Top News & Analysis from Israel & Palestine: November 3-10, 2023

What We’re Reading

New from FMEP

The UN Tried to Silence Craig Mokhiber, He Resigned,

In this episode of “Occupied Thoughts” FMEP non-resident Fellow Peter Beinart speaks with Craig Mokhiber, who recently resigned from his post as a Director at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mr. Mokhiber talks about the culture of the UN and how powerful member states operate to shield Israel from criticism, and if/how international laws against genocide should be applied to Israel and Hamas.

Biden’s “Full Tilt” Embrace of Israel & Its War on Gaza,

On this episode of “Occupied Thoughts” FMEP Non-resident Fellow Peter Beinart talks to Ben Rhodes (Former Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States) about the Biden Administration’s response to the October 7th Hamas massacre and Israel’s subsequent war on Gaza.

Select News Updates

One month into Israel-Hamas war, more than 10,000 killed in Gaza, almost 1.5 million displaced,

“The Israeli war in the Gaza Strip, sparked by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, has entered its second month. The death toll has reached 10,328, including 4,237 children, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. More than 25,000 others have been injured, the ministry says, as the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate…Almost 1.5 million people have been internally displaced in Gaza since the start of the war, according to the UN.”


For live updates, see: 

Our children hear Israeli troops getting closer. How can we comfort them?,

“I am still in Gaza City with my family. We didn’t flee south, despite the orders of the Israeli military, whose ground forces have now totally encircled us. We made the painful decision that it is better to stay here, with our relatives in this besieged city, than to be bombed while fleeing. We hear the news about Israeli airstrikes in the southern parts of the Strip, and feel viscerally that nowhere is safe in Gaza. The overwhelming anxiety and terror inflicted on us by Israel’s ground assault in the past week — on top of the month-long, unprecedented aerial bombardment — has left us on the brink of despair. Our children cry incessantly. Initially, when the attacks began, we tried to reassure them: “That is a distant sound,” or “It’s just a balloon popping.” But now, we are at a loss for words…We are living through a nightmare that won’t end, with no escape in sight. Our sole wish is for a humanitarian ceasefire, a halt to this devastating assault.” See also The Agony of Waiting for a Ceasefire That Never Comes (Mosab Abu Toha//New Yorker: “When the war in Gaza started, my family fled to the Jabalia refugee camp. Then Israel started bombing the camp.”); These are the dangers civilians in north Gaza are facing (WaPo); Gazans Told to Move South Must Choose Between Israeli Bombardment and Disease (Haaretz)

Opinion: Do Palestinian lives matter to the world?,

“The unfolding catastrophe in Gaza raises critical questions about the relevance of international humanitarian laws. Do they still matter? Do Palestinian lives matter to the world? The words of my mother in Gaza capture the impact of events since October 7th. After days of intense worry and a total communication blackout, she confided: “We spend our days and nights staring at the ceiling, imagining a bomb to fall any minute that will transition us to the next chapter.” It’s a testament to the persistent fear and uncertainty that hangs over my family. Mom’s decision to sleep in the living room with all her grandkids to keep them close, whether in this life or the one beyond, is a poignant expression of her love and the lengths she’s willing to go to protect them. My eight-year-old nephew, Yazan, finding solace in his belief that his grandma’s blanket serves as a shield, is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming.” See also The carnage must stop. Time for a ceasefire in Gaza. (WaPo, Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA))

Tens of thousands flee on foot as UN says north of Gaza is ‘hell on earth’,

“Tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled northern Gaza on foot as Israeli forces push deeper into dense urban neighbourhoods and attack hospitals where residents have been sheltering. Gaza City has been the focus of Israel’s ground offensive, with fierce battles and air raids reported on Friday in densely populated areas. A spokesperson for the Israeli army said on Friday more than 100,000 Palestinians have moved from the north to the south of Gaza in the last two days. A never-ending stream of people including many children, the wounded, and the elderly were seen moving south, mostly on foot, carrying only small backpacks and essential belongings.” See also Israel agrees to daily 4-hour pauses in Gaza operations, White House says (Al Monitor); 

As Gaza Hospitals Collapse, Medical Workers Face the Hardest Choices,

“Doctors and nurses in Gaza’s teetering hospitals, which are nearing collapse without electricity and basic supplies, say they must now decide which patients get ventilators, who gets resuscitated, or who gets any medical treatment at all. They make snap decisions amid the screams of small children undergoing amputations or brain surgeries without anesthesia or clean water to wash their wounds. Some veterans of wartime medicine in the Gaza Strip say conditions inside the overcrowded and impoverished territory are the worst they have ever seen, as entire apartment blocks, schools and hospitals crumble under an Israeli bombardment that has meted out a devastating civilian toll…A lack of fresh water supplies and iodine has left wounds filthy, with maggots nibbling at patients’ charred and torn flesh, according to interviews with doctors at four hospitals across Gaza. Without adequate water, doctors and nurses are unable to provide sufficient sanitation for their patients, to wash wounds or hospital bedsheets…On top of all those challenges, the hospitals have become temporary orphanages, too, according to the medical workers.” See also Gaza’s hospitals on the brink of collapse (Photos – Al Jazeera); Overcrowded hospitals in Gaza at imminent risk of full-scale Israeli military attacks (Medical Aid for Palestine); Pregnant in Gaza with no clinics: ‘I have no idea where I will give birth’ (Guardian); Which of Gaza’s hospitals is Israel threatening? (Al Jazeera); Gaza’s health system is on the brink of total collapse (+972)

Israel Raises Alarms by Suggesting ‘Indefinite’ Role in Gaza,

“By saying that Israel will maintain security control over Gaza  “for an indefinite period,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set off alarm bells in Washington and questions at home. The Biden administration, trying to manage severe criticism among Arab and European allies about the death toll in Gaza — now at more than 10,000 Gazan officials say — was quick to push back. “We’re very clear on no reoccupation, just as we’re very clear on no displacement of the Palestinian population,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in Tokyo on Wednesday. Mr. Blinken did leave open the possibility of a “transition period” after the war ends, he said, but eventually Gaza’s administration “must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.”” Also from the NYT: America’s top diplomat says ‘far too many Palestinians have been killed.’; Blinken Lays Out Possible Endgame in Gaza Under Palestinian Authority; Reoccupying Gaza ‘Not the Right Thing to Do,’ White House Tells Israel; Israel Plans to Control ‘Overall Security’ of Gaza After War; See also Netanyahu Says Israel Will Assume Security Control Over Gaza Following Hamas War (Haaretz); Gaza must not be reoccupied, should be run by Palestinians, says Blinken (WaPo)

How U.S. pressure led Israel to set pauses in Gaza fighting,

“Under U.S. pressure, Israel agreed to begin “tactical localized humanitarian pauses” in the fighting in northern Gaza neighborhoods for four hours a day, Israeli and U.S. officials said Thursday…The decision is a shift in policy for Israel, which for weeks had largely resisted the Biden administration‘s push for pauses in Israeli forces’ assault on Gaza for humanitarian reasons.” See also Israeli bombardments damage more than half of Gaza’s housing units (Al Jazeera); IDF says it captured key Hamas posts in Gaza City, killing 150 terror operatives (Times of Israel); Israel deports thousands of Palestinian workers back to Gaza’s war zone (AP); Gaza workers expelled from Israel accuse Israeli authorities of abuse, including beatings (CNN)

Three rights groups file ICC lawsuit against Israel over Gaza ‘genocide’,

“Three Palestinian rights groups have filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging the body to investigate Israel for “apartheid” as well as “genocide” and issue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by human rights organisations Al-Haq, Al Mezan, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, called for “urgent attention to the continuous barrage of Israeli airstrikes on densely populated civilian areas within the Gaza Strip”, which have killed more than 10,500 Palestinians, almost half of them children, according to Gaza health officials. The document also asked the body to expand its ongoing war crimes investigation by looking into “the suffocating siege imposed on [Gaza], the forced displacement of its population, the use of toxic gas, and the denial of necessities, such as food, water, fuel, and electricity”. These acts amount to “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”, including “genocide”, the lawsuit said. The three groups want arrest warrants to be issued against Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.”

Trending: Israeli Soldiers Document and Proudly Post Their Own Abuse of Palestinians,

“In social media videos, Israeli soldiers show themselves beating and humiliating Palestinian detainees, some of whom were released shortly after being abused. For its part, the IDF punished the perpetrators in some of the cases, saying such conduct is in violation of army values”


Flooding D.C. streets and bashing Biden, thousands demand Gaza cease-fire,

“Thousands of people supporting Palestinian rights converged Saturday on Washington from around the country, demanding a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and an end to American aid to Israel amid a deepening war. Protesters filled in and flowed beyond Freedom Plaza, a block from the White House, with the crowd streaming for at least a half-mile down the surrounding streets. Anger and grief mixed with feelings of comfort and encouragement, attendees said, as people of all ages mingled with like-minded allies. Similar rallies calling for a cease-fire unfolded Saturday in London, Berlin and elsewhere. The event in D.C., which concluded with a march through downtown streets to the White House, appeared to be one of the largest expressions of American solidarity with the Palestinian people to date.” See also Over 1,000 USAID officials call for Gaza ceasefire in letter (Reuters); Hundreds of former Biden campaign staffers call for Gaza cease-fire (The Hill); Congressional staffers hold vigil calling for cease-fire at Capitol (The Hill); ‘The Phone Doesn’t Stop’: Overwhelming Demands For A Cease-Fire Catch Democrats Off Guard (HuffPo)

Macron calls on Israel to stop killing Gaza's women and babies,

“Israel must stop killing babies and women in Gaza, French President Emmanuel Macron has told the BBC. In an exclusive interview at the Élysée Palace, he said there was “no justification” for the bombing, saying a ceasefire would benefit Israel. While recognising Israel’s right to protect itself, “we do urge them to stop this bombing” in Gaza.”

UN chief says Gaza becoming 'graveyard for children', urges ceasefire,

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday warned that the bombarded Gaza Strip was becoming a “graveyard for children,” as he urged an immediate ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza…”The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity.” See also UN agency, NGO heads make rare joint plea for Israel-Hamas ceasefire (Al Jazeera)

Statue of Liberty Shut Down by Protesters Calling for Gaza Cease-fire,

“Hundreds of activists staged a sit-in at the Statue of Liberty on Monday afternoon, demanding an immediate end to the Israel-Hamas war. Dressed uniformly in black, the protesters with Jewish Voice for Peace gathered on the pedestal shortly before 1 p.m. when they dropped massive banners with calls for a cease-fire and other slogans, such as “The Whole World Is Watching” and “Never Again for Anyone.” The group sang “Cease-fire now” and occupied the national monument for about 20 minutes before dispersing.” See also An open letter from Jewish students (Brown Daily Herald: “Our Judaism compels us to oppose the Israeli state…We write these words from the diaspora, and it is from here that we wish to better our world. As we grapple with millennia of Jewish struggle and survival, we will not abandon our Palestinian cousins and peers, or let them stand alone. This genocide cannot continue. Not in our names. With or without our names: Never.” See also ‘No Winners in War’ | 35 Israeli Jewish and Arab Rights Groups Call for Ceasefire, Hostage Deal, Political Solution to Conflict (Haaretz)

Reeling from Hamas’ massacre, a kibbutz pleads for the return of hostages,

“Survivors in Nir Oz, where a quarter of residents were killed or kidnapped in the Oct. 7 attack, are demanding a ceasefire and the freeing of abductees.” See also Gaza: Hostage Videos an ‘Outrage on Personal Dignity’ (Human Rights Watch: “The practice by Hamas and Islamic Jihad of publicly releasing videos of Israeli hostages is a form of inhumane treatment that amounts to a war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 9, 2023, Islamic Jihad released a video showing two Israeli hostages, including a child, asking to be released. It is the third such video that the armed groups have released since taking more than 240 people hostage from southern Israel on October 7. “Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not only unlawfully holding civilians hostage, including children, but they’re also broadcasting the hostages’ images to the world in their most vulnerable state,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead of filming a child under duress, the groups should release him safely to his family.””) 

Netanyahu rejected ceasefire-for-hostages deal in Gaza, sources say,

“Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a deal for a five-day ceasefire with Palestinian militant groups in Gaza in return for the release of some of the hostages held in the territory early in the war, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.”

Suspend Arms to Israel, Palestinian Armed Groups,

“Allies of Israel and backers of Palestinian armed groups should suspend the transfer of arms to the warring parties in Israel and Gaza given the real risk that they will be used to commit grave abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Providing weapons that knowingly and significantly would contribute to unlawful attacks can make those providing them complicit in war crimes…Israel’s key allies—the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany—should suspend military assistance and arms sales to Israel so long as its forces commit widespread, serious abuses amounting to war crimes against Palestinian civilians with impunity. Iran and other governments should cease providing arms to Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, so long as they systematically commit attacks amounting to war crimes against Israeli civilians.”

And After?

Palestinian Authority Open to Gaza Role if U.S. Backs 2-State Solution,

“The Palestinian Authority has told the Biden administration that it is open to a governance role in post-Hamas Gaza if the United States commits to a full-fledged two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a top official of its parent, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The official, Hussein al-Sheikh, the P.L.O.’s secretary general, said he had told Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken last week that the Palestinian Authority sought “a commitment from the U.S. administration, with a comprehensive political decision that would include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” Speaking to The New York Times on Tuesday in Ramallah, the West Bank city where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered, Mr. al-Sheikh said that Palestinian leaders were looking for “a serious American initiative that would force Israel to abide by it, to commit to it.” He added, “This current U.S. administration is capable of doing that.””

Genocide in Gaza: Global Culpability and Ways Forward,

“The Israeli regime’s ongoing genocide in Gaza has caused widespread devastation across the besieged area. Heavy bombardment has killed thousands of Palestinians and displaced over one million; those that have survived thus far are largely without electricity or sufficient water and food supplies. Estimates are that nearly half of all of Gaza’s buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Palestinians have reaffirmed consistently that there is no safe place in Gaza, and that this current assault by the Israeli military is only the latest in over 75 years of attempted ethnic cleansing. Such an effort likewise extends beyond the limits of Gaza. In the West Bank, more than 82 Palestinian households in Area C have been displaced since October 7th, and over 2,000 Palestinians have been arrested during this time…None of this is going unnoticed. Across the world, Palestinians in the diaspora and those in solidarity with the struggle for liberation have been mobilizing, with hundreds of thousands protesting from London to Baghdad and beyond…The level of solidarity is unprecedented, and speaks to a shift in global consciousness increasingly opposed to the Israeli settler colonial project. In this devastating yet critical moment, Al Shabaka’s Tariq Kenney-Shawa, Fathi Nimer, Yara Hawari, and Alaa Tartir weigh in on the unfolding situation since October 7th, 2023, and position it within the context of ongoing Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian resistance.”

The Road Back From Hell,

“In the near term, a suspension of hostilities should be seized on as the offramp leading to a permanent cessation…How can Israel be expected to engage, even indirectly, with a political body in which Hamas is represented? The hard truth is that this is precisely what coming to terms with ugly, violent, protracted conflict looks like. There is a path to Israeli security, and it entails security and rights for Palestinians. Previous Israeli governments eventually talked to the once-banned P.L.O. Any future government that is serious about a way forward will have to engage with a reformed P.L.O. in which Hamas is represented.” See also Here’s the Least Bad Option for Gaza After the War Ends (Dahlia Scheindlin//TNR)

Behind Hamas’s Bloody Gambit to Create a ‘Permanent’ State of War,

“in the bloody arithmetic of Hamas’s leaders, the carnage is not the regrettable outcome of a big miscalculation. Quite the opposite, they say: It is the necessary cost of a great accomplishment — the shattering of the status quo and the opening of a new, more volatile chapter in their fight against Israel. It was necessary to “change the entire equation and not just have a clash,” Khalil al-Hayya, a member of Hamas’s top leadership body, told The New York Times in Doha, Qatar. “We succeeded in putting the Palestinian issue back on the table, and now no one in the region is experiencing calm.””

There Might Be No Day After in Gaza,

“The question “How should Gaza be governed when the war is over?” will likely reveal itself to have no good answers and not even to be the right starting point. Instead, better questions ask: What does it mean to oust a party like Hamas from governance when it dominates all levels of Gaza’s government? What does it mean for Israel to attempt to end the military capability of Hamas, a social movement with a military wing that also oversees public security, administration, and other governmental functions—especially when it operates both above and below ground? What does victory mean? And whatever its goals, what will Israel actually achieve? How will anyone know that the war is over? These better questions show why it is a mistake for scenarios to assume a “day after” as if this were a conventional war that will clearly and cleanly give way to agreed or imposed postwar arrangements…Gazan governance may be so seriously undermined that political disintegration accompanied by social and economic deterioration are far more likely than any ideal (or even manageable) arrangements….Rather than a “day after,” what seems more likely is a shift from intensive to low-level combat that has no clear resolution. There will be efforts to devise arrangements, to be sure. But the most notable diplomatic fallout from the fighting might be that diplomacy becomes even more difficult. The coordination necessary to make any arrangements for governance functions may be extremely difficult to achieve.”

The settler movement already has plans for Gaza,

“In the absence of a day-after-Hamas plan from the Israeli government, one group in Israel — the settler movement — is offering one. As Israel moves forward with its military operation, the settler movement is increasing the pressure to reoccupy the Gaza Strip and establish Jewish settlements there.” See also Opinion | Israel Must Take the Gaza Re-settlers Seriously (Amira Hass//Haaretz)

West Bank

Palestinian Authority says 14 killed in Jenin clashes with IDF,

“Fourteen Palestinians were killed and more than 20 were wounded during renewed clashes with Israel Defense Forces troops inside the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp, the Palestinian Authority health ministry reported on Thursday. The IDF said it carried out a drone strike against a group of armed Palestinians in the area who were shooting at Israeli forces during the clashes in the late morning.”

Smotrich calls for Palestinian-free buffer zones around West Bank settlements,

“Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for a ban on Palestinians harvesting olives close to Israeli West Bank settlements on Monday, and advocated for the creation of “sterile” no-go areas prohibiting the presence of Palestinians in the vicinity of the settlements and major roads that lead to them.” See also In the West Bank, Israeli settlers are on an anti-Palestinian rampage (Vox); ‘We can’t even cross’: the West Bank town split in two by Israel (Guardian); Settler violence is erasing Palestinian communities in the West Bank (WaPo)

Susiya, November 2-3, 2023.,

“Last week two gangs of settlers, armed with submachine guns, pistols, and butcher knives, their faces masked, invaded Susiya at two main points:  the homes of Nasser and ‘Azzam in the center of the village, and the somewhat more isolated home of Ahmad Ja‘abar down in the wadi. These were large bands of twenty or more, many of them adolescents, probably from the host of illegal outposts, carrying weapons they had not been trained to fire (hence all the more frightening). According to ‘Azzam, they came three times into the village center, screaming threats and curses, beating anyone they could find, breaking what was breakable, including windows and doors, stealing property. In the midst of this rampage, they proudly announced: “We are returning to our land.” They informed the Palestinians that they had 24 hours to flee for their lives; if they remained in their homes, they would all be killed. This is now the settlers’ standard formula, announced at every hamlet they attack (the attacks are clearly synchronized). A particularly awful settler raid took place on October 29th at Umm al-Khair. The men were isolated from the women and children, mocked and humiliated, forced at gunpoint to sit with their faces to a wall while all data on their phones was erased,  and repeatedly threatened with death.” See also Lines Increasingly Blurred Between Soldiers and Settlers in the West Bank (Foreign Policy); Settler Violence Rises in the West Bank during the Gaza War (Crisis Group)

Israeli Scene

Inside the Israeli Crackdown on Speech,

“The current crackdown on speech, which involves arrests, police interrogations, and so-called warning talks conducted by the Shabak, the security services, is largely carried out by a task force established earlier this year by the national-security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, to identify cases of incitement to terrorism on social media. Before he was a minister, Ben-Gvir was a far-right activist. In 2007, a Jerusalem court convicted him of incitement to racism for carrying signs and posters with statements such as “Expel the Arab enemy.” Hassan Jabareen, who heads Adalah, a Palestinian-run legal center, told me, “Ben-Gvir’s job is to protect my safety, and he is known as the most racist official in the history of Israel.” Jabareen added, “We are aware that Israeli Jewish society is passing a very, very hard time. But this emergency time is happening under one of the most racist governments in the history of this country.” See also Israel-Palestine war: Israelis in fear and denial as society slides towards fascism (Middle East Eye//Meron Rapoport)

For Israeli leaders, every Palestinian citizen has a seat on the bus to Gaza,

“Last Saturday evening, the scenario that every Palestinian citizen of Israel has spent the past three weeks fearing began to materialize: a mob of hundreds of belligerent Jewish Israelis attempted to break into the dormitories at Netanya Academic College, where some 50 Arab students were trapped inside, fearing for their lives. For a while, the Israeli police did not intervene as the mob shouted “Death to Arabs” and “Go back to Gaza,” and tried to force their way in. Eventually, the students were rescued with the help of volunteers and under police protection. In the wake of these scenes, I am confident that every Arab mother who, like me, has a child studying in Israeli academic institutions, will be having trouble sleeping at night out of fear that her son or daughter will be the victim of a lynching. This incident in Netanya didn’t come out of nowhere; it is a direct consequence of the atmosphere of repression and political persecution that has taken hold in Israel since the Hamas massacres of Oct. 7. Parallel to Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, and the settler-army violence that is forcibly displacing Palestinian communities across the West Bank, Israel is turning the Palestinians inside the state into another front in its war. No blood has yet been spilled, but the atmosphere is already brimming with intimidation and threats of violence with one clear goal: to punish Arab citizens for the crime of belonging to the Palestinian people.” 

See also these updates from Adalah: Palestinian Political Leadership in Israel Detained for Anti-War Protest; Israeli Knesset Passes Draconian Amendment to the Counter-Terrorism Law Criminalizing “Consumption of Terrorist Publications”; Israel’s Supreme Court Rejects Adalah’s Petition to Allow Demonstrations in Palestinian Towns: Umm Al-Fahem and Sakhnin; Adalah, Hadash, and Maki Petition the Supreme Court Against Police Ban on Palestinian Political Protests During the War;

How October 7 has changed us all —and what it signals for our struggle,

“This is a grim and trying time for those of us who are committed to opposing apartheid and promoting a solution grounded in justice and equality for all. On the one hand, achievements hard won over decades of shared struggle have been erased by Hamas’ massacres, and will be hard to regain. Our movement is in disarray, and despair abounds. Thousands of lives have been lost, thousands more still may perish, and the collective traumas we carry are intensifying by the day. 

On the other hand, once the war is over, there will have to be a reckoning within Israeli society, which could open up new opportunities for us to seize. Much of what we have been fighting for will become ever more relevant, with more people locally and globally willing to recognize that the system we live under is unjust, unsustainable, and offers none of us real security. We must double down on our commitment to promoting a peaceful political process, with the stated goal of ending the siege and the occupation, recognizing the right of return of Palestinian refugees, and finding creative solutions to materialize that right. But the new reality will require some realignments. Alongside our commitment to the full realization of all Palestinians’ rights, our progressive, anti-apartheid movement will have to be explicit about the collective rights of Jews in this land, and to ensure that their security is guaranteed in whatever solution is found. We will have to contend with Hamas and its place in this new reality, ensuring it can no longer commit such attacks on Israelis, just as we insist on the security of Palestinians and their protection from Israeli military and settler aggression. Without this, it will be impossible to move forward. Until then, there are two extremely urgent calls upon which to center our efforts right now: freeing civilian hostages, and an immediate ceasefire. Now.”

US Scene

Biden’s secrecy on arms transfers to Israel unnerves some Democrats,

President Biden faces growing pressure from allies in Congress to publicly disclose the scope of U.S. arms being funneled to Israel, as the enormous civilian death toll in Gaza draws international condemnation and increasingly unsettles Democrats. Contrary to its military aid program for Ukraine, which saw the Pentagon release recurring fact sheets about the volume of U.S. arms transfers, the administration has not made public the quantities of weapons it is sending to Israel. The administration is also pushing for the authority to bypass notification requirements to Congress that apply to every other country receiving military financing.”

House votes to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib over comments about Israel,

“The House on Tuesday voted to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), punishing the only Palestinian American member of Congress over her comments related to Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza…Tlaib defended her use of the phrase [“from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free] as “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence” and refused to retract it…McCormick [R-GA] said the phrase “from the river to the sea” was a “genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel and its people,” and he dismissed Tlaib’s defense of her use of the video, saying the phrase entails “Israel’s destruction and the denial of its fundamental right to exist.” A censure is less severe than expulsion from the House but more severe than a reprimand. Defending herself on the House floor Tuesday afternoon, Tlaib did not address the specific phrase but said her focus was on a cease-fire, and urged others not to conflate her criticism of Israel’s government with criticism of Jewish people. Breaking down in tears, she said more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed, including thousands of children, in the weeks since Israel began its bombardment in Gaza. “I can’t believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable. We are human beings just like anyone else,” Tlaib said, holding up a framed photo of her Palestinian grandmother. “The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. Why? What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinians sound different to you all.”” See also The White House condemns Rashida Tlaib’s embrace of the ‘River to the Sea’ slogan. (NYT); See also What Does “From the River to the Sea” Really Mean? (Yousef Munayyer//Jewish Currents)

Columbia University temporarily suspends anti-Israel groups from campus,

Columbia University on Friday announced a temporary suspension of the campus chapters of National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as official student groups through the end of the fall term – the first Ivy League school to crack down on the anti-Israel groups.” See also Brandeis U bans Students for Justice in Palestine, saying the group ‘openly supports Hamas’ (JTA)