Israel Assaults Rafah Despite ICJ Order - The Monday AM Quickie 5/27/24

The oceans' depths are filled with beautifully weird creatures that we're still discovering (if we don't kill them all first). -Jacob

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Israel Continues Massive Assault on Rafah Despite the ICJ's Order to Stop

On Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest court of the United Nations, ordered Israel to stop its deadly military campaign against the Palestinian city of Rafah. "Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part," the ruling read.

The Israeli government and its defenders chose to interpret the order as "ambiguous" – a directive to stop committing a genocide that the Israeli government, naturally, does not believe it's committing. "What they are asking us, is not to commit genocide in Rafah," said Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi. "We did not commit genocide and we will not commit genocide."

The Biden administration notably did not release a statement on Friday about the ICJ ruling, despite having previously supported the court's rulings against Russia. Perhaps they are too busy threatening the International Criminal Court for seeking arrest warrants for Bibi Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant. Yesterday, Florida Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, dismissed the ICC as a joke. "We might as well call them the Harry Potter Ministry of Magic," said Moskowitz. "They're irrelevant because Israel is not a party to their treaty."

The rest of the reality-based community has interpreted the ICJ ruling to mean what it obviously does: Israel should stop its military campaign "immediately." Similarly, most of the world that has signed onto the ICC's charter (including the Palestinian leadership), and appears to support efforts grounded in diplomacy and international law to end the heinous violence.

As the Biden administration dithers, Israel's attacks continue. Horrific videos emerged yesterday of Israeli air strikes on a tent encampment in Rafah. At least 35 people were killed. Starvation and disease remain rampant. The nightmare plays out in endless loops of gory videos on social media. And Israel's leadership vows to continue fighting.

Trump's Criminal Trial Could Have a Verdict Very Soon

Donald Trump's criminal trial related to the Stormy Daniel hush-money payments could have a verdict by the end of the week. The prosecution rested its case after weeks of testimony involving 20 witnesses. The defense barely mustered two witnesses – and certainly not Trump, who instead repeatedly spoke out of turn from the defendant's table and on social media, earning constant rebukes and thousands of dollars in fines from the judge. Court is off today, but tomorrow will see closing arguments. Then the judge will offer jury instructions and it'll be deliberation time. Polling indicates that the understandably weary and cynical American public has mostly ignored the trial. But Trump could be a convicted felon within a week; maybe it's time to tune in.


  • The First Millennial Saint Is Going to Be an Italian Teenager Pope Francis attributed a second miracle to Carlos Acutis, who died at age 15 in 2006. According to testimonials, sick people were healed after they or their relatives prayed to Acutis, who, with his vigorous online religious activities, was called "an influencer for God." via NYT.
  • Crypto Companies Have Captured Capitol Hill Taking up where imprisoned FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried left off, crypto companies have poured tens of millions of dollars into DC lobbying in recent years. Last week, the House passed a crypto regulatory bill that reads like an industry wish-list. via WaPo.
  • Buttigieg Says Climate Change Has Boosted Turbulence Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg cited climate change as a cause behind some recent bouts of heavy turbulence, including one that killed one passenger and hospitalized dozens of others on a Singapore Airlines flight. Climate scientists say that warming air is making turbulence both more intense and more frequent. via CNBC and SciAm.
  • Trump Booed at Libertarian Party Convention Former President Donald Trump was raucously booed during his appearance at the recent Libertarian Party national convention. While the outburst was satisfying, this is also a crowd that once booed Gary Johnson – their presidential nominee that year – for saying that people should have to obtain drivers licenses to operate cars. Libertarians! via CNN.



That's how many Gazan health workers have been detained by Israeli forces. At least 493 have died. Palestinian journalists and human-rights watchers have reported on the disappearance of healthcare workers, some of whom have been tortured or killed.


5/27: Happy Memorial Day! The MR Crew is OFF today but check out this interview from late December of last year with Peter Beinart, editor-at-large at Jewish Currents, author of the Beinart Notebook on SubStack, and professor at the CUNY School of Journalism, on a piece he wrote entitled "Harvard Is Ignoring Its Own Antisemitism Experts," and much more!


Fox News Brainworms On Full Display During INSANE Assassination Plot Segment

There is no known plot against the life of Donald Trump, but that doesn't mean the loons at Fox can't make one up!

Palestinian Scholar On 76 Years After the Nakba

Palestinian scholar Beshara Doumani talks to Emma about what the Nakba was and how it's shaped Palestinian identity and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.


"The board’s ability to uphold the company’s mission had become increasingly constrained due to long-standing patterns of behaviour exhibited by Mr Altman, which, among other things, we believe undermined the board’s oversight of key decisions and internal safety protocols. Multiple senior leaders had privately shared grave concerns with the board, saying they believed that Mr Altman cultivated 'a toxic culture of lying' and engaged in 'behaviour [that] can be characterised as psychological abuse.'"

-- From an op-ed in The Economist by Helen Toner and Tasha McCauley, two former board members of red-hot startup OpenAI who left during a power struggle with fired-and-then-rehired CEO Sam Altman. While a darling of Silicon Valley elites, Altman has been repeatedly described as manipulative by people who have worked with him. Recent reporting revealed that the company coerced departing employees into signing restrictive NDAs and non-disparagement agreements, lest they lose their valuable equity in the company.

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