Democracy Now! June 24, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! June 24, 2002
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Today, as Israel resumes military control over most towns in the West Bank and Gaza, three filmmakers talk about three different approaches to filming the Occupation. But first we go to Jenin, where three Palestinian children were killed on Friday. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 AN AMERICAN FILMMAKER CAPTURES ISRAELI TANKS OPENING FIRE ON A CROWDED JENIN MARKET ON FRIDAY. HIS EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT HELPS FORCE THE ISREALI MILITARY TO ADMIT IT ATTACKED INNOCENT CIVILIANS Israeli tanks surrounded Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound earlier today, re-asserting Israel's control over most major towns in the West Bank. This is the third time since the end of March that Israeli forces have laid siege to Arafat's compound. Seventeen tanks took up positions all around the compound and just inside at a helicopter pad; soldiers flashed V-for-victory signs while standing atop their armored personnel carriers and used a bulldozer to push stones into a barricade, blocking off the entrance to the compound. Soldiers later announced through loudspeakers that a curfew had been imposed throughout Ramallah as in the other towns. More than half a million Palestinians are confined under curfews. Israeli forces began reinvading Palestinian towns last week after two suicide bombings killed 26 Israelis in Jerusalem. The attacks prompted the Israeli government to announce a new policy of retaking Palestinian-controlled land indefinitely. The government says it has no plans to leave until all suicide attacks stop. The Ramallah invasion came moments after Palestinian authorities placed the spiritual leader of Hamas under house arrest in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority arrested dozens of Hamas members on Sunday. Meanwhile, Palestinian hospital workers and witnesses said Israeli Apache helicopters fired at two cars traveling in a remote area of southern Gaza today, killing six people and injuring five. The army declined to comment on the incident. In Jenin, Israeli troops carried out house-to-house searches, arresting the head of military intelligence and his bodyguard. Jenin has been the site of some of the worst violence since Israeli forces laid siege to the city in April. On Friday, Israeli tanks shelled the central market, leaving at least 4 people dead and wounding 26. Three of the dead were children. An article in today's New York Times describes the death of one of these children as follows: "Ahmed Abu Aziz was 6 and owned a purple bicycle. On Friday, this locked-down city began to stir to rumors that the curfew was being lifted for a few hours. Ahmed asked his father for a shekel, worth just under 25 cents, for a trip to the store by bike with two brothers. Today, his bicycle sat in the yard of his parents' house, the seat and right handlebar blown off. A little memorial of stones and seashells to Ahmed includes the Coco Dance candy bar he had bought with the shekel just before stray Israeli tank fire killed him, along with his brother, Jamil, 13. The curfew, it turned out, was still in force. Israeli tanks shelled the central market, where residents had rushed in to shop, leaving 4 people dead, including 3 children, and wounding 26. Later, the military said the shelling was a mistake, committed during a week of especially violent attacks against Israelis." GUEST: RICK ROWLEY, filmmaker and activist with the International Solidarity Movement. Rick has been in the Occupied Territories since the beginning of June. He was in Jenin last Friday, when Israeli tanks opened fire on Palestinians shopping at a crowded market. Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 FILMMING THE OCCUPATION: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH THREE FILMMAKERS We are joined in the studio by three filmmakers who have each made films grappling with the Occupation. These films take us from the bustling streets of Tel Aviv to the desolate shops of occupied Bethlehem to the serene views of an Arab village turned Israeli artist colony. They trace themes of dispossession, militarism, despair, and rage. Beneath their surfaces lurks the near-physical sense of tension mounting: of fists clenching preparing to punch and muscles tightening waiting for the blow. And yet the films are very different. They range from snapshots of daily life to an in-depth look at the history of a village. They come to us in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. Their tones shift from ironic to nostalgic to bitter-sweet. The filmmakers as well are quite different. There is Avi Mograbi, an Israeli-born filmmaker still living in Tel Aviv. Rachel Leah Jones, an American born Israeli now living in the United States. And Antonia Caccia, a British filmmaker who has been documenting the Occupation for the last 20 years. They have all been brought together by the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. They join us in the studio today. 500 DUNAM ON THE MOON Well, we are going to start with Rachel Leah Jones's debut film, 500 DUNAM ON THE MOON. The movie tells the story of Ayn Hawd, a Palestinian village that was captured and depopulated by Israeli forces in the 1948 war. The village was "discovered" in 1953 by Marcel Janco, a Romanian painter and a founder of the Dada movement. Janco helped transform the village into a Jewish artists' colony and renamed it Ein Hod. 500 DUNAM ON THE MOON tells the story of the village's original inhabitants, the family that settled in the nearby hills after expulsion. This new Ayn Hawd cannot be found on official maps, because Israeli law doesn't recognize it. GUEST: RACHEL LEAH JONES, director, 500 Dunam on the Moon. The film premiered last week at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. Contact: Tape: 500 Dunam on the Moon AUGUST: A MOMENT BEFORE THE ERUPTION AUGUST is partly a documentary, partly a fictional film that portrays a month in the life of filmmaker Avi Mograbi and his wife. The film documents the month of August 2000 - a tense and seething period just before the Al Aqsa intifada. It takes the viewer from a group of Jewish settlers marching through the streets of Tel Aviv dressed as Arabs to a peace demonstration in front of the Ministry of Defense. From a young Palestinian refugee throwing stones across the Israeli-Lebanese border to a crowd of angry soccer fans. Through the lens of Avi Mograbi's camera, the month of August becomes an apt metaphor for all that is brutal and hateful in Israel. GUEST: AVI MOGRABI, wrote, directed, and produced the film August: A Moment Before the Eruption. Mograbi was born and raised in Israel, where he still lives there today. He has produced a number of films, including Happy Birthday Mr. Mograbi and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Arik Sharon. Contact: Tape: August: A Moment Before the Eruption BETHLEHEM DIARY: BETHLEHEM DIARY examines the occupation through the lens of Christmas in Bethlehem in the year 2000. The town was expecting five million visitors to celebrate the end of the millennium, but the streets are deserted, the hotels shut, the shops empty. The Israeli army has closed off Bethlehem since the second Intifada began the previous September. Areas of the town have been heavily shelled and ruins are everywhere. People are talking about whether they should stay or go. BETHLEHEM DIARY focuses on two middle-class Palestinian families and a human rights lawyer during this tumultuous period. It shows their struggles to live under curfew and closure, their every move monitored by the Israeli army. Six months later, in July 2001, the film takes us back. The heightening pressures and tensions are finally forcing these families into the painful decision to leave their homes. GUEST: ANTONIA CACCIA, Director, Bethlehem Diary. This is her fourth film about Israel-Palestine. Contact: Tape: Bethlehem Diary 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 FILMMING THE OCCUPATION: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH THREE FILMMAKERS ONT'D 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
June 24, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
June 24, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. June 24 , 2002
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