Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

As Israel Moves Its Troops Towards Gaza and East Jerusalem, We Speak to Mother Agapia, a Nun Under Siege in Her Convent Outside Jerusalem. She Is the Sister of TV Commentator and Former Clinton Aide,

April 19, 2002

Once again the White House seems to be shifting its PUBLIC position towards the crisis in Israel-Palestine. Even as Israel invaded Gaza last night, President Bush praised Ariel Sharon as "a man of peace" and suggested he had fulfilled his promise to withdraw from the Occupied Territories. "Israel started withdrawing quickly after our call from smaller cities on the West Bank. History will show that they have responded. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave me a timetable and he’s met the timetable." Bush also appeared to back away from earlier statements that Israel must immediately withdraw from Ramallah and Bethlehem; he said he understood why it was keeping its forces in those two West Bank cities. The President’s change in tune comes just one day after Colin Powell returned from his largely failed mission to the Middle East.

Two weeks ago, President Bush famously called on Israel to end its invasion of Palestinian cities without delay. He urged Israel to stop all settlement activity and to withdraw to U.N. recognized borders. But the Israeli siege continued. Within hours of Bush’s speech, the Israelis stepped up their assault on the Jenin Refugee Camp. Days later, they entered the towns of Qalqilya and Tulkarm. Then, on Tuesday, Israeli troops entered the East Jerusalem suburbs of Abu Dis and Izzariyeh. Israeli military sources said the troops went into the neighborhoods because of reports that terror attacks were going to be launched from there. But residents of the area say the towns are peaceful and that it is the Israeli soldiers who are provoking the conflict.

Well, we are going to go now to one of these towns on the outskirts of Jerusalem, to the convent where Mother Agapia lives. Mother Agapia is a Russian Orthodox nun who oversees a convent school for 350 Palestinian girls outside Jerusalem. She came to the Occupied Territories from the United States some six years ago. She is the sister of ABCNEWS commentator and former Clinton aide, George Stephanopoulos.


  • Mother Agapia, Russian Orthodox nun under siege in the Occupied Territories.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.