ISRAEL / PALESTINE 3-Pack
Fifty Years have passed since Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War resulting in the longest military occupation in modern times. And on the ground there has been a radical shift in demographics because of the settlements. What began as a few scattered outposts has now mushroomed into vast sub-divisions and cities with Jewish only road networks connecting them make it difficult for Palestinians to travel. About 600,000 Israelis now live beyond the country's 1967 borders. The Palestinians are being squeezed into ever smaller and smaller enclaves, isolated and without sufficient water. The settlements, illegal under international law, are a key obstacle to the resolution of the conflict. But Israel continues to expand them. Each new house makes the possibility of a just peace more remote. And Washington makes it all possible with its ongoing economic, military and diplomatic support for Israel. Interview by David Barsamian. Recorded at KGNU.
The conflict over Palestine is a century-long war involving a settler-colonial movement–Zionism–which succeeded in forming a national entity–The State of Israel. The term settler colonialism may not be well known but it accurately describes what has happened to multiple regions of the world from Ireland to Canada and from New Zealand to Palestine where indigenous populations have been subjugated and displaced. In the case of Palestine, the Zionist movement was supported by superpowers, first Britain and then the U.S. President Truman was told by State Department diplomats that an overtly pro-Zionist policy would harm U.S. interests in the Middle East. To them, Truman said, “I am sorry gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.”
For decades Palestine and Palestinians were associated with terror and terrorism. In political discourse and popular culture Palestinians were often typecast as blood thirsty killers. As the great Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said once ruefully observed, “Palestine is a thankless cause, one in which if you truly serve, you get nothing back but opprobrium, abuse, and ostracism. How many friends avoid the subject? How many colleagues want none of Palestine's controversy? How many bien pensant liberals have time for Bosnia and Somalia, Rwanda and South Africa and Nicaragua and human and civil rights everywhere on earth, but not for Palestine and Palestinians?” There are signs that may be changing. A new generation of activists has breathed fresh energy into the question of Palestine. The BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, has attracted more and more adherents. The pendulum is shifting. Interviewed by David Barsamian. Recorded at KSFR.
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel and The 51-Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza. He is a senior writer for Alternet, and his articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The New York Times, and other newspapers and journals.
Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University and editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. His articles appear in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and many other journals. He is the author of Palestinian Identity, Brokers of Deceit, The Iron Cage and The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.
Ilan Pappé is professor of history at the University of Exeter. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa and chair of the Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa. He is the author of many books including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, On Palestine with Noam Chomsky and The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories.