“Palestinian life is pretty cheap” for the West, says Khaled Elgindy, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. The dehumanization and erasure of the Palestinians in the U.S. media and political discourse since the Hamas terror attack in southern Israel earlier this month and the subsequent Israeli bombardment of Gaza make that clear.

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But Elgindy, in the latest episode of our Pivot podcast, says Palestinians in Gaza were already facing what they described as a “grinding slow death” before this current crisis, with daily attacks by Israeli settlers and security forces.

The outside world, he says, had become desensitized to “one or two Palestinians killed [by Israelis] every day for years and years.” But now, the attack by Hamas has brought the world’s attention to the conflict as well as the relentless bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli military. It’s a familiar pattern for those who know the region.

The Biden administration has gone from a policy of “strategic neglect” toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Elgindy argues, to standing firmly on the side of Israel — even as Palestinian civilians are killed in large numbers.

As talk of an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza continues, Elgindy warns a potentially even greater humanitarian catastrophe awaits. “No one”, he says, “has an end game.”

Elgindy, a former technical advisor to Palestinian leaders involved in permanent status talks with Israel, cautions that attempting to resolve a political dispute with military force will likely lead to unintended consequences.

Episode Description:

In this episode of The Pivot podcast, Middle East Institute senior fellow Khaled Elgindy joins host Arif Rafiq to discuss the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the potential Israeli ground invasion, and the visit of President Joe Biden.

Together, they critically assess U.S. policy toward Israel and Palestine as well as U.S. media coverage of the ongoing war. Elgindy talks about the humanitarian and political risks of an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza and the potential of a political vacuum should Israel pursue “regime change” there.

The conversation wraps up with an assessment of the future of the Palestinian national movement.


  • Khaled Elgindy (@elgindy_), Senior Fellow, Middle East Institute

Elgindy was previously a fellow at the Brookings Institute, which published his 2019 book, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump, which looks at the history of relations between the United States and the Palestinians and the role of the U.S. in the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The book builds off of Elgindy’s many years as an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel in the mid-2000s.


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Arif Rafiq is the editor of Globely News. Rafiq has contributed commentary and analysis on global issues for publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New Republic, the New York Times, and POLITICO Magazine.

He has appeared on numerous broadcast outlets, including Al Jazeera English, the BBC World Service, CNN International, and National Public Radio.

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