tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN May 26, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
that and invite those who are leaning towards peace but perhaps were prevented from. as you said speculation is difficult. but it creates an opportunity, it has created a sense of hope in the afghan community and afghanistan. knowing that the sanctuaries that were provided to the taliban are no longer safe in that they will be eliminated no matter where they are. that's an important step for afghanistan i think. >> if that is really true, it would be an important step. personally, you know, i'm out of government. i don't speak for anybody but myself. but it was not clear to me from president obama's comments whether we actually have a change of american policy that
will put the sanctuaries under pressure, or whether we had a one time action that won't be repeat. i'm sure that's a big question for the taliban leadership as well. but i hope you're right. we have lost a lot of people because of the sanctuaries that provide a place for taliban to find medical care and keep their families and their leaders stay safe while they send their soldiers to battle. but i don't know whether the american policies have really changed or not. i don't know how much confidence you have in that. >> well you said, speculation is difficult. but what we are hopeful, what the opportunity that this event brings to create peace in afghanistan. i think we have extended the hand of peace once again to all those taliban who are -- might want to take this opportunity
now and join the afghan led and afghan owned peace process. >> you have an interesting possible reinforcement of that with all the talk about a peace settlement. and i know a lot of people are wondering will that settlement -- seems to be there almost there or sort of there, is that going to have an effect on things like the progress women have made, or the afghan constitution? >> absolutely not. we don't make compromises on our constitution. and that has been very clear right from the beginning that this peace process is to make -- provide an opportunity for those who may have legitimate grievances towards afghanistan. and if they're willing to drop their guns and come to negotiate, the government would
be open to negotiate a peace deal with them. but not at the price of the progressive we have made. >> we often, i'm sure you get the question, i just get it occasionally, you get it all the time, about whether this holds out a threat to the progress that women have made. >> absolutely not. that has been a very clear message that we have always put on the peace process. that we're not ready to compromise on the progresses we've made in the constitution. and this has been a message we has always given and we're delivering to the taliban. i don't think anyone has a problem with the constitution, this is the most islamic
constitution a country can have. and we are comfortable that would not go against the progress that women have made. it's not just the progress we've made and the gains in the constitution. today the afghan society is demanding that change. that change has happened because the people wanted it. the people implemented it. the strong woman who themselves stood for themselves but also the men who accompanied -- you may remember this horrific case where the man came out to the street to protest for her rights. and that is an extremely positive change that cannot be turned back. >> i'm happy to hear that. i didn't expect to hear anything less. one of the images in my mind when i think of women in afghanistan is one of the
pictures from the last election, you probably saw it. it must have been 50 women all in burqa, all holding up a long piece of blue plastic covering the long line, standing in the rain. all helping to hold up this plastic to keep the rain off them waiting to get in to the polling place to vote. and i thought that was such a powerful picture of their determination. when you look at this evolving democracy in afghanistan, it's a picture that's so -- the one hand and the other hand, people get carried away talking about whichever hand they want to shake. it's all about corruption, it's all failed, it's all one thing. yet on the other hand, you have 7 million people that voted in the last election, despite threats of violence. they came out despite being
warned that they could be killed or have their fingers cut off if they voted. there's an appetite for democracy which would be difficult to put back in the bottle. in a sense for all the problems, afghanistan is more corrupt than any -- more democratic -- not more corrupt. it's not more corrupt. it's got more competition for corruption. but for democracy it's clearly more democratic then any one of the countries that touches its border. which is something we don't reflect on. how do you see the balance between old politics and corruption on the one hand and democracy on the other? how do you see the balance tilting in the future? >> i paint a picture.
i worked at the american university of afghanistan. and it was a difficult period because we were just building -- this was before it had its first graduates. we invited -- when people -- it was -- first of all, finding those brave professors who would come to afghanistan and go through a difficult period where they didn't have the right infrastructure, the internet to connect to their families. so we knew how difficult it was building that. and then i left. i went to do my phd and i saw in the news the headline said auf, the american university of afghanistan graduated its first class. now, to many people, that was just a headline. to me, that wasn't a headline. it was an emotional moment because i knew how much difficulty we went through to get to that stage. it's the same with hospitals. when you had to go across the
border to go -- just to treat malaria and you have hospitals today treat -- that separate conjoined twins, tweet more complex operations, kidneys and heart transplants. that progress is very difficult to cover in a headline and see. i think one of the reason we have so much gloom in the media because it only covered the war, not the progress afghanistan has made in the past 15 years and the unstoppableness of that. we are making progress. we now have the institutions to maintain that progress. we have more educated youth than we ever had before. we have more opportunities, more infrastructure than we have ever -- than we had before. and we're building the legal infrastructure to make sure that
everybody has their rights preserved. this would have not been possible if we didn't have the basis to do that. today, i would say we went through a political transition. and that was our biggest test. for any democracy to survive you've got to build in transition in there. in a country that is used to having revolutions and the leaders changing and all of the loyalties switching to a new leader, as part of a revolution, rather than your loyalties being aligned to an constitution. when we had our first transition, a lot of the institutions in afghanistan had trouble adjusting themselves to their institute and their loyalties to the presidency rather than a person who left office. and it was made even more
complicated by this being a national unity government. but we pulled out of that. the institutions are much more aligned, they're working they had a difficult period going through that adjustment but the adjustment happened. over the past few months you would have noticed a lot more progress in afghanistan. you don't see the same questions, there was a question of survival for a while whether we will be able to survive. we passed that test. the few people were doubtful at that period, once they saw the progress made now there is a lot more confidence. every day that confidence grows. so we -- as afghans are more confident in our future because we know we're determined to make -- preserve the progress we've made. and build on it. we're also confident because we can see the contrast is, it's all relative.
we can see the relativeness. what changes we have been able to bring together. whereas because there is no continuity and the media only see the war that's covered. people's angle to afghanistan is only through the media. it's an abstract. and that abstract is defined by whatever you read. whereas for afghans we live it. we live it and we know what progress has been made and what we are doing to continue to make that. >> it's been a very difficult year, the national -- i'll ask you one more then i think it's time to go to audience questions here. but the national unity government has not always been distinguished by its unity. it's had an enormous difficulty filling positions. it is -- it has no real policy
differences among dr. abdullah and dr. ghani. it has a lot of other issues. what do you see looking out at this next year? are we going to continue to see this sort of endless fussing and squabbling, or can they play better together? >> again, i think people didn't give afghanistan the credit for forming a national unity government. a country that has no precedence at sharing power. we're used to grabbing power. >> it's not a social habit. >> no. for the first time we shared power. it's of course not easy. national unity governments or coalition governments by nature are not easy. it took belgium 11 months, almost a year to form a government after their q coalition. it took germany six months. australia struggled with it for a long time where they -- every
six months there was a new prime minister. those -- that's part of a national unity government and that's part of the phase that goes into trust building to build it. and also our population was not accustomed to this sort of rule. the election campaign teams that supported each of those candidates, of course, wanted a different form of government. while the two leaders may have been able to get along, their teams took time to be able to trust each other. and i think that trust will continue to be built. i'm not saying we're there yet completely. it will take time before it's fully established i think. but we are in a very different place where we are today than compared to 18 months ago. in a better place i have to say. >> having lived through, i think, nine transitions in my career, i can say the habit of
thinking they should be immediately employed is not only in afghanistan. i think we'll go to audience here. when we recognize you, please give your name if you have an affiliation, give your affiliation, please try to make them questions. that's a statement which end with a question mark. and not of too great length. let's see. we have one back here already with a mike? there you are. hey, sorry. i got lights in my eyes here. >> doug brooks with the board of the afghan american chamber of commerce. my question is, here in the united states, of course, we have representatives, congressmen on both sides of the aisle that support a long term
afghanistan policy. we're about to go through an interesting presidential election. what are the policies you would like to see continue through the next administration no matter who is elected? >> that's a question we always ponder. but we're lucky to have bipartisan support. afghanistan is lucky to have bipartisan support in the united states. we see that through congress and we hope to see that throughout campaign teams once they begin more defined we're start working with the candidates and their teams to explain and understand their policies towards afghanistan. if they have any questions of -- about it. but so far, we're not -- we don't have any concerns. i think we're -- like you mentioned there's a lot of support for afghanistan. we're in a fortunate position to
be the -- have been made -- made so much success. we're very close. afghanistan is going through a decade of what we call the transformation decade towards self-reliance. we have got a lot of support for our policies on both sides of the aisle and through all the policymakers we meet here in d.c. >> i think the signal i'm getting is we need to have people all go to the microphone for questions? >> also when i turn this way, i feel like maybe you don't hear. i'm not ignoring this side of the crowd. >> we have a microphone over here standing up in the corner. i have to apparently ask people who want to ask questions to go to the mike so you can have a quick stampede. i hope you're right, you know, we still have almost 10,000 american soldiers in afghanistan
and haven't heard either candidate or any of the three remaining ones say one word about afghanistan in the presidential election. we all talk -- everybody talks about iraq, syria. we have twice as many troops in afghanistan as we have in syria. it's where we were attacked from and we don't say anything. if you can explain that to me i'd be happy. let's get the next question. >> my name is dominic cardoa. you made a statement that's troublesome to me. you made reference to the fact that afghanistan has the most islamic of constitutions. how do you interpret that? does that mean sharia law? how dos you interpret that? >> we have sharia law. our constitution is based on sharia. it may be the version of sharia that perhaps some -- it's not
the strictest of interpretation that extremists want in afghanistan but our constitution is based on sharia. it has been for the past 15 years. >> but you've also signed a whole variety of international human rights agreements, laws. >> absolutely. it's not to say that sharia is not compliant with human rights. sharia is compliant with that. that has been our constitution since it was formed 15 years ago. >> but also the constitution, if i remember, has some very careful wording about based on sharia law but does not make sharia law the only source of law. no law can be in contradiction to sharia law but it leaves room for a broad based -- >> where there is doubt, we refer to sharia for that matter. and that's what is acceptable to
the afghan population. we have been able to include pretty much all of the afghan population. and that has been decided. my reference to that is if we're negotiating a peace process, we already have sharia law in afghanistan. our constitution is based on it. so it wouldn't -- we don't see that being a problem. >> doesn't that limit the rights of women? >> absolutely not. no. the question was whether it would bring or put us in a position where we have to make compromise on our constitution. i said we don't have to make any compromises on the constitution because we're already sharia compliant. and it's already acceptable and implemented by our government. and accepted by the population.
so far, we have not had any issues with -- although there have been no substantive remarks about what needs to be -- what the taliban would want, for example, we have not had those negotiations. but unofficially where there has been discussions there have been no questions about what needs to be -- any serious questions to what's changing the constitution that would -- so that's what makes us even more confident that the -- we don't have to make compromises on the gains we have made and those have been very strictly addressed. and communicated. >> sure. >> hi, thank you so much. i'm a psychiatrist with george washington university. i'm interested in the psychology of conflict. my question is, is it possible
to negotiate with the taliban, how is that process gone so far and how do we proceed, you know, in that direction given the challenges of negotiating with the likes of the taliban. >> is it psychologically possible to have this rather than individual political iss s issues. >> i guess the political issues but then understanding the psychology of the taliban and what do they want, who are they as a group. are there elements of the taliban that are more cognitively flexible if you will than others. that there can be soil to till if you will. or, you know, are they all just this monolithic entity that can only be dealt with with drone strikes? >> peace is a process. it's not one dealing as studying through what has been going on in other places and studying the peace processes in other
countries. it's not a one time event. and also when a conflict drags for this long, many different elements become part of it. they become invested. we see people who have become part of the drug trade and the insurgeoncy. it begs to question if the drug trade is fuelling the insurgency or the insurgency is fuelling the drug trade. the question here would be those who have legitimate grievances with the government and if there is any way we're not being able to include we're open to negotiate with. those who are criminals would have to go after them as criminals. >> sir? >> ambassador, my name is ronald wilson with the united states
government. my question is, from an existenti existential perspective do you know that democratic principles are viable in a islamic state? >> afghanistan is a democratic nation by culture. we're very democratic. all of our decisions have always been made in a council that was formed. to this day, most of our biggest decision that we cannot make that are not allowed within constitution or above the constitution are made by a grand council. it's enshrined in the afghan culture. we're democratic by design. afghanistan is democratic by design. >> good evening, my name is
sarah, i'm not affiliated but interested to see your technology background. i was very interested in your comments about the surgery. i was wondering if you would tell us how the intersection of technology and development, especially perhaps in the education and health sectors. thank you. >> i have to say afghanistan made great strides in technology. we now have about 90% of our population that has access to at least a cell phone. we have coverage through 90% of our territory. with the availability of 3 g because our country was not connected through wired communication, we jumped a generation and went straight into wireless communication. almost everyone that has access to 3 g has been connected and
it's been a very vocal society. last year's election, for example, didn't really require journalists to go into areas. people acted as journalists and they continue to be very active through social media. and our government is looking into how we can bank on that accessibility and interest to be able to deliver services such as education and -- well, also with the connectivity being available for healthcare telemedicine and others. there are constitutions that are looking into this right now. but we're very lucky to see that this has been able to gain a lot of interest in afghanistan. >> you know, it's also a free market success. when i went to iraq, the american government helped the iraqis set up the cell phone network. we had three different contracts and they didn't talk to each other. if you were in northern iraq you
couldn't talk to south. with afghanistan they went with a free market. i use my phone wherever i go to afghanistan all over the country. it works. it's one of the thing that's paying the government pretty well. >> it is our second largest income for the government, the telecom sector, and as it builds or as it develops, there are many new ideas and innovations that are being implemented. things like epayments, for example, where some salaries for police officers and teachers are being paid through electronic payments, mobile payments. and there -- you know, evoting and other ideas that are currently -- also looked for elections, but the media sector has been using it for a while where they vote on shows. >> game shows, yeah.
>> thank you for having my question, mr. ambassador. my name is john banks, i'm not affiliated with anybody. my question is this, a couple of times today, tonight, you've mentioned cutting back on the international drug trade or eradicating it. eventually america will pull back militarily and financially. and without the opium trade doing whatever it does, what do you see as the economic gap filler for those two influxes of cash? >> well, afghanistan has many riches, including mines. we have over $3 trillion worth of mines alone in afghanistan. we're currently working on the legal infrastructure to make that accessible. we're building infrastructure to be able to physically deliver it. we're also working on the legal infrastructure to make sure afghanistan doesn't get into
what happened in africa, for example, you know, the resources situation. we're also -- it's afghanistan is at a cross roads of the president mentioned, a linkage point between south and central asia. we're already working on projects, regional projects where gas is being transported from the resource rich central asia to south asia. we're working on electricity projects that are regional. we're a land bridge for transport of goods. our idea for afghanistan or our vision for afghanistan is for it to be the round about of south and central asia where ideas, people and goods flow freely. that's in afghanistan we're working on building. we're increasing the revenue through different industries. last year alone, despite the
very difficult year, we were able to increase our revenue by 22%. now, making -- as security improves and as our legal infrastructure is much more attractive to investors we'll be able to attract more investment into afghanistan. we have a ten year plan that is making afghanistan totally self-reliant. that includes reducing military cost and increasing revenue through different streams of investments in the country. >> time for the media. >> thank you. the network from afghanistan. as you mentioned, as women in ag
including me we are worried about women's achievements in afghanistan. will women's achievement be safe? there are so many conditions, one of the conditions is keeping -- keeps saying that foreigns should leave afghanistan based of this opinion. what do you think? >> well, first of all, let me repeat that we'll not make any compromises on the achievements of women and our society in general has made. we're not making any compromises on the constitution. and, second, the conditions of that, i think that condition has now been refined where it's to say a deadline or a time line for the security forces international security forces leaving. and as we are working on a self-reliant -- we're not
counting on afghanistan to always have the required assistance we currently have. we're thankful for the assistance, as you're aware the afghan security forces are now in full control and are taking -- they are the ones responsible for protecting our territory, the international security forces are providing us with advise and assist capabilities there. >> i would like to say -- >> train and advise and assist, i should not forget train. >> i would like to see us provide a little more air support. we dropped 300 bombs this year in iraq and 30 in afghanistan i think. which is a very strange approach. taliban seems to think they're in a war with us but we keep saying we're not at war with them. you can tell i'm out of the government. >> thank you very much. my name is amal, and i'm doing my field work with international peace and security institute. before i came to my question, i want to clarify something for
the gentleman, i think he left, was sitting over here. the minute you mentioned sharia law, and in america or in the west, you suddenly think of something very extreme and something of like the saudi government. because in saudi arabia there is no constitution. every single thing, their source of information like legal, social, political, economical, all derive from the holy koran. and that's based on the sharia law. in afghanistan, just like mr. ambassador mentioned, in 2004, when the constitution was modified it was drafted and modified, it was, of course, equal rights for the women. and just for the gentleman not to worry, you know, when sharia law and mentioned, not everything is based on that. we do have a constitution which is aligned with international human rights and we have our parliament, 28% of our parliament are women. and that will not be taken back if everything was based on the sharia law. we have women who --
>> and you had a question. >> yes. just for the gentleman, i think he left hopefully he can see me later. my question, mr. ambassador, is that i've been in the uk for the past eight months, i'm doing my master degree and just, you know, coming from a very poor background. if it was not for the 15 years of the recent government and for the international community i wouldn't be standing here. that's one example what's been achieved in the past 15 years. i know you have done some amazing work in the last year. one of the things i was impressed, it's my first week in washington, d.c., opportunity for full bright scholars when they're done in the u.s. they go back and i think it will be some opportunity for them, and thanks so much for that. because they didn't have that opportunity before. you finished your full-bright you go and look for right. some of them will leave afghanistan again. not the full bright student, but
a scholar studying in the uk when i finish my master degree my hope and goal is to go back to afghanistan and serve my country in any way i can just like you. what would be an opportunity for me when i go back. not a guarantee, but how hopeful i could be when i go back to afghanistan, thank you. >> this is great opportunity for announcing that we have a jobs fair this friday at the embassy. and that's meant to address the very questions that you have. and in the past with many mgo's and international contracting companies that work in afghanistan it was easy to find a job from abroad. with the draw down, it has not been easy for many people to find jobs, we notice there was that very same question from
many people. we have organized a job fair. we'll have recruiters in afghanistan connected with their technology, videoconferences and phones to be able to provide the information and the direct question on what can be expected in the current job market in afghanistan, where the jobs are, how to find them. and, again, what has -- how to adjust yourself to be able to get that job. i think we are -- afghanistan is looking forward to people like you returning back to our country and contributing. and sometimes with your education and the opportunities that were at your disposal means you can create jobs in afghanistan. we are attracting or trying to attract more and more investments, small businesses who would not only provide jobs for themselves but also to be able to provide jobs for others. so those are some of the discussions that you would hear
when -- on friday i think it's this friday, right? this friday at the embassy. it starts at 8:00. 8:00 a.m. >> thanks so much, ambassador. thank you. >> all right. >> sir? >> i'm john rothenburg currently unaffiliated but i was part of the civilian surge. i worked for usa at that time. i was wondering do you think the civilian surge was successful or unsuccessful, and in what ways? >> the civilian? >> surge. >> surge. >> when obama sent americans to work in the provinces on prt's. >> so, again, to say -- suggest, well, afghanistan has made a lot of progress and would not have been possible from -- without the support from the united states. we are -- the constitutions we
have managed to build, the infrastructure that we've managed to build, the credit goes to the united states. i have to mention the other international partners as well. there are -- i think we focus on challenges, this is my point earlier to ambassador newman, was we focus so much on the challenges. we do have them and don't want to hide. every government has its challenged. we may have more than any other. but we don't want to undermine the progress, or the progress that was made in the last 15 years. and with the surge, too. we built over 7,000 kilometers of -- paved over 7,000 kilometers of road, we built hospitals, schools, over 8 million children that attend school in pretty much of the districts in afghanistan would not have been possible without the support of those individuals
who served there. we thank them. and i think we owe it to the service of americans and afghans who made those possible that we continue on that path and build on it. >> you know, the civilian surge was a little bit like a roller coaster. it took quite a bit to creak it up to the top and peaked quickly and went down. and i don't know that there has been any academic work to really -- enormous amount of anecdotal -- you know, every district is different. and i don't think there's been any significant academic work yet or study to actually do any real cross comparison. you had a question? >> yes, not so much a question, but i want to let you know, i had a friend, or i have a friend, and she and her husband spent a year in 2000 in afghanistan volunteering doing medical work there. i want to tell her that i had an opportunity to tell you how she
really found the afghan people so wonderful and what they needed was just an opportunity to explode and do their thing. and it sounds like they are doing it. i'm sure she will be delighted to hear the progress that they've made. so i congratulate you and your country and i wish you all the best. >> oh, thank you. it's wonderful to hear that i've been able to convey that, first of all. >> we'll let you go right now. >> would like to thank all those who served. i feel that we're lucky as a diplomatic mission, we have so many friends in the united states. over a million americans served in afghanistan. and i think afghanistan is the type of country where if you're engaged with it, even if you've not been there, it captivates
you. i think it's to do with the opportunities. because you suddenly see that potential, you see that there is great opportunities to be able to build on. and we're thankful to those people who served in our country and we take every opportunity we can to do that. and we call them friend, of course. i think they can continue helping the country by advocating for the cause that is afghanistan. i think the people that they themselves put their lives at risk to help rebuild our country. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank your friend for me, sorry. wanted to be explicit. be sure. >> please. >> hussein insurance with -- hussein with insurance affairs. congratulations on the baby. [ speaking in a foreign
language ] in arabic that means blessings. i've learned over the years any state's vital assets are youth and education. we said in the beginning of the discussion today that there's about 50% of afghanistan's population under the age of 27. can you tell us very briefly what the international community can do to further the progress of investing in education and in the youth of afghanistan? just furthering it over what has been accomplished over the past 15 years. >> nor investmenmore investment. we're working on a decade that wants to get to self-reliance. it would not be possible without us being able to build an economy that's self-sustainable. now there are a number of things that the afghan government is doing to achieve that. that is by making sure that we source our produce locally.
a lot of our imports -- it's an agricultural country but sadly we import a very large quantity of agricultural produce from the outside. the government has set a rule for our all own purchases those be produced locally so we can create more jobs, we can also create a sustainable economy. we're also working on attracting more investments. one of the things we have been working on the past 18 months, is putting in the legal infrastructure in place so that we can attract investments. talking to many investors, including american investors who work in afghanistan, they didn't leave afghanistan because of insecurity. they left because they didn't find the legal infrastructure there supporting their investment to protect them. we've been busy passing laws to be able to create that
opportunity. and if we want to attract investors we need to have the grounds, not just the physical infrastructure in place, we also need to have the laws in place to be able to -- for them to be able to feel safe and be able to feel secure. we signed -- joined the world trade organization, so there is -- the availability of international courts for there is arbitration required. we're also passing laws to be able to protect, let's say if you had a technology business. if amazon was to invest in afghanistan and wanted to put a data center there, while their immediate need may be making sure they have internet connectivity and electricity and a safe location, the other needs would be privacy laws to make sure the government is not going to one day show up and say i want to look into all your data. we're preparing afghanistan for that investment while we're attracting smaller businesses in
the meanwhile. >> thank you. >> okay. stop there. >> thank you. ambassador, i come from the spanish embassy. and i read in an interview in "the washington post" that you were a refugee two times, i think in pakistan. so my question is, what is your opinion about the european union's behavior with these refugees crisis? seeing your example that a refugee can become an ambassador of his country? >> okay. straight to the point. you know, it's not easy to be a refugee, having gone through it several times, not just two times. i am, you know -- the first time when we were escaping the u.s.s.r. or soviet invasion in afghanistan and the second time due to civil war.
each time brought its own challenges. the third time because we had lost hope. and that's the most important part. we don't want our people to lose hope. we want to be able to create opportunities. that's where the international community's role is so important. because the afghan public has seen so much turmoil over time. and we have seen different factions come and take over and we have seen them -- they themselves are witnessed in our generation losing their entire wealth, houses, and everything they owned. it makes the afghans a little concerned when we see that we're headed towards insecurity and the international community's support. there was a period when we lost that support and so much tragedy happened. so the international communities continues assurance that afghanistan, they will continue to stand by afghanistan's side as we develop with.
it's extremely important given the afghans who may be thinking about leaving and those who have left to be able to return. because they feel there would be opportunities for them in their own country. you would know and everybody knows that there is no better place than home. you know. that's where you feel comfortable. that's where your family is, that's where your friends are. that's where you feel -- you're not a foreigner, you belong at home. and we want to make sure that afghanistan has those opportunities for our people. so they can come back, that's one of the reason we're negotiating peace deals to be able to get those refugee whose are not in afghanistan and perhaps worried about the insecurity there or the lack of opportunities to come back from the larger refugee population than pakistan and iran, as well as those who may be outside. and also those are the people who are going to build our country, people who have studied abroad.
those for example has been in the united states or europe where they had the opportunity to learn skills that we need to rebuild. and thank you for paying support to afghanistan. when we're in the united states we thank the united states and sometimes -- >> on behalf of the world affairs council in washington, d.c. and the ronald reagan building international trade center, ambassadors, thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise with us. [ applause ] >> we're done. >> we look forward to seeing you here again. thank you.
the cdc's dr. tom freeden, the centers for disease control and prevention talks about the zika virus today. he'll be at the international press club to take questions about the latest research and the forecast for the viruses spread this summer. our live coverage begins at 1:00 eastern. at 4:00 eastern we'll take you to ventura california for a rally with the democratic
candidate, brrernie sanders. hillary clinton is also in california today and cspan will have 4:30 eastern. and tomorrow c-span will have live coverage of donald trump's rally in san diego, california. that's friday at 5:00 p.m. associated spres reporting that presidential candidate donald trump has the number of delegates needed to lock down the republican nomination. the news organization contacted unbound delegates and enough say they will support trump to push him over the 1237 delegates needed. ap reports that delegates with stake and primaries on june 7th will pad his total and avoid a contested convention in cleveland in july.
a speaker at a recent conference says it's getting worse. indiana university hosted former canadian attorney general. this is about an hour. >> dedicated to the exploration of anti-semitism, the institute for the study of contemporary anti-semitism is a great pride for indiana university. the institute made invaluable contributions to the community by bringing leading scholars and activists to campus from all parts of the globe to share their experiences, expertise and perspectives. this week's conference alone has brought some 70 scholars from 16 different countries to our campus. and this is the third such international conference sponsored by the institute in
the past five years. in short, the efforts of the professor and all those who work with the institute have established bloomington as a worldwide hub for the study of anti-semitism and equally as important a hub for a global community of individuals dedicated to the enduring power of diversity and inclusion. this evening i'm delighted to continue this tradition by welcoming back to our campus ir u win koth ler to deliver our address. he has served various roles in the canadian government, including a as member of parliament, minister of justice
and attorney general. his career has been defined by a commitment to human rights and equality in all its fompls. in commitment has been evident in everything from his efforts to make the canadian supreme court the most gender representative in the world to his leadership of the canadian delegation to the stockholm conference on the prevention and combatting of genocide. further more professor cotler distinguished himself as an international human rights lawyer serving as council of prisoners of conscience who include notable figurings as nelson mandela, and andre, a
former lecturer of the former soviet union. he testified as an expert witness on human rights and government assemblies around the world including the united states, russia, sweden and israel. his advocacy for human rights reminds us of the powerful words of dr. martin luther king. in justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. most recently his lifelong commitment to human rights led to the creation of the wallen berg center for human rights named after the swedish diplomat who saved thousands of jews from the nazis during world war ii. only to tragically disappear after being captured by soviet forces in 1945. as you might expect from his leadership, the center has a
distinctly international scope. focusing on issues of pressing contemporary importance such as human rights in iran. his work brought him to the summit for human rights and democracy. we're so pleased that his work brings him back to university bloomington. join me in welcoming professor irwin cotler. [ applause ] >> thank you for that warm and heartwarming introduction. when i come to indiana amongst such a community of scholars, i feel very much at home. i have to say that i'm particularly moved to participate in the visiting
scholars program because as i mentioned to both of them, just before coming in here, they have been heroes of my wife. my wife was a parliamentary secretary, but very close to the former prime minister. so for me this is an unexpected connection, but a very, very welcome one on a personal as well as a scholarly basis. i want to as well join in the tribute to professor alvin he is a model of moral and intellectual leadership. he is made of this conference, this gathering of international scholars. the preeminent gathering of its
kind internationally. he made it the institute of the contemporary study of anti-semitism, a preeminent institute in that regard. also his work reminds me of something. if you'd pardon me, that is the debt that i owe to my parents of the blessed memory. and the reason for that who taught me when i was a young boy before i understood the profundity of his remarks when he would say to me repeatedly to all the other commandments
combined. this as he put it you must teach on to your children. but it was my mother who when she would hear my father saying this would say to me that if you want to pursue justice, you have to understand, you have to feel the injustice about you. you have to go in and about your community and beyond and feel the injustice and combat the injustice. the great human rights of the second half of the 20th century. the struggle for human rights and during the former soviet union and apartheid who became the face and identity and vision of those struggles. and nelson mandela in south africa.
but the reason i'm mentioning this and connecting it to alvin is because his work with respect to the scholarly inquiry and the moral intellectual leadership that he's providing is really not just the struggle against anti-semitism, but in the larger sense of the word, the struggle against injustice. that is what brings us together. that is what my mother would have liked to have seen us do as part of my father's call to justice but my mother's warning by combatting injustice. and that is what we are doing in convening as we are today. so i'm pleased to share u with you this evening some thoughts, some concerns, some reflections, and, yes, even some hope. someone said am i going to be adding to that bruting presence
that we have been hearing about the shadows of anti-semitism, the dangers, the threats, the terror and the like. but i want to say that i'm also hoping to end on a hopeful ending. and i'm encouraged by the fact that we do have these gatherings of scholars coming together. so our struggle then is not anned a miezed struggle, but we come together in common cause here and beyond. so invest that context that i want to share these remarks with you this evening about the jewish condition and the human condition. about assault on jews and assaults on human rights. about the state of jews in the world today and the state of the world inhabited by jews. about anti-semitism not only being the oldest and most
enduring of hatreds. i would say the paradigm of radical hatred is the paradigm of radical evil. but the most toxic, the most lee thal as our colleague put it. of remembrance and reminder. we are meeting on the 80th anniversary of the coming into effect of the race laws. ended up being prologue on precursor to take iing us down road to the holocaust. we meet also on the 71st anniversary year of the liberation of auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century. a reminder of horrors too terrible to be believed, but not
too terrible to have happened. 1.3 million people were murdered at auschwitz. 1.1 million of them were jews. let there be no mistake about it. jews were murdered in auschwitz because of anti-semitism. but anti-semitism did not itself die at auschwitz. and jews and the related an anti-semitism have emerged and have emerged for some time. i have learned only too well and too tragically that while it may begin with jews it doesn't end with jews. and so the underlying thesis of my remarks this evening that i regret that i have been repeating this thesis tr some time now, but it just intensifies is that we are
witnessing a new global escal e escalating, sophisticated and even lethal anti-semitism. grounded in classical anti-semitism, but distinguishable from it. which received its first international institutional expression in the united nations it gave the abomination the appearance of international legal sanction.
they are anchored in human rights and international law in general and equality rights law in particular. it's a discrimination again denial of, assault upon, the rights of jews to live as equal members in any society and have developed metrics to identify and evaluate this traditional or classical anti-semitism. the antidefamation in a global comparative study in 2014 using some traditional metrics that have questions too much power or control the media.
determined at the end of that global study that anti-semitism as they put it was a persistent and pervasive virus. but i want to suggest to you that there is this new anti-semitism with a set of metrics that were not even included in the antidefamation league and which i want to share with you this evening. but first, if i may, to excerpt from a speech that was given some 16 years ago at the beginning of the 21st century when in observing the developments in the old and new anti-semitism and the intersection between the two stated in a rather pith yan way a process and connection and intersectionalty in a that
sense, which underpins my rem k remarks this evening. it primarily targets the jews, the state of israel. i just might add it was a former deputy prime minister of sweden who emerged as one of the leading psychologicscholars wito old and new anti-semitism. then he continues. and then such attacks start a chain reaction of assaults on individual jews and jewish institutions. he concludes in the past, the most dangerous antisemimites were those who wanted to make the world free of jews. today the most dangerous antisemimites who might be those that want to make the world free of a jewish state.
i want to summarize some five metrics of the new anti-semitism. i have elsewhere outlined 12 metrics, but i want to bore and burden you, so i will seek to limit it to five and even then you might say this is somewhat burdening. but one anti-semitism. four anti-jewish terror and the one that i think is the most sophisticated and may be the most dangerous in that sense because the others at least are overt and public and clear. it's what i would call the laundry or masking of anti-semitism under universal public values and they are all the things that people care about in their common humanity. i hope then and if time permits
to not leave it in an analytical framework, but to suggest some initiatives that we may take as a group of scholars to both not only better understand, but to better address and redress this new anti-semitism. let me begin with the first metric of the new anti-semitism against the direct and public incite f inciteful in the matter of upholding the constitutionality of the anti-hate legislation. when the court said that the holocaust did not begin in the
gas chambers. and where they had come in 1992 and sought refugee status in canada won't go through the levels of proceedings and hearings but at the end of the day, the court order ed back to rwanda he said how can i on the grounds of incitement to genocide and his argument was i came to canada in 1992.
the very incitement constitutes the crime under international law. whether or not acts of genocide follow. in my view, compelling precedent in terms of combatting state sanction hate and hate to genocide. and i say this because what makes the genocide in rwanda so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide itself that would be bad enough. what makes it so unspeakable is that genocide was preventible.
nobody could say we did not know. we knew, but we did not act. just as in the case of darfur, nobody could say we did not know. we did not act or now as we just passed the fifth anniversary of the killing fields in syria or some close to 500,000 have been killed, 12.5 million have been displaced. close to 5 million are refugees. isis came in at the end of the scorched earth policy. it began with the criminality of assad's regime. and those who said atd the time invoking the response, that whenever you have a situation in any country or with any government of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, and the government in places
unable or unwilling to do anything about it or in the case of syria is the author of that killing field then there's a responsibility on the part of the international community to intervene and protect the innocent civilians. but those who called four years ago for intervention when there's only 7,000 dead and quote, unquote, less than 100,000 displaced, we're told that if you intervene, this will lead to sectarian warfare. this will lead to jihadists coming in. everything we were told would happen if we intervened happened because we didn't intervene. and in a parallel similarly with regard to the struggle against anti-semitism, we cannot be
bystanders. in locking at the phenomenon of anti-semiti anti-semitism, i found that there were some seven manifestations of genocidal anti-semitism. i'm not going to go through all of them. just several of them to guf this audience does not need an e elaborate explanation. the first expression came at the beginning of the 21st century though not the first expression by that e person, but the first in the 21st century. on january 3rd, 2000, when the supreme leader of iran said that
there could be no resolution of the arab/israeli conflict without the annihilation of the jewish state. to not use the euphemism, without the annihilation of the jewish state. as we heard earlier today, this continued in terms of the calls for the excising of the cancerous tumor, israel and several weeks ago in the testing of ballistic missiles, as it had been with the missile with the emblem of wipe israel off the map repeated again three weeks ago. is that they are standing violations of the prohibition against this direct and public incitement to genocide anchored
in the convention and international law. in effect, state parties have a responsibility. it's not a policy option. i use that term because i wanted to distinguish it from the people and publics of iran who are otherwise the targets of mass domestic repression where the international community is not sufficiently intervening to redress on that level as well. so here's the first manifestation. the second manifestation of anti-semitism are the covenance and charters and declarations of programs and hezbollah shiite. i'm not saying that hamas in its
own public charter calls for the destruction of israel and the killing of jews wherever they may be. you can find it in article 7. but what is perhaps less well known and surprised in the parliament was when i read into the record not simply this public genocidal column, but the antisemitic tropes that underpin it. calling israel -- calling jews responsible for the french revolution, the first world war, the second world war, the league of nations, the there's not an evil in the world in which the jewish footprints are not there. so you have the juxtaposition of the old and new anti-semitism. with regard to hezbollah, we
know of its public threats as well with regard to the reeder not only speaks of israel's disappearance, but he said, and i quote, the old and the new come together and if all the jews were gathered in israel, it would be easier to kill them all at the same time. but u in a lesser note, but no less defamatory and expression they said that, i quote, if we search the entire world for the person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the jew. notice i do not say the israeli. and as the shiite scholar, i'm author of the book says this
statement provides moral justification and ideological justification for demum newsing the jews. this view she went on the the israeli jew becomes a legitimate target for extermination and also legitimizes attacks on n nonino nonisraeli jews. i'll leave it at that. are the religious exclusion calling for the killing of jews. i can give you a litany of that in terms of radical e moms. where jews and judism are held out to be the enemy of islam and where in their genocidal calls iz u real as it were emerges
among the nations. the object of a state and so it is under this phenomenon of the genocidal anti-semitism that israel becomes the only state in the world today and the jewish people, the only people in the world today that are the standing targets of genocidal anti-semitism. i didn't even go into the other manifestations of it, which include pop list anti-semitism, those expressions to which we heard in the streets of paris and ber lib and the like or the genocidal anti-semitism in the social media and so on. it brings me now to the second metric and this i'm referring here now to anti-semitism and move more quickly here. the globalizing indictment in
this metric of israel and the jewish people as the embodiment of all evil in the world today. of israel as a racist child killing genocidal apartheid nazi people and state. the embodiment of the worst evils of the 12020th century. so that israel and the jewish people become not only the only state and only people that are the standing targets of genocidal anti-semitism, but the only state and the only people that are systemically accused of being genocidal themselves. for the incitement and assault.
all of which serves as a value day or two for a third indicator. the denial of the fundamental rights of the jewish people. in other words, if the first indicator is a public call for the destruction of israel and the jewish people and if in the second metric israel and the jewish people are the embodiment of all evil, warranting the assaults upon it then political anti-semitism is a denial of israel's right to exist to begin with or the denial of its legitimacy or the denial of the jewish people's right to self-determination if not even their denial as a people. as martin luther king jr. put it, i quote, it is the denial to the jews of the same right, the right to self-determination that we afford african nations and all people of the globe.
in short, it is anti-semitism. which brings me to a forty m metric u and that is the phenomenon of anti-jewish terror. underpin ned by antijewish stat sanctioned incitement and then the glorification of that terrorism and even the rewarding of that terrorism. by both hamas and the palestinian authority. let me just say that the 21st century also began in the year october 2000 with the worst antijewish terrorism i would say more than that. the worst terrorism that we have, in fact, ever witnessed over a period of time. in the first two years from the onslaught of what was called the
second, kind of sanitizing term because the notion is simply some kind of resistance to an occupation that really comes with a validating expression. what it really was with the worst kind of terrorism that we have witnessed in contemporary history. some 600 jews were murder ued in the first two years of that. that is equivalent to a half a dozen 9/11s. and during the same time, there were a series of major attacks that never took place because they were thwarted. the attempt to bomb the israeli towers, which could have been a 9/11 in a particular sense for israel. the attempt to poison -- i can
go on. what i'm saying is you had specific antijewish terror which included also the targeting of synagogues and jewish community centers and hebrew university. i can go on in the terrorist attacks. regrettably, what we have been witnessing has been ignoring or marginalizing or sanitizing of such attacks. let me just give you a personal experience and i'll close this metric with this experience. i was in israel over december/january break. i went there to attend an international jewish parliamentarians conference. i arrived because the day sticks in my mind and my psyche on december 20th. ai arrived at the airport and picked up a post on the front page it said three terrorist
attacks. now my daughter and grandchildren live there so these attacks took place while i was flying over to israel. so i immediately called my daughter and said it's okay, we're fine. but it was a neighbor of ours. and she fought the terrorists off. fast forward january 1st, i'm going to visit my son, who recently u moved to israel and was living in tel aviv. i'm walking in and there's a terrorist attack in the heart of tel aviv. and then the third, just as i was about to leave israel being there for several weeks, you may have read about a pregnant woman that had been stabbed and
thankfully the fetus was fine. that happened to be a cousin of mine. so i'm visiting israel. i'm there during a three-week period and all these terrorist attacks occur, which israelis are experiencing this terror day u in and day out. and yet when i and experimented with this, we have a channel in our tv which brings you the israeli news. every single day for months now, the news has led off with another terrorist attack that took place in israel. every single day that i watched the canadian news there's almost no reference to these terrorist attacks. so not only the sanitizing of antijewish terror but it emboldens the terrorist to not only continue striking in israel, but continue to strike
elsewhere. because when we didn't intervene at the beginning of this century with regard to antijewish terror, we then found that that antijewish terror, the tentacles would move on to europe and elsewhere. so our responsibility here to intervene on humanity and that common humanity was conclude israelis and jews. i'm referring also to israeli arabs who they themselves have been injured or killed sometimes in these terrorist attacks. though not targeted for that purpose. now i come to the final metric. the one that i said is the most sophisticated. that is the lawn drerg or masking of anti-semitism under universal public values. because of the stricttures of time, i'm going to give one
example of each of the four arenas in which this lawn derg takes place. the first, the laundering of the u.n., international law, the culture of human rights and, fourth, under the struggle against racism. one could add a fifth because it's becoming much more present of late and that is the laund laundering under the indigenous peoples framework as well. let me begin with regard to the laundry under the protective cover of the united nations. i'm not saying anything new when i say yet again in december this year, the annual ritual was repeated of some 20 resolutions of condemnation against one member state in the international community, it happens to be israel and some three resolutions against the rest of the world combined. critical mass of indictment and quality of allstates large and
small. that is not the only disturbing phenomenon there. as someone who is a member of canadian delegation to the united nations, there's not only a critical mass of indictment, there's a critical mass of exposure to that indictment. that process which culminates in 20 resolutions of condemnation proceeds over a three-month period through the various communities and like of the united nations. the delegations are composed not simply of diplomats. they're composed of parliamentarians, of scholars of faith leaders, academics, journalists sometimes even of students. so there is a critical mass of exposure to that on-going
process of indictment. i can tell you, many of the people who come to these -- parliamentary delegations, they're unformed. when they listen to that drum beat of indictment over three months with resolutions pass that read like findings of fact and conclusions of law, then they internalize willie nilly this delegitimizing dynamic. and that was why one of the things that we need to do is address and redress the situation that's going on at the united nations. by the way, we know about the 40th anniversary was designed racism resolution. let me tell you what took place at the exact same time that got no coverage and even no remembrance at all, a process which began then that has been continued since which was
portray then as the enemy of all that is good and the repository of all that was evil so it was in 1974 and '75, israel was held up to be the enemy of labor. evidence, the resolution of the international labor organization condemning, i use the word alenl, condemning israeli oppression trade union. the enemy of health, the revolution condemning israeli mass poisoning of palestinians on the west bank. the enemy of culture, evidence of the resolution condemning israeli desecration of palestinian holy sites and the west bank. the enemy of women, evidence the resolution of the united nations commission on the starter of women condemning israel for its oppression of palestinian women. by the way, recently israel became the only state in the
world condemned for its oppression of women. i mean, you can't make this thing up unless you're sitting at the united nations council for human rights. the enemy of peace, evidence the resolution of the united nations general assembly condemning israel as nonpeace loving nation and the enemy of human rights, the resolution of the then united nations commission on human rights, the predecessor to the present un council condemning israel as a major human rights violator. in a word, in a world in which human rights then, let alone until now, i'm talking about 40 years ago, has emerged as new secular religion of our time. the condemnation of israel has the metta human rights violator meant that israel had emerged
new geo political antichrist of our time. so much for the first example. the second example is laundering under the authority of international law. i could regrettably on this forever, but let me just take one example and it was mentioned earlier today deserves a recall. and that is in december last year, the contracting parties of the fourth geneva convention and armed, the repository of international humanitarian law or the law of conflict, as it was called, met to put one state in the international community in the dark. it was not iran, it was not syria. it was not north korea. it was not i can go on. the only state put in the docket when the contracting parties of the geneva convention could mean was israel and it has
precedence. this was the third time that the contracting parties to the geneva convention had met in 50 years and each time they put one state in the docket and each time that state is israel. and let me tell you that this quote/unquote juris prudence without the cave yacht they may refer to the juris prudence of the condemnation but not add, by the way, this was the only state in the world so indicted. leads me, if i may borrow, i don't want to misappropriate another person's pain, but sometimes when i hear about black lives matter and it is true and somebody who has been part of that and -- movement, sometimes i think when i hear but witness the daily stabbings in israel and the like, someone should also say, and israeli lives matter, as well. because we are all part of a common humanity and it is blacks, each in its own context that we have to remember and to address those situations. a third reference made and will be made is the laundering of -- on human rights by the way, just for purposes of anchoring it in
history, this is the 70th anniversary now of the founding of the u.n. commission on human rights back in 19 -- at the time in 70th anniversary to make the exact time in terms of 1946, in terms of the founding of the u.n. commissioner. the tenth anniversary now of the u.n. council of human rights which was set up to address the singling out of israel that it occurred under the u.n. commission on human rights and to adhere to the u.n. principle
of equality for all nations large and small, but which has even been more prejudicial in its singling out in an obsessive way of one state than its predecessor human rights commission. and here, too, i can go through the resolutions and special sessions, the emergency and such. i want to give you my own personal experience with how this has taken place. you know about the operation protective edge, the u. -- the council united nations council established a commission of
inquiry to look into it. what it didn't tell you or what was not always a known was that there was some 18 references in the resolution establishing that commission of inquiry into operation protective edge in the last israel, 18 separate references to israeli criminality in the resolution establishing this investigative inquire and not one reference to hamas. this was the framework under that resolution was set up. let me give you my own personal experience, i received a call in 2006 from the then united nations commission on human rights, lawheeze, when we talk together, a distinguished judge of the supreme court of canada that went on to become the united nations commissioner for human rights. i'm calling to ask you to invite you to be a member of commission of inquiry that we're setting up
to look into killings of palestinians and that come in northern, she said, bishop in south africa, one member and you will be the other. i said, to louise, this commission of inquiry will be going through and she said, no, why would it go? it was because of the rocketing that came from hamas in northern gaza, the rocketing of the civilian starut in southern israel, that israel in responding to that constant rocketing barrage regrettably, tragically a shell, killed 18 palestinians. we know that we're not going there, but, you can member a member of the commission. you can, of course, make such submissions as part of the commission. i said, louise, i've read the resolution establishing the commission of inquiry that you're asking me to join. the resolution says that israel willingly murdered 18 palestinians.
so what is there to investigate. i said, i'm sorry, i don't intend to be a fig leaf for the u.n. i certainly don't intend to be a jewish fig leaf for the u.n., which leads me to the final laundering and that is the laundering under the struggle against racism. let's face it. one of the worst things you can say about a person, let alone a country, the very label supplies the indictment, no further proof extensively is required. if any further proof is required as in the case of israel, then you refer to israel as on a part time state. referencing israel is not an accidental reference. because those who draw up the indictment knew and know very well that it's defined in
international law as a crime against humanity. if you say israel is an part time state, it is a crime against humanity. if it is a crime against humanity, then it has no right to be and if that is not enough, you call it a na zee state. not only does it have no right to beat, there's an obligation to ensure there is no right to be. we should recall five years ago public opinion survey was done in europe where countries were asked, do you believe that israel is doing to the palestinians what the nazi's did to the jews and an average of 40% in the polls pulled said, yes, followed therefore psychological intellectual from this laundering of delegit maization.
and so what we find, at this point, in this last part in the struggle against the laundering and the struggle goes back also to durbin, whose 15th anniversary we're going to be commemorating and where the tipping point for that laundering began. the laundering didn't begin in 2001 in durbin. it began, as i said, way back over 40 years ago and the attempt then to portray israel the enemy of all that is good, but what happened to durbin was a tipping point and i'll just close with an excerpt of the marches that use to take place, the chanting and the marches in the streets of durbin, dramatically i think conveyed the impact of that laundering and the chanting went as followed, the struggle in the 20th century required the dismantling of south african is part time state and struggle against the parti in the 21 century requires a dismantle of israel as an aparte state.
the blueprint for what we're witnessing today in the culture and the like, which brings me, now, to the final part and so the question, what needs to be done and in particular what can we do. and i remember two years ago, this conference we discussed how it had been removed from the fra web site, but i want to say that it is still and is part of the u.s. state department definition and is part, also, 0 of both the london parliamentary declaration to combat antisentiment. that's the first thing that we need to do to have more inclusive and common definition. the second thing is, the phenomenon of intersectionalty, discussed how it had been remove ed from the website, but i want
to say it is still ask is part of the u.s. state department definition and is part also about the london parliamentary declaration cocombat. so that's the first thing that we need to do to have a more inclusive and common definition. the second is the phenomenon of intersectionalty, which is anchored in the rubric of human rights, which underpins the movement today, which underpins the fe normal nonof bds that we find in academic groups, but if you look at it it's the organization of health academics or anthropologists. this is the nature of intersectionalty.
and it's where all the oppressed groups are victims of oppression come together against the oppressor. when it comes to the middle east and reconfiguration as the conflict with the conflict then defined as a human rights configuration and narrative and where israel is the oppressor and palestinians are oppressed it results in a situation recently at mcgill university where the bds movement was joined by the environmentalists, the womens groups, black groups and so on as part of that phenomenon of intersectionalty. and you know, one of the things about this when i think about intersection gnat nalty. in a way the soviet movement pioneered intersectionalty. when you think back to the struggle, you had lawyers,
scientists women, students, we then did what is come to. known as intersectionalty. which was whz the metaphor for human right was a struggle for soviet jury. this has now been turned on its head and intersectionalty has been turned on its head recently a group of students when we hosted at our home told us regarding the recent bds dynamic, that it wasn't just directed against israel, it was directed against the jewish students on the campus in the sense that they were seen in the dynamics of intersectionalty, they were seen as part of the white white privileged group that was also dominating the under privileged or repressed groups. so, as i said, you know, it's
not that we don't know the case against bds, it's not that we don't know the case about the israeli palestinian. the problems were not seen as having standing to make the case, we are seen as being part of the oppressor classed. until this phenomenon of intersectionalty is much deeper than we might think. a third thing that i believe we need to do, by the way, what i said to them is return to intersectionalty as it was once patterned by the black civil rights movement and the struggle. you start making linkages with the women's movement with the environmental movement et cetera, et cetera so that the jewish struggle is not defined, as we heard today in terms of israel kind of ethnic state and ethnic, but is defined as part of the struggle for justice and
against injustice as a whole. the third thing we need to combative prevent the state sanction to hate and genesis, as i said, it's astonishing that not one state party today the convention has undertaken what is not a policy option but international legal obligation to in fact address this. a fourth thing is we need to affirm and implement the parliamentary protocall to combat. let me just take as a test, how many people here have read the protocol. very few. this is a -- i'll say that there were more who didn't put up their hands but one of the problems is that some of these things are not sufficiently known, appreciated and acted upon. it contains within it the
definition of the metrics of the new, also contains a blueprint for action by government's by parliaments, by civil society and the like, which leads me to a fifth -- an issue, and that is to share with you a unanimous resolution. that was adopted by the canadian parliament invoking the protocol in that context as well, and i have to say that unanimous resolutions are not that easy to get adopted, just one person from any of the political parties when the speak of the parliament puts the question to them and says does anyone, you know, object, one person says no, you can't adopt the resolution so the resolution was adopted by all members by all parties. i'll summarize the resolution
very quickly, because you can use it as a template in other parliaments and other work within civil society. i know as one wag said, cancelled for lack of interest which may be the reason don't know what the ottawa protocol, let alone the resolution. resolution says as follows, number one, it condemned the alarming global rise in antisentism. two, it called on the canadian government and parliament to make the combatting of antisentism a priority in both domestic as well as foreign policy. number three, it abstracted from the ottawa protocol to say the following with this, i close, criticizing israel is not antise mattic is wrong. but singling israel out for selective appropriate indictment, denying the right to exist, let alone calling for israel's destruction is hateful and discriminatory and not saying so is dishonest. and i believe as scholars, this is a template that we can invoke
and apply. number six, we need to combat the laundering or delegit to c the laundering or delegitimizing of israel. not as something which is prejudicial to israel. frankly, if you talk about the delegitimization of israel, people way say, they should be delegitimized. nothing wrong. deserved to be delegitimized. what we have to say is the real phenomenon is the laundering of that, the seeming validation of it, and to make it clear that this is not just prejudicial to israel but it erodes the integrity of the united nations under whose protective cover it passes. it diminishes the authority of international law, which is invoked in its favor.
it corrupts the culture of human rights and it demeans the struggle against the real racem, against the real apartheid and shames against the real apartheid in south africa. we have to say what is at stake here is the laundering of delegitimization of public values in the pursuit of the delegitimization of israel. second thing, we should not retreat from the united nations as is sometimes the instinct to do or as we're sometimes counseled to do, but rather we should engage with the united nations and move out of the docket of the defendant and become a rights claimant. become a plaintiff, and do so not in the name of israel, but
do so in the name of the charter of the united nations. do so in the name of the universal declaration of human rights because what is happening in the singling out of israel for selective program and indictment is really a standing breach of those principles of equality before the law and human rights law and the like. i know you say it won't make a difference. the very process is important. the very making of the case has its own dynamics. very often, the bds movement doesn't care if it wins at the end of the day the vote. what it cares is how many people they're seemingly sensitizing to the position of the bds. that's why i say similarly here, we can be sentatisitizing our countries and international community to the manner in which this laundering is actually taking place under the protective cover of the u.n. and
the things they care about. next thing, we need to reverse the paradigm, the conventional paradigm of the middle east, which has taken hold for some time now, which says that the israeli/palestinian conflict is the root of all conflict in the middle east and beyond. the occupation is the root of the israeli/palestinian conflict and apartheid is the root of the occupation. we have to turn it around to say that it is radical islam that is the source of all conflict in the middle east and beyond. the denial of israel's legitimacy in any borders, anywhere, in the middle east, that is the real apartheid. and the call, the subsequent call for the destruction of israel and the killing of jews is the criminal apartheid of today. so we should both identify and
name the evil, and again, step out of the docket of the defendant and become the plaintiff, the rights claimant. we need also to protect the vulnerable minorities whose cases and causes in the middle east are being overshadowed or not even being addressed at all. i am referring to the azitis, the kurds, to the christians, the muslims, the baha'i and the like who are the standing targets themselves of state sanctioned incitement, in some cases to genocide, to mass atrocity, and the like. we have to change the channel of the international agenda which is focusing only on israel to call on them that if they really care about human rights, where is their inclusive concern with the targeted -- forget about israel, with all these targeted minorities in the middle east, the standing targets of mass
atrocity under the principle of intersectionality, we should make this our case and cause. and finally, may i close with a conversation that i had with aboriginal law students, indigenous law students. it took place the day i was appointed minister of justice and attorney general of canada. i'm saying this because another feature of the laundering that i didn't go into the manner in which the delegitimization is laundered under the rubric of indigenous peoples or israel's foreign colonial interloper and the like and palestinians, the indigenous people and so on. let me just share with you in exchange, the law students met with me and i said as follow, we're not just law students, we're aboriginal law students. we come with a pass, with a history, with a heritage. their own cultures, their own religions, with their own language, with our own indigenous legal system. and we have been dispossessed of
that. we have been deprived of our history and our heritage and our culture, our spirituality, our language, our own indigenous legal system. it's not that we go to court because we want to nurture a grievance. we go to court to give expression to who we are. we go to court to anchor ourselves in our aboriginal identity. we go to court to give expression to our aboriginal legal system. but we are always giving expression and feeling this enormous pain because we feel that the canadian government and the canadian people don't understand who we are, where we have come from, and what we aspire to be. i said to them i was going to share a parable that comes out of my tradition where students come to their rabbi and say, rabbi, we love you. and the rabbi says, do you know what hurts me? the students say, rabbi, why do you ask if we know what hurts you if we tell you we love you?
and the rabbi says if you don't know what hurts me, you can't tell me you love me. as i haired with them, that's a profound principle of human relationships. i said that will be the way we as a government and a parliament will seek to relate to the indigenous people in terms of their past, their history, their identity, their aspirations. and then i said, you know, at the risk of being somewhat presumptuous if not pretentious, i said i too come from an aboriginal people, a people that still inhabits the same lives, embracing the same aboriginal religion, harkens to the same aboriginal prophets, studies the same torah, speaks the same aboriginal language, hebrew, and bears the same name, israel, as
we did 3500 years ago. whereupon they came up to me and said, you know, we thought this was going to be another blah, blah lecture by another, welcome one aboriginal people to another. i want to tell you, this is not a story that i'm sharing only in the confines here in the international scholars. i repeated it again and again when i was minister of justice and attorney general of canada. not only because i felt it was making the case that had to be made about why aboriginal justice had to be a priority on our justice agenda. but the subtext of it is i was also speaking out of the authenticity of my own identity. and i think we have to speak out of the authenticity of our own identities. jewish or otherwise. in that sense, we cannot compromise what we say or what we do on the alters of political
correctness because at the end of the day, if you indulge political correctness too much, you end up becoming a bystander. and my whole plea today is for us not to be bystanders, but to be interveneants in that struggle for justice, and as my mother would say in the best way, to do it is to struggle against injustice and remember that bold jewish proverb which should apply to us all. when i say that jews are indigenous and aboriginal people, i'm not saying abe. s aren't, they're also aboriginal people. that's part of the difficulty of the struggle and why we'll have to frame an approach to it in terms of the principles of least injustice. that for another time, but the thing to remember always, and the epigram i always remember that at the end of the day,
truth and justice will prevail. we are involved in a just struggle. we're not involved only on behalf of jews or israelis or only against anti-semitism or hatred. we are on behalf of our common humanity and that is a most profound struggle for justice and against injustice. thank you. california's primary is june 7th. and the presidential candidates are holding rallies throughout the state. at 4:00 eastern, democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders will be in ventura california, and we'll have live coverage. hillary clinton is holding a rally in san hjose, california, c-span will have live covere