Peter Myers Digest: Israeli military had ordered Al Ahli Hospital to evacuate – WHO

(1) Francis Boyle interview with Mike Adams:
(2) Jurists warn of Genocide in Gaza:
(3) The whole Middle East is rising up against Zionist crimes
(4) Israeli air raid on al-Ahli Arab Hospital kills 500, Gaza officials say
(5) Israeli military had ordered Al Ahli Hospital to evacuate – WHO
(6) Israel’s history of attacking Hospitals & Ambulances – Norman Finkelstein
(7) UNSC voted 12-1 in support of Brazil’s proposal, but USA vetoed it: ‘Israel has a right to vengeance’
(8) U.S. vetoes a Security Council resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict – NYT
(9) China, Japan and France approved the resolution; Britain abstained
(10) Democrats split over Israel
(11) AOC decries ‘bigotry and callousness’ of pro-Palestinian rally in New York
(12) AOC backs US funding of Israeli missile defense

(1) Francis Boyle interview with Mike Adams:

(2) Jurists warn of Genocide in Gaza:

Public Statement: Scholars Warn of Potential Genocide in Gaza

(3) The whole Middle East is rising up against Zionist crimes

From: Saleh Elkmeshi <>
Subject: Re: Gaza war a win for Netanyahu; evidence of LIHOP

Evidence of LIHOP,,
I Agree the Zionist are in Charge here, vs Globalist.

The only real LIHOPs here are,
The Continous Zionist Injustice & Arrogance,
The continuous zio crimes in Aqsa-JS&WB for more than 2 years now.
This is not a Hamas War, it is A Resistance Axis WAR, from Gaza to Tehran true Lebanon Syria & Iraq, and not Least the Houties in Yemen.

(4) Israeli air raid on al-Ahli Arab Hospital kills 500, Gaza officials say

Israeli air raid on al-Ahli Arab Hospital kills 500, Gaza officials say

The hospital attack has sparked international condemnation, as patients and displaced Palestinians number among the dead.

Large numbers of injured people are brought into Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after an Israeli attack on the courtyard of al-Ahli Arab Hospital. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

Published On 17 Oct 202317 Oct 2023

Israeli bombardment has struck a packed hospital compound in central Gaza, killing an estimated 500 people, including patients and displaced Palestinians sheltering inside, according to officials in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The health ministry in Gaza said Wednesday’s blast at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital was caused by an Israeli air raid. Israel has attributed the explosion to a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group. The PIJ has denied the allegation.

The attack quickly sparked international condemnation, as news outlets and social media became filled with images of burning rooms and heavy stretchers.

“This is outrageous and again it shows a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on social media.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, meanwhile, called the attack a “massacre” and a “shame on humanity”.

The Gaza health ministry issued a statement explaining the hospital had served a vital role in offering shelter to civilians.

“The hospital was housing hundreds of sick and wounded, and people forcibly displaced from their homes,” the ministry said.

Tens of thousands of families have flocked to Gaza’s overwhelmed hospitals seeking refuge from seemingly endless Israeli army shelling.

Al Jazeera footage from the scene showed medics and civilians recovering bodies with white bags or blankets. Bloodstains and multiple torched cars were visible in the darkened hospital courtyard.

Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) political party, told Al Jazeera that the hospital attack should prompt world leaders to question their support for Israel.

“Nobody in the world even attacks hospitals in any other country of the world,” Barghouti said. “Will they condemn this Israeli massacre? Will they condemn this Israeli behaviour? They know they can stop Israel. They know they can restrain Israel. They are the ones who are giving weapons and money and support to these Israeli aggressors.”

He added that he felt civilian infrastructure was being deliberately targeted in Israeli attacks.

(5) Israeli military had ordered Al Ahli Hospital to evacuate – WHO

WHO statement on attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital and reported large-scale casualties

17 October 2023

WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip. The hospital was operational, with patients, health and care givers, and internally displaced people sheltering there. Early reports indicate hundreds of fatalities and injuries.

The hospital was one of 20 in the north of the Gaza Strip facing evacuation orders from the Israeli military. The order for evacuation has been impossible to carry out given the current insecurity, critical condition of many patients, and lack of ambulances, staff, health system bed capacity, and alternative shelter for those displaced.

(6) Israel’s history of attacking Hospitals & Ambulances – Norman Finkelstein

Israel Would Never Target Medical Facilities!

Norman Finkelstein

1982 Lebanon War.

In June 1982, Israel attacked Lebanon. It killed 15-20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians. Here’s how the war began:

“Israel had decided that the truce [with the PLO] was at an end…. A Palestinian children’s hospital outside the Sabra [refugee] camp was struck by one bomb. Sixty bodies were later taken from it.”. Source: Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation.

2006 Lebanon War.

Quoting from Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom:

Israel had targeted clearly marked Lebanese ambulances with missile fire during the 2006 war, even though, according to HRW, there was “no basis for concluding that Hezbollah was making use of the ambulances for a military purpose.” Source: Human Rights Watch, Why They Died.

2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead.

Quoting from Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom:

In the course of Cast Lead, direct or indirect Israeli attacks damaged or destroyed 29 ambulances and almost half of Gaza’s 122 health facilities, including 15 hospitals. Sources: Jan McGirk, “Gaza’s Health and Humanitarian Situation Remains Fragile,” Lancet (4 February 2009); Amnesty International et al., Failing Gaza.


A Physicians for Human Rights–Israel report documented Israeli attacks on medical crews and ambulances, as well as “countless” Israeli obstacles blocking the path of “rescue teams in the field that attempted to evacuate trapped and injured persons.” Source: Physicians for Human Rights–Israel, “Ill Morals.”

A supplementary report by an independent team of medical experts commissioned by Physicians for Human Rights–Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society found that Israel “prohibited” wounded Gazans “from being evacuated by ambulances,” and that it “targeted” ambulances and their crews. It concluded that the “underlying meaning of the attack on the Gaza Strip appears to be one of creating terror without mercy to anyone.” Sources: Sebastian Van As et al., Final Report: Independent fact-finding mission into violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip during the period 27.12.2008–18.01.2009 (Brussels: 2009).

The normally discreet International Committee of the Red Cross issued a public rebuke of Israel after a “shocking incident” in which Israeli soldiers turned back a Red Cross rescue team dispatched to aid injured civilians, leaving them to die. Source: “Gaza: ICRC demands urgent access to wounded as Israeli army fails to assist wounded Palestinians,” press release (8 January 2009).

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights tallied that Israel’s systematic obstruction of medical access during the invasion caused the deaths of at least 258 Gazans. Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Bearing the Brunt Again: Child rights violations during Operation Cast Lead (2009).


Still, didn’t Hamas militants fire from and take refuge in hospitals? “Vast amounts of . . . information, from both intelligence sources and reports from IDF forces on the ground,” Israel contended, “show that Hamas did in fact make extensive military use of hospitals and other medical facilities.” But according to Amnesty, Israeli officials did not provide “evidence for even one such case.” Amnesty itself “found no evidence during its on-the-ground investigation that such practices, if they did occur, were widespread”; Physicians for Human Rights–Israel did not find “any evidence supporting Israel’s official claim that hospitals were used to conceal political or military personnel”; the Goldstone Report “did not find any evidence to support the allegations that hospital facilities were used by the Gaza authorities or by Palestinian armed groups to shield military activities. Sources: Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Hamas and the Terrorist Threat; Amnesty International, Operation “Cast Lead”.

2014 Operation Protective Edge.

Quoting from Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom:

Israel destroyed or damaged 17 hospitals and 56 primary healthcare centers during Protective Edge. Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights et al., No More Impunity: Gaza’s health sector under attack (2015).

The Red Cross “firmly condemn[ed] this extremely alarming series of attacks against humanitarian workers, ambulances, and hospitals.” Source: Report of the Detailed Findings.

Amnesty International investigated Israeli statements justifying the attacks on three of these hospitals. In no case did Amnesty find conclusive proof of Israel’s allegations. In one case, Amnesty reported that the evidence offered by Israel was flat-out false:

Israel repeatedly attacked and then reduced to rubble al-Wafa hospital, the sole rehabilitation facility in Gaza…. Displaying an aerial photograph, the Israeli military alleged that Hamas fired a rocket from al-Wafa’s immediate vicinity. Amnesty found, however, that “The image tweeted by the Israeli military does not match satellite images of the al-Wafa hospital and appears to depict a different location.”

During Protective Edge, ambulances were again targeted:

Fully 45 ambulances were either damaged or destroyed as a result of direct Israeli attacks or collateral damage during Protective Edge. …

(7) UNSC voted 12-1 in support of Brazil’s proposal, but USA vetoed it: ‘Israel has a right to vengeance’

Security Council rejects Brazil’s proposal regarding Israel-Hamas conflict

Thursday, October 19th 2023 – 09:35 UTC

The United Nations (UN) Security Council Wednesday rejected by 12 votes to one and two abstentions Brazil’s proposal of humanitarian pauses in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian extremist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, Agencia Brasil reported.

The resolution was originally scheduled to be examined earlier this week but was later adjourned until Wednesday.

After the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield pointed out that US President Joseph Biden was currently in the region of the conflict, which she said demonstrated her country’s involvement in the matter. “Even though we recognize the Brazilian government’s desire to approve the proposal, we need that diplomacy to play out.”

“Yes, resolutions are important. And yes, this council must speak out. But the actions we take must be informed by the facts on the ground and support direct diplomacy efforts. That can save lives,” she said.

“The United States is disappointed this resolution made no mention of Israel’s right to self-defense. Like every nation in the world, Israel has the inherent right of self-defense,” she added

On Monday, council members rejected a Russian draft resolution on the conflict. The nation presented a plan for an immediate ceasefire, including the opening of humanitarian corridors and the safe release of hostages, but did not directly condemn Hamas for the acts of violence committed against Israel. The project received five votes in favor, four against, and six abstentions.

In Brasília, Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira explained that Brazil, who chairs the Security Council, was asked by the majority of council members to devise a proposal that would accommodate the opinions of all members.

“After intense and multiple consultations, we presented a text that was accepted by 12 of the 15 members. This text basically focused on the cessation of hostilities and on the humanitarian aspect, creating a humanitarian passage so that third-country nationals could leave, including our 32 Brazilians, plus the possibility of sending humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, it could not be approved. There was a clear division of opinion,” he pointed out.

The UN Security Council has five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. The rotating council includes Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. For a resolution to be approved, it needs the support of nine of the total 15 members, and none of the permanent members can veto the text.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

(8) U.S. vetoes a Security Council resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict – NYT

The U.S. vetoes a Security Council resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The American ambassador said the U.S. couldn’t support a measure that didn’t mention Israel’s right to self-defense.

By Farnaz Fassihi
Oct. 18, 2023

The United Nations Security Council displayed deep divisions on Wednesday when it failed to pass a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war as the humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorated and the conflict risked spreading to the region.

The resolution had the support of the majority of the Council members and had been expected to be adopted. The U.S. veto generated criticism of American double standards and accusations that the United States, which had criticized Russia for paralyzing the Council on the war in Ukraine, was impeding the work of the Council. But the American ambassador said the U.S. couldn’t support the resolution without a mention of Israel’s right to self-defense.

Brazil, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council this month, had put forth the resolution, which called for humanitarian access and protection of civilians in Gaza, the immediate release of Israeli hostages and condemned Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel.

The ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, said the resolution may not have been perfect but that it clearly stated “basic principles” that the Council “is obliged to reinforce and uphold.”

Brazil’s ambassador, Sérgio França Danese, said the resolution’s failure was “very sad” and that silence and inaction from the Council did not serve anyone’s interests, especially Palestinians in Gaza, who, she said, “cannot wait any longer.”

The United States was the only no vote, but as the holder of a permanent seat on the Council, its vote carried veto power. Two other permanent members, Russia and Britain, abstained, and the two others — France and China — joined with the remaining 10 Council members, including the United Arab Emirates, in voting for passage.

A day earlier, a resolution from Russia on the war that condemned violence against civilians but did not mention Hamas failed to garner the nine required votes.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the ambassador from the United States, said that the latest resolution, which would have been legally binding, could hamper President Biden’s diplomatic efforts. She was speaking on the eve of his whirlwind visit to Israel. To the Council, she said that the United States “is disappointed this resolution made no mention of Israel’s right of self-defense.” …

(9) China, Japan and France approved the resolution; Britain abstained

Israel-Gaza war: US vetoes UN Security Council resolution calling for ‘pause’ for humanitarian aid
US ambassador tells Security Council to let ‘diplomacy play out’, with US

Published: 5:32am, 19 Oct, 2023

The United States on Wednesday blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for “pauses” in the conflict between Israel and Hamas militants to permit the flow of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Washington used its veto power against the Brazil-drafted resolution, which condemned all violence against civilians and demanded immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

“The United States is disappointed that this resolution made no mention of Israel’s rights of self-defence,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, told the council.

It was the second time in three days the council considered a resolution. On Monday, the US – along with Britain, France and Japan – voted against a call for a “humanitarian ceasefire” brought by Russia, noting that the resolution did not include any reference to Hamas.

China, Gabon, Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates joined Russia, but six other members abstained. Adoption of measures on the 15-member council requires at least nine votes in favour.

A surprise Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 left more than 1,400 dead, most of them civilians. The group is also reportedly holding at least 199 hostages.

Since the attack and abductions, Israeli air strikes have killed nearly 3,000 people in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Israel has cut off the flow of food, medicine, water and electricity into Gaza and told more than 1 million residents in the north of Gaza to flee south as it prepares for a ground offensive.

On Tuesday, Palestinian officials said that at least 500 people were killed in a blast at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City. Both Israel and Hamas have denied responsibility for the explosion.

The actions we take must be informed by the facts on the ground and support direct diplomacy efforts
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to UN

Despite the US opposition, Brazil’s proposal received 12 votes. China, Japan, Switzerland, Ecuador, Mozambique, Gabon, Albania, Brazil, Malta, the United Arab Emirates, Ghana and France approved the resolution. Russia and Britain abstained.

Zhang Jun, China’s UN ambassador, accused the US of misleading the council by not expressing any opposition during negotiations on a resolution that had been underway since Friday.

“Our reaction is that of shock and disappointment,” he said, calling the veto “unbelievable”.

According to sources, Brazil also believed that Washington’s silence during the negotiations meant it would not veto the resolution.

Brazilian Ambassador Sergio Franca Danese stressed that “hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza cannot wait any longer”, warning that once again “silence and inaction prevailed to no one’s long-term interest”.

The UAE’s UN ambassador, Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, told the council that while Hamas was responsible for “sparking the latest fire”, the “kindling was already there, fuelled by decades of violent dehumanisation, dispossession and despair”.

Japan said it had voted in favour of Brazil’s proposal because of the desperate situation in Gaza, adding that it sought a delay to support Washington’s diplomatic efforts to ease the crisis.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with leaders of Group of Seven nations after the vote on the phone to “discuss their support for Israel”.

Thomas-Greenfield urged the Security Council members to let “diplomacy play out” while the US was “on the ground doing the hard work of diplomacy”.

“Yes, resolutions are important. And yes, this council must speak out. But the actions we take must be informed by the facts on the ground and support direct diplomacy efforts. That can save lives. The council needs to get this right,” she said.

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan condemned the council for being “fixated” on humanitarian aid instead of “freeing Gaza from Hamas”.

“It is really unfathomable you cannot even unite on that basic thing”, Erdan said, adding that “some here … choose not to designate Hamas as a terror organisation for political reasons”.

The contentious vote followed US President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel and came as Biden promised firm support for Israel during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.

“You’re not alone,” Biden said, offering more aid and saying that US intelligence indicated the hospital blast was the result of an errant rocket fired by Palestinian fighters.

Later on Wednesday, Netanyahu’s office announced that Israel would not prevent aid from entering Gaza through Egypt, adding that the decision followed a request by Biden.

(10) Democrats split over Israel

The left faces a reckoning as Israel divides Democrats
The divide on the left about Israel is not new, but it has never been so visible.

Oct. 14, 2023, 5:31 AM AEST
By Alex Seitz-Wald

Joel Simonds, a Los Angeles-based rabbi involved in progressive causes, has always known that many of his ideological allies did not agree with him on Israel.

But after this weekend’s terror attack, the worst killing of Jews since the Holocaust, Simonds said many liberal Jews feel abandoned by people they thought were friends, some of whom have expressed little sympathy for the Israelis killed while focusing instead on the plight of Palestinians.

“In these last few days, the silence is deafening and it is hurtful and a betrayal on so many levels,” said Simonds, the founding director of the Jewish Center for Justice and president of Partnership for Growth Los Angeles, an interfaith partnership with Black churches.

American Jews, who are overwhelmingly liberal, have often supported social justice movements. Simonds said while most progressive leaders have offered support, he feels betrayed by others on the left who have not.

“It’s not going to change the way we look at justice,” Simonds said. “It’s going to change the way we look at our allies.”

Israel has been so fraught in some progressive circles that many preferred not to talk about it, enforcing a sort of strategic silence to avoid dividing the movement and distracting it from common ground issues.

That long-stifled debate is now spilling into public view in heated and sometimes ugly ways, dividing Democrats and exposing what some say is antisemitism that has been allowed to fester on the left for years.

“There needs to be some soul searching about the extent of antisemitism within these groups such that these organizations are blinded to the worst form of terrorism,” said Rep. Shri Thanedar, D- Mich., who renounced his membership in Democratic Socialists of America on Wednesday after several of the group’s chapter seemed to applaud Hamas’ attack.

“No one should be supporting such a thing,” Thanedar said.

‘Capable of rejecting both’
Democratic officials remain overwhelmingly supportive of Israel and President Joe Biden has pledged unwavering support. But a growing portion of the party’s base has come to view Israel as the chief villain in the conflict, a colonial oppressor of Indigenous people, going far beyond the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” vision long espoused by center-left (and often Jewish-led) groups to advocate for a peaceful resolution for both Israelis and Palestinians.

In March, Gallup reported that, for the first time since it began asking the question, Democratic voters are now more sympathetic toward Palestinians than Israelis, with a particularly steep drop in net sympathy for Israelis among young voters.

In 2021, a Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs survey found that just 22% of Democrats called Israel an ally, while another 37% viewed it a “necessary partner” and 30% said they didn’t know how to characterize the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Liberal American Jews have long rejected attempts to equate criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism. But groups like the Anti-Defamation League have warned that the left-wing movement that agitates against Israel in the name of Palestinian rights has made antisemitism more socially acceptable in left-leaning spaces like college campuses.

Now, in public condemnations and in private chats, ideological allies and friends are sometimes surprised to find themselves on opposite sides of an issue both feel equally passionate about.

The White House press secretary has condemned as “repugnant” and “disgraceful” statements that suggested Israel was partially responsible for the attack and urged a cease-fire from progressive Democrats like Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, a Palestinian American, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Muslim Somali refugee.

In Massachusetts, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a statement saying the U.S. is “committed to Israel’s safety and security,” fellow progressive Democratic Sen. Ed Markey was booed by a crowd in Boston for calling for “de-escalation,” according to Politico.

Meanwhile, campus groups at Harvard, Yale, George Washington University, New York University and elsewhere have come under fire for responding to Hamas’ attack by refusing to condemn the killing of Israelis. The national leadership of Students for Justice in Palestine celebrated the attack as a “historic win for the Palestinian resistance.”

The New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America co-sponsored a pro-Palestinian rally in Times Square that was condemned by Democrats, in which speakers joked about “the resistance” killing “hipsters.” The Connecticut DSA chapter applauded the “unprecedented anti-colonial struggle.” The Minneapolis and San Francisco chapters endorsed the slogan, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!” which seems to leave no room for Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And the national DSA called for protests against U.S. support for “Israel’s apartheid regime.”

And antisemitic conspiracy theories about the attack and misinformation claiming no Israeli civilians were harmed have been promoted on social media accounts linked to the Black Lives Matter movement.

That kind of reaction sparked a reckoning on the left that has some warning that the progressive movement risks swiftly erasing the gains they painstakingly accrued in the years since Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., himself Jewish, ran for president and re-invigorated the left in 2016.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other DSA-allied elected officials condemned what they called “the bigotry and callousness” of the Times Square rally, saying Americans are “capable of rejecting both Hamas’ horrifying attacks against innocent civilians as well as the grave injustices and violence Palestinians face under occupation.”

Los Angeles City Council Member Nithya Raman, who won her seat by defeating an incumbent with the help of DSA, called the national DSA statement “unacceptably devoid of empathy.”

And some worry the reaction will set back the Palestinian cause by lumping together fringe voices that do not support Israel’s existence with those on the left who do.

Sanders’ longtime foreign policy adviser publicly endorsed an essay by progressive writer Eric Levitz whose headline warned, “A left that refuses to condemn mass murder is doomed.” The essay argued that believing Palestinians have a unique right to the land just replaces one version of right-wing blood-and-soil nationalism for another.

And the Rev. William Barber, the prominent social justice activist, cautioned his fellow progressives in an op-ed for the left-leaning Guardian to make clear that “terrorism is not a protest against injustice, but rather an act of despair that creates more suffering for everyone.”

“Some say, in a moment like this, you cannot condemn the violence without also mentioning the violence that precipitated it. But I will not agree to that position. I cannot,” he wrote.

Still, the division on Israel reaches deep, even among American Jews, about 7 in 10 of whom vote Democratic.

Many, like Sanders, have been involved in the promotion of Palestinian rights and have condemned the Israeli government, especially as it has grown increasingly hard-line as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to bring far-right parties into his government to stay in power.

‘Out of touch and amateurish’
Matan Arad-Neeman, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen born to Israel emigres who had a relative killed in Israel on Saturday, said Hamas’ attack “only reinforces my belief” that the way to stop the cycle of violence is for Israel to “end the apartheid.”

“Israel’s leaders are ramping up calls for genocide and ethnic cleansing. How will that bring back our loved ones?” said Arad-Neeman, now a spokesperson for the Jewish progressive group IfNotNow, which has been holding vigils to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish for those killed on both sides of the conflict.

Activists with IfNotNow were arrested last month in Los Angeles for disrupting an event hosted by AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel group that has for decades been the loudest voice in Washington on Israel.

More recently, AIPAC and allied groups have further alienated the left by becoming a vehicle to pummel progressive candidates in Democratic primaries with millions of dollars in attack ads. That included spending more than $4 million to defeat a now-former liberal congressman who had been the president of his synagogue in support of a more moderate Democrat who is not Jewish.

Asked if his group would disrupt an AIPAC event on Friday, or instead look for solidarity with its fellow American Jewish organization, Arad-Neeman was unequivocal. “I certainly can’t be in solidarity with someone who is going to push for more violence,” he said.

The divide on the left over Israel is not new, but it has never been so visible.

Pro-Palestinian activists have long criticized “Progressives Except for Palestine” as hypocrites, cowards or pawns of shadowy forces. And as Israel’s government moved further to the right and activists on the American left looked for new points of contrast with the Democratic Party, Israel has increasingly become a flashpoint.

The issue is so thorny for the left, in part, because some see it as pitting two persecuted minorities against each other. Jews have been oppressed throughout history and remain a tiny minority, just 2.5%, of the population in the U.S. and a smaller portion everywhere else outside Israel. But in Israel, Jews are dominant and Palestinians are the minority.

Waleed Shahid, a progressive strategist who has been using social media to remind progressives to respect the humanity of people on both sides of the conflict, said activists concerned about Palestinians often get frustrated by what they perceive as a one-sided debate.

“This stuff makes progressives look out of touch and amateurish,” he said, referring to responses to the attack from groups like DSA. “But the fringe sentiment of the pro-Palestinian left represents basically no one in American politics.”

Meanwhile, he pointed to statements by officials in Israel or America, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said on Fox News Wednesday, “We’re in a religious war here. … Level the place.”

“Lindsey Graham is a senator. A right-wing government is in power in Israel. People who stand uncritically for Israel are never asked to answer for their hateful or genocidal comments,” he said. “The random college students who attend a DSA rally do not hold nearly the same weight in our politics.”

(11) AOC decries ‘bigotry and callousness’ of pro-Palestinian rally in New York

AOC decries ‘bigotry and callousness’ of pro-Palestinian rally in New York
US congresswoman says ‘it should not be hard to shut down hatred and antisemitism where we see it’ and calls for urgent ceasefire

Martin Pengelly

Wed 11 Oct 2023 08.13 AEDT
Criticising a pro-Palestinian rally held in Times Square in New York City in the aftermath of Hamas attacks on Israel which left hundreds dead, the progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: “It should not be hard to shut down hatred and antisemitism where we see it.”

The attacks, including the killing of at least 260 concertgoers and the taking of hostages, sparked a new war between Israel and Hamas. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed hundreds. By Tuesday, the Israeli death toll approached 1,000.

The Sunday rally in New York, endorsed by members of the Democratic Socialists of America and promoted by the group’s New York chapter, attracted a crowd of more than 1,000. Some chanted “resistance is justified when people are occupied” and there were reports of a Nazi emblem being shown and Israeli flags burned and trodden on.

Amid attacks from Republicans, Ocasio-Cortez, a New York representative popularly known as AOC, was among Democrats to condemn the rally.

Speaking to Politico, she said shutting down hatred and antisemitism was “a core tenet of solidarity”.

“The bigotry and callousness expressed in Times Square on Sunday were unacceptable and harmful in this devastating moment,” she said.

“It also did not speak for the thousands of New Yorkers who are capable of rejecting Hamas’s horrifying attacks against innocent civilians as well as the grave injustices and violence Palestinians face under occupation.”

Earlier, Ocasio-Cortez was among leading congressional progressives to call for a ceasefire. In a statement, she said: “I condemn Hamas’s attack in the strongest possible terms.

“No child and family should ever endure this kind of violence and fear, and this violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region. An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation is urgently needed to save lives.”

Cori Bush, a progressive congresswoman from Missouri, said that while she “condemn[ed] the targeting of civilians”, to “achieve a just and lasting peace” in the Middle East, “US government support for Israeli military occupations and apartheid” should be ended.

(12) AOC backs US funding of Israeli missile defense

Patrick Martin

In an interview with CNN’s Abby Phillip on Monday night, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez walked back her previous token opposition to US government aid for Israeli militarism, saying that she would now vote in support of US funding of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Iron Dome allows the Israel Defense Forces to conduct unlimited air strikes on Gaza without any fear of retaliation by rocket attacks from Hamas or other Palestinian armed groups.

In December 2021, Ocasio-Cortez came under attack from right-wing groups when she voted “present” rather than “yes” on a bill providing additional US aid to Israel, mainly for Iron Dome. She cited concerns about the actions of the Netanyahu government, including a missile strike that targeted journalists’ offices in the Gaza Strip.

Now, amid saturation bombing of Gaza in which thousands of Palestinians have been killed, including more than 1,000 children, Ocasio-Cortez is willing to support not only US military aid for Iron Dome, but also Israeli action against Hamas—i.e., the ongoing campaign of mass murder throughout Gaza and the preparation of an Israeli invasion and mass displacement of the Palestinian population.

For years, Ocasio-Cortez has been the most visible representative of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) on the national stage. In 2018, she became the first DSA-backed candidate, and DSA member, to defeat an incumbent Democrat in a primary. She went on to win the heavily Democratic seat in the Bronx and Queens, New York, which she has held ever since. This year, as part of her integration into the party establishment, she was given a minor position in the party leadership in the House.

The “squad” of DSA members or representatives linked to the DSA has now swelled to more than half a dozen, including Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, Greg Casar and Summer Lee. Ocasio-Cortez is by far the most widely publicized, frequently interviewed by the national media, with a prominent platform for addressing issues such as the crisis in the Middle East. But particularly on foreign policy, she maintains a slavish support of American imperialism in general and the Biden administration in particular.

This was demonstrated at some length in her CNN interview Monday and not only on the question of US military aid to Israel. She hemmed and hawed on Phillip’s question about changing her position since 2021, finally saying that if a bill was limited to financing the Iron Dome, such aid was “absolutely legitimate.”

She continued, almost babbling, “I have concerns about white phosphorus, I have concerns about human rights and insuring that we have humanitarian aid going through,” she told Phillip. “But on the sole principle of Iron Dome and defense, I absolutely think there’s an openness, for sure.”

Ocasio-Cortez was no more coherent but nonetheless unmistakably pro-imperialist on related questions: calling for a ceasefire in the fighting, and responding to the declaration by Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis that the US should accept no refugees from Gaza because “they’re all antisemitic.”

A transcript captures both aspects of the conversation:

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, when we talk about going in there, I think we should also keep in mind President Biden’s statements as well about what the implications of a potential ground invasion would be. This is an inherently complex situation. I do believe that Hamas needs to be dealt with.

PHILLIP: But how, I think, is what I’m trying to understand.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: And I think what we’re trying to figure out right now is that this present situation of collective punishment and indiscriminate attack is one approach. But we are seeing that the issues and the complications of that approach now, can we target them in terms of intelligence? Is there precision? What are the options available are entirely up to the administration and for Israel to examine and explore.

And moving on to Ron DeSantis:

PHILLIP: There is a lot in there, but I wonder, for you, is he touching on something that is perhaps real here? Should Arab countries be taking on the lion’s share of the burden to absorb what could be over a million if not more refugees from Gaza?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: I think there is something to be said about the region’s partners being able to support and step up Palestinians. However, that does not abdicate the United States from our historic role that we have played in the world of accepting refugees and allowing people to restart their lives here.

Two important observations must be made. First, Ocasio-Cortez cedes to President Joe Biden the decisive role in determining US policy towards Israel and Gaza. In other words, the principal representative of American imperialism must decide how far to support Israel in its attack on Gaza, and she will support him.

The congresswoman adds, “I do believe that Hamas needs to be dealt with.” So she accepts entirely the framework of US “national security” interests laid down by the military-intelligence apparatus and Wall Street.

In relation to DeSantis, Ocasio-Cortez effectively accepts the figure of “one million or more refugees from Gaza” offered by the CNN correspondent. She does not suggest that such a mass displacement of Palestinians—greater numerically than the original nakba that dispersed the Palestinians in 1947-48 and made possible the establishment of the state of Israel—would itself be a war crime of monstrous proportions. The only issue is where these Palestinians should go and whether a small number will be allowed into the United States.

There is currently a bitter conflict raging within the DSA over the slowness of the group’s leadership to embrace the full anti-Palestinian hysteria unleashed by the US political establishment and corporate media in the wake of the October 7 attack by Hamas across the border of Gaza and into southern Israel, in which as many as 1,400 Israelis and an estimated 1,500 Hamas militants were killed.

One long-time public representative of the DSA, columnist Harold Meyerson, issued a statement announcing his resignation from the group, in which he praised Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ocasio-Cortez because “both explicitly and forcefully condemned Hamas.”

He was responding specifically to the statement issued by Ocasio-Cortez last week in which she condemned a pro-Palestinian rally held in Times Square October 8, claiming, “The bigotry and callousness expressed in Times Square on Sunday were unacceptable and harmful in this devastating moment.”

Ocasio-Cortez made no reference to the fact that the Israeli military was killing Palestinians by the thousands in Gaza, allegedly in retaliation for the Hamas raid, or that the government had imposed a blockade barring the 2 million people in Gaza from access to electricity, water and food.

There is no doubt that Ocasio-Cortez has her eye on a more prominent role within the Democratic Party. If the price of that political success is to drop her previous mealy-mouthed rhetoric about sympathy for the Palestinians, she has no problem doing so, whatever the verbal contortions that now entails.

More fundamentally, the global explosion of US militarism, with the opening of war fronts that extend from Ukraine to Gaza to Iran to the South China Sea, has shut down any space for radical posturing by the pseudo-left. They must show their true colors politically, and that means lining up as supporters, cheerleaders and potential leaders of American imperialism.