Three Women, Three Faiths at the Ralph Bunche Center
It is in the States with all the sophistication you have off your you know police force you know you still have violence and all of the time. It is always the condemnation again going to what my brothers asked before the double standards and I'm not saying this Joan to you. I'm just responding to so many questions we've been bombarded with on this tour. You know but if the Palestinians are not violent I mean who ever is completely nonviolent. Let them throw the first the first stone. I would just like to put it that way. The comments or questions both are welcome comments or questions. I had one question regarding the yes I'm sorry quite as much. I just thought it would be important for the audience to know that these three women did
not know each other until they came to the United States. So what they're saying is their own voice. And I find it remarkable that their voices are saying so much the same thing from you might say three sides of the elephant. It's it's it's amazing to see such unanimity. I can only concur with that fact that we have here three perspectives Jewish Christian Muslim and that makes the debate even more even richer. I want to ask you one question regarding the recent U.S. efforts to sort of polish the U.S. image in the Arab street as they put it. And it's so it sounds a little bit like a PR Madison Avenue PR type of campaign. Is it successful. How does the how do the Arab street so to speak react to the U.S..
Well there have been some PR campaigns. Recently trying to. Project. More palatable image of the United States in the Arab world in order to. Rally some sort of support from Arabs. Would you like to react to that. I don't know if you're referring to the initiative by the US government for example to have to launch Radio Sawa for example which is the radio. I think that this this radio station that's been that's being aired now to the Middle East and to the Arab countries but the main idea of it is it's almost 15 minutes of music Arabic and English music Arabic and American and English pop music. And then they have like a 10 minute news program that they the whole presupposition of it was that you know wealthy Arabs they don't know enough about our foreign policy we want to show them what our real foreign policy is and how we really stand. The idea is. I can assure you that most of the people in the Arab
world know more about the foreign policy of the US than a lot of US citizens do and we it's not that we don't know what the US is doing or what you or the US foreign policy as we know it very well and we disagree with it. And you cannot clean up something and clean up the image of the American foreign policy because the foreign policy is just not acceptable. Regarding how Arabs view the Americans I can tell you that Palestinians favorably view the American people as a people we have no problem with the American people or the American way of life or or anything that has to do with democracy. On the contrary that is what most Palestinians I think strive towards what we disagree with is the American foreign policy that supports the occupation that supports the only the dictatorial regimes in the Arab world that stand with it and opposes those dictatorial regimes that are opposed to the US policy. Every time a rocket is hit inside the Palestinian areas we pick up the
shrapnel and see made in the USA stamped on it what do you think the Palestinians feel about US foreign policy. To that extent also I want you to comment also a little bit on the the so called the regime the puppet regimes that you mentioned earlier and their support or tepid lukewarm support to the Palestinian cause. Is it lukewarm and does the regime their regime stand in the way of some type of progress in the Middle East regarding the Palestinian cause. Maybe the Arab leaders have given lip service service only in their support to their cause. I. I don't know but I think there is an awakening among the Arab
masses. And if you touch the pulse of the Arab masses where ever they are very much upset by what's happening to the Palestinian people in the occupied that it is put it that way. And if this will bring about change or not I don't know desponding to your first question as well. I think they're very disturbed about demonizing as well. So I am a Christian but also Christians are demonized because the Christian right wing tells me in dialogue that as a Palestinian Christian I am in the way of the fulfillment of the prophecy of God. I should believe the slant should be for the for the Israelis so the second coming. As a pacifist I find this violent. Theology So on one level you have the foreign policy on another level this foreign policy is maybe supporting some corrupt regimes on another level you have the right wing
christians demonizing Islam. So how do you think the masses are going to feel about that. And over and above when Prime Minister Sharon comes to this country and the Palestinians know how much we have suffered from Prime Minister Sharon whether in subbranch or in Palestine he is called a man of peace. Sometimes I think Sharon is insulted by this. His agenda is known to him. So you know there are so many things that have been said in this country that make it very difficult for the Arab masses to really comprehend why is this bias. Because you know there are many U.S. interests in the area as well. Other questions. Is it in your opinion. I mean that's a loaded question here
but that's a question that comes to many people's mind is it a war in the impending war if there is a war if a war is going to be waged. Is it going to be wage to fight terrorism or is it a war for oil. I believe it is a war for oil and it's disguised as a war against terrorism. Yes go ahead. I'm just wondering if the parallels with the former Yugoslavia and their unilateral actions being taken now there's the wall there the checkpoints the closure of roads. At what point does it reach the level of a trigger of human rights abuses where we could have the kind of international response that we have there. It has reached this point a long time ago and we don't have an international
response. I think also in new Yugoslavia it took time for things really to get moving. I wonder what will it take. I don't know. We have time for I believe one or two more questions. Yes go ahead. You want to move closer to a mike if you wish. Yes. And press the white button. Where do you see Israel in the next 10 or 15 years. Are you asking what I'd like to see. What is the realistic situation. It's really hard to tell 10 or 15 years from now. I don't know.
And Palestine and Israel it is. That's right that's where it is try to make it as it's religious but it is nothing. These people came and they took the land and it is an occupation that's taking the land that has nothing to do with religion. So talking and making up but elitism but a little ism between this country and what happened. And something about 11th and you know what is happening to Israel now and making the terrorists as but it's seen as that or is this something that the Israelis are taking this opportunity to make them selves heard in all of our countries. You know there are I don't know how to express this but it's really they're using the opportunity of every situation that happened so that they would people will just feel sorry for them and support them what and what and more the other day I also read something in the post in the back back part of the paper saying that they increase the support of the military support to Israel and what its book of the end of the paper while if there is anything that is bad happening in policy. And it would be on top of the paper with colors and everything. That will just destroy the image you know. So some of the things that are just I cannot tell you. I cannot even begin to
tell you what is happening you know. But if the issue it is political and it has nothing to do with with what religion or Islamist or Christian then you know also this debate is not Christian Muslim Jewish it is Palestine. And its bad I think. Go ahead. Do you have any hope as a result of your tour and would you do this again. Well personally speaking I would do it again because I think and I hope its its useful to people I think that this is how a lot of this is how most of the social change happens in. And not only social political change also happens if you get mass support grassroots support for things like this and if you get to the media and you talk about the issue this is for now this is the this is the thing that can affect it because unfortunately we're going to rely on political
whim and will. It's going to take much longer time if it's even going to be solved. So this is the hope that I have and this is why I would participate in things like this again. I think for me hope is not something abstract. It's not to dream but to put to translate our dreams into reality. So to have any hope for peace we have to work for peace. To have any hope for justice we have to work for justice. And but by being here and sharing our story if this is a way of people understanding the issue we cannot lay down the work and people who have joined us here. As I started my talk they give me hope because these people have refused to submit to the discourse of the powerful and through the popular discourse either in this country or
elsewhere. That does not really want to solve this problem and refused to be silent. So it's very very important and these voices give me hope. I say we have to continue. No matter how difficult it is that's the way we keep fanning the embers of light for those in the forefront of the struggle. So thanks to all of you who really have joined us in this you know exercise. And I had a quote before going to the concluding statements of your view or comments or questions. Yes go ahead. What is the average Palestinian in the street understanding of why the US wants to wage a war on Iraq.
I think they think they won. They think it's a colonial movement that wants to control the oil and to use it for. That's the evident understanding it is simple evident. People on the street. How does the opinion in no mood of the Arab masses differ from that of the Arab governments and their leadership. Do you understand what I mean. It appears to me that from what from this gathering I understand that on the whole issue of the conflict the war and what solution is there might be it appears to me that this more unity among the masses than there are among the leadership itself and if I'm not mistaken you can correct me please.
The entire Arab bloc the entire Arab nation if we can speak of. That was in a daze. Yeah and in that time I don't know if they're all unified if they all of the regimes are unified in how they think. I mean that's a bit of a generalization to make that all of the Arab regimes are the same just because they're all Arab or anything like that. I think the Arab I don't know about the Arab masses because I've not been visiting there but I think that in general the Arab masses do not like war or waging war just like any other people and they want a just solution to the Palestinian problem especially when they see Palestinian suffering so much. And also this has a religious dynamic in the way that the Arabs who are predominantly Muslim are not allowed to visit the holy places in Jerusalem and this is another issue. There may be a mistake in the question. Is there any sense of unity of purpose among the various
Arab nations. Was there any cohesiveness is there any coalitions. Is there a unified. Arab position in other words. You know last March the Arab leaders met in Beirut and there was a consensus including Iraq in Libya and the PLO that all of the AED of leaders said they want to normalize relations with Israel and recognize Israel's right to exist provided Israel will withdrawal from that that it is that we're occupied in 1967 which is just 22 percent of historic Palestine. And then leader after leader started coming to Washington to plead to the government about this proposal. The Israeli government did not discuss it. The Israeli Knesset did not discuss this proposal and then they
came out with something else the quartet and then this did not come about. So you know as far as the statements of the Arab leaders they know that this is part of the problem. But I'm speaking about the masses in general how upset with what's happening day to day because it affects their day to day life. Come questions now. Any other comments from our panelists. We are going to conclude our program. We have heard from our three panelists. This is from who is really Mrs. Moon Kalki who is from Ramallah who is Muslim and from Palestine. And Mrs. Jean also from her from Palestine and who is Christian.
We have heard three perspectives about the catastrophe the humanitarian catastrophe in the West Bank and Gaza. This has been a very enlightening experience I'm sure for all of us as we grapple right now in the United States and with the world with many issues that touch on not just the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank but also the issues that deal with terrorism. Understanding is also the impending war with Iraq. We have also slightly touched on the peace movement in both among Palestinians and also the Israelis and I hope that the discussion that we had this afternoon has shed some light on various issues. Certainly it has brought us together on very difficult questions questions that we grapple with daily. And
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- WHUT (Washington, District of Columbia)
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- Episode Description
- Three women from different religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) from around the world discuss United States foreign policy and how it impacts their regions. The conflation of religion and politics they feel creates damaging division among people. The event takes place before an audience at Howard University.
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Guest: Dagan, Adi
Guest: Shikaki, Muna
Guest: Zaru, Jean
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WHUT-TV (Howard University Television)
Identifier: 1 (Tape Number)
Format: Betacam: SP
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- Chicago: “Three Women, Three Faiths at the Ralph Bunche Center,” 2002-11-25, WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-13905rmd.
- MLA: “Three Women, Three Faiths at the Ralph Bunche Center.” 2002-11-25. WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-13905rmd>.
- APA: Three Women, Three Faiths at the Ralph Bunche Center. Boston, MA: WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-13905rmd