Israel-Hamas War

News, information and viewpoints on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the violence effecting the people in the region and its impact on our local community in Chicago.

Local News
Taher Herzallah, who came from Minneapolis, said he wanted people to know of those who’ve been killed, like a cousin’s young daughter: “Her favorite thing in the world was dolls and playing outside.”
Many attendees said terms of a four-day cease-fire in the Israeli bombardment of Hamas weren’t enough to end the long-term misery either.
Some called it ‘good news’ that the warring parties agreed to release 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners. Others were grateful that more humanitarian aid will be allowed into Gaza.
Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, was not at the cottage in Gordon Beach in southwest Michigan. He thanked law enforcement for its handling of the incident.
New rules ban profane, vulgar, threatening, abusive or disruptive language. Also out: banners, signs, large bags and sharp objects.
Protesters who were arrested were led out of the building to cheers of “We love you” and “Ceasefire now.”
A large gathering in Streeterville sought to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, while in Northbrook, demonstrators called for the release of nearly 240 hostages being held by Hamas.
Principal Tammie Ismail says dehumanizing rhetoric spread by U.S. politicians and media about Palestinians, Muslims and Arabs in the wake of the war in Gaza has inspired hate that’s endangering her students.
There were panels on journalism, economics, artificial intelligence and more and a speech by Barack Obama during the day. Friday night came a speech from the former first lady and an interview of the former president as part of the celebrations at McCormick Place.
Multiple houses on several blocks were targeted overnight with their pro-Israel signs vandalized and stolen.
National & International News
Hamas delayed the release by several hours, accusing Israel of violating the terms of a truce deal. The last-minute delay created a tense standoff but ultimately went through after international mediation efforts.
The freed hostages included 13 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and one from the Philippines, according to Qatar.
Hamas vows to free at least 50 of the about 240 hostages taken in the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Israel is to free three Palestinian prisoners for each hostage released.
An Israeli official said the deal would not take effect before Friday. Hamas will release 50 hostages for 150 Palestinian prisoners. Israel said the truce would be extended by a day for every 10 additional hostages released.
‘Scream’ producers kick Melissa Barrera out of the horror franchise, and talent agency lets Susan Sarandon go.
The agreement, negotiated with Qatar, calls for the release of 50 of 240 hostages held by Hamas and the release of Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.
The lack of access to fuel has cut off internet and phone services in Gaza. The Israeli military said it found the body of a woman being held hostage near Shifa Hospital.
Democratic members of Congress were attending a reception at party headquarters on Capitol Hill when demonstrators surrounded the building.
Israel faces pressure to prove that Hamas had turned the hospital into a command center and used patients, staff and civilians sheltering as cover for its militants.
Israeli authorities say the militants conceal military operations in Al Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of patients and medical workers are inside.
So on this Thanksgiving Day let’s give thanks for the hope of a humanitarian pause to free victims from unspeakable carnage and pause as Americans to count our blessings — and try not to abandon each other.
Fifty-three journalists have been killed in the Middle East since Oct. 7, including 46 Palestinians, four Israelis and three Lebanese, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Last year, the AMA rightfully issued a strongly worded statement in response to the Russian military targeting health care facilities in Ukraine. A similar statement should be issued regarding Palestinians in Gaza.
I was taught that as Jews, we must speak out against injustice, state Sen. Robert Peters writes. I hope other legislators will call me in calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities as well as the release of hostages.
Chicago native Rachel Goldberg, whose son Hersh Goldberg-Polin is held by Hamas, spoke at the rally: “We hostage families have lived the last 39 days in slow motion torment.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is more of a threat than a leader. His angry rhetoric and pummeling of Gaza only increase hatred of Israel and make all Jews unsafe all over the world.
So much focus in the Israel-Hamas war has been on casualties. That doesn’t help.
It is deceptive to discuss the uptick in Islamophobia divorced from the circumstances that have fueled this most recent wave: the demonization of Palestinians, and by association, Muslims, writes an educator from Oak Lawn.
Antisemitism reaching historic levels worldwide. The “scourge of Islamophobia and hate in all its forms” so bad the White House is working on a national strategy to battle it. What in the world is going on? Chaos.
John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, revealed that President Joe Biden helped work out a pause to clear the way for Hamas to release two Evanston women held hostage, Judy Raanan and her daughter, Natalie.
Three families from Israel — including cousins of the Raanans — whose loved ones were killed or captured by Hamas attended a vigil Wednesday at Anshe Emet Synagogue.
The White House is grappling with soaring criticism within the Muslim American community for its support of Israel’s ongoing military attack on Hamas in Gaza, as the Palestinian death toll, in the thousands, is rising.
Mohammed Abu Realh said his family members were killed in a strike about half a mile near Shifa Hospital at a beach camp in Gaza City. He said more may have died, and many are stuck under rubble.
Slogan hurts Palestinians more than anyone.
Natalie Raanan, 18, and her mother Judith Raanan, 59, were kidnapped Oct. 7 and taken hostage by Hamas. They were released nearly two weeks later. The Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Yinam Cohen announced Natalie Raanan’s return to Chicago but did not mention when Judith Raanan would return home.
Joseph Czuba, 71, stabbed a Palestinian American mother and her young son, killing the boy, after blaming them for the war in the Middle East because of their Muslim faith, according to state prosecutors.
I was given a bird’s eye perch at Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in 1995. One speaker, a close friend of Rabin, waved high above his head the bloodstained paper bearing the lyrics of the peace song the Israeli leader had sung just before he was assassinated.
“There’s nothing much we can do as an individual, but as the priest said, we can show by example and we can pray,” parishioner Keum-Lee Mayes said.
“People need to know that it can happen down the street from where you live,” said Lila Gaber, who received the threatening letter that police are investigating as a hate crime.
Just as Donald Trump exposed a dark and ugly underbelly of the far right, the Hamas attacks have exposed a dark and ugly underbelly on the far left, S.E. Cupp writes.
The Israel-Hamas deadlock is not a situation either side can kill its way out of.
Prosecutors said the 39-year-old man, who they declined to name, had no criminal history and acted in self-defense.
More than 70 protesters were issued citations for obstructing traffic, according to Chicago police. No arrests were made, and no injuries were reported.
The man shouted at a police commander Saturday during a pro-Palestine march on Michigan Avenue, witnesses say.
“You’ve got to look at history in Israel,” Rahm Emanuel, the former Chicago mayor now serving as ambassador to Japan, told the Sun-Times. “It’s pretty clear how the public reacts ... when it comes to protecting Israel.”
Illinois has seen an “alarming increase” in anti-Arabism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, the Democratic governor said, noting “online hatred has skyrocketed” nationwide.
The melee unfolded when protesters demonstrated outside an event called to show solidarity with Israel at a banquet hall Sunday evening. Protestors as well as a Chicago police officer and a Sun-Times reporter were hit by pepper spray.
The protest on Sunday comes as Israeli forces are on the verge of launching a ground offensive in Gaza.
Arab Americans worry about their safety amid the anger, fear and injustice they feel over Plainfield boy’s killing, threats toward Muslim schools, and “harmful narratives” perpetuated by media and politicians: “We’ve seen this before.”
The parents of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin were raised in Chicago. Of the 12 U.S. citizens seized by Hamas, five have Illinois connections — more than previously known.
The White House on Saturday released an edited video of Judith and Natalie Raanan’s brief conversation with President Joe Biden, after the mother and daughter were released by Hamas.
Radio companies and hosts shouldn’t pander to the under-informed with lies and conspiracy theories, a veteran former radio host writes. Those who do should be held accountable, and so should their enablers and sponsors.