Connect with us

Substacks

Let Them Eat Cement Chris Hedges

Published

on

Made in Israel – by Mr. Fish

Subscribe now

Israel, with the backing of its U.S. and European allies, is preparing to launch not only a scorched earth campaign in Gaza but the worst ethnic cleansing since the wars in the former Yugoslavia. The goal is to drive tens, most probably hundreds of thousands of Palestinians over the southern border at Rafah into refugee camps in Egypt. The reverberations will be catastrophic, not only for the Palestinians, but throughout the region, almost certainly triggering armed clashes to the north of Israel with Hezbollah in Lebanon and perhaps with Syria and Iran. 

The Biden administration, slavishly doing Israel’s bidding, is fueling the madness. The U.S. was the only country to veto the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for humanitarian pauses to deliver food, medicine, water and fuel to Gaza. It has blocked proposals for a ceasefire. It has proposed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that says Israel has a right to defend itself. The resolution also demands Iran stop exporting arms to “militias and terrorist groups threatening peace and security across the region.” 

The U.S. and its Western allies are as morally bankrupt and as complicit in genocide as those who witnessed the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews and did nothing.

The conflict, which has taken the lives of 1,400 Israelis and at least 4,600 Palestinians in Gaza, is widening. Israel carried out a second airstrike on two airports in Syria. It daily trades rocket barrages with Hezbollah militias. U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria have been attacked by Shia militias. The USS Carney, a guided missile destroyer, shot down three cruise missiles on Thursday, apparently launched by the Houthis in Yemen and heading towards Israel. 

Israel is also struggling to quell daily violent clashes in the occupied West Bank. It carried out an airstrike on Sunday on a mosque in the Jenin refugee camp – the first air strike in the West Bank for two decades – that killed at least 2 people. Armed Jewish settlers have been rampaging through Palestinian towns in the West Bank. At least 90 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by armed settlers or the Israeli military since the Oct. 7 incursion into Israel by Hamas and other resistance fighters, according to the U.N.’s humanitarian office. Some 4,000 workers from Gaza and 1,000 Palestinians in the West Bank have been arrested in the past two weeks, doubling the number of Palestinian prisoners to 10,000 held by Israel, over half of whom are political prisoners

“Many of the prisoners have had their limbs, hands and legs broken … degrading and insulting expressions, insults, cursing, tying them with handcuffs to the back and tightening them at the end to the point of causing severe pain … naked, humiliating and group search of the prisoners,” the Palestinian Authority’s Commission for Detainees’ Affairs, Qadura Fares, said at a press conference.

B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, told the BBC that since the Oct. 7 attack, it had documented “a concerted and organized effort by settlers to use the fact that the entire international and local attention is focused on Gaza and the north of Israel to try to seize land in the West Bank.”

Inside Israel, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and Jerusalem IDs are being harassed, detained, arrested and expelled from jobs and universities in what is described as a “witch hunt.” More than 152,000 Israelis have been evacuated from towns and villages near the borders of Gaza and Lebanon.

The U.S., in an effort to thwart a military response by Iran that could trigger a regional war, is deploying an additional 2,000 troops to the Middle East. It will redeploy one of its strike groups to the Persian Gulf and send additional air defense systems to the region. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its strike group — which last weekend was being deployed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to join the USS Gerald R. Ford — has been redirected to the Persian Gulf. A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile battery, and Patriot missile defense system battalions, have also been sent to the Persian Gulf.

Subscribe now

Israel has unleashed its Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Death, Famine, War and Conquest. 

It has given Gazans two choices. Leave Gaza or die.

Palestinians will be killed not only from the bombs and shells, and eventually, with the ground invasion, bullets and tank shells, but from hunger and epidemics such as cholera. Without water, fuel and medicine and with the breakdown of sanitation, diseases will spread swiftly. The U.N. states that hospitals in Gaza “are on the brink of collapse.” Thousands of patients will die once fuel runs out for hospital generators.

A doctor from al-Shifa hospital in Gaza reported in an interview Saturday, “We are collapsing.” He spoke of a lack of oxygen, light and medical supplies, no water in some departments, concerns about cholera and the loss of doctors killed by Israeli airstrikes, including a dentist killed in Israel’s bombing of an Orthodox church that left at least 18 dead, including several children.   

The handful of trucks, 37 so far, of aid into Gaza is a cynical public relations gimmick demanded by the Biden administration. It will do little to alleviate the Israeli-engineered humanitarian crisis. The U.N. says it needs at least 100 aid tracks a day. Gaza’s last functioning seawater desalination plant shut down on Sunday because of a lack of fuel. 

Israel has no intention of lifting the total siege on Gaza. It announced it will increase its airstrikes. It will continue, as it has for the past two weeks, to extinguish the lives of Palestinians and terrorize and starve them into leaving Gaza. 

The ground assault on Gaza will not be quick. It will involve weeks, perhaps months, of street fighting. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin compared the looming battle in Gaza to the U.S. assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul, held by ISIS, in 2014. It took the U.S. nine months to recapture Mosul.

When Israel says this will be a “long war” they are, for once, telling the truth.

Israel has requested more military aid from Washington, $14.3 billion including $10.6 billion for air and missile defense. It will get it. Israel is rapidly depleting its stocks as it pounds Gaza, including in the south of Gaza where hundreds of thousands of displaced families from the north have fled. 

Israel will not permit the distribution of the $100 million in U.S. aid pledged for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, at least not until their scorched earth campaign is finished. But by then, Gaza will be unrecognizable. Israel will have annexed part or all of it. Maybe the money can go to building more illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. And pledging aid is not the same as appropriating it. So perhaps that, too, is part of the illusion.

Egyptian officials are acutely aware of what comes next. Up to half, maybe more, of the 2.3 million Palestinians will be pushed by Israel into Egypt on Gaza’s southern border and never be allowed to return.

“What is happening now in Gaza is an attempt to force civilian residents to take refuge and migrate to Egypt, which should not be accepted,” Egyptian president Abdulfattah al-Sisi warned.

Reports out of Egypt contend that Washington has promised to forgive much of Egypt’s massive $162.9 billion debt, as well as offer other economic incentives in exchange for Egypt’s acquiescence to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The refugees, once they cross the border into Egypt, will be left to rot in the Sinai. 

“There is a grave danger that what we are witnessing may be a repeat of the 1948 Nakba, and the 1967 Naksa, yet on a larger scale. The international community must do everything to stop this from happening again,” said Francesca Albanese, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.

Israel has long used war to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Government officials have openly called for another Nakba, or “catastrophe,” the term for the events of 1947-1949 when over 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from historic Palestine and driven into refugee camps to create the state of Israel. During the 1967 war, which led to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel ethnically cleansed another 300,000 Palestinians during the Naksa, or “day of the setback,” which is commemorated every year by Palestinians.

Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, however, is not limited to wars. There has been an ongoing slow motion ethnic cleansing as Israel has steadily built more Jewish-only colonies and incrementally seized Palestinian land. Palestinians, denied basic civil liberties in Israel’s apartheid state, have been robbed of assets, including, often, their homes. They have faced mounting restrictions on their physical movements. They have been blocked from trading and business, especially the selling of produce. They have found themselves increasingly impoverished and trapped behind walls and security fences erected around Gaza and the West Bank. At the same time, they have endured periodic Israeli airstrikes, targeted assassinations and near daily attacks by armed Jewish settlers and the Israeli army.

Israel prevented Palestinians who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip from returning at the rate of about 9,000 Palestinians per year following the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, until the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994, according to the Israel human rights group HaMoked. Israel has also revoked the residency permits for some 14,000 Palestinians who lived in East Jerusalem since 1967 according to B’Tselem

Israel demolished 9,880 structures, including over 2,600 inhabited residential buildings, displacing over 14,000 people and affecting 233,681 in the West Bank alone between Jan. 1, 2009 and 7 Oct. 7, 2023, according to data from the  U.N Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Since the Oct. 7 attack, a further 38 homes and other structures were demolished in the West Bank affecting an additional 13,613 people and displacing at least 73.

Less than 2.2 percent of Palestinian requests for construction permits made between 2009 and 2020 were approved, according to data from Peace Now and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The number of Israeli colonists in the occupied territories, however, has gone from zero before the June 1967 war, to between 600,000 to 750,000 spread out across at least 250 settlements and outposts throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, all of them in violation of international law.

Israel makes no secret about its intentions. 

Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, told troops preparing to enter Gaza, “I have released all the restraints.” 

Knesset member Ariel Kallner, part of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, called on X, formerly known as Twitter, for “a Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48.”

The Israeli army mobilized Ezra Yachin, a 95-year-old army veteran, to “motivate” the troops. Yachin was a member of the Lehi Zionist militia that carried out numerous massacres of Palestinian civilians, including the Deir Yassin massacre on April 9, 1948, where over 100 Palestinian civilians, many women and children, were slaughtered. 

“Be triumphant and finish them off and don’t leave anyone behind. Erase the memory of them,” Yachin said addressing Israeli troops.

“Erase them, their families, mothers and children,” he went on. “These animals can no longer live.” 

“Every Jew with a weapon should go out and kill them,” he said. “If you have an Arab neighbor, don’t wait, go to his home and shoot him.” 

Where are our humanitarian interventionists? The ones who wept crocodile tears about the human rights of Ukranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans and Afghans, to justify massive arms shipments and war? Where is the old anti-war wing of the Democratic Party and the liberal class? What has happened to the public intellectuals who used to decry the slaughter of innocents and the U.S. war machine? Where are the jurists who uphold the rule of international law? Why are the few lonely voices speaking out about Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians attacked, censored and doxxed?

“The previous president wanted to ban us and probably put us in concentration camps,” said Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, at a rally in support of a ceasefire on Oct. 20 in Washington in front of the U.S. Capitol. “This one wants us just to die. That’s how it feels. Shame on them.”

Israel will not halt its genocidal campaign in Gaza against the Palestinians until there is a U.S. arms embargo on Israel. Our weapons systems, munitions and attack aircraft sustain the slaughter. We must terminate the $3.8 billion in military aid that the U.S. gives to Israel each year. We must support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and demand suspension of all free trade and other agreements between the U.S. and Israel. Only when these props are knocked out from under Israel will the Israeli leadership be forced, as was the apartheid regime in South Africa, to integrate Palestinians into one state with equal rights. As long as these props remain, the Palestinians are doomed. 

Share

The Chris Hedges Report is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Substacks

June 18, 2024 Heather Cox Richardson

Published

on

By

 

Continue Reading

Substacks

My First Job, at the Stanford Internet Observatory Julia Steinberg

Published

on

By

Like a zillion other bright-eyed Stanford undergrads, I was drawn to work at a place that promised I’d “learn about the abuse of the internet in real time,” writes Julia Steinberg. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

The Stanford Internet Observatory—a research center tasked with rooting out “misinformation” on social media—is shutting its doors. Chances are if you’ve heard of the SIO it was in a scathing piece from Michael Shellenberger or Matt Taibbi, who have accused the center of being a key node in the censorship-industrial complex.

It was also my first employer. Like a zillion other bright-eyed Stanford undergrads, I was drawn to work at a place that promised to “learn about the abuse of the internet in real time, to develop a novel curriculum on trust and safety that is a first in computer science, and to translate our research discoveries into training and policy innovations for the public good.” To me, that meant ending internet abuse like the glamorization of anorexia on social media or financial scams that steal billions every year. But mostly I worked on the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), which SIO ran during the 2020 and 2022 elections. The purpose of that project was to identify so-called “fake news” spreading on social media. 

In actuality, SIO hired a load of interns to scan social media for posts deemed to be mis- and disinformation. It turns out that the posts we students flagged were often sent along to moderators at Twitter (now X), Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, which took them down in order to quash dissenting viewpoints—viewpoints that sometimes ended up being right, as in the case of Covid likely being the result of a lab leak, or Hunter Biden’s hard drive being his actual hard drive—not Russian disinformation. 

Thanks to the work of independent journalists, the SIO’s work has come under a lot of scrutiny, including in Washington. A recent House Judiciary Committee report alleges that, by cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security, the SIO’s Election Integrity Partnership “provided a way for the federal government to launder its censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny.” 

The SIO has stated that “Stanford has not shut down or dismantled SIO as a result of outside pressure. SIO does, however, face funding challenges as its founding grants will soon be exhausted.” But on June 13, Platformer reported that much of SIO’s staff was on the way out: “Its founding director, Alex Stamos, left his position in November. Renee DiResta, its research director, left last week after her contract was not renewed. One other staff member’s contract expired this month, while others have been told to look for jobs elsewhere, sources say.”

The Supreme Court will soon rule on a case, Murthy v. Missouri, that addresses whether the U.S. government should be able to collaborate with social media companies to censor commentary. The plaintiffs, in their brief, lambast SIO for its role in abetting government censorship. We’ll be watching that case closely.

Julia Steinberg is an intern at The Free Press. Read her piece on the college dropout who unlocked the secrets of ancient Rome using AI. And follow her on X @Juliaonatroika.

To support The Free Press, become a subscriber today: 

Subscribe now

 

Continue Reading

Substacks

My Promise to Palestine Chris Hedges

Published

on

By

When I accepted the Tafik Diab Prize for my writing on the genocide in Gaza in Cairo on June 10 I explained why the cartoonist Joe Sacco and I are planning to do our next book together on Gaza.

Written speech:

I would like to start with a story that happened to me in Gaza on October 5, 2000. One day I was working on a report at Natzarim (Jewish settlement). There were Palestinian boys near me. The boys threw rocks towards the Israeli army. A soldier shot one of the boys — and the boy died. Four boys each lifted up a limb and we ran. The incident aftected me to such an extent that I did not shave for three weeks. After three weeks, I went to visit the boy’s house to meet his family. I told his mother I was with her son when he was killed. The mother told me that when her younger son heard that his brother had been killed he went into the kitchen, and then he left the house. After ten minutes she asked her husband where her son had gone. They went out to look for him and saw him in the street with a knife in his hand.

She asked him, “Where are you going?”

He answered, “I am going to kill Jews.” I have never been able to forget that child. I often wonder where he is. He would be a man in his thirties now. Is he still alive? Married? Does he have children? Are he and his family frightened of the bombing? Where have they taken refuge? God willing, I will write a book on Gaza with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, the author of “Palestine” and “Footnotes in Gaza.” During that time I will look for him, I will complete his story and the stories of many others. Israel is determined to erase them from existence and from history. This is my promise.

Share if you enjoyed!

Share

The Chris Hedges Report is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

 

Continue Reading

Shadow Banned

Copyright © 2023 mesh news project // awake, not woke // news, not narrative // deep inside the filter bubble