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Wednesday, Feb 28th

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The Biden Administration Is Investigating Israel's Possible War Crimes — Despite Public Claims To The Contrary

Israeli war crimesA month ago, White House spokesperson John Kirby declared Washington was so confident in Israel’s U.S.-backed offensive in Gaza that the U.S. did not need to investigate its actions.

“I’m not aware of any kind of formal assessment being done by the United States government to analyze the compliance with international law by our partner Israel,” Kirby told reporters on Jan. 4, as the Biden administration rallied to defend Israel against an International Court of Justice case arguing that Israel was violating international protections against genocide. “We have not seen anything that would convince us that we need to take a different approach in terms of trying to help Israel defend itself.”

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Denouncing critics of Israel as ‘un-Jews’ or antisemites is a perversion of history

Denouncing critics of IsraelWilliam Zuckerman was born in 1885 in the Pale of Settlement, that part of the Russian empire to which Jews were largely confined, a place of poverty and pogroms. His family managed to escape, emigrating to America in 1900.

During the First World War, Zuckerman returned to Europe to work with a charity aiding American Jewish soldiers. Later, he settled in London, establishing the European bureau of Der Morgen zshurnal, an influential American Yiddish newspaper. In 1948, having returned to America, he founded the Jewish Newsletter, just as the new state of Israel was born. Zuckerman’s columns were syndicated in dozens of Jewish newspapers and he became the New York correspondent of the British Jewish Chronicle.

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Israeli military operation in Rafah 'cannot proceed,' U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says

Linda Greenfield, US Ambassador to UN

As Israel prepares to escalate its military campaign on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told NPR that Israel has an obligation to keep civilians safe, and that under current conditions, a planned military operation there "cannot proceed."

The flow of humanitarian assistance continues to lag far behind the needs of the nearly 1.5 million Palestinians who have taken shelter in Rafah.

Meanwhile, the primary agency delivering aid on the ground, UNRWA, continues to be embroiled in scandal.

TVNL Comment:  No evidence has emerged that anyone in UNRWA was connected to Hamas.  Still, the money has been withdrawn, and tens of thousands of Palestinians will suffer.

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Israeli soldier videos from Gaza could breach international law, experts say

Israelli soldier videos from Gaza

Videos of Gazan detainees stripped, bound and blindfolded that were filmed and uploaded online by Israeli soldiers could breach international law, legal experts say.

International law says detainees must not be exposed to unnecessary humiliation or public curiosity.

BBC Verify looked at hundreds of videos openly shared by Israeli soldiers in Gaza since November 2023. We verified eight showing detainees.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says it has terminated the service of one of the reservists we identified, and videos like these do not represent its values. It did not respond to any further request for comment.

Dr Mark Ellis, a leading UN advisor to international criminal tribunals, said the footage we showed him from Israeli soldiers might violate the recognised rules for treating prisoners of war.

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Stabbing of Palestinian American in Texas a hate crime, police say

Stabbing of Palestinian American in Texas is a hate crimeThe recent stabbing of a 23-year-old Palestinian American in Texas meets the standard for a hate crime, police announced on Wednesday.

Bert James Baker, 36, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly attacking 23-year-old Zacharia Doar after Doar and friends were returning from a pro-Palestinian protest on Sunday near the University of Texas at Austin.

In a Wednesday update, the Austin police department said that the Sunday stabbing does “meet the definition of a hate crime”.

Information on the case will be provided to the Travis county district attorney’s office, which will then make the final decision on whether to pursue hate crime charges against Baker, according to the police department’s statement posted to Facebook.

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Group of Palestinian-Americans skip Blinken meeting over Biden admin’s support for Israel’s offensive in Gaza

Palestinian Americans refuse to meet with Blinken

A number of Palestinian-Americans refused to attend a roundtable meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday to discuss the situation in Gaza in protest against the Biden administration’s ongoing support for Israel’s offensive in the war-torn strip – a military campaign that has exacted a massive humanitarian toll.

“We do not know what more Secretary Blinken or President (Joe) Biden need to hear or see to compel them to end their complicity in this genocide,” several of those who rejected the invitation said in a press statement distributed by the non-profit Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).

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Biden officials advance plan to blow up Trump’s rules on sexual misconduct in schools

Ed. Sec. CardonaA long-awaited policy that mandates how schools respond to sexual misconduct and codifies protections for transgender students is being reviewed by the White House for final approval.

The Education Department, which has been under pressure from Democrats and civil rights groups to finish its final Title IX rule, sent the regulation to the Office of Management and Budget on Friday, according to its website — a key procedural step before it can be made public.

The highly anticipated regulation is expected to unravel much of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ Title IX rule, a defining aspect of her tenure. Her rule, which took effect in August 2020, narrowed the definition of sexual harassment and directed schools to conduct live hearings with cross-examination for sexual misconduct investigations.

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