Posts tagged with "genocide"

Protests Continue to Shape the American Experience and Culture

Anti-Israel protesters blocked major thoroughfares across the US Monday, creating traffic jams for drivers trying to reach Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge according to multiple major news outlets. It’s been reported that organizers of the protest said their goal was to send a message to Boeing, because the corporation sells weapons to Israel to be used in its war with Hamas.

“On this Tax Day, when millions are paying taxes which fund the ongoing US and Israeli bombardment of Gaza, protestors seek to take dramatic action,” the group Chicago Dissenters wrote in an Instagram post. “O’Hare International Airport is one of the largest in the country, and there will be NO business as usual while Palestinians suffer at the hands of American funded bombing by Israel.”

 

Protests – fiercely exercised and protected by the First Amendment – have played a significant role in shaping American culture throughout history. They have been a powerful force for social and political change, and have helped to bring about important reforms and advances. These on-going global protests aim to end the genocide and deliberate starvation efforts in Gaza that started as a was between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023. The groups, including many journalists, White House staffers, State Department officials and Union leaders are also calling for an immediate ceasefire to allow aid into Gaza and other impacted regions of Palestine. 

Here are some of the ways in which protests have shaped American culture:

  • Raising awareness of social issues: Protests have helped to raise awareness of important social issues, such as civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. They have also brought attention to environmental issues, economic inequality, and other pressing concerns.
  • Mobilizing people for change: Protests can mobilize people to take action and demand change. They can create a sense of community and solidarity among protesters and build momentum for social and political movements.
  • Influencing public opinion: Protests can influence public opinion and put pressure on policymakers to address certain issues. They can also help to shift the national conversation and shape the way people think about important topics.
  • Promoting social justice: Protests have been a key factor in promoting social justice and equality in the United States. They have helped to challenge discriminatory laws and policies, and have contributed to the advancement of civil rights for all Americans.
  • Preserving democratic values: Protests are a vital part of a healthy democracy. They allow people to express their dissent and demand accountability from their government. They also help to protect democratic values such as freedom of speech and assembly.

Biden Administration Sued For Actively Supporting Israel’s Genocide of Palestinians

The UN’s top legal body —  the International Court of Justice (ICJ) —  that heard two days of powerful legal argument from South Africa against Israel on the crime of all crimes: genocide, is not the only legal body hearing a case of genocide. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is suing the Biden administration in federal court for its complicity in the war in Gaza by supporting Israel, a state that stands accused of an attempt to “destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part,” as defined by the 1948 Convention on Genocide.

This report by Caira Piriano, first published in Medium, tells the full story that many are not aware of.

Biden Administration Lawsuit

If you follow news about Palestine (and if you watch something other than mainstream US news), you’ll know about South Africa’s ICJ case. However, you may not be aware that the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has sued the Biden administration in US federal court for violating the genocide convention by failing to prevent genocide and instead actively supporting it.

Let’s take – a quick look at this case.

👉 Who are the plaintiffs?

The CCR is suing on behalf of a group of Palestinian individuals and organizations, including Palestinian Americans and people in Gaza. The organizations include Defense for Children International — Palestine and Al Haq, and the individuals include Ahmed Abu Artema, who started the 2019–2019 Great March of Return protest movement. All of the individuals have had family members killed in Israeli attacks.

👉 Who are the defendants?

The lawsuit accuses President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin, in their official capacities.

👉 What is the dispute about?

The plaintiffs say that the Biden administration has enabled Israel to commit genocide, in violation of international customary law and US law, causing direct harm to the plaintiffs and their families. Actually, in its most recent filing, the CCR says that one of their plaintiffs themselves may have been killed in Gaza since the case was filed. The Biden administration has moved for dismissal, saying that this issue is a political question and cannot be decided by the courts.

👉 What law does the CCR say the Biden admin is breaking?

The complaint is that the defendants have “violated their duty under customary international law, as part of federal common law, to take all measures within their power to prevent Israel from committing genocide.” Confused? Stick with me.

The US is a common law system, meaning that the law isn’t just the statutes in the US code; what’s more important is the precedent of past legal decisions and established legal principles. All this precedent and tradition together is called common law.

Customary international law is defined as “international obligations arising from established international practices”; prohibition of genocide and failure to prevent genocide, as one such established practice, was also codified in the UN Genocide Convention. Customary international law is part of common law and can be enforced in federal courts.

👉 What is CCR asking the court for?

The “relief” (action) requested by the plaintiffs is basically just that the defendants stop supporting genocide in Gaza through diplomatic, military, and financial assistance. They are also seeking injunctive relief, which is basically the equivalent of the ICJ’s “provisional measures — Biden et al. must stop their violation of international law immediately while the case is pending, because allowing the attacks to continue for years while the case is decided is too risky.

👉 How has Biden responded? 

The Biden administration’s lawyers have moved for the case to be dismissed because they say the court can’t act on political issues. Their response doesn’t address the genocide claims at all and uses only procedural arguments.

You can access all the case files in a very well-organized page on the CCR’s website. https://ccrjustice.org/home/what-we-do/our-cases/defense-children-international-palestine-v-biden

March for Gaza: Thousands Rally in DC for Global Day of Action

Thousands rallied at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., Saturday as part of a global day of action calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war that started on Oct. 7 after Hamas militants launched an attack on Israel killing about 1,300 people.

Since the start of the war, Israel has launched an aggressive bombardment of Gaza and other parts of Palestine in response, sending shockwaves across the world. More than 23,350 people have been killed – mostly children and women – during its retaliatory attacks on Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

Last week South Africa brought a case against Israel accusing it of committing the “crime of all crimes: genocide.”

Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are to decide whether Israel, in its war in Gaza, is guilty of an attempt to “destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part,” as defined by the 1948 Convention on Genocide.

Freedom Plaza overflowed onto Pennsylvania Avenue with marchers chanting the popular “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as they waved a sea of flags in support of the Palestinian people who remain under siege.

Some marchers prayed on mats in the crowd, and outside the FBI building. Some of the speakers shared stories of losing hundred of people in their families and waiting helplessly for word on relatives surviving the night. The Biden administration has not called for a ceasefire in spite the urging of the international community, including the United Nations.

Freedom of Speech, Until Facts Hurt Feelings

“Facts don’t care about your feelings,” said Ben Shapiro famously in a staunch defense of his position on gender identity. Today, however, Shapiro is flipping the script to suit his own religious and cultural ideologies by demanding the heads of anyone who dares to disagree with him on the right of Israel to genocide the Palestinian people. This is a problem.

This unwise move to censure speech and freedom of expression is no different than the 2005 incident when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a series of derogatory cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that set off a global battle over the relationship between free speech and religion. In defiance, some newspapers across Europe and the Middle East reprinted the cartoons to reaffirm the right to publish offensive material, even as violent protests erupted across the globe.

Human rights lawyer and author,  Jacob Mchangama said this about freedom of speech: “Elite panic is this recurring phenomenon throughout the history of free speech, where whenever the public sphere is expanded, either through new communications technology, or to segments of the population that were previously marginalized, the traditional gatekeepers, the elites who control access to information, tend to fret about the dangers of allowing the unwashed mob—who are too fickle, too unsophisticated, too unlearned—unmediated access to information. They need information to be filtered through the responsible gatekeepers and it may be even more dangerous to allow them to speak without adult supervision. That’s a phenomenon that we see again and again. And we’re seeing it play out now on social media. … [Elite panic is] one contributing factor to the free speech recession. Another is that democracies have shied away from protecting free speech and are much more likely now to view free speech as a danger rather than an unmitigated good. And so they don’t put in the same effort at protecting free speech, whether at home or away as they did, say, in the 80s, early 90s, when free speech was crucial to defeating communism.

When asked if he was an advocate for absolute speech, Mchangama answered, “No, I don’t think that any serious person is in favor of absolute free speech. Where I may be more absolutist is when it comes to viewpoints. I don’t believe there’s any viewpoint in and of itself that should be prohibited.”

The right to your thoughts and to speak them freely is legally protected under the first amendment. So why is it under attack when it comes to condemning Israel and the callous genocide being committed in Gaza? Since the start of yet another conflict between Israel and Hamas on October 7, Israel has embarked on a vicious and collective punishment campaign in response to Hamas’ attack that fateful day. Dialogue on all major news sites can’t even begin without securing condemnation of Hamas and the October 7 attack. Also, any mention of context or the historical significance of the conflict between Israel and Palestine is condescendingly dismissed, derided as inconsequential or irrelevant, to uphold the propaganda machine’s marching orders in favor of Israel.

Must the whole world be wrong to make Israel right? Apparently so, and it’s evident with the retribution being exacted by large donors, congressional hearings to take to task university professors who dare to allow free speech on campuses, public shaming with forced apologies for risk of losing funding, and blatant threats launched by Wall Street CEOs with a stake in camp Israel. This is unprecedented and a dangerous slippery slope that is leading to loss of liberty. If there actually is a separation of church and state, why are Zionist Jews using our government to carry out their holy war against the people of Palestine? Are Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists next in line to use Congress against their enemies? The end game of this blind obsession to support Israel regardless of its crimes against humanity, regardless of the millions of Jews around the world denouncing the genocide in Gaza, regardless of the United Nations’ own call for an immediate ceasefire—in a nuclear weapon powered world—spells the writing clear on the wall. And tragically, the entire world will pay the heavy price to come. Because when elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.

 

The Unfolding Genocide In Gaza…

 

A GENOCIDE, By Israel

Illustrated by the U.S.

“There was never a good war, or a bad peace.” – Benjamin Franklin

Our eyes are not wide shut. Technology has flung open the blinds to an unimaginable cruel and unjust world. From police brutality, corrupt officials, abuses of unimaginable sorts, blatant racist injustices to the barbaric genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people by Israel. Compounding the atrocities the global community is witnessing, is America’s leading role in the callous inhumanity being exacted. And Israel, with gleeful indifference, has answered pushback with threats, insults, firings, doxing and even congressional punishment for anyone who dares to condemn the violence being carried out by the IDF. Holocaust survivors, including anti-Zionist Jews are not immune. Also, anyone against the purge of Palestinians off their lands is anti-Semitic. History is in spin cycle bringing back McCarthyism and even stoking memories of the holocaust that forced Jews from their homes in Europe to Palestine.

“Genius without education is like silver in the mine.”

It is abundantly clear, Congress is compromised. And the road to this outcome has long been paved with AIPAC’s passionate bricklaying for Israel’s manifestation of what they say God owes them: Palestinian land. Because what Israel wants, Israel gets. Whether We, The People or the entire world agrees, or not. That is the terrifying message that is copiously clear amid this global humanitarian crisis. Folks, we are in big trouble. And if you think the revolution is going to be about a man identifying as a woman or a Border Collie, you’ve sadly been dragnetted by the tactical distractions of the culture wars that are consistently being thrown at us like red meat. Divide and conquer still works as designed. Notice how we can’t tolerate one another in this beautiful “melting pot” we call America? Notice how the rich are getting richer, the poor, poorer? Notice what’s happening at our southern borders under big brother’s watchful eyes? Notice the decaying of a promising nation yet to actualize its full potential? Everywhere one turns, another is prepared to squeeze whatever they can from them, to fill the gaping hole being dug by our elected officials’ egregious disregard of the needs of the people they’ve taken an oath to serve. It’s a dog-eat-dog world for the working class, and a numb or drugged-out existence for the poor. And we are manipulated to believe that there’s absolutely nothing we can do to turn the tides of this blatant imbalance of power and defilement of the Constitution. Democracy, please stand up. Democracy? … Democracy? Hello, is there anybody out there?

“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.”

Because we’ve proven how easily fooled we are by the same old rhetoric, empty promises and propaganda, Biden and Harris—backers of the genocide—are working to secure your vote for another round of White House idiocracy, complete with the president’s wayward son, still a national liability. Completing the circus that our political arena has become, we have a batch of rotten war mongering bananas in red prepared to sell you their own brew of lies for votes and another chance at fattening their personal pockets as they serve the real ruler of the world, Israel.

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.”

Apparently, as the planet breaths and the tides turn, it regurgitates the same sea scum we blindly vote for over and over again, no matter how many times they’ve circled the oceans certifying what they are; corrupt. Even so, we keep voting repeat, hoping this time, we will have a different outcome. Einstein surmised this phenomenon as insanity. America’s political industry has perfected the art of mass manipulation, and tactical bullying of an entire population, now living under an increasing military industrial complex where most of our tax dollars go, whether we like it, or not. Our elected officials in the highest office are no longer working for We, The People. They’re working to feed the profitable war machine that has kept us engaged in battle across the globe since the birth of this nation. In America’s 247 years, apparently only 15 of them have been without a war. Imagine that.

“Where sense is wanting, everything is wanting.”

Land of the free, home of the brave, indeed. But who are these freemen, and where are the braves we need to stand up right now and demand an end to the genocide? As one looks across the country, they will struggle to find evidence of these free brave men calling for a ceasefire because they’re too busy writing and passing a Resolution to reaffirm their unwavering support for Israel’s war crimes and equating anti-Zionism to being anti-Semitic. On the contrary, what you will see is desperation and hopelessness, weariness and apathy, fear and confusion. And it’s by perfect design, courtesy of the people who turn glutenous elites once elected to office. If you’re wondering what’s behind the curtain, just open your eyes. You’ll clearly see another genocide revealing the great Oz who now identifies as AIPAC.

“Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.”

We have reached a critical juncture where We, The People can keep swimming in the fishbowl avoiding all risks and insanely voting for a repeat, or risk a chance at taking back the power that has always belonged to us. The time has come for us to truly unite within the boundaries we’ve been corralled into and compartmentalized under personalized culture wars, identity politics and nonsensical ideologies. Because as I see it, we have nothing left to lose. Let’s hold hands. Let’s trust each other. Let’s risk a different choice for peace, and end all opportunities for future genocides. Together, I believe, we can face all we fear, including our own government, for a chance at a world where all people can enjoy true freedom and equal human rights.

“The nearest way to come at glory, is to do that for conscience which we do for glory.”

 

 

Open letter to President Biden: we call for a ceasefire now

, Ben Lerner,  and others

We are a group of Jewish American writers, artists and academics. We oppose what the Israeli government is doing with US assistance

President Joe Biden:

We are a group of Jewish American writers, artists and academics. Being Jewish means different things to all of us, but we all have at least one Jewish parent, which means we could move to Israel and qualify for Israeli citizenship.

We condemn attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians. We believe it is possible and in fact necessary to condemn Hamas’ actions and acknowledge the historical and ongoing oppression of the Palestinians. We believe it is possible and necessary to condemn Hamas’ attack and take a stand against the collective punishment of Gazans that is unfolding and accelerating as we write.

Cutting off resources to more than 2 million people, demanding families flee their homes in the north, indiscriminately bombing a trapped population – these are war crimes and indefensible actions. And yet the United States government is offering “moral” and material support for the dehumanization and murder of innocent Gazans. We write to publicly declare our opposition to what the Israeli government is doing with American assistance. We call on the US government to seek an immediate ceasefire and to use our resources towards providing aid ensuring the safe return of hostages and building a diplomatic path towards peace.

As Jews, as Americans, we will be made to feel a sense of safety in our communities, and in the world, not by unequivocal US support for Israel, but by our government’s insistence on the universal human rights that so many of us take for granted.

Timo Andres

Annie Baker

Timo Andres

Annie Baker

Susan Bernofsky

Judith Butler

Michael Chabon

Deborah Eisenberg

Madeleine George

Masha Gessen

Francisco Goldman

Andre Gregory

Nan Goldin

Alena Graedon

Amy Herzog

Marianne Hirsch

Gabriel Kahane

Cindy Klein

David Klion

Lisa Kron

Rachel Kushner

Tony Kushner

Ben Lerner

Jonathan Lethem

Sam Lipsyte

Zachary Lockman

Kenneth Lonergan

Andrew Marantz

Ben Marcus

David Naimon

Benjamin Nugent

Howard Rodman

Dana Sachs

Ira Sachs

Lynne Sachs

James Schamus

Adam Shatz

Wallace Shawn

Leo Spitzer

V (formerly known as Eve Ensler)

Paula Vogel

Ayelet Waldman

Laura Wexler

Hannah Zeavin

 

ISRAEL’S BOMBARDMENT OF GAZA IS A GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

The images and horror stories coming from the Middle East are unbearable. Israel’s relentless bombardment of the Palestinian people is not just a humanitarian crisis of global proportion, it is a genocidal act of revenge and hate, reminiscent of WWII. Please listen to this very important dialogue between Tucker Carlson and Colonel Douglas MacGregor on the serious and real risk this recent escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas poses to the rest of the world.

We must all do what we can to pressure our elected officials to call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

Tucker Carlson Interviews Col Douglas MacGregor: