Friday, July 12, 2024

Why does Joy Reid hate Kamala Harris

I really do not get why Joy Reid hates Kamala Harris and is working so hard to prevent a woman of color from being president?  She has insisted this week that if Joe Biden is not backed, Black Americans were being disrespected and not listened to.  That is wrong on so many levels including that Joy's stereotype of Joe's Black support really only applies to elderly African-Americans at this point.  But what is true, is that Joy wants to deny an opportunity to Kamala.


Whether you consider Kamala bi-racial or Black, she's really the one next in line and I guess Joy's threatened by strong women and unwilling to see a woman of color succeed.  If she were a Black man, we'd call her an Uncle Tom.  So what do we call Joy?  An Aunt Jemimah? 


Zeeshan Aleem (MSNBC) writes:


Questions about whether President Joe Biden could drop his candidacy for the White House have inspired a kind of fantasy football mindset among political junkies. Hop online or tune in to any water cooler conversation among Democrats who think Biden should step aside and you’ll hear people excitedly catalogue their favorite potential replacement tickets, listing the strengths and statistics behind the governors, senators, former first lady or Hollywood star who they believe should be drafted to lead Team Blue to victory. 

[. . .]

The Democratic Party is at a juncture where every possible path is extremely risky. The moment demands humility and agnosticism; the goal is not to identify an obvious winner, which is impossible, but to manage risk. If Biden steps aside, Vice President Kamala Harris is most likely the least risky option.

The argument that Harris is less risky might strike some as counterintuitive. Her vice presidency has been marked by strikingly low favorability ratings. Biden assigned her a politically sensitive policy portfolio that led her to, for example, take positions on immigration that brought her under fire from both the left and the right. And reports indicating that Harris felt frustrated and sidelined by Biden’s team mar the narrative of a natural passing of the torch.

But taking a cautious position on what we can know suggests Harris has fewer unknown variables in her potential candidacy. She has been in the national limelight for years and thus has extremely wide name recognition, far superior to commonly floated alternatives. She has endured MAGA attacks for years and can clearly handle the pressure. While a presidential bid would most likely inspire new right-wing efforts to find skeletons in her closet, odds are that most of what could’ve been used against her would’ve been used in 2020 to torpedo the Biden-Harris ticket. Harris is also unequivocally qualified for the position with her background as an attorney general, senator and, of course, vice president. And at about 20 years younger than both Biden and Trump, she would instantly be able to shed Biden’s greatest political liability and shift the energy of the party.

If you know Joy Reid, please ask her why she refuses to support a woman of color and is instead clinging to senile Joe Biden?


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Friday, July 12, 2024.  The biggest shock about Joe Biden's mental decline may be that he thinks he has a record to run on.

Yesterday, not last night because he needs his sleep, Joe Biden insisted he was staying in the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Of course, he also insisted,  "I wouldn't have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if I didn't think she was qualified to be president."  With  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at his side, Joe wanted to tout his record which, for the record, included him introducing Zelensky as "Ladies and gentlemen, President Putin" shortly before Joe held his press conference.  There will be jokes this snapshot but, sadly, Joe introducing Zelensky as Putin is not one of them, it really happened.  Joe's mind is gone.





I'm not in the mood to play.  Joe Biden should have announced yesterday that he was dropping out of the race for president.  He didn't, so let's help him.  He seems to think he's got a record to run on.  One in which the war in Ukraine is a plus -- that's the war that's nearing the two-and-a-half year mark and that has cost US tax payers $175,000,000,000 so far per the Council on Foreign Relations.  This is an accomplishment?

He wants to run on his record and he's out of touch enough to believe that the GOP is just going to stand by and let him define the record however he wants with no help from them.

How do we think that actually plays out in the real world?



FOX NEWS ANCHOR IN BLOND WIG (male or female): Deeply disturbing news tonight as former President Donald Trump accuses sitting President Joe Biden of being derelict in his official duties.


DONALD TRUMP: The president of the United States is entrusted with the duty of protecting all Americans and yet for 280 days five Americans have been held by the terrorist group Hamas.  And Slow Joe has done nothing.  He's talked to Netanyahu?  Let me tell you, when I was President, I didn't talk,  I did!  And I would have told Bebe to sit down and let me handle it and I would've handled it.  It wouldn't have been 280 days, it wouldn't have been two weeks.  Donald Trump gets things done!  America doesn't let terrorists win!  And we certainly don't look the other way while our fellow Americans are held hostage!  I'm not saying Joe's in bed with the terrorists and sleeping with them but it would explain why he's been so tired lately.   We see you, Sleepy Joe, we see you.  Can't rescue our hostages and can't protect the borders.


FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And now, joining us on life support, and from his iron lung, Cal Thomas, columnist, author of 10 books and colorer of over 100 adult therapy coloring books.  Cal, what do you make of this?


CAL THOMAS: Why, it's Jimmy Carter's malaise all over again.  Tell me, young whipper snapper, why is it that these Carters and Bidens refuse to stand up for this country over and over again.  Now I thought I'd seen it all what with them automatic toilets and male Depends that look like men's briefs but then along comes Do-Nothing Biden and we've got another Middle East hostage crisis and he doesn't do a damn thing.  Not a damn thing. 


FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you, and --


CAL THOMAS:  And that goes for you too, you young whipper snapper!  Where have you been?  When Carter failed America, Ted Koppel went on the air every night saying it was day whatever of the American hostage crisis.  Where have you been?


FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Thank you.  Cal Thomas, everyone, they're wheeling him out in his iron lung, Thank you, Cal.  Peggy Noonan, columnist and GOP mystic, joins us now.  Peggy?


PEGGY NOONAN: Yes, thank you, Fox News Prime Time anchor whose name I haven't bothered to learn because you'll be gone in two or so years -- like Tucker, Megyn and Bill before you.  But doesn't Cal look spry?  That iron lung really brings out the steel menace in his eyes.


FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Yes, yes, it does.  But, Peggy, you're famous for your mystic skills that allow you to talk to dead Democrats and then tell the world how disappointed the dead Democrats are with the Democrats of today.  I understand you've already done one your psychic readings?


PEGGY NOONAN: That is correct.  Just hours ago, I spoke with former president Jimmy Carter and he conveyed to me -- exclusively to me -- that he wants all Democrats to vote for Donald Trump in this election.  Mr. Carter told me that America has to hit and to hit hard and that Mr. Trump was already prepared to do that; however, his upcoming prison stint will make him even more prepared as he learns to make shivs out of femurs and the basics  of good toilet wine. Upon release, Mr. Trump will be ready to take on everything, I was told.  And Mr. Carter made clear to me that he sees Joe Biden as too soft and too lazy to lead and that this hostage crisis just makes it clear.  He said, "Peggy, I beg of you to share my message from the grave with the world before the election."



FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Peggy, former president Carter isn't dead.


PEGGY NOONAN:  Oh.


FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Moving over to FOX NEWS' own legal non-authority Jonathan Turley.  What do you make of this?


JONATHAN TURLEY: As our blessed Supreme Court has ruled, a president can get away with anything.  And yet Joe Biden has done nothing.  Over and over.  And this goes to the party of inertia -- and I can say that because I pretend to be a Democrat when not helping right-wingers overturn LGBTQ+ rights with bogus arguments and the divine assistance of our blessed Supreme Court.  Biden refuses to act.  It's day 360 of this hostage crisis --


FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Day 280.


JONATHAN TURLEY: That's what I said, day 420, and still nothing from Joe Biden.  Look it's like that Vikki Carr song said, "I've seen fire and I've seen rain but I've never seen a president cause so much pain" --


FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Vikki Carr?


JONATHAN TURLEY: Could have been Pat Boone.  But it's true, I've never seen a president cause so much pain.  Never.  I said never.  Ever.


FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you, Jonathan.  It's day 280 of the hostage crisis and Joe Biden's continued failure as a president, as a leader, as a man, as a wearer of shoes and someone taking in oxygen on at least a daily basis.  When we come back, Greg Gutfeld will join us with some so-so observations that we'll laugh at and pretend are humorous.  Retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn will speak to the namby-pamby nature of Joe Biden which led to this crisis and then our own legal non-authority Jonathan Turley will be back to offer a commentary about how the media's silence on this issue is outrageous and every news outlet should be called out -- except, of course, FOX NEWS.  And as the news continues to come in, there were eight hostages.  Were.  Three are dead and we can pin that on the failures of President Biden.  We must act before the other five are dead as well.  God be with us and praise Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  Steady and strong, America, steady and strong.  We'll be right back.


He wants to run on his record?  Jimmy Carter's record on hostages cost Carter a second term.

The media didn't address Joe's mental decline for four years.  They also haven't really addressed his policies.  We could do the above -- and you can bet the GOP is ready to do it without humor -- on at least five other big moments from Joe's record.  

His record argues he should go.

There was a time when American hostages were considered a big deal by the media.


 ABC's NIGHLINE used to be a serious news magazine.  Today?  They deal with Alec Baldwin's trial, Rita Ora, THE BACHELORETTE, Jamie Foxx's health scare and other 'smart' topics as democracy hangs in the balance.




They cared about hostages a lot more back when they were a news program.  In fact, back then, American hostages were such a big deal that they'd put any idiot on TV to talk about them, right, Joe?





"It's not his resume that's under question," declared Kaitlin Collins (CNN) after the press conference yesterday.  But shouldn't it be his resume?   


We can do this all day, by the way.  Explain Joe's weaknesses that will destroy him if he goes into the general election.  

"I wouldn't have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if I didn't think she was qualified to be president."

This is before nightfall.  What's his excuse this time?  Missed afternoon nap? Juice and cookies?


He needs to step away from the race and do so immediately.  His semi-coherent remarks are not sad anymore, they're becoming a joke.  

And guess what?  At some point, the Republicans will be swinging for him and the aged fool can't even remember who serves as vice president right now.

"The campaign hasn't even started yet," Joe insisted yesterday.


What was the debate?  It was a campaign event.  Did he really not know that?  How out of it, is he?  The campaign has started, someone wake Joe and let him know.   



Kyle did a strong critique last night.




Following yesterday's disaster, US House Rep Jim Hines became the latest to call on Joe to withdraw from the race.





+ According to Biden intimate Joe Scarborough, Biden believes Obama is behind the plot to oust him. “The Biden campaign and many Democratic officials do believe that Barack Obama is quietly working behind the scenes to orchestrate this. Joe Biden is deeply resentful of his treatment under not only the Obama staff but also the way he was pushed aside for Hillary Clinton.”

+ On the day Biden announced his abortive presidential campaign in 2008, he said this about Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Maybe Biden had decided to steal lines from his old pal Strom Thurmond instead of Neil Kinnock in this campaign.

+ Biden’s phone-in conversations on Morning Joe resemble Nixon’s with Kissinger during the Final Days, where his paranoia, petty grievances, aphasia and megalomania are on full display.

+ Obama enjoyed an approval rating of 60% when he left office (unjustifiably robust to my mind). That’s 25 percent higher than either Biden or Trump at the end of their terms. Blaming Obama for his misfortune is a losing game. But Biden’s a loser and a sore one at that. He owes his presidency to Obama, who cleared the field for him in the Democratic primaries in 2020.

+ Scott Fitzgerald said that a true sign of genius was the ability to hold two opposing ideas in your mind at once. I’m not sure if that’s really a sign of intelligence or evidence of schizophrenia. But the Biden campaign wants you to believe that Black Democrats are firmly behind him, while at the same time blaming the plot to oust him on Obama.

+ In fact, Black Democrats aren’t firmly behind Biden, according to a new poll by The Economist…

Should Biden step aside…

Black voters: Yes 49%, No 34%
Hispanic voters: Yes 56%, No 22%
Younger voters: Yes 58%, No 20%
Independents: Yes 60%, No 21%

+ Post-debate polling shows only 29% believe Biden has the mental capacity and physical stamina to serve for another four years. Even HRC is polling better than Biden. Stop the world, I want to get off…



Doctors who have had to perform "a constant flow of amputations" on injured children in Gaza said Thursday that the injuries they have witnessed were consistent with the use of "fragmentation bombs" loaded with shrapnel—which Israel has used in the past and which rights groups have said are designed to cause maximum casualties.

Volunteer doctors who have worked at European Hospital and al-Aqsa Hospital over the past three months told The Guardian that a majority of the patients they operated on were children who had wounds that were barely discernible—called "splinter injuries" by Dr. Feroze Sidhwa, a trauma surgeon from California—but caused catastrophic internal damage to the children's bodies.

"About half of the injuries I took care of were in young kids," said Sidhwa. "Children are more vulnerable to any penetrating injury because they have smaller bodies. Their vital parts are smaller and easier to disrupt. When children have lacerated blood vessels, their blood vessels are already so small it's very hard to put them back together. The artery that feeds the leg, the femoral artery, is only the thickness of a noodle in a small child. It's very, very small. So repairing it and keeping the kid's limb attached to them is very difficult."

The Guardian also spoke to explosives experts who reviewed pictures of the shrapnel found by medical staff and the doctors' descriptions of the tiny external wounds they treated on seriously injured children, and said the accounts were consistent with bombs the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fits with "fragmentation sleeves" around warheads.

Amnesty International first documented the IDF's use of fragmentation bombs in Gaza in 2009 and said the explosives "appear designed to cause maximum injury and, in some respects, seem to be a more sophisticated version of the ball-bearings or nails and bolts which armed groups often pack into crude rockets and suicide bombs."

One weapons expert told The Guardian that Israel has claimed the weapons are more precise than large bombs designed to damage and destroy buildings.





AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: The Washington Post is reporting Israel and Hamas have agreed to the framework for a new ceasefire and hostage deal following talks in Cairo and Doha. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reports a senior U.S. official told him that the parties are now, quote, “negotiating details of how it will be implemented.”

But a final deal may not be imminent. This comes as Israel intensifies its attacks on Gaza while ordering all civilians in Gaza City to leave the city despite having no safe place to go. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem decried the evacuation order of the city as, quote, “absolute madness.”

AMY GOODMAN: On the diplomatic front, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports Israel negotiators have returned from Doha for consultations with Israeli leaders. In Doha, the Israeli negotiators met with Egyptian, Qatari and U.S. officials. On the U.S. side, it was CIA Director William Burns. On the Israeli side, it was the head of Mossad, David Barnea.

We’re joined now by Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project, former Israeli peace negotiator, joining us from London.

Thanks so much for being with us again. Can you explain what’s at stake? What is this three-stage deal, Daniel?

DANIEL LEVY: Yes, indeed. Good to be with you.

So, the idea is that in the initial phase, there would be the withdrawal of the troops from large parts of Gaza, the Israeli military. You would have the release of those Israelis being held who are still alive and are not male soldiers. You would allow the real ramping up of humanitarian access — of course, that should happen anyway. And you would have Palestinian prisoners being released. And then you would move on to a second phase, where there would be a more significant Palestinian prisoner release, a full Israeli military withdrawal. The remaining soldiers would be released. And a third phase, in which bodies would be returned, and there would be the start of more consummate rehabilitation efforts.

But those are supposed to flow one to two to three. The big question — and it’s been the question for months — is whether you can just do phase one and then continue with the destruction, with everything you’ve been reporting on for months now, 21,000 children unaccounted for, 38,000 dead in Gaza and counting, and that’s without knowing what’s under the rubble. Does that continue? Or are there serious commitments that this will be a permanent cessation of this kind of hostility?

And here’s the rub. The document is trying to create a degree of constructive ambiguity, I think. And Hamas have said, “Look, we know there’s nothing ironclad” — I’m paraphrasing, OK? “We know there’s nothing ironclad, but we need to know, with maximum plausibility, that there is a commitment to this being a permanent cessation.” And what you have, on every occasion, is the Israeli prime minister stepping forward and saying, “Whoa! No, I am committing to continuing the war until its objectives are realized.” Those objectives are unrealizable. The military knows that. The families of the hostages know that. And therefore, he is trying to do everything to prevent a deal. And what we are seeing in the reportage is, unfortunately, still a lot of unsubstantiated optimism and, from the U.S. administration, continued deception.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Daniel, if you could talk about — I mean, there was renewed hope that a deal could be reached, after Hamas last week reportedly gave up on its initial demand that a permanent ceasefire be part of the first phase of any agreement. If you could talk about the significance of Hamas doing that, why you think that they took that step? And the fact that there’s such, I mean, increasing opposition within Israel to Netanyahu’s stance, not just from hostage families, but this latest move that he made, saying, you know, that Israel — one of the conditions should be that Israel can resume fighting until conditions are met, that people were so widely critical within Israel of Netanyahu taking that position, do you think that might make any difference in the short term?

DANIEL LEVY: OK. So, on the Hamas side of things, I think there has been a deliberate misinterpretation of the Hamas position. The permanent ceasefire was never locked into phase one. It was always part of the transition from phase one to phase two. And there has constantly been this question of how to make that as reasonable, as likely as possible. Now, Hamas may be looking at this — I’m not privy to their internal conversations, of course. Hamas may be looking at this and saying, “We’re still here. We will be here if the Israelis resume their actions after a six-week hiatus.” We now have a situation where in order to dial down the escalation on the northern Israel-Lebanon, Israel-Hezbollah front, you very clearly need a situation to be dialed down. Maybe we can get the kind of humanitarian relief in. But all of these things will make it increasingly difficult for Israel, even if that’s what they intend, to resume these kinds of actions after six weeks, and we have a more desperate administration in the U.S. That might suggest where some additional wiggle room has been created. However, that wiggle room, I don’t think, can be sufficient enough to sustain what you mentioned in the second part of your question, which is to sustain a very vocal, very transparent and insistent Israeli forcing the issue that, no, there can be no permanent ceasefire. Netanyahu put out four conditions. One of them was any deal will allow Israel to resume fighting until all of the objectives of the war have been achieved. So, that doesn’t give you an ability to work.

Now, what about what’s going on inside Israel, your question regarding is the pressure now at a place where Netanyahu simply has to accept this? The unfortunate answer — and I so hope I’m wrong on all of this — the unfortunate answer is no. You do have greater protest. You do have the families more mobilized. You do have a military that is more clearly saying — again, I’m paraphrasing — “If we want a chance to deal with the situation in the north, whether deescalating or having the attention span to deal militarily, then you need a ceasefire in Gaza.” The military, by the way, prefers a deal. They prefer a ceasefire deal in Gaza because they know that’s the only way they’ll get a significant cohort of the hostages out. And they know that their reservists, their troops have been on the frontline for an awfully long time and are rather exhausted. So, the military, more transparently, has said that.

You do have the parliament going into a summer recess. And so, the hope, I think, was that Netanyahu could tell his right-wing — even more extreme than himself — coalition allies, “Guys, don’t leave me during the summer recess. There’s no urgency here. I promise you that by the time the parliament is back up to the Jewish holidays in October, I’ll be killing Palestinians just like I’ve done and just like you like me to do. We’ll be fighting a war in Gaza. In the meantime, you can have fun in the West Bank, causing provocation, causing mayhem, displacing Palestinians. Don’t rush to do anything crazy.” And they will say, “No, we’re going to bring you down.”

And Netanyahu is looking around, and he sees that the domestic pressure inside Israel is not a threat to his current viewed stability. And, crucially, he is seeing that the U.S. administration will continue, when push comes to shove, to say, “Ah, it’s Hamas’s fault,” and they will continue to send the weapons without which Israel could not be causing this death and destruction, the 500-pound bombs released again. And he knows he has a nice little date with Congress following the invitation by the Republican and Democratic congressional leadership on the 24th of July.

AMY GOODMAN: Daniel, let’s talk about July 24th. Yes, Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on July 24th. A number of prominent Israelis, including a former head of Mossad, a former prime minister and a Nobel Prize winner have written a joint op-ed in The New York Times headlined “We Are Israelis Calling on Congress to Disinvite Netanyahu.” They argue the invitation will make a ceasefire agreement more unlikely. They write, “Netanyahu’s supporters in Israel will be emboldened by his appearance in Congress to insist that the war continue, which will further distance any deal to secure the release of the hostages, including several U.S. citizens. Giving Mr. Netanyahu the stage in Washington will all but dismiss the rage and pain of his people, as expressed in the demonstrations throughout the country. American lawmakers should not let that happen. They should ask Mr. Netanyahu to stay home.” Your response to this?

DANIEL LEVY: I don’t like giving one-word responses, but it would be “amen.” So, if you’re looking at it from the Israeli perspective, then, absolutely, the way that the congressional leadership — but, I would argue, the way the administration — has behaved has cut off at the knees any prospect of the shift in Israel that’s necessary to end this war, that has led to the ICC and the ICJ, those international courts, taking those measures.

By the way, if I was looking at this from the perspective of international law in general, and the perspective of the Palestinians living under these conditions, I would say, “How the hell can you invite Netanyahu?”

But let me just say this, because you referenced that piece by Ignatius in The Washington Post, and here’s what most concerns me this morning. Ignatius is not writing as his own opinion here. He’s a consummate insider. He is being a faithful stenographer of the spin being given to him by the administration. And Ignatius writes the following, that “it would be a ringing validation of President Biden’s patient diplomacy” and “a potential valedictory moment,” if he got this ceasefire. Now, just pause. What the spin that the administration is telling us is, “Wow! We could get it through our patient diplomacy.” Can I translate the term “patient diplomacy”? “Patient diplomacy” means that after nine months, you have tens of thousands who are dead, nine out of 10 people who are displaced, starvation, humanitarian catastrophe, scholasticide. This is patient diplomacy that you should be proud of? The hostages are still there. America’s international reputation, that which was still remaining, as an upholder of international law has been thoroughly taken to the cleaners.

And, of course, there’s the internal situation on the Democrat side. And I would simply say, because I listened to your earlier segment, that you have a real problem if you think you can sell this spin. And if you treat your voters with contempt, you do that at your own risk. And sitting here in the U.K. — and I’ve just come back from Paris — I’ll tell you what happened in our elections here. In our elections here, Labour won a stunning majority in Parliament, but lost and only received 34% in the popular vote, 6% less than Corbyn in 2017. Why? Because voters deserted Labour over Gaza. And then, in France, you saw a new left alliance come together, close the enthusiasm gap with the right. Yes, it was about keeping the extreme right out, but it was also because one of the things that new left alliance did was to come up with a credible position on Gaza. And I would simply ask the question: Is this stunning validation of your approach what you’re going to be selling people? And you still haven’t got the ceasefire. You’re still sending the weapons. You are still in violation of international law.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Finally, Daniel, I wanted to ask you about the position of the Israeli military, which are becoming, as you’ve pointed out, more and more public in their opposition to the war. What is the significance of that? And could that make a difference?

DANIEL LEVY: Wow, it’s a big issue. So, what’s going on here is the military knows they have no political plan. They’re being sent on a mission that is unachievable. They have actually openly said you cannot defeat Hamas in the way Netanyahu talks about. This deradicalization agenda in Gaza, it’s for the birds. So I think what the military are saying is, “We need a different approach.”

The problem here, in addition to, of course, what the military has been conducting in Gaza, is that these are the same guys in the military who were in charge on October 7th. And there is a fight. There is a blame game between the military leadership and Netanyahu. Was it political — 

AMY GOODMAN: We have 20 seconds, Daniel.

DANIEL LEVY: Was it political failure, or was it military failure? You have blame games when there is a failure. That’s what it is. And Netanyahu may replace some of this military, and that could be even more dangerous.

AMY GOODMAN: Daniel Levy, we want to thank you for being with us, president of the U.S./Middle East Project, former Israeli peace negotiator under Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin.

That does it for our show. Democracy Now! will be broadcasting live from the Milwaukee Republican convention and the Chicago Democratic convention, expanding to two hours every day.

And we have a development director position opening to lead our fundraising efforts. You can check it out at democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. Thanks so much for joining us.



Gaza remains under assault. Day 280 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  Yesterday, THE NATIONAL noted, "At least 38,345 Palestinians have been killed and 88,295 injured in Israel's war on Gaza since October 7, the enclave's Health Ministry said on Thursday.  In the past 24 hours, 50 people were killed and 54 injured, the ministry added in a statement."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

  



April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."
 

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."






The following sites updated:







Thursday, July 11, 2024

Glory hogs harm the team

Repeating what I said last time, this is a relay race, thank you, Joe, for the steps you ran but it's time to hand off the baton.  Don't doubt me on this:



A new poll from the Washington Post-ABC News-Ipsos found that most Democrats want Joe Biden to bow out of the race, undermining his insistence that the calls to step aside are only coming from the elite. But his match-up against Donald Trump remains deadlocked, with the two men tied at 46% of the popular vote among registered voters.

The poll was conducted between July 5 and July 9, but the numbers comparing Biden and Trump remain identical to those from April. These findings, however, are an anomaly, as eight other post-debate polls show Trump with an average 3.5 percentage point edge, compared to 1 percentage point before the debate.

More concerning for Biden is the indication that everyday Americans are doubting his abilities — the poll found that 56% of Democrats want him to step aside compared to 42% that want him to keep fighting. Among adults, two out of three say he should drop out. Among independents? Seven out of ten.


Joe needs to take the win he's won and step aside for the next runner.  If he doesn't, this will get really ugly.

Did he not play sports growing up?  Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a seat on the bench.  Don't need to be a glory hog, work with the team so we all win.


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Thursday, July 11, 2024.  As the push gets stronger, Joe Biden refuses to take a hint, Palestinians are ordered out of Gaza but to where, and much more.


Another day of pleading with and prodding an old man to hand over the car keys.  

The most ridiculous of the heavy-handed attempts at flattery?   At THE NATION, yesterday, Sasha Abramsky had a plea for Joe Biden -- FROM THE UK WITH LOVE:

Joe, when you got elected in 2020, I wept for joy. In defeating Donald Trump, you had saved the Republic; you had reinvigorated a dream that was in danger of morphing into a permanent nightmare. You had pitted liberalism against intolerance and darkness, optimism against Trump’s American Carnage vision—and you had won. There was little doubt in my mind that you were a genuinely decent, kind, humane, even humble man—everything that Trump and his rancid administration were not. It’s a rarity in the modern political environment that such traits win out over hard-right populism.

Insert Allure's "All Cried Out."



Four years later, you are making me weep again. But this time around, I weep over the arrogance and selfishness you are demonstrating in claiming, despite all evidence to the contrary, that you and only you can prevent Trump’s second ascent to power. I weep because you now so clearly lack the vitality and intellectual agility for the fight—but, while you have lost so much of your political skill set, you seem, somehow, to have preserved just enough wile and orneriness to cling to personal power like a hungry dog tugging on a bone. I weep because in 2020 you rose to the political moment to aggressively confront a terrible political peril, and in 2024 you are instead doing a star turn in your own version of Sunset Boulevard, sinking into a political quicksand of your own making that will destroy your legacy and return Donald Trump to office with an overwhelming mandate.

Insert Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 You."


As I write this, it’s been 12 days now since you made it abundantly clear, in front of a TV audience of 54 million people, that you no longer have what it takes to be either a president or a presidential candidate. Last week I wrote, in the conditional tense, that this performance could result in your losing overwhelmingly in November. This week, the poll numbers seem pretty unambiguous. If you remain the Democratic candidate you will lose overwhelmingly. There are states such as New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia, even New Jersey, for God’s sake, in play now for the Republicans, that a decent Democratic candidate would have locked up months ago.

Insert The Lonely Island's "Iran So Far Away" from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.


 


I’m not a doctor and wouldn’t presume to make a diagnosis. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. The public now has the perception that age has gotten the better of you—and that’s a perception pretty much impossible to shake. You could wrestle alligators and come out victorious—the public will still see your frozen face and hear your stumbling, incoherent debate answers. And you will still, in consequence, lose millions of votes from people who otherwise would be voting Democrat in November—citizens who are longing to vote for the Democrats if only the party can present a credible presidential candidate.


Insert Aretha Franklin's "Think."



You can pretty it up all you want but it's over.  We should be wishing each other good luck -- or keying each other's cars -- but the romance is over.  

He needs to step down from the nomination.  Even if he were up to it, he's not up to being president until January and also campaigning to the start of November.  It's too much for him.  Too many more fumbles in public on the campaign trail and you will see a movement in Congress pushing to remove him from the office.  He does not have the strength -- nor the cognitive powers -- to both rule as president right now and run for re-election.  The presidency's not a part time job.  At 81, he lacks the strength to handle a campaign and a presidency.  As Marcia notes "It's a relay race and Joe needs to hand off the baton already."



Emilio Leanza (THE PROGRESSIVE) reports on the rally he attended in Wisconsin: 

While standing in the press pen behind several hundred union members, public school teachers, and other local Democrats in Madison, I watched as Biden’s face swiveled between two teleprompters. The devices, nearly translucent, were strategically placed to give the illusion that his eyes were panning across the crowd. 

It was a clever set-up that, along with impassioned warm-up speeches by leading Wisconsin Democrats like Governor Tony Evers, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, and state Democratic party chair Ben Wikler, could have made a compelling case that voters should ignore what they saw on debate night. (Notably absent was U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, who faces a tight race against billionaire Eric Hovde, amid speculation that she’s been deliberately distancing herself from the Biden campaign).  

But the event was hampered by what seemed like magical thinking. Wikler, for example, told a reporter standing next to me that Biden would “usher in a new birth of freedom in this country.”

Wikler’s hyperbolic assertion, and the upbeat tenor of the rally as a whole, belied a more sober reality: Biden’s polling numbers are cratering.

The image of Biden confusing “saving” Medicare with beating it is now forever seared into the collective consciousness. And there may be no coming back from that. After all, much lesser gaffes—like Michael Dukakis’s infamously dorky tank photo-op or Howard Dean’s “scream” in 2004—have left campaigns dead in the water before. 

The Biden campaign has pitched the race as a contest between democracy and authoritarianism, correctly viewing Trump as a wannabe dictator and his network of allies and donors as willing accomplices. You don’t need to read all 900 pages of the rightwing Heritage Foundation’s presidential playbook, Project 2025, to understand Trump is serious when he says he’ll be a “dictator on day one.” He has already tried, and failed, to overturn one election. 

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s guarantee of immunity from prosecution, it is hard to understate how far he could go with a second term in office. 


If the stakes are as high as Joe thinks they are, he should have stepped aside already.  And he better grasp that the calls for him to step aside are not going away no matter how he digs in.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS):

Peter Welch of Vermont on Wednesday became the first U.S. senator to urge President Joe Biden to drop his 2024 reelection bid, adding his name to a small but growing list of Democratic lawmakers who have publicly expressed the view that their party's best chance of defeating Donald Trump in November is with a different candidate at the top of the ticket.

"Trump is a felon. He is a pathological liar. He is a menace. And he is sure to be emboldened by his activist Supreme Court, which granted him near-total immunity," Welch wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. "MAGA Republicans, meanwhile, have clearly stated their plans for a second Trump term, laying out an extremist agenda with their Project 2025. But the national conversation is focused on President Biden's age and capacity. Only he can change it."

Welch pointed to post-debate polling trends indicating that Biden's performance and continued presence on the ticket could harm down-ballot Democratic candidates and jeopardize the party's hopes of keeping both chambers of Congress out of Republican hands.

"The latest data makes it clear that the political peril to Democrats is escalating. States that were once strongholds are now leaning Republican. These new shifts—in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia—must be taken seriously, not denied or ignored," the senator wrote. "The good news is that President Biden has united the party and created a deep bench that can defeat Trump."

"Vice President [Kamala] Harris is a capable, proven leader, and we have other electable, young, energizing Democratic governors and senators in swing states," Welch continued. "Not only do these leaders have experience running and winning in tough political environments, they also have fundraising networks, media experience, charisma, and the ability to inspire voters across generations and across our big tent."


The media has not done their job.  Joe can leave now with a pretty good record for a president, or he can leave in disgrace.  You have a very stupid GOP.  Months ago, I thought they were gearing up to the line of attack on Joe that actually would have worked for them.  They didn't.  We can do it here though, Joe.  You can do what's right and leave with an image or you can stay in but have Americans shaking their heads in disgust. 

At AXIOS, Zachary Basu weighs in.  And, no the push was not dying before George Clooney's NYT column calling for Joe to drop out, some were of the mind that NATO had to be gotten through first.  I don't give a damn about NATO or the going through the motions meetings or in prolonging a relationship that should have ended long ago.  Zachary notes:
 

Driving the news: Clooney, who just last month hosted the largest fundraiser in Democratic Party history with Biden in attendance, delivered a piercing blow to the heart of Biden's defense about his shaky debate performance on June 27.

  • "It's devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe "big F-ing deal" Biden of 2010," Clooney wrote in the New York Times on Wednesday.
  • "He wasn't even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate."

The big picture: Clooney's words were unsparing, but other, more subtle signals from top Democrats on Wednesday seemed to confirm his message about their private angst.

  • Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and others echoed Pelosi's language about waiting for Biden to make a decision — a clear sign that they don't consider the matter to be closed.
  • Welch ended the day becoming the first Senate Democrat to call for Biden to drop out, joining eight House Democrats.
  • New York's Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado and swing-district Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) also both called on Biden to withdraw, as private polling emerged suggesting deep-blue New York could be competitive in November.
  • ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who has interviewed Biden dozens of times, including last Friday, apologized after a video surfaced of him saying he doesn't believe Biden can serve another term.
  • Republicans are reveling in the chaos, with the GOP-led House Oversight Committee issuing subpoenas for three senior White House aides Wednesday to testify about Biden's health, Axios scooped.

Zoom in: Clooney, unburdened by the political, financial and strategic calculations constraining most elected Democrats, has helped revive a rebellion that Biden's campaign had hoped to quash.

  • "This isn't only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and Congress member and governor that I've spoken with in private. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly," Clooney wrote.

It's time for Joe to go.  This shouldn't be prolonged, it needs to be wrapped up.  I'm really not concerned if he saves face or not.  I'm concerned about Donald Trump getting a second term.   The state of New York should not be in play this election but that's where Joe has taken us.  The longer he dithers, the more damage is done.

Rebecca's right ("andy beshear") that we should be looking at who we would support.  I would gladly vote for Kamala, Gavin Newsom, anyone.  I do not think Josh Shapiro (due to his divided loyalties) should be the nominee or Gretch the Wretch who brings corruption scandals with her, has lost popularity in her own state and dresses like it's 1994 and she's working for Century 21 -- only Century 21 would have told her to lose the clown lipstick.

But let's say we didn't get a vote.  Let's say the superdelegates coalesced around a nominee -- and did so even before the convention?  Early in 2023, I noted here that I was voting for the Democratic Party's presidential nominee no matter who that was.  I stand by that.

Gaza?


ith the American news cycle focused on Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, escalating Israeli state and settler violence in the West Bank is going largely unreported. 

Although President Joe Biden has sanctioned individual extremist Israeli settlers, Progressive analysts –  such as Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman – say he has ignored Israel’s support for this violence. Earlier this year, the United States decided against sanctioning the infamous Israeli military unit Netzah Yehuda, which has been accused of human rights abuses by a U.S. State Department probe and other reports. 

The United States has a long history of empty promises when it comes to holding Israel accountable. On June 22, for example, Israeli soldiers shot, beat, and tied a Palestinian man to a military jeep before using him as a human shield against potential retaliation from Palestinian militants. The U.S. State Department condemned this clear human rights violation, but any further action seems unlikely.   

Since October 7, there has been a well-documented increase in settler violence, facilitated by Israel. 

In the latest documented incident, more than twenty Israeli settlers invaded the Palestinian village of Ras al-Ein, located in the southern Jordan Valley. The settlers were accompanied by dozens of Israeli soldiers and police officers.

Nimrod Krieger, an Israeli activist with “Looking the Occupation in the Eyes,” who works to document human rights abuses in the West Bank was present at the scene. He tells The Progressive that, a few hours before this incursion, the mere presence of Zohar Sabah—an infamous Israeli settler known for orchestrating violence against Palestinians—on Palestinian farmland in the village deterred them from farming on their own land. The Israeli army invaded Ras al-Ein on the false pretense that Palestinian villagers attacked Sabah—which ultimately led to the arrest of at least three local Palestinians. 

While the Israeli police requested all three Palestinians be held for eight days, the judge of the Israeli court sentenced them to three. The judge also stated that she had not seen any of the evidence submitted by Krieger, which Krieger told The Progressive he handed over to the police. This is part of a larger trend of Israeli forces facilitating and justifying settler violence in numerous ways.




The Israeli military has told all Palestinians to leave Gaza City and head southward as it escalates its offensive across the northern, southern, and central regions of the territory.

Israel informed people in Gaza of the evacuation order by dropping leaflets urging “all those in Gaza City” to take two “safe routes” south to the area around the central town of Deir al-Balah. Gaza City, it said, will “remain a dangerous combat zone.”



And where are they go go?  Dropping back to yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!




AMY GOODMAN: As ceasefire talks are being held in Doha, Israel is intensifying its war on Gaza. Earlier today, the Israeli military ordered the full evacuation of all civilians from Gaza City. Al Jazeera reports Tuesday was the deadliest day in Gaza in weeks. At least 30 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a school housing displaced Palestinians near Khan Younis. Most of the dead were reportedly women and children. It was the fourth Israeli attack on a school over the past four days in Gaza. Al Jazeera aired footage showing children playing soccer at the school at the time of the blast.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza decried the attack as a, quote, “heinous massacre against displaced citizens,” unquote. Eyewitnesses said the Israeli attack resulted in body parts flying through the air.

ASMAA QUDEIH: [translated] We were sitting safely in the afternoon, somewhat settled. Suddenly, a missile was fired. I’m not sure what kind of missile, F-16 or not, Apache. The schools were overcrowded with people, and the street was full, too. Suddenly, a missile hit and destroyed the whole place. There were bodies and body parts. Bodies flew. Body parts flew in the air. I don’t know how to describe it. I can’t. People sitting safely, selling goods, making a living to provide for their children. No one. I don’t know what happened. Why would they hit us like that?

AMY GOODMAN: We go now to Gaza, where we’re joined by journalist Akram al-Satarri. He’s joining us from outside the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

I know that there’s a time delay, but, Akram, if you can describe exactly what has happened in what’s being described as the deadliest 24 hours in a number of weeks?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Yes, indeed, the deadliest 24 hours in a number of months, rather than weeks, heavy bombardment taking place in different parts of the Gaza Strip, including Gaza north, Gaza City, Gaza central area, Khan Younis area and also Rafah area. In Khan Younis only, 27 people out of 56 people who were killed in the last 24 hours were killed in that area. One shelter that was used by hundreds of families and one tent — one area that was used by families as a shelter outside of the school were targeted by three missiles that brought to that heavy loss amongst them. Twenty-seven children, women, elderly people and youth, as well, were killed. More than 52 other people were killed. Al-Nuseirat area also, 24 hours also ago, witnessed a large-scale incident, where around 19 Palestinians were killed and around 70 others were injured. Rafah also has been witnessing large-scale bombardment that has been taking the lives of tens of Palestinians. Gaza central area also, besides al-Nuseirat, al-Bureij also witnessed a targeting incident where around nine people were killed in a heavy crowded area in the middle of al-Bureij refugee camp, where thousands of displaced people were there and were trying to secure their very basic needs amidst that very critical situation characterizing a great deal of lack to the essential supplies for the people who are in need.

So, the bombardments are technically everywhere in the Gaza Strip. The people who are bearing the brunt of those bombardments are the Palestinian displaced people and the Palestinians from Khan Younis, Rafah, Gaza central area, Gaza City and the north, who have been asked also to move from their areas. In Khan Younis area, around a quarter-million Palestinians were asked to head from the eastern part of the city to the western side of the city. In Gaza, around 300,000 Palestinians are already asked by the Israeli forces to leave the Gaza City and head south toward Deir al-Balah area and Khan Younis and Rafah. So, overall, tense situation that has been exacerbated by the Israeli measures, followed by the adverse development taking place not only because of the bombardment, but rather because of the very large-scale displacement, that reminds the Palestinians of the very first days of the war and even worse than that.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us, Akram, about the reports that flyers are being dropped all over Gaza City telling everyone to leave, what exactly this means? We are seeing that the Palestinian Red Crescent has said its teams are receiving dozens of humanitarian distress calls from residents in Gaza City, where the ambulances and medics are not able to enter because, the Red Crescent described, the intensity of the bombardment of the area. What is happening in Gaza City?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Yes, the intensity of the bombardment in that area, Gaza area, is coupled with the requests that were made by the Israeli forces asking around 400,000 Palestinians who are living in Gaza, including also the internally displaced people, to head south. And they were describing the route to head south, and they were saying that Salah al-Din Street and also another, al-Rashid Street area, are the safe routes for the Palestinians to make it to the announced humanitarian shelters and routes as described by the Israeli occupation forces, while, unfortunately, there’s no safe haven in Gaza, no one safe, no place safe, according to the description that was made by the commissioner general of the U.N. That means a new round of massive displacement is planned by the Israeli occupation forces, not only in Gaza City, where 400,000 Palestinians are staying, but also in Khan Younis area, where is a quarter-million of Palestinians that were asked to move to the eastern — or, western part of the city.

So, those actions are now leading to more despair, leading to more displacement, and are likely also to lead to more destructions once the Israeli occupation forces start the destruction in that area, which they have started at a very large scale in al-Shuja’iyya, in al-Sabra, in al-Daraj, in al-Tuffah and also in al-Saraya area, which are main neighborhoods in Gaza, including the Gaza Old City, that is an historical place that has already been targeted by the Israeli occupation forces, as well, and a significant portion of it was destroyed.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m looking at a piece in The Guardian describing footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showing children playing football in the school’s yard when a sudden boom shook the area, prompting shouts of “A strike! A strike!” If you can explain what happened when the kids were playing soccer?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Well, apparently, obviously, there were targeted by the Israeli occupation forces. This is one of the incidents that was documented by the cameras. Unfortunately, hundreds more incidents are taking place without a camera being there to capture the horror that has been caused, the destruction that has been brought to the life and to the facilities, and the death that has taken the life. Families were divided. According to one of my friends who was there, who is an emergency doctor, they received 27 bodies of one family, and the only surviving member of the family was a 26-years-old — a 26-days-old child. So, many incidents are taking place. Many lives are wasted.

And when you look at the condition and the context and the way people were living when they were targeted, you come to a conclusion that people were just not doing anything. They were not engaging in combat activities. They were not carrying arms. They’re not fighting. They’re just plain people who are seeking some comfort, some rest and respite to their life amidst that ever-escalating military situation, amidst that ever-exacerbating humanitarian crisis. They were trying to play together — I mean the children. They were trying to find some time of peace, when their life was targeted and they were ending up dead.

And I think also most of them not only dead, but some of them are losing their limbs and end up like physically disabled, some of them losing their sight, which some of the people who are reporting about some of the children who were injured were losing their eyes and losing their ability to sense things. One of them lost their four limbs, a child, a baby boy, who lost his four limbs. So, you can’t imagine, and I don’t think you can ever be able to imagine the level of distress that has been caused.

People who have been communicating with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society are people who were trapped under the rubble of their homes. The story of al-Helou family, that was targeted in Gaza City, and around 19 family people were killed, and the only survivor, who was 19 years old, was communicating with the Palestinian Red Crescent and was telling them that he cannot help his family and that his mother was killed and that she is on his lap and that his father is screaming from under the rubble and seeking help. And his brothers and sisters were also seeking help by screaming, and no one could help them, because the Palestinian Red Crescent Society cannot go to those areas where some fighting is taking place; otherwise, they would be targeted. And we have seen different incidents where the Palestinian Red Crescent Society teams were targeted, and even international organizations, like the World Central Kitchen and also some other organizations, the UNRWA, were targeted, and they ended up losing some of their staff.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, UNRWA, their headquarters were hit. UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini wrote today, “4 schools hit in the last 4 days. Since the war began, two thirds of @UNRWA schools in Gaza have been hit, some were bombed out, many severely damaged. Schools have gone from safe places of #education & hope for children to overcrowded shelters and often ending up a place of death & misery. Nine months in, under our watch, the relentless, endless killings, destruction and despair continue. Gaza is no place for children. The blatant disregard of international humanitarian law cannot become the new normal … Ceasefire now before we lose what is left of our common humanity.” Again, those are the words of the UNRWA commissioner-general, Philippe Lazzarini, the Palestinian relief and works agency. Your comment on the ground, Akram, and if you can also respond to whether people on the ground are hearing about the negotiations that are taking place — well, it was in Cairo, now in Doha — around a ceasefire?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Landslide majority of the Palestinians are disconnected from the external world. They don’t have internet. They don’t have electrical supplies. They don’t have access to any communication whatsoever. So, unfortunately, most of them, in the past who were extremely interested, they were trying to go to the places where they have electrical supplies due to having the PV panels or where they have been following the news, but now people are extremely busy surviving.

They have been linking any talk about the negotiation and any analysis about any breakthrough when it comes to negotiation and a swap deal with the major developments taking place on the ground. Like, whenever they talk about negotiation, they understand that the Israeli government is going to start a large-scale military step where they would be targeting Gaza. And the very same thing practically is happening. They were talking about the negotiation in Doha and Cairo in the media, and then, the day after, the Israeli occupation forces started that large-scale ground operation in Gaza, and now they’re asking 400,000 Gazans to leave Gaza City and move to the south of Gaza. And they’re asking quarter a million to move from the first half of Khan Younis to the other half of Khan Younis.

So, people are pessimistic about the intention of the Israeli government to do anything whatsoever that can eventually lead to a ceasefire or to rest or respite or peace or comfort or safety or whatever thing that have to do with the rest of a humanitarian soul that has been haunted by the ongoing bombardment and loss and fear of imminent death. So, Palestinians are struggling. Unfortunately, most of them don’t have access to the internet, so they cannot continue following the news about the developments. But they have been seeing the developments with their own eyes.

I believe the ones who were killed in Khan Younis, the 27 family members and also the 52 others who were injured in a shelter that was supposed to be protected according to the international law, an UNRWA facility, they fully understand now that it is just a talk ’til something tangible happens, ’til some safety — sense of safety happens to them, until they can retrieve some normalcy to their life.

They made — the statements that are made by commissioner-general of the UNRWA are appreciated by the Palestinians. They have been seeing the UNRWA struggling for the sake of providing them with the life-saving medication, food, water and nonfood items. However, they understand that the Israeli occupation is not listening to any call, except the call of war and fighting. And they understand on the ground that they have been the prime target of that unleashed power and fire that is targeting them. As you can hear in the background, more injured people, presumably, are coming to the hospital, and the bombardment is still ongoing. People are still killed. And they understand that nothing serious has been done to stop that, neither by the international community, nor by the different U.N. agencies that are mandated to condemn the atrocities and to stop them, as well, and hold accountable the perpetrator of those.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you so much for being with us, Akram al-Satarri, journalist based right now, speaking to us outside the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. Please be safe yourself.

The latest news out of Gaza when it comes to journalists, well, the Gaza government media office says over 150 Palestinian journalists have been killed — most recently, Palestinian journalists Saadi Madoukh and Ahmad Sukar killed Friday, following an Israeli raid that targeted a home of the Madoukh family in the Daraj neighborhood of Gaza City. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says well over 100 media workers have died since October 7th. They are saying, the Committee to Protect Journalists, that the killing of journalists in Gaza makes it the deadliest period since CPJ, the Committee to Protect Journalists, began gathering data in 1992.

This is Democracy Now! Coming up, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian physician, activist, politician. He’s usually in Ramallah but is in Washington, D.C., right now. Stay with us.


THE NATIONAL reports on the state of Gaza in the video below.

 


At least 30 Palestinians were killed as Israeli forces stormed the Tal Al Hawa area of Gaza city early on Thursday, the civil defence said.

“We’ve received dozens of calls from residents there, saying the bodies of martyrs are filling the streets,” civil defence spokesman Mahmood Bassal said in a statement on Telegram.

Civilians are trapped inside their homes, including people with severe injuries, he said.

Some civil defence members were shot at by Israeli forces as they attempted to reach victims, Mr Bassal said.


Gaza remains under assault. Day 279 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "At least 38,345 Palestinians have been killed and 88,295 injured in Israel's war on Gaza since October 7, the enclave's Health Ministry said on Thursday.  In the past 24 hours, 50 people were killed and 54 injured, the ministry added in a statement."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

  



April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."
 

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."






The following sites updated: