UN appeals for £2.2bn for Gaza to help Palestinians in desperate need of food and other aid

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THE United Nations has appealed for $2.8 billion (£2.2bn) to provide desperately needed aid to three million Palestinians, stressing that tackling looming famine in the devastated Gaza Strip requires not only food but sanitation, water and health facilities.

Andrea De Domenico, the head of the UN humanitarian office for Gaza and the West Bank, told reporters on Tuesday night that massive operations are required to restore those services and meet minimum standards — and this can’t be done during military operations.

He pointed to the destruction of hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, homes, roads and schools by Israeli forces, adding that “there is not a single university that is standing in Gaza.”

Mr De Domenico said Israel’s recently ended so-called military operation at Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility, was so destructive the facility has been forced to shut down.


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Google employees lead sit-ins protesting company’s complicity in genocide

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Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Google workers stage sit-in to end Project Nimbus (Photo: No Tech for Apartheid)

Tech workers are joining the Palestine solidarity movement in leading coast-to-coast sit ins at Google offices across the country

On April 16, Google workers led sit-ins at the office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian in Sunnyvale, California, and Google’s New York City headquarters in protest against Google’s complicity in the Israeli genocide of the Gaza Strip, through Project Nimbus, the tech giant’s contract with the Israeli government and military.

Tech workers at both Amazon and Google have been organizing for years to end Project Nimbus, which is Google and Amazon’s USD 1.2 million contract with the Israeli government and military. Despite retaliation from Google including the firing of workers, the movement against Project Nimbus has only grown. 

“Google is enabling and profiting from Israel’s AI-powered genocide through Project Nimbus, their USD 1 billion cloud contract with Israel. The Israeli military is also using Google Photos as part of a facial recognition dragnet across Gaza, which has led to the arrest, imprisonment, and torture of thousands of Palestinians with little to no evidence. It’s clear that the Israeli military will use any technology available to them for genocidal means,” say the Amazon and Google workers, organized in the group No Tech for Apartheid, in a recent statement. “Google workers do not want their labor to power Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.”

This action comes days after Time Magazine reporting confirmed that Google is providing direct cloud computing services to the Israeli occupation forces, despite the company stating the contrary. 

“We have been very clear that the Nimbus contract is for workloads running on our commercial platform by Israeli government ministries such as finance, healthcare, transportation, and education,” a Google spokesperson previously told Time Magazine. “Our work is not directed at highly sensitive or classified military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.” Time reporting revealed that the Israeli Ministry of Defense has its own secure entry point into the Google Cloud.

Tech workers staging the sit-ins in California and New York are demanding that the company end Project Nimbus, stop “the harassment, intimidation, bullying, silencing, and censorship of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim Googlers,” and address health and safety issues in the workplace, which arise from the “mental health consequences of working at a company that is using their labor to enable a genocide,” workers say.

Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Continue ReadingGoogle employees lead sit-ins protesting company’s complicity in genocide

International coordinated actions shut it down for Gaza

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Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Across the United States, Australia, and the UK, Palestine solidarity activists took action on April 15 as part of global call to strike for Gaza

Protesters blockade the entrance to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago (Photo: Dissenters)

April 15 marked yet another global day of solidarity with Palestine, in which activists across the globe in countries such as the United States, Australia, and the UK took action for Gaza. Activists were responding to a global call to strike for Gaza, which originated within Palestinian civil society.

In the United States, the global strike for Gaza also coincided with the day that taxes are due in the country (Tax Day). Activists used this as an opportunity to highlight how much of taxpayer money goes to the weapons industry.

In several cities, activists strategically targeted sectors of the war machine, including the offices of Lockheed Martin in Arlington, Virginia, the largest weapons manufacturer in the world. Activists who occupied the Arlington office highlighted that Lockheed Martin receives billions of dollars in taxpayer money each year, which is used to produce the arms that Israel uses to kill Palestinians.

While activists occupied the building, protesters outside marched up to the office doors, staging a rally and shouting at employees inside the building to quit their jobs. 

Activists also blockaded the entrance to a facility belonging to Boeing, another massive weapons manufacturer that supplies Israel, in St. Charles, Missouri.

A facility of weapons manufacturer Pratt and Whitney was also targeted in Connecticut, where organizers blocked the entrance to the factory to impede production. 

On the same day, several activists blockaded the road going to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, blocking Terminals 1 through 3. Over 40 protesters were arrested after taking this action, who have as of now all been released.

Several bridge blockades took place in the Bay Area. Protesters first stopped traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge, holding banners that read “Stop the world for Gaza” and “End the siege on Gaza now!”

Protesters later took further action and shut down the Interstate 880 in Oakland. Altogether, the California Highway Patrol announced the arrests of 38 people. 

In London, activists with Palestine Action targeted the office of BNY Mellon, demanding that the bank divest with Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest weapons company. BNY Mellon offices in Manchester were also targeted. 

In Adelaide, Australia, pro-Palestine activists occupied the office of Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong’s office. Activists said this action had been undertaken to “protest the government’s ongoing complicity in, and facilitation of, the genocide occurring in Gaza—a genocide which has been enabled by international forces, like Australia, to continue for over six months.”

In Melbourne, hundreds gathered in front of the parliament building, demanding that the Australian government stop cutting deals with Elbit systems. 

Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Continue ReadingInternational coordinated actions shut it down for Gaza


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The aftermath of Israel’s air strike on Iran’s consulate. (Xinhua via Alamy)

Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria was a grave violation of diplomatic protocol. Should the RAF have shielded Benjamin Netanyahu from Tehran’s inevitable retaliation?

Rishi Sunak’s decision to deploy RAF warplanes to shoot down Iranian drones heading for Israel raises serious questions about international law and the spectre of Britain’s involvement in a widening conflict in the Middle East.

The contents of Britain’s military cooperation agreement with Israel signed in 2020, and a defence pact signed a year later, are secret but they are not believed to require Britain to protect Israel if it comes under attack.

A more recent “2030 roadmap for UK-Israel bilateral relations” vaguely commits London to “tackle shared threats” with Tel Aviv.

Sunak justified the RAF’s deployment as “saving lives not just in Israel but in neighbouring countries like Jordan as well”. 

His defence secretary, Grant Shapps, went further and described Iran’s combined drone and missile attack on Israel as posing “a threat to civilian lives in the Middle East”.

They delivered these sweeping justifications of British military activity seemingly unaware that this rationale would also oblige them to intercept Israel’s air strikes into Gaza, which have killed many thousands of civilians.



Iran’s attacks against Israel has the West scrambling for a narrative

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Original article by people’s dispatch republished under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

David Cameron stumbles while defending Israel on Sky News

The West jumps through rhetorical hoops to defend Israel and condemn Iran after Iranians respond to attack on diplomatic premises in Syria

It is difficult to dispute the major escalation that Israel undertook on April 1 when it bombed the Iranian embassy in Damascus, assassinating a top Iranian Commander. This was a major escalation that the West—namely, the US, UK, and France—failed to condemn during an April 2 UN Security Council meeting.

On April 13, after multiple warnings, Iran retaliated—becoming the first country to directly attack Israel in 33 years—launching “extensive” missiles and drone strikes at military targets within historic Palestine. 

The attack did not result in any casualties. No hospital attacks, no mass graves, no thousands of women and children dead. Iran showed no intention of creating a mass casualty event, and predictably, many of the dozens of Iranian missiles were intercepted. 

Although to some, this is a sign of Iranian weakness, not restraint. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes, Iran’s attack “showed the whole world that Israel and its Western allies have far superior anti-missile capabilities than Iran has missile capabilities.” Friedman also claims that Iran revealed “that President Biden was able to predict almost the exact hour of attack over a day in advance,” citing that fact that Biden warned Iran not to attack the day prior. Friedman does not take into account that Iranian officials had been openly stating their intention to retaliate against the Zionist state since the embassy attack in Damascus. 

This is a point of view seemingly shared by Biden, who said shortly after the attack that “Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks—sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel.” It is unclear how the attacks were unprecedented, however, given that following the embassy attack, Iran’s Ambassador to Damascus Hossein Akbari, whose residence was bombed in the strike, said, “We will give a decisive response to this action.” 

It is international relations common sense that the bombing of an embassy is a major escalation. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, following Iran’s striking of Israel, that “the principle of inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel must be respected in all cases in accordance with international law, as I stated when condemning the 1 April attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.”

David Cameron, British Foreign Secretary, went on Sky News to denounce the Iranian attack on Israel, but was thrown off guard when a journalist asked, “What would Britain do if a hostile nation flattened one of our consulates?”

Cameron stuttered through his response, “Well, we would take very strong action.”

Israel has been attacking both Iran and Iranian targets for years. On January 20, Israel killed five members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Damascus. At the time, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian claimed that, “although the Zionist enemy has destroyed Gaza on a large scale and martyred tens of thousands of people, it has not achieved any of its goals, so it is trying to make up for its defeat by resorting to blind terrorism.” 

In February of last year, Iran accused Israel of attacking a military workshop complex in Isfahan. Iranian oil tankers carrying oil to Lebanon through Syria were attacked late on November 8. According to IRIB, Iran’s state news source, the attacks were carried out using “Israeli drones.” Israel has openly boasted about committing covert operations against Iran, including the assassination of a nuclear scientist in 2020.

Biden reiterated the US’s “ironclad” support for Israel, promising a Group of Seven (G7) diplomatic response. However, following a similar pattern of recent Biden administration responses to Israeli aggression, a Biden official leaked to Axios that the president privately warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US would not support a counterattack against Iran. Biden has several times expressed private frustrations with Netanyahu as the genocide against Gaza continues to unfold, but continues to send massive weapons shipments to Israel and provide unconditional support in public.

Israel’s war cabinet is now meeting to discuss potential responses. According to a source communicating with NBC News, an Israeli counterattack could be imminent

Original article by people’s dispatch republished under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Continue ReadingIran’s attacks against Israel has the West scrambling for a narrative