BTS 6/4/10: Israeli Reaction to Gaza Flotilla Raid; 36th District Congressional Race; Colombian Elections

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On tonight’s program we begin with the internal Israeli reaction to the deadly assault on the flotilla headed for Gaza last Monday. Yoav Peled joins us in Tel Aviv, and we’ll ask him if the attack has raised Israeli public discussion on the wisdom of Israel’s embargo on Gaza, the Netanyahu government’s refusal to allow an independent inquiry, and the increasing and intensifying isolation of Israel in world opinion, Even the Israeli Mossad chief warned this week that Israel is gradually being transformed from an asset to a burden for the Americans. We’ll ask Yoav what he sees from Tel Aviv and what may be ahead.

We then turn to Marcy Winograd who is in the final days of her run against Jane Harmon to represent the 36th District in Congress. Winograd is increasingly under attack: A hard-hitting new TV spot from Harman's campaign features a series of hot-button images of Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and suggests Marcy Winograd would decimate the U.S. defense department, attacks her positions on the existence of the State of Israel and more. We’ll hear from Marcy on these issues.

And finally on tonight’s program we talk to Michael Deibert who has just returned from Colombia, where the election to choose a successor to President Álvaro Uribe is taking place amid escalating and horrendous violence as former paramilitary groups have transformed into major, violent drug cartels that are now joining forces with the FARC rebel group. Reporting from the Bajo Cauca mountainous region of Central Colombia, Deibert writes that for much of the last year, groups of warring drug traffickers have battled for control of this strategically important area and continue to wage a scorched-earth battle to determine dominance over the smuggling of narcotics, weapons and people along the river Uribe.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Yoav Peled teaches political science at Tel Aviv University. He is co-author, with Gershon Shafir, of Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship, published by Cambridge University Press, which received the prestigious Albert Houranti Award from the Middle East Studies Association of North America for the best book on the Middle East in 2002. He is also a contributor to New Left Review and Co-Editor in Chief of The Public Sphere: Tel Aviv Journal of Political Science.

2. Marcy Winograd is running to unseat Jane Harman in the 36th congressional district. She is a community activist and co-founder of the LA Chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America. She first challenged Harman in 2006, getting over 36% of the vote in the primary election.

3. Michael Deibert was a Reuters correspondent in Port-au-Prince from 2001-2003. He is the author of Notes from the Last Testament: A Struggle for Haiti (Seven Stories Press). Michael Diebert writes on Latin America and the Caribbean for Newsday, the Miami Herald, The Village Voice, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Salon, The Guardian, and more.