Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Bigoted Mommies attack democracy

If it's not Moms For Bigotry trying to spread hatred it's One Million Mother F**kers, as I call One Million Moms.  They're opposed to Macy's Thanksgiving parade:

"The non-binary and transgender extravaganza on display this Thanksgiving will be brought to you by Macy's during their annually sponsored Thanksgiving Day Parade," the petition from One Million Moms reads. "Unless they are forewarned about it, this year's holiday parade will potentially expose tens of millions of viewers at home to the liberal LGBTQ agenda."

Newsweek reached out to Macy's parade organizers and the AFA via email for comment Monday.

One Million Moms lists some of the performers it finds objectionable in its petition. This includes Justin David Sullivan, who identifies as transgender non-binary and will be featured in a performance from the Broadway musical & Juliet.

Justin David Sullivan will speak or sing any lines as the character May.  Justin David will not be delivering a Ted Talk.  But it doesn't matter, facts don't matter, to hate merchants.

I do want to thank them; however.  Why?  For announcing their boycott.  C.I.'s a Nielsen viewer.  I will make sure her TVs are tuned in for the parade.  In addition, I have other friends who are Nielsen viewers and I will be sending out a text blast letting everybody know to do their part to defeat hate by watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  

When these bigots are shown not to have any impact, people stop being afraid of them.

So if you're at a home on Thanksgiving Day, especially a Nielsen ratings home (or even a live streamer like HULU+ LIVE or YOUTUBE LIVE TV), try to turn on Macy's parade.  Didn't know that about the streamers but C.I. just told me that.  She also says that the bigots are objecting to Justin David Sullivan and to Alex Newell who will be performing from SHUCKED -- Newell's performance has already earned a Tony this year, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award.  No, Newell is not giving a Ted Talk either.

Is it just me or do you get the sense that a Million Bigoted Moms hear the word "culture" and immediately try to think of the recipe that they saw on the back of their bag of Fritos?

This morning, Moms for Liberty—which has been widely described as a far-right extremist group by multiple outlets—posted a tweet claiming that they are “in no way affiliated” with another far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys. But journalists are already calling bs on that extremely easily disproven statement.

Trans reporter Erin Reed isn’t the only one who saw right through the lie. A quick Google search pulls up more than a few instances where Moms for Liberty chapters have willingly hobnobbed with the neo-fascist MRA group, and took pictures to commemorate the occasion.

And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. And (Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries voice) you have TWO!

Now folks are showing up with receipts—including that time Moms for Liberty’s Indiana chapter quoted Hitler in a newsletter.

As usual, it’s not looking good for Moms for Liberty, who are still desperately trying to claw their way back into prominence after a series of embarrassing election week failures.

Bigots.  It's very sad that these scum of the earth people think they can trash LGBTQ+ people.  Hate merchants, that's all they are and they better be ready for the fact that if their children aren't already embarrassed by them, in about ten years, they will be.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Tuesday, November 14, 2023.  A US federal court filing calls out Joe Biden, the assault on Gaza continues as the War Crimes pile up, Human Rights Watch calls for the actions to be investigated as War Crimes, and much more.

CNN's Manveena Suri reports, "Only one hospital in northern Gaza is operational, the United Nations said, as Israeli strikes hammer areas near and at medical facilities, leaving medical workers fighting to keep patients, including premature babies, alive."

As the assault on Gaza continues, some look to the law. Selman Aksunger  (ANADOLU AGENCY) reports:

Lawyers for the Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks on Gaza filed a complaint Monday at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Dutch city of The Hague.

The victims’ representative before the ICC, Gilles Devers, and a four-person delegation that accompanied him submitted the complaint to the court’s prosecutor.

Addressing the press, Devers asserted that Israeli acts in Gaza constitute factors of the crime of genocide.

“The ICC is currently investigating the war crimes in a related investigation. The crime of genocide should also be included in this,” he said, adding that forcing over one million people to be displaced and cutting access to water, energy, food and medicine indicates that Israel wants total annihilation of the population in Gaza. 

The filing is something that many have called for around the world.  For example, Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) noted in yesterday's headlines:

Mary Lou McDonald, the head of Sinn Féin, is calling on Irish and European leaders to take action against Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Mary Lou McDonald: “Where is the protection of international law for every child killed in Gaza, for every Gazan mother holding the cold body of their dead child? Israel cannot be allowed to commit atrocities with impunity. The government says that Israel’s actions cannot be without consequences. I agree. That is why the Irish government must take the lead and refer Israel to the International Criminal Court and send the Israeli ambassador home.”

Mary Lou McDonald spoke at Sinn Féin’s annual conference, where Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid also spoke and was met with a standing ovation.

But it's not just the Israeli government that's been named in a lawsuit.  In a US federal court Joe Biden, Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin are named in one.  From the Center for Constitutional Rights:

November 13, 2023, San Francisco – Today, Palestinians asked a federal court to enjoin President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin from providing further arms, money, and diplomatic support to Israel on grounds that there is an unfolding genocide by the State of Israel against the civilian population of Gaza and the U.S. officials have a legal duty to prevent, and not further, this most serious of crimes. 

Biden, Blinken, and Austin, as outlined in the complaint, are sued in their official capacity for failing to prevent an unfolding genocide where they have influence over the State of Israel to do so, and directly abetting its development with weapons, funds, and diplomatic cover, in breach of duties enshrined in the Genocide Convention and customary international law. The filing is accompanied by a declaration from the leading legal expert on genocide, William Schabas, who identifies features of the Israeli government’s statements, deadly military assault, and total siege as signs of genocide and affirms the United States’ breach of its legal duty to prevent genocide. A separate expert declaration by the genocide and Holocaust scholars Drs. John Cox, Victoria Sanford, and Barry Trachtenberg, explains how the genocidal intentions and actions of Israeli leadership resemble other genocides in recent history.

The complaint, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, cites the U.S. government’s unconditional support for Israel as it bombs the people of Gaza and deprives them of food, water, and other necessities. The complaint states that even the crimes committed by the military wing of Hamas on October 7th that killed an estimated 1,200 Israeli people, including many civilians, and kidnapped 240, cannot legally justify the forms of targeting an entire population and collective punishment meted out by the Israeli government, let alone genocide. Since October 8th, Israel has killed over 11,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – mostly civilians, including more than 4,600 children – and displaced 1.5 million. Thousands of Palestinians remain missing, and Israel’s destruction of hospitals, schools, and most infrastructure in Gaza – as well as intentional deprivation of access to food, water, electricity, and medicine – has rendered life in Gaza impossible.

“To be honest, it’s difficult to revisit all the scenes of the past weeks. They open a door to hell when I recall them,” said Dr. Omar Al-Najjar, a 24-year-old intern physician at Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis and a plaintiff in the case. “I’ve lost five relatives, treated too many children who are the sole survivors of their families, received the bodies of my fellow medical students and their families, and seen the hospital turn into a shelter for tens of thousands of people as we all run out of fuel, electricity, food, and water. The U.S. has to stop this genocide. Everyone in the world has to stop this.”

In addition to Dr. Al-Najjar, the other plaintiffs in the case are the Palestinian human rights organizations Defense for Children International–Palestine and Al-Haq; the individuals Ahmed Abu Artema, and Mohammed Ahmed Abu Rokbeh, who are in Gaza; and Mohammad Monadel Herzallah, Laila Elhaddad, Waeil Elbhassi, Basim Elkarra, and “A.N.”, who are U.S. citizens with family in Gaza. All have had multiple family members killed, subjected to the closure of Gaza, and displaced. 

Filed on the plaintiffs’ behalf by the Center for Constitutional Rights with the law firm of Van Der Hout, LLP, the complaint provides extensive evidence that the acts of the Israeli government represent an unfolding genocide, which the Genocide Convention defines as acts committed “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group,” and which can be accomplished through killing, inflicting serious bodily or mental harm upon a targeted group, or by “inflicting upon the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” The Israeli military has targeted civilian areas and infrastructure, including using chemical weapons, and deprived Palestinians of basic necessities for life, the complaint says, while dehumanizing Palestinians as “human animals” that are undeserving of human rights protections and vowing to “eliminate everything,” making clear the “emphasis is on damage and not accuracy.” Gaza had already been subject to five prior bombing campaigns and a nearly 17-year military closure and ongoing occupation that had made Gaza an open air prison.

“For the last five weeks, President Biden and Secretaries Blinken and Austin have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with an Israeli government that has made clear its intention to destroy the Palestinian population in Gaza. As neighborhood after neighborhood, hospital after hospital, and sheltering displaced Palestinians were bombed, while subject to a total siege and closure that denies 2.2 million people basic necessities for life, they have continued to provide both military and political support for Israel’s unfolding genocidal campaign while imposing no red lines,”  said Katherine Gallagher, a senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and one of the lawyers who brought the case. “The United States has a clear and binding obligation to prevent, not further, genocide. They have failed in meeting their legal and moral duty to use their considerable power to end this horror. They must do so.”

The United States has a duty under Article 1 of the Genocide Convention to prevent and punish acts of genocide, an obligation the U.S. Congress made law in 1988 when it ratified the Convention and passed the Genocide Convention Implementation Act (18 U.S.C. § 1091). The duty to prevent is heightened given the United States’ considerable influence on Israel. The Biden administration, plaintiffs say, is not merely failing to prevent Israel’s genocide of Palestinians, it is actively abetting it. From the start of the bombing, Biden has repeatedly reaffirmed, through word and deed, “unwavering” U.S. support. 

Courts have identified the providing of weapons and other materials to the perpetrators of genocide as a form of complicity. To be culpable, the provider need not share the recipients’ genocidal intent.

William Schabas, the world’s leading legal expert on genocide, wrote in his declaration in the case, “I conclude that there is a serious risk of genocide committed against the Palestinian population of Gaza and that the United States of America is in breach of its obligation, under both the 1948 Genocide Convention to which it is a party as well as customary international law, to use its position of influence with the Government of Israel and to take the best measures within its power to prevent the crime taking place.”

“Palestinian children in Gaza are undoubtedly targets as repeated Israeli military offensives destroy their homes, schools, and neighborhoods, as Israeli forces use U.S.-made and funded weapons to kill them and their families with impunity,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director at Defense for Children International – Palestine. “While people protest in the streets, world leaders show, day after day, that they lack the temerity to end the catastrophic and unprecedented destruction of Palestinian life in Gaza. We need the American people to join us to force an end to this genocide.”

Local counsel Marc Van Der Hout of the law firm of Van Der Hout, LLP, said, “The United States must fulfill its obligations under the Genocide Convention and international law to prevent escalating atrocities in Gaza. The killings and kidnappings perpetrated by Hamas on Oct 7th, horrendous as they were, in no conceivable way justify the massacres now being perpetrated by the State of Israel with the unconditional support and acquiescence of the United States. The courts must now force the U.S. to comply with its obligations under the law.”  

“We have lost so many people, but there are still many more who are living, and we owe it to them to do everything possible to stop this genocide,” said Mohammad Herzallah, one of the plaintiffs in the case who has family in Gaza. “I have done everything in my power: I have participated in protests, sit-ins, wrote letters to my representatives, civil disobedience. Now I am asking the courts to end this ongoing genocide.”

For more information and to read the complaint, visit the Center for Constitutional Rights case page here.

  CCR's filing contains an expert declaration from William Schabas—a Jewish Canadian academic called "the world expert on the law of genocide"—who wrote that "there is a serious risk of genocide committed against the Palestinian population of Gaza and that the United States of America is in breach of its obligation, under both the 1948 Genocide Convention to which it is a party as well as customary international law, to use its position of influence with the government of Israel and to take the best measures within its power to prevent the crime taking place."

A separate declaration by genocide and Holocaust scholars John Cox, Victoria Sanford, and Barry Trachtenberg explains how "the genocidal intentions and actions of Israeli leadership resemble other genocides in recent history."

Genocide is defined under the 1948 convention as killing or causing serious physical or psychological harm to members of a group, "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group," or "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." 

Joe Biden is complicit in these War Crimes.   As Graham Peebles (COUNTERPUNCH) observes, many leaders are, "The carnage in Gaza and the siege of the territory is horrific and the response from western governments — these 'champions of democracy and peace', utterly appalling. With the US leading the pack, they are facilitating the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israel, and then publicly justifying it."

Collective punishment, the targeting of civilians, none of that is justified by law.

These are War Crimes, legally defined as such.

And the horrors that are being inflicted by the Israeli government do not have legal justification.

Human Rights Watch issued a release this morning which includes:

The Israeli military’s repeated, apparently unlawful attacks on medical facilities, personnel, and transport are further destroying the Gaza Strip’s healthcare system and should be investigated as war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite the Israeli military’s claims on November 5, 2023, of “Hamas’s cynical use of hospitals,” no evidence put forward would justify depriving hospitals and ambulances of their protected status under international humanitarian law.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that at least 521 people, including 16 medical workers, have been killed in 137 “attacks on health care” in Gaza as of November 12. These attacks, alongside Israel’s decisions to cut off electricity and water and block humanitarian aid to Gaza, have severely impeded health care access. The United Nations found as of November 10 that two-thirds of primary care facilities and half of all hospitals in Gaza are not functioning at a time when medical personnel are dealing with unprecedented numbers of severely injured patients. Hospitals have run out of medicine and basic equipment, and doctors told Human Rights Watch that they were forced to operate without anesthesia and to use vinegar as an antiseptic.

“Israel’s repeated attacks damaging hospitals and harming healthcare workers, already hard hit by an unlawful blockade, have devastated Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure,” said A. Kayum Ahmed, special adviser on the right to health at Human Rights Watch. “The strikes on hospitals have killed hundreds of people and put many patients at grave risk because they’re unable to receive proper medical care.”

Human Rights Watch investigated attacks on or near the Indonesian Hospital, al-Ahli Hospital, the International Eye Care Center, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, and the al-Quds Hospital between October 7 and November 7. Human Rights Watch spoke by phone with two displaced people sheltering in hospitals and 16 healthcare workers and hospital officials in Gaza and analyzed and verified open-source data, including videos posted to social media and satellite imagery, as well as WHO databases.

Israeli forces struck the Indonesian Hospital multiple times between October 7 and October 28, killing at least two civilians. The International Eye Care Center was struck repeatedly and completely destroyed after a strike on October 10 or 11. Strikes hit the compound and vicinity of the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital on October 30 and 31. Damage to the hospital as well as a lack of fuel for hospital generators resulted in its closure on November 1. Repeated Israeli strikes damaged the al-Quds Hospital and injured a man and child out front. Israeli forces on several occasions struck well-marked ambulances, killing and wounding at least a dozen people in one incident on November 3, including children, outside al-Shifa hospital.

These ongoing attacks are not isolated. Israeli forces have also carried out scores of strikes damaging several other hospitals across Gaza. WHO reported that as of November 10, 18 out of 36 hospitals and 46 out of 72 primary care clinics were forced to shut down. The forced closure of these facilities stems from damage caused by attacks as well as the lack of electricity and fuel.

Health workers at Gaza’s hospitals told Human Rights Watch they are dealing with unprecedented numbers of injured patients. Additionally, thousands of internally displaced people sheltering at hospitals have been put at risk, facing shortages of food and medicine. Gaza’s hospitals have been forced to address these issues with shortages of medical staff, some of whom have been killed or injured outside their work.

A doctor at Nasser Medical Center said: “At 3 a.m. I dealt with a 60-year-old woman with a cut wound in her head. I can’t make a suture to heal her wound—no gloves, no equipment—so we have to use unsterile techniques.”

Hospitals and other medical facilities are civilian objects that have special protections under international humanitarian law, or the laws of war. Hospitals only lose their protection from attack if they are being used to commit “acts harmful to the enemy,” and after a required warning. Even if military forces unlawfully use a hospital to store weapons or encamp able-bodied combatants, the attacking force must issue a warning to cease this misuse, set a reasonable time limit for it to end, and lawfully attack only after such a warning has gone unheeded. Ordering patients, medical staff, and others to evacuate a hospital should only be used as a last resort. Medical personnel need to be protected and permitted to do their work.

All warring parties must take constant care to minimize harm to civilians. Attacks on hospitals being used to commit “acts harmful to the enemy” are still unlawful if indiscriminate or disproportionate. The use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas heightens the risk of indiscriminate attacks. Attacks in which the anticipated loss of civilian life and property are excessive compared with the concrete and direct military gain are disproportionate. Concerns about disproportionate attacks are magnified with respect to hospitals, since even the threat of an attack or minor damage can have massive life-or-death implications for patients and their caregivers.

The Israeli military on October 27 claimed that “Hamas uses hospitals as terror infrastructures,” publishing footage alleging that Hamas was operating from Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa. Israel also alleged that Hamas was using the Indonesian Hospital to hide an underground command and control center and that they had deployed a rocket launchpad 75 meters from the hospital.

These claims are contested. Human Rights Watch has not been able to corroborate them, nor seen any information that would justify attacks on Gaza hospitals. When a journalist at a news conference showing video footage of damage to the Qatar Hospital sought additional information to verify voice recordings and images presented, the Israeli spokesperson said, “our strikes are based on intelligence.” Even if accurate, Israel has not demonstrated that the ensuing hospital attacks were proportionate.

Israel’s general evacuation order on October 13 to 22 hospitals in northern Gaza was not an effective warning because it did not take into account the specific requirements for hospitals, including providing for the safety of patients and medical personnel. The sweeping nature of the order and the impossibility of safe compliance, given that there is no reliably secure way to flee or safe place to go in Gaza, also raised concerns that the purpose was not to protect civilians, but to terrify them into leaving. The WHO director general has said that “it’s impossible to evacuate hospitals full of patients without endangering their lives.”

The Israeli government should immediately end unlawful attacks on hospitals, ambulances, and other civilian objects, as well as its total blockade of the Gaza Strip, which amounts to the war crime of collective punishment, Human Rights Watch said. Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups need to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians under their control from the effects of attacks and not use civilians as “human shields.”

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel should investigate apparently unlawful Israeli attacks on healthcare infrastructure in Gaza.

The International Criminal Court prosecutor has jurisdiction over the current hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups that covers unlawful conduct by all parties. The ICC’s Rome Statute prohibits as a war crime “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against … medical units and transport.” Israeli and Palestinian officials should cooperate with the commission and the ICC in their work, Human Rights Watch said.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and other countries should suspend military assistance and arms sales to Israel as long as its forces continue to commit widespread, serious abuses amounting to war crimes against Palestinian civilians with impunity. All governments should demand that Israel restore the flow of electricity and water to Gaza and allow in fuel and humanitarian aid, ensuring that water, food, and medication reach Gaza’s civilian population.

War Crimes are being carried out and should be investigated as such.  Andre Damon (WSWS) reports on the White House's continued defense, spin and lies:

US officials once again reiterated their unequivocal support for Israel’s genocide on Monday. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing, “Israel has the right to defend itself. They have the right to defend itself. And so we’re going to support Israel in doing that.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan added, “Our position is that Israel has the right to go after Hamas,” adding that Israel is attacking “the tools and infrastructure of its terrorism.”

For the second day in a row, Sullivan refused to answer whether Israel was committing war crimes. One journalist stated: “Israel has killed around 11,000 Palestinians and rising. Two-thirds of those are women and children. The situation in the hospitals is dire. Israel has dropped an astronomical amount of ordnance in very pre-builtup areas. Is Israel, in your view, abiding by the laws of war?” Sullivan replied, “I said yesterday, I, Jake Sullivan, standing here, I’m not in a position to be judge and jury to make that determination. It’s a legal determination.”

Critically, the White House is making these statements against the background of the publication of internal documents in which US government employees categorically assert that Israel is violating international law.

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

Gaza’s two largest hospitals, Al-Shifa and al-Quds, have stopped functioning as Gaza’s health system collapses under relentless Israeli bombardment and blockades. On Saturday, Al-Shifa Hospital ran out of fuel, forcing doctors to remove dozens of premature babies from incubators. Six premies have already died. Doctors are struggling to keep more than 30 other babies alive.

Palestinian health officials have accused Israel of using snipers to shoot at people inside the hospital complex, where thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge. Israel has claimed Hamas runs a command center below the hospital. Hamas and medical officials at the hospital have denied the claim.

On Sunday, Dr. Mohammed Obeid, a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders, described the dire situation inside the hospital.

DR. MOHAMMED OBEID: The situation now is very bad. And we don’t have connection. There is no internet. Sometimes we have some [cellphone reception]. We’re on the fourth floor. And also, there’s a sniper who attacked four patients from — inside the hospital. One of them has a gunshot directly in his neck, and he has a quadriplegia. And the other one, he had a gunshot in the abdomen. And some of the people which actually go outside the hospital, they want to go to the south. They bomb them also. They bombed the families from Al-Shifa Hospital today in the morning. There is no electricity, actually. There is no water. There is no food. So our team is exhausted.

We have two neonate patients die, actually, because the incubator, it’s not working because there is no electricity. Also, we have the adult patient in the ICU; he died because the ventilator is shut down because there is no electricity. We can see, actually, the smoking — the smoke around the hospital. They hit everything around the hospital, and they hit the hospital many times.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Dr. Mohammed Obeid, a surgeon with MSF, Doctors Without Borders, inside the Al-Shifa Hospital. On Sunday, Democracy Now! reached another doctor in Gaza City, Dr. Fadel Naim.

DR. FADEL NAIM: We are at Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital, the Baptist Hospital, the only functioning hospital in Gaza City. All the injured people and other people, like people with high blood tension or diabetes mellitus or diarrhea or asthenia or children with dehydration, cancer patients, patients with kidney failure who need dialysis, pregnant women and other cases, are coming to our hospital because they have no other possibility to go to other hospitals. The other hospitals are surrounded by the Israeli tankers, like the biggest hospital in Gaza, Shifa Hospital, and al-Nasr Pediatric Hospital. Some of the [inaudible] hospitals are closed because of the shortage in fuel and equipment. Since yesterday, we received more than 300 or 400 injured people and tens of other people who had other health problems. We had to do some surgical interventions in the corridors and on the courtyard because of the shortage of anesthesia drugs.

Our biggest problem is the shortage in manpower. Because we are a small hospital, we are not prepared to receive such like — like these numbers of patients at one time. Many volunteers came to help us, but we need specialized doctors in different specialties, in general surgery, in neurosurgery, chest surgery, vascular surgery and gynecology and pediatric pediatricians. Unfortunately, we couldn’t help many of these patients. Some of them died because we couldn’t do anything for them.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Dr. Fadel Naim, speaking Sunday from Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in Gaza City.

To talk more about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we’re joined by Dr. Tanya Haj-Hassan. She’s a pediatric intensive care physician who works with the humanitarian aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, or Doctors Without Borders. She’s in regular contact with health professionals in Gaza and previously worked as a medical trainer in Gaza and the West Bank. She’s the co-founder of the social media account Gaza Medic Voices, which shares firsthand accounts from healthcare professionals in Gaza. On Saturday, she took part in a vigil outside British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office in London. She broke down while reading an urgent message from the director of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, Dr. Nidal Hadrous.

DR. TANYA HAJ-HASSAN: [reading] We, as medical staff, want to leave, but we cannot. We might not survive until the morning.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Haj-Hassan breaks down as she tries to read a statement from the doctor in Gaza. She sits down. She covers her eyes. Her colleagues, also in blue hospital gear, put their arms on her.

DR. TANYA HAJ-HASSAN: [reading] We might not survive 'til the morning. We don't want to be killed here just only because we remained committed to our patients and our medical profession. I am calling for help urgently. Please do whatever you can through your governments or the international — the ICRC, the Red Cross, to arrange a safe corridor for the medical staff. Please treat this as top urgent. This is the director of the major trauma hospital in Gaza.

I’m going to leave you with one more message: To bomb a hospital means to terrify sleeping patients, to break windows over their heads, to make the walls tip onto their bodies, to rip out ventilators and burn oxygen tanks, to ruin equipment that can help human millions of times.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Dr. Tanya Haj-Hassan, pediatric intensive care physician who works with the humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders, reading an urgent message from the director of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, Dr. Nidal Hadrous.

Dr. Haj-Hassan, thank you so much for joining us. You must be, to say the least, beyond exhausted. You were reading that statement in London. I last saw you in Jordan, and now you’re in Toronto, Canada. Can you talk about the latest? That was Saturday. This is now two days later.

DR. TANYA HAJ-HASSAN: Yeah. Just to be clear, you know, this was a vigil with multiple healthcare providers present who have been working in the Gaza Strip for over a decade. And we’re all in tears. I mean, every day we feel like we’ve reached the worst. And I’m going to quote one of my colleagues in Gaza, a young female surgeon, who said, “Every day we think that we’ve reached the worst thing that could ever happen, and it’s impossible that the world will be silent to it, and it will definitely get better, and we’ve finally reached the end. And then the next day proves that there’s something even worse.” And I share that sentiment. We have descended into a very dark era for humanity.

Let me just paint a picture for you of the conditions, as far as I know them, right now at Al-Shifa Hospital. I’ve receiving updates up until about an hour and a half ago. It’s very difficult to receive updates. As you know, communication has been cut off, so they’re intermittent. There’s certain individuals who have intermittent connection.

Al-Shifa Hospital is the largest trauma hospital in Gaza. It is under complete siege. It has been come under direct attack by Israeli forces for over a week now. The medical staff, including Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, staff, are physically in the hospital at the moment. There are patients there in critical condition, hundreds of patients. And there are thousands of internally displaced individuals who are still inside that hospital, completely under siege, surrounded by Israeli tanks. They have no access to food. They’re surviving on minimal dates and biscuits that are left in the hospital. They have no access to water. They describe being very thirsty. And, as you know, they have no access to electricity, after the fuel supply was cut off, the electricity supply was cut off, and, more recently, the solar panels were bombed. They describe over a hundred bodies lying on the ground decomposing, dead bodies that they cannot bury. This is after having to dig mass graves in the garden of the hospital. The morgues cannot be cooled to preserve the bodies. As you know, there’s no electricity. So they’re decomposing.

The intensive care unit was targeted twice in the last 24 hours. There are 28 patients there. Two of them have passed away over the course of the evening. These are the adult patients. They have no access to oxygen. Dialysis patients, who require electricity to run the dialysis machines because they have kidney failure, do not have access to those dialysis machines. I can describe to you in detail what death will look like for these patients. Toxins will develop in their bloodstream. They will become overloaded with fluid, because they cannot pee it out. They cannot pee the toxins out, either. They will feel very unwell. They will probably get very confused. They’ll have difficulty breathing. And eventually they’ll die. This is a slow, horrible, painful death — preventable painful death, like all the deaths in Gaza.

Anyone who moves inside the hospital is getting directly killed. Two nurses were killed by snipers in the last 24 hours. Anyone who tries to leave the hospital is targeted. You mentioned the 38 premature newborns — three of whom who’ve died — are currently outside of their incubators, at risk of hypothermia, without access to oxygen. And I’m not sure how they’re going to provide them with all the things they need, including food.

This is an entire hospital that’s completely cut off, and we’ve had very little to no news from the other hospitals in the north of Gaza. Last we heard, they’re completely surrounded, like Al-Shifa Hospital. And, you know, we’re in a situation where there has been a systematic attempt to destroy civilian Palestinian livelihood and existence in all of Gaza, not just the north. Thirty percent of the killed have been in the south of Gaza, which is supposed to be the safe zone. Humanitarian corridors, or so-called humanitarian corridors, are called the corridor of death by Gazans, because they get directly targeted as they’re trying to flee on these corridors.

You know, Doctors Without Borders — and I mentioned we’re really struggling to contact a lot of the staff. One of my colleagues who I know at Al-Shifa said, “We are sure we are alone now. No one hears us. We are alone.” MSF was established — one of the main principles of MSF’s establishment by journalists and doctors decades ago was to provide testimony — this concept of témoignage, which means bearing witness — to provide testimony, to bear witness on these sorts of atrocities, that we don’t — that are not exposed, and to relieve the suffering of those who experience them. And we’re in a situation where we can’t do either of those things. One of our MSF staff who is staying in Gaza City, but not physically in the hospital at the moment, said there are dead people on the streets. I’m going to read his quote: “There are dead people on the streets. We see people being shot at. We can see injured people. We can hear them crying for help. But we cannot do anything. It is too dangerous to go outside.” Ambulances cannot reach the wounded.

You mentioned Dr. Hammam Alloh earlier, who was on your program a couple days ago describing how he had refused to leave the hospital and desert his patients. I knew Dr. Hammam. He was a beacon of light. He’s a gift to the world of medicine and his patients. He was a brilliant nephrologist, was one of the most highly trained doctors in Gaza. He was transforming the care of patients with chronic renal disease, the same patients that I told you are now subject to a slow and horrifying death. He spent a decade learning how to serve his people. He also has a very young family. He was killed in his wife’s home along with his father —

AMY GOODMAN: His father, his father-in-law and his brother-in-law.

DR. TANYA HAJ-HASSAN: — [inaudible] wife, his young children, and the rest are under the rubble at the moment. And they’ve been calling out to the Red Cross to try and help evacuate, and the Red Cross cannot reach them, for all the reasons that I mentioned. You know, I can’t believe that I’m having to say this, but healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, civilians have to be protected. You know, he mentioned in his interview to you that —

AMY GOODMAN: We’re having a little trouble with Dr. Haj-Hassan’s Skype. We’re going to play that interview. Dr. Haj-Hassan, can you hear me? Well —


AMY GOODMAN: You’re breaking up a bit.

Even if the bombing and the shooting ended tomorrow, the scars remain.  Doha Madani (NBC NEWS) reported yesterday:

Physicians should prepare themselves for long-term health ramifications after the war as delays in proper treatment will cause a second wave of health issues, including decades of care for Palestinian children, Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a British plastic and reconstructive surgeon working in Gaza, said today.

“A whole generation has been permanently damaged and disabled,” Abu-Sittah said during a Zoom conference hosted by the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund. “And I don’t even think of the mental health aspect. These are kids who have seen their families killed in front of them. ... They’ve been buried under the rubble for days.”

Abu-Sittah noted that doctors are triaging as best as they can, but many people will need years of extensive surgeries in addition to the thousands of patients who will be exposed to infections and diseases because of uninhabitable living conditions.

He compared the volume of injured patients and lack of resources to field hospitals in World War II, saying he didn't even have basic over-the-counter painkillers to offer as he performed skin grafts and limb-saving surgeries.

US House Rep Seth Moulton speaks with ALJAZEERA about the reality of what the Israeli government is creating for the future with its current actions.

US Democratic Representative Seth Moulton says Israel is heading towards a ‘forever war’ by focusing on military solutions to political problems.

During the US war on Afghanistan, US General Stanley McChrystal referred to “insurgent math” to explain how every civilian killed led to 10 new insurgents.

A problem, Moulton says, Israel is creating for itself by killing thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Al Jazeera’s Bottom Line spoke to Moulton on whether Israel should learn from US mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

There's video of the interview at the link.  At COMMON DREAMS, pollster James Zogby writes about how the assault on Gaza is tearing apart the Democrat Party:

To some extent, this drama had a partisan dimension with Republicans, fueled by their hardline right-wing Christian base, siding with Israel. But while Democratic elected officials, long deferential to the wishes of the pro-Israel lobby, also demonstrated their support for Israel, there has been a fracturing of the party’s base.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have erupted nationwide, culminating last week in a huge gathering in Washington. Never before has there been such massive outpouring of support for Palestinians. And, most significantly, those involved in the mobilizations demanding a ceasefire and Palestinian rights have been extraordinarily diverse, including large contingents of young American Jews, Arab, Black, Latino, and Asian Americans.

What is unfolding in Gaza and here in the US has resonated with the very component groups that Democrats have long seen as essential to their electoral victories. This has never happened before. When Jesse Jackson raised the issue of Palestinian rights during his two presidential runs in the 1980s and when Bernie Sanders did the same in the last decade, they were able to mobilize support, to be sure. But this is different in that it is similar to the mass eruption of support that we witnessed in the Women’s March, the anti-Trump Muslim ban, and the Black Lives Matter movement. But, once again, there is a difference.

Those demonstrations were mobilizations of Democrats and faced no real opposition from the party leadership. The pro-Palestinian demonstrations, on the other hand, have become an intra-party fight, as pro-Israel groups have mobilized to threaten, demean, and punish those who are speaking out against the Israeli assault on Gaza. Campus groups have been disbanded, some Latino and Black groups have lost their funding, and outspoken individuals are publicly scorned as antisemitic.

The party was already divided on Palestinian rights before October 7th, with Democrats having more favorable attitudes toward Palestinians than Israelis. While one may have thought that Hamas’ massacre of civilians would have altered that, as the horrors of the Israeli response became clear, polls are showing that a majority of Democrats are opposed to what Israel is doing and want a ceasefire. And key groups like young people and people of color remain supportive of Palestinians. 

With pro-Israel groups taking repressive measures against students and others, and announcing that they will spend millions to defeat members of Congress who speak out against Israel or in support of Palestinian rights, a real rupturing of the Democratic coalition is possible. As all of the congressional representatives who are being threatened are young people of color, the optics of a pro-Israel group threatening to spend money (raised from a handful of billionaire donors—some of whom are Republicans) will not sit well with other Democrats.

If the party’s leadership wants to succeed in 2024 and beyond, they will need to intervene to tamp down this behavior. Debate and reasoned discourse should be encouraged. But threats should be stopped before the division is too deep and it’s too late to turn back.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Jim Zogby, could you talk about some other aspects of the poll, what the support for a ceasefire was, and also whether there were gender or age or religious differences in those you polled?

JAMES ZOGBY: What was really significant was that across the board — when you get numbers that high, a flip that high or numbers in the 70% range on several questions, like support for a ceasefire, or how important is the Palestinian issue to you, or how disappointed are you with the president’s performance on this issue — all of those numbers were two-thirds or greater. When you get numbers that great, you expect, across the board, to see the crosstabs reading that way. And we did. There was virtually no difference in terms of majorities, regardless of religion, regardless of whether born here or immigrant, or gender or age. Pretty much across the board, there’s frustration and deep disappointment with this president.

And the question I keep getting asked is: Can Biden win them back? The visceral reaction to this issue is so great that in order to do that, something dramatic has to come from the White House. And I’m not sure that the president has the wherewithal to do it. Look, I’ve heard two things from people at the White House. The one is, they’re not going to vote for Donald Trump, because they don’t want — you know, they don’t want back what he was doing during his four years, and so they’ll come around in a year. I told them that — when I heard that, I said, “That’s insulting and dismissive. You have to earn that vote.” They might just as well stay home. They might vote for Cornel West. They might just not vote at all. And it’s not a given that young Arab American women, who want control over their bodies and their healthcare, that older Arab Americans, who want protection for their Medicare or an expansion of healthcare — it’s not clear that they are going to make the decision to vote at all, if they don’t have something to vote for. It worked the last time: “Vote for me because I’m not the other guy.” I’m not quite sure it will work this time.

And, you know, I’ve got an article coming out in The Nation tomorrow that makes the point that it’s not just Arab Americans who are affected this way. It’s young people. It’s progressive Jews. It’s Black, Latino, Asian voters. There’s a significant decline that this president is encountering across the board. And, you know, Gaza is playing into it. It is a sort of a canary-in-the-coal-mine issue. It’s one that sort of is speaking to a broader sense of dissatisfaction. And the White House has to get a handle on that, not just dismiss it.

The following sites updated: