Up to Hamas

U.N. backs ceasefire: Yesterday, the United Nations Security Council threw its support behind a U.S.-brokered ceasefire deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly said behind closed doors that he would support this ceasefire, though he has publicly made noises that contradict that commitment. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the ceasefire agreement “is down to one person”—meaning Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader.

As I wrote in Roundup last week, the plan has three phases. “The first, which would last for six weeks, would include a ‘full and complete ceasefire’ as well as total withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza and the release of many hostages taken by Hamas—women, the elderly—in exchange for ‘hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.’ Phase two would involve negotiations between Israel and Hamas, but also the release of all remaining hostages and the total withdrawal of Israeli forces. The temporary ceasefire would be made permanent. Phase three would involve rebuilding the Gaza Strip.”

The ceasefire was approved by 14 of the 15 Security Council member states, with Russia abstaining. The U.S. had rejected three previous ceasefire plans that ended up before the Council. This current draft, which Israel may find fault with as it may leave too much of Hamas intact, also rejects “any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the territory of Gaza.”

“We will continue until all of the hostages are returned and Hamas’s military capabilities are dismantled,” said Israel’s representative to the U.N., gesturing at the tension between the ceasefire plan and her country’s post-October 7 aims.

Human shields: “Following the Israeli rescue of four hostages in Gaza on Saturday, Israel’s military said that three of them had been held in the home of a member of Hamas, which it said showed that the armed group was using civilian homes to shield its activity,” reports The New York Times. 

Now, international observers have been attempting to suss out what the raid’s collateral damage looks like. Gaza’s health ministry, which is controlled by Hamas, claims 274 people were killed by Israel as they extracted hostages. The Israel Defense Forces says the death toll was a fraction of that—around 100—but neither side has given a sense of the civilian-militant breakdown.

Scenes from New York: A man named Omar Khan, who claimed to be a wine expert and ingratiated himself to the oenophiles of New York City by hosting dinner parties (and asking for funds to host parties that never happened), has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in defrauding his diners.


“In many new apartments, even a space to put a table and chairs is absent. Eating is relegated to couches and bedrooms, and hosting a meal has become virtually impossible,” writes Nolan Gray for The Atlantic. “This isn’t simply a response to consumer preferences. The housing crisis—and the arbitrary regulations that fuel it—is killing off places to eat whether we like it or not, designing loneliness into American floor plans.” Eithan Haim “is facing a four-count federal felony indictment for blowing the whistle on Texas Children’s Hospital, where he worked while a resident,” reports The Free Press’ Emily Yoffe. “At TCH, he discovered the hospital was secretly continuing gender transition treatments on minors—including hormonal intervention on patients as young as 11 years old—after publicly declaring, in March of 2022, it would no longer provide such services.” Equity vs. truth at Wikipedia:

Was the outrage that followed after former Wiki CEO Katherine Maher went viral for saying that “our reverence for the truth might be a distraction” not enough?

Because Wikipedia is doubling down. Your telos is either truth or equity.

You can’t be both equitable and truthful.… pic.twitter.com/pGQ8LyAYoV

— Melissa Chen (@MsMelChen) June 11, 2024

Apple and OpenAI announced a partnership yesterday, with ChatGPT/operating system integration coming later this year. “If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies,” Elon Musk wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response to this news. “That is an unacceptable security violation.” Inside Ikea’s labor force issues (and how the company turned things around).

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