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HeadlinesNovember 22, 2023

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Israel Continues Deadly Attacks as 4-Day Truce Announced, Gaza Death Toll Tops 14,100

Nov 22, 2023

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a four-day pause in fighting and to exchange 50 hostages held in Gaza for 150 Palestinian women and children in Israeli prisons. The short-term truce will also allow for the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza. The deal was mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the U.S. The temporary truce will start Thursday at 10 a.m. local time. The death toll in Gaza has topped 14,100 people after nearly seven weeks of nonstop Israeli attacks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it does not mean Israel will end its war on Gaza, as it continued its deadly attacks on the besieged territory, including in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. This man lost 15 members of his family, including children, in an Israeli airstrike earlier today in a residential area of Khan Younis.

Kamal Kalouseh: “This ceasefire deal won’t bring safety from Israelis. They may betray it. They may not continue with it. If there is no real ceasefire deal that ends this, it is not worthy.”

Reporter: “Aren’t you optimistic?”

Kamal Kalouseh: “No, no, I am not optimistic, but I am apprehensive that the attacks will be fiercer than before the ceasefire.”

We’ll have more on the truce deal after headlines. Separately, an Israeli drone strike killed at least five Palestinians in the Tulkarm camp in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian officials say Israeli forces also raided the emergency department of the Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm.

Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital Under Siege; WHO Mourns Employee Killed with Family in Israeli Strike

Nov 22, 2023

Israel’s assault on Gaza’s health system continues. At least 100 Palestinians were killed overnight and this morning in attacks around hospitals and refugee camps. Israeli forces have encircled the Indonesian Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip and have ordered staff to evacuate. There are still hundreds of patients inside, including 50 in critical condition. The head of the Indonesian Hospital, Sarbini Abdul Murad, wrote an open letter to President Biden urging him to listen to his conscience and respect international norms. Murad writes, “You have destroyed the international rules of the game, insulted the authority of the UN, torn apart the sense of justice, and hurt human values, and tarnished the face of human civilization.” Israeli shelling has killed at least 12 people in the Indonesian Hospital.

The World Health Organization says it is struggling to evacuate hospitals in the north.

Christian Lindmeier: “Over 30% of the deaths and injuries are in the south of Gaza, in the so-called safe area. Over 30% of the deaths are in the south of Gaza. Then came the bombing and the attacks of the hospitals, and now no more hospital is functioning in the north. Colleagues from MSF have been reporting that they were attacked, too, one of the last resorts there. So, taking away healthcare of people is taking away the last resort, is taking away the last piece of humanity. And that’s what’s happening right now.”

The WHO announced one of the agency’s staff members was killed when Israel bombed her parents’ house in southern Gaza. Dima Alhaj was among more than 50 people killed in the strike, including her 6-month-old baby, her husband and two brothers.

Three Doctors, Including Members of MSF, Killed in Strike on Al-Awda Hospital

Nov 22, 2023

Doctors Without Borders said two of its doctors were killed in an Israeli strike on the Al-Awda Hospital. Doctors Mahmoud Abu Nujaila and Ahmad Al Sahar were killed alongside their colleague Dr. Ziad Al-Tatari. Doctors Without Borders said it has repeatedly told Israel it is a functioning hospital, and shared its GPS coordinates with Israeli authorities one day before the deadly attack. There are still some 200 patients at Al-Awda.

Palestinian Poet Mosab Abu Toha and Family Released After Abduction by IDF

Nov 22, 2023

The Palestinian poet and author Mosab Abu Toha has been released, following his abduction by Israeli soldiers while trying to leave the Gaza Strip with his family. Abu Toha had been heading to the southern Rafah border crossing when he was seized by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint. He is said to be receiving medical treatment after being beaten by Israeli soldiers.

BRICS Leaders Call for “Durable Truce”; South African Lawmakers Vote to Suspend Ties with Israel

Nov 22, 2023

Leaders at a virtual summit of BRICS nations called Tuesday for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” in Gaza and the release of all captive civilians. The original BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — were joined by the coalition’s newest members — Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran — at Tuesday’s high-level meeting. In contrast to the U.S. and many European nations, the majority of BRICS countries, including China and Russia, have called for a ceasefire. The summit’s host, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, forcefully condemned Israel’s assault on Gaza.

President Cyril Ramaphosa: “The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime. The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza is tantamount to genocide.”

South Africa’s Parliament voted on Tuesday to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel and close its embassy in Pretoria until a ceasefire is reached. Such actions, however, will ultimately be up to President Ramaphosa.

Ro Khanna Joins Congressional Call for Gaza Ceasefire

Nov 22, 2023

California Congressmember Ro Khanna has become the 43rd Democratic lawmaker to call for a ceasefire. Activists and Khanna’s constituents have been pressuring the powerful lawmaker to sign onto a House ceasefire resolution, including occupying his office last month.

In related news, the Detroit City Council on Tuesday became the largest U.S. city to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire. Polls show some two-thirds of Americans support a ceasefire.

Activists Protest at Missouri Boeing Plant; UTA Drops Susan Sarandon for Calling for Ceasefire

Nov 22, 2023

In Missouri, protesters rallied at the gates of a Boeing manufacturing plant near St. Louis Tuesday, demanding an end to the use of U.S.-made weapons in the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Protesters say the factory produces Joint Direct Attack Munitions and GBU-39 small-diameter bombs supplied to Israel’s Air Force.

In Hollywood, the United Talent Agency has stopped representing Oscar winner Susan Sarandon after she spoke at a rally in New York City last week, where she called for a ceasefire in Gaza. Sarandon has been active at antiwar protests to demand the protection of Palestinian lives.

Susan Sarandon: “You don’t have to be Palestinian to stand with the Palestinian people. You do not have to be Palestinian to understand that the slaughter of almost 5,000 children is unacceptable and a war crime.”

WFP Warns of Dwindling Food Supplies for 1.4M People in Chad, Incl. Sudanese Refugees

Nov 22, 2023

The World Food Programme warns it will run out of food aid for at least 1.4 million people in Chad by January due to a shortage of funds. This includes aid for hundreds of thousands of newly arrived refugees fleeing conflict in Sudan, most of them escaping ethnic violence and mass killings in the West Darfur region. The U.N. says it needs at least $185 million for its aid efforts in Chad, but that lack of international interest has led to severe underfunding. Starting in December, the World Food Programme is also suspending relief to internally displaced people and refugees from Nigeria, Central African Republic and Cameroon.

Australian Army Whistleblower David McBride Pleads Guilty to Sharing Afghan War Crimes Information

Nov 22, 2023

In Australia, former military lawyer and whistleblower David McBride has pleaded guilty to unlawfully sharing classified material. The Australian government accused McBride of jeopardizing national security by sharing information on Australian war crimes in Afghanistan with two journalists from ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, who published the revelations in the Afghan Files reports. The military claimed public interest immunity in the case, allowing the government to withhold key information, and dashing McBride’s chances of benefiting from whistleblower protections. McBride spoke to supporters outside the courthouse.

David McBride: “I stand tall, and I believe I did my duty. And I don’t see it as a defeat. I see it as the beginning of a better Australia.”

Press freedom groups warned the case will have a chilling effect.

In related news, a group of 16 bipartisan U.S. congressmembers sent a letter to President Biden earlier this month asking him to drop efforts to extradite imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the U.K. and to “not pursue an unnecessary prosecution that risks criminalizing common journalistic practices.”

Elon Musk Sues Media Matters; Brands Withdraw from X over Promotion of Antisemitic Content

Nov 22, 2023

Major brands including Apple, Disney and Warner Brothers have suspended buying ads on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, after billionaire owner Elon Musk tweeted his support for a user’s racist comments attacking Jewish people and promoting the far-right anti-immigrant conspiracy theory known as the “Great Replacement.” It’s the same white supremacist theory espoused by the gunman who attacked Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in 2018, killing 11 people.

This week Elon Musk sued the watchdog organization Media Matters, which first reported on his comments. Media Matters rejected the suit as a “frivolous” attempt to silence its reporting. The group also reports X has been placing ads for major brands next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Binance Founder Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charges as Company Hit with $4.3 Billion Fine

Nov 22, 2023

The billionaire head of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance has pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering. Under terms of a plea agreement, Changpeng Zhao will be fined $50 million and barred from involvement in Binance for three years. He faces up to 18 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, though federal prosecutors could ask for a longer term. Meanwhile, Binance pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act, failing to register as a money transfer business and violating U.S. sanctions laws. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced the company would pay a $4.3 billion fine.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: “It deliberately undermined its own sanctions monitoring controls, and it failed to report suspicious transactions. This meant Binance was allowing illicit actors to transact freely, supporting activities from child sexual abuse to illegal narcotics to terrorism across more than 100,000 transactions.”

Holly Maguigan, Beloved Law Prof. Who Pioneered the Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors, Has Died

Nov 22, 2023

Holly Maguigan, a trailblazing legal advocate for survivors of domestic violence and longtime NYU Law professor, has passed away. Maguigan is credited with transforming the way the criminal justice system treats survivors of intimate partner violence who had to use self-defense to save their own lives. She served on the boards of directors for the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and MADRE, among others. In 2014, she won the Society of American Law Teachers’ Great Teacher Award. Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, was one of her many students and paid tribute to her as “a beloved teacher and brilliant lawyer who relentlessly fought for justice.”

Former CCR Director Bill Goodman, Who Defended Guantánamo Prisoners and Challenged NYPD, Dies at 83

Nov 22, 2023

In Detroit, renowned civil rights attorney and human rights defender Bill Goodman has died. He was 83. Some of Goodman’s most influential work came during his time as legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Under his leadership, the center filed its first habeas litigation on behalf of Guantánamo prisoners, leading to multiple Supreme Court victories. Goodman took on the NYPD’s racist stop-and-frisk policy and led a class-action lawsuit of hundreds of Muslim men who were rounded up and detained after 9/11. Goodman was also celebrated for championing Palestinian rights. After leaving New York, Goodman returned to his hometown of Detroit, where he continued to fight police violence and other social justice issues until his death.

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