War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! --Edwin Starr
I was hit with a dose of sad reality yesterday during the show when, as I was discussing the sickening situation in Gaza, a long-time regular listener of this show, contributor and participant in the chat room posted in there, "Israeli Jews are Nazis." When I implored him to rethink his over generalization and admit that his hyperbole was overblown, he left the chat room in a huff and quickly stopped his monthly $5 contribution of support for Radio or Not. I emailed him the following:
"I'm sorry that you feel that all Jews in Israel are Nazis. If that is, indeed, how you feel, then you probably should not listen to my show any more, as you probably believe that all Americans are war mongering right wing assholes too.
I may not be a religious Jew, but I am of Jewish descent, which makes me Jewish. Not all Jews are bad, not all Palestinians are innocent. And you painting all Jews in Israel as Nazis is indefensible.
His response was a simple
I don't know what that meant. I'm guessing he'll stop listening to my show, which is fine with me as I have no need or patience for bigots. But how sad is it that an otherwise forward-thinking individual would stoop to taking sides in a conflict where both sides are wrong and, further, to paint all in Israel with such an ugly. broad brush.
I'm no fan of Netanyahu and the others in the Israeli government who are killing innocent civilians trapped in the Gaza strip indiscriminately. But to not realize that there are many "Israeli Jews" who are as outraged over their governments actions as are we is just plain wrong.
This morning I reached out to the founder of Israel's peace movement Gush-Shalom, Uri Avnery. He'll turn 91 in September and, as he told me on the air this morning, he's spent the past 65 years fighting for peace!
Follow the link and read about Avnery's remarkable life, or just read this brief bio:
A member of theIrgunas a teenager, Avnery sat in theKnessetfrom 1965–74 and 1979–81.He was also the owner ofHaOlam HaZeh, an Israeli news magazine, from 1950 until it closed in 1993. Avnery turned toleft-wingpeace activism and founded theGush Shalommovement in 1993, which he continues to lead as of 2009. He is a secularistand strongly opposed to theOrthodoxinfluence in religious and political life. In 2001, Avnery and his wife Rachel Avnery were honored with theRight Livelihood Award, sometimes called the "Alternative Nobel Prize", "… for their unwavering conviction, in the midst of violence, that peace can only be achieved through justice and reconciliation".In 2006, settler activistBaruch Marzelcalled on theIsraeli militaryto carry out "a targeted killing" against Avnery. Avnery is a contributor to the news and opinion sitesCounterPunch,Information Clearing House,Scoop.co.nz,LewRockwell.comandThe Exception Magazine. He is famous for crossing the lines during theSiege of Beirutto meet Yassir Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli. Avnery is the author of several books about theIsraeli-Palestinian conflict, including1948: A Soldier’s Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem(2008);Israel’s Vicious Circle(2008); andMy Friend, the Enemy(1986).
I'll post the interview later as a standalone, but it comes at the very beginning of the show today, and I urge you to listen to it with an open mind.
Today on the show, we also addressed the issue of poverty in America as it affects single minority mothers. Bryce Covert, economic policy editor at Think Progress and blogger for The Nation joined me to discuss her latest piece, "We're Arresting Poor Mothers for Our Own Failures," about recent legal crises involving Shanesha Taylor, the Arizona mother arrested for leaving her children in the car while she went to a job interview, and Debra Harrell, the South Carolina mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter play alone in a park while she worked her shift at McDonalds.
Next week, we'll delve further into the poverty crisis in the US with Anat Shenker-Osario who, along with Celinda Lake worked on a new report, Redefining the Way we Talk About Poverty.
It is Thursday, so we feature two regular segments during the second hour of the show:
And for today's "No More Bullshit Minute," Stephen Goldstein and I discussed the bullshit term "Peace with honor." Puh-leeze. As Stephen wrote in The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit, <
never have peace with honor because war is never honorable, even when and if we win it... The only way to have peace with honor uis not to get into war in the first place..."
To which I say, "Amen!"
Tomorrow, we'll wrap up the week with a few more of the interviews I recorded at Netroots Nation in the first hour. And for our Flashback Friday segment, in the second hour, we'll hear the World Premiere Broadcast of Steely Dan's Two Against Nature! It had been 20 years since Steely Dan released an album, and I was honored to be chosen to fly from LA to NYC to interview Donald Fagen and Walter Becker for this nationally syndicated program. The album then went on to win the Album of the Year Grammy...
Talk to you then, radio or not!