Day: May 31, 2021

Background Briefing: May 31, 2021


After 8 Years as a POW in North Vietnam, Going Back Inside California’s Prisons to Help Vets Rebuild Their Lives

We begin on this Memorial Day with a highly decorated combat veteran who was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legion of Merits, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts and spent 8 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and is now a peace and justice activist with Veterans for Peace. Joining us is Dr. Phillip Butler, who is now engaged in trying to rehabilitate the 8,000 veterans in California prisons out of the over 180,000 vets in prisons across America. By placing veterans in close proximity to each other in what are called hubs, camaraderie and pride and purpose is rebuilt and while much remains to be done to address homelessness and addiction in the veteran community, those who have been incarcerated now have a better chance at rebuilding their lives and restoring their place in a society they fought to defend.


A Dramatic Drop in Support For Israel Among Young Evangelicals

Then we look into the changes underway in the evangelical community which has become the cornerstone of support for Israel in the United States. A recent poll found a dramatic shift in attitudes among young evangelicals whose support for Israel dropped from 75% to 34% between 2018 and 2021. Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland whose latest book is The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace 1989 – 2011, joins us to discuss the aftermath of the latest war between Hamas and Israel and what looks like the end of the Netanyahu era.


The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II

Then finally we speak with Leah Garrett, a professor at Hunter College and the author of the new book, X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II. She joins us to discuss her article at CNN, “On Memorial Day, remember this secret troop of Jewish commandos from World War II” and how a group of stateless refugees from the Nazis became highly trained special operations soldiers.