Hanan Ashrawi during interview with Ricardo Karam

Ashrawi talks Trump, failed agreements, and Question of Palestine

By Nour Qudeimat- PNN/ Bethlehem/

In an interview  with Lebanese host, Ricardo Karam, long-standing politician, diplomat and PLO executive committee member, Hanan Ashrawi opened by describing the situation in Palestine as “never been worse,” and that everyday a Palestinian child is killed.

Born two years before the Nakba in 1948, Ashrawi talks about her life and upbringing, since her parents witnessed the catastrophe and raised her to be a strong educated women who is not afraid to speak the truth.

“The ideal stage is when [Palestinians] are not asked to be martyred,” says Ashrawi.

“I always say that Palestinians are asked to live for their cause, not die because of it. People have the right to life and freedom.. You need to be alive to be able to change. Death does make change, but it is painful, and I don’t want to see our youths die everyday.”

When asked her opinion on the saying “What was taken by force, can only be restored by force,” in the case of Palestine, she replied by saying that there are many forms of force.

“In the cases or imbalance in forces, you need to use other sources of strength. We can be strong and we are strong with our willpower, ability to confrontation and steadfastness, and our commitment to our identity and rights and future.”

Failed agreements

Regarding the role of political initiatives that continue to fail, Ashrawi said that all the tools that are being used in the political process have a fundamental flaw to them, leaving the last haven to be the negotiations in the light of the instability of the Arab region, the weakness of the European position, and the racist and national US-Israeli positions.

“All these circumstances lead to saying that there are no possible effective initiatives, for the absence of partners, support, protection and security.”

During the interview, Ashrawi said that she was also against signing the 1993 Oslo agreement, in which the PLO recognized Israel, and the West Bank was divided into three areas, the majority of which fall under Israeli control.

Message to Trump 

When asked what she would say to Trump, Ashrawi said “Trump is difficult to talk to.”

We never expected to be facing such administration,  Ashrawi said, adding that she has no desire to talk to Trump since the dialogue is not based on understanding, but rather revolves around an ethical, ideological, cultural, political, legal, humanitarian and justice crisis.

 “I write official statements in the name of PLO against Trump saying his attack on the Palestinian people is unacceptable. In turn, he only objects. This is the only dialogue there is.”

Ashrawi said that  this comes in line with the extremist, fanatic right-wing ideology of Israel, as the Arab world continues to be silent, and as the Palestinian division does no justice to the Palestinian people.

Ashrawi concluded by saying that Palestine will live on despite the difficult situation and the political failure of the consecutive generations.

Click here to watch the interview in Arabic