‘Lavender’: The AI machine directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza

The Israeli army has marked tens of thousands of Gazans as suspects for assassination, using an AI targeting system with little human oversight and a permissive policy for casualties, +972 and Local Call reveal.

A new investigation by +972 Magazine and Local Call reveals that the Israeli army has developed an artificial intelligence-based program known as “Lavender,” unveiled here for the first time. According to six Israeli intelligence officers, who have all served in the army during the current war on the Gaza Strip and had first-hand involvement with the use of AI to generate targets for assassination, Lavender has played a central role in the unprecedented bombing of Palestinians, especially during the early stages of the war. In fact, according to the sources, its influence on the military’s operations was such that they essentially treated the outputs of the AI machine “as if it were a human decision.”

Formally, the Lavender system is designed to mark all suspected operatives in the military wings of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), including low-ranking ones, as potential bombing targets. The sources told +972 and Local Call that, during the first weeks of the war, the army almost completely relied on Lavender, which clocked as many as 37,000 Palestinians as suspected militants — and their homes — for possible air strikes.

Write-in "Uncommitted" for Oregon's Democratic Presidential Primary

Uncommitted Oregon has just launch its campaign to get voters concerned about the genocide in Gaza to vote their conscience. See UncommittedOregon.org for more information.

Write in Uncommitted

We are a diverse coalition of voters in Oregon, spanning different faiths, ethnicities, and generations. We call upon all Democrats and people of conscience to refrain from endorsing candidate Biden until his administration ceases its support of, and stands firmly against, the genocide in Gaza. We believe the horrible events of October 7th cannot justify Israel’s actions and the Biden administration’s support.

Join us by writing in Uncommitted on or before May 21 in Oregon’s Democratic Presidential Primary. Let us hold the Biden administration accountable, as their actions contradict their call for a ceasefire.

Gaza: The Death of an American Airman

On Feb. 26 Senior Airman Aaron Bushnell, 25, a cyber defense operations specialist with the 531st Intelligence Support Squadron reportedly died from injuries sustained in a brutal and unusual way. Most Americans mourn the death of any service member. I hope he is mourned as well. He made a tragic sacrifice for a higher ideal. Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington DC to protest the continuing atrocious assault of Israeli forces on Gaza. As an experienced airman and defense expert, he probably had a pretty clear insight into what the current Israeli bombing would do on the ground. Reuters reports him as saying in a final statement, "I will no longer be complicit in genocide."

In 1963, Buddhist monks in Vietnam chose to sacrifice themselves in the same way. Their self immolations helped focus the world on the tragedy then occurring in Vietnam. Their acts helped change the trajectory of that conflict. I sincerely hope that the death of Aaron Bushnell will do the same for the ongoing carnage in Gaza. 

Read more: Gaza: The Death of an American Airman

State department official’s resignation highlights rifts over US Gaza policy

A human rights official has resigned from the US state department over Gazasaying the Biden administration is flouting US law by continuing to arm Israel, and is hushing up evidence that the US had seen on Israeli human rights abuses.

Annelle Sheline, said she had hoped to have an influence on policy by staying at her post in the Near Eastern section of the bureau of democracy, human rights and labor, taking part in discussions, signing dissent cables and raising her concerns with her supervisor. But she had lost confidence she could do anything that would affect the flow of US arms to Israel.


“The fundamental reason was – I no longer wanted to be affiliated with this administration,” Sheline told the Guardian. “I have a young daughter. She’s not yet two, but if some day in the future, she is learning about this and knows that I was at the state department and she asked me [about it] – I want to be able to tell her that I did what I could.”

Sheline is only the second state department official to resign over US policy on the Gaza war (another official left the education department over the issue), but she said that many of her colleagues had told her they would resign if they could afford to lose their job, and had urged her to speak out about her reasons for quitting, rather than to leave quietly.



Message from Craig Corrie Marking 21 Years

From Craig Corrie - 21 Years Later

Gaza Crushed With Our Tax Dollars

On March 16, 2003, our daughter Rachel Corrie was killed as she stood to protect the home of a Palestinian family in Rafah in Gaza. Rachel was crushed to death by the Israeli military under a militarized, Caterpillar, Inc. D9R bulldozer, supplied by our United States government, paid for by our tax dollars. Now, twenty-one years later, we are witnessing the entire Gaza population being crushed by the Israeli military, using planes, bombs, shells, tanks and, yes, even bulldozers supplied by the United States. Genocide. Paid for by our tax dollars.

In some ways you could see this coming: soldiers never held accountable for their war crimes, human rights violations by the army of a country feeling entitled to the land of another people. We know this story, and we have seen this genocide. Ask any native American.

Our family worked for almost two decades to secure accountability in Rachel’s case, first through diplomatic means, and when that failed, through a civil lawsuit in Israeli courts. Some of the court testimony is particularly telling. An IDF Colonel responsible for training stated that there are no civilians in war zones, and the officer responsible for the military police investigation into Rachel’s killing testified that he thought Israel was at war with everyone in Gaza, including the peace activists. And all the time, the Israeli defense team referred to the people of Gaza – Rachel’s friends, our friends – as “the terrorists.” Even the Israeli high court said that international law did not apply to the actions of Israel in Gaza. How telling.

Repeatedly, the U.S. supplies weapons to Israel that are used in ways giving probable cause of human rights violations. But when the U.S. asks for investigation, Israel replies with reports that are far from the result of the thorough, credible, and transparent investigation required of, or in Rachel’s case promised by, Israel. Citing that violations cannot be proven, the U.S. continues military aid – rather than withholding more funding until our questions are properly answered, as allowed by U.S. law and dictated by common sense. The U.S. routinely rewards IDF war crimes with increased military aid, rather than sanctions. When that aid is abetting genocide, as it has since October 7, 2023, the aid itself is a war crime.

Read more: Message from Craig Corrie Marking 21 Years



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