Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Israel | Middle East | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Clair Hajaj | Palestinian

Ex-UN Worker: Most People in Mideast Just Want Peace

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 03:30 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

A former U.N. humanitarian worker who grew up as the daughter of a Palestinian father and a Jewish mother says she understands both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and that most Middle East residents simply want peace.

"Frankly, the people that I know just want to live their lives in peace, be economically successful and have a chance to strive,'' Clair Hajaj said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.


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"A lot of Palestinian children have been denied that . . . Are there some people that teach them to hate the Jews? Absolutely . . . Whenever I see that kind of thing, I feel a sense of rage inside me that these kids are not being given a chance.''

Hajaj — author of the new novel, "Ishmael's Oranges," published by Oneworld Publications — said she saw the inverse during a bus trip she took from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem amid young Israelis joining the Israel Defense Forces.

"They've been taught by their families that Arabs are pigs, that they are all murderers, that the Palestinians are a lesser society, they don't know anything, they don't have any information, and they're just excited to [have] a video game experience of wanting to shoot some Arabs,'' she said.

"Do I think that represents the whole IDF? No. Do I think that represents all of Jewish society? No.''

Hajaj said that while Hamas committed a crime against Israel by showering key Israeli cities with rockets, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's deadly response is also a crime.

"And the moral high ground is not occupied by the person who committed the crime second. That just doesn't work.''

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