Monday, April 29, 2024

Donald Trump: Plain and Fat

Donald Trump.  Sleepy Don.  Gassy tRump.  Lock him up!  What are his other nicknames?  You would think someone with so many nicknames would be very, very popular but that is not the case with the former president. Julia Mueller (THE HILL) reports:

More than half of voters think former President Trump has committed crimes for which he should be convicted, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris poll shared with The Hill. 
Fifty-five percent of surveyed voters think Trump has committed crimes, a finding that comes as the first of four criminal indictments against the former president goes before a jury in New York. 
A 53-percent majority also said Trump’s legal cases make it “impossible” for him to be a viable candidate for the Oval Office, even as he campaigns for another four years. 

In other news of Mr. Trump, Martha McHardy (INDEPENDENT) reports:

According to a witness, a coat hanger or a “very tiny screwdriver” could be used to unlock the Mar-a-Lago storage room where Donald Trump stored classified documents.

The claim was made by the unidentified witness in an interview with FBI agents in January 2023, according to new documents, which were released as part of an ongoing effort by Mr Trump and his co-defendants to make additional evidence gathered by special counsel Jack Smith public.

The revelation could undercut Mr Trump’s claims that the documents, which are believed to have contained sensitive government information, were always secured while they were at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

According to the interview transcript, obtained by ABC, the witness told investigators that in the summer of 2021, the door to the storage room where the documents were kept for more than a year had a knob “with a pinhole” that visitors could lock from the inside via a push button.

“Kind of like what you would find on a residential door inside of a home?” an FBI agent asked.

“So it might have a lock like that on one side of it then other side, rather than an actual place for a key,” an agent added.

“Yeah,” the witness said.

“... very tiny screwdriver?”

“Um-hmm,” the witness said.

He really is nuts if he thinks that how you store top secret documents.  Now let me note this from Robert Reich's latest column about how we should be worried regarding 2024's election and why we should be worried:

In fact, Johnson helped organize 138 Republican House members to dispute that outcome, despite state certifications and the nearly unanimous rulings from state and federal courts that it was an honest election.

If Johnson and his cronies had so few scruples then, why should we assume they’ll have more scruples in the weeks following November’s elections?

The specific scenario I worry about is that in the wake of the elections, the House’s election-denying Republicans retain their majority in the next Congress by denying certification of Democratic candidates who have won by close margins. Then, on Jan. 6, 2025, the new Republican House majority refuses to certify Electoral College results from states that went for Biden by close margins — thereby ensuring that no candidate receives an Electoral College majority.

As a result, the decision about who’s to be the next president is made on a state-by-state delegation vote — almost surely delivering it to Trump.

I don’t think this scenario is far-fetched. Good faith can no longer be assumed. Quite the contrary: The current litmus test for Republican lawmakers in the Trump GOP is to say publicly that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Presumably they and Trump will do anything to get the White House back.

Lastly on Mr. Trump, here is SECULAR TALK.

Tomorrow, Mr. Trump heads back into the courtroom (there was no hearing today).

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

Monday, April 29, 2024.  As the assault on Gaza nears its seventh month, students step up and demand action from governments who have done nothing.


A top UN official said on Monday that the Palestinian people have been let down “countless times”.

Sigrid Kaag, UN chief co-ordinator for humanitarian affairs and reconstruction in Gaza, said almost one million children are not being schooled in the enclave.

“Schools are being used as shelters for families,” Ms Kaag said during a session of the World Economic Forum in Riyadh.

“This cannot wait for the political solution,” she said, adding that “we feel like zombies” about people there.

“I think we failed the Palestinians countless times,” she said, adding that “I know we can move mountains with political will.”

It is the only way forward, said Ms Kaag.

They can't wait, these children.  And American college students grasp that even though most American politicians do not.   ALJAZEERA reports:

In Boston, police detained about 100 people while clearing a protest camp at Northeastern University, with social media posts showing security forces in riot gear and officers loading tents onto the back of a truck.

In a statement on X, Northeastern said the area on campus where the protests were held was now “fully secured” and “all campus operations have returned to normal”.

Apparently suppression of free speech is now "normal."  

 The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University condemned the “Widespread Deployment of Police Forces on University Campuses Nationwide” in a Thursday statement.

“The large-scale deployment of armed officers to suppress peaceful protest on college campuses around the country is a shocking development,” Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the Knight Institute, wrote in the statement. “This response to peaceful protest is an assault on free speech–and it is also deeply reckless.”

On April 18, University President Minouche Shafik authorized the New York Police Department to enter campus and sweep the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” resulting in the arrests of 108 individuals.

The statement cites police departments being called at Columbia University, New York University, Emory University, Emerson College, University of Texas at Austin, University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University, and University of Southern California, among other institutions.

The NYPD arrested 120 protesters, including faculty, at a pro-Palestinian demonstration at NYU on Tuesday. Texas troopers and police, armed with batons, arrested 57 protesters at UT Austin, handcuffing them and pushing protesters back.

The statement acknowledges that there are times when “it may be necessary for universities to involve law enforcement where criminal conduct is at issue,” but states that those calling for police involvement with peaceful protesters “should consider more carefully the possible consequences of their demands.”

“And all of us, whether or not we share the politics of the protesters, should be alarmed by the precedent that is being established here—and about the ways in which this precedent might be exploited in the future,” Jaffer wrote.

Do you stand with the protestors or with the oppressors of free speech?  It's really not that difficult.  Unless maybe you're a teetering magazine that's long received money from Zionist and are now letting them dictate your coverage -- or in the case of THE NATION and IN THESE TIMES, their lack of coverage.

WSWS continues to cover the protests:

While others are silent -- THE PROGRESSIVE, THE NATION, IN THESE TIMES -- WSWS continues to cover the protests.  As does DEMOCRACY NOW!

In fact, let's drop back to Friday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: A wave of student protests against Israel’s war on Gaza continues to spread from coast to coast across U.S. campuses. From California to Connecticut, students have set up Gaza solidarity encampments to call for an end to the Israeli assault and for university divestment from Israel and the U.S. arms industry.

University administrators have responded by calling in law enforcement, forcibly removing encampments, arresting students and faculty and suspending students. More than 500 arrests have been made on campuses nationwide in just over a week.

One of the most violent police crackdowns took place at Emory University in Atlanta Thursday. Local and state police swept onto the campus just hours after students set up tents on the quad to protest Israel’s war on Gaza, as well as the planned Atlanta police training center known as Cop City. Police were accused of using tear gas, rubber bullets and stun guns to break up the encampment as they wrestled people to the ground. One video shows multiple officers restraining a protester as they apply and hold a Taser to his leg, as students around him yelled for them to stop.

In an email addressing the situation shortly afterwards, the president of Emory University wrote several dozen individuals, quote, “largely not affiliated with the university” entered the campus for the protest, disrupting the Emory community amidst final exams. The university later said 20 of the 28 people arrested had ties to the school. Among those arrested were a number of faculty members, including the chair of the philosophy department at Emory University, Noëlle McAfee. A bystander filmed her being led away in handcuffs.

BYSTANDER: I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do for you right now?

NOËLLE McAFEE: Yes. Can you call the philosophy department office and tell them I’ve been arrested?

BYSTANDER: Philosophy department?

NOËLLE McAFEE: Yes, call the philosophy department office.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Democracy Now! spoke to professor Noëlle McAfee after she was released from custody on Thursday. She described what happened.

NOËLLE McAFEE: I was on campus this morning early for a long day meeting. And I heard and I saw that there was an encampment, and I heard some peaceful chanting. I thought I would just go and see how it was going, and also was concerned because in the past Emory University has not just called out their own police to monitor things, but the Atlanta police. And a moment after I got there, I saw the troopers coming up. I’m not sure if they were the Georgia troopers or the Atlanta police, but they were coming up. The students were protesting with tents and all. And I was just wanting to watch.

And I wandered over, and I saw suddenly things took a turn, from — the students got up to start marching. And then — I couldn’t see exactly from where I was — they were just being attacked by the police, over just over a few seconds. The police were attacking. I could hear rubber bullets. Then I could — then I smelled or tasted the tear gas.

And then I saw in front of me a student on the ground with about three or four policemen pummeling the student, just pummeling and pummeling. And I tried to video it. I was standing there about three feet away from it. And it went on for like a minute or two. And then I screamed, “What are you doing?” And then they stopped pummeling the student, and a policeman stood in front of me and said, “You need to leave.” And I felt like the person who just needed to stay and witness what had just happened, and so I stood there, several feet away. And then he started dragging me off and putting my hands behind my back and took me in.

He took me around the side, and there were a lot of students being arrested and processed, and also some other faculty members, and we were put in a van. The president sent out an email to the community shortly thereafter saying that these were outside agitators. But I was in a group of about 20 to 25 Emory people who were being arrested. So, this was a peaceful protest that became chaotic at the moment the Emory police — I’m sorry, the Atlanta police arrived and became very hostile.

AMY GOODMAN: Arrested professor Noëlle McAfee, the chair of the philosophy department at Emory University.

Several Georgia legislators have criticized the police response at Emory yesterday. In a statement signed by at least 19 state Democratic lawmakers, they said they were, quote, “deeply alarmed by reports of excessive force,” writing, quote, “The use of extreme anti-riot tactics by Georgia State Patrol, including tasers and gas, is a dangerous escalation to protests which were by all accounts peaceful and nonviolent,” they wrote.

For more on the protest at Emory University, we go to Atlanta, where we’re joined by two guests. Emil’ Keme is a professor of English and Indigenous studies at Emory University. He was also arrested at the campus yesterday, jailed for four hours, charges with disorderly conduct. And we’re joined by Umaymah Mohammad, an MD/Ph.D. student, Palestinian American organizer at Emory, who took part in the protest.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Professor Emil’ Keme, you were arrested. Why were you out at the protest as the people started to begin the encampment? And explain what happened to you.

EMIL’ KEME: Yeah. Well, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to be here.

Yeah, I was just going to work. I was going to my office to prepare my classes I was supposed to teach yesterday. And then I ran into some of my students who were participating in the protest, and I went up to say hi to them, and I also saw some of my colleagues. So I was talking to them, and then somebody had mentioned that the university had called the police. And pretty soon, they got there, and I literally felt that I was in a war zone, when I saw the police with all the gear.

And then, like, they immediately began to forcibly remove and destroy all the tents and forcibly remove students. I saw then that — I started feeling the tear gas. And I held arms with some people that — you know, we were being pushed back out of the encampment. And the student that I was holding arms with, she was then arrested. And then, the next thing I know, I was on the floor, you know, being forcibly on the floor, and I was being arrested. But yeah, it was like a horrible experience, very surreal and, yeah, unacceptable, really unacceptable. And it was just a horrible situation and a horrible experience.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor, the police are denying they used rubber bullets. What did you see?

EMIL’ KEME: So, I did see somebody being tased. And then I saw the tear gas, and I felt it. I felt it in my eyes. I was also next to an older lady, and I was trying to reach her and tried to see if I could offer her some water. But then, you know, I did see the footage, some of the videos, of police using rubber bullets, as well. But it was very forceful, and the screams. And yeah, it was very violent and really unacceptable.

AMY GOODMAN: The Emory administration has also had a similar response against Stop Cop City protests on campus. Can you talk about the connections between the two?

EMIL’ KEME: Yeah. I mean, the protesters were not only asking the university to divest from investing in Israel, but also Cop City. And, I mean, it is the right thing to do. You know, it’s the right thing to do, because we have to remember that the university is on Indigenous lands, and these are Indigenous territories. And there was an eviction notice written by Muscogee leaders about not building Cop City in Atlanta. And it is a just demand. And hopefully, the university will listen to what the students are saying about this, because I think it’s extremely important.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring Umaymah Mohammad into this conversation. Umaymah, you’re an MD/Ph.D. student at Emory. Can you talk about these protests that you helped to organize and why you felt it was so key to take this stand on campus?

UMAYMAH MOHAMMAD: Yeah, absolutely. So, we are at past the seven-month mark of this genocide. And on our campus and in our community, we have repeatedly organized peacefully to put pressure on our institutions, especially at Emory, to stop harassing and doxxing students and to stop repressing speech around Palestine and to divest from the Israeli apartheid state. And every single time, Emory shuts us down. Every single time, they crack down, and they punish students. Every single time, they silence our voices.

And at some point, we decided that we no longer accept our tuition dollars and our tax money going to fund an active genocide. And that was, I think, the main motivation for a group of students and community members and faculty and graduate students coming together so powerfully in this moment to say we just reject this. We refuse to move until Emory listens to divesting from both the apartheid state of Israel and stop Cop City.

AMY GOODMAN: I read an open letter that you had written. I mean, you’re particularly deeply concerned about healthcare. You quoted the Palestinian doctor Hammam Alloh, killed in November when an Israeli artillery shell struck his wife’s home. His father, brother-in-law and father-in-law also died. Democracy Now! spoke to Dr. Alloh on October 31st. This was his response when asked him why he refused to leave his patients.

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: And if I go, who treats my patients? We are not animals. We have the right to receive proper healthcare. So we can’t just leave. … You think I went to medical school and for my postgraduate degrees for a total of 14 years so I think only about my life and not my patients?

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Hammam Alloh would be killed several weeks later. Umaymah Mohammad, can you talk about this issue of what we’re seeing at this point, over 34,000 Palestinians killed, the number of doctors and nurses, staff, universities, and why this is of particular concern to you?

UMAYMAH MOHAMMAD: Yeah. So, as a future healthcare professional and a current medical student, I am deeply concerned about the lack of concern healthcare institutions in America have for what we’re seeing. And it’s not just in Palestine. Healthcare professionals largely aren’t invested in the health and care of community members, like the police violence we saw on Emory’s campus. I mean, it’s absolutely mind-boggling to me that these people call themselves providers and care workers and are deeply disinvested from the structural and state violence of community members, both locally and internationally. And I used that quote in a letter that I wrote to the School of Medicine a few months ago because of the absolute silence from a healthcare institution on the decimation of the healthcare system in Gaza, on their own peers being murdered in cold blood by the IDF.

And so, I think one of the concerns that I have with Emory, and with the School of Medicine specifically, is that they have also, along with the greater Emory community, participated in suppressing Palestinian voices. So, a great example of this is very early on to this genocide, in October, Emory fired a Palestinian physician for posting a private social media post on her Facebook in support of the Palestinians. And yet one of the professors of medicine we have at Emory recently went to serve as a volunteer medic in the Israeli Offense Force and recently came back. This man participated in aiding and abetting a genocide, in aiding and abetting the destruction of the healthcare system in Gaza and the murder of over 400 healthcare workers, and is now back at Emory so-called teaching medical students and residents how to take care of patients. I mean, the disconnect is, for me, very obvious. And it’s very frustrating that the School of Medicine and the greater Emory community continues to ignore these major disconnects.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m wondering, as we wrap up, Umaymah Mohammad — you’re a medical student — about GILEE, the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, and this connection between Cop City, which would be the largest police training facility in the country, that is being protested as it’s being built in Atlanta, and the Atlanta police and Israel, what this is all about.

UMAYMAH MOHAMMAD: Absolutely. So, GILEE, like you said, is the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange program, and it was started in the ’90s at a university, at Georgia State University. And the function of this program is to exchange local police with international police forces. But what this program has become, majorly, is a connection between the Atlanta police force and the Israeli Offense Force. So, they send Atlanta police, along with people like medics and first responders, over to train under a military that is illegally occupying land in Palestine, to better learn surveillance techniques, to better learn tactics on how to suppress and repress protesters in Atlanta. And they bring back these techniques, that are highly militarized and violent, and use them against students.

And, in fact, yesterday we had a Palestinian student speak, who said the last time that she experienced what was a war zone on Emory’s campus was when she was in occupied Palestine. When we were tear-gassed, all she could see was the vision of when she was in occupied Palestine similarly being tear-gassed with those tear gas canisters saying “Made in the U.S.A.” And so, what we’re seeing happening is an exchange between the Atlanta police and the Israeli Offense Force, which is currently committing a genocide, to exchange tactics on how to better surveil, repress and harm community members.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, just 10 seconds, but as you talk about the Israeli Offense Force, you’re referring to what’s officially known as the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces. Can you explain why you call them the IOF?

UMAYMAH MOHAMMAD: Right. So, we reject the idea that the Israeli Offense Force is defending anything legitimate. The Israeli Offense Force has always been on the offensive, effectively enacting ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians, effectively stealing land, creating illegal settlements, checkpoints, creating conditions that are highly unlivable for Palestinians. And that’s why we use the language “Israeli Offense Force,” not the IDF.

AMY GOODMAN: Umaymah Mohammad, we want to thank you so much for being with us, a Palestinian American student from Indiana, now an MD/Ph.D. student at Emory University. And we want to thank Emil’ Keme, professor of English and Indigenous studies at Emory University, who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct yesterday. Meanwhile, University of Southern California has canceled their mainstage graduation ceremony because of the protests.

As the protests continue, so do the attacks on the protesters and this as buffoons in the middle ages pop up on TV saying that the problem is that the students don't know how to engage with people they disagree with.  Really?  Well if that's your firm belief please explain to the world how calling in the police in on students is going to teach them to engage?

The problem isn't the students.  And it's telling -- a point Ava and I made in "Media: The failure of left media leads to horrors like Thursday's THE DAILY SHOW" -- of how few outlets are even inviting the students on.  Want to know what they're doing and why they're doing it?  That might require actually speaking with them.  It appears it's actually the press that doesn't know how to engage with people they disagree with.

In the early morning, one can hear the birds perched on trees around the Gaza Solidarity Encampment at Columbia University. Farther off, there are sounds of protest and counterprotest. But inside the camp itself—technically the second camp after the New York Police Department cleared out the first and caused even more national attention to focus on this campus lawn—the resistance is often quieter if steady: a community formed to call for ceasefire, divestment, and the end to war.

This is a village built overnight. On April 17, student activists descended on the lawn outside the library—which had already been locked off to outsiders without a student identification card—and set up green tents and Palestinian flags. It was planned for the same day Columbia President Minouche Shafik appeared before Congress to discuss antisemitism on college campuses. The protesters hoped to call attention to the role of the United States and Columbia University in supporting Israel. Since Hamas’ attack on October 7, in which more than 1,000 Isrealis were killed and 129 hostages were taken, the Israeli government has waged a war that has led to more than 34,000 dead Palestinians and led Gaza to the brink of famine

Following her testimony, Shafik called the New York Police Department, which came in wearing riot gear, and students involved in the protests gained new energy. They quickly built a second encampment. Student demands have remained: that Columbia’s endowment divest from companies they say enable the conflict; that Columbia be transparent about its investments going forward; and that amnesty be provided for all students and faculty who have participated in protests. They hope to center the struggles in Gaza, where Israel is on the brink of a potential invasion of Rafah.

 Inside the encampment over the past week, I have found life different than most social media posts and news coverage might have you believe.

Students are not only protesting but attempting to create a new world. Within the camp, there is a certain normalcy in the daily communal flow. The few hundred students here—who each night come outside despite memories of the NYPD’s charge—wake up each morning, stretch, and brush their teeth. An IKEA table serves as an ersatz whiteboard, where students can see daily programming. Next is a morning assembly where leaders update everyone on the status of negotiations between protesters and the administration. Occasionally there are guest speakers and lectures.

“If you look at Fox News, we’re all Hamas supporters,” Sherif Ibrahim, a student organizer who said he is studying film, told me. “But I will say, inside the camp—everything happening is beautiful. It’s a show of love and community and solidarity and a seeking of justice.” Ibrahim described events from across the university that have been moved into the camp and food flowing from people across the city. “It’s been so meaningful and so moving,” he said.

Didn't you learn more from that than you could from a gas bag column by Fareed Zakaria where he writes about his own college life decades ago and the books he's written since -- patting himself on the back and making himself the focus while pretending to be writing about the ongoing student protests?

Instead of learning, we see arrests.  Sunday afternoon, Luke Garrett (NPR) reported:

Universities across the country turned to forced removal of pro-Palestinian protests and encampments this weekend as more and more students mounted organized opposition to Israel's handling of the war in Gaza. On Saturday, more than 275 people were taken into custody on campuses from Arizona to Massachusetts.

Beginning at 11 p.m. Friday night, campus police at Arizona State University — one of the nation's largest public colleges — started to warn a group of protesters that their gathering on Alumni Lawn was "unauthorized." After the group refused to leave, campus police arrested 72 people for trespassing by early Saturday morning, according to a university release.

[. . .]

More than two hundred miles away at Indiana University, campus police and Indiana State Police arrested 23 protesters at 12:35 p.m. Saturday. A group set up "unapproved temporary or permanent structures" on the campus's Dunn Meadow and then refused to leave, according to a university statement obtained by NPR.

The nearly two dozen people arrested face charges ranging from criminal trespassing to resisting law enforcement.

This morning Martin Weil (WASHINGTON POST) reports

Arrests were underway early Monday at a Gaza-related protest at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., the school said.

“They are being made,” a school spokesman said in an email early Monday.

The numbers of those arrested and of those demonstrating could not be learned immediately. Postings on X indicated that hundreds were demonstrating and that several had already been arrested.


To some, the surge in universities’ reliance on police to break up the protests illustrates an unwillingness by officials to truly engage with students and their demands, which usually include pulling institutional investments from companies whose work directly or indirectly supports Israel or its military apparatus, or profits from the war.

“Instead of engaging (protesters), they are cracking down,” said Dima Khalidi, executive director of Palestine Legal, which has for months represented students in disciplinary hearings brought by their universities. She called the police response across many campuses a “concerning and problematic escalation of repression and state violence against students’ peaceful protests against an ongoing genocide.”

“All of this is a distraction to take our eyes away from Gaza, where mass graves are being found, where people are being starved to death, where 35,000 Palestinians have been killed,” she said. “That’s what students are trying to bring attention to.”     

In eight days, the assault on Gaza will reach month seven.  The question is not why are the students protesting, the question is why isn't everyone all over the world protesting -- every student, every adult. Governments around the world have failed to stop the assault.

Crazed killers excuse it and lie about the protesters.  The protesters, the Crazed insist, are anti' Israel and/or anti-Jew.  But it's the Zionists who justify the killing of  Palestinian children and it's the Crazed  who equate every Palestinian with a member of Hamas.  Over 14,000 children have been killed by the Israeli government in the last six months and these were not members of Hamas.  These were children.  And you can lie and pretend all you want but most people can see reality.

ALJAZEERA notes this morning:

The top US diplomat has renewed Washington’s opposition to an Israeli offensive on Gaza’s southernmost city ahead of his trip to Israel.

“We have not yet seen a plan that gives us confidence that civilians can be effectively protected,” Blinken said at the World Economic Forum in Riyadh.

Then why the hell is the US government still supplying them with weapons?  If the US government would do its job, American students wouldn't have to protest on campus.

Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 66 Palestinians in 24 hours as the White House repeated it will not endorse an invasion of the southern city of Rafah without a plan to evacuate civilians.

Air strikes on three homes in Rafah in the early hours of Monday left at least 16 people dead, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken refuge in the city having been displaced from elsewhere in Gaza.

Other civilians, including women and children, were killed in shelling, air strikes and drone attacks in central and northern parts of the coastal enclave as Israel continued its relentless bombing campaign against Hamas.

  A newly leaked internal memo shows that officials at four U.S. State Department bureaus don't believe the Israeli government's assurances that it is using American weaponry in Gaza in compliance with international law, rejecting them as "neither credible nor reliable."

The memo, first reported by Reuters on Saturday, is a joint submission from the State Department's bureaus of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Population, Refugees, and Migration; Global Criminal Justice; and International Organization Affairs.

The leaked document raises "serious concern over non-compliance" with international law, specifically citing the Israeli military's repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure, refusal to investigate or punish those responsible for atrocities, and killing of "humanitarian workers and journalists at an unprecedented rate," according to Reuters.

The memo also points to Israel's arbitrary rejection of humanitarian aid trucks, which has fueled famine in the Gaza Strip. The bureaus' conclusion matches that of officials at the United States Agency for International Development.

Human rights groups have been documenting Israel's atrocities and systematic obstruction of aid for months, but the Biden administration has continued approving weapons sales for the Netanyahu government despite U.S. laws prohibiting arms transfers to countries violating human rights and blocking American humanitarian assistance. 

Gaza remains under assault. Day 206 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE GUARDIAN notes, "At least 34,488 Palestinians have been killed and 77,643 were injured during Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since 7 October."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


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

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

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