tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 23, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EST
those communities. certain things haven't changed, certain things will maybe not change, the fact that the u.s. is going to be giving $38 billion of our tax money directly to the israeli military over the next ten years. if that changes it will be higher, not lower or it may stay the same. now, we've heard a number of things from donald trump about what his policy in the middle east would look like. we've heard him say that settlements are not an obstacle to peace and that he may appoint jason greenblatt, who's currently his adviser on israel that's a possibility. he said he would dismantle the iran nuclear deal, something he can't do because it's not simply a u.s. deal, it involves a whole host of countries.
he could make it harder than it currently is and it's already hard to implement that deal because of u.s. sanctions, you can can impose unilateral sanctions for other reasons that would make that deal very dangerously undermined. he could do what he again said yesterday he would do, move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem, in violation of u.n. resolutions, he has said that he would veto any security council resolution on israel/palestine that's designed to set parameters of what a solution should look like. he has said there could be no two-state solution without palestinian recognition of israel as a jewish state. we have no idea. he has also said that the u.s. should be neutral between israel and the palestinians. [ laughter ] who knows? now that he said early on, he didn't repeat it, he took a lot of heat for that and didn't say it again. but the bottom line is we don't really have a clue what his
stance is. what has not changed -- and if i had -- when i thought about what i was going to say today a few weeks ago thinking about what we have to look forward to with a clinton presidency which would have been not an easy task for us looking forward, it was not something that the supporters of palestinian rights would have welcomed. i was seeing what i would present today a little bit differently but in a fundamental way not very differently because what has not changed is the primacy of social movements. presidents by themselves don't make history, movements make history. and i think that has not changed. so what we have to think about is what kind of movements we need, where they get their power, how they engage with those currently in power. in fact, in many ways i think the danger of the trump presidency is less about trump's
own policy ideas -- whatever they may be -- as much as it is the movement that has risen around his candidacy. it is a movement with a fascist core, a movement that is based on islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, it's a very dangerous and with a very violent core and that's what i was talking about when i said we have an obligation to protect and defend the communities that will be most at risk. muslim communities, communities of color, immigrant communities, refugees. they will be at great risk and that becomes part of our obligation, but the importance of movements on our side has not changed and i think when we look at u.s. policy, u.s. policy towards israel has not changed a great deal since 1967 when the "special relationship" developed in the context of the cold war, the end of the '67 war, the
pentagon looks at israel and says "wow, we could do business with these guys, they're good." now it was based partly on mythology, they defeated six arab armies. well, they didn't defeat six arab armies, they defeated two arab armies that were viable and functional but but that as it may, they fought pretty well, that i established a great deal and the pentagon is not interested in issues of international law so they said we could do business with these guys and business became a key component of that relationship. it was what set the stage for the strategic ties and it empowered the political ties that the pro-israel lobby that had been around for many, many years but hasn't had that that much power prior to that suddenly emerged with much more power because it was now pushing in the same direction as the strategic analysts in the pentagon, in the white house, in the state department all wanted to move. that has not changed. so in the context of the resent pe -- recent period where we saw
tension between president obama and prime minister netanyahu, what we did not see through those eight years was any significant shift in the strategic relationship with israel so for all that netanyahu complained about obama and treated him with such racist disregard, the strategic leaders of israel's military and intelligence agencies were all very clear and said publicly that president obama had been if not the single most, among the most supportive of israel of any president of the united states. which sounds crazy when you look at the rhetoric but if you look at the military aid, higher than ever. the absolute protection of israel in the united nations so that israeli officials knew they did not have to worry about ever having to be held accountable for their violations of international law and their war crimes. that was huge, that was huge. and one time we heard president obama say perhaps we would think
about maybe some time in the future considering the possibility of maybe a reconsideration of how we deal with israel in the united nations and all of us said, wow, that's huge. but that was the last we heard of it. so we did not see that kind of a shift. what we have seen shifting is the discourse in this country. in a number of ways and i'm going to look at the public discourse, the media discourse, the political discourse in all of the ways that it has and has not changed and the question of policy and what has changed and then what our movements are doing and what has made that possible. the public discourse, if we look over the last ten years, it's been a dramatic change. no longer is criticism of israeli policy political suicide. now a lot of people in this town don't get that, they still think it is and they're still afraid. the rise of a centrist
organization like j-street has been very important in providing political cover to those few brave members of congress who want to take on the political challenge. but around the country it's no longer an obvious thing that israel can do no wrong as it was for so many decades. the -- president carter's book "palestine, peace not apartheid" problematic book in a number of ways. the book on the israel lobby, problematic book from my vantage point, i disagree with aspects of it but important books that never would have been published 15 years ago. they could have been published when they were because there had been so much work done to change the discourse so that publishers -- you know, president carter, president or not, would not have gotten a publisher to take the risk 20 years before that of publishing a book like that because at the end of the day publishers are still all about profit so that
was huge. it was a very important symbol of that, the normalization -- and i use the term deliberately because normalization in palestine means something very different than normalization of the issue of palestine in the united states. the normalization of palestine in the united states anti-war movement which began in the period right after 9/11 and moved through the period of 2002, 2003, 2004 culminating in 2007 at the 40th anniversary of the occupation of the '67 territories when the largest anti-war movement of the time, the united for peace and justice coalition that had over 1500 member groups, labour groups, women's organizations, environmental justice groups, all kinds of organizations co-sponsored with the u.s. campaign to end the israeli occupation the first national protest here in washington of the '67 occupation.
that was huge. that was huge. so there's been this massive shift in the black community. there's still a level of christian zionism that operates within some black churches but it's not uniform the way it once was. the role of minupalestinian rig as an issue in the movement for black lives has been an enormous part in the recent period of consolidating that among young people in the african-american community but it's not only among the movement for black lives, the black lives matter matter movement. you see in the the naacp, the moral mondays movement, reverend barber in north carolina has made palestine a key component of his call for justice. you saw it when he spoke at the democratic national convention. he was amazing. you'd never heard that before from a black minister speaking at a democratic party convention. this was huge. so the openness from new organizations, the national organization for women, their president said something just a
couple years ago about the legitimacy of the calls for palestinian rights. in the context of that, you see a huge shift in the jewish community so when i'm growing up in the jewish community in california, there's no choice where you are in terms of jewish identity, you grow up as a zionist, that's what there was. there was no challenge to that. the organizations were the youth affiliates of aipac and their friends. that's what we joined, that's what there was. suddenly you have in the jewish community, like every other community a left, a right, a center. you have to right wing with aipac and their friends and the money, the money is usually with the right wing, that's nothing new and different. you have a centrist position characterize by j-street, very important, you have a left position with jewish voice for peace and they are massively competing with each other for the first time. jvp has 200,000 supporters, it's extraordinary. college campus chapters all across the country. this is unheard of and it's transforming how zionism, how
support for israel functions in the united states. it doesn't mean the lobby efforts have ended. they're still out there pushing but they're having to push a whole lot harder now. they can no longer make claims that they bring votes with them, they can claim they have money, and they do. they use their money wisely, they use their money to pressure members of congress but they don't any longer have the ability to claim -- i'm not sure it was ever ruby they used to claim it, now they can't even claim they represent jewish votes it's a whole different world out there and that's just in the public level. you get to the media. the media shift has not been so dramatic but there has been a very important significant shift in the media, the 60th anniversary of the naqba in 2007, you had palestinian voices being quoted on the front page of the "new york times." you had the word naqba on the front page of the "new york times." that had never happened before,
that was huge. it didn't just happen by itself. it happened because there were organizations like what is now known as the u.s. campaign for palestinian rights, what used to be called the u.s. campaign to end the israeli occupation, you have an extraordinary organization like the institute for middle east understanding whose job it is to place palestinian voices in the mainstream press across the united states and they now have so much work they have 15, 18 people on staff across the country doing just that. you have yousef muniar, the director here, in the pages of the "new york times" over and over again. he's now the director of the u.s. campaign for palestinian rights, just was in the "new york times" again not very long ago. you don't have much of a shift on tv but the mainstream press is not anything like it used to be and i think it's very important that we rise that because there's a lot of stuff out there, there's a new film out there which i'm quoted in a lot, i'm sort of sorry about it
because i think it undermines the work that has gone on in these recent years. it isn't any longer like it used to be where there were no palestinian voices, where support for israel was absolute. so we have to recognize what has changed, what has not changed. the media shift has been significant. the political shift, the latest incoming, again, it's not anything like the public discourse. but for the first time we have a real shift in the political debate in this country. in 2012, some of you will remember, that the democratic party platform debates at one point there was this issue that had come up, the old platform from before had had this language about recognizing jerusalem as the capital of israel, the tune divided capital of israel. it was left out of the platform in 2012. there was a big campaign about it, they tried to get the people to vote for it and the votes -- it took three votes, all of them were saying no, no, no.
finally the chair of the committee just said "i say it was yes." it was an oral vote, i'm saying it was yes. i don't have too much time, i won't go through all the examples of it. there were polls that showed this. when 60 members of congress skipped the speech of the israeli prime minister, that was sanctioning israel. they didn't use the term bds but that was part of bds and it was because of bds that it made it possible because there were movements out there. the policy again has not shifted. but the political shifts both reflect and push forward the work of those movements that have made these broader shifts possible. why now? one because israeli violations are more violent, they are more visible, partly because of social media more people are aware of it. the political situation of the world is different. young people, not only young jews, young palestinians, young people in general are simply not
accepting the so-called conventional wisdom that led to single-minded approaches that said israel is our friend and that's all you need to know. and we saw it this year in the debates around the democratic party platform. partly because of the bernie sanders campaign. bernie sanders made the issue of palestine his only major foreign policy issue. that was huge. now, in my view, it wasn't necessarily the right decision because it was an isolating decision. i think if he had made ending u.s. wars in the middle east his main foreign policy decision it might have gotten more support than it ultimately did but from the vantage point of changing the political discourse on palestine, this was unprecedented and amazing and it led to what we saw at the platform committee where you had jim zogby, you had -- exactly. you had all these people for the first time debating in a serious way the question of palestine.
when you have cornel west on the democratic platform committee, you know there has been a change here. the filmmaker josh fox said about that debate, he said all of our real gains are movement gains. these are not gains that democratic establishment politicians came into office with. so i just want to end with the sense about where our movement is right now because that's what's really fundamental here. we are at a moment where this normalization, mainstreaming of palestine gives us incredible new opportunities. the u.s. campaign for palestinian rights now has something like 350 member organizations. when we started we had seven. maybe it was eight. we had 12 people in a room, we were scared, we didn't know what we were doing, three months later came 9/11 and then we were really scared, we thought what the hell are we doing? this is the wrong time. but it was the right time. now we're seeing that kind of growth. it has -- the u.s. peace movement, as many of you know, is not in good shape, has not been able, we're hoping now
there will be a resurgence, but it has not been able to fully take on the challenge that's needed for u.s. involvement in the wars in syria, in iraq, in yemen, in support the saudi war in yemen, all of that, we see the creativity, the young people, the people of color are centered in the movement for palestinian rights. it's where there's the most creative tactics, the most creative strategies. it's not only bds, bds is huge but it's about direct challenges to u.s. military aid to israel. it's direct challenge to the legitimacy of the lobby. it's challenging the insistence of the u.s. in supporting israeli violations in the u.n. so that israeli officials are never held accountable, all of this is now up for grabs in a way that it has never been before and it's the movements that have made that possible the goal is not to just change discourse obviously, the goal is to change policy and our
democracy as we know is very seriously flawed, it's very, very broken as our elections have shown. but nonetheless one of the things that has to happen before there can be policy change, there has to be a change in discourse, it's not enough but it is the first step and boy have we gotten well on our way. thank you. [ applause ] hi, everyone, i'm really happy to be here and, you know, phyllis is a tough act to follow. but it's interesting because i
think what she said -- what she said builds up nicely to what i'm going say and i think it's very true that the gains that have been made here in the u.s. on the palestine issue are large ly due to popular movements, to a growing u.s. movement in the -- a growing u.s. movement for palestinian rights. you know on the other hand, i think what -- the other part -- what phyllis hasn't gotten to yet or hadn't gotten to yet was the reaction to this movement and that's what i'm going to focus on a little today. i don't want to be -- i don't want to rain on any parades but
i think it's important to understand what we're dealing with right now given this strengthening movement. and, of course, right now it feels like there's been a tectonic shift now that trump is president-elect, it just doesn't feel right to say that ch. and, you know, certainly when it comes to israel-palestine, we just don't know. we don't know what is going to happen. but i -- and it will be potentially worse than clinton, i think, if only because he seems entirely willing to torpedo whatever u.s. policy was there before him. he doesn't care about the u.n., he doesn't care about even appearing to stick with decades of u.s. foreign policy so i think that's part of what's most
threatening about him, that he will go his own route entirely without any respect for what's come before so i'm going to talk a little bit about how the u.s. role on israel/palestine has shifted in this era of a growing movement for palestinian rights. including the rise of bds as a tactic over the last decade but not exclusively bds, of course, and as phyllis mentioned, this has been catalyzed by successive, horrific wars on gaza, the mobilization of tens of thousands of people protesting. so i think a couple of points about this u.s. movement that i want to make. one of them is how center it had movement is on campuses.
how critical students have been in bringing this issue to their peers on their campuses, how creative -- what kinds of creative strategies they have come up with as phyllis mentioned. mock checkpoints to show what it's like to be a palestinian in occupied territory. mock eviction notices posted on dorm room doors to show what it's like to be forcibly removed from your home and, of course, divestment campaigns and all kinds of interesting tactics to raise awareness about this issue. the other point is how diverse the movement has become, and phyllis alluded to this.
the intersectionality that's happening. the cross movement that is critical. again, phyllis' point about how important it is going to be moving forward, i want to hold that up because palestine in my view will continue to be a central issue but we're going to see so many communities under direct attack. and what has happened with the real movement work, the real organizing between communities will demand this kind of support, this kind of standing up for the most vulnerable among us. finally bds has shifted the way that folks here are active on the issue of palestine so i'll
talk a little bit more about bds specifically in the u.s. it's global and there's a lot going on all over the world and we know that boycotts are not a new tactic necessary, certainly palestinians have used them before during the british mandate during the first int d intifada, et cetera. but the bds movement which dates to 2005 and the call from over 170 palestinian civil society organization organizatio organizations to the international community has created a new level of engagement on this. i think the demands of the bds movement are important to
recognize and how instrumental those demands have been in widening the focus of the movement for palestinian rights, it is about ending the occupation and taking down the wall but it's also about guaranteeing equal rights for palestinian citizens of israel and rising the apartheid-like regime that currently exists. and also respecting the right of return for palestinian refugees. so i think it -- the fact that it encompasses all of these demands is really important in the way that it has shaped activism and the kind of political conversation that is happening. and since 2005 this call for boyco boycott, divestment and sanctions has been heeded by organizations and groups around the world and we've seen significant victories.
we've seen just in the u.s. academic boycotts, you have academic associations going through years of organizing to resolve in the end to accept resolutions that call for an academic boycott of israeli academic institutions. you have the american studies association, the asian american studies association, the national association -- chicana and chicano studies. this has been a significant development, i think, just in the last three years, really. churches, development resolutions have been passed in several churches, the presbyterians, the methodists, the united church of christ, the lutherans recently called for an end to military aid to israel. and universities. we've -- there are over 30
student governments at universities that have passed resolutions calling on their universities to divest from companies that profit from israeli human rights violations so these are huge victories, they are -- they have caught the attention of israel and its allies. you know, the cultural boycott as well. we have artists and musicians and and actors speaking out on this issue. so let's talk about the response to this movement and i think what is most -- what's most important to realize here is that, you know, this is a testament to how successful the
movement has become, how much it has changed public discourse to the point where, you know, a presidential candidate can say what he said. and the backlash we're seeing originates with israel itself which has pledged millions of dollars to combatting bds specifically and it is supported by dozens of groups in the united states that specifically support israel and the zionist agenda. and so we have sheldon adelson raising over $20 million to combat palestine activism on campuses. and and we have millions and millions of dollars dedicated by
a number of organizations to undermining this growing movement. now i think the thing that -- when we're thinking about the u.s. role in this, what is dictating how the u.s. in the form of government officials and the form of public institutions like universities, in the form of government agencies is responding to this, there are a few things to think about. it seems that u.s. -- the u.s. and its officials are really listening to the israeli alarmism about bds, that's kind of the boogie man that represents i think a larger
movement and what has resulted is that israel has labelled bds as a strategic threat of the first order and it has labelled bds as anti-semitic and it has attempted to link it to terrorism or to imply that it's just as bad. and the u.s. -- we've seen it has followed suit and we'll discuss some of the ways in which it has done that. my organization, palestine legal, put out a report last year documenting what we have seen around the country to the suppression of speech on palestine, of activities on palestine and we termed it the palestine exception to free speech. it seems like, you know, you can talk about basically anything in
this country but if you criticize israel, hold on, you're vulnerable to a lot of attacks. and so, you know, this -- it has really presented a challenge to our first amendment rights and and the enforcement of these rights so what we've seen is, you know, just in the last -- since 2014 we have documented nearly 600 incidents of suppression. a lot of these are happening on campuses but not all of them and the way that these -- this plays out is in several ways. we see academic freedom suspended. how many of you have heard about the case of steven salaita, fired, terminated, he is hadn't yet started teaching but he had
a contract and was getting ready to start teaching at the university of illinois, champaign-urbana and his contract was terminated because he was tweeting in the summer of 2014 about the horrific attack on gaza. how many of you have heard about the recent incident at university of california berkeley? a student proposed a course on palestine through a colonial settler analysis and an administrator arbitrarily suspended it after, of course, significant pressure from israel advocacy groups. it was reinstated a week later after a lot of uproar and pressure. and that's significant. but we see that kind of thing all of the time where any talk
or any study of palestine is immediately biased, is immediately one sided, is propaganda, etc. . that's how it's being painted. we're seeing this in legal complaints and lawsuits. so we have several organizations filing complaints under the -- under title vi of the civil rights act claiming that universities are discriminating against jewish students by allowing a hostile anti-semitic environment. and the basis of these claims are that lectures and film screenings and protests threaten jewish students and leaves them vulnerable. so, you know just the most basic offing a difties talking about
palestine are painted as threatening to jewish students as anti-semitic and as requiring some kind of university intervention. and then we see students disciplined all the time, charged, again, with being anti-semitic, with threatening jewish communities, etc., going through months of disciplinary processes and investigations and inevitably we have found when we intervene that when universities investigate they find, you know, this is political speech, this is not an attack on jewish students and that's really important. and the same has happened, actually, with these title 6-complaints i mentioned. the department of education has found over and over that the first amendment protects these activities, that this is political speech and 2345's what the first amendment is for,
thank god. and then i think very important that we've seen more recently is smear campaigns against individuals. how many of you have heard about canary mission, for example? a web site that is -- profiles hundreds of students and academics claiming that they are anti-semitic and pro terrorist and with the aim of preventing them from getting jobs. so we see hundreds of students very worried about this their careers hang on this, their future employers will google them and this is what will come up and, you know, and then we have things like the david horowitz freedom center plastering posters all over college campuses naming
individual students saying these students are terrorist supporters. if you support them, you support hamas. so this kind of public blacklisting is going on a lot. and then we have legislation, i think the legislation we're see inspection the -- count the country is particularly representative of the length what government officials will go to oppose bds in particular. so let's talk a little about that. you know, the alarmism about bds is evidence in the kind of legislation we're seeing and it's justified by calling bds discriminatory, anti-semitic, in the case of the new york governor andrew cuomo calling it even worse than terrorism itself. so we've seen a couple waves of this, the first was starting in
2014 in response to the american studies association academic boycott resolution and you had several states proposing legislation that tried to defund universities that support or participate in an academic boycott. meaning any university that pays -- subsidizes its faculty to go to a conference, an asa conference, for example. these all failed, partly because of the huge opposition, even the "new york times" editorialized against it. but you know because it's so blatantly unconstitutional main ly and more recently we have a new kind of legislation proposed in many states, we have dozens of pieces of legislation doing a
few things. first you have resolutions that are non-binding that merely condemn boycotts and they don't really hold any weight, they can't do anything but they're an expression of the legislator's position about bds so therm harm informal the chilling effect that they have for people who are talking about this or who want to talk about this. then we have bills that are proposed and they do one or all of the following. they create blacklists of companies, nonprofits, institutions, it depends on what bill but even individuals in some cases that participate or promote bd section. they require the state to divest its funds from those companies on the blacklist or some don't have a blacklist but they create a list and then some prohibit the state from contracting with companies that engage in bds.
so what have we seen? there are 13 states that have passed these laws including new york through an executive order of the governor and, you know, it is hard to say what the impact of these laws are. we think it's -- 234 practical terms it may not be so big but the chilling effect is huge, people think oh, bds has been criminalized, if i do this i will put myself in danger and that's their intention, to scare people off from engaging on this issue and then we have congressional legislation as well. a few bills and i think we're pound to see more. so trump -- i'm sorry to show you his picture. i feel like we've seen him a lot and we're going to see a lot more but, you know, the -- we expect the assault on palestine
activism to continue. and, you know, one thing that phyllis didn't mention that he has said or that his adviser has said is that they plan to ask the department of justice to investigate campus activism. so this is a step beyond the department of education. this is going to reinforce the surveillance, the targeting, the smearing of activists. there is hope so i'll end on this note. you know, there is increasing support for palestinian rights as i think phyllis talked a lot about and you know, the poles opinion polls are showing that. young people are more and more supportive and there's a shift. but in order to keep that going we have to remove the stigma
that this legislation is helping to sow that all of these concerted attacks on palestine activism are making possible and we have to push back against that. and you know, it's possible and i think it's hopeful because there is such an important history of boycotts used to further social justice. it's a time-honored tactic in the u.s. and globally and it has been used in the most important social justice movements in the u.s., certainly. then there's the law. we have the first amendment, there is very clear supreme court precedent saying boycotts are protected first amendment activity, boycotts to affect political, economic and social change which is what bds is. so it's our duty with,
responsibility, to make sure that those rights are protected. if we don't then they will be forsaken so that is what palestine legal's role is, that's how we see our role and if we are able to do that, if we are able to keep this space for this movement to grow, for the public opinion to keep shifting, we can have an effect affect on policy in the long run. thank you. [ applause ]
>> thank you very much. thank you to the palestine center and the jerusalem fund for organizing this and inviting me. thank you to the panelists and all of you for attending. my comments are about the issue of palestine, the arab uprisings and the arab political scene and they follow pretty smoothly from what was talked about, the historical background. the time is getting tight so i will try to stick to 10, 15 minutes, give you my main bullet point ideas and then we can have any discussion you want. my basic points are the following. the struggle for arab national rights, viable statehood,
legitimate statehood and true sovereignty and citizenship rights all across the arab world was manifested most dramatically by the arab uprisings of six years ago. we've never had such a deep widespread and ongoing expression of the quest for statehood and citizenship across the arab world as we did six years and and it's continuing in many forms and this is the latest manifestation of the struggle that started in the 1920s and it was very accurately pointed out. so the quest for palestinian rights and the quest for arab legitimate credible and lasting statehood sovereignty and citizenship are part of the same historical quest and they
reflect a common sentiment and common rights that permeate every arab country without exception. the fact that neither of them have been able to be fully attained with the possible exception of tunisia, now, which is the first and only self-determinant arab citizenry, the fact that these rights have not been attained reflects a combination of factors, organizational, institutional, international, counterrevolutionary forces, counterdemocratic forces from the arab world, from the zionist movement from israel, from the western world. there's many different reasons, we know why we haven't achieved either palestinian nationhood and citizenship or arab true sovereignty and citizenship rights across the arab world but the important thing to recognize is that these are two ghendimens
of the same struggle and the reason that the palestinian issue continues to resonate not just across the arab world but across the entire world. and you see this now perhaps the most common symbol of citizen resembr resistance is the cakefaya. you see people in brazil and china and chile they have the kefaya on. they don't do it because it's a fashion statement. it's a symbol of a common human struggle for rights anchored both in the modern institutions of citizenship, the u.n. declaration of human rights, the call for self-determination, any instrument you want to use but also anchored in the ancient morality of the abrahamic faiths if you like to go that way, too, the quest for justice and only justice as god told moses to
tell the hebrews to tell the world. and that quest for justice is manifested most dramatically across the entire world by the symbolism of the palestine issue and this is one reason why it continues to grow it hasn't yet come to fruition and had the results we want but the fact that it's growing and you heard from the previous speakers all the fascinating and important trends within the united states n -- among students the media, some politicians, the church, the mainstream churches, labor unions, professional associations, academic groups but most importantly the demographic trends among american people and the jewish american community is that the younger people under the age of 40 are clearly more even handed, roughly 50-50 saying palestinians and israelis should have equal rights to statehood, to citizenship, security and the integrity of their national
consciousness and this is something that is now widespread and anchored in this political sentiment and the value systems of americans under the age of 45. among older americans, it's still problematically tilted to a blind pro-israeli position without giving the palestinians equal rights but the trend, the trend over time even among jewish americans -- and we shouldn't be surprised because young jewish americans are manifesting their identity as americans and as jews and both of those characterizations are anchored in peace, justice and equality for all people, whether it's dictated by the american constitution or dictated by the memory of moses, the young americans and the young american jews are the critical community that we should reach out to, understand, talk to, and form alliances with for the well-being of all americans,
particularly jewish americans because if people are worried about islamophobia and anti-immigrant feelings and other problems that have reared their head in the united states they should remember that anti-semitism is the oldest one of these criminal deeds and it is already rearing its head a little bit and there needs to be a very strong alliance between american jews, arab americans and all americans of good conscience and integrity and one of the things, by the way, that i would recommend is that i think we in the palestinian american community with others, we should start holding conferences to understand anti-semitism. anti-semitism is a crime and cancer and we are its ultimate victims as well as the jewish people and we need to rise that issue with our jewish brothers and sisters and really
understand it and try to cut it before it grows, but the links between the arab state system and the system and the arab political world today and the issue of palestine and the uprising i think is very clear. we have a lot of evidence now, which we didn't have 20 years ago, but we have it now because of polling, which is now more common across the arab world, we have a lot of evidence confirmed year after year that the palestine issue and justice for palestinians resonates deeply across the arab world, deeply and continuously and almost without exception when people in arab countries are polled and asked what do you see as the major threat to your society,
your country, the top two issues that people see as threats to their arab countries are usually israel and american foreign policy. people in the gulf see iran as a threat and that's a legitimate perception. i think it's wildly exaggerated, but you have to treat people with dignity and understand them as they understand themselves and there are arabs who now see iran as a bigger threat than anything else, but the overwhelming majority of arabs for the last 20 years of polling clearly see israel, colonyism and american foreign policies as the biggest threat to their well-being. so i think one of the first things we should understand is that in the perception -- why is it that people are so strongly
in solidarity, which should somebody care about palestine? i think that palestine is only living link between 19st century colonyism and stayedhotehood an normal life all over the arab world. there are other problems as well as, but the continued colony alex pangs policy it that only living continuous link from the late 19st century to the early 21st century and people feel that in their bones. you don't have to go and explain it to them. they feel it in their bones in the same way that young girls in
birmingham, alabama in 1955 knew they were going to go to jail. nobody had to tell them this was wrong. they felt it. it wasn't ideology, it was biology. people all over the arab world feel exactly the same thing. when their government in some cases has to get permission from the israeli government to buy some arms or computer components from some american company, that is pretty degrading for people. therefore the real issue in the arab world as in palestine is the unattained state of national integrity and legitimate national sovereignty. i believe that this is the common problem and common threat and common source of humiliation, not just irritation and anger, but deep humiliation
for people all across the arab world. now historically there are on the ways in way the palestine issue links with the political condition of the arab world and uprising. just tell me when i'm out of time in a few minutes. the biggest single problem in the modern arab world, i believe, and i was born in 1948 so my adult life i've lived through this, the biggest single problem has been the capture of state power by military people in the arab countries. when did this start? '46, '48, '52. it was fully con grunt with the arab/israel conflict coming to fruition and the creation of
israel and the disenfranchisement and refugeehood of the palestinians. every since the late '40s which started in iraq and then syria and then egypt, despite many good things that nasaf did and people remember him for the regime created two of the most catastrophic dynamics that still haunt and shatter the arab world today, which is rule by military men who are totally incompetent in running a government and the creation of ministries of information, which are designed to close the minds of people, forbid them to use their full human faculties of discussion, debate and becoming full human beings. the creation of military rule
and the information ministry phenomenon, which started in egypt in 1952 and continues in egypt today and in many other arab countries, i think those have been the two most catastrophic things that explain many of the problems of the arab world and why did these things happen and then military people take over and later in the '60s and '70s, after the '67 defeat, s sadame hussein, these military men took over control of their countries. why did they start doing this in the late '60s and '70s? because they claimed it was the only way they could protect their countries from israel and
protect palestinian rights and fight for develop. they were frauds. they couldn't do this. they didn't do it. they weren't able to marshal their national resources for sustainable development. they did some great things in the arab world. the development of doctors and the education of women was impressive across the arab world. so the arab governments were not totally incompetent, but they have now shown to be completely and without any exception unable to govern in a manner that achieves both sustainable socialo economic development and allows their countries to obtain their full potential. not a single arab country has been able to do this and the pressures we're feeling today are significant. about 45% of young arabs in
primary and secondary school, about 45% are not learning anything in school. they can't read or write. we have a dysfunctional public education system and most of these people are going to drop out and therefore you have situations where for instance in egypt about 60%, 65% people in the labor market go into the informal sector. it means they can't do anything other than clean a car window or carry a sack of sugar or sweep somebody's doorstep, or they have no protections, no contracts, no minimum wage, no life insurance, no health insurance. they have no rights as workers or human beings. they're like donkes. they work and get three or four dollars a day and go home. these are not just kids who leave high school, this is fathers and mothers of families.
this is why in 2010 you had this mass uprising because a state of despair was reached by millions of people across the arab world who were not able to achieve their basic rights and we can trace this back to the indirect consequence of the lack of palestinian rights being achieved in '47, the advent of military regimes and the continuation of that process. things are getting worse. they're not getting better. in the last 5 1/2 years or so since the arab uprising, 54 million arabs have been born. 54 million new arab babies have been born in the last six years. the arab world couldn't feed them, educate them, give health care to its people in 2010, 2011, how are they going to deal with the 54 million. every year in egypt about
1.8 million people are born. so the trend is frightening and the reason it's frightening is because the arab governments, despite some of the good things they do are incompetent at managing their countries and i think the fact that they continue to demand to exercise military rule under the guise of fake parliaments and constitutions that are not respe respected is clearly traceable to issues related to palestine. i believe part of the uprisings were due to the sense among large numbers of citizens that their governments neither the efficientsy or legitimacy. their governments were not able to provide them with their basic needs and hopes and rights as political men and women and their governments were not able
to address the challenge of israel either through war or through peace. therefore the degrading of legitimacy of arab governments and regimes i believe was significantly influenced by their incompetent response to the challenge of zionism and israel over the years. the fact that the arab public cares deeply about palestine should remind us that this issue is not going to go away. when the palestine issue started -- in '47, '48, when israel was created, there was about 750,000 palestinian refugees who left palestine. there was about 1.5 million palestinians then. there's around 9 million palestinians today.
the activism for palestine at the local, regional and national and international level is far greater today than the past 50 years. i'll end on the note that we need to keep in mind that the palestine issue, unlike what israeli and american officials and many people will tell you, and i hear it all the time, unlike what they say, the palestine issue the arabs don't care about it and it's a secondary issue, they're busy with uprising, it works the on the way around. the uprising happened because of incompetent regimes that were put in place to use it as an excuse to take power. we need to take these relationships clear. there fo therefore resolving the arab/israeli conflict, the rise of the muslim brothers, heavily,
not totally, but heavily is linked to their grievances about their governments being able to deal with the palestine threat. today in jordan they're demonstrating because they don't want their government to buy gas from israel. there's something in our society -- it's not in our water. it's in our blood. there's something that tells people that there is a problem in palestine. justice has to be achieved and we are on the -- we're on the record as saying we want justice and equal rights and statehood for israelis and palestinians simultaneously. that has been very clear. therefore we need to keep in mind these relationships between the arab world, the palestine issue, the uprisings that happened and were suppressed and what is going to come when 54 million new people are born every six years.
thank you very much. >> this is for questions and answers. first anybody that wants to ask a question please use a mike and identify yourself and any association you might have and direct the question to one of the panelists. more importantly we can't really have lectures from the audience and editorials. we all have feelings we would like to express, but this is the time to ask specific questions and address them to a specific paneli panelists. try to be inclusive and gender neutral and everything else. there will come a point when i say enough because i'm terribly hungry and i'm sure a few of you
are. i apologize for the heat in the room. we are trying to fix that. having said that i would like to start on the right side and have the first one who lifted his hand ask the question. the very far right. >> we mentioned of course the declaration, but there were other things like the kings commission and there's also the talk of the zionist and the kings crank was that a national homeland for the jewish people is not equivalent to making palestine into a jewish state. the united states rejected the jewish state very early and the zionists showed a map that went up to the river which is i think
about 20 miles south of beirut and over to aman which is ten miles west which they wanted the water rights. why are not these two very valuable documents not talked about today because they seem to clarify the situation. >> unfortunately, the report of the king crane commission was shefld and nobody looked at it at the time. it did sound out the opinion and people gathering were not receptive to these ideas. they had their own understaagen. they had their own ax to grind.
people like you and people today might look back at this at what could have been an important document. unfortunately it had almost zero consequences in fact. so there were efforts to get some justice, some fair ps are fairness for the arabs, but this was on the part of britain for instance to satisfy some of the promises and this took the form of making ab dual law king of jordan. so again this was connected with the issue of curbing french influence, the french were totally furious when he was made king of iraq.
they stabbed them in the back by doing this. so what we have is people in power who are concerned with interests and sometimes it creates room for the achievement for some goals that are helpful to the arabs, but other than that -- in the case of palestine, palestine is the case of the mandate in which the function of the mandatory power was totally frustrated. it wasn't carried out. they should have arranged for the palestinians to reach the stage of self determination, the stage of governing themselves and eventually to obtain sovereignty and creating a homeland for the jews in
palestine, homeland meaning a place where jews could get together and establish their institutions in a land to which they felt historic ties. so in iraq, in syria, in lebanon, the mandatory power did much more than the british did in palestine. palestine was short changed totally. >> thank you very much. i'm a retired diplomat. if others would like to comment, that would be fine. a lot of countries and different continents have been mentioned, but there's been hardly a word about russia. maybe i missed it. russia is playing a greater role in the middle east, has good relations with israel, has good relations with the palestinians,
has a significant presence in the west bank, including the network company which is russian owned. it may be having better relations with the united states. the prime minister is now in the middle east visiting israel and palestine. please comment on the evolving role and influence of russia in the palestinian/israeli conflict. >> well, during the cold war you had people in the arab world who were with russia or supported by russia and on thes withers with so there's proxies for a global contest. today the situation i think is very different. russia has essentially supported
au autocrats and dictators and unlike the u.s. doesn't pretend to talk about democracy and rights and dignity. they just go in there and sell arms and do their thing and achieve what they think is in their national interests. today they're acting much more forcefully and with a lot more clarity and clarity of aims in the middle east than the americans are. the russians are reestablishing stronger ties with a whole series of people in the region. turkey, iran, egypt. they're playing footsis with saudi arabia. they are acting with statesmanship that is very impressive at the practical level, while at the substantive level i don't particularly want to live in a country like russia and they have a lot of problems in terms of how they deal with their country and with other people. so they're not an attractive model or anything like that, but
they're certainly outplaying the united states and the western powers in much of the region, but people deal with the russians in a very mer can tile basis that they get something. these are not lovie dovie relationships other than autocrats rule forever and they're willing to use force as we've seen in syria. they're much more decisive and they're in a better position, but i don't think they have a long term future other than through mer can tile relationships. >> they're a member of the security council. >> they'll make deals if it servic serves them. they don't care about arab people. they care about russia and their regime and the strength of their country and protecting their interests. they will sell out ba shad if
they can get something significant in return. we've seen how they flip and flop and change policies. >> like us. >> they're a big power acting like a normal big power. >> right here please. can you get the mike. >> i'm nora from jvp. i'm going to ask you about another part of your scholarship about the binational state. i'd like you to talk about your thinking on a binational state and how it could avoid being an apartheid state. >> yeah. well, i wrote an article back in '97 on this topic and i'm afraid nothing has changed to sway opinion away from this. i think a two-state solution is that.
you're not going to get a two-state solution, so what you're going to get is one state in which the palestinians, their rights really are the rights that a conquered people has under the geneva convention. they don't have political rights. they don't have civil rights. they have zilch political rights. israel has allowed them self determination but the question of sovereignty is out of the picture. the question then is if you have a one-state solution, the battle has to change. the battle has toecome for the palestinians to acquire political rights, to acquire civil right and they have to do it themselves. and this is something that israel cannot deny in the long run. you can't make a few million people disappear.
so either you're going to have an entrenched apartheid regime which is not possible in this day and age or the israelins have to remove the palestinians. the only way is for the palestinians to acquire these rights in a binational state that goes beyond citizens being equal. it means that palestinian, arabs and jews both have certain political cultural rights as a group, that they are allowed to have their own culture, their own language and to be able to practice their traditions freely and to have this guaranteed. so this idea is equality and not just for individuals, it's also
equality for the two communities and rights that cannot be encroached on. >> just very quickly, two quick points. one i think that many of us actually believe that what exists now is a one-state reality. it's an apartheid state. it's one government that controls two peoples with two separate sets of laws, actually three, but it's the definition of apartheid. i think there's the question then becomes do you want to divide this one state or do you want to have a civil rights movement for equality, an anti-apartheid movement now. the second point is one of the things that we've learned in the last 15 to 20 years building movements around palestinian rights is that some questions including questions of political arrangements is something that does belong to the people who
live there and not so the solidarity movements that fight for rights. it's been an early -- when i was getting back in this work there was a lot of talk. a lot of us were one staters and many have come to see it's wrong. it's not our call. i'm a jewish girl from california. what right do i have to say how many states there should be. it's not my call. i think in terms of what we do here for palestinians it is one of the fundamental questions, but for us here i think that's what key is the struggle for rights, equality, whether it's in the form of one state or the form of two states, our goal is to change u.s. policy to refuse to support apartheid as they're doing now and to instead demand equality for all, international law and human rights as a basis
whether it's one, two or three states. >> i'm taking notes. would you like to say something about that? >> last question from this side, please. >> i want to ask a question about why some ak dcademics and journalists still support a regime and people have not always been with the palestinian cause and so on, but still they support assad and even to this moment some people in the state department every day attack the russian opposition and so on. i want to understand why. >> i don't think any of us are prepared to talk about that today. >> yeah. >> that is well -- yeah. there are two things i want to remind the audience.
there are some panelists that have travel they have to meet and there is lunch waiting so i'm being told we should shut this off. i'll take the last question from the gentleman right there and we'll move on. >> there will be a chance for you to ask questions during lunch, i'm sure. >> i'm ronald wilson. i work with the commission of refugees. my question is do you think that palestinian issue that is currently burning and has been burning for a while, a long time, is really a subset or a tool used by the united states foreign policy to maintain its position of power economically and militarian in the middle east as this has pivoted towards asia there also. >> who do you want the question addressed to?
any volunteers? >> i don't think so. i think the united states, if that is the united states' aim it's been a big failure because the u.s. is in a difficult situation in the middle east. it's been fighting wars directly or indirectly since 1981, since they first started helping against the soviets and afghanistan. the u.s. has been fighting nonstop for 35 years across the middle east and south asia and that warfare has become more vicious with drones and special forces and this and that and proxy malitias and they're getting pushback from across the region and there are regimes that are in deep trouble so the u.s. is not in a happy position in the middle east and obama understood this and wanted to get out of there because it was trouble for him but he couldn't. if that is their aim to use the
palestine issue to keep control, they're not doing it well. they're using the war on terror as a means to preserve their position, to get allies to settle arms and all the different things that they want to do, but they're not doing that very well either because the war on terror since 9/11 has coincidenced with the biggest expansion in terrorism in modern history with no success except for preventing an attack on the american mainland since 2001. other than that the whole world on terror, aims have not been achieved and the terror problem is much greater today than it was before. >> i'd like to -- i'm sorry. there is some truth to what you're talking about during the cold war. israel was considered a strategic asset for the united states.
israel managed to put down clients of the soviet union and in the cold war perspective this was an asset for the united states. there was a change of thinking in the case of the '73 war. before that war, so that was trying to get interested in a deal. the israelis thought the status quo was fine. they didn't see any need for change. kissinger thought the situation was fine and then it clicked there's a way he could turn egypt around and change it from the russian camp to the egypt camp and he got involved and he rescued egypt's third army. the purpose was to get egypt on america's side and as a result of all this he did.
so i don't think israel really served the united states' interests in the sense that they did so because israel was aligned with the united states. they couldn't turn to the united states so israel was helping the united states solve a problem that it had created. >> i believe we have to conclude this. thank you for being a good audience. >> my books are available outside. >> there's a fabulous lunch outside. i think they'll find out. tonight a discussion on school segregation throughout
history. racial segregation in the u.s. is currently maintained by official action and policy. an event hosted airs tonight at 8 eastern on c span. a panel looks at how the trump administration would approach biomedical innovation and health care issues and drug pricing. you can see it starting at 8:00 eastern on c span 2. from president lincoln's cottage in washington, d.c. we'll have a conversation about the book "lincoln's general's wives, four women who influenced the civil war for better, for worse". >> you can see that women have had a means of reinforcing either the best in their husbands or the worst and that's
what this study is. >> then at 10:00 on real america, the 1953 film "american frontier". >> from there to the central office in oklahoma. day and night our little telephone board was lit up like a christmas tree. calls from new york, california, houston, bit by bit we began to realize how big a thing this was. >> the film promoted the financial benefits for farmers of leasing land for oil exploration and was funded by the american pe trollum institute. we discuss how jack london influenced generations of writers. >> he always looked back to the natural land, to his ranch, to
the beautiful senry to find relief from the rigorouses of the cities. >> at 6:00 eastern on american artifacts, which visit the military aviation museum in virginia beach. >> this airplane among a couple of other types basically taught all the military aif ators how to fly. many guys never saw an airplane coming from the farms. >> for our complete american history tv schedule go to cspan.org. every weekend book tv brings you 48 hours of nonfiction books and
au auth authors. we provide a history of the debates between the executive and legislative branch over the constitutional right to declare war. in his book waggie war. joining him is the dean of the university of pennsylvania law school. >> the two branchs are really in a dance with each other all the time. congress checking the president, backing down from the president. the president pushing congress. presidents being worried about taking it too far, get too cross wise with congress. >> sunday on 9:00 p.m. eastern gary young looks at gun deaths in america over a 24-hour period in his book another day in the death of america, a chronicle of ten short lives. he's interviewed by a staff writer for the atlantic. >> it's not possible to only talk about guns. it's a broader societial thing
which counts people out, dehumanizes them and when their life is taken, well, that's already been accounted for, but, yeah, i think that there is a real problem once you start saying he was an "a" student, then there's a suggestion that there's a grade that you could get where it would be worthy to be killed. >> go to book tv.org for the complete weekend schedule. a look now at how the justice department investigations and enforces international corruption and fraud cases. this federal law prohibits payment of bribes to foreign officials for retaining business. held by george washington university law school, this is about 90 minutes.
>> good afternoon. i'm the senior society dean for academic affairs and on behalf of the dean and the president i welcome you to the george washington university law school. i will hand over the podium momentarily to my colleague who will normally introduce our two distinguished panelists, but first let me say how thrilled we are to host this discussion on the foreign corrupt practices act, one of the most significant issues confronting criminal law practicers today. among our full time and part time faculty are many who like myself have served as federal prosecutors or defended individuals and entities charged with criminal conduct, including under the fcpa. we have a rich curriculum in the areas of criminal law and procedure here and we produce many graduates who go on to have distinguished careers in government and private practice.
one such star graduate is the assistant attorney general for the criminal division leslie caldwell. we're so excited to welcome her pack this afternoon. although our other distinguished guests is not a gw law graduate, she too has a strong connection to the university. i learned this week that her father once coached football at george washington university. yes, we once had a football team and he was a phenomenal coach and after coaching at gw went on to coach in the nfl. so in a way you're part of the gw family so welcome back karen. with that i will hand over the program to my wonderful colleagues our society dean to formally introduce our guests and to moderate the discussion. thank you again and welcome. >> thank you so much for that kind introduction.
as you just learned, roger fairfax was a former department of justice lawyer. we are fortunate to have him along with other prosecutors and defense lawyers on our faculty. the experience they have had in practice brings immense benefits to the students here at the george washington university law school. i would like to welcome to you this conversation about the foreign corrupt practices act with two very distinguished lawyers. the assistant attorney general leslie kaldwell and karen pop who is the chair of the white collar group. the event is possible due to the hard work of a number of people and i would like to thank them at the outset. my colleagues here at the george washington university law school, dean roger fairfax, and to ms. kraldwells colleagues.
thank you so much for all of your help in making this possible. in 1977 the united states enacted the foreign corrupt practices act designed to eliminate or minimize corruption of foreign officials by certain persons and entities. the statute has been amended on certain occasions as well to expand its reach. the anti-bribery section of the foreign corrupt practices act is enforced by the united states department of justice. it raises a host of issues such as the extra territorial reach of u.s. law, the relationship between practices of foreign countries and standards in the united states, the appropriate penalty to be given for violations of the act and the consideration that should be given to companies and individuals that have adopted policies and practices to prevent violations of the foreign corrupt practices act. today we're going to have a conversation about these and many other topics.
we're honored to have with us our graduate leslie caldwell who on may 15th, 2014 was confirmed as the assistant attorney for the united states department of criminal justice. she works with more than 600 lawyers who prosecute federal criminal cases around the country. she's responsible to help develop criminal law and formulate criminal enforcement policies. she also has worked closely with the 93 u.s. attorneys that have involved in investigations and prosecutions of criminal matters in the districts around the united states. her entire career has largely been dedicated to handling federal criminal cases as a prosecutor and as defense counsel. she's known particularly for her work on the task force, which she was director of from the year 2002 to 2004. she worked at the u.s.
attorney's office for the northern district of california and had served as the chief of the criminal division and the chief of the securities fraud section. she worked for 11 years in the united states attorney's office for the eastern district of new york including serving as senior trial counsel for the business and securities fraud section and chief of the anti-fraud section. for her distinguished work on the task force she received an a award for exception service and the john marshal award for trial litigation and the attorney general's award for fraud prevention. she also had before joining the criminal division a position as a partner at morgan and lewis and she was co chair of the firm's corporate investigations and white collar practice group.
it's great to welcome you back to your ala matter. you're here in school again and we're dlielighted that you're he and she's a graduate of pennsylvania state university. she will provide opening remarks and then karen pop from the law firm of sidley austin will give a response as well. let me just also introduce karen at this time too. she's on the firm's executive committee and as i mentioned she leads the firm's white collar government litigation investigations group. that group is recognized as one of the top high-profile white collar groups in the united states with substantial experience in legal, political and public relations aspects of criminal defense, internal investigations, congressional investigations and the list goes on.
karen's practiced is informed by a wealth of government and private sector experience including serving as a federal prosecutor in new york, a lawyer in the office of legal counsel at the u.s. department of justice and society white house counsel to president clinton. she's a graduate of the university of north carolina where she earned her bachelor and jd degrees. we look forward to your opening remarks and after that ms. pop will provide some comments. i have some questions and after we've had a discussion with the three of us, we'll open the floor to questions and comments. so please let's welcome leslie back to her alma mater. >> thank you, dean. i can say that when i was here, none of this was here. it was a very different physical plant back then, but it's great to be back at gw. i had a lot of good memories here and for me it was a great
legal education and i've always valued it so hopefully those of you who are students are having a great experience. as the dean said, 2 1/2 years ago i was privileged to be named by the president and confirmed by the senate to become the assistant attorney general for the criminal division. many people don't know what the criminal division does. most people know about the u.s. attorneys offices, which there are 93 of them and they do mostly focus on crime in their geographic areas. we went beyond our area too. in the criminal division we're not really limited by geography, so we focus on subject matter. we have 17 sections. they do all sorts of things. i'm not going to list them all, but ranging from very sophisticated really scarey child exploitations to asset
forfeiture and money laundering to the fraud section which does major international fraud cases. they're the ones looking at the vw investigation, the panama papers. because we don't have geographic limits other than obviously the limits of federal criminal jurisdiction, we have an international and national scope from which we look at everything and a different advantage point i think than u.s. attorneys and i think that has enabled us to focus on emerging areas in white collar crime and shape our policy and the way we approach things. . i'd like to talk today about a couple of things. there were many others, but a couple of things that i thought were particularly important when i started as assistant attorney general and share with you why i
think they're important and what we did to try to address them. i wanted us to sharpen our focus on international corruption and international cases. i felt that we were too random on what we were focusing on and we spent too much time focusing on cases before we decided whether something was there or not. i wanted us to work on bigger cases and more impact cases and important cases. the second major thing that i really wanted to do and this was borne of my experience as defense lawyer was i wanted there to be more transparency in our charging decisions. when we decided to charge a corporation and i'm talking now in the corporate context, when we decided to charge a company, what factors do we consider. there are factor ths that are i guidelines, but if you were outside counsel as i was, you would see what appeared to be inconsistent and sometimes even arbitrary outcomes in what seemed to be fairly similar fact
situations. one other goal i had was to try to increase transparency. so i want to talk briefly today about both of those things. international corruption, that's been a priority for the department. it continues to be a priority. it's important because you can't measure the damage caused by international corruption just by looking at numbers, although the numbers are staggering. more than $1 trillion according to world bank estimates is paid out in bribes every year by corporations trying to get businesses in various parts of the world. that is 3% of the entire world economy, so that's a very significant number. more importantly we see the corrosive effects of corruption, the anti-competitive effects of corruption on u.s. companies that are trying to play by the rules and can't compete with companies paying bribes. corruption is very destabilizing. it's destabilizing for
governments and citizens. it undermines confidence in government. it undermines the sense of fair play. it's true in emerging economies where sometimes people are getting rich and there's no infrastructure and people are living on less than a dollar a day or less than $10 a day and the fruits of corruption, we've seen -- you see it in the news, but we see it in our cases can really help prop up autocratic regimes. it presents broader public safety concerns. we've seen in extreme examples where corrupt regimes have created safe havens for criminals and terrorists who can fan out across the world and commit their crimes and engage in terrorist acts. these are some of the reasons why it's been a priority and continues to be a priority. i'm sure it's going to be
continued by whoever succeeds me, but i hope that they maintain the focus that we've had, which is to try to focus on the bigger cases, the cases that have a bigger impact. i'll give you two examples from the last couple of years. one is there was a french power and transportation company and in december 2014 they paid $772 million in criminal penalties in connection with a scheme to bribe officials in ten different countries. that was the highest criminal fine ever paid. one of the reasons they paid that fine is because they refused to cooperate with law enforcement in any country. they were under investigation in several countries. they refused to cooperate. the bribery was significant and it was directed at fairly high levs within the company. another settlement we had this year was a with a dutch telecom company which was paying bribes
along with several other companies, they paid more than $114 million to get access to the telecom market. they resolved their investigation with an $800 million resolution that included resolution with us, the kept of justice, with the scc and authorities in the netherlands. that's one thing that we're seeing increasingly is we're working increasingly with other countries, sharing investigation, leads, evidence, witnesses, giving each other tips. some of these cases have come from tips to our law enforcement from overseas law enforcement and we likewise give information to folks overseas. a good example of that is just last week we announced the resolution of an investigation into bribery by the brazilian aircraft manufacturer, which those of you who take the shuttle between new york and
boston and d.c., that are the jets that you're on. that was a case we worked jointly with brazil and saudi arabia. brazil and saudi arabia prosecuted more than one dozen individuals for their involvement in that scandal. we have something that i'm excited about in the criminal division that's relatively new which is called the asset recove recovery initiative. the fcpa is housed in the fraud section which is our largest section. we have about 140 lawyers in the fraud section. that's a big change. when i was in the criminal division before back in '04, there were about 50. so that's really a dramatic change in the face of the criminal division and the fraud section. the goal of the initiative is to trace and forfeit proceeds of foreign corruption and when it's possible to figure out a way to get that money, the money we can
get our hands on, back to help the country, the people of the country where that money was stolen. for example we did a year or so ago a resolution that involved a former soviet republic and we were able to get our hands on a large amount of money and work with the ngo to fund and oversee some youth activity programs in that country. that may sound like a small thing, but rather than the u.s. keeping the money that we seized that was stolen from that country, we got the money back to that country for useful programs and we have an audit mechanism to make sure that the money is going for the good program that we think we're funding as opposed to going back to the pockets of the people that stole it in the first place. the initiative is new and the work is painstaking because in order to forfeit money and seize it we have to be able to identify and prove the original
crime, the original corruption, the original theft, the original bribery, whatsoever the underlying crime was and then we have to trace that money from the crime to an account we can get our hands on. that's hard to do because those folks are very sophisticated. they put that money in offshore account a to offshore account b to c. it's difficult to trace and prove that the money is the proceeds of the underlying crime. the lawyers, the panama papers case that you've probably read about, lawyers and sophisticated accountants, there's a network of people whose job it is to help people hide and move their money. it's difficult to penetrate that. witnesses are difficult to find because a lot of times they're still in power so you're not going to get somebody from that country who knows what happened to come to you if they're going back to their country to give to you and give you evidence.
we're seize hd more than $3 billion in the last three years. most of those assets are in the united states. one. reasons for the initiative is we don't want the united states to be a safe haven for the stolen money. we don't want the dictator of name that country to be able to own that penthouse with stolen money. some of the assets we've seized have been mansions all over in malibu and apartments in new york, we seized a hotel in beverly hills. we've seized impressionist art. we had a case this past summer that involved the ma lishan sovereign wealth fund where more than $3 billion was sofenned off and used for things, including among other things buying impressionist paintings, buying mansions and hotels and funding a movie.
the wolf of wall street was funded. we own the rights to the wolf of wall street. so tonight go home and down lode it and you'll be adding to your government's coffers. if you don't want to add to the government's coffers, don't lone lo download it. i want to talk about transparency. when i was at my firm i was frustrated because when you represent a client and the client has a problem and the client is going to have to deal with the department of justice, the client wants to know what's going to happen. you just really weren't in a position to tell the client with any degree of certainty if you go in and self report this, here's what will happen. there was no real clear road map. it's very difficult to give a clear road map as i found in this job because everything is so fact specific, but i wanted to try to do as best we could to make our decisions and our actions more transparent around understandable. so transparency is really important because it really helps not only does it help
companies understand what might happen, it helps the public see what we're doing and why we're doing it. i think it also deters future wrong doers because being transparent about what will happen to a company if it does x is a good way to deter the company from doing x because they will see the consequences of what they do. we've done two things to try to make the corporate charging decisions more transparent. one is in all of our charging documents, except for indictm t indictments, which there are not that many indictments of a corporation, they're usually resolved with a guilty plea or prosecution greatly or nonprosecution agreement. we used to not say in those documents why, why is this company getting a dedefered
prosecution agreement, which say if a company fullyy corporated r gave us access to documents, gave us evidence, it's kind of language that the describes what the company did. so in some cases maybe the company self reported, cooperated, remediated and did much better than the company that didn't cooperate until they switched counsel which happens a lot and then they cooperated. but they still don't get the full credit of the same credit as the other company. we tried to do that. the second way in which we tried to increase transparency is recently six months ago started a pilot program in our sfca cases only. that provides guidance to the prosecutors doing the cases about corporate resolutions and it provides some benchmarks about if the company does x it will be eligible for certain things.
so if the company voluntarily self-reports and cooperates and remediates and tells what profits they made in the contract through bribery, even with when there is a brib that we can prove, we may decline prosecution of that case. and that is intended to be a carrot for those companies. we think it's important that they still have to disgorge the profits. but in any event, the pilot program is something that it's new. it's only six months old. we have seen that it's been having an effect. we've seen an uptick in self reporting. it's too soon whether that is attributable to the pilot program or whether that happens to be what's happening this year as opposed to next year. but i think it's working. i think that it's giving and i'd be curious to hear karen's thoughts, i think it's giving counsel something they can tell their clients when their clients say what is going to happen to me if i go in and deal with the government? another thing that we did is voluntarily disclosure used to
be an element of cooperation. we have nine factors that we consider in deciding whether to charge a corporation. they are called the philip factors. they're in our website and our u.s. attorney's manual. we added one and separated self disclosure from cooperation. now self disclosure is the own factor. in addition to all the other cooperation, self disclosure is something that we also consider. and that was intended to urge companies to self report and to separately and additionally reward them if they did that. so i'm skipping over some of these notes in the interest of time. i really want -- i think that those are really the main things that we've done in the last couple of years that i think have at least been aimed at and improving our corporate prosecutions and our sfca projects. the idea is get the company to self report by giving it some incentives so that when it comes
in and self reports it will give us the information that it has because it's already commissioned an outside investigation by an outside law firm. it will give us the information it already has that will in turn enable us to prosecute individuals. we recognize that prosecution of individuals is the biggest deterrent. in my view and i think most people would agree that is the biggest deterrent to corporate wrongdoing and criminal wrongdoing. actually -- not just criminal and corporate wrongdoing but all wrongdoing. that is one of the main goals of the pilot program. so hopefully -- it's too soon to tell whether it's working. but we think it's heading in the right direction. i hope when i depart my sand in my hourglass is moving faster by the minute. we have to hear every morning from one of our people. we have 77 days left. it's a real honor to be assistant attorney general and proud to represent gw in that space and hope one day one of you is sitting in that same chair. thanks.
[ applause ] >> thank you for setting out clearly the focus of the department on international corruption and the specific angles that the department is taking. i thought in particular the asset initiative is very, very keen and the benefits it can give beyond the enforcement of law here in the united states. and secondly, to give us guidance on transparency and insight into the pilot program which we'll talk about in a few minutes. miss pop, would you like to say a few words in response to her observations? i think she did tee up one issue directly for you. so please feel free. >> which i know we're going to be talking about a lot today and that is the pilot program.
let me just say that i -- a lot of what leslie said, i commend the department of justice for all the efforts being made to be more transparent. i think that is extremely important to corporations and individuals and anyone that comes under investigation by the department is to have more transparency into what is going on, the thought process by prosecutors and it's extremely helpful for those out there who are attempting to have effective compliance programs and other decision making that goes on in corporate america. i also think the pilot program is a good idea and that is based on large part from the prior comments from the department is to -- is to hold that carrot out
and to have transparency on the backside as to how those results were achieved. there are some concerns that we still have in the private sector in the defense bar and also amongst corporations and individuals. i know we're going to be exploring some of those. i think one of the concerns is the long arm reach of the u.s. government out in -- throughout the world. and because this practice and we're focused here today on the fcpa because the practice when you're representing corporations really is what i like to refer to is a conference room practice. you don't go to court. you don't have a judge arbitrating the arguments that the government may make as
opposed to the defense. and jurisdiction is often one of those topics that the government has a different view of its reach than the defense. and so it's an area that dependent on what prosecutors across the table, you may have a very aggressive view on what the evidence is as to rather jurisdiction exists. and i also, you know, it's difficult and leslie alluded to this, companies -- and we are a global economy today. many, many, companies in this country are global. many companies outside of the u.s. are global and hence doing business here. and it is -- it can be very unlevel playing field throughout the world for corporations that are attempting to do business. and i encourage the -- our government to continue its
efforts that i know has been going on for some time now to encourage other governments to enforce their own laws. so that companies in those countries have to abide by the same rules that u.s. companies have to abide by. so there is a level playing field. and then, you know, my -- it's also music to my ears to hear that department of justice is emphasizing big cases. having big impact. you couple that with the pilot program. this is something that i'm going to put to leslie right now and she doesn't have to answer it right away. but it is a question that i know being asked and that is, is there a threshold that a company should be considered and rather to disclose? at what point should a company if it has an issue, what point should it be bringing it to the attention of the department of justice under the pry lot
program? because -- it is something that is often faced out there by companies that are doing business globally. and i expect that the department of justice doesn't want every little thing brought to them under the pilot program. i think it's a good thing for us to talk about today. i will leave my other comments on my observations about the pilot program, prosecution of individuals, self-disclosure, cooperation, for the q & a. >> all right, thank you so much, karen. leslie, i think we have a question on the table already. and i suggest we focus on the pilot program first and the challenge that was just raised by karen and i have a couple questions as well on that subject. go ahead, please. >> so there is no threshold. we wouldn't tell a company if there is a bribe over $40,000 you should self report. we don't usually prosecute. we recognize that any big company can't control all of its employees all the time.
we recognize that if you are a company operating in certain geographies, you are going to be paying possibly small but you will be paying some kind of inappropriate payments. we recognize that. we recognize that companies have rogue employees who don't follow company policy. even when there is a strong company policy, it may still be the case that somebody in the company does something that is off the reservation. that happens all the time. i did work in this area when i was in private practice, and i know that it's impossible for a big global company to make sure all of its employees are following the law at all times. so there isn't any threshold. i think if i were a company and i were thinking about whether i wanted to self report, i think about a couple things. i would think about, was anyone -- let's say it's a u.s. company. was anyone in the u.s. involved in this? if somebody in the u.s. was involved in this, if somebody high in the company was involved in this, if somebody even high