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Podcast: The war between Israel and Hamas and its unfathomable human toll

Israelis mourning their loved ones who did not survive the Hamas attack with the logo of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer - the podcast


Listen: Israel is at war, caught in the worst surprise attack in half a century. Hamas’ shock terrorist attacks cut deep into Israeli territory. That psychological trauma compounds the shock for millions of Israelis that their world-class intelligence and security forces completely missed this. That’s why comparisons with the 9/11 attacks on the US are the right analogy – Israel’s weakness was, in part, a failure of imagination.

Hamas has launched a suicidal war, and Palestinians will pay dearly for it. But why did Hamas move now? In part because of their deteriorating position: blockaded by Israel and Egypt, the economy in Gaza was terrible and getting worse. Meanwhile, the geopolitics were leaving the Palestinians behind. Israel is in its strongest geopolitical position in decades and was on the verge of signing a historic peace deal with Saudi Arabia. The severity of Israel’s expected response – a ground invasion that will result in thousands of Palestinian deaths – makes that politically untenable for the Saudis now.

Avi Mayer, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, joins Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast from Israel to talk about how his life, not to mention those of his fellow Israelis, has been forever changed in the past few days. He also provides a pained but unflinching take on how Israel should respond and what that response might mean for the Palestinians caught in the crosshairs.

Ian also speaks with Middle East scholar Shibley Telhami, based in the Washington DC area, about the broader geopolitical context of this latest conflict. Why did Hamas choose this moment to launch its attack and how did a burgeoning diplomatic deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia play into that decision? Also, what will happen to the 2.3 million Gazans with nowhere to go?

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