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Wide-ranging Conversations with Two Ex-Pats: Journalist Frank Viviano and Activist Jeff Halper

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Journalist Frank Viviano, former Europe correspondent for SF Chronicle, offers interesting perpectives on Obama, Cypress and the future of the Euro, and much more.  Jeff Halper, an American Jew who has lived in Israel for over 25 years, talks about Obama's recent visit, the Israeli apology to Turkey, and lots more.Viviano now lives in a village in Tuscany, Italy, and offers a number of interesting observations about how people in Europe perceive Obama and US foreign policy. He says Obama "wowed" Israelis in his March visit, and sees a growing role for Turkey in the region.  We talk about Cyprus and the Euro crisis, which Viviano thinks could empower Putin and Russia.  He talks about the low birth rates in Italy and France, and the nationalist movements against immigrants.  We also touch on Syria, the French military presence in Mali, and the austerity moves by Obama related to Social Security and the "chained CPI".    I highly recommend Frank's book about his Sicilian ancestors, Blood Washes Blood: A True Story of Love, Murder, and Redemption Under the Sicilian Sun.

At 52 minutes in, we are joined by Dr. Jeff Halper, founder of ICAHD, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.  In another wide-ranging conversation with an American living abroad, we talk about the Israeli government (an ethnocracy or theocracy more than a democracy) and his lukewarm reaction to Obama's visit to Israel.  As a participant in one of the Gaza Freedom Flotillas, he has strong and interesting comments about Netanyahu's apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara attack.  He thinks the two-state solution is no longer viable, and has some interesting remarks about Israel's efforts to get the US to attack Iran.  We also talk about Syria, and he invites Americans to an ICAHD summer camp to rebuild Palestinian homes.  You can check his US speaking tour information here.