Host Diana Buttu speaks with Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja about her pro-democracy work in Bahrain, her country’s normalization deal with Israel, and Bahraini solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.
COVID-19 is spreading quickly in the West Bank as Gaza goes on a tight lockdown. With Israel having one of the highest infection rates in the world, the impact on Palestine is devastating and the disparity in resources between occupier and occupied is impacting policy. Hosts Omar Baddar and Diana Buttu, along with Ramallah-based Amanda Arraf-Saadeh from the IMEU team, discuss the reality on the ground in Palestine and what life is like.
Hosts Diana Buttu and Omar Baddar break down what the recent normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel means and specifically how it impacts Palestinians.
In today’s episode, we hear from Rami Kashou, a Palestinian designer based in New York. Rami Kashou was a finalist on the hit show, Project Runway, where his creativity and draping style became apparent. He even made a dress out of candy wrappers. His dresses have draped queen Rania and Hollywood celebrities such as Penelope Cruz, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez among others. Kashou's work has been featured in numerous magazines including Elle, Vogue, In Style, The New York Times Magazine, and Flaunt. We hear about Rami’s latest project, ARD - where Rami places traditional, Palestinian embroidery on masks made of sustainable materials. We hear about his upbringing in Ramallah, and the influence that the first intifada had on his design and on his future plans.
Diana Buttu speaks with Sawsan Zaher, an attorney at Adalah, a Haifa-based organization that promotes the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, about the July 22 Israeli Supreme Court hearing in which she sought the release of Ahmad Erakat's body. Ahmad Erekat was killed by Israeli soldiers over a month ago at a checkpoint. Israel continues to hold onto the body of Ahmad, denying his family their right to bury him and say their final goodbyes. Israel has a long history of post mortem punishment of Palestinians. Whether by holding onto Palestinian bodies, burying them in unmarked graves, or degrading handling of their remains. Over the decades, we’ve seen that Israel has enacted various policies of withholding Palestinian bodies and imposing restrictions on funerals, as a means of punishment and control, even in death.
On June 23, Israeli soldiers shot Ahmad Erekat after he got into a car accident at a checkpoint. It was his sister’s wedding day. The soldiers denied Ahmad medical assistance for over an hour, leaving him to bleed to death on the street. Host Omar Baddar is joined by Ahmad Erekat’s cousin and Palestinian American human rights attorney and scholar Noura Erakat, and by Ahmad's older brother, Faisal Erekat. Noura discusses the context of Ahmad's killing and Israel's 'shoot to kill policy' and Israel's practice of holding onto the bodies of Palestinians they have slain and keeping them from their families. Faisal talks about who Ahmad was, and about the impact of his loss on the family.
Eyad Hallaq, 32, was on his way to a school for special needs students in the historic Old City of Jerusalem on May 30 when Israeli soldiers shot and killed him. Hallaq's killing has sparked protests across the West Bank because the victim had autism. The eyewitness, his school counselor Warda Abu Hadid, told local media she shouted to the Israeli officers, "he's disabled," as the wounded Hallaq shouted, "I'm with her." Host Diana Buttu sits down with the family of Eyad Hallaq and learns about who he was, how he lived, and ultimately how he was killed.
Host Omar Baddar speaks with Dr. James Zogby, co-founder and President of the Arab American Institute. Zogby has served on the Democratic National Committee since 1992 and was a member of the DNC's Executive Committee for 16 years. Omar also speaks with Matt Duss, foreign policy advisor to Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. They discuss the emerging change in the Democratic Party towards Israel and Palestine, including what policy might look like in light of impending annexation.
Host Diana Buttu speaks with Sahar Francis the General Director of Ramallah-based Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO providing legal and advocacy support to Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. Sahar discusses the various measures the Israeli authorities have imposed under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic to limit access by political prisoners of legal counsel and their families and the ongoing arrests throughout the West Bank amidst the pandemic.
In this episode of 'This Is Palestine,' we shift our focus to the protests that have swept the nation, sparked by the tragic murder of George Floyd by police officers on May 25. We hear from three distinct Black American voices as they discuss systemic racism and what it means to be Black in America. First, we hear from Mychal Denzel Smith, author of the forthcoming Stakes is High: Life After the American Dream and New York Times bestseller Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, The Nation, and more. In 2014 and 2016, TheRoot.com named him one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in their annual The Root 100 list. Mychal navigates us through this moment and what it means, what's different about it now, and why defunding the police is vital to gaining justice. Next, we hear from Kinjo Kiema and Khury Petersen-Smith, who speak in conversation with one another about this moment and connections to global solidarity. Kinjo Kiema is an organizer with BYP100, a Black queer feminist organization working to create justice and freedom for all Black people. She is also a leader in the reproductive justice movement, and has organized within the labor and student movements, including with Students for Justice in Palestine. Khury Petersen-Smith is the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Petersen-Smith has been a leading activist for internationalist solidarity, economic justice, and racial and gender equality since he was a high school student. He traveled to Iraq in 2004 on a United for Peace and Justice delegation where he represented the Campus Anti-War Network.