US Secy of State Clinton on PA TV
US Secy of State Clinton on PA TVIsrael News Photo: (courtesy of PMW)

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told children in a televised interview on Ali-Soutak, a Palestinian Authority (PA) TV station, that she hopes to "connect up our two countries," clearly referring to the PA and the U.S.

A transcript of the interview, which was broadcast live on a PA TV program for teenagers, was translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization, a watchdog group that monitors Arabic-language broadcast and print media.

The Secretary was interviewed by a teenage girl and boy, each of whom asked her questions. One of Clinton's first subtle references to the PA as already carrying the status of an independent nation came in response to one of the first questions asked by the girl:

Girl Host:
"The access program is an exchange program funded by the American government. What role do such programs play in bridging the gap between cultures and what can be done to make them 2-way exchange programs?"

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"I am hoping to play a big role in working to connect the Palestinian people and American people more closely. As you know, we have many Palestinian Americans, we have very successful Palestinians in every walk of life; in business, in academia, you name it, in every walk of life. And I want to do more to connect up our two countries.

"Our people, having the Palestinian people feel that they have a better understanding of the United States and having the American people feel like they have a better understanding of the Palestinian people."

Another question asked by the girl, in which Clinton urged PA teens never to give up on the dream of establishing a new Arab country within Israel's current borders, went like this:

Girl Host:
"We have taken our cameras to the streets and asked many young Palestinians about questions they want to ask you. A little young girl from a village in Ramallah wants to know what you would do if your daughter Chelsea was unfortunate enough to have been born under occupation, to be born deprived of freedom and liberty?"

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"Well I would do what so many parents here in the West Bank and in Gaza do. I would love her, I would take care of her, I would get the best education I could for her, and I would never lose hope, I would never give up on the dream of a Palestinian State.

"No matter what happens, no matter what people do to try and derail that dream. I would tell my daughter and I would hope my daughter would believe with all of her heart that she has the same opportunities for the best future that any child anywhere in the world does and that's what my goal will be."

Clinton slipped in a further oblique reference to the PA as a country in her response to the boy host as well:

Boy host:
"The 8th of March is international women's day. Your Excellency has become a role model for many women around the world. Do you have any plan to empower women on the level of political participation, negotiations, and peace making? "

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"Yes, I am all of that. I am committed to the rights of girls and women to live up to their God given potential. When I see a young woman like you sitting next to an impressive young man, I see the future and I see that we are using the talents of everyone.

"Any country that does not utilize the talents of half the population will never be as successful as they could be and that's just I think an obvious fact.

"So I am going to do as Secretary of State what I have done all my life. I will stand up for women's rights. Stand up for women to have the same chances as boys, for daughters to have the same support as sons, because we all have different talents, we have all been endowed with different talents and society must recognize that so that's my goal. I will work very very hard towards that," she promised.