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ture agreement. Fayyad agreed School of Government, spoke about peacethat the domestic situation must making and her family’s history in occupied be resolved, or “the state of Pales- Palestine at Westminster Presbyterian tine would continue to be a fairy Church in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 2. tale and not part of the reality.” “I was born after 1967, after the West Regardless of political differ- Bank and the Gaza Strip were occupied by ences, Fayyad stated, “They are Israel,” said Rantisi, a Palestinian Christian our people. Gaza and the West whose family was forced out of its home in Bank are the same. One people.” Lydda in 1948 by Israeli military forces. The easing of the blockade is not “I was born in Jerusalem,” she explained, enough, Fayyad added: There “but because I have a green ID card, which should also be safe passage be- means I’m from the West Bank, I’m not altween Gaza and the West Bank. lowed to enter Jerusalem. I would need to “This link was part of the interim apply for a permit [to enter Jerusalem]. So, agreement of Oslo,” he pointed [the ID card] is mainly used as a tool for disout, “and should have happened crimination.” Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam in the ‘90s.” Rantisi, who grew up in Ramallah, deFayyad works for Palestinian statehood in 2011. When asked to comment on scribed the lives of millions of Palestinians: which we seek to bring the Israeli occupa- Binyamin Netanyahu’s new demand that “You’re reminded, living under occupation, tion to an end, and the statehood-building Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish that you are not fully human. You don’t track.” By mid-2011, Fayyad expects the state, Fayyad stated that Palestinians rec- have full human rights. It was normal for “emergence of an independent, viable state ognized Israel’s right to exist in peace and me growing up, when I went to school, to of Palestine on the territories occupied in security back in 1993. “You will think see soldiers in the street, to be shot at, to 1967, certainly in the Gaza Strip and the that, in return for this recogniWest Bank, including, as its capital, tion, we would have gotten recognition on the part of the Jerusalem. That’s what this is about.” Fayyad said he has always argued that government of Israel of our Palestinians are not going to attain their right to statehood as Palestinian freedom by being either submissive or bel- people,” he added. “That wasn’t ligerent, or by just reacting to events. the case...Israel recognized the Building a Palestinian state is a proactive PLO as a representative of the move, he explained, not just an abstract Palestinian people. That’s all...” The way a country chooses to concept—and it is something that is totally possible. In fact, according to a Sept. 21 define itself is a product of its executive summary published by the own internal political processes, World Bank, “If the Palestinian Authority Fayyad noted. It shouldn’t be maintains its current performance in insti- raised as a demand or expectatution-building and delivery of public ser- tion of any other nation. The vices, it is well-positioned for the estab- issue never came up in peace lishment of a state at any point in the near talks with Jordan or Egypt. Hilary Rantisi speaks Oct. 2 at Westminster PresbyterWhen asked by Sabeel, DC ian Church in Des Moines. future.” “I rest my case,” Fayyad concluded to member Paul Verduin about the international boycott of Israeli goods, great applause. Amjad Atallah, co-director of the New Fayyad replied, “I do support the boycott smell tear gas. This is normal under occupaAmerican Foundation’s Middle East Task of settlement products, and I lead it. As a tion.” Rantisi told her audience about other asForce, asked Fayyad, “What does it mean matter of fact, it’s my government that has next year—if everything goes according to sponsored it. By boycotting settlement pects of life under Israeli military occupaplan, what does it mean for Palestinians to products, our people are exercising their tion: imprisonment, torture, restriction of movement, limited access to resources inbe free?” Think of being able to go on with right to say no to the occupation.” Finally, Fayyad was asked, ”If the talks cluding water and farmland, the destrucyour life, Fayyad replied, “free of worry about your security at the individual and remain stalled a year from today, will you tion of homes. family level.” Imagine being able to focus declare independence unilaterally?” The occupation is deadly, she noted, and “Declaration of statehood is above my during the past 10 years the conflict has on issues that matter to development, not only in economic terms but in social and pay grade,” the prime minister quipped, taken the lives of 6,371 Palestinians, many cultural terms. Palestinians, like other but added, “do not underestimate the of them children, and 1,083 Israelis. Israel has established hundreds of checkcountries free of conflict, will be able to power of the concept, the power of ideas ”really get on with it and develop our so- put into action and facts on the ground.” points that prevent the movement of people —Ellen Baugh and Delinda Hanley and goods, said Rantisi. “People who need ciety and provide opportunities” and a future for their young men and women. medical care, the elderly who have difficulty with movement…for the economy, it Taghreed Khodary asked about the need Hilary Rantisi Speaks in Des Moines for unity among Palestinians in Gaza and Hilary Rantisi, director of the Middle East is devastating.…Every town and village has the West Bank in order to implement a fu- Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy an impediment to movement, every town STAFF PHOTO M. GILLESPIE


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Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  

Published to help provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.