On his WABC Radio show, Aaron Klein offered $50,000 to an organizer of the upcoming Global March to Jerusalem if the activist could name one city in the Middle East outside of Israel that has more freedom than Jerusalem.
Following in the footsteps of recent flotilla events, the March 30 event aims to storm Israel’s borders to “demand freedom for Jerusalem and its people and to put an end to the Apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation policies affecting the people, land and sanctity of Jerusalem.”
Endorsers of the Global March include President Obama’s controversial former pastor, Jeremiah Wright; Cornel West, a longtime friend of Obama who served as an advisor to the president’s 2008 campaign; and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink.
Following is a transcript of the exchange between Klein and march activist Frank Romano, who is organizing the portion of the march that seeks to infiltrate Israel from the Qalandia checkpoint, at the border that leads from Ramallah to Jerusalem.
ROMANO: “Aaron, to march on Jerusalem is to open up Jerusalem to more people who want to go there.”
KLEIN: “It’s open. It’s already open. It’s the most open city in the entire Middle East…You know what, I will give you $100 on the spot if you can name me one city outside of Israel that’s more open than Jerusalem.
ROMANO: What do you mean more open, though?
KLEIN: Well, what do you mean more open? Because you keep telling me this… I’ll define open. Democracy. Freedom of all religions to pray. You know what, $1,000 guaranteed. I will personally give you $1,000. Name one city that is more open in the Middle East where all religions can pray outside of Israel.”
ROMANO: “I don’t (inaudible)…You are off the topic here.”
KLEIN: “No, I am on the topic. I am literally responding to what you just said.”
ROMANO: “The majority of Palestinians, many Palestinians who live close to Ramallah…” KLEIN: “You haven’t answered the question. You know what, $10,000…Name one city.” ROMANO: “I’ll give you an example….Palestinians that can leave the country, that can get to New York, it is more easier for them to pray in a mosque in New York than it is to pray in a Al Aqsa in Jerusalem.”
KLEIN: “But you are protesting in the Middle East. You are protesting the lack of openness in the one city that is the most open, that is the most free, that is the most democratic in the Middle East. I will now give you $50,000 if you can name one. You still haven’t been able to do that”
ROMANO: “But that’s beside the point. I’m not going to name any city. That is not even relevant to what I am saying.”
KLEIN: “So it seems to me that with $50,000 you can’t even respond…You should be protesting Syria. You should be protesting Saudi Arabia. You should be protesting Shariah Islamic law. You should be protesting actual apartheid. And shame on you for going against the one country that is actually democratic.”