Why We Must All Rise Up Against the Genocidal White Supremacists of Zionist Israel and the West


‘Stop the Genocide’: a placard at the second huge March for Palestine in London on October 21, 2024 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.


Since Israel launched its genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza over three months ago, astute commentators in the west have noted that the masks of feigned decency have fallen from the faces of our leaders, revealing them to be, fundamentally, the same genocidal, racist supporters of colonial settler violence that their predecessors were in those long centuries when they pillaged the world, killing and enslaving native populations, and, when met with resistance, often engaging in genocide.

The speed with which the masks fell has, genuinely, been shocking to watch, even though historically, of course, the countries of the west have indulged Israel, as the last great European settler colonial project, since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which Britain’s foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, pledged to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine (which British was administering as a Mandate after the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire), and the blood-soaked creation of the State of Israel in 1948, when around 15,000 Palestinians were killed, and around 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homes in what is known to Palestinians as the Nakba (“catastrophe”).

According to British records, 376,415 Jewish immigrants, mostly from Europe, arrived in Palestine between 1920 and 1946, and, even though most of these Jews had avoided the Holocaust, and even though the armed groups who fought to establish the Israeli state did so through terrorism, not only against the Palestinians, but also against the British, the post-war western consensus on Israel was that it must be indulged, to assuage the guilt the European powers felt over the Holocaust as well as their well-chronicled oppression of Jewish people over many centuries.

As a result, Israel’s increasing persecution of the Palestinian people — particularly in 1967, when they seized the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from Egypt and Jordan, and, more recently, as they expanded illegal settlements in the West Bank, and turned Gaza into a “open-air prison” — has never been seriously restrained. Resolution after resolution in the United Nations has been ignored, and although Israel’s biggest supporter, the United States, has occasionally intervened to restrain its deadliest impulses through muscular diplomacy on the part of numerous presidents, Israel has, in general, been allowed to revel in its own “exceptionalism,” with the sadly predictable result that it has ended up believing that it is above the law.

The clear and present dangers posed by Netanyahu’s coalition government

Rather than placating its most violent impulses, however Israeli “exceptionalism” has become ever more deranged. In December 2022, this led to the re-election as Prime Minister of Benjamin Netanyahu (previously the Prime Minister from 1996-99, and from 2009-21) as the head of a coalition that included two far-right parties, Religious Zionism, led by Bezalel Smotrich, and Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), led by Itamar Ben-Gvir, both illegal settlers in the West Bank, and both with openly fascistic and messianic anti-Arab and Israeli supremacist views. Ben-Gvir was appointed as Minister of National Security, with responsibility for the police (both in Israel and the occupied West Bank) and prisons, while Smotrich was appointed as Minister of Finance, and was also, alarmingly, given control over much of the West Bank via a ministerial role in the defense ministry.

Both Ben-Gvir and Smotrich have shady histories when it comes to the law. Ben-Gvir, as Fathom reported in 2022, has been “convicted of incitement to racism, interfering with a police officer performing his duty, and support for a terrorist organisation, Meir Kahane’s Kach Movement,” while Smotrich, in 2005, was arrested “while in possession of 700 litres of gasoline on suspicion of participating in an attempt to blow up Ayalon Highway, a major arterial road,” although he refused to engage with the detaining authorities, and was not charged.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, who has repeatedly bragged of his success in thwarting efforts to create any kind of genuinely independent Palestinian state, assumed power last December while embroiled in an ongoing scandal. In January 2020, he was formally charged with corruption, related to three cases involving bribery, fraud and breach of trust, which carry a maximum prison sentence of ten years, and his trial is ongoing.

A billboard in Israel, in March 2019, showing Benjamin Netanyahu flanked by Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. The caption reads “Kahane Lives,” referring to the ultra-nationalist US-born rabbi, Israeli politician and convicted terrorist Meir Kahane, who was assassinated in 1990, but who remains a source of inspiration for the far-right in Israel.

On its creation, Netanyahu’s government was widely remarked upon as the most right-wing in Israel’s history, and immediately confirmed observers’ worst fears, proposing, as an article in Politico explained in March, “a reform to the judiciary, which would effectively give politicians full control over supreme court appointments and allow parliament to override judicial decisions,” and would also lead to “a de-facto ban on Arab-minority parties running in elections.” The proposals led to the most sustained protests in Israel’s history, as those who had not succumbed to the new government’s Viktor Orbán-style populism saw it, correctly, as a disturbingly authoritarian effort to remove any checks and balances on the power of the executive.

It was in the occupied territory of the West Bank, however, where the most alarming developments took place from a Palestinian point of view, as Smotrich pushed for an unprecedented expansion of new Israeli settlements (which are all illegal) as part of his long-cherished dream of annexing the whole of the West Bank, where three million Palestinians still Iive, despite the increasing encroachment of illegal settlements, and Israel’s hugely divisive 440-mile long West Bank barrier.

According to the “Decisive Plan” Smotrich has been dreaming about since he first proposed it in 2017, the three million Palestinians of the West Bank would be offered “a choice: to renounce their national aspirations and continue living on their land in an inferior status, or to emigrate abroad,” as +972 Magazine explained in an article in November, adding, “If, instead, they choose to take up arms against Israel, they will be identified as terrorists and the Israeli army will set about ‘killing those who need to be killed.’ When asked at a meeting, in which he presented his plan to religious-Zionist figures, if he also meant killing families, women, and children, Smotrich replied: ‘In war as in war.'”

Under Smotrich, Israeli violence in the West Bank increased significantly in the first nine months of 2023, with Israeli settlers and forces killing 189 Palestinians and injuring 8,192, as the Guardian reported in November.

Throughout this period, Israel’s actions attracted widespread criticism — even condemnation — in the west. In March, for example, as I explained in an article in October, “in response to the alleged killing by Palestinians of two Israeli settlers near the village of Hawara, settlers went on a rampage, in which homes and cars were burned, one Palestinian was killed, and around a hundred were injured. Although the local Israeli military commander, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, condemned the attack, in carefully chosen words, as ‘a pogrom carried out by outlaws,’ Bezalel Smotrich called for the entire village to be ‘erased.’ As the Irish broadcaster RTE explained, Smotrich ‘later offered a partial retraction,’ but the US State Department rightfully called his comments ‘repugnant, irresponsible and disgusting.'”

In response to Smotrich’s comments, over a hundred Jewish American leaders issued a statement calling for the Biden administration to block a planned visit by Smotrich to speak at an investment conference in Washington, D.C. Stating, “We reject the notion that someone must be accorded respect simply by dint of serving in the Israeli government,” they proceeded to explain that “Smotrich has long expressed views that are abhorrent to the vast majority of American Jews, from anti-Arab racism, to virulent homophobia, to a full-throated embrace of Jewish supremacy. To this list, we can now add his endorsement of violence against innocents based on their ethnic heritage.”

In several other instances throughout the first nine months of 2023, the US State Department also criticized Itamar Ben-Gvir for inflammatory actions and remarks — in January, when Ben-Gvir provocatively visited the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Palestinians’ holiest site, and in August, when he stated, “My right, and my wife’s and my children’s right, to get around on the roads in Judea and Samaria [the Zionists’ name for the West Bank] is more important than the right to movement for Arabs,” prompting the following comment from the State Department: “We strongly condemn Minister Ben Gvir’s racist, destructive comments on the freedom of movement of Palestinian residents of the West Bank. Such messages are particularly damaging when amplified by those in leadership positions. President Biden and Secretary Blinken have been clear that both Israelis and Palestinians deserve to enjoy equal measures of freedom and security.”

October 7 and the west’s instant and total amnesia

On October 7, however, after Hamas militants (and representatives of five other armed groups) broke out of the Gaza Strip, killed up to 1,139 people and took around 240 others hostage, all criticism of Israel’s dangerous far-right drift came an abrupt end, replaced with total, unquestioning support for Israel’s “right to defend itself,” and with no suggestion that there should be any “red lines” when it came to Israel’s response.

Whereas, just seven months earlier, the US State Department had condemned Bezalel Smotrich for calling for the erasure of a single Palestinian village, now western leaders were silent when, on October 7, Nissim Vaturi, the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, tweeted, “[n]ow we all have one common goal — erasing the Gaza Strip from the face of the earth,” and they maintained their silence when, in the week after the attacks, defense minister Yoav Gallant said, “Gaza won’t return to what it was before. We will eliminate everything.”

They were silent too when, on October 8, Bezalel Smotrich said, at a meeting of the Israeli Cabinet, that “[w]e need to deal a blow that hasn’t been seen in 50 years and take down Gaza,” and they remained silent when, on October 10, in a televised address, Itamar Ben-Gvir said, “[t]o be clear, when we say that Hamas should be destroyed, it also means those who celebrate, those who support, those who hand out candy — they’re all terrorists, and they should also be destroyed.”

They also maintained their silence on October 12, when Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said, “It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true,” and they also failed to speak up when, on October 28, Netanyahu himself invoked the Biblical story of the Israelites’ total destruction of Amalek, which states, “Now go, attack Amalek, and proscribe all that belongs to him. Spare no one, but kill alike men and women, infants and sucklings, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.”

Campaigners exposing Benjamin Netanyahu’s responsibility for genocide in Gaza at a March for Palestine in London on November 25, 2023 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

Instead of murmuring even the faintest word of dissent, western leaders flew out to Israel to be photographed shaking hands with these men who were openly proclaiming their intention to “erase” Gaza — including President Biden, Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Moreover, while western leaders succumbed to total amnesia, genocidal frenzy spread like wildfire across social media — both in Israel, and in Zionist communities throughout the west. As the New York Times reported on November 15, in an article entitled, ‘”Erase Gaza”: War Unleashes Incendiary Rhetoric in Israel,’ “Calls for Gaza to be ‘flattened,’ ‘erased’ or ‘destroyed’ had been mentioned about 18,000 times since Oct. 7 in Hebrew posts on X.”

Of course, the murders on October 7 were horrific and inexcusable. As Raz Segal, a professor of Holocaust and genocide studies, explained in a perceptive Guardian article on October 18, entitled, ‘Israel must stop weaponising the Holocaust,’ the mass murder “constitutes a war crime and crimes against humanity,” and was “the single largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, which deeply shocked Jews and many others around the world.” However, to suggest, as former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett did, when he told Sky News on 12 October, that “we’re fighting Nazis,” was unacceptable.

As Segal described it, Bennett’s Nazi analogy, also regularly repeated by other significant Israeli figures, meant that “[a] powerful state, with powerful allies and a powerful army, engaged in a retaliatory attack against stateless Palestinians under Israeli-settler colonial rule, military occupation and siege, is thus portrayed as powerless Jews in a struggle against Nazis,” whereas “[t]he context of the Hamas attack on Israelis … is completely different from the context of the attack on Jews during the Holocaust.” As he proceeded to explain, “without the historical context of Israeli settler colonialism since the 1948 Nakba, we cannot explain how we got here, nor imagine different futures.”

The trigger for Segal’s article was President Biden’s visit to Israel, in which, in a rambling speech that I examined here, he described Hamas’s attacks as “pure, unadulterated evil,” rather than accepting that, although vile, these attacks occurred in a context — of a 75-year conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, in which, between September 2000 and September 2023, according to B’Tselem, the Jerusalem-based organization that documents human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, approximately 7,569 Palestinians, including 1,699 children, were killed by Israel, in four bombing campaigns on Gaza, and other military assaults, with another 214 killed, including 46 children, during the largely peaceful ‘Great March of Return’ along the border fence in 2018-19. In contrast, between January 2008 and September 2023, when 6,407 of those Palestinian deaths occurred, 308 Israelis were killed.

In the last three months, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time wondering how it is that the genocidal fury unleashed over the last three months has come to pass. Partly, of course, it is due to Israel’s sense of “exceptionalism,” in the same way that the only other country obsessed with its supposed “exceptionalism” — the US — also reacted with seemingly limitless murderous rage after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, launching two wars that killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims.

It also seems clear that an ongoing and disturbing right-wing drift in the mainstream media has amplified hatred (and especially of “the other,” with a particular focus on Muslims, refugees and  immigrants in general), that social media’s echo chambers and often malignant algorithms consistently amplify far-right positions worldwide, and, I would suggest, that an aggrieved sense of entitlement, of the kind that is so widespread in the west, and very clearly in Israel too, is also to blame.

It’s also apparent, however, that, in an era where the dissemination of information has degenerated into a kind of relentless effort to shock, to outrage and to cause anger, a well-placed and outrageous lie can cause untold damage.

The 40 beheaded babies lie

In the case of October 7, that lie was the claim that 40 beheaded babies were found at Kfar Aza kibbutz, the scene of one of the deadliest of the Hamas attacks, which was reported on Israel’s i24News site by reporter Nicole Zedeck, after she had interviewed Israeli reserve soldier David Ben Zion, a West Bank settler later revealed as having also, like Bezalel Smotrich, “called on rampaging armed settlers earlier this year to wipe out the Palestinian village of Harawa,” as Al-Jazeera described it.

A screenshot of a video exposing the 40 beheaded babies story as a lie, but only after it was estimated that it had been seen by a billion people.

The lie was never backed up with evidence — because there wasn’t any — and was later thoroughly debunked, in particular when Bituah Leumi, Israel’s national social security agency, showed that, of the 46 civilians killed in Kfar Aza, the youngest was actually 14 years old.

Bituah Leumi’s findings, reported on December 15, provided the most detailed analysis of the deaths on October 7, revising the provisional figure of 1,400 provided by the Israeli authorities on October 14, which had been reduced to 1,200 on November 10, to 1,139 — “695 Israeli civilians, including 36 children, as well as 373 security forces and 71 foreigners,” as France 24 explained. Even these figures, however, remain contentious, because of credible claims that, in fact, many of those who died were killed by Israeli forces.

In a post-truth era of “fake news,” however — in which, to quote just one example, tens of millions of Americans are permanently enraged by the entirely false notion that Joe Biden “stole” the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump — the 40 beheaded babies story, and other lurid but unverifiable claims of particularly grotesque murders and sexual violence, have taken on a horrible life of their own, although the beheaded babies story received the most high-profile promotion possible when it was related by President Biden, at a meeting with Jewish community leaders, at which he stated, “I never really thought that I would see and have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children.”

The White House soon walked back from Biden’s claims, noting that he had “based his comments about the alleged atrocities on the claims from Netanyahu’s spokesman and media reports from Israel,” and the Washington Post later reported that “he had been urged by staffers not to make that allegation in his speech on October 11, ‘because those reports were unverified.'”

In other words, Biden lied blatantly about having seen “pictures of terrorists beheading children,” but the damage had been done, and just five days later, on October 16, after a meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping, he lied again, stating, “Hamas has already said publicly that they plan on attacking Israel again like they did before, to where they were cutting babies’ heads off to burning women and children alive.” On December 12, at a re-election campaign event in Washington, D.C., he lied again when he claimed to have seen photographs of the aftermath of militants “tying a mother and her daughter together on a rope and then pouring kerosene on them and then burning them, beheading infants, doing things that are just inhuman.”

As Jeremy Scahill explained for the Intercept, in an analysis of Biden’s repeated lies, “This allegation [about the beheaded babies] is one of the most gut-wrenching and horrifying charges to be made about the events of October 7. It is not some insignificant detail that can be explained away by Biden’s age or his tendency to exaggerate or stumble into gaffes.” As he added, “It was a detail that fueled the rage and quest for revenge, and was cited when Biden declared that Israel is fighting subhumans in Gaza,” stating on December 12, when he repeated the beheading claims, “They’re animals. They’re animals.”

The resurgence of the violent colonial settler mentality in the west

Biden’s mental health may or not be worth calling into question, but, in common with most other western leaders, he evidently has no sympathy whatsoever for the 31,497 Palestinians, including 12,345 children and 6,471 women, of whom 28,961 (92%) are assessed to have been civilians, who have been killed by Israel in 100 days of almost entirely relentless attacks from October 7 to January 14, many of them mutilated in the most horrendous manner as they died under a hail of 2,000-ton bombs, largely provided by Biden himself.

The death toll in Gaza, after 100 days of Israel’s relentless genocidal attacks, as calculated by the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.

Such is Biden’s obsession with supporting Israel’s “right to defend itself” that he seems unconcerned that, as a result, he may lose this year’s Presidential Election. Perhaps, as he cares so little about Palestinian lives, he is also incapable of recognizing that the votes of America’s Muslims count, as do those of so many other people, of many other backgrounds, who simply can’t countenance voting for a man who, while specifically supporting the State of Israel, is also so clearly revealing the extraordinary violence of the settler colonial mentality that still underpins so much of the west’s engagement with the rest of the world.

Those of us who still retain our humanity — and who sympathize with the oppressed over the oppressor, and especially when the oppressor is pathologically obsessed with presenting itself as the victim — deserve better leaders than the monsters that our elected representatives have turned out to be. It’s not just that we empathize with the Palestinians — and, fortunately, that we do so in our millions — it’s also that we must recognize that, closer to home, none of us are safe if we don’t continue to challenge the Zionist “exceptionalism” that not only seeks to “erase” all Palestinians, but that also seeks to silence us as ruthlessly as only a fascist movement masquerading as a democracy can do in the third decade of the 21st century.

As the fake anti-semitism scandal used to topple Jeremy Corbyn showed, Zionists have accrued such power and influence in western politics that they are now seeking to silence all criticism of the actions of the State of Israel as anti-semitism, a ploy that, if successful, will eviscerate the very principle of free speech. After all, if people can lose their jobs or even be imprisoned for defending Palestine and criticizing Israel, why would unscrupulous populist leaders not extend the principle to criticism of themselves? If it’s a crime to criticize Israel, why shouldn’t it be a crime in, say, the US, to criticize the US government, or in Britain, or in Germany?

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer (of an ongoing photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’), film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (see the ongoing photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America?s Illegal Prison and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.50).

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK‘, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell‘, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and, in 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to try to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody.

Since 2019, Andy has become increasingly involved in environmental activism, recognizing that climate change poses an unprecedented threat to life on earth, and that the window for change — requiring a severe reduction in the emission of all greenhouse gases, and the dismantling of our suicidal global capitalist system — is rapidly shrinking, as tipping points are reached that are occurring much quicker than even pessimistic climate scientists expected. You can read his articles about the climate crisis here.

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, The Complete Guantánamo Files, the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

17 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    In my latest article about Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza, I examine how the widespread and justifiable alarm about Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, elected just over a year ago — and, in particular, the elevation to ministerial positions of two far-right party leaders, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich — gave way instantly to amnesia in the west after the deadly attacks by Hamas militants and other militants on October 7, and absolutely unfettered and unconditional support for Israel’s “right to defend itself”, even though Israel’s leaders immediately began to express genocidal intent.

    I examine what it exposes about western leaders’ thinly-veiled enthusiasm for settler colonialism, the particular enthusiasm of President Biden for genocide, and the hugely harmful power of Israeli lies — in particular, the 40 beheaded babies lie that has done to much to inspire a horribly widespread genocidal frenzy, both in Israel and the west.

    I conclude by calling on the millions of opponents of Israel’s genocide to stay strong, not only for the Palestinians themselves, but also to preserve freedom of speech in our own countries, which is being shamefully undermined through the entirely false notion that criticism of Israel is antisemitism.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Ward Reilly wrote:

    “Those of us who still retain our humanity — and who sympathize with the oppressed over the oppressor, and especially when the oppressor is pathologically obsessed with presenting itself as the victim — deserve better leaders than the monsters that our elected representatives have turned out to be. It’s not just that we empathize with the Palestinians — and, fortunately, that we do so in our millions — it’s also that we must recognize that, closer to home, none of us are safe if we don’t continue to challenge the Zionist “exceptionalism” that not only seeks to “erase” all Palestinians, but that also seeks to silence us as ruthlessly as only a fascist movement masquerading as a democracy can do in the third decade of the 21st century.”


  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for picking out that paragraph, Ward. Good to hear from you.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Ward Reilly wrote:

    Beautiful and painful article, Andy. Well done, as usual.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Lizzy Arizona wrote:

    Keep speaking up, acting up, protesting, artwork for Gaza and the Palestinians, an end to the Israeli Egypt blockade on Gaza by land air and sea for 17 years – end the occupation, end the oppression, end the cruel killings of Palestinians in the West Bank as well. Stop buying Israeli products. Stop all support of the colonial settler movement in name of Zionism.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, well said, Lizzy. I’m reassured to hear that the economy is struggling, as it’s perhaps the only way Israel will feel the pain of its actions, given the widespread indifference to genocide in Israel itself, and the failures of western countries to impose any kinds of limits on its actions. Middle East Eye article here: https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/gaza-war-israel-economy-hard-hit-despite-us-aid

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Tamzin Jans wrote:

    Netanyahu seems to have a project to take over all the land west of the Jordan River and he has stated categorically that there will not be a Palestinian state. I wonder if anyone has news of the ICJ hearing and if there was a decision?

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    No news from the ICJ yet, Tamzin. As for Netanyahu, all of his bluster can’t hide that he has no plan apart from more bombing, more devastation, more killing and more genocide. I wonder how much longer Israel can afford it, as it’s costing around a billion dollars every four days, and the economy is suffering – from a lack of investment, of tourists, and of workers.

    I also see that a member of the Israeli War Cabinet has finally criticized Netanyahu. As the AP reports:

    “A member of Israel’s War Cabinet cast doubt on the country’s strategy for releasing hostages held by Hamas, saying only a cease-fire can free them, as the prime minister rejected the United States’ calls to scale back its offensive.

    “The comments by Gadi Eisenkot, a former army chief, marked the latest sign of disagreement among top Israeli officials over the direction of the war against Hamas, now in its fourth month.

    “In his first public statements on the course of the war, Eisenkot said that claims the dozens of hostages could be freed by means other than a cease-fire amounted to spreading ‘illusions’ — an implicit criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads the five-member War Cabinet and who insists that pursuing the war will win their release.

    “Eisenkot’s statements came as some relatives of hostages have intensified their protests, a sign of mounting frustration over the government’s seeming lack of progress toward a deal to release the remaining captives.”


  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Jay Becker wrote:

    Tamzin, I believe a decision is not expected for a week or two more, and that will be on South Africa’s request for a provisional measure to stop the bombing and allow access for humanitarian aid and outside observers (among other demands). Perhaps someone else has more details or can correct me if I’m mistaken?

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, that’s my understanding as well, Jay. Italian lawyer Tiersisto Mariniello told the Anadolu Agency that a “decision on South Africa’s request for provisional measures ‘could be expected in February, if not before'”, adding that it “will come early because this is what the procedure requires.”


  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Jay, I think you’re correct, from what I have been reading. More countries are now supporting South Africa and I think that’ll help put pressure on the decision.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    It’s so great to see other countries get involved, Natalia, to further highlight the shameful position taken by western countries: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/1/9/which-countries-back-south-africas-genocide-case-against-israel-at-icj

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Deborah Emin wrote:

    Thank you, Andy. As you are so keenly aware, this conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-semitism has been a long-standing element of Israeli propaganda. It is so pervasive and old that even my parents’ generation was completely convinced of its veracity. (These are Jews I am talking about who grew up in the US but whose parents were immigrants.)

    There was a countervailing trope among Jews in my grandparents’ generation who had either successfully assimilated or did not want to be singled out who opposed Israeli statehood. For them it meant nothing. They were not going there. Did not support it and we’re just mainly silent on the topic.

    Generationally, Jews come to this issue in different ways. But those who buy into and propagate the victim narrative are the most susceptible to this propaganda.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for that analysis, Deborah. It does seem to me that Jewish assimilation in other countries has been rather shamefully overlooked as part of Zionist propaganda suggesting that only Israel is home.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    A sad update regarding the death toll in Gaza from the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor: 32,246 deaths, including 12,660 children and 6,860 women, with 29,720 assessed as civilians. With a further 62,634 people injured, that means the total of those killed and injured is nearly 100,000. https://twitter.com/EuroMedHR/status/1748364485193003306

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Andy, when will this stop?! 🇵🇸

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    I know. It’s a waking nightmare every day, Natalia. Hopefully the dissent from IDF leaders is significant. Yesterday there were further complaints that defeating Hamas is incompatible with freeing the Israeli hostages. https://twitter.com/GuantanamoAndy/status/1748820416259371019

Leave a Reply

Back to the top

Back to home page

Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
Email Andy Worthington

CD: Love and War

The Four Fathers on Bandcamp

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium



Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:


In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

The State of London

The State of London. 16 photos of London

Andy's Flickr photos



Tag Cloud

Abu Zubaydah Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington British prisoners Center for Constitutional Rights CIA torture prisons Close Guantanamo Donald Trump Four Fathers Guantanamo Housing crisis Hunger strikes London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Periodic Review Boards Photos President Obama Reprieve Shaker Aamer The Four Fathers Torture UK austerity UK protest US courts Video We Stand With Shaker WikiLeaks Yemenis in Guantanamo