Israel sparked outrage Thursday when it banned two freshman Democratic congresswomen of color — Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — from entering the country. Following outcry from Democratic leaders and Palestinians, Israel granted permission for Tlaib to enter the country on “humanitarian” grounds to visit her family in the West Bank — though Tlaib said Friday she will not visit her family under such conditions. Israel originally denied entrance to Tlaib and Omar after President Donald Trump tweeted, “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people.” Congressmembers Tlaib and Omar are the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, and were planning to tour East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. Both congresswomen have voiced support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement, a global solidarity campaign with the Palestinian people. The nonviolent movement seeks to use economic and cultural pressure to force Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian lands. We speak with Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, and Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.
AMY GOODMAN: Israel has announced it will conditionally allow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to visit family in the West Bank, a day after it barred both Tlaib and fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entering Israel to travel to occupied Palestine. Israel is still refusing entry to Omar. Israel initially blocked entry to both lawmakers after President Trump took the unprecedented step of publicly urging Israel to bar entry to the women, the first two female Muslim members of Congress. Trump tweeted Thursday, “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people,” he tweeted.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his decision Thursday. Israeli prime minister defended the decision to bar both the U.S. lawmakers.
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: [translated] By law, we are not willing to admit anyone into Israel who calls for the boycott of the state of Israel and acts to delegitimize the state of the Jews.
AMY GOODMAN: Israeli authorities say Congressmember Tlaib will now be allowed entry on “humanitarian” grounds to visit her ailing 90-year-old grandmother, on the condition she does not promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement during her visit. Both Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have voiced support for the BDS movement, the global solidarity campaign with the Palestinian people. The nonviolent movement seeks to use economic and cultural pressure to force Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian lands. The congresswomen were planning to tour East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
After learning of the ban, Congressmember Ilhan Omar released a statement that read, in part, quote, “It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government. Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress,” she said.
Both centrist and progressive Democrats criticized Israel’s move and Trump’s statements. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Israel to reconsider its decision. Meanwhile, Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “I cannot move forward with scheduling any visits to Israel until all members of Congress are allowed.” Despite outcry from Democratic leaders, as well as Palestinians, President Trump doubled down on his position later on Thursday.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They are very anti-Jewish, and they’re very anti-Israel. I think it’s disgraceful, the things they’ve said. You have lists of — this isn’t just a one-line mistake. What they’ve said about Israel and Jewish people is a horrible thing, and they’ve become the face of the Democrat Party. So, I did absolutely put out a very strong statement. I think if you look at their language, if you look at what they’ve said, if I ever said it, it would be a — it would be a horrible — it would be a horrible month, to put it mildly. So, the things that they’ve said, Omar, Tlaib, what they’ve said is disgraceful. So I can’t imagine why Israel would let them in.
AMY GOODMAN: Last week, the staunchly pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, sponsored a trip to Israel for 41 Democratic members of Congress. The delegation was led by the House majority leader, Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer. After news broke that Congressmembers Tlaib and Omar were blocked from entering Israel, Hoyer called Israeli officials on the congresswomen’s behalf to no avail. He later released a statement saying Israel’s decision was outrageous. Even AIPAC tweeted its disapproval, saying, quote, “every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” AIPAC said.
The congresswomen’s trip was co-sponsored by Miftah, a West Bank-based nongovernmental organization, the organization founded by Hanan Ashrawi, the senior Palestinian official with the Palestine Liberation Organization. This is Hanan Ashrawi responding to news of the trip’s cancellation.
HANAN ASHRAWI: This is really unacceptable. It’s a direct insult to the American people. It’s a direct insult to the representatives of the American people. And it’s a way in which Israel shows that it is a dictatorship that cannot tolerate any criticism, and that it will prevent anybody from interacting with the Palestinian people or seeing the reality of this cruel and illegal occupation on the ground.
AMY GOODMAN: The family of Rashida Tlaib in the West Bank also expressed outrage, even after Rashida Tlaib was accepted on humanitarian grounds to visit her grandmother, saying there should be no conditions put on the congressmember’s visit.
Well, for more, we go now to Ramallah, West Bank, to speak with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, member of the Palestinian Parliament, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, a political party. He was a presidential candidate in the 2005 elections.
And here in New York, we’re also joined by Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP. Her group is among those standing in solidarity with Congressmembers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. And Rebecca Vilkomerson herself has been banned from entering Israel.
We turn first to Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. Can you respond to, first, President Trump demanding Israel not allow in two U.S. congressmembers, Israel complying, then after Congressmember Rashida Tlaib appealed on humanitarian grounds to have her perhaps last visit with her grandmother, they said she could, conditioned on her not promoting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions? Your response, Dr. Barghouti? We don’t know — at this point, Congressmember Ilhan Omar has not been allowed into the Occupied Territories or Israel.
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Well, let me first say why do Israel behaves in this manner. I think this Israeli establishment, before everything else, is afraid and frightened from exposing the realities here in Palestine. They are afraid of that such a visit, with media coverage, will expose the longest occupation in modern history, will expose the severe violations of human rights of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli establishment, and will expose the worst system of apartheid ever, where racial discrimination is practiced against Palestinians in the worst possible way.
The second reason is practically this is a proof that Israel is not a democracy. And no democracy in the world would prevent elected congresswomen from the United States from visiting. This is another proof that it is a myth to claim that Israel is the only democracy in the region.
Third, I think this act is reflecting a racial discriminatory approach, a racism in which I think there is here some kind of similarity between Netanyahu and Mr. Trump, racial discrimination against people because of their ethnic origin or because of their religion or because of their opinions.
And at the end of the day, the Israeli effort to impose on Rashida Tlaib conditions for her visit here is nothing but an act of separation of freedom of expression. And I hope that Rashida does not accept that. And I also hope that she does not allow separating her from Ilhan Omar, because I think both of them should be allowed to come in.
And as was said, the fact that Israel took such a decision is an insult to democracy, insult to the American people, insult to the country that they claim they have an alliance with. And it shows the real skin of this Israeli establishment, which insists on not only maintaining a horrible occupation against Palestinians, but also on consolidating a system of apartheid. Their attacks on BDS and their attacks on solidarity movements with Palestinian people is nothing but an act of psychological terror to frighten people from telling the truth.
Such a visit would have been very important in exposing the reality here, because we know that in many, many American media outlets, the truth is not coming through to the American public. All we want is that the American public knows the truth, knows the reality. And if the American public knows the truth, they will immediately take a stand, I am sure, a stand against this system of oppression and apartheid conducted by Israel against the Palestinian people.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Rebecca Vilkomerson, you’ve been banned from going into Israel.
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what happened to Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, clearly a story that’s still developing?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah. I mean, I think what — the news today, that Rashida was given what was called by — on humanitarian grounds, allowed to enter, I think, really reflects how much Israel considers itself entitled to completely control the lives and all kinds of movement of all Palestinian people. And, you know, Rashida was forced to make a decision that Palestinians are often forced to make because of the way that Israel controls its borders and for decades hasn’t been letting Palestinians in. So, in a lot of ways, this is just a continuation of ongoing Israeli policies.
And it’s been — there’s a spotlight on it because Rashida Tlaib is a U.S. congressperson. There’s a spotlight on it because it is unprecedented that a sitting president would suggest to a foreign country that a member of his own government should not be allowed into the country. And so, from an American political perspective, I think that’s very unprecedented. But from the Israeli perspective, this is a continuation of their ongoing policies of separation and apartheid and ethnic discrimination. It’s not any different than the ways — what they’ve been pursuing for decades now.
AMY GOODMAN: And you, yourself, have been barred from going into Israel?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah, that’s right. But, you know, that’s the tip of the iceberg. Like I said, we’re sort of a late-breaking entry that Israel has now started to ban people who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and are trying to control the political thought and the political expression of people who disagree with their policies. But again, you know, that’s based on years and years and years of that kind of ethnic and religious discrimination that they’ve been imposing.
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, it is quite astounding, a kind of bitter irony, that you have President Trump going after the “Squad,” the four congresswomen — Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — telling them to go back to their countries — three of them, including Rashida Tlaib, born in the United States. But here he said, “go back to their countries,” and now he is demanding of Israel that Israel not allow Rashida Tlaib, who is the first Palestinian-American congresswoman, from returning to her family land, where her grandmother lives.
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Right. And that should be her human right. You know, she shouldn’t have to ask for a special exception to that.
But I think it’s important that we focus here on the role of the Democrats, because, actually, the Democrats’ absolute inability to hold Israel accountable for any of its human rights violations is what has allowed it to continue to increase, with impunity, its repressive policies. And although the Democratic leadership made some statements in support of the two congresswomen yesterday, in reality, for months and, in fact, years now, they’ve been working against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movements, trying to pass legislation against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, calling it anti-Semitic. So they have contributed to the demonization and delegitimization of these congresswoman, which resulted in this action.
And I think this is a real key moment for the Democrats, because while the old guard, like Pelosi and Schumer and Hoyer, who are the — who defend Israel at all costs, the younger people, people of color, women — and, you know, all the polls show that that’s true of — that that has very much — that’s the population of people who have shifted in their positions on Israel in the last years, and is represented by people like the Squad, that there’s a real disconnect between the old-guard Democrats and the new Democrats, and that they have — you know, there needs to be some actual concrete action, that platitudes are not enough anymore.
We had Mark Pocan yesterday saying we should potentially condition aid to Israel. We’ve had Betty McCollum’s bill, which is trying to place conditions on aid that’s allowing Israel to put Palestinian children into jail. We have, you know, Representative Omar’s legislation to protect the BDS movement. These are all actual concrete actions that Democrats could take to protect their own colleagues, rather than allowing Trump and Netanyahu to set the agenda. And I think that’s what we need to look for now, is those kinds of actions.
And I’m very thrilled, because JVP, actually — a couple days ago, I couldn’t have been able to talk on these terms — that we’re now just launching JVP Action, which is our sister organization. So we’re going to be doing electoral work, defending our champions and holding elected officials accountable. And I think that’s a reflection of where we are in the movement. We’re starting to be able to push policies, because we do have this rift in the Democratic Party.
AMY GOODMAN: Were you shocked by AIPAC coming out, that there’s any light between AIPAC and Trump, or AIPAC and Israel right now, that they condemned the decision?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: I mean, it was very clear they made this decision not based on principle, but on PR, essentially, like they don’t want Israel to look bad. And they’re very invested in a bipartisan consensus around Israel. And they are losing that, and they’re losing — you know, they’re losing the Democrats. They’re losing the Democrats at the base. And they’re starting now to lose the Democrats who are elected. And so I think this was a move for self-preservation more than anything else.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and then come back to this discussion with Rebecca Vilkomerson, head of Jewish Voice for Peace, and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, member of the Palestinian Parliament. He’s speaking to us from Ramallah. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.
AMY GOODMAN: “Can I Go On” by Sleater-Kinney. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Israel has announced it will conditionally allow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to visit family in the West Bank, a day after it barred both Tlaib and sister Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entering Israel to travel to occupied Palestine. Israel is still refusing entry to Omar. Israel initially blocked entry to both lawmakers after President Trump took the unprecedented step up publicly urging Israel to bar entry to the women, the first two female Muslim members of Congress.
On Thursday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, tweeted, “We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” AIPAC said.
This is Bassam Tlaib, responding to news of Israel banning his niece, Congressmember Rashida Tlaib, from entering the country.
BASSAM TLAIB: [translated] It is an unfair decision. Rashida is Palestinian. She is originally from Palestine. Her grandfather and father are originally from Palestine. She wanted to visit her country of Palestine. She wanted to visit her family and relatives. It is unfair that Rashida is banned from visiting Palestine.
AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Rashida Tlaib shared a photograph of her grandmother on Twitter a few hours after Israel announced its decision to bar her entry. And she wrote, “This woman right here is my sity [my grandmother]. She deserves to live in peace & with human dignity. I am who I am because of her,” she tweeted.
Now, again, early this morning, the Israeli government reversed its decision on Rashida Tlaib conditionally, saying, on humanitarian grounds, they’ll let her in to visit her grandmother, but that she cannot advocate BDS, she cannot advocate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
We continue our conversation with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, member of the Palestinian Parliament, joining us from Ramallah, on the West Bank. We’re also joined by Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace. Her husband and children live in Israel.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, if you can explain the law that Israel passed two years ago, and explain the grounds on which they have been barred, now, again, this exception made for Congressmember Tlaib to visit her grandmother, if she doesn’t speak out?
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Well, this law was used against the BDS movement. The BDS movement is a nonviolent movement. It’s a peaceful movement that calls for sanctioning the occupation and sanctioning the Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories. And this law is used to prohibit and prevent anybody who is in solidarity with the Palestinian people, anybody who is supporting the right of the Palestinians to be free from occupation, and the right of the Palestinians to have a free, independent and sovereign state. They use it as an instrument to prohibit these people who are in solidarity with Palestinians from visiting Palestine and from entering Israel.
And this is not the only law that is racist here. There is another law which was passed by the Knesset and astonished everybody, which is the national — the state national law, which says that this land, including the Occupied Territories, is a place for the Jewish people only, and that self-determination is restricted to Jewish people.
In my opinion, these two laws, and specifically the law that is against BDS, is nothing but an instrument to hide the truth and reality. They think that this way they will prevent the world from knowing the facts on the ground. They think that this way they will stop the growth of the solidarity movement to the Palestinian people, which is actually happening.
All over the world, there is a much bigger understanding, especially among the younger population, especially among, for instance, in the United States, among young American Democrats, who are supporting the Democratic Party. And even among young Jewish people, there is a growing support to the Palestinian right for freedom, against the system of Israeli apartheid, against the system of Israeli oppression. And that growth frightens the Israeli establishment.
So what they are doing is to impose these laws that are only used by dictatorships. They are only used in human history by governments that are authoritarian and that are trying to oppress and suppress the freedom of expression.
That’s why I said — by the way, about the issue of humanitarian approval, most of the Palestinian people are restricted in terms of freedom of movement. Many Palestinians in Gaza Strip are not allowed, even for humanitarian reason, to come to Jerusalem or the West Bank. We, most of us, in the West Bank are not allowed to go to Jerusalem, not even for humanitarian causes.
So, in my opinion, this is an Israeli deceit, and no congresswoman in the United States, including Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, should accept conditions from the Israeli side that would restrict their freedom of expression, that would restrict their freedom of movement. On the opposite, they should insist on that freedom of movement, and they should insist on their right of knowing the truth about what’s happening it and exposing it to the world.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to read an article from Middle East Eye about the home of Rashida Tlaib’s family in the West Bank. They write, “The modest home of Tlaib’s grandfather, Issa Abdullah, lies west of Ramallah city. The one-story house is nestled between two Israeli military bases at an intersection between adjacent Palestinian villages Beit Ur al-Fawqa and Beit Ur al-Tahta.
“About 100 metres east of the house sits an Israeli military site that has been in place since 2011. Israeli soldiers are positioned behind cement blocks with their weapons pointed at passersby, and about 15 Israeli surveillance cameras are peppered across the area.
“To the north lies Road 443, reserved exclusively for Israeli settlers’ use, which was built on some of the family’s land. Finally, about 500 metres west, there lies another Israeli military site in place since 1988.”
That description is from Middle East Eye. Would you care to elaborate on that, Dr. Barghouti?
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Absolutely. That’s a very important point. Let me explain. The West Bank is part of the Occupied Territories that were occupied by Israel in 1967. West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, is supposed to become the land of the Palestinian future state, according to the peace agreements, which Israel has violated constantly, especially under Netanyahu.
Inside the West Bank, and part of the apartheid system that Israel has created, they have invented something that did not exist even in South Africa during apartheid system, that did not exist even during the worst segregation time in the United States: They’ve invented the segregated roads. These are major highways, big roads, tens of them, that are cutting the West Bank, north, south, east, west, connecting Israeli illegal settlements with Israel, and they are prohibited for Palestinians. I’m talking about roads in Israel; I’m talking about roads in the occupied Palestinian territories which are prohibited for Palestinians. And if a Palestinian is caught walking or driving on any of these roads, he would be sentenced to six months in jail and maybe more.
In the case of Beit Ur al-Fawqa, from which Rashida Tlaib descends, the Israeli army has cut — established that road, 443 Road, which cut the Palestinian territory into two pieces, prohibits and prevents people from normal movement. And we were attacked more than once while we demonstrated against the establishment of this road and when we demonstrated against the segregated roads. And in this particular case, this is an example of how the whole geography of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank is harmed and destroyed by the building of these roads, by the building of Israeli illegal settlements and also by the building of the apartheid wall, which started to be built in 2002 and has become three times as long and twice as high as Berlin Wall used to be. It’s another instrument of an apartheid system.
What is the goal of all of this? The goal of all of this is to destroy the contiguity of Palestinian territories, to prevent the ability of Palestinians to have a state of their own, and to consolidate a system of racial discrimination and apartheid, where Palestinians are clustered, like in the case of Beit Ur al-Fawqa or other places, clustered in ghettos or Bantustan-like entities.
That is a very clear system of apartheid that should be condemned by everybody. And I am sure, if most of the Americans would know the reality about what’s happening here, they will be first to criticize Israel and first to refuse this Israeli-imposed position where if you criticize Israel, you are called anti-Semitic. This is unacceptable. There is a difference between criticizing Jews as people, which is unacceptable, and criticizing the Israeli government policies, which should be condemned as a system of apartheid and occupation.
AMY GOODMAN: Before this latest reversal of allowing Rashida Tlaib in on humanitarian grounds, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote on Twitter, “Only a few days ago, we received their itinerary for their visit in Israel, which revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy. For instance: they listed the destination of their trip as Palestine and not Israel, and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have visited Israel, they did not request to meet any Israeli officials, either from the government or the opposition,” he said. That was Netanyahu. Rebecca Vilkomerson?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yes. First, I have to clarify: My husband and kids do live with me in New York. My husband is Israeli, and my kids have Israeli citizenship. And as a Jewish American, I am entitled to Israeli citizenship, but I’ve declined to pursue it, because I don’t want to be coopted into the Israeli project.
You know, I think, again, there’s always a reason that Israel has. It’s always about security. But the reality is that we have to reframe this around human rights and people’s human dignity and people’s freedom. And that’s everything that Dr. Barghouti just mentioned.
And I think, you know, just thinking a little bit about my own community, the Jewish American community, I think we have a lot to answer for. Our institutions, like the ADL and AIPAC, spoke out against the congresswomen being denied yesterday, but they’ve done so much to create an atmosphere where it’s impossible to criticize Israel without being called anti-Semitic, as Dr. Barghouti mentioned, and has tried to pass laws that do the same thing, and are ignoring the fact that larger and larger numbers of American Jews, in particular, younger American Jews, in particular, but also all people across the United States, including, again, young people, women, people of color, more and more support Palestinian rights. And so, I think that’s an inevitable shift that’s happening in terms of the public narrative and the public understanding of the realities. And that’s why we’re starting to see these changes also in Congress.
AMY GOODMAN: They also mentioned, in originally saying no to the congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib’s support for a one-state solution.
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah. And, I mean, again, Israel’s understanding that they have the ability and the power and the right to limit people’s political opinions, that they can say, “We grant you the ability to come to the West Bank, but only if you don’t speak about BDS. We are banning you because you support a particular political solution” — the idea that that is a legitimate reason to ban someone, especially a sitting U.S. congressperson, is absurd.
AMY GOODMAN: Who is deciding what the U.S. should do about U.S. support for Israel. So, U.S. congresspeople go to places where the U.S. is giving a large amount of support.
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: That’s right.
AMY GOODMAN: In fact, what is the level of aid the U.S. gives?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: It’s 38 — you know, it’s $38 billion. It’s more aid than any other country receives in the world. And that’s why I think, again, it’s the responsibility now of Congress to take some action, to use all the many levers — economic aid, military aid, diplomatic cover that they offer Israel in the U.N., all of those things — to say that this can’t stand, because it’s not — the idea that a congressperson can’t visit Israel because she’s visiting Palestine, as she calls it — last week, 70 members of Congress visited Israel under the auspices of AIPAC. And so, the idea that it would not be possible for a Palestinian-American congresswoman to go to her own ancestral home and to be able to report directly about the conditions on the ground, that’s one of her key responsibilities, and should be the responsibility, actually, of all members of Congress, given the level of aid that they offer to Israel.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Hanan Ashrawi tweeted, “They’re coming to Palestine, not Israel! Unfortunately, Israel is the occupying power that holds Palestine & the Palestinians captive. The US administration is in full partnership with #IsraeliCrimes.” Your last 15 seconds before, I think, the satellite goes?
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: [inaudible] Palestine, and it will be Palestine. The Israelis have to choose: Either they accept two-state solution and allow us to have a free and sovereign state, or we live together in one state, but with total, complete equality, full democratic rights for everybody.
And by the way, many congressmen and women come here and never meet Palestinians. So, this is not new. The fact that Omar and Rashida did not want to meet Israelis, it’s their right. But if they want to establish an equitable approach, then every congresswoman and man who comes here should meet Palestinians, as well.
AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you both for being with us, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, speaking to us from Ramallah, member of the Palestinian Parliament, and Rebecca Vilkomerson, who is head of Jewish Voice for Peace.
When we come back, we’ll speak to Atlantic staff writer Vann Newkirk about his new cover story, “The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.” Stay with us.