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tv   Geraldo at Large  FOX News  July 9, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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>> this is a fox news alert. i am geraldo rivera in the ancient city of jerusalem. welcome to israel. island of democracy in the storm of mideast chaos surrounded by the upheaval and center lines of the arab world. this jewish state is fore shaken these days by internal domestic conflict than threats. thousands calling for equal draft laws for all israelis. this is what they are talking about here in israel. before i get to this and issues like the slaughter in syria and secret war against iran's nuclear weapons a single murder mystery begins our special
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report. was yasser arafat the long time palestinian leader poisoned and if so who did it. >> even if you love palestine don't do this suicide bombing. >> i saw it with my eyes. >> i saw it with my eyes. now say it to the children. say it for our children. >> no occupation. no any crimes against civilians syrians and israelis. >> two years after that interview yasser arafat wasn't dead i died a physical wreck a shelf a man i knew. for years it was whispered he
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aids and perhaps fearing embarrassment noah top see was ever allowed. a shock led to forensic tests indicating arafat may have been poisoned with the same radioactive isotope used to kill a russian kgb agent in london in 2006. like arafat alexanderlet nan co fell apart his body wasted. al sglaz sa jal /* jazz saal-ja was found in europe staurine st arafat's underwear. they say they will honor arafat's widow's request to have his body exhumed and an autopsy finally performed. this is the prime minister. >> was yasser arafat poisoned? >> generally that is the belief.
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whether or not that is the case remains to be seen. yasser arafat was subjected to (indiscernible). but it was -- the investigation is over. >> mark is the spokesman for israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. before i introduce the ambassador dan gellerman it is well-known he has fascinated its enemies. did israel kill arafat? do you deny any involvement if it comes out he was poisoned? >> not in time. we had nothing to do with it. we didn't like arafat. i make no bones about it. we saw him as a killer. we didn't kill him. the truth is all of the documents about his medical
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condition the palestinians have. instead of cultivating conspiracy theories make it public. >> form ambassador from israel to the united nations if he wasn't poisoned he will blame israel anyway. >> what else is new? i have a great alibi. i was in new york at the time representing israel at that sid delve democracy on the east river. and secondly, arafat was a very poisonous person and had a very toxic personality. so i am really not surprised that some form of poison was actually found in him or on him. >> do you believe the palestinians did it? >> i think yasser arafat died from a serious illness. i think his time had come and i agree with mark. i am certain we had nothing to
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do with it. we could have killed him many times before had we wanted to. >> thank you very much. the palestinians agreed on wednesday to exhume arafat's body. they have not set a date yet. we will definitely follow the story. but now to more pressing concerns. i started the show saying that israel was an island in the arab storm. that is relatively speaking in the southern part of this country israeli communities are still being bombarded on a daily basis by missiles fired from the gaza strip. >> on the border of gaza those are rockets part of the iron dome anti missile success tim -- system. they have profound ties to the united states are a part of the battery. they man the battery. this is the sergeant whose family hails from grand haiven,
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michigan. and bernard whose friends and family comes from washington, d.c. and new york. he was born in israel. sergeant, what is a michigander doing here in israel? >> i have close ties to the united states and israel and i felt like serving the military here because there's a huge security need and i felt like i had to do my part. >> what is your role? what role do you play? >> i am an interceptor which means i am directly involved with the interception of rockets that directly threaten civilian rights. >> do you think you can protect the people there are so many aimed this way. >> so far we have been doing a great job and we are constantly improving. i feel very confident in what we are doing. >> do you ever get a sense that this is a never ending war? >> i have hope. i want to believe that eventually it will end.
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>> what do you say when you hear criticism of israel. >> we are not attacking or anything of that sort. we are constantly defending from rockets being shot at us. they are constantly being shot at us. i am defending innocent civilians. i feel confident in what i am doing and morally i feel c competent in what i am doing. >> they are not only preventing civilian deaths but preventing future deaths. >> he is 25 years old been here 2 and a half years. what is a blue eyed new yorker doing fighting in israel? >> i came to serve in the military to serve in the jewish army. i was brought up with a strong jewish identity. i consider myself a proud american. america is a country that let
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jews live freely and prosper for a very long time. but at the same time it was important for me to jab the first opportunity to live in a j jewish country to liserve on a jewish army. >> what is the biggest rumor you would like to dispel? >> it is a monster that drags people out of their home. it's really every dguy on my tem the only thing they want to do is go home with their girlfriend be at the pool or the beach. no one wants to be here but we know we have to be. everybody is optimistic for peace everybody wants to take a vacation. >> you saw the anti missile batteries. captain is one of the commanders of the surveillance unit. they use these aircraft to check out what's going on. captain describe what we are looking at right now? >> following a certain person that is walking down the street. it can be any one who we have
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information about regarding anything that can be part of a terrorist group or certain terrorist cell o may be on his way to launch a rocket. what we are doing now is following him down the street. >> if we get intelligence of a certain person a certain vehicle we will follow them and actually see what they are going to do. if we can cross that information with other sources of intelligence we can discover exactly what they are going to do. >> you no against israel willie nillie about the attack that you will take out the civilians if you have to get the bad guys? >> our profession is to make sure the attacks are surgical and pinpoint. in other words only target which has been approved for an attack will be hit and no one else, no women no children and no
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bystanders. that's what we aim to do. >> what we aim to do is present a show that tells all sides of this intensely controversial story. it is not all about israel verses the arabs. coming up, our american jewish voters deserting president obama. israel's internal identity crisis all of that after this.
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>> the relations go beyond government. it's the civil organization it's the justice system. the economic organization. the u.s. has always been for us not just another country or a country it is more like an ideal. we are very proud to be an ally. >> the most egregious or potential enemy, iran, it seems strategically israel and the united states both on the same page. are you satisfied the way the embargoes are going or do you think something more military is for it. >> we are very satisfied with the embargo.
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we appreciate the leadership of the united states recognizing iran is a threat to israel a threat to the entire world. we put more pressure on iran because it is a vulnerable country on psychological warfare. if the iranians understand we are serious, i believe they will beg down as they have in 2003 when they suspended enrichment because of their perception the u.s. was going to attack them from iraq organ stan. this is the same situation. they will bend down as they have bent down. they can be stopped and they can be stopped rather eedz illy as they get together eek nomcally and politically on them. if not other measures are available, too. >> right now politically the president of the united states is having a difficult time with jewish american voters who have
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historically overwhelmingly democrats and specifically by three quarters this president in 2008. why are jewish americans concerned about the president's equivocal support of israel or do you see it that way? is this president less than firm in his support of israel? >> i cannot speak for american jews. they are first and foremost americans they have their own set of considerations. i can say that from our point of view we do not distinguish between republicans or democrats. for us you are all americans. this is a key to the great success that we never interfere with american politics nor do we expect americans to interfere with our politics. >> are you satisfied with the level of support and firm
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statements to that regard by the president of the united states barack obama? >> yeshgs absolutely. defense relations strategic intelligence sharing has never been any better. also we were very impressed by the fact that the president said that is nuclear iran is a threat to the national security of the united states. it is also something in tehran they should be listening attentively to. i can say on all speers as france the israel corporation going on and will continue to go on. >> well president obama maintains an overwehelming lead 64 percent to 29 percent according to the latest gallop poll it is off by 29 percent it was in the 70s in the 2008 election and perhaps to exploit
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or per see possibility of weakness and also bolster his support among evangelical voters mitt romney an nouned he is headed to israel following a trip to the london olympics. democrats aren't leaving the holy land. due in israel next week to talk about everything from iran's pursuit of newt to the awful violence in nearby syria bordering syria to the victory of the muslim brotherhood and egyptian elections. dan gerl man the ambassad -- gin former ambassador from israel to the united nations. is there a special relationship with bb and president obama that mitt romney is trying to -- bb and mitt romney that governor romney is trying to take advantage of?
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>> netanyahu spent more time in america than most israelis. he understands the american political system understands the importance of the alliance between our too countries. he makes ever rif fort to -- effort to visit them. >> is bb a republican? >> i think he is an israeli patriot. he deeply believes whoever is best for america is best for israel. >> very political answer. we will take a break. big news in israel not the external threat but something much closer to
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>> as you can see at the top of the national agenda these days it's not the 65 year long conflict with the palestinians and other arabs it is the inequality of burden of the mandatory draft that requires most israelis to serve in the armed forces. last night tens of thousands turned out in tel aviv to froes the fact that the ultra religious increasing percentage of the israeli population almost never served in the military. ordinary israelis the most secular israelis almost always do. >> as soon as i landed all we heard was the big uproar the controversy over the orthodox serving in the military. right now they don't have to
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they go to religious school they receive a stipend many secular israelis have for years been very upset about this imbalances. is this issue something that can be resolved or netanyahu government? >> this is a historical opportunity now. netanyahu government has a great large coalition they are not on one segment or another like orthodox and any other groups. this is the time to bring just equality to level the playing field. everyone who comes to the age of 18 is crafted irrespective of race and religion or gender or any other characteristics. issue to israelis?such an >> this is serving for all. we do our best to have a new low
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for service for all. >> you have a sector about 20 percent of the country that doesn't serve in the army. it is one society where we all unite we are all together. it is a demonstration against any one. this is a demonstration for an equal society. captain buckman hails from chicago. is there a feeling -- i don't want you to be controversial and get involved in the dispute what benefits would the orthodox get if they did serve? >> i think it's unfair to look at it azriel tive values. we serve for absolute values. we think it's an opportunity to serve for your country and it is great to wake up in the morning know who you are serving your country and my fiancee thinks i
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look good in the uniform. i can't speak for any one else. >> lee, nice to see you. what are the benefits that they serve in the air force? >> they are going on 5 years a program which provide technical skills for the members of the orthodox community 90 percent of those who finished found it outside of the army. that is something we should be proud of. >> what about the israeli arabs the citizens of israel who are of arab dissent. they have never served. is there room in the armed forces for the arabs? >> they attempted to give everybody a place to serve. there are other places in the civilian service to serve. it is a question of the political echelon. we will be ready if the time comes. >> you know all about internal politics this seems like a rough
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fight. i was shocked when i got here on the front page of the newspapers. is this really something that is shaking the foundation of israeli society? >> is it it is an issue of the core people growing up in israel. we have dealt with worse. optimistic outlook for the future. >> israel is changing. it is hard not to miss the fact that when i started coming here there were 3-4 percent of the population now it is up to 20 and the percentage is growing. you have to deal with this at some point. >> i think as lee said earlier the ability to get a life stiki from the idea and integrate yourself into civilian life in israel is an advantage to anybody regardless of your background. >> coming from chicago do you have an upper hand when you deal with politics? >> i try not to get into it. but i will say that i am a cubs fan.
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>> that is too bad. that is too bad. lee, thank you very much. captain, thank you. coming up life on the other side of the wall that separates israel from the palestinians. we don't hear much from them. you are about to after this. >> is there one voice in palestinian society? >> the israelis always say (indiscernible). today probably 90 percent of the palestinians cannot think of a better leader to negotiate peace agreements than the president. [ male announcer ] if you had a dollar for every dollar car insurance companies say they'll save yoby switching, you'd have like, a ton of dollars. but how are they saving you those dollars? a lot of companies might answer "um" or, "no comment." then there's esurance. born online, raised by technology, and majors in efficiency.
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log on to >> despite an avalanche of international controversy. israel security walls separating israel from the pal tstillian west bank cutting suicide attacks down almost to zero. welcome back to jerusalem everybody. although i have been in jerusalem and israel and palestinian ter stories dozens of times in the last 40 years seldom has this need yacht area been so quiet a kind of erie calm and uneasy peace seems to prevail. what's happening on the other side of the wall? what is life like for the
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palestinians? craig went inside gaza and the west bank to find out. >> this word of being created to suit palestinians. >> he runs a five star hotel in gaza city a far cry from refugee camps, rampant poverty and unemployment that has plagued the 1.5 million crammed in the 140 mile strip of land cut off by a 7-year-old israeli blockade. >> we are in the hotel that you are running in the middle of gaza. a sharp contrast to the rest of the community that we saw here. why in gaza? >> whatever you see and hear on television does not in fact reflect the real situation in here. >> a boom of sorts is happening
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in gaza. not from palestinian rockets or israeli bombs. >> you walk around gaza. you find more than 300 are being built. >> palestinians investors have taken it upon themselves to rebuild the economy provide jobs and hope to the populus otherwise cut off. >> i do not see that we are making money, but we are inassisting to keep people working assisting palestinians. >> battles raged between militants and israeli troops since the force gave palestinians rule here. a short civil war between factions they left militant hamas be in charge of gaza. >> it exists between hamas and israelis there are violence that keeps place here.
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>> just last month relative calm was shattered when hamas fired 20 of 150 rockets launch bide it and other groups violating the troops. a volatile relationship a fact of life here. >> it is frustrating when you see a rocket attack palestinian fighters drawing in a retaliatory attack? it seems like a vicious circle that keeps going around when you are trying to make something of this. >> the way to life i have been in such acts. i think by negotiations you can get whatever you want. >> past the tower and security walls with graffiti downtown ramallah bustles with life.
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according to some businessmen unless there is a palestinian solution there will be economic collapse here. >> driving through much different than when i was here in 2004. there seems to be a lot of development seems to be an economic boom going on. what's the reality of that? >> you don't see any development you just saw building. that is not development. development is creating jobs and creating class. >> a successful palestinian businessman, this is for me not what it is about. mott about just more and more building. it's just i hope we will move those activities these day and night activities one of these
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days to jerusalem. >> when i talk to israelis some israelis they say we don't want to have a relationship with the palestinians. we want the wall. how do you deal with that? >> they have a wall in their head, obviously. it is surrounded by a war. there are israelis on both sides of the war, how could they live like that? >> palestinian americans echo that sentiment. >> if you go to places you came for nothing. >> they live in chicago they came here they have palestinian passports. they can't go anywhere. >> can't go anywhere. >> i remember in 2004 we were in beirut for the beirut summit of arab states to come to some kind of a peace initiative. the summit was broken by the passover bombing where many
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people were killed. you could see how some people might think these scars represent something where we open up to discussions and we face violence. how do you stop that? >> look what's happening in europe today. the relationship between france and germany they kill each other. look at germany and russia. how is it that's the kind of peace we need? it's mature leadership, bold leaders to step up and say, it's behind us. we need to live together. war is not an option. >> what are your greatest fears? >> ignorance about the situation in washington. the stress of going to israel.
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they are treating it with steroids without thinking of winning the war in peace. >> the greatest hope? >> the people around us. always remember how diamonds are made under pressure. >> craig joins us live here in jerusalem. >> it does seem better. is there an economic boom or not? i didn't quite understand they are building that as an economic boom. >> it's an economic boom they are creating themselves. they are building buildings but it's mostly from palestinian money and investors. there is no agriculture there. palestinian authority is having a crisis.
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that is the rule there. they are keeping things calm. they will keep the peace because they won't be able to pay the money from the outside sources. >> got it. >> one of the things we pride ourselves on over the decades coverage of this is the relationship we have with people on both sides of the israeli palestinian divide. you are about to meet one right now. he is a palestinian legislator. she is a friend i have known her for decades. the doctor joins us from ramallah in the occupied wealths bank. doctor, thank you so much for being with us. it certainly seems to be doing better than the last time i saw it. >> it is my pleasure to be with you geraldo. it certainly seems and appearances can be don't
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september tive. we have tried to create a system of demographic good governance to the energize an economy . but you can go so far with building before coming face to face with the limits of the occupation. when you have such a system of control where the resources are not at your disposal water, land, there is not freedom of people for good. you have hundreds and hundreds of checkpoints that separates one palestinian town from another. that limits your ability to function. they are redefining themselves and no matter how much we try we are facing we are in danger of facing a collapse. it's not that we have a dependent economy on donors. yes, they have been very help
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frl. our own resources are being utilized for the benefit of the occupied. we cannot use them. 7-8 billion a year are going to israel if we can make use of the operation costs we would be very prosperous. >> let me ask you oh a couple different questions then i want to go to the issue of palestinian sovereignty. we have heard mahmoud abbas will be traveling or has been invited to visit iran by mahmoud ahmadinejad. i don't know why since they have been supporting hamas the rival factions. why would the president go knowing that it would infuriate the israelis the united states and many of the people in the
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west who wants to sepae -- palestine succeed. >> i don't think -- i think it really is a nonissue. i think israel is trying. they are trying hard to draw u.s. into a confrontation with iran. they are creating a monster is something that cuz not bowed well for everybody not the region or the u.s. and not national security for anybody. it is quite separate. we are trying hard to repair our system as an active democracy. we don't want to be seen as part of any kind of political situation in the region i. saying it is a nonissue if he
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has been invited does not mean he is going to go. there is no underlying meaning taking place. >> if you would stand by coming up we go back to the berth place of jesus and speak there in bette ham with palestinian prime minister.
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>> late afternoon gun fire erupted. gun fire breaking out from someone inside the church. fire returned. ducking fore cover at the third face to face negotiationing session between palestinians and israelis. with lull bets firing out it is hard to believe it can be
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negotiated the 30 or so armed palestinian militants inside the church of the nativity. 30 years ago marking the place where jesus was born. a siege that ended after they were killed. it is declared a world heritage site despite the objections of israel and the united states who feared that decision was more political than cultural. >> mr. prime minister geraldo rivera. >> i was here 10 years ago is something taking hold here? >> it i can't say it is taking hold. from here to there i believe it is a more significant step on
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the path to freedom. it is the place where we are standing belongs to us. a palestine would emerge. >> (indiscernible) >> now more with our friend in ramallah. so why was it such a big deal to have bethlehem and church of the nativity specifically declare the world heritage? it is a matter of tremendous concern for us and significant palestinians. we are the extension of the oldest in the world. it is vindicated in a sense that christianity is part of our identity, part of our heritage
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part of our culture. we add an ancient culture. i don't believe it when people say jerusalem. christian, muslim. it is greater than religious it has people a history. why not go back to the canaanites. we feel in a sense that this is a recognition of our identity of our culture also of the fact that christianity is an essential component and contributes to the authenticity and want it to be seen as such. we want to save the culture and heritage from being distorted and confiscated by israel. it is a great deal in the old city of jerusalem it's a palestinian facility. the palestinians have been there for centuries and yet people are
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free to call it an israeli. it is not ak pied palestinian city. all of these confiscations attempt at recreating reality and forging a new reality and super imposing israeli existence over palestinian land. this is painful to all of us. you have heard about humanity not loving our children or something. this is very painful. we have been living in captivity under a very brutal military occupation that has confiscated everything. we are trying to reclaim our heritage and identity and tell the world not only that we exist but we have rights and substance and humanity. >> i have to take a break. you have to give me a few minutes to take a quick break. we will be right back.
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>> welcome back to the ancient city of jerusalem holding to the great religions. let me end this program by asking our guests to briefly share their hope for the future. i know the short term is clearly to keep what is going on now an eneasy heat. what what's your aspiration your hope? >> peace we and the palestinians will finally live in peace. the only way to do that is through talking. my government benjamin netanyahu calls for the immediate resumption of peace talks. i know the palestinians see things differently but the only way we bridge gaps is through talking and it is time to start.
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your final thoughts if you will respond to the prime minister's spokesman? >> i certainly would like to see peace with justice humanity and hue malty. politics of subjugation and land of resources keeping us as we are sub human species. we need the peace on international law and justice which means israel has to stop stealing our land, stealing our resources crying when at the same time it is destroying the very foundations of peace by changing the character of jerusalems evicting palestinians destroying homes and saying they want peace. if you want peace you act in a way which is consistent with the requirements of peace. i hope israel has the sense to do that. no occupation has ever lasted forever no sub jjugation of a
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nation has lasted forever. i am afraid it would back fire and it wilead to tremendous (inaudible) of the whole region. >> the doctor suggesting out occupation there can never be justice or peace? >> ok pace is a word used and misused over and over again. for the first 20-years of israel's existence as the dr. nos very well we didn't occupy one inch of palestinian soil yet we did not have one second of peace with the palestinians. i believe what we should do is sit down at the table and stop making speech making a substitute for peace making and we should get down to business. we are standing here in jerusalem a city of prayer of hope and of miracles.
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it was the first president who said impossible we do it once, miracles take a little bit longer. we would like to remind the doctor of what the late prime minister said there will not be peace until arabs learn to love their children more than they hate us. once that happens we can sit down and achieve peace and a life of respect prosperity and security both for palestinians and israelis. >> i hope we have peace for your kid's sakes. i mentioned at the top of the segment how jerusalem is this holy city this tiny place holy to three of great religions jewish history dating back 21 centuries ago. christianity crucifixion of jesus, muhammad and the muslims in the 7th century. because it is so small and
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important to so many it has been fought over. maybe it will all be fought over. but perhaps the relative calm can set the stage for a quiet compromise in this line of live and let li. i will leave the details to them. i want to thank you folks at home for watching our special report from the holy land. catch us on social media and the radio. have a great week. see you next time. good night. captioned by, closed captioning services, inc.
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