Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode


Oct 20, 2023

Before 1948, the land of Palestine was dotted with olive groves along rolling hills between mountains and the Mediterranean sea. Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Jews, and Christians all lived alongside one another in relative harmony, practicing agriculture and embroidery, or working in factories or along the coast in thriving port villages. Not to romanticize it too much, but in comparison to what was to come, this region was thriving. 

If you’ve been paying any attention to the news lately, you’ll know that an image of harmony is no longer the case in this region. In 1948, the state of Israel was founded, and the campaign leading up to, during, and following the founding of this ethno-state threw this region into a turmoil that has produced one of the most subjugated and immiserated populations in the world — a population that has been subjected to ongoing ethnic cleansing and a campaign of genocide aimed at replacing Palestinians and their towns, villages, and cities, with Israeli settlements. 

In this episode, we’ve brought on Sumaya Awad, a Palestinian writer, analyst, and socialist organizer, to talk about this history, drawing a line from the Nakba of 1948 all the way to the present carpet bombing campaign on Gaza. Sumaya is a contributor to and co-editor, along with brian bean, of Palestine: A Socialist Perspective, published by Haymarket Books.In this conversation we explore the history of the political ideology of Zionism, how imperialism and colonialism shaped the state of Israel, the ethnic cleansing campaign known to Palestinians as the Nakba, the global propaganda campaign, led by Israel, aimed at covering up this history, the West’s complicity in war crimes and genocide, what a principeled socialist perspective on Palestine looks like, and much more. In fact, there’s so much from Palestine: A Socialist Perspective that we didn’t get to, that we’re going to have Sumaya back on for a part two soon.

Further Resources:

This episode of Upstream was made possible with support from listeners like you. Upstream is a labor of love — we couldn't keep this project going without the generosity of our listeners and fans. Please consider chipping in a one-time or recurring donation at

If your organization wants to sponsor one of our upcoming documentaries, we have a number of sponsorship packages available. Find out more at

For more from Upstream, visit and follow us on TwitterInstagram, Facebook, and Bluesky.

You can also subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.