President Bush alters course on the Middle East and promises to send General Colin Powell to the region next week. Just the time Ariel Sharon says he needs. Is it a real change in US policy? The Israeli assault continues on Palestinian towns, cities, and camps. Military forces continue to try to storm the church believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, where hundreds of Palestinians have been confined for days.
9:01-9:06 HEADLINES STORY: PRESIDENT BUSH URGES ISRAEL TO WITHDRAW FROM THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES; ISRAEL PRESSES AHEAD WITH ITS INVASION President Bush reversed course yesterday and urged Israel to end its violent invasion of Palestinian lands immediately. He also announced that Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell would travel to Israel next week. But Israel is pressing ahead with its military invasion of the Occupied Territories despite the new US stance. The BBC is reporting at least 12 Palestinians, including unarmed civilians, have been killed in Nablus in the latest fighting. The Israeli military announced today it is holding 900 Palestinian prisoners. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in a statement that Israel would continue the assaults, without defining how long. He said, "Giving in to terror will lead to it spreading to other places in the world. GUEST: SHAWKI ISSA, director, The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (LAW) CONTACT: www.lawsociety.org 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 STORY: ISRAELI FORCES CONTINUE TO STORM THE BETHLEHEM CHURCH BELIEVED TO BE THE BIRTHPLACE OF JESUS CHRIST Palestinians who have taken sanctuary inside the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square in Bethlehem say Israeli soldiers blew off the back of the church yesterday. They have fired shots into the building several times, wounding some inside. Reporters trying to reach the church to verify the claim were ordered back by Israeli soldiers waving guns in their faces. About 200 Palestinians, including over 40 monks and nuns, took refuge in the church three days ago, after Israeli forces occupied Bethlehem. Tony Salman entered the church with the mayor of Bethlehem shortly after the standoff began. He joins us now from the church. GUEST: TONY SALMAN, Antonian Charitable Society (a Roman Catholic institution in Bethlehem), inside Church of the Nativity in Manger Square in Bethlehem. LOWER THIRD: inside Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem STORY: US ENVOY ANTHONY ZINNI MEETS WITH YASSER ARAFAT; JOURNALISTS ARE ATTACKED AS THEY TRY TO ENTER THE COMPOUND US envoy Anthony Zinni today became the first official permitted by Israel to meet Yasser Arafat at the Palestinian leader's besieged compound. Journalists were barred from covering the meeting. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades at a group of 30 reporters who had approached the compound. Around 30 tanks surrounded the building, and some pointed their barrels at the journalists. GUEST: AWAD DUADES, reporter for Voice of Palestine in Ramallah (also reports for French public radio and Free Speech Radio News) 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 THE GREAT EQUIVOCATOR: PRESIDENT BUSH CHANGES COURSE OR DOESNT HE? President Bush reversed course yesterday and urged Israel to end its violent invasion of Palestinian lands immediately. He also announced that Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell would travel to Israel next week. The first half of the Rose Garden speech appeared to be no different from any other as he explained Israels need to defend itself and said that the situation that Palestinian president Yasser Arafat finds himself in is largely of his own making. He said, Since September 11, Ive delivered this message: Everyone must choose; youre either with the civilized world or youre with the terrorists. But he then called on Israel to end its invasion of Palestinian cities. He told Israel to stop all settlement activity and withdraw to U.N. recognized borders. And he told Israel to show respect and concern for the dignity of the Palestinian people, and make efforts to spare "innocent Palestinians daily humiliation". Meanwhile, Washington insiders have revealed that an emissary from Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah warned the US it could never again use any Saudi military base against Iraq if it didn't stop the fighting in the West Bank. Insiders also say that Bush feared long-term allies Egypt and Jordan could be destabilized by protest. And Iran's leader Ayatollah Khamenei called on Arab states today to launch a one-month "symbolic" oil embargo against Western countries to pressure them to stop supporting Israel. Powell is expected to see Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, Jordan's King Abdullah II, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. VIDEO: PRESIDENT BUSH, press conference 04/04 GUEST: STEPHEN ZUNES, senior policy analyst and middle east editor at Foreign Policy in Focus and chair of Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco CONTACT: www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org GUEST: YIFAT SUSSKIND, Associate Director, MADRE, an international women's human rights organization. Yifat is an Israeli currently living in Brooklyn, NY. IN STUDIO CONTACT: www.madre.org 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 THE GREAT EQUIVOCATOR: PRESIDENT BUSH CHANGES COURSE OR DOESNT HE? Contd MUSIC 6: NO MUSIC BREAK 20: NO WHERE Aviv Geffen Virgin Records CD 40: GOOD FOR THE WORLD HARP A Time To Sing (www.appleseedrec.com) END: CRY NO MORE Imani The Break of Dawn (www.hotlipsrecords.com) 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS