It’s also ‘Back to the Future’ Day (the day they travel to in the first movie is October 21, 2015), International Sloth Day, Apple Day, International Day of the Nacho, National Mezcal Day, Reptile Awareness Day, Garbanzo Bean Day, Sweetest Day (buy your squeeze some chocolates), Trafalgar Day in the British Empire, and, of course, Birth of the Báb (2017) celebrated by members of the Baháʼí Faith.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 21 Wikipedia page.
A convoy of 20 trucks carrying aid moved through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza from Egypt on Saturday, according to the United Nations and images shown on Egyptian state television, after days of diplomatic wrangling to get food, water and medicine into the blockaded enclave where essential supplies were running out and hospitals were nearing collapse.
The convoy carrying “life-saving supplies” will be received in Gaza by the Palestinian Red Crescent with the support of the United Nations, the U.N. spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said. Four of the trucks carried medicine and other health-related essentials, the World Health Organization confirmed, which warned that Saturday’s deliveries would “barely begin to address the escalating health needs” in Gaza.
It they can keep this aid out of the hands of Hamas. Remember, the Hamas terrorists took UNICEF first aid kits with them when they entered Israel to butcher civilians.
*Another update on the war. Two American hostages—a mother and daughter—were released by Hamas without any bargaining.
Hamas on Friday released two American hostages — a mother and daughter — who were being held in Gaza. The Israeli military received them at the border and took them to an army base in central Israel to be reunited with family members, according to statements released by Hamas and the Israel government.
The release of the hostages came on the same day the Biden administration formally asked Congress for billions of dollars in emergency funding for Israel and Gaza.
The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., identified the released hostages as Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 17. It said they were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack on Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
Abu Obeidah, the spokesman for Hamas’s armed wing, said Friday in a statement on Telegram that Hamas had released the women for “humanitarian reasons” after mediation by Qatar.
Well, it’s a start. But why has the world seem to have largely forgotten about the hostages. Biden mentions them frequently, but this war crime is drowned out by the rebukes to Israel for “genocide”.
On the down side, it doesn’t look like humanitarian aid is coming to Gaza very soon (see update above; this was written yesterday evening):
Hopes that humanitarian aid would begin to trickle into Gaza from Egypt on Friday were fading as Egyptian, Israeli, U.S. and United Nations officials were still hammering out thorny issues, including who will inspect the shipments for weapons, several U.N. and European officials and diplomats familiar with the talks said.
Israel, for instance, wants to be involved in those inspections and is against shipping in fuel, those people said. Other officials say fuel is needed to keep generators on at hospitals and to provide clean water to desperate Palestinians stuck in Gaza.
Talks in Cairo on Thursday had yielded a step forward, with an agreement to set up a United Nations-operated system at the Rafah border crossing in northeastern Egypt. President Biden said on Tuesday that he had secured agreement from the Israeli government to open up the aid corridor.
I can understand Israel’s position, and think they should be involved in inspecting the shipments for weapons. Egypt doesn’t care and the U.N. isn’t exactly pro-Israel. As for fuel, there is of course a danger that it could be used for terrorism, and Hamas could siphon off a lot, so there should be some way to keep them from getting it. If the aid is to help the people, it should not be used to help Hamas.
Rep. Jim Jordan lost an internal ballot to remain the GOP speaker nominee, hours after failing to win the speakership in a third round of voting on the House floor Friday.
Republicans will now start over, planning a new candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. Monday night.
Hamas launched this war with a specific political aim: to prevent peace. After signing peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Israel was on the verge of signing a historic peace treaty with Saudi Arabia. That agreement would have been Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s biggest achievement in his entire career. It would have normalized relations between Israel and much of the Arab world. At the insistence of the Saudis and Americans, the treaty’s conditions were expected to include significant concessions to the Palestinians, aimed to immediately alleviate the suffering of millions of them in the occupied territories, and restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
, , , Hamas slaughtered hundreds of Israeli civilians, in the most gruesome ways it could devise. The immediate aim was to derail the Israeli-Saudi peace deal. The long-term aim was to sow seeds of hatred in the minds of millions in Israel and across the Muslim world, thereby preventing peace with Israel for generations to come.
. . . Hamas knew its attack would make Israelis livid, distraught with pain and anger, and the terrorists counted on Israel to retaliate with massive force, inflicting enormous pain on Palestinians. The codename Hamas gave its operation is telling: al-Aqsa Tufan. The word “tufan” means flood. Like the biblical flood intended to cleanse the world of sin even at the cost of nearly wiping out humanity, Hamas’s attack aimed to create devastation on a biblical scale.
. . . If Hamas’s war aims are indeed to derail the Israeli-Saudi peace treaty and to destroy all chance for normalization and peace, it is winning this war by a knockout. And Israel is helping Hamas, largely because Netanyahu’s government seems to be conducting this war without clear political goals of its own.
Israel says it wants to disarm Hamas, and it has every right to do so in protecting its citizens. Disarming Hamas is vital also for any chance of future peace, because as long as Hamas remains armed, it will continue to derail any such efforts. But even if Israel succeeds in disarming Hamas, that’s just a military achievement, not a political plan. In the short term, does Israel have any plan to rescue the Israeli-Saudi peace deal? In the long term, does Israel have any plan to reach a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians and normalize its relations with the Arab world?
Ceiling Cat help us if Harari is right. But I can’t see any huge flaws in his argument.
*As usual, I’ll steal three items from Nellie Bowles’s weekly news report at The Free Press; this week’s is called “TGIF: Guilty until proven innocent.” (This refers to reporting on the Palestinian rocket misfire imputed to Israel.)
→ The blood libel heard ’round the world: So let us get this straight: terrorists burst across the border of Israel, slaughtered innocents, raped women, took captives—including toddlers who remain in their hands—then accidentally exploded a rocket in their own Gaza hospital parking lot, and somehow, in all of this, Israel is still the bad guy.
Let’s start with the rocket. As soon as it went off, Hamas blamed Israel, which in turn said it needed a minute to verify what happened. Do you know who doesn’t need a minute? The mainstream American press. Reuters, The Washington Post, and The New York Times blindly ran with the Hamas account: an Israeli strike, a hospital, hundreds of deaths—500, according to the Times. (A great collection of those headlines can be found here.) The Times even ran an image of a blown-up building—but it wasn’t the hospital. The news ricocheted around the world, leading to attacks on synagogues and marches on embassies. It is the dominant narrative now and likely forever. Even though it is a lie. In the information war, this was a spectacular win for Hamas.
After Biden announced that U.S. intelligence confirmed the Israeli government account—it was a failed rocket from within Gaza—there were no apologies, no corrections, just subtle headline changes to make it slightly factual-ish. (Just compare this to the uproar after Tom Cotton’s op-ed, which led to the firing of the paper’s opinion editor.) And so it was a bit of an awakening for me. This is the week I realized that the adults I thought were flawed but trying are actually on meth and don’t care. Or maybe it’s even worse: they know it’s a lie.
Nellie adds that one of the NYT’s liveblog reporters on the war happens to be an Israel-hating aide to, yes, Rashida Tlaib. Shoot me now!
→ Why do you want those babies back anyway? What are you implying by saying you don’t want your children kidnapped? And now you want them back? I suggest you ask yourself why that is. In cities around the country, Jews have been posting the faces of the Hamas-held hostages. And in cities around the country, activists have been tearing those images down. Those plaintive images of babies are really harshing my pro-Hamas march vibe. In New York, protesters are desecrating their faces (obviously, that’s happening everywhere in England). The images of the kidnapped victims are being torn down by all sorts of people, like this Florida dentist. Welcome to the new Keep the Hostages movement. Why deprive Hamas of hostages? Do you know how high a terrorist’s cost of living is these days?
But my favorite Keep the Hostages activists are the two young women at NYU—Hafiza Khalique and Yazmeen Deyhimi—running around gleefully holding the ripped images of those hostages. Worth looking at some pics, because they’re just having so much fun doing it. But their pleasure is not what makes these two girls my favorite; it’s that Yazmeen was an intern at the—wait for it—Anti-Defamation League. Her apology: “I have found it increasingly difficult to know my place as a biracial brown woman, especially during these highly volatile times.”
→ Here’s a professor at University of California, Davis. (The school has taken down her faculty page and likely doubled her pay.)
Professor Decristo is trying to stir up literal violence against journalists (I might be in the top 500 on Jemma’s list, but Bar is definitely in the top 5, so if anyone wants to take her into your home that would be great). Jemma is trying to provoke people to do real-life harm to journalists and their children. She adds a knife, an ax, and three blood drops to make it really clear. (No one ever said terrorists were smart.) Do not hold your breath for one of the dozens of journalist dignity defense groups to speak up here. They’re camped out waiting for Trump to post a Truth so they can Stand Together Against Mean Trump Posts. Meanwhile, I’m going to email Professor Decristo to ask if her plan is to kill me tonight or tomorrow and what the vibe is exactly of knife, ax, blood blood blood.
See more on the sickening Professor Decristo here.
There’s a lot of stuff in Nellie’s report this week, so go have a look.
*The NYT reports that “On Israel, progressive Jews feel abandoned by their Left-wing allies“:
Progressive Jews who have spent years supporting racial equity, gay and transgender rights, abortion rights and other causes on the American left — including opposing Israeli policies in Gaza and the West Bank — are suddenly feeling abandoned by those who they long thought of as allies. This wartime shift represents a fundamental break within a liberal coalition that has long powered the Democratic Party.
“When a people have been subject to decades of apartheid and unimaginable violence, their resistance must not be condemned, but understood as a desperate act of self-defense,” Black Lives Matter Los Angeles posted on Facebook, in its first response to the attack. A reproductive-rights group sharply criticized the “Zionist occupation,” saying that the Israeli government denied “Palestinians control over their bodies” and that “there can be no justice, peace or reproductive freedom underneath colonial occupation.” A number of socialist organizations across the country did not directly condemn the killings by Hamas.
And many protests have included chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a slogan that leaves no place for the state of Israel to exist in its own land.
From email listservs of progressive Jewish groups to protests on university campuses to social-media campaigns by prominent liberal Jewish celebrities like Sarah Silverman, the war is bringing to a head more than a decade of tensions about Israel on the American left.
. . .Interviews with dozens of liberal Jewish leaders and voters, and a review of social media posts, private emails and text chains of liberal Jewish groups, reveal a politically engaged swath of American Jewry who are reaching a breaking point. They have long opposed the Israeli government’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, supported a two-state solution and protested the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
But in the Hamas attacks, many saw an existential threat, evoking memories of the Holocaust and generations of antisemitism, and provoking anxiety about whether they could face attacks in the United States. And they were taken aback to discover that many of their ideological allies not only failed to perceive the same threats but also saw them as oppressors deserving of blame.
Yes, one of those who feel abandoned is Sarah Silverman, who saw this odious Democratic Socialists of America Instagram post and commented on it (below)
And another Instagram statement from The Divine Sarah:
*Andrew Sullivan’s Weekly Dish post this week is called “A party unfit for government,” and you know he’s talking about Republicans.
And I know you know this, but it’s still vital to remember that a major political party is backing this incoherent, unhinged, fact-free narcissist to be president of the United States. It is therefore no surprise to discover that the same party is completely incapable of forming a stable majority in the House of Representatives because it too is incoherent, divided, unhinged, and narcissistic. We’ve never had this amount of time without a Speaker in the history of the House. But then we’ve never had a majority party as utterly vacuous as this one.
The leading candidate for the Speaker, who keeps running and keeps losing, is Jim Jordan, the apotheosis of Republican nihilism: he has passed no legislation in his time in office — zero! — and he was up to his neck in the attempt to overturn the last election and in the storming of the Capitol on January 6. He has launched investigations into every Trump prosecutor. His supporters have run intimidation campaigns, including death threats. He is entirely a negative, howling artifact of ideology.
So is his party. A party wedded to ideological abstractions, emotional hissy-fits, constitutional brinkmanship and a strongman candidate is not a conservative party. It is the anti-conservative party. Objecting to everything is objecting to nothing. Gerrymandering yourself into a homogeneous, minority cult only rewards ever more extremism. Obsessed with themselves, demanding the impossible, and risking everything for it: this is not a party that is in any way fit for government, and yet it is a party that is all but guaranteed huge sway because America is so polarized that extremists get away with anything.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej are again discussing philosophy:
Hili: Is scepticism a world view?A: No, but sometimes it helps against the worst mistakes.
Hili: Czy sceptycyzm jest światopoglądem?Ja: Nie, ale pozwala czasem bronić się przed najgorszymi błędami.
From BuzzFeed, more capitalistic lying:
A tweet from Masih showing a bloodied Iranian child attacked by the regime (sound up). Zahedan is in Iran.
This child was injured and left bloodied when agents of the Islamic regime attacked protesters in Zahedan. Anytime a child is harmed in places like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, or Ukraine, the Islamic regime and its affiliated terror groups like Hamas are behind it. pic.twitter.com/PXVy3cQKgC
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) October 20, 2023
From Jez, a WaPo flub. (The papers are having trouble with the war.) DETAINED by Hamas? Seriously? What about KIDNAPPED? Is it against the Post’s stylebook to say that Hamas kidnaps people?
From Barry; these ducklings will be well protected, but they need to learn how to be ducks (and get proper food):
Chicks think the cat is their mom and the cat is really mothering them. 💓😂pic.twitter.com/j1fvZ39BDV
— Figen (@TheFigen_) October 19, 2023
From Frits, a REAL catwalk:
— NO CONTEXT HUMANS 👤 (@HumansNoContext) October 20, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial: a mother and three-year-old child gassed upon arrival at the camp:
21 October 1938 | A Dutch Jewish girl, Roza Elisabeth, van Coevorden was born in Rotterdam.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 21, 2023
From Dr. Cobb who got it from Tina. The speaker is apparently a Jewish comedian who lives in the West Bank, but his words are dead serious. I think he’s speaking in Arabic.
Beyond the loud genocidal chants of the indoctrinated and the screams of the useful idiots, listen carefully and you’ll hear muffled voices like this: pic.twitter.com/L3qX5876HO
— Yasmine Mohammed 🦋 ياسمين محمد (@YasMohammedxx) October 20, 2023
Cat in an orchestra (sound up):
— place where cat shouldn't be (@catshouldnt) September 24, 2023
. . . and a groaner:
— jim rose circus (@jimrosecircus1) October 7, 2022