Palestinian Hope Not Dependent on George Mitchell and Politicians


At the Clinton Global Initiative, I interviewed Palestinian-American businessman Hani Masri, founder of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, an institution based in Nablus in the West Bank of Palestine that is committed to improving the lives and opportunities of young Palestinian women.
Masri’s comments are richly filled with a frustration of years of trying to end the occupation of Palestine and move to a stable, peaceful situation with Israel. He is now working to build capacity and institutions in Palestine that are not dependent on Israel or negotiators.
Recently, I also interviewed Cherie Blair of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women who has partnered with Masri’s operation to provide women who graduate from Tomorrow’s Youth with career counseling and resource help after they leave the program.
Masri has also helped co-found a new political blog that is informally tied to TWN called The Palestine Note.
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “Palestinian Hope Not Dependent on George Mitchell and Politicians

  1. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Hani Masri should seek assistance from UN Special Advisory Services in Geneva to do educational semiars for Tomorrow’s Youth…who should learn how the UN works and how a people can enlist it’s help to protect their culture and their sovreignty…I think it would do wonders for bringing about a Palestian State if women and youth were taught how to make it happen.
    UN Special Advisory Services ia availabl;e to govt’s, colleges and universities and benevolent organizations…I’m just a novice in the larger scheme of things, but I did pick up a thing or two in my years of participating in the UN Human Rights Commission and working with UN Special Advisory Services.
    Also there are great careers in the UN for youth and women.


  2. JohnH says:

    Israel certainly does have bizarre interests. Chavez had to kick them out of Venezuela because of their obnoxious behavior. Say what? Venezuela? What are Israel’s interests in Venezuela? The small Jewish community there has no problems with anti-Semitism, and they weren’t even particularly noticed until Israel made a brouhaha over being kicked out.
    Now Af-Pak. Next China will become an existential threat, particularly since they won’t support Iran sanctions–the anti-Semitic ba*tards! If Israel keeps going around the world in search of bigger and bigger existential threats, eventually it might find one that swats back. Bizarre behavior, bordering on the lunatic.


  3. Outraged American says:

    Israel’s Lieberman said Afghanistan and Pakistan were the
    biggest threats to Israel in April, then suddenly there was this
    new country called “Af-Pak” that we, the US, MUST subjugate.
    Israel has nothing to do with “our” Middle East, and now South
    Asian, foreign policy. Nope, no sir, no.
    That Pakistani journalist I keep talking about, Abid Ullah Jan, the
    real “last journalist to interview Bin Laden” not Peter Bergen, has
    always talked about Israel attempting to influence Pakistan in
    nefarious ways. This goes back for years if not decades.
    Look Jan up and read his articles and books. He was a
    prominent journalist in Pakistan and had his run-ins with
    Mushareff and the ISI.


  4. JohnH says:

    Woo-hoo! This is big news! Israel has a NEW existential threat. Could this signal progress on Iran? Or does Israel simply need more existential threats to shake money out of the pockets of the diaspora?


  5. Outraged American says:

    Israel’s FM Lieberman: “Af-Pak” biggest threat to Israel. Now we
    know why we’re there.
    Pakistan, Afghanistan threat to Israel: Israeli FM
    TEL AVIV: Israel has shifted its focus from Iran and has now
    identified Pakistan and Afghanistan as the biggest threat it faces.
    I overuse the word “chutzpah” so maybe I should switch to…what
    are the words for “master manipulators” in Hebrew?


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, thanks for this post, and I wish Masri the best of luck with his new blog. I hope you involve yourself to the extent that you can assist him in turning his blog into a success.
    I hope too that it becomes a voice for the Palestinian people, and not just an instrument for splitting them down the middle, like the wedge Abbas has become, (much to Israel’s benefit and glee).
    I found Noam Sheizaf’s commentary refreshing, as it seemed to have a component of matter-of-fact reality that is missing from so much of the opinion and commentary pieces we see about the Palestinian/Israeli “conflict”.
    The following excerpt I found especially close to my own beliefs as to how to move forward. I think that ANY plan has to include conditions and stipulations on any further economic aid to Israel. It is the only leverage we have. Of course, too, I realize that the possibility of such a policy being instituted, is slim indeed, as the likes of Reid would squeal like a gored pig if it was proposed to “bribe” concessions out of Israel. And Reid has an entire sty of equally as complicit pigs in Congress, ready and willing to make a chorus out of the squealing if anyone dare challenge the Israeli gravy train.
    So, this Administration, like the last, and many before it, will reach a dead end in pursuing peace. And our unconditional monetary support of the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people will continue unabated.
    Before all else, Israel realizes…
    No matter what, the check is in the mail.
    “And now we get to the third part in the equation – the international community and, most notably, the US administration. They can apply pressure or hand out carrots to both sides in order to change the balance of interests, so that negotiations, or peace, will seem like the desirable option by the public and its leaders – even when they know it might cost them dearly”
    “Basically, there are two ways move: (a) make it in the Palestinian interest not to want a change (while “containing the conflict”, like the previous administration tried to do), or (b) making it in the Israelis interest to want one”
    “I think that option A is undesirable morally and almost impossible to achieve. Therefore, the remaining way to restart a meaningful diplomatic effort is by making the Israelis want change. As I’ve written before, the most effective way would be a clear demand by the international community- accompanied by diplomatic and even economic pressure – to give the Palestinians full civil rights and replace the military authority in the West Bank with a civilian one. This will make it clear to Israelis that we are already moving on a road that will lead to a bi-national state, in which they won’t have the current super-majority and will be forced to share power with the Arab population on a more equal basis”


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “He is now working to build capacity and institutions in Palestine that are not dependent on Israel or negotiators”
    A wise choice. Considering Obama’s cowardice and lack of conviction when faced with Israeli arrogance and intransigence, relying on outside help seems somewhat counter productive.


  8. samuelburke says:

    invasion of the foreign policy elitits the sequel.
    “The new group, Keep America Safe, was co-founded by
    neoconservative heavyweight William Kristol, who also edits the
    Weekly Standard, and Elizabeth (Liz) Cheney, the outspoken
    daughter of Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, who is believed
    to harbor political ambitions of her own.”
    The two men were also co-founders and directors of the Project
    for the New American Century (PNAC), a number of whose 1997
    charter members, including the elder Cheney, former Pentagon
    chief Donald Rumsfeld, and their two top aides – I. Lewis
    “Scooter” Libby and Paul Wolfowitz, respectively – played key
    roles in promoting the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Bush’s other
    first-term policies when the hawks exercised their greatest
    “The point was echoed by Cheney in her critique on Fox News of
    the Nobel’s decision.
    “What the committee believes is, they’d like to live in a world in
    which America’s not dominant,” she said. “They may believe that
    President Obama also doesn’t believe in American dominance,
    and they may have been trying to affirm that belief with the
    prize. I think, unfortunately, they may be right, and I think it’s a


  9. samuelburke says:

    “While the pundits and the public have been debating the whys
    and wherefores of whether Obama ought to give in to his
    generals and send more troops to the “Af-Pak” battlefield, the
    escalation is already a fait accompli – a nice Halloween surprise
    for all those “progressives” who still believe in their Dear Leader.
    Never has a political constituency been so willing to be deceived.
    That’s one reason it won’t be too hard for the Obamaites to
    continue their masquerade. Another is the administration’s skill
    at double talk. Soothing words will emanate from the White
    House to ameliorate the panic of antiwar progressives, both in
    Congress and the Democratic grassroots, and the latter will
    content themselves with gay-rights protests and nightly
    broadcasts on MSNBC caviling about healthcare “reform.”
    We want butter, and you can have your guns. That’s what it boils
    down to in the end. It’s the historic compromise of the liberals in
    the Democratic Party: you can have your “war on poverty,” say
    the party elders, just let us have our “war on Communism” or,
    today, the “war on terrorism,” and we’ll both be happy. It works
    every time.”


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