Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, October 15, 2023





Zaid Abdulnasser, the coordinator of Samidoun Network’s chapter in Germany, and member of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, is currently being threatened by the German state that his residency as a Palestinian refugee born in Syria will be revoked due to his political engagement in Samidoun and Masar Badil.


In the face of this attack, more than 130 international organisations, unions, and political parties, have expressed their absolute refusal of Germany’s ever increasing repressive measures against Palestinian refugees and their fundamental right to struggle for their liberation and return.


We call for organisations to join us by signing the statement under the following link:



To financially support the legal defence of Zaid and other Palestinians in Germany bearing the brunt of the state’s repressive measures against Palestine, you can make a donation to the following account:


Name: Rote Hilfe e.V.

IBAN: DE55 4306 0967 4007 2383 17


Note: Palaestina gegen Repression


We, in Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, declare that all attacks against us by the zionist occupation, its organisations abroad, and by Western imperialist countries and right-wing, racist media, have not and will not change our absolute commitment to defending and supporting the Palestinian prisoners movement, and to struggle for the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.

Sign the statement!


Download the poster, take a selfie or group photo, and send it to us at: 


@samidounnetwork (Instagram) 

@SamidounPP (Twitter/X)!



The ongoing Zionist theft of Palestinian land from 1946 to now.

77 years of brutal oppression must end!

End all U.S. aid to Israel now!

For a democratic, secular Palestine!



Leonard Peltier’s Letter Delivered to Supporters on September 12, 2023, in Front of the Whitehouse


Dear friends, relatives, supporters, loved ones:


Seventy-nine years old. Mother Earth has taken us on another journey around Grandfather Sun.  Babies have taken their first breath. People have lived, loved, and died. Seeds have been planted and sent their roots deep below red earth and their breath to the Stars and our Ancestors.


I am still here.


Time has twisted one more year out of me. A year that has been a moment.  A year that has been a lifetime. For almost five decades I’ve existed in a cage of concrete and steel.  With the “good time” calculations of the system, I’ve actually served over 60 years.


Year after year, I have encouraged you to live as spirit warriors. Even while in here, I can envision what is real and far beyond these walls.  I’ve seen a reawakening of an ancient Native pride that does my heart good.


I may leave this place in a box. That is a cold truth. But I have put my heart and soul into making our world a better place and there is a lot of work left to do – I would like to get out and do it with you.


I know that the spirit warriors coming up behind me have the heart and soul to fight racism and oppression, and to fight the greed that is poisoning our lands, waters, and people. 


We are still here.


Remember who you are, even if they come for your land, your water, your family. We are children of Mother Earth and we owe her and her other children our care.


I long to turn my face to the sky. In this cage, I am denied that simple pleasure. I am in prison, but in my mind, I remain as I was born: a free Native spirit.


That is what allows me to laugh, keeps me laughing. These walls cannot contain my laughter – or my hope.


I know there are those who stand with me, who work around the clock for my freedom. I have been blessed to have such friends.


We are still here and you give me hope. 


I hope to breathe free air before I die. Hope is a hard thing to hold, but no one is strong enough to take it from me. 


I love you. I hope for you. I pray for you. 


And prayer is more than a cry to the Creator that runs through your head.  Prayer is an action.


In the Spirit of Crazy Horse



Write to:

Leonard Peltier 89637-132

USP Coleman 1

P.O. Box 1033

Coleman, FL 33521

Note: Letters, address and return address must be in writing—no stickers—and on plain white paper.









Drop the Charges on the Tampa 5!

Sign the Petition:


The Tampa 5—Gia Davila, Lauren Pineiro, Laura Rodriguez, Jeanie K, and Chrisley Carpio—are the five Students for a Democratic Society protesters at the University of South Florida who were attacked by campus police and are now facing five to ten years in prison for protesting Governor Ron DeSantis' attacks on diversity programs and all of higher education.


On July 12, 2023, the Tampa 5 had their second court appearance. 


The Tampa 5 are still in the middle of the process of discovery, which means that they are obtaining evidence from the prosecution that is meant to convict them. They have said publicly that all the security camera footage they have seen so far absolves them, and they are eager to not only receive more of this evidence but also to share it with the world. The Tampa 5 and their supporters demand full transparency and USF's full cooperation with discovery, to which all of the defendants are entitled.


In spite of this, the charges have not yet been dropped. The case of the five SDS protesters is hurtling towards a trial. So, they need all of their supporters and all parties interested in the right to protest DeSantis to stay out in the streets!


We need to demand that the DeSantis-appointed, unelected State Attorney Susan Lopez and Assistant Prosecutor Justin Diaz drop the charges.


We need to win this case once and for all and protect the right of the student movement—and all social movements in the United States—to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech and to protest.


Defend the Tampa 5!


State Attorney Susy Lopez, Prosecutor Justin Diaz, Drop the Charges!


Save Diversity in Higher Education!


Protesting DeSantis is Not a Crime!



Free Julian Assange

Immediate Repeated Action Needed to Free Assange


Please call your Congressional Representatives, the White House, and the DOJ. Calls are tallied—they do count.  We are to believe we are represented in this country.  This is a political case, so our efforts can change things politically as well.  Please take this action as often as you can:


Find your representatives:



Leave each of your representatives a message individually to: 

·      Drop the charges against Julian Assange

·      Speak out publicly against the indictment and

·      Sign on to Rashida Tlaib's letter to the DOJ to drop the charges: 

           202-224-3121—Capitol Main Switchboard 


Leave a message on the White House comment line to 

Demand Julian Assange be pardoned: 


             Tuesday–Thursday, 11:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. EST


Call the DOJ and demand they drop the charges against Julian Assange:

             202-353-1555—DOJ Comment Line

             202-514-2000 Main Switchboard 



Mumia Abu-Jamal is Innocent!


Write to Mumia at:

Smart Communications/PADOC

Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM-8335

SCI Mahanoy

P.O. Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733



Updates From Kevin Cooper 

March 23, 2023 

Dear Friends and Comrades, 

This is Kevin Cooper writing and sending this update to you in 'Peace & Solidarity'. First and foremost I am well and healthy, and over the ill effect(s) that I went through after that biased report from MoFo, and their pro prosecution and law enforcement experts. I am back working with my legal team from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

'We' have made great progress in refuting all that those experts from MoFo came up with by twisting the truth to fit their narrative, or omitting things, ignoring, things, and using all the other tactics that they did to reach their conclusions. Orrick has hired four(4) real experts who have no questionable backgrounds. One is a DNA attorney, like Barry Scheck of the innocence project in New York is for example. A DNA expert, a expect to refute what they say Jousha Ryen said when he was a child, and his memory. A expect on the credibility of MoFo's experts, and the attorney's at Orrick are dealing with the legal issues.

This all is taking a little longer than we first expected it to take, and that in part is because 'we' have to make sure everything is correct in what we have in our reply. We cannot put ourselves in a situation where we can be refuted... Second, some of our experts had other things planned, like court cases and such before they got the phone call from Rene, the now lead attorney of the Orrick team. With that being said, I can say that our experts, and legal team have shown, and will show to the power(s) that be that MoFo's DNA expert could not have come to the conclusion(s) that he came to, without having used 'junk science'! They, and by they I mean my entire legal team, including our experts, have done what we have done ever since Orrick took my case on in 2004, shown that all that is being said by MoFo's experts is not true, and we are once again having to show what the truth really is.

Will this work with the Governor? Who knows... 'but' we are going to try! One of our comrades, Rebecca D.   said to me, 'You and Mumia'...meaning that my case and the case of Mumia Abu Jamal are cases in which no matter what evidence comes out supporting our innocence, or prosecution misconduct, we cannot get a break. That the forces in the so called justice system won't let us go. 'Yes' she is correct about that sad to say...

Our reply will be out hopefully in the not too distant future, and that's because the people in Sacramento have been put on notice that it is coming, and why. Every one of you will receive our draft copy of the reply according to Rene because he wants feedback on it. Carole and others will send it out once they receive it. 'We' were on the verge of getting me out, and those people knew it, so they sabotaged what the Governor ordered them to do, look at all the evidence as well as the DNA evidence. They did not do that, they made this a DNA case, by doing what they did, and twisted the facts on the other issues that they dealt with.   'more later'...

In Struggle & Solidarity,

An immediate act of solidarity we can all do right now is to write to Kevin and assure him of our continuing support in his fight for justice. Here’s his address:

Mr. Kevin Cooper

C-65304. 4-EB-82

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, CA 94974



Call California Governor Newsom:

1-(916) 445-2841

Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, 

press 6 to speak with a representative and

wait for someone to answer 

(Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PST—12:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. EST)






The writers' organization PEN America is circulating this petition on behalf of Jason Renard Walker, a Texas prisoner whose life is being threatened because of his exposés of the Texas prison system. 

See his book, Reports from within the Belly of the Beast; available on Amazon at:


Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protect-whistleblowers-in-carceral-settings



Sign the petition:




Tell Congress to Help #FreeDanielHale


I’m pleased to announce that last week our client, Daniel Hale, was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. The “Corner-Brightener Candlestick” was presented to Daniel’s friend Noor Mir. You can watch the online ceremony here.

As it happens, this week is also the 20th anniversary of the first drone assassination in Yemen. From the beginning, the drone assassination program has been deeply shrouded in secrecy, allowing U.S. officials to hide significant violations of international law, and the American Constitution. In addition to the lives directly impacted by these strikes, the program has significantly eroded respect for international law and thereby puts civilians around the world in danger.

Daniel Hale’s revelations threw a beam of light into a very dark corner, allowing journalists to definitively show that the government's official narrative was a lie. It is thanks to the great personal sacrifice of drone whistleblowers like Hale that public understanding has finally begun to catch up to reality.

As the Sam Adams Associates note:

 “Mr. Hale was well aware of the cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment to which other courageous officials have been subjected — and that he would likely suffer the same. And yet — in the manner of his famous ancestor Nathan Hale — he put his country first, knowing what awaited him at the hands of those who serve what has become a repressive Perpetual War State wreaking havoc upon much of the world.”

We hope you’ll join the growing call to pardon or commute Hale’s sentence. U.S. citizens can contact your representatives here.

Happy new year, and thank you for your support!

Jesselyn Radack
Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR)

Twitter: @JesselynRadack



Laws are created to be followed

by the poor.

Laws are made by the rich

to bring some order to exploitation.

The poor are the only law abiders in history.

When the poor make laws

the rich will be no more.


—Roque Dalton Presente!

(May 14, 1935 – Assassinated May 10, 1975)[1]

[1] Roque Dalton was a Salvadoran poet, essayist, journalist, political activist, and intellectual. He is considered one of Latin America's most compelling poets.







A Plea for the Compassionate Release of 

Leonard Peltier

Self Portrait by Leonard Peltier

Video at:


Sign our petition urging President Biden to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier.




Email: contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info

Address: 116 W. Osborne Ave. Tampa, Florida 33603



Resources for Resisting Federal Repression



Since June of 2020, activists have been subjected to an increasingly aggressive crackdown on protests by federal law enforcement. The federal response to the movement for Black Lives has included federal criminal charges for activists, door knocks by federal law enforcement agents, and increased use of federal troops to violently police protests. 


The NLG National Office is releasing this resource page for activists who are resisting federal repression. It includes a link to our emergency hotline numbers, as well as our library of Know-Your-Rights materials, our recent federal repression webinar, and a list of some of our recommended resources for activists. We will continue to update this page. 


Please visit the NLG Mass Defense Program page for general protest-related legal support hotlines run by NLG chapters.


Emergency Hotlines

If you are contacted by federal law enforcement, you should exercise all of your rights. It is always advisable to speak to an attorney before responding to federal authorities. 


State and Local Hotlines

If you have been contacted by the FBI or other federal law enforcement, in one of the following areas, you may be able to get help or information from one of these local NLG hotlines for: 


Portland, Oregon: (833) 680-1312

San Francisco, California: (415) 285-1041 or fbi_hotline@nlgsf.org

Seattle, Washington: (206) 658-7963

National Hotline

If you are located in an area with no hotline, you can call the following number:


National NLG Federal Defense Hotline: (212) 679-2811






1)  Israel Is Using Starvation as a Weapon of War Against the Palestinian People

A full-scale ground offensive on Gaza is imminent, even as Palestinians are already suffering collective punishment.

By Marjorie Cohn, TRUTHOUT,  October 12, 2023

“A full-scale Israeli ground offensive on Gaza is reportedly imminent, with 360,000 Israeli Occupying Force reserve troops poised to invade. In 2014, Israeli forces bombed and invaded Gaza, killing 2,251 Palestinians, most of them civilians, in ‘Operation Protective Edge.’”

A Palestinian youth carries bread amid the rubble of the city center of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip following Israeli shelling on October 10, 2023.

After Hamas launched more than 2,000 missiles from Gaza and sent hundreds of fighters into Israel on October 7, killing hundreds of civilians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas. But Israel’s retaliation, including massive bombing from the land, air and sea, and its collective punishment of Gazans — denying them food, water, electricity and gas — reveals that Netanyahu has actually declared war on the Palestinian people, especially those in Gaza.


Israeli warplanes are conducting indiscriminate bombings throughout Gaza, targeting homes, schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian buildings. As of October 10, Israel had reportedly used 1,000 tons of explosives and targeted 500 locations, primarily in civilian residential areas.


“The quantity of injured people arriving to our hospitals is huge and will mean we will not be able to accept more patients in Gaza,” Ashraf Al-Qidra, spokesperson for the Gaza Ministry of Health, told PBS. “I send water to those who have had their houses demolished. All those who have been displaced don’t have anything. All they have is suffering, fear and horror,” Ahmed Youssef Mekhimar, a resident of Gaza, said. Shames Ouda told PBS, “This power station served all Gaza Strip, and now is turned off, Gaza without fuel, without electricity, without Internet, without food. Gaza dying. The people will pay the price of this war.”


A full-scale Israeli ground offensive on Gaza is reportedly imminent, with 360,000 Israeli Occupying Force reserve troops poised to invade. In 2014, Israeli forces bombed and invaded Gaza, killing 2,251 Palestinians, most of them civilians, in “Operation Protective Edge.”


Netanyahu warned Gazans to “leave now” as Israeli forces would “act with all force.” But the people in Gaza cannot leave. Except for one border crossing with Egypt, Israel controls all ingress and egress into the Gaza Strip. As of October 11, Israel has bombed the Egyptian border crossing twice, and Egypt has refused to allow refugees through.


More than 1,200 Israelis and 1,354 Palestinians have been reported killed and thousands wounded on both sides. Israel said that additionally 1,500 bodies of Hamas members have been found inside Israel.


In the face of the tragic deaths of Palestinian and Israeli civilians, President Joe Biden issued a statement saying the United States “unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza,” and pledged “all appropriate means of support” to Netanyahu. He did not decry the loss of Palestinian lives.


Biden called Hamas’s attack “pure, unadulterated evil” in an October 10 news conference. But he refused to urge Israel to exercise restraint in its retaliation against the Palestinians.


U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement that U.S. Navy vessels, including an aircraft carrier and a guided missile cruiser, had been sent to the Eastern Mediterranean.


“What is happening in Gaza is complete and utter extermination of the non-Jewish population in occupied Palestine,” Refaat Alareer, a Palestinian academic and writer based in Gaza City, told Democracy Now! “We are dealing with a systematic, structural, colonial attempt to annihilate and exterminate the Palestinians, with the aid and support of the West and American tax money.” Alareer noted, “America is sending $8 billion. This is really insane. America is also sending warships and bombs and bullets for Israel to kill more and more Palestinians.”


“You cannot say ‘nothing justifies killing Israelis’ and then provide justifications for killing Palestinians. We are not sub-humans,” Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s ambassador to the UN, stated outside the UN Security Council on October 8. “We will never accept rhetoric that denigrates our humanity and reneges our rights. A rhetoric that ignores the occupation of our land and oppression of our people.”


Palestinians Have a Lawful Right to Resist Israeli Occupation “by All Available Means”


The Palestinians have a lawful right under international law to resist Israel’s occupation of their lands, including through armed struggle. In 1983, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for their independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial domination, apartheid and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”


Israel claims that it has the right to self-defense against Palestinian attacks. In his October 7 statement, Biden said Israel has a right of self-defense.


But under international law, Israel, an occupying force, does not have the right to use military force in self-defense against people under its occupation.


Targeting civilians and civilian objects constitute war crimes under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, whether committed by Israel or by the Palestinians. The presence of noncivilians within civilian populations does not deprive the population of its civilian character under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention.


On October 9, Palestinian resistance forces claimed to have captured at least 130 Israeli troops and citizens, and are holding them hostage to exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Hamas has threatened to kill a civilian hostage each time Israel bombs Palestinian civilians in their homes without warning. The taking of hostages is considered a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.


Even if some of the actions taken by the Palestinians in their resistance are illegal under international humanitarian law, there is no legal justification for Israel to claim it is acting in self-defense under the UN Charter.


Collective Punishment and Using Starvation as a Weapon Are War Crimes


Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Often called the largest open-air prison on Earth, the Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million Palestinians in this 365-square-kilometer area. Israel controls Gaza’s land, air and maritime borders.


Israel’s Minister for the Advancement of the Status of Women May Golan said at a meeting of the Israeli government, “All of Gaza’s infrastructures must be destroyed to its foundation and their electricity cut off immediately. The war is not against Hamas but against the state of Gaza.”


Israel has imposed a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared, “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed,” adding that “we are fighting animals and are acting accordingly.”


Using starvation as a weapon of war constitutes a war crime under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention. Gallant’s order is a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute. It is also a call for genocide, prohibited by the Genocide Convention and the Rome Statute, since many Gazans will die as a result of the siege.


The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the punishment of people in an occupied territory for offenses they didn’t personally commit. Israel’s reprisals against civilians for actions they did not take constitutes collective punishment, which amounts to a war crime.


Earlier this year, the International People’s Tribunal on U.S. Imperialism, for which I served as a juror, examined 15 countries in the Global South to assess the impact of economic coercive measures on the lives of their people. In May, we heard testimony from witnesses in Gaza as Israeli bombs were dropping on their neighborhoods. The tribunal concluded that Israel’s siege in the Gaza Strip is a form of warfare used as “an integral tool of imperialist aggression designed to facilitate the theft of global south wealth and uphold racial hierarchy.” The siege on Gaza is “just as deadly” as other forms of warfare, the tribunal found.


Root Cause of Hamas Attack Was “Cruelty of a Half-Century of Abusive Occupation”


“Although the Hamas attack included war crimes against innocent civilians, its root cause was the cruelty of a half-century of abusive occupation by Israel that violated the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people, and relied on apartheid practices of governance, according to reports by the leading human rights organizations in the U.S. and Israel,” Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, told Truthout.


Falk attributes the timing of Hamas’s attack to “the extremism of the Netanyahu coalition government” that “provoked resistance by its complicity with settler violence and violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, and by erasing Palestine from its official maps of the Middle East and negotiating a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia.” Falk called the Hamas attack “a shrill reminder to Israel and the world that ‘we Palestinians are still here and will not be erased and forgotten.’”


In an October 8 statement, Palestinian human rights organizations cited “compelling evidence” that the Israeli authorities had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against Gaza’s civilian population, including illegal indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. They urged the international community, including the UN Security Council, to take immediate action to stop Israel’s revenge and reprisal against Gazan civilians, including the imposition of sanctions and an arms embargo on Israel. They also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to expedite its pending investigation into the situation in Palestine as promised in December 2022. The ICC launched an investigation in 2021 of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both Israel and the Palestinians, but the probe has stalled due to pressure from the U.S. government.


The Security Council, which has an obligation under the UN Charter to restore international peace and security, has done nothing to stop the carnage because its permanent members cannot agree on a course of action. While the U.S. demanded a blanket condemnation of Hamas’s actions, Russia and China refused to agree to the unilateral denunciation of Hamas; they favored calling for an immediate ceasefire and the beginning of a peace process that has been frozen for years.


“The bloodshed of today and the past 75 years traces back directly to U.S. complicity in the oppression and horror caused by Israel’s military occupation,” Jewish Voice for Peace said in an October 7 statement titled “The Root of Violence is Oppression.” Jewish Voice for Peace blamed the U.S. government which “consistently enables Israeli violence and bears blame for this moment. The unchecked military funding, diplomatic cover, and billions of dollars of private money flowing from the U.S. enables and empowers Israel’s apartheid regime.” Moreover, Jewish Voice for Peace noted, “Those who continue calling for ‘ironclad’ U.S. support for the Israeli military are only paving the path to more violence.”


Jewish Voice for Peace demanded “that the U.S. government immediately take steps to withdraw military funding to Israel and to hold the Israeli government accountable for its gross violations of human rights and war crimes against Palestinians.”


U.S. congressmembers Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Cori Bush (D-Missouri) have called for an end to the U.S. government’s unconditional financial support of Israel’s military occupation and apartheid government. The United States has been providing Israel with $3.8 billion a year in military assistance.


While Western countries and their media decry the loss of Israeli lives, they don’t express similar outrage at the deaths of Palestinians. This hypocrisy is racist and ignores the context of decades of settler colonialism and Israeli apartheid.


We must pressure the U.S. government to call for an immediate ceasefire and stop sending weapons to Israel. “There is no military solution here,” Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told my cohost Heidi Boghosian and me on Law and Disorder radio.


The consequences of allowing Israel to continue and escalate its aggression against the Palestinian people are unimaginable.



2) Panic Grips Gaza as Israel Calls for 1.1 Million People to Evacuate

The Israeli military demanded that Palestinians in northern Gaza move to the south as its troops mass on the border. The U.N. warned that the forced relocation would have “devastating humanitarian consequences.”

By Patrick Kingsley, Farnaz Fassihi and Victoria Kim, October 13, 2023


Palestinians evacuating Northern Gaza. (Screenshot)

Frightened Palestinians packed belongings and left their homes in northern Gaza on Friday after Israel’s military demanded that more than a million civilians move to the south of the blockaded coastal strip, a possible precursor to a ground invasion but one that the United Nations warned could be calamitous.


Israel’s buildup of soldiers near the border with Gaza has fueled speculation that it is preparing to invade the Hamas-held territory in response to last weekend’s incursion that killed more than 1,300 people. Israel last sent troops into the enclave in 2014.


But many Palestinians were reluctant to leave their homes for southern Gaza, which has even fewer resources, and routes to get there have been damaged by a week of Israeli strikes. Hamas officials urged Palestinians not to comply with what they called Israel’s “psychological warfare.”


Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes since Saturday, deadlier and more widespread than in its past campaigns in Gaza, have wiped out entire neighborhoods, brought the medical system to the brink of collapse and forced some 400,000 people into temporary shelters as they face dire shortages of food, water and fuel. Gaza’s health ministry said that 1,799 Palestinians, including 583 children, had been killed since Saturday, and that 7,388 people had been injured.


The United Nations pleaded for Israel to rescind the demand for a forced relocation out of fear of a humanitarian disaster. The Israeli military said on Friday morning that there was no firm deadline for people to leave the north and acknowledged that it “will take time.”



3) U.A.W. Says Auto Strikes Will Become More Unpredictable

The United Automobile Workers union refrained from expanding the strikes at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis but said it could do so at any time.

By Neal E. Boudette, Oct. 13, 2023

Workers holding up picket signs outside a factory in the dark. There is a big, lit up Ford sign above and behind them.
Union workers at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant, the company’s largest producer of its highly profitable F-series pickup trucks. Credit...Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal, via Associated Press

Four weeks after starting limited strikes against three large automakers, the United Automobile Workers is shifting to a more aggressive strategy, suggesting work stoppages could spread to more plants and possibly go on for some time.


In an online video, the union’s president, Shawn Fain, said he would no longer wait to announce expansions of the strikes on Friday, as he has been doing until now. Further actions could come at any time.


“We’re not messing around,” Mr. Fain said. “The companies are now on notice. If they’re not willing to move, we are going to give them a push.”


The union began its strikes on Sept. 15 when workers walked out of three plants, owned by General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis, which makes Chrysler, Jeep and Ram vehicles. It has since expanded the strike in stages, in a bid to increase the pressure on the companies.


The U.A.W. and the automakers have been negotiating new labor contracts since July.


On Wednesday, the U.A.W. unexpectedly told workers to walk out of Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. It is the company’s largest and the producer of its highly profitable Super Duty version of its F-series pickup trucks.


Ford has said the Kentucky plant typically produces a new truck every 37 seconds, and generates $25 billion in revenue, about 16 percent of the company’s annual total.


All told, the strike has halted operations at three Ford plants in Michigan, Chicago and Kentucky; two G.M. plants in Michigan and Missouri; and a Stellantis plant in Ohio. U.A.W. members are also on strike at 38 G.M. and Stellantis spare-parts warehouses across the country.


About 34,000 of the 150,000 U.A.W. members employed by the three companies are now on strike.


The U.A.W. has demanded substantial wage increases and improvements in other areas of its contract, like retirement plans. The union also wants an end to a system that pays new hires a little over half the top U.A.W. wage of $32 an hour.


The union is also concerned about the possible loss of jobs as automakers ramp up production of electric vehicles. The companies have offered wage increases of more than 20 percent over four years and to reduce the time it takes a new worker to rise to the top wage to four years from eight.


On Thursday, Ford officials said the company had reached its limit on what it could offer the union without hurting the company’s business and its ability to continue heavy investments in electric vehicles. “Any more will stretch our ability to invest in the business,” Kumar Galhotra, president of the Ford division that makes combustion engine vehicles, said on a conference call on Thursday.


Apart from the car companies, U.A.W.-represented workers went on strike this week at Mack Trucks. Its members this week voted to authorize a strike against General Dynamics, an aerospace and defense contractor. The U.A.W. also represents about 1,000 workers who have been on strike at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for a month.



4) Tens of thousands of displaced Gazans struggle to find food, water and shelter.

By Raja Abdulrahim, Reporting from Jerusalem, Oct. 14, 2023


A child uses a cart to carry water jugs, while another child and an adult behind him carry more.

Palestinians collecting water in Khan Younis, one of the main cities in the southern Gaza Strip, on Friday. Credit...Yousef Masoud for The New York Times

Tens of thousands of Palestinians who fled the northern Gaza Strip after an Israeli army order to evacuate were struggling on Saturday to find food, water or a place to shelter.


The Israeli army on Friday called for more than one million residents of northern Gaza — about half the population of the territory — to clear out and head to the south of the besieged and densely populated coastal strip in anticipation of a possible ground offensive.


Displaced families are crammed into schools and hospitals in the south while others are crowding into the houses of friends and family. Many more are sleeping out in the open in the streets even as Israeli airstrikes, including on southern Gaza, continue.


At least 70 people were killed Friday when Israeli airstrikes hit a convoy of vehicles fleeing south, according to the Gazan authorities. Israel said it was looking into the matter.


“It’s a struggle for life here,” said Gaza resident Zeina Ghanem, speaking on Saturday morning from a training center in southern Gaza run by the United Nations agency that assists Palestinian refugees. “There’s no food. There’s no water. There’s no sleep.”


There were 500 displaced people from northern Gaza, men, women and children, all packed into one small hall, she said.


Even before the Israeli evacuation order on Friday, more than 400,000 people had been displaced in Gaza over the past week by a constant barrage of Israeli airstrikes, according to the United Nations. The bombardment followed the surprise Hamas attack on Israel a week ago that killed more than 1,300 people.


At least 2,215 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since last Saturday, the territory’s health ministry said, including 724 children and 458 women. More than 8,700 have been wounded.


Many Gazans chose not to heed the evacuation order, saying the south was no safer than the north, and they would rather die at home. They also feared that those who left their homes would not be allowed back, a repeat of the 1948 mass displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians who were either expelled or fled their homes in present-day Israel and were never allowed to return.


Those who did flee found fear, chaos and confusion on the two main highways leading south. Vehicles were piled high with blankets and mattresses and desperate people squeezed into any buses or truck heading south.


Because telephone and internet services have been cut in many parts of Gaza since Monday after an Israeli strike hit the building housing the Palestine Telecommunications Company, many people have lost touch with each other.


Israel’s defense minister has imposed a “complete siege” of Gaza, saying it would prevent electricity, food, water and fuel from entering the impoverished territory, which has already been blockaded by Israel and Egypt for the past 16 years.


Samar Abu Elouf and Ameera Harouda contributed reporting from Gaza.



5) There Is a Jewish Hope for Palestinian Liberation. It Must Survive.

By Peter Beinart, Oct. 14, 2023

Mr. Beinart is a journalist and commentator who writes frequently about American foreign policy.


Uniformed white police officers confront three Black protesters.

In South Africa, protesters opposed to its apartheid policy were confronted by police officers in 1960. Credit...Ian Berry/Magnum Photos

In 1988, bombs exploded at restaurants, sporting events and arcades in South Africa. In response, the African National Congress, then in its 77th year of a struggle to overthrow white domination, did something remarkable: It accepted responsibility and pledged to prevent its fighters from conducting such operations in the future. Its logic was straightforward: Targeting civilians is wrong. “Our morality as revolutionaries,” the A.N.C. declared, “dictates that we respect the values underpinning the humane conduct of war.”


Historically, geographically and morally, the A.N.C. of 1988 is a universe away from the Hamas of 2023, so remote that its behavior may seem irrelevant to the horror that Hamas unleashed last weekend in southern Israel. But South Africa offers a counter-history, a glimpse into how ethical resistance works and how it can succeed. It offers not an instruction manual, but a place — in this season of agony and rage — to look for hope.


There was nothing inevitable about the A.N.C.’s policy, which, as Jeff Goodwin, a New York University sociologist, has documented, helped ensure that there was “so little terrorism in the anti-apartheid struggle.” So why didn’t the A.N.C. carry out the kind of gruesome massacres for which Hamas has become notorious? There’s no simple answer. But two factors are clear. First, the A.N.C.’s strategy for fighting apartheid was intimately linked to its vision of what should follow apartheid. It refused to terrify and traumatize white South Africans because it wasn’t trying to force them out. It was trying to win them over to a vision of a multiracial democracy.


Second, the A.N.C. found it easier to maintain moral discipline — which required it to focus on popular, nonviolent resistance and use force only against military installations and industrial sites — because its strategy was showing signs of success. By 1988, when the A.N.C. expressed regret for killing civilians, more than 150 American universities had at least partially divested from companies doing business in South Africa, and the United States Congress had imposed sanctions on the apartheid regime. The result was a virtuous cycle: Ethical resistance elicited international support, and international support made ethical resistance easier to sustain.


In Israel today, the dynamic is almost exactly the opposite. Hamas, whose authoritarian, theocratic ideology could not be farther from the A.N.C.’s, has committed an unspeakable horror that may damage the Palestinian cause for decades to come. Yet when Palestinians resist their oppression in ethical ways — by calling for boycotts, sanctions and the application of international law — the United States and its allies work to ensure that those efforts fail, which convinces many Palestinians that ethical resistance doesn’t work, which empowers Hamas.


The savagery Hamas committed on Oct. 7 has made reversing this monstrous cycle much harder. It could take a generation. It will require a shared commitment to ending Palestinian oppression in ways that respect the infinite value of every human life. It will require Palestinians to forcefully oppose attacks on Jewish civilians, and Jews to support Palestinians when they resist oppression in humane ways — even though Palestinians and Jews who take such steps will risk making themselves pariahs among their own people. It will require new forms of political community, in Israel-Palestine and around the world, built around a democratic vision powerful enough to transcend tribal divides. The effort may fail. It has failed before. The alternative is to descend, flags waving, into hell.


As Jewish Israelis bury their dead and recite psalms for their captured, few want to hear at this moment that millions of Palestinians lack basic human rights. Neither do many Jews abroad. I understand; this attack has awakened the deepest traumas of our badly scarred people. But the truth remains: The denial of Palestinian freedom sits at the heart of this conflict, which began long before Hamas’s creation in the late 1980s.


Most of Gaza’s residents aren’t from Gaza. They’re the descendants of refugees who were expelled, or fled in fear, during Israel’s war of independence in 1948. They live in what Human Rights Watch has called an “open-air prison,” penned in by an Israeli state that — with help from Egypt — rations everything that goes in and out, from tomatoes to the travel documents children need to get lifesaving medical care. From this overcrowded cage, which the United Nations in 2017 declared “unlivable” for many residents in part because it lacks electricity and clean water, many Palestinians in Gaza can see the land that their parents and grandparents called home, though most may never step foot in it.


Palestinians in the West Bank are only slightly better off. For more than half a century, they have lived without due process, free movement, citizenship or the ability to vote for the government that controls their lives. Defenseless against an Israeli government that includes ministers openly committed to ethnic cleansing, many are being driven from their homes in what Palestinians compare to the mass expulsions of 1948. Americans and Israeli Jews have the luxury of ignoring these harsh realities. Palestinians do not. Indeed, the commander of Hamas’s military wing cited attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank in justifying its barbarism last weekend.


Just as Black South Africans resisted apartheid, Palestinians resist a system that has earned the same designation from the world’s leading human rights organizations and Israel’s own. After last weekend, some critics may claim Palestinians are incapable of resisting in ethical ways. But that’s not true. In 1936, during the British mandate, Palestinians began what some consider the longest anticolonial general strike in history. In 1976, on what became known as Land Day, thousands of Palestinian citizens demonstrated against the Israeli government’s seizure of Palestinian property in Israel’s north. The first intifada against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which lasted from roughly 1987 to 1993, consisted primarily of nonviolent boycotts of Israeli goods and a refusal to pay Israeli taxes. While some Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails, armed attacks were rare, even in the face of an Israeli crackdown that took more than 1,000 Palestinian lives. In 2005, 173 Palestinian civil society organizations asked “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”


But in the United States, Palestinians received little credit for trying to follow Black South Africans’ largely nonviolent path. Instead, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s call for full equality, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return home, was widely deemed antisemitic because it conflicts with the idea of a state that favors Jews.


It is true that these nonviolent efforts sit uncomfortably alongside an ugly history of civilian massacres: the murder of 67 Jews in Hebron in 1929 by local Palestinians after Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, claimed Jews were about to seize Al Aqsa Mosque; the airplane hijackings of the late 1960s and 1970s carried out primarily by the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Yasir Arafat’s nationalist Fatah faction; the 1972 assassination of Israeli athletes in Munich carried out by the Palestinian organization Black September; and the suicide bombings of the 1990s and 2000s conducted by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, whose victims included a friend of mine in rabbinical school who I dreamed might one day officiate my wedding.


And yet it is essential to remember that some Palestinians courageously condemned this inhuman violence. In 1979, Edward Said, the famed literary critic, declared himself “horrified at the hijacking of planes, the suicidal missions, the assassinations, the bombing of schools and hotels.” Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian American historian, called the suicide bombings of the second intifada “a war crime.” After Hamas’s attack last weekend, a member of the Israeli parliament, Ayman Odeh, among the most prominent leaders of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, declared, “It is absolutely forbidden to accept any attacks on the innocent. “Tragically, this vision of ethical resistance is being repudiated by some pro-Palestinian activists in the United States. In a statement last week, National Students for Justice in Palestine, which represents more than 250 Palestinian solidarity groups in North America, called Hamas’s attack “a historic win for the Palestinian resistance” that proves that “total return and liberation to Palestine is near” and added, “from Rhodesia to South Africa to Algeria, no settler colony can hold out forever.” One of its posters featured a paraglider that some Hamas fighters used to enter Israel.


The reference to Algeria reveals the delusion underlying this celebration of abduction and murder. After eight years of hideous war, Algeria’s settlers returned to France. But there will be no Algerian solution in Israel-Palestine. Israel is too militarily powerful to be conquered. More fundamentally, Israeli Jews have no home country to which to return. They are already home.


Mr. Said understood this. “The Israeli Jew is there in the Middle East,” he advised Palestinians in 1974, “and we cannot, I might even say that we must not, pretend that he will not be there tomorrow, after the struggle is over.” The Jewish “attachment to the land,” he added, “is something we must face.” Because Mr. Said saw Israeli Jews as something other than mere colonizers, he understood the futility — as well as the immorality — of trying to terrorize them into flight.


The failure of Hamas and its American defenders to recognize that will make it much harder for Jews and Palestinians to resist together in ethical ways. Before last Saturday, it was possible, with some imagination, to envision a joint Palestinian-Jewish struggle for the mutual liberation of both peoples. There were glimmers in the protest movement against Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, through which more and more Israeli Jews grasped a connection between the denial of rights to Palestinians and the assault on their own. And there were signs in the United States, where almost 40 percent of American Jews under the age of 40 told the Jewish Electoral Institute in 2021 that they considered Israel an apartheid state. More Jews in the United States, and even Israel, were beginning to see Palestinian liberation as a form of Jewish liberation as well.


That potential alliance has now been gravely damaged. There are many Jews willing to join Palestinians in a movement to end apartheid, even if doing so alienates us from our communities, and in some cases, our families. But we will not lock arms with people who cheer the kidnapping or murder of a Jewish child.


The struggle to persuade Palestinian activists to repudiate Hamas’s crimes, affirm a vision of mutual coexistence and continue the spirit of Mr. Said and the A.N.C. will be waged inside the Palestinian camp. The role of non-Palestinians is different: to help create the conditions that allow ethical resistance to succeed.


Palestinians are not fundamentally different from other people facing oppression: When moral resistance doesn’t work, they try something else. In 1972, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, which was modeled on the civil rights movement in the United States, organized a march to oppose imprisonment without trial. Although some organizations, most notably the Provisional Irish Republican Army, had already embraced armed resistance, they grew stronger after British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians in what became known as Bloody Sunday. By the early 1980s, the Irish Republican Army had even detonated a bomb outside Harrods, the department store in London. As Kirssa Cline Ryckman, a political scientist, observed in a 2019 paper on why certain movements turn violent, a lack of progress in peaceful protest “can encourage the use of violence by convincing demonstrators that nonviolence will fail to achieve meaningful concessions.”


Israel, with America’s help, has done exactly that. It has repeatedly undermined Palestinians who sought to end Israel’s occupation through negotiations or nonviolent pressure. As part of the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestine Liberation Organization renounced violence and began working with Israel — albeit imperfectly — to prevent attacks on Israelis, something that revolutionary groups like the A.N.C. and the Irish Republican Army never did while their people remained under oppression. At first, as Khalil Shikaki, a Palestinian political scientist, has detailed, Palestinians supported cooperation with Israel because they thought it would deliver them a state. In early 1996, Palestinian support for the Oslo process reached 80 percent while support for violence against Israelis dropped to 20 percent.


The 1996 election of Benjamin Netanyahu, and the failure of Israel and its American patron to stop settlement growth, however, curdled Palestinian sentiment. Many Jewish Israelis believe that Ehud Barak, who succeeded Mr. Netanyahu, offered Palestinians a generous deal in 2000. Most Palestinians, however, saw Mr. Barak’s offer as falling far short of a fully sovereign state along the 1967 lines. And their disillusionment with a peace process that allowed Israel to entrench its hold over the territory on which they hoped to build their new country ushered in the violence of the second intifada. In Mr. Shikaki’s words, “The loss of confidence in the ability of the peace process to deliver a permanent agreement on acceptable terms had a dramatic impact on the level of Palestinian support for violence against Israelis.” As Palestinians abandoned hope, Hamas gained power.


After the brutal years of the second intifada, in which Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups repeatedly targeted Israeli civilians, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Salam Fayyad, his prime minister from 2007 to 2013, worked to restore security cooperation and prevent anti-Israeli violence once again. Yet again, the strategy failed. The same Israeli leaders who applauded Mr. Fayyad undermined him in back rooms by funding the settlement growth that convinced Palestinians that security cooperation was bringing them only deepening occupation. Mr. Fayyad, in an interview with The Times’s Roger Cohen before he left office in 2013, admitted that because the “occupation regime is more entrenched,” Palestinians “question whether the P.A. can deliver. Meanwhile, Hamas gains recognition and is strengthened.”


As Palestinians lost faith that cooperation with Israel could end the occupation, many appealed to the world to hold Israel accountable for its violation of their rights. In response, both Democratic and Republican presidents have worked diligently to ensure that these nonviolent efforts fail. Since 1997, the United States has vetoed more than a dozen United Nations Security Council resolutions criticizing Israel for its actions in the West Bank and Gaza. This February, even as Israel’s far-right government was beginning a huge settlement expansion, the Biden administration reportedly wielded a veto threat to drastically dilute a Security Council resolution that would have condemned settlement growth.


Washington’s response to the International Criminal Court’s efforts to investigate potential Israeli war crimes is equally hostile. Despite lifting sanctions that the Trump administration imposed on I.C.C. officials investigating the United States’s conduct in Afghanistan, the Biden team remains adamantly opposed to any I.C.C. investigation into Israel’s actions.


The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or B.D.S., which was founded in 2005 as a nonviolent alternative to the murderous second intifada and which speaks in the language of human rights and international law, has been similarly stymied, including by many of the same American politicians who celebrated the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction South Africa. Joe Biden, who is proud of his role in passing sanctions against South Africa, has condemned the B.D.S. movement, saying it “too often veers into antisemitism.” About 35 states — some of which once divested state funds from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa — have passed laws or issued executive orders punishing companies that boycott Israel. In many cases, those punishments apply even to businesses that boycott only Israeli settlements in the West Bank.


Palestinians have noticed. In the words of Dana El Kurd, a Palestinian American political scientist, “Palestinians have lost faith in the efficacy of nonviolent protest as well as the possible role of the international community.” Mohammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’s military wing, cited this disillusionment during last Saturday’s attack. “In light of the orgy of occupation and its denial of international laws and resolutions, and in light of American and Western support and international silence,” he declared, “we’ve decided to put an end to all this.”


Hamas — and no one else — bears the blame for its sadistic violence. But it can carry out such violence more easily, and with less backlash from ordinary Palestinians, because even many Palestinians who loathe the organization have lost hope that moral strategies can succeed. By treating Israel radically differently from how the United States treated South Africa in the 1980s, American politicians have made it harder for Palestinians to follow the A.N.C.’s ethical path. The Americans who claim to hate Hamas the most have empowered it again and again.


Israelis have just witnessed the greatest one-day loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust. For Palestinians, especially in Gaza, where Israel has now ordered more than one million people in the north to leave their homes, the days to come are likely to bring dislocation and death on a scale that should haunt the conscience of the world. Never in my lifetime have the prospects for justice and peace looked more remote. Yet the work of moral rebuilding must begin. In Israel-Palestine and around the world, pockets of Palestinians and Jews, aided by people of conscience of all backgrounds, must slowly construct networks of trust based on the simple principle that the lives of both Palestinians and Jews are precious and inextricably intertwined.


Israel desperately needs a genuinely Jewish and Palestinian political party, not because it can win power but because it can model a politics based on common liberal democratic values, not tribe. American Jews who rightly hate Hamas but know, in their bones, that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is profoundly wrong must ask themselves a painful question: What nonviolent forms of Palestinian resistance to oppression will I support? More Palestinians and their supporters must express revulsion at the murder of innocent Israeli Jews and affirm that Palestinian liberation means living equally alongside them in safety and freedom.


From those reckonings, small, beloved communities can be born, and grow. And perhaps one day, when it finally becomes hideously clear that Hamas cannot free Palestinians by murdering children and Israel cannot subdue Gaza, even by razing it to the ground, those communities may become the germ of a mass movement for freedom that astonishes the world, as Black and white South Africans did decades ago. I’m confident I won’t live to see it. No gambler would stake a bet on it happening at all. But what’s the alternative, for those of us whose lives and histories are bound up with that small, ghastly, sacred place?


Like many others who care about the lives of both Palestinians and Jews, I have felt in recent days the greatest despair I have ever known. On Wednesday, a Palestinian friend sent me a note of consolation. She ended it with the words “only together.” Maybe that can be our motto.



6) The Schoolyard

By Samar Abu Elouf with Eric Nagourney, Oct. 15, 2023

Children in the courtyard of a school, many looking up at the sky in concern, others running. An older boy holds a small girl in his arms.

Hours after Hamas gunmen crossed the border into Israel, slaughtering and kidnapping soldiers and random civilians alike, Palestinians in Gaza knew what was coming next.


Over the years of conflict between Israel and Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, Palestinians have learned to expect airstrikes raining down on their densely populated territory. Even ineffectual attacks by Hamas on its neighbor can draw a heavy response from the Israeli military.


And what Hamas did on Oct. 7 was anything but ineffectual. The surprise attack was the largest incursion onto Israeli territory in half a century and left at least 1,300 people dead, many of them children. “We are at war,” declared Israel’s prime minister.


In Gaza, it was immediately clear that Palestinians should prepare for retaliation on a scale perhaps beyond anything they had seen before. By week’s end, more than 2,000 people had been killed as Israel hit what it says are Hamas targets seeded among homes and businesses.


People in Gaza often race to U.N.-run schools for shelter when the fighting heats up, and when I arrived at one in the central Gaza City neighborhood of Al-Nasr that day, many had already arrived.


For a while, the children passed the time playing in the courtyard. Some brought out toys from the classrooms; one girl had found a paper crown there and placed it upon her head. The older boy in the photo was carrying his sister around as the others played because she had hurt her leg.


It was a moment of relative joy, but these were children of Gaza. If you ask them, some can tell you what kind of plane is flying overhead, or what kind of bomb just exploded. And so when the all-too-familiar sounds of war encroached, their Saturday afternoon of play was over, and they knew what to do.


They got to cover.



7) The U.S. Should Think Twice About Israel’s Plans for Gaza

By Rashid Khalidi, Oct. 15, 2023

Rashid Khalidi is a professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University and author of The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.

In one photo, a woman with a grim expression carries a toddler in her arms; in a second photo, long lines of cars fill a street as black smoke rises in the background.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters (left); Hatem Moussa/Associated Press

Israel has ordered more than a million people to leave northern Gaza, presumably to prepare for an imminent ground offensive. Its military strategists appear to be planning the depopulation and reoccupation of at least part of an area home to around 2.3 million people — nearly half of them children — and most of them descended from people driven from their homes before and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. We must understand that these are human beings at grave risk, not just numbers.


Consider what some in the Israeli defense establishment have said.


“The State of Israel has no choice but to turn Gaza into a place that is temporarily or permanently impossible to live in,” a reservist major general, Giora Eiland, wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper. “Creating a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a necessary means to achieve the goal.” He added, “Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, “We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly.” Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian declared that in Gaza, “there will be no electricity and no water. There will only be destruction. You wanted hell; you will get hell.”


The depopulation of Gaza would be manifestly inhumane and a violation of international law. President Biden and his advisers should ask themselves how it can be in the national interest of the United States to allow another mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes. Such a cataclysm would be a second nakba, or catastrophe, as the displacement of 1948 is called. The United States would thereby be a partner with Israel in creating a future for the Palestinians that offers only periodic death, destruction and dispossession and permanent subjugation or expulsion.


Israeli forces have attacked Gaza six times from 2006 until the recent siege, killing well over 4,000 people. According to the Jerusalem-based human rights watchdog B’Tselem, that figure includes 405 in 2006, 1,391 in 2008 and 2009, 167 in 2012, 2,203 in 2014, 232 in 2021 and 33 in 2022. Each time, casualties for Palestinian civilians have outnumbered combatants.


Even though Israel has left Gaza to Hamas control, the area is still under de jure Israeli military occupation under international law, according to the United Nations and some humanitarian groups. It is also practically so, given that Israel can cut off access to electricity, water, fuel and food for much of the territory.


The Biden administration has offered what is effectively unconditional support to Israel as it attacks Gaza, citing the killings of approximately 900 Israeli civilians and hundreds of soldiers and police officers during the Hamas assault and the captivity of roughly 150 people.


Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the West Bank as of Saturday numbered at least 2,228, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. Most of the dead on both sides are civilians, including at least 724 children in Gaza, according to Defense for Children International. It is worth noting that before the Hamas attack of Oct. 7, at least 200 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank this year, as well as 30 Israelis.


Unremarkably, the loss of Palestinian life has had little impact on U.S. policy: For some, it seems not all innocent civilian lives are equal. At the same time, U.S. diplomats have apparently been asking Egypt to take in Palestinians whom Israel would drive out of Gaza.


These echoes of the 1948 nakba may only be the beginning. If Washington encourages Israel down this path, it may trigger a much wider regional conflagration. The flight or expulsion of at least a quarter-million Palestinians from Haifa, Jaffa, Tiberias, Beisan and other localities before the Israeli declaration of independence that May helped trigger the first war between the Arab states and Israel. The war and subsequent expulsion or flight of even more Palestinians later in 1948, for a total of roughly 750,000 people, then helped precipitate decades of periodic conflict.


The last time a president and his advisers allowed outrage at unimaginable loss to drive policy was after Sept. 11, when they unleashed two of the most disastrous wars in American history, which devastated two countries and resulted in the deaths of a half million or more people and brought many people around the globe to revile the United States.


We are on the brink of an equally fateful decision in Washington over which Israeli actions to condone in Gaza, one that would make the United States a full party to all that follows, whether Mr. Biden and his team realize it or not.


It is past time for the United States to cease repeating empty words about a two-state solution while providing money, weapons and diplomatic support for systematic, calculated Israeli actions that have made that solution inconceivable — as it has for roughly half a century.


It is past time for the United States to cease meekly acquiescing to Israel’s use of violence and more violence as its reflexive response to Palestinians who have lived for 56 years under a stifling military occupation.


It is past time to accept that American efforts to monopolize a tragically misnamed peace process have helped Israel to entrench what multiple international human rights groups have defined as a system of apartheid that has produced only more war and suffering.


The only possible solution is one that ends the oppression of one people by another and guarantees absolutely equal rights and security for both peoples.



8) What I Told My Daughter About War

By Alex Kingsbury, Oct. 14, 2023

A child’s hand atop an adult’s hand.
Laurent Hamels/Getty Images

There comes a point in every child’s life when he or she asks about war.


My 7-year-old daughter reached that milestone this week. “Are there wars happening right now?” she asked as we used a glue gun to build the Egyptian pyramids out of sugar cubes at our dining table.


I’m paid to think and write about conflicts and violence, but I was unprepared for my daughter’s question. Not the topic per se but rather a shared vocabulary to discuss it.


In 2023 you have to work hard not to be touched, however fleetingly, by a war. We live in one of the most peaceful periods in all of human history, yet conflicts in places like Ukraine and Israel have an unprecedented global reach and immediacy. How do you explain war to a child who doesn’t really know what a soldier is?


My daughter is young enough to believe that the journalists Peter Parker and Clark Kent work in my office but old enough to know that the adults around her have been talking about something serious for the past few days.


I took a second look at a tipsheet that her New York City elementary school had sent to parents, provided by the American Psychological Association.


“You may wonder how you can teach your child to move beyond the fears that a time of war brings,” the sheet read. “The good news is that, just as your child learns reading and writing, he or she can learn the skills of resilience — the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress.”


That’s good guidance, but parents still need to translate it into a language kids can understand.


We know people here on both sides of the conflict there. Their children all learn to read and write in the same Manhattan classrooms. Ghastly images of mutilated bodies in Israel and blasted apartment complexes in Gaza are as close as a few swipes on the iPads they use for their homework. “Monitor your child’s internet usage to ensure that she isn’t going to sites that will give gory or sensationalized accounts of war,” the American Psychological Association warned.


To be young is to be afloat in a current of events that you cannot understand.


My first glimpse of war came through CNN, watching the bombardment of Baghdad in 1991 with a fascination and fear that I understood only later. My mother says that as a 10-year-old, I was very worried that the smart bombs were falling close to our home rather than half a world away. In my parents’ attic there is, to this day, a box of gulf war newspaper clippings that I dutifully collected as a child. Those clippings — mostly infographics, if I’m honest — were a textbook of sorts. When I went to Baghdad as an adult to cover the Iraq war, I had long known the names of nearly all the military vehicles and weapons that were being used.


To be old is to be afloat in a current of events that you fool yourself into thinking you understand.


“Yes, there are wars going on,” I told my daughter, as we set another tier of sugar cubes near a blue acrylic Nile. “Why do you ask?”


She said she’d heard something at school. “Are there children in the war?” she asked.


The closest my daughter has come to witnessing death was walking (obliviously) past the corpse of a homeless man on Second Avenue. I told her to look at the flashing lights of the police car rather than the bundle of blankets in the doorway.


The second graders in her class this year aren’t really aware that there are new students in their school who fled from war and violence, claiming asylum in the United States alongside thousands of others who are overwhelming the city’s shelter system. Nor do second graders understand that the safety exercises they now practice will, in later grades, be called by their real name: active shooter drills. “Tell children that they will be all right. Reassure them that they will be protected,” the war tipsheet suggested.


“There are children who are in the wars,” I said, “and I’m sure that they are all very scared.”


“I would be scared,” she said.


“But you don’t need to be scared right now,” I said. “The wars are very far away.”


In an interconnected world, proximity to wars is relative. Sowing fear and stoking support around the globe is one of the reasons that Hamas seeded graphic photos and videos of its surprise attack across the internet, The Times reported this week.


The worst may be yet to come. On Thursday the official X (formerly Twitter) account of the Israeli prime minister posted photos of what it said were the slain, charred bodies of infants. And the world is bracing for even more graphic imagery from Gaza: perhaps videos of hostages abused or killed and videos of civilians wounded or killed. About half of the population of Gaza is younger than 18.


Trying to record and broadcast the realities of war is a natural enough instinct for propagandists, journalists and average civilians alike; empathy and fury are powerful motivators.


But there’s also a cost to staring at the acts of humans at their worst. It can make it easier to label other people animals or rats — often a precursor to mass slaughter. It can also drive nations into an incandescent rage that clouds their better judgment, as happened in the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks.


We talk to our kids about war because they are curious or because it affects their lives directly; it is an instinct to inform as well as protect. But knowledge is often a burden to carry.


All I have learned over years of writing about war and mass shootings and political violence boils down to the same thing: that conflicts are mostly arbitrary suffering and that all trauma is transmissible. We owe it to our children to spare them from those truths for as long as possible.


It is only fortunate children who ask questions about war. Far too many others have seen enough of it firsthand that they can answer their own questions.



9) A Shoutout to All Gentle Caring People To Demand The Cessation of Hostilities Against The Palestinian People and For A Free, Free Palestine. No More Genocide In My Name!

By Mimi Rosenberg, October 15, 2023, via email 


A Jewish State Cannot Be Democratic State

Can a “Jewish” state be a “democratic” state?  So when the liberal/"left" in Israel takes to the street to "save Israel's democracy," what does that mean?  This question must lead to the meat of the issue for people here and to their then support of Palestinian resistance to settler-colonist occupation, despite the fact that the bulk of Israels, don’t seem to see any contradictions between a Jewish state and democracy.   It was the philosophy of Zionism that became the motivating ideology for the movement for the establishment of a Jewish nation, and the underpinnings of its governance today and by its very nature it is exclusionary, totalitarian and antithetical to democracy.

For almost all Israeli Jews, Israel is a normal, non-problematic, self-standing political entity. They don't see any problem with Israel as a Jewish democracy as long as "Israeli Arabs" (who they no longer call Palestinians) have the right to vote. In general the Arabs are invisible; the fact that they are second-class citizens (if that), have lost all their lands, are excluded from the government, etc., etc. doesn't factor in. So whether left or right, religious or secular, Ashkenazi or Mizrahi, the whole discussion around Israel is concerned only with Jews. For that reason "Israeli Arabs" Palestinians weren’t at the so called democracy protests; the fight was never theirs, their issues were never included. 

The occupation was never part of the discussion.  Again, Israel is a self-contained entity -- a kind of body with an appendage (the OPT and its population of 5 million + people). So the occupation was not considered part of the debate; indeed, the heads of the protests say that clearly: in order to have unity, we have to keep such "divisive"  issues aside.

While Israelis are living under “the most right-wing government in Israel’s history” really nothing has changed except that Israelis no longer feel the need to dress up their settler regime in liberal, “democratic” terms.  But really nothing has changed - either they have never grasped the meaning of Zionism – a case of mass self-delusion – or it’s that they are embarrassed by the public exposure of their violent Judaization of Palestine.

The outcome of the elections was a natural consequence of the Zionist enterprise - indeed, the very culmination to which Israelis have aspired since 1948 (and well before). From its very beginning some 130 years ago, Zionism has been up-front over its intent to Judaize Palestine. To displace the indigenous population and replace it with Jews. To turn an Arab country into a Jewish one. To transform Palestine into Israel.

Casting Zionism as a settler colonial enterprise is not merely an academic exercise; it explains the necessary and ongoing violence of conquest, displacement, land grabbing and ultimate repression, if not elimination, of another people whose very presence poses a challenge to exclusivist Jewish national claims to Palestine. People like Ben Gvir, are simply the true face of Zionism that has emerged from the more “diplomatic” politicians: Benny Gans, Defense Minister from 2000 – 2022, and Deputy Prime Minister, whose election video a couple years ago featured him boasting of having killed 4,000 “terrorists” in Gaza; Aviv Kohavi, the IDF Chief of Staff, Commander of the Gaza Division, who launched a billion dollar plan to boost the “lethality” of the IDF; Bennett, whose government oversaw an unprecedented peak of house demolitions; Labor and Meretz, the (Zionist) “Left” parties that never mention the occupation; and of course Netanyahu and all the others.

As long as people continue to view Israel as a normal country that can’t possibly understand the heights of violence against Palestinians that Israel is capable of and the most recent resistance against the occupation of Gaza - frankly just as they ignored or decried 75 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation.  Israel is a settler-colonial state and Ben Gurion, Settler-in-Chief, would have been pleased by the recent election results and accelerated and most aggressive Judaization of Palestine.  Initially Zionism’s supporters, American and European leaders at the head, were less enamored with the election results, because the unleashing of Netanyahu, Ben Gvir and Smotritch exposed their complicity in permitting Israel to carry out its settler agenda with impunity and the accusation of apartheid presented in painful detail by Amnesty, HRW, B’tselem and the UN.  But, America, and which has refused to reckon with its own origin as a settler-colonial nation and the consequences of disparate treatment and violence, which included perpetrating its own holocaust against the Indigenous People and whose economic system was based upon on a system of plantation capitalism governed by a slavocracy grew to accommodate the extremists. 

Those American and European leaders have acclimated to apartheid as a fact. Zionism’s decades-old campaign of replacing Palestine by Israel has, in Israeli eyes, been accomplished. Israel is now in the process of mopping up. Prime Ministers Bennett and Netanyahu publicly support the annexation of the West Bank. Only two things remain: breaking once and for all Palestinian resistance, a task Benny Gans, and now Yoav Gallant, and Israel’s prior Defense Minister Aviv Kochavi, and now the IDF Chief of Staff Yoav Gallant, readily carry out - IDF and the armed settlers are given a free hand; and the normalization of Israel’s apartheid regime over all of historic Palestine with the assistance of the international community, including the corrupt and repressive Arab regimes, who rely on Israeli surveillance and technologies of repression to stay in power, such as Egypt.

So let's stop pretending that we didn't know. Ben Gvir, Smotrich and their cronies are not an anomaly. The Netanyahu government is the “most right-wing” one only in its rhetoric, not in its policies. They are merely the product of Zionism’s 130 years of colonization. Only by formulating a program of decolonization, of thoroughly dismantling the structures of Israeli control and establishing a state of all its citizens (refugees included) can the Zionist project be defeated. The required intellectual honesty and political courage on the part of liberal Jews and “left” Israelis is, however, lacking. It is incumbent upon Palestinians, supported by anti-Zionist Israelis, to mobilize the international grassroots towards the end of decolonizing Israel and liberating Palestine through an inclusive, shared civil democracy.

Zionism Is The Poison To Be Pulled Out Of The Body Politic Root and Branch

How did Israel, become an apartheid state? Theodore Herzl (1860–1904), posited that Jews had no future as a diaspora whose fate would be either persecution or assimilation. He insisted they must have their own country. In 1896, he laid out the formula in The Jewish State, a short book that advocated the “ingathering” of the Jewish people where upon arrival they become citizens. Once set in motion, the rejection of the viability of the diaspora and the “right of return” were the concepts that began to create an apartheid state.

In July 2018, the Israeli parliament carried forward Herzl’s vision when it adopted a new nation-state law stating, “The right to exercise national self-determination is unique to the Jewish people.” It also proclaimed Hebrew as the state language while Arabic was demoted from an “official language” to a “language with a special status,” whatever that means. The curricula of the Arab schools, whose budgets are woefully underfunded, are controlled by the state.

Palestinians cannot escape their inferior-caste status even through marriage to Jews. In Israel, there is no civil marriage, and conversions, which must be adjudicated by ultra-orthodox rabbis, are unheard of. Everything in Israel is organized around the principle of “separate but unequal,” which consigns Palestinians, who comprise 20% of Israel’s population, to the hardest, dirtiest, lowest-paying, and least secure occupations. Include the Occupied Territories that Israel rules over, and Palestinians are roughly 50% of the total population of Palestine/Israel.

Palestinians, including their children, know that Israeli government agencies and individual citizens, with the acquiescence of the United States, have everywhere been steadily encroaching on land intended for the basis of building the state of Palestine, whose capital would be East Jerusalem. The Israelis have confiscated land on the West Bank to construct housing for 400,000 Jewish Israelis. In addition, the Security Wall (referred to as the Apartheid Wall by critics) encroaches on huge amounts of Palestinian land, cutting straight through villages and, in one case, through a school playground. Most recently, Israeli individuals and agencies have been purchasing land and houses in Israel’s few remaining integrated urban centers. Earlier, Israel formally annexed from Syria the Golan Heights, which contains the headwaters of the Jordan River.

The Jewish Agency holds much of Israel’s land, “in perpetuity for Jewish people.” The largest swaths of land (and whatever structures existed on these lands) were confiscated from Palestinians who fled the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Zionist militias during the 1947–1948 war. U.N. Resolution 194, which was passed in December 1948 (and subsequent resolutions) upheld two principles: the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their houses and land or to be fairly compensated. These resolutions have been blocked by Israeli obfuscation.  The Israeli government has started seizing “undeeded” land in the West Bank, where much of the land has been held since time immemorial by extended families whose ancestors possessed them. Israel’s encroachment on the land, effectively shredding the possibility of a two-state solution, the supposed goal of decades of U.S.-backed “peace talks.”

What was intended to be a Palestinian state has become strings of barely contiguous Bantustans.

Anti-Zionism Is Not Antisemitic 

Neither is being anti-Zionist antisemitic – and claiming it is uses Jewish suffering to erase the Palestinian experience.  The argument that anti-Zionism is inherently antisemitic rests on essentially two rather wobbly pillars. The first argument is that opposing Zionism is antisemitic because it denies to Jews what every other people enjoys: a state of its own. “The idea that all other peoples can seek and defend their right to self-determination but Jews cannot,” declared US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, “is antisemitism.” As David Harris, who led the American Jewish Congress from 1990 – 2022, put it: “To deny the Jewish people, of all the peoples on earth, the right to self-determination surely is discriminatory.”

All the peoples on earth? The Kurds don’t have their own state. Neither do the Basques, Catalans, Scots, Kashmiris, Tibetans, Abkhazians, Ossetians, Lombards, Igbo, Oromo, Uyghurs, Tamils and Québécois, nor dozens of other peoples who have created nationalist movements to seek self-determination but haven’t achieved it.  Yet barely anyone suggests that opposing a Kurdish or Catalan state for example makes you an anti-Kurdish or anti-Catalan bigot. It is widely recognized that states based on ethnic nationalism – states created to represent and protect one particular ethnic group – are not the only legitimate way to ensure individual freedom.  Contemplate a nationalism built around borders rather than heritage: to make Iraqi identity more inclusive of Kurds, rather than carving up a multiethnic state for example.

Ironically many Jewish leaders who call national self-determination a universal right would in any event deny  Palestinians that right.

Another argument that proclaims anti-Zionists antisemitic is that it is bigoted to take away that statehood once achieved. “It is one thing to argue, in the moot court of historical what-ifs, that Israel should not have come into being,” argued NYTs columnist Bret Stephens. However, “Israel is now the home of nearly 9 million citizens, with an identity that is as distinctively and proudly Israeli as the Dutch are Dutch or the Danes Danish. Anti-Zionism proposes nothing less than the elimination of that identity and the political dispossession of those who cherish it.”  But, arguendo as to Stephens argument certainly trying to turn a state based on ethnic nationalism into one based on civic nationalism, an inclusive state in which no ethnic group enjoys special privileges, rejecting the concept of “supremacy” isn’t “bigoted”.

I am reminded in the 19th century, Afrikaners created several countries designed to fulfil their quest for national self-determination, among them the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Then, in 1909, those two Afrikaner states merged with two states dominated by English-speaking white people to become the Union of South Africa (later the Republic of South Africa), which offered a kind of national self-determination to white South Africans.  The problem, of course, was that the versions of self-determination upheld by the Transvaal, the Orange Free State and apartheid South Africa excluded millions of Black people living within their borders, the indigenous population.  This changed in 1994. By ending apartheid, South Africa replaced an Afrikaner ethnic nationalism and a white racial nationalism with a civic nationalism that encompassed people of all ethnicities and races. It inaugurated a constitution that guaranteed “the right of the South African people as a whole to self-determination”.  That wasn’t bigotry, but its opposite.

Israel, now analogized to as an apartheid state, with its ethnic nationalism excludes the Palestinian the people under its control. Stephens notes that Israel contains almost 9 million citizens. What he doesn’t mention is that Israel also contains close to 5 million non-citizens: Palestinians who live under Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza without basic rights in the state that dominates their lives.  Israel doesn’t give these Palestinians citizenship because, as a Jewish state designed to protect and represent Jews, it wants to retain a Jewish majority, and giving 5 million Palestinians the vote would imperil that. 

In fact, even among Israel’s 9 million citizens, roughly 2 million – the so-called “Arab Israelis” the nomenclature used by Israelis to refer to Palestinians is an erasure of Palestinian identity, personhood and empowerment.  Stephens says overturning Zionism would mean the “political dispossession” of Israelis. But for Palestinian citizens Zionism represents a form of political dispossession. Because they live in a state that privileges Jews, they must endure an immigration policy that allows any Jew in the world to gain instant Israeli citizenship yet makes Palestinian immigration to Israel virtually impossible.

Palestinians live in a state whose national anthem speaks of the “Jewish soul”, whose flag features a Star of David and which, by tradition, excludes Israel’s Palestinian parties from its governing coalitions.  So long as Israel remains a Jewish state its form of ethnic nationalism – Zionism – denies equality to the non-Jews who live under Israeli control.

The Palestinians Can’t and Won’t Stop Fighting.

The Israeli government claims that the oppression of Palestinians is necessary for Jewish people to be safe. We know this is a lie, and that true safety can be found only through solidarity. Instead of false security for some, gained through violence, we envision a just world where all people are safe—and we mustn’t allow this violence to happen in our name.

But historically who has been the aggressor and the dispossessor – whose safety was in question?  Remember the horrific hostilities, that raged from 1948 to 1949, which Israelis call the War for Independence and Palestinians call al-Nakba (“the Catastrophe”), which caused over 700,000 Arabs to flee in every direction. The largest contingent of Palestinian refugees settled in Gaza, which was under the protection of Egypt until Israel seized it during the Six-Day War in 1967.  Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist military forces attacked major Palestinian cities and destroyed some 530 villages. About 15,000 Palestinians were killed in a series of mass atrocities, including dozens of massacres.  On April 9, 1948, Zionist forces committed one of the most infamous massacres of the war in the village of Deir Yassin on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. More than 110 men, women and children were killed by members of the pre-Israeli-state Irgun and Stern Gang Zionist militias.

The goal of removal and extinction has predominated and the practices of apartheid have been utilized to control the naturally resistant indigenous population.  Everything in Israel is organized around the principle of “separate but unequal” which consigns Palestinians to inferior schools as well as the hardest, dirtiest, lowest-paying, and least secure occupations.

Remember the eviction of the Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, the site of Palestine’s capital in its state-to-be. Remember those dwellings close to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, both located on a site of great importance to the three Abrahamic religions. Remember the significance of their location and the threatened evictions during the final days of Ramadan which was intended to ignite outrage and bring down the wrath of the state. This outrage was further stoked when Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque during prayers and fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas at the assembled celebrants. The projectiles landed in the prayer rooms of the holy place, thereby endangering the lives of the many who prayed there. A searing feature of the initial outbreaks was the Israeli police and members of the Israeli armed forces’ widespread manhandling of Palestinian children and young teenagers, who are seen being pulled by their garments and corralled by soldiers in full riot gear.

Remember, Gaza has evolved into what many now call the world’s largest open-air concentration camp. Its approximately 2.03 million inhabitants subsist in 141 square miles, much of which has been made off-limits by Israeli decree. The Palestinians of Gaza are trapped, cheek by jowl, in a place with no economy, no arable land, no right to fish in the Mediterranean Sea and no exit. 

Remember Israel’s 11-day bombing of Gaza from May 9 to May 20 accounting for almost all of the casualties: 12 Israelis and 240 Palestinians, including 63 children, were killed. These disproportionate outcomes speak to the David- and-Goliath nature of this struggle. While damage to Israeli structures and infrastructure was minimal, Gaza was devastated. Seventy thousands of its residents became refugees. American-made bombs destroyed many schools and seven medical facilities. Throughout much of Gaza, sewage systems were wrecked, safe water became unobtainable and electricity was shut off. What cannot be calculated is the tremendous damage to the psyches of Gaza’s population, especially its children.

The severe mistreatment, the deliberate killing of the masses of Palestinian people from 1947- 1948 and through the now threatened extinction of the people of Gaza - with the aim of destroying them as a group and wiping out their nation is genocide. 

This latest violent outbreak against the occupation was precipitated by an Israeli government that insists on the total Judaization of Palestine, the creation and maintenance of an exclusionary theocratic state that belongs to those who dominate, using all the familiar weapons of settler-colonialists to ethically cleanse from the land the Palestinian people and erase in fact and memory the Palestinian Nation. 

And I Won’t Stop Supporting Palestinian Efforts Against Occupation and For Equal Rights and Justice

In light of this last week’s horrific violence exposing Israeli apartheid, as people from all backgrounds and walks of life, we must endorse the Palestinians demands to end the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967, and “tear down the wall” the apartheid wall; recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens to full equality; and respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.  This call for basic rights and freedom values life, inspired by those who have resisted imperialism, called out injustice, and fought for freedom—and we must continue their struggle and understand that resistance is justified when a people are occupied.

Israel has waged war on Palestinians for decades.  That fact seems to come as a surprise to many people whose grasp of the world is shaped by their exclusive consumption of Western commercial media.  In this myopic calculus, Israel is always the victim, never the perpetrator. Israel’s understanding of history matters; Palestinians’ reading not only of the past but of the present and the future too, does not count. And, perhaps most indecent of all, Israeli lives and deaths matter; Palestinian lives and deaths don’t. Palestinians are cast as the aggressors the, “terrorists” when with their disparate power, they exhaust the limits of the possible to fight for their life and liberty, indeed a future existence as a people.  While the loss of any life diminishes our humanity can we truly declare as innocents those who are privileged by dent of their religious designation to advantage themselves of the spoils of a colonized peoples – their land and contributions to grow the country tooled by their blood, sweat and tears.  Oh what lies characterized by the slogan “a land without a people, for a people without a land” have been conveniently and opportunistically internalized by the beneficiaries of colonization. 

The deep and lasting human consequences of Israel’s terrifying, perpetual war on Palestinians – prosecuted with indiscriminate cruelty by an occupying army and its de facto proxies, fanatical settler militias – have been obscured by Western media, for generations.  Countless lives lost and maimed in body and spirit. Land and homes stolen. Livelihoods and ancient traditions destroyed. The exhausting cycle of having to rebuild, then watching all the promise and possibility turn, in an instant, to dust. The wholesale imprisonment of a people penned like cattle behind walls and barbed wire fences, where water and electricity, food and fuel, are switched on and off on a colonial power’s whim, a point made by Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations. “History,” he said, “begins for some media and politicians when Israelis are killed. Our people have endured one deadly year after another”.  Mansour recounted the repeated warnings he and other exasperated Palestinians have issued – time and again – of the potential “consequences of Israeli impunity and international inaction”.

The message is loud and clear and that is for support for the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Nation.  That  is the fundamental issue they we of good conscience, people of good will and for human rights must be able to deliver to our Palestinian siblings - they are not alone. 

I will not dictate to a Nation facing extinction or a people faced with 75 years of efforts to cleanse them from the land how to free themselves from occupation.  But, I will stand with my Palestinian siblings.  It is not for me to condone or repudiate their organizations any more then I would have the Indigenous Peoples of North America as to how to respond to their land expropriation, their forced relocation,  and the genocidal practices settler colonialism on eliminate them,  nor would I have moralized about the slave revolts, or how the Haitian brethren would revolutionize to become the first Black Republic in the hemisphere.   I would not be so presumptuous as to tell the South Africans what tactics and strategies, to use, whether be it diplomacy, collect nonviolent action or armed struggle to use to break the back of apartheid. 

It is not my job as a supporter of a liberation struggle to tell the Palestinian people who to denounce.  It is my duty to continue to stand with the masses of Palestinian people, publicly when a wrong has been committed and most decidedly in my name and then when an entire people are either rendered invisible or demonized by Western media to say Not In My Name! It is my duty to respond to the demonization of a people, the very victims of the systemic aggression, against the falsities and demonic images propagated by media and to prevent our dollars being used to further arm the Zionist state and to stand against settler colonialism.  NO NOT IN MY NAME!

I really see no equivalency between the resistance to occupation of the past days and the 75 years of efforts to eradicate a people.  I abhor militarism and violence and the loss of life of people whether by design or inadvertence it tears at my soul.  But the inequality and inhumanity indeed the prospect of extinction of the Palestinian Nation militates for me to make it clear to my Palestinian siblings that I stand with them in their collective voice and presence for a Free, Free Palestine. 

I will not shun them, or fail to appear at a collective gathering, when a people are facing genocide.  I will not allow the media to alienate me from the masses whose overarching call is for life and liberty.  I will not allow the government authorities to rekindle a “post-911” atmosphere and frighten me away from walking hand in hand with my Palestinian siblings in public protest. I will not be intimated, baited, harassed or even threatened by in vociferous complaint and McCarthyite threats of loss of work, appointments or status to stand against the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist State of Israel.  I will however always be ready for honestly probative discussion and civil debate. 

I feel encouraged by and gratified to have attended the large, public display, of predominantly Palestinians and their supporters to stop the occupation, for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities and particularly and immediately prevent a genocide against the people of Gaza, where there are already more than 500 children that have been killed – a call that must be on immediate and unconditional for Israel to halt its aggressions and for the Western governments to cease aiding and abetting such hostilities.  Certainly crimes against humanity and to be condemned as such.

And I urge my siblings of good will to do likewise and to advance their positions to end the occupation, stop the genocide against the people of Gaza most immediately and then to devote themselves to demanding that our government stop feeding the Zionist regime with its policies and practices of apartheid and ethic cleansing of a people from their homeland. 

And lastly I ask that we not be devoured and manipulated by Western media and to seek out and support alternative news sources,  such as the Electronic Intifada, Lisen to the Pacifica radio stations, publicly funded, radio by the people for the people in New York such WBAI 99.5 FM,  read more, and gather information for a diversity of sources to feed your intellect and ultimately to better inform your activism. 

I’m glad I didn’t buy into the bogyman fear of the other that our politicians ginned up, to scare the public away from public displays of support for Palestine.  I’m glad I didn’t paint the entire Palestinian community eager for expression and to be seen with a single brush – but rather emphasized with their righteous indignation and desire to live and flourish. Rather I made new friends at the demonstration and created new opportunities to communicate and think about what is to be done to pull up the poisonous roots of Zionism and stop the genocide - to oppose the 100 year war against Palestine. 

As people from all backgrounds and walks of life, we must endorse the Palestinians demands to end the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967, and “tear down the wall” apartheid wall; recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens to full equality; and respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

This call for basic rights and freedom values life, all life, inspired by those who have resisted imperialism, called out injustice, and fought for freedom—and for us to continue their struggle.  And continue to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).  No More Genocide In My Name! 

And it is my personal hope that Palestine will be free from the river to the sea and through the creation of a secular state - a “one state solution” where equal rights and justice prevail and which encompasses as its citizens all its current inhabitants and those that for dispossessed, driven into exile to return and be repossessed of their land and property, be otherwise compensated to recreate an egalitarian society in historic Palestine from the river to the sea. 

Aluta Continua



In the Spirit of Mandela




Twitter: @inthespiritt