investigative reporter Robert Fisk on the Middle East. International Solidarity Movement activists risk their lives to oppose the Israeli occupation.
Date: May 21, 2002 From East Timor, this is Democracy Now! Independent investigative reporter Robert Fisk on the Middle East. Then, International Solidarity Movement activists risk their lives to oppose the Israeli occupation. Today, well hear a speech from Jewish American Adam Shapiro. All that and more coming up. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT ACTIVIST ADAM SHAPIRO, ON THE ROLE AMERICANS CAN PLAY IN BRINGING US MEDIA ATTENTION TO THE PALESTINIANS Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government of national unity has run into a serious crisis after he sacked four ministers from a key coalition party, the ultra-Orthodox party Shas. The four Shas ministers and several deputy ministers from the United Torah Judaism party were dismissed for not backing an economic austerity plan introduced to pay for the recent military offensive against the Palestinians. Under Israeli law, the sackings come into effect after 48 hours. At that point Sharon could find himself leading a minority government. Sharon's economic proposals would have cut welfare spending and increased taxes, but were rejected in a vote on Monday night. Correspondents say the ultra-orthodox ministers balked at the withdrawal of special government subsidies for Orthodox religious students, who do not have to serve in the Israeli armed forces. Meanwhile, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports the army has again raided the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Jenin this morning, and has re-occupied the entire city of Tulkarm. We turn now to a talk given this weekend in New York by International Solidarity Movement activist, Adam Shapiro. ISM activists have been taking direct action since the beginning of second Intifada, from rebuilding demolished Palestinian homes to taking food and medicine inside besieged Palestinian areas. Two weeks ago, ten international activists brought food to the Palestinians trapped inside the Church of the Nativity. Dozens of activists were jailed and deported. live are still in an Israeli prison. Adam Shapiro is a Jewish-American who lives under Israeli occupation in the West Bank. He is engaged to Palestinian-American Huwaida Arraf. Shortly after Israel tanks broke into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafats Ramallah compound at the end of March, Shapiro entered the compound in an ambulance. He helped build a makeshift clinic in one of Arafat's presidential offices. Then he shared a much-publicized breakfast with Arafat in the compound. The story of a Jewish New Yorker risking his life to protect Palestinians was picked up across the corporate media. The New York Post dubbed Shapiro Jewish Taliban. In a confrontational interview with Shapiro on Fox News, host John Gibson called him a turncoat. On CNN, Paula Zahn accused him of promoting suicide bombing. His parents received so many death threats that they were forced to leave their Brooklyn home. They now live under police protection. This is Adam Shapiro, talking about why he does what he does. Tape: Adam Shapiro, International Solidarity Movement activist Contact: www.palsolidarity.org, www.ccmep.org 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 BRITISH JOURNALIST ROBERT FISK ON THE POLITICS OF LANGUAGE AND THE MEDIA IN THE MIDDLE EAST In our first segment we heard American Jewish peace activist Adam Shapiro explaining why he believes the International Solidarity Movement is so important. He said the US mainstream media largely ignores the oppression of the Palestinians unless Americans are there to draw attention to it. Well, we turn now to a speech British journalist Robert Fisk gave a few weeks ago at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In it, Fisk turns a microscope on the US medias bias, revealing specific and systematic ways in which the media blocks the Palestinian experience from the eyes and the ears of the American people. Tape: Robert Fisk, reporter with the Independent of London Contact: www.independent.co.uk 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 LANGUAGE AND THE MEDIA IN THE MIDDLE EAST, CONTD 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits