News & Politics Podcasts

Dana Lewis is a veteran World Affairs Correspondent. He's been everywhere. From war zones to the streets of London where he is based. And he loves talking to people about whats behind the headlines. Award winning. "A real in the trenches reporter". Great interviewing skills and easy to listen to.


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Dana Lewis is a veteran World Affairs Correspondent. He's been everywhere. From war zones to the streets of London where he is based. And he loves talking to people about whats behind the headlines. Award winning. "A real in the trenches reporter". Great interviewing skills and easy to listen to.







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Russia-North Korea Alliance, And Ukraine War

Send us a Text Message. The strategic alliance between Russia and North Korea has the world on edge, and in this episode of Backstory, you'll understand why. Join us as we unpack the recent high-stakes meeting between President Putin and Kim Jong Un. General Ben Hodges provides expert insights into North Korea's agreement to supply Russia with millions of artillery shells and missiles for its war against Ukraine. Together, we investigate the technological exchanges that could significantly bolster North Korea's nuclear and satellite capabilities, posing grave risks to South Korea, Japan, and global security. Oleg Ignatov talks to why Putin has embraced North Korea, a journey of desperation in his war against the west and quest to revive a Russian empire at all costs. Lastly, hear from Natalia Drozd, chairwoman of the Dobrochyn Center NGO, as she shares the devastating impact of the prolonged Russian invasion on Ukraine's infrastructure. Support the Show.


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Israel and the Int Criminal Court, And how does the Gaza war end?

Send us a Text Message. This week on Back Story with Dana Lewis - Is the International Criminal Court a protector of global justice or an overreaching institution threatening national sovereignty? Join us for an eye-opening conversation with Ambassador John Bolton as he critically examines the ICC's legitimacy and its impact on countries like the U.S. and Israel. Bolton argues that the court's actions undermine the democratic processes of sovereign nations. And Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas predicts Netanyahu could be finished as Prime Minister in a matter of months. We analyze Netanyahu's maneuvers to shift the narrative in his favour amidst growing political turmoil and potential resignations from key figures like Benny Gantz. Tune in for a thorough analysis of these critical issues and their broader geopolitical implications. Support the Show.


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Frozen Russian Funds For Ukraine/Iran And "The Butcher Of Tehran"

Send us a Text Message. On Back Story Russia's 300 billion in frozen funds may be about to thaw and fund Ukraine's defence, whether Russia likes it or not. The EU's bold maneuver to repurpose frozen Russian assets for Ukraine with guest Bill Browder. Then, we pivot to a nation seemingly in mourning and turmoil—Iran—where the sudden demise of President Raisi in a helicopter crash has opened a Pandora's box of political outcomes. Support the Show.


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Pro Palestinian Protests at American Universities, And Arms to Ukraine

Send us a Text Message. On Back Story Journalists Reena Ninan and Dana Lewis, scrutinize the fabric of free speech and human rights, in the wake of police raids on University Campus' in America. Controversial debates on global arms supply take center stage when Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch joins us, and his calls for justice against war crimes carried out by Israel and Hamas. And a new aid package for Ukraine to fight off Russia - will it make a difference? (Ret) U.S. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt weighing in on the Biden administration's latest arms approval. "Not a game changer" but a vital chapter in Ukraine's defence says Kimmitt. Support the Show.


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Behind the Moscow Mayhem Understanding Russian Tactics and Ideological Battles

Send us a Text Message. Discover the twists in the narrative as we unveil the chilling ISIS-K attack in Moscow and the subsequent political maneuvering of the Putin regime. Dana Lewis on the Kremlin's finger-pointing at Western nations and the manipulation of public perception. We expose the Kremlin's tactics, including the use of torture by Russian security services, and reveal the true culprits behind the mayhem. The discussion also spotlights the initial ISIS-K responsibility claims, which were quickly overshadowed by the Russian state media's distorted stories. Venture into the ideological motivations driving Russia's aggressive stance in Ukraine with Matthew Schmidt, associate professor of national security and political science. And, Joseph Shelze from The Soufan Center. Support the Show.


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Frontline Perspectives From Israeli Soldiers - Exploring the Complexities of Israeli Urban Warfare and the Path to Peace

Send us a Text Message. On Back Story this week, the realities of urban and tunnel warfare through the eyes of Israeli soldiers battling Hamas in Gaza. Backstory takes you to the frontline with me, Dana Lewis, as we navigate the harrowing complexities of a conflict that blurs the lines between military strategy and civilian safety. Our guests, including IDF reservists Kerin Sokolov and Matan Yaffe, alongside David Sherez from TIKUN 2024, share the moral quandaries faced by those in uniform and the resilience that holds Israeli society together even as it grapples with international scrutiny and a profound civilian toll. And what's next for Israel and it's Palestinian neighbours? Israeli's can't agree on a path forward,. and that includes proposals for a 2 state solution. Support the Show.


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Navalny's Death And Russia In Ukraine

Send us a Text Message. Could the untimely demise of Alexei Navalny herald a darker turn in the Ukraine conflict? On Back Story this week, Dana Lewis, examines the disturbing allegations of President Putin's involvement in the death of the Russian opposition figure. Mikhail Kasyanov, former Prime Minister, joins me to offer an insider's perspective on the Kremlin's opaque refusal to release Navalny's body We dissect the chilling repercussions that Navalny's passing may have, not just within Russia's borders but also in galvanizing Western resolve to support Ukraine's sovereignty struggle. More on Ukraine with Crisis Group Director Olga Oliker who says talking has been going on a long time, but decisions are quickly needed to save Ukraine. Support the Show.


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Tales from the Tunnels of Gaza, and Echoes from Russia's Opposition

Send us a Text Message. This week on Backstory with Dana Lewis former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov now in exile, discusses if a new Kremlin challenger has a chance in upcoming elections. Tal Heinrich, spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, takes discusses the complexities of the Gaza crisis from the eyes of those entrenched in the struggle. Heinrich reveals the intricate challenges facing the IDF, from hostage rescue operations to the pursuit of lasting security. And former Jerusalem Post Editor In Chief Avi Mayer and I discuss the contentious role of UNRWA, as allegations of terrorism send shockwaves through the United Nations, prompting urgent calls for reform or dissolution. Support the Show.


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The Long Road to Coexistence in Israel and Palestine

Send us a Text Message. Imagine the heartache of a family whose beloved Romy is held captive by terrorists, a stark reminder of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict's cruel reach into personal lives. Our latest episode navigates the complexities and emotional turmoil of this ongoing war, including the formidable political strategies of Israel to secure the release of its citizens. We are joined by Fania Oz Salzberger, a revered Israeli political activist and history professor, who articulates a vision of "humanist Zionism." She advocates for a state founded on the ideals of sanctuary for Jews, yet insists on the imperative of coexistence with Arab neighbours. Fania tells us Israel was always meant to be a State for Jews, but not a jewish State. Support the Show.


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The Battle for Ukraine: Unraveling Russia's Strategy and Western Repercussions

Send us a Text Message. Back Story with Dana Lewis takes a hard look at Putin's tactics and the potential consequences that might arise from the withheld US funding for Ukraine. We're delighted to have Bill Browder, a leading voice on the matter, to break down the situation and forecast scenarios that could befall both nations. We also examine the possible repercussions for Ukraine and NATO should Trump make a comeback to the Oval Office. Can Ukraine hold firm against Russia's onslaught? Thomas Kent, author of "How Russia Loses: Hubris and Miscalculation in Putin's Kremlin," joins us to illuminate Russia's missteps and miscalculations in their bid to control Ukraine. He reasons that if Russia emerges victorious, it would be through brute force rather than strategic diplomacy. Support the Show.


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The War In Gaza and Terror Threats

Send us a Text Message. On This Back Story with Dana Lewis, Invaluable insights from IDF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner. We examine the intricate strategies of the Israeli military, the weight of international pressure, and the efforts towards mitigating civilian casualties amidst the war with Hamas. A closer look at a battlefield that's as dense with people as it is with political complexity. And Soufan's Senior research fellow, Colin Clark discusses Israel's duty to protect civilians, the crucial distinctions between Israeli and Hamas actions, and the urgent need for a political resolution, as well increased terror threats globally. Support the Show.


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Hostage Release Gaza, and Ukraine Warfront

Send us a Text Message. Join us Host Dana Lewis on journey into the heart of ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. This episode arms you with insights from US Army (Ret) Lieutenant General Ben Hodges and security analyst Zoran Kusovac, unpacking the tenuous nature of the Gaza ceasefire and hostage exchange agreements. Our conversation with Lieutenant General Ben Hodges brings into sharp focus the stark realities of the Ukraine-Russia war and the brutalities of urban warfare. Delve into the unvarnished truth of the US's support for Ukraine, the painstakingly slow delivery of essential munitions, and the far-reaching implications of these actions. Support the Show.


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Send us a Text Message. On this Back Story host Dana Lewis interviews Israeli diplomat and former Government advisor Alon Pinkas; -Can Hamas be removed from Gaza? -Could an International force replace Israeli troops, with the UN leading a new Gaza for Palestinians? -What are the risks of a wider conflict? -And Israel's War Cabinet and Netanyahu's narrowing window on Governing his Country Support the Show.


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Escalating War in Gaza And Dangers In The Middle East

Send us a Text Message. Can Hamas be removed from power in Gaza? In this probing discourse, we engage with Israeli Army Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner and Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti. We aim to shed light on this intense conflict, the war in Gaza, the contentious ground war, and the emotive information war. What are the military objectives - their achievability, their focus on targeting Hamas' regime, and the potential rise in terrorist activities should they succeed. We also critically evaluate the challenge that comes with minimizing civilian casualties and the difficulties of planning for multiple fronts in these battles. Adding a new layer to our discussion, Mustafa Bargouti, brings forward the importance of a democratic alternative for Palestinians. We delve into the cancellation of the Palestinian elections, the looming power of illegal settlers, and the effects of a continued settler colonial system. Support the Show.


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THE MORNING AFTER HAMAS? Peacemaker Yossi Beilin

Send us a Text Message. Join us as we traverse the complex terrain of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Yossi Beilin, a key figure in crafting the original Oslo peace accords. Yossi's insightful reflections on the current crisis in Gaza shine a light on the international outcry and the potential routes towards a resolution. Beilin blames Israeli P.M. Netanyahu for the current crisis in Israel, and for allowing Hamas to strengthen, ignoring what was a ticking time bomb in Gaza. Now is the time he says to come to a two state solution agreement. Support the Show.


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Escalating Warfare: Israel, Hamas, and Hezbollah

Send us a Text Message. Unfiltered analysis of Israel's ongoing conflict with Hamas and Hezbollah. This episode promises to unravel the complexities of Israel's military response to Hamas' brutal attacks, the potential of a reoccupation of Gaza, the risks and challenges, and the possibility of this being Israel's very own Pearl Harbor moment. Hear from Jonathan Panikoff, a former US career intelligence officer, and military affairs correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai, as they dissect the heart of the crisis. Support the Show.


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Terror in Israel, War in Gaza

Send us a Text Message. Have you ever wondered how it feels to lose your loved ones to senseless violence? Ilan Troin, a grieving father who lost his daughter and stepson to the ongoing conflict in Israel, shares his heart-wrenching story. The devastating cost of a well planned shocking and inhuman attack by the terror group Hamas. Beyond personal stories, we delve into the geopolitical factors behind the conflict. Ibrahim Hazboun, a seasoned journalist and analyst on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, guides us through the intricate maze of issues leading to the explosion in violence. He details the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza, its ensuing rounds of conflict with Israel, and the chilling tactic of civilian targeting. We strive to understand this stalemate, the revulsion it sparks, and the loss of innocent lives. On Back Story host Dana Lewis discusses an uncertain future between Israeli's and Palestinian's. We explore the disillusionment felt by the people of Gaza and the political stagnation caused by the right-wing Israeli government. We dissect how the media has failed to adequately cover the struggles of Gazan's and the shock of a generation who have known nothing but war. Support the Show.


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Ukraine: War Crimes, UN Politics, and Global Implications

Send us a Text Message. This episode brings you a fascinating discussion that challenges you to rethink your understanding of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia. Featuring our esteemed guests, Oleksandra Matviichuk, a human rights war crimes investigator, and Richard Gowan from the International Crisis Group, we shed light on the importance of shifting the narrative from 'helping Ukraine not to fail' to 'helping Ukraine win fast'. Oleksandra leader of the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, unveils the chilling reality of Russia's use of war crimes as a strategy. She underscores the urgency for an autonomous judiciary and advocates for a special tribunal to bring Vladimir Putin to justice. And our discussion also navigates the treacherous waters of power politics within the United Nations Security Council. Richard offers a unique lens to understand the predicaments the UN faces. We also examine the pressing need for UN reform, and the legitimacy of Russia's claim to the Soviet seat. Join us as we explore the broader implications of the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the global stage, Russia's enduring impunity, and the desperate need to shatter this cycle. This conversation is certain to provoke thought and foster a deeper understanding of the predicament at hand. Support the Show.


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Send us a Text Message. Ever wondered why more than 300 London Met police officers decided to protest by refusing to carry firearms? Are you intrigued by the intricate labyrinth of laws, ethics, and emotions surrounding police use of lethal force? This episode of Backstory with Dana Lewis discusses this complex issue. We welcome Tony Long, a former Metropolitan Police Specialist Firearms Officer and author of 'Lethal Force,' to share his firsthand perspective on the subject. Support the Show.


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Iran - Is Democracy Close? And Ukraine's Battle Field Strategy.

Send us a Text Message. On Back Story this week host Dana Lewis examines where does the West truly stand when it comes to Iran's volatile human rights scenario, particularly concerning women? This thought-provoking question sets the tone for our in-depth conversation with Azadeh Zabeti, from the Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers. We shine a light on the distressing state of the women's movement in Iran and unpack a new bill passed in the Iranian parliament that could further bind the lives of Iranian women. And, (Ret) Major General of the British military, Chip Chapman. Chapman's invaluable insights into the Ukraine war, focusing on Ukraine's strategic advancements and we discuss the possible arms deal between North Korea and Russia. Support the Show.