Podcast / Start Making Sense / Apr 10, 2024

Democrats vs. Billionaires, Hamas vs. Fatah

On this episode of Start Making Sense, Bhaskar Sunkara talks about how Democratic candidates win, and Hussein Ibish analyzes the political battle for control of the PLO.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Democrats vs. Billionaires, plus Hamas vs. Fatah | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

The issues and the language that win for Democrats: research shows it’s not just “jobs,” but attacking the rich. Bhaskar Sunkara, President of The Nation and author of The Socialist Manifesto, explains.

Also: why did Hamas decide to provoke massive Israeli retaliation now? Hussein Ibish, who writes for The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Daily Beast, says Hamas had a clear political goal on October 7: to defeat the Palestinian secular nationalists of Fatah and the PLO.

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Donald Trump Rally with Joe Biden video

Donald Trump watches a video of President Joe Biden during a rally for Senator Marco Rubio at the Miami-Dade Country Fair and Exposition in November 2022.

(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

The issues and language that win for Democrats: research shows it’s not just “jobs” but attacking the rich. Bhaskar Sunkara, president of The Nation and author of The Socialist Manifesto, is on the podcast to discuss.

Also on this episode: Why did Hamas decide to provoke massive Israeli retaliation now? Hussein Ibish, who writes for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Daily Beast, says Hamas had a clear political goal on October 7: to defeat the Palestinian secular nationalists of Fatah and gain control of the PLO.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

The Abortion Pill Underground, plus Can Dems Hold the Senate? | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

Since Roe was overturned, pregnant people seeking abortions in Red states have found help from providers operating at the edge of the law. Amy Littlefield reports.

Also: Democrats in the Senate are going to lose the seat vacated by Joe Manchin in West Virginia — can they hold all the others in November? John Nichols has our analysis, starting with Maryland, where Democrat Angela Alsobrooks will face Republican ‘moderate’ Larry Hogan, the popular anti-Trump former governor.

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Jon Wiener:   From The Nation magazine, this is Start Making Sense.  I’m Jon Wiener.  Later in the show–a question about Hamas.  Why did they decide to provoke massive Israeli retaliation now? Hussein Ibish, who writes for The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Daily Beast, says Hamas had a clear political goal on October 7–to defeat the Palestinian secular nationalists of Fatah and the PLO.  He’ll explain, later in the show.  But first, the issues and the language that win for Democrats.  Bhaskar Sunkara will comment–in a minute.
[BREAK]
Which issues work best for Democratic candidates? For that, we turn to Bhaskar Sunkara. He is President of The Nation, Founding Editor of Jacobin and author of the book, The Socialist Manifesto. He’s also been a columnist for The Guardian US Edition. He’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and lots of other places. Bhaskar, welcome back.

Bhaskar Sunkara:   Thanks for having me.

Jon Wiener:   You report in The Guardian on a new study from the Center for Working Class Politics of all the Democratic candidates for the House and Senate who ran in the 2022 midterm elections, almost a thousand of them.  Researchers for the Center read all their websites, records of all their talks to identify the themes, the issues, the words the candidates used. The principal finding was not really surprising.  Democratic candidates running on progressive economic issues like building infrastructure, resurrecting manufacturing, creating jobs were more successful than candidates who didn’t, especially in white, working-class districts. Or as you put it in The Guardian, “Democrats who attack the rich do better in elections.” But you pointed out a more significant and less obvious finding. How often do Democratic candidates attack the rich?

Bhaskar Sunkara: Less than 10% of these Democratic candidates mentioned billionaires, millionaires, Wall Street or the 1%, so any sort of anti-elite, populist rhetoric.

Jon Wiener: Next question–what proportion of Democratic candidates came from actual working-class backgrounds themselves?

Bhaskar Sunkara: We found that only 2.3% of the candidates we looked at had primarily working-class backgrounds before entering politics. So we’re not talking about people who maybe had a few day jobs or whatever else, but people who worked for the majority of their working lives in working-class professions, post office workers, teachers. We’re not just talking about the manual, industrial working-class. This was just a small fraction of the Democratic Party candidates.

Jon Wiener: When it comes to Democrats attacking the rich, there’s one historic example of a Democrat who won a lot by attacking the rich. Remind us, please.

Bhaskar Sunkara: Bernie Sanders, obviously, is the classic example that we have on the left of a candidate that had the perfect message discipline, that talked about bread-and-butter issues, and that simplified all the complexities of the left-wing worldview into a digestible message that resonated with millions of voters, not just Democrats, but Independents and even some Republicans.

Jon Wiener: If we go back to the ’30s, there’s a very significant example of a Democrat who attacked the rich.

Bhaskar Sunkara: Of course. In the article I discussed Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who obviously, was the cousin of a former president. He’s the offspring of two important, powerful, wealthy New York families. But he became the tribune of economic populism in the 1930s. He figured out that the way to rebuild the country was to mobilize a social base to speak to this emerging and increasingly more important industrial working-class that was locked out of politics, and to try to represent their interests.  He managed to do it, and obviously, he managed to combine some of the most important achievements of our threadbare welfare state. We got that in the 1930s because I think Roosevelt realized that he not only needed a rhetoric that could win elections, which of course is important, but in order to turn politics into real policy, into real change, he needed a social base.

Jon Wiener:   He had an especially memorable line that you quoted. He was talking about what he called “organized money.” He said, “They are unanimous in their hatred for me.” And what did he say about that?

Bhaskar Sunkara:   He said, “And I welcome their hatred.”

Jon Wiener:   “I welcome their hatred.” You don’t hear that sort of thing from Democrats today, except maybe from Bernie and a few members of the Squad.

Bhaskar Sunkara:   To be honest, though, you sometimes do hear it from President Biden. I think President Biden, at his best, at his most vigorous during the campaign, almost like Bernie Sanders spoke in this older Democratic Party parlance. It’s not that Biden was a Progressive. He’s always been on the center, even center-right of the Democratic Party. But he came from this older generation of Democratic Party politicians. He runs for his first seat, he becomes a senator in the early 1970s. He encounters a Democratic Party and he is forced to win over unions. He’s forced to win over progressive constituencies that have been sidelined ever since then, the Democratic Party.
So I think that he knew how to speak to working-class people in a certain way. He knew how to speak in a way that didn’t seem elitist, that didn’t seem alienating. He knew how to turn it on at times. Obviously, besides for some really positive things he’s done with the national Labor Relation Board appointees and other things, you could say that he didn’t follow through with his pledges to organized labor, but you could hear some of that in his rhetoric. You could hear that he was a weapon against class de-alignment, at least compared to the neo-new Democrat rhetoric of Clinton compared to these other Democratic politicians who were very keen to lean into just professional class voters in suburbs and that sort of rhetoric to defeat Trump. You saw some of this in Biden.
But the party as a whole, even when they’re offering far better policies for working-class people, and I have no complaint about saying that I’ll gladly vote for 99.9% of Democratic Party candidates when the alternative to them on ballots is Republicans.  But they’re still associated with professional-class politics, for lack of a better word. They’re seen more and more as the party of the Ivy League, the party of vaguely-construed elites. Obviously, some of this is unfair.

Jon Wiener:   I want to look at some of the findings of this study. Candidates spend most of their money on TV. They raise millions of dollars and they spend it on TV ads, which we think don’t really succeed in convincing people to vote for them. But the study of the Center found that just 30% of TV ads released in 2022 by Democratic candidates in competitive districts focused primarily on bread-and-butter economic issues. Only 18% of the TV ads said anything at all about jobs. Less than 2% talked about the need for high-quality, good-paying jobs or unionized jobs. So it’s an obvious question here–why don’t more Democratic candidates talk about populist economic issues? Why don’t they attack billionaires, millionaires, the one percent?

Bhaskar Sunkara:   I think that part of it is this idea that Democrats need to cast the widest possible net to resist Trump, and that casting this wide net means talking about Trump’s extremism, Republican extremism, their individual qualities as candidates, or issues like abortion, which of course, are very important issues. But I think there’s a lack of a willingness to focus and say that, “Well, actually the most important thing that motivates voters is going to be their pocketbooks and is going to be jobs.” I think there was an attempt to almost pivot away from the economy and to discuss other issues.
Bernie Sanders himself brought this up in a column in The Guardian that he was attacked for by saying that Democrats can’t forget to foreground bread-and-butter issues, that we can’t just run as a party of abortion rights, even though of course, that is a major positive differentiator between Democrats and Republicans. If you look at the survey, it’s not just that only 18% of ads talked about jobs. The survey said around 5%, or a little bit less than 5% of ads invoked billionaires, or the rich, or Wall Street, or big corporations, or price gouging. So even fewer of the ads had any sort of class warfare rhetoric.
Again, I’m not saying that the Democratic Party should go around and sound overnight like the Socialist party. But at the very least, invoking this kind of FDR economic populist rhetoric should be a calming sense for a left-of-center party that has in its interest to portray itself as a party of the opposition to the establishment.

Jon Wiener:   I was surprised to see that so few of the Democratic TV ads talked about jobs, because I thought every candidate talks about jobs, has jobs on their website. Trump talks about jobs. So it’s not just that you should talk about jobs, it’s how you propose to create jobs. That’s where the big difference is that Democrats need to emphasize.

Bhaskar Sunkara:   Part of it is every candidate, of course, will mention jobs in maybe a stump speech on occasion, or will have a little section on their site. It’ll be part of their platform. A lot of these candidates stand for very good things. Many of them stand for things like the PRO Act that could really positively transform American labor. But I think this is where we understand what candidates are willing to foreground, what they want to make their candidacy about as a whole. Again, you’re seeing that jobs are something that are mentioned, but isn’t what Democrats wanted to run on in 2022. Of course, they made some gains in 2022, so they might be learning some of the wrong lessons in the lead-up to this coming presidential election.

Jon Wiener:   Of course, when Republicans talk about creating jobs, they say, “Tax cuts are the best way to create jobs.” We don’t think that’s right.

Bhaskar Sunkara:   Yes, of course. Republicans have managed to combine this anti-establishment rhetoric, often framed as “anti-woke” rhetoric, and this working-class affect and obviously, tied it to anti-working class politics, to the politics of redistribution from the poor to the rich. But that’s all the more reason why Democrats need to respond with their own fire.  People want an outlet for some of their frustrations. If we don’t correctly identify millionaires and billionaires as an outlet for that frustration, it’s going to naturally fall to racial minorities, and immigrants, and all the other scapegoats that the Republican right will conjure.

Jon Wiener:   There was one other thing that was not highlighted in either the report that you cited or in your piece, which I thought was also pretty significant. There are dozens of topics that millions of Americans think define today’s Democratic Party, like “defund the police,” and “open borders.” How many Democratic candidates did your study find that said anything about defunding the police or open borders?

Bhaskar Sunkara:   Our study found that very few Democrats actually were running on this, for lack of a better word, “woke,” or if you want to call it “progressive” cultural rhetoric terms.  Very, very few. I don’t have the exact figures around me. As far as I know, the “defund the police” amount was zero and “open borders” was pretty close to zero. Many more candidates, almost all of them, ran on abortion. There was other mentions of LGBT issues and support for undocumented immigrants and their rights. But in general, candidates didn’t really campaign on polarizing cultural rhetoric.

Jon Wiener:   Then the big question is, how have the Democrats become so closely identified with “defund the police” and “open the borders”?

Bhaskar Sunkara:   One, there was a period where, we have to be honest, that at least when it comes to “defund the police,” this was a demand that was embraced in various forms by certain progressive candidates. I personally don’t think it was a positive response to a real crisis, a crisis of not only police violence, but also crises of crime and insecurity that we have in the country. I don’t think the solution is a carceral solution. But I think it smacked as a denialism that America can be a normal, well-functioning social democratic society in which we have accountable police that are well-trained and well-funded, but also don’t commit violence against innocent people.
And we could have a social safety net that helps create this sort of environment and good jobs, create the environments in which ordinary people don’t fall victim to crime and can in confidence be in the public sphere. So I think first of all, it’s worth acknowledging that this really did happen. I think a lot of Democrats embrace this rhetoric, at least a strong minority of them embrace this rhetoric.

Jon Wiener: Especially in city council races. I know in Minneapolis this was a big issue. In L.A. there were three city council candidates who ran on a variety of “defund the police.” I don’t think it was more than about 5% of candidates for the House or the Senate.

Bhaskar Sunkara:   I think by the time that the races came around in 2022, I think the moment had changed. I don’t have the figures in front of me. I would guess that maybe 10, 15%, again, this is a guess, might’ve embraced the rhetoric at one point or the other in the summer of 2020. This is all to say that even though the study found that no one’s running on it in 2022, doesn’t mean that this was all conjured as a right-wing lie. There are people who earnestly believe in defunding the police.
I don’t use the rhetoric of “open borders,” but I’m in favor of really liberalizing our immigration regime, with checks and processing at the border, but a much more radical liberalization than I think a lot of Americans today would be comfortable with. But I think the association wasn’t conjured out of anywhere.
I think one of the reason why it’s sticking is because Republicans, of course, have found that that’s one place where Democrats are particularly vulnerable. But I think also, the Democrats haven’t really switched the narrative by saying, “No, what defines me as a Democrat is about my belief that organized money,” to use the language that you summoned before from FDR, “that organized money shouldn’t run government, that government needs to be run by the people in a democratic way.” And that means finding ways to control the wealth and power of billionaires and large corporations. I think that’s the main thing that defines a Democrat.
Along with that comes other egalitarian priorities like, for example, our quest for racial justice, like our quest for reproductive rights for women, and so on. But I think that without this clarity, it becomes very easy for the right to redefine what it means to be a progressive in America, or even more broadly, what it means to be a Democrat in America.

Jon Wiener:   Bhaskar Sunkara–his article, “Democrats Who Attack the Rich Do Better in Elections,” co-authored by Jared Abbott, appeared in The Guardian. Thank you, Bhaskar.

Bhaskar Sunkara:   Thanks so much. Appreciate it.
[BREAK]

Jon Wiener:

We have a question about Hamas. Why did they decide to provoke a massive Israeli response now? For comment, we turn to Hussein Ibish. He’s a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He’s written for The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The New Republic, and The New York Times, and these appeared widely on the network news shows. Hussein Ibish, welcome to the program.

Hussein Ibish: Great to be with you, Jon. Thank you.

Jon Wiener: A near-universal assumption is that Hamas viewed its surprise attack on October 7th as the opening to another phase in a long-term war against Israel. You say there’s some truth to that, but there’s a different reason that explains why they did it now. Please explain.

Hussein Ibish: Of course, Hamas does see itself in a long-term war with Israel, although the contours of that are to be defined over time. But I think the reason for the October 7 attack, the timing of it, the nature of it, and virtually all of its specific contours and attributes were shaped not by the Palestinian-Israeli relationship or the Hamas-Israeli relationship, but rather by internal Palestinian power struggle, by internal Palestinian power dynamics, and a kind of partisan competition between Hamas and the secular nationalists in Fatah.
Hamas was founded in 1987 during the crucible of the first Intifada, the first uprising by ordinary Palestinians against Israeli military rule in where there was a kind of vacuum of leadership. And at the time, it was left-wing grassroots committees that were directing the uprising. And then the PLO, which was kind of the secular nationalist organization, began to claw back control of the movement. But there was an opening, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza founded Hamas with the founding directive of trying to marginalize the secular nationalists take over the national movement and make the Palestinian cause in the long run an Islamist one run by them.
And that has never changed. They’ve made a lot of progress over the decades in getting there, but they still don’t have control of the national organization. They are in control of Gaza, but not of Area A in the West Bank, which is the sort of prime real estate under Palestinian control, and more importantly they don’t control or even belong to the PLO.

Jon Wiener: The opinion polls show that this Hamas strategy worked for a while after October 7th to dramatically increase support for Hamas among Palestinians, both in Gaza and in the West Bank, and to weaken Hamas’ rivals, as you have said, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. But you say things are changing now in this power struggle within the Palestinian movement. You wrote recently about what you called a mood shift among Palestinians. Tell us about that.

Hussein Ibish:   Yes, I think you are starting to see a mood shift. And there are a number of pieces of evidence for it. One is there’s a lot more grumbling coming out of Gaza about Hamas, about what did they do to us, about what on earth did they mean by this attack, how could they play with our lives like that? And I think after October 7, it was a sentiment that got buried, both in terms of public opinion on the ground and in terms of what the Fatah leaders were, like Mahmoud Abbas and others were willing to say about Hamas underneath the kind of shared outrage that Israel’s behavior in Gaza and a kind of rally around the flag and national solidarity and all of that.
But over time, what’s happened is I think the question has started to be raised about what did Hamas think it was doing? Now that’s a question that will become almost inevitable and in a very dangerous way for Hamas if Israel were to leave Gaza anytime in the near term. But as long as Israel is there, it does sort of suppress the impulse to ask the question. Nonetheless, the question is being asked more and more, and you can see it in the kind of statements that are getting out into the media and certainly in the Fatah response to Hamas’ criticisms.

Jon Wiener: Yes, you quote Fatah in your piece in The Daily Beast saying that Hamas was responsible for “A Nakba that is more severe than the 1948 Nakba.” That sounds pretty strong.

Hussein Ibish: It’s the strongest thing you can say in Palestinian national politics. I mean, the Nakba ’48 represents the destruction of Palestine as a society. I mean, before the 1947, ’48 war, there was a Palestinian society, a country in a fledgling country. It was there, it was coming into being. And at the end of the war, it was gone. And most of the Palestinians were outside of historical Palestine and were refugees, and the national movement was decimated for decades.
So if you say this is a Nakba, a calamity worse than the calamity of ’48, you’re saying it’s worse than the worst. It’s like saying worse than Holocaust among Jews. And I think what you point to there is the fact that you got 35,000 people killed in a few months. And that’s a number that is off the charts in terms of dead Palestinians. So it’s not a silly thing to say. It’s just a very strong thing to say.

Jon Wiener: And while a million Palestinians in Gaza are homeless, Fatah said, Hamas leaders now, “Live a life of luxury in seven-star hotels of reference to Qatar where the Hamas leadership lives.” Now, that’s on a different register, but still a very powerful point.

Hussein Ibish:   It’s a powerful point. But I mean, the Hamas Politburo was expelled from Gaza, went to Syria, and then they fled Syria in 2012 during the Arab Spring uprisings and ended up in Qatar. And they’ve been there living a life of relative luxury. And it’s in stark contrast to the kind of life of martyrdom and sacrifice struggle and blood, toil, and tears that they prescribed to ordinary people.
Now, there’s a contrast here, which is the leadership on the ground in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, the political and maximum Hamas leader, and Mohammed Deif, the paramilitary leader who are presumably in tunnels underground underneath Khan Yunis or underneath Southern Gaza somewhere. And they don’t live lives of luxury, but the former Politburo or the Politburo leaders who are now the diplomats of Qatar do. And it’s a way of jabbing at them for sure and it’s not false.

Jon Wiener: We talked earlier about the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO, which Hamas would like to control. How important is the PLO to the Palestinian cause internationally?

Hussein Ibish: Yeah. So this is the thing people need to understand. The PLO’s diplomatic standing and global presence is the crown jewel in the Palestinian hat coronet.  Whatever they’ve created since 1967 and the rejuvenation of the Palestinian national movement under Arafat and beyond. The main thing that the Palestinians have built that Israel can’t take away from them is exactly the international role and standing and presence of the PLO. So we’ve got 130 missions around the world, embassies, other missions everywhere, and non-member observer state status in the UN General Assembly and membership in countless multinational and multilateral organizations from UNICEF to the WHO to–I mean, all kinds of things.
And whoever gets up to speak for the Palestinians in an international forum, whether it’s the Arab League or the UN, in any of these organizations at embassies all over the world, it’s going to be a PLO representative. And Hamas has never been a part of the PLO. It’s never participated in the PLO. And until Hamas gains control over that international voice, it can’t really pretend to speak for the Palestinians.
At the same time, Hamas not being part of the PLO and not being in sync with Fatah is a problem for the Palestinians because you have this big faction that’s kind of outside the whale. And the Israelis take advantage of it–a lot.  But it’s still the case that Hamas needs to claw that international voice away from their secular rivals.

Jon Wiener: And what exactly was Hamas’ situation on the eve of October 7th? Where did they stand at that point in their rivalry with Fatah?

Hussein Ibish: They were in a really bad situation, actually. And I think people who followed the Middle East closely knew how dire their situation was, but I think very few of us knew what they were going to do or had a sense that they were going to lash out. But yeah, they were in big trouble. First of all, I think Gaza had turned more and more into a kind of quagmire for them, rather than a launching pad. They seem to be stuck there, just kind of bogged down in Gaza, couldn’t get back into the West Bank and just kind of trapped in this little sort of hole in Gaza. They were losing support from their international backers, from Turkey and from Qatar. Both of them were saying, “You’ve got to do more for yourself.” The Turks kind of pulling away from them diplomatically, the Qataris kind of suggesting that they weren’t interested in continuing to pay the bills for Hamas on an ongoing basis.
And then also Hamas was losing its brand because Hamas’ competitive advantage against the PLO, the PA, and Fatah has been armed struggle–because since 1993, the PLO, the PA, and Fatah have staked everything on negotiating a two-state agreement with Israel, whereas Hamas continues to use the rhetoric, if not always the practice, of armed struggle. And there are these youth groups that have cropped up in the West Bank–in the old city of Nablus, the Lions’ Den; in the Jenin refugee camp, the Jenin brigades; and others. Young men with guns, doing what young men with guns do, and certainly confronting Israeli occupation soldiers and armed settlers.
And so they were becoming the vanguard of the confrontation with armed Israelis, whether it was with armed Israeli soldiers or armed Israeli settlers. And so Hamas was even losing their one main brand, which was armed struggle. So they were in big trouble, and I think they really felt that something needed to be done.
The worst thing was they could see that whatever benefits Palestinians were going to get, no matter how limited, from a US-Israeli-Saudi agreement, were all going to go to Fatah in the West Bank. And it was going to be money from Saudi Arabia, it was going to be some political goodies for the PA, maybe even some additional standing for the PLO. And Hamas just couldn’t afford it. The Palestinian national scene was very evenly divided, a delicate equilibrium. And I think a Saudi-American finger was going to come down on the scale on the other side of the equilibrium from Hamas. They thought ‘it’s just got to be stopped.’  And they did stop it. And I think that was a very key reason why they acted when they did.

Jon Wiener: The United States in all this–what should be the political goal of the United States and Israel if they seriously want to defeat Hamas?

Hussein Ibish: Well, if they want to defeat Hamas, they need to understand what Hamas’ political goal is and recognize that Hamas’ political goal is internal to the Palestinian national movement. It’s not primarily to do with Israel, though eventually it may be. It’s not mainly about Iran and the Saudi-Israeli thing as a regional issue, but rather about the competition for power between Palestinian Islamists and Palestinian secularists. And that’s where the name of the game really is.
If you want to defeat Hamas and thwart Hamas and answer October 7th on its own terms, it’s not enough to deal Hamas blows from the outside. You’ve got to support their rivals. Otherwise, it won’t be a defeat for them. Otherwise, it’ll be a matter of them kind of like brazening it out and toughing it out, and then emerging, waving the bloody shirt, which is the ultimate banner of power and victory and saying, “Look, we are the national movement. We are the right ones. We are the true people. These guys in the West Bank aren’t doing anything. They’re ridiculous. We are fighting Israeli occupation forces every day for control of Palestinian land in Gaza. We’re dying, we’re killing, we’re doing everything that men do in a freedom struggle. And the others aren’t. And that’s because we are the national movement, and we should be the representatives internationally as well. And we are really the only ones who stand for the people.”  That’s what they want to say.
And so to deny them that you’ve got to bolster the others. There’s no other way. The bottom line is–if you want to defeat Hamas, you have got to strengthen the PLO, the PA, and Fatah. There’s no other way. Otherwise, ultimately, Hamas will win.

Jon Wiener: The only way to truly defeat Hamas is to strengthen the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, and Fatah. That’s the conclusion of Hussein Ibish. He wrote about it for The Daily Beast. Hussein Ibish, you’ve convinced me. Thanks for talking with us today.

Hussein Ibish: Thank you. Anytime.

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Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener is a contributing editor of The Nation and co-author (with Mike Davis) of Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties.

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