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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  November 23, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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>> i'm norah bauer from jbp. i'm going to ask you about another part of your scholarship about a bi-national state. i'd like you to talk about your thinking on a bi-national state and how it could avoid being an apartheid state. >> yeah. well, i wrote an article back in 1997 on this topic. and i'm afraid nothing has changed to sway opinion away from this. i think a two-state solution is that. you're not going to get a two-state solution. so what you're going to get is one state in which the palestinians, their rights really are the rights that conquered people as under the geneva convention. they don't have political rights. they don't have civil rights.
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they have zilch political rights. israel has allowed them self-determination to some extent, but the question of sovereignty's totally out of the picture. the question then is if you have a one-state solution, the battle has to change. the battle has to become for the palestinians to acquire political rights, to acquire civil rights, and they have to do it themselves. and this is something that israel cannot deny in the long run. you can't make a few million people disappear. so, either you're going to have an entrenched apartheid regime, which is not possible, really, in this day in age, or the israelis have to expel the palestinians.
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failing those, the only way it for palestinians to acquire these rights by bi-nationalist state. what i mean is a state that goes beyond citizens being equal. it means that palestinian arabs and jews both have certain political cultural rights as a group, that they are allowed to have their own culture, their own language, to be able to practice their traditions freely and to have this guaranteed. so, this idea is a quality not just for individuals, it's also a quality for the two communities and rights that cannot be encroached on. and --
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>> just very quickly, two quick points. one, i think that many of us actually believe that what exists now is a one-state reality. it's an apartheid state. it's one government that controls two peoples with two separate sets of laws, actually three, but it's the definition of apartheid, according to international covenant against the crime of apartheid. so, i think the question then becomes do you want to divide this one state or do you want to have a civil rights movement for equality, an anti-apartheid movement now? so, that's one point. the second point is that i think one of the things that we've learned in the last 15 or 20 years of building movements around palestinian rights is that some questions, including the question of political arrangements, essentially, is something that does belong to the people who live there and not to the solidarity movements who fight for rights. so, it's been in an earlier iteration of the movements back when i was first getting involved in palestinian work in the '70s and into the '80s, there was a lot of talk. a lot of us were one-staters then and others were two-staters
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and whatever. i've come to see and i think many of us have come to see that that's wrong. it's not our call. i'm a jewish girl from california. what right do i have to say how many states there should be, you know? one state, two states, red state, blue state. it's not my call. so, i think in terms of what we do here for palestinians it is one of the fundamental questions, but for us here, i think that what's key is the struggle for rights, equality, whether it's in the form of one state or the form of two states. our goal is to change u.s. policy to refuse to support apartheid as they're doing now, and instead to demand equality for all, international law and human rights as the basis, whether it's in 1, 2 or 15 states. >> would you like to say something about that? last question from this side, please. >> i just wanted to ask a
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question about why some academics, palestinian academics and journalists still support assad's regime, and even the syrian people had always been involved with the palestinian cause and so on, but still they support assad. and even to this moment, you know, if somebody like in the state department, some journalist, palestinian journalist, every day attack the syrian opposition and so on. i want to understand why. >> i don't think any of us are prepared to talk about that today. >> that is well -- yeah. there are two things i'm going to remind the audience. we have some panelists who have travel that they have to meet. there is lunch waiting. and i'm being told that we should shut this off, so i'll take the last question from the gentleman right there, and we'll move on.
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there will be a chance for you to ask questions during lunch, i'm sure. >> i'm ron wilson. as i said before, i work with the united nations refugees. do you think that the palestinian issue that is currently burning and has been burning for a while, a long time, is really a subset or a tool used by foreign policy to maintain its position of power, economically, politically and militarily in the middle east just as it has pivoted towards asia to maintain this hegemon there also? >> who do you want the question addressed to? any volunteers? >> i don't think so. i think the united states -- if that is the united states' aim, it's been a big failure, because the u.s. is really in a very difficult situation in the middle east. it's been fighting wars directly or indirectly since 1981, since they first started helping the
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mujahadin against the soviets in afghanistan. the u.s. has been fighting nonstop for 35 years across the middle east and south asia, and that warfare has become more vicious and more extensive with drones and special forces and this and that and proxy militias, and they're still getting massive pushback from public opinion all across the region, and the regimes that are close to the u.s. are in deep trouble with a lot of their own people. therefore, the u.s. is not in a happy position in the middle east, and obama i think understood this and allowed us to get the hell out of there because it was only trouble for him, but he couldn't get out. so, if that is their aim, to use the palestine issue to keep their hegemonic under control, they're not doing a very good idea. they're using the war on terror as a means to support their position, to get allies to sell arms and all the different things they want to, but they are not doing that very well either, because the war on terror since 9/11 has coincided with the biggest expansion in
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international terrorism in modern history, and with no success except for preventing an attack on the american mainland since 2001. other than that, the whole war on terror aims have not been achieved, and the terror problem's much greater today than it was before. >> i would like to -- >> sorry. >> there is some truth to what you're talking about. during the cold war, israel was considered a strategic asset for the united states, that israel managed to put down clients of the soviet union. and in the cold war perspective, this was an asset for the united states.
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there was a change of thinking in the case of the '73 war. before that war, sadat was trying to get interest in a deal for withdrawal from the sinai. the israelis thought the status quo was fine. they didn't see any need for change. kissinger thought the situation was fine. then it clicked that there's a way he could turn egypt around, change it from the russian camp to the american camp. he got involved, and he rescued egypt's third army and he concluded sinai one, sinai two. the purpose was to get egypt on america's side. and as a result of all this, he did. so, i don't think israel really served the united states' interests in the sense that the arab switchover to the soviet union did so because israel was a land of the united states, they could turn to the united states, so israel was helping
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the united states solve a problem that it had created. >> i believe we have to conclude this. thank you for being a good audience. all right. >> my books are available outside. palestine and isis. >> there is a fabulous lunch outside.
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this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3 from president lincoln's cottage in washington, d.c., we'll have a conversation with candice shy hooper. >> you can see that women have a means of reinforcing either the best in their husbands or the worst. that's what this study is. >> then at 10:00 on reel america, the 1953 film american fronti frontier. >> day and night our little telephone board was lit up like a christmas tree. calls from new york, california,
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houston. bit by bit we began to realize how big a thing this was. >> the film promoted the financial benefits for farmers of leasing land for oil exploration and was funded by the american petroleum institute sunday morning at 11:00 panelists discuss the life and legacy of novelist, journalist, photographer and social activist jack london and how his novel "call of the wild" influenced western writers. >> he always looked back to the natural land, to his ranch, to beautiful scenery in california and elsewhere in the south pacific to center himself and to find release and relief from the rigors of the cities. >> at 6:00 eastern on american artifacts, we visit the aviation museum in virginia beach. >> this airplane among a couple other types basically taught all the military aviators, army, air
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corps and navy how to fly. many guys never even saw an airplane coming from the farms and anywhere you can think of and the first airplane they saw was the boeing steerman. >> for our complete american history tv schedule, go to >> back to the palestine center for remarks from the palestinian authority ambassador to the u.n. he spoke about future goals and objectives at the united nations and how palestinian related issues are being addressed with international policy and legislation. this is about an hour ten minutes. >> for those of you whom i have not had the pleasure of meeting, i'm subhi ali chairman of the
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jerusalem fund and palestine center and it's a pleasure to welcome every one of you here. i see some familiar faces and a lot of newcomers. it's a delight to have you at our annual conference, which has been an annual happening for many years. we have an excellent program for you today. before i start on that, i would like to do a few housekeeping items. first, this is instructions from the staff, and i better do that. if you have one of those that sing and classic music and stuff, please silence it. please. i did silence mine. there will be a question and answer period after the keynote
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speaker. there will be adequate time for question and answers. for the web audience, they can tweet their questions to @palestinecenter and those on twitter, the handle is #pcconf20 #pcconf2016. i hope that every one of you has picked up one of these. it has the bio of every speaker we have today as well as some other information about our programs and about our donors
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and about our committees and so on. i hope that nobody would leave the building without one of the programs. this year's palestine center annual conference will examine the current situation of palestine with an overlapping historic aal sociological and political context. the panelists and every one of them is an expert in his or her field, will examine the developments in the middle east over the past century, and the deep impact they have had on palestinian national aspirations all the way from the infamous
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agreement, the powerful declaration. we had 99 years, november 2nd was the 99th anniversary of the declaration. speakers will touch on that. and the unfortunate -- that's my editorial -- british mandate to the arab spring. i don't know what to call it. arab spring. arab fall. all of you are familiar with that. and it's unfulfilled promises. experts will also offer perspectives on washington's policy toward israel and palestine in light of this year's presidential election, i
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think all of you are aware that we just had an election as well as the challenges to the growing pds movement of the united states and internationally. today we will open our conference with a keynote address delivered by a friend of mine for many, many years and decades. the doctor is the observer of state of palestine to the united nations and the nonresident ambassador to costa rica and the dominican republic. he actually joined the permanent observer mission in 1983.
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as deputy permanent observer and has since presented palestine in several committees and bodies of the united nations. he also spent time since that time in the private sector and served as an adjunct professor in the political science department of the university of central florida. he holds a ph.d. in counseling and published several articles about the palestinian community in the united states. i really don't know who in the united states can deliver a better perspective and so on and serve as keynote better than him. please join me in welcoming him. [ applause ]
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>> thank you very much. you're a good friend of mine and every time we meet, whether today or a few years ago or years before that, i always have a wonder of personal exchange with him as friends, and we are also have family relations because my nephew is married to his niece and that sort of
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strengthened the relationship between us further on the palestinian side when you have people you know married from different families, then they tend to become even closer. so i am very delighted to be here. i have seen also quite a few of some of my old friends, and i just want to commend the board and organization of jerusalem fund for all of the wonderful things that you do in advancing the cause of justice for the palestinian people. we thank you very much for your work and of course we know that you will continue this course even if things become more complicated and more difficult. and i will always, you know, support your efforts, and i will always be with you in doing
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whatever i can in order to allow you to accomplish your or jebjee in the best possible way. we meet today -- it's becoming cliche for palestinian officials we meet at the critical time. every time we're meeting at the critical time. of course next year will mark the 50th anniversary of israeli occupation to the land of the state of palestine including jerusalem of course. 50 years of occupation is way too long of occupation. occupations usually are supposed to be of a temporary nature. they last for a few years and then they should end to allow for reversing the situation to the way it was before
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occupation. so 50 years of occupation is way too long for the palestinian people endure this ruthless military system of oppression against the total population of the palestinian people who live in the occupied territory and for those alnext year we will n years of the creation of the state of israel and the catastrophe that the palestinian people went through and still going through including the millions of us who live in refugee camps particularly in leban lebanon, syria and jordan, and of course at the end of next year also, we will remember with tremendous amount of pain the
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infamous declaration in which our national homeland was promised by a colonial power to address issues in europe at the expense of the palestinian people on one hand and also at the expense of the jews in europe instead of dealing with their tragedies in europe on the basis of those who created those tragedies for them to correct their conduct including anti-semitism in europe but yet they decided to expel many of them and add to their tragedies and create for us in 1948. it's a double whammy for us and for them. now, this is the moment or the time for us that we will be going through next year.
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which put us in a situation at the mission of the state of palestine at the u.n., myself and my team, to legislate a few things including authorizing the committee on the exercise of the inailable rights of the palestinian people and conduct many activities in collaboration with u.n. agencies, with countries, with civil societies, with regional organizations to do activities with a view of ending this occupation. and the committee on the exercise of the rights of the palestinian people will do all of its activities and all of you are invited to be involved in your own capacities in the way that you wish to be active under the banner of 2017 will be
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international year to end israeli occupation. so this is one piece of legislation that we will adopt at the united nations. now, one can say that the situation of the palestinian people is so difficult and so miserable and it is. and occupation has been there for way, way too long. and there are walls, there are settlements, there is the isolation against 2 million palestinians in the gaza strip and east jerusalem is severed from the remaining part of the occupied palestinian territory. when you cut the heart from the rest of the body, the heart will not function nor the rest of the body will be functioning. so one can say that our situation could be characterized as very miserable, very frustrating, and very difficult. but yet, we the palestinian
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people, have a quality about us that we are resilient. we do not give up. we always rise up from ashes and tend to articulate our strategies and tactics to continue the struggle. in this connection, i can tell you that i have been personally involved for the last i don't know how many years in articulating a strategy to counter the israeli strategy on the ground. their strategy is to create a legal faction on the ground stealing our land and building settlements. this is illegal from the point of view of international law. unfortunately, there is no political will in the international community particularly in the security council to hold those who are violating international law and committing all of these crimes
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accountable because we have the law so that thieves to be deterred from not stealing but yet we have the law so that if somebody tried to break that law, to steal, then they will be held accountable. they go to jail. in our case, international humanitarian law, which was invented specifically europeans, in order to conduct their behaviors when they fight that occupiers and occupied people to be following certain patterns of international law of civilization. so that there are things that the occupier can do and things cannot do. one of them you cannot transfer part of your population from your land to the occupied territory to build settlements. that is illegal. they say that to us all the time in the security council. in fact, there is unanimous position on the legality of
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settlements. they tell us it is illegal and obstacle to peace and they don't tell us in the security council what are they going to do about this behavior of israel conducting itself in this manner, meaning they tell us that we have in the books law to say that it is illegal to steal or to kill, and we know that there are killers and thieves, but they don't tell us what they are going to do with those killers and thieves when they violate the law and here i'm referring, for example, in the case of settlements. so their strategy is to create a illegal faction on the ground. illegal. without being held accountable because there is a powerful country particularly in the security council that is shielding them and protecting them from accountability, so they don't care what the u.n. does and they continue in this
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illegal behavior. so our strategy has been for, i don't know how many years, at least for the last five, six years, maybe longer, you create illegal faction on the ground. our people are steadfast there. they're staying in their land. they are resisting peacefully. a shining example of what our people do every week in a village in which they struggle peacefully with pacifists from israel in order to push the wall away from their land of their village and to liberate more of their land, which is their land, and to push closer to the green line. there are many examples of struggles of our people in the occupied territory. in my feel at the united nations, the strategy has been that, okay, you are creating
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illegal faction on the ground. i want to create legal, diplomatic, political facts at the international arena. this is why we decided in 2011 and 2012 to go to the general assembly to legislate recognition of the state of palestine on the borders of 1969 with east jerusalem as its capital and to change the status to an observer state meaning that we resolve the issue whether the state of palestine exists or not. so we acquire that recognition of more than two-third majority at the international level in the u.n. to recognize the state of palestine and therefore to change the status to observer state. that opened the door for us to join so many treaties and conventions including the international criminal court, so while they are creating illegal
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facts on the ground, we are creating legal facts by becoming equal as a state party in so many things like the climate change, the law of the sea, the whole package of human rights, the right of woman, the right of children. the right of the disabled and so on and so forth. they fight us and even accuse us of what we're doing they call it diplomatic terrorism. and their action, which is a blunt clear violation of the law and they should be held accountable for it including committing war crimes because according to their own statue of the international criminal court, if you transfer part of your civilian population and plant them in the land of the occupied territory, it's a war crime. so they are committing war
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crimes according to articulation of international law and committing legal, civilized, peaceful action by changing our status to a state strengthening the pillars of the state in the international arena, and creating every day diplomatic and political realities. sometimes they say to us, including one time bolton said that before he was removed as an ambassador of the u.s. to the united nations and by the way, we hear rumors he might be coming back again to new york, when he fights against our resolution in order to convince people not to vote in favor of these resolutions, and when he is defeated, then he says these resolutions are meaningless. they don't mean anything. just ink on pieces of paper. no, they're not. upholding international law is not a joke. it is something serious. so while we are deepening the
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pillars of palestine in the international arena, one might ask what is the value of that? i can tell you the value is tremendous. maybe for those who are not in the trenches to see the meaning and value of the state of palestine as a state is marching slowly in the direction of eventually washington and tel aviv cannot deny the fact we exist as a nation. we exist as a state. and the land of our state is under occupation and it will be a matter of time before they have to accept this reality because when the world accept us as a state, when the world is excited about us when we put ballots in the boxes and we vote as a state, when the world is accepting us to be a responsible state and to elect us a vice president of this conference, a vice president of that convention, these are but small steps in the direction of saying
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you cannot deny our existence. you can steal part of our land. you can build more settlements, but you cannot erase the fact that the palestinian people exist and are recognized and welcomed by the great majority of nations as a state, and we are continuing this march. now in this connection, we started the process about a month and a half ago of trying to legislate something in the security council particularly around settlements because they are telling us as i said in the security council that settlement is illegal and main obstacle to peace. fine. if this is your position and we agree with you, tell us what you are going to do about it. they're not telling us what they're going to do about it. we are going to legislate something to that effect. in fact, just a few days ago, we
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had a resolution adopted on settlements and for the first time, we used language of condemnation and used and succeeded in negotiations with those who voted unanimously in favor of that resolution that if israel does not abide by its obligation under international law and the provisions of the chapter with regard to settlements, then the option of considering accountability is an option to be put on the table. that's good for you, phyllis, with regard to other things meaning that it is a possibility of small door to be opened for sanctions, quote/unquote. they are forcing us to go that route. if you are not listening to the wall and listening to what everyone is telling you to do, now after a long march,
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particularly with the europeans, they are accepting the concept that if you don't abide by the law, then we will be possibly entertaining the concept of accountability. of course they don't use sanctions. i know that this is a big word and they are afraid of it. but a march in that direction you have to do one step at a time and i believe some of these steps are taking place so it is not as gloomy as one can think working day and night to have erosion of our position at the united nations. they might be influencing one african country. influencing another place. in general, they are not succeeding. that's part of our strategy as we move forward. with regard to this resolution,
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as i said on settlements, we heard very constructive consultations with all members of the security council. we gave them a sheet of paper, one page, that constitutes the elements that we believe should be contained in such a resolution. of course some in europe and some in washington, d.c., they will say wait until the election because of the thinking that they will win and insinuating the president before he leaves might put on the table a draft resolution and perimeters. in negotiation with them, i said we have two products for you when i went with a group of arab ambassadors as part of our negotiation with members of the security council. here we have a draft resolution on settlements. the president barack obama is saying that he wants to preserve
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the two-state solution. the main obstacle against the two-state solution is settlement. so adopting resolution in settlements would serve his objective of trying to preserve the two-state solution. if you don't like that, we have another product for you. okay. allow our application in the security council for admission as a full member of the state of palestine to be adopted. you don't like option a, you don't like option b, tell us what you have. if you tell us after the election, you're not going to do anything, we're not going to accept that option. we're not going to accept wait until the trump administration to take place in january because if we wait until that, we know that that administration will tell us wait until we constitute ourselves. wait until we get ready. wait. wait. wait. the story of our life with the u.s. administration is nonstop
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waiting. we're not going to wait. it's either you put on the table something that we look at or we are going to advance our plans for having a resolution. of course we send the report to the arab foreign ministers with all of the details of the position of all of the 15 countries on these two drafts and we are waiting instructions from them, and i sincerely hope they have the guts and spine to say proceed with a draft resolution and settlement and we will see we are not looking for a veto, but we want the u.s. administration including president barack obama before he leaves to do something with his position that he are theticulat every day that he wants a two-state solution. israel needs to receive a strong political message from the international community that the
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international community cannot continue to tolerate their disregard to international law and to the wish of the international community. so we'll see. hopefully soon something will happen and i personally sincerely hope that we can proceed in the security council and try to have a resolution adopted on settlements. that's on the security council front. if the new administration -- and i hope they do not show belligerence against us, more than what we've seen, but if they want to start attacking us left and right, moving the capital to jerusalem and condone settlements and what have you then nobody should blame us from unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the united nations to defend ourselves. and we have, believe me, a lot of weapons and we are not a
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small something at the united nations. we are a strong, well respected, well supported by more than 150, 160, 170 countries that vote occasionally in favor of our resolutions against a handful of countries including israel and the united states and i don't want to count solomon islands and other countries that all together do not reach even the number of both of your hands. occasionally five, two, three, six. canada is among them. of course we hope that canada would change its behavior and conduct itself in a different way, and we are engaging them, and if you can also engage them by all means and also engage the new administration not to show more of an excessive, unfair
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negative position against the palestinian people. they need to be as balanced as possible if they want to contribute to solving this conflict after 50 years of occupation, aft occupation. i think they should resort into a balanced approach and by all means we invite all of our friends who have influence with washington or could have influence with washington to work in this regard. for us, we need to put an end to our division. we need to put an end to the fact that we have gaza. we need to have national unity because national unity is in the essence of the national interest of the palestinian people. we can disagree within the house, but we should not divide the house. we should put an end to this
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division. we need to have national unity. and we need, of course, to agree on details of the strategy of how we conduct ourselves as we move forward particularly after the american elections and after we put our house in order and also taking into account what is really happening in the middle east. finally to our friends in the civil society organizations including bds, i think we appreciate what you do, and you are playing a very important role in complementing the strength of the palestinian people on the ground and diplomatic field and all fields. we are all complementing each other for the same objective of accomplishing the rights of the palestinian people. we will do more things in new york with the committee on exercise of the rights with all civil society organizations
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including those in the united states of america working in all fields including bds. it was israeli ambassador who brought 1,000 jewish-american students to new york to combat bds. when the journalists ask me what do you think of that? i said he is the one who is bringing this issue to the agenda of the u.n. and it's not the agenda of the u.n., and they said bring it on. so that i invite our friends in bds and other organizations, you are welcome to come to new york. you're welcome to organize your conferences and meetings, and we'll be helping you there in order to help the palestinian people to put an end to this tragedy. i think i spoke about it enough. i don't want you to be gloomy that we are helpless. we cannot do anything. we can do a lot and we are doing a lot. thank you very much.
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[ applause ] >> thank you, dr. monsour. we have actually a lot of time for questions so it was structured. i believe that we have time for probably all of the questions. >> i'm glad you talked a lot about the settlements, but i have one question. in the united states, the united states government always as mentioned, the last few years, it's illegitimate. i raise this up in one of the meetings and he did not answer it.
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i want to know from those who are expert in this language, what's the difference on legitimate and changing -- >> do you want me to take a few questions and deal with them together? okay. maybe three or four and then i'll respond to them all together. >> okay. >> make sure there's gender balance. don't go with all men. >> of course, yes. >> thank you, riyad. you raised a lot of important questions. my question is relationship these days diplomatically of palestine with the arab
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governments. you mentioned going to the arab regimes at the u.n. there's been lots of changes obviously in the last several years of those governments, and i'm wondering if you could give us a kind of overview of where palestine stands in terms of those governments that are trying very hard to win support in washington particularly? >> okay. >> thank you very much for your time. i'm with the institute of palestine studies. one question. i know that we're talking about the new leadership here in the u.s. with president-elect trump but there's also new leadership coming up at the united nations. a new secretary-general starting in january as well. how is the palestinian leadership feeling about any role that he might have regarding an active, more serious approach over the old
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palestine? thank you. >> one more question. go ahead. >> from my perspective, it seems like there's already two states that exist in palestine just an active community may not recognize it, but i do believe you're in the same position as formerly south africa was on apartheid and india under british rule, and i think regardless who does not recognize you, you do exist and if you exert your dominion as a sovereign nation with ambassadorships, i think in due time, that cloud, that
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colonialism that is dominating you will break and it would also have to subside. >> okay. these are four excellent questions. you want to take these before we go to the next round? >> okay. dr. moussa asked about this linguistic question. dr. moussa asked the question, the linguistic questions, the difference between illegal and legitimate. i don't claim that i'm black edward sayeed a linguistic professor of contemporary languages at columbia university, but i think that this new language used by the united states was relatively new. they are in the records and have voted on resolutions related to a legality of settlement activities, and i believe that
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of course 14 members of the security council, they use the language illegal. the secretary-general of the united nations ban ki-moon and the new secretary-general-elect, antonio guterres also used illegal. we are not yet at the final language of the text. what we need from the united states of america is to accept the concept that the security council has a role to play, and it has to legislate a new resolution on settlements. if they are on board, then we will begin the exercise of the language, but yet we need to get commitment from them that, yes, they will allow the security council to show that its responsibility and adopt a resolution there. in arabic, for example, you know, if you translate both of them, they amount to the same thing. perhaps maybe in other
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languages, you know, but in english it appears that there are differences. they are too close to each other, but i don't think that they are synonomous with each other, but again, as i said, you know, there is no need for us to engage in a linguistic discussion. we need to reach the moment of a political decision. yes, the security council has a role to play, and it has to legislate a resolution to deter israel from continuing on this path, and that's part of the consequences of israel continuing this illegal behavior, and if we are all on board, including the united states of america, then we need to find the appropriate language that would address that issue. phyllis, you put your finger on something very important. we wanted, as palestine, to go to the security council from the
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beginning of the year on that question of settlements, and in fact, i have a very, very tedious exercise through the council of arab ambassadors to move in that direction. some of them sometimes use big language, but they have not necessarily kosher intentions, like saying that we had resolutions in the past on settlements that are so powerful, so strong, why to do need to have a diluted new resolution, okay? but the essence of that argument is don't go to the security council on settlements. of course, the fact that we had a resolution, let's say, in 1980, that called even for dismantling the settlements and having, you know, a reporting mechanism to the security council to the fact that we had that strong resolution, does this mean that we should not go back to the security council to have a resolution and settlement? i don't believe that. we have to go always to the security council to show that
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its responsibility is to put israel in the corner with regard to this illegal behavior with a view that this illegal behavior has to stop, because we cannot have opening doors for peace, as long as this illegal behavior continues to exhibit itself, and you know, ronald said, you know, that we could be moving into a situation similar to south africa. those who are continuing this illegal behavior on settlements are creating the one state reality with two political systems, which is apartheid, and that has been acknowledged by many, including the secretary-general of the u.n., his special representative, even in the white house and in washington, d.c. in their defense to israel, they are saying that the path that you continue on one state
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reality you are destroying the dream of zionism, of having a state that is jewish or a jewish state. so therefore, you know, the arabs at that time some of them used that argument. others used the argument we don't want to have a veto. what is the value of a veto, as if we are the ones who decide whether a veto will be casted or not. we will negotiate in good faith. we will use all the possible arguments to convince the united states of america to be on board and to legislate, but at the end of the day, the united states is responsible for its action, whether it will allow a resolution to be adopted or obstructed. if they obstruct it, they should be held responsible for their obstructionist policy inside the security council. now then i floated a draft resolution in april -- march, and they said we cannot proceed until we get authorization from the arab ministerial committee.
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there is a small arab ministerial committee, and that arab ministerial committee did not meet for six months to consider the issue, and then when we made a huge stink in september over this issue, they met. they authorized us to begin the consultation, as council of arab ambassadors. now, why are the arabs behaving this way or some of the arab countries? they are their brothers. we appreciate their help. we are, we belong to that group, and there are, you know, our strategic, you know, depth, and of course, you know, the arabs are, if they are unified to a certain extent on any issue they are unified on the question of palestine, but they exhibit this behavior because there are those among them, they think that if we go to the security council in the current conditions and push the united states and they use the veto in the environment of
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the russians using vetoes versus syria, then from their perspective, as it relates to the issues as they relate to syria or iran, then that is important to them, and unfortunately when they think a lot that way, in certain ways, it is at the expense of the palestine question. now here, we go again, that they were also floating an idea that, after the election, and when hillary clinton wins, then president barack obama will put something more important than settlements parameters. i think that that reality is not with us anymore. there is going to be a new person in the white house. it's not hillary clinton. now, what will president barack obama do before he leaves? will he allow something to be put on the table? i think that if we do not work hard, if we do not continue with the momentum that we generated,
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not only through the consultation, but we had a very important meeting under what's called the aria formula, which is an open meeting, unofficial open meeting for the security council, in which they bring experts, and they brought, among the experts, two very important individuals, one from bertsilin and the other one is from washington, d.c., from american peace now. both of them said very clearly to the security council, you have to act. settlements are illegal. you have to act to stop it, and occupation has to end. the israeli ambassador made a statement that the head of bertsilim who participated is engaging in diplomatic terrorism, and they are now trying to have a piece of legislation in the kdnisset to deprive them of israeli citizenship. you talk about fascism, you talk about crazy things, those cannot
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even tolerate a jew-israeli to disagree with them on this issue and they are entertaining the idea of taking their citizenship away from them. with all fairness, the u.s. representative in both in the aria formula and in the open debate defended bitsalem and defended the lady from, you know, american peace now, on the two occasions, but will that mean that the united states of america will allow the security council to legislate something on settlements is remained to be seen. so the issue with my brother, the arabs, is not easy. they are fixated on other issues -- iran, syria, yemen, and by, you know, a dririderiva the palestine question is on the back burner. for me, i have always to keep the palestine question alive.
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frank bernard, major bernard, have to keep it alive at the united nations, and we created this momentum, as i said, during the course, month of october. we need to continue with it and not to accept a new form of delay that, let's wait until the new administration takes place in washington, d.c. we cannot wait. we need to act and we need to act now, as the representative of bitsalem said to the members of the security council. now with regard to gutteres, antonio guterres is a very, very smart diplomat and he worked for the u.n. for a long period of time. very, very smart. very quick on his feet. he was the prime minister of portugal. he speaks many languages. in fact, i was in a meeting with all bam bass fors at the u.n. and they were asking questions, including of course palestine spoke and they asked questions
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and he was answering in english, in french, in spanish, in portuguese, very fluent in all these languages, and he was quickeneding the essence of every question, responding to the essence of every question in a very concise way. and although i spoke at the end, and i was frustrated when i spoke at 75, because i'm an observer, i said i speak at the end, when will i speak, you know, free at last, free at last, remember the famous speech of martin luther king, you know? i'm frustrated. i don't want to keep speaking it at the end. and then i said what are you going to do differently than our sgs to see the end of occupation, the independence of the state of palestine and therefore saving the two-state solution? and he said in front of everyone that "it will give me -- nothing will give me more pleasure than celebrating the moment to see the independence of the state of palestine and to see the state
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of palestine and israel living in peace and security next to each other." i invited him of course to palestine and he will visit us hopefully soon next year, and let's hope that in his time watch we'll see something good happening to palestine. and with regard to apartheid in palestine, of course president carter wrote a famous book in that connection. one-state solution the extremists in israel keep pushing for one-state reality, then they are bringing with it the virus of apartheid,ing so if this is what, if they think that apartheid in our area will survive, they need to think again. it did not survive in south africa. i don't think it can survive in palestine israel.
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>> you had a very good statement here today. i'm wondering why our position is difficult to explain to americans. is it the question of the media? of course the media is not very friendly. i understand that. i'm a media person. why do we resort to the obvious way of doing it, which is advertising? as you well know, in the last two months, the israeli side has eight full pages in the "new york times." is it too expensive for you or arab governments just to put a full-page ad just to cover your remarks today, highlight them? you are an excellent speaker and an excellent spokesman. i've heard a lot about you, but we need to get the american public aware of what's going on, especially how we have a very right wing regime in this country. >> i'm trying to put an op-ed
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many of times. if i succeed i'll send you a copy. >> don't result in op-ed article. what about a full page ad? put the article -- money, i know. i'll tell you what, i have a follow-up. we can campaign for financial support for a full page article. >> okay. all right. we're going to have a question from there and then we'll move to this side. yes, sir. >> what about the gender balance? i see one, two. >> i'm just answering the -- >> mr. ambassador, mark harrison with the united methodist church office in washington. during the anti-apartheid era, which i was greatly involved in, the u.n. had these conferences mainly pushed by african governments on ending apartheid, and white majority rule. what do you think of the
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committee for the inalienable rights of palestine, of the occupation to bring international gos in solidarity. >> 3/4 there are two ladies wunl and two. >> thank you so much for being here. sorry. thank you so much for being here and for your talk. my name is mayu abaaoud. i'm from georgetown university and running a startup called build palestine which i can tell you all about later. i wanted to ask you about, you talked about the weapons that we have in the u.n. in working with a lot of young palestinian activists, there is a bit of a disillusionment with
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the structure feeling the way the security council has veto power because of u.s.'s inability to make any progress in its decision-making, we'll never be able to push these kinds of fantastic resolutions forward. so what are those weapons that we have, if the u.s. pushes back and we can't push this resolution forward with the veto? thank you. >> okay. miss, then we'll take a fifth question from the left. >> i'm board member of the jerusalem fund. today donald trump said that he's going to move the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. i would like your views on what impact that would do and what can be done. >> okay. last question of this round, the
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young lady on the left. >> my name is namish sharikin. i came from michigan just to attend these. [ applause ] i am passionate about palestinian issues. okay. i would like to know what ambassador riyad said those secret weapons because why have they not been used before? because we are really desperate right now, and then also, from year to year, i always attended these national council u.s. adaptation conference in october, and when i hear of, for example, a prince of turkey bin al faisal talking about palestine really it was heartwarming but i'm afraid so far from year to year, we are just talking, and now two administrations have gone by, by obama, nothing is materialized.
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so what i would like to know is about this arab government, because we know also at the same time that a few countries like uae, qatar, they have relationship with israel under the table, and also yesterday i read that donald trump said that settlements are not an obstacle, so could you respond to all of that? thank you. >> thank you. these are five excellent questions. dr. mansour? >> okay, with regard to the question asked by my friend heshme, if there are those who think that advertising is a good thing to do, to put in the "new york times," in "the washington post," and you have the resources, by all means, please, do it. now for us, you know, we do things, you know, as we fight at
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the united nations. people listen to us. people vote in favor of our resolutions, and we organize conferences and meetings and we do things in order to articulate our position. of course we cannot publish our position everywhere. that's why we rely on friends like you and others to also, you know, to do some of that work, and maybe good campaigns of, to have one page advertisement of anything that you wish and if you want help from us in terms of articulating the message, we'll be more than delighted to do so, but i think that there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for all those who want to work. why are you here this morning, all of you, in this large number? because you want to do something. you are eager to do something, and this is a wonderful spirit, and you can do whatever you think it's a good idea, get the people who believe in that idea and try to make it a reality.
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i think it could be done. but as i said to you from our side, we try to sometimes publish op-ed, whatever we can, or interviews, in order to convey our message to the largest number of audience that we can reach. the gentleman back there is mark heson i believe from the meth list. we are on the same wavelength. we had the retreat for the bureau of the palestine committee and the exercise of the end of the right of the palestinian people. we are learning to organize for civil societies, activists, whomever, a big international conference as we used to do in the old days and we are thinking of doing it in june to mark the 50th anniversary. you're all invited, you, your friends, the methodist are very good and active friends. we have good relationship with
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them in new york city, and but the activity is not only in new york, which we are intending to do, but organized as many activities in washington, in chicago, in san francisco, and all the cities everywhere, try you know, to mobilize all of your friends, all the organizations to do as many activities as possible in the year 2017, which will be the international year to end israeli occupation. but from the point of view of the palestine committee of the u.n., we are going to have an international conference in june to commemorate that occasion. with regard to the disillusionment of some young palestinians, i can understand that. when you are young, you tend to be more radical. i was young and i was super radical when i was young, you know, and when you get older, you know, you try to balance
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between the heart and the brain, and i think churchill was right when he said that when you are young you have to think from your heart and when you are old you have to think from your brain. i think that i'm trying to use both of them, trying to balance that. of course, you know, the young, they want more things, and it is good to have them. it is good that they push and they push and they push more. they keep us on the right track. if we tried to be complacent, not to try as hard as we should, and i am delighted that more than half of my team are young and i always tell them, challenge me. don't disagree with me, you know, it doesn't mean that i will agree with your articulation, but always don't be afraid to say what you believe in because this is how we can take into account all positions and opinions and therefore serve palestine in the best possible way as we should serve palestine in the best
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possible way because it's a noble cause. have we used these weapons? i just gave you an example of our strategy and we in new york, myself and my team, we were able to influence the leadership thinking to push for that direction. i was a junior young very radical diplomat in 1988 when we declared independence. i pushed for doing what we did in 2012. i was leading a minority faction then at 1988, and we, because i felt when we declared independence in 1988, we could have gone directly to the general assembly to change our status. unfortunately i was overruled, because i was among the minority. when i came back in 2005 as an ambassador, that was one of the issues in my head, and we were able to articulate the strategy that the leadership accepted, promoted, and worked for it, and
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it was culminated in the historic resolution adopted in 29 november, 2012, in which the general assembly recognized the state, and changed the status. now, what are some of these potent weapons? from 2012 now, when you see that palestine is a state partly equal to all other states in all these treaties and convention, this is part of that weapon, and even, you know, when i go to conferences, in which we have to sit in alphabetical order, they are used to us to sit in the back as observers, and often habits with the organizer of conferences, palestine they sit in the back. i said no, this conference is all state formula. i sit in alphabetical order. then you know i train my team, open your eyes. every conference you go to, they could potentially make these mistakes. correct the mistakes. go outside the building, see if our flag is out or not.
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if our flag is at the end, make sure that you tell the organizer it should be in alphabetical order. i was in a meeting in adis ababa. i went outside and our flag was at the end. i said i'm calling ban ki-moon now who is in charge. they said we made a mistake. i said it needed to be corrected. they said at 8:00 tomorrow morning it will be corrected. i was there at 8:00 in the morning with a camera just to make sure that they corrected. of course people do not see these things, but these are remarkable things. we are, when you see that the flag of palestine as we legislated that and implemented that last year to be flying in front of the u.n., it's inspiring to me, and to my team and to all those who come and visit. these are the kind of things that we do. now, i said that we are using peaceful diplomatic, legal, civilized methods but if people attack us by trying to move
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jerusalem, i mean the embassy to jerusalem, which is violation of security council resolution. it is violation of resolution 181, which was drafted by the united states of america. so if the u.s. administration wants to violate the legal things that they were leaders in legislating, it means that they are showing belligerency against us. then you know what you expect from me? just to accept it peacefully? no. what can i do? maybe i cannot have resolutions in the security council, but i can make their life miserable every day precipitating a veto on my admission as a member state. italy, for example, in 1949 received three consecutive vetoes in their admission to the united nations from the soviet union. the united states would come today, we are putting the
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application of italy for admission. soviet union would cost a veto. the following day the united states submitting application, the soviet union would do a veto. if they are going to do these things these are the kind of things that i can do. you show belligerency against me then i will do the things i can. i can have emergency meetings in the security council. i can reopen the whole pandora box of the ruling of the icj on the whole with all of its regimes and settlements, so i'll do what i can do. i do it legally. they do illegal things, because it is illegal to defy a security council resolution. the united states is party to it, saying that the unilateral action of israel of annexing east jerusalem is illegal and it is null and void without legal ramifications. that is international law. if the u.s. administration wants to defy international law, they are doing something illegal. my retaliation will be legal.
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i hope we do not see that reality, because many candidates during the election promised a similar promise, but they did not implement it, because what you do when you are campaigning is something, but when you deal with the legal things is something else. we sincerely hope they don't go that route. we sincerely hope they don't do that and we sincerely hope they don't move from illegal to illegitimate to it is not an obstacle, you know, or what, it is not an obstacle piece which is the israeli language. if the u.s. administration, as the young lady who came from michigan, and we thank you for coming from michigan to washington for this conference, if she thinks okay now they're going to say in essence that settlements are condoned, that's another violation of international law. we hope they don't do that.
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we hope this is just only talk but if they want to go the path of trying, you know, to act illegally, nobody should blame us for defending ourselves legally, and that's what i meant by this, you know, potent weapons that we have. maybe the young might say, well, this is only a resolution. as one time i was interviewed by al jazeera and they was asking me, what are you doing at the u.n.? i explained what i was doing. then he said, well, all these are resolutions are meaningless. i said i don't think they are meaningless. i'll give you an example, resolutions for the mandate and for making this organization that looks after the palestine refugees in which it spends more than $1 billion annually to educate more than half million palestinian children, and to provide some health care for the
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palestine refugees and in the social services, to me this is important. he screamed at me. he said i don't care who eats and who gets educated. did you liberate palestine? i said no i did not liberate palestine. i am doing my duty but i'm doing useful things that would allow us, for example, if it wasn't for onorwa we would not be having the contemporary palestinian national movement because it came from the refugee camps and we are grateful to onorwa for all these things. when i negotiate with the europeans and my team, language to try to stabilize the financial situation of onorwa and we succeeded in some language to that effect, and maybe to have portion of onorwa budget as part of the permanent budget of the u.n., and not to keep it, you know, at the mercy of voluntary contribution, i think this is a valuable contribution in a concrete way
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to the struggle of the p palestinian people. these are the things that we do. if some of the young people see it as irrelevant, it's too bad but this is the important thing that we need to do. it is the possibiliresponsibili to do in order to minimize the pain of our people while we are steadfasting and continuing the struggle until we succeed in putting abend to the occupation and accomplishment the attainment of the inalienable rights of the palestinian people. i think it's valuable. >> ambassador if i may interject on the same topic -- is it possible as a weapon for those things? >> sir, let's stay focused. there are other questions, one more question and then we have a, staff is nudging me over there, otherwise we'll be here all day. >> shall we have the last round i think? >> no, we don't really have time for it. did you want to say anything -- >> the arab governments that
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play under the table -- >> yes, yes, i'm sorry. i wrote it down okay. >> and then we have a break. >> listen, it's not our job to add more misery to our people and to have more problems and to invite more enemies. we are part of the arab nations. we know how some of them think because they have their own calculations, including those who might think that they are in the same camp with israel, objectively speaking, not intentionally speaking, because they are afraid of iran, for example, in the region. so they justify some of these activities based on that. of course as i said, this tends to push our question into the back burner. that doesn't mean that they are becoming our enemies, those arab countries. we don't look for enemies. we have a formidable enemy
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supported by a superpower, the united states of america. that is more than enough to hand it. so we are in the business of always trying to have more friends, even who will accept half a friend better than nothing, because you know, this is our responsibility in defending the rights and minimizing the pain of our people, and that is a responsible way of being a leader in looking for ways to minimize the pain of your people and to maximize the gains. again, thank you very much. [ applause ] and good luck in the remaining part of the conference. >> thank you very much. we have two panels, and we need to stay on time. there are some refreshments and pastries, et cetera, over there. let's have a 15-minute break. and then come back for the first panel. thank you.
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>> our coverage of the palestine center's annual conference continues now the discussion on middle east regional affairs, including israeli military operations in the gaza and the implications of the 2016 u.s. presidential election. this is two hours. >> good morning again. >> good morning. >> that was a delightful session. excellent questions and answers. we have two panels today, one before lunch, and one in the afternoon after lunch. there is a lot of time, we added a lot of time again for q&a, and i'm going to invite everybody hopefully to find their way here. i don't see all the panelists. they are here?
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>> yes. >> all right, well we'd like them -- oh, i see. >> they want to see the audio/visual. >> okay that's good. this next session, the panel one is about the legacies of the british mandate and the changing u.s. role -- god knows it's changing, in the conflicts of the middle east. this will be moderated by dr. mustafa treasurer of the jerusalem fund and chairman of the diabetes project. the panelist bios are in the bre sure so i'll turn it over to dr. mustafa. [ applause ] >> we're used to obs kls, one
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has to be careful around here. thank you all for being here. i would like to welcome you all to this session, and i remind you about the phones you were earlier alerted to. we are going to have an excelette panel. each one will speak for 10 to 15 minutes and you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions afterwards. for the web audience, they can send their questions t to @palestinecenter, and can follow us at the #bcconf2016. i've been asked by several people in the audience to speak through the mike, so they can hear, and i extend that invitation to our panelists. so with that, it's my pleasure to introduce the speakers first. and then we'll listen to them.
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for the sake of our people online i'd like to read some of their biographies. the first one is dr. ditunji, academic and former journalist and he has taught at george washington university on middle eastern subjects, comparative politics and political economy, and has also taught at georgetown and american universities. he is currently a political economic analyst at the united arab emirates embassy in washington. as a journalist, he has worked as a deputy managing editor and managing editor of "the jordan times" and assistant editor of the journal of palestinian studies in beirut, lebanon. his publications including a binational state in palestine, the rational choice for palestinians and the moral choice for israelis, among other public clagss including sources and consequences of human rights violations in iraq, human rights
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and society's in transition, and arab-american writers the press and the palestine issue. he will be speaking about the legacies of the british mandate on spal stein and the present and it will be a powerpoint presentation. our special panelist is phyllis benis, a fellow at the institute for policy studies and she directs the new international project at ips, working as a writer, activist, and analyst in the middle east and u.n. issues. she's also a fellow of the trance national institute in amsterdam. in 2001 she helped found and remains active with the u.s. campaign to end the israeli occupation. thank you, phyllis. and has served as an informal adviser to several top u.n. officials in the middle east and u.n. democratization issues.
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she is the author and editor of many books, some of which are available out front, and including understanding isis, and the new global war on terror, a primer the sixth edition of her popular understanding the palestinian-israeli conflict as well as before and after u.s. foreign policy, and war on terror and challenging empire, how people, governments and the u.n. defy u.s. power. she'll be speaking about u.s. policies toward palestine and israel, and the third speaker will be dina haladi who is the founding and -- founder and director of palestine legal, and cooperating counsel with the center for constitutional rights. her work includes providing legal advice to activists, engaging in advocacy to protect
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their rights, to speak out for palestinian rights and educating activists and the public about the oppression of palestinian advocates. prior to founding palestine legal, she worked with ccr as a cooperating attorney on the mamilla cemetery campaign drafting a petition to the united nations officials to act against the desecration of an ancient muslim cemetery in jerusalem. as a volunteer and an intern at ccr, she has worked on numerous cases that sought to hold israeli officials and corporations accountable for israeli dicter and cory, as well as on ccr's guantanamo bay
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docket. this is very difficult legal language for me. she has advocated on palestinian rights issues in media forums such as the "new york times," "the jewish press" "the hill," "the roof news network" and many others. her subject will be the bds. our fourth speaker will be rami houri wlo is an internationally syndicated political columnist and book author an adjunct professor of uniform at the american university of beirut. he was the first director and now senior fellow at the assam far ris institute of public policy and international affairs at the aub. in addition, he has been a resident senior fellow at the kennedy school of harvard university for the past decade. he is the former editor of the "beirut daily star" newspaper, and "the journal times"
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newspaper in amman. in 2000 of he was awarded at international peace prize. in addition to teaching or lecturing annually at numerous universities, including the aub, harvard, holyoke, princeton, syracu syracuse, the fletcher school, and tuft university, and many others, including stanford, houri has been a member of brookings institute task force and u.s. relations with the islamic world and fellow academic society for the study of international affairs. his subject will be the arab spring, regional politics and palestine. the first speaker will be dr. tutunji. please help me give a warm welcome to our speakers. [ applause ]
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>> you notice i'm sitting here in isolation. just in case people start throwing tomatoes or eggs. no, i doubt that will happen. can you hear me? >> no. >> then it's the microphone? >> no, that's fine. >> okay. >> get close per. >> get closer? all right. all right, i'm going to be speaking about the speaker agreement, i'll be speaking about mandates, what are mandates, people use the word frequently, i'm not sure they know what it means, i'll be speaking about the mandate over palestine, so, so far seems to be little new, so i hope i will find some angles that are interesting about these issues.
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finally, i will ask the question that's been raised recently in view of what's happened in iraq and syria as to whether it is responsible for the state of affairs. the states seem to be falling apart, and is it because did they put the lines in the wrong places? did they lump the wrong people together? so that may be the most interesting part. but let me start with syke sykes pico. we'll get to the maps soon. starting with this line that you see extending from north of haifa to just north of kirkuk and this is essentially the line that sykes drew when he was
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invited to ten downing street to address the cabinet meeting and ask, prime minister esk was there, lord differentener, lord george who was at the time was minister of munitions and lord balfour, who was the admiralty. and mark sykes was considered an expert on the middle east and he had been invited to address the top people as to where britain and france were to divide up the fertile crescent. as you know, this used to be part of the ultimate empire. the ultimate empire was falling apart and there were many questions that came up.
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britain's primary interest seems to have been to draw a line to restrict france's ambitions, and to get as much as it wanted for itself. britain at the time was concerned with passage to india, the controlled egypt, the controlled india, and they wanted a secure passage through the levant you might say. several considerations at play here. one was the ottoman empire falling apart, who is going to pick up the pieces but what did that mean? are they going to convert these into colonies? are they going to -- what sort of pieces are they going to pick up? and complicating the factor was
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president woodrow wilson, who had helped found the league of nations and he was concerned with the right of people to serve the termination and things of that sort, so a compromise was necessary between a continuation of colonial ambitions but this was a point in time where colonialism had to change. it had to adapt to the demands for a new perspective on things, having to do what people, people's rights, although there are still limitations put on people's rights, so as you'll see, the power, the right of self-determination was not, still not acknowledged as universal rights, and it seemed to have been tied to the idea of civilizations, so that civilized
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countries, their people had rights of determination if you weren't really in that category, it was questionable. whether you had that right or not. so the mandates were designed so that the mandatory power although the victorious allies granted themselves rights to be the mandatory power but the mandatory powers had a responsibility. first their control over these territories was temporary. second, they were supposed to prepare the people in these territory territories to be able to govern themselves. the asumps is that they weren't yet able to, but britain and france had the responsibility of bringing the syrian, iraqis and palestinians to the point where
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they could take on these responsibilities. although in the mandates that were mentioned by the league of nations in the charter, the territories that used to be part of the ottoman empire were considered the most advanced and the most ready to assume this right of self-determination. so these weren't granted as colonies, although the colonial powers or former colonial powers that assumed these mandates had their own interests and they did satisfy those interests. so we have a compromise between interests and responsibilities of the people of these places that were transformed into states and the interests of the european powers who had tutelage over them. so france was not involved in
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the fighting in the middle east. france was fighting in europe. britain controled these areas by the time the war ended. france did not have any troops here, britain did, so britain had physical control. france had nothing of that, but france was fighting on the western front in a way that britain was not. british excursions were not very successful, so france tended to threaten that they would not be as eager to carry on the fight in europe if they felt they were being shortchanged in the middle east. so under these circumstances, mark sykes is called to ten downing street to advise the cabinet where the line of demarkation should be. and drew a line from the e in
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arce to the last "k" in kirkuk. the colors are wrong by the way. the initial colors, the dark gray area should have been red, and the green area should have been blue, okay? >> nice try. >> well this is the map that i found, i could not change that. so that's -- mark sykes' main contribution. on the french side, we had francois george pico who
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descended from renowned colonialist family that advocated colonialism, his father, his brother also were members of the [ speaking in foreign language ] france was maintaining that france had linked with this area since the middle ages, and this gave it a right for syria or more than syria. third figure that comes in later is ronald stores, a senior colonial owe ifish in cairo, which lord kitchener's stomping grounds, that's where he came from, these were his men, and
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stores came up with the idea of using sharif hussein as a counter to the ottoman sultan's declaration of jihad. the idea was the sultan was the caliph and called for jihad against the ottoman empire's enemies and the response required somebody who had religious credentials and you had sharif hussein who was a dedepend ant of the prophet, the governor of mecca and medina, so he was a logical choice to come out on britain's side and in doing this, the british could achieve the aim of separating the arabs from the turks, so that they would not have to fight both to conquer these areas. so we had as a result contradictory agreement, contradictory documents. we had the sykes-pico agreement
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which represents the interests of the colonial powers. we have the correspondence between sharif hussein and the senior, the high commissioner in cairo, by the name of mcmann, in which promises were made to sharif hussein about establishing a kingdom for him. these started in 1914, and went on through 1915 and the great arab revolt broke out in 1916 and in 197 the balfour declaration was issued promising the jews a national home in palestine. how to reconcile these factors. well, i'm sure you're familiar with a good chunk of this, so i will not go into the details. some interesting things is that, as negotiations were being conducted and sykes was told to speak to george pico, france,
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among other things, claimed the right to palestine, okay? and eventually the sykes-pico agreement that was signed, if you notice from the map, palestine, a good chunk of palestine does not go either to france or britain. it's internationalized. you also see according to this map that mosul goes to syria, not to iraq. what one needs to understand is that these deals were not necessarily set in stone. they're not permanent arrangements, and it all depended on the balance of power between the different negotiators, and for a long time, britain had more power in the middle east than france or any other european parties, and it used this power to get as much as it could for itself.
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now concerning palestine, this agreement was finalized in may 1960. the british still wanted palestine, so what happens is, herbert samuel, who is a cabinet minister, who later becomes the first high commissioner in palestine, argues that supporting the creation of a jewish colony east of the suez would deny this territory to the rival foreign powers who might threaten control of the suez canal. so for strategic reasons, if britain were to have palestine, then britain was, as you know, was already in egypt, its control over palestine would help protect its position in egypt. another consideration was that,
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by advocating homeland for the jews, this when some way toward satisfying woodrow wilson's demands for self-determination, except in this case it's self-determination for the jews, not for the palestinians. so that seemed to be a noble goal that could sort of legitima legitimate britain's desire to get control of palestine. the cabinet resigns, and the british cabinet resigns, the cabinet is gone and who becomes prime minister but david lloyd george, and lloyd george was a very tough negotiator, and he decided that supporting zionist aspirations was a good way to thwart french ambitions in the middle east, and to silence woodrow wilson.
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so sponsoring zionism looked high-minded. he sold sykes "no political pledges to the arabs particularly in palestine." okay? so lloyd george bullies the french prime minister into giving up palestine, and also in giving up mosul. the reason for giving up mosul is that the british discovered, well the prime minister ran across a report by high admiral saying there was oil there, and britain had been dependent on the united states for about 80% of its oil. now if it could control some oil of its own, that would be very strategically convenient, so he bullies him into getting mosul.
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the french -- the marinits in lebanon lobby for independent lebanon and they want the inclusion of south lebanon and t in the cost because they experienced famine in world war i and wanted to diversify their crops so this would be a way to satisfy it. so the map changes. you have to add lebanon, you have to cut out that section in asia minor that france was hoping to get. you have to transfer the northern iraq/mosul, to iraq, rather than to syria, and you have british mandated palestine. as i said, the mandates were this new sort of unprecedented concept for new form of
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colonialism that sort of denies colonialism, sort of a contradiction in terms. so finally, april, 1920 allocated palestine to great britain as a mandate subject to the conclusion of a peace treaty with turkey which delayed things. the treat provided by for the establishment of the mandate system but its non-ratification dlat thi delayed things until the treaty of luzon was signed in 1923 that turkey relinquish it had territories so the mandates could formally be established. and what happened in the case of palestine is that britain incori incorporated the balfour declaration in the text of the mandate although promising to respect the rights of indigenous people, of the local people the
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idea was to establish a homeland for the jews in klein. this created anger among arabs. so just before the mandate was officially sign in july, 22, i believe, the colonial office, which was under churchill, came out with a white paper in which it explained that homeland for the jews does not mean a jewish state. now this is very important. and there was a difference of opinion between churchill and other members of the cabinet, including lloyd george and balfour who seemed to argue that what was intended was a jewish state and churchill was maintaining and publicly saying
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to the arabs, no, we're not talking about a state for the jews, we're talking about a homeland for the jews. so i'm running out of time. let me go on to the questions. did the establishment of these states with their bound reiss, with their population mixes somehow contribute to the difficulties we're having today? and i would like you to think about that as well because there's no definitive answer to this. several questions rise. one, did they lump the wrong ethnic groups together? for instance, in iraq you have
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shiites and sunnis and you have kurds so ethnically and in sectarian term this is may be a prescription for conflict. the thing to bear in mind is that sectarian differences by themselves do not produce sectarian conflict. there have to be interests at stake there has to be a strong correlation between one's ethnic identity and the group interests of the sects. when these differences emerge -- as happened in lebanon in the '70s and has happened in iraq, especially after 2003 -- this leads to conflict. bear in mind that in iraq as early at 1935 the shiites put up a mini rebellion and they got a group of lawyers to make a list of demands for themselves and
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what they were asking for was greater participation, more members of the shiites in the cabinet, in parliament, in the civil service. sort of like a civil rights movement. they're asking for inclusion, not exclusion. so if differences of interest among various sects come into play and if these are played on and manipulated by other powers by proxy, is this the fault of the agreement? i would argue no. putting it simply. the other thing is that for a long time in the middle east, say from the mid-40s at least to the '70s we didn't have conflicts between arab states,
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really, this is the period that was described as the arab cold war. there was lots of competition for states to get their way but it was not done through the use of arms or military power. . there was a regime in place, arab nationalism has its own rules and taboos that could not be violated and and were largely observed. it was after the fall, after the fading away of arab nationalism that actual military conflicts evolved among arab states. with minor qualifications. the other consideration is okay, if you don't have a regime in place like this that maintains the peace how can you substitute for that? and that means a turn to realist
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series and under realism one powerful tool is balance of power so you can create a balance of power among the states at play. for example, in the gulf there was a balance of power between three powers, one was iraq, then iran then saudi arabia. america's two wars with iraq, particularly the 2003 war, knocked out one of the players, iraq stopped being a player and became a playing field if you will so you could not get a balance between iran and saudi arabia under the circumstances so that stabilizing mechanism disappear disappeared. in other areas in terms of the arab-israeli conflict the '72 peace agreement between egypt
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and israel sort of took the weight of egypt off the arab side of the scales. you may argue whether this promoted or inhibited future conflicts because although the arabs could no long ergo to war, israel could dwrks as happened in 1982 in lebanon and with different conflicts so the question i invite you to consider is if you look at the situation today and if you look at the conflicts today, what is the reason for these and are they traceable back and i think it's possible to trace some things back but it's farfetched to blame the big part of it on that agreement. [ applause ]
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>> thank you for coming. i'm sorry my voice is a bit like a frog. if i was going bring a map for my talk today i might have brought a map of wisconsin and michigan. [ laughter ] because when we're talking about u.s. policy towards israel and palestine we suddenly have a lot of unknowns and many things that we do know. there's a lot of questions. but i think that while it's very hard to anticipate exactly what u.s. policy is going to look like for the next four years, not only because the person elected president -- who may be elected president by the electoral college has not told us, really, what his policies are, he has said a number of things that contradict each other so which ones we should rely on there's really no way to
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te tell. the one thing that i think is very important for all of us to who work on palestinian rights in the united states, our work for the next four years in certain ways may end up being easier, which i'll get to, but we have to keep in mind that that work does not exist in eist lags and that all of the work that we do for palestinian rights must be grounded with our recognition that our movement has obligations to defend those parts of our movement who are going to be at great risk -- muslim community, communities of color, african-americans, the disabled. lgbtq communities across the board, our friends, our allies in this movement are going to be under attack and we have to take up our work understanding that we have an obligation to defend
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those communities. certain things haven't changed, certain things will maybe not change, the fact that the u.s. is going to be giving $38 billion of our tax money directly to the israeli military over the next ten years. if that changes it will be higher, not lower or it may stay the same. now, we've heard a number of things from donald trump about what his policy in the middle east would look like. we've heard him say that settlements are not an obstacle to peace and that he may appoint jason greenblatt, who's currently his adviser on israel that's a possibility. he said he would dismantle the iran nuclear deal, something he can't do because it's not simply a u.s. deal, it involves a whole host of


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