22 May 2024

Tarneem’s Life at War: Learning to Live with the Constant Uncertainty of Evacuation - The Diary of a Young Woman Keeping Ahead of Biden’s Genocidal Monsters

 The hypocrisy of the West’s leaders over the  Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu & Gallant - Unfortunately Biden & Blinken's names aren't on them

Below is a second instalment from Tarneem, a young Palestinian woman I met when she was in England. A gifted writer she describes life under Israel’s genocidal occupation and I hope you read her moving story. I carried the first instalment A Day in the Life of Tarneem at the end of April.

I welcome the proposed prosecution of Netanyahu and Gallant and hope that the rest of Israel's war cabinet and genocidaires, such as Smotrich and Ben Gvir, will follow.

The reaction of the Chief War Criminal, Netanyahu, would be amusing if this were not so tragic.

"ICC prosecutor, with what audacity do you dare compare the monsters of Hamas to the soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world?," Netanyahu said in his response to the request. He added that he "reject[ed] with disgust the prosecutor's comparison between democratic Israel and the mass murderers of Hamas.

The ‘monsters of Hamas’ treated their captives impeccably compared to the treatment of Palestinians in Israel’s torture camp, Sde Teiman.

The murder of 40,000 plus Palestinians, including 15,000 children, to say nothing of attacks on hospitals, murder of hundreds of doctors and health staff, bombing of schools etc. don’t count in Netanyahu’s eyes because Palestinians are ‘human animals’ and outside the law.

Netanyahu is fond of weaponising the Holocaust but one comparison he and his fellow war criminals have missed is the fact that Himmler justified the extermination of Jews, in a speech on October 4, 1943, by referring to Jews as ‘human animals’.

As the WW2 National Museum article on Himmler’s October 1943 Speeches says

Russians, Czechs, and other Slavs, Himmler resumed, possessed no inherent value as human beings. For the SS, these “human animals” were only valuable insofar as they labored under the lordship of the superior Aryan Germans

So it is with Israel’s ‘human animals’

When Netanyahu describes Israel’s army as ‘the most moral army in the world’ I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Just today they have killed 3 children in Jenin, which Hamas doesn’t even rule. Their monsters, and here the term is apt, paraded with the underwear of the women they had killed fantasising no doubt about their victims.

But if Israel’s ‘Crime Minister’ is a figure of fun then what of the senile enabler of genocide, Joe Biden who declares that

“The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

Biden is right. There is no equivalence between Hamas and Israel. Hamas killed a few hundred Israelis in the course of their resistance to a 57 year occupation and 17 year siege. Israel has destroyed the whole civilian infrastructure of Gaza plus killing probably 50,000 by now. Only the sick, diseased minds of our imperial rulers, who turn the truth on its head could claim that Israel is the innocent party.

Biden claimed that ‘“I will always ensure that Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Hamas and all its enemies”. You might imagine that Hamas had been occupying Israeli territory. What Biden and the imperialists are doing of course is supporting Israel’s right to occupy and terrorise Palestinians indefinitely. Of course Palestinians have no such right of self-defence despite the fact that it is they, not Israel which has been under occupation for over half a century.

October 7th was certainly a shock to Israelis but the casualties were just half of those in Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.  It is the idea of fighting back against one’s oppressors that so disturb Biden and Washington’s war criminals, who are no slouches when it comes to committing their own war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq etc.

Germany has also condemned what it calls the “false equivalence”. Of course the German State is an expert when it comes to genocides so it is no surprise that they approve of the genocide in Gaza. Indeed given the expertise of Germany, having carried out the 20th century’s first genocide in South-West Africa and then the holocaust what is surprising is that they didn’t offer their expertise to the Israelis. After all in 8 months Israel has only killed about 50,000 whereas Germany managed untold millions in the course of 6 years of war.

Perhaps Olaf Scholtz will dispatch the commanders of Germany’s army to teach the Zionists how to go about a really big genocide. Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotoveli spoke in October about killing 600,000 so clearly she and the German state must be disappointed.


Sunak, Biden’s little puppet, also condemned the issuing of warrants saying that it was "not helpful to reaching a pause in the fighting, getting hostages out or humanitarian aid in." I can’t remember him making similar comments when the ICC rushed out warrants against Putin for the Ukraine war. Perhaps I’m just being forgetful.

Biden said that ‘"What's happening in Gaza is not genocide. We reject that," Perhaps Genocide Joe would enlighten us as to how many Israel has to kill bearing in mind the Genocide Convention and Article II which defines genocide as

‘any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its

physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The fact is that there is nothing that Israel can do which won’t meet with Biden’s approval because the United States is not in the habit of kicking its favourite watchdog too hard.

However I don't welcome the proposed prosecution of Hamas leaders. Clearly Karim Khan felt the need to be 'even handed'.

I don't support Hamas politically, after all I'm a Jewish atheist but Hamas is a resistance not a terrorist organisation. It was entitled to break-out on October 7 from the ghetto concentration camp that was Gaza. There is no equivalence between Hamas and the Israeli state, the fourth most powerful in the world, than there was between the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance and the Nazis. Let us bear in mind that the last Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance, Marek Edelman, made just such a comparison to the fury of Israeli leaders.

As John  Rose wrote in his Obituary for Marek Edelman on 7 October 2009

In the summer of 2002, Edelman, still going strong, intervened in Israel's show trial of the now jailed Palestinian resistance leader, Marwan Barghouti. He wrote a letter of solidarity to the Palestinian movement, and though he criticised the suicide bombers, its tone infuriated the Israeli government and its press. Edelman had always resented Israel's claim on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising as a symbol of Jewish liberation. Now he said this belonged to the Palestinians.

He addressed his letter to the Palestinian ZOB, "commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations – to all the soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organisations". The old Jewish anti-Nazi Ghetto fighter had placed his immense moral authority at the disposable of the only side he deemed worthy of it.

It was because Edelman criticised Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians that, despite it trying to co-opt the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance to the Zionist chariot, not even the lowliest clerk at the Israeli Embassy in Poland attended his funeral.  A state funeral in which the Poland President gave the address and at which there was a 15 gun salute.

Would the ICC have prosecuted the Polish Home Army for the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis or the French Resistance? Of course not yet they undoubtedly committed atrocities. So too with Hamas. Even accepting that they committed some atrocities on October 7, they pale in comparison when compared to Israel’s crimes.

Hamas did not attack an Israeli hospital. They did not murder doctors and nurses. They did not bomb ambulances or schools. They did not raze universities to the ground nor did they attack synagogues.  Israel has razed dozens of mosques and churches to the ground, bombing St. Porphyrius Church in Gaza City, the world’s third oldest church.

Hamas did not torture its captives. On the contrary they praised their ‘humane’ treatment much to the fury of Israel’s practiced propagandists. Some even spoke of being treated like ‘queens’. When one Zionist told me on Twitter that they were suffering from Stockholm Syndrome I asked him why Palestinian captives didn’t suffer from the same syndrome! 

Hamas killed some 1139 people on October 7, 400 of whom were military. 38 children including 2 babies died. No one was beheaded, there was no organised rape, these are all discredited Zionist narratives. There are no victims, no forensic evidence and the witnesses to the allegations have confessed that they lied.

There is no evidence that Hamas deliberately killed children, still less babies. Indeed Israel killed probably a majority of Israeli civilians who died because of its Hannibal Directive.

Israel by contrast has killed at least 15,000 children. Slave revolts were far more bloody than Hamas's Uprising yet would we have condemned them and demanded the ‘right of self defence’ for the slave masters?

The United States is now threatening the court because it was only designed for African dictators and Putin. Not for them! This is the arrogance of imperialism. Their ‘rules based order’ is only for other people, never themselves.

And I learnt today that the so-called pier that Biden claimed was there to funnel aid into Gaza has been found to be channelling weapons to the Israeli state. Their lies are never ending.

Please do read Tarneem's heart rending description of what it is like to be fleeing from their genocidal army and having to keep moving whilst Biden & Sunak do their best to protect Israel's Nazi-like war criminals.

All the photos of people fleeing have been taken by Tarneem in Rafah. 

Tarneem has a Fundraiser - Please Contribute to It and Help get her Family out of Gaza

Tony Greenstein

 Life at War, part 2: Learning to Live with the Constant Uncertainty of Evacuation

Israeli forces have begun their ground offensive on Rafah and have seized control of the border, effectively cutting off lifesaving aid deliveries into Gaza, Palestine. The closure of Rafah crossing is simply a death sentence to everyone in Gaza. It’s a death sentence for thousands of injured and patients listed for medical treatment outside Gaza. It’s a death sentence for Gazans who want to evacuate and escape death. It’s a death sentence for patients waiting life-saving and critical surgeries by international medical teams, who won’t be allowed into Gaza. It’s a slow death sentence for many because soon there will be no food, essentials, or humanitarian aid. Food, fuel, medicine, and basic supplies are running dangerously low in Gaza.

Literally, hundreds of people are dying every single day. It’s a mental death sentence, I already feel further isolated from the rest of the world and literally trapped by military tanks from the southernmost point (Rafah crossing) to the northernmost point (Erez crossing) in Gaza. It’s a political death sentence to a so close agreement between Hamas and Israel. It will be used as a political tool and will impact the negotiations. Meanwhile, more Gazans & probably hostages will lose their lives. Of course, Israel, the US and Egypt lie as much as they breathe and say the crossing is open. It’s open in the sense that trucks can drop stuff in the long line of trucks, but the supply route is not open at all, it’s not safe to get trucks into Gaza from a zone full of military tanks!

I was speaking to Lama, my friend in Rafah, and that’s their story of multiple evacuation.

Lost Count

I don't even remember how many times we've had to pack up our lives and flee. It's become a cruel routine, a twisted dance of survival in a land that knows nothing but war and chaos. Each time feels like tearing open old wounds, reliving the trauma of displacement repeatedly. I’m from northern Gaza, I initially evacuated to a friend’s house in Jabalia, then to Gaza city. Then, both of our families evacuated to the middle area, then to Khan Younis and by the beginning of December 2023, we were in a tent in Rafah.

I wonder what people think when they read the word evacuation. Do people consider the psychological trauma inherent in the act itself?I left pieces of myself behind at every stop, memories, belongings – it's all scattered along the way. I left my photo album in the north, my camera in Gaza city, my laptop in the middle area and I have no memories of so many dear friends I have lost. But it’s alright because I still have my life.

Or do people think about the endless debates, the weighing of risks, and the collective anxiety over whether to stay or go, and if so, where to? Do they reflect on the logistical challenges, like the scarcity of available vehicles, which often leave us with no choice but to walk for miles on foot, carrying our mattresses and blankets on our backs. Are people aware of the financial strain imposed by the scarcity and high cost of fuel, making transportation prohibitively expensive? Or do they simply gloss over it as just another word in the endless stream of news about Gaza.

For me, “evacuation” isn't merely a word – it's a call to action, a stark reminder of my vulnerability and indignity we endure every day.And now, as Israel issues evacuation orders for eastern Rafah, we find ourselves once again thrust into uncertainty. "We must endure," I tell myself.

Inhumane Conditions

When we got to Rafah, we had no relatives there and couldn’t stay at someone’s house, so we ended up in a tent. We were late to receive help from aid organizations, so we had to make do with whatever we could find – wood beams, old clothes, bits of fabric, anything to give us some shelter. And the swelling demand for shelters and the lack of supply has sent prices for materials skyrocketing, we have spent all our savings by now. Before the war, we had a small tent in Gaza, mainly for our family gatherings at the beach. I wish I had brought it with me but who knew we’ll end up in a tent.

Our days now revolve around the ceaseless quest for survival, even the most basic necessities – water, food, sanitation – are luxuries beyond reach.

Water is like gold for us now. We wash ourselves and drink from a single bucket. I have been washing my clothes by hands for seven months now. Privacy is a luxury we can't afford. We're crammed together in tight spaces, and the communal bathroom is a daily queue. I’ve told I’ll get used to it but it's not easy when everyone knows your business. I literally want to disappear when I’m standing in line for the bathroom, but if I do, I’ll miss my turn.

Cooking is a hassle too. We must scrounge for firewood just to make a meal, and everything smells like smoke afterwards. I miss wearing or smelling perfumes. Our meals are meager and uninspiring, I haven’t had any fruit for months now, not eggs, not meat yet I’m thankful that we still have some food.

Hygiene is a distant memory, a luxury reserved for those who dwell in more fortunate place but not Gaza. There is sand everywhere, clinging to our skin and clothes like a relentless oppressor, even in our food.

We have endured rainy days; and as you can imagine our makeshift tent is not winterproof or waterproof. Our limited belongings have been soaked by rain multiple times.I remember nights of January when we’d be awake because there is rain leakage into the tent. We would have nowhere to go to except to stand up, stay awake until the rain stops, and then start cleaning. Now,we’re enduring scorching heatwaves, it’s like living in an oven. There are pests, including ants, lizards, and snakes. There are flies, and insects all over the place, while our fragile makeshift tent offering little protection from the forces of nature.

We fall ill with alarming frequency, our bodies weakened by malnutrition and exposure to all these circumstances. Yet, there is no respite from our suffering, no sanctuary! I once couldn’t even find a simple painkiller like Panadol in the pharmacies of Gaza.

Living in makeshift tents is a daily battle for survival, a relentless onslaught of deprivation and despair. We are the forgotten ones, the voiceless masses who cling to life with every ounce of strength we possess. There is no other option if you are a survivor so far.  Ijust hope our resilience knows no bounds and our strength never runs out.

We are now at Al Mawasi area in Khan Younis, and it is just another place without adequate shelter, food, water, and medical care. Just another city of tents and surely not safe at all. There is constant fear of airstrikes and shelling, never knowing when the next bomb will fall or if we'll be the ones caught in its path. We’ll have some bread and sleep on the street because it is too late, and everyone is already tired. Tomorrow, we’ll wake up to build another makeshift tent and start the suffering all over again.

Will It Ever Stop?

I often find myself wondering if this cycle of displacement will ever come to an end. Will I ever sleep on a bed again, instead of a mattress? Will I ever take a hot shower? Will I ever eat my favourite meal of Pizza and enjoy a cup of soda. Will my house in the north of Gaza be standing? Will there ever be a day when we can finally lay down our roots and build a future for ourselves without fear of it being ripped away?

Hope is a fragile thing in Gaza, a flickering flame in the darkness that threatens to be extinguished at any moment. We cling to it desperately, praying for a glimmer of light to guide us through the darkness. But perhaps the most unbearable part is the constant uncertainty, never knowing when the next evacuation will come or where we'll end up next. It's a cruel game of chance, played with our lives as the stakes.

19 May 2024

We are Living in an Orwellian Dystopia Where Lies are the Truth & the Truth is a Lie

 International Law is Dying and the Mask of Western Democracy is Disappearing With It

Brilliant complication of scenes of violence by the New York Police set to The Hanging Treee

It is a truism that the first casualty of war is the truth. In the case of Israel’s attack on Gaza even the word ‘war’ is a lie. Unless the devastation of hospitals and the murder of doctors and patients counts as a war.

In 1984, Orwell's dystopian novel, doublethink was the ability to hold two diametrically opposed ideas and believe in them both simultaneously. The three slogans of the party — "War Is Peace; Freedom Is Slavery; Ignorance Is Strength" — are examples.

Today we see this playing out in Israel’s war on the Palestinians. Genocide is called Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ and ‘terrorism’ is the Palestinians’ resistance. If anyone is the terrorist it is the Israeli state whose military has destroyed every university, nearly every hospital and virtually all civil society infrastructure such as churches, mosques and schools.

US Police Attack Student Demonstrators 

Orwell lived before the advent of social media but what he wrote is as true now as when he wrote it nearly three-quarters of a century ago.

political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face... Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification.... Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

We can replace pacification with the war against terror but the meaning is the same. We live in a world of lies, where truth is deemed subversive. Yet Orwell was wrong was in believing that people would simply accept the situation and adjust their thinking accordingly. Opinion polls in Britain and America have uniformly shown that the 70% of people wants an immediate ceasefire and a majority of young people and legal scholars see Israel’s actions as genocide.

The National Guard's Murder of 4 Students at Ohio University in 1970

Even members of Biden’s own administration have protested. On May 15 Lily Greenberg, a Jewish-American political appointee, resigned. On May 13 Major Harrison Mann resigned from the Defence Intelligence Agency, accusing Biden of ‘advancing a policy that enables the mass starvation of children’.

Mann cited an “unexpected outpouring of support” from colleagues testifying to the unprecedented dissent in the intelligence agency.


National Security Council member John Kirby had said he didn’t believe Israel was deliberately committing war crimes.  Presumably they were accidental! Kirby denied that there had been any breach of international law. Call wrote:

My whole life has been spent in Jewish community in the US and Israel. I have spent time in Israel/Palestine..., I am terrified by rising antisemitism around the world. And yet I am certain that the answer to this is not to collectively punish millions of innocent Palestinians through displacement, famine and ethnic cleansing....

As of writing this. Israel has killed 35,000 people in Gaza, including 15,000 children. The Israeli military has bombed medical infrastructure, besieged a hospital, left mass graves behind, destroyed every university in Gaza, targeted journalists and aid workers and committed many, many inexcusable atrocities. These are all violations of international law, none of which would be possible without American weapons, and none of which have been condemned by President Biden.

The President has the power to call for a lasting ceasefire, to stop sending weapons to Israel, and to condition aid. The United States has used nearly no leverage throughout the last eight months to hold Israel accountable; quite the opposite. we have enabled and legitimized Israel’s actions with vetoes of UN resolutions designed to hold Israel accountable. President Biden has the blood of innocent people on his hands....

Any system that requires the subjugation of one group over another is not only unjust. but unsafe. Jewish safety cannot – and will not – come at the expense of Palestinian freedom. Making Jews the face of the American war machine makes us less safe.

United States support of Israel is based on a series of lies.

The Lies About October 7

The first lie was the comparison of October 7 with the Holocaust. Zionism, having opposed the rescue of Jewish refugees from the holocaust, lost no time in exploiting it for propaganda purposes.  Even to the extent of Netanyahu suggesting that it was the Palestinians who gave Hitler the idea of killing the Jews.

Yocheved Lifshitz Press Conference

The Nazis and their allies murdered Jews because they were Jews. The Palestinian Resistance killed Israelis, not because they were Jewish but because they were their oppressors. It is as if people fought the Nazis because they were Germans.

The next lie was the allegation of mass, systematic rape. Certainly there were atrocities and some Israeli women may have been raped. What is absolutely certain is that Hamas did not organise a rape orgy.

The New York Times ran an ‘exclusive’ Screams Without Words. The story has been comprehensively discredited in the Electronic Intifada, The Intercept and the Grayzone among others. It employed as their main researcher an Israeli Anat Schwartz. On her social media feed, Schwartz liked a tweet saying that Israel needed to “turn the strip into a slaughterhouse.”

“Violate any norm, on the way to victory,” read the post. “Those in front of us are human animals.”

None of the women captives who were released made such claims. They claimed they had been treated like Queens and humanely.

Release of Hostages

When Yocheved Lifshitz was released by Hamas, she gave a press conference at the Hadassah hospital where she spoke of the humane treatment she had received from Hamas. Immediately there were recriminations as to how this press conference had been allowed. The hospital employee who arranged the press conference was dismissed yet no one in the press even considers this at all newsworthy.

Ex-Prisoners Recall Time In Israeli Detention

Contrast this with the treatment of Palestinian prisoners. They speak of beatings, food deprivation, being held incommunicado and suffering petty restrictions.

Compare the letter of Danyal and Emilia that was freely given to Hamas by an Israeli captive. Israeli Channel 13 reported, that the released Israeli hostages said they did not experience mistreatment or torture. The food was scarce, which was not surprising since Israel has imposed a total water and food blockade on Gaza.

Hin & Ajam Were 2 Prisoners of Hamas

Tel Aviv kept the released Israeli hostages away from the media and allowed only relatives and friends to meet them. The hostages were forced into media silence as Israel tightened its control on interviews.

Columbia Protests

A report from Israel’s Channel 12 noted that Israeli authorities had arranged a special media process for the hostages’ post-release, in order to ensure that they remain in control of the narrative.

Alon Ben David: "Hamas treated the Israeli hostages well"

Political analyst Yaniv Peleg, said in an article for Israel Hayom that broadcasting the footage live was detrimental to Israel. How is broadcasting the truth ‘detrimental to Israel’? Peleg even complained of the professionalism of Hamas footage!

Police violence at Columbia University

Yet the rape lies persist. Indeed the lie that babies were beheaded persists even though only two babies died that day, both accidentally. Neither were beheaded. On the 8 October the Times of Israel reported the killing of two Israelis:

At 8:20 a.m., terrorists entered Dvir’s home, he lunged at them with an axe, tried to protect my two kids who were with him, and was murdered in front of their eyes,” she posted. “His partner Stav also tried to protect them, but was murdered as well. The terrorist calmed down my Daria and Lavi, covered them in a blanket, took lipstick and wrote on the wall: ‘The al-Qassam [Brigades] people don’t murder children.

This was before Israel’s propaganda machine got going but it doesn’t suggest that Hamas were baby killers.

Joe Biden though swore that he had personally seen photographs of beheaded babies, which the White House later had to ‘walk back’.

Antony Blinken, his Secretary of State also testified before a Senate Committee to gruesome acts of murder and torture which simply didn’t happen.  Our rulers think nothing of lying to justify genocide.

Never before has genocide been so openly supported by amoral politicians for whom the truth is an alien being. Equally culpable is a media which has focussed on Israel’s pretext, the attack on October 7, as if an occupied people should not resist. One wonders if they would have had the same advice for France under Nazi occupation in 1940?

Abby Martin Describes What Conditions Are Like on the West Bank

For the BBC and Sky history began on October 7. For reasons unknown Hamas attacked peaceful Israelis living near the Gaza fence. With the exception of Al Jazeera, none of the media have put October 7 in the context of a half-century occupation and the Nakba.

Which is why has now banned Al Jazeera. Israel has already forbidden journalists to enter Gaza and it has killed at least 109 journalists. As the Bureau of Investigative Journalism wrote, The killing of journalists in Gaza is an unprecedented attack on the truth.

There has not been a squeak out of Biden or Sunak. Yet they would  have screamed if Russia had murdered journalists in Ukraine. One could only imagine the headlines of the gutter press.

There has even been a campaign in Israel to encourage the killing of journalists. Danny Danon, a Likud MK, called for the “elimination” of photo-journalists “who participated in covering the massacre.” Reporters Without Borders condemned

calls by Israeli politicians in the past 24 hours for journalists in Gaza to be killed. Prompted by unsubstantiated conjecture about the journalists’ integrity,... . Targeting journalists is a war crime.

In an interview on Israel’s Kan Radios’ “This Morning Show” on 16 October hosted by Aryeh Golan, Yasmin Porat, an Israeli survivor from Kibbutz Be’eri said Israeli forces killed their own civilians

The first person to challenge Israel’s narrative about Hamas atrocities was Yasmine Porat in an interview with Israeli radio. Porat told of how she and her partner had been treated humanely by Hamas and how the inhabitants of Kibbutz Be’eri, where she had fled to after the attack on the rave, died because Israel’s military opened fire with tank shells on the houses where their inhabitants were being held captive.

The damage caused by Israeli tanks at Kibbutz Be'eri

Yasmine Porat Interview – Israeli Radio – 23 November 23

An article in the Times of Israel tells how:

An IDF officer has recounted a tough decision he made on October 7 to order a tank to fire two light shells toward a house in Kibbutz Be’eri in which Hamas terrorists had been holding 14 Israelis hostages during the Palestinian terror group’s onslaught — fire that killed at least one Israeli.

Today, the IDF responds to Hiram’s acknowledgment by praising the IDF commander

A cursory look at the damage to Kibbutz Be’eri makes it clear that the militants, who were only carrying light weapons, could not possibly have caused it. The mainstream media has refused to mention Israel’s Hannibal Directive.

The Grayzone quotes Haaretz as saying that the army was only able to restore control over Be’eri after “shelling” the homes of Israelis.

The price was terrible: at least 112 Be’eri residents were killed. Others were kidnapped. Yesterday, 11 days after the massacre, the bodies of a mother and her son were discovered in one of the destroyed houses. It is believed that more bodies are still lying in the rubble.

The cars burn out as a result of Apache missile strikes

Those Israelis who were burnt alive were the victim of Israel’s Apache  helicopters which, by the admission of the pilots, fired randomly on cars escaping from the rave and into Gaza.

Apache helicopter pilots told Israeli media that they scrambled to the battlefield without any intelligence, unable to differentiate between Hamas fighters and Israeli noncombatants, and yet determined to “empty the belly” of their war machines. “I find myself in a dilemma as to what to shoot at, because there are so many of them,” one Apache pilot commented.

Israel could of course have negotiated the release of the Palestinian prisoners but they preferred the death of their own citizens to the release of Palestinians.

Lies About Anti-Semitism

Lies about ‘anti-Semitism’ have been the most persistent. Yet a moments reflection shows that these allegations are made in bad faith.

Suella Braverman, who has the distinction of being the most racist Home Secretary to fill that post, accused the anti-genocide Palestinian demonstrations of ‘hate’ and ‘anti-Semitism’.

Was this anti-Semitism the Oxford English Dictionary definition, hostility to or prejudice against Jews? Braverman’s concerns were about the government being ‘in the grip of a 'pro-Palestine' sentiment’. This was 'not a time for walking away' from Israel.

This was about Israel not Jews. But Israel is not a Jew. It is a state based on Jewish racial supremacy. As Primo Levi was reported as saying, Palestinians are Israel’s Jews.

This is the same Suella Braverman who ‘dreamed’ of sending refugees to Rwanda. A century ago she would have dreamt of doing the same to Jewish immigrants. At the beginning of the 20th century Tories demonised Jewish refugees. Arthur Balfour introduced the Aliens Act of 1905 directed at Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia.

Sussex University Students Encampment

James Lowther MP, the Cruella Braverman of his day, spoke in a House of Commons debate about Jewish  refugees on 11.2.1883 about

These destitute aliens... are being sent over here in large numbers to compete not only with honest labour in the market, but with the charitable funds of this country,. ... the condition in which these emigrants for the most part live is filthy and revolting in the extreme. ... Their dwellings arc of the most foul and loathsome character; they are huddled together in numbers and under conditions which happily do not prevail in these days among the home-born population of this country; and the general hygienic conditions under which they live are such as to render their presence a source of permanent danger to the health of this country. ... when we find that persons are living within a few minutes' drive of this House under revolting conditions of human existence which can be scarcely imagined, can it be denied that the presence of these people constitute a source of permanent danger with regard, not only to the initiation, but to the propagation of disease?

Suella Braverman has existed for over a century in one form or another. But whereas Jews were once the target of these racists they are now their tame pets, an alibi for their imperialist ventures.

The Constitution of the Union of Jewish Students includes an 'enduring commitment' to Apartheid Israel. UJS represents Zionist i.e. racist Jewish students only

The Lie of Violence

When student encampments began in Britain, Sunak called on universities ‘to protect Jewish students.’ He immediately summoned university vice chancellors to Downing Street because he was concerned about their safety! It was reported that

Some senior staff accused Rishi Sunak of “scaremongering” by summoning vice-chancellors to Downing Street last Thursday to urge them to “take personal responsibility” for protecting Jewish students.

The ‘protection of Jewish students’ is a theme of the war mongers. Biden too, who is happy to supply Israel with 2000 bombs to drop on Palestinian civilians is also concerned about

antisemitic posters and “slogans calling for the annihilation of Israel” on college campuses. “Jewish students [have been] blocked, harassed, attacked while walking to class,”

The ‘friendship’ song shown on Israel’s main public broadcast Kan shows sweet little school children singing a song about annihilating Palestinians

The  ‘anti-Semitism’ they talk about is that of the IHRA which was drawn up to conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. As Stephen Sedley, the Jewish former Court of Appeal Judge observed it ‘fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite.’

The  IHRA has 11 illustrations, 7 of which are about Israel not Jews. One of its illustrations states that ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel’ is anti-Semitic.’ So when Sunak and Biden raise the issue of Jewish safety because students, many of whom are Jewish, are protesting about Israel’s genocide, then even by their own definition it is they who are anti-Semitic.

What Sunak, Biden and the Tory press are doing is associating Jews with Israeli actions, genocide included. Why?  Because it provides them with a moral cover for their actions.

If anyone is endangering Jews in this country it is not those who support the Palestinians but Sunak and Braverman. Every word they utter is a lie, born of the dishonesty and malice of their politics.

Sunak called for police action against the encampments. Like Braverman, Sunak has done his best to have Palestinian demonstrations in London banned.

Violence Against American Students & in Europe

Despite the allegations of violence against America’s student encampments the violence has been one way. It is the encampments which have been violently attacked.

At UCLA, pro-Israel protesters attacked pro-Palestine students with fireworks and tear-gas.  Men wielding clubs assaulted the students.  The violent thugs were outsiders who came to campus prepared for their violent attack. Campus police abandoned the site. None of attackers have been arrested. 

The following day the governor sent in the police. They too assaulted the camp and arrested 200 protesters.  The campus thereafter became an armed camp patrolled and controlled by police.

The violence of the American state was effectively co-ordinated with the far-right Zionist vigilantes. Beneath the thin layer of democry there is a deeply repressive and militarised police state in the USA.

The USA has never outgrown its settler colonial origins. Because of its role as the world’s major imperialist country it has developed a police force that is highly militarised with a National Guard that is a quasi army. As Richard Silverstein wrote:

An unsavory alliance of US university administrators, law enforcement, MAGA Republicans, pro-Israel billionaires and the Israel Lobby has collaborated to destroy the US national student movement protesting Israel’s Gaza War.

Encampments and protests have spread to 120 campuses nationwide. Over 2,300 students have been arrested. Hundreds have been suspended and even expelled for their activism.

Israel Lobby groups like the ADL and Aipac echo the same charges.  Jonathan Greenblatt of ADL smeared Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace “campus proxies for Hezbollah.” 

The Columbia administration declared that students arrested after seizing the campus building will be expelled. 

At Columbia University Baroness Minouche Shafik called on New York’s Police to clear the encampments, not once but twice. According to The Intercept students who were arrested were denied water and food for 16 hours, according to two faculty members at Columbia University’s Barnard College .

Other students reported that they were beaten by New York City Police Department officers after their arrests and taken to the hospital for injuries before being returned to central booking. Shafik was part of the liberal elite and former Director of the LSE.

The Arts and Science Faculty at Columbia passed a no confidence motion in Shafik. None of which stopped Biden’s lies to the nation.

Biden’s Lies

Biden continually invoked “anti-Semitism,” endorsing the false claims that hatred of Zionism and Israel is hatred of Jews. 

Protesters have deliberately maintained a non-violent stance, even in the face of police and counter-demonstrator assaults.  They have not prevented anyone from accessing campus. In fact it was the administration who cancelled classes because pro-Israel students felt “unsafe.”  The only outside agitators engaged in violence are the police who violently attacked students.

One bright side is that students and administrators at Portland State University, University of Minnesota, and Brown University achieved a compromise that offered a path to discuss divestment, along with providing full scholarships to Palestinian students whose universities have been destroyed by Israel.  Evergreen State College and Ireland’s Trinity College agreed to divest. 


America’s student activists are paying a price in terms of  academic suspension, expulsion, damage to career prospects, and injury at the hands of the police. As Frederick Douglass wrote:

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

The Lie of American Democracy

Israel LOSING PR War? Antony Blinken BLAMES TikTok: Watch

What the current events demonstrate is that the United States, which is always happy to support ‘wars for democracy’ lacks any semblance of democracy itself. Its elections are bought, its Supreme Court is the property of the Republican Right and it is governed by two parties – Democrats and Republicans – who share the same war agenda.

Only recently Congress has voted to force Tik Tok to effectively shut down or sell itself off. The reason given was national security – it is a Chinese company. The real reason is that it doesn’t censor pro-Palestinian content like Mark Fuckerberg’s Facebook.

This was illustrated in a conversation between Senator Mitt Romney and Antony Blinken last week, during which both acknowledged some facts that generally go unstated by such creatures.

After bemoaning Israel’s lack of success at PR, Romney said that “Some wonder why there was such overwhelming support for us to shut down potentially TikTok or other entities of that nature”.  Romney went on to say, as Aaron Mate noted:

 “If you look at the postings on TikTok and the number of mentions of Palestinians relative to other social media sites—it’s overwhelmingly so among TikTok broadcasts.”

Blinken responded, saying that at the beginning of his career in Washington everyone got their information from TV and newspapers like the NYT, who can be relied upon not to tell the truth. 

“Now, of course, we are on an intravenous feed of information with new impulses, inputs every millisecond. And of course, the way this has played out on social media has dominated the narrative. And you have a social media ecosystem environment in which context, history, facts get lost, and the emotion, the impact of images dominates.... I think it also has a very, very, very challenging effect on the narrative.”

Zionism’s Perpetual Victimhood

Even when it is committing genocide Israel is the victim. So too with its supporters. A cartoon by Jewish American political cartoonist Eli Valley illustrates this phenomenon. At Leeds University pro-Israel activists abused and attacked pro-Palestinian protesters only to be portrayed as victims of anti-Semitism.

Not only have Leeds staff and students faced racist harassment and abuse without repercussions for the perpetrators, peaceful protests have been depicted as violent, their solidarity slogans labelled “hate speech” and accusations of antisemitism “weaponised to attack those who are critical of the Israeli government.”

A letter from Jewish academics is open for signature by Jewish students and staff in Leeds and also the wider UK Jewish community.

The same has happened in the United States. In See I Am a Jewish Student at Columbia. Don’t Believe What You’re Being Told About ‘Campus Antisemitism’ at Columbia University Jewish student writes

The White House, Congressional Republicans, and cable news talking heads would have you believe that the Columbia University campus has devolved into a hotbed of antisemitic violence – but the reality on the ground is very different.

Smears from the press and pro-Israel influencers, who have levied charges of antisemitism and violence against Jewish students, are a dangerous distraction from real threats to our safety.

The most pressing threats to our safety as Jewish students do not come from tents on campus. Instead, they come from the Columbia administration inviting police onto campus, certain faculty members, and third-party organizations that dox undergraduates. Frankly, I regret the fact that writing to confirm the safety of Jewish Ivy League students feels justified in the first place. I have not seen many pundits hand-wringing over the safety of my Palestinian colleagues mourning the deaths of family members, or the destruction of Gaza’s cherished universities. 

Murder of 4 Students at Ohio University 1970

One of the most notorious of those urging violence against Columbia students is Shai Davidi, an Israeli-American Assistant Professor who has urged the National Guard be brought in. The National Guard is infamous for killing 4 students at Ohio University at a Vietnam solidarity demonstration.


There has also been police violence in the United States directed at faculty too. Professor Caroline Fohlin went out to remonstrate with police about their violence and she became the recipient of the same. In order to sustain violence abroad it is necessary for the United States to erode what remains of its own democracy. And that is being played out on US campuses even whilst the elites condemn the ‘violence’ of those who are the target of violence.

Thugs attack Oxford Encampment

There have also been attacks by far-right Zionists at the Oxford, UCL and SOAS encampments but fortunately the level of violence is nowhere near the violence in the US.

At 2 a.m. on Saturday, while pro-Palestinian students were asleep, more than a dozen cowardly Zionists attempted to attack the liberated zone for Gaza at SOAS.

“We are going to being them in: we bring them in like COCKROACHES and then we destroy the cockroaches”

Zionist thug Aaron Ibrahim attacked SOAS encampment

was one of the more articulate comments from Aaron Ibrahim who has been identified as one of the Zionists who participated in the attack on the SOAS Liberated Zone. Ibrahim serves as the Head of National Sales at One2One Digital. People might want to contact One2One to ask whether they want to face a Boycott.

Another is Adam Tiano who has served in the Israeli Defence Force. He was scheduled to deliver a speech at the Boys Club House in London- a charity dedicated to assisting Jewish boys. One can only hope they reconsider. He works for AST Removals, who might also wish to consider whether they want to employ racist thugs.

Freed Palestinians Say They Were Tortured, Beaten and Starved in Israeli Prisons


The Use of Torture is Legal and Israel’s Official Policy

 Whereas Hamas have treated their hostages well, the treatment by Israel of Palestinian prisoners is diabolical. 18 Palestinians have died in captivity including Dr Adnan al-Bursh who died as a result of torture in Sde Teiman, Israel’s desert concentration camp.


BBC investigation: Israeli troops accused of beating and humiliating Gaza hospital staff | BBC News

There have been dozens of testimonies about the use of torture in Sdei Teman, including by 3 Israeli whistleblowers. CNN has done a major investigation into Sde Teiman. The BBC has also conducted an investigation into the assault on Al Nasser hospital and the torture of doctors and medics. David Cameron professed concern in the Lords but his concern did not extend to cutting off Israel’s arms supplies.

One wonders what Cameron would have said if it had been suggested that Hamas should investigate Israel’s allegations of atrocities on October 7? The reason for the double standards is because Israel is ‘our’ friend nowithstanding that the third largest group in Israel’s Knesset, Otzma Yehudit is a neo-Nazi Jewish Supremacist party.

Israel’s right to occupy and invade Gaza is treated as normal despite having no legal right to do so. Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 is treated as abnormal.

One question that should be asked is whether Hamas had any choice, in its efforts to free Palestinian prisoners, other than to mount the attack on October 7. What Israel does is normative.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel are treated as if they were guilty. No mention is made that thousands of them have had no trial, that they received Administrative Detention, internment without trial.

Palestinian prisoners are convicted in military courts where the conviction rate is 99.74%.  Palestinians are tried in military courts whereas Jewish settlers are tried in civil courts.

Sussex University Student Encampment

Jewish Supremacism and Racist Attacks are de facto legal in Israel today

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who calls himself a ‘fascist homophobe’ has recently called for the ‘total annihilation’ of Gaza. This is the kind of language Hitler and Himmler used but where is the outrage from western leaders.

There are no half measures. [The Gazan cities of] Rafah, Deir al-Balah, Nuseirat – total annihilation. ‘You will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

It is Otzma Yehudit, a Jewish Nazi organisation which is driving Israel’s genocide yet Biden and Sunak turn a blind eye to this. This is why Sunak, Cameron and Biden are war criminals.

Genocidal anti-Semitism is the accusation made of Hamas yet genocidal anti-Palestinian racism is the issue.  When Israeli mobs march chanting 'death to the Arabs' this goes unreported in the Western media. The Minister of Police and Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, a follower of the Rabbi Meir Kahane, used to be one of them.

When Taboon Wine Bar in Jerusalem was attacked on January 26 by a mob of Israeli settlers in the Christian Quarter shouting “Death to Arabs … Death to Christians.” he went to the police station that night where he was told by a policeman “Don’t bother me too much.”

Nor does the MSM ask why Palestinians guilty of killing an Israeli serve 30 or 40 years in prison whereas it is highly exceptional for a settler or soldier to be gaoled for killing a Palestinian?

The Lie of Legality

The International Court of Justice found that Israel was ‘plausibly’ committing genocide, which is not surprising since a host of Israeli government ministers were promising exactly that. Yet US administration described South Africa’s case as ‘meritless’.

When the ICJ ruled that Israel was committing ‘plausible genocide’ what was the reaction of the United States and the West? To completely cut the funding of UNWRA, the UN food agency.

They adopted Israel’s false, unevidenced allegations that it was a Hamas front. Although most countries have restored their funding, Britain and the US have not done so thus contributing to the very famine they purport to oppose. The hypocrisy of our government is limitless. By the end of February, UNRWA said Israel had effectively banned it from entering the north of Gaza.

The Independent has done an excellent investigation into the famine in Gaza accusing Biden and his officials of being complicit in Gaza’s devastating famine. It is a sad reflection on the America’s political system that two sociopaths are the best that the system can offer.

At least 188 of UNWRA’s staff have been killed since the beginning of the war, more than 150 of its facilities have been hit – among them many schools – and more than 400 people killed “while seeking shelter under the UN flag”, the organisation said.

Following an attack on a food distribution centre in Rafah in March, UNRWA’s head Philippe Lazzarini accused Israel of a “blatant disregard” for international humanitarian law.

“Today’s attack on one of the very few remaining UNRWA distribution centres in the Gaza Strip comes as food supplies are running out, hunger is widespread and, in some areas, turning into famine,” he said, adding that the coordinates for the facility were shared with the Israeli army.

“I’ve said it many times: this is a man-made hunger and looming famine which can still be averted,”

This is the context in which Biden and Sunak’s condemnation of violence should be judged. It is yet one more lie.

Tony Greenstein