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Elan Journo — America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Title (book cover)

In his 2018 book, What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Elan Journo explains the essential nature of the conflict, and what has fueled it for so long. What justice demands, he shows, is that we evaluate both adversaries—and America’s approach to the conflict—according to a universal moral ideal: individual liberty. From that secular moral framework, the book analyzes the conflict, examines major Palestinian grievances and Israel’s character as a nation, and explains what’s at stake for everyone who values human life, freedom, and progress. What Justice Demands shows us why America should be strongly supportive of freedom and freedom-seekers—but, in this conflict and across the Middle East, it hasn’t been, much to our detriment.

Elan Journo is a vice president and senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. His most recent book is What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli Palestinian Conflict (2018). He is co-author of Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism (2016), a contributor to Defending Free Speech (2016), and editor of Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism (2009). His articles have appeared in a wide range of publications, from Foreign Policy and Middle East Quarterly to The Hill and the Los Angeles Times. He is an editor for ARI’s journal New Ideal. His website is

Shermer and Journo discuss:

  • the view from 30,000 feet and 30,000 years: who really owns land?
  • British Mandate
  • Theodore Herzl
  • Camp David Accords
  • Zionism, Judaism, and Israel
  • Where would you rather live?
  • Gaza, the West Bank, Golan Heights, and other territorial disputes
  • Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), Hezbollah (Party of God), and terrorism
  • Palestinian grievances
  • The Palestinian cause
  • Is Israel a colonial conquering empire?
  • Is Israel an apartheid state?
  • Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement
  • Gender Apartheid
  • Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians as separate identities
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)
  • Goldstone Report
  • Arab nationalism
  • Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States (Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait)
  • Islam and Islamism
  • Muslim Brotherhood
  • Does Israel purposefully target Palestinians for death?
  • What is justice?
  • What justice demands
  • Freedom and individual autonomy as the starting point.

This episode was released on October 27, 2023.

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