Background Briefing: May 12, 2021


Vigilante Violence in Israel Against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians

We begin with the situation on the ground in Israel getting out of hand with vigilante attacks on Palestinians and Israeli Arabs including an horrific scene in the town of Bat Yam where Israelis hauled an Arab man out of his car and lynched him.  Joining us to discuss the escalating violence between Israel and Hamas and the escalating violence between Israelis and Israeli Arabs is Asher Kaufman, Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a Professor of History and Peace Studies at Notre Dame who previously taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. We discuss how negligent or even deliberately provocative Prime Minister Netanyahu has been in not anticipating the possibility of clashes with the ending of Ramadan coinciding with the Jerusalem Day march by Israeli nationalists along with rising tensions over the evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. With Israel in the midst of forming a new coalition government, the current warlike atmosphere plays into Netanyahu’s hands since he wants to cling onto power for as long as he can to avoid going to jail. 


Unconditional Support For Israel in Our Politics and Press is Eroding

Then we look into how much opinion is shifting in this country away from unconditional support for Israel in our politics and in the press and speak with Mitchell Plitnick, a political analyst and frequent writer on the Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy and former vice president of the Foundation For Middle East Peace. He is the co-author with Marc Lamont Hill of the new book, Except For Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics and he has an article at 972 Magazine, “‘Equality’ is finally breaching Washington’s debate on Israel-Palestine.” 


The GOP is a Threat to American Democracy. What are the Democrats Doing About it?

Then finally we examine the challenge to American democracy the Trump GOP poses now that Liz Cheney has been purged for telling the truth about Trump’s “Big Lie” and his responsibility for the attack on the Capitol. Joining us is Amanda Marcotte, a feminist author, blogger and a politics writer at Salon where her latest article is “Democrats refuse to take advantage of the GOP civil war. Do they care about democracy?”