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Flashpoints Dec 30: Kristen Schurr in Rafah; Van Jones in Bethlehem; US Marine

by Jaguar Johnny
KPFA Flashpoints Radio News, Dec 30, 2002
-A former US Marine denounces his citizenship and heads to Iraq to serve as a human shield
-The Israeli killing machine murders two more children, interview with Kristen Schurr in Rafah
-SF activist Van Jones reports from Bethlehem..


KPFA Flashpoints News Radio
click here for latest updated Flashpoints page

Monday, Dec 30, 2002 - Start Audio "for
-00:00 "AUDIO Dennis Bernstein: A former US Marine denounces his citizenship and heads to Iraq to serve as a human shield.. the Israeli killing machine murders two more children, interview with Kristen Schurr in Rafah.. SF activist Van Jones reports from Bethlehem..
-00:37 Robert Knight and the Knight Report.. Robert: (no review this segment yet)
-05:02 Dennis: in Palestine, Israeli forces continually killing and displacing people.. "AUDIO two children murdered by the Israeli killing machine over the weekend.. now w Kristin Schurr (link2) of "photoInternational Solidarity Movement (ISM) (link2) (link3) in Rafah Camp, illegally occupied Gaza.. Kristen: I've gotten a delegation here, we joined in a demonstration.. for a group of people stuck here for two years, unable to get home.. in an unclaimed patch of land (by Israel or the PLO).. they're totally surrounded by settlements now.. in Nawasi (sp?) the Israeli idea to drive all the young people out, so Israel can take over.. Dennis: another Israeli way to get rid of the young people, kill them.. two kids killed over the weekend?.. Kristen: an eight year old girl killed.. in a neighborhood riddled with bulletholes, used for practice shooting by Israel.. the girl killed by a sniper while sitting in her home with her family.. THE SNIPERS DON'T CARE WHO THEY KILL.. THIS IS THEIR WAY TO MAKE PALESTINIAN LIFE SO FRIGHTENING AND UNBEARABLE THAT THEY FLEE.. they are squeezed so hard.. Dennis: NPR's Linda Gradstein always ends her stories with "the Israeli military say they were only answering fire" or, "the Israeli military say they were only responding to rock throwers".. Kristen: I've never witnessed a child throwing a rock hurting a tank.. never seen a sniper post attacked in any serious way.. we see how unafraid the soldiers are here, they come out of their tanks, their APCs, and stroll around.. they are unafraid of the people here.. (sound of explosion).. that was a couple hundred meters away.. this was a tank.. F16s flying over all day.. if any Palestinian risks their life defending their land, the Israelis assert the right to take his life.. I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA EXPECT THE PALESTINIANS, OF ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, TO JUST SIT THERE AND TAKE IT.. Dennis: snipers fire out of the settlements?.. Kristen: yes.. their towers open fire on the Palestinian people.. and the settlers target practice on the Palestinian people.. for Christmas I went to Bethlehem for demonstrations.. the military drove through the streets.. took over five tall buildings to use as sniper posts.. Dennis: Gradstein went to Bethlehem, said the Israelis were helping the Arabs to come to Bethlehem.. Kristin: she falls for the public relations baloney everytime.. (sound of shooting) I can see the bullets going through.. guns on top of the tanks.. they often open fire.. randomly.. shooting just to frighten the people, make life hell.. white explosive lights going off now.. Dennis: what are they attacking?.. Kristin: THEY ARE JUST ATTACKING THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE.. WHEN THEY DEMOLISH THE HOUSES THEY BURY THEM IN THE GROUND.. AS IF TO SAY THERE IS NO ONE HERE, TO PERPETUATE THE MYTH OF 'A LAND FOR A PEOPLE FOR A PEOPLE WITHOUT A LAND'.. one family decided to stay in their house.. another man, only one room left in his house, a small kitchen, and he stays there.. the Israelis building a huge wall, demolishing houses.. randomly.. 14 tanks came to one house, fired a tank shell into the house, the family came out, then the 14 tanks watched one bulldozer destroy the family home.. they try to come up with excuses for what they have done.. people are expecting things to get worse if/when the US attacks Iraq.. ALL INTERNATIONAL LAW IS ALREADY 'OUT THE DOOR' HERE.. the people here feel they will be completely obliterated.. or rounded up and moved out.. more info: WE INVITE ANY INTERNATIONAL TO COME, ANYONE WHO CARES ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE TO COME, DON'T BELIEVE THE CORPORTATE MEDIA..
-20:27 Dennis: now w Van Jones "AUDIO of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in San Francisco.. Van: I came to the holy land to get a view of the human rights situation.. I was totally unprepared.. THE WORST RACIAL PRACTICES OF THE LAST CENTURY ARE PRESENT HERE, IN SHOCKING COMBINATION.. Arab citizens under a pass situation like apartheid.. about the harrassment of an Arab American in our group at the airport.. people in the US don't have a clear view of what is going on.. like 'settlements'.. 30,000 people in massive cities, with Burger Kings and malls, and defended with the whole might of the Israeli army.. wholesale demolition of Palestinian homes.. the US supporting the whole mess.. to see it.. to see what it means for Arab people is really really distressing.. Dennis: US media shows Israel backed into a corner.. Van: I came over here very concerned about Israeli children living in fear.. nobody is winning here.. WHAT I'VE SEEN HERE GOES FAR BEYOND WHAT COULD BE CONSIDERED FOR SAFETY.. ABSOLUTE HOUSE ARREST FOR EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN A CITY.. 24/7 FOR WEEKS AT A TIME.. NONE OF THIS COULD RATIONALLY BE CONCEIVED OF AS DEFENCE.. I HAVE BEEN A LIFELONG OPPONENT OF ANTI-SEMITISM.. NOW NOT TO SPEAK OUT HERE IS ANTI-SEMITIC.. WE OWE IT TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.. AND PALESTINE.. TO PUT AN END TO THESE KIND OF ABUSES.. THERE IS NO DIVISION BETWEEN US POLICY TOWARD IRAQ AND TOWARD ISRAEL-PALESTINE.. THE US GOVERNMENT ON THE WRONG SIDE OF SANITY.. to push Iraq into a corner and threaten it with massive war.. we need new leadership in Tel Aviv and Washington.. let's link all these situations together.. boldly speaking the truth.. I went to the funeral of a young Palestinian boy shot by Israeli soldier.. I saw his bloody body being placed into the ground.. since I've been here four children killed by soldiers.. not being reported by the media.. but being recorded in the hearts and minds of the mothers and fathers here.
-30:01 music break
-33:35 Dennis: a convoy of activists to leave London for Iraq January 18.. "AUDIO now with Kenneth Nichols O'Keefe.. "KenGulf War vet, now vociferous opponent of this new war.. Dennis: what led to this change?.. Kenneth: I joined the Marines to get money for college, see the world, learn discipline.. I was an idiot.. but I have evolved in a good way.. democracy has failed us.. if we aren't willing to put our lives on the line, our children will pay dearly.. I was stationed on the Kuwait border.. when the ground war took off.. we went pretty much unopposed to the main road.. I did not have to fire my weapon.. the Iraqi soldiers had no desire to be there, they ran.. the 'highway to hell' was a massacre.. they were fired on in full retreat.. many died.. basically murdered.. blown away like in target practice.. I was raised to love America.. I fell into the indoctrination process.. Dennis: you have renounced your citizenship?.. Kenneth: citizenship is allegiance.. you have rights and obligations.. pay taxes, fight in wars.. about US foreign policy.. US is the greatest terrorist of the 21st Century.. plus the treatment of native Americans, Hawaiian natives, black people.. I feel my vote doesn't count, and I refuse to support the murder of other people.. Dennis: you know you will likely not survive an US invasion of Iraq?.. Kenneth: I want to be out filming all I can.. the troops will proabably kill me.. the president can murder anyone he wants to.. I consider myself an enemy combatant, not because I am a terrorist.. Dennis: you are going to be filming?.. Kenneth: I will film anything and everything.. the real damage.. I will not carry a weapon, not because I don't believe in self-defence.. If I was born in Palestine I probably would have gone nuts, probably would have become a suicide bomber.. but I fell I have the ability to fend for myself without a weapon.. at the end of the day, I want peace, I believe in Gandhi's principles.. sheer hypocricy for Americans.. to condemn Palestinians for defending itself.. the UN inspection thing is a farce.. I do not thing there is anything that can stop this war, except a mass migration to Baghdad.. saying the US needs to stand back.. you are violating people all over the world.. It will take a small miracle.. thousands must migrate.. my organization.. Universal Kinship Society.. raising money for buses, food, and fuel.. I'm doing my level best to raise money to fund this projest.. we all have common bonds, we all have common roots.. mentor, J. Howard Moore.. my film, The United States of Hypocrisy about the genocide committed against the Hawaiin people.. blood quantum.. the plan: to leave London January 18, drive through Europe, Paris, Brussels, Germany, Dachal CC, Turkey, Syria to Iraq.. journalists coming.. many volunteers coming.. Dennis: in Holland?.. Kenneth: the older generation remember the US liberating them.. blind denial of the facts.. but still a lot of people here against the war.. this is going to take more than talking, recycling.. the Israeli and American people like sheep being led to slaughter.. America is under martial law, the constitution is dead.. Dennis: you applied for politial assylum in Holland?.. Kenneth: after Judge Fong issued a bench warrant for $11,000.. I had to defend myself constantly.. after Sept 11, I was being targeted.. I had to leave.. when I got to Holland, the Dutch government tried to get away from me.. but they were forced to keep me in the assylum proceedings.. if you want to volunteer, get to Europe.. London by the 18th.. email me: Dennis: thanks for the clarity of your courage.. Kenneth: thanks to you for getting the truth out..
-55:20 Mary Bishop: wrapup
-56:00 End today's show. today's review by john lionheart

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