This show is inspired by Citizens for Justice in the Middle East, a local group that has advocated for 20 years for a fair and even-handed U.S. foreign policy that recognizes the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis. Our program offers interviews with journalists, scholars, policy experts and activists to offer multiple perspectives, and to clarify the underlying issues that are often obscured by headline news.
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Eamon, a 2023 addition to the program, is an international education professional with a background studying and living in the MIddle East. At the University of Montana, he studied the history of the Middle East and the Arabic language. After graduating, he taught English for a year in Lutheran schools in Palestine and worked for an Arabic language school in Morocco.
Most recently, he earned a Masters in Peacebuilding from Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, where he currently works as the Student Services Manager. Eamon is committed to relational forms of peacebuilding and raising awareness about the situation in the Holy Land through dialogue and journalism. He enjoys traveling, dancing, Duolingo, and cooking. When not reading the news, he can be found wandering about the mountains and woods.
My personal understanding of the situation in Israel and Palestine has evolved considerably over the past decade. Because the Israeli narrative predominates in mainstream news and in most synagogues, and because the viewpoint of Palestinians is often suppressed and/or distorted, in the past like many Jews I was largely unaware of the injustice that has been perpetrated on the Palestinian people for more than a century. I endorse all efforts to help bring about peace and justice for all people, and I celebrate this radio program’s efforts to add to those efforts.
Margot Patterson is a writer and editor. Most of her experience has been in print journalism, frequently writing on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. In 2019 she and co-hosts Jamie Jackson and Jeremy Rothe-Kushel started “Understanding Israel-Palestine,” a now-weekly program that seeks to provide listeners with a more informed perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than is often available in the mainstream press. She is a long-time contributor to KKFI’s “Jaws of Justice” program and has interviewed a wide range of policy experts, criminologists, law enforcement officials and former inmates on topics ranging from juvenile justice detention, mass incarceration and police training to domestic extremism, human trafficking, solitary confinement and new technologies of incarceration.
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Citizens for Justice in the Middle East provided our inspiration for this show. For twenty years CJME has advocated for a fair and even-handed U.S. foreign policy. CJME believes an even-handed policy should recognize the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis. An even-handed policy should work for a political solution promoting those rights. Thus, CJME’s mission has been to educate people about the injustices created by the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories.
This show extends that mission. For anyone confused about the current impasse, we offer historical information that helps explain it. For anyone who has been hearing only a one-sided narrative that lacks balance and context, we offer a balanced narrative.
Accordingly, we broadcast interviews with journalists, scholars, policy experts and activists who provide perspectives from both sides. In contrast to headline news that focus on the what but not the why, our programs clarify underlying issues. The programs reveal the counter-productive role the United States has played over the years in supporting one side over the other.
Public debate about the oppression of Palestinians continues to be stifled. For this reason, we offer these programs as a resource for those seeking truthful, uncensored information about relations between Israel, Palestine and the United States. Furthermore, we hope these programs get people to listen, learn, and do their own research into what is and has been taking place in Israel Palestine.
February 16, 2024 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Wun Wong (they/them) from Librarians and Archivists with Palestine speaks about the destruction of cultural heritage in Palestine at the hands of the Israeli armed forces. Israel has targeted Palestinian institutions of cultural production since the Nakba, but the ongoing genocidal campaign in Gaza has seen an intensification of this scholasticide, or the destruction of knowledge. They also speak about how Palestinians have resisted the destruction of their cultural heritage and embraced alternative platforms to keep narrating the story of their people.Listen
February 9, 2024 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Scott Paul of Oxfam America talks about why 20 aid organizations are protesting a pause in U.S. funding to UNRWA, the main aid agency in Gaza offering services that Paul says are indispensable in the current crisis. Oxfam, Save the Children, the AFSC and other aid groups working in Gaza say cutting aid to UNRWA will have devastating effects on what is already a humanitarian catastrophe. The suspension of funds to UNRWA follows still-unverified allegations that 12 of UNRWA's staff in Gaza may have links to the Hamas attack on Israel October 7. The funding pause comes on the heels of the World Court ordering Israel to take provisional measures to prevent genocide in Gaza. Margot Patterson talks to Chimène Keitner, an expert on international law and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California-Davis, about that ruling and its significance and impact.Listen
February 2, 2024 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Documentary filmmaker Maurice Jacobsen speaks about his efforts to tell Gaza's stories amid the carnage and destruction of Israel's onslaught. Maurice works with a team of Gazan filmmakers called the Gaza Media Group who have been documenting the last several months of war despite much of their equipment being destroyed. We focused on individual stories that testify to the resilience of the Palestinian people and displayed on we-gaza.com. We also discussed the Hamas government in Gaza, primarily composed of bureaucrats and civil servants like fire fighters, police, and the like.Listen
January 26, 2024 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international at Princeton University and former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Territories, discusses the case South Africa has brought to the International Court of Justice charging Israel with genocide in Gaza and asking the ICJ to order preventive actions. Falk discusses the divide between white settler-colonial states and European former colonial powers on one hand, and the Global South on the other, over Israeli actions in Gaza, the merits of the arguments by South Africa and Israel, the crime of complicity perpetrated by the United States and some other countries, and the long-standing crisis of implementation at the United Nations that has kept it from acting effectively to prevent war.Listen
January 19, 2024 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Dr. Noam Perry of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) joined the show this week to discuss his organization's research into the business of military occupation and apartheid in Palestine/Israel and the USA. Since Israel began assaulting Gaza after Oct. 7, the AFSC has put together a comprehensive resource on their website detailing the weapons companies fueling Israel's genocidal campaign. This resource is part of a larger investigative project detailing the intersection of the weapons, prison, border, and surveillance industries. Dr. Perry concludes by detailing steps people can take to avoid being financially complicit in human rights violations and state violence.Listen
January 12, 2024 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Mideast expert Phyllis Bennis at the Institute for Policy Studies discusses the war in Gaza, how U.S. miliarism is fanning tensions in the Middle East and raising the risk of a wider war, what the United Nations could do to press Israel and the United States to adopt a ceaefire in Gaza, and the suit South Africa has filed at the International Court of Justice charging Israel with the crime of genocide.Listen
January 5, 2024 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
The Rev. Dr. Robert Smith discusses his scholarly work on Christian Zionism and his activism for Palestinian liberation. An enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and professor history, Smith lived in Palestine for several years working for the University of Notre Dame before returning to Turtle Island/United States. Our conversation began with a discussion about the intersection between Smith's work in Palestine and his indigenous identity before we defined and dissected the phenomenon of Christian Zionism. Smith then articulated the tenets of Palestinian liberation theology, the most substantial critique of Christian Zionism. Finally, we discussed the broader frame of settler colonialism and indigenous solidarity with Palestinians.Listen
December 29, 2023 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Historian Rashid Khalidi discusses the Israel-Hamas war in the context of the past century of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian resistance. The current war has seen Israel push Palestinians in Gaza from the north to the south and is another step in a process of ethnic cleansing and depopulation long pursued by Zionist forces and the Israeli state, with the support first of Great Britain and later the United States. This program repeats one aired 6 weeks agoListen
December 22, 2023 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Josh Paul, who recently resigned as Director in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs of the US State Dept. joined UIP this week to discuss the pipeline of US weapons being sent to Israel. Congress is failing to perform its oversight role and hold the Biden administration accountable for violating the spirit of the laws that are supposed to govern the transfer of arms, namely the Arms Export Control Act, the Leahy Laws, and the Foreign Assistance Act.Listen
December 22, 2023 Local, News & Public Affairs, Podcast
Josh Paul resigned from the State Department this fall, in protest of continued lethal arms transfers to Israel. He discusses the pipeline of U.S. weapons being sent to Israel and the laws that are supposed to govern their transfer, namely the Arms Export Control Act, the Leahy Laws, and the Foreign Assistance Act and their circumvention by the Biden Administration. He notes that Congress is failing to lperform its oversight role and hold the Biden administration accountable for meeting its obligations under these laws.Listen