Largest pro-Israel rally ever held in U.S.; DEBATE: Is criticizing Israel anti-Semitic? ; war crimes in Jenin: .Guests: MORT ZUCKERMAN ; SARAH SHIELDS ; RUTH WISSE;ARTHUR WASKOW;NORMAN FINKELSTEIN;ESTHER LEDERMAN; KRISTEN SCHURR.
9:01-9:06 Headlines: AMID THE RUINS OF JENIN, THE GRISLY EVIDENCE OF A WAR CRIME International aid organizations and journalists have been allowed into Jenin refugee camp for the first time.The International Committee for the Red Cross is overseeing an operation to remove the bodies and is describing the situation as "horrendous". 40 bodies have been brought out so far, but a spokesman for the ICRC said the priority was treatment for the injured, who have been without help for days. London Independent reporter Phil Reeves writes: A monstrous war crime that Israel has tried to cover up for a fortnight has finally been exposed A quiet. sad-looking young man called Kamal Anis led us across the wasteland, littered now with [what were once household goods], foam rubber, torn clothes, shoes, tin cans, children's toys. He suddenly stopped. This was a mass grave, he said, pointing. We stared at a mound of debris. Here, he said, he saw the Israeli soldiers pile 30 bodies beneath a half-wrecked house. When the pile was complete, they bulldozed the building, bringing its ruins down on the corpses. Then they flattened the area with a tank. We could not see the bodies. But we could smell them. A few days ago, we might not have believed Kamal Anis. But the descriptions given by the many other refugees who escaped from Jenin camp were understated, not, as many feared and Israel encouraged us to believe, exaggerations. Their stories had not prepared me for what I saw yesterday. I believe them now. GUEST: PHIL REEVES, reporter with the London Independent CONTACT:www.independent.co.uk 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 IS CRITICIZING ISRAEL ANTI-SEMITIC? A DEBATE Tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the Washington Capitol yesterday to urge the White House to support Israels siege in the Occupied Territories and to refuse negotiations with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Organizers say it was the largest pro-Israel rally ever held in this country. Speakers included Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, New York's former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, and others less often associated with Jewish causes, like the Texas Republican Dick Armey. Representing the administration at the rally was Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. He condemned suicide bombers as "murderers" and vowed the Administration's allegiance to Israel. But it was his comments about Palestinian suffering that caught the crowd's attention. Chanting no more Arafat, they booed him repeatedly for saying that Palestinians as well as Israelis have been victims of Mideast violence. Wolfowitz is considered one of Israel's staunchest White House allies and a hawkish advocate of bombing Iraq. But yesterday, Paul Wolfowitz found himself on the defensive. So did a number of rabbis several weeks earlier when they signed their names to an advertisement supporting the hundreds of Israeli reserve officers who have refused to serve in the Occupied Territories. The ad was sponsored by Rabbi Michael Lerner of the Tikkun Community, and it sparked a rash of hate mail to the signatories, accusing them of being anti-semitic. Several ultimately withdrew their names in response to the personal attacks.Well, today on Democracy Now!, we are going to look at this taboo in the Jewish establishment against criticizing Israeli policy. Is it anti-Semitic to question the state? We'll have a debate. But lets turn first to Mort Zuckerman, chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, editor-in-chief of the U.S. News and World Report, publisher of the New York Daily News, and a columnist for the Jewish World Review, speaking at yesterdays pro-Israel rally. AUDIOTAPE: MORT ZUCKERMAN, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, speaking at Mondays We Stand with Israel Solidarity Rally in DC. It was recorded by Free Speech Radio News reporter Josh Chaffin. AUDIOTAPE: SARAH SHIELDS, Professor, University of North Carolina. She wrote an open letter to her father titled Please, Dad, Tell Me: How Do I Stop Being Complicit? Contact: www.commondreams.org Guest: RUTH WISSE, professor of Yiddish language and comparative literature at Harvard. She is the author of The Shlemiel as Modern Hero and, most recently, If I am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews. 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 IS CRITICIZING ISRAEL ANTI-SEMITIC? A DEBATE Guest: RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW, head of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia. The Shalom Center is a network of North American Jews that draws on Jewish tradition and spirituality to seek justice, pursue peace, heal the earth, and build community. He is a founder of the Institute for Policy Studies. Contact: www.shalomctr.org Guest: NORMAN FINKELSTEIN, author of four books including The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Verso, 2000). The son of two Holocaust survivors, he currently teaches at DuPaul University in Chicago.Contact: www.normanfinkelstein.com PHOTO AT THIS SITE Guest: ESTHER LEDERMAN, project director of the Seeking Peace, Pursuing Justice campaign of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, one of the groups sponsoring Mondays We Stand with Israel Solidarity Rally in DC. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations is the central body of the Reform Movement in North America with more than 900 congregations. Lederman was previously Assistant Director of the Washington Policy Center of Israel Policy Forum. From 199698, Esther served as the National Director of Habonim Dror North America, a Jewish-Zionist youth movement.IN STUDIO Contact: www.seekpeace.org, http://uahc.org 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:55 IS CRITICIZING ISRAEL ANTI-SEMITIC? A DEBATE 9:55-9:58 BREAKING REPORT FROM NABLUS: ISRAELI SOLDIERS BEAT A GROUP OF PALESTINIAN AMBULANCE DRIVERS , DOCTORS AND OTHER MEDICAL RELIEF WORKERS ALONG WITH SEVERAL DOZEN INTERNATIONAL ACTIVISTS WHO ESCORTED THEM Guest: KRISTEN SCHURR, ONE OF THE ATTACKED MEMBERS OF THE International Solidarity Movement IN NABLUS MUSIC: 6: April 20th Perspectives on Peace Promo 20: ONE ROAD TO FREEDOM Ben Harper Fight for Your Mind (Virgin records CD) 40: April 20th Perspectives on Peace Promo End: TIME HAS COME TODAY Chambers Brothers The best of (Columbia/Legacy CD) 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits