Eva Bartlett Talks About Her Time In The Occupied Territories

Eva Bartlett is an independent journalist with extensive experience in Syria (15 trips between 2014 & 2021, some several months-long) and also in occupied Palestine.

Eva spent 8 months in the West Bank and a cumulative three years in the Gaza Strip, from late 2008 to June 2010, and back in 2011 off and on to March 2013.

Eva also reported extensively from the Donbass and from Venezuela.

In this podcast I talk to her about her experience and what the reality of life is like for the average palestinian.

Check out her website in the links below.

I hope you enjoy the conversation.

Ahmad (00:00.535)
Oh, Eva, Eva. Listen, we’ll start back. We just started chatting and I was like, stop, stop. We need to record all this. So it’s raining here in Buckinghamshire in England. It’s dark, it’s gray, it’s cold, it’s miserable. So I just want to say thank you so much for agreeing to do this podcast.

EVA (00:00.755)

EVA (00:07.723)

Ahmad (00:22.631)
I’m reaching out to you because I heard about you and you’re an investigative journalist and you’re out there in the Donbass, you spent time in Syria. But you’ve also, I actually wanted to speak to you about what was going on in the Donbass a while back. And I knew that you’d spent some time in Gaza, which is why I reached out to you. And I think it’s very difficult. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells just even talking about this matter. I know so many people, Ava.

who are not willing to voice an opinion because they say there’s no point. Amid, there’s no point. I’ve got something to say, but there’s no point because no matter what I say, I’m gonna get attacked by one side or the other, maybe even from both sides. So you know what? I’m not saying anything. And I think that’s worrying because when you start self-censoring, the truth and debate goes out the window. And that’s when eventually you get tyranny. You get propaganda. You get all the noise from…

EVA (01:05.639)
See you.

Ahmad (01:21.151)
the rulers, the predator class. And normal people can’t have a discussion anymore because it’s, yeah, it’s gonna be too emotive, it’s gonna be too angry. But I wanna touch on it. I think people need to know. I wanna start with a little disclaimer. I have no doubt, you know, thousand plus people died in Israel and it was a massacre and it was tragedy, it was terrible. Children without their parents, parents losing their children, it’s horrible.

And I think in this whole crisis in the last 70 years between Israel and Palestinians, actually the average Israeli is just a victim, as much a victim as the Palestinians, because they didn’t ask for this. They don’t want to live in terror. It’s the rulers. It’s the people at the top that I think are at the fault of everything. But there’s a lot of people in the world, Arabs, Israelis, here in the West.

who don’t really understand what the Palestinians are going through. They’re called terrorists. They’re called, you know, just crazy. They voted in Hamas. They deserve what’s coming. It’s their fault. Hamas is sheltering them. We’ve got our right to bomb them and blah, blah. I feel like we’re almost dehumanizing the Palestinian people. And that fundamentally is wrong.

EVA (02:42.826)

Ahmad (02:45.255)
You know, our leaders did lockdown, mandates, social distancing, masking, did mass experimental vaccine jabs on us all. Like, we didn’t ask for that. They don’t represent us. What were we meant to do? Like, we couldn’t stop them. Now imagine if our government had guns. What the hell? What chance would we have of stopping them? Hamas has got guns. You know?

How can the population say to Hamas, no, don’t do these, don’t send the rockets? So this idea that, you know, Palestinians are just.

EVA (03:17.87)
The population doesn’t want to say that the last government did this. The population support Palestinian resistance. The population have been living in terror in Gaza specifically since the Israelis pulled their illegal colonists out of the Gaza Strip in 2005. And since then has used Gaza as an open air testing ground for every new military technology Israel has. And Israel has used white phosphorus, fleshhead bombs.

Ahmad (03:43.291)
So let’s, let’s.

EVA (03:46.902)
Point blank assassinated Palestinians on a scale I can’t even describe including children and infants.

Ahmad (03:52.375)
Let’s, let’s, let’s wind it back a bit. What is Gaza?

EVA (03:55.863)
The third aspect is a

Ahmad (03:58.927)
Describe Gaza to me.

EVA (03:59.798)
Gaza is a very tiny strip of land. It comprises roughly two thirds Palestinian refugees of the 2.3, 2.4 million Palestinians that are stuffed into that small open air prison, completely enclosed by the Israeli fence, gun towers, high tech surveillance equipment, ensuring Palestinians cannot leave even by sea. Palestinian fishers are targeted when they go in the water, even though under the Oslo peace accords, they should be able to go 20 miles out. And they are targeted when they’re one or two miles off the coast.

They’re targeted by Israeli gunboats that machine gun fire them. Skinny Palestinian fish are standing on the equivalent of a surfboard. It’s called a hasakah in Arabic. And they are gunned down by Israeli gunboats for no reason other than they’re trying to exist. And this is the whole genocidal Israeli policy against Palestinians as a whole, but particularly in Gaza. Since 2007, Israel’s had Gaza under a barbaric siege, which limits the entry of virtually everything you need to exist.

They prohibited the exit of virtually every good. Gaza used to import flowers, furniture, clothing. They export, sorry, export that. They export almost nothing, virtually nothing now. How can a population exist when they’re cut off from the world and every time Israel wants to test a new weapon or terrorize the population, they bomb this Gaza Strip. And I lived there for three years and I can tell you with 100% certainty,

that Israel does not only bomb Gaza when it’s waging a war against the Palestinian population, which it dubs a war on terror. It bombs whenever the heck it feels like it, and nobody reports it. How can anybody justify Israelis gunning down of Palestinian fishers or firing rockets at their bigger trawlers, which have very small motors because they’re not allowed to import larger motors? So then they’re being chased by an Israeli gunboat and they can’t get away because their motors are too small.

They’re either fired upon with water cannon, a heavy powered water cannon, which shatters windows and structural parts, or they’re gunned down with machine gun fire or actual cannon fire. And if they’re lucky and they’re not gunned down, then they’re kidnapped and their boats are stolen and they’re taken and put in prison in Israel. That’s just the fishers, the farmers. When I went to Gaza in 2008, and I stayed for a cumulative three years over the course of five years,

EVA (06:23.426)
During that time, aside from documenting the effects of this brutal siege, which at one point banned the entry of diapers, paper, pens, pasta, like all these innocuous things. They banned cooking gas, so Gazans started cooking over kerosene. So they banned kerosene. How are you supposed to live without the ability to even grow food or cook it? But in that time, I also accompanied farmers on their land in the eastern areas where the fences.

And Israel implements a no-go zone or a buffer zone, which was 50 meters when it installed it unilaterally on the Gaza side. And now it’s officially around 300 meters, at least when I was there. But they will fire on Palestinian unarmed civilians, including elderly, including children. And I’m saying this again, having witnessed it numerous times and come under the Israeli live ammunition fire myself, countless times.

They do it for no reason other than it’s a targeted policy of harassment. It’s terror. It’s terrorizing. And they don’t shoot to scare. They shoot to kill.

Ahmad (07:28.979)
Okay, Eva, I can feel the, hear the passion in your voice and the pain and the hurt. It’s clear you’ve lived it. Can I, can let’s go back a bit then. You’ve described Gaza, how many square miles is it again? Is it size of Manhattan? How big is it?

EVA (07:46.27)
I believe it’s 365 square kilometres.

Ahmad (07:51.475)
Okay, so it’s a small piece of land, completely encircled. Now, when you say nothing can go in or out, isn’t there a crossing on the Egyptian side? Is that closed? There’s no trade, no one going in and out?

EVA (08:05.326)
It is much of the time, it’s not a trade crossing, it’s only for people to enter or exit. And much of the time it is closed. Now I can’t speak to the current Egyptian administration. I know when I lived in Gaza, people having medical referrals needing, and you as a doctor could appreciate this, needing urgent medical care that they could not get in Gaza, either due to the fact that the expertise wasn’t there, but more likely due to the fact that due to this barbaric siege,

medicines and medical equipment weren’t available or the equipment was run down and they didn’t have the ability to rehabilitate it because they couldn’t bring in specialists or spare parts. So people needing whatever particular specialized medical treatment, urgent medical treatment, would try to go through the Rafa crossing and be denied by the Egyptians. The Israelis have a degree of control. I can’t say to what degree now, but I know for a fact that when I lived there

It was extremely difficult for Palestinians to exit. Even if they had legitimate reasons, university students with scholarships abroad in the UK and elsewhere could not exit. And what kind of threat are these people to Israel?

Ahmad (09:15.859)
So the average person in Gaza just can’t leave, can’t go on holiday, can’t travel abroad, go to a wedding somewhere. They’re stuck in that place.

EVA (09:28.522)
Right. The chances of them being able to exit through the Erez crossing, which is the northern crossing into Israel, are almost null. Even if they have coordination with the International Red Cross, even if they have these medical referrals, there are so many pretexts that the Israeli government enforces delays, coordination delays, actually approving this referral, approving their exit to the point where it’s too late or the people just give up.

Ahmad (09:28.911)
Is that right?

EVA (09:58.034)
And, you know, again, as a medical professional yourself, I’m sure you’re aware of how, against every ethic and moral that is, and I’m sure against international humanitarian law.

But now we have a situation where whenever Israel is waging a full on war on Gaza, there aren’t bomb shelters. The best people can do, if they’re lucky, if they have a basement and they can go there. As you mentioned, I’ve reported over the course of last year and this year and also 2019 from the Donbass, and I’m very aware of how the Ukrainian army and the Nazis embedded within fire NATO weaponry on the heart of Donetsk, also the outskirts, also other cities.

Ahmad (10:10.245)

EVA (10:37.29)
and people there will run into basements. And generally, if the weapon isn’t a really large weapon, the basement suffice generally, not always to protect the people, but in Gaza, it’s a whole level. We’re talking one ton bombs. We’re talking bombs that leave a crater where a three or four store apartment building once stood. And I remember one of the tactics, if people were lucky, Israel would send a drone strike onto the apartment building or the house.

Ahmad (11:02.259)

EVA (11:07.05)
And people knew they had two, three, four minutes at best to get the heck out of there before they were F16.

Ahmad (11:14.131)
How did they know there was a bomb coming?

EVA (11:18.174)
I said, if they were lucky, and Israel sent a drone strike first. So a first bomb. And in many cases, what happens was, and I saw this many, many times in 2009, what happens was after the first strike, civilians will run out to see who’s been injured, if they can help, because in spite of being bombed all the time, Palestinians aren’t terrorized into staying at homes. They run out into the streets to help.

Ahmad (11:22.567)
Drone strike, okay. Okay, okay.

EVA (11:45.79)
And when they do that and the second strike comes, then that’s more people killed, including medics.

And actually on the note of medics, and again, I’m bringing this up because I think you will appreciate it, but in the 2009 Israeli war on Gaza, now we’re chatting off camera. So I don’t remember if we said this since I started recording, but we started recording. But I was there during that war massacre.

Israel had locked the borders around early November. They had prevented international journalists from entering. I think there was maybe one other and then a bunch of us activists. So there was no one to document or witness the crimes except us and the Palestinians themselves. And at that time, 2008, early 2009, technology wasn’t like it was, it is today. We were doing our utmost to document these crimes. And in doing so, we rode in the ambulances of the Palestinian

red crescent society medics. And in doing so, I was in Gaza city sometimes, but mostly in the areas north of Gaza, Jabalia, Beit Lachia, Beit Hanun, seeing the worst of, some of the worst, not the worst, some of the worst of the atrocities, meeting Palestinians who had been held hostage, denied medical care, going to areas where Israel had used white phosphorus on Palestinian homes.

and also working with medics who, because they were trying to rescue and give medical aid to Palestinians in need, then themselves became targets. So one medic I worked with the next day, he went on a call and as he was standing at the rear of his ambulance in his uniform, clearly unarmed with his back towards where the fire came, he was fired upon by an Israeli, it must’ve been a tank, a shell containing flechettes or darts, and his body was shredded, and he went into shock and died. Other medics I was with,

EVA (13:38.85)
during ceasefire hours in Eastern Gaza, Northeastern Gaza, Esbet Abed-Rebo, they went to retrieve a body off the crossroads during ceasefire hours. They were clearly uniformed medics carrying a stretcher, no weapons at all, and there was no weapons at all in any of the ambulances I was ever in, contrary to what the Israelis will say. An Israeli sniper during ceasefire hours fired 14 shots at these uniformed medics, hitting one in the leg.

and we were lucky to get out of there alive because the shots came right up to the ambulance.

Ahmad (14:12.367)
Oh, this is painful to hear.

Ahmad (14:16.623)
So open air prison because people can’t leave. People are stuck, fenced in, have no freedom of movement, can’t get out. What about, and they’re not allowed to trade and allow things in without Israel saying so, water access, land access, air access is denied. Am I right? There’s no airport.

EVA (14:40.978)
No airport, they bombed it in the early 2000s. They bombed the Seoul power plant in 2006. So ever since then, Palestinians have rehabilitated it as much as they can, which is not sufficient. So that was one of their three sources of power. They buy power from Israel and I think from Egypt. But I’m sorry if I get that wrong. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about that particular aspect. But when I lived there, the power was out for 16 to 20 hours every day. Now.

Ahmad (14:44.167)
So you said…

EVA (15:09.834)
you working in a hospital, right? You’re an active doctor as I know. Maybe you can explain because I often say it when I give lectures, but you would know even better obviously than I would. How would it impact a hospital not to have electricity and to be forced to run on a generator that can’t run, maybe you can only run eight hours. How would that impact the hospital?

Ahmad (15:30.951)
Very stressful, very stressful. It wouldn’t be able to function properly. It’s just not, I mean the hospitals here barely function anyway with full regular power. You take the power away, the whole thing would just fall apart, I’m telling you. You know, right at the beginning you said the, you said right at the beginning that there was watch towers, the fishermen can’t go out a mile and they get shot down.

EVA (15:46.314)
Yeah. So this is 17 years of that.

Ahmad (15:58.163)
But that’s what I thought. I thought there was security, like motion detectors, like day and night they’re watching all the time. How the hell did the bulldozers and hundreds of people cross the border and did this Israeli massacre recently? I don’t understand that.

EVA (16:16.714)
There are two, I’m not an expert in that, so I can only relate two voices to people I’ve listened to and read. One is Alistair Crook, who talked about, in an interview, he talked about, I’m fairly certain it was he that talked about the Palestinian resistance being able to hack into surveillance systems and disable them. The other is Scott Ritter, who I’m sure you’re aware of.

former Marine, former US weapons inspector. He wrote a very lengthy article recently, and I’m sure he’s also said it in recent interviews he’s done. Actually, he did with Andrei Martianov, a Russian analyst based in the US. And Ritter started out by saying, he knows Israel intimately, he knows Israel’s security and intelligence bodies very, very well, having worked with them. He was a great friend of Israel, et cetera, et cetera. He ends his article.

by saying why he no longer supports Israel. So that in itself is quite interesting. But in that article, maybe the last, I don’t know, third or quarter of the article, he talks about how Israel had come to rely heavily on artificial intelligence for their security mechanisms. And he makes an interesting point. Now, I forget the statistic, but it’s like, there are cameras and satellites, et cetera, taking, capturing images and audio all the time.

around Palestine, particularly Gaza. But there’s not the ability for humans to digest and go through all that information. So their lines was on artificial intelligence. If I remember correctly, I hope I didn’t paraphrase that wrongly. But he mentions that in 2021, apparently Israeli intelligence had bragged about how good their AI was. And in his opinion, again, I hope I’m not

EVA (18:12.086)
Hamas and Palestinian resistance took advantage of that and were able to.

I don’t want to say outsmart AI because that sounds stupid, but we’re able to work with the fact that they knew Israel was heavily reliant on AI and were able to not just offhand, but for months and months plan this action they took, wherein they were able to both disable the surveillance intelligence equipment and wait their entrance or whatever you want to call it into Israel. I think I want to say one thing.

Now, of course, it is tragic to see civilians killed anywhere. I would urge people to take a look at even United Nations statistics. Now, I say that skeptically because the UN is always on the side of NATO. It always downplays atrocities when it doesn’t serve the NATO agenda. And it always multiplies or overplays numbers or statistics when it serves the NATO agenda. And I can refer to many examples in Syria on that note. But if you even only look at UN statistics.

Ahmad (19:16.691)
Thanks for watching!

EVA (19:17.162)
you will see in terms of loss of life over the years or the decades, Israel versus Palestine, there is absolutely no comparison. And I do not take joy in anyone dying. I’ve seen so much of it. I don’t want anyone to die. At the same time, I’ve tasted and lived the terror Palestinians are subjected to with no way to flee at all. And I understand why they, under international law, are resisting their occupation. So the other thing I just want to say is…

There’s a lot of claims that were made by Israeli officials and it was showered over Western media without question. For example, 40 beheaded babies and that Israeli or the reporter working for an Israeli channel or Israeli funded channel, she first said that she had seen the babies, the beheaded babies, it was at this music festival and it was a tragic sight. And then she later retracted and said, well, no, I didn’t see them. I was told by an Israeli soldier.

And then various investigative type people online looked into who was this Israeli soldier, the source of this 40 beheaded babies claim. And he was an extremist that called for one particular Palestinian village to be wiped off the map. And there’s no bottom line, there has been no video evidence of that whatsoever. Now, as for all the numbers of injured or killed, I haven’t seen the evidence.

I’m sure people were killed. There have been a number of interviews with Israeli settlers that lived in one of the kibbutz or colonies along the Gaza fence or in the areas that were affected, who now I know what detractors would say, they were under duress and they had to say these things, but they were actually giving interviews to Israeli media. And they were saying, yeah, we were taken hostage. We were treated humanely. So there’s a lot of propaganda out there. I’m not trying to laud or whitewash

one side or the other, I want people to think critically and ask questions when you hear a statement of what happened. Remember incubator babies, remember weapons of mass destruction, remember chemical attack in Duma. Why is it different? Remember the WHO saying, you know, we know what’s best for you. You have to take these vaccinations for COVID. You know, we have to question. Question what I’m saying, that’s fine. I’m just saying what I know from my experience.

Ahmad (21:41.523)
I’m just pausing for a second.

Ahmad (00:00.573)
So Eva, can I just ask, let’s go way back. How did a young girl like you, you sound North American, end up in the Middle East, of all places? Your parents must be freaking out. Where are you from?

EVA (00:03.01)

EVA (00:12.846)
Well, they did freak out. My dad’s no longer with us, but they were very supportive of my work, but at the same time, they wished I would do it at home. But they never asked me not to go. They just prayed a lot. I was born in the States, grew up after age three in various regions of Canada, primarily Ontario. And I think it’s important to note I came from a completely apolitical family.

Ahmad (00:28.853)

EVA (00:41.834)
without, I’m sure I had biases, everybody has biases, but yeah, I didn’t have, my family didn’t vote for any particular political party. We grew up, I grew up without faith, nominally Christian, but token went to church, excuse me, to church on Easter and Christmas. But, you know, and I wanna make also clear that I’m supportive of all faiths as long as they’re not hurting people, but I respect everybody’s right to believe whatever faith they have. I…

You know, I think it’s important to say that, but I grew up apolitical. We never talked about news. We never listened to news. We never watched news. I didn’t, you know, the North American schooling system, even Canadian, isn’t much better than American and I think being both American and Canadian, I can be critical of both governments and schooling systems, but we, uh, we weren’t really taught, not really, we weren’t at all taught the correct version of history on so many.

so many different issues, but I won’t even get into that. Just to say, I didn’t find it interesting. I did well in school, but I didn’t find anything political or anything to do with geopolitics or wars or anything. It wasn’t on my radar, not because I was a bad person. I think I was an average person. And I went to university and studied music because my family were musicians and I played piano already, so didn’t know what else to do. So that’s what I did.

And after graduating in debt, because again, Western education, I owed the bank 25,000. I had worked during university. I had a small scholarship, but nonetheless, that’s life. And so this is a really roundabout answer, but I think it might be interesting to people because I think one thing I always when I later would give lectures about my time in Gaza, I would tell people like

It’s okay if you’re just coming to this now because I only started getting interested or aware of, I should say it at all, Palestine at all in my late 20s. Why didn’t I know about it before? Well, I know now the way the media works, the way everything works in tandem to push certain narratives and totally erase other narratives, but I didn’t know that. And so after I finished university, I went to South Korea, I taught English, paid off my debts.

Ahmad (02:54.843)

EVA (03:04.598)
did a lot of traveling in Southeast Asia, very simple shoestring, third class, second class bus travels. Some interesting things, but it was in that time of traveling for eight months, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and into China, that I started seeing things outside of my comfort zone, the poverty, the effects of wars. And I started thinking like, wow, I really know nothing. I ran out of money and went back to Korea and I taught English for second year.

And during that time, I started listening to, it’s the first time I had internet in my apartment. So I started listening to news online. I won’t say which program, because now they’re just, I’m embarrassed. But at the time, there was a lot of focus on what was happening in the early 2000s, the second Intifada. And I was like, what is Israel? What is Palestine? I was that naive, you know? And then I started, I also would sit at the computer and would come across videos and would see how Palestinians were being treated.

by Israeli occupation forces. And I was so appalled and shocked. I’m a sensitive creature and I don’t like to see anyone hurt. And I was watching Israeli soldiers breaking the bones of Palestinian farmers with stones, just methodically hacking away. And I was sitting at my computer bawling and thinking, how is this possible? And that was, I didn’t even know the worst of it. I was just seeing that. And so it really affected me. I was thinking, how is this possible? And then…

I decided that I would at some point go to Palestine and see for myself. Now, this is still 2005, I think. I didn’t get there until 2007. But then in 2007, I traveled to Jordan and via Jordan into the West Bank. And I went there on my own, on expense. Nobody’s supporting me. And I wanted to see, I knew that I wanted to see how Palestinians were living under occupation, how they were treated.

do what I could. I mean, I don’t know anything about media, about blogging, anything. I just thought, okay, well, I’ll learn as I go. But I also wanted to hear the Israeli side. And so I met with this group called Combatants for Peace. For I don’t remember two or three weeks, I went to meetings with them, they would go to Palestinian societies, Israeli societies. They were both Israelis and Palestinians, Israelis who had served in the Israeli forces and Palestinians who had in some way,

EVA (05:32.362)
resisted occupation, whether that was being an active resistance fighter or just throwing stones, you know, so it was very Insightful, but I would say what was one of the more insightful things for me was hearing now I forget the guy’s name because it’s back in 2007. I feel like his name was or but I might be wrong anyway, he had been an Israeli soldier and he was giving a lecture to an Israeli audience and He was saying how he was so filled with hate for Palestinians

He did not see them as humans. And he said he was ready to kill. And I forget what the number he said was. I don’t wanna exaggerate. Let’s say he said a thousand. Let’s say he said 10,000, whatever the number was. He was ready to kill a heck of a lot of Palestinians to ensure his safety, right? And he said, if I remember correctly, and I have it on my old first blog, so I’m sure I could drag that up, but he said something like, I didn’t think of them as humans. And I only had that realization moment when I had my…

my gun pointed at a child who was the same age as his child. And then he had the aha moment, like, oh my God, that’s not an animal, that’s a child. That was his awakening moment. But for me, the reason that is powerful is because well, clearly it’s a human being. Clearly it’s a child. But he himself said his indoctrination was so strong, he couldn’t see it. So I think that’s quite powerful. I think that you find a lot of testimonies from the group.

breaking the silence. I haven’t met them, but I’m aware of the publications where they speak of their role either participating in wars, for example, on Gaza or in regular occupation activities in the West Bank. I know in 2007, there’s a West Bank village called Belayne, and I think it was 60% of their land had been taken by the Israeli occupation authorities in order to build their wall. What is

more commonly known as apartheid wall, what they call security fence. And so Palestinians had been for, I forget now if it was since 2006 or five, they had been non-violently, very creatively protesting the theft of their land and the building of this wall to divide themselves from their land and the rest of the area beyond the wall. And they were being met with Israeli tear gas, Israeli rubber coated metal bullets, which are really just metal bolts with a rubber sheath on it.

EVA (07:58.866)
and live ammunition. And I went to maybe 10 or more of those protests. And I was always with the protests, the people who were at the front. I don’t know why. I’m not saying, look, I’m afraid of many things, but for some reason, that wasn’t a problem for me to be at the front. And in doing so, I would see how it played out. They would be walking down their village road towards where the Israeli army had erected a barb, a wire fence, razor wire fence.

And they would either reach that point and the Israeli army would start firing on them with high velocity tear gas canisters or the other I mentioned. Or maybe they would actually start trying to move that razor wire and make a point like that is our land and we want to walk on it. And these are people just armed with flags and they were children and elderly. And every time I was there, I saw the violence started from the Israeli army.

firing on a crowd of unarmed civilians. Now there were Palestinian youths in the back who then would take their slingshots and start slinging stones. But you know, we’re talking about Israeli soldiers with I don’t know what kind of equipment they had, but they had precision targeting rifles or whatever. I remember watching one soldier after they had raided past that point where they had the fence, the wire, and they were starting to come up the road and they wanted to arrest people because they thought if they arrest who they perceived to be leaders of this protest movement.

they could quash it, but the whole village was protesting because the whole village wanted their land back. And so I remember watching as they went up the road and one Israeli soldier assumed sniper position and started focusing on a child. And I was screaming at him, that is a child. And he was so in the zone, he couldn’t hear me. He spoke English. They all, I think, speak a degree of English, if not very well. He was so in the zone. He didn’t kill that child that day. Not because of me, I don’t know.

why I don’t remember now what happened. Yeah, I mean, that’s just one example. And I also, I mean, I can talk about nonviolent protest in Gaza, but since we started with the early years, that’s in 2007, I spent eight months there in the West Bank. I went to Nablus, which is a Northern city after the Israeli army had invaded. They were fighting Palestinian resistance. They were also just wantonly destroying Palestinian homes.

EVA (10:22.478)
keeping civilians hostage for several days on end. I remember one of the first homes I saw, it had been badly destroyed and ransacked. And this elderly couple and their neighbors had been kept in the kitchen for several days, if not more, denied medicine, denied food, water. Maybe they were given water, they must have been, but definitely medicine and food. And they were the Palestinians now, I wanna make this point, they didn’t know me. I couldn’t speak Arabic, I do now, but I couldn’t then.

But they were like, thank you for coming to witness what just happened to us. I’ve been met with such love from Palestinians. And again, not because, oh, you’re Eva Bartlett, because who was I then? Who am I now? But who was I then, you know? But they’re not as the media depicts them. They’re dehumanized as animals, as the Israeli officials will say. Israeli officials, and back to the present, openly declare their intent to ethnically cleanse.

Gaza and to genocide Palestinians and this is not for the first time they did it in 2012 they did it in 2009 they did in 2014 officials yes

Ahmad (11:26.226)

EVA (11:33.438)
And they will use dehumanizing lexicon like their little snakes, their vermin, their cockroaches, their animals, you know, or simply their terrorist. And everybody, the 2.3 million people in Gaza are all terrorists because Hamas rules there and there are Palestinian resistance, which are not only Hamas, but anyway.

Ahmad (11:45.885)
Can we just stop it?

Ahmad (11:56.605)
Just, I wanna ask you something. Most people in Israel, I can’t imagine they actually know all this. Are they being lied to by their government, by their officials? Because I’ve looked into this recently as well, and so much of the land has been taken away from the Palestinians. Even the origin of Israel was a painful birth, like…

I think at the time of the Balfour Declaration, Safeddin Amoos, who I interviewed for Bitcoin, believe it or not, who is a Palestinian, explained to me that 7% of the native population in 1917 was Jewish, the rest were Christian or Arab, Muslim Arabs. But over the coming years, in the 20s and 30s, leading up to the Second World War, there’s an increasing influx of refugees, mainly from Europe.

not refugees, migrants from Jewish migrants from Europe. And this obviously culminated after the Second World War. And basically, at the time of independence, the UN gave over 50% of the land to the minority of Jews and the majority of Palestinians who had most of the land were put into the minority of the land. And immediately the Arab countries were not happy with this and invaded.

and they were pushed back. And as a result, the Palestinians lost even more land and were ended up in the small strip in Gaza and the West Bank. But if you look at the maps, subsequently, every decade, the amount of land the Palestinians get just starts to shrink. There’s settler colonies, colonies. I think there’s 700,000 settlers now in the West Bank, which is maybe Palestinian land. Their land has just been taken away from them. And from my understanding, the reason why they say

we need to get a two state solution is because there is no two states. There’s one state, one state that has occupied another people and they’ve occupied, they’ve taken over their land. And it’s, if any other country had been occupied, if China occupied America, I don’t think Americans would sit back and let it happen. I think they would resist. I think if Germany occupied Britain, there would be a British resistance.

EVA (13:54.786)

Ahmad (14:16.413)
That’s the reason why there’s a French resistance when the Germans occupied them. You know, they were French freedom fighters. So there’s an argument to say these are Palestinian freedom fighters. They’re fighting occupation because in this occupied land, they aren’t free to travel. There’s checkpoints everywhere. They aren’t free to leave the country. They don’t have the same rights. They’re treated as second class, third class citizens. They don’t have rights to land or property.

They have things arbitrarily taken away from them. Their olive groves cut down and whatnot. When I start looking at this, it’s actually ridiculous. It’s criminal what’s going on. But I know so many brilliant Jews, wonderful Jews, good human being Jews. And they’ll come to Israel’s defense and say, no, these are the bad Palestinians. I can’t reconcile that. Are they, have they been?

brainwashed themselves? Are they ignorant to the actual facts? Is the media lying to the people in Israel as well and the Jews around the world as to what is actually going on or do they know?

EVA (15:27.33)
That is a really, you know, that’s a very good question. I don’t know that I can adequately answer it because I don’t have the information on the education system. What I can speak to is the propaganda indoctrination that I saw and was told about or simply witnessed in my time in the West Bank. I would encourage people to look at the writings of, writings or interviews of anti-Zionist Jews. There’s an American, Dan Cohen, he spent time.

Ahmad (15:30.002)

EVA (15:56.266)
in the West Bank, also in Gaza. He’s very articulate and he is Jewish. And so he might, and he spent time living in Israel as well. I think he would be in a better position to address the indoctrination aspect. But I think what I can say, for example, when I was there in 2007, I spent time in Halil or Hebron, which is relatively in the South of the West Bank.

Ahmad (16:09.077)

EVA (16:21.834)
And this is one of these areas which has a massive buildup of illegal Jewish colonists, colloquially known as settlers, which is unfortunately not an apt name because settlers is a kind of romantic name for somebody who comes to a land that has no people. What these, they’re incredibly violent colonists do is they literally force Palestinians at gunpoint, at knife point, however they do it, out of their homes and they just take them over.

They forced them off their land. And that was something I saw in my time in 2007. I saw these colonists with heavy European accents talking about how this was their land in an area outside of Hebron called Susia. And it was theirs because the Palestinian elderly farmers weren’t working on it. Why weren’t the Palestinian elderly farmers working on it? Because they had been brutalized, beaten by these colonists so much.

They were afraid to go on the land they had deeds to. They were protesting the theft of their land in the Israeli court system with no luck. So I saw a parcel of land literally being taken over and planted with grape vines. And the settlers were, the colonists were boasting about it. They’re like, yeah, it’s ours now, you know? And there’s so much documentation. There are Israeli, you know, if you don’t wanna take the words of somebody who spent most of her time.

in areas being attacked by the Israeli army and government, look at the documentation of Israeli rights group at Salem. Now I don’t agree with all of their positions, but they have a lot of documentation on the violence from these colonists against Palestinians, the theft of land from these colonists against Palestinians. I was in a village outside of Nablus, the city I mentioned earlier. Palestinians were going to harvest their olives.

and we came under attack by four or five colonists that came down a hill and they were slinging these large rocks at us. Now, rocks might seem like nothing, but they were like small stones or boulders or whatever. I was filming with like an old handy camera, whatever they were called. If I hadn’t been filming, one of these rocks would have hit my temple. Thankfully it hit my hand, but it did, another rock hit the head of a Palestinian farmer I was with. Thankfully he was only injured, but this should not have happened.

EVA (18:39.766)
You know, and Palestinians during the olive harvest, they have to get permission from the Israeli authorities to go onto their own land. They have to get permission from the Israeli authorities to go onto their own land, to harvest their own olives. This is in the West Bank. And in most cases, when they do that, then they’re attacked by these violent colonists. The Israeli army or police, if they show up, do absolutely nothing. They escort the colonists. They enable them to attack. And…

no justice has ever meted out. I did want to address if I can just quickly your point about travel in the West Bank is absolutely correct. There’s a highway at least when I was there and probably is still called 443 and it was a shortcut for Israelis coming from Tel Aviv and going to Jerusalem and it cut through the West Bank. So it meant it was a Jewish only highway in the West Bank which is supposedly Palestinian area and Palestinians could not go on that road

in a village on one side of the highway, they couldn’t get to wherever they needed to go. They had to take these roundabout routes. And this is in the territory that’s supposed to be their own. This is why, as you appropriately said, to state solution is absolutely nonsensical. It doesn’t exist. It wouldn’t be fair in any sense of the word. And Palestinians would be, as most people say, living in a Swiss cheese land. But the checkpoints, there are so many types. There’s the full on military installation checkpoints.

Ahmad (19:57.033)

Ahmad (20:02.773)
Thanks for watching!

EVA (20:06.794)
which are like turnstiles, but maybe it sounds like, okay, it’s nothing like going through airport security or whatever. It’s not like that. Palestinians will be held up for hours waiting to go through this checkpoint and then be dehumanized as they go through, if they go through. And there are other checkpoints where they can just put, they can take a bulldozer and dose a mound of sand and dirt or whatever and just create an embankment in the road so you can’t get by. They’ll push large boulders together.

they’ll put two Israeli jeeps together. They can cut off any road they want at any time under the pretext of security. Meaning if your mother, your daughter, your grandmother needs to get to hospital, she won’t get there. And there have been many instances of Palestinians dying because they needed medical treatment and they couldn’t get through a checkpoint. So that’s, you know, in terms of the West Bank, there’s a lot of, the whole system is, it’s just beyond dehumanizing. It’s hideous. And I think anybody, whatever faith, if they were to spend,

Ahmad (21:01.373)
And you can’t blame Hamas now. Sorry, I was gonna say you can’t blame Hamas for this because they’re not in the West Bank.

EVA (21:13.07)
I think the other thing is that the way the media is framing is they’re saying this is a war between Hamas and Israel, but it’s not. It’s a war between Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation. Now, I can’t speak and I won’t speak on behalf of all Palestinians. I will say in my experience, particularly in Gaza, I did a lot of work accompanying farmers and we came under Israeli gunfire for no reason other than top-down policy of harassment. And those same farmers would talk to me about

decades ago when they had Israeli neighbors and they would share tea and they would share food and they did not speak with hatred against Israelis or Jews. And you would think also, Palestinians are very highly educated. I mean, what else can they do if they’re locked down? What else can you do but educate yourself and try to better your opportunity to maybe get a scholarship and maybe get out except they won’t be allowed out. So they’re not dumb. They understand politically who is backing Israel.

primarily America, but also the UK, Canada, the whole entire Western nation, Western world. And yet, again, this is just in my experience, so take it as you will. In the three years and two massive Israeli wars that I spent in Gaza, when I would meet Palestinians and they found out I was a Canadian American, they were not hostile to me. And they were able to differentiate between Western government policies and Western people. So.

I think there’s a huge misconception that Palestinians are hate-filled when in fact, I sound like a broken record, but they are some of the most loving people I’ve ever met. The type of people that will give you the shirt off their back if that’s all they have. So yeah, I made the mistake in Nablus once commenting about a calendar, which I just said, oh, that’s a nice calendar. Next thing I knew, somebody took it off the wall and gave it to me. I’m like, okay, don’t do that again. That’s an aside. But it’s, I want to emphasize.

because the propaganda, and we can talk about how this works in various issues and conflicts, and I’m sure you can talk at length about the COVID propaganda, but it is so strong and so prevalent that it is internalized by people without even realizing it. So the propaganda about Arabs in general and Palestinians in specific is they are terrorists and they are out to kill Israelis or Jews. When in reality, what you’ve said is,

EVA (23:36.146)
they are fighting for their freedom. They’re fighting literally for their lives, literally for their lives. And I just want to point out hypocrisy. Now in Syria, the West fomented and fomented and fomented a war against the Syrian people with the intent to topple the elected Syrian president. Now, whatever anyone thinks about President Bashar al-Assad, it’s your opinion. What the Syrian people said is, no, we want him. And we want political changes. We want

corruption, there’s bureaucracy, want that to end. But I didn’t go to Syria until 2014. So I can’t speak to how it was before. But Syrians would literally be tugging on my sleeves saying, you should have seen it, how it was before 2011. What a beautiful country we had. And we could afford to live, and we could afford to have cars and go on vacations and eat well. And now, I mean, when I first went in 2014, the Syrian pound was like roughly 500 pounds to one US dollar.

Apparently before 2011, it was like just under 50. So already when I started going there in 2014, and I went several times a year, sometimes for months on end, up until 2021, already in 2014, the pound was seriously inflated. I’m not great with economics, but they lost the value of their money. Now they can’t afford to live. And this is all on the side, my point being getting back to the whole freedom fighters.

the terrorists, the literal al-Qaeda terrorists and other incarnations, pre-Syrian army, Jaisal Islam, Balakar Rahman, all these different groups that we were told, no, these are fighting for the freedom of Syrians. They were all either funded from the West or Saudi Arabia or Qatar, and they were committing heinous, heinous crimes, beheadings of Syrians. If not beheadings and slaughtering and ripping out organs.

simply mortaring and shelling civilian areas, which had no revolutionary purpose. It had no impact on the government that they were supposedly trying to overthrow. They were just slaughtering civilians. And the media in the West continued to say they are freedom fighters. And now you flip the situation and you look at Palestinians as you correctly laid out, who have for over 70 years, 75 years been suffering. And before that, before the creation of Israel, the Zionist terrorist gangs, Stern Gang, Ergun,

EVA (25:58.182)
and one other whose name is eluding me at the moment, committed crimes against both Palestinians and the British that were at the time in control of British-mandate Palestine. I would encourage people to look up the crimes of these Zionist gangs before Israel was created. And there are differing numbers on the number of Palestinians who were expelled from their homeland for the creation of Israel, somewhere between 750,000 up to a million, depending on who you look at. You have Ilan Pappé, an Israeli, Jewish,

author who wrote the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. So he’s not, he’s not an Arab, he’s not a Muslim, he’s not an anti-Jew. He’s a Jew who wrote this very honest book about the creation of Israel. And I, it’s been a while since I’ve looked at it, I’m fairly certain he will have detailed these Zionist massacres against Palestinians and the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages in order to create Israel. So back to what you’re saying.

people, what would you do if this had been your entire existence? You don’t know. There’s a school in eastern Gaza, it’s called al-Shuhada school. Shuhada is martyrs in Arabic. And it’s called that, now I don’t know if the reason it’s called that is because so many children have been killed by the Israeli army or if it’s just a coincidence. But this school is about two kilometers from the fence, so on the east side of Gaza, central Gaza.

slightly south, and children were being fired on by the Israeli army in school. There’s no reason for that. This is brutality, you know, and this is aside from when I was talking about farmers being fired on with live ammunition. I in 2000, I think it was 10. I was with, again, a handful of activists. We were with Palestinian farmers. We had been under intense Israeli gunfire for about 40 minutes. Somebody from the activist volunteer media office

had contacted our respective embassies. And I got a call from the Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv and a woman named Heather, don’t remember her position. And she was like, we’re ready to help you. And then she learned that the people firing on me were not Palestinians. And she asked me, well, how do you know they’re Israelis? I said, because I saw them get out of their jeeps and fire on us like they always do. And she said, we can’t help you. And some minutes later, Jordi, her superior called back to let me know that

EVA (28:23.078)
It’s Israeli’s policy, it’s security measures, it’s their prerogative. And I said, Hey, Jordi, you realize you’re talking to a Canadian who’s with other internationals and the Palestinians we’re with are all unarmed. And I just want to clarify. You’re saying it’s okay that Israel is firing on us. And he said, Israel’s security measures, you know, so

Ahmad (28:38.097)

EVA (28:45.954)
How do you explain that?

Ahmad (28:48.442)
How do you explain that? Eva, I’m gonna pause, I need to wee. I’m an old man, I need to quickly wee, but I wanna keep talking. Can you give me five minutes?

EVA (28:57.848)
Yep, sure.

Ahmad (00:00.812)
Thank you, I needed to do that. So basically, I think a lot of people in the West are completely brainwashed by the mainstream media. And what I really don’t get is, there are a lot of people who just believe everything the BBC says or CNN, but there’s a significant minority who go, oh, COVID, that’s all lies, BS. Oh, climate change, that’s BS. Oh, Ukraine war, that’s complete nonsense. But then they go, oh, we must stand by Israel.

We need to bomb these Palestinians. You go, what? Our media’s been lying to us nonstop. Just look at every single war. Libya, Libya was an amazing country. You know, the most developed nation in Africa. It was, it had peace, communities, ethnic communities, just, you know, just different communities living together in harmony. There was no income tax. There was no debt. There was nothing. They had free education, free health.

We bombed it to smithereens. We supported the West and NATO supported the Muslim fundamentalists. Look at ISIS. The West supported ISIS, the Muslim fundamentalists, against the secular Assad government and in Iraq. Wherever you look, we funded Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Muslim fundamentalists, we fund

EVA (01:20.587)
What in Israel?

Ahmad (01:30.74)
and support Saudi Arabia that gives the money to the madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. My parents are from Pakistan and they go, we don’t recognize Pakistan. It’s become so radicalized over the last 50 years. It wasn’t like that. My mom said it wasn’t like that when she was growing up when she was a kid. They weren’t like that religious zealots. The whole Islamic world has been radicalized. But if you look at things like the Muslim Brotherhood, even the MI6 were behind.

funding of that and founding of it and supporting of it. You know Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. You know all these Netanyahu boasted about funding and supporting Hamas so that it would break the Palestinian solidarity and it’s easier. Simple tactics divide and rule, divide and rule, break up the Palestinian resistance into two or more warring factions. The thing is there’s a history and a precedent of the West funding and supporting and

creating the monsters and then going, oh look, they’re monsters to justify their actions. It’s so, the playbook is so obvious. What I don’t understand is why people don’t see that. And I think the average man and woman, whether they’re in Syria or Israel or in Palestine or Britain are actually victims, victims of propaganda and brainwashing and manipulation by the central bankers, the cartel, the cabal, whatever you call them.

and their puppets, the government and their tool, the propaganda tool, the mainstream media. But the average person on the street is a victim. That’s my take on it. Would you agree?

EVA (03:14.243)
To a large extent I would, yes. And I wanted to go back to your question because I know I waffled a little bit and got astray from your question, which is do I think Israelis are aware of what degree of indoctrination they may or may not have been exposed to? And I recommended, well,

looking, I said that I wasn’t the right person to speak to, you know, the education system and indoctrination. But what I can say, I give that anecdote of the Israeli soldier with combatants for peace. But also, I spent a couple of weeks in my, in 2007 when I was there for eight months in the West Bank. I spent a couple of weeks in Hebron. And what one of the things we as activists would do would be to stand or sit in the blazing sun. It was quite uncomfortable, whatever.

On the main street in Hebron and gosh, what was that area called now? Tel Aviv? I forget it’s been a while on a main street. It was once a thriving prosperous main street Now the shops are all shuttered because the Palestinian shop owners had to close down their shops because of the Israeli illegal Colonist violence was so extreme they couldn’t operate and also Due to the occupation. I think they were forced to cut closer shops

We would stand on the street to be a deterrent to any Israeli colonists that wanted to beat the heck out of a Palestinian child or civilian walking along the street because there was a precedent. Again, I refer to this Israeli rights group that documents such things, Bet Salem. There is a precedent of years and years of these Israeli colonists beating the living heck out of Palestinian civilians for no other reason than that they’re Palestinians.

So we would stand on the street with cameras ready to film if anything should happen. And if there are Palestinians who are afraid, we would escort them to where they’re going. Of course, we didn’t have any sort of protection ourselves and many international activists have been attacked and beaten by these Israeli colonists. But I remember in doing so, one hot day, one hot summer 2007 day watching a family of these Israeli colonists walk by.

EVA (05:28.646)
And almost the entire family were glaring at everything around them because everything around them was Palestinians, although virtually none on the street and us international activists. But there was a child of, I don’t know, two years old, maybe three years old, still a child, still filled with the wonder of being a child without the prejudices. And I just remember thinking, what a beautiful child. And how is that child going to be after living with a family that

sees Palestinians as something they need to kill. Maybe the child turned out fine or maybe the child grew to mimic the actions of its parents, which were, I mean, that particular colony of colonists were extremely violent, again, documented by Betsilam and other activists. So there’s that, but back to what you’re saying about being victims of indoctrination, I do agree. And I think, you know, I cut,

people in the West some slack, not only in the West, kind of everywhere, because people are trying to exist. A lot of people, if they’re just struggling to survive, they’re working, and they think they’re doing well by turning on whatever their media sources, you know, they think they’re informing themselves, they think, okay, you know, I’m going to listen to this news, and then I will relax by whatever means they want to, or maybe they won’t relax, maybe they have to go work another job. And the media source they turn on isn’t

having a conversation about shared experiences or experiences on the ground, it’s the BBC, it’s the Guardian, it’s the CBC, it’s state-funded media that have an agenda to sell, they have public management to sell, they don’t have the truth to tell, they have a narrative to shove down your throats, or you log into PayPal and you see support Ukraine, right, or you know anything where you wouldn’t expect a political message it’s there, so it’s constant bombardment, so yes.

there is a huge amount of indoctrination, not just with political things regarding wars or occupations, but go back to COVID, bombardment everywhere on what you should or shouldn’t do. And so I think, you know, I mentioned when I grew up, I was not a critical thinker and I’m still working on developing the skills, but I know I was a product of a Canadian education system. We are not taught critical thinking.

Ahmad (07:26.212)
Thanks for watching!

EVA (07:49.286)
And so again, I don’t really blame your average person who is a product of whatever Western education system, doesn’t think critically, is perhaps struggling to survive and then is inundated with absolute nonsense in version of reality, news, and they think they’re informed. What I wish people wouldn’t do is the virtue signaling so much. I mean, I understand. I think that comes from people getting excited and passionate about a cause, but you know.

It does bother me when people who’ve never been anywhere near the place in question, whether it’s Palestine, Ukraine, Syria, or whatever, will tell people who have spent time there, lived there, reported from there. No, you don’t know, because I read this in the Toronto Star. What you’re saying is just… Actually, what I want to say, I just remembered something you said at the beginning. People can be… I can’t remember if we were recording, but this is true. People can be afraid.

to take a position or voice their opinion because they don’t want to be called any of. Conspiracy theorist, Russian propagandist, Assad propagandist, genocide denier, regime apologist, anti-semite, blah, blah. You know what? Climate denier, I think that people need to like toughen up. Maybe I’m saying this because I’ve been smeared relentlessly at this point. I’m like, yeah, call me whatever you want. I don’t care.

Ahmad (09:01.239)
climate to know, yeah, transphobe.

EVA (09:16.686)
For me, I never pretend to know everything. I’m human and I might make a mistake. I might remember a statistic or a date or a particular piece of information, not fully correctly, but it is not with malintent. And I’m not rewriting something I saw or experienced. And so I accept that I can be wrong on things, but it is not with the intent of lying. It is not with the intent of distorting reality.

I don’t know how often I’m wrong about something, probably many, many times, but I think people need to just not be afraid of having someone criticize you. If you don’t like my stance on Syria, Palestine, the Donbass, okay, that’s your choice. What I try to do is to give voice as much as I can to the people in the areas that are being affected. Now, I don’t go to Ukraine because I can’t. I would probably be killed.

I am on the Ukrainians kill list. The Mirat Borats have been there since 2019. And people who criticize the Kiev government are not appreciated in Ukraine. That’s putting it lightly. Journalists have been killed. Activists, political opposition members have been killed for saying things that the Kiev government doesn’t like. So I can’t go to Ukraine and report on that side. And I also don’t feel the need to because all of Western corporate media are doing that. They’re not reporting.

They’re reporting the soundbites they’ve been given, just like they did in Syria. What I can do is go to the Donbass, under Ukrainian shelling, film the dead bodies in the street, and explain what I saw, and lead people to understand that this is not a one-off. Just like when we get back to Palestine and what’s currently happening in Gaza, it’s not a one-off. This policy of targeting medics, targeting nurses, targeting journalists, blowing up media buildings, they targeted a building I was in January 2009. Thankfully, it was only with

either Apache helicopter shelling or tank shelling, like seven times. So we were able to get out, but in 2021, I think it was, the Israeli army completely leveled the two main media buildings in Gaza. And it’s clear when you target journalists like that, when you target media, it’s clear your intent is to prevent them from reporting what you’re going to do next.

Ahmad (11:36.54)
Oh, I’ve seen some pictures and videos of airstrikes in Gaza and whole blocks, buildings are just being leveled. And I’m like, why are they doing that? Like, are there Hamas soldiers in there? How do they know there’s Hamas soldiers? Why do they know there’s Hamas soldiers in these buildings when they didn’t know about all the soldiers coming across and the paragliders and whatnot? Can I just quickly ask you something? This rave massacre.

EVA (11:47.143)

EVA (12:03.694)

Ahmad (12:05.428)
If I was a freedom fighter, if I was a rebel, I would kill innocent people. Because they do that to me, I wouldn’t do that to them. I would then be lowering myself to their level. Why do you think Hamas killed all those innocent people? Targeting the occupation forces is one thing, but why the innocents? I mean, did they not know that this would blow back on their face?

EVA (12:31.534)
See, that’s where I would add a poll.

EVA (12:36.014)
That’s where I ask people to stop, pause, and ask yourself, what evidence do we have for the numbers we’ve been told? I’m not saying innocents weren’t killed. I want to know what are the numbers we’ve been told and what evidence do we have that these were all civilians, they were all killed by Hamas or other Palestinian resistance? What evidence do we have? We have a testimony taken by an Israeli woman, but don’t know her name. I saw it shared on media recently. Again, being interviewed by Israeli media.

And she’s saying she was taken captive by Palestinian resistance. They told her, don’t worry, we’re not going to harm you. We’re going to take you to Gaza. And if I remember correctly, they didn’t get that chance. The Israeli security forces, whether they’re police, they must’ve been police or army, raided the area where the Palestinian resistance were and the Israeli civilians were. And this woman herself said, many people,

Israeli civilians, if they were not actually Israeli soldiers in plain clothes, many civilians were killed by crossfire. Many civilians, she said, and I don’t want to misquote her, were killed by the Israeli security forces. So I’m not saying that there weren’t deaths by Hamas or other Palestinian resistance. I don’t know. What I’m saying is when you hear numbers being thrown out like 40 beheaded babies and you don’t have any corroborating evidence.

Why do you believe these numbers? You know, when you hear incubator babies were taken out of their pods and thrown on the floor by Nurse Nouraio, whatever her name was, the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador accusing Iraqi forces of doing this, you know, and she put on a good show. I’m not saying no Israeli civilians died. I’m just saying there has been a precedent of stating one thing and not having the evidence to back it.

Ahmad (14:32.347)
So those who don’t know what you’re talking about, in the first Gulf War, there was a big story going out that Iraqi soldiers were throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators. And it really got everybody riled up and upset. And it turned out to be a complete hoax. It was all fraud, it wasn’t true. I get that. Do you think Palestinians are terror,

EVA (14:38.242)

EVA (14:54.846)
You know, sorry, I can just add, can I add just a little tiny interesting aside to that? So there is an American lawyer, his name will come to me, oh, Francis Boyle. And he was on the board, if I recall, of Amnesty International USA. And he implored them not to publish this report because he said there’s nothing to back it, it’s not factual. And he said that they, this impartial human rights group, overrode,

his concerns and he had like, he had a lot of reasons to protest this and they knew it was a false report and they published it anyway. And I make that point because again, when we talk about where we’re getting our information from, we think when we hear about Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch, we think, well, no, these are benevolent, impartial human rights groups. They aren’t impartial. They’re inevitably funded by the US, the UK governments.

and they inevitably take the NATO line with a sprinkling of, you know, what seems like a semblance of truth, you know, some criticism of Israel, some criticism of Al-Qaeda in Syria. But for the most part, their role is to whitewash the crimes of whoever’s committing them in Syria, in Ukraine. For example, if I may, in the Donbass, Ukraine has fired petal mines, which are these nefarious little mines that look like a little butterfly. They’re very…

So they’re tiny, they’re plastic, and they can be detonated by the slightest touch, just a child or even a cat stepping on them. They blow off feet, or if you dare to touch them, if you’re a child and you don’t know any better, and they look like toys, like many mines, they blow off hands. Over 135, I think now, Dunbas civilians have been victims of these mines, including three who died of their injuries.

Ahmad (16:35.236)

EVA (16:48.318)
Human Rights Watch finally, so I was in Donetsk when Ukraine fired these mines, not the first time, but when they fired them on the very center of the city, they fired them via rocket. Each rocket contains around 312 or so of these mines. The mines flutter down to the ground and most of them don’t explode until they’re disturbed. And the really insidious thing is they’re incredibly difficult to see. They look like spots in the ground, look like leaves.

So it’s very easy to mistake them. Or if they are unfortunately covered with a piece of paper or something, you don’t even know. And the sappers would go through and clear areas of these mines. And then you’d have rains or wind and mines would be blown from rooftops and trees onto areas that were deemed safe and more victims. Human Rights Watch, back to my point about human rights groups, many months ago, finally issued a report about Izyum, I think it was, in Ukraine. And they said…

actually it wasn’t Russians who fired these mines. Russian forces were occupying that town. It was Ukrainian forces who fired it, but they won’t go as far as to issue such a report on the Donbass where there’s like tenfold more victims of these Ukrainian fired mines. So my point being, you know, in terms of indoctrination and information, just because they have fancy names like Reporters Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors Without Borders.

they were supporting Al-Qaeda in Syria, in eastern Aleppo, in other areas. So information, it really is an information war. And question what I’m saying, go and do some research, you know, but just, you know, when we get back to these glaring headlines, 40 beheaded babies by Hamas, where’s the evidence? You know, and I’ve seen a few interviews now, again, Israelis on Israeli media saying we were treated humanely.

I could understand if they’re still in Hamas, if they’re still captive as prisoners. I could understand people being skeptical, but when it’s after the fact, maybe they’re telling the truth.

Ahmad (18:45.346)

Ahmad (18:51.5)
Yeah, I saw that video and it was very compelling. She had no reason to lie. She was in free hands. And what I don’t get is collective punishment. So I think at the start of this conflict, and it’s not even a conflict, it’s one sided, is the fact that they’ve cut off the electricity, they’ve cut off the water. That’s collective punishment. And that’s wrong against all treaties. You cannot do, yeah, you cannot do collective punishment.

EVA (19:13.89)
What’s been going on for 17 years of collective punishment? I mean, as you were saying earlier, no, it’s against international humanitarian laws, it’s against Geneva Conventions, it’s against every ethics and morals. I mean, you can take your issue with Palestinian resistance, you can call them terrorists if you want to, although you’ll be a big hypocrite because you won’t call al-Qaeda terrorists or whatever. Put that aside.

Ahmad (19:36.42)

EVA (19:43.39)
You can’t honestly think it is the fault of the now 2.3 million people in Gaza that they have Palestinian resistance. I still believe that the overwhelming

Ahmad (19:51.906)
So what are the things that.

I know, but one of the things that’s crazy, I see so many people comment and say, well, that’s their fault. They’re sheltering Hamas or Hamas is using them as shields. And I’m like, okay, hold on one second. Imagine you’re a cop and you want to get a criminal. A criminal comes and grabs their child or something and puts it in front of them like a shield. Does that mean I go, all right, I’m going to shoot the child so I can get to the criminal? I mean, that makes me a criminal.

EVA (19:56.587)

Ahmad (20:24.62)
You don’t do that. You hold your gun down, you wait for the right moment, and then you try and get the criminal. You don’t just shoot the child. So this whole argument of we’re gonna bomb and bomb, you know, and if the Palestinians die, well, that’s their fault. They’re there amongst the Hamas. It’s Hamasi’s fault. I think that’s wrong. This overwhelming use of force, the way they’re doing it is very wrong. Now, the next thing to say is that, can I just add to this, even if they say Hamas is blocking,

EVA (20:49.492)
You know…

EVA (20:52.927)
Good luck.

Ahmad (20:54.304)
the Gazans from moving south and it’s the Hamas’s fault that the Gazans are dying. What do you think of that?

EVA (21:03.754)
Well, you already established, you asked me the size of Gaza and I gave you my rough recollection, which was 365 square kilometers. It’s like a long slanted rectangular strip. And again, as I mentioned earlier, the northern and eastern side are encompassed in what Israel calls a buffer zone. So there’s virtually no ability to live, much less work in those regions.

Israel’s been well, I was looking at statistics and I was just trying to see what the date was for these statistics, but it was like in the first X number of days, let’s say for four days. Israel had used like I think it was 6000 bombs dropped 6000 bombs on Gaza, let me just I had it here, it was a huge amount of bombs, they dropped an immense amount of bombs on this trapped population.

Ahmad (21:49.558)
Oh wow.

EVA (22:00.954)
Then they ordered the North, so at least half the population, to move South. Now, logically, in a very tiny strip of land that has been bombarded and besieged, has been besieged for 17 years, preventing building equipment from re-entering, preventing everything you would need to function just to exist, in addition to exist after bombing campaigns. This has all been prevented.

And then on top of that, you have like 2009, 2012, 2014, some in 2020, sorry, 21. And now these major bombing campaigns, which has just decimated the infrastructure. Logically, if this half the population, a million, say Palestinians, were gonna move South, where would they stay? Where would they go? And what’s to prevent Israel from bombing them, whether they’re in tents or in the courtyard of a hospital?

like Al Ahly Hospital.

Ahmad (22:58.364)
Yes. So another thing I’ve heard is, oh, why didn’t they just all go to Egypt or another country? And I’m like, hold on one second. These are displaced people. They’re refugees who haven’t been able to return to their home in 70 years. And you want them to leave where they’ve been displaced to. You think they’re ever going to be able to get back into Gaza? Like what the hell? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Like it just doesn’t make sense. But what do you

but the IDF is humanitarian. They warn the civilians when they got a bomb. You know, they’re very careful not to injure anyone else. When you hear that, what do you think of that?

EVA (23:42.99)
It’s absolute propaganda. Look, in 2009, I mentioned I was riding with medics. Testimonies I took included during that time and afterwards, I for months was collecting testimonies. I met one family whose infant baby was shot by an Israeli sniper after the family was told to leave their house, which was in Eastern Gaza in the Zeytun district. They were ordered to leave the house. The father, when he opened the gate to the house,

was shot dead, the young couple with their children and the infant baby were told to leave and then the baby was shot. And the mother, it didn’t die right away and the mother tried to breastfeed it for a while to comfort it, whatever. The mother’s desperate, attempted, comfort her dying child. That was one incident. There are so many testimonies of not just civilians, but children and infants being shot dead. I met the…

I met a family from Al-Altatra, northern Gaza. I met them by coincidence in Shefa Hospital, which is the main hospital in Gaza City. I was there and I saw them come in and so I took their photos because they were badly mutilated, having been burned by white phosphorus fired by the most moral army, the Israeli army. And that they had fired it on a home with no Palestinian resistance around, onto a home, burned half the family.

alive, including a baby named Shahed, who’s bloody, who’s not even bloodied. Her baby Shahed’s body was burned to a crisp. And I met the family, the survivors in Shefa hospital, and they were badly mutilated. And one of the women I met, she later died of her injuries, like 40% of her body was deeply burned. This was an intentional bombing of this particular home with white phosphorus. I saw white phosphorus throughout Gaza City. I saw the second major hospital in Gaza City, El Quds Hospital.

Also in January 2009, the Israeli army had invaded that district, Tel El Hawa. They were firing on the hospital. Shefa, the main hospital, was already overcrowded with civilians. There was no space for injured or people needing medical care. And the Israelis were firing on Quds Hospital. And we had to go in ambulances to evacuate civilians under the risk of Israeli sniper fire. They were sniping civilians who were fleeing neighboring buildings.

EVA (26:06.878)
try to get away from the Israeli army and they were sniping them down. And I mentioned the medics I was with that were sniped by during ceasefire hours. I took testimonies of a family from northern Gaza who during ceasefire hours, the boy wanted to go back to the home to get clothing because they’d fled with nothing and it was ceasefire hours. You know the most moral army was not going to bomb. The boy was drone struck and killed. The family didn’t find him or the pieces of him until

Ahmad (26:10.316)

EVA (26:36.67)
much later when they were able to go back to their area. In 2012, about two hours before the ceasefire was to be implemented after the November, 2012 Israeli war on Gaza, a boy in Eastern Gaza, Nidal, went to a local shop to get food for his siblings and knowing the ceasefire was going to be implemented and they hadn’t had proper food. I think they just had bread for days. So he went to the shop like 50, 100 meters down the road.

He was drone struck by an Israeli precision drone, which can see down to the fabric of your clothing. They could see very well, this is a 14 year old kid, no weapon whatsoever, no threat whatsoever, and they droned the heck out of him. His body arrived like spaghetti in the central Gaza hospital where I was. He was obviously dead. You know, these are just minor examples. There are countless examples. The Samooni family in 2009 in the Zaytoon region.

an extended family, around 100 people were forced into one building after already being terrorized by Israeli bombing and after a period of, I don’t remember, 24 hours, they bombed the entire two or three story building, killing like 40 or 50 members of the family. You know, the UN hospital, Fakura, it was a UN, probably an UNRWA, UN Relief Works Agency

displaced Palestinians had fled because they’d been told to flee. So they’d fled to the UN building, school, where they were supposed to be safe. And that building was bombed by the Israeli army that had coordinates and that knew it was sheltering displaced Palestinians. And they killed 43 people in that school, January 2009. I’m giving accounts from 2009, but if we look to what’s happening now, it is, Ahmed, it is horrific. I mean, I lived this stuff.

I’m very familiar with having Apaches F-16s, drones, tens or dozens of drones overhead. It’s psychological warfare, just the sound alone, the warships, the tanks. I’m accustomed to the fear of being cut off from the world, having no internet, no electricity, not knowing what the heck is happening in the next district, not knowing if your friends are still alive. But now I can’t even imagine, and I’ve lived it, I can’t even imagine what it’s like. They’re…

EVA (28:58.302)
The Israeli, the most moral and humane army has always targeted medics and journalists and flattened entire buildings with families in them. But it’s gotten so ghastly that you have seasoned journalists in Gaza who’ve seen the worst of the worst breaking down and sobbing because it’s so atrocious.

Ahmad (29:17.468)
Okay, okay. So this is quite painful to listen to. So that you mentioned the word inversion. It’s my favorite word because everything in this world is now inverted and that’s satanic. And I think we really are in this spiritual war between good and evil, light and dark. You know, the inversion is Palestinians are terrorists. They’re not, they’re freedom fighters. They’re fighting against occupation.

EVA (29:29.77)

Ahmad (29:44.296)
and the Israeli defense force is anything but defense from the sounds of it. But I don’t think this is great for the Jews in Israel. I don’t see how living with this trauma, if you’re constantly oppressing and treating people and killing them, this must be psychologically scarring and harming them. This isn’t good for anybody. This isn’t good for the Palestinians who are suffering.

This is actually really damaging for a society. How can a society develop in peace and harmony and love when it’s always in a state of fear and hatred and anger and dishing out cruelty? I don’t see how anyone wins. I subscribed to Stephen Covey. He wrote some books, but he’s passed away about seven habits of highly effective people and he…

EVA (30:20.449)
Oh, jeez.

Ahmad (30:40.236)
And you could do it across organizations or society, anything, but it’s about, one of the habits is win-win. Always look for a situation where both parties win because the summation of both your wins will be greater than your individual win. And it’s true. In this scenario, I don’t think Israel’s winning. I did not think this is healthy for their long-term survival and for their civilization. They are killing themselves as well.

in this process. That’s my personal opinion.

So can I ask you something? Eva, what is the solution? How do you see a lasting peace between these people who have so much in common? So much in common. They’re cousins in effect. How can there be peace?

EVA (31:34.454)
I think one of the most commonly quoted expressions is no justice, no peace. How can there be peace when you’re systematically oppressing a population, you’ve been doing so for the entirety of your existence? Even within Israel itself, Palestinians that have Israeli citizenship are discriminated against. Jews that come from North Africa or elsewhere are discriminated against, and they have Israeli citizenship and they’re Jews.

Ahmad (31:43.007)

EVA (32:04.194)
So I mean, how can there be peace when the occupation, the Zionist state, the state of Israel, is inherently racist and oppresses even its own people? But I think also, you asked, I forget how you worded it, but how can this end?

I don’t like violence. I don’t call for violence, but I recognize my computer is going to die. So that’s strange. I guess it wasn’t plugged in. Sorry about that. I think it’s okay. But I recognize the right of unoppressed people to fight under an international law, their right to fight their occupiers. And again, we already talked about how Al-Qaeda in Syria were cheerlead as freedom fighters when clearly there are Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria. So

You know, like it or not, this is the product of decades of Israeli racism, oppression and extreme violence, genocide of Palestinians. They are resisting. And if you really want peace, you have to understand why they are resisting. You have to if you really want peace, kindly stop virtue signaling. Not you. I’m talking in general people.

Make an effort to actually understand how it came to be where we’re at and please don’t cite the BBC. Don’t cite all these media sources that have lied to you about everything else before. Ask yourselves what you would do if you were in the place of Palestinians. You would resist. You would fight for the lives of your families and your futures. And I don’t like to speak in terms of like the political solution. It’s not my place. I’m not Palestinian.

I think the most viable solution is a one state solution, but that is not for me to decide. But certainly as you were pointing out earlier, the two state solution was never even a viable concept. And it’s ridiculous to even discuss it at this point. You pointed out prior to the creation of Israel, Jews, although it was a smaller number of Jews, but Jews, Muslims and Christians coexisted in Palestine.

EVA (34:23.038)
And I’ve met so many Palestinians that talked about this, how Palestinian was always a melting pot for faiths and people. It could be again, but you have to remove this racist Zionist rule. How can that ever be just or peaceful?

Ahmad (34:42.548)
And I hate to say this, but it’s a Western imposition. Just like in Pakistan and India, the West and the British created the partition so that there was always strife. And wherever they left their colonies, they left problems. They left powder kegs that could explode at any moment. Again, it was the West that created this problem and fuels it as far as I’m concerned, because it doesn’t show fairness. It shows double standards. It shows hypocrisy.

EVA (34:47.467)

Ahmad (35:14.04)
Eva, thank you for talking to me. I really hope the listeners who are listening will not think that you’re some kind of anti-semitic person and I’m some anti-semitic. I’ve got more Jewish friends than Muslim friends. I have a lot of respect for Jews and I don’t care about your background, your colour, your creed. I think as long as you’re a good human being, that’s how I respect you. I have no other agenda. I just want the truth.

I want people to know the truth. I want them to understand all the sides of the stories that are not being shared in the mainstream media and are being concealed by us. And I think only when people know the truth and have true empathy and love for their fellow man and woman can we get peace. We need to stop being manipulated by the media and all these other nefarious organizations. Listen, my last question before I end is something I ask all my guests.

Imagine you’ve lived a long life, Ava. I don’t know if you’ve got any children, but say you’ve got children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, you’re 152. You’re on your deathbed. You’re very comfortable. You’re about to go to meet your maker. Before you die, what words of wisdom and advice would you give for your family, health or otherwise?

EVA (36:29.73)
Hmm gosh that’s a good question. Well don’t watch television. Sorry that’s a bit off a flippin but seriously like just turn off the media. It’s a hard question. I mean I would answer I guess based on my experiences but not everybody can do what I’ve done. I think traveling is an excellent form of education because you understand or at least you have the opportunity to understand other cultures. That’s been my experience and I’ve traveled widely.

at my own expense, in various cultures where I don’t speak the language. And it’s been super educational to me because I’ve come to this understanding, which should be very obvious to everybody, but we’re all essentially the same, whatever your faith or language, we all have the same human needs and fears and love. So if you can travel, I mean, to be honest, I’ve never owned a car, I’ve never owned a house. I drive, I’m a decent driver.

Ahmad (37:19.667)

EVA (37:28.126)
I will at some point, I’d like to buy land and take in stray dogs, but you know, at this point in my life, I haven’t done that yet, but I have traveled, I’ve traveled the world and I don’t regret not owning a lot of material things. I can still do that, you know, it’s fine. So I guess travel would be a piece of advice, but if you’re not in the position of traveling, learn languages, try to communicate with people outside of your sphere, your comfort zone, try to understand.

more than the bubble in which you exist. And I, you know, we all exist in bubbles, but I really think it’s important to have a better understanding of where other people are coming from. So I guess offhand, you caught me off guard with that question. Those would be a couple of things that come to mind.

Ahmad (38:14.692)
That was a good, I think that was a good answer. Ava, listen, thank you for talking and explaining your experiences and sharing it with us. I hope I can have you back again at some point next year. I wish you all the best and carry on your great work. And thank you so much. Thank you everyone for listening.

Ahmad (38:38.228)
I hope you enjoyed that.