As violent street protests between the far right and anti-fascists become standard fare, rightwingers see the press as a threat – and aren’t shy to act on it
Mohammed al-Baba, a photographer for Agence France-Presse, was hit by a live round fired by the Israel Defense Forces while covering a protest east of the northern Gazan city of Jabalia.
I then returned to the comments that had accumulated under the picture of the young woman who went to care for wounded protesters and came back in a shroud. My heart struggled to contain the sadness. I apologize to my well-intentioned friend. The bitter truth is that the Israeli collective consciousness is light-years away from a place where it can even begin speak about the basic concepts of justice, human rights, and human equality before God. I doubt that years of occupation and moral corruption can be corrected. I also apologize to Razan, the young Gazan woman who lived her whole life under occupation, more than half under the brutal siege. She did not taste a single day of freedom in her short life. She went out into the Valley of Death by the separation barrier to care for her wounded countrymen and never came back. With shame beyond words, I apologize. Rest in peace Razan, may your memory bring freedom and justice to your people.
Israeli soldiers fired two or three bullets from across the fence, according to a witness, hitting Ms. Najjar in the upper body. She was pronounced dead soon after. Ms. Najjar was the 119th Palestinian killed since the protests began in March, according to Gaza health officials. Hers was the only fatality registered on Friday. The Israeli military said Saturday that the case would be examined. The military said it “has repeatedly warned civilians against approaching the fence and taking part in violent incidents and terrorist attacks and will continue to act professionally and determinedly to protect Israeli civilians and Israeli security infrastructure.”
Torshin — a close political ally of Vladimir Putin — had multiple contacts with conservative activists in the United States during the election, seeking to set up a summit between the Russian president and then candidate Trump. Although the summit never transpired, Torshin did meet briefly with the president’s son at a private dinner in Louisville during the May 2016 annual convention of the NRA. A member of the NRA since 2012, Torshin has been a regular attendee of the group’s conventions in recent years and hosted senior members of the group in Moscow.
Since March 30, when the Gaza protests began, 101 Palestinians have been killed and well over 10,000 wounded, many maimed for life. Not a single Israeli injury and not a single rocket fired at Israel, even as Israel has bombed Gaza several times in recent weeks. It doesn’t matter which numbers you want to believe or how many stones have been thrown (not a single injury caused by them), or even how many Hamas officials have called on Palestinians to protest. This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege. And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it.
John DeCarlo, a former police chief and an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven, said that he reminds police officers to treat everyone they encounter with respect, from mundane interactions to very intense ones. Everyday encounters, like seeing an officer in a gas station, shape people’s overall perceptions of the police, he said. “We have an innate fear of police to begin with,” Mr. DeCarlo said. “It’s about treating people how you want to be treated.” Mr. DeCarlo was startled as he watched the security footage of the off-duty Buena Park police officer. “Oh my goodness,” he said as he watched the officer retrieve his gun. “Holy mackerel.” He said that the officer violated the most basic rules governing the use of force by the police. No matter the situation, officers should issue verbal commands first. Pulling out a gun should be a last resort. “What the officer did was incredibly inappropriate,” he said.
The truth of the matter is that while it is especially outrageous when security forces harm journalists, particularly if you are a journalist yourself, the wanton use of live ammunition against unarmed people demonstrating on the other side of a fortified border, no matter what they were doing at the time and no matter what their job title or political affiliation, is simply indefensible.
It’s time to start calling this what it is: a series of state-sponsored mass shootings, which we can expect to see repeated for the next five weeks. Demanding that the army investigate the killing of one journalist is not enough.