Saturday, February 10, 2024

Idiot of the week Mark Ruffalo

The Super Bowl is Sunday so let's note this from a Daniel Villarreal article for LGBTQ NATION:

Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo says that a gay man has played in the Super Bowl before. He should know — he himself played for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1999 Super Bowl XXXIII while being closeted.

The Falcons lost that game, and when their team bus returned to the hotel, Tuaolo saw all his team members hugging their wives and girlfriends in the parking lot. His boyfriend was there, but he didn’t feel he could embrace him in public. Instead, Tuaolo waited until they were alone in their hotel room. The need to hide angered him so much that he put his fist through a wall in his room. He retired from the NFL that same year.

But Tuaolo came out in 2002 and he has fought for greater acceptance of gay athletes ever since. He shared the pain of being a closeted pro-footballer in his 2007 memoir Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL, founded the sports anti-bullying non-profit Hate is Wrong in 2017, and has held a Super Bowl “Inclusion party” and panel to advocate for LGBTQ+ acceptance in sports.

There are a lot of idiots this week and I've got Little RFK Junior on the list and Islamophobic Selma Blair on there as well.

But the award goes to Mark Ruffalo.

Saw a picture of the old bitch.  It was a new picture, he was with Jennifer Garner and he looked like an old woman.  Cut the damn hair, bitch.  I'm serious, these men who look like women the older they get.  Seriously.  Paul McCartney became a joke for the same reason.  So that did not endear me and probably is why when I read what he's done, I thought, "Yeah, this idiot needs to be checked."

What did he do?  This:

Mark Ruffalo and Milano's husband David Bugliari, among others, commented in support of the actor-activist.

“I have known you for years now, you are hard working, a great mother, a gifted actor and writer, a hell of a strategist and organizer, always fighting for the betterment of people’s lives and just a very cool and pleasant person. There is no use rehashing the past. It’s gone,” Ruffalo said.

Late to the party?  See Betty's "The truth about Milano" and "Awful Milano,"  Ann's "Shady Menendez and Crazy Milano" and Kat's "Alyssa Milano, a grown woman, is an embarrassment as she continues to lie."  Years ago, after being dumped from MELROSE PLACE, Alyssa joined the cast of CHARMED and tried to take the show over.  She's a bitch.  Everyone knows it.  Now here comes dumb ass Mark Russell.

I don't care that Alyssa pretends to be left.  I don't care.  She's a bitch the same as Mark Ruffalo.

And, I'm sorry, what episodes did Mark Ruffalo appear on during CHARMED's first three seasons?

Oh, that's right: NONE.

Shut the f**k up.  This is the same as that fat one -- who was she -- Amy Schumer or Lena Dunham -- I can't keep those ugly women straight -- who, when her male friend was accused of assault rushed forward to say that it didn't happen.

Two women on the show when it happened -- Shannen and Holly Marie say X happened.  X was always known to have happened.  Alyssa says no X did not happen.

X=Alyssa got Shannen fired.

It happened.  

And it's been known forever.

Alyssa is a bitch.  And Mark's trying to get in good with CAA.  Alyssa was friends with Harvey Weinstein and his wife and she's married to a CAA agent -- CAA pimped women to Harvey.  CAA should be broken up by the government and several men at that agency need to sit down with authorities and do some confessing.

Mark is always a little bitch but he's not usually this much of a dumb bitch.

And before someone whines, "You just hate Mark!" Uh, no.  I was a big fan.  Less so now because he's gotten to be such a hack onscreen.  The last film he did that I was happy about his performance?  THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT.  That's 14 years ago.  He should retire or start getting serious about his career.  Those MARVEL movies may have paid the bills but let's not mistake it for acting.  

And let's really get to the point here -- Shannen is dying.  She's trying to set the record straight as her life winds down.

WTF is Mark Ruffalo to step into this.  Shut your bitch ass, Mark Ruffalo.  Just shut up.

And not only does Holly back up Shannen on what happened but there's also the fact that Alyssa's a bitch and it's her word that she's not against Shanne, Holly and Rose McGowan's words that she is.

Shut up, Mark Ruffalo, just shut the f**k up.  

How dare you.  Let's see you get cancer, you be dying and have some idiot who doesn't know anything show up to tell you what happened in your life.

Go f**k yourself.

And, Alyssa, we see you.  This isn't going away.  And if you think it's bad now, you wait until the day after Shannen passes and you're going to find out just how much you're hated.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, February 9, 2024.  Moms For Bigotry continues imploding, Joe Biden makes a statement regarding what's taking place in Gaza (dispute over what he was calling out), a Palestinian doctor stumbles upon his own child who is brought to the e.r., and much more.

Let's start with a hate merchant.  Bridget Ziegler the hateful hypocrite.

She helped found Moms For Bigotry -- when not in bed with women.  Moms For Bigotry targeted LGBTQ+ people with lies.  And the whole time Bridget was having sex with women.  Was Moms For Bigotry just a clandestine finger bang for closeted lesbians?  Maybe so and it would explain 'dr' Naomi Wolf's hanging on to the group by her own finger tips.

My finger tips are holding on to the cracks in our foundation
And I know that I should let go
But I can't

-- "Foundation," written by Kate Nash, Paul Epworth and Steve DaMar, first appears on Kate's MADE OF BRICKS

Bridget can't but others can and have let go.  Moms For Bigotry is leaving the building.  Bil Browning (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

Florida’s Brevard County School Board held their first meeting of the year and the agenda included a challenge to two books: The Kite Runner and Slaughterhouse-Five. But the meeting turned into a challenge for the anti-LGBTQ+ group Moms for Liberty and their supporters.

Actually, only a single supporter of the group showed up. All the other attendees came to oppose the Nazi-style book bans targeting the novels.

While the group, which started in Florida, quickly rose to prominence nationwide, its fall has also been meteoric: Chapters have quoted Hitler, making fake claims of criminal conduct to police, and one of the founders has been involved in a threesome sex scandal involving her husband and other women. 

Associating with the far-right group has become toxic, and it may have played a role in the recent board meeting. Their lone supporter sat silently in a corner of the room and listened as dozens of opponents spoke before the board, both condemning the idea of banning the books and slamming the group itself.

Oh, slammed back under the rock crawled out from in the first place.  Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

The anti-LGBTQ+ “parent’s rights” group Moms for Liberty (M4L) used to have 200 members in its Lehigh County, Pennsylvania chapter. But now, after an embarrassing defeat in a school board election, it’s dead — and at least one school board member is celebrating.

The chapter’s three remaining members met at the Starbrite Diner in Allentown on Tuesday night. None of them volunteered to lead the group, so they voted to dissolve it instead. The group’s dissolution also follows high-profile electoral defeats for M4L-backed candidates in Pennslyvania’s Central Bucks County.

 “Between homeschooling and working two jobs, it’s just a lot,” Janine Vicalvi, who founded the chapter around 2020, told The Daily Beast. “I guess there wasn’t as much willingness to do the work that’s required to propel the movement forward.”

I guess it is tasking for hypocritical whores -- especially those targeting schools despite the fact that they home school.  Maybe the next parental movement can be about addressing the glaring deficiencies in the educations of so many poorly home schooled children.

Turning to the continued slaughter in Gaza, this is from yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Fears are growing in Rafah over an imminent Israeli ground invasion after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a Hamas proposal for a ceasefire on Wednesday and ordered the military to attack the southernmost city in the territory. Over 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah after being displaced in the Israeli assault. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said a ground invasion of Rafah would, quote, “exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences,” he said.

Aid agencies are warning of famine amid profound food shortages, with a quarter of a million people in Gaza already starving. The healthcare system has collapsed, and the lack of water and sanitation has prompted outbreaks of illness and disease. Most of the residents in Gaza have been internally displaced, with more than half the population sheltering in facilities run by UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.

Despite being the largest humanitarian agency in Gaza, UNRWA says it may run out of funds by the end of the month, after at least 18 states or institutions, including many of the agency’s biggest funders, announced they were suspending their donations last month. The cuts came after the Israeli government accused several UNRWA employees of participating in the Hamas attack on October 7th. Israel made the allegations in a document it provided to foreign governments, which apparently contain no direct evidence of the claims. Several news outlets, including Britain’s Channel 4, the Financial Times and Sky News, have all reported the document provided no evidence to support the conclusions that the agency’s staff were involved in the October 7th attacks. Meanwhile, Australia’s foreign minister said today she did not have all the evidence about the allegations and that she was working to bring an end to the suspension of funds. The government of Canada has also not seen any evidence to back up Israel’s claim, according to CBC News. UNRWA is set to lose $65 million in funding by the end of February as a result of the cuts, according to The New York Times. The agency relies on government contributions to fund its operations in occupied Palestine, as well as in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

For more, we’re joined in London by the former spokesperson for UNRWA, Chris Gunness. He’s now the director of the Myanmar Accountability Project.

Chirs Gunness, welcome back to Democracy Now! If you could begin by responding to this news about UNRWA possibly running out of funds by the end of this month, losing $65 million?

CHRIS GUNNESS: It’s extremely sad, and it’s extremely regrettable, because UNRWA wants nothing more than to work, as it’s done for decades, with its donors in a very cooperative relationship to restore funding. UNRWA has taken robust and resolute action. The commissioner-general, Philippe Lazzarini, sacked these workers, even before the external investigation and the internal, the OIOS report in New York, even before that had barely started. This was resolute action as part of a zero-tolerance policy.

And it’s with regret I say that I hope that the donors get onto the right side of history and get onto the right side of humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law. And I say with regret that it’s possible, at least, that even the Genocide Convention, which calls on state parties, including most of these defunders, to prevent genocide. And what is happening is that this starvation, which the U.N. correctly says is breaking out, the U.N. assesses that it’s possible that more people will die of starvation than the actual military assault. So, it’s with great regret I say that donors need to come back into the fold.

And just if I can give you just one example. We’re seeing in The New York Times these appalling pictures of these Abu Ghraib-style humiliating actions by individual Israeli soldiers. Will American officials, will American audiences judge the Israeli army by the action of a few? No, it will judge the Israeli army by the response of the Israeli army to these appalling, appalling images. And I say that is the basis upon which UNRWA should be judged, not the actions, which remain entirely unproven, as we now stand, against a few bad apples; it must judge the agency by how it responds. How has the agency responded? With robust and resolute and swift action as part of a zero-tolerance policy that is inculcated in the agency. And it’s been done in partnership with the donors. This is a failure not of UNRWA. If it’s a failure, it’s a failure of the donor community, as well, that’s been working so closely.

And even Mr. Blinken, the [U.S.] secretary of state, has said that the Americans have not been able independently to corroborate this evidence, the — what I’m calling, and what is now established in the international discourse, the “dodgy dossier.” That’s a reference to the dossier, the intelligence dossier, upon which Mr. Blair, former British prime minister, took Britain to war in Iraq. It was the dodgy dossier.

Do the donors want to be judged by history as potentially adding to a starvation, complicity potentially with the genocide against the crime of — the crime of crimes, genocide? No. They need to come back onto the right side of history and of the law and of humanitarian principles and immediately resume the funding of UNRWA. That’s the logical, that’s the humane, that’s the compassionate thing for the donors to do.

AMY GOODMAN: Chris Gunness, can you talk about what UNRWA does, how large it is? And, I mean, you talk about this Israeli dossier. We just saw CBC said the Canadian government hasn’t seen the evidence of this. The U.S. government says they haven’t seen actually the evidence, where they’re talking about something like nine or 12 UNRWA employees, of, what, 13,000 in Gaza, over 30,000 overall. Talk about the history of UNRWA.

CHRIS GUNNESS: I think it’s important, in conceiving of UNRWA, both historically and its activities today, to think of it not as an aid agency, but as a government. So, UNRWA runs, in Syria, Jordan, West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon, schools, 550 schools, so schools for 550,000 students. UNRWA’s primary health clinics have 7 million patient visits a year. UNRWA has nearly 2 million food recipients across the region. That’s the core budget. That’s the education, relief and social services, and the primary health. As well as that, UNRWA has emergency programs. So, UNRWA does these core services — education, health, relief and social services — for as many as 6 million Palestine refugees across the region, in some of the most vulnerable, isolated, fragile communities. But when emergencies happen — for example, the Gaza war — UNRWA has to keep these life-saving, regionally stabilizing services ticking over, while it turns to the emergency.

And that’s what it’s done historically. It became operational on the ground in May 1950. And as its title suggests, it did relief, humanitarian relief, for the 750,000 people who fled or were forced from their homes fleeing in the 1948 War. And it also did works. It did job creation programs, if you like. But when it became apparent that the Israeli government was not going to grant them what the Universal Declaration grants all people, which is the right to return home, UNRWA then realized that it had a huge refugee population whose children needed education, that needed primary health, that needed all sorts of services. So UNRWA gradually grew in response to the humanitarian need of the refugees that UNRWA was serving.

Cut to today, huge education program — that’s the biggest program — and, by the way, offering children around the Middle East an escape from the drudgery and the isolation, the vulnerability, the fragility, the marginalization, and offering them the chance to be citizens of the world, to put their refugee status behind them, rather than perpetuating this refugee status, which, you know, that’s an accusation that’s often thoughtlessly thrown at UNRWA. UNRWA offers refugees an escape from that narrative and that kind of life, which is why it is such a tragedy that based on a dodgy Israeli dossier, this huge existential crisis has been triggered within UNRWA, perhaps the worst in its history, and the donors have become complicit.

As Penny Wong, the Australian foreign minister, has said, as you’ve just quoted in the news, she hasn’t seen the evidence. No donor has seen the evidence, because, as of now, the evidence simply does not exist. There’s nothing that links these dozen or so former UNRWA workers — I stress the word “former” — with the alleged crimes.

So, let’s get the funding resumed. Let’s avoid a mass starvation. And to be clear, starvation is a massacre in slow motion. And that slow-motion massacre has already begun. The donors need to realize the enormity of what they have unleashed, and come back immediately into the fold, where UNRWA will embrace them and will work with them to deal with these issues, as it has always done throughout its history.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to the news conference that Secretary of State Tony Blinken held yesterday in Tel Aviv. A few journalists got to ask questions, and this was the question on UNRWA.

SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN: On UNRWA, look, we were deeply concerned by the allegations that were made about the participation or involvement of some of its employees in the – in October 7th. And it’s imperative that, as the U.N. has said it’s doing, that there be a thorough investigation, that there be clear accountability, and that there be clear measures put in place to make sure that this can’t happen again, that personnel working for it were not in any way involved in terrorism or the events of October 7th. We know that the work that UNRWA performs, the functions that it performs, have to be preserved, because so many lives are depending on it.

AMY GOODMAN: And I wanted to go back to Washington, D.C., where Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press spokesperson, was asked about the fact that Channel 4, Sky News and the Financial Times found no evidence of UNRWA involvement in the October 7th Hamas attack.

NADIA BILBASSY-CHARTERS: One more question on Gaza: Did the White House receive an ironclad evidence that, actually, the UNRWA staff members, 12 of them, were involved in the October 7 attack? Because four news organizations, including Financial Times, Channel 4 and Sky News, found no evidence to support the Israeli claim. They said, actually, what they provided was just cellphone messages and cards that had been found after Israel went to the —




NADIA BILBASSY-CHARTERS: So, where are you in the process of reviewing that? And second, considering the disaster humanitarian situation in Gaza, what’s the alternative, if you’re waiting for the results to come out or the review to come out?

PRESS SECRETARY KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: As you know, there’s an investigation happening, so we’re going to let that investigation move forward. And look, you know, funding for Palestinian civilians is a team effort. And so, for example, while we continue to provide funding to organizations like WFP, other countries may continue to fund UNRWA, which is their own sovereign decision. That is their right.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Karine Jean-Pierre saying that they think that they’re continuing the investigation, yet they’ve already cut the funding. Meanwhile, Australia, who did also defund, says they are now reevaluating. Chris Gunness, you have called the cutting of aid to UNRWA — the U.S. most important, overwhelmingly gives the more than any other country — immoral and illegal. Why illegal?

CHRIS GUNNESS: Because it’s very clear that international humanitarian law, which expressly prohibits the use of humanitarian aid, food aid, as a political weapon. And the Genocide Convention makes it an obligation on state parties to prevent genocide. And if you don’t prevent genocide, then you are guilty of violating the convention. And the fact that mass starvation is already breaking out suggests that the Genocide Convention is being violated.

But if I may, Amy, just return to some of the things Mr. Blinken said, notice — I mean, let’s be forensic about this. He used the word “allegation,” not “evidence.” Now, there is a vast, gaping gap between allegations, which anyone can make, frankly, and evidence, which needs to be corroborated. And the fact that the American intelligence services, the best, allegedly — certainly the best resourced, I should say — in the world, has not been able independently to corroborate this information, which has triggered this huge crisis, that is, I think, very, very revealing. It’s also revealing, incidentally, at the end of that soundbite you heard Mr. Blinken saying UNRWA’s work is indispensable. And I think we can talk about this whole idea of replacing UNRWA.

But you heard the spokeswoman talking about accountability. Well, let’s look at what UNRWA has done. Even before the internal U.N., at the highest level, investigation had barely started, and certainly before the external investigation had barely started, UNRWA took robust action against this. It has in place — and it’s worked for years with the donors — accountability frameworks and mechanisms. Staff are screened. The very fact the Israelis know these names is because UNRWA, as part of the zero-tolerance policy and its commitment to neutrality, passed on to the Israelis last May — let’s be precise — the entire staff list of UNRWA in Gaza and the West Bank in digital form to the Israelis. It had already been run through the Security Council’s terrorism list. And Israel didn’t come back with a single complaint. It was only until after the ICJ ruling, the day after the ICJ ruling, accusing Israel of plausible genocide, and the headlines were — we all saw them — that the Israelis leaked this.

So, what I would say is the news management is unraveling. It’s been exposed. And what we’re now seeing is the spotlight turning to the donors. And I would like to see some proper investigation into the frameworks that are there for the donors who are accusing UNRWA of politicization. I would like to say: What are the donors doing, in a way which is accountable and which is transparent, to show to the world how they ring-fenced their humanitarian decision-making process and to keep it immune from politics? Because they’re accusing UNRWA of politicizing, weaponizing. You know, there’s all this accusations around UNRWA’s neutrality. What about the donor neutrality? Because it looks increasingly as if the donor community, based on a very dodgy dossier, was doing Israel’s political bidding. We heard Mr. Netanyahu — we’ve heard him say several times that he would like to see UNRWA destroyed, dismantled. And it looks horribly — and I say this with deep regret — that the donors are, on the face of it, going along with that Israeli scheme to dismantle UNRWA, which is why I say they can reverse that.

They can reverse that this moment, by coming back and saying, “It was a dodgy dossier. We don’t have the facts.” They’re now openly saying they don’t have the facts. They need to come back and acknowledge what is actually happening. It was a piece of news management. Treachery happens in wars. It happens. You know, that’s what goes on: misinformation, lies. The truth is the first casualty of war. All of that. That’s what’s happened here. The truth appears to have been the first casualty.

The donors have made this precipitous, regrettable, I would say, illegal and disproportionate decision to defund UNRWA. That can be reversed immediately by the donors coming back. And I would urge them to do this, because, you know, judge UNRWA by its response. Just as I say judge the IDF — I say to American audiences, judge the IDF by its response to these Abu Ghraib pictures, judge UNRWA by its response. Commissioner-General Lazzarini has been swift and resolute as part of a zero-tolerance policy, which, by the way, has worked throughout the region. Do you really think that 33,000 UNRWA workers could be actively doing this humanitarian, human development work across the region if it weren’t implementing policies which were absolutely impartial? There’s no question that UNRWA would very quickly lose the trust of the communities and the donors if they weren’t implementing this zero-tolerance policy. And that has to be recognized. It’s the response of UNRWA that donors need to respond to, not a few bad apples who we don’t even know.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Chris Gunness, I’m afraid we’re going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us.

CHRIS GUNNESS: My pleasure. 

NBC NEWS' Corky Siemaszko reports:

The doctor treating the victims of an Israeli bomb attack on the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah had been examining one patient after another in the crowded emergency room when he saw him.

There, amid the din of screaming children and moaning grownups, amid the cries of medical workers for more medicine and bandages, Dr. Rami Abu Libdeh spotted a paramedic carrying his 9-year-old son, Mohammad.

Bursting into tears, Libdeh, 32, grabbed the boy, whose head was bandaged and whose red top was covered with a layer of dust. Falling to his knees, Libdeh peppered his weeping son with questions about his missing mother and their house before surrendering the boy to the other medics in the room for treatment.

An NBC News team was at the Kuwaiti Hospital when it recorded the heartbreaking father-and-son reunion.

Read the full story here.

The doctor treating the victims of an Israeli bomb attack on the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah had been examining one patient after another in the crowded emergency room when he saw him.

There, amid the din of screaming children and moaning grownups, amid the cries of medical workers for more medicine and bandages, Dr. Rami Abu Libdeh spotted a paramedic carrying his 9-year-old son, Mohammad.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 126 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  NBC NEWS notes, "More than 27,900 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 67,400 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead." AP has noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."   

This morning, ALJAZEERA reports:

Five members of the same family were killed in an attack on their house in Rafah in southern of Gaza. Several children and a woman are among the dead.

The Palestinian health ministry says at least 107 people have been killed in the past 24 hours.

Survivor Hala al-Mashukhi told Al Jazeera her father, mother, and her three-year-old brother were killed when an Israeli bomb targeted their house in Rafah. Her sister Dima, 10, was the only other to survive the attack.

“Every child in the world gets up happy. But we get up terrified to the sound of the shelling and explosions,” she said.

President Biden called Israel’s military conduct in Gaza “over the top,” his sharpest rebuke yet and the latest critical comment from a U.S. official in recent days. “A lot of innocent people are in trouble, and they’re dying, and it’s got to stop,” Biden, who has generally avoided criticizing the U.S. ally, said Thursday. In Gaza, airstrikes hit Rafah overnight, as fears mount among displaced Palestinians crammed into the city, where Israeli officials say the offensive will move next.

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL maintains that it is "unclear if remarks [were] aimed at Israel or Hamas."  At COMMON DREAMS, Jake Johnson notes:

  President Joe Biden said Thursday that he believes Israel's assault on Gaza has been "over the top" but did not indicate any substantive changes to U.S. policy, which has been to support the war militarily and diplomatically while pushing for humanitarian aid and pauses.

"A lot of innocent people starving, in trouble, dying," Biden said during a press conference at the White House. "It's got to stop."

The president's remarks were characterized as perhaps his most direct criticism of the Israeli military's conduct since it began its large-scale war on the Gaza Strip just over four months ago, following a deadly Hamas-led attack on southern Israel.

But critics argued that Biden's words will ring hollow as long as his administration continues to arm Israel's military unconditionally, oppose global efforts to enact a lasting cease-fire, and reject evidence that Israel is committing genocide. Since October 7, the U.S. State Department has twice bypassed Congress to send lethal weaponry to Israel and is working to gut lawmakers' oversight of foreign military financing for the country.

"It's maddening to hear him say stuff like this," wrote journalist Mehdi Hasan. "Now he says Israel is going 'over the top.' Before he said they were doing 'indiscriminate' bombing. But throughout it all, he arms them, funds them, defends them, enables them, and refuses to call for a cease-fire." 

Less confusing is the stance of the United Nations Hich Commission for Refugees.  THE GUARDIAN reports

Volker Türk, the UN high commissioner for human rights said on Thursday that widespread destruction by the IDF of civilian infrastructure in Gaza “amounts to a grave breach of the Fourth Genevea Convention, and a war crime”.

Türk criticised the “extensive destruction of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”.

In Jeffrey Cockburn's round up of the week "Roaming Charges: Comfortably Dumb" (COUNTERPUNCH), he notes:

A US drone attack on Wednesday struck a vehicle in a civilian Baghdad neighborhood supposedly containing a commander from the Kataib Hezbollah, the militia group in Iraq that the Pentagon has blamed for attacking its troops. The Iraqi military angrily denounced the assassination and said that it signaled the “termination of the US mission in the country.” Finally, Mission Accomplished!

The following sites updated:

  • Friday, February 09, 2024

    Kylie Minogue wins a Grammy, Elon Musk stinks up the world

    Almost the weekend.  First, my daughter tells me I've been a bad day.  "Padam Padam" resulted in a Grammy in Sunday.

    My daughter loves that song as I've noted several times already last year.  But she wants it noted that Kylie got a Grammy on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, BLOOMBERG notes:

    Elon Musk just “pounds the table” in his escalating legal battle with the US labor board over his aerospace company SpaceX because he lacks a cogent argument, its top prosecutor said Wednesday.

    “If the law is not on your side, and the facts aren’t on your side, then just pound the table and yell like hell,” said National Labor Relations Board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, applying an old aphorism, during an interview with Bloomberg in Washington Wednesday. “That’s what I feel that Elon Musk is doing.”

    In January, Abruzzo’s office issued a complaint accusing SpaceX of illegally retaliating by firing eight workers who circulated an open letter criticizing the billionaire chief executive officer. SpaceX responded the next day by suing the labor board, arguing that its structure and proceedings are unconstitutional.

    The eight workers, Abruzzo said Wednesday, were terminated “for actually bringing up issues that they had around awful, misogynistic, sexist comments, conduct, etc.” What got them fired, she said, was merely “saying we’re in a workplace where this should not be OK and can we talk about this?”

    If we've learned anything, it's that Elon Musk is garbage.  

    And all you have to do is look at the people around him.

    What's the liar's name.  That ugly woman.  Amber Herd.  Head?  Trash.  And she was with Elon.  Because she's garbage trash.

    If you're late to this and wrongly believe her lies about Johnny Depp, don't e-mail me.  C.I. called that a long time ago.  And she knows him.  We did a piece at THIRD that brought up Herd and Johnny and C.I. said (they had just started dating) that this was a mid-life crisis that was going to harm Johnny greatly, the Amber was trouble and a liar.  And the two had just started dating.  And C.I. didn't just get that into a piece at THIRD, when Johnny got engaged to Amber, C.I. said drop her, don't marry her.

    And then when the big blow up came, C.I. told Stan and me both that there are recordings of beatings -- of Amber beating Johnny.

    All that would later come out in the court cases. 

    And C.I. and Johnny are friends and have been for years. 

    So I don't need to hear what you thought of her statement to the court or any other nonsense.  She's a liar.  C.I. called it before they were engaged.  She's dishonest and she's hideous.

    Need another example?

    That ridiculous bucktoothed fool Matt Taibbi.  Matt tried to get all up in Musk's taint.  And that's because crazy grifting liars throw down together.

    All the people who choose to spend time with Elon Musk just demonstrate how hideous he is. 

    The people with good sense and real values -- people like his daughter Vivian Jenna Wilson -- get as far away from Elon Musk as they can.  That tells you all you should need to know about Musk.

    Senator James Lankford addressed Elon Musk’s critique of the bipartisan border security bill, suggesting Musk should prioritize resolving Tesla’s recall issues.

    Lankford’s rebuttal highlighted Musk’s misinterpretation of the bill’s intentions.

    Elon Musk expressed concerns on X, claiming the border bill aims to enable illegal residents to vote, undermining border security.

    Musk’s bold statement sparked a debate on the bill’s implications and objectives.

    Appearing on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” Lankford clarified that Musk’s description of the bill was inaccurate.

    The senator refuted the idea that the legislation would facilitate illegal voting.

    Elon's just a liar.   That's why he and fellow liar Matt Taibbi bonded.  That and their supposed development disorders. 

    Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Thursday, February 8, 2024.  Netanyahu has a hissy fit over a proposed pause in the slaughter, more photos of alleged torture by the IDF emerge, Marianne Williamson suspends her campaign, and much more.

    Another candidate has suspended her campaign.

    Marianne Williamson has suspended her campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and notes:

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you don’t win:)…

    I appreciate greatly all the incredible people who accompanied me on our political journey over the last ten months. While the level of our failure is obvious to all, a level of success is real nonetheless. We articulated deeper, more authentic truths than those regularly acknowledged by the political establishment. And I’m not only glad we did that; I’m proud of it. We spoke for those most ignored in America today and whose wounds are most in need of healing. I wish I could have reached them. I know we would have provided hope.

    I will never be able to fully express my gratitude to those who supported the campaign - as donors, as volunteers, as team members, and more. I hope the blessings you have shown me will be reflected in your life many times over. There are memories of support and kindness that I will cherish going forward, carrying an emotional fragrance that will linger in my heart forever.

    In the final analysis, I think the only real failure in life is that which we fail to learn from. I have learned so much already and I know that I will learn more. Processing this experience will be an ongoing journey and forgiveness will guide me as I move through it. I will not allow the mental torment of all the woulda shoulda couldas to tie me to the past, but rather I will keep my eye on the larger story. In ways I cannot yet see, none of this will have been in vain. There are hidden gifts that have only just begun to reveal themselves.

    Among those gifts are seeds I know we dropped into the hearts of many - those who will in their own time, in their own way, carry our ideas forward. Although as of today we are suspending our campaign, our platform - with its deep dive into so many issues - will remain on I hope future candidates will take what works for them, drinking from the well of information that we prepared. My team and I brought to the table some great ideas, and I will take pleasure when I see them live on in campaigns and candidates yet to be created.

    I wish I could give a personal hug to every person who encouraged me on this journey. So many had faith and believed in what was possible. While we did not succeed at running a winning political campaign, I know in my heart we impacted the political ethers. As with every other aspect of my career over the last forty years, I know how ideas float through the air forming ever new designs. I will see and hear things in different situations and through different voices, and I will smile a small internal smile knowing in my heart where that came from.

    I am wishing you all the love in the world, with a thanks more sincere than you can possibly imagine. May love yet prevail, in our hearts and in the world.

    The list of potentials gets smaller and the list of real potentials -- real meaning, this isn't a deluded vanity campaign, gets tiny.  On the Republican side, it's coming down to Donald Trump (unless the courts do the right thing and bar him from running due to his violations of Article 3 and the 14th Amendment) and Nikki Haley.  On the Democratic Party side, it's now Joe Biden.  Joe visited NYC and, Brett Wilkins (COMMON DREAMS) reports, it was a visit that got attention:

      Around 100 Jewish American and allied activists were arrested in New York City Wednesday after they blocked President Joe Biden's motorcade route to protest U.S. complicity in Israel's genocidal war against the Palestinian people and to demand an immediate Gaza cease-fire.

    The group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) led the Upper East Side demonstration, during which activists sat down in the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street, where the president was attending a nearby fundraiser.

    "As Jewish New Yorkers we want to make crystal clear that President Biden is not welcome in our city while he continues to fund and arm the Israeli government's genocide of Palestinians in Gaza," saidJVP's Jay Saper. 

    I know nothing about Claudia De la Cruz and Karina Garcia but they have the nomination for the Party for Socialism and Liberation (Claudia for president, Karina for vice president) which, in the past, has run real candidates.  The Green Party is in shambles and that's evidenced by the fact that Jill Stein trying to get the nomination.  Jill Stein is AGAIN trying to get the nomination.

    One of the complaints from those anticipating a Donald and Joe match up has been the age issue.  

    Jill's no spring chicken. 

    She turns 74 this May.

    She has no real accomplishments to speak of -- unless you consider her dropping her anti-vaccine stance when the press discovered it while she was running for office -- I believe that was in her failed Senate run and not during one of her disastrous attempts at the presidency.  Jill fights for what she stands for . . .  at least until she's expected to actually stand for it.

    And, yes, we said "attempts at the presidency."

    The Green Party is dead will be the announcement if, this summer, they announce Jill Stein as their candidate.

    She was their failed candidate in 2012 -- one who refused to question Barack Obama's sending US troops back into Iraq even though Tim Arango had reported this for THE NEW YORK TIMES just before the presidential debates started.  Poor Jill, she had more important things than war or pointing out reality.  She needed to get a new hair do and she needed more photos of herself and she needed waste everyone's time.

    She did that in 2016 again.

    She's a disaster and something of an idiot.  It's gotten worse, her public speaking, so bad in fact that she might need to see a doctor.  

    Does that sound like a party offering a real difference between the duopoly?


    A real difference would be the Green Party getting an actual candidate -- not an old nag or hag that they've run twice already and who is over 70s year old.  35.  That's the youngest you can be.  And yet do nothing Jill thinks her twice that age, failed ass needs to mislead the Green Party again.

    Joe Biden should have put himself out to pasture.  No question.  But Greens, if you run a 74 year old failure, you don't have any room to scold any other parties.  She's failed twice.  She's led to the party into great debt with those failures.  She's done nothing but whine in the last years -- I only ate a dinner in Russia! -- and she's not an activist.  Her 'activism' most recently was trying to force Cornel West down the throat of the Green Party.  I don't think she realizes how hated that's made her.

    She and others at the top of the Green Party, tried to steal the nomination for him.  And rank-and-file pushed back.  Cornel for any other failures, was smart enough to see what was happening and cease his campaign for the Green Party nomination.

    That Cornel didn't grasp the process of the Green Party is not surprising.  He announced his pursuit of the presidency by announcing he was the candidate for the People's Party and then a week later, he wasn't.  Oops.  Turns out you actually do need to do some work to run for president and that includes checking out the party whose nomination you've accepted -- in fact, better to do that checking before you accept their nomination.

    But Jill knew the process and she didn't just ignore it, she tried to break it and would have been able to if the rank-and-file hadn't pushed back so hard and said NO!  They weren't dropping their process of how people had to campaign for the party's presidential nomination and they weren't changing their schedule (again, it will be decided this summer at the party's convention).  

    Then there's the whole Peter Daou thing.  This is not to trash Peter or even about Peter -- my remarks.  This is about the fact that Jill's told one conflicting story after another about Petere.  She's claimed this and she's claimed that.  If she can't even get her story straight about her 'friendship' with a political strategist, she needs to bow out.  Instead, she's using media attention to make it appear that she's the party's nominee.

    The party has no nominee and won't until the summer convention.

    If Jill is the nominee, we all need to wipe our hands clean of the Green Party and face reality that it is not trying to build the party and that it's just a bunch of egomaniacs at the top who need their egos stroked.

    Did someone say Junior?

    Yeah, Little Junior remains to do nothing.

    He keeps pointing to his popularity polls.  Among the uneducated and likely non-voters, he does have some sort of appeal still.  He keeps pointing to his 'popularity' as his reason for running.



    That's the cost for his campaign basically.  United Airlines can fly him from New Hampshire to Utah for $306.  

    He's qualified for Utah's ballot and, since the end of last month he's claimed he's qualified for New Hampshire.  

    In a dream world where he can win both states that would be what, ten electoral votes?

    Just 260 more and he can be president.

    Donald Trump says if he gets the nomination, he's not taking Junior on his ticket.

    Junior dropped out of the race of the Democratic Party nomination.

    He declared himself an independent making an independent run.

    But no one told him that required work and our socialite just does not like to work.

    So now he's flirting with the Libertarian Party as well as flirting with conducting fraud state by state.  Since he clearly can't meet the requirements for ballot access in the majority of the states as an independent candidate, his admitted plan currently is to start 'political parties' so he can meet that threshold instead.

    However, it is fraud -- legal fraud -- to do what he's talking about.  The qualifications do not say 'create a fake political party.'  He can't meet the legal criteria to get on the ballot as the independent candidate ha has publicly announced himself so he wants to commit fraud state by state.  If he does that, I hope he's prosecuted to the full extent of the law and he should be.

    Junior is cheering on the slaughter of Gaza.  Click here for FRANCE 24's analysis of a photo of a Palestinian in Israeli custody -- apparently having been tortured.  The War Crimes just continue to pile up.  In fact, in other War Crimes:

    The Palestinian Red Crescent Society says that one of its teams that was carrying out a mission to evacuate a number of wounded people on Wednesday was deliberately targeted.

    Paramedic Mohammed al-Omari was killed as a result, and two of his colleagues were wounded.

    “This brings the number of colleagues killed while carrying out their humanitarian work since the beginning of the war on Gaza to 12,” the organisation said.

    Let's note this from yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

    NERMEEN SHAIKH: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Nermeen Shaikh, with Amy Goodman.

    A key Israeli intelligence document used by over a dozen countries, including the United States, to justify defunding UNRWA, the primary aid group for Palestinian refugees, contains no evidence to back up Israel’s claims, according to several news reports. The allegations made in the Israeli document include accusations that several UNRWA employees participated in the Hamas attack on October 7th. Britain’s Channel 4 obtained the document and found that it, quote, “provides no evidence to support its explosive new claim that UNRWA staff were involved with terror attacks on Israel.” The Financial Times, which also reviewed the materials, came to the same conclusion, as did Sky News. Now the aid agency, which is critical to providing humanitarian support in Gaza, says it will run out of funds by March as a result of the funding cuts.

    The allegations made by Israel are just the latest in what journalist Jeremy Scahill calls, quote, “Israel’s information warfare campaign,” which is aimed at, quote, “flood[ing] the public discourse with a stream of false, unsubstantiated, and unverifiable allegations.” In his latest article, published today in The Intercept, Scahill writes, quote, “Nearly every week, sometimes every day, the Israeli government and military have unloaded a fresh barrage of allegations intended to justify the ongoing slaughter.” He adds, quote, “The tactic is effective, particularly because the U.S. and other major allies have consistently laundered Israel’s unverified allegations as evidence of the righteousness of the cause.”

    Jeremy Scahill is a senior reporter and correspondent at The Intercept. His latest article is headlined “Netanyahu’s War on Truth: Israel’s Ruthless Propaganda Campaign to Dehumanize Palestinians.” He joins us now from Germany.

    Jeremy, welcome back to Democracy Now! If you could just begin by laying out the case that you make in your latest piece?

    JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, in the early morning hours of October 7th, members of Hamas from the Qassam Brigades, the Nukhba, their elite special forces, as well as members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, led a multipronged attack in Israel. Everyone is familiar with this. And the initial targets that they hit constituted almost the entirety of Israel’s infrastructure in what Tel Aviv calls the “Gaza envelope,” and they were able to actually quite swiftly overpower the Gaza Division, the main entity of the Israeli state responsible for enforcing the prison conditions of the people of Gaza, for carrying out drone strikes, for waging war, for conducting all manner of warfare against the people of Gaza. And then the militant Palestinian fighters made their way into a series of settlements in the area.

    And the intent was quite clear: They were trying to take hostages captive so that they could negotiate the release of their own prisoners. But what they did on that day was nothing short of shattering the paradigm, of sending a message that the big lie that is promoted by Israel — not just under Netanyahu, but certainly under Netanyahu — that Israelis could somehow live in peace a stone’s throw away from what is effectively a concentration camp filled with 2.3 million people that are deprived anything vaguely resembling a human existence, that that is tenable.

    And Israel was, by all accounts, caught off guard, despite the fact that its own intelligence analysts had been warning that it appeared that Hamas was preparing and training for something that was quite spectacular, and not simply some small, one-off attempts to fire rockets or even do a minor incursion into Israeli territory. And by all accounts, those were overlooked and dismissed.

    And what we saw happen then, as the Palestinian fighters made their way across these various Israeli communities and overtook the Gaza Division and took many, many military personnel prisoner and brought them back to Gaza, was the Israeli government engage in sustained counteraction, including with Apache attack helicopters, with drones. When the military did finally arrive in some of these communities — and, mind you, it was hours and hours before any official Israeli security forces were responding to some of these civilian areas — they engaged in widespread firefights. At Kibbutz Be’eri, we know that eyewitnesses have said that Israel forces shelled a house, likely killing at least a dozen Israelis who were being held captive by Palestinian fighters. And so, the Israeli government then was reeling from the shock of having these crucial military bases overrun, communities being flooded with Palestinian fighters.

    And within hours of these attacks happening, the Netanyahu government began to craft a very deliberate propaganda campaign to sell the United States, other Western leaders and the global public on a scorched-earth war of annihilation against Gaza. And this campaign kicked into such high gear immediately. And what they did, what was central to this, is that the Israelis began showing President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, the heads of state of NATO countries and other Western nations images and videos that they then proceeded to tell an unverified story about what they depicted. And the characterization from Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was that this was the greatest act of violence against Jewish people since the Holocaust, that the tactics that Hamas used included rape, beheading of babies, mutilation of bodies, torture of families, the bounding of children in groups, including in a nursery in one of the kibbutzes, and then engaging in mass execution of small children, setting children on fire. And President Biden, Secretary Blinken and many Western leaders then started to repeat these claims.

    But what happened is that when the Israeli social security agency began to actually document the deaths on October 11th, they documented 1,139 deaths; 695 of them were civilians. And we started reviewing the public documentation of the deaths. It turns out that there was only one infant that was killed in all of the attacks combined on October 7th, a 9-month-old baby named Mila Cohen. And she was hit by a bullet during gunfire while she was in her mother’s arm. There were also — I think there were 36 children under the age of 19 that died that day. Fourteen of them were actually killed in Hamas rocket attacks. So, when journalists started actually looking then at the official death toll — and you can go — the Israelis have published the stories, the photos of many, many, many of the victims — you realize that these were all lies. It was a massive fraud that was perpetrated on the world, particularly this business about mass decapitation of babies. And Joe Biden, on numerous occasions, said that he saw actual photographic evidence of the beheading of babies and the bounding and burning alive with kerosene whole families.

    And what I discovered in my research was that these stories appear to have ended up in the heads of Biden and Blinken and others based on the totally fraudulent version of events on October 7th that was offered by private Orthodox rescue operations — the most famous of them is Zaka — telling stories, you know, about a pregnant woman who had a fetus cut out of her body, and then the fetus was decapitated in front of the woman and her two children. There’s no evidence whatsoever to indicate that that happened. In fact, there’s no documentation that any pregnant woman died on October 7th. There was one pregnant woman who was shot while in her car on the way to deliver her baby. She was a Bedouin woman. And the doctors were able to save her life. They tried to deliver the baby. The baby died some hours later. But that wasn’t Hamas cutting a baby out of a stomach. And yet these lies were sold. And some of the most obscene things that Israel said, that we now know are false, were repeated by Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, in testimony in front of the Senate, by Joe Biden himself. And this has gone on and on and on. I’ve just given you a couple of the most graphic examples of this.

    But what’s clear is that the Israeli government understood that they needed to sell this as like the worst crime against humanity in modern times, in order to justify a long-planned siege of Gaza that Benjamin Netanyahu — he represents the most extreme and violent version of the Israeli state project. And it’s very, very clear that they sold this fraud, and the White House laundered it, and that’s why we’ve seen — and I think 27,000 people killed in Gaza is a conservative estimate. I think it’s much greater than that, because there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home. So, this is one of the most epic frauds in modern history, reminiscent of the lies told to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy, I’m wondering if we can jump for a moment to the beginning of this segment, from October 7 to the UNRWA story, that something like, what, the Israeli government was alleging 12 — and then that number got larger — members of UNRWA, which has something like 13,000 workers in Gaza, were involved with the October 7th attack. Talk about, if you will, the way you do in your piece, take apart, as Channel 4 did, as a number of news organizations have, the evidence for this, that has been used by now almost 20 countries to defund this essential organization that supports the hospitals and the schools of Gaza for over 2 million people.

    JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, UNRWA is nothing short of the most important humanitarian organization operating in Gaza. In fact, it was explicitly established in 1949 during the Nakba, where 750,000-plus Palestinians were forced from their homes in an extermination/annihilation campaign that then paved the way for the establishment of the state of Israel in the aftermath of World War II. And the mandate of UNRWA was to care for those Palestinians and ensure that their right of return to their homes and land was going to be protected. And so, the Israeli government, certainly under Netanyahu, but under other heads of state, as well, has always wanted UNRWA eliminated, because this represents a very serious problem for the Israeli agenda of eliminating Palestinian territory in its entirety. So, just to give that context.

    But then, the Israelis decide that — immediately after the International Court of Justice rules in favor of South Africa and orders provisional measures that include the prevention of genocidal acts, the stopping of killing Palestinians, that the court recognized as a protected group, and to allow, with immediate effect, the entry of aid sufficient to confront the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Israeli war on Gaza, the Israelis then choose to open a new front and just blast the public and the ears of Western leaders with a propaganda campaign aimed at trying to get them to join the crusade to eliminate UNRWA. And Israel then prepared what it called an intelligence dossier, alleging that 12 employees of UNRWA — it has 13,000 or so employees in Gaza, 30,000 employees spread out across the Middle East where displaced Palestinians reside.

    And the response from the Biden administration was to immediately announce it was suspending all funding to UNRWA. And Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted publicly that the United States had not even done its own review or investigation of these assertions that 12 members of a 30,000-member organization had some link to the October 7th attacks.

    And then what happened — and this is so reminiscent of Judy Miller, The New York Times, the mushroom cloud, Dick Cheney, build-up to the War in Iraq — they go to The Wall Street Journal, and the Israelis provide the The Wall Street Journal with what the Journal then advertises as a dossier, an intelligence dossier. And they go further than the 12. They say that a full 10% of UNRWA’s Gaza staff, 1,200 employees, are connected to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and they say this is not just a few bad apples.

    Well, this laundering of Israeli propaganda in the form of an article for a major American newspaper was — the lead author of that article was Carrie Keller-Lynn. She’s a new contributor to The Wall Street Journal. I started digging into who is this person, because she didn’t have a full bio on The Wall Street Journal website. Well, it turns out that she is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces. She was a militant opponent of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement when she was at university in the United States. And her close friend, who she did a joint interview with for an organization that takes American grad students to Israel, she credits her with, during the 2009 Gaza war, creating the social media strategy for the Israeli Defense Forces. This is the reporter that was the lead journalist writing this UNRWA story for The Wall Street Journal.

    And once we started to draw attention to that and put photos of her in her IDF uniform and talking about her ties to someone she said helped create the social media strategy for the IDF during a previous war in Gaza, then these organizations she was affiliated with scrubbed all of these articles and photos from the internet. The Journal has locked her Twitter account.

    But this was very, very clearly a sophisticated propaganda campaign, where they knew which journalists to go to, they knew which governments would buy into it. And what they got is the Biden administration now being actively complicit in violating the orders of the International Court of Justice, which has Israel under watch for potential plausible genocidal actions in Gaza.

    AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Jeremy, do you think, on the October 7th investigation, that it wasn’t simply enough for Israel to say over a thousand Israelis and other people, majority of them civilian, were killed in the Hamas attack, was not enough of a justification to go into [Gaza] and then multiply that over 27,000 [sic] times — 27 times, to more than 27,000 dead today?

    JEREMY SCAHILL: The Israelis, particularly the civilians who were killed that day, deserve the truth about what happened. The Israeli government responded with very heavy firepower. There’s indications that the Hannibal Directive may have been invoked, which says that it’s better to injure and possibly even kill Israelis than let them be taken hostage. They also made sweeping allegations about sexual violence being systematically committed by Hamas, that they have provided no proof that such a systematic campaign took place. The victims in Israel deserve the truth. And the 30,000-plus Palestinians who have been murdered with American bombs, whose deaths have been justified by the killing of those Israelis, possibly including by their own government, they also deserve the truth, and they deserve justice.

    NERMEEN SHAIKH: Jeremy, I’m afraid, I’m sorry, we’re going to have to leave it there. Jeremy Scahill, senior reporter and correspondent at The Intercept. His latest piece, out today, “Netanyahu’s War on Truth: Israel’s Ruthless Propaganda Campaign to Dehumanize Palestinians.” And that does it for the show. I’m Nermeen Shaikh, with Amy Goodman. Thanks for joining us.


    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken left the Middle East on Thursday with public divisions between the United States and Israel at perhaps their worst level since Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza began in October.

    Wrapping up a four-nation Mideast trip — his fifth to the region since the conflict erupted — Blinken was returning to Washington after getting a virtual slap in the face from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the war would continue until Israel is completely victorious and appeared to reject outright a response from Hamas to a proposed cease-fire plan.

    An Egyptian official source told the BBC that a new round of negotiations, mediated by Egypt and Qatar, is still expected to go ahead on Thursday in Cairo.

    Egypt has called on all parties to show the necessary flexibility to reach a calm agreement, the source said.

    And Mr Netanyahu's rejection of a "delusional" plan are in stark contrast to remarks from Qatar, which described Hamas's response as "positive". 

    Gaza remains under assault. Day 125 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  ALJAZEERA notes, "Gaza’s Health Ministry says the death toll from Israel’s aggression on the blockaded territory has risen to 27,840 Palestinians killed since October 7. At least 67,317 have been wounded." AP has noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

    And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."   

    Iraq has issued a warning to the United States in response to an airstrike late Wednesday in Baghdad that killed a senior commander with the pro-Iran Kataib Hezbollah militia.

    Iraq's Joint Operation Command called the strike a "new aggression by the United States, adding that the move acted to "undermine all understandings" between Iraq and the US, in a statement posted by spokesperson Tahseen Al Khafaji on X.

    The spokesperson also reiterated what the country said after the first series of US strikes in Iraq last Friday in retaliation for the killing of three US soldiers in Jordan, which was to call the strikes a "violation of Iraqi sovereignty." 

    Kataib Hezbollah is considered the most powerful Iran-backed militia in Iraq and part of a state-sponsored consortium of militias in the country known as the PMU (Popular Mobilization Forces), many of them Shia militias, that help maintain security there.  

    But just days after the killing of the three US soldiers in Jordan on January 28, Kataib Hezbollah announced it was suspending its military operations against US forces, which was seen as signs the group feared blowback by the US on itself, as well as other pro-Iran militias or even Iran proper in response to the US solider deaths. 

      Yehia Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi military, said in a statement early Thursday that the U.S. "conducted a blatant assassination through an airstrike in the heart of a residential neighborhood in the capital, Baghdad, showing no regard for civilian lives or international laws."

    "By this act, the American forces jeopardize civil peace, violate Iraqi sovereignty, and disregard the safety and lives of our citizens," said Rasool. "Even more concerning is that the coalition consistently deviates from the reasons and objectives for its presence on our territory."

    Rasool said the latest U.S. strike will only intensify the push to remove American forces from Iraq more than two decades after the disastrous 2003 invasion.

    "This trajectory compels the Iraqi government more than ever to terminate the mission of this coalition, which has become a factor for instability and threatens to entangle Iraq in the cycle of conflict," said Rasool. 

    The following sites updated: