Global Stuff with Abba Solomon:Israel-Gaza

Episode 1 January 05, 2024 00:54:04
Global Stuff with Abba Solomon:Israel-Gaza
KMUD Global Stuff
Global Stuff with Abba Solomon:Israel-Gaza

Jan 05 2024 | 00:54:04


Show Notes

Abba Solomon is the author of two books on Zionism, The Miasma of Unity: Jews and Israel and The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein’s Speech "The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews." During this interview, recorded on November 24, 2023, Jimmy Durchslag and Abba discuss his recent article “Endangered and Dangerous Israel, Endangering Jews” and how the Israeli response to the Hamas October 7 attacks have escalated and exacerbated the conflict.

Jimmy Durchslag has been the host of “Global Stuff”, a monthly guest driven talk show for over 20 years. He has a long experience as a manager of several for profit and non-profit organizations. He is one of the founders of Redwood Community Radio, the parent organization for KMUD. He recently served as the Director of the Mainstream Media Project, a nonprofit organization that scheduled expert guests for interviews on talk shows both nationally and internationally.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:02] Speaker A: K Mud podcast presents. [00:00:12] Speaker B: Good evening and welcome to the show. My name is Jimmy Derschlag. This is global stuff. I am very pleased to welcome to the show as a guest who covers a very, very interested in an important global issue, which is topics that we do very frequently on this show. And of course, this been in the news just continuously and been on the minds of a lot of us for it's been a while now back into October, and that's the conflict that's happening between Israel and Palestine, the Gaza and Israel. And the guest who's going to be talking about that and other issues related to that is Abba Solomon. Abba is the author of two books on Zionism, the Miasma of Unity, Jews in Israel and the speech and its context, Jacob Blastein's speech, the meaning of Palestine partition to american Jews. And also, we're going to be talking more in depth about his very recent article, endangered and dangerous Israel endangering Jews. This article that Abbasaliban wrote, today's siege of Gaza, when he wrote this back at the beginning of the month, November 1. Today's siege of Gaza is the latest iteration of a more than century long effort to instill a controlling fear of and respect for Jews, a respect, in quotes, for Jews in the non jewish inhabitants of Palestine. In the 20th century, the growing zionist community in Palestine was in the main garrisons of settlers alienated from their neighbors economically, socially and linguistically. With the creation of the state and the Nakpa. We'll be talking about that a little more. And that happened when the israeli state was created in 1948, the exile of three quarters of non jewish Palestine Palestinians from the new state. Those Arabs were simply not missed from israeli lives. All right, I guess we've got Abba with us. Are you there? [00:02:31] Speaker C: Yes. Good evening. [00:02:32] Speaker B: Good evening. Appreciate you making the time to be with us. And I've mentioned the books that you've authored. I mentioned the article that we'll be talking about and the fact that we'll be getting into some of the developments, more recent developments. There certainly has been a lot going on, very, whether we're almost like a month and a half since first the Hamas actions and then the israeli response. [00:03:04] Speaker C: Right. Apocalyptic events, really. [00:03:08] Speaker B: Right. And something the whole world is watching and that keeps developing. Before we jump into talking about the background of the conflict and over a century of what's been going on there leading up to this and some of the developments and what you've written about, maybe you can go into your background a little bit and how you come to focus on the region and be involved in the books that you've written and this focus. [00:03:46] Speaker C: Well, I became interested in the subject when I was researching my parents and grandparents life in happened to be. I live in Seattle, but I happened to be visiting New York and started visiting the jewish collection at the New York public Library. And their general reference, just to trace where my parents lived, where they had grown up. I had known my grandparents a little bit, and I wanted to find out more about what their world was like. And at the same time, I came across zionist literature from that period in New York, and I was curious about its relevance to my grandparents and to my parents. They had never been bitten, particularly by the zionist bug in the sense that they were busy building american lives and they had never converted from Bundism and american socialism to the idea of Zionism as a solution for what was called the jewish problem. I ended up in the eight and nine, and then nine and ten. I spent a year in New York and in Baltimore researching how the american jewish community dealt with this new idea, which was contested of having a jewish state in Palestine and then imposing it against the wishes of, well, creating it in conflict with palestinian Arabs who also were resident in the land. And also the difficult position that american Jews, or Jews in the diaspora, that is, Jews who live outside the state of Israel, now deal with having a state and how it affects their role in their societies, and how connected should they necessarily feel to the jewish nationalist state being imposed in Palestine? Certainly since 1967, the establishment or the established american jewish organizations have become very close to the state of Israel as a part of jewish identity, so that it becomes a question of loyalty within the group, whether you're a zionist or not. And it's very bitter, and I think it's really coming to a head. [00:06:43] Speaker B: And I think I appreciate that you talking about that background. And certainly the Zionism is a focus of your work, maybe for those. Myself, as a jewish person, I don't really think about Zionism that much and what it means in terms of the whole range of jewish attitudes. But how would you define it? And you can go into, I know your book about the speech that Jacob Blastin gave in 1948 was a real turning point in terms of the focus on Zionism. But how would you define that? [00:07:32] Speaker C: Well, there's an old joke, actually, that an american Zionist is someone who collects money from a second person to send a third person to Palestine. Basically, it has not, unlike a lot of countries in the world, we have not depleted our supply of american Jews in a great rush to move to Israel. It's usually people who kind of a specialized percentage, about one or 2% since the creation of the state. There are some notable people, Michael Oren or Ron Dermer, who are now diplomats and government officials in Israel. Gold in my ear, famously, as a young woman emigrated to Palestine. But it's generally not a living part of american jewish life. We have our own centers of nostalgia, like New York, Hollywood culture. We've made. Our jewish life has, well, has flourished in the United States. And our culture is very different from the israeli culture, which is centered on sovereignty, on being masters of your fate. Both Louis Brandeis and the educator Solomon Schechter said that the whole point for them of joining the zionist movement was resisting assimilation. So it had to do with an anxiety about maintaining identity. And acceptance was, as Solomon Schechter said, he feared assimilation more than he did pagrums, and that's why he became a Zionist. [00:09:24] Speaker B: So zionist in some ways. Would you call that comparable to conservatives or the right wing in the US politically in terms of their identity or trying to preserve a certain image of Judaism and what it is to be a jew? [00:09:47] Speaker C: Well, that would be an interesting analysis. A lot of Zionism was socialist. The kibutzim are examples of that. The main organizations, zionist organizations, had a socialist orientation, except for the fact that they were defining jewish nationalism as a national liberation movement, which is very interesting since we were spread out all over the world. So there's some contradictions there. Our lives for 2000 years have been living among others. The development of modern Judaism has been as a people who lived among others. And it's quite the change to have a territory again. And the question is, is it necessary? Of course, the question becomes, was it just to palestinian Arabs who lived in the same land? And is it defensible, is it a requirement to be an advocate for Israel in what it's done for the purpose of maintaining a ethno national state? Since we usually live among others, that's been our skill. [00:11:12] Speaker B: Right. And I want to remind the listeners that you got off to a little bit of late start, but this is global stuff. My name is Jimmy Durslag. We're talking today with Abbas Solomon, who is an author. He has published two books on Zionism, and his recent article Endangered Dangerous Israel, endangering Jews. We'll be talking about that as well. You can find out more about him and his writings at his website, which is Abbasolomon So the Zionism has been part of the history of Israel and its relations to the Palestinians and both within defining the israeli state where the palestinian citizens of that part of Israel considered outside, and then the regions that were set aside for Palestinians, such as the West bank and Gaza. But even their settlements and incursions into. From the. You were saying in the article that even before the establishment of the israeli state, there were organized efforts to marginalize and repress the palestinian residents there. [00:12:46] Speaker C: Unfortunately, yes. Part of it was because through the majority of immigrants to Palestine, jewish immigrants were european, and many of them had an idea of european superiority to the natives, quote unquote. And that's the word that in the 20s, zionist settlers used and zionist leaders used when discussing the inhabitants of the land. And they were obsessed. Well, they were determined to not rely on non Jews. That was one of the philosophies of building a jewish homeland in Palestine, was to use jewish labor, not to hire yourself out, and also not to hire as much as possible gentiles, because you were trying to negate. The phrase was negate the diaspora, the galut, the exile, by building a jewish life. It's very mystical and somewhat blood and soil, in an unfortunate way, of endowing the land with this mystical meaning that only there would you fully build a jewish life again and a jewish nation again. And this is before the Holocaust. This is simply a discomfort with having to negotiate or navigate interactions and interdependence with gentiles. The idea was to, and you see it in an extreme now of being entirely self referential, self sufficient in your deterrence and in your dominance of your future and of your fate, and creating your own land and your own army, was the root. [00:15:06] Speaker B: And that happened very early. You talk in the article about almost from the very beginning, you might compare them to militias here. There's groups of armed young jewish youths who kind of patrol became the, became the enforcers in a way of pushing the non jewish Palestinians out of the areas that were being occupied and turning into the jewish part of Palestine. What we consider Israel now. [00:15:54] Speaker C: And this has been a pattern. And in part, the problem was that fraternization. And there's a lot of examples of jewish communities in palestinian villages that got along, but the general idea was separation. And that kind of gives you a little bit of a sense of how this went wrong, in the sense of you had tens of thousands and then hundreds of thousands of jewish people moving to Palestine, not with the idea of joining palestinian life, but preserving and building a hebrew nation linguistically, socially, economically. So the idea was never to fit into the economic structures. It was to build in a separate, parallel community with its own. Yes, its own militia, its own nascent government. [00:16:58] Speaker B: So over the years, with what's happened with the non jewish Palestinians being pushed into the settlements like in Gaza and the West bank, and also, as we know, with Gaza, the access to most everything they need comes from the outside. And the state of Israel controls the flow of goods into and out of there. So for the history of the settlements in Gaza and the Palestinians, they have depended on the israeli government and their policies or whatever goodwill they have to get their supplies. And so there's been this over the decades, this frustration and this pushback and conflicts happening. But almost in the United States, and with american Jews and so much even criticizing or questioning that is unacceptable. It seems like the way the Israelis have treated the Palestinians and how that's led to the situation in Gaza. [00:18:17] Speaker C: Right, and this is very age related. Younger Jews are much more open to comprehending the palestinian experience, what the last hundred years has been like for them. Encountering the zionist project. Older people, well, it's a generalization, but the way the polling is going, younger Jews are much more likely to not accept the state of Israel depiction of reality. And it's really different. I mean, if you look at israeli media or some mainstream media, it, I guess you would say, privileges the human experience and the human fears of Israelis, where the just as compelling and numerically much more fulsome horrors that, for instance, people in the West bank and Gaza are now experiencing don't resonate as much. But then if you look at world media or al Jazeera or broadcasters and left in the US, there's much more openness to not seeing anti Zionism or serious concern with IDF actions as anti semitic? That's one thing here is, is the state representing jewish people? And is the prospect of serious change of sovereignty over Palestine in some other more egalitarian or more open, less oppressive structure? Anti Jewish. The mainstream organizations, which are mostly supported by older donors, proposes the idea that any questioning of the premises of the 48 establishment of the state, the exile of 75% of the palestinian arab population outside of the borders of Israel, any questioning of that event and premise, and the premise that the right of return for Palestinians is out of the question. Any questioning of that is essentially an attack on jewish people. And I don't think that's going to work anymore. But there's also the question of. [00:21:11] Speaker B: How. [00:21:11] Speaker C: Hard is it going to be for the jewish american community to adjust to the idea that anti Zionism might be just. [00:21:24] Speaker A: KMUD is a community radio station in the Redwood region of northern California. Donate to support people powered [email protected]. [00:21:40] Speaker C: So. [00:21:40] Speaker B: Now let's bring it up. Jump several decades and bypass some of the other many conflicts that have had between the israeli borders and the palestinian communities over the years, including the incursion of the settlements and even within the palestinian territories, limiting palestinian rights to what prompted the attacks that happened last month with Hamas, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yehasinhwar, who was previously in prison and released as part of where 1000 palestinian prisoners were exchanged because of the capture of one israeli soldier who was arrested in 1988. But then Sinoir came and was handling Hamas, and basically Hamas was being seen as more cooperative at that time with Israel. And there was some hope that there would be some reconciliation between, in the way that the Palestinians in Gaza and the israeli government and officials were able to come to some kind of agreements and normalcy. But it seems like there was always this plan for some kind of action. And even though that came as some kind of surprise. And what do you see as the background that led to the Hamas attacks? [00:23:33] Speaker C: Well, the priority for Israel is kind of control and a predictable situation from their point of view. Things were going along, but there's a lot of pressure on palestinian Arabs in the West bank from increasingly aggressive kind of ethnic cleansing raids by settlers, making life harder and harder. And if you look at the map of the West bank with the settlements designed with the idea of disrupting palestinian life, interrupting contiguity and establishing judaization of the West bank, and the flashpoint of the provocations of bringing more and more jewish religious observances up to the Temple Mount or the al Aqsa compound. From the standpoint of without, this wasn't a peaceful situation that Hamas interrupted. It was a response to a number of increasing provocations that made normal life more and more difficult. [00:25:13] Speaker B: Again, I want to remind the listener, this is global stuff. My name is Jimmy Derslag. We're about halfway through this show, talking to Abba Solomon about the situation in Israel and Palestine and the conflict in Gaza, between Gaza and Israel right now and what led up to that, some of the history of that. This is a call in show. If you have a question or a brief comment, you can reach us here. 707-923-3911 we've got our excellent engineer Michael waiting, standing by, just ready to take your call. So in reading about this, it seemed like the Hamas action also was because they felt there was not being like they were becoming less relevant. The palestinian concerns it was almost like a last stand kind of thing, that out of necessity, they had to take some kind of action. Would you agree with that, as far as what led to that planning and actually taking action? [00:26:32] Speaker C: I would agree that the israeli government has no motivation to do anything unless there's a threat to the status quo. And honestly, you have to say that since October 7, the state of Israel's state of security and sustainability has taken a big hit. The call up, a huge or unprecedented call up of reservists, cripples the economy. They have roughly 300,000 people who are now internally displaced from the north of Israel and from the Gaza envelope. So in other words, what you have is a large portion of the periphery of Israel had to be evacuated. Now, how long can that be sustainable? What will this mean to investment, tourism? And really, if Hezbollah decided to threaten missiles to bengurian airport, that would be an intolerable interruption in national life and feasibility for the state of Israel. So I've never seen a moment as threatening to the actual existence of the state in its current way. So you could say that this has been a month and a half where the deterrence that Israel has always tried to maintain and is trying to maintain now is questionable because there's enough resistance from enough directions, not to mention missiles from Yemen, that the United States Navy is interrupting, or shooting down drones and missiles from the houthis of mean. I have no idea what the Hamas thinking was, but also was a remarkable failure of what is supposed to be the specialty of the israeli state, which is surveillance and intelligence. [00:29:09] Speaker B: Let me jump in here because we do have a caller. Hi, you're on the air. [00:29:15] Speaker D: Hi. [00:29:16] Speaker E: I wonder if you guys might want to talk about Hamas as extremely controlled opposition and the latest incursion as false flag operation. And I hope you could address that, because there's a lot of evidence for that. But my personal view is that Israel, as well as the USA and the United Kingdom, are all coup states of the banking dynasty families and their allied criminal associates who are using it as a military linchpin in their oil monopoly in the Middle east. That's what I think Israel is. I think it was set up not as a favor to Jews or Judaism, but that it was set up to be a military linchpin in the oil monopoly of the super rich banking dynasty. But if you can address the controlled opposition element of Hamas and all the evidence that shows that it's an obvious false flag. [00:30:18] Speaker B: Do you have an idea about that, Abba? As a false flag? I've read a bit about the Hamas interests and planning and why they went behind that, why they did that. Do you see that as a false flag or how would you look at that? [00:30:42] Speaker C: Well, there is the fact that just as during the soviet invasion in the. Basically supported the mujahideen who became or evolved into al Qaeda, in the case of Hamas, its origin story is tied up with support from the state of. Well, support for them was because the state of Israel wanted opposition available to Fatah, to the Palestine Liberation Organization. And up until even recently, the state of Israel and the government of Israel has had a benefit, a perceived benefit, they felt, from the PLO in the West bank and Hamas not being able to reunite or cooperate because they felt that was their way of having a superior control over the situation rather than confronting a unified front. And as for the larger question, everybody kind of builds their own story that makes sense to them about forces in the world. It's very interesting because there are a lot of elements that go into the creation of the state and motivations from various countries to alliance with Israel. [00:32:29] Speaker B: Yeah, I would agree with that. And I'm sure there's a lot of that dynamics that that caller brought up. But what the direct connections are, it's not necessarily easy to tell. It's interesting that you brought up the relationship of Hamas and the PLO. Fatah, which in effect, that's the official representative of the Palestinians, right, is Fatah. And yet Fata does not get along with Hamas. In fact, froze them out in 2006 when they lost a legislative ballot to Hamas. So there is that infighting. And how does that relate to this current situation? [00:33:24] Speaker C: Well, interestingly enough, the PLO hasn't had an election either. For a long time. Since, I believe, 2007, Gaza has not had an election. [00:33:37] Speaker B: Is that Abbas is still the leader then of the PLO, right, with kind. [00:33:43] Speaker C: Of an indefinite term. Now, they have wanted to have new legislative elections, but they want to do something that the Israelis forbid, which is to have palestinian Arabs in east Jerusalem be part of their electorate. In other words, allow people to vote who are residents of Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, the part captured in the 67 war. And the Israelis forbid that won't allow electioneering and an election to take place because they feel that would threaten their sovereignty, their claim to all of greater Jerusalem. But I think either things are going to be solved by force or they're going to have to be solved by actually allowing elections to take place. And that's one thing the israeli government has not really wanted to confront, is a properly constituted elected representative of Palestine. To negotiate with, I should say. I'm also really concerned how this is going to relate to how Jews in the diaspora operate in the world and what this is going to mean to how people think about Jews, people feeling the necessity to kind of take revenge against Jews elsewhere, to express their anger about what the state of Israel does. And I think it was a foreseeable question. And the publicity, the airing the ubiquity now of news from Gaza is, I think, going to really affect, I know within the american jewish community, there's a lot of concern, and in the major organizations, they're doing a conflation of concern about Palestine, concern about israeli actions against Palestinians, and anti semitism. And I don't know how this is all going to play out. [00:36:03] Speaker B: We'll agree that in what I've seen, compared to other times, there has been more coverage or at least more acknowledgement that the extremity of the israeli response and the situation of Gaza and more publicity of that. We do have another caller. Hi, you're on the air. [00:36:26] Speaker D: Hi. I was just wanting to refer to. The other caller was talking about the false flag attack. I don't think he was talking about the politics. I think he was talking more about the erroneous facts that don't add up. Like there were a lot of warning signs that were purposely ignored three days before the attack. It's an impossible that they could pull an attack that large off without Massad intelligence being aware of it. In fact, Massad intelligence was definitely aware of it. They practiced using hang gliders with machine guns. They weren't doing that in a cave. [00:37:11] Speaker C: Right. Yeah. [00:37:14] Speaker D: Erroneous facts that don't add up to Netanyahu and the Mossad not knowing that that attack was going to happen on the 50th anniversary of another attack. I mean, come on. Are you thinking of the fact why they add up to an inside job? And this played out 100% in Zion's favor? Amas must have known that this was not going to work out in their best interest. [00:37:50] Speaker B: Well, let's let the caller or the guest respond to that. Thanks for. [00:37:56] Speaker D: Okay, thank you. Yeah, I'll take the answer off the air. [00:37:59] Speaker B: Thank you. Do you have another response to that about Solomon? [00:38:10] Speaker C: The caller is absolutely right that this is a remarkable, remarkable intelligence failure. The fact is the israeli society was in the last year pulling itself apart over the judicial overhaul that Netanyahu is pushing. And there was a question of whether it kind of reduced the communications and the efficiency within the israeli intelligence apparatus. It's a little bit like 911. You can read the events, and then you can come up with what it is you believe and is credible, and then kind of come up with an alternate explanation. And I don't know how to connect with that because it puts a lot of players into kind of false positions like that. Would assume that Hamas is manipulated by the Israelis and by bigger forces. I'd have to say I'm agnostic. [00:39:29] Speaker B: Yeah, well, yeah, we know how people think about 911 in terms of similar analysis of that. So we won't go there on this show. I do want to remind the listeners, this is global stuff. My name is Jimmy Dershlag. My guest, Abba Solomon, author of two books on Zionism, the Miasma of Unity, Jews and Israel, and also the speech and its context, Jacob Bloustein's speech, the meaning of Palestine partition to american Jews, he's been writing about. You can get more information about abba online and see his most recent writings. There was an article by the New York Times, in the New York Times about the Hamas planning. And really, although we have Hamas in Gaza, the heads of Hamas, the higher ups in the organization, are in other countries. They're in Qatar and other places. They're headquartered in other places, not just in the palestinian parts of non jewish parts of Israel. And there was the implication that the heads have Hamas. Number one, they denied that there were any civilian casualties, unless it was they were caught in the line of fire and that there was never any. And also, they did not seem to be that concerned about what the blowback would be against the Palestinians in Gaza, that it was more important to them to take this action, those in Hamas, not in Israel, than to be concerned about what that blowback would be. As the last caller implied, they must have known this wouldn't work and that there would be extreme response from. [00:41:46] Speaker C: Various. I think certainly there was horrors that day. There is going to be, I think, a reappraisal of some of the claims of some of the violence. In other words, we know that the beheaded babies was simply a rumor. The question of was it entirely as humane and orderly as Hamas says its goals were? I don't think so. In part, it's really a matter of, the fence was breached in a number of spots, and it was not only Hamas fighters who came through, but it did have some of the feel of a slave revolt or a prison riot where things are barbarous. It certainly was a horrible moment, and in part it was, I think, propaganda of the deed is what the anarchists called it. They were proving that this idea of what Israel does, which is subsidize settlements of the periphery to basically plant the israeli flag and plant, well, basically, they call it judaizing parts of Israel which are sparsely populated in order to take possession of the entire land, wasn't going to be secure. And, I mean, it's a horrible way to have proved that. And they proved it. [00:43:35] Speaker B: Okay, so today is a very significant event that's been happening today and into tomorrow, which is perhaps there's going to be some kind of resolution. Right now it's in a temporary four day ceasefire that just began today, and there's been a prisoner exchange that started today. And then they say tomorrow. Netanyahu said there'll be more released tomorrow. The numbers I saw would. Well, we'd seen numbers that 200 captives had been captured by Hamas, and I see that 24 have been released and 39 Palestinians also freed in a prisoner exchange. What kind of a point in time do you see us at right now? Do you think there may be a chance to extend this current ceasefire and maybe reach some kind of resolution as there's been so much pressure, global pressure, to stop the military actions? [00:44:52] Speaker C: Right. Well, I know that the israeli war aims, which are somewhat unrealistic, but is to extinguish Hamas as any threat. First off, they have external support. And second of all, wiping out an ideology like us, the United States occupying Afghanistan, and to wipe out the Taliban didn't work. I think it won't work for the same reasons that you can't extinguish by foreign troops an ideology. One thing is the said, you know, we won't be negotiating. Well, they've now started negotiating from the american government point of view. The US government is starting to say, well, we need to solve this particular crisis, but we also finally have to solve the question of palestinian rights, that this is simply a festering problem. Now, as far as the Israelis are concerned, this isn't a festering problem. This is a problem to be managed as israeli life continues. But the urgency that the Palestinians feel, I think, is also starting to be expressed by foreign governments which have been supportive of Israel. But there's going to have to be kind of reconceptualization of what israeli security is, and it's going to have to be coming to a reasonable conclusion that allows fulfillment of palestinian life in a way that's not suppressed in favor of jewish life in Israel. [00:46:51] Speaker B: And do you see that even that is a possibility? I mean, Netanyahu was talking about move them to Egypt. Right. There's a lot of empty buildings in Egypt, you get these. A million or 2 million people. 2 million would be the entire population of the Gaza. [00:47:13] Speaker C: Well, I cannot imagine the international community going along with that. The Nakba of 48, 47 and 48 is well understood, certainly by Palestinians, and I don't think the world would sit for it. But basically what I'm thinking is this is enough of a crisis that there's opportunity for some reconceptualization of what israeli rights are versus the rights of all of the other people who are Palestinians, the jewish and muslim and christian non zionist residents of Palestine. [00:48:07] Speaker B: So we don't have much time left. There's also know we mentioned this in passing, but even though there have been a lot of voices that have talked about the actions of the Israelis against the non jewish inhabitants, there still has been a lot of pushback within the country. I know the american jewish committee is still very active itself, and APAC, of course, as funding a lot of elections and representatives. But there's been things like Harvard University basically denying that when there was a Wiley students and faculty declaring that the slogan from the river to the sea, which is a call for freedom for Palestinians, was called anti semitic and that it's okay to censor that. That's not a violation of free expression in this country. There's so much human cry from the right about freedom of speech and all that. And yet the groups that have come out speaking for at least expressing the opinion that this needs to be looked at and the rights of the Palestinians need to be considered and respected, there's still this huge blowback against that in this country, and censorship of Rashida Tlaib is a direct result of that as well. [00:49:53] Speaker C: Right. And I believe she was. Yes. She just censured by the house. [00:49:57] Speaker B: Right? [00:49:58] Speaker C: I believe, yes. That demonization of that slogan, which has been around for years, it's a reliable chant. Metrically, it works and it expresses what it wants to express that is being interpreted as eliminationist of Jews, that it's a call for elimination of Jews. And the corollary of that is any change in domination of Palestine by a mighty controlling state of Israel from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean, any challenge to that and any rethinking of who gets to vote. For instance, the basically six, 7 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West bank are controlled ultimately by a government they don't vote for indefinitely. This has been going on since 1967, and there's got to be a sea change. And I'm just thinking, basically because of the stress and vulnerability that Israel is experiencing. Now there may be some options for realignment, finding common ground or something, because otherwise Israel is simply not as mighty as it used to be. It is not in control of the situation now. It's got basically three or four fronts going, the threat from Gaza, from Yemen, Hezbollah, and then forces in Syria that are also Hezbollah aligned. And the population of the West bank is experiencing provocations that are making life intolerable. So I don't know if there isn't some opportunity for improvement because it just can't stay as bad as it is right now. [00:52:14] Speaker B: Well, we're so glad for you to have made the time to talk about this Abbasolomon author, and you can find out more about his work, And we appreciate the work you're doing on this. I know. I was going to ask if you ever get pushback as an author, a jewish author, proposing showing how there is some legitimate concern about the treatment of Palestinians, but I'm sure you get a little bit of blowback occasionally. [00:52:56] Speaker C: Yeah, there's a bright line between people. There's a lot of jewish people who are sympathetic and understanding of the position of Palestine and basically a raw deal for quite a long period of time, and people who are totally wedded to the idea that jewish identity is tied to support for the jewish state of Israel in its current configuration. So I guess, yes, there are a number of people, even within my extended family, who are horrified. [00:53:35] Speaker B: I have some of that, too. But anyway, thank you so much. I really appreciate you making the time. [00:53:44] Speaker A: This has been a Kmut podcast to listen to other shows and more episodes of this show. Find us on all the platforms where you get your podcast, and also on our website,

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February 27, 2024 00:56:58
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Global Stuff Joshua Landis

Joshua Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He recently wrote the article that appeared...