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Useful Idiots with Katie Halper and Aaron Maté
The one way to stop Israel – w/ Diana Buttu
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The one way to stop Israel – w/ Diana Buttu

Harrowing first-hand stories, told from inside Israel
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265 days into Israel’s assault on Gaza, Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization Diana Buttu joins us from Haifa with a stark warning:

Things are going to get worse.

“For Netanyahu,” she explains, “he needs to open up another front in order to maintain his power. He's made it clear that he's not going to push for a ceasefire. He doesn't care about the Israeli captives. And so it's pretty clear to me that he's going to go ahead and attack Lebanon.”

Israel has no aim to rescue its hostages. It never did. “If they actually cared about them, they would have done what should have been done very early on, which is negotiate a ceasefire. Instead, they’ve done the opposite. And this is why you can look at these ceasefire proposals with such skepticism. Because instead, what they’ve done is bombed Gaza to virtual smithereens.”

Diana, whose father survived the Nakba in 1948, moved to Haifa in 2000. And like many others, she believed what the media told everyone to believe: that with a simple peace plan, Palestine would be fixed.

Then she arrived in Palestine and saw the true reality.

“All of the things that had been dismissed by the mainstream media,” she says, “I had dismissed too. I had dismissed this idea of settlements and the impact of settlements. And I kept thinking, it'll be undone. It'll all be undone. I dismissed the harm of what it means to be a Palestinian political prisoner, to be somebody who's abducted in the middle of the night. I dismissed the harm of the checkpoints. I dismissed a lot of things. And so when I arrived here, it was the first time that I had to confront the reality that this political process was not going to undo any of those harms.”

Stopping the bombs is one thing. Stopping settlements, returning land, granting rights to Palestinians, and removing the literal wall that cages them is another.

“They talk about reconfiguring the prison, reconfiguring the occupation, but they never talk about ending the occupation because this mentality of control permeates deep inside Israel.”

There’s only one way this ends, Diana says. “It's going to end when the world says that it's enough. And that's it.”

Diana also shares haunting stories of Palestinian children who were kept in Israeli torture prisons for months, and the ways that western corporate media has worked to cover it up.

This week’s interview with Diana Buttu will not be paywalled. We hope you’ll listen to and share her important perspective.

Plus, catch this week’s Thursday Throwdown: CNN compares Keffiyehs to Confederate Flags, where Van Jones claims that wearing a keffiyeh around Israeli government supporters is as much a call for violence as waving a confederate flag in Harlem. And we celebrate the freedom of Julian Assange, a rare victory that couldn’t have happened without supporters of independent media like you.

Thanks for your support, we’ll see you next time.

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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.