Final Straw: Settler-Colonialism with Nani Ferreira-Mathews

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Final Straw returns this week for an interview with Nani Ferreira-Mathews on settler-colonialism and Zionism.

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This week, we spoke with Nani Ferreira-Mathews. Nani is the author of “Birthright?: Travelogue of an American Radical in Israel / Palestine”, published by On Our Own Authority (or OOOA) Books, out of Atlanta, earlier this year. Nani has indigenous Hawaiian and Jewish heritage and talks and in 2013 went on the Taglit-Birthright tour to Israel, which is offered to Jews raised outside of Israel, in this case mostly of those on the trip were from the U.S., Canada & Europe.

Going into it, she already had some misgivings but throughout the tour she became more and more aware of the trip as a means to erase Palestinian and Indigenous perspectives from visibility to the tourists, who are being groomed for populating the spaces seized by the Israel as a Jewish-only territory and state. We talk about Zionism as a nationalist movement, the manipulation of the tourists on this free trip including setting up romantic situations among the guests and IDF soldiers and sleep deprivation, funding sources for Taglit-Birthright, and comparisons between the erasure or commodification of non-hegemonic ethnic and religious identities in the history and culture of the United States of America and Israel. We also talk about the BDS (or Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement, a Palestinian-led protest movement to economically and culturally push Israel to end the occupation.

Next week we’ll be airing a conversation with activists working on political prisoner and human rights issues in Palestine, so stay tuned!


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