tv Cornel West and Alan Dershowitz Mideast Debate CSPAN December 25, 2017 8:00pm-9:15pm EST
>> for free scram scripts visit us at q&a.org. q&a.anscripts visit us at board. -- qme.org. tonight on c-span, harvard professors debate the israel palestinian conflict. then, from great written, the clean's christmas message. after that, author henry olson on ronald reagan and conservatism. later, a discussion about american morality and public opinion on the news media. professors cornell west and alan dershowitz debate whether the boycott and divestment and sanctions movement will help bring about in and to the conflict. aims to end political
pressure on israel. the political center in dallas hosted this hour 10 -- hour and 10 minute event. [applause] good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here. it is my privilege to moderate this evening's event. if you housekeeping notes, you saw signs on the door when you came in. we are being recorded by c-span. be occasionally panning the audience. if there is anybody who does not want to be seen on c-span for whatever reason please go over to the con room, you can see and hear the entire program there. our contractual agreement with our guest requires that no one visual ofher audio or these debates. please respect that. please make sure your cell phones are silent.
the debate structured this evening will be as follows. eachl have an opening from of our individual guests. we will then have rebuttal for four minutes. each of them will then have the opportunity to engage one another in dialogue. we have cards for you in your program. if you have any chance, please. them because we always do want the audience to have the opportunity to participate. i would like for you all to start now and tear off the top of your slip and make your determination. with regards to your position on the resolution, which is: the movementnd sanctions will help bring about the resolution of the palestinian conflict. vote now, you'll have another
opportunity to vote after you have heard our participants. the winner, obviously we are all the winners tonight being enlightened by these two intellectual giants of our time here at winner of the debate determined by loose ways the most votes. the proponent for the .roposition is dr. cornell west he is a professor of the practice of public philosophy at harvard university. he holds the title as professor in america at princeton university. he has taught everywhere you would want to learn. he has taught at union yalelogical seminary the university, a harvard and the university of paris. he received his ma and phd in philosophy from princeton.
he graduated from harvard college magna cum laude in three years. he is in extensive author. his seminal book, one of the greatest books i have ever written -- i have ever read, excuse me. [laughter] have a privileged to copy at home and it is race matters. he lectures regularly and a vast variety of suspects -- subjects. we are delighted to have the doctor here with us. we also have professor alan born in brooklyn, new york. the preeminent civil rights loyal -- lawyer of our time. the professor of law at harvard law school. in addition to numerous books, he has written one recently and he would like all of you to read called "trumped up:
how political is asian of differences in dangers our democracy." gentlemen, please, a warm welcome for our guests today. [applause] eric: it will be my job to keep time, i will do so carefully. when you hear the trip it will be time for you to finish, not your thought, but your sentenced. [laughter] eric: then to yield the microphone. the boycott into investment of sanctions movement will help bring about the resolution of the israeli/palestinian conflict, the proponent for eight minutes will be dr. west. dr. west: i am blessed and honored to be here. i want to salute my brother
alland for he has created historically unprecedented salute to the moral dimension of the u.s. republic. why is that important? it is important precisely because the ever graph of david -- the first prime minister 1949,of israel, march june, 1963. he said the state of israel proves itself not by its material wealth, not by its military might or it's technical achievement, but by its moral character and human values. one of the great contributions that we have seen when our precious jewish brothers and sisters dealing with byescribable evil generated hitler's and others jumped out inthe burning buildings europe and landed in the middle east where there were both jews and arabs.
some of those arabs later called themselves the palestinians. be to say letould us coexist. or they go with others saying, let us dominate? very much like the founding of the united states and canada and new zealand and australia. all of them were democratic visions, but also settlers societies concerned with upanding and ending dominating and subordinating people who were already there. so it is with this very, very fragile and precious experiment called the state of israel. so that on the one hand, -- but on the one hand, how do we avoid any ugly anti-jewish prejudice contempt, hatred, how do we stay
in contact with the humanity of our arab brothers and sisters ? my question to you is, do we that our response to the occupation and colonization, that the bds movement is concerned about, if it was in occupation of our jewish brothers and sisters, would we have the same response as opposed to the is really of palestinian brothers and sisters? what i love about this place is not just the words of -- and but i saw arson, picture of martin luther king jr. on the wall that brother harlan put there. his concern is what? has a palestinian baby precisely the same significance israeli baby.n
just like a white baby, brown baby, yellow baby, whatever. what national identity, no matter what sexual orientation, no matter what skin pigmentation, the moral and the spiritual challenge. is in no ways bds perfect having its own internal tensions, variety of different voices, the reason why i joined that movement is not because i don't have criticisms of the moment, of course i do, my brother omar knows that, he lives in ramallah. it is the last nonviolent effort to try to ensure that the moral valueser and the human of a settler colonial enterprise that has involved itself in expansion and escape should -- and leading towards
a full-fledged apartheid. not because israel is in any way to be compared with the south african apartheid regime in all of its form. -- in israel,ians much less apartheid. those precious brothers and sisters in the west bank, in gaza, bishop tutu says it is worse than apartheid. that is a moral issue. brother alan and i will go back many and years -- go back many years is kind enough to let me lecture his last. we had good times together at harvard law. we shall continue to have good times even though we have deep disagreements on this issue. that is precisely what this temple of learning is all about. most importantly it has to do the the future of not just middle east, but also the future
of the united states, given our intimate relations with the state of israel. character,f moral what kind of human valleys -- values are we willing to promote, are we going to forget? the very ugly realities in gaza and west bank. are we to forget the second-class citizenship of palestinians inside the state of israel, and are we to forget almost half man refugees. israel,bor outside of and outside of those occupied territories. it is very difficult in the united states to have a candid, robust, honest conversation about our relation to israel, and about the complexity of our precious jewish brothers and sisters in israel and our precious palestinian brothers
and sisters under those occupied territories. it is a new day. one of the great developments taking place is especially among the young jewish brothers and sisters in the united states who have been critical of their elders. us the you have not told truth about 1948. you did not tell us about the 750,000 who were pushed out. you did not tell us about the killing of the villages. you did not tell us about rabbi abraham who shed tears at the jewish seminary when he heard onut the attack on error -- innocent arab people, women and children. wecome from a people, jewish people of a mess and isaiah. i speak as a christian. i have been in love with a palestinian jew named jesus for 54 years and intend to be faithful until death. the claim was what? theyou willing to treat
orphan, the widow, the fatherless, the motherless, the poor, the black, the white, the red, the jews in the soviet union, the jews in the arab country and the palestinians under is really occupation in the same way? do we have moral caliber, do we have, as the symbol acknowledges, fortitude? what is fortitude in the classical decision? fusion. gangsters can be courageous, they still have gangster causes. soldiershose nazi were a courageous but they are still thugs and gangsters. when you have greatness of character, that is what we are talking about, that is what this debate is about. one minute, appreciate that. it will be a long minute. [laughter] dr. west: i am just kidding. you to aasked
knowledge that we are approaching a new day, a new framework and a new paradigm in understanding the israeli/palestinian challenge. for me, the most important issue will be, do we have this a craddick fortitude? the courage to question ourselves? some ofinto question the mendacious interpretations? jungle.illage in the no, no not at all. in the jungle where human beings had their own rich civilizations, just like when we arrived in the states and acted as if there was just awful's and indians but no people. a lie. where is our commitment to the truth, and the condition of is always, as brother martin luther king jr. reminded us, the condition of truth is
always to allow suffering to race, class, gender and sexual orientation. again, i want to think my dear brother harlan for bringing me back. i want to thank brother alan for allowing us to take off and engage in this intellectual struggle together as we smile and shed tears. we are both concerned about the suffering on both sides of this very, very delicate and ugly divide. [applause] dr. dershowitz: that was a very stirring and effective presentation. i am so glad to be heard today. it is very hard to have a serious conversation about the israel/palestine conflict. i have been prevented from doing so at several universities by students who have tried to stop any kind of pro-israel speakers. a twolf have long favored
state solution, i am not a particular fan of israel's settlement of policies, but the debate today is whether or not bds, boycotting only israel and sanction willor help bring about peace. my position is it will hurt the peace process. i have to correct a few facts that my friend laid out. he called israel a colonial settler state. well, to be a colonial country, you have to be working on someone's behalf. came to palestine to join their brothers and sisters who had been there for 3000 years, came from russia. were they there on behalf of russia? that isas engaged in -- why they left. were they there on behalf of great britain? they were fighting against great britain. with a there on behalf of
poland? of course not. the word colonial does not fit an indigenous movement that started with people who lived in countries around the world, but who had relatives and coreligionists living in spot. populationid a survey in 1840, they found a majority of residents in jerusalem arduous residence who live there for centuries -- jerusalem were jewish residents who live there for centuries and centuries. the holocaust was a bedded, tragically, by some of the leaders of the palestinian movement. they saying jerusalem collaborated with hitler's and was named as a war criminal. he tried to prevent jews from escaping the ovens and coming to what was then palestine. he was named as a war criminal. after the war he went to egypt where he and other former nazis
helped to create the moment to try to destroy israel. this has a history. i think many people around the rooftop thought that the best resolution would to be two states for two people. a jewish state, a nationstate and awish people, nationstate for arab residents of palestine. in 1937, the commission proposed int and the jewish people palestine agreed and accepted it. the palestinians rejected it. the head of the palestinian said, there is no such thing as a palestinian people, we are just part of the greater arab nation. we do not want a state, we just want their not to be a jewish state. and and and desktop 1937. in 1948 when the united nations divided the mandate of palestine the jewish area had a majority of jews sought was not a colonialist are
settler stream. those were allocated were jews in the majority allocated to the or arrows. israel is accepted it, the palestinians joined by every other arab nation engaged in a genocidal war. there were refugees on both sides. approximately 750,000 jews were first -- forced out of countries they lived in for 3000 years. and babylon called iraq, inversion, called iran, in a forpo where jews have lived thousands of years. there was an exchange of population. 700 50,000 jews left and a move to israel where they were immediately accepted and became part of the population. approximately the same number of palestinians left for they were not. there were put in refugee camps and made to have festering hatred. once again,aelis,
offered a two state solution. they offered it in 1967 after they won a defensive war. they said land for peace and the palestinian and arab countries went there too. negotiation, no peace, no recognition. in 2000 and 2001, president clinton clinton -- president clinton offer the palestinians 100% of the gaza, capital in 4000 people were killed. in 2005, the prime minister of israel abandon the entire gaza and took out all the settlers and took all the occupation. not a single is really was left. what happened? gaza was used as a launching pad for rockets aimed at is really schoolchildren on the way to school. in 2008, the prime minister offered the palestinians a better deal. even more land in the western bank.
the palestinians did not accept that deal. the idea of boycotting israel and casting all of the blame on israel really diss incentivizes the palestinians from making the kind of negotiated compromises that both israel and the palestinians while have to make. why should the palestinians give up their right of return, or their claim to all of israel if they are going to win it by the bds movement. the leader of the bds movement is not wanted to state solution. only an arabo be muslim state. he wants only one state. he said there is no room for a nationstate for the jewish people. bds is not directed at the occupation alone, except if you define the occupation to include tel aviv, and all the cities in israel. movement makes it much, much harder to make
peace. it is not really a moment. when you think of a moment, it is something that is universal. the feminist movement, the gay rights movement, the civil rights movement. is a tactic. it is designed only against israel. it does not apply to all the other countries in the world, which have horrible human rights movements and histories. in fact, it finds its origin in the nazi boycott of jewish in the 1930's and the arab boycott and 1930 eight, which apply to all jews, then it started -- interestingly enough, the israel bds started as was starting as a state. it has nothing to do with occupation. it really took full force as israel was abandoning gaza. when israel does good thing and offers the palestinians a state. when it leaves the gaza, the responses to up the ante and had
even more boycotts and demonstrations against israel. man planet outll of my brother's good faith. i think he really thinks that ds moment is about the occupation. it is not. it is about them existing as the nationstate of the people. the zionism is a national liberation movement of the jewish people. there are 40 something muslim states. the palestinian state, which i hope is established, would be a muslim state under sharia law. israel does not have a official state religion. the jewish nature of the state is naturalistic. christianity, islam is completely equal under is really law. i would like to see the occupation end. somehoping there will be
movement towards the ending. i believe very strongly that the bds movement is a strong barrier to peace. a strong barrier to palestinian negotiation. i hope you will vote to reject and accept thet resolution that will bring about a negotiated two state solution with an and to the occupation and an and to the settlements, two states for two people. thank you. [applause] eric: dr. west do have four minutes to rebuttal. dr. west: i want to respond to my dear brother first on an analytical level. with a settler colonial state created by black people who look like me, went there and subordinated indigenous people and name the capital after james monroe.
they did not do that on behalf of anybody. they did that on behalf of themselves because they, like jews in europe, were being trashed, demeaned and devalued. they exited and tried to find a place. the land that they landed on had some other people there. i would reject my dear brothers claim that every settlor /colonial enterprise is something on the half of another empire. it is true and our beloved puritans arrived. they were persecuted, but it is also true that there were extensors of the british empire and we needed thomas jefferson engage in to revolutionary resistance against that kind of imperial domination. theerms of the claim that targeting of israel, there is no that there are at least 160 countries that are more
vicious than the state of israel. there is no doubt about that. when we engaged in a boycott of south africa, and i was proud to be a part of that, to stand with , to standlson mandela with them we did not need to target every other repressive regime. we targeted south africa because it was wrong. we understood. of course they have democratic practices in south africa, it was for vanilla brothers and sisters only. this notion that somehow those movement ought to be concerned about the vicious treatment of kurds and turkey, that is wrong. concerned about kashmir under indian occupation, concerned about tibet under chinese occupation, we need to take stances on each and every one of those, no doubt. inctually support boycotts
places. just recently we had boycotts and sanctions against faith that were mistreating our gays, lesbians and transferable citizens. we do not need to target every state. one particular states are doing such actions. enterprisescolonial are always on the half of somebody else. it is quite possible to maintain our moral and spiritual integrity as still tied to a particular state. i think for the united states, it and this is a point that brother johnson makes with quite power, that there is the moral character of the state of israel can be affected by courageous and loving american citizens. not just our precious jewish
citizens in america, all american citizens, given the $3 billion or more that go directly to aid for israel. stake,ave something at morally, spiritually, as well as financially. that is not the case. 30 seconds. that is not the case for other states at all. i would want you to think very seriously about the words of my dear brother alan dershowitz. if i could feel the moral passion that he has for the plight of the jewish people that were there for 2000 years under levels of tax and persecution. there are many ways unprecedented that it is thrilled. it is possible to stay in contact with those realities and still support the last nonviolent attempt to ensure that palestinians, that arabs are treated with tremendous
dignity. eric: thank you, that is your time. [applause] dr. dershowitz: so we have a major point of agreement, that there are least 160 countries in the world with human right records far more worse than israel. the question arises, why would it support a moment, or a that singles out only a nationstate of the jewish people? a nationstate of people who have always been singled out to special persecution and special attacks. what message does it send when you acknowledge that there are 160 violators of human rights and you are going after only one country, and that country happened to be the nationstate of the jewish people, which is often the palestinian state on five different stages. let me tell you a story. a story that i think cornell and
i will agree with. he did not like blacks, jews, gays, catholics. one day he issued a proclamation saying we have to cut down the number of jews because jews cheat. the great judge wrote him a to -- and said jews cheat non-jews cheat too. he said you are changing the subject now, we are talking only about jews. you cannot top only about jews when you are dealing with human rights violations, and you cannot talk only about the nationstate of the jewish people. if we were debating a different subject, a real bds movement, which is listed every country in the world, worst human rights record and least victims to seek address in the courts or in the media, israel would be about 198 on a list of 212 countries. israel has a far better human
rights record than any country in the middle east, any country in asia and almost in any country in the world. in fact, i challenge -- i want to give them time to the cabal it -- i challenge him to name any country in the world in history faced with threats similar to those faced by israel , external and internal that has had a better record of human rights, a higher compliance with the rule of law and more concerned with the rights of who are being used as human shields by people on the other side. ofonel richard is the head native forces. he said no country in the world takes more concerned to protect civilian enemies, and has fewer civilian casualties in proportion to the number of terrorist. s. when you target one of the best countries in the world for the worst of sanctions, what you are doing is not only applying a double standard, but you are
saying to be other countries in the world, we do not care about you. we will focus on israel so that you can have the genocide in rwanda, cambodia because the world is not focused on those countries. you cannot get today a demonstration on a campus against syria. you cannot get a demonstration against the use of poison gas against every demonstration is against the nationstate of the jewish people. there is a word for that. when you single out only the nationstate of the jewish people for a sanction, there is a word for that and is called anti-semitism. [applause] eric: we will now have an opportunity for each of you to cross examine the other. dr. west, i will invite you to start with a distinct question that will be followed by the commenced release answer.
you may follow up with questions through your four minutes. would you take the microphone, please? dr. west: absolutely. you agreeother alan that anytime we see crime in any country about a be resisted, is that right? dr. dershowitz: yes. dr. west: so when united states was founded it had a magnificent record on human rights except when it came to black people. dr. dershowitz: and indians. were crimesose against humanity. i consider is really occupation a crime against humanity. comparison. my question is this. do you think that you somehow are providing a rationalization for a crime against humanity by accenting other crimes in other places and other countries in the same way the abolitionists were told, how come you are
targeting the united states, it is a great beacon of liberty, it is the great city on the hill. you treat black people like they got roaches. you treat indigenous people like they do not exist. why not talk about other nations? dr. dershowitz: there is one of enormous dispositive disparate. -- difference. is really offered to an occupation of four separate occasions. the palestinian leadership has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. a have had so many opportunities. i represented nelson mandela. was nelson mandela ever offered an opportunity to end apartheid? obviously -- heat not until he obviously got out of prison. the palestinians over and over again have been offered to states for two people. and of the occupation, and of the settlement, that is not a crime against humanity when there is an opportunity to end it.
militaryn israel has a operation is because it saw what happened in gaza. when and in the military operation in gaza, and the response was the children are stay wrote. where president obama went and said, if my children were exposed -- exposed to rockets, i would hope that i could do everything in my power to stop that and i hope and expect israel will do everything to stop that. noti think that israel is committing crimes against humanity, it is defending itself and protecting itself. and, by focusing only on israel, and giving a pass to all of the crimes that are committed against humanity essentially we are facilitating those crimes. [applause] eric: follow-up question. dr. west: i think you wedding knowledge that the particular rejected byere palestinian leadership had little to do with the full scale ending of occupational colonization. why, because the settlements continued anyway.
1980's,o back to the half-million a precious is really's engaged in settlements on the land of somebody else. a lot of that has to do with because the united states turned its back. had a lot to do with aipac. it had a lot to do with organized conservative jewish brothers and sisters bringing tremendous pressure to bear on the u.s. government. the settlement did not stop, even given the offer. we talk about the rejectionism of the palestinian leadership -- you know i am a radical democrat deep. i will not offer authoritarian leadership. when it comes to technology the facts you cannot say that israel has ever offered palestinians full scale ending of occupation without military control of the hair, without control of what goes in and out of those borders. you do not have a state or a palestinian state if you have no
control over your air and over what comes in and out of your borders. thatn mandela rejected option of the apartheid deletes. in that sense, we have deep factual disagreements. eric: post a question. dr. west: what do you think about that? [laughter] dr. dershowitz: let me tell you what i think about it. um, i will do name dropping. a dinner recently with a president who i am a friend of and he liked me and i like him. we have a very good relationship. obviously the discussion was how to come up with a compromise resolution. he acknowledged, in front of me and other people and said it publicly that of course for the first two years palestinians have to be a demilitarized state because right now there are so many terrorist groups.
gaza,ing the only within but the west bank as well. you cannot immediately give a palestinian state an air force, a navy, total control overtakes time. when the united states defeated the germans on the japanese at the end of world war ii, the germans and japanese were not allowed to have an army. there were allowed at the end of first world war, that was a great lesson after the versailles tree. france and england allowed germany to rearm. by 1935 germany was the most powerful nation in the history of the world up to that point. we saw what they did with that power. so, compromises are necessary. a peacefulre to be resolution, and i work hard with a boss to try to bring about that peaceful resolution, if there were to be a peaceful resolution there would be agreements. there would be land swaps so that israel would maintain control over cities like --
which are right on the outskirts of jerusalem. in exchange for that, they would give acre for acre land in what which is the triangle, predominately arab in population. that would be a win-win for everybody. you need negotiations. you need compromise. you need to sit down and not for an and extort, which is what the bds tactic does. you certainly do not need having a system that simply singles out one country of the universal combination. condemnation. if you look at the you and today, there is one place in the world that is the focus of you and resolutions. that is israel. most recently the u.n. voted that the western wall was illegally occupied territory. at the hebrew university, the jewish quarter, were jews have lived continuously since 3000
years ago are illegally occupied territory. we simply have to have a single standard of human rights, a single standard of morality. you cannot have a double against aparticularly nation state of the jewish people. you mention the united states does help israel and israel helps the united states. they make exchanges. that would never justify why somebody from great britain movement,ort the bds why somebody from france would. those countries do not support israel. movement transcends america and applies all through europe and applies the application of a double standard to israel. that is very wrong and will never be the basis for a peaceful resolution. i am going to invite you now to make a couple of inquire weeks -- inquiries to dr. west. i will yield my time to you gentlemen. [laughter] i want towitz: no, hear your question i love
answering questions by judges. ]audience ahhh face theowitz: can you country -- rockets from gaza, terror tunnels, the use of human shields, 100,000 rockets aimed at israel, a nuclear power in .ran the president of iran said if we develop a nuclear bomb and bomb tel aviv, that is the end of the jewish state. even if they bomb tehran and killed 20 million muslims that will have impact on iran. it will be a trade-off. when you are facing those threats comment name a country in the world that has had a the rule oftment to the, higher concern for enemy, better record a of human rights. i do not defend israel on everything it does. b-onl gets it the minus --
human rights. name a country faced with threats to have a better record. dr. west: i think one of the lowest moments in the history of over 500try was when palestinian babies were killed and not one major voice of elected officials spoke on the half of the suffering of those families. dr. dershowitz: i did. dr. west: i did not hear it, brother. i was big enough elected officials. i don't know what you have been elected to lately, but that is good. i wish you were stronger. my voice was strong to, i am not elected in that sense. dr. dershowitz: i complain not only about the is really complaints, but the use of the palestinians and using children as human shields. dr. west: but the thing is,
israel has the sixth biggest military, it is a major military power with nuclear arms. dr. dershowitz: because it needs it. argue if it can needs it or not, the question is, it has that kind of status and power. to bring it to bear on those abies and we cannot muster major wave of righteous indignation. dr. dershowitz: deepika killed babies deliberately? dr. west: they knew babies were being killed in a continued doing it. the last 14 years 2000 palestinian -- two palestinian children have been killed every week. dr. dershowitz: what would you do if you are the head of the israeli government and rockets were being built at your school's? there are three options. one, you let the rockets continue. destroy the to rockets from the air. 3com you have an invasion. what would you do if you were the head of the government and the rockets were being sent in
killing your children and aimed at your schools and terrorist attacks were being directed at cafeterias in schools, pizza parlors and other places? you don't talk about the israeli children. civilians,rgeted as which israel never targeted civilian. dr. west: they may not target, but they sure end up killing a lot of them. dr. dershowitz: fewer than the united states, fewer than great britain. a debate we can have on that. barack obama would be my major object of criticism. barak had over 500 drone strikes. a waralled george bush criminal, they never called obama did. i did, but nobody else did. i try to be morally consistent. we were killing innocent people to. i'm concerned about people in tel aviv, jewish people in tel aviv.
if i was mason yahoo! i would be suicidal. [laughter] dr. dershowitz: that is not an option. thatest: if i can reach point and still build on martin luther king jr. i would engage in a whole different way of conceiving of a process that we would be concerned with the decolonization. we would be concerned with ending occupation. we would be concerned with ensuring that we want palestinian brothers and sisters to note that we do care and we better quit telling innocent folks. dr. dershowitz: what would you do in the meantime, while the process was going on and rockets were hitting school buses and hospitals and cafeterias? andd you simply sit back take gandhi stance? we will die, or would you fight back? and if you fall back, how would you do it when the terrorists use children as human shields? i put a great cartoon on the cover of one of my books. it had an israeli soldier standing in front of a they be
carriage, protecting the baby carriage with his life, then it had a palestinian terrorist to any behind the baby carriage, allowing the baby carriage to protect his life. how do you respond to that? dr. west: that was not the case for over 500,000 babies. not at all. let's look at it this way. we know the history of jewish against the british. there is variety of different forms of resistance of all people against forms of oppression. aboutare concerned calling into questions are very conditions under which these people come to such desperate conclusions, that is where we have to get when it comes to the piece prospect. you cannot get partitioning slices of x and y and not come to terms with the fundamental roots of it. when you ask me what i would do that is mason yahoo!, like asking what i would do a five donald trump. i'm not them, i am my mom's
child. i'm concerned with the moral and spiritual dimensions of whatever life, nation, civilization that i am a part of. dr. dershowitz: i do not accept that. dershowitz professor questions. dr. dershowitz: let's take it on your terms. you want to end the so-called settler regime. dr. west: it is not so-called, it is a fact. dr. dershowitz: how would you do it, would you make israel commit politicized, give up its status as a nationstate. the only nation state of the jewish people and create yet another arab/muslim state under sharia law? that was the palestinian constitution. said sharia law will dominate in -- palestine.
tell me what you would do to bring about a peaceful resolution that, so far, nobody else has thought of? i would say that i'm not god, i am not messiah, i have one voice, one life to live . to 1948,ay, going back let's first told the truth about how israel as a state came into existence. the sensitivity of coming out of uganda, noting at going there, looking at the middle east, going there and having to come to terms with all of these people already there. the trajectory of the voices. dr. dershowitz: i don't get it, tell me what you would do. dr. west: i tell you good place to start is here. ton the commentary magazine may 1, 1940 eight when she wrote her powerful essay to save the
jewish homeland. she said if israel does not watch out, it is going to lose its moral and spiritual character. he was a powerful speaker who is right about something and wrong about public. what she did with her personal life. put her joeg to mcknight, she is my sister. -- i am not going to put my sister down like that. dr. dershowitz: i want to hear also. i will talk about kurt shoots time that way. eric: let me turn your question. dr. west: i got a be true to clifton and irene. eric: let me turn the question back to professor dershowitz.
asuming that there is continued reject -- rejection by the palestinians of the two-state -- two state solution and you reject the notion of the boycott, what is the systemic advocatehat you would would lead to the revolution of the israeli? name dropping. i was with the prime minister a month before he had his stroke, which led to his death. at that point he was advocating and i supported it. unilateral withdraw by israel. no control there was over the entry exhibit until the rocket started. it could've been on the mediterranean if they had accepted european offers to build institutions and build schools.
instead they took all the money and build tunnels and rockets. unilaterally to leave the west bank, at least major portions of the west bank. that is no longer feasible in light of what happened in gaza. last thing the palestinians want is for israel simply to would take over from the palestinian authority the way they took over from gaza. it is very, very complicated. it requires a very detailed it requireseace assistance of the united states the airrshall plan from countries, the emirates on the gulf states to build palestine .nto west germany when i send my students to israel i send them to ramallah because it is a vehicle city without a single israeli soldier or policeman. what could be done if
there were a will to have a two state solution. i am part of an investment fund that invests money only in startups that have palestinian and is really investors. it is headquartered in ramallah. there are things going on that are wonderful. the life of the typical palestinian in ramallah is excellent. palestinian in gaza is horrible, but it is a self-inflicted wound. and used it money for rockets and rocket tunnels. the tunnel. could you imagine living one hundred yards away and having your school 100 yards away from a terror tunnel with 25 terrorist coming up in the middle of the night and killed the students of the school. that is what israel has to cope with. calm -- complicated than my brother suggests. einstein will not solve this problem. none of this brilliant irritations will solve these problems. problems will be solved by
and amised negotiations will to peace. palestinians could've had a stay in 1937, 1948 and 1968. two thousand 1, 2005, 2008 they said no. it is time for the palestinians to -- you talked about my mother so i will end with my mother's favorite story. [laughter] mother'sowitz: my favorite story was in all jewish man who is 79 years old. every day until his 80th day he prayed to god and set i have made all my life. -- before he turned 80 a want to win the new york lottery. he prays any praise any praised and on his 80th birthday it does not happen. he turns to god and said god, why, i tried so hard, i prayed all the time. a voice from heaven says, help me out a little, buy a ticket. [laughter] the palestinian leadership has not bought a ticket. they have not done what they
need to do to get a state they have to compromise. tactic disincentive eyes is them from compromising. that is why am strongly opposed to it [applause] -- to it. [applause] eric: let me pose the same question to dr. west, assuming influx, aut a huge huge emphasis on the boycott of israel, i would suggest also a secondary boycott. assuming that as not succeeded, and is not going to succeed, what should the next that the? be?tep dr. west: i think a lot of the palestinians have not bought a ticket because they think the palestinian is owned by the government. it is very different in the new york lottery. a lot of corruption in new york but that lottery is fairness.
that has not been the case. dr. dershowitz: whitey bulger when the boston lottery. [laughter] eric: we have all these injections here, brother. dr. west: i think the crucial thing is, is that this was -- in 20 there was a poll taken among jewish high school students in israel and 60% said they did not believe their fellow arabs in israel had the right to vote. that is a right-wing sensibility a host of others that is reinforcing ugly forms of tribalism. the effect opposite is the case in the united states. jewish brothers and sisters saying their concern about the dimensions of israel. getting not just divisions and separation, you are getting in and delays --
escalating reactionary tribalism that has taken over more and more in the state of israel, which means what? if you are concerned about peace, it is not going to come within israel, just like in south africa. if you are concerned about peace it would not come within south africa. there has to be international forces. i agree with my dear brother allen. the international forces must be that do have a very intense sensitivity in terms of anti-, anti-jewish hatred, but the anti-semitism must never be an excuse to rationalize jewish domination of the jews, jewish , jewishization intellectuals. trump has been called an anti-semitic. he is not anti-semitic, he just disagrees with alan. dr. dershowitz: he was my camp
counselor in 1948. dr. west: you just had a disagreement. you have to keep track of the anti-semitic elements, but you cannot use that as a way of trumping. i cannot use that anymore. [laughter] dr. west: for a way of closing dialogue. that is a very delicate tightrope to watch. if your concern about the legacy of amos and isaiah and martin luther king and dorothy day, and edward, id'd -- and arab.ty card, i am an if we are really concerned about that, we will have to take knowledge it is a new day. i believe that my dear brother within thell caught old framework. that framework is coming to an end. that is one in which we hope we
have a love affair with the jewish people, a love affair with the palestinian people and fundamentally believe that both people, myself as a christian made in the image of god to serve as much attention and civic -- and sensitivity in their plight. eric: we have got a little bit longer than i planned. my thought and interaction between these two titans was worth not having more audience participation. we have time now for two closing arguments and they will be six minutes a piece. dr. west, the floor is yours. dr. west: i'm willing to give my time to the audience, i am a democrat. i'll give my time to these magnificent and intelligent folk. i come from the people that say lift every voice. is after the, alan.
is that all right, judge? eric: the first question, as long as the landgrab continues throughout settlements, will bds have any effect whatsoever? dr. west: i think, indeed. one of the reasons why bds has been able to escalate around the it haso the degree that is that the deeply right-wing government in israel reinforces their power because of their refusal to end its settlements. the u.s.rue for government, barack obama had to wrestle with this in so many ways. i do believe it will escalate. the question will be ensuring more than spiritual character. are twohowitz: there reasons why it has moved to the right.
one, it is when he turned on the peace offer, it really damage the peace movement in israel. it ended up hurting palestinians. bill clinton called it a crime. arabiance of saudi called it a crime against the palestinian the other thing that moved israel slightly the left was bring one million people from the former soviet union. when you bring one million people who have suffered under communism, don't expect them to become radical leftists overnight. did will be conservative. that is chip -- they will be conservative. that is changing. their children are becoming much more progressive and willing to make chances for peace. i agree with you. i think we need movement on both sides, and i am part of that. i fight very hard to push them towards resolution. right now, israel is put on the
table -- has put on the table for many years these kinds of peace offers with land swaps that would end the settlements and allow palestinians to have enormous amounts of land in what is called -- that is the basis for a two state solution. do we agree that a two state solution is the right result? >> but the wonderful question. i think this is a situation that's that's a wonderful question. -- that's a wonderful question. i do not believe in any state think it is any religion or race or group and advantage. i am committed as a christian to a secular society and secular state where there's writes across the board -- there's equal rights across the board. --kawai start with israel but why start with israel?
>> and the supreme court of israel has challenged to that, and now any marriage that is valid anywhere in the world is now valid. >> i'm talking about within israel. i am not going to cyprus and poland. init made a terrible mistake 1948 by handing over to many of the personal functions. we who are secular jews are fighting hard against that. but frankly, that is nobody's business but the israelis and the jews. we are fighting our own battle there. it is much worse in the palestinian authority. you get killed if you marry somebody who is a non-muslim. in israel you just have to go to cyprus, come back, and your marriage is valid and it is a pain in the neck. but you don't get murdered. you don't get thrown off a roof. you become a general of the army, a member of the supreme court. gay rights in israel is completely validated, and yet we
have this concept where people argue -- >> that's my question about the one state solution that was asked. we don't want to go on and on -- >> you want to end the nationstate of the jewish people? >> no, i said in principle i spoke secular states in this particular instance. >> you're a man of principle. >> if i am -- yes i am. i don't believe in any naive child is translation from prince will to practice. i also -- principle to practice. the options now are a two state solution, but a two state solution that has nothing to do with those small partitions. a two state solution in which there is full freedom for both peoples and both peoples respecting the rights and liberties of those. but if in fact, given the principles of it, i am highly
suspicious of any state that aeps in one way or direction group. >> like all arab states. >> absolutely. >> let's start with them. >> but you are rationalizing again. don't rationalize. >> go to minneapolis. they allow you to get married in minneapolis then come back to dallas and live on the down low. >> we are talking about the principle across the board. >> we will now have our closing arguments. dr. west, if you will start coming will have four minutes. >> one thing is i am so glad my dear brother allen was able to move on the terrain of the moral lawyer, as a brilliant , he likes to keep it
legalistic. and if you keep it legalistic you can talk about the peace process and leadership, but when he elevates himself as we attempted to do today to the moral terrain -- and that is very important because you know there's been a whole host of laws in this country and anywhere else around the world that were as immoral as could be. slavery was legal. jim crow was legal. a whole lot of laws need to be called into question. the fact we could engage at this moral level is very important. so which ever way you vote, i simply want to say that i am so glad that we have been allowed to have this public dialogue, and c-span can hear it all around the country in the world, to let them know that there's voices in the midst of this country that have a moral concern with palestinians, a moral concern with israelis, both jewish and palestinians, but also the africans and asians
in israel, so at least we are making some effort to keep alive the best of the voices that you see on these walls. they were folk who were courageous. they weren't scared when various institutions tried to bring pressure to bear. they stood based on something grander than themselves. that is one way of paying tribute to them. >> thank you very much. thank you. [applause] my opposition is moral, practical, and legal. a, it is completely illegal. refusing to sell a product or buy a product from israel is no different than a baker who won't sell a cake to a gay couple who wants to get married or a bigot who won't rent an apartment to an african-american. there is no difference tween boycotting -- and by the way, the tactic doesn't only apply to israelis.
it applies to me. just yesterday i was invited to roger waters, a strong supporter of the bds, and he backed out. we were both invited to debate at the oxford union. they won't debate me because i am age you who support israel -- who support israel, and i suffer therefore from the boycott movement. who suffers? because they won't be able to contribute what they have conjured to the world today in terms of curing diseases, to be able to contribute to high technology the way they have. no country in 70 years has contributed more to the world per capita than israel has done, and the boycott movement would end all that.
it would end efforts of bringing palestinian children together in with the israeli children. it is so deeply immoral, so deeply illegal, and most of all it will destroy any realistic effort at peace. a want to quote, friedman of "the new york times," who is very strongly critical of israel. he says "criticizing israel is not anti-semitic, and saying so is vile." i agree with that. it is important to criticize every country. but singling out israel, he says, "for international sanctions out of party with any other country in the middle east is anti-semitic, and not saying so is dishonest. just because there are anti-semites who blame israel for everything that is wrong does not mean that everything israel does is right." we must continue to have a new wants to debate. bds is not nuanced. it is a sledgehammer.
it punishes israelis who work, israeli leftists who bring about peace. it is collective punishment. it brands all israel he's and all jews like me as pariahs subject to discrimination. it is wrong morally, and i am glad we had elevated this debate to a moral level because i rest my case on a moral opposition to an immoral tactic. thank you. [applause] >> i think i speak for all of us when i thank you both for an enlightened and magnificent discussion of a very complex issue. ladies and gentlemen, it is now your time. we will hear your voice. you have an opportunity to vote one more time. pass your ballots to the end and we will tally the ballots and
determine who swayed more. i would like another round of applause. [applause] and also our benefactor. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
announcer: all this week, "washington journal" is focusing publishers of key books feature drop the year. and coming up tuesday morning, "republican like me, how i left of the liberal bubble and learned to love the right." and wednesday, "policing the black man." thursday, cliff stearns with his book "life in the marble palace, in praise of folly." on friday, "digital world war, islamists, extremists, and the fight for cyber supremacy." no man's land,"
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