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The Mondoweiss Podcast

Mar 11, 2022

In this episode we have a conversation with Phil Weiss and Yakov Hirsch about the cultural sources of pro-Israel movements in American politics.

For several years now Hirsch has examined what he calls "hasbara culture" -- the ways that a discourse of Jewish victimhood has conquered Jewish, Israeli, and even American political culture.

Hirsch explains how this “hasbara culture” worldview has been propagated by Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians, by anti-antisemitism organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, and by, quote, “Never Again” journalists with prominent platforms, notably Jeffrey Goldberg, Bari Weiss, Bret Stephens and Yair Rosenberg.

Having the hasbara culture world view is what it means to be a “good Jew” these days according to Hirsch, and we must confront this alternative reality if there is to be justice in the land from the river to the sea.

When the conversation begins, Yakov is describing in detail the events surrounding the death of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, a Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli soldier in the occupied city of Hebron in March 2016. Al-Sharif was shot and was lying wounded and defenseless on the ground when another Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, shot him in the head from close range, killing him. The event was captured on video by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

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