Democracy Now! - March 18, 2015
In his latest column for the New York Daily News, Democracy Now! co-host Juan González reports on intimidation tactics used by Castellan Real Estate Partners, the hedge fund-backed owner of more than 50 rent-stabilized apartments in New York City. Despite a state-appointed monitor, Castellan continues to force out tenants by improperly demanding proof of citizenship or income, and then jacking up rents by up to 50 percent.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a surprise election victory, putting him on course for a fourth term in office. Netanyahu’s Likud Party is poised to control 29 or 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset. The Zionist Union opposition placed second with 24 seats. A united list of Arab parties came in third with 13 seats. Netanyahu closed out his campaign with a vow to oppose a Palestinian state, reneging on his nominal endorsement of a two-state solution in 2009. Netanyahu also vowed to expand the illegal West Bank settlements and issued a last-minute plea to supporters denouncing a high turnout of Arab voters. The Zionist Union, Netanyahu’s chief rival, also ran on a platform for Israel to keep the major Israeli settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, the home of any future Palestinian state. Likud says Netanyahu intends to form a new government in the coming weeks. Talks are already underway with a number of right-wing parties. To discuss the election, we are joined by two guests: Jamal Zahalka, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset and chair of Balad party, which is part of the Joint List of Arab parties; and Amira Hass, correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz in the occupied Palestinian territories.
We look at the extraordinary story from Guantánamo of a father and son who were held for many years and what became of them after their release. Abdul Nasser Khantumani and his son Muhammed were imprisoned in Guantánamo in 2002. Muhammed was still a teenager when he was taken into U.S. custody in 2001. He was released in 2009 and resettled in Portugal. His father was resettled in Cape Verde almost exactly a year later. They have not been able to meet each other since. A new article in Harper’s Magazine details their ordeal, including how their relationship was used against them in Guantánamo: "Interrogators learned early on that proximity to Abdul Nasser was a 'comfort item' they could manipulate to try to make Muhammed talk. After Muhammed became uncooperative, they relocated him as a form of punishment. It would be years before they would hear each other’s voices again." We are joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, a senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who has represented Abdul Nasser Khantumani and his son Muhammed since 2008. Her article for Harper’s is "Life After Guantánamo: A Father and Son’s Story."
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