Top News from Israel & Palestine: November 17-24, 2023

What We’re Reading

New from FMEP

International Law & Israel/Palestine: A Primer,

FMEP Non-Resident Fellows Dr. Yara Asi and Rabea Eghbariah are joined by Dr. Ardi Imseis (Assistant Professor and Academic Director, International Law Programs at Queen’s University Law School) to talk about international law – how it applies in the current crisis, the obligations it imposes on Israel, Hamas, and the international community, and how it can be used to envision and shape next steps.

Repression in the Shadow of Israel’s War on Gaza,

From Israel’s Blockade to the Siege on Al Shifa Hospital: Public Health in Gaza,

FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin speaks with 2023 FMEP Palestinian Non-Resident Fellow Dr. Yara Asi about public health in Gaza. The conversation addresses the deficiencies in public health infrastructure due to Israel’s blockade before the current war as well as the the current total public health catastrophe, including the bombardments, displacement, collapse of hospitals, and threats to the population in the absence of food, water, fuel, and electricity.

Settlement & Annexation Report: November 22, 2023,

News from the West Bank: Peace Now report: “New Roads and Outposts Flourish in the West Bank amid Gaza War”. Over the past week, Peace Now reports settlers have established at least 4 new outposts and 9 new roads On the South Hebron Hills: Many West Bank Palestinians Are Being Forced Out of Their Villages. Is My Family Next?” (Ali Awad in the New York Times); A Population Transfer Under the Cover of War: A Visit to the Forsaken Land of Settler Militias” (Haaretz); “Settler attacks and Israeli restrictions paralyse West Bank economy” (Middle East Eye); As War Rages, Israeli Settlers and Soldiers Try to Block the Palestinian Olive Harvest” (Haaretz)

News from East Jerusalem: Attempt for the Establishment of a New Settlement in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City” Peace Now

On Reestablishing Settlements in Gaza: Breaking the Silence posts on X: “The Israeli right has a focus right now. The goal? Resettle the Gaza Strip. Their way to establish it in the hearts and minds of Israelis: to aggressively push the false notion that the 2005 disengagement was the main failure that led to this moment. This lie must be debunked…” (1/11)

News From the U.S.: Biden orders top aides to prepare reprimands for violent Israeli settlers in West Bank” (Politico) 

Connections Podcast Episode 77: Silencing Palestine with Lara Friedman,

On Tuesday, 14 November Jadaliyya co-editor Mouin Rabbani spoke with Lara Friedman about the unprecedented repression of anti-war and Palestinian solidarity activism in the United States. This episode of Connections Podcast will discuss efforts to silence dissenting voices in the public sphere, and the implications for US policy in the Middle East.”

Temporary Ceasefire + Prisoner Exchange

Gaza has become a moonscape in war. When the battles stop, many fear it will remain uninhabitable,

“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. Nearly 1 million Palestinians have fled the north, including its urban center, Gaza City, as ground combat intensified. When the war ends, any relief will quickly be overshadowed by dread as displaced families come to terms with the scale of the calamity and what it means for their future…The Israeli army’s use of powerful explosives in tightly packed residential areas — which Israel describes as the unavoidable outcome of Hamas using civilian sites as cover for its operations — has killed over 13,000 Palestinians and led to staggering destruction. Hamas denies the claim and accuses Israel of recklessly bombing civilians…About half of all buildings across northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to an analysis of Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite data by Corey Scher of the CUNY Graduate Center and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University. With the U.N. estimating 1.7 million people are newly homeless, many wonder if Gaza will ever recover…The war has knocked 27 of 35 hospitals across Gaza out of operation, according to the World Health Organization. The destruction of other critical infrastructure has consequences for years to come…Across the entire enclave, over 41,000 homes — 45% of Gaza’s total housing stock — are too destroyed to be lived in, according to the U.N.” See also Israel destroys Al-Shifa hospital facilities as it withdraws (Middle East Eye); Israel has utterly devastated Gaza (Ishaan Tharoor//WaPo);

The War Turns Gaza Into a ‘Graveyard’ for Children,

“Determining the precise number of children killed in Gaza — in the midst of a fierce bombing campaign, with hospitals collapsing, children missing, bodies buried under rubble and neighborhoods in ruins — is a Sisyphean task. Health officials in Gaza say that 5,000 Palestinian children have been killed since the Israeli assault began, and possibly hundreds more. Many international officials and experts familiar with the way death tolls are compiled in the territory say the overall numbers are generally reliable. If the figures are even close to accurate, far more children have been killed in Gaza in the past six weeks than the 2,985 children killed in the world’s major conflict zones combined — across two dozen countries — during all of last year, even with the war in Ukraine, according to U.N. tallies of verified deaths in armed conflict…In response, the Israeli military says, it is waging a war “forcefully to dismantle Hamas military and administrative capabilities.” It notes that Israeli forces have told residents to flee to southern Gaza, and says that they issue warnings before airstrikes “when possible.” But the furious pace of the strikes — more than 15,000 to date, according to the Israeli military, including in southern Gaza as well — makes the Israeli bombing campaign on the Palestinian territory one of the most intense of the 21st century. And it is happening in a dense urban enclave under siege with high concentrations of civilians, particularly children, setting off mounting global alarm, even from some of Israel’s closest allies.” See also Israel/Gaza Hostilities Take Horrific Toll on Children (Human Rights Watch); The Public Health Crisis in Gaza That Could Devastate a Generation (NYT); The heavy burdens of war for Gaza’s women and girls (WaPo); The Trauma of Gaza’s Doctors (New Yorker: Isaac Chotiner interviews Anne Taylor, head of Doctors Without Borders Palestine); ‘A Horror Film’: Mothers in Gaza on Giving Birth in a War Zone (NYT: The U.N. says that an estimated 50,000 pregnant women are caught up in the conflict in Gaza.)

Opinion//Joe Biden: The U.S. won’t back down from the challenge of Putin and Hamas,

This much is clear: A two-state solution is the only way to ensure the long-term security of both the Israeli and Palestinian people. Though right now it may seem like that future has never been further away, this crisis has made it more imperative than ever…To start, Gaza must never again be used as a platform for terrorism…As we strive for peace, Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, as we all work toward a two-state solution.”

Opinion//King of Jordan: A two-state solution would be a victory for our common humanity,

“An Israeli leadership that is unwilling to take the path of peace on the basis of the two-state solution will not be able to provide its people the security they need. Israelis cannot continue their lives as usual, expecting security solutions alone to ensure their safety, while Palestinians live in misery and injustice. With no political horizon, the promise of a peaceful future will evade both Israelis and Palestinians. Are there any realistic alternatives to a two-state solution? It is hard to imagine any. A one-state solution would force Israel’s identity to accommodate competing national identities. A no-state solution would deny Palestinian rights and dignity. If the status quo continues, the days ahead will be driven by an ongoing war of narratives over who is entitled to hate more and kill more…What happens next will be a turning point for the entire globe. A concerted international effort to develop a regional architecture of peace, security and prosperity, built on a Palestinian-Israeli peace based on the two-state solution, is a priority.”

West Bank + Palestinian Prisoners

Many West Bank Palestinians Are Being Forced Out of Their Villages. Is My Family Next?,

“I was born in February 1998 in Tuba, a rural shepherding community of 80 Palestinian residents in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, where my family has lived for generations. Over the years we have suffered repeated attacks by Israeli settlers, part of an ongoing campaign to remove us from our land. Still, nothing prepared me for what our life has become since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7. In the last six weeks, the raids and harassment by settlers have become so intense that I do not know how much longer I and the other members of my community will be able to live here. Under the cover of war, settlers have been storming villages in the West Bank, threatening Palestinians and destroying their homes and their livelihoods.”


See also With the world’s eyes on Gaza, attacks are on the rise in the West Bank, which faces its own war (AP); ‘If you don’t leave, we’ll kill you’: Hundreds flee Israeli settler violence in Hebron area (+972); Israeli settler attacks force 963 Palestinians out of West Bank homes since Gaza war started (Al Monitor); Facing violence and harassment, hundreds of Palestinians flee West Bank villages (Times of Israel);

‘They Don’t Want People to Know We Exist’ Palestinians across the West Bank describe what life has been like since October 7.,

Eid, Umm al Khair: “In this region, there are many small Palestinian villages with Israeli settlements and outposts all around us. The settlers have always come and attacked our people, trying to drive them out of the area. But in the last few weeks, it has become totally lawless. Settlers are raiding our villages day and night, attacking houses, beating people up, and shooting at them when they try to work their lands. All roads have been shut down by the Israeli army. Our children can’t go to school. People who work outside the village can’t go to work. Israeli settlers move freely, but if they see cars or vans with Palestinian license plates near the settler roads, whose usage is forbidden by Palestinians, they shoot at them or detain them under the sun for a long time. It’s nearly impossible to see a doctor or reach a medical clinic; ambulances can’t come to our villages either. They have to walk on foot and carry people to get past the roadblocks. People can’t use cars to go anywhere; we are forced to use carts and donkeys. At night, all movement is forbidden.” See also: A Population Transfer Under the Cover of War: A Visit to the Forsaken Land of Settler Militias (Haaretz: “The South Hebron Hills are now being ruled effectively by local defense squads, made up in many cases by violent settlers in uniform who are committing a population transfer.”); Opinion | While It Bombs Gaza, Israel Is Now Shooting to Kill Palestinians in the West Bank (Haaretz//Mohammed Daraghmeh, Ashraq News); At least 76 Palestinians rounded up in the West Bank raising the total to 3130 detained since October 7 (WAFA); Israel’s raid in West Bank leaves several dead following US warning of escalation (Al Monitor)

'Unseen since the 1980s': Israel accused of widespread abuse of Palestinian prisoners,

“An ongoing Israeli mass-arrest campaign in the occupied West Bank continued since 7 October, with the number of Palestinians held in Israeli jails reaching 7,000, not including Gazan workers in Israel arrested in the first days of Israel’s new war, estimated to be in the thousands. About 2,200 of the total number of current Palestinian prisoners are held without charges under the Israeli “Administrative Detention” system. The latest detentions came after a fifth Palestinian died in Israeli jails since 7 October. Since 7 October, Israel suspended all visits to Palestinian prisoners and detainees. Palestinian human rights groups have accused Israeli authorities of introducing new repressive measures to the detention conditions of Palestinians, including ill-treatment and torture…In the months before 7 October, Israeli authorities had been escalating restrictions on Palestinians’ detention conditions in its jails, mainly under instructions of Israel’s security minister, far-right Itamar Ben Gvir.” See also Military Court Watch’s October 2023 Newsletter 

US Scene

Polling shows a huge age gap divides the Democratic Party on Israel,

“Younger Democrats are far more likely than older Democrats to view Israel skeptically when it comes to this war as well as the larger geopolitical context…Biden’s approval rating for his handling of the Israel-Hamas War among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters is just 56%. Compare that to his 76% approval rating among Democratic voters for his overall job performance. A significant minority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters (36%) disapprove of his handling of the war. Those voters tend to be young. The lion’s share (69%) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning younger than 35 disapprove of how Biden is responding to the war. Just 24% approve. It’s the inverse among older Democrats. Most Democrats 65 and older (77%) approve of Biden on this issue. Few (16%) disapprove. The cause of the split is pretty clear when you dig deeper into the data. Biden has been, by most neutral accounts, more sympathetic to Israel than Palestinians during the war. That doesn’t sit well with younger Democrats.” See also Bernie Sanders: Justice for the Palestinians and Security for Israel (NYT); The War in Gaza Is Splintering the Democratic Party (Michelle Goldberg//NYT); More Than 500 U.S. Officials Sign Letter Protesting Biden’s Israel Policy (NYT); The Smearing of Rashida Tlaib and the Palestinian Calls for Freedom (Yousef Munayyer//The Nation)

See also: Ceasefire Tracker (Working Families Party: “As of November 22nd, 2023, at least 47 members of Congress have called for a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities in Israel and occupied Palestine:”)

Israel loses much of the support it gained after Hamas’ attack,

“As reported last week, American public support for Israel increased measurably in the two weeks after Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, across the partisan divide, compared with June. Our latest poll, taken four weeks after the attack, during a period when national and international attention had shifted to Israel’s subsequent attacks in the Gaza Strip, shows that Israel has lost much of that early support, especially among Democrats. Change among young Democrats has been particularly notable: They are now twice as likely to view President Joe Biden as “too pro-Israeli” than in October, the number of those saying they would be less likely to vote for Biden because of his stance on the Israeli-Palestinian issue more than doubled since October, and those who want the United States to lean toward the Palestinians have measurably increased.”

United States Complicity and Failure to Prevent the Israeli Government's Unfolding Genocide of Palestinians,

“On November 13, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit, Defense for Children International—Palestine, et al. v. . Joseph Biden, et al., on behalf of Palestinian human rights organizations and Palestinians in Gaza and the U.S. Plaintiffs are suing President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Defense Secretary Austin for their failure to prevent and complicity in the  Israeli government’s unfolding genocide against them, their families, and the 2.2 million Palestinians in Gaza. The case against the three high-level U.S. officials argues that they are violating international law, including those codified in the 1948 Genocide Convention and the corresponding Genocide Convention Implementation Act (18 U.S.C. § 1091) passed by the U.S. Congress in 1988. The lawsuit situates the unfolding genocide within a history of Israeli actions against the Palestinian people – starting with the Nakba in 1948. It sets out how Defendants Biden, Blinken, and Austin have not only failed to prevent the genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza but have helped advance the gravest of crimes by continuing to provide the Israeli government with unconditional military and diplomatic support, coordinating closely on military strategy, and undermining efforts by the international community to stop Israel’s unrelenting and unprecedented bombing campaign and total siege of Gaza.”

The Harvard Law Review Refused to Run This Piece About Genocide in Gaza,

“We must consider Palestine through the iterations of Palestinians. If the Holocaust is the paradigmatic case for the crime of genocide and South Africa for that of apartheid, then the crime against the Palestinian people must be called the Nakba. The term Nakba, meaning “Catastrophe,” is often used to refer to the making of the State of Israel in Palestine, a process that entailed the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and destroying 531 Palestinian villages between 1947 to 1949. But the Nakba has never ceased; it is a structure not an event. Put shortly, the Nakba is ongoing. In its most abstract form, the Nakba is a structure that serves to erase the group dynamic: the attempt to incapacitate the Palestinians from exercising their political will as a group…Palestinians have named and theorized the Nakba even in the face of persecution, erasure, and denial. This work has to continue in the legal domain. Gaza has reminded us that the Nakba is now. There are recurring threats by Israeli politicians and other public figures to commit the crime of the Nakba, again. If Israeli politicians are admitting the Nakba in order to perpetuate it, the time has come for the world to also reckon with the Palestinian experience. The Nakba must globalize for it to end. We must imagine that one day there will be a recognized crime of committing a Nakba, and a disapprobation of Zionism as an ideology based on racial elimination. The road to get there remains long and challenging, but we do not have the privilege to relinquish any legal tools available to name the crimes against the Palestinian people in the present and attempt to stop them. The denial of the genocide in Gaza is rooted in the denial of the Nakba. And both must end, now.” See also Harvard Law Review Editors Vote to Kill Article about Genocide in Gaza

290,000 people show up for historic pro-Israel rally in DC, organizers say,

“Organizers of a pro-Israel rally at the National Mall in Washington on Tuesday claimed that 290,000 people showed up for the event, making it one of the largest gatherings of Jews in U.S. history at a time when an ongoing war in Gaza has sharply divided public opinion around the world.” See also ‘No ceasefire’: Israel supporters gather in Washington, DC, amid Gaza war (Al Jazeera)

The Push to “Deactivate” Students for Justice in Palestine,

“Florida’s ban on “material support for terrorism” is modeled on a federal law prohibiting the provision of money, training, expert advice, and weapons to designated terrorist organizations. In the past, such laws have been used to prevent money from being sent overseas to organizations linked to such groups, among other purposes. However, since October 7th—when Israel began its ferocious bombing campaign in Gaza, sparking an unprecedented student movement against the war—Israel advocates have attempted to use such laws mainly to shut down pro-Palestine speech and activism. Civil liberties experts say these activities do not violate material support laws, but elected officials, Israel advocacy groups, and at least one campus administration are nevertheless already accusing student groups, especially SJP chapters, of supporting terrorism.” See also Columbia Faces Protests After Suspending 2 Pro-Palestinian Groups (NYT); GW suspends SJP for three months after anti-Israel library demonstration (GW Hatchett)

Anti-Defamation League Maps Jewish Peace Rallies with Antisemitic Attacks,

“On October 27, several thousand Jews and their allies shut down the main terminal of Grand Central Station during rush hour in New York City, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. Organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, the activists at the peaceful sit-in wore black T-shirts that read “Not In Our Name.”…The Anti-Defamation League has classified the event — and dozens of other protests led by Jewish groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow — as “anti-Israel,” according to an analysis by The Intercept, and added them to their database documenting rising antisemitism across the U.S.” See also Opinion: I’m the child of a Holocaust survivor. I know the trauma inflicted on Gaza will last for generations (Rabbi Elliot Kukla//LA Times: In rabbinical school, I learned that according to ancient Jewish holy texts, saving a single life is the same as saving a whole world, because each of us contains distinctive cities of relationships, irreplaceable geographies of passions, and deep oceans of memories. That is one reason more than 140 of my colleagues and I are calling for peace as a part of Rabbis for Ceasefire, along with a swelling Jewish peace movement. However, most major American Jewish organizations support this invasion. It is a profound moral injury for me that the community that taught me to value resistance, peace and the sanctity of each human life is supporting violence and silencing dissent.”)

College Administrations Are Failing Their Palestinian and Jewish Students,

“Campus activists say many university leaders have declined to protect Arab and Muslim students, and by conflating Israel and Judaism have only stoked anti-Semitism.” Also see Antisemitism Is Infecting My College Campus — And So Many Others (Rolling Stone)

Israeli Scene

Carrying the pain of loss on October 7, these families are pleading for peace,

“Amid this cacophony of retribution, however, many family members of the victims of Hamas’ massacres and of the more than 240 people abducted to Gaza have been offering a different voice. Despite their individual and collective pain, many of them have pleaded with the Israeli government not to seek revenge in their names, and instead called for a cessation of Israel’s assault on Gaza and the prioritization of a deal to release the hostages…The families’ struggle will go on, too. Even in the most difficult moments of their lives, these relatives insist on reminding their society and their leaders that there are human beings on the other side of the fence. This may seem obvious, but in the political climate in Israel today, it is a message that is difficult for many to accept, and can even lead to arrest or accusations of treason. When this war eventually ends, there is no doubt that these family members will be a significant part of trying to build something new here — a land in which all Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and equality.” See also Hostages’ Families Fight to Be Heard (Maya Rosen//Jewish Currents: “The families of those held in Gaza have faced violence and neglect in their quest to retrieve their loved ones.”); My Brother Was Slaughtered on October 7. I Know He Would Be Calling for a Cease-Fire. (Noi Katzman//The Nation); ‘I can’t sit around any more’: families of Israeli hostages march to Jerusalem (Guardian)

7amleh Documents Over a Million Instances of Violent Speech in Hebrew Against Palestinians on Social Media Platforms,

“7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, has documented, using the “Violence Indicator”, over one million instances of hate speech and/or incitement to violence in Hebrew targeting Palestinians and Palestinian rights advocates on social media platforms since October 7, 2023. The vast majority of these cases were found mainly on “X”, which is due to the platform’s lack of sufficient moderation mechanisms to stop the spread of hate speech and incitement to violence. 68% of the documented instances of hate speech and incitement were based on political affiliations and/or nationalist sentiments, while 29% of them were rooted in racist bias. The remaining instances included gender-based and religious violence, among others.”

Israel’s ‘thought police’ law ramps up dangers for Palestinian social media users,

“Rights advocates warn the draconian law will enable unprecedented surveillance, raising Palestinian fears of arrest for their online activity.”

Israelis are arming up in the aftermath of Hamas’ attack. Some are worried it is playing to the far right’s vision for the country,

“Behind tables laden with more than 50 assault rifles, Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, smiled at a crowd of people who had come to the coastal city of Caesarea for a ceremony to receive the firearms. The divisive politician has been crisscrossing Israel in the past weeks handing out guns to civilian members of security squads as he expands Israeli citizens’ access to guns in the wake of Hamas’ attack last month. The aim, according to the Ministry of National Security, is to create teams to respond to future terror incidents…Critics see it as part of a far-right vision to inflame Israeli-Palestinian relations in the country, especially in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Ben Gvir, who leads the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, pledged to give 10,000 guns to towns and cities across Israel, including Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, according to the New York Times.” See also US said to delay shipment of weapons for security squads due to Ben Gvir’s conduct (Times of Israel)


‘From the river to the sea’ – a Palestinian historian explores the meaning and intent of scrutinized slogan,

“As both a scholar of Palestinian history and someone from the Palestinian diaspora, I have observed the decades-old phrase gain new life – and scrutiny – in the massive pro-Palestinian marches in the U.S. and around the world that have occurred during the Israeli bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel…I cannot speak to what is in the heart of every person who uses the phrase. But I can speak to what the phrase has meant to various groups of Palestinians throughout history, and the intent behind most people who use it today. Simply put, the majority of Palestinians who use this phrase do so because they believe that, in 10 short words, it sums up their personal ties, their national rights and their vision for the land they call Palestine. And while attempts to police the slogan’s use may come from a place of genuine concern, there is a risk that tarring the slogan as antisemitic – and therefore beyond the pale – taps into a longer history of attempts to silence Palestinian voices.”

Physical Destruction in Whole or in Part,

“I grew up during the civil war in Lebanon. With my parents and brothers, I endured the Israeli siege of Beirut in 1982 and recall what we thought was the unsurpassable violence of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006. But nothing I or anyone I know have seen bears even a passing resemblance to what we are helplessly watching unfold in Gaza today.” See also A New Yorker Contributor Detained by Israeli Forces Is Released (New Yorker): “Mosab Abu Toha, an award-winning poet and a father of three, was taken into custody in central Gaza.”

What I Believe as a Historian of Genocide,

“Israeli military operations have created an untenable humanitarian crisis, which will only worsen over time. But are Israel’s actions — as the nation’s opponents argue — verging on ethnic cleansing or, most explosively, genocide? As a historian of genocide, I believe that there is no proof that genocide is currently taking place in Gaza, although it is very likely that war crimes, and even crimes against humanity, are happening… The crime of genocide was defined in 1948 by the United Nations as “the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” So in order to prove that genocide is taking place, we need to show both that there is the intent to destroy and that destructive action is taking place against a particular group…My greatest concern watching the Israel-Gaza war unfold is that there is genocidal intent, which can easily tip into genocidal action…It is time for leaders and senior scholars of institutions dedicated to researching and commemorating the Holocaust to publicly warn against the rage- and vengeance-filled rhetoric that dehumanizes the population of Gaza and calls for its extinction…There is still time to stop Israel from letting its actions become a genocide. We cannot wait a moment longer.”

‘Let Us Not Hurry to Our Doom’,

To work as a historian in a time of war comes with its own form of fear and grief, especially writing about massacres while new massacres are unfolding. In the days after presenting research on a book project about Israel’s 1982 war in Lebanon—exploring how the overreach of the invasion transformed regional politics, global perceptions of Zionism, and the Palestinian struggle for rights—I sit in my office and learn that Israel has inaugurated its ground operations in Gaza by cutting all communications from the Strip. Days later I leave the library after looking at archival photos of the bombing of the PLO Research Center in Beirut by an Israeli-backed militant group and glance at the news, which reports that Israel has bombed the Jabalia refugee camp and Palestinian residents are pulling scores of bodies from the wreckage. Historians are always trying to look backward to make sense of the present, but when do we sound the alarm? What can understanding the past achieve when there seems to be an insatiable drive to repeat it?”