Episode 106: “With Friends Like These …”: Israeli Leftist Yuval Idan Responds to “Western Leftist Friends”

Andrew Kliman and Gabriel Donnelly interview Yuval Idan, author of the October 25 Medium post, “To my Western leftist friends, from your leftist Israeli friend,” which has received more than 60,000 views. She started working on this post on October 7, the day of Hamas’ terrorist attack; it addresses Western leftists “who treated this absolute nightmare as an unfortunate situation” or “stayed silent” or “were so quick to lecture us about context and resistance.”

After recounting her long-standing opposition to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and her decision not to serve in the military, Yuval explains why she wrote the post. She and the interviewers then discuss the prevalence of such “Western leftist” reactions, why they shocked her and other Israeli leftists, what accounts for them, and the damage that Yuval says they have done to Israeli and Palestinian leftists’ long struggle to resolve the conflict. She also lays out how she thinks Western (especially American) leftists should respond. She explains why she believes that people’s self-interest will ultimately bring the conflict to an end. And she stresses that most Israel Jews came to the country, not because they had “settler-colonialist” aims, but because they were refugees who had nowhere else to go—and that they, and Palestinians, still have nowhere else to go. (During the discussion, Yuval refers to organizations whose work she approves of: Standing Together, Combatants for Peace, Breaking the Silence, and Women Wage Peace; Andrew refers to an article in West Side Spirit by a teacher whose students asked which “team” she is on.)

Plus current-events segment: “Has Trump finally ‘crossed the line’ into fascism? What line?” Andrew responds to an Atlantic piece by Tom Nichols, a well-known NeverTrump conservative. (Richard Dawkins, on “the tyranny of the discontinuous mind,” and Umberto Eco, on fascism as a set of “family resemblances,” are cited.)
Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is hosted by Andrew Kliman and others. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

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December 15, 2023

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