not in fact arise from the text of the Genocide Convention, but merely from previous jurisprudence from the court that indicates parties should aim to achieve a resolution before going to the court.

None of that previous jurisprudence relates to genocide. In any case of alleged genocide, there is obvious urgency. If Israel’s procedural argument is accepted, then any country committing genocide would only need not to respond to correspondence on the subject and nobody could take them to court for it, until after a “reasonable period” to reply, during which the genocide could continue. What is a “reasonable period” where scores of children are being killed every day? I don’t think the court is going to fall for that one, much as they visibly gasped to be let off the hook.

Judges are of course themselves highly privileged members of the ruling elite. The extent to which that elite is bought up by the Zionist cause has never been clearer to the world. But I retain some hope still because the ICJ has a truly strong record. If tomorrow we learn it has failed, we will know the notion of international law has been finally abandoned.

Both Israel and South Africa’s legal teams will by now probably have been given, in strictest confidence, an indication of the result by the President. This is done to head off any unexpected spontaneous eventuality in court. If they haven’t yet, they will first thing tomorrow morning.

But where there are seventeen judges of different nationalities, including one South African and one Israeli, and several of them are open to influence and discussion with their national governments, you would have to be extremely foolish to believe that the decision has not already leaked out to senior official circles. Which leaves me rather heartened by the fact that South Africa’s foreign minister is flying to The Hague for the decision. That would not be done if the result is a humiliation.

Where there is humiliation is in the willingness of the Western political class to abase themselves utterly in acknowledging the plain truth of Israel crimes. On a macro scale they state it is nonsense to claim that 15,000 dead children so far might indicate a genocidal intent. On a micro scale, in the past 24 hours Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and the spokesman for the US State Department have all refused to say, point blank, that it is a crime to shoot an unarmed civilian carrying a white flag.

I expect tomorrow will be a fudge. The court will say it will decide on the case in due course, and in the meantime Israel should be careful to take all steps to comply with international humanitarian law and to take all necessary actions to crack down on incitement to genocide. Then nothing would change.

If, however, the court does order a ceasefire on the grounds of a prima facie case for genocide, then I do think you will see a serious moderation of the actions of western politicians, including a reduction in armaments to Israel. That will of course not stop Israel.

Israel has been engaged in the genocide of the Palestinians for 75 years. All we have since October 7 is a more intensive phase again. In the year to October 7 2023, Israel killed over 350 Palestinians. Israel will continue its genocidal policies until the Apartheid State of Israel is abolished. That is the fundamental truth that the ICJ will not address tomorrow.

Jan 26, 7:01 am

>36 davidgn: Fingers crossed that the ICJ will tell Israel to stop their genocide.

Jan 26, 8:02 am

>37 lriley: Sadly, Amb. Murray was broadly correct.

Jan 26, 9:05 am

>38 davidgn: That said...
(From an assistant prof. of law at York U.)

The ICJ's written order and separate opinions will be released shortly. But my first reaction is that this is a big win for Palestinian advocates. Some will be disappointed that the Court stopped short of ordering a ceasefire. But...
... the fact that the Court ordered the measures it DID, including directing Israel not to commit or incite genocide, indicates it has concluded that it is (a) plausible for Palestinians in Gaza to claim protection from genocide, and (b) that the need for protection is urgent.
I think we can infer from this that *at a minimum* there is a serious risk that Israel will commit genocide. This is important because it puts *all states* on formal notice of the serious risk of genocide, which triggers states’ duty to take concrete steps to prevent genocide.
Among other things, this means that in order for states to fulfill their international obligations under the Genocide Convention they must *do something*. For e.g., states exporting arms or military technology to Israel must stop.

The short story: this order on provisional measures will have an important and immediate impact on how states are required to act under international law. It will also radically shift the global conversation about what is happening in Gaza.

Another related point: I need to read the separate opinions, but my intuition is that it's a massive win that Israeli ad hoc judge Barak sided with the majority in ordering many of the provisional measures. He may have judged his own legacy as more important than Netanyahu's.

Jan 26, 10:58 am

>39 davidgn: It's important too just to get the Israeli regime to take notice that they're being scrutinized hard around the globe......and if it stops the United States sending at least much of its war material it could bring at least that part under some control. Getting food, water, medical supplies, doctors, makeshift hospitals into Gaza or even badly injured people out of Gaza to hospitals elsewhere where they can receive proper treatment. Averting potential famine should be an immediate goal.

The United States needs to pull back hard. Our bombs have caused much needless death and destruction. There's no point for us being in the Red Sea. Biden himself said that bombing Houthi targets wasn't going to stop them doing what they are doing and it's not going to protect targeted ships in the Red Sea from the danger of being hit or sunk by missiles. It's a completely useless and stupid exercise that only raises the potential of and risks drawing us into a regional war.

Editado: Jan 26, 11:18 am

>40 lriley: Now we're floating ridiculous ideas about having the Chinese talk to the Iranians so that they'll talk to the Houthis and tell them to knock it off. All the knowledgeable shipping people I follow point out that the Chinese shipping concerns stand to benefit like nobody's business from all this. Any ship with a Chinese connection is loudly trumpeting it now, as it's a get-through-the-Red-Sea free card. What is emerging is a two-tier system where Western concerns have to go around the Cape while Chinese-affiliated vessels can sail straight through the Red Sea and Suez. Why would the Chinese sacrifice a massive boon to their shipping industry (and, the way things are heading, perhaps a bunch of new ship registry fees) just to do us a favor? Why the hell would the Iranians or -- more pointedly -- the Houthis listen, even if they did?

Last person to leave the State Department, please turn out the lights.

Jan 26, 11:28 am

Amy Goodman has a small panel on the ruling.

Editado: Jan 26, 12:47 pm

So Israel counter-accuses...UN of assisting Hamas, and US withdraws funding from UN while it investigates. Double-standard much?

Oz Katerji @OzKaterji | 9:09 AM · Jan 26, 2024:
Ukraine Correspondent. British-Lebanese conflict journalist & filmmaker based in Kyiv.

NEW: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has announced the suspension of several UNRWA employees alleged to have taken part in the October 7th attacks:
Image ( )

Jan 26, 12:30 pm

>43 margd: Netanyahu's grip on power.....his ability to stay away from criminal charges depends much on the hard right wing of the Likud Party---people like Ben Gvir and Smotrich. More or less they control him and when the United States follows what Netanyahu does they're really following the lead of people like Ben Gvir and Smotrich who are both fascist and racist. Speaking of Yoav Gallant the leader of the IDF and another hard right winger......I was looking back again through the super wealthy and elites whose names came out some years ago when the Panama Papers leaked and there was Gallant. Go figure.

Jan 26, 12:43 pm

CIJ_ICJ @CIJ_ICJ | 8:45 AM · Jan 26, 2024

READ HERE: the full text of the #ICJ Order indicating provisional measures in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (#SouthAfrica v. #Israel) (29p)
Image cover page ( )

Jan 26, 12:55 pm

Scoop: Biden tells Bibi he's not in it for a year of war in Gaza
Barak Ravid | 26 Jan 2023

...Zoom in: Biden asked Netanyahu several times for his plan and strategy in Gaza and said he doesn't understand the "end state" the Israeli leader is envisioning for the enclave, the U.S. officials said...

Zoom out: During the (Friday) call, Biden asked Netanyahu to allow a UN mission into northern Gaza to assess the conditions for a future return of Palestinian civilians, according to a source with direct knowledge of the conversation.

He also asked that flour be moved through Israel's Ashdod port to Gaza, and for Israel to help streamline the delivery of aid from Jordan through the Kerem Shalom border between Israel and the southern part of the Strip.

Netanyahu agreed to all three requests, the source said. It's unclear, however, when Israel may move on them.

The big picture: A significant portion of the call between Netanyahu and Biden was focused on the ongoing talks aimed at reaching a deal to secure the release of the more than 130 hostages still being held in Gaza, the source with direct knowledge of the call said....

Between the lines: Biden has become increasingly frustrated with Netanyahu in recent weeks...

What to watch: CIA director Bill Burns is expected to meet with the Qatari prime minister and the spy chiefs of Israel and Egypt in the coming days...

Go deeper: U.S. post-war strategy links Saudi-Israel peace deal with a two-state solution

Editado: Jan 26, 9:17 pm

>46 margd: The only guy in the administration with an ounce of diplomatic acumen is our DCI. It's back-asswards.

Editado: Jan 26, 11:19 pm

>43 margd: Well, by all means, investigate, but I'll believe it when it's proven. Strikes me as part and parcel of an Israeli propaganda offensive trying to paint UNRWA (and, indeed, anyone who would offer aid or comfort to the people who must be destroyed -- "Palestinjun lovers," they might or might not call them) -- as terrorists. **Note the timing**.

(Numbers as of Jan 8 '24)

Jan 26, 11:31 pm

ICJ’s Gaza decision shores up rules-based order and puts west to test (Guardian)

In seeking a provisional order from the international court of justice restraining Israel from committing potentially genocidal acts in Gaza, South Africa put not just Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the dock but also the whole post-second world war rules-based order, including the authority of the ICJ itself. Never has there been such a high-profile case brought in the middle of such a bloody conflict, and rarely have so many staked so much on the outcome...

This momentous ICJ ruling may be brushed aside by Israel - but the US and UK can’t afford to ignore it (Guardian)

If this judgment is not heeded, how can Putin ever be held to account? Justice with double standards is no justice at all...

Editado: Jan 26, 11:39 pm

>49 John5918: Odd framing by that author. In what respect is this a victory for the "rules-based order" established post WWII? I would rather call this a victory for what remains of the international law-based order then established, and against the "rules-based order" which has largely usurped it.

Jan 27, 12:22 am

Chris Hedges has Craig Mokhiber on.

Gaza: ICJ ruling, UN failures, and US complicity | The Chris Hedges Report w/Craig Mokhiber
The International Court of Justice has just issued preliminary measures against Israel for the crime of genocide in Gaza. The ruling follows weeks of anticipation and months of international outcry for Israel to face accountability from the UN. While much remains undetermined, this is a critical development in a time when the integrity of international institutions has been thrown into crisis by their ineffectiveness in the face of Israel's slaughter. Former director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Craig Mokhiber, who resigned from his position last fall in protest of what he called the UN's "failure" to protect Palestinians, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a discussion on the weaknesses of the UN in the face of US and Israeli impunity.

Editor's note: This interview was recorded prior to the Jan. 26 ICJ ruling.

Editado: Jan 27, 1:11 am

In bringing the case accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, South Africa called for nine provisional measures. Though many were taken by the Hague-based court, the key demand for an immediate ceasefire was not. Why?

According to experts, the prospect of the court demanding a ceasefire was always unlikely due to Israel’s contested right to self defence in an occupied territory.

“I never thought the court was going to go as far as to order a ceasefire,” Juliette McIntyre, a lecturer in law at the University of South Australia, told Middle East Eye.

“The court is saying we can't get into the question of the full extent of (Israel’s) rights of self-defence. So we are not going to say anything about a ceasefire," McIntyre said.
Yet others have suggested that it is impossible to enact the interim provisions dictated by the ICJ - such as that Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent violations of the Genocide Convention, including killing Palestinians - without implementing an immediate ceasefire.

"How do you provide aid and water without a ceasefire? If you read the order, by implication a ceasefire must happen," Pandor said outside the court.

Israel's largest human rights group, B’Tselem, agreed.

"The only way to implement the orders issued today by the International Court of Justice in the Hague is through an immediate ceasefire. It is impossible to protect civilian life as long as the fighting continues," it said.

"Tens of thousands killed, over a million displaced, Israelis held hostage in the Gaza Strip, hunger and a humanitarian catastrophe – all oblige Israel to stop the fighting."

Oona Hathaway, a professor at Yale Law School, said though commentators had noted there was no demand for a ceasefire, the ICJ "got as close to doing so as it was ever reasonable to expect it would".

Jan 27, 2:00 am

>51 davidgn: And here are Craig Mokhiber and Norman Finkelstein today discussing the ICJ order with Katie Halper

Jan 27, 2:50 am

I do not expect Israel to comply or at least not right away. Ben Gvir = 'Hague Schmague'. Their on notice to make a report of their own to the ICJ in a month's time. They may look at that as leeway.

This does damage Israel though and the 15 to 2 sometimes 16 to 1 (including their own ad hoc judge Aharon Barak) decision against pretty much makes it damningly clear that the case was strong and their defense was weak and if Israel does not abide then it's up to the other nations of the world to take it out on them through export bans, boycotts whatever.

As far as the United States it's complicit in this ruling too and its own judge who chaired the team of ICJ judges also ruled against Israel. The question is now how far will the Biden administration run cover for Israel? and hopefully it's not far at all. I find it difficult to stomach thousands and thousands of women and children, civilians being outright murdered, their homes destroyed. It seems senseless the lengths the Biden administration and supporting American politicians have gone to support these atrocities and it complicates Biden's re-election chances.....something I would think would be far better if he hadn't gone all in. Israel is a country of 15 million people, roughly half of whom are Palestinians that Biden is sullying his own name over, risking getting us into another regional war thousands of miles away as well as risking his own political future and staining his legacy with the blood of thousands.....and this risk includes putting an outright fascist back into power. More broadly speaking though it also points to how this tiny country in the Middle East with its racist project has empowered itself over our political life here in the United States. We wouldn't go to these lengths for anyone else and no they're not a good friend and ally......their agenda and ambition is more and more problematic. But we can't boycott here, we have state and federal laws in place now where a person could be denied a state or federal job or contract or potentially charged with a hate crime for not supporting or for critiquing the state of Israel and its policies. It seems Israel has more protections here than our own country. I mean I can go out in my front yard and burn an American flag it would seem with less consequence.

Editado: Jan 27, 4:38 am

My gut says: there will be a ceasefire in Gaza, then a pivot to Lebanon to keep the war(s) going and Bibi in office. Gives another meaning to "malicious compliance." Consequences likely disastrous.

Listening to >53 davidgn: in full. A bit over an hour in, goes into the case of the Houthis -- who Finkelstein calls the only actor taking R2P seriously in the present day.

Jan 27, 5:24 am

>48 davidgn: The timing was noted... UNWRA has a lot of employees, so I'm not surprised that someone was complicit in Oct 7. Also, to operate over there, I'm sure employees have to sometimes look the other way when armed authorities do something or other. Afraid that in responding UNWRA will over-bureaucratize, and create conditions where UNWRA can't supply support that the populace very much needs. By all means, find any criminal behaviour, but don't allow one's double standards to hobble UNWRA!

Editado: Jan 27, 9:31 am

Ah. Looks like Judge Nap had Amb. Craig Murray on (EDIT: yesterday) morning and I missed it.

And here's Owen Jones' take.

Jan 27, 11:22 pm

UNRWA claims: UN agency condemns aid halt over alleged help for Hamas attacks (BBC)

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA has urged the countries that halted funding to reconsider their "shocking" decision. "UNRWA is the primary humanitarian agency in Gaza, with over two million people depending on it for their sheer survival," Philippe Lazzarini said. Nine countries, including the UK, earlier paused funding the agency. They acted over allegations that some UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October deadly Hamas attacks on Israel. The agency later announced it was sacking those employees. The countries that have now suspended funding UNRWA are Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US... Since Israel began its offensive in response to the Hamas attacks UNRWA has used its facilities across Gaza to shelter hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians... In a statement on Saturday, Mr Lazzarini said: "It is shocking to see a suspension of funds to the agency in reaction to allegations against a small group of staff, especially given the immediate action that UNRWA took by terminating their contracts and asking for a transparent independent investigation. "It would be immensely irresponsible to sanction an agency and an entire community it serves because of allegations of criminal acts against some individuals, especially at a time of war, displacement and political crises in the region. "UNRWA shares the list of all its staff with host countries every year, including Israel. The agency never received any concerns on specific staff members." Mr Lazzarini added that an investigation by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services into "the heinous allegations will establish the facts"...

Jan 28, 12:23 am

>58 John5918: Sheer madness, John.

Jan 28, 1:26 am

More collective punishment. This time by countries other than Israel.

Editado: Jan 28, 6:18 am

Amazing. Israel is asked to answer on actions to prevent genocide, and nine nations defund agency that is protecting Palestinians from genocide.

The media is focused on UN's WRA, not UN's International Court of Justice.

Bibi must be smiling.

Editado: Jan 28, 8:29 am

>61 margd: I've been looking around to see if they could actually put names to those charged. Since they've been fired they do have names. It's not clear but one thing I have heard is that some (all?) have been arrested by the IDF and may have been tortured. Torturing suspects is legal in Israel so a counter allegation may be coming back at the Israelis. Also worth keeping in mind..... last know number is 152 UNWRA employees have been killed since Oct. 7. Israel has been deliberately targeting UN workers and sites since Oct. 7 along with hospitals, doctors, nurses and medical staff, churches, mosques, cultural and governmental sites, records and archives, journalists and reporters, civil leaders in a full on attempt to destroy as much of Palestinian culture as they can. The nonsense about how they're trying to get at Hamas and not civilians is bs. They haven't been actively trying to get the hostages back. It seems they're almost reluctant right now to enter negotiations for the rest and it's more out of public home pressure. Dropping dumb bombs is all about area or carpet bombing. If and when they actually kill a Hamas insurgent or collapse a bit of tunnel it's almost entirely by accident.

Our allying with them as we have done throughout this is a war crime. Once set on a wrong path our leaders never seem to be able to find their way back. They can't admit when they've done something wrong and for Biden on the brink of an election to do so now would be a catastrophe that Trump or some other republican (if Trump ends up behind bars) would certainly try to take advantage of. That said not admitting you're wrong or an action is a failure speaks to a lack of moral integrity. As a country a good % of our citizenry are so cynical these days that saying that sounds to them naive. The ends justifies the means.

Jan 28, 9:09 am

>62 lriley: Amazing. A charge of genocide is countered with a charge that increases chances of genocide. Coincidence?

What we know about Israel’s allegations against UN staffers in Gaza
Sophie Tanno, Hira Humayun, Richard Roth and Heather Chen | January 28, 2024

...What is UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency)?

UNRWA was established by the United Nations after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war to provide humanitarian assistance for displaced Palestinians.

The organization characterizes Palestinian refugees as any “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 War.”

Those who fit that definition now number 5.9 million, made up largely of the descendants of original refugees. Israel has rejected the possibility of allowing the displaced Palestinians to return home, arguing that the move would change the country’s Jewish character.

Since its establishment, the United Nations’ General Assembly – a voting body of all member states – has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate. The agency has provided aid to four generations of Palestine refugees, according to its website, covering education, healthcare, camp infrastructure, social services and emergency assistance, including in times of conflict.

At least 152 UNRWA staffers have been killed in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began, according to the agency.

What are the allegations?

Details remain scant. Neither Israel nor UNRWA have specified the nature of the alleged involvement of UNRWA employees in the events of October 7.

An Israeli official told CNN on Friday that Israel shared information about 12 staffers allegedly involved in the October 7 attacks both with UNRWA and the US...

Jan 28, 9:45 am

UNRWA reportedly has 13,000 staff, of which apparently 12 have been accused of misconduct and have been sacked, ie less than 0.01%. Is there any large organisation in the world, including governments and military, that can claim with certainty that not even 0.01% of its staff have ever misbehaved out of office hours, in their own time? Have all these organisations had their funding suspended?

Editado: Jan 28, 10:23 am

I'll note also that, especially with so much of the press corps (and their families) either exterminated or silenced, UNRWA is likely going to be the single organization with the most 1. ability and 2. credibility to report the ongoing toll of Palestinian lives and suffering and to generate a counter-narrative to whatever pablum Israel proposes to feed the ICJ in a month's time and going forward. Consider how important UN agency reports have been in securing the ICJ judgment. Clearly, future reporting from UN agencies must be both hobbled and placed under a cloud. And clearly, most of the nations pulling funding stand to gain by preventing the further generation of narratives implicating them in genocide.

Editado: Jan 28, 11:15 am

Chris Hedges
The Death of Israel

This is a talk I gave on Jan. 18 to a largely Muslim audience of several hundred people at The Islamic Society of Central New Jersey.

Jan 28, 6:22 pm


Biden says US ‘shall respond’ after drone strike by Iran-backed group kills 3 US troops in Jordan

Editado: Jan 28, 8:27 pm

>63 margd:
Andrew Marr's take: (with John Dunn and Jackie Walker)
ICJ ruling leads UK to join genocide

Jan 28, 9:10 pm

>67 davidgn: Remember reading David Vine's Base Nation some years ago. The United States has over 1000 bases in foreign countries around the globe. That's not counting a lot of clandestine stuff....and also we have fleets, nuclear submarines, carrier groups pretty much everywhere that a boat will float. It's one of the reasons we can't have good things like medicare for all, like an intelligible and working climate policy, free secondary education. Other nations.....some of them anyway do shit like that. And then we have all kinds of other war material and machines that no one else has.......and yet as we've seen lately with the Afghanistan and Iraq fiascos that insurgencies against our attempts to occupy/subjugate other peoples are pretty successful. We flex our muscles and it ends up all pretty laughable. Russia has gone through the same. Israel's going through this same arrogant shit now and it's like some people are never going to learn from others mistakes let alone their own. There's something in the American psyche not in tune with reality and at least 90 to 95 % of our federally elected politicians at any given time are shitbirds. Well......look at all the Marvel superhero movies. People here think we're the good guys......that we're setting the world to right. It's ridiculous but if it's not the people then it's the politicians and sometimes it's both. We're a war happy people and it's not even a defend the homeland war happiness which is more or less always at least understandable.....ours is an aggressive look for any kind of excuse export save the world kind of war happy. But anyway when you have all this war material....when you're kind of everywhere with it it's not a surprise when things like this would be a surprise if it didn't.

Jan 28, 11:08 pm

>67 davidgn:
Col. Davis
3 Americans killed by Iran-backed Militants - Will War Follow?

Jan 28, 11:28 pm

‘I am not there and I am not here’: a Palestinian American poet on bearing witness to atrocity (Guardian)

A Palestinian American poet considers the question: what is the task of the diasporic witness in a time of atrocity?...

Why are Israeli soldiers sharing snuff videos from their genocide in Gaza? (Al Jazeera)

Decades of impunity, not only for the Israeli regime but also for Israeli individuals guilty of war crimes, has led us to this point. Since the beginning of the genocide in Gaza in October, Israeli soldiers have been posting what can only be described as snuff videos on social media platforms. In the videos, soldiers can be seen – often gleefully – committing war crimes against Palestinians...

Editado: Jan 29, 1:01 am

6 more Stratotankers en route to Europe from California (probably landed by now). Looks like things are going to go sharply kinetic, as they say. God help us all.

Editado: Jan 29, 3:54 am

Amb. Murray:
Has International Law Survived, or Has the Western Political Class Killed It? 112

https://www. craigmurray. archives/2024/01/has-international-law-survived-or-has-the-western-political-class-killed-it/ (for citations)
Or see:

In finding there is a plausible case against Israel, the International Court of Justice treated with contempt the argument from Israel that the case should be dismissed as it is exercising its right of self-defence. This argument took up over half of Israel’s pleadings. Not only did the court find there is a plausible case of genocide, the court only mentioned self-defence once in its interim ruling – and that was merely to note that Israel had claimed it. Para 41:

That the ICJ has not affirmed Israel’s right to self-defence is perhaps the most important point in this interim order. It is the dog that did not bark. The argument which every western leader has been using is spurned by the ICJ.

Now the ICJ did not repeat that an occupying power has no right of self-defence. It did not need to. It simply ignored Israel’s specious assertion.

It could do that because what it went on to iterate went way beyond any plausible assertion of self-defence. What struck me most about the ICJ ruling was that the Order went into far more detail about the evidence of genocide than it needed to. Its description was stark.

Here Para 46 is crucial

The reason this is so crucial, is that the Court is not saying that South Africa asserts this. The Court is saying these are the facts. It is a finding of fact by the Court. I cannot emphasise too strongly the importance of that description by the court of the state of affairs in Gaza.

The Court then goes on to detail accounts by the United Nations of the factual situation, quoting three different senior officials at length, including Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner General of UNRWA:

This of course explains why the immediate response to the ICJ ruling was a coordinated attack by Israel and the combined imperialist powers on UNRWA, designed to accelerate the genocide by stopping aid, to provide a propaganda counter-narrative to the ICJ judgment, and to reduce the credibility of UNRWA’s evidence before the court.

The Court works very closely with the UN and is very much an entrenched part of the UN system. It has a particularly close relationship with the UN General Assembly – many of the Court’s cases are based on requests from the UN General Assembly. In a fortnight’s time the Court will be starting its substantive hearings on the legal position in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, at the request of the UNGA. There are five specific references to the UNGA in the Order.

The Court spent a great deal of time outlining the facts of the unfolding genocide in the Gaza Strip. It did not have to do so in nearly so much detail, and far too little attention has been paid to this. I was equally surprised by how much detail the court gave on the evidence of genocidal intent by Israel.

It is especially humiliating for Israel that the Court quoted the Israeli Head of State, the President of Israel himself, as giving clear evidence of genocidal intent, along with two other government ministers.

Again, this is not the Court saying that South Africa has alleged this. It is a finding of fact by the Court. The ICJ has already found to be untrue Israel’s denial in court of incitement to genocide.

Now think of this: the very next day after President Herzog made a genocidal statement, as determined by the International Court of Justice, he was met and offered “full support” by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament.

When you take the detail of what the Court has found to be the actual facts of the case, in death and destruction and in intent, I have no doubt that this is a court which is currently minded to find Israel guilty of genocide once the substantive case comes before the Court.

All of Israel’s arguments were lost. Every one. The substantial effort Israel put into having the case dismissed on procedural grounds was brushed aside. So was self-defence. And in its findings of the facts, the Court plainly found to be untrue the Israeli lies about avoidance of civilian casualties, the responsibility of Hamas for the damage to infrastructure, and the access of relief aid to Gaza.

Those are the facts of what happened.

Do not be confused by the absence of the word “ceasefire” from the Court order. What the Court has ordered is very close to that. It has explicitly ordered the Israeli military to stop killing Palestinians.

That is absolutely clear. And while I accept it is tautologous, in the sense it is ordering Israel to obey a Convention which Israel is already bound to follow, there could be no clearer indication that the Court believes that Israel is not currently obeying it.

So what happens now?

Well, Israel has responded by killing over 180 Palestinian civilians since the Order was given from the International Court of Justice. If that continues, South Africa may return to the Court for more urgent measures even before the ordered monthly report from Israel is due. Algeria has announced it will take the Order to the UN Security Council for enforcement.

I doubt the United States will veto. There has been a schizophrenic reaction from Israel and its supporters to the ICJ Order. On the one hand, the ICJ has been denounced as antisemitic. On the other hand the official narrative has been (incredibly) to claim Israel actually won the case, while minimising the coverage in mainstream media. This has been reinforced by the massive and coordinated attack on UNRWA, to create alternative headlines.

It is difficult to both claim that Israel somehow won, and at the same time seek to block UNSC enforcement of the Order. My suspicion is that there will be a continuing dual track: pretending that there is no genocide and Israel is obeying the “unnecessary” order, while at the same time attacking and ridiculing the ICJ and the wider UN.

No matter what the ICJ said, Israel would not have stopped the genocide; that is the simple truth. The immediate reaction of the US and allies to the Order has been to try to accelerate the genocide by crippling the UN’s aid relief work. I confess I did not expect anything quite that vicious and blatant.

The wheels of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. The ICJ having flagged up a potential genocide so strongly, it may well fall to judges in individual nations to restrain international support for the genocide. As I explained in detail, the Genocide Convention has been incorporated into UK law by the International Criminal Court Act of 2001.

There will, beyond any doubt, have been minutes issued by FCDO legal advisers warning of ministers being at risk of personal liability in UK law for complicity in genocide now, should arms shipments and other military and intelligence cooperation with the Israeli genocide continue. In the US, hearings started already in California on a genocide complicity suit brought against Joe Biden.

Of course I wish this would all work faster. It will not. The UN General Assembly may suspend Israel from the UN. There are other useful actions to be taken. But this is a long slog, not a quick fix, and people like you and I continue to have a vital role, as everybody does, in using the power of the people to wrest control from a vicious political class of killers.

This was a good win. I am pleased that this course for which I advocated and lobbied has worked and increased pressure on the Zionists, and that my judgment that the International Court of Justice is not just a NATO tool like the corrupt International Criminal Court, has been vindicated.

It cannot help the infants killed and maimed last night or those to die in the coming few days. But it is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

Editado: Jan 29, 8:04 am

Crooke live now. Begins by discussing lack of news coverage on ICJ judgment.

Editado: Jan 29, 9:16 am

Shin Bet, huh? (Google "Shin Bet torture".)

Mehdi Hasan @mehdirhasan | 10:57 PM · Jan 27, 2024:
Former host, @mehdihasanshow on @MSNBC & NBC's @peacockTV. New York Times best-selling author.

‘A senior Israeli official said the Shin Bet and Israeli military intelligence provided information that pointed to the active participation of UNRWA staffers… “A lot of the intelligence is a result of interrogations of militants.”’
That sounds reliable.

Eight countries join U.S. in pausing funding to UN aid agency in Gaza
Barak Ravid | Jan 27, 2024

Another bit of info from Shin Bet--sounds like also timed to coincide with UN court's genocide hearing:

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim @academic_la | 2:25 PM · Jan 28, 2024:
Liberal Zionist, vowing to do better for women. Host of Israel Explained and History of the Land of Israel. {California}

The head of the Shin Bet has told the Israeli cabinet that 60-80% of all humanitarian aid is going to Hamas. That is sustaining their war effort. This is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable. What on earth is the Netanyahu government doing?

The solution is, of course, not to starve the people of Gaza. It’s to take over the distribution points and hand aid to the people of Gaza directly.

Jan 29, 9:17 am

>74 davidgn: the major media are as bought off by Israeli lobbyists as our politicians are. OTOH as newspapers went viewership of the major television 24-7 channels are declining as well. It's been months (even predating this sad event) since I've even looked in on any one of them. Mainly I look at news or news shows from a variety of sources on the internet.....but I've never had much faith in them anyways and that goes back decades because to more or lesser degrees they're mouthpieces for the spin of their own governments and/or favored political parties.

Someone wanting to be seriously engaged on a subject should read up on it from a variety of sources anyway. Again since Oct. 7 there's been no real nuance or context for why that even happened. It's terrorism or if you're on the Zionist bandwagon....just human animals on the other side of the wall they put up. Many or our politicians and much of our media would be happy just to go with that.

Jan 29, 10:28 am

In Israel, a movement calling for Jewish settlements in Gaza has emerged in the aftermath of the October 7 terror attacks. For some, it's a security matter, and for others, an ideological one.
9:54 ( )

- DW News @dwnews | 8:37 AM · Jan 29, 2024

Editado: Jan 29, 10:40 pm

And up the chain it slowly continues to filter.

As the Times faces scrutiny for its coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza, it has capitulated to the pro-Israel media watchdog CAMERA
Daniel Boguslaw, Ryan Grim
January 28 2024, 8:00 p.m.
THE NEW YORK Times pulled a high-profile episode of its podcast “The Daily” about sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 amid a furious internal debate about the strength of the paper’s original reporting on the subject, Times newsroom sources told The Intercept. The episode had been scheduled for January 9 and was based on a prominent article led by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Gettleman, claiming that Hamas had systematically used sexual violence as a weapon of war.

The Times report was initially heralded in an email sent to the newsroom, conveying praise from Executive Editor Joe Kahn, who described the story as an example of the best kind of enterprise reporting the paper is capable of.

In the past couple of weeks, as the year drew to a close and many of us were on holiday, we published several signature pieces of enterprise on the Israel-Hamas war from different teams in the newsroom. Joe spotlighted some of them:

Jeffrey Gettleman, Anat Schwartz and Adam Sella spent several weeks and conducted 150 interviews to report on how Hamas weaponized sexual violence during the October 7th attack. The topic is a highly politicized issue and a delicate one to report, and Joe noted how the team, including photographs by Avishag Shaar-Yashuv, did it in a sensitive and detailed way.

But that message came roughly at the same time as another staff missive urging Times employees not to criticize each other on the company’s internal Slack. Many reporters and editors understood that directive to be a reference to an intense internal debate unfolding over the story — a rolling fight that is revived on a near-daily basis over the tenor of Times coverage of the war in Gaza. (A Times spokesperson, Charlie Stadtlander, said those assumptions were inaccurate, and that the email was “a release of a company-wide policy, the deliberate and measured development of which began in the beginning of 2023.”)

As criticism of Gettleman’s story grew both internally and externally, producers at “The Daily” shelved the original script and paused the episode, according to newsroom sources familiar with the process. A new script was drafted, one that offered major caveats, allowed for uncertainty, and asked open-ended questions that were absent from the original article, which presented its findings as definitive evidence of the systematic use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

That new draft remains the subject of significant controversy and has yet to be aired on the flagship podcast. The producers and the paper of record find themselves in a jam: run a version that hews closely to the previously published story and risk republishing serious mistakes, or publish a heavily toned-down version, raising questions about whether the paper still stands by the original report. Meanwhile, sources at the Times say Gettleman has been assigned a follow-up to gather evidence supporting his original reporting.

Internal critics worry that the article is another “Caliphate”-level journalistic debacle. “There seems to be no self-awareness at the top,” said one frustrated Times editorial staffer. “The story deserved more fact-checking and much more reporting. All basic standards applied to countless other stories.”

The critics have highlighted major discrepancies in the accounts presented in the Times, subsequent public comments from the family of a major subject of the article denouncing it, and comments from a key witness seeming to contradict a claim attributed to him in the article....

Editado: Jan 30, 3:57 am

The Intercept on the CCR case.

ETA: Amy Goodman's coverage.

An extended panel from Consortium News (two days old) including Amb. Murray and Prof. Francis Boyle, et al.

Editado: Jan 29, 11:49 pm

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey from a couple weeks ago before the ICJ ruling:

There's a couple funny moments (she don't like the Brits) here but she is pretty fiery. I remember watching her in the 70's.....she was in the news quite a bit. Youngest MP ever in the British Parliament.

Editado: Jan 30, 3:58 am

>80 lriley: Brilliant -- and she is absolutely right. There is no legal protection left for any of us if the ICJ fails to call genocide for what it is. (Fortunately, so far, they have -- gaslighting to the contrary aside)

Editado: Jan 30, 8:51 am

Short CNBC clip with an update from Col. Davis on Syria/Jordan situation. He's right, of course. He'll not be heeded, of course.

Jan 30, 9:48 am

U.S. suspends aid to Palestinian refugee agency. Norway is still sending money
January 30, 2024
Heard on Morning Edition (4-Minute Listen)

NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide about why Norway hasn't suspended aid to a U.N. agency, when some staff is accused of participating in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Jan 30, 10:06 am

Blinken says evidence of UNRWA staffers’ Oct. 7 involvement ‘highly, highly credible’
Jacob Magid | 29 January 2024 of the 12 men implicated was an UNRWA teacher accused of being armed with an anti-tank missile, while another teacher had been accused of filming a hostage being taken captive during the onslaught.

Another of the staffers, also an elementary school teacher, allegedly served as a Hamas commander and participated in the massacre in Kibbutz Be’eri, while a man employed by UNRWA as a social worker was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of an IDF soldier’s body on that day.

Of the 12 UNRWA workers accused of participating in the October 7 massacre, seven were reportedly teachers, two were educational consultants and others were humanitarian aid warehouse managers.

...Despite suspending funding for UNRWA, the White House cautioned against dismissing the entire UN agency over the allegations. “Let’s not impugn the good work of a whole agency because of the potential bad actions here by a small number,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing on Monday, clarifying that he was not dismissing the seriousness of the allegations against UNRWA’s employees...

Editado: Jan 30, 10:08 am

>84 margd: Let's say they're all guilty. That means the Gazans must starve, huh?
My contempt for Doublespeak Kirby increases daily.

Jan 30, 12:34 pm

>85 davidgn: I wonder sometimes at how relatively innocent most people are when they're younger.....then all the compromises some like Kirby make as they gather up new ambitions and move up societal's ladder. You see it all over society but in the spot where he's landed there probably isn't a whole lot of that younger soul still left in him. Some will say 'well, he's an admiral'. I was in the Coast Guard for 4 years--just a regular sailor and I would say about Admiral what. All kinds of deference to people in power who lack integrity and are a bunch of turds. Just because someone's done an enlistment or three or four doesn't necessarily make them anything special. Also a great % of those in the officer class are assholes.

Editado: Jan 31, 1:37 am

Col. Davis today.

I'm afraid we're going to need a WWIII thread. We'll see how this goes off.

Editado: Jan 31, 3:56 am

Biden says that Iran is responsible for the attack against the base in Jordan occupied by Georgia (USA) reservists and other American forces. Iran is responsible because they supplied the weapons to whoever it was that attacked that base which by that logic makes us every bit responsible for all the 2000 lb. bombs and other war material that Israeli forces have used against Israeli civilians. It's pretty much an admission of culpability to the charge of genocide that the South African govt. levied against Israel that in the recent ICJ ruling the Judges voted 15-2 or 16-1 on.

Here again and we might as well say like in the recent comments from Pelosi many Democratic pols in congress including all the elites don't see their own disconnect here from many of those in their voter base on this issue. Maybe better said that many of those they think should be in their voter base because of course we only have two choices---vote for an outright fascist or vote for an accessory to mass murder. Pelosi can't believe that people would demonstrate outside her house on this. It must be in their naivety the Russians are putting them up to this. ????? something like 30,000 civilians murdered many of whom are children or the scale of the destruction of what would sustain life in Gaza or the bombing of hospitals, the deliberate starvation of a people or even Israeli leaders continual genocidal statements which we also hear from a large % of average Israelis in their society along with active duty IDF soldiers. None of that could be why. It's the Russians. Has to be.

I might also's just me personally (no Russians involved) but I think that a politician with power.....what he does he owns. Politicians say all kinds of shit but it's what they actually do. There's no bringing back those who have died or will die. Those who are maimed or who will be maimed. Those people are dead and maimed and the dead don't come back. A good many of the maimed are going to stay maimed. The lives destroyed are destroyed and the only question is the justification for it and so far we're talking in the neighborhood of 100,000 casualties. Biden says Iran sent bombs to proxies to kill US soldiers in Jordan. Biden sends bombs to Israel to kill Palestinian civilians (not soldiers, though now and again to be fair they kill a Hamas insurgent). It's a little easier to justify what Iran's proxies are doing than what our President Biden is doing and what most of our politicians are supporting. Just saying.

Editado: Jan 31, 5:08 am

Canada sends $40-million {cdn} for Palestinians in Gaza, as Liberal MP decries UNRWA freeze
The Canadian Press | Updated 31 Jan 2024

...The funding top-up, bringing the total commitment to $100 million, comes as Ottawa condemns what it calls “inflammatory rhetoric” from Israeli government officials about the forced displacement of those who live in the besieged territory.

...The bulk of the new funding will go to the World Food Program, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the UN Population Fund, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Some $5 million has been set aside for Canadian non-governmental organizations.

Last week, Canada suspended “additional funding” to a UN agency that supports Palestinians in Gaza and employs about 13,000 people there.

...In a social-media post on Tuesday, the department followed the U.S., the United Kingdom and France in voicing Canada’s concern over calls for Palestinians to be expelled from the Gaza Strip so that Israelis can settle there.

...On Sunday in Jerusalem, far-right lawmakers who are part of Israel’s governing coalition joined a conference calling for renewing Jewish settlement in Gaza.

Israel had evacuated its settlements there in 2005, ending a 38-year-occupation and withdrawing its troops.

At the conference, crowds chanted “death to terrorists” as far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir took the stage and declared it was “time to encourage” the emigration of Palestinians from Gaza.

...Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that such views do not reflect official policy and he has no plans to resettle Gaza, but he has released few details of a postwar vision for the territory...

Jan 31, 5:15 am

Ruling by UN’s top court means Canada and the U.S. could be complicit in Gaza genocide
Heidi Matthews, Faisal A. Bhabha, Mohammad Fadel | January 28, 2024

...Crucially, the court expressly concluded, by an overwhelming majority, that Palestinians in Gaza face a “real and imminent risk” of genocide. This puts other countries on notice that they have an international legal duty to take steps to prevent genocide in Gaza in accordance with the court’s order.

As the court stated in a 2007 ruling when Bosnia accused Serbia of genocide, countries that are parties to the Genocide Convention have an obligation to prevent and a corresponding duty to act “the instant that the state learns of, or should normally have learned of, the existence of a serious risk that genocide will be committed.”

Both Canada and the U.S. have construed the court’s decision narrowly, suggesting it merely reiterates Israel’s right of self-defence and obligation to comply with international humanitarian law.

This is a legally indefensible reading of the court’s ruling...

Editado: Jan 31, 9:05 am

Israeli forces may have violated international law in West Bank hospital raid, experts say
Ellie Kaufman, Helena Skinner, and Nasser Atta | January 30, 2024

...Monday Israeli forces may have violated international law in the raid they conducted inside a hospital in the West Bank {Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin} that resulted in the death of three Palestinian men both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad claimed as members....

Israeli commandos disguised themselves as doctors and patients to infiltrate the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin on Monday and killed three Palestinian men whom Hamas and the Islamic Jihad both claimed as members {a patient an two visitors}...

One member of the Israeli group had a wheelchair, two carried a doll in a baby carrier, several wore nurses' clothing, another wore doctors' clothing and several others were dressed in civilian clothing.... Doctors and patients are granted "protected status" in armed conflict under the Geneva Convention.

...It's a violation of international law to feign protected status, in this case, by dressing up as a doctor or patient, "in order to invite the confidence of the adversary and then proceed to kill or injure them," Aurel Sari, associate professor of public international law at the University of Exeter, told ABC News. This violates the prohibition to kill or injure the adversary by resorting to perfidy, Sari said...

{margd: As UN Peacekeeper (Suez 58/59) my dad was invited with other UN officers to a party hosted by Israelis. While Peacekeepers were occupied, the Israelis attacked Arabs. A WW2 vet, Dad said peacekeepers arrived with some sympathy with Israel, but left sympathizing with Palestinians.}

Fev 1, 6:42 am

Samuel Ramani @SamRamani2 | 7:04 PM · Jan 30, 2024:
DPhil/PhD Intl Relations @UniofOxford. Assoc Fellow @RUSI_org. Author "Russia in Africa" & "Putin's War on Ukraine"

Israel appears to be taking a more nuanced position on UNRWA
After UNRWA staffers were allegedly tied to the October 7 attacks, funding for UNRWA was drastically cut
Israel doesn't want UNRWA completely defunded right now, it wants it to leave after Hamas is defeated

This suggests a possible shift in the Netanyahu administration's approach to UNRWA
The concept is that completely gutting UNRWA right now could create a humanitarian catastrophe that is so serious, it would force Israel to end anti-Hamas operations

We oppose axing UNRWA mid-war, senior Israeli official says amid global funding halt
Jacob Magid | 31 January 2024

Official clarifies agency should be out of Gaza after war but argues collapsing it now may lead to humanitarian crisis that would force IDF to halt offensive against Hamas...

Fev 1, 7:29 am

>93 margd: UNWRA for me is a sideshow to deflect the narrative away from the ICJ ruling and the genocide issue. I have no doubt that they were holding on to that to drop after the ruling though I don't think even with their weak defense in The Hague they thought it would go that badly for them. And to be clear even if these 13 all did what Israel says they did how does that compare to 26,900 dead and something like 65 to 70,000 injured and maimed, homes and infrastructure destroyed including hospitals, schools and universities and a population now being starved and subject to dangerous diseases? And when the US and UK and some other western nations jump on their bandwagon with this attack on UNWRA what does it say about them? And as in the nonsense the United States has got itself in with the Houthis where even Biden acknowledges there is no way of defeating or stopping them from doing what they're doing it's becoming clear as well that Israel is pretty much not going to be destroying Hamas anytime soon or even at all.....meanwhile this bastard of a prime minister of theirs is talking about expanding his war into Lebanon and potentially even Egypt.

And again it's not like Israel presents much evidence of what they charge these UNWRA employees with. It's all kind of vague and fucking Blinken saying he believes them notwithstanding when they've been caught out lie after lie by the various medias before.....the latest over tunnels supposedly going from one end to the other of a cemetery by the embedded CNN---a news channel that has been bending over backwards to support this effort and these narratives of theirs. That story concocted as an excuse for their destruction and desecrations of at least 16 Gaza cemeteries. Of these 13 UNWRA employees apparently at least two of them are already deceased? Why? If they were in Israeli custody since this information apparently came by way of interrogation..... are they dead? Why aren't the Israelis parading the others before the world's eyes? Is there something they don't want us to see?

Editado: Fev 2, 11:31 am

US sanctions Israeli settlers over West Bank violence (BBC)

US President Joe Biden has approved sanctions on four Israeli settlers accused of attacking Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Mr Biden signed a broad executive order, saying violence in the West Bank had reached "intolerable levels". The sanctions block the individuals from accessing all US property, assets and the American financial system...

Western officials in protest over Israel Gaza policy (BBC)

More than 800 serving officials in the US and Europe have signed a statement warning that their own governments' policies on the Israel-Gaza war could amount to "grave violations of international law". The "transatlantic statement", a copy of which was passed to the BBC, says their administrations risk being complicit in "one of the worst human catastrophes of this century" but that their expert advice has been sidelined. It is the latest sign of significant levels of dissent within the governments of some of Israel's key Western allies. One signatory to the statement, a US government official with more than 25 years' national security experience, told the BBC of the "continued dismissal" of their concerns. "The voices of those who understand the region and the dynamics were not listened to," said the official. "What's really different here is we're not failing to prevent something, we're actively complicit. That is fundamentally different from any other situation I can recall," added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The statement is signed by civil servants from the US, the EU and 11 European countries including the UK, France and Germany...

Editado: Fev 2, 10:07 pm

So, we're bombing the IRGC Quds Forces in Iraq and Syria. Yes, the Iranians themselves.
Col. Davis:

Editado: Fev 3, 9:22 am

Now, that's very interesting.

1h ago (13:00 GMT)
Iranian ambassador to Syria denies that US attacks targeted Iranian assets
The Iranian ambassador to Syria has denied that the American attacks in Syria targeted Iranian bases and advisers, saying they hit civilian infrastructure instead.

Hossein Akbari tweeted that US claims that Iranian bases and advisors had been targeted were baseless and said that their goal was instead to retaliate against Syria for its political stance.

He described the US sttacks as a “terrorist aggression” aimed at compensating for Israel’s defeat in Gaza.

1h ago (12:25 GMT)
Iraqi militia: ‘We do not wish to escalate or widen regional tensions’
An Iraqi militia official hinted at a desire to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East following retaliatory strikes launched by the US.

Hussein al-Mosawi – spokesperson for Harakat al-Nujaba, one of the main Iranian-backed militias in Iraq – told The Associated Press in Baghdad the US “must understand that every action elicits a reaction”. But he then struck a more conciliatory tone saying, “We do not wish to escalate or widen regional tensions.”

Al-Mossawi said the targeted sites in Iraq were mainly “devoid of fighters and military personnel at the time of the attack”.

The air assault was the opening salvo of US retaliation for a drone strike that killed three US soldiers in Jordan last weekend.

Fev 3, 5:16 pm

#TelAviv tonight: Thousands are out on the streets calling for the ouster of @Netanyahu and his extremist-annexationist-messianic govt and for new elections NOW. 🇮🇱🚨🇮🇱
Photo ( )

- Yonatan Touval @Yonatan_Touval | 2:02 PM · Feb 3, 2024
...Mitvim, The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies | Words in: Time @Haaretz @WashingtonPost NYT Newsweek

Editado: Fev 3, 5:37 pm

House will vote next week on stand-alone Israel aid bill, Johnson tells colleagues
Sahil Kapur | Feb. 3, 2024

The unexpected move indicates that Johnson is digging in his heels against an immigration package and Ukraine funding, instead seeking to pressure Democrats on Israel aid...

Jake Sherman @JakeSherman | 2:08 PM · Feb 3, 2024:
Founder of @punchbowlnews. @nbcnews /@msnbc .

will put a bill on the floor to send $17.6 billion to Israel with no corresponding spending cuts, a reversal meant to preempt the Senate's border-and-national-security supplemental.

Here's a letter from Johnson to the House GOP:

This plan is a shift for Johnson. The House passed a bill that tied Israel aid to domestic spending cuts.

Senate leaders plan to release their supplemental spending bill this weekend. In the letter, Johnson said the House would not give "swift consideration" to that legislation.

Fev 3, 6:24 pm

>99 margd: Just shows that at the end of the day most republican congresspeople and Senators like many of their democratic colleagues are in fear of being primaried and/or losing out on campaign financing $'s that they've already spent that even their border b.s. and anti-Ukraine sentiment so popular with their base takes second place to appeasing Israeli govt. lobby money. Not to give democrats who would sell out on the border issue a pass. It's like drop everything just to make sure Israel gets all the 2000 lb bombs, tank shells and white phosphorus that they ask for.

Fev 3, 9:19 pm

Col. Davis:
America Strikes Back Against Iran's IRGC - What Comes Next?

Fev 3, 11:24 pm

The Political Costs of Biden’s Support for Israel’s War Are Mounting (truthout)

The president's Gaza policy is isolating the United States internationally and threatening his reelection prospects. It would not be an exaggeration to say that President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s ongoing carnage in Gaza puts him in the same position as George W. Bush with the invasion of Iraq, Ronald Reagan with his support for death squads in Central America and Richard Nixon with his bombing of Vietnam. Like the other conflicts, the civilian death toll is extraordinarily high, the United States is largely isolated in the international community and the majority of Americans — particularly Democrats — oppose the policies. In similar parallels, the administration is marginalizing the United Nations, attacking the international legal system and dismissing reports by reputable human rights organizations. Despite all this, due to the threat of a second Trump presidency and the lack of any viable Democratic challengers, there has been a reluctance within the liberal mainstream to recognize just how extreme the Biden administration’s policies have been. Indeed, there has been a concerted attempt by the Democratic congressional leadership to effectively obscure the extent of the carnage as a means of shielding the Biden administration from responsibility...

US Attacks on the ICJ Are a Declaration of Empire (Common Dreams)

They should not be seen simply as “pro-Israel” sentiment, but instead as part of a broader effort to undermine international law in order to give the United States free rein in pursuing its policy objectives...

Fev 4, 6:36 am

Satellite images analyzed by the UN revealed that 30% of structures in the Gaza Strip, or roughly over 22,000 buildings, have been destroyed since October 7.
0:49 ( )

- DW News @dwnews | 2:59 PM · Feb 3, 2024

Fev 4, 7:26 am

>103 margd: It's colossal.

And Biden wants us to think that brokering a deal between Israel and the Saudis will motivate the Israelis to finally go ahead and get Netanyahu or whoever to agree to giving the Palestinians some autonomy whether it's a two state solution or a degree of civil rights. Biden wants to put that back on the table. It's like offering a reward for all the death and destruction they've done but I think the Saudi/Israeli deal is a hell of a lot more likely than Israel agreeing to anything with the Palestinians apart from a homeland in the Egyptian desert with no food, shelter or water. In any case the idea of returning a million + people to a Gaza City with most of the homes and infrastructure destroyed doesn't seem very workable to be. The question almost from the beginning of this onslaught is where are they going to go?

Editado: Fev 4, 11:42 pm

State Department Declares “Ethnic Cleansing” in Sudan but won't say the same about Israel's War in Gaza (The Intercept)

The U.S. risks complicity with Israeli atrocities, experts say. Late last year, 50 humanitarian organizations asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make an atrocity determination related to a conflict that was drawing global attention. The groups requesting the designation had been lobbying the Biden administration for months. In their November letter, they zeroed in on atrocities committed by the Rapid Support Forces, one of the warring factions in a battle for control of Sudan. Six days later, Blinken responded with a determination that the RSF and the Sudanese Armed Forces were guilty. “Based on the State Department’s careful analysis of the law and available facts, I have determined that members of the SAF and the RSF have committed war crimes in Sudan,” he said in a December 6 statement. In the case of the RSF, Blinken went further: “I have also determined that members of the RSF and allied militias have committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.” For the human rights activists who had pushed for the designation, it was a sweet victory. Such a determination can have important foreign policy implications, creating a legal designation for international crimes usually accompanied by limits on weapons and security assistance, economic sanctions, and other penalties. Yet something seemed off. Just over 1,100 miles from Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, well-documented war crimes were being carried out with impunity. But the State Department has been unwilling to make a similar determination in regard to Israel’s war on Gaza. “U.S. officials regularly — and often rightly — condemn the actions of other warring parties in other places like Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Sudan,” Sarah Yager, the Washington director at Human Rights Watch, told The Intercept. “But on Gaza, U.S. officials are avoiding passing judgment on Israel’s conduct”...

CNN staff say network’s pro-Israel slant amounts to ‘journalistic malpractice’ (Guardian)

CNN is facing a backlash from its own staff over editorial policies they say have led to a regurgitation of Israeli propaganda and the censoring of Palestinians perspectives in the network’s coverage of the war in Gaza. Journalists in CNN newsrooms in the US and overseas say broadcasts have been skewed by management edicts and a story-approval process that has resulted in highly partial coverage of the Hamas massacre on 7 October and Israel’s retaliatory attack on Gaza. “The majority of news since the war began, regardless of how accurate the initial reporting, has been skewed by a systemic and institutional bias within the network toward Israel,” said one CNN staffer. “Ultimately, CNN’s coverage of the Israel-Gaza war amounts to journalistic malpractice.” According to accounts from six CNN staffers in multiple newsrooms, and more than a dozen internal memos and emails obtained by the Guardian, daily news decisions are shaped by a flow of directives from the CNN headquarters in Atlanta that have set strict guidelines on coverage. They include tight restrictions on quoting Hamas and reporting other Palestinian perspectives while Israel government statements are taken at face value. In addition, every story on the conflict must be cleared by the Jerusalem bureau before broadcast or publication...

Fev 5, 1:29 am

>105 John5918: You might think the 15-2, sometimes 16-1 ICJ ruling would give the Biden administration and so many other democratic and republican pols pause. Not a chance......just straight on ahead. The way most of the world looks at the United States now......who cares......we'll just have to have blinders on. When Biden was asked whether the South Africans might have a real problem with us he doesn't see it at all. Why? Yeah why. It's like fuck off. And House Speaker Johnson has a bill ready to send Israel 17.6 billion dollars. The United States plans to pay Israel for their genocide on the Palestinians while at the same time maintaining the canard that we believe in a two state solution. What pisses some people off here when I say I'm not going vote for this shitbird in November (not the other one either) is that they know that other people aren't going to either and it won't matter in NYS where I reside but in other places? but if you can live with voting for this genocidal POS then go ahead but for me it t's one criminal or the other now and plain and simple I don't want to. I'll say as well there's no putting the horse back in the barn for me. 30 some thousand dead and everything else that comes with it with more to do you go back from that? You can't make it unhappen.

Fev 5, 11:29 am

US District Court Judge: “It is every individual’s obligation to confront the current siege in Gaza”

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Northern District of California ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by Palestinian-Americans and the Palestinian human rights group al-Haq against President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for their involvement in an Israeli genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza. White found that the suit had merit on the facts but that a district court could not overrule the president of the United States on foreign policy. That is, the conclusion of the case was more about the separation of powers than about whether the Biden administration is guilty of participating in a genocide.

The judge felt he had to dismiss the case, given a whole plethora of previous Supreme Court decisions. He clearly did so, however, with enormous regret.

White seems to be calling for mass political action by Americans on the issue. He asserted that “It is every individual’s obligation to confront the current siege in Gaza.” He went on to lament, however, “but it also this Court’s obligation to remain within the metes and bounds of its jurisdictional scope.”

He wrote in his conclusion,

“There are rare cases in which the preferred outcome is inaccessible to the Court. This is one of those cases. The Court is bound by precedent and the division of our coordinate branches of government to abstain from exercising jurisdiction in this matter. Yet, as the ICJ has found, it is plausible that Israel’s conduct amounts to genocide. This Court implores Defendants to examine the results of their unflagging support of the military siege against the Palestinians in Gaza.”
Here is a federal judge pleading with the president of the United States, the secretary of state, and the secretary of defense to cease their unstinting support for Israeli military tactics in Gaza that are so extensively harming the lives of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Editado: Fev 5, 12:01 pm

Belgium refuses to suspend funding for UNRWA. Israel bombs Belgian relief agency in Northern Gaza. Belgium summons Israeli ambassador to account.
(Democracy Now Headlines) (~3 mins in)

Fev 5, 12:20 pm

Anton Gerashchenko @Gerashchenko_en | 10:10 AM · Feb 5, 2024:

❗️Iran, Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises in the coming weeks, Iranian media reported on Monday, referring to the commander of the Islamic Republic's Navy, Rear Admiral Shahram Irani. The purpose of the exercises is "to ensure regional security in the common interest", the military commander said, according to Russian Interfax.

The exercises are scheduled to run until March 19. Last year, Iran, Russia and China held a joint exercise in the Arabian Sea called "Maritime Security Belt". Similar drills were also held earlier in 2019 and 2022.

Image ( )

Editado: Fev 5, 3:54 pm

From Democracy Now on Famine in Gaza:

Alex de Waal when asked about the famine and its consequences if all barriers to aid were lifted today answers that this crisis is 'like a speeding freight train and even if the driver puts his foot on the brake as hard as he possibly can it will take many miles for the train to stop'.

Fev 5, 11:11 pm

Until Israelis and Palestinians see more than a ‘faceless enemy’, there will never be peace (Guardian)

Each side must realise it has dehumanised the other to the extent that extremes of violence have been justified... I believe that what happened on 7 October and henceforth is the result of the failure of the peace process to change the long-held perceptions by Palestinian and Israeli societies. Namely, that those of the other side are no more trustworthy than the presence of a faceless enemy...

Fev 5, 11:15 pm

>110 lriley: even if the driver puts his foot on the brake as hard as he possibly can it will take many miles for the train to stop

I feel obliged to point out that while the second half of this sentence is correct, as it can indeed take a very long distance for a heavy freight train to stop, the first is inaccurate, as the driver does not stop the train by putting his foot on a brake, hard or otherwise. But everything else which Alex de Waal says is worth paying attention to. I know him personally, and he has been an expert on and a campaigner against genocide for decades, going back to the Nuba Mountains and Darfur genocides in Sudan.

Fev 6, 12:31 am

>112 John5918: Deliberately starving a population is an extremely evil act. People just don't drop dead in a few's a process of dying that goes through a variety of stages but also with any given individual there is a point of no return but even then usually a ways to go. A body without nutrition will eventually eat itself....the processes by which the body lives breaking down and collapsing one by one. Teeth will fall out, a person will go blind, bone marrow sucked out, organs shutting down are some things that can happen....basically anything or everything that sustains a living body can collapse. A great many of those starving are under 18.....limiting the flow of aid to them or shutting it down altogether is an obscenity. I don't believe that Biden really understands what he's aligning himself and our country with but all the same it's still criminal.

Fev 7, 11:26 pm

Netanyahu rejects Gaza ceasefire deal and says victory is ‘within reach’ (Guardian)

Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the terms of a ceasefire in Gaza proposed by Hamas and rebuffed US pressure to move more quickly towards a mediated settlement to the war, saying there could be no solution to Israel’s security issues except “absolute victory” over the militant group. The Israeli prime minister also confirmed that the Israel Defense Forces had been instructed to commence operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where the population has been swelled by hundreds of thousands of displaced people. In a sharp rebuff to the Biden administration and the visiting US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, Netanyahu said it would require months more fighting before Hamas was defeated...

Editado: Fev 8, 12:37 am

>114 John5918: The hostages at best have been a tertiary concern to Benjamin. His main concern is staying in power. Keeping the political coalition that keeps him in power together. It's those ferociously right wing political allies that are running him and FWIW running the governments of the USA and UK making those countries complicit in their genocide. Can't speak for the British so much but here in the United States it's like most of our federally elected pols have blinders on. They refuse to acknowledge what's going on in Gaza are war crimes and it's in stark and hypocritical contrast with how most of them look at the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So many of them have little to no respect for the American electorate that they'll ask to vote for them in November. It's like they expect us to believe their take their bs on faith. I might have almost no political power but I'm not a child....I can see. I've never seen Fetterman wave an American flag so hard from the top of his roof as the Israeli one the other day. Biden stumbling and stammering incoherently. As for Netanyahu--1) victory is within reach or 2) months perhaps a year or more away whichever best suits the purposes of the moment and may involve other nations which is even more stupid shit. There are limits to IDF forces....and when all their reservists have been recalled that takes a real huge chunk out their economy. A country of 15 million in which half the people are 'enemies' has only so many people to fight on even one front for some limited amount of time. It's like for him logistics don't matter. A lot of Israelis are for the war but at least the greater part want their hostages returned alive.

Fev 8, 12:52 am

>115 lriley:
Owen Jones can speak for the UK.
Exposed: Labour Plot To Purge Pro-Palestinian Left-Wing MPs

Fev 8, 1:16 am

>115 lriley:

And in the same way that you contrast the USA's stance on war crimes in Ukraine with its collusion with war crimes in Gaza, one can contrast the UK's stance on the Rohynga in Myanmar, where UK actually brought the case to the International Court of Justice, with not only its failure to support the ICJ case against Israel but its criticism of South Africa for even bringing the case.

In a private online conversation with a very senior South African churchman last week, he acknowledged that South Africa has had its ups and downs, but told me that in this instance "we are able to raise our heads with some pride as South Africans". Unfortunately the USA and UK governments have brought shame, not pride, on their own heads.

Fev 8, 4:25 am

People in Gaza are on the brink of famine. Observers believe the situation could get worse as several Western countries have frozen funding to UNRWA, the main aid agency in the besieged territory.
1:57 ( )

- DW News @dwnews | 3:07 AM · Feb 8, 2024

Fev 8, 7:42 am

>116 davidgn: I did see that the other day. Pull the support for the members district---give it someone more pliable who won't criticize your agenda. It's how Labour intends to silence those within their own party and marginalize the opinions of their own voter base and it doesn't seem like a great strategy....but apparently the former PM is one of the key figures behind this strategy.

Fev 8, 7:52 am

>117 John5918: Though the ICJ court was pretty much together on this it's turned into kind of conflict between the major powers in the Global North against pretty much everyone else. A lot of nations do look to the USA and UK for guidance on a lot of things but when powerful nations try to leverage truth it only points out their self interests to the harm of everyone else and it's very much a 'we are better than you' thing and calls into question international institutions and standards......whether there is such a thing as fairness and justice.

Editado: Fev 9, 10:57 pm

UNRWA staff accused by Israel sacked without evidence, chief admits (Guardian)

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has said he followed “reverse due process” in sacking nine staff members accused by Israel of being involved in Hamas’s 7 October attacks. Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA’s commissioner general, said he did not probe Israel’s claims against the employees before dismissing them and launching an investigation. At a press conference in Jerusalem, Lazzarini was asked if he had looked into whether there was any evidence against the employees and he replied: “No, the investigation is going on now.” He described the decision as “reverse due process”, adding: “I could have suspended them, but I have fired them. And now I have an investigation, and if the investigation tells us that this was wrong, in that case at the UN we will take a decision on how to properly compensate {them}.” Lazzarini said he made the “exceptional, swift decision” to terminate the contracts of the staff members due to the explosive nature of the claims. He added that the agency was already facing “fierce and ugly attacks” at a time when it was providing aid to nearly 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “Indeed, I have terminated without due process because I felt at the time that not only the reputation but the ability of the entire agency to continue to operate and deliver critical humanitarian assistance was at stake if I did not take such a decision,” he said. “My judgment, based on this going public, true or untrue, was I need to take the swiftest and boldest decision to show that as an agency we take this allegation seriously”... The UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services is investigating the allegations and is due to report its preliminary findings within weeks. A separate independent review of the agency’s risk management processes is being led by the former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna. Lazzarini said the agency was operating in a “hostile” environment and it had faced new “restrictions” since Israel’s allegations were made public...

Lazzarini obviously made an error here, although one can understand the pressure he was under. When allegations of any sort are made aganist an employee any time, any where, in any organisation the normal procedure is to suspend them while an investigation is carried out, and this due process is everyone's right, regardless of political pressure from a government which is itself allegedly commtting war crimes, or from other governments and donors who support the alleged genocidaires.

US orders 'assurances' from nations receiving American weapons (BBC)

US President Joe Biden has said that countries receiving American weapons must adhere to international law in a memorandum issued on Thursday night. The executive order requires foreign governments receiving military aid to provide written assurances that they are abiding by the laws of war. The move comes after the president admitted Israel had gone "over the top" in its response in Gaza. Since 1950, Israel has received more US military aid than any other nation. In the memorandum, President Biden said that "credible and reliable written assurances" must be provided to the US by foreign governments that receive American weapons to ensure they are used in accordance with international law. As part of this, foreign governments must also provide assurances that US humanitarian aid is being delivered to civilian populations caught in a conflict. The memorandum requires this information be shared with Congress periodically, as well as the US president. All 100 countries receiving US weapons must sign the assurances in the next 180 days. But those involved in active conflicts, including Israel, have just 45 days to reply to the order...

A step in the right direction, but it remains to be seen whether the USA has the political will to enforce this. Will it cease providing weapons to Israel in 45 days if Israel fails to provide the necessary assurances?

Fev 10, 9:25 am

>121 John5918: Does the Biden administration think a written assurance is some kind of get out of jail free card?.....that words on a piece of paper can deflect a charge of genocide when the reality is Israel still commits war crimes with US complicity? If we were to ask Netanyahu or Gallant or the other Israeli military brass whether they were committing war crimes they will say no......even that they've been doing all they can do to protect civilians. So is that enough for Biden? because so far these last 4 months it appears to be enough for Biden.

Fev 10, 11:42 pm

Israeli soldier videos from Gaza could breach international law, experts say (BBC)

Videos of Gazan detainees stripped, bound and blindfolded that were filmed and uploaded online by Israeli soldiers could breach international law, legal experts say. International law says detainees must not be exposed to unnecessary humiliation or public curiosity...

Fev 11, 2:29 am

>123 John5918: Israel is supposed to come back to the ICJ in a week or so detailing the concrete steps they've put into action to stop their genocidal actions. I don't expect they will come back with anything and they certainly haven't stopped or even tapped their brakes. There seemingly is much more for them to answer to. The United States and maybe a few other European nations are more worried about it than they are. So a question will be will some of Israel's closest allies drop them? because that happening and especially if it's the United States might actually have some real impact. For Biden though IMO he's caught himself between a rock and a hard place because a very large portion of his own democratic caucus I believe will not be happy if he acts in any way against the Israelis and with an election not so far away that might hurt in unifying his party which has already taken a hit at least at street level from his stance against the Palestinians. Michigan flies away.

For both democrats and republicans it's pretty much too late to change horses. The one could still end up in prison and the other in the World Court for war crimes. Dumbasses both. Cognitively on the decline? Yeah both of them for that too. Biden tried to defend himself on that today too but we've hardly seen him at all for any number of more important happenings up until now but he's stung over that so much that that's what's important to him.

Fev 12, 10:45 pm

UK places sanctions on Israeli settlers for ‘forcing’ Palestinians from their land (Guardian)

The UK has imposed sanctions against four Israeli nationals, saying they were “extremist settlers” who had violently attacked Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The measures impose strict financial and travel restrictions on the four individuals, who Britain said were involved in “egregious abuses of human rights”. “Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs,” the UK foreign secretary, David Cameron, said. “This behaviour is illegal and unacceptable. Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence. Too often, we see commitments made and undertakings given, but not followed through.” The Foreign Office said there had been unprecedented levels of violence by settlers in the West Bank over the past year. Announcing the restrictions, the Foreign Office said Israel’s “failure to act” had led to “an environment of near total impunity for settler extremists”, with violence in the West Bank reaching record levels in 2023...

Fev 13, 11:21 pm

Israel in breach of international law if it denies Gaza food and water, says UK foreign secretary (Guardian)

David Cameron issues stark warning... Israel is in breach of international law as the occupying power if it fails to provide food and water to the people of Gaza, the UK foreign secretary, Lord Cameron, told peers on Tuesday in his clearest warning yet over Israel’s conduct. He also said it was simply not possible for people in Rafah to leave as proposed by the Israeli Defense Forces, remarks that suggest the UK would not endorse any Israeli plan to mount a full-scale attack on the area containing more than 1 million people in crowded refugee camps. He also argued the US was beginning to shift on when Palestine might be recognised so Israel was no longer given a veto. He said: “The people who are in Rafah on many occasions have already moved three, four or five times. And it’s not possible to move again, they can’t go north because they’d be going back to homes that have been destroyed. They can’t go south, because that would involve going into Egypt, which none of us want to see and the Egyptians do not want to see. “That is why it’s so important, the Israelis stop and think before going ahead with any operations and wrap up.” His comments came as the US said it was reviewing reports that Israel had harmed civilians in Gaza, under a set of guidelines aimed at ensuring countries receiving US arms conduct military operations in line with international humanitarian law. State department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the process was taking place under the Civilian Harm Incident Response Guidance (CHIRG), which is used to investigate specific incidents where civilians may have been harmed by US weapons. The Biden administration has faced criticism for continuing to supply arms to Israel as allegations pile up that American-made weapons have been used in strikes that have killed or injured civilians...

UN warns attack on Rafah could lead to 'slaughter' (BBC)

A top UN official has warned an Israeli assault on Rafah, Gaza's southernmost city, could lead to a "slaughter". Humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said Palestinians in Gaza were already suffering an "assault that is unparalleled in its intensity, brutality and scope". The consequences of an invasion of Rafah would be "catastrophic", he said...

Fev 14, 12:27 pm

Biden inches away from Netanyahu as Israeli PM fails to heed US on Gaza
David Smith | 14 Feb 2024

...Brett Bruen, a former global engagement director for the Barack Obama White House, said: “Biden went out on a limb for him and part of that effort is that Netanyahu, even if it was not explicitly said, needed to do the minimum to keep things from getting untenable for Biden. And yet it seems as though Netanyahu’s back to his old way of operating, and that’s going to prove costly because Biden now has a pretty strong justification for taking a harder line.”

Bruen, the president of the public affairs agency Global Situation Room, added: “It’s fair to say that the relationship is on the brink of breaking. With the president, you have an unstated expectation that we’ve known each other for a while and therefore can call on some of those favours from time to time and it clearly isn’t working. So you’ve not only alienated key members of the cabinet but also folks who are critical for Biden’s re-election effort.”...

Editado: Fev 14, 10:20 pm

Crackdown on Palestinian Solidarity Exceeds Reagan-Era Activist Repression (truthout)

Efforts to silence and intimidate human rights activists must be challenged, no matter who is perpetrating them. Historically, would-be authoritarians of various stripes have used the threat of other forms of authoritarianism to consolidate their own power. We saw this during the Cold War, when the alleged threat of communism led to everything from McCarthyism in the United States to right-wing military coups in Latin America. We are seeing this again today, as some of President Joe Biden’s supporters attack, belittle, and impinge the motivation of peace and human rights activists who oppose his support for Israel’s genocidal war on the population of Gaza. Such supporters often use the specter of a Trump victory — and employ legislative and legal means — to suppress these activists’ valid criticisms. During the 1980s, critics of Ronald Reagan’s support for the Salvadoran junta and Nicaraguan contras — who were responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths — routinely had their patriotism questioned and were accused of supporting communism and a Soviet takeover. Similarly, peace and human rights activists who have criticized President Biden’s policies are being routinely attacked as supporters of Trump, fascism, Russia or Hamas “terrorism”...

United States Actions in Yemen Helped Create Current Crisis (The Progressive Magazine)

If the U.S. had supported pro-democracy forces in 2011, the current situation might be very different. There are a number of issues of concern regarding the U.S.-led bombing campaign against Houthi targets in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world. Like other military operations ordered by the President without Congressional authorization, it raises serious constitutional questions. The strikes have thus far not had the intended effect of curbing Houthi attacks on international shipping. They have undermined the UN-led peace process to finally end that country’s nine-year civil war. Not surprisingly, there is a degree of incredulity in the Biden Administration’s claim that “We will continue to work to avoid a wider conflict in the region” while bombing Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Moreover, the United States may have played a significant role in bringing the Houthis—once a small rebel group representing a minority tribe in the north of Yemen—to control nearly three-quarters of the western part of that country, where the vast majority of its thirty-three million people live. Middle Eastern governments may condemn Israel’s war on Gaza and criticize the United States for supporting it, but none of them dare to take on Israel or the United States directly. Irregular groups, however—as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis, and various militias operating in Syria and Iraq—have more freedom of action. In doing so, they increase their power and influence among the region’s peoples angered by the ongoing mass killing of Palestinian civilians and their governments’ inability or unwillingness to act. Becoming the victims of bombing by the United States and its allies has actually strengthened the Houthis politically. Despite widespread opposition to the Houthis, millions of Yemenis have taken to the streets in protest of the bombing. While the pro-Iran militias in Iraq and Syria, also subjected to U.S. air strikes, may indeed be considered proxies of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s ties to the Houthis are more indirect. Though Iran has supplied some weaponry to the group, the Houthis have their own origins and political agenda. Their attacks on ships in the Red Sea are not on behalf of Iran, but out of a sincere sense of solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza and a desire to advance their standing in Yemen—where their rule is decidedly unpopular and has been met by years of popular protests...

A message to Joe Biden: a Palestinian state must be based on these three pillars (Guardian)

Territory cannot be acquired by force, the far right in Israel must be shunned, and there must be genuine reform of the Palestinian National Council...

Fev 15, 1:49 pm

Meanwhile the IDF has attacked the last functioning hospital in the Gaza Strip. I'm hearing before the assault they sent a Palestinian prisoner into the hospital in handcuffs to tell civilians to clear out....that the attack was about to happen. That this handcuffed prisoner's mother was inside and begged him not to leave and that the prisoner told his mother that he was told by the IDF that if he didn't go back out the IDF would go in and start massacring them all....and as soon as the handcuffed prisoner went outside he was shot dead by the IDF and then the attack began. Also a story in the WSJ about the United States maybe opening an investigation into whether the IDF is using white phosphorus against civilian targets......whatever that will mean if the investigation decides they have.

It's clearly one war crime after the other. The Biden administration at best wringing their hands saying we told them not to.....but still keen to show support both in word and deed. The US congress or at least the Senate as well. When your elected politicians are owned and beholden to lobbyist groups both domestic and foreign.

Fev 15, 9:17 pm
The young man, bound by zip-tie cuffs, delivered his Israeli captors’ message but was shot as he tried to walk out of the hospital gate.
Kavitha Chekuru
February 14 2024, 1:27 p.m.

Editado: Fev 15, 10:40 pm

>130 davidgn: There is no low that the IDF and the current Israel regime won't go to. Every day there is some new kind of atrocity. The Biden administration and most American politicians cover their ears and eyes and when they speak it's as if this shit that we see isn't happening. We've sent them 2000 lb. dumb bombs. We've sent them white phosphorus. They're more than happy to use them to maximum effect on civilians....women and children, the elderly and the infirm. Biden supposedly tells Israel to put the brakes on again and again and again and again the Israelis ignore him but he still sends them whatever they ask for. Mike Pence signs his name to tank shells.....this is a guy that trades on his christianity. Biden and Pence....two christian zionists. It won't be long before masses of Palestinians keel over from starvation either. All in the name of supporting this ally no matter what it does. They don't see and they don't want the rest of us to see either......only to believe their lies.

Editado: Fev 16, 3:45 am

Sharing on sight.
JSOC Spun Up For Hostage Rescue In Gaza w/ Jack Murphy | EYES ON | Ep. 5

Apparently regarding a November publication. Should do a better job of following Murphy.

Gaza Hostage Crisis Led To "Unprecedented" Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 Deployment
JSOC is preparing for a long campaign supporting the Israeli incursion into Gaza

NOV 7, 2023

When Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer said Oct. 12 on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the Biden administration was “not contemplating” putting troops on the ground in Gaza to rescue the dozen or so American hostages captured during Hamas’ Oct. 7 raid into southern Israel, Joint Special Operations Command was already planning a rescue operation.

JSOC (pronounced “jay-sock”), which controls special mission units like the Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta (commonly known as Delta Force) and the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, and which conducts the United States’ most sensitive national-level special operations missions, had been informed by the Defense Department that the administration wanted to see “something” in terms of a plan of action to rescue the American citizens, a special operations official told The High Side.

In response, according to current and former U.S. government officials, JSOC conducted one of the biggest deployments in its history. But since those forces arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean, the command has seen its chances of launching a hostage rescue mission wax and wane, based on both the quality of the intelligence available and the shifting priorities of the Israeli and U.S. governments. In the meantime, no U.S. military personnel are known to have entered Gaza.

Fev 16, 7:54 pm

Vast majority of Israelis support new Lebanon invasion: poll
Most Israelis say their government should carry out a full-scale attack in Lebanon to destroy Hezbollah, a poll conducted by the Maariv newspaper has shown.

Oh, it's looking more every day like they'll get it, even if it's clear they're the only ones who want it. They're also about to get their asses handed to them. Which means: we'll also get it.

Editado: Fev 17, 12:42 am

>133 davidgn: They would really like to drag the United States into this.....the Brits too. I remember Malaparte in his Kaputt book calling WWII era Germans Kranken Volk....literally 'sick people' in that the Nazi era racist ideology got in the way of any kind of common sense. Institutionalized arrogance about one's superiority to others. This would be another case of 'logistics be damned we're doing it anyway' and winning any war really comes down to logistics. Occupation though is another sometimes even bigger challenge. Israel has only so much manpower. Israel has only so much in resources and is dependent on others to make up the difference, even that if they take things too far with not enough manpower is a recipe for their own disaster.....and if the ideology of their people is built on shit and it's a nation led by people mad with power and ambition it'll eventually end up with every kind of destruction in its wake including self destruction. Biden, Sunak/Starmer might think of themselves as zionists....Trump if he returned might look to join also but it's already not very popular either in the United States or Britain among the public and I don't think there's a sales job any of them can do at this point to turn that around. Almost the entirety of the rest of the world I suspect will be dead set against Israel expanding the atrocities they're doing to the Palestinians to another nation as well Hezbollah/Lebanon is a significantly bigger problem than Hamas ever was. It's one thing to wage war against a mostly defenseless civilian population.....

Editado: Fev 18, 4:51 am

I fear we may not be hearing reportage from Amb. Murray regarding the ICJ this time around.

https:// www. craigmurray. org. uk/ archives/ 2024/ 02/ life

I do apologise for the break in articles. Exacerbating the problems of leading an itinerant life, I have suffered a series of remarkable thefts, including of phone, wallet, money and passport, which have caused me a huge amount of disruption.

Fev 18, 8:07 am

>135 davidgn: Coincidence?

Editado: Fev 18, 6:46 pm

>136 John5918: Will be interesting to see whether the FCO deigns to issue him another passport, won't it? (Worse, I imagine that might require him to set foot in a UK consulate or embassy, which might also have been the point).

Editado: Fev 18, 11:09 pm

Starmer says Gaza fighting ‘must stop now’ and warns against Rafah assault (Guardian)

Keir Starmer has said the “fighting must stop now” in Gaza, warning Israel not to extend its military offensive to the southern city of Rafah ahead of another potential crunch point for his party over the crisis. The Labour leader made the comments in a speech to the Scottish Labour conference in Glasgow, where he has faced renewed pressure ahead of a crucial Commons vote on Wednesday over a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire...

This is an important signal given that Keir Starmer will almost certainly be the UK's prime minister within the next twelve months, but action is obviously needed immediately to save innocent lives in Gaza now.

Editado: Fev 19, 10:51 pm

Palestinian minister accuses Israel of ‘colonialism and apartheid’ at ICJ (Guardian)

The Palestinian foreign minister has accused Israel of “colonialism and apartheid” at a world court hearing on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands since 1967. “For over a century, the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination has been denied and violated,” Riyad al-Maliki told a bench of judges at the international court of justice (ICJ), the UN’s highest court, in The Hague. “Palestine was not a land without people. It was not, as Israeli leaders have described it, a wasteland. There was life on this land.” He was presenting the Palestinian case at the start of a week of hearings called for by a UN general assembly vote in 2022...

Gaza doctors: ‘We leave patients to scream for hours and hours’ (BBC)

Doctors across Gaza have described operating on patients without anaesthetic, turning people with chronic conditions away, and treating rotting wounds with limited medical supplies. "Because of the shortage of painkillers we leave patients to scream for hours and hours," one told the BBC. The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the state of healthcare in Gaza as being "beyond words". It said 23 hospitals in Gaza were not functioning at all as of Sunday - 12 were partially functioning and one minimally. The health agency said air strikes and a lack of supplies have "depleted an already under-resourced system"...

Fev 20, 7:08 am

margd: Reuters (last link in this post) seems to have most comprehensive analysis(?), if you read only one.

Israel-Hamas war live updates: U.S. pushes for temporary Gaza cease-fire at U.N. vote
The U.S. has vowed to veto a resolution calling for a full cease-fire introduced by Algeria.
NBC News | 19 Feb 2024

Barak Ravid {Axios} @BarakRavid | 4:04 PM · Feb 19, 2024:
The U.S. draft security council resolution isn't really a shift in U.S. policy in Gaza. Here is the text: "The Security Council underscores its support for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on a formula of all hostages being released". Nothing new here

US proposes UN resolution calling for ‘temporary ceasefire’ in Gaza
The proposed resolution by Israel’s chief ally also warns it not to launch an offensive in Rafah.
Aljazeera | 19 Feb 2024
...For the first time, the US is proposing the word ceasefire. … That is significant because Israel did not want the word ceasefire in any resolution, and now it is the US which is proposing it...

Bruno Maçães @MacaesBruno | 10:28 PM · Feb 19, 2024:
Author “Dawn of Eurasia,” “Belt and Road,” “History Has Begun,” “Geopolitics for the End Time,” forthcoming “Masters of the Metaverse.” - Foreign correspondent.
Just a few days ago the US said Rafah offensive could proceed, so this needs to be followed. I don’t know if it signals a change or what the reasons for that change are. Israeli media not as interested as the FT (Financial Times)…
"US warns Israel against ground offensive into Rafah in draft UN resolution. Text seen by Financial Times also calls for ‘temporary ceasefire’ in Gaza" (

Richard Gowan @RichardGowan1 | 8:19 PM · Feb 19, 2024:
UN Director @crisisgroup, with long history of UN-watching...
I tell michellenichols @Reuters that the draft USUN #UNSC resolution #Gaza is a "warning shot" to #Netanyahu.
The U.S. is not deserting #Israel UN, but it is signalling doubts about Israel's strategy more clearly than before...
"US pushes for UN to support temporary Gaza ceasefire, oppose Rafah assault" (

Fev 20, 7:38 am

>140 margd: temporary ceasefire on condition of all hostages being released doesn't mean that Israel releases thousands of Palestinians they are holding without charge....only those Israelis still alive who were taken by Hamas on Oct. 7......and as far as a temporary ceasefire then right after those Hamas prisoners are released we should expect Israel starts bombing and pushing its genocide forward again....well what exactly would 'temporary' mean? It will mean whatever the Israeli govt. decides it will mean no matter how the media portray Biden or his ministers wagging their finger(s) at them. So again the United States under charge of the Biden administration is complicit in all the war crimes Israel is doing. It's not just sending them the's the governmental and media portrayal of the what's happened and what's happening which deliberately ignores the situation on the ground for the most benign portrayals of what Israel ministers say and what the IDF are doing. It's the games we're playing at the UN in the Security Council. And FWIW whatever moral high ground we had defending the Ukrainians against Putin's Russian invasion is now gone. It's evaporated before the world's eyes. As much as we claim Putin is guilty of war crimes our current political leaders are too. And I don't what use the UN will be if they can't take control and put this situation to rights. Maybe it's the beginning of the end for the UN and FWIW who needs it if it doesn't work.

Fev 20, 8:38 am

>141 lriley: It means long enough to open up the northern front. The preparatory strike on alleged weapons depots in Sidon is entirely consistent with that, and the grapevine seems to think it's a go. This is going to go to shit, and fast.

Fev 20, 10:29 am

>141 lriley: And I don't what use the UN will be if they can't take control and put this situation to rights

Once again the fundamental weakness of the UN comes to the fore, namely that there are just five states out of 193 which have a veto and can thus manipulate or block anything meaningful which virtually all the other 188 states might support.

Fev 20, 12:26 pm

>143 John5918: Agreed. Some nations better than others should not be how it is.

Fev 21, 11:08 pm

Israel-Gaza: UK aid supplies air-dropped into Gaza for first time (BBC)

The UK has air-dropped aid into Gaza for the first time since war broke out after striking a deal with Jordan. Four tonnes of supplies including medicines, food and fuel were delivered into the strip on a Jordanian Air Force plane on Wednesday. Packages fitted with parachutes floated down to the Tal Al-Hawa Hospital in northern Gaza. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the aid would save lives and keep the hospital running. The UK has until now only sent aid to Gaza by land and sea, but northern Gaza - a wasteland after nearly five months of war - is impossible to reach. The World Food Programme has suspended deliveries there because its convoys had endured "complete chaos and violence", the organisation said... The British Jordanian delivery contained diesel, critical medical equipment and ration packs for patients and medical staff. As the last pallet sailed into the night sky, the Jordanian air crew saluted. It landed right on target, they said... The UK Foreign Office said it signed an agreement with Jordan earlier this week which will see £1m ($1.2m) worth of UK aid sent to Gaza. Commenting on the deal, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said: "Thousands of patients will benefit and the fuel will enable this vital hospital to continue its life saving work. However, the situation in Gaza is desperate and significantly more aid is needed - and fast. We are calling for an immediate humanitarian pause to allow additional aid into Gaza as quickly as possible and bring hostages home."

Fev 22, 11:02 am

Israeli officials admit: IDF has no concrete plan for Rafah invasion - report

...Israeli officials have privately admitted that the IDF has no "precise" strategy for the invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah..."{Israeli} officials acknowledge in private they have no precise strategy for how to {attack in Rafah}, how long it will take or where the people will go."

Speaking to Bloomberg on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his call for the IDF to draw up a plan for evacuating Palestinian civilians from the southermost city in the Strip...

Editado: Fev 22, 12:57 pm

Netanyahu knows that he will never be the leader of Israel again. He wants to be regarded in the history books as the Israeli leader who completely annihilated HAMAS and Gaza during his watch.

Fev 22, 10:46 pm

Claims of Israeli sexual assault of Palestinian women are credible, UN panel says (Guardian)

UN experts say they have seen “credible allegations” that Palestinian women and girls have been subjected to sexual assaults, including rape, while in Israeli detention, and are calling for a full investigation. The panel of experts said there was evidence of a least two cases of rape, alongside other cases of sexual humiliation and threats of rape. Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said the true extent of sexual violence could be significantly higher. “We might not know for a long time what the actual number of victims are,” said Alsalem, who was appointed special rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2021. She noted that reticence in reporting sexual assault was common because of the fear of reprisals against victims. She said that in a wave of detentions of Palestinian women and girls after the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on 7 October, there was an increasingly permissive attitude towards sexual assault in Israeli detention centres. “I would say that, on the whole, violence and dehumanisation of Palestinian women and children and civilians has been normalised throughout this war,” Alsalem said. There was evidence of widespread sexual violence by Hamas against Israeli women and girls during the 7 October raid in southern Israel. The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel has reported that the use of rape and other abuse by the Hamas attackers was “systematic and intentional”. Those assaults, which were also condemned by Alsalem and the other UN experts, are to be the subject of a report by the UN secretary general’s special envoy on sexual violence, Pramila Patten. Alsalem said she did not know whether Patten’s report would cover the allegations of rape and sexual assault of Palestinians women and girls, but that she was hoping to discuss the issue with her...

Editado: Ontem, 8:28 am

Opinion | Netanyahu's Messianic Coalition Partners Want an All-out Regional War. Gaza Is Just a First Step
The ultimate aim of this gang is "purging" the West Bank of its Palestinian inhabitants, cleansing the Temple Mount of its Muslim worshippers and annexing the territories to the state of Israel. This aim will not be achieved without extensive violent conflict. Armageddon
Ehud Olmert
Feb 22, 2024

The supreme aim of the far-right duo National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is not the occupation of the Gaza Strip.
Even settlement throughout the devastated Strip is not the final goal of the bunch of messianic hallucinators that has seized power in the state of Israel. Gaza is just the introductory chapter, the platform this gang wants to build as the foundation upon which the real fight they are eyeing will be conducted: the battle for the West Bank and the Temple Mount.
The ultimate aim of this gang is "purging" the West Bank of its Palestinian inhabitants, cleansing the Temple Mount of its Muslim worshippers and annexing the territories to the state of Israel. The way to achieve this goal is blood-soaked. Israeli blood, in the state and in the territories it has been controlling for 57 years now, as well as Jewish blood in places elsewhere in the world. As well as a lot of Palestinian blood, of course, in the territories, in Jerusalem and if there is no alternative – also among Arab citizens of Israel.
This aim will not be achieved without extensive violent conflict. Armageddon. All-out war. In the south, in Jerusalem, in the territories of the West Bank and to the extent necessary also on the northern border. Such a war will bolster the impression that we are fighting for our lives, for our very existence. In a war for survival, it is permissible to do insufferable things, and the hilltop youth are proving daily that among them are many who are capable of precisely that.
This gang of pogromists has been successful in the first stage prior to the uproar and all-out war that they apparently hope will erupt here. They have taken control of the government of Israel and have made the man who heads it into their servant. The possibility that they will dismantle the government and kick the prime minister out of running the matters of state is not outlandish. It is a process that is taking place at this very moment, step by step.
First, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich decided in effect to sacrifice the hostages. With the intention of preventing the possibility of an end to the successful military campaign that has thus far brought impressive successes to the Israel Defense Forces, even if at a high price. It is clear that we are far from "total victory." Such a victory is not possible. Even if the military action continues for many more months, the price it is exacting is not worth the "vision" of a victory there is no real possibility of achieving.
Continuing the military action now will drag Israel into Rafah – and that is what they want. Such a move will palpably and immediately endanger the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. There is no doubt that Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and also the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia are all hoping for Hamas to crash and collapse. However, Egypt knows there is a considerable chance that continuation of Israeli military activity will stir the Muslim Brotherhood out of its dormancy.
Egypt has already seen how the Egyptian regime imposed harsh military discipline to block those fundamentalist extremist elements. It was not able to withstand demonstrations by hundreds of thousands at Tahrir Square in the heart of the capital, Cairo. Only tremendous effort, with tacit backing from the international community, enabled more moderate elements headed by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi to take back control in Egypt and lead it as a diplomatic and military entity that is helping to stabilize the Middle East.
Sissi and the military leadership will not take a risk that is liable to plunge Egypt into chaos from which it will be difficult to save itself. Continuation of the military campaign in Rafah, which is overcrowded with more than a million Palestinians, is exactly the fuse that will ignite the streets of Egypt's cities, and after that also those in Jordan – another country whose relations with Israel are essential to our security.
Before events degenerate, we will be facing several Arab countries that will have lost the remnants of the trust they have in the ability to create a relationship based on cooperation with Israel. However, the United States of America – the ally that inspiringly leapt to help Israel in its moment of unprecedented crisis, when the government was in shock and its leader had lost his last shreds of good judgment and responsibility – will take measures that will shake up Israel's ability to conduct the military and diplomatic battle and its economic stability.
Amid all this, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to set the Temple Mount on fire. When the riots start around freedom of worship for the Muslim citizens of Israel and the Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem – an extensive wave of terror will crest. This decision is deserving of special condemnation in light of the recent manifestations by Israeli Arab citizens of responsibility and solidarity with the distress their country is experiencing.

Instead of respecting the Arab community's solidarity, Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir are antagonizing it and inciting against it. Every reasonable person can certainly see this inevitable dynamic. Ben-Gvir and Smotrich and with them the violent hilltop youth and many others in the territories, who are still maintaining a degree of restraint, also understand this.
There is no way to explain their conduct apart from the understanding that this is exactly what they want. This is what they are hoping for. And when the wave of terror erupts, the messianic hallucinators will explain to us that force is necessary to prevent terror. Thus, war will seethe throughout the West Bank.
And we haven't said anything yet about the northern border. It is possible to try to reach understandings with Lebanon about a solution to the border issue, which could tame the flames that have already been lit there and have forced tens of thousands of Israelis to flee their homes.
Possibly sensible, restrained management without boastful declarations and endless threats will create an equation that will enable Hezbollah to depict the appearance of an achievement by a solution to the years-long conflict focused on a few points along the current border and justify withdrawal to the line north of Lebanon's Litani River. This would enable Israel to restore the feeling of security to inhabitants of the Galilee and bring them home for another 17 years of quiet. As was accomplished by the Second Lebanon War.
But Ben-Gvir and Smotrich do not want quiet on the northern front. A war there too will only reinforce the claim that there is no choice but to destroy all our enemies, on all the fronts, in all the sectors – whatever the price of this conflict may be.
The prime minister understands the inevitable consequences arising from this total surrender to the gang of pogromists that controls his government. He sees, he understands, but he collaborates. Ultimately (and perhaps a priori), Netanyahu is prepared to relinquish the hostages and undermine the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, which are essential pillars in the state of Israel's security infrastructure.
He is prepared to undermine relations with the United States to the point of a visible crisis with the president most committed ever to Israel's security, Joe Biden. Netanyahu understands that the continued reckless process will lead to Israel's isolation in the international community as it has never experienced before. Things are so dire that there is no way to avoid saying them loud and clear: Netanyahu, this will end in a lot more blood. Take heed – you have been warned.