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As Israeli jets continue to fire on the densely-populated Gaza Strip, guest host Sara Terry looks at the impact in Gaza, the region and around the world. What is Israel trying to accomplish?  What pressures do the attacks place on Arab leaders and the US? Will Israel's actions fuel Islamic militancy around the world? Also, twelve months that changed the world. One political reporter takes stock of what she got right and what she got wrong in a year that saw the first African American reach the White House; a reporter looks back on the year of Obama.

Banner image: Smoke rises above Gaza after another Israeli air strike on a Hamas target, December 29, 2008 along Israel's side of the Gaza border. Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Once Upon a Country

Sari Nusseibeh

Main Topic Israel Strikes Gaza for Third Day 41 MIN, 11 SEC

Israel's three days of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip is its most ferocious attack on Palestinians in decades, leaving some three hundred dead and more than six hundred wounded. Questions are being raised about whether Israel intends to launch a ground offensive as well. Israel is targeting Hamas strongholds to stop the Islamic Palestinian group from launching rockets into southern Israel. But the Gaza Strip is a tiny, densely crowded area, and civilians who live and work close to Hamas institutions have been caught in the fire. The International Red Cross has appealed that urgent humanitarian assistance be allowed to enter Gaza and tens of thousands of people have protested in the streets of Arab capitals. What role do upcoming parliamentary elections play in timing of Israel's military actions? How are Arab nations responding? What impact will the strikes have on the way President-elect Obama shapes his foreign policy agenda?

Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Reuters (@nidalal)
Yossi Alpher, Israeli consultant and author
Sari Nusseibeh, President, Al Quds University
Mark Heller, Principal Research Associate, Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies
Borzou Daragahi, BuzzFeed News (@borzou)
Jon Alterman, Center for Strategic and International Studies (@CSIS)

Reporter's Notebook Watching Obama Run 7 MIN, 3 SEC

Nearly a year ago, Salon blogger Joan Walsh landed in Des Moines, Iowa, to cover Barack Obama's race for the White House. In a piece posted today, the campaign reporter takes stock of twelve remarkable months in politics, as well as what she got right and what she got wrong about the campaign that made history.

Joan Walsh, The Nation / MSNBC (@joanwalsh)

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