Podcast Ep 3: Demolishing the two-state fantasy

This week on The Electronic Intifada Podcast, hosts Nora Barrows-Friedman and Asa Winstanley are joined by their colleague Tamara Nassar to discuss Israel’s recently increasing policies of rampant home demolitions and erasure of Palestinian villages.

We also focus on the increasing collaboration between Israel and dictatorial Gulf states.

Nassar explains how Israeli settlers – backed by police – violently seized an East Jerusalem home belonging to the Abu Asab family in February.

In addition to the ongoing expulsions of Palestinians and demolitions of their homes in East Jerusalem, Nassar talks about the sustained resistance to Israel’s plans for the imminent destruction of Khan al-Ahmar, a village in the West Bank.

“If Khan al-Ahmar is evacuated, any kind of fantasy of a two-state solution would be over because this is where Israel is planning to expand its mega-settlements of Maaleh Adumim and Kfar Adumim,” she says.

Nassar recently wrote about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s possible plans to demolish Khan al-Ahmar right before Israel’s general election in April for political gain.

Netanyahu said earlier this month that destroying the village “would certainly help” his chances at winning, according to The Times of Israel.

Another village, Umm al-Hiran, also faces imminent demolition, Nassar explains. If the residents are expelled, everyone will be rendered homeless, she adds.

Normalization

We also discuss a topic on which Nassar has frequently reported: Arab dictatorships deepening their ties with the Israeli apartheid state.

With the exception of Jordan and Egypt, Arab states do not have formal treaties with Israel. A number of them have nonetheless stepped up their cooperation with Israel as part of a process often described in the Arab world as “normalization.”

“Of course this is being pushed by Saudi Arabia, with the mutual enmity towards Iran at the core,” Nasser explains of this trend. “In October, there was a blitz of normalization with Israel.”

Nassar explains that in stark contrast to Arab dictators, “the public in most of these countries are completely opposed, not only to diplomatic relations with Israel, but in many cases with even acknowledging Israel as a country in the region as long as Palestinians are oppressed.”

Nora and Asa also talk about Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota member of Congress who accurately criticized AIPAC, a top Israel lobby group, for its pressure on lawmakers to advance Israel’s agenda.

Articles we discussed

Theme music and production assistance by Sharif Zakout

Image: Palestinian protesters take part during a demonstration against Israel’s plan to demolish the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, in the occupied West Bank, 5 October 2018. Shadi Hatem/APA Images

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Omar's opinion piece of March 17 advocating for a now discredited two state solution could be another of her well intentioned but either not well thought out or carelessly worded opinions. Omar's failure to liaison with people who have been in the trenches is again apparent.

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Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).