Punishing the Amalekites

Guernica darkened

Pablo Picasso's Guernica

Little Gaza Laid to Waste

GPM # 35

The cruel events of October 7 are almost a month gone now.

Over 1400 Israelis were brutally killed by armed militants dashing through or paragliding over the fortified, seemingly unbreachable perimeter of their open-air prison.

Thirty days later, retaliatory Israeli bombardment has reduced Gaza to rubble, and killed many. According to Gaza Health Authorities, Israeli bombs and missiles have killed almost ten thousand Gazans, including 4000 children.

Twenty-five thousand have been injured, some critically.

With half of Gaza’s housing stock severely damaged or destroyed, a million and a half are now refugees. No place is safe. Civilians fleeing south, as Israel told them to, are getting bombed. This past week, an airstrike left Gaza’s central road littered with bloodied bodies, many of them children.

UN schools, mosques and churches have been targeted too. So have ambulances and about a dozen hospitals, including a pair of pediatric clinics in Jabaliya refugee camp. Fifteen were killed in a strike on Al-Fakhoura school.

Here’s the most recent World Health Organization report on health care attacks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

These were all legitimate targets, Israel says. Hamas tunnels are underneath.

Meanwhile, in Ramallah, seat of the US/Israeli-backed Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, now in the eighteenth year of his four-year presidential term, has had little to say to his own people. He’d rather sit down with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who opposes a halt in violence and defends Israel entirely.

I spoke about October 7, Israel’s subsequent war on Gaza and status of Palestinian leadership with Fathi Nimer. Nimer is a Palestine policy fellow at the Al-Shabaka Palestinian Policy Network.

Listen to our conversation in today’s podcast. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Listen to our complete conversation here:


As Israel’s Gaza assault reaches genocidal proportions, over in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a dozen Palestinians have been killed by armed Jewish settlers, some of them off-duty soldiers.

Among these, an olive farmer named Bilal Saleh, from the village of Al-Sawiya, near Nablus, reportedly shot in the chest last week while picking olives.

Jewish settlers attack and kill Palestinians with impunity. Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din reports 1600 acts of settler violence against Palestinians and destruction of their property between 2005 and 2022. Three percent of these alleged crimes lead to convictions.

Many of them took place in the presence of Israeli soldiers, or with their assistance. Many Israeli soldiers are settlers, and vice versa. In and out of uniform, soldiers and settlers work hand in hand.

To learn more about settler-soldier collusion and the ethnic cleansing of Bedouin communities, the GPM spoke with Dror Sadot, spokesperson for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

Listen to our conversation in today’s podcast. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Listen to our complete conversation here:


Thirty days into Israel’s war on Gaza, the long-besieged enclave in rubble, nearly half of its people homeless, almost ten thousand dead and no end in sight, observers cry genocide.

So do Israeli leaders. Gaza should be nuked, at least one has suggested.

Genocide is an ancient Jewish tradition, Benjamin Netanyahu told IDF troops, in an open letter last week. “This is a war between the children of light and the children of darkness,” the Prime Minister wrote. “Remember what Amalek did to you.”

For those not up on their Bible, the Amalekites come up in 1 Samuel 15:

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel … Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

Israeli Air force and ground troops seem to be heeding the Biblical injunction. In a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal, a half dozen physicians and public health experts deplore the “litany of atrocious” Israeli attacks, including the use of white phosphorus.

“Violence in Palestine demands immediate resolution of its settler colonial root causes,” their piece is called. The GPM spoke with its lead author. James Smith is a physician and public health scholar in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.

Listen to our conversation in today’s podcast. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Thanks to Dan Weisenberger for his beautiful guitar instrumentals.