"Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all." -- Michael Rivero

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The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) provides a detailed analysis of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 and the Israeli assault on Gaza. The report finds both sides committed war crimes but concludes there is no evidence to support the claim that Hamas engaged in mass rape during its rampage in southern Israel.

Hamas accepts a UN Security Council ceasefire resolution and is ready to negotiate over the details, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters today, adding that it was up to Washington to ensure that Israel abides by it.

Hamas accepts the UN Security Council resolution in regard to the ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli troops and swap of prisoners of war for detainees held by Israel, he said.

People’s Liberation Army fighter jets escorted a Dutch helicopter that violated Chinese airspace under the auspice of a UN mission. Beijing warned the Netherlands to avoid such incidents in the future.

The Dutch military has created a dangerous situation in the East China Sea after using a UN mission as a cover-up, Chinese Ministry of Defense representative Zhang Xiaogang has said.

He added that Beijing urges the Netherlands to limit any activities of their armed forces in the region and vowed decisive counter-measures in response to provocations near China’s territory.

  

Israel has vowed to persist with its military operation in Gaza, saying it won’t engage in “meaningless” negotiations with Hamas, shortly after the United Nations Security Council overwhelmingly approved a US-backed ceasefire plan intended to bring an end to the eight-month war.

Israel’s representative to the UN, Reut Shapir Ben-Naftaly, emphasized at a UNSC meeting Monday that her country wants to “ensure that Gaza doesn’t pose a threat to Israel in the future.”

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) has paused aid shipments into Gaza through the US-built pier just days after they resumed as the project continues to fail to bring any relief to starving Palestinians.

WFP chief Cindy McCain said the deliveries were paused due to safety concerns. The US-built pier was just reconnected to Gaza’s coast on Friday after being repaired from damage due to heavy seas.

Watching the US Navy build a temporary pier in Gaza was a pathetic display of ineptitude and helplessness. It was a crass attempt by the Biden administration to deflect the storm of worldwide criticism over its encouragement of Israel’s far right government to crush Gaza to rubble. The pier fell apart due to poor construction and rough seas. I was reminded of America’s gallant fighting Seabees who build harbors and airports almost overnight during World War II.