• HIS WORD ABOVE HIS NAME [PS.138:2]

    THE LEPROSY IN OUR LIVES!(MK.1:40-42)

    I can't explain why before I complete a series,I am burdened to go fishing elsewhere.
    BASED ON MY OWN PERSONAL EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT, THE SERVANT OF GOD I WILL ALWAYS RESPECT MOST AT ALL TIMES,*W.F.KUMUYI, PREACHED A MESSAGE,AND IN ALL SINCERITY,I CRIED MY EYES OUT.


    40. And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
    41. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
    42. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. (Mar 1: 40-42)

    A leper came to Christ Jesus ,knelt and bowed before Him,and beseeched and implored Him, I KNOW YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL ME, IF YOU WANT TO.

    You might not know the absolute hopelessness that led the leper. It was a daring move... either healed by Christ Jesus or lynched the mob. You need to know that the leprous had their own colony(separated from human beings.)

    It's an incurable disease, probably till today. But the leper came with the notion that Christ Jesus,who is God who came to save us is NOT PARTIAL, unlike man. AND CHRIST JESUS HAD COMPASSION ON HIM AND SAID *1 WILL BE THOUGH CLEAN*


    Now, the story of the LEPROUS man is a representation of the SIN IN OUR LIVES.
    Sin is a leprous situation that only salvation through Christ Jesus can heal us from.
    The corruption of leprosy skin begins from the inside, until it eventually breaks out on the outside. And once you're discovered,you are separated from man and (God then)

    It's the same for the sinner...sin separates you from man and God.
    But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64: 6)

    We all are leprous in one way or other... we become so accustomed to LEPROSY.
    For a real PHYSICAL LEPER, a time comes when they become insensitive to pain on their skin. If you prick them with a sharp object,they will not feel any pain.

    At this point,they see nothing wrong in sin anymore...the fornication, the lies,the. cheatings, and all the other evils seem normal to us...we mock those who preach the truth to us...AT
    THIS POINT WE ARE SIN LEPROUS ...WE CALL SIN ENJOYMENT ;
    18. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
    19. Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Eph 4: 18-19)
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Co 4: 4)

    WE ARE SO MANY LEPROUS IN THE WORLD TODAY... WITH CHRISTIAN IDENTITY AND SO MANY TITLES...NOT KNOWING WE ARE LEPROUS IN VARIOUS AREAS OF OUR LIVES. PHYSICAL LEPROSY EATING DEEP INTO OUR SO CALLED LONG YEARS OF SALVATION MEDALS.

    But the LEPROUS man realized that he cannot afford to be ALIENATED FROM GOD and man. He realized no recommended soap can heal him but Christ Jesus.

    So, he thought to himself,it must only be through Christ Jesus alone. And Christ Jesus has COMPASSION and healed him.

    That's why God says ;
    18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    19. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    20. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isa 1: 18-20)

    He wants us to come to Him like the LEPROUS man came to Him. THE COMPASSION OF CHRIST JESUS HAS NOT CHANGED.

    But know ye that REFUSAL TO COME TO GOD IS REBELLION.
    I pray for us that we shall not be found in the list of rebellion, but that every one of us tonight SHOULD EXPERIENCE THE CLEANSING OF EVERY LEPROUS SITUATION IN OUR LIVES IN CHRIST JESUS NAME AMEN !
    HIS WORD ABOVE HIS NAME [PS.138:2] 🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥🚥 THE LEPROSY IN OUR LIVES!(MK.1:40-42) 🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️🛏️ I can't explain why before I complete a series,I am burdened to go fishing elsewhere. BASED ON MY OWN PERSONAL EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT, THE SERVANT OF GOD I WILL ALWAYS RESPECT MOST AT ALL TIMES,*W.F.KUMUYI, PREACHED A MESSAGE,AND IN ALL SINCERITY,I CRIED MY EYES OUT. 40. And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. (Mar 1: 40-42) A leper came to Christ Jesus ,knelt and bowed before Him,and beseeched and implored Him, I KNOW YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL ME, IF YOU WANT TO. You might not know the absolute hopelessness that led the leper. It was a daring move... either healed by Christ Jesus or lynched the mob. You need to know that the leprous had their own colony(separated from human beings.) It's an incurable disease, probably till today. But the leper came with the notion that Christ Jesus,who is God who came to save us is NOT PARTIAL, unlike man. AND CHRIST JESUS HAD COMPASSION ON HIM AND SAID *1 WILL BE THOUGH CLEAN* Now, the story of the LEPROUS man is a representation of the SIN IN OUR LIVES. Sin is a leprous situation that only salvation through Christ Jesus can heal us from. The corruption of leprosy skin begins from the inside, until it eventually breaks out on the outside. And once you're discovered,you are separated from man and (God then) It's the same for the sinner...sin separates you from man and God. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64: 6) We all are leprous in one way or other... we become so accustomed to LEPROSY. For a real PHYSICAL LEPER, a time comes when they become insensitive to pain on their skin. If you prick them with a sharp object,they will not feel any pain. At this point,they see nothing wrong in sin anymore...the fornication, the lies,the. cheatings, and all the other evils seem normal to us...we mock those who preach the truth to us...AT THIS POINT WE ARE SIN LEPROUS ...WE CALL SIN ENJOYMENT ; 18. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19. Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Eph 4: 18-19) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Co 4: 4) WE ARE SO MANY LEPROUS IN THE WORLD TODAY... WITH CHRISTIAN IDENTITY AND SO MANY TITLES...NOT KNOWING WE ARE LEPROUS IN VARIOUS AREAS OF OUR LIVES. PHYSICAL LEPROSY EATING DEEP INTO OUR SO CALLED LONG YEARS OF SALVATION MEDALS. But the LEPROUS man realized that he cannot afford to be ALIENATED FROM GOD and man. He realized no recommended soap can heal him but Christ Jesus. So, he thought to himself,it must only be through Christ Jesus alone. And Christ Jesus has COMPASSION and healed him. That's why God says ; 18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isa 1: 18-20) He wants us to come to Him like the LEPROUS man came to Him. THE COMPASSION OF CHRIST JESUS HAS NOT CHANGED. But know ye that REFUSAL TO COME TO GOD IS REBELLION. I pray for us that we shall not be found in the list of rebellion, but that every one of us tonight SHOULD EXPERIENCE THE CLEANSING OF EVERY LEPROUS SITUATION IN OUR LIVES IN CHRIST JESUS NAME AMEN 🙏🙇 !
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  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The truth itself isn’t profitable.

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

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

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

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

    Scientism isn’t actually science.

    Calling it science doesn’t make it science.

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

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

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

    More toxins, less nutrients: you get sick.

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

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

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

    Share

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

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

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

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

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

    What are all those toxins and nutrients?

    How can we go about determining what they might be?




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How much can it possibly move the needle?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    If the sun winked out everything, everywhere would die.

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

    Not that more sun makes you sicker.

    The more sun the better.

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

    Share

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

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


    YOU NEED ANYTHING? TEA, COFFEE … VITAMIN D?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We must spend more money researching it!


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

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

    We know what causes illness and health.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Either way just do it.

    Consult The Hakim

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

    by James Corbett
    corbettreport.com
    May 26, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Is The Doomsday Book?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How Did The Doomsday Book Get Released?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Is In The Doomsday Book?


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

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

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

    Volume I – Pre-2008 Legal Documents

    Volume II – Post-2008 Legal Documents

    Volume III – Memoranda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

    Good questions!

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

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

    What Does It Mean?


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

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

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

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

    Per Kuvvet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Like this type of essay? Then you’ll love The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter, which contains my weekly editorial as well as recommended reading, viewing and listening. If you’re a Corbett Report member, you can sign in to corbettreport.com and read the newsletter today.

    Not a member yet? Sign up today to access the newsletter and support this work.


    https://open.substack.com/pub/corbettreport/p/the-feds-doomsday-book-has-been-revealed?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
    The Fed's "Doomsday Book" Has Been Revealed The Corbett Report by James Corbett corbettreport.com May 26, 2024 Back in 2011, shareholders of insurance giant American International Group (AIG) filed a $40 billion class action lawsuit against the US government over the terms of its controversial bailout of AIG during the 2008 financial crisis. In 2014, the trial case came to focus on an intriguing oddity. In cross-examination, the plaintiffs learned of a set of documents that the New York Fed—the heart of America's Federal Reserve central bank and the primary wheeler-dealer in the chaotic days of the global financial collapse—dramatically refers to as its "Doomsday Book." This book, it was discovered, contained the various legal opinions and memoranda that the Fed used to determine what power it has to manipulate the financial system in the event of a large-scale crisis. And, it seemed, there was a good chance that the central broke its own rules with all its bailout shenanigans and financial sleight-of-hand during the 2008 collapse. However, the plaintiffs' reasonable request to see the book and examine these supposed emergency powers was immediately rebuffed by the Fed. New York Fed lawyer John S. Kiernan, for example, was adamant that the Fed would not open up the book for the court. "Of the tens of thousands of documents that we have produced in this case, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has sought to retain confidentiality because of the internal sensitivity of only this one," he told the United States Court of Federal Claims. The court was eventually able to pry the relevant documents out of the Fed's clutches, but the Doomsday Book has remained under court seal for years . . . until now. Late last year, an enterprising researcher managed to get his hands on a copy of the elusive book. And what that book contains should shock you (if you're paying attention). What Is The Doomsday Book? The very first thing to note about the "Doomsday Book" is that you can now read it for yourself! . . . kind of. I'll get into that qualification in a bit. But first, I do recommend you download the publicly available content for yourself. You can download it as a PDF file from The Wall Street Journal website HERE. And, since Corbett Reporteers might not like to give WSJ their traffic (and because these types of files have a pesky habit of disappearing down the internet rabbit hole), I've also gone ahead and preserved a copy on my server HERE! (You're welcome!) Still, you never know when/if/how information online will go missing or become inaccessible, so don't dither. Download it now, while you can! Alright, now that you have a copy saved locally, here's the first question: what is the doomsday book, exactly? The short answer—taken from an article announcing its release last December—is that the doomsday book is "an internal document used to guide the Federal Reserve’s actions during emergencies." The longer answer is that the Doomsday Book is not a book at all. Instead, it's a collection of documents, legal opinions and memoranda that have been assembled and maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) over the course of decades. It was first compiled in the 1990s and has been revised four times, thus creating five versions of the "book" (that we know of). The latest version is Version 5.0 and it includes extensive revisions to various memoranda and opinions—revisions that were made to reflect the legal and regulatory changes wrought by the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (see the "Note on Legal Evolution" on page 46 of the PDF document). According to the Prefatory Matters section of the latest revision (page 44 of the PDF document): The Doomsday Book is intended to help lawyers of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York aid their clients in crisis management. It was originally distributed to a limited set of lawyers and select senior staff members. This has changed with time, as more lawyers are drawn into crisis management. Now, all FRBNY lawyers receive a copy of the Doomsday Book. The same passage also explains that the book "is not intended as an 'off-the-shelf' solution to any particular crisis" but as a "playbook" of general advice that may require modification depending on the circumstances. So, the next question to be answered is . . . How Did The Doomsday Book Get Released? As indicated above, the Doomsday Book first came to the public's attention during the 2014 Starr International Co. v. United States trial, in which AIG shareholders were suing the government over the Fed's questionable bailout practices. (If you need a primer on that trial to bring you up to speed, you're in luck! I wrote an article about the case and its startling conclusion in these very pages nine years ago!) During the trial, Timothy Geithner—who was president of the FRBNY during the global financial collapse—not only confirmed the existence of the book, but admitted that he relied on it to guide his actions in the crisis. “It’s kind of a big, fat binder,” he told the court, adding that “we did occasionally go back and consult it as things were eroding around us. . . . It was a reference material that described precedent and authority.” And, as also noted above, although the plaintiffs' lawyers were able to get their hands on a copy of the book's index, the Fed successfully petitioned the court to keep the documents under court seal. Some quotations from the book were read into the court record during testimony, but, aside from that, no specific information on the documents was forthcoming. Enter Emre Kuvvet. He's a Professor of Finance at Nova Southeastern University who, recognizing the importance of this elusive emergency operations document, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the book . . . and was promptly rejected. Not one to give up so easily, Kuvvet then filed a simple Freedom of Information request with the FRBNY and—"for reasons unknown to me," as Kuvvet wryly observes—was duly provided the 122-page document that you just downloaded. Now, in order to understand why the FRBNY's compliance with this request is so unusual, you have to understand the difference between the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System—the twelve-member panel appointed by the US president and confirmed by the US Senate to oversee the Federal Reserve System—and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York—the most powerful of the twelve regional banks that are responsible for the banking operations of the Federal Reserve System. If you need a refresher on the deliberately confusing structure of the United States' "decentralized central bank," might I humbly suggest that you watch (or re-watch) Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve? If and when you do so, you will see for yourself the moment when Federal Reserve Board Senior Counsel Yvonne Mizusawa argues in court that the Federal Reserve Regional Banks (not the Board) are private banks and thus not "persons under FOIA." In other words, the Federal Reserve argues that the records of the Fed's regional banks—including their legal opinions, memoranda, internal records and, of course, the New York Fed's coveted Doomsday Book—are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, no doubt concerned with the optics created by an un-FOIA-able central bank, the FRBNY has a "Freedom of Information Requests" page on its website in which it boasts that "the New York Fed is committed to complying with the spirit of FOIA and has had a Freedom of Information Policy or related practice for decades." In other words, the New York Fed does not believe itself to be legally obligated to give up any of its precious documents . . . but it might occasionally choose to do so if you ask nicely. Accordingly, the FRBNY provided Kuvvet with versions 4.1 (2006) and 5.0 (2012) of the book's index. He then set to work writing an extensive article about the documents, "What Is in the Federal Reserve’s Doomsday Book?" (paywalled content), which was published in the Spring 2024 edition of The Independent Review. The title of Kuvvet's article raises another very good question, namely . . . What Is In The Doomsday Book? Remember when I said you can download the book for yourself . . . kind of? Well, here's the rub: the 122-page PDF document that was released in 2022 and is now available for download is not the full collection of documents. Rather, what has been released is an introduction to the book. Spread out over more than 100 pages, this introduction includes an extensive index of the contents of the full book; a listing of the titles and dates of the various agreements, memos and opinions that form the full collection; the Fed's own internal notes explaining what the collection is; an explanation of what the various sections of the book contain; and even an especially revealing explanatory passage containing the frank admission that "the powers of a Federal Reserve Bank are far greater than is commonly supposed" (page 33). The latest version of the Doomsday Book introduction reveals that the book consists of three volumes: Volume I – Pre-2008 Legal Documents Volume II – Post-2008 Legal Documents Volume III – Memoranda For a complete listing of what documents are contained in each volume and what subject each document covers, you can browse through the confusing and repetitive PDF document or you can read Kuvvet's article for a more logical (if still ponderous) listing. The introduction to Version 4.1, however, does helpfully break down the legal memoranda in the book into broad categories of memo: "Powers Opinions," which "discuss the legal authority of Federal Reserve Banks to provide various kinds of emergency services and facilities that they are not in the habit of providing under ordinary circumstances"; "History and Policy," documenting the history of the Federal Reserve's policy decisions and previous emergency actions; "Operational Issues," which "discuss legal aspects of operational issues, and are probably mostly of interest to attorneys"; "Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law Issues," dealing with the legal risk of lending to bankrupt or insolvent firms; "International Issues," dealing with the cross-border operations the Fed might employ during international crises; Etc. As for the agreements, memoranda and opinions themselves, there are some incredibly interesting documents listed that no doubt contain many valuable nuggets of information about the Fed's internal processes. For the policy wonks and financial eggheads in the crowd, the agreements contained in the book provide a wealth of data on what the Fed believes it is empowered to do during times of crisis. As Kuvvet notes in his "What Is in the Federal Reserve’s Doomsday Book?" article, for instance: In the Section 13(13) Lending Agreement subsection, the FRBNY states that the section 13(13) lending authority can be useful for nonbank government securities dealers. The FRBNY believes that Federal Reserve Banks are authorized to accept ineligible collateral to supplement eligible collateral. Conspiracy realists, meanwhile, will no doubt be intrigued by the "Chronology of Events at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York After the World Trade Center Attack" in the "History and Policy" section of the book. According to the Fed's own description on page 35 of the PDF, the document "begins with the morning of September 11, 2001 and concludes with the full resumption of operations on September 24" and "discusses all significant events: financial, operational and humanitarian." So, how does the New York Fed's internal history of the 9/11 false flag differ from the public version—"The Federal Reserve's Response to the Sept. 11 Attacks"—on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' website? Does it include information on the puzzling monetary events taking place in the lead-up to those attacks—events that include the largest June-August spike in the currency component of the M1 money supply in half a century? Does it hold the clue to the Die Hard 3-esque gold heist that may or may not have taken place in New York on the day of the attacks? Good questions! Unfortunately, until such time as some intrepid reporter, professor of finance or Corbett Reporteer jumps through the hoops of the New York Fed's Freedom of Information Requests process and pries this specific document—or any of the other documents listed in the Doomsday Book index—from the bankster's clutches, we won't know for sure. After all, we only have the titles of these documents and a cursory description of them from the Doomsday Book's index. All of this leads us to the most important question . . . What Does It Mean? The first-order takeaway from the Doomsday Book is that the Fed apparently believes that it has the authority to do quite a bit more in the event of an emergency than has been specifically authorized by the Federal Reserve Act. For a line-by-line, blow-by-blow analysis of these presumed powers and the Fed's arguments surrounding them, I highly suggest reading Kuvvet's article. In it, you will learn, for instance, that the Fed believes it has the authority to bail out cities during "emergency situations" . . . whatever those are. Surprisingly, the FRBNY states that section 13(3) lending authority extends to municipalities, and that there is an additional independent section 14(b)(1)17 lending authority for municipalities. Thus, the FRBNY considers that it has the legal authority to rescue municipalities in emergency situations. The Doomsday Book does not define what those “emergency situations” are. Even more remarkably, the Fed also reserves the power to receive "equity kickers"—that is, take an ownership stake in a company and presumably even take over a company entirely—when engaged in emergency lending. This is the power that was under scrutiny during the aforementioned AIG shareholder lawsuit, Starr International Co. v. United States, and it raises the specter of the Fed taking over and potentially running companies or even vast swaths of the economy in the face of a truly catastrophic economic collapse. Per Kuvvet: Lenders receive equity kickers frequently to compensate for risk. The FRBNY received an equity kicker in the AIG loan. The FRBNY considers that the scope of the power to receive an equity kicker remains uncertain, particularly whether the National Bank Act restrictions on equity kickers apply to Reserve Banks. The memorandum titled “Equity Kickers and Reserve Bank Loans” contends that they do not. Lenders sometimes employ guarantees appurtenant to financial transactions, and often employ guarantees in workout contexts. The memoranda titled “AIG Loan Restructuring-Reserve Bank Powers” and “Authority of Reserve Banks to Issue Guarantees on Behalf of Depository Institutions” explore the limits of the guarantee power. But perhaps the most brazen statement of the Fed's self-proclaimed emergency power comes in the section on "Powers Opinions" on page 33 of the Doomsday Book PDF. The powers opinions discuss the legal authority of Federal Reserve Banks to provide various kinds of emergency services and facilities that they are not in the habit of providing under ordinary circumstances. [. . .] A constant theme runs through them all: the powers of a Federal Reserve Bank are far greater than is commonly supposed. This is perhaps the most succinct statement of the banksters' arrogance that have ever been set to paper. In other words, the Fed's own internal document is gloating that the Fed reserves itself powers that the public do not know about and presumably would not approve of if they did. This does not trouble the Fed or its legal counsel in the slightest. So, what are we to make of this galling arrogance? Writing in The Hill, op-ed contributor Doug Branch—whose bio notes that he served as Deputy Staff Director of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and Deputy Chief of Staff to a Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman in the US government—predictably opines that what is needed is for the government to step in and rein in the Fed, passing legislation to "unambiguously authorize" those emergency powers that the Fed claims and that Congress deems necessary. Congress should also, in Branch's opinion "reserve the right to disapprove [of a Fed emergency power] through an after-action process." Although Branch's answer sounds perfectly straightforward and reasonable—reasonable to statists who believe in The Most Dangerous Superstition, at least—it fails to grasp an extremely basic fact, one that governs all such "emergency powers" and "states of exception." Namely, the fact that power—especially emergency power—is a thing that is demonstrated, not codified. Case in point: the Starr International Co. v. United States case in which the Doomsday Book's existence was first revealed. If you read my 2015 article on that case, you'll know that case's insane conclusion. The court ultimately ruled that the Fed had indeed overstepped its powers in the course of the AIG bailout . . . but imposed no penalty and awarded the prosecution nothing. Based upon the foregoing, the Court concludes that the Credit Agreement Shareholder Class shall prevail on liability due to the Government’s illegal exaction, but shall recover zero damages, and that the Reverse Stock Split Shareholder Class shall not prevail on liability or damages. Naturally, the Fed took this decision as vindication that it had acted legally. The Federal Reserve strongly believes that its actions in the AIG rescue during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 were legal, proper and effective. The court's decision today in Starr International Company, Inc. v. the United States recognizes that AIG's shareholders are not entitled to compensation for that decision, and that the Federal Reserve's extension of credit to AIG prevented losses to millions of policyholders, small businesses, and American workers who would have been harmed by AIG's collapse during the financial crisis. The terms of the credit were appropriately tough to protect taxpayers from the risks the rescue loan presented when it was made. This is how power operates. It acts—illegally if need be—and the judge comes along afterward to clean up the mess. The fact that the Fed's powers have not been delineated down to the nth degree is a feature of the system that the banksters have created, not a bug, as Doug Branch suggests. The banksters who own and run the Fed and who control Congress through blackmail, bribery and extortion are not going to make the mistake of stating exactly what powers they do and don't possess. And they're certainly not going to allow such limitations on their powers to be codified into law. Instead, they will act as power always acts: unilaterally, unapologetically, and without asking for permission. Sorry (not sorry) to burst your bubble, Mr. Branch, and all those other "common sense" thinkers who believe that government is the answer to the problem that was created by the (bankster-controlled) government, but there is no tinkering around the edges here. No amount of legislation is going to make the entire corrupt Federal Reserve System into anything other than the bankster cartel that it was designed to be. No, we do not need to "rein in" the Fed or set up yet another government committee to try to codify its powers. We need to abolish the Fed itself and bring about a separation of money and state altogether. That is the real takeaway from the Fed Doomsday Book. For enterprising researchers out there, I look forward to hearing about your own exploration of these documents and your own adventures with the FRBNY's "Freedom of Information Request" process. The cockroaches always scurry from the light, so let's see if we can shine some more of it on this whole sordid mess. Like this type of essay? Then you’ll love The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter, which contains my weekly editorial as well as recommended reading, viewing and listening. If you’re a Corbett Report member, you can sign in to corbettreport.com and read the newsletter today. Not a member yet? Sign up today to access the newsletter and support this work. https://open.substack.com/pub/corbettreport/p/the-feds-doomsday-book-has-been-revealed?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
    OPEN.SUBSTACK.COM
    The Fed's "Doomsday Book" Has Been Revealed
    by James Corbett corbettreport.com May 26, 2024 Back in 2011, shareholders of insurance giant American International Group (AIG) filed a $40 billion class action lawsuit against the US government over the terms of its controversial bailout of AIG during the 2008 financial crisis.
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  • Explore this fully customizable win-win situation Presentation template to showcase the win-win situation between the two parties where both parties heartily accept the proposed solutions. You can also use this PPT template to highlight how two parties work together to meet the higher goals.
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    Explore this fully customizable win-win situation Presentation template to showcase the win-win situation between the two parties where both parties heartily accept the proposed solutions. You can also use this PPT template to highlight how two parties work together to meet the higher goals. Watch Now: https://youtu.be/-1zWvNA6H4c Download Now: https://bit.ly/3ISr5Bq #winwinsituation #powerpointpresentation #slides #ppt #kridhagraphics #presentation
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera
    The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera.

    Qassam MuaddiApril 2, 2024
    Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,916+ killed* and at least 75,494 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    451+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139.
    600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,302 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

    Israel kills 71 Palestinians and wounds 102 in the Gaza Strip in 7 different massacres, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
    Israeli army kills seven aid workers of British, Polish, and Australian nationalities belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Deir al-Balah. WCK announces halt of operations in light of attack.
    Israeli government votes on a bill to ban Al Jazeera and other media outlets, Netanyahu accuses Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel.
    Gaza’s health ministry calls upon Palestinians to evacuate hospitals unless they are patients or wounded.
    In the West Bank, one Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during Israeli army raid in Jenin.
    Israeli army raids Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, arresting seven people.
    Israeli forces kill 71 Palestinians, wound 102 across Gaza

    The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said in a statement Tuesday that Israeli forces committed seven massacres against families in the Gaza Strip since Monday, killing 71 Palestinians and wounding 102, bringing the death toll of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip since October 7 to 32,916.

    The ministry pointed out that medical teams haven’t been able to recover many more bodies buried under the rubble.

    In Gaza City, Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital revealed the total destruction of the medical complex and its facilities. Accounts from residents in the area describe dead bodies with tied hands, indicating potential cases of execution.

    In a statement, Gaza’s Government Media Office said that at least 400 Palestinians were killed and 900 were wounded during the two-week-long Israeli raid on Gaza’s largest hospital.

    In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces bombed the al-Bashir mosque, killing one child and wounding 20 more people. Israeli artillery also bombed the village of al-Mighraqa north of the Nuseirat refugee camp.

    In the southern Gaza Strip, two separate Israeli bombings killed 12 Palestinians in Rafah, including six people, in a bombing of the Zuurub family home. Meanwhile, Israeli artillery continued bombing the western neighborhoods of Khan Younis.

    Israeli strike kills seven international aid workers in Deir al-Balah

    Seven international aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Monday. The aid workers belonged to the U.S.-based international humanitarian organization, the World Central Kitchen.

    The victims were of British, Canadian, Polish, and Australian, nationalities, and some had dual U.S. and Palestinian citizenship.

    Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    The World Central Kitchen said in a statement that its workers were leaving the organization’s warehouse in Deir al-Balah, moving through a “deconflicted zone” in three vehicles when the Israeli strike occurred, “despite coordinating movements” with the Israeli army.

    “This is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war, this is unforgivable,” said the WCK statement. The organization also announced the suspension of its operations in the Gaza Strip.

    The World Central Kitchen had been engaged in delivering meals to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip, where the UN has warned of famine induced by Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid from entering the Strip. At least 31 people have died of starvation.

    Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the death of a 44-year-old Australian citizen among the team, calling the killing “completely unacceptable.” Albanese also said that his cabinet will call in Israel’s ambassador.

    Israeli media quoted the Israeli army as saying that it will open an investigation into the incident.

    Since October 7, Israeli strikes killed at least 170 international humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip, according to Human Rights Watch.

    Israeli government votes bill into law banning Al Jazeera

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to shut down the Qatari media network Al Jazeera’s operations in Palestine soon.

    The law, dubbed the “Al Jazeera law,” was introduced after the Israeli army claimed it found one Al Jazeera worker to be a member of Hamas, without providing more details.

    The law sets the ground for the Israeli war cabinet to put a ban on the Qatari media network into effect. However, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Netanyahu and his cabinet “are not in a rush” to ban Al Jazeera from broadcasting, given Qatar’s role in mediating negotiations with Hamas.

    On Monday, Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel and “actively taking part in the October 7 attack.”

    Since October 7, Israeli strikes have killed 139 journalists in the Gaza Strip, including Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqa. Back in December, only two months into Israel’s assault on Gaza, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said that the Strip was the most dangerous place for journalists in the world.

    One Palestinian killed in Jenin as Israel continues raids across the West Bank

    A Palestinian was pronounced dead in Jenin on Tuesday after succumbing to his wounds caused earlier by Israeli forces during a military raid on the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin.

    The martyr was identified as 20-year-old Rabea Faisal Zakarna, who was wounded on Saturday by Israeli forces that raided his town.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem late on Monday, where they were confronted by local youth throwing stones as well as armed clashes with Palestinian fighters. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported several injuries in Qalandia by Israeli fire.

    Across the West Bank, Israeli forces raided several towns in the Nablus, Hebron, and Jericho governorates, arresting at least 40 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.

    Since October 7, Israel has arrested more than 7,600 Palestinians. Currently, Israel continues to hold 9,100 Palestinians in its jails, including 50 women, 200 children, and at least 3,500 detainees without charge or trial as part of its policy of administrative detention.

    With the death of Rabea Zakarneh, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank rose to 456 since October 7 and 139 since the beginning of the year.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-179-israel-kills-7-international-aid-workers-in-central-gaza-passes-law-banning-al-jazeera/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera. Qassam MuaddiApril 2, 2024 Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,916+ killed* and at least 75,494 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 451+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139. 600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,302 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 Israel kills 71 Palestinians and wounds 102 in the Gaza Strip in 7 different massacres, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israeli army kills seven aid workers of British, Polish, and Australian nationalities belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Deir al-Balah. WCK announces halt of operations in light of attack. Israeli government votes on a bill to ban Al Jazeera and other media outlets, Netanyahu accuses Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel. Gaza’s health ministry calls upon Palestinians to evacuate hospitals unless they are patients or wounded. In the West Bank, one Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during Israeli army raid in Jenin. Israeli army raids Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, arresting seven people. Israeli forces kill 71 Palestinians, wound 102 across Gaza The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said in a statement Tuesday that Israeli forces committed seven massacres against families in the Gaza Strip since Monday, killing 71 Palestinians and wounding 102, bringing the death toll of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip since October 7 to 32,916. The ministry pointed out that medical teams haven’t been able to recover many more bodies buried under the rubble. In Gaza City, Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital revealed the total destruction of the medical complex and its facilities. Accounts from residents in the area describe dead bodies with tied hands, indicating potential cases of execution. In a statement, Gaza’s Government Media Office said that at least 400 Palestinians were killed and 900 were wounded during the two-week-long Israeli raid on Gaza’s largest hospital. In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces bombed the al-Bashir mosque, killing one child and wounding 20 more people. Israeli artillery also bombed the village of al-Mighraqa north of the Nuseirat refugee camp. In the southern Gaza Strip, two separate Israeli bombings killed 12 Palestinians in Rafah, including six people, in a bombing of the Zuurub family home. Meanwhile, Israeli artillery continued bombing the western neighborhoods of Khan Younis. Israeli strike kills seven international aid workers in Deir al-Balah Seven international aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Monday. The aid workers belonged to the U.S.-based international humanitarian organization, the World Central Kitchen. The victims were of British, Canadian, Polish, and Australian, nationalities, and some had dual U.S. and Palestinian citizenship. Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) The World Central Kitchen said in a statement that its workers were leaving the organization’s warehouse in Deir al-Balah, moving through a “deconflicted zone” in three vehicles when the Israeli strike occurred, “despite coordinating movements” with the Israeli army. “This is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war, this is unforgivable,” said the WCK statement. The organization also announced the suspension of its operations in the Gaza Strip. The World Central Kitchen had been engaged in delivering meals to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip, where the UN has warned of famine induced by Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid from entering the Strip. At least 31 people have died of starvation. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the death of a 44-year-old Australian citizen among the team, calling the killing “completely unacceptable.” Albanese also said that his cabinet will call in Israel’s ambassador. Israeli media quoted the Israeli army as saying that it will open an investigation into the incident. Since October 7, Israeli strikes killed at least 170 international humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip, according to Human Rights Watch. Israeli government votes bill into law banning Al Jazeera Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to shut down the Qatari media network Al Jazeera’s operations in Palestine soon. The law, dubbed the “Al Jazeera law,” was introduced after the Israeli army claimed it found one Al Jazeera worker to be a member of Hamas, without providing more details. The law sets the ground for the Israeli war cabinet to put a ban on the Qatari media network into effect. However, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Netanyahu and his cabinet “are not in a rush” to ban Al Jazeera from broadcasting, given Qatar’s role in mediating negotiations with Hamas. On Monday, Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel and “actively taking part in the October 7 attack.” Since October 7, Israeli strikes have killed 139 journalists in the Gaza Strip, including Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqa. Back in December, only two months into Israel’s assault on Gaza, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said that the Strip was the most dangerous place for journalists in the world. One Palestinian killed in Jenin as Israel continues raids across the West Bank A Palestinian was pronounced dead in Jenin on Tuesday after succumbing to his wounds caused earlier by Israeli forces during a military raid on the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin. The martyr was identified as 20-year-old Rabea Faisal Zakarna, who was wounded on Saturday by Israeli forces that raided his town. Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem late on Monday, where they were confronted by local youth throwing stones as well as armed clashes with Palestinian fighters. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported several injuries in Qalandia by Israeli fire. Across the West Bank, Israeli forces raided several towns in the Nablus, Hebron, and Jericho governorates, arresting at least 40 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club. Since October 7, Israel has arrested more than 7,600 Palestinians. Currently, Israel continues to hold 9,100 Palestinians in its jails, including 50 women, 200 children, and at least 3,500 detainees without charge or trial as part of its policy of administrative detention. With the death of Rabea Zakarneh, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank rose to 456 since October 7 and 139 since the beginning of the year. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-179-israel-kills-7-international-aid-workers-in-central-gaza-passes-law-banning-al-jazeera/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera
    The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera.
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  • The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh March 22, 2024 Government, Society 30 minute read
    The World Health Organization (WHO) and its 194 Member States have been engaged for over two years in the development of two ‘instruments’ or agreements with the intent of radically changing the way pandemics and other health emergencies are managed.

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

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

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

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

    Historical Perspective

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

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

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

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

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

    Why May 2024?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Preamble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Chapter I. Introduction

    Article 1. Use of terms

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Article 2. Objective

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

    Article 3. Principles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Article 4. Pandemic prevention and surveillance

    2. The Parties shall undertake to cooperate:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Article 6. Preparedness, health system resilience and recovery

    2. Each Party commits…[to] :

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

    (b) developing, strengthening and maintaining health infrastructure

    (c) developing post-pandemic health system recovery strategies

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

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

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

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

    Article 7. Health and care workforce

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

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

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

    Article 8. Preparedness monitoring and functional reviews

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

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

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

    Article 9. Research and development

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

    Article 10. Sustainable and geographically diversified production

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

    Article 11. Transfer of technology and know-how

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

    Article 12. Access and benefit sharing

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

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

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

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

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

    The article then becomes yet more concerning:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Article 13. Supply chain and logistics

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

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

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

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

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

    Article 14. Regulatory systems strengthening

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

    Article 15. Liability and compensation management

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Article 16. International collaboration and cooperation

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

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

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

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

    Article 18. Communication and public awareness

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

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

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

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

    Article 19. Implementation and support

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

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

    Article 20. Sustainable financing

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Chapter III. Institutional and final provisions

    Article 21. Conference of the Parties

    1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established.

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

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

    Articles 22 – 37

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

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

    The WHO will provide the secretariat.

    Under Article 24 is noted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Further reading:

    WHO Pandemic Agreement Intergovernmental Negotiating Board website:

    https://inb.who.int/

    International Health Regulations Working Group website:

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

    On background to the WHO texts:

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

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

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

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

    Authors

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

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

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

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

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

    Dr. Syed Haider
    Could the mRNA shots edit germline DNA?
    Honest scientists have always been worried about retrointegration of foreign mRNA from “vaccine” shots into our own cellular DNA.

    This fear should have been allayed by rigorous genotoxicity safety studies before the mRNA shots where rolled out, but those studies were waived by the Big Pharma controlled FDA (with the DoD behind the scenes pulling all the strings).

    Previous research showed that this could theoretically occur in a human liver cancer cell line inside a controlled laboratory setting utilizing our own bodies reverse transcriptase enzymes that are upregulated in cancer cells.

    Naysayers still argued that this situation was impossible or at least extremely unlikely to occur in our bodies.

    Unfortunately there is now further proof that this really does occur, either right away after vaccination, or if not, then it’s even more likely to occur once a vaccinated individual catches COVID-19, as long as vaccinal mRNA remains present in the body (so far we know it remains in circulation for weeks and in the lymph nodes for months - likely far longer, since all the studies had to be stopped, presumably due to lack of funding, or out of fear of creating unpublishable papers since the news wasn’t looking good).

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

    Share

    A new paper by Zhang et al, just released on Feb 13, 2023 proves that at artificially high concentrations in a lab setting, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can retrointegrate into our genome.

    Thankfully during natural infection such high levels of viral RNA do not typically occur, but … (you knew there had to be a “but”)

    … such high levels are induced by mRNA vaccination.

    So what the paper may actually prove in the roundabout way of most modern research (required for publication to ever happen in todays politically charged Big Pharma controlled publishing environment) is that the mRNA in the shots is in fact likely to retrointegrate into our cellular DNA.

    To dig into the details we need to start with a quick basic bio refresher:

    Understanding Genetics
    Nearly every cell in our bodies carries a full copy of our genetic code, or genome (the exceptions are red blood cells that have no genome, and sperm and egg cells that have half a genome since they are meant to combine with half of someone else's genome).

    Our genome is made up of individual genes encoded by DNA and bundled together into 46 chromosomes that are stored in a central compartment of our cells called the nucleus.

    In order to “read" the DNA code and convert it into the structure that makes up our bodies, it is first translated by a “reader” protein that writes it out into a new free floating molecule called mRNA for messenger RNA (the mRNA shots carry this messenger RNA, not modified RNA as some people think).

    The mRNA, unlike the DNA is not stuck inside the chromosome and it can exit the nucleus, going into the larger compartment called the cytoplasm of the cell, where its message is “read” and translated into an amino acid sequence that folds itself into a protein (either a body protein, or in the case of the shots the spike protein, or in the case of an RNA virus infection like SARS-CoV-2, all the proteins of the virus).

    Now going back to the nucleus: some of the individual DNA encoded genes can move around within their chromosomes and have therefore been described as "jumping genes" or technically speaking: transposable elements (TEs).

    Jumping genes!
    Some of these jumping genes (Class 1 TEs) use a copy and paste mechanism and others (Class 2 TEs), like the one in the cartoon depiction above, use a cut and paste mechanism.

    The Class 1 TEs (AKA retrotransposons) that use the copy and paste mechanism do so by translating their DNA into RNA and then converting the RNA back into DNA and inserting it somewhere else in the genome.

    The Class 1 TEs or retrotransposons, include within themselves the genetic code necessary to create their own protein enzyme to convert the DNA back into RNA, which is termed reverse transcriptase.

    Fun fact: retroviruses like HIV can be considered a special subtype of retrotransposon that can not only reinsert inside the same cell, but also travel to other cells “infecting” them and reverse transcribing into their genomes.

    In humans the only active jumping genes are from CLASS 1 TEs/retrotransposons and are called LINE-1 retrotransposons (LINE stands for Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements).

    LINE-1 retrotransposons were once considered to be junk DNA, they are usually inactivated, but can be turned on in aging cells, cancer cells, virus infected cells and in general in any cell subjected to significant stress.

    Junk DNA, which makes up 98.5% of our genome, is still little understood. It may help regulate the activity of the other 1.5% of the genome that does code for proteins, is likely involved in genome evolution, and has been implicated in disease states like cancer, autism and dozens of genetic diseases.

    So, what’s been shown in this new paper by Zhang et al, is that a lab clone of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, when present in very high levels, does turn on LINE-1, which means it also turns on the LINE-1 reverse transcriptase enzyme, which it then makes use of to reverse transcribe itself into our DNA.

    But even worse: genome sequencing found the viral genetic code transcribed into our DNA not only in cells where LINE-1 was actively turned on, or overexpressed above baseline, but even in cells where it was not.

    Is Sangamo's Gene-Editing Approach a Bust? | The Motley Fool
    Then, instead of studying the LNPs and spike protein RNA used in the shots, the researchers (who valued their careers) used a different mechanism of delivering low levels of nucleocapsid RNA into the cells in the lab to see if they also up regulated LINE-1 expression and were integrated into the cellular DNA.

    Turns out this handicapped experiment did not up regulate LINE-1, or get taken up in detectable quantities by healthy cells, though it did lead to genomic uptake in cells that already had LINE-1 upregulated - which again happens in aging cells, cancer cells, virus infected cells or simply in cells under stress (perhaps from LNP and spike protein induced inflammation?).

    The study authors addressed the discrepancy in retrointegration between the viral clone and their handicapped version of an mRNA shot by theorizing there were:

    "...several possible explanations for the differences in the levels of retrotransposition in infected and transfected cells: (i) The relative abundance of viral RNA is almost 2 orders of magnitude higher in infected than in transfected cells which would increase the probability of association with LINE1 proteins; (ii) virus infection, but not viral mRNA transfection, can induce endogenous LINE1 expression; (iii) multiple factors during SARS-CoV-2 infection can inhibit the antiviral/anti-retrotransposition function of stress granules (48–53), which could increase retrotransposition.”

    The first theory is the most concerning.

    Based on what we know from a 2020 study by Xie et al that showed the very high levels of intracellular viral RNA achieved by infectious clones, we can extrapolate that in the current study by Zhang et al the concentration of mRNA achieved by the SARS-CoV-2 viral clone was likely about 1000X greater than the low levels typically found during a natural infection.

    In fact the levels of mRNA in each cell achieved by the viral clone in the current study are actually far more likely to be achieved by transfection into cells of LNPs in the shots carrying spike protein mRNA than they are during a natural infection.

    Life finds a way. - Reaction GIFs
    So if the authors first theory is correct, that the difference in retrointegration rates simply depends on the intracellular concentration of foreign RNA, then retrointegration is very likely to occur due to exposure to mRNA in the shots, and it is likely to dramatically increase in case someone who has received the shot later becomes infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus - since we know it upregulates LINE-1 expression, or if they are put under other stressors including the development of cancer, or by the stress of long COVID, chronic vaccine injury, autoimmune disease, autonomic dysfunction, POTS, MCAS, etc - all of which are also sadly enough triggered by the shot.

    This is less likely to happen in germ cell DNA - our sperm and egg cells - and lets hope it doesn’t happen, since we already know that the shots likely do transmit altered immunity from mother to child, if they also pass on the mRNA coding the spike protein itself then huge swaths of humanity may be forever genetically altered.

    Heres hoping the label “junk DNA” actually applies in this case…

    But, if you’ve been vaccinated: don’t worry!

    At mygotodoc we routinely reverse vaccine injuries and sincerely believe every disease has a cure.

    Fear is more likely to kill you than the shot (but do stop getting the boosters), and I mean that literally: fear destroys the immune system.

    A healthy immune system can keep any illness in check even if from a retrointegrated virus or viral mRNA fragment.

    There are a lot of unknowns, but don’t let that scare you. Take your health into your own hands and start making positive changes today.

    https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/more-proof-mrna-shots-edit-human


    https://telegra.ph/More-Proof-mRNA-Shots-Edit-Human-Genome-09-17-2
    More Proof mRNA Shots Edit Human Genome New Study Again Shows LINE-1 "Junk DNA" Does The Dirty Work Dr. Syed Haider Could the mRNA shots edit germline DNA? Honest scientists have always been worried about retrointegration of foreign mRNA from “vaccine” shots into our own cellular DNA. This fear should have been allayed by rigorous genotoxicity safety studies before the mRNA shots where rolled out, but those studies were waived by the Big Pharma controlled FDA (with the DoD behind the scenes pulling all the strings). Previous research showed that this could theoretically occur in a human liver cancer cell line inside a controlled laboratory setting utilizing our own bodies reverse transcriptase enzymes that are upregulated in cancer cells. Naysayers still argued that this situation was impossible or at least extremely unlikely to occur in our bodies. Unfortunately there is now further proof that this really does occur, either right away after vaccination, or if not, then it’s even more likely to occur once a vaccinated individual catches COVID-19, as long as vaccinal mRNA remains present in the body (so far we know it remains in circulation for weeks and in the lymph nodes for months - likely far longer, since all the studies had to be stopped, presumably due to lack of funding, or out of fear of creating unpublishable papers since the news wasn’t looking good). Thank you for reading Dr. Syed Haider. This post is public so feel free to share it. Share A new paper by Zhang et al, just released on Feb 13, 2023 proves that at artificially high concentrations in a lab setting, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can retrointegrate into our genome. Thankfully during natural infection such high levels of viral RNA do not typically occur, but … (you knew there had to be a “but”) … such high levels are induced by mRNA vaccination. So what the paper may actually prove in the roundabout way of most modern research (required for publication to ever happen in todays politically charged Big Pharma controlled publishing environment) is that the mRNA in the shots is in fact likely to retrointegrate into our cellular DNA. To dig into the details we need to start with a quick basic bio refresher: Understanding Genetics Nearly every cell in our bodies carries a full copy of our genetic code, or genome (the exceptions are red blood cells that have no genome, and sperm and egg cells that have half a genome since they are meant to combine with half of someone else's genome). Our genome is made up of individual genes encoded by DNA and bundled together into 46 chromosomes that are stored in a central compartment of our cells called the nucleus. In order to “read" the DNA code and convert it into the structure that makes up our bodies, it is first translated by a “reader” protein that writes it out into a new free floating molecule called mRNA for messenger RNA (the mRNA shots carry this messenger RNA, not modified RNA as some people think). The mRNA, unlike the DNA is not stuck inside the chromosome and it can exit the nucleus, going into the larger compartment called the cytoplasm of the cell, where its message is “read” and translated into an amino acid sequence that folds itself into a protein (either a body protein, or in the case of the shots the spike protein, or in the case of an RNA virus infection like SARS-CoV-2, all the proteins of the virus). Now going back to the nucleus: some of the individual DNA encoded genes can move around within their chromosomes and have therefore been described as "jumping genes" or technically speaking: transposable elements (TEs). Jumping genes! Some of these jumping genes (Class 1 TEs) use a copy and paste mechanism and others (Class 2 TEs), like the one in the cartoon depiction above, use a cut and paste mechanism. The Class 1 TEs (AKA retrotransposons) that use the copy and paste mechanism do so by translating their DNA into RNA and then converting the RNA back into DNA and inserting it somewhere else in the genome. The Class 1 TEs or retrotransposons, include within themselves the genetic code necessary to create their own protein enzyme to convert the DNA back into RNA, which is termed reverse transcriptase. Fun fact: retroviruses like HIV can be considered a special subtype of retrotransposon that can not only reinsert inside the same cell, but also travel to other cells “infecting” them and reverse transcribing into their genomes. In humans the only active jumping genes are from CLASS 1 TEs/retrotransposons and are called LINE-1 retrotransposons (LINE stands for Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements). LINE-1 retrotransposons were once considered to be junk DNA, they are usually inactivated, but can be turned on in aging cells, cancer cells, virus infected cells and in general in any cell subjected to significant stress. Junk DNA, which makes up 98.5% of our genome, is still little understood. It may help regulate the activity of the other 1.5% of the genome that does code for proteins, is likely involved in genome evolution, and has been implicated in disease states like cancer, autism and dozens of genetic diseases. So, what’s been shown in this new paper by Zhang et al, is that a lab clone of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, when present in very high levels, does turn on LINE-1, which means it also turns on the LINE-1 reverse transcriptase enzyme, which it then makes use of to reverse transcribe itself into our DNA. But even worse: genome sequencing found the viral genetic code transcribed into our DNA not only in cells where LINE-1 was actively turned on, or overexpressed above baseline, but even in cells where it was not. Is Sangamo's Gene-Editing Approach a Bust? | The Motley Fool Then, instead of studying the LNPs and spike protein RNA used in the shots, the researchers (who valued their careers) used a different mechanism of delivering low levels of nucleocapsid RNA into the cells in the lab to see if they also up regulated LINE-1 expression and were integrated into the cellular DNA. Turns out this handicapped experiment did not up regulate LINE-1, or get taken up in detectable quantities by healthy cells, though it did lead to genomic uptake in cells that already had LINE-1 upregulated - which again happens in aging cells, cancer cells, virus infected cells or simply in cells under stress (perhaps from LNP and spike protein induced inflammation?). The study authors addressed the discrepancy in retrointegration between the viral clone and their handicapped version of an mRNA shot by theorizing there were: "...several possible explanations for the differences in the levels of retrotransposition in infected and transfected cells: (i) The relative abundance of viral RNA is almost 2 orders of magnitude higher in infected than in transfected cells which would increase the probability of association with LINE1 proteins; (ii) virus infection, but not viral mRNA transfection, can induce endogenous LINE1 expression; (iii) multiple factors during SARS-CoV-2 infection can inhibit the antiviral/anti-retrotransposition function of stress granules (48–53), which could increase retrotransposition.” The first theory is the most concerning. Based on what we know from a 2020 study by Xie et al that showed the very high levels of intracellular viral RNA achieved by infectious clones, we can extrapolate that in the current study by Zhang et al the concentration of mRNA achieved by the SARS-CoV-2 viral clone was likely about 1000X greater than the low levels typically found during a natural infection. In fact the levels of mRNA in each cell achieved by the viral clone in the current study are actually far more likely to be achieved by transfection into cells of LNPs in the shots carrying spike protein mRNA than they are during a natural infection. Life finds a way. - Reaction GIFs So if the authors first theory is correct, that the difference in retrointegration rates simply depends on the intracellular concentration of foreign RNA, then retrointegration is very likely to occur due to exposure to mRNA in the shots, and it is likely to dramatically increase in case someone who has received the shot later becomes infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus - since we know it upregulates LINE-1 expression, or if they are put under other stressors including the development of cancer, or by the stress of long COVID, chronic vaccine injury, autoimmune disease, autonomic dysfunction, POTS, MCAS, etc - all of which are also sadly enough triggered by the shot. This is less likely to happen in germ cell DNA - our sperm and egg cells - and lets hope it doesn’t happen, since we already know that the shots likely do transmit altered immunity from mother to child, if they also pass on the mRNA coding the spike protein itself then huge swaths of humanity may be forever genetically altered. Heres hoping the label “junk DNA” actually applies in this case… But, if you’ve been vaccinated: don’t worry! At mygotodoc we routinely reverse vaccine injuries and sincerely believe every disease has a cure. Fear is more likely to kill you than the shot (but do stop getting the boosters), and I mean that literally: fear destroys the immune system. A healthy immune system can keep any illness in check even if from a retrointegrated virus or viral mRNA fragment. There are a lot of unknowns, but don’t let that scare you. Take your health into your own hands and start making positive changes today. https://blog.mygotodoc.com/p/more-proof-mrna-shots-edit-human https://telegra.ph/More-Proof-mRNA-Shots-Edit-Human-Genome-09-17-2
    BLOG.MYGOTODOC.COM
    More Proof mRNA Shots Edit Human Genome
    New Study Again Shows LINE-1 "Junk DNA" Does The Dirty Work
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  • Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty?
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read
    The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states:

    No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO,

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

    A rational examination of the texts in question shows that:

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

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

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

    The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And Article 20 (1):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration:

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

    and by the Council of the European Union:

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

    The IHR already has standing under international law.

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

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

    The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty

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

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

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

    The Need for Clarification

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

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

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

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

    Authors

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

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

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

    https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states: No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO, referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to. A rational examination of the texts in question shows that: The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics. The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications. The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here. The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty. The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18): require medical examinations; review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis; require vaccination or other prophylaxis; place suspect persons under public health observation; implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons; implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons; implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons; refuse entry of suspect and affected persons; refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas. These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9). No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12). Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13). Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19). Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20). The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21). Everyone has the right to work (Article 23). Everyone has the right to education (Article 26). Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28). Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30). These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva. The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1), Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A). States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response. As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements. States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42): Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures. Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it. Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty. All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.” It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction. If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span. Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using. The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12): In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers. And Article 20 (1): …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source. The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b). Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary. In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens. As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18): …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation… As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO. The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended. It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool). Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding? Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates. The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022: We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…, repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration: …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024, and by the Council of the European Union: A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. The IHR already has standing under international law. While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect. The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain. The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies. If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent. The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign. The Need for Clarification The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs. No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day). So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Authors David Bell David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA. View all posts Thi Thuy Van Dinh Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
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    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    If it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach.
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  • US congressman Walberg says Gaza should be destroyed 'like Nagasaki and Hiroshima', also suggests nuking Russia
    walberg
    The coments were made during a town hall meeting in Dundee, Michigan on March 25
    A Michigan Congressman has suggested a nuclear bomb should be dropped on Gaza to 'support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas.'

    Speaking during a town hall earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican from Lenawee County, appeared entirely comfortable advocating for the use of nuclear weapons against the Palestinians.

    'It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,' Walberg could be heard stating in a video posted to X in which he mentioned the Japanese cities in which America detonated atomic bombs at the end of World War II.


    Walberg, an eight-term Republican congressman from Lenawee County, can also be heard speaking against providing humanitarian aid for those in the Palestinian territory.


    'We shouldn't be spending a dime on humanitarian aid,' Walberg stated in response to a question about American troops being deployed into Gaza to build a port that would help aid be delivered to the Palestinians.

    Walberg had been responding to a question about an initiative put forward by President Joe Biden to use American tax dollars to construct a port off the Gaza coast that would allow humanitarian aid to be delivered more quickly.

    Walberg's office has now attempted to explain the GOP congressman's seemingly straightforward answer as a metaphor.

    'During his community gathering, he clearly uses a metaphor to support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas, which is the best chance to save lives long-term and the only hope at achieving a permanent peace in the region,' Walberg spokesman Mike Rorke said on Saturday.

    'Congressman Walberg vehemently disagrees with putting our troops in harm's way. He has great empathy for the innocent people in Gaza who have been thrust into this situation due to the attack carried out by Hamas leaving 1,163 innocent civilians dead,' Rorke continued.


    'To this day, Hamas still is holding hostages, including Americans. Hamas should surrender and return the hostages.'

    Walberg's comments have been described as 'clear call to genocide by a member of Congress'.

    The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said his remarks should be 'condemned by all Americans who value human life and international law.'

    'To so casually call for what would result in the killing of every human being in Gaza sends the chilling message that Palestinian lives have no value,' CAIR Executive Director Dawud Walid said to Detroit News.

    'It is this dehumanization of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the ongoing slaughter and suffering we see every day in Gaza and the West Bank.'

    The U.N. food agency has said famine is 'imminent' in northern Gaza, with two-thirds of population experiencing catastrophic hunger.

    Later in the town hall, held on March 25 in Dundee, Michigan, Walberg went on to suggest that a nuclear bomb should also be used in Russia's war with Ukraine in order to 'defeat Putin quick.'


    He said instead of American money being used to provide aid to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes, it should instead be used 'to wipe out Russia, if that's what we want to do.'

    Walberg has been taken to task over his comments by his Democratic colleagues with some calling for his immediate resignation.

    Michigan state Democratic Senator Darrin Camilleri tweeted how Walberg had been caught on video 'endorsing and calling for a complete genocide in Gaza.'

    'He's an absolute disgrace and needs to resign,' Camilleri stated.

    'Threatening to use, suggesting the use of, or, God forbid actually using nuclear weapons, are unacceptable tactics of war in the 21st Century,' wrote Democratic Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens.

    'As W.J. Hennigan recently & accurately described for the NYT, the use of nuclear weapons creates hell on earth.'

    Fellow Michiagn Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin also condemned his remarks.

    'This is a reprehensible thing for anyone to suggest, especially an elected official and someone who considers himself a man of faith. Rep. Walberg should take back his comments, and try to put himself in the shoes of the many Michiganders who see themselves in the casualties in Gaza,' Slotkin said in a statement.

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee said Walberg's comments were horrific and shocking.

    'It is an indefensible position to argue against humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza while also calling for the wholesale massacre of the Palestinian people. I could not disagree more with these extreme and dangerous comments,' Kildee said in a statement.


    https://www.sott.net/article/490259-US-congressman-Walberg-says-Gaza-should-be-destroyed-like-Nagasaki-and-Hiroshima-also-suggests-nuking-Russia
    US congressman Walberg says Gaza should be destroyed 'like Nagasaki and Hiroshima', also suggests nuking Russia walberg The coments were made during a town hall meeting in Dundee, Michigan on March 25 A Michigan Congressman has suggested a nuclear bomb should be dropped on Gaza to 'support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas.' Speaking during a town hall earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican from Lenawee County, appeared entirely comfortable advocating for the use of nuclear weapons against the Palestinians. 'It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,' Walberg could be heard stating in a video posted to X in which he mentioned the Japanese cities in which America detonated atomic bombs at the end of World War II. Walberg, an eight-term Republican congressman from Lenawee County, can also be heard speaking against providing humanitarian aid for those in the Palestinian territory. 'We shouldn't be spending a dime on humanitarian aid,' Walberg stated in response to a question about American troops being deployed into Gaza to build a port that would help aid be delivered to the Palestinians. Walberg had been responding to a question about an initiative put forward by President Joe Biden to use American tax dollars to construct a port off the Gaza coast that would allow humanitarian aid to be delivered more quickly. Walberg's office has now attempted to explain the GOP congressman's seemingly straightforward answer as a metaphor. 'During his community gathering, he clearly uses a metaphor to support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas, which is the best chance to save lives long-term and the only hope at achieving a permanent peace in the region,' Walberg spokesman Mike Rorke said on Saturday. 'Congressman Walberg vehemently disagrees with putting our troops in harm's way. He has great empathy for the innocent people in Gaza who have been thrust into this situation due to the attack carried out by Hamas leaving 1,163 innocent civilians dead,' Rorke continued. 'To this day, Hamas still is holding hostages, including Americans. Hamas should surrender and return the hostages.' Walberg's comments have been described as 'clear call to genocide by a member of Congress'. The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said his remarks should be 'condemned by all Americans who value human life and international law.' 'To so casually call for what would result in the killing of every human being in Gaza sends the chilling message that Palestinian lives have no value,' CAIR Executive Director Dawud Walid said to Detroit News. 'It is this dehumanization of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the ongoing slaughter and suffering we see every day in Gaza and the West Bank.' The U.N. food agency has said famine is 'imminent' in northern Gaza, with two-thirds of population experiencing catastrophic hunger. Later in the town hall, held on March 25 in Dundee, Michigan, Walberg went on to suggest that a nuclear bomb should also be used in Russia's war with Ukraine in order to 'defeat Putin quick.' He said instead of American money being used to provide aid to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes, it should instead be used 'to wipe out Russia, if that's what we want to do.' Walberg has been taken to task over his comments by his Democratic colleagues with some calling for his immediate resignation. Michigan state Democratic Senator Darrin Camilleri tweeted how Walberg had been caught on video 'endorsing and calling for a complete genocide in Gaza.' 'He's an absolute disgrace and needs to resign,' Camilleri stated. 'Threatening to use, suggesting the use of, or, God forbid actually using nuclear weapons, are unacceptable tactics of war in the 21st Century,' wrote Democratic Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens. 'As W.J. Hennigan recently & accurately described for the NYT, the use of nuclear weapons creates hell on earth.' Fellow Michiagn Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin also condemned his remarks. 'This is a reprehensible thing for anyone to suggest, especially an elected official and someone who considers himself a man of faith. Rep. Walberg should take back his comments, and try to put himself in the shoes of the many Michiganders who see themselves in the casualties in Gaza,' Slotkin said in a statement. Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee said Walberg's comments were horrific and shocking. 'It is an indefensible position to argue against humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza while also calling for the wholesale massacre of the Palestinian people. I could not disagree more with these extreme and dangerous comments,' Kildee said in a statement. https://www.sott.net/article/490259-US-congressman-Walberg-says-Gaza-should-be-destroyed-like-Nagasaki-and-Hiroshima-also-suggests-nuking-Russia
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  • Food for thought.

    The licensing rules for a Medical Doctor (MD) forbid them from applying natural medicines to heal the human body. If they do, they will loose their license!
    MD’s are internationally beholden to Pharma just like a medical mafia.

    There’s multiple kinds of Naturopathic Doctors (ND) and laws vary significantly from state to state, and country to country.
    Some ND’s are licensed to do limited invasive treatments such as prescribe limited pharmaceutical drugs such as antibiotics.

    I am an ND who uses only natural medicines and non-invasive treatments. I can identify the root cause of disease easily, without invasive diagnostics tools. This is how I was trained. Most ND’s can’t do this and MD’s… well forget about it.

    In my experience, invasive treatments are only necessary in limited extreme situations, like if someone needs a saline drip to rehydrate, for example. 98% of surgical procedures are totally unnecessary but MD’s won’t tell you that or they’ll be out of business.

    To my horror, I have observed ND’s do things they should be jailed for, like recommending EDTA pills containing the Pfizer patent. So please use your discernment.


    https://t.me/drloveariyana/2622
    Food for thought. The licensing rules for a Medical Doctor (MD) forbid them from applying natural medicines to heal the human body. If they do, they will loose their license! MD’s are internationally beholden to Pharma just like a medical mafia. There’s multiple kinds of Naturopathic Doctors (ND) and laws vary significantly from state to state, and country to country. Some ND’s are licensed to do limited invasive treatments such as prescribe limited pharmaceutical drugs such as antibiotics. I am an ND who uses only natural medicines and non-invasive treatments. I can identify the root cause of disease easily, without invasive diagnostics tools. This is how I was trained. Most ND’s can’t do this and MD’s… well forget about it. In my experience, invasive treatments are only necessary in limited extreme situations, like if someone needs a saline drip to rehydrate, for example. 98% of surgical procedures are totally unnecessary but MD’s won’t tell you that or they’ll be out of business. To my horror, I have observed ND’s do things they should be jailed for, like recommending EDTA pills containing the Pfizer patent. So please use your discernment. https://t.me/drloveariyana/2622
    T.ME
    Dr. Ariyana Love
    Food for thought. The licensing rules for a Medical Doctor (MD) forbid them from applying natural medicines to heal the human body. If they do, they will loose their license! MD’s are internationally beholden to Pharma just like a medical mafia. There’s multiple kinds of Naturopathic Doctors (ND) and laws vary significantly from state to state, and country to country. Some ND’s are licensed to do limited invasive treatments such as prescribe limited pharmaceutical drugs such as antibiotics. I am an ND who uses only natural medicines and non-invasive treatments. I can identify the root cause of disease easily, without invasive diagnostics tools. This is how I was trained. Most ND’s can’t do this and MD’s… well forget about it. In my experience, invasive treatments are only necessary in limited extreme situations, like if someone needs a saline drip to rehydrate, for example. 98% of surgical procedures are totally unnecessary but MD’s won’t tell you that or they’ll be out of business. To my horror, I…
    0 التعليقات 0 المشاركات 4709 مشاهدة
  • 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.
    0 التعليقات 0 المشاركات 63627 مشاهدة
  • ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’ I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024 A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp. Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation. Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment. During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family. As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?” “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me. I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.” “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.” “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days. Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford. As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry. “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me. Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.” “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern. “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.” “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.” My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family. “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously. “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart. “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued. “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully. After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.” “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her. The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.” “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically. She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?” His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.” “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war. He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.” Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.
    0 التعليقات 0 المشاركات 22568 مشاهدة
  • Meta Refuses to Answer Questions on Gaza Censorship, Say Sens. Warren and Sanders
    Sam BiddleMarch 26 2024, 8:00 a.m.
    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as he testifies at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the Fed's "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
    Citing the company’s “failure to provide answers to important questions,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are pressing Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, to respond to reports of disproportionate censorship around the Israeli war on Gaza.

    “Meta insists that there’s been no discrimination against Palestinian-related content on their platforms, but at the same time, is refusing to provide us with any evidence or data to support that claim,” Warren told The Intercept. “If its ad-hoc changes and removal of millions of posts didn’t discriminate against Palestinian-related content, then what’s Meta hiding?”

    In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent last December, first reported by The Intercept, Warren presented the company with dozens of specific questions about the company’s Gaza-related content moderation efforts. Warren asked about the exact numbers of posts about the war, broken down by Hebrew or Arabic, that have been deleted or otherwise suppressed.

    The letter was written following widespread reporting in The Intercept and other outlets that detailed how posts on Meta platforms that are sympathetic to Palestinians, or merely depicting the destruction in Gaza, are routinely removed or hidden without explanation.

    A month later, Meta replied to Warren’s office with a six-page letter, obtained by The Intercept, that provided an overview of its moderation response to the war but little in the way of specifics or new information.

    Most Read

    “Meta’s lack of investment to safeguard its users significantly exacerbates the political situation in Palestine and perpetuates tech harms on fundamental rights in Palestine and other global majority countries, all while evading meaningful legal accountability,” Mona Shtaya, nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, told The Intercept. “The time has come for Meta, among other tech giants, to publicly disclose detailed measures and investments aimed at safeguarding individuals amidst the ongoing genocide, and to be more responsive to experts and civil society.”

    Meta’s reply disclosed some censorship: “In the nine days following October 7, we removed or marked as disturbing more than 2,200,000 pieces of content in Hebrew and Arabic for violating our policies.” The company declined, however, to provide a breakdown of deletions by language or market, making it impossible to tell whether that figure reflects discriminatory moderation practices.

    Much of Meta’s letter is a rehash of an update it provided through its public relations portal at the war’s onset, some of it verbatim.

    Now, a second letter from Warren to Meta, joined this time by Sanders, says this isn’t enough. “Meta’s response, dated January 29, 2024, did not provide any of the requested information necessary to understand Meta’s treatment of Arabic language or Palestine-related content versus other forms of content,” the senators wrote.

    Both senators are asking Meta to again answer Warren’s specific questions about the extent to which Arabic and Hebrew posts about the war have been treated differently, how often censored posts are reinstated, Meta’s use of automated machine learning-based censorship tools, and more.

    Accusations of systemic moderation bias against Palestinians have been borne out by research from rights groups.

    “Since October 7, Human Rights Watch has documented over 1,000 cases of unjustified takedowns and other suppression of content on Instagram and Facebook related to Palestine and Palestinians, including about human rights abuses,” Human Rights Watch said in a late December report. “The censorship of content related to Palestine on Instagram and Facebook is systemic, global, and a product of the company’s failure to meet its human rights due diligence responsibilities.”


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    Meta Considering Increased Censorship of the Word “Zionist”

    A February report by AccessNow said Meta “suspended or restricted the accounts of Palestinian journalists and activists both in and outside of Gaza, and arbitrarily deleted a considerable amount of content, including documentation of atrocities and human rights abuses.”

    A third-party audit commissioned by Meta itself previously concluded it had given the short shrift to Palestinian rights during a May 2021 flare-up of violence between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. “Meta’s actions in May 2021 appear to have had an adverse human rights impact … on the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation, and non-discrimination, and therefore on the ability of Palestinians to share information and insights about their experiences as they occurred,” said the auditor’s report.

    In response to this audit, Meta pledged an array of reforms, which free expression and digital rights advocates say have yet to produce a material improvement.

    In its December report, Human Rights Watch noted, “More than two years after committing to publishing data around government requests for taking down content that is not necessarily illegal, Meta has failed to increase transparency in this area.”

    Update: March 26, 2024, 1:11 p.m. ET
    This story has been updated to include a statement received after publication from Mona Shtaya, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

    https://theintercept.com/2024/03/26/meta-gaza-censorship-warren-sanders/
    Meta Refuses to Answer Questions on Gaza Censorship, Say Sens. Warren and Sanders Sam BiddleMarch 26 2024, 8:00 a.m. WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as he testifies at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the Fed's "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images) Citing the company’s “failure to provide answers to important questions,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are pressing Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, to respond to reports of disproportionate censorship around the Israeli war on Gaza. “Meta insists that there’s been no discrimination against Palestinian-related content on their platforms, but at the same time, is refusing to provide us with any evidence or data to support that claim,” Warren told The Intercept. “If its ad-hoc changes and removal of millions of posts didn’t discriminate against Palestinian-related content, then what’s Meta hiding?” In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent last December, first reported by The Intercept, Warren presented the company with dozens of specific questions about the company’s Gaza-related content moderation efforts. Warren asked about the exact numbers of posts about the war, broken down by Hebrew or Arabic, that have been deleted or otherwise suppressed. The letter was written following widespread reporting in The Intercept and other outlets that detailed how posts on Meta platforms that are sympathetic to Palestinians, or merely depicting the destruction in Gaza, are routinely removed or hidden without explanation. A month later, Meta replied to Warren’s office with a six-page letter, obtained by The Intercept, that provided an overview of its moderation response to the war but little in the way of specifics or new information. Most Read “Meta’s lack of investment to safeguard its users significantly exacerbates the political situation in Palestine and perpetuates tech harms on fundamental rights in Palestine and other global majority countries, all while evading meaningful legal accountability,” Mona Shtaya, nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, told The Intercept. “The time has come for Meta, among other tech giants, to publicly disclose detailed measures and investments aimed at safeguarding individuals amidst the ongoing genocide, and to be more responsive to experts and civil society.” Meta’s reply disclosed some censorship: “In the nine days following October 7, we removed or marked as disturbing more than 2,200,000 pieces of content in Hebrew and Arabic for violating our policies.” The company declined, however, to provide a breakdown of deletions by language or market, making it impossible to tell whether that figure reflects discriminatory moderation practices. Much of Meta’s letter is a rehash of an update it provided through its public relations portal at the war’s onset, some of it verbatim. Now, a second letter from Warren to Meta, joined this time by Sanders, says this isn’t enough. “Meta’s response, dated January 29, 2024, did not provide any of the requested information necessary to understand Meta’s treatment of Arabic language or Palestine-related content versus other forms of content,” the senators wrote. Both senators are asking Meta to again answer Warren’s specific questions about the extent to which Arabic and Hebrew posts about the war have been treated differently, how often censored posts are reinstated, Meta’s use of automated machine learning-based censorship tools, and more. Accusations of systemic moderation bias against Palestinians have been borne out by research from rights groups. “Since October 7, Human Rights Watch has documented over 1,000 cases of unjustified takedowns and other suppression of content on Instagram and Facebook related to Palestine and Palestinians, including about human rights abuses,” Human Rights Watch said in a late December report. “The censorship of content related to Palestine on Instagram and Facebook is systemic, global, and a product of the company’s failure to meet its human rights due diligence responsibilities.” Related Meta Considering Increased Censorship of the Word “Zionist” A February report by AccessNow said Meta “suspended or restricted the accounts of Palestinian journalists and activists both in and outside of Gaza, and arbitrarily deleted a considerable amount of content, including documentation of atrocities and human rights abuses.” A third-party audit commissioned by Meta itself previously concluded it had given the short shrift to Palestinian rights during a May 2021 flare-up of violence between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. “Meta’s actions in May 2021 appear to have had an adverse human rights impact … on the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation, and non-discrimination, and therefore on the ability of Palestinians to share information and insights about their experiences as they occurred,” said the auditor’s report. In response to this audit, Meta pledged an array of reforms, which free expression and digital rights advocates say have yet to produce a material improvement. In its December report, Human Rights Watch noted, “More than two years after committing to publishing data around government requests for taking down content that is not necessarily illegal, Meta has failed to increase transparency in this area.” Update: March 26, 2024, 1:11 p.m. ET This story has been updated to include a statement received after publication from Mona Shtaya, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. https://theintercept.com/2024/03/26/meta-gaza-censorship-warren-sanders/
    THEINTERCEPT.COM
    Meta Refuses to Answer Questions on Gaza Censorship, Say Sens. Warren and Sanders
    Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta dodged questions from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders about censorship of posts about Gaza.
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