Peter Myers Digest: This is the Holocaust of our time

(1) This is the Holocaust of our time—Max Blumenthal speech to Women’s National Democratic Committee, March 10

(2) Israeli media is censoring photos & videos of Israel’s demolition of Gaza—Gideon Levy

(3) Zuckerberg comes out as a Zionist, Censors GreenLeft Facebook page over Gaza

(4) Goldman Sachs backs Netanyahu, donates $ to Israel

(5) God Is Underwriting Israel’s Genocide Bond, with help of Goldman Sachs

(6) Knesset passes war budget as Israel’s war cabinet faces dissolution

(7) Israel strikes UN warehouse in Rafah as famine looms in Gaza

(8) British Ruling Class in panic because Anti-Semitic slur no longer demonises opponents

(9) Israel lobby presentation urged US officials to justify war on Gaza with ‘Hamas rape’ claims

(10) Western media concocts ‘evidence’ UN report on Oct 7 sex crimes

(11) American elites launched Ukraine war to beat back a challenge to their own hegemony

(12) WHO uses Ivermectin to protect Rohingya refugees from scabies, after branding it ‘horse medicne’ during Covid

(13) Here’s Every U.S. Factory Making Bombs For Israel

(1) This is the Holocaust of our time—Max Blumenthal speech to Women’s National Democratic Committee, March 10

Watch this speech; it’s very powerful—Peter M.


This is a powerful speech to the Woman’s National Democratic Club in Washington DC, where Max Blumenthal took aim at Biden, Blinken, Pelosi, Jeffries and a party establishment under the full control of the Israel apartheid lobby

2.30 My book Goliath … is really a profile of Isreli society, spending, off and on, five years there, really seeing, from within Jewish Israeli society, how it was all building up to this moment,

2.48 how that society was being primed for a genocide …

30.58 This is the moral issue of our time.

31.00 This is the Holocaust of our time. This is the Trail of Tears of our time. This is the Middle Passage of our time. What we are doing now will be written in the annals of history and will say everything about us.

(2) Israeli media is censoring photos & videos of Israel’s demolition of Gaza—Gideon Levy

From: alfred giannantonio <>

To: Moshé Machover <>

Subject: 12th March 2024 / Interview on ABC Australia National Radio – Gideon

Levy – “What Israel Has Accomplished in Gaza”

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2024 14:03:50 +0000

(3) Zuckerberg comes out as a Zionist, Censors GreenLeft Facebook page over Gaza

It’s not that I approve of Green Left weekly; but Zuckerberg’s censorship shows that most Jews are rallying behind Israel’s genocide—Peter M.

Green Left is being censored by Facebook

Green Left has been banned by Facebook! We need your support! Green Left’s Facebook page was taken down this week, due to our campaign in support of the Palestinian struggle and for iconic resistance fighter Leila Khaled’s right to speak in Australia at the <>Ecosocialism 2024 conference, which GL is co-sponsoring.

If you support Green Left’s right to publish and oppose this censorship, <>become a supporter today and help us fight this ban.

<>Already a supporter? Then make a one-off donation.

Visit our website, or Freecall 1800 634 206 (inside Australia).

(4) Goldman Sachs backs Netanyahu, donates $ to Israel

Commitment to Relief Efforts Following Attacks in Israel

11 OCT2023

The following email was sent today to all Goldman Sachs employees on October 11, 2023.

This weekend’s attack on the people of Israel and horrific assault on innocent lives over the past several days have shocked the world. I know from speaking with many of you that a great number of our people, in addition to our colleagues in Tel Aviv, are distressed and hurting deeply. This attack – and the violation of fundamental human values it represents – affects us, our families and our friends.

We have all felt the responsibility to act. Today, we are announcing a $2 million commitment to organizations providing critical support and humanitarian relief in Israel.

In addition to the firm’s commitment, we are deeply grateful for the support all of you continue to extend via personal donations. To further encourage giving toward humanitarian assistance, the firm will match donations under $25 (or USD equivalent) 3-to-1, and per our standard policy, will match larger contributions dollar-for-dollar. This match applies to all full-time employees (excluding partners) for donations to eligible organizations.

As I said to all of you over the weekend, we remain focused on our people’s safety and supporting one another.

Thank you for your resilience, care and strength.


(5) God Is Underwriting Israel’s Genocide Bond, with help of Goldman Sachs

God Is Underwriting Israel’s Genocide Bond, So The US Securities & Exchange Commission & Goldman Sachs Agree Genocide Is No Section 17(A) Fraud On Bond Investors

by John Helmer, Moscow


Last week it happened that God and the United States Treasury managed to underwrite a record issue of Israel Government bonds to continue the war against the Arabs in Gaza, West Bank,  Lebanon, Syria, Iraq – and Iran if necessary.

The war financing comprised $2 billion of five-year bonds, and $3 billion each of 10 and 30-year bonds.

The US Treasury guarantees bond holders that if Israel defaults on repayment of its obligations,  the US will pay instead. Notwithstanding this, the Israelis were obliged to offer an extra 1.35%, 1.45%, and 1.75% more in interest over the going rate for US Treasury bonds for the same length of term.

The Reuters news agency headline on March 6 celebrated “Israel sells record $8 billion in bonds despite Oct 7 attacks, downgrade”.   The propaganda agency based in New York quoted Israel’s Accountant-General as claiming the bond placement “results showed an “unprecedented expression of confidence in Israel’s economy by the world’s largest international investors”.*

In fact, according to well-informed bond trade sources in Europe, with the higher interest rates the market has just demanded from the Israelis, the spread between the Israel bonds and US Treasuries has never been wider, and the worse this spread will become for Israel. This is a vote of no-confidence from the market which the Israelis, the Americans, and their media are trying to keep secret.

The longer the war is protracted, the more obvious the costs of Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) failure will become – and the deeper the negative bond sentiment will grow. By converting secrecy into money, the market is signalling that it has begun to turn against Israel – and profit at Israel’s expense.

Also unprecedented is the secrecy in which the “expression of confidence” has been managed by the US, French, and German banks acting as managers of the Israeli bond issue;  and of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has had regulatory oversight of the process. The debt financing has been reported as a “private placement”; this has removed the requirement that the Israelis produce a public prospectus explaining how they think their war – plausibly genocide, according to the International Court of Justice in its ruling of January 26, 2024  – is going, and how long the IDF claim it will last.

This does not remove the legal requirement on the two US banks engaged in marketing the bonds to US investors, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, to submit a formal application for SEC approval of what is called a letter of consent. However, asked to confirm the contents of the letter of consent application for the sale of the Israeli bonds, and its official approval, the SEC has refused to give any answer.

Goldman Sachs was asked the same questions. The bank also refuses to say.

Last October the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon,* issued a personal letter to the bank’s employees claiming the Hamas operation was a “violation of fundamental human values”:   Solomon then proposed a $2 million gift of bank funds “to organizations providing critical support and humanitarian relief in Israel”; plus additional bank money, three bank dollars for every one contributed by bank staff making donations under $25, and one for one if the staff contribution was over $25. Asked how much money has been raised for Solomon’s gift to the Israelis, the bank is refusing to reply.

In other words, Israel’s public genocide is a private secret among Americans who are paying for it, and among US government officials responsible for regulating the scheme according to US law.

According to well-informed bond traders, this deal-making is worth in fees to the dealmakers, led by Goldman Sachs, about $100 million.

(6) Knesset passes war budget as Israel’s war cabinet faces dissolution

MARCH 13, 2024 / 2:30 PM

In contentious meeting, Knesset passes war budget as Israel’s war cabinet faces dissolution

Differing views on war in Gaza drive uncertainty in Israel’s government

By Doug Cunningham

March 13 (UPI) — Israel’s Knesset approved a 2024 war budget in a contentious session Wednesday on a vote of 62-55. The war cabinet and National Unity Coalition could be dissolved as the right-wing New Hope party leaves.

It’s the most serious political shakeup since the war in Gaza started Oct. 7.

Ynet reported that, according to sources in Israel’s political system, it’s possible that Israel’s war cabinet won’t be able to continue due to “dissolution of the state camp.”

According to Ynet, Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced Tuesday night that he has decided to end the partnership with Israel’s Blue and White Party to re-establish the right-wing New Hope faction as an independent entity because, he said, the views of the right are not being heard in the existing war cabinet.

Sa’ar also wants to join the war cabinet.

That move ends the National Unity Coalition headed by Benny Gantz.

On X, Gantz posted a reaction that simply said, “Thank you and good luck.”

According to opposition leader Yair Lapid, the war budget session was “The most sectarian, disconnected, and careless budget in the history of the state passed on the votes of the cowards. Don’t give up. This is the final budget that this government will pass.” ..

(7) Israel strikes UN warehouse in Rafah as famine looms in Gaza

Photos: Israel strikes UN warehouse in Rafah as famine looms in Gaza

UNRWA says a facility used ‘to distribute much-needed food and other lifesaving items to displaced people’ was hit.

Dozens of casualties in Israeli attack on UN hub

13 Mar 2024

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said one of its warehouses in war-ravaged Gaza was “hit”, amid mounting efforts to bring food to the besieged Palestinian territory.

Israel’s war on Gaza, raging since October 7, has caused mass civilian deaths, reduced vast areas to a rubble-strewn wasteland and sparked warnings of looming famine in the Palestinian territory of 2.3 million people.

“We can confirm that an UNRWA warehouse/distribution centre in Rafah (southern Gaza) has been hit,” the UN agency said on Wednesday.

“We do not yet have more information on what exactly happened nor the number of UNRWA staff impacted,” agency spokeswoman Juliette Touma told news agency AFP.

“UNRWA uses this facility to distribute much-needed food and other lifesaving items to displaced people in southern Gaza.” …

(8) British Ruling Class in panic because Anti-Semitic slur no longer demonises opponents

Craig Murray: The Panic of the British Ruling Class

March 12, 2024

The suffering and heroism of the people of Gaza, which shines in itself, has also cast a much needed light on the complete failure of the model of Western democracy.

By Craig Murray

I have known George Galloway my entire adult life, although we largely lost touch in the middle bit while I was off diplomating. I know George too well to mistake him for Jesus Christ, but he has been on the right side against appalling wars which the entire political class has cheer-led. His natural gifts of mellifluence and loquacity are unsurpassed, with an added talent for punchy phrase making.

He can be fiercely pugnacious in debate and always refuses to let the media set the frame of discussion, which requires an appetite for confrontation that is harder than you might think; it is not a skill I share.

But outwith the public gaze George is humorous, kind and self-aware. He has been deeply involved in politics his entire life, and is a great believer in the democratic process as the ultimate way by which the working classes will ultimately take control of the means of production. He is a very old-fashioned and courteous form of socialist.

I have to confess I have never shared the romantic view of the working classes, and have always found them in reality more likely to follow the doctrines of Nigel Farage than those of John MacLean.

This is @Nigel_Farage noting that George Galloway said the next election will be about Muslims & “I pray for the peace in this country”.

Farage notes, “he wants Muslims to fell they aren’t as equal as the rest of us.

This sectarian rabble rousing were used by the far-right in…

— David Atherton (@DaveAtherton20) March 6, 2024

But George Galloway is imbued in a native democratic socialist tradition. He is a descendant of the Chartists. You cannot get more British nor more ardent a democrat than George Galloway.

Which is why I found surreal the panic at his election in Rochdale and the claim, by the prime minister no less, that this was an assault on “British values” and even on democracy itself.

The idea that democracy — i.e. voting for somebody — is an attack on, err, democracy was so crazy that, had we any kind of independent media, it would have been ridiculed to death.

That of course has not happened. We are sonorously told we are a nation in crisis. Ordinary forms of democratic activity — free assembly, free speech and free voting — all threaten our society.

The cause of all of this political panic is of course the genocide in Gaza. It is essential to join the dots here. We live in a situation where the wealth gap in society between the rich and the poor is expanding at its fastest ever rate. Where for the first time in centuries, young adults can expect to have lower life expectations in terms of employment, education, health and housing than their parents. Where the nexus of control by the ultra-wealthy of both the political and media classes is tighter than ever.

Where the Overton Window has shrunk to a letterbox.,

Briefly, the chance of the kind of democratic triumph of the working people of which George Galloway dreams, became real with the popular uprising that led to Jeremy Corbyn being placed as Labour leader. Corbyn’s chances were destroyed by an entirely fake narrative of anti-Semitism.

Demonizing Criticism of Israel

Since the Holocaust, anti-Semitism has understandably been the most potent charge that can be levelled against anybody in politics. A deliberate and calculated campaign to apply the term to any criticism of Israel was ultimately successful in destroying Corbyn and his supporters as a short term threat.

So the demonisation of criticism of Israel was not an incidental ploy of the ruling class. It was the most important tool, by which they managed to kill off the most potent threat to their political hegemony to arise in a major Western country for decades.

They succeeded because, bluntly, most people were not paying attention. Many ordinary people saw Israel as they had been taught to see Israel, as a victim nation and therefore criticism of it as generally reprehensible and plausibly anti-Semitic.

This is absolutely wonderful. And hilarious.

— Craig Murray (@CraigMurrayOrg) March 1, 2024

On top of which, the defence of the idea of Israel allies with the Islamophobia which is closely correlated with the racism and anti-immigrant sentiment that remains a strong undercurrent in Western politics, and especially in England.

The Israeli genocide in Gaza has collapsed this narrative. Too many people have seen the truth on social media. Despite every attempt by the mainstream media to hide, obfuscate or distort, the truth is now out there. The reflex hurling by the Establishment of the “anti-Semitic” slur at everybody who opposes the genocide – from the United Nations, The International Court of Justice and the pope down – has finally killed off the power of that slur.

A critical mass of ordinary people have even learnt of the history of the slow genocide of the Palestinians this last 75 years.

The political Establishment, having established support for Israel as the fundamental measure of political respectability which could neatly be used to exclude radicals from political discourse, have been unable to shift ground and drop it.

They are clinging to Israel, not because they have a genuine belief Israel is a force for good, not because they believe in religious Zionism, not even because they believe it is a necessary colonialist project in the Middle East, but because it has been for decades their totem, the very badge of political respectability, the membership card for the political country club.

Israel is now toxic to the public and the entire history of ethnic cleansing, massacre and long genocide on which the very existence of Israel is based, is now laid bare.

The political class are now in a panic, and lashing out everywhere. Police powers to limit free assembly were already hugely increased just last year by the Public Order Act 2023, where any demonstration which is noisy or causes inconvenience can be banned. Now we have calls from the responsible ministers for pro-Palestinian demonstrations to be banned because they offend their sensibilities in a way they are finding difficult to define.

The proscribed organisation model is being considered now to limit freedom of speech and assembly. They are looking at banning the Muslim Council of Britain and Palestine Action. But you cannot ban an idea, and defining anyone who disagrees with you as an “extremist” is unlikely to stand up in the courts. Indeed anyone currently not being branded as an extremist ought to be deeply ashamed.

So far as I can see, only active supporters of genocide are not in the official view “extremists.” As all the main U.K.-wide political parties do support genocide, that of course makes sense

It is worth noting that all the big attacks on liberty this last couple of years — including The Public Order Act, The National Security Act, and (in process) the Rwanda Safety Bill — have the support of Keir Starmer. I fully expect that whatever form the government move to make opposing genocide illegal finally takes, Keir Starmer will approve that too. Remember Starmer claimed that it is legal for Israel to starve Gaza.

Our hearts and minds remain with the people of Gaza. Their suffering and their heroism not only shines in itself, but it has cast a much needed light on the complete failure of the model of Western democracy.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

This article is from

(9) Israel lobby presentation urged US officials to justify war on Gaza with ‘Hamas rape’ claims

Leaked Israel lobby presentation urges US officials to justify war on Gaza with ‘Hamas rape’ claims


The Grayzone has obtained slides from a confidential Israel lobby presentation based on data from Republican pollster Frank Luntz. They contain talking points for politicians and public figures seeking to justify Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip.

Two prominent pro-Israel lobby groups are holding private briefings in New York City to coach elected officials and well-known figures on how to influence public opinion in favor of the Israeli military’s rampage in Gaza, The Grayzone can reveal. These PR sessions, convened by the UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council, rely on data collected by Frank Luntz, a veteran Republican pollster and pundit.

A source who was present during several meetings provided Luntz’s slides to The Grayzone. Participants were informed that the presentations and data contained in the slides were strictly confidential, the source said.

“This is NOT helpful,” Luntz stated in response to an email from The Grayzone requesting his comment on the private meetings.

The Luntz-tested presentations on the war in Gaza urge politicians to avoid trumpeting America’s supposedly shared democratic values with Israel, and focus instead on deploying “The Language of War with Hamas.” According to this framing, they must deploy incendiary language painting Hamas as a “brutal and savage…organization of hate” which has “raped women,” while insisting Israel is engaged in “a war for humanity.” …

Luntz’s Gaza war presentation puts his poll-tested tactics back in the Israel lobby’s hands, urging pro-Israel public figures to stay on the attack with incendiary language and shocking allegations against their enemies.

In one focus group, Luntz asked participants to state which alleged act by Hamas on October 7 “bothers you more.” After being presented with a laundry list of alleged atrocities, a majority declared that they were most upset by the claim that Hamas “raped civilians” – 19 percent more than those who expressed outrage that Hamas supposedly “exterminated civilians.”

Data like this apparently influenced the Israeli government to launch an obsessive but still unsuccessful campaign to prove that Hamas carried out sexual assault on a systematic basis on October 7. Initiated at Israel’s United Nations mission in December 2023 with <>speeches by neoliberal tech oligarch Sheryl Sandberg and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in <>donations and speaking fees from Israel lobby organizations, Tel Aviv’s propaganda blitz has yet to produce a single self-identified victim of sexual assault by Hamas. A <>March 5 report by UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence Pramila Patten did not contain <>one direct testimony of sexual assault on October 7. What’s more, Patten’s team said they found “no digital evidence specifically depicting acts of sexual violence.”

To further the demonization of Palestinians, the Luntz-crafted slides advise that “Israel’s best response is the brainwashed children of Hamas spewing hatred towards Jews (even more than condemning Israelis) with words they don’t know the meaning of and can’t even pronounce.”

The portrayal of the youth of Gaza as ignorant tools of Hamas is clearly intended to deflect from Israel’s industrial-scale slaughter of some 15,000 children in the Gaza Strip since October 7, as well as the <“>wounding, <>orphaning and <>starving of countless more in the besieged territory.

To make their arguments stick, Luntz recommends pro-Israel forces avoid the exterminationist language favored by Israeli officials who have called, for example, to <>“erase” the population of Gaza, and to instead advocate for “an efficient, effective approach” to eliminating Hamas.

At the same time, veteran pollster acknowledges that Republican voters prefer phrases which imply maximalist violence, like “eradicate” and “obliterate,” while sanitized terms like “neutralize” appeal more to Democrats. Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Donald Trump have showcased similar focus-grouped rhetoric with their calls to <>“finish them” and <>“finish the problem” in Gaza. …

(10) Western media concocts ‘evidence’ UN report on Oct 7 sex crimes

Western media concocts ‘evidence’ UN report on Oct 7 sex crimes failed to deliver


Western media promoted a UN report as proof Hamas sexually assaulted Israelis. Yet the report’s authors admitted they couldn’t locate a single victim, suggested Israeli officials staged a rape scene, and denounced “inaccurate forensic interpretations.”

On March 4, the United Nations released a report into sexual violence which has supposedly taken place amid the Israeli war on Gaza. The report was immediately celebrated in mainstream media outlets as proof of what scores of Israel lobbyists and journalists under their sway have insisted for months (despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary): that Hamas forces engaged in a systematic campaign of rape during their attack on Israel on October 7.

There was just one problem. The report’s authors flatly contradicted the idea that any evidence existed to prove a campaign of rape by Hamas.

Many legacy media outlets papered over this inconvenient fact with a few clever tweaks of language. The Associated Press, for example, repackaged claims of rape at Kibbutz Be’eri — which the UN report dismissed as “unfounded” — as “allegations of rape that could not yet be verified.”

The AP wasn’t the only outlet to indulge in such creative writing. A March 5 New York Times headline insisted the UN report had uncovered the sought-after “Evidence of Sexual Assault in Hamas-Led Attack on Israel.”

But following a social media post by The Grayzone’s editor-in-chief, Max Blumenthal, the Times quietly amended its headline to read: “UN Team Finds Grounds to Support Reports of Sexual Violence in Hamas Attack.”

The NY Times has quietly altered its headline, walking back its claim that Patten gathered “evidence” of sexual assault by Hamas on 10/7

Now it’s “grounds to support reports of sexual violence”

— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) March 5, 2024

Comments by the head of the UN team have made it clear the UN mission to Israel was the product of an Israeli public relations campaign. By United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten’s own admission, the team was only dispatched following “pressure” by Israeli government-linked lobbying groups. Her personal schedule reveals its priorities: 15 days in Israel, and just two in occupied Palestinian territory.

And while the report says the UN team specifically declined to include “accounts collected by Israeli intelligence bodies, including those related to interrogations of alleged perpetrators, despite some being offered,” its authors go on to concede that “the mission team benefitted from the full cooperation of the Government of Israel,” noting that UN researchers were only able to visit the sites of 7 October attacks at the Nahal Oz military base, kibbutz Be’eri, the Nova music festival location, and Road 232 “with the support of the Israeli authorities.”

What’s more, the UN team openly admits it “held several rounds of meetings to review information” from the Israeli army, Israeli security service Shin Bet, and the Israeli National Police’s Oct. 7 investigation unit, Lahav 433. Further meetings were held with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and various Israeli functionaries.

But after their multi-week guided fishing expedition, the UN representatives came back mostly empty-

(11) American elites launched Ukraine war to beat back a challenge to their own hegemony

This Prophetic Academic Now Foresees the West’s Defeat

March 9, 2024

By Christopher Caldwell

Mr. Caldwell is a contributing Opinion writer and the author of “The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties.”

“If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not,” President Biden said during his State of the Union address on Thursday night. Europe is “at risk,” he added, as he welcomed Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, the newest member of NATO.

But Mr. Biden also said he remains “determined” that American soldiers will not be necessary to defend Europe. As a White House spokesman put it last week, it is “crystal clear” that the use of ground troops is off the table.

Mr. Kristersson’s head must have been spinning. The prospect of further Russian incursions was the strongest argument that the United States relied on to draw NATO into the war, and to draw new members, like Sweden, into NATO. But if such incursions were a genuine concern, then ground troops would be an option for the United States and its allies almost by definition.

The rationale for NATO participation in the Russo-Ukrainian war is getting fuzzier at the very moment when one would expect it to be getting clearer.

This is a problem. Europeans, like Americans, are tiring of the war. They are increasingly skeptical that Ukraine can win it. But perhaps most important, they distrust the United States, which has done little in this war to dispel skepticism about its motives and its competence that arose during the Iraq war two decades ago. Unique though Americans sometimes believe their polarization to be, all Western societies have a version of it. As Europe’s “elites” see it, NATO is fighting a war to beat back a Russian invasion. But as “populists” see it, American elites are leading a war to beat back a challenge to their own hegemony — no matter what the collateral damage.

American leadership is failing: That is the argument of an eccentric new book that since January has stood near the top of France’s best-seller lists. It is called “La Défaite de l’Occident” (“The Defeat of the West”). Its author, Emmanuel Todd, is a celebrated historian and anthropologist who in 1976, in a book called “The Final Fall,” used infant-mortality statistics to predict that the Soviet Union was headed for collapse.

Christopher Caldwell is a contributing Opinion writer for The Times and a contributing editor at The Claremont Review of Books. He is the author of “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West” and “The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties.”

(12) WHO uses Ivermectin to protect Rohingya refugees from scabies, after branding it ‘horse medicne’ during Covid

WHO implements large-scale Ivermectin-based MDA for one million Rohingya refugees

29 January 2024 Highlights

The World Health Organization (WHO) Bangladesh is carrying out a large-scale Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh and Health Sector partners to break the transmission of persistent scabies upsurge among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char.

Running from November 29th, 2023, to February 01, 2024, this initiative strives to target nearly 1 million individuals residing in 33 camps in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char Island, marking it as the world’s most extensive MDA campaign for scabies treatment and prevention.

MDA is a crucial public health intervention where medicines are provided to large populations for disease prevention or control. The preferred treatment for scabies in MDA is the Ivermectin 3mg tablet and Permethrin 5% cream for contraindicated cases. The MDA treatment will be expanded to reach a broad population, addressing varying needs based on medical considerations.

The initiative was sparked by the heightened susceptibility of Rohingya refugees to scabies, as revealed by a WHO prevalence survey of May 2023. The survey indicated a prevalence rate of 39%, surpassing the crucial 10% WHO threshold necessitating MDA.

Facing initial funding gaps, WHO recommended the initiation of a cost-effective multi-sector response by the Health and WASH Sectors. While these efforts, including case identification and hygiene measures, partially reduced infestation in most camps, persistent transmission in some areas and increased health facility caseloads underscored the necessity for a sustained community-level strategy.

Skin Diseases Figure 2: Monthly prevalence of skin disease among Rohingya refugees from May 2023.

Source DHIS2 November 2023

Scaling up Ivermectin-based MDA

WHO aimed to provide therapeutics for over 992,500 Rohingya, including 5.2 million Ivermectin tablets and 185,000 tubes of Permethrin cream. MAP International made a significant donation of 3.2 million Ivermectin tablets in July 2023. WHO’s global channels initiated the procurement of 2 million Ivermectin tablets and 138,726 Permethrin cream tubes to address potential shortages

WHO conducted extensive training, preparing around 100 healthcare workers to oversee the MDA process. Additionally, 130 Community Health Worker Supervisors and over 1,600 Community UNHCR-led Health Workers were trained to administer the MDA treatment using the Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) strategy.

To enhance coordination, WHO formed the MDA Implementation Advisory Committee involving the Health and WASH Sectors to oversee implementation and finalise the micro-plan for MDA. Additionally, 68 storage sites, comprising 48 health facilities, were selected to securely manage, store, and distribute the drugs ahead of the campaign.

Roll out of MDA Campaign

The campaign was officially launched on November 29th, 2023, in Nayapara Camp. Dr David Otieno, leading the Epidemiology team at WHO, emphasised MDA as a proven strategy acknowledging scabies as endemic, and anticipating a significant reduction through post-MDA surveys. “WHO recommends MDA as a proven strategy to stop the spread of Preventive Chemotherapy for Neglected Tropical Diseases such as Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis and scabies when it is implemented with the highest coverage targets,” says Dr David

A boy receives the first dose of Ivermectin tablets in Camp 26, Rohingya Camps, Bangladesh, November 2023.

Photo credit: WHO/Terence Ngwabe Che

Dr. Jorge Martinez, Head of the WHO Sub Office in Cox’s Bazar, acknowledged challenges, including financial constraints, expressing gratitude for donations, and urging careful execution.

“For over a year, we have been working hard on the process which faced many obstacles. One of the biggest challenges was the huge financial cost of delivering two doses for one cycle of MDA, which was almost USD 1 million.”

He expressed his gratitude to the WHO HQ for helping to find the pharmaceutical donation that supplied 3.2 million tablets and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) of the US Department of State for filling the financial gap that secured 2 million more tablets of ivermectin and 185,000 permethrin 5% cream.

Dr. Bardan Jung Rana, WHO’s Representative in Bangladesh, praised the accomplishment and reaffirmed the commitment to improving the health of Rohingya refugees. “This MDA is a significant accomplishment for WHO Bangladesh and its health sector partners, demonstrating our commitment to improving the health and well-being of Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar,” Dr Rana said.

The MDA comprises two rounds of doses from November 29th, 2023, to February 01, 2024, covering all 33 camps in Teknaf, Ukhiya, and Bhasan Char Island


The campaign faced challenges, including funding shortages and financial constraints among health sector partners in Cox’s Bazar. Additionally, delays in drug procurement

The extensive MDA campaign is a major initiative undertaken by WHO and its partners to address the scabies outbreak among Rohingya refugees. While the challenges encountered underscore the complexities of dealing with public health emergencies, the commitment to enhance the health and well-being of the affected population remains steadfast.

For more information on this publication please email Terence Ngwabe Che, Ext. Communications Officer, Cox’s Bazar Office, WHO Bangladesh at chet@who.inthanded. …

(13) Here’s Every U.S. Factory Making Bombs For Israel

From: Paul Sheldon Foote <> Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2024 20:14:20 -0700 Subject: Here’s Every U.S. Factory Making Bombs For Israel To:

What Does the Swamp Actually Look Like? A Military-Industrial Portrait

Christian Sorensen

4 FEB 2024

The business of war is very well organized.

How does it influence U.S. government?

Its main tools are lobbying firms, think tanks, law firms, and nonprofit pressure groups. The following map demonstrates how each aids the business of war.

This map is not comprehensive. Priority went to corporations with recent documented activity. Locations far beyond the Beltway (e.g., a New York law firm) were not mapped.

The military budget is at least $886 billion, over half of which goes to corporations. The higher the military budget, the more war corporations (“defense contractors”) make.

The U.S. ruling class profits directly from this corporate activity through executive compensation, shareholder dividends (e.g., LMT, NOC, GD), and stock buybacks, which increase the share price. In the longer term, the ruling class profits from war by buying and selling war corporations (often via private equity) and by prying open economies (e.g., U.S. viceroy Paul Bremer’s edicts opening up Iraq’s economy—from agriculture to telecommunications—to multinational corporations).

The $886 billion could be going to programs that benefit the public (e.g., infrastructure, transportation, housing, nutrition, debt relief) instead of garrisoning the globe and waging elective wars that pollute immensely and kill civilians and the troops.

The business of war must be addressed if the U.S. public ever wishes to establish democracy in the nation’s capital and live in a healthy society. Those who oppose war must be more disciplined and vigilant than those within the mapped institutions.


Lobbyists are paid to influence how government officials create policy. Lobbyists meet with members of Congress, their staff, and the top ranks of the Pentagon and State Department. Lobbying disclosure forms kept by the Senate and House provided an address when a lobbying firm’s own website did not. A firm’s “defense” industry clients were found on Open Secrets, unless otherwise indicated on the map. Sometimes, a corporation hires an individual lobbyist directly, not a whole lobbying firm. Those individuals were not mapped. Many lobbyists do not register as lobbyists, and therefore were also not mapped.

A think tank issues information helpful to those who fund the think tank. A think tank funded by fossil fuel corporations, for example, redirects the conversation away from today’s intertwined mass extinction and climate crises. The information it issues aims to sustain the profit-over-people economic system known as capitalism. Think tanks funded by war corporations and/or the U.S. government circulate interventionist narratives and pro-war talking points. They also create and inflate threats, which the Pentagon and intelligence agencies seize in order to justify sky-high budgets and invasive legal authorities. Pundits at think tanks are regularly quoted in corporate media.

A law firm’s “government contracting” division helps corporations do business with the federal government and navigate federal regulation. A law firm can provide other essential assistance: help draft model legislation, which corporate lobbyists offer members of Congress; advise corporations about financing political campaigns; and advise corporations in mergers and acquisitions. Firms’ websites often brag about their revolving-door credentials (e.g., many of their “attorneys have worked at government and regulatory agencies—the same bodies before which they now represent clients,” many of their “lawyers possess an invaluable perspective garnered from years of experience in prior government service”). A law firm that has a dominant lobbying division (e.g., Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Steptoe LLP, Venable LLP) was mapped as a lobbying firm, not a law firm.

Nonprofits apply additional pressure on U.S. government. 501(c) classifications are listed at Charity Navigator and the advantages of the relevant classifications are detailed at Open Secrets, which also explains how “dark money” works. Depending on its nonprofit classification, a 501(c) can “educate constituencies,” communicate with the Pentagon, write letters to Congress and federal executive departments stating industry’s position on business matters, issue reports, coordinate messaging across the industry, sponsor recreation (e.g., the Army Ten-Miler), give awards to active-duty officers (e.g., NDIA’s Eisenhower Award), or administer arms fairs and other events during which military leaders, politicians, and corporate representatives network and make deals. Additionally, there is plenty of room for certain 501(c) organizations to lobby, as a D.C. law firm explains (pdf). Some of the financial industry’s nonprofit pressure groups are included on the map because the financial industry sits atop the business of war: Asset management firms hold a lot of war corporations’ stock, large banks provide loans and lines of credit to war corporations, private equity firms buy and sell war corporations, and venture capitalists invest in startups. Big business incorporates new nonprofits every year.

All four tools (lobbying firms, think tanks, law firms, nonprofit pressure groups) are waystations for individual war profiteers and top bureaucrats who revolve around government and industry.

Christian Sorensen is a researcher focused on the business of war. He is the authority on the bundling of military and big business. A U.S. military veteran, he is the author of Understanding the War Industry (Clarity Press). His research is available at Sorensen is a senior fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN).

Why is the United States always at war? Who profits?

Public Need Versus the Business of War

What does military contracting tell us about the priorities of the U.S. ruling class?

SEP 16, 2023


Mapping the Business of War


12 NOV 2023

Corporations consume over half of the U.S. military budget. And six corporations—Lockheed Martin, RTX, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, General Dynamics, and L3Harris—dominate that half. Their 2022 revenue from military contracting topped $210.5 billion.

Where are these corporations located? What do they produce?

This map summarizes what each facility currently works on and suggests peaceful, beneficial fields toward which production could immediately pivot.

Locations of facilities and what they produce were mostly obtained from military contracting announcements. Corporate press releases and job postings also provided information. Omitted were all purely civilian business segments, such as General Dynamics’ Jet Aviation, which caters to business jets. As corporations often purchase and sell business segments and open and shutter facilities, this map will be updated regularly.

Economic Conversion

Economic conversion involves changing the output of existing industrial capacity.

A federal job guarantee can protect workers during economic conversion. Workers know their facilities best, so they—not corporate executives—should be in charge of conversion.

Numerous fields stand to benefit from these workers (e.g., engineer, physicist, computer programmer, machinist, electrician) who are currently in military industry. Fields include but are not limited to public infrastructure, international scientific cooperation, transportation, disaster relief, and energy generation and storage.

As seen in the map, many facilities already produce goods and services—including satellites, rockets, telemetry, avionics, aircraft, information technology, propulsion, cameras and imaging systems, ships, land vehicles, logistics programs, and communications equipment—that could be used for peaceful civilian purposes.

Federal spending on non-military fields such as infrastructure and sustainable energy creates more jobs than military spending. Other benefits come from economic conversion:

Less death. Less destruction. Less pollution (e.g., A, B, C).

Political space to bring the troops home and take care of them.

Money, once tied up in a bloated military budget, freed for public need, such as housing, education, and water infrastructure.

A united working class can generate the political will to take on big business interests and initiate economic conversion—war to peace.

Christian Sorensen is a researcher focused on the business of war. He is the foremost authority on the bundling of military and big business. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he is the author of the book Understanding the War Industry (Clarity Press, 2020). His research is available at Sorensen is a senior fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN), an organization of independent veteran military and national security experts who understand that U.S. foreign policy is not making them, or the world, safer.

Pro-Israel groups are spending big money on this year’s elections and everyone knows their targets. They want to take out the small number of congressional members who criticize Israel. The ones who have been advocating for a ceasefire since the assault on Gaza began.

One of the major names atop the list is Summer Lee, the progressive representative in Pennsylvania’s 12th district.

In 2022 AIPAC spent more than $4 million trying to prevent Lee from reaching her current office. She narrowly squeaked out a win against former GOP staffer Steve Irwin, who was backed by the lobbying giant and other pro-Israel organizations.

Lee angered the group by criticizing Israel’s 2021 attacks on Gaza. “When I hear American pols use the refrain ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’ in response to undeniable atrocities on a marginalized population, I can’t help but think of how the west has always justified indiscriminate and disproportionate force and power on weakened and marginalized people,” she had tweeted. “The US has never shown leadership in safeguarding human rights of folks its othered But as we fight against injustice here in the movement for black lives we must stand against injustice everywhere. Inhumanities against the Palestinian people cannot be tolerated or justified.”

Lee was given an opportunity to apologize for her remarks at a later event, but refused. Instead she linked the struggle of Palestinians to the fight for civil rights in the United States.

“I was seeing, as a black woman, somebody who has also experienced oppression – we as black folks have experienced global oppression – and really looking at the parallels and being startled,” she explained. “That was I believe a year ago, also during Ramadan, where we saw a mosque being raided. Those are folks who are in their most vulnerable point and they’re holding on, praying and breaking fast, and that was an internationally-recognized event that happened that was an escalation unlike we had seen, and what I heard and what I continue to hear was instead of a cry out to say that was not OK… instead what I saw were American politicians rushing to use that phrase that Israel has a right to defend itself.”

“The question was what were they defending themselves against at that moment and I think that that was specifically what that tweet was speaking about,” she continued. “When we are saying that a powerful entity has a right to defend itself, when no one had done anything needing a defense, that was the parallel that was drawn between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman who instigated it and then saying he had a right to defend himself. And that’s what I was seeing as a black woman and recognizing that parallel and the trauma that comes with it.”

AIPAC’s concerns turned out to be justified.

Since taking office she’s criticized Israeli violence in the West Bank, called for an independent probe into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, and voted against new Iran sanctions. She was one of just ten House members to vote against an October resolution,” standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”

Lee was one of just five House members to introduce a legislation calling for a ceasefire back in October.

In recent weeks criticisms of Lee from pro-Israel groups and individuals have increased.

First, she faced backlash for an appearance with the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) over comments that other speakers had made. One had called Israeli “demons”, one had previously praised Farrakhan, and another had implied Disney was brainwashing kids by making Buzz Lightyear gay.

Lee dropped out of the event and put out a statement about the situation on social media. “Yesterday, when it was publicly reported, I learned of previous statements made by other speakers at this event I was scheduled to attend this weekend,” she wrote on social media.

“I wanted to join this event with other members of Congress and elected officials to support our Muslim neighbors, in the Commonwealth and across the country, who are desperate to be heard by their own elected officials and feel supported at a time of rising anti-Muslim hate and violence,” she added. “I do not condone or endorse any of the other speakers’ previous comments.”

40 rabbis and cantors from the Pittsburgh area sent Lee a letter explaining that this wasn’t enough. They called on the congress member to condemn the event’s speakers and criticize the leadership of CAIR.

The group also brought up Lee campaign contributions that came from CAIR executive director Nihad Awad. Pro-Israel groups have accused Awad of “celebrating” the October 7th Hamas attack over comments he made at a Chicago event in November.

“The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege the walls of the concentration camp on October 7,” he said. “Yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their own land that they were not allowed to walk in. And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes, Israel as an occupying power does not have that right to self-defense.”

Awad pushed back on the criticism, saying his remarks were taken out of context. “What I actually said while discussing international law: Ukrainians, Palestinians and other occupied people have the right to defend themselves and escape occupation by just and legal means, but targeting civilians is never an acceptable means of doing so, which is why I have again and again condemned the violence against Israeli civilians on October 7th and past Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians,” he explained.

Lee has distanced herself from Awad, but has ignored calls to return the contributions.

The same group of rabbis and cantors sent Lee an open letter in October calling her support for a ceasefire, “grotesque.”

The latest controversy concerns Dear White Staffers, a social media account that anonymously shares information about Washington, DC.

This week Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod published a piece that connects the account to a staffer working for Lee. “How ‘Dear White Staffers’ turned into an anti-Israel, antisemitic account,” blares the title. Rod writes that the account, “has taken on a new tenor in the five months since Oct. 7, morphing into a prominent and vocal anti-Israel platform that some fellow Hill staffers describe as borderline or openly antisemitic.”

The account has certainly criticized Israel since the attacks on Gaza began. What does the website classify as antisemitism though?

First, a post on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). The congresswoman had publicly celebrated the fact that the Biden administration had refused to embrace a ceasefire. The Dear White Staffers account shared her sentiments and wrote, “5,000 children was not enough for Debbie Wasserman Schultz.” The Jewish Insider links to an AJC explainer on blood libels. The idea here being that the account is implementing an antisemitic trope because Schultz is Jewish.

The website also implies that a post on the Capitol Police’s violent response to ceasefire protests was antisemitic. The caption on that one? “The United States Capitol Police travel to Israel for training. They are now deploying those tactics on peaceful protestors in DC.”

Lee’s fundraising has been impressive, but she’s going to be up against big money. J Street’s PAC backed Lee’s candidacy in 2022, but she can’t expect much from the liberal group this time around. They’re staying out of primaries altogether. It’s “generally not a fruitful use of our resources to spend in intra-party feuds,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami told Politico.

“Since the start of the war, J Street has abdicated responsibility toward challenging AIPAC’s dangerous mission to purge the Democratic Party of anyone dedicated to Palestinian human rights,” tweeted Democratic strategist Waleed Shahid. “A moral and political disaster. They’ve all but surrendered this battle for the soul of the Democratic Party while AIPAC triples down their efforts.”

Lee’s reelection will surely be an uphill battle.

“Uncommitted” Isn’t Going Away

Last week more than 100,000 voted “Uncommitted” in Michigan’s primary, in an attempt to send a clear message to the Biden administration over Gaza.

Some pundits dismissed the idea that election was bad news for Biden and suggested that some media were “overhyping” the results.

In this past Tuesday’s primaries we saw thousands turn out to send the same message. 88,021 voters in North Carolina. 58,936 in Massachusetts. 50,134 in Colorado. 45,914 in Minnesota, where the movement won 11 delegates.

These numbers are not the result of well-funded campaigns that have been organizing for weeks. This has largely been stoked by word of mouth and social media. It’s impossible to know what will happen between now and November, but it seems very clear that anyone shrugging off Biden’s electoral issues is in denial.

“Whether or not Democrats control Congress will naturally constrain whether Biden makes good on that policy agenda; but having a compelling agenda in the offing to begin with might lift the candidates he’ll depend upon in his next term to victory,” writes Osita Nwanevu in The Guardian. All that aside, faith in Biden’s capacity to lead and accomplish will rest in some part on whether and when the situation in Gaza comes to a peaceable resolution ⁠– getting a handle on the situation and pressuring Netanyahu into ending the war would be a significant turning point in his presidency.

“There and elsewhere, Biden needs to find a new course. Otherwise, the election may be over before he realizes it.”

Some good coverage at NPR

NPR’s “On the Media” has covered the Gaza war in recent months with an emphasis on non-Palestinian experts like David Remnick.

That framing was discarded on March 1 when it aired a show that featured Mona Chalabi and William Youmans discussing the media’s bias against Palestinians.

Youmans, a professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, said he had reviewed 51 hours of TV coverage on NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox (including Face the Nation and Meet the Press) in the weeks after October 7.

“I found that overwhelmingly, most of the guests were American, 120 out of 140,” Youmans said. “Of those guests, not one of them was Arab or Palestinian-American. The driver of the pro-Israeli arguments in these shows were US officials… I was surprised to find out that there was only one guest who was Palestinian, Husam Zomlot, who is the PA’s representative to the UK.”

Youmans found that the guests were 4.6 times more likely to be sympathetic to Israel than Palestine.

Youmans arrived at that ratio by tabulating such statements as “Israel has a right to self-defense”– pro-Israel—and “Palestinians are resisting against the military occupation” –pro-Palestinian.

Chalabi highlighted bias in the New York Times, by creating visualizations of trends (documented by Holly Jackson, a computer science PhD at UC Berkeley). One visualization was “a graph showing that The New York Times consistently mentioned Israeli deaths more often than Palestinian deaths from October 7th to the 18th, even as more Palestinians were dying.”

Chalabi also tracked the dehumanization of the Palestinians by the BBC. “Israelis were more likely to be humanized in the reporting. Israelis would be described as mothers, grandmothers, daughters, fathers, husbands, sons.”

Host Micah Loewinger summarized: “The term mother or grandmother was used 51 times to 32 times for Israelis versus Palestinians. Daughter and granddaughter was used 35 times to describe Israelis, 15 for Palestinians. The term father and grandfather was used 33 times for Israelis, 9 for Palestinians. Husband 30 times to 5 times for Palestinians. Son/grandson was used 25 times to 11 times for Palestinians.”

NPR also ran an 8-minute piece by Jane Arraf on stateless Palestinian refugees in Iraq that was highly thoughtful about Palestinian history. It described the dispossession of the Nakba, which resulted in over 6 million refugees today. It described the Al-Aqsa mosque as being in ‘Israeli-occupied Jerusalem.”

And it pointed out a glaring double standard: “While Israel allows anyone from anywhere in the world with a Jewish grandparent to live in the country, it bars Palestinian refugees from returning.”

h/t Phil Weiss

Odds & Ends

📰 ‘Here are the latest examples of the astonishingly dishonest ‘NYTimes’ coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza’

🇺🇸 ‘Aaron Bushnell calls U.S. progressives to their greatest traditions’

📝 Biden memos show Palestine advocacy is working’

🇺🇸 ‘Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed. Biden says critics should, ‘Give this just a little bit of time”

🚫 Jerusalem Post: ‘Tufts student senate adopts BDS resolutions against Israel’

🗳️ Jewish Insider: ‘In Silicon Valley House race, leading Democratic candidates reflect party’s fault lines on Israel-Hamas war’

🇺🇸 Counterpunch: ‘On Aaron Bushnell, Anti-Colonial Solidarity, and the Era of Right-Wing Victory

🏫 Truthout: ‘Academic Institutions in the West Can No Longer Remain Silent on Gaza’

🗳️ The Nation: ‘Gaza Is on the Ballot All Over America’

🇺🇸 Jewish Currents: ‘Understanding Biden’s Settler Sanctions Strategy’

👏 The New Republic: ‘Protestors Lay Some Truth on Jared Kushner During ADL Speech

🪧 SF Gate: ‘Gaza protest organizers say police assaulted peaceful marchers’

💰 Mitchell Plitnick on Twitter: “AIPAC spent nearly $5 million on the CA-47 congressional race, opposing State Sen. Dave Min. It’s not certain yet, but it looks extremely likely that Mim will overcome that enormous spending against him and make the Nov ballot. AIPAC spending is NOT decisive.”

🗳️ Rolling Stone: ‘Super Tuesday Highlights Biden’s Gaza Problem’

🗣️ Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff is headed to California’s Senate runoff in November, but he was unable to deliver a victory speech because he was repeatedly shouted down by Jewish activists demanding a ceasefire.

🇮🇱 ‘White House asks State Dept., Pentagon for Israel-bound weapons list’

🐘 Tennessee GOP Rep. Chuck Fleischmann: “You can tell the Palestinians — I will never support them!”

Protestor: “I am a Palestinian.”

Fleischmann: “Then I will tell you, I will never support you. I will tell you to your face: Goodbye to Palestine!”

🇺🇸 Responsible Statecraft: ‘At the Hague, US more isolated than ever on Israel-Palestine’

📊 A new YouGov poll commissioned by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that 52% of Americans think that the US government should halt weapons shipments to Israel. Among people who voted for Biden in 2020 it’s 62%.

Stay safe out there,