December 20, 2023
Industrial Killing of Civilians in Gaza Won’t Defeat the Armed Insurgency
endless list of well-documented Israeli war crimes, the Biden administration has responded with overwhelming support for a genocidal war of annihilation against the Palestinians of Gaza. For more than two months, the White House has engaged in a public campaign of gaslighting as it has feigned concern over the fate of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents while simultaneously maintaining the flow of weapons, intelligence, and political cover to an Israeli regime that has made clear its intent to “flatten” Gaza and force its intentionally dehumanized survivors into an ever-shrinking killing cage. President Joe Biden, facing popularity heading into the 2024 election, reportedly now wants Israel to move to a “less kinetic” phase of its war by early next year. This is simply the latest effort by the administration to recast the public narrative about its consistent support for slaughter. Ten weeks into this industrial-scale rampage, more than 25,000 Palestinians are dead, including nearly 10,000 children. by the U.S.-backed Israeli forces and some have been killed. Nearly 100 journalists have died under Israel’s bombs and attacks. Not even the Catholic Church in Gaza has been spared from Israel’s war crimes. On December 16, according to the Latin Patriarchate of JERUSALEM, Israeli snipers two Christian Women taking shelter in the Holy Family church in Gaza, spurring Pope Francis to that Israel is committing acts of terrorism. Gazans have been systematically denied the most minimal vital necessities. International aid organizations, warning of starvation and the spread of infectious disease, have repeatedly begged for an immediate ceasefire. And it has been the U.S., and the U.S. alone, that has insured that this would not happen. “The United States and Israel have never been more determined and aligned in our shared values, our shared interests and our shared goals,” Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as he stood alongside U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin this week in Tel Aviv. “Our common enemies around the world are watching, and they know that Israel victory is the victory of the free world, led by the United States of America.” Read our complete coverage A few days earlier, Gallant publicly preempted his private discussions with national security adviser Jake Sullivan, forcing him to stand, jaw clenched, before news cameras as Gallant portrayed the war as a joint U.S.–Israeli operation. “Thank you for being side by side with us in this effort,” Gallant a stone-faced Sullivan in Tel Aviv, a visit the White House had , in part, as an effort to get Israel to wind down its large-scale operations in Gaza. “It will take and require a long period of time,” Gallant advised Sullivan in what looked like a forced reeducation session. “It will last more than several months.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Sullivan’s visit by publicly the U.S. for delivering more tank rounds for the war in Gaza and vetoing a U.N. ceasefire resolution. “Nothing will stop us,” he . “We are going on to the end, until victory, nothing less.” The whole affair, which came on the heels of Biden Israel’s bombing of Gaza “indiscriminate,” played out like an Israeli-orchestrated public daring of the White House to pull support for the war. Israel is well aware that if the White House truly wanted Israel to stop, it could do so by withholding all additional until the carnage ends. But the rationale for Biden’s refusal to demand a ceasefire, which a of Democrats want him to do, is not just born of total disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians who are cannon fodder for the big lie about this being an Israeli act of “self-defense.” Though the U.S. is likely to frame any “winding down” or temporary pause in the Israeli attempt to erase Gaza as a humanitarian endeavor, the reality is more complicated. Both Biden and Netanyahu know what they dare not say in public: On a MILITARY level, things are not going well. Israel, a nuclear-armed nation state with modern weapons systems and intelligence capabilities and fully backed by the most powerful nation on Earth, is desperately struggling to achieve a meaningful tactical victory over the armed Palestinian guerrilla forces in Gaza. Despite the vast resources Israel has dedicated to its , it is also flailing in its effort to defeat Hamas on that front. On a daily, sometimes hourly, basis, the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, and their allies in arms release videos showing successful attacks on Israeli armored vehicles and troop positions. The short films offer a glimpse into another side of this war, the one that Israel and the U.S. do not want the public to see. And the picture that emerges stands in stark contrast to the official Israeli narrative. Fighters from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are engaged in urban combat and close-quarters firefights with Israeli forces, and they are inflicting heavy losses on them. They have also published a close-up of Israeli soldiers in a makeshift tent camp inside Gaza that Hamas fighters filmed by discreetly popping up from tunnel hatches. The spokesperson for the Qassam Brigades, known by his nom de guerre Abu Obeida, has regularly released audio messages outlining his assessment of the ground war and challenging Israeli narratives. “The whole world sees how our fighters destroy and burn the enemy’s armored vehicles, killing the invading soldiers inside them,” he in a recording released December 15. “The official figures of the dead and injured announced by the enemy’s army are undoubtedly untrue.” He praised his fighters for waging a battle against an enemy armed and supported “by the American administration, which is airlifting support to this entity as if it were fighting a great power among the world’s poles.” The Israeli military recently published a that purportedly depicts the work of a Hamas engineering team’s construction of a 4-kilometer section of underground tunnel near the Erez Crossing. It also published a of what it said was Mohammed Sinwar, the brother of Hamas’s leader, driving in a car through the tunnel network. While Israel clearly released the videos in an effort to unmask the devious evil of Hamas, it actually revealed a level of tactical sophistication and preparedness seldom seen since the days of the Viet Cong. The IDF-published also inadvertently dramatized the dubiousness of Israel’s claims that it can flush with seawater hundreds of kilometers of tunnels equipped with massive water-sealed and blast-proof doors — not to mention the viability of engaging in close-combat tunnel warfare with Hamas. The day after Israel published the tunnel videos, Hamas released its own . The group stated that the tunnel had been constructed exclusively for the October 7 attacks against the Israeli military installation near Erez. It featured clips of Gallant, the defense minister, touring the tunnels with Israeli soldiers, juxtaposed with footage from Hamas’s raid on the base two months ago. “You arrived late. … Mission had already been completed,” read a . Stories are beginning to appear more frequently in the Israeli press expressing concern about the steadily mounting death and injury toll of Israeli soldiers. These sentiments have intensified over the past week, following an ambush in Shujaiyeh that reportedly killed nine Israeli soldiers, as well as the revelation that IDF soldiers who were shirtless, waving a white flag, and speaking Hebrew. “The consensus of public support for Israel’s war is beginning to wane, as the two conditions on which it rests fade away: a clear purpose for the war and the understanding that victory is attainable,” Israeli military analyst Amos Harel in Haaretz. “Broad public support for a ground incursion, which was strong in the aftermath of the Hamas massacre, is now being gradually mixed with concern and skepticism. Despite the expanding offensive and the enemy’s losses, we are approaching a dangerous phase of incremental advances,” he added. “The continued fighting in the current format will mean a steady trickle of news about soldiers dying.” As of December 19, Israel has officially the deaths of 130 of its soldiers in Gaza. There is no doubt that both Washington and Tel Aviv underestimated the military capacity of the Hamas-led armed resistance. It is one thing to snatch Palestinians off the streets of the West Bank and , a Israel has over the . It is quite another to defeat a well-armed insurgency that has spent decades building vast underground infrastructure beneath its own territory and training for this very moment. Killing or capturing Hamas leader Yehia Sinwar or the head of the Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, may give Israel political cover to declare a false victory, scenarios the Biden administration is eager to seize upon. Last week, a senior U.S. official that the U.S. is actively participating in the hunt for these high-value targets, declaring that it is “safe to say” that Sinwar’s “days are numbered.” But the idea that armed resistance will be extinguished by killing top leaders of Hamas betrays the same pattern of wishful thinking that has permeated U.S. strategic thinking since 9/11. All of this suggests that rather than trying to end the suffering of Gazans, Biden is instead looking for an off-ramp that avoids solidifying the image of Israel as waging a gratuitous war that utterly failed to achieve its stated objectives. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, in a based on conversations with his insider circle of the D.C. elite, wrote that the U.S. has been contemplating a “day after” scenario that would see the deployment of a security force “composed primarily of Palestinians who aren’t affiliated with Hamas and are willing to cooperate with the Israeli troops still ringing the border. Ideally, this policing force would be bolstered by foreign troops, operating under a U.N. mandate.” Ignatius added, “Israeli commandos might stage raids back into the center of Gaza when they receive intelligence about high-value targets.” This bankrupt thinking illustrates how little the U.S. cares about what, to Palestinians, is the : ending Israeli and achieving statehood. The fact that the administration is contemplating a plan to Palestinianize the occupation by using collaborators with the Israeli regime’s forces is straight out of the bankrupt “ ” strategy the Bush administration sought to use to extract itself from the catastrophe it through its own invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is also of the utterly failed Obama-era COIN strategy in Afghanistan. The notion that the Palestinian Authority, a that has utterly failed to defend the Palestinians who live under its area of responsibility in the occupied West Bank, could somehow operate with any credibility in Gaza is precisely the type of intellectual sludge that persistently oozes from Washington think tanks into the corridors of power. It has no more legitimacy than the farcical Dick Cheney-led two decades ago to install the discredited exile as the leader of a post-Saddam Iraq. Such discussions about Gaza’s future, which exclude the actual residents of Gaza, dramatize the near-religious fervor that drives what can only be described as a firm American commitment to doing everything possible to avoid addressing the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people and their rights to self determination and self-defense. Biden made his choice — and has continued to double down on it in the face of every fresh horror that has unfolded in Gaza. Whatever tale of victory he and Netanyahu want to spin when the intense period of wanton death and destruction “winds down,” Biden should never be permitted to escape the cold fact that he against an overwhelmingly defenseless civilian population. The responsibility for the blowback that will inevitably sprout from the killing fields of Gaza should be firmly affixed to Biden’s legacy. Ryan Devereaux, Jimmy Tobias A trove of investigative files reveals that the Department of Justice almost never prosecutes grizzly bear killers under the powerful law. Israel’s War on Gaza The Intercept Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill and journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous discuss the U.S. role in Israel’s scorched-earth campaign to annihilate Gaza. Israel’s War on Gaza Ken Klippenstein Harvard, a flash point in the campus fights over the war in Gaza, has seen controversy and activism over its endowment's investments in Israel.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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