Ziad Asali
RItz Cartlon, Washington DC
ATFP Second Annual Gala: Choosing Peace, Embracing Hope
October 17, 2007 - 12:00am

My name is Ziad Asali. I'm the President of the American Task Force on Palestine. On behalf of our board I would like to welcome each and every one of you to our Second Annual Gala for honoring Palestinian Americans.

You do us great pride by being with us and we are privileged to have each and every one of you. We have many dignitaries, and many very important people, around 500 of them, in this room. So we're grateful to have you all here.

This is an evening of celebration, of pride, and hope. We are proud to honor several Palestinian Americans who have made singular contributions to America and to their communities. This is a tradition we started last year and we plan to continue forever more.

This is a statement about the contributions of Palestinian and Arab Americans to this country who have taken their fair share of the burden and the responsibility of being Americans. So we're grateful for the opportunity.

It is also pride with the Palestinian people who in Palestine and globally have continued their quest for independence and for freedom.

It is also a celebration of hope. For those of you who were with us last year you remember at this podium Secretary Rice delivered a passionate, and great speech. And in it she said that she cannot think of a greater legacy for America than bringing up a state of Palestine. No greater legacy. Well true to her word she has been in and out of the Middle East so many times, more than she visited three different continents to pursue just that dream, which is coming closer to reality by every added effort.

There are some who say that it is hopeless, it is words they play with us and they have history to vindicate them. A long tradition of non-success should I say. However with each and every step that is made to bring about Palestinian freedom and independence, to create a state of Palestine alongside Israel where all will continue enjoying a future of security, and peace, and prosperity, it is worth every effort.

We are proud to say that we as an organization have done and will continue to do everything we can to in order to help with this effort and we are proud to be a small part of this effort and we will shall hope that we will be more successful in providing that supporting role. Once again thank you very much and I would like to introduce Amabassador Afif Safiyeh, from the PLO, who will give us his remarks and deliver a message.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017