Useful Idiots
Useful Idiots with Katie Halper and Aaron Maté
Pulitzer Winner Nathan Thrall on Israel’s ceasefire ruse

Pulitzer Winner Nathan Thrall on Israel’s ceasefire ruse

Thrall reports from Jerusalem that the three-phase hostage deal is a lie

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“Netanyahu has messaged over and over again that he will not end this war. Israel absolutely and categorically refuses to end the war until Hamas is totally defeated.”

This is the analysis of Nathan Thrall, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and writer who lives in Jerusalem. What’s surprising, however, is the newly announced deal brokered by Israel and the US which stipulates that Israel would agree to a ceasefire if the hostages were returned.

“The giant loophole in this deal,” explains Thrall, “is that it comes in three phases. A permanent ceasefire comes in the second phase. The first phase is a limited prisoner exchange, and so Hamas has very little reason to believe that Israel will go into this and actually see it through to the end of the three phases.”

Israel’s intransigency and unyielding occupation makes Thrall loath to talk about the potential of a one state or two state solution.

“The discussion about solutions and about one-state-versus-two has served to distract people from the real present day reality. What that distraction has allowed people to do is to treat the present reality, the more than half century long present reality, as though it's temporary.”

Focusing on the one or two state solution allows people to  “debate the fantasy Utopia” and perpetuates the lie that the occupation is “only temporary. Clearly it can't last, they say, Israel is going to have to choose either to give Palestinians citizenship or give them a state”

The reality is that “Israel doesn't have to choose. It will require a revolution in the way that the world treats Israel for it to have to choose, and maybe we're on the road to that now but it's a very long road.”

Subscribe to watch the full interview with Nathan Thrall in which he discusses his Pulitzer-winning book, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy, which tells the story of a deadly school bus crash caused by harsh restrictions imposed on Palestinians living in Jerusalem.

Thrall also updates us about how the main characters have been affected by Israel’s response to October 7. For example, Abed recently told Thrall “in all his life and experience of this occupation, these are the greatest restrictions on movement he has ever seen. It can take hours to travel distances that used to take half and hour inside the West Bank.”

Also in the extended interview: For people who claim that Hamas broke the ceasefire, what was the state of violence in the occupied West Bank prior to October 7? What is life like in Gaza, where he spent 6 weeks. What’s it like being an American Jew in Gaza? And what kind of revolution would have to happen to reach peace?

Plus, catch this week’s Thursday Throwdown: Aaron Maté debunks the Washington Post's Grayzone propaganda

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Useful Idiots
Useful Idiots with Katie Halper and Aaron Maté
Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Aaron Maté and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature on-the-road coverage of the 2020 campaign and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of the politics news of the week. Join Katie and Aaron as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.