By Marc Eliot Stein, World BEYOND War, December 31, 2023
Two and a half months of brutal and senseless slaughter in Gaza have shattered souls all over the world. Here on the World BEYOND War podcast, we’ve been covering this tragedy for several episodes in a row. What else can we do, as a genocide proceeds in plain sight? It’s hard to imagine talking about anything else.
Ethnicity isn’t a topic we usually emphasize on this podcast, but we had planned a no-agenda conversation with Jamelah Vincent, a blogger, photographer, writer and friend in Michigan, and once we started comparing the perspectives and attitudes about war, violence and injustice that Jamelah faced as an Arab-American of Yemeni background with those our Jewish-American host Marc Eliot Stein also constantly faced, we found out we both had a whole lot to say.
This is a freewheeling and open discussion that seems to add up to a howl of pure frustration and painfully broken hope. We pay special attention to the ways both islamophobia or anti-Arab prejudice and anti-semitism are exploited by war profiteers and heightened by hyperbolic pro-war mass media, leading to more hatred, more paranoia, more war and more death.
As this conversation proceeds, we also discuss the war in Yemen, social media, the psychological effects of cognitive dissonance, Martin Luther King’s courageous but often-forgotten campaign to end USA’s disastrous attacks on Vietnam in the last phase of his life, the plight of innocent people trapped in a beseiged war zone, and the need for systematic change to end the cycle of hatred, fear and military escalation that threatens to destroy everything any of us care about.
Finally, we honor our mutual lost friend Judih Weinstein Haggai, a poet and pacifist from a kibbutz near Gaza whose whereabouts had been unknown until the morning of the day we recorded this podcast, when her death on October 7 was finally revealed. We talked about our hopes to see Judih again on Episode 53 of this podcast. Judih and her husband Gad are remembered today as a symbol of peace-loving humanity destroyed by inhumane war, along with thousands and thousands of other human beings.
Musical excerpt: “Blackbird” by Sarah McLachlan.
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