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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 4, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST

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03/04/21 03/04/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> yesterday brazil recorded over 1700 deaths, the worst of the pandemic since march 2020. we will now face the worst two weeks of the pandemic since the first case of covid-19 was confirmed in result. this is a sad reality.
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amy: brazil is facing a growing crisis as covid-19 deaths soar to record highs from a highly infectious coronavirus variant bringing brazil's health care system to the verge of collapse. we will get the latest. we will also look at vaccine apartheid in israel and the occupied territories. 40% of israel's population has been fully vaccinated but israel has sent only 2000 vaccine doses to the palestinian authority. this comes as the international criminal court opens a landmark probe into war crimes committed in the palestinian territories despite opposition from israel and the united states. >> this decision is so important because it shows justice will be imposed on those who carry out cres against the palestinian people were any crime in the world. amy: we will speak to the authors of the new book "except for palestine: the limits of progressive politics," mitchell plitnick and marc lamont hill.
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>> the idea of the progressive except for palestine is something that can be problematic. i think that if we worry about injustice, we have to be concerned with injustice across the board. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the house of representatives has approved sweeping legislation protecting the right to vote. the "for the people act," also known as house resolution 1, is the most comprehensive voting bill since the voting rights act of 1965. it would curb partisan gerrymandering, provide automac and eltion day registraon, allofor two wes of ear voting and no-exce absent voting. and wouldrovide plicly finced mating funds fo congreional anpresidenal ndidates
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an amendment by massachusetts democratic congressmember ayanna pressley to lower the voting age to 16 failed on the house floor. another amendment to end the disenfranchisement of people who are incarcerated failed after 119 democrats joined republicans to defeat it. missouri democrat cori bush sponsored the amendment. >> more than 5 million people are legally barred from participating in our elections as a result of criminal laws. that is one in 44merins, 500,000 latinx americans, 1.2 million women, and one in six ack folk this cnot contue. disenfranchising our own citizens is not justice. amy: house resolution 1 does grant people with felony convictions the right to vote after they have completed the terms of their prison sentences. also on wednesday, the house passed the george floyd justice in policing act. the legislation would ban police chokeholds and eliminate qualified immunity for officers.
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it also seeks to ban racial and religious profiling and certain no knock raids and would set up a national database to track police misconduct. both bills now head to the senate, where they'll need 60 votes to clear the threat of a republican filibuster. the capitol police department says it has uncovered a possible plot to attack congress today, less than two months after a pro-trump mob attacked the capitol. the threat of violence prompted house speaker nancy pelosi to move up votes on police reform and voting rights to wednesday evening and to cancel thursday's session. senate leaders, however, are proceeding with business today. members of the qanon conspiracy theory believe that march 4 is the true inauguration day when donald trump will be sworn in to a second term in the white house. on wednesday, texas republican congressmember michael mccaul called on trump to intervene.
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>> i think president trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down. this threat is credible and it is real. amy: on wednesday, the head of the d.c. national guard testified pentagon leaders put unusual restrictions on the deployment of troops to the capitol complex ahead of the january 6 assault on congress. general william walker told a senate panel it took over three hours to win approval from the pentagon to send in national guard soldiers after he received a frantic call from then-capitol police chief steven sund early onnk the afternoon of january 6 requesting help. that delay was even longer than previously reported. general walker contrasted the response with the rapid and aggressive deployment of national guard troops used to suppress black lives matter protests in 2020.
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president biden has signed off on a plan to limit eligibility for a new round of stimulus checks as the senate takes up its version of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. biden's decision meets a key demand of conservative democrats. the lowered eligibility would bring benefits to about 12 million fewer adults and 5 million fewer children. in burma, at least 38 people were killed wednesday as security forces continue to use live fire on protesters. it was the deadliest day since the february 1 military coup. over 50 people have died since protests started, with many more wounded. a local group says some 1500 people have been detained. the white house wednesday did not rule out a military response to a rocket attack on a military base housing u.s. troops in iraq. a u.s. civilian contractor died
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from heart attack, but no other casualties were reported. this comes almost one week after biden ordered a strike on "iranian-backed militant groups" in eastern syria without congressional approval. meanwhile, pope francis is planning to travel to baghdad and is scheduled to meet with friday grand ayatollah ali alistani saturday. some view the visit as ill-advised. in addition to ongoingiolence, a surge in coronavirus cases has prompted lockdowns in iraq. the vatican's ambassador to iraq recently tested positive for covid-19. brazil reported over 1900 covid deaths wednesday, breaking its previous record death toll set just one day earlier. brazil has topped a quarter of a million deaths, the second highest in the world after the u.s. a highly infectious coronavirus variant that crippled the health
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system in manaus has spread elsewhere in brazil and has been identified in at least two dozen her countries, including the united states. it appears to be more likely to reinfected people who have already had covid-19. sao paulo, brazil's most populous state, is going into a two-week lockdown. sao paulo governor joao doria blamed president jair bolsonaro for the mounting crisis -- "this is your fault. it's because of your denialism." vaccines being delivered under the covax initiative have arrived in several more african nations this week including kenya, nigeria, senegal, rwanda, and sudan. so far, some 10 million doses have been delivered to 14 countries as part of covax, which helps less wealthy nations procure vaccines. the united states recorded over 66,000 new coronavirus cases and nearly 2500 covid-19 deaths on wednesday. at the white house, president
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biden blasted the governors of texas and mississippi for ending state-wide mask mandates and limits on indoor gatherings. >> the last name we need is the neanderthal thinking in the meantime everything is fine, take off your mask. forget it. amy: texas governor greg abbott said tuesday his state would end all covid-19 restrictions by march 10. on wednesday, abbott accused the biden administration of recklessly allowing asylum seekers to cross the mexican border into the u.s., blaming immigrants for exposing texans and americans to covid-19. the texas-based immigrant rights group raices tweeted -- "it's official. despite all the scientific evidence, republicans now believe that borders work better than masks when it comes to stopping covid-19." in chicago, over 100 activists are on hunger rike to protest
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the relotion of the genel ironetal shredding plant to the southeast side of chicago -- in an area with mostly black and brown residents and which already suffers from poor air quality due to industrial pollution. the scrapyard is being moved from its current location to make way for the controversial, multibillion-dollar lincoln yards development. this is oscar sanchez, one of the hunger strikers, speaking to democracy now! >> considered a sacrifice zone of the city which continues policies of racism. this is only the latest case being pushed to black and brown communities in a we're calling on the mayor to break the legacy. allowing neighborhoods to breathe and flourish. amy: a rally is planned in front of mayor lori lightfoot's home later today to mark one month since the start of the hunger strike.
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new york governor andrew cuomo apologized wednesday in response to multiple accusations of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact. >> i never touched anyone inappropriately. i never knew at the time that i was making anyone feel uncomfortable. amy: governor cuomo has now been accused of harassment by two former aides and unwanted sexual advances and touching by a third woman, but has rejected calls for his resignation. new york's attorney general is overseeing an investigation into the allegations. cuomo is also under fire for covering up thousands of covid deaths in new york nursing homes. lawyers for renowned political prisoner and journalist mumia abu-jamal confirmed wednesday he has tested positive for covid-19. this is professor johanna fernandez making the announcement at a rally calling for his release.
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>> iust got a call from bob boyle, one of mumia's -- oh, my god. one of mumia's attorneys. mumia has covid. he is in the infirmary. their attorneys called our attorneys. he had gotten a rapid test. and they conducted another test and it came o positive. so mumia abu-jamal has covid-19. amy: 66-year-old abu-jamal suffers from several preexisti conditions, for which advocates say he has not received proper care. in countryusic legend lly paon wasaccinad against cod 19 wnesd less th a year aft she mada $1 milon
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donationo vanderlt univsity thahelped fd resear into morna'mrna ot. paon sharevideo ofer inoculion on sial mediwith e captio "dolly ts a dos of herwn medice." >>ey, its me. i'm finay goingo get vacce. 'm soxcited he beenaitingntil i'm ol enougto gett and art ough to t a. ng verhappy 'm gointo get mmoderna shot today. wanted t tell evebody, avon cnged onef my son f. the casi. it goe♪ vcinevaccine, vaccine, andeggingf you ease do't hetate. vaccin vaccine vacne, vaine, bause oe you dead, it's a bitoo late♪ amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report.
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when we come back, brazil is facing a growing crisis as covid-19 deaths soared to record highs from an infectious coronavirus variant bringing sales health care system -- results health care system to the verge of collapse. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. nermeen: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: world health organization officials warned wednesday covid-19 cases are increasing worldwide after falling for more than a month. we begin today's show in brazil, which set a daily record for covid-19 deaths wednesday for the second day in a row. brazil's death toll has now topped nearly 260,000, the
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world's second-worst after the united states. brazil's most populous state, sao paulo, announced new lockdown measures wednesday. this is governor joao doria. >> we will now face the worst two weeks of the pandemic since the first case of covid-19 was confirmed in brazil. this is a sad reality. we will comply with the recommendation and the entire state of sao paulo will go to the red phase starting next saturday. amy: brazil's far-right president jair bolsonaro opposes lockdowns and responded wednesday that because of the state home policy, "people are going to die of hunger and depression." but more states and cities are expected to follow sao paulo's direction as hospitals report being overwhelmed. international concern is also growing about the new highly infectious coronavirus variant
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p1, which overwhelmed the amazonian city of manaus, causing its hospitals to run out of oxygen. less than 4% of brazil's population has been ccinated, and a health minister bolsonaro fired last year has warned the failure to launch a rapid vaccination drive means "the country is running the risk of becoming one big manaus." this comes as the brazilian governnt has jt announced it reached agreement to buy 100 million doses of pfizer's covid-19 vaccine after negotiations over liability clauses. for more, we're joined by marcia castro, professor of demography and chair of the department of global health and population at the harvard school of public health. she also co-chairs the brazil studies program at harvard's center for latin american studies. welcome back to democracy now! we want to start, professor, by asking about this two days of
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the highest death rate in this past year in brazil. second only to the united states. can you talk about why this is happening and what you feel needs to be done? >> sure. thank you for having me. brazil has been second in the number of deaths since june, second to the u.s.. we had the first night last year around april and may. when things started to calm down -- it was never like the comfortable situation, but when the cases started going down in the depths started going down, that was the time to try to do something that was not done in the beginning. but again, what we saw was this combination of inaction but also wrongdoing. it is the president saying masks give you headaches, comfortable, and other crazy things. it is promoting the use of medicine that is not effective.
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it is the combination of both. of doing what you have to do but doing wrong things that end up creating behaviors in the population, for example, there are all kinds of clandestine parties happening. people were gathering without masks. so all of the scientists following the data of covid, we did expect the beginning of 2021 to be very difficult. because things were relaxing, it was on was like we were done, we can go back to normal and no action. last year in july, pfizer offered vaccines to brazil. brazil denied buying the vaccine three times. so by the type other countries are vaccinating, brazil is only two options. it is not trying to acquire more vaccine so now that the houses
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on fire, that is when they decide to buy but we don't know when those doses will come. brazil should be vaccinating the largest number of people under the shortest time possible in order to contain what is happening. it is not doing this. the scenario we see now, unfortunately, it is going to get worse before it gets better. we are to lose an unnecessary number of lives, which unfortunately, for the government, the loss-of-life has been normalized. that is a very frustrating, uncomfortable, dramatic situation we are seeing in brazil. nermeen: maria, could you talk about this new variant that emerged, the p1 that emerged from amazon? what is known about this variant and what vaccines, the effective vaccines might be against it? >> right.
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the first time it was detected was in manaus. we have no evidence it was circulating i november. in december, it was found and about 51% of the samples that were tested positive in january, it w 91%. so very fast takeover. no other cities are starting to see the same. -- now other cities are starting to see the same. there was an analysis released that shows this particular variant is much more transmittable so it is about 1.4 22 times more transmissible. so it really spreads very fast. the amount of the viral loads of people infected is also very high. we have documented cases of reinfection with this. we do not know if the vaccines we have in brazil are fully effectivagainst it. there is some analysis.
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we have to wai what we know is the p1 variant is pretty much spread across brazil. there are some that are testing the samples and one of them in the care of sao paulo just this month in february, so 91% of the samples was p1. rio de janeiro is also a lockdown starting this weekend. what we know is it is highly transmittable. it allows the infections. it is kind of a bad scenario because we have people that can be reinfected, people never infected can get infected with this one because of the hyphens visibility, and we are not vaccinating enough people to create a barrier to contain the spread of this variant. nermeen: you mentioned earlier
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that brazil is -- three times denied the possibility of purchasing vaccines, which is especially struggling because brazil has universal health care and very good record of vaccinating people. if you can send little about the vaccines that brazil has been administering, the corona vaccine from china which is reportedly only just over 50% effective, as well as astrazeneca, the oxford astrazeneca vaccine? >> so what i would say is i would not focus too much on those numbers. both of those vaccines were extremely effective in preventing serious cases, in preventing hospitalizations and death. and that is what we need. i usually say which one is the
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best vaccine, the what available. put it in your arm and go ahead. now, i think one thing the highlight is brazil is the only country in the world with more than 100 milli people that has universal health system and has a beautiful history of vaccinations. in 2010 when we had the threat of a 2 brazil vaccinated 80 million people in three month ok a we could to vaccinate against polio -- took a weekend vaccinate against polio. it has the network and the expertise to do mass vaccination. we need the vaccine and we need campaigns, communication campaigns. we usually have, if we look historically, on tv you inform,
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educate, and contribute for people to comply to the intervention. we don't have that. we have a lot of people in brazil that took the first shot and now they're not sure what they can do, if they can have gatherings, they can party before they take the second shot, after they take the second shot. so walso missing a campaign to make people aware. but the main point is all of those vaccines are good because their phenomenal in preventing hospitalizations and death. that is what people should focus, not so much on the 50, 60, 70, 90. what we want to prevent our hospitalizations. so the health system is not overloaded. and prevent deaths. amy: professor castro, in rio, president bolsonaro's son, flavio bolsonaro, who is also a senator, condemned brazil's lockdown strategy as a "dictatorial measure."
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>> locked out is been management. we only carnivale was coming. it is obvious that will be an increase in cases. here in the city and the state of rio, we have the capacity to provide treatment in intensive care units, showing there's been planning and preparation because it is now much easier with the tutorial measure to close the city, to close the state come to say luck down is doing something. to give satisfaction to the people. managing like a dictator is easy. amy: that is the side of the covid denying but a man who had covid, the president of brazil, jair bolsonaro. it sounds very similar to president trump. he followed in his footsteps stop as you said, used hydrochloric went. -- used hydrochloric went.
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if you can talk about what this denial means and also brazil big a site of testing. johnson & johnson was just approved and it goes to the issue of exactly how effective it was but it was proved later than the other two vaccines. so it needs it was tested against variants in places like brazil and south africa. and what needs to be a site of those tests yet not have the vaccines to treat their own people. and then what it means to get vaccines from places like -- people are not outside of the united states so familiar with covax and how important they are in the developing world? >> that is a great question. the johnson & johnson would be
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ideal for brazil. it is one shot, you don't need the ultracold. you can go to any corner of the country and deploy the vaccine. one shot, that's done. we did not buy it. it was tested in brazil and we did not buy it. how can we understand this from the president and his sons? i wish i knew. i don't know even if psychologists can understand. the thing is, we can have our opinions but they make their opinions fact. and that is misleading. that is disinformation, right? the hospals in rio are overloaded. gthere are barely any icu beds left. so the lockdown is needed because nothing was done before. lockdown is a last resort, right? if we do something right, if we
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plan, we don't have to do lockouts but we never did anything. i think the bad management is all the luck of action, the bad management is promoting drugs that are not effective, so there is a long list of what that management is, certainly bad management is not trying to save lives. but this government normalized the loss-of-life. it is not just the lives lost, it is all the dreams that were interrupted, the family's that were disrupted. none of that seems to touch or make the government make the right decision. these are not the facts. these are just a way of trying to change the public opinion, people that still believe this is a good leader. it is misinformation being in time over and over and over again. amy: i referred to the two vaccines, i may the ones in united states.
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pfizer and madrona. there an interesting article site pfizer place hardball in covid-19 vaccine negotiations, insisting some governments cover poteial cost of civil cases that result from his own acts of negligence, fraud, or malice. pfizer being accused of bullying latin american government during negotiations to acquire the vaccine and a company asking some countries to put up sovereign assets such as embassy buildings and military bases as a guarantee against the cost of any future legal cases. this was according to an investigation by the u.k. base bureau of investigative journalism. can you talk about that negotiation that went on in brazil, emily brazil apparently going to buy 100 billion doses but what this means? and are you following this accusation of pfizer bullying latin america?
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>> it was just made yesterday. it is ¥100 from pfizer and i believe 38 million from johnson & johnson. but there is no timeline, no expectation of all that was said is hopefully those doses won't come in the second semester. so i don't know when. i am not aware of the bullying. i don't know what kind of negotiation was made with was ill or if the government -- with brazil or if the government had to give any guarantees. i find this disturbing because escially in the moments of a public health emergency, what we should see is the opposite. for example, getting two competitors like merck and johnson & johnson to pair to produce more doses. i'm going to investigate that.
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i was not aware of that. thank you for bringing thatp. nermeen: before we conclude, have emphasized the importance of genomic sequencing. could you explain what that is and why you think it is necessary providing the pandemic? >> ideally, what we should have his a network -- is a network that brings countries together and who should oversee this it will be the who or other entity, i don't know. but it has to be collaboration. there is surveillance of sples and we can try to identify new pathogens when they come. what we see now with covid, not a single country did more genomic sequencing than the u.k. the advantage of this, you can identify when new pathogens are
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circulating. in the case of an emergence, u can identify a new variant. in brazil, we have a network that was set up for influenza. brazil is one the centers that contributes to genetic information, so the who knows what should be the composition of that flu vaccine each year. but it is very small and not representative of the country. it is not designed to identify new things that are circulating. right now one of the things the government could have done is bring together university layouts that have the potential to do genomic sequencing. private lavatories that are doing a lot of covid tests, bring everyone together to sequence those to try to identify those variants. we did not have that. we had no support, no incentive from the government to really strengthen this network so we
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could do real genomic sequencing. anticipate the introduction of those variants and try to contain people, you know, the first cases that appear so we prevent that from spreading. if you have no surveillance like this, the moment you know things are there, it is already too late. and that is the situation was the in brazil now. the house is already on fire. what we have to do is say people that are inside those houses. but house is going to come down. amy: professor marcia castro, thank you for being with us. condolences on the death of your dad. professor castro teaches demography and is chair of the department of global health and population at the harvard t.h. chan school of public health. also co-chairs the brazil studies program at harvard's center for latin american studies. as we continue our coverage of the pandemic, this is democracy now! this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine
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report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. as we continue our coverage of the pandemic, we turn to what some are calling vaccine apartheid in israel and the occupied palestinian territories. israel has had the fastest vaccination rollout in the entire world. 40% of israelis have already been fully vaccinated. more than 8 million shots have been administered. israel has also vaccinated jewish residents living in illegal settlements in the occupied west bank, but palestinians have yet to even begin a public vaccination rollout. by one count, just 34,000 vaccine doses have been delivered to the occupied territories, where some 4.5 million palestinians live. most of the vaccines came from the united arab emirates and russia. "the new york times" reports israel has sent just 2000 doses to the palestinian authority, with a promise for 3000 more. israel has also been accused of delaying vaccine shipments into gaza. on sunday, israel announced it
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would also start vaccinating some palestinians who work inside israel and inside illegal settlements. this comes as israel has begun rolling out a vaccine passport system where people would need to show proof of vaccination to access certain facilities. we are joined now by the co-authors of the new book "except for palestine: the limits of progressive politics." marc lamont hill is a professor of media studies and urban education at temple university. mitchell plitnick is the president of rethinking foreign policy. plitnick is also the former director of the u.s. office of b'tselem and co-director of jewish voice for peace. we welcome you both to democracy now! marc lamont hill, if you can talk about what is happening now in the occupied territories when it comes to access to the
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vaccine? >> what we're seeing right now is a gross injustice. right now israel has one of the most impressive rollouts of vaccines we look at the population over 50, the numbers are extraordinary. when we look at the overall population of israeli citizens who have gone vaccine, the numbers are the best in the world but that number only is impressive if you don't cnt those palestinians living in the west bank, those living in gaza. when you at those numbers, what we see is a basic tonala palestinians of the right or access to the vaccine. what the israeli government has argued, because of the oslo accords of 1993, palestinians are responsible for their own self-care and their own access to t vaccine that is not true for two reasons. one is the geneva convention
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trumps that. they have a responsibility to make sure an occupied territory that their health is protected, particularly from a pandemic. of the oslo accords do not suggest -- they still suggest the israeli has a responsibility to coordinate, particularly in a pandemic, a vaccine. in both cases, in either case, the palestine people denied, what international law suggests and quite frankly just the medical -- everyone to get access to vaccine. nermeen: mitchell plitnick, your response? in particular that are just talked aut, the oslo accord effectively supersede the geneva convention? >> i have an article all about that very point on medium that
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people can look up but the summary is that the oslo course to say that. the oslo accord lays out a very specific schedule of vaccines that the palestinian authority is assuming responsibility for. the routine vaccin most of us get come it is so specific that not only today is the vaccines, the even list when the palestinian authority is required to minister them. -- the way the palestinian authority is required to administer them. another says when unusual epidemics like covid-19,, that israel and the palestinian authority comm to work together to combat them as one. i think it is very clear that oslo, between at and as marc mentioned the fact that the geneva convention still holds,
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this argument that israel is making his false. it is a lie. amy: and then if you could talk about what one of the israeli officials recently said when it comes to comparing palestinians getting vaccines, i believe he said something along the lines of "that would be like palestinians being responsible for vaccinating toxins in the mediterranean"? >> doesn't that show the attitude here? when people talk about this being a medical apartheid, i think that just shows -- it shows the attitude that statement reflects a complete -- i mean, directly sing the palestinians are not humans, that they're not as important as israelis.
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it is -- in other words, the comparison is not 10 palestinians should be responsible for vaccinating people in chad. it is not comparing to other people. it is comparing to nonhumans. i think that is with that statement reflects. it shows the complete indifferenceo palestinian health which is self-defeating because if palestinians are not munized against covid, ultimately, israelis are not safe, either. the dehumanization goes to such an extent that continuing to put israelis at risk despite the undoubtedly successful effort to roll out the vaccines within israel. amy: to be exact, was the israel i health minister likening it to responsible to care for dolphins in the mediterranean.
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we're going to go to break. will we come back, we will talk about your book "except for palestine: the limits of progressive politics." we will also link to mitchell's piece in "medium." stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. the international criminal court has officially opened a probe into israeli war crimes in the palestinian territories, as well as crimes committed by palestinian militant groups. israel andhe united states blasted the decision. israel is not a member of the icc, but the palestinians joined the court in 2015. israel has argued the court has no jurisdiction over the occupied territories because palestine is not an independent state. on wednesday, wasel abu yousef of the palestinian liberation
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organization welcomed the icc decision. >> this decision is so important because it shows that justice will be imposed on those who carry out crimes against the palestinian people or any crime in the world. the israeli occupation thought they were exempt from the crimes they committed and that they would not be questioned for these crimes. today this decision will cut out the ways for occupation to continue committing these crimes. i think the occupation will think deeply about how to defend itself in front of the court. amy: israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu blasted the decision claiming it was anti-semitic. >> the decision of international court to open an investigation for war crimes is absurd. it is undiluted anti-semitism. this court that was established to prevent the repetition of the nazi horrific crimes committed against the jewish people is now
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turning its guns against the one and only state of the jewish people. it is targeting israel, the only democracy in the middle east. of course it turns a blind eye to iran, syria, the other dictatorships that are committing real war crimes. amy: the biden administration also criticized the icc. tony blinken said "the united states firmly opposes and is deeply disappointed by this decision. the icc has no jurisdiction over this matter. we will continue to uphold our strong commitment to israel as a cutie, including but opposing actions seek." with us, the co-authors of "except for palestine: the limits of progressive politics." marc lamont hill is a professor of media studies and urban education at temple university. mitchell plitnick is the president of rethinking foreign policy and the former director of the u.s. office of b'tselem and co-director of jewish voice for peace. marc lamont hill, let's begin
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with your response to the icc decision tinvestigate israel for work crimes. >> i'm always skeptical of the ability to adjudicate these matters and international terminal court, not because i don't believe in them, because often skeptical they will -- this is a moment, a moment of possibility the fact that the icc last month acknowledged it had jurisdiction in this month as it is going to open up an investigation i think is extraordinary. it is important to respond what prime minister netanyahu said. this is not expensive -- exclusively targeting israel. this is largely about operation protected edge. meeting anymore crimes in the territory in the area could be investigated. second, the idea of the icc is somehow targeting israel is a bit curious to me when quite frankly the rican cntries [indiscernible] review core center or criticism
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rebuke or censure or criticism, whether is mama qaddafi, uganda. we can look at sedan. the critiques are the actions of the icc are largely directed toward african nations, not the west or europe and not israel. it would be anti-semitic. it would absolutely be anti-semitic only focus on israel. at the icc is not attempting to do that. finally, the argument somehow that palestine is not a state and therefore is not able to appeal to the icc is contradicted by international law and the u.n.'s decision a few ars ago. they absolutely have the jurisdiction. this is an opportunity for the united states to actually reset relations with the icc and move toward an investigation that can produce justice. the fact the biden
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administration has resisted that and this is one of those areas where biden has not reversed course from trump -- he reversed on muslim bands and the paris accords, on all of these issues, but on the icc, he is making a different choice. that is very disappointing. nermeen: mitchell, your response to the icc decisio to investigate both palestinians and israelis for work crimes? if you could respond --marc said non-yahoo! site israel is being -- netanyahu said israel is being signaled out and the african nations have been investigated by the icc. wh about work comes being committed elsewhere from syria to yemen? those have not been referred to the icc. uld you respond to that? >> so, yeah. first of all, i share with marc skepticism about the outcome of the icc investigation.
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the current prosecutor will be stepping down in june and her replacement is someone we d't know what he thinks specifically about this issue, but we do know of the united states and israel are optimistic about his appointment. so that kind of makes me nervous about where this is going to go. on top of that, hamas, because of the nature of the two sides in the weaponry that israel has versus what hamas has, hamaas cannot establish between the targets quite fficult to aim properly. it is going to be -- it does not be the status of international law. a must by definition, hamas will be found guilty of war crimes. with israel, it is much more difficult and there are more questis of international law involved.
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i'm skeptical about a positive out come as marc is -- which is not to say work crimes were not committed. the question is not know what happened but what we can prove happened. starting with that, as far as netanyahu -- first, as a jewish person, using anti-semitism, even worse, using the holocaust to show israel from began best to get it for potential work crimes, is remarkably contemptible and deeply offensive to me personally and i think too many jews around the world. the issue is very simple. if you committed war crimes, should be investigated. if you did not, what are you worried about? there is that point and there's also, you know, the fact is a major complaint against the icc has been it is almost solely
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focused on africa with yugoslavia having been the only real exception of until now. we will see where this goes, but it is a fair criticism to say that the icc has not applied standards of justice globally. part of that is because we see the kind of backlash that it faces when, for example, because up against united states and tries to investigate war crimes in afghanistan. lot of this backlash is tied to that as well. it is not just defense of israel, it is alsohe u.s. looking at his own work crimes and not wanting those to be investigated by an international body. so all of that is kind of coming together here. nermeen: would like to turn, marc, to the book that the two of you have just brought up caed "except foralestine: the limits of progressive
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politics." can you lay out the argument? >> mitchell and i are very excited to write this book, particularly at this moment. we do not know who would be president. we did not know there would be an icc investigation. at all of the issues coming up now speak to the various ways that palestinians have been made the exception to many of our progressive values and politics and actions. if you think about -- i will start in activist circles. we have this person progressive except for palestine. this is the person outraged at trump for his actions at the border, who is disgusted by children in cages, who can't stand to think about the erosion of civil liberties. but when it comes to palestine, somehow they do not engage those same ideas in the same way. in our book, we attempt to lay out the kind of policy groundwork, lay out the frontier on which these battles were
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fought. we want people to understand not just the contradictions of the so-called left, but also understand how this contradictions emerged. whether it is questions about the right to exist, about bds, or whether it is the attempt to make trump the exception rather than more aggressive articulation of the american rule, we are attempting to show the american left, those identified as liberal, radical left, what have you, have not held of the bargain in terms of managing their own ideals and values on this question of israel and palestine. one quick example. donald trump who we have made the bogeyman and for good reason moved the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. that was seen as outrageous. him acknowledging jerusalem as the undivided capital of israel goes against international law and the idea that we will allow jewish to be a status issue.
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but donald trump did not create that rule. he was acting on decades of american policy that does the jerusalem embassy act was side by congress in 1995 under the types of clinton. every u.s. policy -- president has signed a waiver not to move the a busy but no one has fought to get rid of the legislation. this is bipartisan american politics and trump was -- he was american policy on steroids but art of a bipartisan movement to neglect the values and needs, self-determination of the policy people. in our book we try to lay that out we think in a compelling way. amy: mitchell, if you can talk more about the wponization of anti-semitism, silencing those who might otherwise be critics? >> yeah, i mean,hat is reaching a fever pitch right now. i think its reflective of where israel itself has gone. i think israel is abandoned a
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lot of the veneer of idealism it once had, any legitimate idealism it help for itself. and is now simply -- we are the argument in washington about why we support this or that israeli policy and it is about dying friendship. it is not about geostrategic inking. it is not about israel is right and -- anymore. it is about the idea this is our ally and we're going to stand by her. this is part of it. when you're trying to engage in the debate, you don't want to debate the issues. you want to simply say anyone who criticizes israel is anti-semitic. jews are certainly come as i know your audience is well aware, we're certainly not immune from that accusation. i am certainly not. i get called anti-semitic all the time. are seeing a lot of arenas.
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right now with facebook trying to colpse the phrase zionism as a proxy so you cannot criticize zionism or zionist thinking or the zionist event without being called anti-semitic. that is part of that btle. the international holocaust association definition brings in the same problematic language. the idea is to shut down all criticism of israel and the reason is because israel could no longer defend itself against that criticism. supporters of israel canola khaki there is any legitimate -- can no longer. holding them for generations. there's no argument that will stand up to that. instead, simply call the person was making the criticism anti-semitic. amy: before we go, i want to and, marc lamont hill, by asking about what is happening with mumia abu-jamal,
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who is in prison in pennsylvania. you co-authored a book with him years ago titled "the classroom and the cell: conversations on black life in america." he has tested positive for covid 19 and has congestive heart disease suffers from liver disease which advocates say is directly related to the pennsylvania department of corrections failure to treat his hepatitis c in a timely fashion. his doctor says the only appropate treatment is freedom. what do you think needs to happen now and what was your response to hearing about his cover 19 diagnosis -- covid 19 diagnosis? >> i spoke to him a week before he went into the hospital. he had labored breathing. he was clearly very ill. i did not quite know what was going on but i knew he was very ill and it was no surprise to hear he is -- he was rushed to
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the hospital. they pumped almost 10 pounds of fluid out of his body. he has been made by this prison system, whether it is not treating his hepatitis c or the fact he got covid. there are no visitors coming in. the only people who are transmitting covid are prison guards who come in they do not wear masks, not just as a matter policy, but some weird right-wing policy. as a, people are dying. the only possible solution, fair solution compass to let will be out of prison. all political prisoners. all people over 50. people like russell, 77, survived covid but is suffering from cancer, should be sent home. all of our elders should be sent home. this is an opportunity to exercise covid compassion. we have seen over the last month -- let them go. read them all. amy: marc lamont hill, i'm glad
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to be targeting you with you getting over covid,. marc lamont hill and mitchell plitnick are authors of "except for palestine: the limits of progressive politics." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mailr■ç■ç■ç■q■q■q■q■q■q■q■q■q■
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girl: my name is alexandria villaseñor. boy: my name is adlia bra. boy: i'm carl smith. boy: my name is david ackley. [girl speaking native language] girl: my name is ayakha melithafa. boy: my na is raj tanagi. girl: my name is yur kapadaem. boy: my name is litokne kabua. girlmy name is greta. we are actually saying that yo are violatinchildr's rights ile you have--yohave rectified the un convention of ri

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