We were otherwise looking forward to a fun BradCast today. Then Hamas launched a surprise attack on a number of Israeli towns and a music festival on a kibbutz on Saturday, in a horrific assault by land, air and sea. Hundreds were killed, injured or taken hostage. Now, Israel is brutally retaliating in Gaza. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]
More than a thousand are reportedly dead on both sides, with attacks and atrocities against civilian populations that amount to nothing less than war crimes. At least 11 Americans have also been confirmed by the White House as killed, with an unknown number still missing.
Of course, none of this began over this weekend. So, today, we tried to offer some quick history of how we got here and how war crimes are "never okay" before opening up our phone lines to listeners --- both pro/anti-Palestine and pro/anti-Israel and pretty much everything in between --- with thoughts from callers on the weekend's tragedy and where it all goes from here.
The callers did not disappoint. Please tune in.
Here's some quick links to just a few of the articles and Twitter threads of note that I cited on today's program...
- Josh Marshall at TPM: "[T]his takes everything into dramatically new territory. I don't know where that is exactly. But you can be confident that it's not where we've been to date."
- Editorial from Israel's Haaretz newspaper: "Netanyahu Bears Responsibility for This Israel-Gaza War"
- Twitter thread from Khaled Elgindy of the non-partisan Middle East Institute: "[A]ll the sophisticated weaponry & technology in the world cannot bring real security in absence of addressing underlying causes of conflict."
- Twitter thread from Haaretz' Anshel Pfeffer: Netanyahu "will be forever remembered by Israelis for this disaster"
- Twitter thread (parts one and two) from military ethics professor Shannon French: War crimes and atrocities are "always unethical, across time, space, and culture. It doesn't matter if you're on the weaker or stronger side of an asymmetric conflict [and] being the victim of war crimes/atrocities doesn't make it okay for you to commit them. It's never okay, full stop."
My hope today was not to inflame tensions on this very difficult topic, but to help inform the public (and myself!) over our public airwaves. It wasn't easy, but I think we did fairly well along those lines, especially the callers. But you'll be the judge of that...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)