Polio and the destruction of Gaza’s health infrastructure by Mouin Rabbani

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  1. Tulchinsky recounts that in 1978 Israel consulted with Natan Goldblum and Joseph Melnick, two noted epidemiologists from Baylor University, to develop more effective anti-polio strategies. Their recommendation, to increase the four doses traditionally given to infants during their first year with an additional three of a different variety, was pioneered in the Gaza Strip. It proved so effective that the disease was eradicated from the territory within a few short years. Tulchinsky does not say so, but it seems likely that as with so much else the Gaza Strip here too functioned as a human laboratory for new Israeli methods. Indeed, the Goldblum-Melnick vaccination sequence was according to Tulchinsky “dubbed the Gaza system” and subsequently applied within Israel to quell a polio outbreak of its own in 1988. “As a result of this episode”, Tulchinsky wrote, “Israel adopted the Gaza system, and total eradication of polio was rapidly achieved”.   
  2. It is unclear how polio has suddenly re-appeared in the Gaza Strip. What is beyond doubt is how it’s spreading. Israel has systematically destroyed the Gaza Strip’s health, sanitary, water treatment, and power infrastructure, particularly since October 2023, leading to the collapse of systems that were already precarious. Contaminated water, untreated sewage, and uncollected garbage, particularly when paired with the severe overcrowding resulting from Israel’s genocidal campaign and repeated forced displacement of the civilian population, represent ideal conditions for its spread. 

Continue reading at https://mondoweiss.net/2024/07/polio-and-the-destruction-of-gazas-health-infrastructure/

Our Comment on the International Court of Justice “Advisory Opinion in respect of the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”

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While we are disappointed that the crime of Genocide wasn’t taken into account by the International Court of Justice, we recognize the importance of this court advisory opinion. Above all, ‘Israel Genocide’ maintains our stance, since our founding, that Israel’s colonialism (ie. “alterations to demographic composition”) not only “have no legal validity”, but rather constitutes a consolidated long-term policy and process of genocide by Israel against the indigenous Palestinian people, which today, more than ever- considering the court recognizes the occupied Palestinian territories “single territorial unit”- transparently targets Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank as part of a single genocidal plan.

The only hint we found in the advisory opinion that the crime of genocide may be applicable is in article #239:

“by virtue of the right to self-determination, a people is protected against acts aimed at dispersing the population and undermining its integrity as a people.”

Furthermore, understanding that the court has deliberately been limited by the UN in its scope, for its own political agenda, we also reject the framing which doesn’t encompass the whole of historical Palestine and point to the dangerous limitations the court has set on the Right of Return which is an inalienable right, recognized by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 194, in 1948.

We can only hope that this advisory opinion will not be exploited in the future to further violate the right of self determination of the indigenous Palestinian people on their land.

    Continue watching at https://webtv.un.org/en/asset/k13/k136ri1smc

    Read the advisory opinion at https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/files/case-related/186/186-20240719-adv-01-00-en.pdf

    Starvation, Genocide, and the Palestinian People’s Food Sovereignty with Michael Fakhri on Jadaliyya

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    1. “This focus on words and framing is not a semantic exercise. how we name horror determines how we overcome that horror. The stakes are very high over how we name and understand Israel’s horrors against the Palestinian people. And I’ll conclude with how the response to genocide and starvation is addressing the Palestinian people’s food sovereignty. I’ll quickly explain what food sovereignty means… and what it means for the Palestinian people, from my experiences.
    2. So to begin with genocide; in the early days of this war, on October 15th, because of the work of many people in this room, over 400 scholars- in the fields of international law, genocide studies, Holocaust studies- raised the alarm that Israel is probably committing genocide in Gaza. Soon after, on October 19th, several Special Reporters followed suit, calling for the prevention of genocide… we were the first and probably only voices within the UN system framing the issue as a matter of genocide…
    3. And I think those of us that saw it so early, amongst the Special Reporters, were able to do so for a couple of reasons: first, I think our mandates allowed us to see it… it’s telling who were the first mandate holders that raised the alarm: Food, water, housing, and health… There’s something really core about those ideas- those mandates. These are the mandates which are the essentials of life. We were also supported by the Mandate holders that address violence against women. and internally displaced people, and of course the mandate holder addressing occupied Palestinian territories.
    4. The second reason I think we were able to see it so quickly is an understanding of geography and history. Those of us who know that this did not start on October 7th, or in Gaza, could see genocide for what it was. We understood that this was a case of settler colonialism, of creating 75 years of apartheid, 56 years of belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory, and 16 years of a siege against Gaza.
    5. And the third reason those of us that were able to see it so quickly, I think, was from experience. More people than you think have experienced genocide. And what I mean by that is genocide does not affect just those people that were killed. Genocide creates a social trauma that overwhelms time and space. Genocide resonates across an entire region and throughout multiple Generations, sometimes reproducing and magnifying hate… Genocidal tendencies are more common than is publicly discussed. That’s a lot of people. That’s why millions of people immediately took to the streets all over the world in October, not only calling for a ceasefire, but to an end of the genocide. Nine months later, I don’t need to walk through why this is a genocide. The degree of Carnage against the Palestinian people, simply because they are Palestinian, is getting harder and harder to even describe. When the dust settles, those of us who have not been in Gaza, may fully realize the horror and Carnage and the degree of violence that is possible today. So I’m not going to spend time arguing that this this is genocide, the onus is on them.”

    Continue listening at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0a-0YPfBpo

    Palestinian Olympians Are Competing as Their World Burns by Dave Zirin

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    1. Of course, Ismail and the other Palestinian athletes are competing with an unfathomable weight on their shoulders. Despite almost vanishing from the US media, Israel’s genocidal war against Gaza, as well as rising violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, continues. Every day, it seems, another hospital or displacement camp is bombed, while the world can barely be troubled to bear witness. Israel’s total war strategy, where every Palestinian, even children, are seen as Hamas and therefore legitimate—or simply unfortunate—targets, has been normalized for US consumers as just another blip in the media cycle. But Ismail and the other Olympians are well aware that their performance at the games matters beyond Paris. “I’m thinking of kids in Palestine…in Gaza, also, and I hope they can see me as a role model,” he said in a phone interview with NBC News. Ismail is also known for displaying the Palestinian flag for the cameras after competing with a keffiyah around his shoulders.

    Continue reading at https://www.thenation.com/article/world/palestinian-olympians-paris-olympics/

    An Unending Genocide: Interview with Toufic Haddad by Shireen Akram-Boshar

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    1. While Israel’s identity, social contract, and regional role are at stake in its Gaza campaign, it has structured much of its industry, economy and geopolitical role to servicing European and US interests. Thus, the continued support of Israel’s EU and US allies in prolonging the assault on Gaza is not merely a function of their historical attachment to the Zionist project. The significant gas reserves of the eastern Mediterranean basin, and the importance of these reserves to the EU after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, also elevate Israel’s regional and global importance. The issue of natural gas was a significant factor in the US and EU’s decision to permit Israel to implement its cynical interpretation and application of Oslo from the late 1990s and onwards without repercussions. It was not for nothing that the German government moved to supply Israel with nuclear-class submarines in 2006 after the extent of the natural gas discoveries in these waters became known.
    2. In this sense, Western state support for Israel’s genocidal policies directly link to the country’s ability to represent itself as fighting for “Western civilization” and its economic interests, to say nothing of disciplining competing regional hegemons like Turkey and Iran.

    Continue reading at https://spectrejournal.com/an-unending-genocide/

    Shipments Of Death by Shahd Hammouri

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    1. This past month, Spain refused permission for an Israel-bound ship carrying arms to call at the port of Cartagen. The Belgium government, similarly, has considered filing a complaint against an airline that transported 70 tons of ammunition through its airspace. Meanwhile, NGOs have filed a criminal complaint against a corporation using the port of Antwerp on the course of its trip from Hamburg to Israel to deliver weapons, and a coalition of transport trade unions in Italy, Greece, and Turkey have called on governments to stop the shipments of weapons heading to Israel.
    2. These efforts represent an increasing recognition among state and non-state actors that diplomatic measures have failed to ensure respect for international humanitarian law—a failure that calls for the enactment of coercive measures by third-party states. In this short piece, I elaborate on the state duty not to facilitate the transit of arms shipments going to Israel, including the transfer of jet fuel used for warplanes, and show that this duty is overdetermined by a wide array of international law.

    Such a duty begins from the reality that Israel is currently undertaking grave violations of international law, which pose a threat to international peace and security. These violations include, among others, the violation of the people’s right of self-determinationthe violation of the prohibition against permanent displacement of civilian populationsde facto annexation, the violation of a wide set of human rights conventions touching upon the rights of prisonersthe right to waterthe right to lifethe prohibition against torture and other cruel inhumane or degrading punishment, and the prohibition against racism and apartheid.

    In addition, provisional measures issued by the ICJ, recognising the risk of genocide, have called upon Israel to stop all genocidal acts, enable access to humanitarian aid, and safeguard evidence.

    Continue reading at https://lpeproject.org/blog/shipments-of-death/

    Testimonies from the Mawasi Massacre: 90 People Buried in the Sand by Tareq S. Hajjaj

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    1. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, while people were starting their day, the Israeli military targeted the area with successive airstrikes, leading to a massacre that, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, has, as of the time of writing, killed 90 people and injured over 300 others. Half of them are women and children…

    “A leg hit me, and I saw dismembered bodies a few meters away,” Shaima told Mondoweiss. “I saw a young child screaming. He lost his lower limbs and was crawling on his hands and screaming. The bombs didn’t stop, and suddenly the boy disappeared. I saw how he vanished before me while we ran and lowered our eyes to the ground, unable to do anything but run.” 

    Shaima describes hearing seven explosions in short succession before it was over. “What a life we ​​live in these tents that we have to see the dismembered bodies of our siblings and families fly over our heads.” 

    … “I saw before my eyes one missile after another descending next to the tents. Missiles I have never seen in my life in all of Gaza’s wars. Isn’t this internationally forbidden? Shouldn’t the civilian population be protected and not face genocide and mass killing? Isn’t this forbidden?”

    Continue reading at https://mondoweiss.net/2024/07/testimonies-from-the-mawasi-massacre-90-people-buried-in-the-sand/

    Why researchers fear the Gaza death toll could reach 186,000 by Mona Chalabi

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    1. Even if Israel’s bombing campaign were to stop, the death toll in Gaza is expected to soar. A letter published in the medical journal the Lancet claims that the final figure could eventually be about 186,000. Written by scientists who model how war affects health, the letter lays out the importance of an accurate count – and the difficulty of achieving one.

    … Without drastic change, Israel will further support claims in the international court of justice that it is committing genocide. Genocidal acts include inflicting “conditions of life” that are intended to bring about the destruction of a group – in other words, indirect deaths must be considered, too. South Africa listed many of these conditions when it made its case against Israel at the ICJ, which ruled there was a plausible risk of genocide.

    Continue reading at https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jul/12/gaza-death-toll-indirect-casualties

    These Corporations Are the True “Winners” of the War on Gaza by Spencer Ackerman

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    1. Whatever the debates about the decline of US hegemony, the global arms market is a place where American power is growing. The United States was responsible for 34 percent of all arms exports from 2014 to 2018, according to SIPRI, an independent research institute. By 2023, that number had grown to 42 percent. Some 38 percent of US arms exports during that time went to the Middle East, with Israel accounting for 3.6 percent; Israel gets 69 percent of its arms imports from Washington.
    2. That America’s imperial wars have been agonizing failures has obscured the fact that there have been winners—and the same goes for this latest US-backed assault. Those winners are in the boardrooms of the companies shown here, from a tally assembled by the American Friends Service Committee. We highlight them not because of any company’s particular instrumentality in the bloodshed but because they are unexceptional, representing routine operations within Israel’s machinery of oppression. Some are not even primarily known as weapons manufacturers. Their wins compound every day that Israel continues its genocide in Gaza.

    Continue reading at https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/gaza-war-profiteers-corporations/

    UN experts declare famine has spread throughout Gaza strip by Michael Fakhri and others

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    1. GENEVA (9 July 2024) – The recent deaths of more Palestinian children due to hunger and malnutrition leaves no doubt that famine has spread across the entire Gaza strip, a group of independent experts* said today.

    … “We declare that Israel’s intentional and targeted starvation campaign against the Palestinian people is a form of genocidal violence and has resulted in famine across all of Gaza. We call upon the international community to prioritise the delivery of humanitarian aid by land by any means necessary, end Israel’s siege, and establish a ceasefire.”

    Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/07/un-experts-declare-famine-has-spread-throughout-gaza-strip