Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, April 27, 2024




18th Annual CODEPINK Mother’s Day Bridge Walk for PEACE!

Sunday, May 12, Noon

11:45:  Gather at the  Welcome Center Plaza, on the East (Hill) side of the San Francisco end of bridge.

(IMPORTANT: Arrive 30-40 min. EARLY, as “The Authorities” purposely close nearby parking lots to discourage participation!)

NOON:  March Begins

1:30 P.M.:  Short Rally after the March on the bridge. 


In light of U.S. complicity in the ongoing genocide and forced starvation of the people of Gaza, we will put Palestine front and center.  With over 12 thousand children killed and tens of thousands of children hungry and near famine in Gaza alone, not to mention the urgent crisis for the children of Sudan, Ukraine, and Haiti, this is an urgent call for the global family to rise up for humanity.  



·      FOOD to GAZA, not Weapons to Israel.

·      NO TAX $$ for GENOCIDE

·      Not Another Nickel, Not Another Dime, No more Money for Israel’s Crimes.

·      Diplomacy Not War!


Let’s again pay tribute to the original meaning of “Mother’s Day,” a global call to ABOLISH WAR:

We’ll read:  Julia Ward Howe’s (1870) Mother’s Day Proclamation

Bring your mamas and grandmamas, sons, daughters, and grandchildren—the entire family, and friends too!  War is not healthy for children and other living things!


Bring your Kaffiyeh’s, Palestinian Flags, and signs that speak for you.

(Note:  Authorities may restrict you from taking flags on the bridge—wear it as a cape!)

Signs larger than 2x3 ft. may also be restricted.


Bring a simple treat to share to celebrate 18 years of CODEPINK bridge walks, and our Bay Area community’s commitment to peace and  justice.

We’ll sing John Lennon’s Imagine, one of Bay Area Troubadour Francis Collin’s favorite songs!

Francis Collins Presente!



Buildings destroyed in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, on April 16, 2024.

U.S. Will Send $26.4 Billion More OF OUR TAX DOLLARS to Aid Israeli Genocide From the River to the Sea!
(The package bars any of the funding from going to UNRWA, the main United Nations agency that provides aid to Palestinians in Gaza.)

See Gaza Strip Access Restrictions.pdf since 2007 at:


Palestinians killed and wounded by Israel:
As of April 27, 2024the total number of Palestinians killed by Israel is now over 34,183,* 77,084 wounded, and more than 487 Palestinians have been killed and 4,600 wounded by Israel in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.***  The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) and the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission released a new tally of Palestinians detained by "Israel", revealing that the number of Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank has risen to more than 6,115.

Israel lowers its estimated October 7 death toll from 1,400 to 1,139—604 Israeli soldiers killed since ground invasion, 6,800 wounded**

Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on April 22, 2024. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

*** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on April 22, this is the latest figure.

Source: mondoweiss.net






Boris Kagarlitsky is in Prison!

On February 13, the court overturned the previous decision on release and sent Boris Kagarlitsky to prison for five years.

Petition in Support of Boris Kagarlitsky

We, the undersigned, were deeply shocked to learn that on February 13 the leading Russian socialist intellectual and antiwar activist Dr. Boris Kagarlitsky (65) was sentenced to five years in prison.

Dr. Kagarlitsky was arrested on the absurd charge of 'justifying terrorism' in July last year. After a global campaign reflecting his worldwide reputation as a writer and critic of capitalism and imperialism, his trial ended on December 12 with a guilty verdict and a fine of 609,000 roubles.

The prosecution then appealed against the fine as 'unjust due to its excessive leniency' and claimed falsely that Dr. Kagarlitsky was unable to pay the fine and had failed to cooperate with the court. In fact, he had paid the fine in full and provided the court with everything it requested.

On February 13 a military court of appeal sent him to prison for five years and banned him from running a website for two years after his release.

The reversal of the original court decision is a deliberate insult to the many thousands of activists, academics, and artists around the world who respect Dr. Kagarlitsky and took part in the global campaign for his release. The section of Russian law used against Dr. Kagarlitsky effectively prohibits free expression. The decision to replace the fine with imprisonment was made under a completely trumped-up pretext. Undoubtedly, the court's action represents an attempt to silence criticism in the Russian Federation of the government's war in Ukraine, which is turning the country into a prison.

The sham trial of Dr. Kagarlitsky is the latest in a wave of brutal repression against the left-wing movements in Russia. Organizations that have consistently criticized imperialism, Western and otherwise, are now under direct attack, many of them banned. Dozens of activists are already serving long terms simply because they disagree with the policies of the Russian government and have the courage to speak up. Many of them are tortured and subjected to life-threatening conditions in Russian penal colonies, deprived of basic medical care. Left-wing politicians are forced to flee Russia, facing criminal charges. International trade unions such as IndustriALL and the International Transport Federation are banned and any contact with them will result in long prison sentences.

There is a clear reason for this crackdown on the Russian left. The heavy toll of the war gives rise to growing discontent among the mass of working people. The poor pay for this massacre with their lives and wellbeing, and opposition to war is consistently highest among the poorest. The left has the message and resolve to expose the connection between imperialist war and human suffering.

Dr. Kagarlitsky has responded to the court's outrageous decision with calm and dignity: “We just need to live a little longer and survive this dark period for our country,” he said. Russia is nearing a period of radical change and upheaval, and freedom for Dr. Kagarlitsky and other activists is a condition for these changes to take a progressive course.

We demand that Boris Kagarlitsky and all other antiwar prisoners be released immediately and unconditionally.

We also call on the authorities of the Russian Federation to reverse their growing repression of dissent and respect their citizens' freedom of speech and right to protest.

Sign to Demand the Release of Boris Kagarlitsky


The petition is also available on Change.org



*Major Announcement*

Claudia De la Cruz wins

Peace and Freedom Party primary in California!

We have an exciting announcement. The votes are still being counted in California, but the Claudia-Karina “Vote Socialist” campaign has achieved a clear and irreversible lead in the Peace and Freedom Party primary. Based on the current count, Claudia has 46% of the vote compared to 40% for Cornel West. A significant majority of PFP’s newly elected Central Committee, which will formally choose the nominee at its August convention, have also pledged their support to the Claudia-Karina campaign.


We are excited to campaign in California now and expect Claudia De la Cruz to be the candidate on the ballot of the Peace and Freedom Party in November.


We achieved another big accomplishment this week - we’re officially on the ballot in Hawai’i! This comes after also petitioning to successfully gain ballot access in Utah. We are already petitioning in many other states. Each of these achievements is powered by the tremendous effort of our volunteers and grassroots organizers across the country. When we’re organized, people power can move mountains!


We need your help to keep the momentum going. Building a campaign like this takes time, energy, and money. We know that our class enemies — the billionaires, bankers, and CEO’s — put huge sums toward loyal politicians and other henchmen who defend their interests. They will use all the money and power at their disposal to stop movements like ours. As an independent, socialist party, our campaign is relying on contributions from the working class and people like you.


We call on each and every one of our supporters to set up a monthly or one-time donation to support this campaign to help it keep growing and reaching more people. A new socialist movement, independent of the Democrats and Republicans, is being built but it will only happen when we all pitch in.


The Claudia-Karina campaign calls to end all U.S. aid to Israel. End this government’s endless wars. We want jobs for all, with union representation and wages that let us live with dignity. Housing, healthcare, and education for all - without the lifelong debt. End the ruthless attacks on women, Black people, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. These are just some of the demands that are resonating across the country. Help us take the next step: 


Volunteer: https://votesocialist2024.com/volunteer


Donate: https://votesocialist2024.com/donate


See you in the streets,


Claudia & Karina


Don't Forget! Join our telegram channel for regular updates: https://t.me/+KtYBAKgX51JhNjMx



We are all Palestinian

Listen and view this beautiful, powerful, song by Mistahi Corkill on YouTube at:



Here is my new song and music video, We are all Palestinian, linked below. If you find it inspiring, please feel free to share with others. All the best!


Thousands at stadium sing, "You'll Never Walk Alone," and wave Palestinian flags in Scotland.

We are all Palestinian



Labor for Palestine

Thousands of labor representatives marched Saturday, December 16, in Oakland, California. —Photo by Leon Kunstenaar

Video of December 16th Labor rally for Palestine.


Bay Area Unions and Workers Rally and March For Palestine In Oakland


For More Information:


Production of Labor Video Project





Just Like The Nazis Did

By David Rovics


After so many decades of patronage

By the world’s greatest empire

So many potential agreements

Were rejected by opening fire

After crushing so many uprisings

Now they’re making their ultimate bid

Pursuing their Final Solution

Just like the Nazis did


They forced refugees into ghettos

Then set the ghettos aflame

Murdering writers and poets

And so no one remember their names

Killing their entire families

The grandparents, women and kids

The uncles and cousins and babies

Just like the Nazis did


They’re bombing all means of sustaining

Human life at all

See the few shelters remaining

Watch as the tower blocks fall

They’re bombing museums and libraries

In order to get rid

Of any memory of the people who lived here

Just like the Nazis did


They’re saying these people are animals

And they should all end up dead

They’re sending soldiers into schools

And shooting children in the head

The rhetoric is identical

And with Gaza off the grid

They’ve already said what happens next

Just like the Nazis did


Words of war for domestic consumption

And lies for all the rest

To try to distract our attention

Among their enablers in the West

Because Israel needs their imports

To keep those pallets on the skids

They need fuel and they need missiles

Just like the Nazis did


They’re using food as a weapon

They’re using water that way, too

They’re trying to kill everyone in Gaza

Or make them flee, it’s true

As the pundits talk of “after the war”

Like with the Fall of Madrid

The victors are preparing for more

Just like the Nazis did


But it’s after the conquest’s complete

If history is any guide

When the occupying army

Is positioned to decide

When disease and famine kills

Whoever may have hid

Behind the ghetto walls

Just like the Nazis did


All around the world

People are trying to tell

There's a genocide unfolding

Ringing alarm bells

But with such a powerful axis

And so many lucrative bids

They know who wants their money

Just like the Nazis did


There's so many decades of patronage

For the world's greatest empire

So many potential agreements

Were rejected by opening fire

They're crushing so many uprisings

Now they're making their ultimate bid

Pursuing their final solution

Just like the Nazis did

  Just like the Nazis did

    Just like the Nazis did



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 

Sign the petition:




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

Join the Fight for Mumia's Life

Since September, Mumia Abu-Jamal's health has been declining at a concerning rate. He has lost weight, is anemic, has high blood pressure and an extreme flair up of his psoriasis, and his hair has fallen out. In April 2021 Mumia underwent open heart surgery. Since then, he has been denied cardiac rehabilitation care including a healthy diet and exercise.

Donate to Mumia Abu-Jamal's Emergency Legal and Medical Defense Fund, Official 2024

Mumia has instructed PrisonRadio to set up this fund. Gifts donated here are designated for the Mumia Abu-Jamal Medical and Legal Defense Fund. If you are writing a check or making a donation in another way, note this in the memo line.

Send to:

 Mumia Medical and Legal Fund c/o Prison Radio

P.O. Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94103

Prison Radio is a project of the Redwood Justice Fund (RJF), which is a California 501c3 (Tax ID no. 680334309) not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the defense of the environment and of civil and human rights secured by law.  Prison Radio/Redwood Justice Fund PO Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94141



Leonard Peltier “Why?” (Henry CrowDog)

Leonard Peltier Update—Experiencing the Onset of Blindness


Greetings Relatives,

Leonard is in trouble, physically. He is experiencing the onset of blindness. He is losing strength in his limbs. His blood sugar is testing erratically. This, on top of already severe conditions that have become dire. Leonard has not seen a dentist in ten years. His few remaining teeth are infected. He is locked down, in pain.

As always, Leonard’s fortitude remains astonishing. He is not scared of dying. He does not want to die in lockdown.

Our legal team has an emergency transfer underway. They are going to extraordinary lengths. We must get a top ophthalmologist to him. Thanks to your calls, the BOP did see him. They told him a specialist would be 8 - 10 weeks out.

Leonard does not have eight to ten weeks. He needs emergency care immediately.

If you can, please donate to this GoFundMe. Every penny matters. If you cannot, please share. If you are so inclined, go to www.freeleonardpeltiernow.org and contact the officials listed.


As always, thank you for your support.


Dawn Lawson

Personal Assistant Leonard Peltier

Executive Assistant Jenipher Jones, Esq.

Secretary Leonard Peltier Ad Hoc Committee




Leonard Peltier Update - Not One More Year


Coleman 1 has gone on permanent lockdown.

The inmates are supposed to be allowed out two hours a day. I have not heard from Leonard since the 18th. 

The last time I talked to Leonard, he asked where his supporters were. He asked me if anyone cared about these lockdowns.

Leonard lives in a filthy, cold cell 22 to 24 hours a day. He has not seen a dentist in ten years. I asked him, “On a scale of 1 to 10, is your pain level at 13?” He said, “Something like that.” Leonard is a relentless truth-teller. He does not like it when I say things that do not make sense mathematically. 

That is why Leonard remains imprisoned. He will not lie. He will not beg, grovel, or denounce his beliefs. 

Please raise your voice. Ask your representatives why they have abdicated their responsibility to oversee the Bureau of Prisons and ensure they adhere to Constitutional law.

Uhuru, The African People’s Socialist Party, has stepped up for Leonard. NOT ONE MORE YEAR.


Fight for Free Speech – YouTube:



Leonard should not have spent a day in prison. Click “LEARN” on our website to find out what really happened on that reservation: 


Self Portrait by Leonard Peltier

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.

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



Updates From Kevin Cooper 

A Never-ending Constitutional Violation

A summary of the current status of Kevin Cooper’s case by the Kevin Cooper Defense Committee


      On October 26, 2023, the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP wrote a rebuttal in response to the Special Counsel's January 13, 2023 report upholding the conviction of their client Kevin Cooper. A focus of the rebuttal was that all law enforcement files were not turned over to the Special Counsel during their investigation, despite a request for them to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office.

      On October 29, 2023, Law Professors Lara Bazelon and Charlie Nelson Keever, who run the six member panel that reviews wrongful convictions for the San Francisco County District Attorney's office, published an OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle calling the "Innocence Investigation” done by the Special Counsel in the Cooper case a “Sham Investigation” largely because Cooper has unsuccessfully fought for years to obtain the police and prosecutor files in his case. This is a Brady claim, named for the U.S. Supreme court’s 1963 case establishing the Constitutional rule that defendants are entitled to any information in police and prosecutor's possession that could weaken the state's case or point to innocence. Brady violations are a leading cause of wrongful convictions. The Special Counsel's report faults Cooper for not offering up evidence of his own despite the fact that the best evidence to prove or disprove Brady violations or other misconduct claims are in those files that the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office will not turn over to the Special Counsel or to Cooper's attorneys.

      On December 14, 2023, the president of the American Bar Association (ABA), Mary Smith, sent Governor Gavin Newsom a three page letter on behalf of the ABA stating in part that Mr.Cooper's counsel objected to the state's failure to provide Special Counsel all documents in their possession relating to Mr.Cooper's conviction, and that concerns about missing information are not new. For nearly 40 years Mr.Cooper's attorneys have sought this same information from the state.

      On December 19, 2023, Bob Egelko, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article about the ABA letter to the Governor that the prosecutors apparently withheld evidence from the Governor's legal team in the Cooper case.

      These are just a few recent examples concerning the ongoing failure of the San Bernardino County District Attorney to turn over to Cooper's attorney's the files that have been requested, even though under the law and especially the U.S. Constitution, the District Attorney of San Bernardino county is required to turn over to the defendant any and all material and or exculpatory evidence that they have in their files. Apparently, they must have something in their files because they refuse to turn them over to anyone.

      The last time Cooper's attorney's received files from the state, in 2004, it wasn't from the D.A. but a Deputy Attorney General named Holly Wilkens in Judge Huff's courtroom. Cooper's attorneys discovered a never before revealed police report showing that a shirt was discovered that had blood on it and was connected to the murders for which Cooper was convicted, and that the shirt had disappeared. It had never been tested for blood. It was never turned over to Cooper's trial attorney, and no one knows where it is or what happened to it. Cooper's attorneys located the woman who found that shirt on the side of the road and reported it to the Sheriff's Department. She was called to Judge Huff's court to testify about finding and reporting that shirt to law enforcement. That shirt was the second shirt found that had blood on it that was not the victims’ blood. This was in 2004, 19 years after Cooper's conviction.

      It appears that this ongoing constitutional violation that everyone—from the Special Counsel to the Governor's legal team to the Governor himself—seems to know about, but won't do anything about, is acceptable in order to uphold Cooper's conviction.

But this type of thing is supposed to be unacceptable in the United States of America where the Constitution is supposed to stand for something other than a piece of paper with writing on it. How can a Governor, his legal team, people who support and believe in him ignore a United States citizen’s Constitutional Rights being violated for 40 years in order to uphold a conviction?

      This silence is betrayal of the Constitution. This permission and complicity by the Governor and his team is against everything that he and they claim to stand for as progressive politicians. They have accepted the Special Counsel's report even though the Special Counsel did not receive the files from the district attorney that may not only prove that Cooper is innocent, but that he was indeed framed by the Sheriff’s Department; and that evidence was purposely destroyed and tampered with, that certain witnesses were tampered with, or ignored if they had information that would have helped Cooper at trial, that evidence that the missing shirt was withheld from Cooper's trial attorney, and so much more.

      Is the Governor going to get away with turning a blind eye to this injustice under his watch?

      Are progressive people going to stay silent and turn their eyes blind in order to hopefully get him to end the death penalty for some while using Cooper as a sacrificial lamb?

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



Daniel Hale UPDATE:  


In February Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale was transferred from the oppressive maximum-security prison in Marion, Illinois to house confinement.  We celebrate his release from Marion.  He is laying low right now, recovering from nearly 3 years in prison.  Thank goodness he is now being held under much more humane conditions and expected to complete his sentence in July of this year.     www.StandWithDaniel Hale.org


More Info about Daniel:


“Drone Whistleblower Subjected To Harsh Confinement Finally Released From Prison” 



“I was punished under the Espionage Act. Why wasn’t Joe Biden?”  by Daniel Hale




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) A U.N. aid chief says ‘every day counts’ in the efforts to relieve the suffering in Gaza.

By Matt Surman, April 25, 2024


People carry boxes marked aid through a rubble-strewed street.

Carrying aid packages collected from a drop over the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The U.N.’s top coordinator for humanitarian aid for Gaza has said that Israel has taken steps to improve the delivery of relief supplies to the enclave but warned that much more must be done to meet the vast need there.


Israel has announced efforts to increase the flow of aid into Gaza, including by opening an additional border crossing and by accepting shipments at a nearby port. But the United Nations has warned with increasing urgency that a famine is looming and that deliveries still fall short of the level needed to stop the spread of starvation.


The aid coordinator, Sigrid Kaag, said in a briefing at the Security Council on Wednesday that, while Israel had made efforts to increase the entry and distribution of aid, “further definitive and urgent steps are needed to set the course for a sustained flow of humanitarian and commercial goods into Gaza in terms of volume, need and reach.”


“Given the scale and scope of destruction and the extent of human suffering, every day counts,” she added.


According to U.N. data, the number of aid trucks entering Gaza has risen, but only slightly. In the two weeks ending Monday, the most recent day for which figures were available, an average of 195 trucks had entered Gaza each day through the two main crossings in the south of the territory.


That was slightly higher than the average of 185 trucks daily in the two weeks before that — but still far short of the 300 trucks of food that the World Food Program estimates are needed per day to begin to meet people’s basic needs.


Ms. Kaag, a Dutch former finance minister and deputy prime minister, was appointed by the United Nations in December to improve efforts to get aid into Gaza. The role was laid out in a Security Council resolution that aimed to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which has been under intense Israeli bombardment since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks.


Countries including the United States have tried to find air and sea routes into Gaza, but aid groups say delivery by truck would be far more efficient. They have described deep the challenges in navigating Israeli security checkpoints and in traveling through a war zone, including impassable roads, unexploded ordnance and fuel shortages. Israel has denied restricting aid, blaming U.N. agencies for bureaucratic delays.


Ms. Kaag said that the United Nations was in contact with the Israeli government on urgent measures needed to improve the flow of aid, including easing procedures at Israeli checkpoints, repairing roads and allowing humanitarian convoys to move as scheduled.


Ms. Kaag’s comments echoed those of President Biden’s special envoy for humanitarian issues in Gaza, David Satterfield, who said on Tuesday that the volume of aid into Gaza had increased but that “much more aid is needed.”



2) A U.S. aid package includes billions in military support for Israel.

By Anushka Patil, April 25, 2024

“My commitment to Israel — I want to make clear again — is ironclad,” Mr. Biden said at the White House after signing the bill on Wednesday. “The security of Israel is critical, and we’ll always make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran and the terrorists it supports.”


President Biden gestures from behind a lectern that features the presidential seal. A fireplace and flags are behind him.

President Biden speaking at the White House on Wednesday after signing a $95.3 billion package of aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Biden on Wednesday signed a sweeping foreign aid package that includes billions in unconditional military aid to Israel, hailing the bill as a demonstration of his commitment to Israel while urging the country to help ensure additional money allocated for humanitarian assistance to Gaza reaches Palestinian civilians “without delay.”


“My commitment to Israel — I want to make clear again — is ironclad,” Mr. Biden said at the White House after signing the bill on Wednesday. “The security of Israel is critical, and we’ll always make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran and the terrorists it supports.”


At the same time, Mr. Biden said the bill allows for a “surge” in humanitarian aid, including food, medical supplies and clean water for “the innocent people of Gaza,” who he said were “suffering badly” from the “consequences of this war that Hamas started.”


“Israel must make sure all this aid reaches the Palestinians in Gaza without delay,” Mr. Biden said.


The United States is by far the largest supplier of military aid to Israel, whose crushing offensive in Gaza has killed more than 34,000 people, including over 14,000 children, since Oct. 7, according to local health officials and the U.N.


The near-complete siege on Gaza has also displaced nearly 1.7 million people and left hundreds of thousands starving as Israel continues to destroy civilian infrastructure and restrict the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid, according to the U.N.


The scale of the devastation being inflicted on Palestinians in the enclave has led to fierce public backlash against the Biden administration over its support for Israel.


The bill includes at least $13 billion in military aid for Israel, including more than $5 billion for its air defense systems. It also includes $9 billion for humanitarian aid to crisis spots around the world, including an unspecified amount for Gaza.


President Biden said in his remarks on Wednesday that the amount allocated for Gaza was $1 billion. The bill explicitly bars any of the funding from going to UNRWA, the largest aid group on the ground.


The bill’s inclusion of billions of dollars of military aid with no further limitations on how Israel can use it faced strong opposition from several left-leaning Democrats in Congress. Human rights and foreign policy experts have warned that Israel is violating international humanitarian law, which the State Department has denied, and that the U.S. could be violating its own laws by continuing to send no-strings-attached funding.


In December, Mr. Biden said that Israel was losing international support over its “indiscriminate” bombing of Gaza. And in April, after the Israeli military killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen, he said Israel had “not done enough to protect civilians” and suggested that future U.S. aid could be dependent on Israel taking concrete steps to do so.


Speaking from the White House after signing the bill on Wednesday, Mr. Biden stressed that the funding was providing “vital support” to bolster Israel’s air defenses against attacks like the retaliatory barrage of drones and missiles that Iran fired earlier this month.


He did not elaborate on what action, if any, the United States would take if Israel continues to obstruct the delivery of aid, which the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered it to stop doing last month.



3) With temperatures soaring, many Gazans swelter in makeshift tents.

By Raja Abdulrahim and Ameera Harouda reporting from Jerusalem, April 25, 2024


A girl stands next to containers of water, as a young child sits on a step, leaning against a wall.

Palestinians near containers filled with water in Rafah on Tuesday. Credit...Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When Maryam Arafat, her husband and their three young children fled their home in Gaza City under Israeli bombardment, it was the dead of winter. Forced to shelter in a ramshackle tent in Deir al Balah, the family shivered during the bitterly cold nights, as there was no fuel to heat up and not enough clothes to stay warm.


Since then, the weather has turned hot and humid in the coastal Gaza Strip, and that same tent has become unbearable and suffocating.


“The tent feels like it’s on fire,” Ms. Arafat, 23, said. “It’s so hot you can’t bear it, especially with young children.” In her lap, Yahya, who is a year old, screamed in discomfort.


Nearly two million Palestinians in Gaza were forced to flee their homes under Israeli bombardment and military evacuation orders when the weather was cold, and the makeshift tents many found themselves living in provided little protection from the low temperatures. Faced with no heating fuel, Gazans chopped down many of the trees to burn for heating and for cooking.


Now, with a blazing sun overhead, there are few trees to provide shade as temperatures soar, reaching a high of 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday.


Scott Anderson, the deputy director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, said on Sunday that the rising temperatures made combating the spread of disease as much of a priority as delivering food.


The heat is exacerbating already dire problems from Israel’s war in Gaza. People are relying on water to keep cool when it is already in short supply and not easy to get, and the warm weather is bringing insects that help spread disease.


“Everything has become difficult in this world,” Ms. Arafat said. “There is no water.”


Ms. Arafat uses a piece of cardboard to fan her children and dampens their heads and limbs with what little water they have.


Along with warmer temperatures have come mosquitoes, ants and other bugs. At night, Ms. Arafat and her husband stay up and keep watch over their three children, worried that they will be bitten. Their tent is in an encampment in an open field and she fears even more dangerous threats like snakes.


Fadwa Abu Waqfa, a 37-year-old mother of three living in a tent in Rafah, remembers how even during peacetime, when her family was living with air conditioning, a fridge and cold water, they struggled to stand the Gazan heat.


She said the situation now is beyond words.


“We can’t sit outside and we can’t sit inside the tent,” she said. “It is so hard. It’s a heat that I can’t describe.”


She and her family spend much of their days now walking to and from the pump where they fill up two gallons of water during each trip.


Her 3-year-old son, Osama, wakes up in the night from the heat, and all she can do is give him water to drink. She knows that this is just the beginning and the temperatures will get even worse in the coming months.


“We are just praying for the mercy of God,” she said.



4) Campus Protests Over Gaza Intensify Amid Pushback by Universities and Police

There were more than 120 new arrests as universities moved to prevent pro-Palestinian encampments from taking hold as they have at Columbia University.

By J. David Goodman, David Montgomery, Jonathan Wolfe and Jenna Russell, Published April 24, 2024, Updated April 25, 2024

This story was reported on the ground from campuses in Austin, Los Angeles, Boston, Rhode Island, San Antonio and New York.


Texas state troopers with protesters at the University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday. Credit...Jay Janner/USA Today Network, via Reuters

Police officers in helmets and face shields wade into a large crowd of protesters, some of them carrying signs.

Texas state troopers with protesters at the University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday. Credit...Jay Janner/USA Today Network, via Reuters

on Wednesday as students gathered on campuses around the country, in some cases facing off with the police, in a widening showdown over campus speech and the war in Gaza.


University administrators from Texas to California moved to clear protesters and prevent encampments from taking hold on their own campuses as they have at Columbia University, deploying police in tense new confrontations that already have led to dozens of arrests.


At the same time, new protests continued erupting in places like Pittsburgh and San Antonio. Students expressed solidarity with their fellow students at Columbia, and with a pro-Palestinian movement that appeared to be galvanized by the pushback on other campuses and the looming end of the academic year.


Protesters on several campuses said their demands included divestment by their universities from companies connected to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza, disclosure of those and other investments and a recognition of the continuing right to protest without punishment.


The demonstrations spread overseas as well, with students on campuses in Cairo, Paris and Sydney, Australia, gathering to voice support for Palestinians and opposition to the war.


As new protests were emerging, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, visited the Columbia campus in New York, where university officials were seeking to negotiate with protest leaders to end the encampment of around 80 tents still pitched on a central campus lawn.


Mr. Johnson said the school’s president, Nemat Shafik, should resign if she could not immediately get the situation under control, calling her an “inept leader” who had failed to guarantee the safety of Jewish students.


The speaker said there could be an appropriate time for the National Guard to be called in, and that Congress should consider revoking federal funding if universities could not keep the protests under control.


Republican lawmakers have accused university administrators for months of not doing enough to protect Jewish students on college campuses, seizing on an issue that has sharply divided Democrats.


Some of the campus demonstrations that have taken place since the war began last year have included hate speech and expressions of support for Hamas, the armed group based in Gaza that led the deadly attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, sparking the war that has left more than 34,000 people dead in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.


One of the biggest new protests on Wednesday was in Texas, where dozens of police officers, many of them in riot gear and some of them on horseback, blocked the path of protesters at the state’s premier public university, the University of Texas at Austin. At least 34 people were arrested after refusing to disperse, according to a state police spokeswoman.


Gov. Greg Abbott said that arrests there would continue until the protesters dispersed. “These protesters belong in jail,” he wrote on X. “Students joining in hate-filled, antisemitic protests at any public college or university in Texas should be expelled.”


Hours earlier, at the Dallas campus of the University of Texas, a large group of student protesters briefly staged a sit-in near the office of the university president, demanding divestments. The students left after the president agreed to meet with them.


At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the police moved in just before lunchtime to break up an encampment of about 100 pro-Palestinian protesters at the center of campus. As demonstrators chanted, “Shame,” officers tackled at least one protester and put that person into a campus police car, but the protester was later released.


Claudia Galliani, 26, a master’s student in public policy at U.S.C., said she was protesting “to stand in solidarity with the students of Columbia and other campuses across the States who are receiving brutality due to their advocacy for Palestine.” She said that the protesters had been ostracized and accused of antisemitism.


Many U.S.C. students were angered at the cancellation of a commencement address by the valedictorian Asna Tabassum, who is Muslim, after complaints from groups on campus that cited her support on social media for Palestinians.


“I think universities don’t want what’s happening on the East Coast to spread to the West Coast,” said Maga Miranda, a doctoral student in ethnic studies at the University of California, Los Angeles who joined the protest at U.S.C.


Protesters returned later in the day, but the university prevented a permanent encampment from being established, as the tents that had been forcibly removed in the morning were not re-erected.


Just before 6 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department officers ordered them to disperse and threatened them with arrest and expulsion from school. Many protesters moved outside of a police perimeter, but more than two dozen locked arms in the middle of the campus quad, some holding Palestinian flags.


Officers ultimately arrested 93 people for trespassing and one person on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, L.A.P.D. officials announced late Wednesday. Capt. Kelly Muniz of the L.A.P.D. did not have further details on the assault.


By 9 p.m., officers cleared the remaining protesters from the private campus and locked the gates.


At Brown University in Rhode Island, scores of students pitched tents on the campus’s Main Green on Wednesday. Organizers said their minds were on the children and students in Gaza, not on the administration’s warning that the new encampment violated university policy. They promised to stay until they were forced off.


“What we’re putting on the line is so minimal in risk, compared to what Gazans are going through,” said Niyanta Nepal, a junior from Concord, N.H., and the president-elect of the student body. “This is the least we can be doing, as youth in a privileged situation, to take ownership of the situation.”


She said the emergence of a national student movement on college campuses had galvanized Brown students. “I think everyone was ready to act, and the national momentum was what we needed,” she said. Rafi Ash, a sophomore from Amherst, Mass., and a member of Brown University Jews for Ceasefire Now, said the student protesters were in it for the long haul. “We’ll be here until they divest, or until we’re forced off,” he said.


Administrators at Harvard University sought to head off a similar scene by shuttering Harvard Yard, a central gathering place on campus. But students flooded the yard’s grassy patches anyway on Wednesday, rapidly erecting tents as part of an “emergency rally” against the suspension a pro-Palestinian campus group.


At Cal Poly Humboldt in Arcata, Calif., administrators said they were shutting down the campus through the weekend, concerned that protesters occupying two buildings could spread to others.


Late Tuesday, two students were arrested at Ohio State University, school officials said, during an on-campus protest that had since dispersed.


The protests at the University of Texas at Austin were among the first to take place in a Republican-led state in the South, occurring within walking distance of the governor’s mansion. Like other Republican political leaders, Gov. Greg Abbott has been outspoken in his support for Israel, and last month, he vowed to fight any antisemitism on campus.


University leaders on Tuesday said they had revoked permission for a protest and warned those who might seek to gather anyway.


“The University of Texas at Austin will not allow this campus to be ‘taken,’” two administrators from the Office of the Dean of Students wrote in a letter to the Palestine Solidarity Committee.


State police were deployed to the campus on Wednesday at the request of the university and at Mr. Abbott’s direction, said the state police spokeswoman, Ericka Miller, “in order to prevent any unlawful assembly.”


When protesters began to congregate despite the warnings, the response was swift. Scores of officers formed crowd-control lines, some clutching batons. After having ordered the protesters to disperse, some officers surged into the crowd and hauled several people away, then returned for others.


“Let them go!” some people shouted as the crowd grew.


At one point, hundreds of students and their supporters were gathered on the south mall of the campus, including some who gathered in a large circle and chanted, “Pigs go home!” Soon, the police moved in again, pushing through the crowds and making further arrests.


Ms. Miller said the majority of those arrested were charged with criminal trespassing.


In a statement, the university’s Division of Student Affairs said that the university would not tolerate disruptions “like we have seen at other campuses” and would take action to allow students to finish their classes and final exams “without interruption.”


Anna Betts and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs in New York, Edgar Sandoval in San Antonio and Jose Quezada in Arcata, Calif., contributed reporting.



5) The U.S. will not suspend aid, for now, to Israeli military units accused of abusing Palestinians in the West Bank.

By Michael Crowley reporting from Washington, April 26, 2024


Men in uniform with guns pointed ahead. Some hold red flags.

Soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda battalion during a training exercise in 2014. Credit...Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Biden administration has determined that three Israeli military units and two civilian units have committed gross human rights abuses against Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But it will not deny them military aid, as long as Israel takes steps to hold them accountable.


Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken notified House Speaker Mike Johnson of the decision in a letter obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Blinken said that Israel is acting to “bring to justice” culpable members of two of the military units and both civilian ones.


In the case of the third military unit — the Netzah Yehuda battalion, which has been investigated in Israel for crimes in the West Bank predating the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks that set off the war in Gaza — Mr. Blinken said that the U.S. was working with Israel to address charges against it.


Under the so-called Leahy Law, the U.S. government must deny aid to foreign military units found to have committed gross violations of human rights without accountability. The law allows for the targeting of individual units without cutting off entire foreign militaries.


It was not clear what practical impact any such move might have, given that funding of specific Israeli units is hard to track and the battalions in question do not receive American training.


Still, the news last week that U.S. officials were considering withholding aid from Israeli military units for abuses prompted a furious response from Israel and from Mr. Johnson, a strong supporter of the current Israeli government. Mr. Johnson said this week that he had called the White House in protest and had received an assurance in writing that none of the billions in additional U.S. aid to Israel approved by Congress this week would be affected.


Mr. Blinken told Mr. Johnson in the undated letter that the U.S. “will not delay the delivery of any U.S. assistance and Israel will be able to receive the full amount appropriated by Congress.” The letter was first reported by ABC News.


The Biden administration has faced growing calls to restrict American military aid to Israel over its military offensive in Gaza in response to the Hamas attacks in October. President Biden so far has declined to place conditions on U.S. aid over Israel’s devastating tactics in the Gaza war, though he has taken several steps in response to violence by Israelis in the West Bank, including placing sanctions against several Israeli settlers for what the U.S. has called “extremist” acts of violence against Palestinians.


In his letter to the Republican House speaker, Mr. Blinken said that two Israeli battalions and “civilian authority units,” none of which he named, had committed human rights abuses but that he had “determined that the Israeli government has conducted effective remediation of the units involved.” He defined remediation as a process in which a foreign government takes “effective steps to bring to justice the responsible members of the unit.”


In the case of Netzah Yehuda, which he did not cite by name, he said that “there has not been effective remediation to date” but that the Israeli government “has presented new information regarding the status of the unit and we will engage on identifying a path to effective remediation for this unit.”


Mr. Blinken will travel to Israel next week for meetings with Israeli leaders to discuss efforts to free hostages from Gaza and an impending Israeli military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, an Israeli official said on Friday. It was not immediately clear whether he would discuss Netzah Yehuda. Mr. Blinken has discussed the matter by phone with senior Israeli officials in recent days.


Under the terms of a 10-year security agreement that the United States and Israel reached in 2016, the U.S. must consult with Israeli officials before placing restrictions on security assistance. That consultation is ongoing, according to the person familiar with the situation, and it is still possible that the Biden administration would take action against Netzah Yehuda if it concludes that Israel has not taken sufficient steps to hold it accountable.


Netzah Yehuda, which was created to accommodate the religious practices of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, has been repeatedly accused of mistreating Palestinians.


In January 2022, according to witnesses, its soldiers bound and gagged a 78-year-old Palestinian American who died of a heart attack while in military custody. An investigation concluded that the two soldiers who bound the man thought he was sleeping. The soldiers faced disciplinary action but no criminal charges were brought.


The unit was transferred in 2022 from the West Bank to the Golan Heights in northern Israel, according to Mr. Blinken’s letter.


Mr. Blinken added that no other Israeli units had been found culpable of rights violations under the Leahy Law and that the administration’s deliberations “will have no impact on our support for Israel’s ability to defend itself against Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah or other threats.”



6) A baby born in Gaza after her mother was killed in an Israeli strike dies less than a week later.

By Hiba Yazbek Reporting from Jerusalem, April 26, 2024


Screenshot of child just after her birth.

A baby who was delivered through an emergency cesarean section after her mother was killed in an Israeli strike died on Thursday, a relative said, less than a week after news of her birth brought a glimmer of hope to war-torn Gaza.


The baby, who was born after a strike in southern Gaza that also killed her father and sister, suffered respiratory problems and doctors were unable to save her, said her uncle, Rami al-Sheikh.


“I buried her in her father’s grave,” he said in a phone interview on Friday.


The mother, Sabreen al-Sakani, was killed along with her husband, Shukri, and their 3-year-old daughter Malak when an Israeli strike hit their home in the city of Rafah shortly before midnight last Saturday. Rescue crews took the bodies to the Emirati Hospital in Rafah, where doctors performed an cesarean section on Ms. al-Sakani, who was 30 weeks pregnant.


Her uncle said that Malak had wanted to name her little sister Rouh, the Arabic word for soul. After her birth, the extended family decided to name her after her mother, Sabreen.


Sabreen was premature and weighed just three pounds at birth, said Dr. Mohammed Salama, head of the neonatal intensive care unit at Emirati Hospital. Her birth was captured on video by a journalist from the Reuters news agency, who filmed doctors providing artificial respiration to her after she emerged, pale and limp, from her mother.


Instead of a name, doctors initially wrote, “The baby of the martyr Sabreen al-Sakani” on a piece of tape across her chest.


“The baby was delivered into a tragic situation,” Dr. Salama told Reuters after her birth, adding, “Even if this baby survives, she was born an orphan.”



7) Rabbis are arrested near the Gaza-Israel border at a rally to highlight starvation.

By Patrick Kingsley and Rawan Sheikh Ahmad reporting from Jerusalem and from Haifa, Israel, April 26, 2024


Four police officers stand over a group of protesters who are sitting down.

Israeli police officers with members of the protest group in southern Israel on Friday. Credit...Maya Alleruzzo/Associated Press

Seven rabbis and peace activists were arrested on Friday near the border with Gaza after they tried to bring food supplies into the territory, according to two participants and the campaign group that organized the effort.


The detainees were among a group of roughly 30 rabbis and activists from Israel and the United States who were stopped by police officers as they tried to reach the Erez crossing, a major transit point between Israel and northern Gaza.


Organized by Rabbis for Ceasefire, a peace movement based in the United States, the effort was intended to build support for a truce and to highlight rising reports of starvation in Gaza. A global authority on food security, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification initiative, has predicted an imminent famine in northern Gaza, the area of the territory closest to Erez.


The protest was timed to coincide with the week of Passover, a Jewish festival that celebrates the biblical story of the liberation of Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt.


“We were making the point that Jewish liberation is bound up with Palestinian liberation, that we want freedom for all,” said Toba Spitzer, a rabbi from Boston, Mass., who attended the protest but was not arrested.


The group had tried to drive into Gaza with a pickup truck carrying half a ton of rice and flour, but were stopped roughly a third of a mile from the border, Rabbi Spitzer said. The effort was largely symbolic and the organizers expected it to fail given the restrictions along the border; the supplies will now be donated to needy Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Rabbi Spitzer said.


The Israeli police did not respond to requests for comment.


There are widespread food shortages in Gaza. Israeli restrictions on where convoys can enter the strip, Israeli bombardment and widespread damage to roads, the collapse of Gazan agriculture, and a breakdown in law and order have all made it harder to safely distribute aid.


Aid groups and U.N. officials have accused Israel of systematically limiting aid delivery. Israel denies the claim, blaming the shortages on logistical failures by aid groups, and has recently increased the number of trucks entering the strip.


Israeli officials say that the Erez crossing, which was primarily used for pedestrian traffic before the war, is difficult to use for aid delivery because it lacks the right infrastructure and was also badly damaged during the Hamas-led raid on Israel in October.


A majority of Jewish Israelis oppose the delivery of more aid to Gaza, according to a poll conducted in February by the Israel Democracy Institute, a Jerusalem-based research group.


Israeli protesters regularly gather at another crossing point farther south, trying to block aid convoys entering Gaza.



8) The U.S. Army has begun work on a floating pier to move aid from ships into Gaza, the Pentagon says.

By Helene Cooper Reporting from Washington, April 26. 2024


Two troops wearing camouflage and standing on a deck of the Monterrey, a U.S. Army vessel.

A U.S. Army vessel assisting in the construction of the floating pier. Credit...Kristen Zeis for The New York Times

Army engineers on Thursday began construction of a floating pier and causeway for humanitarian aid off the coast of Gaza, which, when completed, could help relief workers deliver as many as two million meals a day for the enclave’s residents, Defense Department officials said.


The construction on the “initial stages of the temporary pier and causeway at sea” means that the project’s timing is in line with what Pentagon officials had predicted, Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the Defense Department’s press secretary, said. The construction is meant to allow humanitarian aid to bypass Israeli restrictions on land convoys into the besieged strip.


General Ryder said that defense officials expected the project, ordered up by President Biden early last month, to be completed early next month. The facility is meant to include an offshore platform to transfer aid from ships, and a floating pier to bring the aid to shore.


Aid organizations have welcomed the plan, which will be an addition to the airdrops of humanitarian supplies that the U.S. military has been conducting over Gaza. But aid workers say, and defense officials have acknowledged, that the maritime project is not an adequate substitute for land convoys. Such aid convoys fell sharply when the war began more than six months ago and have only partly recovered.


Some U.S. military officials have also privately expressed security concerns about the project, and General Ryder said that the military was looking into a mortar attack on Wednesday that caused minimal damage in the area where some pier work is supposed to be done. However, he said, U.S. forces had not started moving anything into the area at the time of the mortar attacks.


The floating pier is being built alongside an Army ship off the Gaza coast. Army ships are large, lumbering vessels, so they have armed escorts, particularly as they get within range of Gaza’s coast, defense officials have said.


The United Nations says famine is likely to set in within Gaza by the end of May.


Aid workers have described bottlenecks for aid at border crossings because of lengthy inspections of trucks, limited crossing hours and protests by Israelis, and they have highlighted the difficulty of distributing aid inside Gaza. Israeli officials have denied that they are hampering the flow of aid, saying the United Nations and aid groups are responsible for any backlogs.


Senior Biden administration and military officials detailed a complex plan in a Pentagon call with reporters on Thursday afternoon, explaining how the pier and causeway are being put together, and how it is supposed to work. Army engineers are constructing the facility aboard Navy ships in the eastern Mediterranean. One official said that the “at-sea assembly of key pieces” of the pier began on Thursday.


Biden officials are insistent that the Pentagon can carry out aid deliveries through the floating pier without putting American boots on the ground in Gaza. Officials described a complicated shuttle system, through which aid would be loaded onto Navy ships in Cyprus and transported to a causeway — a floating platform — at sea.


The Pentagon’s military acronym for the project is J-Lots, for Joint Logistics Over the Shore.


The causeway at sea is different from the floating pier where the aid will be offloaded into Gaza. An engineering unit with the Israeli military will anchor the floating pier to the Gaza shore, a senior military official told reporters in the Pentagon call.


Shuttle boats run by aid organizations, the United Nations or other countries are then expected to transport the aid to the floating pier, where it is to be loaded onto trucks driven by “a third party,” the official said. He declined to identify the third party.


The official said that Israel was dedicating a brigade to provide security for the American troops and aid workers working on the pier.


The operation is expected to bring in enough aid for around 90 trucks a day, a number that will increase to 150 trucks a day when the system reaches full operating capacity, the official said.



9) Israel’s Military Campaign Has Left Gaza’s Medical System Near Collapse

The Israeli military’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza have decimated its health care system in a way that aid groups and international bodies are increasingly calling “systematic.”

By Vivian Nereim and Abu Bakr Bashir, April 26, 2024

Vivian Nereim reported from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Bakr Bashir reported from London.


A man lying down with a bandaged head, one seated with a cast on his arm and blood on his torso and a third lying with his hand over his face as a fourth man stands.

Palestinians receiving treatment at a hospital in Deir al Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, this month. Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Before Israel’s invasion of Gaza last year, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Reqeb worked in one of the Palestinian territory’s largest hospitals and had a private clinic, caring for women throughout their pregnancies.


Now, he lives in a plastic tent in Rafah, a Palestinian border town where roughly half of Gaza’s population has sought refuge, and treats patients for no charge in another tent. Living under Israeli bombardment, with shortages of food and clean water, the pregnant women he serves struggle to find basic safety and nourishment, let alone prenatal care.


Since the Israeli military began bombarding Gaza six months ago following the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack, its forces have wrecked entire hospitals, struck ambulances and killed or detained hundreds of health-care workers. Israeli restrictions on goods entering Gaza have prevented lifesaving medical supplies from reaching patients, according to aid groups. And shortages of fuel, water and food have made it difficult for medical workers to provide basic services.


The result has been the near collapse of a health care system that once served Gaza’s population of more than two million. By late March, of the 36 large-scale hospitals across Gaza, only 10 were “minimally functional,” according to the World Health Organization.


Israeli officials say that medical centers have been targets because Hamas fighters embed themselves within and under the facilities, and that it is the only way to root out the armed group. Hamas and medical workers have denied this accusation. Aid groups, researchers and international bodies have increasingly been calling Israel’s dismantling of Gaza’s medical capacity “systematic.”


“If you engineered the destruction of a health care system, you would end up exactly where we are today,” said Ciarán Donnelly, a senior vice president at the International Rescue Committee, an aid group that has been operating in Gaza.


Mr. Donnelly said he had worked in the humanitarian aid sector for two decades and could not think of any other war in which a medical system has been so thoroughly crushed so quickly.


Asked for comment, the Israeli military referred to previous statements it has made about Hamas fighters’ embedding themselves in facilities. Evidence examined by The New York Times suggests Hamas has used Al-Shifa hospital — which the Israeli military has raided — for cover, stored weapons inside it and maintained a lengthy tunnel. The Israeli military has not presented similarly expansive evidence about most of the other health care centers it has attacked.


Dr. Al-Reqeb’s old facility, Nasser Hospital, was raided by Israeli troops in February. When he goes to his new job, at an Emirati-funded hospital — one of the few facilities in Gaza providing specialized gynecological and obstetric services — he is one of fewer than 10 doctors treating 500 patients a day with a “severe lack of supplies, staff, medicine and equipment,” he said.


“I was very shocked when I realized the level of damage the medical system is suffering,” Dr. Al Reqeb, 33, said in a telephone interview. “It is completely destroyed.”


In November, Human Rights Watch called for Israeli attacks on medical facilities and personnel to be investigated as war crimes. Doctors interviewed by The Times said at the time that they were performing surgeries without anesthesia and confronting filthy wounds infested with maggots because of a lack of fresh water and iodine. A W.H.O. database has recorded more than 800 “attacks on health care” in Gaza and the West Bank.


The devastation of the medical system has rippled throughout Gaza. Cancer patients have had to halt chemotherapy. People with kidney failure have lost access to lifesaving dialysis. Pregnant women have gone without the monitoring that could help identify life-threatening conditions like pre-eclampsia.


“Sometimes I cry,” said Dr. Zaki Zakzook, an oncologist who was once one of Gaza’s pre-eminent cancer doctors and now lives in a tent with his family in Khan Younis. “I’m watching my patients being executed, slowly and gradually.”


Dr. Zakzook has been able to do little for his patients since the war forced the closing of the cancer hospital where he worked, he said. He now sees patients at a hospital in the south but no longer gives them chemotherapy, fearing that doing so would weaken their immune systems at a time when the medical system is unable to cope with infection, he said. Instead, he offers palliative care, like painkillers.


“I’m trying to do my best, others are trying the same, but what can we do?” he said.


In February, Israeli forces stormed Nasser Hospital, a large facility in Khan Younis. They shelled the hospital’s orthopedic department and detained dozens of health care workers, according to Doctors Without Borders, an aid group whose staff members witnessed the attack.


“The evidence at our disposal points to deliberate and repeated attacks by Israeli forces against Nasser Hospital, its patients and its medical staff,” the organization wrote. The Israeli military said it had been searching for Hamas fighters and the bodies of Israelis taken captive during the Oct. 7 attack.


In March, the Israeli military raided Al Shifa Hospital for a second time, killing nearly 200 people it called terrorists. Israeli troops left widespread devastation in their wake after extended gun battles with Palestinian militants in and around the complex. It said its troops had come under fire from gunmen inside and around one of the hospital’s buildings. The Gazan authorities said that 200 civilians had died in the raid. Neither statement could be independently verified.


After the raid, the hospital premises were littered with dead bodies and shallow graves, according to the World Health Organization, which led a team this month to evaluate the hospital’s condition.


In a statement after its visit to the facility, the W.H.O. said the hospital was “an empty shell,” with no patients and most of its equipment “unusable or reduced to ashes.”


“There’s increasing evidence that a red cross or red crescent actually puts a target on you, rather than the other way around, and it is just an appalling degradation of human values,” said Dr. Tim Goodacre, a surgeon who has been traveling to Gaza for years to help train Palestinian doctors and volunteered at a hospital there in January.


Before the war, Abdulaziz Saeed’s 63-year-old father was expecting to receive a kidney transplant in March. Mr. Saeed and his mother had both been approved as potential donors. Then the war began. The doctor who was to perform the operation was killed, Mr. Saeed said, and “all our plans have been canceled.”


His family now shares its home with dozens of displaced people in the city of Deir al Balah, and his father, who previously needed three dialysis sessions a week for renal failure, is able to receive only one a week at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.


“The biggest issue is the lack of medical staff,” Mr. Saeed said. “There used to be three specialized doctors in the kidney department. Two of them were killed, and the third is unreachable.”


Anas Saad, a 24-year-old nurse who works at the hospital, said many of his colleagues had quit after the repeated attacks on medical facilities.


“This is no longer a safe place,” Mr. Saad said. “I am doing my best to help people survive. However, it is becoming extremely risky, as hospitals can be stormed or bombed anytime.”


Dr. Tanya Haj Hassan, an American pediatric intensive-care doctor, recently entered Gaza as part of a team of foreign doctors to volunteer at the hospital. She described “apocalyptic” scenes, including a girl who, she said, died after an Israeli bulldozer ran over a tent, crushing her, and a boy in a wheelchair whose entire family had been killed but who believed that his parents were coming to get him because “nobody has the heart to tell him.” Her account could not be independently verified.


The entirety of Gaza “just feels like it was hit by a nuclear bomb,” she said. “The reality is, they’ve taken out hospital at a time. ‘Hospital at a time’ — I can’t believe I’m even saying those words.”


Hwaida Saad contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon, and Johnatan Reiss from Tel Aviv.



10) Democrats Try to Navigate a Looming Strike in a Swing State

More than 7,000 U.A.W. workers at Daimler Truck plants in North Carolina are set to strike at midnight in a labor action that could carry political consequences.

By Jonathan Weisman, April 26, 2024


Shawn Fain, wearing a red polo shirt, signs a bright yellow campaign sign promoting the United Automobile Workers union. The sign reads, “Union Yes” and the U.A.W.’s logo forms the O of “Union.”

Shawn Fain, the president of the United Automobile Workers, is looking to push unionization efforts to other southern states after recent successes in Tennessee and Georgia. Credit...George Walker/Associated Press

Barring a last-minute breakthrough, more than 7,000 workers are set to walk off their truck and bus assembly lines on Friday night in the swing state of North Carolina, injecting the United Automobile Workers’ new activism in the South directly into the 2024 election.


North Carolina has never been hospitable to organized labor, and the midnight strike at the North American subsidiary of the German industrial giant Daimler Truck has been greeted with trepidation by the state’s Democratic establishment, which has long tried to project a moderate, pro-business bent.


But Shawn Fain, the U.A.W.’s brash new president, doesn’t much care.


“We don’t expect politicians to save the day, but at the end of the day, politicians have an obligation to the people that elect them,” he said in an interview on Thursday, adding: “It’s our generation-defining moment. This is a time where politicians need to pick a side.”


In September, President Biden joined the picket line of the U.A.W.’s successful strike of the Big Three U.S. automakers, and Thursday, a White House spokeswoman, Robyn Patterson, indicated that the president could be equally aggressive if there was a Daimler walkout.


“President Biden strongly believes that those benefiting from our strong support for manufacturing made in American should work in good faith to do everything possible to ensure jobs — including those in North Carolina — remain well-paid, middle-class jobs, and that all workers have a fair and free choice to join a union if they choose,” she said.


Democratic leaders in North Carolina, including Gov. Roy Cooper, were far more equivocal — and deferential — to Daimler Truck, a major employer in the state.


“North Carolina workers are the best and most productive in the world and need to be paid fairly,” Mr. Cooper said in a statement on Thursday. “We’re proud that Daimler Trucks and its amazing U.A.W. workers are building the future of electric school bus travel right here in North Carolina, and I will continue to monitor the contract negotiations and urge a swift resolution.”


Josh Stein, the Democratic attorney general who is running to replace Governor Cooper, who is term-limited, was similarly careful in a statement.


“North Carolina workers deliver the best products in the world, and they deserve to be valued,” he said. “I’ve been in touch with both parties to encourage them to continue to work toward an agreement that supports workers and enables the company to continue to succeed.”


Making matters more delicate, one of the central grievances of the union is the electric vehicle transition pressed by Mr. Biden, in part through the $5 billion Clean School Bus Program, which has channeled $14 million worth of federal funds directly to Daimler’s Thomas Built bus division in High Point, N.C., and millions more through school districts buying Thomas Built electric buses. The union says the workers at the High Point plant are among the lowest paid in the company.


“Our taxpayer dollars aren’t being injected into these companies to assist with an E.V. transition just for a few people on top to get rich and leave everybody else behind,” Mr. Fain said. “There have to be better standards.”


To the U.A.W., a successful strike in the state with the second-lowest percentage of union workers in the country is vital. The six-week work stoppage at the three largest U.S. automakers last fall secured the largest pay raises in decades.


That helped propel U.A.W. organizers into the nonunionized South, where workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted overwhelmingly last week to join the union, a breakthrough that created a beachhead for union organizers. Daimler Truck North America is unionized, but U.A.W. officials want to win record wage gains at Daimler’s plants in Mount Holly, Cleveland, High Point and Gastonia, N.C., and parts distribution centers in Atlanta and Memphis ahead of an organizing vote next month at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama.


“Our fight at Daimler is intimately connected with something else happening in the South,” Mr. Fain told members in a broadcast from Detroit on Tuesday night. “Autoworkers at nonunion auto companies have launched a national movement to unionize.”


But Tennessee and Alabama are not in play in 2024. North Carolina is, and Democratic politicians there appear to be reticent hosts.


Mr. Cooper and Mr. Stein have positioned themselves as centrists whose success has revolved around improving education and job training, and diversifying the economy in North Carolina, said Ferrel Guillory, a professor at the University of North Carolina.


“There’s no particular upside, politically speaking, for center and center-left Democrats to come across in the same way that a Gretchen Whitmer would,” he said, referring to the governor of heavily unionized Michigan. “Cooper and Stein aren’t anti-union, but they’re not northern politicians either.”


In contrast, Mr. Biden has proclaimed himself the “most pro-union president in history” as he has collected union endorsements, the most recent coming on Wednesday from the North America’s Building Trades Unions. If Mr. Biden steps in aggressively, he could find himself clashing with North Carolina’s top Democrats when the state’s highest offices are on the line.


A year ago, the Biden administration appeared to use the leverage provided by federal electric school bus subsidies to help the United Steelworkers unionize Blue Bird, a school bus company in Fort Valley, Ga. Two weeks before the union vote, the Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the Clean School Bus Program, demanded that recipients of federal subsidies detail the benefits they were offering their workers, and required the companies to “remain neutral in any organizing campaign.”


This time, an E.P.A. spokesman said, the agency has not engaged with Daimler.


Mr. Fain said on Thursday that the union has worked with the administration, and he laid the responsibility for the possible strike at management’s feet. But he was aware of the political ramifications of a major labor action in a swing state.


“You’re either going to stand with the working-class people and the people that make this country move and make this world move, or they’re going to stand with corporations and business leaders and the billionaires,” he said. “And if that’s what they choose, then when it comes time to vote, we can see a shift.”


Pro-union groups want to see Democrats step up. Ahead of the Volkswagen vote in Chattanooga, Tenn., the Republican governors of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas issued a statement saying that unionizing would jeopardize auto jobs in their states. Erica Smiley, the executive director of Jobs With Justice, which helps workers seeking to unionize and bargain collectively, said on Thursday that Mr. Cooper should draw a contrast in North Carolina, which has been largely anti-union.


“Workers are doing their part to ask for democracy and to fight for it,” she said. “They’re giving an opportunity for us and for politicians like Roy Cooper to right centuries of wrongs.”


A Daimler spokeswoman, Anja Weinert, said the company was continuing to negotiate “in good faith.”


Any new contract should “allow Daimler Truck North America to continue delivering the products that enable our customers to keep the world moving,” she said.


The U.A.W. sees it differently. On Thursday, it filed four complaints with Mr. Biden’s National Labor Relations Board, accusing Daimler Truck of retaliating against union organizers, interfering with collective bargaining, discriminating against union members and bargaining in bad faith.


The union, which has already endorsed the president’s re-election, would clearly like help from Mr. Biden. In talking points ahead of the strike, the U.A.W. leaned into the electric school bus subsidies.


“The government is spending up to $345,000 per bus in taxpayer money,” union officials wrote. “Meanwhile, the workers who build the product see their quality of life going in the wrong direction. Members are asking: Why should American taxpayer dollars subsidize corporate greed?”



11) The Student-Led Protests Aren’t Perfect. That Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Right.

By Lydia Polgreen,Photographs by Mark Peterson, April 26, 2024

Ms. Polgreen is an Opinion columnist and a co-host of the “Matter of Opinion” podcast for The Times. Mr. Peterson is a photographer based in New York and a member of Redux Pictures.

“ 'They like to dress us up as a token minority or as self-hating Jews,' he told me. 'But I was raised as a Jewish person to call attention to injustice whenever I see it. Palestinians should be the focus, not my safety on campus. The only threat to my safety comes from the administration.'”


Students at the Columbia tent encampment.

On Wednesday morning, on a corner across the street from Columbia University, a man dressed in black, a huge gold cross around his neck, brandished a sign that featured a bloodstained Israeli flag and the word “genocide” in capital letters. He was also shouting at the top of his lungs.


“The Jews control the world! Jews are murderers!”


I watched as a pro-Palestine protester approached the man. “That is horribly antisemitic,” she said. “You are hurting the movement and you are not a part of us. Go away.”


The man shouted vile, unprintable epithets back at her, but the woman, who told me she had come to New York from her home in Baltimore to support the protesting students, walked away.


Hours later, a well-known congressional reporter covering House Speaker Mike Johnson’s visit to Columbia’s campus posted a photograph of the same man. “One sign here at the Columbia protest,” the reporter, Jake Sherman, wrote. “This man is ranting about Jews controlling the universe.”


The man wasn’t “at the Columbia protest.” The university’s campus has been closed to outsiders for over a week — even as a journalist and an alumnus, I had trouble getting in. He was, several people on social media told Sherman, a well-known antisemitic crank completely unconnected from what was unfolding on campus. Indeed, last week I had seen a man wearing an identical cross carrying a similarly lettered sign that read, “Google it! Jews vs. TikTok” protesting outside Donald Trump’s criminal trial in Lower Manhattan. He was, for the record, standing on the pro-Trump side of the protest area.


But the incident is emblematic of how difficult it has become to make sense of what is actually happening on college campuses right now. As the protests have spread to dozens of campuses and counting, competing viral clips on social media paint vastly different versions of what’s happening inside these pro-Palestine camps. Are they violent conflict zones, filled with militant protesters who hurl antisemitic abuse and threaten Jewish students, requiring, as some political leaders have suggested, deployment of the National Guard? Or is it a giant love-fest of students braiding daisy chains and singing “Kumbaya”?


I tried to figure this out the only way I know how: by reporting. I happened to have been on campus on April 18, the day Columbia’s president, Minouche Shafik, decided to call in the New York Police Department to clear the protesters from campus, and I returned a week later to spend the day reporting on the protests and the mood on campus.


What I saw were moving, creative and peaceful protests by people seeking to end the slaughter in Gaza, where more than 34,000 people have died, the majority of them women and children. I also saw things that left me quite troubled, and heard from Jewish students both inside and outside the camps navigating a campus fraught with emotions. But while reporting on the protests up close gave me insight into how unsettling some aspects of activism can be, it doesn’t mean the protesters’ actions are misguided. These young people seek a worthy cause: to end what may be the most brutal military operation for civilians in the 21st century.


In the days since Shafik called for the N.Y.P.D. to break up protests, copycat encampments have sprung up on dozens of campuses across the country, and at least 17 of them have faced police intervention. My social media feeds have filled with horrifying images of students and professors being violently dragged away by the police. In one especially shocking video from Emory University captured by CNN, a police officer shouted at Caroline Fohlin, a middle-aged economics professor: “Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” The officer grabs her and flips her onto the grass as she screams: “Oh my God! Oh my God!”


On Wednesday afternoon, during his visit to campus, Speaker Johnson made it clear what he thought was happening there. He all but called the university a war zone and declared the protests as antisemitic, conflating, as many proponents of Israel do, opposition to Israel’s policies with hatred of Jews. “It’s detestable, as Columbia has allowed these lawless agitators and radicals to take over,” he said. “If this is not contained quickly, and if these threats and intimidation are not stopped, there is an appropriate time for the National Guard. We have to bring order to these campuses.”


While Johnson was meeting with a group of Jewish students, I was wandering among the lawless agitators, who have been camping out on a lawn on campus. In one corner of the encampment, a small group of students sat cross legged, discussing the poem “Kindness” by the Palestinian American poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Another group had broken out art supplies to reapply the paint to their Gaza Solidarity Encampment banner. Others were napping or doing yoga. There was a well-stocked food tent, with options for all — gluten-free, vegan, nut-free and more. I have spent more than my share of time in war zones. This felt more like an earnest folk music festival.


On campus, I spoke to Muslim and Arab students who told me how frightened and angry they are. I spoke to Jewish students who participated in the pro-Palestine protests and scoffed at the notion that the protests endanger them. I also spoke to Jewish students who told me that they feel the protests target them as Jews, and make them fear for their safety.


Whether you are watching student protesters on social media or experiencing the protests in person, the way you understand these protests depends on your perception of what they are protesting. It could not be otherwise. If you feel that what is happening in Gaza is a moral atrocity, the student protests will look like a brave stand against American complicity in what they believe is genocide — and a few hateful slogans amid thousands of peaceful demonstrators will look like a minor detail. If you feel the Gaza war is a necessarily violent defense against terrorists bent on destroying the Jewish state, the students will seem like collaborators with murderous antisemitism — even if many of them are Jewish.


I heard both of these perspectives from Columbia students themselves on campus. “When I sit in statistics class, and I am hearing ‘globalize the Intifada,’ ‘from the river to the sea and so on,’ I cannot study and I cannot focus on the class,” Saar, a junior at Columbia who asked that I not include her last name, told me. “I don’t know who will sit behind me in class, who might follow me after class and God knows what might happen. You’re living in fear all the time. People are hiding their faces. You don’t know who is who.”


David Pomerantz, a sophomore who was among the group that met with the House speaker, told me that he didn’t personally feel he was in imminent danger, but worried about others. “I think especially my friends who are visibly Jewish, who walk around in kipa, get dirty looks, get chastised for that,” he said. “I think they do feel like they’re in real physical danger. It’s a problem that can’t continue.”


While Jewish students who object to the pro-Palestine encampment navigate fear and uncertainty, those inside the camp are facing a different type of threat. I spoke to Jared, a Jewish student participating in the protests. He had given an interview in which his full name appeared, and said someone in his family had received a threatening voice mail.


“They like to dress us up as a token minority or as self-hating Jews,” he told me. “But I was raised as a Jewish person to call attention to injustice whenever I see it. Palestinians should be the focus, not my safety on campus. The only threat to my safety comes from the administration.”


Just outside the campus gates, the scene was more tense. The protests have become a destination for opportunists of all kinds. Nasty purveyors of chaos. Gavin McInnes, right- wing founder of the Proud Boys, turned up, student journalists reported. On Thursday, Christian nationalists descended on Columbia to stage their own, ostensibly pro-Israel protest, screaming through the campus gates to the student protesters inside: “You want to camp? Go camp in Gaza!” according to a reporter on the scene.


At times I saw pro-Israel protesters seek to provoke pro-Palestine groups into confrontations. A white-haired man in a khaki military-style shirt with a small Israeli flag stitched onto the chest approached a group of protesters I was interviewing just off campus. They were standing around, not chanting or holding signs.


“Israel has had 400 Nobel Prize winners,” he falsely claimed (13 Israelis have won the prize), tapping the flag. “How many has your side won?”


One of the protesters, a man with a kaffiyeh wrapped around the top of his head, replied: “I don’t care about Nobel Prizes right now. I care about dead Palestinian babies.”


Interactions like those make up the flood of “evidence” we’re seeing online, much of it placed there by the moral combatants themselves. Some videos, like one that supposedly depicted a Jewish Yale student getting stabbed in the eye by a Palestinian flag, turn out to be misleadingly portrayed by the victim. Others depict what appears to be clear harassment of Jewish students, such as the one filmed outside the gates of Columbia’s campus where a protester shouted “go back to Poland,” at Jewish students, and another declared that Oct. 7 would happen “10,000 times.” Many videos show peaceful, even joyful protests, or feature Jewish students who support the pro-Palestine protests and declare that they feel safe on campus.


What are we to make of these competing claims? Having spent the past week immersed in these protests, I understand the desire to fix upon some singular piece of evidence that will decode, definitively, their moral core. But there is plenty of evidence ready-made for any side to claim moral high ground here. The camps are on the whole peaceful but it must be acknowledged that problematic things are being said.


On Thursday, video from January began circulating of one of the student protest leaders at Columbia, Khymani James, saying that “the same way we are very comfortable accepting that Nazis don’t deserve to live, fascists don’t deserve to live, racists don’t deserve to live, Zionists, they shouldn’t live in this world,” and “be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.” On Friday James released a statement apologizing for the video.


On Monday, after the arrest of more than 100 N.Y.U. protesters, the demonstrations outside Police Headquarters went on all night. I live nearby, and went down to see the protest for myself. It was a different vibe from the night the Columbia students had been arrested. There were more chants, delivered with much tighter unison and at greater volume.

“From the river to the sea, Palestine is almost free,” one chant went.


“Move, cops, get out the way, we know you’re Israeli trained.”


“There is only one solution, intifada revolution,” went another.


I winced upon hearing the last chant. Not so much the word intifada, which has many meanings and intonations depending on the context. But why choose the word “solution,” one so redolent of the Nazis’ “final solution,” which murdered six million Jews across Europe?


When the time came for a late-evening prayer, some protesters laid down their banners to use them as prayer rugs, turning toward Mecca, which in this case meant bowing down before a line of police officers in riot gear. After the prayer concluded, some of the men wandered over to the line of officers who stood behind barricades. They singled out one officer in particular, a dark-skinned man who they seemed to think was a fellow Muslim.


“There’s no way he is a Muslim and he supports the killing of 15,000 kids,” one of the protesters said (it’s estimated nearly 14,000 children have been killed in Gaza since the war began). “Impossible, unless he is not a Muslim.”


“May Allah forgive you, bro,” another said.


The officer stared straight ahead, betraying no reaction to what he was hearing. Standing next to him was another officer, a Black woman. Another protester seemingly shouted her way: “Your ancestors are ashamed of you. Your ancestors were murdered by colonizers, and you are here standing with the colonizers.”


Almost instinctively, I took umbrage at the sight of a group of light-skinned young men badgering a Black woman doing her job. Personally, I found these tactics unpleasant, even repellent. It made me uncomfortable. I can see how they might make someone feel unsafe. But to me, this discomfort came nowhere near constituting a crisis requiring extraordinary interventions, like bringing in the National Guard.


Pretending that there is no antisemitism whatsoever in the movement is foolish and self-defeating. Antisemitism is widespread, not to mention on the American right. It stands to reason that there are some people who hold antisemitic views among a mass movement of protesters.


It is easy when looking backward to remember the fight for a good cause as pure and untainted, even if it did not seem so at the time. In the same way, we now remember the Vietnam War as an American tragedy. The students at Columbia University who protested it seem, in retrospect, to have been right. But our memories elide some of their more outré tactics. A list of popular chants employed by antiwar protesters at a time when thousands of American soldiers were dying each year fighting in the war included things like “One side’s right, one side’s wrong, We’re on the side of the Viet Cong!” and “Save Hanoi, Lose Saigon, Victory to the Viet Cong!”


These slogans are sickening. But by 1968, when the protests reached their peak, the U.S. government had already realized, according to the Pentagon Papers, that the war was all but unwinnable. Yet its brutal killing machine ground on for another five years, and an additional 38,000 Americans, and countless more Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian people died pointless deaths in a senseless, futile war.


There are clear signs that Israel is prosecuting a war just as brutal, and unwinnable, as the United States did back then. Some people might not like the slogans, tactics or proposals of today’s pro-Palestine protesters. But the truth is that a majority of Americans have qualms about Israel’s pitiless war to root out Hamas, whatever the consequences for civilians. As politicians send riot police onto campuses to try to smother a new protest movement, we’d do well to keep in mind why we’ve forgotten the ugliest aspects of the Vietnam protests: Those memories have been replaced, instead, by an enduring horror at what we did.



12) ‘Decisions Under Fire’: Campuses Try a Mix of Tactics as Protests Grow

Some colleges that initiated police crackdowns on pro-Palestinian protests have since taken a different tack. Others have defended the move. Hundreds have been arrested.

By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Alan Blinder and Neelam Bohra, April 27, 2024

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs reported from Boston, Alan Blinder from Atlanta and Neelam Bohra from Austin, Texas.


Two police officers stand guard as two others in the background life a green tent off of a lawn.

At an encampment at Northeastern University in Boston, police officers detained about 100 people and took several tents down on Saturday. Credit...Sophie Park for The New York Times

Wearing riot helmets and carrying zip ties, Boston police officers moved in one day this week and surrounded a group of pro-Palestinian protesters on a grassy patch of Northeastern University’s campus. Six police wagons were idling nearby, and an officer had issued a terse warning. Mass arrests looked imminent.


Then, without explanation, the riot police packed up and left.


The sudden end to the standoff produced cheers from the protesters, and confusion for those who had been bracing for chaos. In recent days, police officers have rushed in to break up student encampments at the University of Southern California, Emerson College in Boston and Ohio State University. At Emory University in Atlanta, officers used pepper balls and wrestled protesters to the ground, ultimately arresting 28 people.


On quads and lawns from coast to coast, colleges are grappling with a groundswell of student activism over Israel’s ongoing military campaign in Gaza. Administrators are having to make controversial decisions over whether to call in the police, and are often criticized regardless of the route they take.


“They don’t seem to have a clear strategy,” said Jennie Stephens, a professor at Northeastern who attended the protest there to support the students. “I think there’s this inclination to kind of control what’s happening on campus, but then that’s balanced with the optics — or the violence, or the real harm — done to students or faculty or staff or others if there are arrests.”


Hundreds of protesters have been arrested across the country. Police and protesters have reported being injured at some college demonstrations, but in many cases, the arrests have been peaceful, and protesters have often willingly given themselves up when officers move in.


At Northeastern on Thursday, about 100 protesters had linked arms in a circle around a half-dozen tents on a lawn known as the Centennial Common.


The dean of students and the university police had warned protesters that they would be considered trespassers if they did not produce a student ID. The dean then went around the circle asking students for the cards; some showed them, but many did not.


A university spokeswoman, Renata Nyul, said in an email that the Boston Police Department had ultimately made the decision for its officers to leave without making arrests.


Then, around dawn on Saturday, Massachusetts State Police officers arrived and began to arrest protesters after all, putting them in zip-tie handcuffs and taking several tents down. The State Police said that 102 protesters who had refused to leave were arrested and would be charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.


Ms. Nyul said Northeastern had made the decision to have the protesters arrested after the demonstration was “infiltrated by professional organizers.” She also said that someone in the protest had said “kill the Jews” the night before. Protesters denied both claims.


A video appeared to show that it was a pro-Israel counterprotester who used the phrase, as part of his criticism of the protesters’ chants. In response to that video, Ms. Nyul said that “any suggestion that repulsive, antisemitic comments are sometimes acceptable depending on the context is reprehensible.”


The mass arrest at Northeastern was the second early-morning crackdown on protesters at a Boston campus in less than a week. Early on Thursday, city police officers had stormed a student encampment in an alleyway at Emerson, a small private college downtown, ripping down tents and throwing students — who had formed a barricade and refused to leave — to the ground.


The police arrested 118 people there, infuriating some students who said that the university had failed to protect them. But city officials defended the operation, saying it was necessary to clear the alley, which includes a public right of way.


“The issue was just around fire hazards that were being created with the tents, and the public health and safety risks that were happening there as well,” Boston’s mayor, Michelle Wu, told WCVB-TV.


Pro-Palestinian encampments on college campuses have swiftly multiplied since Columbia University students launched theirs this month. They have at times drawn ire from students and faculty who complain about what they see as antisemitic chants and a lack of safety for Jewish students, and off campus, from supporters of Israel’s military operation in Gaza.


So far, more than 34,000 Palestinians have died during the Israeli bombardment and invasion of Gaza, a response to an attack led by Hamas on Oct. 7 in which 1,200 Israelis were killed and about 250 people were taken hostage.


At Columbia, where the president was already under fire from Republicans in Congress, the administration took an aggressive approach at first, calling in the New York Police Department, which arrested more than 100 people and removed tents. But students quickly returned, pitching new tents and vowing to stay.


This time, rather than calling in the police again, Columbia officials are negotiating with the protesters.


“We called on N.Y.P.D. to clear an encampment once, but we all share the view, based on discussions within our community and with outside experts, that to bring back the N.Y.P.D. at this time would be counterproductive, further inflaming what is happening on campus, and drawing thousands to our doorstep who would threaten our community,” Columbia leaders said in a campus message on Friday night. “Having said that, we also need to continue to enforce our own rules and ensure that those who violate the norms of our community face consequences.”


But at Emory, where the police arrested students and faculty members on Thursday, the university’s president, Gregory L. Fenves, said flatly afterward that the institution would “not tolerate vandalism, violence or any attempt to disrupt our campus through the construction of encampments.”


Harvard has tried a different approach. The university restricted access to its historic Harvard Yard, allowing in only those who showed a university ID, and suspended a pro-Palestinian group, saying that it had held an unauthorized demonstration.


But the group and its supporters set up an encampment in the yard nonetheless. On Wednesday night, the mood was serene, with a couple of campus police officers sitting in cars at the edges of the yard and students passing through. Still, the university has faced criticism from some prominent alumni, including its former president, Lawrence H. Summers, who said that allowing the tents to stay up was a “profound failure.”


Like Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin sought to pre-empt students’ planned encampment, warning that it was unauthorized, and students gathered anyway. Unlike at Harvard, administrators responded with force. Dozens of police officers, many in riot gear or on horseback, pushed through throngs of protesters on Wednesday to block off the campus’s main lawn, ultimately booking 57 people into the county jail.


But by evening, almost all state and local police officers had disappeared. Students quickly returned and gathered with picnic blankets before leaving for the night.


Jay Hartzell, the university’s president, said in a statement that administrators had prevented the planned protest out of fear that students would try to “follow a pattern” and “severely disrupt a campus for a long period.” In messages that were obtained under a public information request, Mr. Hartzell told a lawmaker that he had asked for help from the state police force because the school’s police “couldn’t do it alone.”


As of Friday night, about 300 of the university’s 3,000 faculty members had signed an open letter of no confidence in Mr. Hartzell. “President Hartzell needlessly put students, staff and faculty in danger. Dozens of students were arrested for assembling peacefully on their own campus,” it said.


On Thursday, another protest at the university was scheduled, but the scene was much more calm, with university administrators handing out fliers with rules for protesting. One administrator told students that the police had assured her that they would not arrest students unless they tried to put up tents or stay past 10 p.m.


Kathy Zoner, who was the police chief at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., for nearly a decade until 2019, said that university administrators often hoped to avoid responsibility for the police response to protests, but that they themselves often made the final decision on what to do.


She said protesters who came from outside the university can be hard to deal with because they cannot be threatened with academic consequences and might be more intent on agitation than dialogue. The recent tent encampments can be a particular problem for administrators who are focused on the school’s optics, Ms. Zoner said.


“This is the big concern, right? That these encampments will be there forever, whatever that means, and that it becomes a reason for people to not choose your university or college to attend,” she said. “And face it: Colleges are businesses. Not-for-profit or for-profit, they’re a business. They have a bottom line and have to be attentive to it.”


That is just one issue facing administrators in a crisis. Daniel W. Jones, a former chancellor of the University of Mississippi, said students, faculty members, elected officials, parents and donors all offer often starkly different advice on how the university should respond.


“I think the biggest tension is around, am I going to act in the best interests of students on my campus, or the best interests of my board, the politically interested people and alumni broadly?” he said.


Nicholas B. Dirks, a former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, said there were few more challenging decisions for a university leader than whether to summon the police, in part because outside law enforcement officers may use tactics far different from those of a campus police force.


“University presidents are assumed to have total power and control, so bringing in an external police force, you know the first thing that’s going to happen is you lose control over the situation,” said Dr. Dirks, who was a senior administrator at Columbia before he took charge at Berkeley in 2013.


At Berkeley, he said, he had been extremely reluctant to bring in off-campus police officers except when there appeared to be credible threats of violence.


“You’re in a kind of crisis situation, so you are balancing what is partial, always incomplete information with a kind of time urgency where you really feel you have to make very, very quick decisions, and it’s not the best time to make clear calls,” Dr. Dirks said.


“They are decisions under fire,” he added.


Reporting was contributed by Karla Marie Sanford and Eryn Davis from New York, Matthew Eadie from Boston and Sean Keenan from Atlanta.



13) How the U.S. Humanitarian Pier in Gaza Will Work

By Elena Shao, Mika Gröndahl, Anjali Singhvi and Marco Hernandez, April 26, 2024


A humanitarian pier the U.S. military will bring to the Gaza Strip is currently being assembled and is expected to be ready to receive initial shipments of food and other aid early next month, according to military officials. The effort to deliver aid to the enclave through a maritime corridor, which was announced in March, will involve an elaborate, multistep process.


1. Procurement of aid

2. Inspection in Cyprus

3. Sea journey to Gaza

4. Transfer to U.S.-built pier

5. Distribution within Gaza


A thousand American soldiers and sailors will be involved in the pier project, a senior military official said in a Pentagon call with reporters on Thursday. The pier will initially enable the transfer of about 90 truckloads of aid per day, the official said, and will eventually ramp up to 150 truckloads per day at full capacity.


U.S. authorities have said the pier is intended to supplement, not replace, existing aid deliveries over land. U.N. data indicates that land-based deliveries have risen slightly in recent weeks but still fall far short of vast need in the enclave. Dozens of Gazans have died from causes related to malnutrition and dehydration, and the United Nations’ World Food Program has said half of Gaza’s population of 2.2 million is starving.


Once aid reaches the shore, relief organizations that will distribute it within Gaza will face familiar dangers and obstacles amid ongoing Israeli bombardment.


1. Aid, primarily food, will be procured from countries around the world.


A majority of the aid will be food collected from several countries and transported to the Larnaca port in Cyprus.


A spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is working closely with the military to coordinate plans for the pier, said some of the items that would come through the maritime corridor would include nutrient-dense food bars, sourced from Dubai; foods intended to treat severe malnutrition in children, sourced from Kenya; and relief supplies, including hygiene kits, sourced from Europe.


Military officials have said other countries and organizations will also contribute food and money.


2. Shipments will be inspected in Cyprus under Israeli oversight.


At the Larnaca port, Israeli representatives will be present as Cypriot authorities inspect items, according to an Israeli official with knowledge of the inspection plans.


The official said the standards for inspection would be the same as those at the land crossings into Gaza. Aid officials have said those inspections are exhaustive and sometimes arbitrary.


World Central Kitchen, a disaster relief nonprofit, has tested the maritime corridor twice before at a smaller scale in March. The loading, scanning and inspection process for those two ships took between two and three days each, according to Juan Camilo Jimenez Garces, a regional manager for the organization. The first ship, a partnership with the Spanish nonprofit Open Arms, carried about 200 tons of aid, while the second carried more than 300 tons.


3. The sea journey will take at least 15 hours.


The roughly 250-mile journey from Cyprus to Gaza normally takes about 15 hours, or a full day of travel, but it could take up to a couple of days depending on the weight of the cargo and the type of vessel. For example, the Open Arms ship, which towed its cargo on a separate platform instead of carrying it onboard, made the journey in about three days.


Ships can also be delayed because of unfavorable weather conditions. That was one factor that held up the second World Central Kitchen ship, Jennifer, for about two weeks at Larnaca after it was scheduled to depart.


4. Aid will be shuttled from a floating platform near Gaza to a pier anchored to land.


Gaza has no international seaport; Israel has for decades prevented the construction of one. Because waters near the shore are too shallow for large vessels to approach the humanitarian pier directly, the United States is also building a floating platform two miles off the coast, where ships carrying aid will first offload their cargo.


Smaller Army vessels, known as L.C.U.s (for “landing craft utility”) and L.S.V.s (for “logistics support vessels”), will transport the aid in batches from the platform to the pier.


At least 14 U.S. ships are involved in the building and operation of the pier, according to a military official — some carrying necessary heavy machinery and equipment. U.S. service members will build the pier at sea, using modular units eight feet wide and 20 or 40 feet long, and a long ferry will drag it to shore. It will then be anchored by Israeli forces on the shore in northern Gaza to ensure there are no U.S. boots on the ground.


Humanitarian aid officials involved in receiving and distributing the aid have pushed to keep their engagement with the Israeli military as limited as possible.


5. Aid will have to be taken into Gaza by truck, but safe distribution remains a challenge.


The World Food Program will help distribute aid inside Gaza after it arrives at the pier, the U.S. Agency for International Development said last week.


Trucks coordinated by aid groups will transport aid from a secure area near the pier to U.N. warehouses, of which there are more than 20 across Gaza, and then eventually to hundreds of community kitchens, shelters, smaller warehouses and other distribution points throughout the region.


A majority of the distribution points are in southern Gaza, where most of the population has been forced to evacuate, but demographers estimate that several hundred thousand people remain in the northern part of the enclave, where famine is imminent.


A small number of routes are available to the distribution trucks, because the Israeli military has limited road access and Israeli airstrikes have turned much of the landscape to rubble. As usual, the convoys will need to coordinate their movements closely with the Israeli military.


Aid officials have emphasized that the most efficient method of delivering aid into Gaza remains through land routes, and they have expressed concern that the pier might deflect attention from efforts to increase the amount of aid delivered over land.


Several previous attempts at delivering aid to Gazans have ended in deadly tragedy. This month, Israel struck a convoy belonging to World Central Kitchen, killing seven of the group’s aid workers. Israel has also bombed an aid warehouse on at least one occasion, a strike it said was targeted to kill a Hamas commander.


Aid experts say the hunger crisis in Gaza is human-made, citing the decades-long blockade of the territory by Israel and backed by Egypt, Israel’s near-complete siege after Oct. 7 and its tight restrictions on aid-truck entry ever since. The U.N. has said that Israel’s restrictions of aid, destruction of infrastructure and displacement of Gazans may amount to the use of starvation as a war tactic.


Israel has pushed back, and its officials have blamed U.N. aid agencies for failing to distribute aid effectively. They have also said that Hamas, which rules Gaza and has been deemed a terrorist organization, has been systematically seizing aid. David Satterfield, the U.S. special envoy for humanitarian aid, said in February that Israel had not brought forward specific evidence of theft or diversion of U.N.-delivered aid.


Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis has continued to grow more dire. Many Gazans have died seeking aid, including more than 100 who were killed while trying to get food from an aid convoy, according to Gazan health officials, and more than a dozen who drowned while retrieving airdropped aid that had fallen into the sea.


Helene Cooper, John Ismay, Adam Rasgon, Eric Schmitt, Adam Sella and Amy Schoenfeld Walker contributed reporting.