The Takeaway

Israeli Settlements, Adjusting to the Immigration Ban, 'Normal' in Trump's America

February 1, 201745 min
Coming up on today's show:
Last week, the Israeli parliament approved the construction of  2,500 new homes in the West Bank and over 500 in East Jerusalem. Yesterday, 3,000 more homes were authorized by the government - a growth in settlements emboldened by President Trump's strong backing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While tensions surrounding the settlements have risen dramatically in recent years, their development dates back to 1967. Filmmaker Shimon Dotan traces that history in his documentary "The Settlers," in which he examines how a small number of initial settlements permitted by Israeli officials paved the way for roughly 400,000 settlers living in the West Bank today. Dotan discusses a situation that he believes is on the verge of becoming catastrophic.
Sana Mustafa is a 25-year old Syrian refugee, having been forced to seek asylum after her father was detained by the Assad regime. She arrived in the U.S. in 2013, eventually earning a scholarship to Bard College. The rest of her family has been attempting to resettle here, as well. But with the Trump administration's immigration orders, that reunion is now on unstable ground. 

Defense Secretary James Mattis landed in Seoul today to meet with South Korean and Japanese officials, his first overseas trip. The focus will be on U.S.-Asia alliances, a relationship Mattis stressed during his confirmation hearings. Bonnie Glaser, senior advisor for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discusses the significance of Secretary Mattis’s visit and what’s at stake for U.S.-Asia relations.

While the dramatized Supreme Court nominations, executive order signings, and cabinet hearings attract the headlines, Republican leaders are quietly rolling back a number of Obama regulations, using a little-known law called the Congressional Review Act. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent, discusses what regulations will be the first to go. 

This past Monday, more than 1,700 Flint, Michigan, residents filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. The plaintiffs are seeking over $770 million in damages and are attempting to gain class action status for their claims. According to the EPA, the lead levels in Flint's water have receded to the point that they are below the levels considered dangerous to drink. However, residents remain skeptical. Jan Burgess, lead plaintiff of the case, and Julie Hurwitz, civil rights attorney, discuss the case, and how it could set a precedent for other towns dealing with similar crises. 

A conversation on Wednesday's program ignited a discussion about what "normal" means in America today. Norm Crider, a marine corps veteran and supporter of the Trump policy on immigration and refugees, referenced "the normal culture of America." Many listeners reacted strongly, but the reality is that many people in America feel the same way that Mr. Crider does. Hussein Rashid, professor of religion at Hofstra University and a Truman National Security Fellow, and Jerusha Lamptey, professor at Union Theological Seminary and author of the book "Never Wholly Other," discuss that sentiment, and how Muslim immigrants meet and adjust to certain expectations of "normalcy" in America. 

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