tv Discussion on Middle East Peace Process CSPAN December 22, 2015 2:35am-4:23am EST
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hardcover or e-book. order your copy today. next, a look at the israeli-palestinian conflict and other issues in the middle east. speakers discussed jerusalem's history and the influence of religion in the region. from the potomac institute for policy studies, this is one hour and what he five minutes. -- and 45 minutes.
>> ladies and gentlemen, we would like to start. would you kindly turn off your cell phone? good afternoon. my name is yonah alexander. i'm the director of the inter-university center for terrorism studies. it is administered by the potomac institute of policy. studies for the international center for terrorism studies. as far as the center of the institute, in cooperation with many academic institutions and universities around the world, specifically i would like to mention the center for national security of the university of virginia school of law. on behalf of the ceo and chairman of the institute, he
extends his welcome to you, but he unfortunately is out of the country as i understand. at any rate, the vice presidency is in the back. he is with us and, of course, general ray, who is the chairman of the board of regents. and the 29th commandant of the marine corps. he joins us. as always, he will have the last word. at any rate, let me welcome the speakers. first, right here, professor mohammed dajani.
currently a fellow at the washington institute. he obviously contributed a great deal, i think, to understanding moderate islam. a professor of political science in jerusalem. he will be making a presentation today and, obviously, many of you are familiar with the very distinguished contribution and involvements of his family in jerusalem. we do have, obviously, the information about the speakers. i want to go into details. the speaker from the israeli embassy in washington, will also participate.
jerusalem. whether the escalating tension and environments in recent months, at least the last three months, can ignite a religious war in the middle east and beyond. and yet at the time of christmas that the world is celebrating, the question arises whether the spirit of the second city of jerusalem, a city that is honored with christianity and islam, would encourage building the foundations and so on. this and other issues will be included. discussions, for example, historical context in jerusalem, the political and legal aspect. these various related issues are a run on religion, for example.
i would like to invite the speakers to take over in a few minutes. i would like to thank c-span radio and television for this seminar being brought to the attention of a wider audience. in addition to that, we like to mention the anniversary, dates related to violence. we can diffuse the negative aspects on these conflicts and try to advance the cause of peace with justice. number one, we remember the victims of violence and terrorism. let me mention two of them, specifically.
one that is in fact related to today, december 21 in 1988, which is the 27th anniversary of 103 over lockerbie, scotland. 200 59 passengers were killed. most, of course, americans. 11 on the ground in lockerbie. many of you will remember that libya was responsible for that. the nigerian who attempted to destroy, to detonate plastic
explosives on the northwest slide. over detroit. of course, he was connected with al qaeda in the arabian and -- arabian peninsula. clearly, we have to remember many of the other victims, particularly in recent times all the way from paris to california to beirut, jerusalem, sinai, and so forth. now, one footnote for the moderator, i feel that i really am a jerusalem might.
for 25 years i lived, studied, and worked in jerusalem. although my family came to palestine first in 1921, and again in the early 1930's, i grew up in the city of tel aviv, but i always considered myself a member of the population of jerusalem. on the academic level, i was involved in teaching at the university for some 25 years related to war and peace and terrorism. now, i would like to mention specifically in june of 1967 i
had the great privilege and honor of opening the campus -- specifically because we have some lawyers about law school. i had a group of about 30 students who came from the united states and other countries. the first assignment i gave to the students was not to write a paper, but to clean up the classroom that hadn't been used for about 19 years because of the separation of the old city from the new city or western city of jerusalem.
since that time scholars came from all over the world to join us and participate in our academic work. including some of the leaders of israel. we had a clergy of christians, muslims, and others who participated in our work. so, again, academically we focused on jerusalem for a very long time. i would just like to mention one particular study related to our topic today. not for publicity purposes, but back in 1973 we had a project at columbia university in the school of journalism about how religion could advance the cause of peace in the middle east.
producing a book on the role of communications in the middle east. i'm mentioning this because there is no way that one can discuss the issue of jerusalem separate from the palestinian conflict or israeli conflict. or the conflict between israel and the muslim world and the international issue. so, let me just begin by reminding all of us that we are familiar with jerusalem the same way that we are familiar with washington, moscow, and berlin. again, just to remind us what we are talking about, going back to the old testament and the new
testament in jerusalem, the professor will go into some details right here at the church of the holy sepulcher. we are talking about the sacred sites in jerusalem and the status of those sites. and of course, the wailing wall, the western wall, and the remnants of the temple. and then of course, the pilgrimage of pope francis in jerusalem. again, i think we have a big agenda. the question that i think we are going to discuss today, one of the factors that encourage violence and terrorism? perhaps it might trigger a third world war, as some people
predict. how can we diffuse some of the negative theological elements from a political conflict relating to israel, palestine, and so. perhaps this conserve -- perhaps this can serve as a model for other conflicts around the world. with that, i would like to invite him to come up and discussed some of this. >> thank you. good morning, everyone. it really is a pleasure for me to appear before the institute again. i think that the key for peace, if we want to avoid the continuation, the key is acceptance.
it means acceptance of the other. i could speak here for a whole hour or a whole day regarding the connection between the jewish people and jerusalem. talk about the history of jerusalem. king david, 3000 years ago, the first and second temple, the fact that they pray three times a day, every day, going back to jerusalem to restore jerusalem. that's a capital and a place in which the temple is restored, etc.. we have mentioned it in weddings. part and parcel.
the other two, they have to be accepted. the other has to accept us. another thing that we have to do is instead of exploiting religion to radicalize, we have to exploit religion to moderate. that is a difficult task, especially today. unless we defeat the radicals, we won't be able to do it. sometimes i'm hearing in the last few months, in washington and other places and when it comes to isis, people say that isis is ignorant. unfortunately, they are not. their methods are educated. the problem that we have is that they radicals are educated. unless we defeat them, it will be very difficult to promote the acceptance of the other into religion to promote moderation. one of the problems that we have in jerusalem, and i was raised
to despite ivan all the other threats we have in the region right now. in that sense i think that we have a chance. they know that if we don't cooperate, at the end of the day, hamhuis and jihad, and ivan others, they will take over. so if we manage to exacerbate that and to cooperate and combine it with strong leadership and a peace process that includes acceptance, then i think we will be better off. >> we have a few minutes to ask the audience for some questions. o you have a question?
>> my name is ron taylor. i am a senior fellow with the george washington university center for cyber and homeland security, but i do a lot in counterterrorism. from the outside the middle and always looks unstable, stabblingt and instability have a time dependence to them. whether you are stable for a long time other a short time is a relative thing. i guess my question is what do you see as the future? i just keyed off your comment about israel being a force for stability. i can see that for other countries in the region. what do you see as the future for the nation state itself in that area? a also is an example of
possible degeneration of the nation-state con accept. >> that is a great question and a question i was trying to discuss with my researchers back in jerusalem. looking at the region, for many years we were looking at the region, and we had mubarak rack, and saad -- assad, and it was very stable. now you have to open every day and a new fight for new organizations and new people that are becoming active in the region. at some point i told my team let's start looking at ountries and institutions. we tell the institutions in the region that you can count on to be influenced. when it comes to your question,
what are the execution that is we can embrace and run fornd ru egyptian army, for example, people are not very prone or they don't like in the west the egyptian army, and i can understand it. when it comes to israel it, is not very encouraging. there is this joke about -- it is not famous, maybe it will be now about when the muslim brotherhood had broken the cease-fire between israel and hamhuis. many nationalists in egypt were saying he is a zionist, he is cooperating with israel. and when they brokered a cease-fire, the muslim brotherhood were saying he is a zionist. they were both saying it and both wrong. here is the situation we have. whether it is the israel army or the muslim brotherhood or
any other force that takes power, we have to look. if it is not completely legitimate, it kills everybody like assad and isis, we have to see how to reinforce those players and those institutions. m.v.p. jordan you have a strong government. you have a strong service. so you have structure, you have a strong financial banking system. let's work with those. let's reinforce those who have a chance to deliver. we have a process of 20 years which we invested. ok, we are not saints, israelis. maybe if we would have invested more, but we would be better off. we have an investment of 20 years. we have a security apparatus at work, but they are not capable of foiling a plot by hamhuis, for example.
who can we change that? how can we make a security apparatus to deliver to palestinians? if we succeed in that, maybe we ould have a palestinian state. >> thank you for your time. if there is to be a negotiated mutual recognition, palestinians would like to raise their flag in jerusalem. at one time that was a no by israelis. it possible that the arab sector can become a palestinian capital as well? >> it will be up to the leaders t the time to determine.
you can imagine anything, and you have to imagine everything if you want to reach a settlement. but the question really is how to get there. we thought for many years -- and people are telling us, especially now that you have the arab spring, that you should have used this for the advantage of promoting peace with the palestinians. one of the most difficult things that i have -- most difficult changes i face here in washington is so sort of israeli sense of the psyche. a professor did remarkable work in trying to pass the psyche of the israelis to the palestinians. but i am failing as an israeli to communicate that to americans. when you see isis taking heads in syria, people here get mobilized and they want to
fight. imagine what happens to israelis in times like this when they see what is going on in the region, how more concerned they become, how much risk averse they become. of course we don't want to be in a situation right now where you give territory back. so we have to build a bottom-up military to secure the region by having a player there that would be pro western, that would be democratic, that would be uncorrupt, that would make a future palestinian state thrive. and not as kissinger said two months ago when he came to the area, not establish another arab state in our border. e don't want that. >> my surname hasan. i was born in teheran.
jerusalem, as you know of of interest to major religions. r many years there was a struggle between everybody. we would like to know at what oint the people of israel feel secure that the quhict can end? so you have some kind of vision what that security can be. 20 years, 50 years, 100 years from now? i would like to hear it. also one more question. moses came out of egypt, 3,000 or 4,000 years, how many
jewish people are there in the world? today the estimation is there are about 18 million jews. he jewish religion, unlike christianity or islam is not in the business of getting more converts. being a jew is very difficult for many crept rios for reasons that you already know. getting back to your question, i think we are going to feel secure when we have a situation in which we have no more rejection, but acceptance, and that we have security. not only the israeli right, the israeli extreme right is not in favor of some things. we need a regime that is strong enough that will maintain security in a way that we can also with draw from places in
which we mutually agree with the palestinians will be the future palestinian state. that can happen in five years, in 10 years, in 100, i don't know. but we have to work until we have it. >> thank you very much. my question is about jerusalem itself. i first visited jerusalem as a young reporter before the is the 67 war, and it was a very deadly city frankly. i have been there since then there. is a fair amount of integration. you would see arab families. but since the recent outbreak of violence, i understand barriers have been put up between the two sides of jerusalem and the city is morales divided. do you foresee that things will back to "normal" very
quickly if the violence ends? how do you see jerusalem functioning as a city? >> unfortunately, we have had experience with that, and we have seen waves of violence before. when the waves were higher, the security measures were also tighter. what we are trying to do this time and what the government is normal do is to keep lives as much as they can. there is the movement from the palestinian workers to israel. there are about 120 palestinians from the west bank that are coming to israel to work every day. although a very small number are them, one or two, have been involved in stabbings, the israeli government is withstanding a lot of pressure from cabinet precious and other people to put a closure from the west bank. when it comes to jerusalem
itself, we have erected this fence and wall in jerusalem. we didn't want to do that. they wanted to protect life. that is the main right. now whether we can redo that, i hope that we can. i hope that if we only see this way of life changing, but we reach a settlement. we can remove those security inch measures. we have seen it in the past as the situation was stabilizing, we have removed many estrictions. >> hi. in view of the isis escalation around the world right now, do
you foresee in the change in the government position, in the israeli government positions? >> regarding what? >> regarding peace and regarding security? well, i think prim nintendo -- that prime minister tanyahu said we have communicated with arab countries. he islamic radicals fighting to subvert their own regimes, and we can make in the right circumstance create a regional dialogue that will be conducive to another dialogue with the palestinians there. is hope of doing that. having said that, as i said before, we will have to overcome a lot of animosity and fear that is created exactly by
these kind of forces. i don't have to go far away. what happened after several attacks from isis in this hemisphere, how are they reacting in this hemisphere, in this country? one of the great traumas of this nation is 9/11. israel has been in 9/11 for the .ast 67 years so to to go from a situation that is going to be less risk averse is going to be an enormous challenge. we have to work with our neighbors to lower those barriers of fear. >> we focus on the palestinian and some of the arab states.
sflan s mment on looking at the iranian nuclear issue, but how is the link with the issue with jerusalem? a non-arab s, state that you relate to the solution of the jerusalem problem? >> well, this is another thing. the iranian revolution has created another state. you have these marches in teheran every year. today they want to challenge of nly the legitimacy israel and jerusalem, but the legitimacy of the saudis and mecca. it is a much larger conflict and rivalry that you have there. the other thing is that the ranians are much more powerful
. what happens with countries that are trying to possess nuclear weapons? and they have missile technology? and they have forces in the region that are working to assist players like assad and others. that is a much more difficult challenge. but i think we have proven in the past that we can overcome t like we did with the palestinians. yes, the iranians were there in 1994 to try to foil that, to promote the suicide attacks of hamas. to are going to try subvert any peace we broker with the palestinians or jordan. it does not mean that we cannot continue the drive for peace.
>> thank you very much for oming. >> thank you very much. i want to thank you for inviting me. what i would like to do is to explore the status of jerusalem and all of the insights to resolve the problem. i will start by introducing my association with the city and then talk a little bit about the history of the city. and then trying to resolve the problem of the city. ottoman sulemen a.ed
my great grandfather. then the first mayor actually tarted the municipalities, and the emperor by having one in istanbul and the second one in jerusalem. family family picture in 1942. this is my father's wedding. actually in 1948 the dajani family saved martin bunch ber, hiding them in their homes and saving the buber library from
being burned. that is the family association. this is a verse from the koran that reflects this talk i am going to talk about. it is between people. it is how the rule over jerusalem has been all nadaled between the muslim, the others and the jew. it is basically from the ancient. throughout history --
actually this status quo has been respected even to this ery day. the turks over the city of 1917, em in 1913 -- in general allenbidelayed his entrance. austrian troops left the city in 1916. then he dismounted from his horse to enter it on foot in respect for the city. it was partly in response to the pompous entry of german kaiser will helm ii on a white horse upon his visit. here are two things that the
-- he delivered this victory speech allen bipledging jerusalem to be the city of peace. to 947 the u.n. decided initialize the city. so basically it was divided. palestinian was divided into an arab state and jewish state, and jerusalem was supposed to be internationalized. however, the fighting -- when . e british left
the response was i left the key under the door mattress. after the 1948 war, 85% of jerusalem was captured by jewish forces, which basic west jerusalem. 11% of the city, including the old city fell under the control of jordan. and 4% of the city was considered no man's land and where the u.n. headquarters was established. december 13, 1949, israel zrade west jerusalem the capital of straily. on december is the, the u.n. sponded by stating its intention. in 1967, israel reunited east and west jerusalem, but the city remained divided socially
and psychologically. in june of is the 67, the israeli knesset extended the israeli jurisdiction. and this is the crux of the problem. people would say why should israel give up jerusalem or should concede anything in jerusalem? the question lies here in international law. in 1948 jewish forces captured west jerusalem and later clared it capital of israel, overriding a is the 47 u.n. resolution to internationalize he city.
>> it is to be gauched at a later stage. >> the israeli foreign minister at the time promised that nothing would hamper the activity of the palestinian important and the mission is to be encouraged. in october of a later year, they reaffirmed the status of jordan as the custodian for the holy places. we have three initiatives that focused on jerusalem and granting the palestinians and israelis equal status in jerusalem, which was a road map.
basically what i am saying is we have to deal with that fear. -- one way is to have recognition of each other. other. of each this way to share the city. i am not in favor of having in jerusalem to be capital or political capital. i believe they can be a religious capital. if we can have jerusalem to be the religious capital of the palestine. jerusalem could be the religious capital of israel. this way we will be able to associate between the politics -- be able to differentiate between the politics. them and i amrate
trying to do that, separate the politics from the religious by -- in then terms of last five decades. when you talk about jerusalem, nobody prepares to that area. the two communities. , barbed wire, checkpoints, the door is open. this is my vision for the future. >> my question again response tole]our those jews who claim that if, for example, you establish a
muslim regime in jerusalem, you ,xclude the jewish connection let's say to the temple mount and all of that. secondly, not only the muslim, i think, issue but the christian issue, because the christian sites are very significant for the christian world. the church of the holy sepulcher . the reality is that we know we've been within the church, there is a separation between armenian,ic and the the greek orthodox and so on in terms of control of the church itself. advance the idea
somew religion can diffuse of this negative element from the political conflict. thereby i try to find some political solution. it would correspond to the reality. >> that is my point. when i am saying that i we have a special international religious muslim, christian, all of-- this includes the holy places. the holy sepulcher the wailing wall, the high-density. --se are not included within [no audio]
the wailing wall and so on. my question to you from a religious point of view and approach, in other words the message of the pope for example, can we take -- can we establish a truce of god, meaning the unity of the holy sites, and other words the christianity, islam and judaism will declare that we are not going to use that element as a friction and attention and conflict. in other words, to get the religious leaders of the different communities to unite and to come with a declaration how we can protect the holy and excluded that region that you're talking about in jerusalem from the
palestinian/israeli conflict. for us it can be a powerful message to the entire world, how we can coexist with each other, -- because -- whether seeksre jews, christians, . not to leave the decisions on the status of jerusalem only to the politicians and diplomats, but also to the spiritual leaders of the different religions. believe that the three religions call for police just call for peace -- call for peace . i believe they are religions of peace, moderation. that is in the holy books.
aside from the propaganda and the media, and the things where people say islam is a religion of aggression, more than 50,000 violent incidents have taken place in the united states. yet three incidents are done by muslims. let us separate between the religious leaders and what kind of religion, and what people do in the name of religion. leaders will call for police -- call for peace. they will not stand in the way of holding the city of being a
custodianship of the three religions. as a result, willie the politics -- as a result, we leave the politics -- that is why i am talking about this is a worship anyone can go in and worship freely, openly, like they do in -- once we move, with this concept, it becomes like every day. it becomes normal. we have to normalize what is not normal. peace. -- normalize
much more than the terrorism. we have to defuse the issue by making peace. i don't believe the present situation which is preserving the status quo -- that is why you're looking. what i am looking for is tomorrow. i can see tomorrow, a vision of peace. i can see where a muslim, christian, a jew can walk into jerusalem in peace and harmony without having to fear the other good there are might -- the other. they are minorities which are radicalized. in order to take control of the people because they are the minority. that is why we have the majority to wake up and be more vocal and
active. to stand up for peace. i don't believe you need to religious leaders to do that. just given the opportunity and face off the storm which is radicalism. believe we will look to a better future. i look forward and i see the future where a muslim, christian and a jew will not have to worry about a knife, or a bullet, or a bomb, but rather they will live in peace. that is the future of the city because we love the city. we love to see it more prosperous and be the place where even jews who elect to come and pray at the mosques.
the mosques should be open for anyone who wants to come and pray. the idea is the politics is poisoning the environment. once we were -- once we remove the politics we have a better future. >> hopefully the religious leaders will pay attention to your message. ifhave a few minutes for q&a you have any questions or comments. again, -- >> brian taylor, george washington university. when i listened to the two of you talk, i hear the professor asking for more of a concrete step to achieve what you just described to johnny.
, to gets proposal religious leaders from muslim, judaism and christian to make a statement of some kind. you seem to look forward into not seere but you do that it is necessary for the latest to make a statement. i think i will ask a question in a different way. ared you, because people just ordinary, and we need something to look at, give us an example of how to get to the future -- how do we paint that picture? the muslim, christian and the andwalking into the city the way that they get the point? what picture do we need to paint today that we get the point that you want to come they desperate
you want to convey about the future? >> we need to send the message that the three religions are not in clash with each other. the muslim, the founder of movement, i read my codon -- my koran, and do not find a clash with the other good as he verses which tell me that in order for me to be a good muslim, i have to recognize the other, judaism, christianity. whether the holy books or profits, and that i should cooperate the other. nation.d have us all a god would have us all religion. be one language or one people.
his desire is that we are different people, different nations, different religions, so that we can meet and cooperate and live in peace together. i think this is the message that holy leaders -- rather than for some of them to antagonize against the other, or want to burn the book of the other. or not to want to cooperate with the other. not iny, islam is conflict with the other. muslims are a threat to islam as well as they are a threat to others. that is why we should extend our hands together, in order to the feet extremism -- and 02 the feet extremism -- in order to defeat extremism. i can see the future i can see
where religious leaders. -- where we are going to have a muslim, christian and a jew,. they want to pray or exchange knowledge of religion. they want to corroborate with the other. this is the spirit of the future. instead of having a synagogue, a church or a mosque. one building where anybody can so there willay be no separation of religions between the religious communities.
so they can collaborate with each other and work with each other and understand each other. and respect the right of the other to believe the way he believes. and accepted them and to tolerate that. that is our message. >> [indiscernible] thank you very much for your excellent visitation. i was struck by your mention of the school situation. the not symbols kind of question you'd we talked about the lack of resources in the east jerusalem. some people have said it is because they do not vote in the municipal elections. past has been talk in the about a borough system. what can you see in terms of
practical steps to improve the financial situation and improve the infrastructure of jerusalem? isn't there any real political -- any efforts to get any funding from the oil-rich states? where do you see it may go? what are the prospects of improving the infrastructure situation? i am not a believer in economic situations that litigate terrorism, but it seems that it is something to do for several reasons. >> i'm sorry that there isn't. there isn't leadership on both bringwhich would try to these two communities together. unfortunately, so much money has been donated by the arab rich countries, but it never arrived
to its objectives. there has been money that has been donated to the hospital which goes toward a better environment in jerusalem but unfortunately the channels to which the money has been donated never arrived. however, i believe that now israel is in control of this. -- there should be more pressure dish to spend more on these facilities to improve them. one of the arguments also that the arab governments or donors do not want to do is to fund
schools that are under israeli municipalities. they always refuse to do that. to porta bulk who go facilities -- good to poor facilities. carrying a knife and thinking he wants to to heaven. why i blame the schools. i blame the environment of the schools for them to think that way. it is education. homee gets education at but he gets a lot of that at school. we have to improve the education and the environment for him. we have to improve the quality of teaching. the teachers do not receive as much training, as much incentive, as teachers on the
other side. this is one way to do it. at the same time, i believe we should be encouraged with palestinian driven society within jerusalem to prosper, because unfortunately, there has clamp onto the palestinian civil society. [indiscernible] israel has to give them more leverage to operate. empowering sources society and giving them funding, that will help. also importing people to people and activities. it will bring palestinians and east jerusalem with israelis together. fieldint projects in that will be extremely useful in on
to make those people live together in peace. and try to coexist. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> the last word. great american. very difficult topic. i want to thank both of our speakers. all of you for being with us. the one thing that crossed my mind and listening to this and about cooperation and peace, and everybody living together, most of the people around the world also want security. andrity and control
somebody who sees that in somebody who follows the laws. governmentalo be a type of approach that follows your idea and your guidance. until we have that we are going to be stymied a little bit. force -- andto force your ideas. -- who is going to enforce your ideas? that is sort of a democratic thought process and all of that kind of thing. it took us a couple of hundred for the declaration of independence to get the idea straight. it is good to take a long time. we think you all very much. for all of you, have a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. [applause]
>> on the next washington journal. a look at the impact of pending mergers between health care providers. also john whitehead discusses his book battlefield america which examines how the u.s. is on the edge of coming a police state. annie carter of the washington journal talks about the decision -- first time in 40 years. we will take your calls and look for your comments on facebook and twitter. washington journal's live every day at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> this holiday weekend, book tv brings you three days of nonfiction books and authors. friday, back-to-back airings of afterwards. at 7:00 p.m. eastern, author books discusses