'This Is Palestine' is a podcast that highlights people, issues, and events around Palestine. We bring you stories from the ground in Palestine, and we speak with experts and activists to bring you unique perspectives and analysis about Palestine from across the world. This podcast is a project of the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).
A Palestinian Teenager’s Experience in an Israeli Prison
As of the time of this recording, Israel has temporarily halted its brutal bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip. As part of the agreement to “pause” the bombing, Israel is releasing Palestinian kids and women held in Israeli prisons in exchange for the release of Israelis held in Gaza. The vast majority of those released have never been convicted. In this episode, we highlight the story of a young Palestinian teenager who was released by Israel, how and why he ended up in Israeli prisons and the treatment of the prisoners before and after the start of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.
Former Top UN Official Craig Mokhiber on Israel’s Genocide
It has been more than 46 days since Israel began its brutal bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza. During this period, Israel has killed more than 14,000 Palestinians, including more than 5,500 children in Gaza alone. Thousands of Palestinians remain trapped under the rubble. The Israeli military has deliberately bombed hospitals, mosques, churches, homes, ambulances, and vital infrastructure throughout Gaza. On top of the ruthless bombing campaign, Israel has intensified its blockade on Gaza, blocking the entry of food, water, and fuel and cutting off the electricity supply. Israel has destroyed more than half of the housing units in Gaza, and two-thirds of Palestinians have now fled their homes.
In this episode, host Diana Buttu speaks with the former Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Craig Mokhiber. Mr. Mokhiber breaks down for us how Israel's military attack against Palestinians in Gaza constitutes the crime of genocide.
On October 28, 2023, Mr. Mokhiber took the bold decision to publicly resign from his position at the U.N. for its failure to once again stop the crime of genocide. In this episode, he talks to us about how Israel's actions clearly meet the conditions for the crime of genocide, including proving intent, which is considered the most difficult to prove. We also discuss the role of countries like the U.S. and how they are directly complicit in Israel's war crimes, including genocide. We delve into why it is critical for the international community to hold Israel accountable for its repeated war crimes as a necessary step to stop its 75-year ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinian people.
As of publishing, a temporary pause has been brokered, which stipulates a temporary halt in Israel's bombing of Gaza for up to four days and a 6-hour pause in the north of Gaza. The specifics of the agreement state that Israel will release over 150 unjustly imprisoned Palestinian women and children in exchange for the release of 50 Israeli captives.
Palestine and Social Media
Time and time again, we've witnessed the familiar cycle: Israel launches a brutal bombing campaign on Gaza, putting Palestine into the global spotlight. Palestinian voices are often sidelined in mainstream discourse. So, Palestinians turn to the only available tool they have: social media. It becomes their primary means to share their stories and amplify their voices. However, this very tool is frequently subjected to censorship.
Since October 7, we've seen this censorship take on new heights. For example, WhatsApp’s AI image generator created emojis of gun-wielding children when prompted with ‘Palestinian,’ and Instagram’s AI-translation model replaced “Palestinianالحمد الله” with “Palestinian Terrorist”. Palestinian accounts are being shadowbanned and posts are throttled. But the problem, of course, is deeper than that. Palestinian voices, especially those of journalists and human rights defenders, face significant and disproportionate censorship and limited reachability in times of crisis.
Host Diana Buttu speaks with Mona Shtaya to help make sense of it all. Mona is the Campaigns and Partnerships Manager and Corporate Engagement Lead at Digital Actions. She also holds the position of a non-resident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP), where her focus lies on surveillance and digital rights in the MENA region. She also serves as a non-resident scholar for the Middle East Institute (MEI) in the Cyber Security and Emerging Technology Program and the Palestine-Israel program. Prior to her current role, she worked as the Advocacy and Communications Manager at 7amleh - The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media.
Gaza's Catastrophic Medical Crisis
Israel has been bombing the besieged Gaza Strip nonstop. Israel has cut off water supplies, fuel supplies, electricity supplies and even food and has prevented virtually all supplies from countries around the world from reaching the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israel has killed over 10,000 Palestinians, including more than 4,100 children. Additionally, thousands remain trapped beneath the rubble, desperate for help.
We shed light on the situation at al-Shifa, Gaza Strip's largest hospital, which has become both a medical center for treating the wounded and a refuge for over 40,000 Palestinians. Israel is threatening to bomb it.
Our guest, Dr. Tarek Loubani, an emergency room physician and associate professor at the University of Western Ontario, shares his firsthand experiences, including being shot by the Israeli army while treating victims during the Great Return March.
Please be advised that some of the descriptions in this episode are graphic.
Israel Imprisoned and Tortured Thousands of Palestinian Workers from Gaza
Thousands of Palestinians from Gaza who work in Israel disappeared after Oct 7th. On October 10th, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, also known as COGAT, unilaterally revoked all the work permits it had previously granted to Gaza workers, abruptly turning them into “illegal aliens.” According to reports, Israel illegally imprisoned and tortured them before releasing them back into Gaza on November 3rd.
Israel permits a small number of Palestinian workers from Gaza to enter Israel each day to do dangerous, low-wage work. Palestinians from Gaza endure these conditions to provide for their families.
“I wanted to die,” said one Palestinian worker who Israel tortured and released. He says Israeli soldiers beat him and others in a dark room, and deprived them of food, water, and medication.
The host of this podcast, Diana Buttu, breaks it all down.
Correction: 3,000 went back to Gaza, not 7,000.
Nakba 2.0: Israel’s War on Palestinians
Today marks the 25th day of Israel's ongoing bombing campaign in Gaza. The death toll has tragically risen to over 8,525 Palestinians, including more than 3,542 children at the time of this recording. These numbers, however, don't capture the full extent of the human tragedy, such as the people killed today by Israel's bombing in the Jabilya refugee camp in northern Gaza.
In recent days, a 10-page document dated October 13, 2023, has come to light, prominently featuring the logo of Israel's Intelligence Ministry.
The document presents a comprehensive assessment of three potential courses of action concerning the future of Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip, all within the context of the ongoing conflict. Notably, it advocates for a full-scale population transfer as the preferred strategy. Furthermore, the document calls upon Israel to seek international support for this proposed initiative.
It is worth noting that the authenticity of this document has been officially confirmed by the Intelligence Ministry itself. Additionally, the document has been made available in its entirety in English on the +972 platform for further examination.
This plan has evoked comparisons to the 1948 Nakba when 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes. Diana Buttu breaks it all down and explains the attacks Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and in Israel have been facing.
Thankful to find this reporting.
Stop trying to humanize Hamas by focusing on tiny little nuanced reports about “good palestinian people”. Hamas are terrorist murderous animals, and the “innocent” people of Gaza don’t deserve to be ruled by terrorists, granted. But this war is clearly good vs evil and it couldn’t be more obvious
They refer to knife wielding and car bombing terrorists as “unjustly held” Palestinians. Just be honest and say what you want. If you loved watching Hamas slaughtering Jews just cry it from the hilltops. Oh wait….your silence already speaks louder than your words ever could.