PeaceCast Episode #110: "Democracy Build on Sand" with Arye (Arik) Carmon, the founder and former director of the Israel Democracy Institute
This episode features a conversation with three women, two Palestinian and one Israeli, who are at the forefront of the struggle against Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Area C of the West Bank.
The three came to Washington as a part of Oxfam’s new initiative to raise consciousness in the United States to the problem of Palestinian home demolitions in the West Bank.
Our guests were:
- Amneh Mussa, the principal of Al-Tahadi Primary School in the village of Gubbat al-Theeb near Bethlehem. She is an experienced with a B.A. in teaching English from Bethlehem University and a 23-year experience in teaching English. In 2017, Ms. Mussa documented the demolition of her school, which was designed to extend education to previously underserved rural communities in the West Bank. Since the school was rebuilt, she has worked to raise international awareness of the ongoing threats to the school and the importance of educating the next generation of Palestinian leaders.
- Laila Barhoum, Oxfam’s Policy & Campaign Officer in the Gaza Strip, where she focuses on the impact of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Through her work, she actively engages with different members of the national and international Civil Society with a focus on the humanitarian crisis. Prior to her advocacy work, Ms. Barhoum taught Technology to young girls in Gaza. She holds a Master’s degree in Poverty and Development Studies from the University of Sussex in the UK.
- Sarit Michaeli, the International Advocacy Officer of the Israeli human rights organization, B'Tselem. She has been an integral part of B'Tselem's staff since October 2004, serving as the organization's spokesperson for 12 years. Before joining B'Tselem she worked extensively in the fields of journalism, graphic design and translation in her native Israel and overseas in London and New York. She holds a Master’s Degree (Distinction) in Gender Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a BA in graphic design from Camberwell College of Art, the London Institute.
John Lyndon is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), an umbrella that brings together over 100 organizations in Israel and the West Bank to assist them with funding, capacity building, visibility, and impact.
John talked about issues directly related to ALLMEP and its activity, and explored the ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict plays out in Europe, particularly in the wake of President Trump's vision for Israeli-Palestinian relations.
During his term as US ambassador to Israel between 2001 and 2005, Daniel (Dan) Kurtzer spent time trying (and failing) to devise ground rules for limiting West Bank settlement construction. His efforts, at the time, were to minimize Israeli facts on the ground of the West Bank in order to maximize prospects for a two-state Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Donald Trump’s Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, in contrast, will represent the United States on a joint US-Israeli committee that will help the Israeli government create the most consequential facts on the ground of the West Bank since Israel captured it in 1967: defining the areas in the West Bank that will be annexed by Israel.
Ambassador Kurtzer, who today is a professor at Princeton University is the guest of this episode.
Joel Singer was the Israeli legal architect of the Oslo Agreements. He is an expert on annexation and what it means for Israel and prospects for peace.
This episode features a conversation with Daoud Kuttab, a veteran Palestinian journalist who splits his time between the West Bank and Amman, Jordan. He is the Director-General of the Community Media Network in Amman and a regular contributor to leading publications in both English and Arabic.
Hadar Susskind is a longtime activist and Jewish nonprofit professional. Currently, he is the campaign director for Hatikvah Slate, a slate that several progressive Jewish organizations – including Americans for Peace Now – have put together to run for the World Zionist Congress.
This episode features a conversation with Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch. Shakir investigates and documents human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
We talked about his recent deportation from Israel and about Human Rights Watch’s new report, Born Without Civil Rights.
Listen to the Americans for Peace Now briefing call from Tuesday, January 7 with strategic affairs expert Yossi Alpher, on what Qassim Suleimani’s assassination means for Israel and the Middle East.
Yossi Alpher, an independent security analyst, is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with Israel’s Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. He is the author of Hard Questions Tough Answers, APN’s weekly analysis of Israeli and Middle Eastern strategic affairs. His brief from this week on the Soleimani issue is HERE.
Menachem Mautner is a Professor of Comparative Civil Law and Jurisprudence at the Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law. In this episode he explains why he wrote two recently-published books that are unrelated to his academic expertise: a dystopian novel that predicts the devastation that Mautner believes will lead to Middle East peace, and a book analyzing the crisis of Israeli liberalism.