Rebecca Katherine Hirsch

Rebecca photo

Podcasts Present Palestinian Voices

2015 IFPB Delegate and Scholarship Recipient Rebecca Katherine Hirsch Features Palestine in Podcasts | By Christy Wise

Through her podcast, “Humble Mumbles,” Interfaith Peace-Builders delegate Rebecca Katherine Hirsch presents the voices of people she met on her summer 2015 IFPB delegation to Palestine-Israel. In “Palestine Part III: Firas in Hebron,” listeners hear Rebecca and Firas walking through Hebron’s streets, sharing impressions about the city and about the lives of Palestinian residents who live under severe Israeli occupation, against a background of the sounds of adult and children’s voices, shopkeepers and customers, and car tires on pavement.

“One thing I’m trying to do with my podcast is bring peoples’ attention to Palestine by way of stories and under-stories, direct oppression and indirect implications,” Rebecca said. “The ultimate goal of the Humble Mumbles podcast is that Americans, or whomever listens to it, should have increased humanity for Palestine via personal stories, weird analysis, and the viaducts of fear, desire and complications.” 

Rebecca is a feminist, artist and activist based in Philadelphia where she is active in Jewish Voice for Peace, the BDS movement and Permanent Wave Philly. Humble Mumbles is “a bumptious feminist podcast featuring piercing political analysis, pointed verbal dialectic…and rhyming poems.”

“The goal of my Israel/Palestine series is to communicate information about the conflict in a way that is accessible, fun, interesting, respectful, unusual, and easy to listen to, as a podcast can be heeded with various levels of engagement,” Rebecca said.

Rebecca learned about IFPB from a friend who traveled on a delegation several years ago. “I didn’t expect it to be just as amazing as it was. I really wanted to learn so much more,” she said. The delegation provided Rebecca with the opportunity to interact personally with people in Palestine/Israel and create relationships, even for a short time, she said. Rebecca stayed for two and a half weeks after her delegation ended, giving her a chance to talk in greater depth with Palestinians and Israelis about their lives. During this time she conducted many interviews for Humble Mumbles.

“The summer was really monumental for me,” she said, adding that the scholarship she received made it much easier for her to travel with IFPB. On a philosophical level, Rebecca said, the trip did not change her outlook. “I came in with an agenda and I left with the same agenda, but it has a different tenor now.”

One challenge facing Rebecca upon her return from Palestine/Israel is that “it’s difficult to know how most to be helpful. Balancing altruism and egoism is impossible for me…I feel like that’s part of the conflict that I’m trying to understand in myself. I’m really interested in peoples’ stories and I’m also interested in my own. Am I helpful? What is helpful?”

Readers can hear Rebecca’s podcasts here: