Top News & Analysis from Israel & Palestine: October 21-27, 2023

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New from FMEP

Catastrophe in Gaza: What’s Next?,

In the wake of Hamas’s massacres of citizens & residents of Israel on October 7th, Israeli leadership has articulated its aim of destroying the “human animals” in Gaza, leading many to sound the alarm that Israeli intentions are genocidal. Coming in the context of 16 years of a brutal Israeli blockade, and targeting a population a large percentage of which is present in Gaza as a direct result of the Nakba 75 years ago, which left them and their families unable to return to homes in what became Israel, Israel’s current war on Gaza is wreaking incomprehensible levels of civilian death, injury, and destruction. The possibilities for expanded conflict loom, including in Jerusalem and the West Bank, where the IDF & IDF-backed settlers have escalated their terrorism of Palestinians and their efforts to Palestinians from Area C of the West Bank, and on Israel’s border with Lebanon. In parallel, delegitimization and repression of Palestinian voices and support for Palestinians and Palestinian rights are increasing around the globe, including in Israel and Palestine. 


Join FMEP for conversations with trusted partners who will ground us in what’s going on, what’s at stake for Palestinians, Israelis, the broader Middle East, and the rest of the world; what Israeli, Palestinian, and American leadership are envisioning as next steps, and also for the day-after this war ends; and what the opportunities and obligations are for grassroots mobilization, civil society actors, and human rights defenders in this moment.


Part 1: Monday, October 30th, 2023, 1:00pm ET, featuring Inès Abdel Razek (Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy), Fadi Quran (Avaaz), & Lara Friedman (FMEP)

Part 2: Wednesday, November 1st, 2023 12:00pm ET, featuring Sari Bashi (Human Rights Watch), Amjad Iraqi (+972 Magazine), & Lara Friedman (FMEP)

On the war

Israel’s Strikes on Gaza Are Some of the Most Intense This Century,

“Israel’s 19-day bombing campaign in Gaza has become one of the most intense of the 21st century, prompting growing global scrutiny of its scale, purpose and cost to human life. Since terrorists from Gaza raided Israel on Oct. 7, killing roughly 1,400 people according to the Israeli government, the Israeli military says it has struck more than 7,000 targets inside Gaza. That is a higher number than in any previous Israeli military campaign in the territory, a narrow enclave less than half the size of New York City. It also outstrips the most intense month of the United States-led bombing campaign against ISIS, according to Airwars, a British conflict monitor. For Palestinians, the scale of the bombing campaign has appeared vengeful and unfocused, killing Gazans from across a wide spectrum of civilian life and destroying residential areas. The Hamas-run Gazan health ministry says Israeli strikes have killed more than 6,500 people, a number that if verified would make this the deadliest conflict for Palestinians since at least the Lebanon war of 1982.” See also How the Israel-Gaza conflict is unfolding in maps, graphics and videos (WaPo); ‘Many More Will Die’: U.N. Official Issues Dire Warning on Gaza (NYT); The U.N. says its relief efforts in Gaza will stop if fuel doesn’t arrive soon (NPR); See how Israel’s siege has plunged Gaza into darkness and isolation (WaPo); Thirst and Hunger Grow in Besieged Gaza Amid Israeli Bombardment (NYT); Gazans forced to drink dirty, salty water as the fuel needed to run water systems runs out (CNN)


See also In Washington, calls for a ceasefire are loud, but not pervasive or, to Biden, persuasive (JTA); Israel-Gaza war: UN agencies call for Gaza ceasefire as aid arrives (BBC); UN rights chief calls for ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza (New Arab); I Might Have Once Favored a Cease-Fire With Hamas, but Not Now (Dennis Ross//NYT)


See also from Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq: No Safe Place: Despite ‘Evacuation Order’, Israel Continues to Carpet-Bomb Gaza From North To South, Urgent international intervention is needed to protect Palestinians in northern GazaOpen Letter to the UN Security Council: Palestinian Civil Society Organisations Call for a Ceasefire

Grave violations against Palestinian children: October 27,

“At least 3,038 Palestinian children in Gaza have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, with more than 6,000 injured. At least 940 children are reported missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings…25 Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according to documentation collected by DCIP, when the Israeli military began a full-scale bombardment on the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation Iron Swords.”

U.S. urges Israel against Gaza ground invasion, pushes surgical campaign,

“The Biden administration is urging Israel to rethink its plans for a major ground offensive in the Gaza Strip and instead to opt for a more “surgical” operation using aircraft and special operations forces carrying out precise, targeted raids on high-value Hamas targets and infrastructure, according to five U.S. officials familiar with the discussions. Administration officials have become highly concerned about the potential repercussions of a full ground assault, the officials said, and they increasingly doubt that it would achieve Israel’s stated goal of eliminating Hamas. They also are concerned that it could derail negotiations to free nearly 200 hostages, particularly as diplomats think they have made “significant” advances in recent days to free a number of them, potentially including some Americans, one of the officials said. The Biden administration also is worried that a ground invasion could result in numerous casualties among Palestinian civilians as well as Israeli soldiers, potentially triggering a dramatic escalation of hostilities in the region, the officials said.” See also Saudi Arabia Warns U.S.: Israeli Invasion of Gaza Could Be Catastrophic (NYT); Israel’s war cabinet has learned nothing from its failures (Menachem Klein//+972); Scoop: Marine Corps 3-star general advising Israeli military on Gaza ground operation (Axios)

Hamas’s main operations base is under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, says IDF,

“The Israel Defense Forces on Friday said the Hamas terror group’s main base of operations is under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, providing visuals and intercepted audio as evidence of the terror organization’s activities. In a briefing for reporters of international media outlets, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Hamas has several underground complexes under Shifa — the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip — that are used by the terror group’s leaders to direct attacks against Israel.” See also Hamas rejects Israeli claim over installations under al-Shifa hospital (Al Jazeera); The election that led to Hamas taking over Gaza (Ishaa Tharoor//WaPo)

The Sinai solution: Reimagining Gaza in the post-Oslo period,

“On October 24, a document leaked from Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel detailed that a durable post-war solution for Gaza has to include the transfer of Palestinians to Sinai, Egypt. According to the document obtained by the Israeli Calcalist news website, the move would include three steps: Establishing tent cities in Sinai, creating a humanitarian corridor, and constructing cities in North Sinai for the new refugees. In addition, “a sterile zone” several kilometers wide would be established in Egypt south of the border with Israel to prevent Palestinians from returning.” See also Israeli think tank lays out a blueprint for the complete ethnic cleansing of Gaza (Mondoweiss); Israel is clear about its intentions in Gaza – world leaders cannot plead ignorance of what is coming (Guardian)

Why news outlets and the U.N. rely on Gaza’s Health Ministry for death tolls,

“The Washington Post, like other news organizations, the United Nations and other international institutions, cannot independently verify death tolls in the war between Israel and Hamas. News reports cite figures released by the Gaza Health Ministry — an agency of the Hamas-controlled government…International organizations including the United Nations usually rely on these same figures as they are seen as the best available…Many experts consider figures provided by the ministry reliable, given its access, sources and accuracy in past statements. “Everyone uses the figures from the Gaza Health Ministry because those are generally proven to be reliable,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. “In the times in which we have done our own verification of numbers for particular strikes, I’m not aware of any time which there’s been some major discrepancy.” Shakir said Human Rights Watch would not use figures provided by parties with “a propensity to misrepresent information.” “We know that a health ministry is going to base [death tolls] on assessments coming from hospitals, morgues, et cetera,” he said. “They have an ability to collect that in a way that other sources not there can’t do.”” See also UN says Gaza Health Ministry death tolls in previous wars ‘credible’ (Al Jazeera); Israel-Palestine: Names released of 7,028 Palestinians killed after Biden questions death toll (Middle East Eye); How does Gaza’s health ministry calculate casualty figures? (Guardian)

The Devastation of Be’eri,

“In one day, Hamas militants massacred, tortured, and abducted residents of a kibbutz, leaving their homes charred and their community in ruins.” See also How Hamas broke through Israel’s border defenses during Oct. 7 attack (WaPo); ‘I Went Through Hell,’ Freed Israeli, 85, Says of Subterranean Captivity in Gaza (NYT); Turkey’s Leader, Lashing Out at Israel, Defends Hamas (NYT); See also Listen to Israeli survivors: They don’t want revenge (Orly Noy//+972: “Some are explaining their justification in terms of “defeating Hamas.” Others, like Hochman, are putting sweeping revenge above all else. It is thus all the more remarkable that, in the face of the prevailing political mood, more and more of those Israelis who survived the massacres, or whose loved ones were killed or kidnapped to Gaza, are coming out and expressing unequivocal opposition to the killing of innocent Palestinians, and saying no to revenge.”) See also ‘Don’t destroy Gaza’: Families of Israelis killed or taken hostage by Hamas make emotional pleas for peace (The Independent)

Israel-Palestine war: Israel kills family of Gaza peace activist Ahmed Abu Artema in air strike,

“The Palestinian poet and writer Ahmed Abu Artema, the man widely credited for inspiring Gaza’s Great March of Return in 2018, has lost five members of his family in an Israeli air strike. Abu Artema was also seriously injured in the attack on 24 October, suffering second-degree burns, but is now in a stable condition. His son, Abdullah, two of his brothers and mother-in-law were among those killed. Abu Artema wrote for Middle East Eye just over a week ago warning that “terrible massacres against civilians” by Israel were not a mistake but were rather deliberate and premeditated…The activist’s home was one of many targeted in recent days despite being in the southern region of the Gaza Strip, where people from the north were ordered to go by the Israeli army.” See also Several Family Members of Al Jazeera’s Gaza Bureau Chief Are Killed (NYT); Al Jazeera Gaza reporter’s family grieves relatives in Israeli attack (Al Jazeera); At least 24 journalists, majority Palestinians, killed in Israel-Hamas war (Al Monitor); Journalist casualties in the Israel-Gaza conflict (Committee to Protect Journalists) 

Gaza’s largest refugee camp has been turned into a ghost town,

Israel’s incessant airstrikes and cutting of basic supplies have forced out most of Jabalia camp’s residents. Those who remain feel lucky to still be alive.” 


See also from +972:

Updates on the West Bank

Rights group says settlers behind over 100 assaults on Palestinians since October 7,

“Israeli settlers have committed over 100 assaults against Palestinians since the start of the war, according to the human rights NGO Yesh Din. The attacks have reportedly taken place in at least 62 different West Bank localities, and have caused the death of at least six Palestinians with live ammunition.See also Yesh Din’s “Under the cover of war: These are the Palestinian communities that were attacked by Israeli settlers between Oct. 7-22. Settlers have attacked Palestinians in more than 100 incidents in at least 62 towns and villages in the West Bank, at times accompanied by soldiers.”

“The Settlers Can Do Whatever They Want With Us”:,

“In the past two-and-a-half weeks, eight entire Palestinian communities have been forced to abandon their homes, as settlers and the army attack residents and scramble to grab the land. One such community is the Bedouin village of Wadi al-Siq. In February, the settler activist Neriya Ben Pazi founded a nearby outpost—part of a network of outposts he has been building since 2019, which has provided the infrastructure for expelling Palestinian shepherds from hundreds of acres of land. In an attempt to stave off this fate in Wadi al-Siq—and to protect its residents—Mohammad Matar, known as Abu Hassan, an employee of the Palestinian Authority’s Ramallah-based Commission to Resist the Wall and Settlements, has been coordinating Israeli and Palestinian volunteers to support the community. On October 12th, following an attack on the village the previous evening, settlers rounded up Abu Hassan along with two other Palestinians, beating them for hours and subjecting them to abuse that Abu Hassan compared to American soldiers’ torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, as described in an article published in Haaretz. Below is an affidavit Abu Hassan gave to the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq. Encountering Abu Hassan at length in his own words testifies to the collaborations between the army, civil administrators, and settlers in exacting violence on Palestinian residents and solidarity volunteers, and makes vivid the bewildering terror of facing settlers wearing army uniforms to conduct their attacks.” See also Cigarette Burns, Beatings, Attempted Sexual Assault: Settlers and Soldiers Abused Palestinians (Haaretz); See also Dispatches from the West Bank (Jewish Currents: “In the West Bank, violence and dispossession intensify as the line between settler and soldier is fast disappearing.”)

West Bank militancy surges as Israel steps up raids and arrests,

“Israel’s sweeping security measures in the West Bank are an extension of its war against Hamas in Gaza, an attempt to eliminate the militant group and permanently shift the balance of power in a conflict that has raged for decades. More than 1,400 people have been arrested and more than 90 have been killed in the West Bank over the last two weeks, according to Palestinian officials. But many Palestinians and some analysts warn the measures could have the opposite effect. Hamas’s presence is limited in the West Bank, where the rival Fatah movement holds power, but many of its aims are shared by a new generation of militant groups that have taken up arms here over the last year. The fighters are young, loosely organized and opportunistic.” See also Israeli Army Expels Palestinian Activist From Hebron Home Amid Increasing Restrictions (Haaretz: “The Israel Defense Forces over this past weekend ordered Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro to leave his home in the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron…Other Palestinian residents say that since the start of the fighting with Hamas, the IDF has imposed stricter limits on movement that had made it difficult to buy food, and that they are suffering increased harassment by soldiers and settlers living in the Israeli sector.”)

‘The most successful land-grab strategy since 1967’ as settlers push Bedouins off West Bank territory,

“This has been the most successful land-grab strategy since 1967,” said Yehuda Shaul, a prominent activist who is director of the Israeli Center for Public Affairs thinktank, and a founder of Breaking the Silence, an NGO that exposes military abuses in occupied areas. Over the last year alone, 110,000 dunams, or 110 sq km (42 sq miles), was effectively annexed by settlers on herding outposts, he said. All the built-up settlement areas constructed since 1967 cover only 80 sq km. It was also the biggest displacement of Palestinian Bedouins since 1972, when at least 5,000 – and perhaps as many as 20,000 – people were moved from the northern Sinai to make way for settlements, Shaul added.”

Inside of '48/Israel

What the War Means for Palestinians Inside Israel,

“Palestinian citizens have this inside position to understand Jewish Israeli society in a way that the Palestinians in occupied territories can’t, because also we see them as civilians, whereas in the occupied territories they see Israelis physically as settlers and soldiers. In any other country, the word “equality” would be the rallying cry, exactly as you mentioned about South Africa. The problem is that, in Israel-Palestine, that actually gets thrown out the window, even by people in the United States, because equality in the narrative of Israel and Zionism means the death of the Jewish state, which should tell you a lot about what the state is and what it actually desires to be. And this is not just some theoretical thing. At times, when Palestinian citizens have tried to offer so much as a bill or a political platform or even just alternate ideas, they have been arrested, they’ve been demonized, their legislation is rejected, and they’re called terrorists. Hamas’s tactics are brutal and violent. It is also an outcome of a wider regime that is trying to dictate how politics is conducted…But Palestinians are not only being asked to wage the cleanest struggle in the world, they are being told not to ask for full equality. How can Israel be a democracy when, in reality, it’s asking for an exception to be a Jewish state, where Jews still get some kind of privilege? This is an indictment not only of the state but also of the fact that the international community has such a warped understanding of the situation that it thinks equality and the Palestinian demand for equality will result in the death of a state.” See also Arabs in Israel face reprisals over online solidarity with Gaza (Guardian); Crackdown on Freedom of Speech of Palestinian Citizens of Israel (Adalah)

The Loneliness of the Israeli Left,

“Since Hamas’s October 7th attack, Israeli leftists have felt squeezed between a global left response that has sometimes justified or downplayed the deaths of Israeli civilians, and Israeli society itself, which is largely supportive of the state’s campaign of vengeance in Gaza and its crackdown on any expression of dissent. On this episode of On the Nose, editor-in-chief Arielle Angel speaks with Michael Sfard, an attorney specializing in international human rights law and the laws of war; Sally Abed, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and member of national leadership in the Arab-Jewish grassroots movement Standing Together; and Yair Wallach, a social and cultural historian of modern Palestine/Israel at SOAS University of London. They discuss the particular loneliness of the Israeli left in this moment and the precious and endangered horizon for shared struggle beyond it.”

Hamas' Attack Has Accelerated Israel's Domestic Arms Race,

“Hamas’ attack on the Israeli communities near Gaza will propel profound changes in Israeli society, not least the number of guns circulating – a figure that activists say is poised to triple. At the same time, the police are expected to hand out thousands of assault rifles to hundreds of community security squads that are being set up around the country.”

Gazan Workers Describe Inhuman Treatment at Israeli Detention Centers Since Outbreak of War,

“A Palestinian released from detention said that workers were held in overcrowded ‘cage-like’ enclosures, handcuffed and blindfolded, and were denied meeting with their attorneys or red cross representatives. ‘Israel has disappeared thousands of legal Gazan workers,’ say human rights groups” See also Thousands of Palestinian permit-holders from Gaza are being held in Israel secretly and illegally (Gisha)


A “McCarthyite Backlash” Against Pro-Palestine Speech,

“As Israel’s bombardment of Gaza continues, Americans are expressing their opposition on college campuses, on social media, and in the streets. But the dissent has come with a cost. Across the US, supporters of Palestinian rights are facing a severe and unprecedented backlash to their speech and activism, ranging from university condemnations of student protest to death threats and intimidation from pro-Israel groups. “We’ve had an exponential surge in requests for legal help. It has been like nothing we’ve seen before,” said Radhika Sainath, a senior staff attorney at Palestine Legal, which defends the free speech rights of Palestine advocates. Since October 8th, the group has responded to nearly 200 reports of “suppression of Palestinian rights advocacy”—almost as many incidents as they addressed in all of last year. According to Sainath, attorneys have spoken to everyone from “people being fired from their jobs for tweets or social media messages that support Palestinian human rights” to student critics of Israel who are being “doxxed and put on a website called ‘College Terror List,’” which seeks to make them unemployable. “There is an increase in people who are really concerned with the genocidal intentions of Israel right now—and they’re being met with immense McCarthyite backlash and suppression,” Sainath said. Colleges and universities are the epicenter of this renewed Palestine solidarity activism, and have quickly become prime sites of the reprisals against it.” See also The Anguished Fallout from a Pro-Palestinian Letter at Harvard (New Yorker); LinkedIn issues warning to a site shaming pro-Palestinian sentiment (NYT); DeSantis seeks to ‘deactivate’ pro-Palestinian student groups in Florida (Guardian); Pro-Palestinian views face suppression in US amid Israel-Hamas war (Guardian); European bans on pro-Palestinian protests prompt claims of bias (WaPo); An Anti-Palestinian Crackdown Across Europe (Jewish Currents)

Israel-Hamas War Protest Leads to Tense Scene at Cooper Union Library,

“The tensions inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war that have roiled university campuses in the United States spilled into the Cooper Union in New York on Wednesday, with pro-Palestinian protesters pounding on one side of locked library doors and Jewish students on the other. The episode, captured in a six-second video snippet that was widely shared on social media, was among the latest examples of how sharply the Middle East conflict has divided student bodies at a number of top liberal arts colleges.” See also With War in Israel, the Cancel Culture Debate Comes Full Circle (Michelle Goldberg//NYT); See also from Palestine Legal: Hundreds of Legal Community Members Demand Action To Stop Racist and Unlawful Targeting of Palestine Advocates & Legal Resources for Activists Advocating for Palestine Across the U.S.

Targeting Free Speech/Protest Related to Israel,

Select Palestinian Perspectives

No Human Being Can Exist,

“Those of us, like my friend, who are summoned by Western media outlets to provide a Palestinian perspective on the disaster unfolding in Gaza are well aware of the condition on which we are allowed to speak, which is the tacit assumption that our people’s lives don’t matter as much as the lives of the people who do. Questions are framed by the initial Hamas attack on Israeli civilians (the Hamas attack on Israeli military targets and Israel’s belt of fortifications, watchtowers, and prison gates surrounding Gaza goes unnoticed), and any attempt to place it in a wider historical framework gets diverted back to the attack itself: How can you justify it? Why are you trying to explain it instead of condemning it? Why can’t you just denounce the attack?…How can a person make up for seven decades of misrepresentation and willful distortion in the time allotted to a sound bite? How can you explain that the Israeli occupation doesn’t have to resort to explosions—or even bullets and machine-guns—to kill? That occupation and apartheid structure and saturate the everyday life of every Palestinian? That the results are literally murderous even when no shots are fired?…What we are not allowed to say, as Palestinians speaking to the Western media, is that all life is equally valuable…That history didn’t start on October 7, 2023, and if you place what’s happening in the wider historical context of colonialism and anticolonial resistance, what’s most remarkable is that anyone in 2023 should be still surprised that conditions of absolute violence, domination, suffocation, and control produce appalling violence in turn…What we are not allowed to say, in other words, is that if you want the violence to stop, you must stop the conditions that produced it. You must stop the hideous system of racial segregation, dispossession, occupation, and apartheid that has disfigured and tormented Palestine since 1948, consequent upon the violent project to transform a land that has always been home to many cultures, faiths, and languages into a state with a monolithic identity that requires the marginalization or outright removal of anyone who doesn’t fit.” See also Western Journalists Have Palestinian Blood on Their Hands (Mohammed El Kurd//The Nation)

After the Flood,

“The West’s distorted notion of the powerful and the powerless in Israel-Palestine has never been clearer. It is in part because of that response that many Palestinians, to the frustration of some of their supporters, have been unable to contend, at least publicly, with the moral travesty of Hamas’s massacres. As they see it, Hamas inverted the violence of the occupation, inflicting on the oppressor a taste of the suffering it metes out routinely. On the streets and online, many Palestinian activists have dropped the language of diplomacy and stopped appealing to international laws that have failed them. They are no longer willing to accept the amnesiac narrative that says their grievances date to 1967 rather than 1948, and that their future lies in a quasi-state on only a fifth of their former homeland. Many are tired of apologising for violent resistance, as if violence were not inherent to all anti-colonial struggles. They are tired of Western governments and media that treat their resistance as more egregious than the Israeli occupation, while non-violent acts are deemed antisemitic or decried as ‘terrorism’. For Palestinians, the enemy is and has always been a settler colonial project intent on their erasure. And they fear that Gaza is at this moment on the verge of annihilation.” See also The View from My Window in Gaza (Mosab Abu Toha//New Yorker)

The Palestine Double Standard,

“The task of the Palestinian is to be palatable or to be condemned. The task of the Palestinian, we’ve seen in the past two weeks, is to audition for empathy and compassion. To prove that we deserve it. To earn it…Palestinians are presumed violent — and deserving of violence — until proved otherwise. Their deaths are presumed defensible until proved otherwise. What is the word of a Palestinian against a machinery that investigates itself, that absolves itself of accused crimes?…It is, of course, a remarkably effective strategy. A slaughter isn’t a slaughter if those being slaughtered are at fault, if they’ve been quietly and effectively dehumanized — in the media, through policy — for years. If nobody is a civilian, nobody can be a victim.”

Grounding the Current Moment: An Al-Shabaka Syllabus,

“As much of the world struggles to make sense of the devastation across colonized Palestine since October 7th, Palestinians speaking out continue to be dehumanized and silenced in an effort to quash testimonies that challenge the dominant discourse. To counter this strategy, Al-Shabaka has compiled a collection of its past works that may serve to ground readers in the wider context of this current moment. Together, these publications, webinars, and podcasts speak to the many layers that form the foundation of this point of rupture. They offer possibilities for new ways both to understand the past and present, as well as to envision a radically different future.”

Select Jewish Israeli perspectives

Enough with the warlords. There is another way,

“I insist on saying that Israel’s current logic of action is exactly the same logic that has been leading all of us, Palestinians and Israelis, to wallow in blood for years. Therefore my first answer to the question, “So what should be done now?” is: no more of the same. We must give up this addictive behavior, which has convinced us that the next dose of the drug will be the one that will fix things forever.” See also I’m an Israeli, but I believe inflicting more harm on Gaza will not bring a solution (Alon-Lee Green//Guardian);

Opinion | In Gaza, Israel Is Racing to the Moral Abyss,

“Israel today is a country and society where calls to erase Gaza aren’t only the province of pathetic and marginal people leaving comments on social media. It’s a country where lawmakers from the ruling party are openly and unashamedly calling for a “second Nakba,” where the defense minister orders a denial of water, food and fuel to millions of civilians, a country whose president, Isaac Herzog, Israel’s moderate face, says that all Gazans are responsible for Hamas’ crimes. In Gaza with its 2.3 million inhabitants, over half of them children living under a government combining totalitarian dictatorship with religious fundamentalism, our president couldn’t find a single Gazan – man, woman or child – who wasn’t responsible. It’s a good thing no news channel has ordered a survey to find out what percentage of the Jewish community supports ethnic cleansing in Gaza. And maybe not only in Gaza; why stop there? When the political and military leadership loses all restraint and approves ideas about a massive blow to civilians, we’re creating a society where the process of stripping away the humanity of the people on the other side of the border has been completed. And when that happens, the inferno is near.” See also these statements from B’Tselem: Protect civilians from the impact of hostilities, Human beings are not bargaining chips – release the captives now, One crime does not justify another. The attack against civilians in Gaza must end, Under cover of Gaza war, settlers working to fulfill state goal of Judaizing Area C

US Scene

Democrats Splinter Over Israel as the Young, Diverse Left Rages at Biden,

“The Democratic Party’s yearslong unity behind President Biden is beginning to erode over his steadfast support of Israel in its escalating war with the Palestinians, with a left-leaning coalition of young voters and people of color showing more discontent toward him than at any point since he was elected. From Capitol Hill to Hollywood, in labor unions and liberal activist groups, and on college campuses and in high school cafeterias, a raw emotional divide over the conflict is convulsing liberal America. While moderate Democrats and critics on the right have applauded Mr. Biden’s backing of Israel, he faces new resistance from an energized faction of his party that views the Palestinian cause as an extension of the racial and social justice movements that dominated American politics in the summer of 2020. In protests, open letters, staff revolts and walkouts, liberal Democrats are demanding that Mr. Biden break with decades-long American policy and call for a cease-fire, even as Israel steps up its military operations in Gaza.” See also How Biden’s Support for Israel Could Complicate His Re-Election (Charles Blow//NYT); Biden’s Israel-Palestine Policy Could Cost Him the Election (Elie Mystal//The Nation); See also New House Speaker Mike Johnson, an Evangelical Christian, Holds Ties to Israel’s Far Right (Haaretz)

Don't miss

Vengeful Pathologies,

“The inescapable truth is that Israel cannot extinguish Palestinian resistance by violence, any more than the Palestinians can win an Algerian-style liberation war: Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are stuck with each other, unless Israel, the far stronger party, drives the Palestinians into exile for good. The only thing that can save the people of Israel and Palestine, and prevent another Nakba – a real possibility, while another Holocaust remains a traumatic hallucination – is a political solution that recognises both as equal citizens, and allows them to live in peace and freedom, whether in a single democratic state, two states, or a federation. So long as this solution is avoided, a continuing degradation, and an even greater catastrophe, are all but guaranteed.”

‘What’s our common language?’ Jewish and Palestinian thinkers on where the left goes from here,

“For years I’ve watched hopefully as Palestinians, Jews and other people of goodwill have begun building a mass movement in the US for Palestinian freedom. With Hamas’s attacks in southern Israel and Israel’s ensuing bombing of Gaza, I’m fearful now that it’s falling apart. This moment of agony, rage and terror is driving many Jews and Palestinians away from each other. How should an ethical movement for Palestinian liberation respond to Hamas’s attack on Israelis and Israel’s attack on Gaza? And how can Jews and Palestinians who believe in mutual liberation remain allies amid this horror? To address the debate currently taking place, I spoke with two activists who consider themselves in the milieu of the Israel-critical American left, with backgrounds in either side of this conflict: Ahmed Moor, a Palestinian American activist born in Gaza who is the co-editor of After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine, and Joshua Leifer, a prominent progressive critic of Israel who has also been highly critical of the unwillingness of some on the left to condemn Hamas’s killing of civilians.”