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To read more about Episode 304, visit the main episode page.
[ MUSIC: “Peace Train” — Cat Stevens ]
Michael Moore [00:01:05] And then, of course, that’s the great Cat Stevens singing Peace Train. A song I grew up with as a teenager. Now it… I don’t know how the song, how it feels, what it means to those of you. Some of you maybe are hearing it for the first time. This is Michael Moore, by the way. You’re listening to Rumble with Michael Moore.
[00:01:29] And a few days ago, part one, we were at a a big demonstration at Grand Central Station in New York City where a 1000+ Jewish-Americans essentially took over this huge iconic train station during rush hour last Friday night to insist that President Biden push for a cease-fire, that all the killing stop on both sides and that we figure this out. Jewish Voice for Peace organized this thing. About 300-400 of them sat down on the floor in the middle of this massive train station to nonviolently, peacefully protest the killing of any Palestinians as revenge for what Hamas did and its horrific butchering of human beings there on October 7th in Israel. The New York police came in and put the zip ties on 300 or 400, mostly Jews and their allies. A lot of people willing to risk being arrested and maybe taken away. And nobody wants to stay in a New York City jail over the weekend.
[00:02:52] But thank you for all the response from all of you who wrote to me about the comments that were made, the different things that these Jewish activists were saying to try and stop this madness and to protect the people of Palestine and the children of Palestine. A lot of great comments from all of you. It’s so heartening and very little hate mail from people. So it was very powerful. And I promised you, at the end of that, part two would happen. And here it is. Part two of this episode called “War No More” of my podcast here. And the next day, what happened is my team, Basel Hamdan, the original executive producer and co-founder of this endeavor, and Angie Vargos, who is the current executive producer and editor of this. And they, the next day, this would be this last Saturday went out to Brooklyn where another mass demonstration had been called, this time led by Palestinian-Americans. It started out at the Brooklyn Museum and they marched across the borough of Brooklyn to the Barclays Center, the big arena where the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Liberty WNBA teams play, and also lots of concerts and things there. And then from the Barclays Center, they picked up more people who were rallying there. And then they walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge and they decided to cross the bridge, which I don’t know if the police were ready for that, but it basically shut down the bridge for hours on a Saturday night. But there were very, very few arrests. Everybody was peaceful, but everybody was insistent that the slaughter stop. And they went across the Brooklyn Bridge and ended up in Lower Manhattan and finally at Union Square.
[00:04:43] And again, Basel and Angie did some incredible interviews and basically did what I’m going to do again here is to turn the microphone over to not just Palestinians this time who had so many important things to say, but also their allies. What was striking about this demonstration, which was probably three times as large as the one led by the Jewish groups at Grand Central. It’s also probably the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in New York City for since, I don’t know, forever. And while the demonstrations that are going on, I mean, you have the people that support Benjamin Netanyahu and support what Israel is doing right now. They’ve had their protests. But these protests, the pro-peace protests, again, are twice, three times as large as the others. And this one on Saturday was probably four or five times as large as anything I’ve seen that’s out there supporting Netanyahu and his gang of fellow indictees who’ve been indicted in Israel before this event happened and are up for trial for their breaking the law there in Israel. And of course, the other thing that they’ve been doing is trying to destroy their own Supreme Court so that they could get away with what they want to get away with in their government, their very right wing government, a very autocratic pro, I would call it fascist, in a sense that they don’t really believe in, I think, what a lot of people in Israel have believed in the past in terms of trying to form a democracy. And of course, it’s been a somewhat failed attempt over these 75 years because they can’t quite figure out how to be a democracy and a theocracy. To call something a Jewish state when it’s a democracy, which means everybody who lives there has an equal say — that’s been a difficult act to pull off. And so, like in America, you have a two tier, three tier system of those who are the ones who really get to be in charge and have full rights, and the others who have lesser rights and are struggling to be recognized and to be seen as equal human beings by those in charge. So nothing we don’t know anything about as Americans, you know, we remember, are oftentimes the OG — whether it’s the genocide that we did to the native peoples here in this country, to building our country with enslaved human beings kidnapped. Talk about kidnapping hostages. I mean, I don’t know what the numbers are for, how many hundreds of thousands or millions of Africans that were kidnaped by white people that were “founding” this country of ours, but they built it with these kidnapped human beings that they tortured, that they put in chains, that they lynched. Raped. Brutal torture. And that’s the story they don’t want to tell our children in school anymore as they try to prohibit history being taught.
[00:07:53] Anyway, so this Palestinian-led demonstration, Palestinian Americans, Arab-Americans, Muslim Americans on Saturday, but once Basel and Angie arrived there, they could see how broad the scope in the diversity was of the people who showed up to support the people of Gaza. And it was not just Arabs and Palestinians. It was all groups, all ethnicities. It had the sense — and Basel, who’s, you know, his parents are one’s from Palestine, the other’s from Syria. He said to me, he said, “I’ve never, all these years here, I’ve never seen so many different groups of people show up to support us, to recognize us.” And that sense you have if, you know, if you belong to a certain ethnic group in this country over the years and how many years your parents or grandparents try to just get by but been not seen — being invisible almost — and not really getting to participate in the American dream in the way that say others have been able to do that. And on Saturday, he and others who grew up here, grew up in New York City and in the areas around New York City, here were all these other people. Here were white people showing up to support them, and to support their relatives in Gaza. And also you’ll hear from, when you hear these voices in a minute, how the majority really of the crowd of the marchers, the protesters, were women. This was like a female majority demonstration. It was uplifting and you’re about to hear from them.
[00:09:37] And listen, let me tell you, some of them are going to say things that are going to be hard to hear. I just ask that if obviously, if you’re not of them and you haven’t lived their lives, please listen. Please listen — even to the stuff where you might disagree with it or you don’t feel good about it or whatever. But if we don’t listen, all of us don’t listen to each other, we’re not going to make it. You’re going to hear from some of the marchers their feelings about Joe Biden. And it will crush some of you. And you’re going to say, “Mike, why are you running this? Why are you running these voices? This is not what we need to hear right now. We don’t need Trump to come back. We can’t have Trump come back. We have to stop Trump.” And they’re just asking, “At what expense?” And they’re kind of asking us to not say at any expense. Because you can’t have somebody in the Oval Office that suddenly is not acting on the values that we thought he had or that we believe that he had. And I’m not saying I agree with it. I don’t know if I would go this far, but I left it in here because I want you to hear it. I want you to hear what young people are thinking. We can’t lose a single vote here if you really want to stop Trump from coming back, and it’s a little scary to hear how depressed, how full of despair they feel right now regarding him and the things that he’s said. I don’t know if you saw this in the news this week, but he mentioned how he’d seen the photographs of the beheaded babies. And then his White House made him walk that back the next day because, well, because he didn’t. And yet he added to, he contributed to this sort of… This utter crazed feeling everybody has right now because of the horror of October 7th. You know, you understand it, but now you don’t know what is being said and who’s doing what.
[00:11:46] I want you to listen to this, my friends. And I’m talking really to people of my generation, Boomers, Gen Xers. We got to figure this out because there’s a bigger fish here that we’re dealing with and we got to do the right thing. So I’ll turn it over to Basel and Angie, and I’ll talk to you in a few minutes after you hear from some of these incredible young people, mostly women, frankly. Our failure to listen to them is at our own peril. Here we go.
Megaphone Man [00:12:29] Say that shit loud. Say that shit loud. Free – free Palestine!
Protestors [00:12:29] Free – free Palestine!
Megaphone Man [00:12:29] Free – free – free Palestine!
Protestors [00:12:29] Free – free – free Palestine!
Basel Hamdan [00:12:42] After last night going to Grand Central Station, where Jewish Voice for Peace organized more than a thousand, not just Jewish New Yorkers, but Jewish New Yorkers and many allies to fight for a ceasefire in Palestine and in Gaza. This is Basel Hamdan here with Angie Vargos, and we’re in Brooklyn, New York. It is a Palestinian-American organized protest calling for a cease fire in Gaza and freedom for Palestinians and calling for an end of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine and in Gaza.
Megaphone Man [00:13:22] Free – free – free Palestine!
Protestors [00:13:22] Free – free – free Palestine!
[00:13:22] We’re at the Brooklyn Museum right now where everyone is congregating, and it looks like pretty soon the crowd is going to head over to the Barclays Center and then later to the Brooklyn Bridge. So we’re going to walk around and talk to some folks, and hear why they’ve decided to come today.
Lianne [00:13:40] My name’s Lianne. I’m from Palestine, born and raised in New York.
Basel Hamdan [00:13:43] Where in Palestine is your family from?
Lianne [00:13:45] My family is from Beitunia.
Basel Hamdan [00:13:47] That’s near Jerusalem, correct?
Lianne [00:13:49] Yes, in the West Bank.
Basel Hamdan [00:13:52] How is your family back home doing right now?
Lianne [00:13:55] Not good. The family that I had back home — most of us are here, there is a couple of people still there and they’re definitely not doing good.
Basel Hamdan [00:14:02] There’s been a lot of pressure trying to get people fired, trying to get people canceled.
Lianne [00:14:08] I actually almost got fired from my job for wearing this hat right here. That’s what.
Basel Hamdan [00:14:12] That says what? “Free Palestine”?
Lianne [00:14:13] Free Palestine. And I was wearing it every single day for months. And they tried to fire me for wearing this hat when I came in last week. And I made a very big deal about it. And I told them, this is not something political. This is something for human rights, for general, human rights for everybody, not just us.
Basel Hamdan [00:14:28] I hope you’ve been able to keep your job.
Lianne [00:14:30] Of course. I talked to them and my boss — both my bosses are very nice and they understand the issue. We have somebody at my job that is from Israel and their family lives there. So they did complain about my hat, but of course I stood up because this is for general human rights.
Basel Hamdan [00:14:44] A lot of people have turned out today, not just Palestinians, not just Arabs, but this is a very big crowd. It’s a very diverse crowd. How does it feel to be in a crowd like this today?
Lianne [00:14:54] It feels amazing. We have all types of people here because this is the root of all oppression. And if everybody stands up for this oppression, then we will all be safe. But if we don’t fight this oppression, then the whole world is in danger of being oppressed. So if the whole world doesn’t stand up for this, then we will have no peace.
Megaphone Woman [00:15:13] Free – free – free Palestine!
Protestors [00:15:13] Free – free – free Palestine!
Angie Vargos [00:15:13] Can you tell me what your sign says?
Brooklyn Boricua Resistance Woman [00:15:16] Yeah, it says, “From Boriken to Palestine, End the Occupation.” I organize with Brooklyn Boricua Resistance and we have a contingent here of over 40 people supporting Palestine in solidarity because all of our struggles are interconnected. From Puerto Rico, where the US has colonized us for over 100 years to Palestine, where they’ve been living under an occupation for 75 years, we have to be in solidarity because we’re not free till we’re all free.
Man from China [00:15:45] Should I read this statement here?
Angie Vargos [00:15:47] Yeah!
Man from China [00:15:48] “From China to the U.S., Empires Must Die. From Xinjiang to Palestine, the Oppressed Must Be Free.”
Angie Vargos [00:15:52] And why are you here today?
Man from China [00:15:54] I’m here because I support the Palestinian cause. I’ve been to the West Bank, I’ve been to the border of Gaza. And I’ve seen what the occupation looks like. And it’s brutal. And I think as a human being, this is what I should support. Yeah.
Angie Vargos [00:16:07] Thank you so much.
Man from China [00:16:08] Yeah, And I’m Chinese. There’s a lot of human rights abuses back home as well. So I relate to what Palestinians are going through right now.
Korean-American Woman [00:16:16] I was born in Korea, which is a historically imperialised country that was also influenced by U.S. imperial rule. It divided Korea. And we just want unity in Korea and a free Palestine. And those two liberations are intertwined along with the liberation of all people under oppressive systems.
Angie Vargos [00:16:38] And would you mind reading your sign for me?
Korean-American Woman [00:16:40] Sure. “There’s a Reason That the Nakba and the Division of Korea Coincided in 1948, Backed by the Same Imperialist Interests.”
Man chanting [00:16:53] What do we want?
Protestors [00:16:53] Cease-fire!
Man chanting [00:16:53] When do we want it?
Protestors [00:16:53] Now!
Naomi [00:16:59] My name is Naomi, born in New Jersey. I live in Brooklyn.
Basel Hamdan [00:17:06] What brings you here today?
Naomi [00:17:08] It’s the only time that I don’t feel miserable is when I’m with other people who are protesting about this horrible process that’s going on of thousands of people being murdered by the Israeli military with our money, with the support of all of the Western nations to commit a genocide. And it’s horrific.
Basel Hamdan [00:17:31] I don’t know if you read the media about this rally and other pro-Palestinian rallies —
Naomi [00:17:36] What I have seen them say is that the Hamas attack on the Israelis was horrific and it was horrific. And then they don’t really say why this type of an attack took place. They don’t say what the actual roots of this problem are, and they don’t really focus on what’s happening to the Palestinian people. They’re just not doing it. Once in a while you might see, Oh yeah, a lot of people, they’re mourning because their children and mothers and fathers and grandfathers have been killed and their houses have been crashed down on top of them. And also there’s people buried in the rubble whose bodies you can’t even get to. I mean, that’s what they don’t talk about on the normal, you know, mainstream, so-to-speak, media. And that’s — in Yiddish you would say, it’s a shanda. It’s disgusting. It’s a shame. It’s shameful on those so-called journalists that are not really talking about the truth.
Basel Hamdan [00:18:38] You just used the phrase a shanda. Are you Jewish America?
Naomi [00:18:41] I am a Jew. Yes.
Basel Hamdan [00:18:42] They say this is a “pro-Hamas rally,” a “pro-terrorist rally” I mean they…
Naomi [00:18:48] Well, because they’re not distinguishing between Hamas and the Palestinian people. They’re not talking about how Hamas actually developed as a force. They’re not talking about the actual history of what’s gone on there for the last hundred years. They’re not talking about it. Hopefully Michael Moore is. But, you know, this is a disaster, a catastrophe, another Nakba for the Palestinian people. They’ve suffered too much. They’re suffering now. It has to stop.
Woman speaking to crowd [00:19:22] So it’s on us, as people who live in the United States, who live in the belly of the beast, to demand, to demand an end the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people funded by U.S. tax dollars. It’s not just like they’re writing checks. They are sending war ships. War ships full of missils. Hundreds of missils manufactured by U.S. companiesm whose stocks went up. Companies like [indistinguishable] and General Dynamics — war profiteers. These war profiteers’ stocks went up. They are pocketing blood money. The U.S. is benefiting from this genocide one way or another. .
Protestors chanting [00:20:21] Israel bombs, U.S.A. pays, how many kids did you kill today?
Woman with sign [00:20:25] It says, “Protect Gaza, USA, Stop Bankrolling Genocide.”.
Angie Vargos [00:20:28] And what brings you here today?
Woman with sign [00:20:30] Well, I want my tax dollars to stop funding genocide in Gaza and Palestine.
Mom [00:20:36] We’re really upset about the genocide in Gaza, and we’d like to see Palestine to be free.
Angie Vargos [00:20:41] And who are you here with today?
Mom [00:20:42] I’m here with my boyfriend and my son. He just turned one. He’s been to a lot of Palestine rallies in the last couple of weeks, and we hope he won’t have to go to too many more before the cease-fire.
Angie Vargos [00:20:54] Do you want to add anything?
Boyfriend [00:20:56] Just it’s terrifying seeing all the major institutions in our country line up for genocide and support it. It’s really horrifying.
CUNY Teacher [00:21:04] The CUNY administration has been demonizing students speaking up in defense of Palestine and Palestinian life. But we are here to show that CUNY stands with Palestine and people all over the world stand with Palestine right now.
Husnia [00:21:19] I’m Husnia and I’m from Bosnia.
Basel Hamdan [00:21:21] What brings you here today?
Husnia [00:21:23] Basically, we’re all here sitting behind our phones, seeing what’s going on in Palestine. And the most we could do is protest and donate and pray. And so I’m really trying my best to make some type of change.
Basel Hamdan [00:21:34] As a Bosnian, is there a reason why this issue is important to you?
Husnia [00:21:37] Yeah, very big reason. During the last war in Bosnia, there was a Bosnian genocide. Over 8000 people were murdered just because of their religion, just because they’re being Muslim. And the people who also murdered them were trained by Israeli IDF soldiers.
Basel Hamdan [00:21:53] You mentioned you’ve been following the news closely on your phone for the past couple of weeks. How hard is that, then?
Husnia [00:21:59] Terrible. I can’t. I’ve actually had midterms the past week, and it’s been really tough to just sit down and focus when this is happening in the world right now and nobody is doing anything. You know what I mean?
Zana [00:22:09] Also, I want to add in…
Basel Hamdan [00:22:10] Course, of course.
Angie Vargos [00:22:11] Can we just get your first name?
Zana [00:22:12] Zana.
Angie Vargos [00:22:13] Thank you.
Zana [00:22:13] As a CUNY college student, thousands of students have gotten the same email from the chancellor of the New York State. They showed, like, their remorse and everything for Israelis. And as a Musli… I’m going to get emotional… They really just don’t focus on the mental health of Muslims. They haven’t spoken anything about the past 75 years that Palestinians have been going through. And I just think it’s very inconsiderate just to focus on one mental health group rather than all their students, you know?
Angie Vargos [00:22:49] I talked to some teachers that were from CUNY here today that were also protesting, and they said that the administration was pushing back on students that would support Palestine. Did you find that?
Zana [00:22:59] I did. And I also noticed that a lot of college students have been either getting expelled, suspended just for simply showing up to protest. A day before this war broke out. I was writing my essay about Al-Aqsa mosque, which is in Jerusalem, which the next day got attacked. Muslims are not even allowed to step foot in there without putting a gun to their head. And I was honestly worried about even writing my essay, just knowing that the fact that me speaking my voice could basically decide if I can even continue my education or not. But that’s exactly what they want us to do. They want to stay quiet. They want us to not speak out. They already started shadow banning everybody’s Instagram stories. The amount of stories of mine that got deleted for “nudity” and for —
Husnia [00:23:41] Yeah. Which has actually nothing to do with —
Zana [00:23:41] Which has just has nothing to do with anything that we’ve been posting. They’re just trying to silence everybody. I think it’s disgusting, honestly.
Husnia [00:23:48] It’s a political tactic because when you make the other side seem “less than” you make them seem like animals, like terrorists, then nobody has any humanity left for them. And then it creates “us versus them.” And that’s just a horrific situation because it forces people to choose sides when in fact we should be choosing human life.
Basel Hamdan [00:24:06] Can I ask how old you guys are?
Husnia [00:24:08] I’m 18.
Zana [00:24:08] 19.
Basel Hamdan [00:24:09] Despite all of the fear that there is in speaking out and the pressure, you guys still showed up today. So that says something about how much this means to you.
Husnia [00:24:19] And part of my belief system is that if you see something wrong and you don’t stand up and fight, you’re worse than the oppressors. Silence is violence. There’s people there, sometimes people in the world. There’s somebody see something wrong and they go with the flow, they’re scared of getting attacked or or judged or anything — they’re the oppressors as well. But if you stand up for what’s right and we believe that God will reward us at the end of the day for standing up for what’s right in our hearts.
Basel Hamdan [00:24:44] Anything else you guys want to say?
Husnia [00:24:46] Free Palestine.
Zana [00:24:47] Free Palestine.
Man chanting [00:24:58] Viva, viva Palestine!
Protestors [00:24:58] Viva, viva Palestine!
Muslim Mom [00:25:13] [in Arabic] Long live Palestine!
Muslim Son [00:25:16] Free Palestine. We just want to have justice. We have no problem, but we feel hurt when we see the children is be killed by — we have no idea what’s going on in the world and the problem has been heard. My mom, she cannot walk 2 minutes, but today she walked for 30 minutes. And I’m so proud about her and I’m so happy about her. And she’s crying all the way from from the top to down there. We will not stop. We will keep walking. And I’m proud to have my mom with me.
Muslim Mom [00:25:49] [in Arabic] Long live Palestine! Long live Palestine!
Man with sign [00:26:01] “Netanyahu Funded Hamas.” And then in quotes it says, “Whoever wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state needs to support the strengthening and financing of Hamas,” said by Netanyahu in 2019.
Woman with sign [00:26:12] My sign says “Settler Colonies Don’t Launch War Against Indigenous Peoples. They Launch Annihilation” because in all instances of occupation, specifically in the instance of Israel occupying the lands of Palestine in Gaza to Jinan from the river through the sea, they are trying to annihilate the land. They are not looking for a two state solution. They are looking for a one state solution that puts Israel at the forefront and demolishes the indigenous people. So we are here today to make sure that we save those people.
Man with sign 2 [00:26:42] I’m holding a sign with a watermelon inside a blue cage, and it symbolizes the Palestinian people and the siege in Gaza, the open air prison.
Angie Vargos [00:26:53] And what brings you here today?
Man with sign 2 [00:26:55] Supporting humanity and Palestinian people having freedom.
Woman protestor [00:27:03] I’m here to show up for Palestine. I think the crowd is important. And also I found protests as being like the one reprieve amidst all of this, just being able to march alongside people, chant and shout.
Angie Vargos [00:27:15] And makes you feel like you can do something instead of just watching.
Woman protestor [00:27:19] It doesn’t feel like the utmost, like I’m actually doing something, but at least I can be alongside people. And it has also just felt therapeutic internally. Again, to just be able to shout.
Basel Hamdan [00:27:28] How have the last few weeks been feeling just, I guess, following the news, talking to friends about what’s happening, how has that been going?
Woman protestor [00:27:37] I can’t even put into words, how that’s been feeling, dude. It’s like little deaths every day internally and deflecting what is happening in the world. Yeah, just like grieving and mourning constantly but how do you put that into words? I’m not able to really. So it it feels like an internal death every time I see any news. And so again, so being alongside people who are feeling the same way has felt really important.
Woman with megaphone [00:28:04] Free – free Palestine!
Protestors [00:28:05] Free – free Palestine!
Woman with megaphone [00:28:05] Free – free Gaza now!
Protestors [00:28:05] Free – free Gaza now!
Woman with megaphone [00:28:05] End the siege on Gaza now!
Protestors [00:28:05] End the siege on Gaza now!
Woman with megaphone [00:28:14] Netanyahu you can’t hide!
Protestors [00:28:15] Netanyahu you can’t hide!
Woman with megaphone [00:28:15] You’re committing genocide!
Protestors [00:28:15] You’re committing genocide!
Woman with megaphone [00:28:16] Biden, Biden you can’t hide!
Protestors [00:28:16] Biden, Biden you can’t hide!
Woman with megaphone [00:28:23] You’re supporting genocide!
Protestors [00:28:23] You’re supporting genocide!
Basel Hamdan [00:28:29] A lot of the media coverage about this it seems to have just started on October 7th — they treat it like history started on that day. So how challenging has it been to follow the news since then?
Arab-American Woman [00:28:41] As an Arab, the dehumanization feels very disappointing and very hurtful. And I was too young during 2001 and 2003, but I’ve heard that it’s that same level of like Islamophobia and dehumanization of Arabs and Muslims and Palestinians specifically. But I can’t say I’m surprised. Journalists have a responsibility to accurately question and critique superpowers, and I am not surprised that the U.S. media has failed to do that because it has always failed to do that — not even fact-checking their own guests who come on and lie, specifically like Israeli officials. And we’ve heard the most outrageous things being said, and it’s just not being fact checked or corrected or anything.
Basel Hamdan [00:29:29] You said you’re too young to remember, you know, ’01, ’02, ’03. I, unfortunately, I’m not too young to remember that. There was no social media back then. There was no YouTube, there was no Instagram, there was no Tik Tok. So it’s like the mainstream media is just doing such an awful job, but then you have to remember that most people don’t watch them anymore or they don’t have that much credibility. So it’s like, do any of your friends watch cable news or the nightly news at 6:30?
Arab-American Woman [00:30:00] No, but I have a family who does. Like my parents do. My mom, who consumes all her media through cable news, corporate news was completely paralyzed out of terror and heartbreak at the way that they were covering it. And it’s been like, for her, really affirming for me to give her news that she’s not seeing on that television, to show that there is a different narrative and that there is pushback. You have world leaders who do care and who are like speaking out for Palestine, people in the streets getting arrested. I don’t know if CNN reported on the Jewish Voice for Peace protest last night, but like everyone with an Instagram saw the videos. And I think that’s where people are getting most of their news. And I think that’s a good thing because it brings the news back into the people in Palestine’s hands. You know what I mean? Like we’re hearing directly from them on the ground.
Basel Hamdan [00:30:49] The last few weeks have been so hard on everyone. But all of a sudden, you know, there are thousands of people here for the last several hours. How does that feel to you?
Arab-American Woman [00:30:59] It feels really amazing to see more and more people like out in the streets than like previous protests and to see more and more people being radicalized and gaining consciousness and putting that consciousness and that education into action. I think we’re just getting started. People are just starting to tune in like I think it’s about to grow exponentially. And the more that this administration and the media lies to an educated public, the more they make an ass out of themselves, the more that they lose credibility. And we’re shifting the tide, you know what I mean? It’s going to happen.
Protestors [00:31:32] Not another nickel, not another dime. No more money for Israel’s crimes.
Basel Hamdan [00:31:40] What brings you here today?
Black American Woman [00:31:43] I mean, doing the right thing, like standing with people who deserve to be stood with, standing with people who are not being heard at all, the way we’re supposed to for each other.
Basel Hamdan [00:31:55] Is this your crew here? Did you come with this group here today?
Black American Woman [00:31:57] Yes, my girlfriend.
Basel Hamdan [00:31:59] Some solidarity. Just being with your partner.
Black American Woman [00:32:01] That’s right. Really the only thing that I would want to say is the sooner we realize that our struggles are interconnected, whether it be the black struggle or, you know, something like the immigration struggle, the sooner we realize that all of those things are interconnected and that all of our oppressors are the same people with the same agenda — people with white supremacy on the mind and imperialism on the mind — the sooner we realize that all of our oppressors are the same exact people, the sooner we’ll get free.
Basel Hamdan [00:32:36] Have you been active in protests before today? Before this?
Black American Woman [00:32:39] Yeah, definitely. I mean, the moment that I think radicalized me was Mike Brown. I was a teenager at that time.
Basel Hamdan [00:32:49] The interesting thing about Mike Brown and Ferguson was it was at that time that protesters in Palestine and protesters in Ferguson would start communicating, commiserating, trading notes about what it’s like being tear gassed, about what it’s like being under oppression, about what it’s like dealing with law enforcement or military occupation. So that seemed to be a big moment in Black and Palestinian solidarity and relations. So it’s interesting that it’s still manifesting itself now.
Black American Woman [00:33:23] I mean, yeah, it has gone back for a long time also. You know what I mean? Like the Black Panther Party, they were in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Angela Davis in solidarity with the Palestinian people. So many of our leaders stood with Palestinian people. And I think if my community looks deeply into that and looks deeply into a Palestinian struggle, like we already said, like we’ll find a lot of commonalities and a lot to talk about and a lot to figure out together.
Basel Hamdan [00:33:57] A lot of people in DC are talking about, “well, Joe Biden just lost a lot of support from progressive Democrats, from young people, from people of color.” Have you voted for Democrats before and are you still open to voting for, say, Biden in 2024?
Black American Woman [00:34:15] I’ve only voted for Democrats. I will not vote for Joe Biden no matter what he says, no matter what he does. And this will sound crazy, but I would turn this country over to Republicans before I vote for Joe Biden. The thing about it is one of them is a wolf. One of them is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope that people can see it and we can find new options because this, like… Joe Biden, will never get my vote again. And any politician, any president that doesn’t stand with Palestine will also never get my vote.
Arab-American Woman [00:34:57] I think I might be ready for a world where we do start getting back on politicians backs at every wrong turn. I think I’m kind of sick of people thinking, “Oh, we have a Democratic president in office. I can trust that he’s doing the right thing.” These past few weeks have shown us our presidents are not really going to protect us. Our presidents are our oppressors. Biden is not listening to us. 66% of voters want a ceasefire and he is not calling for a ceasefire. And like I think 84% of Democrats want a ceasefire as well. Like he’s not listening to those people. He’s not listening to the majority of people. He is just enacting his own agenda. And every president will keep enacting their own agenda. And I think we have to realize that we need to reform the system completely to actually get any support from leadership. And I think until then, we just have to fight on the ground and do it ourselves.
Angie Vargos [00:35:51] Can I ask you just one question? Because you mentioned that Biden would never get your vote again. Was there a moment that that switch happened for you that you remember? You might not, but is there? What was it?
Black American Woman [00:36:01] I do remember. It was, “I saw the photos of the beheaded babies.” And as we know, Israel has provided zero evidence for those beheaded babies. He has continued to get on his podium and lie to us. And like I said, he lies about things that we can see for ourself and like that we can fact check ourself. And I just can’t trust somebody like that. Yeah.
Angie Vargos [00:36:28] Is that the same very for you guys too? Same moment?
Group of friends [00:36:31] Absolutely. Yeah.
Angie Vargos [00:36:33] Thank you.
Young Boy Protestor [00:36:44] Free – free Palestine!
Protestors [00:36:44] Free – free Palestine!
Basel Hamdan [00:36:48] Anything else you want to say before we wrap up? Anyone else want to talk?
Lebonese-Palestinian College Student [00:36:54] I’m from Lebanon. From Beirut. This is my second year in the U.S.. My grandfather was from Palestine. And so I was never able to go back. Neither was my father. And so now it feels like really amazing and historical to be able to do that and speak on behalf of my parents and their parents.
Basel Hamdan [00:37:10] How long have you been in the U.S.?
Lebonese-Palestinian College Student [00:37:11] Two years.
Basel Hamdan [00:37:12] Two years. Okay. So how, being in a new country and having all this happen and having the media onslaught, how does it feel to be an American in America at a time like this?
Lebonese-Palestinian College Student [00:37:24] It’s really, you know, dissociating. It’s pretty crazy for something as simple as the word “Israel” to be normalized in a sentence here and then not being able to say anything about it. And that was… That’s how it felt in my previous workplace where people would casually mention celebrities that were supporting Israel. My co-founder was proudly Israeli and would, you know, mention it in the workspace, asking me where I’m born and then letting me know that he’s Israeli and kind of like expecting an answer or some kind of response from my end. So I feel like that’s something that was always… That was never normalized for me. So it’s really, um, it was really terrifying to be in a space where, like, you have no way to… I don’t know, you know?
Basel Hamdan [00:38:06] Do you feel that you’re able to let them know, “Hey, I’m Lebanese, I’m Palestinian.” Are you able to equally tell your story or are you been made to feel that you need to repress your background or your heritage?
Lebonese-Palestinian College Student [00:38:21] Definitely was made to feel repressed by. I couldn’t say anything about it, especially at work. There was always that fear that it would cause — I don’t know. I would fear for my job, for my security in the country. People wouldn’t understand, would directly classify me with something that they don’t understand as well. So I was definitely silenced a lot of times. I would meet people who would let me know that they were from Israel and then oftentimes would then ask me if we could be friends. And it was really crazy because for me it’s like they don’t see that there’s already a huge power dynamic in them, asking me if I’m comfortable being friends with them or having a conversation with them. It just says so much about their comfort in the situation versus how disturbing it can be for anyone like me.
Basel Hamdan [00:39:08] I’m Palestinian and Syrian myself and Muslim myself. Ordinarily, we’re already on the defensive about our background. We have to let them know that we’re the good guys, we’re the safe ones. You know, we’re not the terrorists or whatever. And now after October 7th, you have to doubly be on defense and let people know that, “No, no, no. I’m one of the good ones.”
Lebonese-Palestinian College Student [00:39:31] There’s a lot of that, but at the same time, I feel like I’m slowly, with the support of people, I’m slowly, slowly letting go of that need to justify anything. I feel like even if I justify as much as I will and show them history and proof, at the end of the day, I feel like we’re always going to be portrayed as barbaric or terrorists in their eyes, so there’s no point in like wasting my energy and proving my innocence to them. You know, at the end of the day, I’m going to continue to fight and resist. I don’t think the battle is in justifying our stance at this point or our innocence, because, you know, we’re just weakening our forces that way. Instead we’re going to keep fighting. And if they choose to open their eyes, that’s when the change will happen.
Basel Hamdan [00:40:14] Last question. This was a huge turnout today and it was very, very diverse. I saw all the Palestinian groups organizing and I thought it would be predominantly Arab, but it was extremely diverse. What did it feel like to be in a crowd like this today?
Lebonese-Palestinian College Student [00:40:32] I feel like it feels like I’m less afraid to walk out with a keffiyeh. You know, something as simple as that. It is definitely nice to see people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, come in solidarity with Palestine, something that we probably previously would not have seen. It just creates a safer environment for us to exist peacefully. Slowly changing the status quo.
Basel Hamdan [00:40:51] Thank you so much.
Lebonese-Palestinian College Student [00:40:52] Thank you. Appreciate it.
Michael Moore [00:40:58] Wow. That’s a lot of food for thought isn’t there? Thank you, Angie and Basel and all of you who agreed to speak to me here on my podcast. Please share this with others. Let these voices be heard. You will not hear them on most of the mainstream media. They’re not pundits. They’re not war pundits. They’re not ex-generals giving you the lay of the land there. These are young Americans. And they care deeply about what’s going on. Thank you to all of you for that.
[00:41:34] I also, just before we close here, I want to thank the people that sponsor today’s episode of Rumble. One of them is an entity entitled BetterHelp. As I’ve said before about this wonderful sponsor here, it’s no secret that the life we’re all living right now can be quite overwhelming. And it’s also no secret that when you find yourself struggling through a dark time, therapy can be the bright spot that helps guide you through to the other side. And if you have a good therapist, they can give you the tools you need to feel grounded and confident to manage whatever troubles you’re facing. So if you’re thinking of starting therapy, give BetterHelp a try. It’s entirely online. It gives you the flexibility to fit it into your schedule. All you have to do is fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist, and you can switch therapists at any time for no additional charge. So find your bright spot this season with BetterHelp, especially this time of year. As we know it can be difficult for a lot of people. Visit BetterHelp.com/rumble. Do that today and you get 10% off your first month. That’s BetterHelp.com/rumble. Thank you BetterHelp for supporting this podcast and for supporting my voice.
[00:42:55] And our other underwriter for today’s episode is Stamps.com. Again, they’re another long time underwriter of Rumble with Michael Moore, and I greatly appreciate it. Stamps.com. The holidays, of course, now are upon us, my friends. And if you’re anything like me, with the season comes a lot of letter writing and gift giving and that means also a bunch of shipping. So make things easier for yourself and save some trips to the post office with Stamps.com. With Stamps.com, you can ship through the U.S. Postal Service. They can ship stuff for you with UPS and you do it just from the comfort of your living room. All you need is a computer and a printer. They’ll send you a free digital scale to weigh all your packages. And if you need a package pickup, you can easily schedule one through your Stamps.com dashboard. And the best part Stamps.com automatically tells you the cheapest and fastest shipping options and gives you access to up to 84% off UPS and United States Postal Service shipping rates. So give yourself and your business the gift of Stamps.com so your mailing and shipping is covered this holiday season. Sign up with the promo code: MOORE for a special offer that includes a four week trial plus free postage and a digital scale. No long term commitments or contracts. Just go to Stamps.com, click the microphone at the top of the page and enter the code: MOORE.
[00:44:23] Thank you for listening to these two episodes, part one and part two of “War No More”. We’re going to stay on this. I’m going to stay on it. I’m going to be very active in doing whatever I can do with you and with millions of others to bring peace here and to stop any kind of slaughter. My condolences to all who suffered in Israel and in Palestine, and especially this last week, the slaughter, the rubble, the bombs, the rockets, the unbelievable carnage in Gaza perpetrated by Netanyahu and his military wing. Wow. End the fighting. Release the hostages. Let’s all learn to live with each other and let’s free the people that have been living in an open air prison for the last sixteen years. Come on. Enough. Really. You know, doesn’t anybody ever stop to think how we’re going to pay for this someday? What are we doing? Trying to create a whole new generation of people that reach a point where they feel like all they can do is to kill, do other killings? I do not want to live in this world like this. And the fact is, I’m not going anywhere so that means I and you and all of us have to participate.
[00:45:53] And I think if there’s anything you get out of this, if you’ve been feeling this great despair over these last three or four weeks, one way to get out of that despair is to act. Get up off the couch. Get out of the house and participate. Join a group. Join a protest. Make your voice heard. Just get active and be with other people. Don’t do this alone. Don’t sit there and think, “it’s just all hopeless now, and I’m helpless and everything I’ve done to work for the good of humanity in my life. And it’s like, What’s the point?” No, no, do not give in to that. Get out there. Be with other humans. Call a friend or two. Get in the street. Be peaceful. Be nonviolent. Offer your hand of love to a person who might be surprised that you’re offering that hand. Let them know the world you want to live in. You’ll feel better at the very least. Honest to God, you will feel better being with others, other like minded people that want to see a better world.
[00:47:07] Okay. That’s going to wrap it up for us here on Rumble with Michael Moore. I will have more to say in the coming days, both on this podcast, but also my Substack. And you can sign up for my Substack. It’s all free. Just like the podcast, if you can support us financially, great, thank you, all of you who do that, many, many thanks — but you don’t have to do that. There is no paywall here with my writing or with the podcast. So please participate and read and share. I greatly appreciate it and I honor all of you who are out there demonstrating and protesting for peace, writing your members of Congress and encouraging this president to call for a cease fire. Let’s straighten this out. No more killing. This is every night. Every morning I wake up, hundreds of more dead children. For what? What did they do? Stop it. Stop it.
[00:48:06] The world knows that this is wrong. The world was appalled at what happened on October 7th. But this doesn’t make it right. And we know it and they know it all. So don’t just sit back as that one young woman said, “Silence is violence.”.
[00:48:30] I’m Michael Moore. Thanks again to Basel Hamdan and Angie Vargos for helping make these last two episodes possible. And I’ll talk to you all very, very soon. This is Michael Moore and this is Rumble. Peace out.
[ MUSIC: “Peace Train” — Cat Stevens ]