Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. 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 and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Calls Israeli Presence in Palestine "Occupation," Stunning Lawmakers; Now, the Foreign Ministry is Weighing Lifting a Ban on the Word

StoryMay 27, 2003
Watch iconWatch Full Show

President Bush will be meeting with Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas next week. A conversation between Rabbi Michael Lerner, and Ziad Asali on the U.S. "roadmap to peace."

Israeli Army Radio is reporting the Foreign Ministry is today weighing distributing an internal regulation that will allow Israel’s official spokespeople to use the word 'occupation' for the first time.

The step follows unprecedented remarks by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Yesterday Sharon told lawmakers: "I think the idea that it is possible to continue keeping 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation–yes it is occupation, you might not like the word, but what is happening is occupation–is bad for Israel, and bad for the Palestinians, and bad for the Israeli economy. Controlling 3.5 million Palestinians cannot go on forever. You want to remain in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and Bethlehem?"

According to Israeli Army Radio, until now, the word 'occupation' was considered forbidden, because it was believed that Israel would be seen in a bad light.

All of this comes as Sharon appears to be giving some support to Washington’s so-called "road map to peace". Yesterday, Israeli officials said President Bush will attend a three-way summit with Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan next week. On Sunday, Sharon convinced his cabinet to give conditional approval to the US peace plan. It was the first time in history the Israeli government has formally accepted the idea of a Palestinian state.

But Sharon is still sending mixed signals. He also said yesterday the government will continue to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. He told a Likkud lawmaker and settler he can stay in his home. He said: "There is no restriction here. You can build for your children and grandchildren and, I hope, even for your great-grandchildren."

Meanwhile, the expected meeting tomorrow between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas has been post-poned for a day. Palestinian sources told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz the delay was caused by scheduling conflicts. But the Guardian of London reports the cancellation is being interpreted as evidence that the Palestinian leader doesn’t see any value in meeting Sharon, and that the Palestinians believe all of Sharon’s latest moves are purely for propaganda purposes.

  • Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of Tikkun Magazine and the author of several books includeing Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation, Jews and Blacks: A Dialogue on Race, Religon and Culture in America which he co-wrote with Cornel West.
  • Ziad Asali, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Asali was born in Jerusalem and studied at the American University of Beirut. He has practiced medicine in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem and the United States. Asali is also the current Chairman of the American Committee on Jerusalem.

Links:

Tikkun Magazine

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee


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 democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation