Palestine
Palestine

More advances for Palestinian statehood

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has ordered the opening of an embassy in Palestine, joining a handful of other nations around the world that have done so. The announcement comes after Petro’s government withdrew its diplomats from Israel and broke relations with the country, describing Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “genocide.” The Colombian embassy is to be installed in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s capital on the West Bank. The move also comes as Spain, Ireland and Norway have announced their recognition of Palestine as a state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of course opposed these decisions, charging that “the intention of several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state is a reward for terrorism.” (Image: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr)

Palestine
ICC

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Netanyahu

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim AA Khan announced that he has applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as senior Hamas leaders, for crimes committed during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The officials face various charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute. (Photo: OSeveno/WikiMedia)

Palestine
almawasi

Hamas accepts ceasefire; Israel strikes Rafah

Hamas has announced that its leaders have told Egyptian and Qatari mediators that they accepted the most recent Gaza ceasefire proposal. Israel’s war cabinet responded by voting to continue the planned military operation in Rafah, and the IDF announced air-strikes on targets in the southern Gaza city. The strikes came as Palestinians in Gaza were celebrating Hamas’ announcement, and Israeli protestors joined families of the hostages to demand that Israel accept the deal. (Image: Workers set up tents donated by the Qatari Red Crescent in al-Mawasi, an Israeli-designated “safe zone” in Gaza. Credit: Mohamed Soulaimane/TNH)

Planet Watch
Gaza

How to break cycle of rising global hunger?

More countries facing crises; more people going hungry. Some 281 million people were locked in high levels of acute hunger last year, according to the latest Global Report on Food Crises—a benchmark analysis of food insecurity by a network that includes UN agencies, donors, and famine analysts. The figure is 24 million higher than the previous year—a rise driven in part by Sudan’s civil war and Israel’s destruction of Gaza. Global hunger numbers have spiked since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to rise. A mix of conflict, extreme weather, El Niño, inflation, and volatile food prices suggest there won’t be a reprieve by the time 2024’s numbers are tallied. (Photo: Maan News Agency)

Palestine
rabbis4ceasefire

Podcast: the peace protests in Israel

Amid the police crackdown on Gaza protests coast-to-coast—drawing concern from the UN human rights office—hostage advocacy organizations, rights groups and co-existence activists have been protesting in Israel, and similarly meeting with repression. They are, at a minimum, demanding a deal with Hamas for release of the hostages and putting off the promised invasion of Rafah. While far-right Israelis have been blocking the roads to the Gaza crossings to prevent aid trucks from entering, the group Rabbis for Ceasefire held a march to the border of the Strip to deliver food in defiance of the siege, and were met with arrests. Such voices begin to de-escalate the dangerous polarization which has also infected the scene on American campuses. Bill Weinberg discusses in Episode 224 of the CounterVortex podcast. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo via Twitter)

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)

New York City
Google

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)

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)

Palestine
Palestine

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)

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)

Greater Middle East
syria

Gaza: flashpoint for regional war? (redux redux)

At least 42 people were reported killed in Israeli air-strikes near the Syrian city of Aleppo, allegedly targeting an arms depot belonging to militant group Hezbollah. Those killed included Hezbollah members and Syrian soldiers—as well as civilians, by some reports. Israeli air-strikes in southern Lebanon meanwhile killed 16 people, and one in Israel was killed by a barrage of rockets fired by Hezbollah from south Lebanon. Earlier, a series of air-strikes on Syria’s eastern province of Deir el-Zor killed 15 people, including a World Health Organization staff member as well as an Iranian military adviser. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for those strikes. But Israel’s intermittent air-strikes on Iran-backed militia forces in Syria have been escalating since the Gaza bombardment began. (Image: Pixabay)