Between The Lines

News and Analysis
For The Week Ending June 2, 2000

Listen to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer 7 or RealPlayer G2).

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Stalled peace talks ignite recent West Bank and Gaza violence
Interview by Scott Harris.

In the worst wave of violence in two years, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza to demonstrate their anger and frustration at the slow pace of ongoing peace negotiations. Clashes, which included gun battles between Israeli troops and Palestinian police, resulted in several deaths and hundreds of injuries. Major sticking points in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks include the future status of Jerusalem, repatriation of tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and the continued detention of 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

In addition to the unrest in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel's self-declared buffer zone in southern Lebanon recently collapsed as Prime Minister Ehud Barak prepared for a phased withdrawal from the territory they held for more than 22 years. Hezbollah guerillas quickly took over positions abandoned by the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army, ending the costly occupation of the 11-mile security zone on Israel's northern border.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Phyllis Bennis, a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, who examines the serious obstacles remaining in the way of negotiating a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Contact the Institute for Policy Studies by calling (202) 234-9382 or visit their Web site at
Bennis' articles may also be found on the Website:

American farmers advocate lifting Cuba trade sanctions
Interview by Denise Manzari.

Over the past year, Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.) have lobbied their peers to pass the "Food and Medicine for the World Act." The act would lift all current unilateral embargoes on food and medicine, denying White House power to implement such sanctions without Congressional approval.

Recently, this bill passed the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate and the Agricultural Appropriations Committees in both the House and the Senate. Final passage of the bill could lead to the end of U.S. embargoes of food and medicine to nations such as Cuba.

Bipartisan support for the bill has been growing, especially in farm states. The lifting of the sanctions could open up an estimated $7 billion in new markets for U.S. farmers.

Between The Lines' Denise Manzari spoke with Jeremy Rich, legislative director of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, who examines why he believes trading with Cuba would benefit Cubans, American farmers and consumers.

The Oklahoma Farm Bureau can be contacted by calling (405) 523-2402.

Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader building viable progressive political movement
Interview by Scott Harris.

Ralph Nader, the nation's most prominent consumer advocate and citizen activist, is running for president again this year under the banner of the Green Party. First gaining prominence after writing the ground-breaking book, "Unsafe at any Speed," Nader has for 40 years fought for citizen's rights, product safety and a clean environment. He has founded many activist organizations including Public Citizen. He also led the fight for the Freedom of Information Act.

Running with Native American rights activist Winona Laduke as his vice presidential candidate, Nader is campaigning across the nation on a platform of Democratic renewal, targeting the abuses of corporate power. Working with state Green Party members, he is hoping to gain ballot access in all 50 states. Despite receiving little national media attention, some recent polls indicate Nader currently has more support than conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, who is running to head the Reform Party ticket.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Ralph Nader as he campaigned in his home state of Connecticut. Nader explains his goals for the 2000 race and how he hopes to build a viable progressive political party.

To contact the Green Party, call (202) 265-4000 or visit their Web site at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled from alternative media sources by Bob Nixon

  • The Nation, May 22, 2000: Vice President Al Gore sticking by his family's long-time financial ties with Occidental Petroleum, which has been in a standoff with the U'wa tribal nation in Colombia over drilling in its oil-rich lands.
  • In These Times, May 1, 2000: Growing outrcy that Mexico's new security force -- the Federal Protective Police -- is cracking down on the leftist opposition party, Party of the Democratic Revolution.
  • Mother Jones, April 2000: Solar power, now more competitive with other energy sources, still needs a grassroots support movement.

Home | About Between The Lines | Contact us