In his remarks to the American public on Oct. 19, 2023, President Joe Biden said, “History has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction.”
Biden was referring to the Palestinian militia group Hamas, which carried out a series of deadly attacks inside Israel on Oct. 7. But according to media analyst Norman Solomon, if Hamas is a terrorist organization, then, “the same description fits the Israeli government.”
Solomon is the national director of RootsAction, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, and author of War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine (The New Press). He spoke with YES! Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on YES! Presents: Rising Up With Sonali about why language is so important when discussing Israel’s war on Gaza.
Sonali Kolhatkar is currently the racial justice editor at YES! Media and a writing fellow with Independent Media Institute. She was previously a weekly columnist for Truthdig.com. She is also the host and creator of Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. Sonali won First Place at the Los Angeles Press Club Annual Awards for Best Election Commentary in 2016. She also won numerous awards including Best TV Anchor from the LA Press Club and has also been nominated as Best Radio Anchor 4 years in a row. She is the author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence, and the co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women's Mission. Her forthcoming book is Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (City Lights, 2023). She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. She reflects on her professional path in her 2014 TEDx talk, “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host.” She can be reached at sonalikolhatkar.com