A few years ago, you would have found Ita Segev in the Israeli army, training to patrol the West Bank. Today, Ita is a transfeminine performance artist and anti-Zionist activist in New York City. In this episode, Ita tells her story: how gender and Zionism shaped her early years, and how excavating the truth about her home created space to understand and express her true self.
On July 19, the Israeli Knesset passed the "Nation-State Bill" in a 62-55 vote. Many critics of the bill say that it undermines Israel's historic claim to be both Jewish and democratic in character. But does this new law actually change anything, or only make explicit the way things have been for decades? Is it possible for a state to be both affirmatively Jewish and treat its citizens equally?
Producer Ilana Levinson spoke to Amjad Iraqi, a Palestinian writer and policy adviser who was in the Knesset for the final debates before the Nation-State Bill was passed into law.
On December 19, 2017 Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi was arrested after slapping an Israeli soldier on her family's property. She was taken from her home in the middle of the night, interrogated without an adult present, and eventually signed a plea deal and was sentenced to eight months in prison. Ahed Tamimi became a symbol of Palestinian resistance, but she is only one out of hundreds of Palestinian children who face Israel's military court system every year. In this episode of Unsettled, we wanted to find out — On what grounds are children arrested? What actually happens to a child once they’ve been arrested? How does child detention impact both individuals and communities in the West Bank?
We spoke to Ahed's father Bassem Tamimi, Palestinian student and activist Yazan Meqbil, and attorney Brad Parker of Defense for Children International-Palestine.
Every year, when Israelis and many American Jews celebrate the creation of the state of Israel, Palestinians remember their people’s expulsion, or what they refer to as the "Nakba," the Arabic word for catastrophe. This year, on the 70th anniversary of both Israeli independence and the Nakba, the United States is moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
Our guest for this episode, Palestinian filmmaker Ahmed Mansour, calls this a "double Nakba and double catastrophe." Producer Ilana Levinson spoke with Ahmed about his childhood in a Gaza refugee camp, why the timing of the U.S. embassy move is so inflammatory, and how the Nakba continues to permeate Palestinian life.
This Passover, we talk with Becca and Waseem AbuRakia-Einhorn about their annual tradition: the Palestinian Freedom Seder. In this seder, everything from the Haggadah to the food is focused on celebrating Jewish and Palestinian culture, bringing attention to the oppression of the Palestinian people, and making connections between the Passover story of Jewish liberation and the Palestinian struggle for liberation today.
Israel has a complicated history with refugees. Many Jewish refugees found shelter in Israel after the Holocaust; many Palestinians, on the other hand, became refugees after the 1948 war. But in this episode, we talk about Israel’s other refugees, those you may not have known about: African refugees who come mostly from Sudan and Eritrea escaping oppressive regimes and persecution.
Mutasim Ali is a Sudanese refugee, one of 35,000 African refugees currently living in Israel -- but one of only 13 to have his refugee status recognized by the state. As of December 2017, all of the others are at risk of deportation. Israel has already started sending refugees to countries that offer them no status or security.
In this episode, Unsettled producer Asaf Calderon speaks to Mutasim and advocate Elliot Vaisrub Glassenberg about the unfolding crisis. Why did so many African refugees choose Israel? Why doesn't Israel want them? What does Israel's treatment of these refugees say about the state of the Zionist experiment? And what can Americans do to help?
With your help, from online donations and our fundraising party, we made $3,233: more than a thousand dollars more than our goal! We’re humbled by your support, and more committed than ever to continuing this work and growing the audience for it.
We’ll be back next week with a full episode, about African asylum-seekers in Israel -- tens of thousands of whom are at risk of being deported. Here’s a preview of our interview with Sudanese refugee and activist Mutasim Ali.
(Photo credit: Gili Getz)
Exciting news: if you’re in the New York City area, Unsettled is throwing a party -- this weekend! You can help support the podcast, and meet other Unsettled listeners, by joining us for #GetUnsettled this Saturday, February 3rd, at Starr Bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Tickets are just $5 in advance or at the door.
If you’re not in New York, there’s still time to help Unsettled grow by donating online. We’ve got just $500 left to reach our goal of $2,018 in the first month of 2018. Can you help us cross the finish line?
This week's listener story comes from Arielle Rivera Korman.