Fear & Loathing in the New Jerusalem
The conflict between Israel and Palestine can often seem like a permanent feature of the global order. The wars, intifadas, refugees camps, suicide vests, UN resolutions, and peace talks have been painfully burned into our collective consciousness. But how could this have happened? Was it always this way? That’s what we’ll seek to find out in Fear & Loathing in the New Jerusalem, a multi-part series exploring the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Click here for Episode 1 – Nations are rallying to throw off the yoke of the Great Powers, and demanding the sovereign right to rule their homelands. A group calling themselves Zionists puts out a call to awaken the oppressed Jews of Europe from their thousand-year slumber. The time had come, after two thousand years of homeless wandering, to return to Palestine, the land longed for in so many psalms and lamentations. But there was a problem. While the Jews were in exile, another people had moved into the land, and they had been living there for 1300 years.
Click here for Episode 2 – The Arabs and the Zionists in Palestine struggle to get their bearings in a ruined world. The smell of gunsmoke still lays thick over the landscape, and the ink is still wet on the Balfour Declaration and the several new international agreements. The First World War is over, and people around the world are demanding their independence in the new world order. But building a national identity takes more than just drawing lines on a map or running a rag up a flagpole.
Click here for Episode 3, Shoptalk Edition – We’re halfway through Fear & Loathing in the New Jerusalem, the history of Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I decided to throw something together to answer a few questions and get down in the weeds to talk about Arab tribal dynamics, honor culture, religion, and the mutual incomprehension that helped construct the Middle Eastern mousetrap a century ago, and remains an obstacle to progress in the region today.
Click here for Episode 4 – The 1920s are relatively quiet in Palestine. I used the slower pace of events to dig into the social, political, and economic trends that were pushing the Palestinian Arabs to the edge. Some loose ends tied and some gaps filled up, setting up the last Jenga block before it comes crashing down.
Click here for Episode 5 – Riots. Massacres. The end of the world and everything in it. Palestinian Arabs finally find a voice in the wake of the 1929 massacres. Unable and unwilling to find a place for the Jews, Europe’s autoimmune disorder begins to tear the host apart. Desperate European Jews seek escape from Nazi persecution just as Palestinian resistance stiffens and the British become skeptical of the Zionist project.
Click here for Episode 6 – Modern Zionism began in the late 19th century with idealistic calls for spiritual renewal; by 1939, it had transformed into a desperate play for bare survival. Young revolutionaries do combat with Zionist elder statesmen for the soul of the movement. Hitler’s German Reich and Stalin’s Soviet Union do battle for Europe while everything between them is ground into the mud. Victims become victimizers, and the wider world gets an introduction to the dispute that has been confounding the British Empire for 20 years.
All episodes are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and your favorite podcast indexer. Be sure to leave a rating or a comment to let me know what you think! Thanks for listening.