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Benny

Thanks orl!

Benny

This is related to a post jcb made in the last thread.

Benny

Benny

Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept

The 17-Judge panel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued a series of rulings on Friday about Israel’s conduct during its war against Gaza that constitute a significant legal defeat for Israel and its chief defenders, the United States and Germany.

It found that there is a basis to proceed with the case against Israel for genocide and that South Africa had solid foundation to bring its case before the world’s highest court. The ICJ’s chief judge, Joan Donoghue, said provisional measures against Israel were necessary because “the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is at serious risk of deteriorating further before the court renders its final judgement.” The full proceedings against Israel will take many years to complete.

At the same time, the court did not go as far in its rulings as South Africa wished and did not explicitly order Israel to immediately halt its military attacks against Gaza or to lift its state of siege. Instead, it ordered Israel to “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of the Genocide convention.”

“Israel must take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” the court saidOpens in a new tab. It also ordered Israel to halt and punish incitement to genocide, to preserve any evidence of violations of the Genocide Convention by its forces or personnel, and to submit a report on its compliance with the court’s orders within one month.

Donoghue read aloud several statements made by Israeli officials, which South Africa contended indicated “genocidal intent.” Among these was the statement by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announcing there would be “no electricity, no food, no fuel” allowed into Gaza and saying, “We are fighting human animals.” She also read a statement from Israeli President Isaac Herzog saying of the people of Gaza, “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible.”

In issuing its provisional measures, the court upheld “the right of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to be protected from acts of genocide and related prohibited acts” under the Genocide Convention. It found that “the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is at serious risk of deteriorating further before the Court renders its final judgment.”

Donoghue, the president of the ICJ, is an American who worked as a top legal adviser at the State Department under President Barack Obama. She voted in favor of every order the court issued against Israel. While judges do not officially operate as agents of their home governments, it was nonetheless striking that Donoghue ruled against Israel at a time when the U.S. has officially denounced the accusations leveled by South Africa and continues to fuel Israel’s military onslaught.


At The Hague, Israel Mounted a Defense Based in an Alternate Reality

The ruling at the court is undoubtedly important in a symbolic sense: It found that the Palestinians of Gaza are a protected group under the provisions of the Genocide Convention and that South Africa had proven that there is a reasonable basis to litigate whether Israel’s military onslaught constitutes a genocide.

But it also represents a technical coup for Israel, which has already argued it is not committing genocidal acts. The bottom line is that the court has ruled that Israel should stand trial on charges of genocide in Gaza, but the judges carved out a significant loophole that Israel can exploit to continue its war against Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that no one will stop the war against Gaza, includingOpens in a new tab The Hague. The court’s decision not to order an immediate cessation of the military assault is already being emphasized in Tel Aviv.

While generally denouncing the ICJ ruling, Netanyahu asserted that the court “rightly rejected the outrageous demand” for an immediate halt to the military attacks on Gaza. “The very claim that Israel is carrying out genocide against Palestinians is not only false, it’s outrageous, and the willingness of the court to deliberate it at all is a mark of disgrace that will not be erased for generations,” Netanyahu, reacting to the ruling, said.

He also vowed Israel will keep fighting “until total victory, until we defeat Hamas, return all the captives and ensure that Gaza will not again be a threat to Israel.”

Gallant, whose statements were cited as evidence of genocidal intent, adding that Israel “does not need to be lectured on morality in order to distinguish between terrorists and the civilian population in Gaza.”

He said Israel will continue its war. “Those who seek justice, will not find it on the leather chairs of the court chambers in The Hague — they will find it in the Hamas tunnels in Gaza, where 136 hostages are held, and where those who murdered our children are hiding.”

“Hague Shmague,” tweeted Netanyahu’s minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Israel’s War on Gaza
Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s minister of international relations, said outside the court that she was grateful for the court’s ruling, but wished it had ordered an explicit halt to Israel’s attacks. She argued that the court’s orders would not be enforceable if Israel does not actually cease its military attacks and state of siege. “Without a ceasefire, the order doesn’t actually work,” she said.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in speech that, with the ICJ ruling, “Israel stands before the international community, its crimes against the Palestinian people laid bare.”

The U.S. government has long shielded Israel from international legal consequences for its actions against the Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank. The only enforcement mechanism for rulings from the ICJ reside at the U.N. Security Council, where the U.S. regularly wields its veto power.

The State Department has refusedOpens in a new tab to answer whether the Biden administration will abide by the ICJ’s provisional orders. This proceeding may herald the intensification of the global debate over whether international law and courts have relevance, or whether the U.S. will remain the ultimate judge over which nations must face the consequences for their violations of the laws and conventions.

wi65

Can Isreal ignore the world court?

They’ll do whatever they want and deal with the consequences later.

Benny

Why I Am Testifying in a Lawsuit Charging Biden With Complicity in Genocide

Last week, President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time in nearly a month, finally picking up the phone as the death toll in Gaza continued to climb and Israeli siege policies made famine imminent.

Once again, Biden failed to obtain any kind of agreement from Netanyahu to so much as ease Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip or to respect the basic tenets of international law. Nor is there any indication that he tried, despite the fact that the United States’s investment in the assault—both financial and military—continues to make the brutality possible. Instead, despite talk of friction between the two men, and as Netanyahu again rebuffed Biden’s call for Palestinian sovereignty, the president continued to offer his undiminished public support.

It is now painfully and undeniably clear that Biden has not only failed to prevent the crime of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza but that his administration is also actively supporting and perpetuating Israel’s genocidal military campaign.

This is why I will testify today in historic proceedings in United States federal court related to a lawsuit my organization—along with other human rights groups and Palestinians in both Gaza and the US—have brought against President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for their complicity in the genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. At the hearing, we will be asking the courts to order the Biden administration to stop providing military and diplomatic assistance to Israel.

The Israeli military has killed more than 25,000 Palestinians, including more than 10,000 children, in the last three-and-a-half months. Twice as many have been wounded, and thousands remain missing, presumed to be buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings. Nearly 2 million people have been forcibly displaced in one of the most lethal and destructive bombing campaigns in history, and an airtight siege prevents food, water, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid from reaching people in need.

Israel’s government and military have done all of this with the active financial, military, and diplomatic support of President Biden and his administration. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II, receiving, to date, $158 billion in bilateral assistance and missile system funding (and that is in current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars).

On top of that, the Biden administration has twice expedited the sale of even more US weapons to the Israeli military since October, bypassing congressional review each time.

Today’s federal hearing comes two weeks after South Africa invoked the Genocide Convention against Israel at the International Court of Justice. I was in The Hague for the first hearings, and saw representatives of the people of South Africa, who dismantled an apartheid regime in their country, clearly detail the crimes being committed against the Palestinian people by Israel, which continues to be an apartheid regime. It was incredibly moving to witness the struggle for Palestinian human rights being taken seriously in an international court for the first time.

This case, and Biden’s complicity, is personal for me as the leader of a Palestinian child-rights organization with staff in Gaza.

My colleague Mohammad Abu Rukbeh, Defense for Children International–Palestine’s senior field researcher, is living in a tent with his family in southern Gaza. Mohammad, who has been documenting child fatalities and injuries in Gaza for two decades, is from Jabalia, in northern Gaza. Since the beginning of Israel’s military offensive, Israeli air strikes have forced Mohammed to relocate his family half a dozen times. At least eight members of Mohammad’s family have been killed, including several young nephews, and last month, an Israeli soldier shot his mother in the leg. She is diabetic and, since Israel has decimated the healthcare system, her leg was amputated.

Much of the weaponry with which Israel has been inflicting its violence on Mohammad and the people of Gaza can be traced back to the United States. Israel’s fleet of warplanes as well as the bombs it has been dropping on his neighborhood are produced by Boeing. The soldier who shot his mother in the leg is a member of the Israeli military, which receives $3.8 billion a year in US funding. Mohammad is living in a cold tent with his wife and four young children, who don’t have enough to eat, because Biden has refused to call for a cease-fire that would allow lifesaving humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in need of food, clean water, medicine, cooking fuel, and warm clothes.

It is easy to fall into despair as each day brings news of a tragedy worse than the day before. But there are a million children still alive in Gaza, and Biden can save their lives.

Every day that passes without a cease-fire, these children get hungrier, thirstier, colder, and sicker. More will be killed by Israeli bombs and more will die of disease that is rapidly spreading in crowded displacement camps. There is still time for these children to grow up—if Biden demands an immediate cease-fire and stops sending weapons to Israel. For their sake, Biden must reverse course and act now to rein Israel in and end its genocidal campaign in Gaza.

Benny

Jury says Donald Trump must pay an additional $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll in defamation case

A jury has awarded an additional $83.3 million to former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says former President Donald Trump damaged her reputation by calling her a liar after she accused him of sexual assault.

The verdict was delivered Friday by a seven-man, two-woman jury in a trial regularly attended by Trump, who abruptly left the courtroom during closing arguments by Carroll’s lawyer, only to later return.

Carroll smiled as the verdict was read. By then, Trump had left the building in his motorcade.

It was the second time in nine months that a jury returned a verdict related to Carroll’s claim that a flirtatious, chance encounter with Trump in 1996 at a Bergdorf Goodman store ended violently. She said Trump slammed her against a dressing room wall, pulled down her tights and forced himself on her.

In May, a different jury awarded Carroll $5 million. It found Trump not liable for rape, but responsible for sexually abusing Carroll and then defaming her by claiming she made it up. He is appealing that award.

Trump skipped the first trial. He later expressed regret for not attending and insisted on testifying in the second trial, though the judge limited what he could say, ruling he had missed his chance to argue that he was innocent. He spent only a few minutes on the witness stand Thursday, during which he denied attacking Carroll, then left court grumbling “this is not America.”

This new jury was only asked how much Trump, 77, should pay Carroll, 80, for two statements he made as president when he answered reporters’ questions after excerpts of Carroll’s memoir were published in a magazine — damages that couldn’t be decided earlier because of legal appeals. Jurors were not asked to re-decide the issue of whether the sex attack actually happened.

Carroll’s attorneys had requested $24 million in compensatory damages and “an unusually high punitive award.”

Her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, urged jurors in her closing argument Friday to punish Trump enough that he would stop a steady stream of public statements smearing Carroll as a liar and a “whack job.”

Trump shook his head vigorously as Kaplan spoke, then suddenly stood and walked out, taking Secret Service agents with him. His exit came only minutes after the judge, without the jury present, threatened to send Trump attorney Alina Habba to jail for continuing to talk when he told her she was finished.

“You are on the verge of spending some time in the lockup. Now sit down,” the judge told Habba, who immediately complied.

Benny

Some libations to celebrate the new management of Trump Tower.

Vodka tonic 2024-01-12 214049.jpg
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wi65

I’ll believe it when she gets a cashers check form Cult-45

Benny

-Based on the continuous coverage by MSDNC, it appears that Trump may be required to post a bond to ensure a portion of the money is secured within a specified timeframe during his appeal. While an outright win on appeal seems unlikely, there could be a potential reduction in punitive damages.

wi65

I believe that that does happen with the Punitive part. Lawyers win either way. All it means is that his suckers(Donors) will pony up for him under the guise of Campaign contributions

Benny

Democrats urge government to rein in Medicare Advantage overpayments and denials (from an e-mail newsletter)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) sent a letter today to Medicare’s top leader, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, outlining steps they say would drastically reduce the estimated $100 billion in annual overpayments and questionable quality bonuses Medicare Advantage insurers receive.

Medicare Advantage has ballooned into a $500 billion taxpayer-funded program, and now enrolls almost a majority of the country’s 66 million Medicare beneficiaries. But research and reporting has repeatedly shown that the insurers who run the program get overpaid by tens of billions of dollars annually and, in some cases, inappropriately deny care to seniors.

All of the proposed actions — which include terminating more contracts with insurers that violate the program’s coverage rules — fall within Medicare’s existing powers. Medicare said it received the lawmakers’ letter, but did not say if it planned to follow any of their suggestions.

and

Merck, Johnson & Johnson CEOs agree to testify in Congress on high drug prices, avoiding Bernie Sanders’ subpoena

The decision by the executives came after a public pressure campaign by Sen. Bernie Sanders to get the two executives and Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Chris Boerner to testify about why prices for their drugs are higher in the U.S. than in other countries.

Benny

jcitybone

Benny

jcitybone

jcitybone

Benny

Any favs for the playoffs? My team got knocked out early on, thus I’m rooting for the Lions tomorrow at SF. We will be rooting for KC against Baltimore, but we’ll see if they are up to it.

wi65

Once GB is done i’m more of a passive fan and just like to watch FB. Det. is the fresh face though…

jcitybone

Lions and Ravens

wi65

That would be fun….

Benny

Tigers..and bears, oh my!

I wouldn’t mind Lions-KC SB as it would be all Midwest.

Benny

The Ravens got in their own way today, two turnovers near or in the zone in the 2nd half. Mr. Benny is elated though.

Benny

jcitybone

jcitybone

Not only in Gaza

Benny

jcitybone

Benny

wi65

But But the NRA taking money from the Russians is ok huh Pelousy

Benny

Bernie, from yesterday, this was reprinted at Common Dreams.

It’s Time to Stop Simply Asking Israel to Do the Right Thing%

Many of us are watching with horror the severe humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza. Unfortunately, too many of my colleagues in the House of Representatives and US Senate are choosing to ignore this reality and evade their congressional responsibilities.

Let’s be clear: what’s happening in Gaza is not just some unfortunate tragedy taking place thousands of miles from our shores. The United States provides Israel with $3.8bn in military aid every year, and the bombs and military equipment that are destroying Gaza are made in America. In other words, we are complicit in what is happening.

And what’s happening is unspeakable.

My staff and I have spoken in recent days with the United Nations, the World Food Programme and other humanitarian organizations struggling to deal with the disaster in Gaza.

The bottom line is this: the coming weeks could mean the difference between life and death for tens of thousands of people. If we do not see a dramatic improvement in humanitarian access very soon, countless innocent people – including thousands of children – could die of dehydration, diarrhea, preventable diseases and starvation.

The World Health Organization predicts that the number of deaths from sickness and starvation could exceed the very high number killed in the war thus far.

And let’s be clear: this is not a natural disaster. It is a human-made crisis. This is the direct result of choices made by political leaders, none more than Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel’s extreme rightwing government.

Hamas began this war with its horrific terrorist attack on 7 October, which killed 1,200 innocent Israeli men, women and children, and took 240 hostages. Israel had the right to respond to that attack and go to war against Hamas. It did not and does not, however, have the right to go to war against the entire Palestinian people – which is exactly what is happening.

More than 25,000 Palestinians have been killed in this war, and 62,000 wounded – 70% of whom are women and children. Thousands more are believed to be trapped under the rubble. At least 152 UN aid workers have been killed so far, more than in any previous war.

Unbelievably, 1.7 million people have been driven from their homes, almost 80% of the entire population of Gaza. These are people who were already impoverished and who are now living in crowded UN shelters or out in the open in winter conditions. They lack adequate food, water, fuel and medical supplies. And they have no idea what the future holds for them.

About 70% of the housing units in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. Most of Gaza’s critical infrastructure has been made inoperable – including many water wells, bakeries, power plants and sewage treatment facilities. Much of the area has been without cellphone service for weeks, making communication extremely difficult.

Water is scarce, and what little is available is often contaminated. Public wells are operating at just 10% capacity, and just one of three water pipelines into Gaza is functioning. For several months now, children in southern Gaza are surviving on just 1.5-2 liters of water per day, far less than what is needed. And that is in the area where UN aid can be delivered. The situation is worse elsewhere.

The lack of clean water is leading to a spike in waterborne diseases and diarrhea – a very serious condition which accounts for nearly 10% of all deaths among children under the age of five worldwide. In Gaza, the UN reports 158,000 cases – more than half among children under the age of five – a 4,000% increase from before the war. Humanitarian groups say they fear many thousands of children will die from diarrhea before they starve to death.

Hunger and starvation are now widespread. Before the war, Gaza had 97 bakeries – just 15 are now operating, and none are functioning in the north, closed by the combination of airstrikes and a lack of fuel and flour. Hundreds of thousands of children go to sleep hungry each night, and desperate people are mobbing the few relief trucks that can reach beyond the border crossing.

Right now, the UN says that 570,000 people in Gaza are facing “catastrophic hunger” equivalent to famine. This is the most severe category of starvation, but the UN reports that “the entire population of Gaza – roughly 2.2 million people – are in crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity”. Virtually every household is regularly skipping meals, and most are down to a single meal a day, often just bread.

Experts say infants and young children will succumb first to hunger. Without enough food, or with no clean water to make formula, their vital organs will begin to shut down. Many will die of infection before they reach that point. The technical term for this stage – child wasting – is too horrific to contemplate. Yet that is what we are watching unfold in slow motion as the world looks on.

Gaza’s healthcare system is under tremendous strain. Most healthcare facilities are inoperable or functioning at diminished capacity. Faced with tens of thousands of casualties, health workers have, with enormous courage, struggled to save lives amid frequent bombardment in overcrowded hospitals without electricity or adequate fuel or medicine. Three hundred and thirty-seven health workers have been killed.

The lack of basic necessities and overcrowded conditions are contributing to a dramatic increase in disease, and 10% of the population now has acute respiratory infections. Those with long-term conditions that require advanced treatment have little hope of receiving adequate care.

Amid this devastation, approximately 180 women give birth in Gaza every day, receiving completely inadequate medical care. Without enough food or clean water, let alone necessary medications and antibiotics, many of these women face serious complications, and their children will bear lifelong scars from this war.

That is life in Gaza today. The American people must not ignore it. The Biden administration must not ignore it. Congress must not ignore it.

We also cannot ignore what is causing this disaster. And the answer is pretty clear: at every step, the Israeli government has failed to provide even the most basic protections to civilians. Every humanitarian move has been extracted only after weeks of delay and outside pressure from the United States and others.

The result is that today just 20-30% of what is needed is being allowed in. Not enough food. Not enough water. Not enough medical supplies. Not enough fuel.

Onerous Israeli border inspections are a major cause of this crisis. Today, there is a three- to four-week wait for trucks to get into Gaza. Many trucks are unloaded and reloaded numerous times, often to be searched for the same items. Israel is rejecting items like tent poles, feminine hygiene kits, hand sanitizers, water testing kits and medical supplies. If a single item is rejected, the truck has to go back to the start of the process. The Kerem Shalom crossing, the main entry point equipped to process trucks in large numbers, is only open eight hours a day.

It is hard to see this process and not conclude that it’s a deliberate effort to slow humanitarian aid. And sure enough, just last week, Netanyahu said that Israel is only allowing in the absolute minimum amount necessary.

When trucks do eventually get across the border, they face a new set of problems. Israel is bombing targets across Gaza, and its ground forces have closed many major roads amid the fighting. The process for coordinating aid convoys with the Israeli military has broken down, and the first half of January actually saw a deterioration in humanitarian access.

So let’s be clear: Netanyahu’s rightwing government is starving Gaza. Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment and restrictions on essential humanitarian aid have created one of the most severe humanitarian catastrophes of recent times.

For months, the United States government has pleaded with Israel to take urgent steps to avoid further civilian death. But despite these requests, including from President Biden himself, Netanyahu has done nothing.

That has to change now. Tens of thousands of lives hang in the balance, and every day matters.

This war is being fought primarily with US arms and equipment. That means the United States is complicit in this nightmare. We must end it. The United States has to use its leverage to make Netanyahu change his approach.

As part of that effort, I have tried to force what I consider to be a very modest step in the US Senate: a resolution requiring the state department to report on any human rights violations that may have occurred in Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. The resolution is based on longstanding US law requiring that any security assistance or military equipment provided to anycountry be used in line with internationally recognized human rights.

Sadly, only 11 senators voted for this first congressional effort to hold Israel accountable, but the momentum is shifting. More and more Americans – and more elected officials – understand that we cannot continue turning a blind eye to the suffering in Gaza. Given the scale of the disaster unfolding with American bombs and military equipment, Congress must act.

Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said, while rejecting a two-state solution, that “the prime minister needs to be able to say no, even to our best friends”. Well, now is the time for the United States to say NO to Netanyahu.

Congress is now considering a supplemental bill with another $14bn in military aid for Israel. The United States must make it clear to Netanyahu that the we will not provide another dollar to support his inhumane, illegal war. We must use our leverage to demand an end to the indiscriminate bombing, a humanitarian ceasefire to allow aid to flow to those who are suffering and to secure the release of the more than 130 hostages still being held in Gaza. And we must demand that the Israeli government take steps to lay the groundwork for a two-state solution.

The United States must stop asking Israel to do the right thing. It’s time to start telling Israel it must do these things or it will lose our support.