Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Truest statement of the week

Still, we call bullshit on that "historic," "landslide," "resounding" win by the Bad Orange Guy at Iowa's GOP caucus. In truth - SAD! - in an abysmally low turnout, he won an underwhelming 56,260 votes from just half of 14% of Iowa's Republicans who, in a surreal touch, stuffed their hand-ripped, unvetted, "downright Rockwellian" ballots into grocery bags and popcorn buckets. Behold, stately American democracy at work.

-- Abby Zimet, "Yuge: On Teeny Tinpot Triumphs Served In Popcorn Tubs To Boot" (COMMON DREAMS).



Truest statement of the week II

+ Only 14% of registered Republicans (99% of whom are white) turned out to vote in the Iowa caucuses. Trump captured 51% of them or a little more than 7% of the state’s Republicans. Yet, some, like Glenn Greenwald are interpreting this as a massive rebuke of the NatSec/deep police state…

+ Yet, only 11% of the 100,000 Iowa GOP voters even cited “foreign policy” as their top issue, while 40% want a harsh crackdown on immigrants and presumably support Trump’s vow to bomb Mexico. Iowa isn’t a border state, though even some of its voters (& GG) may not realize this.



-- Jeffrey St. Clair, "Roaming Charges: It’s in the Bag" (COUNTERPUNCH).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Late Monday.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?


Abby Zimet gets a truest.

Jeffrey St. Clair gets another truest.

Doo-Doo can sink back into the sewer.

Ava and C.I. on so-called 'censorship' of candidates.

Ava and C.I. note how -- as Ava put it, Gaza is  not a referendum on feminism and people need to stop trying to make it that and focus on the women in Gaza who are suffering.

Dona said "short pieces!"

See above.

Glad that Jacquie Luqman and Sean Blackmon are back (their show was previously on RT).

Paul Rudnick

Jacquie Luqman

John Cusak.



What we listened to.

 Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.





-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.



Editorial: Doo-Doo DeSantis gets flushed finally

Oh, Ron DeSantis had another temper tantrum and dropped his bid for the GOP's presidential nomination.  We're so happy for his loss.

Christiaan Hetzner (FORBES) reports:

Ron DeSantis ended his campaign for the White House on Sunday, and it may very well be his well-publicized feud with Disney that fatally wounded him in the crucial run-up to Iowa.

The Florida governor first rose to nationwide prominence with his state's push to limit discussion of sex education and gender identity in schools.


Doo-Doo DeSantis always bit off more than he could chew.  From April 2, 2023, Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Ron's Disney World Tantrum." 




Back to Hetzner:


But it was his clumsy attempt to strip Disneyworld of its special status under state law as punishment for Disney employees speaking out against the bill that cost him vital donor support in the latter half of last year. 

"DeSantis made a fatal error. His whole anti-Disney, anti-corporate stance is so foolish," said Kathy Wylde, CEO of a trade organization that represents Wall Street executives, in comments to Politico. "He's totally alienated the business community."

Even as Bob Iger branded DeSantis "anti-business" -- a difficult stance to take when vying for support among free-market Republicans -- the Disney CEO still attempted to build a face-saving off-ramp for the governor, only to be rejected.


It was an anti-business stance.  Rational people grasped that -- meaning, Jonathan Turley kept egging Doo-Doo on and supporting Doo-Doo's war on DISNEY.  That's the sweetheart of the Federalist Society for you -- possibly the only one more insane than Doo-Doo.

 Poor dumb Doo-Doo.

Last week, as Mike noted, Doo-Doo was pretending Iowa was a win for him only to have a FOX "NEWS" host point out to Doo-Doo's face, "But you didn't win a single county [in Iowa]." Mike noted repeatedly last week that the campaign was over and Doo-Doo needed to drop out -- even offering: "Bury his campaign already.  Look, if it's an issue of pall bearers, dig the hole, I'll help carry the coffin."

It's finally over and, Doo-Doo, we're thrilled to see you go.


 See also:



TV: No one is owed media coverage

Last week, cries of censorship came from the usual idiots.  That does include Glenneth Greenwald.  The know-nothing wanted you to believe that MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were censoring Donald Trump by not playing his victory speech following his Iowa win.
That's not censorship.

Censorship would be not covering that Donald won.  

Choosing not to air a speech?  That's a news decision.  And it is not censorship.

They did not consider the speech newsworthy for whatever reason.

We can think of many reasons it shouldn't have aired.  When we cover something and have to fact check, we zoom in on one area.  We're not doing a text book here.  Donald lies over and over.  Had they aired the speech live, they would have owed the public a fact check.  He is a known liar.  That's what MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was explaining when she declared, "There is a reason that we and other news organizations have generally stopped giving an unfiltered live platform to remarks by former President Trump. It is not out of spite. It is not a decision that we relish. It is a decision that we regularly revisit, and honestly, earnestly.  There is a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things. And that is a fundamental truth of our business and who we are."

There was no censorship.

You have no legal right to have your speech aired on TV with the exception of the State of the Union address by the sitting President of the United States.  That speech is the only speech noted in The Constitution.  

We've heard other nonsense.

The repellent Dean Phillips insists he's being censored.  His run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is not being covered!!!!  Actually, after he took money from DEI hater Ayatollah Bill Ackman and then struck support for DEI from his campaign website, he got the attention he long sought because when you are corrupted by money, that is actual news.

Throughout every day, someone's making the decision of how to use time and space and what's news and what's the most important news.
You want coverage, make news.

It would be great if the media covered every candidate.

It would also be pointless.

Until this year, we have covered all candidates in the presidential races.

And what a waste of time that was.

We had to research, we had to do this, we had to do that and then they aren't even real candidates.  Gary what's his name on the Libertarian Party ticket comes to mind as does Jill Stein in both of her presidential runs.

They weren't serious candidates.  

WSWS has their fake presidential candidates every four years.  They have no plans to run for real, they don't commit to social media and they're nonsense.  True of Dario Hunter's run for the Green Party's presidential nomination in 2020 (or, rather, his non-run since he couldn't even post once a week to his own social media or his campaign site).

Gloria La Riva is probably never going to win the US presidency.  But we've covered her in the past and would cover her again because she is a real candidate.  It's not a vanity run and she is raising real issues.  Jill Stein couldn't even call out Barack Obama in 2012 for sending US troops back into Iraq secretly while campaigning on the false claim that he had pulled all US troops out of Iraq.  But when Mitt Romney looked like he might be scoring points on Barack, Jill comes alive to rush forward and defend Barack from Mitt.  

If you're role is to be the kid sister of the Democratic Party, you're not a real candidate.

We're tired of fake asses wasting our time.

So we do understand why those making decisions at the network level might decide that resources -- money and time -- can be better spent on real candidates and not fake asses.

The always ridiculous, spoiled and entitled Donald Trump insisted"NBC and CNN refused to air my victory speech. Think of it - because they are crooked. They're dishonest, and frankly, they should have their licenses or whatever they have: Take it away."

There is no law that any candidate's victory speech needs to be aired.  Donald, as always, is an idiot.  Sadly so are many others.

We wonder what would happen if this were 1984 and these idiots were watching the DNC convention on ABC when ABC elected to shut it off and air a repeat of a scripted program instead (as TV GUIDE observed, tongue-in-cheek, at the time, ABC interrupted the live coverage for a late-breaking episode of HART TO HART).  That wasn't censorship.  That was the network making a decision.  Based on ratings, yes.  Also based upon the fact that they felt the DNC convention was staged and scripted and didn't qualify as news. 

These are decisions that are made.  By all means disagree if you want but don't lie that it was censorship.  

When Joan Crawford left Douglas Fairbanks, it was  news around the world.  Bette Davis complained and complained about that (she had a 'scandolous' film, EX-LADY, that opened the same week and no one paid attention to the film due to the interest in Joan).  As Adela St. Rogers declared "It was bad timing for Bette.  WWII could have broken out, yet everyone wanted to hear about Joan and Doug."
The media doesn't owe you coverage.  If you're the sitting president, what you do and say generally qualifies as news and will get coverage.  The rest?  Not really.


If you want to be covered by the news media, you need to make some news.  Yacking is not making news.  Candidates are expected to make speeches, after all.


Feminism and Gaza (Ava and C.I.)

Currently, the Israeli government is slaughtering Palestinians in Gaza.  Asked why, the leaders screech "Hamas!"  The children being killed are not Hamas, but the leaders screech it and they also pretend that an October 7th attack on Israel was the first time that violence ever took place, that October 7th was the originating action as opposed to nearly 80 years of incidents since the Israeli state was established on Palestinian land.  As last week drew to a close, War Criminal and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confessed reality to the world.  Emma Graham-Harrison and Toby Helm (GUARDIAN reported,"Defiant Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down on opposition to Palestinian statehood, deepening the divide with Israel’s closest international allies, as cracks in his wartime 'unity' government became increasingly evident."


As two American feminists, we have spoken out since this wave of terror aimed at Gaza started following October 7th. We've called for a cease-fire, we've noted that civilians are being targeted, that the use by the Israeli government of White Phosphorus broke international law, that targeting hospitals broke international law, that collective punishment is a violation of international law, and much more. 

Saturday, Caroline Faraj and Abeer Salman (CNN) reported:

The Jordanian military has accused Israeli forces of deliberately targeting its field hospital in Gaza on Wednesday, saying Israeli tanks fired on the hospital where personnel were sheltering.

The Israel Defense Forces have denied the claim, saying they did not strike the Jordanian field hospital and that the hospital remains "unharmed, fully functioning and continues to provide medical care to those in need."

The Jordanian Armed Forces said in a statement Friday: "This action was not a result of a clash with resistance factions, asserting that the deliberate targeting of the Jordanian Field Hospital is consistent with Israel's approach to targeting hospitals in Gaza."

The armed forces said the attack involved heavy firepower, including direct fire from tanks and vehicles, and that one tank blocked the entrance to the hospital

It said one Jordanian officer and one person from Gaza who was receiving treatment were injured in the attack, which also caused "substantial material damage" to the facility. The injured Jordanian officer will be evacuated to Jordan, the statement said.

The Jordanian Army provided video they say shows damage to the hospital following attacks in the area Wednesday. The video shows what appear to be shell or bullet holes in the walls of the hospital, as well as damage to the roof.

Remember when the Israeli government used to lie that they weren't attacking hospitals?  Now days, they're too exhausted to lie.

Let us take a moment here to reveal something:  No feminist is running the Israeli government or the Palestinian side or, for that matter, the White House.

We didn't think we had to explain that.  Apparently, however, we do.

In America -- and maybe a writer for a foreign outlet doesn't grasp this -- feminists have been under attack. Why?  Because we demand evidence.  The questionable claims, for example, that on October 7th, rape was carried out (the Israeli government is also now saying that pedophilia was carried out that day by Hamas as well), require evidence.  There is no woman saying she was raped.  There is no video evidence despite all the cell phone captures that took place on October 7th.  A witness has finally come forward and might be believable if they weren't already on record back in October saying that they didn't see any rape.  

Feminists in the US are aware that claims are made to promote war.  There was never any desire, for example, to liberate the Afghanistan women.  Lies said otherwise, but actions exposed reality.  Lies are used to promote war.  That's why anyone -- feminist or not -- should always be hesitant to claims made by a government to justify their war on a people.

So the unproved claims that mass rape took place on October 7th were not embraced by US feminists.  We collectively required proof.  There was an exception to that on the part of Jewish US women -- many of whom are not feminists.  They are women but they are not feminists.  

No, children, Miss David Schwimmer is not a feminist.

But we got attacked, feminist in the US, for not defending the rapes of women who may or may not exist.  We were slammed for wanting proof of some form.

And that was expected.  It wasn't fair but it was expected.  That's how war mongers play.  But then a foreign outlet decided to slam US feminists for not rebuking the unproven rape claims.  

Excuse us?

Now maybe because you're not in the US, you don't know what you're talking about.  If so, learn to write about what you know and shut up when it comes to US feminism.

You're not helping anyone.  Maybe your helping yourself get clicks by spreading lies -- especially lies that a male dominated society loves to hear. 

But you're not being honest and you're not shining the light where it belongs: The suffering of females in Gaza.

Friday, United Nations Women noted, "Since 7 October 2023, more than 24,620 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, 70 per cent of whom were women or children. 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." Covering the UN Women's report, Radina Gigova (CNN) noted:

The report specifically analyzed the war's impact on women. According to the data:

  • About 70% of those killed in Gaza since October 7 were women or children
  • Two mothers are killed in Gaza every hour
  • Gaza’s only two women’s shelters, both in Gaza City, are now closed
  • Women lack adequate water and sanitation, including for managing menstrual hygiene, impacting mental and physical health
  • Communications and electricity blackouts are severely restricting remote gender-based violence services
  • 1.9 million people (or 85% of Gaza's total population) have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be 1 million women and girls, the agency said

Earlier Friday, the UN International Children's Emergency Fund said there had been nearly 20,000 births in Gaza during the current war -- with many of the mothers suffering or dying in childbirth due to a lack of resources, and newborns facing dismal conditions.

Women are among those suffering in Gaza.  And these issues need to be addressed, these are feminists issues.

But it's way past time for angry people in other countries to attack women.  That's all the attacks on US feminism are and we're sick of it.

Amy Schumer is not a feminist, she's a fat celebrity whose fame faded some time ago.  Julianna Margulies is not a feminist.  Her behavior long ago made that clear as she attacked and terrorized Archie Panjabi on the set of THE GOOD WIFE.  Karma has rewarded her and she's no longer a lead actress or, for that matter, a celebrated actress.  She's a forgotten person.  Miss Dave Schwimmer is also not a feminist.  Rape apologist and transphobe Mayim Bialik is not a feminist -- and like Julianna, her career appears more or less over.  The pursuit of self is not feminism.  The advancement of only themselves is not feminism.  

We are feminists.  That's why we've written this article.  Look around at the other websites and let us know who else has noted the United Nations Women report?

10 shows we are 100% not interested in



Having bored us with repeats throughout the fall -- some of which they imported from HULU, DISNEY+, PARAMOUNT+ and elsewhere, the networks are supposedly finally returning with programming meant to enjoy.  Really?  Have they looked at the mystery meat that they're serving up?




Sarah Silverman tries to pretend she has a heart by recycling this tired and old bit from David Letterman's 1980s talk show. 


NBC really has nothing to offer and dips further into the toilet with yet another DATELINE show.  


Believe it or not, once upon a time 20/20 was an actual news magazine like 60 MINUTES.  Now days, it's JERRY SPRINGER.


The only thing worse than NBC is THE CW which will continue to airing repeats.  In fact, their big upcoming move?  Turning Sunday nights over to THE CW SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE.  If that's not bad enough, the last 30 minutes of their schedule will air THE CONNERS.  New episodes of the sitcom?  No.  Reruns.  That's what a garbage dump THE CW has become.


ABC keeps trying with Steve Harvey in prime time.  It never works, but they keep trying.  This go round, Steve Harvey pretends he's JUDGE JUDY.  Didn't we all suffer enough with LITTLE BIG SHOTS?



Steve, take comfort in the fact that you're not Anthony Anderson.  In this 'game show,' Anthony and his overrated mother (who has not captured America's heart and refuses to go away) try to entertain you.  Only on FOX, right?


7) 20/20

How do you make a piece of garbage worse?  Airing two hours of it in a row on Friday nights.  Is anyone at ABC NEWS proud of this embarrassment?



A show so bad, even THE CW dropped it.  If you wondering how low FOX can sink, grasp that as bad as it currently is, things can and will get much worse.


9) I AM

Another program that THE CW swipes from Canada while pretending they're making their own programs.  They're not.  They are  a channel of reairs.


This NBC 'game show' has been on for years and its ratings are so bad that they don't even try to pretend by including them in their WIKIPEDIA entry.


10 best candies

If you eat a candy snack, what do you go with?  Here's are list ranked from top to bottom.


1) M&Ms 

2) Skittles

3) Three Musketeers

4) Ike & Mike

5) Junior Mints

6) Snickers

7) Butterfinger

8) Hershey chocolate bar

9) Reece's Peanut Butter Cups

10) Milky Way

Video of the week: DARKER THAN BLUE w/Sean Blackmon & Jacquie Luqman!


Tweet of the week (humor)


Tweet of the week (health)


Tweet of the week (political)


Repost of C.I.'s snapshot to up Gaza coverage here:

Iraq snapshot

Monday, January 22, 2024.  A milestone in the Gaza death toll, Netanyahu rejects Joe Biden's call, children continue to suffer, and much more.

A little over 100 days ago, the assault on Gaza began and on Sunday, the number killed climbed to over 25,000.  Yesterday, Mark Lowen (BBC NEWS) reported, "More than 25,000 people have now been killed in Gaza during Israel's offensive there, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. It said there had been 178 deaths in the last 24 hours, making it one of the deadliest days in the war so far." Grasp that these deaths have taken place in just a little over 100 days.  That is a massive amount of deaths.  When do world leaders start listening to the people they supposedly represent?  When do we see a cease-fire?  Najib Jobain and Samy Magdy (AP) explain, "The war’s deaths, destruction and displacement are without precedent in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The war has divided Israelis while the offensive threatens to ignite a wider conflict involving Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen that support the Palestinians."  Jason Burke (GUARDIAN) adds:

Most of the casualties were women and children, the ministry said, and thousands more bodies were likely to remain uncounted under rubble across Gaza.

Speaking at a global summit in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, denounced Israel’s three-month assault.

“Israel’s military operations have spread mass destruction and killed civilians on a scale unprecedented during my time as secretary general,” Guterres said at the opening of the G77+China, a coalition of 135 developing countries.

“This is heartbreaking and utterly unacceptable. The Middle East is a tinderbox. We must do all we can to prevent conflict from igniting across the region.”

This morning, Clea Caulcutt (POLITICO) reports:

In the hospital ward of the Dixmude, a French helicopter carrier turned hospital ship that was dispatched in November to assist overstretched Gaza hospitals, there’s a whiteboard with the ages and injuries of the incoming patients. Girl, 2 years old, skull injury, infected. Boy, 4 years old, burns to the front.
Half the patients treated on the vessel are children. 

Only a trickle of patients and their relatives, a couple of dozens every day, are let through at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, where they are screened by Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian authorities. Only men who have suffered severe and life-changing injuries are allowed out. 

Yazan is one of the few Palestinians who have been able to evacuate after suffering injuries in Israel’s bombing campaign launched after Hamas’ attacks against Israel on October 7. After weeks lying on a stretcher in overcrowded hospitals, Yazan left Gaza via Rafah alongside his aunt and his 4-year-old cousin who was suffering from severe diarrhea after sheltering for days in an overcrowded school. 

Remember back in the early days of the assault when the Israeli government would lie that they weren't targeting hospitals and the press would report those claims as though they were believable?  On Friday, the United Nations noted:

Reiterating urgent international calls for a ceasefire, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that there have been nearly 20,000 births since the start of widespread Israeli bombardment in response to Hamas-led attacks in Israel that left some 1,200 dead and approximately 250 taken hostage.

Chronic aid access problems have meant that Caesarean sections have been performed without anaesthetic while other women have been unable to deliver their stillborn babies because medical staff are overwhelmed, the UN agency said.

“Mothers face unimaginable challenges in accessing adequate medical care, nutrition and protection before, during and after giving birth,” said UNICEF Communications Specialist Tess Ingram.

“Becoming a mother should be a time for celebration. In Gaza, it's another child delivered into hell.”

Echoing deep concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation, UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed alarm that hepatitis A infections had been confirmed in Gaza.

“The inhumane living conditions – barely any clean water, clean toilets and possibility to keep the surroundings clean – will enable hepatitis A to spread further and highlight how explosively dangerous the environment is for the spread of disease,” Tedros tweeted on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.

The latest WHO data indicates that on average 500 people are sharing one toilet, and over 2,000 people have to use a single shower, increasing the risk of disease spread.

In addition to a sharp rise in upper respiratory infections, diarrhoea cases among children under age five recorded during the last three months of 2023 were 26 times higher than reports from the same period in 2022, the UN health agency noted.


Pediatric doctors told NBC News yesterday that they were concerned about the spread of the Hepatitis C virus and other diseases among young children in southern Gaza.

“We are seeing many cases of Hepatitis C,” Dr. Bessam Hamouda said as he treated patients in the children’s ward of Rafah's El Najar Hospital.

“It spreads in the packed and the difficult conditions the Palestinian people are in, displaced, tents and the big number of children and the pollution around them. This is a virus which contaminates children in particular,” he added.

Let's drop back to Friday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

Israeli forces are pushing further into southern Gaza, with airstrikes and ground troops attacking areas that Israel had previously told Palestinians to flee to as safe zones. Over the past few days, Israel has bombed areas close to Nasser Hospital, the largest remaining semi-functioning health facility in Gaza, located in the southern city of Khan Younis. Gaza only has 16 partially functioning health facilities remaining. Before Israel’s assault, Gaza had 36 hospitals. The hospitals that are still working are operating far beyond their capacity, have been turned into makeshift refugee camps to house the displaced — and makeshift morgues — with health officials describing the situation as catastrophic. The Health Ministry estimates that over 60,000 people have been wounded in Gaza, with hundreds more casualties every day. The casualty count at this point is nearing 25,000, more than 10,000 of them children.

For more, we’re joined by Dr. James Smith, an emergency medical doctor who just returned from Gaza earlier this month, where he worked alongside Palestinian healthcare workers to treat patients at Al-Aqsa Hospital located in Deir al-Balah in the middle of the Gaza Strip. Dr. James was in Gaza with the organization Medical Aid for Palestinians. He’s joining us now from London.

Dr. James, welcome to Democracy Now! Describe what you saw, what you confronted, the work you were doing, what’s happening at Al-Aqsa Hospital.


So, yes, as you say, I was working with a team. There were 10 of us. Myself, I was with the organization Medical Aid for Palestinians. We were accompanied by colleagues from the International Rescue Committee. And very importantly, we were — it’s important to really reiterate that we were working with our Palestinian colleagues, so doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, at Al — sorry, at Al-Aqsa Hospital. Al-Aqsa is a hospital based in the middle area of Gaza, so south of Gaza City and north of Khan Younis.

Myself, I was working in the emergency room. So, we would position ourselves in the ER every morning and, really, at that point, wait to see what the day would bring. Every single day, without exception, there were multiple mass casualty incidents at the hospital. So that’s several patients presenting at a time with traumatic injuries of varying severity. Those patients would require stabilization and then often transfer through to the operating room for surgical intervention. Some patients would require palliative care, if we were able to provide some form of palliative care, and in addition to many, many trauma patients. And by “many,” I mean several hundred over the time that we were working at Al-Aqsa. We were also treating patients presenting with complex medical problems, so people that had suffered heart attacks, for example, had suffered from strokes, and people whose hypertension or diabetes management had been negatively impacted, usually through a lack of access to their usual medication or because they hadn’t been able to see their usual doctor for several months. And then, furthermore, we were also seeing an even greater number of people with, effectively, primary healthcare-level problems.

So, the entirety of the primary healthcare or community care system in Gaza has completely collapsed. In fact, the entire healthcare system, the Ministry of Health has already announced several months ago, has completely collapsed. But that meant that anyone presenting with so-called, well, more minor complaints — coughs, colds, diarrheal illnesses — they were all also presenting to the emergency room to be seen by the doctors and nurses there.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about treating children, Dr. James?

DR. JAMES SMITH: Sure. So, as you’ve mentioned, a significant proportion of the people that have been killed since the start of this escalation are children. We certainly saw every mass casualty incident in the emergency room. There were several children also present. I remember very vividly some of the most traumatic injuries inflicted upon people were inflicted upon children. And they would include open chest wounds, open abdominal wounds, traumatic amputations, severe full-thickness burns to a substantial proportion of the body area — really some of the most horrific traumatic injuries that I have ever seen.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re actually showing images for our TV audience of Al-Aqsa Hospital and of the children and the adults who have been wounded there. You know, it’s really important to point out, if you’re talking about a hospital in normal times that has repeatedly been attacked, it would — and that’s severely compromised in its functioning, but we’re talking about this constant bombardment, where you have people coming in who have been severely wounded. You have people taking refuge there. And is it both like a refugee camp and a morgue?

DR. JAMES SMITH: So, there were several thousand people that had sought supposed sanctuary within the hospital compound itself. And we’ve seen this in several other hospitals across the Gaza Strip. There were reports, for example, of thousands of people sheltering in the Al-Shifa compound before that was surrounded and raided by the Israeli occupation forces. The same was the case at Al-Aqsa. So there were people staying in makeshift tents in and around the hospital buildings. Just up the main street adjacent to the hospital, sort of another IDP camp, internally displaced persons camp, had sort of formed very organically on open land. As the Israeli ground forces moved closer to the hospital and as the bombardment, the artillery and air bombardment, intensified, many of those — many thousands of those displaced people have displaced further south towards Rafah. And that also includes patients who were in the hospital at the time that we were working there. Many of them have also fled, along with many of the staff, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to a clip, and it’s really important to play these clips. Right now Gaza has experienced the longest communications blackout of this Israeli attack for the last three months. I think it’s something like seven days. So it’s really hard to get information inside this intense Israeli bombardment in the vicinity of Nasser Hospital, the main hospital in Khan Younis, the largest remaining semi-functioning health facility in Gaza, and tanks and armored vehicles are on the main road leading to the area. On Wednesday, Democracy Now! reached Dr. Ahmed Moghrabi, who works in Nasser Hospital. He described the situation on the ground and the difficulty in getting out any messages. This is what he had to say.

DR. AHMED MOGHRABI: Thank you, sister, for asking about us. Thank you for letting me speak out here. We don’t have internet at all. I managed to get a very weak signal. I can’t upload any of these videos. Here, 90% of people who are already evacuated at the hospital, they evacuated from the hospital. Ninety percent of medical personnel evacuated from the hospital.

And this is my little daughter, actually. She got head trauma Saturday. You know, hundreds of these evacuating people at the corridor, somebody pushed her, and she fell on her head. Now I’m taking care about my — this little girl. She needs medicine. She’s not well. So I stay at the hospital now, but I want to evacuate. The situation is catastrophic, sister. Really, I’m very tired. I’m very tired.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Dr. Ahmed Moghrabi, and the image we’ve been showing as he spoke was Dr. Moghrabi holding his own wounded daughter. I’m wondering, Dr. James, if you can talk about the significance, the medical significance, of a complete — almost complete telecommunications blackout, in terms of ambulances being reached, people being able to communicate to get help.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Absolutely. I mean, this is a catastrophic development. As you’ve mentioned, Amy, this, I think, is the seventh time that the Israelis have suspended access to telecommunications across almost the entirety of the Gaza Strip. This is now day six or seven of a complete sort of telecommunications blackout. It makes it almost impossible to do anything.

So, in the first instance, people can’t reach their families, their loved ones. They can’t communicate with colleagues. They can’t reassure family that they’re OK, or indeed relatives and friends can’t inform family members and so on when somebody has been killed or injured. There have been occasions where the emergency number has not been in use. So, as you say, it’s been difficult to call ambulances or mobilize ambulances to places where there has been an air or artillery strike. It makes it very difficult for health and humanitarian workers to do their essential work —

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Smith, we —

DR. JAMES SMITH: — so they can’t coordinate with each other.

AMY GOODMAN: We only have 10 seconds. What message do you have for the world, just having come out of Gaza? Ten seconds.

DR. JAMES SMITH: The violence needs to end immediately.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. James Smith, emergency medical doctor, just back from Gaza, where he worked to treat patients at Al-Aqsa Hospital.

That does it for our show. Democracy Now! has job openings. Check democracynow.org.

Let's note this from NBC NEWS.

That's the Sunday funeral of Tawfic Hafeth Abdel Jabbar.  Faris Tanyos (CBS NEWS) reports:

A Palestinian-American teenager was shot and killed Friday by Israeli troops in the West Bank, Palestinian officials told Reuters.

The 17-year-old boy was shot during clashes with Israeli forces, the victim's uncle told Reuters.

A State Department spokesperson would only confirm to CBS News that a U.S. citizen had died in the West Bank, adding that "we are working to understand the circumstances of the incident and have asked the government of Israel for further information."

According to Wafa, the Palestinian National Authority's official news agency, the boy was shot in the head. Wafa identified him as Tawfiq Ajjaq.   

Julia Frankel and Nasser Nasser (AP) quote the child's father declaring, "They [Israeli forces]  are killer machines. They are using our tax dollars in the U.S. to support the weapons to kill our own children."  ALJAZEERA notes:

Celebrated UK-based Palestinian writer and director Ahmed Masoud lost his brother in Gaza after he was hit by an Israeli air strike.

“I knew I was going to write a post like this, I knew I wouldn’t find the words,” Masoud, who grew up in Gaza and later moved to the United Kingdom, wrote on X.

He showed earlier this month how his brother Khalid’s home was almost entirely destroyed after being targeted by an Israeli air strike as drones buzzed in the background. Then, his brother was shot by an Israeli sniper in the leg.

“A few days ago he went missing. A drone bombed, he lost his leg and bled for three days. My brother and friend is gone.”

Gaza remains under assault.  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.  Friday, United Nations Women noted, "Since 7 October 2023, more than 24,620 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, 70 per cent of whom were women or children. 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."  CNN notes, "The Palestinian toll includes 25,105 killed and 62,681 injured" and there are also the missing.  AP notes, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And 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."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."

Friday, Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) noted, "There are reports Israel has killed another journalist in Gaza. Palestinian news outlets report Wael Fannouneh, the manager of Al-Quds Today TV, was killed today in an Israeli bombing in Gaza City. Over 110 journalists have been killed since Israel began its assault on Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attack."

ALJAZEERA notes that professors have been murdered:

Israel has killed 94 university professors, hundreds of teachers and thousands of students during its war in Gaza, a rights group has said.

The Israeli military has targeted academics and intellectuals “in deliberate and specific air raids” on their homes without prior warning, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement on Saturday.

These figures appear to have been targeted with “no justification or clear reason”, the monitor said.

“The targeted academics studied and taught across a variety of academic disciplines, and many of their ideas served as cornerstones of academic research in the Gaza Strip’s universities,” the Geneva, Switzerland-based group said.


In related news,  Miriam Berger and Hazem Balousha (WASHINGTON POST) report:

The Israeli military says it is reviewing the decision to destroy the main building of Gaza’s Israa University in what appears to have been a planned explosion.

In a widely viewed video geolocated by The Washington Post, a camera apparently attached to a drone shows the sprawling building outside of Gaza City implode, demolishing the educational complex and engulfing the area in smoke.

The university shared news of the explosion of building, which housed its graduate and undergraduate studies, Wednesday.

Israa University Vice President Alaa Matar told The Washington Post that he could not confirm the date of the blast: Israeli forces, he said, had been occupying the campus for about 70 days, and Palestinians could not safely access the area. Matar spoke by phone from the southern city of Rafah, where more than half of Palestinians in Gaza have fled.

Satellite imagery of the area, assessed by The Post, showed the building intact on Jan. 13 and destroyed the next day. Most cellular and other communications had been unusable in the Gaza Strip for more than a week, from Jan. 12 until Friday evening.

Julia Conley (COMMON DREAMS) covers the destruction of Israa University noting:

  The Israel Defense Forces' detonation of more than 300 mines planted at Israa University in Gaza on Wednesday provided the latest evidence that Israel's objective in its bombardment of the enclave is not self-defense, rights advocates said.

"This is not self-defense," said Chris Hazzard, an Irish member of the United Kingdom's Parliament. "This is not counter-insurgency. This is ethnic-cleansing."

The International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) called the destruction of Israa University Israel's latest attempt to carry out a "cultural genocide" along with the slaughter of at least 24,620 people in just over three months—people who Israeli officials have claimed are legitimate military targets despite the fact that roughly half of those killed have been children.

The wiping out of cultural landmarks was included in South Africa's International Court of Justice case accusing Israel of genocidal acts in Gaza last week, with the complaint noting that "Israel has damaged and destroyed numerous centers of Palestinian learning and culture," including libraries, one of the world's oldest Christian monasteries, and the Great Omari Mosque, where an ancient collection of manuscripts was kept before the building was destroyed in an airstrike last month.

"The crime of targeting and destroying archaeological sites should spur the world and UNESCO into action to preserve this great civilizational and cultural heritage," Gaza's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said after the mosque was bombed. 

Phillippe Lazzarini is the Commissioner General for UNRWA - the UN agency with specific responsibility for Palestinian refugees. He's just returned from his fourth visit to Gaza since the start of the war.

"There are today more than half a million children in the primary and secondary school system. How will they go back if you cannot bring people back to their homes which have been completely destroyed," Mr Lazzarini tells me.

"And I'm afraid that we're running the risk here of losing a generation of children."

Images of Israeli troops cheering as educational institutions were blown up went viral on social media, including one showing the complete demolition of a distinctive blue UN school in northern Gaza.

Over the weekend, AP reported:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that he “will not compromise on full Israeli control” over Gaza and that “this is contrary to a Palestinian state,” rejecting U.S. President Joe Biden’s suggestion that creative solutions could bridge wide gaps between the leaders' views on Palestinian statehood.

In a sign of the pressures Netanyahu’s government faces at home, thousands of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv calling for new elections, and others demonstrated outside the prime minister’s house, joining families of the more than 100 remaining hostages held by Hamas and other militants. They fear that Israel's military activity further endangers hostages' lives.

Emma Graham-Harrison and Toby Helm (GUARDIAN adds, "Over the weekend, Netanyahu sparred publicly – if indirectly – with US President Joe Biden, who for months has offered Israel almost unconditional support for its war in Gaza, at considerable political cost to his own administration, both in America and beyond."  Poor Joe, getting played for a fool by a crook like Netanyahu.  NBC NEWS notes, "President Joe Biden attempted to downplay Netanyahu's opposition to a Palestinian state. When asked if a two-state solution is impossible with Netanyahu in office, Biden said, 'No, it is not,' adding that he believes the Israeli prime minister could change his mind."  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "The latest remarks from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 18 suggest that the license also extends to ensuring that Palestinians will never be permitted a sovereign homeland, that they will be, in a perverse biblical echo, kept in a form of bondage, downtrodden, oppressed and, given what happened on October 7 last year, suppressed.  This is to ensure that, whatever the grievance, that they never err, never threaten, and never cause grief to the Israeli State.  To that end, it is axiomatic that their political authorities are kept incipient, inchoate, corrupt and permanently on life support, the tolerated beggars and charity seekers of the Middle East."

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