Recently, an international delegation traveled to Cairo, Egypt to visit the Rafah border crossing and pressure the United States to allow aid to be brought in to Gaza. Hundreds of trucks carrying aid are lined up at the border waiting for permission to enter. Clearing the FOG spoke with Sara Flounders, one of the members of the delegation, about the current situation in Gaza, the role of the United States in the genocide of Palestinians, how the current conflict is impacting the United States' drive to protect its hegemony and the blow back in Western Asia. Flounders also discusses the incredible solidarity across the world with Palestine and the numerous creative actions in support of the Palestinian liberation struggle.
Joining me to discuss this censorship is Dylan Saba, a staff attorney with Palestine Legal. He was commissioned by an editor at The Guardian newspaper to write about the campaign to silence voices critical of Israel’s assault but was then informed shortly before the piece was to be published that the newspaper would not run it. So let’s begin with this level of censorship which is probably unprecedented since maybe immediately after the events of 9/11. I was one of them attempting to denounce the calls to invade Iraq. But let’s lay out its intensity, its reach, and then let’s go into perhaps the causes of it.
International leaders call for extending the truce as the fourth and final round of captive exchanges is set to take place. Palestinians in Gaza are still not able to count their dead as the majority of hospitals remain out of service.
Did you know an international conference was held in France on November 9 under the title ‘International Humanitarian Conference for Gaza’s Civilian Population’? According to the French foreign ministry website, the conference “involved states, main donors, international organizations and NGOs active in Gaza” to promote “compliance with international humanitarian law, the protection of civilians and humanitarian staff, and the strengthening of humanitarian access.” If you did not know, we do not blame you. The conference, after all, was meant to distract from the Israeli genocide in Gaza by giving the impression that Western governments still have the political power to control or, at least, influence the future of Gaza.
The horror and heartbreak in Gaza reaches new proportions each minute: Israel’s siege has killed at least 3,400 people and injured more than 12,000 in the past week and a half, and a possible ground invasion threatens unspeakable levels of new violence. The Israeli forces and settlers have also killed 61 and injured 1,250 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The death tolls climb even as Palestinians and those in solidarity with them are marching and rallying worldwide in powerful and urgent protests. For us, as anti-Zionist Jewish journalists, the past week and a half has been a flood of many griefs.
Israel’s offensive on Gaza is on hold, but displays of solidarity with the Palestinian people continue. If this was not clear from the recent protests at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it should be following the latest display of civil disobedience organized by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). On Sunday afternoon, November 26, more than 1,000 Jews and allies blocked the Manhattan Bridge from the Manhattan side, with many prepared to be arrested. The demonstration shut down traffic for more than three hours on one of the busiest travel days of the year. NYPD was seen recording the images of protesters, but did not have enough forces available to make arrests.
The world is waiting in cautious anticipation amid the four-day pause in hostilities in Gaza, giving Palestinians a brief respite from the incessant Israeli airstrikes. Israel did not cease its bombing of the enclave from October 7, when it declared war on Hamas following the surprise Al-Aqsa Flood Operation launched by Palestinian resistance groups, to the start of the pause on November 24. In these nearly seven weeks, over 15,000 Palestinians were killed and 33,000 have been injured. The number of missing is around 6,800, many of whom are presumed dead or still trapped under the rubble.
Thirty-nine Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons on Friday, as aid trickles back into Gaza amid calls for a full-fledged ceasefire to address the full scope of humanitarian devastation. Spain, Belgium, and the UK have strong words for Israel.
History is repeating itself — and every politician and establishment journalist is pretending they cannot see what is staring them in the face. There is a collective and wilful refusal to join the dots in Gaza, even when they point in one direction only. There has been a consistent pattern to Israel’s behaviour since its creation 75 years ago — just as there has been a consistent pattern to the “see no evil, hear no evil” response of western powers. In 1948, in events the Palestinians call their “Nakba,” or Catastrophe, 80 percent of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their lands in what became the self-declared Jewish state of Israel.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces in the strongest terms the raids carried out by German police in four federal states, with a particular focus in Berlin, targeting Palestinians labeled by the German state as members or supporters of Samidoun or of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas. We express our deepest solidarity with all of those subjected to these raids today, and we view these raids as a clear attempt by the German state to terrorize the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities in Germany and, more broadly, the popular sentiment in support of Palestinian liberation.
The political leader of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, highlighted the efforts of several Arab countries, as well as Russia and China, behind the truce in Gaza Strip. “We reaffirm the importance of the efforts of Arab and Islamic countries, as well as friendly states like Russia and China, to help our people fulfill their aspirations for freedom, return, and independence,” Haniyeh said on Friday, November 24, in a short video posted on social media. The Hamas leader also thanked Egypt and Qatar for their mediation efforts in the truce agreement, underlining the Palestinian movement’s willingness to work with Cairo and Doha to “achieve a full cessation of aggression against Gaza.”
Crowds across the occupied West Bank cheered and waved Palestinian and Hamas flags, along with kaffiyeh scarves, as 39 Palestinian women and children held captive by Israel were released. The Palestinian captives were transported home in white buses — escorted by armored vehicles — from the Ofer military camp. Israel released the Palestinians under a truce agreement to pause the fighting in besieged Gaza after Hamas released 13 Israeli women and children and 10 Thai workers the resistance movement captured during its 7 October Al-Aqsa Flood raid on Israel.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has been behind multiple marches in support of the people of the Occupied Territories and Gaza. However, the group has taken its activism one step further – because it occupied the centre of so-called democracy in the UK right in the middle of the biggest parliamentary event of the week. Wearing “Ceasefire” t-shirts and shouting “Ceasefire now!” and “Free Palestine!”, the activists sought to draw attention to the need for a permanent ceasefire to bring an end to Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Gaza and to create the conditions to begin to address the root causes of the current crisis including action to end the siege of Gaza.
On Tuesday, Hunter College Interim President Ann Kirschner reversed her decision to ban a movie about young Jewish-Americans exploring their disenchantment with Israel one week after she set off a firestorm of criticism at the CUNY campus. It will now be shown at Hunter by Dec. 5, Kirschner promised. “This represents the power of what the faculty, students and our union did when the president unilaterally canceled our event,” said Tami Gold, a professor of film and media studies at Hunter. The movie, Israelism, is co-directed by Erin Axelman and Sam Eilertsen. It was inspired by their experiences of traveling to Israel and witnessing the brutal treatment of Palestinians which was at odds with the image of Israel that they had been raised to unconditionally love.
Every day since 7 October has felt like an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, with hundreds of thousands gathering in Istanbul, a million in Jakarta, and then yet another million across Africa and Latin America to demand an end to the brutal attack being carried out by Israel (with the collusion of the United States). It is impossible to keep up with the scale and frequency of the protests, which are in turn pushing political parties and governments to clarify their stances on Israel’s attack on Palestine. These mass demonstrations have generated three kinds of outcomes.