Palestine
Mawasi

Gaza aid groups brace for Israeli invasion of Rafah

As Israel continues to threaten a full-scale assault on Rafah in southern Gaza, aid organizations are scrambling to try to prepare to respond to the catastrophic humanitarian impact a ground invasion is expected to have. Facing a severe scarcity of supplies and resources, people involved in the effort say whatever preparations they are able to make will undoubtedly fall far short of the needs. (Photo: Mohamed Solaimane/TNH)

Palestine
Warsaw Ghetto

Podcast: from Warsaw Ghetto to Gaza Strip

Masha Gessen in a New Yorker essay draws a parallel between the Warsaw Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Gaza Strip, where Israel’s long siege is now escalating to genocide. Some Israeli military tactics in Gaza mirror those of the Nazis in Warsaw. Yet, while some voices on the ostensible “left” go so far as to glorify Hamas, Israel’s online partisans are drawing a parallel that reverses the roles, depicting Hamas as the new Nazis. In a case of paradoxical fascistic pseudo-anti-fascism, the genocidal rhetoric of figures such as hardline Israeli cabinet member Bezalel Smotrich dehumanizes the victims by portraying all Gazans as Nazis. In Episode 223 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg turns to the words of Leon Trotsky and Albert Camus to make sense of the seeming contradiction. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo: Stroop Report via Wikipedia)

Europe
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)

Syria
ISIS

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)

Europe
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)

Palestine
Gaza

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)

Watching the Shadows
Krasnogorsk

Podcast: conspiracy theory and the Moscow terror

The deadly terror attack in a concert hall outside Moscow was immediately claimed by ISIS-K, the Islamic State network’s Afghanistan franchise. But just as quickly, the Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services accused each other of being behind it—the latter saying it was organized as a “provocation” to expand Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Putin’s rise to power, including his recent rise to outright autocratic power, as well as his various military adventures, have indeed been lubricated every step of the way by terror attacks. But who was actually behind the Crocus City Center attack may not really matter overmuch. If 9-11 was a “Reichstag Fire” for the hyper-interventionist aims of Dubya Bush, that analogy may prove to apply even more closely to the concert hall carnage serving the war aims and totalitarian domestic agenda of Vladimir Putin. Bill Weinberg discusses in Episode 219 of the CounterVortex podcast. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo: governor of Moscow Oblast via Wikimedia Commons)

Watching the Shadows
Crocus

Moscow terror: ISIS, Ukraine or ‘false flag’?

A group of armed men opened fire at a concert hall in a Moscow suburb, killing at least 133 people and injuring scores more. ISIS-K, the Islamic State network’s Afghanistan franchise, quickly took credit for the attack. But just as quickly, the Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services accused each other of being behind it—the latter saying it was organized as a “provocation” to expand Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Putin’s rise to power, including his recent rise to outright autocratic power, as well as his various military adventures, have indeed been lubricated every step of the way by terror attacks. But who was actually behind the Crocus City Center attack does not really matter overmuch. Just as 9-11—whoever was behind it—served the hyper-interventionist aims of Dubya Bush and his administration, we may be reasonably certain that the concert hall carnage will serve the war aims and totalitarian domestic agenda of Vladimir Putin. (Image: Wikipedia)

Europe
RAF

Germany: RAF fugitive remanded in custody

A former member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) arrested in Berlin after 30 years on the run has been remanded in custody. Daniela Klette was apprehended following an informant’s tip, prosecutors announced. A second suspect was also detained in the operation, although authorities later determined that he is not tied to the group. Popularly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the RAF has carried out a series of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, robberies and shoot-outs with the police since the 1970s. Fugitive members of the group are on the EU’s most wanted list. (Image via Janus)

Europe
Humanity-1

Italy detains rescue ship after sea confrontation with Libya

At least one person drowned after a group jumped overboard from a migrant boat as the EU-supported Libyan coast guard fired shots into the water to stop an NGO vessel from carrying out a rescue operation. The rescue vessel Humanity 1 was subsequently seized and ordered detained for 20 days by Italy—over the protests of the German non-governmental organization that operates it, SOS Humanity. Italian authorities invoked the Piantedosi Decree, a new legal provision that imposes a stricter set of requirements for charities that rescue migrants at sea, with potential penalties of stiff fines and impoundment of ships. The Humanity 1 is currently being held at Crotone, a port in Italy’s southern region of Calabria. (Photo: Teddybär500 via Wikimedia Commons)

Palestine
IDF

UN rights experts warn against arms exports to Israel

A statement released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on behalf of United Nations rights experts warns countries against the transfer of war material to Israel, as such transfers could constitute violations of international humanitarian law if weapons are used contrary to the Geneva Conventions. Invoking the recent Word Court orders concerning Israel’s siege and bombardment of Gaza, the statement asserts that “states must accordingly refrain from transferring any weapon or ammunition—or parts for them—if it is expected, given the facts and past patterns of behaviour, that they would be used to violate international law.” (Photo: IDF via Flickr)

Europe
Buda

Antifa march against Budapest Nazi-nostalgia fest

Anti-fascist protestors marched in Budapest in response to a previously banned right-wing gathering to commemorate the so-called “Day of Honor”—when German and Hungarian soldiers made a last stand against the Soviet forces besieging the city in 1945. Activists travelled from across Europe to take part in the protest against the event, which similarly drew far-right adherents from across the continent. The dueling rallies came amid diplomatic tensions between Budapest and Rome, as an Italian anti-fascist arrested at last year’s protest against the “Day of Honor” remains imprisoned in Hungary, potentially facing a lengthy term. (Banner reads: “Stop the idolization of fascism! Whether in Budapest, Dresden, Pliberk, Riga or Sofia.” Photo via Twitter)