- Written by Ramon Antonio Vargas Ramon Antonio Vargas
- Published: 19 January 2024 19 January 2024
Leading progressive and Jewish members of Congress have criticized the US’s “unconditional support” for Israel after Benjamin Netanyahu declared bluntly that he was opposed to a Palestinian state after the war in Gaza and directly rejected American policy.
The Israeli prime minister declared on Thursday that Israel would forever maintain control over all land west of the River Jordan, making an independent Palestinian state there impossible. “This is a necessary condition, and it conflicts with the idea of [Palestinian] sovereignty,” Netanyahu said. “What to do? I tell this truth to our American friends, and I also stopped the attempt to impose a reality on us that would harm Israel’s security.”
Pramila Jayapal, the US representative who heads the influential Congressional Progressive caucus, on Friday issued one of the sharper responses to Netanyahu, saying in a video that the Israeli prime minister’s stance “should cause us to reset our relationship of unconditional support to [his] government”.
“These are policies that are diametrically opposed to the US’s stated goals,” Jayapal said about Netanyahu’s calls for the permanent expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.
Read more on The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/jan/19/unconditional-support-israel-netanyahu-jayal-democrats
- Written by Peter Miller Peter Miller
- Published: 13 January 2024 13 January 2024
Why Israel’s war on Gaza is textbook genocide.
From the very beginning, Israeli officials have made their genocidal intentions in Gaza clear. And in the three months since October 7, they’ve followed through on their promises, inflicting incomprehensible suffering on the over two million Palestinians trapped in Gaza.
Now, South Africa is charging Israel with genocide in Gaza, bringing its case to the International Court of Justice, the court of the United Nations. Hearings in the Hague began today, and will continue in the next week to determine immediate provisional measures. And in the U.S., the Center for Constitutional Rights is suing President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and Secretary Austin for abetting Israel’s “genocide of the Palestinian people.”
In this Wire, we’ll explain that Israel is committing genocide — and why Israel’s prosecution under international law matters for our movement as Jews for Palestinian freedom.
The Genocide Convention
Both South Africa and the Center for Constitutional Rights are basing their cases on the Genocide Convention — the treaty that defines the crime of genocide under international law.
This definition has two requirements for determining that a state is committing a genocide:
- The state must demonstrate the intent to destroy a group of people.
- There must be physical acts committed which put this intent into action.
Israel’s months-long assault on Gaza clearly meets both of these legal requirements of genocide.
The Genocide Convention was drafted in the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust, in the face of a particular kind of horror: not just mass killing, but mass killing with the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”
Intent is often understood by scholars as the most difficult component of the genocide definition to prove in court. However, Israeli government officials have repeatedly made their intent to commit genocide remarkably evident. Both their rhetoric and actions illustrate that they are targeting and bombing Palestinians in Gaza for the sole reason that they are Palestinians in Gaza.
- On October 12, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said: “It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware not involved. It’s absolutely not true. … and we will fight until we break their backbone.”
- Israel has now carried out over three months of “indiscriminate” bombing in Gaza, targeting churches, mosques, hospitals, schools, U.N. facilities, refugee camps, homes, and the very roads on which Palestinians were fleeing Israeli bombing. Nowhere in Gaza is safe from the Israeli onslaught.
Any of five different acts can constitute acts of genocide when they are committed with this intent. There is overwhelming evidence of the Israeli government committing at least four of these five acts, much of which is laid out in the South African case filing.
1. Killing members of the group
- On October 7, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Nissim Vaturi said: “Now we all have one common goal — erasing the Gaza Strip from the face of the earth.”
- Israel has killed more than 23,000 Palestinians, over 9,000 of whom have been children.
2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
- On October 17, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir tweeted: “The only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives from the Air Force, not an ounce of humanitarian aid.”
- More than 55,000 Palestinians in Gaza are now injured. Half are at risk of starvation. And the World Health Organization is warning that both famine and the mass spread of disease are likely to kill even more Palestinians in Gaza.
3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, in whole or in part
- On October 9, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said: “No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly…Gaza won’t return to what it was before. We will eliminate everything.”
- On Friday, the UN warned that Gaza has “become uninhabitable” due to the Israeli bombardment and blockade. The Israeli military has since cut off Gaza’s access to food, water, fuel, and medical supplies, intermittently also cutting off internet and electricity. Half of all homes in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged, and 30 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals are out of operation.
4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
- On November 19, 2023, Major General in the Israeli Army Giora Eiland said: “Who are the ‘poor’ women of Gaza? They are all the mothers, sisters or wives of Hamas murderers.”
- There are about 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, all of whom are facing “uninhabitable” conditions. Women giving birth are unable to access obstetric care, an “ever-increasing number” of babies are dying from preventable causes, the risks of miscarriage and maternal death are elevated, and the Israeli military’s bombing of hospitals led in November to the deaths and severe illness of premature babies in the NICU.
- Written by Martin Griffiths Martin Griffiths
- Published: 05 January 2024 05 January 2024
- Written by Richard Silverstein Richard Silverstein
- Published: 05 January 2024 05 January 2024
Biden administration promoted Israeli plan to "voluntarily relocate" 2.5-million Gazans to Sinai
The media has buried one of the most shameful stories regarding Biden ministration collaboration with Israel in a scheme for ethnically-cleansing Gaza. Harvard professor Sara Roy writes in the NY Review of Books:
” In November a USAID official approached a colleague of mine and asked about the feasibility of building a tent city in the Sinai, which would be followed by a more permanent arrangement somewhere in the northern part of the peninsula”
Rashid Khalidi has also said in a Foreign Policy video interview:
“At the outset of this war, the President sent Secretary Blinken to convey to the Egyptians and the Jordanians a request that they allow Palestinians to be expelled into their territory. That is disgraceful. That is direct American participation in the ethnic cleansing of part of Palestine, what is historic Palestine. They immediately pulled back on that when the Egyptians and the Jordanians slapped them in the face and said, “under no circumstances.” And explained why under no circumstances would they allow that to happen.
I think that’s one of the most disgraceful chapters in American diplomacy. That the United States would, for the first time in its history, be willing to participate in forcing Palestinians out of Palestine.
- Written by Co-Directors Erin Axelman & Sam Eilertsen Co-Directors Erin Axelman & Sam Eilertsen
- Published: 05 January 2024 05 January 2024
When two young American Jews raised to unconditionally love Israel witness the brutal way Israel treats Palestinians, their lives take sharp left turns. They join a movement of young American Jews battling the old guard to redefine Judaism’s relationship with Israel, revealing a deepening generational divide over modern Jewish identity.
Watch Q&A with Co-Directors Erin Axelman & Sam Eilertsen, along with Rabbi Miriam Grossman and Unsettled podcast producer Ilana Levinson: https://youtu.be/6RMEQYNBytM
Watch Q&A with main film subject Simone Zimmerman, along with Judaism Unbound podcast host Rabbi Lex Rofeberg: https://youtu.be/owg8iRvjse8