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Thursday October 21, 2010

Secretary of State Clinton at ATFP Gala Talks of “Indignity of Occupation”

Posted by AAI at 11:39 am

Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the fifth annual gala of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP). Clinton began her speech by condemning the recent arson attack on a Palestinian school warehouse near Nablus noting there is “never any justification for violence against civilians, and an attack against a school is particularly outrageous.”

Secretary Clinton proceeded to talk about the necessity of the two-state solution to ensure a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians. For Palestinians, she said, a two state solution would mean:

An independent, viable, and sovereign state of their and your own; the freedom to travel, to do business, and govern themselves. Palestinians would have the right to chart their own destinies at last. The indignity of occupation would end and a new era of opportunity, promise, and justice would begin.

She further highlighted the difficulty and indignity of living under occupation noting “it is hard, if not impossible” for most Americans to “imagine living behind checkpoints and roadblocks, without the comforts of peace or the confidence of self-determination.”

Commenting on one of the most contentious issues, Clinton said, “our position on settlements is well-known and has not changed."  She added that “many more steps from Israel” were still needed to “enable more economic activity in Gaza, including exports that bolster legitimate business enterprises.”

Secretary Clinton also reached out to those who identify as “pro-Israel” in her remarks stating that, “being pro-Israel does not mean you must deny the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.” She ended her remarks by urging all to renew their commitment to the achievement of peace, and promised that the Obama administration would never turn its back on the people of Palestine or Israel.

The full transcript and video of her speech are available on the State Department’s web-site.

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