Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. You’ve heard the claim echoed ad nauseam in Western corporate media. Yet numerous reports from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights groups have found the allegations, which are brought to bear by Israeli officials nearly every time Gaza hits the news, to not only be untrue, they’ve discovered that Israel itself has consistently engaged in wanton use of Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields. In 2014, Amnesty International said of allegations that Hamas was using human shields: Amnesty International is monitoring and investigating such reports, but does not have evidence at this point that Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to “shield” specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.
Although corporate news media have made it clear they don’t buy the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claim that al-Shifa Hospital has been a cover for a Hamas command and control center and weapons armory, Western media have failed to report a much bigger story. The IDF and the Israeli government already knew when they launched their propaganda campaign about al-Shifa that Hamas had no military command and control facility hidden there because it had already found the complex kilometers away. As Consortium News reported last week, for 15 years the Israelis claimed Hamas was operating its primary command and control base from a tunnel underneath al-Shifa.
However counter-intuitive it may sound, there are three good grounds — ethical ones, at that — for refusing to join in the chorus of condemnation of Hamas’ actions on Oct. 7. That isn’t the same as condoning what Hamas did. It is clear the group carried out war crimes that day — not least by attacking civilians and taking them as hostages. But there is an important distinction to be made between recognising that crimes were committed and colluding in an act of condemnation that has been openly politicised, and continues to be politicised, to justify harming Palestinian civilians.
Since Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza began, Zionist officials, pundits, journalists, and their Western opposite numbers have endlessly invoked the sinister specter of “terrorism” to justify the industrial-scale slaughter of Palestinians. It is because of “terrorism,” twice-failed U.S. Presidential candidate and unconvicted war criminal Hillary Clinton representatively wrote for The Atlantic on November 14 that “Hamas must be permanently erased.” Destroyed hospitals and schools and civilians killed en masse are reasonable “collateral damage.” Such is the unparalleled evil of “terrorists.”
Propaganda is about forceful impact, subtlety the last thing on the propagandist’s mind. The banal will always do. The Japanese during the Pacific war were “Japs” or “Nips,” and in the plentitude of American propaganda images they had buck teeth and pencil mustaches and wore round glasses over their evil Asiatic eyes. After watching the Herzog video I went in search of footage from London the previous day. There have been many demonstrations against Israel’s savage military campaign in Gaza since hostilities erupted Oct. 7, and may there be many more, but London last Saturday looks like the biggest to date.
A new, highly publicized report from the Anti-Defamation League claims that anti-Semitic incidents across the United States have skyrocketed by more than 400%. But these ADL numbers do not add up – unless one equates opposition to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza with hatred of Jews. The Anti-Defamation League’s findings that anti-Semitic incidents in the United States have risen exponentially have made headlines, both in America and worldwide (e.g., Reuters, CBS News, PBS, CNN, Washington Post). American Jews are purportedly facing a wave of hatred and violence like never before, leaving many terrified at the prospect of merely leaving the house.
In the 1970s, Dr. Bernard Goldstein, a young professor at the New York University School of Medicine, researched the health impacts of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced by gas stoves. In a series of studies, Goldstein and his colleagues identified a higher incidence of respiratory problems among schoolchildren from homes with gas stoves. Fifty years on, Goldstein, now emeritus professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh, recently told NPR “it’s way past time that we were doing something about gas stoves.”
For years, there’s been a prevailing notion that the Palestinian cause is losing its grip on the younger generations. This perception stems from the belief that, as globalization tightens its hold, the youth in West Asia, particularly in occupied Palestine, might become more disconnected from their historical roots and national affiliations. With the spread of liberal ideas, many speculated that economic opportunities, technological advancements, and global exposure would shift their focus away from the Palestinian cause. Some even anticipated that the younger generation would turn against armed resistance to the Zionist occupation, owing to the small tide of Arab-Israeli normalization.
As the staggering number of civilian deaths in Gaza grows every day, and as fresh reports of Israel’s brazen attacks on mosques, hospitals, churches, refugee camps, and other civilian targets come across our social media timelines every few hours, there’s a mounting urgency among Israeli officials, pro-Israel groups in the US, and the US media and political establishment that’s backing these manifest war crimes to downplay the horrific mass killing of Palestinian noncombatants. With polls showing that a majority of voters, including 80% of Democrats, back a ceasefire—putting the vast majority of Democratic politicians at odds with their own constituents—excuses are needed to justify and handwave away the reports of carnage coming out of Gaza every day.
Almost as important as its military campaign for Israel is its battle to control its public image. Even as it kills thousands of people in Gaza, the small Middle Eastern nation is spending millions of dollars on a propaganda war, purchasing ads on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other online apps. At the same time, an army of pro-Israel trolls has invaded the Community Notes function on X/Twitter, attempting to influence the online debate around the ongoing crisis. Since October 7, Israel has inundated YouTube with advertisements, with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs spending nearly $7.1 million on ads in the two weeks following Hamas’ incursion.
Israel was founded on lies. The lie that Palestinian land was largely unoccupied. The lie that 750,000 Palestinians fled their homes and villages during their ethnic cleansing by Zionist militias in 1948 because they were told to do so by Arab leaders. The lie that it was Arab armies that started the 1948 war that saw Israel seize 78 percent of historic Palestine. The lie that Israel faced annihilation in 1967, forcing it to invade and occupy the remaining 22 percent of Palestine, as well as land belonging to Egypt and Syria. Israel is sustained by lies. The lie that Israel wants a just and equitable peace and will support a Palestinian state.
After Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, IDF forces responded with airstrikes, leveling Gazan buildings. The violence so far has claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people. Western media, however, show far more interest and have much greater sympathy with Israeli dead than Palestinian ones and have played their usual role as unofficial spokespersons for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). One case in point is the claim that, during their incursion into southern Israel, Hamas fighters stopped to round up, kill and mutilate 40 Israeli babies, beheading them and leaving their bodies behind. The extraordinary assertion was originally reported by the Israeli channel i24 News, which based it on anonymous Israeli military sources.
Max Jones and Diego Ramos welcome former CIA analyst and torture program whistleblower John Kiriakou. After bringing a much needed reminder of the history of the torture program following the latest 9/11 anniversary on the Scheer Intelligence podcast, we wanted to ask John about the state of the media’s relationship with whistleblowers and taking the case of the Intercept’s controversial handling of multiple whistleblower accounts as a shining example of the eroding ethics and competence of journalism in the US. John takes us through his personal history with the media, shedding his wisdom on where we’re at in the grasp of the national security state.
Big Telecom’s lobbyists and spin doctors are working overtime this week because the Federal Communications Commission has at long last announced the agency’s plans to restore Title II net neutrality, which was repealed in 2017 by the Trump administration. In a functioning democracy, this move would be noncontroversial. Basically no one outside of the telecom giants and their front groups supported the repeal of the rules. The Title II protections were put in place after millions of people from across the political spectrum demanded that the FCC use its authority to prevent internet providers from abusing their gatekeeper power, blocking or slowing down websites, or charging unfair fees to use your favorite apps.
Read the leaked Pentagon/DIA assessment of the chemical warfare capability of Al Qaeda in Syria, known as al-Nusra, from June 20, 2013, made public by Seymour Hersh in September 2023. The leaked documents were released in an article penned by Seymour Hersh titled, “When the Intelligence is Inconvenient” on his Substack page and can be read in full with a subscription to his Substack page. Below is an excerpt of the article. On Sunday Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Jonathan Karl of ABC’s This Week that he remained “very confident in Ukraine’s ultimate success” in the ongoing war with Russia. He depicted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to escalate its attacks inside Russia as “their decision, not ours.”