The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. “The Watchdog” goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.
It is often better to talk about solutions rather than problems. And today, on “The Watchdog,” Lowkey talks to British-Palestinian intellectual Ghada Karmi about her new book, “One State: The Only Democratic Future for Palestine-Israel.”
In “One State,” Karmi envisages uniting the land, from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, under one secular, democratic nation, allowing refugees to return to their homeland in safety and enjoy the same rights and securities that those currently living there have. She insists that this is the only way to end the anti-democratic nature of the Israeli state.
Lowkey and Karmi have previously teamed up to debate at the Oxford Union together, and earlier this summer, they were scheduled to discuss her new book in person at a London book launch with the Balfour Project. Yet the night before the event was planned, Karmi received a phone call telling her that it had been canceled. The reason? A Zionist organization called Yachad had pressured the Balfour Project over Lowkey’s inclusion. “They threw both of us under the bus because they feared to offend this Zionist organization called Yachad… Even a tenuous connection like that with a Zionist organization was enough for them to ditch us and mollify the Zionists. That really made me extremely angry,” she said.
For the Balfour Project, she alleges, “keeping them [Yachad] happy was more important than keeping me and you happy.” Thus, the event was canceled. There is likely more to this cancellation than a misunderstanding; while the British Jewish organization’s official mission is to “empower British Jews to support a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” in reality, Yachad works closely with Israeli intelligence organizations Shin Bet and Shabak, making it, in essence, a sham group.
Ghada Karmi is a survivor of the Nakba of 1948 – the nascent Israeli state’s systematic expulsion of Palestinians from their land. While many understand the Nakba as an ongoing process, there is no doubt that 1948 stands out as a particularly bloody and genocidal year in Palestinian history. Today, she talked of her childhood memories, how, despite her parents’ assurances, she had a premonition that her family would never be back, and how her family never talked about Palestine because it was simply too traumatic.
Karmi also noted that the violence did not just destroy families, but it destroyed entire communities, and that damage has never been repaired, saying:
One of the little-publicized aspects of the Nakba was the severance of human ties so that people who had been your neighbors, friends or employers somehow disappeared. Because in the rush to save one’s family, where were those people? And as so often happened, they were never reclaimed. Those people went, we don’t know where, and they didn’t know where we had gone. And that is a significant aspect of our eviction of our homeland that often is not talked about.
Tune in to hear about the past – and the potential future – of Palestine and the 75-year conflict.
Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.