ISRAELI SOLDIER TO AMERICAN PEACE ACTIVIST: "SHUT UP, WE CONTROL YOUR GOVERNMENT."

Occupied Jerusalem: 5 January, 2002 (IAP News)

Israeli occupation soldiers manning a military roadblock north of Jerusalem reportedly insulted international, including American, peace activists who had come to Palestine to express solidarity with the Palestinians.

One American peace activist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, testified that Israeli soldiers at the Qalandya Checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, insulted and kicked him for shouting "end the occupation, freedom for the Palestinian people."

"They told me that the Jews controlled the American government and that even the President of the United States was subservient to the Jews."

The bearded young man, who identified himself by the first name Timothy, said he didn't understand the extent of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians until he arrived in Israel and saw things on the ground.

"I can say with little exaggeration that Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is similar to Nazi treatment of Jews in Europe during the Second World War."

"If they could do this to an American whose country helps, protects and bankrolls Israel, I can imagine what they do to the Palestinians," said Timothy.

Timothy is one of some three hundred international peace activists, mostly from Europe and North America, who arrived in Palestine last month in an effort to provide a semblance of protection for Palestinian civilians ravaged by a 15-month-old Israeli rampage of murder and terror that left thousands killed and maimed.

The US government, whose policy in the Middle East is heavily influenced by the American Jewish lobby known as AIPAC, repeatedly vetoed draft resolutions at the UN Security Council calling for the deployment of international monitors to the West Bank.

Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising against Israeli apartheid and occupation, the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers killed and assassinated close to a thousand Palestinians.

In addition, according to Palestinian Red Crescent Society figures, almost 17,000 others were maimed and wounded.

A third of the victims are minors and children.

In the same period, 234 Israelis, mostly soldiers and settlers, were killed by Palestinian fighters.