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tv   PLO Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat on Middle East Peace  CSPAN  December 21, 2015 4:14pm-5:25pm EST

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other, why not allow jews to live as palestinians? regarding our withdrawal from the gaza state, 12 territories without jews. ethnic cleansing? do you know the 7700 palestinian families enjoyed employment of that zone. so we can benefit on each other. if we are talking about peace, coexist ans, living side by side, the only way is to get rid of the jews in the area, so we should find a way to live together and create a model in which, yes, they will enjoy the political independence, better
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economy, law and order, security, better governance, and when this is the case we can talk even about territory. >> mr. defense minister, we all have a long day tomorrow and we should bring this to a close. i just want to tell you one more way in which you are a powerful person. my oldest daughter was due to deliver my first grandchild today and realizing that you were here, she decided to wait. so thank you very much. >> thank you, david. thank you. [ applause ] >> all persons having business before the honorable, the supreme court of the united states are admonished to give their attention. tonight on c-span's landmark
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cases, we'll look at the case on one of the most divisive issues to come before the supreme court. abortion. >> roe v. wade was decided in january 1973. it is a case that is controversial, that is constantly under scrutiny, and there is a question, i suppose, whether it ever will cease to be under scrutiny. >> wanting to terminate an unwanted pregnancy but unable to because of a texas state law banning abortion, unmarried dallas carnesecca val worker normal mccorny agreed to be the plaintiff in that case that challenged that law. the lawsuit listed her as jane roe and the defendant was dallas county district attorney henry
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wade. while she had the baby and put it up for adoption, her case made it all the way to the supreme court. >> jane roe, the pregnant woman, had gone to several dallas physicians seeking an abortion but had been refused care because of texas law. she filed suit on behalf of herself and all those women who have in the past, at that present time, or in the future would seek termination of a pregnancy. >> we'll discuss the court's decision in roe v. wade, its impact then and now, with our guest clark forsythe, senior counsel with americans yunited for life, the inside story of roe v. wade. and melissa murray, professor at the university of california law school and sonia sotomayor on c-span, c-span 3 and c-span
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radio. order your copy of the landmark case's companion book available for $8.95 plus shipping at c-span.org/landmarkcases. three days of featured programming this holiday weekend on c-span. friday evening at 7:00 evening, congressional republican leaders honoring former vice-president dick cheney at the capital with the unveiling of a marble best in emancipation hall. >> when the vice-president had his critics going off on the deep end, he asked lynn, his wife, does it bug you when people refer to me as darth vader, and she said, no, it humanizes you. >> saturday night at 8:30 eastern, an in-depth look at policing in minority
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communities. >> most people get defensive if they feel like you're being offensive, so being very respectful in encounters and requests, if it's not a crises, if it's not a dangerous situation, requests versus demands, those things change the dynamics a little bit. >> sunday afternoon at 2:00, race and the criminal justice system with white house senior advisor valerie jarrett and others. then at 6:30, portions of this year's washington ideas festival. speakers include virginia senator mark warner, former vice-president al gore, and author ann marie slaughter. >> we've got to banish the word, he's helping at home, right? helping is not actually taking the burden off you. you are still figuring out what needs to be done, and you are asking him to help. he is not the agent, right? he's the assistant. if we're going to get to where we need to go, men do have to be
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lead parents or fully equal co-parents. >> for our complete schedule go to c-span.org. next, the palestinian liberation organization's chief representative to the u.s. speaks about the israeli/palestinian conflict. he called for an end to israeli occupation and settlements in palestinian territories and the need for a multi-lateral international solution to the conflict. >> i'm the executive director here and welcome also to our online audience. today we are so pleased to host a special guest, ambassador maen rashid areikat. it's our honor to have you with us today. he will speak about the urgent need for a paradigm shift in resolve is the
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palestinian/israeli conflict. he poss its that after the peace process over the last 22 years since the famous handshake between arafat and ra bean in front of the white house, the world needs to rethink this by l bylateral process and implement a multi-national approach to resolve is the conflict. the ambassador will speak for about 15 to 20 minutes and leave the rest of the time for your questions. our live stream audience can submit questions to our twitter handle @palestinecenter. may i ask you all to silence your phones, please. let me introduce our special guest today, ambassador areikat, the chief representative of the plo to the united states. he served as ambassador for 11 years at the negotiations affairs department of the plo
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and was a deputy head and coordinator general from 2008-2009. the ambassador first joined the negotiations affairs department in 1998 when it was headed by the current palestinian president, and served as director general until march of 2008. between '93 and '98, the ambassador worked at the orient house which is the headquarters of the plo in jerusalem and of the house negotiating team for the madrid peace talks. while there, he served as spokesperson for the late mr. hasani, the former plo committee member in charge of jerusalem affairs, and later as officer for the u.s., canada, australia, and south africa in the orient house's international relations department. as chief representative, he took part in the palestinian/israeli
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negotiations in gaza and egypt in 1996, in jerusalem in '97, and was an official member of the palestinian delegation at the y river negotiations in 1998. the ambassador has traveled extensively on official visits to washington d.c. and several european capitals. the title of his talk today is shifting the paradigm. please help me in warming welcoming ambassador mae maen areikat. >> thank you very much. good afternoon. i would like to start by just making a statement about the events that took place in beirut and paris over the weekend to once again express the palestinian official position of
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opposing these attacks and targeting civilians. we express our solidarity with the lebanese people, with the french people. i would like to say also one thing, that victims of such attacks must be treated equally, and unfortunately, while we express our sympathy with the french people for the losses, we also have to express the same sympathy with others who are also losing their lives as part of this heinous campaign by extremists in the middle east and we should express that publicly, openly, the same way we express our sympathy with their people. i'm glad to see a reaction in this country reminding people that just a day before paris more than 50 people lost their
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lives and 200 were wounded also in beirut and in other parts of the middle east. this is a campaign which is directed first and foremost against arabs and muslims by the way. the number of victims of the campaign that isis is leading is almost 90% or more, most of the victims are arabs and muslims and therefore it provides us with a very strong reason, arabs and muslims, to be at the forefront of fighting these extremists and trying to put an end to their campaign, and we will continue to do that. at the same time, i depolice officer strongly the statements by the israeli prime minister to try to equate what happened in paris with what the palestinians are trying to do to achieve their independence and freedom. you can never equate the
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struggle of an occupied people seeking freedom to compare that to the terror and discriminate killing of innocents in paris. palestinians are fighting for their independence and trying to label the palestinians as part of this overall campaign to target france and other western countries is rejected and is deplorable. it's a very cheap ploy on the part of the prime minister to once again exonerate himself and his government and occupation from all injustice and mistreatment of palestinians in the israeli occupation. therefore, we all stand against these forces. we all stand to defeat these forces, but we should not get confused here and blur the lines between those who are fighting for their freedom and for
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justice and those who are killing for the sake of killing and to terrorize people around the world. this brings me to a very disturbing phenomenon that we have seen during the recent violence that broke out in palestine, jerusalem and israel since the beginning of september. the trends that are becoming popular in this country to dehumanize palestinians, you hear it from members of congress such as senator ted cruz and marco rubio and other members of congress. you hear it from official media unfortunately. sometimes the administration also -- i would say inadvertently get into this by dehumanizing the palestinians and trying to lessen the suffering of our people when
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they talk about the violence that broke out. we have, unfortunately, become mere numbers. when they want to report the number of casualties, they start -- we all took math at some point at school. when you conduct a poll, you don't start by saying 10% support hillary clinton and 70% support -- let's assume that donald trump will be the contender. people start with the large number and go to the lower number. when they report the number of casualties, they'll say 12 israelis were killed and scores were wounded. also 80 palestinians were also killed, half of them attacking israelis or attacking soldiers or police. the fact that they present it in a way like that is trying to give the impression that palestinian lives don't matter, that we are just numbers, and
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israeli lives matter more than palestinian lives, more precious than palestinian lives, and this is a trend that should be rejected strongly. we should reject it if it comes from a member of congress, if it comes from the administration, if it comes from the media, any circle in this country to try to dehumanize the palestinians and turn them into mere numbers in this conflict. the level of suffering under the israeli occupation is unprecedented. people who need to know and find the truth should visit the occupied palestinian territories and see the daily humiliation that palestinians have to endure and are subjected to and to understand the level of resentment on the part of palestinians and why palestinians get to desperate and do the things that they are doing. it's not like because we teach our children and we plant that culture of violence and
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incitement. no, no palestinian wants their children, 12, 13, 14, to attack israeli police knowing in advance and civilians, knowing in advance that they will be killed in the process. what palestinian parent or which palestinian parent wants to see their kids being shot and killed? no palestinian parents teach or bring up their children to hate or to incite. the occupation is the main source of incitement in the territories. once that occupation is ended, once that occupation is over, there is no reason for any kind of violence to take place between palestinians and israelis. this brings us to the issue of security, peace. israel will not enjoy security unless there is a just peace, unless the occupation is over. it's a very simple equation.
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they have been trying to convince the world, especially this country, that peace -- sorry, that security has to come before peace. you cannot have security unless you have peace. and to ask the palestinians who are under occupation to secure and guarantee israel's security is just absurd. how can you ask an occupied people to give the security of the occupier. this is something that has never happened. so ending the occupation is and remains the number one priority to bring about peace between palestinians and israelis. unfortunate unfortunately, six years ago, all what we have seen is a deliberate escalation on their part to increase tension between
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palestinians and israelis. this current government did not take one single step to reach out to the palestinians to genuinely and sincerely discuss the fundamental or the core issues that need to be addressed in order to reach a solution to the conflict. on the contrary, they embarked on a campaign to increase settlements 20% increase in the number of settlements. when he spoke, the prime minister spoke at the center for american progress, he tried to compare the number of settlement units that supposedly he built compared to what prime minister ra bean and the former israeli
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prime minister built during their rule in israel. he said my numbers are the smallest among the three or four former, as if this justifies building the settlements. he doesn't know that one single settlement is illegal. it doesn't matter what the number is. what excuse that he used to compare the numbers to former israeli prime ministers. this is a government that does not have on its agenda, not the prime minister but his government, this is a government of settlers. this is not a government that s is -- extreme right. that does not have on its agenda any plans to engage the palestinians in a meaningful political discussion to end the conflict. the prime minister of israel
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ideologically is opposed to the idea of the creation of a palestinian state. he said it clearly and i respect his honesty on the eve of the israeli elections. he said it clearly that a palestinian state will not be established on my watch. when the international community and the united states reacted to his statements, he started to backtrack. he was here last week trying to convince the obama administration that, oh, no, i am in favor of a two-state solution. it's one thing to talk about it, another to really take steps to do it. and the steps he is taking on the ground are only meant to preempt and prevent the palestinians from establishing a state and to kill if not already he managed to kill the two-state
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solution. netanyahu said it clearly and really worked hard to change the terms of reference for whatever political process existed between the palestinians and the israelis. he wanted to create his own terms of reference, once by asking us to recognize israel as a jewish state, another by calling for us to be demille tearized. he said i'm willing to sit with the palestinians without any conditions, after of course he laid down six or seven conditions for what a palestinian state should look like as a result of these negotiations. so we are not at all encouraged by the actions and the policies of the israeli government. i think what we are witnessing
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as well is a very alarming trend within the israeli society. if i were an israeli, if i were an american jew or any jew living around the world, i should be concerned about where is israel or what israel is going. i would really be very, very concerned about the direction israel is taking. the level that we have seen over the last month and a half, the level of intolerance, the level of incitement, they talk about palestinian incitement and we answer them the occupation is the main source of incitement. the source, the reason, that palestinians act the way they are, the humiliation, the killing, the indiscriminate measures that they take, the collective punishment, the demolishing of homes, all these
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measures create the resentment on the part of the palestinians. but the level of incitement within the israeli society, within the israeli cabinet, within the israeli parliament caused by elected members of israel to take unprecedented measures against palestinians and to try to impose more severe collective punishment and all the chance of death that you heard and saw on youtube when palestinians were wounded lying down on the roadsides without being offered any medical assistance, all that should be a cause of concern for israelis because israel is drifting more to the right, and they are promoting racism within their ranks in a way that we have not seen before. i should be worried if i were an israeli about the direction of their country. and they are leading an official campaign of incitement against
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us. yes, i admit that you hear once in a while a palestinian saying something that could amount to incitement. the press write about it. today i received just on my way here an e-mail from a good friend of mine who's the head of a jewish/american organization clarifying something that the local palestinian newspaper might have published about what happened in paris. you know, somebody can sometimes come up with crazy ideas that are accusing them to be behind what happened in paris and things like that. he wanted clarification and i told him i'll do that with pleasure and i will send him clarification, but this is something that was reported in the press. maybe they took it from somebody else. while in israel you hear it from the mouth of members of the cabinet, from chief rabbis, from members, and they keep us on the defensive by accusing us of creating that culture of
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violence and hate among our people. on the u.s., i think a major reason why we don't have a solution is the fact that the united states has failed to hold israel accountable. there's no question about it. no question about it. israel has been shielded, shielded by the united states at international organizations and other united nations forums. without holding israel accountable, without making it clear to the israelis that their actions will have consequences, israel will not stop. somebody the other day told me it's like a spoiled brat kid, you know. any keep doing things and instead of spanking them or keeping them in their room, no
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xbox, no play station, nothing, they will not stop. if you keep turning your eyes the other way and not trying to tell them that what they are doing is wrong, they will continue doing it. if you keep giving them chocolate, giving them carrots, they will take it and will say thank you. this is exactly what we are seeing today. israel cashing in on the iran/u.s. agreement or the agreement, the nuclear agreement. israel, a prime minister who came to this country, challenged the elected president of the united states, tried to turn the american people against the elected leadership. he's received with warmth and his request will be considered, 40 to $50 billion from 2018 to 2022 as if this country doesn't need the money to improve
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different conditions here. and for what? to keep israel's military qualitative edge. what does that mean? what does that mean when u.s. officials keep talking about maintaining israel's qualitative edge militarily against all its neighbors combined, creating a bully in the middle east. that's what it means. someone who can bully everybody, not only the palestinians but everybody in the middle east. why do we want to continue to arm israel when they are already armed to the teeth? and you are talking about a country that does not use weapons responsibly. we saw what happened in gaza last year. we saw them previously what they did, cluster bombs, you name it. they never adhere to u.s. laws
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using all these prohibited and bans weapons against the palestinia palestinians, anybody. why we can only -- why does the united states needs to arm israel this way in order to protect israel? they can do that not through arming them and giving them billions of dollars of military assistance. they can do that by holding israel accountable to their actions and explaining to the israelis that the continuation of this behavior will keep the region on fire and will continue to inflame the region and will make the possibility of peace and ending the conflict in the middle east a possibility. i was told by a friend that the current administration is the only administration in the
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history of the palestinian/israeli conflict that did not vote once against israel at the united nations or at any u.n. organization, believe it or not. bush administration did. every other administration did either vote against or vote for resolutions of the u.n. security council condemning israeli actions or abstained. this is the only administration that has not done that. if we continue to treat israel with impunity, if we continue to allow israel to be a state above the law, if we continue to turn our eyes when israel violates international law and undermines u.s. national security interests, we are only creating a frankenstein in the region that will reek havoc and will not be stopped.
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israel continues to rely on the logic of power. they don't want to rely on the power of logic. they believe that might is right. they've taken advantage of the situation in the region, seeing arab countries disintegrating, syria, iraq, lebanon, jordan, egypt. they are in a very comfortable position. who are we afraid of? who are they afraid of? iraq is no more saddam. iran, the deal will contain iran. the palestinians, we are a threat to them with our nuclear weapons? why can't the israelis take advantage of this situation and say, okay, maybe we can sit and end the conflict instead of prolonging it. instead of doing that, they have to create an enemy. they have to always keep in the mind of the israelis that there
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is someone out there who's going to get them, exporting fear to their own people. this is the only way that they can survive is by exporting fear. now, after iran is gone, after iraq is gone, after hezbollah is busy in syria, how can we do that? oh, the palestinians. the connection between palestinians and nazis, we have connections with the nazis. accusing the palestinians of coming up with the idea of one of the most horrible crimes in human kind's history and trying to continue to portray us as a threat. he backtracked, the prime minist minister, but he knew what he was doing. he wanted to create in the mind of israelis that this existing palestinian leadership is an
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extension of that leadership that met with hitler. at the time nobody knows what happened during that meeting. nobody knows what was the purpose, but definitely the palestinians with their actions that followed, the second world war holocaust. we opened up our doors mostly for jewish immigrants who came there. my grandfather was a partner with a jew in palestine before 1948. my mother tells me stories about how they lived in harmony. i think we palestinians are the only people in the world at the time of this horrible crime who really opened their doors and welcomed jews to come to live safely there. so all these efforts to again portray the palestinians as evil and to portray this conflict as
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between the forces of darkness is very dangerous. we don't want to turn this into a religious conflict. israel doesn't benefit from that, nor do we. why are the israelis insisting on recognizing them as a jewish state? why are they insisting on keeping these provocations? why? until yesterday i just read a report that they secretly smuggled few israelis. why? how does this benefit israel, especially in light of what is going on in the region? so the united states needs to understand that this format of bilateral negotiations supervised by the united states for 22 years did not yield the desired results. they have to accept that fact
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and be able to change and shift the paradigm unless this effort is turned into a multi-lateral, international effort there will be no peace in the region. the united states has to allow other international players, the united nations, europe and others and other regional arab countries to be informed in this negotiation process. by claiming monopoly over these negotiations, the u.s. is not serving its long-term interests in the region by finding a resolution to this conflict. so we are, palestinians, taking steps to internationalize the conflict. that's why we joined the united nations in 2012. we failed in 2011 of course because of u.s. opposition and resistance, and that's why we are taking cases to the
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international criminal court and we will continue to do that because we are defenseless. nobody is defending us. we are a people and they are the occupation and nobody is defending us. so why can't we resort to the united nations? why can't we resort to the international criminal court? why can't we go to the human rights council and say we want you to invoke the geneva convention? why can't we do that? these are peaceful, diplomatic, nonviolent efforts. why should they be opposed by the united states and any other country? we will continue on that path. this is one. secondly, the speech at the united nations was misunderstood by many in this country. he didn't say i am declaring obsolete, null and void. he said unless israel adheres to
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the signed agreements, the palestinians cannot. this is a bilateral agreement between two sides. it requires both to implement them. israel has not been implementing this agreement for many years now. on the cop contrary, they have been consolidating settlement enterprise and gradually, but sure, killing any possibility of independent sovereign palestinian state. and they only receiving what the palestinians are doing without paying the proos or price or reciprocating obligations. why should we be committed if israelis are not committed? the oslo accords are not only security cooperation. when you talk to people in the country -- this is only subject of interest to many members of congress when i meet them,
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security, security, because they care very much about what israel's security is -- there are other aspects of the oslo acores. there's the economic agreement, which in my view was very unfair when we signed it with israel in 1995. there are other aspects. there are civilian aspects. there are security aspects. political aspects of a relationship with thaisrael thae are currently reviewing and assessing to see if the israelis will heed our call to meet obligations before we decide on taking any steps in that regard. finally, we will continue to urge our people to express the resistance of the israeli on passion through peaceful means. the last thing we want to do is to be into other violent convict
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or turn to arms to show resistance to israelis because this is what israel is seeking. for many reasons but mostly to be able to use their heavy hand approach against us and we are no match to them. we saw what happened in the second intefadeh, and portray the palestinians as a people who do not have the culture of peace coexistence and violence and we are only -- our only onlyibject is to use violence against israel and argue we do not deserve to be a nation among the nations or a state in the middle east. so this is something that the palestinian leadership will continue to urge our people to do. we want them to express their views peacefully, without any violence, and we will continue
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our efforts, both legally, politically, internationally, in order to continue to put pressure on israel to end its occupation and to understand that the continuation of this conflict and this occupation will have serious repercussions and serious consequences for the israels. thank you very much. thank you, so much, ambassador. we'll open the floor for questions now. we'll start with you back there. >> in your opening statement you said 90% -- >> first introduce yourself. >> what? >> oh, introduce myself. oh. i'm linda pellegrino.
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anyway, in our opening statement you said 90% of lives that isis takes is arab. what percentage of that is arab christians, and also what is the palestinian solution for eradication of isis? >> i can't -- unfortunately i can't tell you but we'll be more than happy to get baing to you. i know isis targeted many minorities, not only christians, but you know, i mean -- i mean they could be closer to christianity in northern iraq and kurd, areas. but i -- you know i'm looking at the numbers of, you know, people who are being killed on daily base si insis in iraq and syria knowing majority of iraqis and syrians are muslims, not christians or others, i would say majority of victims of isis
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are still muslims without -- >> targeting shiite or sunni? >> well, now you're getting into a lot of tiny details here. i mean -- when i say muslims i don't differentiate between shias and sunnis, this is my position. arabs i don't differentiate between christians and muslims. i know isis, when they go out to blow up a market, they don't really consider if there will be shias, sunnis, christians or muslims. they just blow up the market. what i'm saying is that the peoples of those countries are paying the heaviest price of isis atrocities, and that's why it united states our fundamental task, as arabs and muslims, to defeat isis and to defeat the radical, you know, ideology. as for what palestinians are doing, i think we continue to be
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proud to be a very secular society. we do have hamas, you know, as part of the palestinian society. they are power to reckon with, we cannot ignore them. ideologically there is no comparison between hamas and between al qaeda and taliban and isis, nusra and extreme radical groups. i think we -- we continue to promote and advocate coexistence, you know. i am not worried about our christian brethrens and palestine because we have managed to, you know, to weather many storms before. we will continue to resist, you know, these ideologies and practices and actions by such
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forces. >> we're going to take people raising their hands. were you -- can you wait until we have the microphone come to you, please. >> thank you. my name is george. i'm very concerned that the arab point of view is not published in america. i know arab ambassadors, 25 of them in washington, 25 of them in new york, the u.n., have difficulty in getting their op-eds published, even letters to the editor. my suggestion is, why don't we do what the american jewish community is doing, buy ads, full-page ads, half-page ads. i know that expensive but arab governments can afford to put ads once every ten day delaying explaining an issue of the arab world. >> i think it goes beyond being able to publish an op-ed and buy
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an ad. the preliminariy em mr. is not accessible, we did that in the past when we joined the united nations, you know, private sector palestinian business people bought ads. they cost between, depending on the newspaper, between 50,000 to 100,000 per page. we argued about that and the effectiveness of such ads. you and i and most of the people here read "the washington post" or i end up being frustrated after reading it. but the younger generation don't read "the washington post." they don't read the print newspapers. i you in the social media today represents an excellent channel and venue to express views. and we were talking earlier, i
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said this is the most advantageous thing that happened to palestinians, being underdogs, the ones who have always not been successful in having access to mainstream media because youen can post things quickly. you have so many news outlets with so many followers you can present your views. and this is what happened in 2014. most of the people got their news from all of these different sources of social media network, and i am not saying that the newspapers are not defective. but i think what is needed is more grassroot work in this country. i always tell people, you are surprised to know that the backbone of israel's support in this country is not the american jewish community. it's the christian evangelicals who are supporting all of the kn
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kn candidates who do what they want to do, attack the palestinians, accuse of us so-and-so and so-and-so. one way would be try to work at grassroot level to try to, you know, work with other ethnic groups and minorities, church leaders to try to change perceptions. i personally do not see congress changing soon. i don't see it. i don't see it. i don't see the media shifting soon either. unless there is a fundamental profound change at the base level, it will be difficult. so what we need to do is to focus our efforts on the grassroot level to try to change, you know, conceptions, understanding, to educate them more so that they can impact the overall situation. >> all right. let's go over here. and then we'll go to the middle.
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>> my name is allison glick. and in terms of talking about a new paradigm, it seems to me that one thing that's been lacking, that would really make a qualitatively new paradigm, is there for there to be unity government with the plo and hamas and because the tactical changes that you've talked about in terms of icc, et cetera, even a grassroots movement here in the united states, i think it's going to be very limited until there's a palestinian leadership that's thinking strategically and that is united in the face of all of the obstacles that you very coherently laid out. so could you please talk about unity government? >> okay. well, i can understand, you know, first part of your question, that definitely there
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is an impact back there, you know, in terms of our relationship with israel and internal palestinian die namings that we need a unity government. i don't see why, you know, the lack of a unity government needs to impact the work that we are doing in the united states. you know, after all, you are defending a right of the people under occupation to be independent. why do we need to import, you know, the differences among palestinians there and have them reflect on our efforts in this country in a way that they will hamper them and undermine them? i don't understand that. always my talk with my community i tell them, do not impart the differences. focus on common denominator. you are detending right of the palestinian people to be free, to allow all people to live in peace and dignity. calling for democratic society,
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for pluralistic society, freedom of speech, expression, of course these are issues of concern to us palestinians that will be stressed throughout our struggle for independence and freedom. but i would like to see that insulated, you know, not to be reflective on efforts here in this country to influence the situation. israel uses palestinian division as a pretext to negotiate. when we tried to make up with hamas and, you know, signed an agreement, the prime minister netanyahu came out and said, choose between hamas or peace. we told him, we are confused. when we don't have the unity government, you accuse us of divided, who would you talk to? when we try to unite our ranks you accuse us of abandoning peace. unity is important. of course, you know, we suffered a lot from divisions among the
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palestinians. you know, we lost a lot of support, morally, political as a result of our division, a lot of the physical division. but israel is also contributing to that physical and political division. and unfortunately, other external parties are also contributing to that physical and political division. they don't want to see the palestinian united, that we continue to exert effort to end this division because they serve the palestinian interest in the first place be i'm not worried about what israel thinks about it, i know the divisions are harming us and we have to end them and we continue the effort in order to end this. >> come over here. the first gentleman? >> thank you. michael thomas. thank you, ambassador.
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this has been a very good survey. and i agree with you about the need which is quite urgent, i think, to internationalize the conflict. because if you look at hillary clinton's relationship or the letter that she wrote asking him how to advise her how to deal with israel and most recent letter she promises to kiss and make up with with the israeli government we see where that's going. on the republican side, it worse. when i ask just a couple of questions, little bit more specific about internationalization, one with regard to the icc, two kinds of cases presented there. as i understand it. one having to do with things like gaza incursions and one having to do with the occupation being a violation of geneva iv. it's always seemed to me that that's the case, because that goes to the core issue and there are a lot of defenses available against shooting war kinds of
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war crimes that are not available on that side. i mean, do you agree? and where is the effort? explain what is being done to try to get that case address the by the icc. and the second question is, you were saying that the plo, president abbas, you're looking at how you might draw back from some parts of oslo, if that seemed appropriate. thinking about it, i mean, the paris accords and other things, israel's taking what it wants it goes away. the only thing they care about is security cooperation. what in the oslo accords, except security cooperation, could palestine withdraw that would make any difference? >> all right. on the icc, we, you know, of course joined icc december of last year.
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we -- icc is conducting what we -- what they call preliminary examination to see if we qualify for an investigation into -- we did submit -- we did ask them to have, you know, that timewise, we want that jurisdiction from june 2014 accord, in order to give the court, you know, the time to review a very short period of time. you know, we talked about the settlements. we talked about gaza at the time, because the case of gaza, you know, conducting investigation, the israelis can say, okay, we'll conduct our on investigation and the court has to wait, they have to give them ample time to do it before they decide to do their own investigation. in the case of settlements, israelis are not going to say
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settlements are against international law, we know that. that would be like condemning something that they have been doing for a long period of time. recently, the president met with the prosecutor general of the icc doing his visit to holland two weeks ago, and we are urging them to, you know, finish the examination in order to look into the situation in the palestinian occupied territories to determine if there are grounds to, you know, consider such actions by the israelis. and recently, also, during recent violence, you know. many of the killings of palestinians, we are reporting some of these cases as well to the icc. so we -- we are working with the icc on that. we want to give them the time, you know, to finish their preliminary examination.
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it takes quite some time. we understand. but we have prepared enough files to keep them busy for a long period of time. we will wait on that. what was the other part, i'm sorry? >> with regard to reconsidering oslo -- >> right, right, right. well, you know, again, again, you know, you have to take c calculated steps as well. we're not going to come and say oslo is null and void, and then create a vacuum that, you know, could create conditions on the ground that would be very difficult for our own people. we want to also take the interest of our people into account, you know. our relationship with israel is so intertwined if you want to take a patient from certain area to hospital in jerusalem, which is predominantly arab, you have to go to the israels to allow ambulances to enter checkpoints there are aspects that have
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impact on the humanitarian conditions of the people. i ask that will have impact on the movement of our people. the palestinian leadership is currently weighing impact of each possible step, if the israelis insist on not implementing their part of the agreement. and they will -- there will not be all or nothing approach. there will be a gradual approach to try to, you know, increase pressure on israelis and explain clearly unless committed to the same agreements we cannot be the one side that honor the agreement and you are not honor the agreement. >> okay. we'll go over here. and then so -- >> my name is charles spencer. i also thank you, mr. ambassador, for sharing these insights with us today. i would like to hear some
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clarification of the principle of ending the occupation. now, we all know that no freedom loving people anywhere in the world would stand for this kind of occupation in apartheid wall and so forth without resistance. we understand that. but what does it mean to end the occupation? for example, has the plo, the authority that you represent, issued any explanation in detail of what this means? we would like to know, does it mean tearing down the wall? does it mean evacuating all of the jewish settlers back to israel and turning over al of that brand-new infrastructure to the palestinians? does it mean moving all israeli security forces from the jordan river all the way back to the green line? what specifically is implied by ending the occupation. >> well, i think what we mean
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with ending the occupation is, you know, defining the borders, you know. israel has to technically effectively militarily, politicly, end its control of the palestinian people. it means the realization of a palestinian or recognition of palestinian state of the 1967 borders with minor swaps agreed upon equal in value and quantity. is jerusalem capital of future palestinian state? we have, you know, entertained many ideas in the past about the old city of jerusalem where all of the -- we talked about creating special regime that respect rights of jews, christians and muslims, that there will be unhindered access
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in and out of the whole city for the residents of the whole city. we talked about just an agreed solution to the palestinian refugee problem based on 17194 as stipulated in the arab peace initiative approved in 2002. so you know, implementing all of these parameters. assetlers, our position is very clear. no single israeli settlement is legal. all settlements are illegal. our position is to evacuation the settlements because they were built illegally on palestinian land, confiscated from their owners, and you know, we we insist to treat settlements as illegal. today settlements and set alreadies constitute the most important source of friction between israel ands and palestinians. planting settlers like the case in hebron, in the middle 80
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families in the middle of 300,000 palestinianss a i disaster. planting settlements in the midst of palestinian communities and villages and towns a recipe for disaster. the therefore, we will be ending occupation, ending israel military, political effective control of palestinians allowing palestinians to establish through a timetable, not overnight, establish a sovereign, independent, viable, fully contiguous palestinian state. the parameters, i'm sure you are aware of them, you seem to be informed, and you know implementing all of the parameters that will end the conflict one and for all. >> over here. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. my name is mohammed. my question is, you mentioned
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something that i found very important, vital for the work that palestinians trying to do especially in d.c., sense i moved here. grassroots movement, or all of the -- with the grassroots. how do you see the level of coordination and cooperation between the plo representatives and the groups work inside campuses, organizations, ever r everywhere? >> we, we extend our hands to anybody who wants to, you know, include us in the work or include us in their activities. my -- my immediate concern is my community, okay. you know, for long period, you know, because of many, many events and many developments that we don't have the time to discuss, i'd be more happy to do
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it with you at a later point, but we have become so polarized here. we were very much influenced by what is happening there, by the signing, by go back to 1982, invasion of lebanon, plo departure from lebanon. and the madrid peace conference, oslo accords and second intefadeh and divisions between fat fatah, hamas, all of these impacted. i believe in creating a common denominator, you know. i talked to palestinians who are critical of the plo who attack us, who accuse us of not doing enough politically, et cetera. i open for criticism. i encourage that criticism, constructive criticism, in order to provide advice for us. i -- i think that we can create that common denominator between
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all of these groups and all of these individuals and players. again, a struggle of the people who have been under occupation for 48 years. this is a long -- the longest military occupation in recent history, probably the only remaining military occupation in the world, you know? you know, to defend right of the palestinians to self-determination, independence, statehood should constitute a common denominator between all those who seek justice and equality for the palestinians and i don't think that you will ever be able to completely neutralize the differences, political differences or the approach or what we should do, especially among the palestinian community. but it doesn't -- shouldn't be a reason or a pretext for not doing what we can to defend the right of our people to be
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independent and free. there are so many forces in the united states, a lot of them american jewish groups who are doing an excellent job. there are, you know, end israeli occupation, jewish force for peace and the student movement on campus, all of these, you know, let me stress within thing here. we are not trying to -- they are already recognized member state of the united nations, they are recognized by so many countries, thanks to the oslo accord that opened the door for them to be recognizes by 100-plus countries. at the time, only thing recognized by 62 countries. but we are not in the business of advising israel or israeli people. we are in the business of legitimizing enterprise in the palestinian-occupied territories. we have every right, every right, to do whatever we can,
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peacefully, politically, legally, to fight israel's occupation and israel's enterprise. this is something we should all agree, shouldn't be an issue of contention. >> time for a couple of more questions. let go to that side of the room. over there. >> so, hi, i'm richard moss. it seems like there's a history of the post world war ii in which the narrative of labor settlers and coming out of germany, and forgotten history also of king david hotel, stern group, leadership, and most closer in generation to other people in the room, that history seems to be largely silenced. perhaps there would be advantage in bringing it forward because settler's a nice convenient word, land grab.
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there may be a spectrum disorder towards criminality, that's all. >> you know, this is what i always say difference between us today, palestinians and people like prime minister netanyahu and his government, that we are trying to look forward to try to create conditions for our children and our people to live in dignity. and also provide that opportunity for the israelis as well to live in peace with us in both security. we need security as much as they need security, especially living next to a powerful neighbor. so we try to be forward looking. every time they talk, they go 3,000 years. 3,500 years, as if we cannot do the same thing. we can do the same thing. talking about all of these stations of our conflict with them that will only bring out resentment and pain and
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suffering, whether it's things that we did to them or things that they did to us, it's not going to be -- it's not going to be conducive to putting an end to conflict. i'm not saying we are forgetting that, i'm not saying we should forget that, however, if we want to move forward, we need to look to the future and try to create conditions that will allow both people to live in dignity, respect, mutual security as good neighbors. this is what we are trying to do. it is ironic that the occupied are trying to promote, while occupiers are insisting on controlling subjugating 4 million palestinians against they're will. but we will continue to do that. because event actually i believe the rest of the world will believe that we are genuine in our intentions and our objectives. >> forgive me, a literary
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concern, my statement was a concern about silence. >> no, no, we mark -- we mark all of -- we don't want them to become the reason to dwell and to make them reason to create mistrust and lack of confidence. we need to move forward. >> we have time for one more question. can you wait until microphone comes to you, right in front? >> sorry to interrupt your probably last sentence but i feel very in touch by your effort to look to the future. i think that because america is always interested in future, so i think that isn't that any plan there the same way mr. netanyahu went to the congress without
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permission or anything, and talk, he -- that people, with this fantastic, say, hope, that they will be peaceful, your children and you are just looking for that, we'll have a chance? >> i mean, i personally would be more than happy to do that if i get an invitation, you know? i think -- i -- take a battalion of s.w.a.t. team and go there -- no. i think -- i think at some point in the near future it's very important for policymakers here to start treating the two sides equally. i mean, you see all of these hearings in congress. you look at the panelists and people, nobody is even presenting the palestinian view.
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i'm not saying defending it. and they keep going on and on and on. i think people are starting to realize that these are biased efforts aimed at achieving not only political interests. we are in an election cycle now. your question earlier, you know, my staff -- you hear -- this is election season, you know? i mean everybody says what they want now, you know? so, no, i mean this united states a fundamental issue that has to do with, you know, people being objective. you cannot -- you cannot really solve a conflict between two sides if you all the time listen to one time. you cannot solve a conflict if you rely on e-mails and memos that come from one side all the time and everybody reading from the same script. and then try to blend another side to whom you dt

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