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PeaceCast

PeaceCast is a podcast produced in Washington by Americans for Peace Now, the sister-organization of Israel’s preeminent peace movement, exploring issues and trends relating to peace and security for Israel, focusing on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians and efforts to resolve it. If you care about Israel, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, about Israel’s future as a democracy and a Jewish state, this podcast is for you. Episodes feature experts, activists, advocates and scholars whose work or passion is Israeli-Palestinian peace.
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Please visit the Americans for Peace Now webpage to learn more.

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Jun 18, 2018

In this episode, the second in a series about the collective emotional state of the Gaza Strip’s population, APN’s Debra Shushan and Ori Nir speak with Dr. Brian Barber, a psychologist, who in the past quarter of a century has been studying the psyche of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Barber is a professor of child and family studies and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict at the University of Tennessee, from which he recently retired. He is now a scholar at the New America Foundation and the Institute for Palestine Studies in Washington, DC.

He is working on a book documenting the lives of three Palestinian men, all Gazans, who spent their entire lives under Israeli occupation. The book is an extension of Barber’s large study of young Palestinians, documented in the important article “Whither the ‘Children of the Stone’? An Entire Life under Occupation” published in 2016 in the Journal of Palestine Studies.

Here are links to some of his other publications:

This Is Why Gazans Won't Back Down; The Politics of Development; After the War;  

(Photo: New America) 

Jun 11, 2018

Omar Shaban is the founder and director of PalThink for Strategic Studies, a Gaza City-based think tank, or as Shaban likes to call it, a “think and do tank.”

Debra Shushan, Stephanie Breitsman and Ori Nir sat with Shaban at APN’s office in Washington on Friday June 8th, for a long, fascinating conversation on the economy, society, and politics of the Gaza Strip.

This is an unusually long episode.

PalThink’s web site is www.palthink.org

His most recent Foreign Policy article is here: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/29/gazans-are-protesting-their-economy-not-israels-existence/

Thank you for your feedback and ideas. Please contact Ori at onir@peacenow.org

May 29, 2018

This episode’s guest is Yizhar Be’er, an Israeli podcaster who formerly reported on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for Haaretz and was the director of the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem and the founder and director of Keshev, an Israeli nonprofit that focuses on improving public discourse in Isreali society relating to the conflict.

Yizhar’s Hebrew podcast Sacred Cows (Parot Kdoshot) takes apart Israeli myths. One of his chief topics is the Gaza Strip. In an eight-episode series, Yizhar addresses the Israeli truism that nothing can be done about Gaza.

The series features interviews with past Israeli governors of the Gaza Strip. One of the things that hit me when I listened to these interviews was the foreshadowing, the writing that Israeli governors saw on the walls of Gaza’s neighborhoods and refugee camps in four decades of direct occupation, predicting the crisis that we see today in Gaza.

The web site of Sacred Cows, where the podcast is hosted, is: http://parotk.com/

 

May 15, 2018

A conversation with Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha, the Israeli and Palestinian directors of the Geneva Initiative talk about their Two-State Index, a new tool to measure the feasibility of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the division of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean into two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security alongside each other.

Please visit the Geneva Initiative’s web site, and the separate site of the new Two-State Index.

Apr 29, 2018

Why does the Palestinian Authority continue its security collaboration with Israel even today, when Israeli-Palestinian political relations are at an all-time low? What is the nature of this cooperation? Who are the Palestinian security forces?  How sustainable is their law-enforcement and counter-terrorism assignment? How long can they continue collaborating with Israel at the absence of any progress toward a political accord between Israel and the Palestinians?

Our current episode addresses these questions with the help of two experts who just published a report on this topic.

To download Neri Zilber and Ghaith al-Omari's report State with No Army, Army with No State - Evolution of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, 1994–2018 click here: 

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/state-with-no-army-army-with-no-state

 

Apr 25, 2018

This episode features:

* Swiss-American photo journalist Saskia Keeley, who through the lenses of cameras that she gives to women -- West Bank Israeli settlers and Palestinian women who live in adjacent towns and villages -- helps these women explore the humanity of the other, open to the other, and discover the many commonalities of Palestinian and Israeli women. Saskia’s web site: https://www.saskiakeeley.com/

* Father Josh Thomas, the executive director of Kids for Peace, a youth movement based in Jerusalem, which brings together Israeli and Palestinian teens, West Jerusalemites and East Jerusalemites and their families. Kids for Peace’s web site: http://www.k4p.org/

I met Father Josh and Saskia Keeley at a conference at Yale University, organized by Yale’s chapter of One Voice, an organization that works to bring together Israelis and Palestinians under a joint agenda of a two-state solution.

Ori’s email address for feedback: onir@peacenow.org

APN’s donate page: https://peacenow.org/donate

Apr 9, 2018

Omar Shakir is the Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, where he investigates human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Shakir has a broad experience in human rights work, both with Human Rights Watch and with other groups, including legal representation of Guantanamo detainees and investigating human rights violations in Egypt. Shakir holds a JD from Stanford Law School, where he co-authored a report on the civilian consequences of US drone strikes in Pakistan as a part of the International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic, an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Affairs, and a BA in International Relations from Stanford.

The conversation with him focuses on the events along the Israel Gaza border fence, and in particular addresses Israel’s practice of sniper fire targeting unarmed civilians.

 

Mar 23, 2018

Another in a series of episodes drawing on Ori's experience in Israel and the West Bank in February, with APN's Study Tour and with the Encounter program. 

This episode is based on a conversation that members of APN's Board of Directors had with with Khalil Shikaky, who had been featured in the past on PeaceCast. 

We met at his Ramalla office, where he analyzed his most recent polling data, and spoke about Palestinian politics. This edited-down version focuses on Shikaki's characterization and analysis of the decline of Palestinian secular nationalism. Shikaki's talk follows a short introduction by Ori and Stephanie Brietsman, who manages APN's programming. 

Please contact Ori with any comments, feedback or requests at onir@peacenow.org

   

Mar 15, 2018

Another episode based on a talk recorded during APN's recent Study Tour to Israel and the West Bank, featuring Yossi Alpher, one of Israel’s leading geo-strategic political analysts, and the author of Hard Questions Tough Answers.

 

 

Mar 7, 2018

PeaceCast is back after a long hiatus. Ori Is back from Israel and the West Bank. Debra Shushan is back from AIPAC's policy conference in DC. 

In this episode, Ori and Debra talk about AIPAC, about APN's Israel Study Tour, and about the Encounter program that Ori attended in February in Israel.

The featured segment of the episode is an edited version of a conversation that APN's Board of Directors had at Haaretz's office in Tel Aviv with Editor in Chief Aluf Benn.

Jan 12, 2018

Leading Palestinian pollster and scholar Khalil Shikaki, in a conversation from his Ramallah office, reviewing key challenges facing Palestinians and their leaders, and explaining the dwindling support among West Bank and Gaza Palestinians -- particularly the younger generation -- for the creation of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state. 

Jan 4, 2018

In Arabic, Fauda means chaos. It's also the name of a popular Israeli TV series that has made it on the international scene. Fauda's co-creator Avi Issacaroff, an Israeli journalist, talks about the show's surprising success, about the message that he and his co-creator Lior Raz are trying to convey to the Israeli audience and to the world through the show, and about the odd reactions to Fauda's second season's publicity campaign.

 

Dec 8, 2017

On December 7th, 2017, APN hosted former US consul General in Jerusalem, Jacob (Jake) Walles. Ambassador Walles spoke about the repercussions of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his decision to start preparations for transferring America’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  

Jacob Walles is a nonresident senior fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on Israeli-Palestinian issues, Tunisia, and counterterrorism. Throughout his 35-year career in the foreign service, he was U.S. ambassador to Tunisia (2012 to 2015), consul general and chief of mission in Jerusalem (2005 to 2009), and served as senior adviser in the State Department's Bureau of Counterterrorism (2015 to 2017). During his long career at the State Department, Walles was actively involved in Middle East peace negotiations, beginning with the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and continuing through the Obama administration. 

Read Ambassador Walles' analysis of President Trump's Jerusalem move here: http://carnegie-mec.org/diwan/74947?lang=en

Nov 29, 2017

As a part of our series on the first intifada, as its 30th anniversary approaches, this episode features a conversation with Mubarak Awad, the Palestinian-American who in the mid-1980s returned to Jerusalem, determined to lead a revolution, to get the Palestinians to shift from armed struggle to nonviolence. Awad got in trouble with both the Israeli authorities, which ended up deporting him, and with the PLO, which at first viewed him as a sellout, a collaborator and a traitor, but ended up embracing and adopting many of the methods he advocated. 

Awad is the founder and director of Nonviolence International 

Please don't forget your tax-deductible end-of-year donation to Americans for Peace Now: https://peacenow.org/donate

Nov 24, 2017

The U.S. State Department notified the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) late in November 2017 that it may shut its mission to the United States in Washington DC. The move sparked livid reactions by the Palestinian leadership and raised many eyebrows among Washington's policy community. Why would an administration that says it wants to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace act to alienate one of the parties it wants to bring to the negotiating table? Are the administration's hands truly tied by congressional legislation on this issue? 

To answer these and other questions, PeaceCast hosted Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and the former director of policy and government relations of Americans for Peace Now. 

Check out FMEP's web site: https://fmep.org/ and Lara's explainer of the crisis: https://fmep.org/blog/2017/11/understanding-plo-mission-crisis-key-documents/

Nov 20, 2017

Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel: 1917-2017 is Ian Black's new book on a hundred years of conflict. 

Ian Black is a veteran British journalist, who over his many years of reporting has focused on the Arab world, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He recently retired from the Guardian, where for many years he was the Middle East editor, and is now He is now a visiting senior fellow at the Middle East Centre in London.

We spoke about his disciplined writing style, about the dynamics of the conflict, about important moments along the timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and about hope. 

  

Nov 15, 2017

Danny Seidemann is one of the world’s leading experts on Jerusalem, on Israeli-Palestinian relations there and on the Jerusalem-related requirements for a future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

On November 14th 2017, we hosted Danny at Americans for Peace Now’s office in Washington to talk about the current situation in Jerusalem and about the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Danny is the director of Terrestrial Jerusalem http://t-j.org.il/

Nov 3, 2017

Boycotts divestment and sanctions (BDS) are a tool used against Israel by activists worldwide either to compel the government of Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip or to punish it for violations of Palestinians’ human rights. Some who support BDS do it because they oppose the very existence of Israel – not just its occupation of territories captured in 1967 – and seek ways to damage Israel as a state.

Americans for Peace Now opposes this blunt tool for various reasons, and encourages people to engage economically and otherwise with Israel. However, we do support boycotting West Bank settlements, which we believe are a major obstacle to peace. We also believe that people have a First Amendment right to express their positions on Israel through boycotts, if they so choose, even if we don’t endorse the action.

We are therefore gratified to have the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on our side in opposing the avalanche of anti-BDS that are being adopted both on the Federal and state level. We oppose them because they conflate Israel and the West Bank settlements, and like the ACLU we also oppose them because they violate the basic civil rights of Americans.

To discuss how the ACLU is opposing these laws, we hosted for a briefing call Attorney Brian Hauss, who leads the American Civil Liberties Union’s litigation on this issue.

For more – a lot more – see here: http://peacenow.org/page.php?name=boycott-occupation#.WfyU42hSyUk

Oct 31, 2017

After a hiatus of about a month (vacation, Jewish High Holidays, heavy workload), PeaceCast is returning with a special episode, marking the 30th anniversary of the first intifada, the Palestinian popular uprising that started on December 9th 1987.

This episode features conversation between three reporters who covered the first intifada: Mary Curtius, who then reported for the Christian Science Monitor and later for the Boston Globe, Joel Greenberg, who then worked for the Jerusalem post (and later covered Israel for the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and other US and British newspapers) and Ori Nir, who then covered Palestinian affairs for Israel’s Haaretz.

The three got together in Jerusalem early October 2017 to talk about this formative experience in the history of Palestinian-Israeli relations and to put it in perspective of the three decades that elapsed since then.

This is the first in several episodes that would be devoted to the first intifada.

To donate to APN and help us produce more episodes like this , please click here: https://peacenow.org/donate

To learn more about musician Mark Eliyahu (mentioned in this episode), click here: http://markeliyahu.com/

Sep 15, 2017

You might expect Daniel Shapiro, Barack Obama’s ambassador to Israel, to dismiss the Trump administration’s rickety Israeli-Palestinian peace brokering efforts.

Surprisingly, Shapiro believes that Trump and his aides have only marginally strayed from traditional U.S. policies on the issue. In fact, he says, more than in any other policy arena, the Trump administration is exercising more continuity and adherence to past administrations’ policies in the field of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

This episode is based on a September 14th 2017 APN briefing call with Ambassador Shapiro. It is preceded by a conversation between APN’s Stephanie Breitsman, Debra Shushan and Ori Nir, PeaceCast’s host.

The full recording of our briefing call with Shapiro is available here. 

Sep 8, 2017

This episode features two conversations. The first is an interview with Dr. Bashir Karkabi, a Palestinian Israeli physician, who is among the organizers of an event that will take place on September 14th in the Israeli Arab town of Kalanswa, bringing together Jewish and Arab activists to forge together a shared agenda for a joint political struggle.

Our second conversation is with Nadia Abuelezam, a Palestinian-American, who is the creator and host of a podcast that tells the stories of Palestinians in the United States. The podcast is called Palestinians Podcast. Here is a link to the podcast’s web site: http://www.palestinianspodcast.com/

And here is a link to APN’s donate page: https://peacenow.org/donate

If you have any ideas or any feedback about PeaceCast, we would love to hear from you at onir@peacenow.org.

Aug 30, 2017

Abby Smardon, the executive director of UNRWA-USA, the American organization that supports the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, returned to Washington after a couple of weeks in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It was her sixth consecutive annual visit to Gaza. She says it was the most distressing. The Gaza Strip, she says, has never experienced such a prolonged crisis. Starved for electricity, relief from the heat and hope for the future, the Gaza Strip's 2 million residents, most of them refugees, are struggling to survive while holding on to their humanity. Stephanie Breitsman and Ori Nir talked with Abby.

 

Aug 25, 2017

The title of this PeaceCast episode is Major Departure – with a question mark.

Episode 22 is a major departure from our typical modus operandi.

Unlike past episode, this one is a round-table discussion by APN staff.

The topic of our discussion is whether the Trump administration's failure to endorse the two-state solution is a major departure from what has been a tenet of US foreign policy for the past fifteen years: a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Participating are Debra Shushan, APN's new Director of Policy and Government Relations, Aaron Mann, our associate director of communications, Stephanie Breitsman, our program assistant and co-producer of PeaceCast, and Ori Nir, APN's communications director and PeaceCast's host.

APN staff for PeaceCast  

Aug 2, 2017

Daoud Kuttab a veteran Palestinian journalist, now lives and works in Amman as the director-general of the Community Media Network a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing independent media in the Arab world. In a conversation with APN's Ori Nir and Debra Shushan, he lays out Jordan's perspective on the recent Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif crisis and the deteriorating relations between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel. 

 

Jul 24, 2017

Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group is a leading expert on the Holy Esplanade, the site in Jerusalem that Jews refer to as the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Haram al-Sharif. Ofer analyzes the current crisis and discusses ways in which similar crises may be avoided in the future. 

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