TYO Founder Hani Masri on Larry King Live

Hani Masri, TYO’s Founder and President, appeared on Larry King Live on Sunday night, along with Tony Blair, Salam Fayad, Ehud Barak and Haim Saban. Check out part of the show online here, or read the transcript below.


HANI MASRI, FOUNDER, TOMORROW’S YOUTH ORGANIZATION: That’s a good question, Larry. I mean we have been into this process for 15 years. And nothing has happened so far.

And I think most the majority of the Palestinians and the Israelis want a two-state solution. And — but it is frustrating. The process is very frustrating. That is why I have in the last few years paid attention to children and women in Palestine, and we started the program of helping children and women by establishing TYO.

But I hope that something will happen eventually. But the process is very difficult and very frustrating, but there is no other way except that we do a peace agreement somehow.

KING: Haim Saban, you live in America. What role should the United States be playing? Are you — are you satisfied with the role that the United States is playing with the speech made by Secretary Clinton the other day at your forum?

SABAN: I am — yes, Secretary Clinton opened the Saban Forum in Washington on Friday. And she made a very compelling speech, and I really agree with I would say 99.9 percent of her thoughts as she put them forth.

You asked Hani a minute ago why isn’t peace happening. You know it’s a very complicated area loaded with emotions, and at the moment, you know, the leaders on both sides I think are very well intended but at the same time they need some more encouragement.

And what we’re hoping is that the United States will supply that encouragement and basically the safety net that both the Israelis and the Palestinians need, because there are significant risks involved for both sides, so the United States absolutely can play a very significant role. And I believe that this administration has every intent to do so.

KING: Hani, do you have faith in the American commitment in this?

MASRI: I do, but this is a very difficult question to answer because in the last 15 years different administrations have dealt with this issue. Nothing have happened. In the meantime, we have 60 percent of the Palestinians today are under the age of 16.

There are social and cultural problems. There are issues that have to deal with the occupation and the right of freedom for people, and we must move while the politicians are negotiating. We must move on the issues of helping children, helping the economy of the Palestinians.

It is very difficult situation. Moving on helping women, empowering them to take a role in society, and that is why about a few weeks ago I’ve done this program which we chaired by Quincy Jones and Terry McAuliffe and we honored Cherie Blair, and we honored President Clinton.

And that is to bring awareness to the issues, the main issues, which is while the politicians are talking, we are going to do programs on the ground and expand our programs in terms of helping children and women in the whole — in that whole region.

And as an American I say that it’s my duty. I cannot help in the political process. That’s not my job and we are there to be supportive of both leadership, no question, on both sides want to achieve an agreement. But in the meantime, we have to move on and help and do something on the ground.

KING: All right.

MASRI: And Americans always are givers, and as an American I want to give something of my life to the people of the area.

Full transcript at http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1012/12/lkl.01.html

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