Crossing the Line interviews author Phyllis Bennis

This week on Crossing The Line: Former US President Jimmy Carter met with the political head of Hamas in Syria while insisting that Hamas must be included in any future Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The visit has drawn criticism from both the US and Israel which until now have refused to take part in any official negotiations with the Hamas government. What does Carter’s meeting with Hamas mean? Is it as “historic” as some are calling it? Host Naji Ali speaks with author on Middle East issues, Phyllis Bennis about Carter’s controversial visit to the Middle East.

Next, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, has suspended food shipments into the Gaza Strip as a result of fuel shortages brought on by the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza since June 2007. Ali speaks with UNRWA spokesperson in Gaza, Adn Abu-Hasna about the impact of the fuel shortages and aid to the people in Gaza.

Last in the program, incarcerated Palestinian political prisoner Dr. Sami Al-Arian ends his 57-day hunger strike that he began to protest continued harrassment and abuse of power by the US Justice Department. Ali speaks with Dr. Al-Arian’s daughter, Laila, about his health and his family’s struggle to be reunited with their father.

And as always, Crossing the Line begins with “This week in Palestine,” a service provided by The International Middle East Media Center.

Crossing the Line is a weekly podcast dedicated to giving voice to the voiceless in occupied Palestine. Through investigative news, arts, eyewitness accounts, and music, Crossing the Line does its best to present the lives of people on the ground.

Crossing the Line’s host, Naji Ali, is an independent journalist currently living in San Francisco. Ali’s South African roots and desire for social change are the reason for his strong solidarity with the Palestinian people. In 1990 Ali was arrested in South Africa where he was detained and tortured for nearly two years by the South African secret police. Ali also lived and worked in the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.