tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 6, 2016 2:58am-7:01am EDT
to the strangers -- the return of anti-semitism as a force in the world should surprise no one. sadly, the aberration just a few decades after the holocaust when anti-semitism was taboo. while this age old hatred has returned, this time, things are different. this time, the jewish people are no longer a stateless and powerless people. the founders of zionism hoped that the establishment of israel would end anti-semitism. they believe that the semitism persisted in the modern world
because the jews were a minority everywhere and a majority nowhere. they believed that the jews would be treated like all the nations if they had a state. today, this belief has ironically been flipped on its head as the turn of the 20th century, many believed the cause of anti-semitism was that the jews did not have a state. at the turn of the 21st century, many people believe the cause of anti-semitism is the jews do have a state. one century ago, the calls of the anti-semites was jews, go to palestine. now, it is jews, get out of palestine. the establishment of israel is neither the cure for nor the cause of anti-semitism. the establishment of israel did give the jewish people the ability to fight back against
anti-semitism and gave the jewish people a voice among the nations to fight slander with truth. it gave the jewish people the ability to defend themselves when the powder keg of hatred inevitably erupts into violence. on this solemn day, let us remember those who perished in the holocaust and the horrors they and the survivors endured, but let's also remember the hatred. let's be grateful that isaiah's -- that the jews are once again a sovereign nation and that isaiah's ancient promise is coming true. from the stump of jesse has come forth the shoot, issued that now rooted in its ancient soil is growing stronger and stronger and is more determined than ever to secure the jewish future.
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, sara bloomfield, director of the u.s. holocaust memorial museum. >> thank you. ellie weizel said the answer -- the museum is not an answer, it is the question. so too was the holocaust. there are endless questions. how could so many torture and kill? why did so few help? what enabled the victims to cope? the experience of the victims is unimaginable. true understanding is not possible, but perhaps we can
gain some insight with stories and sadly, there are millions of them. in the ghetto, a rabbi dedicated his life to jewish religion teaching and values and he remains unshaken over several years of unspeakable events to this very dedication. he hid treasure to jewish books and taught clandestine classes to young people and adults. that in itself was extraordinary, but he did something more. he gave a unique kind of spiritual leadership that both reflected and reacted to the horrific circumstances. he preserved faith and community and skillfully adapted them to survivability.
the rabbi actively encouraged ghetto residents to continue traditional practices, posing questions, seeking advice. he painstakingly researched his answers. catastrophe may have changed the question, but for him, it did not change the importance of long-standing religious principles. i want to share three of his with you at first, the germans had brought stray dogs and cats to a house of religious study, where they shot them. they held several jews at gunpoint to rip apart a poor escrow and use the sheet of parchment to cover the carcasses of the dead animals. having committed a sacrilege, these individuals asked the rabbi what to do.
his response, those who witnessed the torah being torn were obligated to rend their garments. a jewish express love morning -- expression of mourning. actually tore the scroll, even though they had to do so at gunpoint, had to fast. if they could not fast because of physical weakness, one could not obligate them to fast. ae second example involves storeroom filled with clothing that once belonged to jews that had been murdered. the question was, could the garments be used again? his response, "since the garments had no bloodstains, they must have been removed before the victims were killed. therefore, they could be worn notably by the victim's heirs,
but by others as well." he said, "the murdered souls would unquestionably derive spiritual satisfaction from the fact that there surviving covered inthren were garments that once belonged to them. the last came from a 12-year-old boy devoted to studying the torah. that children were a main target, he asked if you might be permitted -- if he might be permitted to observe the adult ritual, despite the fact that his bar mitzvah was three months away. therabbi wrote, "i ruled precious child to merit the privilege of fulfilling this m
itzvah." then the rabbi himself posed a question. he asked, "who could a short that -- could assure that the boy would live three months and reach the age of 13?" now the nature of these questions, of those asking the questions, and the rabbi's responses -- this epitomizes, for me, the ultimate inhuman dignity. they provide a glimpse of community struggling to stay alive in a notion of in community. == in an ocean of unhaminity. -- ocean of inhumanity. the rabbi and his followers offered an example of what i hope i could have done. thank you. [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen, the u.s. secretary of commerce. >> today we gather to remember the unspeakable event of the holocaust, a horror that resulted in the murder of men, women, and children throughout europe, including 6 million jews and millions of roma and others. 6 million is an impossible number to comprehend. we tried to intellectualize the quantity, but we cannot begin to breadthhe breath of -- dr of humanity behind that figure. yet we must never forget, every
day of remembrance, we come together to try and remember the millions of lives. the sons and daughters, the mothers and fathers, the friends and neighbors who died in the holocaust. for every number, a name. and behind every name, a story. many of you here today have personal stories of the holocaust. through the lives you lead, you share these stories with your children, with your grandchildren, with students, with visitors to the holocaust museum. ensure your stories, you that those you lost are never forgotten. ahrough your words, you craft living history that honors their memory. i say this so that we can reflect on the point that words
have power. we humans have within us the capacity to create realities, good and evil. with speech and with our words. when a holocaust survivor speaks about the death of a loved one who perished in the death camps or in the ghettos or in the killing fields, she creates a memorial in the minds of all who hear her story. the inverse is also true. when a nazi poster placed in a town square says that jews are the defiler of the race, it strips the jewish people of their community in the lines of all who see it. yesterday's neighbors become today enemy. the holocaust is a lesson about the power of words and language. it is the most extreme example
of what happens when we let our hate and fear of the other shape our speech. firstbefore the concentration camp opened, and more than a decade before kristallnacht, the matches begin to pollute europe with their speech -- the nazis began to pollute europe with their speech and language. they used hate speech to justify their eventual atrocities. this happens again and again throughout history. 5 decades before the holocaust, my family fled ukraine after the russian-- second hadder t been assassinated one month earlier. rumors spread, the jews were responsible. erupted across russia. my then-10-year-old
great-grandfather hid in the attic for more than 60 hours. when the violence had subsided, they discovered their grain store had been for their safety, my entire family emigrated to chicago later that year. the program that drove my family out of czarist russia was fueled in part by a leaflet distributed by the southern russian workers union. the leaflet said, "one should not beat the jew because he has a jew and praise to god in his own way. brother, one should beat him because he is robbing the people. he is sucking the blood of the working man." imagine my great-grandfather's horror when he traveled to berlin in 1934. more than 50 years later.
and saw the same bigoted speech spreading across germany. at the time, he wrote "nazi germany is nearly history repeating itself. the case of the few being used as scapegoats." my great-grandfather visited berlin at almost the exact same time that the nazi hate speech was beginning to translate into state implemented marginalization of the jews. if there was ever a time for the german people to stand up against the bigotry of their government, 1934 was it. and yet most germans stood idly by and watched the nuremberg race laws implemented. effectively purging jews from german society. realities, good
and evil. friend inpeech has a silence. not germans do not, did murder jews or roma. but every person who knew what was happening in the death camps and chose to go about their as complicit with the atrocities. my good friend calls them the tribe of the folded arms, as they bear their share of guilt. silence is dangerous because it spreads the notion that the problems of your neighbor are not your problems. with the liamiliar tany, first they came for the socialists. to this day, many used his words
to illustrate that you cannot tolerate discrimination against others. because one day, take will come -- hate will come in knocking on your door. but this litany also underscores the important point that institutional discrimination is gradual. first, they came for the socialists, then the trade unionists, later the jews. first you lost your job as he spoke out. later you lost your job just for being jewish. first you are moved from your home into the ghetto. later, years later, you were sent in cattle cars to auschwitz. societies do not move from a good to evil overnight. the challenge of the gradual descent into hate is to speak out early enough and loud enough
to reverse its course. today, in our beloved united states, we are witnessing a rising fear of the other. the southern poverty law center recently surveyed teachers across the country about how the rhetoric of this election is affecting their students. more than 2/3 reported that their students, mainly immigrants, children of immigrants, and muslims, are worried about what might happen to them after the election. morethan 1/3 are seeing anti-muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment in their classrooms. with me be clear, i do not think a holocaust is possible in america. but i worry about what happens when we betray the principles of inclusion. ehat form thw
foundation of our country. freedom of speech gives us the right to speak our mind. it is a precious right. but it does not free us from the responsibility of the consequences of our words. this right should not be used to dehumanize others with language. as americans, we have a choice. do we give in to the language to fear? do we sit with our arms folded while words are used to the humanized other fellow human beings? -- dehumanize other fellow human beings? four do we stand up and speak out? during my great-grandfather's trip to berlin in 1934, he and my uncle were eating lunch one day when a group of nazi supporters headed, by a band, entered the cafe. tables were pushed together.
fiery speeches were made. eventually, one speaker called for a toast to hitler. everyone in the restaurant stood up and gave the salute. looking at jay, my great grandfather said, what do we do now? do we rise? only 14 years old at the time said, grandpa, are we cowards? then we do not rise, nor salute. visitingle, a teenager a foreign country, where the sidewalks are covered in posters proclaiming his people a menace to humanity, had the courage to stick to his principles, what is the excuse for our silence? my great grandfather and uncle made silence their descent --
dissent at a time when drawing attention to their faith and belief was not just unwise, but dangerous. their silence was powerful. it was justified. ours is not. countrys live in a built on the ideals of inclusion and tolerance. we are a country that celebrates the dignity of difference. we are better than the language of heat. -- language of hate. america is not the tribe of the folded arms. if one of the lessons of the holocaust is that thou shalt not be silent, then today on this day of remembrance, we should honor the memories of the millions who were murdered by speaking up against heat speech
we encounter 00 -- hate speech we encounter in our own lives. the torah teaches us that you must not go around slandering your fellow human beings. you must not stand idly by when your neighbor's life is at stake. our neighbor's lives, their dignity, their community, -- their humanity are at stake. we cannot stand idly by. never forget that life and death are in the hands of speech. may we never forget the stories of the millions signaled out for annihilation, the jewish people, the roma, and sons and daughters all across europe by the unspeakable horror of the holocaust. thank you. [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen, allan holt, vice-chairman of the united states holocaust memorial council. mr. holt: good morning. pritzker, thank you for your wonderful comments. as jewish families recently celebrated passover, they recalled deliverance from slavery and newfound freedom. for families like mine, passover has added meaning because the very notions of freedom and family carry extra significance when all of one's grandparents were killed in the holocaust. thankfully, my parents, like the jews fleeing egypt, were
eventually liberated. born in separate towns in poland, their combined holocaust experience reads like a catalog of the most infamous places. , auschwitz.etto after managing to survive by their wits and sheer luck, my parents met serendipitously during the chaotic moments when they were liberated by american troops. and survived they did, as they just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. when i see the flags behind me representing the u.s. army divisions that liberated the camps, i know that i stand here today only because of the current -- the courage and
sacrifice of one of those divisions. and to the world war ii veterans here today, i want you to know that there are no words to express the gift you gave to my parents. you gave them not only freedom, you gave them hope. america always was and remains for them, a deacon of hope. -- a beacon of hope. it was that hope that was so crucial as i struggle to rebuild their shattered lives. the resilience of the survivors is truly remarkable. but most remarkable of all is that although they were subject to the most inhumane treatment, they never lost their humanity. although the world abandoned to them, they never abandoned the world. they could have responded to hate with more hate
to violence with more violence. they did not. despite being tested in ways the rest of us find unimaginable, they retained their compassion and dignity. that should be a source of inspiration and hope to all of us. yet today, as we honor the survivors and celebrate their extraordinary resilience, we must never forget that forces that made them victims in the first place. dangerous forces that are resurgent today -- anti-semitism, hate, extremism. so as we light these memorial candles and think about those who were killed, we must never andet why they were killed that their killing was
preventable. that is the challenge to each of us. the challenge of holocaust memory. assisting in the candle lighting ceremony. a junior at eastern high school, and a graduate of the museum's youth leadership program, areired by her parents, who both graduates of the program, she hopes to become a role model and leader among youth in her community. i will now like to ask senator ben cardin of maryland to stand by the first candle. the first candle will be lit by anna gross of romania.
as a teenager, ana was supported to house which, where her mother and two of her sisters were murdered. she survived forced labor before liberation in 1945. after theodora's parents were sent to concentration camps, she and her brother were hidden throughout the work by their non-jewish uncle and other neighbors. both ana and theodora are museum volunteers today.
i would like to ask congressman bob meyer of virginia to standby for the fourth candle. the fourth candle will be lit by a survivor of poland. following germany's invasion of poland, her father smuggled the family to belarus, where they were deported to a log in siberia. -- to a gulag in siberia by the soviets. they later relocated to curse extend, where they remained until the end of the war. the fifth candle will be lit by a survivor born in amsterdam. with the assistance of the dutch resistance, three-year-old leo
was hidden with a couple in amsterdam whilst his parents were able to find shelter in an attic elsewhere in the city. they had no contact until they reunited in 1945. the sixth candle will be lit by two survivors. 10-year-old alfred was sent by his parents on a kinder transport to england, where he was welcomed by a host family. he served in the british and israeli armies. brussels.born in her mother first hid her in a convent, and later with a christian family. alfred and josie-ann
world economy. at noon eastern, here on c-span. c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, the washington post economic correspondent and the national director. they join us to talk about the fiscal challenges facing middle-class americans. analyze salary, job security, economic mobility, and a savings actresses. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal," beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. >> according to the chairman republican committee, is unity
is the only path, how does the party get there? veeck miller has been looking into this. his piece is available on time.com. >> first of all, what did you sense from the last couple of ?eeks how is he dealing with the inevitable trump nomination? e> he has adopted a zen-lik attitude. he made peace one way or the other with the outcome. he seems to have the feeling that there is little he can or can't do. he will be blamed, regardless of the outcome. he will that credit or the blame. but probably not a lot of the former and a lot of the latter. he has made peace with whatever happens. >> as you know, there has been a lot of monday morning quarterbacking. should the republican party have done something sooner to bring down donald trump? and if that is the key is, what
would the role have been of the party chair? >> to hear a lot about that from the ronc and from the republican pundits. the answer from the rnc, is that they should be neutral and leave it up to the voters to decide. the chairman told me that he puts the stupid opinions in the "stupid bucket." how we personally views it is, they are not open to a lot of second-guessing on that front. >> we now that know former .w. bush and shall be bush george w. bush will not be in attendance. donald trump seems to be the polar opposite of what the party was recommending a few short years ago. >> we all call that report the autopsy. that is really what it was. it was how they lost what they anded to do to fix, a stark
frank diagnosis of what the party needs to do. reaching out to latinos, african-american voters, younger voters, and reaching out to women. on the technical changes, turning the party into a year party, a cycle round party, they have done a good job at the rnc. but they have struggled at these policy prescriptions. they identified that pretty early on. that meant things like embracing comprehensive immigration reform. the republican party after this report was issued, they really did not get involved in a lot of those discussions. they have seen their base move very far away from that report. you can argue potentially that ted cruz would have been the stronger rejection of the policy. is certainly, donald trump
not taking that report to heart either. >> in 2008, you had the merger of the mccain camp apparatus with the republican national party. what can we expect from the trump organization and this republican party chair and his rnc staff? >> certainly, the first bit of work they are working on immediately is getting a joint fundraising agreement negotiated between the campaign and the rnc. that will allow them to start raising coordinated funds. that is something the rnc has been nervous about because the need to fund this massive operation they have built up in anticipation of having a nominee. that is one thing the party is looking for, as well as convention funding. those are the two big priorities. for the trump campaign, they will be trying to exert their influence over what that commission looks like. the "donaldill be
trump coronation." they have been very clear. they want to have more showbiz there in cleveland. they want to make it more fun and entertaining, to reflect their candidate, donald trump. something a republican party convention, or really any party convention, has not looked like for a long time. >> but certainly, no drama. just a week ago we were talking about the possibility of a contested, mention. that now is out the door. >> that does not mean there won't be some serious fights. certainly, there are a lot of delegates who are not donald trump supporters. some are even in that "never droptrump" camp. donald trump is out of sync with where the existing republican platform has. ted cruz is very successful in getting some of his diehard
supporters onto the floor. as well as onto those key convention committee rules. they can still put up a fight, particularly trying to force donald trump to stay true to the conservative side of the party. if they want to, they can cause troubles for him. it won't be that contested, bitter fight we have been talking about, but it won't necessarily be smooth sailing either. >> zeke miller, speaking of senator ted cruz and his harsh words tuesday before dropping out of the race, does he support donald trump? does he come out and endorse him? >> talking to people close to him, they have been very clear, he is not anywhere close to making that determination. there was more of a possibility before the attackso on mrs. cruz and mr. cruz's father. it will be a long time before
ted cruz is in that position of being able to endorse donald trump, if it ever comes about. he is obviously looking at his own political future. even if his withdrawal speech, he compared himself to ronald reagan in 1976. and of course, ronald reagan came back four years later as the republican nominee. that,has his ey eoe on not endorsing donald trump might be the more beneficial play. >> final question, willie party come together or will it be splintered? >> donald trump told me yesterday on the phone, he said 99% of the party will get behind him. it won't be that high. the question is, is 90% enough? is 85% enough? voters in the rest of
the country and a lot of them will fall in line because of the hillary clinton, the bogeyman effect, in the republican party base. he will lose some voters and have to try to make up for that with the independents. >> zeke miller, his piece available beginning today on newsstands. thanks you for being with us. >>, a discussion about global anti-semitism, hosted by indian university. the keynote address was delivered by a former canadian attorney general and founder of the raul walenburg center for human rights. this is one hour and 10 minutes.
>> as one of only two research institutes in the nation dedicated to the explosion of anti-semitism in modern context, the institutes of the study for contemporary anti-semitism is a source of great pride for indiana university. moreover, the institute has made invaluable competitions to the bloomingdale community, by bringing leading scholars to campus from all parts of the globe to share their experiences, expertise, and perspectives. this weeks'conference alone has brought some 70 scholars from 16 different countries to our campus. this is the third such international conference sponsored by the institute in the past five years. in short, the efforts of professor rosenfeld and all those that work with the institute have established a worldwide hub for the study of anti-semitism, and equally as important, a hub for a global community of individuals dedicated to the enduring power of diversity and inclusion. this evening, i am delighted to
continue this tradition by are welcoming back to our campus the honorable irwin cotler to deliver our keynote address. irwin cotler is the founder and chair of the raul wallenburg center for human rights, as well as the professor of law at mcgill university. he has served various roles in the canadian government, including a member of parliament, minister of justice, and attorney general. professor cotler's career has been defined by an abiding covenant to human rights in all its forms. this commitment has been evident in everything, from his efforts to make the canadian supreme court the most gender representatives in the world, to his leadership as the canadian delegation, to the stockholm conference on the prevention and combating of genocide. furthermore, professor cotler has distinguished himself as an
international human rights lawyer, serving as counsel to prisoners of conscience, who include such notable figures as , professor said ofahim, a great friend indiana university, in egypt, and sharonsky. mandela, professor said ibrahim in egypt. sharonsky, a former lecturer in this series, from the former soviet union. he has testified as an expert witness on human rights and for governmental assemblies around the world. including the u.s., norway, russia, and israel. professor cotler's advocacy for human rights in all corners of the globe reminds us of the powerful words of dr. martin luther king. injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere. most recently, professor
cotler's lifelong commitment to human rights led to the creation lenburg centerl for human rights, named after the swedish diplomat that saved thousands of hungarian jews from nazis in world war ii, only to tragically disappear after being captured by soviet forces in 1945. as you might expect from professor cotler's leadership, the center has a distinctly international scope in its advocacy for human rights. focusing on issues of pressing contemporary importance, such as human rights in iran. in february, his work on behalf of the center, brought him to the geneva summit for human rights and democracy. we are so pleased that his work now brings him back to indiana university bloomington. please join me in welcoming professor irwin cotler. [applause]
prof. cotler: thank you for that warm and very heartwarming introduction. i come to indiana amongst such a community of scholars, i feel very much at home. i have to say that i am particularly moved to participate in the visiting scholars program. as a mentioned, both of them, just before coming in here, they wife.een heroes of mighy my wife was a parliamentary secretary, very close to the former prime minister of israel. for me, this is an unexpected connection, but a welcome one on
a personal, as well as a scholarly, basis. in and to as well, join attribute professor rosenfeld. i want to say he is a model of moral and intellectual leadership. he has made this conference, this gathering of international scholars, the preeminent gathering of its kind internationally. he has made of the institute for the contemporary study of anti-semitism, a preeminent institute in that regard. [applause] also, his work reminds me of something. if you will pardon the personal reference here. and youhe introduction could not have mentioned the one thing in the introduction that
is always missing, and understandably so. that is the debt that i owed to my parents. the reason for that is it was my father who taught me when i was a young boy, before i understood the profundity of his remarks, when he would say to me is equal tojustice all the other commandments combined. this, he said, you must teach of your children. but it was my mother, when she heard my father saying this, would say to me, if you want to pursue justice, you have to understand, you have to feel the injustice about you. you have to go in and about your community and beyond and feel the injustice and combat it. otherwise, the pursuit of justice remains a theoretical abstraction. and i suspect that as a result
of these teachings, i got involved in the two great human rights struggles of the second half of the 20th century. the struggle for human rights in the former soviet union and the struggle against apartheid and the political prisoners that became the face, the identity, the vision of those struggles. the former soviet union, and nelson mandela and south africa. but the reason i'm mentioning is because his work with respect to the scholarly inquiry and the moral intellectual leadership that he is providing is really not just the struggle against anti-semeticism but in the larger sense of the word the struggle against injustice. that is what brings us together. that is what my mother would have liked to have seen us do as part of my father's call for
justice, but my mother's warnings about pursuing justice by combating injustice. and that is what we are doing in convening as we are today. and so i am pleased to share with you this evening some thoughts, some concerns, some reflections. and yes, even some hope. somebody said to me am i going to be adding to some of that brooding of the presence that we have been hearing about the shadows of anti-semeticisms, the dangers, the threatses, the terror and the like. but i want to say that i'm also hoping to end on a hopeful ending and i'm encouraged by the fact that we do have these gatherings of scholars coming together. so our struggle then is not an at mized struggle in silos but we can come together in common cause here and beyond.
so it's in that contoveged that i want to share these -- context that i want to share these remarks with you this evening about the human condition and the jewish ndition about assault on the world. the state of the world and the state of the world inhabited by jews, about anti-semeticism being not only the oldest and most enduring of hatreds. i would say the paradigm of radical hate red as the holocaust is the paradigm of radical evil. but the most toxic, the most lethal as our late and great colleague put it in his magesterial work, a lethal obsession. and as it happens, we meet at an important historical moment of remembrance and reminder. we are meeting on the 80th anniversary of the coming into
effect of the nuremcomberg race laws which ended up being prolong and precurser to taking us down the road to the holocaust. we meet also on the 71 lingts anniversary year of the liberation of auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century. a reminder of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened. 1.3 million people were murdered at auschwitz. 1.1 million of them were jews. let there be no mistake about it. jews were murdered in auschwitz because of anti-semeticism. but anti-semeticism did not itself die at auschwitz. and jews and the related anti-semeticism have emerged -- and have emerged for some time
as what i would call the bloodied can airy in the mine shaft of global evil. and as we have lenched only too well and too tragically that while it may begin with jews, it doesn't end with jews. so the underlying thesis of my remarks this evening -- and i regret that i've been repeating this thesis for some time now, but it just intensifies, is at we are witnessing a new lobal escalating sophisticated virulent and even lethal anti-semeticism. grounded in classical anti-semeticism, but distinguishable from it. which received its first international institutional jur i had cal exprevention in the 79ism resolution 40 ds
anniversary we recently commemorated but has gone dramatically booyond that, that which the then u.s. ambassador to the united nations said about it, that it gave the abomination of anti-semeticism the appearance of international legal sanction. but as i said, it has gone dramatically beyond that. a new anti-semeticism which needs almost a new vocabulary to define it. but which can best be defined or find expression in a set of metrics that are anchored in human rights and international law in general and equality rights and equality law in particular. in other words, traditional or classical anti-semeticism is a discrimination again, denial of, assault upon the rights of jews to live as equal members in any society that they
inhabit. and we have developed metrics to identify and evaluate this traditional or classical anti-semeticism. and the anti-defamation league in a global comparative study in 2014 using some 11 of these what i would call traditional metrics, questions such as do jews have too much power control, the media, et set ra, determined at the end of that global study that anti-semeticism as they put it was a persistent and pervasive virus. but i want to suggest to you that there is this new anti-semeticism with a set of metrics that were not even included in the anti-defamation league and which i want to share with you this evening. but first if i may to excerpt
from a speech that was goifen some 16 years ago at the beginning of the 21st century when in observing the development in the old and new anti-semeticism and the intersection between the two stated in a rather pitsdzynt press ynt way a process and connection and intersection nalt, if you wish, in that sense, which underpinning my remarks this evening when he said, compared to most previous anti-jewish outbreaks this new anti-semeticism is often less directed against individual jews. it primarily targetses the collective jews, the state of israel. i just might add parenthetically that he was a former deputy prime minister of sweden who emerged as one of the leading scholars with respect to old and new
anti-semeticism. and then he continues. and then such attacks start a chain reaction of assaults on individual jews, and jew wish institutions. and he concludes in the past, the most dangerous anti-semites were those who wanted to make the world free of jews. today the most dangerous anti-semites might be those who want to make the world free of a jewish state. and in that context, i want to summarize some five metrics of the new anti-semeticism. i have outlined some 12 metrics but i don't want to undualy bore and burden you so i will seek to limit it to five. even then you might say this is somewhat burdensning. but the five i want to discuss this evening are, one genocidele anti-semeticism, two, demon logical anti-smeltism, three, political ti-semeticism, four,
anti-jewish terror. and the one i think is the most sophisticated and therefore the most dangerous in that sense -- because the others are oveert and public and clear -- is what i would call the laundry or masking of ant semeticism under universal public values, under all the things that people care about in their common humanity. i hope them -- and if time permits -- to not leave it in an analytical framework but to suggest some initiatives that we may take as a group of scholars to both not only better understand but to better address and redress this new anti-semeticism. let me begin with the first metric of the new anti-semeticism, what i would call genocidal anti-semeticism. this is not a term that i use lightly or easily.
it is a term that i am taking right out of the genocide conventions prohibition against the direct and public incitement to genocide. as the supreme court of canada put it, in a major case in the matter of upholding the constitutionality of our anti-hate legislation in canada when the court said that the holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers. it began with words. and in a more recent judgment, to a rue wanden had come canada in 1992 and sought refugee status in canada. i won't go through the levels of proceedings and hearings but at the end of the day the court ordered his extradiction back to ruineda. he said, how can i on the
grounds of incitement to genocide? and his argument was, i came to canada in 1992. i was actually seeking refugee status. the genocide in rwanda did not egin until 1994. ow can you convict me? the court held that the very incitement of genocide constitutes the crime under international law. whether or not acts of genocide follow. an important, and in my view, compelling precedent, in terms of combating state sanctions.
i might mention, because i think it is important to do so, that we are on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the rwandan genocide, that began on april 7 in 1994. i say this because what makes the genocide in rwanda so unspeakable is, not only the horror of the genocide itself, that would be bad enough. what makes it so unspeakable is that that genocide was preventable. nobody could say we did not know. we knew, but we did not act. just as in the case of darfur, nobody could say we did not know. we knew, but we did not act. now, we just passed the fifth anniversary of the killing fields in syria, where close to 500,000 have been killed. 12.5 million have been displaced. close to 5 million are refugees. isis came in at the end of the scorched earth policy.
it began with the criminality of assad's regime. and those of us who said at the time, invoking the responsibility to protect, that whenever you have a situation in any country, or with any government, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, and the government in places unable or unwilling to do anything about it -- or in the case of syria, the author of that killing field, then there is the responsibility on part of the international community to intervene and protect the innocent civilians. but those of us who called four years ago for stereo, where there were "only 7000 dead", and less than 7000 displaced, we were told that if you intervene, this will lead to
civil war. it will lead to jihadists coming in. everything we were told would happen if we intervened happened because we did not intervene. in a parallel thing, with regard to the struggle against anti-semitism, we cannot be bystanders. the bystanders pave the road to the genocide in rwanda, darfur, and the killing fields in syria as the bystanders contributed to the paradigm of a radical evil, the holocaust. n looking at the phenomenon of genocidal anti-semitism, i found there were some seven manifestations of genocidal anti-semitism. i am not going to go through all of them, just several, to give you an appreciation.
this audience does not need an elaborate explanation. the first expression of genocidal anti-semitism came at the beginning of the 21st century. though not the first expression by that person. on january 3, 2000, when the supreme leader of iran, the ayatollah, said there could be no resolution of the arab-israeli problem without the annihilation of the jewish state. this continued in terms of the calls for the excising of the cancerous tumor, israel. and the several weeks ago, the testing of ballistic missiles, s it had been with jihad
missiles, with its emblem of "wipe israel off the map," three weeks ago. what is so disturbing about these, is that they are standing violations of the prohibition against this direct public incitement to genocide, anchored in the genocide convention and international law. in effect, state parties have a responsibility. it is not a policy option to hold the leadership of iran accountable. i want to distinguish it from people and public of iran, who are otherwise the targets of mass domestic repression. similarly, the international community is not addressing that, as well. the second manifestation of
genocidal anti-semitism are the covenants and charters and declarations. ammas, the sunni surrogate. am not telling you anything new when you say that hamas own public charter calls for the destruction of israel and the killing of jews, you can find that in article seven. but what is less well known and surprised my colleagues in the canadian parliament, was when i read into the record, not just this, but that anti-somatic tropes which underpin it. calling israel, or calling ews, responsible for the
french revolution, the first world war, the second world war, the league of nations, there is not an evil in the world in which the jews are not there. see you have a juxtaposition in the hamas covenant of old and new anti-semitism. similar to hezbollah. we know there are public threats as well, with regards to the destruction of israel. but the hezbollah leader not just talks about israel's disappearance, but shows how the old and the new come together. he said, if all the jews were gathered in israel, it would be easier to kill them all at the same time. but on a lesser note, but no less incendiary, he says "if we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly,
despicable, week, and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology, and religion, we would not find anyone like the jew. notice i do not say the israeli. his statement provides moral justification and ideological justification for dehumanizing the jews." she went on, the israeli jew becomes a legitimate target for extermination and also legitimizes attacks on on-israeli jews. you see to manifestations of genocidal and i semitism. i will leave it at that. part of the religiouswrits calling for extermination
-- jews and judaism, are held out to be the perfidious enemy of islam, and where they call israel emerging as salman rushdie, an object of a state. so it is under this phenomenon of genocidal anti-semitism, that israel becomes the only state in the world today, and the jewish people, the only people in the world today but other standing targets of genocidal and i semitism. i did not even going to the
other manifestations of it, which include populist anti-semitism, those expressions, jews, jews to the gas, which we heard in berlin, and in social media, and so on. that brings me to the second metric. i am referring now to demonological and anti-semitism. the globalizing indictment in this metric of israel and the jewish people as the embodiment of all evil in the world today. of israel as a racist, imperialist, colonialists, genocidal, apart hide it, not the people and state. the embodiment of the worst evil of the 20th century, and constituting all evil in the 21st century. and so it is, that israel and the jewish people become not only the only state and only
people that are the standing target of genocidal and i semitism, but the only state and the only people that are systematically accused of being genocidal themselves. the whole serving as a form of prologue and justification for the incitement and assault upon israel and the jews. all of it serves as a validator for a third indicator, political and anti-semitism. the denial of certain rights to the jewish people. if genocidal anti-semitism is a all for the destruction of israel and the jewish people, and in the second metric, israel and the jewish people are the embodiment of all evil, warranting the assaults, then political and i semitism is a
denial of israel's right to exist to begin with, or a denial of its legitimacy, or a denial of the jewish people's right to self-determination, if not their denial as a person. as martin luther king jr. put it, "it is the denial of the jews to the same right, the right to self-determination, that we accord african nations and all peoples of the -- in short, it is anti-semitism." which brings me to a fourth metric, the phenomenon of anti-jewish terror, underpinned by anti-jewish state ncitement, and the glorification of that terrorism and even the rewarding of that terrorism by both hamas and other authorities.
let me say, the 21st century also began on rosh hashanah in october 2000 with the worst anti-jewish terrorism -- the orst terrorism, we have in fact ever witnessed over a period of time. in the first two years, from the onslaught of what was called the second -- a sanitizing term, because the notion is, some kind of resistance to an occupation. it comes with a validating expression. what it really was was the worst kind of terrorism that we have witnessed in contemporary history. some 600 jews were murdered in the first two years of that. that is equivalent to a half a ozen 9/11's.
during the same time, there was a series of major attacks that never took place because the attempt to bomb the israeli towers, which could have been a 9/11 in that particular sense, the attempt to poison, i could go on. what i am saying is, you had specific, anti-jewish terror, which included also the targeting of synagogues and jewish community centers and hebrew universities. i could go on in the terrorist attacks. regrettably, what we have been witnessing has been ignoring or marginalizing or sanitizing of such attacks. let me give you such a personal experience and i will close this metric. i was in israel over the
ecember-january break. i went there to attend a jewish parliamentarians conference. i arrived on december 20. i arrived at the airport, picked up the jerusalem post. on the front page, it said three terrorist attacks. my daughter and grandchildren live in that city, so these attacks took place while i was flying over to israel. i immediately called my daughter and they said it is ok daddy, it was a neighbor of ours. she fought the terrorists off. fast forward, january 1, i am going to visit my son, who recently moved to israel. and he is living in tel aviv. walking to his house, there was
a virulent terrorist ttack. and on the third, just as i was about to leave israel, being there for several weeks, you may have read about a pregnant woman that had been stabbed and thankfully she and the fetus were fine. that happened to be a cousin of mine. i am there and a three-week. they, and all of these terrorist attacks occur. israelis are experiencing this anti-jewish terror day in and day out. and yet, when i would look and i experimented with this, we have a channel in our tv for the israeli news. every single day for months, the news is let off with another terrorist attack in
israel. every single day i watch the canadian news, there is a whole snow to these terrorist attacks. not only is this the sanitizing of anti-jewish terror, it enboldens the terrorist to not only continue striking israel, but to continue to strike elsewhere. because when we did not intervene at the beginning of this century, we then found that that anti-jewish terror, the tentacles would move on to europe and elsewhere. our responsibility here to intervene on behalf of our common humanity must include in it israelis and jews. when i say israelis, i also refer to israeli arabs who themselves have been injured or
killed sometimes in these terrorist attacks. though not necessarily targeted for that purpose. now i come to the final metric, the one that is most sophisticated. that is the laundering or masking of anti-semitism under niversal, public values. because of the restrictions of time, i will give one example of each of the four arenas in which this laundering takes place. the first, the laundering under the protective cover of the u.n., international law, the culture of human rights, and fourth, the struggle against racism. could add a fifth, laundering under the indigenous peoples framework, as well. let me begin under the protective cover of the united
nations. i am not saying anything new for this audience when i say yet again in december this year, the annual ritual was repeated, some 20 resolutions of condemnation against one member state in international community, it happens to be israel, and three resolutions against the rest of the world combined. a critical mass of indictment, a standing breach of the united nations charter. but that is not the only disturbing phenomenon. as someone who is a member of the canadian delegation to the united nations, there is not only a critical mass of indictment, there is a critical mass of exposure to that indictment. that culminates in 20 resolutions of condemnation, perceived over a three month period to the various
communities. these delegations are composed not just the diplomats, there composed of parliamentarians, scholars, faith leaders, academics, journalists, even students. there is a critical mass of exposure to that ongoing process of indictment. i can tell you, many of the people who come to these elementary delegations come as a tabula rasa. when they listen to that drumbeat of indictment over three months, with resolutions passed that read alike findings of fact and conclusions of wrong, then they internalize willy-nilly this delegitimizing dynamic. we need to readdress and
redress this situation that the u.n. we know -- let me tell you what took place at the exact same time they got no coverage and no remembrance at all. a process which began then that has continued since, the attempt to betray israel then as the enemy of all that is good, and the repository of all that is evil. and so it was that in 1974 and 1975, israel was held up to be the enemy of labor. evidence? the resolution of the international labor organization, condemning labor suppression of labor unionism. lso, saying they mass-poisoned palestinians on the west bank. also, israeli desecration of
-- lso, condemning israel for its oppression of palestinian women. recently, israel became the only state in the world condemned for its oppression of women. i mean, you can't make this thing up, unless you are sitting at the united nations council for human rights. the enemy of peace, condemning israel as a non-peaceloving nation, an enemy of human rights. the resolution of the ommission on human rights, condemning israel as a major human rights violator.
in a word, in a world in which human rights then, let alone until now, 40 years ago, had emerged as a new, secular religion of our time. he condemnation of israel, meant that israel had emerged as a new geopolitical antichrist of our time. so much for that first example. the second, is laundering under the authority of international law. i could regale you on this forever, but let me just take one example. it was mentioned earlier today, and deserves a recall. in december last year, the contracting parties of the fourth geneva convention, the repository of international humanitarian law, met to put one state in the international community in the dark.
it was not iran or syria or north korea. the only state put in the dark when the contracting parties convened was israel. and it had precedence. this was the third time the contracting parties of the geneva convention had met in 50 years, and each time, they put one state in the docket, and each time, that state is israel. let me tell you, this "jurisprudence" is also taught in law schools of countries around the world. but without the caveat they may refer to it as jurisprudence. by the way, this was the only state in the world so indicted. i may borrow, but i don't want to misappropriate another
person's pain, but sometimes when i heard about black lives matter, and it is true, sometimes when i witness the aily stabbings in israel and the like, someone should also say, and israeli lives matter, as well. we are all part of a common umanity. it is each in its own context that we have to remember and address those situations. a third reference will be made, the laundering or delegitimization at the human rights council. for the purposes of angry hidden history, this is the 70th anniversary now of the founding of the u.n. commission n human rights, you can make
the exact time in terms of 1946, the 10th anniversary now of the u.n. council on human rights, which was set up to address the singling out of israel that had occurred of the u.n., and to adhere to the u.n. principle of equality of nations. but was even more prejudicial in its singling out in an excessive way. i could go through the resolutions of special sessions, but i want to give you my own personal experience with how this is taken place. you know about the operation protective edge, the u.n.
council established a commission of inquiry to look into it. what it did not tell you, or what was not always known, was here were some 18 references in the resolution establishing that commission of inquiry into operations protective edge in israel and gaza. 18 separate references to israeli criminality into a resolution establishing this investigative inquiry, and not one reference to hammas. that was its framework. let me give you my own personal experience. i received a call in 2006 from the u.n. commissioner at that time, a former colleague of mine, and distinguished judge of the supreme court of canada, and became the united nations commissioner for human rights.
she said i am calling to ask you to be a member of a commission of inquiry that we are setting up to look into killings of palestinians in northern gaza. i said to louise, will this be going to tehran? t was because of the rocketing they came from hamas in northern gaza, the rocketing of he civilians in southern israel, that israel, and responding to the constant rocketing barrage, regrettably and tragically, an errant artillery shell killed alestinians.
you can be a member of the commission she said, and make such submissions as part of it. i said, i have read the resolution establishing the commission of inquiry that you are asking me to join. the resolution says, that israel willingly murdered 18 palestinians. so what is there to investigate? i don't intend to be a fig leaf for the u.n., or a jewish fig leaf for the u.n. which leads me to the final laundering, and that is, the laundering under the struggle against racism. let's face it, one of the worst things you can say about a person or country is to call them a racist. the very label supplies the indictment. no further proof, a sensibly, is required. and if it is, as in the case of
israel, then you refer to israel as an apartheid state. referencing israel as an apartheid state is not an accidental reference. because those who drew up those indictments and know very well that apartheid is defined in international law is a crime against humanity. if you say israel is an apartheid state, it is a crime against humanity. if it is a crime against humanity, then it has no right to be. and if that is not enough, you call it a nazi state. not only does it have a right to be but an obligation and we should recall that five years ago, a public opinion survey was done in europe where countries were asked, do you believe what israel is doing to the palestinians that the nazis did to the jews and 40% of the europeans polled said yes.
followed therefore from this laundering of elegitimizing. and what we find in this last part of the struggle, goes back also to durbin, 16th anniversary we are going to be commemorating and where the tipping point. the laundering didn't began, but began way back in 40 years go and but what happened was the tipping point and i'll close with an excerpt of the arches that used to take place n the streets of durbin, which
dramatically convey the impact of that laundering and the chanting went as follows, the struggle against apartheid in the 20th century and south africa is struggling and requires a dismantling of israel as an apartheid state and the blueprint for what we are witnessing today in the campus culture and the like, which brings me now to the final part and so the question, what needs to be done and in particular, what can we do. i'm going to do one-liners because of time. i think you can fill in the planchings better. the first thing is, we need a more inclusive definition of anti-semitism whose metrics are
not anchored in the traditional or classics of anti-semitism but includes the metrics of the new anti-semitism. they were found in the definition of anti-sifmentism and two years ago, we discussed how it has been removed from he web site. but i want to say it is still and part of the u.s. state department definition and part of the london parliamentary definition to combat anti-semitism. that is the first thing we need to do to have a more inclusive efinition. the phenomenon of intersexuality, which is anchored in -- and movement today, which underpins the
phenomenon that we find in cademic groups, because if you ook at it, the organization of health academics -- this is the nature of intersexuality. and all the op -- intersectionality and defined as a human rights and israel is he oppressor and it results in a situation where the movement as joined by the environmentalist, the women's groups, the black glupes -- groups and so on. one of the things about this hen i think about this, in a
way, the soviet movement pioneered this, when you think back, you had academic for soviet jury and scientists for soviet jury, we then what we came to be known on behalf of it which is part of the struggle for human rights and hen the proteo typical for the struggle was the struggle. his has been turned on its head and it has been turned on its head and recently, a group of students that we hosted at our home told us regarding the
recent dynamic, it wasn't just directed against israel, it was directed against the jewish students in the sense they were seen as part of the white privileged group that was also dominating the underprivileged or repressed groups. as i said, you know, it's not that we don't know the case or we don't know the case about he israeli palestinian -- we aren't having standing to make the case because we are seen part of the part of the oppressor class. and it is much deeper than we might think. a third thing that we need to
do -- by the way, return to interskecks -- section ality. and so that the jewish struggle is not defined as israel is an ethnic state but part of the struggle. he third thing, we need to combat, if not prevent the state sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. the recommendies are there. not one state party has undertaken what is not a policy obligation but in fact an injustice. a fourth thing is we need to affirm and implement the ottawa protocol.
how many people have read the protocol? very few. and this is -- i'll say there are more that didn't put up their hands. but one of the problems is that some of these things are not sufficiently known, appreciated nd act upon. this contains within it, the definition the met atlantic city and contains a blueprint for action by governments by parallelments, which leads me to a fifth initiative and share with you a unanimous resolution that was adopted by the canadian parallelment and in that context as well. unanimous resolutions are not that easy to get adopted. just one person when the
speaker of the parliament puts the question to them and does anyone object. the resolution was adopted by all nems from all parties and i'll smards the resolution ecause you can use it as a temperature late in other parliaments and in our work with civil society. i know as one wag said, which may be the reason that people don't know what the protocol let alone the resolution. umber one, it condemns the alarming global rise in anti-semitism. two. it calls on the canadian government and the canadian parliament to make the combatting of anti-semitism in domestic and foreign olicy. and number three, it
abstracted, it said criticizing israel is not anti-semitic and saying so is wrong, but sing willing israel out for an indictment, denying israel's right to exist, let alone calling for israel's destruction is hateful and discriminatory and not saying so is dishonest and i believe, scholars, this is a see him plate that we can invoke and apply. number six, we need to combat the delegitimatization of srael. not as something that is prejudicial to israel. frankly if you talk about did he legitimatization of israel, it should be did he legitimate side. what we have to say that the
real phone no, ma'amon is that the seem ping of it and to make it clear this is not just rejudicial to israel, but it erodes the integrity of the united nations under whose protect tiffer cover it covers. and international law which is invoked in its favor and corrupts the culture of human rights and demeans the struggle against the real racism and the real apartheid and we have to say what is at stake here is the laundering of did he legitimatization and therefore the delegitimatization of the public values in the pursuit of the delegitimatization of israel. we should not retreat from the
united nations as is sometimes the instinct to do or sometimes we are even counseled to do but rather we should engage with the united nations and move out of the docket of the defendant and become a rights claimant, become a plaintiff and do so not in the name of israel but do so in the name of the charter of the united nations. do so in the name of the universal declaration of human rights, because what is happening in the sing willing out of israel for selective program and indictment is really a standing breach of those principles of equality before the law and international human rights law. and you are saying it won't make a difference. the very process is important. the very important of the case. the b.b.s. movement doesn't
care, what it case is how many people that are sense advertising to the position and that's why i say i say we can be sense advertising our ountries and the international community to the manner in which this laundering is actually taking place under the protective cover of the u.n. and the things they care about. and moving to the close, we need to reverse the paradigm, the conventional paradigm of the middle east which has taken hold, which says the israeli-palestinian conflict is the root of all conflicts. the occupation is the root and apartheid israel is the root of the occupation. we have to turn it around to say that it is radical islam that is the source of all conflict in the middle east and beyond.
the denial of israel legitimacy in any borders, anywhere in the middle east, that is the real apartheid. and the call, the subsequent call for the destruction of israel and the killing of jews is the criminal apartheid of today. and so we should both identify and name the evil and again step out of the docket of the defendant and become the plaintiff claimant and we need to protect the minorities whose cases in the middle east are being overshadowed or not being ddressed at all. i'm referring to the kurds, the christians and the moderate muslims who are the standing targets themselves of state sanctions incitement and to
genocide. we have to change the channel of the international agenda which is focusing only on israel to call on them that if they care about human rights, where is there inclusive concern with the -- frget about israel, with all these targeted minorities who are standing targets. we should make this our case and cause. and finally, may i close with a conversation that i had with law students indigenous, the day i was appointed, i'm saying this, because another feature that i didn't go into was the manner in which the delegitimatization is laundered and former colonial and the
like, let me share with you an exchange. the law students met with me and said, we aren't just law student, we are and ridgeal law students, we come with a past and own cultures and own language and our own legal system and we have been dispossessed of all of that and deprived of our history and culture and our spirituality and our legal system. it's not we go to court. we go to court to depiff expression to who we are and nchor ourselves in our identity and go to court to give expression to our legal system, but we are always giving expression and feeling this enormous pain because we
feel that the canadian government and the canadian government don't understand where we are and where we come from and what we aspire to be. and coming out of the traditions where the students come to their rabbi, rabbi, we love you. and why do we ask you if it hurts. if you don't know what hurts me, you can't tell help me you love me. as i shared with you, that is a profound relationship. that will be the way as we as a government and a parliament will seek to relate to the people in terms of their past, their history, their identity and aspirations and i said to them, at the risk of being somewhat prejudice shoes, i do
come from a people that can till inhabit the same land embraces the same religion, hashingens to the same prophets, studies the same bible, speaks the same language, help brew and same ame israel as we did 3,500 ears ago and they said, we thought this was going to be another blah blah lecture, welcome one people to another. this is not a story that i'm sharing only in the confines, i have repeated it again and again when i was minister of justice and attorney general of canada not only because i felt it was making the case that had
to be making about why justice has to be a priority, but the subtext of it is, i was speaking out of the awe thens at this time of my own identity and we have to speak out of the authenticity, whatever the jewish or otherwise. in that sense we cannot compromise what we say or do on the atlanta arizona of political correctness because at the end of the day if you indulge too much, you end up becoming a bystander and my plea is for us not to be byextenders but to be intervenors in that struggle for justice and as my mother would say, to do is to struggle against injustice and remember that all old jewish pro verb when i say we are indigenous people.
that is part of the difficulty of the struggle and why we will have toll frame an approach in terms of the principle of least injustice. that's for another time. but the thing to remember always that and what i always remember, that at the end of the day, truth and justice will prevail. we are involved in a just struggle. we are not involved only on behalf of jews or israelis or only against anti-semitism, we are on behalf of justice and against injustice. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by
security economic mobility and savings practices. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" beginning live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. >> this weekend san bernardino to explore the history, located east of los angeles. on december 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured in a terrorist attack at the inland regional center. we'll talk with the congressman about the attack and recovery efforts by the community. his district includes the area. >> when we talk about terrorism, when we talk about the fight against terror, it isn't something that's in the abstract any more. it's something that across this country means something, because this isn't a big city here in san bernardino that was
attacked. this could happen anywhere. >> we'll also speak with the city council about establishing a permit nant memorial. >> it provides a sense of remembrance. it highlights their lives and what they've contributed to our local community. and certainly it's always a near and dear place to kind of ro vide a place of consolation, serent. so we're thinking of serenty garden, prayer chapel of some sort in and around this area. >> we'll learn about the family of wyatt erp. his plan talks about their note right and their connection to san bernardino. >> the connection to san bernardino county, goes back to about 1852 when the father of wyatt erp, who is the most well own, he was basically left
his family temporarily. they were living in illinois. he heard about the gold rush up in northern california. before he came back -- went back to the midwest he ventrd down to southern california and he passed through the san bernardino valley. he vowed that one day he would come back. >> american history tv we'll visit the san bernardino history and railroad museum and talk about the importance of the railroad to san bernardino. located in the 1918 santa if he depot the museum contains many objects. >> construction completed in 1918 that replaced a wooden structure approximately 100 yards east of here. why it was built a lot larger was because they decided to how's the division head quarters. >> watch saturday at noon
eastern. the c-span city's tour working with our cable affiliate and visiting cities across the country. >> syrian refugees now living in the united states took part in a discussion about their experiences and the transition to the united states. georgetown university in washington, d.c. hosted the discussion. it's an hour and 40 minutes. >> he became president of refugees zpwrags in september -- international in september
2010. leading forward attention and action to refugees and displaced people worldwide. prior to his role with ri, he served as the united nation's high commission on jeffies, regional representative for the united states and the crib yin. his career has spanned more than 25 years including international service in africa, asia, latin america, and the pacific. as i mentioned he is trained as a medical doctor in addition to holding a master's degree in tropical public health. michelle spent a decade working in guyana, brazil, london and yemen before joining as a field officer in thailand in 1978. his career took him to field operations in cameroon,
pakistan, as well as several years at the agency's headquarters in geneva where he served as the first public health adviser to the organization. due to the time constraints i'm not going to go through all the wonderful things he's done and awards that he has received. suffice it to say that he is a very outstanding individual. >> thank you very much mr. ambassador. good evening, everyone. and congratulations to the organizers. i think you've managed a turnout quite impressive. so very nice work. i think the fact that we have southeasterns on the panel certainly explains some of -- syrians on the panel explains some of the success. today 50 million people displaced by conflict persecution and war in the world. 20% of these are syrians. this is just to put the syrian crisis at the size it has. and it has confronted the international community with tremendous challenges. it started, the violence in
zeeria was horned does. but until 2013 there was hope among syrians that there would be a political resolution in syria as it happened perhaps in libya with intervention by the international community. and everybody was, all the people i visited then in jordan, lebanon, turkey, iraq, egypt, would say we are just waiting to go back as soon as we can. and the neighboring countries to syria were extremely weoming, something we have not recognized enough. but they admitted large numbers of refugees essentially with welcoming arms. by the end of 2013, that started to change. saw some disenchantment among syrian refugees about nonresolution, the aggravation of the fatalities today. let alone the number of people maimed and wounded in that conflict. in 2013 we started seeing also
that the warm welcome of neighboring countries was starting to cool down and that has continued to evolve right now to increasing tensions between host communingts and refugees. the international community has tried to respond but the aid was not matching the increasing needs. and we were certainly not able despite lots of attempts to negotiate better access to syrian whose had not left the country. there are about 7 to 8 million people displaced in their own country. they were not able to provide much assistance inside syria. so to a large extent, we the international community have failed the syrians to a very, very large extent. the terrible imagings we saw last year happening in europe sort of pointed out to the fact there is a syrian crisis.
that was the tip of the iceberg that had been brewing up for a long time and basically donors not always responding as they should have to the calls of the united nations to increase the assistance. the crisis was well before the images we saw in europe. what we have to think about is that we are all focused now on people who left syria who took the tremendous risks and the courage to get into these leaking boats to try to find a better future. but these are those who could afford to pay the smugglers. what about those who are left behind and who cannot even take the courage for these thrips or try to imagine a different life? and i think that's what we want to discuss a little tonight. i'm really thrilled that for once we have a panel that has policy wonks but also operational wonks. they really try to respond to the needs of the syrians so that we have very
representative group of syrians. so how they see the crisis. in the policy world we tend to think that we know what they need, after all. and at the time when the whole issue of accountability to the people we care for should be developed much more i think it's nice we have a chance in a public forum to confront a little bit how we see things and how the efforts that have been made match with the expectations of the syrians. so thank you very much for this organization. i don't think you need introduction. you were introduced by the ambassador very well. i would just add that business administration degree and a great talent in music, i can only foresee your career. so that's very well done. george. in the middle. george a professional, activist who moved to the u.s. in 2013 when everything started going
really down the drain. he lives and works in chicago. he has carried off a successful petition to increase the number of syrians resettled to the u.s. and given the mood this year in the u.s., i think that's very well done. you must have really had to push the rock up a very steep hill. so congratulations. we still think the numbers are not enough. we will hear about that. but very well done. you were invited to the white house a couple of times and your work has been featured in cnn, the "washington post," the huffington post. you are cospounder of the syrian youth empowerment to empower high school students in syria and neighboring countries to keep hope going on among these populations. acmid is a man who plays different instruments. he's a entrepreneurian, journalist, translater, working
for the voluntary sector, the ngo sector in syria. and he established a first online platform to try to get all the volunteers who wanted to help their own people in syria to understand what they could do, where to go et cetera. so very creative initiative called the eye on alepo. you had, i'm just reading, up to 20,000 followers. so that's a quick achievement. for that you were semi-finalist in various awards including the best global initiative in 2011. you have been given -- when the civil war started you came to the u.s. you now have a green card so congratulations. >> i came in 2013, the same year. >> the famous year that we will probably discuss more in the ourse of this evening.
congratulations. shelly is the regional representative for the u.s. and the caribbean. she has a very long career. he has extensive postings in africa, burunedie, in kenya, in the sudan. i don't want miss any. in guinea. he has held key positions in headquarters. he was at the time the head of the resettlement office so he understands how resettlement works and in particular how it works in relation to the u.s. large resettlement country. and he was before coming to washington the head of the human resource division, a job that very few people want to take. and then simon, last but certainly not least, assistant secretary for the bureau of populations and migration at state department. the bureau that really oversees all the refugee programs, the u.s. is the larger funder and
has been so for the past 30 years of refugee programs. it is the department that is extremely mobile, extremely active. the head representative in the field. they cooperated very well international ngo and the u.n. when i was with the u.n. they were very close partners. simon has a master of science in national security from the national war college but a very long career in the state department. he was the directedor of affairs prior to this job prior to that deputy chief of mission at the u.s. embassy in honduras. has held various populations. large diplomatic experience. i am thrilled -- >> i'll old. -- i'm old. >> i'm thrilled to have you all here on the stage tonight. i will have to make sure that everybody respects the time so everybody has a fair share of
the evening. and we will start with you. >> it gives me a great pleasure to be here with you today. thank you so much for georgetown university for inviting me. it is truly an honor to be here with you sharing my storyifment it's just about two or three ars ago, i was still striggling in seer yass -- struggling in syria. i was one of the young people whom their dreams were vanished anddemolished during the war. the principal concerns transformed into a question of whether or not we would be able to see the morning the next day. there is nothing worse than experiencing that every minute. my parents are still living there, struggling with no electricity or water. i try to call them every day to make sure that they are still
alive. i am speechless about the current situation. last week, hundreds of innocent souls were killed in such a savage civil war. during the time i was still living in syria, i studied business administration and i graduated from the university of aleppo. i was also employed as a violin teacher at the arabic institute of music. p -- music has always been my passion. when i was 20, i auditioned and got admitted to a school for usician scholarship. i was the last class and aleppo university, delayed three times but i cannot graduate in time. i was so disappointed but i did not lose my hope and i did not
give up your day realized that i need to work so hard to find another opportunity. i kept searching online. i spent months and months searching i was running between internet cafés under mortars, missiles, rockets, just to send my applications. applied everywhere. one day i got a magical e-mail that i was accepted to marymount college with a scholarship, full tuition scholarship. i was amazed. i was beyond happiness. even with such a huge scholarship, affording room and board was a great challenge. this is because my parents have lost their jobs in the war and they couldn't even support e.
i kept searching online and i found out about an organization, supporting syrian refugees and syrian students by iving them scholarships. i reached out to them and through them i was in touch with a man from saudi arabia who was impressed with the papers that i sent and the usic videos. he wanted to help me in how that i would one day be able to help my fellow syrian friends. although i feel safe in the united states i am constantly concerned about my family and friends in syria. we have a great human potential but we are in need of help and support and to build up a good tmosphere to flourish. my best friends -- they are
architects, doctors, but their lives are full of mystery and t is threatened daily. one of my friends reached out to me -- her house was bombed. she went to turkey. she could not continue her education she reached out to me to help. i made a deposit to my college and they accepted her with a full scholarship and now she is a sophomore. i am truly grateful that i was able to do something but is it enough yet geoeye do nothing so. -- is it enough? i do not think so that i have been working hard to achieve success in the music world per i was -- music world. i received my green card last year. it is truly an honor to be in
this country, the country which has given me my future and my life and honestly, i cannot think the american government enough for making my dream a reality and for saving my ife. i performed at the kennedy center last year. i was honored at the white house in 2015. i also performed last month and i spoke at the united nations in geneva. tomorrow i'm heading to london to perform at cate blanchett's place -- yeah, it is a great opportunity. she is holding a major fundraising event for unc are you i have also now in touch ith iie, they are also interested at a fundraising
program. this is the least i can do to be able to show my gratefulness to all of the people who have supported me enormously to be here with you today. today, i consider myself not just a legitimate syrian citizen but also a new devoted and young american woman. all of what we dream of is a peaceful life and the hope for a better tomorrow. american culture has impacted me in so many ways. it has made me believe more inhumanity. i feel powerless to change the current tragedy on going in syria but i love would be an ambassador to my country and deliver a beautiful message through every performance i do. i feel that music has the power to unite us that i can improve
this when i perform jewish music -- and i am christian myself, and i perform for a muslim community. want to make a statement that i am christian myself but the relationship between muslims and christians in syria is a cold we form a beautiful harmony and support each other. thank you so much. the >> quite a speaker, very touching, thank you. george? pushing the united states to except more refugees? george: i will start by telling you how my life was in syria.
for many people i meet here, they do not have any perception over understanding of how life was there. i will tell you little bit about my life and i will tell you about the kind of thoughts i had on daily basis because of what is home to detach happening. i think it is a powerful tool to communicate -- what are we feeling as syrians? what do i feel about my country? about the international eaction? i will be sharing this with you. i was born and raised in syria. the one fact that many people do not expect is that we had a very normal life. we used to go out to restaurants, we used to go to the beach, we used to do everything that you guys to hear.
we used to go to universities, form friendships, have girlfriends, everything that you can imagine. it is not the country that some people would imagine, the backwards country -- the image hat isis tries to reflect. i consider myself as a person who had a wonderful childhood in syria and all of the great memories that i have are of a very beautiful country that i love and i appreciate and enjoy t. however, when things started to happen in 2011, everything changed. this change that we had as individuals and young people is huge. youth from a safe country where you have everything you wanted -- a lot of shortcomings and
concerns -- but you turned into a war, you are now living in a war. on a daily basis, your experiences, the feelings of fear. on a daily basis, i remember waiting to see if someone we know has died. whenever we hear a bombing, we would be like checking on facebook and asking each other like, do we know anybody who happened to be in the location of the bombing? it turned from the very normal life into a very not normal life where it is dictated by fear, by uncertainty, dictated by also, all the other problems that young people like me would have -- what am i going to do about the future? what am i going to do about it
-- if i lose someone i love? what would i do if somebody from my family died? just, those are very real questions that we had to go through. so, i can tell you, i can assure you that there is not one syrian who -- whose life asn't disrupted. whether from losing somebody you care about, whether from getting your building bombed, whether losing years of your life while you are waiting for the next step that is never there, that will never come. also, changed us as individuals. so, for me, as a person, i was very, very lucky and i count myself as one of the luckiest because through the same organization that mariela i was
able to move to the u.s. to transfer to illinois school of technology. i was given a golden chance at rebuilding my life. i was given this opportunity along with 32 other tudents. here, once we got here, we always have this feeling that we should do something. we feel that no one -- of course, you do -- the governments of the world -- they do care. in london, they pledged $10 billion. they do care about how would i tell that to one of my friends when they tell me that their life is over? i cannot translate the billions that the u.s. donated for the person who lost every confidence in the future.
i cannot say it to a girl who lost her parents -- i just can't. it is very difficult. so we feel that -- i personally feel that i have a responsibility and i have a duty to do something to help create this opportunity for those people. so, and this -- i felt that the 33 students who came to chicago do share with me this vision that we do have a responsibility to we want to do something. we are all very eager to succeed, just to prove that we as syrians are not what you know about us -- it is not what you read about us in some news outlets, we are just normal people who can do normal things. to give a tiny example, those 30 students have now gotten offers from google, apple, goldman sachs, from every big company -- and that is very difficult.
if you came to the u.s. in two years and told me you are now a software engineer at google, i would not believe it -- but they are working so hard. they are taking it extra step to prove to the world, that extra -- there is this extra motivation for us to prove to the world that we are normal. at the same time, that also drives us to do things, to drive positive change to other syrians. what drove me to start this petition, i was very frustrated that nobody was doing anything, nobody was saying anything. it was like a problem that was very isolated from the u.s. political scene, or from the u.s. humanitarian scene. so i wanted to do this and i did it and i did it with many bunch of group of amazing people who
helped us carry it forward and i am very grateful to the administration for listening to us. after all, we are like, who cares about an immigrant who came from syria? i felt appreciated and i felt that my voice was heard. that is a step in the right direction. then numbers can always be bigger and we are trying to do that. at least it was a step in the right direction. some of the thoughts that i constantly have -- do we deserve what is happening to us? this is something i constantly ask myself. do we deserve the lack of engagement from other countries or the lack of interest, like american people or european people in our causes? my answer is, maybe yes. we never had a society that can carry those causes and those topics forward.
what i am trying to say right now is that we need help to create a civic society that we never had. and, sometimes, as governments or administrations -- they tend to focus a lot on humanitarian response and they forget about the human aspect. they focus on the humanitarian aspect but not on the human aspect. there is a lot of -- i will just give you an example. for thousands of syrians here in the united states, it takes years to process their asylum application. you know how difficult and challenging this can be for a person who doesn't know if into years will be deported. on top of everything that you as an individual have to care
about, career, where, relationship, family, you do not really know if you will be deported. it is not the ideal situation that would help those eager people to do things because they simply do not know if they can do it. another example is -- an initiative to help syrian students in syria, we offer them free toefl classes in providing mentorship. we have just started that we work with some students informally. one yesterday got his visa and he is going to harvard. we are very excited.
but for this very tiny organization, we are obviously tried to do something meaningful for those people to build a civil society that we aspire in the future to have for the people who are ready -- we are facing tremendous, tremendous obstacles. one is finances. by finances i do not mean fundraising. if they want to transfer me the money so i can transfer it somewhere else, it is -- it would be a disaster. i cannot do that because my name would be somewhere. somebody will check my name and i cannot do that. the second thing is the visa. i talked to many visa officers who served in different countries and they told me about the system -- i am not saying i want favorable treatment for syrians but it is just very, very difficult. even if you get a full scholarship from harvard you
might be denied easily because the laws that are passed in congress 40 years ago just does not -- there are a lot of complications that would make it way more difficult to get someone a visa from a country , no matter how promising he is. so those are the things that i think about and care about. those are the things that i try to mobilize people to always do something, because of what happened to me is helping the 45,000 refugees who will come here because -- our group advocated for those people. those people who will come here maybe one day will build the syria that we aspire. it might be the people who transfer western values to the middle east. those might be the people who would be the next doctors, lawyers, journalists,
philosophers to help us build this platform. so, this is what i wanted to share with you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for reminding us that syria is not what we see every day on our screens. there is a much deeper sold to it. it.eeper soul to that was very powerful. congratulations on the successes you mentioned. this is great news. you are bringing us to our next speaker. today inside syria, we will talk about how to give assistance. no foreigner can really dare
even to take the risk that you have to incur to go inside syria are beyond your personal story, how is this movement of civil society developing inside of syria? i am impressed to see how fired up they are despite the tremendous odds. >> i love being here in georgetown. when i arrived, the first place i stayed was georgetown hotel and conference center. i have all of these happy memories about having a future. just three years ago, may 5, 2013, i will give you my diary. let's say you are reading my diary. dear diary, i woke up today, i check my phone to see if there was electricity to charge it because we barely had electricity. i opened the tap to wash my face and there was no water so i had
to take from our stored water and i try to clean my face and brush my hair and be decent. then imagine that you are living -- leaving your home and then start running because there is a sniper two miles away, shooting every movable object or just because he sees somebody like me, he is assuming that i am with people fighting against him. so he was shooting me. you and there were many times i -- shooting me. and there were many times i hear bullets crossing pass to my ears even when i was with my mom. nobody knows why they are shooting. they are still there. my day usually starts with going to school where i work in refugee. even though i was in a city
without huge complex, but because of my work as an ngo volunteer, i was an intern -- i worked with palestinians, iraqis and lebanese. i had 12 to 15 hours of working. i used to go to school nearby where there is over 1000 displaced people. we used to give them food and organize them. i do not know how to describe that, it is beyond any imagination. imagine a school where each class has at least 25-30 people.
"will -- people. i was the person responsible to put them there. they barely can be able to sleep there but we have no other choice. we have to put as much people as we can. people in my city, i had to leave because i was a journalist and even though i was not criticizing the regime or the other part, i was well known and respected in my community and that is why i was offered to work for the regime as a reporter for syrian television, which i refused. i also refused the opposition. being in the middle, not being with any party makes the other people think you are with the other part so you always receive threats. my goal each day was surviving until the end of the day. just like cinderella, but sunset
instead of midnight, otherwise -- in these to make it -- what we mean by the party is, the sound of the bullets, the sound of everything. everything starts by sunset and lasts until debuted one of my memories in my building, there was a tank next to my building shooting the other part and it was so noisy but i had no other choice because i want to leave my building i was struck -- there was a sniper. then after 10 days of no electricity, and with some food, was trying to understand what is going on, we try to get our transit and we start running across the fire of the sniper. i do not know what to add. they said everything. sometimes i have memories,
flashbacks, those kind of memories. i was remembering when i was covering up concert in aleppo. that is where i met mariela. these memories always come to you and put you in a bad mood. i feel like anything -- any success will not compare to what i did at home. however, i would like to also thank the u.s. government. first, i came in fellowship sponsored by the state department. i was the first and only syrian to get accepted to move were supposed to learn about the community and go back and try to adopt things we have learned here in syria. when i came here, the chemical weapon he is just started in the u.s. threat of intervening in
syria -- and as a journalist who was writing and has 20,000 followers, they saw that i and here to be trained on some sport of spying so it was so dangerous for me to return so i had to start a new life here. sometimes when they ask, are you a refugee? i say, i am technically a refugee because i am forced to leave my country. otherwise, i will stay there, why should i leave? being here, although dangerous, i have to stay here. the u.s. government gave me a future by accepting me here. these kind of things give me hope. otherwise i would be killed or kidnapped somewhere because i refuse to raise arms.
violence will not solve anything and it is not my only point of view -- there are, like, 100,000 people who believe in the same thing which is why my friends and colleagues have been here we -- have been here. we are trying to convince the american people that know all series believe in violence, not all series want to be with the regime or the opposition or isis or whatsoever and if we have a couple hundred making poor choices by being in those -- by being with isis doesn't mean all syrians are bad. i'm here to i have a good life. i am working freelance or die and trying to be an educator. i'm trying to promote the syrian cause. i try to take advantage of being here in d.c. to attend events about syria and syrian refugees. i used to stand up in every event and say, look, i am syrian, i do not cause any threat that i am not a stereotypical perspective about
syria, the people that you used to see in movies, that that guys -- see in movies, the bad guys who will bomb everything. i used to -- even silly questions or nothing -- but i want to make people know that, yes, there might be syrians among you and you might be noticing them and they will not do anything back to you. i try to do that -- i will be honest, joining organizations -- syrian organizations here -- they only -- blaming this park, blaming the other part -- know it is isis -- no it is -- it is not like us, ok? it has been five years but i think nobody is right and the other is wrong. there is no ultimate villain who if we eliminate him, everybody will be happy, the hero will get e.e heroin
yeah, and we have the and we have a civil war where people are fighting, trying to kill each other, so all we have to do now is try to save those who have potential and refuse to be dragged into this vacuum of violence, try to improve them, try to give them the ability to be heard -- how much time do i have? now? really? ok, so i would like to thank you, and i am celebrating that a couple of hours ago, aleppo has a cease-fire for 48 hours, so my family is still safe for 48 hours, hopefully. i would like to ask something. i would like all of you to stand up for a moment of silence for all of those who were killed in my city and i am hoping that the others do not have the same fate.
>> thank you very much. [applause] >> we would listen to you for more time. i know it is painful to bring to us the angst that you all of you are living. thank you for breaking that -- >> we all have families. i tried to talk about a different perspective. i am talking to my family like every moment to check that they are alive and they have horrible stories about what happened. bombs and bullets and everything. >> thank you. i forgot to mention when i introduce -- for a few years, he was the head
of operations for the united nations relief and work operations in georgia. just emphasize he has experience in the middle east. when things are difficult for refugees, the world tends to [indiscernible] it is part of the job description. in the case of the syrian crisis, the former high commissioner and the current high commissioner have tried to raise the alarm repeatedly and what sort of challenge did you face when he raised that alarm? what is your experience? >> thank you. it was about a year ago that we were in the same library, this beautiful library, the former high commissioner was here and i
hope -- commissioner was here and i am afraid that some of the points i and going to make he had to make last year in the year before much more eloquently, i'm sure -- after all, he was the high commissioner -- and the new high commissioner is doing the same. the first thing that unites us, i think the whole u.n. system of which unhcr is just one part, is the wish for peace. that has to happen. all that we do in cooperation with ngos, and there are hundreds of them, big and small, national, syrian, international, american, european -- all that we do is somehow try to relieve the pain but the solution is peace. and 48 hours is simply not enough. against the background of continued failure to actually come to some resolution to the
war.nd it is a mega i mean, it is not just in syria, it is in iraq and there are risks of the spillover beyond -- or until such time as the war does come to an end, our mantra as the refugee agency is of course that the international community must find ways for refugees and asylum-seekers to find safety, to have access to territory, to be able to be able to move and to be able to make their claim and hear their story so they are not subject to forcible return and they are able, during the time that they are forced to be in exile, to have as normal a life as possible. 2013lle was talking about being a watermark year. in fact it is true that over the last couple of years in the
absence of sustained investment, our budgets are all underfunded, quite significantly, notwithstanding the generous support from the u.s. taxpayer and congress and in particular through the state department -- notwithstanding refugees are suffering the consequences. that led to improv version in. -- led to impoverishment. we have data from the world bank, the unhcr clearly reflecting that refugees in jordan, lebanon are in a big way -- we are talking major, 80%-90% -- living below the poverty line and that is a progressive impoverishment and it is a sustained despair that created a situation that led so many hundreds of thousands of people to try to find another place where they could put their children in school. it was not more complicated and -- complicated a motivation as you are trying higher education for families to protect their
children just as you or i would. when i was in jordan, i went to syria every opportunity i could and it was such an authentic place -- >> beautiful place. >> beautiful face to get the food. but what was remarkable is that it really was a middle income country. now, by no means it is, a middle income country where like everybody -- like everywhere else they want their children to go to school. they want to have a job, they want to take care of their affairs and that was simply impossible for refugees living in jordan, lebanon and turkey, notwithstanding the generous policies up until then of the governments to allow them access. what has happened since is another story and i do not want to see the zero on the sheet of paper saying i'm out of time so what i would like to highlight is nevertheless perhaps the fact that many of you don't know when
that is when we see the pictures of refugees in camps, from saw tree -- from jordan, that is where the journalists and the congressional delegations, that is where visitors are able to go. 60% of the refugees -- and 90% of syrian refugees are living outside of cans, they are living in cities and towns or in shelters or in renovated apartments over in just shelters and the new development over the last several months is that, again, after considerable encouragement and advocacy, there is a shift in the recognition that something has to be done to support the host communities in order that -- in order to allow for more asylum
space so that the refugees are not considered to be -- and do not remain, if you will, a burden on the local economy and on the host population, so we are hopeful, again, here, the united states has been instrumental in working with the world bank, other international financial institutions, turning the corner in that respect but really, we half to look forward, -- we have to look forward now to a new way to organize humanitarian and development responses in the future when there are new emergencies. the last thing i would simply say is it is very important that as many refugees as possible are given the opportunity to move legally. we have heard a lot about irregular movement and we were talking about last year, resettlement to the united states, there were not pictures of asylum officers interviewing individually a refugee for an hour and a half, taking down all of the information about their
story, to validate them and to verify who they are in with a -- they are and where they were coming from -- no, on cnn, we saw pictures of masses of people going through the fields of croatia, macedonia, serbia, as if that is resettlement. that is simply not the case, as i am sure simon will elaborate. so it is very important that we promote resettlement, other legal avenues whether it is through scholarship programs or labor migration to brazil and elsewhere to allow as many people -- they will still be the minority but to allow as many people as possible to find safety, to build a future for their kids because that is the kind of international solidarity that will encourage jordan and lebanon and turkey, iraq, egypt to do as much as they have done -- to continue to do more because the war is still going on and the refugee situation, the refugee crisis will, regrettably, persist for years
to come, in one from or another. so, with that, i want to acknowledge the great support we have gotten from the united states and other countries and to just say that this is a struggle that will continue for as long as the international community is unable to help syria find a peaceful resolution to this terrible war. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. i'm quite stimulated by the note of optimism i heard in your last comment when i tend to become more depressed by the week, particularly when -- try to host a special meeting on resettlement and european countries were noncommittal despite the fact that they want people to stay outside the borders so they do not come illegally -- so we can discuss that -- but thank you for your sense of optimism, that is great
.o have simon, the u.s. has been the leader in humanitarian relief in the last 30 years, since the beginning of the syrian crisis the main donor, one of the most engaged governments and my sense is that sometimes we have the leader but we turn around and say, where's the pack? what are the challenges you have faced in the international community to respond to the syrian crisis? simon: thank you all for being here today. great turnout. keep thinking it is friday afternoon because i am taking tomorrow off, so, thank you for being here on what seems like a friday afternoon. [laughter] simon: i represent the humanitarian state department and one of the difficulties of working in a humanitarian work is that we do not actually solve the political crises that caused the humanitarian harm in the first place. but we do very much hope that
our colleagues led by secretary kerry right now are able to achieve a peaceful resolution to the crisis because that is what will cause the most humanitarian good. the continuation of the current cessation of hostility in all its faults, it is saving a lot of lives and nothing is more important than that continuing. part of that is allowing greater numbers of humanitarian shipments in to those inside syria that are in great need, 5 million people have been displaced inside syria. we are hoping that the international community will put more pressure on the syrian government, particularly the russians and iranians to allow the shipments in. their record has been poor. the united states is the largest contributor to humanitarian needs around the world. about $6 billion a year -- that is real money.
prm has a budget half of that, the other half is controlled the office of foreign disaster assistance. they are close partners. we have worked in different ways to prm works very closely with international organizations. our chief partner is unhcr . the largest funder of unhcr, the international committee of the red cross, the international organization of migration, the palestinian refugee organization. we work with many other organizations and also with ngos -- about 9% of our funding goes through ngos. we are not just about money. money counts, money is important, but we work with our diplomatic colleagues, of which i am one, to get our message around the world to improve humanitarian care, so we work
with our allies and we do have allies supporting our efforts -- there are people behind me and standing next to me in this fight, echoing the european humanitarian organization which is part of the european union union, the large european countries such as germany, u.k., canada, australia -- but we would like to see that expand to other countries such as china. the gulf states have made some steps forward and we would like to see them do more. we use our diplomacy not just a look for money but to push for goals and policy changes that will help refugees around the world and we do that in such ways, simple ways as pushing countries to keep their borders open so that refugees can come. we also try to get them to change the way they treat
refugees inside their countries. that is tough because countries may great sacrifices. if you look at turkey, lebanon, jordan, just lebanon -- a quarter of the population is syrian refugees per can you imagine how we would be reacting at the corner of our population were canadians -- god forbid. [laughter] >> perhaps not a great example. you need to let people work. if they work, they can support themselves, they reduce the pressure on social services, they have been dignity. and, by the way, could you open up your school to the children, because you do not want to have hundreds of thousands of
children here for four or five years have no education. we will help you pay for some of this -- the world will contribute. you need to do a lot. it is a hard message to carry but it is one we are carrying. next fall for the first time since the crisis began, every syrian child in jordan will be in school. so it is a big improvement. [applause] over half inside lebanon, there is more to do in lebanon -- and turkey is a really different and difficult place because of the language barrier and we have a long way in turkey that we have made some progress. i want to talk about -- how am i doing on time? two? very quickly, conferences will culminate with the summit on refugees -- we are using these
summits to push for greater world involvement in the areas that i just talked about. finally, a word on resettlement. the united states is the largest resettlement country. we resettle more refugees and all other countries put together through unhcr. it is a small number as the total number of refugees resettled each year is 1% of the world's refugee population. there is a reason for that. resettlement has not been seen since after the indochina crisis as a solution to the refugee population. the concentration has been on supporting refugees in the countries where they fled. what we have done is we resettle people who are not doing well in the areas where they fled. we take the most vulnerable populations. i am not putting a value judgment on this, i just want to make the point that those for argue for us bringing in more refugees need to understand that this will require fundamental change in the way that the system works and a good deal of money because it is very expensive to resettle refugees
. nevertheless, we are increasing the number of refugees we are bringing into the country. we have had a lot of political opposition but we have also had a lot of grassroots support and it hasn't stopped at all. we had 70,000 in the last three years. 85,000 this year and 100,000 days to european we are bringing in 10,000 syrians this year which i'm at it is too small a number but that never was planned to grow in the outgoing years in we helped that it is a start to a really strong syrian resettlement program. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you for reminding us that humanitarian organizations to diplomacy. you improve policies and away governments are prepared to respond in the region and that is important. i would like to acknowledge that the u.s. has been a leader in that field. everybody has been extremely constructive and polite to each other and thankful. i remember at the u.n. i was thrown into more turbulent waters so i would like to have a brief discussion between the panelists before we give the floor to all of you to ask questions. it is good to see that we are talking about the future legal pathways to come. haven't we missed the boat? can we still repair the level of despair in which we find syria? if i was to ask one of you, apart from thinking the u.s. government, what would you tell them? where did we miss the boat? what do you feel has gone wrong in a way the international community has responded?
anything can be said -- politely -- but i would like to generate some of the feelings you hear among syrian society when you speak between yourselves. what would you have to tell us? >> i would like to say that we are displaced. we are in need of support. it will be great if you can help us by opening the door in front of syrian students, at least. we know a lot of people who got full tuition scholarships but they did not get the visa, so why? the answer that this is because we know that you are from syria, you have war we are certain, that you are not going to call go back home.
of course we are not going to get the amazing education here to go back and die in syria. but at some point we will go back to try to build the country. my mom applied for the visa last week. she took a long way, 18 hours on a bus through the dangers of the road and a lot of restrictions by lebanese because we have a quarter of the population -- they allowed 48 through the and the cpa she had all the papers per i center all the supporting documents. they told her no. we cannot give you a visa. when am i going to be able to see my family? it is so difficult for me. this is my third year unable to go to my city of aleppo and i'm hopeless to be able to see my mom. it is breaking my heart deeply. >> should i answer?
it is a cruel and really hard and i feel for you -- i cannot imagine what it would be like for me and in the same position. i come from an immigrant family in it only strikes me how different it was for my parents because of their ability to go back and see their relatives and communicate and know that their relatives are safe. all i can say to your specific question and it is not a great answer but i have to be honest, the way the visa law is written is that it requires people to prove that they will return home. it is seen -- obscene making people in a war zone the platypus because how they going to prove they will go home? i do not see any change and that unless there is a change in the law. what we are doing on -- in another area, realizing that what a horrible thing this is, there are a lot of people who
have immigrant visas and there is a waiting list. you are allowing anyone that has an immigrant visa petition waiting to join relatives in the states to apply now as a refugee and we are starting a program. that population will be able to address but we will not be able to address others without a legal change. >> and the thing is, after five years, and it seems that our leaders from all parts -- they screw things up. what i want to say is, instead of saying, the thing is, maybe after it the election we will have a different administration but i want to focus on one thing.
instead of being afraid to bring syrians, why to we not bring people in the middle who refuse violence and war, try to raise them on democracy, those will be the new leaders that can and end this conflict. otherwise, we will be trapped and kept in those leaders who instead of looking for the syrian benefits and the interest, they are taking care of themselves -- living in their hotels and palaces -- why is the u.s. government always skeptical about syrians being here? we had a great country and we learned many things from american values, democracy, tolerance. why should we increase this and have more syrians -- give them the opportunity to be the future leaders so they can go back and help in leading the community -- many people -- they had
te opposition. they need a new voice. why does the u.s. not work on helping those who are voiceless and bring them here to study and to learn? and then those people will become our voices. i think millions of syrians would join them. why don't they think that? >> you are asking the wrong person. i am a humanitarian and i work on the refugee issue. you really need to ask political leaders why that is per from my point of view, from a refugee point of view, there has been nothing crueler than the focusing of legitimate fear on terrorism but the focusing of that on the refugee population is just horrific. people who are fleeing from terrorists are being branded by some as a threat and it is just ridiculous.
your larger question on why we don't have programs outside of the refugee world to bring in other people, i don't have an answer for you. >> i just want to answer that briefly. what you say makes sense. i am witness to the effort that prm has done on the hill to try to debunk the association between refugees and terrorism. i hope that we will move where you want to be but an election year is not the right time to push the issues. >> maybe the new administration will make -- >> we will see that. perhaps next or will be other little bit easier to push some of these -- in the previous panel at georgetown, a group of students said we want to try to build a movement that will pressure universities, private
universities in the u.s. to offer grants. this is just a temporary state that he would achieve part of what you are saying which is treat people who can be the future of their own country. there is a movement among students which i think is extremely reassuring on some of the values that predominate in this country and i hope these will eventually see fruition. george? >> my question is an easier question to answer. it is for you, actually. i do understand the challenges asked by mariela, because there are factors that the u.s. government cannot control and there are laws that have been there for decades and it is not magic to change them.
my question is, why the asylum-seekers -- there are 5000 asylum-seekers in the united states who, until now, some people, 3.5 years did not get an interview. my question is, isn't it something that could easily -- a play for as we should easily from a theoretical standpoint be addressed in a faster way? those people who are year, who are already here, who have been cleared, who got the visa, it is only about this interview -- this two hours interview in making a decision -- why are we keeping those people hanging not knowing anything? i ask this question because i believe that this is something that the u.s. government can easily control.
>> i do not really know -- i do not work in a silent i think the answer is the department of homeland security has so many officers that can do the interviews and they are using them to interview refugees overseas, asylum cases here, and cases they are coming across the southwest border with increased numbers and i just do nothing there are enough people to process the numbers that are coming in. there is a logical question after that, why don't they get more people? >> i'm sorry, we are addressing u.s. the u.s. government, sorry. [laughter] >> this is the nearest opportunity for us. >> nothing personal -- just like, you are the only person. >> you were saying that we failed, and that we are trying to be positive and optimistic and look forward, but that there has been a failure.
it needed to be said, the number of deaths, the prolonged conflict, and not just in syria -- around syria, in iraq, 3 million displaced persons, and now europe and the challenges there, the risks to international law and european law and what that means for asylum. and the polarization of public opinion in europe and the united states. i guess it is good. because for every critical xenophobia there is somebody that has been positively engaged. but still, the public opinion has become very challenging. and then it becomes personal. and the first refugees resettled
to kansas city. when it happened, there was a family that was supposed to go to texas. and they had to stop in new york. they were not sure if they would be safe going to texas. that kind of situation was unheard of. we never had to deal with that. so yes, there has been a failure. there has also been a failure in south sudan, all over. partly, that is funding and the inability to realize the plans that we have got for individual and community support. for sustained engagement. at the humanitarian level. so, more could have been done. it crystallized -- it all crystallized recently, i am afraid. and i guess positively, to the extent that there is now -- a real focus on education.
the flow of so many poor refugees to europe struck a nerve, that still hurts. but it woke the continent. and one of the motivations for that, as i mentioned, besides despair and the cut off of food aid, one of the positive push factors was that we want to educate our kids. because so many of them are being left behind. in in asylum. and so now, there is that positive spin. we can only hope that resources will go in. we know that the host countries are prepared to support. as far as secondary and tertiary education and scholarships and the like, that from the days that unhcr was helping south african refugee students in the 1960's and 1970's, that is always been a high per capita investment. it makes a lot of sense. there are organizations, there are philanthropists, there are states like the germans and the scholarship program that are really working now, getting
better in doubt. we can only hope, subject to visas of course, that we will have more students coming to the united states. and we know that universities and the students that are behind these associations are really willing. i know that there is john hopkins prepared to take a student. so the one student will hopefully become 10, 20, 30, 50. in the meantime, people are dying. the war is continuing. and the international community has failed. >> and it certainly agrees with a focus on education. we were recently in southern turkey, asking people why did you move to europe? we would ask lots of people. i thought the main reason would be tension and local community,
no ability to return and no jobs. and the answer he got most often come education for the children was the main reason. i repeat that. those who move have the means to move. many do not. and part of turkey is now considering the permits, for the percentage of refugees, at a time when there are lots of problems in turkey, they are trying to push that. i hope they get some results. thank you very much for this discussion. i think now we will open the debate for questions from the audience here. i have lights in my eyes. just wave your arm. yes? >> hi, i was recently in europe a few months ago. turkey, as well, for that matter. i was speaking to a swedish woman, was around my age.
so she was young. and the way she was talking about refugees was so kind of disgusting. and i felt like i could not really say anything, because she is from a country where they took in a lot of refugees. and i am an american. we have some trouble just taking 10,000. and what really shocked me was that this was a very educated woman. even earlier, she was talking about -- i mean all kinds of animal rights -- just a cognitive dissonance when it came to these particular groups of people, as opposed to all of the other issues she feels very strongly about. and it was just very alarming. being in europe at that time commencing the way it was. it was not just these fringe movements come a very kind of large segment of the population had these very racist ideas of syrian migrants who were coming in. i just want to ask, how are these migrants adjusting in countries like sweden and
germany now? has it gotten better or worse? >> ok. [laughter] the short answer to your question -- i am not an expert on the reception and integration process. i would, since we are at georgetown, i would refer everybody to the migration policy institute. it is one source of very, very reliable and comparative information about the resettlement and integration, to use that term, it is not perfect, the experiences of refugees in the u.s. as well as in europe. i do not want to presume that i know how -- you know, there was this whole expectation that refugees would bring a boom to the german economy. that seems to not be immediately the case.
from what i have read, this is not something that happens overnight. there are challenges in terms of getting employment, challenges in terms of societal acceptance, and the like. but as far as that woman's attitude is concerned, i'm afraid that one of the ways there has been failures, which i should have mentioned, is political leadership. and where angela merkel, and it was some extent president obama as well, has stood out, and the prime minister of canada, they tried to lead the opinion. in some of the other european countries i am afraid, they either led them in a negative way -- and i will not name the countries -- but they have barbed wire around them. they instilled sufficient doubt in the population, and such opinions flourish.
and that is not good for us. for syrians, and i daresay for muslim refugees, in general. and if it is not good for them, it is not good for any refugee. >> if i could add, one of the reasons our program is so successful despite the recent attacks, we've never had attacks like this before, it is because our emphasis on integration, around 300 sites around the country. and we as a public-private partnership and we use ngos to resettle them working with local charities, getting them to meet people, finding jobs, getting the kids in school. and one great thing about the u.s., any child gets to go to school. there is never any question about what is your status or anything like that. they get to school.
it worked really well for us. and one thing we found is that anybody that has met a refugee in this eight is positive towards the refugee experience. we do not meet any people, i cannot think of any people like the swedish person you met, the people who do not like refugees in the state have not met someone. our goal is to get someone. >> i wanted to question, a follow-up to that, i used to work as a officer. i now live in colorado. watching this discussion, the political climate that we have come in occurred to me that perhaps there has been a failure of someone to somehow educate people in the u.s. and perhaps elsewhere about what is a refugee, and who is a refugee, and who is a migrant? many people in the middle of the country think they are all the same. and they think of mexicans crossing the border, and syrian refugees as kind of all the
same. and i think that the people had a better understanding of what a refugee is, who they are and what they have gone through, perhaps the political dialogue would be more reasonable. i don't know who would be responsible for that. but i think it is a serious problem. >> well, if i may, i cannot agree with you anymore. after avon washed on the shore of turkey, there was an outpouring of sympathy and empathy and the generosity, that we were looking for for a long time around the syrian crisis. very shortly thereafter of course, there was the paris bombing and the famous passport that through the whole refugee narrative topsy-turvy. and then with san bernardino, that brought it home to the united states. and it was impossible, for us,
to counter, clarify, educate, if you will, partly because everybody was watching -- i will not name the news networks -- that were showing migrants coming in streams and masses through muddy fields. however sad those stories, they were still representing a massive threat. and that was popularized in the media, and in this, you know, electoral season. and it was conflated, to a certain extent, with what was happening south of the united states border. and the language there of a legal, irregular, and all of that. and that made things, and still do make things, very difficult
in terms of clarifying these are refugees, not with ending u.s. history. i mean, we know as americans who refugees are. and we know about the immigration story of the united states. and we know that there is a certain mixing there, from the days of the pilgrims. but nevertheless, a got manipulated. this was a very bad year to have a refugee crisis in the u.s. >> one thing that happened in the europe, and happened in the u.s., there is a vetting process. it takes a long time, but it is very organized. what happened in europe, everybody arrived uninvited. which the people who opposed the movement said very strongly. they cannot have protection before that. they come here because they want the migration outcome, and they want to decide where they go. you do not want to be told where they can be protected. a year ago, the european union made a proposal to the member states, which was not perfect but had the right elements. you know, process them, those refugees being relocated by having the sharing between the 28 members.
and those that do not qualify, it was not syrians coming there were several other groups, some less so, they were not able to get the member states to agree. so the situation deteriorated to the recent situation, not wanting anyone and not wanting legal pathways. that is why it is more pessimistic right now. but we are not showing the syrians any hope in the coming couple of years. you know, i think that is successful. as for your message on large-scale presentation of what are the differences, these are very extensive problems. and right now, witnesses see how the u.s. is struggling to see how to deliver the very basic, fully funded year after year, they do not have the bandwidth to start such a larger public education program.
i want to think, what future for u.n. and yours? i am sorry. my english is not good. but not bad. i hope you understand me. i have 400 students, 150 from america. but if i want to ask, the future after the refugee in america, ok? it is not important. now i am here. i come to america. but after america, ok, i could not have any opinion about being here. after two weeks, i am close. what i want here, ok, here in america, i do not understand -- i think here.
the syrian refugee come in, what happens? in germany, france, ok? this is a problem for syrians. syrian refugee is not just about immigration, money, not everything. just world peace. all of the syrians accepted me. whenever i see them sleep in the street, whenever i see a syrian not want to eat, have the work, have everything, just i want to understand what the future is for refugees? thank you. >> well, refugees were settling in the u.s., i know the first years are difficult. many have to do two jobs. adler had to access school for the children, health care, etc. it is complicated. but in general, refugees who settle here do very well. they had this will to recover the time they lost during the conflict. i would not despair. maybe after many years, they decide to go back to their home,
if the conditions back home allow that. i don't think that -- for instance you coming here -- that that is permanent. but i am positive about the way this country allows reasonable refugees to start a new life. it is hard work, no doubt about it. but it works. i have seen refugees from somalia, the congo, nepal, burma, iraq, three years ago, who came after the iraqi invasion. i would have some hope. >> well, i agree with you. i think that america, as a country, the culture in america is very helpful for newcomers to integrate. i personally never had the problem in integrating and meeting new people and talking
to americans, or anything like that. so, i do not know if i understood your question very well. but if i did, i think that the u.s. as a culture would be very helpful for you to integrate. but then, if your question is what would happen next? what would happen when the war ends? i believe there is no, like you can leave whenever you want. i do not think anyone would make you stay where you do not want to. >> one of the things that i have noticed that is much more engaged by the syrian-american community, and i broadly defined that, since many lebanese have syrian descent. and the arab-american community at the institute, the medical association, a number of organizations are engaged not
just in providing money, but they are becoming more, you know, engaged with nongovernmental organizations to help syrians coming in. they are advocating, but they are also doing. i think that is a very positive reflection of the diaspora, becoming supportive of new arrivals. >> no, please, go ahead. >> go ahead. >> one of the reasons we have the resettlement program, which are most refugees, they are assigned an organization that helps them get settled, and sort of watches over them while they are first there and then connects them with people from the refugee community. so we often see groups of refugees working in the same place. and when a new refugee company will bring that refugee along for a job interview. and the same with the schools,
the local ngos we work with will bring children to schools and stuff. we do not just drop a family off. it is really hard. a new country, you often have to take a job that you loathe, the skill level you have in your own country. we do not drop them off and make them do. >> i think your organization in chicago called the syrian community network, it provides access and support, supporting a lot of syrian refugees. and they have a lot of families who came as refugees from syria, that they can be integrated. like if you would want to be in touch with them, they are really helpful. >> hi, good afternoon.
i have a couple of questions. the first one is kind of short. i am curious about where in syria most of the refugees are coming from? because i hear a lot about the political division from syria, christians, muslims -- i'm sorry, like our most of the refugees from one ethnic group or the other? or is it a wide, diverse array of people who are coming from there? and then, the second question is more challenging, do you think is easy to get a clinical solution to solve the refugee crisis -- a political solution to solve the refugee crisis or the actual syrian conflict? do you think it would be easier to get the eu, russia, u.s. to agreed to a solution that would help quell, or would it be easier to bring the refugees here?
>> i would like to take the second one. [laughter] since i am reading, in short, in syria everybody is convinced that that in negotiation, they do not tend to offer any compensation, or, rising anything. so, like just the last number -- i do not know what it is -- they did not meet anything. because everybody comes with very high demand, asking for impossible's on the other part. and i have to admit that. as a syrian, because we were under one regime and party, we do not know how to negotiate. so usually when it comes to asking for the impossible. people after like couple of years, like what he said, in 2013, people start losing hope.
because after one conference after another, they found nothing. forcing the others, like my family that is still there, they are hearing the propaganda of the media from all parts. the thing is, as long as those leaders remain, convincing them that they are winning, they will not give anything in return. so we only have two solutions. one, end them all and bring new ones. the other thing, try to empower those who have like a different voice an opinion. what they call the silent majority, the people who want a new leader, but they do not have the ability to do that. so, we are now try to focus on the refugees, and this kind of change will take a while. after this, like geneva, there is nothing. if you see the news, it will be the same geneva conference that is happened two or three years ago, the same request and everything.
>> as for your first question, i believe the answer would be sunni muslims. it is very unfortunate, but it is i believe of fact the neighborhoods that are targeted most are muslims. it is a proportional question, because also they are the majority. but at the same time, it is a fact. i believe that most of them are refugees. >> i would like to add that syrian christians are just 5%. so i mean, if we see the majority are muslims, as i said, we used to lead together as one blood. we used to share ramadan. now we even share food.
my mom tells me that in my building we have muslim neighbors that share food like brothers, like sisters. we have no differences. and i hope we will always advocate for this. >> which groups in syria? >> yes, go ahead. >> so, technically, everybody on the panel mentioned budget constraints. they do not have enough money. students do not have enough money to attend university, not enough money for public education. schools are expensive. the united states in 2014 gave $5.9 billion to humanitarian assistance. but more on military spending. drones alone are allocated $4.9
billion. is there some uncertainty in america and the priorities of the -- i know politically it is difficult to just reroute money like that. but i think that terms of extreme percentage difference is kind of unacceptable. [applause] >> i think we would take this as a statement. [laughter] next? >> thank you. i am asking this question may lead to the syrians on the panel. without getting too hypothetical, for context i am writing an academic paper currently, so this is the idea behind my question. i definitely agree with some of
the questions and comments about most of americans, in particular really not understanding who syrian refugees are. i have been trying to consider how do we actually change that, writ large? one on one, it is not going to happen fast enough or be prevalent enough. one of the things i get pushback from on the american counterparts, don't you think it is invasive to take syrian refugees, let us publicize your story, tell the world more about you? so my question to you is, having this opportunity, do you feel it would be invasive not just for you, but more syrian refugees being asked more real, personal narratives being published, would you feel that that is invasive? would you feel that that is infringing on your privacy? >> well, in terms of what we can do, there are many things we can do. like of course, the media is one
thing. what we are doing right now is one thing. also very powerful tools, in terms of how to raise awareness. but answering your question, i think not at all. as i mentioned at the beginning, i feel that i have a responsibility to share, although i count myself as when the luckiest, to share what happening in my country, to let people know the pain my people are having on a daily basis. so, the one other factor that plays into this, we as syrians do not usually get to give our opinion. we are just not used to it. so when we are asked, i believe that most of the refugees, regardless of how painful their journeys were, but they would love to share. they would not feel offended or anything by sharing what happened to them. because they want the people to know what their people are
facing, still facing on a daily basis. this is very subjective question, like every person might have a different opinion. but from my work with refugees and many other syrians, this would be -- >> can i add something? as i said in the beginning, i am technically not a refugee. i came into a different process and system. but my ability to convey my ideas through my journalistic and professional ideas, i have a good comment to try to speak on behalf of those that have the same story but cannot deliver on that. i think when they offered me, e-mailing me asking me to be here, i think i had the same opinion. we accepted immediately. it is not intrusive when someone asks you to tell your story. it would be intrusive if they did that without your permission.
it is not intrusive. you can ask people, ask them that if it is not ok, they will not tell you. but we are here, refugees are here, but they have families, friends, relatives. they will speak on their behalf. we have their stories, and you will hear 100,000 different stories. >> just a quickie, world refugee day is the 20th of june. and the theme for that, because i was looking at my phone, #refugee. precisely the telling of the refugee story. there is nothing like being with a refugee, as opposed to watching the video or reading the story.
but nevertheless, it is the personalizing -- the 60 million and all of these numbers that are relevant and shocking themselves, they do not yet bring home the personal stories and tragedies of the refugee story. >> a long time ago, it was a statistic. and one day, is a tragedy. we are still there. you have to show the numbers we manage for policy purposes are not convincing anyone. they are terrifying people. the moment you bring personal histories and lives, i had a very difficult argument with someone on the hill that was completely against resettlement, etc. he said mohammed is ok. you know? in a way, you demystify things. i think we will have to stop there. and i really want to thank the panelists for these very, very firm discussions, and sharing difficult stories. i appreciate you coming under the lights to do that.
thank you very much. [applause] >> and the last word? >> you can go. >> sorry. >> i want to add just one last thing. we came from a country where our government and leaders tell us what to do. and it is all we have to do is people is to listen. here, i learned a different thing. i learned the voice of the people is heard. i do not know what channels, because i'm still new. but you can do that. you can vote for us. you can say our stories. you can say your impression about the syrian refugee. we are not angels, we are 24 million syrians. but at least we give you some idea of what we might be. i don't know the process. but you can help the syrians that are there. they are hoping to have a better future, away from violence.
[applause] >> thank you. >> 2016 campaign coverage priebuss when reince sits down today. donald trump will be discussed and the gop's future agenda. 8:00 a.m.age at eastern on c-span 2. if unity is the only path to victory for the gop, how does the party get there? zeke miller has been looking into this. thank you for being with us. sense over the past couple of weeks? how is he dealing with what is the inevitable trump nomination?
>> he has adopted a zen-like attitude. peace with the outcome that in his mind, he seems to have the feeling there is little that he can or cannot do. he will get credit, get the blame, but not a lot of the formal or the latter. he has made peace with whatever happens. >> there is a lot of monday morning quarterbacking. >> it is something they have heard a lot about. the answer is they are supposed to be neutral and leave it up to the voters to decide.
that indicates how he views it. >> mitt romney will not attend the convention in cleveland. report, donald trump seems to be the polar opposite of what the party was recommending. >> we called it the autopsy. it was how they lost, what they needed to do to fix it. diagnosis, reaching out to latinos, african american voters, reaching out to women. a slew of changes to the party. the technical changes, turning instead of a
year-round party, they have done a good job of that at the rnc. where they struggled was these policy prescriptions. they identified early on. that meant embracing comprehension reform. really did not get involved in a lot of those. they have seen the base move far from that and reject it. you can argue ted cruz would have been a stronger rejection. is not taking that report to heart. you had the mccain campaign apparatus added to the republican national committee. what can we expect from the donald trump organization and this rnc staff?
of work they are working on is getting a joint fundraising agreement negotiated out between the campaign and the rnc. that will allow them to raise coordinated funds. thisneed to fund operation. me partyhe one thing is looking for. for the donald trump campaign, this will not just be the republican party. clear they want to have more show business in cleveland and make them more fun and entertaining. something the party convention has not looks like in
a long time. they want to make it more fun. >> we were talking about the possibility of a contested, open convention. that is out the door. not mean there are not serious fights. there are delegates who are not donald trump supporters. they are pledging to fight on on things like the platform. sync withmp is out of the existing republican platform. ifwill be interesting to see he will change that. they can still put up a fight, try to force donald trump to stay to the conservative side of the party. they can cause trouble for him.
be smoothecessarily sailing, either. based on ted cruz's hard words before dropping out of the race, does he support donald trump? people close to him, they had been very clear, he is not close to being able to make that determination. it was more of a possibility before the attacks on mrs. cruz father.tor cruz's it will be a long way before ted cruz is in that position of being able to endorse donald trump. he is looking at his own at hisal future, even withdrawal speech, he seemed to indicate the fight will not die. ronald reagan came back for years later as the republican
nominee. that,has his eye on donald trump may be the more beneficial political play. >> does the party come together or remain splintered? >> some well come together. the question will be, will it be enough? donald trump was telling me 99% of the party will get behind him. it will not be that high. will be is 90% enough? is 85% enough? the republican establishment will be slower. a lot of them are going to fall in line because of the boogie real andt that is very the republican party base. he will lose some voters and he will have to find a way to make up for that. zeke miller of time magazine, his piece available today,
eastern on c-span 2. book tv has 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend. here are programs to watch for. sunday, book tv is that the national black writers conference in new york. the coverage features discussions on hip-hop and literature. race and janelle -- race and gender with cora daniels. at 7:30 p.m., annette read and peter -- examine the maturation of thomas jefferson. thomas jefferson and the empire of the imagination. on sunday night at 9:00, after words with the author of "good
for the money: my fight to pay back america." peter marx is interviewed by bethany mclean. whoe was the only person thought this was possible. the government did not think it was going to happen. the company did not think it was going to happen. the american people had no expectation this would happen. the idea he was a little crazy, if you had to be crazy to take this on, he was the right kind of crazy. >> go to booktv. >> "washington journal" is next. then the release of a new report on russia's economy. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> coming up in one hour, a discussion on the state of the u.s. middle class with jim tankersley, "washington post" economic correspondent and erin currier with pew charitable rusts. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org] host: and this morning's "washington journal" is a look at america's middle class, how it's defined, how it's managing, what it means today to be middle class and most importantly, what is your life like in the middle class? if you consider yourself to be in america's middle class, we want to hear your story this morning and the numbers are on your screen. 202-748-8000 for those of you in the east and central time zones. 202-748-8001 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zones. now you could also make a comment via social media. and