tv J Street National Conference CSPAN April 20, 2018 5:06pm-8:00pm EDT
nonprofit jewish advocacy group hosting this event. [inaudible conversations] >> this afternoon policymakers policy in the era of trump the discussions we are about to hear could not be more urgent, none of you need a reminder what we are living through extremely difficult and dangerous time president trump is known to set foreign policy that has jettisoned many of the relative places of reason in the white house and cabinet and now surrounding himself with individuals who have trafficked extreme and bigoted
ideology and has a record to rely on military force to respond to complex international challenges. when it comes to iran the president has threatened the successful nuclear agreement to make united states of israel and her allies safer and in doing so, they risk shattering american credibility and to push our nation toward war. with regard to israel and palestine, the president's refusal to commit to a two state solution along with his provocative decision on the state of jerusalem has helped to exacerbate and undermine diplomacy all of this comes admits the backdrop of violence at the gaza border a
growing russian involvement in syria and ongoing confrontation between india and iran. it is time of many complex challenges and to discuss these issues to offer insight you will hear from one of our nation's leading former fall dashboard policymakers, three united states senators have played a constitutional role responding to and seeking to restrain foreign policy actions of the trump administration the three senators are all jewish and of course with multiple opinions. [laughter] many of us remember and appreciate the courageous
speech of bernie sanders during his campaign. [applause] and senator cardin as a democratic senator of the senate foreign relations committee that led the nomination to the ambassador to israel. and although there was deep reservations about the iran nuclear agreement one of the most articulate proponents in our commitments to it. [applause] senator from hawaii is j street most effective ally also one of the youngest members of the senate and holds a democratic seat for a
great many years to come. leading the fight to vindicate those jewish values that bring us here today. you will also hear from a senior diplomat and a member of the israeli knesset and other leaders that advocate for the two state solution. we are deeply honored to join a distinguished group of speakers so without further a do let's welcome to the stage the participants from her first discussion, sealer and a senior fellow from the brookings institute and our nations former national security advisor susan rice. [applause]
[applause] it is great to see you it is great to be here at j street there is a lot of energy in the room today and thank you ambassador rice. >> we have known one another 15 years but that's the first time we've been on a stage together so thank you j street. [laughter] i think we have to start talking about syria and the strikes at the u.s. britain and france carried out friday evening. president trumps treatments friday night seem to put some pretty clear boundaries around that u.s. military response to
the chemical weapons it is a challenge that you struggled with repeatedly while in office and one of the things i found striking was that he made clear he wants to enforce the use of chemical weapons he and britain and france are prepared to sustain an effort but at the same time over the weekend we heard he is focused on isis and does not want to use the american military presence over iran or a civil war. i know you were up at hamilton college last week with another former national security advisor and you noted that
last year when president trump carried out strikes to have the opportunity so here we are one year later carrying out another round of strikes starting with the chemical weapons and then we can talk more about syrian policy in general after syria committed in 2013 to a lemonade the entire chemical weapons with those at the international community thought at least it is declared weapons and also
talking about nerve agents as a precursor but was a separate challenge but not in that agreement because it is readily available and necessary and to be employed as a weapon of war was a violation of chemical weapons but that also syria had not destroyed in president trump was correct to ask last year to telegraph immediately after the strike and this was a missed opportunity because
what could be concerned about the temperament and how they respond they could have played those to our advantage and to be demonstrably unpredictable and to use that with the diplomatic opening and they didn't necessarily know if it was one and done i think we had an opportunity but this time when the syrians used a chemical we were right to have more in a forceful way the last time because it isn't in
our interest and we needed to send a message enormous against the use of chemical weapons that we very clearly telegraphed and have demonstrated to use regime threatening force dealing with a chemical weapons challenge. to be deliberately ambiguous. to where it is the use of chlorine gas and then to be striking frequently and then
up until now to have clarity with the attack we were responding to or if it was chlorine we could've herself as a consequence in a difficult situation if the use continues we will do more. is it the use of chlorine or both? and then to have much impact but it was the right thing to do and this is significant
get the russians to play ball at that time it was a diplomatic process. but what does it take to shift that russian position it is more difficult now to make this geneva process the syrians never took it seriously and russia has never seen the pressure to make geneva yield into agree mutually by the opposition
that the russians and iranians and has the law in support of a side united states focused with the effort to defeat i.c.e. it but that has made that dynamic at the negotiating table that much more difficult because of the syrian regime and its backers which was. >> there is no syrian oppositio opposition.
not to put a lot of stock in that. that aside would remain in power in the u.s. and the coalition partners and then to leave that opposition will still control a substantial swath of territory including some of the major to have a portion of the state that no help whatsoever from the outside world that is the scenario because there is no
negotiation but here is where the united states still has some leverage. so that portion that is de facto under our partners to remain separate and apart not until there was the negotiated outcome to meet the need of the syrian people as a whole. and by the way we are staying here which is an important piece not only to help rebuild local government but also to prevent the iranians from establishing a land bridge from tehran all the way to the mediterranean. we have that leverage and also potentially is the promise
that we enter european and gulf partners will not contribute one dime to the reconstruction of syria unless and until there is a negotiated political bed in a government is chosen freely by the people so at the negotiating table we could play those two cards which then leaves them with a stark choice with no money and a buyer with international support. >> and trump says to bring the troops home to do that within six months or as soon as possible then does he pull out the rug from under that? >> yes. [laughter] >> we will see if that happens. >> we will see. >> we will see.
[laughter] >> so with that let's turn to an issue that has partners and friends in the region this is the challenge posed by iran. the jcp away the nuclear deal signed by the u.s. and its partners when that came out there was universal concern on the israeli side now it is fair to say there is a lot of debate inside israel for the merits versus walking away vienna looks like president trump is walking away we have a deadline mid-may for the latest renewal of sanctions relief we are expecting him not to waive those sections and put the u.s. out of compliance. if president trump goes ahead to pull the trigger to fallout
jcp zero a but can you what the consequences would be for the united states for the friends in the region? >> let's begin with the facts. the fact is the deal is working all of iran's potential pathways to a weapon uranium tony m otherwise have been eliminated verifiably so that is not disputed by the u.s. intelligence or i aea and as you have suggested because of those israeli elements and security services they are aware the deal is functioning as intended. we have gone from a situation where iran had no intrusive
inspections it was two or three months away from having the material so today when those pathways have been verified and cut off and to be committed in perpetuity and where we have the ability for many years going forward to verify what iran is up to. if we would blow that up and did you think u.s. withdrawal in all likelihood would because that means the reintroduction of white is lifted with respect to nuclear programs and then to be completely isolated and with whom president trump engaged over the last several months to try to modify or improve
the deal and that has not come to pass now with mr. bolton we have extremely harsh critics of the deal who swore to its distraction so i believe what will happen in all likelihood we will reimpose sanctions and to be at odds with the closest all ally, iran will be in a position to say quite truthfully with their obligations so therefore they are not constrained and that would be them free if they chose to resume nuclear
weapons without constraint we would lose the robust sanctions regime that you all worked very hard to put into place and whatever sanctions us-made to be imposed does that mean european partners and other trading partners will go along? one can be certain they won't that it is a means to an end which is diplomacy. and finally on the eve of the president presumed discussion with kim jong where allegedly the objective is north korea that really does already have nuclear weapons. it sends a message that when we sign a deal and it is ratified by the united nations the council we are prepared to walk away even when fully implemented.
it is a disaster from every dimension all it does is strengthen the hardliners so what else we find reprehensible for those extremist meddling in the countries are now potentially able to be augmented by a threat and a potentially credible threat with iran turning to research. >> so i want to focus on that point because you hear a lot of critics of the jcpoa to say that empowered ron with those other activities with regional subversion and sponsorship of terrorism, but you say the danger is blowing up that you ran so quite simply, yes.
without the prospect of global sanctions i don't want to take a lot of time on the history but with that proposition a problem with the deal does not address those other aspects like problematic behavior it was not intended to nor could it have done so to accomplish that objective? >> i'm primary interested with israel's stated primary interest was to deal with the nuclear weapons we accomplish that we still have to confront and push back against iran and
you think about the russians you got some things done including the security council resolution including the security council resolution we have seen russia go beyond those activities between uk andraine we have seen this effort with the democratic politics here in the united states and become a global leader to champion the subversion with the reassertion of autocracies so. >> that is a good summary. [laughter] it is a brutal picture but as a national security adviser your job was to look across these activities and figure out the priority. as you look at russian behavior today what really worries you the most parties to be our top priority? >> dealing with an adversary like russia it is on multiple dimensions you have the luxury
to say we will worry about syria but not ukraine or the democratic process but not about the provocative activity in nato airspace. it all has to be simultaneous that is what we endeavored to do to deal with the risk that russia may try to undermine the territorial integrity by establishing something by establishing a robust those awkward -- i meant but that is the sort that we saw in the early stages of primary --
crimea we stepped up our efforts collectively as well as unilaterally and we imposed potential sanctions on russia with european partners including ukraine and crimea and we have four card obviously without sufficient success with russia in the syrian context but also in terms to control the efforts going against isis and my diplomatic resolution. all these things simultaneously but now is we are government and a leader of the west that is speaking with mixed messages and not meeting
way you have a but we also learned he was very upset at the scope of the sanctions that he approved. [laughter] against russia for the poisoning of the former spy in britain when you have president trump pick up the phone to congratulate vladimir putin on his bogus election victory then invite him to the oval office but failed to mention we are not being consistent in our messaging. [laughter] >> and as a result somebody said that was quoted we have three policies on russia one for congress one for the president and one for the rest of the administration.
and that is a challenge. with that one policy that the very real threat russia poses we need to be consistent and coordinated with our allies in the application of sanctions and russia continues with its interference in the democratic process in europe and in united states that really is time for sanctions to go beyond targeted individuals or targeted entities to a more broad-based sectoral section to cover areas that were not covered in the initial ukraine sanctions. there is more. it increases the risk and the cost no question at the end of the obama administration throughout the time trump administration but had a certain stage we have to raise
the cost efficiently as such it affects his behavior and so far they don't believe that's the case. >> so we are meeting at a moment in washington when hopes for diplomatic progress between israeli government and palestinian leadership seems stymied your administration took several bites at the apple and tried to move the ball forward and the obstacles seem to have to do with domestic politics for israelis and palestinians. these are issues over which the united states has less leverage. you told me at one point was
the best day they could try to do at that moment was mitigate damage of a breakdown to reserve those possibilities for diplomacy going forward. we had president trump trumpeting at the beginning of his administration to say there is a new initiative to say to not know exactly what he has in mind. >> nobody else does either. >> he may not know but we will shortly see that we have seen him question that two state solution so what is the impact
where do you think united states dan with this conflict? be met. [laughter] >> we are going to and on the optimistic note. >> we are going to try. >> like the administrations before it's inherited and intractable problem it seems increasingly far and that makes the viability for that two state solution and the politics on both sides are hostile to that two state
and that is likely to be the case to a greater extent that we are accustomed to with europeans and others from the region. and then look at the range of the work you have done you have dealt with a lot of intractable conflict with the devastating humanitarian crisis to work at the un with a permanent members were loggerhead to see if they turn guns on their own citizens.
but that you never give up so with that effective diplomacy is persistence and creativity. so i am curious so in most of situations what gives you a reason to think you can walk through that? >> essentially i am an optimist and i could not do that work to fundamentally believe that we are making progress.
with that experience to be born and raised as an african-american woman with my parents and raised in the heart of segregation to the highest levels of our government to see where we have come from 1964, when you look at the progress to reduce poverty and hunger in suffering and education and the spread of democracy and that trajectory is positive. and to have the longview and as often quoted the arc of the universe bends toward justice we are perfecting the imperfect self and mankind in
chair clap. [applause] and like many of you i suspect maybe you were elsewhere and and the power and determination that they have demonstrated to be galvanized across the country their determination does not rest until the completely insane gun laws are revised and that is incredibly important and that is a model for consistent serious thoughtful collective
the power with the people. [applause] our students will not be silenced when they want to act as adults. i want to thank j street and congratulate you on your tenth anniversary. [applause] ten years when they made that courageous decision against the advice of the state department to recognize the state of israel. he did that because he understood to share common values and that special relationship has been strong
ever since because of those fundamental principles of democracy embedded in our country and in israel with those shared values recognizing that is the strength of america and the strength of israel. [applause] it has been mutually beneficial to both israel and the united states to benefit from that relationship merely on the sharing of intelligence information. jfk said israel was not created in order to disappear it will and do her and flourish it is the home of the brave either broken by adversaries who are demoralized by success and it carries the shield of
democracy and honors the sword of freedom. president kennedy was talking about the state of israel and also about the united states of america that special bond between those two democratic countries. [applause] that relationship goes beyond any individual leader and the founding principles of j street ten years ago support for the people in the state of israel spectral debate a responsibility to speak out against the policies of israel or the united states that are not consistent with our democratic values.
quite frankly, the international rise of nationalism has been given oxygen by the actions of president trump. his comments in charlottesville allow those with hate to think that they have a friend. and his anti-immigrant language has made the comments that we see in europe seem like it is legitimate by the worlds greatest democratic power. as a result, we see a rise of anti-semitism. a rise of anti-semitism in the united states the world. i am proud to be the special representative of the organization for security and cooperation in europe's parliamentary assembly for anti-semitism, racism. also ranking senate member of the commission. in that capacity, i am urged of a concrete policy to fight
anti-semitism my actions. giving action to our words. so that we can show this starts with leadership. it starts with world leaders speaking out against any form of hate. it also involves education. and making sure our young people understand. the best programs are those jurisdictions that have included strong education on tolerance and interfaith connections are critically important. particularly between muslim and jewish communities. we need to understory those relationships. [applause] steven spielberg said as a jew, i'm aware of how important existence of israel is for all survival of all of us. because i am proud of being a jew, i worry about the growing anti-semitism and anti-zionism
in the world. we need to pay attention. never again. we need to pay attention. the isolation of israel israel. throughout history, there have been governments and communities that have always found a reason to be anti-semitic or anti-zionist. they want to deny the legitimacy of the sovereignty of the state of israel. questioning its legitimacy and a part of the world dominated by people of other religions. 40 years ago, the united states congress recognized that threat as arab boycotts started to appear by other countries that tried to use their economic power to cripple israel's
economic survival. and the united states congress acted 40 years ago, so protecting israel's sovereignty with the strength of the us economy. recognizing that we could use our economy to prevent israel from being isolated. efforts in united nations to circumvent that 40-year-old boycott law are now underway. protecting us companies from being coerced to comply with foreign countries decision to boycott us allies. i authored legislation to try to correct that through actions being taken by international organizations. early the united nations. you may have heard about this it is had some controversy.i want to address what the
legislation is aimed at doing. it is aimed at preventing the economic pressure on israel to affect its sovereignty by pressuring us companies to do what they do not want to do. two points have come up during the debate. one, will we protect the freedom of speech? i can tell you that i have spent my entire political career defending the first amendment rights. i strongly believe that anyone who wants to criticize israel or wants to boycott israel or wants to encourage others to boycott israel, i think you are wrong! but you have your constitutional right to do that. and we are going to make sure ã -- [applause] that that is protected. the other issue which is
equally passionate for me is that i believe that we should not take sides. in fact, we had taken sides against settlements and has been unhelpful for israel's long-term survival. i want to make sure we don't do anything in this bill that would compromise the traditional view of this country in regards to israel settlements. so, we have tried to modify the bill and we are still working with it. but i tell you, it is becoming more and more timely. because american companies are receiving letters from the united nations human rights council. questioning whether they are doing business in israel. for the purposes of advertising a boycott against those companies that do not respond. let us figure out a way to
protect freedom of speech, protect the legitimate concerns of all parties, but to protect american from -- american businesses from being bullied into boycotting israel. we can do this together. [applause] i believe in our international organizations. i am a strong supporter of the united nations. i think it is an extremely important organization and i have always supported it. i'm very concerned about president trump and the policies of america first. because to me, it is america alone. and that is not of this country need to do. let me give you one concrete example. that is the threat of iran. i listened to susan rice's presentation and i agree with almost everything she said. iran is a very dangerous country, we know that. israel knows that, american
knows that. and that is why we negotiated iran nuclear agreement. i agree with secretary rice, that was the deal with the nuclear aspects. now, in dealing with that, many of you are aware that it was a close call for me. whether to support that agreement or not, it was. i came down on the side that it should have delved stronger on a length of time. but once it was signed and put into effect, and with iran complying with the agreement, i think it would be so much against the united states national security interest if the president were to reimpose sanctions against iran while iran is -- i will continue to do everything in my power to make sure that does not happen. [applause] this is a dangerous strategy that isolates the united
states. he heard susan rice tell you all of the reasons. let me add one more that is pretty current. general dunford the joint chief says unless there is a material breach, it would have an impact on any other countries willingness to sign agreements with america. if we walk away from this. besides giving iran a building to go back to their program can have the ability to go back to its program and the isolation of america from the european allies, all of that, why does the president think we could enter into diplomacy with north korea? who would trust america's agreements moving forward? particularly one that embodies the security council resolution. it is counterproductive to us
national security. and now, when the national security team has replaced general mcmaster with john bolton, and is in the process of getting director pompeo as secretary of state, there won't be any backup in the national security team for america during the international community in dealing with major diplomatic challenges. we have to speak out. [applause] the theme of your conference is a voice for today, a vision for tomorrow. the greatest challenge is between the israelis and palestinians. i understand susan rice's analysis. we all understand that. but there is only one course per piece in israel. only one option, to states.
a jewish state of israel, a palestinian state. living side-by-side, in peace. that is the only option. [applause] the united states is beyond any one person. the united states must be a facilitator of those talks. we are the only country that has the capacity to bring this about. one of the great opportunities i have had in my is to be with shimon perez on several occasions. first in the 1970s. and listen to his vision for israel and his neighbors. he understood the two state solution presented to the aspirations of the palestinians and the israelis. and he recognized that by having peace and opening up the
middle east to prosperity, that it would be a lasting peace. because what people want is an economic future for their children and grandchildren. and opening up peace between the israelis and palestinians will lead to that. shimon perez said israel welcomes the wind of change. and sees a window of opportunity. democratic and science-based economics by a nation, desires peace.israel does not want to be of affluence and an ocean of poverty. improvements in the neighbors lives means improvement in our neighborhoods in which we live. shimon perez understood that israel's future is linked to
the palestinians living in peace and prosperity. [applause] we can make that happen. we must ãwe must make that happen. [applause] so, that vision for tomorrow includes the us/israel special relationship remaining one of the most important friendships in the world. anchored by shared values, common goals and appreciation for history and learning from history towards a brighter future. i think j street, i think each one of you for devoting your energies to accomplishing that cause. thank you. [applause] [music]
>> ladies and gentlemen please welcome j street chicago student, rikki baker keusch. [applause] >> hello everyone! my name is rikki baker keusch and i am 1/5 year at the university of chicago. [applause] for i am completing a masters in the middle east studies. i have been involved with j street since my second year of college were basically since i learned of the organization. lester served a president of the midwest for the j street student board. this year i am in organizing fellow. i wanted to share a little bit
about why i'm involved with all of you. in 1995, there was a giant peace demonstration plant in tel aviv in support of the -- my parents brought me, the six month old infant, to the rally. they believed it would be a momentous occasion for the history books. a major milestone in the peace process. the two state solution was right around the corner. characteristically, my dad did not want to stay for the song at the end of the rally. but also characteristically, my mom really wanted to. so they negotiated and we left as the song began. as he walked to meet my grandparents at a cafc close by, shots ring out. like many young israelis,
palestinians, and pro-peace americans, who are up in the echo of those shots that killed the prime minister. my generation doesn't remember successful peace processes. we've seen too many wars and bouts of violence. we agonized over the current situation in gaza and more often than not, a two state solution, seems impossibly far away. so, my family left israel in the fall of 2000. and immediately, i was thrust into american politics with an election in kindergarten. my parents would bring me and my sister to the election births each election day. will be told which levers to pull, which boxes to fill.
my parents would explain. pilots don't seem as bleak when you have a firm belief in the democratic process. [applause] in 2015, i attended the j street conference. as a young progressive israeli american college student, j street was my clear choice for a better future. [applause] i was mostly looking forward to hearing from israelis, palestinians and us politicians. i decided to stay intoxicated by the mere idea of spending time on the hill in meeting with politicians who in my mind, had the power to change everything! that tuesday, one of my meetings was with senator dick durbin. i was blown away.
not only were there over 1000 college students and over 3000 total attendees at the conference, who shared my values and my vision for tomorrow, but they were true political leaders align with the j street mission. [applause] j street is the place where the two chapters of my political upbringing came together. in addition to reflecting my values, j street has allowed me to grow as a political person. do my work with j street and most recently the build piece campaign, -- [applause] i have dan concrete stills and sharpen my political thinking. this ball they participated in advocating for a senate letter led by dianne feinstein and
bernie sanders. [applause] the letters spoke out against demolition -- echoing our stop demolitions build piece campaign. illinois schools were ready. j street leaders from northwestern, university of chicago and depaul sent letters to our senators. [applause] upon learning that senator dick durbin signed the letter we rallied to thank him. in the midst of a pretty hectic finals week. this action engaged our college democrats of university of chicago chapter, even more deeply in support of our work. after months of progressive coalition building on campuses across the country, the college democrats of illinois became the first state chapter two publicly endorse our stop demolitions, build piece campaign.
[applause] there was soon followed by state chapters of california, washington, and we expect many more to come! [applause] tomorrow, students will join other j street activists in advocating for a letter, spearheaded by representatives that calls on prime minister netanyahu called the demolition of -- and other villages. [applause] representative -- is it another illinois political leader with a fierce dedication to progressive politics and the two state solution. [applause] j street student in illinois
and throughout the country have been lucky enough to engage with a representative on i will work. through j street and j street u, students have met with barack obama. we have lobbied our members of congress.many of us have interns on the hill. and i personally, once personally just bumped with keith ellison. [applause] as students, we know we have much to offer current representatives and candidates. and we remain committed to the work of supporting our american political leaders. who put diplomacy first, who fight against anti-semitism, islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and who fight to preserve the viability of a two state solution. [applause] through j street, and it's
empowering political work, i have been able to come out of the shadows of those three bullets on november 4, 1995. i have found a political home that allows me to participate in the politics i admire in order to realize a world i want. [applause] thank you! [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen please welcome the senior senator from maryland -- >> ladies and gentlemen for a special address please welcome
-- >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the chief representative of the palestinian delegation to the united states. [applause] >> thank you very much. hello everybody. good afternoon. that was the voice of god just before i -- [laughter] i mean -- the leadership and the members of j street, thank you for giving me this opportunity. to be with you at such an
inspiring conference. to be among the thousands of brave women and men of all ages, and i see many, many young -- i can see many young faces around. every year, to defend your values and principles. to give a voice for the mainstream american jewish community. i was one of the first palestinian officials to speak at j street in its early stage of establishment. [applause] it feels like yesterday. then i said, that nothing -- nothing, is more missing than a motivated and principled organization that gives a voice
and a call of action to the silent majority of the american jewish community, to the many who believe in peace and to keep the hope for a better tomorrow. [applause] i am inspired to see her conference today. to follow the evolution of your organization. becoming the main street american jewish organization defending peace. witness your growth. [applause] your growth, both in numbers and impact. your voice has become loud and clear and your contribution to the us political landscape is widely recognized. my friends, you were never
outnumbered. that is why i say this, you were never outnumbered. all of those who believe in a different tomorrow, all those who carry hope, all those who believe in human kindness are never outnumbered but you were out organized. and today -- [applause] and today as i said then many years ago, you give us hope and confidence. [applause] because the future is not a by those who merely witness it. future is shaped by those who are free. and i see many of you here who have taken a decision not to only witness the future, to author the future for all of
us. thank you very much. [applause] and it is an opportunity to commend you. to commend j street, to commend relentless work, dedication, investment, all that came your way. it is an occasion to commend you and i repeat what i said many years ago. you have partners in us, the people of palestine and the leadership of palestine. [applause] so my friends, we, palestinians remain steadfast in our vision of peace and self-determination.
[applause] two states on the 1967 borders. a state of palestine with east jerusalem as its capital. [applause] a city for all the three abrahamc faiths.and the solution of refugees. they have rights, they have rights, they have dreams, they are not a burden, they are a human being, deserve your applause. for years they have ben -- they
are an asset and they can always be respected. but here, would also say that that vision would have to include a state of israel. with final and secured international recognized voters and with neighborly relations. with us. [applause] my friends, we still firmly believe that this is the best way forward. [applause] and let me say this, two state
solution was never a palestinian demand. it was never about absolute justice. it was the two state solution. painful but essential for investing in the case of peace. [applause] investing in the cause of peace is not my words, but deeds and we have done our share. we have recognized, we have done our share. and will continue doing our share. peace is too precious. too noble, too long waited for. we have done our dues and we will continue doing our dues. number one, we recognize the state of israel on historic palestine. [applause] that recognition came from the legitimate leadership of the palestinian people.
voting in the most national democratic way for peace and recognizing the state of israel. [applause] and we take no shame in recognizing the two state solution. we take no shame in recognizing our neighbors. we may take a bit of shame are not achieving the end game. but investing peace is something that we always do. we find also in 1993 because we have to engage in a process that would see the end of israel's occupation. that was see the establishment of the state of palestine. we engaged in building the state from the ground, building our institutions, that the international community has said a ready it is a level of sovereign, independent. we are so proud of our
institutions, our policeman, our ability to provide for our people and the fields of health and education despite most adverse circumstances. we worked during these years with the arab world. to offer israel the arab peace initiative. 22 average countries, 22 arab countries. and with them, the rest of the islamic world. the seven countries. to offer israel normalization as an outcome of peace. [applause] we work with our brothers in the arab world and sisters, because we want to provide an incentive for peace. but we would not allow this to be a substitute for peace. normalization is an outcome of peace, not a substitute for peace. [applause] and my friends, we have no time
to mince words. it has become bluntly clear that israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, is only interested in a win all / lose all formula. [applause] despite this fairly easy as we did not let go of our vision, commitment, investments were peace. our response during all these difficult years, was to face up the challenges by adopting nonviolence. including popular, peaceful struggling on the ground and reverting to internationalism, internationalism, international law, international system, the united nations. this 1988, when the declaration
of declaring an independent state of palestine recognizing the state of israel, since then, we've been unwavering, rocksolid in our commitments. we did not change. we do not allow difficult times to change our commitments. our vision, our sense of destination. no! we defended, we solidified, we protected. since then, they have been actually known to the world but this is an occasion in front of you, my friends, to reaffirm our yeses. [applause] the first yes, yes to a dignified and just peace. [applause] the second yes, yes to a two
state solution on the 1967 borders. [applause] yes to internationalism and to international resolutions. [applause] yes to nonviolence, yes to nonviolence. [applause] we will not allow, we will not allow the curse of blood to stand between us. no matter what our political differences is. no matter how much the oppression is, no matter what is around gaza now. we shall believe in the power of the people. the masses, the power of the nonviolent. [applause] number five, yes to a two
democratic states. [applause] it is not just any two states we are after. these two sovereign states must give their citizens full, equal rights. [applause] no other consideration. no other consideration. but the rule of law. not the creed, not the color, not religion, not how tall or how short, not the language you speak or the god report. but the fact that you are a citizen of that state. [applause] yes to that, yes to that. no to racism, no to discrimination. [applause] finally, yes, to a meaningful,
genuine, credible peace process. [applause] but friends, hear me out. it is important that i say, on behalf of the people and leadership palestine what i am about to say no. -- now. leadership that has been struggling for over half a century. bringing their people and bringing their international community to the consensus that peace can never prevail without justice. we may have issues back home my friends, and i think, we have issues but do not waste our time or lose sight of the fact that the palestinians can only themselves, bring about the
representation. don't intervene. [applause] and i will go on on this because it is an important subject.nothing we pride ourselves more in palestine than our democratic process. it has been interrupted for 10 years. painfully so. it has been interrupted because no one was to convene without this being international they will not convene elections without it. and we will not convene elections without gaza. we will only convene elections when elections are national and we are working towards that to be national. now, i want to say -- [applause]
and ask the people of palestine, there will never, ever accept any leader or leadership if they're not elected. even when they are elected, there are a lot of opposition. so leave us alone, our domestic situation is not easy. but i tell you, we cherish our ability to renew our democratic process. now, about how much our yeses are unwavering. solid like a rock have always survived the test of time, moments of despair like this one. but so are our no's. here is the first no. here is the first no! no to be defining what the two state solution means. no to that! no to that! big fat no! no state minors.
[applause] no interim arrangements. [applause] no lasting process, we have done that. [applause] we want lasting peace. no state with provisional borders. [applause] no state without east jerusale , its capital. [applause] and no state at the expense of two thirds of the palestinian people. no state without resolving the issue of refugees. [applause] and no state without gaza. and no state in gaza!
[applause] let me say the last no in this area. no states, no states with one israeli soldier on its soil. [applause] not one! the second big no we have is no to the us administration decision on jerusalem. no to that. no to that! [applause] no. big no! we rejected that announcement and decision then and we rejected now because that decision does not help the cause of peace. because jerusalem is the key to peace.
[applause] and because jerusalem is the very heart of what you and us believe and, the two state solution, withdrawn jerusalem there can never be a two state solution. that decision was not only counterproductive to peace, but it did not do justice. to the identity, the history, to the reality of jerusalem. jerusalem for millennia has been inclusive, inclusive, open, tolerant, diverse, people of all faiths. jews and muslims lived together, coexisted. [applause] the keys of the church, of the holy sepulcher is home for hundreds of years with muslim
families. [applause] and muslim families in the old days with that jewish candle, for the jewish neighbors throughout the history of that city. but today is an anomaly. jerusalem will always reject claims of exclusivity. no one can have exclusive claims of jerusalem. and no one should. [applause] we -- we promise you, we bow in front of you. that once peace prevails, was the state of palestine is established, once used jerusalem as the capital city will not only recognize jerusalem, we will celebrate the jewish connection to jerusalem. [applause]
the unilateral decisions by the israeli prime minister and by the us administration, but particularly by the administration do not change the status of jerusalem. for the status of refugees. or change the status of the historic and legitimate rights of the palestinian people. the only status that changed since the announcement in jerusalem, the only status that changed is the status of the us as a mediator. [applause] since 1988, we kept our promises. our commitments and our relentless investments and efforts to achieve the two state solution. we stayed the course. we stayed on the negotiating tablefor 26 years nonstop .
so this is that we walk away from negotiation, come on, grow up! we have been over negotiating if you want the truth. and during these 26 years my friends, america could not bring himself to the level of an honest, neutral, mediator. but we kept on, we kept on. [applause] you know why we kept on for 26 years? because the us during all that time, did not change his promises. did not change his policies. it remains committed to the two state solution on the 1967 borders. unfortunately, no more. by 6 december 2017, the us has reneged on its own promises. has reneged on its long-held us
policy and has violated international law. but let us set the record clear here. very clear. there will be no deal. there will be no deal, no agreement, short of fulfilling the international resolutions that we have long accepted. there will be no deal that does not fulfill very rights, righteous, legitimate historic rights of people. what happened was not taking jerusalem off the table my friends. but removing the table altogether. removing the table all together. since the start of the peace process in 1991, we've never and will never negotiate the principles, please hear me out here. not once. from madrid, oslo, have ever we accepted to negotiate the
principles. the principles will be listed on page 1 of all these agreements. we were there 26 years to find ways without israeli neighbors and with the international community. live by -- led by the us to implement these principles. no one -- no one has the right to undo these principles. but however, yet we will not succumb. we will not succumb and we will work with you and with the million of peaceloving people worldwide to protect our vision. to maintain our commitments and to keep working towards a two state solution. our alternative to multilateral is not unilateralism it is multilateralism. we are calling for the ending of the exclusion of the
international community.our presidents presented in the security council the palestinian peace plan, the ppp. i hope you will revisit that plan it is crucial. and that plan calls for the convening of international peace conference by may of this year. by that international conference by the international community should provide a way forward for the two state solution. provide a mechanism for implementing international resolutions. my friends, is not only the absence of a state of palestine that escaping the grave injustices. it is not just the absence that is keeping the injustices. but it is the presence of israelis military occupation that sustains and deepens the morally -- [applause] the morally corrupted system of
the subjugation. [applause] for those who believe in the two state solution, the goal must be one. ending the military occupation. ending the military occupation. ending the military occupation. [applause] four peace can no longer my friends, afford ambiguity. and there are few for very ambiguous. for justice can no longer left to spin doctors and subsidy politicians. we have too many of them these days. peace is too noble, too precious, too long waited for. the one that will make it clearer is the clarity of the undivided values and principles. in the clarity of our joint purpose and action. what will produce peace my
friends, is us, all of us, standing united. the palestinians, the israelis, the region and the rest of the world of the play named military occupation. [applause] our people, and i must go faster, i am about to finish. but our people are being humiliated. incarcerated, terrorized and killed every day. we cannot afford processing the peace process another hundred years. maybe the israeli government wants to. we want it now. it is urgent. very urgent. and we see that it is not all about the despair surrounding all of us, but it's also about the hope.
and i'll give you a few examples of the hope. the first is that we also see the responsibility towards many israelis to see their children, grandchildren and think of the future. we see that despite this and vicious attacks, we still have the hope because of our people, the palestinians, the palestinian people -- in jerusalem, in gaza the last two weeks, adopting mass nonviolent means. coming up with creative ways. we see that power coming out when people are using prayer mattresses to declare their rights and to defend their rights as happened in jerusalem. we take absolute note and we are heartwarming of palestinians. palestinians. and by the way, unfortunately, accidents happen regularly in
the west bank. it does warm our hearts when palestinian citizens brush to save the lives of israelis who are involved in these traffic accidents. because then it is our humanity that comes first before anything else. [applause] hope is the young american jews like the brave souls, in if not now, if not now. [applause] hope is israeli human rights group. [applause] hope is the israeli peace activists that immediately went to gaza last week, look israeli soldiers face to face to hold them accountable for their lethal actions and targeted killing of palestinian civilians.
that is hope for us. [applause] hope is tamar -- is she here? [applause] calling on her government to investigate fully, what happened in gaza. hope is rabbi eric ashman. [applause] who stood up to secular extremists beating him before continuing the job of beating the palestinian farmers. hope is the many, many israeli activists who stand shoulder to shoulder with us as we struggle to end occupation. it warms my heart, to know we have allies like you and like them, back there.
allies with such courage and conviction to stand up for what is right. you are not dreamers, but realists. [applause] you are not dreamers, but realists. you understand too well that the best future is a future that shines just as bright for palestinians as it does for israelis. [applause] that is what i see in this room, the hope for all sides to live together. we also take hope from american leaders. principled leaders, representatives. and i am humbled that the man who will take this stage after
me, senator bernie sanders. [applause] we noted his courageous, brave defense, not of palestinians but of the american values he represents. [applause] we noted his defense, senator sanders, of the rights of people in gaza and all over to protect their right to peaceful protest. it is their right to protest peacefully. [applause] and we take hope from the many, many, many american youth all over who are doing one thing. they no longer considering the american values to be undivided. the values of freedom, of justice, of liberty, of
potential and prosperity. we see them everywhere, they are growing, the public opinions are showing that the american public, particularly youth, give us hope. i would like to and hereby saying this. you in this room give us and the cause of peace, real, real hope. the hope that keeps us going despite all the above. that hope will give us through difficult times, we promise you. and towards a better future. remember my friends, the road is long and tiring. it is. it is us, however, that are winning. it is us that are winning because we are on the right side of history. [applause] we stay strong together and uphold our shared values for a quality. human rights and justice across
all divides. do not let the current circumstances discourage you. you know better than anybody else that the best antidote to discouragement is action. through action, we create the future that we want my friends. and i believe that we are much nearer to the future we want than those who are pulling us away from the future we want. we are striving for a just peace and i'm striving for just peace starts with ending occupation together, my friends. let's keep the march. thank you very much! [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen. please welcome the senior senator from hawaii and the democratic chief deputy, senator brian -- >> good afternoon, i am not bernie sanders. [laughter] i want to thank jeremy, i would like to thank the j street board of directors and all the volunteers for inviting me to this incredible gathering. i want to thank all of you for
advocating for democracy and for diplomacy. especially in these trying times. i'm here today because i am a progressive. [applause] i'm here today because i am a jew. [applause] i am here today because i believe in israel. [applause] and i believe the united states must continue to safeguard israel's right to exist and it's right to flourish. as a nation, we should protect israel from daily threats and make sure that the israeli military is the strongest in the region so that our allies never face a fair fight. i also believe it is the best antigenic challenge to israel's long-term security is to states. one for the israelis and one for the palestinians. [applause] and i am here especially because i worry that people are starting to abandon his idea.
leaders here in washington and in israel has started to play coy about their support for the two state solution. even redefining it. increasingly, they have taken action that erodes the path forward.but there is only one path to a lasting peace. there's my one path that maintains israel's status as both a democracy and a nationstate of the jewish people and that path is to states. and that is why this conference is so important and that is why j street is so important. you are one of the clearest voices calling for the two state solution and at a time when israel's supporters stand between a rock and a hard place. on the one side, you're the most right-wing government in israel history. on the other hand, you have a growing number of people in the
united states who confuse disagreement with disloyalty. [applause] 55 years ago, doctor martin luther king jr. was sitting in a prison. reading the newspaper when he came across an open letter from a group of clergyman. the letter was to him. it criticized doctor king for coming to birmingham to protest. and so, he wrote them back. he said, i am here because injustice is here. and he went on to compare himself to the jewish prophets who left their villages to travel far and wide to tell people, this is what the lord says. like them, doctor king felt compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond his hometown. doctor king finished the letter from the birmingham jail 55 years ago today. and his words are just as important now as they were in 1963.
they remind us not to stay home and stay silent when we see injustice. they also remind us that the american instinct will always be to confront injustice wherever it may be. and that is why president truman supported the creation of israel. there were lots of reasons for him to simply stay out of it. leave it to the british or the united nations. but he could not stand to see jews languished in the concentration camps. he knew the only way forward was for the united states to support the creation of the state of israel. but today, us support for israel is in danger and the threat comes from two places. first, it comes from anti-semitism here in the united states which has become a flood tide. in one year, anti-semitic incidents have increased by nearly 60 percent. and frankly, it is coming from
show people where the moral lines are. it brings me to the second threat of american support for israel and that is the smothering of debate and dialogue here in the united states. things have gotten dangerously out of control. it's gotten to the point where if you are not willing to pick a fight then you're not a friend of israel. growing up my dad argued with the head of the school and the rabbi and with me.
i argued with my friend about israel. while you are here this week i expect that you will argue amongst yourselves. it's what we do. we are not a monolith on these issues. that's the antithesis of our tradition of americans and as jews. [applause] instead of fearing debate, we should fear belligerent and divine devotion. a rabbi of the sixth congregation has talked about the beauty and ethical understanding that jewish homelessness has given us throughout history. it remains true today. we can still bring great clarity to the jewish moral vision. it's in the jewish interest for others in israel and those around the world to listen to different perspective.
we should not go back to a two state solution. we should not accept as a condition of a peace process. [inaudible] [applause] we should not pull out of the iran deal which is the only thing keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of our enemy. [applause] and we should take in as many refugees from syria as we are capable of taking in. let mark if you look at my
positions and put them in the 80s or 90s, they would be mainstream. if you compare my views on israel to the views of the american public, right now i'll probably be be right in the middle, then congress i'm on the left edge. that cannot hold. in 2016, less than half of jewish americans felt their israeli government was sincere in its pursuit of peace. younger jews in the united states are even more doubtful. they are likely to say that the united states gives too much support for israel. the support is undermined. if we don't allow debate and allow people to question the government, then over the time the american israeli relationship will fray.
[applause] and so, i'm committed to making the democratic party a big party where there's room for everyone from bernie sanders to me to chuck schumer. i am committed to growing the number of progressives who care about israel, but we do have a lot of work to do. as doctor king wrote in his letter from birmingham, human progress does not roll in on wheels of inevitability. progress for israel progress for democracy and peace will only come if we do the hard work and we do it ourselves. we are in a moment where the work is daunting, at times it feels like a worst-case scenario. if there's one thing i've learned from the past 15 months it is as. the voice of the american people make a difference. they can keep our country on
the response. >> so i know you like short planning, we've been talking about setting the table for peace but i would be amiss if i didn't first say how great it feels to be here on the tenth anniversary of j street. mayor roberts has been with us many times. for me looking back when we were still thinking what the name would be, drafting the first papers to jeremy and the first pictures and a decade of amazing leadership by jeremy. if you would have told me ten
years ago this is where we would be, i don't think i would have imagined it could have been this much of an achievement. if you had told me ten years ago some other things, that might also have given me a reason for pause and consider what the future holds. maybe it's the lack of imagination but if you had told me that gaza would still be under siege and divided, the palestinian leadership, despite what we heard, if you told me that the cast of characters in the israeli government would look as if it does, the narrative would so often be one that is offensive and racist. if you would've told me that a leader of the new israel fund would be held for questioning for her political views and
affiliations, that they'd be banned from entering israel. he called the former director of the fbi a slimeball or that the duties would include paying money for porn actresses. in setting the table for this conversation, what worries me and where i think the challenge lies is it's gotten worse but the pendulum hasn't swung back enough. what i really wouldn't have imagined is that there have been insufficient pushback and blowback and counsel reaction
across many fronts. of course, inside israel, she's here and can speak for herself. i wish we had and i wish we had a more effective opposition, if i may say, including the leader of the party but you don't have to respond to that. >> i will. >> good. >> on the palestinian side, i heard a lot but i'm not seeing a lot. what i heard, one of the things i heard that was fascinating is that i had listed all the villages and areas see where there's nonviolent resistance. i heard about gaza and jerusal jerusalem. that's all the areas where you don't have the palestinian authority.
on the regional side, we've seen a collective shrug, not a collective roar and attempt to do normalization against the palestinians. the international communities showed its robust. [inaudible] and, in america it's perhaps the source of hope and greater frustration because it's so aligned with the most egregious policies of the israeli government, but you also see what j street has achieved. i was moved by what we heard by ricky and the demolition campaign.
let me just share with you to get us going, the three things that have been on my mind in terms of what one might do in this current situation. i do not believe time for grant initiatives. i don't think there's a silver bullet. i do not want to do the injustice to the english language of coining the phrase trump peace plan. i have no expectations number one, hold the line. hold the line on 67.
on international law and opposing what's gone on with jerusalem. hold the line also of the logical sequence, the future of israel will be determined by how israel interacts with the palestinians. it will not be determined until the flights to and from happen to cross saudi airspace. or whether they are meeting unofficial or official. how do we hold the line? number two, for me this is so much about the incentive and disincentive structure. how do you change, this is difficult i know.
it's difficult for an israeli patriot and for yourself. how do you change the cost-benefit calculation. it's great to have incentives for peace, but one of the disincentives for continuing with the status quo. how do we create accountability? i wonder how one revisits the question of sanctioning and whether we should make common cause with some of the most regressive elements in the community and beyond. we may disagree with fellow progressives on an endgame, but surely we have more in common and surely the anti-semitism and the mystic finding of anti-semitism is undermining the
struggle. israel should not be held to a lower standard. israel should not be, should not be used as the vehicle for launching attacks on civil rights and freedom of speech. i disagree with something i heard earlier. i think there should be a un database on companies involved in the settlement and it should be published and it's the right thing to do. my third thing is gaza is a humanitarian crisis but it's born of a political situation. we have to address the politics. gaza can't be a ministate. it can't be up perpetual prison or a protector of egypt.
now here i think there is much common ground inside the israeli security establishment that things people are doing the wrong thing and maybe even some possibility within the government, but that has to be linked back into something political. those are the three initial thoughts i wanted to share with you. i don't know how you see the way out of the impasse that we are clearly in. >> okay. [applause] well, danielle who became ten years older during this time, no, not now, i mean since the
first rac j street convention, seriously that's what i meant, doesn't remember that he's responsible for bringing me to the first j street convention along before i was in politics or informal politics i had the privilege of being in washington in the first j street convention and to remember if you think you are excited and energized about what's happening now, you have no idea. those of you who weren't here ten years ago because you weren't allowed to go out of the house alone, and this energy that was then and is here now is part of the ability of this camp that believed in peace and
believed in the two state solution as a way for peace, sustainable, real peace, and as a way for israel to be sustainable and secure and the homeland of the jewish people, mind you all of the jewish people without distinction. this is a place where we can voice our beliefs and what were all working for so hard, but in those ten years, not only did we get a little bit older, but the things that daniel mentioned have happened, but also in these ten years, all of us are now in a much more defensive corner. a lot has become much more
difficult. the situation in many angles has become much more dire, and it has become more difficult for us to fight for what we believe in. so, when i said i will comment on your saying about the opposition in israel, i do want to make you think about democrats in america in the last year. think, and keep in mind that the opposition in israel has been living under this kind of regime for 25 years already. ever since the incitement against the groups that were
supposed to bring the two site solutions to israel and palestine, and the people who did not want this to happen are still working to make sure this doesn't happen, and unfortunately, every since then most of the time they have been empowered. [inaudible] those and other partners have not strayed from the way of working toward two states and democracy and israel as the jewish mechanic home of the jewish people. i want to assure you that, because i know how trendy it is
to speak about how the opposition is not good enough, not loud enough, not successful enough. well, sometimes ourselves, yes, we wish that we had been able to throw away the government that we think is doing israel wrong, but no opposition in the world ever managed to throw down the government. it's always the government that brings it down itself. i have news for you. this government will bring itself down as well. [applause] now, keeping the line is not as easy as well. on either frontier because we have a government that works
actively and formally. they're not hiding it as they used to in the past. they are working toward annexation. they are working toward killing the mere option of a two state solution. we are fighting that as best we can. we are fighting and voting against whatever legislation they are bringing. we are filibustering everything, every initiative they bring. we are shouting as loud as we possibly can but we are facing the same incitement an and the delegitimization and they are even more self confident today and we have to fight it even stronger than we had to in the past.
your partnership is super important for us to be able to do this. thank you. [applause] is to you. i am here for two days. i had the pleasure of speaking at some sessions and listening to you. i listened to the speakers, but i listen to you. i heard you applauding so strong and so enthusiastically when people talk about those you consider to be the victims, but i didn't, it hurt me actually to hear you not applauding when the last speaker said he believed in the state of israel and his right to exist and the right to
security and the importance of it. [applause] seriously. it is easy to get confused. i am saying this because this is something we have to deal with constantly, but i think it was always attributed to him, your british author who said patriotism means to support your country any time and your government only when it deserves it. , but don't mix between the two. [applause] i said in my inaugural speech five years ago, israel is in a
strong and secure place, maybe more than ever before. thankfully it is in this position. i strongly believe that from this place israel must take initiative. they want to find a solution and work toward the possible piece. [applause] we should do that in partnership with our current enemies but we should not relieve them from their responsibility to doing everything they can on their
part to contribute to an effort of peace. so, i conclude, for now by saying that sometimes i feel we are in the midst of a tragedy. israelis and palestinians are too often like marriage. there is so much potential the there. we just need good counseling. unfortunately there isn't one right now around. but, i'm sure and certain and i know that there will be and one
last thing, this session is called setting the table for what was it, setting the table for peace. you know, when i was in eighth grade they split the classroom and school and the boys were sent to study and the girls were sent to study household management. now, don't boo, for civilization it has been girls and women who have specialized in setting tables.
[applause] this is one other thing that we will contribute, not only setting the table for peace but actually getting one. we have more women in the process. [applause] >> all i can follow that with is to promise you that when we normally sit down for conversation, it does not consist of 210 minute speeches at each other. then we leave and part ways unfortunately that's what today's conversation, i invite you to come to tel aviv to witness the other kind of conversation that we have. i will say one short thing in response what you said. i do want to say this.
they made an important point about imagine what you are going through now, carrying on for 15 years, and my comment on that is do not let the abnormal become normal. one of the things i think happens in israel is that we didn't know how to pull back the conversation and people kept thinking okay, we just move a little more, a little more, a little more and you never know when to stop. that is a mistake politically, strategically that we have to pull ourselves back from. so and is the conversation between daniel. [inaudible] [applause] >> thank you very, very much.
and let me provide greetings to all of you from around the united states, from europe and especially those who have come from israel and palestine. welcome. [applause] it is an honor to be with you today. i also want to give a special greeting to many of the students. [applause] and, as i travel around the country, i have to say that when we talk about the future of the united states, i am very confident given the young people that i have seen, their energy and their idealism is going to make this country become what it must become. thank you young people. [applause]
i want ti want to think j streer inviting me to address your conference today and for the courage that you have shown in tackling some enormously contentious issues. now more than ever we need organizations like j street were prepared to break with failed policies of the past which have led us into a world of increased militarism, hatred, and never-ending war. too often our foreign policy debate in washington is dominated by those whose answer is to drop more bombs as we saw in syria a few days ago, rather
than engage in the hard work of diplomacy and negotiation. i want you to think about this, but after 17 years of war in afghanistan, after 15 years of war in iraq, after years of growing hostility and conflict among israel and the palestinians, after growing tensions between sunni and shiite forces throughout the entire region, after the expenditure of trillions of dollars in massive loss of life and displacement, it is clear we need a new direction in attempting to bring stability and justice to the middle east.
[applause] i applaud j street for the important role they are playing in that process. my friends, the issues that we are dealing with are enormously implicated. nobody i know has any simple or magical answers to them and real solutions will require a great deal of hard work. but, what i do know is that the united states of america, our great country should lead the world with a foreign policy which emphasizes the need to bring nations together which focuses on diplomacy and international cooperation, whether than a foreign policy that is committed to the use of military force. [applause]
and let me also say this, as someone who believes absolutely and unequivocally in israel's right to exist and to exist in peace and security, as someone who as a young man lifted isra israel, lived in israel for a number of months and is very proud of his jewish heritage, as someone who is deeply concerned about the global rise of anti-semitism and all forms of racism, we must say loudly and clearly that to oppose the reactionary policies of prime minister netanyahu does not make us anti- israel.
[applause] i would like to stress today that one of the places where a new turn toward diplomacy and cooperation is desperately needed is gospel. after being blockaded for over a decade, the situation in gaza is now a humanitarian disaster. a 2012 un report predicted that if current trends continue, gaza would become unlivable. a follow-up report last year said that day might have already calm. according to the israeli human
rights group, the coastal aquaphor which gaza relies on as its primary water source has been polluted by over pumping and waste water contamination. as a result, 96% of the water pumped from the aquaphor and supplied for domestic use is unsafe to drink. according to others this water pollution is among the factors causing a dramatic increase in kidney problems among as a residence. according to the world bank, nearly 80% of gaza's residence receive some form of humanitarian aid, unemployment is over 40% among the young people it is even higher, nearly 60%. let me repeat that, youth
unemployment in gaza today is nearly 60%. it is hard for me to imagine how peace and stability will come to an area where so many young people have given up hope for a decent future. this is an issue we must addre address. [applause] earlier this year israeli security officials warned that the humanitarian crisis in gaza increases the chance of incidents at the border fence turning deadly. israeli security officials also believe conditions in gaza could worsen to the point of a total collapse in that territory,
leading to all-out confrontation between and among various factions within gaza and with israel. that is what happens when people are desperate and have no options. there is much blame to go around for the horrific conditions in gaza. hamas, due to its ongoing repression, corruption and insistence on pursuing a violent struggle against israel bears significant responsibility for the deteriorating situation. israel is to blame as well. while israel withdrew its forces from within gaza in 2005, it is continuing control of gaza's air, sea and northern, southern
and eastern border. it's restrictions on the freedom of movement of people and legitimate goods and equipment in and out of gaza have made the humanitarian crisis there even worse. egypt and the palestinian authority have also contributed to this problem as has the united states. as all of us know, over the past weeks there has been a series of large demonstrations by the palestinian people in gaza. tens of thousands of people have demonstrated dividing gaza from israel to protest against the blockade, against the occupation and for the right to return to their former homes inside israel. israeli forces were commanded to
respond by opening fire on the crowd with a combination of live ammunition and rubber coated bullets. over the past several weeks, over 30 palestinians have been killed including a journalist who is clearly identified and well over a thousand demonstrators have been injured. though the overwhelming majority of these protesters were not violent, we know that some of them are not. when is really soldiers are in danger, we can all agree they have a right to defend themselves. i don't think that any objective person can disagree that israel has massively overreacted to
these demonstrations. [applause] as a new york times editorial put it last week, and i quote, the right of palestinians to demonstrate peacefully should not be controversial, journalists have a right to work and people have the rights demonstrate peacefully. and to assume, and this is the new york times, and to assume that responsible authorities will ensure that they can do so without being shot. ". i support the student last week from several of my colleagues in the house of representatives calling on palestinians to protest peacefully and on israel to fully comply with international law and exercise the utmost constraint in their use of deadly force.
i understand that the government is trying to make this all about hamas in order to delegitimize any opposition to the blockade and occupation. the presence of hamas members among the crowd of tens of thousands does not justify the level of violence we saw and frankly it's amazing to me that anyone would find that point of view controversial. i have condemned the use of terrorist violence and will continue to do so. [applause] but, that violence cannot excuse shooting of unarmed protesters and it cannot excuse tapping almost 2 million people inside
gaza. [applause] in my view the united states must play a more aggressive and evenhanded role in ending the blockade and helping palestinians and israelis build a future that works for all if the white house is unable to do that, congress must take the lead. [applause] let me make a point now that is much too rarely made. what we are talking about is something that is extremely complicated and the blame goes all over this world. what we should also be focusing
on is that while we rightfully criticize the netanyahu government for its obstructionism and its unwillingness to seriously negotiate with palestinians, we must also demand that the incredibly wealthy regional state and kingdoms in the area play a new and much more positive role in helping to rebuild gaza and bring stability to the region. [applause] we don't talk about this a lot, but i read a story the other day about the crowned prince of saudi arabia. he was just in the united states for a visit and you might have seen one of the 50 different tv and newspaper interviews that he
did. in any case, as i understand it, the crown prince recently purchased a 500-dollar, a 500 million-dollar yacht because he thought it looked nice. i'm sure that it did look nice and i'm sure that the 300 million-dollar mansion that he owns, the wealthiest, most expensive mansion in the world also looks nice, but what i say to the crown prince and the other multibillionaire leaders in the region, stop just talking about the poverty and misery in gaza. do something about it.
i read the other day that the saudi king pledged $50 million to the un agency that works with palestinian refugees. and $50 million is not a small sum of money. but let us not forget that is 10% of what the crown prince paid for his yacht. the problem of gaza clearly is only one part of the broader conflict between israel and the palestinians. here i am very concerned about the policy of the trump
administration regarding the two state solution. i know that this week my friends in israel will observe your memorial day. a remembrance of those who have fallen in defense of the state of israel. we honor those who have fallen. my friends, i believe that the best way to honor the memories of those who have th died in the defense of our country is to strive for a future of peace. there is energy and prosperity
for the entire region. that is what the future must be yet they are unable to achieve this today because of the on resolved conflicts with the palestinians. i see a palestinian people crushed underneath a military occupation now in its 50th year, creating a daily reality of pain, humiliation and resentment. and in that occupation and enabling the palestinians to have independence and self-determination in a sovereign, economically viable state of their own is in the interest of the united states, israel, the palestinians and the entire region. unfortunately prime minister
netanyahu and his allies seem to be preparing for a very different future, a future in which israel controls the entire territory between the mediterranean and the jordan river in perpetuity and the palestinians are best provided limited autonomy within a disconnected series. the settlement continue to grow, slowly diminishing the chances for any peaceful resolution, but building more settlements will not bring peace. [applause]
i want to take this opportunity to thank jay street for your support on this issue. frankly i wish donald trump was as committed as you all to the cause of peace and stability in the middle east. to say the least, that does not appear to be the case. that is an understatement. even though he claims to want to
make the ultimate deal, that deal is now further away than it has ever been and trust in the united states is almost nonexistent. one of the main reasons is president trump extremely unwise decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. everybody knew that at some point united states was going to make a decision but the idea was that we would do it at the end of the process that would recognize the importance of jerusalem to all people, jews, christians, muslim and the palestinian people.
friends, let me also say that i am very concerned that the trump administration still has not stated its support for the two state solution as the goal. because, if we do not have a two state solution, what will we have? if palestinians in the occupied territories are to but be denied self-determination in a state of their own, will they receive full citizenship and equal rights in a single state? these are very serious questions with significant implications for the united states broader
regional and goals for our values. we should not ever downplay the clinical challenges of reaching a solution. they are very, very difficult, but if we have faith in the future to work hard and go to the negotiating table, they are doable. they are supported by an overwhelming international consensus. two states negotiated based on the 1967 lines with jerusalem as the capital of both states.
my friends, before i and, i would like to take a moment to touch upon some new and emerging challenges. our societies are now facing not just in israel or the united states, but all over the world. as i think we are all aware, the last several years has seemed troubling for political development and that is the rise of intolerance, authoritarian political movement and government which are attacking those very foundations.
exploding technology and growth in corruption. more people all of the world have come to see their government as ineffective and not delivering for them or their children. and, in the midst of all of th that, we have leaders like president trump and many others who are willing to exploit these frustrations for their own political and economic ends. instead of bringing us together to resolve these difficult global crises, these demagogues attempt to try to divide us up
by the color of our skin and the country we came from. i say to president trump and two other leaders who are using that political strategy, in this country we have struggled for too many years against all forms of discrimination, against african-americans and against jews and latinos and italians, against the irish, against the gay community. we have struggled too long and have come too far. we are not going back to bigotry and discrimination.
[applause] as history reminded us time and time again, the antidote to hatred, division and resentment is to bring people together around a shared vision of equality and prosperity, of creating government that works for all people, not just a few. the brothers and sisters, we have an enormous amount of work in front of us in so many areas. no area for this planet is more important in terms of trying to promote peaceful resolutions in
the middle east. i just want to thank jay street and all of you for having the courage to get involved in this issue. while today we look around us with deep concern, i am absolutely convinced that the future will belong to those of us who believe in peace and injustice, not those who believe in bigotry and hatred. thank you all very much. [applause] [applause] >> tonight on c-span2, oral argument in the internet commerce case.
then the discussion about housing policy. consumer natural protection bureau mc mulvaney is testifying. in the case south dakota versus wayfarer inc., the supreme court will decide whether states can require internet stores to collect sales tax. petitioners are challenging in 1992 supreme court decision that say taxes may only be collected with businesses with a physical presence in the state. attorneys present oral arguments on tuesday. this is one hour.