ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
July 21, 2014
Guest: Max Seddon, Nina Khrushcheva, Tariq Abu Khdeir, Suha Abu Khdeir
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, we are ALL IN.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What exactly are they
trying to hide?
HAYES: The outrage over Malaysia Flight 17. The world puts Russia on
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: We`re not only outraged
at the attack, itself. We are horrified and enraged by what has happened
HAYES: Tonight, the investigation and what the Russian media is
Then, the war in Gaza.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: It`s a hell of a pinpoint operation.
HAYES: Today marks the deadliest day yet.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Hamas wants to pile more
Palestinian civilian dead.
HAYES: John Kerry is in the region. Ayman Mohyeldin is in Gaza with
And, an ALL IN exclusive. American teen beaten by Israeli police in
his first interview since coming home.
Plus, a fallout after a man is choked to death by the NYPD.
And Rick Perry calls up the National Guard on the Mexican border.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: I will not stand idly by while our
citizens are under assault.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
President Obama had strong words today about the treatment of the
crash site of downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, a crash site largely
controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The separatists are removing evidence from the crash site.
All of which begs the question, what exactly are they trying to hide?
The burden now is on Russia to insist that the separatists stop
tampering with the evidence, grant investigators, who are already on the
ground immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the crash site.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Over the weekend, international revulsion grew over the chaos,
callousness and possibly outright criminal behavior unfolding at the crash
site in eastern Ukraine -- a six-square-mile area of bodies and wreckage
that is not cordoned off or preserved. The image of separatists walking
across the field with the plane`s black box apparently in hand instead of
the hands of investigators is just the beginning.
Footage now surfacing of rebels evidently dumping out belongings of
victims in what the "The New York Times" described as an incoherent
recovery effort carried out by motley groups of mostly untrained people.
And those bodies of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, bodies
that had been placed in the refrigerated cargo cars of a train in Torez,
Ukraine, guarded by Russian-backed rebels, that train did today finally
depart for Kharkiv, the city that is under the control of the Ukrainian
government, though there`s not yet confirmation of when the train might
The breadth of the chaos countered today, though hardly resolved by a
vote of the U.N. Security Council. All 50 members, including, it should be
noted, Russia, unanimously calling on full and unrestricted access to the
crash site for international investigators.
While in Ukraine tonight, the plane`s black boxes were the focus of a
bizarre meeting between separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk
People`s Republic and Malaysian officials. In fact, "BuzzFeed`s" foreign
correspondent Max Seddon tweeted that the rebel leader walked into the
meeting smoking a cigarette, holding a pistol. And after hours of delay
and possible negotiations, there was a news conference, and finally at
about 1:00 in the morning local time, the black boxes were handed over to
Malaysian officials. That`s the footage you`re seeing there.
And joining me now is "BuzzFeed`s" Max Seddon, one of -- on the phone
Max, what was that scene like? It seemed deeply bizarre from the
images I saw and the tweets about it.
MAX SEDDON, BUZZFEED (via telephone): It was incredibly, incredibly
strange. It`s -- at the same time, it was really just so indicative of
things have become the fact of life in Donetsk since the uprising started
three months ago and seeing these poor Malaysian aviation investigators
thrown into this really brought that home. They came out, and Malaysia, it
turned out, to get the black boxes back. They essentially had the de facto
recognized by Donetsk People`s Republic, which is something Russia hasn`t
The prime minister of Malaysia spoke to the prime minister of
Donetsk`s People`s Republic on the phone and talking (ph) to him. That`s
over, and it emerged that apparently the reason that they spent all night
negotiating, they didn`t come out and sign the agreement until 1:00 in the
morning was because they were going through all this rebel bureaucracy.
The rebels, like a lot of people in the former Soviet Union, they
really love stamps and forms and filling all this stuff out, so the head of
the Malaysian delegation, he signed all these joint memorandum with the
prosecutor of the Donetsk People`s Republic and used Soviet-style stamps
that they`re fond of and stamped everything and he called Donetsk prime
minister, Your Excellency.
Just the very idea that a week ago, if you told me any of this would
happen, I think even after all the strange and terrible things have
happened in Ukraine over the last six months, I wouldn`t have believed you,
but seeing these armed, bearded, thuggish looking men with machine guns
standing around with these poor Malaysians who weren`t -- most of whom does
speak English and don`t have anyone translating for Russian, it was really
surreal beyond words.
HAYES: Wait a second. The Malaysian investigators were there and
there was no one translating? This was conducted in Russia with no
translation from Russian to Malaysian, as the Malaysian investigators were
SEDDON: I don`t know how many people you`re going to find who speak
Russian and Malaysian. I believe one of the Malaysians does -- there are a
dozen or so of them. I think one of them does speak Russian, one of them
speaks quite good English, and they have a Russian-to-English translator,
but that was difficult for most of them.
How negotiations actually went on, I don`t know. They changed the
venue the last minute, and they barricaded themselves for the most time in
the hotel with about 100 journalists crammed outside trying to get a
glimpse of what was going on.
HAYES: Can you tell me more about the crash site? You wrote some
amazing dispatches this weekend from the crash site which just really
seemed like complete chaos. I mean, bodies essentially rotting in fields,
wreckage strewn everywhere. Is there any sense that any order has been
brought to that scene?
SEDDON: It`s got a lot better. I mean, the -- that is to a larger
extent because the only ways it got worse would be for horrible -- I don`t
even want to start imagining. So now, the vast majority of the bodies, 282
out of 298 have been found. They are on the train, on its way to Kharkiv,
they have also found several dozen sets of remains, which -- some of which
are obviously from some of the bodies found, some of them are from ones
that couldn`t be.
And experts have arrived today. The Malaysians and also three Dutch
forensic experts and visited the scene.
So, things are gradually improving. Villages near where the crash
sites are, you see peasants are shoveling hay. The cows are happily moving
by all the debris, and life is returning to the very, very strange status
quo of the conflict in east Ukraine that was shattered when the plane was
down last week.
HAYES: Max Seddon from "BuzzFeed" -- thank you so much for your
reporting. Great job.
SEDDON: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: While American and Western governments have been pointing to a
mounting evidence that a Russian-built BUK missile system was responsible
for the downing of Malaysia Flight 17, Russian citizens watching and
reading Russian media are getting a different picture.
For instance, the plane was moved off the standard flight path it had
taken every time before, the dispatcher had summoned the plane lower just
before the crash. The Ukrainian army has air defense systems in the area
where that Flight 17 was full of corpses when it took off from Amsterdam.
The last claim that the passengers were already dead when the plane
crashed because a significant number of the bodies at the crash site
weren`t fresh was made by this man, Igor Girkin, also known as Igor
Strelkov. Originally from Moscow, he`s one of the rebel commanders in the
And today at a command center, Russian generals from the defense
ministry in Russia made the case a Ukrainian fighter plane shadowed MH17 as
it flew over the conflict zone. U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News
those claims are without merit, citing U.S. satellite surveillance.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, took aim at
other Russian claims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POWER: Russia has been outspoken on other matters. Russian officials
have publicly insinuated that Ukraine was behind the crash. On Friday,
Russia blamed Ukrainian air traffic controllers for this attack rather than
condemning the criminals who shot down the plane. But if Russia genuinely
believed that Ukraine was involved in the shoot-down of Flight 17, surely,
President Putin would have told the separatists, many of whose leaders are
from Russia, to guard the evidence at all costs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Nina Khrushcheva. She`s associate professor
of international affairs at the New School and author of "The Lost
Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind."
So, Russians look at Western coverage of this and say, well, you guys
just -- you`re backing the rebels uncritically, you`re backing he Ukrainian
-- I`m sorry, you`re backing the Ukrainian government uncritically against
the rebels, you`re villainizing these rebels. These are people who have a
genuine claim to autonomy. And if you read the Russian media, which I do,
you -- there`s a sort of through the looking glass quality.
What do you make of it?
NINA KHRUSHCHEVA, THE NEW SCHOOL: It is. It is through a looking
glass quality. And it does appear that the Western media tells one story
and the Russian media tells another story. And to the defense of Russians,
not necessarily they believe what the government tells them because we`ve
had a long history of propaganda and distrusting our government.
But also, one has to understand if I`m going to trust you as a
Russian, I mean, if I have a choice between trusting you as a Russian, or
this other claim, saying that (INAUDIBLE), or is this the government
papers, I would rather trust not anybody, but at least I`ll go with my own
people, with my own story.
KHRUSHCHEVA: I think that`s where the clash is.
HAYES: Do you think that the Western media is being insufficiently
skeptical of, say, Ukrainian leaders like Poroshenko and so forth?
KHRUSHCHEVA: I think the Western media has been skeptical some. But
I think -- in excuse of Western media, of American media, particularly I
think Russians have behaved so badly through that process that it`s almost,
you have to concentrate on how horrible Putin behaves and Russia behaves,
then go and say, well, there was some right-wing forces in Maidan, or in
the square in Kiev, and, of course, during the elections, all got less than
HAYES: Right. I mean, what was striking about all the reporting
about the crash site that you saw from all different outlets of sort of
different ideological perspectives was the sense of chaos, and you could
barely mask disgust on the part of people reporting. This area was just
sort of being -- bodies were being rotted. There`s people walking around
with guns and with alcohol on their breath, and a sense that this is not
Whether -- like, that seems to be to me the theme. The dog is off the
leash as it were. Whoever is backing these rebels, and it appears to be
Russia, they`re not necessarily under control right now.
KHRUSHCHEVA: Absolutely. But we also have to remember, once again, I
want to speak (INAUDIBLEI) about my own people, we`re not particularly
orderly people. You know, we`re not Switzerland. So let`s just have -- we
have to start with that. Russia is not Switzerland.
On the other hand, the amount of debris, the amount of -- you know,
Barack Obama asked a good question, what are they hiding? They may not be
But the thing about Russian understanding of themselves and the world,
the secret comes first. If the state is involved, some sort of state, it
could be even Donetsk Republic, some of them were thugs and now, the prime
ministers, it doesn`t matter. The state is involved. So, you have all
those stems. You have this fake order presented to you, but actually in
the disarray. I mean, if you`ve seen a Russian village, you would know.
HAYES: OK, let me push back on that which is ridiculous because
you`re Russian, I`m American. But I would say, you know, Russia is the
country that has the technical capability to secure a crash site, to deploy
forensic investigators. They have to investigate crashes.
All of those are within the capacity of the Russian state as it exists
now. They are very clearly not within the capacity of the rebels who are
holding eastern Ukraine.
KHRUSHCHEVA: Absolutely. And that`s why actually once again going
back to your earlier question, which was too kind to the Ukrainian leaders
and not too kind to the Russians. Yes, Russians do have all this capacity.
Fine, you support the leaders. You think they have a legitimate claim.
But when humanitarian tragedy happens and you may or may not be
involved in it, wouldn`t you, as disorganized as you may be, would you,
like Putin, run to the crash site and say, people, Russia looks bad, let`s
make Russia look better because that`s how we justify it.
And I think the blind spot of the Kremlin is that it still functions
in the propaganda form, sort of sends out the message, by the way, 1:00 is
such a specific time for anybody to finish negotiations. Putin yesterday,
last night -- I mean, this morning, released this own statement at 1:40 in
the morning. But who are you speaking to?
KHRUSHCHEVA: So the problem is they speak out, but they don`t really
think that any information is coming in because that`s how the Soviet Union
HAYES: Yes, and, I mean, I think the consensus now is there is a
growing international alarm and it is harder and harder I think for people
to come to an independent determination that this was not the Russian-
backed rebels who have done this. And Russia has been clear about their
support for the rebels` claims. So, that`s not some sort of --
KHRUSHCHEVA: But they would never prove that actually the Russians
HAYES: That`s right.
Nina Khrushcheva from the New School -- thank you so much. Appreciate
KHRUSHCHEVA: Thank you.
HAYES: The deadliest day so far in the conflict between Israel and
Gaza`s Hamas rulers as Hamas says they won`t agree to an unconditional
ceasefire with Israel. And Israel vows to keep fighting until there is
sustainable quiet in Gaza. We`ll go there for the latest, ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TARIQ ABU KHDEIR, PALESTINIAN AMERICAN: You only know my story
because I`m an American, but I hope you will all also remember, my cousin,
a 16-year-old Palestinian named Mohamed Abu Khdeir. He was a kid like me.
And this whole thing started because he was killed. I know he must have
been terrified like I was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Still to come tonight, my exclusive interview with Tariq
Khdeir. The American teenager beaten by Israeli police after his
Palestinian cousin was abducted and burned alive. That`s ahead.
Stay with us.
HAYES: It was the deadliest day yet in the battle between Israel and
Hamas, with at least 100 Palestinians, and seven Israelis killed as the
ground war rages on in Gaza. After 14 days of fighting, more than 570
Palestinians have been killed. And according to the United Nations, a high
percentage have been civilians, including large numbers of women and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Artillery and air strikes pounded the densely populated
The injured continue to arrive at Gaza city`s main hospital. This
services hundreds of thousands of people, and it`s overwhelmed.
Children on gurneys seem to be everywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a Palestinian child, guilty of the most
horrible crime to be born Palestinian in Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The death toll among the Israelis stands at 27 including 25
Israeli soldiers. Among them, two Americans, 21-year-old Sergeant Sean
Carmeli of Texas and 24-year-old Californian Max Steinberg, who is serving
as an Israeli Defense Forces` sharpshooter.
As intense images of carnage out of Gaza give rise to an international
outcry, there`s no sign to end of the violence.
In Washington today, President Obama pressed for a cease-fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We have serious concerns about the rising number of
Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives. And that is why
it now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to
bring about a cease-fire that ends the fighting and that can stop the
deaths of innocent civilians, both in Gaza and in Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just hours ago, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo
in an effort to help broker a cease-fire. Kerry is meeting with U.N.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and others in a diplomatic push that comes
one day after Kerry was caught on a live mike by FOX News seeming to
question the accuracy of Israel`s military operations in a private
conversation with an aide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: It`s a hell of a pinpoint operation. It`s a hell of a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. It`s escalating significantly, and just
underscores the need for cease-fire.
KERRY: We`ve got to get over there. Thank you, John. I think, John,
we ought to go tonight. I think it`s crazy to be sitting around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In an interview with NBC News` Brian Williams today, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has accused Hamas of putting
civilians in harm`s way to create, quote, "telegenically dead
Palestinians", maintained his country had no choice but to keep fighting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: What would you do if
American cities -- where you`re sitting now, Brian, would be rocketed,
would absorb hundreds of rockets, you know what you would say? You would
to your leader, a man`s got to do what a man`s got to do, and a country has
got to do what a country has got to do. We have to defend ourselves. We
try to do it with a minimum amount of force or with targeting military
targets as best as we can, but we`ll act to defend ourselves. No country
can live like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just a few years ago I spoke with -- just a few hours ago,
excuse me, I spoke with NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, who
is in Gaza City, and I asked him what the scene was there today.
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have seen a
scene that we have quite frankly gotten used to seeing over the past
several days, despite the fact that they are very disturbing images,
continuous shelling is one thing we`ve seen in the eastern part of the Gaza
Strip. We`ve seen a lot of air strikes here in Gaza City itself, and then
more importantly, we have seen some horrific images of buildings completely
destroyed, people being pulled out of the rubble.
In one case, we saw a building that was struck, and people being
pulled out of that rubble, and as people are trying to rescue others, the
building simply collapsed on top of some of those that had been trying to
But also the scenes at the hospital, very disturbing, scenes, doctors
working under tremendous amount of pressure to try to save lives. The
morgues overflowing with bodies from those that have been killed as a
result of some of that Israeli shelling and fighting in the eastern part
and the southern part of Gaza.
So, really, a lot of painful images and scenes we have grown
accustomed to over the past several days, despite seeing every day, they
don`t get any easier. That`s for sure.
HAYES: It`s been hard to see images of Hamas fighters in all this --
and they`re clearly there as IDF sustains some heavy casualties today and
Do you see Hamas fighters, Hamas` presence in this midst of this kind
of maelstrom of violence?
MOHYELDIN: They`re definitely very much present. They definitely
have a public outreach, if you will, if not a full media channel here that
is just devoted to covering their activities, their statements, their press
In terms of the fighters on the ground, they have maintained a very
low presence except for the areas where the ground offensive has been
taking place. In areas where they are firing rockets, that is probably the
most you will see from them, a small cell, if you will, of rocket
launchers. They tend to hit-and-run. They do not stay in the same
So, sometimes difficult to see that precise moment, but no doubt in
some areas where there has been ground operations between Israeli soldiers
and Hamas fighters, a lot of the residents there have seen Hamas fighters,
journalists that have made it out to those front lines, following that
humanitarian cease-fire, reported seeing some fighters moving away from
that area, with their weapons following that intense battle.
But at the same time, Hamas also -- its military wing for that matter,
has its own network of clinics and hospitals that are not known to the
public and that is where they treat their own fighters. They`re not often
brought to the main public hospitals where the civilians are.
HAYES: The IDF and Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials said part
of the reason for the high number of civilian casualties we`re seeing is
that Hamas is imbedding itself from the civilian population, using
civilians has human shields. Have you seen evidence of that in person?
MOHYELDIN: Well, we just put that statement, exact statement to Hamas
spokesperson who`s categorically denied that Hamas or its fighters are
using the civilian population as human shields. We have not -- I have not
in my specific time here in Gaza, and I`ve covered three separate wars --
have ever seen Hamas fighters using civilians as human shields.
But more importantly, what they say about that allegation, they
categorically reject it, they deny. They say the entire world`s media is
present here on the ground in Gaza. If there are any evidence, or if there
are any reporters, that should be sufficient, but none of those have
emerged, according to Hamas. Officials, they say there simply isn`t any
documentation to suggest that Hamas uses hospitals or uses mosques or
schools to store weapons.
Now, the U.N. has countered that. The U.N. has said that last week,
it found 20 rockets in one U.N. facility, although that was not
substantiated. That is a claim the United Nations, which oversees schools
near Gaza, claims to have found.
For its part, though, Hamas denies that allegation entirely.
HAYES: Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza City, thank you so much for your
HAYES: All right. A lot more ahead. An absolutely brutal video of
the NYPD putting a man accused of selling untaxed cigarettes in a
chokehold, in front of a beauty supply store, in broad daylight, and that
man later died. That story is ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: Today, I`m using my executive authority as governor of Texas
and activating the National Guard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sending in the National Guard is a cliche of what you do when
you don`t know what else to do. That`s what Texas Governor Rick Perry did
today when he announced he is sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the
border which he has been calling on the president to do for months.
Now, the good news, the White House says that fewer kids,
unaccompanied minors, are arriving at the border in July already, which it
suggests there might be solutions other than just sending in the National
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC GARNER, NEW YORK: I didn`t sell anything. I did nothing. We
were sitting here the whole time minding our my business.
Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I`m tired of it.
This stops today. Everybody standing here, they see I didn`t do nothing.
I did not sell nothing. Because, every time you see me, you want to harass
me. You want to stop me trying to sell cigarettes. I`m minding my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On Thursday of last week, 43-year-old Eric Garner got into a
verbal confrontation with two plainclothes police officers in Staten
Island, New York. Those officers have reportedly accused Garner of selling
untaxed cigarettes, single cigarettes, are lucies in neighborhood parlance.
Garner had been arrested more than 30 times, often accused of selling
lucies. But in this instance, he insists that he had just broken up a
fight, repeatedly told officers he didn`t have any cigarettes on him.
Garner had previously complained about being harassed by the police. In
2007, he filed a complaint in federal court accusing an officer of -- quote
-- "digging his fingers in my rectum in the middle of the street."
Last Thursday, after repeatedly and emphatically telling officers to -
- quote -- "Please leave me alone" and after uniformed officer were called
in, one of the plainclothes officers can be seen wrapping his arm around
A warning: The video you`re about to see is very disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARNER: I`m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told
you the last time, please leave me alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damn, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands behind your back.
GARNER: I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe. I can`t
breathe. I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Garner can be heard saying "I can`t breathe" at least eight
times on that video. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby
Garner weighed around 350 pounds and suffered from asthma, diabetes,
and sleep apnea. There is no official cause of death yet. But before he
is wrestled to the ground, one of the officers appears to be putting him in
a choke hold, a maneuver that was banned by the New York Police Department
in 1993, because choke holds can cut off the flow of blood and oxygen to
the brain and have been blamed in the death of suspects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: As defined in the
department`s guide, this would appear to have been a choke hold. But the
investigation both by the district attorney`s office, as well as by our
internal affairs, will seek to make that final determination as part of our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the
National Action Network, host of MSNBC`s "POLITICS NATION."
This is about as bad as I have ever seen, a video like this.
AL SHARPTON, HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Oh, it was very disturbing.
I was in Nevada Thursday, got a call from the Staten Island head of
National Action Network, Cynthia Davis. When she told me about this, and I
took the red-eye back, and then I saw it Friday morning, it was as bad as
anything I have seen in the many years I have been out here.
So we immediately agreed to work with the family who she had been with
them that Thursday night. And Saturday, as everyone knows, they came to
our headquarters. And we called on immediate, immediate charges and the
police department to deal with this.
Can you imagine even the commissioner saying, it is against guidelines
to do a choke hold? But even, let`s say, the officer didn`t remember his
SHARPTON: When does your humanity cut in when somebody says, I can`t
breathe, I can`t breathe eight times, and you keep -- I mean, there`s got
to be some real venom and some other things going on in your head to keep
choking somebody that`s begging you, I can`t breathe.
HAYES: The department has placed them all on desk duty, the officers
involved. They say there`s an investigation. There`s due process.
What do you want to see happen?
SHARPTON: I want to see the officer and those officers that stood
around and allowed it to happen and then the EMS workers that came and did
nothing, I want to see them prosecuted. At best, some of the workers that
came, it`s criminal negligence possibly, and it`s certainly recklessness,
because you have got to remember, what signal are we sending when we see
officers told you can`t use choke holds use it anyway, and if they walk
away like nothing happened?
We`re around the country fighting gun violence. We`re telling young
people to do the right thing. Well, we have also got to make law
enforcement do the right thing, whether it`s a woman being pummeled unarmed
in Los Angeles, California.
HAYES: That video is really shocking as well.
SHARPTON: And whether it`s going on in New York, these things
happening too common.
The one thing, Chris, that is fortunate, though, the only thing that I
see fortunate, in both cases, they were videotaped.
SHARPTON: And they were not videotaped by other blacks, by the way,
which shows society is beginning to say, wait a minute, what`s going on
But what is real disturbing is you`re going to tell me two young men,
one in L.A., one in New York, could stop and video because they recognize
something wrong, but the police on the scene didn`t recognize anything
HAYES: That`s a really good point, because everyone who is watching,
that scene that happens with -- both in California on the highway and in
Staten Island unfolds in front of a whole bunch of people and everyone sees
this scene I think for what it is.
This guy`s upset. Let him vent. And, yes, the police seemed
incapable of making that recognition.
SHARPTON: But the people around did, to the point where they videoed
it, two different coasts. So the good news is that people...
HAYES: People understand.
SHARPTON: The bad news is that have we had such a culture in some law
enforcement that that insensitive...
HAYES: They don`t recognize it.
Reverend Al Sharpton, thank you much.
SHARPTON: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: You can catch "POLITICS NATION" weekdays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern
All right, an exclusive interview with the 15-year-old American who
was beaten by Israeli police. He is back home, and I will talk to him
HAYES: Tariq Abu Khdeir is back in the U.S. after finding himself at
the epicenter of the violent conflict that is now engulfing Israel, Gaza,
and the Middle East.
The 15-year-old American touched down in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday,
returning from what started as a simple family vacation, a trip to Israel
and the West Bank with his parents and sisters to spend the summer with
their extended Palestinian family.
The story of how Tariq`s summer vacation became the subject of
international diplomacy is the story of the run-up to the conflict that`s
raging on in Gaza right now as I speak.
It all started with the disappearance of three Israeli Yeshiva
students in June. They were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank,
leading to a massive manhunt for the Hamas militants presumed by the
Israeli government to be responsible.
Three weeks later, the three Israeli teens were found dead. And amid
outrage in Israel and widespread calls for revenge, a 16-year-old boy, a
Palestinian named Mohammad Abu Khdeir, went missing from the East Jerusalem
neighborhood of Shuafat. His body was found later that day and an autopsy
showed he had been beaten and burned alive.
Three Israelis confessed to carrying out the murder in retaliation for
the deaths of those three Israelis. Mohammad Abu Khdeir, the boy who was
burned to death, was Tariq Abu Khdeir`s cousin.
And on the following day, amid clashes in East Jerusalem sparked by
Palestinian anger over the murder, Tariq was apprehended by Israeli police
and brutally beaten, the whole incident, as you can see, caught on tape.
After international outcry and intervention by the State Department, he was
released from police custody and held under house arrest in the West Bank
for nine days. No charges were filed.
And on Wednesday, Tariq Abu Khdeir returned to the United States.
And Tariq Abu Khdeir and his mother, Suha Abu Khdeir, join me now.
Thank you very much for coming.
SUHA ABU KHDEIR, MOTHER OF TARIQ: Thank you for having us, Chris.
HAYES: Tariq, let me start with you.
You went to East Jerusalem for a family vacation. Before all of this
happened, what was it like?
TARIQ ABU KHDEIR, COUSIN OF VICTIM: It was actually really fun.
I had made a lot of friends, and actually the first day I went there,
there was like a party. And I met Mohammad at that party. And he was,
like, my first friend. So we hung out a lot from that point.
HAYES: You were hanging out in East Jerusalem, couple of 15-year-old,
16-year-old boys in a summer hanging out, right?
T. KHDEIR: Yes.
HAYES: You guys were going there. It had been a while, right, since
the family had been there. You have family there.
S. KHDEIR: Yes, it had been 11 years.
I was going to change my mind just because financially right now, you
know, everybody`s in kind of a -- you know, but Tariq really wanted to go
visit his family over there. And so he kind of convinced...
HAYES: You hadn`t spent much time over there, right? It had been
since you were 4, is that right?
S. KHDEIR: Since he was 4.
T. KHDEIR: Yes. The last time I had gone there when I was 4 years
old. And I missed everybody.
HAYES: Mohammad -- you are probably following the news about what`s
going on in Israel. There`s a widespread outrage about the kidnapping
death of these three Israeli students. What happened when -- how do you
know when Mohammad had gone missing?
T. KHDEIR: Well, that night, we were all together, me, Mohammad, and
all my other cousins. We were together playing games, right, until...
HAYES: Like video games or...
T. KHDEIR: No, games as in, like, we were, like, playing board games,
So after I left him to come back, because usually in Ramadan, we have
to, like, eat late at night so we can fast during the day.
HAYES: So there`s a big meal to break the fasting right after
T. KHDEIR: Yes. Yes.
So I went out and I wanted to go to the bakery. And I walked by
Mohammad, and he was just sitting by himself. And I asked him if he wanted
anything from the bakery. And he was, like yes, sure. And I went to the
bakery. And I came back five minutes later, and I found a cop car there.
What happened was, I walked towards the cop car, and they didn`t let
me get any closer, until I knew there was a problem. And I did not see
Mohammad there. And that`s how it started. So, I called my family and
HAYES: So he had been taken, right, at this point?
S. KHDEIR: He had been abducted.
HAYES: He had been abducted.
S. KHDEIR: Right.
HAYES: And you did you know this? Did it circulate through the
family very quickly, Suha?
S. KHDEIR: Actually, yes.
Once we got word of someone in the family being abducted, we had no
idea who it was, until we finally found out that it was Mohammad. And I
knew that he`d been with him earlier that night, and it kind of -- I got
really worried. You know, I didn`t know what to expect.
And everybody just gathered to find out, you know, was he alive, was
HAYES: Tariq, when did you learn what had happened?
T. KHDEIR: Well, until I called my family. And when I called my
family, they all came and then more cops came to the scene.
So -- and then I went and I saw the cameras in the store in front of
the store, and we all saw two cars show up and kidnap Mohammad.
HAYES: You saw on the videotape, on the camera that the stores had
taken that two cars had come and abducted him?
T. KHDEIR: Yes, and abducted him.
And then when everybody got down and wanted to see what happened,
like, at that point, we had -- we were running out of time. And we all
knew that, and we were telling the cops, like, at this point, we were
losing time. And the more time we waste, the more time he has, like, the
more time that they have to, like, to try to kill him.
HAYES: You all knew essentially immediately something terrible had
happened, that he`d been taken? And against the backdrop of what was
happening in Israel at that point, there was some suspicion, there was a
very intense atmosphere.
S. KHDEIR: We figured that something terrible was going to happen to
him. There was no way that they were going to, you know, let him go.
HAYES: And when did you -- and then later that day, you found out?
T. KHDEIR: Well, I was actually one of the first people to find out
that he was kidnapped, until I called my family and everybody came.
Like, they were asking -- my family was asking me, where was I? I`m
like, I`m outside and I need everybody to come down because there`s a
problem. And then, after that, when the cops came and my family -- he went
down -- we were talking to the cops. Then they said they sent a helicopter
to see where they were. Then things escalated.
HAYES: I want to talk to you about what happened after the news of
his death spread and the protests in East Jerusalem and what happened with
you and the cops.
We`re going to take a break and talk about that after the break. All
T. KHDEIR: Sure.
HAYES: We`re back.
I`m here with Tariq Khdeir and his mother, Suha Khdeir.
And you were in East Jerusalem. It`s the eastern part of Jerusalem.
It`s the part controlled by the Palestinian Authority. It`s part of the
West Bank, but it`s just right on the border with Israel and there`s
actually fairly easy movement between the two, which is part of what led to
Your cousin is abducted. You find out. The word comes in that he has
been killed. And there are street protests. There`s a lot of anger. When
you are taken by the Israeli police, tell me what the scene is like. Why
are you out in street? There were some people who were looking at this
tape of you and they were saying, well, he must have been up to no good.
There were people throwing rocks.
What were you doing out there?
T. KHDEIR: Well, I was watching everything because, at that point, I
really wanted to know where my cousin was. And I was speechless. I
couldn`t -- I couldn`t realize -- is this really happening?
I wanted to know. Like, I couldn`t go back. I couldn`t go back
inside because I wanted to know. I wanted -- I was watching the police
come, and more police. And then they bring the military cars. And when
that happened, I -- like, I started to get scared on the inside, because I
was like, there`s something really scary going to happen.
HAYES: So when the -- where were you and when, when we see that video
of you with the police? What was happening at that moment?
T. KHDEIR: Well, at that moment, I was in an alley watching from -- I
was watching from the side view of the protest.
HAYES: And the protest, the -- his death had been announced. People
were protesting in response to that, right? There were protests on the
street. There were people chanting. There were people throwing rocks.
There was clashes back and forth, correct?
T. KHDEIR: At that point, I was watching and there were people around
me. And just, at that point, they surrounded all of us. So, like, we had
no way out.
HAYES: So, you were with a bunch of other people?
T. KHDEIR: Yes. But these other people that were with me, they were
Like, we were like -- at this point, there were some people that did
some bad things and took some bad choices. And, at that point, there were
some people that wanted to understand, what`s going on and why is it
happening to us, right?
And so I looked to my left, and I saw some people running and
screaming. And behind them, I saw soldiers. And so everybody panicked.
And they`re like, there`s soldiers, there`s soldiers. Some people left the
alley and some people jumped the fence, and I didn`t know what to do.
I wanted to get out of the way, so I jumped the fence, and I fell at
the fence. I fell over the fence. And I ran a little further. And they
grabbed me and slammed me on the floor. And I was screaming, because I was
confused at that point. I`m like -- like, I didn`t know what was happening
to me. I thought I was dreaming.
And then they kept beating me. And I was screaming. And I was awake
half of the time, and then they kept kicking me in the face. And I kept
screaming at them while they were kicking me and punching me in the face.
And then they kicked me in the ribs and they kept getting, like, fierce.
So, at that -- and then, while they were beating me, I couldn`t have a
chance to move, because they zip-tied my arms together, and then they
started beating me.
S. KHDEIR: You can see where.
HAYES: Suha, when did you hear about what had happened to your son?
S. KHDEIR: Well, I was at my cousin`s house, mourning the death of
her son. And the whole family was there.
I really didn`t -- I didn`t hear right away. Like, there was some
talk of, you know, some kids, you know, being arrested. And I just -- you
know, I didn`t really mind that, like, not thinking, you know...
S. KHDEIR: ... it`s my son. But I was concerned at the same time.
I`m like, why are they arresting the kids, you know?
So, my uncle came to me and he said, you know your son`s in jail? And
I was shocked. I was -- you know, I didn`t want to believe it, because
he`s a kind of jokester sometimes, like, my uncle, I mean.
S. KHDEIR: So -- until my other cousin came in, and then she told me,
yes, he`s in jail.
HAYES: He was only -- he was released from jail.
How long were you in jail?
T. KHDEIR: For, I think, four days.
HAYES: Four days, released after the State Department had expressed
concern after the tape was made public. Right? That was made public. The
State Department expressed concern.
You were then released only after that, right?
S. KHDEIR: Right.
HAYES: On house arrest for nine days.
S. KHDEIR: Yes.
HAYES: Were you charged with anything?
T. KHDEIR: Well, at that point, I didn`t know what was happening. I
just heard from my mom that you`re going to be on house arrest. You`re
going to be far away from the town. You can`t be with your family.
And I was -- I was -- like, at that point, I didn`t know what to do.
Like, my vacation has been ruined, and everything was just wrong.
HAYES: How did this -- was Tariq charged?
S. KHDEIR: No, he was not charged with anything.
HAYES: He was not charged? He was released without charges?
S. KHDEIR: That`s what I was confused about.
I mean, I was in the courtroom. And I thought he was just going to be
released, you know, having the U.S. consular right next to me. And then,
all of a sudden, she`s like, you know, he is going to be on house arrest
for nine days, with a bail as well.
HAYES: And, after that nine days, released, there are no charges...
S. KHDEIR: No charges.
HAYES: ... outstanding. You are now home. Your family is still in
S. KHDEIR: Yes.
HAYES: And still living with the reverberating repercussions of
what`s turning into a brutally ugly summer.
S. KHDEIR: Yes.
I mean, this happens to Palestinians every day. Tariq was just one of
the lucky ones that happened to be a U.S. citizen, and somebody happened to
get it on tape as well. So this is like a normal occurring, you know,
thing every day that happens to the Palestinian people.
HAYES: What did you learn this summer? What do you take away from
T. KHDEIR: Well, after all that happened to me, I -- at that point, I
was like, I just got a taste of what they`re going through.
What happened to me was just a little. Like, what they`re going
through, they have people dying in Gaza and they have people dying and
suffering. They`re being kicked out of their homes. It`s tough over
HAYES: Tariq Abu Khdeir and Suha Khdeir, thank you so much for coming
and sharing your story. And best of luck rest of this summer, Tariq, all
T. KHDEIR: Thank you.
HAYES: We did that interview an hour ago, and I`m still struck by the
poise of that young man.
I should note that there`s tremendous poise and grace exhibited by the
families of the three Israelis who were murdered, those Yeshiva students,
some calling for empathy in the face of terrible, terrible reprisal and
violence over there. It`s tough over there, as Tariq said.
That is ALL IN for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>