Showing posts with label Palestine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palestine. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Rights Group Says Netanyahu Visit Puts US Complicity in Spotlight

"U.S. officials are well aware of the mounting evidence that Israeli forces have committed war crimes in Gaza," said Human Rights Watch.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington, D.C. ahead of his planned speech to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress, a leading human rights organization said Tuesday that the visit by Israel's deeply unpopular leader shines a spotlight on the American government's complicity in atrocities committed in the Gaza Strip.

"U.S. officials are well aware of the mounting evidence that Israeli forces have committed war crimes in Gaza, including most likely with U.S. weapons," Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director Tirana Hassan said in a statement. "U.S. lawmakers should be seriously concerned about the liability risks of continuing to provide arms and intelligence based on Israel's flimsy assurances that it's abiding by the laws of war."

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Israeli Lawmakers Vote Against Palestinian Statehood

By Jessica Corbett 

"In essence, the Israeli Knesset voted to continue to wipe Palestine off the map," said one critic.

While Israel's troops wage what has been widely decried as genocide on the Gaza Strip, Israeli lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing "the establishment of a Palestinian state" west of the Jordan River.

The measure passed Israel's legislature, the Knesset, 68-9. It was spearheaded by Knesset Member Zeev Elkin of New Hope - The United Right, who shared the key messages from the resolution on social media along with a photo of the final tally.

According to Religious Zionism-affiliated Israel National News:

The proposal says, "The Israeli Knesset firmly opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan. The establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the land of Israel will pose an existential threat to the state of Israel and its citizens, perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and destabilize the region."

"It will only be a matter of a short time until Hamas takes over the Palestinian state and turns it into a base of radical Islamic terrorism, working in coordination with the axis led by Iran, to eliminate the state of Israel."

"The promotion of the idea of the Palestinian state will be a reward for terrorism and will only encourage Hamas and its supporters who will see this as a victory thanks to the massacre of October 7, 2023, and a prelude to the takeover of jihadist Islam in the Middle East," the proposal reads.

Since the Hamas-led October attack on Israel, Israeli forces have killed at least 38,794 Palestinians and wounded another 89,364, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health. Thousands more remain missing and believed dead beneath the rubble of bombed buildings.

In addition to destroying civilian infrastructure across the Hamas-governed coastal enclave, Israel has restricted the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, even as people starve and the remaining hospitals operate at a limited capacity.

Israel faces a South Africa-led genocide case at the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders.

"What is happening in Gaza is going down as the most documented genocide in history," Riyad Mansour, Palestine's permanent observer at the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. "When will the world denounce the crimes and stop tolerating their reoccurrence?"

The Knesset vote against a two-state solution comes as Netanyahu prepares for a trip to the United States—whose government has provided political and weapons support for Israel's war. The prime minister is supposed to meet U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House next Monday before addressing a joint session of Congress, though the American leader is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.

"The measure was intended as a way to apply pressure on Netanyahu, since he is likely to face opposite pressure from U.S. officials on a hostage deal that could include future discussions of Palestinian sovereignty," The Jerusalem Postreported Wednesday. "Netanyahu himself was not present at the vote."

As the newspaper detailed:

Notably, National Unity chairman MK Benny Gantz supported the proposal alongside three other members of his party, which is considered centrist. The three were MKs Michael Biton, Pnina Tameno-Shete, and Chili Tropper.

Gantz said after the vote, "National Unity is committed in any future political scenario, as long as it exists, to preserve the Jewish and democratic identity of the state of Israel, and to stand up for its historical right and security interests."

Members of various other parties—Netanyahu's Likud, Otzma Yehudit, Religious Zionism, Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Yisrael Beytenu—also voted in favor of the resolution.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

'Dangerous Precedent': Record AIPAC Spending Helps George Latimer Defeat Jamaal Bowman

By Jake Johnson

"Jamaal and our movement were such a threat to right-wing power, to GOP megadonors, and to AIPAC's influence in Congress that they had to spend $15 million to defeat us," said one progressive organizer.

Progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman lost his reelection bid in New York's 16th Congressional District on Tuesday to an establishment-backed county official whose campaign was propelled by nearly $15 million in spending by AIPAC's Republican-funded super PAC.

The United Democracy Project's (UDP) spending made the Democratic primary contest the most expensive House race in U.S. history. According to a Sludge analysis of independent election expenditures dating back to 2001, UDP's $14.5 million onslaught to oust Bowman was "more than any other group besides those affiliated with a political party has ever spent on a House election."

The investment paid off, with Westchester County Executive George Latimer leading Bowman by a margin of 58% to 42% with close to 90% of the vote counted in the 16th District, which was redrawn ahead of the 2022 midterms to include more of suburban Westchester County and less of the Bronx.

Bowman, a former Bronx middle school principal who won his House seat in 2020 by defeating AIPAC favorite Eliot Engel, said in his concession speech late Tuesday that "we should be outraged when a super PAC of dark money can spend $20 million to brainwash people into believing something that isn't true."

"When we say 'Free Palestine,' it is not antisemitic," said Bowman, one of the House's most vocal critics of Israel's assault on Gaza. A majority of Democratic voters in the U.S. believe Israel is committing genocide in the Palestinian enclave, according to a recent survey.

"I would like to make a public apology for sometimes using foul language," he added, referring to remarks he made during a rally over the weekend. "But we should not be well-adjusted to a sick society."

"If you stand by while far-right groups try to buy elections, you further alienate and disillusion the young voters and voters of color you need to reelect Joe Biden this November."

Alexandra Rojas of Justice Democrats, the progressive group that recruited Bowman for the 2020 contest against Engel, said late Tuesday that "Jamaal and our movement were such a threat to right-wing power, to GOP megadonors, and to AIPAC's influence in Congress that they had to spend $15 million to defeat us."

"This demonstrates the power of our people-funded movement, the strength that any single progressive with the moral clarity to stand up to far-right interests has, and just how on defense AIPAC really is," said Rojas. "AIPAC knows the future is not on their side, so they have no choice but to overwhelm, confuse, and depress voters with a flood of dark money to generate support for their candidates. That's exactly why they pledged to spend an unprecedented $100 million to unseat the Squad this year."

Rojas said her organization is now turning its attention to Rep. Cori Bush's (D-Mo.) August 6 primary against St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, whose campaign is backed by AIPAC and Republican donors—including a billionaire CEO from St. Louis.

"We cannot give in to hopelessness or cynicism—we must fight back, NOW," said Rojas. "Let's come together in this difficult moment and do what it takes to stop AIPAC from unseating another one of our progressive champions this summer."

While Bowman fell to Latimer, another Squad member—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—cruised to victory in her primary, winning more than 80% of the vote against investment banker Marty Dolan. AIPAC's super PAC did not spend in the race, according to available disclosures.

"Wall Street came for us again, and the people prevailed," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter following her victory. "Thank you to the Bronx and Queens for choosing me to be your congresswoman."

Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), another Squad member, also fended off a primary challenge earlier this year, overcoming a torrent of right-wing dark money. AIPAC sat out this year's race after failing to defeat Lee in 2022.

But Emgage, a PAC that works to turn out Muslim American voters, said Tuesday that Bowman's defeat at the hands of a candidate loaded with UDP cash "sets a dangerous precedent for groups like AIPAC to influence local elections and crush people-led politics."

"It should sound the alarm for Democrats and Americans across the country who believe in collective organizing to advance positive change for communities that are often sidelined in American politics," the group said. Axios reported Wednesday that some House Democrats are quietly "grumbling" about AIPAC's massive spending to defeat Bowman.

"The number is gross... I don't like it," one unnamed Democratic lawmaker told the outlet.

Aru Shiney-Ajay, executive director of the youth-led Sunrise Movement, echoed Emgage's message, saying in a statement that "Democrats should see this race as a massive warning for November."

"If you stand by while far-right groups try to buy elections, you further alienate and disillusion the young voters and voters of color you need to reelect Joe Biden this November," said Shiney-Ajay. "Here's my warning to Democratic leadership: reject AIPAC, or risk losing your own base."

This article originally appeared in Common Dreams on June 26th, 2024

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Monday, June 10, 2024

Thousands Protest Gaza Genocide in 'Red Line' White House Rally

 By Jessica Corbett

"We as the people are drawing the red line today to say enough is enough," said a protester from the Palestinian Youth Movement. "It's time for an arms embargo, and it's time to end this."

As the Israel Defense Forces on Saturday killed over 200 more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip while rescuing four hostages taken by Hamas on October 7, thousands of anti-war protesters descended on the White House in Washington, D.C. 

The rally marked not only eight months of the war but also called out U.S. President Joe Biden for his seemingly empty threat to cut off American arms and diplomatic support for the Israeli military campaign, which has killed more than 36,800 people and wounded over 83,600 in Hamas-governed Gaza since October.  

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Biden Moves Forward With 'Immoral' $1 Billion Arms Shipment to Israel

The new shipment was announced "right after the State Department admits Israel has 'likely' used U.S.-supplied weapons in violation of humanitarian law," said one journalist.

Less than a week after U.S. President Joe Biden said he was pausing a shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel, citing concerns over the safety of civilians in Rafah and other "population centers" in Gaza, the White House informed Congress Tuesday that it will soon send over $1 billion more in arms and ammunition to the Israel Defense Forces.

The package includes about $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortar rounds, congressional aides toldThe Associated Press.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

What students protesting Israel’s Gaza siege want — and how their demands on divestment fit into the BDS movement

By Mira Sucharov, Carleton University

A wave of protests expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people is spreading across college and university campuses. There were more than 400 such demonstrations by the end of April 2024 just in the U.S., with many more in Canada and other countries.

The specific demands vary from place to place. What unites them is a call for schools to use their financial leverage and other kinds of influence to apply pressure on Israel.

The protesters are demanding divestment, meaning the sale of financial assets either related to Israeli companies or shares in other corporations perceived to assist the Israeli military. In addition, many protests include calls for the disclosure of those financial ties. They also feature demands for colleges and universities to distance themselves from Israel by ending study-abroad programs and academic exchanges.

Monday, April 8, 2024

World Marks Six Months of 'Relentless Death and Destruction' in Gaza

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his call for an "immediate humanitarian cease-fire, the unconditional release of all hostages, the protection of civilians, and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid."

 Peace and human rights advocates on Sunday renewed calls for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and an increase in lifesaving  humanitarian aid for its starving people as the embattled enclave  marked six months since the start of Israel's genocidal retaliation  for the October 7 attacks.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

UN Security Council demands ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza, ending months-long deadlock

This was the Council’s first explicit call for an immediate ceasefire since Israel began a military offensive in the Gaza Strip following last October’s brutal attack by Hamas and other Palestinian groups against settlements in southern Israel, in which over 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 taken hostage.

Israel’s military operation has since reportedly claimed over 32,000 Palestinian lives, mostly women and children, displaced about 1.7 million and left massive destruction across the enclave.

The 15-member Security Council has failed in its four previous attempts to adopt a resolution on the Gaza crisis, most recently this past Friday, when permanent members China and Russia vetoed a proposal led by the United States (another permanent member, along with France and the UK rounding out the so-called ‘P-5’).

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Dem Donors Warn Biden's Support for Israeli War on Gaza May Hand Trump the White House

"Because of the disillusionment of a critical portion of the Democratic coalition, the Gaza war is increasing the chances of a Trump victory."

More than 100 Democratic donors and activists on Monday warned U.S. President Joe Biden that his administration's "unconditional support" for Israel's catastrophic war on Gaza "is increasing the chances" that former President Donald Trump will win this year's election.

In a letter, the Biden supporters—who according toThe New York Times include some six-figure donors—condemned the Hamas-led October 7 attacks on Israel while also arguing that Israeli military actions are not achieving the goals of eliminating the Palestinian group or freeing hostages.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Columbia Sued Over 'Retaliatory' Suspension of Pro-Palestine Student Groups

By Brett Wilkins

"Universities should be havens for robust debate, discussion, and learning—not sites of censorship where administrators, donors, and politicians squash political discourse they don't approve of," said the head of the NYCLU.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and Palestine Legal on Tuesday filed a lawsuit on behalf of members of two pro-Palestine student groups at Columbia University which avocates say were illegally suspended for engaging in peaceful protests and other events protected under the First Amendment.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Majority of Americans Want Halt of US Weapons Bound for Israel: Poll

"Everyone knows that the U.S. could end this today if we wanted to," said one analyst.

A new poll released Tuesday revealed that a majority of Americans want to the U.S. government to stop supplying the Israeli military with weaponry to carry out its brutal assault on Gaza that has killed over 30,000 Palestinians, most of them civilian men, women, and children.

As organizers called on Democratic voters in at least seven states to vote "uncommitted" on their Super Tuesday primary ballots on Tuesday to help push the Biden administration to demand a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, the YouGov poll provided another measure of Americans' growing outrage over their government's material and political support for the "genocidal" campaign by Israel's far-right government.

Monday, February 26, 2024

After Setting Himself on Fire, US Airman Aaron Bushnell Dies Declaring 'Free Palestine'

By Brett Wilkins

"Many of us like to ask ourselves, 'What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?' The answer is, you're doing it."

"My name is Aaron Bushnell, I am an active-duty member of the United States Air Force, and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I'm about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it's not extreme at all."

Sunday, February 18, 2024

ICJ Hearings to Examine 57 Years of Israeli Occupation of Palestine

By Brett Wilkins

"Decades of injustice will finally face scrutiny," said U.N. human rights official Francesca Albanese ahead of next week's Hague hearings on the legal consequences of Israel's illegal occupation.

More than 50 countries are set to participate in next week's hearings at the International Court of Justice focusing on Israel's illegal 57-year occupation of Palestine, a forum that follows the Hague tribunal's finding last month that Israel is "plausibly" committing genocide in occupied Gaza.

The ICJ—also known as the World Court—will hold a week of hearings on the legal consequences of Israel's occupation of Palestine, which dates to the Israeli conquest of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Syrian Golan Heights, and Egyptian Sinai Peninsula during the 1967 Six-Day War.

"The International Court of Justice is set for the first time to broadly consider the legal consequences of Israel's nearly six-decades-long occupation and mistreatment of the Palestinian people," Human Rights Watch senior legal adviser Clive Baldwin said in a statement. "Governments that are presenting their arguments to the court should seize these landmark hearings to highlight the grave abuses Israeli authorities are committing against Palestinians, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution."

The West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights remain under Israeli military occupation six decades after their conquest. The United Nations—to which the ICJ belongs—and many international NGOs contend that, despite removing its troops and settlers from Gaza two decades ago, Israel continues to occupy Gaza by controlling the besieged enclave's airspace, territorial waters, and the entry and exit of people and goods.

Since the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have killed or wounded more than 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza while forcibly displacing around 90% of the population. Numerous Israeli leaders have called for the renewed physical occupation, Jewish resettlement, and ethnic cleansing of the strip.

During the current assault on Gaza, occupation forces have also killed at least 388 Palestinians, including 99 children, in the West Bank, according to U.N. human rights officials.

Israeli settlers have for decades been steadily colonizing the occupied territories under the protection of the IDF, while ethnically cleansing Palestinians whose lands and homes they steal.

Next week's hearings come on the heels of the ICJ's provisional ruling last month in a case led by South Africa—which will be the first nation after Palestine to present at next week's hearing—that Israel is "plausibly" committing genocide in Gaza. The tribunal ordered Israel to "take all measures within its power" to adhere to its obligations under Article II of the Genocide Convention.

Earlier this week, South Africa urgently appealed to the ICJ to act amid the looming threat of an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah. More than 1.5 million Palestinians, most of them refugees ordered to flee to the south of Gaza by invading Israeli forces, are crammed into what is now one of the world's most densely populated places.

On Friday, the ICJ declined to take any additional action against Israel, while reiterating that the "perilous situation" in Rafah "demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the court" in last month's ruling.

This article originally appeared in Common Dreams on February 16th, 2024.  

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Amid UNRWA funding crisis, desperate Gazans scour trucks for food

Despite ongoing Israeli bombardment prompted by Hamas-led attacks on 7 October that left some 1,200 dead in Israel and more than 250 taken hostage, UNRWA, continues to provide lifesaving aid in Gaza to more than two million civilians.

The war has killed at least 26,637 Palestinians in Gaza and left 65,387 injured, according to the enclave's health authorities. The Israeli military has reported 218 soldiers killed and 1,267 injured in Gaza.

As the largest humanitarian agency in the enclave, UNRWA also operates shelters for over one million people, providing food, water and healthcare services, while also playing the key role of facilitating the work of other UN and partner agencies there.

The shelters, the health centres and everything else is provided in Gaza through UNWRA,” said Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization (WHO). Repeating the words of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Mr. Lindmeier appealed to donors not to suspend funding to UNWRA “at this critical moment. Cutting off funding will only hurt the people of Gaza who desperately need support.”

The United States said on Friday it had suspended funding in response to allegations made against 12 UNRWA staffers who Israel says took part in the 7 October attacks. A full and urgent investigation is underway and some of the staff allegedly involved have been dismissed by the agency. 

Famine threat persists

Despite the efforts of the UN agency and other humanitarian partners operating in Gaza, many people are on the verge of famine after more nearly four months of war. 

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Some have resorted to scouring aid convoys for food and supplies, including one on Tuesday morning in the southern city of Khan Younis.

“We had a convoy just this morning trying to reach Nasser Hospital with patients, healthcare staff, everybody there needing food, but the very needy population already before basically took the supplies,” Mr. Lindmeier said.

The incident – far from a rare occurrence – “shows how dire the needs are”, he told journalists in Geneva, warning that disease among Gaza’s malnourished population “can just spread like wildfire and that’s on top of the bombing and the shelling and the collapsing buildings”.

Within Nasser Hospital itself, the WHO official reported that the situation “has only gotten worse", with "the shooting, the fighting…the difficulty of access for people to reach Nasser or the difficulty of leaving”.

Uprooted again

The development came as UN aid coordination office OCHA warned that more people had been uprooted from their homes amid ongoing fighting and evacuation orders from the Israeli military.

“We're in the midst of another wave of displacement in #Gaza, following eviction orders for large residential areas and amid intense hostilities,” OCHA said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “More people are killed or injured. The south is overcrowded and humanitarian access to the north is extremely limited.”

Originally published January 30th, 2024 in the United Nations News Centre

See below for posts related to this topic:

Groups Intensify Global Push for Gaza Cease-Fire After ICJ Ruling,

'No One Is Spared': South Africa Presents Genocide Case Against Israel at ICJ

Please support the news you can use and visit The Brooks Blackboard's website for more news!   

Take a look at my brief bio about my writing life and on social media:

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Friday, December 22, 2023

Meet the Companies Profiting From Israel's War on Gaza

"As global resistance to war and apartheid grows, it is important that the public know exactly who is making this violence possible."

As of Wednesday, a U.S.-based Quaker group's online database listed over two dozen companies profiting from the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces have spent the last 10 weeks waging what experts call a "genocidal" war that sent defense stocks soaring.

Backed by $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States, Israel declared war on October 7 in retaliation for a Hamas-led attack that killed over 1,100 people.