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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Palestinian ambassador visits UA

    Palestinian Ambassador Afif Safieh spoke Friday about the necessary conditions for an Israel-Palestine peace treaty, one of them being dialogue, to end years of violent conflict.

    The Center for Middle Eastern Studies in conjunction with the Tucson chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the UA Department of Political Science hosted the discussion.

    “”This shows the strength of the university’s Middle Eastern programs,”” said Christian Sinclair, assistant director for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the UA.

    Safief said Israel would have to be engaged in dialogue to help fix the problem the two have. His duty was to influence political Islam to the acceptance of pluralism and democracy.

    But Safief said he doesn’t believe that Israel is doing all it can to assist.

    Safieh also said the economy of the two countries is so poor because of the 600 military check points in the Gaza Strip.

    “”Eight million working hours are lost because of those checkpoints,”” Safief said, alluding to the checkpoints as well as other economic issues which have led to the backwards development of Palestine.

    Yet due to the overwhelming desire for peace, Safief said his country has become “”unreasonably reasonable,”” in its willingness to accept what is unfairly offered.

    Other than Palestine and Israel, the major player who would help resolve the conflict, according to Safief, is the U.S.

    “”The battle for statehood will be won or lost in Washington, D.C.,”” Safief said.

    Safief said the peace process has been futile for all parties involved.

    But he said he is confident he and his countrymen will persevere and find peace in the economically deprived region.

    “”Even in the bleakest of moments – and we are in a bleak moment – we will resurrect,”” he said. “”And we have some experience, in Jerusalem, about resurrection.””

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