tv American- Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee National Convention - Future... CSPAN October 20, 2017 11:54am-1:20pm EDT
now, a panel of palestinians talk about the future of their people in regards to potential one and two-state solutions. they also discuss the current debate around either the full recognition of a separate palestinian state or the integration of the palestinian people as full citizens of israel. following the discussion, panelists took questions from the audience. this was part of the american-arab anti-discrimination committee's annual conference in washington, d.c. it's an hour and 20 minutes. >> we're going to go ahead and start the convention off right now. first, on behalf of the adc, the
adc board and staff, i would like to welcome everybody here. this fine evening. or morning, i should say. we kick off our 37th annual convention with a discussion on palestine, one state versus two state, what is maybe the best interest of the palestinians now in light of the trump administration. so with that, i want to turn it over to our moderator, mr. christopher hazou. >> thank you so much. good morning, everybody. thank you for coming out today. my name is christopher hazou. i'm the director of opinion analysis with the institute for middle east understanding. i'll be moderating today's panel. one state or two-state solution, what's best for the palestinians. thank you to everybody from adc who helps organize this morning's panel on this important, timely subject and this weekend's conference. just a quick note on the format, we'll start with a brief introduction, then each of our panelists will speak for about 10 to 15 minutes, making their
case in support of a one or two-state solution. a bit of a back and forth before opening up for audience q&a. what's best for the palestinians? for more than a quarter century, the two-state solution has been the dominant paradigm for making peace in the middle east, but it has been increasingly challenged by activists who believe it's impractical giving the realities on the ground created by israel, and undesirablundesirable. they argue a one-state solution in which palestinians and israelis, arabs and jews live in a single democratic state with equal rights is the best way to recognize the rights of all palestinians including palestinians of israel and palestinian refugees. proponents of the single state point to a rainbow state as a model. inspired by the struggle against south african apartheid, they advocate the use of boycott and sanctions to put economic and political pressure on israel to respect palestinian rights.
with a new trump administration emboldening the most heart hard-line right wing israelieses it seems a two-state solution is more distant than ever. trump declared it didn't matter to him whether the goal of negotiations were a one or two-state solution, undermining u.s. policy in support of two states. while a state department spokesman said if the trump administration declared support for a two-state solution, it would declare quote/unquote bias on its part. the best way to recognize palestinian rights is in a separate independent state and it's the only realistic solution anyway due to the international consensus in support of it. a poll released last week by the palestinian center for policy and survie research showed that 52% of palestinians support a two-state solution, why 31% support a one-state solution. however, demonstrating the pessimism that many palestinians
who support the two-state solution feel, the same poll shows 52% of them believe that the two-state solution is not viable anymore due to israeli settlement construction. moreover, poll results vary depending on which and how the question is asked. a poll in february shows 44% of palestinians supported the two-state solution at that point. interestingly, the same poll shows a majority of palestinian citizens of israel support a one-state solution. meanwhile, israel is opposed to both. there are upwards of 600,000 israeli settlers living illegally in palestinian land in more than 100 settlements and outposts over the west bank and east jerusalem. they represent the greatest obstacle to the creation of a palestinian state. a century after the british promised a home in palestine, nearly seven years after the
u.n. partition plan, 50 years after israel began its occupation of the west bank and gaza, and the quarter century after the start of the oslo negotiations process, palestinians are still debating what political framework best suits our national interests. we'll be continuing that conversation here today. so now, i will introduce our speakers. first we have amer zahr, speaker and academic. as an adjunct professor at the detroit university of law, he lectures on politics, society, the arab world, and islam. as a comedic speaker, he's addressed washington's kennedy speaker for the performing arts. he organized a festival in ramallah that attracted attention from around the world. he has a degree from the university of ann arbor, and he's the maker of the film "we're not white, but arab
americans are the consensus." he'll be speaking about the one-state slukz. nizahr farsakh between 2003 and 2008 was advising palestinian leaders including the president, the prime minister, and several administrations. he's also involved in nonviolence in palestine and the u.s. noura erakat is a professor at george mason university. noura's scholarship explores human rights law, laws of war, refugee law, and critical race theory. she's taught at temple law school. she's the co-founding editor. >> noura has worked as a legal counsel for the congressional committee and for the center for
refugee rights. her productions include the 20-minute documentary gaza in context. she is currently completing a book project tentatively titled justice for some, law as politics in the palestinian struggle for freedom. she's speak in support of a one-state solution. thank you for being here. apologies for being outnumbered two to one. i was not involved in organizing today's panel, but i'll try to make the conversation is a balanced one. so if you would be so kind, amer, would you start us off? >> sure. good morning, everybody. i'm very happy to be here, especially to kick off the convention, and on stage with nizahr and noura, two really great palestinian american intellectuals and activists. and i'm just a comedian, so i'll try. this whole discussion has gotten hotter this year, because if you
remember, back in i think february, one of the first visits to the white house was benjamin netanyahu. they had the whole press conference in the white house. and trump started talking. and he said something about, sure, two-state, one-state, whatever. something very trumpish. and the discussion sort of started again. there are a few principles i think we have to start with when we talk about whether or not there should be a one-state or two-state in palestine. first of all, israel has shown us not just in the past 50 years but in the past 70 years that it has no intention of going anywhere, and especially when it comes to the west bank. so in the west bank, we have now as chris said, somewhere in the neighborhood of 600,000 illegal
settlers, some of the largest israeli cities, i guess they can now be called, they're settlements, exist in the west bank. you have these huge settlements around jerusalem. you have one of the biggest settlements, and they have built a university there. generally, when you build a university somewhere, you're not planning on leaving. so the notion that israel would leave any part of the west bank, especially the populated areas of the west bank, is a dream. they have shown us that clearly they're not interested in doing that. also, we have to rest on the principle that all of palestine is occupied. there is no -- you don't just say the west bank is occupied and gaza is occupied. all of palestine, including 1948 palestine or the greenland or the recognized border of israels, sort of recognized borders of israel, all of it is occupied. all of is a colonial enterprise.
it's just a progression. the west bank and gaza strip were a progression of what happened in 1948. if we talk about them in separate terms and start to dismember palestinian identity which has been a problem of oslo to begin with. os, we currently actually in many ways have one state. right? if one state means that there is one entity sort of ruling over everything, that's currently what's going on. elawn pompeii has talked about this many times where he says right now, we have one state. it just functions legally in different ways for different people based on sort of where they live, but more importantly, who they are. but everything is administers, occupied, governed by israel. when we talk about one state versus two state, the problem is we get into a question of palestinian, to me, a question of palestinian national
identity. when you recognize the two-state framework and work within it, what you are doing by default is acquiescing to this idea of classifying palestinians into many different categories. right now, there's five classes of palestinians throughout the world, right? there is the west bank palestinians who have one legal status, the gaza strip palestinians who have another sort of legal status, jerusalem palestinians who have a legal status. they live inside israel, they get some benefits from the state, they can roam freely, they don't vote for the prime minister, their status can be taken away without notice. then you have the fourth class, which is palestinian citizens of israel who technically on paper are full citizens but of course completely marginalized by the state. for instance, arab schools get $1 for every student or -- sorry, arab students get $1 for every $3 jewish students get in the israeli public school
system, and the fifth class is palestinians in the diaspora, who are part of the palestinian global national identity, but have no place, it seems, in any of the oslo frameworks or especially as far as israel is concerned. to me, the one thing that oslo has done which is more dangerous than anything else is it has dismembered a cohesive palestinian identity. among ourselves, we don't see ourselves as different. we don't see ourselves as somebody from nazareth different from somebody from nablus or ramallah. but oslo in the framework in this whole two-state discussion and recognition on 67 borders, this whole thing has dismembered us in a certain way, and those who participate in that discourse are furthering that sort of idea. so, i'm in favor, if it is not clear yet, of a one-state solution, and i have six sort of reasons that i think it would work.
all right. and i think that we should move forward. number one is what i call the solomon effect. this is the solomon story from the bible. don't split the baby in half. right now, if you ask any of us on stage, except maybe chris, but any of the palestinians on stage to draw their country, we all draw the same thing. we draw that triangle that looks like mandatory palestine. it's all the same to us, if we get that tattooed on our bodies or a pendant on a necklace, that's what we get. the funny thing is, if you ask an israeli to draw their country, they draw the exact same thing. they don't draw it without the west bank and gaza strip. and we don't draw it without the west bank or without the rest of palestine, only the west bank and gaza strip. so existentially, we're all talking about the same piece of land, right? we're all talking about the same area. if you split it in half, as we saw in the bible, it doesn't
work out, right? not only is nobody happy, but no one really recognizes all of their disparate parts in that. so number one, let's not split the baby in half if we don't have to. and there's no reason we have to at this time. number two, this is more of a logistical thing. the financial system is an infrastructure actually would not have to change at all. currently, inside the west bank and gaza strip are completely everything is from an infrastructure or financial point of view is israeli. everything is done by the occupying power. that should come as no surprise to anybody. even in gaza, where it's been overtaken by this whole, all this discourse we hear all the time, they didn't create their own currency or their own financial system. everything is still run under the israeli financial system and infrastructure. for instance, cell phone companies that exist in the west bank, water, utility, all they
do is buy from israel and resell to palestinians. in fact, a stateless palestinian in the west bank pays more for her cell phone bill than an israeli who lives in tel aviv because they're buying second-hand, reselling. so the infrastructure is all there. you wouldn't have to change anything. everyone uses the shakal. jesus used it, too. if it was good enough for jesus, it's good enough for me. you don't have to change anything. number three is the settlement issue. in a weird way, one state solution would solve the settlement issue. settlements are not settlements anymore. they become part of one state. if people stay or not, that's a different story. of course, there's still issues of confiscation and of reimbursing people for their losses and these kinds of things which are rights that lie within the individual that people should always uphold, but
settlements would not be settlements anymore. number four, and this is a big one, is jerusalem. now, to put on like a nerdy law professor, very part-time law professor heart for a second, jerusalem is and always has been since 1948 this living under this latin term called corpas seperatum. which means it has its own status in the partition ideas of the u.n. in 1947 and '48, jerusalem was going to be like an international zone, sort of like the vatican. and that has never changed under international law. so jerusalem, the entirety of jerusalem, west and east, belongs to nobody. and is under no one's sovereignty. this is why just because israel proclaimed the capital as jerusalem, that nobody recognizes it, because the u.n. has never recognized that anyone has sovereignty over that city. that's why no countries locate
their embassies there. that's why it's such a big deal in america whether or not we move our embassy to jerusalem. that's why we had the supreme court case a couple years ago where there was a jewish american family whose child was born in jerusalem, and they wanted to have his passport say israel, and the state department said no, and there was sort of a legal constitutional crisis between the legislative and executive, in any case, the supreme court ended up saying the executive gets to decide this, and it the state department says it's not part of israel, it's not part of israel. jerusalem could remain the eternal undivided capital of whatever this new country is called, but it could immediately become open to the world, open to everyone who lives there, and become the capital of this new state. number five, and i don't know how to say this one nicely. we palestinians, we reproduce a
lot. we love each other very much. and we have for the last 70 years and more. when netanyahu calls us a demographic threat, he's exactly right. we are a major demographic problem for any sort of racist apartheid state that is going to exist in our land. and israel is never really decided how to deal with this. in fact, everything that israel has done for the past 70 years has been to get rid of us, and they're very bad at it. they're not good at it at all. and in fact, the opposite effect is happening. back in 1948 when they kicked out palestinians from what we now call israel or the green line, who i think many people in this room may be refugees or desce descendabouts from 1948. i know i am. 150,000 palestinians remained inside what is today israel. now, for those 150,000
palestinians had grown at the normal average population growth rate of the world, they would be after 70 years something like 450,000, 500,000 people. but they're not. they are 1.7 million people. so this is something that's been going on for a long time. and if israel thinks they're going to get rid of us, whether it's inside the west bank and gaza or inside of the 1948 borders of israel, it's not happening anytime soon. and so this is a problem that only exists, right, you only see this as a problem if you believe in sort of an ethnic supremacist, racist idea of a state. if you get rid of all those ideas, that's not a problem anymore. finally, number six is what i call holy disney. which is our economy in palestine would be the most
amazing economy in the world. i mean, right now, palestine is cut off to maybe a billion or more people throughout the world who don't go either because their countries don't have diplomatic relations with israel or they're just afraid of the political situation. i'm from nazareth, like jesus. that's what i tell white people. i'm from nazareth, and i was in nazareth a few years ago, and i couldn't get a hotel room because there were pilgrimages from coming mostly from africa at that time, that were coming, and they were there. now, that was under the current situation. if we were to open up the country, make one state and make it normal relations with the whole world, they would have to build 50 hotels in nazareth and bethlehem and jerusalem. the resource, you know, there are other resources throughout the arab world that people have used to build their economies. oil, obviously, being the primary one. well, the natural resource in
palestine is god. you know, god is our natural resource, and it's like, renewable. it's completely renewable, never diminishes. so you have this economy that would rival any economy in the world, especially given how small the land is, how small the state is. it would be an amazing economy. everybody would get rich. but under the current circumstances, of course, that can't happen. if it was opened up, it could. so, obviously, we would have to both sides would have to make a few sort of existential concessions, right? there would no longer be anything called the jewish state, there wouldn't be anything called a palestinian state, necessarily. just a state, as weird as it might sound to some people, although it shouldn't sound that weird of an idea. a state of its people regardless of ethnicity, religion, tribe, right? just a regular old secular
democracy. it's worked in other places in the world. doesn't seem like a crazy idea. so that's what -- but both peoples would have to give up some sort of idea of a palestinian only or jewish only state. obviously, practically, some other things would have to change. i mean, you would have to change the flag. the flag right now is a little one-sided. so maybe you would have to change the flag. maybe it would be like brown, green, brown, to represent a falafel patty or something like that, or change the name of the state, obviously. you could change the name of the state to many different things. holy land, abrahamistan, call the whole thing jerusalem. call the whole thing palestine. it doesn't matter. but you would have to obviously make real world changes but these are things people would have to get over, but at the end of the day, the only way, right, that we unite -- to me, the most important element of this is
making sure that palestinian identity is united. and it really gets totally united with all palestinians under the same umbrella if we start changing the discourse, and that's what this is all about at the end of the day. we can talk about it academically, but it's really about getting our -- getting us collectively to change the discourse to only talk about a one-state solution. there is a statue of nelson mandela in ramallah. it's been there for a few years now. we are not acting like nelson mandela. nelson mandela did not ask for some separate state inside south africa. he asked for the rights of all of his people under all of the land from the entity that was governing them. it's about time we palestinians start to do the same thing. >> thank you, amer. nizar, would you go next, please? >> sure, thank you. good morning, everyone. thank you for having me on this
panel. i'm fine with being a minority, probably 30% is probably the proportion of palestinians that still believe in the two-state solution. i would want to start from where amer ended. all the points i agree with. but it's mostly my point is really on palestinian identity and whether people are going to have to catch up to the program and just live with the fact that the identity is going to change and going to be a palestinian jewish identity. i think that's where the one-staters are mistaken. i don't think either populations are happy or satisfied with a state that defines or in which they are nationally defined in an amalgam. we know the reasons why zionists feel the importance of a jewish state to be jewish and to be a
majority jewish. it has to do with their expedience and their narrative of never being really fully able to exercise their right to self-determination wherever they are. even here in the u.s., it's only in the last 20, 30 years where you see people wearing publicly. all of that expede ynls, whatever we think of it, from their perspective, there is a sense that or the way that israeli courts work, where the actual system is one where it's based on the fact that no jew gets a fair trial if the judge is not jewish. right? that's the narrative that they have. on the other side, the palestinian expedience, i'm going to share some personal stories because i feel that's how -- that's what shapes our identities, those narratives. there is likewise a very strong ethos of palestinianhood that is strongly based on the struggle
against the occupation, based on the narrative of the original sin, on balfour, that makes a state where we're going to have to share it with the oppressors, a very difficult sell. and i'm going to share some examples. so i was born and raised in dubai, to a father that was very active in the plo. i was raised on stories about olive groves and all of that stuff. so i had this amazing romantic picture of palestine. ultimately, in '99 when through the oslo process we were able to go back, i was looking forward to seeing that. and found a different palestine. right? i came, my cousins and my aunt who lived and suffered under it, i was -- i felt less palestinian
because i was diaspora, and i didn't suffer like they suffered, so who am i to have a say in what happens here? i don't have the same state that they have. it's not my place. it took me a while to create my own palestine, because until then, it was my father's palestine, and i was getting to know it. again, i felt like i was less palestinian because i suffered less. so much of our identity is built into that struggle. but i was also taken aback when i heard my cousins say israel, right? because we in the diaspora call it 1948 palestine. and to see my cousins, who for me were on a pedestal because they were the ones who were more palestinian than i, if they call it israel, how can i criticize them? they're the ones who are more palestinian than i am? that was, in my opinion, the germ that got me thinking about what it is to be palestinian,
and what about israel that defines some of us palestinians. another, let's say story that also stuck with me was a palestinian friend, palestinian citizen of israel, a friend of mine, she's a christian palestinian, big fan of hezbollah. and hamas. and she was well educated. she was very liberal. she actually dated israeli guys. i think even one of them was in the army, like sleeping with the enemy kind of thing. she was very rebellious in that sense. however, she loved ramallah. she was in awe of it. like despite the fact that her life was actually economically much more prosperous, she had more freedoms, she loved to come to ramallah. we would go to the karaoke place in ramallah. you guys probably know it.
and you could see, like, she was alive because for her, right, she wanted a purely palestinian space. a space where she could just be herself and not be politically correct. careful about what she says that it comes out wrong or what have you. it struck me, and this was coming at a time when it was like my seventh year in palestine and i was getting, you know, living the dysfunctionality of palestinian society, a lot of it, of course, the result of the occupation and the occupation, but we still have this disfunkality that was weighing on me, and i felt like i was getting jaded. i was feeling that we as palestinians have a lot of work to do, regardless of the occupation, on how we operate on the internal side between hamas and fatah. but for her, it was paradise. while at the same time for many palestinians in the west bank, paradise was going to jerusalem or going to tel aviv or all of these places that are urban developed areas.
so again, that part of identity struck me. the final example i would give was again, just my cousins i visit. not the university, the actual town. there is an actual town called that. it's not all the university. where when i talked to them about the one-state solution, their idea of the one-state solution is getting rid of the jews. they're not interested in a state where the jewish israeli oppressor is going to be their equal. one of the things we used to say, we would say, god help the jews when we take control, because we're going to do worse things to them than they did to us. that centisentiment is there, b more importantly, the need, along the lines, the need to cleanse the land from the oppressor, like, we cannot feel completely eemancipated if
there's any evidence, any residue of the oppressor. that's a much bigger conversation to the palestinian identity than the one-staters let on. yes, it's an ideal. i think it is the fair solution. one man, one vote, is the right thing to do in the sense, in an ideal world. the challenge is, is that enough to the people who are there? and that's what i question. i would love to see a one-state where people are treated equally. exceptionally skeptical that the people in the west bank and gaza strip would accept it, for whatever reason. self-determination ultimately is a business of the people that are there. i think, yes, we do need to have a representative body that represents all palestinians including the majority that are diaspora, and that's part of our conundrum, that we don't have that currently, and this conversation is just between us and we're unably to transform it politically into a platform.
that's one. therefore, the idea continues and persists to be an idea that is inapplicable because we don't have the vehicle to actually apply this idea. one state or two state. so i think, and the point i want to say here is actually an ethical/moral point. where i come to this is i came, i had my own transformation, i was a fan of the suicide bombings. i hated israel, hated the jews and felt like they are the enemy and the victimizers, therefore, anything that happens to them is okay. right? because they've done this to themselves. ultimately, i came to a point where i realize they're not going anywhere, and more importantly, self-determination is an integral concept. i cannot exercise my right of self-determination in a way that i know is going to impede on somebody else's right to self-determination.
which is very paradoxical, and it's very paradoxical that now we as palestinians in historical palestine between the jordan river and the sea, we actually are a majority, and we're in the same space that the zionists were in the the early 1900s and believing they have a right to self-determination and being okay with exercising the right of self-determination at the expense of the palestinians. no zionist had any illusion that the palestinians were getting shafted in this. so it wasn't -- actually, like people like zionists admit that. even in 1919, it was very clear that there was no -- even if you were a strong believer in zionism and the right to self-determination, the jews, there was no way of applying that without infliringing on th
palestinian right to self-determination. ironically, now we palestinians are in this position. we might not be powerful, but we are in that moral position. are we willing to exercise our rights of self-determination add the expense of the other. and be the new zionist. this is something i would not wish for palestine or palestinians. i feel as a palestinian we deserve to occupy the higher moral ground and answer that question. my contention with the one-state conversation is that it does not answer that question. it just says, everybody is equal. who doesn't like that? well, in the u.s., theoretically, african-americans are equal, but they still get unequal treatment. therefore, equality in the law does not answer how people feel about the state. it needs to be a state that the people think, the people feel represents them, is a state that stands for enough of their identity they can stand with. and to just finish with
mandela's point, mandela succeeded because he befriended his actual jailers. the people who physically were keeping him in jail. and understood that he needed to create a new south africa that included blacks and whites and where blacks and whites could identify just as much with that country, and he brought in even a symbol of racism for the blacks that was the white -- excuse me, the white rugby team. he stood for it and stood for that symbolism of the new south africa. i do not see that in palestine or any of the one-staters who are actually arguing for a state that genuinely represents jewish identity as much as a palestinian identity in that one state. thank you. >> great. thank you. thank you, nazir. noura. >> sure. it's amazing that you're here.
thank you for being here at the first panel. what an honor to inaugurate this adc convention. and what it means for the arab-american anti-discrimination committee, which is central and integral to fighting the battle against the muslim ban, in fighting the battle against the rescindment of daca and the insecurity now posed to upwards of 300,000 young people in this country with immigrant status, to fighting the attacks on transgendered people, including those transgendered people in our arab-american community, and not withstanding that spectrum of the struggle for arab america and arab-americans, the first panel comes back to something that is central to the identity of arab-americans which is the question of palestine, something that has animated the arab-american left since at least the 1960s, as has been
documented in a recent book published. i think that's amazing. thank you for including us in this. i want to do something slightly different than what my colleagues have done, which is we have been talking about the one-state and the two-state solution almost in a vacuum and taking for granted what that means. i think that if we were going to have a theoretical discussion, well, which one is better for palestinians, right? we can have that discussion. as both nazir and amer have pointed out, the two-state solution doesn't include the refugees and the citizens of israel or the diaspora, us. the one-state solution will render us minorities who are securitized and forever kept as a fifth pillar who are going to be subject to institutionalized early death, not access to
funds. having the discussion this way makes this about whether or not -- well, whether or not, for example, let me use an analogy, if we have a condition of cancer and that condition is settler colonialism, then the two-state solution is merely tylenol to address the cancer, and it's not good enough. but if we have the condition of cancer and the cure is settler colonialism and the solution is a one-state solution and what we're suggesting is chemo, as we know, chemo doesn't necessarily work, and that's not good enough. the ultimate thing that we need to do is to remove the cancer alltogether, which means beyond one state or two state, and regardless of where you want to end up, we must embark on a settler decolonization process. regardless of what that actual outcome is, because without that, neither, neither approach is going to be enough.
at the present stage, at the present stage, both of them suffer from critique of a lack of pragmatism. both of them suffer from the fact that neither will lead to a utop utopia, and both will be paved by inevitable violence. right? so if we can accept that at the base of it, that we are dealing with similar circumstances in terms of challenges and prospects, then what is the question we need to ask ourselves, and what is the prerequisite in order to establish any solution? so for those who are asking but how can that be true? why embark on settler decolonization if you have a two-state solution? right? because then you just establish one state for each people. you never need to address that question. consider what was lamented about the carter administration, which is that if we admit that the west bank is occupied, we have to admit that tel aviv and haifa
is occupied. and that is the thinking that continues to dominate israeli thinking today. there is in that process a denial that the palestinian peel are a people who have the right to self-determination in any form. we get to define what self-determine is. self-determination is not merely the establishment of a nation state. it's the right to be self-determined. we can decide what that is. but israel and leading zionists and especially this right-wing government, have denied and continue to deny that palestinians have that right. and insist that we are merely nomads from surrounding arab countries who should be absorbed to any one of the 22 arab states, or what they propose to us in 1978 in the middle east framework which is the idea that we are self-atonmous, that we
govern ourselves in an autonomous framework without any substantive sovereignty, and interestingly, it's in that moment that the plo, the palestinians in the west bank, and the palestinians in the gaza strip convened conferences and congresses that reject the idea of autonomy and say enough short of sovereignty and self-determination, and 15 years later, we sign on to almost the exact document verbatim at oslo. so, i would like to kind of suggest three things. one is that the problem is not one state or two state. the problem is actually whether or not we're talking about the strategy to achieve self-determination. and so what often happens, and is somewhat happening here as a subtext, is that we're not discussing one-state versus two-state. we may very well be discussing the different approaches to
strategy. and this one-state versus two-state becomes a euphemism of boycott divestment and sanctions, all-out resistant to israeli settler colonization and occupation versus we need to embark on a peace process, dialogue, diplomatic approach. and so we are -- we're refracting a strategic discussion through a framework of one versus two states. so i would like to address that. i would also like to say that the thing that we must all agree on, you want two states, you want one state, you want something else altogether, that in addition to dismantling settler colonialism, you have to be ready to dismantle oslo. oslo is not good for two-staters either. it's not good for anybody. what oslo does is actually -- so, here, let me take a step back and say that the idea of a one-state solution and the palestinian political thought is not new to the millennial
palestinians who are now 25, 27, if they were born in 1993 or 1990. it's not new to them, oophorthey're very much at the forefront of articulating this debhand, but the idea of a one-state solution is the traditional palestinian idea. but the radical thought is the two-state solution and it only emerges after the october 1973 war, specifically in responses to critiques that palestinians and the plo were not being pragmatic enough. and so in the aftermath of the 1973 war, it became clear that no arab conventional army was going to fight israel until victory. egypt and syria had made clear that they were only going to fight in order to enhance their negotiating position, in order to recoup the territories that were occupied in 1967. and egypt and sadat encourages
the plo to moderate its position for a one-state solution in order to accept the west bank and the gaza strip, and so does the soviet union at the time. so it's an idea that, a seed that becomes planted in 1973 that continues to grow until 1988 when it's no longer a battle between different palestinians, moderates versus rejectionists, but in 1988, at the 19th session of the palestinian national council, excuse me, that palestinians unite. and affirm that we want a two-state solution. in 1988. but at that time, we articulate that demand based on two principles. u.n. resolution 181, which envisions partition for two peoples in one land but where minority rights are protected for each people. so no ethnic cleansing is necessary.
today, the language of two-state solution presupposes that ethnic cleansing is a good rather than an evil. even as we are failing to fight the wars of ethnic cleansing and genocide in myanmar. even the genocide in the former yugoslavian republic, and now we're demanding and requiring ethnic cleansing as good. there's something horribly wrong with our moral compass if that's what it is we're articulating as opposed to thinking about in any solution, there will not be purity of race, there should not be purity of race. that's not what we're heading towards, and it cannot end well. it has never ended well. in 1988, we articulate the principle of u.n. resolution 181, and security council resolution 242.
the is establishing these basic principles. and the iconic palestinian poet, someone that every millennial, 27-year-old palestinian, who is the most ardent supporter of a one-state solution, reveres. and it was that poet who drafted the declaration of independence for palestinians along these terms. so the two-state solution is not an anathema to palestinians. what is an anathema is what happens at oslo, when arafat and interlockteres establish back door negotiations that undermine all of the work that palestinian negotiators were doing in washington and madrid and rather than insist on what our declaration of independence articulated, instead we accepted the 1978 framework that gave us these ghettoized bantustans, so
we do not have sovereignty over the land. we only have autonomy over our people in some lands, so our jurisdiction doesn't spread over the west bank and gaza strip. because if it did, then the settlers would be under palestinian jurisdiction and it does not. we have basically enshrined a situation that we have enshrined a vision that was articulated in 1978, and it is then that framework that has led us to the condition we're in today. and so even if you want the two-state solution, you cannot accept that we not dismantle oslo as the first step to achieving any form of liberation. the other thing i want to say is this critique of pragmatism. let's assume as many critiques have been brought, it's too hard. palestinians don't want to live with israelis. they want to live on their own. israelis are running over palestinian children in cars and not being prosecuted and able to
kill with impunity. what are you talking about? what is this fantasy land you're living in? again, we have to be clear about the fact that both approaches are difficult, almost impossible without tremendous political will. and we'll have forms of violence embedded. the two-state solution is no more pragmatic than the one-state solution. both for the fact that the populations are inextricably populated. the only thing that separates palestinians from israeli is the vast differential in treatment under an apartheid framework that makes some palestinians in some cases subhuman, in other cases not human at all. think about this february when the outpost, an outpost, not even a settlement, was evacuated, which was home to 50 families. approximately 250 israeli settlers total.
the upheaval that caused in israeli society, not only was that a big deal for israelis but in response, they passed a regularization law to insure that no other outpost would undergo a similar fate. and at the same time, articulated that 6,000 new settler colonial units would be built. what is more pragmatic or practical about a two-state solution than a one-state solution? the critique, in a one-state solution, it's not a utopia either, right? just because you articulate that you're going to have one state doesn't mean that suddenly we have a banner of equal rights and we're holding hands and marching together. the example of the end of jim crow in the united states is the most telling, where today in 2017, black people are killed with impunity and represent one third of our penal incarcerated population. and our president, well, depends
on how you feel about that, the president of the united states wants to retool the department of justice to dismantle affirmative action and actually defend white students who have suffered under affirmative action. so this idea that somehow we have a one-state solution and we enter utopia is very short-sighted. that's not what's going to happen. that's not what's going to happen. because palestinians within israel who have had supposedly equal rights as citizens but not as nationals because there is no such thing as israeli nationality, have been incarcerated at higher populations, are being right now removed from their homes and displaced in order to create new settlements in maghreb. the settlements in the south of israel who are citizens and have been displaced more than once. we will be securitized, we will be killed with impunity. we will be run over. we will be shot.
and have knives planted next to us and deemed a terrorist threat. we have to face that reality, and regardless of whatever situation we have. and that's why we have to embark on a process of settler decolonization that insists that palestinians are a people, that palestinians exist. that israel is a settler colony. the only distinction between israel and the united states or canada and australia, which are also settler colonies, is that our demographic balance means that we are still controversial. we are still an active frontier of elimination. unlike this settler colony where the frontier of elimination has been accomp wlshed but settler colonialism continues, but it's no longer controversial. in palestine, it's not settled. as benny morris said, we just didn't kill enough palestinians when we had the opportunity.
it's not a settled frontier, and that's why this remains controversial. the worst thing we can do, the worst thing we can do, is to already capitulate that israel is a normalized state and is a legitimate state. when in fact, it is a settler colony. if jews want to remain there, they remain there. but not as masters. not as colonial masters. not as a privileged supremacist class by virtue of law. they remain there as humans. we find a way to create a better world. we have the opportunity to create a model that the rest of the world has not created. we have already learned from everyone else's mistakes. if we're condemning myanmar's genocide, why would be endorse it in our context, and why not have someone said funon, he was the first to critique if we wanted to re-create a european model of the state, why not let europe do that in our countries as colonial masters?
the whole point of decolonization and independence is that we have the opportunity to create something better. thank you. >> great, thank you, noura. [ applause ] >> we're going to have a bit of a back and forth between our panelists before we open things up to the q&a, nazir, i would like to start with you. what do you say to those who argue that the two-state solution is not actually a solution at all because it leaves palestinian citizens of israel vulnerable, it denies the right or return for most palestinian refugees, et cetera? >> sure. my first -- is this working? all right. my first critique is making assertive conclusions as if any policy option is certainly going to end with a certain result. so i take issue with many of the points that noura made from a
logical point. that there's definitely, this is what's going to happen. i don't believe that. there are many ways in which something can play out. the point, and therefore, the two-state solution is not necessarily also. there are many ways of doing a two-state solution. i agree with you, oslo was problematic, precisely because the plo and specifically yasser arafat, entered into it when he was weak, after the iraq war, when he didn't have the gulf country support. and he did it to consolidate his power and consolidate his relevance in political arena. so of course, i do not endorse that, but at the same time, that doesn't equate the two-state solution to the way it was imp l.ed. the two-state solution as a concept, i believe, does more justice to more people because what i lead as more important to the palestinian people at this moment is in fact self-determination and self-expression, and actual sovereignty with a palestinian national identity that is arab
culturally and politically. as far as the refugees and citizens of israel, that also would be part of the conversation, one of the main ailments of oslo and the way it was implemented is precisely that it did not discuss palestinian citizens of israel as palestinial nationals and it was not so implicit a tradeoff as we get the state in return of letting go of the rights of the refugees, which is incorrect, which is not right. i agree with that point. so you can have a way in which you have the two states where you have refugees have palestinian citizenship and have the rights to their rights and properties in what is now israel in 1948 israel, and you find a solution to all the other ailments, the important thing on the issue of refugees is in fact that they have been dispossessed and the last thing you want to do to people who are dispossessed, to not take their opinion on what happens to them.
the critical problem with the refugees is in fact statelessness and the vulnerability of statelessness. the challenge that i see in the one state is if it's going to take 50, 100 years for the one state to actually actually mate right? is that right to the many palestinian refugees who are in syria and lebanon and many places, we've seen what happened in the syrian war, precisely because these people are stateless, the same in kuwait and libya, right. because they are stateless, they are easy scapegoats and become a vulnerable population. so not providing a solution that can ease their suffering is also morally objectionable from my point. having said that, i still think that the more important aspect to that is in fact reputation, that all of this talk in fact is theoretical until we actually have a good enough representation of the palestinian people diaspora and
palestinian citizens of israel and the people in the west bank and the gaza strip. and the second thing is i push back on is that we need to first agree on the destination in order to decide how to go about to dekcolonize. the decolonization is the step in a certain direction. if we don't agree on the direction, this decolonization is something temporary in the sense that it helps alleviate palestinian suffering, but what we're discussing here is what is the ultimate end goal for palestinians to have a state of their own that is 20% of the historical homeland but where they feel that state actually represents them enough and is -- represents their cultural identity or do we go for a one-state where that palestinian identity is going to be morphed, changed into something that's
less pure. and that's the other thing, again, making projections and assumptions about my position, of course i'm not advocating ethnic cleansing or ethnic purity. of course that's a flawed and immoral position. my point is whether we have a one state or two state, both could be bad solutions. you can have two states, both of which are racists or one state where who's oppressing whom is altered. the test of a good solution is whether the rights of self-determination to the majority of the people are addressed or not. how do you protect minority rights. how do you make sure that the majorim majority of the citizens have the greatest amount of rights they can have given the situation. what concerns me with a lot of the conversation on the one state is it actually dismisses and does not answer the question to what happens to jewish
israelis and their sense of self-determination and their sense of their jewish identity. do they feel safe and able to exercise their right to self-determination in a state that's arctticulated the way th one staters currently are articulated. that's what i feel is missing in the conversation. >> thank you. i've seen you taking some notes up there. go there to respond? >> well, you know, on your last point, if the land of israel or whatever you call it right now because of israeli action is the most dangerous place on earth for jews, not the safest place so, whether or not they feel secure is something they have not been able to achieve, but building a state on ideals of secularism and democratic equality obviously these are ideals and then you need the political will and the collective will to undertake it. you know, i mean, i heard lot from everybody up here and i
don't know. i mean, even when i was listening to noura i heard a lot of hiss or tto historical diagn problems and ice all true, but what's the prognosis? we have to articulate a vision at the end of the day. to me that's what this is about. yes, we don't have the political vehicles or we're not part of the political vehicles, let me say that. there are some sort of quasipolitical vehicles. but our job hopefully as palestinian-americans, people who live here, is is to do our best through our institutions and organizations to influence these political vehicles. and it's not only -- we don't just need a rejection of oslo. that's true. we need a reversal of oslo. and along with that, and we shouldn't be afraid to say it, comes a rejection of the palestinian authority. the palestinian authority is a corrupt mechanism which has come out, an israeli invention.
so it's important to recognize that and to say that's what one state means too. this is why i think a lot of people sometimes are reticent to talk about it pause that's ultimately what it means. on the issue of the culture of -- i'm not afraid of palestinians losing arab culture. we've dope a very good job of preverving it because it has been under attack as a matter of israel's objectives. in fact, go to jerusalem. go to the old city of jerusalem. if you do, when everyone says jerusalem is the center of the problem, go to the old city of jerusalem. there's 33,000 people living there. only 3 thundershowe,000 of them. the rest are arabs. which means if you go to the old city of jerusalem if you don't want to get cheated you speak arabic. the place is still arab. it has been for 1,500 years. ooh years of some settlers from
europe doesn't change anything. the most popular israeli lsh slush ban is a yemeni band that sings in arabic. okay? so the largest group now, the largest singular group of jews living in the israeli state are arab jews from morocco, tunisia, iraq, syria. so the place is arab, man. you can't do anything about it. it has been for a very long time. there's a reason they eat hummus and -- part of it is because they're trying to steal it but part of it is because that's what's there. i'm not worried about us losing our arab identity. we've done a very good job and the land has done a very good job at preserving that. but to me at the end of the day i'm very worried about dismembering and disjointing palestinian identity. that's why it's very important for me that we collectively articulate a vision of one state where everybody's interests are the same, not where gaza's
interests are different from west bank interests or different from israeli citizens or west bank citizen. as far as palestinian refugees, no solution, no amount of negotiation can negotiate away the right of return or reimbursement for a refugee. that is something that resides individually with the refugee. no movement by abbas, even though he's tried a few times to negotiate that away would be valid. and the israelis can never say that can be par of any sort of future negotiation because that resides individually with the refugee under international law. but i'm not worried about some of these critiques because, look, i think the generation before us which talked about two states and they were down with oslo and unfortunately they saw oslo as the end of a process instead of the beginning of a process, they did a lot for our generation. tay taught us to keep palestine alive. they talk us to make sure we
always knew where we came from. you know, the old will die and the young will forget. that's not true. there's still some old palestinians i see in this room here who have not died yet. and there are 6-year-old palestinian-americans walking around america right now that will tell you what village their grandparents got kicked out of in 1948. so nothing that israel's tried has worked. none of their colonial stuff as far as our sort of the way we emotionally think about palestine has worked. so -- and that has been reflected in the land. there's a reason there's israeli flags everywhere when you go around palestine. my mom is from -- if you've ever been to the wall of aceh, there's this line of 100 israeli flags, amazing, unbelievable. i used to get really pissed off
when i'd see all those flags. i realized those flags are not for me. those flags are for them because they need these flags. they put up all these flags to feel like they belong. we don't need flags. we know our names and our villages. they put up the flags because they know they don't. people talk about israel or palestine being -- it hasn't worked. it's backfired. the arabness of palestine keeps coming up. so i think a one-state solution kind of sort of confirms all of that, says, look, guys, it didn't work, it didn't work with our parents, previous generation tried before us, they did a lot of good things but they were just wroung, their strategies didn't work. what israel has tried has not worked so it's time to move along. >> thank you. we goal to noura next. we only have a short period of time left so after this we'll go the audience q and a. >> thank you. i'm so eager to get my hands on
this. i heard how i was represented. i did articulate a clear vision. i did articulate we have to move towards a one-state solution because that is actually the solution that is going to yield the better possibilities. if both solutions are going to have the same negatives, then which solution is going to yield the better possibilities? the better possibilities for refugees, better possibilities of a future, the better possibilities of palestinian citizens and all of our nation being a holistic one. so just to be clear, my vision is very clear. the second thing that i hope is very clear and which wasn't addressed unfortunately, which is this assumption -- i don't know where it comes from. how many of you between yourselves or hands up, i'm a teacher so hands up if you think the two-state solution is more practical? right? so there is this assumption that it's more practical based on logic. but just think logically why
it's not more practical. i wrote just a few things here. the gaza strip is now under siege for over a decade. five points of ingress and egress are limited. it will be unlivable by 2020. it has been subjected to three large military offensives with weapons technology provided by the united states against a besieged population that does not have the right to become refugees of war. in the past seven years alone. since 2004, 22 military offensives. in the west bank, there are 600,000 settlers. the knesset is okay with apartheid and says let's annex area c or 62% because we're okay with apartheid. we've been dehumanized to that level. we can't dismantle an outpost in the west bank without 6,000 new settler colonial units being declared in a retroactive law that legalizes all land that ice
been confiscated from private palestinian lands netanyahu has said multiple times there will never be a palestinian state. the western aquifer, the most significant source of water, lies under the west bank. 63% under the west bank. israel derives 80% of its yield of water from that water source, which by the way is facilitated by oslo. and ehud olmert, barack, and ariel sharon have all said under any framework we'll not share that water. so i want to ask those who believe the two-state solution is more pragmatic, on what basis do you make that claim other than this kind of, you know, theoretical thing that we have of two peoples in one land when everything on the ground tells us that israel is not okay with a two-state solution, will never be okay and has created the facts on ground to make that as impossible as a one-state
solution. i don't want to say's more difficult than a one-state solution but it's certainly not less difficult. so let's not fall back on that argument. let's have an argument but let's not fall back on that one in terms of if you want to think pragmatically. the last thing i'll say is we have more in common that we disagree on. everybody here wants freedom for all people. everybody here wants children to live with dignity and safety and stability. everybody want to see families happy regardless of religion, ethnicity, nationality, geographic location, legal jurisdiction. we're all in agreement. we are disagreeing on how to get there. and i'm making the suggestion, let us agree then on three basic things since we are in agreement. let's agree op three basic things that regardless of what your final destination is, and clearly mine is one state, i'll say it again since i was told my vision wasn't clear, even if
you're one state or two state, let's agree we have to dismantle oslo. oslo is the enemy of the two-state solution. it is the reason two stepped down from the pnc after the oslo accords. okay? it's -- it is the problem. number one. number two, we have to agree on settler decolonization. this idea that palestinians do not exist and don't have the right to self-determination is just as alive in aceh and yaffa where the yaffa port has been turned into -- from a fisherman's part into an artist colony for elite jewish israelis. right? settler colonialism is as alive in yaffa as it is in rafa. okay? and number three, we have to agree that there is no road to freedom without a resistance platform. we must resist. we must resist.
you resist in all ways. you resist through boycott, divestment and sanctions, by filing petition at the icc, by suing israeli generals, by kicking them out of fifa, by insisting that a political prisoner needs to be freed. these are forms of resistance. and we are not pursuing that strategy. so i'm saying we have more in common than we disagree on. we have to agree on those three fundamentals. no oslo, yes settler decolonization, yes resistance, and that in order to get there we have to agree that both solutions -- beneather is more pragmatic than the other and we have to remove that from the mythology of opposition to the one-state solution. >> thank you. i'm going to open things up to questions from the audience now. we only have a few minutes left unfortunately so -- yes. prize r please keep your
questions short and to the point. we'd appreciate it. thank you. yes. >> hello. thank you all for sharing. i've got an open question, kind of a dual-pronged question about what would the ideal political scenarios be or what are the political conditions on the international scene and also domestically in the united states that would lead to the realization of sort of the three goals or this -- what is going to most strengthen the hands of palestinians at large to self-determine internationally and domestically? >> the short answer is i think the political conditions have to be remove our eggs from the u.s. basket. the u.s. has hoe gem newsed this process in a way of what the professor called an undecent broker and has impeded and
incapacitated all of our mechanisms that are available to generate the political will necessary. right now in -- you know, accolades, you know, what is it, accolades where they're due, what is that expression? i was born here and i function like somebody fresh off the boat because i'm the daughter, very proud daughter of imgrants, i'm first generation in this country. give credit where credit is due. thank you. that the ploalestinian authorit at the u.n. established a database of all companies doing businesses in the west bank in order to just create a list, the implicit suggestion is that all international community boycotts those corporations because there's different ways to resist, right? corporate resistance is one of them. business and human rights is one framework. the u.s. is waging its largest battle and you heard in the u.n. speeches they want to dismantle even this-up list and see it as biased. so the conditions that are going
to get us to this place is still a third-world-based solidarity of liberation and it requires that international communities uphold their own obligations under the u.n. charter and uphold what we're demanding in the form of sanctions against israel. and that political will, in order to generate it, means that we remove the u.s. as the primary obstacle to achieving those goals vis-a-vis these other countries that we could be doing this work with. >> to add to that, reinternationalize the issue, bring it back to the u.n., but also we need to -- two thing. i think one of main obstacles is not only the u.s. but internationally, the issue is not urgent enough. too many key actors are perfectly fine with conflict management and nobody's feeling the urgency of conflict resolution. that's the thing. nobody's putting the money,
effort, attention necessary to actually end this. right? so that's one. the second one is whether we like it or not we can't get anywhere with palestinian lack of unity. if there's anything that needs to happen, we need to not accept the position from both sides, hamas, who are not genuinely feeling the urgency of a unified palestinian front, including, again, reviving the plo and including having the diaspora have the proportional say in palestinian politics. i think that's also part of why things are not moving forward, there is a serious lack in urgency and representation of the palestinian people as a whole. >> i think that any sane palestinian probably gave up hope if they ever had it that america would ever be fair about this or that any part of our salvation would lie with our neighboring arab states.
their governments at least. to me it has to start with an internal palestinian rejection of the palestinian authority and everything that they have been fighting towards politically and oslo, of course, as noura said. and then a very loud rejection of arab states normalizing or attempting to normalize with israel, which we're starting to sort of see now. sarajevo is already doing it but other states that are talking about this to be very loudly in our rejection of those things and the palestinian authority has not been loud in its rejection of those thins at all. >> any other questions? >> time for one more. >> the question i have for you, you mentioned south africa, you
mentioned lots of things, and you mentioned resistance, noura. do you believe resistance should include other than bds and ail the talk, should include arms struggle? >> so this is a really difficult question. do i think that it should include arms struggle? i think that -- i don't think that necessarily now. there was a time when arms struggle yielded very significant obvious results for palestinians. there was a time when the use of force by palestinians resonated with rest of the world because most of the world was colonized and suffered from the same condition. and so when palestinians were resorting to arms, so, too, were several african nations, so, too, were several asian nations, and so this condition of colonial subjugation was unique to all of us, and despite all u.s. efforts -- for example, in the 1970s to articulate the use
our resistance, it has to make apartheid more politically and economically, diplomatically expensive for israel rather than cheaper. and we can do that in many, many ways, boycott divestment and sanctions. there's one way. other ways we suggested here. whether or not we do that in the form of armed resistance i think we have the right to do that. i'm not convinced that it's right now pro pro-dusing the results we want even when hamas has used it. and to hamas' credit when they're using it strategically in moments when the siege is not budging, but even when -- so in the last -- in 2012 the results that they received was an actual extension of the naval siege from three nautical miles to six nautical miles so palestinian fishermen can actually fish. in the aftermath of 2014, they've reduced that back to three nautical miles and have actually made the siege more tight, not less.
to think strategically what is it producing and outweighing the costs of waging it. >> thank you, noura. do we have one -- >> first of all, you're asking us about our struggle. we're on tv, man. come on. as she says of course we have the right to do it. the first part of the question, maybe we're more practical because your generation has been through it. i don't think that's fair. i think palestine is something that spans generation, something that all -- belongs to all of us. like i said, i think the previous generation did a great job in making sure that we didn't forget, but obviously their tactics and strategies was collectively wrong. it hasn't brought us to where we need to be. the question of arm struggle
lies with one central question to me. ask yourself this -- if you were in jerusalem and you were sitting next to a 16-year-old boy that was about to go out and stab an israeli soldier and you knew that he was going to die, what would you do? if you had the control to stop him, what would you do? would you let him go do it so it could be on the news and maybe cause some demonstration and some good spirit among palestinians or would you stop him and hold him because it's not worth it? that's the question you have to ask yourself. >> thank you, everybody, for being here. i hope you found the discussion provocative and interesting. i'm sure it continue throughout the weekend and belong. apologies to anybody who who had questions you koudn't ask. perhaps you could come up. thank you all and the panel. >> we're going to try the stay
on time so the next panel will start at 11:00. please be back here in ten minutes. white house press sect sarah sanders has scheduled a briefing today. we'll that live for you when it starts on c-span. also today, the heritage foundation hosts a panel discussion on recent supreme court rulings involving freedom of speech. we'll have live coverage at 5:00 p.m. eastern also on c-span. and later, remarks from janet yellen, the federal reserve chair, who met with president trump yesterday, will speak at a national economist club dinner. our live coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. eastern on c-span. watch all of these vents live online at c-span.org or listen
on the free c-span radio app. a live look at the u.s. capitol here where both the house and senate are out of session today. late last night, the senate approved the 2018 republican budget resolution by a mere party-line vote of 51-49. the only republican voting against the measure was kentucky's rand paul. this clears the way for work on tax reform, which the white house would like to complete by year end. we'll have more live house and senate coverage when the gavel comes down next on the c-span networks. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, a look at controversial union and confederate generals during a live discussion with authors and historians from pamp lin historical park in petersburg, virginia, starting saturday at 9:00 a.m. and sunday at 9:15 eastern. saturday at 10:00 p.m. on real america, the january 1968 weekly series abc "scope" examines
resistance to the vietnam war and the draft. >> we live in a beast. lyndon johnson is a common murderer and should be arrested for murder. there are no limits odis sent. i ask -- i think the peace movement should have the anger of a vietnamese women whose child is burned by napalm dropped by american planes way up there in the sky. that's the anger the peace movement should reflect. the peace movement's got to go into the streets and it's got to use the tactic of disruption because the american people are drunk with apathy. >> and on sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, we e continue our series on pho photojournalists with diana walker, former "time" magazine white house photographer. >> i felt that i should accept their offers to be behind the scenes every time they offered it because anytime you see the president of the united states behind the scenes you learn something about the president.
and you see something. and it is important -- i can be there for you. you can't be there. and everything i see is important. >> american history tv all weekend, every weekend, only on c-span3. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, contraction span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. now, former equifax ceo richard smith testifies before a senate judiciary subcommittee about his former employer's response to a data breach that left more than 140 million consumers with their personal financial information at risk.