“Most incriminatingly, Netanyahu himself said in 2019 at a Likud party conference: “Anyone who wants to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state needs to support strengthening Hamas.”
Netanyahu on Tuesday, however, dismissed those charges, claiming he only allowed Qatari money to flow into Gaza to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe, not to strengthen the arm of the administration there.
“We wanted to avoid a civilian humanitarian collapse — disease, rampant hunger and other things that would have created an impossible humanitarian situation,” he said. “That’s why successive Israeli governments allowed this money to go in, not in order to strengthen Hamas. We didn’t want to strengthen Hamas at all. We wanted to weaken it and degrade its capabilities as far as we could.””
“So far, most of the firings appear to have been for expressing pro-Palestinian views — the U.S.-based advocacy organization Palestine Legal reports that they’ve responded to over 260 cases of people’s “livelihoods or careers” being targeted. But the fact that these firings have been due in large part to social media posts and the widespread broadcasting of personal political beliefs means that the trend may not stay on one issue or one side of a dispute for long; Lakier says that we are watching the relationship between free expression and employment shift in real time.
Currently, regulations concerning speech and private employment oscillate wildly from state to state — about half of states have no protections for private employees who express political beliefs, while others have laws that vary in terms of scope. Many of the employment laws that do exist find their roots in the 19th century and are little use in navigating the 21st century workplace. Meanwhile, ideas about protected speech are constantly shifting in the culture: After 9/11, for example, the war on terror brought with it new examinations into what kind of speech promulgates terrorism. More recently, debates over “cancel culture” on campuses and in the workplace have brought up similar questions of what speech is permissible — and when consequences are justified.
“The First Amendment has always had exceptions, but those exceptions can expand under pressure,” Lakier told me. Since the Israel-Hamas war began, “people are interpreting the category of hate speech or the incitement of violent speech very, very broadly to include speech that in my view is totally legitimate, often pro-peace speech.””
“From Western capitals to Muslim states, protest rallies over the Israel-Hamas war have made headlines. But one place known for its vocal pro-Palestinian stance has been conspicuously quiet: Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Indian authorities have barred any solidarity protest in Muslim-majority Kashmir and asked Muslim preachers not to mention the conflict in their sermons, residents and religious leaders told The Associated Press.
The restrictions are part of India’s efforts to curb any form of protest that could turn into demands for ending New Delhi’s rule in the disputed region. They also reflect a shift in India’s foreign policy under populist Prime Minister Narendra Modi away from its long-held support for the Palestinians, analysts say.
India has long walked a tightrope between the warring sides, with historically close ties to both. While India strongly condemned the Oct. 7 attack by the militant group Hamas and expressed solidarity with Israel, it urged that international humanitarian law be upheld in Gaza amid rising civilian deaths.”
“Kashmiris have long shown strong solidarity with the Palestinians and often staged large anti-Israel protests during previous fighting in Gaza. Those protests often turned into street clashes, with demands for an end of India’s rule and dozens of casualties.”
“India “views Israel’s assault on Gaza as a counterterrorism operation meant to eliminate Hamas and not directly target Palestinian civilians, exactly the way Israel views the conflict,” Kugelman said. He added that from New Delhi’s perspective, “such operations don’t pause for humanitarian truces.”
India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, sought to justify India’s abstention.
“It is not just a government view. If you ask any average Indian, terrorism is an issue which is very close to people’s heart, because very few countries and societies have suffered terrorism as much as we have,” he told a media event in New Delhi on Saturday.
Even though Modi’s government has sent humanitarian assistance for Gaza’s besieged residents, many observers viewed its ideological alignment with Israel as potentially rewarding at a time when the ruling party in New Delhi is preparing for multiple state elections this month and crucial national polls next year.
The government’s shift aligns with widespread support for Israel among India’s Hindu nationalists who form a core vote bank for Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party. It also resonates with the coverage by Indian TV channels of the war from Israel. The reportage has been seen as largely in line with commentary used by Hindu nationalists on social media to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment that in the past helped the ascendance of Modi’s party.”
“One area where the Biden administration has set itself apart is in sending weapons to partner countries, and now we’re getting a more complete picture of what the US is sending Israel in the weeks since October 7.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the US has ramped up its previously minimal military aid to the country to an unparalleled $46.7 billion. Ukraine towers over the other major recipients in bar charts of US security assistance for 2022 and ’23. The US is sending so many munitions there that it has apparently strained American factories and led to a whole-of-government effort to revive military supply chains.
The US is also accelerating arms transfers to Israel in response to Hamas’s October 7 attacks that killed 1,200 people and resulted in the kidnapping of more than 200. Last month, President Joe Biden announced from the Oval Office that he would seek “an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense” of $14.3 billion. “We’re surging additional military assistance,” he added.
But while Ukraine has never been a traditional recipient of heavy military aid, the US’s most recent support of the Israeli military builds on a long bipartisan American practice. Israel has received about $3 billion annually, adjusted for inflation, for the last 50 years, and is the largest historical recipient of US security aid. The Obama administration in 2016 announced the biggest security assistance package to the country ever, pledging $38 billion for Israel over the next decade. US support has ensured that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge over neighboring Arab countries by having more advanced weapons systems, something Congress wrote into law in 2008.
Israel would not be able to conduct this war without the US, which over time has provided Israel with about 80 percent of the country’s weapons imports.”
“Israel contends that it has the right to circumvent certain international obligations in the West Bank, saying that it’s not part of Israel’s sovereign territory and therefore subject to military laws that can restrict people’s civil rights. But watchdog groups, including the United Nations Human Rights Committee, argue that as the occupying power, Israel must respect human rights in Palestinian territories — especially as the occupation grows older and more entrenched.
And before the war, Israel was not, by and large, deploying this tool lawfully. “Amnesty has found that Israel’s systematic use of administrative detention against Palestinians indicates that it’s used to persecute Palestinians rather than as an extraordinary and selectively used preventative measure,” Rghebi said.
Israel maintains that it detains people because of legitimate security concerns, such as potential participation in violent attacks. But while there is a thin veneer of due process — Palestinians can appeal their detention orders, for example — the reality is that a stunningly low number of appeals succeed, in no small part because as both local and international human rights groups have documented, neither the detainees nor their lawyers are told what evidence Israel has against them. (According to B’Tselem, Israeli military courts only nullified 1.2 percent of detention orders issued between 2015 and 2017, and an investigation by Haaretz found that as of August, not a single detention order had been canceled this year.)”