Vox podcasts tackle the Israel-Hamas war 

Israeli forces’ flares light up the night sky in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. | Abed Khaled/AP

Looking to understand the Israel-Hamas war? Start with these Vox podcast episodes.

The Israel-Palestine conflict goes back decades, but this latest war has taken an unprecedented toll in terms of the number of people killed, and represents a significant step back from any hopes of securing a two-state solution and a permanent peace. Vox podcasts are covering the conflict in depth, offering our listeners context and clarity about the history of the conflict, a deeper understanding of the players in Israel and Palestine and on the world stage, and the toll of Hamas’s attack and Israel’s retaliation on the people in the region.

Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news explainer podcast, has been covering the conflict since it began, with an episode posted right after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel that took the lives of 1,400 victims and resulted in the kidnapping of more than 240 hostages. The show has since continued to cover many threads in this story, from where Hamas comes from to how false information about the conflict has spread on social media and how information warfare is used in the Middle East. Vox podcasts The Weeds and The Gray Area have also been covering the unfolding crisis, its stakes, and its impact.

You can find those and all our other episodes on the topic below; we’ll continue to add as new episodes are published.

BDS and the history of the boycott

November 8, 2023 | If you turn on the news or scroll through your social media feed of choice, there’s a good chance you’ll see the latest on the Israel-Hamas war — and the reaction to it. But there’s one call to action making its way down social media feeds that feels different from all these other responses. It’s called BDS, short for boycott, divest, and sanction. And like just about everything related to this conflict, it’s complicated and controversial. The Weeds host Jonquilyn Hill sits down with Vox senior reporter Whizy Kim to explain the controversial movement, and with Cornell professor and author of Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America Lawrence B. Glickman to discuss the history of boycotts and whether they even work.


November 8, 2023 | Protesters, politicians, and the pope are calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, but the US and Israeli governments remain opposed. Vox’s Jonathan Guyer and Jon B. Alterman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies explain what happens next.

The view from Israel

November 2, 2023 | Israelis overwhelmingly disapprove of their government’s handling of the October 7 attacks, but their desire for unity keeps Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power. Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum explains what Israel’s government should do next, and professor Noah Efron of Bar-Ilan University describes the mood among Israelis.

Gaza’s humanitarian crisis

October 30, 2023 | Cut off from water and power and recovering from a communications blackout, Gaza is plunged deeper into crisis. It’s not just a humanitarian problem, says leading human rights attorney Kenneth Roth — it’s a violation of international law.

Why does the US always side with Israel?

October 25, 2023 | This was the top question we got when we asked Today, Explained listeners hat they wanted to know about this conflict. Joel Beinin, Middle East history professor emeritus at Stanford, has answers.

Hearts, minds, and likes

October 23, 2023 | False information about what is happening in Israel and Gaza is taking over social media faster than journalists like BBC Verify’s Shayan Sardarizadeh can check it. That’s exactly how digital propagandists want it, says professor and social media expert Marc Owen Jones.

Biden goes to Israel

October 18, 2023 | It’s been 11 days since Hamas attacked Israel, killing civilians and taking hostages. Israel’s retaliation has killed hundreds of Palestinians and created a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment Aaron David Miller and Middle East analyst Michael Wahid Hanna explain what role diplomacy will play in the coming days.

How Palestinians view Hamas

October 16, 2023 | The US along with Israel and many of its allies have long considered Hamas a terrorist group. Khaled Al-Hroub, a professor at Northwestern University in Qatar, explains how its reputation is a lot murkier among Palestinians, who elected the group to political power in 2006.

Israel, Hamas, and how we got here

October 10, 2023 | This Israel-Hamas war is unlike the ones that came before it, says Haaretz’s Allison Kaplan Sommer. But it was years in the making, says Vox’s Zack Beauchamp.

You May Also Like