• The Fed's "Doomsday Book" Has Been Revealed
    The Corbett Report

    by James Corbett
    corbettreport.com
    May 26, 2024

    Back in 2011, shareholders of insurance giant American International Group (AIG) filed a $40 billion class action lawsuit against the US government over the terms of its controversial bailout of AIG during the 2008 financial crisis.

    In 2014, the trial case came to focus on an intriguing oddity. In cross-examination, the plaintiffs learned of a set of documents that the New York Fed—the heart of America's Federal Reserve central bank and the primary wheeler-dealer in the chaotic days of the global financial collapse—dramatically refers to as its "Doomsday Book."

    This book, it was discovered, contained the various legal opinions and memoranda that the Fed used to determine what power it has to manipulate the financial system in the event of a large-scale crisis. And, it seemed, there was a good chance that the central broke its own rules with all its bailout shenanigans and financial sleight-of-hand during the 2008 collapse.

    However, the plaintiffs' reasonable request to see the book and examine these supposed emergency powers was immediately rebuffed by the Fed. New York Fed lawyer John S. Kiernan, for example, was adamant that the Fed would not open up the book for the court. "Of the tens of thousands of documents that we have produced in this case, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has sought to retain confidentiality because of the internal sensitivity of only this one," he told the United States Court of Federal Claims.

    The court was eventually able to pry the relevant documents out of the Fed's clutches, but the Doomsday Book has remained under court seal for years . . . until now.

    Late last year, an enterprising researcher managed to get his hands on a copy of the elusive book. And what that book contains should shock you (if you're paying attention).

    What Is The Doomsday Book?


    The very first thing to note about the "Doomsday Book" is that you can now read it for yourself! . . . kind of. I'll get into that qualification in a bit. But first, I do recommend you download the publicly available content for yourself. You can download it as a PDF file from The Wall Street Journal website HERE.

    And, since Corbett Reporteers might not like to give WSJ their traffic (and because these types of files have a pesky habit of disappearing down the internet rabbit hole), I've also gone ahead and preserved a copy on my server HERE! (You're welcome!) Still, you never know when/if/how information online will go missing or become inaccessible, so don't dither. Download it now, while you can!

    Alright, now that you have a copy saved locally, here's the first question: what is the doomsday book, exactly?

    The short answer—taken from an article announcing its release last December—is that the doomsday book is "an internal document used to guide the Federal Reserve’s actions during emergencies."

    The longer answer is that the Doomsday Book is not a book at all. Instead, it's a collection of documents, legal opinions and memoranda that have been assembled and maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) over the course of decades. It was first compiled in the 1990s and has been revised four times, thus creating five versions of the "book" (that we know of). The latest version is Version 5.0 and it includes extensive revisions to various memoranda and opinions—revisions that were made to reflect the legal and regulatory changes wrought by the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (see the "Note on Legal Evolution" on page 46 of the PDF document).

    According to the Prefatory Matters section of the latest revision (page 44 of the PDF document):

    The Doomsday Book is intended to help lawyers of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York aid their clients in crisis management. It was originally distributed to a limited set of lawyers and select senior staff members. This has changed with time, as more lawyers are drawn into crisis management. Now, all FRBNY lawyers receive a copy of the Doomsday Book.

    The same passage also explains that the book "is not intended as an 'off-the-shelf' solution to any particular crisis" but as a "playbook" of general advice that may require modification depending on the circumstances.

    So, the next question to be answered is . . .

    How Did The Doomsday Book Get Released?


    As indicated above, the Doomsday Book first came to the public's attention during the 2014 Starr International Co. v. United States trial, in which AIG shareholders were suing the government over the Fed's questionable bailout practices. (If you need a primer on that trial to bring you up to speed, you're in luck! I wrote an article about the case and its startling conclusion in these very pages nine years ago!)

    During the trial, Timothy Geithner—who was president of the FRBNY during the global financial collapse—not only confirmed the existence of the book, but admitted that he relied on it to guide his actions in the crisis. “It’s kind of a big, fat binder,” he told the court, adding that “we did occasionally go back and consult it as things were eroding around us. . . . It was a reference material that described precedent and authority.”

    And, as also noted above, although the plaintiffs' lawyers were able to get their hands on a copy of the book's index, the Fed successfully petitioned the court to keep the documents under court seal. Some quotations from the book were read into the court record during testimony, but, aside from that, no specific information on the documents was forthcoming.

    Enter Emre Kuvvet. He's a Professor of Finance at Nova Southeastern University who, recognizing the importance of this elusive emergency operations document, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the book . . . and was promptly rejected. Not one to give up so easily, Kuvvet then filed a simple Freedom of Information request with the FRBNY and—"for reasons unknown to me," as Kuvvet wryly observes—was duly provided the 122-page document that you just downloaded.

    Now, in order to understand why the FRBNY's compliance with this request is so unusual, you have to understand the difference between the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System—the twelve-member panel appointed by the US president and confirmed by the US Senate to oversee the Federal Reserve System—and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York—the most powerful of the twelve regional banks that are responsible for the banking operations of the Federal Reserve System.

    If you need a refresher on the deliberately confusing structure of the United States' "decentralized central bank," might I humbly suggest that you watch (or re-watch) Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve? If and when you do so, you will see for yourself the moment when Federal Reserve Board Senior Counsel Yvonne Mizusawa argues in court that the Federal Reserve Regional Banks (not the Board) are private banks and thus not "persons under FOIA."

    In other words, the Federal Reserve argues that the records of the Fed's regional banks—including their legal opinions, memoranda, internal records and, of course, the New York Fed's coveted Doomsday Book—are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, no doubt concerned with the optics created by an un-FOIA-able central bank, the FRBNY has a "Freedom of Information Requests" page on its website in which it boasts that "the New York Fed is committed to complying with the spirit of FOIA and has had a Freedom of Information Policy or related practice for decades."

    In other words, the New York Fed does not believe itself to be legally obligated to give up any of its precious documents . . . but it might occasionally choose to do so if you ask nicely. Accordingly, the FRBNY provided Kuvvet with versions 4.1 (2006) and 5.0 (2012) of the book's index. He then set to work writing an extensive article about the documents, "What Is in the Federal Reserve’s Doomsday Book?" (paywalled content), which was published in the Spring 2024 edition of The Independent Review.

    The title of Kuvvet's article raises another very good question, namely . . .

    What Is In The Doomsday Book?


    Remember when I said you can download the book for yourself . . . kind of? Well, here's the rub: the 122-page PDF document that was released in 2022 and is now available for download is not the full collection of documents. Rather, what has been released is an introduction to the book.

    Spread out over more than 100 pages, this introduction includes an extensive index of the contents of the full book; a listing of the titles and dates of the various agreements, memos and opinions that form the full collection; the Fed's own internal notes explaining what the collection is; an explanation of what the various sections of the book contain; and even an especially revealing explanatory passage containing the frank admission that "the powers of a Federal Reserve Bank are far greater than is commonly supposed" (page 33).

    The latest version of the Doomsday Book introduction reveals that the book consists of three volumes:

    Volume I – Pre-2008 Legal Documents

    Volume II – Post-2008 Legal Documents

    Volume III – Memoranda

    For a complete listing of what documents are contained in each volume and what subject each document covers, you can browse through the confusing and repetitive PDF document or you can read Kuvvet's article for a more logical (if still ponderous) listing.

    The introduction to Version 4.1, however, does helpfully break down the legal memoranda in the book into broad categories of memo:

    "Powers Opinions," which "discuss the legal authority of Federal Reserve Banks to provide various kinds of emergency services and facilities that they are not in the habit of providing under ordinary circumstances";

    "History and Policy," documenting the history of the Federal Reserve's policy decisions and previous emergency actions;

    "Operational Issues," which "discuss legal aspects of operational issues, and are probably mostly of interest to attorneys";

    "Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law Issues," dealing with the legal risk of lending to bankrupt or insolvent firms;

    "International Issues," dealing with the cross-border operations the Fed might employ during international crises;

    Etc.

    As for the agreements, memoranda and opinions themselves, there are some incredibly interesting documents listed that no doubt contain many valuable nuggets of information about the Fed's internal processes.

    For the policy wonks and financial eggheads in the crowd, the agreements contained in the book provide a wealth of data on what the Fed believes it is empowered to do during times of crisis. As Kuvvet notes in his "What Is in the Federal Reserve’s Doomsday Book?" article, for instance:

    In the Section 13(13) Lending Agreement subsection, the FRBNY states that the section 13(13) lending authority can be useful for nonbank government securities dealers. The FRBNY believes that Federal Reserve Banks are authorized to accept ineligible collateral to supplement eligible collateral.

    Conspiracy realists, meanwhile, will no doubt be intrigued by the "Chronology of Events at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York After the World Trade Center Attack" in the "History and Policy" section of the book. According to the Fed's own description on page 35 of the PDF, the document "begins with the morning of September 11, 2001 and concludes with the full resumption of operations on September 24" and "discusses all significant events: financial, operational and humanitarian."

    So, how does the New York Fed's internal history of the 9/11 false flag differ from the public version—"The Federal Reserve's Response to the Sept. 11 Attacks"—on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' website? Does it include information on the puzzling monetary events taking place in the lead-up to those attacks—events that include the largest June-August spike in the currency component of the M1 money supply in half a century? Does it hold the clue to the Die Hard 3-esque gold heist that may or may not have taken place in New York on the day of the attacks?

    Good questions!

    Unfortunately, until such time as some intrepid reporter, professor of finance or Corbett Reporteer jumps through the hoops of the New York Fed's Freedom of Information Requests process and pries this specific document—or any of the other documents listed in the Doomsday Book index—from the bankster's clutches, we won't know for sure. After all, we only have the titles of these documents and a cursory description of them from the Doomsday Book's index.

    All of this leads us to the most important question . . .

    What Does It Mean?


    The first-order takeaway from the Doomsday Book is that the Fed apparently believes that it has the authority to do quite a bit more in the event of an emergency than has been specifically authorized by the Federal Reserve Act.

    For a line-by-line, blow-by-blow analysis of these presumed powers and the Fed's arguments surrounding them, I highly suggest reading Kuvvet's article. In it, you will learn, for instance, that the Fed believes it has the authority to bail out cities during "emergency situations" . . . whatever those are.

    Surprisingly, the FRBNY states that section 13(3) lending authority extends to municipalities, and that there is an additional independent section 14(b)(1)17 lending authority for municipalities. Thus, the FRBNY considers that it has the legal authority to rescue municipalities in emergency situations. The Doomsday Book does not define what those “emergency situations” are.

    Even more remarkably, the Fed also reserves the power to receive "equity kickers"—that is, take an ownership stake in a company and presumably even take over a company entirely—when engaged in emergency lending. This is the power that was under scrutiny during the aforementioned AIG shareholder lawsuit, Starr International Co. v. United States, and it raises the specter of the Fed taking over and potentially running companies or even vast swaths of the economy in the face of a truly catastrophic economic collapse.

    Per Kuvvet:

    Lenders receive equity kickers frequently to compensate for risk. The FRBNY received an equity kicker in the AIG loan. The FRBNY considers that the scope of the power to receive an equity kicker remains uncertain, particularly whether the National Bank Act restrictions on equity kickers apply to Reserve Banks. The memorandum titled “Equity Kickers and Reserve Bank Loans” contends that they do not. Lenders sometimes employ guarantees appurtenant to financial transactions, and often employ guarantees in workout contexts. The memoranda titled “AIG Loan Restructuring-Reserve Bank Powers” and “Authority of Reserve Banks to Issue Guarantees on Behalf of Depository Institutions” explore the limits of the guarantee power.

    But perhaps the most brazen statement of the Fed's self-proclaimed emergency power comes in the section on "Powers Opinions" on page 33 of the Doomsday Book PDF.

    The powers opinions discuss the legal authority of Federal Reserve Banks to provide various kinds of emergency services and facilities that they are not in the habit of providing under ordinary circumstances. [. . .] A constant theme runs through them all: the powers of a Federal Reserve Bank are far greater than is commonly supposed.

    This is perhaps the most succinct statement of the banksters' arrogance that have ever been set to paper. In other words, the Fed's own internal document is gloating that the Fed reserves itself powers that the public do not know about and presumably would not approve of if they did. This does not trouble the Fed or its legal counsel in the slightest.

    So, what are we to make of this galling arrogance?

    Writing in The Hill, op-ed contributor Doug Branch—whose bio notes that he served as Deputy Staff Director of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and Deputy Chief of Staff to a Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman in the US government—predictably opines that what is needed is for the government to step in and rein in the Fed, passing legislation to "unambiguously authorize" those emergency powers that the Fed claims and that Congress deems necessary. Congress should also, in Branch's opinion "reserve the right to disapprove [of a Fed emergency power] through an after-action process."

    Although Branch's answer sounds perfectly straightforward and reasonable—reasonable to statists who believe in The Most Dangerous Superstition, at least—it fails to grasp an extremely basic fact, one that governs all such "emergency powers" and "states of exception." Namely, the fact that power—especially emergency power—is a thing that is demonstrated, not codified.

    Case in point: the Starr International Co. v. United States case in which the Doomsday Book's existence was first revealed. If you read my 2015 article on that case, you'll know that case's insane conclusion. The court ultimately ruled that the Fed had indeed overstepped its powers in the course of the AIG bailout . . . but imposed no penalty and awarded the prosecution nothing.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Court concludes that the Credit Agreement Shareholder Class shall prevail on liability due to the Government’s illegal exaction, but shall recover zero damages, and that the Reverse Stock Split Shareholder Class shall not prevail on liability or damages.

    Naturally, the Fed took this decision as vindication that it had acted legally.

    The Federal Reserve strongly believes that its actions in the AIG rescue during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 were legal, proper and effective. The court's decision today in Starr International Company, Inc. v. the United States recognizes that AIG's shareholders are not entitled to compensation for that decision, and that the Federal Reserve's extension of credit to AIG prevented losses to millions of policyholders, small businesses, and American workers who would have been harmed by AIG's collapse during the financial crisis. The terms of the credit were appropriately tough to protect taxpayers from the risks the rescue loan presented when it was made.

    This is how power operates. It acts—illegally if need be—and the judge comes along afterward to clean up the mess.

    The fact that the Fed's powers have not been delineated down to the nth degree is a feature of the system that the banksters have created, not a bug, as Doug Branch suggests. The banksters who own and run the Fed and who control Congress through blackmail, bribery and extortion are not going to make the mistake of stating exactly what powers they do and don't possess. And they're certainly not going to allow such limitations on their powers to be codified into law. Instead, they will act as power always acts: unilaterally, unapologetically, and without asking for permission.

    Sorry (not sorry) to burst your bubble, Mr. Branch, and all those other "common sense" thinkers who believe that government is the answer to the problem that was created by the (bankster-controlled) government, but there is no tinkering around the edges here. No amount of legislation is going to make the entire corrupt Federal Reserve System into anything other than the bankster cartel that it was designed to be.

    No, we do not need to "rein in" the Fed or set up yet another government committee to try to codify its powers. We need to abolish the Fed itself and bring about a separation of money and state altogether. That is the real takeaway from the Fed Doomsday Book.

    For enterprising researchers out there, I look forward to hearing about your own exploration of these documents and your own adventures with the FRBNY's "Freedom of Information Request" process.

    The cockroaches always scurry from the light, so let's see if we can shine some more of it on this whole sordid mess.

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    https://open.substack.com/pub/corbettreport/p/the-feds-doomsday-book-has-been-revealed?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
    The Fed's "Doomsday Book" Has Been Revealed The Corbett Report by James Corbett corbettreport.com May 26, 2024 Back in 2011, shareholders of insurance giant American International Group (AIG) filed a $40 billion class action lawsuit against the US government over the terms of its controversial bailout of AIG during the 2008 financial crisis. In 2014, the trial case came to focus on an intriguing oddity. In cross-examination, the plaintiffs learned of a set of documents that the New York Fed—the heart of America's Federal Reserve central bank and the primary wheeler-dealer in the chaotic days of the global financial collapse—dramatically refers to as its "Doomsday Book." This book, it was discovered, contained the various legal opinions and memoranda that the Fed used to determine what power it has to manipulate the financial system in the event of a large-scale crisis. And, it seemed, there was a good chance that the central broke its own rules with all its bailout shenanigans and financial sleight-of-hand during the 2008 collapse. However, the plaintiffs' reasonable request to see the book and examine these supposed emergency powers was immediately rebuffed by the Fed. New York Fed lawyer John S. Kiernan, for example, was adamant that the Fed would not open up the book for the court. "Of the tens of thousands of documents that we have produced in this case, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has sought to retain confidentiality because of the internal sensitivity of only this one," he told the United States Court of Federal Claims. The court was eventually able to pry the relevant documents out of the Fed's clutches, but the Doomsday Book has remained under court seal for years . . . until now. Late last year, an enterprising researcher managed to get his hands on a copy of the elusive book. And what that book contains should shock you (if you're paying attention). What Is The Doomsday Book? The very first thing to note about the "Doomsday Book" is that you can now read it for yourself! . . . kind of. I'll get into that qualification in a bit. But first, I do recommend you download the publicly available content for yourself. You can download it as a PDF file from The Wall Street Journal website HERE. And, since Corbett Reporteers might not like to give WSJ their traffic (and because these types of files have a pesky habit of disappearing down the internet rabbit hole), I've also gone ahead and preserved a copy on my server HERE! (You're welcome!) Still, you never know when/if/how information online will go missing or become inaccessible, so don't dither. Download it now, while you can! Alright, now that you have a copy saved locally, here's the first question: what is the doomsday book, exactly? The short answer—taken from an article announcing its release last December—is that the doomsday book is "an internal document used to guide the Federal Reserve’s actions during emergencies." The longer answer is that the Doomsday Book is not a book at all. Instead, it's a collection of documents, legal opinions and memoranda that have been assembled and maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) over the course of decades. It was first compiled in the 1990s and has been revised four times, thus creating five versions of the "book" (that we know of). The latest version is Version 5.0 and it includes extensive revisions to various memoranda and opinions—revisions that were made to reflect the legal and regulatory changes wrought by the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (see the "Note on Legal Evolution" on page 46 of the PDF document). According to the Prefatory Matters section of the latest revision (page 44 of the PDF document): The Doomsday Book is intended to help lawyers of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York aid their clients in crisis management. It was originally distributed to a limited set of lawyers and select senior staff members. This has changed with time, as more lawyers are drawn into crisis management. Now, all FRBNY lawyers receive a copy of the Doomsday Book. The same passage also explains that the book "is not intended as an 'off-the-shelf' solution to any particular crisis" but as a "playbook" of general advice that may require modification depending on the circumstances. So, the next question to be answered is . . . How Did The Doomsday Book Get Released? As indicated above, the Doomsday Book first came to the public's attention during the 2014 Starr International Co. v. United States trial, in which AIG shareholders were suing the government over the Fed's questionable bailout practices. (If you need a primer on that trial to bring you up to speed, you're in luck! I wrote an article about the case and its startling conclusion in these very pages nine years ago!) During the trial, Timothy Geithner—who was president of the FRBNY during the global financial collapse—not only confirmed the existence of the book, but admitted that he relied on it to guide his actions in the crisis. “It’s kind of a big, fat binder,” he told the court, adding that “we did occasionally go back and consult it as things were eroding around us. . . . It was a reference material that described precedent and authority.” And, as also noted above, although the plaintiffs' lawyers were able to get their hands on a copy of the book's index, the Fed successfully petitioned the court to keep the documents under court seal. Some quotations from the book were read into the court record during testimony, but, aside from that, no specific information on the documents was forthcoming. Enter Emre Kuvvet. He's a Professor of Finance at Nova Southeastern University who, recognizing the importance of this elusive emergency operations document, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the book . . . and was promptly rejected. Not one to give up so easily, Kuvvet then filed a simple Freedom of Information request with the FRBNY and—"for reasons unknown to me," as Kuvvet wryly observes—was duly provided the 122-page document that you just downloaded. Now, in order to understand why the FRBNY's compliance with this request is so unusual, you have to understand the difference between the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System—the twelve-member panel appointed by the US president and confirmed by the US Senate to oversee the Federal Reserve System—and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York—the most powerful of the twelve regional banks that are responsible for the banking operations of the Federal Reserve System. If you need a refresher on the deliberately confusing structure of the United States' "decentralized central bank," might I humbly suggest that you watch (or re-watch) Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve? If and when you do so, you will see for yourself the moment when Federal Reserve Board Senior Counsel Yvonne Mizusawa argues in court that the Federal Reserve Regional Banks (not the Board) are private banks and thus not "persons under FOIA." In other words, the Federal Reserve argues that the records of the Fed's regional banks—including their legal opinions, memoranda, internal records and, of course, the New York Fed's coveted Doomsday Book—are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, no doubt concerned with the optics created by an un-FOIA-able central bank, the FRBNY has a "Freedom of Information Requests" page on its website in which it boasts that "the New York Fed is committed to complying with the spirit of FOIA and has had a Freedom of Information Policy or related practice for decades." In other words, the New York Fed does not believe itself to be legally obligated to give up any of its precious documents . . . but it might occasionally choose to do so if you ask nicely. Accordingly, the FRBNY provided Kuvvet with versions 4.1 (2006) and 5.0 (2012) of the book's index. He then set to work writing an extensive article about the documents, "What Is in the Federal Reserve’s Doomsday Book?" (paywalled content), which was published in the Spring 2024 edition of The Independent Review. The title of Kuvvet's article raises another very good question, namely . . . What Is In The Doomsday Book? Remember when I said you can download the book for yourself . . . kind of? Well, here's the rub: the 122-page PDF document that was released in 2022 and is now available for download is not the full collection of documents. Rather, what has been released is an introduction to the book. Spread out over more than 100 pages, this introduction includes an extensive index of the contents of the full book; a listing of the titles and dates of the various agreements, memos and opinions that form the full collection; the Fed's own internal notes explaining what the collection is; an explanation of what the various sections of the book contain; and even an especially revealing explanatory passage containing the frank admission that "the powers of a Federal Reserve Bank are far greater than is commonly supposed" (page 33). The latest version of the Doomsday Book introduction reveals that the book consists of three volumes: Volume I – Pre-2008 Legal Documents Volume II – Post-2008 Legal Documents Volume III – Memoranda For a complete listing of what documents are contained in each volume and what subject each document covers, you can browse through the confusing and repetitive PDF document or you can read Kuvvet's article for a more logical (if still ponderous) listing. The introduction to Version 4.1, however, does helpfully break down the legal memoranda in the book into broad categories of memo: "Powers Opinions," which "discuss the legal authority of Federal Reserve Banks to provide various kinds of emergency services and facilities that they are not in the habit of providing under ordinary circumstances"; "History and Policy," documenting the history of the Federal Reserve's policy decisions and previous emergency actions; "Operational Issues," which "discuss legal aspects of operational issues, and are probably mostly of interest to attorneys"; "Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law Issues," dealing with the legal risk of lending to bankrupt or insolvent firms; "International Issues," dealing with the cross-border operations the Fed might employ during international crises; Etc. As for the agreements, memoranda and opinions themselves, there are some incredibly interesting documents listed that no doubt contain many valuable nuggets of information about the Fed's internal processes. For the policy wonks and financial eggheads in the crowd, the agreements contained in the book provide a wealth of data on what the Fed believes it is empowered to do during times of crisis. As Kuvvet notes in his "What Is in the Federal Reserve’s Doomsday Book?" article, for instance: In the Section 13(13) Lending Agreement subsection, the FRBNY states that the section 13(13) lending authority can be useful for nonbank government securities dealers. The FRBNY believes that Federal Reserve Banks are authorized to accept ineligible collateral to supplement eligible collateral. Conspiracy realists, meanwhile, will no doubt be intrigued by the "Chronology of Events at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York After the World Trade Center Attack" in the "History and Policy" section of the book. According to the Fed's own description on page 35 of the PDF, the document "begins with the morning of September 11, 2001 and concludes with the full resumption of operations on September 24" and "discusses all significant events: financial, operational and humanitarian." So, how does the New York Fed's internal history of the 9/11 false flag differ from the public version—"The Federal Reserve's Response to the Sept. 11 Attacks"—on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' website? Does it include information on the puzzling monetary events taking place in the lead-up to those attacks—events that include the largest June-August spike in the currency component of the M1 money supply in half a century? Does it hold the clue to the Die Hard 3-esque gold heist that may or may not have taken place in New York on the day of the attacks? Good questions! Unfortunately, until such time as some intrepid reporter, professor of finance or Corbett Reporteer jumps through the hoops of the New York Fed's Freedom of Information Requests process and pries this specific document—or any of the other documents listed in the Doomsday Book index—from the bankster's clutches, we won't know for sure. After all, we only have the titles of these documents and a cursory description of them from the Doomsday Book's index. All of this leads us to the most important question . . . What Does It Mean? The first-order takeaway from the Doomsday Book is that the Fed apparently believes that it has the authority to do quite a bit more in the event of an emergency than has been specifically authorized by the Federal Reserve Act. For a line-by-line, blow-by-blow analysis of these presumed powers and the Fed's arguments surrounding them, I highly suggest reading Kuvvet's article. In it, you will learn, for instance, that the Fed believes it has the authority to bail out cities during "emergency situations" . . . whatever those are. Surprisingly, the FRBNY states that section 13(3) lending authority extends to municipalities, and that there is an additional independent section 14(b)(1)17 lending authority for municipalities. Thus, the FRBNY considers that it has the legal authority to rescue municipalities in emergency situations. The Doomsday Book does not define what those “emergency situations” are. Even more remarkably, the Fed also reserves the power to receive "equity kickers"—that is, take an ownership stake in a company and presumably even take over a company entirely—when engaged in emergency lending. This is the power that was under scrutiny during the aforementioned AIG shareholder lawsuit, Starr International Co. v. United States, and it raises the specter of the Fed taking over and potentially running companies or even vast swaths of the economy in the face of a truly catastrophic economic collapse. Per Kuvvet: Lenders receive equity kickers frequently to compensate for risk. The FRBNY received an equity kicker in the AIG loan. The FRBNY considers that the scope of the power to receive an equity kicker remains uncertain, particularly whether the National Bank Act restrictions on equity kickers apply to Reserve Banks. The memorandum titled “Equity Kickers and Reserve Bank Loans” contends that they do not. Lenders sometimes employ guarantees appurtenant to financial transactions, and often employ guarantees in workout contexts. The memoranda titled “AIG Loan Restructuring-Reserve Bank Powers” and “Authority of Reserve Banks to Issue Guarantees on Behalf of Depository Institutions” explore the limits of the guarantee power. But perhaps the most brazen statement of the Fed's self-proclaimed emergency power comes in the section on "Powers Opinions" on page 33 of the Doomsday Book PDF. The powers opinions discuss the legal authority of Federal Reserve Banks to provide various kinds of emergency services and facilities that they are not in the habit of providing under ordinary circumstances. [. . .] A constant theme runs through them all: the powers of a Federal Reserve Bank are far greater than is commonly supposed. This is perhaps the most succinct statement of the banksters' arrogance that have ever been set to paper. In other words, the Fed's own internal document is gloating that the Fed reserves itself powers that the public do not know about and presumably would not approve of if they did. This does not trouble the Fed or its legal counsel in the slightest. So, what are we to make of this galling arrogance? Writing in The Hill, op-ed contributor Doug Branch—whose bio notes that he served as Deputy Staff Director of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and Deputy Chief of Staff to a Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman in the US government—predictably opines that what is needed is for the government to step in and rein in the Fed, passing legislation to "unambiguously authorize" those emergency powers that the Fed claims and that Congress deems necessary. Congress should also, in Branch's opinion "reserve the right to disapprove [of a Fed emergency power] through an after-action process." Although Branch's answer sounds perfectly straightforward and reasonable—reasonable to statists who believe in The Most Dangerous Superstition, at least—it fails to grasp an extremely basic fact, one that governs all such "emergency powers" and "states of exception." Namely, the fact that power—especially emergency power—is a thing that is demonstrated, not codified. Case in point: the Starr International Co. v. United States case in which the Doomsday Book's existence was first revealed. If you read my 2015 article on that case, you'll know that case's insane conclusion. The court ultimately ruled that the Fed had indeed overstepped its powers in the course of the AIG bailout . . . but imposed no penalty and awarded the prosecution nothing. Based upon the foregoing, the Court concludes that the Credit Agreement Shareholder Class shall prevail on liability due to the Government’s illegal exaction, but shall recover zero damages, and that the Reverse Stock Split Shareholder Class shall not prevail on liability or damages. Naturally, the Fed took this decision as vindication that it had acted legally. The Federal Reserve strongly believes that its actions in the AIG rescue during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 were legal, proper and effective. The court's decision today in Starr International Company, Inc. v. the United States recognizes that AIG's shareholders are not entitled to compensation for that decision, and that the Federal Reserve's extension of credit to AIG prevented losses to millions of policyholders, small businesses, and American workers who would have been harmed by AIG's collapse during the financial crisis. The terms of the credit were appropriately tough to protect taxpayers from the risks the rescue loan presented when it was made. This is how power operates. It acts—illegally if need be—and the judge comes along afterward to clean up the mess. The fact that the Fed's powers have not been delineated down to the nth degree is a feature of the system that the banksters have created, not a bug, as Doug Branch suggests. The banksters who own and run the Fed and who control Congress through blackmail, bribery and extortion are not going to make the mistake of stating exactly what powers they do and don't possess. And they're certainly not going to allow such limitations on their powers to be codified into law. Instead, they will act as power always acts: unilaterally, unapologetically, and without asking for permission. Sorry (not sorry) to burst your bubble, Mr. Branch, and all those other "common sense" thinkers who believe that government is the answer to the problem that was created by the (bankster-controlled) government, but there is no tinkering around the edges here. No amount of legislation is going to make the entire corrupt Federal Reserve System into anything other than the bankster cartel that it was designed to be. No, we do not need to "rein in" the Fed or set up yet another government committee to try to codify its powers. We need to abolish the Fed itself and bring about a separation of money and state altogether. That is the real takeaway from the Fed Doomsday Book. For enterprising researchers out there, I look forward to hearing about your own exploration of these documents and your own adventures with the FRBNY's "Freedom of Information Request" process. The cockroaches always scurry from the light, so let's see if we can shine some more of it on this whole sordid mess. Like this type of essay? Then you’ll love The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter, which contains my weekly editorial as well as recommended reading, viewing and listening. If you’re a Corbett Report member, you can sign in to corbettreport.com and read the newsletter today. Not a member yet? Sign up today to access the newsletter and support this work. https://open.substack.com/pub/corbettreport/p/the-feds-doomsday-book-has-been-revealed?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


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

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

    Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    https://www.fox5dc.com/news/watch-francis-scott-key-bridge-collapses-in-maryland

    #FrancisScottKeyBridge #KeyBridge #Bridge #Baltimore #Maryland #PatapscoRiver #ContainerShip #MaritimeTransport #InfrastructureSecurity #Infrastructure #Transportation
    Elissa Salamy - Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses in Maryland: https://www.fox5dc.com/news/watch-francis-scott-key-bridge-collapses-in-maryland #FrancisScottKeyBridge #KeyBridge #Bridge #Baltimore #Maryland #PatapscoRiver #ContainerShip #MaritimeTransport #InfrastructureSecurity #Infrastructure #Transportation
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    WATCH: Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses in Maryland
    Watch the moment Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed overnight.
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  • Vladimir Putin: Satanism’s political power is waning
    When Putin mentioned the “Western vampire ball,” he conveyed a profound message.

    Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 19, 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.

    …by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor

    No, Putin did not use the word “satanism” this time, but the words he did use are close enough. Recently, Putin explicitly referred to the ‘Western vampire ball’ and highlighted its imminent collapse before our eyes. First of all, what exactly is a vampire? Let’s consider Dracula, for example. How does he thrive?

    Dracula sustains himself by drinking the blood of others, his existence entirely reliant on this gruesome act. This gives him a perverse sense of satisfaction. Therefore, when Putin mentioned the “Western vampire ball,” he conveyed a profound message. Consider how certain groups, such as Jewish Satanists, have metaphysically “drunk the blood” of people across the Middle East. Are they content?

    No, because they are Satanists. Their insatiable thirst for blood cannot be satisfied, even with the vast resources of the Middle East and much of the world. When Putin entered the political arena a few years ago, he undoubtedly brought a breath of fresh air everywhere.

    Additionally, when he won the election by a landslide, we know that Jewish Satanists in the United States, Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and even within NATO, must have been trembling because Putin isn’t going to surrender to these ethnic cleansers and nation destroyers. According to Putin,

    “Western elites have been ‘tearing to pieces [the] poor peoples of Africa’ and have exploited Latin America and Asia for 500 years.”

    Putin doesn’t make statements that he can’t back up. One could argue that he is well-versed in history and political ideology, hence he knows that statements like this would agitate Satanists. But is the statement false? Just take a look at the twentieth century itself, and the evidence clearly shows that Putin is telling the truth. Putin elaborated:

    “For centuries, they got used to stuffing their stomachs with human flesh and their pockets with money. But they must realize that this ‘ball of vampires’ is coming to an end.”

    From Russia Today:

    “Hawkish recent rhetoric by French President Emmanual Macron may have been an emotional outburst after his country retreated from its former colonial domains in Africa, Putin suggested. Paris has accused Moscow of undermining it, although Putin insisted that Russia ‘did not squeeze anyone out’ of the continent.”

    Putin has more to say about Satanists who persist in drinking other people’s blood, particularly in Ukraine:

    “They were sending their people into the meat grinder. Soldiers were literally barefoot recently [due to supply problems]. For us [the Ukraine conflict] is a matter of life and death; for them it’s a matter of improving their tactical position [globally and in Europe].”



    In other words, Putin isn’t going to surrender to Jewish Satanists and Neocon shills. He will continue the fight to the end.

    Two thumbs up for Vladimir Putin.

    First published on March 18, 2024.


    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/2024/03/vladimir-putin-satanisms-political-power-is-waning/
    Vladimir Putin: Satanism’s political power is waning When Putin mentioned the “Western vampire ball,” he conveyed a profound message. Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 19, 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. …by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor No, Putin did not use the word “satanism” this time, but the words he did use are close enough. Recently, Putin explicitly referred to the ‘Western vampire ball’ and highlighted its imminent collapse before our eyes. First of all, what exactly is a vampire? Let’s consider Dracula, for example. How does he thrive? Dracula sustains himself by drinking the blood of others, his existence entirely reliant on this gruesome act. This gives him a perverse sense of satisfaction. Therefore, when Putin mentioned the “Western vampire ball,” he conveyed a profound message. Consider how certain groups, such as Jewish Satanists, have metaphysically “drunk the blood” of people across the Middle East. Are they content? No, because they are Satanists. Their insatiable thirst for blood cannot be satisfied, even with the vast resources of the Middle East and much of the world. When Putin entered the political arena a few years ago, he undoubtedly brought a breath of fresh air everywhere. Additionally, when he won the election by a landslide, we know that Jewish Satanists in the United States, Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and even within NATO, must have been trembling because Putin isn’t going to surrender to these ethnic cleansers and nation destroyers. According to Putin, “Western elites have been ‘tearing to pieces [the] poor peoples of Africa’ and have exploited Latin America and Asia for 500 years.” Putin doesn’t make statements that he can’t back up. One could argue that he is well-versed in history and political ideology, hence he knows that statements like this would agitate Satanists. But is the statement false? Just take a look at the twentieth century itself, and the evidence clearly shows that Putin is telling the truth. Putin elaborated: “For centuries, they got used to stuffing their stomachs with human flesh and their pockets with money. But they must realize that this ‘ball of vampires’ is coming to an end.” From Russia Today: “Hawkish recent rhetoric by French President Emmanual Macron may have been an emotional outburst after his country retreated from its former colonial domains in Africa, Putin suggested. Paris has accused Moscow of undermining it, although Putin insisted that Russia ‘did not squeeze anyone out’ of the continent.” Putin has more to say about Satanists who persist in drinking other people’s blood, particularly in Ukraine: “They were sending their people into the meat grinder. Soldiers were literally barefoot recently [due to supply problems]. For us [the Ukraine conflict] is a matter of life and death; for them it’s a matter of improving their tactical position [globally and in Europe].” In other words, Putin isn’t going to surrender to Jewish Satanists and Neocon shills. He will continue the fight to the end. Two thumbs up for Vladimir Putin. First published on March 18, 2024. 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/2024/03/vladimir-putin-satanisms-political-power-is-waning/
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    Vladimir Putin: Satanism’s political power is waning
    When Putin mentioned the “Western vampire ball,” he conveyed a profound message.
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  • THE DOWNFALL OF AMERICA IS IN FULL SWING; COMPLETE CIVIL COLLAPSE IS COMING
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/Cgt5dhlKUM4H/
    THE DOWNFALL OF AMERICA IS IN FULL SWING; COMPLETE CIVIL COLLAPSE IS COMING https://www.bitchute.com/video/Cgt5dhlKUM4H/
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  • ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead
    CNN — normal
    ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert hall complex near Moscow Friday after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices, killing at least 60 people and injuring 145.

    The terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. It did not provide evidence to support the claim.

    Video footage from the Crocus City Hall shows the vast complex, which is home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air. State-run RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.” They then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency said.

    State media Russia 24 reported the roof of the venue has partially collapsed.

    The fire had been brought largely under control more than six hours later. “There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly eliminated,” Moscow governor Andrey Vorobyov said on Telegram.

    The deadliest terror attack on Moscow in decades, Friday’s assault came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a stage-managed election by an overwhelming majority to secure another term in office, tightening his grip on the country he has ruled since the turn of the century.

    With attention focused on the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin had trumpeted a message of national security before Russians went to the polls.

    The carnage broke out before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24.

    “Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said, cited by TASS.

    This screen grab from video shows armed men inside the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Moscow region, Russia. CNN can not verify whether these are the armed attackers or Russian authorities moving in.
    Video footage showed panic as the attack unfolded, with crowds of people huddling together, screaming and ducking behind cushioned seats as gunshots started echoing in the vast hall. One group sheltering next to a large wall of windows outside the concert venue were forced to break them to escape the gunfire, video obtained by CNN shows.

    Footage geolocated by CNN shows an armed individual starting at least one fire inside the venue. The individual is seen carrying something in their hand and, as they walk off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame is seen in the video.

    A SWAT team was called to the area and more than 70 ambulance teams and doctors assisted victims.

    One hundred and forty-five people have been hospitalized, TASS reported. Sixty people are in a “serious condition.”

    According to the Kremlin, Putin was informed about the attack and is being kept updated on measures on the ground.

    The president on Saturday wished those injured in the attack a speedy recovery, the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency said. He also “conveyed his gratitude to the doctors,” RIA added.

    Around 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters, TASS reported.

    Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the attack a “terrible tragedy.”

    “My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident,” Sobyanin said in a statement.

    Sobyanin said on Telegram that he was canceling all sports, cultural and other public events in Moscow this weekend.

    Picnic’s manager told state media that the performers were unharmed.

    Shaman, the band’s singer, said he would pay for the funerals of the victims and treatment for those injured.

    “We are all one big family. And in a family there is no such thing as somebody else’s grief,” the singer, known for his nationalistic views, said in a video posted on the Russian social media network Vkontakte to his more than 600,000 followers.

    “My people, any troubles and misfortunes have always united our country. They have made Russia tougher and stronger. It will not be possible to frighten and break us this time either.”

    ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow attack that killed 40

    02:51 - Source: CNN
    US had warned of potential attack

    Earlier this month, the US embassy in Russia said it was “monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow,” including concerts. The embassy warned US citizens to avoid large gatherings. On Friday, following reports of the Crocus City Hall attack, it advised US citizens not to travel to Russia.

    Starting in November, there has been a steady stream of intelligence that ISIS-K was determined to attack in Russia, according to two sources familiar with the information.

    ISIS-K stands for ISIS-Khorasan, the terror organization’s affiliate that is active in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.

    US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US government had had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow – potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts – and that this is what prompted the State Department to issue the public advisory.

    “The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘duty to warn’ policy,” Watson said.

    In a speech Tuesday, Putin had blasted the American warnings as “provocative,” saying “these actions resemble outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.”

    In March alone, Russian authorities had thwarted several ISIS-related incidents, according to RIA. On March 3, RIA reported that six ISIS members were killed in a counter-terrorist operation in the Ingush Karabulak; on March 7, it said security services had uncovered and “neutralized” a cell of the banned organization Vilayat Khorasan in the Kaluga region, whose members were planning an attack on a synagogue in Moscow; and on March 20, it said the commander of an ISIS combat group had been detained.

    A US official said Friday that Washington had no reason to doubt ISIS’ claim that it was responsible for the latest attack.

    International response

    Ukraine, which has been embroiled in a war with Russia for more than two years, denied any involvement in the attack.

    “Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote, in part, in a post on X. He said he believed Russia would use the attack to justify the ongoing conflict and scale up operations as part of “military propaganda” in Ukraine.

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres late Friday condemned “in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack” according to a statement released by his deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

    “The secretary-general conveys his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the government of the Russian Federation. He wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” the statement said.

    In a separate statement, the UN Security Council called the attack “heinous and cowardly.”

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping offered his condolences to Putin on Saturday “over the serious terrorist attack that caused heavy casualties,” according to a report from Chinese state media.

    French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned the attack. “France expresses its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people,” the Elysee Palace said, AFP and Reuters reported.

    India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both also denounced the attack.

    CNN’s Eva Rothenberg, Paul Murphy and Hannah Strange contributed to this reporting.

    https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/22/europe/crocus-moscow-shooting/index.html
    ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead CNN — normal ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert hall complex near Moscow Friday after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices, killing at least 60 people and injuring 145. The terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. It did not provide evidence to support the claim. Video footage from the Crocus City Hall shows the vast complex, which is home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air. State-run RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.” They then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency said. State media Russia 24 reported the roof of the venue has partially collapsed. The fire had been brought largely under control more than six hours later. “There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly eliminated,” Moscow governor Andrey Vorobyov said on Telegram. The deadliest terror attack on Moscow in decades, Friday’s assault came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a stage-managed election by an overwhelming majority to secure another term in office, tightening his grip on the country he has ruled since the turn of the century. With attention focused on the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin had trumpeted a message of national security before Russians went to the polls. The carnage broke out before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24. “Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said, cited by TASS. This screen grab from video shows armed men inside the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Moscow region, Russia. CNN can not verify whether these are the armed attackers or Russian authorities moving in. Video footage showed panic as the attack unfolded, with crowds of people huddling together, screaming and ducking behind cushioned seats as gunshots started echoing in the vast hall. One group sheltering next to a large wall of windows outside the concert venue were forced to break them to escape the gunfire, video obtained by CNN shows. Footage geolocated by CNN shows an armed individual starting at least one fire inside the venue. The individual is seen carrying something in their hand and, as they walk off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame is seen in the video. A SWAT team was called to the area and more than 70 ambulance teams and doctors assisted victims. One hundred and forty-five people have been hospitalized, TASS reported. Sixty people are in a “serious condition.” According to the Kremlin, Putin was informed about the attack and is being kept updated on measures on the ground. The president on Saturday wished those injured in the attack a speedy recovery, the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency said. He also “conveyed his gratitude to the doctors,” RIA added. Around 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters, TASS reported. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the attack a “terrible tragedy.” “My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident,” Sobyanin said in a statement. Sobyanin said on Telegram that he was canceling all sports, cultural and other public events in Moscow this weekend. Picnic’s manager told state media that the performers were unharmed. Shaman, the band’s singer, said he would pay for the funerals of the victims and treatment for those injured. “We are all one big family. And in a family there is no such thing as somebody else’s grief,” the singer, known for his nationalistic views, said in a video posted on the Russian social media network Vkontakte to his more than 600,000 followers. “My people, any troubles and misfortunes have always united our country. They have made Russia tougher and stronger. It will not be possible to frighten and break us this time either.” ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow attack that killed 40 02:51 - Source: CNN US had warned of potential attack Earlier this month, the US embassy in Russia said it was “monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow,” including concerts. The embassy warned US citizens to avoid large gatherings. On Friday, following reports of the Crocus City Hall attack, it advised US citizens not to travel to Russia. Starting in November, there has been a steady stream of intelligence that ISIS-K was determined to attack in Russia, according to two sources familiar with the information. ISIS-K stands for ISIS-Khorasan, the terror organization’s affiliate that is active in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US government had had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow – potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts – and that this is what prompted the State Department to issue the public advisory. “The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘duty to warn’ policy,” Watson said. In a speech Tuesday, Putin had blasted the American warnings as “provocative,” saying “these actions resemble outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.” In March alone, Russian authorities had thwarted several ISIS-related incidents, according to RIA. On March 3, RIA reported that six ISIS members were killed in a counter-terrorist operation in the Ingush Karabulak; on March 7, it said security services had uncovered and “neutralized” a cell of the banned organization Vilayat Khorasan in the Kaluga region, whose members were planning an attack on a synagogue in Moscow; and on March 20, it said the commander of an ISIS combat group had been detained. A US official said Friday that Washington had no reason to doubt ISIS’ claim that it was responsible for the latest attack. International response Ukraine, which has been embroiled in a war with Russia for more than two years, denied any involvement in the attack. “Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote, in part, in a post on X. He said he believed Russia would use the attack to justify the ongoing conflict and scale up operations as part of “military propaganda” in Ukraine. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres late Friday condemned “in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack” according to a statement released by his deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq. “The secretary-general conveys his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the government of the Russian Federation. He wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” the statement said. In a separate statement, the UN Security Council called the attack “heinous and cowardly.” Chinese leader Xi Jinping offered his condolences to Putin on Saturday “over the serious terrorist attack that caused heavy casualties,” according to a report from Chinese state media. French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned the attack. “France expresses its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people,” the Elysee Palace said, AFP and Reuters reported. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both also denounced the attack. CNN’s Eva Rothenberg, Paul Murphy and Hannah Strange contributed to this reporting. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/22/europe/crocus-moscow-shooting/index.html
    WWW.CNN.COM
    ISIS claims responsibility for attack in busy Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 40 dead | CNN
    At least 40 people were killed and more than 100 were injured after armed attackers stormed a popular concert venue complex near Moscow and opened fire, according to preliminary information from the Federal Security Service in Russia, state media TASS reported.
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  • Whitney Webb Total Collapse Coming. BRICS Nations Leading the World Towards Agenda 2030

    https://odysee.com/@Qwinten:b/Whitney-Webb-Total-Collapse-Coming.-BRICS-Nations-Leading-the-World-Towards-Agenda-2030:b
    Whitney Webb Total Collapse Coming. BRICS Nations Leading the World Towards Agenda 2030 https://odysee.com/@Qwinten:b/Whitney-Webb-Total-Collapse-Coming.-BRICS-Nations-Leading-the-World-Towards-Agenda-2030:b
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  • https://nypost.com/2024/03/18/sports/frances-arthur-cazaux-collapses-mid-match-at-miami-open/

    umpire announcing that he had to retire from the match “due to illness.”
    https://nypost.com/2024/03/18/sports/frances-arthur-cazaux-collapses-mid-match-at-miami-open/ umpire announcing that he had to retire from the match “due to illness.”
    NYPOST.COM
    Arthur Cazaux collapses mid-match at Miami Open in unsettling moment
    Arthur Cazaux was in the middle of the third set awaiting a serve from Harold Mayot when he fell to the ground.
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  • Israel’s Trojan Horse
    The “temporary pier” being built on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza is not there to alleviate the famine, but to herd Palestinians onto ships and into permanent exile.

    Chris Hedges

    Israel’s Trojan Horse - by Mr. Fish

    Piers allow things to come in. They allow things to go out. And Israel, which has no intention of halting its murderous siege of Gaza, including its policy of enforced starvation, appears to have found a solution to its problem of where to expel the 2.3 million Palestinians.

    If the Arab world will not take them, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken proposed during his first round of visits after Oct. 7, the Palestinians will be cast adrift on ships. It worked in Beirut in 1982 when some eight and a half thousand Palestine Liberation Organization members were sent by sea to Tunisia and another two and a half thousand ended up in other Arab states. Israel expects that the same forced deportation by sea will work in Gaza.

    Israel, for this reason, supports the “temporary pier” the Biden administration is building, to ostensibly deliver food and aid to Gaza – food and aid whose “distribution” will be overseen by the Israeli military.

    “You need drivers that don’t exist, trucks that don’t exist feeding into a distribution system that doesn’t exist,” Jeremy Konyndyk, a former senior aid official in the Biden administration, and now president of the Refugees International aid advocacy group told The Guardian.

    This “maritime corridor” is Israel’s Trojan Horse, a subterfuge to expel Palestinians. The small shipments of seaborne aid, like the food packets that have been air dropped, will not alleviate the looming famine. They are not meant to.

    Five Palestinians were killed and several others injured when a parachute carrying aid failed and crashed onto a crowd of people near Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp.

    “Dropping aid in this way is flashy propaganda rather than a humanitarian service,” the media office of the local government in Gaza said. “We previously warned it poses a threat to the lives of citizens in the Gaza Strip, and this is what happened today when the parcels fell on the citizens’ heads.”

    If the U.S. or Israel were serious about alleviating the humanitarian crisis, the thousands of trucks with food and aid currently at the southern border of Gaza would be allowed to enter any of its multiple crossings. They are not. The “temporary pier,” like the air drops, is ghoulish theater, a way to mask Washington’s complicity in the genocide.

    Israeli media reported the building of the pier was due to pressure by the United Arab Emirates, which threatened Israel with ending a land corridor trade route it administers in collusion with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to bypass Yemen’s naval blockade.

    The Jerusalem Post reported it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who proposed the construction of the “temporary pier” to the Biden administration.

    Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who has called Palestinians “human animals” and advocated a total siege of Gaza, including cutting off electricity, food, water and fuel, lauded the plan, saying “it is designed to bring aid directly to the residents and thus continue the collapse of Hamas’s rule in Gaza.”

    “Why would Israel, the engineer of the Gaza famine, endorse the idea of establishing a maritime corridor for aid to address a crisis it initiated and is now worsening?” writes Tamara Nassar in an article titled “What’s the Real Purpose of Biden’s Gaza Port?” in The Electronic Intifada. “This might appear paradoxical if one were to assume that the primary aim of the maritime corridor is to deliver aid.”

    When Israel offers a gift to the Palestinians you can be sure it is a poison apple. That Israel got the Biden administration to construct the pier is one more example of the inverted relationship between Washington and Jerusalem, where the Israel lobby has bought off elected officials in the two ruling parties.

    Oxfam in a March 15 report accuses Israel of actively hindering aid operations in Gaza in defiance of the orders by the International Court of Justice. It notes that 1.7 million Palestinians, some 75 percent of the Gaza population, are facing famine and two-thirds of the hospitals and over 80 percent of all health clinics in Gaza are no longer operable. The majority of people, the report reads, “have no access to clean drinking water” and “sanitation services are not functioning.”

    The report reads:

    The conditions we have observed in Gaza are beyond catastrophic, and we have not only seen failure by Israeli authorities to meet their responsibility to facilitate and support international aid efforts, but in fact seen active steps being taken to hinder and undermine such aid efforts. Israel’s control of Gaza continues to be characterized by deliberate restrictive actions that have led to a severe and systemic dysfunctionality in the delivery of aid. Humanitarian organizations operational in Gaza are reporting a worsening situation since the International Court of Justice imposed provisional measures in light of the plausible risk of genocide, with intensified Israeli barriers, restrictions and attacks against humanitarian personnel. Israel has maintained a ‘convenient illusion of a response’ in Gaza to serve its claim that it is allowing aid in and conducting the war in line with international laws.

    Oxfam says Israel employs “a dysfunctional and undersized inspection system that keeps aid snarled up, subjected to onerous, repetitive and unpredictable bureaucratic procedures that are contributing to trucks being stranded in giant queues for 20 days on average.” Israel, Oxfam explains, rejects “items of aid as having ‘dual (military) use,’ banning vital fuel and generators entirely along with other items essential for a meaningful humanitarian response such as protective gear and communications kit.” Rejected aid, “must go through a complex ‘pre-approval’ system or end up being held in limbo at the Al Arish warehouse in Egypt.” Israel has also “cracked down on humanitarian missions, largely sealing off northern Gaza, and restricting international humanitarian workers’ access not only into Gaza, but Israel and the West Bank including East Jerusalem too.”

    Israel has allowed 15,413 trucks into Gaza during the past 157 days of war. Oxfam estimates that the population of Gaza needs five times that number. Israel allowed 2,874 trucks in February, a 44 percent reduction from the previous month. Before Oct. 7, 500 aid trucks entered Gaza daily.

    Israeli soldiers have also killed scores of Palestinians attempting to receive aid from trucks in more than two dozen incidents. These attacks include the killing of at least 21 Palestinians, and the wounding of 150, on March 14, when Israeli forces fired on thousands of people in Gaza City. The same area had been targeted by Israeli soldiers hours earlier.

    “Israel’s assault has caught Gaza’s own aid workers and international agencies’ partners inside a ‘practically uninhabitable’ environment of mass displacement and deprivation, where 75 percent of solid waste is now being dumped in random sites, 97 percent of groundwater made unfit for human use, and the Israeli state using starvation as a weapon of war,” Oxfam says.

    There is no place in Gaza, Oxfam notes, that is safe “amid the forcible and often multiple displacements of almost the entire population, which makes the principled distribution of aid unviable, including agencies' ability to help repair vital public services at scale.”

    Oxfam blasts Israel for its “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate” attacks on “civilian and humanitarian assets” as well as “solar, water, power and sanitation plants, UN premises, hospitals, roads, and aid convoys and warehouses, even when these assets are supposedly ‘deconflicted’ after their coordinates have been shared for protection.”

    The health ministry in Gaza said Monday that at least 31,726 people have been killed since the Israeli assault began five months ago. The death toll includes at least 81 deaths in the previous 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 73,792 people have been wounded in Gaza since Oct. 7. Thousands more are missing, many buried under the rubble.

    None of these Israeli tactics will be altered with the building of a “temporary pier.” In fact, given the pending ground assault on Rafah, where 1.2 million displaced Palestinians are crowded in tent cities or camped out in the open air, Israel’s tactics will only get worse.

    Israel, by design, is creating a humanitarian crisis of such catastrophic proportions, with thousands of Palestinians killed by bombs, shells, missiles, bullets, starvation and infectious diseases, that the only option will be death or deportation. The pier is where the last act in this gruesome genocidal campaign will be played out as Palestinians are herded by Israeli soldiers onto ships.

    How appropriate that the Biden administration, without whom this genocide could not be carried out, will facilitate it.

    Share


    https://open.substack.com/pub/chrishedges/p/israels-trojan-horse
    Israel’s Trojan Horse The “temporary pier” being built on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza is not there to alleviate the famine, but to herd Palestinians onto ships and into permanent exile. Chris Hedges Israel’s Trojan Horse - by Mr. Fish Piers allow things to come in. They allow things to go out. And Israel, which has no intention of halting its murderous siege of Gaza, including its policy of enforced starvation, appears to have found a solution to its problem of where to expel the 2.3 million Palestinians. If the Arab world will not take them, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken proposed during his first round of visits after Oct. 7, the Palestinians will be cast adrift on ships. It worked in Beirut in 1982 when some eight and a half thousand Palestine Liberation Organization members were sent by sea to Tunisia and another two and a half thousand ended up in other Arab states. Israel expects that the same forced deportation by sea will work in Gaza. Israel, for this reason, supports the “temporary pier” the Biden administration is building, to ostensibly deliver food and aid to Gaza – food and aid whose “distribution” will be overseen by the Israeli military. “You need drivers that don’t exist, trucks that don’t exist feeding into a distribution system that doesn’t exist,” Jeremy Konyndyk, a former senior aid official in the Biden administration, and now president of the Refugees International aid advocacy group told The Guardian. This “maritime corridor” is Israel’s Trojan Horse, a subterfuge to expel Palestinians. The small shipments of seaborne aid, like the food packets that have been air dropped, will not alleviate the looming famine. They are not meant to. Five Palestinians were killed and several others injured when a parachute carrying aid failed and crashed onto a crowd of people near Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp. “Dropping aid in this way is flashy propaganda rather than a humanitarian service,” the media office of the local government in Gaza said. “We previously warned it poses a threat to the lives of citizens in the Gaza Strip, and this is what happened today when the parcels fell on the citizens’ heads.” If the U.S. or Israel were serious about alleviating the humanitarian crisis, the thousands of trucks with food and aid currently at the southern border of Gaza would be allowed to enter any of its multiple crossings. They are not. The “temporary pier,” like the air drops, is ghoulish theater, a way to mask Washington’s complicity in the genocide. Israeli media reported the building of the pier was due to pressure by the United Arab Emirates, which threatened Israel with ending a land corridor trade route it administers in collusion with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to bypass Yemen’s naval blockade. The Jerusalem Post reported it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who proposed the construction of the “temporary pier” to the Biden administration. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who has called Palestinians “human animals” and advocated a total siege of Gaza, including cutting off electricity, food, water and fuel, lauded the plan, saying “it is designed to bring aid directly to the residents and thus continue the collapse of Hamas’s rule in Gaza.” “Why would Israel, the engineer of the Gaza famine, endorse the idea of establishing a maritime corridor for aid to address a crisis it initiated and is now worsening?” writes Tamara Nassar in an article titled “What’s the Real Purpose of Biden’s Gaza Port?” in The Electronic Intifada. “This might appear paradoxical if one were to assume that the primary aim of the maritime corridor is to deliver aid.” When Israel offers a gift to the Palestinians you can be sure it is a poison apple. That Israel got the Biden administration to construct the pier is one more example of the inverted relationship between Washington and Jerusalem, where the Israel lobby has bought off elected officials in the two ruling parties. Oxfam in a March 15 report accuses Israel of actively hindering aid operations in Gaza in defiance of the orders by the International Court of Justice. It notes that 1.7 million Palestinians, some 75 percent of the Gaza population, are facing famine and two-thirds of the hospitals and over 80 percent of all health clinics in Gaza are no longer operable. The majority of people, the report reads, “have no access to clean drinking water” and “sanitation services are not functioning.” The report reads: The conditions we have observed in Gaza are beyond catastrophic, and we have not only seen failure by Israeli authorities to meet their responsibility to facilitate and support international aid efforts, but in fact seen active steps being taken to hinder and undermine such aid efforts. Israel’s control of Gaza continues to be characterized by deliberate restrictive actions that have led to a severe and systemic dysfunctionality in the delivery of aid. Humanitarian organizations operational in Gaza are reporting a worsening situation since the International Court of Justice imposed provisional measures in light of the plausible risk of genocide, with intensified Israeli barriers, restrictions and attacks against humanitarian personnel. Israel has maintained a ‘convenient illusion of a response’ in Gaza to serve its claim that it is allowing aid in and conducting the war in line with international laws. Oxfam says Israel employs “a dysfunctional and undersized inspection system that keeps aid snarled up, subjected to onerous, repetitive and unpredictable bureaucratic procedures that are contributing to trucks being stranded in giant queues for 20 days on average.” Israel, Oxfam explains, rejects “items of aid as having ‘dual (military) use,’ banning vital fuel and generators entirely along with other items essential for a meaningful humanitarian response such as protective gear and communications kit.” Rejected aid, “must go through a complex ‘pre-approval’ system or end up being held in limbo at the Al Arish warehouse in Egypt.” Israel has also “cracked down on humanitarian missions, largely sealing off northern Gaza, and restricting international humanitarian workers’ access not only into Gaza, but Israel and the West Bank including East Jerusalem too.” Israel has allowed 15,413 trucks into Gaza during the past 157 days of war. Oxfam estimates that the population of Gaza needs five times that number. Israel allowed 2,874 trucks in February, a 44 percent reduction from the previous month. Before Oct. 7, 500 aid trucks entered Gaza daily. Israeli soldiers have also killed scores of Palestinians attempting to receive aid from trucks in more than two dozen incidents. These attacks include the killing of at least 21 Palestinians, and the wounding of 150, on March 14, when Israeli forces fired on thousands of people in Gaza City. The same area had been targeted by Israeli soldiers hours earlier. “Israel’s assault has caught Gaza’s own aid workers and international agencies’ partners inside a ‘practically uninhabitable’ environment of mass displacement and deprivation, where 75 percent of solid waste is now being dumped in random sites, 97 percent of groundwater made unfit for human use, and the Israeli state using starvation as a weapon of war,” Oxfam says. There is no place in Gaza, Oxfam notes, that is safe “amid the forcible and often multiple displacements of almost the entire population, which makes the principled distribution of aid unviable, including agencies' ability to help repair vital public services at scale.” Oxfam blasts Israel for its “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate” attacks on “civilian and humanitarian assets” as well as “solar, water, power and sanitation plants, UN premises, hospitals, roads, and aid convoys and warehouses, even when these assets are supposedly ‘deconflicted’ after their coordinates have been shared for protection.” The health ministry in Gaza said Monday that at least 31,726 people have been killed since the Israeli assault began five months ago. The death toll includes at least 81 deaths in the previous 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 73,792 people have been wounded in Gaza since Oct. 7. Thousands more are missing, many buried under the rubble. None of these Israeli tactics will be altered with the building of a “temporary pier.” In fact, given the pending ground assault on Rafah, where 1.2 million displaced Palestinians are crowded in tent cities or camped out in the open air, Israel’s tactics will only get worse. Israel, by design, is creating a humanitarian crisis of such catastrophic proportions, with thousands of Palestinians killed by bombs, shells, missiles, bullets, starvation and infectious diseases, that the only option will be death or deportation. The pier is where the last act in this gruesome genocidal campaign will be played out as Palestinians are herded by Israeli soldiers onto ships. How appropriate that the Biden administration, without whom this genocide could not be carried out, will facilitate it. Share https://open.substack.com/pub/chrishedges/p/israels-trojan-horse
    OPEN.SUBSTACK.COM
    Israel’s Trojan Horse
    The “temporary pier” being built on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza is not there to alleviate the famine, but to herd Palestinians onto ships and into permanent exile.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months
    Leila WarahMarch 19, 2024
    Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
    Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
    Casualties

    31,726 + killed* and at least 73,792 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.
    591 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

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

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

    Key Developments

    Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli military storms al-Shifa Hospital for the fourth time, killing and wounding a number of people.
    30,000 people in al-Shifa Hospital ordered to evacuate to Khan Younis.
    Palestinian Prisoners Society: Thirteenth Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody since October 7.
    UK charity Oxfam accuses Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza.
    PRCS provides mental support groups for traumatized Palestinian children, medics.
    IPC: 1.1 million people, about half of Gaza, face “imminent” famine.
    Nineteen aid trucks arrive in Jabalia without being blocked or fired on by Israeli forces in months.
    UNICEF chief Catherine Russell: Airdrops and maritime deliveries are “a drop in a bucket” compared to the scale of humanitarian need.
    UNICEF: one in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from acute malnutrition.
    Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli attacks killed 81 Palestinians and wounded 116 in Gaza during the last 24 hours.
    Biden reportedly shouts and swears upon learning Michigan and Georgia poll numbers dropped over handling of Gaza war, according to NBC News.
    Israeli army storms al-Shifa’ hospital…again

    In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli forces stormed al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza with tanks and heavy gunfire. There have already been a “number of martyrs and wounded” in the ongoing Israeli onslaught, which began around 2:00 a.m.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health said about 30,000 people, including displaced civilians, wounded patients, and medical staff, are trapped inside the complex. Sniper bullets and quadcopters target anyone who tries to move.

    A fire also broke out at the entrance to the hospital, and cases of suffocation occurred among the displaced women and children inside.

    Less than two hours after the attack began, the Israeli military announced that it was conducting a “precise operation” in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, claiming that Hamas was using the medical facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.”

    “We know that senior Hamas terrorists have regrouped inside the [al-Shifa] Hospital and are using it to command attacks against Israel,” Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a video posted on X.

    The Israeli military used similar unverified claims to justify three prior attacks on the medical complex, killing dozens of Palestinians.

    Hagari added in his English video statement that the Israeli military would be conducting a “humanitarian effort” during the planned assault, providing food and water. At the same time, he emphasized that there is “no obligation” for patients and medical staff to evacuate the hospital.

    However, in Arabic, Israeli military’s spokesman Avichay Adraee called on Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and its surrounding area on X: “In order to maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area to the west and then cross Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street to the south to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi.”

    Al-Mawasi, a “humanitarian zone” in western Khan Younis, is a severely overcrowded strip of land in the west of the Gaza Strip, serving as one of Gaza’s few designated safe areas despite being subjected to Israeli fire.

    According to Gaza-based Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud, “leaflets dropped by the Israeli military told people inside al-Shifa Hospital, its vicinity and the entire residential blocks surrounding the medical complex to evacuate immediately.”

    “People are caught up between whether to leave and trust the statement or stay where they are. We are talking about thousands of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside the complex since the start of the war,” Mahmoud continued.

    “In early December, the Israeli military made a list of allegations and stormed al-Shifa Hospital, destroyed the vast majority of its property, and severely damaged major buildings and medical equipment inside the hospital. About 250 people were arrested from inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said.

    The Times of Israel, citing the Israeli military, reports that the army has taken control of al-Shifa Hospital and detained 80 people since the most recent attack began.

    “The crimes of the [Israeli] occupation will not create any image of victory for Netanyahu and his Nazi army,” Hamas said, as cited by Al Jazeera. “The crimes of the occupation express confusion and loss of hope of achieving a military achievement.”

    In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said targeting hospitals “is a continuation of the war of extermination waged by the occupation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws,” reported Al Jazeera.

    Gaza’s Health Ministry has described the assault as a “massacre against the sick, the wounded, the displaced,” and has called on all international institutions to immediately stop the invasion.

    “What the occupation forces are doing is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” the Ministry continued. “The Israeli occupation is still using its fabricated narratives to deceive the world and justify the storming of the al-Shifa Medical Complex.”

    ‘Babies don’t even have the energy to cry’

    Meanwhile, Palestinians in the besieged enclave are still being starved by Israel’s ongoing blockade, especially those living in the north, where Israeli forces have repeatedly blocked the entry of aid.

    In a new report, UK charity Oxfam has accused Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza, defying orders by the International Court of Justice to prevent genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

    Oxfam outlined seven ways Israel prevents the delivery of aid, including by only opening two crossings into Gaza, imposing a dysfunctional inspection system that keeps supplies help up, and cracking down on humanitarian missions.

    “The ICJ order should have shocked Israeli leaders to change course, but since then, conditions in Gaza have actually worsened,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

    One in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF.

    Catherine Russell, the executive director of the UN’s children’s agency, says acute malnutrition is when “the body starts to consume itself as it has nothing else, and it’s a painful, painful death for children. I have been in wards where babies are suffering from malnutrition. The whole ward is absolutely quiet because the babies don’t even have the energy to cry.”

    “If we can get therapeutic feeding to them, they can survive, but often, they are stunted for life, and stunted means your cognitive ability is impacted as well, so it is a lifelong challenge for these children — if they survive,” she continued in an interview with CBS News.

    While some aid is being airdropped or delivered by sea, experts, NGOs, and residents say it is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of millions of Palestinians. Russell says that the aid coming in through airdrops and a maritime route is “a drop in a bucket in both cases.”

    “We have so little access right now and it’s very challenging. We are also facing very great bureaucratic challenges moving trucks in by land, which is by far the most efficient and effective way to get aid in,” she added.

    “If things are dual use, sometimes they get rejected. So, we can’t get plastic pipes in, we can’t get some medical kits in if they have little scissors. It’s almost Kafkaesque, sometimes trying to figure out how to get things into this bureaucratic mess.”

    Similarly, displaced Palestinian Zahr Saqr, told Al Jazeera, “The situation is so bad that no one can imagine it, and the ship, even if it helps, will be a drop in the ocean, because the entire region is in need of aid, and people are competing to take aid from the shore.”

    Airdrops have caused chaos and killed several people by falling pallets when parachutes failed to open.

    “We keep waiting for aid. This is not a solution, whether by ship or by plane. We saw planes dropping aid and people fighting over it. There are some children who drowned in the sea for aid,” Wael Miqdad, a Khan Younis resident, said.

    The UN warns that nearly 600,000 people are on the brink of famine.

    “The living situation is very bad. We cannot eat, or drink, and aid is very scarce. They told us there is aid in the south, but it is very scarce,” Iman Wadi, another displaced Palestinian, told Al Jazeera.

    “Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it. We believe that Israel is failing to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide,” Abi Khalil continued.

    Israel has created “the perfect storm for humanitarian collapse and only the state of Israel can fix it,” she added.

    Over a million Gazans face “imminent famine” as aid reaches Jabalia

    On Sunday evening, Al Jazeera cameras captured a convoy of 19 aid trucks entering the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The trucks were carrying flour, rice, and other foodstuffs on their way to a UNRWA distribution center.

    The delivery marks the first convoys to travel from the south to the north of the Gaza Strip without incident in four months.

    The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the body responsible for assessing and monitoring famine, said that about half of Gaza is facing “imminent” famine.

    “Between mid-March and mid-July, in the most likely scenario and under the assumption of an escalation of the conflict including a ground offensive in Rafah, half of the population of the Gaza Strip (1.11 million people) is expected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5), the most severe level in the IPC Acute Food Insecurity scale,” the IPC said in a statement. “This is an increase of 530,000 people (92 percent) compared to the previous analysis.”

    The IPC also said that the rest of Gaza will likely face “a risk of famine” in July 2024 in the event of a “worst-case scenario.”

    “The southern governorates of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, and the Governorate of Rafah, are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency),” the IPC said.

    Long way to go until Israeli military goals are achieved

    The Netanyahu administration shows no intention of ending its war on Gaza anytime soon, despite a growing choir of voices, including Israeli allies, calling for the end of the ongoing assault.

    Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a press statement that much has been achieved during a “multi-front and complex war,” but that it will take time to achieve more, according to Al Jazeera.

    “We still have a long way to go until the war goals are achieved,” he said.

    Halevi also said the army continues to plan operations in “areas where we have not yet operated,” in reference to Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering.

    “The military is preparing for offenses in the additional areas and together with the political echelon we will decide on the timing and the appropriate conditions,” he said.

    “We are determined to act wherever Hamas is building its strength. It is wrong to leave Hamas brigades and Hamas battalions functioning.”

    However, former military commander Yitzhak Brick says Israel has already lost its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    “You can’t lie to many people for a long time,” Yitzhak Brick said in an article in Israel’s Maariv newspaper, as reported by Al Jazeera. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah in Lebanon will blow up in our faces sooner or later.”

    Brick said the Israeli home front “is not prepared for a regional war, which will be thousands of times more difficult and serious than the war in the Gaza Strip.”

    Biden fears upcoming elections

    U.S. President Joe Biden’s endless support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza has jeopardized his chances of winning elections in 2024, reportedly sending him into a frenzy.

    Biden began to shout and swear after learning that his poll numbers in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia had dropped over his handling of the Gaza war, according to NBC News.

    The report cited a lawmaker familiar with the private meeting in January at the White House, where the scene played out.

    He believed he had been doing what was right despite the political fallout, Biden told the group, according to the lawmaker.

    When asked about the episode, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “President Biden makes national security decisions based on the country’s national security needs alone — no other factor.”

    In a post on X, Amnesty International reminded President Biden that Israel used U.S.-made munitions to kill more than 30,000 people in Gaza and called on the President to demand a ceasefire and stop the transfers of arms to Israel.

    On Sunday, during a shamrock ceremony at the White House, the U.S. President said he agreed with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the need for a truce deal in Gaza, still offering no plans to put material pressure on Israel.

    “The Taoiseach [Irish leader] and I agree about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza and reach a ceasefire deal that brings hostages home and moves toward a two-state solution, which is the only path for lasting peace and security,” Biden said, according to CNN.

    Varadkar says the Irish have such empathy for the Palestinian people because: “We see our history in their eyes, a story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied, forced emigration, discrimination, and now hunger,” he said.

    The Irish leader, who has previously criticized U.S. arms transfers to Israel, said he “was not shocked” that Washington has decided to continue arming Israel.


    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-164-israeli-army-storms-al-shifa-again-aid-reaches-jabalia/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months Leila WarahMarch 19, 2024 Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images) Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images) Casualties 31,726 + killed* and at least 73,792 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. 591 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli military storms al-Shifa Hospital for the fourth time, killing and wounding a number of people. 30,000 people in al-Shifa Hospital ordered to evacuate to Khan Younis. Palestinian Prisoners Society: Thirteenth Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody since October 7. UK charity Oxfam accuses Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza. PRCS provides mental support groups for traumatized Palestinian children, medics. IPC: 1.1 million people, about half of Gaza, face “imminent” famine. Nineteen aid trucks arrive in Jabalia without being blocked or fired on by Israeli forces in months. UNICEF chief Catherine Russell: Airdrops and maritime deliveries are “a drop in a bucket” compared to the scale of humanitarian need. UNICEF: one in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from acute malnutrition. Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli attacks killed 81 Palestinians and wounded 116 in Gaza during the last 24 hours. Biden reportedly shouts and swears upon learning Michigan and Georgia poll numbers dropped over handling of Gaza war, according to NBC News. Israeli army storms al-Shifa’ hospital…again In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli forces stormed al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza with tanks and heavy gunfire. There have already been a “number of martyrs and wounded” in the ongoing Israeli onslaught, which began around 2:00 a.m. Gaza’s Ministry of Health said about 30,000 people, including displaced civilians, wounded patients, and medical staff, are trapped inside the complex. Sniper bullets and quadcopters target anyone who tries to move. A fire also broke out at the entrance to the hospital, and cases of suffocation occurred among the displaced women and children inside. Less than two hours after the attack began, the Israeli military announced that it was conducting a “precise operation” in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, claiming that Hamas was using the medical facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.” “We know that senior Hamas terrorists have regrouped inside the [al-Shifa] Hospital and are using it to command attacks against Israel,” Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a video posted on X. The Israeli military used similar unverified claims to justify three prior attacks on the medical complex, killing dozens of Palestinians. Hagari added in his English video statement that the Israeli military would be conducting a “humanitarian effort” during the planned assault, providing food and water. At the same time, he emphasized that there is “no obligation” for patients and medical staff to evacuate the hospital. However, in Arabic, Israeli military’s spokesman Avichay Adraee called on Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and its surrounding area on X: “In order to maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area to the west and then cross Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street to the south to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi.” Al-Mawasi, a “humanitarian zone” in western Khan Younis, is a severely overcrowded strip of land in the west of the Gaza Strip, serving as one of Gaza’s few designated safe areas despite being subjected to Israeli fire. According to Gaza-based Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud, “leaflets dropped by the Israeli military told people inside al-Shifa Hospital, its vicinity and the entire residential blocks surrounding the medical complex to evacuate immediately.” “People are caught up between whether to leave and trust the statement or stay where they are. We are talking about thousands of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside the complex since the start of the war,” Mahmoud continued. “In early December, the Israeli military made a list of allegations and stormed al-Shifa Hospital, destroyed the vast majority of its property, and severely damaged major buildings and medical equipment inside the hospital. About 250 people were arrested from inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said. The Times of Israel, citing the Israeli military, reports that the army has taken control of al-Shifa Hospital and detained 80 people since the most recent attack began. “The crimes of the [Israeli] occupation will not create any image of victory for Netanyahu and his Nazi army,” Hamas said, as cited by Al Jazeera. “The crimes of the occupation express confusion and loss of hope of achieving a military achievement.” In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said targeting hospitals “is a continuation of the war of extermination waged by the occupation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws,” reported Al Jazeera. Gaza’s Health Ministry has described the assault as a “massacre against the sick, the wounded, the displaced,” and has called on all international institutions to immediately stop the invasion. “What the occupation forces are doing is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” the Ministry continued. “The Israeli occupation is still using its fabricated narratives to deceive the world and justify the storming of the al-Shifa Medical Complex.” ‘Babies don’t even have the energy to cry’ Meanwhile, Palestinians in the besieged enclave are still being starved by Israel’s ongoing blockade, especially those living in the north, where Israeli forces have repeatedly blocked the entry of aid. In a new report, UK charity Oxfam has accused Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza, defying orders by the International Court of Justice to prevent genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave. Oxfam outlined seven ways Israel prevents the delivery of aid, including by only opening two crossings into Gaza, imposing a dysfunctional inspection system that keeps supplies help up, and cracking down on humanitarian missions. “The ICJ order should have shocked Israeli leaders to change course, but since then, conditions in Gaza have actually worsened,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Director. One in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF. Catherine Russell, the executive director of the UN’s children’s agency, says acute malnutrition is when “the body starts to consume itself as it has nothing else, and it’s a painful, painful death for children. I have been in wards where babies are suffering from malnutrition. The whole ward is absolutely quiet because the babies don’t even have the energy to cry.” “If we can get therapeutic feeding to them, they can survive, but often, they are stunted for life, and stunted means your cognitive ability is impacted as well, so it is a lifelong challenge for these children — if they survive,” she continued in an interview with CBS News. While some aid is being airdropped or delivered by sea, experts, NGOs, and residents say it is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of millions of Palestinians. Russell says that the aid coming in through airdrops and a maritime route is “a drop in a bucket in both cases.” “We have so little access right now and it’s very challenging. We are also facing very great bureaucratic challenges moving trucks in by land, which is by far the most efficient and effective way to get aid in,” she added. “If things are dual use, sometimes they get rejected. So, we can’t get plastic pipes in, we can’t get some medical kits in if they have little scissors. It’s almost Kafkaesque, sometimes trying to figure out how to get things into this bureaucratic mess.” Similarly, displaced Palestinian Zahr Saqr, told Al Jazeera, “The situation is so bad that no one can imagine it, and the ship, even if it helps, will be a drop in the ocean, because the entire region is in need of aid, and people are competing to take aid from the shore.” Airdrops have caused chaos and killed several people by falling pallets when parachutes failed to open. “We keep waiting for aid. This is not a solution, whether by ship or by plane. We saw planes dropping aid and people fighting over it. There are some children who drowned in the sea for aid,” Wael Miqdad, a Khan Younis resident, said. The UN warns that nearly 600,000 people are on the brink of famine. “The living situation is very bad. We cannot eat, or drink, and aid is very scarce. They told us there is aid in the south, but it is very scarce,” Iman Wadi, another displaced Palestinian, told Al Jazeera. “Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it. We believe that Israel is failing to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide,” Abi Khalil continued. Israel has created “the perfect storm for humanitarian collapse and only the state of Israel can fix it,” she added. Over a million Gazans face “imminent famine” as aid reaches Jabalia On Sunday evening, Al Jazeera cameras captured a convoy of 19 aid trucks entering the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The trucks were carrying flour, rice, and other foodstuffs on their way to a UNRWA distribution center. The delivery marks the first convoys to travel from the south to the north of the Gaza Strip without incident in four months. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the body responsible for assessing and monitoring famine, said that about half of Gaza is facing “imminent” famine. “Between mid-March and mid-July, in the most likely scenario and under the assumption of an escalation of the conflict including a ground offensive in Rafah, half of the population of the Gaza Strip (1.11 million people) is expected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5), the most severe level in the IPC Acute Food Insecurity scale,” the IPC said in a statement. “This is an increase of 530,000 people (92 percent) compared to the previous analysis.” The IPC also said that the rest of Gaza will likely face “a risk of famine” in July 2024 in the event of a “worst-case scenario.” “The southern governorates of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, and the Governorate of Rafah, are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency),” the IPC said. Long way to go until Israeli military goals are achieved The Netanyahu administration shows no intention of ending its war on Gaza anytime soon, despite a growing choir of voices, including Israeli allies, calling for the end of the ongoing assault. Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a press statement that much has been achieved during a “multi-front and complex war,” but that it will take time to achieve more, according to Al Jazeera. “We still have a long way to go until the war goals are achieved,” he said. Halevi also said the army continues to plan operations in “areas where we have not yet operated,” in reference to Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering. “The military is preparing for offenses in the additional areas and together with the political echelon we will decide on the timing and the appropriate conditions,” he said. “We are determined to act wherever Hamas is building its strength. It is wrong to leave Hamas brigades and Hamas battalions functioning.” However, former military commander Yitzhak Brick says Israel has already lost its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “You can’t lie to many people for a long time,” Yitzhak Brick said in an article in Israel’s Maariv newspaper, as reported by Al Jazeera. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah in Lebanon will blow up in our faces sooner or later.” Brick said the Israeli home front “is not prepared for a regional war, which will be thousands of times more difficult and serious than the war in the Gaza Strip.” Biden fears upcoming elections U.S. President Joe Biden’s endless support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza has jeopardized his chances of winning elections in 2024, reportedly sending him into a frenzy. Biden began to shout and swear after learning that his poll numbers in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia had dropped over his handling of the Gaza war, according to NBC News. The report cited a lawmaker familiar with the private meeting in January at the White House, where the scene played out. He believed he had been doing what was right despite the political fallout, Biden told the group, according to the lawmaker. When asked about the episode, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “President Biden makes national security decisions based on the country’s national security needs alone — no other factor.” In a post on X, Amnesty International reminded President Biden that Israel used U.S.-made munitions to kill more than 30,000 people in Gaza and called on the President to demand a ceasefire and stop the transfers of arms to Israel. On Sunday, during a shamrock ceremony at the White House, the U.S. President said he agreed with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the need for a truce deal in Gaza, still offering no plans to put material pressure on Israel. “The Taoiseach [Irish leader] and I agree about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza and reach a ceasefire deal that brings hostages home and moves toward a two-state solution, which is the only path for lasting peace and security,” Biden said, according to CNN. Varadkar says the Irish have such empathy for the Palestinian people because: “We see our history in their eyes, a story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied, forced emigration, discrimination, and now hunger,” he said. The Irish leader, who has previously criticized U.S. arms transfers to Israel, said he “was not shocked” that Washington has decided to continue arming Israel. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-164-israeli-army-storms-al-shifa-again-aid-reaches-jabalia/
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months
    Over a million people in Gaza face “imminent” famine as UNRWA aid trucks arrive in northern Gaza for the first time in months. Meanwhile, the Israeli army’s Chief of Staff says “a long way to go” until Israel’s military objectives are achieved.
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