tv PLO Ambassador Husam Zomlot CSPAN February 2, 2018 3:17pm-4:30pm EST
followed by douglas brinkley and john meacham on their favorite historical figures. watch the rancho mirage writers festival saturday at 2:00 p.m. eastern. c-span, were history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's tabletop -- by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. palestined of the liberation organization delegation to the u.s. delivered remarks in washington yesterday. he objected to president trump's recent decision to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem and discussed the future of the middle east peace process. following his comments he took questions from the audience. this is just shy of 90 minutes.
host: good afternoon, everybody. thank you all for joining us today. of the way, if we could silence all cell phones, especially with the tv crews. director hereive at the jerusalem fund and palestine center. on behalf of our board of directors and staff, it's a pleasure to welcome you all here today, including everyone watching online on our livestream. it's also an honor to introduce and welcome our distinguished speaker, ambassador husam zomlot , who will be speaking about the latest developments and next steps for palestinians on the political and diplomatic fronts. as we all know president trump
recently announced a decision to recognize jerusalem as the undivided capital of israel. along with plans to move the u.s. embassy into jerusalem, this is a major change in u.s. official policy, and with jerusalem being such a core issue for palestinians this move has severe implications for future peace negotiations and for any u.s. role in such stocks. the trump administration also recently made the unprecedented step of withholding millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to reasons.or political in light of these decisions, ambassador husam zomlot was become out the latest developments and a new palestinian strategy for the future, including working within the framework of international law and other diplomatic efforts. a little bit about the ambassador. he currently serves as the head of the general delegation of the
plo to the united states and is strategic advisor to palestinian president mahmoud abbas. his previous roles include ambassador at large and charge d'affaires of the palestinian mission to the united kingdom. he serves as director of the council's foreign relations worried he holds a phd in economics from the university of london. he served as a professor of public policy and cofounded and shared a school of government. worried he holds a teaching and research positions at harvard university and the university of london. his professional experiences include working as an economist for the united nations and economic researcher with the london school of economics and the palestine economic policy research institute. lot is alsozom married and has two children. the ambassador will speak for 30
to 40 minutes after which we will have a question and answer session. we ask that you wait for the microphone to come by so everybody online can hear you and for the online audience coming can ask questions through twitter, and without further do these join me in giving a warm welcome to ambassador husam zomlot. [applause] ambassador zomlot: thank you, very much, to you all for coming today and attending this event which is a testament of how much you care about the issue of palestine, the issue of justice. and i see many friends in this room. it is an utmost honor for me personally, to be at the jerusalem fund. and it's a privilege to speak at an institution founded by the , bothinian scholars
highly respected academics. their work paved the way for the palestinian americans experience by providing a framework for advancing palestinian human rights in the u.s. and with in the u.s. civil society. to say,his is important taking this opportunity. the jerusalem fund is a palestinian icon of perseverance. we are a people that know too well, the price of being forcibly expelled from our homeland. yet it is institutions like this institution that have kept us strong and together all these years. thefor the director, for board of this very important place, i take this opportunity on behalf of the people and leadership of palestine to thank you for many years of service
and for standing firm for the rights of the palestinian people if the united's -- palestinian people in the united states of america. [applause] and i know you are much more interested, following president trump's remarks recently, announcing a decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital and the decision to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem. there have been, ever since then, been several critical events in the political sphere concerning the political process and the palestinian-u.s. relationship. and, a lot of commotion, i have to say for what will happen next. i wanted to clarify some key points, where we stand at this point in time, and describe what we think of the options in front of us. because this is not just about
what has happened. it is also about what should happen then might happen in the future, and our collective thinking in this arena. i'm certain most of you who came here today would want to know more about where are we going, where we stand today and where we are going, and how we intend to reach the destination. us at thiscial for , not in time is that we matter what is our strategy, what is our next step, we must rooted,se steps on very clear foundations, principles, pillars, so we are not lost in our journey. it is crucial that from the very beginning we outline our commitments that should shape and inspire our strategy.
as we all care about palestine and the region and want a bright future for all the people of the region, we may differ, and particularly palestinians among ourselves, which is legitimate. on the routes, the roads, the means, the tools, to help us get to our destination. but we definitely do not differ on our objectives. we are united on where we have to go and where we need to reach. but it is important at this point in time to call a spade a spade, and diagnose the situation the way it is, not the way we wish it to be. cancer byoesn't treat diagnosing the flu, and i have
to -- and i happen to have the flu, so bear with my voice. is human nature to be afraid of the unknown. concernedget to be about the lack of clarity, especially at these times of uncertainty. knowing and weot don't like not having control, and we don't like to feel -- all of us. wise human beings, as responsible citizens, and as a people with a goal and a anding, we conjure hope must. we garner our strength, especially now at this point in facingnd we embark on
byd-on all these hurdles conquering our fears, first and foremost. we, as a nation, are solid in our believe that ultimately we our reach and achieve international goals. we must because shoes but fearless about the future. cautious but fearless about the future. i want to reiterate our positions. the palestinian position, the position of the people and the leadership of palestine, to make say is taken with that frame of reference, if you will. are committed to
international law. we are committed to international legitimacy. we don't do this out of a need buturry favor with anyone, of a solid conviction in no matter how difficult and delicate that order may seem at times and it is definitely not an especially as we speak. in a world that is becoming ever more interconnected and interdependent, isolationism becomes a recipe for anarchy. we are the people of palestine and the leadership of palestine.
we are for internationalism. we are for multilateralism. for us, international law and consensus and international resolutions we use the following three key principles as far as palestine is concerned. the first principle is that israel's occupation that began end.67 must and that is included clearly in the u.n. security council resolutions 242338 all the way to one year ago the u.n. security council resolution 2334. emphasizing all of these resolutions and the inadmissibility of the
accusation of war. the national law is clear. the second principle that we adhere on as far as the international side of the story is start pushing a sovereign independent state of palestine on the liberated territory, including east jerusalem always complete as the capital of the states of palestine. this is not what we say. this is what the successive international resolutions, including the u.s. cosponsoring and voting for them. [applause] the third principle, resolving the issue of palestinian refugees.
more than 6 million of them today. myself included. i was born in the refugee camp and our president, president abbas included. the issue of refugees is the original of the palestinian cause. the hallmark and there is also clarity in international law, international resolution with refugees and the way to respond to it, and there is no exception. there are so many other issues including kosovo so we want to consider the issue of refugees. and not only we accept and recognize and adhere to international legitimacy, but by this.
we have done our part. in 1988, declaring an independent state of palestine on the 1967 borders. that was implementing international legitimacy. by recognizing in 1993 formally the state of israel on the night in 67. however, we did not recognize israel, which since 1967, did not stop for a day expanding its illegal colonial expansion. the question is not when will there be peace in the middle east. but rather, when international resolutions more than u.n.
security council resolutions for palestine. implemented -- the question is when resolutions will be implemented. and let us be absolutely crystal clear. the two state solution was not for renegotiation. we would not accept the national resolutions to negotiate. we accepted international resolutions for implementation of international law. it was never up for further compromise. we would never negotiate ending occupation for establishing a sovereign state with the
principle of the right of return for refugees. we were looking for mechanisms for implementation. and our acceptance of international resolutions was never a palestinian demand. this was a palestinian concession. the international community says 78% will deliver peace. we would consider it. the second commitment after international law and international assistance is our commitment to nonviolence. we believe our cause is just, our demands are reasonable and
come.me has popular resistance, mass movement is what we are adopting. and it is not a coincidence ayatollah khomeini is now an icon. it is not the peaceful popular resistance have been harmed over the last few years. you have seen that dignified mass prayer in jerusalem only a few months ago in july. our mindset, our culture, our decision-making processes is crucial that we engage. engage in where we are best. we maintain the moral high ground in the entire nation of palestine.
and it is also our right and obligation to revert to the international political resistance. it is our obligation. we have to avert the u.n. security council. to all the international, political and legal. it is not revenge. we are not joining the mafia. we are joining the u.n. so our ability to resist using international mechanisms is a right and an obligation and we will not let go of this process. our third commitment, with all the difficulties is the democratic process in palestine. to build our state institutions as well, we will not let go been
ground.ing on the our skin has been there. and we will not let go of our most important weapon, democracy. the legitimacy of their presentation. people sacred right to vote for representatives. i know what has happened over the last years, this sounds difficult. difficult it is, it is not a choice for us. it is a destiny. difficult it is, we cannot revert back to the people. i know that the reconciliation process has been slower than expected since the recent
agreement in cairo. sometimes national processes need time, especially when the issues are good, crucial, sometimes taking time is a good indicator. we are not rushing only for the sake of striking a deal. but for every palestinian, we know without our unity we can disagree. without our unity in the political sense, our situation would be much more difficult. there was one agreement in cairo several months ago between all the palestinian political factions. that agreement was to convene national elections by the end of
2018, this year. hopefully this will happen and hopefully we will all converse. but believe you me, with all the difficulties we face, our commitment at the democratic political system must be unwavering. we cannot face all the challenges if we don't have the power to people. but let me move very quickly to the sixth of december, 2017 and the announcement by president trump which in our opinion has violated three major commitments. the first is the u.s. long-held policy. president truman. the u.s. policy has been very clear with the u.n. security council resolutions, 2338, the ending of occupation, that is
always considering occupation to be illegal. the was a u-turn on long-held u.s.policy. the second violation is of president trump himself because since we started the discussion of this administration and we were saying that it is important that you return to the long-held u.s. policy about the two state solution, the international controls, they would tell us that they don't want to impose. they would tell us they don't want to dictate. you promise that a new
start seeking an issue, the core of the issue, jerusalem and refugees has to do with the issues of transaction. and the third is not to he predetermined outcome of the negotiations. and if you remember what the president said in davos only last week to jerusalem was the most difficult issue. it is the sticking point. that is why it is the most difficult. for us, jerusalem is not just a city. it is our identity. coppicmpass.p this --
hub in every sense, in the historic sense, the religious sense, the cultural sense. it is even our hub for services, medical services or education. it is a claim from below, from the ground, from the roots, and in that thousands of palestinians and jerusalem. every church, every mosque. there are four things that president trump mentioned in davos. the first is taking of jerusalem off the table. we say this and we say it again today. president trump has taken it off
altogether. no palestinian what sit on that table. i want to see any leader who can look us in the eye and say they represent the people of palestine. we the palestinian people might not be the strongest of nations, but we know our right and we know the limit of diplomacy, and we know when to say no. agency thathe only represents the cause of palestine. you want to search somewhere else? good luck.
they key is the people of palestine and the leadership of palestine. no matter how many conspiracies you are going to employ. the second thing mentioned by president trump is that we walked away from a negotiation. what negotiation? since we engage president trump, we have been saying this as an opportunity. there was never an offer of .egotiation what negotiation are we walking but this is a movie we have seen many times.
it is born, actually. -- it is boring. we have been here for 26 years. think there is an issue that has been negotiated more than this issue. too much negotiations. we did not walk away from negotiations. it is the administration that has walked away from the table . because there will not be any without the key principles. the administration took the chair and left the room altogether. as a mediator. we are here.
we've got nowhere. we did not leave nothing. the third thing he mentioned is that palestinians have been disrespectful. we have been respectful of four things. the first is our own people. self respect for us comes first. people first.n we have a vivid nation, very active nation, rooted, diverse. it is the people of palestine we are for. the second, we have respected the international consensus. by refusing these terms.
the third respect we have done is to the u.s. long-held policy and to the majority of the american people, who according to all polls have been against the jerusalem decision and announcement. cutly, that funding will be from the u.s. funding to the palestine authority. this, u.s. funding has been there for so many years , we appreciate every penny, every dollar. but that funding was not really a gift. it was part of a u.s. vision. commitment.of a was part of a u.s. interest. that funding was part of an
international and u.s. obligations. it makes sense that the u.s. funds its own vision of building two states. the u.s. has invested in the infrastructure of peace for all these years. and we appreciate it. but financial pressure doesn't work. especially when it comes to people like ours. it doesn't work. it's been tried before. it didn't work, and it will not work this time. if it does anything, it adds to our sense of pride and sense of resilience. for political agendas cannot be implemented by means of political pressure or weaponizing aid, if you may, is that a term i can use? it doesn't work.
weaponizing financial assistance doesn't work. and then after jerusalem, the u.s. freezes funding from all over, i mean, denying peoples education and healthcare, i was educated at a school. and they have been able to turn a catastrophic situation into less catastrophic, only a little less catastrophic. giving the people the platform to be educated and to lead a different future. please go back and read nothing
netanyahu said that -- the issue, so he thinks, netanyahu, by dismantling, the issue of refugees will vanish. a fallacy but it does exist in his head, that fallacy. i have news to netanyahu and to the israeli government. whether on it exists or not, the right of millions of palestinian refugees are not linked to -- achieving their internationally endorsed funds. that's the first news. so it is there to sustain the living until their rights. and the second, our commitment is firm and international communities commitment is firm. and under no circumstances they will fail to uphold its own responsibility.
i received representative from senior representatives in office only a couple of days ago and the main statement that i received is their commitment and mandate will be fulfilled. okay, we are here today so let's go back to the original statement by president trump. in his first meeting with prime minister netanyahu in february, president trump said, and i quote, one state, two states, i am happy with whatever the two sides are happy with. he said that. and we agree with him. we agree with him. we agree with president trump. there are only two possible solutions. he's right.
either partition two states on the 1967 borders, not even based on the 1967 borders if that's the first option. which has been endorsed the international community and the u.s. successive administrations. or a one state that is democratic and that gives equal democratic and that gives equal rights for all of its citizens, regardless of the color or creed or religion or language. follow it will rights in the historic land of palestine. that's the second option. we now, the people and the
leadership are with the two-state solution on the 1967 borders. we are with the for implementation, not for negotiations. we are with you because we believe possible knowing that in israel it is impossible for a one state solution. however, we realize that netanyahu's actively seeks to destroy not only the possibility of a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, but actually the future discussion of the solution altogether. the netanyahu government is involved in removing the tracks of the two-state solution. how else would you interpret the ruling parties decision only a few weeks ago to annex the west bank?
how else do we translate the passing law not to negotiate jerusalem and less 80 members vote, which is practically an impossibility? oslo was passed by only 61 votes, the threshold. how else do we explain that netanyahu has taken pride only a few months ago publicly that he is the first prime minister in israel in 20 years to build a new settlement deep in the west bank? so proud of it. how else do you explain what he said only two days ago, two or three days ago, when he went to offer a new road deep in the occupied territory? deep in the west bank. what did he say? netanyahu said, this settler
only bypass road is part of the system of settler bypass roads that are building throughout judea and samaria. which is the occupied west bank. that serves the residence, settlers, of judea and samaria, and the residence of the state of israel, i.e., linking the west bank to israel via a system of infrastructure and a system of roads. this is not a government that is rejecting the two-state solution by words. this is a government that is rejecting the two-state solution by deeds, action, every day. murdering the possibility, burying it deep underground. and it is not circumstantial evidence we are talking about. it's clear, it's unambiguous.
and people forget just not to focus on on the netanyahu government. people forget that the israeli prime minister back then came kicking and screaming to the middle east peace conference. it was only after president bush senior, father, threatened to withhold $10 billion that he came kicking and screaming, and he famously said back then that, by the way, shamir is netanyahu's mentor. this is something netanyahu says. he said, i would have conducted negotiations on autonomy for ten years, and in the meantime we would have reached half a million settlers. that was 1991.
on the west bank, he was right on the number of settlers, even exceeded the half a million, much more exceeded the half a million. they did better. they store more land than shamir expected. they had more towns than shamir expected 25 days ago, or 26 years. but he was wrong on the number of years. it wasn't ten years. they kept us in this process for 26 years, but with the same logic. palestinians walk out of negotiations while they were doing the real job. the real intention. they wanted to establish a process that was lasting process, not lasting peace. they created a process that was actually designed to prevent the outcome. designed to prevent the outcome.
as far as we're concerned, the two-state solution and the terms of the two-state solution are clear, and i'd like to repeat this. they are not up for negotiations. they are only up for implementations. we are ready to sit on an international table, multilateral table, where the world sits there. this is not the exception. this is the rule. for all of the conflicts it was an international table to implement international resolutions. we were made the exception for 26 years. we were told kosovo requires multilateralism. internationalism. south africa requires internationalism. iran requires multilateralism.
except you, only the two sides can resolve the issue. one side that is clear about their intention when president trump said that we are fine with the two-state solution, if the two sides wants it, effectively, we want it. we demand it. we endorse it. effectively it gives the veto power to the party that is unwilling. no one can love peace more than the two sides. said who? the whole idea is just to leave the two sides with this asymmetry of power in one room so it's not a process of rights, but a process of might.
we are done with that. 26 years is a generation, my generation actually. enough. and i say it in the house of washington and in the palestine center, enough. our rights are not up for sale . our principles are set in international leadership. and in the hearts of the millions of our people, and who love other people, i mean lets remember this is a very proud nation, very rooted. everything started there. don't blame us for all that. [laughter] we exported to almost all profits, all the human community, as in jericho.
okay, so if this is the situation for the two-state solution, the first is that the current israeli government all the way back to shamir, and by the way not to just blame the right wing in israel, but the right-wing israel is very clear. now all the partners to the right like israel and all these parties, they are very clear. they say what is yours is mine to what is mine is mine. clearly. the centerleft in israel since we started the middle east peace process all the way from oslo to the roadmaps starting from what is mine and what is yours is negotiable. we will sit and negotiate what is yours. so all of israel never talk the -- took the 1967 formula as a
formula for implementation but as appointment as a starting point for grabbing more. unacceptable. unacceptable. for a nation that has been able to conceive 78% of what its own land for the sake of peace, it's unacceptable to consider further compromises. and it will not happen. the 1967 formula is not just a palestinian peace agenda. it is now a national equilibrium. no one can touch it. but given that and given the clarity of the current administration that they are not going to endorse the two-state solution clearly, and in our -- this this place
plays dangerous place in the hand of the netanyahu government. given the situation, president trump mentioned one state. this is interesting, really interesting, and important. i wish the use had mentioned this before our 1988 declaration because that was our position, by the way, the four, before he -- before we accepted international legitimacy our platform was one democratic state. remember, the plo. fine, they mention it now. one state for all of its citizens with four equal rights. palestinians accepted the two-state solution as a concession, as was said, because the international committee was oriented around that idea. so if this administration has ideas for a one state solution, we are interested to hear them.
we are. and then we want full rights like everyone else. and we are impartial about how we get there. it's not just about the journey. it's about the destination. however, if one-state solution envisions, is disguised apartheid or apartheid in disguise, in one form or another, it will be rejected. and we must save our efforts and not repeat history again. this has been tried elsewhere. it has been tried before and it came to a crushing defeat. inthis i say nelson mandela
africa, the this i say martin luther king and the civil rights movement. it's very simple, very simple. either we all have equal rights or none of us. right are not subdivided. you cannot subdivide rights or selective. that's called apartheid. and we are fully human, fully human. right? not three-fifths. [laughing] human, we are fully human. today, by the way marks the first day of the black achievement in the u.s. let us remember. so please when you are someone arguing like netanyahu, we will give the palestinians a state minus. nothing will be minus about us. either full sovereignty on the entire land that israel occupies in 1967 or full equal rights in the historic land of palestine.
for every citizen. we will not accept a system that is there to privilege one group over another. we've lived that and experienced that long enough. and i know they will be interesting discussion, and i'm not going to go on, but let me try to conclude by saying this. the israeli government is absolutely delusional if it thanks that the transactional approach to the international community, to the issue of negotiations, to the situation in the arab world is going to take it anywhere. delusional. and they are also delusional about the moral arc of history
is bending. either they don't want to see, or they are just blocking what is happening actually. prime minister netanyahu can speak of the congress, but do you think you can go and speak at a university in california? wisconsin? no. because the arc of history always bends towards justice. [applause] >> and let me be clear by way of ending here. let me be clear that we don't want to end an injustice by creating another injustice. we don't. we have tasted the bitter taste of injustice. we don't wish to inflict injustice on anybody. we want a bright future for
israeli kids as much is wanted it for our own kids. for better or worse, our fates, are underlined. and intertwined and interconnected. our futures are. we know that. as is the fate of all our worlds that is more and more independent everyday, and getting smaller. israel isn't safer or more prosperous when it is inflicting indescribable pain and horror on millions of people under its control. it isn't safe. that is a recipe for continued pain and suffering for both, but has gone on for a long time. this irresponsible living by the
mentality mindset strategy will get us nowhere. it will not secure our future and will only destroy the basis of coexistence. we hope that the israeli, the israelis will listen to their better engines, rather than their current politicians. and i know they will ultimately. we definitely know they will ultimately. we are all the sons and the the doctors of abraham -- of abraham. and the battle is not between those siblings, but between those who want to split, and those who want to bring together
in peace and harmony. and i believe now by numbers and by the sort of international community and by the structural change that is happening in america, more american people are on the side of the truth. we sit in the campuses do we sit in the polls. we sit in the jewish community and in the use of the jewish community. we see it everywhere we go that the tide is going towards supporting the just cause of palestine. therefore, i believe the ultimate goal of reaching peace and harmony in the land of palestine will be achieved. thank you very much. [applause] >> in the interest of time, i will open the floor for questions and answers. >> do you believe that the
destroysn any way efforts conducted either plo and by the p.a.? thank you. >> thank you very much. mr. ambassador, could you state to the unintended consequences of mr. trump's decision, perhaps even some intended consequences, your organization of islamic conference has declared that it support east jerusalem as the capital of the state of israel, the european union does. russia even before mr. trump's statement said the same thing about east jerusalem being
the capital of the future palestinian state. and his action has reinvigorated discussion about this, and essentially make clear that the u.s. has abandoned its role as the lead player in the so-called peace process, may be that will now be a genuine peace process. thank you. >> thank you. do i understand that the plo now is for a unified state? in palestine. and israel, together. not a two-state solution. >> i'd like to add a a question as well. among some of the decisions, there's been the threat to close the plo office here in washington. is there any development with that issue?
>> well, about lifting the leader of hamas on the terror list, you know, do you know even the plo, the plo that has been engaged in the peace process via the invitation of u.s. since 1991, we've signed the oslo agreement in the white house. we've entered into several bilateral agreements with the u.s. the u.s. has been paying $700 million at one point to establish state of palestine. israel has recognized formally the plo as legitimate sole representative of the palestinian. with all that still in the u.s. law, the plo is a terrorist organization since 1987. ? it didn't change. no one has the guts or the courage or the wisdom to come and revisit that law. this isn't just about the situation. the whole legislation and the
u.s. congress and the whole way of looking at this needs to change, i had to say. [inaudible] >> well, that's not a function of how the u.s. list anybody. that's a function of the palestinian national requirements and the function of the palestinian people and their demands, and a function of our commitment of democratic process of renewing our democratic process, and a function of always making sure territorially also the west bank is one territory and entity. so ending it, ending the division and regaining control of gaza and making sure we have one government and we have one rule of law comes before any other consideration. the second question about the role of international community and russia and european union
and all those are still recognize the 67 borders, to recognize the issue as an occupied city. yes, that's why we're saying that now the only alternative is a multilateral forum. we find these countries you listed including europe, china, russia, africa, latin america, these are important players. you cannot just exclude major countries. i'll give you one example. europe has more leverage in real terms than america. the biggest trading part of israel is europe. it's not the u.s. and the biggest donor to the palestinians is not america. it's europe. by far by the way, you're not talking just a small little difference. by far. we don't border, you know, the shores of the u.s., the eastern shores of the u.s. or even the west for that matter. we border europe. europe has a geopolitical interest because whatever happens hits his supporters immediately like what happened in syria and the refugees of
syria. so europe is crucial in being on the table. so is other major international countries. the problem was the exclusion in the first place. we hope what happened in the last few weeks would give that argument and that logic support that there is no way but for an international table two implement international resolutions. the third question about the one-state solution. let me be very clear. we believe that the two-state solution on the 1967 borders is the best way forward. you mayve sometimes -- cut the cut the land to save
your child. part of the land. given the dynamics in israel right now and how society is that what isthink happening in israel -- it is a mistake. he was elected on certain promises, and to think at this point in time that the israeli society in general is supposed to be open for the discussion of an egalitarian we have also reoriented not only of having peace after a thousand years but i want my daughter to live a .ifferent future we also the pressure and time to implement a possible vision for peace. however what i was saying is should this vision continue being murdered buried by netanyahu and to this vision continue to be not supported by straightforwardly absolutely by
the u.s. administration, then we want to explore the other option that we don't want to hear and we want to listen and what does the president mean what does one say. if he meets a democratic system, constitutional arrangements, bill of rights that guarantees every citizen who will listen. if he means that the people in that area will decide collectively on the state , capital, and future relations, we will listen. we will listen. we are not against this form of solution to stay, we were never against it. what we were against is the lack of a solution in the first place and we believed in 1988 that we
must love that last form for the sake of aligning our sense of legitimacy hoping that alliance with an international resolution will fasten the process of implementing peace. that's the formula. we want the international community to play the role of an equalizer and to equalize the equation. what we are trying to say today very clearly and the absence of a clear-cut commitment to the two state solution and there's evidence of that is we are here -- all ears and want to listen. how is that? we want to listen. not oriented to one form of a solution we are oriented to the solution. about the closing of the office only a few days ago i was reading some israeli media with the discussion between president
trump and prime minister netanyahu and it was mentioned that he asked for the closure of the office in washington and there was also some news in september that was also that netanyahu adopted and endorsed a plan to close the office in washington so it is all there you can see the news. i think netanyahu is after the liquidation of the palestine issue. he thinks by taking jerusalem off the table and taking refugees on the table than bringing down a flag from the heart of washington he will simply achieve this. it's more than just an office and it's the symbolism of that office. it's what that office represents and it represents the collective political aspirations of a righteous people. it represents decades of
struggle to get an embassy. they don't even like to see the flag of palestine fly. i have news for mr.netanyahu. first of all, it's obvious that the united states and us have a very deep-rooted relationship . bilateral, independent of what israel wants. and there is sufficient and you remember that decision has worked out backtracking from the original decision in november and now continues here and allowing the bilateral relationship is a very important line of communication to continue. i have news for mr. netanyahu if he keeps pressuring in that area. even if he manages to bring or close in office or institution
this will be a palestinian home and there are thousands of palestinian homes -- [applause] they are delusional if they think if you attack the issue of 7 million refugees that they'll go away. they are delusional if an announcement by the as president -- u.s. president will take jerusalem. i was in jerusalem three weeks ago and i wanted to see what changed in nothing changed. the east is still occupied and the people are still speaking arabic with a beautiful palestinian accent, by the way. [laughter] open their shops are still open and you can spend beautiful smell and it's becoming more delicious even now.
[laughter] people on jerusalem. they own it. nothing has changed and nothing will change, i assure you. nothing will change. the only thing that changed is that mr. trump and the u.s. administration has decided willingly to walk out of the negotiations. to walk out being mediator for all these years. nothing will change about our rights and the main line of protection for us in the main line of defense is the people. with all due respect to the international legitimacy and law but you see the people of jerusalem only a few months ago. only when critics try to elect. if someone comes and tells them this is not your city, this is not your heritage, this is not your history, this is not your
identity. >> why continue -- why then does the palestinian authority continue to cooperate of security and helping to police the silence of the palestinian people? >> you have to distinguish between our ability to maintain a nonviolent confrontation and what you just described as preventing people from or not. people have been demonstrating with the full support of the leadership as happened in july and happened in so many other areas to all these wonderful examples. the latest warriors of popular resistance are all members and they have been imprisoned only in the last few weeks.
no, we don't want it. we are not bluffing when we say our commitment to a nonviolent way of engaging the occupation . we mean it. sir, we mean it. some would say that you know this is being part of the status quo. but no, this is starting the district violence does not work. it doesn't help us. we are a nation with rights and international support. for too long this has been confused with us. >> why do it yourself and then not do it with the israelis? whoo and see all of those
have been leading their efforts check the names and families. ,. see our support. it's a very complicated matter and a nation must always look to find where it is strongest and we are not the strongest in the military arena. we are not. we are strongest in the moral arena and in the political arena and in the legal arena and why do we always want to engage in the boxing ring with tyson. ? he will eat your ear. [laughter] in this regard israel has no limits because it has shielded and protected. blaming the palestinian leadership in authority and not blaming the international system for giving this long exercise and practice of immunity so we want to see our people as well. we don't want to see our
children being slaughtered with no accountability. slaughtered. today, as i was driving here i saw the disheartening news of seven innocent people in gaza losing their lives and injuries. why? because there was some gas of leak and an explosion and that should have been averted and it is humane treatment of gaza for the kids is because of a twisted mentality, not by the palestinian leadership for the people of palestine. a regime that has seen the complicity in the complacency of so many. it is unbearable, a war right in front of the eyes of the world. neighborhoods, burying
children, babies and we don't want to bring suffering on our people. we don't. we consider to be the human soul , the human being to be our most important vessel. -- asset. we don't want the palestinian dead -- we want live palestinian heroes. free and prosperous, free and educated. if you blame us for that bring it on. >> thank you for your remarks. i'm peter, retired state department foreign service and also i'm on the board and my question is many american congressmen and senators visit israel not very many go on to to the west bank. and so my question is can you describe for us a little bit
about your efforts to have members of congress get a clearer picture of what the situation is. >> yes, this is an important question and you are right. the way the truth has been blocked here and the concerted efforts to make sure there is only one side presented one side of the narrative in the story and it's not even the israeli , but a distorted minority who has the money and organization. we haven't been doing as much in that arena in the last few but that's not because we don't want to see them. things have been changing and then the last three years we've been receiving several senior us congressman and i myself before i became the ambassador.