Israel at war
Israel is once again at war, with fighting raging to a level not seen in half a century. As of this taping, Israel’s death toll from October 7th’s Hamas terrorist attack has risen to 1,300, with an estimated 150 people believed to be held hostage in Gaza. And so far, according to health officials there, at least 1,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and thousands more injured. Among the Israeli—as well as international—dead from Saturday’s attack are women, children, and the elderly—many butchered in their homes by rampaging Hamas fighters. And Israeli airstrikes have targeted normally safe structures like schools, hospitals, and mosques, killing women, children, and the elderly as well.
On the show this week, Avi Mayer, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, joins from Israel to talk about how his life, and those of his fellow Israelis, have 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.
Then, Middle East scholar Shibley Telhami joins from the Washington DC area to talk 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?