Violence

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Stabbed to death by Zionist for supporting Palestine

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/06/2024 - 7:48pm in

Young South African mother murdered, husband and son hospitalised and daughter threatened with rape

A supporter of Israel broke into the Hoosen-Preston family’s home in Durban, stabbed mother Halima to death, wounded the father and son so badly they had to be admitted to hospital and threatened the young daughter with rape.

Grayson Beare, 44, who stabbed the husband fifteen times when he tried to help his wife and stabbed the son fourteen times, confessed to the attack and told the police that his murdered victim ‘wasn’t totally innocent, man… she hated my family’:

Beare said he does not personally identify as Jewish but has family in Israel. The ten-year-old daughter, whom Beare threatened to rape, said that the family was attacked because they support Palestinians against Israel’s genocide. His surviving victims are still fighting for their lives in hospital.

Beare’s family has said that they stand with the victims. While the mass media routinely describe peaceful supporters of Palestinian human rights as dangerous, threatening and even violent, events continue to make clear that it is the settler-colonial political philosophy of Zionism – a majority of whose adherents are not Jewish – that fosters racism, violence and murder. This incident also exposes the dangerousness of the media’s and politicians’ misrepresentation of the 7 October raid and their narrative of mutilations and rape – which persists even though Israel’s atrocity propaganda weren thoroughly discredited and debunked months ago.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Pictures: Zionist mob assaults Palestinian journalist

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 06/06/2024 - 6:51am in

Far-right thugs ‘celebrate’ Israeli ‘flag day’ by viciously attacking Saif Al Qawasami – who was then arrested by occupation police for getting beaten up

As a huge mob of racist extremists flooded occupied Jerusalem – which belongs to Palestine and is administered by Jordan – for Israel’s ‘flag day’, a mob of thugs jumped Palestinian journalist Saif Al Qawasmi in the Old City:

After he was jumped and beaten, Al Qawasmi was arrested by occupation police. Elsewhere, Palestinian old people were beaten by roving gangs chanting racist slogans and police ordered Palestinian shopkeepers to close as mobs rampaged through.

Around the same time, far-right Israeli minister Itamar ben-Gvir and a gang of thugs and bodyguards was forcing his way into the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, which he has said belongs to Israel and only Israel. Israel continues to murder civilians, mostly women and children, in its genocide in Gaza.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Akehurst banned Jewish candidate for blowing whistle on sexual abuse

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/06/2024 - 8:45am in

Jewish would-be candidate says Starmer’s imposed Israel-fanatic candidate for North Durham used NEC position to tell her she couldn’t stand because she would ‘bring Labour into disrepute’ because she blew the whistle on ‘sadistic and criminal’ abuse of domestic violence victims

Luke Akehurst – the fanatically pro-Israel ‘parachute’ candidate imposed by Labour’s national executive (NEC) as the party’s candidate in North Durham – told a Jewish woman last year that she couldn’t stand for the party because she blew the whistle to protect vulnerable domestic violence victims, according to whistleblower Elaina Cohen. Skwawkbox contacted Akehurst for comment on the allegations at the time, but he did not respond.

Elaina Cohen was wrongfully dismissed by right-wing MP Khalid Mahmood after she made ‘protected disclosures’ about abuse and exploitation by Mahmood’s lover of Muslim women fleeing domestic violence. One of the victims gave evidence at Cohen’s industrial tribunal about the ‘sadistic’ and ‘criminal’ abuse she had suffered at the hands of the woman, who also worked for Mahmood. Neither Mahmood nor his lawyers contested the victim’s evidence. As part of her testimony, she said:

Whilst befriending them [the lover] would find out their weaknesses and secrets and then would blackmail and exploit them for her own benefit and amusement and that of others.

She told the court via her unchallenged statement that Mahmood’s female staffer, with whom he was said to be in a relationship:

  • used a domestic violence charity she ran to blackmail domestic violence victims into shoplifting and giving her their social security benefits
  • made victims take speeding points on their licence that they did not incur
  • sadistically abused victims
  • made the chief executive of the charity suicidal by blackmailing her and taunting her
  • targeted Victim A on social media
  • revealed details of the charity’s vulnerable ‘service users’ to others
  • used her and other women from the now-defunct charity ‘for the private entertainment of important people’
  • introduced one victim to a male friend who hurt the woman, ‘but she didn’t care’
  • berated two victims for stealing the wrong jacket from a local department store
  • made victims fund meals for local Labour politicians
  • made victims ‘stalk’ Mahmood and report back on him

Cohen also repeatedly informed Starmer and Labour general secretary David Evans of what was being done to the women, but the pair took no action, part of a pattern of cover-ups that saw Starmer shelter at least two alleged sex pests on his front bench – and one confirmed sex pest in a senior job – while claiming to be a ‘champion’ of women facing domestic violence.

Akehurst’s deranged – and paid – support for Israel even in the midst of the genocide it is committing against the Palestinian people in Gaza is well known, but it is far from the only issue with him being allowed anywhere near a parliamentary seat. And his boss, who is cut from the same cloth, has no business being anywhere near power.

Khalid Mahmood has also been re-selected to stand in Birmingham Perry Barr, despite Cohen’s revelations about the victims and also her allegations of theft and taking cash from Kuwait, which he denied. Labour says it selects ‘quality candidates’.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

A Brave New Generation of Craftspeople in Kashmir

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/06/2024 - 6:00pm in

Amid late spring blooms and the summer tourist crush, 35-year-old Mohammad Mateen drives across the city of Srinagar to inspect pashmina shawls being woven for his homegrown Kashmiri brand, Blossoms of Heaven. He pulls up in front of master weaver Abdul Hamid’s house, a two-story structure surrounded by fruit trees. Hamid ushers us up the wooden steps to his attic workshop with two looms, and tells a story of revival. “Ten years ago, I used to weave four to five shawls a month,” he says. “Today, by god’s grace, I weave more than 30.” 

Here in the Kashmir valley at the Indo-Pakistan border, a region that has been known for violent conflict since the 1990s, Mateen and Hamid represent a brave new generation. Through the practice of traditional crafts, they are trying to rebuild lives and livelihoods, a critical aspect of peace-building and economic redevelopment in former conflict zones. The road to economic rehabilitation has been long and hard. 

Abdul Hamid weaving fine pashmina for Blossoms of Heaven. Abdul Hamid weaving fine pashmina for Blossoms of Heaven. Credit: Geetanjali Krishna

Like conflict zones across the world, Kashmir had been isolated from the rest of the country, and its fabled artisans, from their markets. “It felt as if while we Kashmiris struggled with turmoil and violence in our backyards since the 1990s all the way up to the early 2000s, the world left us behind and moved on,” Sajid Nazir, senior faculty at Craft Development Institute, Srinagar, remarks. “Our master craftspeople had had no contact with the market for decades, and years of conflict had eroded their confidence and trust. As for the younger generation, they were more interested in migrating to safer, more lucrative cities, than in practicing traditional craft.” 

Peace began returning to the valley in the first decade of the millennium, but sporadic violence and internet shutdowns made it hard for local businesses to grow. “I still remember 2019, the last time that Kashmir experienced serious violence, curfews and one of the world’s longest internet shutdowns of over five months,” Mateen says. “I feared for our survival, and that of the craftspeople dependent on us.” 

Mohammad Mateen, co-founder of Blossoms of Heaven. Mohammad Mateen, co-founder of Blossoms of Heaven. Credit: Geetanjali Krishna

Cut to 2024, when much has changed for Mateen, and other entrepreneurs like him: “We employ, directly and indirectly, over 400 weavers across Kashmir today,” he says. “And we’ve managed to expand to markets in Qatar and other parts of the Middle East.” 

This revival of craft-based livelihoods in Kashmir is thanks, at least in part, to a question that Gandhian craft visionary LC Jain posed in the early 2000s: Could incubating craft businesses in Kashmir create more sustainable livelihoods, revive skills that were in imminent danger of extinction and help the region recover from decades of conflict? Jain, who was the first to apply modern marketing techniques to promote handicraft sales in India, and had developed the government-owned Central Cottage Industries Emporium, thought so, and for good reason. 

Kashmir has a rich craft tradition, and it is the third-largest livelihood sector after agriculture and tourism. Craft, traditionally practiced in the safety of people’s homes, is relatively safe even in times of conflict. So when Jain died in 2010, his family created a trust to give fruition to his ideas and thus, Commitment to Kashmir (CtoK) was born. The nonprofit was developed by some of India’s foremost craft activists and advocates – Laila Tyabji of Dastkar, Manju Nirula and Gita Ram of the Crafts Council of India, Ritu Sethi of Craft Revival Trust, Gulshan Nanda, former chairperson of Central Cottage Industries Emporium and Rathi Jha, the founder of the National Institute of Fashion Technology.

 “The idea was that these craft-based businesses would have a ripple effect,” Shruti Jagota, project director at CtoK says. “They would help revive traditional handicrafts, create much-needed jobs in the craft sector, and perhaps even reverse migration from the state.” The idea began showing results almost instantly.

In collaboration with the state’s apex handicraft and handloom promotion agency, Craft Development Institute, CtoK began mentoring their first cohort of grantees in 2012. “Designers from across the country taught us how to innovate in terms of designs and colors and sales, and marketing experts taught us how to price our products, interact with customers and display our products in exhibitions,” Mateen, part of this first cohort, recalls. “We learned a lot, and above all, became more receptive to new ideas and new ways of doing business in order to stand out in a crowd.” 

Crewel (hook) embroidery being done at Noorari.Crewel (hook) embroidery being done at Noorari. Credit: Geetanjali Krishna

To date, CtoK has incubated 37 young craftspeople and Jagota estimates that over 85 percent have set up small and large craft enterprises, or are continuing in other capacities as leaders in the craft sector. Through their program, 850 new design and market-driven products have been developed and sold. These include not only crafty papier-mâché Christmas ornaments and contemporary leather accessories, but also products like hand-painted wooden boxes that fuse traditional Kashmiri motifs, like roses and tulips, with the reality of conflict — stones, barbed wires and army uniforms. Many new business ideas have emerged: For example, embroiderer Anjuman Ara is developing high-fashion embroidered garments with a CtoK designer. Shabir Lone is training women impacted by violence in the traditionally male dominated art of kani weaving, in which cane needles threaded with different colors are used to create intricate patterns on the loom. 

Their efforts to connect artisans directly with their markets through regular exhibitions and bazaars across India, and now through their online platform Zaina by CtoK, have been a moderate success. Going by their sales records, Jagota reckons that all their grantees have sold at least 60 percent of their stock in offline events. “Also, I think we’ve been quite successful in making them independent of us,” she says. 

But focusing so much money and effort on small cohorts has been difficult to explain to donors looking for high impact numbers, especially during the violence and the long internet shutdown of 2019, and then the Covid-19 pandemic. “So we’ve rethought our strategy in the last year,” she says. “We are now exploring the idea of working with craft clusters instead of individual entrepreneurs.”   

CtoK is not the first to try the cluster approach. In 2018 to 2019, the World Bank and the Craft Development Institute identified several areas across Kashmir, with concentrations of people practicing crafts like willow basketry, wool weaving and crewel embroidery, in order to train groups of artisans to sustain and market their work.

Masrat Jan (right) inspects an embroidered garment in the Noorari workshop.Masrat Jan (right) inspects an embroidered garment in the Noorari workshop. Credit: Geetanjali Krishna

One of these clusters consisted of about 600 women embroiderers in Noorbagh, a neighborhood in Srinagar. They were trained and connected to markets by artisan-owned crafts company RangSutra. RangSutra conducted interactive workshops to help the embroiderers hone existing skills, develop rigorous quality control and enhance their creativity over one year. The company also gave the collective running orders of embroidered garments to fulfill. In 2023, their collective was incorporated as a “producer-owned company” by the government, called Noorari. 

Nazir and I walk through the narrow lanes of Noorbagh to the Noorari office and are met by one of the directors of Noorari: 30-year-old Sahiba, a single mother and the sole wage earner in her family. She estimates that of the original 600 women trained, at least 200 remain active and able to earn about $9 to $12 US per day. In the workshop, about 30 women work on completing an order.

“Working with designers has really refined our sensibilities,” Masrat Jan, a board member who oversees the production, says. “Earlier, we worked on a piece rate basis for traders obsessed with keeping the price low at the cost of craftsmanship. Now we’re rewarded for the fineness of our stitch…” 

Sahiba doing the accounts at Noorari.Sahiba doing the accounts at Noorari. Credit: Geetanjali Krishna

With their training complete, the ladies of Noorari are working on an independent marketing plan. Sahiba wants to grow their modest Rs 5 lakh (under $6,000 US) profits tenfold in the next five years, but as none of them have experience of using social media marketing techniques and many are still traditionally homebound, this may prove challenging.

“We all really want this to work,” she says. “After the years of uncertainty and conflict, having a business and giving employment to so many other women is an amazing feeling.” 

As the sun sets over Dal Lake, Mateen stares at the clouds gathering above. “We’ve grown up with violence around us, we’ve seen months of peace disrupted by a single act of violence,” he reflects. “As a businessman, I wonder: How can we take this peace for granted?” Indeed, across the world’s conflict zones — from which, the UN estimates, over 114 million people have been forced to flee for their lives and livelihoods — the uncertainty of peace makes it difficult to do business. “In 2019, when the violence resulted in a lockdown, our distribution channels were disrupted, we couldn’t even visit the weavers and none of us had any connection with the outside world,” he says. “Our business nearly folded.” 


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Other aspects of working in Kashmir are equally tricky. Jagota says that in 2019 and 2020, key funding sources dried up. It has taken CtoK two years to find their footing. “Also, our experiences with the grantee program have shown us that one year is too short a time for mentorship. For craft business development in Kashmir, I think one needs at least two years if not more,” she says. 

The Noorari cohort’s struggle to stay afloat underlines these challenges. But the pride on their faces as they display their exquisite embroidery is enough to gladden even the most cynical heart. “Noorari has given me a livelihood and dignity, two things I never thought I’d earn through the troubled years,” Jan says as she oversees the tracing of an embroidery pattern. “The best thing is that my two little daughters are so proud of me.”   

The post A Brave New Generation of Craftspeople in Kashmir appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Jewish-American Biden appointee resigns over US support for Israel’s genocide

Biden ‘has blood on his hands’ and is making Jews less safe by enabling Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians, says Lily Greenberg Call as she quits the Department of Interior

Lily Greenberg Call

Jewish-American political appointee Lily Greenberg Call – previously a proponent of pro-Israel propaganda now clearly horrified by the reality of the settler-colonial project – has resigned from her position in government over the United States’ collusion in Israel’s genocide in Gaza, telling US president Joe Biden that he has blood on his hands and is endangering Jewish people by helping Israel’s slaughter of Palestinian civilians.

In a withering resignation letter to her boss Deb Haaland, she describes Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians as genocide and accuses the US government of furthering the subjugation of the Palestinian people for the sake of the apartheid occupation:

May 15. 2024
Secretary Deb Haaland
United States Department of the Interior
1849 C St NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Secretary Haaland,

I joined the Biden Administration because I believe in fighting for a better America, for a future where Americans can thrive: one with economic prosperity, a healthy planet, and equal rights for all people. I have dedicated my career to candidates who I believed would further this vision. I worked for Vice President Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign in 2019, and then moved to Arizona to work for President Biden’s campaign in 2020. I was thrilled to join the Department of Interior because I was inspired by your principled track record of championing progressive causes, in addition to your role as an Indigenous woman leading a Department that historically harmed Indigenous communities, and the potential that it has for reparations, reconciliation, and healing.

However, I can no longer in good conscience continue to represent this administration amidst President Biden’s disastrous, continued support for lsrael’s genocide in Gaza.

I am an American Jew. My family escaped antisemitic persecution in Europe and found refuge in America. They changed their names at Ellis Island and worked as farmers, peddlers. and salespeople. My grandparents could not go to college. Two generations later, I have the honor of working as an appointee for the President of the United States. The weight of this position is not lost on me. This is the story of many people in my community: a story of survival, upward
mobility and fulfillment of the American Dream. And yet I have asked myself many times over the last eight months: what is the point of having power if you will not use it to stop crimes against humanity?

My whole life has been spent in Jewish community in the US and Israel. I have spent time in Israel/Palestine, and I learned Hebrew and Arabic both formally in school and through connection in community. I have family and friends who are Israeli, Palestinian – and have loved ones who have served in the IDF. People in my community lost loved ones during Hamas’s attack on October 7th; beloveds killed, displaced, and taken as hostages. I am terrified by rising antisemitism around the world. And yet I am certain that the answer to this is not to collectively punish millions of innocent Palestinians through displacement, famine and ethnic cleansing.

Israel’s ongoing offensive against Palestinians does not keep Jewish people safe – in Israel nor in the United States. What I have learned from my Jewish tradition is that every life is precious. That we are obligated to stand up for those facing violence and oppression, and to question authority in the face of injustice.

As of writing this. Israel has killed 35,000 people in Gaza, including 15,000 children. The Israeli military has bombed medical infrastructure, besieged a hospital, left mass graves behind, destroyed every university in Gaza, targeted journalists and aid workers and committed many, many inexcusable atrocities. These are all violations of international law, none of which would be possible without American weapons, and none of which have been condemned by President Biden.

The President has the power to call for a lasting ceasefire, to stop sending weapons to Israel, and to condition aid. The United States has used nearly no leverage throughout the last eight months to hold Israel accountable; quite the opposite. we have enabled and legitimized Israel’s actions with vetoes of UN resolutions designed to hold Israel accountable. President Biden has the blood of innocent people on his hands.

The United States has long enabled Israeli war crimes and the status quo of apartheid and occupation. That status quo does not keep Israelis safe, nor Jews around the world. It certainly does not protect Palestinians. who have the right to freedom, safety, self-determination, and dignity, just as much as Jewish people do, and every person does. Any system that requires the subjugation of one group over another is not only unjust. but unsafe. Jewish safety cannot – and
will not – come at the expense of Palestinian freedom. Making Jews the face of the American war machine makes us less safe. What seems like a lack of awareness in the Administration leadership of how critical this issue is to the American public is devastating to both communities and politically disastrous.

Today, May I5th, is Nakba Day, which recognizes the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948 and the displacement of the majority of the Palestinian people for the formation of today’s modern Israel. Nakba and Shoah, the Hebrew word for Holocaust, mean the same thing: catastrophe. I reject the premise that one people’s salvation must come at another’s destruction. I am committed to creating a world where this does not happen – and this cannot be done from within the Biden Administration.

My choice to leave is not a reflection of this office or the Department. I have felt supported by many individuals here, but I do not feel supported by the policies and actions of this Administration. I have the utmost respect for my colleagues at the Department who have given so much of themselves to doing the good work of preserving our public lands and strengthening Indian Country, and the many public servants across the federal government. I urge you all to take a stand for Palestinian lives. All our futures depend on this.

Respectfully,

Lily Greenberg Call

Ms Greenberg Call’s principled action and courageous, honest words will surely make her a target for the Israel lobby’s smear machine, just as it has targeted the many Jewish students standing up for humanity on university campuses. Her account was already briefly suspended by Twitter, presumably as a result of concerted action by pro-Israel groups:

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Breaking video: LA police smash UCLA camp, violently arrest peaceful students

US state mobilises to break protest after taking hours to act against violent pro-Israel mob last night

Los Angeles police have stormed the pro-Gaza protest camp set up by peaceful student protesters at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Riot-clad police are violently arresting students and faculty taking part in the protest against the university’s complicity in Israel’s genocide – which has killed well over 40,000 civilians, mostly women and children – and is smashing up tents and makeshift buildings, despite free speech and association rights being guaranteed by the US Constitution:

Video by Middle East Eye

Solidarity with the people of Gaza and with students everywhere demonstrating against genocide and for peace.

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Enigmas of Ecuador

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/04/2024 - 10:59pm in

Fear of violence has created a demand for order at any price.

Without Mothers, There Is No War

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/03/2024 - 2:32am in

50 years of feminist scholarship also demonstrates that war does not occur without sexual assault, just as it cannot be prosecuted without civilian casualties. The idea that you can have war without rape, on all sides, is historically implausible....

Read More

Racist Labour uses Tory racism against Abbott (to whom they’re also racist) to raise money

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 14/03/2024 - 10:05am in

Starmer’s repulsive party has no shame or morals and is taking members for fools

Keir Starmer’s Labour party – that gives impunity to just about every type of racism rampant among the Labour right – is using a Tory donor’s racism against Diane Abbott, Britain’s first Black woman MP, to try to milk cash from gullible members.

In an email to members, Starmer criticises the blue-Tory version of the anti-Abbott racism as an excuse to beg for donations:

Starmer’s letter was dishonest as well as shameless – his party fawns over billionaires for their donations

The email does not mention that Ms Abbott is suspended from the Labour party for fighting anti-Black racism, which Labour disregards under Starmer who, in today’s PMQs, brazenly tried to score political points against the Tories for their racism toward Abbott.

While Starmer and a string of white MPs discussed racism toward Diane Abbott, Starmer’s pet Speaker Lindsay Hoyle prevented Ms Abbott getting a word in, ensuring that she was unable to point out the abuse of Starmer’s front bench toward her or the foul racism exposed by the leaked Labour report and barrister Martin Forde’s inquiry into it, which Starmer continues to ignore despite commissioning it.

The red-Tory version of racism is a non-issue to Keir Starmer, who has presided over wholesale deselection of Black candidates, suspended and sacked Black and Brown MPs like it’s going out of fashion – and has driven yet more to resign in disgust:

Some of the Black and Brown MPs sacked or driven out by the Starmer regime

While Starmer’s party drones protect racist councillors and functionaries, Starmer himself welcomes racist MPs back into the party – including one with an extra side of sexual harassment – with impunity and promoted Wes Streeting, whose ‘disgusting’ and ‘disgraceful’ rant in Ms Abbott’s face left her ‘shell-shocked’.

And he and his Shadow Cabinet did not even bother to contact Abbott when the news of Tory donor Frank Hester’s disgusting racism and threatening words toward her broke – but that did not (of course) prevent him using the situation to try (not very competently) to score points.

Labour is a racist and opportunist cesspit under the rule of its hard-right faction.

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Video: ‘unfounded, unverified’ – what UN really said about Israel’s ‘Hamas rape’ claims

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 10/03/2024 - 12:15pm in

Pro-Israel spin and complicit mainstream media claim UN report upheld Israel’s claims – it didn’t and even the UN’s political collusion collapses under scrutiny

Israel’s supporters, compliant ‘mainstream’ media and a host of professional and unpaid amplifier accounts have spent the past few days trumpeting the supposed ‘confirmation’ by the United Nations of Israel’s claims of rapes, mutilations and sexual violence by Hamas during the 7 October raid.

In reality, while they claimed ‘evidence’ was ‘clear and convincing’ of sexual violence ‘committed against captives’, this evidence appears to be purely the claims of captives, since there was no mention of – and no realistic possibility of collecting – forensic evidence from the period and locations of captivity.

Such claims are, of course, at odds with the testimony of female captives that they were treated well and even ‘like queens’. And Pramila Patten added her finding that even if such violence was occurring, it in fact delegitimises Israel’s use of violence, which is preventing the return of captives.

Patten then claimed there were ‘reasonable grounds’ to think that sexual violence took place at the Nova rave and on the road back toward Gaza – already demonstrably farcical when Israeli helicopter gunships are well known to have been firing constantly and repeatedly at anything that moved. And Patten even linked her claim of reasonableness to the mass killing and burning of bodies – killings and burnings which have been firmly linked to the mass chain-gun and missile ‘friendly fire’ of Israeli helicopters known to have fired indiscriminately at Israeli and Palestinian alike under the ‘Hannibal directive‘.

So extensive was this ‘friendly fire’ that hundreds of Palestinian bodies were originally misidentified by Israel as Israelis, proving that the fire came from Israeli sources. In fact, the Israeli military knew – and has admitted to Israeli media – that it killed an ‘immense’ number of its own people on the day of the raid. Patten either ignored, or was ignorant of, this admission.

With regard to the day of the raid, the UN panel said that of all Israel’s claims, three were positively disproven – and all the rest were unverified, with many based on the ‘inaccurate’ and ‘unreliable’ claims of a group of people who didn’t know what they were talking about. This was not hinted at by the UN panel, but stated flatly and unequivocally – with the two UN women concluding that they had been unable to verify any sexual violence:

And Pramila Patten went on to admit that:

  • there was no forensic evidence of rape – or ‘very very little’, with no specification of any evidence that was found
  • there was no evidence of ‘systematic’ sexual violence, despite a team of scientists taking part in the UN visit
  • she had not tied any sexual violence anywhere to Hamas or any group

Despite this, Israel’s mouthpieces and propagandists have stridently insisted the opposite of the women’s findings, including the political padding and leaving out the inconvenient – but very clearly expressed – reality of what Patten and her colleague said they found, or more accurately did not find.

As with every other claim by Israel so far since its genocide in Gaza began, the claim to have been vindicated by the UN findings falls apart under scrutiny. In contrast, rape, torture and sexual violence toward Palestinian women by Israeli troops and security personnel is credible and widespread.

But even if Israel’s claims didn’t collapse under scrutiny, they would be no excuse for the genocide Israel is committing in Gaza – and Patten and her colleague were absolutely clear about that.

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