Ethnic Cleansing on Steroids

Israel has ended its assault on the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, because there is nothing left to assault. The facility — the largest medical complex in Gaza where hundreds of civilians had been sheltering — is now an empty, unusable, burnt-out husk. Witnesses report hundreds of corpses in and around the complex, with video footage showing human body parts protruding from the earth and bodies with zip ties on their wrists.

Israel is currently doing its usual song and dance where it claims the hospital was a Hamas headquarters and everyone it killed there was a “terrorist”, but at this point the only people buying that schtick are the ones who desperately need to. This was a massacre of profound savagery. It’s as plain as day to anyone who isn’t deeply invested in pretending otherwise.

Israel, which at the beginning of the Gaza onslaught had adamantly denied that it would ever attack a hospital, has since launched hundreds of documented attacks on Gaza’s healthcare services and has destroyed most of its healthcare system. Just today the director-general of the World Health Organization announced that an Israeli airstrike on Gaza’s al-Aqsa Hospital compound killed four people and injured seventeen.

A @WHO team was on a humanitarian mission at Al-Aqsa Hospital in #Gaza, when a tent camp inside the hospital compound was hit by an Israeli airstrike today. Four people were killed and 17 injured. WHO staff are all accounted for.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 31, 2024

Oxford University professor Nick Maynard, who spent time working at al-Aqsa Hospital earlier this year, recently accused the IDF of “systematically targeting healthcare facilities, healthcare personnel and really dismantling the whole healthcare system” in Gaza.

“It’s not just about targeting the buildings, it’s about systematically destroying the infrastructure of the hospitals,” says Maynard. “Destroying the oxygen tanks at the al-Shifa hospital, deliberately destroying the CT scanners and making it much more difficult to rebuild that infrastructure. If it was just targeting Hamas militants, why are they deliberately destroying the infrastructure of these institutions?”

Why indeed? If the objective is to target Hamas, why trash the hospital’s medical equipment? If the objective is to target Hamas, why destroy the whole complex and make it unusable as a healthcare facility?

Logically we can only conclude that it isn’t about targeting Hamas at all. It’s about destroying Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure.

Today, we witness the total Israeli destruction of the most important, 700 beds specialty hospital in Gaza, Al Shifa Medical Complex. It was established 78 years ago during the British Mandate, the name Shifa meaning 'The House of Healing'; now turned into a 'House of Death' by Israel shitfuckery.

Why would Israel want to destroy Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure? The answer to that question has been clear for months: to make the land uninhabitable for the Palestinians. The same reason they’re deliberately starving Gazans, destroying their homes, continually moving them from place to place and bombing every “safe zone” they create. 

This is naturally giving rise to a situation in which the inhabitants of Gaza will either die or flee to some other country — which just so happens to be exactly what Israel wants them to do. 

It’s so obvious what’s happening here. Painfully obvious. Poke-you-in-the-eyeballs obvious. But we’re still subjected to a western political-media class who keeps forcefully telling us that this blatant ethnic cleansing campaign is not what it looks like. Telling us that all this starvation and destruction and elimination of healthcare services and the way it directly places pressure on the Palestinians to leave their homeland is just a series of coincidences arising from Israel’s “war” of “defense”. That only by pure happenstance does it look exactly the same as the advancement of an agenda that Israelis have sought to advance for generations.

Well I personally am through with having my intelligence insulted, and I hope you are too. The sky is blue, a spade’s a spade, the emperor has no clothes, and Israel is conducting a very obvious ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza.  (My edit of Caitlin Johnstone's assessment)

Rafah is not a military base, nor does it have any geopolitical significance. It is, however, Netanyahu’s last chance for political survival and exoneration from criminal charges. Rafah’s only symbolic importance is being a potential gateway to forcibly exile Palestinians from Gaza.

Thus, Netanyahu’s vision of “total victory” entails the complete occupation and then the systemic ethnic cleansing of as many Palestinians as possible through the only international crossing connecting Gaza with an Arab country.

Over the past five months, the population in the city of Rafah has ballooned five folds. Like the Israeli-induced famine in Gaza, the increase of population was also by an Israeli design. At the onset of the Israeli genocidal campaign, Rafah, located at Gaza’s southernmost edge along the border with Egypt, was dubiously designated as a “safe zone.” Civilians were coercively instructed by Israel to relocate southward under the guise of cynical pretexts.

Arguably, Rafah stands today as one of the most densely populated 25-square-mile regions on Earth. Its population hovers around 1.4 million, encompassing the original 275,000 inhabitants prior to Israel’s forced displacement of over 50 percent of the northern Gaza population. To put this into perspective, Rafah’s current population is comparable to that of the city of San Diego, albeit, jammed in an area less than 7 percent of San Diego’s expanse.

Early during Israel genocide campaign and during an interview with MSNBC last November, Mark Regev, “chief disinformation” adviser to Israeli Prime Minister, told his interviewer “We’re asking people to relocate … we don’t want to see civilians caught up in the crossfire.” He further underscored his confidence stating that he was “pretty sure” they “won’t have to move again.”

In his trademark disingenuous display of compassion, Regev explained that by relocating people to the border with Egypt, close to the Rafah border crossing, aid could reach them “as quickly as possible.” Just as in Israel’s false claim of a command center to justify a military raid on Gaza main hospital, Regev’s brazen remarks during the interview displayed shameless insolence, banking on the American mainstream media, particularly MSNBC, reluctance to challenge his blatant lies. Those who dared to, Mehdi Hasan for example, found his show on MSNBC canceled.

It took the West four months following Regev’s false assurances, and more than 100,000 Palestinians killed or injured, and the imminent starvation of 2.4 million before they realized they were taken for a ride by the Israeli hasbara. It is this reality that could possibly explain the sudden apprehension among American and Western officials regarding Israel’s real intention in the city of Rafah.

On Sunday March 24, the French President Emmanuel Macron warned Netanyahu that any forceful displacement of people from Rafah would constitute “a war crime.” Almost simultaneously, and marking a significant departure from past positions, the United States refrained from vetoing a UN Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

This was also followed by strong statements from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday, March 26, who conveyed to his Israeli counterpart, “… the number of civilian casualties is far too high and the amount of humanitarian aid is far too low … Gaza is suffering a humanitarian catastrophe and the situation is getting even worse.”

Although there is a noticeable shift in tone among leaders who lined up to bless Netanyahu’s genocidal war in response to the October 7 revolt— much like Nat Turner’s rebellion against injustice in 1831— one cannot help but question the sincerity of their change of heart. Where was Macron three months earlier when 1.4 million civilians were forcibly displaced from their homes in northern Gaza, only to have their residences destroyed? Did he seriously believe Regev’s false-hearted grace to bring people closer to the (blocked) aid?

Regarding the Biden administration, which had previously vetoed every UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a ceasefire, it took no time to appease and placate Netanyahu’s expressed wrath. Immediately after the UN vote, National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby stepped up to the podium backpedaling asserting that the UNSC resolution held no significance, deeming it “non-binding” with “no change to what Israel can or can’t do.”

Despite this, the ingrate Israeli leader scolded the White House by canceling a scheduled trip for Israeli officials to Washington to discuss Israeli plans in Rafah. Instead of retaliating by sending back Netanyahu’s war minister, Pentagon officials obediently listened to the Israeli minister’s long shopping list for additional US weapons to sustain the genocidal war. Meanwhile, the White House scrambled to assuage Netanyahu and reschedule the Israeli visit. ­­­­­­

Netanyahu rubbed Biden’s nose in a manner unprecedented among US allies, especially considering Israel’s status as the foremost beneficiary of US foreign aid and its access to cutting-edge weapon technology as soon as it enters the US military’s inventory. It’s mind boggling how Netanyahu can get away with insulting the US without facing any consequences.

Yet, Netanyahu’s arrogance didn’t happen in a vacuum. He once boasted in a video that “America Is a thing you can move very easily.” While it’s a fact that Netanyahu has been manipulating and milking American taxpayers for decades, he wasn’t the first Israeli leader to do so. In 1967, Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan told a visiting American Zionist leader, “Our American friends offer us money, arms and advice … We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice.”

More than any other Israeli leader, Netanyahu has mastered the art of humiliating American officials to get his way and ultimately exert control over them by portraying them as inept and weak. Case in point, in 2010, then Vice President Biden was blindsided during his visit to Tel Aviv when Netanyahu challenged US opposition by announcing plans to construct hundreds of new homes in the “Jewish-only” colony of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem.

More recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced another humiliating moment when Israel welcomed him with the seizure of 2000 acres for a future “Jewish-only” colony on occupied Palestinian land.

Even though Blinken traveled from Saudi Arabia as part of US diplomatic efforts to normalize relations between the Kingdom and the Zionist entity, Netanyahu sidelined American pains to reward Israeli genocide with the Saudi normalization when the Secretary of State expressed concerns regarding Israeli plans in Rafah. According to news reports, Netanyahu, with a sense of entitlement, cut Blinken short telling him: “US support for Rafah op welcomed but not needed.”

To that end, the US Administration as well as Israeli military leaders such as ex military chief of staff, and current war cabinet minister Gadi Eisenkot, believe that Netanyahu’s assertion of “total victory”  by invading Rafah is a hogwash.

But irrespective of the US position, Netanyahu treats American advice like a buffet, cherry-picking what suits him and leaving the fallout of his actions for the US to clean up. Regrettably, AIPAC castrated American politicians have an abject proclivity to clean after Israel no matter how reprehensible or morally repugnant.

– Jamal Kanj is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle

It is Day 19 today of the Great 2024 Nonviolent Student Uprising against the U.S.-backed slaughter of innocent Palestinian civilians (over 70% of the dead are children, women and the elderly). Nearly 40,000+ souls massacred by the Israel Defense (Offense) Force via carpet bombing, sniper drones, forced starvation and the mass mandatory removal of Gazans into “safe zones” where they are then bombed again and murdered by the Israeli army. 

This horrific assault is armed and supported by the U.S. government and funded by nearly 300 million American taxpayers. This slaughter could end in the next hour if we Americans just simply pulled the plug, closed the bank, cut off the free billions to the Netanyahu regime, and stopped sending weapons to conduct a genocide that is in violation of American and International law. One phone call from President Biden, one stroke of his pen and POOF! — War Is Over. It literally is that easy. 

The youth already know this. That’s why tens of thousands of them across the country and around the world are holding sit-ins, nonviolently occupying campus quads and administration buildings, demanding their universities divest from companies doing business with a rogue and racist regime. These students are risking their college careers, facing suspension and expulsion, future blacklisting as they seek employment after college, physical assault from pro-Israel gangs armed with clubs, mace and explosives, and being arrested by the police because they were exercising their Constitution rights to free speech, freedom of assembly and the freedom to redress their grievances against their government’s actions. 

And for doing this — the most humane, most loving, most American of acts — they are slandered and smeared and called… wait for it!… antisemites! By the very antisemites who back the slaughter of the Semitic people known as the Palestinians! Wow. Now that’s chutzpah!

Lie after lie, day after day, is told about these protests. They are not threatening Jewish students. To the contrary, thousands of Jewish students and faculty have shown up to support and participate in the pro-Palestine, anti-war, anti-genocide demonstrations. The Palestinian students join them for Shabbat dinner on Friday nights. At one encampment the Palestinian students did a Jewish folk dance for their compatriots. The hater pudits don’t want you to know that. Why not? Because they know that’s the world you and I want to live in — as opposed to the world they’re trying to maintain for us: A world without Palestine. These young people have decided they want NONE of that. 

I say more nonviolent civil disobedience! More tent encampments! More sit-ins. More citizens taking to the streets. It’s a proud and time-honored America tradition! We wouldn’t have the rights and freedoms we now enjoy without an entire history of it! 

There would be no women able to vote today if the suffragettes hadn’t thrown up a picket line surrounding and blocking the White House in 1917. For that they were arrested, beaten, imprisoned for months, with many later abandoned by their husbands. 

There would be no UAW or unions in general had not my uncle and 2,000 other GM workers in 1936 taken over the factories in Flint and staged a 44-day sit down strike. 

Outside agitators? More of that too! That was the description used by all the media and the racist mayors and governors when Martin Luther King, Jr. showed up to town. He held sit-ins, takeovers, he trespassed everywhere and thank God for him because he moved mountains. He was hated for it. He was slandered and called every disgusting name possible. 

There would be no civil rights laws, no Black members of Congress if King had not been a nonstop “outside agitator” and lawbreaker of racist laws. 

And trespassing? The #1 Trespasser in American History? Her name was Rosa Parks. She broke the law and trespassed into the white section of a Montgomery, AL, bus on December 1st, 1955. And that was that. President Biden said that students who cause “chaos” will be arrested. Joe, Mrs. Parks heard you say that. If she and Dr. King and millions of others had not caused a massive amount of chaos, disruption and lawbreaking, where would we be? What if in 1960 four black students at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina had not refused to move until they were served? Within a week there were illegal sit-ins demanding integration in over a hundred cities. 

And what of Vietnam? Millions of students taking over campuses! Newsflash: Windows were broken! Oh my! My lifelong friend and co-producer Rod Birleson sent me this text this morning remembering his days as a student in the 1960s and 70s at Easter Michigan University:

It was May, 1970, just days after the National Guard killed 4 students at Kent State.

I was a student at Eastern Michigan University. 

EMU was shut down for 4 days. Marshall law declared. A group of 3 or more students gathered together outdoors was considered an illegal gathering. But the cops could not enter the campus in patrol cars or police buses for those they were going to arrest because we spread roofing nails and broken glass on all the roads leading into campus. Even the city street cleaner could not clear a path, as it also got flat tires. The cops in riot gear had to walk into campus. K-mart sold out of sling shots. When the cops tried to enter the residential dorms to arrest students they couldn’t even get through the lobbies. One dorm started pouring boiling water out of their upper story windows. When they did manage to arrest a student with long hair, the police would cut off their hair and make it into a pony tail and hang it on their “scalp wall” in the police station. The EMU Student Council started paying the bail for any student who had been arrested. Then came the police helicopter dropping tear gas grenades on any group of more than three students.

It didn't work. The entire campus was liberated. Breaking a few windows seemed like a small crime compared to an American B-52 dropping a load of 500-pound bombs on a village of Vietnamese people. 

Back then we were right. We were young and we were students. Today the young people are right. God bless them.
On this week’s episode(s) of my podcast, my crew and I disobey the college presidents’ and NYC’s Mayor Adam’s orders to “outsiders” to stay off the campuses and to stop trying to “radicalize” our youth (because young people don’t have a mind of their own). My crew (Angie, Donald, and “Anonymous”) paid a visit to the NYC protest encampments made up of students from Columbia University, City College, City University (CUNY), NYU, etc. to hear directly from the brilliant student organizers of these historic demonstrations. These are the voices you won’t hear on the mainstream media. Listen here to their eloquence and passion as they take a stand for the Palestinian people. 

And then either join them — or start one yourself.  Michael MooreImage not found

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