Monday, January 12, 2009

Welcome to Occupied Orlando

Thomas Paine's Corner


By Eileen Fleming


Warning: This article contains graphic photos that serve to document a few of Israel’s myriad war crimes

I was on my way to Lake Eola for an afternoon rally, where over 2,000 people came together in solidarity over our anguish for the misery in Gaza and to March in front of Senator Mel Martinez and Senator Bill Nelson’s Orlando offices.

The area we were consigned to was ‘roped’ off with one strand of plastic tape that a baby could break. 150 police officers attempted to justify the waste of man power by checking bags and denying fluids to travel into the taped off area. I solved my dilemma at the Orlando Police Checkpoint in the Park by ducking under the tape thirty feet from ‘Security’s’ back.

We the people with a conscience had come together to take to the streets our demand that USA Government stand up for an immediate bilateral cease fire and the free flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

We the people of all faiths and none came together in heart break over Gaza and anger at USA complicity in Israel’s war crimes.


The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or Israel, is a war crime. There is NO justification for anyone, any army, or state to target innocent people. Over 800 lives have already been lost and an entire generation of children terrorized and traumatized. The 1.5 million human persons in Gaza have no way to escape the USA made bombs delivered by USA made Apache helicopters and F-16’s!

I arrived at Lake Eola half an hour before the scheduled event and attempted to dialogue with a few of the counter protestors whom I informed, “I have been to Israel six times since June 2005. Here’s my card, you can read eye witness accounts of occupied Palestine. Then, let’s dialogue!”

A few accepted my card but I know they haven’t a clue, for one of their signs read: End the Palestinian Occupation of Israel!

I laughed out loud and then prayed God have mercy on the deaf, dumb and blind. But I lost my temper with a robotic zombie Zionist who thinks she is a Christian.

Across her chest she expressed her mind with a JerUSAlem t-shirt.
I have met her kind many a time on the World Wide Web and in the flesh at such events as John Hagee CUFI conference in Miami.

But, this particularly creepy pseudo-Christian was so arrogant, so closed of mind, her eyes so blind, ears deaf to the cries of orphaned babies and a heart so cold she chilled me to the bone.


But then she said, “God gave that land to the chosen people.”
The simmering rage I carry with me daily erupted into flame and I raised my voice above hers and chanted: Blessed are the peacemakers-THEY are the children of God.

This simmering rage I carry with me was lit in June 2005 during my first of six trips to Israel and Occupied Palestine.

Although I had researched for two years, nothing prepared me for what I saw, heard and felt in my gut that broke my heart and inflamed my mind.

My Irish has remained up and not a day goes by, that I don’t DO SOMETHING to help raise awareness of USA culpability in the suffering of another indigenous people.

Not just because the USA government has not been an honest broker for peace.

Not just because the USA media has failed so miserably to educate the American people.

More than anything, what keeps my Irish up and flaming are comfortable Christians who do NOT have a CLUE as to what Jesus/AKA the Prince of Peace was all about!


I leave it to moderate Muslims and Jews to correct their own. As a Christian Anarchist of The Beatitudes, my target is the fundamentalist militant wing in The Body of Christ which has so corrupted his message that they crucify him all over again by claiming to be a Christian yet they support bombing, torturing and occupying other people that God also created in his/her image.

They also never give a thought to the fact that Jesus was NEVER a Christian.

The term ‘Christian’ was not even coined until the days of Paul, about 3 decades after Jesus/AKA: The Prince of Peace walked the earth and taught that it is the peacemakers who are the children of God, NOT those that bomb, occupy or torture others!

2,000 years ago The Cross had NO symbolic religious meaning and was not a piece of jewelry.

When JC said: “Pick up your cross and follow me” everyone THEN understood he was issuing a POLITICAL statement, for the main roads into Jerusalem were lined with crucified agitators, rebels, dissidents and any who disturbed the status quo of the Roman Empire and Military Occupying Forces.


Jesus, while never a Christian, was a social, justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up against the corrupt Temple authorities and challenged their job security by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God LOVED them just as they were: Sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under the Roman Empire and Military Occupation.

What got JC crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Empire and Occupying Forces by teaching the subversive concept that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under the Roman Empire and Military Occupation above the elite and arrogant.

“If enough Christians followed the gospel, they could bring any state to its knees.” -Father Philip Francis Berrigan

The early followers and lovers of Jesus were called members of THE WAY-being THE WAY he taught one should be and that his sisters and brothers were those that DID the will of the Father:

“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8

Being just requires all sides are respected as equals and all should be heard.


There was no justice on Saturday’s local NBC TV affiliate that ‘reported’ on the March for Gaza at Lake Eola Park.

There was NO video of the over 2,000 strong and nonviolent activists.

There were NO interviews with any of the organizers of the event.

But WESH TV did interview one of about two dozen counter protesters. His ignorance was blatant, but there was NO follow-up question from the ‘reporter’ holding the microphone.

While still flaming, I phoned WESH and expressed my distress to the patient and calm man at the News Desk. He then connected me with the voice mail of his superior and I left a message that I am a citizen journalist who has been to occupied Palestine 6 times since June 2005.

I expressed my distress was most acute as I was an eye witness to the event and to then witness such a slanted and uninformative reporting with no mention of the issues raised at the rally makes WESH/NBC News culpable in the ignorance of central Floridians who know NOTHING about the last 60 years of misery of the Palestinians.

Imagine a media dedicated to the enlightenment of the republic.

Imagine a government that listens to a people who take it to the streets.

Imagine if we who claim to be Christian actually did what Jesus said was non-negotiable: you must forgive to be forgiven; you must pray and bless your enemies; NOT bomb, torture or occupy them!

Imagine when we who claim to be civilized respect all people, honor all life, treat all others the way we hope they will treat US.

Imagine a hope that is so audacious that this “HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it.”-St. Augustine

Learn More:

Eileen Fleming is an author, founder of WAWA (, and producer “30 Minutes With Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

Only in Solidarity do “we have it in our power to begin the world again.”

–Tom Paine

Source: Thomas Paine's Corner

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