Author Topic: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School  (Read 360 times)

*Jamal*

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American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« on: January 06, 2005, 02:46:30 AM »
THERE ARE A SMALL number of people around the world who exhibit extraordinary courage. An even smaller number commit repeated acts of heroism. San Francisco resident Chris Brown is one of them.

On Wednesday morning [Sept. 29], Brown, with his colleague Kim Lamberty, was on the other side of the world walking children to school. The children were like any other children—except for one thing. They were scared. Not that they would fail a test, not that their teacher would call on them with a difficult question, not that they would lose a schoolyard game. These children were scared that adults would physically try to attack them.

They were right.

It was a bright morning. There were two girls and three boys, and they ranged in age from 6 years old to 11. Chris, 39, and Kim, 44, were there to protect them. The children were Palestinian.

Chris and Kim are volunteers with an organization called Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), which provides nonviolent intercession in areas of violence. They serve in the West Bank city of Hebron, where Palestinian civilians are frequently attacked and harassed by Israeli settlers. The presence of such international witnesses often reduces this violence.

Children in a small village outside of Hebron, Tuba, attend school in the neighboring village of Tuwani. The problem is, Israeli settlements lie between Tuwani and Tuba. The route around these settlements is over six miles—too long for small children to trek twice a day. There is an alternative route between settlements that reduces the journey to a little over a mile. Villagers asked CPT to accompany the children on this shorter route.

Last Wednesday, Chris and Kim picked up the children from their village at 6:30, and all began walking to school. Part of the way there, settlements on either side, Kim and two of the children had gotten a little ahead and were just turning a bend in the road, when Chris saw them suddenly stop and begin running back, screaming.

Then he saw why.

“I saw men with black masks on, dressed all in black, wielding chains, one carrying a bat, most of them wearing black.” As the five men rushed at them, Chris called out, “Please don’t hurt the children, please don’t hurt the children.”

The men smashed a rock to his head, knocking him to the ground, and began beating and kicking him with steel-toed boots. The attackers tried, unsuccessfully, to break his left wrist and dislocate his shoulder.

“I said, ‘Why are you doing this? All we’re doing is walking children to school—we’re nonviolent,’” Chris told them. “We’re Americans.”
   


Israeli settlers smashed Chris Brown’s head with a rock, knocked him to the ground and kicked him, puncturing his lung and breaking his ribs
   

An attacker laughed, and Chris heard a man say, in a heavy Israeli accent, “They’re Americans.”

Kim, meanwhile, lay face down, not moving as the men kicked and beat her. She says much of the attack is a blur—“It’s almost like for a moment you leave reality.…I just remember thinking, ‘If I just lie here like I’m unconscious, maybe they’ll leave me alone.’”

Finally, the men sauntered away, stealing Kim’s waist-pack containing her money, passport and cell phone. Unable to walk, she crawled over to Chris, who still had his phone and was able to call for help.

Upon receiving Chris’s call, two CPT members rushed over immediately, despite fear that the attackers might still be nearby. They called for an ambulance on the way, and arrived to find Chris and Kim bleeding and in enormous pain.

Twenty-five minutes later, Israeli officials—who, according to international law, are responsible for the safety of all civilians under their occupation—finally arrived, having taken half an hour to cover the 10-minute distance. The officials took statements, provided an ambulance to transport Chris and Kim to an Israeli hospital, but made no effort to find their assailants.

At the hospital, Kim was found to have a broken arm, a severely injured knee, and bruises across her head and body. It is still difficult for her to move. Chris has a punctured lung and broken ribs and is similarly covered with cuts and body-wide contusions. He is still in the hospital. The children, who were able to flee immediately, are largely unhurt, physically.

For Palestinians around Hebron, it is like living next to KKK members who can kill you with impunity. Murders of Palestinians are rarely prosecuted, and when they are, little results. For example, three years ago, when a settler was found guilty of killing a 14-year-old boy by breaking his neck, the punishment meted out was a fine and six months’ community service.

“It’s just like South Africa,” Chris Brown says, “only worse.” South Africa, many point out, didn’t use F-16s against its Bantustans.

Brown should know, having spent the first eight years of his life under South African apartheid, and then returning to fight apartheid as an adult, being imprisoned, largely in solitary confinement, for a year and a half.

Brown went to Palestine to oppose such a system and to reduce the violence costing so many lives—both Israeli and Palestinian. From the very beginning of the current uprising, Palestinians called for an international presence that would reduce the violence. While the U.S. government, at Israel’s behest, blocked United Nations efforts to provide this, nonviolent activists from around the world, including Israel, have tried to fill this need.

Long before the attack on him, Brown knew what he was getting into. Israeli forces and settlers are not gentle in their treatment of peace activists. In June 2001, Israeli peace activist Neta Golan joined Palestinian villagers in a nonviolent march. An Israeli soldier twisted her arm until it snapped. In March 2003, Rachel Corrie, 23, participated in a tiny sit-in to prevent a Palestinian home from being demolished. An Israeli military bulldozer two stories high crushed her to death. Two weeks later, Tom Hurndall, 21, tried to help Palestinian children get away from Israeli gunfire. An Israeli sniper shot him in the head.

Yet the need for the world to do something has continued to grow. While Americans are well informed about the tragic deaths of Israeli children, very few realize that approximately six times more Palestinian children have been killed, and that their deaths occurred first.

For three and a half months, Palestinian children were being killed—often by gunfire to the head—and the world’s governments did nothing. If this had been stopped, it is quite likely that not a single Israeli child would have died.

While Chris’s knowledge of this situation compelled him to do something about it, most Americans have little awareness of these facts, because so little of all this is reported in the American media.

The attack on Chris, Kim and the children is a case in point. While the BBC, Agence France-Presse, Israeli newspapers and a wide variety of other international media reported this attack on American citizens immediately, the Associated Press, inexplicably, sent out no report on it for a day and a half—and this only after numerous people had called complaining.


A six-month study of the San Francisco Chronicle’s coverage of children’s deaths reveals a similar pattern of omission. Analysis of their headline stories found that the paper had reported prominently on Israeli children’s deaths at a rate 30 times greater than Palestinian ones. While 150 percent of Israeli children’s deaths had resulted in headline coverage—some deaths generated multiple stories—only 5 percent of Palestinian children’s deaths received parallel coverage.

Chris feels that Americans have an intimate connection to this carnage, because it is American tax money to Israel that is fueling the violence. While most Americans are unaware of this connection—again, studies show that news media rarely report it—the fact is that U.S. taxpayers give Israel over $10 million per day, far more than to any other nation on earth. This is more money than that allotted to all of sub-Saharan Africa. Israel’s population is approximately the size of the greater Bay Area.

Meanwhile, Chris Brown recovers in a hospital bed in Israel. Numerous Israeli friends come to visit, outraged at the actions of their government, and grieving with him at the escalating violence. His Palestinian friends are not allowed into the area, but they send their support, prayers and thanks. And wait for the next assault.

In Gaza in the past week, there has been massive carnage. Dozens of Palestinian men, women and children have been killed, hundreds injured. By the time this piece is printed, it is possible some innocent Israeli lives will be lost as well. More than140 Palestinians were killed before the first suicide bombing; now the violence seesaws back and forth, with the Palestinian death rate approximately three times greater than the Israelis. All these deaths, Chris feels, are tragic.

Americans, Chris points out, have a responsibility to work to bring this to an end. He asks people back in San Francisco to “put pressure on [Congresswoman] Nancy Pelosi, [Sen.] Barbara Boxer and [Sen.] Dianne Feinstein to demand that Israel remove the settlements.” He points out that all three have “a notorious record of always voting for everything that Israel wants. This is unacceptable.” All three receive massive pro-Israel PAC funding. Chris believes that enabling the Israeli government to continue actions that result in escalating violence “is not being a friend to Israel.”

Regarding the attack, Brown says that he wants “to hear statements from the floor of the House and the Senate that this kind of thuggery is not accepted in any democratic society.”

“The settlement that the attackers came from, Ma’on, isn’t even supposed to be there,” Chris points out. “It was supposed to be dismantled,” according to a plan presented to the U.S. months ago.

Chris says that as soon as he’s recovered, he’ll return to Hebron, to escort Palestinian children to school. He hopes to be back on the job by the end of the month. Asked whether he worries that next time he may be killed, he thinks it over and then replies: “Yeah, probably one day they’ll succeed, if I keep going on the path that I will go.” He explains that he’s “not looking for martyrdom” and insists that he’ll take “as many precautions as possible” while he’s in Palestine, but finally concludes, “If I have to die to see this country free, I’ll do it.…

“I like to quote Archbishop Oscar Romero,” Chris says: “‘If I die, my spirit will rise up in the lives of the other people, and they’ll keep going on.’”
« Last Edit: January 06, 2005, 02:54:23 AM by *Jamal* »
 

rafsta

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2005, 04:05:22 AM »
i do not understand why america gives them 10 mill per day... Why didnt America get involved earlier ? and why is it that the israelies there attack americans if they give them 10 mill per day ? and why is that the 10 mil per day is whats causing the violence ?

This article is suspicous, i feel for the Americans there trying to help out...
 

_That_Cracka_J

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2005, 12:23:02 PM »
This article is suspicous, i feel for the Americans there trying to help out...

?  Somebody logged into rafsta's account and is posting things he wouldn't post!

Here's what he meant to say:

The Americans deserved to get beat.  They should be tortured.
 

Sikotic™

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2005, 02:07:26 PM »
I'm surprised that Chris Brown guy is still alive because they tried to crush his skull ad kick him to death. Messed up situation.
 

Don Jacob

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2005, 02:57:29 PM »
ouch!


in joe pesci voice:: fuckin jews::


R.I.P.  To my Queen and Princess 07-05-09
 

Sikotic™

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2005, 02:59:34 PM »
ouch!


in joe pesci voice:: fuckin jews::

lol

YOU JEW MUDDAFUCKA YOU
 

rafsta

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2005, 04:04:35 PM »
This article is suspicous, i feel for the Americans there trying to help out...

?  Somebody logged into rafsta's account and is posting things he wouldn't post!

Here's what he meant to say:

The Americans deserved to get beat.  They should be tortured.

thats not true, if it was one of the peeps off this forum then yeah... but he was a decent human being from my understanding... 51% of you do deserve to get beat tho...
 

Don Jacob

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2005, 10:35:49 PM »
51%.......please elaborate


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M Dogg™

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2005, 11:29:26 PM »
My take, we need to have a way of getting this out. We need to take our money away from Israel until they can correct their mistakes. By allow them to not only beat on Muslims, but also our own people, and still give them money, we are making it ok for them to act like this. We need a leader that's will to grow some fucken balls, have a spine and start to try and find a solution to the problem. All these presidents, not even Bill Clinton who made it a point to seek peace have had enough balls to deal with the situation the way it should be dealt with.
 

Thirteen

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2005, 11:35:51 PM »
not to take away from the whole article because it is fucked up, but the people were dressed in all black with masks on and the only proof they were Israelis were their voice?

i'm gonna go over there and rob a bank, and when i'm asking for the money i will do my best Elvis impersonation so the headlines over there read "ELVIS IS ALIVE! ROBS BANK IN PALISTINE!"
 

rafsta

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2005, 06:08:42 AM »
51%.......please elaborate

bush was re-elected
 

davida.b.

Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2005, 07:16:03 PM »
51%.......please elaborate

bush was re-elected

And only 2 people on this board voted for him, and one of them voted for him just to piss us off. Whats your point?

DAYUM

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2005, 01:17:54 AM »
damn he didnt even fight back...
 

Fathom

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Re: American Helpers Beaten for Walking Children to School
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2005, 08:24:07 PM »
This is a very informative article.  I was aware of violence in this area on both sides but now I guess I realize it.