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Mehdi Presses Pro-Israel Democrat on Support for ICC Sanctions & Gaza Destruction: ‘You Voted for a Mafioso Bill’

Plus, it’s time to talk about AIPAC, and an interview with legendary photojournalist Shahidul Alam.

Over 70% of Americans believe lobbyists have too much influence – so why do Democrats and the media remain silent when it comes to the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in America, AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee? 

In this episode of ‘Mehdi Unfiltered’, Mehdi not only calls out AIPAC for helping the GOP meddle with Democratic primaries, but also calls out his main interview guest, Democrat Congressman Dean Phillips, who recently voted to sanction the ICC for requesting an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Plus, Mehdi speaks with world-famous Bangladeshi photojournalist Shahidul Alam on his protest against the war in Gaza and what it has cost him. Watch the full show above.

Pressing Rep. Dean Phillips on his vote against the ICC…

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips says he stands for the rule of law. So why did he choose to vote for a bill that would sanction International Criminal Court officials – as well as their families – after the court requested an arrest warrant for Netanyahu’s role in the war on Gaza?

Phillips told Mehdi that he objected to the ICC’s decision because of the fact that Israel is not party to the ICC – a claim that Mehdi rebutted by pointing to last year, when Democrats praised the ICC arrest warrant against Putin for his war crimes in Ukraine, even though Russia is not party to the ICC either. 

“Even if we were to agree with you that they're outside the purview, and they [the ICC] would say they're not, it didn't just go after ICC officials, but also quote ‘immediate family members’ of ICC officials. That is mob-like behavior – is it not? To go after family?” Mehdi asked Phillips.

“We have votes in Congress that we know will not end up going anywhere. We have votes that we know will probably be signed into the law. They have very different consequences,” Phillips responded. 

“With respect, Congressman. It doesn't matter what your intent is. It matters what you voted for. You voted for a very mafioso bill,” Mehdi told Phillips. 

They also debated U.S. complicity in war crimes, whether Democrats value Palestinian life, and Phillips’s own failed presidential bid earlier this year. 

Let’s talk about AIPAC…

As AIPAC spends millions of dollars trying to unseat pro-Palestine progressive Jamaal Bowman, Mehdi begs the question: Why does AIPAC, a pro-Israel group that openly brags about their influence over elected officials, rarely get criticized? 

“Anti-Semitic tropes about ‘rich Jews’, whether they’re Soros or the Rothschilds or the Jewish community in general, should absolutely be condemned. But that’s not what we’re talking about when we’re talking about AIPAC. We’re talking about a self-described powerful lobbying group,” Mehdi says, adding that the lobbying group, “should be rejected in the same way that we reject, say, the NRA.”

Watch his powerful and timely monologue above. 

Artists speaking up on Gaza…

This past March, Bangladeshi photojournalist Shahidul Alam was supposed to curate the first ever edition of the famous Biennale photography exhibition in Germany with three non-European curators. However, the exhibition ended-up being canceled in November due to Alam’s criticism of Israel’s war on Gaza. 

“We worked really hard to put together a show that would have been very different. The whole point in inviting initially me and me inviting the others was to bring about a change to the way they'd always done it,” Alam said of the exhibit. “But of course… what they needed was someone who would be non-European, but still follow the European scheme of things.”

Alam of course has not backed down from his criticism of Israel’s war on Gaza.

Watch the full show above and, for paid subscribers, be sure to let us know in the comments below what you think of the show and who we should have on next!

Mehdi Unfiltered
A new weekly show that delivers unfiltered news, bold opinions, and challenging interviews you won't find elsewhere.