Start Making Sense

Democrats are Sleepwalking Toward a Trump Victory; plus Israel’s future

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Joe Biden has historic achievements as president, but polls show him to be the candidate least able to defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 election. Democrats need someone else to run and an open primary. Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large of The American Prospect, and he joins the show to make the case for Biden to not run again.

Also on this episode: What conditions are needed for an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank? David Myers – professor of Jewish history at UCLA and contributor to the LA Times, the Forward, and the Atlantic – is on the podcast to comment on what it would take to get to Palestinian self-determination.

Transcript HERE  12-14-2023

Randi Weingarten on the Peace Movement in Israel; Gary Younge on ‘Rustin’

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Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, spent Thanksgiving weekend in Israel; she reports on meetings with shared society groups and peace movement leaders, and on the role of the US in bringing not just peace but equality and justice to Palestinians.

Also: Who was Bayard Rustin before the 1963 March on Washington? Gary Younge comments on the remarkable life of a gay Black pacifist and former communist, the subject of a new biopic on Netflix, ‘Rustin.’ Gary wrote “The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream.”

Transcript HERE  12-7-2023

Ending the War in Gaza: D.D. Guttenplan; plus John Powers on ‘Slow Horses’

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People with very different visions of what a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians might look like must work together to stop the war: That’s what D.D. Guttenplan argues.  He’s Editor of The Nation.

Also: Also: “Slow Horses,” the British spy series based on the books by Mick Herron, is starting its season 3 this week.  John Powers has our review.

Transcript HERE  11-30-2023

Why We Need the Israeli Left Now More Than Ever

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What comes after Israel’s war on Hamas? The Israeli government seems incapable of thinking about that. Now, the ideas of Israel’s left-wing, pro-peace camp are needed more than ever. Dahlia Scheindlin, a political scientist based in Tel Aviv, is on the podcast to explain.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: “California has always been a place to write home about.” David Kipen reads letters and diary entries from Charles Mingus, Vita Sackville-West, Marilyn Monroe, Susan Sontag, Thomas Pynchon, and Mike Davis – David’s new book is Dear California: The Golden State in Letters and Diaries.

Transcript HERE  11-22-2023

Palestinian Lives And Deaths: Rachel Kushner and Adam Shatz

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For this week’s Start Making Sense podcast we have two archival segments about Palestinians; neither is about the current war.

In 2016, Rachel Kushner visited Shuafat, the only Palestinian refugee camp inside Jerusalem. She went alongside a community organizer as he tried to solve massive problems. Her report, published originally in the New York Times Magazine, appears in her 2021 book of nonfiction, The Hard Crowd.

Also on this episode, Adam Shatz talks about Edward Said, the leading voice of Palestinians in the US before he died in 2003. Said was also The Nation’s classical music critic, and Adam Shatz, now an editor for the London Review of Books, was The Nation‘s literary editor. His work included editing Edward Said’s pieces for the magazine.

(This show was first broadcast in May, 2021)

Transcript HERE  11-16-2023

Abortion and the Democrats: John Nichols, plus Gaza and History: Fintan O’Toole

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Tuesday’s vote tested the potency of abortion rights as an issue for Democrats, with a referendum in Ohio and the election of a new state legislature in Virginia. John Nichols has our analysis of those elections, and some others.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: What is Israel’s endgame in its war with Hamas? Over the past 50 years they’ve tried two radically different strategies in Gaza, and neither succeeded. Fintan O’Toole explains that history. He teaches at Princeton and is an advising editor at the New York Review of Books, where he’s been writing about Israel, Hamas, and Gaza.

Transcript HERE  11-9-2023

After a Gaza Cease-fire: D.D. Guttenplan; plus the UAW Victory

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A cease-fire in Gaza is only the beginning of what Israel and the Palestinians need. D.D. Guttenplan, The Nation’s editor, argues that “both peoples will have to find a way to share the land—in peace, yes, but also with justice.”

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: victory for the United Auto Workers in their strike against the big three automakers, GM, Ford, and Stellantis. Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospect, explains what’s in the new contract, and what it took to get there.

Transcript HERE  11-2-2023

Adam Shatz on Israelis, Palestinians, and Hamas

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In response to Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7, Adam Shatz says Israel’s disregard for Palestinian life has never been more callous or more flagrant. But Israel can’t extinguish Palestinian resistance by violence any more than the Palestinians can win an Algerian-style liberation war.

The only thing that can save the people of Israel and Palestine is a political solution that recognizes both as equal citizens. Shatz is the former literary editor of The Nation and now US editor of the London Review of Books, where he wrote about Israel and Gaza.

Transcript HERE  10-26-2023

Gaza and Us: Amy Wilentz

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Israel and Gaza, Hamas and the Palestinians, war crimes and mideast history: On this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast, we have comment and analysis from Amy Wilentz, Nation contributor and former Jerusalem correspondent of The New Yorker.

Transcript HERE  10-19-2023

The UAW’s Historic Victory—Plus, Elon Musk and American Democracy

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The UAW won a historic victory in their strike against GM—an agreement that EV workers will be covered by the union contract. Harold Meyerson explains, and also comments on Israel’s war against Hamas.

Also: Elon Musk has been a leader in the transition to renewable energy, and has made Twitter into a threat to democracy. He has become the face of 21st-century capitalism. David Nasaw has our analysis.

Transcript HERE  10-12-2023