This Is Palestine Podcast

This Is Palestine

The Institute of Middle East Understanding
'This Is Palestine' is a podcast that highlights people, issues, and events around Palestine. We bring you stories from the ground in Palestine, and we speak with experts and activists to bring you unique perspectives and analysis about Palestine from across the world. This podcast is a project of the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).
Aylul: Surviving the Nuseirat Massacre as a One-Day-Old Newborn
In this episode of “This is Palestine”, we hear the heartwrenching story of baby Aylul, a baby born during Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Aylul’s story is one of tens of thousands of children born to Palestinian mothers who are being forced to experience pregnancy and childbirth as they try to survive Israel’s genocide. It is estimated that there are 50,000 Palestinian women currently pregnant in Gaza and approximately 180 births a day. Aylul was born in the early morning hours of June 8. That same day, Israel, with US support, committed a horrific massacre in central Gaza, bombing and invading the Nuseirat refugee camp and the Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah. In the span of just a few hours, Israel and the US killed nearly 300 Palestinians, including over 60 children. In the episode, we hear Aylul’s story through the words of her father Ibrahim. He shares the gut-wrenching account of his wife, Riham having to give birth to their beloved baby on the floor without proper medical care due to Israel’s brutal massacre.
Jun 27
15 min
Anti-Palestinian legislation in Congress Unpacked
In this episode of “This Is Palestine,” host Diana Buttu speaks to Josh Ruebner, the director of IMEU’s new 501C-4 organization, the IMEU Policy Project, about recent developments in the US Congress and Palestinian human rights. The episode unpacks the alarming rise in anti-Palestinian legislation and actions in Congress aiming to suppress Palestinian rights work amid Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Just days after the ICC issued a statement it is seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for committing war crimes in Gaza, the US Congress invited the Israeli prime minister to deliver a speech to members. Netanyahu is slated to address Congress on July 24. From providing Israel with billions of U.S. tax dollars to commit genocide in Gaza to holding hearings intended to strike fear into the student movements calling for Palestinian freedom, and even introducing legislation aiming to sanction the International Criminal Court, the episode discusses the multitude of ways that the U.S. Congress provides Israel with a shield of impunity for its war crimes and brutality. Listen to learn more about the history of anti-Palestinian racism in Congress and the ways you can help uplift Palestinian freedom and support members of Congress who are champions of Palestinian rights today.
Jun 11
31 min
Testimonies from Palestinian Prisoners & Israeli Torture Camps
Over the past eight months, Israel has kidnapped or unlawfully “arrested” hundreds of Palestinians. In Gaza, there are disturbing reports of Israeli soldiers kidnapping Palestinians from their homes being shackled, stripped, and forced to endure degrading and inhumane treatment. Currently, there are over 3,000 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel without charge or even a trial. Additionally, there are thousands of Palestinian political prisoners who are imprisoned by Israel with no end in sight. Rights groups estimate numbers to be even higher, but international aid groups have been denied the right to access Israeli prisons. Horrific reports continue to emerge of Israel’s torture and abuse of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. In this episode of “This Is Palestine,” host Diana Buttu shares the horrific experiences of former Palestinian prisoners and the abuse they survived. * Warning: This episode contains graphic content
May 29
21 min
Censoring Palestinian Student Activism
In this episode of “This is Palestine,” we speak with Palestinian American Columbia student Maryam Alwan about the rise in student-led protests across college campuses speaking out against Israel’s genocide. She talks to us about the unified student demand calling on their universities to divest funds tied with Israel’s genocide and war crimes. We discuss the alarming attacks that students are facing at the hands of professors and others who support Israel’s genocide. Universities have even gone so far as to suspend leading student groups, like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), organizing against Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Yet, students across the U.S. and the world have remained defiant and steadfast in their demands against their universities' complicity with Israel’s genocide. Listen to learn more about this growing student movement in support of Palestinian freedom.
May 13
24 min
Healing Under Genocide: Gaza's Healthcare Crisis
Over the past six months, Israel has internationally destroyed Gaza’s healthcare system as part of its genocidal campaign. By November 2023, Israel had repeatedly bombed more than 36 hospitals in Gaza. As of publishing, the Israeli military has besieged and attacked Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza for over 11 days. Horrifying reports continue to emerge of Israeli soldiers killing Palestinians sheltering inside and abducting medical workers. Additionally, Israel has blocked the entry of food, water, and medical supplies into Gaza, creating an unprecedented public health crisis and famine. At least 27 Palestinians in Gaza have died of malnutrition, 23 of them children. In this episode, host Diana Buttu speaks with Palestinian neurologist Dr. Karameh Hawash-Kuemmerle, about Israel’s deliberate destruction of public health in Gaza and its devastating consequences on Palestinians. In 2023, before Israel’s current genocide, Dr. Hawash-Kuemmerle co-founded the organization “Doctors Against Genocide,” to address Israel’s sharp increase in attacks on Palestinian cities and refugee camps in the West Bank. Once Israel began its brutal campaign in Gaza, it became clear the organization and her work were needed more than ever.
Mar 30
26 min
Confronting Genocide: Insights from the ICJ Ruling on Israel
In this episode, host Diana Buttu speaks with Palestinian human rights lawyer Ahmed Abofoul about South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), charging Israel with the crime of genocide in Gaza. Mr. Abofoul is a Legal Researcher and Advocacy Officer with Al-Haq, one of the oldest Palestinian human rights organizations. On January 26th, the ICJ ruled that Israel is plausibly committing the crime of genocide in Gaza and must take all measures to prevent acts of genocide. Since the ruling, Israel has repeatedly violated the ICJ-mandated measures, including blocking the entry of life-saving food, aid, and water into Gaza. Numerous humanitarian groups have raised alarm about Israel using starvation as a weapon in Gaza, stating that famine in Gaza is imminent due to Israel’s illegal blockade. Additionally, since the ICJ ruling, Israel has killed more than 3,500 Palestinians in Gaza, bringing the number of Palestinians Israel has killed in Gaza to more than 31,000. This includes Israel killing more than 13,000 children in Gaza since October. Mr. Abofoul, who is based in the Hague, discusses the significance of the ICJ’s case and why it is a critical step towards ending ongoing impunity for Israel’s horrific war crimes against the Palestinian people. In the episode, Mr. Abofoul and Ms. Buttu provide an in-depth discussion about Israel’s inherent and long history of ethnic cleansing and genocidal intent in Palestine, within the context of the ICJ. Mr. Abofoul also discusses the long history of U.S. and Western hypocrisy in applying international law and how the Israel-genocide ICJ case is a testament to the international legal system. Listen to the episode for everything you need to know about the ICJ case and why it is critical for holding Israel accountable.
Mar 20
18 min
Gaza: World's Deadliest Place for Journalists
In this episode, we take a deeper look into Israel’s deliberate targeting and killing of Palestinian journalists in Gaza. Killing journalists is a war crime. According to the UN, Gaza is the deadliest place in the world for journalists right now. Additionally, the International Journalist Federation has issued a statement describing Israel’s killing of Palestinian journalists over the past four months as “deliberate and systematic.” Host Diana Buttu speaks with Anan Quzmar, a representative from the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS). They discuss the critical role of Palestinian journalists, who are not only reporting the news about Israel’s genocide but are also living it. Over the past four months, Israel has killed at least 120 Palestinian journalists. The PJS has described the conditions of Palestinian journalists in Gaza, saying, “They lost their families and they continue their work…They are without houses and they continue their work... Without food, without the security for them, without their families.” Listen to learn more about the stories of Palestinian journalists and why they continue to remain absolute in their reporting and expose Israel’s war crimes to the world.
Feb 12
25 min
The Silencing of Palestinian Students in Israeli Universities
In the aftermath of October 7, Palestinian students at Israeli higher education institutions quickly faced attacks for their social media posts. These attacks, coordinated between Israeli government officials, Israeli institutions, and far-right groups, targeted students who expressed dissent against Israel's attacks on Gaza. This led to the expulsion or suspension of students for alleged violations of university codes of conduct. In other cases, students faced criminal charges, while others were physically attacked in their dorms. It's important to note that these measures were taken while the universities were out of session, in fact, before the semester had begun, and were based solely on social media posts, unrelated to any campus activities. Some of the so-called offensive posts involved students liking or sharing a post, sometimes providing context to the October 7 events or expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. In some instances, students posted calls to end Israel's attacks, while others were unrelated, such as posting verses from the Quran. In most cases, fellow students reported these posts, and the repressive measures extended beyond just these actions. Host Diana Buttu speaks with Adi Mansour, a lawyer at Adalah, a civil rights organization for Palestinians in Israel. Adalah has represented more than 120 students facing disciplinary measures, yet there are hundreds more affected. Adi discusses with us the measures imposed on these students, the coordinated campaign against them, and the reasons behind it. We also explore the actions, or rather the inactions, of universities in addressing genocidal speech against Palestinians.
Jan 31
22 min
Connecting Gaza To The World
On October the 27th, Israel cut off all phone and internet communications to the Gaza Strip, further plunging the area into darkness. The cutting of internet and phone communications meant that vital life-saving systems such as ambulances, rescuers, and hospitals could not be reached to treat the injured or to rescue those trapped under the rubble. Cutting off the internet also meant that Israel's crimes would be carried out in the dark. But in the midst of this, the volunteer initiative 'Connecting Gaza' was formed, led by Mirna El Helbawi an author and activist, who decided to set up a system for donors around the world to purchase E-SIMs or virtual SIM cards. This was to help Palestinians skirt telecommunications blackouts amid Israeli bombing across the Gaza Strip.
Jan 23
15 min
Recap: South Africa & Israel’s Week 1 at the ICJ
The case in which South Africa accuses Israel of violating the genocide convention at the International Court of Justice began this week with oral arguments presented by South Africa and Israel. The court will base its decisions on whether to order several provisional measures, including instructing Israel to suspend all military operations in Gaza, solely based on these hearings. Our regular host, Diana Buttu, who was part of the team that assisted in the successful litigation against Israel's Apartheid Wall before the International Court of Justice in 2004, breaks down the events of this week.
Jan 13
25 min
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