Ali Abunimah discusses the odd relationship between U.S. policing and the Israeli government. He describes the way higher-ups at many American police departments are sent on all-expenses paid trips by the Israel lobby, where they learn counter-terrorism tactics from the Israeli military. This is framed as a way to keep U.S. cops on the cutting edge, but really has the effect of making them view their communities as insurgents that need to be suppressed. No wonder, then, that police in America have such problems with the people they are supposed to serve. On the other side, says Abunimah, the Israeli government is concerned that the Black Lives Matter movement could be dangerous for their interests, since it might help Americans to understand the plight of the Palestinians in Israel, who live under the threat of violence without repercussion from their occupiers.
Discussed on the show:
- “Israel lobby sees Black Lives Matter as major strategic threat” (Electronic Intifada)
- “‘He’s Disabled,’ the Caregiver Screamed. ‘I’m With Her,’ Eyad Cried. The Cop Opened Fire Anyway” (Israel News | Haaretz.com)
- Deadly Exchange
- “Navigating Intersectional Landscapes” (The Reut Group)
Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine. Follow him on Twitter @AliAbunimah.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
Donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin: 1KGye7S3pk7XXJT6TzrbFephGDbdhYznTa.
Podcast (thescotthortonshow): Play in new window | Download
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
Scott Horton 0:10
All right, shall welcome at Scott Horton show. I am the director of the libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book fool’s errand, time to end the war in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at Scotthorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also available youtube.com/ScottHortonshow. All right, you guys introducing Ali Abunimah, from electronic Intifada net and author of the battle for justice in Palestine, and one country a bold proposal to end the Israeli Palestinian impasse and why as a bunch of important articles here to talk about But we’ll start here with Israel lobby sees Black Lives Matter as a major strategic threat. Welcome back to the show. Ali, how are you doing?
Ali Abunimah 1:11
It’s good to be back. Thank you for having me.
Scott Horton 1:14
Very happy to have you here. So how ironical that just this morning an email friend sent me a copy of this study that you also linked to in here, I guess, just from last year, reflecting a real concern on the part of the Israel lobby, that all this black lives matter stuff is going to essentially wash over into the Israel lobby or Israel Palestine debate, essentially. And that if there’s this whole new push for civil rights for blacks in America, that maybe people will start equating blacks in America, with Palestinians in Palestine and the way that they’re being treated And obviously, you know, essentially Jim Crow or worse type conditions there. And so what can they do about that? It has nothing to do, of course, with solving the problems of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, just focusing, of course, on how to spin it. But the larger reality that they’re afraid of, is one thing, and then their fear of it is another. So I guess, you know, recent developments have obviously, you know, kick those same sentiments into higher gear here. So, what have you found?
Ali Abunimah 2:38
Well, that’s exactly right. That’s a good summary. Of course, this is not a new concern. But there’s a couple of things that have happened in the last few years that have really made this really sort of a cold read for the Israel lobby and it really goes back to 20. 14 to the Ferguson uprising. When, of course, police in Ferguson, Missouri killed the black teenager Michael Brown. And that was the same summer that Israel was bombing Gaza and this massive campaign which killed 2200 Palestinians, including 551 children in the space of 51 days. And you saw this explosion of solidarity between Palestinians and black people in the United States that a lot of identification between protesters in the streets of Ferguson and around the country, and one of the issues that really came to the fore at that time for many activists, was the fact that practically every major US police force, and also this includes not just the big cities like Chicago and New York and Los Angeles. But, you know, many medium sized provincial cities have been sending for many years top officers to Israel for so called counterterrorism training. And these trainings are usually sponsored. These are all expenses paid junkets that are usually sponsored by the major Israel lobby groups. This includes specifically a PAC, the anti defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and others. And these police chiefs then come back to the United States and they will issue press releases saying, Oh, well, what Israel and we learned from the best of the best, and we need to apply the lessons that we learned in Israel to our cities. This was particularly popular, I mean, it’s been going on for decades, but it sort of took a huge boost. In the post 911 sort of war on terror at a sphere where Israel is marketed as this. You know, we know we know how to do this. We’ve been dealing with terrorists for so long. And of course, it was also very much about selling Israeli so called counterterrorism technologies, surveillance technologies and other kinds of, you know, intrusive systems to American federal, state and local police forces. So it was also a huge marketing opportunity for Israel’s arms industry. But what happened with the Ferguson uprising is people said, Wait a minute, why our police who are murdering innocent people on the streets of American cities being trained in Israel. So it highlighted this, this you know, really nefarious relationship and that has been a major point of rallying and organizing Ever since then, and just very briefly, you alluded to a report I cited in my article in the electronic Intifada that been several reports from Israel lobby groups. Some are what you’d call open source where they publish them. But there have also been leaked report, there was one from the anti defamation League and the Institute, which is a major Israeli Think Tank, that that was linked in 2017. I believe it was either 2017 or 18. We published the whole thing at the electronic Intifada, where they actually talk about the Black Lives Matter movement and particularly intersectionality as a huge, long term threat to support for Israel because heaven forbid, oppressed groups, whether it’s black people in the United States or power Seniors get together and realize their collective strength and common interests. And that really is the gist of the worry of the Israel lobby. And so now you see all these major pro Israel groups who are in this difficult and awkward position of having to basically pretend to be, you know, supportive of Black Lives Matters, while also upholding the staunch support for Israeli racism and brutality against Palestinians.
Scott Horton 7:36
on of course, the key to that is portraying all opposition to Israel as anti semitism. And nevermind the Palestinians, they don’t even exist at all. There’s only one reason to ever criticize Israel and that would be as cover for your anti semitic emotions.
Ali Abunimah 7:53
Quite right. And it’s also about portraying, you know, anyone who challenges that power authority as criminal as terrorist as a threat, and I think this mindset very much mirrors what has been going on in American policing since 911. With the increased militarization, of course, you know, people are talking about a lot the Obama administration and and the Bush administration handing over huge amounts of military weaponry to local police forces. But also the mindset, you know, because a lot of the people who are in US police forces now are people who took part in the in American invasions and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, other countries. So there is a whole mindset of counterinsurgency where instead of seeing the civilian public, as people they are charged with serving and protecting as the slogan goes, they see them as an enemy. And that also is very much I don’t To say it necessarily comes from the Israelis. But it is a very much a shared value or shared worldview that we’re not talking about protecting civilian populations, we’re talking about viewing them as enemies, controlling them, corralling them, defeating them. And that’s really how US cities are policed.
Scott Horton 9:23
Yeah. Now, on that last point, they’re just about the number of people who’ve come home from the wars. And essentially, that’s their skill set. It’s not helicopter repair man, like in the recruitment pitch on TV. It’s deputy sheriff or city policeman is essentially you know, the kind of runner up position when you get home from the war. And I remember there was one in the Austin Chronicle this story about a cop who I think the guy had been popping cars or something like that, you know, burglarizing cars, and the cops chasing the guy through the grocery store parking lot. Just shooting that wildly. And one of the bullets had gone through the back of the minivan and through the car seat, and luckily the baby was inside the store with its mom but would have been killed. And the cop was fired for it was so reckless, the cop was actually fired APD here in Austin, and he admitted that he know what it was like I was back in Iraq in a firefight with the enemy. And these kind of rules of engagement. He’s in our neighborhood in the grocery store parking lot, you know, yeah. Not that Iraqis lives ought to be any more forfeit, but that’s where he came back from. And then that Yeah,
Ali Abunimah 10:38
suddenly, just as his exonerees That’s who he was doing, you know? Yeah. Correct. Yeah. I What I’m saying is this there’s no excuse for that behavior. But you know, the poor guy could have been having some kind of flashback. In other words, we’re putting people who who have also been in you know, traumatic situations with The amount of PTSD and traumatic brain injury and what have you, and then you’re going to give them guns and put them on the streets. That really is a crazy mindset in terms of American policing. But it’s one and I want to be very clear, because I’ve written a lot about this issue of Israel’s sort of relationship with us policing, and so on. I think my book, The battle for justice, in Palestine, published in 2014, is the first book to really treat this as a as a topic. It’s not the whole book, but I have a whole chapter on that. I think that was the first time it had been written about that length. Since then, we’ve seen a lot more attention to it, which is fantastic. But what I’m saying is I certainly don’t want anyone to come away with the impression that American police learned racism from Israel. That is not the case at all. You know, we know that the roots of American policing go back to, you know, slave overseeing into finding runaway slaves. And, you know, and and to Jim Crow. So the American police, in general has nothing to learn from anyone in terms of how to be racist. But what I am saying is that, sadly, in particular, after 911, what we see is Israel providing a kind of legitimation and a cover for this kind of racism, addressing it up as expertise. And one example of that, that I wrote about them was this sort of airport. You remember back when, you know airport security was the major thing that they trial this they run pilot programs in Boston Airport and a couple of others as well, where it was supposedly successful. sophisticated technique where they could tell by I don’t know the way your eyes moved or the way you were looking, whether you were a terrorist or not, you know, is supposedly this very, very sophisticated technique. And they hired the former head of security from Ben Gurion Airport to run this thing in Boston and in other airports. He had his own company, of course, by this point. And I think the the Department of Homeland Security has spent like a billion dollars on this program. And not only was it absolutely useless, but a number of, of TSA transport Security Administration. Agents blew the whistle and actually said this was nothing but racial profiling. We were just told, basically, you know, if we saw a black person who has kind of dressed too fancy, you know, their clothes look, quote unquote, too extreme. ffensive how we think a black person should dress, you’d stop them. If we saw a Latino person, we’d stop them. And it was also about like trying to find people who were carrying drugs, which is not the job job of the TSA. You know, the the job of the TSA is the security and safety of aircraft. So what it was, again, it was just sheer racism, but now you can dress it up as this very sophisticated Israeli technology. And that’s a lot of what what, what has been happening.
Scott Horton 14:36
Yeah, so that was one thing I was going to ask you was in, you know, I hope people will get the book. But I was going to say so what really is the best bit of journalism about the effect because as you mentioned, there have been a lot of reports of cops going to Israel and coming back, and sort of correlations and causations made but who has really the best piece about that really shows The change that they go to Israel, they come back and now they start driving their armored personnel carrier around more or now they treat, you know, jaywalkers with more force or whatever the actual changes.
Ali Abunimah 15:15
Yeah, well, we actually have to be careful about that because what what we’re not seeing I mean, you know, I saw people passing around following the the murder of George Floyd, you know that the Minneapolis police department had sent a delegation to Israel a couple of years ago and they had That’s true. But on the whole, you know, these are not you know, this isn’t low level stuff. It’s not like we have, you know, rank and file street cops going to Israel and being trained in chokeholds. That’s not what’s happening. So, you know, when we say a cops are trained in Israel, oh, by Israel, I think we have to be careful not to sort of think well, oh yeah, cops are going in there. being taught how to arrest people or how to shoot people. It’s really the the upper level and the management who are going to Israel. And I think it’s creating a mindset in addition to, as I mentioned, a market a very lucrative market for Israeli technologies and, and that kind of thing. So it’s really about a mindset. And I think that there is need for you know, to answer that question if what is the impact of this? That’s a good question. I don’t think there has been enough research on that. One piece, though, that I think is important. That was done. I did mention my book. That’s, that’s a few years since then. There is a campaign that has been started by Jewish voice for peace called deadly exchange, and they’re talking about the the relationship between us police forces and Israeli security forces, as a deadly exchange. And that website is deadly exchange.org. And they actually have a research report there that sort of outlines a lot of what we know about what’s going on. Cool. And this, by the way, doesn’t just include local police forces includes ice Border Patrol, the FBI, you know, and in fact, the federal government has been one of the biggest custom of, you know, these kinds of Israeli surveillance and spying technologies, which you have to remember, are all tested on Palestinians of the military occupation. So the Palestinians are the guinea pigs. I’ve done military occupation robbed of any rights of these Israeli technologies of control of occupation of oppression, a tested and refined on Palestinians, and then sold to the world as Israeli prowess at great profit by the way. So it’s not just a question of what impact this is having in American cities or along the border, as important as that is, it’s also a moral question of Israeli companies. And they’re complicit American and other firms profiting from basically experimentation on a captive population.
Scott Horton 18:22
Right. Okay, now, so some of that has to do with actual weapons, like in the occasional attacks on Gaza, but then also, there’s the surveillance technologies that they use against Palestinians and that kind of thing. So to bring it back around, I’d like to give you a chance to really talk about how the Palestinians live under the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation on the West Bank, and then also under Hamas and the siege in the Gaza Strip. Talk about some of those technologies and the experimentation on the Palestinians. That you mean to you know, give people something to hang on to to back that up there. And then we can bring it back. Round Two, why it would be that civil rights activist types in America would start to see themselves in the Palestinians. And we’ll start to see why. Well, geez, if if Black Lives Matter, maybe Palestinian ones do too, and why that’s such a cause for alarm for the Israelis, because they can’t fix the problem, you know?
Ali Abunimah 19:24
Right. Well, I mean, one very specific example. I’ll give you a couple. One is an Israeli firm called any vision, which received a huge investment from Microsoft, I think about $80 million or so. And thankfully, Microsoft just announced that they were planning to divest from it for following an activist campaign. Because what any vision was doing is they basically they have been supplying biometric facial recognition. technology to Israeli army checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. And also it’s been reported that they were basically using the Palestinian population without any consent without any ability to opt out whatsoever. Remember, persons are under military occupation. They have no rights whatsoever. Using the Palestinian population going through the checkpoints, to refine and develop the face recognition technology, and this is really sinister. It is absolutely disgusting. So disgusting, but even Microsoft divested from it once they, you know, investigated what was going on.
Scott Horton 20:44
So I want to chip in here real quick just on how you characterize the relationship of the power there. There’s major Todd Prince, who is a former jag lawyer in the army and all that has written extensively about this, and how, what we think of as martial law Were the civilian authorities completely suspended. And a general can issue an order like anyone who resists any order at all will be shot on site, this kind of thing that stadiums are occupied. Yeah, as Prince says, the Palestinians are occupied under war law, which is all other level of lawlessness beyond martial law. We’re talking about a foreign occupying army. And under that law, the power is that much less accountability than even under martial law, which you would think of as absolute lawless military dictatorship.
Ali Abunimah 21:40
Yeah, it’s zero accountability. If you’re Palestinian, you can be shot dead with total impunity by Israeli soldiers and settlers. There are very, very, very rare cases where Israeli soldiers or settlers are held accountable for killing Palestinians. The norm is They kill Palestinians with total impunity, which means you have to look at it from the other side. As a Palestinian living under military occupation, you have no right to life, because there’s nothing there’s no law protecting you. You’re not allowed to defend yourself. You can be killed with impunity. And that’s those are the conditions under which Israel is experimenting on Palestinians, the surveillance technology, the face recognition to drones. And now, the second example I wanted to give you is in the context of the pandemic of the Coronavirus, which I take very seriously. We all have to take it seriously. It’s a real thing. And we need to control it. We need to deal with it. But I think people have very rightly been alarmed by how, you know, this has also been an opportunity for governments and corporations to expand surveillance. And so we’ve seen Israeli companies we saw a company called NSO group, which is notorious for hacking WhatsApp, for hacking the telephone, for example, they’re involved in the hacking of the telephone of Jamal Khashoggi, just before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. So this company and so group works for the worst governments in the world for the Saudis, for the UAE where basically they can hack any one smartphone and get all their information and eavesdrop on them. They’ve been condemned by all the major human rights groups all the major civil rights groups in the world, you you name it. So in the context of COVID-19, NSO group tried to rebrand itself as Oh, look, we can help governments to track the Coronavirus using, you know, cell phone apps. I mean, this is these are the last people you weren’t anywhere near your mobile phone. And in fact, it turns out that Because Palestinians are the occupation, have no account, you know, Israel has destroyed their economy doesn’t allow them to operate their own economy. Thousands 10s of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to go and work in Israel. You know, as laborers, construction laborers in fields a very similar setup to how our economy is structured with with migrant labor. But, you know, but Palestinians in the context of Coronavirus, Israel said, Okay, if you want a permit to come in and work, you must download this app onto your phone, supposedly under the cover of Coronavirus. But it turns out this app as was reported by Israeli media can access that camera can access the photos can access all kinds of stuff that has nothing to do with the Quran. You know, nothing to do with tracking the Coronavirus I haven’t seen I suspect that this app is from NSO group or a company like it. And again, this is an example of Palestinians with no power being used as unwitting guinea pigs for technologies that will then be marketed in Europe and the United States. And not just marketed but welcomed. Our officials and leaders will say, Oh, you know, the is really to the best of the best. So of course, we want to buy whatever they’re selling. Yeah,
Scott Horton 26:10
Well, and so to bring it back to the comparison to the United States of America. I mean, this really is like Jim Crow before the Civil Rights and voting rights acts of the 60s. And maybe even worse than that, maybe back to the Wilson years or something. I mean, this is the situation that the Palestinians are in. I mean, there are people from apartheid South Africa who say that no, this is worse than what we were living in back then.
Ali Abunimah 27:41
Yeah, and in a way, it’s worse because it’s it’s, I mean, the brutality is brutality at the end of the day.
Scott Horton 27:48
I mean, I’m not saying that American blacks out lucky I’m just saying these guys have it worse, that’s all.
Ali Abunimah 27:54
Well, what I want to say is at the end of the day, all of these racist systems are in Forced at the barrel of a gun. That’s what it comes down to, no matter how you dress it up. But the what Israel is really, you know, the South African rulers could only dream of the level of sophistication and technology that Israel brings to surveillance and brings to total control. And I think that, you know, the Palestinians are the canary in a coal mine in so many ways, because what what is done to them, it will follow too many people in the world afterwards. And we’ve seen that pattern consistently, particularly because Israel is so determined to market what it’s doing. It’s not it’s just not ashamed of what it’s doing for the policies. That’s something to understand. It’s saying, Look how well we do this, and we can help you do it too. And so, you know, repressive governments around the world, and even supposedly liberal governments, you know, European governments attorney to Israel for drone technology for surveillance technology for all kinds of systems of control that again have been developed in the most oppressive circumstances. What What do you think the long term impact that is going to be of that on civil liberties and human freedom around the world? is a technologies developed in those circumstances likely to make you more free or less free?
Scott Horton 29:28
Yeah. All right. Now I want to talk to Raul I want to let you talk about the story of EOD HELOC here, which I read Gideon Levy’s take that you link to in your piece. Again, your pieces called Israel lobby sees Black Lives Matter as a major strategic threat. And in there you link to this. Let’s see it’s under pleaded for his life is the link to the Gideon levy piece, telling this story, but if you could take people through this a little bit, I think the parallels pretty obvious
Ali Abunimah 30:01
Yeah, yeah, Allah, it’s just it’s just such a horrible tragedy. Yeah, Allah was Palestinian 32 years old with autism and some intellectual disabilities. And he attended a special school in Jerusalem he’d been attending for six years. He absolutely loved it in occupied East Jerusalem. And he was on his way to school a couple of years weeks ago with his caregiver. This was I think on on June 1, or there abouts. And he was simply chased through the streets of Jerusalem by Israeli occupation soldiers and gunned down. The soldiers claimed later that they thought he had a gun he didn’t or that they had heard there was a terrorist on the loose in the area and he just happened to be coming by, but the details of his killing Which were investigated by Gideon Lavery and also by the Palestinian human rights group, Al Harper he issued a detailed report on his killing is that, you know, that Hulk report reveals that the soldiers had been told numerous times by the caregiver, he is disabled. He is not armed, do not shoot him. He’s deaf. I mean, he you know, though he had difficulty not, I don’t know if he was deaf, I have to verify that but he has difficulty understanding orders. He had spoken previously of his fear of the soldiers so that he ran away from you know, he was he was terrified. Then they cornered him in a room where garbage dumpsters were stored, and essentially executed him. And it’s just a horrific story. Now. It was was so egregious. And I guess the publicity for Israel around it was so bad that even the Israeli Prime Minister called it to tragedy. Now that is so deceptive because by doing that, and by commenting on it, Netanyahu is trying to give the upright impression that this is something unusual that this sort of thing never really happens. But in fact, it happens all the time. And the day before he had a love had been killed. Another Palestinian was driving through a checkpoint in the West Bank and he was shocked to death by the Israeli army, who claimed he was trying to carry out a car ramming attack. His family says he was just on his way to pick up his wife. But this has happened again and again. We have examples of Palestinians. There was a an example a couple of years ago of a group of teenagers who are on their way to a swimming pool party in the world. begging Israeli soldiers just opened up on the car and killed several of them. And so this is happening with with frequency and that is zero accountability, zero, that in the past 50 odd years, there have been you could count on one hand the number of Israeli soldiers or police who have been tried and convicted for unlawful killings of Palestinians. And usually, you know, if in the rare event that happens, it’s a slap on the wrist that they get it might be a few months in prison. If that so that that’s the case of he had how long coincided with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And I think again, highlighted for many people, the similarities, if you like the shared values of the United It States and Israel.
Scott Horton 34:02
Yeah. And this is it could stand in for almost any police shooting on any day of the week here in the US, but it’s always particularly egregious when it’s a retarded guy. You know who they say that this guy was a multi year old or three year old his family? Yeah, that about him?
Ali Abunimah 34:21
I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t use those terms. But it there is a history of Israel killing people with disabilities. And there seems to be a pattern that suggests that it is willful there has have been cases of, for example, Ibrahim, Abu Surya in 2017, who was a double amputee, who was basically executed in his wheelchair while he was taking part in a protest. in Gaza near the near the boundary fence. Everyone could see the soldiers apparently knew him because he was Regular at the protest. He’s a double amputee in a wheelchair. And all he was doing was waving a flag. They shot him from, you know, a long distance away he, there’s no conceivable way by which he could have been a threat. He was killed for sport because they know they can do it and get away with it. And this is this has been a repeated pattern, unfortunately.
Scott Horton 35:24
Yeah. And I’m sorry to change subject for a second but can you give us an update on the Friday marches at the Gaza gate, the Gaza so called fences that’s still going on.
Ali Abunimah 35:35
It hasn’t been going on because of course the pandemic
Scott Horton 35:39
it was going on.
Ali Abunimah 35:40
Then. It was going on, on and off. I mean, it had cooled down but I think they had they had been intentions to revive the protests but with the pandemic, you know that that became impossible so so for now, it seems to it’s not taking place but palestinians’ have been, you know, looking for other ways to make their voices heard. And it’s always a challenge given the media environment which which is loath to give attention to anything that is critical of Israel, but they do try.
Scott Horton 36:15
Yeah, I remember one time Thomas Friedman was criticizing something or other that the Palestinians had done instead, instead, what they should do is all the Gazans should just march on armed to the border and say, let me in, in a peaceful civil disobedience kind of a way, and then the Israelis will just have no choice but to start treating them fairly then.
Ali Abunimah 36:38
Well, actually what he said and I think Nick Kristof said something similar. And in fact, this is just such a tiresome trope from these liberal blowhards is that oh, you know, if the Palestinians launched this mass, movement, nonviolent movement, then the whole world will rally to their support. Well, lo and behold, not only The columnist who wrote those columns rally to their support, right? Yeah, so they’re such hypocrites. And it’s the same with the BDS the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement here is a global non violent movement to bring pressure on Israel and companies complicit in his crimes, the same way that people boycotted lunch counters and the Montgomery Bus Boycott and how we boycott North Carolina or Georgia or whatever state is passing some, you know, law against a particular segment of the population. And, you know, not only do they not support BDS, but they condemn it. So it’s just hypocrisy. It’s a way for them to get off the hook to always blame the Palestinians to say, well, you’re not protesting right? You’re not resisting. Right? You know, if only you would do you do a bit more of this a bit less of that. And of course, the Palestinians just like African Americans can Never can never do right in the eyes of these liberal hypocrites who really are not interested in it and fundamentally changing the power relationship. Yeah.
Scott Horton 38:12
Well, you know, in a way, I’m kind of dubious about all this intersexual or intersectional, victimhood of all of these things where, you know, the race to define oneself as most oppressed and all that. But at the same time, I do get the point here.
Ali Abunimah 38:30
But that’s not what’s going on. I mean, okay,
Scott Horton 38:33
well on Twitter, but anyway, I mean, I was gonna say, it’s clear that there’s value here in saying that look, instead of having to divide, activist pressure and take away from say, Black Lives Matter types, that it’s everybody chipping in together and and helping each other and so the pro Palestinian factions side with Black Lives Matter, and hopefully the Black Lives Matter will side with the Palestinians as well in this kind of And so it’s a mutually beneficial kind of a deal. I get that.
Ali Abunimah 39:03
Yeah, and it’s more than that’s, of course, important. Solidarity is important. But it’s also more than that it’s beginning to understand that the systems that oppress us are linked, the same companies that are involved in, you know, mass surveillance in the United States are involved in it in Israel or developing the technologies in Israel, the same companies that make what’s it called combined tactical systems in Pennsylvania, which is where most of the tear gas and the rubber coated metal bullets that Israel fires at Palestinians, these things can be lethal and they have been lethal. These are being fired at Americans all over the country now for protesting. So it’s about understanding the connections and and that and that really, none of us by ourselves or as particular communities or groups have the power the wherewithal to defeat these systems by ourselves. So it’s not just about Wouldn’t it be nice to be in solidarity with each other. But that kind of solidarity becomes a necessity if we’re serious about trying to change these realities.
Scott Horton 40:15
Yeah. And it is important to short circuit the, you know, media, of course, is their constant attempt to divide everyone on as many things as possible and force people to compete over whatever attention and that kind of thing that instead work together and negate all those incentives that you know, divide people from each other when they ought to be helping.
Ali Abunimah 40:39
Scott Horton 40:41
Yeah. All right. Well, listen, I love your website. We run as much as your stuff as we can antiwar.com and it’s always great to talk to you. I appreciate it.
Ali Abunimah 40:49
Likewise, and thanks for having me and I I really do appreciate you the seriousness with which you and anti war take this issue because a lot of people Don’t want to take it on and that kind of, you know, we don’t always agree on every single issue. That’s not important. The willingness to talk about these things is crucial. And I think that’s where courage lies in this day and age. So thank you for doing that.
Scott Horton 41:14
Absolutely right on well talk to you again soon. Appreciate.
Ali Abunimah 41:18
Alright, take care. Bye.