Must Read Roundup - 10/27/23

From Israel’s genocidal attacks on Palestinians to abortion travel bans and climate concerns, here are some important stories you may have missed this week.

Must Read Roundup - 10/27/23

Photo: Kelly Hayes

From Israel’s genocidal attacks on Palestinians to abortion travel bans and climate concerns, here are some important stories you may have missed this week.

Israel Is Arming Fascist Militias to Suppress Dissent, Knesset Member Warns by brian bean. “I believe that the government of Israel wanted to ignite a fire, either in the West Bank, in Gaza or with Syria. They will use this to realize at least part of the subjugation plan with some support of the international community. That is, in my view, what led to what is going on now.”

Israeli think tank lays out a blueprint for the complete ethnic cleansing of Gaza by Jonathan Ofir. “In the plan being proposed by the Intelligence Ministry, Palestinians in Gaza would be displaced from Gaza to the northern Egyptian Sinai peninsula. In the report, the ministry described different options for what comes after an invasion of Gaza and the option deemed as ‘liable to provide positive and long-lasting strategic results’ was the transfer of Gaza residents to Sinai.”

Biden Cast Doubt On Gaza’s Death Statistics — But Officials Cite Them Internally by Akbar Shahid Ahmed. “In at least 12 instances, U.S. embassy officials attributed the number of Palestinian casualties to the Hamas-linked Health Ministry in Gaza — including in the report provided to State Department colleagues on Oct. 25, hours before Biden’s remarks … on Oct. 21, the American official drafting the note wrote of the number of Gazans killed or injured the previous day: ‘The numbers are likely much higher, according to the UN and NGOs reporting on the situation.’”

No Human Being Can Exist by Saree Makdisi. “During the Haitian revolution in the early 19th century, former slaves massacred white settler men, women, and children. During Nat Turner’s revolt in 1831, insurgent slaves massacred white men, women, and children. During the Indian uprising of 1857, Indian rebels massacred English men, women, and children. During the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s, Kenyan rebels massacred settler men, women, and children. At Oran in 1962, Algerian revolutionaries massacred French men, women, and children. Why should anyone expect Palestinians—or anyone else—to be different? To point these things out is not to justify them; it is to understand them.”

Decolonization is always a violent phenomenon. Would that it were otherwise. By Robert Hildebrandt. “Humans are not inherently evil or inherently cruel. Quite the opposite. Throughout these past weeks, I have watched countless videos of Palestinians and Israelis risking their lives to save members of their own communities, giving food, shelter, and medicine to those in need. The lines of compassion could cross the separation wall — indeed, some of the bravest Israelis are calling on their government to do so but have been roundly hounded by society for it — it has just been prevented.”

Why Scientists Must Stand with Palestinians by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. “As a particle physicist, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that others in my field don’t necessarily see it this way — we were, after all, somewhat born as a discipline out of the Manhattan Project. Nonetheless, I hope that scientists of all kinds, including in the particle physics community, will ask themselves what their moral commitments are in this moment.”

DC’s Plan for School Nurses Puts Student Lives at Risk, Says Nurses’ Union by Ngakiya Camara. “Now, instead of having one registered nurse (RN) or one licensed practical nurse (LPN) per school, these licensed professionals are required to rotate between a ‘cluster’ of four schools, meaning each school would not have a full-time nurse present for a majority of the week”

Rapid ice melt in west Antarctica now inevitable, research shows by Damian Carrington. “Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato, at the University of Southampton, UK, said: ‘This is a sobering piece of research. However, it should also serve as a wake-up call. We can still save the [east] Antarctic ice sheet, containing about 10 times as many metres of sea level rise, if we learn from our past inaction and start reducing greenhouse gas emissions now.’”

Lubbock Becomes Fourth Texas County to Enact Abortion Travel Ban by Zane McNeill. “Abortion travel bans are enforced through private civil lawsuits filed against people who “knowingly transport any individual for the purpose of providing or obtaining an elective abortion, regardless of where the elective abortion will occur.” While the pregnant people themselves do not face legal liability, people who help them obtain an abortion could face a civil lawsuit for doing so. Anti-abortion activists have dubbed these ordinances anti-’abortion trafficking’ laws.”

If you are looking for something to listen to this weekend, I recommend checking out this week’s episode of Movement Memos. My conversation with Andrea Ritchie about organizing, solidarity with Palestine, and why we cannot defer the work of practicing new worlds, might help you orient yourself in this moment.

If you’re looking for a book to read, I want to point out that the ebook of one of my previous recommendations, The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World by Antony Loewenstein, is currently available for free from Verso. Be sure to get your copy. You can find other free ebooks on Palestine from Verso here.

On a personal note, I am not feeling well at all these days. My body is weak and my heart is weary. But I know that I am part of something larger than myself, as we struggle for justice, and I take strength from that knowledge. I hope that you find strength in collectivity this weekend. I hope you take action, wherever you can, and that you also find space for rest and renewal. To fight the good fight, we must nourish ourselves and tend to our humanity. So make space for grief, for rest, for learning, and for healing when you can. You are not disposable. Care for yourself. We need you.