Month: May 2021

Background Briefing: May 13, 2021

 

Communal Violence Inside of Israel May Restrain Escalation to an Invasion of Gaza

We begin with the continuing exchange of rockets and air strikes between Hamas and the IDF and the communal violence erupting in Israel between Israeli nationalists and Israeli Arabs. Joining us is Zaha Hassan, a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace whose research focuses on Palestine-Israel peace and U.S. foreign policy in the region. She was previously the coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian delegation negotiating UN membership and a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Quartet-sponsored talks between 2011 and 2012. We discuss the extent to which concerns over vigilante attacks and lawlessness inside of Israel might restrain any ground invasion of Gaza given the likelihood that an escalation of this latest fighting would only intensify an already volatile situation among Jewish and Israeli Arabs communities. 

 

Fully-Vaccinated Americans Can Now Take Off Their Masks

Then we speak with Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security whose work focuses on emerging disease, pandemic preparedness and biosecurity who has served on US government panels developing treatments for infectious disease emergencies. He joins us to discuss the announcement today by the CDC that Americans who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus may stop wearing masks or maintaining social distance in most indoor and outdoor settings, regardless of their size.

 

The GOP is Getting More Extreme and Will Dismantle Democracy if They Win in 2022

Then finally we examine the civil war inside the Republican Party following the purging of Liz Cheney for not falling into line with the rest of the GOP behind a wannabe autocrat responsible for the January 6 attack on American democracy. Joining us is Mike Lofgren, who spent 28 years working in Congress, with the last 16 as a senior analyst of the House and Senate Budget Committees, who is the author of The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted. We discuss his article at Common Dreams, “Liz Cheney. And Thus, the Revolution Devours Its Children” and how Republican state legislatures are hard at work passing laws to sabotage the franchise and criminalize protest across the country so that House Republicans can win the midterm election then dismantle American democracy as we have seen in other countries like Hungary and Turkey.