Getting Serious About Halting Israeli Genocide

Yves here. This article unintentionally demonstrates why Israel has been able to continue it genocide: it’s been subjected only to a din of noise. Well, plus the Houthis threatening its sea trade and Hezbollah engaging in tit-for-tat attacks which Israel is acting as if it must stop (a tall order given its Gaza operation). Douglas Macgregor contends that Israel intends to use Hezbollah as a pretext for pulling us into into an active role.

The post also addresses an important point that Alastair Crooke has mentioned in passing: that despite the fury among Muslim populations in the region about Israel’s slaughter, their governments don’t want a war and have been cautious about applying pressure. Benjamin and Davies describe some of the commercial consideration at play. They argue that the BDS, “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” strategy that ultimately worked in South Africa would also succeed in bringing Israel to heel. No wonder so many Israel backers have already gotten out in front of that movement and passed anti-BDS laws in 37 states.

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, the authors of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict, published by OR Books in November 2022. Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and the author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher for CODEPINK and the author of Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq

On Friday, December 8, the UN Security Council met under Article 99 for only the fourth time in the UN’s history. Article 99 is an emergency provision that allows the Secretary General to summon the Council to respond to a crisis that “threatens the maintenance of international peace and security.” The previous occasions were the Belgian invasion of the Congo in 1960, the hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 and Lebanon’s Civil War in 1989.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council that he invoked Article 99 to demand an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza because “we are at a breaking point,” with a “high risk of the total collapse of the humanitarian support system in Gaza.” The United Arab Emirates drafted a ceasefire resolution that quickly garnered 97 cosponsors.

The World Food Program has reported that Gaza is on the brink of mass starvation, with 9 out of 10 people spending entire days with no food. In the two days before Guterres invoked Article 99, Rafah was the only one of Gaza’s five districts to which the UN could deliver any aid at all.

The Secretary General stressed that “The brutality perpetrated by Hamas can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people… International humanitarian law cannot be applied selectively. It is binding on all parties equally at all times, and the obligation to observe it does not depend on reciprocity.”

Mr. Guterres concluded, “The people of Gaza are looking into the abyss… The eyes of the world – and the eyes of history – are watching. It’s time to act.”

UN members delivered eloquent, persuasive pleas for the immediate humanitarian ceasefire that the resolution called for, and the Council voted thirteen to one, with the U.K. abstaining, to approve the resolution. But the one vote against by the United States, one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, killed the resolution, leaving the Council impotent to act as the Secretary General warned that it must.

This was the sixteenth U.S. Security Council veto since 2000 – and fourteen of those vetoes have been to shield Israel and/or U.S. policy on Israel and Palestine from international action or accountability. While Russia and China have vetoed resolutions on a variety of issues around the world, from Myanmar to Venezuela, there is no parallel for the U.S.’s extraordinary use of its veto primarily to provide exceptional impunity under international law for one other country.

The consequences of this veto could hardly be more serious. As Brazil’s UN Ambassador Sérgio França Danese told the Council, if the U.S. hadn’t vetoed a previous resolution that Brazil drafted on October 18, “thousands of lives would have been saved.” And as the Indonesian representative asked, “How many more must die before this relentless assault is halted? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000?”

Following the previous U.S. veto of a ceasefire at the Security Council, the UN General Assembly took up the global call for a ceasefire, and the resolution, sponsored by Jordan, passed by 120 votes to 14, with 45 abstentions. The 12 small countries who voted with the United States and Israel represented less than 1% of the world’s population.

The isolated diplomatic position in which the United States found itself should have been a wake-up call, especially coming a week after a Data For Progress poll found that 66% of Americans supported a ceasefire, while a Mariiv poll found that only 29% of Israelis supported an imminent ground invasion of Gaza.

After the United States again slammed the Security Council door in Palestine’s face on December 8, the desperate need to end the massacre in Gaza returned to the UN General Assembly on December 12. An identical resolution to the one the U.S. vetoed in the Security Council was approved by a vote of 153 to 10, with 33 more yes votes than the one in October. While General Assembly resolutions are not binding, they do carry political weight, and this one sends a clear message that the international community is disgusted by the carnage in Gaza.

Another powerful instrument the world can use to try to compel an end to this massacre is the Genocide Convention, which both Israel and the United States have ratified. It only takes one country to bring a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under the Convention, and, while cases can drag on for years, the ICJ can take preliminary measures to protect the victims in the meantime.

On January 23, 2020, the Court did exactly that in a case brought by The Gambia against Myanmar, alleging genocide against its Rohingya minority. In a brutal military campaign in late 2017, Myanmar massacred tens of thousands of Rohingya and burnt down dozens of villages. 740,000 Rohingyas fled into Bangladesh, and a UN-backed fact-finding mission found that the 600,000 who remained in Myanmar “may face a greater threat of genocide than ever.”

China vetoed a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Security Council, so The Gambia, itself recovering from 20 years of repression under a brutal dictatorship, submitted a case to the ICJ under the Genocide Convention.

That opened the door for a unanimous ruling by 17 judges at the ICJ that Myanmar must prevent genocide against the Rohingya, as the Genocide Convention required. The ICJ issued that ruling as a preventive measure, the equivalent of a preliminary injunction in a domestic court, even though its final ruling on the merits of the case might be many years away. It also ordered Myanmar to file a report with the Court every six months to detail how it is protecting the Rohingya, signaling serious ongoing scrutiny of Myanmar’s conduct.

So which country will step up to bring an ICJ case against Israel under the Genocide Convention? Activists are already discussing that with a number of countries. Roots Action and World Beyond War have created an action alert that you can use to send messages to 10 of the most likely candidates (South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Jordan, Ireland, Belize, Turkïye, Bolivia, Honduras and Brazil).

There has also been increasing pressure on the International Criminal Court to take up the case against Israel. The ICC has been quick to investigate Hamas for war crimes, but has been dragging its feet on investigating Israel. After a recent visit to the region, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan was not allowed by Israel to enter Gaza, and he was criticized by Palestinians for visiting areas attacked by Hamas on October 7, but not visiting the hundreds of illegal Israeli settlements, checkpoints and refugee camps in the occupied West Bank.

However, as long as the world is faced with the United States’ tragic and debilitating abuse of institutions the rest of the world depends on to enforce international law, the economic and diplomatic actions of individual countries may have more impact than their speeches in New York.

While historically there have been about two dozen countries that have not recognized Israel, in the past two months, Belize and Bolivia have severed ties with Israel, while others–Bahrain, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Jordan and Turkey–have withdrawn their ambassadors.

Other countries are trying to have it both ways–condemning Israel publicly but maintaining their economic interests. At the UN Security Council, Egypt explicitly accused Israel of genocide and the U.S. of obstructing a ceasefire.

And yet Egypt’s long-standing partnership with Israel in the blockade of Gaza and its continuing role, even today, in restricting the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza through its own border crossings, make it complicit in the genocide it condemns. If it means what it says, it must open its border crossings to all the humanitarian aid that is needed, end its cooperation with the Israeli blockade and reevaluate its obsequious and compromised relationships with Israel and the United States.

Qatar, which has worked hard to negotiate an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza, was eloquent in its denunciation of Israeli genocide in the Security Council. But Qatar was speaking on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under the so-called Abraham accords, the sheikhs of Bahrain and the UAE have turned their backs on Palestine to sign on to a toxic brew of self-serving commercial relations and hundred million dollar arms deals with Israel.

 In New York, the UAE sponsored the latest failed Security Council resolution, and its representative declared, “The international system is teetering on the brink. For this war signals that might makes right, that compliance with international humanitarian law depends on the identity of the victim and the perpetrator.”

And yet neither the UAE nor Bahrain has renounced their Abraham deals with Israel, nor their roles in U.S. “might makes right” policies that have wreaked havoc in the Middle East for decades. Over a thousand US Air Force personnel and dozens of U.S. warplanes are still based at the Al-Dhafra Airbase in Abu Dhabi, while Manama in Bahrain, which the U.S. Navy has used as a base since 1941, remains the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Many experts compare apartheid Israel to apartheid South Africa. Speeches at the UN may have helped to bring down South Africa’s apartheid regime, but change didn’t come until countries around the world embraced a global campaign to economically and politically isolate it.

The reason Israel’s die-hard supporters in the United States have tried to ban, or even criminalize, the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is not that it is illegitimate or anti-semitic. It is precisely because boycotting, sanctioning and divesting from Israel may be an effective strategy to help bring down its genocidal, expansionist and unaccountable regime.

U.S. Alternate Representative to the U.N. Robert Wood told the Security Council that there is a “fundamental disconnect between the discussions that we have been having in this chamber and the realities on the ground” in Gaza, implying that only Israeli and U.S. views of the conflict deserve to be taken seriously.

But the real disconnect at the root of this crisis is the one between the isolated looking-glass world of U.S. and Israeli politics and the real world that is crying out for a ceasefire and justice for Palestinians.

While Israel, with U.S. bombs and howitzer shells, is killing and maiming thousands of innocent people, the rest of the world is appalled by these crimes against humanity. The grassroots clamor to end the massacre keeps building, but global leaders must move beyond non-binding votes and investigations to boycotting Israeli products, putting an embargo on weapons sales, breaking diplomatic relations and other measures that will make Israel a pariah state on the world stage.

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  1. marcel

    Let me cite Craig Murray on why nobody invokes the Genocide Convention:

    But to the global 1% whose interests rule the world, no number of dead Palestinians makes any real difference to their interests. On the other hand, the ramifications for the international system of wealth concentration, if western political elites start to be held accountable for their crimes, are uncertain and therefore carry more risk. This is particularly the concern of ruling classes of both Western and Arab states.

    It may sound astonishing, but to the world’s diplomats the enormity of a genocide appears less troubling than the enormity of doing something about it.

    1. Aurelien

      As a former diplomat, Murray presumably knows that you can’t “invoke” the Genocide Convention, except insofar as under Art 8, any contracting party may “call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide,” which has effectively been done already. In addition, under Art 9, “Disputes” (only) “between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.” But all the ICJ can do is to give an opinion, and that’s it. The Convention is about the responsibility of states to prevent and punish genocide in areas where they have jurisdiction, it’s nothing to do with the discourse of “accountability,” which would be about personal criminal responsibility.

      All this seems to me just noise, to try to give western publics the idea that there is something they can actually do, when there isn’t. The only way you can stop this war is by force or the threat of force, and that’s it. Sanctions against Israel would not help, (and anyway I know there are many people who believe that they would be illegal anyway, if not approved by the Security Council.) The South African example is completely different: sanctions, disinvestment etc. played a small role in isolating the middle-class white community, often English-speakers, but that’s not where the power was. It was mainly a way of making foreign opponents of apartheid feel they were dong something. It was the costs and unpopularity of the war in Angola, the end of the Cold War and the widespread violence in the country itself that made the apartheid regime willing to negotiate, and even then all they had in mind was a few cosmetic concessions: they were outsmarted horribly by the ANC is the subsequent negotiations.

      1. Carolinian

        I agree with you and as for

        Many experts compare apartheid Israel to apartheid South Africa

        Israel has vastly more soft power than South Africa ever had. After all these years the colony has reverse colonized the minds of the Western ruling class such that both parties in our Congress march in lock step even as polls say the American people want the killing to stop. We hear endlessly about how appeasement gave rise to Hitler but the same must be said about people like Bibi who Biden has just described as his bosom buddy.

        So the whole thing is really a crisis of democracy and the notion that the general public can keep the powerful in check. And as Craig Murray says that’s because the elites secretly approve of “mowing the lawn” and throwing the plebes against the wall to show who is boss.

        Long term however people like Bibi do not serve the interest of either Israel or the elites who eventually must face a reckoning for what is a kind of madness. Short term the horror continues. Only counter violence will make it stop.

        1. HastalaVictoria

          Not totally sure this is true.The UK boycott of SA sporting teams and disruption especially with regard to rugby and cricket and Hain campaign raised the vile profile of SA sky high in the 60’/ 70s and kept it there for decades.Israel has a long way to go before reaching the same level of condemnation.Sport is a bigger lever than you think

          1. Carolinian

            Until the US Congress and others pass a law banning sports boycotts. These would no doubt be as un-Constitutional as those anti-BDS state laws that are still on the books.

            But I do think the attitudes on this issue are changing. Bibi’s Gaza high profile is a big mistake if he cares about mistakes.

      2. Hastalavictoria

        I guess the point that I am trying to make is that while economic boycott may not have made any great difference the sporting and music boycotts (anyone want to play in Sun City?) Hit the average Joe inc the street very quickly and lasted, wrapping the SA regime in a cloak of S*** that it wore for decades.

        1. Aurelien

          The economic and sporting boycotts made people feel isolated but not necessarily more moderate: indeed, white support for the National Party actually increased in the 1980s during the boycotts, as English-speakers began to vote for the traditional enemy in large numbers. After all, if your political posture is based on the assertion that South Africa is the target of a “total assault” directed from Moscow, then sanctions and boycotts are simply seen as part of that strategy, and are by definition proof of the ambition to overthrow the last Christian democracy in Africa, and replace it with a black Marxist dictatorship. The kind of people who were most affected politically by the boycotts were against the system anyway. (OK, maybe not rugby fans, but then most of those I met averaged about one original thought a week, if that.)

          Which is to say that in practical terms boycotts and sanctions tend to have the opposite effect from the one you intend, and I don’t think it will be any different with Israel.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            Or in other words, what didn’t work against South Africa and isn’t working against Russia won’t work against Israel either. Something else – a united Middle Eastern front or pressure from the American government – might. I don’t see the former and I doubt that what has been reported of the latter is at all serious. Maybe the public can influence the American government on this, but again I have some doubts…

            1. Polar Socialist

              I could see that knocking Israel out of Swift, freezing all assets abroad and imposing even half the sanctions Russia has been targeted with would collapse the Israeli economy in months, if nor in weeks.

      3. vao

        From all that is happening and discussed, as well as not being talked about and not taking place, I surmise that Palestinians are well on their way to meet a fate comparable to the Armenians in 1915-1920.

    2. JonnyJames

      I almost always agree with Craig Murray, his stance on the issues and his support for Julian Assange are exemplary.

      I also agree with Aurelien’s comment below, only BRUTE VIOLENCE can stop Israel at this point. BDS helps, but since the US will not allow economic blockade of Israel and the US unconditionally supports Israel financially, politically and militarily: if any significant military force is used against Israel, the US will intervene and escalation will be likely.,

      My concern, as usual, is that since Israel has the Samson Option and Hannibal Directive, and the US has the Wolfowitz Doctrine and Nuclear First Strike doctrine, that the conflict could escalate quickly and the law of unintended consequences could result in disaster on a global scale.

      One reason China, Russia, Iran etc do not do something to stop Israel, is the fear of an unhinged US escalating the conflict and the possibility of (limited? tactical?) nuclear exchange.

      It’s like the rest of the world is dealing with a bunch of bloody nutter with the finger on the nuclear trigger.

      I hope I am being hyperbolic here.

      1. John

        You are not being hyperbolic. Would that it were so. It seems sadly true that the Palestinians have no friends. The 1%, the so-called elites, which mostly means bloated plutocrats who assume money makes them important and wise can keep this up. Their running dogs in DC, Biden leading the pack, bounding and leaping for their treats,are only too happy to follow orders. They may discover that they have no friends either.

      2. Otto.Totto

        It definitely would not take a nuclear exchange to stop Israel’s operation in Gaza. Once Hamas surrenders or gets eliminated, the hostilities would magically disappear. But that is not something you are interested in. Your interest is BRUTE VIOLENCE against Israel which is pretty much what Hamas wants too. Basically you care about the Palestinians the same way Hamas does. With such friends who needs enemies.

    3. Otto.Totto

      Israel’s action in response to Oct 7 attacks were obviously predictable. The death toll among Palestinian civilians used as human shields was totally predictable. The amount of stench by the anti-semites of the world was well calculated and in many cases paid for. The Palestinians are the victims of the brutal game played by Hamas and its handlers. If anyone here cares about the Palestinians they should demand that Hamas surrenders immediately.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If anybody cared about Israel they would demand the expulsion of all hard-right liners and the ultra-Orthodox and make sure that they never served in any governmental job ever again above dog-catcher. It is these people who are ensuring that Israel becomes the pariah nation of the 21st century because what has been done in their name. People will never forget what Israel is doing right now – nor should they. And before I forget, the evidence is out that the majority of civilians killed on October 7th were killed by – wait for it – the IDF and the settlers and not Hamas at all. That Hannibal doctrine sucks.

        1. Otto.Totto

          “evidence is out that the majority of civilians killed on October 7th were killed by – wait for it – the IDF and the settlers and not Hamas at al…..”

          Seriously, I had better opinion about NC

  2. Acacia

    Dunno if Trump could muster it, but if he started talking serious support for a cease-fire in Gaza, tens of millions of Gen Z voters might pay attention. I’ve read there will be 41 million Gen Z eligible to vote in 2024, and 70% of them are disgusted with Biden’s “I’m a Zionist” policies. Biden’s poll numbers are already tanking and could be pushed into a tailspin.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Trump? His son in law, Jared Kushner once put up Benyamin Netanyahu at his place and even gave up his bed in the process,

      Don’t look to America for help when it comes to this genocide, it doesn’t matter who is in the White House, the result will either be slow or fast genocide. Only America’s implosion from within will solve the many crisises facing the world, and that’s still far away.

      1. JonnyJames

        True, Trump hates Palestinians and loves Israel just as much or more than anyone, he even moved the embassy at their request. Israel named streets and illegal Jewish settlement after DT

        Besides, the dude is mentally unhinged, and a serial liar, just like his buddies Bill and Hillary.

        Biden is a senile puppet at this point. The rest of the world must think Americans are straight evil, as we always “elect” genocidal, lawless tyrants.

      2. Acacia

        Yes, there’s Kushner, and I’ll admit it’s pretty difficult to shake the image of Trump at the Western Wall, wearing a yarmulke. But Trump has surprised many before and has a knack for saying what people want to hear. Hard to argue with your larger point about the implosion, tho.

  3. Polar Socialist

    Somewhat related: A rise in Hamas support (

    Not at all surprising Hamas is more popular among the Palestinians than ever before, while the Palestinian Authority/Abbas has lost all support and authority. As anyone with two functioning brain cells could have predicted, Israel is pushing the peace further away than ever before – maybe that was the plan.

    1. The Rev Kev

      This must be very uncomfortable for countries like Egypt. Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and so is considered radical and when they won power in Egypt, it was not that long before they were turfed out. So to have Hamas become popular through the Islamic world because they are one of the few organizations willing to walk it up to the Israelis is not something that they would be comfortable with. Maybe more so because some Islamic countries were signing up for the Abraham Accords which meant those countries were throwing the Palestinians under a bus.

      1. Otto.Totto

        Israel’s reaction to Oct 7 was totally predictable. Why don’t you believe that Hamas itself threw the Palestinians under a bus?

        1. plurabelle

          The abusive husband’s response – murdering the children – to his battered wife hitting him back was totally predictable. Why don’t you believe that the wife threw the children under a bus?

  4. Dissident Dreamer

    This is the best article on the Hamas uprising I’ve seen so far. It’s from The Nation but I’ve linked (hopefully) through Jewish Voice for Labour where I found it in the hope that some people will look into them further.

    They’re a wonderful group of socialist anti Zionist Jews who got together to support Jeremy Corbyn when he miraculously became Labour leader. Virtually if not actually every member has since been expelled or indefinitely suspended from the Starmer “Labour” party. I have no connection with them but they were a tremendous help to me getting through the black years of “the Labour antisemitism crisis”.

    As to the Codepink article I see the ICJ option as a hopeful option. Craig Murray has been pushing it for a couple of weeks now and he sees it as a slam dunk and as a former UK ambassador (fired and smeared for opposing torture) and international law expert he should know. He too deserves more attention after being imprisoned recently on totally spurious charges and now being investigated on ridiculous terrorism grounds.

    Oh dear. From the preview it seems my link has gone wrong. Still it looks like it might still work.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I’ll just replace whatever is in the link box with the link itself. If it makes the text more readable, I try to put the links title or similar as the link text, and add the host in parenthesis after the link so people can see what they are clicking.

          Israel is losing this war (

  5. Even keel

    Does anyone have an update on the peace proposals by Hamas? I was wondering if I had missed one. I hadn’t heard anything. I would expect the peace proposal would have to include assurances, credible to the Israelis, of no further attacks from Gazan territory by its elected government (Hamas) and arrest and trial of Gazans not asssociated with the government who nonetheless are suspected of attacks.

    Has a proposal like this been made? I suppose if some country wanted to stand surety for Hamas, they could make it and say they would take over and ensure it happens.

    Such a proposal would reveal to us Israel’s real goals here. If it is really demonic genocide, then they would reject the proposal. But if the actions are merely in pursuit of the goal having no more attacks come from Gaza, then they would accept one with sufficient guarantees.

    1. ambrit

      Israel early on removed any credible parameters for a Palestinian ruling party to adhere to and stay in power for the long run. Israeli policies like “mowing the grass” and restrictions on the import and export of vital supplies made a mockery of any Palestinian pretensions to self rule. Gaza became a big open air prison, run by the prisoners according to the rules set down by the jailors.
      For years, Hamas basically sat and did little to challenge this status quo, in a real, concrete sense. The Palestinians in the Gaza and the West Bank were treated like farm animals, up to and including their slaughter. That was the “Peace” that Israel imposed, by official policy. Under the terms of this “Peace,” the Palestinians could be, and were, ignored by the international community. Finally, Hamas ‘did something.’ And now the ‘secret’ goals of the Ultras, who are running Israel at present, are being revealed: genocide and expulsion for the Palestinians.
      At root, one cannot negotiate or make peace with fanatics. Here, we have a perfect testing ground for the clash of competing fanatic movements. In the long run, one or the other, perhaps both, groups will have to go extinct.
      My basic ‘quick and nasty’ solution to this problem would be to nuke Jerusalem. Then perhaps we’ll have another two thousand years of relative calm before the Temple rebuilding project can be resumed.

      1. Otto.Totto

        Do you think farm animals have the parliament, schools, hospitals, places of worship and millions upon millions of financials aid? Your call to nuke the capital of Israel is a direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

    2. NN Cassandra

      I think it resides in the same place as the peace proposal from Israel/West, which credibly spells out how all the Israel/West people responsible for attacks on Palestinians will be arrested and trialed.

      1. Otto.Totto

        Hamas is clearly responsible for the suffering of the civilians in Gaza. By barricading themselves in the tunnels and by holding hostages Hamas aims to maximize the death toll among the Palestinians. This is done to get more support from people like you.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Ahem. Pretty sure that all that genocide and mass murdering of children is all on the side of Israel. The Netanyahu government is coming right out and saying that they are doing this on purpose and they intend to ethnically cleanse the Gaza strip as well. And Hamas does not just stay underground but have been coming up and fighting the IDF too and have been doing an impressive job of it as well. As I said in a comment a long time ago, the Israelites came back to Israel to be closer to their god – and ended up being further away from him than they have ever been before.

          1. Otto.Totto

            Your claim about what “The Netanyahu government is coming right out and saying…” is unsubstantiated to say the least.

            1. The Rev Kev

              HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! C’mon man. Pick up a newspaper sometimes or trying using the internet. And pull the other one. It plays Jingle Bells. And just what the hell do you think his reference to the Amalek is all about.

        2. NN Cassandra

          IMO it’s for the Palestinians to decide who is responsible for the bombs being dropped on their heads and land stolen from them.

          However, if your beef is with Hamas, why don’t you go inside the tunnels and resolve the matter with them directly, in safe distance from civilians, instead of killing said civilians en mass and hoping (?) that Hamas, despite all the bad press, are the saintly boys who will commit suicide just on the promise that perhaps after that you will consider stopping the killing of civilians?

          1. Otto.Totto

            Can Palestinians decide anything in the presence of Hamas? Anyone who shows any inclination to cooperate with Israel is brutalized by Hamas. I think the majority of the Palestinians in Gaza would want to see it prosper alongside of Israel. Same is true about the people in Lebanon.

            No army would ever fight in the tunnels. IDF is doing what it can to minimize the casualties. Hiding in the tunnels under the civilians objects is the tactics of Hamas to maximize the casualties among civilians.

            1. The Rev Kev

              How can people prosper in the biggest open-air prison in the world and who are kept on a starvation diet while the IDF goes in to ‘mow the lawn’ from time to time. Would you have expected the Warsaw Ghetto in WW2 to also prosper? As for Lebanon, it took near two decades for them to kick the Israelis out who wanted to settle that land. And Hezbollah is the only reason that the Israelis do not dare go back in.

              1. Otto.Totto

                I do not see any malnourished Palestinians anywhere. Only the aggressive ones. Say North Korea looks much more like a concentration camp than any of the Palestinian territories.

                The reality is that Hezbollah took over Lebanon. The notion that Israel wants to settle Lebanon is a delusion.

            2. NN Cassandra

              Can Palestinians decide anything in the presence of current and all the previous Israeli governments? It’s not like Israel wasn’t happy to prop up Hamas for its own purposes, right?

              Hamas seems to be willing to fight in the tunnels, so right there you have at least one suitable army. Anyway, laws of war aren’t canceled just because your enemy doesn’t agree to fight on terrain of your choosing and for your convenience, and you are afraid you will lose if you attempt to go mano a mano with them.

              1. Otto.Totto

                Palestinians can decide anything as long as they drop the goal of destroying Israel.

                What have you done to make sure that Red cross gets access to hostages? Probably ripped down the posters or something of that nature along with other laws of war experts.

                1. plurabelle

                  Yes! They decided, democratically, to elect Hamas both in Gaza and the West Bank, with international observers who called the elections free and fair. Support for Hamas has doubled in recent weeks. So respect democracy, respect the decision of the Palestinians, and recognise their legitimate government.

                  Palestine – the only democracy in the “Middle East”!

            3. Valerie in Australia

              “IDF is doing what it can to minimize the casualties?” “Anyone wanting to cooperate with Israel is brutalized by Hamas?” Do you listen to yourself? The only people brutalising innocent people are the IDF under instruction from the Israeli government.

              You might have a point of view that you would like to convey, Otto, but sadly, you can’t convince anyone of your side of the issue if you are not dealing with the obvious facts. The article recommended by Dissident Dreamer would be a good start.

  6. cousinAdam

    I find this post disappointing in that it mostly is about cataloging the impotence of diplomatic measures to bring the rogue US/Israel campaign of extermination to a meaningful halt. A two sentence paragraph mentioning the obstruction faced by the BDS movement (the one ray of hope for effective action) hints (to me) that the authors fear incurring the wrath of the almighty AIPAC lobby. Can anyone point me to a link where concerned people can help support a BDS movement? We the People don’t have to surrender to impotence.

    1. Vicky Cookies

      It’s one of the more difficult bits of knowledge to come to terms with. When you dive into any one of the U.S. empire’s war crimes, and begin to try and understand what is influencing the decisions made, and what you can do about it, the more you learn, the greater the sense of powerlessness. Knowledge, contrary to popular belief, is not power. In this sense it’s a bit like learning about the cosmos.

      It’s helpful to maintain a historical perspective: what responsibility do you ascribe to the average citizen of, say, Rome for the wars of their government? I get that we in the U.S. are thought to live in a democracy, where the opinions of the majority are supposed to have an effect on policy, but they don’t, especially in the world of foreign policy/imperialism.

      Opinions vary on consumer boycotts. I support BDS because it’s not illegal in my state (yet), but as Aurelian mentioned higher in the comments, the premise of the movement itself is shaky: the two apartheid systems are not parallel; South African whites didn’t want to kill or displace their racialized underclass; the Israelis do. Settler-colonialism is, to me, a superior framework for understanding this; genocides of the natives abound in the historical record of that particular method.

      As far as material support for BDS, will tell your their current targets. Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine seem to be the biggest organizers of protests and actions nationally; I suggest getting involved with them. The scale of protest since October, the mobilization of moral outrage, probably shifted the rhetoric and may have narrowed the parameters of action in which officials were acting. The powerlessness I mentioned earlier does not have to continue, but organization, and reasonable people being involved are needed.

      1. cousinAdam

        Dat’s what I’m talking‘bout! Thank you and Kouros below for that link. I appreciate Aurelien’s commentary (and yours!) about the differences with S. Africa but sport teams, celebrities and trendy apparel makers refusing to do business with an apartheid/ genocidal regime carries a lot of weight.

        1. Vicky Cookies

          That powers-that-be in Israel and America are terrified of BDS, to the point of making it illegal, makes one hopeful for its potential effect. Money is speech, we are told, unless you refuse to pay for a genocide. Speaking of which, I know Quakers do tax-boycotts, and are rarely jailed for it; perhaps this could become more widespread.

          General question here, and I am looking for answers: for those on NC who hold T-bills in their investment portfolios, what relationship do you see it having to U.S. military spending? My understanding on this is incomplete; i haven’t worked it out mentally or morally, and so don’t really have an opinion. I can see the perspective that benefitting from the government debt of a state, especially the U.S., is a way of financing its deficit spending, substantially, in this case, on global military control. I’m open to learning different views on this, and invite them!

  7. Camelotkidd

    Professor John Mearsheimer provides a blistering condemnation of the ongoing Israeli genocide and sets a precedent for unified opposition. Ask your Congresscritter–have you no decency?
    “What Israel is doing in Gaza to the Palestinian civilian population – with the support of the Biden administration – is a crime against humanity that serves no meaningful military purpose. As J-Street, an important organization in the Israel lobby, puts it, ‘The scope of the unfolding humanitarian disaster and civilian casualties is nearly unfathomable.’
    As I watch this catastrophe for the Palestinians unfold, I am left with one simple question for Israel’s leaders, their American defenders, and the Biden administration: have you no decency?”

    1. JonnyJames

      Yes, but America is a “democracy”, we always “elect” racist genocidal maniacs like DT and JB. Another example, Bush Jr. and Cheney are lauded as great men and they have used their positions to make even more money for themselves. Instead of prison, the US rewards war criminals and traitors.

  8. flora

    When Bernie goes on a MSM TV news show and in one breathe says B must make Bibi understand this is not acceptable, and in the next breathe says a ceasefire isn’t possible with hammas, wtf is he really saying? Make Bibi understand…what? B could end this right now if he wanted to. Threaten to withdraw continued aide. (What a disappointment, Bernie.)

    adding: Whitney Webb thinks Isr’s game is to expand Gaza disaster into a wider, regional war that will result in the US fighting Iran on Isr’s behalf. Sounds crazy, I know. Crazy seems to be a plan at the moment.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The Gaza war is making a lot of people and institutions undress in public and showing what they are really all about with what they say and do. And once you defend genocide, there is no going back. You have shown people what you are really like and what you believe in.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Here in Germany the center-left / center-right consensus reaction to Gaza — “Because of history, it’s Germany’s sacred duty to support even this genocide unconditionally” — is actually making a big chunk of the allegedly most extreme and dangerous elements on the political spectrum look like the sane, moral ones.

    2. Acacia

      Crazy, yes, but then Israel has form, e.g., the USS Liberty incident.

      And not to sound too foily, but there was also Bibi’s infamous comment that “we are benefitting” from the 9/11 attacks.

        1. hk

          In spite of not being an ally–because they have no commitment to support us. This is a bad deal that anyone should be able to see.

  9. carolina concerned

    Good observation cousinAdam. We know that Israel would not be engaged in this atrocity and/or would not be able to maintain it without the backing and active support from the US. Given that, the fact is that Israel will most likely continue to torture and murder women, children, elderly, and handicapped civilians until Gaza is effectively prepared for Israeli settlements. That is a reality that is not going to change.
    At the same time Biden, Blinken, and other Biden representatives continue to refer to Hamas actions and to excuse by omission Israeli actions. It is disturbing that our Democratic president is speaking to Democratic voters in the same way Trump speaks to maga voters. Neither party has any respect for the voters.
    I would hope that Democrats would decide to boycott voting for Biden during the primaries. A boycott during the primaries would not support Trump in any way. I would be nice if it could be part of sending a message to Democratic insiders that we cannot support anyone who supports the torture and murder of women, children, elderly, and handicapped civilians.

    1. cousinAdam

      Thank you. Our presidential electoral process has been turned into a sh*tshow at least since Citizens United. This sure as hell ain’t “my parents Democratic Party” ! I imagine many Labour Party members feel the same after Jeremy Corbin was tarred and feathered as an anti-semite. The unipolar Hegemon with its “rules-based order” is spoiling for a hot war to show the world who’s boss. “Kick their ass and take their gas” works until it doesn’t. Coastal cities need to be making plans since yesterday. I’ve yet to hear any practical plans to restore the glacial and polar ice sheets. Sigh.

    2. Valerie in Australia

      I think Step One is to STOP thinking the Democratic Party has a different foreign policy from the Republican Party. They both love war and are taking their marching orders from the MIC. After Ralph Nader, I gave up on Third Parties because there was so much effort on the part of the Duopoly to make sure they couldn’t get a foothold. But now, now I think this might be their moment.

      Jill Stein is talking peace (which is going to threaten the MIC – so her supporters need to be prepared to have her back). America is sick to death of these wars and a Congress that can’t find the money for anything other than war – and those young people out protesting in the streets and posting all over TikTok are giving some discouraged older folk like me a little hope. They won’t hesitate to vote outside the duopoly and they don’t read the MSM or are in any way influenced by it. If we can get beyond our Lesser of Two Evils habit, we should join them. It is the only solution I can see for getting back on track.

      We might be too late but if not, this will most likely be our last chance.

  10. David in Friday Harbor

    This entire discussion misses that the U.S. could stop the ethnic cleansing of Palestine today by cutting-off the mindless and massive transfer of armaments and funds to the state of Israel that serves no national interest other than corrupt elite enrichment. Rather than put an end to the suffering, the U.S. President, Vice President, and Secretary of State are continuously subverting U.S. law and international institutions in order to stoke the Zionist war machine. We learned after the BLM and Jan 6 movements of 2020 that under its system of Inverted Totalitarianism, the U.S. government will not respond to pressure from its ordinary citizens of any way, shape, or kind.

    The U.S. is a rogue totalitarian state. It won’t be easy at first thanks to the hegemony of the U.S. banking system and the dollar, but the community of nations must unite to impose a regime of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the United States. The Emperor Has No Clothes. Without international investment and imported manufactured goods, the U.S. ability to project violence beyond its borders will collapse.

    1. David B Harrison

      The only way to ecape from what you are talking about is something Morris Berman calls “Dual Process”(withdrawing from a society but still living in that society). The Amish and Mennonites are the best examples. Create Dual Process communities based on solidarity and fellowship.

    2. Vicky Cookies

      We’ve been hearing complaints for a while about everything being made in China, or elsewhere, with corresponding calls to ‘buy American’. It isn’t so much international investment which keeps the illusion of a functioning society going through flows of consumption, but international labor, which produces the products consumed.

      We may look at the top exports of the the U.S. (oil and cars), and the areas of life in which necessities are provided for by labor (everything else), and the origin of the value therein, and conclude that without the compelled compliance of the working class internationally, here meaning outside the U.S., the emperor quite literally has no clothes.

      Mr. Harrison’s reply gives us, well, me, at least, something to look into seriously!

      1. David in Friday Harbor

        I have already begun to adopt as much of a “Dual Process” lifestyle as is practicable without resorting to draft animals. It is a lot more difficult than memes about the Amish might lead one to believe.

        My concern is that the Galtian ”strike” of investment in the American proletariat makes Americans alarmingly dependent on the international working class for many of the necessities of daily life. Their labor can be easily withheld or withdrawn if the international community finally gets together and imposes BDS on the sower of chaos.

        I have no idea how I would be able to read or respond to the Naked Capitalism Comments without an interdependent series of hardware devices and software that are produced offshore — let alone where my local hospital will source a supply of masks, medical devices, and medicines!

        1. David B Harrison

          You are absolutely corresct. We are dependent on the society we live in for so many things. So we have to recreate community instead of just individualistic solutions. I was born and raised on a farm (and still live on that farm) and know exactly what that life entails. When I use the Amish and Mennonite as examples I do not mean that we have to live their exact lifestyle. I have no desire to live an austere life. It’s all about moderation. I have chosen a relatively minimalist existence. But because of me being partially disabled I can’t build the things I need by myself. If we had strong communities then disability would not be an issue.

    3. LilD

      I don’t think that has been left out at all

      There is a difference between the technical solution, cutting off US support for Israel’s campaign, vs
      The political solution, which seems hopeless to me, of getting the government to stop funding genocide

      Who is in charge?
      Not voters.

      The donors and oligarchs interests determine policy

  11. John Merryman

    What drives Israel is ultimately the religious belief in God’s authority.
    The problem is that monotheism is logically flawed. The universal is the elemental, not the ideal, so a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement from which we fell. The light shining through the film than the story playing out on it.
    Democracy and republicanism originated in pantheistic cultures. Ancient Israel was a monarchy. Rome adopted Christianity as state religion as the Empire was rising from the ashes of the Republic. The Big Guy Rules.
    When the West went back to democracy and republicanism, it required separation of church and state, culture and civics.
    Unless the sky opens and a stairway to Heaven descends, Israel is some tribesmen turning back the clock two thousand years at the point of a gun.
    It will work until the West is fully bankrupt and can’t afford the handouts.

    1. Valerie in Australia

      I don’t know if it is a genuine belief in God’s authority of a genuine belief in their historical identity. According to the Times of Israel, 45% of the Jews are non-religious.

  12. Otto.Totto

    Arab unity was much stronger in 1973 when Iran wasn’t a factor. The Saudis are not threatened by Israel. They are way too wealthy and powerful. They are threatened by Iran politically, economically and militarily. They have a lot to lose if Iran gets stronger and nothing to win if Israel gets weaker.

  13. marku52

    Well, “international law” certainly has been revealed as a complete waste of alphabet letters. Any “law” that condemns Russia for a few incidental deaths and ignores the intentional murder of thousands is shown to be hypocritical and pointless.

    No one will pay it the slightest mind in the future. A sick joke.

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