• CASE 01 - Autopsy proven myocarditis death in AUSTRALIA
    Barrack Heights NSW, AUSTRALIA - Roberto Garin was only 52 when he ‘died suddenly’ on 28 July 2021. The healthy father of two teenagers began feeling ill 48 hours after his first Pfizer shot and dropped dead in front of his terrified wife Kirsti six days later while she was on the phone to paramedics.
    Garin’s family immediately suspected the vaccine caused his death. Kirsti was told her husband was the first person to die after a Pfizer shot. In fact, 176 deaths following Pfizer jabs had already been reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), starting in the first week of the vaccine rollout.
    But when Kirsti shared her concerns with filmmaker Alan Hashem, who released the video together with the accounts of other vaccine injuries and deaths, it unleashed a storm.
    ‘Misinformation researchers’ published by the ABC dismissed Kirsti’s ‘claims her 52-year-old husband died from “sudden onset myocarditis” after receiving the Pfizer vaccine’ because it didn’t ‘square with official data’.
    Yet that was exactly what forensic pathologist Bernard l’Ons wrote in a brilliant report on his autopsy stating that the deceased’s heart showed a clear transition to severe giant cell myocarditis that could be ‘histologically dated to the time period of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccination’ and it was ‘reasonable to state that the deceased’s previously undiagnosed cardiac sarcoidosis may have transitioned to a fulminating myocarditis as a result of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination’ noting that myocarditis had been reported in reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. L’Ons proposed a mechanism by which the vaccine could trigger fatal myocarditis and advised that a possible therapeutic implication was that sarcoid patients be given an echocardiogram to detect whether their heart was affected in which case alternative vaccination types could be considered.
    All of this was ignored by the TGA which refuses to admit to this day that any death can be attributed to a Pfizer vaccine and was parroted by the ABC. The TGA did admit that as of 22 August it had received ‘235 reports of suspected myocarditis, (inflammation of the heart muscle) and/or pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart) following vaccination’ with Pfizer but said, ‘These reports reflect the observations of the people reporting them and have not been confirmed as having been caused by the vaccine,’ and that ‘some events may be coincidental and would have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination.’
    This is a particularly misleading statement. Four out of five reports to the TGA are submitted not by random ‘people’, but by highly qualified health professionals and in Garin’s case by a forensic pathologist.
    Why would the TGA dismiss these reports? That’s a question Associate Professor Michael Nissen could perhaps shed light on. He was appointed to the TGA in February 2021, just as the Covid-19 vaccines were rolled out, to lead its Signal Investigation Unit which investigates safety issues that arise with vaccines in adverse reports or are raised by international regulators or the medical literature.
    Prior to his appointment, Nissen was the Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health at GSK Vaccines from October 2014 to January 2021, a period during which GSK and Pfizer entered into a joint venture. Nissen worked concurrently in hospital-based medical care and academia. He has led over 40 clinical trials and authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications including vaccine studies. In all these areas pharmaceutical companies are a major source of funding.
    The TGA is sensitive about managing conflicts of interest for advisory committee members but offers no guidance on its website with regard to staff members although presumably the same principles should, at least in theory, apply. It notes that shares, involvement in clinical trials, employment, contracts, consultancies, grants, sponsorships, board memberships and so on, may give rise to a conflict of interest.
    Robert Clancy, an Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Newcastle Medical School and a member of the Australian Academy of Science’s Covid-19 Expert Database wrote in Quadrant online last week that ‘the power of the pharmaceutical industry and its pervasive influence at every level of political and medical decision-making’ has been underestimated in shaping the pandemic narrative which has been driven by commercial imperatives to such an extent that it has crushed scientific debate.
    Clancy recounts that his approach to the College of Pathology (of which he was a Senior Fellow, a foundation Professor of Pathology, and past-Chairman of the College committee for undergraduate pathology education) calling for a national study to determine whether Covid vaccination was responsible for the increase in excess mortality in Australia and elsewhere by developing a protocol for post-mortems ‘to answer what is arguably the most important question facing medicine’ met with a rejection and a suggestion to take it instead to the TGA.
    Nowadays, dying suddenly has become ominously familiar. According to a new film Died Suddenly available as of this week to stream via Twitter, in the last 18 months, the term ‘Died Suddenly’ has risen to the very top of ‘most searched’ Google terms. The film documents the surge in excess mortality in highly vaccinated countries. Dr. Peter McCullough, internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist, and one of the top five most-published, and most censored, medical researchers in the US, says that sudden death frequently occurs because the heart has been damaged by inflammation caused by Covid vaccines.
    Papers that Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration tried to hide for 75 years show that Pfizer knew in 2020 that myocarditis and pericarditis could be caused by its vaccine.
    And in the Pfizer trial in Argentina, a report on a healthy 36-year old  participant – Augusto German Roux – who developed pericarditis immediately after his second Pfizer jab, mysteriously disappeared from the published trial results.
    The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) belatedly published a warning about myocarditis and pericarditis in September this year.
    It was too late for Garin. Had his doctors known, his life might have been saved. His grieving family have still not received a cent in compensation. But Pfizer has apparently grossed nearly $100 billion from its sales of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
    Rebecca Weisser is an independent journalist.
    ======


    https://open.substack.com/pub/makismd/p/mrna-injury-stories-australian-dad?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
    CASE 01 - Autopsy proven myocarditis death in AUSTRALIA Barrack Heights NSW, AUSTRALIA - Roberto Garin was only 52 when he ‘died suddenly’ on 28 July 2021. The healthy father of two teenagers began feeling ill 48 hours after his first Pfizer shot and dropped dead in front of his terrified wife Kirsti six days later while she was on the phone to paramedics. Garin’s family immediately suspected the vaccine caused his death. Kirsti was told her husband was the first person to die after a Pfizer shot. In fact, 176 deaths following Pfizer jabs had already been reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), starting in the first week of the vaccine rollout. But when Kirsti shared her concerns with filmmaker Alan Hashem, who released the video together with the accounts of other vaccine injuries and deaths, it unleashed a storm. ‘Misinformation researchers’ published by the ABC dismissed Kirsti’s ‘claims her 52-year-old husband died from “sudden onset myocarditis” after receiving the Pfizer vaccine’ because it didn’t ‘square with official data’. Yet that was exactly what forensic pathologist Bernard l’Ons wrote in a brilliant report on his autopsy stating that the deceased’s heart showed a clear transition to severe giant cell myocarditis that could be ‘histologically dated to the time period of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccination’ and it was ‘reasonable to state that the deceased’s previously undiagnosed cardiac sarcoidosis may have transitioned to a fulminating myocarditis as a result of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination’ noting that myocarditis had been reported in reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. L’Ons proposed a mechanism by which the vaccine could trigger fatal myocarditis and advised that a possible therapeutic implication was that sarcoid patients be given an echocardiogram to detect whether their heart was affected in which case alternative vaccination types could be considered. All of this was ignored by the TGA which refuses to admit to this day that any death can be attributed to a Pfizer vaccine and was parroted by the ABC. The TGA did admit that as of 22 August it had received ‘235 reports of suspected myocarditis, (inflammation of the heart muscle) and/or pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart) following vaccination’ with Pfizer but said, ‘These reports reflect the observations of the people reporting them and have not been confirmed as having been caused by the vaccine,’ and that ‘some events may be coincidental and would have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination.’ This is a particularly misleading statement. Four out of five reports to the TGA are submitted not by random ‘people’, but by highly qualified health professionals and in Garin’s case by a forensic pathologist. Why would the TGA dismiss these reports? That’s a question Associate Professor Michael Nissen could perhaps shed light on. He was appointed to the TGA in February 2021, just as the Covid-19 vaccines were rolled out, to lead its Signal Investigation Unit which investigates safety issues that arise with vaccines in adverse reports or are raised by international regulators or the medical literature. Prior to his appointment, Nissen was the Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health at GSK Vaccines from October 2014 to January 2021, a period during which GSK and Pfizer entered into a joint venture. Nissen worked concurrently in hospital-based medical care and academia. He has led over 40 clinical trials and authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications including vaccine studies. In all these areas pharmaceutical companies are a major source of funding. The TGA is sensitive about managing conflicts of interest for advisory committee members but offers no guidance on its website with regard to staff members although presumably the same principles should, at least in theory, apply. It notes that shares, involvement in clinical trials, employment, contracts, consultancies, grants, sponsorships, board memberships and so on, may give rise to a conflict of interest. Robert Clancy, an Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Newcastle Medical School and a member of the Australian Academy of Science’s Covid-19 Expert Database wrote in Quadrant online last week that ‘the power of the pharmaceutical industry and its pervasive influence at every level of political and medical decision-making’ has been underestimated in shaping the pandemic narrative which has been driven by commercial imperatives to such an extent that it has crushed scientific debate. Clancy recounts that his approach to the College of Pathology (of which he was a Senior Fellow, a foundation Professor of Pathology, and past-Chairman of the College committee for undergraduate pathology education) calling for a national study to determine whether Covid vaccination was responsible for the increase in excess mortality in Australia and elsewhere by developing a protocol for post-mortems ‘to answer what is arguably the most important question facing medicine’ met with a rejection and a suggestion to take it instead to the TGA. Nowadays, dying suddenly has become ominously familiar. According to a new film Died Suddenly available as of this week to stream via Twitter, in the last 18 months, the term ‘Died Suddenly’ has risen to the very top of ‘most searched’ Google terms. The film documents the surge in excess mortality in highly vaccinated countries. Dr. Peter McCullough, internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist, and one of the top five most-published, and most censored, medical researchers in the US, says that sudden death frequently occurs because the heart has been damaged by inflammation caused by Covid vaccines. Papers that Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration tried to hide for 75 years show that Pfizer knew in 2020 that myocarditis and pericarditis could be caused by its vaccine. And in the Pfizer trial in Argentina, a report on a healthy 36-year old  participant – Augusto German Roux – who developed pericarditis immediately after his second Pfizer jab, mysteriously disappeared from the published trial results. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) belatedly published a warning about myocarditis and pericarditis in September this year. It was too late for Garin. Had his doctors known, his life might have been saved. His grieving family have still not received a cent in compensation. But Pfizer has apparently grossed nearly $100 billion from its sales of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Rebecca Weisser is an independent journalist. ====== https://open.substack.com/pub/makismd/p/mrna-injury-stories-australian-dad?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
    Angry
    1
    0 Comments 1 Shares 4517 Views
  • ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians
    Israeli TV channels aired a number of reports showing the torture and humiliation of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The videos are consumed by the Israeli public as entertainment, revealing the sadism of Israeli society.

    Jonathan OfirMarch 6, 2024
    Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel)
    Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel)
    Over the past month, mainstream Israeli television channels have aired what can only be described as snuff films. They depict the systematic torture of Palestinians from Gaza in Israeli jails. Such videos have aired on at least three occasions — twice on Channel 14, and once on the public broadcaster, Channel 13. While Channel 14 is considered right-wing, so is about two-thirds of the Israeli public, and the more “mainstream” Channel 13 has shown no qualms about airing similar footage.

    The broadcasts follow prison officials into detention centers to document the mistreatment of prisoners, which seems to be something that the officials — and apparently the viewers — find satisfying rather than revolting. The airing of these snuff films is a demonstration of societal sadism.

    As Yumna Patel has recently reported, several rights groups have sounded the alarm over the widespread and systemic abuse that Palestinian prisoners face at the hands of the Israeli authorities. These groups’ calls have been unintentionally buttressed by Israeli soldiers’ unapologetic videos of themselves torturing or demeaning Palestinian detainees, which they boastfully post on social media. Now, it seems that the phenomenon has expanded to mainstream Israeli television.

    The two aforementioned reports on Channel 14 (threads with subtitles can be found here and here) contained footage of actual interrogation sessions during which torture was used. The Channel 13 report did not, but it exposed some of the worst prison conditions to be broadcast to the public. These conditions include forcing prisoners to live in inhumane conditions and subjecting them to torture and harassment. Here’s the 11-minute video with translated subtitles.

    Israel Channel 13 prison tour 18.2.2024
    ‘The feeling is one of pride’

    “Here, we see the cells in which the Nukhba terrorists are held,” the narrator says.

    The “Nukhba” refers to elite Hamas-led fighters who carried out the October 7 attack. In the cell, viewers notice metal bunkbeds without mattresses, and instead of a toilet, there is just a hole in the floor. The room is almost completely dark throughout the day, and prisoners have their hands and legs chained together.

    We hear attack dogs barking constantly as prisoners are made to kneel while bound and blindfolded, their heads touching the floor.

    “This is how it should be,” a guard says. “This is how a Nukhba prisoner should be…what happened on October 7 will never return.”

    In another scene, a guard shouts at prisoners as dogs continue to bark incessantly. “Heads down! Heads on the floor!” he yells.

    “There are many prisoners here that I personally saw at the [October 7] events,” a prison official says, taking pride in humiliating them. “The difference is that this time, he is afraid, shaking, with his head on the floor…no Allahu Akbar, nothing. You won’t hear a squeak from him.”

    “They have no mattresses,” says a warden shift commander. “They have nothing…we control them 100% — their food, their shackling, their sleep…[we] show them we are the masters of the house.” Even without knowing the background to that phrase, to hear him say it is chilling.

    “Masters of the house” was the election slogan of Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Jewish Power leader and current Minister of National Security. Ben-Gvir declared war on Palestinian prisoners long before October 7, and this has included shutting down bakeries that supply bread to prisoners — described by Ben-Gvir as an “indulgence” — and drastically limiting prisoners’ water use. So now it’s become much worse.

    While one is tempted to believe that all prisoners here are “Nukhba” members, it turns out that many of them aren’t even suspected of that. Rather, they were rounded up in Gaza after October 7, during mass arrests in which hundreds of Gazan men were stripped and paraded in a most sadistic demonstration of power. The mass arrests also included hundreds of women, including pregnant women detained with their babies. Israeli security officials told Haaretz that by their own estimate, “only 10 to 15 percent of the hundreds of the semi-naked and bound Gazan men arrested in the Strip during the recent days are Hamas members or those who identified with the organization.”

    Back to the Channel 13 coverage, viewers can hear the nonstop blasting of the Zionist anthem, Am Israel Hai (“the people of Israel live”).

    “The prison authorities claim that it is meant to boost the morale of the staff,” the narrator declares. “But it is clear that this is another part of the psychological warfare against the prisoners.”

    Torture, in other words.

    It’s hard to imagine the depths to which Israeli society has sunk. The official tells the Channel 13 reporter that “the feeling is one of pride.”

    The reason such sadism has become formalized as a matter of policy is because this is what the Israeli public demands. The Israeli Democracy Institute released a survey last week showing that two-thirds of Jewish Israelis oppose “the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents at this time,” even if “via international bodies that are not linked to Hamas or to UNRWA.” For right-wing voters, the opposition to aid jumps from 68% to 80%.

    This is not Israel’s Abu Ghraib moment, because when Abu Ghraib was revealed, most Americans were revolted. Israeli society, on the other hand, is thirsting for genocide. No wonder they consume such videos as entertainment on mainstream TV.

    Thanks to Tali Shapiro, B.M.@ireallyhatyou, Hilel Biton-Rosen, and Dave Reed.


    ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/we-are-the-masters-of-the-house-israeli-channels-air-snuff-videos-featuring-systematic-torture-of-palestinians/?utm_content=buffer5ce81&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=buffer
    ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians Israeli TV channels aired a number of reports showing the torture and humiliation of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The videos are consumed by the Israeli public as entertainment, revealing the sadism of Israeli society. Jonathan OfirMarch 6, 2024 Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel) Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel) Over the past month, mainstream Israeli television channels have aired what can only be described as snuff films. They depict the systematic torture of Palestinians from Gaza in Israeli jails. Such videos have aired on at least three occasions — twice on Channel 14, and once on the public broadcaster, Channel 13. While Channel 14 is considered right-wing, so is about two-thirds of the Israeli public, and the more “mainstream” Channel 13 has shown no qualms about airing similar footage. The broadcasts follow prison officials into detention centers to document the mistreatment of prisoners, which seems to be something that the officials — and apparently the viewers — find satisfying rather than revolting. The airing of these snuff films is a demonstration of societal sadism. As Yumna Patel has recently reported, several rights groups have sounded the alarm over the widespread and systemic abuse that Palestinian prisoners face at the hands of the Israeli authorities. These groups’ calls have been unintentionally buttressed by Israeli soldiers’ unapologetic videos of themselves torturing or demeaning Palestinian detainees, which they boastfully post on social media. Now, it seems that the phenomenon has expanded to mainstream Israeli television. The two aforementioned reports on Channel 14 (threads with subtitles can be found here and here) contained footage of actual interrogation sessions during which torture was used. The Channel 13 report did not, but it exposed some of the worst prison conditions to be broadcast to the public. These conditions include forcing prisoners to live in inhumane conditions and subjecting them to torture and harassment. Here’s the 11-minute video with translated subtitles. Israel Channel 13 prison tour 18.2.2024 ‘The feeling is one of pride’ “Here, we see the cells in which the Nukhba terrorists are held,” the narrator says. The “Nukhba” refers to elite Hamas-led fighters who carried out the October 7 attack. In the cell, viewers notice metal bunkbeds without mattresses, and instead of a toilet, there is just a hole in the floor. The room is almost completely dark throughout the day, and prisoners have their hands and legs chained together. We hear attack dogs barking constantly as prisoners are made to kneel while bound and blindfolded, their heads touching the floor. “This is how it should be,” a guard says. “This is how a Nukhba prisoner should be…what happened on October 7 will never return.” In another scene, a guard shouts at prisoners as dogs continue to bark incessantly. “Heads down! Heads on the floor!” he yells. “There are many prisoners here that I personally saw at the [October 7] events,” a prison official says, taking pride in humiliating them. “The difference is that this time, he is afraid, shaking, with his head on the floor…no Allahu Akbar, nothing. You won’t hear a squeak from him.” “They have no mattresses,” says a warden shift commander. “They have nothing…we control them 100% — their food, their shackling, their sleep…[we] show them we are the masters of the house.” Even without knowing the background to that phrase, to hear him say it is chilling. “Masters of the house” was the election slogan of Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Jewish Power leader and current Minister of National Security. Ben-Gvir declared war on Palestinian prisoners long before October 7, and this has included shutting down bakeries that supply bread to prisoners — described by Ben-Gvir as an “indulgence” — and drastically limiting prisoners’ water use. So now it’s become much worse. While one is tempted to believe that all prisoners here are “Nukhba” members, it turns out that many of them aren’t even suspected of that. Rather, they were rounded up in Gaza after October 7, during mass arrests in which hundreds of Gazan men were stripped and paraded in a most sadistic demonstration of power. The mass arrests also included hundreds of women, including pregnant women detained with their babies. Israeli security officials told Haaretz that by their own estimate, “only 10 to 15 percent of the hundreds of the semi-naked and bound Gazan men arrested in the Strip during the recent days are Hamas members or those who identified with the organization.” Back to the Channel 13 coverage, viewers can hear the nonstop blasting of the Zionist anthem, Am Israel Hai (“the people of Israel live”). “The prison authorities claim that it is meant to boost the morale of the staff,” the narrator declares. “But it is clear that this is another part of the psychological warfare against the prisoners.” Torture, in other words. It’s hard to imagine the depths to which Israeli society has sunk. The official tells the Channel 13 reporter that “the feeling is one of pride.” The reason such sadism has become formalized as a matter of policy is because this is what the Israeli public demands. The Israeli Democracy Institute released a survey last week showing that two-thirds of Jewish Israelis oppose “the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents at this time,” even if “via international bodies that are not linked to Hamas or to UNRWA.” For right-wing voters, the opposition to aid jumps from 68% to 80%. This is not Israel’s Abu Ghraib moment, because when Abu Ghraib was revealed, most Americans were revolted. Israeli society, on the other hand, is thirsting for genocide. No wonder they consume such videos as entertainment on mainstream TV. Thanks to Tali Shapiro, B.M.@ireallyhatyou, Hilel Biton-Rosen, and Dave Reed. ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/we-are-the-masters-of-the-house-israeli-channels-air-snuff-videos-featuring-systematic-torture-of-palestinians/?utm_content=buffer5ce81&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=buffer
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians
    Israeli TV channels aired a number of reports showing the torture and humiliation of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The videos are consumed by the Israeli public as entertainment, revealing the sadism of Israeli society.
    Love
    Angry
    2
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3721 Views
  • The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh March 22, 2024 Government, Society 30 minute read
    The World Health Organization (WHO) and its 194 Member States have been engaged for over two years in the development of two ‘instruments’ or agreements with the intent of radically changing the way pandemics and other health emergencies are managed.

    One, consisting of draft amendments to the existing International health Regulations (IHR), seeks to change the current IHR non-binding recommendations into requirements or binding recommendations, by having countries “undertake” to implement those given by the WHO in future declared health emergencies. It covers all ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEIC), with a single person, the WHO Director-General (DG) determining what a PHEIC is, where it extends, and when it ends. It specifies mandated vaccines, border closures, and other directives understood as lockdowns among the requirements the DG can impose. It is discussed further elsewhere and still under negotiation in Geneva.

    A second document, previously known as the (draft) Pandemic Treaty, then Pandemic Accord, and more recently the Pandemic Agreement, seeks to specify governance, supply chains, and various other interventions aimed at preventing, preparing for, and responding to, pandemics (pandemic prevention, preparedness and response – PPPR). It is currently being negotiated by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB).

    Both texts will be subject to a vote at the May 2024 World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. These votes are intended, by those promoting these projects, to bring governance of future multi-country healthcare emergencies (or threats thereof) under the WHO umbrella.

    The latest version of the draft Pandemic Agreement (here forth the ‘Agreement’) was released on 7th March 2024. However, it is still being negotiated by various committees comprising representatives of Member States and other interested entities. It has been through multiple iterations over two years, and looks like it. With the teeth of the pandemic response proposals in the IHR, the Agreement looks increasingly irrelevant, or at least unsure of its purpose, picking up bits and pieces in a half-hearted way that the IHR amendments do not, or cannot, include. However, as discussed below, it is far from irrelevant.

    Historical Perspective

    These aim to increase the centralization of decision-making within the WHO as the “directing and coordinating authority.” This terminology comes from the WHO’s 1946 Constitution, developed in the aftermath of the Second World War as the world faced the outcomes of European fascism and the similar approaches widely imposed through colonialist regimes. The WHO would support emerging countries, with rapidly expanding and poorly resourced populations struggling under high disease burdens, and coordinate some areas of international support as these sovereign countries requested it. The emphasis of action was on coordinating rather than directing.

    In the 80 years prior to the WHO’s existence, international public health had grown within a more directive mindset, with a series of meetings by colonial and slave-owning powers from 1851 to manage pandemics, culminating in the inauguration of the Office Internationale d’Hygiene Publique in Paris in 1907, and later the League of Nations Health Office. World powers imposed health dictates on those less powerful, in other parts of the world and increasingly on their own population through the eugenics movement and similar approaches. Public health would direct, for the greater good, as a tool of those who wish to direct the lives of others.

    The WHO, governed by the WHA, was to be very different. Newly independent States and their former colonial masters were ostensibly on an equal footing within the WHA (one country – one vote), and the WHO’s work overall was to be an example of how human rights could dominate the way society works. The model for international public health, as exemplified in the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, was to be horizontal rather than vertical, with communities and countries in the driving seat.

    With the evolution of the WHO in recent decades from a core funding model (countries give money, the WHO decides under the WHA guidance how to spend it) to a model based on specified funding (funders, both public and increasingly private, instruct the WHO on how to spend it), the WHO has inevitably changed to become a public-private partnership required to serve the interests of funders rather than populations.

    As most funding comes from a few countries with major Pharma industrial bases, or private investors and corporations in the same industry, the WHO has been required to emphasize the use of pharmaceuticals and downplay evidence and knowledge where these clash (if it wants to keep all its staff funded). It is helpful to view the draft Agreement, and the IHR amendments, in this context.

    Why May 2024?

    The WHO, together with the World Bank, G20, and other institutions have been emphasizing the urgency of putting the new pandemic instruments in place earnestly, before the ‘next pandemic.’ This is based on claims that the world was unprepared for Covid-19, and that the economic and health harm would be somehow avoidable if we had these agreements in place.

    They emphasize, contrary to evidence that Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) origins involve laboratory manipulation, that the main threats we face are natural, and that these are increasing exponentially and present an “existential” threat to humanity. The data on which the WHO, the World Bank, and G20 base these claims demonstrates the contrary, with reported natural outbreaks having increased as detection technologies have developed, but reducing in mortality rate, and in numbers, over the past 10 to 20 years..

    A paper cited by the World Bank to justify urgency and quoted as suggesting a 3x increase in risk in the coming decade actually suggests that a Covid-19-like event would occur roughly every 129 years, and a Spanish-flu repetition every 292 to 877 years. Such predictions are unable to take into account the rapidly changing nature of medicine and improved sanitation and nutrition (most deaths from Spanish flu would not have occurred if modern antibiotics had been available), and so may still overestimate risk. Similarly, the WHO’s own priority disease list for new outbreaks only includes two diseases of proven natural origin that have over 1,000 historical deaths attributed to them. It is well demonstrated that the risk and expected burden of pandemics is misrepresented by major international agencies in current discussions.

    The urgency for May 2024 is clearly therefore inadequately supported, firstly because neither the WHO nor others have demonstrated how the harms accrued through Covid-19 would be reduced through the measures proposed, and secondly because the burden and risk is misrepresented. In this context, the state of the Agreement is clearly not where it should be as a draft international legally binding agreement intended to impose considerable financial and other obligations on States and populations.

    This is particularly problematic as the proposed expenditure; the proposed budget is over $31 billion per year, with over $10 billion more on other One Health activities. Much of this will have to be diverted from addressing other diseases burdens that impose far greater burden. This trade-off, essential to understand in public health policy development, has not yet been clearly addressed by the WHO.

    The WHO DG stated recently that the WHO does not want the power to impose vaccine mandates or lockdowns on anyone, and does not want this. This begs the question of why either of the current WHO pandemic instruments is being proposed, both as legally binding documents. The current IHR (2005) already sets out such approaches as recommendations the DG can make, and there is nothing non-mandatory that countries cannot do now without pushing new treaty-like mechanisms through a vote in Geneva.

    Based on the DG’s claims, they are essentially redundant, and what new non-mandatory clauses they contain, as set out below, are certainly not urgent. Clauses that are mandatory (Member States “shall”) must be considered within national decision-making contexts and appear against the WHO’s stated intent.

    Common sense would suggest that the Agreement, and the accompanying IHR amendments, be properly thought through before Member States commit. The WHO has already abandoned the legal requirement for a 4-month review time for the IHR amendments (Article 55.2 IHR), which are also still under negotiation just 2 months before the WHA deadline. The Agreement should also have at least such a period for States to properly consider whether to agree – treaties normally take many years to develop and negotiate and no valid arguments have been put forward as to why these should be different.

    The Covid-19 response resulted in an unprecedented transfer of wealth from those of lower income to the very wealthy few, completely contrary to the way in which the WHO was intended to affect human society. A considerable portion of these pandemic profits went to current sponsors of the WHO, and these same corporate entities and investors are set to further benefit from the new pandemic agreements. As written, the Pandemic Agreement risks entrenching such centralization and profit-taking, and the accompanying unprecedented restrictions on human rights and freedoms, as a public health norm.

    To continue with a clearly flawed agreement simply because of a previously set deadline, when no clear population benefit is articulated and no true urgency demonstrated, would therefore be a major step backward in international public health. Basic principles of proportionality, human agency, and community empowerment, essential for health and human rights outcomes, are missing or paid lip-service. The WHO clearly wishes to increase its funding and show it is ‘doing something,’ but must first articulate why the voluntary provisions of the current IHR are insufficient. It is hoped that by systematically reviewing some key clauses of the agreement here, it will become clear why a rethink of the whole approach is necessary. The full text is found below.

    The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic. Much of the remaining text is essentially pointless as it reiterates vague intentions to be found in other documents or activities which countries normally undertake in the course of running health services, and have no place in a focused legally-binding international agreement.

    REVISED Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement. 7th March, 2024

    Preamble

    Recognizing that the World Health Organization…is the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.

    This is inconsistent with a recent statement by the WHO DG that the WHO has no interest or intent to direct country health responses. To reiterate it here suggests that the DG is not representing the true position regarding the Agreement. “Directing authority” is however in line with the proposed IHR Amendments (and the WHO’s Constitution), under which countries will “undertake” ahead of time to follow the DG’s recommendations (which thereby become instructions). As the HR amendments make clear, this is intended to apply even to a perceived threat rather than actual harm.

    Recalling the constitution of the World Health Organization…highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

    This statement recalls fundamental understandings of public health, and is of importance here as it raises the question of why the WHO did not strongly condemn prolonged school closures, workplace closures, and other impoverishing policies during the Covid-19 response. In 2019, WHO made clear that these dangers should prevent actions we now call ‘lockdowns’ from being imposed.

    Deeply concerned by the gross inequities at national and international levels that hindered timely and equitable access to medical and other Covid-19 pandemic-related products, and the serious shortcomings in pandemic preparedness.

    In terms of health equity (as distinct from commodity of ‘vaccine’ equity), inequity in the Covid-19 response was not in failing to provide a vaccine against former variants to immune, young people in low-income countries who were at far higher risk from endemic diseases, but in the disproportionate harm to them of uniformly-imposed NPIs that reduced current and future income and basic healthcare, as was noted by the WHO in 2019 Pandemic Influenza recommendations. The failure of the text to recognize this suggests that lessons from Covid-19 have not informed this draft Agreement. The WHO has not yet demonstrated how pandemic ‘preparedness,’ in the terms they use below, would have reduced impact, given that there is poor correlation between strictness or speed of response and eventual outcomes.

    Reiterating the need to work towards…an equitable approach to mitigate the risk that pandemics exacerbate existing inequities in access to health services,

    As above – in the past century, the issue of inequity has been most pronounced in pandemic response, rather than the impact of the virus itself (excluding the physiological variation in risk). Most recorded deaths from acute pandemics, since the Spanish flu, were during Covid-19, in which the virus hit mainly sick elderly, but response impacted working-age adults and children heavily and will continue to have effect, due to increased poverty and debt; reduced education and child marriage, in future generations.

    These have disproportionately affected lower-income people, and particularly women. The lack of recognition of this in this document, though they are recognized by the World Bank and UN agencies elsewhere, must raise real questions on whether this Agreement has been thoroughly thought through, and the process of development been sufficiently inclusive and objective.

    Chapter I. Introduction

    Article 1. Use of terms

    (i) “pathogen with pandemic potential” means any pathogen that has been identified to infect a human and that is: novel (not yet characterized) or known (including a variant of a known pathogen), potentially highly transmissible and/or highly virulent with the potential to cause a public health emergency of international concern.

    This provides a very wide scope to alter provisions. Any pathogen that can infect humans and is potentially highly transmissible or virulent, though yet uncharacterized means virtually any coronavirus, influenza virus, or a plethora of other relatively common pathogen groups. The IHR Amendments intend that the DG alone can make this call, over the advice of others, as occurred with monkeypox in 2022.

    (j) “persons in vulnerable situations” means individuals, groups or communities with a disproportionate increased risk of infection, severity, disease or mortality.

    This is a good definition – in Covid-19 context, would mean the sick elderly, and so is relevant to targeting a response.

    “Universal health coverage” means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

    While the general UHC concept is good, it is time a sensible (rather than patently silly) definition was adopted. Society cannot afford the full range of possible interventions and remedies for all, and clearly there is a scale of cost vs benefit that prioritizes certain ones over others. Sensible definitions make action more likely, and inaction harder to justify. One could argue that none should have the full range until all have good basic care, but clearly the earth will not support ‘the full range’ for 8 billion people.

    Article 2. Objective

    This Agreement is specifically for pandemics (a poorly defined term but essentially a pathogen that spreads rapidly across national borders). In contrast, the IHR amendments accompanying it are broader in scope – for any public health emergencies of international concern.

    Article 3. Principles

    2. the sovereign right of States to adopt, legislate and implement legislation

    The amendments to the IHR require States to undertake to follow WHO instructions ahead of time, before such instruction and context are known. These two documents must be understood, as noted later in the Agreement draft, as complementary.

    3. equity as the goal and outcome of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, ensuring the absence of unfair, avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people.

    This definition of equity here needs clarification. In the pandemic context, the WHO emphasized commodity (vaccine) equity during the Covid-19 response. Elimination of differences implied equal access to Covid-19 vaccines in countries with large aging, obese highly vulnerable populations (e.g. the USA or Italy), and those with young populations at minimal risk and with far more pressing health priorities (e.g. Niger or Uganda).

    Alternatively, but equally damaging, equal access to different age groups within a country when the risk-benefit ratio is clearly greatly different. This promotes worse health outcomes by diverting resources from where they are most useful, as it ignores heterogeneity of risk. Again, an adult approach is required in international agreements, rather than feel-good sentences, if they are going to have a positive impact.

    5. …a more equitable and better prepared world to prevent, respond to and recover from pandemics

    As with ‘3’ above, this raises a fundamental problem: What if health equity demands that some populations divert resources to childhood nutrition and endemic diseases rather than the latest pandemic, as these are likely of far higher burden to many younger but lower-income populations? This would not be equity in the definition implied here, but would clearly lead to better and more equal health outcomes.

    The WHO must decide whether it is about uniform action, or minimizing poor health, as these are clearly very different. They are the difference between the WHO’s commodity equity, and true health equity.

    Chapter II. The world together equitably: achieving equity in, for and through pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

    Equity in health should imply a reasonably equal chance of overcoming or avoiding preventable sickness. The vast majority of sickness and death is due to either non-communicable diseases often related to lifestyle, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, undernutrition in childhood, and endemic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Achieving health equity would primarily mean addressing these.

    In this chapter of the draft Pandemic Agreement, equity is used to imply equal access to specific health commodities, particularly vaccines, for intermittent health emergencies, although these exert a small fraction of the burden of other diseases. It is, specifically, commodity-equity, and not geared to equalizing overall health burden but to enabling centrally-coordinated homogenous responses to unusual events.

    Article 4. Pandemic prevention and surveillance

    2. The Parties shall undertake to cooperate:

    (b) in support of…initiatives aimed at preventing pandemics, in particular those that improve surveillance, early warning and risk assessment; .…and identify settings and activities presenting a risk of emergence and re-emergence of pathogens with pandemic potential.

    (c-h) [Paragraphs on water and sanitation, infection control, strengthening of biosafety, surveillance and prevention of vector-born diseases, and addressing antimicrobial resistance.]

    The WHO intends the Agreement to have force under international law. Therefore, countries are undertaking to put themselves under force of international law in regards to complying with the agreement’s stipulations.

    The provisions under this long article mostly cover general health stuff that countries try to do anyway. The difference will be that countries will be assessed on progress. Assessment can be fine if in context, less fine if it consists of entitled ‘experts’ from wealthy countries with little local knowledge or context. Perhaps such compliance is best left to national authorities, who are more in use with local needs and priorities. The justification for the international bureaucracy being built to support this, while fun for those involved, is unclear and will divert resources from actual health work.

    6. The Conference of the Parties may adopt, as necessary, guidelines, recommendations and standards, including in relation to pandemic prevention capacities, to support the implementation of this Article.

    Here and later, the COP is invoked as a vehicle to decide on what will actually be done. The rules are explained later (Articles 21-23). While allowing more time is sensible, it begs the question of why it is not better to wait and discuss what is needed in the current INB process, before committing to a legally-binding agreement. This current article says nothing not already covered by the IHR2005 or other ongoing programs.

    Article 5. One Health approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

    Nothing specific or new in this article. It seems redundant (it is advocating a holistic approach mentioned elsewhere) and so presumably is just to get the term ‘One Health’ into the agreement. (One could ask, why bother?)

    Some mainstream definitions of One Health (e.g. Lancet) consider that it means non-human species are on a par with humans in terms of rights and importance. If this is meant here, clearly most Member States would disagree. So we may assume that it is just words to keep someone happy (a little childish in an international document, but the term ‘One Health’ has been trending, like ‘equity,’ as if the concept of holistic approaches to public health were new).

    Article 6. Preparedness, health system resilience and recovery

    2. Each Party commits…[to] :

    (a) routine and essential health services during pandemics with a focus on primary health care, routine immunization and mental health care, and with particular attention to persons in vulnerable situations

    (b) developing, strengthening and maintaining health infrastructure

    (c) developing post-pandemic health system recovery strategies

    (d) developing, strengthening and maintaining: health information systems

    This is good, and (a) seems to require avoidance of lockdowns (which inevitably cause the harms listed). Unfortunately other WHO documents lead one to assume this is not the intent…It does appear therefore that this is simply another list of fairly non-specific feel-good measures that have no useful place in a new legally-binding agreement, and which most countries are already undertaking.

    (e) promoting the use of social and behavioural sciences, risk communication and community engagement for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

    This requires clarification, as the use of behavioral science during the Covid-19 response involved deliberate inducement of fear to promote behaviors that people would not otherwise follow (e.g. Spi-B). It is essential here that the document clarifies how behavioral science should be used ethically in healthcare. Otherwise, this is also a quite meaningless provision.

    Article 7. Health and care workforce

    This long Article discusses health workforce, training, retention, non-discrimination, stigma, bias, adequate remuneration, and other standard provisions for workplaces. It is unclear why it is included in a legally binding pandemic agreement, except for:

    4. [The Parties]…shall invest in establishing, sustaining, coordinating and mobilizing a skilled and trained multidisciplinary global public health emergency workforce…Parties having established emergency health teams should inform WHO thereof and make best efforts to respond to requests for deployment…

    Emergency health teams established (within capacity etc.) – are something countries already do, when they have capacity. There is no reason to have this as a legally-binding instrument, and clearly no urgency to do so.

    Article 8. Preparedness monitoring and functional reviews

    1. The Parties shall, building on existing and relevant tools, develop and implement an inclusive, transparent, effective and efficient pandemic prevention, preparedness and response monitoring and evaluation system.

    2. Each Party shall assess, every five years, with technical support from the WHO Secretariat upon request, the functioning and readiness of, and gaps in, its pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity, based on the relevant tools and guidelines developed by WHO in partnership with relevant organizations at international, regional and sub-regional levels.

    Note that this is being required of countries that are already struggling to implement monitoring systems for major endemic diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, and nutritional deficiencies. They will be legally bound to divert resources to pandemic prevention. While there is some overlap, it will inevitably divert resources from currently underfunded programs for diseases of far higher local burdens, and so (not theoretically, but inevitably) raise mortality. Poor countries are being required to put resources into problems deemed significant by richer countries.

    Article 9. Research and development

    Various general provisions about undertaking background research that countries are generally doing anyway, but with an ’emerging disease’ slant. Again, the INB fails to justify why this diversion of resources from researching greater disease burdens should occur in all countries (why not just those with excess resources?).

    Article 10. Sustainable and geographically diversified production

    Mostly non-binding but suggested cooperation on making pandemic-related products available, including support for manufacturing in “inter-pandemic times” (a fascinating rendering of ‘normal’), when they would only be viable through subsidies. Much of this is probably unimplementable, as it would not be practical to maintain facilities in most or all countries on stand-by for rare events, at cost of resources otherwise useful for other priorities. The desire to increase production in ‘developing’ countries will face major barriers and costs in terms of maintaining quality of production, particularly as many products will have limited use outside of rare outbreak situations.

    Article 11. Transfer of technology and know-how

    This article, always problematic for large pharmaceutical corporations sponsoring much WHO outbreak activities, is now watered down to weak requirements to ‘consider,’ promote,’ provide, within capabilities’ etc.

    Article 12. Access and benefit sharing

    This Article is intended to establish the WHO Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing System (PABS System). PABS is intended to “ensure rapid, systematic and timely access to biological materials of pathogens with pandemic potential and the genetic sequence data.” This system is of potential high relevance and needs to be interpreted in the context that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the recent Covid-19 outbreak, was highly likely to have escaped from a laboratory. PABS is intended to expand the laboratory storage, transport, and handling of such viruses, under the oversight of the WHO, an organization outside of national jurisdiction with no significant direct experience in handling biological materials.

    3. When a Party has access to a pathogen [it shall]:

    (a) share with WHO any pathogen sequence information as soon as it is available to the Party;

    (b) as soon as biological materials are available to the Party, provide the materials to one or more laboratories and/or biorepositories participating in WHO-coordinated laboratory networks (CLNs),

    Subsequent clauses state that benefits will be shared, and seek to prevent recipient laboratories from patenting materials received from other countries. This has been a major concern of low-and middle-income countries previously, who perceive that institutions in wealthy countries patent and benefit from materials derived from less-wealthy populations. It remains to be seen whether provisions here will be sufficient to address this.

    The article then becomes yet more concerning:

    6. WHO shall conclude legally binding standard PABS contracts with manufacturers to provide the following, taking into account the size, nature and capacities of the manufacturer:

    (a) annual monetary contributions to support the PABS System and relevant capacities in countries; the determination of the annual amount, use, and approach for monitoring and accountability, shall be finalized by the Parties;

    (b) real-time contributions of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines produced by the manufacturer, 10% free of charge and 10% at not-for-profit prices during public health emergencies of international concern or pandemics, …

    It is clearly intended that the WHO becomes directly involved in setting up legally binding manufacturing contracts, despite the WHO being outside of national jurisdictional oversight, within the territories of Member States. The PABS system, and therefore its staff and dependent entities, are also to be supported in part by funds from the manufacturers whom they are supposed to be managing. The income of the organization will be dependent on maintaining positive relationships with these private entities in a similar way in which many national regulatory agencies are dependent upon funds from pharmaceutical companies whom their staff ostensibly regulate. In this case, the regulator will be even further removed from public oversight.

    The clause on 10% (why 10?) products being free of charge, and similar at cost, while ensuring lower-priced commodities irrespective of actual need (the outbreak may be confined to wealthy countries). The same entity, the WHO, will determine whether the triggering emergency exists, determine the response, and manage the contracts to provide the commodities, without direct jurisdictional oversight regarding the potential for corruption or conflict of interest. It is a remarkable system to suggest, irrespective of political or regulatory environment.

    8. The Parties shall cooperate…public financing of research and development, prepurchase agreements, or regulatory procedures, to encourage and facilitate as many manufacturers as possible to enter into standard PABS contracts as early as possible.

    The article envisions that public funding will be used to build the process, ensuring essentially no-risk private profit.

    10. To support operationalization of the PABS System, WHO shall…make such contracts public, while respecting commercial confidentiality.

    The public may know whom contracts are made with, but not all details of the contracts. There will therefore be no independent oversight of the clauses agreed between the WHO, a body outside of national jurisdiction and dependent of commercial companies for funding some of its work and salaries, and these same companies, on ‘needs’ that the WHO itself will have sole authority, under the proposed amendments to the IHR, to determine.

    The Article further states that the WHO shall use its own product regulatory system (prequalification) and Emergency Use Listing Procedure to open and stimulate markets for the manufacturers of these products.

    It is doubtful that any national government could make such an overall agreement, yet in May 2024 they will be voting to provide this to what is essentially a foreign, and partly privately financed, entity.

    Article 13. Supply chain and logistics

    The WHO will become convenor of a ‘Global Supply Chain and Logistics Network’ for commercially-produced products, to be supplied under WHO contracts when and where the WHO determines, whilst also having the role of ensuring safety of such products.

    Having mutual support coordinated between countries is good. Having this run by an organization that is significantly funded directly by those gaining from the sale of these same commodities seems reckless and counterintuitive. Few countries would allow this (or at least plan for it).

    For this to occur safely, the WHO would logically have to forgo all private investment, and greatly restrict national specified funding contributions. Otherwise, the conflicts of interest involved would destroy confidence in the system. There is no suggestion of such divestment from the WHO, but rather, as in Article 12, private sector dependency, directly tied to contracts, will increase.

    Article 13bis: National procurement- and distribution-related provisions

    While suffering the same (perhaps unavoidable) issues regarding commercial confidentiality, this alternate Article 13 seems far more appropriate, keeping commercial issues under national jurisdiction and avoiding the obvious conflict of interests that underpin funding for WHO activities and staffing.

    Article 14. Regulatory systems strengthening

    This entire Article reflects initiatives and programs already in place. Nothing here appears likely to add to current effort.

    Article 15. Liability and compensation management

    1. Each Party shall consider developing, as necessary and in accordance with applicable law, national strategies for managing liability in its territory related to pandemic vaccines…no-fault compensation mechanisms…

    2. The Parties…shall develop recommendations for the establishment and implementation of national, regional and/or global no-fault compensation mechanisms and strategies for managing liability during pandemic emergencies, including with regard to individuals that are in a humanitarian setting or vulnerable situations.

    This is quite remarkable, but also reflects some national legislation, in removing any fault or liability specifically from vaccine manufacturers, for harms done in pushing out vaccines to the public. During the Covid-19 response, genetic therapeutics being developed by BioNtech and Moderna were reclassified as vaccines, on the basis that an immune response is stimulated after they have modified intracellular biochemical pathways as a medicine normally does.

    This enabled specific trials normally required for carcinogenicity and teratogenicity to be bypassed, despite raised fetal abnormality rates in animal trials. It will enable the CEPI 100-day vaccine program, supported with private funding to support private mRNA vaccine manufacturers, to proceed without any risk to the manufacturer should there be subsequent public harm.

    Together with an earlier provision on public funding of research and manufacturing readiness, and the removal of former wording requiring intellectual property sharing in Article 11, this ensures vaccine manufacturers and their investors make profit in effective absence of risk.

    These entities are currently heavily invested in support for WHO, and were strongly aligned with the introduction of newly restrictive outbreak responses that emphasized and sometimes mandated their products during the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Article 16. International collaboration and cooperation

    A somewhat pointless article. It suggests that countries cooperate with each other and the WHO to implement the other agreements in the Agreement.

    Article 17. Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches

    A list of essentially motherhood provisions related to planning for a pandemic. However, countries will legally be required to maintain a ‘national coordination multisectoral body’ for PPPR. This will essentially be an added burden on budgets, and inevitably divert further resources from other priorities. Perhaps just strengthening current infectious disease and nutritional programs would be more impactful. (Nowhere in this Agreement is nutrition discussed (essential for resilience to pathogens) and minimal wording is included on sanitation and clean water (other major reasons for reduction in infectious disease mortality over past centuries).

    However, the ‘community ownership’ wording is interesting (“empower and enable community ownership of, and contribution to, community readiness for and resilience [for PPPR]”), as this directly contradicts much of the rest of the Agreement, including the centralization of control under the Conference of Parties, requirements for countries to allocate resources to pandemic preparedness over other community priorities, and the idea of inspecting and assessing adherence to the centralized requirements of the Agreement. Either much of the rest of the Agreement is redundant, or this wording is purely for appearance and not to be followed (and therefore should be removed).

    Article 18. Communication and public awareness

    1. Each Party shall promote timely access to credible and evidence-based information …with the aim of countering and addressing misinformation or disinformation…

    2. The Parties shall, as appropriate, promote and/or conduct research and inform policies on factors that hinder or strengthen adherence to public health and social measures in a pandemic, as well as trust in science and public health institutions and agencies.

    The key word is as appropriate, given that many agencies, including the WHO, have overseen or aided policies during the Covid-19 response that have greatly increased poverty, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and education loss.

    As the WHO has been shown to be significantly misrepresenting pandemic risk in the process of advocating for this Agreement and related instruments, its own communications would also fall outside the provision here related to evidence-based information, and fall within normal understandings of misinformation. It could not therefore be an arbiter of correctness of information here, so the Article is not implementable. Rewritten to recommend accurate evidence-based information being promoted, it would make good sense, but this is not an issue requiring a legally binding international agreement.

    Article 19. Implementation and support

    3. The WHO Secretariat…organize the technical and financial assistance necessary to address such gaps and needs in implementing the commitments agreed upon under the Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005).

    As the WHO is dependent on donor support, its ability to address gaps in funding within Member States is clearly not something it can guarantee. The purpose of this article is unclear, repeating in paragraphs 1 and 2 the earlier intent for countries to generally support each other.

    Article 20. Sustainable financing

    1. The Parties commit to working together…In this regard, each Party, within the means and resources at its disposal, shall:

    (a) prioritize and maintain or increase, as necessary, domestic funding for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, without undermining other domestic public health priorities including for: (i) strengthening and sustaining capacities for the prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies and pandemics, in particular the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (2005);…

    This is silly wording, as countries obviously have to prioritize within budgets, so that moving funds to one area means removing from another. The essence of public health policy is weighing and making such decisions; this reality seems to be ignored here through wishful thinking. (a) is clearly redundant, as the IHR (2005) already exists and countries have agreed to support it.

    3. A Coordinating Financial Mechanism (the “Mechanism”) is hereby established to support the implementation of both the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005)

    This will be in parallel to the Pandemic Fund recently commenced by the World Bank – an issue not lost on INB delegates and so likely to change here in the final version. It will also be additive to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and other health financing mechanisms, and so require another parallel international bureaucracy, presumably based in Geneva.

    It is intended to have its own capacity to “conduct relevant analyses on needs and gaps, in addition to tracking cooperation efforts,” so it will not be a small undertaking.

    Chapter III. Institutional and final provisions

    Article 21. Conference of the Parties

    1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established.

    2. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under regular review, every three years, the implementation of the WHO Pandemic Agreement and take the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation.

    This sets up the governing body to oversee this Agreement (another body requiring a secretariat and support). It is intended to meet within a year of the Agreement coming into force, and then set its own rules on meeting thereafter. It is likely that many provisions outlined in this draft of the Agreement will be deferred to the COP for further discussion.

    Articles 22 – 37

    These articles cover the functioning of the Conference of Parties (COP) and various administrative issues.

    Of note, ‘block votes’ will be allowed from regional bodies (e.g. the EU).

    The WHO will provide the secretariat.

    Under Article 24 is noted:

    3. Nothing in the WHO Pandemic Agreement shall be interpreted as providing the Secretariat of the World Health Organization, including the WHO Director-General, any authority to direct, order, alter or otherwise prescribe the domestic laws or policies of any Party, or to mandate or otherwise impose any requirements that Parties take specific actions, such as ban or accept travellers, impose vaccination mandates or therapeutic or diagnostic measures, or implement lockdowns.

    These provisions are explicitly stated in the proposed amendments to the IHR, to be considered alongside this agreement. Article 26 notes that the IHR is to be interpreted as compatible, thereby confirming that the IHR provisions including border closures and limits on freedom of movement, mandated vaccination, and other lockdown measures are not negated by this statement.

    As Article 26 states: “The Parties recognize that the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations should be interpreted so as to be compatible.”

    Some would consider this subterfuge – The Director-General recently labeled as liars those who claimed the Agreement included these powers, whilst failing to acknowledge the accompanying IHR amendments. The WHO could do better in avoiding misleading messaging, especially when this involves denigration of the public.

    Article 32 (Withdrawal) requires that, once adopted, Parties cannot withdraw for a total of 3 years (giving notice after a minimum of 2 years). Financial obligations undertaken under the agreement continue beyond that time.

    Finally, the Agreement will come into force, assuming a two-thirds majority in the WHA is achieved (Article 19, WHO Constitution), 30 days after the fortieth country has ratified it.

    Further reading:

    WHO Pandemic Agreement Intergovernmental Negotiating Board website:

    https://inb.who.int/

    International Health Regulations Working Group website:

    https://apps.who.int/gb/wgihr/index.html

    On background to the WHO texts:

    Amendments to WHO’s International Health Regulations: An Annotated Guide
    An Unofficial Q&A on International Health Regulations
    On urgency and burden of pandemics:

    https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/228/rational-policy-over-panic

    Disease X and Davos: This is Not the Way to Evaluate and Formulate Public Health Policy
    Before Preparing for Pandemics, We Need Better Evidence of Risk
    Revised Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement:

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

    Authors

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

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

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide/

    https://www.minds.com/donshafi911/blog/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide-1621719398509187077
    The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh March 22, 2024 Government, Society 30 minute read The World Health Organization (WHO) and its 194 Member States have been engaged for over two years in the development of two ‘instruments’ or agreements with the intent of radically changing the way pandemics and other health emergencies are managed. One, consisting of draft amendments to the existing International health Regulations (IHR), seeks to change the current IHR non-binding recommendations into requirements or binding recommendations, by having countries “undertake” to implement those given by the WHO in future declared health emergencies. It covers all ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEIC), with a single person, the WHO Director-General (DG) determining what a PHEIC is, where it extends, and when it ends. It specifies mandated vaccines, border closures, and other directives understood as lockdowns among the requirements the DG can impose. It is discussed further elsewhere and still under negotiation in Geneva. A second document, previously known as the (draft) Pandemic Treaty, then Pandemic Accord, and more recently the Pandemic Agreement, seeks to specify governance, supply chains, and various other interventions aimed at preventing, preparing for, and responding to, pandemics (pandemic prevention, preparedness and response – PPPR). It is currently being negotiated by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB). Both texts will be subject to a vote at the May 2024 World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. These votes are intended, by those promoting these projects, to bring governance of future multi-country healthcare emergencies (or threats thereof) under the WHO umbrella. The latest version of the draft Pandemic Agreement (here forth the ‘Agreement’) was released on 7th March 2024. However, it is still being negotiated by various committees comprising representatives of Member States and other interested entities. It has been through multiple iterations over two years, and looks like it. With the teeth of the pandemic response proposals in the IHR, the Agreement looks increasingly irrelevant, or at least unsure of its purpose, picking up bits and pieces in a half-hearted way that the IHR amendments do not, or cannot, include. However, as discussed below, it is far from irrelevant. Historical Perspective These aim to increase the centralization of decision-making within the WHO as the “directing and coordinating authority.” This terminology comes from the WHO’s 1946 Constitution, developed in the aftermath of the Second World War as the world faced the outcomes of European fascism and the similar approaches widely imposed through colonialist regimes. The WHO would support emerging countries, with rapidly expanding and poorly resourced populations struggling under high disease burdens, and coordinate some areas of international support as these sovereign countries requested it. The emphasis of action was on coordinating rather than directing. In the 80 years prior to the WHO’s existence, international public health had grown within a more directive mindset, with a series of meetings by colonial and slave-owning powers from 1851 to manage pandemics, culminating in the inauguration of the Office Internationale d’Hygiene Publique in Paris in 1907, and later the League of Nations Health Office. World powers imposed health dictates on those less powerful, in other parts of the world and increasingly on their own population through the eugenics movement and similar approaches. Public health would direct, for the greater good, as a tool of those who wish to direct the lives of others. The WHO, governed by the WHA, was to be very different. Newly independent States and their former colonial masters were ostensibly on an equal footing within the WHA (one country – one vote), and the WHO’s work overall was to be an example of how human rights could dominate the way society works. The model for international public health, as exemplified in the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, was to be horizontal rather than vertical, with communities and countries in the driving seat. With the evolution of the WHO in recent decades from a core funding model (countries give money, the WHO decides under the WHA guidance how to spend it) to a model based on specified funding (funders, both public and increasingly private, instruct the WHO on how to spend it), the WHO has inevitably changed to become a public-private partnership required to serve the interests of funders rather than populations. As most funding comes from a few countries with major Pharma industrial bases, or private investors and corporations in the same industry, the WHO has been required to emphasize the use of pharmaceuticals and downplay evidence and knowledge where these clash (if it wants to keep all its staff funded). It is helpful to view the draft Agreement, and the IHR amendments, in this context. Why May 2024? The WHO, together with the World Bank, G20, and other institutions have been emphasizing the urgency of putting the new pandemic instruments in place earnestly, before the ‘next pandemic.’ This is based on claims that the world was unprepared for Covid-19, and that the economic and health harm would be somehow avoidable if we had these agreements in place. They emphasize, contrary to evidence that Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) origins involve laboratory manipulation, that the main threats we face are natural, and that these are increasing exponentially and present an “existential” threat to humanity. The data on which the WHO, the World Bank, and G20 base these claims demonstrates the contrary, with reported natural outbreaks having increased as detection technologies have developed, but reducing in mortality rate, and in numbers, over the past 10 to 20 years.. A paper cited by the World Bank to justify urgency and quoted as suggesting a 3x increase in risk in the coming decade actually suggests that a Covid-19-like event would occur roughly every 129 years, and a Spanish-flu repetition every 292 to 877 years. Such predictions are unable to take into account the rapidly changing nature of medicine and improved sanitation and nutrition (most deaths from Spanish flu would not have occurred if modern antibiotics had been available), and so may still overestimate risk. Similarly, the WHO’s own priority disease list for new outbreaks only includes two diseases of proven natural origin that have over 1,000 historical deaths attributed to them. It is well demonstrated that the risk and expected burden of pandemics is misrepresented by major international agencies in current discussions. The urgency for May 2024 is clearly therefore inadequately supported, firstly because neither the WHO nor others have demonstrated how the harms accrued through Covid-19 would be reduced through the measures proposed, and secondly because the burden and risk is misrepresented. In this context, the state of the Agreement is clearly not where it should be as a draft international legally binding agreement intended to impose considerable financial and other obligations on States and populations. This is particularly problematic as the proposed expenditure; the proposed budget is over $31 billion per year, with over $10 billion more on other One Health activities. Much of this will have to be diverted from addressing other diseases burdens that impose far greater burden. This trade-off, essential to understand in public health policy development, has not yet been clearly addressed by the WHO. The WHO DG stated recently that the WHO does not want the power to impose vaccine mandates or lockdowns on anyone, and does not want this. This begs the question of why either of the current WHO pandemic instruments is being proposed, both as legally binding documents. The current IHR (2005) already sets out such approaches as recommendations the DG can make, and there is nothing non-mandatory that countries cannot do now without pushing new treaty-like mechanisms through a vote in Geneva. Based on the DG’s claims, they are essentially redundant, and what new non-mandatory clauses they contain, as set out below, are certainly not urgent. Clauses that are mandatory (Member States “shall”) must be considered within national decision-making contexts and appear against the WHO’s stated intent. Common sense would suggest that the Agreement, and the accompanying IHR amendments, be properly thought through before Member States commit. The WHO has already abandoned the legal requirement for a 4-month review time for the IHR amendments (Article 55.2 IHR), which are also still under negotiation just 2 months before the WHA deadline. The Agreement should also have at least such a period for States to properly consider whether to agree – treaties normally take many years to develop and negotiate and no valid arguments have been put forward as to why these should be different. The Covid-19 response resulted in an unprecedented transfer of wealth from those of lower income to the very wealthy few, completely contrary to the way in which the WHO was intended to affect human society. A considerable portion of these pandemic profits went to current sponsors of the WHO, and these same corporate entities and investors are set to further benefit from the new pandemic agreements. As written, the Pandemic Agreement risks entrenching such centralization and profit-taking, and the accompanying unprecedented restrictions on human rights and freedoms, as a public health norm. To continue with a clearly flawed agreement simply because of a previously set deadline, when no clear population benefit is articulated and no true urgency demonstrated, would therefore be a major step backward in international public health. Basic principles of proportionality, human agency, and community empowerment, essential for health and human rights outcomes, are missing or paid lip-service. The WHO clearly wishes to increase its funding and show it is ‘doing something,’ but must first articulate why the voluntary provisions of the current IHR are insufficient. It is hoped that by systematically reviewing some key clauses of the agreement here, it will become clear why a rethink of the whole approach is necessary. The full text is found below. The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic. Much of the remaining text is essentially pointless as it reiterates vague intentions to be found in other documents or activities which countries normally undertake in the course of running health services, and have no place in a focused legally-binding international agreement. REVISED Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement. 7th March, 2024 Preamble Recognizing that the World Health Organization…is the directing and coordinating authority on international health work. This is inconsistent with a recent statement by the WHO DG that the WHO has no interest or intent to direct country health responses. To reiterate it here suggests that the DG is not representing the true position regarding the Agreement. “Directing authority” is however in line with the proposed IHR Amendments (and the WHO’s Constitution), under which countries will “undertake” ahead of time to follow the DG’s recommendations (which thereby become instructions). As the HR amendments make clear, this is intended to apply even to a perceived threat rather than actual harm. Recalling the constitution of the World Health Organization…highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition. This statement recalls fundamental understandings of public health, and is of importance here as it raises the question of why the WHO did not strongly condemn prolonged school closures, workplace closures, and other impoverishing policies during the Covid-19 response. In 2019, WHO made clear that these dangers should prevent actions we now call ‘lockdowns’ from being imposed. Deeply concerned by the gross inequities at national and international levels that hindered timely and equitable access to medical and other Covid-19 pandemic-related products, and the serious shortcomings in pandemic preparedness. In terms of health equity (as distinct from commodity of ‘vaccine’ equity), inequity in the Covid-19 response was not in failing to provide a vaccine against former variants to immune, young people in low-income countries who were at far higher risk from endemic diseases, but in the disproportionate harm to them of uniformly-imposed NPIs that reduced current and future income and basic healthcare, as was noted by the WHO in 2019 Pandemic Influenza recommendations. The failure of the text to recognize this suggests that lessons from Covid-19 have not informed this draft Agreement. The WHO has not yet demonstrated how pandemic ‘preparedness,’ in the terms they use below, would have reduced impact, given that there is poor correlation between strictness or speed of response and eventual outcomes. Reiterating the need to work towards…an equitable approach to mitigate the risk that pandemics exacerbate existing inequities in access to health services, As above – in the past century, the issue of inequity has been most pronounced in pandemic response, rather than the impact of the virus itself (excluding the physiological variation in risk). Most recorded deaths from acute pandemics, since the Spanish flu, were during Covid-19, in which the virus hit mainly sick elderly, but response impacted working-age adults and children heavily and will continue to have effect, due to increased poverty and debt; reduced education and child marriage, in future generations. These have disproportionately affected lower-income people, and particularly women. The lack of recognition of this in this document, though they are recognized by the World Bank and UN agencies elsewhere, must raise real questions on whether this Agreement has been thoroughly thought through, and the process of development been sufficiently inclusive and objective. Chapter I. Introduction Article 1. Use of terms (i) “pathogen with pandemic potential” means any pathogen that has been identified to infect a human and that is: novel (not yet characterized) or known (including a variant of a known pathogen), potentially highly transmissible and/or highly virulent with the potential to cause a public health emergency of international concern. This provides a very wide scope to alter provisions. Any pathogen that can infect humans and is potentially highly transmissible or virulent, though yet uncharacterized means virtually any coronavirus, influenza virus, or a plethora of other relatively common pathogen groups. The IHR Amendments intend that the DG alone can make this call, over the advice of others, as occurred with monkeypox in 2022. (j) “persons in vulnerable situations” means individuals, groups or communities with a disproportionate increased risk of infection, severity, disease or mortality. This is a good definition – in Covid-19 context, would mean the sick elderly, and so is relevant to targeting a response. “Universal health coverage” means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. While the general UHC concept is good, it is time a sensible (rather than patently silly) definition was adopted. Society cannot afford the full range of possible interventions and remedies for all, and clearly there is a scale of cost vs benefit that prioritizes certain ones over others. Sensible definitions make action more likely, and inaction harder to justify. One could argue that none should have the full range until all have good basic care, but clearly the earth will not support ‘the full range’ for 8 billion people. Article 2. Objective This Agreement is specifically for pandemics (a poorly defined term but essentially a pathogen that spreads rapidly across national borders). In contrast, the IHR amendments accompanying it are broader in scope – for any public health emergencies of international concern. Article 3. Principles 2. the sovereign right of States to adopt, legislate and implement legislation The amendments to the IHR require States to undertake to follow WHO instructions ahead of time, before such instruction and context are known. These two documents must be understood, as noted later in the Agreement draft, as complementary. 3. equity as the goal and outcome of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, ensuring the absence of unfair, avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people. This definition of equity here needs clarification. In the pandemic context, the WHO emphasized commodity (vaccine) equity during the Covid-19 response. Elimination of differences implied equal access to Covid-19 vaccines in countries with large aging, obese highly vulnerable populations (e.g. the USA or Italy), and those with young populations at minimal risk and with far more pressing health priorities (e.g. Niger or Uganda). Alternatively, but equally damaging, equal access to different age groups within a country when the risk-benefit ratio is clearly greatly different. This promotes worse health outcomes by diverting resources from where they are most useful, as it ignores heterogeneity of risk. Again, an adult approach is required in international agreements, rather than feel-good sentences, if they are going to have a positive impact. 5. …a more equitable and better prepared world to prevent, respond to and recover from pandemics As with ‘3’ above, this raises a fundamental problem: What if health equity demands that some populations divert resources to childhood nutrition and endemic diseases rather than the latest pandemic, as these are likely of far higher burden to many younger but lower-income populations? This would not be equity in the definition implied here, but would clearly lead to better and more equal health outcomes. The WHO must decide whether it is about uniform action, or minimizing poor health, as these are clearly very different. They are the difference between the WHO’s commodity equity, and true health equity. Chapter II. The world together equitably: achieving equity in, for and through pandemic prevention, preparedness and response Equity in health should imply a reasonably equal chance of overcoming or avoiding preventable sickness. The vast majority of sickness and death is due to either non-communicable diseases often related to lifestyle, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, undernutrition in childhood, and endemic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Achieving health equity would primarily mean addressing these. In this chapter of the draft Pandemic Agreement, equity is used to imply equal access to specific health commodities, particularly vaccines, for intermittent health emergencies, although these exert a small fraction of the burden of other diseases. It is, specifically, commodity-equity, and not geared to equalizing overall health burden but to enabling centrally-coordinated homogenous responses to unusual events. Article 4. Pandemic prevention and surveillance 2. The Parties shall undertake to cooperate: (b) in support of…initiatives aimed at preventing pandemics, in particular those that improve surveillance, early warning and risk assessment; .…and identify settings and activities presenting a risk of emergence and re-emergence of pathogens with pandemic potential. (c-h) [Paragraphs on water and sanitation, infection control, strengthening of biosafety, surveillance and prevention of vector-born diseases, and addressing antimicrobial resistance.] The WHO intends the Agreement to have force under international law. Therefore, countries are undertaking to put themselves under force of international law in regards to complying with the agreement’s stipulations. The provisions under this long article mostly cover general health stuff that countries try to do anyway. The difference will be that countries will be assessed on progress. Assessment can be fine if in context, less fine if it consists of entitled ‘experts’ from wealthy countries with little local knowledge or context. Perhaps such compliance is best left to national authorities, who are more in use with local needs and priorities. The justification for the international bureaucracy being built to support this, while fun for those involved, is unclear and will divert resources from actual health work. 6. The Conference of the Parties may adopt, as necessary, guidelines, recommendations and standards, including in relation to pandemic prevention capacities, to support the implementation of this Article. Here and later, the COP is invoked as a vehicle to decide on what will actually be done. The rules are explained later (Articles 21-23). While allowing more time is sensible, it begs the question of why it is not better to wait and discuss what is needed in the current INB process, before committing to a legally-binding agreement. This current article says nothing not already covered by the IHR2005 or other ongoing programs. Article 5. One Health approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response Nothing specific or new in this article. It seems redundant (it is advocating a holistic approach mentioned elsewhere) and so presumably is just to get the term ‘One Health’ into the agreement. (One could ask, why bother?) Some mainstream definitions of One Health (e.g. Lancet) consider that it means non-human species are on a par with humans in terms of rights and importance. If this is meant here, clearly most Member States would disagree. So we may assume that it is just words to keep someone happy (a little childish in an international document, but the term ‘One Health’ has been trending, like ‘equity,’ as if the concept of holistic approaches to public health were new). Article 6. Preparedness, health system resilience and recovery 2. Each Party commits…[to] : (a) routine and essential health services during pandemics with a focus on primary health care, routine immunization and mental health care, and with particular attention to persons in vulnerable situations (b) developing, strengthening and maintaining health infrastructure (c) developing post-pandemic health system recovery strategies (d) developing, strengthening and maintaining: health information systems This is good, and (a) seems to require avoidance of lockdowns (which inevitably cause the harms listed). Unfortunately other WHO documents lead one to assume this is not the intent…It does appear therefore that this is simply another list of fairly non-specific feel-good measures that have no useful place in a new legally-binding agreement, and which most countries are already undertaking. (e) promoting the use of social and behavioural sciences, risk communication and community engagement for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. This requires clarification, as the use of behavioral science during the Covid-19 response involved deliberate inducement of fear to promote behaviors that people would not otherwise follow (e.g. Spi-B). It is essential here that the document clarifies how behavioral science should be used ethically in healthcare. Otherwise, this is also a quite meaningless provision. Article 7. Health and care workforce This long Article discusses health workforce, training, retention, non-discrimination, stigma, bias, adequate remuneration, and other standard provisions for workplaces. It is unclear why it is included in a legally binding pandemic agreement, except for: 4. [The Parties]…shall invest in establishing, sustaining, coordinating and mobilizing a skilled and trained multidisciplinary global public health emergency workforce…Parties having established emergency health teams should inform WHO thereof and make best efforts to respond to requests for deployment… Emergency health teams established (within capacity etc.) – are something countries already do, when they have capacity. There is no reason to have this as a legally-binding instrument, and clearly no urgency to do so. Article 8. Preparedness monitoring and functional reviews 1. The Parties shall, building on existing and relevant tools, develop and implement an inclusive, transparent, effective and efficient pandemic prevention, preparedness and response monitoring and evaluation system. 2. Each Party shall assess, every five years, with technical support from the WHO Secretariat upon request, the functioning and readiness of, and gaps in, its pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity, based on the relevant tools and guidelines developed by WHO in partnership with relevant organizations at international, regional and sub-regional levels. Note that this is being required of countries that are already struggling to implement monitoring systems for major endemic diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, and nutritional deficiencies. They will be legally bound to divert resources to pandemic prevention. While there is some overlap, it will inevitably divert resources from currently underfunded programs for diseases of far higher local burdens, and so (not theoretically, but inevitably) raise mortality. Poor countries are being required to put resources into problems deemed significant by richer countries. Article 9. Research and development Various general provisions about undertaking background research that countries are generally doing anyway, but with an ’emerging disease’ slant. Again, the INB fails to justify why this diversion of resources from researching greater disease burdens should occur in all countries (why not just those with excess resources?). Article 10. Sustainable and geographically diversified production Mostly non-binding but suggested cooperation on making pandemic-related products available, including support for manufacturing in “inter-pandemic times” (a fascinating rendering of ‘normal’), when they would only be viable through subsidies. Much of this is probably unimplementable, as it would not be practical to maintain facilities in most or all countries on stand-by for rare events, at cost of resources otherwise useful for other priorities. The desire to increase production in ‘developing’ countries will face major barriers and costs in terms of maintaining quality of production, particularly as many products will have limited use outside of rare outbreak situations. Article 11. Transfer of technology and know-how This article, always problematic for large pharmaceutical corporations sponsoring much WHO outbreak activities, is now watered down to weak requirements to ‘consider,’ promote,’ provide, within capabilities’ etc. Article 12. Access and benefit sharing This Article is intended to establish the WHO Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing System (PABS System). PABS is intended to “ensure rapid, systematic and timely access to biological materials of pathogens with pandemic potential and the genetic sequence data.” This system is of potential high relevance and needs to be interpreted in the context that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the recent Covid-19 outbreak, was highly likely to have escaped from a laboratory. PABS is intended to expand the laboratory storage, transport, and handling of such viruses, under the oversight of the WHO, an organization outside of national jurisdiction with no significant direct experience in handling biological materials. 3. When a Party has access to a pathogen [it shall]: (a) share with WHO any pathogen sequence information as soon as it is available to the Party; (b) as soon as biological materials are available to the Party, provide the materials to one or more laboratories and/or biorepositories participating in WHO-coordinated laboratory networks (CLNs), Subsequent clauses state that benefits will be shared, and seek to prevent recipient laboratories from patenting materials received from other countries. This has been a major concern of low-and middle-income countries previously, who perceive that institutions in wealthy countries patent and benefit from materials derived from less-wealthy populations. It remains to be seen whether provisions here will be sufficient to address this. The article then becomes yet more concerning: 6. WHO shall conclude legally binding standard PABS contracts with manufacturers to provide the following, taking into account the size, nature and capacities of the manufacturer: (a) annual monetary contributions to support the PABS System and relevant capacities in countries; the determination of the annual amount, use, and approach for monitoring and accountability, shall be finalized by the Parties; (b) real-time contributions of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines produced by the manufacturer, 10% free of charge and 10% at not-for-profit prices during public health emergencies of international concern or pandemics, … It is clearly intended that the WHO becomes directly involved in setting up legally binding manufacturing contracts, despite the WHO being outside of national jurisdictional oversight, within the territories of Member States. The PABS system, and therefore its staff and dependent entities, are also to be supported in part by funds from the manufacturers whom they are supposed to be managing. The income of the organization will be dependent on maintaining positive relationships with these private entities in a similar way in which many national regulatory agencies are dependent upon funds from pharmaceutical companies whom their staff ostensibly regulate. In this case, the regulator will be even further removed from public oversight. The clause on 10% (why 10?) products being free of charge, and similar at cost, while ensuring lower-priced commodities irrespective of actual need (the outbreak may be confined to wealthy countries). The same entity, the WHO, will determine whether the triggering emergency exists, determine the response, and manage the contracts to provide the commodities, without direct jurisdictional oversight regarding the potential for corruption or conflict of interest. It is a remarkable system to suggest, irrespective of political or regulatory environment. 8. The Parties shall cooperate…public financing of research and development, prepurchase agreements, or regulatory procedures, to encourage and facilitate as many manufacturers as possible to enter into standard PABS contracts as early as possible. The article envisions that public funding will be used to build the process, ensuring essentially no-risk private profit. 10. To support operationalization of the PABS System, WHO shall…make such contracts public, while respecting commercial confidentiality. The public may know whom contracts are made with, but not all details of the contracts. There will therefore be no independent oversight of the clauses agreed between the WHO, a body outside of national jurisdiction and dependent of commercial companies for funding some of its work and salaries, and these same companies, on ‘needs’ that the WHO itself will have sole authority, under the proposed amendments to the IHR, to determine. The Article further states that the WHO shall use its own product regulatory system (prequalification) and Emergency Use Listing Procedure to open and stimulate markets for the manufacturers of these products. It is doubtful that any national government could make such an overall agreement, yet in May 2024 they will be voting to provide this to what is essentially a foreign, and partly privately financed, entity. Article 13. Supply chain and logistics The WHO will become convenor of a ‘Global Supply Chain and Logistics Network’ for commercially-produced products, to be supplied under WHO contracts when and where the WHO determines, whilst also having the role of ensuring safety of such products. Having mutual support coordinated between countries is good. Having this run by an organization that is significantly funded directly by those gaining from the sale of these same commodities seems reckless and counterintuitive. Few countries would allow this (or at least plan for it). For this to occur safely, the WHO would logically have to forgo all private investment, and greatly restrict national specified funding contributions. Otherwise, the conflicts of interest involved would destroy confidence in the system. There is no suggestion of such divestment from the WHO, but rather, as in Article 12, private sector dependency, directly tied to contracts, will increase. Article 13bis: National procurement- and distribution-related provisions While suffering the same (perhaps unavoidable) issues regarding commercial confidentiality, this alternate Article 13 seems far more appropriate, keeping commercial issues under national jurisdiction and avoiding the obvious conflict of interests that underpin funding for WHO activities and staffing. Article 14. Regulatory systems strengthening This entire Article reflects initiatives and programs already in place. Nothing here appears likely to add to current effort. Article 15. Liability and compensation management 1. Each Party shall consider developing, as necessary and in accordance with applicable law, national strategies for managing liability in its territory related to pandemic vaccines…no-fault compensation mechanisms… 2. The Parties…shall develop recommendations for the establishment and implementation of national, regional and/or global no-fault compensation mechanisms and strategies for managing liability during pandemic emergencies, including with regard to individuals that are in a humanitarian setting or vulnerable situations. This is quite remarkable, but also reflects some national legislation, in removing any fault or liability specifically from vaccine manufacturers, for harms done in pushing out vaccines to the public. During the Covid-19 response, genetic therapeutics being developed by BioNtech and Moderna were reclassified as vaccines, on the basis that an immune response is stimulated after they have modified intracellular biochemical pathways as a medicine normally does. This enabled specific trials normally required for carcinogenicity and teratogenicity to be bypassed, despite raised fetal abnormality rates in animal trials. It will enable the CEPI 100-day vaccine program, supported with private funding to support private mRNA vaccine manufacturers, to proceed without any risk to the manufacturer should there be subsequent public harm. Together with an earlier provision on public funding of research and manufacturing readiness, and the removal of former wording requiring intellectual property sharing in Article 11, this ensures vaccine manufacturers and their investors make profit in effective absence of risk. These entities are currently heavily invested in support for WHO, and were strongly aligned with the introduction of newly restrictive outbreak responses that emphasized and sometimes mandated their products during the Covid-19 outbreak. Article 16. International collaboration and cooperation A somewhat pointless article. It suggests that countries cooperate with each other and the WHO to implement the other agreements in the Agreement. Article 17. Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches A list of essentially motherhood provisions related to planning for a pandemic. However, countries will legally be required to maintain a ‘national coordination multisectoral body’ for PPPR. This will essentially be an added burden on budgets, and inevitably divert further resources from other priorities. Perhaps just strengthening current infectious disease and nutritional programs would be more impactful. (Nowhere in this Agreement is nutrition discussed (essential for resilience to pathogens) and minimal wording is included on sanitation and clean water (other major reasons for reduction in infectious disease mortality over past centuries). However, the ‘community ownership’ wording is interesting (“empower and enable community ownership of, and contribution to, community readiness for and resilience [for PPPR]”), as this directly contradicts much of the rest of the Agreement, including the centralization of control under the Conference of Parties, requirements for countries to allocate resources to pandemic preparedness over other community priorities, and the idea of inspecting and assessing adherence to the centralized requirements of the Agreement. Either much of the rest of the Agreement is redundant, or this wording is purely for appearance and not to be followed (and therefore should be removed). Article 18. Communication and public awareness 1. Each Party shall promote timely access to credible and evidence-based information …with the aim of countering and addressing misinformation or disinformation… 2. The Parties shall, as appropriate, promote and/or conduct research and inform policies on factors that hinder or strengthen adherence to public health and social measures in a pandemic, as well as trust in science and public health institutions and agencies. The key word is as appropriate, given that many agencies, including the WHO, have overseen or aided policies during the Covid-19 response that have greatly increased poverty, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and education loss. As the WHO has been shown to be significantly misrepresenting pandemic risk in the process of advocating for this Agreement and related instruments, its own communications would also fall outside the provision here related to evidence-based information, and fall within normal understandings of misinformation. It could not therefore be an arbiter of correctness of information here, so the Article is not implementable. Rewritten to recommend accurate evidence-based information being promoted, it would make good sense, but this is not an issue requiring a legally binding international agreement. Article 19. Implementation and support 3. The WHO Secretariat…organize the technical and financial assistance necessary to address such gaps and needs in implementing the commitments agreed upon under the Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005). As the WHO is dependent on donor support, its ability to address gaps in funding within Member States is clearly not something it can guarantee. The purpose of this article is unclear, repeating in paragraphs 1 and 2 the earlier intent for countries to generally support each other. Article 20. Sustainable financing 1. The Parties commit to working together…In this regard, each Party, within the means and resources at its disposal, shall: (a) prioritize and maintain or increase, as necessary, domestic funding for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, without undermining other domestic public health priorities including for: (i) strengthening and sustaining capacities for the prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies and pandemics, in particular the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (2005);… This is silly wording, as countries obviously have to prioritize within budgets, so that moving funds to one area means removing from another. The essence of public health policy is weighing and making such decisions; this reality seems to be ignored here through wishful thinking. (a) is clearly redundant, as the IHR (2005) already exists and countries have agreed to support it. 3. A Coordinating Financial Mechanism (the “Mechanism”) is hereby established to support the implementation of both the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005) This will be in parallel to the Pandemic Fund recently commenced by the World Bank – an issue not lost on INB delegates and so likely to change here in the final version. It will also be additive to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and other health financing mechanisms, and so require another parallel international bureaucracy, presumably based in Geneva. It is intended to have its own capacity to “conduct relevant analyses on needs and gaps, in addition to tracking cooperation efforts,” so it will not be a small undertaking. Chapter III. Institutional and final provisions Article 21. Conference of the Parties 1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established. 2. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under regular review, every three years, the implementation of the WHO Pandemic Agreement and take the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. This sets up the governing body to oversee this Agreement (another body requiring a secretariat and support). It is intended to meet within a year of the Agreement coming into force, and then set its own rules on meeting thereafter. It is likely that many provisions outlined in this draft of the Agreement will be deferred to the COP for further discussion. Articles 22 – 37 These articles cover the functioning of the Conference of Parties (COP) and various administrative issues. Of note, ‘block votes’ will be allowed from regional bodies (e.g. the EU). The WHO will provide the secretariat. Under Article 24 is noted: 3. Nothing in the WHO Pandemic Agreement shall be interpreted as providing the Secretariat of the World Health Organization, including the WHO Director-General, any authority to direct, order, alter or otherwise prescribe the domestic laws or policies of any Party, or to mandate or otherwise impose any requirements that Parties take specific actions, such as ban or accept travellers, impose vaccination mandates or therapeutic or diagnostic measures, or implement lockdowns. These provisions are explicitly stated in the proposed amendments to the IHR, to be considered alongside this agreement. Article 26 notes that the IHR is to be interpreted as compatible, thereby confirming that the IHR provisions including border closures and limits on freedom of movement, mandated vaccination, and other lockdown measures are not negated by this statement. As Article 26 states: “The Parties recognize that the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations should be interpreted so as to be compatible.” Some would consider this subterfuge – The Director-General recently labeled as liars those who claimed the Agreement included these powers, whilst failing to acknowledge the accompanying IHR amendments. The WHO could do better in avoiding misleading messaging, especially when this involves denigration of the public. Article 32 (Withdrawal) requires that, once adopted, Parties cannot withdraw for a total of 3 years (giving notice after a minimum of 2 years). Financial obligations undertaken under the agreement continue beyond that time. Finally, the Agreement will come into force, assuming a two-thirds majority in the WHA is achieved (Article 19, WHO Constitution), 30 days after the fortieth country has ratified it. Further reading: WHO Pandemic Agreement Intergovernmental Negotiating Board website: https://inb.who.int/ International Health Regulations Working Group website: https://apps.who.int/gb/wgihr/index.html On background to the WHO texts: Amendments to WHO’s International Health Regulations: An Annotated Guide An Unofficial Q&A on International Health Regulations On urgency and burden of pandemics: https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/228/rational-policy-over-panic Disease X and Davos: This is Not the Way to Evaluate and Formulate Public Health Policy Before Preparing for Pandemics, We Need Better Evidence of Risk Revised Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement: Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Authors David Bell David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA. View all posts Thi Thuy Van Dinh Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide/ https://www.minds.com/donshafi911/blog/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide-1621719398509187077
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 10156 Views
  • So You Got Spiked: Now What?
    Especially important for athletes and future parents: invest in your health, your future & future generations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Register Free at mygotodoc

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Free Lifestyle Ebook/Webinar/Course

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

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

    https://telegra.ph/So-You-Got-Spiked-Now-What-04-02
    So You Got Spiked: Now What? Especially important for athletes and future parents: invest in your health, your future & future generations. Dr. Syed Haider Spikehead | Niskia | Flickr I see a lot of patients who have been harmed by COVID and the shots. What I rarely see is anyone who was exposed to the spike protein but still feels perfectly fine: just here for a checkup, doc! Most of my patients did feel perfectly fine for weeks, months and sometimes years after their spike protein exposure, before suddenly coming down with severe symptoms. But in these cases there was ongoing inflammation, spike persistence, perhaps viral persistence, micro clotting, perhaps autoimmunity, alterations in gut bacteria and more that could have been detected far sooner. This is important because it's always easier to prevent illness than to treat illness once it manifests. Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it. Share It takes a lot to push your body out of health and often takes a lot to push your body back into the fully resilient state of health you were in before. This is contrasted with symptomatic, or functional recovery - with Long Haul it’s often relatively easy to get someone back to feeling 90-100% better while they are taking treatments like ivermectin and making some lifestyle changes. What is harder is to get them back to the place of resilience they were at before they got sick: able to eat whatever they want, sleep whenever they want, get by without supplements and meds, etc. I certainly believe it is possible and it does happen, but that complete healing is a harder nut to crack than simply functional recovery dependent on various “crutches”. Obviously part of complete and deep healing is making the often drastic lifestyle changes - because it was the poor lifestyle that got you in trouble in the first place, along with toxic exposures from the environment and food. So ultimately you don’t really want to return to the way things were before you got sick: that would just set you up to get sick all over again. This is confusing for people, because they thought they were fine. I hear this repeatedly: I was so healthy before COVID (or the shot). But when I push a bit it's clear patients were not sleeping enough, were overtraining, under too much stress, having too much caffeine/alcohol, not getting enough sun, spending too much time indoors, online, in front of screens, eating relatively poorly, consuming too many pesticides, seed oils, had leaky gut, autoimmune issues, skin issues, etc. Many patients list no medical problems yet also list a number of medications for psychiatric diseases, hypertension, cholesterol, migraines, erectile dysfunction, etc. We’re hardwired to minimize things, to ignore them and to forget them. Our culture trains us to have high time preference: meaning we prefer the present too much compared to the future. Most people are depleting their reserves instead of building them. Just as most find it difficult to save money or invest for the future, most also find it difficult to invest in their health with exercise, sleep, sun, diet, etc. The millionaire who eats through their savings rather than investing it can live high on the hog for a few years, but eventually the millions run out and then they’re left with nothing. The same happens with our health: youth and health usually go hand in hand and they are a form of wealth that can be used up before its time, or can be conserved and built upon so that it lasts for the long term. So the first thing everyone must do is clean up their act and start investing in their future. The most important wealth is health. Second, anyone who got the shot and thinks they are fine, should still consider doing something to check themselves out: there is a lab panel I order at mygotodoc.com that can be done at a local lab and may be covered by insurance. Register Free at mygotodoc There are more advanced panels we can send to Incelldx to check for spike protein in monocytes and for advanced inflammatory markers. There is an atypical amyloid fibrin microclot score we can order from a specialized pathology lab, and there is Dr Sabine Hazan’s gut microbiome testing that I can order via Progenabiome. There are some supplementary tools as well like tracking heart rate variability, sleep quality, and continuous glucose monitoring that is especially important for those with poor metabolic health, which is most people nowadays. Athletes might especially consider cardiac screening with troponin, BNP, EKG, Echo and perhaps even a cardiac MRI: when sudden death is a possibility even seemingly excessive screening may become sensible. Doctors Taking ER Call: A Dying Breed But the population I worry the most about are women in their reproductive years. Dr James Thorp has spoken out about this at length in interviews and peer reviewed papers. Totality of the Evidence compiles the data currently available. A baseline pre-pandemic miscarriage rate around 12% is already too high and data suggests it has shot up after the vax rollout. VAERS miscarriage reports spiked 4070% post shots. The initial Pfizer trial suggested a rate above 80% based on incomplete data, though it was misreported at the time by using the wrong denominator to hide the alarm. I know what it feels like to lose a baby. It tears your heart out. It’s difficult to forgive yourself for perceived mistakes that may have triggered the pregnancy loss. Share Before pregnancy is a time to build your resources: focus on supercharging your nutrient stores. Eat organ meats, eggs, steak, milk and avoid junk food: no seed oils or sugar and avoid pesticides. Consider plasma donation to cut down body stores of toxic chemicals. Optimize sleep, sun, stress management, body fat levels, and metabolic health. Generally aim to get into the best shape of your life. And if you were exposed to spike protein check to see if you need to detox from it. You can eliminate spike and microclots and inflammation and even autoimmunity triggered by the shots or COVID. If you don’t deal with it before pregnancy you may have to deal with it during pregnancy in the form of long haul or worst case scenario a pregnancy loss triggered by spike, and even after birth your baby may be harmed via spike in breast milk. There is a report in VAERS of a breastfed baby dying soon after its mothers got the shot: One report doesn’t mean it’s only happened once. VAERS is severely underreported, especially for these shots. We should heed the warnings Pfizer gave male trial participants not to go near pregnant women and if having sex with women of childbearing age, to use at minimum two forms of contraception. If anything we have far more data now than we did then to suggest that spike protein exposure is unsafe for everyone and especially those pregnant or breastfeeding. Many of my female patients report altered menstrual cycles and other symptoms whenever they are exposed to those recently vaccinated. Shedding is a real phenomenon and it can wreak havoc on the female reproductive system. Whether or not there is a depopulation agenda we are seeing a dramatic worldwide drop in live birth rates. Sperm counts have dropped, female fertility is at all time lows, and miscarriage rates have shot up. There are simple solutions that can accomplish short term goals of fertility and symptom relief and there are more comprehensive lifestyle based solutions that solve the underlying problems for the long term. Free Lifestyle Ebook/Webinar/Course Invest in yourself and your children for the long run and you won’t be sorry. https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/so-you-got-spiked-now-what https://telegra.ph/So-You-Got-Spiked-Now-What-04-02
    BLOG.MYGOTODOC.COM
    So You Got Spiked: Now What?
    Especially important for athletes and future parents: invest in your health, your future & future generations.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 4158 Views
  • Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty?
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read
    The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states:

    No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO,

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

    A rational examination of the texts in question shows that:

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

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

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

    The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And Article 20 (1):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration:

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

    and by the Council of the European Union:

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

    The IHR already has standing under international law.

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

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

    The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty

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

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

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

    The Need for Clarification

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

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

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

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

    Authors

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

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

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states: No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO, referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to. A rational examination of the texts in question shows that: The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics. The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications. The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here. The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty. The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18): require medical examinations; review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis; require vaccination or other prophylaxis; place suspect persons under public health observation; implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons; implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons; implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons; refuse entry of suspect and affected persons; refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas. These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9). No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12). Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13). Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19). Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20). The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21). Everyone has the right to work (Article 23). Everyone has the right to education (Article 26). Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28). Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30). These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva. The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1), Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A). States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response. As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements. States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42): Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures. Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it. Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty. All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.” It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction. If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span. Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using. The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12): In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers. And Article 20 (1): …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source. The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b). Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary. In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens. As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18): …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation… As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO. The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended. It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool). Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding? Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates. The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022: We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…, repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration: …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024, and by the Council of the European Union: A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. The IHR already has standing under international law. While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect. The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain. The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies. If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent. The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign. The Need for Clarification The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs. No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day). So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Authors David Bell David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA. View all posts Thi Thuy Van Dinh Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    If it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 6573 Views
  • 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
    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
    THEREALNEWS.COM
    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.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 9220 Views
  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.

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

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

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

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

    Advertisement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine. Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024 Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes. Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) Casualties 32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139. 597 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Watch now: NOURA ERAKAT on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat Key Developments Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip. Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital. Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks. Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis. ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine. North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive. At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria. UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.” West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid. West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem. 71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623 The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day. In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex. In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors. In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital. In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children. Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said. Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days. “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.” Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed. After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained. Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added. UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention. Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate. Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country. On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine. The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court. The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism. Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7. Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man. Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis. Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3524 Views
  • ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’ I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024 A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp. Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation. Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment. During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family. As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?” “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me. I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.” “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.” “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days. Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford. As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry. “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me. Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.” “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern. “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.” “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.” My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family. “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously. “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart. “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued. “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully. After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.” “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her. The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.” “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically. She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?” His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.” “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war. He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.” Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3832 Views
  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.

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

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

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

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

    Key Developments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns

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

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

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

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

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

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine. Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024 Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes. Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) Casualties 32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139. 597 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip. Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital. Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks. Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis. ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine. North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive. At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria. UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.” West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid. West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem. 71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623 The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day. In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex. In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors. In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital. In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children. Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said. Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days. “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.” Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed. After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained. Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added. UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention. Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate. Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country. On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine. The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court. The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism. Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7. Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man. Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis. Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3165 Views
  • The Silent Shame of Health Institutions
    J.R. Bruning
    For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices?

    Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy.

    All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia.

    Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue.

    Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages.

    Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’

    Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications.

    So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all.

    Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this?

    The antinomies are piling up.

    We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors.

    Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering.

    There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible.

    Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are

    ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’

    In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children.

    All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses.

    What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement.

    Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go.

    In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’

    This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health:

    Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency.

    New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses.

    Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships.

    If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order.

    The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded:

    ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’

    This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver?

    Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above.

    Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets.

    If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’

    The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage?

    Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up.

    Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health.

    Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24:

    ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’

    Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’

    Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning.

    Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction.

    But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder?

    This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami.

    Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health.

    Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger.

    But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp.

    What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery.

    What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed.

    But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’

    It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy.

    Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities.

    Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed.

    The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc.

    The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet.

    Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority.

    He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education.

    Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant.

    In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit.

    Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more.

    Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients.

    Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice.

    Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported.

    Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering.

    Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications.

    Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain.

    They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19.

    Given such context, what are we to do?

    Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm.

    Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change?

    Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses?

    Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs.

    Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches.

    With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme.

    There’s another surfacing dilemma.

    Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation?

    Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that

    Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim.
    Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm.
    Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence.

    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions.

    Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers.

    Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy.

    When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation?

    In the impasse, who can we trust?

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

    Author

    J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions J.R. Bruning For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices? Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy. All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia. Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue. Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages. Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’ Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications. So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all. Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this? The antinomies are piling up. We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors. Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering. There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible. Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’ In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children. All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses. What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement. Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go. In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’ This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health: Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency. New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses. Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships. If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order. The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded: ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’ This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver? Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above. Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets. If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’ The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage? Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up. Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health. Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24: ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’ Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’ Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning. Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction. But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder? This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami. Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health. Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger. But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp. What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery. What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed. But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’ It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy. Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities. Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed. The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet. Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority. He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education. Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant. In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit. Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more. Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients. Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice. Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported. Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering. Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications. Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain. They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19. Given such context, what are we to do? Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm. Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change? Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses? Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches. With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme. There’s another surfacing dilemma. Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation? Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim. Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm. Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence. There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions. Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers. Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy. When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation? In the impasse, who can we trust? Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet and health.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 6610 Views
  • Firm helping Israel spy on Gaza includes genocide advocate
    Michael F. Brown Rights and Accountability 28 March 2024

    Palestinian children and adults try to secure food
    Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli major general, has pushed for a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, a position which has contributed to desperate scenes of Palestinians trying to secure food.
    Mahmoud Issa DPA
    The Israeli military is using Corsight facial recognition technology to collect information about Palestinians in Gaza according to The New York Times.

    “The facial recognition program, which is run by Israel’s military intelligence unit, including the cyber-intelligence division Unit 8200, relies on technology from Corsight, a private Israeli company, four intelligence officers said.”


    The Israeli military also employs Google Photos.

    Israel’s apartheid army detained, interrogated and beat Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha, a graduate of Syracuse University, with the assistance of Corsight’s facial recognition technology. Other Palestinians have been similarly detained via Corsight technology.
    Abu Toha notes Palestinians have died in Israeli custody.

    There is little complaint from western politicians. Corsight’s complicity isn’t seen as an urgent matter.

    Nor, for that matter, do most of these politicians give sufficient attention to Israel’s genocidal policies in Gaza.

    Board of directors

    Unmentioned by the Times is that Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli major general, serves on the board of directors of Corsight.

    When Eiland joined the board in January 2021, Igal Raichelgauz, chairman and founder of the Cortica Group, stated, “We are excited to add Giora to the company board, we believe that due to his extensive experience in the national security field, Corsight will continue growing into new markets and territories and lead the face recognition market in Israel and in the world.” Corsight is a subsidiary of Cortica, a firm focused on artificial intelligence.

    Eiland is a proponent of the ethnic cleansing of the occupied territory of Gaza.

    He wrote for the Israeli publication Ynet on 12 October that “One option is a massive and complex ground operation, with no regard to duration and cost, while the second option is to create conditions where life in Gaza becomes unsustainable.”

    In fact, Israel has done both.

    Eiland noted, without voicing dissent, that “Israel has already begun suspending the supply of diesel, fuel, electricity and water, as well as closing the border crossings. Yet, it remains uncertain whether these measures are enough.”

    He then moved to ethnic cleansing.

    “Israel issued a stern warning to Egypt and made it clear that it would not permit humanitarian aid from Egypt to enter Gaza. Israel needs to create a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, compelling tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in Egypt or the Gulf.”

    He said nothing of wanting such an arrangement to be temporary.

    Eiland then jumped beyond an ethnic cleansing of “tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands.” He wrote: “The entire population of Gaza will either move to Egypt or move to the Gulf.”

    The retired general also recommended targeting civilian vehicles in Gaza.

    “Every vehicle in Gaza is considered a military vehicle transporting combatants. Therefore, there is no vehicular traffic, and it does not matter whether it is transporting water or other critical supplies.”

    Such rhetoric amounts to abetting war crimes and has had real consequences for Palestinian children such as 6-year-old Hind Rajab who, according to the Palestine Red Crescent, the Israeli military killed earlier this year in a car along with other family members.

    Eiland pushed collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza as well.

    “The UN secretary-general has initiated humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Israeli condition for any aid should be a visit by the Red Cross to Israeli hostages and especially the civilians among them. Until this happens, no aid of any kind will be permitted to enter into Gaza.”

    Hinting at the overwhelming violence to come against Palestinian civilians, Eiland wrote of the developing Israeli attack: “It is comparable to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to the launch of an atomic bomb in Japan.”

    The Israeli military has killed over 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza since 7 October, including more than 13,000 children. The International Court of Justice deems it plausible that Israel is engaged in genocidal actions in the small coastal territory.

    Eiland wrapped up his opinion piece by declaring, “As a result, Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist, and I say this as a means rather than an end. I say this because there is no other option for ensuring the security of the state of Israel. We are fighting an existential war.”

    This goes beyond ethnic cleansing to genocide talk when speaking of “a place where no human being can exist.”


    Omer Bartov, a professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Brown University, documented this and more from Eiland in a November opinion piece in The New York Times.
    He cited a column Eiland wrote in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. The Brown University professor quoted Eiland as writing, “The state of Israel has no choice but to turn Gaza into a place that is temporarily or permanently impossible to live in.”

    Bartov also quoted Eiland for maintaining, “Creating a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a necessary means to achieving the goal.”

    Then he cited the same Ynet quote noted above that “Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.”

    Bartov commented, “Apparently, no army representative or politician denounced this statement.”

    Eiland continued with the genocidal talk in November when he wrote, “The international community warns of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and of severe epidemics. We must not shy away from it, as hard as it is. After all, severe epidemics in the south of the Strip will hasten victory.”


    Corsight, with its invasive technology against a largely refugee population dispossessed in 1948, should expect heavy criticism with a board member calling for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and to make the place uninhabitable.
    Of course, Democratic Majority for Israel received scant attention when it came to light that its board member Archie Gottesman once issued her own genocidal call against Palestinians in Gaza when she tweeted: “Gaza is full of monsters. Time to burn the whole place.”

    Ethnic cleansing and genocide against Palestinians don’t properly register with most western politicians who, of course, are providing weapons to Israel to carry out the devastation in Gaza.

    That Corsight carries out “global operations and support in the US, UK, Singapore, Australia, and R&D in Israel” with the backing of a board member proponent of ethnic cleansing and genocide will not be a significant concern in Washington.

    Popular concern, however, may prove to be a different matter.


    Corsight
    The New York Times
    Google Photos
    Mosab Abu Toha
    Syracuse University
    Igal Raichelgauz
    Cortica Group
    Giora Eiland
    Ynet
    ethnic cleansing
    Hind Rajab
    Palestine Red Crescent Society
    collective punishment
    International Court of Justice
    Gaza genocide
    Omer Bartov
    Brown University
    Democratic Majority for Israel
    Archie Gottesman
    Yediot Ahronot

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/michael-f-brown/firm-helping-israel-spy-gaza-includes-genocide-advocate
    Firm helping Israel spy on Gaza includes genocide advocate Michael F. Brown Rights and Accountability 28 March 2024 Palestinian children and adults try to secure food Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli major general, has pushed for a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, a position which has contributed to desperate scenes of Palestinians trying to secure food. Mahmoud Issa DPA The Israeli military is using Corsight facial recognition technology to collect information about Palestinians in Gaza according to The New York Times. “The facial recognition program, which is run by Israel’s military intelligence unit, including the cyber-intelligence division Unit 8200, relies on technology from Corsight, a private Israeli company, four intelligence officers said.” The Israeli military also employs Google Photos. Israel’s apartheid army detained, interrogated and beat Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha, a graduate of Syracuse University, with the assistance of Corsight’s facial recognition technology. Other Palestinians have been similarly detained via Corsight technology. Abu Toha notes Palestinians have died in Israeli custody. There is little complaint from western politicians. Corsight’s complicity isn’t seen as an urgent matter. Nor, for that matter, do most of these politicians give sufficient attention to Israel’s genocidal policies in Gaza. Board of directors Unmentioned by the Times is that Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli major general, serves on the board of directors of Corsight. When Eiland joined the board in January 2021, Igal Raichelgauz, chairman and founder of the Cortica Group, stated, “We are excited to add Giora to the company board, we believe that due to his extensive experience in the national security field, Corsight will continue growing into new markets and territories and lead the face recognition market in Israel and in the world.” Corsight is a subsidiary of Cortica, a firm focused on artificial intelligence. Eiland is a proponent of the ethnic cleansing of the occupied territory of Gaza. He wrote for the Israeli publication Ynet on 12 October that “One option is a massive and complex ground operation, with no regard to duration and cost, while the second option is to create conditions where life in Gaza becomes unsustainable.” In fact, Israel has done both. Eiland noted, without voicing dissent, that “Israel has already begun suspending the supply of diesel, fuel, electricity and water, as well as closing the border crossings. Yet, it remains uncertain whether these measures are enough.” He then moved to ethnic cleansing. “Israel issued a stern warning to Egypt and made it clear that it would not permit humanitarian aid from Egypt to enter Gaza. Israel needs to create a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, compelling tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in Egypt or the Gulf.” He said nothing of wanting such an arrangement to be temporary. Eiland then jumped beyond an ethnic cleansing of “tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands.” He wrote: “The entire population of Gaza will either move to Egypt or move to the Gulf.” The retired general also recommended targeting civilian vehicles in Gaza. “Every vehicle in Gaza is considered a military vehicle transporting combatants. Therefore, there is no vehicular traffic, and it does not matter whether it is transporting water or other critical supplies.” Such rhetoric amounts to abetting war crimes and has had real consequences for Palestinian children such as 6-year-old Hind Rajab who, according to the Palestine Red Crescent, the Israeli military killed earlier this year in a car along with other family members. Eiland pushed collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza as well. “The UN secretary-general has initiated humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Israeli condition for any aid should be a visit by the Red Cross to Israeli hostages and especially the civilians among them. Until this happens, no aid of any kind will be permitted to enter into Gaza.” Hinting at the overwhelming violence to come against Palestinian civilians, Eiland wrote of the developing Israeli attack: “It is comparable to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to the launch of an atomic bomb in Japan.” The Israeli military has killed over 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza since 7 October, including more than 13,000 children. The International Court of Justice deems it plausible that Israel is engaged in genocidal actions in the small coastal territory. Eiland wrapped up his opinion piece by declaring, “As a result, Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist, and I say this as a means rather than an end. I say this because there is no other option for ensuring the security of the state of Israel. We are fighting an existential war.” This goes beyond ethnic cleansing to genocide talk when speaking of “a place where no human being can exist.” Omer Bartov, a professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Brown University, documented this and more from Eiland in a November opinion piece in The New York Times. He cited a column Eiland wrote in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. The Brown University professor quoted Eiland as writing, “The state of Israel has no choice but to turn Gaza into a place that is temporarily or permanently impossible to live in.” Bartov also quoted Eiland for maintaining, “Creating a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a necessary means to achieving the goal.” Then he cited the same Ynet quote noted above that “Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.” Bartov commented, “Apparently, no army representative or politician denounced this statement.” Eiland continued with the genocidal talk in November when he wrote, “The international community warns of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and of severe epidemics. We must not shy away from it, as hard as it is. After all, severe epidemics in the south of the Strip will hasten victory.” Corsight, with its invasive technology against a largely refugee population dispossessed in 1948, should expect heavy criticism with a board member calling for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and to make the place uninhabitable. Of course, Democratic Majority for Israel received scant attention when it came to light that its board member Archie Gottesman once issued her own genocidal call against Palestinians in Gaza when she tweeted: “Gaza is full of monsters. Time to burn the whole place.” Ethnic cleansing and genocide against Palestinians don’t properly register with most western politicians who, of course, are providing weapons to Israel to carry out the devastation in Gaza. That Corsight carries out “global operations and support in the US, UK, Singapore, Australia, and R&D in Israel” with the backing of a board member proponent of ethnic cleansing and genocide will not be a significant concern in Washington. Popular concern, however, may prove to be a different matter. Corsight The New York Times Google Photos Mosab Abu Toha Syracuse University Igal Raichelgauz Cortica Group Giora Eiland Ynet ethnic cleansing Hind Rajab Palestine Red Crescent Society collective punishment International Court of Justice Gaza genocide Omer Bartov Brown University Democratic Majority for Israel Archie Gottesman Yediot Ahronot https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/michael-f-brown/firm-helping-israel-spy-gaza-includes-genocide-advocate
    ELECTRONICINTIFADA.NET
    Firm helping Israel spy on Gaza includes genocide advocate
    Retired general Giora Eiland has promoted making Gaza “a place where no human being can exist.”
    0 Comments 0 Shares 2628 Views
  • Ignorance, Stupidity, or Malice?
    Rob Jenkins
    A major topic of conversation at the recent Brownstone retreat was whether the people who locked us down and then mandated an experimental gene therapy, along with their supporters and enablers, were motivated primarily by stupidity or malice. I’d like to propose a third option: ignorance. In my view, all three played a part in the Covid debacle.

    I believe—I choose to believe—that many of the people who are to some degree responsible for the devastation of the last four years—particularly the millions of Americans who allowed it to happen because they docilely went along—were simply ignorant. They accepted what they were told in March 2020 about the virulence and lethality of the virus. They fell for the fake videos of Chinese citizens keeling over in the streets. They watched in horror as what appeared to be freezer trucks sat parked outside New York hospitals. They assumed the government wouldn’t be sending military hospital ships to New York and Los Angeles if the disease wasn’t ravaging those cities. And they eagerly embraced the notion that, if we all just stayed home for two weeks, we could actually “flatten the curve.”

    I confess: I fell into this category initially, for about those first two weeks. I’m blessed (or maybe cursed) with a natural skepticism and fortunate to have found, early on, alternative news sources that were reporting the truth—or at least trying to get at it. So I began to suspect, as “two weeks” stretched to infinity, that we were being had. But most Westerners have been conditioned to believe whatever the government and the media tell them, without questioning. Those people bought into the indefinite forced isolation and the social distancing and the Zoom school and the grocery delivery because they were ignorant. They didn’t really understand what was happening.

    That includes, by the way, many in positions of authority and responsibility, like medical doctors and nurses, teachers and administrators, religious leaders, and local elected officials. Maybe even some elected officials at the national level. They swallowed the official narrative, too. I’m convinced most of these people honestly believed they were doing the right thing, saving lives, when in fact they were doing nothing of the sort because, as we now know, none of those “mitigation strategies” had any effect on the virus. But to be completely fair to them—and I think it’s important to be fair, however angry we might be at the consequences of their behavior—they were acting out of ignorance.

    Of course, at some point, ignorance begins to bleed over into stupidity—perhaps at the point where people could have known better, and maybe even should have known better. Then their ignorance, which is a legitimate excuse for bad behavior, becomes willful. And willful ignorance is a form of stupidity, which is not an excuse, especially not for those we entrust with important decisions that affect all our lives.

    The definition of stupidity proposed by UC Berkeley economist Carlo Cipolla in 1976 seems relevant in this context: “A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or group while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.” (You can find a nice summary of Cipolla’s theory here.) In other words, stupid people do stupid things for no reason. They harm other people, and they don’t even get anything out of it. They might even harm themselves in the process—“shooting themselves in the foot,” as we sometimes say, or “cutting off their nose to spite their face.” That is indeed the height of stupidity.

    This definition certainly applies to many, many of the Covidians, including quite a few who (if we want to be generous) started out as merely ignorant. Over time, their perhaps understandable ignorance morphed into stupidity as they held on stubbornly to masking, distancing, and school closures despite literal mountains of evidence that none of those had any salutary effect. And most of them didn’t even benefit from their stubborn, stupid refusal to acknowledge reality. Yes, some did, and we’ll get to them in a moment. But most didn’t. In many cases, they embarrassed themselves, damaged their careers, lost businesses and personal relationships, and for what? So they could yell at the rest of us about masks? That’s pretty stupid.

    Also instructive here is Cipolla’s Second Law of Stupidity: “The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.” In other words, stupidity, as he defines it, is more or less evenly distributed throughout the population. It has nothing to do with intelligence, education, or income level. There are stupid doctors, lawyers, and college professors, just as there are stupid plumbers and ditch diggers. If anything, the former groups are somewhat more likely to contain stupid people. It all comes down to a person’s willingness to do things that make no sense, things that harm others—aka, stupid things—despite not getting anything out of it and perhaps even losing in the bargain.

    And then there are the people who actually DO benefit from the harm they cause to others. They exhibit many of the same behaviors as the stupid people, except that they actually get something out of it—money, fame, power. Cipolla refers to these people—those who harm others for their own benefit—as “bandits.” Most of the best-known Covidians, the biggest names in media, government, “public health,” and the pharmaceuticals industry, fall into this category. They initiated, enforced, and supported policies that seemingly made no sense, and they came away smelling like roses. They became the toast of the media circuit, earned cushy sinecures, and expanded their bank accounts by millions.

    The main difference between stupid people and bandits, according to Cipolla, is that the latter’s actions actually make sense, once you understand what they’re trying to accomplish. If a person knocks you down for no reason—well, that’s just stupid. But if they knock you down and then take your wallet, that makes sense. You understand why they knocked you down, even if you don’t like it any better. Moreover, you can to some degree adjust for the actions of “bandits”—for instance, by staying out of the bad part of town, where someone might knock you down and take your wallet. But if you’re at a mall in a nice suburb, and people are just knocking you down for no apparent reason, there’s no way to plan for that.

    The problem with stupidity, says Cipolla, is two-fold. First, we consistently “underestimate the number of stupid people in circulation.” We assume the vast majority of people will act rationally under most circumstances, but—as we’ve seen plainly over the last four years—that turns out not to be true. Many behave irrationally much of the time, and it appears that a majority will do so in a time of crisis.

    Second, as Cipolla points out, the stupid people are if anything more dangerous than the bandits, mostly for the reasons cited above: There are a lot more of them, and it’s nearly impossible to account for them. You can have a perfectly good plan to address some emergency—like, say, a pandemic—and the stupid people will blow it up for no good reason. Sure, malicious bad actors will make off with the treasury, if they can, but that has always been the case. I mean, is anybody really surprised that Albert Bourla added millions to his net worth? Or that Anthony Fauci now has a cushy job teaching at Georgetown? Yes, it’s frustrating and disgusting. There’s no doubt they were among the main architects of this disaster, as well as its main beneficiaries. But none of that is, or was, completely unexpected. Bandits gonna bandit.

    What has been most frustrating to me over the past couple of years has been the way that millions of otherwise normal people—including friends, relatives and colleagues, as well as store clerks, flight attendants, and random people on the streets—have behaved so stupidly. A surprising number continue to do so, embarrassing themselves by haranguing the rest of us about masks and “vaccines,” alienating everyone in sight, making life more difficult for themselves and others even though they gain nothing by it.

    So yes, the four-year debacle that is our collective Covid response is attributable in part to ignorance and in part to malice. But worse than either of those, and far more damaging to society in the long term, has been the sheer stupidity—humanity’s capacity for which I will never again underestimate.

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

    Author

    Rob Jenkins is an associate professor of English at Georgia State University – Perimeter College and a Higher Education Fellow at Campus Reform. He is the author or co-author of six books, including Think Better, Write Better, Welcome to My Classroom, and The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders. In addition to Brownstone and Campus Reform, he has written for Townhall, The Daily Wire, American Thinker, PJ Media, The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The opinions expressed here are his own.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/ignorance-stupidity-or-malice/
    Ignorance, Stupidity, or Malice? Rob Jenkins A major topic of conversation at the recent Brownstone retreat was whether the people who locked us down and then mandated an experimental gene therapy, along with their supporters and enablers, were motivated primarily by stupidity or malice. I’d like to propose a third option: ignorance. In my view, all three played a part in the Covid debacle. I believe—I choose to believe—that many of the people who are to some degree responsible for the devastation of the last four years—particularly the millions of Americans who allowed it to happen because they docilely went along—were simply ignorant. They accepted what they were told in March 2020 about the virulence and lethality of the virus. They fell for the fake videos of Chinese citizens keeling over in the streets. They watched in horror as what appeared to be freezer trucks sat parked outside New York hospitals. They assumed the government wouldn’t be sending military hospital ships to New York and Los Angeles if the disease wasn’t ravaging those cities. And they eagerly embraced the notion that, if we all just stayed home for two weeks, we could actually “flatten the curve.” I confess: I fell into this category initially, for about those first two weeks. I’m blessed (or maybe cursed) with a natural skepticism and fortunate to have found, early on, alternative news sources that were reporting the truth—or at least trying to get at it. So I began to suspect, as “two weeks” stretched to infinity, that we were being had. But most Westerners have been conditioned to believe whatever the government and the media tell them, without questioning. Those people bought into the indefinite forced isolation and the social distancing and the Zoom school and the grocery delivery because they were ignorant. They didn’t really understand what was happening. That includes, by the way, many in positions of authority and responsibility, like medical doctors and nurses, teachers and administrators, religious leaders, and local elected officials. Maybe even some elected officials at the national level. They swallowed the official narrative, too. I’m convinced most of these people honestly believed they were doing the right thing, saving lives, when in fact they were doing nothing of the sort because, as we now know, none of those “mitigation strategies” had any effect on the virus. But to be completely fair to them—and I think it’s important to be fair, however angry we might be at the consequences of their behavior—they were acting out of ignorance. Of course, at some point, ignorance begins to bleed over into stupidity—perhaps at the point where people could have known better, and maybe even should have known better. Then their ignorance, which is a legitimate excuse for bad behavior, becomes willful. And willful ignorance is a form of stupidity, which is not an excuse, especially not for those we entrust with important decisions that affect all our lives. The definition of stupidity proposed by UC Berkeley economist Carlo Cipolla in 1976 seems relevant in this context: “A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or group while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.” (You can find a nice summary of Cipolla’s theory here.) In other words, stupid people do stupid things for no reason. They harm other people, and they don’t even get anything out of it. They might even harm themselves in the process—“shooting themselves in the foot,” as we sometimes say, or “cutting off their nose to spite their face.” That is indeed the height of stupidity. This definition certainly applies to many, many of the Covidians, including quite a few who (if we want to be generous) started out as merely ignorant. Over time, their perhaps understandable ignorance morphed into stupidity as they held on stubbornly to masking, distancing, and school closures despite literal mountains of evidence that none of those had any salutary effect. And most of them didn’t even benefit from their stubborn, stupid refusal to acknowledge reality. Yes, some did, and we’ll get to them in a moment. But most didn’t. In many cases, they embarrassed themselves, damaged their careers, lost businesses and personal relationships, and for what? So they could yell at the rest of us about masks? That’s pretty stupid. Also instructive here is Cipolla’s Second Law of Stupidity: “The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.” In other words, stupidity, as he defines it, is more or less evenly distributed throughout the population. It has nothing to do with intelligence, education, or income level. There are stupid doctors, lawyers, and college professors, just as there are stupid plumbers and ditch diggers. If anything, the former groups are somewhat more likely to contain stupid people. It all comes down to a person’s willingness to do things that make no sense, things that harm others—aka, stupid things—despite not getting anything out of it and perhaps even losing in the bargain. And then there are the people who actually DO benefit from the harm they cause to others. They exhibit many of the same behaviors as the stupid people, except that they actually get something out of it—money, fame, power. Cipolla refers to these people—those who harm others for their own benefit—as “bandits.” Most of the best-known Covidians, the biggest names in media, government, “public health,” and the pharmaceuticals industry, fall into this category. They initiated, enforced, and supported policies that seemingly made no sense, and they came away smelling like roses. They became the toast of the media circuit, earned cushy sinecures, and expanded their bank accounts by millions. The main difference between stupid people and bandits, according to Cipolla, is that the latter’s actions actually make sense, once you understand what they’re trying to accomplish. If a person knocks you down for no reason—well, that’s just stupid. But if they knock you down and then take your wallet, that makes sense. You understand why they knocked you down, even if you don’t like it any better. Moreover, you can to some degree adjust for the actions of “bandits”—for instance, by staying out of the bad part of town, where someone might knock you down and take your wallet. But if you’re at a mall in a nice suburb, and people are just knocking you down for no apparent reason, there’s no way to plan for that. The problem with stupidity, says Cipolla, is two-fold. First, we consistently “underestimate the number of stupid people in circulation.” We assume the vast majority of people will act rationally under most circumstances, but—as we’ve seen plainly over the last four years—that turns out not to be true. Many behave irrationally much of the time, and it appears that a majority will do so in a time of crisis. Second, as Cipolla points out, the stupid people are if anything more dangerous than the bandits, mostly for the reasons cited above: There are a lot more of them, and it’s nearly impossible to account for them. You can have a perfectly good plan to address some emergency—like, say, a pandemic—and the stupid people will blow it up for no good reason. Sure, malicious bad actors will make off with the treasury, if they can, but that has always been the case. I mean, is anybody really surprised that Albert Bourla added millions to his net worth? Or that Anthony Fauci now has a cushy job teaching at Georgetown? Yes, it’s frustrating and disgusting. There’s no doubt they were among the main architects of this disaster, as well as its main beneficiaries. But none of that is, or was, completely unexpected. Bandits gonna bandit. What has been most frustrating to me over the past couple of years has been the way that millions of otherwise normal people—including friends, relatives and colleagues, as well as store clerks, flight attendants, and random people on the streets—have behaved so stupidly. A surprising number continue to do so, embarrassing themselves by haranguing the rest of us about masks and “vaccines,” alienating everyone in sight, making life more difficult for themselves and others even though they gain nothing by it. So yes, the four-year debacle that is our collective Covid response is attributable in part to ignorance and in part to malice. But worse than either of those, and far more damaging to society in the long term, has been the sheer stupidity—humanity’s capacity for which I will never again underestimate. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Rob Jenkins is an associate professor of English at Georgia State University – Perimeter College and a Higher Education Fellow at Campus Reform. He is the author or co-author of six books, including Think Better, Write Better, Welcome to My Classroom, and The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders. In addition to Brownstone and Campus Reform, he has written for Townhall, The Daily Wire, American Thinker, PJ Media, The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The opinions expressed here are his own. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/ignorance-stupidity-or-malice/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Ignorance, Stupidity, or Malice? ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    So yes, the four-year debacle that is our collective Covid response is attributable in part to ignorance and in part to malice.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 1 Shares 4085 Views
  • Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow
    Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall?

    Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 27, 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.

    On March 22, Russia suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history, in the course of which 137 people were killed and 182 others were injured. The four terrorists who carried out the attack chose one of the largest exhibition and concert venues in the country, Crocus City Hall, in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of Moscow, which hosts large events every day.

    Even though the investigation is still ongoing, the West has already claimed that the Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the tragedy. This was first reported by some media outlets, including Reuters and CNN, and was later picked up by Western officials. For example, on Monday, this was stated by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

    However, when we compare this terrorist attack with other IS attacks, we notice more differences than similarities.

    How IS kills

    On that fateful Friday night, a concert by Picnic, a St. Petersburg rock band, was supposed to take place in Crocus City Hall. This fact gave rise to comparisons with the horrible terrorist attack in France in November 2015. Back then, terrorists broke into the Bataclan Theater in Paris, where a concert of the US band Eagles of Death Metal was taking place. IS claimed responsibility for the crime, which left 89 people dead.

    Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack?

    Read more

    Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack?

    In those years, IS became increasingly active throughout the world – but this was actually a sign of its decline. In its heyday, IS didn’t urge its supporters to carry out terrorist attacks, but instead called on them to “fulfill the hijrah” – i.e., move to the territories controlled by the organization. Over ten years ago, this was quite easy to do, since part of the Syrian border with Turkey was controlled by the jihadists, which allowed people to freely cross it and join their ranks.

    However, as the terrorists lost many of their territories, their rhetoric changed. Through its information resources, IS urged its followers to commit terrorist acts in places where they lived. This caused an upsurge in violence in Europe: a wave of terror swept through France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and other countries. In Russia, the North Caucasus became a point of tension.

    The strategy was simple – anyone who supported the jihadists, wherever they lived, could record a video with an oath of allegiance to the “caliph,” send it via an automated feedback bot, and then commit a terrorist act. Often it was only the perpetrator who died, but for IS, this didn’t matter – it only cared about being mentioned in connection with the terrorist activity, which is why the organization occasionally took responsibility for crimes that it had nothing to do with.

    The terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, however, doesn’t match this straightforward strategy usually adopted by IS. In fact, the choice of a rock concert as the site of the terrorist attack is almost the only common feature between this attack and other acts of terror it has committed.

    What preceded the events at Crocus City Hall

    Four people who had not previously known each other were recruited to carry out the terrorist attack. One of them, Shamsidin Fariduni, was in Türkiye in February, and from there he flew to Russia on March 4. He spent at least ten days in Türkiye and investigators are currently determining who he communicated with while there.

    According to unofficial information, he met with a certain “Islamic preacher” in Istanbul. However, it is also known that the terrorists corresponded with the “preacher’s assistant.” According to Fariduni, this anonymous person sponsored and organized the terrorist attack.

    RT

    After arriving in Russia, Fariduni visited Crocus City Hall on March 7 in order to see the site where the crime was to be committed. From this, we may conclude that the attack was to take place soon after his arrival from Türkiye. On the same day, the US embassy in Russia warned its citizens to avoid large gatherings “over the next 48 hours” due to possible attacks by extremists.

    The next concert at Crocus City Hall was given by the singer Shaman, who is known for his patriotism. However, his concert on Saturday, March 9 passed without incident. In the following days, there were other performances at the venue, but apparently the terrorists were forced to adjust their plans.

    As a result, they chose the concert by the band Picnic, scheduled for March 22. Although this band is not as popular as Shaman, it is also known for its patriotic stance and for donating funds for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

    ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters

    Read more

    ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters

    What happened afterwards

    None of the terrorists planned to “join the Houris in paradise,” as is usual for IS followers. After shooting people in Crocus City Hall and setting the building on fire, they did not attack the special forces which arrived at the scene and instead got in a car and fled from Moscow. Neither did they wear “suicide belts” – a characteristic detail of IS followers who are ready to die after committing their crime.

    Another detail which is uncharacteristic for IS is the monetary reward promised to the terrorists. The payment was supposed to be made in two installments – before and after the attack. The terrorists had already received the first payment, amounting to 250,000 rubles ($2,700).

    The most important detail is the location where the terrorists were detained. Traffic cameras allowed intelligence services to monitor where they were headed. They were eventually detained on the federal highway M-3 Ukraine – a route which used to connect Russia and Ukraine but lost much of its international importance after the deterioration of relations between the two countries in 2014, and particularly after the start of Russia’s military operation in 2022.

    The terrorists were detained after passing the turn to route A240, which leads to Belarus. At that moment, it became obvious that there was only one place where they could be headed: Ukraine.

    Despite the fact that the terrorists were armed, only one of them, Mukhammadsobir Fayzov, put up resistance. All of the terrorists were detained alive, which was most likely an order given to the security forces involved in the operation. However, as we mentioned above, the terrorists themselves did not want to die.

    RT

    Moreover, they knew where to go to save their lives: to the Ukrainian border. Later, in his address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a “window” for passage had been opened for them on the Ukrainian side.

    This, too, is uncharacteristic for IS, since someone who carries out a terrorist act, especially an outsider, is always considered “disposable.” Even if he makes it out alive, no one will help him. Moreover, in earlier years, IS usually didn’t take responsibility for an attack if the perpetrator remained alive, as this could harm him during the investigation. However, later the organization no longer cared about this due to the deplorable state in which it found itself.

    All this comes down to the fact that compared to other attacks carried out by IS in the past few years, this one is strikingly different when it comes to the level of preparation, detailed planning, and financial compensation.

    Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up

    Read more

    Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up

    What does Ukraine have to do with it?

    Having already mentioned Ukraine several times, we must note its links with terrorists. Since 2015, it has been known that the Security Service of Ukraine tried to recruit radical Islamists with the goal of carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks, etc. on Russian territory. Ukraine’s intelligence services were also active among the terrorists in Syria. This cooperation was marked in particular by the arrival in Ukraine of Chechen terrorist Rustam Azhiev, who served in the International Legion controlled by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

    Azhiev participated in the second Chechen campaign against the Russian Armed Forces and eventually fled to Türkiye. In 2011, he moved to Syria, where he headed the terrorist group Ajnad Al-Kavkaz. Under his command, the militants participated in hostilities against the Syrian Armed Forces and were noted for terrorist attacks directed against civilians. Azhiev operated side-by-side with groups that are recognized as terrorist organizations not only in the United States, but throughout the world. The main ally of Ajnad Al-Kavkaz was Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria.

    Over time, the Russian Armed Forces and Syrian Armed Forces liberated territories from terrorists and significantly reduced their supply base. As a result, Azhiev and his associates became involved in contract killings, extortion, torture, and racketeering. In 2019, Azhiev even had to publicly apologize for the actions of his associates, who kidnapped the wrong person.

    The terrorists had been “unemployed” for several years when in 2022, Azhiev and his associates were approached by Ukrainian intelligence services through an intermediary – field commander Akhmed Zakayev. Azhiev and his associates took part in combat operations against the Russian Armed Forces and as a reward, Azhiev was given a Ukrainian passport.

    RT

    In 2024, led by Azhiev, the terrorists participated in an attack on border settlements in Belgorod Region. In a video, Azhiev publicly admitted that the purpose of the operation was to destabilize the situation in Russia before and during the presidential elections. This was confirmed by the fact that the attacks stopped right after the elections.

    After the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall, the Austrian newspaper Heute discovered another link between Ukraine and radical Islamists. According to the publication, which cites information from intelligence services, many suspected terrorists had entered the EU from Ukraine. For example, in December 2023, a Tajik citizen and his wife, along with an accomplice, were detained in Vienna. They were preparing an attack on St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The couple had come to the EU from Ukraine in February 2022.

    ***

    Ukraine is the place of residence not only for many terrorists, but also IS administrators and those who sympathize with the terrorists. Some of these people are actively involved in raising funds for imprisoned IS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Some of this money goes to purchasing food and medicines. But quite often, it is spent on buying weapons to carry out attacks inside prisons, and for bribing guards. Since some of the terrorists are officially “employed” in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and others work for the Security Service of Ukraine, they can both push their employers to organize a terrorist attack or do so on their own, without formally consulting the authorities. Currently, one of the versions is that an employee of the Ukrainian intelligence services could’ve been hiding under the guise of the “preacher’s assistant.”



    Moreover, Kiev has prior experience in carrying out terrorist acts on Russian territory – both directly, as in the case of Daria Dugina, and through intermediaries, as in the case of Vladlen Tatarsky. Therefore, using radical Islamists, such as IS followers, to carry out terrorist attacks fully corresponds to Ukraine’s strategy, which comes down to inflicting maximum damage on Russia and its residents.


    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/krainian-caliphate-what-the-west-prefers-not-to-notice-when-blaming-isis-for-the-terrorist-attack-in-moscow/
    Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall? Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 27, 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. On March 22, Russia suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history, in the course of which 137 people were killed and 182 others were injured. The four terrorists who carried out the attack chose one of the largest exhibition and concert venues in the country, Crocus City Hall, in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of Moscow, which hosts large events every day. Even though the investigation is still ongoing, the West has already claimed that the Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the tragedy. This was first reported by some media outlets, including Reuters and CNN, and was later picked up by Western officials. For example, on Monday, this was stated by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. However, when we compare this terrorist attack with other IS attacks, we notice more differences than similarities. How IS kills On that fateful Friday night, a concert by Picnic, a St. Petersburg rock band, was supposed to take place in Crocus City Hall. This fact gave rise to comparisons with the horrible terrorist attack in France in November 2015. Back then, terrorists broke into the Bataclan Theater in Paris, where a concert of the US band Eagles of Death Metal was taking place. IS claimed responsibility for the crime, which left 89 people dead. Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack? Read more Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack? In those years, IS became increasingly active throughout the world – but this was actually a sign of its decline. In its heyday, IS didn’t urge its supporters to carry out terrorist attacks, but instead called on them to “fulfill the hijrah” – i.e., move to the territories controlled by the organization. Over ten years ago, this was quite easy to do, since part of the Syrian border with Turkey was controlled by the jihadists, which allowed people to freely cross it and join their ranks. However, as the terrorists lost many of their territories, their rhetoric changed. Through its information resources, IS urged its followers to commit terrorist acts in places where they lived. This caused an upsurge in violence in Europe: a wave of terror swept through France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and other countries. In Russia, the North Caucasus became a point of tension. The strategy was simple – anyone who supported the jihadists, wherever they lived, could record a video with an oath of allegiance to the “caliph,” send it via an automated feedback bot, and then commit a terrorist act. Often it was only the perpetrator who died, but for IS, this didn’t matter – it only cared about being mentioned in connection with the terrorist activity, which is why the organization occasionally took responsibility for crimes that it had nothing to do with. The terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, however, doesn’t match this straightforward strategy usually adopted by IS. In fact, the choice of a rock concert as the site of the terrorist attack is almost the only common feature between this attack and other acts of terror it has committed. What preceded the events at Crocus City Hall Four people who had not previously known each other were recruited to carry out the terrorist attack. One of them, Shamsidin Fariduni, was in Türkiye in February, and from there he flew to Russia on March 4. He spent at least ten days in Türkiye and investigators are currently determining who he communicated with while there. According to unofficial information, he met with a certain “Islamic preacher” in Istanbul. However, it is also known that the terrorists corresponded with the “preacher’s assistant.” According to Fariduni, this anonymous person sponsored and organized the terrorist attack. RT After arriving in Russia, Fariduni visited Crocus City Hall on March 7 in order to see the site where the crime was to be committed. From this, we may conclude that the attack was to take place soon after his arrival from Türkiye. On the same day, the US embassy in Russia warned its citizens to avoid large gatherings “over the next 48 hours” due to possible attacks by extremists. The next concert at Crocus City Hall was given by the singer Shaman, who is known for his patriotism. However, his concert on Saturday, March 9 passed without incident. In the following days, there were other performances at the venue, but apparently the terrorists were forced to adjust their plans. As a result, they chose the concert by the band Picnic, scheduled for March 22. Although this band is not as popular as Shaman, it is also known for its patriotic stance and for donating funds for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine. ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters Read more ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters What happened afterwards None of the terrorists planned to “join the Houris in paradise,” as is usual for IS followers. After shooting people in Crocus City Hall and setting the building on fire, they did not attack the special forces which arrived at the scene and instead got in a car and fled from Moscow. Neither did they wear “suicide belts” – a characteristic detail of IS followers who are ready to die after committing their crime. Another detail which is uncharacteristic for IS is the monetary reward promised to the terrorists. The payment was supposed to be made in two installments – before and after the attack. The terrorists had already received the first payment, amounting to 250,000 rubles ($2,700). The most important detail is the location where the terrorists were detained. Traffic cameras allowed intelligence services to monitor where they were headed. They were eventually detained on the federal highway M-3 Ukraine – a route which used to connect Russia and Ukraine but lost much of its international importance after the deterioration of relations between the two countries in 2014, and particularly after the start of Russia’s military operation in 2022. The terrorists were detained after passing the turn to route A240, which leads to Belarus. At that moment, it became obvious that there was only one place where they could be headed: Ukraine. Despite the fact that the terrorists were armed, only one of them, Mukhammadsobir Fayzov, put up resistance. All of the terrorists were detained alive, which was most likely an order given to the security forces involved in the operation. However, as we mentioned above, the terrorists themselves did not want to die. RT Moreover, they knew where to go to save their lives: to the Ukrainian border. Later, in his address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a “window” for passage had been opened for them on the Ukrainian side. This, too, is uncharacteristic for IS, since someone who carries out a terrorist act, especially an outsider, is always considered “disposable.” Even if he makes it out alive, no one will help him. Moreover, in earlier years, IS usually didn’t take responsibility for an attack if the perpetrator remained alive, as this could harm him during the investigation. However, later the organization no longer cared about this due to the deplorable state in which it found itself. All this comes down to the fact that compared to other attacks carried out by IS in the past few years, this one is strikingly different when it comes to the level of preparation, detailed planning, and financial compensation. Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up Read more Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up What does Ukraine have to do with it? Having already mentioned Ukraine several times, we must note its links with terrorists. Since 2015, it has been known that the Security Service of Ukraine tried to recruit radical Islamists with the goal of carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks, etc. on Russian territory. Ukraine’s intelligence services were also active among the terrorists in Syria. This cooperation was marked in particular by the arrival in Ukraine of Chechen terrorist Rustam Azhiev, who served in the International Legion controlled by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. Azhiev participated in the second Chechen campaign against the Russian Armed Forces and eventually fled to Türkiye. In 2011, he moved to Syria, where he headed the terrorist group Ajnad Al-Kavkaz. Under his command, the militants participated in hostilities against the Syrian Armed Forces and were noted for terrorist attacks directed against civilians. Azhiev operated side-by-side with groups that are recognized as terrorist organizations not only in the United States, but throughout the world. The main ally of Ajnad Al-Kavkaz was Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria. Over time, the Russian Armed Forces and Syrian Armed Forces liberated territories from terrorists and significantly reduced their supply base. As a result, Azhiev and his associates became involved in contract killings, extortion, torture, and racketeering. In 2019, Azhiev even had to publicly apologize for the actions of his associates, who kidnapped the wrong person. The terrorists had been “unemployed” for several years when in 2022, Azhiev and his associates were approached by Ukrainian intelligence services through an intermediary – field commander Akhmed Zakayev. Azhiev and his associates took part in combat operations against the Russian Armed Forces and as a reward, Azhiev was given a Ukrainian passport. RT In 2024, led by Azhiev, the terrorists participated in an attack on border settlements in Belgorod Region. In a video, Azhiev publicly admitted that the purpose of the operation was to destabilize the situation in Russia before and during the presidential elections. This was confirmed by the fact that the attacks stopped right after the elections. After the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall, the Austrian newspaper Heute discovered another link between Ukraine and radical Islamists. According to the publication, which cites information from intelligence services, many suspected terrorists had entered the EU from Ukraine. For example, in December 2023, a Tajik citizen and his wife, along with an accomplice, were detained in Vienna. They were preparing an attack on St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The couple had come to the EU from Ukraine in February 2022. *** Ukraine is the place of residence not only for many terrorists, but also IS administrators and those who sympathize with the terrorists. Some of these people are actively involved in raising funds for imprisoned IS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Some of this money goes to purchasing food and medicines. But quite often, it is spent on buying weapons to carry out attacks inside prisons, and for bribing guards. Since some of the terrorists are officially “employed” in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and others work for the Security Service of Ukraine, they can both push their employers to organize a terrorist attack or do so on their own, without formally consulting the authorities. Currently, one of the versions is that an employee of the Ukrainian intelligence services could’ve been hiding under the guise of the “preacher’s assistant.” Moreover, Kiev has prior experience in carrying out terrorist acts on Russian territory – both directly, as in the case of Daria Dugina, and through intermediaries, as in the case of Vladlen Tatarsky. Therefore, using radical Islamists, such as IS followers, to carry out terrorist attacks fully corresponds to Ukraine’s strategy, which comes down to inflicting maximum damage on Russia and its residents. 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/krainian-caliphate-what-the-west-prefers-not-to-notice-when-blaming-isis-for-the-terrorist-attack-in-moscow/
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow
    Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall?
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 1 Shares 4486 Views
  • Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel
    Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet.

    Ali MC
    Protesters sitting outside the HTA factory in the Melbourne suburbs,. There is a large placard reading 'Stop arming Israel"
    Weekly protests have been taking place for months [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    Melbourne, Australia – Israel’s continued assault on Gaza has highlighted a hidden yet crucial component of the world’s weapons manufacturing industry – suburban Australia.

    Tucked away in Melbourne’s industrial north, Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) is an Australian company that plays a vital role in the production of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters; the same model that Israel is using to bomb Gaza.

    Weekly protests of about 200 people have been taking place for months outside the nondescript factory, where heat treatment is applied to strengthen components for the fighter jet a product of US military giant Lockheed Martin.

    While protesters have sometimes brought production to a halt with their pickets, they remain concerned about what’s going on inside factories like HTA.

    “We decided to hold the community picket to disrupt workers, and we were successful in stopping work for the day,” Nathalie Farah, protest organiser with local group Hume for Palestine, told Al Jazeera. “We consider this to be a win.”

    “Australia is absolutely complicit in the genocide that is happening,” said 26-year-old Farah, who is of Syrian and Palestinian origin. “Which is contrary to what the government might have us believe.”

    More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its war in Gaza six months ago after Hamas killed more than 1,000 people in a surprise attack on Israel. The war, being investigated as a genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has left hundreds of thousands on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations.

    HTA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – is just one of an increasing number of companies in Australia engaged in the weapons manufacturing industry.

    Community organiser Nathalie Farah. She's wearing a Palestinian scarf and a black T-shirt saying Australia.
    Nathalie Farah has been organising regular protests outside HTA’s factory [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    According to Lockheed Martin, “Every F-35 built contains some Australian parts and components,” with more than 70 Australian companies having export contracts valued at a total 4.13 billion Australian dollars ($2.69bn).

    Protesters have also picketed Rosebank Engineering, in Melbourne’s southeast, the world’s only producer of the F-35’s “uplock actuator system”, a crucial component of the aircraft’s bomb bay doors.

    Sign up for Al Jazeera

    Weekly Newsletter


    protected by reCAPTCHA
    Defence industry push

    In recent years, the Australian government has sought to increase defence exports to boost the country’s flagging manufacturing industry.

    In 2018, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia aimed to become one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters within a decade. It is currently 30th in global arms production, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute.

    It is an aspiration that appears set to continue under the government of Anthony Albanese after it concluded a more than one-billion-Australian-dollar deal with Germany to supply more than 100 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles in 2023 – Australia’s single biggest defence industry deal.

    Since the Gaza war began, the industry and its business relationship with Israel have come increasingly under the spotlight.

    Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles insisted that there were “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”.

    However, between 2016 and 2023 the Australian government approved some 322 export permits for military and dual-use equipment to Israel.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own data – available to the public online – shows that Australian exports of “arms and ammunition” to Israel totalled $15.5 million Australian dollars ($10.1m) over the same period of time.

    Officials now appear to be slowing the export of military equipment to Israel.

    In a recent interview with Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy insisted the country was “not exporting military equipment to Israel” and clarified this meant “military weapons, things like bombs”.

    However, defence exports from Australia fall into two categories, items specifically for military use – such as Boxer Heavy Weapons vehicles for Germany – and so-called ‘dual use’ products, such as radar or communications systems, that can have both civilian and military uses.

    Australia’s Department of Defence did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests about whether the halt to defence exports to Israel also included dual-use items.

    What is certain is that companies such as HTA and Rosebank Engineering are continuing to manufacture components for the F-35, despite the risk of deployment in what South Africa told the International Court of Justice in December amounted to “genocidal acts“.

    In the Netherlands – where parts for the jet are also manufactured – an appeal court last month ordered the Dutch government to block such exports to Israel citing the risk of breaching international law.

    The Australian government has also come under scrutiny for its lax “end-use controls” on the weapons and components it exports.

    As such, while the F-35 components are exported to US parent company Lockheed Martin, their ultimate use is largely outside Australia’s legal purview.

    Lauren Sanders, senior research fellow on law and the future of war at the University of Queensland, told Al Jazeera that the “on-selling of components and military equipment through third party states is a challenge to global export controls.

    “Once something is out of a state’s control, it becomes more difficult to trace, and to prevent it being passed on to another country,” she said.

    Sanders said Australia’s “end use controls” were deficient in comparison with other exporters such as the United States.

    “The US has hundreds of dedicated staff – with appropriate legal authority to investigate – to chase down potential end-use breaches,” she said.

    “Australia does not have the same kind of end-use controls in place in its legislation, nor does it have the same enforcement resources that the US does.”

    A protester carrying a Palestinian flag at a picket outside an Australian arms company. They have wrapped a Palesinian scarf around their face so only their eyes are visible, Other protesters are behind them. They have placards. Some are sitting on the ground.
    The protesters say they will continue their action until manufacturing of F-35 components is stopped [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    In fact, under legislation passed in November 2023, permits for defence goods are no longer required for exports to the United Kingdom and the US under the AUKUS security agreement.

    In a statement, the government argued the exemption would “deliver 614 million [Australian dollars; $401m] in value to the Australian economy over 10 years, by reducing costs to local businesses and unlocking investment opportunities with our AUKUS partners”.

    International law

    This new legislation may provide more opportunities for Australian weapons manufacturers, such as NIOA, a privately owned munitions company that makes bullets at a factory in Benalla, a small rural town in Australia’s southeast.

    The largest supplier of munitions to the Australian Defence Force, NIOA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – also has aspirations to break into the US weapons market.

    At a recent business conference, CEO Robert Nioa said that “the goal is to establish greater production capabilities in both countries so that Australia can be an alternative source of supply of weapons in times of conflict for the Australian and US militaries”.

    Greens Senator David Shoebridge told Al Jazeera that the government needed to “publicly and immediately refute the plan to become a top 10 global arms dealer and then to provide full transparency on all Australian arms exports including end users.

    “While governments in the Netherlands and the UK are facing legal challenges because of their role in the global supply chain, the Australian Labor government just keeps handing over weapons parts as though no genocide was happening,” he said. “It’s an appalling moral failure, and it is almost certainly a gross breach of international law.”

    The Australian government also recently announced a 917 million Australian dollar ($598m) deal with controversial Israeli company Elbit Systems.

    A court in the Netherlands hearing a case brought in relation to military exports. The room is wood panelled and there is a portrait on the wall.
    The Dutch government has faced legal action over the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel [File: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters]
    Elbit has come under fire for its sale of defence equipment to the Myanmar military regime, continuing sales even after the military, which seized power in a 2021 coup, was accused of gross human rights violations – including attacks on civilians – by the United Nations and others.

    Despite a recent joint announcement between the Australian and UK governments for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in Gaza, some say Australia needs to go further and cut defence ties with Israel altogether.

    “The Australian government must listen to the growing public calls for peace and end Australia’s two-way arms trade with Israel,” Shoebridge said. “The Albanese government is rewarding and financing the Israeli arms industry just at the moment they are arming a genocide.”

    Protests have continued both at the HTA factory in Melbourne and their premises in Brisbane, with organisers pledging to continue until the company stops manufacturing components for the F-35.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/28/australia-challenged-on-moral-failure-of-weapons-trade-with-israel
    Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet. Ali MC Protesters sitting outside the HTA factory in the Melbourne suburbs,. There is a large placard reading 'Stop arming Israel" Weekly protests have been taking place for months [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] Melbourne, Australia – Israel’s continued assault on Gaza has highlighted a hidden yet crucial component of the world’s weapons manufacturing industry – suburban Australia. Tucked away in Melbourne’s industrial north, Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) is an Australian company that plays a vital role in the production of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters; the same model that Israel is using to bomb Gaza. Weekly protests of about 200 people have been taking place for months outside the nondescript factory, where heat treatment is applied to strengthen components for the fighter jet a product of US military giant Lockheed Martin. While protesters have sometimes brought production to a halt with their pickets, they remain concerned about what’s going on inside factories like HTA. “We decided to hold the community picket to disrupt workers, and we were successful in stopping work for the day,” Nathalie Farah, protest organiser with local group Hume for Palestine, told Al Jazeera. “We consider this to be a win.” “Australia is absolutely complicit in the genocide that is happening,” said 26-year-old Farah, who is of Syrian and Palestinian origin. “Which is contrary to what the government might have us believe.” More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its war in Gaza six months ago after Hamas killed more than 1,000 people in a surprise attack on Israel. The war, being investigated as a genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has left hundreds of thousands on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations. HTA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – is just one of an increasing number of companies in Australia engaged in the weapons manufacturing industry. Community organiser Nathalie Farah. She's wearing a Palestinian scarf and a black T-shirt saying Australia. Nathalie Farah has been organising regular protests outside HTA’s factory [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] According to Lockheed Martin, “Every F-35 built contains some Australian parts and components,” with more than 70 Australian companies having export contracts valued at a total 4.13 billion Australian dollars ($2.69bn). Protesters have also picketed Rosebank Engineering, in Melbourne’s southeast, the world’s only producer of the F-35’s “uplock actuator system”, a crucial component of the aircraft’s bomb bay doors. Sign up for Al Jazeera Weekly Newsletter protected by reCAPTCHA Defence industry push In recent years, the Australian government has sought to increase defence exports to boost the country’s flagging manufacturing industry. In 2018, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia aimed to become one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters within a decade. It is currently 30th in global arms production, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute. It is an aspiration that appears set to continue under the government of Anthony Albanese after it concluded a more than one-billion-Australian-dollar deal with Germany to supply more than 100 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles in 2023 – Australia’s single biggest defence industry deal. Since the Gaza war began, the industry and its business relationship with Israel have come increasingly under the spotlight. Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles insisted that there were “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”. However, between 2016 and 2023 the Australian government approved some 322 export permits for military and dual-use equipment to Israel. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own data – available to the public online – shows that Australian exports of “arms and ammunition” to Israel totalled $15.5 million Australian dollars ($10.1m) over the same period of time. Officials now appear to be slowing the export of military equipment to Israel. In a recent interview with Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy insisted the country was “not exporting military equipment to Israel” and clarified this meant “military weapons, things like bombs”. However, defence exports from Australia fall into two categories, items specifically for military use – such as Boxer Heavy Weapons vehicles for Germany – and so-called ‘dual use’ products, such as radar or communications systems, that can have both civilian and military uses. Australia’s Department of Defence did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests about whether the halt to defence exports to Israel also included dual-use items. What is certain is that companies such as HTA and Rosebank Engineering are continuing to manufacture components for the F-35, despite the risk of deployment in what South Africa told the International Court of Justice in December amounted to “genocidal acts“. In the Netherlands – where parts for the jet are also manufactured – an appeal court last month ordered the Dutch government to block such exports to Israel citing the risk of breaching international law. The Australian government has also come under scrutiny for its lax “end-use controls” on the weapons and components it exports. As such, while the F-35 components are exported to US parent company Lockheed Martin, their ultimate use is largely outside Australia’s legal purview. Lauren Sanders, senior research fellow on law and the future of war at the University of Queensland, told Al Jazeera that the “on-selling of components and military equipment through third party states is a challenge to global export controls. “Once something is out of a state’s control, it becomes more difficult to trace, and to prevent it being passed on to another country,” she said. Sanders said Australia’s “end use controls” were deficient in comparison with other exporters such as the United States. “The US has hundreds of dedicated staff – with appropriate legal authority to investigate – to chase down potential end-use breaches,” she said. “Australia does not have the same kind of end-use controls in place in its legislation, nor does it have the same enforcement resources that the US does.” A protester carrying a Palestinian flag at a picket outside an Australian arms company. They have wrapped a Palesinian scarf around their face so only their eyes are visible, Other protesters are behind them. They have placards. Some are sitting on the ground. The protesters say they will continue their action until manufacturing of F-35 components is stopped [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] In fact, under legislation passed in November 2023, permits for defence goods are no longer required for exports to the United Kingdom and the US under the AUKUS security agreement. In a statement, the government argued the exemption would “deliver 614 million [Australian dollars; $401m] in value to the Australian economy over 10 years, by reducing costs to local businesses and unlocking investment opportunities with our AUKUS partners”. International law This new legislation may provide more opportunities for Australian weapons manufacturers, such as NIOA, a privately owned munitions company that makes bullets at a factory in Benalla, a small rural town in Australia’s southeast. The largest supplier of munitions to the Australian Defence Force, NIOA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – also has aspirations to break into the US weapons market. At a recent business conference, CEO Robert Nioa said that “the goal is to establish greater production capabilities in both countries so that Australia can be an alternative source of supply of weapons in times of conflict for the Australian and US militaries”. Greens Senator David Shoebridge told Al Jazeera that the government needed to “publicly and immediately refute the plan to become a top 10 global arms dealer and then to provide full transparency on all Australian arms exports including end users. “While governments in the Netherlands and the UK are facing legal challenges because of their role in the global supply chain, the Australian Labor government just keeps handing over weapons parts as though no genocide was happening,” he said. “It’s an appalling moral failure, and it is almost certainly a gross breach of international law.” The Australian government also recently announced a 917 million Australian dollar ($598m) deal with controversial Israeli company Elbit Systems. A court in the Netherlands hearing a case brought in relation to military exports. The room is wood panelled and there is a portrait on the wall. The Dutch government has faced legal action over the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel [File: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters] Elbit has come under fire for its sale of defence equipment to the Myanmar military regime, continuing sales even after the military, which seized power in a 2021 coup, was accused of gross human rights violations – including attacks on civilians – by the United Nations and others. Despite a recent joint announcement between the Australian and UK governments for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in Gaza, some say Australia needs to go further and cut defence ties with Israel altogether. “The Australian government must listen to the growing public calls for peace and end Australia’s two-way arms trade with Israel,” Shoebridge said. “The Albanese government is rewarding and financing the Israeli arms industry just at the moment they are arming a genocide.” Protests have continued both at the HTA factory in Melbourne and their premises in Brisbane, with organisers pledging to continue until the company stops manufacturing components for the F-35. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/28/australia-challenged-on-moral-failure-of-weapons-trade-with-israel
    WWW.ALJAZEERA.COM
    Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel
    Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3761 Views
  • Energy benchmarking, the practice of measuring a building's energy use over time and comparing it with its past performance or that of similar buildings, is no longer an optional enterprise luxury. It has metamorphosed into a statutory obligation in many regions, aiming to make energy consumption transparent and push for a greener economy.
    Click here to read more: https://otherarticles.com/business/industrial/288534-8-shocking-ways-energy-benchmarking-laws-are-changing-your-business.html
    Energy benchmarking, the practice of measuring a building's energy use over time and comparing it with its past performance or that of similar buildings, is no longer an optional enterprise luxury. It has metamorphosed into a statutory obligation in many regions, aiming to make energy consumption transparent and push for a greener economy. Click here to read more: https://otherarticles.com/business/industrial/288534-8-shocking-ways-energy-benchmarking-laws-are-changing-your-business.html
    OTHERARTICLES.COM
    8 Shocking Ways Energy Benchmarking Laws Are Changing Your Business
    See the surprising ways energy benchmarking laws transform businesses for better efficiency and sustainability.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 434 Views
More Results