In this episode of Occupied Thoughts FMEP’s Lara Friedman speaks with +972’s Amjad Iraqi about recent developments — what is happening and how it fits into the status quo that defines Israeli policies and rule over Palestinians, framed by Amjad’s incisive analysis: “Cruelty is baked into Israeli apartheid. And today’s destruction of the Salhiyeh home in Sheikh Jarrah — in the freezing cold before dawn, after their defiant stand against the police on Monday — is designed to be cruel, both to the family and to all Palestinians watching. Cruelty is needed to terrify, demoralize, and incapacitate Palestinians. The state needs us to feel this powerlessness, to feel trapped by the sense of failure, to rob us not just of the will to resist, but the will to live. It needs our total submission, or our complete erasure. That intentional cruelty was on full display this past week: in the mass funeral of Haj Suleiman, who was run over by a police truck in Umm al-Kheir; in the arrests of young Naqab Bedouin for protesting their dispossession; in the shuttered gates of besieged Gaza; and much more. Many Palestinians felt that pain sharply today. Many of us felt helpless. But then came our rage. And then came our resolve. A ‘resilient’ society is a tortured one, often relying on plain stubbornness to pull it through. But it’s what defies the cruelty when nothing else does.”
Recorded January 21, 2022
Amjad Iraqi is an editor and writer at +972 Magazine. He is also a policy analyst at the think tank Al-Shabaka, and was previously an advocacy coordinator at the legal center Adalah. He is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, based in Haifa.
Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP).