• Autism: Meaning & Maneuvers
    Achieving First Principles Healing

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

    Maybe all of us are.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    PAIN MESSAGING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    COMS DOWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Speech is what separates us from the animals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Pain is the great teacher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Syed Haider has entered the chat.

    I had finally joined the conversation.

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

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

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

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

    We’re all a little bit autistic nowadays.

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

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

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

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

    And so it can be fixed.

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

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    EXITING THE MAZE

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TAP ROOTS

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

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

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

    -Hakim Shabaz Ahmed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TRUE AND FALSE

    “Maryam is doing well …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    BEYOND HOLISTIC: FIRST PRINCIPLES HEALING

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    -M. Majali, father of a recovering autistic child

    Pain is not your enemy, and neither is disease.

    Disease is both a message and a maneuver.

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

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

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

    Share

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

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

    Blame the fire.

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

    Put out the fire.

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

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





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


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

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

    Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’ I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024 A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp. Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation. Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment. During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family. As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?” “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me. I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.” “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.” “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days. Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford. As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry. “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me. Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.” “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern. “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.” “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.” My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family. “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously. “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart. “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued. “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully. After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.” “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her. The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.” “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically. She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?” His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.” “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war. He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.” Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.
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  • The WHO Wants to Rule the World
    Ramesh Thakur
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications.

    The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat.

    The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices.

    From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues.

    The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab.

    Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all.

    The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper

    In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’

    The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later:

    …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness.

    What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments.

    The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority

    The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency.

    Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries.

    The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare.

    With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world.

    Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks.

    The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights.

    Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations.

    Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority.

    US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker.

    At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’

    Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’.

    A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice.

    Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability.

    The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association.

    Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks.

    It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’

    Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden

    In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade.

    The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness.

    Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny.

    Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix.


    The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children.

    Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda.

    Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever.

    Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1).

    According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia.

    If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000.

    Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden.

    A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March

    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

    Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    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-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World Ramesh Thakur The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications. The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat. The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices. From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues. The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab. Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all. The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’ The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later: …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness. What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments. The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency. Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries. The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare. With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world. Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks. The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights. Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations. Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority. US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker. At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’ Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’. A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice. Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability. The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association. Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks. It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’ Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade. The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness. Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny. Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix. The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children. Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda. Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever. Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1). According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia. If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000. Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden. A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March 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 Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. 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-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June.
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  • American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh
    No Investigation Two Years After Suspicious Death of American Journalist Serena Shim


    Killing the Truth: In this article, first published by the Duran and GR in October 2016, the journalist who exposed the truth regarding the State sponsors of ISIS-Daesh is killed. Who are the state sponsors of ISIS-Daesh.

    Although all signs point to foul play, indeed murder, by Turkish intelligence, until now the US government has neither conducted nor demanded an inquiry into the events of the alleged car accident which Turkish officials say was the cause of Shim’s death, let alone offer condolences to the family.

    Serena Shim was at the time reporting on Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), from the Turkish side. She was, in her own words, one of the first, if not the first, on the ground to report on ,“Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border”. These include not only ISIS but also terrorists from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA).

    As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing in ISIS high-ranked members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.”

    Serena Shim’s January 2013 expose, “Turkey’s Pivotal Role in Syria’s Insurgency: PressTV Report from Inside Turkey,” showed footage of what she estimated to be 300 semi-trucks “awaiting militants to empty them out”; included testimony explaining how Turkey enables the crossing of foreign terrorists “freely” into Syria; spoke of the funneling of arms via the Incirlik US Air Base in Turkey to terrorists in refugee camps or on through to Syria; and highlighted the issue of terrorist training camps portrayed as refugee camps, guarded by the Turkish military.

    Shim named the World Food Organization as one of the NGOs whose trucks were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed. Notably, in that interview she also explicitly stated that she feared for her life because Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy. She told Press TV:

    “Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over. I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.”

    Two days later, Press TV announced her death, stating:

    “Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene in the city of Suruch in Turkey’s Urfa province. She was going back to her hotel in Urfa when their car collided with a heavy vehicle.”




    This was the official version of her death, although in subsequent versions the story changed. In a report one month later, Russia Today (RT) spoke with Shim’s sister, who said:
    “There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver. Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.”

    “Serena and my cousin who was the driver of the car were taken to two different hospitals. She was reported first dead at the scene. Then coming out with later reports that she passed away at the hospital 30 minutes later from heart failure?! ”



    POLITICAL BLACKOUT, MEDIA BLACKOUT

    When on November 20, 2014, at a Daily Press Briefing, RT journalist Gayane Chichakyan twice pressed Director of Press Office, Jeff Rathke, for updates on Shim’s death, he unsurprisingly gave none:

    Chichakyan: “It’s about the journalist Serena Shim, who died in Turkey under very suspicious circumstances. Did her death raise suspicions here at the State Department?”

    Rathke: “Well, I think we’ve spoken to this in the briefing room several weeks ago, after it happened. I don’t have anything to add to what the spokesperson said at the time, though.”

    Chichakyan: “But then she died several days after she claimed she had been threatened by the Turkish intelligence. Have you inquired about this? Have you asked questions? Is there really nothing new about this?”

    Rathke: “Well, I just don’t have any update to share with you. Again, this was raised shortly after her death. The spokesperson addressed it. I don’t have an update to share with you at this time.”

    Chichakyan: “I just want to go back to Serena Shim. You rightly said the State Department commented on her death several weeks ago, and you say there is no update. Why is there no update? A U.S. citizen dies days after she said she’d been threatened by the Turkish intelligence.”

    Rathke: “Well, I simply don’t have any information to share at this time. I’m happy to check and see if there’s anything additional. We spoke out about it, as I said, at the very start several weeks ago after her death, so I – but I don’t have anything with me right now to offer. I’m happy to check and see if there’s more that we can share.”

    Of course, neither he nor any US government official has followed up. Last year, Shim’s mother, Judy Poe, replied to me in a message:

    “There is no doubt in my mind that my daughter did not die in a car accident. There was not one single scratch on her there was no blood absolutely anywhere. I have tried to contact the American Embassy in Turkey with the cell phone numbers they gave me originally when I was going to get my daughter. Absolutely no response from the American Embassy in Turkey, including via personal cell phones.”

    Shim’s sister in her RT interview stated, “We’ve got no support whatsoever, nor have we got condolences.”

    None of the major journalist organizations have pursued a just investigation into Shim’s murder, much less lamented it. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) turns up zero results when Shim’s name is searched on their website. Yet, the CPJ does have a list of journalists killed in Turkey since 1992, and as recent as Feb 2016, obviously minus Shim’s name.

    Likewise, a search on the Reporters Without Borders website turns up zero results. A December 19, 2014 article at the Greanville Post does have a CPJ spokesperson stating:

    “The Committee to Protect Journalists has investigated the events surrounding Serena Shim’s death in Turkey and at this time has found no evidence to indicate that her death was anything other than a tragic accident. Unless her death is confirmed to be in direct relation to her work as a journalist, it will not appear on our database. In the event that new evidence comes to light, CPJ would review her case.”

    The article Greanville Post notes, “As of February 2016, the CPJ has not changed its position.”

    The International Federation of Journalists does have a short entry on Shim:

    “Serena Shim, the female correspondent for Press TV in Turkey was killed in a car accident on the Turkish-Syrian border. She was returning from an assignment in Suruç, a rural district of ŞanlΔ±urfa Province of Turkey when her car collided with a truck.”

    But no call for inquiry and no questioning of official narrative. In a November 21, 2014 article at Shim’s death, RT noted that, “the office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the OSCE told RT that Turkey is carrying out an investigation.” It cited OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Gunnar Vrang, as saying:

    “The representative has been following the case since the first reports appeared about the car accident that claimed the life of journalist Serena Shim. According to information available to her office, the Turkish authorities have started investigation into the details of the car accident.”

    Searching the OSCE for Serena Shim’s name also results in zero hits. On February 5, 2016, Judy Poe tweeted:



    Clearly the representative went with the Turkish rendition of events. Few in corporate media have looked into Shim’s suspicious death. In one surprising exception, Fox News reported on Shim’s death, citing a US State Department spokesperson as saying the State Department “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.”

    Given that Turkish intelligence threatened Shim, according to her testimony, and that Turkey is notorious world-wide for its imprisonment and murder of journalists, the US State Department’s lack of concern is incriminating in itself.

    In stark contrast to the silence around Shim’s death, John Kerry at least twice publicly mourned the death of James Foley, lauding as a hero the journalist who snuck into Syria via Turkey to report embedded with al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and giving sincere condolences to his family.

    Without a trace of irony, in August 2014, Kerry said of Foley, and never of Shim, “We honor the courage and pray for the safety of all those who risk their lives to discover the truth where it is needed most.”

    In September, 2014, Kerry directly contradicted the above-mentioned words of the State Department spokesperson, saying: “When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took.

    And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.” On the media and political blackout around Serena Shim’s suspicious death, Shim’s former colleague, Afshin Rattansi, host of RT’s “Going Underground” posited:

    “There were a few press reports, but nothing like the kind of reporting about a brave young journalist that one would expect. Was this because the story she was covering was so dangerous that a NATO ally like Turkey should be cooperating with ISIS… was that the reason that this story has not been more widely broadcast? We don’t know.”

    Indeed, this would not be the first time the US administration has not pursued justice for the murder of one of its citizens by an ally. Rachie Corrie’s March 16, 2013 murder by an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer was not only witnessed by numerous rights activists with Corrie in Rafah, occupied Palestine, but was filmed. There is no denial that the Israeli soldier saw Corrie, drove his dozer over her and then reversed back, crushing her twice.

    Yet, in spite of the efforts of her family and supporters, the US has never pursued justice for this American citizen either. Judy Poe said that Serena’s favourite motto was: “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” Shim lived the motto. She was 29, with two children, when killed.


    https://www.globalresearch.ca/american-journalist-killed-in-turkey-for-revealing-the-truth-regarding-isis-daesh/5551946
    American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh No Investigation Two Years After Suspicious Death of American Journalist Serena Shim Killing the Truth: In this article, first published by the Duran and GR in October 2016, the journalist who exposed the truth regarding the State sponsors of ISIS-Daesh is killed. Who are the state sponsors of ISIS-Daesh. Although all signs point to foul play, indeed murder, by Turkish intelligence, until now the US government has neither conducted nor demanded an inquiry into the events of the alleged car accident which Turkish officials say was the cause of Shim’s death, let alone offer condolences to the family. Serena Shim was at the time reporting on Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), from the Turkish side. She was, in her own words, one of the first, if not the first, on the ground to report on ,“Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border”. These include not only ISIS but also terrorists from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA). As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing in ISIS high-ranked members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.” Serena Shim’s January 2013 expose, “Turkey’s Pivotal Role in Syria’s Insurgency: PressTV Report from Inside Turkey,” showed footage of what she estimated to be 300 semi-trucks “awaiting militants to empty them out”; included testimony explaining how Turkey enables the crossing of foreign terrorists “freely” into Syria; spoke of the funneling of arms via the Incirlik US Air Base in Turkey to terrorists in refugee camps or on through to Syria; and highlighted the issue of terrorist training camps portrayed as refugee camps, guarded by the Turkish military. Shim named the World Food Organization as one of the NGOs whose trucks were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed. Notably, in that interview she also explicitly stated that she feared for her life because Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy. She told Press TV: “Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over. I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.” Two days later, Press TV announced her death, stating: “Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene in the city of Suruch in Turkey’s Urfa province. She was going back to her hotel in Urfa when their car collided with a heavy vehicle.” This was the official version of her death, although in subsequent versions the story changed. In a report one month later, Russia Today (RT) spoke with Shim’s sister, who said: “There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver. Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.” “Serena and my cousin who was the driver of the car were taken to two different hospitals. She was reported first dead at the scene. Then coming out with later reports that she passed away at the hospital 30 minutes later from heart failure?! ” POLITICAL BLACKOUT, MEDIA BLACKOUT When on November 20, 2014, at a Daily Press Briefing, RT journalist Gayane Chichakyan twice pressed Director of Press Office, Jeff Rathke, for updates on Shim’s death, he unsurprisingly gave none: Chichakyan: “It’s about the journalist Serena Shim, who died in Turkey under very suspicious circumstances. Did her death raise suspicions here at the State Department?” Rathke: “Well, I think we’ve spoken to this in the briefing room several weeks ago, after it happened. I don’t have anything to add to what the spokesperson said at the time, though.” Chichakyan: “But then she died several days after she claimed she had been threatened by the Turkish intelligence. Have you inquired about this? Have you asked questions? Is there really nothing new about this?” Rathke: “Well, I just don’t have any update to share with you. Again, this was raised shortly after her death. The spokesperson addressed it. I don’t have an update to share with you at this time.” Chichakyan: “I just want to go back to Serena Shim. You rightly said the State Department commented on her death several weeks ago, and you say there is no update. Why is there no update? A U.S. citizen dies days after she said she’d been threatened by the Turkish intelligence.” Rathke: “Well, I simply don’t have any information to share at this time. I’m happy to check and see if there’s anything additional. We spoke out about it, as I said, at the very start several weeks ago after her death, so I – but I don’t have anything with me right now to offer. I’m happy to check and see if there’s more that we can share.” Of course, neither he nor any US government official has followed up. Last year, Shim’s mother, Judy Poe, replied to me in a message: “There is no doubt in my mind that my daughter did not die in a car accident. There was not one single scratch on her there was no blood absolutely anywhere. I have tried to contact the American Embassy in Turkey with the cell phone numbers they gave me originally when I was going to get my daughter. Absolutely no response from the American Embassy in Turkey, including via personal cell phones.” Shim’s sister in her RT interview stated, “We’ve got no support whatsoever, nor have we got condolences.” None of the major journalist organizations have pursued a just investigation into Shim’s murder, much less lamented it. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) turns up zero results when Shim’s name is searched on their website. Yet, the CPJ does have a list of journalists killed in Turkey since 1992, and as recent as Feb 2016, obviously minus Shim’s name. Likewise, a search on the Reporters Without Borders website turns up zero results. A December 19, 2014 article at the Greanville Post does have a CPJ spokesperson stating: “The Committee to Protect Journalists has investigated the events surrounding Serena Shim’s death in Turkey and at this time has found no evidence to indicate that her death was anything other than a tragic accident. Unless her death is confirmed to be in direct relation to her work as a journalist, it will not appear on our database. In the event that new evidence comes to light, CPJ would review her case.” The article Greanville Post notes, “As of February 2016, the CPJ has not changed its position.” The International Federation of Journalists does have a short entry on Shim: “Serena Shim, the female correspondent for Press TV in Turkey was killed in a car accident on the Turkish-Syrian border. She was returning from an assignment in Suruç, a rural district of ŞanlΔ±urfa Province of Turkey when her car collided with a truck.” But no call for inquiry and no questioning of official narrative. In a November 21, 2014 article at Shim’s death, RT noted that, “the office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the OSCE told RT that Turkey is carrying out an investigation.” It cited OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Gunnar Vrang, as saying: “The representative has been following the case since the first reports appeared about the car accident that claimed the life of journalist Serena Shim. According to information available to her office, the Turkish authorities have started investigation into the details of the car accident.” Searching the OSCE for Serena Shim’s name also results in zero hits. On February 5, 2016, Judy Poe tweeted: Clearly the representative went with the Turkish rendition of events. Few in corporate media have looked into Shim’s suspicious death. In one surprising exception, Fox News reported on Shim’s death, citing a US State Department spokesperson as saying the State Department “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.” Given that Turkish intelligence threatened Shim, according to her testimony, and that Turkey is notorious world-wide for its imprisonment and murder of journalists, the US State Department’s lack of concern is incriminating in itself. In stark contrast to the silence around Shim’s death, John Kerry at least twice publicly mourned the death of James Foley, lauding as a hero the journalist who snuck into Syria via Turkey to report embedded with al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and giving sincere condolences to his family. Without a trace of irony, in August 2014, Kerry said of Foley, and never of Shim, “We honor the courage and pray for the safety of all those who risk their lives to discover the truth where it is needed most.” In September, 2014, Kerry directly contradicted the above-mentioned words of the State Department spokesperson, saying: “When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took. And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.” On the media and political blackout around Serena Shim’s suspicious death, Shim’s former colleague, Afshin Rattansi, host of RT’s “Going Underground” posited: “There were a few press reports, but nothing like the kind of reporting about a brave young journalist that one would expect. Was this because the story she was covering was so dangerous that a NATO ally like Turkey should be cooperating with ISIS… was that the reason that this story has not been more widely broadcast? We don’t know.” Indeed, this would not be the first time the US administration has not pursued justice for the murder of one of its citizens by an ally. Rachie Corrie’s March 16, 2013 murder by an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer was not only witnessed by numerous rights activists with Corrie in Rafah, occupied Palestine, but was filmed. There is no denial that the Israeli soldier saw Corrie, drove his dozer over her and then reversed back, crushing her twice. Yet, in spite of the efforts of her family and supporters, the US has never pursued justice for this American citizen either. Judy Poe said that Serena’s favourite motto was: “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” Shim lived the motto. She was 29, with two children, when killed. https://www.globalresearch.ca/american-journalist-killed-in-turkey-for-revealing-the-truth-regarding-isis-daesh/5551946
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    American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh
    Killing the Truth: In this article, first published by the Duran and GR in October 2016, the journalist who exposed the truth regarding the State sponsors of ISIS-Daesh is killed. Who are the state sponsors of ISIS-Daesh. Although all signs point to foul play, indeed murder, by Turkish intelligence, until now the US government has …
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on 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

    UNRWA: Israel says no more UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza.
    UNRWA chief: Israeli decision to deny all UNRWA food convoys to northern Gaza is “obstruct[ing] lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine.”
    Doctors Without Borders “deeply concerned” after medical staff arrested at al-Shifa Hospital amid “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” nearby.
    Tanks crushed bodies, ambulances at al-Shifa Hospital, reports AP News, citing witnesses.
    Footage emerges of Israeli soldiers assaulting Palestinian boy
    Casualties in Israeli attack on aid distributors at Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City, reports Al Jazeera.
    Israeli forces raid Al Aqsa mosque during nightly prayers, assault and expel worshipers, reports Al Jazeera journalist.
    WHO Chief: Israel must reverse decision on blocking north Gaza aid.
    Israeli war cabinet minister threatens to quit if bill exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from conscription passes
    UNRWA: U.S. funding cut will ‘compromise access to food’ in Gaza.
    UN special rapporteurs decry underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians.
    Israel blocks access to Jerusalem for West Bank Christians on Palm Sunday, reports Wafa.
    PRCS says it has lost radio contact with staff at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.
    Euro-Med: Israel’s attacks on academics in line with Gaza ‘genocide’
    WAFA correspondent killed along with son Israeli airstrike on Gaza
    MAP report: Doctor says conditions inside European Gaza Hospital ‘unimaginable’
    Gaza: Three Hospitals under military siege

    The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process.

    Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex.

    A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital.

    He said he and the others were stripped of their clothing and moved several times inside the al-Shifa Hospital building in central Gaza over the course of hours before being taken to the top floor of the facility.

    “They left us for about three hours, then said, ‘You are safe. You can go south.”

    “We stood up, but then they opened fire. We all laid down on the floor again. Then, the snipers entertained themselves by shooting us one after the other.”

    Hamad said his father told him before being killed to run away if he could, and he managed to run, but not before seeing the unresponsive bodies of the executed group.

    On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its staff have reported “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, “endangering patients, medical staff and people trapped inside with very few supplies.”

    Jameel al-Ayoubi, one of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering at the hospital, saw Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers drive over at least four bodies in the hospital courtyard, AP News reports. Ambulances were also crushed, he says.

    Kareem Ayman Hathat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters (328 feet) from the hospital, told AP he hid in his kitchen for days waiting as explosions shook the building.

    “From time to time, the tank would fire a shell,” he said. “It was to terrorise us.”

    MSF added that Israeli forces have carried out a mass-arrest campaign of medical staff and other people and that the organization is “deeply concerned” for the safety of those detained.

    Meanwhile, another two hospitals in Khan Younis have been under Israeli military siege for the last 24 hours: al-Amal and Nasser hospitals, reports Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from Gaza.

    “Military vehicles, tanks and attack drones are encircling these two facilities. They’re also blocking the entrance with piles of sand, preventing medical staff, patients and injured people inside from leaving safely and constantly failing to provide a safe corridor for people and evacuees trapped inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said.

    Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) gave their latest update on the situation in al Amal hospital on Sunday afternoon, saying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have completely surrounded all entrances to the hospital and control any movement in and out.

    Israeli forces attacked the hospital earlier on Sunday, surrounding it with tanks and forcing nearly everyone inside, from patients to displaced Palestinians sheltering there, to evacuate.

    “What we’re getting confirmed from al-Amal Hospital is that not only has it been under constant bombing and tank shells, but loudspeakers are ordering people inside the hospital to come out only with their underwear on. And that has been confirmed by multiple sources and witnesses on the ground, those who managed to flee the harrowing situation,” Mahmoud added.

    On Sunday evening, the PRCS announced that they lost radio contact with their staff at the hospital.

    While all displaced Palestinians and patients who could move independently were evacuated towards the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis, hospital staff remain, along with nine patients and their ten companions and a displaced family with children who have disabilities. PCRS says all of them need to be safely evacuated.

    PRCS added that staff member Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital after being shot in the head by the Israeli military were both killed, and their bodies need to be removed.

    In a statement, Hamas said the Israeli military is systematically targeting hospitals across Gaza with the goal of displacing all Palestinians from their lands, showing Israel wants to continue its “war of extermination” against Palestinians and forcibly displace them from their land “by destroying all means of life in the Gaza Strip, especially hospitals,” reported Al Jazeera.

    Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians

    Witnesses at al-Shifa hospital have reported that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”

    Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said in a post on X that it is “abhorrent” that reports of rape by Israeli forces keep coming out without any consequences.

    “Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide! It must stop!”

    Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, similarly said, “I lost count of how many renowned journalists interviewed me on the alleged mistreatment of/sexual abuse against Palestinian women by Israeli forces, and never published any article on this.”

    “What we can see on the ground is a systematic creation of a corrosive environment in which Israel, with its destruction of neighborhoods and hospitals, is making Gaza unliveable for the majority of Palestinians,” said Al Jazeera co-respondent, Tareq Abu Azzoum from Gaza while reporting on the besieged hospitals.

    “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital

    Meanwhile, at Gaza’s European Hospital near Khan Younis, one of the last functioning medical facilities, medical staff report “horrific scenes” at the hospital with patients “dying from infections with evidence of serious malnutrition,” reported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

    Husam Basheer, an orthopedic surgeon working at the hospital, says he and his staff are “managing with the bare minimum of resources” at the medical facility due to Israeli restrictions on medical aid entering the besieged enclave.

    “One day we wanted to do a plate and screw, which is a standard procedure for bone fixation, but we didn’t have the right equipment. Sometimes we’ve also lacked gauze which is a basic supply for surgery. We worked around the challenges we faced and managed in a different way, but the staff here are overwhelmed,” he said.

    Similarly, Konstantina Ilia Karydi, an anesthetist, described the situation inside the medical facility as “unimaginable.”

    “This hospital had an original capacity of just 200 beds. Now, it has expanded to 1,000 beds,” she said.

    “There are around 22,000 displaced people sheltering in the corridors and in tents inside the hospital because people feel that it’s safer to be here than anywhere else.”

    Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Sunday that Israel has officially barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest.

    “This is outrageous [and] makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted,” the head of the UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote in an X post.

    Famine is likely to occur by May in northern Gaza and could spread across the enclave by July, according to the world’s hunger watchdog, Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), said last week.

    Lazzarini warned that Israel’s decision would speed up the coming of famine in the north of the Strip and said that “many more will die of hunger, dehydration.”

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), says Israel must “urgently reverse” its decision to block the entry of food convoys organized by UNRWA into northern Gaza, where humanitarian needs are most urgent.

    “The levels of hunger are acute. All efforts to deliver food should not only be permitted but there should be an immediate acceleration of food deliveries,” Ghebreyesus said in a post on X.

    Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, says he repeatedly urged Israel to lift all its restrictions on aid to Gaza. Still, it has now done the exact opposite.

    “UNRWA is the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza,” Griffiths said on X , “The decision to block its food convoys to the north only pushes thousands closer to famine. It must be revoked.”

    No other agency is able to provide lifesaving assistance in Gaza in the same way as UNRWA, Natalie Boucly, the deputy commissioner-general of the UN agency, has said on X.

    Boucly added that attempts to “isolate” UNRWA will result in more people dying, “UNRWA is part of the UN and it was given a specific mandate by the General Assembly.”

    In January, several countries cut funding to UNRWA following unverified Israeli allegations that less than a dozen employees participated in Hamas’s operation on October 7.

    While some countries, including Canada and Sweden, have since reinstated their funding, several countries, including the US, have yet to follow suit, which will have severe implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region.

    Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera.
    “In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma,” the organization’s chief, Lazzarini, wrote on X.

    “Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs.”

    Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera.

    The “dream” of many far-right politicians in Israel is to make Gaza “uninhabitable” for Palestinians, with the goal of re-establishing settlements for the Israelis, Ghafar continued.

    “The destruction of schools, hospitals, infrastructure [is making Gaza] almost unlivable and it will force the international community to take further refugees and thin out the population of Gaza,” he said.

    “I think Israel wants to have a big chunk of the population leave and become refugees elsewhere.”

    UN Resolution for ceasefire

    On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on yet another resolution regarding Israel’s war on Gaza. Since October seven, only two of eight resolutions have been accepted, with both mainly dealing with humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave.

    Guterres says the most recent UN Security Council resolution does not link a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli captives, reported Al Jazeera.

    In the resolution, “a ceasefire is required together with, but not in a linkage with, the unconditional release of all hostages,” he said. “And we have also claimed the need for that release.”

    Diplomats told the AFP news agency that the resolution had been worked on with the U.S. to avoid a veto, reported France 24. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

    “We expect, barring a last-minute twist, that the resolution will be adopted and that the US will not vote against it,” one diplomat told AFP.

    Last Friday, the Security Council voted on a draft submitted by the U.S. that called for an “immediate” ceasefire linked to the release of captives. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, criticizing it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign.

    No progress on negotiations.

    Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have continued negotiations mediated by Qatar with little progress.

    Hamas’s political bureau official Basem Naim says a lot of “misinformation” has recently been circulated through the media regarding the ongoing truce talks in Doha, reported Al Jazeera.

    Naim said the Israelis are focusing on only one aspect of the negotiations, the release of captives, and are unwilling to discuss Hamas’s three demands – a permanent end to the war, “total withdrawal” from Gaza, and the return of displaced people to their homes.

    Hamas had proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for a permanent end to the war, total withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the return of displaced people to their homes; however, according to Al Jazeera, Israel rejected the demand to end the war and withdraw troops from Gaza.

    Al Jazeera added that Israeli negotiators said they would allow only 2,000 Palestinians to return to their homes each day, meaning it would take more than two years for all displaced Palestinians to leave Rafah.

    Meanwhile, Israel wants all Israeli captives released immediately. Hamas has indicated it will only release women and children in the first phase.

    As negotiations continue, Yossi Amrosi, an ex-senior official of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as admitting that the Israeli army does not have the means to return all captives currently held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

    Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said at the start of the war that it had taken 250 captives during its October 7 incursion into Israel.

    According to the Qassam Brigades, 50 captives have been killed in Israeli air raids. Israeli intelligence officers say 30 captives have died in Gaza so far since they were taken to the enclave.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on 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 UNRWA: Israel says no more UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza. UNRWA chief: Israeli decision to deny all UNRWA food convoys to northern Gaza is “obstruct[ing] lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine.” Doctors Without Borders “deeply concerned” after medical staff arrested at al-Shifa Hospital amid “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” nearby. Tanks crushed bodies, ambulances at al-Shifa Hospital, reports AP News, citing witnesses. Footage emerges of Israeli soldiers assaulting Palestinian boy Casualties in Israeli attack on aid distributors at Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City, reports Al Jazeera. Israeli forces raid Al Aqsa mosque during nightly prayers, assault and expel worshipers, reports Al Jazeera journalist. WHO Chief: Israel must reverse decision on blocking north Gaza aid. Israeli war cabinet minister threatens to quit if bill exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from conscription passes UNRWA: U.S. funding cut will ‘compromise access to food’ in Gaza. UN special rapporteurs decry underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians. Israel blocks access to Jerusalem for West Bank Christians on Palm Sunday, reports Wafa. PRCS says it has lost radio contact with staff at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. Euro-Med: Israel’s attacks on academics in line with Gaza ‘genocide’ WAFA correspondent killed along with son Israeli airstrike on Gaza MAP report: Doctor says conditions inside European Gaza Hospital ‘unimaginable’ Gaza: Three Hospitals under military siege The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process. Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex. A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital. He said he and the others were stripped of their clothing and moved several times inside the al-Shifa Hospital building in central Gaza over the course of hours before being taken to the top floor of the facility. “They left us for about three hours, then said, ‘You are safe. You can go south.” “We stood up, but then they opened fire. We all laid down on the floor again. Then, the snipers entertained themselves by shooting us one after the other.” Hamad said his father told him before being killed to run away if he could, and he managed to run, but not before seeing the unresponsive bodies of the executed group. On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its staff have reported “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, “endangering patients, medical staff and people trapped inside with very few supplies.” Jameel al-Ayoubi, one of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering at the hospital, saw Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers drive over at least four bodies in the hospital courtyard, AP News reports. Ambulances were also crushed, he says. Kareem Ayman Hathat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters (328 feet) from the hospital, told AP he hid in his kitchen for days waiting as explosions shook the building. “From time to time, the tank would fire a shell,” he said. “It was to terrorise us.” MSF added that Israeli forces have carried out a mass-arrest campaign of medical staff and other people and that the organization is “deeply concerned” for the safety of those detained. Meanwhile, another two hospitals in Khan Younis have been under Israeli military siege for the last 24 hours: al-Amal and Nasser hospitals, reports Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from Gaza. “Military vehicles, tanks and attack drones are encircling these two facilities. They’re also blocking the entrance with piles of sand, preventing medical staff, patients and injured people inside from leaving safely and constantly failing to provide a safe corridor for people and evacuees trapped inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said. Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) gave their latest update on the situation in al Amal hospital on Sunday afternoon, saying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have completely surrounded all entrances to the hospital and control any movement in and out. Israeli forces attacked the hospital earlier on Sunday, surrounding it with tanks and forcing nearly everyone inside, from patients to displaced Palestinians sheltering there, to evacuate. “What we’re getting confirmed from al-Amal Hospital is that not only has it been under constant bombing and tank shells, but loudspeakers are ordering people inside the hospital to come out only with their underwear on. And that has been confirmed by multiple sources and witnesses on the ground, those who managed to flee the harrowing situation,” Mahmoud added. On Sunday evening, the PRCS announced that they lost radio contact with their staff at the hospital. While all displaced Palestinians and patients who could move independently were evacuated towards the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis, hospital staff remain, along with nine patients and their ten companions and a displaced family with children who have disabilities. PCRS says all of them need to be safely evacuated. PRCS added that staff member Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital after being shot in the head by the Israeli military were both killed, and their bodies need to be removed. In a statement, Hamas said the Israeli military is systematically targeting hospitals across Gaza with the goal of displacing all Palestinians from their lands, showing Israel wants to continue its “war of extermination” against Palestinians and forcibly displace them from their land “by destroying all means of life in the Gaza Strip, especially hospitals,” reported Al Jazeera. Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians Witnesses at al-Shifa hospital have reported that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said in a post on X that it is “abhorrent” that reports of rape by Israeli forces keep coming out without any consequences. “Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide! It must stop!” Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, similarly said, “I lost count of how many renowned journalists interviewed me on the alleged mistreatment of/sexual abuse against Palestinian women by Israeli forces, and never published any article on this.” “What we can see on the ground is a systematic creation of a corrosive environment in which Israel, with its destruction of neighborhoods and hospitals, is making Gaza unliveable for the majority of Palestinians,” said Al Jazeera co-respondent, Tareq Abu Azzoum from Gaza while reporting on the besieged hospitals. “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital Meanwhile, at Gaza’s European Hospital near Khan Younis, one of the last functioning medical facilities, medical staff report “horrific scenes” at the hospital with patients “dying from infections with evidence of serious malnutrition,” reported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Husam Basheer, an orthopedic surgeon working at the hospital, says he and his staff are “managing with the bare minimum of resources” at the medical facility due to Israeli restrictions on medical aid entering the besieged enclave. “One day we wanted to do a plate and screw, which is a standard procedure for bone fixation, but we didn’t have the right equipment. Sometimes we’ve also lacked gauze which is a basic supply for surgery. We worked around the challenges we faced and managed in a different way, but the staff here are overwhelmed,” he said. Similarly, Konstantina Ilia Karydi, an anesthetist, described the situation inside the medical facility as “unimaginable.” “This hospital had an original capacity of just 200 beds. Now, it has expanded to 1,000 beds,” she said. “There are around 22,000 displaced people sheltering in the corridors and in tents inside the hospital because people feel that it’s safer to be here than anywhere else.” Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Sunday that Israel has officially barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest. “This is outrageous [and] makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted,” the head of the UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote in an X post. Famine is likely to occur by May in northern Gaza and could spread across the enclave by July, according to the world’s hunger watchdog, Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), said last week. Lazzarini warned that Israel’s decision would speed up the coming of famine in the north of the Strip and said that “many more will die of hunger, dehydration.” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), says Israel must “urgently reverse” its decision to block the entry of food convoys organized by UNRWA into northern Gaza, where humanitarian needs are most urgent. “The levels of hunger are acute. All efforts to deliver food should not only be permitted but there should be an immediate acceleration of food deliveries,” Ghebreyesus said in a post on X. Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, says he repeatedly urged Israel to lift all its restrictions on aid to Gaza. Still, it has now done the exact opposite. “UNRWA is the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza,” Griffiths said on X , “The decision to block its food convoys to the north only pushes thousands closer to famine. It must be revoked.” No other agency is able to provide lifesaving assistance in Gaza in the same way as UNRWA, Natalie Boucly, the deputy commissioner-general of the UN agency, has said on X. Boucly added that attempts to “isolate” UNRWA will result in more people dying, “UNRWA is part of the UN and it was given a specific mandate by the General Assembly.” In January, several countries cut funding to UNRWA following unverified Israeli allegations that less than a dozen employees participated in Hamas’s operation on October 7. While some countries, including Canada and Sweden, have since reinstated their funding, several countries, including the US, have yet to follow suit, which will have severe implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region. Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. “In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma,” the organization’s chief, Lazzarini, wrote on X. “Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs.” Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. The “dream” of many far-right politicians in Israel is to make Gaza “uninhabitable” for Palestinians, with the goal of re-establishing settlements for the Israelis, Ghafar continued. “The destruction of schools, hospitals, infrastructure [is making Gaza] almost unlivable and it will force the international community to take further refugees and thin out the population of Gaza,” he said. “I think Israel wants to have a big chunk of the population leave and become refugees elsewhere.” UN Resolution for ceasefire On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on yet another resolution regarding Israel’s war on Gaza. Since October seven, only two of eight resolutions have been accepted, with both mainly dealing with humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave. Guterres says the most recent UN Security Council resolution does not link a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli captives, reported Al Jazeera. In the resolution, “a ceasefire is required together with, but not in a linkage with, the unconditional release of all hostages,” he said. “And we have also claimed the need for that release.” Diplomats told the AFP news agency that the resolution had been worked on with the U.S. to avoid a veto, reported France 24. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. “We expect, barring a last-minute twist, that the resolution will be adopted and that the US will not vote against it,” one diplomat told AFP. Last Friday, the Security Council voted on a draft submitted by the U.S. that called for an “immediate” ceasefire linked to the release of captives. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, criticizing it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign. No progress on negotiations. Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have continued negotiations mediated by Qatar with little progress. Hamas’s political bureau official Basem Naim says a lot of “misinformation” has recently been circulated through the media regarding the ongoing truce talks in Doha, reported Al Jazeera. Naim said the Israelis are focusing on only one aspect of the negotiations, the release of captives, and are unwilling to discuss Hamas’s three demands – a permanent end to the war, “total withdrawal” from Gaza, and the return of displaced people to their homes. Hamas had proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for a permanent end to the war, total withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the return of displaced people to their homes; however, according to Al Jazeera, Israel rejected the demand to end the war and withdraw troops from Gaza. Al Jazeera added that Israeli negotiators said they would allow only 2,000 Palestinians to return to their homes each day, meaning it would take more than two years for all displaced Palestinians to leave Rafah. Meanwhile, Israel wants all Israeli captives released immediately. Hamas has indicated it will only release women and children in the first phase. As negotiations continue, Yossi Amrosi, an ex-senior official of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as admitting that the Israeli army does not have the means to return all captives currently held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups. Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said at the start of the war that it had taken 250 captives during its October 7 incursion into Israel. According to the Qassam Brigades, 50 captives have been killed in Israeli air raids. Israeli intelligence officers say 30 captives have died in Gaza so far since they were taken to the enclave. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Gaza’s hospitals, including rape, torture, mass executions, and soldiers crushing Palestinian bodies with tanks. Hamas says Israel’s systematic attack on hospitals is central to its “war of extermination.”
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 23, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,223 + killed* and at least 74,518 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on 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 commit eight massacres in Gaza, kill at least 84 people and injure 106.
    Israeli forces shell and bomb vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, killing one volunteer with PRCS.
    PRCS says Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both al-Amal Hospital and al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.”
    Wafa reports infected wounds of injured Palestinians inside al-Shifa due to lack of essential medical supplies.
    Al-Jazeera Arabic reports Israeli tanks ran over evacuating people from al-Shifa Hospital, shows blurred footage of Palestinian with marks of tank wheel on lower body.
    Jamila al-Hissi, survivor of storming of al-Shifa, tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”
    UN chief Antonio Guterres says “horror and starvation stalk the people of Gaza” in visit to Rafah crossing.
    U.S. Secretary of State warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Rafah offensive would “further isolate” Israel in the region.
    Netanyahu hopes to invade Rafah with “the support of the U.S., but if we have to – we will do it alone.”
    Hamas says 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza as “he did not escape the lack of food and medicine.”
    Dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem to mark Jewish holiday of Purim.
    Israeli forces block Palestinian Christians in occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to participate in Palm Sunday.
    Al-Amal Hospital in ‘extreme danger’ as Israel attacks

    Gaza’s two major hospitals were under attack on Sunday morning as thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been living under bombardment for the past 170 days.

    Overnight, Israeli forces committed eight massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 84 people and injuring 106. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings.

    Israeli forces shelled and bombed the vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Amir Abu Aisha, a volunteer with the PRCS, was killed by Israeli gunfire inside al-Amal.

    His last post on Instagram was a video of Israeli airstrikes near al-Amal.

    PRCS said the medical team inside the facility are “in extreme danger…and are completely immobilized.”

    “They are unable to bury the body of our colleague Amir Abu Aisha within the hospital’s backyard,” PRCS continued as Israeli forces razed and excavated the area.

    Since October, Israeli bombardment killed at least 364 medical workers in the Gaza Strip, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, and damaged dozens of clinics and ambulances.

    On Sunday morning, PRCS also said that Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.”

    PRCS said that one of the displaced Palestinians at al-Amal was “injured in the head,” while Israeli drones are ordering that all people inside the hospital “leave it naked.”

    “Smoke bombs are being launched at the hospital to force the staff, wounded, and displaced individuals to leave it,” the PRCS wrote on in a post on X.

    “Israeli vehicles [are] surrounding Al-Amal Hospital and are now bulldozing the area in front and around it and closing the hospital gates with barriers,” the post added.

    Israeli atrocities in al-Shifa, say eyewitnesses

    In northern Gaza, al-Shifa Hospital has been under Israeli assault for a week.

    Israeli forces continued to besiege, shell, and bomb al-Shifa Hospital and its vicinity for the seventh day in a row, saying that Hamas senior leaders had used the facility, a claim which the movement denies.

    Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians and officials while storming al-Shifa, including Faiq al-Mabhouh, an officer in the Gaza Police force who was responsible for the successful deliveries of food, rice, and flour to thousands of inhabitants of northern Gaza.

    Hamas accused Israel of attempting to spread chaos and civilian disorder by killing officials who coordinate with clans, the UN, and international groups to prevent a famine in the north Gaza.

    On Saturday afternoon, at least five people were killed by Israel and several injured in the al-Shifa medical complex, while Palestinians and medical staff have been living with little food and water. Wafa news agency reported that the wounds of some injured Palestinians inside Al-Shifa got infected and inflamed amid the lack of essential medical supplies.

    Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that Israeli tanks ran over Palestinians who were ordered to evacuate the hospital. Al-Jazeera released blurred footage of a person’s dead body with marks of a tank wheel on his lower body.

    Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who survived the Israeli storming of al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”

    “This is what we witnessed. They raped women. They kidnapped women. they executed women, pulled bodies from under the rubble, and unleashed their dogs to eat them. Is there anything worse?” Al-Hissi told Al-Jazeera in a phone call.

    She left with her daughter, who was bleeding, and evacuated a building belonging to the UN Development Program (UNDP), which was set on fire by Israeli forces, who also burned and destroyed several buildings surrounding al-Shifa in the past days.

    It is unclear how many people remain inside al-Shifa, but prior to Israel’s second storming of the hospital since November, there were 7,000 patients and injured people receiving treatment administered by hundreds of medical staff.

    Al-Shifa is one of Gaza’s oldest medical facilities, built on top of a British barracks in 1946.

    The complex includes several buildings for surgery, internal disease, obstetrics and gynecology, a nursery for premature babies, an emergency department, intensive care units, a radiology department, and a blood bank. Some of these buildings have been damaged, burned by Israel, or have ceased operating fully due to the lack of fuel to generate electricity.

    The complex is built on 45,000 square meters of land west of Gaza City. Prior to October of last year, al-Shifa employed 1,500 medical staff, including 500 doctors and 760 nurses.

    Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, said on Sunday that “Horror & starvation stalk the people of Gaza.”

    “Any further onslaught will make everything worse. Worse for Palestinian civilians, for the hostages, for all people of the region,” he added.

    Guterres visited Egypt on Saturday to inspect the Rafah land crossing, and al-Arish General Hospital in northern Sinai to check on injured Palestinians receiving treatment.

    Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Younis, and Deir al-Balah

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces bombed a house in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing at least eight people in the al-Hakar area. Meanwhile, in Rafah, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of eight Palestinians under the rubble of a bombed house belonging to the Farwana family in the Jneina neighborhood.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli forces heavily bombed areas in the southeastern part of the city, besieging the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals. In Rafah, they bombed a house near the Rabaa School, killing at least two people, Wafa reported.

    The Israeli government has vowed to invade Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are currently displaced and live in shelters. During his visit to Israel on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that an offensive on Rafah would “further isolate” Israel in the region, according to Reuters.

    Blinken, who met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” although the U.S. shares Israel’s goal to “defeat Hamas.”

    “It risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardizing its long-term security and standing,” Blinken said during a press briefing after the meeting.

    Netanyahu, however, appeared to be undeterred in invading Rafah, stating in a video statement that he told Blinken, “I hope we will do it with the support of the U.S., but if we have to — we will do it alone.”

    Meanwhile, fighting is still ongoing between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday, Hamas said that a 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza.

    “Although he survived the army’s attack, he did not escape the lack of food and medicine,” the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades wrote in a video message.

    In another video, Hamas fighters fired al-Yaseen 105mm anti-tank shells on Israeli military vehicles in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

    Israel had been blocking sufficient food and medical supplies from entering Gaza, although some of them were funded or sponsored by ally countries such as the UK.

    The Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, accused Israel last week of delaying U.K. aid to Gaza, which was stopped at the crossing point for three weeks.

    Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Pruim

    Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim, which ends on Monday.

    Israeli forces emptied the al-Aqsa compound of Palestinian worshippers on Saturday evening in preparation for the settlers’ tour, Wafa reported. Israeli forces barred Palestinians from staying overnight in al-Aqsa’s al-Qibli mosque after Ramadan’s tarawih prayers ended, which were attended by 45,000 people.

    During Ramadan, it is worshippers often stay in mosques overnight to pray after tarawih. In 2021, Israeli forces raided the al-Qibli mosque, firing bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters at worshipers who were performing night prayers and reciting the Quran.

    Israeli settlers’ storming of al-Aqsa further escalated tensions in the city, according to Wafa, as Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from entering the site on Sunday morning.

    Wafa said that two settlers were dressed up as Jewish temple priests. Settlers have long stated their wish to rebuild the third Jewish temple in the middle of the al-Aqsa compound atop the Dome of the Rock.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces blocked Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to take part in the commemoration of Palm Sunday, the anniversary of Jesus’s entry into the city. Those who participated in the ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were Palestinians from Jerusalem or from inside Israel.

    Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight, from the towns of Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and also Jerusalem. Since October, 7,755 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This figure, released by the Ministry of Detainees’ and Ex-Destainees’ Affairs, does not include Palestinians who were released later or those arrested from the Gaza Strip.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-170-israel-assaults-al-shifa-nasser-and-al-amal-hospitals-in-one-day/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 23, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,223 + killed* and at least 74,518 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on 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 commit eight massacres in Gaza, kill at least 84 people and injure 106. Israeli forces shell and bomb vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, killing one volunteer with PRCS. PRCS says Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both al-Amal Hospital and al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.” Wafa reports infected wounds of injured Palestinians inside al-Shifa due to lack of essential medical supplies. Al-Jazeera Arabic reports Israeli tanks ran over evacuating people from al-Shifa Hospital, shows blurred footage of Palestinian with marks of tank wheel on lower body. Jamila al-Hissi, survivor of storming of al-Shifa, tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” UN chief Antonio Guterres says “horror and starvation stalk the people of Gaza” in visit to Rafah crossing. U.S. Secretary of State warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Rafah offensive would “further isolate” Israel in the region. Netanyahu hopes to invade Rafah with “the support of the U.S., but if we have to – we will do it alone.” Hamas says 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza as “he did not escape the lack of food and medicine.” Dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem to mark Jewish holiday of Purim. Israeli forces block Palestinian Christians in occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to participate in Palm Sunday. Al-Amal Hospital in ‘extreme danger’ as Israel attacks Gaza’s two major hospitals were under attack on Sunday morning as thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been living under bombardment for the past 170 days. Overnight, Israeli forces committed eight massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 84 people and injuring 106. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings. Israeli forces shelled and bombed the vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Amir Abu Aisha, a volunteer with the PRCS, was killed by Israeli gunfire inside al-Amal. His last post on Instagram was a video of Israeli airstrikes near al-Amal. PRCS said the medical team inside the facility are “in extreme danger…and are completely immobilized.” “They are unable to bury the body of our colleague Amir Abu Aisha within the hospital’s backyard,” PRCS continued as Israeli forces razed and excavated the area. Since October, Israeli bombardment killed at least 364 medical workers in the Gaza Strip, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, and damaged dozens of clinics and ambulances. On Sunday morning, PRCS also said that Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.” PRCS said that one of the displaced Palestinians at al-Amal was “injured in the head,” while Israeli drones are ordering that all people inside the hospital “leave it naked.” “Smoke bombs are being launched at the hospital to force the staff, wounded, and displaced individuals to leave it,” the PRCS wrote on in a post on X. “Israeli vehicles [are] surrounding Al-Amal Hospital and are now bulldozing the area in front and around it and closing the hospital gates with barriers,” the post added. Israeli atrocities in al-Shifa, say eyewitnesses In northern Gaza, al-Shifa Hospital has been under Israeli assault for a week. Israeli forces continued to besiege, shell, and bomb al-Shifa Hospital and its vicinity for the seventh day in a row, saying that Hamas senior leaders had used the facility, a claim which the movement denies. Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians and officials while storming al-Shifa, including Faiq al-Mabhouh, an officer in the Gaza Police force who was responsible for the successful deliveries of food, rice, and flour to thousands of inhabitants of northern Gaza. Hamas accused Israel of attempting to spread chaos and civilian disorder by killing officials who coordinate with clans, the UN, and international groups to prevent a famine in the north Gaza. On Saturday afternoon, at least five people were killed by Israel and several injured in the al-Shifa medical complex, while Palestinians and medical staff have been living with little food and water. Wafa news agency reported that the wounds of some injured Palestinians inside Al-Shifa got infected and inflamed amid the lack of essential medical supplies. Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that Israeli tanks ran over Palestinians who were ordered to evacuate the hospital. Al-Jazeera released blurred footage of a person’s dead body with marks of a tank wheel on his lower body. Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who survived the Israeli storming of al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” “This is what we witnessed. They raped women. They kidnapped women. they executed women, pulled bodies from under the rubble, and unleashed their dogs to eat them. Is there anything worse?” Al-Hissi told Al-Jazeera in a phone call. She left with her daughter, who was bleeding, and evacuated a building belonging to the UN Development Program (UNDP), which was set on fire by Israeli forces, who also burned and destroyed several buildings surrounding al-Shifa in the past days. It is unclear how many people remain inside al-Shifa, but prior to Israel’s second storming of the hospital since November, there were 7,000 patients and injured people receiving treatment administered by hundreds of medical staff. Al-Shifa is one of Gaza’s oldest medical facilities, built on top of a British barracks in 1946. The complex includes several buildings for surgery, internal disease, obstetrics and gynecology, a nursery for premature babies, an emergency department, intensive care units, a radiology department, and a blood bank. Some of these buildings have been damaged, burned by Israel, or have ceased operating fully due to the lack of fuel to generate electricity. The complex is built on 45,000 square meters of land west of Gaza City. Prior to October of last year, al-Shifa employed 1,500 medical staff, including 500 doctors and 760 nurses. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, said on Sunday that “Horror & starvation stalk the people of Gaza.” “Any further onslaught will make everything worse. Worse for Palestinian civilians, for the hostages, for all people of the region,” he added. Guterres visited Egypt on Saturday to inspect the Rafah land crossing, and al-Arish General Hospital in northern Sinai to check on injured Palestinians receiving treatment. Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Younis, and Deir al-Balah Wafa reported that Israeli forces bombed a house in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing at least eight people in the al-Hakar area. Meanwhile, in Rafah, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of eight Palestinians under the rubble of a bombed house belonging to the Farwana family in the Jneina neighborhood. In Khan Younis, Israeli forces heavily bombed areas in the southeastern part of the city, besieging the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals. In Rafah, they bombed a house near the Rabaa School, killing at least two people, Wafa reported. The Israeli government has vowed to invade Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are currently displaced and live in shelters. During his visit to Israel on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that an offensive on Rafah would “further isolate” Israel in the region, according to Reuters. Blinken, who met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” although the U.S. shares Israel’s goal to “defeat Hamas.” “It risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardizing its long-term security and standing,” Blinken said during a press briefing after the meeting. Netanyahu, however, appeared to be undeterred in invading Rafah, stating in a video statement that he told Blinken, “I hope we will do it with the support of the U.S., but if we have to — we will do it alone.” Meanwhile, fighting is still ongoing between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday, Hamas said that a 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza. “Although he survived the army’s attack, he did not escape the lack of food and medicine,” the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades wrote in a video message. In another video, Hamas fighters fired al-Yaseen 105mm anti-tank shells on Israeli military vehicles in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Israel had been blocking sufficient food and medical supplies from entering Gaza, although some of them were funded or sponsored by ally countries such as the UK. The Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, accused Israel last week of delaying U.K. aid to Gaza, which was stopped at the crossing point for three weeks. Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Pruim Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim, which ends on Monday. Israeli forces emptied the al-Aqsa compound of Palestinian worshippers on Saturday evening in preparation for the settlers’ tour, Wafa reported. Israeli forces barred Palestinians from staying overnight in al-Aqsa’s al-Qibli mosque after Ramadan’s tarawih prayers ended, which were attended by 45,000 people. During Ramadan, it is worshippers often stay in mosques overnight to pray after tarawih. In 2021, Israeli forces raided the al-Qibli mosque, firing bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters at worshipers who were performing night prayers and reciting the Quran. Israeli settlers’ storming of al-Aqsa further escalated tensions in the city, according to Wafa, as Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from entering the site on Sunday morning. Wafa said that two settlers were dressed up as Jewish temple priests. Settlers have long stated their wish to rebuild the third Jewish temple in the middle of the al-Aqsa compound atop the Dome of the Rock. Meanwhile, Israeli forces blocked Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to take part in the commemoration of Palm Sunday, the anniversary of Jesus’s entry into the city. Those who participated in the ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were Palestinians from Jerusalem or from inside Israel. Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight, from the towns of Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and also Jerusalem. Since October, 7,755 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This figure, released by the Ministry of Detainees’ and Ex-Destainees’ Affairs, does not include Palestinians who were released later or those arrested from the Gaza Strip. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-170-israel-assaults-al-shifa-nasser-and-al-amal-hospitals-in-one-day/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day
    Israeli forces ordered Palestinians inside al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis to leave “naked,” while survivors of the al-Shifa Hospital raid witnessed numerous atrocities committed by the Israeli army. In Jerusalem, Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa.
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  • CV19 Vaxed and Unvaxed Need Treatment Now – Dr. Betsy Eads
    Greg Hunter
    On March 24, 2024 In Market Analysis 180 Comments
    »

    »

    CV19 Vaxed and Unvaxed Need Treatment Now – Dr. Betsy Eads

    By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Saturday Night Post)

    Dr. Betsy Eads warned about extreme disease and death coming because of the CV19 bioweapon/vax since the beginning of Covid from infection to injection. She warned about AIDS, infertility, turbo cancers, heart disease, blood clots and many other problems caused by the CV19 bioweapon injection. Dr. Eads was right every single time. Now, Dr. Eads is saying everyone needs treatment whether you are CV19 vaxed or unvaxed. Dr. Eads explains, “We are getting transmission from the vaxed to the unvaxed. We are getting chemtrails. They are putting the mRNA in our food. People have to understand, people need to detox and protect yourself whether you are vaxed or not. I contend everybody should be taking some Ivermectin.”

    What about the so-called “Long Covid” that people are experiencing in the last few years? Dr. Eads says, “My definition of ‘Long Covid’ is vax injury and/or transmission from the spike protein . . . injured. I think that term has evolved, and Dr. Kory is also including that definition with his vaccine injured patients. He is treating not only vaccine injured patients but patients that have been injured by transmission from the CV19 vaxed. We know transmission (from the CV19 vaxed) is a real thing.”

    A little more than a year ago on USAWatchdog.com, Dr. Eads predicted “At Least 1 Billion Dead or Disabled from CV19 Bioweapon.” We have already eclipsed that number, and there is no end in sight with new and skyrocketing death and injury numbers. Dr. Eads says, “Ed Dowd’s numbers, actuary numbers and looking at UK numbers finds 2.2 billion people permanently injured or killed by the CV19 vax. If you look at the Deagel Report, we may see some huge population losses by 2025. The Deagel predictions show the US falling from 330 million to 89 million people. In the UK, Deagel predicts population will fall from 67 million to 15 million people as a direct result of the Covid 19 bioweapons.”

    When does the death and disability peak? Dr. Eads says, “On a previous interview here, I said we would get our peak in five years. We are seeing huge numbers in the DMED data. That’s the military data, and it is more accurate than VAERS data. 97% of our military was CV19 vaxed. In that data, which is very accurate, cancers have increased across the board 1,000%. We do have some treatments to handle the spike protein from the CV19 shots. . . . but we don’t have any treatment to shut down the mRNA that produces the spike protein. . . .So, these numbers may go up exponentially until we have treatments.”

    One way to lessen the disabilities and deaths from the CV19 vax is to use Ivermectin. Dr. Eads says it is one of the best and safest treatments out there now to treat CV19 for the vaxed or unvaxed being shed on by the vaxed. The FDA just settled a lawsuit from Dr. Pierre Kory and other doctors. Dr. Eads says, “Breaking news that has just come out is the FDA loses the war on Ivermectin. The FDA has to retract . . . anything that was negative about Ivermectin.”

    So, it looks like Ivermectin will be getting easier to get a prescription with the FDA doing an about face on Ivermectin, which is arguably the safest and most effective drug ever invented.

    There is much more cutting edge, frontline medical information in the nearly 44-minute interview.

    Join Greg Hunter as he talks to 25-year veteran Dr. Elizabeth Eads, DO, exposing the lies that Big Pharma, CDC, FDA and NIH are telling the public. Dr. Eads continues to highlight the real unreported effects of the CV19 bioweapons..

    (To Donate to USAWatchdog.com Click Here)

    After the Interview:

    You can follow Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Eads on Twitter, Telegram and Truth Social Dr Betsy and CloutHub DrEads

    Dr. Eads has a new website called HealingHumanityWorldwide.com.

    Dr. Eads also recommends FLCCC.net and the “I-RECOVER: post vaccine treatment.”

    You can help Dr. Eads continue her mission to get the truth out about everything CV19 vax by donating here: Pay $Docbetsy55 on Cash App, or you can use Dr. Betsy’s Venmo account to donate.

    (Please support the truth tellers!!)

    You can support Dr. Betsy Eads by snail mail below:

    124 N. Nova Road

    #105

    Ormond Beach, FL 32174

    Protocols

    FLCCC.NET : I-RECOVER: post vaccine treatment

    therealdrjudy.com: Recovery Protocol bundle
    Detox Bundle- Ener DMG liquid 60 (dimethylglycine)

    Dr Eads protocols:

    Acute Symtoms: Ivermectin/HCQ
    NAC/Glutathione
    Humic/fulvic minerals
    Bioactive immune support
    Quercetin
    Melatonin
    Zinc
    Copper
    Vitamin D3
    Vitamin C
    Selenium
    Budesonide inhaler
    nattokinase
    Hydrogen peroxide nasal wash or
    Nanonist nasal/mouth spray
    Zithromax/Doxycycline

    Detox Bioweapon: HCQ/IVM- ivermectin.com
    Interferon spray- rupharma.com
    Iodine 12.5 mg
    Chlorine dioxide- kvlabs.com
    NAC/Glutathione
    Quercetin
    Selenium
    Copper
    Chromium/Berberine
    Cardiocleans
    Ener [email protected]
    Humic/fulvic minerals
    Nanomist
    IV chelation therapy
    Zeolite- www.life-enthusiast.com
    Fenebendazole
    Infrared sauna
    Suramin- mahoneylive.com
    nattokinase
    Turn off 5G/block – bodyalign.com
    Clean nutrition
    Clean water, no GMO
    Do not treat fever with advil/tylenol

    Stay Connected
    Advertise
    Related Posts:

    CV19 Vaxed are Sick Superspreaders - Dr. Betsy Eads
    Cancer is Exploding because of CV19 Vax – Dr. Betsy Eads
    CV19 Vax Humanitarian Catastrophe being Turbocharged without Treatment – Dr. Pierre Kory
    CV19 Vax is a Crime & Coverup – Ed Dowd
    Iran War, Border War, CV19 Vax War, Economic War


    https://usawatchdog.com/cv19-vaxed-and-unvaxed-need-treatment-now-dr-betsy-eads/
    CV19 Vaxed and Unvaxed Need Treatment Now – Dr. Betsy Eads Greg Hunter On March 24, 2024 In Market Analysis 180 Comments » » CV19 Vaxed and Unvaxed Need Treatment Now – Dr. Betsy Eads By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Saturday Night Post) Dr. Betsy Eads warned about extreme disease and death coming because of the CV19 bioweapon/vax since the beginning of Covid from infection to injection. She warned about AIDS, infertility, turbo cancers, heart disease, blood clots and many other problems caused by the CV19 bioweapon injection. Dr. Eads was right every single time. Now, Dr. Eads is saying everyone needs treatment whether you are CV19 vaxed or unvaxed. Dr. Eads explains, “We are getting transmission from the vaxed to the unvaxed. We are getting chemtrails. They are putting the mRNA in our food. People have to understand, people need to detox and protect yourself whether you are vaxed or not. I contend everybody should be taking some Ivermectin.” What about the so-called “Long Covid” that people are experiencing in the last few years? Dr. Eads says, “My definition of ‘Long Covid’ is vax injury and/or transmission from the spike protein . . . injured. I think that term has evolved, and Dr. Kory is also including that definition with his vaccine injured patients. He is treating not only vaccine injured patients but patients that have been injured by transmission from the CV19 vaxed. We know transmission (from the CV19 vaxed) is a real thing.” A little more than a year ago on USAWatchdog.com, Dr. Eads predicted “At Least 1 Billion Dead or Disabled from CV19 Bioweapon.” We have already eclipsed that number, and there is no end in sight with new and skyrocketing death and injury numbers. Dr. Eads says, “Ed Dowd’s numbers, actuary numbers and looking at UK numbers finds 2.2 billion people permanently injured or killed by the CV19 vax. If you look at the Deagel Report, we may see some huge population losses by 2025. The Deagel predictions show the US falling from 330 million to 89 million people. In the UK, Deagel predicts population will fall from 67 million to 15 million people as a direct result of the Covid 19 bioweapons.” When does the death and disability peak? Dr. Eads says, “On a previous interview here, I said we would get our peak in five years. We are seeing huge numbers in the DMED data. That’s the military data, and it is more accurate than VAERS data. 97% of our military was CV19 vaxed. In that data, which is very accurate, cancers have increased across the board 1,000%. We do have some treatments to handle the spike protein from the CV19 shots. . . . but we don’t have any treatment to shut down the mRNA that produces the spike protein. . . .So, these numbers may go up exponentially until we have treatments.” One way to lessen the disabilities and deaths from the CV19 vax is to use Ivermectin. Dr. Eads says it is one of the best and safest treatments out there now to treat CV19 for the vaxed or unvaxed being shed on by the vaxed. The FDA just settled a lawsuit from Dr. Pierre Kory and other doctors. Dr. Eads says, “Breaking news that has just come out is the FDA loses the war on Ivermectin. The FDA has to retract . . . anything that was negative about Ivermectin.” So, it looks like Ivermectin will be getting easier to get a prescription with the FDA doing an about face on Ivermectin, which is arguably the safest and most effective drug ever invented. There is much more cutting edge, frontline medical information in the nearly 44-minute interview. Join Greg Hunter as he talks to 25-year veteran Dr. Elizabeth Eads, DO, exposing the lies that Big Pharma, CDC, FDA and NIH are telling the public. Dr. Eads continues to highlight the real unreported effects of the CV19 bioweapons.. (To Donate to USAWatchdog.com Click Here) After the Interview: You can follow Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Eads on Twitter, Telegram and Truth Social Dr Betsy and CloutHub DrEads Dr. Eads has a new website called HealingHumanityWorldwide.com. Dr. Eads also recommends FLCCC.net and the “I-RECOVER: post vaccine treatment.” You can help Dr. Eads continue her mission to get the truth out about everything CV19 vax by donating here: Pay $Docbetsy55 on Cash App, or you can use Dr. Betsy’s Venmo account to donate. (Please support the truth tellers!!) You can support Dr. Betsy Eads by snail mail below: 124 N. Nova Road #105 Ormond Beach, FL 32174 Protocols FLCCC.NET : I-RECOVER: post vaccine treatment therealdrjudy.com: Recovery Protocol bundle Detox Bundle- Ener DMG liquid 60 (dimethylglycine) Dr Eads protocols: Acute Symtoms: Ivermectin/HCQ NAC/Glutathione Humic/fulvic minerals Bioactive immune support Quercetin Melatonin Zinc Copper Vitamin D3 Vitamin C Selenium Budesonide inhaler nattokinase Hydrogen peroxide nasal wash or Nanonist nasal/mouth spray Zithromax/Doxycycline Detox Bioweapon: HCQ/IVM- ivermectin.com Interferon spray- rupharma.com Iodine 12.5 mg Chlorine dioxide- kvlabs.com NAC/Glutathione Quercetin Selenium Copper Chromium/Berberine Cardiocleans Ener [email protected] Humic/fulvic minerals Nanomist IV chelation therapy Zeolite- www.life-enthusiast.com Fenebendazole Infrared sauna Suramin- mahoneylive.com nattokinase Turn off 5G/block – bodyalign.com Clean nutrition Clean water, no GMO Do not treat fever with advil/tylenol Stay Connected Advertise Related Posts: CV19 Vaxed are Sick Superspreaders - Dr. Betsy Eads Cancer is Exploding because of CV19 Vax – Dr. Betsy Eads CV19 Vax Humanitarian Catastrophe being Turbocharged without Treatment – Dr. Pierre Kory CV19 Vax is a Crime & Coverup – Ed Dowd Iran War, Border War, CV19 Vax War, Economic War https://usawatchdog.com/cv19-vaxed-and-unvaxed-need-treatment-now-dr-betsy-eads/
    USAWATCHDOG.COM
    CV19 Vaxed and Unvaxed Need Treatment Now – Dr. Betsy Eads
    By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Saturday Night Post) Dr. Betsy Eads warned about extreme disease and death coming because of the CV19 bioweapon/vax since the beginning of Covid from infection to injection. She warned about AIDS, infertility, turbo cancers, heart disease, blood clots and many other problems caused by the CV19 bioweapon injection. Dr. Eads was
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  • NOT FEELING SAFE IN AMERICA? PRAY AND BUY A GUN
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/k07abPQ11lJl/
    NOT FEELING SAFE IN AMERICA? PRAY AND BUY A GUN https://www.bitchute.com/video/k07abPQ11lJl/
    Like
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024
    Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images)
    A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages)
    Casualties

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

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

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

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    Key Developments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza

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

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

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

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

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

    One kilogram of flour for every 25 people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions

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

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

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

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

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

    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.


    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/


    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024 Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images) A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages) Casualties 31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Key Developments Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza. Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza. Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee. In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf. Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns. Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family. Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents. Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament. Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.” Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening. Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza. Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp. Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food. The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush. In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee. Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it. On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.” Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza. Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies. However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel. One kilogram of flour for every 25 people Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs. Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms. “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent. “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added. Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.” Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added. Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs. Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones. “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.” Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.” Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions. “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said. “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN. “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added. Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured. Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported. In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment. In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house. Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive. “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.” An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border. Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories. Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.” Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday. He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities. The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”. The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon. Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody. Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening. In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus. Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa reported. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/ πŸ‘‰https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Hamas slams Israel for “spreading chaos” after an Israeli airstrike killed two local police officers in charge of securing and delivering food to north Gaza. In the West Bank, Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians.
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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