Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Saving Israel and Palestine
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Saving Israel and Palestine

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Ralph welcomes Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs to discuss what's motivating anti-Palestinian extremism in Israel, how the U.S. has been complicit in Israel's theft of Palestinian territory and genocide against the Palestinian people, and what the United Nations can do to help achieve a lasting peace. Plus, we share Ralph's recent column: "Israeli Leaders’ Objective All Along Has Been the Expulsion of Occupied Palestinians and Seizure of Their Remaining Land."

Jeffrrey Sachs is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he holds the rank of University Professor (the university’s highest academic rank) and he served as Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. Mr. Sachs has also served in numerous positions at the United Nations, including as President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The reason that diplomacy is not happening is perfectly obvious. Which is that the core of this government does not want diplomacy, even if it were to deliver security. Their aim is not security through diplomacy. Their aim is “Greater Israel.”

Jeffrey Sachs

I have lived through…watching the U.S. government abandon so many projects, from Southeast Asia through the Americas—these have been terrible projects often—but the U.S. loses interest, it moves on. And Israel needs to actually live in its neighborhood if it's going to survive. And counting on military might to do that is a profound mistake. It's eating away at its own fundamental capacity to act as a society—the idea that you can stand alone in the world community and have no one support you. This is a huge mistake. So I've tried to say to my counterparts in Israel…that this path is not only wrong and immoral, but doomed to fail as well.

Jeffrey Sachs

The Palestinians have one of the highest literacy rates—97 % — in the world. Under dire conditions, they have accomplished farmers, physicians, scientists, engineers, poets, musicians, novelists, artists, and a deep entrepreneurial tradition carried on by the Palestinian diaspora around the world. It is no accident that Israeli bombers directly target Palestinian cultural and educational institutions in their recurrent assaults on Gaza. Israeli militarists have to degrade all Palestinians… to expel them from their ancestral lands.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Episode 527 Transcript
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In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis

News 4/10/24

1. An unsettling story in Business Insider recounts how the Israeli military uses an AI system – chillingly called “Where’s Daddy?” – to track Hamas militants to their homes. As one IDF officer put it, “We[‘re] not interested in killing [Hamas] operatives only when they…[are] engaged in a military activity…On the contrary, the IDF bomb[s] them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It's much easier to bomb a family's home.” This policy of bombing family homes “as a first option” is a major factor in why so many Palestinian families have lost unimaginable numbers of relatives in Israeli strikes. IDF officers added “human input in the target identification process…[is] essentially [to] ‘rubber stamp’ the machine's picks after little more than ‘20 seconds’ of consideration — which was largely to double-check the target is male.”

2. As we know from the recent polling on the issue, only 22.5% of Democrats now support military aid to Israel, while 83% want a permanent ceasefire. More surprising is that only 41% of Republicans want  the U.S. to send military aid to Israel, and 58% want a permanent ceasefire. This poll is now joined by a similar poll from the United Kingdom, showing 56% of the British public – including 74% of Labour Party voters – support their government refusing to sell more weapons to Israel, with only 17% in support of continuing such sales. Pressing on this issue, progressive members of Congress Mark Pocan and Jan Schakowsky have penned a letter to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken “strongly urg[ing them]…to reconsider [their] recent decision to authorize the transfer of a new arms package to Israel and to withhold this and any future offensive arms transfers until a full investigation into the [World Central Kitchen] airstrike is completed…to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable [under U.S. or international law and]…to withhold these transfers if Israel fails to sufficiently mitigate harm to innocent civilians in Gaza, including aid workers, and if it fails to facilitate – or arbitrarily denies or restricts – the transport and delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza.” This letter was signed by 37 additional Democratic members of Congress – mostly the typical progressives, though with one extremely notable addition: Nancy Pelosi, signifying how mainstream this position has become.

3. In yet another sign of the shifting political winds, Delaware Senator Chris Coons – a consummate moderate and perhaps President Biden’s closest ally in the Senate – has come out in favor of conditioning military aid to Israel, Axios reports. Coons added “I've never said that before, I've never been here before.”

4. Yet even as the Democratic Party shifts., Biden has continued his blind support for Israel – resulting in continued success for the “Uncommitted” electoral protest movement. In Wisconsin, the “uninstructed delegation” option won nearly 50,000 votes statewide – over 8% of the vote – and over 30% of votes in the precincts representing the University of Wisconsin-Madison. And it hasn’t stopped with Wisconsin. In Connecticut, “uncommitted” won over 11%; in New York, blank ballots accounted for 12%; and in Rhode Island, “uncommitted” won a whopping 14.5% of primary voters statewide. John Nichols at the Nation tabulates that as of now, over half a million Democratic primary voters have given Biden a clear message: “Save Gaza!”

5. The controversy surrounding Oscar-winning Zone of Interest Director Jonathan Glazer’s acceptance speech continues to drag on. This week, over 150 major Jewish creatives signed an open letter supporting Glazer, per Variety. These signatories include many household names, such as Joaquin Phoenix, Elliott Gould, Joel Coen, David Cross, Amy Berg, Boots Reilly, Hari Nef, Ilana Glzazer, Wallace Shawn, and many, many more. This letter states “We are Jewish artists, filmmakers, writers and creative professionals who support Jonathan Glazer’s statement from the 2024 Oscars. We were alarmed to see some of our colleagues in the industry mischaracterize and denounce his remarks…Their attacks on Glazer are a dangerous distraction from Israel’s escalating military campaign which has already killed over 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza and brought hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation. We grieve for all those who have been killed in Palestine and Israel over too many decades...We honor the Holocaust by saying: Never again for anyone.”

6. In some positive news, the National Labor Relations Board reports union election petitions are up 35% in the first half of Fiscal Year 2024, with unfair labor practice charges up 7%. The NLRB is quick to note that this increased caseload coincides with a long-term funding crunch that has seen their offices shrink by 50% over the past 20 years. NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo writes “Congress needs to fully fund the NLRB to effectively and efficiently comply with our Congressional mandate when providing quality service to the public in conducting hearings and elections, investigating charges, settling and litigating meritorious cases, and obtaining full and prompt remedies for workers whose rights are violated.”

7. In Ecuador, a diplomatic crisis is unfolding with Mexico after Ecuadorian forces stormed the Mexican embassy to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who had sought – and been granted – asylum at the Mexican embassy. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, decried this as a “flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico.”  CNN reports this provocation prompted AMLO to suspend diplomatic relations with Ecuador and pursue a case against Ecuador at the International Court of Justice. For its part, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying “The United States condemns any violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and takes very seriously the obligation of host countries under international law to respect the inviolability of diplomatic missions.”

8. NBC4 Washington is out with a blockbuster report on gun running within the D.C. Metro police department. Put simply, “For at least seven months in 2020 and 2021, the D.C. area’s largest police department was…the only place D.C. residents could legally get a handgun.” Incredible as that may seem, that much was already public knowledge. Now, federal documents have been uncovered showing that a remarkable number of these guns ended up at crime scenes. In fact, “So many guns [were] recovered at crime scenes, in such a brief period, that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives placed D.C. police into a program designed to give extra scrutiny to dealers with higher levels of so-called crime guns.” In other words, D.C. cops, far from getting guns off the street, were in fact releasing so many guns on to the street that federal firearms regulators had to step in. So much for police improving safety.

9. According to CNBC, “Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes initiated an investigation into tech magnate Elon Musk on Sunday…concern[ing] possible obstruction of justice by Musk, who said over the weekend that he would defy the court’s orders to restrict or suspend some popular accounts on its platform.” This comes as part of a larger investigation into “so-called digital militias, a term applied to people accused of spreading misinformation online to attack democratic institutions in Brazil.” While the list of accounts flagged by the Brazilian government is not public, Wired reports this list includes “the fugitive far-right influencer Allan dos Santos, a supporter of president Jair Bolsonaro. (Dos Santos fled the country in 2020 to avoid investigation for disseminating disinformation.)… [and] right-wing YouTuber Bruno Aiub, known as Monark, who has over 1 million followers on X and has argued that Brazil should recognize the Nazi party, and Brazilian billionaire and Bolsonaro-supporter Luciano Hang.”

10.  Finally, you might have heard that Amazon is shutting down the “Just Walk Out” technology at its grocery stores. This technology supposedly relied on an entirely automated system of cameras and sensors to track what people picked up at the stores and charge that to their Amazon accounts. Yet, Gizmodo reports “Though it seemed completely automated, Just Walk Out relied on more than 1,000 people in India watching and labeling videos to ensure accurate checkouts. The cashiers were simply moved off-site, and they watched you as you shopped.” This genre of story has become all too common – companies trumpeting ‘automation’ when in fact all they’re doing is outsourcing with extra steps. Just another reminder to remain skeptical of claims by big corporations. Often flashy new tech is just a smokescreen for regular old labor exploitation.

This has been Francesco DeSantis, with In Case You Haven’t Heard.

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Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
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