Day: March 20, 2024

Background Briefing: March 20, 2024


As a Million Gazans Starve, Kushner’s Callous Remarks on the Value of Their Beachfront Property Resonate While Netanyahu Talks to Republican Senators and the House Speaker

We begin with Netanyahu addressing the Republican senators today by video after a lengthy call with House Speaker Johnson, who promised to host a future visit to the embattled Israeli Prime Minister, whose leadership was recently challenged by Senate Majority Leader Schumer. Joining us to discuss that and the extraordinarily callous remarks by Jared Kushner about developing beachfront property in Gaza, and moving the people out to go in and finish the job at a time when a million Gazans face starvation, is Dov Waxman, Professor and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at University of California Los Angeles, where he also directs the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. He has also been a visiting fellow at Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Oxford University, and is the author of dozens of scholarly articles and the four books The Pursuit of Peace and The Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation, Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel, and, most recently, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know.


AG Garland and Justice Cardoza’s Warning That Criminals “Go Free Because the Constable Has Blundered”

Then we get an update on the trials facing Trump, which are being delayed to his benefit, and discuss the role of AG Garland in the context of Justice Cardoza’s warning that a criminal can “go free because the constable has blundered.” Joining us is James Zirin, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the host of the critically acclaimed television talk show, Conversations with Jim Zirin, which airs on PBS. He is the author of Supremely Partisan: How Raw Politics Tips the Scales in the United States Supreme Court and Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3500 Lawsuits. He is a contributing editor at The Washington Monthly and we discuss his latest article, “How the Justice Department’s Trump Prosecution Ran Aground.”


Trump Attacks Biden but Avoids His Own Family’s History of Dementia

Then finally we discuss an article in Wednesday’s Washington Post, “Shadowing Trump’s attacks on mental fitness — his own father’s dementia: Trump avoids mention of his father’s Alzheimer’s disease as he lashes Biden for being ‘cognitively impaired’.” Joining us is Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. He is the author of several works of nonfiction, including A Primate’s Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, and Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. His latest book is Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will.