Enforcing Silence on Genocide

The U.S. public should by now be realizing that instead of stopping genocide, U.S. institutional and media authority is actively stamping out cries to stop the mass murder being committed with U.S. complicity, writes Elizabeth Vos.

By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

Developments on university campuses and in Congress this week showed that the U.S. government’s top priority is not protecting students or civilian lives in Gaza, but to protect Israel’s ability to continue its unimpeded slaughter.

Anti-genocide student protestors at Columbia University, demanding Columbia divest from Israel, occupied the campus’s Hamilton Hall on Tuesday and renamed it Hind’s Hall after Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza earlier this year. The Columbia protest has inspired more than 40 other anti-genocide university encampments across the country and in other nations.

On the morning the students occupied Hamilton Hall, MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski compared the student protests to Jan. 6, calling for authorities to “just start arresting people.” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti Defamation League, echoed the comparison in the same MSNBC segment. Other supporters of Israel also made the same Jan. 6 anaolgy on social media early Tuesday morning.

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon wrote on X that the Columbia protest “feels January 6th ish to me” because the protesters had occupied a building. Not a federal government building, but a university hall. Has Lemon not heard of a sit-in?

Missing was the most apt and obvious comparison: the occupation of the same Columbia hall took place 56 years to the day since it was the site of a police crackdown on an historic student occupation against the Vietnam War.

Columbia University itself commemorates the anti-Vietnam War occupation of the same building by student protesters in 1968 on their own website. Nonetheless, the NYPD descended on the Hall on Tuesday night at the direct request of Columbia University President Minouche Shafik.

[See: The Israeli Connection to the Raid on Columbia University]

All the comparisons to Jan. 6 came less than 24 hours before the brutal crackdown at Columbia University and the City College of New York by the NYPD Tuesday night, in which almost 300 people were arrested.

Following the New York City arrests, CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash argued on air that the protests were “harkening back to the 1930’s in Europe,” claiming some Jewish people in the U.S. “feel unsafe,” words that completely echoed those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

How unsafe did students at the University of Pennsylvania feel when a Zionist counter protester sprayed their belongings with an unknown substance? 

How unsafe did students feel at multiple universities when police violently arrested professors trying to shield them? In one case in St. Louis, police broke the ribs of a 65-year-old Southern Illinois professor.

How safe did UCLA students feel when they were attacked with fireworks and bats by counter protesters?

In addition to the repulsive comparison with Nazis, Bash’s claim omits the context of previous legitimate antiwar protests that acted virtually identically to the current-era largely peaceful student actions.

These portrayals also excuse the police brutality that followed hours later and has continued since. Police reportedly allowed Zionist counter protesters to violently attack the UCLA encampment for hours without intervention on Tuesday night, only to clear the encampment the next evening using extreme force that included shooting students at close range with rubber bullets. 

Bash and the rest of the talking heads focused on the feelings of Zionists in the U.S., deflecting from the horror taking place in Gaza, further dehumanizing civilians there.

The horror on the ground in Gaza is beyond imagination. We can’t say how many Palestinians have been killed, as the Gaza health authorities were forced to stop counting months ago when the healthcare system there collapsed under Israel’s assault. We’ve been using the ‘15,000 children have died’ number for months, there’s no telling how many have been killed, maimed, or orphaned to date.

The experience of witnessing this ceaseless genocide in the same moment that protests against it are violently put down was summed up by one social media user:

“I am watching a toddler die on a table in a field hospital in Rafah with half her face blown apart while listening to college students fight tears reporting on a police assault on their campus for protesting that, and I feel like I am losing my fucking mind.”

Also unmentioned by Morning Joe and Dana Bash is the fact that Israel’s prime minister is being actively shielded by the U.S. from being charged by the International Criminal Court.

It doesn’t stop there: corporate media and police are not the only parts of the establishment trying to silence students and wider criticism of Israel.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that, if made law, will codify a definition of anti-Semitism created by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) into Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal anti-discrimination law.

This would change the current definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel as hate speech. The IHRA sets out 11 examples of anti-Semitism.

Critics argue that the bill’s language is vague and would reportedly allow the federal Department of Education to restrict funding and other resources to campuses perceived as tolerating so-called “anti-Semitism,” not to mention the disbarring of discourse on social media platforms by citing “hate speech.” Multiple human rights groups have decried the bill. 

The latest House bill is an addition to the anti-BDS laws already in place across 38 states, many of which impact speech on university campuses. One example can be found in Arkansas, where a 2017 anti-BDS law forces speakers at the University of Arkansas to sign an anti-BDS pledge, or they will not be paid.

This resulted in legal action, but the Supreme Court ultimately refused to hear the case, allowing the law to stand in deference to the interests of a foreign nation.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn went further, calling for: “Any student who has promoted terrorism or engaged in terrorists acts on behalf of Hamas should be immediately be added to the terrorist watch list and placed on the TSA No Fly List.”

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar denounced Blackburn’s sentiments as “insanely dangerous.” But Blackburn wasn’t alone. House Speaker Mike Johnson also called on the F.B.I. to investigate protesters and suggested the National Guard should be deployed.

We’ve collectively realized that no one, no protective force nor institution of power is going to stop Israel’s violence.

The U.S. public should by now be realizing that instead of stopping genocide, U.S. institutional and media authority is actively stamping out cries to stop the mass murder being committed with U.S. complicity.

Covering for Israel is evidently more important to U.S. leaders than international law, than the lives of civilians or students, than freedom of speech, and even, it seems, their own re-election as they resist polls showing a majority of Americans want an end to the killing in Gaza.

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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39 comments for “Enforcing Silence on Genocide

  1. alexandra
    May 6, 2024 at 11:02

    Is the USA being run by AIPAC? At least the media and the pols? Regard its site…… free speech, yes of course but openly, its power here ought to be outed more.

  2. David Otness
    May 5, 2024 at 19:01

    What is obvious, painfully obvious, is those who govern our United States nation, they who also dictate the course of choices made by other nations under ‘our’ nation’s sway, the NATO-EU-Five Eyes nexus, are morally bereft and beholden (held) by Israel, they have lost the plot.
    And are so obviously stitched to Israel in a way that can only be described as loathsome and sickening in its moral turpitude. They might as well be Pavlov’s dogs, they only hear and respond to events in affinity with their fellow captives in the Beltway Bubble, ever-responding in the affirmative to the powerful Zionist lobbies that are always on duty, ready to immediately and publicly scold with what is now a catch-all, the overwrought and overused expletive, “anti-semite.”
    It’s gone too far and it’s gone on too long, we now see the results, our representative government has hysterically lost its collective mind insofar as responding to its citizen constituents, lost sight of our Bill of Rights, and only answers to those who sympathize and act with the wishes of a foreign country.

    The West has fallen. In my considered opinion, if we claim any kind of moral standing, we must call upon those our government has fecklessly and foolishly designated ‘our enemies,’ to provide the backbone our corrupted and spineless leaders have renounced as they burn through the last of the Treasury of the Republic, and our former standing in the world—to satisfy Israel and its 78% of Israeli citizens approval of the genocide taking place in Gaza.

  3. Joy
    May 5, 2024 at 12:34

    Members of the Biden administration should be made to consider 18 U.S. Code § 1091 the law that brought the genocide convention into US law. Put this statute in their faces, up front and center at every protest at every meeting, press conference, briefing, and trips home and abroad.

    They may feel they are immune now, but let’s get them considering what is possible when they leave office, given they have set the precedent of charging former presidents. They should have visions of prison all the days of their lives.

    The propagandists in the Mainstream Media need to be encouraged to think about their culpability as well.

    Let us find the way!

  4. May 5, 2024 at 06:25

    “protecting students or civilian lives in Gaza” NO PROFIT
    “protect Israel’s ability to continue its unimpeded slaughter” GOOD PROFIT

    And besides the USofT always hated those Middle East half-brown uman animals, so the more killed the merrier.

  5. Steve
    May 5, 2024 at 05:13

    Welcome to the future:
    “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.
    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever. ”
    George Orwell, 1984,

  6. CaseyG
    May 4, 2024 at 22:19

    sigh____ everyone should look up that old novel—and read it. “1984,” was the .name—-and OMG, it told us all of what the world could become without humanity. And it showed us all what happens when leaders who only seek power for themselves. I read that novel back in high school—and never thought the world would become what it has become.
    Read the novel,”1984,” and cry because what was once a writers idea for a novel—has now become a reality that we must change now!

    • David Otness
      May 5, 2024 at 19:17

      Oh, it was more than that, more than just “an idea for a novel.” It was a vision. It was a prophecy visited upon him. He knew what was coming as he was a participant as a policeman in the world’s previous dominant empire. He knew how that kind of power corrupted, especially as it became more perverse as the empire was subsumed into the going-down part of the known empire cycle. If anything, it was his own reported participation in torturing others that provided him the impetus to fully envision where it led.
      Perhaps writing it alleviated his own nightmares, maybe even a sense of absolution came with writing it.

  7. Renate
    May 4, 2024 at 19:03

    Life in the Biggest Banana Republic, USA.

  8. Joe
    May 4, 2024 at 18:47

    Most of the people of the US have no moral foundation, and equate personal money with virtue, despite seeking profits from scams. The US has utterly failed to accept its responsibilities since WWII, having given less than $1 per year per capita to the world’s poorest, whom it might easily have rescued in that time from poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, and disease. Instead the US killed over 20 million innocents, failed to establish a single democracy, overthrew many socialist democracies, and replaced them with dictatorships.
    The US government is not capable of civilization, only advertising, theft, and bribery scams, a fake in every branch at every level. US foreign policy is made by bribes alone, from the MIC, the anti-socialists, and the zionists. The mass media and US government are utterly corrupted by bribes. Certainly the US “aid” to wealthy Israel comes back as bribes to political parties. The rest of the world should compete in this.
    The US government is a plague upon the US and upon humanity.

  9. May 4, 2024 at 18:28

    Comical headline from Haaretz:
    Netanyahu: ICC Arrest Warrants Against Israeli Leaders Would Be ‘Antisemitic Hate Crime’

    Butcher Bibi presumes his ~AIPAC purchased US Reps~ swift passage of H.R.6090 IHRA will provide all the cover he needs for more SLAUGHTER. How comical to ponder, that once it’s a hate crime to criticize Israel, butcher Bibi gets away with Genocide. What’s sicker, is expecting universities to remain committed to the dangerous DECEPTION of anti-semitism and anti-zionism as a means of muzzling dissent. Intelligent students at Emory, UCLA, Columbia, Brown, USC and other colleges will not be muzzled.

    trackaipac.com reveals GA Senators Warnock and Ossoff AIPAC LOBBY TOTAL: $1,687,577, LUCY MCBATH $333,578. BUDDY CARTER $50,000 Buddy forgot to tell his constituents down near Savannah that the new $5.5b Hyundai ‘metaplant’ will withdraw a maximum of 6.625 million gallons per day from the Floridan aquifer to supply the Hyundai Metasite. Farmers and homeowners in the area fear their wells will run dry and that salt water (already happened) will be sucked into the Floridan aquifer. EPD’s solution: we’ll dig your wells deeper.

  10. Anaisanesse
    May 4, 2024 at 17:30

    The students and other humans protesting against Israeli actions in Gaza have been thanked by the
    students in and from Gaza where every university has been completely destroyed by Israeli bombing. Universities , where people learn to understand so many aspects of life and attitudes of other people and differences of opinion , are selected targets of the Israeli forces intent on destroying Palestine.

  11. Alicia Ellingwood
    May 4, 2024 at 17:03

    Sickens the soul to watch our democracy smothered to death with the full and enthusiastic complicity of both parties. I don’t really think Biden cares about winning – I think he knows he is laying out the red carpet for Trump, who is Israel’s top pick and is likely slavering to erect Trump properties all over Palestine. The gloves and the masks are off so I think that people are beginning to wake up and see the reality of Zionism but sadly, it is too late to effectively combat them now when they’ve been chipping away at civil rights and democracy in the US for decades already.

  12. Eric Foor
    May 4, 2024 at 14:23

    America is being overwhelmed by a political and moral disease unlike any crisis we have ever encountered in our history. 6090 is a direct and flagrant attack on the first amendment of our Constitution. Because that bill was passed by a majority of both parties we now know how sick we are. In America our temperature has been rising since 1963. Like a frog in warm pot we have ignored it. In fact a large contingent of ignorant citizens have actually encouraged it…….well, we have now started to boil. The heat has dissolved our moral skeleton. Without morality our ability to reason has been misdirected.

    This disease has infected the planet. It is now firmly rooted in the western hemisphere. Somehow the east has so far managed to resist the plague. That is why we in the west are being brainwashed to accept an inevitable war with the east. That war will not be about cultural differences. It will be about who controls the supply of money. Who will be the world money changers?

    This brain confusing pestilence has been festering since 1948….. and since 1917….. and even since 0030 AD (approximately). When considering that last date in time, one uninfected beam of light remains a rock of reasoning…. if we ask ourselves one simple question: “What would that man do and say if he were alive today?”

    We are in a lot of danger… but we are not yet doomed. In this sense WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS. 6090 is an insidious attack on our morality. WE CAN HEAL OURSELVES….but now, as never before, we must take the individual responsibility…to find and unite with other like minded souls. Our Constitutional rights are being imploded by the Zionists. They’re inside the wire. They’re inside our brains.

    Yesterday morning the birds outside my window started to sing at 1 AM. They stopped at 3AM…..That’s not normal. All the other lifeforms on Earth must be terrified at the idiocy of humans.

    • David Otness
      May 5, 2024 at 19:29

      Excellent piece, Eric. I am fully with you, but only deviate in believing Russia in particular is operating from an actually higher moral ground. Orthodox Christianity plays a large part in the day-to-day life of many of the Russian people; especially as they were starved of it for most of the 20th century. The candor of its leadership reflects this too, truth-telling is so much easier than trying to keep track of all of the previous lies one has told, one reason President Putin can speak without notes for 3-1/2 hours + as he frequently has.

  13. Jim
    May 4, 2024 at 13:29

    Just a clarification-The incident where Professor Steve Mahari was arrested and beaten by the police (resulting in broken ribs) happened on the Washington University campus in St. Louis, MO not Illinois.

  14. Ves
    May 4, 2024 at 13:28

    The only way to stop this is to make the msm people, politicians and deep state maniacs to feel unsafe, to be scared.
    How to do this, well, everybody is free to think.

    • Joy
      May 5, 2024 at 12:31

      Consider 18 U.S. Code § 1091 the law that brought the genocide convention into US law.

      The propagandists in the Mainstream Media need to be understand their own culpability as well.

  15. Barbara Mullin
    May 4, 2024 at 12:41

    Years ago I questioned the organization “Americans United for Separation of Church and State” about all the states making laws outlawing the right to be involved in BDS and they declined. Why is that? Somehow Israel and Zionism gets a pass.

  16. C.Parker
    May 4, 2024 at 12:24

    I wonder what is considered more illegal…shouting out about Israel’s evil acts of genocide—or—shouting fire in a crowded theater?

  17. Selina Sweet
    May 4, 2024 at 11:34

    With all the handwringing over the loss of democracy under a potential Agent Chaos regime, where are these voices in witnessing todays’ suppression of the freedoms of speech and assembly- earmarks of our once democracy?

  18. Michael
    May 4, 2024 at 11:29

    If our Government here in the USA officially declared this USA Republic dead and appointed Ben Netanyahu as our USA King would our present laws and repression criminalizing critique of Israeli policies be much worse??

    Freedom is closing down folks!

    Disneyland happy time America is coming to an abrupt halt, it seems

    Is “Protest is crime ,genocide is fine” our new USA family value?

    Let me quote Scientist Denis Rancourt, PhD :

    “There can be little doubt that the USA-based West is in full-on totalitarianism, literally including: a Nazi war (Ukraine proxy), a mass genocide (against Gaza), gutted education, crushing of professional independence, one-party rule, overpowering propaganda, aggressive ideological enforcement, aligned courts, captured science, persecution of thought crimes, social mobbing, state-aligned corporate takeovers of all sectors, constant war mongering…
    We have arrived. Did I miss something?”
    It can happen here, it is happening here, is it not? (unfriendly fascism)
    I find this sort of tyranny and oppression unpleasant.Don’t you?

  19. susan
    May 4, 2024 at 11:02

    Amazing how these media hacks and our own vile government can get away with their lies, deceit, fabrications and falsehoods with such guile. Innocent students are being herded like lambs to slaughter simply for speaking truth to power. There is something horribly wrong with this country when we can no longer speak out against corruption, avarice, and most importantly, GENOCIDE!

  20. May 4, 2024 at 10:55

    WE ARE (F)!!!

  21. Voltaria Voltaire
    May 4, 2024 at 10:50

    If we don’t manage to help the Palestinians we are liable to be just as occupied. We will have our own open air prison where we cant go where we want, say what we want, or do what our conscience and survival instincts tell us to do. Already our language is being perverted. If one really looks at the definition of Anti Semite including it’s etymology it is not simply meaning anti Jewish, it is meaning Anti Human. Yet at the present , it’s opposite meaning is being implied because it is protecting those who are against humanity and human rights. It is certainly not protecting the rights of Jews as many of them are the ones protesting the genocide against the Palestinians on campus, and elsewhere. It brings to mind the liberties taken with the word vaccine, as the meaning was changed from something that stopped transmission to some other hazy and indefinite implied meaning designed to sell billions of doses for no clear and definite given reasons, under the assumption of benefit for the majority where none in actual fact existed. Plenty of hidden and imminent risks however did.

  22. TomG
    May 4, 2024 at 07:49

    Anyone that thinks Congress can’t get anything done because of the red/blue divide doesn’t understand at all what the real agenda of empire is. I agree with Thomas Massey, they have put the constitution through the shredder.

  23. May 4, 2024 at 07:24

    You can’t erase these things from the historical record, and this is the record that will define Joe Biden for eternity.

  24. John O
    May 4, 2024 at 04:10

    Oh, the irony! “The only democracy in the Middle East” is now the greatest threat to democracy and free speech in the United States.

    • Richard Burrill
      May 4, 2024 at 10:26

      But Israel is not a democracy. It is an Apartheid state.

      • John O
        May 5, 2024 at 02:12

        That’s why I put “democracy” in quotation marks.

    • Bob Newly
      May 4, 2024 at 12:00

      Kudos, beautifully put!!

  25. Patrick Powers
    May 4, 2024 at 04:09

    Why can’t people just shut up and do as they’re told?

    • Michael G
      May 4, 2024 at 07:58

      “I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.”
      -Chris Hedges
      Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt

    • Dfnslblty
      May 4, 2024 at 09:20

      People — students, professors, workers, the American Public — are being shut up right this moment.

      • Annie MCSTRAVICK
        May 4, 2024 at 16:47

        I believe Patrick was being sarcastic.

      • percy dovetails
        May 5, 2024 at 08:59

        Wow, are you a liberal? Its called sarcasm.

    • Richard Burrill
      May 4, 2024 at 10:27

      Patrick to remain silent is not democratic.

      • David Otness
        May 5, 2024 at 18:21

        Please: Learn to recognize righteous sarcasm. Thanks.

    • JohnB
      May 4, 2024 at 12:43

      Prrhaps the same reason that violence and lies don’t cultivate feelings of belonging.

    • Em
      May 4, 2024 at 14:00

      Answer: Perhaps because people, in all their diverse essences, make up the myriad pieces of the infinite puzzle that human beings are.
      Surely, as has recently been made alarmingly obvious: no people, not even those ‘shut up’ oppressed, deprived of land and liberty, starved and slaughtered without cease, in the most overcrowded concentration camp on the planet, for more than two decades, will ever tolerate, they will not be exterminated.
      The Jewish people, especially those in the apartheid police state of Israel today, whose offspring are the living proof, ought to be the first to recognize this, instead they have chosen, unthinkingly, to go for the Meir Kahana option.
      The Jewish people of Palestine/Israel have in fact done what you suggest: they have, for the most part, just shut up and are doing what they are told.
      However, what all those of us others, all the people of the world, led by ‘next generation’ leaders will NOT tolerate is being brutally and illegally ordered to shut up!

Comments are closed.