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January 6, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3492

Palestinian Academic and Poet Tamim Al-Barghouthi of Georgetown University on Al-Jazeera TV: Only Armed Struggle Will Make Israel Withdraw from Arab Lands

January 6, 2011
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 3492

The following are excerpts from a TV show with Palestinian academic and poet Tamim Al-Barghouthi, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on December 14, 2010. Al-Barghouthi has written five poetry books and two academic books, and is currently a visiting assistant professor at Georgetown University.[1]

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/2741 .

Tamim Al-Barghouthi: "I believe that the Palestinian and Arab leaderships, and I have heard this even from some Arab rulers who appeared on TV here in the U.S., must consider the alternative. The alternative to the peace process is resistance in all its forms, including violence. I believe that if the Americans and Israelis maintain their conduct, it will lead us to confrontation. The only thing that prevents this confrontation now is the exaggerated leniency of the Palestinian leadership, which exposes its people to danger. [...]

"Saying that the Palestinians are the weaker party could just as well be said about the Iraqis, the Afghans, or the Lebanese, when they confront the U.S. But it has transpired that the poverty-stricken Iraqis, with all their sects, and despite their lack of political order, due to the collapse of the state, are capable of imposing the U.S. policies that it did not want." [...]

Interviewer: "One could say that the Palestinian cause showed the ability of the Palestinians to be steadfast for 60 years. But on the other hand, when you examine the map of the West Bank and the proportions of the Israeli settlements there, this must raise questions about their ability to persevere."

Tamim Al-Barghouthi: "This is because the people of the West Bank have surrendered. There are no settlements in Gaza, where the people did not surrender. Israel has only left occupied Arab lands after armed confrontation or a series of operations by a popular resistance. This happened in the case of Egypt, where the U.S. imposed what you like to call 'peace' between Egypt and Israel, only after the Egyptian and Syrian armed forces opened fire on the Israelis, killing 5,000 Israelis. Israel pulled out of Lebanon only after twenty years of resistance. It pulled out of Gaza only because of the resistance, and I see no reason why it would pull out of the West Bank without resistance."

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