This is a transcript of the video of an interview I did on Iran’s Jame Jam television network on July 23, 2007 to discuss peace and reconciliation. The 2:13 minutes-seconds excerpt was from a two hour interview last Spring in Chicago and is a reflection on the Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon war of July-August, 2006. I have been told that Richard Falk, professor-emeritus of Princeton and now at the University of California-Santa Barbara also appeared on earlier segments.
[Note bene:] I had stated but it was excised from the video that Richard Cohen, Washington Post columnist, had written last July that the creation of a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab world was a “mistake” and that it has triggered an ongong conflict stretching into two centuries. I also said elsewhere on the original tape that I supported a two-state solution and the right of Israel to live within secure borders.
I also strongly believe that the so-called War on Terrorism and the religious wars of Judeo-Christianity v Islam cannot be resolved without ending the Palestinian crisis. King Abdullah of Jordan and the Iraq Study Group are two of many sources that affirm that without a Palestinian homeland and a resolution of the ongoing Israeli occupation, the tensions and conflicts between America and the Muslim world cannot be resolved. I also believe that violence by Hamas or Hezbollah is not to be affirmed or praised and that it is the duty of the leadership in the region and in America to adopt confidence building measures to end this tragedy. Dismantling the settlements would be a good place to start the process of reconciliaton.
I noticed there were subtitles in Persian that accompanied my interview. Iran usually refers to the State of Israel as the Zionist Entity. Well, I am not conversant in Persian (Farsi) but the audio of course was in English and I used the word “Israel” throughout. So at least on this broadcast, the word “Israel” was used and not subsituted by the silly non-recognition appellation of “The Zionist Entity.”
This is the transcript:
“With regard to the war last July, this was an absolute disgrace.
Israel disgraced itself. It disgraced some of its Zionist figures.
It engaged in criminal acts of a nature which disgraced this Israel.
The use of cluster bombs in a gratuitous manner within the last 72 hours of the war just so babies and innocents would die for months afterwards.
“To think that the kidnapping of two soldiers on their border with Hezbollah, and one soldier by Hamas could lead to this, was almost beyond belief that they would use this as an excuse to exterminate Qana, to destroy south Beirut, and the United States, which is typical, essentially said continue this killing of Arabs. Arabs are not Americans. Though we have five to six million Arab-Americans in this country.
“And so it was a pitiful disgrace that the United States supports Israel in the manner that it does.
And so, you oppose war, you donâ€™t support the troops they say.
If you criticise Israel, you are anti-Semitic some say.
Well you have to do it anyway.
“You have to stand up for peace and justice.
You have to stand up against racism.
You have to stand up against having concentration camp walls being built through the West Bank.
You have to stand up against targeted assassinations.
You have to stand up against 300,000 to 400,000 Arab peoples that were displaced when this mistake was created in 1948.
You have to stand up and you have to say that Israel acts in a criminal manner as President Carter said practices apartheid with the Palestinians.”