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There have been resounding calls from across the world for a long-term ceasefire to bring an end to more than two months of bombardment and a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. Over 20,000 people have now been killed by Israel's aerial campaign and ground invasion, according to the health ministry in the Strip, with over 80% of the 2.3 million residents of the enclave displaced from their homes. While Washington has continued to support Israel’s war effort (including through massive weapons transfers), Israel has paid little heed to belated US calls to try to limit civilian casualties and allow more access for humanitarian aid. Israel now says its war against Hamas could last months. With aid agencies already struggling to operate, amid food shortages and outbreaks of disease, the impact of a prolonged war in the Strip challenges the imagination.

In the two months since Israel began bombarding and laying total siege to Gaza, around 85% of the 2.3 million people who live in the Strip have been displaced from their homes, according to the UN. More than 17,000 people have been killed—around 70% of them women and children—and many others are missing and presumed to be trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The enclave's healthcare system is barely functional, and families are going entire days without food. The Israeli ground invasion is expanding into southern Gaza, squeezing hundreds of thousands of displaced into smaller and smaller areas. Relief efforts have essentially ground to a halt, and UN officials have repeatedly warned that nowhere is safe. The agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, warns that civil order is breaking down, stating: "We are reaching the point of no return."

The Israel Defense Forces' expanded authorization for bombing non-military targets, the loosening of constraints regarding expected civilian casualties, and the use of artificial intelligence to generate more potential targets than ever before, appear to have contributed to the destructive nature of the current war on the Gaza Strip, an investigation by progressive Israeli website +972 reveals. These factors, as described by current and former Israeli intelligence officials, have likely played a role in producing what has been one of the deadliest military campaigns against Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948.

Since the "humanitarian pause" ended, Israel has focused its air-strikes on Gaza's southern city of Khan Younis—now swelled with hundreds of thousands displaced from the north of the Strip. Along with the strikes, Israeli planes are dropping leaflets on the city, warning the populace to flee further south to Rafah on the Egyptian border—despite having earlier declared the southern Strip a "safe zone." Most of the Strip's 2.3 million population has already fled to the south, and Egyptian officials believe Israel is preparing to next drive them across the border into the Sinai desert. The aim of the Khan Younis strikes is to "disrupt the mass of the population from the south and push it towards Egypt," one Cairo official told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has categorically rejected a forced resettlement, and the idea is generating anger among Egyptians.

In a disturbing coincidence in Missoula, Mont., a Palestine solidarity march to protest the bombardment of Gaza ran into a separate but simultaneous anti-Israel march by neo-Nazis. Since the Gaza bombardment began, open neo-Nazi marches have also been reported from Madison, Wisc., Dallas, Tex., and elsewhere around the country. Yet, in addition to displaying enthusiasm for Hamas, their banners also read "REFUGEES NOT WELCOME"—and we may assume it was a similar ultra-right xenophobe who shot three Palestinian youths in Burlington, Vt. This makes it all the more maddening that elements of the "left" share with the Nazis an unseemly enthusiasm for Hamas—providing much fodder for the pro-Israel and "anti-woke" right. In Episode 201 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg continues to explore the dilemma.

UN experts called for prompt, transparent and independent investigations into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, since Israel's new military offensive began last month. "Independent investigators must be given the necessary resources, support and access required to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into crimes allegedly committed by all parties to the conflict," the experts said, calling on Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the de factoauthorities in Gaza to cooperate fully with investigations.

Amid Israel's massive aerial bombardment of Gaza, accusations of anti-Semitism at demonstrations for Palestine are mounting. But some instances were later revealed to have been distorted or exaggerated. The increasingly accepted official "working definition of anti-Semitism" dangerously muddies the water by explicitly conflating anti-Zionism and Jew-hatred. Media questioning of the claims of the Israeli military has even been compared to Holocaust denial. Yet actual, unambiguous Jew-hatred is meanwhile much in evidence, in America and Europe alike. This raises the imperative on activists to genuinely grapple with the distinction, rather than merely dismissing anti-Semitism as Zionist propaganda—which is, ironically, itself an anti-Semitic response. In Episode 201 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg explores the dilemma. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.