Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is a Palestinian political leader, activist, legislator and scholar, and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, a position that she has held since 2009.

The so-called peace process … was used as an instrument of power by Israel to pursue its policies of annexation and settlements … to act.

Dr Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian political leader

Pre-Oslo, Ashrawi was the official spokeswoman for the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace process during the Madrid conference in 1991. Ashrawi founded the executive committees of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, the National Coalition for Accountability and Integrity, and the Independent Commission for Human Rights.

She is also on the advisory board of a number of organizations, such as World Bank Middle East and North Africa, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the International Human Rights Council.

Dr. Ashrawi is the recipient of the 2005 Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation, and the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize. She writes on Palestinian politics and culture and her book, This Side of Peace: a Personal Account (Simon & Schuster, 1995) is an insider’s perspective on the Oslo talks.

Ashrawi spoke to Empire in Ramallah about how US and Israel’s special relationship is detrimental to peace, but also to the interests of the US.

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Source: Al Jazeera