What will the U.S. Supreme Court do?



Donald Trump
Coup attempt

Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[1] public domain.

I’d settle for denying the writ of certiorari.

Adam Liptak, “Colorado Ruling Knocks Trump Off Ballot: What It Means, What Happens Next,” New York Times, December 19, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/19/us/colorado-trump-legal-questions-supreme-court.html

Patrick Marley, “Donald Trump is barred from Colorado’s 2024 primary ballot, the state Supreme Court rules,” Washington Post, December 19, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/12/19/trump-off-colorado-ballot/

Chris Geidner, “Colorado high court rules Trump is disqualified from being president, cannot be on ballot,” Law Dork, December 20, 2023, https://www.lawdork.com/p/colorado-high-court-rules-trump-is




Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[2] fair use.

Hamas is entrenched and difficult to defeat. Even after waging one of the most intense, heavy military campaigns in recent history, Israel has only neutralized a fraction of the militant group’s armed strength. And, in the process, it has ravaged the embattled territory where Hamas has held sway, displaced close to 90 percent of the population, flattened whole neighborhoods, triggered a sprawling humanitarian disaster and found itself flailing in a losing battle for global public opinion.[3]

“A fraction” does a lot of work here. The connotation is of a small fraction, but a larger proportion would not contradict the claim. And the truth is, I seriously doubt we know even in the most general terms how much damage Israel has inflicted on Hamas.

That may seem pedantic, but the remaining question of proportionality—Israel has killed nearly 20,000 people[4] while the Hamas attack killed about 1,200 people[5]—will be about whether the force applied is proportionate to the desired result. A failure to achieve that result suggests the force was misdirected. Such would not look good before a war crimes tribunal.

Edward Luce, “Biden’s mounting self-harm on Israel,” Financial Times, December 15, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/cfb4660f-de36-4453-9b44-531996c6ec9e

Anat Peled, “Israeli Military Says It Accidentally Killed Three Israeli Hostages in Gaza,” Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israeli-military-says-it-accidentally-killed-three-israeli-hostages-in-gaza-2acebecc

Times of Israel, “White House ups pressure on Israel to end ‘high-intensity’ fighting in Gaza soon,” December 15, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-ups-pressure-on-israel-to-end-high-intensity-fighting-in-gaza-soon/

Patrick Wintour, “Biden in a bind as Netanhayu ready to flout any US attempt to rein in Israel,” Guardian, December 15, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/15/biden-in-a-bind-as-netanhayu-ready-to-flout-any-us-attempt-to-rein-in-israel

Karen DeYoung, “Biden’s support of Israel could come at a cost to U.S. foreign policy,” Washington Post, December 16, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/16/biden-netanyahu-israel-support-gaza/

John Hudson, “Killing of USAID contractor in Gaza fuels internal protest,” Washington Post, December 16, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/16/usaid-contractor-hani-jnena-killed-gaza/

David Ignatius, “In the West Bank, I saw how peace will require confrontation with Israel,” Washington Post, December 16, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/12/16/west-bank-settlers-violence-peace/

Summer Said and David S. Cloud, “Israel Says Its Soldiers Killed Israeli Hostages as They Held Up White Flag,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-and-qatar-explore-revival-of-deal-for-gaza-hostages-ff7af151

Shayndi Raice and Carrie Keller-Lynn, “Hostage Deaths at Hands of Israeli Soldiers Raise Questions About War Strategy,” Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israeli-militarys-hostage-killing-raises-questions-about-war-strategy-8dda768d

Andrew Silow-Carroll, “Among Jewish Americans, a ‘quiet middle’ has growing qualms over the war in Gaza,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 17, 2023, https://www.jta.org/2023/12/17/ideas/among-jewish-americans-a-quiet-middle-has-growing-qualms-over-the-war-in-gaza

Times of Israel, “Pointing to Hamas’s ‘little state,’ Netanyahu touts his role blocking 2-state solution,” December 17, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/pointing-to-hamass-little-state-netanyahu-touts-role-blocking-2-state-solution/

Summer Said, Margherita Stancati and William Mauldin, “Hamas Rejection Sours Israeli Bid to Revive Hostage Talks,” Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-offers-one-week-cease-fire-in-exchange-for-more-hostages-336ae59a

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel is struggling to destroy Hamas, but it’s destroying Gaza,” Washington Post, December 20, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/20/israel-battlefield-gaza-defeat-hamas/

  1. [1]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html
  2. [2]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  3. [3]Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel is struggling to destroy Hamas, but it’s destroying Gaza,” Washington Post, December 20, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/20/israel-battlefield-gaza-defeat-hamas/
  4. [4]Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel is struggling to destroy Hamas, but it’s destroying Gaza,” Washington Post, December 20, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/20/israel-battlefield-gaza-defeat-hamas/
  5. [5]Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, “A Majority of Israelis Think Netanyahu Should Resign,” New Republic, October 12, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/176200/majority-israelis-think-netanyahu-resign

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