Lara and Michael welcome you to The Palestine Pod! Lara discusses her family’s history and origins from Yaffa and Gaza, Palestine including how her family became stateless refugees, the broader history of the Palestinian struggle including the expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian population in 1948 as a result of the establishment of the state of Israel on top of historic Palestine, Israel’s ongoing land theft of Palestinian land as well as its oppressive system of apartheid, occupation, and siege which continue until today. Lara reflects on her college activist years and the path that led to her pursuing a career as an international lawyer focusing on refugee rights. Michael focuses on his experience growing up in a pro-Israel Jewish household and his evolution to becoming an anti-Zionist including his realization that Israel was an apartheid state, involvement in campus activism, and absurd encounters with his former IDF frat brothers. Lara and Michael explain the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and the weaponization of the latter in order to suppress any discussion of the very harmful consequences of the implementation of the Zionist project in Palestine: the creation of the world’s largest refugee population (8 million Palestinian refugees today out of a global population of 13 million people), the majority of whom remain stateless and prevented from returning to their land by Israel as well as the daily deprivation of rights by Israel of the Palestinians who continue to live in historic Palestine (whether in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza).