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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Opinion Biden shouldn’t sound like a conservative on immigration policy

Opinion Biden shouldn’t sound like a conservative on immigration policy

President Biden on Tuesday in D.C. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

“President Biden is pledging to “shut down the border” if Congress adopts an immigration proposal that his advisers have helped craft and the president described as “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.” There is a huge risk in this approach. Biden could be making the same mistake his party made throughout the ’80s and ’90s, particularly on crime issues — adopting right-wing rhetoric and policy that made the country worse and also didn’t deliver the electoral benefits that were supposed to justify the negatives.

There are real immigration challenges for the United States right now. For a variety of reasons, from climate change to autocratic leaders taking power, an usually high number of people are leaving their home countries and hoping to live here. And even left-leaning pro-immigrant cities and states such as Chicago and Massachusetts are calling for federal help because they’re struggling to provide enough housing and other support for these new arrivals.

But if the country overall were as liberal as Boston or Chicago, I doubt Biden would be using phrases such as “shut down the border.” He probably would be emphasizing the economic benefits of greater immigration and America’s history of welcoming refugees from oppressive nations, as well calling for a path to citizenship for the undocumented and other pro-immigrant policies. Instead, his approach is one-sided, casting immigrants and immigration largely as a problem, for which the solution is more border control agents and restrictions on asylum and other pathways to enter the United States.

This is a framing and policy designed to appease White swing voters in states such as Wisconsin ahead of the 2024 election, not to make the best possible reforms to the U.S. immigration system and explain them in an comprehensive way.

I am deeply concerned about former president Donald Trump and would not object too much to some conservative policies and rhetoric if I were fairly certain they would prevent a victory by the likely Republican presidential nominee. But those trade-offs have to be smart — bad policy needs to be justified by real electoral benefits. And I have little confidence in Biden and other centrist Democrats when they make such assessments — their record is pretty bad on this front.

In the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, the Democratic Party, including at times then-Sen. Biden, distanced itself from expansive government programslabor unions and abortion rights while embracing deficit reduction, tough-on-crime rhetoric and policies, and the Iraq War. This reflected some sincere centrism among some party leaders, but it was also done in part for electoral reasons.

The United States would certainly have had even more conservative policies if Bill Clinton had lost the 1992 and 1996 elections. But those three decades featured many Republican wins at the presidential and congressional levels, while Democrats legitimized and at times helped enact expanded use of the death penalty, an unnecessary war in Iraq and numerous other flawed policies. The conventional wisdom of the ’90s and early 2000s was that Democrats smartly moved to the center during that period. Now, as the Democrats are doing fairly well electorally as a much more pro-labor, pro-abortion rights, pro-Black party, it’s possible much of that centrism was not electorally necessary.

Biden has moved on from those flawed policies but not the instincts that drove them. Moving to the right on immigration and policing in the 2020s is a close cousin of moving to the right on spending and crime in the 1990s. The president has attacked calls to defund the police; urged cities to spend funds from the American Rescue Plan on their already-bloated policy departments; and forced D.C. to backtrack from reforms to make its criminal justice less punitive. The 1990s Democratic Party distanced itself from Jesse Jackson to seem centrist; for Biden-era Democrats, usually unnamed progressives and activists play the same role.

And again the evidence justifying this strategy on electoral grounds is weak. Biden has dismal approval ratings. Popular Democratic governors such as Kentucky’s Andy Beshear and Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer don’t always take the most left-wing stand, but you’ll rarely hear them distancing themselves from the party’s progressives, the people who are often correct on policy and nearly always are doing everything possible to ensure Democratic candidates get elected.

Also, the Republican Party is doing about as well as Democrats electorally — and Republican Party leaders aren’t lecturing antiabortion activists for pushing an unpopular position.

Centrist Democrats tend to make decisions by looking at issue polls. It’s true that when asked by pollsters, Americans agree with some conservative rhetoric and policy proposals on immigration, policing and other issues where Biden is more centrist, just as they did in the 1990s on government spending and crime. But issue polls aren’t well-correlated to the polls that actually matter — support and likelihood of voting for a given candidate. There is little evidence that there is a bloc of swing voters who have fairly centrist stands on 19 issues and vote for the candidate closest to those views on 10 or more of those issues.

Right now, a politician who almost always adopts the majority stand (Biden) is tied or trailing in the polls against an opponent (Trump), who regularly takes very unpopular positions.

Biden beat Trump in 2020 and could defeat him again this year. But “look at the polls and do what is popular” is hardly some kind of political cheat code. Its benefits are often small — and at times nonexistent. It’s hard to argue that being in the right place on immigration will do the trick for Biden after similar moves on other issues haven’t.

And again, there are real, serious costs to this performative centrism. It is harder to sustain a movement to reform police with the leader of the Democratic Party joining Republicans in attacking the language of activists and praising cops. It is harder to reject the unfair stereotype of Democrats as a party of overeducated elitists out of touch with regular people when the party’s leaders at times endorse that narrative.

On immigration, left-leaning parties in Europe adopting more nativist rhetoric and policies have often moved public sentiment even further against immigration but not helped those parties do better electorally. That’s happening in the United States, too. It is unsurprising that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is so willing to defy the Biden administration and block federal agents’ access to a park on the border, because it seems as if Biden wants to downplay the issue and therefore not be cast as too pro-immigrant.

What Biden should be doing is looking for ways to make the immigration system more effective without uplifting and validating anti-immigrant sentiments. So more border control agents and even some new limits on asylum are fine. But repeating Trump-style rhetoric about an out-of-control border that must be “shut down,” which is essentially impossible anyway, is unlikely to win a lot of voters but will make the public discussion in the United States more anti-immigration.

I could be wrong. Perhaps Biden wins the election, and there is definitive proof that his tacking right on immigration won over lots of Americans. But the worst possible outcome is that Trump is elected, and it’s harder for the news media and Democrats to condemn the Republicans for taking very conservative actions on immigration and other issues because Biden was proposing slightly milder versions of the same policies. A second bad outcome is Biden winning but moving to the right on issue after issue, reversing much of the progress made by the post-Black Lives Matter Democratic Party.

Some centrism might be required to win a national presidential election. But a lot of progressivism is required to have a more equitable and just country. So Biden should be very careful about the progressivism he is throwing overboard to win in November.“

The War the World Can’t See

The War the World Can’t See

“From outside Gaza, the scale of death and destruction is impossible to grasp, shrouded by communications blackouts, restrictions barring international reporters and extreme challenges facing local journalists.

Palestinian mourners and local journalists in Gaza encircle two bodies of journalists killed in the war wrapped in white shrouds on gurneys.
Palestinian journalists mourning two fellow reporters, Saeed al-Taweel and Mohammed Sobh, who were killed in a strike in Gaza City in October.Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times

Sign up for the Israel-Hamas War Briefing.  The latest news about the conflict.

To many people outside Gaza, the war flashes by as a doomscroll of headlines and casualty tolls and photos of screaming children, the bloody shreds of somebody else’s anguish.

But the true scale of death and destruction is impossible to grasp, the details hazy and shrouded by internet and cellphone blackouts that obstruct communication, restrictions barring international journalists and the extreme, often life-threatening challenges of reporting as a local journalist from Gaza.

There are pinholes in the murk, apertures such as the Instagram feeds of Gaza photographers and a small number of testimonies that slip through. With every passing week, however, the light dims as those documenting the war leave, quit or die. Reporting from Gaza has come to seem pointlessly risky to some local journalists, who despair of moving the rest of the world to act.

“I survived death multiple times and put myself in danger” to document the war, Ismail al-Dahdouh, a Gaza reporter, wrote in an Instagram post this month to announce he was quitting journalism. Yet a world “that doesn’t know the meaning of humanity” had not acted to stop it.

At least 76 Palestinian journalists have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas led an attack on Israel and Israel responded by launching an all-out war. The Committee to Protect Journalists says more journalists and media workers — including essential support staff such as translators, drivers and fixers — have been killed in the past 16 weeks than in a whole year of any other conflict since 1992.

A journalist with a dark blue vest labeled “PRESS” walking along a street, a long-lensed camera dangling from one elbow.
The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate has counted at least 25 Gazan journalists who it says were killed while wearing protective vests bearing the word “press.”Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times

“With every journalist killed, we lose our ability to document and understand the war,” said Sherif Mansour, the group’s Middle East program coordinator.

The New York Times and other major international outlets have evacuated Palestinian journalists who were working for them in Gaza, though some Western news agencies still have local teams there.

At the same time, foreign reporters have repeatedly sought to enter and been denied permission by Israel and Egypt, which control Gaza’s borders.

A handful have embedded with the Israeli military on very short visits that offer a limited and curated view of the war. And a CNN correspondent briefly reported from inside Gaza after entering with an Emirati aid group.

Apart from those, only Gazan journalists have been working there since the war began.

Nearly all the journalists who have died in Gaza since Oct. 7 were killed by Israeli airstrikes, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 38 of them at home, in their cars or alongside family members. That has led many Palestinians to accuse Israel of targeting journalists, though CPJ has not echoed that allegation.

“Israel is afraid of the Palestinian narrative and of Palestinian journalists,” said Khawla al-Khalidi, 34, a Gazan TV journalist for Al Arabiya, a well-known regional Arabic-language TV channel. “They’re trying to silence us by cutting the networks.”

An Israeli military spokesman, Nir Dinar, said that Israel “has never and will never deliberately target journalists.” But he cautioned that remaining in active combat zones carried risks. He called the accusation that Israel was deliberately cutting communications networks to hide the war a “blood libel.”

The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, which has members in both Gaza and the West Bank, has counted at least 25 Gaza journalists who it says were wearing protective vests bearing the word “press” when they were killed, said Shuruq Asad, a syndicate spokeswoman. Some journalists have been sleeping away from their families for fear that sheltering with relatives would put them at risk, she added.

Since Oct. 7, Israel has blocked most of Gaza’s electricity and barred all but a slow drip of aid from entering the territory. The war has also damaged or severed communications networks, making it nearly impossible for most Gazans to give interviews to foreign media outlets. Telecommunications have disappeared entirely more than half a dozen times during the conflict.

It falls to Gazan journalists, mostly working for Palestinian or regional Arabic-language outlets such as Al Jazeera, or young freelancers equipped with little more than Instagram, to bring scraps of Gaza’s reality to outsiders. In their instantly recognizable navy-blue “press” vests, many have gained attention on social media for their raw, personal English-language videos and photos of the war.

Every time Amr Tabash, a 26-year-old freelance photojournalist in Gaza, rushes to capture the aftermath of an airstrike, he said he experiences a fear that he might find his family among the victims. Covering one strike, he found out that his uncle and his cousin had been killed.

“I need to be fully focused reporting” on Israel’s attacks, he said. “But I am always worried about my family, and that takes a big part of my focus.”

Others have chosen to leave Gaza altogether.

Motaz Azaiza, a photojournalist who built up a wide following on Instagram with his coverage of the war, evacuated to Qatar last week.

Ms. al-Khalidi, the Al Arabiya journalist, said she had never considered leaving journalism, even as the job got impossibly difficult, far worse than in the previous wars she had covered. But this time, there was no reporting on strikes by day and going home to her family at night, no hot showers, little food. She and her family had to abandon their home for a shelter, she said.

“We’re not just reporting on what is happening. We’re already part of what is happening,” she said.

One journalist who felt duty bound to cover the war was Roshdi Sarraj, 31, who founded a media company at age 18 and also worked as a photographer and fixer for international news outlets.

Before the war, his company, Ain Media, offered production, photography and filmmaking services to local and international clients including Netflix. He and his wife, Shrouq Aila, had worked on a documentary episode for Netflix about bee sting therapy together as they were falling in love, she said.

When the war broke out, they were married with a young daughter and the couple was on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They were planning to fly on to visit Qatar.

Then Mr. Sarraj learned that a friend and fellow journalist back in Gaza had been killed. Another was missing.

Mr. Sarraj’s brother-in-law, Mahmoud Aila, who was helping Ain Media expand in Qatar, said that when he asked about their travel plans, Mr. Sarraj told him, “‘At a time like this, I can only be in Gaza.’” He canceled the trip.

Mr. Sarraj’s friends said this was typical of his loyalty to his birthplace.

Calm and soft-spoken, Mr. Sarraj was stubbornly principled when it came the struggle for justice and freedom for Palestinians. He told friends after the war began that he would not leave his hometown, Gaza City, ignoring Israeli evacuation orders, because he believed fleeing was akin to being forced from his home, as many Palestinians had been during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

It was at his family’s home on Oct. 22, while he was sitting with his wife and daughter, that Ms. Aila said an Israeli airstrike hit. He was wounded so deeply that Ms. Aila could see his brain, she said by phone. They bandaged his head, Ms. Aila telling herself that, at worst, he would be paralyzed.

“Doesn’t matter as long as he’s still here,” she remembered thinking. “I don’t care at all if he was paralyzed. I’d stay beside him for life.”

But at the hospital, she was told his case was hopeless; the operating room was already overwhelmed. He died within half an hour, Ms. Aila said.

She remembered kissing his shoulder in farewell: She could swear he smelled of musk, as if someone had perfumed him at the moment of death.

It reminded her of when they were praying in Mecca, their hands on the holy Kaaba shrine’s black cover, which also smelled of musk. She said she had told her husband to pray that he would live to raise his daughter, Dania, so she would not be an orphan like Ms. Aila, who lost both her parents young.

But he had not seemed sure, she said.

Ms. Aila buried him in a mass grave. Amid the chaos, there was no other option.“

Monday, January 29, 2024

Trump Attacks on Georgia Prosecutor Could BACKFIRE in MASSIVE Way

Gaza’s Food Crisis - The New York Times

Gaza’s Food Crisis

"Famine has become a central humanitarian concern in the enclave.

Rafah, in southern Gaza.Fatima Shbair/Associated Press

You’re reading The Morning newsletter.  Make sense of the day’s news and ideas. David Leonhardt and Times journalists guide you through what’s happening — and why it matters.

Mothers in Gaza are struggling to find clean water and baby formula for their newborns. Families are selling their possessions to buy sacks of flour. Some people are eating animal feed to survive.

In the northern city of Beit Lahia, Mahmoud Shalabi said people have brought cattle feed — made of corn or oat — to a mill to grind it into flour. It is barely edible, said Shalabi, 38, whose children are 7 and 9, but is preferable to starvation. “If you find it now,” he told us, “you will be able to have something to eat and feed your kids.”

Famine has become a central concern in the humanitarian calamity in Gaza, with nearly all households regularly skipping meals, according to the U.N. On a per capita basis, Bob Kitchen of the International Rescue Committee said, “It is the most intense hunger crisis I have ever seen.” He added: “Almost everyone is now hungry.”

In today’s newsletter, we will explain the crisis in Gaza — and the concern among experts that starvation has again become a tool of war.

The siege

Gaza’s food shortage stems mostly from Israel’s blockade, which has been especially intense since October.

Gaza is an arid strip of densely populated land where the economy depends on imports to produce enough food. For years, Israel has limited the flow of goods into Gaza, largely to prevent Hamas from gaining access to military supplies. The limits also restricted the entry of food and other basic items.

After the Hamas-led Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, Israel ordered what its defense minister called a “complete siege” of Gaza. The goal was both to weaken Hamas fighters and to ensure that no military supplies could enter. Israeli officials claim that they are still allowing food and other humanitarian supplies into the enclave, but that aid groups have not distributed them efficiently. On Twitter, Israel’s government recently posted a photo of aid trucks sitting idle at Gaza’s border and wrote, “Stop spreading accusations and start doing your job.”

Israeli officials have also accused the agency in charge of humanitarian aid in Gaza — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — of colluding with Hamas and being biased against Israel. (On Friday, the U.N. fired several employees of the agency and began investigating accusations that they had participated in the Oct. 7 attacks. Read the latest details.)

Still, many human rights experts dispute that inefficient aid distribution is the main cause of the food shortage. Israel, these experts say, has been too slow to inspect supplies and approve them for entry. Only 20 percent to 30 percent of what people need has been crossing into Gaza, according to the World Food Program. “Israel says the reason is security,” Stephanie Nolen, who covers global health for The Times, told us. “But the net result is that you can’t actually get food in.”

In a ruling on Friday, the International Court of Justice — an arbiter of international law, based in the Netherlands — found that many people in Gaza have “no access to the most basic foodstuffs, potable water, electricity, essential medicines or heating.” The court ordered Israel to allow more supplies to enter Gaza immediately, although the court has little ability to enforce the ruling.

Hamas and Egypt also bear some responsibility for the hunger crisis. Western and Arab officials have said that Hamas has kept a large stockpile of food, fuel and medicine for the group’s own members to use.

Egypt, for its part, shares a border with southern Gaza yet has blocked most Gazans from fleeing the war zone. Egypt’s actions contrast with the refugee policies of other border nations during wars, including in Ukraine and South Sudan, where neighboring countries have prioritized civilian lives.

Gaza’s food situation is dire enough to have become part of the negotiations between Israel and Hamas over the release of Israeli hostages and a possible cease-fire. Officials from the U.S., Egypt and Qatar are participating in the talks, and some have grown hopeful that they are close to a deal.

(Related: Israel yesterday stepped up efforts to prevent Israeli protesters from blocking aid into Gaza. The protesters say no aid should enter until Hamas releases hostages.)

Feckless law

Our colleague Stephanie Nolen has noted that the world seemed to be moving away from starvation as a weapon of war in the late 20th century.

The tactic was common during World War II, when a Nazi strategy called “Hungerplan” helped kill millions of Soviets and the U.S. military conducted Operation Starvation to block the delivery of food to Japan. In 1998, however, a new statute of international law criminalized the use of civilian starvation as a military tactic.

Still, several countries have evidently used the tactic over the past seven years, including Saudi Arabia against Yemen; Syria’s own government against its people; and Ethiopia, to fight rebels in its Tigray region. These governments have suffered few consequences. Palestinians accuse Israel of repeating the pattern in Gaza.

For more: Stephanie explains the dire — and sometimes lasting — effects of starvationon the human body."

Gaza’s Food Crisis - The New York Times

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Opinion | Dobbs Overturned Much More Than Roe v. Wade - The New York Times

Dobbs Overturned Much More Than Roe v. Wade

Seen in the distance behind a car in a side mirror, a large sign reading “Bristol, Tenn.”
Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

"You’re reading the Jamelle Bouie newsletter, for Times subscribers only.  Historical context for present-day events.

Most of my writing this week was on the recent elections in Iowa and New Hampshire, but most of my reading was focused elsewhere. In particular, I want to highlight this report from Jessica Valenti, published in her excellent newsletter, on proposed travel bans for abortion care in Tennessee and Oklahoma. The Tennessee ban, proposed by State Representative Jason Zachary, would make it a felony to take a minor out of state to obtain an abortion. As Valenti notes, “That means a friend, aunt or grandmother who helps a teenager get an abortion could be sent to prison for 15 years.” The Oklahoma bill, if signed into law, would punish anyone who helped a minor obtain abortion care with up to five years in prison.

I have written about how abortion bans implicate a broad set of rights tied to our personal and bodily autonomy, including the right to travel between states. And I have analogized this dynamic to the legal and political conflicts over slavery, which were about not just labor but also the right of free citizens to enjoy the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizenship, wherever in the country they happen to live.

One thing to recognize about the scope of states’ power from the founding to the Civil War is that it was broader and more expansive than we tend to recognize under modern conceptions of constitutional law. States, as most Americans understood them at the time, were governments of general jurisdiction with far-reaching police powers that gave them almost total discretion to regulate internal affairs. The federal government, by contrast, was a limited government of enumerated powers — a government that could take only such action as allowed by the Constitution.

The police power, the historian Kate Masur notes in “Until Justice Be Done,” “was grounded not in the idea that a government’s duty was to protect individual rights but, rather, in the conviction that government’s most important obligation was to secure the health, safety and general well-being of a community.”

"Laws concerning paupers and vagrants,” she continues, were “all ‘police’ laws, designed to ensure public peace and protect a community’s coffers. In the slave states, people frequently described as police laws measures designed to prevent slave uprisings and otherwise safeguard the slaveholding order.”

The Civil War and the constitutional amendments that followed brought a fundamental transformation of state and federal power. The states were now subordinate to the federal government in a way that wasn’t true before the war. And state police powers were now bounded by the rights established in the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. One way to understand the 20th-century expansion of national rights is that those constituted further restrictions on the police powers of the states. The constitutional right to an abortion, for instance, put real limits on the ability of states to regulate activity within their borders.

Seen in this light, the conservative judicial attack on reproductive rights and voting rights and other breakthroughs of the 1960s and ’70s is about not just those rights but also freeing states to take a heavier hand in regulating their internal affairs.

Let’s look again at Tennessee and Oklahoma. These states (and others, like Texas, Florida and Missouri) are dominated by conservative and reactionary Republican lawmakers who are doing everything in their power to impose traditional patterns of domination under the guise of parents’ rights or family values. In the past, strong national rights, guaranteed by the federal Constitution, put limits on what they could do and how far they could go. What the Supreme Court is doing — and what it will continue to do — is giving conservative lawmakers the power and license to go further. To take the federal brake off the police power and give state lawmakers the right to do as much as they would like to maintain “public order.”

For as much as it is important to defend reproductive rights — and other key rights — on a state-by-state basis, this is why it is also important to defend and protect them at the level of the federal government. The goal is not just to secure rights but also to restrain the states."

Opinion | Dobbs Overturned Much More Than Roe v. Wade - The New York Times

ICJ’s Genocide Ruling Against Israel Has Little Immediate Effect - The New York Times

Genocide Ruling Has Deep Symbolism but Little Immediate Effect

"The decision by the World Court did not order Israel to cease its war against Hamas in Gaza. But the court made a move imbued with historical meaning.

News Analysis

Judges at the World Court sit at a long table in white seats, before an audience.
The judges at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Friday.Remko De Waal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A ruling on Friday by the International Court of Justice on charges of genocide against Israel had deep historical resonance for both Israelis and Palestinians. But it lacked immediate practical consequences.

The World Court did not order a halt to fighting in the Gaza Strip and made no attempt to rule on the merits of the case brought by South Africa, a process that will take months — if not years — to complete.

But the court did order Israel to comply with the Genocide Convention, to send more aid to Gaza and to inform the court of its efforts to do so — interim measures that felt like a rebuke to many Israelis and a moral victory to many Palestinians.

For many Israelis, the fact that a state founded in the aftermath of the Holocaust had been accused of genocide was “one hell of a symbol,” Alon Pinkas, an Israeli political commentator and former ambassador, said after the ruling by the court in The Hague.

“That we’re even mentioned in the same sentence as the concept of genocide — not even atrocity, not disproportionate force, not war crime, but genocide — that is extremely uncomfortable,” he added.

For many Palestinians, the court’s intervention offered a brief sense of validation for their cause. Israel is rarely held to account for its actions, Palestinians and their supporters say, and the ruling felt like a welcome exception amid one of the deadliest wars this century.

“The slaughter is ongoing, the carnage is ongoing, the total destruction is ongoing,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a former Palestinian official. But the court’s decision reflected “a serious transformation in the way Israel is being perceived and treated globally,” she said.

“Israel is being held accountable for the first time — and by the highest court, and by an almost unanimous ruling,” she added.

A plume of gray smoke rises over Rafah.
An Israeli strike in Rafah, in southern Gaza, on Friday.Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

To Gazans, the intervention will bring little immediate relief.

Israel’s campaign in Gaza has killed more than 25,000 Gazans, according to Gazan officials, and damaged most of the buildings in the territory, according to the United Nations. More than four in five residents there have been displaced from their homes, the health system has collapsed, and the U.N. has repeatedly warned of a looming famine.

In ordering compliance with the Genocide Convention, the court pushed Israel to follow an international law that was written in 1948 and that prohibits signatory states from killing members of an ethnic, national or religious group with the intention of destroying, even partly, that particular group.

To many Israelis, the decision seemed like the latest example of bias against Israel in an international forum. They say that the world holds Israel to a higher standard than most other countries. And to the Israeli mainstream, the war is one of necessity and survival — forced on Israel by Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7, which killed about 1,200 people and led to the abduction of 240 others to Gaza, according to Israeli estimates.

Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister whose inflammatory statements about the war were cited by the court in the preamble to its ruling, called the court’s ruling antisemitic.

“The state of Israel does not need to be lectured on morality in order to distinguish between terrorists and the civilian population in Gaza,” said Mr. Gallant.

“Those who seek justice will not find it on the leather chairs of the court chambers in The Hague,” he added.

Still, the court’s instructions might give momentum and political cover to Israeli officials who have been pushing internally to temper the military’s actions in Gaza and alleviate the humanitarian disaster in the territory, according to Janina Dill, an expert on international law at Oxford University.

“Any dissenting voices in the Israeli government and Israeli military who disagree with how the war has been conducted so far have now been given a really powerful strategic argument to ask for a change in course,” Professor Dill said.

For Professor Dill, the case also prompted reflection “about the human condition,” given how Israel was founded in part to prevent genocide against the Jewish people.

“Preventing human beings from turning against each other is a constant struggle, and no group in the world is incapable of that,” she added.

It was a topic that appeared to preoccupy the sole Israeli judge, Aharon Barak, among the 17 assessing the case on the World Court.

As a child, Mr. Barak, 87, survived the Holocaust after escaping from a Jewish ghetto in Lithuania by hiding in a sack.

“Genocide is a shadow over the history of the Jewish people, and it is intertwined with my own personal experience,” Mr. Barak wrote. “The idea that Israel is now accused of committing genocide is very hard for me personally, as a genocide survivor deeply aware of Israel’s commitment to the rule of law as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Against that complex backdrop, Mr. Barak chose to vote against several of the measures passed by the court. But he joined his colleagues in calling on Israel to allow more aid into Gaza and to punish people who incite genocide — surprising observers who had expected him to side on every single point with Israel.

While many Israelis expressed frustration at the ruling, some found relief in the fact that the court did not order Israel to cease its military operation.

According to Mr. Barak, that course would have left Israel “defenseless in the face of a brutal assault, unable to fulfill its most basic duties vis-à-vis its citizens.”

“It would have amounted to tying both of Israel’s hands, denying it the ability to fight even in accordance with international law,” he wrote.

But to some Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza, that same decision constituted a betrayal. Many had hoped the court would call on Israel to stop the war entirely — a move that would be nearly impossible to enforce but that would have constituted a victory in the battle for public opinion.

“It talks like genocide & walks like genocide,” Muhammad Shehada, a rights activist from Gaza, wrote on social media. “No need to stop the genocidal war though! All good?”

Six hours after the court’s ruling, the Gazan Health Ministry released the latest casualty figures from the war. An additional 200 Gazans had been killed in the past 24 hours, the ministry said on Friday evening.

Rawan Sheikh Ahmad contributed reporting from Haifa, Israel, and Johnatan Reissfrom Tel Aviv.

Patrick Kingsley is the Jerusalem bureau chief, covering Israel and the occupied territories. He has reported from more than 40 countries, written two books and previously covered migration and the Middle East for The Guardian. More about Patrick Kingsley"

ICJ’s Genocide Ruling Against Israel Has Little Immediate Effect - The New York Times

Supreme Court is urged to rule Trump is ineligible to be president again because of the Jan. 6 riot

Supreme Court is urged to rule Trump is ineligible to be president again because of the Jan. 6 riot

The U.S. Supreme Court is photographed on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

“WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court should declare that Donald Trump is ineligible to be president again because he spearheaded the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn his 2020 election loss, lawyers leading the fight to keep him off the ballot told the justices on Friday.

In a filing filled with vivid descriptions of the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the Capitol, the lawyers urged the justices not to flinch from doing their constitutional duty and to uphold a first-of-its-kind Colorado court decision to kick the 2024 Republican presidential front-runner off the state’s primary ballot.

“Nobody, not even a former President, is above the law,” the lawyers wrote.

The court will hear arguments in less than two weeks in a historic case that has the potential to disrupt the 2024 presidential election. 

Other news

The case presents the high court with its first look at a provision of the 14th Amendment barring some people who “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office. The amendment was adopted in 1868, following the Civil War.

In their plea to the court, the lawyers said, “Trump intentionally organized and incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol in a desperate effort to prevent the counting of electoral votes cast against him” after he lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden.

They called for a decision that makes clear that what happened on Jan. 6 was an insurrection, for which Trump bears responsibility. The president is covered by the constitutional provision at issue, and Congress doesn’t need to take action before states can apply it, the lawyers wrote. 

The written filing includes extensive details of Trump’s actions leading up to Jan. 6, including his tweet on Dec. 19, 2020, in which he informed his followers of the planned protest on the day Congress would count the electoral votes and wrote, “Be there, will be wild.” 

Then in his speech to supporters on Jan. 6, the lawyers wrote, “Trump lit the fuse.” The brief reproduces photographs of the mayhem from that day, including one of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Daniel Hodges pinned in a doorway during the attack.

Trump’s lawyers have argued that efforts to keep him off the ballot “threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans and ... promise to unleash chaos and bedlam” if other states follow Colorado’s lead.

The Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 ruling should be reversed for any of several reasons, Trump’s lawyers wrote, including that Trump did not engage in insurrection and that the presidency is not covered by the amendment. They also contend that Congress would have to enact legislation before states could invoke the provision to keep candidates off the ballot. 

The justices are hearing arguments Feb. 8. Trump already has won the first two GOP presidential contests: the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is Trump’s sole remaining significant GOP opponent.

Still, both sides have said the court needs to act quickly so that voters know whether Trump is eligible to hold the presidency.

The court is dealing with the dispute under a compressed timeframe that could produce a decision before Super Tuesday on March 5, when the largest number of delegates in a day is up for grabs, including in Colorado.

A two-sentence provision in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states that anyone who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” against it is no longer eligible for state or federal office. After Congress passed an amnesty for most of the former confederates the measure targeted in 1872, the provision fell into disuse until dozens of suits were filed to keep Trump off the ballot this year. Only the one in Colorado was successful. 

Trump is separately appealing to state court a ruling by Maine’s Democratic secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, that he is ineligible to appear on that state’s ballot over his role in the Capitol attack. Both the Colorado Supreme Court and the Maine secretary of state’s rulings are on hold until the appeals play out.“