Thursday, July 11, 2024

Antipasto Salad in the Kitchen

Gloria found a great summer recipe at A Couple of Cooks for Antipasto Salad


Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound spiral pasta
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 2 cups chopped romaine
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper
  • 1 cup pitted olives (we used green and black)
  • 1 cup artichoke quarters (from a can: marinaded if you can find them)
  • ½ cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 8 ounces mozzarella (fresh or cubed, or marinaded if you can find it)*
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning


Instructions

  1. Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside).
  2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Finely dice the red onion. Chop the romaine and fresh basil. Thinly slice the roasted red pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta with the chopped veggies, olives, artichoke quarters (drained) and pepperoncini (drained). Add the mozzarella, cutting it into cubes or pieces.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sugar or maple syrup. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
  5. Add the dressing to the bowl with the pasta and veggies, then add the salt and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt as desired. Stores up to 5 days refrigerated (leftovers taste great; allow to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more cheese or salt as necessary).





Former President Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden in most national surveys taken after their consequential June 27 debate, according to Real Clear Politics’ poll tracker—with the latest survey finding more than half of Biden’s supporters believe he should exit the race and 81% believe he’s too old for another term.

Trump leads Biden by three points in Real Clear Politics’ poll tracker, a 1.5-point swing in Trump’s favor since the debate, and is up by 1.6 points in FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker, a 1.9-point increase from June 27.

An ABC News/Ipsos/Washington Post poll released Thursday found Biden and Trump are tied among registered voters, and Trump has a one-point lead if Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an option, a better-than-usual showing for Biden.

However, that poll also shows 67% think Biden should withdraw from the race, while 85% say Biden is too old to serve as president, up from 81% in April and 68% just over a year ago.




Is Joe trying to destroy the country?  Drop the hell out of the race already.  You can't pull it off.  It's time to go and let someone new step up.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:


Thursday, July 11, 2024.  As the push gets stronger, Joe Biden refuses to take a hint, Palestinians are ordered out of Gaza but to where, and much more.


Another day of pleading with and prodding an old man to hand over the car keys.  

The most ridiculous of the heavy-handed attempts at flattery?   At THE NATION, yesterday, Sasha Abramsky had a plea for Joe Biden -- FROM THE UK WITH LOVE:

Joe, when you got elected in 2020, I wept for joy. In defeating Donald Trump, you had saved the Republic; you had reinvigorated a dream that was in danger of morphing into a permanent nightmare. You had pitted liberalism against intolerance and darkness, optimism against Trump’s American Carnage vision—and you had won. There was little doubt in my mind that you were a genuinely decent, kind, humane, even humble man—everything that Trump and his rancid administration were not. It’s a rarity in the modern political environment that such traits win out over hard-right populism.

Insert Allure's "All Cried Out."



Four years later, you are making me weep again. But this time around, I weep over the arrogance and selfishness you are demonstrating in claiming, despite all evidence to the contrary, that you and only you can prevent Trump’s second ascent to power. I weep because you now so clearly lack the vitality and intellectual agility for the fight—but, while you have lost so much of your political skill set, you seem, somehow, to have preserved just enough wile and orneriness to cling to personal power like a hungry dog tugging on a bone. I weep because in 2020 you rose to the political moment to aggressively confront a terrible political peril, and in 2024 you are instead doing a star turn in your own version of Sunset Boulevard, sinking into a political quicksand of your own making that will destroy your legacy and return Donald Trump to office with an overwhelming mandate.

Insert Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 You."


As I write this, it’s been 12 days now since you made it abundantly clear, in front of a TV audience of 54 million people, that you no longer have what it takes to be either a president or a presidential candidate. Last week I wrote, in the conditional tense, that this performance could result in your losing overwhelmingly in November. This week, the poll numbers seem pretty unambiguous. If you remain the Democratic candidate you will lose overwhelmingly. There are states such as New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia, even New Jersey, for God’s sake, in play now for the Republicans, that a decent Democratic candidate would have locked up months ago.

Insert The Lonely Island's "Iran So Far Away" from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.


 


I’m not a doctor and wouldn’t presume to make a diagnosis. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. The public now has the perception that age has gotten the better of you—and that’s a perception pretty much impossible to shake. You could wrestle alligators and come out victorious—the public will still see your frozen face and hear your stumbling, incoherent debate answers. And you will still, in consequence, lose millions of votes from people who otherwise would be voting Democrat in November—citizens who are longing to vote for the Democrats if only the party can present a credible presidential candidate.


Insert Aretha Franklin's "Think."



You can pretty it up all you want but it's over.  We should be wishing each other good luck -- or keying each other's cars -- but the romance is over.  

He needs to step down from the nomination.  Even if he were up to it, he's not up to being president until January and also campaigning to the start of November.  It's too much for him.  Too many more fumbles in public on the campaign trail and you will see a movement in Congress pushing to remove him from the office.  He does not have the strength -- nor the cognitive powers -- to both rule as president right now and run for re-election.  The presidency's not a part time job.  At 81, he lacks the strength to handle a campaign and a presidency.  As Marcia notes "It's a relay race and Joe needs to hand off the baton already."



Emilio Leanza (THE PROGRESSIVE) reports on the rally he attended in Wisconsin: 

While standing in the press pen behind several hundred union members, public school teachers, and other local Democrats in Madison, I watched as Biden’s face swiveled between two teleprompters. The devices, nearly translucent, were strategically placed to give the illusion that his eyes were panning across the crowd. 

It was a clever set-up that, along with impassioned warm-up speeches by leading Wisconsin Democrats like Governor Tony Evers, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, and state Democratic party chair Ben Wikler, could have made a compelling case that voters should ignore what they saw on debate night. (Notably absent was U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, who faces a tight race against billionaire Eric Hovde, amid speculation that she’s been deliberately distancing herself from the Biden campaign).  

But the event was hampered by what seemed like magical thinking. Wikler, for example, told a reporter standing next to me that Biden would “usher in a new birth of freedom in this country.”

Wikler’s hyperbolic assertion, and the upbeat tenor of the rally as a whole, belied a more sober reality: Biden’s polling numbers are cratering.

The image of Biden confusing “saving” Medicare with beating it is now forever seared into the collective consciousness. And there may be no coming back from that. After all, much lesser gaffes—like Michael Dukakis’s infamously dorky tank photo-op or Howard Dean’s “scream” in 2004—have left campaigns dead in the water before. 

The Biden campaign has pitched the race as a contest between democracy and authoritarianism, correctly viewing Trump as a wannabe dictator and his network of allies and donors as willing accomplices. You don’t need to read all 900 pages of the rightwing Heritage Foundation’s presidential playbook, Project 2025, to understand Trump is serious when he says he’ll be a “dictator on day one.” He has already tried, and failed, to overturn one election. 

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s guarantee of immunity from prosecution, it is hard to understate how far he could go with a second term in office. 


If the stakes are as high as Joe thinks they are, he should have stepped aside already.  And he better grasp that the calls for him to step aside are not going away no matter how he digs in.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS):

Peter Welch of Vermont on Wednesday became the first U.S. senator to urge President Joe Biden to drop his 2024 reelection bid, adding his name to a small but growing list of Democratic lawmakers who have publicly expressed the view that their party's best chance of defeating Donald Trump in November is with a different candidate at the top of the ticket.

"Trump is a felon. He is a pathological liar. He is a menace. And he is sure to be emboldened by his activist Supreme Court, which granted him near-total immunity," Welch wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. "MAGA Republicans, meanwhile, have clearly stated their plans for a second Trump term, laying out an extremist agenda with their Project 2025. But the national conversation is focused on President Biden's age and capacity. Only he can change it."

Welch pointed to post-debate polling trends indicating that Biden's performance and continued presence on the ticket could harm down-ballot Democratic candidates and jeopardize the party's hopes of keeping both chambers of Congress out of Republican hands.

"The latest data makes it clear that the political peril to Democrats is escalating. States that were once strongholds are now leaning Republican. These new shifts—in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia—must be taken seriously, not denied or ignored," the senator wrote. "The good news is that President Biden has united the party and created a deep bench that can defeat Trump."

"Vice President [Kamala] Harris is a capable, proven leader, and we have other electable, young, energizing Democratic governors and senators in swing states," Welch continued. "Not only do these leaders have experience running and winning in tough political environments, they also have fundraising networks, media experience, charisma, and the ability to inspire voters across generations and across our big tent."


The media has not done their job.  Joe can leave now with a pretty good record for a president, or he can leave in disgrace.  You have a very stupid GOP.  Months ago, I thought they were gearing up to the line of attack on Joe that actually would have worked for them.  They didn't.  We can do it here though, Joe.  You can do what's right and leave with an image or you can stay in but have Americans shaking their heads in disgust. 

At AXIOS, Zachary Basu weighs in.  And, no the push was not dying before George Clooney's NYT column calling for Joe to drop out, some were of the mind that NATO had to be gotten through first.  I don't give a damn about NATO or the going through the motions meetings or in prolonging a relationship that should have ended long ago.  Zachary notes:
 

Driving the news: Clooney, who just last month hosted the largest fundraiser in Democratic Party history with Biden in attendance, delivered a piercing blow to the heart of Biden's defense about his shaky debate performance on June 27.

  • "It's devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe "big F-ing deal" Biden of 2010," Clooney wrote in the New York Times on Wednesday.
  • "He wasn't even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate."

The big picture: Clooney's words were unsparing, but other, more subtle signals from top Democrats on Wednesday seemed to confirm his message about their private angst.

  • Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and others echoed Pelosi's language about waiting for Biden to make a decision — a clear sign that they don't consider the matter to be closed.
  • Welch ended the day becoming the first Senate Democrat to call for Biden to drop out, joining eight House Democrats.
  • New York's Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado and swing-district Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) also both called on Biden to withdraw, as private polling emerged suggesting deep-blue New York could be competitive in November.
  • ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who has interviewed Biden dozens of times, including last Friday, apologized after a video surfaced of him saying he doesn't believe Biden can serve another term.
  • Republicans are reveling in the chaos, with the GOP-led House Oversight Committee issuing subpoenas for three senior White House aides Wednesday to testify about Biden's health, Axios scooped.

Zoom in: Clooney, unburdened by the political, financial and strategic calculations constraining most elected Democrats, has helped revive a rebellion that Biden's campaign had hoped to quash.

  • "This isn't only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and Congress member and governor that I've spoken with in private. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly," Clooney wrote.

It's time for Joe to go.  This shouldn't be prolonged, it needs to be wrapped up.  I'm really not concerned if he saves face or not.  I'm concerned about Donald Trump getting a second term.   The state of New York should not be in play this election but that's where Joe has taken us.  The longer he dithers, the more damage is done.

Rebecca's right ("andy beshear") that we should be looking at who we would support.  I would gladly vote for Kamala, Gavin Newsom, anyone.  I do not think Josh Shapiro (due to his divided loyalties) should be the nominee or Gretch the Wretch who brings corruption scandals with her, has lost popularity in her own state and dresses like it's 1994 and she's working for Century 21 -- only Century 21 would have told her to lose the clown lipstick.

But let's say we didn't get a vote.  Let's say the superdelegates coalesced around a nominee -- and did so even before the convention?  Early in 2023, I noted here that I was voting for the Democratic Party's presidential nominee no matter who that was.  I stand by that.

Gaza?


ith the American news cycle focused on Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, escalating Israeli state and settler violence in the West Bank is going largely unreported. 

Although President Joe Biden has sanctioned individual extremist Israeli settlers, Progressive analysts –  such as Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman – say he has ignored Israel’s support for this violence. Earlier this year, the United States decided against sanctioning the infamous Israeli military unit Netzah Yehuda, which has been accused of human rights abuses by a U.S. State Department probe and other reports. 

The United States has a long history of empty promises when it comes to holding Israel accountable. On June 22, for example, Israeli soldiers shot, beat, and tied a Palestinian man to a military jeep before using him as a human shield against potential retaliation from Palestinian militants. The U.S. State Department condemned this clear human rights violation, but any further action seems unlikely.   

Since October 7, there has been a well-documented increase in settler violence, facilitated by Israel. 

In the latest documented incident, more than twenty Israeli settlers invaded the Palestinian village of Ras al-Ein, located in the southern Jordan Valley. The settlers were accompanied by dozens of Israeli soldiers and police officers.

Nimrod Krieger, an Israeli activist with “Looking the Occupation in the Eyes,” who works to document human rights abuses in the West Bank was present at the scene. He tells The Progressive that, a few hours before this incursion, the mere presence of Zohar Sabah—an infamous Israeli settler known for orchestrating violence against Palestinians—on Palestinian farmland in the village deterred them from farming on their own land. The Israeli army invaded Ras al-Ein on the false pretense that Palestinian villagers attacked Sabah—which ultimately led to the arrest of at least three local Palestinians. 

While the Israeli police requested all three Palestinians be held for eight days, the judge of the Israeli court sentenced them to three. The judge also stated that she had not seen any of the evidence submitted by Krieger, which Krieger told The Progressive he handed over to the police. This is part of a larger trend of Israeli forces facilitating and justifying settler violence in numerous ways.




The Israeli military has told all Palestinians to leave Gaza City and head southward as it escalates its offensive across the northern, southern, and central regions of the territory.

Israel informed people in Gaza of the evacuation order by dropping leaflets urging “all those in Gaza City” to take two “safe routes” south to the area around the central town of Deir al-Balah. Gaza City, it said, will “remain a dangerous combat zone.”



And where are they go go?  Dropping back to yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!




AMY GOODMAN: As ceasefire talks are being held in Doha, Israel is intensifying its war on Gaza. Earlier today, the Israeli military ordered the full evacuation of all civilians from Gaza City. Al Jazeera reports Tuesday was the deadliest day in Gaza in weeks. At least 30 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a school housing displaced Palestinians near Khan Younis. Most of the dead were reportedly women and children. It was the fourth Israeli attack on a school over the past four days in Gaza. Al Jazeera aired footage showing children playing soccer at the school at the time of the blast.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza decried the attack as a, quote, “heinous massacre against displaced citizens,” unquote. Eyewitnesses said the Israeli attack resulted in body parts flying through the air.

ASMAA QUDEIH: [translated] We were sitting safely in the afternoon, somewhat settled. Suddenly, a missile was fired. I’m not sure what kind of missile, F-16 or not, Apache. The schools were overcrowded with people, and the street was full, too. Suddenly, a missile hit and destroyed the whole place. There were bodies and body parts. Bodies flew. Body parts flew in the air. I don’t know how to describe it. I can’t. People sitting safely, selling goods, making a living to provide for their children. No one. I don’t know what happened. Why would they hit us like that?

AMY GOODMAN: We go now to Gaza, where we’re joined by journalist Akram al-Satarri. He’s joining us from outside the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

I know that there’s a time delay, but, Akram, if you can describe exactly what has happened in what’s being described as the deadliest 24 hours in a number of weeks?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Yes, indeed, the deadliest 24 hours in a number of months, rather than weeks, heavy bombardment taking place in different parts of the Gaza Strip, including Gaza north, Gaza City, Gaza central area, Khan Younis area and also Rafah area. In Khan Younis only, 27 people out of 56 people who were killed in the last 24 hours were killed in that area. One shelter that was used by hundreds of families and one tent — one area that was used by families as a shelter outside of the school were targeted by three missiles that brought to that heavy loss amongst them. Twenty-seven children, women, elderly people and youth, as well, were killed. More than 52 other people were killed. Al-Nuseirat area also, 24 hours also ago, witnessed a large-scale incident, where around 19 Palestinians were killed and around 70 others were injured. Rafah also has been witnessing large-scale bombardment that has been taking the lives of tens of Palestinians. Gaza central area also, besides al-Nuseirat, al-Bureij also witnessed a targeting incident where around nine people were killed in a heavy crowded area in the middle of al-Bureij refugee camp, where thousands of displaced people were there and were trying to secure their very basic needs amidst that very critical situation characterizing a great deal of lack to the essential supplies for the people who are in need.

So, the bombardments are technically everywhere in the Gaza Strip. The people who are bearing the brunt of those bombardments are the Palestinian displaced people and the Palestinians from Khan Younis, Rafah, Gaza central area, Gaza City and the north, who have been asked also to move from their areas. In Khan Younis area, around a quarter-million Palestinians were asked to head from the eastern part of the city to the western side of the city. In Gaza, around 300,000 Palestinians are already asked by the Israeli forces to leave the Gaza City and head south toward Deir al-Balah area and Khan Younis and Rafah. So, overall, tense situation that has been exacerbated by the Israeli measures, followed by the adverse development taking place not only because of the bombardment, but rather because of the very large-scale displacement, that reminds the Palestinians of the very first days of the war and even worse than that.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us, Akram, about the reports that flyers are being dropped all over Gaza City telling everyone to leave, what exactly this means? We are seeing that the Palestinian Red Crescent has said its teams are receiving dozens of humanitarian distress calls from residents in Gaza City, where the ambulances and medics are not able to enter because, the Red Crescent described, the intensity of the bombardment of the area. What is happening in Gaza City?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Yes, the intensity of the bombardment in that area, Gaza area, is coupled with the requests that were made by the Israeli forces asking around 400,000 Palestinians who are living in Gaza, including also the internally displaced people, to head south. And they were describing the route to head south, and they were saying that Salah al-Din Street and also another, al-Rashid Street area, are the safe routes for the Palestinians to make it to the announced humanitarian shelters and routes as described by the Israeli occupation forces, while, unfortunately, there’s no safe haven in Gaza, no one safe, no place safe, according to the description that was made by the commissioner general of the U.N. That means a new round of massive displacement is planned by the Israeli occupation forces, not only in Gaza City, where 400,000 Palestinians are staying, but also in Khan Younis area, where is a quarter-million of Palestinians that were asked to move to the eastern — or, western part of the city.

So, those actions are now leading to more despair, leading to more displacement, and are likely also to lead to more destructions once the Israeli occupation forces start the destruction in that area, which they have started at a very large scale in al-Shuja’iyya, in al-Sabra, in al-Daraj, in al-Tuffah and also in al-Saraya area, which are main neighborhoods in Gaza, including the Gaza Old City, that is an historical place that has already been targeted by the Israeli occupation forces, as well, and a significant portion of it was destroyed.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m looking at a piece in The Guardian describing footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showing children playing football in the school’s yard when a sudden boom shook the area, prompting shouts of “A strike! A strike!” If you can explain what happened when the kids were playing soccer?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Well, apparently, obviously, there were targeted by the Israeli occupation forces. This is one of the incidents that was documented by the cameras. Unfortunately, hundreds more incidents are taking place without a camera being there to capture the horror that has been caused, the destruction that has been brought to the life and to the facilities, and the death that has taken the life. Families were divided. According to one of my friends who was there, who is an emergency doctor, they received 27 bodies of one family, and the only surviving member of the family was a 26-years-old — a 26-days-old child. So, many incidents are taking place. Many lives are wasted.

And when you look at the condition and the context and the way people were living when they were targeted, you come to a conclusion that people were just not doing anything. They were not engaging in combat activities. They were not carrying arms. They’re not fighting. They’re just plain people who are seeking some comfort, some rest and respite to their life amidst that ever-escalating military situation, amidst that ever-exacerbating humanitarian crisis. They were trying to play together — I mean the children. They were trying to find some time of peace, when their life was targeted and they were ending up dead.

And I think also most of them not only dead, but some of them are losing their limbs and end up like physically disabled, some of them losing their sight, which some of the people who are reporting about some of the children who were injured were losing their eyes and losing their ability to sense things. One of them lost their four limbs, a child, a baby boy, who lost his four limbs. So, you can’t imagine, and I don’t think you can ever be able to imagine the level of distress that has been caused.

People who have been communicating with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society are people who were trapped under the rubble of their homes. The story of al-Helou family, that was targeted in Gaza City, and around 19 family people were killed, and the only survivor, who was 19 years old, was communicating with the Palestinian Red Crescent and was telling them that he cannot help his family and that his mother was killed and that she is on his lap and that his father is screaming from under the rubble and seeking help. And his brothers and sisters were also seeking help by screaming, and no one could help them, because the Palestinian Red Crescent Society cannot go to those areas where some fighting is taking place; otherwise, they would be targeted. And we have seen different incidents where the Palestinian Red Crescent Society teams were targeted, and even international organizations, like the World Central Kitchen and also some other organizations, the UNRWA, were targeted, and they ended up losing some of their staff.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, UNRWA, their headquarters were hit. UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini wrote today, “4 schools hit in the last 4 days. Since the war began, two thirds of @UNRWA schools in Gaza have been hit, some were bombed out, many severely damaged. Schools have gone from safe places of #education & hope for children to overcrowded shelters and often ending up a place of death & misery. Nine months in, under our watch, the relentless, endless killings, destruction and despair continue. Gaza is no place for children. The blatant disregard of international humanitarian law cannot become the new normal … Ceasefire now before we lose what is left of our common humanity.” Again, those are the words of the UNRWA commissioner-general, Philippe Lazzarini, the Palestinian relief and works agency. Your comment on the ground, Akram, and if you can also respond to whether people on the ground are hearing about the negotiations that are taking place — well, it was in Cairo, now in Doha — around a ceasefire?

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: Landslide majority of the Palestinians are disconnected from the external world. They don’t have internet. They don’t have electrical supplies. They don’t have access to any communication whatsoever. So, unfortunately, most of them, in the past who were extremely interested, they were trying to go to the places where they have electrical supplies due to having the PV panels or where they have been following the news, but now people are extremely busy surviving.

They have been linking any talk about the negotiation and any analysis about any breakthrough when it comes to negotiation and a swap deal with the major developments taking place on the ground. Like, whenever they talk about negotiation, they understand that the Israeli government is going to start a large-scale military step where they would be targeting Gaza. And the very same thing practically is happening. They were talking about the negotiation in Doha and Cairo in the media, and then, the day after, the Israeli occupation forces started that large-scale ground operation in Gaza, and now they’re asking 400,000 Gazans to leave Gaza City and move to the south of Gaza. And they’re asking quarter a million to move from the first half of Khan Younis to the other half of Khan Younis.

So, people are pessimistic about the intention of the Israeli government to do anything whatsoever that can eventually lead to a ceasefire or to rest or respite or peace or comfort or safety or whatever thing that have to do with the rest of a humanitarian soul that has been haunted by the ongoing bombardment and loss and fear of imminent death. So, Palestinians are struggling. Unfortunately, most of them don’t have access to the internet, so they cannot continue following the news about the developments. But they have been seeing the developments with their own eyes.

I believe the ones who were killed in Khan Younis, the 27 family members and also the 52 others who were injured in a shelter that was supposed to be protected according to the international law, an UNRWA facility, they fully understand now that it is just a talk ’til something tangible happens, ’til some safety — sense of safety happens to them, until they can retrieve some normalcy to their life.

They made — the statements that are made by commissioner-general of the UNRWA are appreciated by the Palestinians. They have been seeing the UNRWA struggling for the sake of providing them with the life-saving medication, food, water and nonfood items. However, they understand that the Israeli occupation is not listening to any call, except the call of war and fighting. And they understand on the ground that they have been the prime target of that unleashed power and fire that is targeting them. As you can hear in the background, more injured people, presumably, are coming to the hospital, and the bombardment is still ongoing. People are still killed. And they understand that nothing serious has been done to stop that, neither by the international community, nor by the different U.N. agencies that are mandated to condemn the atrocities and to stop them, as well, and hold accountable the perpetrator of those.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you so much for being with us, Akram al-Satarri, journalist based right now, speaking to us outside the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. Please be safe yourself.

The latest news out of Gaza when it comes to journalists, well, the Gaza government media office says over 150 Palestinian journalists have been killed — most recently, Palestinian journalists Saadi Madoukh and Ahmad Sukar killed Friday, following an Israeli raid that targeted a home of the Madoukh family in the Daraj neighborhood of Gaza City. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says well over 100 media workers have died since October 7th. They are saying, the Committee to Protect Journalists, that the killing of journalists in Gaza makes it the deadliest period since CPJ, the Committee to Protect Journalists, began gathering data in 1992.

This is Democracy Now! Coming up, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian physician, activist, politician. He’s usually in Ramallah but is in Washington, D.C., right now. Stay with us.


THE NATIONAL reports on the state of Gaza in the video below.

 


At least 30 Palestinians were killed as Israeli forces stormed the Tal Al Hawa area of Gaza city early on Thursday, the civil defence said.

“We’ve received dozens of calls from residents there, saying the bodies of martyrs are filling the streets,” civil defence spokesman Mahmood Bassal said in a statement on Telegram.

Civilians are trapped inside their homes, including people with severe injuries, he said.

Some civil defence members were shot at by Israeli forces as they attempted to reach victims, Mr Bassal said.


Gaza remains under assault. Day 279 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "At least 38,345 Palestinians have been killed and 88,295 injured in Israel's war on Gaza since October 7, the enclave's Health Ministry said on Thursday.  In the past 24 hours, 50 people were killed and 54 injured, the ministry added in a statement."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

  



April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."
 

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."






The following sites updated:








Grilled Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa

If you work for a government agency with recipes, you can always send them in.  We noted a lady that worked for one not long ago.  I don't consider that you 'pimping' and I'm happy to note recipe resources.  You also can let me know not to put your name in.  A woman who works for the US Dept. of Agriculture e-mailed to note that July's recipe is Grilled Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa.  That's sounds wonderful and here's the recipe:


Ingredients

    For the salsa:
    • 1 can 15.25 ounces peach halves (drained, rinsed, and chopped, about 1 cup)
    • 1/2 red bell pepper (finely chopped, about 1/2 cup)
    • 1/4 red onion (finely chopped, about 1/4 cup)
    • 1 whole jalapeno pepper (rinsed. seeded, and finely chopped)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    For the fish:
    • 4 tilapia fillets (about 1 lb)
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon low-sodium adobo seasoning
    • 1 package low-sodium sazon seasoning
    • 8 6" flour tortillas (warmed)

    Directions

    For the Salsa:

    1. In a medium bowl, stir together chopped peaches, bell pepper, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lemon juice
    2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


    For the Fish:

    1. Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Using paper towels, pat fish dry, transfer to plate.
    2. In a small bowl, stir together chili powder, low-sodium adobo and Sazon packet.
    3. Rub fish with spice mixture to coat completely.
    4. Place fish on hot greased grill grates.
    5. Cook, flipping once until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork (145 °F), about 8 minutes.
    6. Thinly slice fish.
    7. To serve, fill each tortilla with 1/2 fish fillet and about 1/3 cup of salsa.

    Notes

    Serving Suggestions: Serve with a Summer Corn Salad, chock full of vegetables, and a quick Mango Banana Shake for your best taco night yet!

    Learn more about:




    So check out the Dept. of Agriculture for recipes.  



    Oklahoma’s top education official, who last month mandated that middle and high schools must incorporate the Bible and the Ten Commandments into their curriculums, unveiled a new plan this week to move his state’s public schools even further to the right.

    Superintendent Ryan Walters plans to overhaul Oklahoma’s social studies curriculum with the help of a committee that includes a laundry list of right-wing think tank veterans and influencers—including Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, whose work on the presidential policy proposal document Project 2025 has gone viral in recent days.

    Also included on the list is conservative radio host and media personality Dennis Prager, whose empire of educational YouTube videos—named Prager University despite its lack of accreditation—has been likened to ultra-nationalistic propaganda shown in authoritarian countries like North Korea and China.

    Walters promised his revisions to the social studies curriculum will “eliminate DEI, indoctrination, and return teaching back to the basics in Oklahoma.”

    That is so disgusting.  And it's so unfair to the children who are being taught backward, inbred garbage that's not going to help them in the real world.  

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:


    Wednesday, July 10, 2024.  Calls for Joe Biden to step aside as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee grow louder, the Israeli government bombs another school in Gaza and much more.


    It just gets worse for Joe Biden.  Bill Press has a column out at THE HILL about how Joe needs to step aside.  Why does that matter?  Bill Press is a yellow dog Democrat who thinks he's left but is more to the center.  In fact, he's circles the center repeatedly, so much so than guest hosting UNFILTERED in January of 2005 with Rachel Maddow, Maddow had to repeatedly remind Bill that we "don't do that on this show" -- on air remind him -- we don't play Alan Colmes on this show.  (Alan Colmes was the pathetic 'Democrat' on FOX "NEWS" when Sean Hannity needed a sidekick.)

    That is who has turned against the notion of Joe running. Others will follow. James FitzGerald (BBC News) reports this morning:

    The first Democratic senator has publicly questioned President Joe Biden's election chances, after seven congressman broke cover and urged the 81-year-old to step aside.

    Senator Michael Bennet told CNN he expected the president to lose to Donald Trump by a "landslide", but stopped short of telling him to end his candidacy.

    Questions have been raised about Mr Biden's fitness for office after a stumbling presidential debate performance against Trump late last month.

    The president insists he can beat his adversary, and continues to hold support among key allies after congressional Democrats met to debate his leadership on Tuesday. 


    This as Nick Reisman (POLITICO) reveals a truly horrifying development:


    President Joe Biden has a new problem: a competitive race in deep blue New York.

    Elected officials, union leaders and political consultants are panicking over polls showing a steady erosion of Biden’s support in a state he won by 23 points four years ago. They’re so worried they’ve been trying to convince the Biden team to pour resources into New York to shore up his campaign and boost Democrats running in a half-dozen swing districts that could determine control of the House. 

    Biden aides have not focused on New York, committing no significant resources to a state where they expect the president to easily win all 28 electoral college votes in November.
    But the warning signs are impossible to ignore and have been building over the past year. Two private polls conducted in a swing New York House district and reviewed by POLITICO — one in September and another in March — found former President Donald Trump leading Biden there by 1 point, a virtual tie. And public polls over the last four months found Biden’s lead had winnowed to just 8 points across New York — an unusually narrow gap in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.


    ALJAZEERA noted yesterday:

    Hours after the talks, Mikie Sherrill, a Democratic representative from New Jersey, became the seventh elected Democrat to publicly call on Biden to drop out of the race.

    “I know that President Biden and his team have been true public servants and have put the country and the best interests of democracy first and foremost in their considerations,” Sherrill said in a statement.


    This is reality and this isn't ordinary.  For either of the two main political parties in this country, this isn't normal.  But Joe's oblivious, as Mike said "Get a barge, Biden's floating on Denial."   Others aren't willing to deny the obvious.  Carly Thomas (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) explains:


    George Stephanopoulos is apologizing after being caught on camera making a remark to a pedestrian about President Joe Biden running for another term in the White House.

    According to a video obtained by TMZ, the media personality for ABC News was asked by a passerby while walking in New York City, in workout clothes, on Tuesday, “Do you think Biden should step down? You’ve talked to him more than anybody else has lately.” Stephanopoulos responded, “I don’t think he can serve four more years.”

    After his comment made headlines, the Good Morning America co-host said in a statement obtained by NBC News, “Earlier today I responded to a question from a passerby. I shouldn’t have.” The Disney-owned news network also added in its own statement, “George expressed his own point of view and not the position of ABC News.”   



    Former President Trump now has an edge over President Biden in the three key swing states of Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, per new ratings from the nonpartisan Cook Political Report with Amy Walter.

    Why it matters: The new ratings underscore that even if Biden survives the calls for him to step down, the Democratic Party still faces a bigger challenge ahead: Winning in November.

    Driving the news: Arizona, Georgia and Nevada were all moved from Toss Up to Lean Republican by the Cook Political Report. Biden won all three states by narrow margins in 2020. 



    Are you getting how bad this is?


    A few weeks back, I dictated the snapshot for the day after the debate and then what did I do? 



    Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time
    There's something wrong here they can be no denying
    One of us is changing 
    Or maybe we just stopped trying 
    But it's too late baby, oh, it's too late. 
    -- "It's Too Late," written by Carole King and Toni Stern, first appears on Carole's TAPESTRY

    Why?

    Because there was what happened at the debate and what the media was doing.


    So forgive me if I'm not thrilled by the nonsense of  Kelly Rissman (INDEPENDENT) yesterday:


    On stage stood the two oldest presidential candidates the country has seen.

    President Joe Biden, 81, stood to the right. It was supposed to be a night where he reassured voters that he, already America’s oldest president, is up for another four years. His campaign hoped the night would dispel fears about him being closer to 100 than 50.




    I don't know who you think you're helping at this late date.  Did Joe lose the debate?  No, he didn't.  "And the winner was . . . Joe Biden (Ava and C.I.)" went up after the debate.  The next day was the time for Kelly R and others to weigh in.  But the press didn't do that and that's why I went back to bed.  I'm not joking, I was so depressed because it was a media hit job -- read that day's snapshot.  

    Two weeks later, a few voices want to get honest?  It doesn't matter.  

    Al Gore said he invented the internet!

    Poppy Bush doesn't know how grocery scanners work!

    We can give a million other examples of how the press lied.  But the point is, once the media imposes a narrative, that's really it.  
     


    Reality: What happened at the debate no longer matters.  The narrative has taken control.  Joe Biden stumbled and fumbled due to old age!!!!

    That was CNN, that was MSNBC.  And it's too late.  It is the media narrative and that's one of the reasons he needs to step down.  

    Last Friday on ABC was feeding the narrative (see Ava and my "Media: It's Time For Joe To Go").  He didn't have the expertise to pivot, to present a future.  He just there and took it as he got punched over and by George with one question after another about losing the debate and why.  That's not a slam at George.  Joe'd already made his excuses before that interview.  George did his job.  I've called out George here plenty of times over the years.  If he deserved it now, I'd call him out.  But if anything, George was too nice on him.  And that added to the pity factor.


    There is no comeback from this.  It is established in the popular memory.  Old Man Biden's not up to the job.  Let's see how he stumbles next!

     
    But at any rate, it's too late for Kelly R's rescue attempt.  The ABC interview was worse than the debate.  He took punch after punch and failed to stand up for himself, for the country and failed to provide a plan for the next four years.

    Donald's a crook.  He is scary.  But running on that (again) is not going to do the trick and Joe's wounded with the blood in the water, the sharks are circling.  For the good of the party, he needs to drop out.



    As Jared Mitovich (POLITICO) notes that yesterday THE NEW YORK TIMES published their second editorial calling for Joe to step aside:


    In a piece published Tuesday that rebutted the president’s defense of his candidacy in recent days, the editorial board explicitly urged Democratic leadership to publicly call for Biden to step aside and coalesce around a new nominee in order to defeat former President Donald Trump. The board described the current “whisper campaign” in the party as an inadequate attempt to convince Biden to withdraw, calling him not only “defiant” and “floundering,” but “a man in decline” trying to circumvent the reality that he is a damaged candidate.
    “[Democrats] need to tell [Biden] that he is embarrassing himself and endangering his legacy,” the editorial board wrote. “He needs to hear, plain and clear, that he is no longer an effective spokesman for his own priorities.”


    Some liars are trying to insist that yesterday, everything changed, Joe gave a speech!!!!  

    Did baby make first words?  Goo-goo, that's so cute.  

    In the real world, Sumanti Sen (HINUDSTAN TIMES) reports, "Joe Biden was seen carefully reading from teleprompters in a speech kicking off NATO’s annual summit on Tuesday, July 9, in Washington DC."  And, sorry, that really does say it all.

    Another day in Gaza, another school destroyed.  Samuel Osborne (SKY NEWS) reports:

    Dozens of people have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on a school-turned-shelter in southern Gaza.

    The strike at the entrance to the school hit the tents of displaced families in the town of Abassan, east of Khan Younis, with most of the victims being women and children, according to Palestinian medical officials.




    A three-month-old girl, Asmaa Ajour, lies in Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza after Israeli forces killed all her immediate family members in Gaza City.

    Her grandmother Um Ramzi Qwaider recounted to Al Jazeera that Asmaa’s family moved from the Tuffah neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City a few days ago due to Israeli shelling and evacuation orders.

    The family moved to the Sina’a neighbourhood in western Gaza City, but the Israeli military operation expanded suddenly overnight and the area was attacked.

    “They were subjected to Israeli shelling, and [Asmaa’s] mother, father, sisters, cousins and uncles were killed,” Qwaider said.

    She added that Asmaa remained in her dead mother’s lap for 12 hours until her grandfather managed to save her as Israeli forces fired bullets for hours.

    “I don’t know how this orphaned child will live at this age without a father and mother. I don’t know how her life will be. I don’t know how she will be alone in this world,” Qwaider said.

    Over the past three days, people have appealed on social media for authorities in Gaza to intervene and recover nine bodies of the Ajour family that are still lying at the scene.



    Let's drop back to yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!


    AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

    The official death toll from Israel’s war on Gaza has topped 38,200, but a new report in the British medical journal The Lancet estimates the actual death toll could be 186,000 or even higher. That’s roughly 8% of Gaza’s population. The report looks at how war leads to indirect deaths due to shortages of medical care, food, shelter and water.

    As Israel’s war enters its 10th month, we’re joined by a Palestinian American who ended a 22-year career in the U.S. Air Force after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed his aunt, Saida Saleh Abu Hashem. Mohammed Abu Hashem served as a first sergeant in the 316th Civil Engineer Squadron of the U.S. Air Force. He’s the first to resign with a direct connection to Gaza’s massive civilian death toll. He recently co-signed a letter with 11 other former U.S. officials who resigned over the Biden administration’s policies toward Gaza, Palestine and Israel. The officials wrote in the letter, quote, “[T]his failed policy has not achieved its stated objectives — it has not made Israelis any safer, it has emboldened extremists while it has been devastating for the Palestinian people, ensuring a vicious cycle of poverty and hopelessness,” unquote. Mohammed Abu Hashem joins us now from Akron, Ohio.

    Mohammed, thanks so much for being with us. Condolences on the death of your aunt. Can you talk about why you resigned and when you did it?

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: Thank you, Amy. And thank you for the opportunity.

    I served 22 years in the Air Force. I hoped, as a Palestinian American, I could lead with my voice one day, because we know that representation matters. I never expected it to be at a time where we’ve seen the indiscriminate killing of — well, now new reports, as you stated, approximately 186,000 Palestinians, including my family members.

    It was clear to me that I needed to step away, and I made my decision on October 21st, after trying my best to give evidence to the intelligence community. And when I never received anything back, I knew then, and along with watching other members of the State Department resign — I knew that no matter how high in the rank I would have reached, no one was going to listen in a time this administration was not going to change their mind.

    AMY GOODMAN: Why did you join the military?

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: I joined the military in early 2002, in January of 2002, right after 9/11, really, because I felt a need and necessity as an 18-year-old when I watched the attack of 9/11. I was worried and concerned about the family that I have here, just like most people were concerned about what further escalation this was going to cause. And I was concerned for not only my family, but some of my friends and their family members that I consider family [inaudible] over here in America.

    AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about your aunt and what happened to her in Gaza?

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: Absolutely. And I brought this evidence of what happened to one of my direct leads that has oversight on the personnel in the Defense Intelligence Agency.

    The building, the apartment complex that they lived in, is a four-resident complex. And the majority of the people that lived there are shop owners, teachers, just regular, every single day people. Every single person that made it out told me directly that there was nobody out of the ordinary in the building. Yet the Israeli military claimed that it was a Hamas operational structure.

    I rebutted that response and asked again, “How was it a Hamas operational structure?” At the very least, why they waited until all the residents to reenter the building before striking the residence? Because they did perform a roof knock that even my cousin told me about. And the majority of the residents of that building, to include the 12 children that was killed on that day, exited the building for approximately 90 minutes. My uncle informed me directly that as soon as they made it into the building and into their living room, they found themselves underneath the rubble.

    AMY GOODMAN: And tell us exactly what you understand happened to your aunt, in particular, and who she was.

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: My aunt was just a housewife. She didn’t work. My uncle was the one that provided for the family. She has three kids. She was just a regular, everyday, household, you know, family member.

    She was struck in the living room. And some of the residents were telling me that they could still hear her voice when they were pulling people under the rubble. And we were informed that there was a possibility that she was still alive while under the rubble, but they couldn’t get to her in time.

    AMY GOODMAN: And so, that happened in October. Can you talk, then, about resigning but then not making that public until recently, months later? What led you to that decision, Mohammed?

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: In the beginning, I was going through my own struggles, not only just as an American member watching what’s happening and what’s unfolding, but as a Palestinian that has direct ties. And I tried to reach out to members of the media, but no one in the beginning was — the totality of what was happening was not as vast as what it is today, and I was not receiving the same kind of response. It wasn’t until I started reaching out to the other State Department resignations and making those connections with people that I finally started to get my story to the right people. And it wasn’t until June, when I was officially completely out of the military, that I was able to get my story out on The Washington Post.

    AMY GOODMAN: Mohammed Abu Hashem, you made it to the rank of sergeant. You met another airman. Can you talk about meeting Aaron Bushnell and then what he would subsequently do, and when and where you met him?

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: Absolutely. It was crazy to me how our meeting was and the fact that I decided to move away from Washington, D.C., after everything that happened. I moved to Akron, Ohio, in February, and I took a position in a company that does home improvement. And within the first week of working in this company, I ran into — I was introduced to Aaron as another veteran who was currently ready to leave the service. And we just had a brief conversation, a 30-second conversation, how he enjoyed what his experience was like in the company. And it wasn’t until four days later, five days later, when I came back into work, that I realized, on the news articles, that that was the same individual that I was talking to.

    And it really took me back. It took me a week to analyze and really think about the possibility that I could have had in the conversation with Aaron to let him know why I decided to leave the service, and me being Palestinian, what that conversation could have been like. My entire job as a first sergeant in the military was to take care of the welfare and the morale of the individuals that I served over. And it was just — it dawned on me then that I probably could have done more, if we went into a deeper conversation, for Aaron Bushnell. But, unfortunately, that’s when I heard about it, the very — the following weekend, or on Monday, when I came back into work, what happened.

    AMY GOODMAN: And talk about how you heard, what you understood he did.

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: Initially, I saw the reports online, and I did not make the connection immediately, because when I was introduced to him, we never really introduced each other by name. We just — veteran to veteran, we just had a conversation. It wasn’t until the company announced that we lost a member that I started to make that connection. And it wasn’t until some of the people that I worked with came up to me and told me, that that’s when I realized who Aaron Bushnell was.

    AMY GOODMAN: That the man who self-immolated, set himself on fire, was Aaron. Mohammed Abu Hashem, you have said that you have information that U.S. intelligence gave Israel information about what was going to happen, what happened on October 7th, before then. Can you talk about what you understand?

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: So, I spoke to members in the intelligence community that told me — this is I’m just quoting — that the intelligence that was provided to Israel on the 5th and 6th of October was more than sufficient for them to be able to stop Hamas. Regarding what kind of information was provided, whether it was confirmation of the movements that was happening around the Gaza Strip, or even if you refer to some of the Israel news articles, even their outposts near Gaza, they were informing their leadership that some type of movement was happening, and it was inconsistent with normal, everyday activity. What and how Israel used that intelligence to up their force protection levels or to move to an alert status, that is the unknown. And unfortunately, they’ve delayed that investigation into the matter so they can continue their assault on innocent women and children.

    AMY GOODMAN: Now, it might surprise some to hear that the U.S. gave actionable intelligence to Israel before Hamas’s October 7th attack. So, if you could elaborate, as people listen, maybe some of them stunned?

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: We continuously — I mean, the Gaza Strip is one of the most heavily surveilled locations in the globe. And this is not just surveillance. We continue to do reconnaissance in the region, as well. So, it’s not far from realistic to say that we had evidence or that it was provided to the Israeli government or that the Israeli government shared intelligence with the United States that shows that there was some sort of threat level that should have been alerting all the military forces in the area of some type of imminent attack that was going to happen.

    AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Mohammed, as you have become publicly known as a person who resigned, a first person with a direct connection to Israel’s assault on Gaza right now, have people approached you? And talk about this letter you signed with 11 others, officials, talking about their reasons for resigning connected to U.S. support for Israel.

    MOHAMMED ABU HASHEM: Even before I signed the letter myself, I’ve had people reach out to me, asking me how they would deal with how they should move forward with the situation. And I always — it’s a saying in the military where we say you follow all orders unless they are illegal, unethical or immoral. I found that all three were violated, in my morals and my ethics, and, obviously, the legal aspect would be the American laws that were violated, as well. And every time I spoke to these members, I told them it’s up to them to find whether this violates their own morality and their own ethics, and it’s up to them to make that decision for themselves.

    We understood — as the 12 members, we understood the power of raising our voices together to demand a change, because the American people deserve to have a government that follows ethical and moral standards. We have a duty to inform them, as it impacts their national security with the blind support we continue to provide for Israel. There aren’t many conflicts where everything is broadcasted live to the world. It’s on every social media platform. So we needed to step up to demand a change. And I hope that it would raise awareness with all our colleagues to use their voice if they stay in the State Department or to make a choice on whether they believe that this follows their own ethics or their own morals, in order for them to make a decision whether they want to stay or resign over this conflict.

    AMY GOODMAN: Mohammed Abu Hashem, I want to thank you for being with us, former first sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He resigned from his 22-year career in the Air Force over U.S.'s support for Israel in its war on Gaza. Mohammed is Palestinian American. His aunt was killed in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike on October 10th. He's the first to resign with a direct connection to Gaza’s massive civilian death toll.

    When we come back, we’ll speak with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. He has a new report out, based on interviews with senior Hamas officials, about ongoing ceasefire negotiations and the group’s broader goals. He co-founded The Intercept. Now he’s co-founded a new news site. It’s called Drop Site. Stay with us.




    Gaza remains under assault. Day 278 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  ALJAZEERA notes, "Releasing the latest casualty report, the ministry said at least 88,241 people have been injured since the war began on October 7, 2023. It said 52 Palestinians were killed and 208 injured in the past 24 hours." Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

      



    April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."
     

    As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."






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