A Harrowing Detention in Gaza

Listen and subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google | Wherever You ListenSign up to receive our weekly newsletter of the best New Yorker podcasts.While trying to flee the bombardment of Gaza with his family, the poet Mosab Abu Toha, a New Yorker contributor, was erroneously identified as a Hamas activist by Israeli forces at a

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While trying to flee the bombardment of Gaza with his family, the poet Mosab Abu Toha, a New Yorker contributor, was erroneously identified as a Hamas activist by Israeli forces at a checkpoint. He was stripped naked and beaten in detention. “I kept saying, ‘Someone please talk to me,’ ” Abu Toha recalls. After an interrogation, he was finally released. Abu Toha talks with David Remnick about his experience, and how it affected his hopes for a resolution to the conflict. Plus, the Reverend M. William Howard, Jr., recounts the extraordinary Christmas he spent in 1979 at the United States Embassy in Tehran, performing services for the Americans held captive during the Iran hostage crisis.

A Harrowing Detention in Gaza

Mosab Abu Toha, a Palestinian writer and New Yorker contributor, was mistaken by Israeli forces for a Hamas activist while he tried to flee Gaza with his family.


Christmas in Tehran: Bringing the Holidays to Hostages

In 1979, a minister received a telegram from Iranian militants who had taken hostages in the American Embassy, inviting him to perform Christmas services. Two days later, he was inside.


The New Yorker Radio Hour is a co-production of WNYC Studios and The New Yorker.

An earlier version of this article misstated the location where Abu Toha was stopped by Israeli forces.

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