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November 8, 2023

Understanding Political Divides Over Israel-Hamas War

Ask students: Why is the Biden administration calling for a humanitarian pause in Gaza? What is in the bill passed by Congress related to aid for Israel?


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New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart join Geoff Bennett to discuss the week in politics, including the policy and political divides over the Israel-Hamas war, Speaker Mike Johnson's first week on the job and Sen. Tubervillle's block on military promotions.

For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • Why is the Biden administration calling for a humanitarian pause in Gaza?
  • Who is Benjamin Netanyahu, and what has been his response to calls for a ceasefire or humanitarian pause?
  • What is in the bill recently passed by Congress related to aid for Israel?
  • How has Congress reacted to pressing issues including Gaza, Ukraine and government funding?
  • When will the U.S. government shut down if no spending bill is passed in Congress?

Focus Questions

What power do you think the U.S. has to push a ceasefire or humanitarian pause in Gaza? What do you think the Biden administration should be doing?

Media Literacy: How can news outlets remain unbiased when reporting on sensitive topics?

Extension Activity

Discuss with a friend, neighbor or classmate — why does David Brooks think a ceasefire would lead to more bloodshed?

Check out this video from Student Reporting Labs about a Palestinian-American reflecting on the war she left behind:

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Building Historical Context: Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Use this list of free educational resources to explore comprehensive ideas and strategies for teaching about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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