tv Road to the White House CSPAN March 5, 2012 12:30am-2:00am EST
support hard-working families of? >> i was wondered where the audible lady was going with that for a minute. [laughter] but she is absolutely right. it is a very special day where all sorts of things can happen, all sorts of possibilities. the absolu key thing is both our tax system and welfare system we should be encouraging families to come together and stay together and celebrating commitments. >> is the prime minister aware that the entry clearance in abu dhabi has rejected an application by someone to come from pakistan to attend her granddaughters wedding in manchester? with the right honorable gentleman specify what kind of employment a 72 year-old woman who doesot speak nglish and has never left pakistan is
liable to be obtained in my constituency where unemployment is 1026%? will be overruled this decision and allow her, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to attend her granddaughters wedding? and if -- [shouting] >> the right honorable gentleman, i'm sure he is bring it to an end. >> i am. i am bringing it to an end. [laughter] and if the home secretary -- the wedding is april the second -- [laughter] >> the prime minister baak to answer the right honorable gentleman struggled i wasn't aware of the individual cases. there are hundreds of thousands of people who travel between
pakistan and britain every year. we do have to have tough controls to prevent the abuse of our immigration system, but i would suggest he takes up te case individually with the immigration minister, the honorable member tom who has a superb grip on these issues and usher will be able to give him some satisfaction be make mr. peter bone. [laughter] >> under tony blair's regime, we can sleep sleep safely at night. if tony blair is incapacitated. what would happen if the premise is incapacitated. >> i've been waiting for some time because i know that my honorable friend has asked this question to almost every single cabinet member, including the deputy prime minister who i think replied he seemed to have a morbid fascination with the end of the leader of the conservative party. all i can say is i've no plans to be incapacitated. >> we are very relieved to hear
it. >> thank you very much, . speaker. further to the question to the answer that the prime minister gave to my right honorable friend on elevenths inquiry, he is of course absolutely right that we need a free press. the nation will not thank him however if he goes along with the suggestion from the chairman of the pcc. in his proposal to use the defamation bill to legislate new system. the defamation bill is coming forward in september. this would preempt -- this would preempt the inquiry. >> i'm glad the audible lady asked that queion because i've no intention of preepting the leveson inquiry in any way at all but i think we look back to the debate we had in this house, both the right honorable gentleman the labour party, to get on with the job, to give every signal we want to be able to adopt what is proposed
without there being sort of regulatoryrbitrage between the parties but i think there is an understanding on that basis. given there is the understanding i will just repeat again. i think it's important that honorable members on all side stretch the importance of a free press in the health of our democracy. >> hard-working families in my constituency are astonished that a benefit cap for some 26,000 pounds is being opposed by the party opposite. will my honorable friend agree with me that would always mae a and provide benefits for those that are unable to work? >> i'm delighted, mr. speaker, my honorable friend caught your eye because today's the day that the welfare bill becomes an act. anfor the first time we will have a proper cap on wefare, supported by this site, opposed by that site, but backed by the overwh
if i have that wrong, i will come back to the house of the earliest opportunity. >> i am most grateful to the honorable lady for her point of order. for this opportunity to set out the position. let me just say there is -- say this, whether or not the honorable lady is sponsored by unite, i am happy to accept she is not if that is your position, i do not know. whether or not she is, he says he is a senior government --
end of the matter. >> you have been watching prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. it airs live on c-span2 every wednesday. you can watch it again i sundays -- on sundays at 9:00. watch any time at c-span.org. next, president obama and israeli president speak at the american israel public affairs conference. then a forum on syria and iran. >> president obama addresses the annual policy conference in washington, d.c. he also defended his policies
[laughter] rosie, you have been a dear friend of mine for a long time, and a tireless advocate for the unbreakable bond between israel and the united states. as you complete your term as president, i salute your leadership and your commitment. [applause] i want to thank the board of directors. as always, i'm glad to see my longtime friends in the chicago delegation. [applause] i also want to thank the members of congress here with us today and will be speaking to you over the next few days. you have worked hard to maintain the partnership between the
united states and israel. i especially want to thank my close friend and leader of the democratic national committee, debbie wasserman shultz. [applause] outstandingt my young ambassador to israel is in the house, dan shapiro. [applause] i understand dan is perfecting his hebrew on his new assignment and i appreciate the constant outreach to the people of israel. by pleased that we're joined so many officials including michael horn. tomorrow, i'm looking forward to welcoming prime minister netanyahu and his delegation back to the white house. [applause] every time i come to aipac, i'm
especially impressed to see so many young people here. you do not yet get the front seat, so i understand. you have to earn that. but students from all of the country who are making their voices heard and engaging deeply in our democratic space. you carry with you an extraordinary legacy of more than six decades of friendship between the united states and israel. you have the opportunity, and a responsibility, to make your own mark on the world. for inspiration, you can look to the man who preceded me on this stage, who is being honored at this conference my friend, president shimon peres. [applause]
shimon was born a world away from here. in what was then poland. but few years after world war i. his heart was always in israel, the historic homeland of the jewish people. when he was just a boy, he made his journey across land and sea towards home. in his life, he has bought for israel's independence, fought for peace and security. as a minister of defense and foreign affairs, as a prime minister, and as president, shimon helped build a nation that drives today, the jewish state of israel.
[applause] but beyond these extraordinary achievements, he has also been a powerful moral voice that reminds us that right makes might. not the other way around. [applause] shimon once describedthe story of the jewish people by saying that it proved that arrows in gas chambers can annihilate man but they cannot kill dignity and freedom. he has lived those values. he has taught us to ask more of
ourselves and to empathize more with our fellow human beings. i am grateful for his life's work and his moral example. i'm proud to announce that later this spring i will invite shimon peres to the white house to present him with the presidential medal of freedom. [applause] [applause] in many ways, this award is a symbol of the ties that bind our nation's. the united states and israel share interests, but we also share those human values shimon spoke about. a commitment to human dignity, a
believe that freedom is a right that is given to all god's children, an experience that shows us that democracy is the one and only form of government that can truly respond to the aspirations of citizens. america's founding fathers understood this truth just as israel's founding generation did. president truman put it well, describing his decision to formally recognize israel only minutes after declared independence. he said, "i had faith in israel before it was established. but i believe and has a glorious future before it, as not just another sovereign nation, but as the embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization." for over six decades, the
american people have kept that faith. yes, we are bound to israel because of the interests we share in security for our communities, prosperity for our people, the new frontiers of science to light the world, but ultimately it is our common ideals that provide the true foundation for our relationship. that is why america's commitment to israel has endured under democratic and republican presidents and congressional leaders of both parties. [applause] in the united states, our support for israel is bipartisan and that is how it should stay. [applause]
aipac's work continually nurtures this bond. you can expect that over the next several days you will hear many fine words from elected officials describing their commitment to the u.s.-israel relationship. as you examine my commitment, you do not just have to count on my words. you can look at my deeds. over the last three years as president of united states, i have kept my commitment to the state of israel. at every crucial juncture and at
every port in the road, we have been there for israel every single time. [applause] as the book for you and i said israel's security is sacrosanct. it is non-negotiable. my administration's commitment to israeli security has never been closer. our joint exercises and training has never been more robust. this has increased every single year. we are investing in new capabilities. we are providing israel with more technology, products, and systems that only goes to our closest friends and allies. we will do what it takes to preserve israel's military edge because israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.
[applause] this is not just about numbers on a balance sheet. as a senator, i would speak to israel's troops on the lebanon border. i have been to visit the families to have known the terror of rocket fire. that is why as president i have provided critical funding for the system that has intercepted rockets that may have hit homes, schools, and hospitals in those towns and in others.
[applause] now our assistance is expanding israel's capability so that more people can live free from the fear of rockets and ballistic missiles. the family, no citizen, should live in fear. just as we have been there with our security assistance, we have been there through our diplomacy. when they unfairly singled out israel for criticism, we challenge them. when israel was isolated in the aftermath of the flotilla incident, we had their backs. we would always reject the notion that zionism is racism. [applause]
when one-sided resolutions has brought us to the human rights council, we oppose them. when diplomats feared for their lives in cairo, we intervened to save them. when the efforts to boycott or the best from israel, we will stand against them. whenever an effort is made to delegitimize the state of israel, my administration has opposed them. there should not be a shred of doubt by now that when the chips are down, i have israel's back. [applause]
which is why it is during this political season you hear some questions regarding my administration's support for israel. remember that this is not backed up by the facts. remember that the u.s.-israel relationship is simply too important to be distorted by partisan politics. america's national security is important. israel's security is too important. [applause] of course, there are those who question not my security and diplomatic commitments but rather my administration's ongoing pursuit of peace between israel and palestine. let me say this. i make no apologies for pursuing
peace. israel's own leaders understand the necessity of peace. prime minister netanyahu, the defense minister, president peres, each of them have called for two states, and secure israel living side by side with an independent palestinian state. i believe that peace is profoundly in israel's security interests. [applause] the reality that israel faces, shifting demographics, emerging technologies, to an extremely difficult international environment come and resolution of this issue, i believe that peace with palestine is consistent with israel's founding values. because of our shared belief in self-determination, because israel's place as a jewish and democratic state must be protected.
[applause] of course, peace is hard to achieve. there is a reason why it has remained elusive for six decades. the upheaval and uncertain in israel's neighborhood makes it that much harder, from the horrific violence raging in syria to the transition in egypt. the division within the palestinian leadership makes it harder still. most notably, with hamas's continuing israel have has no right to exist. we should not and cannot to give in to more despair. the changes taking place in the region make peace more important, not less. i've made it clear that there will be no lasting peace unless it israel's security concerns are met. [applause]
that is why we continue to press arab leaders to reject israel. that is why we will continue to support the peace treaty with egypt. that is why, just as we encourage israel to be resolute in the concerns of peace, we insist that any palestinian partner must recognize israel's right to exist. [applause] that is why my administration has consistently rejected any efforts to shortcut negotiations or impose an agreement on parties. as well as you noted, last year is the before you and pledged that the united states would stand up against the kurds to single israel out of the united nations. as you know, that pledge has been kept.
[applause] last september, i stood before the u.n. general assembly and reaffirmed that any lasting peace must acknowledge the fundamental legitimacy of israel and its security concerns. concernhat america's and commitment to israel's security is unwavering. israel must be recognized. no american president has made such a clear statement about our support for israel at the men in such a difficult time. people usually give those speeches in instances like this one, not before the general assembly. [applause] i must say that there was not a lot of applause. but it was the right thing to
do. as a result, today there's no doubt anywhere in the world that the united states will insist upon israel's security and legitimacy. [applause] that will be true as we continue our efforts to pursue peace, and it will be true when it comes to the issue that is such a focus for all of us today, iran's nuclear program. let's begin with a basic truth that you all understand. no israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the holocaust, threatens to wipe israel off the map, and sponsors terrorist groups committed to israel's destruction. [applause]
so i understand the profound historical obligation that weighs on the soldiers of benjamin netanyahu, ehud barak, and all of the political leaders. a nuclear-armed iran is counter to israel's security interests. it is also counter to the national security interests of the united states. [applause] indeed, the entire world has an interest in preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
and nuclear-armed iran would certainly undermine the nonproliferation regime we have done it so much to build. there are risks that an iranian nuclear weapon could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization. it is almost certain that others in the region would feel compelled to get their own nuclear weapon. that is why we will continue to support the peace treaty with egypt. that is why, just as we encourage israel to be resolute in the concerns of peace, we insist that any palestinian partner must recognize israel's right to exist. [applause]
that is why my administration has consistently rejected any efforts to shortcut negotiations or impose an agreement on parties. as well as you noted, last year is the before you and pledged that the united states would stand up against the kurds to single israel out of the united nations. as you know, that pledge has been kept. [applause] last september, i stood before the u.n. general assembly and reaffirmed that any lasting peace must acknowledge the fundamental legitimacy of israel and its security concerns. i said that america's concern and commitment to israel's security is unwavering. israel must be recognized. no american president has made such a clear statement about our support for israel at the men in such a difficult time. people usually give those speeches in instances like this one, not before the general assembly. [applause] i must say that there was not a lot of applause. but it was the right thing to do. as a result, today there's no doubt anywhere in the world that the united states will insist upon israel's security and legitimacy.
it allows us to rally the international community as never before. to apply pressure that goes far beyond anything the united states could do on our own. because of our efforts, it iran is under greater pressure than ever before. some of you will recall, people predicted that china and russia would not move with us. in 2010, the u.n. security to counsel supported a comprehensive sanctions effort. few thought sanctions could have an immediate to bite on the iranian regime.
many questioned whether we could hold our coalition together as we moved against the central bank of iran and oil experts. our friends in europe and asia and elsewhere are joining us. in 2012, the government faces the prospects of even more crippling sanctions. that is where we are today. iran is isolated, at the leadership is divided and under pressure. the arab spring is only increased these trends as the hypocrisy of the regime is exposed. its allies are crumbling. so long as iran fails to meet its obligations, this problem remains unresolved. the effective implementation of our policy is not enough. we must accomplish our
objectives. in that efforts, i firmly believe that an opportunity remains for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed. the united states and israel both assessed that iran does not have a nuclear weapon. we are exceedingly a vigilant in monitoring their progress. now the international community has a responsibility to use the time and space exists. sanctions are continuing to increase. this july, a european ban on iran and oil imports will take hold. . faced with these increasingly dire consequences, iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision.
they can choose a path that brings them back into the community of nations where they can continue -- or they can continue down a dead-end. there are no guarantees that they will make the right choice. both israel and the united states have an interest in seeing this challenge resolved diplomatically. that is what history tells us. as president and commander in chief, i have a deeply held preference for peace over war. i have sent men and women into harm's way. i have seen the consequences of those decisions in the eyes of those i me to come back gravely wounded and the absence of those who do not make it home.
long after i leave this office, i will remember those moments as the most searing of my presidency. for this reason, as part of my solemn promise to the american people, i will use force when the time and circumstances demand it. and i know that israeli leaders also know all too well because the consequences of war. even as the recognize their obligation to defend their country. so we all prefer resolving this issue diplomatically. having said that, iran's leaders should have no doubt about the result of united states. [applause] just as they should not doubt israel's sovereign right to make its own decisions about its own security needs. [applause]
i have said that when it comes to iran to obtain nuclear weapon, i will take no options off the table. and i mean what i say. [applause] that includes all efforts of american power. an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency. [applause] iran's leaders should understand that i do not have a policy of containment.
i have a policy to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. [applause] and as i have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, i will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the united states and its interests. [applause] moving forward, i would ask that we all remember the weightiness of these issues, the stakes involved for israel, for america, and the world. already, there's too much loose talk of war. over the last few weeks, such talks have only benefited the
iranian government by driving up the price of oil which they depend on to fund their nuclear program. for the sake of israel's security, america's security, and the peace and security of the world, knows all the time for bluster. now is the time for letting pressure sinking in. now's the time to heed the timeless and vice of teddy roosevelt's. speak softly, carry a big stick. [applause] and as we do, rest assured that the iranian government will know our resolve, that our coordination with israel will continue.
these are challenging times. we have been through challenging times before. the united states and israel will get through them. we have both benefited from the bonds the bring us together. i am proud to be one of those people. in the past, i have shared in this for just why those bonds are so personal for me. the stories of a great uncle who helped liberate buchenwald to my memory is returning there with elie wiesel, sharing books and experiences with my friends on the campaign trail and in what has been to my friends in this room and the concept that has enriched and guided my life. [applause]
israel's story is one of hope. we may not agree on every single issue. no two nations do. our democracies contain a vibrant diversity of views. but we agree on the big things. the things that matter. and together, we are working to build a better world, one where people can live free from fear, one where peace is founded upon justice, one where our children can know a future that is more hopeful than the present.
there is no shortage of speeches on this friendship between the united states and israel. but i'm also mindful of the proverb that man is judged by his deeds, not his words. so if you want to know where my heart lies, look no further than what i have done. [applause] thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. god bless the people of israel. god bless the united states of america. ♪ ♪
and foremost, i say on behalf of my people thank you. [applause] thank you, president obama, for being such a good friend. [applause] thank you, aipac, for your dedication and excellence as an organization like yours. friends, it's great to be here. it's great to be here together, strong, united. i see old friends and new ones. i see many young faces, young boys and girls, the future, it belongs to you. israel loves you.
israel, like america, was conceived as an idea to create a new world by breeding together the past in the innovations of the future. friends, the restoration of a jewish faith after 2000 years in exile is a historic miracle. we started as a doubt and we wound up a long way away. we had to fight six wars in six decades. we did not lose one. we never will.
we cannot afford it. we have to defend ourselves so it is our life and obligation. [applause] with all land, water, or resources, israel grew tenfold in population and the 50 fold in gdp. israel's high-tech and innovation made herself green. israel is building new cities, universities, new theaters. our children are speaking the language of our prophets. hebrew literature is flourishing.
he said only three words to me, "shimon, stay jewish." those were his last words to me. i never saw him again. when i arrived in his village, they forced him with the remaining jews into the wooden synagogues and set it on fire. but no one survived. no one. what remained of my grandfather was his legacy, his last words to me. "stay jewish." [applause]
dear friends, i was privileged to work as the father of our nation. the unforgettable david. my grandfather's legacy became my compass which is comprised of four things -- our pursuit of peace and security, our quest for knowledge, and our alliance with the united states of america. [applause] we returned to the book and its values.
it has helped the jewish people survive for 4000 years, not because of our quantity of because of our quality. not because we had thousands of guns but because we had 10 commandments. [applause] we are guided by the call of our prophet. i tell you what it means to me. to never deny justice to others, the pursuit of peace for us. it is not opportunity. it is a moral imperative. it is a tenet of our nation's security.
to make peace, israel must be strong. let me assure you. israel is strong. [applause] israel is undergoing its greatest storm in history with horrible bloodshed in syria. a tyrant is killing his people -- killing his children. i admire the courage of the syrian people and i wished them peace and freedom from the depths of our hearts. [applause] in spite of the storm copper -- in spite of the storm, we have to reach out to the young generation in the arab world, to those who strive for freedom, democracy, and peace.
dear friends, the palestinians are our neighbors for life. peace can and must be achieved with the them. [applause] a peace based on a two-state solution, a jewish state of israel, and the independent palestine. it was accepted by past and present israeli prime ministers, and american presidents like bill clinton, george w. bush, barack obama, all of them. the president of a two-state solution is a paramount is really interest.
we want to preserve in israel that is jewish, democratic. i need from time to time with president habbas and the prime minister. they need and they want peace. i believe that it is possible with them. they are our only partner. it is a piece that is a dream for both of us and it is a nightmare for iran. they are afraid that we shall make peace. iran is an evil, cruel, morally corrupt. it is an affront to human dignity.
they are the sponsor and finance are of world terror. iran is a danger to the entire world. [applause] it threatens berlin as well as madrid. it does not threaten just israel. their ambition is to control the metal least so they can control the major powers of the world economy. it must be stopped. it will be stopped. [applause] israel experienced the whole of war.
it does not seek it. peace is always our first option. if we are forced to fight, trust me, we shall prevail. [applause] president obama is leading in the implementing an internationally complex policy imposing economic and political sanctions against iran. president obama made it clear that the united states of america will never permit iran to become nuclear. [applause] he made it clear that containment is not a viable policy.
as the president stated, all options are on the table. dear friends, the united states and israel share the same goal to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. there is no space between us. our message is clear. iran will not develop nuclear weapons. ladies and gentlemen, the quest for knowledge defines jewish history. judaism is in constant debate. it is about asking the right questions. it is about being a liberal and pluralistic society. i believe jews are never satisfied because they are
always seeking nuances, a better world, a different tomorrow, or what we call [speaking hebrew]. i believe the next decade will be the most scientific it, the best chapter in human history. it will expose possibilities that today's sound like science fiction. it's a center will be research. the more we shall not about ourselves, and the more we shall be able to control our souls. it in a global world, without a global government, self control is vital. friends, a world of science and knowledge, on in a world of signs of knowledge the jewish
people and israel have an exciting world play, much to contribute, and so we shall. friends, members of congress, may i say america is, and will remain, the indispensable leader of the free world. [applause] the indispensable friend of our people. today, more than ever, the world needs america. [applause]
i have had the privilege to meet all american presidents in the last 50 years. democrats and republicans. i was always impressed by their deep commitment, their real character is real. their commitment was, and is, my comfort. mr. president -- [applause] mr. president, members of the administration, members of congress on both sides of the aisle, but we are forever grateful to you. your unwavering support, but you're unparalleled alliance between america and israel.
mr. president, i know your commitment to israel is profound. [applause] under your leadership, security cooperations between the u.s. and israel has reached its highest level. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, we have a friend in the white house. [applause] it reflects the values that have made america great and makes israel secure. thank you, president obama, on behalf of my people. [applause]
soon, i will return home, great challenges and opportunities await us. i know this. thank you for your love and commitment and america's great friendship. ladies and gentlemen, i return home much more hopeful, much more encouraged. thank you. really. all of you. from the depths of the hearts of my people. god bless america. god bless israel. shalom to you. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you. good morning, everybody. i am the founding editor of the times of israel. thank you. this morning, we will explore the many challenges that face the united states and israel. here with us today is the former deputy assistant secretary of state. also joining us is a middle east analyst, international fell the -- fellow of the washington institute. last, but not least, a former member of congress and the president of the woodrow wilson center. [applause] let's jump in with the most complicated issue -- iran. in the last few weeks, we have
seen iran threatened to close -- we have seen terrorist acts tied to iran. james, i know you have long seen iran as a global problem. can you talk about that? >> let me first say, it thank you to the republicans and democrats in this huge hall for some support and love over 17 years. in 2009, when i was the victim of a political smear campaign, i will never forget meeting with me to tell me, we have your back. it really meant a lot. push for an agenda which i fully share, urge them to stay
bipartisan on the state of israel. israel loses if the maker a political football in this campaign. i have long worried about iran. i am a jewish grandmother and soon to be a jewish great- grandmother. iran not only is an existential threat to israel, but iran has shown it is capable to attack this hemisphere. the attacks in the 1990's were the largest massacre of jews since the holocaust. we better take this seriously. if iran gets a nuclear weapon, the arms race that will ensue and the destabilization, i think, that means that iran and a few other countries are
countries we need to worry about. it is in our national interest to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. [applause] bitet's elaborate a little what would a nuclear iran mean for terrorist groups? >> there is no greater threat than a terrorist arm for the nuclear weapon. when you think about the fact that iran is one of the worst sponsors of terror today, their sponsorship of those groups of hamas and hezbollah tells you not only do you run the risk that they will transfer their weapon itself, but also the potential for nuclear blackmail. when you think about people who say we could contain a nuclear arms iran, you hear people talk
about, we contain the soviet union. i would tell you that when you are thinking about hamas or hezbollah, that person is much more likely to actually use in nuclear weapon than the soviet union ever would have banned. [applause] i want to make one other point on this issue. when you hear the news discussions about the united states intelligence says axe and the israeli intelligence as why issedys y, we completely messe the indian test, the pakistan attest before the first gulf war. back in 2007, it was not until
the israelis came to the united states with photos of the nuclear plants that the north koreans were building in the syrian desert that we understood there was a nuclear facility there. putting the security of the united states, the state of israel in the hands of american intelligence and ability to predict the status of the iranian nuclear program, i would say it is a very dangerous path. >> thank you. can you paint a picture for us, how far does it runs influence reached -- iran's influence reached? what does it mean for israel's security? >> big brother for the middle east. they are having -- or the perception that they are very
close, hanging in there just beneath the nuclear threshold. it would give a boost to -- for regional adrenaline. they are trying to save bashar al-assad of syria. that is of primary importance to them because this is information between hezbollah and iran to syria. they are making absolutely concentrated effort in order to prevent the relationship with turkey, from becoming relations of bribery. the other thing is that the rainy -- iranians are trying to prove to the new moslem
brotherhood movement, which are taking over many countries in the middle east, it is probably bridge a ball. -- which are taking over many countries and the middle east. they are making enormous efforts, to the moslem brotherhood, your concept of the islamic state is not that different. >> very interesting. let's talk about sanctions. we have seen the islamic republic is having difficulty of conducting financial transactions, but the nuclear program continues. our sanctions having an impact and what more can be done? >> i think it is clear that the sanctions are having an impact on the economy of iran.
there is absolutely no evidence, david, that the sanctions are having any impact on the nuclear weapons program that iran is undertaking. [applause] i think it is important to remember as we look at what iran is doing, it often seems to be the case that people say, they need to obtain a level of sophistication that other countries have attained. the need to be able to recognize the iranian. they need to be able to but the uranium of antimissile any to be able to test it in a way we have seen other nations do. that is not the case. it is critically important that we understand where the red line should be. iran cannot be allowed to become capable of doing those things. [applause] finally, i would note that anybody who tells you they have not decided whether or not to
pursue a nuclear weapon in its to explain why they are willing to stomach the economic pain of the sanction and why are they turning the iaea away repeatedly. >> thank you. a nuclear capable iran -- should that be a red line for the united states? what dangers well that post? -- will that post? >> iran already does pose considerable dangers for all the reasons that have been mentioned. i do disagree about the assessment of our intelligence capabilities. this is something i am very close to. after our initial failure in iraq, congress passed the intelligence reform act and we do much better. iran is one of the toughest targets, but israel agrees with us that iran is at least a year
away from having a testable weapon and two years from being able to put it on a missile. then comes the question, what do do in the meantime? this is a very tough issue. obviously, israel is struggling with it and so are we. i read the interview that president obama just had would jeff goldberg in the atlantic magazine more he made clear that he is not bluffing and containment is not an option. containment was not an option. we all agree on that. you pointed out that the moslem brotherhood is now in political power in countries surrounding israel. it is very important to think about the changes in the neighborhood as we think about how to stop iran. my suggestion here is with respect to sanctions, they will
fully kick in the summer, even the iranians have admitted they are fighting. the transportation banking and chemical industries have been devastated inside iran. there are no spare parts in factories. the gdp is zepa. the iranians -- is zip. the iranians are planning their own government. russia canceled the sale to iran. china has cut back on its purchases of gas from iran. it seems to me that we should lead a few more months go by it to give the success a chance. let me comment on syria. if we can break assyria away from iran and deny iran a back door to hezbollah and hamas and
119 and israel, that will be an additional strategic a blow to the iranian regime. i think we have a few more months and i think -- i would urge our present to make absolutely clear that he will act. use the military component if she has to to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. [applause] >> we could spend the entire panel talking about iran. i do want to cover a lot more ground. we will hear a great deal more about the american assessment and the israeli assessment. let's move on to syria. in the midst of a horrific crackdown comes at 8000 -- what does the instability and the north mean for israel? it has been a very quiet border
for us for decades. >> just a word about iran. it is very important to keep in mind, the uranium -- their decision is to do everything so they get as close to the bomb within reach, it will probably take a 60 days. they will be able to enrich uranium -- this decision has been taken. they are going to hang in there for a time now. israel has taken a quiet decision devil we do not know in syria -- more missiles, they
were fired. the missiles that came from iraq, for example. i believe from an israeli perspective, breaking the -- i do not share the concern of many that syria is bound to fall under leadership of the muslim brotherhood. syria is a country consisting of about 40% minority. 10% christians. it is going to be very difficult for the muslim brotherhood to gain a victory in syria the same way they did in egypt, iraq, and morocco. >> how can we get rid of the
oppressive regime? military intervention something that should be considered? >> military intervention would be very difficult. we will lose the world coalition that we have put together with the tragic exception of china and russia to support raceme change. i did suggest in an article last week that the example of the yen than it might be worth looking at. six months ago -- yemen might be worth looking at. president obama helped his state -- take down those who were propagating very dangerous materials into our country and inspiring some to engage in acts of violence. in addition to that, what we did was to help broker personal
immunity for a 40-year dictator in yemen. i am persuaded he -- he is now headed into exile and there has been a peaceful transition and an election of this former vice president, who has universal acceptance in the country. the acts of violence has stopped, more or less. the united states still has access to curb any al qaeda people. if that kind of deal could be worked in syria, even though i have the same view as all of you do about the atrocities committed by bashar al-assad. i think we would keep that country from careening into civil war. we would break its away from iran. that would be a very big component of our strategy to change policy in iran.
>> the question of the potential collapse of the regime. the implications for has black and iran. >> -- hezbollah and iran. >> the test here is not when will iran gets a testable weapon. the red line must come much sooner than that. [applause] the president's interview with jeffrey goldberg, while interesting, is not a policy. everyone in this room knows that president obama and members of his head fenestration have spent many months now issuing public statements that are more focused on containing israeli action than they have been on curtailing iran. [applause]
i think everyone on this panel and in this room hopes the military action can be avoided. the only possible way for it to be avoided is if the iranians understand that we will stand firmly shoulder to shoulder with the israelis and we will take military action if necessary. [applause] >> let me ask you very quickly, the consequences of a falling out of the regime. >> clearly, it is in america's interest to go. it is in israel's interest and it will clearly hurt iran. iran uses syria as a place to which they funnel money and
weapons to terrorist organizations. it is past time for bashar al- assad to go. his departure is necessary, but it is not sufficient. we have to be concerned with what comes next. i wish i had more faith in the current foreign policy team in washington. it is a very complicated situation, we would not like to see the muslim brotherhood come to power. we need to be working very closely with the opposition and syria. we ought to be arming the opposition today and we should be working closely with them to ensure the muslim brotherhood does not follow. >> we talked a little bit about hezbollah, syria, and iran. the jewish state faces a threat to from hamas.
>> i do not think i've every -- i've never been asked to speak for the palestinian authority. i do not know what his thinking is. i think it is absolutely clear that the message from washington, d.c., publicly, must be that the palestinians will never have estates if they have terrorists and their government. -- a state if they have terrorists in their government. >> can israel be expected to negotiate with a palestinian government? >> no, absolutely not. i disagree a bit about this administration focusing only on containing israel. i think this administration has done more than any in history to help israel protect yourself.
there is a 10-year $30 billion military commitment, $3.1 billion in this year. over $600 million to be spent on missile defense. $200 million on iron dome. it is already saving lives. i agree that it is important for president obama, who will speak here san, to get to the israelis and iranians to believe that he will act in order to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. it is important for him to gain the trust. the weighted do it is to make clear that he will act. -- the way to do it is to make
clear that he will act. the strongest possible communication is necessary. in the end, we should understand we have a rules coalition supporting sanctions against iran. we have no civil war coalition trying to force regime change in syria. the sanctions have not taken effect yet. if we can find the names to stop the run from getting a nuclear weapon, i think we could prevent something that has been hard for our country, which is the 10- year saw that in iraq and afghanistan. it is much easier to go into a country down to leave act. we have paid dearly in treasure and lives. the result in those places are still uncertain. it is sherry of setting -- it is very upsetting. very upsetting.