Transcript of Phone Conference with Nadia Hijab on the Arab Spring, Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Transcript of an amazing interview with Nadia Hijab on the Arab Spring, Gaza and the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. Hijab speaks powerfully about U.S. policy in the Middle East, the right of the Palestinian people as a whole, under Occupation and in exile to self determination, the right of return as a basic human right. As a person deeply committed to Universal Human Rights, Hijab celebrates the Arab Spring and the rise of powerful democratic movements in the Arab world. She also addresses the relationship between Palestinian advocates and liberal Zionists. It is well worth reading and/or listening to the audio tape.

Some Highlights:

About what she hoped to hear from the President in his address about the Middle East:

"I was hoping that he would recognize, either in the way he speaks or by actually saying so, that America has played a minimal role in support of the Arab uprisings and that over the decades, not just under his tenure but under previous administrations, it has played a major role in sustaining dictatorship in the region."

About the Effects of the Arab Spring:

"But I think rulers throughout the Arab region know that they need to be much more accountable to the people and will be held accountable."

"And I think that's really reinvigorated nonviolence throughout the region. I think it's very important for Americans to know that the Palestinian struggle has been, for the most part, a nonviolent struggle over a course of decades."

Human Rights and Self Determination for the Palestinians:

So everything is being refocused on how this conflict started, why it started, and that's being exacerbated by Israel's settlement policy -- because of course that's how Israel was created to begin with, by going and settling on land that didn't belong to the early Zionist movement. So to my mind, it's putting the whole enterprise into question.

And that's why many Americans, American Jews or other Jews, who would like Israel to remain in its present form are pushing very hard for a Palestinian state -- because they see that otherwise the whole question of Israel or concept of Israel or how Israel was created and why Israel was created, that whole issue then is open and up for grabs.