Former President Donald Trump continues to be in the news. From today's DEMOCRACY NOW!:
A Nevada grand jury has indicted six fake Trump electors who falsely claimed Trump won the 2020 vote in Nevada. They face felony charges with penalties that could see them sentenced to up to five years in prison.
In Wisconsin, 10 pro-Trump Republicans involved in their state’s “fake elector” scheme admitted Biden won Wisconsin in 2020, as part of a legal settlement. The agreement compels the 10 fake electors to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigations into Trump’s election fraud and the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
How have we arrived at this moment in our nation? And how can people delude themselves that Mr. Trump won the election. He did not win. And he, it appears, then attempted to risk the entire country and our democracy to start a riot so that he could hold onto the presidency.
And yet some people support him. It really is outrageous.
Derek T. Muller cited the 1968 case of former Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver who ran for president for the Peace and Freedom Party. California excluded Cleaver from the ballot because he was below the 35-year-old minimum age limit for the presidency — despite arguments that he would reach the age while in the post.
"Cleaver was the 33-year-old nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party. He challenged the exclusion in state court, which rejected his challenge. Cleaver petitioned for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Without comment, the Court rejected the petition," Muller wrote.
The request to freeze the case as the appeal goes forward was part of a long-planned strategy to delay any trial on the election interference charges from starting on schedule, in March.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken described some of the evidence: "a young boy and girl, 6 and 8 years old, and their parents around the breakfast table. The father's eye gouged out in front of his kids. The mother's breast cut off, the girl's foot amputated, the boy's fingers cut off before they were executed"; and "a baby, an infant, riddled with bullets. Soldiers beheaded. Young people burned alive. I could go on, but it's simply depravity in the worst imaginable way."
A Ha'aretz investigation into the claims of mutilation and torture found several examples where inaccurate information was disseminated by Israeli search and rescue units, the army, and by politicians. An Israeli army officer claimed that babies had been hung on clotheslines, though later investigations showed that one infant was killed, alongside her father, and that the reports of groups of children being slaughtered and multilated were false. Most of the children were killed alongside family members. Ha'aretz reported that "Hamas terrorists did desecrate corpses during the massacre, especially the bodies of soldiers. There were also beheadings and cases of dismemberment" but that "there is no evidence that children from several families were murdered together, rendering inaccurate Netanyahu’s remark to U.S. President Joe Biden that Hamas terrorists 'took dozens of children, tied them up, burned them and executed them.'" ZAKA volunteers shared stories of atrocities, with one repeatedly describing twenty children having been bound and burned at a kibbutz; the same volunteer said a pregnant woman had her unborn baby cut from her womb and that he had found the woman next to two murdered children aged six and seven. However, the list of dead does not correspond with the claims, and there were no children of that age killed in the kibbutz; the kibbutz has denied that the story is related to the kibbutz. Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli prime minister, sent a letter to US first lady Jill Biden claiming that a heavily pregnant woman was taken hostage to Gaza; the woman was identified as a Thai worker who had been taken hostage and later released. She was not pregnant and had not given birth.
May 7, 2009 Steven D. Green (pictured above) was convicted for his crimes in the March 12, 2006 gang-rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents and the murder of her five-year-old sister while Green was serving in Iraq. Green was found to have killed all four, to have participated in the gang-rape of Abeer and to have been the ringleader of the conspiracy to commit the crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up. May 21, 2009, the federal jury deadlocked on the death penalty.
Alsumaria explained, "An ex-US soldier was found guilty for raping an Iraqi girl and killing her family in 2006 while he might face death sentence. . . . Eye witnesses have reported that Green shot dead the girl’s family in a bedroom while two other soldiers were raping her. Then, Green raped her in his turn and put a pillow on her face before shooting her. The soldiers set the body afire to cover their crime traces."
Evan Bright reported on the verdict:
As the jury entered the court room, Green(red sweater vest) let out a large sigh, not of relief, but seemingly of anxiety, knowing the weight of the words to come. As Judge Thomas Russell stated "The court will now publish the verdict," Green interlaced his fingers and clasped them over his chin. Russell read the verdict flatly and absolutely. Green went from looking down at each "guilty" to eyeing the jury. His shoulders dropped as he was convicted of count #11, aggravated sexual abuse, realizing what this means. A paralegal at the defense table consoled Green by patting him on his back, even herself breaking down crying at the end of the verdicts.
After Russell finished reading the verdicts, he begged questions of the respective attorneys. Wendelsdorf, intending to ensure the absolution of the verdict, requested the jury be polled. Honorable Judge Russell asked each juror if they agreed with these verdicts, receiving a simple-but-sufficient yes from all jurors. Green watched the jury flatly.
From the September 4th, 2009 snapshot:
Green went into the military to avoid criminal charges on another issue. He was one of many that the military lowered the standards for.
May 28, 2009, the family of Abeer gave their statements to the court before leaving to return to Iraq. WHAS11 (text and video) reported on the court proceedings:
Gary Roedemeier: Crimes were horrific. A band of soldiers convicted of planning an attack against an Iraqi girl and her family.
Melissa Swan: The only soldier tried in civilian court is Steven Green. The Fort Campbell soldier was in federal court in Louisville this morning, facing the victims' family and WHAS's Renee Murphy was in that courtroom this morning. She joins us live with the information and also more on that heart wrenching scene of when these family members faced the man who killed their family.
Renee Murphy: I mean, they came face to face with the killer. Once again, the only thing different about this time was that they were able to speak with him and they had an exchange of dialogue and the family is here from Iraq and they got to ask Steven Green all the questions they wanted answered. They looked each other in the eye. Green appeared calm and casual in court. The victims' family, though, outraged, emotional and distraught. Now cameras were not allowed in the courtroom so we can't show video of today's hearing but here's an account of what happened. (Video begins] This is a cousin of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl raped and killed by Steven Green. He and other family members in this SUV were able to confront Green in federal court this morning. Their words were stinging and came from sheer grief. Former Fort Campbell soldier Steven Green was convicted of killing an Iraqi mother, father and their young daughter. He then raped their 14-year-old daughter, shot her in the head and set her body on fire. Today the victim's family was able to give an impact statement at the federal court house the young sons of the victims asked Green why he killed their father. an aunt told the court that "wounds are still eating at our heart" and probably the most compelling statements were from the girls' grandmother who sobbed from the stand and demanded an explanation from Green. Green apologized to the family saying that he did evil things but he is not an evil person. He says that he was drunk the night of the crimes in 2006 and he was following the orders of his commanding officers. In his statement, Green said if it would bring these people back to life I would do everything I could to make them execute me. His statement goes on to say, "Before I went to Iraq, I never thought I would intentionally kill a civilian. When I was in Iraq, something happened to me that I can only explain by saying I lost my mind. I stopped seeing Iraqis as good and bad, as men, women and children. I started seeing them all as one, and evil, and less than human." Green didn't act alone. His codefendants were court-martialed and received lesser sentences. Green will be formally sentenced to life in prison in September. [End of videotape.] The answers that Green gave were not good enough for some of the family members. at one point today, the grandmother of the young girls who were killed left the podium and started walking towards Green as he sat at the defendant's table shouting "Why!" She was forcibly then escorted to the back of the court room by US Marshalls. She then fell to the ground and buried her face in her hands and began to cry again. The family pleaded with the court for the death sentence for Green. but you can see Green's entire statement to the court on our website whas11.com and coming up tonight at six o'clock, we're going to hear from Green's attorneys.
Steven D. Green was convicted of War Crimes.
US soldiers gang-raped and killed an Iraqi girl and they killed three members of her family. Andy Mosher (Washington Post) would quote the go-to-military law expert for the press, Eugene Fidell stating, "This is not a defense known to the law. But this kind of evidence could come in during the court-martial, and it might be pertinent to the sentence. They could be setting the stage to avoid a death penalty." And at the Article 23 hearing, Captain Alex Pickands, for the prosecution, responded to the defense's argument: "Murder, not war. Rape, not war. That's what we're here talking about today. Not all that business about cold food, checkpoints, personnel assignments. Cold food didn't kill that family. Personnel assignments didn't rape and murder that 14-year-old little girl." Yet somehow this was not front page news. AP did cover the topic regularly. Despite KPFA's Sandra Lupien covering the news before anyone else, KPFA wouldn't lead on this, DEMOCRACY NOW! couldn't be bothered with this. Over and over, Abeer was betrayed by national media and by what passes for 'left' in the beggar media ("Send money! Always send money!").
I want to share a story. I wonder how many know the name, Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi. How many know who she was?
Abeer was a 14-old-girl, living with her family about 50 miles south of Baghdad, trying to grow up as best she could in a country ravaged by violence and war.
Until March 12, 2006, when her life was cruelly cut short. On that night, five American soldiers, dressed all in black, allegedly burst into the home where Abeer lived with her family.
After spending the evening drinking whiskey mixed with energy drinks and playing cards, the soldiers must have decided to execute the crime they allegedly had been planning for weeks. According to the charges, the men took turns raping 14-year-old Abeer before shooting her. In the next room, her mother, her father, and her five-year-old sister were executed. When the men were done, they drenched the bodies in kerosene and set them on fire.
Then, the prosecutors say, they went back to base and grilled up some chicken wings for dinner. It was months before this crime came to light.
The cold-blooded murder of Abeer and her family is a tragedy. But it’s almost as great a tragedy when her story, and all the other stories that are difficult to hear and difficult to accept, are buried in the back of the news pages—quickly shuffled off the nightly news by politicians and their handlers desperate to change the subject. Or never told at all.
Like so many Americans, I have felt frustrated and betrayed by the state of the mainstream media in this country— media whose priorities seem out of step with their responsibilities.
Media Must Be the Defenders of Democracy.
We need a media that strengthens democracy, not a media that strengthens the government. We need a media that enriches public discourse, not one that enriches corporations. There’s a big difference.
When we talk about reforming the media, what we’re really talking about is creating a media that is powerful, not a media that serves the interests of the powerful; a media that is so powerful that it can speak for the powerless, bear witness for those who are invisible in our world, and memorialize those who would be forgotten.
A truly powerful media is one that can stop a war, not start one.
Israeli tanks have advanced into the center of the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip as Israel’s assault on the besieged Palestinian territory enters its third month. On Wednesday, an Israeli strike on the Jabaliya refugee camp killed 22 family members of Moamen Al-Sharafi, a correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, including his parents and siblings. Palestinians in parts of southern Gaza that Israel has claimed are safe continue to come under fire. This is Amir Magnam, a 5-year-old boy injured Wednesday when an Israeli strike hit a school in eastern Khan Younis where his family was sheltering.
Amir Magnam: “I went into the classroom and went to play with my friend. Then suddenly I heard a sound going boom, and we ran. A rock fell on me, on my legs, and then I ran away.”
Reporter: “Who got injured?”
Amir Magnam: “Father. A big rock fell on father, hit him here on the leg. A big rock fell on me here on my leg.”
A US-based press freedom group on Thursday urged Israel to release a journalist reportedly detained by troops in Gaza.
Diaa Al-Kahlout, a correspondent for Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, was arrested at gunpoint by Israeli forces in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, the London-based newspaper reported Thursday.
"We are deeply concerned by reports of the arrest of Al-Araby Al-Jadeed journalist Diaa Al-Kahlout in northern Gaza along with his family members," the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement.
Videos circulating on social media on Thursday, geolocated by CNN to Beit Lahia, showed Israeli soldiers detaining dozens of men, stripped to their underwear, kneeling on the streets and wearing blindfolds. It is unclear if Al-Kahlout is among those seen in the videos.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has invoked Article 99 of the U.N. Charter for the first time in decades to press the Security Council to support a ceasefire in Gaza as Israel intensifies its assault, which began two months ago today, on October 7th, after Hamas attacked Israel.
In a letter, Guterres wrote, quote, “Amid constant bombardment by the Israel Defense Forces, and without shelter or the essentials to survive, I expect public order to completely break down soon due to the desperate conditions,” he wrote.
He went on to write, quote, “We are facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system. The situation is fast deteriorating into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region. Such an outcome must be avoided at all cost.”
We begin today’s show with the celebrated Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha, who was recently jailed and beaten by Israeli forces. He was detained at a checkpoint in Gaza as he was headed toward Rafah with his family. He was rounded up with scores of other Palestinians. After he was released from an Israeli jail two days later, Abu Toha posted a message on social media, writing, quote, “I’m safe but still have pain in nose and teeth after being beaten by Israeli army. I gave them all my family’s passports, including my American son’s but they didn’t return anything. Also my clothes & my chlidren’s were taken and not returned to me. No wallet, money, credit cards,” he wrote.
AMY GOODMAN: Mosab Abu Toha’s detention sparked global outcry from the literary community and beyond. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Progressive and other publications. He founded the Edward Said Library in Gaza. His first book of poetry, Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear, won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The poetry collection was published by City Lights Books.
On Sunday, Mosab Abu Toha managed to leave Gaza with his wife and three children through the Rafah border. He joins us now from Cairo, Egypt, for his first interview since he was jailed.
Welcome to Democracy Now!, Mosab. Thank you so much for being with us. I’m sorry for all you have gone through. Can you describe what happened, where you were detained, where you were jailed, what happened to you when you were in Israeli prison?
MOSAB ABU TOHA: Thank you so much for having me.
I made it from the north of Gaza to the south of Gaza, but I was jailed by the Israeli army. I was trying to cross and reach the Rafah border crossing. Our names were listed by the American — by the Department of State, because my youngest son, 3 years and a half, was born in America. He’s an American citizen. So I was trying to cross from the north of Gaza, where I spent the past two months, I would say, to the south of Gaza, where Rafah is, and where we were advised to go. But at the checkpoint, I was picked by the Israeli army, along with about 200 other people. I was picked by the Israeli soldier. He called me by describing me. He said, “The man with the black backpack and the red-haired boy, put the boy down and let him go, and come to me.” So, I mean, I took our passports, my son’s and also my wife’s and two other children, thinking that I would show the passports and also my American son to them, so that they would just let us go. But I was surprised, because he ordered me, very aggressively, to put the son down and come to join the queue of other people who were kidnapped with me.
I mean, there was a young — a younger man. He was so scared, and he said, “I wanted my mother. I want to be with my mom. Oh, my mom, come help me,” etc. I tried to calm him down, telling him, “Oh, don’t worry. Maybe they are going to ask us some question, and then we would go.” But that was not the case.
I was then summoned by another Israeli soldier who was sitting next to another soldier who was pointing his gun at us. They asked us to recite our names and our ID numbers, and then I was led to another Israeli Jeep, in front of whom — I mean, there were three Israelis soldiers — I was forced to take off all my clothes. I just took off my pants and my shirt, etc., and I kept my boxer shorts on. But I was surprised when they asked me to just also take off my boxer shorts. So I was naked. And I felt humiliated. I felt terrified and terrorized by this army, because they were ordering us to do everything at gunpoint. And then I was beaten in my face. I was beaten in my stomach. And I still have pain in my face.
And later, I realized they were taking us to Bir As-Saba, or Be’er Sheva, about two hours away from Gaza, without knowing what they were going to do to us. I had little clothes to warm my body during the cold weather. And so, I mean, they took me for interrogation, and I did tell them all my story. And I wasn’t aware that the whole world, especially in America, were just writing about me and asking for my release. I think this was one reason — I mean, I didn’t do anything in my life; I didn’t harm any person, although I lived under occupation all my life. And I was wounded when I was 16. I got a piece of shrapnel just a few centimeters away from my windpipe, so I was harmed. My house was bombed. But I myself didn’t harm anyone. But I was harmed again. And I am still harmed by the fact that my family and my neighbors are still in Gaza. And the last time I was in touch with my mother and my sisters and also my brothers and their children was five days ago, the same day I left Gaza. So I have no single piece of news whether they are alive or dead.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Mosab, I’d like to ask you — I mean, of course, you mentioned very soon after you arrived in Egypt that you remain very, very concerned because your parents and your siblings are in Gaza. You have not been able to reach them for five days. Are you able to reach others in Gaza? I’d just like to read very briefly what a leading military analyst from the U.S. has said, drawing an analogy between the Second World War’s bombardment of German cities like Dresden and Cologne and the contemporary present bombardment of Gaza by Israel. This is Robert Pape, writing, “Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne — some of the world’s heaviest-ever bombings are remembered by their place names. Gaza will also go down as a place name denoting one of history’s heaviest conventional bombing campaigns.” So, Mosab, if you could talk about that and what you know now about what’s going on in Gaza since you left?
MOSAB ABU TOHA: Well, I mean, the situation, I think, is different than the other place names that you mentioned. For your information and your respected audience, I still have friends whose houses were bombed a few weeks ago and whose bodies are still not retrieved. And I wrote in one of my posts that not only are Gazans, are we and Gazans concerned about being killed under the rubble of our house, but also of being — maybe of being alive under the rubble and no one coming to rescue us. So, there are no fire trucks. There are no civil defense staff. There is no fuel. There are no equipment — there is no equipment to retrieve the bodies of those who might be still alive under the bombing of their house — after the bombing of their houses. So I don’t think Gaza could be compared to any other place on Earth.
And now with social media and all the world watching us, I mean, it’s different from maybe Second World War. I mean, people would hear the news of the bombing of a house or something maybe later. But people are just watching us live, and no one can step in to stop their carnage, the genocide that is committed against my family, my neighbors, my friends, my students, my fellow writers and artists.
So, during the truce a few weeks ago — I think two weeks ago there was the truce. I was in Deir al-Balah in the second — in the other half of the Gaza Strip, while my brother Hamza, who is a father of three children and whose wife is pregnant and is about to give birth — so, that’s another issue that no one talks about, I mean, the reality and the circumstances with which women in Gaza are living. I mean, they are talking about sexual violence against Israeli women, but no one talks about the violence against our lives. No one talks about pregnant women. No one talks about women themselves buried under the rubble with their families. So, this is not called violence? So, you just care about sexual violence? That’s all you care about? [inaudible] how this world is really thinking.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Mosab, so, could you talk about that? Could you say —
MOSAB ABU TOHA: And this needs to stop. And you need to —
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Mosab, I was saying —
MOSAB ABU TOHA: Yes.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: — if you could elaborate on that?
MOSAB ABU TOHA: Hello?
NERMEEN SHAIKH: What the situation of Palestinian women, in particular, as you pointed out, Palestinian women who are pregnant, given what the situation in hospitals is? You’ve said a little bit about this in the past. If you could elaborate?
MOSAB ABU TOHA: Well, I mean, you know, women, just like other women in the world — I mean, women in Gaza have their own needs. I men, there are no clean bathrooms. There are no clean toilets. And they need their own things. You know, when a woman gets the period, I mean, there are no — you know, there are no stuff for them to take care of their bodies. And there are also the other pregnant women. So, many hospitals in Gaza are out of service right now, not only for the wounded but also for pregnant women. No one talks about this. You need to talk about this. Where can my sister-in-law, my brother’s wife, where can she give birth? And is there enough clothes for the newborn baby? So, you don’t care about this violence committed against parents? How they are going to manage their lives? No one talks about this.
This is violence in itself, not only killing us, but about — so it’s also about the lack of water, the lack of food. You know, so, before the start of this carnage, we used to buy 25 kilo of wheat flour for 40 shekels, which is about $12. Yesterday, my wife’s uncle messaged me, and he said, “I paid 500 shekels,” which is about $130. So he paid $130 to get 25 kilograms of flour wheat — wheat flour — and if you could find it, of course, because there is lack in respect to wheat flour and other basic things. But so, if he had the money to buy it, there are other people who have not been able to get any money because they are jobless. Most people in Gaza depend on daily jobs — farmers, sellers, etc. So, there are — the majority of people in Gaza don’t have money, so they are sometimes begging other people to give them money. So, no one talks about this. They are just talking about sexual violence, about October 7th. But this has been going on, even before October 7th, by the way.
AMY GOODMAN: Mosab Abu Toha, we are reporting on everything, the horrific stories we’re hearing from October 7th, but also what happened before October 7th to Palestinians and after. And I wanted to get your response to the World Health Organization calling the assault on Gaza humanity’s “darkest hour.” The U.N.'s top humanitarian relief coordinator said Israel's attack on southern Gaza has been as devastating as in the north, with the apocalyptic conditions preventing the delivery of aid, some 85% of the population now displaced. And particularly, if you could talk about your conversations with doctors and nurses in Gaza? You tweeted, “Just imagine yourself as a father watching your child not only having his/her leg amputated, but also dying of pain. Do you still feel you are a father? That there are still humans in the world?” Talk about the hospitals.
MOSAB ABU TOHA: Mm-hmm. So, the first hospital I was able to enter was Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital, which is in Deir al-Balah. And I went there — I mean, I don’t like to go to hospitals, because, first of all, there is no space for me to enter. I mean, beds are full of patients and wounded people. And at the same time, the corridors, the inner hallways are just full of people lying there. I mean, wounded people are getting treated, getting surgeries while on the floor. So, but I had to go to the Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah to get some treatment for my face and my bleeding nose. So, there are not enough doctors to treat the patients and the wounded people. And there are just bodies everywhere. People even — I mean, they would just go and bury people without their relatives around, because their relatives have died with them, which is really, really heartbreaking. And people are turned into numbers and names. They would just put a body in a piece of cloth and just write their names, and that’s it. They would just take them to the cemetery.
So I was able to talk to some doctors and nurses at the hospital. And I was shocked. I mean, I knew that there were not enough medications, but I was told by one nurse about the case of a child who had her leg amputated. And because there was no anesthesia, no painkillers, the child died while she was having her leg amputated. And I’m wondering, I mean: How would I feel as a father if my child had to have her leg or arm amputated, while she is watching her arm or leg amputated, and then she would continue to bleed, and then she would die because of the pain? And I’m asking all the people in the world just to put themselves in my place as a father. And I’m asking them: Are you really ready in the future when a Gazan child meets you maybe in the street or when you come visit Gaza or visit the cemeteries in Gaza? What would you say to this child? What have you done to protect his family? So, you are living in the Western world —
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Mosab, finally —
MOSAB ABU TOHA: — and you are, in some way or another, supporting Israel — yes.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: No, please go ahead. Finish.
MOSAB ABU TOHA: I mean, you are — in some way or another, you are supporting Israel, not — I mean, you know, you are paying taxes, which is going to — I mean, most of the taxes are going to Israel. And I’m really shocked by the American administration, and I hope that my voice would reach the American administration people. So, when October 7th happened, you went to Israel. You showed your support. You offered weapons, and you offered money. So you were able to do everything. But now you are asking Israel to protect — to minimize the casualties among the civilians. Can you do anything to protect the civilians? So, you are calling Israel to minimize the casualties, OK? So, what can you do as an American administration to force Israel to abide by the world law? Is it really hard for you to stop the carnage, to protect the civilian people, to protect hospitals, to protect shelters, UNRWA schools?
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, finally, Mosab, what is your message to the U.S., to President Biden, and to European leaders?
MOSAB ABU TOHA: Well, I think if you can’t stop the war, if you can’t stop the carnage, the genocide, just stop financing it. Stop providing more weapons to Israel. Because these weapons are just killing children who are just like your other children. I mean, your children and you, as an American or a European parent, you could be born here in my place in Gaza. Your child could be living in an UNRWA school, in a shelter. They could be bombed in a classroom. Instead of studying and, you know, continuing education, your child could be just sheltering in a classroom with no teacher, with no books. They are just being educated how to survive, if they could.
AMY GOODMAN: Mosab, we just have 30 seconds, but were you ever told why you were jailed? You were jailed — I think that day about 200 Palestinians in Gaza were jailed. There was a great outcry for you. Do you know if the others were released?
MOSAB ABU TOHA: No. I mean, there are a few other people I knew by name because they are from the same town as me, from Beit Lahia. And now it’s — so, I was kidnapped on November 19th, and now today it’s December 7th. Until now, there are other people who are still detained by the Israeli army, and their families are just contacting me: “Did you — do you know anything about our…” I told them, “I just left. I was just released. I don’t have any news about your family.” So they are still kidnapped.
And the Israelis, by the way, accused me of being a Hamas member. You know, I mean, what a ridiculous accusation. I have been living in America for the past four years. And I’ve been hurt, you know, without — I asked them. I asked the Israeli captain if they have any photograph, if they have any satellite photo of me holding a weapon or being in any place that could cause any harm to you. And he slapped me in the face. He said, “You give me the proof!”
AMY GOODMAN: Mosab Abu Toha, we want to thank you so much for being with us, Palestinian poet and author, jailed by Israeli authorities as he and his family fled Gaza. His son is an American citizen. He is a columnist, a teacher, and founder of the Edward Said Library in Gaza, also author of the American Book Award-winning book of poetry, Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza.
This is Democracy Now! We’re broadcasting from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates at COP28. Our next guest calls this a “Cabal of Oil Producers,” not a climate summit. We’ll speak with the renowned climate scientist Kevin Anderson and find out why he’s not here. Stay with us.
Muhammed Shehada, communications chief at Euro-Med Monitor, says it is “remarkable” that Israeli soldiers took “degrading and humiliating pictures” of Palestinian detainees.
“We’ve been seeing for at least four to five weeks since the ground invasion started, Israeli soldiers recording similar videos and leaking them to Telegram channel or to Israeli accounts on X. There were no Palestinian photographers in that area, so the only source of these images can be Israeli soldiers or the media personnel embedded with them,” Shehada told Al Jazeera.
He explained that sharing the footage and labelling it immediately as surrendering Hamas fighters served two goals.
“Number one is to create a false victory image for Israel to say that we are winning this fight. Number two is to terrorise, humiliate and frighten the rest of the population that is in Khan Younis or in Gaza’s northern half to coax them to flee en masse towards Rafah,” Shehada added.
While some US officials talk about the need to protect innocent Palestinian lives, President Biden has said almost nothing.
Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Steven Cook says it was a mistake for Biden to have offered a “bear hug” – complete, unconditional support for Israel. Now, Biden is stuck in a position of supplying weapons to Israel while asking it to allow basic food and water into Gaza.
Al Jazeera’s The Bottom Line speaks to Cook about where the conflict is heading. Watch the discussion below: