In light of the recent Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and subsequent Israeli military action in Gaza, The Burn Bag is re-releasing several episodes A'ndre and Ryan recorded during the 2021 Israeli-Palestinian crisis, aiming to assess the history of the broader Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts, highlighting a multitude of perspectives. We hope that you listen to all of these re-releases, in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of this conflict.
In the last episode of our miniseries on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we speak to Yossi Klein Halevi, famed Israeli author and journalist, on 'myths' and 'realities' around the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and Zionism. Yossi talks about the idea of Israel and 'historic' Israel before the founding of the modern day state, and what Israel means to Jewish people -- drawing on the intersection of history, religion, and culture. Discussing the expulsion of Jews around the world before, during, and after the creation of the State of Israel, Yossi discusses how Israel is perceived as more than just a country, providing his take on what Zionism means, in his perspective. Yossi dispels critiques that Israel is a 'white' state and talks about the diversity present within Israel's population, and then dives into relations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Yossi, the author of Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor, acknowledges and refutes criticisms of Israel, delineating between 'legitimate' criticisms of recent actions around Sheikh Jarrah and more 'existential' criticisms around overarching anti-Zionism -- providing his rationale on why he believes those existential criticisms are anti-Semitic.
NOTE: In A’ndre’s introduction, he mentioned that Professor Rashid Khalidi was a negotiator for the PLO. The correct statement is that he was an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993.