The New Arab Voice
Netanya-boooooo: The Israeli protests against judicial reforms
During his most recent campaign to become Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu promised that he would overhaul the judiciary.
When the elections came around, the fourth in five years, his Likud Party, with the help of some far-right allies, were able to command a majority in the Israeli Knesset.
Netanyahu quickly started his plans to reform the judiciary, and almost as quickly Israelis took to the street to protest against the planned changes.
Week after week, and month after month, the protests intensified and the pressure grew on Netanyahu and his government.
Eventually, the pressure became too great, and Netanyahu announced that he would suspend the bill and attempt to seek a consensus.
This week on The New Arab Voice, we examine the protest movement that rocked Israel. What prompted the protests? Who was on the streets protesting? What were the demands of the protesters? Why did Netanyahu change course and suspend the reforms? And what is the state of the bill today?
For this episode, we sat down with Amjad Iraqi (@aj_iraqi). Amjad Iraqi is a senior editor at the Israeli publication +972 Magazine (@972mag); and also serves as a policy analyst at the think tank Al-Shabaka (@AlShabaka), and was previously an advocacy coordinator at the legal center Adalah.
This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge.
Theme music by Omar al-Fil.
Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.
To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice or email email@example.com
View all episodes
5. Barely Catching Breath: Inside Gaza’s short pause and the deal for hostages22:19The ceasefire in Gaza didn’t last, but seven days without experiencing intense Israeli bombardments is certainly welcome. During the seven days when the worst of the violence was stopped, aid was able to get to the desperate people of Gaza, but additionally it allowed for the release of hostages, held by Hamas.In exchange, Palestinians held by Israel would also be released from Israeli prisons. During the ceasefire 110 hostages were released by Hamas, and 240 Palestinians have been released. This week on The New Arab Voice, we look at the details of the deal, those who have been released, how they have been released, and how Israel has controlled the release of the prisoners, and the families and communities welcoming home those released. Also we look at how the conditions in Israel’s prisons have deteriorated since the start of the conflict. Joining us, we speak with Tala Nasir. Tala is a lawyer for Addameer who has been monitoring the releases carefully. Addameer (@Addameer) is an NGO that advocates for prisoners held by Israel, offers free legal aid, works to end torture and other violations of prisoners rights, through monitoring legal procedures and solidarity campaigns. This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
4. Trouble with the 51st State: US policy on Gaza and its relationship with Israel33:22The death toll from the conflict in Gaza passed 14,000 this week. With a ceasefire starting on Friday evening, international diplomacy is happening, but so is the conflict. The recent four-day ceasefire and prisoner swap was negotiated by Qatar and Israel’s closest ally, the US. This week on The New Arab Voice, we look over the recent events in Gaza, including the siege of Al-Shifa Hospital, the humanitarian catastrophe that has a firm grip on the besieged strip, and the recently announced four-day ceasefire and prisoner and hostage swap. Also, we examine the US relationship with Israel and the view of the conflict from Washington. Did they US expect such a brutal response by Israel? Can the US hold Israel back, and can it lead the way over the political horizon to a settlement in the future. And what does the conflict mean for the Abraham Accords?Joining us to talk about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we speak with Kristyan Benedict (@KreaseChan), Amnesty International UK Crisis Response Manager (@AmnestyUK), and to guide us through US policy surrounding Gaza, we speak with Charles W. Dunne (@CharlesWDunne), adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Studies (@ElliottSchoolGW) at the George Washington University, and also a non resident scholar at the Arab Center Washington, DC (@ArabCenterWDC).Find our newsletter here.This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
3. Fear Spreads from Gaza to the West Bank: Israel expands its crackdown on Palestinians as settler attacks multiply30:09Violence in Gaza has continued to intensify. The death toll passed the grim milestone this week, with over 10,000 now killed. In addition to the ongoing violence in Gaza, the West Bank is also seeing an increased level of attacks by Israeli settlers and increased oppression by the Israeli occupation forces. This week on The New Arab Voice, why is violence rising in the West Bank, how are Palestinians in the West Bank feeling about the conflict in Gaza, and what is the Palestinian authority doing?Joining us to explain the situation on the ground, we’re joined by The New Arab’s West Bank correspondent, Qassam Muaddi (@QassaMMuaddi). Also, we speak with Nur Arafeh, a fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center (@CarnegieMEC).Sign up to our newsletter here. This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
2. Nowhere to go, and Nowhere is Safe: The massacres of Gaza and the war between Hamas and Israel41:36The Israeli bombardment of the people of Gaza has unleashed horrors. Thousands have been killed, including thousands of children. There’s no end in sight, and Israel does not look like it will step away from its path. The past 27 days in Gaza have been punctuated by war crimes of almost every nature.This week on The New Arab Voice we look at the past 27 days, the crimes that have been committed, the tragedies endure by the people, and the lives lost in senseless massacres. We examine the intense humanitarian crisis the has gripped the Gaza Strip, in light of the tightened siege, and the failure to get aid to the people. We inspect the ceasefire options that are open to Israel, and the prospect of a ceasefire being implemented. Additionally, we look at Hamas, their military strength, the tactics they will use when Israel launched its full ground assault, and the value of their tunnels. Joining us, we speak with Kristyan Benedict (@KreaseChan), Amnesty International UK Crisis Response Manager (@AmnestyUK), and Merissa Khurma (@MerissaKhurma), the Program Director of the Middle East program at the Wilson Center (@TheWilsonCenter). Also, we hear directly from The New Arab's Gaza correspondent, Sally Ibrahim. This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
1. Israel Attacked: Hamas breaks out, the indiscriminate Israeli response, and the dehumanisation of Palestinians35:09The attack by Hamas on 7 October has changed the region and the world in ways that are still yet to be completely understood. In response to the attack, which killed over 1,400 Israelis, and took 200 hostage, Israel has unleashed a brutal and indiscriminate campaign of airstrikes. So far, thousands of Palestinians have been killed. This week on The New Arab Voice, we look at Hamas' attack, why they decided to attack, what they hoped to achieve, the Israelis intelligence failings that allowed for the attack, how Israel is responding, the war crimes being committed today, and what war crimes might be committed in the future. Joining us to discuss Hamas' attack and what it means for Israel and the Israeli response in Gaza, we speak with Joost Hiltermann (@JoostHiltermann) the program director for the Middle East in North Africa, at the International Crisis Group (@CrisisGroup); and Lara Friedman (@LaraFriedmanDC) the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (@FMEP).You can sign up to our newsletter here. This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
10. Libya’s Unnatural Disaster: How Derna was left to drown32:23The residents of the Libyan city of Derna are sadly no strangers to tragedy. They have seen war and violent militant groups ravage their town. But the recent environmental disaster that struck was a new terrifying horror.In the early hours of 11 September, after hours of torrential rain, the two dams outside Derna broke, sending a torrent of water in the heart of the city. Entire buildings were washed away. Thousands were killed, and thousands more simply disappeared.This week on The New Arab Voice, we look at the flood that destroyed a city, and the moments that were missed, when tragedy could have been avoided. Joining us, we speak with Johr Ali (@JOHRALI), a Libyan journalist from the city of Derna who now lives in exile in Istanbul.a Libyan journalist from the city of Derna who now lives in exile in Istanbul.Also, Emadeddin Badi (@emad_badi), a Libyan researcher and a non-resident senior fellow with the Middle East Programs at the Atlantic Council (@AtlanticCouncil).And Malak Altaeb (@MalakLibya1), a Libyan environmental researcher and non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute (@MiddleEastInst) in Washington.This podcast is written by Nadine Talaat (@nadine_talaat) and produced by Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
9. Ar-abnormal Negotiations: What does Israel-Saudi normalisation mean for Palestine?31:17Talk of normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel is hotting up. Israel signed the Abraham Accords with the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco in 2020, and were deemed to be a major development in the region.Israel is now looking to Saudi Arabia for a normalisation deal, which if achieved would have a major impact on the Middle East. But the deal is proving more difficult than the first normalisation deals. There are three main stumbling points. A Saudi security pact. Saudi nuclear ambitions. And the Palestine issue. This week on The New Arab Voice, we ask why Israel and Saudi Arabia are seeking normalisation? Can the Saudis get the security pact they want? Will the US agree to work with the Saudis on a civilian nuclear programme? Can the Palestinians get concessions from Israel, as part of the deal? And can the government of Benjamin Netanyahu's government survive a deal with Saudi Arabia?Joining us to talk all things normalisation, we have Gerald Feierstein, a distinguished senior fellow on US diplomacy at the Middle East Institute (@MiddleEastInst), and Director of its Arabian Peninsula Affairs programme.Also, Joe Macaron (@macaronjoe), a Global Fellow with the Wilson Centre's Middle East Program (@TheWilsonCenter) and research analyst primarily focusing on US strategy, conflict analysis, and international relations in the Middle East.This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge (@hugogoodridge). Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
8. Forcing the Hijab Back On: The anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death and the tightening grip of Iran's state29:37It's been a year since Mahsa Amini was killed. She was taken from the streets by Iran's morality police in September 2022. They beat her mercilessly, resulting in the young women falling into a coma, and later dying. The protests against her killing, the morality police, and Iran's mandatory hijab law were instant and persisted for several months. However the violent response by the Iranian state eventually forced people off the streets. They killed over 500 people and arrested tens of thousands in the process. In the 12 months that have passed since Mahsa's killing, the state has reasserted itself. The morality police are back. New laws have been established that punish hijab offenders with new lengthy sentences. This week on The New Arab Voice, we examine how the state has responded over the past 12 months, why they have returned the morality police, why they have upped the sentence and fines. Additionally, we explore the thinking of the state and why they feel it necessary to ignore the protesters. Why they respond with violence, and what the moves to be the successor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mean. To help us understand the past 12 months in Iran, we speak with Sussan Tahmasebi (@sussantweets). Sussan is an Iranian feminist, activists, and he director of FEMENA (@FemenaNet), an organisation that supports women human rights defenders their organisations, and feminist movements in the MENA and Asia regions.Also, we speak with Dr. Sanam Vakil (@SanamVakil). Dr. Vakil is the Director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House (@CH_MENAP) and the author of Action and Reaction: Women and Politics in Iran.This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge. Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.
7. Syria’s South Dares Again: Suweida protests living standards, Assad, and the continuing instability30:45Protests are back in Syria. Twelve years since the start of the uprisings against the Assad regime, Syrians are still protesting. In the southern province of Suweida huge protests have erupted, in part, fuelled by the continuing fall in living standards across the country, but also for the same reasons that brought people out to the streets in 2011. They have now entered their fourth week, and so far, look set to continue. This week on The New Arab Voice, we look at the protests in Suweida. What do they want? What are their demands? Who is protesting, and are they the same people from 2011, or new people? And why have the protests seemingly been permitted to continue with their defiance?Also, we look at the August 10th Movement. The August 10th Movement announced their formation just before the protests in Suweida, and declared themselves to be peaceful and non-sectarian. We ask, who they are? What do they want? And what prospects do they have to challenge the regime?Joining us to talk about the protests, we have Jospeh Daher, (@JosephDaher19). Joseph works at the University of Lausanne and is a co-director is the Syrian Trajectory Project.And, Wafa Ali Mustafa (@WafaMustafa9). Wafa is a Syrian journalist and activist, who now lives in Berlin. For a decade now, Wafa has campaigned tirelessly for Syria’s disappeared.This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge. Theme music by Omar al-Fil. To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.