Sunday, December 03, 2023

Avocado Salad With Ginger-Tamari Dressing in the Kitchen (and I review Bab's book)

Brent notes a salad recipe from The Feed-Feed:




  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 avocados, sliced


  • STEP 1

    Add all the dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Whisk dressing together and set aside.

  • STEP 3

    On a large serving plate, scatter cilantro first, followed by the cucumbers, green onions, avocado slices, and finally the dressing.

  • STEP 4

    Serve immediately.

I made it.  I like salads.  I could work this into a rotation but I couldn't do it every week.  That's just my personal taste.  Maybe with some Boston lettuce or romaine?  Again, just my personal tastes.  But it is a good salad and it is tasty.

Speaking of taste . . .

I'm doing a book review of My Name Is Barbra -- Barbra Streisand's memoir/autobiography/nonsense.

First, let me note three things.  1) Ava and C.I. did a great job reviewing it in "Media: MY NAME IS BARBRA, my game is pity party" when the book came out.  2) I wasn't planning on reading it, let alone reviewing it.  But I was sent a copy by a friend.  3) I can tell a few truths in this review because that friend worked with Barbra for years.  I know all her warts.  And, for the record, when she sent me the book her note pointed out, "She doesn't even mention me in the book."  This woman was responsible for a lot of stuff.  If Babsie needs to know who the woman is, I've been told to say, "She lives in Hawaii now."  They worked together repeatedly -- and at Barbra's request.

I can't explain Barbra's talent but I can explain her ignorance.  It's right there on page 448.  She's whining that people come up to her sometimes and want her to sing something.  She doesn't sing!  Not in the shower! Not at her home!  I'm sure she doesn't sing now -- the voice is gone -- but she did once upon a time and as I read her complaining that, "In a way, they think they own you, because they paid for that album."

What album?  You mean the crap that was Butterfly?  This passage comes after she's already addressed how awful the album was.  How, she says, she did most of the work.  How she gave Jon Peters' a production credit to try to help his ego.  

Is that true?  It's not what she said in real time.  But is it true?

If so, that goes to how awful she is to her fans.  Recording garbage -- and knowing beforehand that it will be garbage because Jon Peters has never produced an album and doesn't know music -- and pushing that off on your fans?  She should be glad anyone wants her to sing.

_____ made clear over the years that Barbra doesn't like her fans.  She doesn't like them.  She doesn't trust them.

Yet they are the only reason this book sold well in its first week.  They are the only reasons that she's still got a recording contract with Sony -- again, the voice is gone.  Why do you think she's done one re-release or 'from the vaults' album after another of late?

I don't hate Barbra.  But I know she's a selfish and self-involved person.  I've seen her live once -- we'll come back to that.  

Let's go to A Star Is Born which is the worst film she ever made.  She claims the director lied about her in the infamous article published right before the film came out.  She wanted to refute him in the 70s Playboy interview she did.  (She lies about that -- claiming it was about wanting to give the interview.  No, it was about her wanting to appear on the cover of Playboy as if that would argue she was pretty and sexy).  But she would have to repeat the lies, she insists, so she didn't.

She brings it up in the book but doesn't repeat what he wrote.

What he wrote was true.  I never met the man and I don't know anything about him but I did read his infamous article -- that she's had the big Barbra fan take off his website to her that was all things Barbra until the guy pulled that.  

Read her book.  All he said he was true.  She was scared of Jon.  She couldn't control Jon but tried to.  It's all in her own book.  She didn't want him to direct, she writes.  But she couldn't tell him.  She gave him a production credit, she writes, but he didn't really do anything.  She gave it to him, she writes in the book, because he asked for it and he didn't want her to share the producer credit with him (so she went with executive producer).  

He didn't know what he was doing -- a point Frank Pierson wrote in his article.  

It's all there.  The fights that Barbra and Jon had on the set of that film?  Barbra's writing about their fights long before that film.  Her book backs up what Frank wrote in his article -- even her statement to him that he had to love her, that all of her directors had fallen in love with her -- that shows up in her own book in couched terms (pages 447 to 448).

Now, it's not just fans of her music that Barbra pissed on throughout her career.  (Butterfly wasn't the only substandard album she turned out.)  For Pete's Sake?  She only did it, she writes, because she wanted her long term manager Marty Erlichman to get a producer credit.  

Isn't it funny how she surrenders all this power -- as she tells it in her own book -- over and over to men but wants to be seen as a feminist? 

And the real message here is how she doesn't not value the fans -- who DID buy and album and DID buy a ticket -- and serves up so much crap. 

A Star Is Born is an awful film -- it's really unwatchable.  Yet she thinks it's art.

This is from my review of her 2016 Boston concert that I attended:

So she's doing something like seven or nine cities in this 'tour.'

She talked more than she sang.

She's for Hillary Clinton, of course.

She's been treated poorly, she felt.

Hold on let me grab something from Wikipedia.


That's the cover of Barbra's 1973 album THE WAY WE WERE.

One of the great crimes?  They airbrushed her nose in that photo.

That's probably the big news I left out of the column I wrote.

I didn't think it was accurate -- her 'sadness.'

I've checked with C.I. since and it's not.

Babs had complete control in her Columbia contract from day one and by the mid-to-late 60s, it included approval of all photographs.

So if this was one of the great crimes, Barbra perpetuated it on herself.

The stories weren't that entertaining and she should have sang more and shared less.

Especially since so much of the concert -- basically the entire second set -- was about her new or forthcoming album.  Not sure which, my brother and mother could tell you.  It's either out or due out, I don't know.  She sings Broadway songs as duets with various actors.


The other thing that irritated me -- my column focused only on the music -- was her looking down her nose at her own music.

She did a medley of "A Woman In Love" and "Stoney End."

The first song was written by the Bee Gees and is from the Barry Gibb produced album GUILTY.

GUILTY remains her best selling album of all time with over 5 million copies sold in the US alone.

"A Woman In Love" was one of Barbra's rare number ones.

The reality is, Diana Ross had the hits, not Barbra.

She wasn't radio play.

She sold albums.

Nothing wrong with that.

But she needed hits to sell albums.

And "A Woman In Love" wasn't just a hit, she marketed it in later years in remarks about how it was about empowerment (lyrics include "It's a right I declare . . .").

"Stoney End" is an incredible song written by the late Laura Nyro.

Peggy Lipton, Diana Ross and Linda Ronstadt have all covered it.

As Michael Douglas has noted, in need of a hit, Babs did a note-by-note rip off of Laura's version of her own song.

It gave her, in 1970, the second top ten hit of her career -- a recording career that began in 1963 with her first solo album.

"Stoney End" was her second top ten hit.

Absorb that.

So Barbra runs them together in a medley -- no, it did not work -- and then looks down her unairbrushed nose at the two songs and makes an insulting remark about how she recorded them when she was trying to have hits and be hip.

(Her last hit was in 1996 with "I Found Someone.")

She made clear that she wasn't about being 'hip.'

Of course, her middle-of-the-road recordings made clear she wasn't hip by 1968, if you ask me.

First off on the nose issue.  No, her label did not run a photo that she did not like.  This is the woman, please note, who got her label to stop the printing of the Funny Girl soundtrack because she couldn't hear the roller skates on "I'd Rather Be Blue."  As she's fond of pointing out, before she ever recorded an album for Columbia, she had a contract that gave her creative control and that she took less money so she could have creative control.  When Columbia didn't want to use the picture she insisted upon for her fourth album, she reminded them of how she had control over her releases, creative control.  

So, no, Columbia didn't sneak past a cover that she hadn't okayed.

What a liar.  

And she pissed me off in the concert when she insulted Laura Nyro's "Stoney End."

In her book, she claims she didn't understand it until she found an earlier version of the song with an opening verse that made it clear that it was about a broken heart.

How stupid is Barbra Streisand?

Here are the lyrics Laura Nyro wrote (Laura also wrote the music -- really wrote the music, not like some songstress who claims to have written the music to a song that Rupert Hine actually wrote the music too):

I was born from love, and my poor mother worked the minesI was raised on the Good Book of Jesus'Til I read between the linesNow I don't believe I want to see the morning
Going down the stoney endI never wanted to go down the stoney endMama, let me start all overCradle me, Mama, cradle me again
And I can still remember him with love light in his eyesBut the light flickered out and partedAs the sun began to riseNow I don't believe I want to see the morning
Going down the stoney endI never wanted to go down the stoney endMama, let me start all overCradle me, Mama, cradle me again
Never mind the forecast 'cause the sky has lost control'Cause the fury and the broken thundersCome to match my ragin' soulAnd now I don't believe I want to see the morning
Going down the stoney endI never wanted to go down the stoney endMama, let me start all overCradle me, Mama, cradle me again
Going down the stoney endI never wanted to goI never wanted to goMama, I never wanted to go

In her book, Barbra's confused by that first verse until after 2012.  

Mines?  What mines did her mom work!!!! So confusing.

Well maybe it was for Barbra.  I remember being in high school and my history teacher making fun of her because of an interview she had just given where she was claiming to be trying to catch up on current events but said she didn't even know who won the Civil War.  

She didn't know who won the Civil War?

Stupid, stupid.

The mines were the mines of love -- "I was born from love and my poor mother worked the mines."

Even if she couldn't figure it out from the first verse, let's review the second one again:

And I can still remember him with love light in his eyesBut the light flickered out and partedAs the sun began to riseNow I don't believe I want to see the morning

That verse didn't make it clear to Barbra that it was about a broken heart?  She fancies herself an artist but can't interpret those lyrics until over 40 years after she covered the song?

Reading the book and hearing her whine non-stop -- and say in interviews that she'd never been happy in her life -- reminded me of something.  In 2018, C.I. wrote this about "Don't Lie To Me" which had just been released, "In her song, she's having a dialogue with Donald Trump.  It's hilarious on many levels and not just the fact that she's relating to him in what can only be described as sexually.  Why not?  They're both damaged goods who never recovered from bad childhoods."  Five years later, Barbra published her life story and, yet again, C.I. had already called it years ago.

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

Friday, December 1, 2023.  The pause has ended, the resumption of War Crimes has begun.

The pause is apparently over.  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL notes, " Israel said it had restarted airstrikes in Gaza. Footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showed plumes of smoke in the enclave and carried the sound of gunfire."  CNN adds, "An earlier statement from the ministry said that strikes had landed in southern Gaza, in the areas of Khan Younis and Rafah. The ministry also noted earlier that Israeli military vehicles were firing in northwest Gaza minutes after the truce expired."  ALJAZEERA reports:

Yousri Alghoul, who lives in northern Gaza, said he heard “shelling and shooting” at the Shati refugee camp (also known as Beach camp) while he was fleeing with his 17-year-old son to the Jabalia refugee camp at 7am today.

“Unfortunately, we found dead bodies in the streets and roads. You cannot imagine how miserable the situation is when we just escape to another place searching for a secure place,” Alghoul told Al Jazeera.

“That is what’s happening right now, and just 15 minutes ago, we also heard a new explosion, which is next to us in Jabalia. It seems that Israeli occupation forces got legitimacy from the United States last night,” he added.

BBC and BLOOMBERGE NEWS video reports below.

As the horror continues and the world watches, Joshua Frank (COUNTERPUNCH) details some changes that need to be seen:

It’s time we flipped the script.

How about before one mentions Hamas, they must first oppose Israeli terror and the murder of children?

They must call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the occupation?

They must first voice disgust for Israel’s ongoing war crimes?

Only after this can we address how Hamas rose to power, how Israel propped them up, and the dehumanizing conditions that led to those horrific, indiscriminate murders on October 7th.

The analysis of Israel and Palestine must change.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed his deep regret at the resumption of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

“I deeply regret that military operations have started again in Gaza. I still hope that it will be possible to renew the pause that was established. The return to hostilities only shows how important it is to have a true humanitarian ceasefire,” Guterres said in a post on X on Friday.

Separately, James Elder, a spokesperson for UNICEF, the UN's Children's Fund, decried what he called a "war on children" in a video message recorded inside one of Gaza's last functioning hospitals.

“We cannot see more children with the wounds of war. With the burns, with the shrapnel littering their body, with the broken bones. Inaction by those with influence is allowing the killing of children. This is a war on children,” he said.

Elder also said that bombing in the area could be heard from inside the hospital and that one strike had landed approximately 50 meters away.

When Israeli forces begin shooting and dropping bombs, what happens?  People get injured and killed.  Ibrahim Dahman (CNN) notes at least 32 people are dead from the bombings with  even more left injured.  Updating minutes ago, ALJAZEERA explained the death toll has already risen to a hundred.    Faris Tanyos and  Haley Ott (CBS NEWS) note:

After a strike in the southern Gaza city of RafaFaris Tanyos, Haley Ott h on Friday, CBS News' Marwan al-Ghoul found a boy at the scene in tears.  

"We were there collecting water to wash our clothes. The bombing started and the rocks came flying at us," the teen, Omar Hahrous, told CBS News. "I looked around me and I could not find anybody. Some were injured... some were martyred."

Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, says medics are dealing with “large numbers” of wounded people seeking treatment in overcrowded hospitals following the resumption of Israeli air strikes.

“The wounded are lying on the floor in emergency departments and in front of operating rooms as a result of the accumulation of cases,” al-Qudra added.

THE WASHINGTON POST notes, "Several airstrikes were reported across Gaza on Friday morning; a Post photographer witnessed a strike 200 meters from a hospital in Khan Younis in the south."  For those who don't use the metric system, that's about six-hundred-and-fifty-six feet. They're targeting hospitals again.  Having destroyed so many hospitals in the north, the Israeli government is violating international law yet again to destroy the medical facilities in southern Gaza.  Yesterday, DEMOCRACY NOW! spoke with Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Israel has agreed to extend its truce with Hamas for a seventh day to facilitate the exchange of captives. The extension was announced just minutes before it was set to expire on Thursday morning, prolonging a reprieve for Gaza’s 2.3 million residents after 47 days of relentless attacks by Israel spawned a massive humanitarian crisis. On Wednesday, Hamas released 16 hostages. In exchange, Israel released another 30 Palestinian women and child prisoners.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, two Palestinian children were shot dead by Israeli forces during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp on Wednesday. Fifteen-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu al-Wafa died in a hospital after he was shot in the chest. And 8-year-old Adam al-Ghoul was shot in the head as he ran from Israeli forces, in a killing captured on video. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Israeli soldiers blocked medics from reaching the camp to treat the wounded.

In Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza, Doctors Without Borders surgeon Dr. Hafez Abukhussa described how his hospital is overwhelmed.

DR. HAFEZ ABUKHUSSA: The patients that we see, the majority of patients, they are female and children. But what hurts me a lot, when I see a child, an innocent child, injured, and he need a major surgery. He lost his limb. And he’s the last child. He’s the only remnant of his family. And when he woke up from anesthesia, he asked to see his family. So, this is really a heartbreaking situation.

The difficulties that we face here is the lack of supplies, the lack of instruments. In the hospital on normal days here, there’s 300 patients. Now it’s more than 1,000 patients. The patients, they are homeless, because many of them are refugees within Gaza, and the other people, they have — their houses were destroyed. They don’t have the access to potable water, or there’s a lack of food, a lack of [electricity]. And some of them just get out from their houses with the clothes that they are wearing. We know that we are in danger, in danger anytime, but we will keep doing the same.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders.

Welcome back to Democracy Now! If you can talk about what is happening right now in Gaza? I mean, as we are broadcasting, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken is meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, and he just met with Netanyahu. There is a ceasefire, not clear it was going to be extended even one more day. Minutes before the end of that ceasefire, it was announced it would continue. What have you learned about the devastation?

AVRIL BENOÎT: Well, thanks for having me.

From the medical humanitarian perspective of what we have seen from the beginning, after the appalling attack on October 7th, has been a collective punishment of the people in Gaza. And that’s why you’ve seen such a disproportionate number of civilians killed. The devastation on the hospitals is near complete. There are a few hospitals in the north that are really not much more than shelters right now, with still medical personnel trying to stay with patients, but they have no more equipment, they have no electricity, they have no water. They’re holed up.

And it’s a very high-risk evacuation route. We know from our own experience of our team that was stuck there with their families, after having made the decision for the medical doctors to stay with some of the patients in the hospitals, that they came — they were subjected to crossfire. A couple of the members of the evacuation group, the family members were killed in that. Our vehicles were destroyed, the ones that we were intending to use to be able to evacuate these staff and families after they retreated from what seemed to be imminent risk of death, that proved to be fatal in the end.

And so, what we’re seeing is this surge of patients in the south. As you just heard, hospitals, from the beginning, have been completely overwhelmed, but now they’ve got patients who really require much more complex medical care. They require, really, referral — ideally, medical evacuation in a safe way to a third country, for example, where they can receive the level of care that will save their lives and prevent further damage.

Just to mention another thing, because of the lack of antibiotics, medicine, wound dressing equipment, we have a very high risk of high numbers of people dying of infections. And that is something that should never happen under international humanitarian law, the norms of war. People should have access to medical care in a conflict like this. And that is just not being guaranteed in terms of the way this war is being conducted.

AMY GOODMAN: Can I ask you if you’ve heard about this report of al-Nasr pediatric hospital in northern Gaza and the premature babies, five of them, discovered, the remains of the babies? The reports were that they were left to die after Israeli forces blocked access to the intensive care unit.

AVRIL BENOÎT: I don’t have the details on that, I’m sorry. What we do know is that it was a harrowing decision for the medical staff when ordered to evacuate, knowing that sometimes you’re only given a couple of hours, which is completely unacceptable. Even in the context of this pause, this truce — which we certainly hope will continue and become an actual ceasefire — it’s very complicated to transfer a patient that is in a vulnerable state, in a machine that no longer has any electricity — as you probably know, the lack of fuel has meant it’s near impossible to run ambulances — and because of the violence, all these checkpoints, where it seems that people are waiting for hours and hours. You can imagine you’ve got people who are transferred from an intensive care unit stuffed into an ambulance because it’s one of the only ones running, and then at the checkpoint they’re stopped for up to seven hours. And then there’s violence, and they feel they have to retreat. It’s a very harrowing, high-risk kind of thing to organize.

And that’s one of the reasons that we’re calling for this killing to stop, for there to be a proper ceasefire, and, furthermore, for there to be medical evacuations, so that people can receive the care they need in a safe way, with, of course, the right to return if they so wish, and then also for there to be unconditional humanitarian aid that is allowed to enter, because we know people are in places where the aid cannot reach, and they cannot reach the hospitals. They don’t feel it’s safe. And so they are at risk of dying and suffering lifelong consequences if they don’t receive the medical care right away.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Avril, could you speak about the — during this pause, how much medical equipment, supplies, medicine, as you were speaking about earlier, the acute shortage, which many people have mentioned — how much medication is coming in, medication and equipment is coming in, during this pause, into Gaza?

AVRIL BENOÎT: The specifics are unclear, to be perfectly honest. We see that every day there are a certain number of trucks. They move at a snail’s pace. What we would really like to see, of course, is for that to be faster and of greater volume. Before this conflict, before October 7th, there were 500 trucks that would cross daily into Gaza, and that was during a blockade, so not enough. The hospitals were already at a deficit of the equipment that they needed, of the replenishing supplies. All the stocks were always threadbare. And so, then compounded with the fact that we have an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 wounded people, not to mention those that are now coming in with fevers, gastrointestinal situations, acute watery diarrhea — maybe it’s cholera; we don’t know, because we don’t have the testing facilities and labs available to check — what we’re seeing with this truce is that there is no way to be able to support the hospitals that continue to stand. Of course, many of them have been damaged in the fighting. They have been attacked systematically. The World Health Organization has been tracking this.

And for us, this is such an obvious violation of international humanitarian law, to attack hospitals, to attack medical staff, to kill them while they’re at the bedside of patients — and our own colleagues have been killed — and to just go after these facilities as if there’s some excuse that is legitimate, when it’s not, and there’s no evidence that’s been offered to really prove that they should be targets, really nothing — nothing — to substantiate that at all. They are protected spaces.

And so, the truce has allowed perhaps some stocks to go in for us to facilitate to do some movements, to check on some hospitals and clinics to see what their stocks are like. But what you really needed was to pre-position everything, to have it already in place at the starting blocks, in a warehouse, ready to be distributed to the places that need it most, that still have medical staff. And that wasn’t done because of the total siege over the last many weeks.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Avril, I’m not sure — I’m sure you’ve heard that the World Health Organization earlier this week warned that more people in Gaza could die from disease than have already died from the bombing. If you could talk a little bit about that?

AVRIL BENOÎT: Yes. Well, certainly, I mentioned infections earlier. When you have children coming in who have more than 50% of their bodies burned from explosions, they are, in the best-case scenario, in the fully equipped hospital with all the means to control the infection, really it’s a life-or-death situation. So, now we have so many of these children that we cannot treat properly. We don’t even have the proper gauze in the stocks to be able to do it.

The other thing that the World Health Organization was pointing out, which is entirely plausible, is this whole question of dehydration. So, young children, infants are coming in severely dehydrated. And where is the water? Since the siege began, this is one of the things that this collective punishment has honed in on to say, “We’re not going to give you access to water or food or medicines” — all the things that are needed just to stay alive. So, that’s a huge problem right now.

Then you just think of the people with chronic illnesses. And this is always a concern for us. Somebody who’s on heart medication, or they have diabetes, they have any number of chronic illnesses — think of all the cancer patients — where are they supposed to go to replenish? The hospital system that is barely functioning at all in the south, for example, their focus is on the severely wounded that are coming in, trying to keep people alive, patch them up, do the amputations really quickly, not in the proper way even to allow for prosthetic devices after. They’re just trying to do the most triage very urgently. And the ones who need safe place to give birth, the ones who need their heart medication, the children who are severely dehydrated, and there’s nowhere really to look after them in a hospital like that, these are the ones that are likely to be the other casualties of this war, not only the ones who are killed by the direct violence that is seemingly affecting civilians so much more than anyone else.

AMY GOODMAN: Avril Benoît, if you can talk about Netanyahu’s threat to — in resuming the bombardment? You’ve got Blinken, who reportedly is urging more surgical strikes. But they’re talking about bombarding the south. This is where they forced — what is it? — a million Gazans, Palestinians, to go from the north. So, talk about what this would mean if this temporary ceasefire ends.

AVRIL BENOÎT: It’s a horror show for us. Just think about it. A third of the injured people already were injured in the south, which was the place that everyone was told to go. That was the place. You were supposed to leave the north, go to the south. And then they got killed there.

So, for us, this is the worst, because what we have is, on the one side, the talk of “We would like humanitarian law to be respected. We would like civilians to be considered. Limit the collateral damage of civilians,” and yet, what we have seen time and again is there are no consequences evident for not doing that. And so, we have, with the looming end of this truce — and, it seems, not enough political will to really have a ceasefire — what we would regard as a kind of talking one thing but no consequences. So we can tell the Israeli forces, the Netanyahu government, “Please try to limit the killing of civilians, start doing that,” but we’re not really seeing any consequences if they don’t.

And we do know that the United States is providing billions in aid, its military aid. And so, you know, it seems that that aid could well be used, with no consequences, to violate international norms, the Geneva Conventions, international humanitarian law. And for us, that’s just unacceptable.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And finally, Avril Benoît, MSF International President Christos Christou posted this update on Tuesday, that while he was visiting the MSF team at the Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin, the Israeli army conducted an incursion on the refugee camp.

AVRIL BENOÎT: Yes. And one of the most difficult things about that is that —

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to play a clip. We’re going to play a clip — 


AMY GOODMAN: — of Christou right now.

AVRIL BENOÎT: Sounds good.

CHRISTOS CHRISTOU: It’s been already two-and-a-half hours that we are trapped in our hospital here in Jenin, while the Israeli forces are operating in another incursion in Jenin camp. There is no way for any of the injured patients to reach the hospital, and there’s no way for us to reach these people. There’s nothing worse for a doctor to know that there are people there needing our care, and they cannot get it.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Avril Benoît, if you could comment on that and also the fact that two children were killed in Jenin just today?

AVRIL BENOÎT: Yes. Well, as Dr. Christou, our international president, said, if people cannot access a facility in the West Bank, already you can see the grave concern that we have. Under humanitarian law, anyone should be able to reach a hospital. And to have a hospital surrounded, blocked, so that no one can actually bring their injured children, bring their wounded to that hospital, for us, is a complete outrage. It’s been happening systematically in Gaza. And for us to now see it elsewhere is something that we, as the international community, should never accept.

And that is one of the reasons that we are speaking so loudly and in a united voice with the humanitarian aid agencies for a ceasefire, a proper ceasefire, to stop the killing, stop the siege, and allow aid to come in unconditionally and for the people to be helped, saved, and to be able to resume their lives in some shape or form.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you, Avril Benoît, for joining us. This ceasefire, we will see, goes day by day, those children in Jenin killed yesterday. Avril Benoît is executive director of Doctors Without Borders.

Coming up, we’ll be speaking with the acclaimed Gazan human rights attorney Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. He’s going to be joining us from Cairo, after his house was bombed in northern Gaza. We will find out about his journey south. Then we’ll speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Greg Grandin about the death of Henry Kissinger. Stay with us.

  Robert Mardini, director general of the International Committee of the Red Cross, toldAgence France-Presse that the resumption of bombing drags Gazans "back to the nightmarish situation they were in before the truce took place," with millions of people in desperate need of food, medicine, clean water, and sanitary living conditions.

"People are at a breaking point, hospitals are at a breaking point, the whole Gaza Strip is in a very precarious state," said Mardini. "There is nowhere safe to go for civilians. We have seen in the hospitals where our teams have been working, that over the past days, hundreds of severely injured people have arrived. The influx of severely wounded outpaced the real capacity of hospitals to absorb and treat the wounded, so there is a massive challenge." 

"Gaza Strip is in a very precarious state."  That's is exactly correct.  Zoe Magee, Sami Zayara, and Ruwaida Amer (ABC NEWS) report:

Winter is coming to the Gaza Strip and with it, fears that living conditions for the 1.8 million internally displaced people will get significantly worse.

It’s been nearly two months since a war broke out between Gaza’s militant rulers, Hamas, and neighboring Israel. About 80% of Gaza’s population is now homeless, with many people forced to live in make-shift shelters, largely exposed to the elements, according to the United Nations.

Over a million people in Gaza have fled to United Nations Relief and Works Agency shelters set up there, the U.N. said. These shelters cannot cope with the influx, according to Dr. Adnan Abu Hasna, spokesperson at UNRWA in Gaza.

“The circumstances in our shelters is very tough actually,” Abu Hasna told ABC News. “People are suffering a lot. For example, there is one toilet for 125 persons and one shower for 700 people. There is a lack of cleaning water, a lack of drinkable water also, lack of food, lack of everything.”

There is no question that Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu is employing overwhelming military power to terrorize 2.3 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza in the name of defeating Hamas military forces.  This would be consistent with an Israeli policy that began in 1948 to use every military engagement with Arab states to displace as many Palestinians civilians as possible from their homes, and to never acknowledge a right of return for Palestinian refugees.  No U.S. administration has ever put pressure on Israel to allow the return of Palestinians to their homes in Israel.

Meanwhile, mainstream media support Israel’s contention that the Israel-Hamas War began on October 7th, which ignores Israel’s punishment of Palestinian civilians over the past 16 years.  Israeli policy has limited the usage of electricity in Gaza, which has created the need to dump sewage into the Mediterranean Sea, making the water undrinkable.  Israeli-imposed fuel shortages caused sanitation plants to be shut down.  Netanyahu, who once boasted that I “stopped the Oslo accords,” never indicated any interest in lessening these punishments, let alone pursuing a diplomatic or political solution to the Palestinian tragedy.

Sadly, U.S. administrations have paid lip service to the idea of a two-state solution, but have never pressed an Israeli government to move toward Palestinian statehood.  At the very least, the Biden administration should recognize Palestine as a member state in the United Nations, and press Israel to enter talks with Palestinians regarding borders, Jerusalem, and security from Israeli settlers on the West Bank.

From yesterday's DEMOCRACTY NOW!

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

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

NERMEEN SHAIKH: As we continue our coverage of Gaza, we’re joined by Raji Sourani, the award-winning human rights lawyer and director of the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights. He’s a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. We last spoke with Raji Sourani after Israel bombed his home in Gaza City. He joins us today from Cairo, Egypt.

Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Raji Sourani. If you could begin by talking about how you managed to leave Gaza and how you got to Cairo?

RAJI SOURANI: Well, it was very hard and very heartbreaking for me, I mean, to leave Gaza, I mean, the place I lived all my life, one-way ticket in it. And that was very hard and very tough. But really, I mean, after I was targeted for the second time, after we talked, I was advised very strongly, I mean, not to be at that place and to leave the northern of Gaza. And I left with my family, who didn’t want to leave me alone. I mean, so we left together to the south for a few days, and thanks for the help of great friends, I mean, who managed to get me there, because in two previous attempts it was mission impossible, when tens of people died either on the beach road or at Salah al-Din Street in front of our eyes, when the Israelis shot and bombed, I mean, people who were advised to leave to the safe haven in the south. But that wasn’t, I mean, the case. So I managed to leave to the south, finally, on my third attempt. And from there, I managed to move to Egypt.

There was, I mean, quite a lot of friends who wanted, in a way, the voice, I mean, of Gaza, the voice of the voiceless, about the horrendous genocide taking place at [inaudible] to be reported to the outside world. And there is quite a lot of things to do with the ICC, which greatly disappointing us, and there’s quite a lot of work to do with the ICJ. And there is quite a lot of work to talk, speak to power in European countries about this new Nakba, which is in process, and Israel creating it, and to stop their complicity, their absolute political, legal, military support for belligerent criminal occupation, who’s doing suicide — genocide at the daylight, who’s doing ethnic cleansing, war crimes, broadcasted there live at the real time. But it seems deep in their mind and hearts, the colonial, racist Western governments don’t want to see, don’t want to know, and they are insisting, I mean, in supporting blindly the Israeli belligerent occupation in the crimes they are doing in Gaza and the Occupied Territories at large.

AMY GOODMAN: Raji, if you could look straight into the camera lens as we speak to you now in Cairo? Thank God you’re OK. When we were speaking to you the day after your house was bombed, you described your son moving you and your beloved wife from one room, saying, “Let’s going into the hallway,” and then the place was destroyed. If you could say in more detail what it was like to make your way north to south, what you saw along the way? We also had reports that those who wanted to return to their homes north — so much of the bombing, it may surprise people, is happening actually in the south, where people are directed to go, before this ceasefire. Is it true that people were shot trying to go home in the north? The Israeli military had said, “Don’t do this.”

RAJI SOURANI: Well, we have to understand the context, the context of what the Israelis really want. In simple words, Prime Minister Netanyahu, the criminal Netanyahu, said in simple words, “Gazans should leave Gaza.” He said, “Gaza should be deserted.” And the Minister of Defense Gallant, in a clear, simple way, he said, “For Gazans, there will be no food, no electricity, no fuel.”

And so, what does that mean? I mean, if you say Gazans should leave Gaza, to go where to? It’s obvious and clear. If you are starving and cutting electricity, food, medicine, you are bombing shelters, hospitals, ambulances, if you are killing hundreds of entire families, I mean, being erased, if you are bombing bakeries, if you are bombing water infrastructure and desalination plants, if you are, you know, bluffing, I mean, the entire streets in the Gaza, if you are not allowing people even to reach hospital, if you bomb the civil defense system and the people who are working on it, what do you want from that? If you make no safe haven in entire Gaza, what’s the purpose of that?

They want to push the north to the south. This is the first stage. And they pushed many as a million people, I mean, to the south — Gaza already one of the most densely populated areas on Earth. And they push them while Gaza suffers 17 years of blockade, suffocated the life socioeconomically, passed through five wars against them, and in the eye of the storm the civilian and civilian targets. And now you are doing all that. You are killing almost 30,000 people, because many, many, Amy, still, I mean, under the rubbles, many still under their destroyed houses, and civil defense unable to recover. You are talking about thousands of people. You are talking about thousands of people in the streets in some areas nobody can get to.

The rationale, the behavior of the Israeli guidelines, the outcome of this pushing people to the south, and then from the south toward Sinai, that’s a new Nakba. As simple as that. They want us out, out of Palestine, out of Gaza, out of the West Bank. This is, I mean, the ultimate goal, Amy, for the Israeli government. And this coalition of Netanyahu and the right wing, the basis of their governmental agreement, the coalition agreement to do that, this was said at day one of this war, of this genocide war. And I think yet the Israelis so determined, so willing, and they want to do that. They want to do that.

They finished, I mean, the first stage, and now they want to go to the second stage. And after they finish up with Gaza, it won’t be a new brand of apartheid in East Jerusalem and West Bank. They will do the same, I mean, there. So, what was lack of their plan in 1948 in the Nakba, they want to implement it completely now, so Eretz Yisrael would be clean, and they will have the purity of the Jewish state. And by that, they will accomplish, I mean, their mission. This is simple, clear for any who want to see beyond the details. This is really what Israel want to do.

And that’s why we call it, from the second day, this is genocide, this is ethnic cleansing, and these are first-class war crimes. It’s against A, B, C of international law, international humanitarian law. And it’s against Geneva Convention. It’s against Rome Statute. And we see, from the wall to wall, support by many European countries, doing that willingly and giving full legal, political and military support for the state of Israel, plus U.S.

AMY GOODMAN: Raji, as you talk about international law, can you make that comparison between what happened in Ukraine, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, immediately the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opening an investigation, especially against children — I think there were something — against what happened to the children. Five hundred children have died in Ukraine over almost two years, up to a thousand dead or maimed. And you compare it to the few weeks of the bombardment of Gaza, 5,000 to 6000 children alone dead, over 15,000 people dead. What do you want Karim Khan to do? And finally — and we just have a few minutes — right now Blinken just met with Mahmoud Abbas. He just met with Herzog on his, like, fourth trip to the Middle East, the U.S. pushing hard to give more weapons aid to Israel. Your response to that? What do you want Biden to say to Netanyahu? And how much power does he have?

RAJI SOURANI: I don’t think yet there is decision by U.S. to stop what is going on. They can simply stop all these crimes. We are bombed with F-35, F-16s, the American tanks, the American artillery, the American ammunition. We are killed with that, with some small amount of European arms. Now, if U.S. want to stop that, they can do that. And they can do that simply. But they are supporting, Amy, really, what Israel is doing. And if we are talking about the next stage that — attends. Hello?

AMY GOODMAN: We can hear you fine. Just if you can just look up into the camera. We see you. Ah, we may have just lost Raji Sourani. Raji Sourani is the world-renowned, award-winning human rights attorney, won the RFK, Robert F. Kennedy Award, won the Right Livelihood Award, has lived in Gaza for decades, speaking to us from Cairo, Egypt. He just got out of Gaza. His home was bombed, with this wife and his son and him it.

Next up, we’re going to talk about Henry Kissinger. He has died at the age of 100. We’ll speak to the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Greg Grandin, author of Kissinger’s Shadow. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: “The Right to Live in Peace” by Víctor Jara, the great Chilean musician who died in the days after the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet came to power, U.S.-backed, Nixon-backed, Kissinger-backed Pinochet, leading to the death of thousands.

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