• Autism: Meaning & Maneuvers
    Achieving First Principles Healing

    Dr. Syed Haider
    Fire and movement - Wikipedia
    So many more people are on the autism spectrum every passing day.

    Maybe all of us are.

    How would we even know what normal is, if no one left alive is really normal compared to our ancestors?

    For one thing people used to be able to put up with a great deal more pain and discomfort. Quite naturally: as they were just hardened to it by a lifetime of what we would now consider constant suffering. Even in third world countries today all manner of dental and surgical procedures are commonly done without anesthesia, even on children (I’ve experienced this first hand and it became quite clear that the experience of pain is complicated, involving physical, social and psychological factors like the expectation of pain by both the inflicter of some injury, that would in many situations lead to it, and the one experiencing, or not experiencing it).

    In addition to their tolerance for discomfort our ancestors could sit with rapt attention through multi-hour debates and speak spontaneously at a level not found outside classical literature, let alone any contemporary off-the-cuff speech.

    Now, we’ll come back to discomfort tolerance and communication in a moment, but first I would like to submit that there is a deeper meaning to everything that happens in accord with the ancient aphorism: as above, so below.

    as above, so below — Deep Living
    If we find a problem at one level, like the mental, the same problem will be reflected at every other level great or small: physical (biochemical, epigenetic, hormonal), emotional, psychological, energetic, spiritual, societal, etc.

    As Above, So Below | Microcosm and Macrocosm | Technology of the Heart
    I know it seems I’m all over the place, but bear with me. After briefly introducing autism, we’ll combine all these seemingly disparate ideas:

    Autistic children cannot deal with even the most innocuous seeming stimuli. They cannot interpret incoming signals appropriately and they cannot communicate back to the world at large.

    They are hypersensitive and at the same time shut away so deep inside such a thick shell that they can’t be reached, or reach anyone else.

    What’s the connection between these two seemingly opposing symptoms and what might it all mean?

    Since the Industrial Revolution all of us in advanced societies (much more likely to be affected by autism) have experienced a dramatic increase in comfort and security (the myriad services now available at the touch of a button put to shame the luxuries of ancient emperors) along with a corresponding rise in distaste for any discomfort leading to society-wide anesthetic, bandaid approaches to every discomfort or dis-ease.

    The problem with a bandaid for a festering wound is that the wound keeps festering, in fact it worsens over time.

    Anyway, getting back to autism, the key to understanding the link between the two signal symptoms of hypersensitivity and the inability to communicate, is that pain/discomfort is itself a message without which we cannot safely navigate the world - just ask any diabetic with numb feet about the immense degree of self-care and vigilance required to still have feet every year.

    PAIN MESSAGING

    Lack of pain receptors would rapidly lead to progressive dis-ease and death as you could not avoid what is harming you, in fact you wouldn’t even know if something was harming you.

    Pain is meant to communicate the danger of continuing to do what is causing the pain, because it is damaging you. The instinctive response to pain is to flinch away from it, to somehow put a stop to the source of pain.

    Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP) is a rare genetic disorder that illustrates the problem:

    “From an evolutionary perspective, one of the reasons scientists believe CIP is so rare is because so few individuals with the disorder reach adulthood. “We fear pain, but in developmental terms from being a child to being a young adult, pain is incredibly important to the process of learning how to modulate your physical activity without doing damage to your bodies, and in determining how much risk you take,” (Dr Ingo) Kurth (who studies CIP) explains.

    “Without the body’s natural warning mechanism, many with CIP exhibit self-destructive behaviour as children or young adults. Kurth tells the story of a young Pakistani boy who came to the attention of scientists through his reputation in his community as a street performer who walked on hot coals, and stuck knives in his arms without displaying any signs of pain. He later died in his early teens, after jumping from the roof of a house.

    ““Of the CIP patients I’ve worked with in the UK, so many of the males have killed themselves by their late 20s by doing ridiculously dangerous things, not restrained by pain,” says Geoff Woods, who researches pain at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. “Or they have such damaged joints that they are wheelchair-bound and end up committing suicide because they have no quality of life.””

    -The curse of the people who never feel pain, by David Cox


    CIP patient
    Modern industrialized people have become enabled to mirror CIP patients to a limited degree. We generally do not allow any pain or discomfort to arise without covering it up, or trying to (rather than dealing with the source itself).

    COMS DOWN

    Walk into any pharmacy and you’ll find bandaid remedies for: headaches, coughs, colds, rashes, pink eye, ear aches, reflux, allergies, tummy aches, constipation, diarrhea, period discomfort, and in the back, accessible only via prescription will be the bandaids applied to what comes of using the more accessible bandaids on the above laundry list of complaints: hypertension, heart disease, asthma, COPD, autoimmune diseases, cancer, etc.

    It only stands to reason we will experience some sort of negative consequences for interrupting the crucial, natural feedback loop of pain.

    The minor complaints most of us develop during childhood or shortly thereafter are just precursors to the more severe ones, the early warning signs if you will.

    Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it.

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    And we don’t just paper over physical complaints but emotional, psychological, energetic and spiritual ones as well - all are covered up as soon as they arise. None are addressed at their deepest roots.

    Modern infrastructure and technology have allowed us to feel less and less of the natural world, to provide a greater and greater buffer between ourselves and our environments, both external and internal.

    As we’ve become accustomed to more and more comfort and convenience we have shied more and more away from any discomfort or inconvenience.

    Modern medicine does nothing so well as smother the bodies ability to communicate pain to us, at least for a time.

    Constant access to modern media and infrastructure in general (temperature control, pharmacies, restaurants, clubs, movie theaters, parks, so many things to buy and see and do to distract you) does nothing so well as allow us to smother our body’s, heart’s and mind’s abilities to communicate physical, emotional and mental/psychological pain to us, at least for a time.

    However, over time the pain not only comes back, but it comes back stronger and stronger yet again as it is constantly beaten back time and again, eventually overcoming our ability to muffle its message, or shifting to a new more painful message, in the form of some new more severe ailment.

    An “autism-lite” society is the outcome of a constant progression away from any experience of discomfort and the healthy communication it teaches.

    We are progressively more unable to withstand even the slightest discomforts and unable to communicate appropriately to the outside world in return because we are not used to listening to the feedback the world is sending us, including what’s coming from the other people in it.

    We are meant to be in communication with everything all the time.

    If it gets hot out our bodies respond by doing something that communicates to our brain to respond in some way to the environment at large: we feel the heat, we sweat, we seek shade, we rest more in the midday, we drink more. Those responses are a communication to the world and to ourselves. If the responses are natural and spontaneous we will be in a synchronized, healthy and balanced state. If unnatural or unnaturally automated (temperature control, or worse just ignoring how we feel) we will be out of sync, unhealthy, imbalanced.

    In the natural state if it gets dark, our entire physiology goes down with the sun and we sleep.

    If it gets light all our hormones rise with the sun and we wake up.

    If someone gets upset with us, we suffer emotional discomfort and address the way we interact with them that has led to their being upset, or if we’ve really done nothing wrong then assess and deal with why we feel guilty as though we have, or why we can’t stand up for ourselves as we should.

    The ability to communicate eloquently in so many ways is what makes us human.

    Speech is what separates us from the animals.

    Speech, like all communication is a two way street. If one way is always blocked the other way won’t properly develop.

    Even if only positive signals are accepted and not negative ones we’ll develop dysfunctional communication, but in practice numbing the negative also numbs the positive (one of the many unfortunate “side effects” of “anti-depressants”).

    When we can’t communicate properly we won’t be able to avoid harming ourselves in our “relationships” to everything in our environment since there will be no intact negative feedback system.

    And perhaps most importantly communication ability can continue to develop over time, regardless of age. We can always become more and more sensitive.

    When we start listening carefully and acting on what we learn, we will uncover deeper layers, learn more, and eventually develop subtle and not so subtle feedback loops that gently guide us away from what is harming us, and towards what benefits us.

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    Of course there’s also a lot going on mechanistically with autism, but maybe it all follows the same theme.

    Perhaps it all illustrates the idea that what’s present at one level is reflected at every other.

    Interestingly, the other things that naturopaths and functional medicine healers have noticed contribute to autism (and other modern chronic diseases) also disrupt a human beings incredibly complex, sophisticated, intricate, and oft-times delicate communications systems:

    Toxins like those found in vaccines, heavy metals, chronic infections/infestations, exogenous hormones, chemical laden water/air/food, light after dark, unnatural EMFs, inappropriate or excessive negative emotions and toxic relationships, etc.

    Also nutrient deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, sleep, sunlight, positive emotions and beliefs, healthy intimacy, a connection with the earths bioelectrical fields, nature in general, etc.

    So, in the modern world, in a number of ways (physical, mental, emotional, energetic), we have quite successfully shut ourselves down from feeling anything real. We’ve metaphorically plugged our ears from hearing the increasingly frantic and emphatic communications from our own bodies belying their discomfort with a constant toxic barrage and chronic nutrient deficiencies.

    4,900+ Hands Covering Ears Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free ...
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    The louder the messages get the more mightily we mute them, increasing our medications, ruminations, dissipations (could ADHD, OCD, panic disorder and more actually be somewhere on the “spectrum” too?).

    In place of Nature’s messages we have shut her out and covered her up, while we injected and affected ourselves with all manner of unnatural, alien and unintelligible messages that our bodies, hearts, minds and souls were never meant to be exposed to and cannot properly interpret or respond to.

    At a deeper level perhaps our discomforts reveal our very selves. What makes you uncomfortable says something about who you are (there is a spiritual maxim that teaches other people are a mirror for you. What annoys you about them points to your own imperfections).

    Pain is the great teacher.

    Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach Quote: “Pain is the great teacher of mankind. Beneath its breath souls
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    It teaches you about yourself and everything else.

    When I spent years covering up my headaches with painkillers I was little aware of why I got them, and had no pressing reason to figure it out.

    When I understood that pain is not bad, in fact it’s good, ie the headaches were there because my body was trying to protect me from harm, I swore off the painkillers and started to experience them without an easy out.

    I quickly came to understand many of the factors involved (hunger, stress, missed sleep, anger, constipation, etc) and was highly motivated to take care of them.

    I had struggled to control anger outbursts for years, but when I now finally made the connection that they often led to headaches that I just had to suffer my way through without a painkiller, the anger quickly became severely disincentivized and naturally began to dissipate.

    Similarly I became more careful about combining any of the factors involved in germinating headaches.

    Imagine my surprise when I later realized that NSAIDs like my goto high dose Motrin/ibuprofen actually contributed to two of my main triggers: anger and constipation (in addition to engendering in some people: depression, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. By the way in case you’re wondering, Tylenol is no better).

    Everything is connected: numbing yourself out physically numbs you out emotionally, but rather than leaving you numb your body tries to amplify the signal, the emotions break through even stronger than before, until you stop fighting them and let them out naturally and learn to live with them and deal with them in the moment.

    Of course no one’s perfect, least of all me. Sometimes I miss sleep, but if I do I better make sure I don’t also skip a meal and let myself get too stressed out or angry the next day. Maintaining a relatively healthy balance keeps the headaches at bay. And over time I have become more resilient. I rarely get headaches anymore and when I do they are much less severe than they used to be when I regularly medicated them (that drop in severity happened relatively fast too, within a few weeks).

    I went from being numbed out and stumbling through life harming myself at every turn, completely unaware of important negative feedback loops, to waking up and realizing what was happening.

    Syed Haider has entered the chat.

    I had finally joined the conversation.

    has entered the chat Memes & GIFs - Imgflip
    The world is speaking all the time and no one is listening.

    The utter extremity of our societal condition is the autist whose parents, society and industrialized world have transferred their communication dysfunctions at every level to one particularly sensitive to them and because of that their epigenetic, biophysical, biochemical, emotional, psychological, energetic and perhaps even spiritual planes are all incomunicado.

    They are not just “neurodivergent”, they haven’t just veered onto another course, they are missing from the map.

    It’s not the only way to go missing, we all go missing all the time: into our phones, laptops, TVs, food, other people, pharmaceuticals, street drugs, you name it we can use it to check out and so we do.

    We’re all a little bit autistic nowadays.

    Because everything, everywhere, all at once is involved in creating autism.

    And all of us are all too human after all (how many “alls” can one fit into a sentence or three?).

    But it’s also all just a matter of cause and effect.

    There’s nothing inherently mysterious about it. We can list out all the likely causes as I’ve done. Basically whatever has changed for the worst in the last 70 or so years.

    And so it can be fixed.

    Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it.

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    EXITING THE MAZE

    It’s complicated, time consuming, difficult; it takes a lot of commitment from patients and caregivers, but the results are astounding, life-changing and so well worth it.

    Natural, comprehensive autism (and other severe chronic disease) treatment is now available at mygotodoc (patients will be able to choose to see either me or Hakim Shabaz for the consults, but we will both work together on every case).

    In the past we’ve made our asynchronous consults available without charge for anyone who needed them and couldn’t pay our already low fees (our prescription fees plus partner pharmacy fees, when combined, are always the lowest in the industry).

    But now, for the first time ever, our 1 on 1 consults for comprehensive natural healing will be done on a pay what you can basis. And they will be longer than any consults we’ve offered before at 2+ hours for the intake. Because that’s the only way to get to the bottom of things in highly customized care plans, and convince patients of what needs to be done.


    However it’s important to realize that regardless of ability to pay or not, deep healing is always quite dear compared to a cheap bandaid (then again bandaids don’t work, so it doesn’t matter how cheap they are).

    You always get what you pay for, even when you can’t pay, because everyone who wants an unusual, outstanding result has to sacrifice something dear in the end, whether or not that includes money, it will usually include time, habits, beliefs, plans, comforts and whatever it takes to divert some resources towards enabling the natural protocols (though much less than most would expect given the results).

    If you or someone you know has autism, it’s OK.

    Roll up your sleeves, check your assumptions at the door, be ready to work, and you’ll not only help yourself, you’ll help many others by your example.

    If you’re reading this, it’s not too late, in fact you’re just in time to join the party, and get to know yourself and everyone else in ways you didn’t think possible.

    “…we've been able to assist (many) autistic children in achieving sustainable, long-term improvements. Additionally, many others grappling with conditions like ADD, ADHD, and similar challenges (depression, anxiety, panic disorder, psychosis) have benefited from our approach…

    “However, there was one particular case where we couldn't achieve the desired outcome. This was primarily due to the parents' expectation of immediate results within a couple of months. Regrettably, they lost hope prematurely, compounded by the fact that the patient was a teenager. As the child gets older, the challenges in treatment tend to intensify.

    “It's crucial to recognize that as autistic children mature, the complexities of treatment tend to heighten. Hence, it becomes even more imperative to uphold patience and perseverance in our pursuit of solutions.”

    -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed

    I know this all may sound like philosophical mumbo jumbo, but it’s grounded in reality, and proven by practical experience.

    Autistic children are the canaries in the coal mine warning us where we are all headed if we don’t stop this runaway bullet train in its tracks.

    It can seem as though there’s no choice, but you can get off that train even if no one else does.

    Again, it’s important to stress that there is a cause and effect relationship in autism as in all diseases, and there are only so many possible causes.

    Whatever those causes are they can be removed and the body and brain will right themselves over time.

    Some of those causes, like the anger triggering my headaches, may seem inconsequential to some people and yet they may be the most important pressure points available to us in fixing the problem.

    Yogi Berra quote: Little things are big.
    source
    What may help illustrate the point is a remarkable study done in the Northeastern United States on a town that had half the incidence of heart disease compared to age matched controls in the rest of the country.

    Half the people who should have had heart disease had none, but there was nothing apparently different about them or their environment compared to the rest of the country at large.

    They smoked and drank and ate and worked too much, were overly stressed, overweight, had bad air, bad water, bad genes, you name it, they had it or did it.

    So Harvard went there to study them and discovered their one saving grace was a much higher level of emotional intimacy amongst friends and family.

    Enough real healthy intimacy in the heart disease free cohort entirely overrode the negative impacts of everything else.

    And it’s not just heart disease where this matters.

    The number of intimate relationships someone has is the single greatest predictor of their longevity.

    If intimacy can prevent death it can prevent anything else, whether we realize it or not.

    And we are in the midst of an intimacy crisis of epic proportions. Over half of mothers of young children are lonely. Nearly two thirds of young people say they are chronically lonely. Small screens and social media won’t fix this, after all they’re partly to blame for causing it.

    5 Tips on How to Combat Loneliness and Depression
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    When it comes to kids, they are far more sensitive in every way and they have not dissociated themselves from their environment and those in it to the degree adults have.

    They are on a gradual slide starting at birth, taking them from experiencing everything and everyone as interconnected parts of a whole, to experiencing themselves as separate autonomous beings (this begins between 6-9 months of age, but its not an off-on switch, it’s on a spectrum, black to shades of grey to white).

    This means that all children, including the autistic ones, have a much deeper psycho-emotional association with their caregivers, especially their biological parents.

    When their parents have problems in their own relationship the child experiences this as a problem within themselves and the most sensitive children will shut down to escape the overwhelming emotional pain caused by that seemingly external conflict.

    The same actually happens at the other end of life too, just in a different way.

    Dementia can be the ultimate escape from mental pain, which was shunted into physical pain for years, until that became overwhelming and unbearable and the body in it’s fight for self preservation then shuts down the mind to protect against the untenable situation and remain alive as long as possible in a kind of comatose state.

    Hakim Shabaz had treated an entire family for various problems and so they asked him to help their mother with dementia. He warned them that the dementia was likely what was keeping her alive, and removing it would uncover something else, that if not properly dealt with could kill her.

    They insisted on treatment and her dementia did improve, however she developed cancer which killed her shortly thereafter.

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    Not everyone is capable of facing their demons and doing what it takes to deeply heal.

    Children though are far often far more resilient than the elderly.

    Still, treating a serious, intricate and delicate disorder like autism requires really expert guidance that can put together a deeply customized protocol to fit each situation and then navigate rapidly changing circumstances as that protocol is put into effect.

    “Autistic children resemble a delicate (house) of cards – any disruption to one aspect can cause the entire structure to falter. It's akin to solving a puzzle, where adjusting one piece may inadvertently affect another. Providing sustainable, long-term solutions for these children requires a physician with extensive experience, one who has navigated through all stages of treatment.”

    -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed

    Children need close monitoring with ongoing mental, emotional and nutritional support as they age to prevent regression of symptoms due to their predisposition. Some of the deeper causes take a longer time to fully eliminate, eg epigenetic changes that have often been carried down at this point through multiple generations.

    There are many people promising parents help for their autistic children. But most focus on simple one size fits all protocols.

    It is so appealing to believe that there is an easy way out, like just removing mercury (despite the anecdotes describing sudden onset autism after a shot, removing the final straw that breaks the camels back won’t usually allow healing without addressing all the other straws and more, like rehab).

    Sometimes these simple straightforward approaches work, but not always and they don’t always lead to sustained improvements, because the entire modern environment is constantly pushing those susceptible back towards expressing autism.

    Not to say that there will always be an epic struggle to maintain improvement.

    The deeper the detox and more thorough the support, the longer the remission, the more inertia and resilience will develop. It gets harder and harder over time to push someones being back off balance.

    It’s hard to move a boulder at first, but once you get it rolling downhill it will pick up its own speed and eventually become nearly impossible to stop.

    Everyone has two choices when healing: they can try pushing the boulder uphill or downhill. Every simplistic solution is an uphill battle against implacable gravity.

    Perseverance. Symbol and sisyphus symbol as a determined snail pushing a boulder , #spon, #determined, #snail, #pushin… | Perseverance, Perseverance symbol, Prayers
    SIMPLE {{{SHOCK}}} THERAPY

    I interviewed someone once who had seen a child’s autism disappear suddenly after a painful physical trauma.

    He was amazed to discover other stories of spontaneous improvements in autistic children, even complete remissions, after unexpected physical traumas like car accidents.

    This led to a theory of the cause of autism: certain crucial neurological reflex loops linked to autism symptoms require post birth stimulation to fully develop. When they remain un-triggered by significant pain during and after relatively easy births, this might explain all the typical symptoms.

    The therapeutic idea stemming from his theory was that measured application of uncomfortable stimulation might trigger the development of the very missing reflex loops that autistic children require to function normally.

    Despite an interesting theoretical framework, I’m not aware of any clinics or practitioners that have put this theory into practice, so there isn’t much real world proof of the efficacy of the proposed “treatment”.

    It’s also unlikely to gain much acceptance in a culture like ours that is so opposed to discomfort in any form, not least of all because it hearkens back to uncomfortable episodes in medical history like shock treatments.

    To be perfectly clear I’m not advocating shock treatment or anything like it as a general approach for people with autism (again complex chronic diseases like autism require a deeply personalized approach rather than one-size-fits-all).

    Regardless, what it does remind me of personally is cold plunging.

    If you’ve never gotten into literally freezing water before, you’re in for a tremendous nervous system shock the first time you do it.

    Cold Water Immersion: A HOT Recovery Tool? | Biolayne
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    If you don’t jump right back out, but try to stay in, your entire body is screaming at you, you’re hyperventilating and your brain rather than being frozen, is on fire. Pain is assaulting you from everywhere all at once.

    Sometimes this shock therapy snaps people out of nervous system disorders rather quickly.

    I used it over the course of a couple months to end my own long COVID.

    But others tried and didn’t experience the same improvement or if they did they didn’t have lasting benefits.

    Shock therapy of various kinds do work sometimes, just like sometimes other things work: detoxing from heavy metals, treating Lyme and co-infections, resolving EBV, eliminating mold toxicity, balancing hormones and neurotransmitters, replacing missing nutrients, addressing methylation, rebalancing the microbiome, etc - all the functional medicine go-to’s could be listed out on a lengthy and quite expensive protocol document.

    I’ve seen people go through these step by step protocols, often involving hundreds of expensive tests and dozens of expensive supplements and radical lifestyle changes to boot. Many a time people do get better, often their problems seem to resolve, at least for a time.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with these approaches, but they are not always as fundamental or deep-rooted as people assume they are.

    TAP ROOTS

    Rarely do people address every level of their being that is contributing, and usually they miss out on the key emotional, psychological and deeper epigenetic/ancestral roots of their disease.

    “In my experience, the development of autism in children can stem from various (primary) factors. These include adverse epigenetic influences, the transfer of toxins and microbial burdens from the mother to the developing fetus, resulting in DNA alterations. Additionally, imbalances in neurotransmitters, the mental and emotional state of the mother during pregnancy, exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and a lack of interaction with nature all play significant roles.”

    “As the child grows, it becomes imperative to focus on teaching stress management, promoting healthy epigenetic expression, and addressing mental and emotional well-being. It's evident that the issue is far from straightforward, and simplistic solutions … are inadequate. Rather, a comprehensive approach that considers the multifaceted nature of ASD is essential for supporting individuals affected by the condition."

    -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed

    The subconscious mind and heart are usually more powerful instigators of illness than diet, physical toxins and infections (remember the heart disease and longevity examples).

    And as far as the mind goes, what we believe can make us healthy or unwell or even dead.

    In two studies the patients who believed themselves the healthiest had 6X lower chances of dying than those who believed themselves the least healthy.

    The even more shocking bit was that it didn’t matter what their own doctors believed about their health, only what they did.

    The patient’s belief trumped their doctor’s “knowledge”.

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    Another study was undertaken to understand the impact of belief on exercise outcomes.

    Hotel cleaners were split into two groups: one received counseling for half an hour on the importance and benefits of exercise, the second received a presentation of the same duration which explained to them that their daily cleaning activities for work met and exceeded the US Surgeon General’s recommendations for daily exercise.

    cleaning ladies.png
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    After a month the first group had not changed in any way.

    Neither had the second, at least not in anything they did: eg they didn’t change their exercise or eating habits.

    The only thing that had changed was what they believed about themselves.

    And that led to an average weight loss of half a pound a week (2 pounds over a month), smaller waist sizes and lower blood pressures in the second group.

    Without changing anything they did, they had lifted a nocebo effect, opposite of a placebo effect, that was entirely due to their underlying beliefs about themselves (eg I’m overweight/unhealthy since I don’t exercise) and their beliefs about the nature of reality (physical interventions are required for physical results).

    The Nocebo Effect Produces Physical Symptoms - The Pain PT
    The most powerful nocebo effects come from our own doctors, who really should be trying to placebo us, but they don’t know any better.

    The big shot with all the framed documents on the wall, the world expert on autism, will convince most people it can’t be cured.

    And yet all of us, somewhere deep inside, know this is not true, or maybe it’s just that hope spring’s eternal.

    And yet it is not a false hope. People have healed, and if they can do it so can you.

    TRUE AND FALSE

    “Maryam is doing well …

    “Her speech and comprehension is getting better. I'm actually able to have a 2 sided conversation with her. She has learned to give excuses for her actions, give reason for her behaviour, Communicate her needs. She is able to follow instructions. With some coercion she is also able to narrate incidents in bits and pieces and I can get the picture.

    “She is a lot more aware of her surroundings. Able to recall where things were kept.

    “She has become a lot more independent. Dress, bath, brush by herself. Now it's difficult for me to keep track of how many times she passes motion in a day, because she does it all by herself.”

    -Followup during treatment with Hiba A, mother of a recovering autistic daughter.

    False hope is what the pharmaceutical manufacturers peddle: feeding the perennial desire for an easy way out … there’s a pill to help and someday science will solve it.

    False perplexity is what the mainstream media peddles: that we just don’t know what’s causing it or how to fix it … at least not yet, it’s forever just around the corner, just out of reach.

    False despair is what the alternative media often peddles: that it’s all due to those shots you allowed, or the mercury in them, or a handful of other chemical toxins you can’t escape.

    The truth is that the stage is set by deeper influences that allow bit players like mercury to step in and meddle with a persons body and mind. Taking mercury out of the picture just allows another bit player to step into the same role. Taking out all those superficial actors, just allows another acting troupe to show up, because we have to survive in a toxic soup of chemicals, that’s just the way the world is: even in the deepest reaches of the Amazon jungle the toxic environmental chemicals have diffused their way there.

    But real solutions to real problems go deeper than that, and don’t necessarily depend for their efficacy on the complete elimination of superficial elements.

    Real solutions remove the stage itself so the play can’t go on.

    Life takes its place as you exit the darkened theater, blinded momentarily by the immediacy of the real world.

    The shock wears off soon enough and you get back to living.

    BEYOND HOLISTIC: FIRST PRINCIPLES HEALING

    Too often holistic health is not only not truly holistic, but also it’s parts are misapplied without a deep understanding of a patients context, or they’re not applied in the right sequence or they’re not delivered with deep wisdom springing from first principles and practical experiences that come not only from treating many patients successfully, but from realizing the underlying principles in the practitioners own life and health.

    This realization of underlying principles is not a destination, rather it’s an endless journey of physical, emotional, psychological, energetic, and spiritual progress.

    It takes a sage, a wise man, a Hakim (as they call them in the Greek medical tradition stemming from Hippocrates), to treat the whole person as they should be treated


    It takes a deep understanding of the source texts of all the great healing traditions and the ability to intuit what’s missing from them via sheer inspiration, allowing a reconstituting of what they truly were when their origin civilizations were ascendant.

    It takes a deep reverence for the inherent wisdom present inside each patient themselves, that is maneuvering around a punishingly toxic environment in order to save them from death or something worse.

    “My son encountered behavioral challenges, displaying traits associated with ADHD and autism. He faced difficulties with toilet training and exhibited highly challenging behaviors.

    “Despite receiving occupational therapy and speech therapy, his developmental progress was much below expectations.

    “Seeking further assistance, we consulted Dr. Shahbaz, who advised a strict dietary regimen, therapies and additional supplementation.

    “Remarkably, the implementation of this new regimen led to noticeable improvements. Within a month, my son achieved toilet training, and his behavioral issues began to diminish. After four months of following the regimen, his speech development showed significant progress.

    “Currently, he continues his therapies alongside the prescribed diet and regimen, and I'm thrilled to report that my son has made remarkable strides in closing the developmental gap.”

    -M. Majali, father of a recovering autistic child

    Pain is not your enemy, and neither is disease.

    Disease is both a message and a maneuver.

    The message is: get this junk out of your life, whatever it is.

    The maneuver is your body’s last ditch efforts to keep you as healthy as possible and ultimately to preserve your very life, no matter what, despite the pain and ongoing damage you’re exposed to.

    Your body is making the best of a very bad situation.

    Share

    Don’t blame your skin for hurting when you shove your hand in the fire, or burning if you leave it there.

    Don’t blame your reflexes for yanking your hand out of the fire.

    Blame the fire.

    Don’t just apply healing salves to your burning hand and a nerve bock to deaden your senses while leaving your hand to shrivel away in the flames.

    Put out the fire.

    It’s not easy, don’t believe anyone who says it is.

    But it is possible, so don’t believe anyone who says it isn’t.





    https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/decoding-autisms-meaning-and-maneuvers
    Autism: Meaning & Maneuvers Achieving First Principles Healing Dr. Syed Haider Fire and movement - Wikipedia So many more people are on the autism spectrum every passing day. Maybe all of us are. How would we even know what normal is, if no one left alive is really normal compared to our ancestors? For one thing people used to be able to put up with a great deal more pain and discomfort. Quite naturally: as they were just hardened to it by a lifetime of what we would now consider constant suffering. Even in third world countries today all manner of dental and surgical procedures are commonly done without anesthesia, even on children (I’ve experienced this first hand and it became quite clear that the experience of pain is complicated, involving physical, social and psychological factors like the expectation of pain by both the inflicter of some injury, that would in many situations lead to it, and the one experiencing, or not experiencing it). In addition to their tolerance for discomfort our ancestors could sit with rapt attention through multi-hour debates and speak spontaneously at a level not found outside classical literature, let alone any contemporary off-the-cuff speech. Now, we’ll come back to discomfort tolerance and communication in a moment, but first I would like to submit that there is a deeper meaning to everything that happens in accord with the ancient aphorism: as above, so below. as above, so below — Deep Living If we find a problem at one level, like the mental, the same problem will be reflected at every other level great or small: physical (biochemical, epigenetic, hormonal), emotional, psychological, energetic, spiritual, societal, etc. As Above, So Below | Microcosm and Macrocosm | Technology of the Heart I know it seems I’m all over the place, but bear with me. After briefly introducing autism, we’ll combine all these seemingly disparate ideas: Autistic children cannot deal with even the most innocuous seeming stimuli. They cannot interpret incoming signals appropriately and they cannot communicate back to the world at large. They are hypersensitive and at the same time shut away so deep inside such a thick shell that they can’t be reached, or reach anyone else. What’s the connection between these two seemingly opposing symptoms and what might it all mean? Since the Industrial Revolution all of us in advanced societies (much more likely to be affected by autism) have experienced a dramatic increase in comfort and security (the myriad services now available at the touch of a button put to shame the luxuries of ancient emperors) along with a corresponding rise in distaste for any discomfort leading to society-wide anesthetic, bandaid approaches to every discomfort or dis-ease. The problem with a bandaid for a festering wound is that the wound keeps festering, in fact it worsens over time. Anyway, getting back to autism, the key to understanding the link between the two signal symptoms of hypersensitivity and the inability to communicate, is that pain/discomfort is itself a message without which we cannot safely navigate the world - just ask any diabetic with numb feet about the immense degree of self-care and vigilance required to still have feet every year. PAIN MESSAGING Lack of pain receptors would rapidly lead to progressive dis-ease and death as you could not avoid what is harming you, in fact you wouldn’t even know if something was harming you. Pain is meant to communicate the danger of continuing to do what is causing the pain, because it is damaging you. The instinctive response to pain is to flinch away from it, to somehow put a stop to the source of pain. Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP) is a rare genetic disorder that illustrates the problem: “From an evolutionary perspective, one of the reasons scientists believe CIP is so rare is because so few individuals with the disorder reach adulthood. “We fear pain, but in developmental terms from being a child to being a young adult, pain is incredibly important to the process of learning how to modulate your physical activity without doing damage to your bodies, and in determining how much risk you take,” (Dr Ingo) Kurth (who studies CIP) explains. “Without the body’s natural warning mechanism, many with CIP exhibit self-destructive behaviour as children or young adults. Kurth tells the story of a young Pakistani boy who came to the attention of scientists through his reputation in his community as a street performer who walked on hot coals, and stuck knives in his arms without displaying any signs of pain. He later died in his early teens, after jumping from the roof of a house. ““Of the CIP patients I’ve worked with in the UK, so many of the males have killed themselves by their late 20s by doing ridiculously dangerous things, not restrained by pain,” says Geoff Woods, who researches pain at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. “Or they have such damaged joints that they are wheelchair-bound and end up committing suicide because they have no quality of life.”” -The curse of the people who never feel pain, by David Cox CIP patient Modern industrialized people have become enabled to mirror CIP patients to a limited degree. We generally do not allow any pain or discomfort to arise without covering it up, or trying to (rather than dealing with the source itself). COMS DOWN Walk into any pharmacy and you’ll find bandaid remedies for: headaches, coughs, colds, rashes, pink eye, ear aches, reflux, allergies, tummy aches, constipation, diarrhea, period discomfort, and in the back, accessible only via prescription will be the bandaids applied to what comes of using the more accessible bandaids on the above laundry list of complaints: hypertension, heart disease, asthma, COPD, autoimmune diseases, cancer, etc. It only stands to reason we will experience some sort of negative consequences for interrupting the crucial, natural feedback loop of pain. The minor complaints most of us develop during childhood or shortly thereafter are just precursors to the more severe ones, the early warning signs if you will. Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it. Share And we don’t just paper over physical complaints but emotional, psychological, energetic and spiritual ones as well - all are covered up as soon as they arise. None are addressed at their deepest roots. Modern infrastructure and technology have allowed us to feel less and less of the natural world, to provide a greater and greater buffer between ourselves and our environments, both external and internal. As we’ve become accustomed to more and more comfort and convenience we have shied more and more away from any discomfort or inconvenience. Modern medicine does nothing so well as smother the bodies ability to communicate pain to us, at least for a time. Constant access to modern media and infrastructure in general (temperature control, pharmacies, restaurants, clubs, movie theaters, parks, so many things to buy and see and do to distract you) does nothing so well as allow us to smother our body’s, heart’s and mind’s abilities to communicate physical, emotional and mental/psychological pain to us, at least for a time. However, over time the pain not only comes back, but it comes back stronger and stronger yet again as it is constantly beaten back time and again, eventually overcoming our ability to muffle its message, or shifting to a new more painful message, in the form of some new more severe ailment. An “autism-lite” society is the outcome of a constant progression away from any experience of discomfort and the healthy communication it teaches. We are progressively more unable to withstand even the slightest discomforts and unable to communicate appropriately to the outside world in return because we are not used to listening to the feedback the world is sending us, including what’s coming from the other people in it. We are meant to be in communication with everything all the time. If it gets hot out our bodies respond by doing something that communicates to our brain to respond in some way to the environment at large: we feel the heat, we sweat, we seek shade, we rest more in the midday, we drink more. Those responses are a communication to the world and to ourselves. If the responses are natural and spontaneous we will be in a synchronized, healthy and balanced state. If unnatural or unnaturally automated (temperature control, or worse just ignoring how we feel) we will be out of sync, unhealthy, imbalanced. In the natural state if it gets dark, our entire physiology goes down with the sun and we sleep. If it gets light all our hormones rise with the sun and we wake up. If someone gets upset with us, we suffer emotional discomfort and address the way we interact with them that has led to their being upset, or if we’ve really done nothing wrong then assess and deal with why we feel guilty as though we have, or why we can’t stand up for ourselves as we should. The ability to communicate eloquently in so many ways is what makes us human. Speech is what separates us from the animals. Speech, like all communication is a two way street. If one way is always blocked the other way won’t properly develop. Even if only positive signals are accepted and not negative ones we’ll develop dysfunctional communication, but in practice numbing the negative also numbs the positive (one of the many unfortunate “side effects” of “anti-depressants”). When we can’t communicate properly we won’t be able to avoid harming ourselves in our “relationships” to everything in our environment since there will be no intact negative feedback system. And perhaps most importantly communication ability can continue to develop over time, regardless of age. We can always become more and more sensitive. When we start listening carefully and acting on what we learn, we will uncover deeper layers, learn more, and eventually develop subtle and not so subtle feedback loops that gently guide us away from what is harming us, and towards what benefits us. Share Of course there’s also a lot going on mechanistically with autism, but maybe it all follows the same theme. Perhaps it all illustrates the idea that what’s present at one level is reflected at every other. Interestingly, the other things that naturopaths and functional medicine healers have noticed contribute to autism (and other modern chronic diseases) also disrupt a human beings incredibly complex, sophisticated, intricate, and oft-times delicate communications systems: Toxins like those found in vaccines, heavy metals, chronic infections/infestations, exogenous hormones, chemical laden water/air/food, light after dark, unnatural EMFs, inappropriate or excessive negative emotions and toxic relationships, etc. Also nutrient deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, sleep, sunlight, positive emotions and beliefs, healthy intimacy, a connection with the earths bioelectrical fields, nature in general, etc. So, in the modern world, in a number of ways (physical, mental, emotional, energetic), we have quite successfully shut ourselves down from feeling anything real. We’ve metaphorically plugged our ears from hearing the increasingly frantic and emphatic communications from our own bodies belying their discomfort with a constant toxic barrage and chronic nutrient deficiencies. 4,900+ Hands Covering Ears Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free ... source The louder the messages get the more mightily we mute them, increasing our medications, ruminations, dissipations (could ADHD, OCD, panic disorder and more actually be somewhere on the “spectrum” too?). In place of Nature’s messages we have shut her out and covered her up, while we injected and affected ourselves with all manner of unnatural, alien and unintelligible messages that our bodies, hearts, minds and souls were never meant to be exposed to and cannot properly interpret or respond to. At a deeper level perhaps our discomforts reveal our very selves. What makes you uncomfortable says something about who you are (there is a spiritual maxim that teaches other people are a mirror for you. What annoys you about them points to your own imperfections). Pain is the great teacher. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach Quote: “Pain is the great teacher of mankind. Beneath its breath souls source It teaches you about yourself and everything else. When I spent years covering up my headaches with painkillers I was little aware of why I got them, and had no pressing reason to figure it out. When I understood that pain is not bad, in fact it’s good, ie the headaches were there because my body was trying to protect me from harm, I swore off the painkillers and started to experience them without an easy out. I quickly came to understand many of the factors involved (hunger, stress, missed sleep, anger, constipation, etc) and was highly motivated to take care of them. I had struggled to control anger outbursts for years, but when I now finally made the connection that they often led to headaches that I just had to suffer my way through without a painkiller, the anger quickly became severely disincentivized and naturally began to dissipate. Similarly I became more careful about combining any of the factors involved in germinating headaches. Imagine my surprise when I later realized that NSAIDs like my goto high dose Motrin/ibuprofen actually contributed to two of my main triggers: anger and constipation (in addition to engendering in some people: depression, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. By the way in case you’re wondering, Tylenol is no better). Everything is connected: numbing yourself out physically numbs you out emotionally, but rather than leaving you numb your body tries to amplify the signal, the emotions break through even stronger than before, until you stop fighting them and let them out naturally and learn to live with them and deal with them in the moment. Of course no one’s perfect, least of all me. Sometimes I miss sleep, but if I do I better make sure I don’t also skip a meal and let myself get too stressed out or angry the next day. Maintaining a relatively healthy balance keeps the headaches at bay. And over time I have become more resilient. I rarely get headaches anymore and when I do they are much less severe than they used to be when I regularly medicated them (that drop in severity happened relatively fast too, within a few weeks). I went from being numbed out and stumbling through life harming myself at every turn, completely unaware of important negative feedback loops, to waking up and realizing what was happening. Syed Haider has entered the chat. I had finally joined the conversation. has entered the chat Memes & GIFs - Imgflip The world is speaking all the time and no one is listening. The utter extremity of our societal condition is the autist whose parents, society and industrialized world have transferred their communication dysfunctions at every level to one particularly sensitive to them and because of that their epigenetic, biophysical, biochemical, emotional, psychological, energetic and perhaps even spiritual planes are all incomunicado. They are not just “neurodivergent”, they haven’t just veered onto another course, they are missing from the map. It’s not the only way to go missing, we all go missing all the time: into our phones, laptops, TVs, food, other people, pharmaceuticals, street drugs, you name it we can use it to check out and so we do. We’re all a little bit autistic nowadays. Because everything, everywhere, all at once is involved in creating autism. And all of us are all too human after all (how many “alls” can one fit into a sentence or three?). But it’s also all just a matter of cause and effect. There’s nothing inherently mysterious about it. We can list out all the likely causes as I’ve done. Basically whatever has changed for the worst in the last 70 or so years. And so it can be fixed. Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it. Share EXITING THE MAZE It’s complicated, time consuming, difficult; it takes a lot of commitment from patients and caregivers, but the results are astounding, life-changing and so well worth it. Natural, comprehensive autism (and other severe chronic disease) treatment is now available at mygotodoc (patients will be able to choose to see either me or Hakim Shabaz for the consults, but we will both work together on every case). In the past we’ve made our asynchronous consults available without charge for anyone who needed them and couldn’t pay our already low fees (our prescription fees plus partner pharmacy fees, when combined, are always the lowest in the industry). But now, for the first time ever, our 1 on 1 consults for comprehensive natural healing will be done on a pay what you can basis. And they will be longer than any consults we’ve offered before at 2+ hours for the intake. Because that’s the only way to get to the bottom of things in highly customized care plans, and convince patients of what needs to be done. However it’s important to realize that regardless of ability to pay or not, deep healing is always quite dear compared to a cheap bandaid (then again bandaids don’t work, so it doesn’t matter how cheap they are). You always get what you pay for, even when you can’t pay, because everyone who wants an unusual, outstanding result has to sacrifice something dear in the end, whether or not that includes money, it will usually include time, habits, beliefs, plans, comforts and whatever it takes to divert some resources towards enabling the natural protocols (though much less than most would expect given the results). If you or someone you know has autism, it’s OK. Roll up your sleeves, check your assumptions at the door, be ready to work, and you’ll not only help yourself, you’ll help many others by your example. If you’re reading this, it’s not too late, in fact you’re just in time to join the party, and get to know yourself and everyone else in ways you didn’t think possible. “…we've been able to assist (many) autistic children in achieving sustainable, long-term improvements. Additionally, many others grappling with conditions like ADD, ADHD, and similar challenges (depression, anxiety, panic disorder, psychosis) have benefited from our approach… “However, there was one particular case where we couldn't achieve the desired outcome. This was primarily due to the parents' expectation of immediate results within a couple of months. Regrettably, they lost hope prematurely, compounded by the fact that the patient was a teenager. As the child gets older, the challenges in treatment tend to intensify. “It's crucial to recognize that as autistic children mature, the complexities of treatment tend to heighten. Hence, it becomes even more imperative to uphold patience and perseverance in our pursuit of solutions.” -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed I know this all may sound like philosophical mumbo jumbo, but it’s grounded in reality, and proven by practical experience. Autistic children are the canaries in the coal mine warning us where we are all headed if we don’t stop this runaway bullet train in its tracks. It can seem as though there’s no choice, but you can get off that train even if no one else does. Again, it’s important to stress that there is a cause and effect relationship in autism as in all diseases, and there are only so many possible causes. Whatever those causes are they can be removed and the body and brain will right themselves over time. Some of those causes, like the anger triggering my headaches, may seem inconsequential to some people and yet they may be the most important pressure points available to us in fixing the problem. Yogi Berra quote: Little things are big. source What may help illustrate the point is a remarkable study done in the Northeastern United States on a town that had half the incidence of heart disease compared to age matched controls in the rest of the country. Half the people who should have had heart disease had none, but there was nothing apparently different about them or their environment compared to the rest of the country at large. They smoked and drank and ate and worked too much, were overly stressed, overweight, had bad air, bad water, bad genes, you name it, they had it or did it. So Harvard went there to study them and discovered their one saving grace was a much higher level of emotional intimacy amongst friends and family. Enough real healthy intimacy in the heart disease free cohort entirely overrode the negative impacts of everything else. And it’s not just heart disease where this matters. The number of intimate relationships someone has is the single greatest predictor of their longevity. If intimacy can prevent death it can prevent anything else, whether we realize it or not. And we are in the midst of an intimacy crisis of epic proportions. Over half of mothers of young children are lonely. Nearly two thirds of young people say they are chronically lonely. Small screens and social media won’t fix this, after all they’re partly to blame for causing it. 5 Tips on How to Combat Loneliness and Depression source When it comes to kids, they are far more sensitive in every way and they have not dissociated themselves from their environment and those in it to the degree adults have. They are on a gradual slide starting at birth, taking them from experiencing everything and everyone as interconnected parts of a whole, to experiencing themselves as separate autonomous beings (this begins between 6-9 months of age, but its not an off-on switch, it’s on a spectrum, black to shades of grey to white). This means that all children, including the autistic ones, have a much deeper psycho-emotional association with their caregivers, especially their biological parents. When their parents have problems in their own relationship the child experiences this as a problem within themselves and the most sensitive children will shut down to escape the overwhelming emotional pain caused by that seemingly external conflict. The same actually happens at the other end of life too, just in a different way. Dementia can be the ultimate escape from mental pain, which was shunted into physical pain for years, until that became overwhelming and unbearable and the body in it’s fight for self preservation then shuts down the mind to protect against the untenable situation and remain alive as long as possible in a kind of comatose state. Hakim Shabaz had treated an entire family for various problems and so they asked him to help their mother with dementia. He warned them that the dementia was likely what was keeping her alive, and removing it would uncover something else, that if not properly dealt with could kill her. They insisted on treatment and her dementia did improve, however she developed cancer which killed her shortly thereafter. Share Not everyone is capable of facing their demons and doing what it takes to deeply heal. Children though are far often far more resilient than the elderly. Still, treating a serious, intricate and delicate disorder like autism requires really expert guidance that can put together a deeply customized protocol to fit each situation and then navigate rapidly changing circumstances as that protocol is put into effect. “Autistic children resemble a delicate (house) of cards – any disruption to one aspect can cause the entire structure to falter. It's akin to solving a puzzle, where adjusting one piece may inadvertently affect another. Providing sustainable, long-term solutions for these children requires a physician with extensive experience, one who has navigated through all stages of treatment.” -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed Children need close monitoring with ongoing mental, emotional and nutritional support as they age to prevent regression of symptoms due to their predisposition. Some of the deeper causes take a longer time to fully eliminate, eg epigenetic changes that have often been carried down at this point through multiple generations. There are many people promising parents help for their autistic children. But most focus on simple one size fits all protocols. It is so appealing to believe that there is an easy way out, like just removing mercury (despite the anecdotes describing sudden onset autism after a shot, removing the final straw that breaks the camels back won’t usually allow healing without addressing all the other straws and more, like rehab). Sometimes these simple straightforward approaches work, but not always and they don’t always lead to sustained improvements, because the entire modern environment is constantly pushing those susceptible back towards expressing autism. Not to say that there will always be an epic struggle to maintain improvement. The deeper the detox and more thorough the support, the longer the remission, the more inertia and resilience will develop. It gets harder and harder over time to push someones being back off balance. It’s hard to move a boulder at first, but once you get it rolling downhill it will pick up its own speed and eventually become nearly impossible to stop. Everyone has two choices when healing: they can try pushing the boulder uphill or downhill. Every simplistic solution is an uphill battle against implacable gravity. Perseverance. Symbol and sisyphus symbol as a determined snail pushing a boulder , #spon, #determined, #snail, #pushin… | Perseverance, Perseverance symbol, Prayers SIMPLE {{{SHOCK}}} THERAPY I interviewed someone once who had seen a child’s autism disappear suddenly after a painful physical trauma. He was amazed to discover other stories of spontaneous improvements in autistic children, even complete remissions, after unexpected physical traumas like car accidents. This led to a theory of the cause of autism: certain crucial neurological reflex loops linked to autism symptoms require post birth stimulation to fully develop. When they remain un-triggered by significant pain during and after relatively easy births, this might explain all the typical symptoms. The therapeutic idea stemming from his theory was that measured application of uncomfortable stimulation might trigger the development of the very missing reflex loops that autistic children require to function normally. Despite an interesting theoretical framework, I’m not aware of any clinics or practitioners that have put this theory into practice, so there isn’t much real world proof of the efficacy of the proposed “treatment”. It’s also unlikely to gain much acceptance in a culture like ours that is so opposed to discomfort in any form, not least of all because it hearkens back to uncomfortable episodes in medical history like shock treatments. To be perfectly clear I’m not advocating shock treatment or anything like it as a general approach for people with autism (again complex chronic diseases like autism require a deeply personalized approach rather than one-size-fits-all). Regardless, what it does remind me of personally is cold plunging. If you’ve never gotten into literally freezing water before, you’re in for a tremendous nervous system shock the first time you do it. Cold Water Immersion: A HOT Recovery Tool? | Biolayne source If you don’t jump right back out, but try to stay in, your entire body is screaming at you, you’re hyperventilating and your brain rather than being frozen, is on fire. Pain is assaulting you from everywhere all at once. Sometimes this shock therapy snaps people out of nervous system disorders rather quickly. I used it over the course of a couple months to end my own long COVID. But others tried and didn’t experience the same improvement or if they did they didn’t have lasting benefits. Shock therapy of various kinds do work sometimes, just like sometimes other things work: detoxing from heavy metals, treating Lyme and co-infections, resolving EBV, eliminating mold toxicity, balancing hormones and neurotransmitters, replacing missing nutrients, addressing methylation, rebalancing the microbiome, etc - all the functional medicine go-to’s could be listed out on a lengthy and quite expensive protocol document. I’ve seen people go through these step by step protocols, often involving hundreds of expensive tests and dozens of expensive supplements and radical lifestyle changes to boot. Many a time people do get better, often their problems seem to resolve, at least for a time. There is nothing inherently wrong with these approaches, but they are not always as fundamental or deep-rooted as people assume they are. TAP ROOTS Rarely do people address every level of their being that is contributing, and usually they miss out on the key emotional, psychological and deeper epigenetic/ancestral roots of their disease. “In my experience, the development of autism in children can stem from various (primary) factors. These include adverse epigenetic influences, the transfer of toxins and microbial burdens from the mother to the developing fetus, resulting in DNA alterations. Additionally, imbalances in neurotransmitters, the mental and emotional state of the mother during pregnancy, exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and a lack of interaction with nature all play significant roles.” “As the child grows, it becomes imperative to focus on teaching stress management, promoting healthy epigenetic expression, and addressing mental and emotional well-being. It's evident that the issue is far from straightforward, and simplistic solutions … are inadequate. Rather, a comprehensive approach that considers the multifaceted nature of ASD is essential for supporting individuals affected by the condition." -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed The subconscious mind and heart are usually more powerful instigators of illness than diet, physical toxins and infections (remember the heart disease and longevity examples). And as far as the mind goes, what we believe can make us healthy or unwell or even dead. In two studies the patients who believed themselves the healthiest had 6X lower chances of dying than those who believed themselves the least healthy. The even more shocking bit was that it didn’t matter what their own doctors believed about their health, only what they did. The patient’s belief trumped their doctor’s “knowledge”. Share Another study was undertaken to understand the impact of belief on exercise outcomes. Hotel cleaners were split into two groups: one received counseling for half an hour on the importance and benefits of exercise, the second received a presentation of the same duration which explained to them that their daily cleaning activities for work met and exceeded the US Surgeon General’s recommendations for daily exercise. cleaning ladies.png source After a month the first group had not changed in any way. Neither had the second, at least not in anything they did: eg they didn’t change their exercise or eating habits. The only thing that had changed was what they believed about themselves. And that led to an average weight loss of half a pound a week (2 pounds over a month), smaller waist sizes and lower blood pressures in the second group. Without changing anything they did, they had lifted a nocebo effect, opposite of a placebo effect, that was entirely due to their underlying beliefs about themselves (eg I’m overweight/unhealthy since I don’t exercise) and their beliefs about the nature of reality (physical interventions are required for physical results). The Nocebo Effect Produces Physical Symptoms - The Pain PT The most powerful nocebo effects come from our own doctors, who really should be trying to placebo us, but they don’t know any better. The big shot with all the framed documents on the wall, the world expert on autism, will convince most people it can’t be cured. And yet all of us, somewhere deep inside, know this is not true, or maybe it’s just that hope spring’s eternal. And yet it is not a false hope. People have healed, and if they can do it so can you. TRUE AND FALSE “Maryam is doing well … “Her speech and comprehension is getting better. I'm actually able to have a 2 sided conversation with her. She has learned to give excuses for her actions, give reason for her behaviour, Communicate her needs. She is able to follow instructions. With some coercion she is also able to narrate incidents in bits and pieces and I can get the picture. “She is a lot more aware of her surroundings. Able to recall where things were kept. “She has become a lot more independent. Dress, bath, brush by herself. Now it's difficult for me to keep track of how many times she passes motion in a day, because she does it all by herself.” -Followup during treatment with Hiba A, mother of a recovering autistic daughter. False hope is what the pharmaceutical manufacturers peddle: feeding the perennial desire for an easy way out … there’s a pill to help and someday science will solve it. False perplexity is what the mainstream media peddles: that we just don’t know what’s causing it or how to fix it … at least not yet, it’s forever just around the corner, just out of reach. False despair is what the alternative media often peddles: that it’s all due to those shots you allowed, or the mercury in them, or a handful of other chemical toxins you can’t escape. The truth is that the stage is set by deeper influences that allow bit players like mercury to step in and meddle with a persons body and mind. Taking mercury out of the picture just allows another bit player to step into the same role. Taking out all those superficial actors, just allows another acting troupe to show up, because we have to survive in a toxic soup of chemicals, that’s just the way the world is: even in the deepest reaches of the Amazon jungle the toxic environmental chemicals have diffused their way there. But real solutions to real problems go deeper than that, and don’t necessarily depend for their efficacy on the complete elimination of superficial elements. Real solutions remove the stage itself so the play can’t go on. Life takes its place as you exit the darkened theater, blinded momentarily by the immediacy of the real world. The shock wears off soon enough and you get back to living. BEYOND HOLISTIC: FIRST PRINCIPLES HEALING Too often holistic health is not only not truly holistic, but also it’s parts are misapplied without a deep understanding of a patients context, or they’re not applied in the right sequence or they’re not delivered with deep wisdom springing from first principles and practical experiences that come not only from treating many patients successfully, but from realizing the underlying principles in the practitioners own life and health. This realization of underlying principles is not a destination, rather it’s an endless journey of physical, emotional, psychological, energetic, and spiritual progress. It takes a sage, a wise man, a Hakim (as they call them in the Greek medical tradition stemming from Hippocrates), to treat the whole person as they should be treated It takes a deep understanding of the source texts of all the great healing traditions and the ability to intuit what’s missing from them via sheer inspiration, allowing a reconstituting of what they truly were when their origin civilizations were ascendant. It takes a deep reverence for the inherent wisdom present inside each patient themselves, that is maneuvering around a punishingly toxic environment in order to save them from death or something worse. “My son encountered behavioral challenges, displaying traits associated with ADHD and autism. He faced difficulties with toilet training and exhibited highly challenging behaviors. “Despite receiving occupational therapy and speech therapy, his developmental progress was much below expectations. “Seeking further assistance, we consulted Dr. Shahbaz, who advised a strict dietary regimen, therapies and additional supplementation. “Remarkably, the implementation of this new regimen led to noticeable improvements. Within a month, my son achieved toilet training, and his behavioral issues began to diminish. After four months of following the regimen, his speech development showed significant progress. “Currently, he continues his therapies alongside the prescribed diet and regimen, and I'm thrilled to report that my son has made remarkable strides in closing the developmental gap.” -M. Majali, father of a recovering autistic child Pain is not your enemy, and neither is disease. Disease is both a message and a maneuver. The message is: get this junk out of your life, whatever it is. The maneuver is your body’s last ditch efforts to keep you as healthy as possible and ultimately to preserve your very life, no matter what, despite the pain and ongoing damage you’re exposed to. Your body is making the best of a very bad situation. Share Don’t blame your skin for hurting when you shove your hand in the fire, or burning if you leave it there. Don’t blame your reflexes for yanking your hand out of the fire. Blame the fire. Don’t just apply healing salves to your burning hand and a nerve bock to deaden your senses while leaving your hand to shrivel away in the flames. Put out the fire. It’s not easy, don’t believe anyone who says it is. But it is possible, so don’t believe anyone who says it isn’t. https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/decoding-autisms-meaning-and-maneuvers
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  • The Truth About Disease No One's Talking About
    It's simple and straightforward, we know what causes them all and that means we can fix them

    Dr. Syed Haider
    A simple line drawing showing a devilish baby sitting on one side of a scale and an angelic cherub sitting on the other side. The devilish baby has little horns, a mischievous smile, and a tiny pitchfork. The angelic cherub has a halo, wings, and a sweet expression. The scale is balanced, and the background is blank. The drawing uses light, thin lines to suggest details, with most of the area taken up by empty white space.
    This is the truth about health and disease.

    Most people either don’t understand where disease really comes from and how to get rid of it, or they’ve never really thought through what they do believe about it.

    Once you think it through you may find that what you thought you understood or believed is not actually rational. Or maybe your approach to it is isn’t.

    People aren’t always rational, and that’s fine as long as they know it.

    But in the case of disease the powers that be have purposely obfuscated the truth for profit.

    The truth itself isn’t profitable.

    Now some people will already know what I’m going to spell out here, but in my experience they still don’t always apply that knowledge in practice, and the reason seems to be that they haven’t fully understood all the implications, and maybe they are still missing pieces of the full picture.

    In any event it pays to examine the subject, especially since it’s so near and dear to us.

    The one who reads through this and still persists in opposition to the principles outlined, without providing any rational argument against them, yet citing “authorities” and “science” as their support, seems to me similar to those distant ancestors who believed illness stemmed from evil spirits, and as their support cited the “authorities” and “science” of their own time.

    A very minimal black and white line drawing of a newspaper cartoon showing a sick patient lying in a hospital bed in the background. In the foreground, an older doctor is speaking with two younger doctors about the patient. The drawing has only the suggestion of shapes with very light, thin lines and no large black areas. The background is completely white, with faint lines indicating the characters and setting. The cartoon has a light-hearted, humorous tone typical of newspaper comics.
    THERE COULD BE ANY NUMBER OF CAUSES FOR THIS CONDITION, PERHAPS HE BROKE A MIRROR, OR WALKED UNDER A LADDER, OR SPILLED SOME SALT…

    Scientism isn’t actually science.

    Calling it science doesn’t make it science.

    The science supports what I’m going to outline here, and yet the implications of the clear, well-established and not that new science are ignored for profit and will continue to be ignored for profit as long as most people remain unaware of it.

    So to get on with it: illness and health just come down to a balance between “toxins” and “nutrients”.

    That’s because we live in a rational universe governed by knowable causes and effects.

    More toxins, less nutrients: you get sick.

    Shift the balance back far enough and eventually you get better.

    That’s because the human body is designed to heal automatically when something isn’t preventing it and when it has the requisite building blocks at hand.

    Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it.

    Share

    Cut yourself and you heal, you don’t have to apply healing cream to make yourself heal, you just do.

    We used to think this didn’t apply to every tissue, like the heart or the brain were exceptions, and then we realized they can also heal and regrow, it just takes longer and may require more effort (with nerves the principle “use it or lose it” changes after an injury to: keep trying to use it or never regain it).

    But if you keep cutting yourself in the same spot every day, you’ll never heal no matter how much Neosporin you slather on.

    Cutting doesn’t sound like a toxin, so we should define what is meant by a toxin and a nutrient, at least for the purposes of this discussion, where I’m trying to categorize everything at a high level into two opposing buckets.

    So what I mean by “toxin” is anything that opposes health and by “nutrient” anything that supports it.

    What are all those toxins and nutrients?

    How can we go about determining what they might be?




    A useful framework for thinking about the question begins with considering that the optimal environment for the human body that should lead to a healthy state of being is the natural environment of this planet.

    The environment the body is designed for, whether by natural evolution or intelligent design, or whatever your preferred world view might be.

    If a space alien came from a distant planet with an entirely different environment what is the likelihood they would be healthy on earth or any other random rock in the universe? Obviously they are optimized for the environment they originated in.

    The idea that something within that environment is by its very nature toxic to them would seem absurd.

    Yet people here on earth think that the sun itself is toxic. Some dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen even if you’re just going from your house to the car, or your car to the office.

    We know some humans live in physical and social environments closer to the optimal and are therefore much healthier on average. They are outdoors more, exposed to fewer industrial chemicals, eat cleaner, more natural foods. When they move to unnatural environments that foster disease, their health and the health of their offspring deteriorates.

    Just like a fish in a dirty fishbowl will be less healthy than one in a clean fishbowl which will be less healthy than one in the ocean it was designed to inhabit, the same goes for human beings.

    Improvement and moving concept with a goldfish jumping from a dirty aquarium to a clean one
    I AM SO OVER THIS DIRTY FISHBOWL. HEALTHY ME HERE I COME.
    So we don’t have statin deficiencies, we have environment deficiencies.

    Most people would agree with a lot of what’s been said so far, excepting the sun perhaps, since it’s been so thoroughly pounded into us that it causes cancer, which brings me to my next point.

    What makes this topic more complicated is that there are many toxins and nutrients that people don’t usually consider to be such, because they’ve been profoundly miseducated about the way the world works, because there was a time when science had not yet uncovered the mechanistic means by which all these things benefit and harm, so in our eternal hubris we assumed our ancestors were idiots and we knew better.

    Now we actually do know better - than many of those in our parents and grandparents generations who thought they knew better than the people who came before who really did know better all along - but old lies die hard: one funeral at a time. And new truths are hard won, by slow awakenings, one doc at a time.

    So, along with sunlight lets uncover some more misunderstood or even unknown toxins and nutrients.

    On the “toxin” side: nocebo effects can come from your thoughts and beliefs. Negative emotions can physically harm you.

    These aren’t fantasies, they are physical realities, because the mind affects the brain affects the body and it’s been proven time and again by real scientists, if you don’t believe it you just have to go read up on it, because not knowing it can kill you, or at least keep you very sick for a very long time.

    There are also many other toxins that most don’t consider like pervasive heavy metals, pesticides, plastics, and various other chemicals, artificial light exposure, other non native electromagnetic field (nnEMF) exposures, etc (all of which can be avoided to some extent and in the case of those harbored within us, gotten rid of to a great enough degree that your body is no longer significantly harmed by them).

    Image of It's the fluorescents.
    On the “nutrient” side these are frequently disregarded: sun, relaxation, just turning off, real intimacy and a lot of it, deep sleep, grounding, timing of food, positive thoughts and emotions, nature in all its glory (eg “forest bathing”), fresh air, clean and perhaps even “structured” water, etc.

    If people do become aware of these and become convinced they might have some benefit or harm in them, they still think to themselves: yeah, but how much can it really matter to me after all?

    How much can it possibly move the needle?

    The answer is surprising: seemingly insignificant things can sometimes make all the difference.

    When a woman eats most of her calories can dramatically affect her risk of PCOS and it’s severity.

    If she has bigger breakfasts and smaller dinners it lowers insulin resistance, raises ovulation frequency, and lowers testosterone levels.

    A team of scientists from University of Aberdeen has found ways of controlling people's meals to compare the impact of a large breakfast or a large dinner.
    How much intimacy you have in your life can mean the difference between having a heart attack or not (up to half the incidence of heart disease might be linked to intimacy alone).

    How many intimate relationships you have is the number one predictor of how long you live.

    Oh, yeah let’s not forget the much maligned sun.

    AKA the glorious fusion-reactor-in-the-sky-energy-source for all life on this planet.

    If the sun winked out everything, everywhere would die.

    How much sun exposure a population has predicts all manner of health outcomes from diabetes to cancer to obesity to heart disease and more.

    Not that more sun makes you sicker.

    The more sun the better.

    And it’s not vitamin D levels that make the difference, because profit driven supplement manufacturers made sure to get that hypothesis tested and it failed - i.e. supplementing vitamin D didn’t achieve the profound effects seen in populations that have high vitamin D due to sun exposure (sure, maybe they didn’t take enough, or took too much, but that’s one of the basic problems with supplementation - it bypasses the bodies feedback loops and can cause it’s own problems too - eg I’ve seen multiple patients who over supplemented D and ended up with immune dysfunction up to and including new autoimmune disease, even though autoimmune disease is thought to be caused by low D, that low D may actually be a helpful maneuver by the body due to the disease itself and evidence does not show improvement of autoimmunity with D supplementation, rather evidence suggests that supplementation worsens it!).

    Share

    The point is that it’s definitely not just vitamin D that’s important in populations with high D, because in nature when you get vitamin D you get so much more than just vitamin D at the same time.

    It is sunlight sufficiency that’s important, because sunlight that isn’t filtered by modern window glass (that blocks crucial invisible wavelengths) has dramatic biological effects beyond just raising vitamin D: it lowers blood viscosity, dramatically improves mitochondrial activity and health, improves sleep timing and depth, improves the gut microbiome, raises the right hormones at the right times, activates certain otherwise dormant hormonal pathways, and much more, probably including many things we still don’t fully understand.


    YOU NEED ANYTHING? TEA, COFFEE … VITAMIN D?

    And there are many more idiosyncratic relationships between seemingly insignificant lifestyle choices and your health that can be highly specific to you and not most other people.

    But, the good new is that 95% or more of what you need to focus on is well known and basically generic to everyone.

    So, if this is all rational and logical and doable, why don’t people believe it will work?

    Why even after reading this will people still not do anything different?

    Because they have heard the message every day of their lives in so many ways from so many people that the cause of disease is some deep mystery.

    The old Nazi propaganda secret that’s not so secret any more: a big enough lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.

    How many news articles have you seen in your life that bemoan the lack of understanding of xyz disease? What causes it? How to treat it? Scientists just don’t know!

    We must spend more money researching it!


    GEORGE, RUMOR HAS IT THAT YOU’RE CLOSING IN ON A CURE FOR CANCER, AND I WANTED TO REMIND YOU THAT OUR RESEARCH FUNDING SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITS THAT!
    AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THE COMPANY AND OUR SHAREHOLDERS.

    That’s just a big fat lie: the truth is the only thing the establishment doesn’t know is how best to monetize it, which is the sole purpose of every dollar of government-funded, industry-directed research.

    We know what causes illness and health.

    There are only so many things that populate a very short list that can possibly account for both.


    PS. The basics are simple, but things do get complicated rather quickly, especially when people go to doctors who misinterpret their symptoms and labs as something “wrong” rather than as maneuvers around a bad situation that are usually benefitting the patient.

    Patients are given wrongheaded “solutions” instead of addressing root causes and in many instances just helping the body in its attempt to overcome those root causes.

    The body fighting off root causes is usually seen as a disease in itself.

    One of the best examples of this being a viral infection - all the symptoms are due to your own immune system getting rid of the virus - suppressing those symptoms just lets the virus get a stronger foothold inside you.

    Many of the symptoms we consider illnesses are similar attempts by the body to root out something that’s gotten in.

    Resolving complex multilayered problems involving many previous wrong moves is like this:

    Imagine a brash upstart chess player who has a couple years of study and gampelay under their belt goes to Central Park and sti down to play with one of the scruffy looking beggars. He thinks how hard can this be and bets big on the outcome. Quickly he realizes he has been taken for a fool and is far outmatched. The longer he plays the worse it gets. At some point he bows out and brings in a really skilled replacement to help him. The farther along the game is, the harder it will be for the skilled replacement to correct the situation.

    In reality almost every doctor is playing checkers, not realizing their actually in a game of chess.

    If you’re ready to let a grandmaster take over the board, the best in the world is Hakim Shabaz.


    I’m not prone to hyperbole so when I say he is in a league of his own I mean it.

    Practically speaking that will sometimes mean that what he recommends seems weird, but cell phones would have seemed weird 300 years ago, it doesn’t mean they don’t work, it just means we’re too far behind to understand what’s going on.

    Either do the work to understand enough to believe deeply that the approach will work, or take a leap of faith.

    Either way just do it.

    Consult The Hakim

    https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/the-truth-about-disease-no-ones-talking
    The Truth About Disease No One's Talking About It's simple and straightforward, we know what causes them all and that means we can fix them Dr. Syed Haider A simple line drawing showing a devilish baby sitting on one side of a scale and an angelic cherub sitting on the other side. The devilish baby has little horns, a mischievous smile, and a tiny pitchfork. The angelic cherub has a halo, wings, and a sweet expression. The scale is balanced, and the background is blank. The drawing uses light, thin lines to suggest details, with most of the area taken up by empty white space. This is the truth about health and disease. Most people either don’t understand where disease really comes from and how to get rid of it, or they’ve never really thought through what they do believe about it. Once you think it through you may find that what you thought you understood or believed is not actually rational. Or maybe your approach to it is isn’t. People aren’t always rational, and that’s fine as long as they know it. But in the case of disease the powers that be have purposely obfuscated the truth for profit. The truth itself isn’t profitable. Now some people will already know what I’m going to spell out here, but in my experience they still don’t always apply that knowledge in practice, and the reason seems to be that they haven’t fully understood all the implications, and maybe they are still missing pieces of the full picture. In any event it pays to examine the subject, especially since it’s so near and dear to us. The one who reads through this and still persists in opposition to the principles outlined, without providing any rational argument against them, yet citing “authorities” and “science” as their support, seems to me similar to those distant ancestors who believed illness stemmed from evil spirits, and as their support cited the “authorities” and “science” of their own time. A very minimal black and white line drawing of a newspaper cartoon showing a sick patient lying in a hospital bed in the background. In the foreground, an older doctor is speaking with two younger doctors about the patient. The drawing has only the suggestion of shapes with very light, thin lines and no large black areas. The background is completely white, with faint lines indicating the characters and setting. The cartoon has a light-hearted, humorous tone typical of newspaper comics. THERE COULD BE ANY NUMBER OF CAUSES FOR THIS CONDITION, PERHAPS HE BROKE A MIRROR, OR WALKED UNDER A LADDER, OR SPILLED SOME SALT… Scientism isn’t actually science. Calling it science doesn’t make it science. The science supports what I’m going to outline here, and yet the implications of the clear, well-established and not that new science are ignored for profit and will continue to be ignored for profit as long as most people remain unaware of it. So to get on with it: illness and health just come down to a balance between “toxins” and “nutrients”. That’s because we live in a rational universe governed by knowable causes and effects. More toxins, less nutrients: you get sick. Shift the balance back far enough and eventually you get better. That’s because the human body is designed to heal automatically when something isn’t preventing it and when it has the requisite building blocks at hand. Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it. Share Cut yourself and you heal, you don’t have to apply healing cream to make yourself heal, you just do. We used to think this didn’t apply to every tissue, like the heart or the brain were exceptions, and then we realized they can also heal and regrow, it just takes longer and may require more effort (with nerves the principle “use it or lose it” changes after an injury to: keep trying to use it or never regain it). But if you keep cutting yourself in the same spot every day, you’ll never heal no matter how much Neosporin you slather on. Cutting doesn’t sound like a toxin, so we should define what is meant by a toxin and a nutrient, at least for the purposes of this discussion, where I’m trying to categorize everything at a high level into two opposing buckets. So what I mean by “toxin” is anything that opposes health and by “nutrient” anything that supports it. What are all those toxins and nutrients? How can we go about determining what they might be? A useful framework for thinking about the question begins with considering that the optimal environment for the human body that should lead to a healthy state of being is the natural environment of this planet. The environment the body is designed for, whether by natural evolution or intelligent design, or whatever your preferred world view might be. If a space alien came from a distant planet with an entirely different environment what is the likelihood they would be healthy on earth or any other random rock in the universe? Obviously they are optimized for the environment they originated in. The idea that something within that environment is by its very nature toxic to them would seem absurd. Yet people here on earth think that the sun itself is toxic. Some dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen even if you’re just going from your house to the car, or your car to the office. We know some humans live in physical and social environments closer to the optimal and are therefore much healthier on average. They are outdoors more, exposed to fewer industrial chemicals, eat cleaner, more natural foods. When they move to unnatural environments that foster disease, their health and the health of their offspring deteriorates. Just like a fish in a dirty fishbowl will be less healthy than one in a clean fishbowl which will be less healthy than one in the ocean it was designed to inhabit, the same goes for human beings. Improvement and moving concept with a goldfish jumping from a dirty aquarium to a clean one I AM SO OVER THIS DIRTY FISHBOWL. HEALTHY ME HERE I COME. So we don’t have statin deficiencies, we have environment deficiencies. Most people would agree with a lot of what’s been said so far, excepting the sun perhaps, since it’s been so thoroughly pounded into us that it causes cancer, which brings me to my next point. What makes this topic more complicated is that there are many toxins and nutrients that people don’t usually consider to be such, because they’ve been profoundly miseducated about the way the world works, because there was a time when science had not yet uncovered the mechanistic means by which all these things benefit and harm, so in our eternal hubris we assumed our ancestors were idiots and we knew better. Now we actually do know better - than many of those in our parents and grandparents generations who thought they knew better than the people who came before who really did know better all along - but old lies die hard: one funeral at a time. And new truths are hard won, by slow awakenings, one doc at a time. So, along with sunlight lets uncover some more misunderstood or even unknown toxins and nutrients. On the “toxin” side: nocebo effects can come from your thoughts and beliefs. Negative emotions can physically harm you. These aren’t fantasies, they are physical realities, because the mind affects the brain affects the body and it’s been proven time and again by real scientists, if you don’t believe it you just have to go read up on it, because not knowing it can kill you, or at least keep you very sick for a very long time. There are also many other toxins that most don’t consider like pervasive heavy metals, pesticides, plastics, and various other chemicals, artificial light exposure, other non native electromagnetic field (nnEMF) exposures, etc (all of which can be avoided to some extent and in the case of those harbored within us, gotten rid of to a great enough degree that your body is no longer significantly harmed by them). Image of It's the fluorescents. On the “nutrient” side these are frequently disregarded: sun, relaxation, just turning off, real intimacy and a lot of it, deep sleep, grounding, timing of food, positive thoughts and emotions, nature in all its glory (eg “forest bathing”), fresh air, clean and perhaps even “structured” water, etc. If people do become aware of these and become convinced they might have some benefit or harm in them, they still think to themselves: yeah, but how much can it really matter to me after all? How much can it possibly move the needle? The answer is surprising: seemingly insignificant things can sometimes make all the difference. When a woman eats most of her calories can dramatically affect her risk of PCOS and it’s severity. If she has bigger breakfasts and smaller dinners it lowers insulin resistance, raises ovulation frequency, and lowers testosterone levels. A team of scientists from University of Aberdeen has found ways of controlling people's meals to compare the impact of a large breakfast or a large dinner. How much intimacy you have in your life can mean the difference between having a heart attack or not (up to half the incidence of heart disease might be linked to intimacy alone). How many intimate relationships you have is the number one predictor of how long you live. Oh, yeah let’s not forget the much maligned sun. AKA the glorious fusion-reactor-in-the-sky-energy-source for all life on this planet. If the sun winked out everything, everywhere would die. How much sun exposure a population has predicts all manner of health outcomes from diabetes to cancer to obesity to heart disease and more. Not that more sun makes you sicker. The more sun the better. And it’s not vitamin D levels that make the difference, because profit driven supplement manufacturers made sure to get that hypothesis tested and it failed - i.e. supplementing vitamin D didn’t achieve the profound effects seen in populations that have high vitamin D due to sun exposure (sure, maybe they didn’t take enough, or took too much, but that’s one of the basic problems with supplementation - it bypasses the bodies feedback loops and can cause it’s own problems too - eg I’ve seen multiple patients who over supplemented D and ended up with immune dysfunction up to and including new autoimmune disease, even though autoimmune disease is thought to be caused by low D, that low D may actually be a helpful maneuver by the body due to the disease itself and evidence does not show improvement of autoimmunity with D supplementation, rather evidence suggests that supplementation worsens it!). Share The point is that it’s definitely not just vitamin D that’s important in populations with high D, because in nature when you get vitamin D you get so much more than just vitamin D at the same time. It is sunlight sufficiency that’s important, because sunlight that isn’t filtered by modern window glass (that blocks crucial invisible wavelengths) has dramatic biological effects beyond just raising vitamin D: it lowers blood viscosity, dramatically improves mitochondrial activity and health, improves sleep timing and depth, improves the gut microbiome, raises the right hormones at the right times, activates certain otherwise dormant hormonal pathways, and much more, probably including many things we still don’t fully understand. YOU NEED ANYTHING? TEA, COFFEE … VITAMIN D? And there are many more idiosyncratic relationships between seemingly insignificant lifestyle choices and your health that can be highly specific to you and not most other people. But, the good new is that 95% or more of what you need to focus on is well known and basically generic to everyone. So, if this is all rational and logical and doable, why don’t people believe it will work? Why even after reading this will people still not do anything different? Because they have heard the message every day of their lives in so many ways from so many people that the cause of disease is some deep mystery. The old Nazi propaganda secret that’s not so secret any more: a big enough lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. How many news articles have you seen in your life that bemoan the lack of understanding of xyz disease? What causes it? How to treat it? Scientists just don’t know! We must spend more money researching it! GEORGE, RUMOR HAS IT THAT YOU’RE CLOSING IN ON A CURE FOR CANCER, AND I WANTED TO REMIND YOU THAT OUR RESEARCH FUNDING SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITS THAT! AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THE COMPANY AND OUR SHAREHOLDERS. That’s just a big fat lie: the truth is the only thing the establishment doesn’t know is how best to monetize it, which is the sole purpose of every dollar of government-funded, industry-directed research. We know what causes illness and health. There are only so many things that populate a very short list that can possibly account for both. PS. The basics are simple, but things do get complicated rather quickly, especially when people go to doctors who misinterpret their symptoms and labs as something “wrong” rather than as maneuvers around a bad situation that are usually benefitting the patient. Patients are given wrongheaded “solutions” instead of addressing root causes and in many instances just helping the body in its attempt to overcome those root causes. The body fighting off root causes is usually seen as a disease in itself. One of the best examples of this being a viral infection - all the symptoms are due to your own immune system getting rid of the virus - suppressing those symptoms just lets the virus get a stronger foothold inside you. Many of the symptoms we consider illnesses are similar attempts by the body to root out something that’s gotten in. Resolving complex multilayered problems involving many previous wrong moves is like this: Imagine a brash upstart chess player who has a couple years of study and gampelay under their belt goes to Central Park and sti down to play with one of the scruffy looking beggars. He thinks how hard can this be and bets big on the outcome. Quickly he realizes he has been taken for a fool and is far outmatched. The longer he plays the worse it gets. At some point he bows out and brings in a really skilled replacement to help him. The farther along the game is, the harder it will be for the skilled replacement to correct the situation. In reality almost every doctor is playing checkers, not realizing their actually in a game of chess. If you’re ready to let a grandmaster take over the board, the best in the world is Hakim Shabaz. I’m not prone to hyperbole so when I say he is in a league of his own I mean it. Practically speaking that will sometimes mean that what he recommends seems weird, but cell phones would have seemed weird 300 years ago, it doesn’t mean they don’t work, it just means we’re too far behind to understand what’s going on. Either do the work to understand enough to believe deeply that the approach will work, or take a leap of faith. Either way just do it. Consult The Hakim https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/the-truth-about-disease-no-ones-talking
    BLOG.MYGOTODOC.COM
    The Truth About Disease No One's Talking About
    It's simple and straightforward, we know what causes them all and that means we can fix them
    Like
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  • A better way to challenge scientific consensus
    Are COVID vaccines safe? I think not, but the "scientific consensus" is that they are. How can we definitively determine who is right? I suggest a way using science!

    Steve Kirsch
    David Douglass quote: Truth in science is always determined from observational facts.
    Executive summary

    In this article, I suggest a simple way to resolve scientific disagreements on important issues.

    The method is simple:

    The two parties mutually agree on a series of experiments to resolve the conflict.

    The experiments are designed so the results are reproducible, for example, by having several independent efforts doing the same thing.

    Win or lose, the “mainstream view” party (who should be led by a prominent scientist in the field being explored) agrees to write up the results of the experiment(s) and submit it to a prominent peer-reviewed technical journal.

    The “mainstream” party gets a large monetary award (a research grant) upon publication. The more prestigious the author, the higher the reward.

    We pay all costs in addition to the reward for people’s time and to fund the experiment(s).

    The idea is to make this “an offer that nobody can refuse.”

    For example…

    Suppose we want to prove whether vaccines cause autism.

    The two parties could agree on two experiments and how they are carried out such as:

    Gather data from a randomly selected list of parents of autistic kids which looks at the date the parents first noticed symptoms of ASD vs. the date of the most recent vaccination prior to the diagnosis.

    Gather the same data from doctors who treat autistic kids.

    The parties agree in advance what success (for each hypothesis) looks like.

    The parties agree that if both experiments agree with each other on deciding the question that they will publicly accept the result as scientific truth going forward, until such time as there is more persuasive data showing otherwise.

    If we set the reward at $1M and there are no takers, the question is resolved by default.

    Did the COVID vaccines save lives?

    This question is even easier to test. We pick hospitals at random and look at the vaccination rates of people hospitalized for COVID vs. the flu.

    This is a simple, fair test.

    Anyone rejecting attempts like this to expose the truth is not acting in good faith.

    Summary

    The problem with challenging scientific consensus is that the party with the mainstream beliefs simply ignores anyone who challenges them.

    So it’s up to the challengers to get their attention.

    By providing a large monetary incentive to create and execute a set of mutually agreeable scientific experiments to answer the question, we may be able to make progress on these intractable issues which have been unresolved for decades.

    What’s new here is large monetary incentives combined with a mutually agreeable set of experiments.

    This resolves the issue under investigation definitively.

    Either: 1) the mainstream party accepts and we do the experiments or 2) the mainstream party refuses to engage in which case it is a tacit admission of defeat.

    Either way, there is finally resolution on each issue explored.

    Let me know what you think of this idea in the comments.

    Share


    https://kirschsubstack.com/p/a-better-way-to-challenge-scientific
    A better way to challenge scientific consensus Are COVID vaccines safe? I think not, but the "scientific consensus" is that they are. How can we definitively determine who is right? I suggest a way using science! Steve Kirsch David Douglass quote: Truth in science is always determined from observational facts. Executive summary In this article, I suggest a simple way to resolve scientific disagreements on important issues. The method is simple: The two parties mutually agree on a series of experiments to resolve the conflict. The experiments are designed so the results are reproducible, for example, by having several independent efforts doing the same thing. Win or lose, the “mainstream view” party (who should be led by a prominent scientist in the field being explored) agrees to write up the results of the experiment(s) and submit it to a prominent peer-reviewed technical journal. The “mainstream” party gets a large monetary award (a research grant) upon publication. The more prestigious the author, the higher the reward. We pay all costs in addition to the reward for people’s time and to fund the experiment(s). The idea is to make this “an offer that nobody can refuse.” For example… Suppose we want to prove whether vaccines cause autism. The two parties could agree on two experiments and how they are carried out such as: Gather data from a randomly selected list of parents of autistic kids which looks at the date the parents first noticed symptoms of ASD vs. the date of the most recent vaccination prior to the diagnosis. Gather the same data from doctors who treat autistic kids. The parties agree in advance what success (for each hypothesis) looks like. The parties agree that if both experiments agree with each other on deciding the question that they will publicly accept the result as scientific truth going forward, until such time as there is more persuasive data showing otherwise. If we set the reward at $1M and there are no takers, the question is resolved by default. Did the COVID vaccines save lives? This question is even easier to test. We pick hospitals at random and look at the vaccination rates of people hospitalized for COVID vs. the flu. This is a simple, fair test. Anyone rejecting attempts like this to expose the truth is not acting in good faith. Summary The problem with challenging scientific consensus is that the party with the mainstream beliefs simply ignores anyone who challenges them. So it’s up to the challengers to get their attention. By providing a large monetary incentive to create and execute a set of mutually agreeable scientific experiments to answer the question, we may be able to make progress on these intractable issues which have been unresolved for decades. What’s new here is large monetary incentives combined with a mutually agreeable set of experiments. This resolves the issue under investigation definitively. Either: 1) the mainstream party accepts and we do the experiments or 2) the mainstream party refuses to engage in which case it is a tacit admission of defeat. Either way, there is finally resolution on each issue explored. Let me know what you think of this idea in the comments. Share https://kirschsubstack.com/p/a-better-way-to-challenge-scientific
    KIRSCHSUBSTACK.COM
    A better way to challenge scientific consensus
    Are COVID vaccines safe? I think not, but the "scientific consensus" is that they are. How can we definitively determine who is right? I suggest a way using science!
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  • So You Got Spiked: Now What?
    Especially important for athletes and future parents: invest in your health, your future & future generations.

    Dr. Syed Haider
    Spikehead | Niskia | Flickr
    I see a lot of patients who have been harmed by COVID and the shots.

    What I rarely see is anyone who was exposed to the spike protein but still feels perfectly fine: just here for a checkup, doc!

    Most of my patients did feel perfectly fine for weeks, months and sometimes years after their spike protein exposure, before suddenly coming down with severe symptoms.

    But in these cases there was ongoing inflammation, spike persistence, perhaps viral persistence, micro clotting, perhaps autoimmunity, alterations in gut bacteria and more that could have been detected far sooner.

    This is important because it's always easier to prevent illness than to treat illness once it manifests.

    Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it.

    Share

    It takes a lot to push your body out of health and often takes a lot to push your body back into the fully resilient state of health you were in before.

    This is contrasted with symptomatic, or functional recovery - with Long Haul it’s often relatively easy to get someone back to feeling 90-100% better while they are taking treatments like ivermectin and making some lifestyle changes.

    What is harder is to get them back to the place of resilience they were at before they got sick: able to eat whatever they want, sleep whenever they want, get by without supplements and meds, etc.

    I certainly believe it is possible and it does happen, but that complete healing is a harder nut to crack than simply functional recovery dependent on various “crutches”.

    Obviously part of complete and deep healing is making the often drastic lifestyle changes - because it was the poor lifestyle that got you in trouble in the first place, along with toxic exposures from the environment and food.

    So ultimately you don’t really want to return to the way things were before you got sick: that would just set you up to get sick all over again.

    This is confusing for people, because they thought they were fine.


    I hear this repeatedly: I was so healthy before COVID (or the shot).

    But when I push a bit it's clear patients were not sleeping enough, were overtraining, under too much stress, having too much caffeine/alcohol, not getting enough sun, spending too much time indoors, online, in front of screens, eating relatively poorly, consuming too many pesticides, seed oils, had leaky gut, autoimmune issues, skin issues, etc.

    Many patients list no medical problems yet also list a number of medications for psychiatric diseases, hypertension, cholesterol, migraines, erectile dysfunction, etc. We’re hardwired to minimize things, to ignore them and to forget them.

    Our culture trains us to have high time preference: meaning we prefer the present too much compared to the future.

    Most people are depleting their reserves instead of building them. Just as most find it difficult to save money or invest for the future, most also find it difficult to invest in their health with exercise, sleep, sun, diet, etc.


    The millionaire who eats through their savings rather than investing it can live high on the hog for a few years, but eventually the millions run out and then they’re left with nothing.

    The same happens with our health: youth and health usually go hand in hand and they are a form of wealth that can be used up before its time, or can be conserved and built upon so that it lasts for the long term.

    So the first thing everyone must do is clean up their act and start investing in their future. The most important wealth is health.

    Second, anyone who got the shot and thinks they are fine, should still consider doing something to check themselves out: there is a lab panel I order at mygotodoc.com that can be done at a local lab and may be covered by insurance.

    Register Free at mygotodoc

    There are more advanced panels we can send to Incelldx to check for spike protein in monocytes and for advanced inflammatory markers. There is an atypical amyloid fibrin microclot score we can order from a specialized pathology lab, and there is Dr Sabine Hazan’s gut microbiome testing that I can order via Progenabiome.

    There are some supplementary tools as well like tracking heart rate variability, sleep quality, and continuous glucose monitoring that is especially important for those with poor metabolic health, which is most people nowadays.

    Athletes might especially consider cardiac screening with troponin, BNP, EKG, Echo and perhaps even a cardiac MRI: when sudden death is a possibility even seemingly excessive screening may become sensible.

    Doctors Taking ER Call: A Dying Breed
    But the population I worry the most about are women in their reproductive years. Dr James Thorp has spoken out about this at length in interviews and peer reviewed papers. Totality of the Evidence compiles the data currently available.

    A baseline pre-pandemic miscarriage rate around 12% is already too high and data suggests it has shot up after the vax rollout. VAERS miscarriage reports spiked 4070% post shots. The initial Pfizer trial suggested a rate above 80% based on incomplete data, though it was misreported at the time by using the wrong denominator to hide the alarm.

    I know what it feels like to lose a baby. It tears your heart out. It’s difficult to forgive yourself for perceived mistakes that may have triggered the pregnancy loss.

    Share

    Before pregnancy is a time to build your resources: focus on supercharging your nutrient stores. Eat organ meats, eggs, steak, milk and avoid junk food: no seed oils or sugar and avoid pesticides. Consider plasma donation to cut down body stores of toxic chemicals. Optimize sleep, sun, stress management, body fat levels, and metabolic health. Generally aim to get into the best shape of your life.

    And if you were exposed to spike protein check to see if you need to detox from it.

    You can eliminate spike and microclots and inflammation and even autoimmunity triggered by the shots or COVID.

    If you don’t deal with it before pregnancy you may have to deal with it during pregnancy in the form of long haul or worst case scenario a pregnancy loss triggered by spike, and even after birth your baby may be harmed via spike in breast milk.

    There is a report in VAERS of a breastfed baby dying soon after its mothers got the shot:

    One report doesn’t mean it’s only happened once. VAERS is severely underreported, especially for these shots.

    We should heed the warnings Pfizer gave male trial participants not to go near pregnant women and if having sex with women of childbearing age, to use at minimum two forms of contraception.

    If anything we have far more data now than we did then to suggest that spike protein exposure is unsafe for everyone and especially those pregnant or breastfeeding.

    Many of my female patients report altered menstrual cycles and other symptoms whenever they are exposed to those recently vaccinated.

    Shedding is a real phenomenon and it can wreak havoc on the female reproductive system.

    Whether or not there is a depopulation agenda we are seeing a dramatic worldwide drop in live birth rates.

    Sperm counts have dropped, female fertility is at all time lows, and miscarriage rates have shot up.

    There are simple solutions that can accomplish short term goals of fertility and symptom relief and there are more comprehensive lifestyle based solutions that solve the underlying problems for the long term.

    Free Lifestyle Ebook/Webinar/Course

    Invest in yourself and your children for the long run and you won’t be sorry.

    https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/so-you-got-spiked-now-what

    https://telegra.ph/So-You-Got-Spiked-Now-What-04-02
    So You Got Spiked: Now What? Especially important for athletes and future parents: invest in your health, your future & future generations. Dr. Syed Haider Spikehead | Niskia | Flickr I see a lot of patients who have been harmed by COVID and the shots. What I rarely see is anyone who was exposed to the spike protein but still feels perfectly fine: just here for a checkup, doc! Most of my patients did feel perfectly fine for weeks, months and sometimes years after their spike protein exposure, before suddenly coming down with severe symptoms. But in these cases there was ongoing inflammation, spike persistence, perhaps viral persistence, micro clotting, perhaps autoimmunity, alterations in gut bacteria and more that could have been detected far sooner. This is important because it's always easier to prevent illness than to treat illness once it manifests. Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it. Share It takes a lot to push your body out of health and often takes a lot to push your body back into the fully resilient state of health you were in before. This is contrasted with symptomatic, or functional recovery - with Long Haul it’s often relatively easy to get someone back to feeling 90-100% better while they are taking treatments like ivermectin and making some lifestyle changes. What is harder is to get them back to the place of resilience they were at before they got sick: able to eat whatever they want, sleep whenever they want, get by without supplements and meds, etc. I certainly believe it is possible and it does happen, but that complete healing is a harder nut to crack than simply functional recovery dependent on various “crutches”. Obviously part of complete and deep healing is making the often drastic lifestyle changes - because it was the poor lifestyle that got you in trouble in the first place, along with toxic exposures from the environment and food. So ultimately you don’t really want to return to the way things were before you got sick: that would just set you up to get sick all over again. This is confusing for people, because they thought they were fine. I hear this repeatedly: I was so healthy before COVID (or the shot). But when I push a bit it's clear patients were not sleeping enough, were overtraining, under too much stress, having too much caffeine/alcohol, not getting enough sun, spending too much time indoors, online, in front of screens, eating relatively poorly, consuming too many pesticides, seed oils, had leaky gut, autoimmune issues, skin issues, etc. Many patients list no medical problems yet also list a number of medications for psychiatric diseases, hypertension, cholesterol, migraines, erectile dysfunction, etc. We’re hardwired to minimize things, to ignore them and to forget them. Our culture trains us to have high time preference: meaning we prefer the present too much compared to the future. Most people are depleting their reserves instead of building them. Just as most find it difficult to save money or invest for the future, most also find it difficult to invest in their health with exercise, sleep, sun, diet, etc. The millionaire who eats through their savings rather than investing it can live high on the hog for a few years, but eventually the millions run out and then they’re left with nothing. The same happens with our health: youth and health usually go hand in hand and they are a form of wealth that can be used up before its time, or can be conserved and built upon so that it lasts for the long term. So the first thing everyone must do is clean up their act and start investing in their future. The most important wealth is health. Second, anyone who got the shot and thinks they are fine, should still consider doing something to check themselves out: there is a lab panel I order at mygotodoc.com that can be done at a local lab and may be covered by insurance. Register Free at mygotodoc There are more advanced panels we can send to Incelldx to check for spike protein in monocytes and for advanced inflammatory markers. There is an atypical amyloid fibrin microclot score we can order from a specialized pathology lab, and there is Dr Sabine Hazan’s gut microbiome testing that I can order via Progenabiome. There are some supplementary tools as well like tracking heart rate variability, sleep quality, and continuous glucose monitoring that is especially important for those with poor metabolic health, which is most people nowadays. Athletes might especially consider cardiac screening with troponin, BNP, EKG, Echo and perhaps even a cardiac MRI: when sudden death is a possibility even seemingly excessive screening may become sensible. Doctors Taking ER Call: A Dying Breed But the population I worry the most about are women in their reproductive years. Dr James Thorp has spoken out about this at length in interviews and peer reviewed papers. Totality of the Evidence compiles the data currently available. A baseline pre-pandemic miscarriage rate around 12% is already too high and data suggests it has shot up after the vax rollout. VAERS miscarriage reports spiked 4070% post shots. The initial Pfizer trial suggested a rate above 80% based on incomplete data, though it was misreported at the time by using the wrong denominator to hide the alarm. I know what it feels like to lose a baby. It tears your heart out. It’s difficult to forgive yourself for perceived mistakes that may have triggered the pregnancy loss. Share Before pregnancy is a time to build your resources: focus on supercharging your nutrient stores. Eat organ meats, eggs, steak, milk and avoid junk food: no seed oils or sugar and avoid pesticides. Consider plasma donation to cut down body stores of toxic chemicals. Optimize sleep, sun, stress management, body fat levels, and metabolic health. Generally aim to get into the best shape of your life. And if you were exposed to spike protein check to see if you need to detox from it. You can eliminate spike and microclots and inflammation and even autoimmunity triggered by the shots or COVID. If you don’t deal with it before pregnancy you may have to deal with it during pregnancy in the form of long haul or worst case scenario a pregnancy loss triggered by spike, and even after birth your baby may be harmed via spike in breast milk. There is a report in VAERS of a breastfed baby dying soon after its mothers got the shot: One report doesn’t mean it’s only happened once. VAERS is severely underreported, especially for these shots. We should heed the warnings Pfizer gave male trial participants not to go near pregnant women and if having sex with women of childbearing age, to use at minimum two forms of contraception. If anything we have far more data now than we did then to suggest that spike protein exposure is unsafe for everyone and especially those pregnant or breastfeeding. Many of my female patients report altered menstrual cycles and other symptoms whenever they are exposed to those recently vaccinated. Shedding is a real phenomenon and it can wreak havoc on the female reproductive system. Whether or not there is a depopulation agenda we are seeing a dramatic worldwide drop in live birth rates. Sperm counts have dropped, female fertility is at all time lows, and miscarriage rates have shot up. There are simple solutions that can accomplish short term goals of fertility and symptom relief and there are more comprehensive lifestyle based solutions that solve the underlying problems for the long term. Free Lifestyle Ebook/Webinar/Course Invest in yourself and your children for the long run and you won’t be sorry. https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/so-you-got-spiked-now-what https://telegra.ph/So-You-Got-Spiked-Now-What-04-02
    BLOG.MYGOTODOC.COM
    So You Got Spiked: Now What?
    Especially important for athletes and future parents: invest in your health, your future & future generations.
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


    Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity.

    Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
    Post-Production: Adam Coley

    Transcript

    Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

    Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF.

    The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords.

    This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

    You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that?

    Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names.

    On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality.

    Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms.

    The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity.

    That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth.

    Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes.

    Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army.

    There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is.

    So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories.

    So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that.

    Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this.

    So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust.

    Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story.

    The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah.

    And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here.

    And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head.

    Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs?

    Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment.

    They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture.

    Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza.

    Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities.

    They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him.

    His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on.

    So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians.

    Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit.

    Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were.

    And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now.

    Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily?

    Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody.

    So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill.

    Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die.

    Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them.

    I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims?

    These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians?

    Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire.

    Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again.

    That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone.

    Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations.

    Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong?

    Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt.

    So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say.

    I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state.

    Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that.

    Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration.

    It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power.

    They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel.

    Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff.

    Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know?

    These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple.

    Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity.

    Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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    https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society

    https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave. Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity. Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino Post-Production: Adam Coley Transcript Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology. Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF. The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords. This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world. Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that? Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names. On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military. Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality. Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms. The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity. That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth. Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes. Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army. There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is. So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories. So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that. Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that. Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this. So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see. Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust. Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story. The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah. And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here. And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head. Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs? Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment. They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture. Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza. Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities. They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him. His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on. So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians. Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit. Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were. And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now. Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily? Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody. So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill. Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die. Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them. I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims? These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians? Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire. Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again. That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone. Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations. Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong? Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt. So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say. I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state. Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that. Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration. It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power. They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel. Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff. Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know? These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple. Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity. Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com. Creative Commons License Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
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    The IDF's war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.

    Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024
    Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes.
    Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139.
    597 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

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    Watch now: NOURA ERAKAT on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat
    Key Developments

    Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip.
    Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital.
    Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks.
    Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis.
    ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine.
    North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive.
    At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria.
    UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.”
    West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid.
    West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem.
    71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623

    The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day.

    In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa.

    Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex.

    In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital.

    In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children.

    Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees

    The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports.

    According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days.

    “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.”

    Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed.

    After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained.

    Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added.

    UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

    Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention.

    Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate.

    Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country.

    On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine.

    The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court.

    The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism.

    Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7.

    Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns

    A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

    Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man.

    Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis.

    Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges.

    BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine. Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024 Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes. Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) Casualties 32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139. 597 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Watch now: NOURA ERAKAT on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat Key Developments Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip. Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital. Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks. Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis. ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine. North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive. At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria. UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.” West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid. West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem. 71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623 The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day. In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex. In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors. In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital. In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children. Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said. Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days. “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.” Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed. After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained. Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added. UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention. Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate. Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country. On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine. The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court. The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism. Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7. Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man. Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis. Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.
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  • ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.

    Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024
    A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp.

    Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation.

    Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment.

    During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family.

    As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?”

    “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me.

    I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.”

    “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.”

    “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days.

    Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford.

    As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry.

    “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me.

    Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.”

    “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern.

    “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.”

    “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.”

    My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family.

    “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously.

    “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart.

    “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued.

    “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully.

    After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.”

    “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her.

    The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.”

    “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically.

    She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.”

    I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before.
    I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?”

    His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.”

    “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war.

    He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.”

    Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.”

    I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before.

    “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added.

    The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’ I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024 A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp. Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation. Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment. During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family. As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?” “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me. I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.” “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.” “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days. Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford. As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry. “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me. Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.” “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern. “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.” “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.” My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family. “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously. “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart. “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued. “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully. After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.” “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her. The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.” “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically. She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?” His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.” “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war. He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.” Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 24101 Views
  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.

    Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024
    Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes.
    Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139.
    597 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip.
    Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital.
    Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks.
    Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis.
    ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine.
    North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive.
    At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria.
    UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.”
    West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid.
    West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem.
    71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623

    The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day.

    In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa.

    Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex.

    In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital.

    In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children.

    Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees

    The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports.

    According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days.

    “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.”

    Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed.

    After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained.

    Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added.

    UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

    Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention.

    Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate.

    Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country.

    On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine.

    The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court.

    The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism.

    Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7.

    Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns

    A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

    Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man.

    Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis.

    Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine. Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024 Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes. Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) Casualties 32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139. 597 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip. Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital. Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks. Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis. ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine. North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive. At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria. UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.” West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid. West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem. 71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623 The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day. In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex. In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors. In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital. In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children. Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said. Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days. “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.” Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed. After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained. Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added. UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention. Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate. Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country. On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine. The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court. The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism. Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7. Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man. Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis. Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.
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  • The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza
    Tareq S. HajjajMarch 25, 2024
    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah)
    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah)
    This is not a photo of a mummy or an embalmed body retrieved from one of Gaza’s ancient cemeteries. This is a photo of Yazan Kafarneh, a child who died of severe malnutrition during Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

    Yazan’s family now lives in the Rab’a School in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah City. His father, Sharif Kafarneh, along with his mother, Marwa, and his three younger brothers, had fled Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza early on in the war.

    Yazan Kafarneh died at the age of nine, the eldest of four brothers — Mouin, 6, Ramzi, 4, and Muhammad, born during the war in a shelter four months ago.

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    Watch now: ANGELA DAVIS on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat
    Living in conditions not fit for human habitation, the grieving family had witnessed Yazan’s death before their eyes. It didn’t happen all at once but unfolded gradually over time, his frail body wasting away one day after another until there was nothing left of Yazan but skin and bones.

    Sharif was unable to do anything for his son. He died due to a congenital illness that required a special dietary regimen to keep him healthy. Israel’s systematic prevention of food from reaching the civilian population in Gaza meant that severe malnutrition — suffered by most children in the besieged enclave — in the case of Yazan meant death.

    “We first left from Beit Hanoun to Jabalia refugee camp,” Sharif told Mondoweiss. “Then the occupation called us again and warned us against staying where we were. So we left for Gaza City. Then, the occupation forced us to flee further south, and we did.”

    Yazan Kafarneh's parents and three brothers in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss)
    Sharif Kafarneh’ (left), his wife Marwa (right), and their three surviving sons (center) in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss)
    “If it weren’t for Yazan, I would have never left my home,” Sharif maintained. “Yazan required special care and nutrition.”

    Yazan suffered from a congenital form of muscular atrophy that made movement and speech difficult, but Sharif said that it never caused him much grief in his nine short years before the war.

    “He just had advanced nutritional needs,” Sharif explained. “But getting that food for him was never an issue before the war.”

    It was a point of pride for Sharif that he, a taxi driver, had never left his child wanting or deprived.

    “That changed in the war. The specific foods that he needed were cut off,” he said. “For instance, Yazan had to have milk and bananas for dinner every day. He can’t go a day without it, and sometimes he can have only bananas. This is what the doctors told us.”

    “After the war, I couldn’t get a single banana,” Sharif continued. “And for lunch, he had to have boiled vegetables and fruits that were pureed in a blender. We had no electricity for the blender, and there were no fruits or vegetables anymore.”

    As for breakfast, Yazan’s regimen demanded that he eat eggs. “Of course, there aren’t any more eggs in Rafah City,” Sharif said. “No fruits, no vegetables, no eggs, no bananas, nothing.”

    “But our child’s needs were never a problem for us,” Sharif rushed to add. “We loved taking care of him. He was the spoiled child of the family, and his younger brothers loved him and took care of him, too. God gave me a living so I could take care of him.”

    Due to his special needs, charitable societies used to visit Yazan’s home in Beit Hanoun before the war, providing various treatments such as physical therapy and speech therapy. All in all, Yazan had a functional, happy childhood.

    ‘He got thinner and thinner’

    The family continued to take care of Yazan throughout the war. They tried to make do with what they could find, trying as much as possible to find alternatives to the foods Yazan required. “I replaced bananas with halawa [a tahini-based confection], and I replaced eggs with bread soaked in tea,” Sharif said. “But these foods did not contain the nutrients that Yazan needed.”

    In addition to his nutritional needs, Yazan had specific medicines to take. Sharif used to bring him brain and muscle stimulants that helped him stay alive and mobile, allowing him to move around and crawl throughout their home. Those medicines ran out during the second week of the war.

    With the lack of nutrition and medication, his health took a turn for the worse. “I noticed him getting sick, and his body was becoming emaciated,” Sharif recounts. “He got thinner and thinner.”

    His family took him to al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where his health continued to deteriorate over the course of eleven days.

    “Even after we took him to the hospital, they couldn’t do anything for him,” Sharif continued. “All they were able to give him were IV fluids, and when his situation got worse, the hospital staff placed a feeding tube in his nose.”

    “My son required a tube with a 14-unit measurement, but all the hospital had was an 8-unit,” he added.

    When asked what was the most important factor that led to the deterioration of his son’s condition, Sharif said that it was the environment he lived in. “Before the war, he was in the right environment. After, everything was wrong. He was in his own home, but then he was uprooted to a shelter in Rafah.”

    “The situation we’re living in isn’t fit for humans, let alone a sick child,” Sharif explained. “In the camps, people would light fires to keep themselves warm, but the smoke would cause Yazan to cough and suffocate, and we weren’t able to tell them to turn their fires off because everyone was so cold.”

    Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’, a pediatric surgeon in Rafah who works at the al-Awda, al-Najjar, and al-Kuwaiti hospitals, took a special interest in Yazan’s case.

    “The harsh conditions Yazan had to endure, including malnutrition, were the main factors contributing to the deterioration of his health and his ultimate death,” Dr. al-Sabe’ told Mondoweiss. “This is a genetic and congenital illness, and it requires special care every day, including specific proteins, IV medicines, and daily physical therapy, which isn’t available at Rafah.”

    “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children.”
    Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’normal
    Dr. al-Sabe’ said that most foods administered to patients who cannot feed themselves through feeding tubes are unavailable in Gaza. “The occupation prevents these specific foods and medicines from coming in,” he explained. “Including a medicine called Ensure.”

    Ensure is a special nutritional supplement used in medical settings for what is called “enteral nutrition” — feeding patients through a nasal tube.

    “Special treatment for patients, especially children, is nonexistent,” Dr. al-Sabe’ added. “We don’t even have diapers, let alone baby formula and nutritional supplements.”

    “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children,” he stressed. “If any child doesn’t receive nutrition for an entire week, that child will eventually die. And even if malnourished children are eventually provided with nutrition, they will likely suffer lifelong health consequences.”

    “If medicine is cut off from children who need it for one week, this will also likely lead to their death,” he continued.

    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah)
    Images of Yazan Kafarneh’s emaciated body circulated widely on social media. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah)
    Children disproportionately affected by famine

    According to a UNICEF humanitarian situation report on March 22, 2.23 million people in Gaza suffer at least from “acute food insecurity,” while half of that population (1.1 million people) suffers from “catastrophic food insecurity,” meaning that “famine is imminent for half of the population.”

    An earlier report in December 2023 had already concluded that all children in Gaza under five years old (estimated to be 335,000 children) are “at high risk of severe malnutrition and preventable death.” UNICEF’s most recent March 22 report estimates that the famine threshold for “acute food insecurity” has already been “far exceeded,” while it is highly likely that the famine threshold for “acute malnutrition” has also been exceeded. Moreover, UNICEF said that the Famine Review Committee predicted that famine would manifest in Gaza anywhere between March and May of this year.

    Dr. al-Sabe’ stresses that such dire conditions disproportionately affect children, who have advanced nutritional needs compared to adults.

    “Their bodies are weak, and they don’t have large stores of muscle and fat,” he explained. “Even one day of no food for a young child will lead to consequences that are difficult to control in the future.”

    “An adult male may go a week without food before signs of malnutrition begin to show,” he continued. “Not so with children. Their muscle mass increases whenever they eat, which in turn leads to a greater need for nutrients.”

    The lack of nutrients means that children will grow weak, the pediatric surgeon said, and that they will quickly begin to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, sunken eyes, and joint pains. For the same reason, Dr. al-Sabe maintained, children also respond to treatment fairly quickly — but “on the condition that they have not experienced malnutrition for more than a week.”

    After one week, reversing the effects of malnutrition becomes much more difficult. Al-Sabe’ asserts that children’s digestive tracts will slow down, they might begin to suffer from kidney failure, and their bellies can swell with fluids.

    That is what is particularly devastating for Gaza — over 335,000 children have undergone varying degrees of extreme malnutrition for months on end. The consequences are difficult to fathom on a population-wide level and for future generations. As of the time of writing, over 30 children have already died due to malnutrition in northern Gaza, but the real number is likely much higher given the lack of reporting in many areas in the north.

    ‘He didn’t need a miracle to save him’

    Yazan’s mother, Marwa Kafarneh, could barely contain her tears as she spoke of her son.

    “He was a normal boy despite his illness,” she told Mondoweiss. “He played with his brothers. He crawled and moved about, and he could open closets and use the phone, and he would watch things on it for hours.”

    “He could have lived a long life, a normal life,” she continued. “His father would have brought him everything that he needed. He wouldn’t have had to feel hungry for even a single day.”

    When she saw that the images of her son’s emaciated body had gone viral on social media, Marwa said that she preferred death over looking at the photos. “My eldest son died in front of my eyes, in front of all of our eyes,” she said. “We weren’t able to save him. And he didn’t need a miracle to save him either. All he needed was the food that we’ve always been able to provide for him.”

    Reflecting as she cried, she added: “But finding that food in Gaza today takes nothing less than a miracle.”

    Tareq S. Hajjaj
    Tareq S. Hajjaj is the Mondoweiss Gaza Correspondent and a member of the Palestinian Writers Union. He studied English Literature at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He started his career in journalism in 2015, working as a news writer and translator for the local newspaper Donia al-Watan. He has reported for Elbadi, Middle East Eye, and Al-Monitor. Follow him on Twitter at @Tareqshajjaj.

    BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/the-story-of-yazan-kafarneh-the-boy-who-starved-to-death-in-gaza/
    The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza Tareq S. HajjajMarch 25, 2024 Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah) Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah) This is not a photo of a mummy or an embalmed body retrieved from one of Gaza’s ancient cemeteries. This is a photo of Yazan Kafarneh, a child who died of severe malnutrition during Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip. Yazan’s family now lives in the Rab’a School in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah City. His father, Sharif Kafarneh, along with his mother, Marwa, and his three younger brothers, had fled Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza early on in the war. Yazan Kafarneh died at the age of nine, the eldest of four brothers — Mouin, 6, Ramzi, 4, and Muhammad, born during the war in a shelter four months ago. Advertisement Watch now: ANGELA DAVIS on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat Living in conditions not fit for human habitation, the grieving family had witnessed Yazan’s death before their eyes. It didn’t happen all at once but unfolded gradually over time, his frail body wasting away one day after another until there was nothing left of Yazan but skin and bones. Sharif was unable to do anything for his son. He died due to a congenital illness that required a special dietary regimen to keep him healthy. Israel’s systematic prevention of food from reaching the civilian population in Gaza meant that severe malnutrition — suffered by most children in the besieged enclave — in the case of Yazan meant death. “We first left from Beit Hanoun to Jabalia refugee camp,” Sharif told Mondoweiss. “Then the occupation called us again and warned us against staying where we were. So we left for Gaza City. Then, the occupation forced us to flee further south, and we did.” Yazan Kafarneh's parents and three brothers in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss) Sharif Kafarneh’ (left), his wife Marwa (right), and their three surviving sons (center) in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss) “If it weren’t for Yazan, I would have never left my home,” Sharif maintained. “Yazan required special care and nutrition.” Yazan suffered from a congenital form of muscular atrophy that made movement and speech difficult, but Sharif said that it never caused him much grief in his nine short years before the war. “He just had advanced nutritional needs,” Sharif explained. “But getting that food for him was never an issue before the war.” It was a point of pride for Sharif that he, a taxi driver, had never left his child wanting or deprived. “That changed in the war. The specific foods that he needed were cut off,” he said. “For instance, Yazan had to have milk and bananas for dinner every day. He can’t go a day without it, and sometimes he can have only bananas. This is what the doctors told us.” “After the war, I couldn’t get a single banana,” Sharif continued. “And for lunch, he had to have boiled vegetables and fruits that were pureed in a blender. We had no electricity for the blender, and there were no fruits or vegetables anymore.” As for breakfast, Yazan’s regimen demanded that he eat eggs. “Of course, there aren’t any more eggs in Rafah City,” Sharif said. “No fruits, no vegetables, no eggs, no bananas, nothing.” “But our child’s needs were never a problem for us,” Sharif rushed to add. “We loved taking care of him. He was the spoiled child of the family, and his younger brothers loved him and took care of him, too. God gave me a living so I could take care of him.” Due to his special needs, charitable societies used to visit Yazan’s home in Beit Hanoun before the war, providing various treatments such as physical therapy and speech therapy. All in all, Yazan had a functional, happy childhood. ‘He got thinner and thinner’ The family continued to take care of Yazan throughout the war. They tried to make do with what they could find, trying as much as possible to find alternatives to the foods Yazan required. “I replaced bananas with halawa [a tahini-based confection], and I replaced eggs with bread soaked in tea,” Sharif said. “But these foods did not contain the nutrients that Yazan needed.” In addition to his nutritional needs, Yazan had specific medicines to take. Sharif used to bring him brain and muscle stimulants that helped him stay alive and mobile, allowing him to move around and crawl throughout their home. Those medicines ran out during the second week of the war. With the lack of nutrition and medication, his health took a turn for the worse. “I noticed him getting sick, and his body was becoming emaciated,” Sharif recounts. “He got thinner and thinner.” His family took him to al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where his health continued to deteriorate over the course of eleven days. “Even after we took him to the hospital, they couldn’t do anything for him,” Sharif continued. “All they were able to give him were IV fluids, and when his situation got worse, the hospital staff placed a feeding tube in his nose.” “My son required a tube with a 14-unit measurement, but all the hospital had was an 8-unit,” he added. When asked what was the most important factor that led to the deterioration of his son’s condition, Sharif said that it was the environment he lived in. “Before the war, he was in the right environment. After, everything was wrong. He was in his own home, but then he was uprooted to a shelter in Rafah.” “The situation we’re living in isn’t fit for humans, let alone a sick child,” Sharif explained. “In the camps, people would light fires to keep themselves warm, but the smoke would cause Yazan to cough and suffocate, and we weren’t able to tell them to turn their fires off because everyone was so cold.” Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’, a pediatric surgeon in Rafah who works at the al-Awda, al-Najjar, and al-Kuwaiti hospitals, took a special interest in Yazan’s case. “The harsh conditions Yazan had to endure, including malnutrition, were the main factors contributing to the deterioration of his health and his ultimate death,” Dr. al-Sabe’ told Mondoweiss. “This is a genetic and congenital illness, and it requires special care every day, including specific proteins, IV medicines, and daily physical therapy, which isn’t available at Rafah.” “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children.” Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’normal Dr. al-Sabe’ said that most foods administered to patients who cannot feed themselves through feeding tubes are unavailable in Gaza. “The occupation prevents these specific foods and medicines from coming in,” he explained. “Including a medicine called Ensure.” Ensure is a special nutritional supplement used in medical settings for what is called “enteral nutrition” — feeding patients through a nasal tube. “Special treatment for patients, especially children, is nonexistent,” Dr. al-Sabe’ added. “We don’t even have diapers, let alone baby formula and nutritional supplements.” “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children,” he stressed. “If any child doesn’t receive nutrition for an entire week, that child will eventually die. And even if malnourished children are eventually provided with nutrition, they will likely suffer lifelong health consequences.” “If medicine is cut off from children who need it for one week, this will also likely lead to their death,” he continued. Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah) Images of Yazan Kafarneh’s emaciated body circulated widely on social media. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah) Children disproportionately affected by famine According to a UNICEF humanitarian situation report on March 22, 2.23 million people in Gaza suffer at least from “acute food insecurity,” while half of that population (1.1 million people) suffers from “catastrophic food insecurity,” meaning that “famine is imminent for half of the population.” An earlier report in December 2023 had already concluded that all children in Gaza under five years old (estimated to be 335,000 children) are “at high risk of severe malnutrition and preventable death.” UNICEF’s most recent March 22 report estimates that the famine threshold for “acute food insecurity” has already been “far exceeded,” while it is highly likely that the famine threshold for “acute malnutrition” has also been exceeded. Moreover, UNICEF said that the Famine Review Committee predicted that famine would manifest in Gaza anywhere between March and May of this year. Dr. al-Sabe’ stresses that such dire conditions disproportionately affect children, who have advanced nutritional needs compared to adults. “Their bodies are weak, and they don’t have large stores of muscle and fat,” he explained. “Even one day of no food for a young child will lead to consequences that are difficult to control in the future.” “An adult male may go a week without food before signs of malnutrition begin to show,” he continued. “Not so with children. Their muscle mass increases whenever they eat, which in turn leads to a greater need for nutrients.” The lack of nutrients means that children will grow weak, the pediatric surgeon said, and that they will quickly begin to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, sunken eyes, and joint pains. For the same reason, Dr. al-Sabe maintained, children also respond to treatment fairly quickly — but “on the condition that they have not experienced malnutrition for more than a week.” After one week, reversing the effects of malnutrition becomes much more difficult. Al-Sabe’ asserts that children’s digestive tracts will slow down, they might begin to suffer from kidney failure, and their bellies can swell with fluids. That is what is particularly devastating for Gaza — over 335,000 children have undergone varying degrees of extreme malnutrition for months on end. The consequences are difficult to fathom on a population-wide level and for future generations. As of the time of writing, over 30 children have already died due to malnutrition in northern Gaza, but the real number is likely much higher given the lack of reporting in many areas in the north. ‘He didn’t need a miracle to save him’ Yazan’s mother, Marwa Kafarneh, could barely contain her tears as she spoke of her son. “He was a normal boy despite his illness,” she told Mondoweiss. “He played with his brothers. He crawled and moved about, and he could open closets and use the phone, and he would watch things on it for hours.” “He could have lived a long life, a normal life,” she continued. “His father would have brought him everything that he needed. He wouldn’t have had to feel hungry for even a single day.” When she saw that the images of her son’s emaciated body had gone viral on social media, Marwa said that she preferred death over looking at the photos. “My eldest son died in front of my eyes, in front of all of our eyes,” she said. “We weren’t able to save him. And he didn’t need a miracle to save him either. All he needed was the food that we’ve always been able to provide for him.” Reflecting as she cried, she added: “But finding that food in Gaza today takes nothing less than a miracle.” Tareq S. Hajjaj Tareq S. Hajjaj is the Mondoweiss Gaza Correspondent and a member of the Palestinian Writers Union. He studied English Literature at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He started his career in journalism in 2015, working as a news writer and translator for the local newspaper Donia al-Watan. He has reported for Elbadi, Middle East Eye, and Al-Monitor. Follow him on Twitter at @Tareqshajjaj. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/the-story-of-yazan-kafarneh-the-boy-who-starved-to-death-in-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza
    9-year-old Yazan Kafarneh died of a congenital illness turned deadly by severe malnutrition under Israel’s genocidal siege. “He didn’t need a miracle to save him,” cries his mother. “All he needed was the food we’ve always been able to provide him.”
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  • "It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a ‘hit list’ of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies."

    This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship
    Joy Pullmann
    The Biden administration attempted to distract the Supreme Court from the voluminous evidence of federal abuse of Americans’ speech rights during oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri Monday. It sounded like several justices followed the feds’ waving red flag.

    “The government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech, but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers,” said Biden administration lawyer Brian Fletcher in his opening remarks. He and several justices asserted government speech prerogatives that would flip the Constitution upside down.

    The government doesn’t have constitutional rights. Constitutional rights belong to the people and restrain the government. The people’s right to speak may not be abridged. Government officials’ speaking, in their official capacities, may certainly be abridged. Indeed, it often must be, precisely to restrict officials from abusing the state’s monopoly on violence to bully citizens into serfdom.

    It is obviously un-American and unconstitutional for the government to develop a “hit list” of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies beholden to the government for their monopoly powers. There is simply no way it’s “protected speech” for the feds to use intermediaries to silence anyone who disagrees with them on internet forums where the majority of the nation’s political organizing and information dissemination occurs.

    Bullying, Not the Bully Pulpit

    What’s happening is not government expressing its views to media, or “encouraging press to suppress their own speech,” as Justice Elena Kagan put it. This is government bullying third parties to suppress Americans’ speech that officials dislike.

    In the newspaper analogy, it would be like government threatening an IRS audit or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation, or pulling the business license of The Washington Post if the Post published an op-ed from Jay Bhattacharya. As Norwood v. Harrison established in 1973, that’s blatantly unconstitutional. Government cannot “induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”

    Yet, notes Matt Taibbi, some justices and Fletcher “re-framed the outing of extravagantly funded, ongoing content-flagging programs, designed by veterans of foreign counterterrorism operations and targeting the domestic population, as a debate about what Fletcher called ‘classic bully pulpit exhortations.’”

    Every Fake Excuse for Censorship Is Already Illegal

    We have laws against all the harms the government and several justices put forth as excuses for government censorship. Terrorism is illegal. Promoting terrorism is illegal, as an incitement to treason and violence. Inciting children to injure or murder themselves by jumping out windows — a “hypothetical” brought up by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and discussed at length in oral arguments — is illegal.

    If someone is spreading terrorist incitements to violence on Facebook, law enforcement needs to go after the terrorist plotters, not Facebook. Just like it’s unjust to punish gun, knife, and tire iron manufacturers for the people who use their products to murder, it’s unjust and unconstitutional for government to effectively commandeer Facebook under the pretext of all the evils people use it to spread. If they have a problem with those evils, they should address those evils directly, not pressure Facebook to do what they can’t get through Congress like it’s some kind of substitute legislature.

    It’s also ridiculous to, as Jackson and Fletcher did in oral argument, assume that the government is the only possible solution to every social ill. Do these hypothetically window-jumping children not have parents? Teachers? Older siblings? Neighbors? Would the social media companies not have an interest in preventing their products from being used to promote death, and wouldn’t that be an easy thing to explain publicly? Apparently, Jackson couldn’t conceive of any other solution to problems like these than government censorship, when our society has handled far bigger problems like war, pandemics, and foreign invasion without government censorship for 250 years!

    Voters Auditing Government Is Exactly How Our System Should Work

    Fletcher described it as a “problem” that in this case, “two states and five individuals are trying to use the Article III courts to audit all of the executive branch’s communications with and about social media platforms.” That’s called transparency, and it’s only a problem if the government is trying to escape accountability to voters for its actions.

    The people have a fundamental right to audit what their government is doing with public positions, institutions, and funds! How do we have government by consent of the governed if the people can have no idea what their government is doing?

    Under federal laws, all communications like those this lawsuit uncovered are public records. Yet these public records are really hard to get. The executive branch has been effectively nullifying open records laws by absurdly lengthening disclosure times — to as long as 636 days — increasingly forcing citizens to wage expensive lawsuits to get federal agencies to cough up records years beyond the legal deadline.

    Congress should pass a law forcing the automatic disclosure of all government communications with tech monopolies that don’t concern actual classified information and “national security” designations, which the government expands unlawfully to avoid transparency. No justice should support government secrecy about its speech pressure efforts outside of legitimate national security actions.

    Government Is So Big, It’s Always Coercive

    Fletcher’s argument also claimed to draw a line between government persuasion and government coercion. The size and minute harassment powers of our government long ago obliterated any such line, if it ever existed. Federal agencies now have the power to try citizens in non-Article III courts, outside constitutional protections for due process. Citizens can be bankrupted long before they finally get to appeal to a real court. That’s why most of them just do whatever the agencies say, even when it’s clearly unlawful.

    Federal agencies demand power over almost every facet of life, from puddles in people’s backyards to the temperature of cheese served in a tiny restaurant. If they put a target on any normal citizen’s back, he goes bankrupt after regulatory torture.

    As Franklin Roosevelt’s “brain trust” planned, government is now the “senior partner” of every business, giving every “request” from government officials automatic coercion power. Federal agencies have six ways from Sunday of getting back at a noncompliant company, from the EEOC to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency to Health and Human Services to Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and more. Use an accurate pronoun? Investigation. Hire “one too many” white guys? Investigation.

    TikTok legislation going through Congress right now would codify federal power to seize social media companies accused of being owned by foreign interests. Shortly after he acquired X, Elon Musk faced a regulatory shakedown costing him tens of millions, and more on the way. He has money like that, but the rest of us don’t.

    Speech from a private citizen does not have the threat of violence behind it. Speech from a government official, on the other hand, absolutely does and always has. Government officials have powers that other people don’t, and those powers are easily abused, which is exactly why we have a Constitution. SCOTUS needs to take this crucial context into account, making constitutional protections stronger because the government is far, far outside its constitutional bounds.

    Big tech companies’ very business model depends on government regulators and can be destroyed — or kneecapped — at the stroke of an activist president’s pen. Or, at least, that’s what the president said when Facebook and Twitter didn’t do what he wanted: Section 230 should “immediately be revoked.” This is a president who claims the executive power to unilaterally rewrite laws, ignore laws, and ignore Supreme Court decisions. It’s a president who issues orders as press releases so they go into effect months before they can even begin to be challenged in court.

    Constitutionally Protected Speech Isn’t Terrorism

    If justices buy the administration’s nice-guy pretenses of “concern about terrorism,” and “once in a lifetime pandemic measures,” they didn’t read the briefs in this case and see that is simply a cover for the U.S. government turning counterterrorism tools on its own citizens in an attempt to control election outcomes. This is precisely what the First Amendment was designed to check, and we Americans need our Supreme Court to understand that and act to protect us. Elections mean nothing when the government is secretly keeping voters from talking to each other.

    The Supreme Court may not be able to return the country to full constitutional government by eradicating the almost entirely unconstitutional administrative state. But it should enforce as many constitutional boundaries as possible on such agencies. That clearly includes prohibiting all of government from outsourcing to allegedly “private” organizations actions that would be illegal for the government to take.

    That includes not just coercive instructions to social media companies, but also developing social media censorship tools and organizations as cutouts for the rogue security state that is targeting peaceful citizens instead of actual terrorists. Even false speech is not domestic terrorism, and no clearheaded Supreme Court justice looking at the evidence could let the Biden administration weaponize antiterrorism measures to strip law-abiding Americans of our fundamental human rights.

    Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her ebooks include "Classic Books For Young Children," and "101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation." An 18-year education and politics reporter, Joy has testified before nearly two dozen legislatures on education policy and appeared on major media from Fox News to Ben Shapiro to Dennis Prager. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs who identifies as native American and gender natural. Her traditionally published books include "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books.


    https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/21/this-country-cannot-afford-a-weak-supreme-court-decision-on-internet-censorship/

    Join @MartinKulldorf
    "It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a ‘hit list’ of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies." This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship Joy Pullmann The Biden administration attempted to distract the Supreme Court from the voluminous evidence of federal abuse of Americans’ speech rights during oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri Monday. It sounded like several justices followed the feds’ waving red flag. “The government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech, but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers,” said Biden administration lawyer Brian Fletcher in his opening remarks. He and several justices asserted government speech prerogatives that would flip the Constitution upside down. The government doesn’t have constitutional rights. Constitutional rights belong to the people and restrain the government. The people’s right to speak may not be abridged. Government officials’ speaking, in their official capacities, may certainly be abridged. Indeed, it often must be, precisely to restrict officials from abusing the state’s monopoly on violence to bully citizens into serfdom. It is obviously un-American and unconstitutional for the government to develop a “hit list” of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies beholden to the government for their monopoly powers. There is simply no way it’s “protected speech” for the feds to use intermediaries to silence anyone who disagrees with them on internet forums where the majority of the nation’s political organizing and information dissemination occurs. Bullying, Not the Bully Pulpit What’s happening is not government expressing its views to media, or “encouraging press to suppress their own speech,” as Justice Elena Kagan put it. This is government bullying third parties to suppress Americans’ speech that officials dislike. In the newspaper analogy, it would be like government threatening an IRS audit or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation, or pulling the business license of The Washington Post if the Post published an op-ed from Jay Bhattacharya. As Norwood v. Harrison established in 1973, that’s blatantly unconstitutional. Government cannot “induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.” Yet, notes Matt Taibbi, some justices and Fletcher “re-framed the outing of extravagantly funded, ongoing content-flagging programs, designed by veterans of foreign counterterrorism operations and targeting the domestic population, as a debate about what Fletcher called ‘classic bully pulpit exhortations.’” Every Fake Excuse for Censorship Is Already Illegal We have laws against all the harms the government and several justices put forth as excuses for government censorship. Terrorism is illegal. Promoting terrorism is illegal, as an incitement to treason and violence. Inciting children to injure or murder themselves by jumping out windows — a “hypothetical” brought up by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and discussed at length in oral arguments — is illegal. If someone is spreading terrorist incitements to violence on Facebook, law enforcement needs to go after the terrorist plotters, not Facebook. Just like it’s unjust to punish gun, knife, and tire iron manufacturers for the people who use their products to murder, it’s unjust and unconstitutional for government to effectively commandeer Facebook under the pretext of all the evils people use it to spread. If they have a problem with those evils, they should address those evils directly, not pressure Facebook to do what they can’t get through Congress like it’s some kind of substitute legislature. It’s also ridiculous to, as Jackson and Fletcher did in oral argument, assume that the government is the only possible solution to every social ill. Do these hypothetically window-jumping children not have parents? Teachers? Older siblings? Neighbors? Would the social media companies not have an interest in preventing their products from being used to promote death, and wouldn’t that be an easy thing to explain publicly? Apparently, Jackson couldn’t conceive of any other solution to problems like these than government censorship, when our society has handled far bigger problems like war, pandemics, and foreign invasion without government censorship for 250 years! Voters Auditing Government Is Exactly How Our System Should Work Fletcher described it as a “problem” that in this case, “two states and five individuals are trying to use the Article III courts to audit all of the executive branch’s communications with and about social media platforms.” That’s called transparency, and it’s only a problem if the government is trying to escape accountability to voters for its actions. The people have a fundamental right to audit what their government is doing with public positions, institutions, and funds! How do we have government by consent of the governed if the people can have no idea what their government is doing? Under federal laws, all communications like those this lawsuit uncovered are public records. Yet these public records are really hard to get. The executive branch has been effectively nullifying open records laws by absurdly lengthening disclosure times — to as long as 636 days — increasingly forcing citizens to wage expensive lawsuits to get federal agencies to cough up records years beyond the legal deadline. Congress should pass a law forcing the automatic disclosure of all government communications with tech monopolies that don’t concern actual classified information and “national security” designations, which the government expands unlawfully to avoid transparency. No justice should support government secrecy about its speech pressure efforts outside of legitimate national security actions. Government Is So Big, It’s Always Coercive Fletcher’s argument also claimed to draw a line between government persuasion and government coercion. The size and minute harassment powers of our government long ago obliterated any such line, if it ever existed. Federal agencies now have the power to try citizens in non-Article III courts, outside constitutional protections for due process. Citizens can be bankrupted long before they finally get to appeal to a real court. That’s why most of them just do whatever the agencies say, even when it’s clearly unlawful. Federal agencies demand power over almost every facet of life, from puddles in people’s backyards to the temperature of cheese served in a tiny restaurant. If they put a target on any normal citizen’s back, he goes bankrupt after regulatory torture. As Franklin Roosevelt’s “brain trust” planned, government is now the “senior partner” of every business, giving every “request” from government officials automatic coercion power. Federal agencies have six ways from Sunday of getting back at a noncompliant company, from the EEOC to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency to Health and Human Services to Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and more. Use an accurate pronoun? Investigation. Hire “one too many” white guys? Investigation. TikTok legislation going through Congress right now would codify federal power to seize social media companies accused of being owned by foreign interests. Shortly after he acquired X, Elon Musk faced a regulatory shakedown costing him tens of millions, and more on the way. He has money like that, but the rest of us don’t. Speech from a private citizen does not have the threat of violence behind it. Speech from a government official, on the other hand, absolutely does and always has. Government officials have powers that other people don’t, and those powers are easily abused, which is exactly why we have a Constitution. SCOTUS needs to take this crucial context into account, making constitutional protections stronger because the government is far, far outside its constitutional bounds. Big tech companies’ very business model depends on government regulators and can be destroyed — or kneecapped — at the stroke of an activist president’s pen. Or, at least, that’s what the president said when Facebook and Twitter didn’t do what he wanted: Section 230 should “immediately be revoked.” This is a president who claims the executive power to unilaterally rewrite laws, ignore laws, and ignore Supreme Court decisions. It’s a president who issues orders as press releases so they go into effect months before they can even begin to be challenged in court. Constitutionally Protected Speech Isn’t Terrorism If justices buy the administration’s nice-guy pretenses of “concern about terrorism,” and “once in a lifetime pandemic measures,” they didn’t read the briefs in this case and see that is simply a cover for the U.S. government turning counterterrorism tools on its own citizens in an attempt to control election outcomes. This is precisely what the First Amendment was designed to check, and we Americans need our Supreme Court to understand that and act to protect us. Elections mean nothing when the government is secretly keeping voters from talking to each other. The Supreme Court may not be able to return the country to full constitutional government by eradicating the almost entirely unconstitutional administrative state. But it should enforce as many constitutional boundaries as possible on such agencies. That clearly includes prohibiting all of government from outsourcing to allegedly “private” organizations actions that would be illegal for the government to take. That includes not just coercive instructions to social media companies, but also developing social media censorship tools and organizations as cutouts for the rogue security state that is targeting peaceful citizens instead of actual terrorists. Even false speech is not domestic terrorism, and no clearheaded Supreme Court justice looking at the evidence could let the Biden administration weaponize antiterrorism measures to strip law-abiding Americans of our fundamental human rights. Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her ebooks include "Classic Books For Young Children," and "101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation." An 18-year education and politics reporter, Joy has testified before nearly two dozen legislatures on education policy and appeared on major media from Fox News to Ben Shapiro to Dennis Prager. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs who identifies as native American and gender natural. Her traditionally published books include "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books. https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/21/this-country-cannot-afford-a-weak-supreme-court-decision-on-internet-censorship/ Join ➡️ @MartinKulldorf
    THEFEDERALIST.COM
    This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship
    It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a 'hit list' of citizens to mute through secret pressure on tech monopolies.
    1 Comments 0 Shares 23993 Views
  • What a War Requires
    Yes, It's About Resources

    Dr Naomi Wolf

    Dear Readers, Dear Extended Family

    I am grateful that this Substack — which, if you read the comment section, is also one that is a home or meeting-place for many of the most interesting and idealistic people on the Internet — has 83,500 plus subscribers. That is almost the subscriber base of The New Republic. It had 737,000 plus views in the last 30 days — 249,000 plus more than the month prior. That is more views than the number of the audience of CNN.

    Every reader is equally precious to me. But you all count on me — you tell me this — to do all I can to affect national and even global outcomes. From the messages I receive, leaders from all walks of life do indeed read this Substack — and so it is having some impact on the public discussion and perhaps even on public outcomes.

    But this Substack has only a few more than 4000 paid subscribers.

    Why does this matter, more than to my personal finances?

    As you know, I believe — I think at this point it is incontrovertible - that a war is being waged upon us, one that will soon become a “hot war.” My husband Brian O’Shea, who cohosts the podcast “Unrestricted Invasion” with JJ Carrell, is documenting the positioning of military-age or gangland-age illegal-immigrant young men, in barracks-type situations in strategic points around the country. This week he went undercover to a budget hotel in Massachusetts, where security and the hotel staff sought to prevent him from filming what was happening inside in relation to scores of illegal incomers. He was subsequently followed by a maroon sedan that pulled up right as he was leaving the hotel; the drivers proceeded to wait til he was his car, and then followed him across three different exits til he shook them off.

    Brian was also confronted by security, and then followed, earlier this year, when he went to document a facility in Brooklyn, Floyd Bennett Field, an area with over 1000 flat acres of land, where illegal immigrants are being housed in military-style facilities. Illegal immigrants are being housed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, a sensitive strategic location for a possible attack on America, if there ever was one. Illegal immigrants, disproportionately fighting-age men, are being housed for months in hotels in midtown Manhattan, all basic expenses paid and with cleaning services.

    As they say, wake up and smell the coffee. This is not a domestic policy issue any longer — ie, what are these illegal immigrants getting that your legal immigrant parents or grandparents, your enslaved great-grandparents, did not get? To anyone who has ever been in a combat area, this set of situations depicts what is obviously a military or terrorist set of staging areas. Or, to be conservative, this set of landscapes has all the hallmarks of depicting military or terrorist staging areas.

    Meanwhile, the whips are being brought down on the shoulders of the last standing dissidents in the United States and globally. A Canadian court ordered psychologist and commentator Jordan Peterson to be forced into a re-education program. Literal Marxism. Ethical physician Dr Kulvinder Kaur Gill, who was critical of the mRNA injections, has been hit with a $1 million dollar fine after her libel suit in defense of her reputation, failed. She was forced to mobilize an online donations campaign in order not to lose her house. Under the guise of a credit review, as he points out, researcher and inventor of the mRNA vaccine Dr Robert Malone has been hit with a letter from payment processor Stripe, demanding his bank records. He was told that it will cost $100,000 to fight it. Other dissident voices on Substack, including conservative voices, are being hit in similar ways.

    Governor Hochul declared that National Guard would take on some civil policing roles in New York State, and she is appealing the court decision that prevented her from opening quarantine camps that could detain New Yorkers without trial or even without infection, indefinitely. If she prevails, and if the WHO treaty that declares WHO “pandemic” requirements superior to national or state law prevails in May, the National Guard (or the WHO’s own mercenaries) could show up at any New Yorker’s house, and this is the state where I live; and compel him or her to be transported to a detention facility, and that would be that.

    Why am I presenting all of this to you? Because things are getting very scary and we need your help.

    This Substack does not just provide personal income for me. It is the source of funds to meet costs for the independent news and opinion site DailyClout.io and for BillCam when our demands exceed our resources.

    Gloria Steinem says to look at your checkbook to see if you are walking your talk morally, and my checkbook speaks volumes. I had hoped by the age of 61, after decades of training for my profession, honing my craft as a writer, and fighting for humanity and for humane values, that I would be able to look at my checkbook records and see mostly expenses for travel, with other records perhaps of dinners in some lovely restaurants, an occasional nice dress or two, and funds devoted to caring for elderly relatives.

    But my primary expenditure is not for any of that. Most of the money I earn goes to scrambling to meet the extraordinary and unpredictable costs that running a war from the trenches of DailyClout can involve, and many of these high costs arise unpredictably. Remember, too, that those who use their own resources to oppose and harass us and me personally, include one of the biggest companies in the world, not to mention the United States government, including its justice arm — and state governments. One of our legal letters is against the Justice Department. One of our lawsuits is against the Biden administration, including the CDC.

    Though we are doing impressively well as a startup helmed by three people, and punching far above our weight, we have, as you know, bills that can top six figures for the various lawsuits we are waging on your behalf.

    To keep a dissident news startup — one that also crafts draft bills and passes them, as nonprofits cannot do, which activity involves traversing a minefield of FEC restrictions — so scrupulously kosher that it can’t be brought down by government tripwires, is itself a legal bill for tens of thousands.

    Though we are a lean machine, our technical costs are substantial. Our API, the feed from which our legislative technology that lets you see, share and act on any bill, costs thousands of dollars per quarter. Our developers have created tools — the latest being the extraordinary game changer LegiSector, at https://www.legisector.com (due to suppression, you need to cut and paste the whole url in order to see it) — that sweep away all obfuscation from state and federal legislation, and allow you to pass, share or stop bills from the ease of your own desktop, or even from your handheld. This is also a tens of thousands of dollars a year commitment. As we push to launch this revolutionary tool, Google appears to be suppressing it so thoroughly that it is difficult for us to let the world know that everything has changed now, as interviewers who have covered this tool are telling me, when it comes to legislative transparency. We need a marketing campaign in the tens of thousands to break through this censorship by another one of the biggest companies on Earth.

    It is my sleepless nights, no one else’s, that are involved in trying to figure out how.

    Then there are the fights to protect the reputation that allows me to lead this company and its mission and tools, forward; I was forced to spend tens of thousands on a lawsuit against Twitter for suppressing my (accurate, important) warnings about harms to women from the mRNA injections. My co-plaintiff? President Donald Trump. (Sadly I do not have the resources for legal representation, that my co-plaintiff does.)

    The point of all of the above is that staying credible, meaning fighting the constant government- and nonprofit-sponsored attacks on the credibility of my and my company’s reputations; staying on the right side of all government regulations, so that no harm can come to me or the company; fighting in the courts so that a precedent can be set to protect all Americans from the government leaning on private companies to destroy them — fighting Google’s algorithms with creative workarounds; fighting laws that constantly seek to imprison or bankrupt us — all of this, at times, as you know because I have shared it with you before, can take a terrible financial and psychic/energetic toll.

    It is tempting to just walk away and, to paraphrase Voltaire, “cultivate my own garden.”

    But to stay in these trenches and achieve it at all, all that so many of you tell me you are counting on, requires a robust and reliable stream of resources if we are to stay alive in this culture of lies and erasures.

    Think about the lives we have saved. Maybe yours or your loved ones. Think about whether anyone else’s technology lets you see and act on any state or Federal bill, or protect your investments; with both BillCam and LegiSector offering free searches.

    Think about whether anyone else is soliciting citizens’ input on draft model bills, hiring lawyers, drafting and passing them, in the way we do. Remember, nonprofits can give you a tax deduction, but they cannot lobby. They must stop short of actual political action with legislation and legislators. The fact that we aren’t a nonprofit allows us to lobby and draft and pass bills — a superpower — but makes it much harder for us to raise donation funding.

    Think about this Substack, for that matter. Did my writing help to balance and reassure you in this nightmarish struggle? Did it inform you of important issues that could affect your family? Did you find community and spiritual strength here?

    What would your world be like without my voice, or without DailyClout’s voice and tools and advocacy?

    There would be a lot more darkness, and you and your family’s position and knowledge base would be weakened. I do not think that is too strong a statement.

    If you want these voices and institutions to keep fighting this war, mine but also others’, there is no alternative but to support them with, dare I say it, your actual money.

    I know that many people cannot afford $8 a month. But many of the 83,000 subscribers who are now free, could afford to upgrade to the status of paid subscriber. And the difference between 4 per cent of my readers being paid subscribers and eight per cent being paid subscribers, is the difference between a precarious and easily extinguished position on the battlefield, versus a more secure one that can continue winning victory after victory for you.

    And I will tell you, speaking both as a writer and on behalf of a dissident company, without your financial support it is not only materially unsustainable to fight on, but emotionally unsustainable, as the battles grow more serious and more costly. Without your help, over time, the strain of trying to figure out, during many months, how to pay our lawyers, as well as our API invoices and our developers and our travel to statehouses to lobby for freedom for you, will simply become too great.

    We need your help in spiritual and emotional as well as in material ways.

    You should support us not as a charity but because our our approach works. Because of our draft Five Freedoms bill, which passed in 33 states in 2021, you do not have vaccine passports in the US, and kids went back to school earlier than they might have done. Our Election Integrity bill, which you all shared, has cosponsors in Wyoming, was introduced and defeated in Maine (but a successor has been tapped to re-introduce it in the Fall), and three other states, Michigan, Alabama and North Dakota, have citizens and legislators acting to push it forward. The Pfizer Papers comes out in May. The manuscript, which Amy Kelly and I edited, is 500 pages long. We edited 96 reports from the WarRoom/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Research Team, who in turn had reviewed 450,000 pages of internal Pfizer documents. They revealed the greatest crime against humanity in history in exhaustive detail, affecting people and governments worldwide. Their work is cited or used without citation by dozens of other freedom advocates, and legislators. And booster uptake is now down to 4%; Pfizer’s profits ground to pre-2016 levels.

    We saved, together, with your help, what may turn out to be millions of lives and countless unborn babies.

    But to continue, I need your help; seriously; now just now but into the future.

    If you can afford, it, and if the above is meaningful to you at all, do please upgrade your subscription from free to paid.

    The war is here, and you need warriors fighting for you, who are not barefoot in the snow, but who have warm clothing, and weapons, and ammunition.

    https://naomiwolf.substack.com/p/what-a-war-requires
    What a War Requires Yes, It's About Resources Dr Naomi Wolf Dear Readers, Dear Extended Family I am grateful that this Substack — which, if you read the comment section, is also one that is a home or meeting-place for many of the most interesting and idealistic people on the Internet — has 83,500 plus subscribers. That is almost the subscriber base of The New Republic. It had 737,000 plus views in the last 30 days — 249,000 plus more than the month prior. That is more views than the number of the audience of CNN. Every reader is equally precious to me. But you all count on me — you tell me this — to do all I can to affect national and even global outcomes. From the messages I receive, leaders from all walks of life do indeed read this Substack — and so it is having some impact on the public discussion and perhaps even on public outcomes. But this Substack has only a few more than 4000 paid subscribers. Why does this matter, more than to my personal finances? As you know, I believe — I think at this point it is incontrovertible - that a war is being waged upon us, one that will soon become a “hot war.” My husband Brian O’Shea, who cohosts the podcast “Unrestricted Invasion” with JJ Carrell, is documenting the positioning of military-age or gangland-age illegal-immigrant young men, in barracks-type situations in strategic points around the country. This week he went undercover to a budget hotel in Massachusetts, where security and the hotel staff sought to prevent him from filming what was happening inside in relation to scores of illegal incomers. He was subsequently followed by a maroon sedan that pulled up right as he was leaving the hotel; the drivers proceeded to wait til he was his car, and then followed him across three different exits til he shook them off. Brian was also confronted by security, and then followed, earlier this year, when he went to document a facility in Brooklyn, Floyd Bennett Field, an area with over 1000 flat acres of land, where illegal immigrants are being housed in military-style facilities. Illegal immigrants are being housed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, a sensitive strategic location for a possible attack on America, if there ever was one. Illegal immigrants, disproportionately fighting-age men, are being housed for months in hotels in midtown Manhattan, all basic expenses paid and with cleaning services. As they say, wake up and smell the coffee. This is not a domestic policy issue any longer — ie, what are these illegal immigrants getting that your legal immigrant parents or grandparents, your enslaved great-grandparents, did not get? To anyone who has ever been in a combat area, this set of situations depicts what is obviously a military or terrorist set of staging areas. Or, to be conservative, this set of landscapes has all the hallmarks of depicting military or terrorist staging areas. Meanwhile, the whips are being brought down on the shoulders of the last standing dissidents in the United States and globally. A Canadian court ordered psychologist and commentator Jordan Peterson to be forced into a re-education program. Literal Marxism. Ethical physician Dr Kulvinder Kaur Gill, who was critical of the mRNA injections, has been hit with a $1 million dollar fine after her libel suit in defense of her reputation, failed. She was forced to mobilize an online donations campaign in order not to lose her house. Under the guise of a credit review, as he points out, researcher and inventor of the mRNA vaccine Dr Robert Malone has been hit with a letter from payment processor Stripe, demanding his bank records. He was told that it will cost $100,000 to fight it. Other dissident voices on Substack, including conservative voices, are being hit in similar ways. Governor Hochul declared that National Guard would take on some civil policing roles in New York State, and she is appealing the court decision that prevented her from opening quarantine camps that could detain New Yorkers without trial or even without infection, indefinitely. If she prevails, and if the WHO treaty that declares WHO “pandemic” requirements superior to national or state law prevails in May, the National Guard (or the WHO’s own mercenaries) could show up at any New Yorker’s house, and this is the state where I live; and compel him or her to be transported to a detention facility, and that would be that. Why am I presenting all of this to you? Because things are getting very scary and we need your help. This Substack does not just provide personal income for me. It is the source of funds to meet costs for the independent news and opinion site DailyClout.io and for BillCam when our demands exceed our resources. Gloria Steinem says to look at your checkbook to see if you are walking your talk morally, and my checkbook speaks volumes. I had hoped by the age of 61, after decades of training for my profession, honing my craft as a writer, and fighting for humanity and for humane values, that I would be able to look at my checkbook records and see mostly expenses for travel, with other records perhaps of dinners in some lovely restaurants, an occasional nice dress or two, and funds devoted to caring for elderly relatives. But my primary expenditure is not for any of that. Most of the money I earn goes to scrambling to meet the extraordinary and unpredictable costs that running a war from the trenches of DailyClout can involve, and many of these high costs arise unpredictably. Remember, too, that those who use their own resources to oppose and harass us and me personally, include one of the biggest companies in the world, not to mention the United States government, including its justice arm — and state governments. One of our legal letters is against the Justice Department. One of our lawsuits is against the Biden administration, including the CDC. Though we are doing impressively well as a startup helmed by three people, and punching far above our weight, we have, as you know, bills that can top six figures for the various lawsuits we are waging on your behalf. To keep a dissident news startup — one that also crafts draft bills and passes them, as nonprofits cannot do, which activity involves traversing a minefield of FEC restrictions — so scrupulously kosher that it can’t be brought down by government tripwires, is itself a legal bill for tens of thousands. Though we are a lean machine, our technical costs are substantial. Our API, the feed from which our legislative technology that lets you see, share and act on any bill, costs thousands of dollars per quarter. Our developers have created tools — the latest being the extraordinary game changer LegiSector, at https://www.legisector.com (due to suppression, you need to cut and paste the whole url in order to see it) — that sweep away all obfuscation from state and federal legislation, and allow you to pass, share or stop bills from the ease of your own desktop, or even from your handheld. This is also a tens of thousands of dollars a year commitment. As we push to launch this revolutionary tool, Google appears to be suppressing it so thoroughly that it is difficult for us to let the world know that everything has changed now, as interviewers who have covered this tool are telling me, when it comes to legislative transparency. We need a marketing campaign in the tens of thousands to break through this censorship by another one of the biggest companies on Earth. It is my sleepless nights, no one else’s, that are involved in trying to figure out how. Then there are the fights to protect the reputation that allows me to lead this company and its mission and tools, forward; I was forced to spend tens of thousands on a lawsuit against Twitter for suppressing my (accurate, important) warnings about harms to women from the mRNA injections. My co-plaintiff? President Donald Trump. (Sadly I do not have the resources for legal representation, that my co-plaintiff does.) The point of all of the above is that staying credible, meaning fighting the constant government- and nonprofit-sponsored attacks on the credibility of my and my company’s reputations; staying on the right side of all government regulations, so that no harm can come to me or the company; fighting in the courts so that a precedent can be set to protect all Americans from the government leaning on private companies to destroy them — fighting Google’s algorithms with creative workarounds; fighting laws that constantly seek to imprison or bankrupt us — all of this, at times, as you know because I have shared it with you before, can take a terrible financial and psychic/energetic toll. It is tempting to just walk away and, to paraphrase Voltaire, “cultivate my own garden.” But to stay in these trenches and achieve it at all, all that so many of you tell me you are counting on, requires a robust and reliable stream of resources if we are to stay alive in this culture of lies and erasures. Think about the lives we have saved. Maybe yours or your loved ones. Think about whether anyone else’s technology lets you see and act on any state or Federal bill, or protect your investments; with both BillCam and LegiSector offering free searches. Think about whether anyone else is soliciting citizens’ input on draft model bills, hiring lawyers, drafting and passing them, in the way we do. Remember, nonprofits can give you a tax deduction, but they cannot lobby. They must stop short of actual political action with legislation and legislators. The fact that we aren’t a nonprofit allows us to lobby and draft and pass bills — a superpower — but makes it much harder for us to raise donation funding. Think about this Substack, for that matter. Did my writing help to balance and reassure you in this nightmarish struggle? Did it inform you of important issues that could affect your family? Did you find community and spiritual strength here? What would your world be like without my voice, or without DailyClout’s voice and tools and advocacy? There would be a lot more darkness, and you and your family’s position and knowledge base would be weakened. I do not think that is too strong a statement. If you want these voices and institutions to keep fighting this war, mine but also others’, there is no alternative but to support them with, dare I say it, your actual money. I know that many people cannot afford $8 a month. But many of the 83,000 subscribers who are now free, could afford to upgrade to the status of paid subscriber. And the difference between 4 per cent of my readers being paid subscribers and eight per cent being paid subscribers, is the difference between a precarious and easily extinguished position on the battlefield, versus a more secure one that can continue winning victory after victory for you. And I will tell you, speaking both as a writer and on behalf of a dissident company, without your financial support it is not only materially unsustainable to fight on, but emotionally unsustainable, as the battles grow more serious and more costly. Without your help, over time, the strain of trying to figure out, during many months, how to pay our lawyers, as well as our API invoices and our developers and our travel to statehouses to lobby for freedom for you, will simply become too great. We need your help in spiritual and emotional as well as in material ways. You should support us not as a charity but because our our approach works. Because of our draft Five Freedoms bill, which passed in 33 states in 2021, you do not have vaccine passports in the US, and kids went back to school earlier than they might have done. Our Election Integrity bill, which you all shared, has cosponsors in Wyoming, was introduced and defeated in Maine (but a successor has been tapped to re-introduce it in the Fall), and three other states, Michigan, Alabama and North Dakota, have citizens and legislators acting to push it forward. The Pfizer Papers comes out in May. The manuscript, which Amy Kelly and I edited, is 500 pages long. We edited 96 reports from the WarRoom/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Research Team, who in turn had reviewed 450,000 pages of internal Pfizer documents. They revealed the greatest crime against humanity in history in exhaustive detail, affecting people and governments worldwide. Their work is cited or used without citation by dozens of other freedom advocates, and legislators. And booster uptake is now down to 4%; Pfizer’s profits ground to pre-2016 levels. We saved, together, with your help, what may turn out to be millions of lives and countless unborn babies. But to continue, I need your help; seriously; now just now but into the future. If you can afford, it, and if the above is meaningful to you at all, do please upgrade your subscription from free to paid. The war is here, and you need warriors fighting for you, who are not barefoot in the snow, but who have warm clothing, and weapons, and ammunition. https://naomiwolf.substack.com/p/what-a-war-requires
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    1 Comments 0 Shares 29704 Views 0
  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    WWW.JEWISHVOICEFORLABOUR.ORG.UK
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    Graham Bash reviews this groundbreaking personal and political memoir by Avi Shlaim in which he laments the lost world of…
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  • Gaza Government Media Office publishes an update on the most important statistics of the genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, Thursday, March 14, 2024:

    (160) days since the genocidal war.
    (2,761) massacres committed by the occupation army.
    (38,341) martyrs and missing persons.
    (31,341) martyrs who arrived in hospitals.
    (13,790) child martyrs.
    (27) children were martyred as a result of famine.
    (9,100) female martyrs.
    (364) martyrs from medical teams.
    (48) Civil Defense martyrs.
    (133) martyred journalists.
    (7,000) missing.
    (73,134) infected.
    (72%) of the victims are children and women.
    (17,000) children live without their parents or one of them.
    (11,000) wounded people need to travel for “life-saving and dangerous” treatment.
    (10,000) cancer patients face the risk of death.
    (700,000) infected with infectious diseases as a result of displacement.
    (8,000) cases of viral hepatitis infection due to displacement.
    (60,000) pregnant women are at risk due to lack of health care.
    (350,000) chronic patients are at risk due to non-administration of medications.
    (269) cases of arrest of health personnel.
    (10) cases of arrest of journalists whose names are known.
    (2) million displaced people in the Gaza Strip.
    (166) government headquarters destroyed by the occupation.
    (100) schools and universities were completely destroyed by the occupation.
    (305) schools and universities partially destroyed by the occupation.
    (223) mosques were completely destroyed by the occupation.
    (289) mosques partially destroyed by the occupation.
    (3) Churches targeted and destroyed by the occupation.
    (70,000) housing units were completely destroyed by the occupation.
    (290,000) housing units that were partially destroyed by the occupation and uninhabitable.
    (70,000) tons of explosives dropped by the occupation on Gaza.
    (32) hospitals that were taken out of service by the occupation.
    (53) health centers that the occupation put out of service.
    (155) health institutions targeted by the occupation.
    (126) ambulances targeted by the occupation.
    (200) archaeological and heritage sites destroyed by the occupation.
    Gaza Government Media Office publishes an update on the most important statistics of the genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, Thursday, March 14, 2024: ▪️ (160) days since the genocidal war. ▪️ (2,761) massacres committed by the occupation army. ▪️ (38,341) martyrs and missing persons. ▪️ (31,341) martyrs who arrived in hospitals. ▪️ (13,790) child martyrs. ▪️ (27) children were martyred as a result of famine. ▪️ (9,100) female martyrs. ▪️ (364) martyrs from medical teams. ▪️ (48) Civil Defense martyrs. ▪️ (133) martyred journalists. ▪️ (7,000) missing. ▪️ (73,134) infected. ▪️ (72%) of the victims are children and women. ▪️ (17,000) children live without their parents or one of them. ▪️ (11,000) wounded people need to travel for “life-saving and dangerous” treatment. ▪️ (10,000) cancer patients face the risk of death. ▪️ (700,000) infected with infectious diseases as a result of displacement. ▪️ (8,000) cases of viral hepatitis infection due to displacement. ▪️ (60,000) pregnant women are at risk due to lack of health care. ▪️ (350,000) chronic patients are at risk due to non-administration of medications. ▪️ (269) cases of arrest of health personnel. ▪️ (10) cases of arrest of journalists whose names are known. ▪️ (2) million displaced people in the Gaza Strip. ▪️ (166) government headquarters destroyed by the occupation. ▪️ (100) schools and universities were completely destroyed by the occupation. ▪️ (305) schools and universities partially destroyed by the occupation. ▪️ (223) mosques were completely destroyed by the occupation. ▪️ (289) mosques partially destroyed by the occupation. ▪️ (3) Churches targeted and destroyed by the occupation. ▪️ (70,000) housing units were completely destroyed by the occupation. ▪️ (290,000) housing units that were partially destroyed by the occupation and uninhabitable. ▪️ (70,000) tons of explosives dropped by the occupation on Gaza. ▪️ (32) hospitals that were taken out of service by the occupation. ▪️ (53) health centers that the occupation put out of service. ▪️ (155) health institutions targeted by the occupation. ▪️ (126) ambulances targeted by the occupation. ▪️ (200) archaeological and heritage sites destroyed by the occupation.
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  • TUCKER CARLSON: “How can world governments kill more than 10 million people and leave some large undetermined number disabled for life? And not say a word about it. Not apologize. Not work to fix it. Not work to make the families whole. I mean, just leave it by the side of the road like a corpse and keep marching. I don’t understand that. How can that happen?

    STEVE KIRSCH: “Believe me, I’m surprised, as well. You know, I can’t get an audience with anybody in the United States Congress. Except for Senator Ron Johnson. Like, I can’t have a dialogue. They won’t talk to me. Nobody wants to know. They don’t want to know the truth. It’s like autism in this country. You know, autism has been around for a very long time. And we’ve known from the statistics that vaccines cause autism. It’s the leading cause of autism. Now, can we even get a discussion about that?”

    TUCKER CARLSON: “May I? May I ask you to pause that? I mean, the statement you just made is verboten. I mean, no person who wanted to say work at the Atlantic magazine or who takes the New York Times on a daily basis would ever say something like that because you’re not allowed to say that. Tell us why you say that?”

    STEVE KIRSCH: “Because it’s true. I’ve collected my own data just independently, to look at, at the connection between vaccines and autism. And it’s amazing. I had over 10,000 parents, tell me about their kids. And I said, hey, tell me about your kids. Tell me how many vaccines they got, and tell me if they have autism. Tell me if they have ADHD. You know, just tell me about your kids. Tell me about the medical conditions. And tell me about how many shots they get. And it’s a straight line. The more shots you get, the more likely you are to get autism. And it’s the same thing for ADHD. It’s the same thing for PANDAS. It’s the same thing for autoimmune diseases. I mean that it is basically the more shots you get, the less healthy the kids are.”

    https://x.com/vigilantfox/status/1761435501943312491?s=46
    TUCKER CARLSON: “How can world governments kill more than 10 million people and leave some large undetermined number disabled for life? And not say a word about it. Not apologize. Not work to fix it. Not work to make the families whole. I mean, just leave it by the side of the road like a corpse and keep marching. I don’t understand that. How can that happen? STEVE KIRSCH: “Believe me, I’m surprised, as well. You know, I can’t get an audience with anybody in the United States Congress. Except for Senator Ron Johnson. Like, I can’t have a dialogue. They won’t talk to me. Nobody wants to know. They don’t want to know the truth. It’s like autism in this country. You know, autism has been around for a very long time. And we’ve known from the statistics that vaccines cause autism. It’s the leading cause of autism. Now, can we even get a discussion about that?” TUCKER CARLSON: “May I? May I ask you to pause that? I mean, the statement you just made is verboten. I mean, no person who wanted to say work at the Atlantic magazine or who takes the New York Times on a daily basis would ever say something like that because you’re not allowed to say that. Tell us why you say that?” STEVE KIRSCH: “Because it’s true. I’ve collected my own data just independently, to look at, at the connection between vaccines and autism. And it’s amazing. I had over 10,000 parents, tell me about their kids. And I said, hey, tell me about your kids. Tell me how many vaccines they got, and tell me if they have autism. Tell me if they have ADHD. You know, just tell me about your kids. Tell me about the medical conditions. And tell me about how many shots they get. And it’s a straight line. The more shots you get, the more likely you are to get autism. And it’s the same thing for ADHD. It’s the same thing for PANDAS. It’s the same thing for autoimmune diseases. I mean that it is basically the more shots you get, the less healthy the kids are.” https://x.com/vigilantfox/status/1761435501943312491?s=46
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