Free Palestine: AEWCH 19 – Conner and Ben Ehrenreich

19 Jan

PODCAST VERSION: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud 

Friends,

I drove into the California dessert to talk with one of my heroes, Ben Ehrenreich. Ben is a writer and a public intellectual whose book The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine is, I think, required reading. It’s a moving portrait of Ben’s time living in Palestine, constantly under brutal siege by the Israeli government and military. Instead of crafting political talking points (although those arise naturally from the book), Ben shares the stories of the people he meets, lives with, and becomes friends with in Palestine. It’s a beautiful, compelling, and powerful book about hope and its absence and what both give to the human spirit.
Ben is also the author of two novels (Ether, and The Suitors), as well as many short stories, articles (a favorite of mine which comes up in the show is “Predator or Prey?“) and works or criticism. You can find many of them linked to on his website.
IN THIS EPISODE
  • Ben is a real public intellectual. Where did all the other ones go?: 1:20
  • Writing characters and minds in fiction vs trying to bring living people to readers in journalism: 4:30
  • On the problem of wrongly convicted sex offenders and the structure of our penal/punitive system: 10:55
  • How do you learn to be more than an expert, more than a memoirist and actually write toward truth?: 16:50
  • The spiritual act of finding the liars who reveal the truth: 19:00
  • Scrutinizing objectivity as a tool of power: 24:00
  • The descent into literalness, why justice narratives fail to approach art, and the attempt to control meaning: 29:10
  • “In countries…where people are less educated than Americans are…people often have a far more sophisticated sense of how to interpret and read media.” 32:10
  • “Facts” as stand-ins for moral blindness about Israel and Palestine: 33:20
  • How Ben came to live in Palestine and to learn about the protests in Nabih Saleh: 39:10
  • Don’t dehumanize people by erasing struggle or by amplifying it till it drowns out life itself: 44:35
  • The arrest of Ahed Tamimi – a Palestinian child who stood up to Israeli soldiers: 48:50
  • The webbing of military and police and legal camaraderie in Israel, and why Palestinians can’t hope to be treated fairly: 53:50
  • Throwing stones against occupiers with machine guns and military vehicles is not violence: 59:40
  • The ever-present fabric of violence woven by the Israeli government into Palestinian lives: 1:02:20
  • The international investment in the Israeli government’s perpetual brutalization of Palestinians: 1:04:50
  • The rise of the right wing in Israel: 1:13:05
  • What is the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement?: 1:15:05

If this show holds meaning for you, please support it!

Show notes, including links to info on Palestine, stories and books to read, and more are all on my patreon too.

Ahed

Ahed Tamimi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: