Episode

8/21 Pro-Palestine Voices Silenced; HUGE UAW Strike Looms w/ Rebecca Ruth Gould, Jessie Kelly

August 21, 2023

Happy Monday! Emma speaks with Rebecca Ruth Gould, Professor of Islamic World & Comparative Literature at the University of Birmingham, to discuss her recent book Erasing Palestine: Free Speech and Palestinian Freedom. Then, she speaks with Jessie Kelly, a member of UAW Local 160 at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, and Chair of Communications for local 160, to discuss the UAW’s potential strike that may be coming in September. First, Emma runs through updates on Guatemala’s rebuke of the conservative establishment, disaster in Southern California, the rebuilding effort in Lahaina and conflicts between community and capital, Biden’s visit to Maui, Trump’s reign over the GOP, a new COVID booster, rampant homophobia in the US, and the massive mounting death toll between Russia and Ukraine, before diving into Fox News’ continuing attempts to push anti-environmental propaganda. Rebecca Ruth Gould then joins, diving right into her history as a Jewish American that briefly lived in the West Bank while working, via multi-hour and multi-checkpoint commutes, in Jerusalem. Gould first reflects on the radicalization she underwent with her first-hand experience of the Israeli apartheid state, from the active separation of worlds to the continuing settler-colonial violence, which resulted in her publishing of an article entitled “Beyond Antisemitism,” on the weaponization of the Holocaust and antisemitism. Jumping ahead in her life, she explores how this article, despite being a single moment in her career as an academic, came back around during her career teaching at University in the UK as a student attempted to cite the work as an example of pure antisemitism – solely on its criticisms of Israel – a claim that was taken seriously by a British establishment that had just seen Theresa May affirm the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, which largely focuses on any criticism of Israel in their examples. Expanding on this, Gould parses through the IHRA’s actual definition, what was so problematic about the guidelines that came alongside the definition, how it homogenizes an already marginalized group, and why forcing states to define antisemitism beyond “prejudice against Jewish people” is an issue. Wrapping up, Rebecca Ruth Gould explores the worsening violence around Israeli apartheid in recent years, despite turning public opinion against it, and talks with Emma about parallels between Israeli and US colonialism. Jessie Kelly then walks through the inspiring leadership of Shawn Fain and the UAW team during the recent bargaining session, the importance of militant organizing and rhetoric, and the state of the bargaining process (despite everything the auto manufacturers are doing not to bargain), before wrapping up by discussing the growing strength of labor in the US, and the process of labor radicalization.

And in the Fun Half: Emma watches famed bigot Riley Gaines argue for female inferiority in intellect, Kowalski from Nebraska gives an update on the state of agriculture in the US (and what Jerome Powell is doing to prevent the spread of food), and Liz from PA explores the problems with population control. The MR Team basks in Ron DeSantis’ marvelous collapse, watches Shawn Fain pump up UAW workers, and listens to Matt Damon eviscerate an anti-union libertarian. Bato T from Washington discusses working in a teachers’ union, and Ethan from LA explores the problems of leftist infighting, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Rebecca’s book here: https://www.versobooks.com/products/2903-erasing-palestine

Find more information about the UAW here: https://uaw.org/

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