News articles, opinion pieces, and background information about the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza, gathered from sources recommended by experts on the region. Read what the mainstream media leaves out.
Note: News sources marked with 📧 require registration with your email address. Articles marked with 🎁contain a “gift” link to a pay-walled site. No other pay-walled sites are included.
NEWS Washington faces UN showdown over fresh resolution for Gaza ceasefire (The Guardian 12/7/2023)
“The Biden administration faces a showdown at the UN security council in the next 48 hours, at which it may feel impelled to use its veto to protect Israel by rejecting calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.”
EYEWITNESS Surviving a day in Gaza means facing the danger of the next (+972 Magazine 12/6/2023)
“Trapped in Gaza City, I find myself yearning for my own home, missing the mundane routines I used to complain about in the past. All I wish for now, like every Gaza citizen paying the price of this senseless war, is for the mass slaughter and destruction to stop. We no longer have the energy to bear more loss; it is too heavy to hold.”
NEWS IDF campaign in southern Gaza has created ‘apocalyptic’ conditions, top UN official says (The Guardian 12/5/2023)
“The UN’s top aid official has said the Israeli military campaign in southern Gaza has been just as devastating as in the north, creating ‘apocalyptic’ conditions and ending any possibility of meaningful humanitarian operations.”
NEWS Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago (🎁NY Times 12/1/2023)
“Israeli officials obtained Hamas’s battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out.”
ANALYSIS ‘A mass assassination factory’: Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza (+972 Magazine 11/30/2023)
“Nothing happens by accident,” said another source. “When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.”
NEWS UK protests expose wide gulf between gov’t and public on Palestine (+972 Magazine 11/29/2023)
“For nearly two months, amid Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ October 7 assault on southern Israel, the British public has been mobilizing in unprecedented numbers in defense of Palestinian lives. Hundreds of thousands are taking to the streets every week to urge the UK government to call for a full ceasefire — which it is still refusing to do, even amid the current, temporary cessation of hostilities. Nonetheless, the reverberations are felt strongly in Westminster.”
NEWS BERNIE SANDERS MAY PUSH VOTE ON CONDITIONING AID TO ISRAEL IN COMING WEEKS (📧The Intercept 11/28/2023)
“I think it’s very consistent with the ways in which we have dispensed aid, especially during wartime, to allies, for us to talk about making sure that the aid we give Ukraine or the aid we give Israel is used in accordance with human rights laws,” said Sen. Chris Murphy
BACKGROUND White House grapples with internal divisions on Israel-Gaza (🎁Washington Post 11/27/2023)
“The previously unreported meeting of officials underscores how Biden’s handling of what is arguably the biggest foreign policy crisis of his presidency is dividing a White House that has prided itself on running a disciplined and united operation. The Israel-Gaza war has roiled the administration more than any other issue in Biden’s first three years in office, according to numerous aides and allies inside and outside the White House, as staffers agonize over their positions on highly emotional issues.”
BACKGROUND Countdown to genocide: the year before October 7 (The Wire / Jewish Voice for Peace 11/25/2023)
“How did we end up here? It depends on when you start the clock. Gaza was created by Israel in 1948, as a refugee camp to contain Palestinians displaced in the Nakba. Since 2007, Israel has kept Gaza under an illegal military siege, counting calories allowed in and permitting the water in Gaza to become undrinkable, creating a humanitarian crises widely condemned by the international community.”
ANALYSIS THE ‘HUMANITARIAN PAUSE’ IN GAZA PROVES DIPLOMACY WORKS. NOW WE NEED A REAL CEASEFIRE. (Foreign Policy in Focus 11/24/2023)
“The most obvious significance of this deal is humanitarian. Captives will be freed from Gaza and from Israel. Desperately needed humanitarian aid convoys and fuel will be allowed into Gaza. This is also important because it proves that diplomacy can work.”
NEWS Israel’s ‘thought police’ law ramps up dangers for Palestinian social media users (+972 Magazine 11/24/2023)
“In the weeks since Hamas’ October 7 massacres in southern Israel and the start of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, there has been a dramatic increase in surveillance and political persecution of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and Jerusalem residency. Emergency wartime regulations, introduced by the Attorney General’s office and the National Security Committee, have given Israeli police and other security bodies expansive and unchecked powers.”
ANALYSIS Bernie Sanders: Justice for the Palestinians and Security for Israel (🎁NY Times 11/22/2023)
“To start, we must demand an immediate end to Israel’s indiscriminate bombing, which is causing an enormous number of civilian casualties and is in violation of international law. Israel is at war with Hamas, not innocent Palestinian men, women and children.”
NEWS Gaza’s next tragedy: Disease risk spreads amid overcrowded shelters, dirty water and breakdown of basic sanitation (The Conversation 11/21/2023)
“After more than a month of being subjected to sustained bombing, the besieged people of the Gaza Strip are now confronted with another threat to life: disease. Overcrowding at shelters, a breakdown of basic sanitation, the rising number of unburied dead and a scarcity of clean drinking water have left the enclave ‘on the precipice of major disease outbreaks,’ according to the World Health Organization.’
ANALYSIS Israel’s War on Journalists (Jewish Currents 11/21/2023)
“By casting reporters as Hamas accomplices, Israel seeks to discredit critical coverage—and to justify unprecedented violence against Palestinian journalists. 37 Palestinian journalists have been killed in Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza since October 7th. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the figure represents more media casualties in a single month than in any comparable period of conflict since 1992.”
NEWS Defense for Children International Lawsuit – Palestine v. Biden (Center for Consitutional Rights11/20/2023
“Palestinian human rights organizations, together with Palestinians in Gaza and the U.S. filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin for the U.S. officials’ failure to prevent and complicity in the Israeli government’s unfolding genocide against them, their families, and the 2.2 million Palestinians in Gaza.”
BACKGROUND Netanyahu is prolonging the war to save his life’s mission (+972 Magazine 11/20/2023)
“While an endless military operation allows the prime minister to cling to power, it also fulfills a larger ideological goal: preventing Palestinian statehood.”
ANALYSIS International reaction to Gaza siege has exposed the growing rift between the West and the Global South (The Coversation 11/20/2023)
“The lopsidedness was stark: 120 countries voted in favor of a resolution before the United Nations on Oct. 26, 2023, calling for a “humanitarian truce” in the war in Gaza. A mere 14 countries voted against it.
“But the numbers tell only half the story; equally significant was the way the votes fell. Those voting against the resolution included the United States and four members of the European Union. Meanwhile, about 45 members abstained – including 15 members of the EU, plus the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Japan.
“Seldom has the isolation of the West been so apparent.”
NEWS Rep. Becca Balint Becomes the First Jewish Congressperson to Back a Ceasefire (Mother Jones Magazine 11/16/2023)
“On Thursday, Rep. Becca Balint (D-VT) became the first Jewish congressperson to join the congressional call for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza. Her call for a ceasefire comes one week after activists from the Vermont chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace protested outside one of Balint’s campaign events and days after a meeting between Balint and rabbis from Rabbis for Ceasefire, another pro-peace Jewish group.”
BACKGROUND For all its military might, Israel succumbed to its most fatal weakness (+972 Magazine 11/16/2023)
“Much of the post-October 7 discussion has lamented the collapse of a ‘conception’ — a certain interpretation of the situation on the ground and Israel’s control therein. But what collapsed on October 7 would better be described as an illusion, and that illusion is the Gaza prison: the nonsensical belief that, with enough military might, it would be possible to hold more than 2 million people under an endless siege without it leading to an explosion.”
NEWS World Health Organization Director-General’s remarks at media briefing – 15 November 2023 (World Health Organization 11/15/2023)
“Israel’s military incursion into Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City is totally unacceptable. Hospitals are not battlegrounds. But one thing is clear: under international humanitarian law, health facilities, health workers, ambulances and patients must be safeguarded and protected against all acts of war. Even if health facilities are used for military purposes, the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality always apply.”
“One of our staff said this week, ‘There is no water, no food no electricity. Only bombing, bombing, bombing.’”
ANALYSIS Opinion | King of Jordan: A two-state solution would be a victory for our common humanity (🎁NY Times 11/14/2023
“For more than a month now, the war in Gaza has been dividing the world, with the deepening split aggravated by intense emotions. Two narratives, Palestinian and Israeli, have pitted demonstrators, media outlets, religions, peoples and regions against each other. In the process, the moral clarity that we should and must share about basic human values has turned into moral confusion.”
NEWS Palestinians fear ‘slow death’ as hunger and thirst spread in Gaza (+972 Magazine 11/14/2023)
“With Israel’s large-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip entering its second month, Palestinians across the besieged territory are suffering from an alarming food and water crisis. Many residents fear that Israel is actively using starvation as a weapon of war and collective punishment following the October 7 attack.”
ANALYSIS Statement of Juan Cole, Director of the program in Arab and Muslim American Studies in the American Culture Department at the University of Michigan (Informed Comment 11/10/2023)
“Concrete harms are being done to our communities on campus. A doxing truck has been observed driving around campus calling “terrorists” those who are critical of the prosecution of a bombing campaign on dense urban neighborhoods and denial of food, water and electricity to the civilian population, half of whom are children. Some students or student groups have displayed in public materials that identified as “Hamas” our campus chapter of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), a pro-Palestinian group. Faculty members have suffered verbal abuse and acts of intimidation, including threatened or near acts of violence.”
ANALYSIS / NEWS Audio: What Comes After the Ground Invasion of Gaza? Plus, Stanford University Students Hold “Sit-in to Stop Genocide” (KPFA Radio 11/9/2023)
First, an interview with Prof. Joel Beinin. Then an interview with Hana, a student at Stanford University who is involved in the “Stanford Sit-in to Stop Genocide”
NEWS Gaza’s health system is on the brink of total collapse (+972 Magazine and The Intercept 11/9/2023)
“More than half of the 30 hospitals in Gaza have closed completely, according to the Health Ministry. For others, the window of operation remains precariously short: the crisis has pushed many of the remaining health care centers to the brink of closure, rendering them incapable of providing vital medical services. Health care workers and hospital employees fear that, even as casualties rise daily, the health care system will soon be unable to accommodate new patients.”
ANALYSIS Dispatches from the West Bank (Jewish Currents 11/8/2023, frequently updated)
According to B’Tselem, over 550 people—and eight entire communities—in the West Bank have been forced to leave their homes since October 7th. The dispatches below speak to the intensification of these dynamics in the last two weeks. West Bank residents recount facing local settlers suddenly wearing the uniform of the Israeli army; of blocked roads restricting movement between towns; and of ever-present violence against which they have no defense. Though the West Bank is often discussed in isolation from Gaza, close observers have long warned that the Israeli approach to Gaza is slowly taking hold in the West Bank.
NEWS Israeli Government Will Accept Private Donations to Fund War in Gaza (📧 Ha’aretz newspaper 11/8/2023)
Critics say the directive opens the door to improper outside influence on government priorities and exploitation of the average citizen. According to the director of the Adva Center policy think tank, Prof. Yossi Dahan, ‘It’s problematic when a sovereign country needs donations from individuals and corporations to carry out its basic functions and take care of residents’ welfare. This path enables non-governmental entities to intervene in determining [government] priorities. The Arab community, for example, is unlikely to benefit from these donations. The result could be an increase in inequality.'”
NEWS Is Israel’s Gaza war the deadliest conflict for children in modern times? (Al Jazeera 11/7/2023)
In late October, the international nonprofit Save the Children reported that the number of children killed in the Gaza Strip over three weeks of Israel’s bombardment had surpassed the annual number of children killed in global conflict zones every year since 2019. Here is how the deaths compare with some other major conflicts in recent years. All have been horrific and devastating for children. Still, Gaza stands out. Starkly.”
ANALYSIS Editorial: Just Leave, Netanyahu (📧 Ha’aretz newspaper 11/7/2023)
“On Sunday, it was reported that Netanyahu believes that the calls earlier this year for military reservists to refuse to serve should be investigated as a possible factor in the decision of the head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip to launch the terrorist attack on October 7. There is no plausible explanation for the prime minister’s statements during the most difficult moments in the history of the state. Netanyahu is like the scorpion in the fable of the scorpion and the frog: It’s simply his nature… The political establishment must find a way to put an end to Netanyahu’s malignant rule.”
NEWS For Israeli leaders, every Palestinian citizen has a seat on the bus to Gaza (+972 Magazine 11/6/2023)
“This incident in Netanya didn’t come out of nowhere; it is a direct consequence of the atmosphere of repression and political persecution that has taken hold in Israel since the Hamas massacres of Oct. 7. Parallel to Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, and the settler-army violence that is forcibly displacing Palestinian communities across the West Bank, Israel is turning the Palestinians inside the state into another front in its war.”
ANALYSIS Israel and the Laws of War—A Conversation with Neve Gordon (Middle East Research and Information Project [MERIP] 11/6/2023)
To discuss facets of humanitarian law as it is being mobilized in Israel’s ongoing campaign on Gaza, MERIP’s managing editor, Marya Hannun, spoke to Neve Gordon, professor of international law and human rights at Queen Mary University in London and co-author (with Nicola Perugini) of “Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire” (University of California Press, 2020).
ANALYSIS A Dangerous Conflation: An open letter from Jewish writers (n+1 Magazine 11/4/2023)
A group of Jewish writers drafted this letter after seeing an old argument gain new power: the claim that critiquing Israel is antisemitic. Editors at a corporate-owned magazine were prepared to publish the letter, but their lawyers advised against it. The writers share this letter in solidarity with those who continue to speak out in support of Palestinian freedom. Recommended by Jamelle Bouie, NY Times columnist.
NEWS Amid Public Outcry Over Gaza Carnage, 13 Senators Call for ‘Cessation of Hostilities’ (Common Dreams 11/3/2023)
“As mass protests and polling demonstrate the wide gap between the United States government’s support for Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza and the public’s views on the Israel-Hamas War, with thousands of Palestinian rights supporters demanding a cease-fire, 13 Democratic senators appeared to be swayed by the public pressure late Thursday when they called for a ‘cessation of hostilities.'”
ANALYSIS Watching the watchdogs: Fear in newsrooms silences pro-Palestine voices (Al Jazeera 11/1/2023)
“The Palestinian-Israeli conflict that now enters its second century is fought on two parallel battlefields. The first comprises the violence on the ground which has reached new heights in recent weeks. The second is the less visible but equally virulent battle in the media and the public information sphere in North America and Europe, where Israel and its surrogates have stepped up attempts to silence journalists who express pro-Palestine or balanced and historically contextualized views.” By Rami G Khouri – Distinguished Fellow at the American University of Beirut, and a journalist and book author with 50 years of experience covering the Middle East.
BACKGROUND Gaza bombing adds to the generations of Palestinians displaced from their homes (The Conversation 11/1/2023)
“Palestinian refugees represent the longest protracted refugee situation in modern history. For 75 years now, they have been forced to live as a stateless population without the ability to return to their homeland.”
NEWS Risking arrest and assault, Israelis begin protesting Gaza war (+972 Magazine 10/31/2023)
“Last Saturday evening, for the first time since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel and the start of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, a few dozen Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to call for a ceasefire. In the current atmosphere of violence, repression, and persecution, any public act of defiance against the war is noteworthy.”
BACKGROUND A Brief History of the Netanyahu-Hamas Alliance (📧 Ha’aretz newspaper 10/20/2023)
“The MO of Netanyahu’s policy since his return to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2009 has and continues to be, on the one hand, bolstering the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and, on the other, weakening the Palestinian Authority.”
ANALYSIS Video: Gaza Emergency Webinar with Prof. Joel Beinin (Peninsula Peace and Justice Center 10/19/2023)
An hour long interview and Q&A with one of the country’s leading scholars on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Joel Beinin is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, Emeritus at Stanford University. He was interviewed by Paul George, Director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center.
BACKGROUND The Hamas Attacks and Israeli Response: An Explainer (Jewish Currents 10/10/2023)
In response to these unprecedented developing events, Jewish Currents solicited questions from our readers and answered them on a rolling basis over the week following October 7th. This explainer is no longer being updated as we pivot to other kinds of coverage. Recommended by Prof. Joel Beinin.
BACKGROUND Right of return of Palestinian refugees must be prioritised over political considerations: UN experts (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 6/21/2023)
A document prepared for World Refugee Day. Although it was published months before the attacks of October 7, it presents deep background on the plight of the Palestinians.