From our Daily Report:

New York City

Google fires employees who protested Israel contract

Google fired 28 workers after dozens of employees participated in sit-ins at the company’s offices in New York City and Sunnyvale, Calif., to protest a cloud computing contract with the Israeli government. Several were arrested at both locations. Tensions had been building between management and activist employees over Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion joint Google-Amazon deal to supply the Israeli government with cloud services, including artificial intelligence. Google employees affiliated with the group that organized the sit-ins, No Tech for Apartheid, said in a statement that the firings were “a flagrant act of retaliation.” The use of artificial intelligence to generate potential targets appears to have contributed to the destructive nature of the current war on the Gaza Strip, an investigation by progressive Israeli website +972 recently revealed. (Photo: Q Sakamaki/The Village Sun)

Marek Edelman

Marek Edelman: Jewish hero, anti-Zionist

In Episode 222 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg marks the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by reviewing the new documentary on Jewish armed struggle against the Nazis, Resistance—They Fought Back. A nearly forgotten element of this struggle was the consciously anti-Zionist politics of some of the resistance leaders—most notably Jewish Combat Organization subcommander Marek Edelman, who was the last surviving leader of the Ghetto Uprising when he died in his native Poland in 2009. Edelman was a follower of the General Jewish Labor Bund, which rejected the colonization of Palestine in favor of fighting for a dignified and secure place for Jews within Europe This history is especially critical at this moment in light of credible accusations that the self-proclaimed Jewish State is committing genocide in Gaza, and propagandistic efforts to cynically conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Image: New Jewish Resistance)


US vetoes Palestine bid for full UN membership

The US vetoed a resolution to approve Palestine’s application for full membership in the United Nations. The resolution before the Security Council was put forward by Algeria, and received 12 votes in favor—more than the required nine. Two countries, the UK and Switzerland, abstained. The US defended its veto, claiming that unilateral recognition at the UN would jeopardize the two-state solution. Palestine’s representative at the UN, Riyad Mansour, expressed determination, saying the US veto “will not break our will.” He added: “The State of Palestine is inevitable. It is real. Perhaps they see it as far away, but we see it as near, and we are the faithful.” (Image: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr)

North Africa
Khalifa Haftar

War crimes suits against Libya’s Haftar dismissed

A US judge dismissed a group of civil lawsuits accusing Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar of war crimes. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she had no jurisdiction to preside over a case concerning crimes committed in Libya—even though Haftar has US citizenship and lived for more than 20 years in the DC suburbs of northern Virginia. In the suits, first filed in 2019 under the Torture Victim Protection Act, the plaintiffs charged that family members were killed in bombardments conducted by Haftar’s forces on civilian areas of Tripoli that year. Plaintiffs noted that Haftar’s extensive properties in Virginia could have been used to compensate the survivors. The head of the Libyan-American Alliance, Issam Omeish, expressed his regret over the court’s decision, calling it a setback in the groups’ work seeking justice and accountability for rights abuses in Libya’s civil war. (Photo: Haftar with US embassy ChargĂ© d’Affaires Leslie Ordeman and USAF Lt. Gen. John Lamontagne, January 2023. Via Wikimedia Commons)


Iran, Hezbollah threaten Argentina: Milei

The Argentine government of far-right President Javier Milei announced that it has placed its borders on alert due to potential infiltration of operatives linked to Iran and Hezbollah. There have long been concerns about a Hezbollah presence in the Triborder Region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. But Interior Minister Patricia Bullrich in making the announcement this time emphasized a supposed threat from Bolivia. Following years of closer ties, including security cooperation, Bolivia and Iran signed a formal defense pact in July 2023. The deal was said to inlcude an Iranian pledge to provide Bolivia with drones for narcotics enforcement, but the terms were secretive, with both Argentina and the Bolivian opposition demanding clarity on the details. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)


Belarus: dissident rock band gets correctional labor

A district court in Minsk sentenced a dissident Belarusian rock band to two and a half years of correctional labor after members were convicted of participation in group actions that violated “public order.” The three members of the band, Nizkiz, have been behind bars since their arrest in January for their participation in anti-government protests in 2020. On top of their sentence of correctional labor, the three were also added to the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ list of extremists. The 2020 protests erupted after President Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term in office through evident fraud. Nizkiz released a song entitled “Rules,” which became an anthem of the protest movement. The band also filmed a music video at one of the demonstrations. Belarusian rights organizations have declared the band members political prisoners. (Image via Bandcamp)

The Caucasus

Russia guilty of rights violations in Georgia conflict

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Russia’s occupation of two breakaway regions in Georgia systematically violated human rights. Georgia initially brought its case against Russia in August 2018, exactly 10 years after Russia invaded and began occupying the two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia also established military bases in those areas and a border patrol to secure an “administrative boundary line” (ABL) around the regions. The process of “borderization” blocked free travel across the ABL, enacting a heavy toll on those living along the line. Villagers lost access to farmland, water sources, and means of income. In some cases, families were separated. Georgian Minister of Justice Rati Bregadze celebrated the court’s decision, calling the judgment an important step toward the ultimate goal of achieving the “complete de-occupation” of Georgia. (Map: PLC)


Germany: ISIS suspect arrested for war crimes

The German Federal Criminal Police arrested a suspect identified as Sohail A, said to be a former member of the Syrian insurgent group Liwa Jund al-Rahman and the Islamic State. Both are designated “terrorist organizations” by the German government, making membership an offense under the Criminal Code. Sohail A is also accused of participating in war crimes including forced displacement. Liwa Jund al-Rahman, or Brigade of the Soldiers of the Merciful God, carried out a 2013 “cleansing operation” in Deir ez-Zor province, in which Shi’ite residents were forcibly expelled. According to the German Prosecutor General, Sohail A glorified the operation on social media platforms as part of the group’s propaganda department. (Photo via Syria Call)

Extinction Rebellion

Climate protesters shut down The Hague

Climate protestors who attempted to create a road blockade at The Hague were detained by Dutch police. Among those detained was prominent climate activist Greta Thunberg. Protestors took to the streets to oppose fossil fuel subsidies, and especially the Dutch government’s tax concessions for companies such as Royal Dutch Shell. Hundreds of demonstrators marched from The Hague city center to a field next to the A12 highway, a main artery through the Netherlands, which some then tried to block with their bodies. The protest, organized by Extinction Rebellion, was part of an international campaign against fossil fuel subsidies in Europe. Simultaneous demonstrations also took place as part of the campaign in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK. (Photo: Extinction Rebellion)

Southeast Asia

Burma: Karen rebels seize strategic border town

The Karen National Union (KNU) said that it will establish its own administrative mechanism in territory recently captured from Burma’s military in and around the critical trade hub of Myawaddy, on the border with Thailand. The KNU has several departments in its governance structure, including those for health, education, foreign affairs and defense, in territories it controls in seven districts across southeastern Burma, including in Karen (Kayin) and Mon states and Bago and Tanintharyi regions. The junta has lost control of several towns on the border with China to other rebel armies in recent months, but the loss of Myawaddy is a special blow, as it is the transfer point for most of Burma’s overland trade with Thailand. (Map: PCL)


Pressure mounts for arms embargo on Israel

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, A/HRC/55/L.30, reiterating the Security Council’s call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza—and further calling for an embargo and prevention of the supply of weapons to Israel by UN Member States. Simultaneously, 40 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives signed a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to cease arms transfers to Israel in the wake of the air-strike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers in Gaza. Meanwhile in Germany, human rights lawyers filed a motion in the Berlin Administrative Court to halt the Federal Republic’s arms exports to Israel. The lawyers claim that the German government has committed the crime of aiding and abetting in the genocide of the Palestinian people living in Gaza by continuing to supply Israel with arms. (Photo: hosnysalah/Pixabay via Jurist)

Planet Watch

Podcast: further thoughts on the common toad

In Episode 221 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg continues the Spring ritual from his old WBAI program, the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade (which he lost due to his political dissent), of reading the George Orwell essay “Some Thoughts on the Common Toad“—which brilliantly predicted ecological politics when it was published way back in April 1946. The Social Ecology of Murray Bookchin today informs a radical response to the global climate crisis, emphasizing self-organized action at the local and municipal levels as world leaders dither, proffer techno-fix solutions, or consciously obstruct progress. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo: National Wildlife Federation)

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Last week the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) released a declaration, setting out a new structure for the autonomous indigenous communities in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. Uri Gordon of the British anarchist journal Freedom spoke to Bill Weinberg, a longtime radical journalist in New York City, for insight into this change and its significance. Weinberg’s book about the Zapatistas, Homage to Chiapas: The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico, was published by Verso in 2000. He spent much time in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico during the 1990s, covering the indigenous movements there, prominently including the Zapatistas. In recent decades he has reported widely from South America and is now completing a book about indigenous struggles in the Andes, particularly Peru. He continues to follow the Zapatistas and Chiapas closely, and covers world autonomy movements on his website CounterVortex. In this interview, he explores new pressures in the encroachment of narco-paramilitaries on their territories as a factor prompting the Zapatistas’ current re-organization, and how it actually represents a further localization and decentralization of the movement.

Siberia Pipeline


Over the past decades, Russia has sought to expand natural gas exports, necessitating construction of pipelines to Europe and China. In addition to profits for the Russian state, fossil fuel exports are a valuable tool for Moscow’s geopolitical ambitions. Since the start of the war in Ukraine in 2014 and the full-scale invasion in 2022, the economic and political stakes have skyrocketed. Russia”s green movements had previously been able to mobilize effective campaigns, winning concessions on pipeline routes through natural areas. Since 2014, however, they have come under increasingly harsh scrutiny from the Russian government, with organizations branded “undesirable” or declared “foreign agents.” Control of pipelines routes through Ukraine itself are also a goad of the Russian war effort. Eugene Simonov and Jennifer Castner of the Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group demonstrate how war fever and militarization threaten resources and ecology across the Russian Federation as well as in Ukraine.

Ukraine tribunal


This August, Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv hosted a large international conference entitled “Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine: Justice to be Served.” The conference was aimed at reinvigorating global efforts to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine—a crime which cannot be prosecuted under the current jurisdictional regime of the International Criminal Court. Many in Ukraine believe that justice can be served only when a fully-fledged international special tribunal for the crime of aggression is created. However, some of Ukraine’s most powerful allies endorse a “hybrid” tribunal, such as those created for Sierra Leone and Cambodia—which would rely in large part on Ukrainian national law and raise questions about the reach of jurisdiction. Despite optimistic expectations at the beginning of the year, disagreements between Ukraine and its allies have left some wondering: in the end, will justice indeed be served? International law scholars Mariia Lazareva of Ukraine’s Taras Shevchenko National University and Erik Kucherenko of Oxford provide an analysis for Jurist.

Gaza attack


The shock attack from the Gaza Strip has terrified Israelis, and the government appears to be preparing a massive retaliation. But writing for Israel’s independent +972 Magazine, Haggai Matar insists that the current horror must bring home the overwhelming context. Contrary to what many Israelis are saying, this is not a “unilateral” or “unprovoked” attack. The dread Israelis feel now is a sliver of what Palestinians have experienced daily under the decades-long military regime in the West Bank, the siege and repeated assaults on Gaza. In recent months, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been marching for “democracy and equality” across the country, with many even saying they would refuse military service because of this government’s authoritarian turn. What those protestors and reserve soldiers need to understand—especially now, as many of them announce they will halt their protests to join the new war on Gaza—is that Palestinians have been struggling for those same demands for decades, facing an Israel that to them is already, and has always been, completely authoritarian.

Crimean Tatars


Many would-be “peacemakers” on the political right as well as on the political left have “very helpfully” suggested that Ukraine should give up some territories, which they describe as “Russian-speaking,” in order to appease the aggressor. When these self-styled “peacemakers” lay out exactly how Ukraine should be unmade piece by piece, Crimea is always the first territory mentioned. Crimea is, we are told, the most “Russian speaking” region in Ukraine, and voted for union with Russia in 2014. In an analysis for CounterVortex, Kyiv-born writer and activist Yevgeny Lerner debunks both these claims. Not only was the 2014 referendum illegitimate, but the “Russian speaking” majority in the region was effected through generations of ethnic cleansing of its indigenous inhabitants: the Crimean Tatars. The struggle of the Crimean Tatar people for land recovery and territorial autonomy is now unified with the general struggle of Ukraine for national survival against Russian aggression.



In a special analysis for CounterVortex, Bill Weinberg debunks Vladimir Putin’s “de-Nazification” propaganda for his invasion of Ukraine, a paramount example of the ultra-cynical phenomenon of paradoxical fascist pseudo-anti-fascism. The Ukrainian state that he demonizes as “Nazi” has been experiencing a democratic renewal since the Maidan Revolution, as Russia has descended into autocratic dictatorship. Putin’s stated justifications for the Ukraine war are either paranoid delusions or outright lies. His real objectives are to rebuild the Russian Empire, re-establish the Russian dictatorship, and exterminate Ukraine as a cultural and political entity. These are the open aims of Alexander Dugin, the intellectual mastermind of Putin’s revanchist imperial project, and the political heir of Ivan Ilyin, the 20th century theorist of “Russian Fascism.”



Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is emboldening Russia’s ally Serbia to press its claims on Kosovo, which declared its independence in 2008. As ethnic Serbs launch violent protests in Kosovo, Serbian officials are threatening to launch a campaign to “de-nazify” the Balkans. Meanwhile, leaders of the autonomous Bosnian Serb Republic have announced their intention to secede from Bosnia & Herzegovina. The wars in the states to emerge from the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s were an early harbinger of the current conflagration in Ukraine. Now, in a grim historical cycle, the war in Ukraine could re-ignite the wars in the Balkans. Nicholas Velazquez, in an analysis for Geopolitical Monitor, sees an intentional Moscow design to destabilize the region.

mariupol ruins


Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine has sparked a strong international reaction, with most states referring to the actions of the Russian army as war crimes. A number of parliaments and heads of state have recognized that yet another international crime—genocide—is being committed by the occupation’s troops. Poland’s parliament, the Sejm, was the first to pass a resolution in March, strongly condemning “acts of genocide…committed on the territory of sovereign Ukraine by the Russian Federation armed forces, together with its allies, at the behest of military commanders being under the direct authority of President Vladimir Putin.” Since then, especially after the infamous Bucha massacre, other parliaments have joined Poland in condemning Russia’s actions as genocide, including those of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Canada, Czechia and Ireland. However, the International Criminal Court investigation has been slow to examine charges of genocide, and any binding action by the UN against Russia is effectively blocked by its veto on the Security Council. The dilemma is explored by Ukrainian law student Nastya Moyseyenko in a commentary for Jurist.

Crimea protest


May 18 is commemorated as a memorial day for the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. On that day in 1944, Joseph Stalin began a mass deportation of the entire population of Crimean Tatars who survived the German occupation of the peninsula. Over 200,000 Tatars, baselessly accused of collaborating with the Nazis, were packed in railroad cattle-cars and sent to remote locations in Central Asia and Siberia. Over 46 percent of the Crimean Tatar people perished during the first two years of the exile due to harsh conditions. Only in 1989 did the USSR condemn the deportation, after which the indigenous people of Crimea started returning to their homeland. The deportation was recognized as a genocide by Ukraine in 2015, and later by Latvia, Lithuania and Canada. In a commentary for Ukraine’s Euromaidan Press, Olena Makarenko notes that today, thousands of Crimean Tatars have been forced once again to leave the Crimean Peninsula due to the Russian occupation of 2014; hundreds of those who stayed are persecuted.



Scotland and Catalonia have issued formal apologies for the burning of thousands of women as “witches” between the 15th and 18th centuries. An apology for a crime committed hundreds of years ago, with the victims and perpetrators alike both long dead, may seem like an empty exercise. However, the contemporary world still sees periodic frenzies of “witchcraft” hysteria, with women and the least powerful in society “tried” and lynched—especially in rural areas of Africa and Asia. Last year, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Cameroon calling for “Elimination of harmful practices related to accusations of witchcraft and ritual attacks.” New York area neo-pagan practitioner and commentator Carole Linda Gonzalez argues that, in this light, the new apologies are all too relevant.



The International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, finding that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe war crimes have been committed. Media attention has, quite rightly, focused on the plight of individuals caught up in the carnage—many of whom have died in terrible circumstances. However, in the background, there is another victim of the invasion: the environment. Bombardment of oil depots, the release of radiation at the Chernobyl nuclear site, the forest fires engulfing the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve—these may constitute environmental war crimes under the Rome Statute. However, the criteria are rigorous, and the perpetrators ever standing trial seems contingent on a political upheaval in Russia. In a commentary for Jurist, international law scholar Elliot Winter of Newcastle University in the UK examines the odds for prosecution of such crimes in the Ukraine conflict.



Many Syrians are experiencing heart-wrenching flashbacks as they watch the mounting devastation in Ukraine, the millions of refugees fleeing—and the targeting of hospitals by Russian bombs, as so recently and repeatedly happened in their own country. Physicians for Human Rights have documented hundreds of attacks on healthcare facilities in Syria over 11 years of war, and no perpetrator has been held accountable for these crimes. Just a month into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the figure already stands at over 100. But with timely action by the UN and International Criminal Court, things can be different in Ukraine. In a commentary for The New Humanitarian, Dr Houssam al-Nahhas, a Syrian physician and a researcher at Physicians for Human Rights, urges: “Whether a hospital is bombed in Mariupol or Aleppo, in Sana’a or in Kunduz, those responsible must be held to account.”