Saturday, January 20, 2024

Dave isn't funny

I agree 100% with Kim Brown.

He's just a little grifter.  You may remember how he used his popularity to whine about COMEDY CENTRAL not paying him enough for his show.  You may even remember that he was offered the sun and the moon to continue the program but refused to do so.  Then, years later, he whined that NETFLIX and others were showing it boo-hoo.  And NETFLIX dropped it and then, under pressure, COMEDY CENTRAL gave him millions for a show he'd done nearly two decades ago and not since.

He's a hustler.

He's a bully.

And he's ugly as hell, let's be honest.  First time I saw him I was with friends at YOU'VE GOT MAIL and one said, "Oh, look! Jimmy Walker!"  No, Jimmy Walker was cute.  Dave has never had a cute period.  He's fat with a pot belly at his thinnest and he's got the ugliest skillet head I've ever seen.  

Maybe that's why he's so hateful?  I have no idea.  But he's not funny.  

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, January 19, 2024.  Jeffrey St. Clair provides context (the thing that always escapes Glenneth's propaganda), Iraq's prime minister says US troops need to leave Iraq,  the slaughter in Gaza continues, Israel's War Criminal and prime minister makes clear Palestinians are not wanted, and much more.

Let's start with Jeffrey St. Clair's "Roaming Charges: It’s in the Bag:"

+ Only 14% of registered Republicans (99% of whom are white) turned out to vote in the Iowa caucuses. Trump captured 51% of them or a little more than 7% of the state’s Republicans. Yet, some, like Glenn Greenwald are interpreting this as a massive rebuke of the NatSec/deep police state…

+ Yet, only 11% of the 100,000 Iowa GOP voters even cited “foreign policy” as their top issue, while 40% want a harsh crackdown on immigrants and presumably support Trump’s vow to bomb Mexico. Iowa isn’t a border state, though even some of its voters (& GG) may not realize this.

+ None of Iowa’s arch-conservative cohort of voters seems to have cited the threat of gays, trans people or “dirty” books in the library as among their most pressing concerns.

Over and over, if you know the facts, Glenneth Greenwald's analysis is never impressive.  He never knows what he's talking about.  

Before we get to Gaza, let's also note Jeffrey on Junior;

+ RFK, Jr.’s MLK Day message was a defense of the FBI’s wiretapping of the civil rights leader: “My father gave permission to Hoover to wiretap them so he could prove that his suspicions about King were either right or wrong. I think, politically, they had to do it.” Who’s still supporting this reprobate?

Ruth's already covered this topic in "Who killed RFK Junior's repuation?" but a friend at ESSENCE asked me to note Rayna Reid Rayford's (ESSENCE) report:

IAtlanta on Saturday evening, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.hosted a “roundtable with Black women to discuss pressing issues impacting the Black community.” A day later, on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Kennedy defended his family's surveillance of the civil rights icon, saying there was "good reason" to wiretap King.

Robert F. Kennedy served as the Attorney General while his brother, John F. Kennedy, presided in the White House. As AG, Robert Kennedy authorized J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI to surveil King and other leaders of the Black freedom struggle in the 1960s.

"In the following months, Hoover deployed agents to find subversive material on King, and Robert Kennedy authorized wiretaps on King’s home and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) offices in October 1963," as Stanford University reports.

“There was good reason for them doing that at the time,” Kennedy, Jr. told POLITICO on Sunday, “because J. Edgar Hoover was out to destroy Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement and Hoover said to them that Martin Luther King’s chief was a communist."

Kennedy's remarks to POLITICO followed an evening where the Independent candidate was joined by a group of Black women panelists– political spokesperson Angela Stanton King, WNBA forward Angel McCoughtry, reality star Alexia Adams, influencer Tatiana Davenport, and on-air personality Shay McCray– for a roundtable to court the Black vote. The roundtable was moderated by Christal Jordan, an Atlanta-based author and journalist, served as the moderator.

He's gone  around insisting that we need to be protected from government surveillance -- that's been one of his key talking points in this campaign -- because he's just a liar.  He's against -- as we all should be -- except when he's not.

In the video below Kyle nails how embarrassing Junior and his daddy fixation is for "a grown ass man" -- a 70-year-old man.

In the video below, Junior expounds on this theme and looks fetching in his oversize sweater.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began monitoring Martin Luther King, Jr., in December 1955, during his involvement with the Montgomery bus boycott, and engaged in covert operations against him throughout the 1960s. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was personally hostile toward King, believing that the civil rights leader was influenced by Communists. This animosity increased after April 1964, when King called the FBI “completely ineffectual in resolving the continued mayhem and brutality inflicted upon the Negro in the deep South” (King, 23 April 1964). Under the FBI’s domestic counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) King was subjected to various kinds of FBI surveillance that produced alleged evidence of extramarital affairs, though no evidence of Communist influence.

The FBI was created in 1909 as the Justice Department’s unit to investigate federal crimes. Hoover became FBI director in 1924 and served until his death in 1972. Throughout the 1930s the FBI’s role expanded when President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the FBI to research “subversives” in the United States, and Congress passed a series of laws increasing the types of federal crimes falling under the FBI’s jurisdiction. During World War II, the FBI was further authorized to investigate threats to national security. This loosely defined mission formed the heading under which the FBI began to investigate the civil rights movement.

The FBI initially monitored King under its Racial Matters Program, which focused on individuals and organizations involved in racial politics. Although the FBI raised concerns as early as March 1956, that King was associating with card-carrying members of the Communist Party, King’s alleged ties with communism did not become the focus of FBI investigations under the existing Communist Infiltration Program, designed to investigate groups and individuals subject to Communist infiltration, until 1962. In February 1962, Hoover told Attorney General Robert Kennedy that Stanley Levison, one of King’s closest advisors, was “a secret member of the Communist Party” (Hoover, 14 February 1962). In the following months, Hoover deployed agents to find subversive material on King, and Robert Kennedy authorized wiretaps on King’s home and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) offices in October 1963.

Hoover responded to King’s criticisms of the Bureau’s performance in civil rights cases by announcing at a press conference in November 1964, that King was the “most notorious liar in the country” (Herbers, “Dr. King Rebuts Hoover”). Surprised by the accusation, King replied that he could only have sympathy for Hoover as he must be “under extreme pressure” to make such a statement (Herbers, “Dr. King Rebuts Hoover”). King asked an intermediary to set up a meeting between himself and Hoover to understand what had led to the comment. Andrew Young, a King aide who was present at the meeting, recalled that there was “not even an attitude of hostility” between the two, but at about this same time, the FBI anonymously sent King a compromising tape recording of him carousing in a Washington, D.C., hotel room, along with an anonymous letter that SCLC staff interpreted as encouraging King to commit suicide to avoid public embarrassment (Senate Select Committee, 167).

Hoover continued to approve investigations of King and covert operations to discredit King’s standing among financial supporters, church leaders, government officials, and the media. When King condemned the Vietnam War in a speech at Riverside Church on 4 April 1967, the FBI “interpreted this position as proof he ‘has been influenced by Communist advisers’” and stepped up their covert operations against him (Senate Select Committee, 180). The FBI considered initiating another formal COINTELPRO against King and fellow anti-war activist Dr. Benjamin Spock in 1967, when the two were rumored to be contemplating a run for the presidency, but ruled it out on the grounds that such a program would be more effective after the pair had officially announced their candidacy.

In August 1967, the FBI created a COINTELPRO against “Black Nationalist–Hate Groups,” which targeted SCLC, King, and other civil rights leaders. King was identified as a target because the FBI believed that he could become a “messiah” who could unify black nationalists “should he abandon his supposed ‘obedience’ to ‘white liberal doctrines’ (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism” (Senate Select Committee, 180). In the last few months of King’s life, the FBI intensified its efforts to discredit him and to “neutralize” SCLC (Senate Select Committee, 180).

According to a U.S. Senate Committee convened in the 1970s to investigate the FBI’s domestic intelligence operations, the impact of the FBI’s efforts to discredit SCLC and King on the civil rights movement “is unquestionable” (Senate Select Committee, 183). The committee determined that: “Rather than trying to discredit the alleged Communists it believed were attempting to influence Dr. King, the Bureau adopted the curious tactic of trying to discredit the supposed target of Communist Party interest—Dr. King himself” (Senate Select Committee, 85).

Iraq’s prime minister said the U.S.-led military coalition that has been helping his country fight Islamic State militants is no longer needed, though he still wants strong ties with Washington.
“We believe the justifications for the international coalition have ended,” Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani told The Wall Street Journal, as the war in Gaza frays Iraqi relations with Washington.

Sudani didn’t set a deadline for the departure of the coalition, which was formed in 2014 to mentor and support Iraqi forces in regaining control of their country after Islamic State militants seized swaths of northern and western Iraq.

Nor did Sudani close the door to a role for U.S. troops advising Iraqi forces to remain in the country under a new bilateral relationship that he said should follow.

But in an interview Tuesday during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Sudani expressed broad dissatisfaction with American policy on the Gaza conflict. The West had turned a blind eye toward the plight of the Palestinians before Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, he said, calling for increased pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to end what he described as genocide.

So bring the US troops home.  They have a target on their backs right now and every time Joe Biden orders an attack on the Iraqi military (the militias became part of the official Iraqi military seven years ago), it puts the US troops on the ground there more at risk.

That's before you even factor in Gaza..  And the Iraqi people overwhelming reject the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.  That is the feeling around the world.  ALJAZEERA notes this morning:

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, to show their support for Palestinians.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed al-Attab, reporting from the scene of protests, said many in the crowd accused the US of supporting Israel’s war and promised to continue standing by their “brothers in Palestine”.

“They are now saying that, ‘We don’t care about your rage, we don’t care about whatever you do to us, we will continue our support and resilience with Palestinians until Israel stops its war on Palestine’,” he said.

Instead of demanding a cease-fire, Joe Biden has supported the slaughter and it has inflamed the Middle East.  Keith Jones (WSWS) observes:

Nuclear-armed Pakistan carried out air-launched rocket and drone-missile strikes on at least seven separate locations inside neighbouring Iran on Thursday, targeting what it said were bases of Balochi secessionist insurgents.

Iran, which vehemently condemned the strikes as a violation of its state sovereignty, said they had killed nine foreign nationals, including four children. The Baloch Liberation Army—which has waged a decades-long cross-border insurgency in Pakistani Balochistan, the country’s poorest, sparsely-populated westernmost province—confirmed that its forces had come under attack.

Although Pakistan did not say so explicitly, Thursday’s strikes were in part retaliation for an attack Iran had mounted some 48 hours before inside Pakistan.

According to Iran, its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) used missile and drone strikes to hit camps of the Jaish al-Adl, a Balochi armed secessionist group that has carried out attacks in Iran’s predominantly Balochi south-east. Following that action, Tehran emphasized it did not want to disrupt “brotherly” relations with Pakistan. But in a message clearly intended for Washington and Israel, Iran said that it reserves the right to take all necessary measures to defend itself.

The tit-for tat attacks between Iran and Pakistan add further combustion in a region already set ablaze by US imperialism and its allies, which are using Israel’s genocidal war on the Palestinians of Gaza to prepare and provoke a wider war with Iran.

On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, the US carried out its fourth and fifth waves of missile strikes on Yemen in a week, hitting what it claimed were Iranian-backed Houthi positions in disparate areas across the country. Speaking to reporters earlier Thursday, US President Joe Biden had vowed the US-British campaign of air strikes against the Houthis would continue.

With the support of broad sections of the Yemeni people, Houthi fighters have disrupted Red Sea shipping to press for an end to Israel’s onslaught on Gaza.

Also on Wednesday, the Biden administration labeled the Houthis a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist group,” opening the door to the imposition of sweeping sanctions. Aid groups immediately responded with warnings that the designation threatens to greatly intensify Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. As a result of the almost decade-long war the Saudi regime has waged on Yemen with US arms and logistical support, more than half of the country’s population—over 18 million people—need food and other assistance.

The European Union, meanwhile, is in the advanced planning stage for its own naval operation in the Red Sea that would support the US/British attacks on Yemen, while asserting its own role as a regional policeman. The German government is leading the charge in launching the mission, which it will support by dispatching a frigate to the region in early February, according to a report in the Welt am Sontag newspaper. Underscoring German imperialism’s major military expansion into the Middle East, Berlin is readying a shipment of 10,000 artillery shells to back Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Emboldened by the to-the-hilt support Israel is receiving from the North American and European imperialist powers, Israel’s fascist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu baldly reasserted his goal of a Greater Israel in perpetuity Thursday, saying his government would never agree to ceding sovereignty over any part of the West Bank.   

Yes, Netanyahu does not believe in peace or in a two-state solution or anything but expelling Palestinians from their own lands.  AP reported yesterday:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he has told the United States that he opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of any postwar scenario, underscoring the deep divisions between the close allies three months into Israel’s assault on Gaza aiming to eliminate its Hamas rulers.

The U.S. has called on Israel to scale back its offensive and said that the establishment of a Palestinian state should be part of the “day after.”

But in a nationally broadcast news conference, Netanyahu vowed to press ahead with the offensive until Israel realizes a “decisive victory over Hamas.” He also rejected the idea of Palestinian statehood. He said he had relayed his positions to the Americans.

“In any future arrangement … Israel needs security control all territory west of the Jordan,” Netanyahu told a nationally broadcast news conference. “This collides with the idea of sovereignty. What can you do?”

“The prime minister needs to be capable of saying no to our friends,” he added.

  Following Netanyahu's comments, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Thursday that "there is no way to solve [the region's] long-term challenges to provide lasting security and there is no way to solve the short-term challenges of rebuilding Gaza and establishing governance in Gaza and providing security for Gaza without the establishment of a Palestinian state."

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres responded to Netanyahu's comments in a statement reiterating his stance that "the only way to stem the suffering" in the region is "an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza and a process that leads to sustained peace for Israelis and Palestinians, based on a two-state solution."

Unnamed sources have told reporters that U.S. frustration with Netanyahu's far-right government has been increasing along with the casualty count in Gaza—which Palestinian officials and international groups say is over 100,000, mostly innocent men, women, and children.

President Joe Biden has accused Israel of "indiscriminate bombing" of civilians in Gaza but continues to back Netanyahu's policy unconditionally and the U.S. has supplied Israel with billions of dollars in military aid and diplomatic support at the United Nations and beyond.

Gaza remains under assault.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher. YENI SAFAK notes, "The Palestinian death toll from the ongoing Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7 has climbed to 24,762, the Health Ministry in the territory said Friday.  In a statement, the ministry added that 62,108 other people had been injured in the offensive."  ALJAZEERA notes, "The number of Palestinians killed since the start of Israel’s attacks on October 7 has risen to 24,285, Gaza’s health ministry says. At least 61,154 others have been wounded."   In addition to the dead and the injured, there are the missing.  AP notes, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."

Jacob Crosse (WSWS) notes a rare corporate media moment took place this week:

On January 17, NBC News aired a rare prime-time interview featuring Palestinian-Americans Kinnan Abdalhamid and Hisam Awartani, two of the three college students who were shot last November in Burlington, Vermont by a right-wing gunman, while walking down the street. Abdalhamid, Awartani and Tasheen Ali Ahmad were hospitalized following the shooting, with Awartani suffering a spinal injury that has confined him to a wheelchair. 
At the time of last November’s shooting, two of the three students were wearing keffiyehs and all of them were speaking a mix of Arabic and English. The day after the shooting, across the street from where it occurred, federal agents arrested 48-year-old Jason J. Eaton in his apartment. Eaton allegedly told ATF agents when they knocked on his door, “I have been waiting for you.”
According to police, Eaton allegedly shot the students with a pistol he had legally purchased earlier that year. An anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and libertarian, Eaton has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges. During a search of the former financial advisor’s apartment, police recovered multiple firearms.  

CNN's Mick Krever, Sana Noor Haq, Eyad Kourdi and Celine Alkhaldi report, "A near-total communications blackout in Gaza, the longest of the war, has now lasted one week with no signs of abating, preventing humanitarian and emergency services from operating effectively in the territory. It is the ninth such outage since Israel’s war on Hamas began following the group’s attacks in Israel on October 7, according to the Internet monitoring site Netblocks."  When not censoring and silencing via internet crackdown, you get people doing the same by cancelling events.  From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: Samia Halaby, we want to bring in another Palestinian American artist into this discussion, the artist and filmmaker Emily Jacir. She was scheduled to speak at any event in Berlin, Germany, in October, but her appearance was canceled. She’s the recipient of prestigious awards, including a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, a Prince Claus Award from the Prince Claus Fund in The Hague, the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, and most recently she won an American Academy of Arts and Letters prize and received an honorary doctorate from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. She is the founding director of Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research in Bethlehem, where she was born.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Emily. It’s very good to have you with us. Can you talk about what’s happened to you, actually, not here in the United States, but in Berlin, Germany?

EMILY JACIR: Thank you, Amy, for having me on your show. It’s really a pleasure to be here. I also just would like to begin by expressing my solidarity for Samia and the loss of her show, but also for the curator, Elliot, because he was in Bethlehem last summer and spoke to me at length about this exhibition, so I was quite excited about it.

I was slated to speak in Berlin as part of a workshop at Potsdam University. And when they canceled the talk, they wrote to me and said they were going to postpone it to a more peaceful time — or, to a more peaceful point in time, which, now listening to Samia speaking about the idea of being a lightning rod, this really resonated with me. And this is one of the methodologies that is being used to actually stop us from being able to speak publicly and share our words and share our work. This is another way of doing it, is by saying, “Oh, we’ll just do this in another peaceful time.” But this is the time. This is the time when we should be speaking and having discourse, across the board, around the world. So I don’t buy that that was the real reason.

Again, we have to also take the curator into consideration and try to imagine what kind of pressure, particularly being in Germany, they must have been under. The situation in Germany, as we all know, is one of the most extreme cases of silencing Palestinians. But it’s part of a larger war effort targeting Palestinian voices and intellectuals, using various methodologies, including harassment, baseless smear campaigns, canceling shows, canceling talks. So, it’s very much part of a coordinated movement.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Emily Jacir, could you talk about some of the — there have been numerous incidents in Germany where people have been canceled, for one reason or another having to do with Gaza. If you could just go through some of those people, in particular, the Palestinian artists and writers?

EMILY JACIR: Yeah, I mean, I think one of the first incidents was Adania Shibli, who was slated to receive an award in Germany. That was within the first week of October, if I remember correctly. The list is quite extensive. My sister’s film, Annemarie Jacir, was canceled within weeks also, I think. Her film was canceled. It’s a film about a wedding, and it was deemed too controversial to show on German television. Candice Breitz, as we all know, is another person. There are so many. The list is endless.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, we want to go now to a writer, a highly acclaimed writer and author, the award-winning Masha Gessen, who was also canceled, or her award. She was to receive the Hannah Arendt Award in Bremen. We spoke to her in December, shortly after the publication of their New Yorker piece headlined “In the Shadow of the Holocaust: How the politics of memory in Europe obscures what we see in Israel and Gaza today.”

In the essay, Gessen wrote, quote, “For the last seventeen years, Gaza has been a hyperdensely populated, impoverished, walled-in compound where only a small fraction of the population had the right to leave for even a short amount of time — in other words, a ghetto. Not like the Jewish ghetto in Venice or an inner-city ghetto in America but like a Jewish ghetto in an Eastern European country occupied by Nazi Germany,” they wrote.

Gessen went on to explain why the term “ghetto” is not commonly used to describe Gaza. Gessen said, quote, “Presumably, the more fitting term 'ghetto' would have drawn fire for comparing the predicament of besieged Gazans to that of ghettoized Jews. It also would have given us the language to describe what is happening in Gaza now. The ghetto is being liquidated,” Gessen wrote.

They had been scheduled to receive the prestigious Hannah Arendt Prize in Germany, but the ceremony had to be postponed after one of the award’s sponsors, the left-leaning Heinrich Böll Foundation, withdrew its support.

Gessen discussed the New Yorker piece and the controversy that followed on Democracy Now! on the very day they had been originally scheduled to receive the award in Bremen.

MASHA GESSEN: A large part of the article is devoted to, in fact, memory politics in Germany and the vast anti-antisemitism machine, which largely targets people who are critical of Israel and, in fact, are often Jewish. This happens to be a description that fits me, as well. I am Jewish. I come from a family that includes Holocaust survivors. I grew up in the Soviet Union very much in the shadow of the Holocaust. That’s where the phrase in the headline came from, is from the passage in the article itself. And I am critical of Israel.

Now, the part that really offended the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the city of Bremen — and, I would imagine, some German public — is the part that you read out loud, which is where I make the comparison between the besieged Gaza, so Gaza before October 7th, and a Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe. I made that comparison intentionally. It was not what they call here a provocation. It was very much the point of the piece, because I think that the way that memory politics function now in Europe and in the United States, but particularly in Germany, is that their cornerstone is that you can’t compare the Holocaust to anything. It is a singular event that stands outside of history.

My argument is that in order to learn from history, we have to compare. Like, that actually has to be a constant exercise. We are not better people or smarter people or more educated people than the people who lived 90 years ago. The only thing that makes us different from those people is that in their imagination the Holocaust didn’t yet exist and in ours it does. We know that it’s possible. And the way to prevent it is to be vigilant, in the way that Hannah Arendt, in fact, and other Jewish thinkers who survived the Holocaust were vigilant and were — there was an entire conversation, especially in the first two decades after World War II, in which they really talked about how to recognize the signs of sliding into the darkness.

And I think that we need to — oh, and one other thing that I want to say is that our entire framework of international humanitarian law is essentially based — it all comes out of the Holocaust, as does the concept of genocide. And I argue that that framework is based on the assumption that you’re always looking at war, at conflict, at violence through the prism of the Holocaust. You always have to be asking the question of whether crimes against humanity, the definitions of which came out of the Holocaust, are occurring. And Israel has waged an incredibly successful campaign at setting — not only setting the Holocaust outside of history, but setting itself aside from the optics of international humanitarian law, in part by weaponizing the politics of memory and the politics of the Holocaust.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Masha Gessen. Masha Gessen was speaking to us from Bremen, Germany. The award ceremony went from an auditorium of hundreds — they ultimately got the award in someone’s backyard.

Meanwhile, more than 500 global artists, filmmakers and writers and cultural workers have announced a push against Germany’s stance on Israel’s war on Gaza, calling on artists to step back from collaborating with German state-funded associations. The campaign is backed by the French author, Nobel Prize for Literature winner Annie Ernaux and the Palestinian poet and activist Mohammed el-Kurd. It alleges Germany has adopted, quote, “McCarthyist policies that suppress freedom of expression, specifically expressions of solidarity with Palestine,” unquote.

We’re speaking with Emily Jacir, whose speech was just canceled in Berlin, Germany. And as we wrap up with you, Emily, I wanted to know if you could comment on what’s happening in your birthplace, in Bethlehem. The last time we went to Bethlehem, we were interviewing two pastors there, one of them who set up Christ in the rubble, a crèche scene that showed the baby Jesus in rubble, signifying Gaza. If you can talk about that and the importance of your art, as you continue?

EMILY JACIR: Yeah, I will talk about that, but just to relate back to what everyone else was talking about and how you started, I think it’s really important to consider the way this attempt at creating a culture of fear amongst the arts community globally and internationally is happening through these baseless smear campaigns and defamation, threatening people’s jobs. And I mention this just because, you know, one of the things that happened to me was that there was a letter-writing campaign in which every university I’ve ever taught at internationally, anyone that’s ever given me an award received literally a five-page PDF claiming that I was an ISIS terrorist that supports the rape of women and the killing of babies. People who signed that Artforum letter, and many, many, many of whom are Jewish and Israeli allies that I have worked with for 25 years, also received that letter. In my case, because people know me — they’ve worked with me for 25 years — the letters come off as just absolutely absurd and ridiculous. But if that is happening to me, it begs the question of what is happening to younger artists, people who don’t — people in museums don’t know receiving letters like that. And it’s very targeted and very systematic, and it’s something to consider also in relationship with the targeted destruction of culture in Gaza, art centers being bombed. Why would an art center be bombed? Because part of genocide is precisely silencing artists and silencing a culture’s cultural production. And I feel that that was very important to say that.

In Bethlehem, the situation is quite difficult — nothing compared to Gaza, of course. But we are witnessing incursions every night. It’s been — you know, Bethlehem is a town that very, very much relies on visitors and tourists for its economy, so that, economically, it’s been a disaster. As an art center, our art center in Bethlehem promotes dance and music and art practices and making and residencies of local artists and international artists. We’re doing our very best to both deal with the situation at hand but also provide a kind of way of working with the children now who live in our neighborhood who are trying to handle the situation, both on the ground in Bethlehem but also witnessing what’s happening to Gaza.

AMY GOODMAN: Emily Jacir, we want to thank you for being with us, acclaimed artist and filmmaker, born in Bethlehem, goes back and forth between Bethlehem and New York, was scheduled to speak in Berlin, Germany, her talk canceled. And Samia Halaby, renowned Palestinian visual artist, activist, educator and scholar, whose first U.S. retrospective was abruptly canceled by Indiana University’s Eskenazi Museum of Art over her support for Palestinians and criticism of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

When we come back, we’ll be joined by a German American Jewish Holocaust survivor. Samia is 87. Marione Ingram is 88. She’s been standing outside the White House for months calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Her talks in her native Hamburg, which she fled from in the Holocaust, have been canceled. Stay with us.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, January 18, 2024

This should not be happening

Marcia's "As a lesbian, thank you, Jared Ball for making clear that BPM doesn't want gay viewers" just went up.  We talked about it before we did the roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin and I wanted to wait to post until it was up so that I could say, "Read it! I agree with Marcia 100%!"

That's really all I want to say.

I have a gay brother and I don't approve of homophobia and I don't approve of Jared Ball and his homophobic remarks being made on a show from BLACK POWER MEDIA. 

This should not be happening.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE  COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, January 18, 2024.  Robert F. Kennedy Junior proudly brags of his intent to carry out fraud, another journalist killed by the Israeli government, and much more.

We're going to run though a few topics quickly before Gaza.  Starting with criminality.  Bart Jansen (USA TODAY) notes:

A former Internal Revenue Service contractor, who leaked tax information about Donald Trump and other wealthy individuals to news organizations, got his job to intentionally to spread the confidential records, according to Justice Department prosecutors.

Charles Edward Littlejohn, 38, of Washington, pleaded guilty in October to unauthorized disclosure of tax return and return information. U.S. District Judge Ana Reye scheduled sentencing for Jan. 29. Prosecutors recommended Tuesday he receive the maximum sentence of five years in prison.

[. . .]

The New York Times reported in 2020 Trump paid $750 in federal income tax the year he entered the White House and no income tax at all some years thanks to colossal losses. Six years of his returns were later released by the House Ways and Means Committee, when it was controlled by Democrats.

Why are we bringing it up?  Because I'm tired of the useless.  Weeks ahead of the 2020 election, news of Hunter Biden's laptop broke.  While we noted here that it was not stolen -- and went through the reality that the computer store owner became the laptop owner when the laptop was not picked up and the bill not paid for -- a lot of 'legal' minds wasted everyone's time by not stressing the points we made.  We made those points repeatedly and did so because I knew the media outlets were arguing privately -- and would get public about it really quickly -- that it was 'stolen' so they could not touch the story.

It was not stolen and maybe if our 'legal' minds -- especially those living overseas in tropical climates -- actually knew the law, they could have helped push back on this but they were too busy with their Tweets and their whines and their stupidity.  I'm not in the damn mood and I wasn't back then.

And, notice, when it did come to something stolen (tax returns), they were more than happy to run with. 

Hunter's laptop.

Hunter Biden posed a threat to public safety and cannot rely on his constitutional right to a firearm to avoid prosecution for federal gun charges, the US Department of Justice said in a court filing on Tuesday.

Lawyers for the son of the president are currently attempting to have three felony gun charges against him thrown out after he was indicted in Delaware in September over a gun purchase in October 2018 when he was in the grips of drug addiction.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Biden unlawfully possessed a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver for 11 days after he falsely claimed on a gun purchase form that he didn’t use drugs. Under federal law, an unlawful drug user cannot legally possess a firearm.

If Republicans really gave a damn about the issue -- they don't -- they would've gone after witnesses long ago.  Specifically, they would seek testimony from the Secret Service which has been involved in this case all along.  They have acted as Hunter's private bodyguards which is not their job.  Nor is their job to cover up crimes -- so their knowledge and looking the other way when he was stoned out of his mind?  I don't think taxpayer money should be used to protect people doing drugs -- I mean protect them from arrest, etc.  The Secret Service repeatedly intimidated citizens to keep Hunter from being arrested and his actions from being known.

Uh-huh.  That's not what they're paid for.  They're paid to physically protect someone from violence or the threat of violence.  It's disgusting that Hunter's crimes -- prostitution and drug use -- took place with the Secret Service doing mop-up for Hunter -- disgusting and illegal.

The GOP doesn't care about that.  But it is exactly that which a functioning government would address. Our tax dollars should not be spent to carry out crimes.  Physically protecting Hunter or anyone from violence is one thing, protecting from arrest is another.  The Secret Service was way too involved and a functioning government would be investigating that.  You can't impeach Joe Biden on that so the GOP's not interested.  

Fraud.  I told you we were moving quickly.  Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  Junior is struggling, even with millions Junior is struggling.  It's as though America's waking up and realizing that -- to steal from HEATHERS -- all Junior has to offer now "is date rapes and AIDS jokes."  Tellingly, those aren't AIDS jokes that he keeps delivering, he's honestly that ignorant that he thinks poppers causes AIDS -- somewhere former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop is rolling over in his grave. 

For those who've forgotten, after a life with little to show for it other than a heroin addiction, Junior was going to be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.  But no one wanted a freak show so he then announced he was going to be an independent candidate.  But looks like that's too hard for Junior too.  What is it about this man -- this elderly, 70-year-old man -- that refuses to ever do the work required to accomplish anything?  

Now campaign law is not an area I know much about.

But even to me, that smacks of fraud.  

You're saying that you don't think you can get on the ballot as an independent candidate, you don't think you can get enough signatures.  So your 'workaround' for that is to create a new political party so you can get on the ballot.

That sounds like fraud and it sounds like you've publicly admitted to it.

No state should allow him on the ballot in that manner.  That is election fraud.

There is no political party.  It's just you pretending so that you can meet a lower legal requirement to be on a ballot. 

That's fraud.  

If he wants to, for example, accept The People's Party's nomination and be on the ballot where ever they might have access, that's one thing.  

But to announce that you're not able to meet the requirements (or unwilling to do the work required to meet the requirements) to run as an independent so you're instead going to invent some new political party to make the ballots?  That's fraud.

It is willfully and knowingly breaking the laws of various states regarding ballot access.  Fraud.

Now for Gaza, this morning ALJAZERA is reporting:

Wael Fanouneh, news director of al-Quds TV, was killed as a result of Israeli bombing in Gaza City.

Fanouneh is the ninth employee of the channel to be killed in Israeli attacks. The other journalists are: Ahmed Khair El Din, Jabr Abu Hadros, Hassan Farajallah, Mohammad Nabil al-Zaq, Mohammad al-Thalathini, Hamada al-Yaziji, Mohammad Abu Huwaidi, and Mahmoud Mushtaha.

More than 100 Palestinian journalists have been killed over the past three and a half months – an unprecedented rate in modern warfare history.

The latest in a long list of journalists killed by the Israeli government.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush joined a vigil in Washington, D.C. late Wednesday to mourn and demand justice for the Palestinian journalists who were killed by the Israeli military during the first 100 days of its U.S.-backed assault on the Gaza Strip.

"The Israeli government's brutal attacks have made Gaza the most dangerous place in the world for journalists and their families," Tlaib (D-Mich.), currently the only Palestinian American member of Congress, said in her remarks at the vigil. "Despite Netanyahu's ongoing genocidal campaign, Palestinian journalists have continued reporting for Gaza under extremely dangerous circumstances to continue showing the world the truth about these atrocities."

"We call on the international community: Please come together to investigate the Israeli government's war crimes for its repeated attacks on journalists," said Tlaib. 

  More than 100 Gaza journalists and media workers have been killed by the Israeli military since early October, according to the territory's media office. Palestinian reporters say they are being deliberately targeted as part of an Israeli government campaign to "shut down the coverage" of its ongoing atrocities in the Gaza Strip.

In addition to being killed by Israeli bombs, Gaza journalists have faced arbitrary detention, harassment, assault, and torture at the hands of Israeli forces. The International Criminal Court said last week that it is investigating attacks on Gaza journalists as part of its broader probe of war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.

Bush (D-Mo.), the lead sponsor of a Gaza cease-fire resolution in the U.S. House, used her speech during Wednesday's vigil to call out the Biden administration's complicity in Israel's attacks on journalists—and the lack of condemnation from members of the American press as their peers "are being slaughtered for doing the very jobs they do."

"Palestinian voices are being intentionally silenced by the Israeli government and by our own government," Bush said. "This makes uncovering the truth of what's happening in Palestine not only difficult and dangerous, but essential."

"The Israeli government's silencing of and violence against journalists began long before October 7," Bush continued. "In fact, for decades, as Palestinians have lived under their illegal occupation, the silencing of their voices and stories has been a tactic to maintain control and maintain support from the West. After all, it's much easier to ignore and cover up injustice if it goes untold."

The vigil was sponsored by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which led a coalition of advocacy groups last week in imploring the Biden administration to immediately "promote the conditions for safe and unrestricted reporting on the hostilities."

From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: Israel’s bombardment of Gaza from the land, air and sea continued today, much of it in the southern part of the territory in the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah. At least 163 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in the last 24 hours, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Some of the worst shelling hit the western side of Khan Younis, which was designated in the early stages of Israel’s assault on Gaza as a so-called safe zone by Israel. There’s also been intense Israeli bombardment in the vicinity of Nasser Hospital, the main hospital in the city, and tanks and armored vehicles are on the main road leading to the area. Among the places hit in Khan Younis was a school sheltering displaced Palestinians. An eyewitness described the attack.

EYEWITNESS: We saw death with all colors. The tanks entered. We saw everything vividly. It was horrible — random shelling, random fire, random killing. They are coming just to kill and go back home. This is a Nakba. They are just coming to kill children, women, elderly, in the bathroom, in the school, in the hospital, in the street, anywhere. They killed us. They are just coming to kill only. Just that. Just killing.

AMY GOODMAN: The interruption of communications and internet services in Gaza, for days, has continued for the fifth consecutive day, the longest telecommunications blackout of the war so far. This has caused delays for emergency workers to respond to airstrikes and has hampered media coverage from Palestinian journalists in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh left Gaza on Tuesday, crossing into Egypt, then flying to Qatar to receive medical treatment. Dahdouh has come to symbolize both the suffering and resilience of Palestinian journalists in Gaza. In October, four members of his family were killed, including his wife, his 15-year-old son, his 7-year-old daughter and his grandson, in an Israeli strike on a refugee camp where they were seeking shelter after their home was bombed. Last week, his eldest son, 27-year-old-Hamza, also a journalist, was killed along with another journalist in an Israeli airstrike on their car in Khan Younis. Dahdouh will receive medical treatment in Doha for a wound he received when Israel bombed the area he was in that ended up killing his cameraperson Samer Abudaqa.

By some counts, over 110 journalists have been killed in Gaza since October 7th. The Committee to Protect Journalists has found more journalists have been killed in the first 10 weeks of Israel’s war on Gaza than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year.

For more, we’re joined by two guests. Sharif Abdel Kouddous is an independent journalist and a Democracy Now! correspondent. His latest piece for The Intercept investigates the killing of Abudaqa. It’s headlined “Israel Bombed an Al Jazeera Cameraman — and Blocked Evacuation Efforts as He Bled to Death.” He’s joining us from here in New York. In Washington, D.C., we’re joined by Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Before we talk to Sharif about the cameraman, the Al Jazeera cameraman who bled to death over five hours, can we put this in a broader context, Sherif Mansour? Talk about the astounding number, the horrific number, of journalists who have died in Gaza.

SHERIF MANSOUR: Well, thank you for having me again, Amy. I’ve already talked to you about this at least twice, and the number only goes higher. The deadly pattern we discussed become more deadly. And we have since talked, talked about the apparent pattern of targeting against journalists, their families. And specifically when we discuss Al Jazeera and al-Dahdouh’s family, they really are rewriting what it means to be a journalist today, with immense, brave and never-seen-before sacrifices. The Palestinian journalists, local journalists — so far, 76 out of 83 we’ve counted since the start of the war are Palestinians. The overwhelming majority are killed by the Israeli army. The Israeli army has killed more journalists in the span of those three months than any other entity or army have done over a course of one year since 1992. This is the most dangerous and the most — we’ve never seen any assignment like this before.

Of course, what we called on is independent and transparent and thorough investigation. We want to see the case of al-Dahdouh, his son, Al Jazeera and others that show a culpability of the Israeli army to be put to public scrutiny by allowing immediate entry to international media and international investigators into Gaza without censorship by the Israeli army. The killing must stop. And for that to happen, the record must be made public, and U.S., European and other allies of Israel need to call Israel on that record and ensure those investigations are made immediately public.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Sherif Mansour, what has been the response of the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Forces, given the enormous number of journalists killed? Have they accepted any culpability at all for any of these killings?

SHERIF MANSOUR: The cases of precise attacks by drones against Al Jazeera, which happened at least twice in the last four weeks, included for the first time the Israeli army taking responsibility of doing those attacks, but also doing as they’ve done in the past, when they are held responsible because the case of a journalist is someone who was behind an international news organization. They said they will investigate, but they also push false narratives, claims that they are terrorists or that they were part of an ongoing crossfire, and, as we’ve seen in past incidents before this war, this time around three narratives pushed by the Israeli army, correcting and changing and providing nothing more than a questionable document, with English for the first time, coming from what they said was a terrorist group, but providing no other evidence that support their claim, and have — so far, the outlets, eyewitnesses, and the families of the journalists have denied the Israeli army narratives and showed to the contrary that, for example, Hamza, an Al Jazeera journalist, was approved to travel — before his father, Wael Dahdouh, did yesterday — after Israel vetted him. And if he was wanted by any chance, he wouldn’t have had this approval before he was killed. And other testimony and accounts that we and others are showing the contradicting nature of these narratives, this is also the same narrative we said happened before this war started, in our “Deadly Pattern” report. And it is a pattern of responses designed to evade responsibilities by throwing the word “terrorists,” by also pushing out those narratives until the world look away.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, and Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are both calling for Israel to be officially investigated for war crimes and its targeting of journalists, not only in Gaza, but outside of Gaza, because an internal Reuters investigation found that one of its journalists, Issam Abdallah, was killed by an Israeli tank shell fired on him and a group of six other journalists in southern Lebanon on October 13th. Could you talk about these attacks outside of Gaza?

SHERIF MANSOUR: So, we saw the same pattern of disregard for press insignia that we reported before this war, 13 out of 20 journalists killed by IDF fire over 21 years who wore press signs and press insignia showing that they are media personnel. And like those cases, the case of Issam Abdallah show, with independent investigation, physical proof, forensic proof from the scene, in addition to mapping, audio and visual analysis by international human rights groups and international media organizations, that show that those journalists did not pose any threat to Israeli government positions, that they have been seen by an Israeli drone at least an hour, that they were visibly expressing or showing press signs and only their cameras, and the position that they have taken was a high-vantage hill that did not obscure their location with being close to any camera or house that justified that they would have any threat. And all of this and other evidence have shown that what we show in the past, in the cases of at least three journalists that we categorized as murdered before this course, including Shireen Abu Akleh and Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hassin, who were killed in Gaza, that there was no justification for the use of lethal force by the Israeli army. And those and other cases [inaudible] that we call for independent investigation as war crimes, because the Israeli army did not live up to their commitments and obligation under international law.

AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, Shireen Abu Akleh was killed May 11, 2022, outside the Jenin refugee camp. Sharif Abdel Kouddous did a George Polk Award-winning documentary on the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. He’s joining us, as well.

[The video above includes the following segment but click here for it at the DEMOCRACY NOW! website.]

AMY GOODMAN: Sharif, I wanted to ask you about this latest piece you did for The Intercept that’s headlined “Israel Bombed an Al Jazeera Cameraman — and Blocked Evacuation Efforts as He Bled to Death.” Give us the tick-tock, the chronology on what happened on that horrific day, when he and Wael al-Dahdouh, who is the Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera, went to the school that was bombed. Tell us exactly what happened.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Right, Amy. And when we talk about the killing of Palestinian journalists in Gaza, this was an incident on December 15th where much of the world watched as hours ticked by as Samer Abudaqa was wounded and prevented from getting medical care by Israel and eventually died. And so, that timeline of what happened, I think, is extremely important.

But, basically, Wael al-Dahdouh, who is Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, went with Samer Abudaqa, who’s a 20-year veteran journalist, a cameraman — they went to this school in Khan Younis which had been bombed earlier in the day, and they were accompanied by a team of Civil Defense workers. That team had received — had requested and received approval by the Israeli military through the Red Cross to be in the area. They got there around noon. They spent about two-and-a-half hours in the area. This is according to Wael al-Dahdouh. And as they were wrapping up their coverage, there were these — he said there were hardly anyone in the area. There were drones buzzing overhead. They were just about to leave and go back to the ambulance that had brought them there, when a strike hit them, at about 2:30 p.m.

Wael al-Dahdouh was thrown to the ground. He said when he got up and kind of regained awareness, he realized he was bleeding quite profusely from his arm and that he would bleed to death if he didn’t get medical attention. He looked over and saw the three Civil Defense workers who were accompanying them had been killed instantly. And then, at a small distance away, he saw his colleague, Samer Abudaqa, on the ground. He had been wounded in the lower part of his body. Wael said that he seemed like he was screaming — Wael at that point had lost much of his hearing from the blast — and that Samer couldn’t get up. Wael realized the only chance that both of them had was for him to get to medical attention and get help to bring Samer out, because he couldn’t get up. So Wael somehow stumbled across about 800 meters to the ambulance that was waiting. He begged them to go in and get Samer, but they insisted on evacuating him first to a hospital in Khan Younis and that another ambulance would go retrieve him. There are videos of Wael al-Dahdouh receiving treatment, wincing in pain, calling on people to go get Samer, telling them to coordinate with the Red Cross.

What we understand from Wael and others is that an ambulance did go immediately to try and retrieve Samer from the area, but that they were fired on, or in their area, in their proximity, by Israeli forces. At the same time, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Ramallah, Walid al-Omari, was making calls to the Red Cross — this is around 3:00, 3:30 p.m. — and asking the Red Cross to liaise with the Israeli military to allow for emergency crews to reach Samer Abudaqa in Khan Younis. So the Israeli military knew, at least by 3:00 or 3:30, that there was a wounded journalist who lay helpless that needed evacuation.

And at the same time, news was spreading of Samer Abudaqa’s plight, and there’s a group called the Foreign Press Association, which is a Jerusalem-based nonprofit representing reporters, mostly foreign reporters from over 30 countries, and there’s a WhatsApp group, which has about 140 of these journalists on it. One of the journalists, a freelance reporter and producer based in Jerusalem named Orly Halpern, posted just after 3 p.m. about the Samer’s plight and told the journalists, or called on them, to call Israeli military spokespeople and to demand that Samer be evacuated. And so, the FPA was getting involved. Senior members of the FPA, the Foreign Press Association, were getting involved, calling Israeli military officials, Israeli military spokespeople, senior ones, repeatedly asking for passage for Samer.

And from what we understand, at The Intercept we obtained screenshots of this WhatsApp group from multiple journalists in the group, and also from speaking with people involved in these efforts, that for hours Israel did not give approval to these ambulances. Finally, after about five hours after Samer was initially wounded, a bulldozer was finally approved to go through to reach Samer. But by then, he had already died. He had bled out. He was found with — he had seemed to have removed his flak jacket and had tried to crawl and had died. And it was incredibly tragic. He had lain there. Al Jazeera had posted a live counter of the hours and minutes since he was wounded on its broadcast, and people were just watching. And he eventually died.

And the next day, Al Jazeera announced it was preparing a legal file to submit to the International Criminal Court over what it called the assassination of Samer Abudaqa. And so did Reporters Without Borders, also included his killing in a filing with the ICC, war crimes against journalists killed in Gaza. So, you know, the world should be outraged about this killing, about all the killings that are happening to Palestinians, Palestinian journalists in Gaza.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, Sharif, in this particular case, there is no doubt that the highest echelons of the Israeli Defense Forces were aware that this journalist was wounded and in need of medical attention.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Yes, we have multiple journalists who told — we have screenshots of a WhatsApp group where they’re discussing having spoken to Israeli military spokespeople in those hours and saying, “No approval yet. Ambulances not cleared. Bulldozers not cleared yet.” So, this took hours. And, you know, the Israeli military must have known very early on what the situation is. They’re the ones who had repeatedly bombed the area. They knew there was rubble in the streets. There’s constant — near-constant drone surveillance of Gaza. The Red Cross, we know, was liaising with the Israeli military to try and get approval. And yet they left, or they just didn’t allow — by some accounts, firstly, ambulances were fired on that tried to reach Samer Abudaqa. They returned back — this is the Palestinian Red Crescent and Civil Defense — and they were waiting then for approval. They also asked for Red Cross teams to accompany them to the area as a form of protection. And all of this is happening while Samer Abudaqa is lying helpless. The Israeli military is not giving permission. And he eventually died.

AMY GOODMAN: And then, again, that was Wael al-Dahdouh’s cameraperson and dear colleague, who bleeds to death over five hours. And then, in the last weeks, his son, Hamza al-Dahdouh, also an Al Jazeera journalist, is killed in this Israeli airstrike, along with the AFP stringer Mustafa Thuraya, in an airstrike, a drone strike on a car. Sharif, final comments?

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Yeah, I think, look, in this country, the journalistic community should be outraged, should be vocal in their outrage, at Israel’s killing of their colleagues in Gaza. And we haven’t seen that.

And let me just end by saying, you know, in 2022, the Pulitzer Board awarded a special citation to journalists of Ukraine for their coverage of the Russian invasion and of the war. And the citation reads, quote, “Despite bombardment, abductions, occupation, and even deaths in their ranks, they have persisted in their effort to provide an accurate picture of a terrible reality,” end-quote. This is the case many times over for the journalists of Gaza, for the Palestinian journalists of Gaza. I doubt they will be receiving any such accolades. And that’s where the problem lies.

AMY GOODMAN: Sharif Abdel Kouddous, independent journalist, wrote this piece for The Intercept, “Israel Bombed an Al Jazeera Cameraman — and Blocked Evacuation Efforts as He Bled to Death.” We’ll link to it at The Intercept at And Sherif Mansour, Committee to Protect Journalists’ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, speaking to us from D.C.

Next up, we look at what Israelis see on television. Stay with us.

Journalists are being killed.  The silence is appalling.  

Gaza remains under assault.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows closer to 30,000.  CNN notes,  "The overall death toll of 24,285 also includes 7,200 women and 1,049 elderly people, the ministry said."  ALJAZEERA notes, "The number of Palestinians killed since the start of Israel’s attacks on October 7 has risen to 24,285, Gaza’s health ministry says. At least 61,154 others have been wounded."   In addition to the dead and the injured, there are the missing.  AP notes, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."

19 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on their home in the early hours of the morning, staff at Al Najjer hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah told an NBC News crew.

The hospital shared a list of the dead with names of 16 members of the Al Zamili family — 8 of them were children and 5 were women, including one who was pregnant. Three people were unidentifiable, according to the staff.

Dr. Talat Barhoum at Al Najjar Hospital also confirmed the death toll from the strike in Rafah and said dozens more were wounded, in comments to the Associated Press. 

Joe Biden marked 100 days of his no-holds-barred support for Israel’s genocidal war against the people of Gaza by pretending that the killing, maiming, and displacement of the Palestinians were an apparition. “No one should have to endure even one day of what they have gone through, much less 100,” Biden wrote on January 14. But his statementOpens in a new tab, which emphasized the Israeli deaths on October 7 and the hostages who remain in Hamas’s custody, made no mention of the 10,000 dead Palestinian children and what they never should have gone through. His only reference to the plight of Palestinian civilians was an oblique one: Biden praised himself for presiding over a brief “surge [in] additional vital humanitarian aid into Gaza” when there was a temporary truce to allow the exchange of hostages and prisoners in November.

Biden’s statement is emblematic of the lip service the president has paid to “humanitarian” needs while at the same time facilitating Israel’s every move. The White House knew from the beginning exactly how gratuitous and barbaric Israel’s war of annihilation would be in Gaza, yet Biden made sure that his “great, great friend” Benjamin Netanyahu would have U.S. weapons to carry it out, would enjoy the full support of America’s extensive intelligence and targeting capabilities, and receive the political backing of Washington with no “red lines.” Biden and company ensured that Israel’s lies, no matter how grand or obscene, would be embraced and promoted from the podium at the State Department and White House every single day. Over the past 100 days, the administration has watched the carnage wrought on the people of Gaza, yet officials admitOpens in a new tab they have “taken great pains to avoid calling for a ceasefire.”

The attempts by the administration over the past months to plant stories in the media — about how Biden is “losing patienceOpens in a new tab” with Netanyahu, how Antony Blinken is concerned about the mounting pile of Palestinian corpses, how the White House seeks no wider regional war — indicates a cynical amorality that permeates the souls of those in power. “At every juncture, Netanyahu has given Biden the finger,” Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen told Axios, characterizing what he hears from senior administration officials. “They are pleading with the Netanyahu coalition, but getting slapped in the face over and over again.” 

“What we’re seeing every single day in Gaza is gut-wrenching,” Blinken told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman at an event in Davos, SwitzerlandOpens in a new tab, as though he has not been one of the premiere enablers of the destruction of Gaza. “The suffering we are seeing among innocent men, women, and children breaks my heart.” He then adopted the tone of an analyst at a think tank, not the top U.S. diplomat: “The question is, what is to be done?”

These sentiments, expressed as part of a barely concealed political spin campaign, are not being promoted because they are sincerely held reservations or concerns; rather they are the linchpin of a crass effort to scatter bread crumbs the White House can later point to, including during the 2024 election, in an effort to make it seem as though they were powerless observers who just wanted to help the Israelis defend themselves but that dastardly Netanyahu took it too far. The actual scandal, in this narrative, will not be the mass murder of the Palestinians of Gaza in a genocidal campaign armed by the White House, but how Bibi and his band of rogues, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, used the just war to push their “extremist” agendas. 

The following sites updated: