The Israel-Palestine conflict goes back decades, but this latest war has taken an unprecedented toll in terms of the number of people killed, and represents a significant step back from any hopes of securing a two-state solution and a permanent peace. Vox podcasts are covering the conflict in depth, offering our listeners context and clarity about the history of the conflict, a deeper understanding of the players in Israel and Palestine and on the world stage, and the toll of Hamas’s attack and Israel’s retaliation on the people in the region.
Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news explainer podcast, has been covering the conflict since it began, with an episode posted right after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel that took the lives of around 1,200 people and resulted in the kidnapping of an estimated 240 hostages. The show has since continued to cover many threads in this story, from where Hamas comes from to how false information about the conflict has spread on social media and how information warfare is used in the Middle East. Vox podcasts The Weeds and The Gray Area have also been covering the unfolding crisis, its stakes, and its impact.
You can find those and all our other episodes on the topic below; we’ll continue to add more as new episodes are published.
Rafah, the last “safe” zone
February 15, 2024 | Palestinians are trapped in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, where about 1.5 million people have sought refuge. After Israel bombed Rafah this weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening a ground invasion. Palestinian journalist Aseel Mousa takes us inside Rafah, and the Economist’s Anton La Guardia explains why diplomatic efforts to halt the fighting have stalled.
Iran and the Axis of Resistance
January 31, 2024 | Iran-backed militias use drones, missiles, and even TikTok dances to antagonize the United States and Israel. The International Crisis Group’s Ali Vaez explains how the war in Gaza has energized the self-described Axis of Resistance.
Israel at the International Court of Justice
January 29, 2024 | South Africa took Israel to court over claims of genocide. Courthouse News reporter Molly Quell and the International Crisis Group’s Robert Blecher explain what happened next.
How the war in Gaza ends
January 18, 2024 | Israel’s war against Hamas has now been raging for over 100 days. According to Ian Lustick, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, history tells us what it will take to end it.
Israel’s next move
January 3, 2023 | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces trouble at home and abroad. AP correspondent Tia Goldenberg and scholar Hussein Ibish explain the significance of a high-profile killing in Lebanon.
The fight over campus antisemitism
December 12, 2023 | Three elite university presidents walk into Congress for a hearing on antisemitism. Only two still have their jobs. New York magazine reporter Nia Prater tells us what happened, and a Harvard professor of Jewish history explains why he thinks resignations won’t make campuses safer.
How Palestine went global
December 4, 2023 | People with no direct connection to the Middle East have taken to seeing the Palestinian cause as an anti-colonial struggle connected to their own experience. Columbia historian Rashid Khalidi explains why “decolonization” is resonating worldwide.
The American politics of Israel
November 29, 2023 | The Israel-Hamas war is dividing the previously united Democrats and uniting the recently fractured Republican Party. Semafor’s David Weigel explains what that means going into 2024.
The hostage deal (brought to you by Qatar)
November 27, 2023 | After 50 days of the Israel-Hamas war, both sides took a breather to save lives. And it couldn’t have happened without Qatar.
Inside the occupied West Bank
November 20, 2023 | With the world focused on Gaza, Israeli settlers and soldiers are increasing attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. Writer Nathan Thrall and journalist Dalia Hatuqa explain the decades of tension that shape life in the West Bank.
A call from Gaza
November 14, 2023 | People are desperately trying to escape Gaza as the siege on the strip continues. Mohammed Ghalaieny, a Palestinian British man, tells us why he is choosing to stay, even as other foreign nationals escape through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
A Jew and a Muslim get honest about Israel and Gaza
November 13, 2023 | Zack Beauchamp, a Vox senior correspondent who writes about democracy and Israel, speaks with Shadi Hamid, a columnist at the Washington Post, research professor of Islamic studies at Fuller Seminary, and author of The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea. They discuss the October 7 attack, the subsequent war in Gaza, what it means for Israelis and Palestinians, and how Jews and Muslims in the United States can find common ground amid their communities’ grief. This conversation was recorded on November 2, 2023.
BDS and the history of the boycott
November 8, 2023 | If you turn on the news or scroll through your social media feed of choice, there’s a good chance you’ll see the latest on the Israel-Hamas war — and the reaction to it. But there’s one call to action making its way down social media feeds that feels different from all these other responses. It’s called BDS, short for boycott, divest, and sanction. And like just about everything related to this conflict, it’s complicated and controversial. The Weeds host Jonquilyn Hill sits down with Vox senior reporter Whizy Kim to explain the controversial movement, and with Cornell professor and author of Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America Lawrence B. Glickman to discuss the history of boycotts and whether they even work.
November 8, 2023 | Protesters, politicians, and the pope are calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, but the US and Israeli governments remain opposed. Vox’s Jonathan Guyer and Jon B. Alterman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies explain what happens next.
The view from Israel
November 2, 2023 | Israelis overwhelmingly disapprove of their government’s handling of the October 7 attacks, but their desire for unity keeps Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power. Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum explains what Israel’s government should do next, and professor Noah Efron of Bar-Ilan University describes the mood among Israelis.
Gaza’s humanitarian crisis
October 30, 2023 | Cut off from water and power and recovering from a communications blackout, Gaza is plunged deeper into crisis. It’s not just a humanitarian problem, says leading human rights attorney Kenneth Roth — it’s a violation of international law.
Why does the US always side with Israel?
October 25, 2023 | This was the top question we got when we asked Today, Explained listeners hat they wanted to know about this conflict. Joel Beinin, Middle East history professor emeritus at Stanford, has answers.
Hearts, minds, and likes
October 23, 2023 | False information about what is happening in Israel and Gaza is taking over social media faster than journalists like BBC Verify’s Shayan Sardarizadeh can check it. That’s exactly how digital propagandists want it, says professor and social media expert Marc Owen Jones.
Biden goes to Israel
October 18, 2023 | It’s been 11 days since Hamas attacked Israel, killing civilians and taking hostages. Israel’s retaliation has killed hundreds of Palestinians and created a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment Aaron David Miller and Middle East analyst Michael Wahid Hanna explain what role diplomacy will play in the coming days.
How Palestinians view Hamas
October 16, 2023 | The US along with Israel and many of its allies have long considered Hamas a terrorist group. Khaled Al-Hroub, a professor at Northwestern University in Qatar, explains how its reputation is a lot murkier among Palestinians, who elected the group to political power in 2006.
Israel, Hamas, and how we got here
October 10, 2023 | This Israel-Hamas war is unlike the ones that came before it, says Haaretz’s Allison Kaplan Sommer. But it was years in the making, says Vox’s Zack Beauchamp.