Democracy Now!

Israel & Palestine

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  • As more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have entered their ninth day on a massive hunger strike inside Israeli jails, we are joined by the Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti, who has come to the United States to receive the 2017 Gandhi Peace Award for his work as co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement. At the award ceremony, Barghouti dedicated the prize to Palestinians on hunger strike. He was almost prevented from attending after Israeli police arrested him, seizing his passport and forbidding him from leaving the country. An Israeli court eventually temporarily lifted the travel ban.

  • Last month, a U.N. agency sparked controversy when it published a report accusing Israel of imposing an "apartheid regime" on the Palestinians. The report came the same month the Israeli government took the extreme step of banning non-Israeli citizens who endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement from entering Israel. For more, we speak with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky.

  • For the first time, a United Nations agency has directly accused Israel of imposing an "apartheid regime" on the Palestinian people. The report also urges governments to "support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives." The findings come in a new report published by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, which is comprised of 18 Arab states. For more, we speak with the co-author of the report, Richard Falk. He’s professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and previously served as the U.N. special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

  • While President Trump has made international headlines for his attempt to temporarily ban refugees and residents of some Muslim-majority nations, one of Washington’s closest allies has instituted a travel ban of its own. Earlier this week, Israeli lawmakers approved a law barring supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, known as BDS, from entering Israel. The BDS movement is an international campaign to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. The Israeli parliament voted to ban non-Israelis from entering the country if they, or any organizations they are a part of, support the boycott. After the law was passed, the Israeli parliament posted a message on its site reading, "In recent years calls to boycott Israel have been growing. It seems this is a new front in the war against Israel, which until now the country had not prepared for properly." We are joined by three guests. Rebecca Vilkomerson is executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. Also with us are two guests connected to the new film "Junction 48." Israeli-American filmmaker Udi Aloni directed the film, and the Palestinian actor Tamer Nafar is the film’s star.

  • We continue our conversation about Israel by looking at a film that’s just been released titled "Junction 48." The film centers on Kareem, an aspiring Palestinian rap artist who lives in an impoverished, mixed Palestinian-Jewish city near Tel Aviv. "Junction 48" shows how Kareem, his Palestinian girlfriend Manar and their friends use hip-hop to fight back against Israel’s policies. The role of Kareem is played by Tamer Nafar, a rap artist with the Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. To talk more about the film, we’re joined by the film’s director Udi Aloni and the lead actor, Tamer Nafar.

  • In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we speak with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who made headlines when he pulled out of an Israeli government-sponsored trip to Israel for NFL players. We are also joined by Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine. The two discuss the role of sports in politics, including Olympian John Carlos, as well as Colin Kaepernick’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement that inspired players throughout the country at all levels to take similar actions.

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