Israel’s True Motivations – A talk with Professor Stephen Zunes

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In this week’s episode, our host Samar talks to University of San Francisco’s professor
Stephen Zunes, who specializes in Middle East politics and US foreign policy. Amid the
raging and violent war waged by Israel on Palestine, Professor Zunes delves into a
deep and thoughtful analysis of the ongoing genocide in Palestine and its broader
implications. He discusses how Israel’s military actions, particularly its airstrikes and
incursions into Gaza, have resulted in significant civilian casualties and infrastructural
damage. Zunes emphasizes the stark power imbalance between Israel and Palestine,
criticizing Israel’s overwhelming military force as disproportionate and indiscriminate.
Reading into Israel’s actions, Zunes suggests that Israel’s motivations for its aggressive
actions may extend beyond mere security concerns. He posits that political calculations,
such as bolstering domestic support or weakening Palestinian resistance, could be
driving Israel’s approach to the conflict. By framing Israel’s actions within a broader
political context, Zunes challenges the narrative that portrays the conflict as solely
rooted in security dynamics.
Moreover, Zunes advocates for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, stressing the
importance of international pressure on Israel to abide by human rights standards and
engage in meaningful negotiations with Palestinian leaders. He underscores the role of
the international community in holding Israel accountable for its actions and promoting a
just and lasting peace in the region.
Zunes criticizes the lack of meaningful international intervention to address the root
causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He argues that the United States, in particular,
has played a detrimental role by providing unwavering support to Israel and blocking
efforts to hold it accountable for human rights violations.
He calls for renewed efforts to pursue a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. He stresses the importance of international pressure on Israel to end its military
aggression and engage in meaningful negotiations with Palestinian leaders. Ultimately,
Zunes advocates for a just and sustainable peace that allows for the realization of
Palestinian rights and aspirations.

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