For those of you who might wonder why there are so many kids in such a desperate place as GazaI have to say I was looking for some perspective on this myselfAmira Hass, an Israeli journalist who lived in Gaza for many years, addresses this topic in her book Drinking the Sea at Gaza and her take on this makes a lot of sense to me. This book was written in the 90s when the population of Gaza was only a little over half of what it is currently:
Since 1948, they have been subject to upheaval, to sweeping political changes over which they have no control, and to the constant shadow of sudden, violent death, especially once the intifada began in 1987. Much has been said about how the intifada undermined adult authority, but it is also true that the crushing oppression and daily violence heightened the need to seek consolation among family members, and to use the home to counterbalance the crumbling social framework outside.
There have been deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians in this conflict and that is an absolute tragedy Those people did not deserve to die. Those people deserve to live lives of peace and safety and dignity, Sullivan told ABCs This Week.
At least 8,000 Palestinians including more than 3,300 children and more than 2,000 women have been killed by Israelis military bombardment of Gaza, according to Gazas health ministry. The toll is expected to rise as Israel continues with its ground offensive in addition to ongoing aerial attacks. Israels current offensives were launched in retaliation for the surprise cross-border attack on 7 October in which Hamas, which has run Gaza since 2007, killed about 1,400 people in Israel and took more than 200 hostages.
Israel has a right indeed a duty to defend itself against terrorists. Israel also has a responsibility to distinguish between terrorists and ordinary civilians, said Sullivan.
More at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/29/hamas-israel-war-palestinian-civilians-jake-sullivan-comments?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
Like the invasion that the Israeli military has said is imminent, that campaign was precipitated by atrocities carried out by Hamas terrorists. On June 12 of that year, Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers; soon after, Israelis murdered a Palestinian teenager. The horrific exchange escalated into a larger conflict; ultimately some 70 Israelis and 2,250 Palestinians were killed over seven weeks. Then, as now, Israelis were told that we were going in to deal a decisive blow to Hamas.
Those three fateful weeks inside the Gaza Strip transformed me from a deeply religious, Modern Orthodox yeshiva student and West Bank settler into an activist with the movement opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, first with the antiwar veterans organization Breaking the Silence and now with Extend, a group that connects Palestinian and Israeli human rights leaders with American Jewish audiences. All our casualties and the suffering brought on Palestinians in Gaza accomplished nothing since our leaders refused to work on creating a political reality in which more violence would not be inevitable. While I believe in self-defense, fighting in Gaza taught me that if my government doesnt change its approach from crushing Palestinian hope to committing to Palestinian independence, not only will this war kill an untold number of Israelis and Palestinians in addition to the thousands who already have died, but it also will not decisively end terror. A ground invasion is doomed to failure.
These periodic episodes of killing and destruction, which Israeli commentators and politicians cynically call mowing the lawn, have been a price Israel was willing to pay to avoid being pushed toward a two-state solution. We chose to manage the conflict through a combination of brute force and economic incentives, instead of working to solve it by ending our perpetual occupation of Palestinian territory. Many of my Palestinian human rights partners who organize nonviolent protests are targeted and harassed by the Israeli military. I believe these policies have the goal of preventing pressure for a Palestinian state and permitting Israeli settlement development and creeping annexation in the West Bank.
More at https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/28/opinion/international-world/gaza-idf-israel-veterans.html?unlocked_article_code=1.6Ew.-fUH.vR98CQ9kPakx&smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare
than a Bible-thumping Speaker of the House who was installed in his chair thanks to the leadership of a guy who crushed Viagara and chased it with Red Bull so he could tomcat all night with underage girls and showed the videos to anyone who would watch on the House floor?
Ford and United Auto Workers union negotiators reach potential new deal
Shawn Fain is how we win.
The United States speaks a good deal about principles, but I fear that President Biden has embedded a hierarchy of human life in official American policy. He expressed outrage at the massacres of Jews by Hamas, as he should have, but he has struggled to be equally clear about valuing Gazan lives. And its not always evident whether he is standing four-square with Israel as a country or with its failed prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime obstacle to peace.
In his speech on Thursday, Biden called for America to stand firmly behind Ukraine and Israel, two nations attacked by forces aiming to destroy them. Fair enough. But suppose Ukraine responded to Russian war crimes by laying siege to a Russian city, bombing it into dust and cutting off water and electricity while killing thousands and obliging doctors to operate on patients without anesthetic. I doubt we Americans would shrug and say: Well, Putin started it. Too bad about those Russian children, but they should have chosen somewhere else to be born.
The best answer to this test is to try even in the face of provocation to cling to our values. That means that despite our biases, we try to uphold all lives as having equal value. If your ethics see some children as invaluable and others as disposable, thats not moral clarity but moral myopia. We must not kill Gazan children to try to protect Israeli children.
More at https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/21/opinion/israel-gaza-palestine-children.html?unlocked_article_code=1.40w.v7UG.4WZQwsV6xF_9&smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare
But if they dont start speaking up they run the risk of losing all the incentives that are driving their decisions.
Infrastructure investment is a transcendent and nonpartisan issue, she said. Businesses need to speak up, she added, so that whoever is sitting in the White House or whoevers legislating on Capitol Hill knows the importance of this to American workers, to American families, and frankly, to our national security. Humpton has a point. Republicans in the presidential race and in Congress are attacking Bidenomics. Former President Trump recently called automakers stupid or gutless for investing in electric cars. Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, described Bidens Inflation Reduction Actfocused on rebuilding American industry and weaning the country off fossil fuelsas a communist manifesto filled with tax hikes and green subsidies that benefit China.
It didnt used to be rare to hear from executives like Siemens Humpton. CEOs spoke up on affirmative action hiring after the murder of George Floyd, stopped doing business with gunmakers after a series of school massacres, and supported employees in anti-abortion states. Then came the conservative backlash against woke, and a series of red state policies that look an awful lot like retribution for business leaders speaking their minds. Plenty of companies have said theyre eager to participate in publicly funded projects, but Humpton seems alone in citing the looming risks to Bidens economic policies and calling on her fellow leaders to speak out in support of federal economic policies that will broadly benefit the U.S. economy. Theyre going to be on the ballot next year, whether voters know it or not.
We can argue about whether business should get involved in the politics of abortion or saving democracy (I vote yes), but this is about the economy. Business is already voting with its investment dollars. Now its time for business leaders to speak up and take a political stand.
For way too long U.S. economic and military aid has allowed Netanyahu to have his cake and eat it too to fund the insane settlement project, and maintain an advanced military, while not having to raise taxes on the whole Israeli public to pay for it all. While Israel got U.S. aid in one hand, the budget of its Ministry of Defense paid to build roads for settlers with the other hand. Uncle Sams wallet, indirectly, was the slush fund for Netanyahus politics. So no, were not telling Netanyahu what to do in Gaza Israel is a sovereign country. Were just going to tell him what were not going to do anymore because we happen to be a sovereign country too.
America has been indirectly funding Israels slow-motion suicide and I am not just talking settlements. Look at what Netanyahu did last June. To buy off the ultra-Orthodox parties he needs in his coalition to keep himself out of jail on corruption charges, Netanyahus government gave the ultra-Orthodox and the settlers an unprecedented increment in allocations including full funding of schools to not teach English, science and math, explained Dan Ben-David, a macroeconomist who has focused on the interaction between Israels demography and education at Tel Aviv University, where he heads the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research. This budgetary increment alone is more than Israel invests each year in higher education altogether or 14 years of complete funding for the Technion, Israels M.I.T., Mr. Ben-David said. It is completely nuts.
Bottom line: Netanyahu has a completely incoherent strategy right now eliminate Hamas in Gaza while building more settlements in the West Bank that undermine the only decent long-term Palestinian alternative to Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, which Israel needs to safely leave Gaza.
But before the ink was dry on the communique, it was repudiated. Netanyahu simply denied that Israel had committed to halting new settlement projects during the summit. A second summit at Sharm el-Sheikh on 19 March repeated the same pledges, and this time spoke of developing a mechanism to curb and counter violence, incitement, and inflammatory statements and actions.
Regardless, Israels finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, was openly denying the existence of the Palestinian ethnic group. The Palestinian people are an invention of less than a hundred years. Do they have a history, a culture? No, they do not. There are no Palestinians, there are just Arabs.Far from punishing Smotrich, Netanyahu in June rewarded him by handing all control over planning approval for construction in West Bank settlements to him. Could Biden have done more to constrain the actions of the Israeli government?
The Democratic left says Biden should have recognised the de facto annexation of the West Bank was under way, intervened, and imposed a bigger punishment than a withheld invitation to the White House. Bernie Sanders, for instance, in February had argued that Biden had to recognise this was a qualitatively different Israeli government to anything that preceded it. He said: If a government is acting in a racist way and they want billions of dollars from [US taxpayers], I think you say: Sorry but its not acceptable. You want our money? Fine. This is what you got to do to get it.
More at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/17/left-on-the-shelf-how-the-world-failed-miserably-in-the-middle-east?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
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