Harper's Weekly Review 27-Feb-24
The United States cast the sole vote against a United Nations security council resolution that would have endorsed a ceasefire in Gaza; the dissension was sufficient to veto the action, and represented the third instance of the Biden Administration’s rejection of a cessation of hostilities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his intent to order the ground invasion of Rafah, and said that even the return of the remaining hostages in Hamas captivity would not deter him. “We’ll do it anyway,” he said. The UN’s World Food Programme announced that it would halt all deliveries of food rations to northern Gaza; the UN said that the aid would have been “lifesaving,” as conditions there approach those of famine, but that widespread Israeli bombardment of the region forbade their safe approach. President Joe Biden requested that Israeli forces not target the members of the Gazan police force that escorts the aid trucks, and his administration restored a legal finding that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are inconsistent with international law; an Israeli campaign to build more than 3,000 homes on Palestinian land in the West Bank precipitated the White House revision. “We should kill ’em all,” said the Tennessee Republican congressman Andy Ogles of Palestinians in Gaza. “I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” said a member of the U.S. Air Force before self-immolating in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. He succumbed to his injuries.
In a letter, members of Congress urged Biden to secure reparations for black Americans. A contender in the race for governor of North Carolina suggested that black people themselves owe reparations; the candidate, who currently serves as the state’s lieutenant governor, is black. During a South Carolina stump speech by Nikki Haley, black rallygoers revealed themselves to be protesters, interrupting Haley’s address to call her promotion of union busting “disgusting”; former President Donald Trump went on to secure that state’s primary in a landslide victory. “The black people are so much on my side now,” he said, attributing his supposed appeal among that demographic to his criminal indictments and the prevalence of his mug shot. “They have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as, I’m being discriminated against,” Trump continued. “This is connecting with black America because they love sneakers!” opined an anchor for Fox News of Trump’s recently announced line of footwear. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris hired a “Black media director,” who called Trump “an incompetent, anti-Black tyrant.” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas hired a law clerk who is alleged to have written text messages stating “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all … I hate blacks. End of story.” The late-night talk show host John Oliver said that he would award Thomas $1 million to resign from his post.
Vice Media announced plans to shutter its publication and slash hundreds of jobs. Biden told White House aides that the secret to a successful marriage is “good sex.” “Could it be that the world of Barbie is sheer hell?” asked the director Werner Herzog. Flaco, the Eurasian eagle owl that escaped the Central Park Zoo just over a year ago, died after flying into a building on Manhattan’s West 89th Street, and a crew of scientists working on the TV show Pole to Pole: With Will Smith discovered a new species of snake while filming; they declined to name the anaconda variety after the actor. An unidentified flying object observed traversing the skies of Salt Lake City, Utah, turned out to be a balloon; a joint military command issued a fighter jet to intercept it. Two thousand nauseated passengers have been sequestered to their cruise ship off the coast of Mauritius until their mystery gastrointestinal illness passes. Monica Lewinsky partnered with the clothing retailer Reformation to raise voter turnout with a promotional line of dresses; Lewinsky modeled each dress herself and urged women to head to the polls if they “wanna complain for the next four years.” —Lake Micah