Thursday, November 23, 2023

Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake in the Kitchen

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Rosalynn Carter passed away (Rebecca's "rosalynn carter" notes the passing).  Heather e-mailed that she was in third grade when Jimmy Carter became president and her school did a trip to DC late that spring and got to tour the White House.  Rosalynn and two staff members were walking through the hall and stopped to speak to the kids.  That had a huge impact on Heather -- I imagine it would on most kids -- and she's sad (as I think the whole nation is) over the passing.  People magazine is noting Rosalynn's recipe for Strawberry Cake and Heather asked if I could note it.  Sure will:

1 package of yellow or white cake mix
1 3-ounce package of strawberry jello
3/4 cup cooking oil
1 cup chopped nuts
4 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1 10-ounce package of frozen strawberries or 1 pint fresh strawberries with 1/2 cup of sugar 

Mix all ingredients and beat well; pour into angle food cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.
Serve plain or with whipped cream.

People also notes:

Rosalynn was married to the nation’s 39th president, Jimmy Carter, for 77 years, and served as the first lady during his tenure from 1977 to 1981. She is survived by their four children and numerous grandchildren and great-children. Jimmy, who terminated medical intervention in February amid his own health challenges at the age of 99, remains in hospice care at home.

The National Women's Hall of Fame inductee is remembered for her human rights advocacy work throughout her life. Rosalynn wrote five books and was the recipient of numerous honors from organizations like the National Organization of Women and the National Mental Health Association.

She has been honored by messages that have poured in from world leaders, as well as many other political and public figures. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are among the many people who have shared their tributes to Rosalynn. They released a statement Sunday, remembering Rosalynn for "inspiring a nation and the world" with her dedication to addressing "many of society's greatest needs."

Here's The National Archives noting the recipe:

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2023.  A pause is not a cease-fire and more realities. 

CNN notes, "Israel and Hamas have agreed to a four-day humanitarian pause to allow the release of at least 50 hostages – women and children – held in Gaza. The deal will also involve the release of 150 Palestinians, including women and children, held in Israeli prisons."  ALJAZEERA provides more specifics:

Under the truce, Hamas says the initial 50 captives will be released in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.

Israel’s justice ministry has published a list of 300 Palestinian prisoners who could be among those freed. Some details:

  • The list includes at least 33 women and 123 minors
  • The youngest detainees are 14, while the eldest is a 59-year-old woman
  • None of the male detainees listed is older than 18; they all have been arrested since 2021, with the vast majority detained in the past year
  • Most of those in the list are still awaiting trial
  • Their charges range from incitement to stone-throwing to attempted murder
  • Among the more well-known prisoners on the list is 38-year-old Israa Jaabis.

NBC NEWS adds, "The agreement which Hamas said will start tomorrow, was reached after weeks of talks brokered by the U.S. and Qatar. It will also allow humanitarian aid and fuel into the besieged Gaza Strip. The hostages' families or others have 24 hours to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court to object to the deal."

If the deal holds, it's not much at all.  It's four days.  The Israeli government -- which continues to attack Gaza today -- has already stated that after the pause, they will return to bombing and attacking.  They're finally going to allow fuel and humanitarian aid in?  How sweet of them after people have died in hospitals in the last week because of lack of fuel and humanitarian aid (that was sarcasm).  US President Joe Biden issued the following statement:

I welcome the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist group Hamas during its brutal assault against Israel on October 7th. 

Jill and I have been keeping all those held hostage and their loved ones close to our hearts these many weeks, and I am extraordinarily gratified that some of these brave souls, who have endured weeks of captivity and an unspeakable ordeal, will be reunited with their families once this deal is fully implemented.

I thank Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for their critical leadership and partnership in reaching this deal.  And I appreciate the commitment that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government have made in supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure the provision of additional humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinian families in Gaza. I look forward to speaking with each of these leaders and staying in close contact as we work to ensure this deal is carried through in its entirety. It is important that all aspects of this deal be fully implemented.

As President, I have no higher priority than ensuring the safety of Americans held hostage around the world. That’s why—from the earliest moments of Hamas’s brutal assault—my national security team and I have worked closely with regional partners to do everything possible to secure the release of our fellow citizens.  We saw the first results of that effort in late October, when two Americans were reunited with their loved ones.  Today’s deal should bring home additional American hostages, and I will not stop until they are all released. 

Today’s deal is a testament to the tireless diplomacy and determination of many dedicated individuals across the United States Government to bring Americans home.

And I'm sure he is grateful.  Grateful that this fig leaf can be grasped by the deluded at Thanksgiving gatherings tomorrow.  Otherwise, family members might force them to realize the reality of the slaughter that's taken place.  Instead the deluded and the elderly can cling to this and close their minds to the truth.

  If it holds, the Qatar-mediated hostage deal will mark a temporary reprieve in what has been a catastrophic six-week war. Israel's response to the October 7 Hamas-led attack—which killed roughly 1,200 people—has decimated large swaths of the Gaza Strip, wrecking schools, homes, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure and killing more than 14,000 people, drawing accusations of genocide.

Israel's siege of the Palestinian enclave has left virtually the entire population on the brink of starvation and forced many of the territory's overwhelmed hospitals to shut down due to a lack of fuel and other critical supplies, depriving many patients—including premature babies—of necessary treatment. 

  Progressive U.S. lawmakers who have been calling for a cease-fire for weeks welcomed the newly announced hostage deal but said it's not sufficient, particularly if the Israeli government resumes its devastating bombing campaign once the four-day pause is over—as Netanyahu has said he intends to do.

"A temporary pause in the violence is not enough," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said in a statement. "We must move with urgency to save as many lives as possible and achieve a permanent cease-fire agreement. Over 14,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since this violence began, including thousands of children, and 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes."

“Further displacement of Palestinians and forced annexation of their land will only perpetuate this conflict," Tlaib added. "Expanding the illegal occupation will never lead to a just and lasting peace. We must address the root causes of this conflict."

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), the lead sponsor of a cease-fire resolution in the U.S. House, said the pause announcement "further proves the effectiveness of de-escalation and diplomacy—not military force—as a means of saving lives and affirms why we must keep up our push for a permanent cease-fire."

"When this agreement expires, the bombing will continue, thousands more will die, and millions of people will continue to be displaced," said Bush. "We must continue to vigorously push for a permanent cease-fire that ends this violence, protects and saves lives, and ensures the safe return of all hostages, including those who are being arbitrarily detained."

The advocacy group Jewish Voice for Peace echoed Bush and Tlaib, saying that "the Israeli government's collective punishment and unfolding genocide of Palestinians in Gaza cannot just be put on 'pause'; it must be stopped." 

Even if the truce between Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Hamas results in the promised four-day pause in hostilities – or longer – the horror enveloping Gaza in terms of lives lost is worse than many people think. Among those who oppose Israel’s onslaught, there are still those who do not truly grasp it. It’s understandable that Israeli authorities are seeking to sow doubt about the size of the death toll, because the numbers expose the gravity of the crimes being committed. But we should not be deceived.

Take the argument that the health ministry is Hamas-run and, therefore, its figures can never be trusted. It sounds like a reasonable enough claim on the surface, until you realise that in previous conflicts the death toll reported by the ministry was largely consistent with the UN’s and even Israel’s counts. Last month, after doubts were raised by President Biden, the ministry even released the names, ages and identification numbers of the victims.

Indeed, the health ministry’s official estimate – currently 13,300 dead after six weeks – could well be an underestimate, as a senior US official has conceded. The figures do not include the dead buried under rubble who have not been retrieved. According to the independent Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, which is chaired by US emeritus law professor and former UN special rapporteur on Palestine, Richard Falk, the civilian death toll as of 20 November is 16,413, with nearly 34,000 injured. This would mean one in every 142 Palestinian civilians killed in a month and a half.

Given that this slaughter may not end soon, the current health ministry tally of 13,300 dead, when placed in the context of Gaza’s population of 2.2 million, tells us something about the sheer scale of what has happened. Comparisons with other conflicts are truly eye-opening here. The Bosnian war loomed over my own childhood as a case study of an unspeakable atrocity. About 40,000 civilians died in those killing fields in the years between 1992 and 1995. That was over three years, not six weeks, and it was in a country whose prewar population was about twice that of Gaza.

But aren’t many of the deaths in Gaza not civilians, but Hamas militants, you might ask? The evidence suggests not. Research by the Iraq Body Count project, which diligently compiled violent civilian deaths after the 2003 invasion, concluded last month about Gaza that “few of the victims can have been combatants”. Analysing the ministry of health data, they found only a “modest excess of adult males killed”, which could be explained by their greater exposure to risk in, for instance, rescue efforts. With an estimated 70% of the dead being women and children – and many of the slain men unlikely to have been combatants – their conclusion is difficult to rebut.

The dead includes at least 102 United Nations workers.  In fact, last week  and CNN) reported, "More United Nations aid workers have been killed in Gaza than in any other single conflict in the organization’s 78-year history, the UN said Monday, a stark reminder that humanitarian staff from global agencies have not been spared from Israel’s relentless bombardment of the besieged strip."  The dead also includes journalists.  From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: It’s been another devastating 24 hours in Gaza and southern Lebanon for journalists covering the 46-day Israeli bombardment. The Beirut-based TV channel Al Mayadeen has just announced two of its journalists were killed today in an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon. The network says correspondent Farah Omar and camera operator Rabih Al-Me’mari were deliberately targeted by an Israeli warplane after reporting on Israel’s latest bombardment of south Lebanon.

Meanwhile, in northern Gaza, Ayat Khaddura, a 27-year-old digital content and podcast presenter, has been reportedly killed along with her family in an Israeli airstrike. This is Ayat, one of her last video reports.

AYAT KHADDURA: [translated] This may be the last video for me. Today, the occupation dropped phosphorus bombs on the Beit Lahia project area and scary sound bombs and threw evacuation notices in the area. And, of course, almost the entire area has evacuated. Everyone started running madly in the streets. No one knows neither where they’re going to or coming from. We’re separated, of course. I and a few others remain at home, while the rest have evacuated, and we don’t know where they went. The situation is very scary. The situation is very terrifying. What is happening is very difficult. May God have mercy on us.

AMY GOODMAN: On Sunday, the head of the Gaza Press House was also killed by the Israeli military. Belal Jadallah was heading to southern Gaza when he was killed by an Israeli tank shell in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City. Belal was known as the “Godfather” of Palestinian journalism. He helped train generations of reporters and welcomed foreign correspondents and sponsored them when covering the Gaza Strip.

The Committee to Protect Journalists Monday announced a grim milestone had been reached with at least 50 journalists and media workers killed since October 7th. Forty-five of the journalists have been Palestinian. There have been three Israeli journalists killed, and there have been at least three Lebanese journalists killed. CPJ reports 11 journalists have been injured, three are reported missing, and 18 have been arrested. According to CPJ, the past month and a half has been the deadliest period of journalists covering the conflict since the media group began tracking these deaths over 30 years ago.

We go now to Philadelphia, where we’re joined by Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Sherif, welcome back to Democracy Now!, under horrific circumstances. The U.N. secretary-general says that the number of civilian deaths is “unparalleled and unprecedented.” Of course, journalists are civilians. As I woke up this morning, I got one text after another, first the young woman and her cameraman in southern Lebanon killed about an hour after she posted a video report. She’s standing in a field in southern Lebanon, and she’s talking about the Israeli military killing civilians. She and her cameraman are then hit and killed. And then, as I’m learning their names, another text comes in. This young reporter in northern Gaza is killed, even as she says in her report, “I fear I will die.” Can you talk about this latest news and then a man you have come to know, who worked with you on a CPJ report, the head of the Gaza journalists’ association, also killed in an airstrike?

SHERIF MANSOUR: Thank you, Amy, for having me.

I remember being on your show a little bit more of a month ago and saying, for journalists in the region, this is a deadly time. And it was the deadliest week back then. It became the deadliest month and now the deadliest six weeks on our record. I was not exaggerating. I was not speculating.

The killing of Belal Jadallah, who helped us document this deadly pattern of journalists being killed by Israeli fire over 21 years — just in May, we made a profile of 20 journalists. The majority, 18, were Palestinians. And he, Jadallah, his center have helped identify them, their families, get us their pictures. And on Sunday, he became a victim of this same deadly pattern when he was killed in his car. Jadallah has also provided crucial safety equipment for journalists in order to do their job safely. And he opened the Press House for journalists to use the electricity and internet when there was no other place.

This deadly pattern has existed before. It’s getting more deadly per day. We are investigating the three more killing today, adding to 50 as of yesterday. We’ve never seen anything like this. It’s unprecedented. And for journalists in Gaza specifically, the exponential risk is possibly the most dangerous we have seen. Journalists were killed in the very early stages at the two entry and exit points from Gaza — in the south, the Rafah crossing; in the north, the Erez crossing. And since then, they were killed everywhere in between. They were killed in the south in Rafah City, in Khan Younis, where they were told it’s going to be safe. They were killed in the middle in the Gaza Strip. And they were killed in the north in Gaza City. They have no safe haven. They have no exit.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Sherif, could you talk, as well, about the arrests of journalists in Gaza and the Occupied Territories? And also, your organization has criticized, as well, Israel for its censorship within Israel of the press in Israel. Could you talk about that, as well?

SHERIF MANSOUR: Well, we have documented separately from the casualties list, which includes journalists going missing, injured, the escalation of arrests. As of yesterday, 18 Palestinian journalists from the West Bank were arrested. Many of them were put in administrative detention, in military prosecutions. In addition, dozens of cases of censorship, direct censorship, cyberattacks, physical assaults, obstruction from coverage within the West Bank and within Israel.

In Israel, an emergency legislation has now given the government for the first time the unprecedented power of shutting down international media organization, including acting on Al Mayadeen — which two journalists were killed today in Lebanon — banning them in Israel, and allowing the government also to jail even Israeli journalists for up to a year under suspicious and these accusations of harming national morale and harming national security.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Also, here in the United States, we are getting much coverage on the commercial media of the war, of the Israeli war in Gaza, but it’s all of U.S. journalists that are basically based in Israel, and there are no U.S. journalists that I’ve seen that are actually in Gaza. And those who do go in only go in with the Israeli army and under the condition that Israel must review all of their videotape beforehand and approve it before it can go out. I’m wondering your sense of how the American people — what kind of story they’re getting as a result of these conditions?

SHERIF MANSOUR: Well, these conditions put local Palestinian photojournalists and freelancers at the most risk. They are the ones on the frontlines. We have not — we have seen a dwindling number of international media and international journalists within Gaza over the years because of the risks involved. And right now the Palestinian journalists are bearing the brunt of this risk and this heavy toll.

Of course, these casualties, the censorship is also coupled with communication blackouts for, to date, since the start of the war, that makes this more often news blackout, not just communication blackout. And, of course, that denies journalists a voice. It also denies people in the region and worldwide of essential media coverage, lifesaving information for 2 million Palestinians who are struggling to find food, clean water and shelter right now, but millions and hundreds of millions all over the world who are following this heartbreaking conflict and try to understand it, including in the U.S.

AMY GOODMAN: So, as Juan said, Sherif, you have — the Israeli military says they cannot guarantee the lives of journalists that go into Gaza. In early November — I’m just thinking back to a few weeks ago — the Palestine News Agency reported that their journalist Mohammad Abu Hattab was killed in an Israeli strike on his home in southern Gaza Strip along with 11 members of his family, including his wife, son and brother. His colleague, journalist Salman Al-Bashir, burst into tears during a live broadcast upon learning of Abu Hattab’s killing. As he spoke, Al-Bashir tore off his helmet and protective vest, labeled “press,” and threw them to the ground. And then there was a split screen, as he ripped off his gear, saying, “Why do we bother wearing this if we’re going to be killed anyway?” They showed the anchor back in the Palestine news studio as she wept as Al-Bashir tore off his helmet and protective vest. Your response to this situation and this whole issue of embedded journalism is the only way the U.S. media can get those reports inside Gaza, where their news reports are reviewed, and the Gazan journalists on the ground being killed one after another, dozens of Palestinian journalists killed?

SHERIF MANSOUR: Well, the Israeli army cannot escape or evade their responsibility under international law not to use unwarranted lethal force against journalists and against media facilities. It would constitute a possible war crime to do so. We have raised directly with Israeli officials the need for them to reform the rules of engagement, to respect press insignia and to ensure there are safeguards, checks when civilians and journalists are around. We have called for Israeli allies, including the U.S. government, European allies, to raise directly these issues, and publicly, with their Israeli counterparts. And we have called for the U.N. Security Council to include safety of journalists on the agenda in any diplomatic discussion.

Of course, the Israeli government are obliged under international law to protect journalists as civilians, but it’s also journalists’ vital role in time of war providing accurate, timely, independent information that gives them these protections under international law. And we want to make sure that the Israeli army, as well, do not continue to push false narratives and smear campaigns to try and justify the killing of those journalists.

AMY GOODMAN: Sherif Mansour, we want to thank you for being with us, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, speaking to us from Philadelphia.

Coming up, the acclaimed Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha has been detained at an Israeli checkpoint in Gaza, his whereabouts now unknown. Back in 20 seconds.

On the topic of the dead, AP reports:

Palestinian health officials in Gaza said Tuesday that they have lost the ability to count the dead because of the collapse of parts of the enclave’s health system and the difficulty of retrieving bodies from areas overrun by Israeli tanks and troops.

The Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza, which carefully tracked casualties over the first five weeks of war, gave its most recent death toll of 11,078 on Nov. 10. The United Nations humanitarian office, which cites the Health Ministry death toll in its regular reports, still refers to 11,078 as the last verified death toll from the war.

One thing that doesn't die?  Lying by the Israeli government.  Arun Gupta (ZNET) explains:

Israeli propaganda is bad, really bad, comically bad

There are fake stories about Hamas beheading babies, and even beheading a fetus. There are outlandish claims of “mass rape so brutal that they broke their victims’ pelvis – women, grandmothers, children.” 

There is a fake Al Qaeda manual found on a dead Hamas fighter emblazoned with “Al Qaeda” in English on its cover. There’s a pristine copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf found in a child’s room of a Hamas “terrorism hub.

There’s the Israeli video of a fake nurse at al-Shifa Hospital ranting about Hamas stealing morphine and fuel that was seen more than 12 million times before being deleted. There’s Israeli footage of a Hamas tunnel under a hospital that turned out to be a Swedish Cold War-era bunker

There’s video of IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, the face of Israeli propaganda, touring a fake Hamas bunker where he said hostages were imprisoned under a children’s hospital. In the video Hagari points to a schedule in Arabic posted to a wall where “every terrorist writes his name” to take turns guarding hostages. In reality, the paper was a shift timetable with dates and days and no names.

As laughably bad as the propaganda is, it gets worse. After besieging hospitals in North Gaza for a week, Israel says it has proof that the largest hospital, al-Shifa, was a Hamas command center. Its evidence? An IDF video showing “about 10 guns.” 

That’s it  — 10 guns, some ammo, vests, uniforms. That’s all the “evidence” the Israelis could muster in a sprawling 10-acre complex with six separate hospitals and medical facilities. Shifa is so large that in October, 50,000 Gazans were sheltering there from relentless Israeli bombing. 

That simple fact, 117,000 displaced Gazans had taken refuge at Shifa and other hospitals in North Gaza, points to the real story. On Oct. 13 Israel issued orders for hospitals in North Gaza to evacuate, which the World Health Organization called a “death sentence” for thousands of injured and sick patients. Amnesty International said the orders amounted to “forced evacuation” and would violate international humanitarian law. 

On Oct. 14, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights warned that “in the name of self-defense, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing.”

That is Israel’s main goal in its war on Gaza hospitals. It is attacking places with the greatest protection under international law to show no place is safe. Routing terrified refugees from shelter in hospitals is necessary for Israel to ethnically cleanse the northern half and perhaps the entirety of Gaza.

Leaders of major emerging economies called for an end to Israel’s war on Gaza on Tuesday, and for a cessation of hostilities on both sides to ease the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

In a virtual summit chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the BRICS grouping denounced attacks on civilians in Palestine and Israel, with many leaders calling the forced displacement of Palestinians, within Gaza or outside the territory, “war crimes.”

“We condemned any kind of individual or mass forcible transfer and deportation of Palestinians from their own land,” a chair’s summary read. The group, which did not issue a joint declaration, also “reiterated that the forced transfer and deportation of Palestinians, whether inside Gaza or to neighbouring countries, constitute grave breaches of the Geneva conventions and war crimes and violations under International Humanitarian Law.”

The BRICS is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, all major emerging economies looking for a greater say in a global order long dominated by the United States and its Western allies. These countries are often viewed as leaders of what is referred to in international policy speak as the “Global South”.

In the US?  Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) notes, "Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon became just the second senator to demand a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, joining Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin. Merkley wrote, 'By waging a war that generates a shocking level of civilian carnage rather than a targeted campaign against Hamas, Israel is burning through its reserves of international support. Too many civilians and too many children have died, and we must value each and every child equally whether they are Israeli or Palestinian'."  From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

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

We turn now to the growing calls for a ceasefire in Gaza coming from lawmakers in Washington. On Monday, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon became the second senator to demand a ceasefire, joining Dick Durbin of Illinois. According to one count, 42 members of Congress have now called for a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities in Israel and occupied Palestine.

We’re joined now by Democratic Congressmember Becca Balint of Vermont. Last week she became the first Jewish member of Congress to call for a ceasefire.

Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Congressmember Balint. Thanks so much for joining us. Talk about why you’ve made this decision. You’re senator from Vermont. Bernie Sanders is not there yet, but you are. Talk about why.

REP. BECCA BALINT: So, I want to be really clear, Amy, with folks who are listening and watching, that I wrote the op-ed to express to Vermonters — it was really geared towards my constituents, and I should have anticipated that it might get national attention, but I actually didn’t. So, I wrote it for Vermonters, and what I wanted to do was really give voice to all the things that I had been feeling and thinking and wrestling with since the beginning of October, and wanted to articulate clearly for Vermonters what I thought needed to happen, so, you know, wanted to just lay it out there: The horrific violence has to stop. Hostages must be released. We have to end the suffering in Gaza. Palestinians and Israelis both deserve safety and security. And now more than ever, I believe that we need a true, negotiated ceasefire to get to a two-state solution.

And as you mentioned, both my senators here in Vermont have not yet made the call. But I know, in my conversations with them, that we actually want the same things. Where we differ is just in the strategy that is needed to get us there. But we all want to find a way to stop the violence, to stop the bombing. We don’t want to continue to see innocent civilians, including so many children and babies, die. And I just felt that it was really important for me to articulate clearly for Vermonters all of the complexity I was holding. And I honestly — when we released the op-ed, I was very focused on how my constituents would feel about what I said, and I didn’t anticipate that I was the first Jewish member of Congress to call specifically for a negotiated ceasefire, because I know we’ve been saying a lot of the same things for weeks. So, what I do know is there are no exact words right now that will sum up the totality of what we are all thinking and feeling about this situation, but I do know that we have complete agreement on an immediate cessation of hostilities, pausing the violence, ending the suffering, and trying to get to a negotiated ceasefire that will hold.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Representative, you’ve said that you and Representative Rashida Tlaib have been brought together by your people’s suffering and are now friends. Could you talk about the vitriol directed toward her as the only — 


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: — Palestinian congresswoman?

REP. BECCA BALINT: Yes. I really appreciate the question. It’s disgusting. The Islamophobia right now is completely and totally out of control. And I was disgusted by the fact that colleagues are trying to go after the one Palestinian American member of Congress.

And as I said, you know, Rashida and I became friends early on in my tenure. We were brought together, I think, by — we both have big hearts. And she’s known a little bit like a mama bear in the caucus. She is very loving and gentle towards, you know, specifically new members, like making sure we have what we needed. I was really drawn to her because we are, as I said, two people that have people within our family that have endured suffering over a very long time. We are both parents to teenagers, and we share the struggles of that.

And actually, I don’t think it’s betraying a trust to say, you know, she sent me a message last week saying what she hopes is that in the future she and I will be able to walk together in a true democratic Palestine and in Israel, both of us together as friends, as people who understand the horrific suffering that is going on right now.

And I have really tried to use my platform, and will continue to do so, to stand up against the Islamophobia, and also the antisemitism. And we’ve discussed this, as well, that you can be critical of Israel, and you should be critical of Israel and Netanyahu and the policies — and I’ve never shied away from that — and I also am very uncomfortable in this moment by some of the outrageous antisemitism hurled at Jewish members of Congress, specifically progressive Jewish members of Congress who are trying to do the right thing in figuring out the correct strategy going forward. But, you know, Rashida will always be what I call one of my heart people.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, on the day after Rashida Tlaib was censured by the House of Representatives, we brought on Marione Ingram, 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, protesting outside the White House, calling for a ceasefire, and she condemned the censure —


AMY GOODMAN: — of your colleague, [Representative] Tlaib.

I want to thank you very much, Democratic Congressmember Becca Balint of Vermont. She is the first openly LGBTQ member to represent Vermont in Congress, the first congresswoman to represent Vermont, and now the first Jewish member of Congress to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. We’ll link to her op-ed in the VTDigger headlined “Cease-fire needed to stop bloodshed in Israel-Hamas conflict.”

Coming up, we go to Argentina, where the far-right political outsider Javier Milei has been elected president. He’s called “the Trump of Argentina.” The first to congratulate him was President Trump and the former Brazilian President Bolsonaro. Back in 20 seconds.


AMY GOODMAN: “En el país de la libertad,” “In a Country of Liberty,” by the Argentine León Gieco, who signed a letter protesting Milei’s erasure of the horrors of Argentina’s 1976 to 1983 right-wing dictatorship that killed over 30,000 Argentinians.

The following sites updated: