“From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free” can be heard at many Palestinian solidarity demonstrations today, and while it seems on its face to be a rallying cry for justice, its connotation is uncompromisingly hostile to the existence of Israel and to Jewish sovereignty in the region. Why, then, do activists abroad, including some Jews, chant it in protest of Israel’s current actions in Gaza?
In this episode, Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi reflect on the meaning of this slogan and how the October 7 massacre sheds a sobering light on its implications. They ask if they, as Israelis, can listen to this hateful rhetoric from critics and consider an almost impossible question – what can we learn from it?
For Heaven’s Sake is a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project that revives the lost art of Jewish debate for the sake of illuminating a topic, not sowing division. The podcast draws its name from the concept of machloket l’shem shemayim, “Disagreeing for the sake of heaven.”