The Park Slope Food Coop, one of the oldest and largest in the country, is set to vote Tuesday on whether to hold a referendum on boycotting goods from Israel to protest the Israeli government’s policies toward Palestinians. We host a debate on the international advocacy effort called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, or BDS for short, which is inspired by the international boycott movement against apartheid South Africa. "We believe this campaign is for the sake of both Palestinians and the Israelis, because it would help us liberate ourselves from the last segregation and occupation system in the world. And it would help liberate the Israelis from the last colonial settler system in modern history," says Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Parliament who supports the BDSmovement. "The result of the way BDS is framed, on almost everyone I have talked to who feels attracted to it, is that the society, as well as the government, of Israel is wrong, and it must be attacked," says Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who is opposed to BDS. He is the founder and director of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia. "That, even using methods that are not outright violence, is not a nonviolent approach." We also discuss the case of Hana Shalabi, the Palestinian hunger striker protesting the Israeli policy of administrative detention. She has been on hunger strike for 39 days. This past weekend, an Israeli military court rejected her appeal.
We continue our conversation with Thomas Drake, who was prosecuted by the Obama administration after challenging mismanagement, waste and possible constitutional violations at the National Security Administration. "I’m the first to acknowledge that there are secrets. But not when it comes to government wrongdoing and illegalities and when in fact they’re endangering the safety of our own country," Drake says. Former Justice Dept. spokesperson Matthew Miller now says the case may have been an "ill-considered choice for prosecution." Drake faced 35 years in jail, and his case ended last year in a misdemeanor plea deal. We also speak with Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake’s lawyer and a whistleblower herself. She is currently the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower organization. Radack has written a new book called "TRAITOR: The Whistleblower and the 'American Taliban.'" We also discuss the case of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer who also has been charged under the Espionage Act, allegedly for providing details about the CIA’s covert spy war with Iran that formed a chapter in James Risen’s book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration."
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