Gaza’s Doctors Struggle to Provide Basic Care Amid Strikes on Ambulances, Health Workers, Hospitals | truthout

During the 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, which ended in the early morning of August 8, scores of Palestinian families returned to the rubble of their neighborhoods to salvage what they could of their belongings. Others buried the bodies of their loved ones, recovered from the tall piles of dust and concrete or from overflowing morgues.

Along with the devastation of homes and livelihoods, Gaza is facing “an imminent health disaster,” the United Nations says, because “critical supplies of medicines and disposables are almost depleted and damage and destruction of power supplies has left hospitals dependent on unreliable back-up generators.” [Read more]

Palestinian delegation chief: Hamas rule in Gaza is over | Times of Israel

Progress is being made in the indirect talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo “but the gaps are still wide,” the head of the Palestinian delegation, Azzam Al-Ahmad, said Tuesday. “There’s a possibility that we’ll reach an overall full agreement, but we still have a long way to go.”

Al-Ahmad told The Times of Israel the Palestinians are still demanding a seaport and airport in Gaza. “These are not new demands. They date back to the days when the Palestinian Authority was set up,” he said. “Israel needs to understand that the period of Hamas rule in Gaza is over and to act in full cooperation with the PA and the government of [PA Prime Minister] Rami Hamdallah, which will be the sovereign authority in the territories, including Gaza.” [Read more]

America’s Support for Israel Underwrites Human Atrocities in Gaza | Alternet

In an interview with Democracy Now!, the renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky criticized the U.S. media coverage of the Israeli assault on Gaza. “It’s a shameful moment for U.S. media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state,” he says.  Chomsky also discusses his long-standing view that popular pressure at home is critical to ending the U.S. government’s backing for Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. “The United States continues to provide the critical, decisive support for the atrocities,” he says. “Sooner or later, it’s possible—and that’s really up to us—that domestic pressure will compel the U.S. government to join the world on this issue. That will be a decisive change.” [Read more]

Sandy Tolan, Going Wild in the Gaza War | TomDispatch

The carnage in the Gaza Strip has been horrendous: more than 1,900 dead, mainly civilians; its sole power plant destroyed (and so electricity and water denied and a sewage disaster looming); 30,000 to 40,000 homes and buildings damaged or destroyed; hundreds of thousands of residents put to flight with nowhere to go; and numerous U.N. schools or facilities housing some of those refugees hit by Israeli firepower. And then there was the evident targeting by the Israelis of the Gazan economy itself: 175 major factories taken out, according to the New York Times, in a place that already had an estimated unemployment rate of 47%. [Read more]

Arguing like Abraham for Gaza’s innocents | openDemocracy

Support among Israeli Jews for the Gaza war is over 90%, chiefly due to Hamas’ barrage of rockets and attempts to murder and kidnap Israeli civilians via underground tunnels.

Yet Israeli Jews have fallen into a spiritual myopia that is just as bad as the one afflicting those who refuse to condemn Hamas’ actions. We in the Israeli human rights community condemn the targeting or disproportional harm to either Israeli or Palestinian non-combatants. I believe that Israel has a right to defend herself, but red lines must be respected. Furthermore, as an Israeli rabbi, I must say this loud and clear: my country’s attitude towards the killing of Palestinian civilians is deeply troubling. [Read more]

Egypt massacre was premeditated, says Human Rights Watch | The Guardian

Egyptian security forces intentionally killed at least 817 protesters during last August’s Rabaa massacre, in a premeditated attack equal to or worse than China’s Tiananmen Square killings in 1989, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has argued in a report.

The 195-page investigation based on interviews with 122 survivors and witnesses has found Egypt’s police and army “systematically and deliberately killed largely unarmed protesters on political grounds” in actions that “likely amounted to crimes against humanity”. [Read more]

President Erdogan to the Rescue? | War on the Rocks

The coronation of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was elected to the presidency by the people of Turkey on Sunday, was short lived given how unsurprising the election results were and the realities of the neighborhood that the new president finds himself having to navigate. The inconvenient timing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) advances in Iraq necessitates decisive action from Ankara that had been put on hold until after the presidential election.

Now that Erdoğan has won, the time is ripe for him to be the foreign policy statesman he has promised not only to his citizens, but to his allies as well. The president-elect’s victory speech seemed to point in this direction as proclaimed from the balcony of his party headquarters that, “Not just Turkey but Baghdad, Islamabad, Kabul, Damascus, Aleppo, Ramallah, Gaza and Jerusalem won today … the only loser was the status quo.” [Read more]

Heeding the Wisdom of Iraq’s First King | New York Times

As the world watches Iraq’s seemingly endless cycle of violence with horror, it’s worth recalling that it wasn’t always like this. Iraqis weren’t always held hostage to megalomaniacal tyrants, strongmen or one-party rule. Nor were they led by the mostly venal and incompetent bunch that passes for our current political class.

Electoral democracy shorn of constructive leadership in an environment of degraded institutions and appalling ethical standards is a recipe for unaccountable government, unimaginable levels of corruption and the exacerbation of conflict and divisions. [Read more]

Saving Syria Is No ‘Fantasy’ | Politico

In June 2014, the Obama administration asked Congress for $500 million to train and equip nationalist Syrian rebels battling both the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Assad regime. Questions were posed then about the genuineness of the gesture: The request was emailed to Capitol Hill rather than made in person; it was unaccompanied by visits or telephone calls; there were no follow-up consultations; there was no order to the Department of Defense to reprogram funds to initiate activity quickly; and there was no evidence of an existing plan or overall strategy. Two months later, those questions seem to have been answered by the president of the United States. He says that arming nationalist Syrian rebels was never going to work anyway. [Read more]


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