Thursday, February 22, 2024

Black History Month and Black Current Events

I had an e-mail about how it was Black History Month and I'm not noting it.  I'm not?  I'm not in school anymore so I don't do reports daily.  I do try to note Black issues as often as I can.  Being Black, seems to me I'm noting Black issues regularly.   Before I read Cecile's e-mail, I was thinking about noting a destruction that took place.  Then I saw a hair story.  And, after I read Cecile's e-mail, I saw an e-mail from Bobby about Darian Aaron's LGBTQ NATION report.  Let's note that report:

But for decades,  gay strategist and King advisor Bayard Rustin has remained a footnote in the retelling of this historic day. Rustin was the lead organizer behind the march, yet his legacy has long remained trapped within the privileged halls of academia and has come dangerously close to complete erasure. 

The undermining of Rustin’s legacy and the blatant disregard for the influential principles of nonviolence he introduced to King was by design. For decades, activists agreed to cast Rustin as an extra instead of a leading player due to his sexuality amidst internal fears of damage to the Civil Rights movement. 

Unsurprisingly, many people only became aware of Rustin as a civil rights icon after the 2023 release of the Netflix biopic bearing his last name.

“On the day that I was born Black, I was also born a homosexual. They either believe in freedom and justice for all, or they do not.”- Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in “Rustin” 

While vastly different than when Rustin lived, the Black LGBTQ+ experience in America today remains hindered by a rigid white Judeo-Christian patriarchal standard that excludes deviations and those who represent that perceived “deviance.” 

I am so hoping that Domingo wins an Oscar for his performance.  RUSTIN is a great film.  And yet I didn't see a lot of people rally around it.  Infamously, I saw BLACK POWER MEDIA -- three men on BPM -- denounce the film.  And it was a really strange clip about how we needed more stories told for Black history -- not just the same one told over and over (was that a jab at Whoopi Goldberg?).  So they say that and then, minutes later, you've got Jared Ball saying RUSTIN is too gay.  Bayard Rustin was a gay man.  If you're going to tell his story, you can't hide who he was (nor should you).  They did another segment, BPM, on Sunday.  C.I. and I streamed it.  It was supposedly defending gay men.  But they came in late in their clip so you had no idea what they were speaking of -- again 3 men -- but they appeared to have some college course and wanted you to know that, in Africa, it wasn't so structured -- gender roles.  Thanks for the poor argument and the lack of examples.  But C.I. and I did a book discussion ten years ago on BOY-WIVES AND FEMALE HUSBANDS: STUDIES IN AFRICAN HOMOSEXUALITIES.  That was actually the second time she and I had covered that book.  We also did something for either THIRD or HILDA'S MIX.  So, yeah, you're not honoring the homeland of Africa if you're pimping strict gender roles nor if you're pimping homophobia and this sentence that you're reading right here is more coherent than anything BPM offered in their ten minute clip supposedly on this topic.

I'm really not impressed.  Sorry.  I have a gay brother. I'm not playing on this topic.  I also have two eyes and I see the homophobia increasing and efforts to make it acceptable.  I'm not here to play. 

Domingo gave a great performance in a great movie.  And it's a shame that a resource calling itself "BLACK POWER MEDIA" is not uplifting our own.  Jeffrey Wright has a praised film -- I haven't seen it yet -- in AMERICAN FICTION.  He and Colman are both nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category which I believe is a first -- two Black men nominated for it in the same year.  Let me ask C.I.  Nope, Will Smith and Denzel Washington  two years back were both nominated for Best Actor, and about 18 years ago she says Forest Whittaker and Will Smith were both nominated,  2005 saw Jamie Foxx and  Don Cheadle both nominated and  2002 saw Denzel and Will nominated.  So that's five times that two Black actors have both been nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards in the same year. Women?

For years, it was just Dorothy Dandridge.  Then, in 1973, Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson were both nominated.  They made history.  The first Black women nominated since Dorothy in the fifties and the first time two Black women were nominated in the same year for Best Actress.  Only once since have two Black actresses been nominated for Best Actress in the same year, in 2021 when Viola Davis and Andra Day were both nominated. And let's note that only one woman has resulted in two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress:  Billie Holiday.  Diana Ross was nominated when she portrayed Billie and Andra Day was nominated when she portrayed Billie.  So there's some Black history.  

Texas judge struck a blow to the state’s newly adopted CROWN Act on Thursday, ruling that a public school district can continue to punish a Black teen who wears his hair in locs.

In a trial that lasted just a few hours, Judge Chap Cain III ruled that Barbers Hill Independent School District did not violate the CROWN Act when it subjected Darryl George, 18, to in-school suspensions and off-site instruction for nearly six months.

George has been isolated from his peers for most of the school year since he was first disciplined by Barbers Hill High School in August for violating the school’s dress code.

George wears his hair in long, thick locs, which the school says is against its policy governing boys’ hair. Its dress code says boys may not wear their hair longer than their eyebrows, below their ears or past a T-shirt collar—a policy critics say stems from anti-Black stereotypes.

You know, first off, the co-author of the bill said it was a violation of the bill for George to be punished.  From the article:

Although the judge sided with the school district in its interpretation of the CROWN Act, Texas Rep. Ron Reynolds, one of the law’s co-authors, said that George’s locs should be protected under it. Reynolds testified that although length wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the text, the CROWN Act should cover locs because “length was inferred with the very nature of the style.”

This isn’t the first time Barbers Hill has come under scrutiny for unfairly punishing Black students over its dress code. In 2020, another Black student filed suit against the district when he was told he couldn’t walk at graduation because of his hair. In the district, Black students make up only 4 percent of the student body.

Second, what the heck?  This is beyond stupid.  A boy's hair can't go below the eyebrow?  What?  

You know what, people make fun of the hippies and flower power and all that.  Not me.  I would have loved to have lived in that era.  The Mamas and the Papas, Sly and the Family Stone, Arthur Lee fronting the band Love, Diana Ross fronting the Supremes, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Janis, Aretha, Jefferson Airplane.  And music lovers who didn't take crap.  They dressed the way they wanted and wore their hair the way that they wanted.  And the battled school districts that tried to say otherwise.  Those were pretty strong people.  God bless the hippies.  We could use some of that spirit today.

Third, what happened to parental rights?  If they had told me how my kids could wear their hair or not in Georgia or California, you would have seen me on the news as the woman acting the fool at school because I wouldn't have accepted that.

Now for the last part of this grab bag, leave it to Black History Month for the racists to go so rabid that they do this:

A monument honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., created by the nation's first African American NASA astronaut candidate, was vandalized in a Denver park this week by perpetrators who pried off a large bronze plaque and other pieces from the statue's pedestal, authorities said.

The damage to the "I Have a Dream" monument in City Park occurred in the middle of Black History Month and was discovered Wednesday morning by a concerned citizen, according to Vern Howard, chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission.

Howard, who was the project manager on the monument, told ABC News Thursday he suspects the vandalism and theft was a "coordinated effort," saying the largest piece taken from the monument was too heavy to have been carried off by a single individual.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, February 22, 2024.  Gaza death toll nears 30,000, Israel military lawyers warns of possible criminal prosecution for IDF forces, the Israeli government destroys a mosque, hate merchants in the US continue their attacks, and much more.

Starting with this: 18-year-old Jack Johnson of Louisiana arrested for murder.  Police were called to the Benton, LA home of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson's earlier this morning when a screaming woman phoned to report a homicide.  When they arrived on the premises, the screaming woman turned out to be a very high strung Speaker Johnson who had discovered his son in an exhausted state of bliss, the younger Johnson having just jerked off.   "All of those children! Dead!" wailed the Speaker as he waved his son's still damp cum rag in the faces of the responding officers.  

That is where Alabama's latest nonsense leads, right?  Hannah Irvine (FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION) reports:

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that embryos outside of the womb qualify as human beings in a ruling that further thwarts reproductive freedom in the state. In the 131 page opinion Alabama judges quoted the Bible and listened to complicated theoretical legal arguments before ultimately coming to the 7-2 decision. 

The case comes after two Alabama couples pursuing IVF sued the Alabama Mobile Infirmary Medical Centre after a patient was able to break into the hospital’s cryogenic facility and subsequently dropped two embryos. The embryos at this stage have been chosen as suitable for possible transfer into the uterus. Even though they have passed this hurdle, they are still 50% likely to fail when transferred. 

The two plaintiffs filed their complaints under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. The judges used this act as the legal basis for their decision, citing that the “Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies on its face to all unborn children, without limitation.” This landmark ruling not only is a clear product of a pro-life agenda strengthened by religious propaganda but also serves as a reminder of the strict grip that Alabama lawmakers want to have over reproductive health in the state. 

This ruling further tightens abortion regulations and it will also serve as a barrier to the people of Alabama who wish to go through the IVF process. Hospitals view the ruling as a huge risk, making it almost impossible to run an IVF clinic without the constant fear of causing a “death.” One thing is clear – the state of Alabama has offered women yet another haunting warning, they can and will take control of their reproductive rights as they see fit.

The idiots of the Alabama court are trying to destroy reproductive rights.  It never ends for them.  These nut jobs live on the slippery slope.  

In fact, here's footage of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito trying to use that slope to further erode equal rights.

I wasn't the only one rooting for the crocodile to catch Alito, was I?

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito attempted an “I told you so” on Tuesday when he criticized a judge’s dismissal of potential jurors in a workplace discrimination case because they believed homosexuality is a sin.

Alito said that’s exactly the type of outcome he warned against when, against his objections, the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

Alito said he’d anticipated that Americans would be labeled as bigots unless they hid their traditional religious beliefs about “homosexual conduct.”

Was that his inner voice warning him or just the ravings from a syphilis plagued mind?

All Alito wants is to live in a world where he can be a bigot but not get called one.  Is that so wrong?

Yeah, it is.  You're lying, hypocritical ass is so wrong and so disgusting.

Alito, please note, voted for Lori Davis.  He said that 'religious' people -- homophobes -- could refuse to do work for gay people.  Now he says that homophobes should be allowed to sit on a jury to rule as to whether or not LGBTQ+ rights have been broken.  Does no one else the blatant hypocrisy?

It's about time -- damn time -- that someone explained to Alito that freedom of religion in the US included freedom FROM religion.  

He's an evil man and hopefully he will die soon.  Maybe he'll break his neck rushing down one of those slippery slopes. The world will be a better place with one less bigot.

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old Oklahoma high school sophomore, was beaten by three girl classmates in the bathroom of Owasso High School on Feb. 7. On Feb. 8, Nex – who identified within the Two Spirit, transgender, and gender nonconforming (2STGNC) umbrella – was declared dead at the hospital.

Now LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are mourning the loss of a straight-A student, a Minecraft fan, and animal lover – a teenager – in a school district previously targeted by Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik; Raichik now sits on the statewide library advisory board. In 2023, Oklahoma censured the state’s only nonbinary representative — not to mention signing into law a bill forcing public school students to use the bathroom associated with their gender assigned at birth; advocates are currently closely watching several anti-trans pieces of legislation.

Before Benedict’s name was made public, a source who claimed to be the mother of Benedict’s best friend told a local outlet the cause of death was “complications from brain trauma,” and that “three older girls were beating the victim and her daughter in the girl’s bathroom.” (We are not linking because the story uses Benedict’s deadname. According to Freedom Oklahoma, it’s not presently clear which pronouns Benedict used, so this story will refrain from using pronouns for Nex.) The anonymous source also alleged that Benedict couldn’t “walk to the nurses’ station” without assistance and that the school did not call an ambulance, while the school claims they were unaware of the fight until informed by a parent; on Feb. 20, the school backtracked, acknowledging that students saw the school nurse after the fight.

Texts allegedly sent by Nex after the fight to a family member, published by an Owasso Fox affiliate on the 20th, began, “I got jumped at school 3 on 1 had to go to the ER… They had been bullying me and my friends and I got tired of it so I poured some water on them and all 3 came after me. School did not report to the police and is probably getting sued [redacted].”

Benedict’s grandmother Sue, who also adopted Nex, brought Nex to the hospital after the fight, then home again; the next day, Nex was brought back to the hospital and was pronounced dead. Sue told The Independent that Nex was suspended for two weeks from school on the day of the fight; Sue also mentioned that Nex had been bullied throughout this school year.

“Nex did not see themselves as male or female. Nex saw themselves right down the middle. I was still learning about it, Nex was teaching me that,” Benedict told The Independent. “I was so proud of Nex. They were going some place, they were so free.”

Multiple outlets and individuals, including Oklahoma newscaster Wendy Suarez, as well as Freedom Oklahoma, the state’s LGBTQ+ advocacy org, connected Benedict’s death to the appointment of Raichik, who’s been accused of “stochastic terrorism," to the state’s “Library Media Advisory Committee” in January by the state’s Secretary of Public Instruction, Ryan Walters. According to the Independent, a “teacher who Nex had greatly admired” resigned in 2022 after Raichik targeted them on social media. Raichik has denied any responsibility in Benedict’s death, and has instead misgendered Nex repeatedly in social posts. As for Walters, in a 2023 video released by the Oklahoma Department of Education, he utilized transphobic rhetoric. He has also banned students from changing their gender on school records.

Last week, in Iraq, a blogger was murdered:

A trans blogger, known as “Simsim”, has been killed in the Al-Qadisiyah governorate of Iraq, a security source has said. 
The blogger was killed by unknown assailants, the source told Iraqi publication Shafaq News. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed several times, near the mural roundabout in the centre of the city of Diwaniyah.

So these lunatics think what?  That when they die, they'll meet their maker and their savior is going to high five them for killing an LGBTQ+ person?  They're as sick as the people who flew the planes into the Twin Towers.  

And sick minds are the reason for the continued assault on Gaza.  This morning ALJAZEERA reports:

The Israeli military’s top lawyer has issued an unprecedented warning to troops against “improper conduct” in Gaza which includes the unjustified use of force and looting among other “criminal” actions.

Major-General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, the military advocate general, issued the warning in a letter on Wednesday, as reported by the Haaretz newspaper, saying it was “difficult to exaggerate” the “severity” of the soldiers’ actions over nearly five months of the war.

They should be very worried about facing charges.  War Crimes are being carried out. Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

  Israeli airstrikes on the severely overcrowded Gaza city of Rafah on Thursday destroyed a mosque and several houses as the leaders of aid groups and key United Nations agencies issued their latest warning over deteriorating humanitarian conditions across the Palestinian territory.

Reutersreported that Rafah residents described the latest flurry of Israeli attacks as "one of their worst nights yet."

"Mourners wailed over at least seven corpses in body bags, laid out on cobbles outside a morgue in the city," the outlet reported. "Gaza health authorities said 97 people were confirmed killed and 130 wounded in the last 24 hours of Israeli assaults, but most victims were still under rubble or in areas rescuers could not reach. The al-Farouk mosque in the center of Rafah was flattened into slabs of concrete, the facades of adjacent buildings blasted away."

Rafah is currently home to around 1.5 million people, most of whom fled to the small city from elsewhere in the Gaza Strip to escape Israeli bombs and ground forces—only to face airstrikes and the threat of a ground assault not long after arriving. Starvation and disease are spreading rapidly in the city, which rests near Gaza's border with Egypt. 

Last night, Mike noted US President Joe Biden's refusal to demand a cease-fire, "A cease-fire now is the only answer -- right now.  If Joe's too senile to grasp that, he doesn't deserve a second term.  If he just doesn't care about Palestinians, he doesn't deserve a second term."

Joe's inability to find a spine was debated on yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

The United States on Tuesday vetoed a widely supported Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The vote was 13 to 1 in favor of the resolution, with the United Kingdom abstaining. It marked the third time the U.S. has vetoed a Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. The vote came a day after the U.S. circulated a rival resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all Israeli hostages.

Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza over the past four-and-a-half months, with thousands more missing and presumed dead under the rubble. Nearly 70,000 people have been wounded. Eighty percent of Gaza’s population has been displaced, while a humanitarian crisis continues to worsen, with a quarter of Palestinians in Gaza facing starvation.

The Biden administration’s support for Israel in its assault on Gaza has come under fierce criticism both around the world and here at home. In Michigan, which is a key battleground state, home to one of the largest Arab American populations in the country, a campaign is growing to vote “uncommitted” in next week’s Democratic primary in protest of President’s Biden’s policies backing Israel.

For more, we’re joined by two guests. Michigan state Representative Abraham Aiyash is the Michigan House majority floor leader, the second-ranking Democrat in the Michigan House. Representative Aiyash was among several Arab and Muslim leaders who met with Biden officials in Dearborn last week, after refusing to meet with Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez. He’s also joined more than 40 other Michigan elected officials in pledging to cast a vote for “uncommitted” in Michigan’s February 27th primary. He’s joining us from Detroit. Joining us from Washington, D.C., on his way to Michigan, is Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna. He’s the deputy whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and is going to Michigan tomorrow to meet with Muslim and Arab American leaders in the state.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Abraham Aiyash, let’s begin with you. What are you demanding — as the Michigan House majority floor leader, what are you demanding of the Biden administration? You don’t usually take such stands against your own party, but right now the Democratic Party is really dealing with enormous pressure at this point. Can you talk about what you want to see happen?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: Look, I think our demands are simple. We just don’t want our government, our country to support, to aid, to abet any operation that kills innocent men, women and children. It is not a radical idea for us to suggest that the richest and most powerful country in the history of the world should not be funding what we see as a genocide, that we have seen nearly 30,000 dead Palestinians at the hands of the U.S.-funded Israeli missiles and bombs, and we want our leadership to not engage in that type of moral failure and that degenerative act that does not dignify the humanity of the Palestinian people. So, you know, more than anything, we’re not standing against anyone, but we’re simply reaffirming our stance for humanity and for the basic tenets of human rights, which says it is not a crazy concept that we should not be supporting any effort that is killing any innocent person in the world, especially to the magnitude that we’ve seen in Gaza, where more people have died in this conflict than any war since World War II, which is just a devastating toll.

And we’re hoping to exercise our right. We’re going to use the ballot box on February 27th to show that we are going to not support any effort that is supporting a genocide and that we’re going to stand firm and, hopefully, allow this administration to change course before the November election.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, I wanted to ask Congressman Ro Khanna, who’s with us, as well — you’ve said that, for example, that President Trump is too dangerous to not support President — I mean, former President Trump is too dangerous to not support President Biden. Your response to those Democrats who cannot in good conscience vote for President Biden, at least in this primary?

REP. RO KHANNA: Well, first of all, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Representative Aiyash, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in Michigan. I do believe the administration needs to change course in foreign policy in the Middle East in order to gain the trust of people who we have lost. You can’t just meet with the Muslim American or Arab American community and then veto in the United Nations a resolution calling for a ceasefire and, by the way, an unconditional release of the hostages. This is the third time we have vetoed that. It is hurting our moral standing. It is hurting our commitment to human rights. And it is not giving confidence to people that you’re hearing them and changing course.

So, my hope is, in my meetings with Representative Aiyash and others, that we can come up with a strategy that helps change course in the Middle East so we get a permanent ceasefire, so we have a release of the hostages, so we get aid into Gaza, and we have more peace and justice in the region.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Representative Aiyash, I wanted to ask you about the meeting you had with Biden officials earlier this month in Dearborn. What did you get out of those talks?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: We were firm in reiterating our points. We want to see an immediate, permanent ceasefire. We want to see humanitarian aid delivered to the people of Gaza through entities like UNRWA. And we want to see restrictions and conditions on the aid that is sent to Israel. You know, it is unfathomable that we just send a blank check with no conditions to a country that has violated human rights, that has violated international law over and over and over again.

And we reminded the administration that, one, they showed up 124 days into this conflict. They visited a state that happens to be the swing state. So, we are not seeing the level of support. We’re not seeing the level of concern that our communities have demonstrated for months. And we reiterated those messages once again.

And unfortunately, just four days after that meeting, we saw the Netanyahu regime did one of the worst attacks on the Rafah region, and the United States still did not put the type of pressure on that regime to stop these heinous acts.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask Congressmember Khanna: Do you think the Biden administration made a mistake in vetoing yet another ceasefire resolution? And I want to go a little further. Right after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations issued that veto, President Biden was in Los Angeles at a fundraiser. He was attending a high-dollar fundraiser with the media mogul Haim Saban, well-known Democratic, pro-Israel billionaire. The dinner — the meeting was at, what, $3,300, to cost as much as $250,000. I’m looking at a piece now in Common Dreams. Your thoughts on this and on President Biden continually saying he’s putting enormous pressure privately on Netanyahu, yet their private acts continue to be against the kind of ceasefire that was put forward and vetoed at the United Nations?

REP. RO KHANNA: It was a mistake to veto the United Nations resolution. At the very least, we could have abstained. I mean, you have 15 countries on that Security Council. Thirteen of them are voting for a resolution for a permanent ceasefire and the release of all hostages, which is the sentiment not just in the world, it’s the sentiment about the majority of American people. And we are the lone “no” vote in the global community. It is hurting America’s standing in the world, especially an administration that is committed to multilateralism and rebuilding international institutions. What does this say about the credibility of the U.N. if we aren’t going to participate in those institutions?

The other issue is that I appreciate that there has been some movement in the administration because of many of us in Congress who have called for a permanent ceasefire, who have called for the humanitarian aid to Gaza. There has been movement in recognizing the value and dignity of Palestinian lives and the humanitarian concerns. But now we need action. There needs to be clear consequences to Netanyahu and his very far right-wing government. I mean, people in his government are way to the right of Donald Trump, and that is important to understand, people like Ben-Gvir. It needs to be clear to Bibi: He can’t go into Rafah. Our secretary of defense doesn’t want it. Our president doesn’t want it. Who is he to defy the United States of America and then expect us to continue to provide military aid to do that? So we need to be very, very clear of the consequences, and that is not what has happened so far.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Representative Aiyash, I wanted to ask you —— in December, you embarked on a hunger strike and joined a demonstration outside the White House to call for a ceasefire. Why is this issue so deeply personal to you?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: Look, my chief of staff [inaudible] — her two aunts were one of the victims of the Nakba. And I remember her telling me the story where her father and his two sisters walked across the Jordan Valley, only for the two aunts to pass away from dehydration. You know, there is a real pain and a real history behind the dehumanization of the Palestinian people.

And we’ve seen people all across this country stand up and say our country should not be looking by while all these innocent men, women and children are suffering at the hands of a right-wing regime that, Congressman Khanna mentioned, that we are funding. You know, if you look at the facts, a majority of Americans — 80% of Democrats support a ceasefire. Over 60% of Americans support a ceasefire. Yet we see a majority of Congress and this White House just seem to ignore the will of the American people. You know, that is just a uniquely un-American concept, when you have folks for months who have protested, folks for months who have stood up and said, “We demand that our country lead with moral conviction and say that no innocent man, woman and child should be murdered at the hands of U.S. weaponry,” and our leaders just seem to ignore it.

And I’m grateful for leaders like Congressman Khanna, who has stood firmly in supporting human rights, who stood firmly in saying that Palestinians deserve just as much dignity as the Ukrainians, as the Israelis, as anyone in this world. But to see our leaders continue to ignore the will of the American people is extremely disheartening. And, you know, that is why this issue is so important for so many people across this country, because it is a reminder that we are going to continue to fight for our democracy and continue to fight for democratic values and ideals, and it is through things like voting “uncommitted” and continuing to organize and protest for peace all across the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Khanna, you said there needs to be consequences to affect Israeli policy. Do you think that the U.S. should cut off military aid to Israel, to Prime Minister Netanyahu, for what they’re doing in Gaza right now? And if you can talk about the big meeting you’re going to have tomorrow evening with Rashida Tlaib, the “Take Back Our Power” campaign, Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of the U.S. Congress?

REP. RO KHANNA: Well, I voted “no” on the blank check, $17 million of unrestricted money to Israel, just a week or two ago. And I certainly don’t think we should be giving them more of the precision missiles, which would go to attack people in Rafah. I don’t see how we can bypass Congress, which has been happening, to provide offensive military weapons to undertake strikes that our own government is saying should not happen.

Let me just say this: I’m really looking forward, first, to meeting people like Representative Aiyash and other Arab American, Muslim American leaders. He is not just a representative. He is the leader in the Michigan House. He’s going to be a future governor, a future senator, a future member of Congress. And this is the point. The coalition of the modern Democratic Party is not the coalition of 1972. It is a coalition that includes young people, progressives, Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, young folks. The AME Black church has come out for a ceasefire. And we better wake up to that fact, because the future of the Democratic Party is going to demand justice for two states, a Palestinian state living side by side with the Israeli state, and is going to demand concrete actions for a ceasefire and recognizing the humanity of both Palestinians and Israelis. The conversation with Rashida Tlaib is one about electricity and power and justice on that, though I’m sure other topics will come up at that town hall.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you both for being with us, California Congressmember Ro Khanna, headed to Michigan tomorrow, and Abraham Aiyash, speaking to us from Detroit, the Michigan House majority floor leader. The Michigan primary is February 27 — that’s next week — in Michigan.

When we come back, leaders at this years’s African Union Summit condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza. We’ll get the latest and also hear decisions they made around Sudan, around the Democratic Republic of Congo and more. Stay with us.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 139 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  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.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse." NBC NEWS notes, "More than 29,400 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 69,400 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead." Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

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."   

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Jim Jordan Has More Free Time" went up last night.  The following sites updated:

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Americans know a crooked court when they see one

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Jim Jordan Has More Free Time"


jim jordan

That's hilarious.  Jim Jordan world is exploding around him.

The Supreme Court’s approval rating stands at 40%, according to a new poll released Wednesday, underscoring the public’s stagnant view of the institution as the justices grapple with cases concerning former President Donald Trump’s political and legal fates.
The Marquette Law School poll findings track closely with how Americans saw the high court last November. This time around, 60% said they disapprove of the court, effectively unchanged from the 59% that disapproved last year.

The latest iteration of the poll was conducted between February 5 and 15 – a period that saw the nine justices hear arguments in a high-stakes case concerning an effort by Colorado voters to kick Trump off that state’s ballot and the former president’s request for the court to intervene in his federal election subversion case.

Among Democrats, the latest numbers from Marquette are even more dismal, with just 27% saying they approve of the court and 73% saying they disapprove of it – a dramatic drop from the 60% approval and 39% disapproval rating the party reported in 2020. By comparison, 57% of Republicans said they approve and 43% said they disapprove this time around, a less steep but still notable dip from the 78% approval and 20% disapproval rating GOP respondents gave the court four years ago.

Among independents, 28% said they approve of the court, down from the 50% that approved of it in 2020. Seventy-two percent of independents disapprove of the court, according to the new poll.

They've earned that.  They are a crooked body that overturned the law -- ROE V WADE -- by disregarding established law.  They 'made law' as opposed to ruling.  They're corrupt, they're idiots.  They're crooks.

Idiot mush mouth Clarence Thomas sexually harassed Anita Hill.  He's a lech.  He shouldn't be on the Court.  Kavanaugh probably did assault that woman.  Comey Barrett or whatever her name is -- she's a religious freak that won't tell the truth about her hidden religion or her creepy father.  Alito shouldn't be on the Court and we can thank the late DiFi for that.  Senator Ted Kennedy was making that argument in the confirmation hearing when DiFi kept interrupting Kennedy.  

They're crooks and they're liars.  Clarence takes bribes.  


The only thing more crooked then them?  Liars like Jonathan Turley who work overtime to strip LGBTQ+ people of their legal rights.  

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Wednesday, February 21, 2024.  For the third time, the US government vetoes a cease-fire, CNN reports on a War Crime with documented evidence, and much more.

England's Prince William may have joined the call for a cease-fire but the US government hasn't.  

As the BBC notes, the US government vetoed the resolution.  Edith M Lederer (AP) explains, "The United States on Tuesday vetoed an Arab-backed and widely supported U.N. resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in the embattled Gaza Strip, saying it would interfere with negotiations on a deal to free hostages abducted in Israel."  13 nations voted in favor of the cease-fire.  The US voted against it.  And the UK?

Apparently unconcerned that the future kind of England -- William -- is calling for a cease-fire -- unconcerned despite his father's health scare -- they decided to abstain.  

At the UN, the UK stood with the US.  In England this morning, most Brits are expressing agreement with William.

Prince William is not the only official in England calling for a cease-fire.  BBC NEWS reports that the Laobur Party is as well:

Labour has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza for the first time since the outbreak of the conflict in October.

The move comes after days of party debate on how to vote in Parliament on an SNP motion calling for a ceasefire.

Ten Labour frontbenchers quit in order to vote for the SNP's previous call for a ceasefire in November.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said Labour had shifted because the situation in Gaza had "evolved".

On the vote at the United Nations, Julian Borger (GUARDIAN) notes, "Washington was widely lambasted for using its veto again at a time when nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 2 million people are under threat of famine."  Mona Zhang (POLITICO) adds, "Meanwhile, Arab states are weighing their next steps and considering bringing some version of the vetoed Algerian resolution to the floor of the U.N. General Assembly."  ALJAZEERA reminds that this was the US' third veto of a cease-fire at the UN Security Council and:

France’s UN envoy Nicolas de Riviere expressed regret that the resolution “could not be adopted, given the disastrous situation” in Gaza.

De Riviere added that France, which voted for the resolution, would continue to work towards all captives being released and for a ceasefire to be “implemented immediately”.

Hours after his ambassador to the United Nations vetoed the third cease-fire resolution to be proposed at the U.N. Security Council since Israel began its U.S.-backed bombardment of Gaza in October, President Joe Biden was scheduled to attend a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of an influential pro-Israel billionaire on Tuesday.

Tickets for the event hosted in Los Angeles by media mogul Haim Saban started at $3,300 and cost as much as $250,000. Other exclusive fundraising events for Biden, who is seeking reelection in November, have been disrupted in recent months by protesters demanding that the U.S. end its support for Israel, which has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza since October

Co-hosts of the fundraiser include attorney Cliff and Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, whose own event in November was marked by demands for a cease-fire from people in a crowd as Vice President Kamala Harris spoke. Demonstrators also displayed fake blood at the Gilbert-Luries' home.

Nicole Mutchnik, a vice chair of the Anti-Defamation League, is also a co-host of Tuesday's event. Mutchnik's staunchly pro-Israel organization has frequently accused pro-Palestinian rights groups of anti-Jewish sentiment, equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

Jewish-led Palestinian rights group IfNotNow pointed out that Saban has been quoted as suggesting the U.S. should "scrutinize" Muslims "to get them to admit they are or they're not terrorists."

But the US government's refusal to call for a cease-fire isn't just about money and greed.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) makes that clear in his reporting on the words of a member of Congress:

  Republican Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee said Tuesday that "we should kill 'em all" after an activist pressed him to respond to atrocities that the U.S.-backed Israeli military is committing against Palestinians in Gaza, including children.

"I've seen the footage of shredded children's bodies," the activist told Ogles. "That's my taxpayer dollars that are going to bomb those kids."

"You know what? So, I think we should kill 'em all, if that makes you feel better," Ogles responded. "Hamas and the Palestinians have been attacking Israel for 20 years. It's time to pay the piper." 

Tennessee trash.  Whomever dropped it in DC, can you come pick it up?  The country doesn't need him.

As the US veto continues to outrage,  and Muhammad Darwish (CNN) report:


Israeli forces fired on a United Nations convoy carrying vital food supplies in central Gaza on February 5, before ultimately blocking the trucks from progressing to the northern part of the territory, where Palestinians are on the verge of famine, according to documents shared exclusively by the UN and CNN’s own analysis.

CNN has seen correspondence between the UN and the Israeli military that show the convoy’s route was agreed upon by both parties prior to the strike. According to an internal incident report compiled by UNRWA, the main UN relief agency in Gaza, which was also seen by CNN, the truck was one of 10 in a convoy sitting stationary at an IDF holding point when it was fired upon.

No one in the convoy was hurt, but much of its contents – mainly wheat flour desperately needed to bake bread – were destroyed. Tracing the strike offers a window into the major challenges that humanitarian efforts face in getting aid to Gaza’s more than 2 million people – nearly 85% of whom are internally displaced – amid Israel’s nearly five-month bombardment of the strip.

“A convoy that had food on it, heading to the northern parts of the Gaza Strip. That convoy on its way in what we call the middle areas, it got hit. One of the trucks carrying supplies was hit by Israeli naval fire,” Juliette Touma, global director of communications for UNRWA, told CNN.     

War Crimes.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 138 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  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.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  ALJAZEERA notes, "At least 29,313 people have been killed and 69,333 wounded in Israel’s attacks on Gaza since October 7, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

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."   

This morning, Cindy McCain,  Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, Tweets:

The conditions get worse and worse.  A cease-fire?  That would have allowed the delivery of aid.  But Joe Biden had to go soak up big bucks from corrupt donors and hope he can buy his way into a second term after his actions make clear that he doesn't deserve one.

NBC NEWS notes, "The World Food Program is pausing the delivery of food to northern Gaza until conditions are safe, saying its drivers were shot at and faced looting and beating. The agency said this decision would add to the 'unprecedented desperation' in Gaza, after earlier warning the enclave is at risk of famine. UNICEF warned yesterday that Gaza faced an 'explosion' in child deaths due to malnutrition and illness."  This morning, THE GUARDIAN notes:

Also Wednesday, the aid group Doctors Without Borders said that two people were killed when a shelter housing staff in the Gaza Strip was struck during an Israeli operation in an area where Palestinians have been told to seek shelter.

“While details are still emerging, ambulance crews have now reached the site, where at least two family members of our colleagues have been killed and six people wounded. We are horrified by what has taken place,” the group said in a post on social media.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is holding the third day of hearings Wednesday into the legal consequences of Israel’s policies and practices “in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Dozens of countries are expected to present oral arguments during the hearings, which span six days, and deal with questions of Israeli control over the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. While the proceedings are not directly about the war in Gaza, they could intensify pressure on Israel over its military campaign there.

Palestinian officials offered impassioned remarks on Monday, with one arguing that “successive Israeli governments have given the Palestinian people only three options: displacement, subjugation or death.” Israel said it does not recognize the legitimacy of the hearings and will not attend. The United States is slated to speak Wednesday.

Here’s what to know.

This is an excerpt from a full story.

For more on the International Court of Justice, let's note yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

We go now to The Hague, where the International Court of Justice is holding a six-day hearing as over 50 countries are testifying against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. It’s the largest-ever participation in the World Court’s history.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said Monday, quote, “The genocide underway in Gaza is a result of decades of impunity and inaction.” Riyad Mansour, Palestinian envoy to the U.N., delivered emotional testimony Monday.

RIYAD MANSOUR: The state of Palestine appeals to this court to guide the international community in upholding international law, ending injustice and achieving a just and lasting peace, to guide us towards a future in which Palestinian children are treated as children, not as demographic threat, in which the identity of the group to which we belong does not diminish the human rights to which we are all entitled, a future in which no Palestinian and no Israelis is killed, a future in which two states live side by side in peace and security. The Palestinian people only demand respect for their rights. They ask for nothing more. They cannot accept nothing less and nothing else. The future of freedom, justice and peace can begin here and now.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Palestine’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, addressing the International Court of Justice Monday. Earlier today, South African Ambassador Vusi Madonsela addressed the court.

VUSI MADONSELA: The inordinate delay in achieving a fair and just settlement has resulted in an unending cycle of violence. A clear legal characterization of the nature of Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people can only assist in remedying the ongoing delay in achieving a just settlement. … We, as South Africans, sense, see, hear and feel to our core the inhumane discriminatory policies and practices of the Israeli regime as an even more extreme form of the apartheid that was institutionalized against Black people in my country.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined from The Hague, where the ICJ hearing is taking place, by Ahmed Abofoul, legal research and advocacy officer at the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq. He contributed to their advisory opinion on the case.

Welcome back to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us. This is historic, what’s taking place right now, Ahmed, at the International Court of Justice. More than half the world’s countries are participating in this. Talk about the significance of this. And although we just played the South African envoy’s comments, this is not to be confused with that other case, the South Africa bringing the case around genocide against Israel in the court, that just happened a few weeks ago.

AHMED ABOFOUL: Sure. Well, first of all, thank you for having me again, Amy, and congratulations on Democracy Now!’s 28th anniversary. In this dystopian age of misinformation and biased media, especially in the West, we value your work, and we congratulate you and hope your viewers will continue to support your important work.

You’re absolutely right, Amy. This is a historical moment. For over 57 years, Israel has been perpetuating its occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, dominating every aspect of their lives and maintaining this occupation to further facilitate and impose this apartheid regime, imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole. One of the important features of this occupation is that it is colonial in nature. So, it’s combined with the continued, unabated building of settlements and the theft of land and the demographic manipulation and engineering of the Occupied Palestinian Territory in an attempt to empty it from its Indigenous people — a very common feature of colonial regimes and projects trying to steal the land without the people.

This is a historical moment, Amy, because this is, as you mentioned, the most — the case with the most interest by states in the history of the advisory opinion procedure before the court. And it shows you that the world has something to say about this occupation.

The whole body of occupation — of the law of occupation shows us that occupation was not intended to last that long. Occupation is temporary in nature. But the way Israel perpetuated the occupation shows that Israel is not interested in ending that occupation, but it actually needs that occupation to further implement its strategy to acquire more land by force with as least Palestinians as possible.

And therefore, the premise of this case, I think there are three main legal arguments that Israel is violating what we call international law, peremptory norms from which no derogation is permitted. So, the first norm that Israel is violating is the acquisition of territory by force or the threat of the use of force. The second is Israel’s violations of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, which is also a peremptory norm. And the imposition of regime of racial discrimination and demographic manipulation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and beyond, that is a regime of apartheid imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole, denying them their unalienable rights, including Palestinian refugees, who continue to be denied their right to return to their homes and villages.

So, this is an important moment, where for the first time we would have the principal organ of the United Nations telling us the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation. And it will be extremely difficult for Israel’s allies after that to justify Israel’s actions in any way possible. Israel has been instrumentalizing the rules of international humanitarian law, the body of law that governs the situation of occupation, to further its settler-colonial project in Palestine. I think after this decision, which I have no doubt that the court will decide that Israel’s occupation is illegal, it will be very difficult to support Israel and its policies by Israel’s allies, including the U.S. So, all eyes on the U.S. and how it will react to this important ruling.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Ahmed Abofoul, I wanted to ask you: For those who are not familiar with these international legal bodies, could you briefly summarize the difference between the International Court of Justice proceedings and the separate case that South Africa filed, the complaint of genocide at the International Criminal Court [sic] against Israel, especially in terms of the jurisdiction or the powers of the court to have any direct effect on Israel’s actions?

AHMED ABOFOUL: Yes, absolutely. I think you meant South Africa’s genocide case before the very same court, the International Court of Justice, and these are two different proceedings. The International Court of Justice can look into advisory proceedings, where any organ of the United Nations can ask the court to provide a legal opinion on what the court thinks of a certain matter. Usually such rulings are nonbinding for states, but they are of particular importance as they guide the whole United Nations and the member states in how to approach a certain matter or a certain question.

The other type of procedure is contentious cases, where states take each other to court when they have a disagreement on a matter of international law, so, for example, a disagreement on the interpretation of a particular convention to which both are parties and have accepted the court’s jurisdiction. And that’s exactly what South Africa did in the genocide case against Israel on the interpretation of the Genocide Convention, where it took Israel to court. So it’s a case between South Africa and Israel, while in the advisory opinion proceeding, there are no two parties. There is only the court that is deciding on the matter of question. And all states around the world are invited to provide their written statements, their oral interventions, to tell the court what is their position, what is their interpretation of the law on that particular matter, because international law is made by the practices of these states and what states around the world have accepted to be customary international law and have accepted to be the common interpretation of international law.

So, the law on occupation, as I said, is clear that occupation was not intended to last that long and is temporary in nature, but it didn’t set any time limit in which occupation has to end. So, that’s how Israel has been perpetuating this, often described as, prolonged occupation — it’s the longest occupation in modern history — claiming, under the mutual security pretext, that it needs to continue its control and needs to continue its domination of the Palestinian people and its violations of the peremptory norms.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what is the role of the public in these cases? Is there any?

AHMED ABOFOUL: Of course, of course, absolutely. The public, you know, don’t have a standing in procedure, or, like, civil society organizations, for example, like the one I’m proudly associated with — that is, Al-Haq — can always submit to the court, but these submissions are not part of the proceedings. They are available at the seating of the court for states participating in the proceedings, but also for judges to read them and consult them. And we have already published a position paper outlining the key legal arguments in this case and our view on how the court should approach this case.

But if you’ll allow me, these rulings are usually of particular importance to be used after, so how, for example, the state in question will utilize this ruling in its diplomatic efforts, whether taking this ruling to the General Assembly to adopt a resolution to the same effect, or perhaps to the Security Council, although there will always be the U.S. veto. So, what comes after that decision, I think, is also of particular importance.

And historically, the ICJ cases have served in a way to provide guidance on what international law says and how states should behave. Obviously, not always the states have listened to such rulings, or they tried to disobey them. But, for example, in the situation in South Africa and the ruling on the illegal presence of South African apartheid in Namibia, it served and it created momentum for the mobilization on the ground which eventually led to the end of that regime. So, hopefully, this advisory opinion is also another step forward to ending Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk, Ahmed Abofoul, about the response of the court? This is when it was run by Joan Donoghue, and important to point out. She came out of the State Department. She’s the head of the International Court of Justice. But she is no longer the head of the Court of Justice, but it was under her and it was her reading of the preliminary decision around South Africa bringing its genocide case to the court. If you can talk about who’s the new head of the court? And then I want to ask you about what just happened in Israel in the Knesset, voting not to expel Ofer Cassif, the lawmaker who’s a member of the Hadash party supporting the genocide case against Israel at the ICJ. I just wanted to play a clip of the Knesset member, Cassif, speaking to Democracy Now! about facing expulsion, which didn’t happen.

OFER CASSIF: They want me and my friends to shut up. They don’t want us to raise our voice against any kind of violence, because, as I said a million times, as someone who continuously for years object and oppose the Israeli occupation and siege against the Palestinian people, we said, I said, explicitly, that even the crimes of the siege and the occupation cannot and will never justify the massacre committed by Hamas. We added that the massacre, the criminal massacre by Hamas, cannot justify the massacre and assault of Israel on Gaza, in which around 30,000 people are already dead, were killed. The vast majority, more than 70%, are innocent civilians, around 10,000 children.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s a member of the Knesset, who remains so because they lost the vote to expel him, Ofer Cassif. And if you can respond to the new president, Nawaf Salam, who’s replacing Joan Donoghue?

AHMED ABOFOUL: Yeah. Well, as you said, Judge Nawaf Salam, who’s a Lebanese judge, he has been a member of the court since February 2018 and newly elected as president of the court since 6th of February, 2024. He is now the president of the court.

But if you’ll allow me, whether him or the American judge, judges before the ICJ, they don’t serve as agents of their state of nationality. They serve as independent judges who provide their personal views about international law and the interpretation of international law, after hearing the positions of the states. So, it’s not — it is not, in a way, usual to presume that because of the nationality of the president of the court, that the position would be aligned with the foreign policy of the state of that judge. That is not the case, whether American or Lebanese or any other nationality of the president of the court. It is presumed, and the presumption is of their professional, you know, way of work and deliver on their mandate in accordance with the law.

As to the voting to expel Ofer, the member of Knesset, it also — in my view, it shows you how radicalized Israeli society has become. So, even the very tiny minority that you have, where Israeli Knesset members are calling for the end of the occupation, are calling for the bare minimum of human decency — that is, a ceasefire — the rest of Knesset members, from the Israeli members, are mostly against that, and such tiny minority of those who call for Palestinian rights are often attacked. And as you said, there was an attempt to even remove him from the Knesset.

And I think it’s very telling to see also how supportive Israeli society has been in the genocide against the Gaza Strip. Amy, we need not to forget that right before the war, the Israeli society mobilized hundreds of thousands in the streets because of Netanyahu’s plan to, you know, attack the judiciary or to minimize their authority in reviewing government’s decision. But when it comes to Palestinians who are being oppressed, who are only a few meters away, the Israeli society somehow is unable to mobilize or call for the end of the occupation. So, in a way, it seems that the Israeli society has been radicalized into believing that for them to enjoy the privileges of this apartheid regime, they don’t mind the Palestinians being oppressed.

And unfortunately, the foreign policy of states that claim to be friends to Israel, I think, have contributed profoundly to such radicalization, simply because they’ve been ensuring impunity for Israel and Israeli war criminals who have been committing crimes for the past decades. So, I think, in a way, the reason that we have such extreme government at the moment, one of the most extreme and right-wing in the history of Israel, which has ministers who are proudly self-described as Islamophobic and homophobes and fascists and racist ministers, like Ben-Gvir and Smotrich, is a result of — in my view, of the U.S. and European foreign policy ensuring that Israel enjoys an exceptional treatment, that Israel is untouchable. It enjoys prevailing impunity where Israel can commit crimes, but no one is held accountable.

AMY GOODMAN: Ahmed, I’m so sorry that, well, when we last spoke, you had already lost some 60 members of your family. Born and raised in Gaza, you are. And I wanted just to ask, in this 30 seconds, about Benny Gantz’s comments, part of the war council, saying if the hostages are not home by Ramadan, which is like March 10th, the fighting will continue everywhere, including Rafah.

AHMED ABOFOUL: Yeah, well, it shows you also the character and the behavior of Israel. Israel is behaving like a pariah, is behaving like a rogue state, is not listening to anyone, is not listening to its closest allies.

Israel needs to have the humility to understand that the Palestine people are a free people, are not colonial subjects. They’re entitled to their rights. And Israel at some point will need to sit and listen with seriousness and consideration to the aspiration of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people, Amy, are not asking for a favor. They’re asking for their unalienable basic human rights. And I think the world for long has misunderstood the Palestinians. We’re not even asking. We’re demanding those rights. We’re entitled to those rights, regardless of what Israel think about that.

AMY GOODMAN: Ahmed Abofoul, we want to thank you for being with us, legal research and advocacy officer at the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, speaking to us from The Hague.

Next up, we turn to a surgeon who’s just returned from Gaza, wrote an L.A. Times op-ed headlined “I’m an American doctor who went to Gaza. What I saw wasn’t war — it was annihilation.” Back in 20 seconds.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "I Sabby The Fool" went up last night.  The following sites updated: