After nearly a month of being consumed by the Israel-Hamas war,and take a step back to evaluate the prospects of an end to the violence, while still probing their own priors.
Damir argues that “moral clarity” is often anything but clarifying, but concedes that “realism” can be self-defeating, because people can’t help but think in both emotional and moral terms during a conflict like this. Meanwhile, Shadi opens up about his inner struggles reconciling his sympathy for the plight of Palestinians and his role as an analyst called on to come up with meaningful solutions to intractable problems.
The conversation turns to rifts opening up at home. Support for President Biden among Arab Americans has plummeted, and a generational divide is also becoming apparent. But has youth activism on the Palestinian question actually succeeded in shifting U.S. policy and attitudes towards the conflict more broadly?
In the full episode (for paying subscribers only) Shadi and Damir discuss their experiences in Israel. As early as 2019 (when both of them last visited), even the left-wingers in Israel sounded pretty right-wing. What will this war mean for the future of Israeli politics? Are Israeli and American interests aligned in any meaningful sense? And is “democracy vs. autocracy” really the best framework for thinking about the world?
“Ceasefire, Plans and Activism” by Shadi Hamid (Wisdom of Crowds).
“Hamas’ Bid for Revolutionary Legitimacy” by Damir Marusic (Wisdom of Crowds).
“Is ISIS rational?” by Shadi Hamid (The Atlantic).
Our previous podcast episode, “The End of the World As We Know It”, with Robert Nicholson.
“Israel’s two wars” by Matt Yglesias (Slow Boring).
“Dick Durbin first U.S. senator to call for Gaza ceasefire, tied to Hamas' release of hostages” (CBS News).
Zack Beauchamp’s tweet about Hamas spokesman’s crappy propaganda.
American attitudes on support for Israel (Matt Yglesias on Twitter).
Americans blaming Hamas for Palestinian casualties (Aaron Astor on Twitter).
Quinnipiac poll of registered voters on sending weapons to Israel.
Data For Progress poll on likely voters support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Zogby-Arab American Institute poll, including declining favorability of Biden among Arab Americans.
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