• Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty?
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read
    The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states:

    No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO,

    referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to.

    A rational examination of the texts in question shows that:

    The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact.
    The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied.
    The proposals are intended to be binding under international law.
    Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics.

    The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications.

    The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here.

    The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making

    Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty.

    The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18):

    require medical examinations;
    review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis;
    require vaccination or other prophylaxis;
    place suspect persons under public health observation;
    implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons;
    implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons;
    implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons;
    refuse entry of suspect and affected persons;
    refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and
    implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas.
    These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9).
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20).
    The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21).
    Everyone has the right to work (Article 23).
    Everyone has the right to education (Article 26).
    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28).
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30).
    These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva.

    The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on

    Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1),
    Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A).
    States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response.

    As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements.

    States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42):
    Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures.

    Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it.

    Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty.

    All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.”

    It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction.

    If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span.

    Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using.

    The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty

    The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12):

    In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers.

    And Article 20 (1):

    …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source.

    The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b).

    Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary.

    In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens.

    As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18):

    …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation…

    As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO.

    The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended.

    It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool).

    Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding?

    Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates.

    The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022:

    We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…,

    repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration:

    …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024,

    and by the Council of the European Union:

    A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics.

    The IHR already has standing under international law.

    While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect.

    The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain.

    The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty

    The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies.

    If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent.

    The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign.

    The Need for Clarification

    The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs.

    No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day).

    So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Authors

    David Bell
    David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA.

    View all posts
    Thi Thuy Van Dinh
    Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings.

    View all posts
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    https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states: No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO, referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to. A rational examination of the texts in question shows that: The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics. The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications. The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here. The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty. The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18): require medical examinations; review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis; require vaccination or other prophylaxis; place suspect persons under public health observation; implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons; implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons; implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons; refuse entry of suspect and affected persons; refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas. These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9). No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12). Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13). Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19). Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20). The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21). Everyone has the right to work (Article 23). Everyone has the right to education (Article 26). Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28). Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30). These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva. The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1), Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A). States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response. As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements. States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42): Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures. Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it. Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty. All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.” It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction. If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span. Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using. The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12): In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers. And Article 20 (1): …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source. The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b). Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary. In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens. As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18): …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation… As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO. The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended. It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool). Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding? Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates. The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022: We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…, repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration: …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024, and by the Council of the European Union: A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. The IHR already has standing under international law. While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect. The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain. The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies. If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent. The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign. The Need for Clarification The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs. No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day). So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Authors David Bell David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA. View all posts Thi Thuy Van Dinh Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    If it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach.
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  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e6UZa8-4oY
    “O Sole Mio” – a timeless Neapolitan melody that dances on the strings of a classical guitar and soars through the air with the pure, emotive power of a soprano’s voice. This iconic song, steeped in the warmth of the Italian sun, invites listeners to bask in the glow of its passionate performance. 🎶☀️🎸
    #ClassicalGuitarist #OperaSinger #MusicIsLife #GuitarCover #ClassicalMusicians #SopranoVoice c #ItalianMusic #GuitarMusic #GuitarWorld #Operatic #MusicPerformance #VocalMusic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e6UZa8-4oY “O Sole Mio” – a timeless Neapolitan melody that dances on the strings of a classical guitar and soars through the air with the pure, emotive power of a soprano’s voice. This iconic song, steeped in the warmth of the Italian sun, invites listeners to bask in the glow of its passionate performance. 🎶☀️🎸 #ClassicalGuitarist #OperaSinger #MusicIsLife #GuitarCover #ClassicalMusicians #SopranoVoice c #ItalianMusic #GuitarMusic #GuitarWorld #Operatic #MusicPerformance #VocalMusic
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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 8372 Views 0
  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024
    Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images)
    A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages)
    Casualties

    31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to 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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    Key Developments

    Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza.
    Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza.
    Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee.
    In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf.
    Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns.
    Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family.
    Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents.
    Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament.
    Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report.
    Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.”
    Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery

    Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening.

    Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza.

    Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp.

    Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food.

    The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush.

    In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee.

    Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza

    In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it.

    On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.”

    Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza.

    Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies.

    However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel.

    One kilogram of flour for every 25 people

    Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs.

    Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms.

    “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent.

    “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added.

    Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate

    A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.”

    Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added.

    Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

    Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs.

    Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones.

    “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.”

    Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.”

    Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions.

    “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said.

    “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN.

    “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added.

    Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured.

    Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported.

    In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment.

    In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house.

    Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel

    The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive.

    “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate.

    Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.”

    An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border.

    Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories.

    Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.”

    Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions

    Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday.

    He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities.

    The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”.

    The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time.

    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank

    Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon.

    Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody.

    Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening.

    In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus.

    Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa reported.

    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-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/


    👉https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024 Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images) A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages) Casualties 31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to 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 Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Key Developments Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza. Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza. Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee. In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf. Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns. Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family. Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents. Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament. Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.” Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening. Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza. Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp. Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food. The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush. In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee. Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it. On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.” Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza. Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies. However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel. One kilogram of flour for every 25 people Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs. Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms. “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent. “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added. Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.” Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added. Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs. Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones. “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.” Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.” Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions. “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said. “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN. “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added. Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured. Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported. In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment. In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house. Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive. “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.” An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border. Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories. Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.” Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday. He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities. The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”. The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon. Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody. Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening. In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus. Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa reported. 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-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/ 👉https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Hamas slams Israel for “spreading chaos” after an Israeli airstrike killed two local police officers in charge of securing and delivering food to north Gaza. In the West Bank, Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians.
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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/
    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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  • Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    Connor Echols12 March, 2024
    GettyImages-164224706.jpg
    This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft

    Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year?

    The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers.

    In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid.

    The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials.

    "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law"

    But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access.

    When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law.

    “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Giorgio Cafiero

    This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials.

    These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war.

    Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells.

    Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty]
    “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law."

    State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress.

    “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”.

    The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

    "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country"

    Exceptions make the rules

    When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot?

    This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”.

    US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience.

    Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Hanna Davis

    “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict.

    This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support.

    When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”.

    For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul.

    The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against.

    Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty]
    The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally.

    In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum.

    At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment.

    "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours"

    'As supportive as possible'

    When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”.

    The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time.

    “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.”

    RELATED

    In-depth

    Jessica Buxbaum

    Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress.

    Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell.

    “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said.

    Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter.

    Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols

    https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives


    https://telegra.ph/Bombs-guns-treasure-What-Israel-wants-the-US-gives-03-20
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives Connor Echols12 March, 2024 GettyImages-164224706.jpg This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year? The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers. In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid. The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials. "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law" But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law. “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile. RELATED Analysis Giorgio Cafiero This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials. These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war. Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty] “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law." State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress. “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country" Exceptions make the rules When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot? This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”. US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience. Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled. RELATED Analysis Hanna Davis “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict. This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support. When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”. For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul. The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty] The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally. In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum. At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment. "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours" 'As supportive as possible' When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”. The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time. “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.” RELATED In-depth Jessica Buxbaum Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress. Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell. “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said. Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter. Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives https://telegra.ph/Bombs-guns-treasure-What-Israel-wants-the-US-gives-03-20
    WWW.NEWARAB.COM
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    In-depth: Israel's exceptional status in US arms policy and law ensures that unending military aid is shielded from scrutiny over human rights abuses.
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  • Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    Connor Echols12 March, 2024
    GettyImages-164224706.jpg
    This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft

    Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year?

    The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers.

    In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid.

    The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials.

    "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law"

    But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access.

    When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law.

    “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Giorgio Cafiero

    This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials.

    These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war.

    Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells.

    Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty]
    “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law."

    State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress.

    “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”.

    The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

    "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country"

    Exceptions make the rules

    When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot?

    This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”.

    US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience.

    Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Hanna Davis

    “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict.

    This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support.

    When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”.

    For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul.

    The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against.

    Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty]
    The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally.

    In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum.

    At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment.

    "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours"

    'As supportive as possible'

    When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”.

    The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time.

    “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.”

    RELATED

    In-depth

    Jessica Buxbaum

    Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress.

    Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell.

    “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said.

    Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter.

    Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols

    https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives Connor Echols12 March, 2024 GettyImages-164224706.jpg This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year? The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers. In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid. The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials. "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law" But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law. “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile. RELATED Analysis Giorgio Cafiero This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials. These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war. Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty] “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law." State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress. “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country" Exceptions make the rules When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot? This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”. US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience. Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled. RELATED Analysis Hanna Davis “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict. This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support. When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”. For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul. The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty] The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally. In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum. At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment. "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours" 'As supportive as possible' When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”. The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time. “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.” RELATED In-depth Jessica Buxbaum Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress. Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell. “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said. Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter. Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives
    WWW.NEWARAB.COM
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    In-depth: Israel's exceptional status in US arms policy and law ensures that unending military aid is shielded from scrutiny over human rights abuses.
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  • Subject: Fw: Dr Mike Yeadon: Introductory statement about serious crimes per Mark Sexton communication
    To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
    Cc: Mark Sexton

    Dear Ben Bates,

    I have been asked by former policeman, Mark Sexton (copied) to introduce myself to you & to indicate the fields in which I have unequivocal evidence of criminal activity.

    Let me begin my outlining my credentials to have realised that the areas I will outline were incorrect in the first place.

    My name is Dr Mike Yeadon. I am the most senior, former “big pharma” & biotech research executive speaking out about several serious crimes in relation to what I call the “Covid era”.

    My original training was in Biochemistry & Toxicology, in which I was awarded the strongest first class joint honours degree that the School of Biomedical Sciences had ever awarded at the time (1985, University of Surrey).

    Part of my undergraduate training involved research placements at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, Wiltshire, where I was a small cog in the long term development of injected antidotes for nerve gas poisoning to protect British troops. I also worked at the then Central Laboratory of the Forensic Sciences Service, Aldermaston, Berkshire, adjacent to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. While with the Forensic Science Service, I received training on several precision analytical methods including mass spectrometry, then a highly technically complex method.
    As far as I recall, I had security clearance for both establishments. Porton Down, then as now, is a top security facility with an international reputation.

    My PhD, in the field of Pharmacology was “On the effect of opiates on respiratory function” (1988) and this was sponsored by the MOD.

    After securing my PhD, which gave me a sound training in several additional subdisciplines of biology, chemistry & drug metabolism, I joined the pharmaceutical industry.

    I spent 24years with “big pharma”, starting at Wellcome Research Laboratories, where I briefly worked alongside a Dr Patrick Vallance (who became Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government).

    For the longest period, I was in charge of Pfizer’s global research in the field of Allergic & Respiratory Disease Therapeutics. I left Pfizer in 2011, having reached the level of Vice President, because the company had decided to exit their large R&D base in Kent. The parting was cordial. Before leaving, I sought to find new homes for the portfolio of exploratory medicines I had helped create & was gratified that Mylan U.K. Ltd, the world’s second largest generics company, acquired much of my former portfolio soon after I had left.

    I later founded & lead as CEO a highly successful biotechnology company, Ziarco Pharma Ltd. Pfizer and four other venture capital firms were investors in my company, which was acquired by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, in 2017.

    My accomplishments are considered by some to have been unusual. So much so that a former Pfizer board member & previously worldwide head of R&D, Dr John LaMattina, wrote up my last venture in Forbes, a leading business magazine (February 2017).
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnlamattina/2017/03/15/turning-pfizer-discards-into-novartis-gold-the-story-of-ziarco/

    In summary, I have had a very strong training in multiple disciplines and over 30 years leadership experience in the field of inventing and testing new medicines for respiratory illnesses. I have an excellent analytical background and I can claim to be at least the equal of anyone advising the government in science.

    I have no history of “conspiracy theory” or political campaigns or protests. I don’t believe I made a single public comment on anything prior to 2020.

    My accomplishments in applied biomedical sciences qualify me to be taken seriously.
    I ask that the evidence I marshall is evaluated thoroughly. I am confident in my assessments, which have been tested by dozens of others, internationally well known scientists and doctors.

    👉 https://t.me/DrMikeYeadon
    Subject: Fw: Dr Mike Yeadon: Introductory statement about serious crimes per Mark Sexton communication To: [email protected] <[email protected]> Cc: Mark Sexton Dear Ben Bates, I have been asked by former policeman, Mark Sexton (copied) to introduce myself to you & to indicate the fields in which I have unequivocal evidence of criminal activity. Let me begin my outlining my credentials to have realised that the areas I will outline were incorrect in the first place. My name is Dr Mike Yeadon. I am the most senior, former “big pharma” & biotech research executive speaking out about several serious crimes in relation to what I call the “Covid era”. My original training was in Biochemistry & Toxicology, in which I was awarded the strongest first class joint honours degree that the School of Biomedical Sciences had ever awarded at the time (1985, University of Surrey). Part of my undergraduate training involved research placements at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, Wiltshire, where I was a small cog in the long term development of injected antidotes for nerve gas poisoning to protect British troops. I also worked at the then Central Laboratory of the Forensic Sciences Service, Aldermaston, Berkshire, adjacent to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. While with the Forensic Science Service, I received training on several precision analytical methods including mass spectrometry, then a highly technically complex method. As far as I recall, I had security clearance for both establishments. Porton Down, then as now, is a top security facility with an international reputation. My PhD, in the field of Pharmacology was “On the effect of opiates on respiratory function” (1988) and this was sponsored by the MOD. After securing my PhD, which gave me a sound training in several additional subdisciplines of biology, chemistry & drug metabolism, I joined the pharmaceutical industry. I spent 24years with “big pharma”, starting at Wellcome Research Laboratories, where I briefly worked alongside a Dr Patrick Vallance (who became Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government). For the longest period, I was in charge of Pfizer’s global research in the field of Allergic & Respiratory Disease Therapeutics. I left Pfizer in 2011, having reached the level of Vice President, because the company had decided to exit their large R&D base in Kent. The parting was cordial. Before leaving, I sought to find new homes for the portfolio of exploratory medicines I had helped create & was gratified that Mylan U.K. Ltd, the world’s second largest generics company, acquired much of my former portfolio soon after I had left. I later founded & lead as CEO a highly successful biotechnology company, Ziarco Pharma Ltd. Pfizer and four other venture capital firms were investors in my company, which was acquired by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, in 2017. My accomplishments are considered by some to have been unusual. So much so that a former Pfizer board member & previously worldwide head of R&D, Dr John LaMattina, wrote up my last venture in Forbes, a leading business magazine (February 2017). https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnlamattina/2017/03/15/turning-pfizer-discards-into-novartis-gold-the-story-of-ziarco/ In summary, I have had a very strong training in multiple disciplines and over 30 years leadership experience in the field of inventing and testing new medicines for respiratory illnesses. I have an excellent analytical background and I can claim to be at least the equal of anyone advising the government in science. I have no history of “conspiracy theory” or political campaigns or protests. I don’t believe I made a single public comment on anything prior to 2020. My accomplishments in applied biomedical sciences qualify me to be taken seriously. I ask that the evidence I marshall is evaluated thoroughly. I am confident in my assessments, which have been tested by dozens of others, internationally well known scientists and doctors. 👉 https://t.me/DrMikeYeadon
    WWW.FORBES.COM
    Turning Pfizer Discards Into Novartis Gold: The Story Of Ziarco
    Mike was told in the fall of 2010 that Pfizer was closing the Allergy & Respiratory diseases programs and his own role as the CSO of this group was being eliminated. Rather than seek employment elsewhere, Mike had others ideas.
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  • https://vocal.media/fiction/the-country-road-walk #fiction #shortstory #nature #Jesus
    https://vocal.media/fiction/the-country-road-walk #fiction #shortstory #nature #Jesus
    VOCAL.MEDIA
    The Country Road Walk
    The man walked through a scorner's derision down a winding country road.
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    2
    0 Comments 0 Shares 1681 Views
  • https://vocal.media/poets/the-inner-cleansing #poem #poetry #creativewriting
    https://vocal.media/poets/the-inner-cleansing #poem #poetry #creativewriting
    VOCAL.MEDIA
    The Inner Cleansing
    Finding the words that remain.
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    0 Comments 0 Shares 638 Views
  • https://vocal.media/writers/new-beginnings-at-vocal-in-2024 #Vocal #writingcommunity
    https://vocal.media/writers/new-beginnings-at-vocal-in-2024 #Vocal #writingcommunity
    VOCAL.MEDIA
    New Beginnings at Vocal in 2024
    Another writer commits, how will it turn out?
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  • The Cyber Threat Intelligence League
    Claudio RestaJanuary 18, 2024

    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    There is a vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors:



    US military contractor Pablo Breuer (left), UK defense researcher Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp (center), and Chris Krebs, former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA)

    – Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and organizations non-profit – seeks to control and criminalize “wrong thinking”.
    – The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media.
    They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, and the discrediting of dissidents “as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship in their comparisons.”
    – Documents show that the weaponization of the financial sector originated with the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL), which specifically sought to get banks to “cut off financial services to individuals organizing gatherings or events.”
    – CTIL files also show that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector. According to the informant, “the ethic was that if we get away with it, it’s legal.”

    Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and non-profit organizations – regulates and criminalizes “wrong thinking”.


    as Ursula Van der Leyen, the president of European Commission since 2019,

    stated at the WEF in Davos on January 17th, 2023 similar censorship are the most urgent and necessary policies (!) and will be implemented everywhere

    They describe the activities of an “anti-disinformation” group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTIL, which officially began as a volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans, but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into multiple official projects, including those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    The CTI League documents provide missing answers to key questions not addressed in the Twitter Files and Facebook Files. Together, they offer a complete picture of the rise of the “anti-disinformation” industry, or what we have called the Censorship Industrial Complex.”

    The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media.

    They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, the discrediting of dissidents, and the deliberate weaponization of the financial industry against them .

    According to the whistleblower, the CTIL was also involved in the creation of a counter-disinformation project to “avoid a repeat of 2016”, a reference to Brexit and Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the elections, two situations in which the democratic processes have actually won.

    As Jimmy Dore noted, it wasn’t about preventing the circulation of false information.

    It was about ensuring that no political outsider could ever enter the Oval Office again.

    The instruction to prevent a repeat of 2016 was a direct call to undermine, if not eliminate, the process of free and fair elections.

    Importantly, the documents admit that censorship efforts against Americans must be carried out by private sector partners, because the government does not have “legal authority” to do so.

    The new series of documents and videos reveals that 2019 was a pivotal year for the censorship industrial complex. According to Public, it was then that “US and British military and intelligence contractors, led by a former British defense researcher, Sara-Jayne ‘SJ’ Terp, developed the blanket censorship framework.”



    These contractors became co-leaders of CTIL, whose original founders were a former Israeli intelligence official, Ohad Zaidenberg, the person responsible of Microsoft security Nate Warfield, Chris Mills, another Microsoft security official, and Marc Rogers, the head of security operations at the hacker convention DEF CON.

    According to media reports , these highly trained and in-demand professionals have made the altruistic decision to offer their services to help billion-dollar hospitals with their cybersecurity, for free and with no strings attached. It wasn’t a believable cover story then, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any better.

    Within a month of CTIL’s founding in March 2020, this supposedly entirely volunteer group had grown to 1,400 “invitation-only” members in 76 countries and entered into an official partnership with Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security. As reported by Public:

    Parallel censorship agencies

    In spring 2020, CISA also created the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) – a consortium composed of the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic’s Digital Forensic Research Lab Council and from Graphika (a social media analytics company) – and outsourced what would otherwise have been illegal and unconstitutional censorship.

    During the 2020 election cycle, EIP and CISA worked with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the DHS-supported Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) to influence and monitor political discussions online. EIP coordinated the removal of unwanted content using a real-time chat application shared by DHS, EIP, and social media companies.

    At the same time, CTIL monitored and reported anti-blockade views on social media. A “law enforcement” channel was created specifically to spy on and monitor social media users posting anti-lockdown hashtags. CTIL even kept a printout detailing their Twitter biographies.

    According to Public, the CTIL has also “engaged in offensive operations to influence public opinion, discussing ways to promote ‘counter-messaging,’ co-opting hashtags, diluting unfavorable messaging, creating sock puppet accounts, and infiltrating private groups by invitation.” In February 2021, the EIP was renamed the Virality Project, at which point its censorship focus shifted from elections to COVID-related issues.

    Government infiltration and takeover

    Although CTIL member Bonnie Smalley responded to a Public question by saying that CTIL has “nothing to do with the government,” the evidence shows otherwise. At least a dozen government employees working with DHS, the FBI, and CISA were also active members of CTIL.

    According to the whistleblower, CTIL’s goal “was to become part of the federal government.” Terp’s plan called for the creation of “MisinfoSec communities” that would include the federal sector, and documents show that this goal was achieved. In April 2020, Chris Krebs, then director of CISA, also publicly announced the agency’s partnership with CTIL.

    The audience continues:“The documents also show that Terp and his colleagues, through a group called the MisinfoSec Working Group, which included Renee DiResta, head of research at the Stanford Internet Observatory, created a censorship, influence and counter-disinformation strategy called

    Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques (AMITT).

    SJ on X: "AMITT (Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques) includes the left-of-boom misinformation activities that are often missed by other analyses, where ”left of boom” covers activity before an incident

    They wrote AMITT by adapting a cybersecurity framework developed by MITER… Terp then used AMITT to develop the DISARM framework, which the World Health Organization then used to “counter anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe.”

    A key component of Terp’s work through CTIL, MisinfoSec and AMITT has been to bring the concept of “cognitive security” to the fields of cybersecurity and information security…

    The ambitions of the 2020 pioneers of the censorship industrial complex went far beyond simply requiring Twitter to place a warning label on tweets or blacklist individuals.

    The AMITT framework calls for discrediting people as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship of them. Invite influencers to train to spread messages. And he invites us to try to convince banks to cut financial services to individuals who organize demonstrations or events.”

    The arming of the financial sector was born with the CTIL

    Now we know where this financial sector weapon comes from. It originated with the CTIL, which hspecifically sought to induce banks to “cut financial services to individuals who organize rallies or events”.

    Clearly, as my case and that of many others demonstrates, even banks and online payment processors have been tricked into cutting off services to people who simply expressed opposing views. It’s not just demonstration organizers who are being targeted.

    Under the cover of altruism

    Although CTIL officials have repeatedly stressed that the organization was founded on purely altruistic principles, the clear goal of its leaders was to “build support for censorship among national security and cybersecurity institutions,” writes Public, and they built that support by promoting Terp’s idea of “cognitive safety.”

    The choice of the term “cognitive safety” takes on a rather sinister flavor in light of Dr. Michael Nehls’ findings that over the past four years there has been what appears to be an intentional effort to destroy autobiographical memory function in the public’s brain , thus facilitating mass indoctrination and inhibiting personal will and critical thinking.vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors

    The Indoctrinated Brain - By Michael Nehls (hardcover) : Target

    He presents his thesis in the book “The Indoctrinated Brain: How to Successfully Fend Off the Global Attack on Your Mental Freedom”, published in mid-December 2023.

    The whistleblower material clearly reveals that sophisticated military tactics have been turned against the American public, powerful psychological tools – the same tools that, according to Nehls, can literally alter the biological functions of the brain.

    Public cites a MisinfoSec report in which “the authors called for placing censorship efforts within ‘cybersecurity,’ while acknowledging that ‘disinformation security’ is entirely different from cybersecurity. They wrote that the third pillar of the “information environment”, after physical and cyber security, should be the “cognitive dimension”.

    Indeed, your mind – your cognition, your very ability to think independently – is the battlefield of today’s war, as Nehls proposes in his book. The scary part is that the tools used have the power to reprogram who we are.

    We are indeed “hackable animals,” as proposed by Yuval Noah Harari, and the censorship industrial complex has already hacked the brain structure of billions of people over the past four years. Gutentag also talks about it in an article dated December 3, 2023:”What was once considered a “conspiracy theory”, according to which military and intelligence forces manipulated public opinion through inorganic interventions, has now been confirmed .

    Our study of the censorship industrial complex has exposed a far-reaching plan to subvert the democratic process and engage in activities that have a basis in military techniques and that amount to attempts at thought or mind control.”

    ”It’s legal if we can get away with it”

    The CTIL files also demonstrate that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector.

    According to the informant:“The ethos was if we get away with it, it’s legal, and there were no First Amendment problems because we have a ‘public-private partnership’ – that’s the word they used to mask these problems. Private individuals can do things that public officials cannot do, and public officials can provide leadership and coordination.”

    Good news, bad news

    ”The good news is that more and more information is coming out about the U.S. government’s illegal outsourcing of censorship, and with it, legal challenges that pose roadblocks to this circumvention of the Constitution.

    The three activists also achieved other victories. In August 2022, DHS was forced to shut down the Disinformation Governance Board due to public backlash. CISA also deleted information about its national censorship work from its website and dismantled its Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation (MDM) subcommittee.

    The federal government’s Select Subcommittee on Armaments is also continuing its search for the truth and will (hopefully) use all the power at its disposal to put an end to the abuses. Its latest report, “The Weaponization of ‘Disinformation’ Pseudo-Experts and Bureaucrats: How the Federal Government Partnered with Universities to Censor Americans’ Political Speech” was released on November 6, 2023.

    Unfortunately, there is a global effort underway not only to normalize, but also to legalize this type of censorship by third parties.

    In short, they are trying to restructure the censorship industry “away from a top-down government-led model” to a “competitive brokerage model” in which “content management” (read censorship) is simply outsourced to third-party organizations.

    In this way, a “legal” market for disinformation compliance is created, while the government can claim to have nothing to do with controlling the information. In essence, we are witnessing the emergence of organized corporate censorship.

    There is no clear solution to this threat other than to continue to oppose all efforts to legalize, standardize and normalize censorship. Vocally oppose, refuse to use intermediaries like NewsGuard, and boycott any company or organization that uses intermediaries or engages in censorship of any kind.”

    Claudio Resta was born in Genoa, Italy in 1958, he is a citizen of the world (Spinoza), a maverick philosopher, and an interdisciplinary expert, oh, and an artist, too.

    Grew up in a family of scientists where many sciences were represented by philosophy to psychoanalysis, from economics to history, from mathematics to physics, and where these sciences were subject to public display by their subject experts family members, and all those who they were part of could participate in a public family dialogue/debate on these subjects if they so wished. Read Full Bio

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    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
    Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.

    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/01/the-cyber-threat-intelligence-league/
    The Cyber Threat Intelligence League Claudio RestaJanuary 18, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. There is a vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors: US military contractor Pablo Breuer (left), UK defense researcher Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp (center), and Chris Krebs, former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA) – Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and organizations non-profit – seeks to control and criminalize “wrong thinking”. – The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media. They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, and the discrediting of dissidents “as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship in their comparisons.” – Documents show that the weaponization of the financial sector originated with the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL), which specifically sought to get banks to “cut off financial services to individuals organizing gatherings or events.” – CTIL files also show that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector. According to the informant, “the ethic was that if we get away with it, it’s legal.” Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and non-profit organizations – regulates and criminalizes “wrong thinking”. as Ursula Van der Leyen, the president of European Commission since 2019, stated at the WEF in Davos on January 17th, 2023 similar censorship are the most urgent and necessary policies (!) and will be implemented everywhere They describe the activities of an “anti-disinformation” group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTIL, which officially began as a volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans, but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into multiple official projects, including those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The CTI League documents provide missing answers to key questions not addressed in the Twitter Files and Facebook Files. Together, they offer a complete picture of the rise of the “anti-disinformation” industry, or what we have called the Censorship Industrial Complex.” The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media. They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, the discrediting of dissidents, and the deliberate weaponization of the financial industry against them . According to the whistleblower, the CTIL was also involved in the creation of a counter-disinformation project to “avoid a repeat of 2016”, a reference to Brexit and Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the elections, two situations in which the democratic processes have actually won. As Jimmy Dore noted, it wasn’t about preventing the circulation of false information. It was about ensuring that no political outsider could ever enter the Oval Office again. The instruction to prevent a repeat of 2016 was a direct call to undermine, if not eliminate, the process of free and fair elections. Importantly, the documents admit that censorship efforts against Americans must be carried out by private sector partners, because the government does not have “legal authority” to do so. The new series of documents and videos reveals that 2019 was a pivotal year for the censorship industrial complex. According to Public, it was then that “US and British military and intelligence contractors, led by a former British defense researcher, Sara-Jayne ‘SJ’ Terp, developed the blanket censorship framework.” These contractors became co-leaders of CTIL, whose original founders were a former Israeli intelligence official, Ohad Zaidenberg, the person responsible of Microsoft security Nate Warfield, Chris Mills, another Microsoft security official, and Marc Rogers, the head of security operations at the hacker convention DEF CON. According to media reports , these highly trained and in-demand professionals have made the altruistic decision to offer their services to help billion-dollar hospitals with their cybersecurity, for free and with no strings attached. It wasn’t a believable cover story then, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any better. Within a month of CTIL’s founding in March 2020, this supposedly entirely volunteer group had grown to 1,400 “invitation-only” members in 76 countries and entered into an official partnership with Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security. As reported by Public: Parallel censorship agencies In spring 2020, CISA also created the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) – a consortium composed of the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic’s Digital Forensic Research Lab Council and from Graphika (a social media analytics company) – and outsourced what would otherwise have been illegal and unconstitutional censorship. During the 2020 election cycle, EIP and CISA worked with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the DHS-supported Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) to influence and monitor political discussions online. EIP coordinated the removal of unwanted content using a real-time chat application shared by DHS, EIP, and social media companies. At the same time, CTIL monitored and reported anti-blockade views on social media. A “law enforcement” channel was created specifically to spy on and monitor social media users posting anti-lockdown hashtags. CTIL even kept a printout detailing their Twitter biographies. According to Public, the CTIL has also “engaged in offensive operations to influence public opinion, discussing ways to promote ‘counter-messaging,’ co-opting hashtags, diluting unfavorable messaging, creating sock puppet accounts, and infiltrating private groups by invitation.” In February 2021, the EIP was renamed the Virality Project, at which point its censorship focus shifted from elections to COVID-related issues. Government infiltration and takeover Although CTIL member Bonnie Smalley responded to a Public question by saying that CTIL has “nothing to do with the government,” the evidence shows otherwise. At least a dozen government employees working with DHS, the FBI, and CISA were also active members of CTIL. According to the whistleblower, CTIL’s goal “was to become part of the federal government.” Terp’s plan called for the creation of “MisinfoSec communities” that would include the federal sector, and documents show that this goal was achieved. In April 2020, Chris Krebs, then director of CISA, also publicly announced the agency’s partnership with CTIL. The audience continues:“The documents also show that Terp and his colleagues, through a group called the MisinfoSec Working Group, which included [Renee] DiResta, head of research at the Stanford Internet Observatory, created a censorship, influence and counter-disinformation strategy called Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques (AMITT). SJ on X: "AMITT (Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques) includes the left-of-boom misinformation activities that are often missed by other analyses, where ”left of boom” covers activity before an incident They wrote AMITT by adapting a cybersecurity framework developed by MITER… Terp then used AMITT to develop the DISARM framework, which the World Health Organization then used to “counter anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe.” A key component of Terp’s work through CTIL, MisinfoSec and AMITT has been to bring the concept of “cognitive security” to the fields of cybersecurity and information security… The ambitions of the 2020 pioneers of the censorship industrial complex went far beyond simply requiring Twitter to place a warning label on tweets or blacklist individuals. The AMITT framework calls for discrediting people as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship of them. Invite influencers to train to spread messages. And he invites us to try to convince banks to cut financial services to individuals who organize demonstrations or events.” The arming of the financial sector was born with the CTIL Now we know where this financial sector weapon comes from. It originated with the CTIL, which hspecifically sought to induce banks to “cut financial services to individuals who organize rallies or events”. Clearly, as my case and that of many others demonstrates, even banks and online payment processors have been tricked into cutting off services to people who simply expressed opposing views. It’s not just demonstration organizers who are being targeted. Under the cover of altruism Although CTIL officials have repeatedly stressed that the organization was founded on purely altruistic principles, the clear goal of its leaders was to “build support for censorship among national security and cybersecurity institutions,” writes Public, and they built that support by promoting Terp’s idea of “cognitive safety.” The choice of the term “cognitive safety” takes on a rather sinister flavor in light of Dr. Michael Nehls’ findings that over the past four years there has been what appears to be an intentional effort to destroy autobiographical memory function in the public’s brain , thus facilitating mass indoctrination and inhibiting personal will and critical thinking.vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors The Indoctrinated Brain - By Michael Nehls (hardcover) : Target He presents his thesis in the book “The Indoctrinated Brain: How to Successfully Fend Off the Global Attack on Your Mental Freedom”, published in mid-December 2023. The whistleblower material clearly reveals that sophisticated military tactics have been turned against the American public, powerful psychological tools – the same tools that, according to Nehls, can literally alter the biological functions of the brain. Public cites a MisinfoSec report in which “the authors called for placing censorship efforts within ‘cybersecurity,’ while acknowledging that ‘disinformation security’ is entirely different from cybersecurity. They wrote that the third pillar of the “information environment”, after physical and cyber security, should be the “cognitive dimension”. Indeed, your mind – your cognition, your very ability to think independently – is the battlefield of today’s war, as Nehls proposes in his book. The scary part is that the tools used have the power to reprogram who we are. We are indeed “hackable animals,” as proposed by Yuval Noah Harari, and the censorship industrial complex has already hacked the brain structure of billions of people over the past four years. Gutentag also talks about it in an article dated December 3, 2023:”What was once considered a “conspiracy theory”, according to which military and intelligence forces manipulated public opinion through inorganic interventions, has now been confirmed . Our study of the censorship industrial complex has exposed a far-reaching plan to subvert the democratic process and engage in activities that have a basis in military techniques and that amount to attempts at thought or mind control.” ”It’s legal if we can get away with it” The CTIL files also demonstrate that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector. According to the informant:“The ethos was if we get away with it, it’s legal, and there were no First Amendment problems because we have a ‘public-private partnership’ – that’s the word they used to mask these problems. Private individuals can do things that public officials cannot do, and public officials can provide leadership and coordination.” Good news, bad news ”The good news is that more and more information is coming out about the U.S. government’s illegal outsourcing of censorship, and with it, legal challenges that pose roadblocks to this circumvention of the Constitution. The three activists also achieved other victories. In August 2022, DHS was forced to shut down the Disinformation Governance Board due to public backlash. CISA also deleted information about its national censorship work from its website and dismantled its Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation (MDM) subcommittee. The federal government’s Select Subcommittee on Armaments is also continuing its search for the truth and will (hopefully) use all the power at its disposal to put an end to the abuses. Its latest report, “The Weaponization of ‘Disinformation’ Pseudo-Experts and Bureaucrats: How the Federal Government Partnered with Universities to Censor Americans’ Political Speech” was released on November 6, 2023. Unfortunately, there is a global effort underway not only to normalize, but also to legalize this type of censorship by third parties. In short, they are trying to restructure the censorship industry “away from a top-down government-led model” to a “competitive brokerage model” in which “content management” (read censorship) is simply outsourced to third-party organizations. In this way, a “legal” market for disinformation compliance is created, while the government can claim to have nothing to do with controlling the information. In essence, we are witnessing the emergence of organized corporate censorship. There is no clear solution to this threat other than to continue to oppose all efforts to legalize, standardize and normalize censorship. Vocally oppose, refuse to use intermediaries like NewsGuard, and boycott any company or organization that uses intermediaries or engages in censorship of any kind.” Claudio Resta was born in Genoa, Italy in 1958, he is a citizen of the world (Spinoza), a maverick philosopher, and an interdisciplinary expert, oh, and an artist, too. Grew up in a family of scientists where many sciences were represented by philosophy to psychoanalysis, from economics to history, from mathematics to physics, and where these sciences were subject to public display by their subject experts family members, and all those who they were part of could participate in a public family dialogue/debate on these subjects if they so wished. Read Full Bio Latest Articles (2023-Present) Archived Articles (2019-2022) ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/01/the-cyber-threat-intelligence-league/
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    The Cyber Threat Intelligence League
    There is a vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors: US military contractor Pablo Breuer (left), UK defense researcher Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp (center), and Chris Krebs, former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA) – Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag...
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  • The Uninterruptible Autopilot

    I served as a US naval aviator for 10 years and a United Airlines pilot for 25 years. Over the career span of 35 years, I flew 15 different aircraft accruing over 20,000 flight hours.

    I can unequivocally state without reservation or embarrassment that I could not have flown the 9/11 flight profiles and neither could the alleged Muslim hijackers.

    But please don't take my word alone. Listen to what these other experienced pilots have to say:

    Pilot Interviews

    911pilots.org/pilot-intervie…

    The hijackers were too inexperienced and unqualified on the B-757/767 aircraft to have flown the profiles.

    Hijackers

    911pilots.org/hijackers/

    If the hijackers were not piloting the aircraft, then who or what was?

    The 9/11 aircraft were electronically hijacked and remotely controlled through employment of a system called the uninterruptible autopilot that enables a remote source to take complete control of the aircraft autopilot and flight management computer and fly it to its target destination.

    Once this system is engaged the pilots cannot disconnect it and are along for the ride.

    Remote Control

    911pilots.org/remote-control…

    Every relevant level and branch of the US government have been made aware of the allegations leveled by 9/11 Pilot Whistleblowers but none have responded,

    Why haven't they?

    It is most probably because the development and production of the uninterruptable autopilot was a super classified joint US civilian/military black project and that certain Zionist elements of the US government were complicit in the planning and execution of the events of 9/11,

    You be the judge.

    Kindly repost...thank you!

    https://x.com/danhanley4/status/1743729406986822001?s=46
    The Uninterruptible Autopilot I served as a US naval aviator for 10 years and a United Airlines pilot for 25 years. Over the career span of 35 years, I flew 15 different aircraft accruing over 20,000 flight hours. I can unequivocally state without reservation or embarrassment that I could not have flown the 9/11 flight profiles and neither could the alleged Muslim hijackers. But please don't take my word alone. Listen to what these other experienced pilots have to say: Pilot Interviews 911pilots.org/pilot-intervie… The hijackers were too inexperienced and unqualified on the B-757/767 aircraft to have flown the profiles. Hijackers 911pilots.org/hijackers/ If the hijackers were not piloting the aircraft, then who or what was? The 9/11 aircraft were electronically hijacked and remotely controlled through employment of a system called the uninterruptible autopilot that enables a remote source to take complete control of the aircraft autopilot and flight management computer and fly it to its target destination. Once this system is engaged the pilots cannot disconnect it and are along for the ride. Remote Control 911pilots.org/remote-control… Every relevant level and branch of the US government have been made aware of the allegations leveled by 9/11 Pilot Whistleblowers but none have responded, Why haven't they? It is most probably because the development and production of the uninterruptable autopilot was a super classified joint US civilian/military black project and that certain Zionist elements of the US government were complicit in the planning and execution of the events of 9/11, You be the judge. Kindly repost...thank you! https://x.com/danhanley4/status/1743729406986822001?s=46
    Like
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  • OIC and Arab League must back South Africa's ICJ case on Israel
    People wave Palestinian and Jordanian flags as they march during a demonstration near the US embassy in Amman in solidarity with the people of Gaza on 15 December 2023 (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP)
    The OIC and the Arab League have an opportunity to join a historic process that could redefine how international law works and uphold justice
    The ongoing war in Gaza has opened a window for Muslim-majority nations to lead by example in upholding the rule of law and justice. This moment presents a chance to respond to their citizens' calls for action and to pursue legal avenues in response to alleged war crimes in Gaza.

    Beyond material progress and architectural marvels that rival ancient wonders, a truly progressive state is marked by its commitment to accountability and justice - a domain where some established democracies have faltered.

    After enduring a harrowing 85 days of bombardment resulting in nearly 22,000 killed, including more than 8,000 children and 6,000 women, 1.9 million displaced and the collapse of the health infrastructure, South Africa, a signatory of the Genocide Convention has finally called upon the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to examine the crisis.

    This long-awaited step reflects a crucial recognition of the international community's role in conflict resolution and human rights protection.

    Members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League stand at a pivotal crossroads, where the decision to support South Africa's legal action against Israel at the ICJ could mark a significant step towards upholding international law and justice.

    Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

    Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

    A pivotal crossroads

    The Arab League and OIC should urgently make it clear that as organisations they unequivocally support South Africa’s application to the ICJ in the same way as the OIC supported Gambia’s case against Myanmar’s alleged genocide of the Rohingya Muslims.

    South Africa's meticulous and legally grounded application to the ICJ presents a profound opportunity for these influential states to endorse a process that seeks to clarify and address serious allegations in a legally constituted forum, free from political interference.

    The Arab League and OIC should urgently make it clear that as organisations, they unequivocally support South Africa’s application to the ICJ

    South Africa's application to the ICJ is not a mere accusation; it is a comprehensive, 84-page document publicly available on the ICJ’s website, grounded in detailed factual and legal analysis.

    This move by South Africa is not, as Israel claims, a form of cooperation with any terrorist organisation or an act of defamation or antisemitism; it is a fulfilment of obligations under the Genocide Convention.

    It is an unimpeachable act of responsibility to the international community and the principles of justice and human rights.

    Follow Middle East Eye's live coverage of the Israel-Palestine war here

    And it could prevent further loss of life through the ICJ issuing urgent provisional measures to Israel.

    Accusing Israel of genocide is a serious claim, one that the ICJ is uniquely qualified to assess without political bias. It is crucial to understand that holding a state accountable in international law, as sought by South Africa, is not an act of defamation but a pursuit of justice.

    Israel’s claim that such legal actions are akin to "blood libel" is a purposeful and dangerous misrepresentation. No state, including Israel, is above international law.



    The British court's decision in 2009 to issue an arrest warrant for an Israeli politician on allegations of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza is a testament to the necessity of legal scrutiny over political immunity.

    Israeli politicians' recent statements, some with potentially genocidal implications, should also be subject to judicial examination. This is not about targeting a nation or a people but ensuring that actions and words are held against the rigour of international law.

    Beyond rhetoric

    The issue of Hamas and its accountability under international law should also be addressed in a legal setting. Collective punishment of the Palestinian people is not an acceptable response to the actions of a particular group. Both parties should be subject to legal scrutiny when there is evidence of violating international law.


    War on Gaza: South Africa launches International Court of Justice case accusing Israel of genocide

    Read More »
    For the OIC and the Arab League states, supporting South Africa’s initiative at the ICJ is a chance to contribute to a process that upholds justice, due process, and international law. It is an opportunity to move beyond rhetoric and towards a structured legal examination of serious allegations.

    No doubt leaders of the OIC and Arab League states condemn Israel’s alleged actions in their hearts. It is better still that they speak out against alleged violations that we see on our screens daily and even better still that they take action and join South Africa at the ICJ in the first step to break Israel’s gifted impunity and hold it accountable for alleged international law violations.

    The ICJ operates independently, free from external pressures. Any objections to South Africa’s application should be presented through legal submissions to the court. Attempts to influence the court outside of its legal processes undermine the very principles of justice and impartiality that the court stands for.

    The OIC and the Arab League have the opportunity to be part of a historic process that could redefine the application of international law in conflict resolution and uphold the principles of justice and accountability on the global stage.

    The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/war-on-gaza-oic-arab-league-must-back-south-africa-icj-case-israel
    OIC and Arab League must back South Africa's ICJ case on Israel People wave Palestinian and Jordanian flags as they march during a demonstration near the US embassy in Amman in solidarity with the people of Gaza on 15 December 2023 (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP) The OIC and the Arab League have an opportunity to join a historic process that could redefine how international law works and uphold justice The ongoing war in Gaza has opened a window for Muslim-majority nations to lead by example in upholding the rule of law and justice. This moment presents a chance to respond to their citizens' calls for action and to pursue legal avenues in response to alleged war crimes in Gaza. Beyond material progress and architectural marvels that rival ancient wonders, a truly progressive state is marked by its commitment to accountability and justice - a domain where some established democracies have faltered. After enduring a harrowing 85 days of bombardment resulting in nearly 22,000 killed, including more than 8,000 children and 6,000 women, 1.9 million displaced and the collapse of the health infrastructure, South Africa, a signatory of the Genocide Convention has finally called upon the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to examine the crisis. This long-awaited step reflects a crucial recognition of the international community's role in conflict resolution and human rights protection. Members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League stand at a pivotal crossroads, where the decision to support South Africa's legal action against Israel at the ICJ could mark a significant step towards upholding international law and justice. Stay informed with MEE's newsletters Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked A pivotal crossroads The Arab League and OIC should urgently make it clear that as organisations they unequivocally support South Africa’s application to the ICJ in the same way as the OIC supported Gambia’s case against Myanmar’s alleged genocide of the Rohingya Muslims. South Africa's meticulous and legally grounded application to the ICJ presents a profound opportunity for these influential states to endorse a process that seeks to clarify and address serious allegations in a legally constituted forum, free from political interference. The Arab League and OIC should urgently make it clear that as organisations, they unequivocally support South Africa’s application to the ICJ South Africa's application to the ICJ is not a mere accusation; it is a comprehensive, 84-page document publicly available on the ICJ’s website, grounded in detailed factual and legal analysis. This move by South Africa is not, as Israel claims, a form of cooperation with any terrorist organisation or an act of defamation or antisemitism; it is a fulfilment of obligations under the Genocide Convention. It is an unimpeachable act of responsibility to the international community and the principles of justice and human rights. Follow Middle East Eye's live coverage of the Israel-Palestine war here And it could prevent further loss of life through the ICJ issuing urgent provisional measures to Israel. Accusing Israel of genocide is a serious claim, one that the ICJ is uniquely qualified to assess without political bias. It is crucial to understand that holding a state accountable in international law, as sought by South Africa, is not an act of defamation but a pursuit of justice. Israel’s claim that such legal actions are akin to "blood libel" is a purposeful and dangerous misrepresentation. No state, including Israel, is above international law. The British court's decision in 2009 to issue an arrest warrant for an Israeli politician on allegations of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza is a testament to the necessity of legal scrutiny over political immunity. Israeli politicians' recent statements, some with potentially genocidal implications, should also be subject to judicial examination. This is not about targeting a nation or a people but ensuring that actions and words are held against the rigour of international law. Beyond rhetoric The issue of Hamas and its accountability under international law should also be addressed in a legal setting. Collective punishment of the Palestinian people is not an acceptable response to the actions of a particular group. Both parties should be subject to legal scrutiny when there is evidence of violating international law. War on Gaza: South Africa launches International Court of Justice case accusing Israel of genocide Read More » For the OIC and the Arab League states, supporting South Africa’s initiative at the ICJ is a chance to contribute to a process that upholds justice, due process, and international law. It is an opportunity to move beyond rhetoric and towards a structured legal examination of serious allegations. No doubt leaders of the OIC and Arab League states condemn Israel’s alleged actions in their hearts. It is better still that they speak out against alleged violations that we see on our screens daily and even better still that they take action and join South Africa at the ICJ in the first step to break Israel’s gifted impunity and hold it accountable for alleged international law violations. The ICJ operates independently, free from external pressures. Any objections to South Africa’s application should be presented through legal submissions to the court. Attempts to influence the court outside of its legal processes undermine the very principles of justice and impartiality that the court stands for. The OIC and the Arab League have the opportunity to be part of a historic process that could redefine the application of international law in conflict resolution and uphold the principles of justice and accountability on the global stage. The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye. https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/war-on-gaza-oic-arab-league-must-back-south-africa-icj-case-israel
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    OIC and Arab League must back South Africa's ICJ case on Israel
    The OIC and the Arab League have an opportunity to join a historic process that could redefine how international law works and uphold justice
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  • Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom
    Clayton J. Baker, MD
    As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence.

    Some things always generate plenty of noise. The 2024 US Presidential election promises to be even more hysterical than the last two. It will probably be a rematch, pitting a widely hated octogenarian incumbent President with obvious, rapidly progressing dementia against a widely hated late-septuagenarian former President facing dozens of felony indictments. Still almost a year away, the commotion surrounding this impending showdown of the senescent is already continuous, cacophonous, and confounding.

    However, regarding the most important historical event since World War II, there is almost total silence.

    The Covid-19 debacle is the defining event of the 21st century. It is at once the worst act of biological warfare in human history and the greatest mass violation of civil liberties since the Iron Curtain. Even more importantly, it is the self-evident template for the establishment of the technocratic soft-core totalitarianism advocated by globalist entities such as the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum.

    And yet virtually no one in the mainstream will discuss it. The legacy media shows near zero curiosity regarding Covid’s origins, the disastrous response, or the toxic vaccines.

    Both the Biden and Trump camps pretend it never happened. Out of the 4 Republican debates held to date, only one question has been asked about Covid vaccines. And that single exchange, between journalist Megyn Kelly and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, was mysteriously blacked out, even from supposedly “free speech” platform Rumble’s livestream of the event, with Rumble’s CEO later blaming the blackout on “the source feed from a 3rd party” which he did not name. Nothing to see here.

    Among the other presidential candidates, former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Republican Ron DeSantis have spoken up repeatedly and honestly about Covid. As a result, they have both been aggressively reviled and ostracized by both the mainstream media and the establishments of both political parties.

    Advocates for civil rights in general, and for medical freedom in particular, should be deeply disturbed by this attempt to cast the whole Covid-19 catastrophe down the memory hole. Medical freedom is rapidly developing as a philosophical, intellectual, and ethical concept. However, theoretical efforts to promote medical freedom – and by extension, to re-enforce all fundamental civil liberties – will come to naught if the greatest assault on freedom in modern history is allowed to be forgotten, and the perpetrators are allowed to continue as if nothing happened.

    As a prominent man once asked: “What is to be done?” In my attempt to answer that question, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Medical Freedom advocates.

    1. Speak the Truth About Covid at Every Opportunity.

    Honest and informed citizens, politicians, and public figures must plainly tell truthful narratives about Covid every chance they get. A brief, factual account might sound something like this:

    a. SARS CoV-2 is a man-made bioweapon developed through US Government funding, which got out of the lab and into the human population.

    b. The mRNA Covid vaccines are essentially pre-planned antidotes to that bioweapon, which were hastily produced and aggressively pushed on the population for profit, with an appalling and criminal disregard for safety.

    c. The lockdowns, masking, school closures, mandates, censorship, scapegoating, etc., were deliberate and illegal assaults on citizens’ civil rights – blatant power grabs that governments made under the pretense of a declared emergency.

    Medical freedom advocates must explain to people that they have been repeatedly lied to for the past 4 years, by virtually every authority. Then, tell them the truth – coolly, rationally, and politely. If they don’t want to hear it, tell them anyway.

    For decades, every citizen in modern Western society has been browbeaten with leftist and globalist propaganda, ranging from countless Global Warming false prophecies, to risible DEI nonsense, to Baskin-Robbinsesque gender insanity, to fascistic vaccine absolutism. Then came Covid. At this late date, it is reasonable and salutary to present one’s neighbor with a brief smattering of truth.

    2. Encourage and Petition Politicians to Commit to Medical Freedom Policies.

    The Pharma industry spent a reported $379 million on political lobbying in 2022 alone. It’s going to take a lot of grassroots work with politicians to combat the pernicious influence of that much purchased influence.

    There is evidence that this can be done. People such as Dr. Mary Talley Bowden in Texas are leading the way in this regard. As of December 23, 2023, Bowden and colleagues have convinced 40 candidates and 25 elected officials from 17 states to publicly state that “the Covid shots must be pulled off the market.” Per Dr. Bowden, “many of these are also pledging not to take donations from Big Pharma.”

    Those committed to medical freedom should set all their elected officials and relevant appointed government bureaucrats on speed dial. These individuals in positions of power – at all levels, local to national – must hear regularly from their constituents. Constituents must tell these people exactly what they know, as well as what they want. It is now up to constituents to teach their officials the facts about the world.

    As Andrew Lowenthal has demonstrated in detail, the Censorship Industrial Complex is real, and because of it, many elected officials and bureaucrats suffer from the same lack of accurate information on policy matters as the majority of their constituents.

    3. Work to Outlaw all Gain-of-Function Research.

    All research regarding the genetic manipulation of viruses needs to end. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and others have pointed out that such research is really bioweapons research, in which our tax dollars are misused to fund the development of a bioweapon and its antidote vaccine in concert. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature have passed laws banning gain-of-function research in that state.

    The Covid era displayed in high relief the disastrous wages of such “research.” It needs to be completely outlawed everywhere, and all labs involved in such work, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, to the Ralph Baric lab at the University of North Carolina, to illegal labs in the rural USA or allegedly in places like the Ukraine, need to be permanently shut down.

    Key to achieving this is not falling prey to the intentionally confusing semantic arguments about what technically constitutes “Gain-of-function” and what doesn’t. The word games Anthony Fauci played with Congress need to be called out as the dishonest prevarications they are, and rejected as a defense for those involved in such wicked “research.” (Of note, the Florida laws included language to prevent this deception, outlawing all “enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research.”)

    4. Work to Get the USA out of the World Health Organization.

    The WHO’s newly proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) unfortunately are bald-faced, bad-faith attempts to usurp power from sovereign nations by an unelected globalist elite, all in the nebulous name of “global health.”

    As David Bell and Thi Thuy Van Dinh have written, despite claims by WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus that “no country will cede any sovereignty to [the] WHO,” in fact

    The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact.
    The WHO Director-General will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied.
    The proposals are intended to be binding under international law.
    Furthermore, the proposed amendments to the IHR will change WHO directives during declared health emergencies from non-binding recommendations to dictates with the force of international law. As Bell and Dinh state, “It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic.”

    And the potential incursions to medical freedom hardly end there, potentially including all the items in Article 18 of the existing IHR, which already directly contradict the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights in multiple places.

    Most current debate on the matter surrounds the question of whether individual countries should accept or reject these proposals. However, in the wake of the Covid disaster, the WHO’s current proposals reveal that its intention is not to step back, learn from the catastrophe, and account for the mistakes it and other authorities made. Rather, it seeks to consolidate its own power by permanently encoding the top-down, public-health-by-totalitarian-diktat approach that caused so much destruction. Not only these policies, but the organization proposing them should be categorically rejected.

    The WHO is a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is an unelected globalist cabal of profiteering elites, heavily funded by Bill Gates and closely associated with the World Economic Forum. It is engaged in blatant political power-grabbing while masquerading as a benevolent public health institution.

    It is insufficient for nations to merely reject the WHO’s proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to its IHR. The USA and every sovereign nation should leave the WHO entirely, and medical freedom advocates should lead the way in the struggle to make this happen.

    5. Join the Fight to Remove the Covid mRNA Vaccines From the Market.

    The Covid-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated toxicities far more common, more varied, and more severe than numerous conventional medicines that have been appropriately pulled from the market in the past. Dr. Peter McCollough and numerous other leaders in the fight for medical freedom have rightly called for the Covid mRNA vaccines to be removed from the market.

    Despite the intense efforts of Big Pharma, the growing Censorship Industrial Complex, and captured government agencies, public awareness of the numerous and often deadly toxicities of the Covid mRNA injections is growing.

    This is reflected in both reduced public “uptake” for recurrent “boosters” per CDC data and the falling stock price of Pfizer, Inc. A small but growing number of politicians, as described above, are committing to the fight to remove the vaccines from the market, demonstrating that this is becoming a tenable and perhaps winning political position to hold.

    Encouraging as these trends may be, they are insufficient on their own. Medical freedom advocates should speak out supporting the removal of the Covid mRNA vaccines from the market. They should recruit, support, and vote for elected officials and candidates taking this position, and support legal actions toward this goal.

    6. Push for a Moratorium on the mRNA-Based Pharmaceutical Platform as a Whole.

    Even if the Covid mRNA vaccines are removed from the market, a widely overlooked corollary question remains: how much of the toxicity from these products is Covid-specific, i.e. due to the spike protein, and how much is due to the deeply problematic and incompletely understood mRNA platform itself?

    There is certainly plenty of toxicity to go around, as numerous mechanisms of injury have been identified from these injections. These include toxicities to the heart, immune system, skin, reproductive organs, blood clotting cascade, and cancer promotion, among others. It is willful denial at best and criminal negligence at worst to assume that the mRNA platform does not contribute to these problems.

    mRNA vaccines are currently in use in food animals, notably swine. Furthermore on its own website, Moderna describes a pipeline of mRNA vaccines currently in development for Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Norovirus, Lyme disease, Zika virus, Nipah virus, Monkeypox, and others. Meanwhile, the trial for its EBV vaccine has reportedly been halted in adolescents due to a case of – you guessed it – myocarditis.

    The human population will soon be inundated with mRNA-based drugs on a scale and with an imposed intensity that will make the Covid era seem positively quaint. The safety record for the sole mRNA product currently in human use – the Covid vaccines – is abysmal.

    A moratorium of at least several years, combined with an open, thorough, and publicly debated inquiry into the likely and possible toxicities inherent to the mRNA platform is essential to human safety, and if done, will save countless lives in coming years.

    7. Work to Have the 1986 Vaccine Act Repealed.

    The toxicity of vaccines was so well-established even decades ago, that a Federal law – the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34) was passed to specifically exempt vaccine manufacturers from product liability, based on the legal principle that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” products.

    Since the 1986 NCVIA act protecting vaccine manufacturers from liability, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines on the market, as well as the number of vaccines added to the CDC vaccine schedules, with the number of vaccines on the CDC Child and Adolescent schedule rising from 7 in 1986 to 21 in 2023.

    The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 should be repealed, returning vaccines to the same liability status as other drugs.

    8. Work to End Vaccine Mandates at Every Level of Society.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-20 academic year there were 3,982 degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States. In the fall of 2021, all but approximately 600 of these institutions mandated Covid-19 vaccination for their students.

    Since then, nearly all such institutions have dropped their student Covid vaccine mandates. However, at this writing, 71 colleges and universities, or approximately 1.7%, continue to mandate the Covid vaccines for students to attend.

    The number of mandating schools reduced gradually, largely through the intense, extremely labor intensive work of a very few small, newly-formed, grassroots organizations like No College Mandates. While the effectiveness of such efforts is undeniable, the 71 holdouts (which include “elite” institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins) demonstrate just how deeply entrenched the mandating of vaccines remains in certain segments of society.

    As a result of the hubris and abuse it displayed during Covid, the entire vaccine mega-industry has suffered tremendous (and richly deserved) damage to its formerly unquestioned, “safe and effective” image. However, from education to healthcare to the military, gains made against vaccine mandates have been partial and temporary at most. A concerted effort to further educate the public about the immense problems with vaccines and to restore individual choice must be joined by a great many more people if this fundamental imposition on basic bodily autonomy is to be overcome.

    9. Work to End Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals.

    The United States is one of only 2 countries in the world that allows direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The dangers of this utterly ill-advised policy are multiple.

    First, as we all can see by simply turning on the television, Big Pharma abuses this privilege to aggressively yet seductively hawk every product it feels it can make a buck off of. The “pill for every ill” mindset shifts into hyperdrive, with an expensive, proprietary, pharmacological cure for everything from your morbid obesity to your “bent carrot.” The situation on social media is, if anything, even worse.

    It is no coincidence that black markets for overhyped, purported wonder drugs such as semaglutide develop, nor that dangerous misuse, such as thousands of reported overdoses have been reported. Perhaps more importantly, direct-to-consumer advertising provides Big Pharma with a convenient and legal way to capture media. Big Pharma was the second-largest television advertising industry in 2021, spending $5.6 billion. No legacy media outlet dares to go against the wishes of those providing that level of funding. This effectively muzzles any and all dissenting voices from appearing on those platforms.

    A free society requires freedom of the press and media. The Covid era has demonstrated that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising stifles freedom of the press and media to a dangerous and unacceptable degree.

    10. Play Offense.

    If all you do is play defense, the best result you can hope for is a draw. During the lockdowns, with courts closed, businesses shuttered, and citizens isolated from one another, it was extremely difficult to mount even a solid defense against the gross incursions on our civil rights. A few courageous individuals, often acting alone and at tremendous personal cost, managed to counterpunch effectively. Their contributions to saving our “free” societies (if indeed they are eventually saved) will perhaps never be adequately recognized.

    Today, despite the mainstream silence, the tide is turning in favor of medical freedom and civil liberties in multiple areas. It is time for the masses to join in and help those who managed to make these early advances, and who continue to fight on behalf of all citizens.

    For example, New York attorney Bobbie Anne Cox continues her David v. Goliath legal struggle to defeat Governor Kathy Hochul’s extralegal and grossly unconstitutional quarantine camp order. This case may eventually reach the Supreme Court. I don’t want to declare that Ms. Cox can’t do it alone, because that’s pretty much what she has done so far, and having followed that case, I wouldn’t bet against her. But hell, even Hercules had a sidekick. Medical freedom advocates would do well by actively and generously supporting her.

    After surviving his own trial by fire, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced a lawsuit against Pfizer for “unlawfully misrepresenting the Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, and attempting to censor public discussion of the product.” Citizens of other states would do well to aggressively petition their attorneys general to take similar action, including removing the mRNA vaccines from the market in their states on the grounds of their demonstrated adulteration with potentially harmful DNA.

    If medical freedom advocates want the concept to prevail, they must go on offense. Get involved. There is no need to reinvent the wheel at this point. Adopt one or more of the organizations or causes above as your personal project, join, and contribute. Add your light to the sum of light, and the darkness will not overcome it.

    In summary, those of us seeking to secure and ensure medical freedom for ourselves and future generations must become vocal, persistent advocates, as well as courageous people of action. Furthermore, we must not allow the abuses and evils of the Covid era to vanish down the memory hole, which of course is exactly what every politician, bureaucrat, Deep State apparatchik, and globalist elite who perpetrated those deeds wants to happen. Some cliches are true, and this is one of them: if we allow ourselves to forget history, we will be doomed to repeat it.

    Covid-19 was the defining event of the century. It was a destructive, deadly catastrophe, but it does have one remarkable silver lining. It peeled the veneer off our governments, institutions, corporations, and society as a whole. It revealed how the powerful plan to strip us of our freedoms – medical and otherwise. We now know what we face. May we, the ordinary citizens, have the courage and intelligence to act effectively to regain and retain our freedoms, dignity, and fundamental human rights.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    C.J. Baker, M.D. is an internal medicine physician with a quarter century in clinical practice. He has held numerous academic medical appointments, and his work has appeared in many journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. From 2012 to 2018 he was Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Rochester.

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    https://brownstone.org/articles/ten-new-years-resolutions-to-restore-medical-freedom/
    Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom Clayton J. Baker, MD As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence. Some things always generate plenty of noise. The 2024 US Presidential election promises to be even more hysterical than the last two. It will probably be a rematch, pitting a widely hated octogenarian incumbent President with obvious, rapidly progressing dementia against a widely hated late-septuagenarian former President facing dozens of felony indictments. Still almost a year away, the commotion surrounding this impending showdown of the senescent is already continuous, cacophonous, and confounding. However, regarding the most important historical event since World War II, there is almost total silence. The Covid-19 debacle is the defining event of the 21st century. It is at once the worst act of biological warfare in human history and the greatest mass violation of civil liberties since the Iron Curtain. Even more importantly, it is the self-evident template for the establishment of the technocratic soft-core totalitarianism advocated by globalist entities such as the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum. And yet virtually no one in the mainstream will discuss it. The legacy media shows near zero curiosity regarding Covid’s origins, the disastrous response, or the toxic vaccines. Both the Biden and Trump camps pretend it never happened. Out of the 4 Republican debates held to date, only one question has been asked about Covid vaccines. And that single exchange, between journalist Megyn Kelly and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, was mysteriously blacked out, even from supposedly “free speech” platform Rumble’s livestream of the event, with Rumble’s CEO later blaming the blackout on “the source feed from a 3rd party” which he did not name. Nothing to see here. Among the other presidential candidates, former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Republican Ron DeSantis have spoken up repeatedly and honestly about Covid. As a result, they have both been aggressively reviled and ostracized by both the mainstream media and the establishments of both political parties. Advocates for civil rights in general, and for medical freedom in particular, should be deeply disturbed by this attempt to cast the whole Covid-19 catastrophe down the memory hole. Medical freedom is rapidly developing as a philosophical, intellectual, and ethical concept. However, theoretical efforts to promote medical freedom – and by extension, to re-enforce all fundamental civil liberties – will come to naught if the greatest assault on freedom in modern history is allowed to be forgotten, and the perpetrators are allowed to continue as if nothing happened. As a prominent man once asked: “What is to be done?” In my attempt to answer that question, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Medical Freedom advocates. 1. Speak the Truth About Covid at Every Opportunity. Honest and informed citizens, politicians, and public figures must plainly tell truthful narratives about Covid every chance they get. A brief, factual account might sound something like this: a. SARS CoV-2 is a man-made bioweapon developed through US Government funding, which got out of the lab and into the human population. b. The mRNA Covid vaccines are essentially pre-planned antidotes to that bioweapon, which were hastily produced and aggressively pushed on the population for profit, with an appalling and criminal disregard for safety. c. The lockdowns, masking, school closures, mandates, censorship, scapegoating, etc., were deliberate and illegal assaults on citizens’ civil rights – blatant power grabs that governments made under the pretense of a declared emergency. Medical freedom advocates must explain to people that they have been repeatedly lied to for the past 4 years, by virtually every authority. Then, tell them the truth – coolly, rationally, and politely. If they don’t want to hear it, tell them anyway. For decades, every citizen in modern Western society has been browbeaten with leftist and globalist propaganda, ranging from countless Global Warming false prophecies, to risible DEI nonsense, to Baskin-Robbinsesque gender insanity, to fascistic vaccine absolutism. Then came Covid. At this late date, it is reasonable and salutary to present one’s neighbor with a brief smattering of truth. 2. Encourage and Petition Politicians to Commit to Medical Freedom Policies. The Pharma industry spent a reported $379 million on political lobbying in 2022 alone. It’s going to take a lot of grassroots work with politicians to combat the pernicious influence of that much purchased influence. There is evidence that this can be done. People such as Dr. Mary Talley Bowden in Texas are leading the way in this regard. As of December 23, 2023, Bowden and colleagues have convinced 40 candidates and 25 elected officials from 17 states to publicly state that “the Covid shots must be pulled off the market.” Per Dr. Bowden, “many of these are also pledging not to take donations from Big Pharma.” Those committed to medical freedom should set all their elected officials and relevant appointed government bureaucrats on speed dial. These individuals in positions of power – at all levels, local to national – must hear regularly from their constituents. Constituents must tell these people exactly what they know, as well as what they want. It is now up to constituents to teach their officials the facts about the world. As Andrew Lowenthal has demonstrated in detail, the Censorship Industrial Complex is real, and because of it, many elected officials and bureaucrats suffer from the same lack of accurate information on policy matters as the majority of their constituents. 3. Work to Outlaw all Gain-of-Function Research. All research regarding the genetic manipulation of viruses needs to end. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and others have pointed out that such research is really bioweapons research, in which our tax dollars are misused to fund the development of a bioweapon and its antidote vaccine in concert. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature have passed laws banning gain-of-function research in that state. The Covid era displayed in high relief the disastrous wages of such “research.” It needs to be completely outlawed everywhere, and all labs involved in such work, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, to the Ralph Baric lab at the University of North Carolina, to illegal labs in the rural USA or allegedly in places like the Ukraine, need to be permanently shut down. Key to achieving this is not falling prey to the intentionally confusing semantic arguments about what technically constitutes “Gain-of-function” and what doesn’t. The word games Anthony Fauci played with Congress need to be called out as the dishonest prevarications they are, and rejected as a defense for those involved in such wicked “research.” (Of note, the Florida laws included language to prevent this deception, outlawing all “enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research.”) 4. Work to Get the USA out of the World Health Organization. The WHO’s newly proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) unfortunately are bald-faced, bad-faith attempts to usurp power from sovereign nations by an unelected globalist elite, all in the nebulous name of “global health.” As David Bell and Thi Thuy Van Dinh have written, despite claims by WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus that “no country will cede any sovereignty to [the] WHO,” in fact The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO Director-General will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Furthermore, the proposed amendments to the IHR will change WHO directives during declared health emergencies from non-binding recommendations to dictates with the force of international law. As Bell and Dinh state, “It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic.” And the potential incursions to medical freedom hardly end there, potentially including all the items in Article 18 of the existing IHR, which already directly contradict the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights in multiple places. Most current debate on the matter surrounds the question of whether individual countries should accept or reject these proposals. However, in the wake of the Covid disaster, the WHO’s current proposals reveal that its intention is not to step back, learn from the catastrophe, and account for the mistakes it and other authorities made. Rather, it seeks to consolidate its own power by permanently encoding the top-down, public-health-by-totalitarian-diktat approach that caused so much destruction. Not only these policies, but the organization proposing them should be categorically rejected. The WHO is a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is an unelected globalist cabal of profiteering elites, heavily funded by Bill Gates and closely associated with the World Economic Forum. It is engaged in blatant political power-grabbing while masquerading as a benevolent public health institution. It is insufficient for nations to merely reject the WHO’s proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to its IHR. The USA and every sovereign nation should leave the WHO entirely, and medical freedom advocates should lead the way in the struggle to make this happen. 5. Join the Fight to Remove the Covid mRNA Vaccines From the Market. The Covid-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated toxicities far more common, more varied, and more severe than numerous conventional medicines that have been appropriately pulled from the market in the past. Dr. Peter McCollough and numerous other leaders in the fight for medical freedom have rightly called for the Covid mRNA vaccines to be removed from the market. Despite the intense efforts of Big Pharma, the growing Censorship Industrial Complex, and captured government agencies, public awareness of the numerous and often deadly toxicities of the Covid mRNA injections is growing. This is reflected in both reduced public “uptake” for recurrent “boosters” per CDC data and the falling stock price of Pfizer, Inc. A small but growing number of politicians, as described above, are committing to the fight to remove the vaccines from the market, demonstrating that this is becoming a tenable and perhaps winning political position to hold. Encouraging as these trends may be, they are insufficient on their own. Medical freedom advocates should speak out supporting the removal of the Covid mRNA vaccines from the market. They should recruit, support, and vote for elected officials and candidates taking this position, and support legal actions toward this goal. 6. Push for a Moratorium on the mRNA-Based Pharmaceutical Platform as a Whole. Even if the Covid mRNA vaccines are removed from the market, a widely overlooked corollary question remains: how much of the toxicity from these products is Covid-specific, i.e. due to the spike protein, and how much is due to the deeply problematic and incompletely understood mRNA platform itself? There is certainly plenty of toxicity to go around, as numerous mechanisms of injury have been identified from these injections. These include toxicities to the heart, immune system, skin, reproductive organs, blood clotting cascade, and cancer promotion, among others. It is willful denial at best and criminal negligence at worst to assume that the mRNA platform does not contribute to these problems. mRNA vaccines are currently in use in food animals, notably swine. Furthermore on its own website, Moderna describes a pipeline of mRNA vaccines currently in development for Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Norovirus, Lyme disease, Zika virus, Nipah virus, Monkeypox, and others. Meanwhile, the trial for its EBV vaccine has reportedly been halted in adolescents due to a case of – you guessed it – myocarditis. The human population will soon be inundated with mRNA-based drugs on a scale and with an imposed intensity that will make the Covid era seem positively quaint. The safety record for the sole mRNA product currently in human use – the Covid vaccines – is abysmal. A moratorium of at least several years, combined with an open, thorough, and publicly debated inquiry into the likely and possible toxicities inherent to the mRNA platform is essential to human safety, and if done, will save countless lives in coming years. 7. Work to Have the 1986 Vaccine Act Repealed. The toxicity of vaccines was so well-established even decades ago, that a Federal law – the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34) was passed to specifically exempt vaccine manufacturers from product liability, based on the legal principle that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” products. Since the 1986 NCVIA act protecting vaccine manufacturers from liability, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines on the market, as well as the number of vaccines added to the CDC vaccine schedules, with the number of vaccines on the CDC Child and Adolescent schedule rising from 7 in 1986 to 21 in 2023. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 should be repealed, returning vaccines to the same liability status as other drugs. 8. Work to End Vaccine Mandates at Every Level of Society. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-20 academic year there were 3,982 degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States. In the fall of 2021, all but approximately 600 of these institutions mandated Covid-19 vaccination for their students. Since then, nearly all such institutions have dropped their student Covid vaccine mandates. However, at this writing, 71 colleges and universities, or approximately 1.7%, continue to mandate the Covid vaccines for students to attend. The number of mandating schools reduced gradually, largely through the intense, extremely labor intensive work of a very few small, newly-formed, grassroots organizations like No College Mandates. While the effectiveness of such efforts is undeniable, the 71 holdouts (which include “elite” institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins) demonstrate just how deeply entrenched the mandating of vaccines remains in certain segments of society. As a result of the hubris and abuse it displayed during Covid, the entire vaccine mega-industry has suffered tremendous (and richly deserved) damage to its formerly unquestioned, “safe and effective” image. However, from education to healthcare to the military, gains made against vaccine mandates have been partial and temporary at most. A concerted effort to further educate the public about the immense problems with vaccines and to restore individual choice must be joined by a great many more people if this fundamental imposition on basic bodily autonomy is to be overcome. 9. Work to End Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals. The United States is one of only 2 countries in the world that allows direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The dangers of this utterly ill-advised policy are multiple. First, as we all can see by simply turning on the television, Big Pharma abuses this privilege to aggressively yet seductively hawk every product it feels it can make a buck off of. The “pill for every ill” mindset shifts into hyperdrive, with an expensive, proprietary, pharmacological cure for everything from your morbid obesity to your “bent carrot.” The situation on social media is, if anything, even worse. It is no coincidence that black markets for overhyped, purported wonder drugs such as semaglutide develop, nor that dangerous misuse, such as thousands of reported overdoses have been reported. Perhaps more importantly, direct-to-consumer advertising provides Big Pharma with a convenient and legal way to capture media. Big Pharma was the second-largest television advertising industry in 2021, spending $5.6 billion. No legacy media outlet dares to go against the wishes of those providing that level of funding. This effectively muzzles any and all dissenting voices from appearing on those platforms. A free society requires freedom of the press and media. The Covid era has demonstrated that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising stifles freedom of the press and media to a dangerous and unacceptable degree. 10. Play Offense. If all you do is play defense, the best result you can hope for is a draw. During the lockdowns, with courts closed, businesses shuttered, and citizens isolated from one another, it was extremely difficult to mount even a solid defense against the gross incursions on our civil rights. A few courageous individuals, often acting alone and at tremendous personal cost, managed to counterpunch effectively. Their contributions to saving our “free” societies (if indeed they are eventually saved) will perhaps never be adequately recognized. Today, despite the mainstream silence, the tide is turning in favor of medical freedom and civil liberties in multiple areas. It is time for the masses to join in and help those who managed to make these early advances, and who continue to fight on behalf of all citizens. For example, New York attorney Bobbie Anne Cox continues her David v. Goliath legal struggle to defeat Governor Kathy Hochul’s extralegal and grossly unconstitutional quarantine camp order. This case may eventually reach the Supreme Court. I don’t want to declare that Ms. Cox can’t do it alone, because that’s pretty much what she has done so far, and having followed that case, I wouldn’t bet against her. But hell, even Hercules had a sidekick. Medical freedom advocates would do well by actively and generously supporting her. After surviving his own trial by fire, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced a lawsuit against Pfizer for “unlawfully misrepresenting the Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, and attempting to censor public discussion of the product.” Citizens of other states would do well to aggressively petition their attorneys general to take similar action, including removing the mRNA vaccines from the market in their states on the grounds of their demonstrated adulteration with potentially harmful DNA. If medical freedom advocates want the concept to prevail, they must go on offense. Get involved. There is no need to reinvent the wheel at this point. Adopt one or more of the organizations or causes above as your personal project, join, and contribute. Add your light to the sum of light, and the darkness will not overcome it. In summary, those of us seeking to secure and ensure medical freedom for ourselves and future generations must become vocal, persistent advocates, as well as courageous people of action. Furthermore, we must not allow the abuses and evils of the Covid era to vanish down the memory hole, which of course is exactly what every politician, bureaucrat, Deep State apparatchik, and globalist elite who perpetrated those deeds wants to happen. Some cliches are true, and this is one of them: if we allow ourselves to forget history, we will be doomed to repeat it. Covid-19 was the defining event of the century. It was a destructive, deadly catastrophe, but it does have one remarkable silver lining. It peeled the veneer off our governments, institutions, corporations, and society as a whole. It revealed how the powerful plan to strip us of our freedoms – medical and otherwise. We now know what we face. May we, the ordinary citizens, have the courage and intelligence to act effectively to regain and retain our freedoms, dignity, and fundamental human rights. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author C.J. Baker, M.D. is an internal medicine physician with a quarter century in clinical practice. He has held numerous academic medical appointments, and his work has appeared in many journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. From 2012 to 2018 he was Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Rochester. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/ten-new-years-resolutions-to-restore-medical-freedom/
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    Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence.
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