Ramadan Begins With No Ceasefire In Sight | Crooked Media
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March 10, 2024
What A Day
Ramadan Begins With No Ceasefire In Sight

In This Episode

  • Ramadan began Sunday night, and it was also the unofficial deadline by which the Biden administration hoped to have negotiated a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. But as fighting in Gaza rages on and the death toll there tops 30,000, President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amped up their criticisms of each other.
  • Haiti’s government is on the brink of collapse after local gangs united in a coordinated attack on the nation’s capital city Port-au-Prince. The roots of the violence can be traced back all the way to the 90s.
  • And in headlines: Oppenheimer dominated the Oscars, the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into Boeing, and the Republican National Committee named two new leaders, one with the last name Trump.


Show Notes:



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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, March 11th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice. And this is What a Day, the pod with a lot of conspiracy theories about the doctored photo put out by the royal family yesterday. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Major photo agencies pulled the first official picture of Kate Middleton in months because they said it was manipulated. Why didn’t the royal family also manipulate her wedding ring back onto her finger Josie?


Josie Duffy Rice: I can’t wait to watch the Lifetime movies about the past couple of months in that family. [laughter] [music break] 


Tre’vell Anderson: On today’s show, Oppenheimer and the return of the red carpet were the big winners of last night’s Oscars. Plus, nepo babies also won this weekend. Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara was named the new co-chair of the Republican National Committee. 


Josie Duffy Rice: But first, let’s bring you an update on the ongoing war in Gaza. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began last night, which could have a significant impact on the war, which is now in its sixth month. The Biden administration hoped that there would be a temporary ceasefire by the time that Ramadan started, but that did not prove to be successful. On Sunday a Hamas leader said in a televised speech that they wanted a permanent cease fire. They wanted an agreement to end the war, the guaranteed withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and for displaced Palestinians to return to their homes. He said that Hamas was against a temporary cease fire because Israel, as the New York Times translated, quote, “Wants to get its prisoners back and then resume the war on our people.” 


Tre’vell Anderson: So given that there isn’t a ceasefire now, permanent or temporary, what’s the impact that Ramadan will have on what’s happening in Gaza? 


Josie Duffy Rice: The question here really is what is the impact the war on Gaza will have on Ramadan? Right. This is usually a time of celebration and community among Muslims. But as you can imagine, it’s a deeply depressing time for many in Gaza, and the typical festivities are largely largely subdued this year. Another complicated element here is that Ramadan requires, among other things, that practicing Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. And this is drastically more difficult in a country where thousands of people are literally starving. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Right. So many people are navigating famine, lack of access to food, water, other resources. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Tre’vell Anderson: But there is also often increased conflict and violence during Ramadan, even in years where a war is not going on, right? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. That’s correct. And much of that has to do with Al-aqsa, a mosque that is considered the third holiest site in Islam and is located on the Temple Mount, which is considered the most sacred site in Judaism. That is complicated, and it has always been complicated. And historically, Palestinians from the West Bank have attempted to pray at this site in increased numbers during Ramadan. And, according to Al Jazeera, quote, “Israeli police have traditionally obstructed access and attacked worshipers.” Just last year, actually, Palestinians barricaded themselves inside to prevent Israeli police from interfering with worship and as a result, the police broke in. They fired stun grenades and tear gas and they arrested hundreds of worshippers. And that was before the current war. So there’s real worry about what could happen now, given how much tensions have escalated in the past few months. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Now, we also know that there are other updates about what’s going on in Gaza, including that Biden and Netanyahu are even more so at odds now it looks like. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, that’s right. On Sunday, Biden criticized Netanyahu’s war strategy on MSNBC. Specifically, the steep civilian death toll in Gaza. 


[clip of President Joe Biden] He’s hurting Israel more than helping Israel. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Biden also suggested there is nothing Israel could really do that would lead him to cut off military assistance. Netanyahu responded to Politico and basically said that he didn’t know what Biden meant by his statement. Take a listen. 


[clip of Benjamin Netanyahu] If he meant by that, that I’m pursuing private policies against the wish of the majority of Israelis and that this is hurting the interests of Israel. Then he’s wrong on both counts. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Obviously, the two of them have increased their criticism of each other as of late, little by little. But this seems even more explicit than anything we’ve seen thus far. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hm. So what about the aid efforts in Gaza? Where are we with those? What’s the latest in that situation? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Those are happening though some of those efforts are still very rough going and insufficient. The U.S. military said yesterday that it dispatched a ship that will help build a pier in Gaza. This comes after last week Biden said he would build this temporary pier to help Gazans suffering under Israel’s military action. So it’s a pier that will later be used to help deliver aid. Meanwhile, the attempts to airdrop aid into Gaza have not gone off without a hitch. In fact, in a very horrific story, five children were apparently killed in Gaza on Friday by one of these airdrops by an unidentified foreign country, according to the Ministry of Health. And that’s because at least one parachute on the package failed to deploy, and so it fell on the children. A number of other children were injured as well. So it’s yet another devastation in an area that has just suffered so so much recently. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, thanks for that, Josie. Now on to unfortunately another humanitarian crisis on the horizon, this one in Haiti where the government is on the brink of collapse because of the political turmoil that began back in 2021. Leading all the way up to now, where the gang activity has gotten so bad in the country that now nearly one million of Haiti’s 11 million people are on the brink of famine. That’s according to the United Nations, and nearly 350,000 people are quite literally on the run as gangs take over their neighborhoods. 


Josie Duffy Rice: A real crisis point came last week. What happened? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So the violence reached a new height last week when a collective of Haitian gangs stormed the capital of Port-au-Prince in a coordinated effort. They attacked the presidential palace, the Interior ministry and a police headquarters. They broke thousands of people out from prison. The country has been under a state of emergency for a little over a week now, and the gangs aren’t letting the interim prime minister back into the country either. Ariel Henry left the country to attend a summit in Guyana, but the gangs closed down Haiti’s main international airport so he can’t return. The situation on the ground has gotten so bad that the U.S. military said early yesterday that it did an overnight mission to evacuate staff at the embassy in Haiti. 


Josie Duffy Rice: We haven’t mentioned the situation in Haiti on the show in kind of a while. So for people who don’t remember, this crisis really starts in 2021, right? Can you tell us a little about how we got here? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Conventional thinking says that much of the current instability can be traced back to the assassination of Haiti’s last president, Jovenel Moïse, back in 2021. But according to a group of experts interviewed by the Associated Press, the roots of the ongoing violence actually go back to the ’90s. Really quick history here, the Haitian military overthrew their president in the ’90s. That resulted in an embargo being placed on the country, which effectively isolated it. A few years later, the UN pushed out the coup’s leaders, which led to some economic changes that caused out of work boys, in particular, to join gangs. And then politicians started using these gangs as cheap armed labor. And when in the early 2000s, another coup was attempted, it was these gangs that defended the government, not the police. And so over the years, these gangs have grown in autonomy. And most recently, they’ve now formed a megazord of sorts that is quite literally preventing Ariel Henry from returning to the country. We’ll link to that AP story in our show notes. But the attacks over the weekend have prompted an emergency meeting among the leaders of Caribbean nations that’s happening today in Jamaica. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And how is the U.S. responding to all of this? 


Tre’vell Anderson: According to Politico, the Biden administration has been thinking through contingency plans for a few months now, and they’ve decided that for now, they’re not going to send any military forces to intervene. Instead, they are going to, quote, “enable and encourage our international partners to resolve it themselves.” Now, the country of Kenya did announce last year that it would lead a multinational police force into Haiti to try and stabilize the region. That mission is supposed to be partially financed by the U.S.. And Haiti and Kenya signed an agreement in that regard last week. But it’s been stalled due to a number of legal challenges in Kenya. And so it’s not clear if or when that effort would actually happen. So of course, this will be a story that we keep our eyes on. But that’s the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break]. 




Josie Duffy Rice: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines. 


[sung] Headlines. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Hollywood stars gathered at the Dolby Theater last night for the 96th annual Oscar Awards. Oppenheimer was the big winner by the end of the night, including taking home the trophy for Best Picture. Director Christopher Nolan and starring actor Killian Murphy won their first Oscars for Best Director and Best Lead Actor, respectively. Emma Stone was crowned Best Lead actress for her role in Poor Things. Other highlights of the night include Ryan Gosling performing I’m Just Ken and Billie Eilish singing What Was I Made For , both from Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie. John Cena shocked the audience when he presented the award for Best Costume Design wearing nothing but Birkenstock sandals. Messi, the lovable dog from Anatomy of a Fall got some screen time with his own seat at the ceremony. Meanwhile, the LA times reported that roughly 1000 demonstrators gathered a few blocks away from the Dolby Theater to call for an immediate cease fire in Gaza. Members of the Screen Actors Guild, or SAG, were among those in the crowd that took over Sunset Boulevard, waving Palestinian flags and chanting, quote, “While you’re watching, bombs are dropping.” 


Tre’vell Anderson: The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Boeing and the blowout of a 737 Max door plug on an Alaska Airlines flight in January. That’s according to a Saturday report by the Wall Street Journal. The paper cited quote, “documents and people familiar with the matter,” and said federal agents have reached out to some passengers and crew of the flight. The Alaska Airline flight was forced to make an emergency landing just a few minutes after takeoff, after a door panel blew off the plane mid-flight. Neither Boeing nor the Department of Justice have commented on the journal’s report. On Friday, Boeing acknowledged in a letter to Washington Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell that it can’t find any record of work done on the door panel. 


Josie Duffy Rice: The Biden administration can continue an immigration program that allows a set number of people from four countries to legally come to the US. That’s after a federal judge on Friday tossed a challenge to the program brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and 20 other Republican led states. In dismissing the case, US District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, said the states failed to show they were hurt by the program, known as parole processes. It allows as many as 360,000 people each year from Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to temporarily live and work in the U.S. so long as they have a sponsor. 


Tre’vell Anderson: And finally, the Republican National Committee named its new leaders on Friday. Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, and Michael Whatley, the chair of North Carolina’s Republican Party, are the new head bitches in charge. Both were publicly endorsed by the former president last month, before he pressured ex chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to step down. McDaniel was the longest serving RNC chair in the committee’s history after the former president tapped her in 2016. But McDaniel has faced heavy criticism for the GOP’s electoral losses in the years since. The committee has also struggled to raise funds over the past few years. In his acceptance speech, Whatley said that the committee will work quote, “hand in glove” with former President Trump’s campaign for the White House. Take a listen. 


[clip of Michael Whatley] If a dollar that we have is not directed towards winning this November, that dollar will not be spent. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Ugh. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Okay. [laugh]


Josie Duffy Rice: There’s just no separation between the Republican Party and Trump at all whatsoever anymore. 


Tre’vell Anderson: It’s one and the same.


Josie Duffy Rice: One and the same. It’s pretty much been the case for forever but if anything seals the deal, it’s this.


Tre’vell Anderson: It is this. Absolutely. And those are the headlines. 




Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. We’ll miss you Barbenheimer, and tell your friends to listen. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And if you’re into reading and not just photoshop fails of the royals like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Josie Duffy Rice.


Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.


[spoken together] And Ramadan Mubarak! [music break]


Tre’vell Anderson: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our associate producers are Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf. We had production help today from Michell Eloy, Greg Walters, and Julia Claire. And our showrunner is Leo Duran. Adriene Hill is our executive producer. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.