For many years the campus has organized educational events about the
â€œI believe we all today have to respect the Palestinian people,â€ Safieh said. â€œTheir collective, courage capacity for enduring pain and suffering is beyond description.â€
Palestinians have been living under Israeli military occupation for almost 40 years. This occupation is considered â€œthe longest military occupation in contemporary history,â€ with 80 per cent of the Palestinian population knowing life only under occupation. â€œMost of our society has known injustice and oppression,â€ he added.
According to Safieh there are an estimated 650 Israeli military checkpoints, and Palestinians lose approximately eight million working hours every day as a result of the delays at these checkpoints. Delays at border crossings have prevented Palestinian fruits and vegetables to reach their destinations, thereby rotting economic development within Palestinian society.
On March 17, 2007 the Palestinian Legislative Council announced the Palestinian National Unity Government â€“ after a tumultuous 12 months. Safieh explained that the cohabitation of two different majorities was expressed in two different elections: the presidential elections in January 2005 and the legislative elections in January 2006. Half the members of the National Coalition Government are non-Hamas.
How this elected government will work together and represent Palestinian society is one of the challenges Palestinians face. Safieh pointed out that the evolution of political Islam in the
â€œWe passed through a difficult 12 months,â€ Safieh said, â€œbut today I am happy to report to you we have a National Coalition Government that represents 95 per cent of our electorate and again we extended our hand of peace.â€
According to Safieh just two weeks ago the Palestinian Unity Government offered
Is their political will for peace?
For the international community, the Quartet (EU,
One of the most prominent issues of contention is the 1967 borders. Here is a broad summary: Israelis want to keep the Palestinian territory they occupied in 1967 and expanded with Israeli settlements. They say it is for security reasons and they continue expanding Israeli settlements around
Safieh pointed out that
Some highlights from Safiehâ€™s lecture:
He believes the perpetuation of the conflict is not due to Arab objection of Israeli existence but is due to Israeli rejection of Arab acceptance.
The Arabs are not questioning
He asked: is the Quartet a Quartet or a Onetet? Safieh believes the Europeans are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the
He believes the American Jewish community is a pluralist community with 70 per cent of the community in favor of a two-state solution. In
Finally, the unresolved nature of the Palestinian problem put
â€œWe are not inviting (the
-Journalist Sonia Nettnin writes about social, political, economic, and cultural issues. Her focus is the