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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 29, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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>> their endgame is they want to improve the situation in gaza to ease the blockade to allow goods and services to come in. right now, gaza is pretty much trap. there has been so much loss of civilian life. hamas needs to go back to their constituency, to the palestinian people, and say this was worth it. your lives are going to improve. that is how they can claim some degree of victory. that is certainly one. i would say it is the most important component. they also want to be able to build popular support, not just in gaza, but also in the west bank. there are two key theaters here. hamas has gained in that respect. over the last two weeks, we have seen growing sentiment in support of hamas's position. of hamas? the future what are they hoping to do? what is their future?
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>> their future is certainly difficult in the sense that israel is not willing to reconsider out itself to hamas theg a dominant player in palestinian scene. that is why when hamas and the faction of palestinian president bbad announce a unity government, they were opposed to that. how to normalize hamas or bring them into the political process? that has been the big elephant in the room for such a long time , that even when you have a u.s. sponsored peace negotiation, those are done with m mahmoud abbas. according to the u.s., they are a terrorist organization as well as to israel. the other option would be to
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eradicate hamas. we have seen time and again that that is not really possible. inas is deeply embedded palestinian society in terms of social services, parallel , and they have mass support. not a majority necessarily, but a significant portion of the population. au can't really eradicate group like that altogether. that is why it becomes such a dilemma, because eradication does not work, but also normalizing hamas is very sensitive and controversial, considering their status. >> then who is negotiating with whom right now? >> that has actually been one of the challenges in trying to forge a cease-fire, is that there isn't really one actor that can mediate between the two protagonists in this battle. hamas and israel. he obviously are not going to talk to rectally to each other.
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the changing status of egypt is a critical part of this as well. egypt under the muslim brotherhood president mohamed morsi in 2012-13 was very sympathetic to hamas because hamas is effectively the palestinian branch of the muslim brotherhood. with a military coup in egypt, you have a new government under former general a cc that is very antagonistic towards hamas. in some ways, egypt wants to see hamas destroyed, even more than israel does. egypt can no longer really play the role of effective mediator. they can't be an honest broker. the funny thing is that when the cease-fire proposal last week first came out, hamas was complaining that they weren't even consulted, that they heard in the media. egypt has not been able to effectively bring the two sides together. that is why you have qatar and
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turkey who have been more involved in the cease-fire negotiation. the problem is, israel does not trust them. you have these different potential mediators, but there is a real question about credibility and trust between the various sites that are trying to talk to each other. >> how does -- how do qatar and turkey support hamas? and why have they chosen to be on the side of hamas in these negotiations? qatar and turkey, we can look at it as if there is an era of cold war. there are various sites, you have the pro-u.s. western orbit is, if you will, that would include saudi arabia, jordan, obviously israel is part of that to some extent, but on the other hand, you have qatar and turkey, which lean
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toward hamas and more generally lean towards the muslim brotherhood and other mainstream islamist actors across the region. areourse, turkey and qatar still u.s. allies, but they have tried to carve out a more independent approach to foreign they dowere sometimes things our ally themselves with actors who do not get along with the u.s.. they seemed at the start of the the spring to be on ascendancy that we were seeing the rise of islamist parties throughout the region, and most prominently in egypt. with the rise of the brotherhood and mohamed morsi there. we've seen a shift over the past year and a half where these islamist groups have entered into a kind of decline, and turkey and qatar have been more isolated, and the tension between turkey and qatar on one hand and the saudis and --ptians on the other have has gotten worse. as kind of arab cold war that i
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am pointing to. why it is such a fractious atmosphere in the middle east. that is why it is so hard to get things done. it is so hard to have effective negotiations. >> where is the arab league in all of this. >> the arab league is no longer an effective act or. , i think, early on in the arab spring that the arab league were -- would come to the fore and play a more assertive independent role. the arab league is a product of the various arab act or's. again, the saudis and egyptians driver seat in the when we are talking about the broader arab world. there isn't an interest in having the arab league be an independent actor. the arab league has in a sense become consumed -- subsumed under saudi and egyptian priorities in the region. >> the arab leaders are one
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thing, and these different countries, but what about the arab people? what they are saying? , about thecial media situation? >> yes. we generally know there is broad arab sympathy for the palestinian cause. this has always been one of the primary open wounds in the middle east, the one thing that unifies different arab populations together. for the most part, they don't agree and a lot, but there are a couple of things. opposition to u.s. policy to one extent or another, and dislike or even hatred of israel and correspondingly support for the palestinian people. it doesn't necessarily mean support for hamas as a political actor, but sometimes those two things get blurred. people are not really putting a lot of the blame on hamas or even most of it, because they see israel as the primary
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problem here. when people are dying in very large numbers, in gaza, they're going to blame the more powerful party. that in this case is israel. israel obviously has used disproportionate force. what we're seeing now and what arab leaders have to be concerned about is a gap between what arab governments are saying and doing and the kind of anger and sympathy that you see on the popular level. that is where egyptian authorities have to be careful because they seem to be closer to israel than they are to hamas . the longer this conflict goes on, more and more egyptians are going to be asking, why is not our leadership taking a stronger stand in support of the palestinian people? >> what you think could be the fallout from that? it will't think translate into any major destabilization for the egyptian government, it just means that
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the level of dissatisfaction and disillusioned is going to grow. that does not mean that sisi has to worry about that now, but those initial impressions are going to stay and could solidify over time. that could start to be a major liability for him on the domestic scene, especially if the economy does not improve. especially as we americans try to understand -- i think people ask sometimes, well, more syrians have been pastd, not just over the couple of years, but over the past couple weeks. those massacres have not gotten as much attention. been, perhaps understandably so, what about syria, what about iraqi echo or muslims are being killed there. outside observers have to has atand that palestine
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kind of emotional connection just because of the history. for arabo a metaphor helplessness. the arabs look to this and say well, here is a kind of usurper that is outside power israel. they have come in and humiliated arabs and the palestinians in particular time and time again. i think from an arab perspective, that is how we have to understand it. it signifies this ongoing humiliation. that is why it is able to rally so many different groups together. >> what about the role of united nations? here's a headline from cnn this morning. the un security council demands a humanitarian cease-fire in gaza at a midnight meeting to approve this resolution. to halt the violence and allow for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, the 15 nation council said.
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have they does to they wield much influence? >> the urine is an important player in terms of how they can set the tone. they can try to bring different groups together. they can try to wring international pressure on israel, but also on hamas. in terms of any binding authority, obviously the u.n. has limitations there. the israelis have historically ,ot trusted the u.n. particularly on this issue, simply because they see there is a kind of anti-israel sentiment on the part of the general assembly, and obviously the 50 plus muslim majority nations tend to have a more anti-israel approach. important, but we shouldn't overstate its importance. at the end of the day, it has to be players like the u.s. that actually have poll the israelis. that is why the u.s. remains a very critical actor here. we can talk about america's decline and all of that, but at the end of the day, the israelis
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don't trust the europeans as much. there are obvious enough going to trusted arab and middle eastern neighbors as much. the u.s., even though there is more and more attention between the u.s. and israel now, the u.s. is still israel's strongest supporter and strongest ally in the international community. it is very hard to envision any kind of successful resolution putting itsu.s. skin in the game and exerting pressure on the various sites. >> let's get to a phone card hear. then we will show you what the debate was like on the sunday talk shows. stephen in shelbyville, indiana. morning, greta. you're looking fine this morning. i have a question about the blockades. is that what stirs up everything? do the blockades royster
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up everything? the humanitarian situation in gaza has been that for a long time. there's a cease player -- a cease-fire in 2012 and an expectation that there would be an easing of access of goods and services into gaza. that did not really pan out. generally, since hamas was ,lected in the 2006 election and then when they were able to them out,za and push gaza has been in a difficult situation. you haven't really seen an improvement in living standards, so there isn't really any light at the end of the tunnel. that, i think, is the basic structural problem here. we have a very small piece of territory, and gaza is pretty small. it is called the gaza strip for a reason, right? you have 1.8 million people who
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are packed into the very small space. it becomes such an incubator for militancy, for radicalism. if people don't have hope and a better life, they are more resistance.e by that, we mean some kind of military opposition to israel as the only way to improve their situation. that is also how hamas was seeing things in the lead up to this conflict, that they were in a weak position, things were getting so bad they were hemorrhaging ocular the in gaza. they were not able to white and say i'm a well, things are getting better. and you're in that kind of weak situation, in that situation of desperation, you're more likely to move aggressively and do things you otherwise might not do. 50% unemployment i read in the last week. and, as unable to pay their
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40,000 government workers, leading up to the situation. how is hamas spending the money that it has from its allies in the region? how much is it getting? did they not spend it on the and instead on their military efforts? this is one of the concerns. they could have been using the money to build gaza and invest in the things i can actually make a difference on the ground level. it is hardt funding, to say how much exactly, went to the building of this sophisticated tone network -- tunnel network to replenish their military arsenal and rockets. the problem with hamas is that it is trying to be two things at once, a governing entity and a kind of political party, but also a militant faction that
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uses violence to advance political ends. those two priorities come into conflict. that is also mirrored in the very structure of hamas as an organization, where you have the political wing on one hand and .he military wing of hamas we are seeing signs of increasing tension. hamas leaders in accelerant hamas leaders inside of gaza. /outside an inside tension as well. hamas is trying to appeal to various constituencies all at once. that can lead to internal contradiction third i think it is fair to say that hamas is -- it has put, and we have to be honest about this, it has put civilians in harm's way. it intermingles civilian and military aspects inside of gaza itself, so they are firing rockets from civilian areas. that is why we can't also see hamas as a kind of traditional state that has an army and fight
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its wars and battles in the conventional military sense. we are talking about asymmetrical warfare where there -- they are within the civilian population and you can't really have a hard and -- hard and fast separation between the civilian and military components. >> mr. hameed is a policy fellow at the center for middle east at the brookings institution. here with us for another 20 minutes or so. we will go to gym in spartanburg south carolina. hello, jim. >> regarding this whole concept of disproportionate force. to think that our american forces should have fought the taliban differently, maybe not used fighter jets and drones and inflicted more u.s. casualties to make things more fair? is that the same kind of analogy ? st
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host: re: asking that because you see kind of contradiction? whether we should fight our wars differently and whether we would be willing to suffer more casualties like they think israel should to make things "fair. " i think it is been well documented that the your u.s. has used disproportionate force in iraq and afghanistan. there's nothing new or particularly original. i would say it is really hard to the comparisons when context is so completely different. when we look at israel's offensive in gaza and in particular, we see whole blocks, entire neighborhoods leveled. ,ou can target hamas fighters
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and that is justified, but does that mean you have one hamas fighter in a room and there are 10 civilians in that same room or that same building, does that mean you go ahead and risk the loss of 10 civilian lives to get that one hamas fighter? that is where there has to be more care to determine whether onse kinds of attacks apartment blocks or buildings go ahead. is it worth the civilian life? i think that is what has been so problematic. i think also, israel's incentive structures are misaligned. what israel is trying to do is convince the gazans and hamas that it is not worth it. if they pummel gaza enough, next time around, hamas will think twice. us is the kind of strategy of district -- of disproportionate deterrence that israel has been using. that explains part of the reason
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why we see such a massive use of force. the only way deterrence work is if you convince you that actor that the costs are simply too high. let's listen to what the prime minister of israel had to say on the sunday talk shows. he was asked about what is next for the israeli offensive on cnn's "state of the union." >> obviously, we hope we can get a sustainable quiet as soon as possible. the only way we can do that is by adopting the egyptian initiative that basically has unconditional -- it has no conditions except to try to begin to address, have a cease-fire, a cessation of all studies and try to address the two underlining issues here. security for israel, which means demilitarize in gaza, from always rockets and tells and so on, and social and economic relief for palestinians.
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you can't get that relief without having assured demilitarization. otherwise, all the money and concrete and cement the go and will not be used to offer relief to the people of gaza, but to build more terror tunnels and more rockets and more missiles. we need demilitarization. that is critical. >> you disagree with the characterization that israel is thinking about significantly broadening its operation in gaza? candy, we will take what action is necessary to defend our people. what do you make of him intertwining demilitarization with economic relief? some in the papers are saying the fact that he even brought up economic relief for opening perhaps. >> what he is asking for in return is not particularly realistic, even if we think that yous preferable, how
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convince her get hamas to agree to demilitarization, militarization is the very essence of who and what they are. as it partly militant actor. that --the problem israel wanted some things in the cease-fire agreement that the other side is unable to agree to. it also goes vice versa. there are things that hamas wants which is an unconditional humanitarian relief to gaza, the israelis are not willing to accept that. that is where we have this kind of impasse. israel is very concerned that if the cease-fire arrangement allows for a significant improvement in the lives of gazans, hamas will be able to claim victory. want to save face. they are also emboldened by their own domestic
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constituencies that asking them to dig in. that is why it is almost like a game of chicken where you have two cars running into each other and who is going to blink first. that is why it is such a destructive environment. that's also listen to what prime minister abbas had to say. >> israel has an agenda to destroy and totally destroy the palestinian. it has been culminated by the formation of an agreed-upon palestinian government. israel wanted to keep gaza totally separate from the rest of the palestinian territory because all of this aggression is totally unjustified. i was speaking about avoiding civilians and so on. 80% of those who have been killed in gaza are civilians. women, children, old men, 1000 -- 1080tinians
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palestinians have been killed. innocent people. they are claiming that they're sending messages to them. these people have no place to go, even the unschooled ones are bombarded by the israeli army. what role as president abbas playing in all -- and what is the >> they were trying to patch their differences and move in that direction of getting their own house in order. it is worth noting, i think the palestinian official is correct in saying that israelis were very concerned about this development. they have been publicly, for quite some time, been staunchly against any talk of a unity government between hamas and
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fatah. even mahmoud abbas himself who has a troubled trying to reach out to them. i think when the israelis saw that, that was potentially dangerous from their standpoint. i think it is fair to say that something which would otherwise have been seen as a positive step, because ultimately, as long as the palestinians are divided internally, there can't really be a two state solution or any kind of solution. i think many observers saw that as a positive step, at the israelis did not. they had incentives to undermine this week conciliation agreement. let's get to when the view is in jacksonville, florida, on the democratic line. caller: thank you for taking my call. the speaker is running out some very important points, which
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took him a very long time to get to. are, wasy questions as violently opposed to israel? hamas as part of their charter is saying they're calling for the destruction of israel. .hey build all of these tunnels if there are concerned about the civilians, why are they not putting the civilians into the tunnels? you have got massive infrastructure where people could go and be safe, but nobody seems to care about them. host: ok, wendy. hameed? guest: hamas does put civilians in harm's way and they could be doing much more to ensure their safety, but hamas is ultimately
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very rational actor. i think it is problematic to look at them as evil, as people who do not respond to normal pressures of politics. we don't have to like hamas, but we do have to understand that they do things for a reason. this is not an al qaeda style terrorist group that is operating in its own parallel universe. this is a political actor and in terms of tracking hamas over a. of time, they do respond to incentives, threats and pressures. that is very important here. hamas does not unfortunately benefit -- hamas does and if it from the loss of human life, unfortunately. hide the body count is, the more sympathy there is for their situation in gaza. that is what i mean when i say the incentive structures are is aligned. hamas does not really have strong incentives to bring civilians into tunnels or
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shelters or whatever else. worst of all, there are no shelters in gaza. that is the unfortunate reality of the situation, that israel and hamas both have incentives for the body count to be fairly high. hamas beingof violently opposed to israel, there's no doubt about that, that hamas does not believe in israel's right to exist, but we also have to look back at the plo decades ago. they also believe in israel's distraction, they also were terrorist organization, but over time, they were able to come to terms with the idea of an israeli state, not because he liked israel, but because israel was real and it was effect on the ground and they had to be pragmatic and realistic. hamas over the past few years reconciled itself to israel existed, but has suggested that it may be open to a resolution along the 1967
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borders, if they get certain things in return. now, they haven't been as clear on that as we might like, but terrorist organizations are able to evolve. they are able to change. their charter is very problematic. organizations are not permanently bound to their charters. they can change those charters, they can change their policies. >> we will go next to ann arbor, michigan. a democratic caller. caller: i have two comments. one, your guess is that hamas is a rational actor. i suppose what he means by a rational actor in this context childrenat sacrifices so that they bring in popular discontent and hatred for israel's position in this
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process. i really don't consider this to be a moral act on the part. another, and i have has to do thatthe characterization egypt is a military code. i think what happened in egypt was that there was a popular uprising. there were 20 or 30 million people in the street demanding that mr. morsi step down because he did not like what was going on. the army intervened to remove morsi interest bonds to a popular uprising. ink tanks ofluding the united states, cannot give up the standard western thinking of self reference criteria, which means that if somebody comes in in a popular direction, they should be removed by a popular election. egyptian people have the wisdom of realizing that there was not going to be an election.
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that is really my viewpoint. yes, hamast of all, is not a moral actor. is anyone a moral actor in the middle east today? i do think anyone is claiming that hamas is a moral actor in the first place. now, as for the somewhat tangential point of a military coup in egypt, promilitary people in egypt have made these absurd claims, and i am surprised to hear a color bring million-30 million people protesting. no one takes it seriously. that is an utter joke. all outsider observers agree that the number is large, but 30 million people in the country of 80 million, the public spaces in egypt can't even accommodate a fraction of that number. u.s. believein the in the importance of democratic elections, and if someone is
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democratic, as bad as they are, you can't get rid of them through a military coup. it is become very clear in egypt that the military is now in charge. president is called former general, former jill marshall -- . in someshall sissi senses this is a classic military coup. had popular support, but that has no bearing on whether or not the military was ultimately the one pushing morsi out. hameed --with chad d hameed.heed he wrote a book about this, temptations of power, islam is an ill liberal democracy in the middle east. what is this about?
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>> it looks at the islamist movements before and after the muslim spring. how trying to understand they were in opposition and they were in a very weak position before the arab spring started. then they were faced with the temptations of power. that is where title the book this way. they had a political opening and they took it. that turned out to be a very fraught decision. looking back, we can look at it as a major mistake, that they came to power to quickly come and i think as a color rightly noted, there was popular opposition to mohamed morsi and the muslim brotherhood. was astried to do someone who was meeting and spending time with islamists, actors and leaders since 2005 in is very think it important for us as americans
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and outside observers to understand who are these islamists. after the arab spring, they rose to prominence. i that there's a lot of confusion about these groups were going to do. we talk a lot about isis and iraq and syria and these extremist groups that are very vicious and very violent, but .here is the other side of that the mainstream and modern -- and relatively modern actors might be a liberal and they believe in many things we as americans are going to be comfortable with, but they agreed to work within the political process to participate in democratic elections. the kind of islamists seen in the middle east is very fractious, and it is very important to make those distinctions and not to lump them all together. we will go to texas. john is walking is there.
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1946-49, there was no israel. israel did not come into existence until 1954. how did israel come into existence and what towns the takeover to do it? guest: israel came into existence in 1940. as a long and fraught history. certainly, i think to really understand why this conflict is so difficult to resolve is because it is not just about what happened two weeks ago or two years ago, is a kind of living history. palestinians and israelis are very tight -- tied to their founding moments, if you will. what happened in 1948, and it was a great victory for the israelis, but a great catastrophe, as a collet, on the palestinian side. you move beyond these
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hatreds that draw on a very long history of suffering and all of that? i think that the palestinians would say that many of their , the fathers and grandfathers were pushed out of their towns that many of them are living in what is today israel proper. some left voluntarily, but many did not leave voluntarily. that is why this question of what you do about the palestinian refugees has always been a major sticking point in negotiations. give them a symbolic compensation, do give them right of return to the dash to the west bank and gaza, but not to where they were originally echo that is become a very difficult internal debate. i think the israelis will look 1967.rom 1948 to there were several wars with the arab neighbors. they took that as a fundamental
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reflection of the bad faith of their arab neighbors and that these arab countries want to push israel out of the middle east altogether. int is why there was a war 1948. there's a war in 1956 and the 1967. with each of the subsequent wars, things didn't get resolved, they continue to be quite thorny. we're still dealing with the fallout and aftereffects, not just from 1948, but 1967, where israel was able to acquire through force the west bank and gaza. ever since 1967, that has been the key question. according to you and resolution page 202. so far, those territories have not become independent, they have not become part of a
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current or future palestinian state. we're still dealing with the legacy of 1967. >> i think by that answer you have answered this tweet from duty who wants to know why -- why they are not able to live together in harmony? is not so much culture, it is history. about i would be careful putting too much stock in this being a cultural or religious conflict. yes, religious sentiment is strong. --tainly, hamas is an inlet islamist movement. certainly, on the israeli side, your far right religious groups that see the west bank and gaza, they will call it today a and samaria, as being there rightful land given to them by god. that does make it more complicated, but ultimately this is a conflict about competing claims on territory. it is tangible and measurable.
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we should not make it out into this kind of metaphysical thing where they hate each other so much and they will never be able to resolve it. they have come close to resolution at various points, certainly in 2000. there's a big debate about how close they were, but we do know what a solution looks like, and that is what is so frustrating and tragic about this. we do know what a two state solution looks like. the vast majority of the west , maybed gaza, 95% plus with mutual land swaps, would go to the new palestinian state. there'd be some kind of shared sovereignty which are useful and so that the israelis would have to give something up on that. it would be some kind of right of return, largely symbolic compensation, maybe a small number that would actually go back to israel proper. the rest would go to the new palestinian state.
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this basically know what looks like. on those issues of the exact borders on the exact specifics on right of return, on the shared sovereignty of jerusalem, those are the sticking points. also, you have the palestinian and israeli leaderships that are unaccountable to their own domestic constituency. there's a fear that if they make tooal, it would seem to be conciliatory are getting too many concessions to the other side. they're going to be seen in history as the ones who gave it away. no one wants to be remembered that way. i think those domestic pressures have to be factored in as well. host: barry in florida, democratic caller. hello, barry. caller: i really don't know where to start. the first thing is i heard someone on television read the article seven of the charter of hamas calling to kill every jew they could find. you don't negotiate with someone
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who wants to kill you everywhere they can find you. this moral relativism that i hear from mr. hamid is really outrageous. he himself said that hamas uses the resources that they get, the $425 million that they share with the palestinian authority for a military purpose. we don't take care of their own people, he himself said that they use civilians as targets. caller, what is his alternative. otheraid earlier, the option is to eradicate hamas from the face of the earth and literally erase them. you cannot do that. it is a fools errand. it is impossible and has been tried before. the israelis aren't even trying to do that, because they know it is a fools errand. hamas is deeply embedded in their society.
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that is the situation with most islamist movements, these mass movements across the region, whether it is in palestine, egypt, georgia, tunisia. they reflect a social and religious conservatism in their . providing social services to constituents on the local level. that is a source of their popularity. i'm just being very practical here. he can think of hamas is the most evil organization on earth, but if you can't eradicate them, then you have to find a way to live -- they are there. what is the living arrangement going to be echo is the question we have to ask ourselves. if they are rational actors, as i contend they are, then they are with boxes to international and incentives. that is where turkey and qatar become important, because they can put pressure on hamas to accept certain cease-fires.
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we can't be that thinking about these solutions that are not actually going to happen. you negotiate ultimately with your enemies. yes, hamas is an enemy of israel . depending on your perspective, can also be seen as an enemy of the u.s.. but you negotiate with your enemies. you don't want them to be doing the thing they been doing for the last several decades. the plo became a more normalized clinical actor in the region. that doesn't mean it is going to happen with hamas, what you look at the available options and you try to pick the one that is least bad. for more information, you can go to he is a policy fellow for the
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center for middle east over at the brookings institution. thank you, sir, for your time. >> senate negotiators have reached it tentative agreement on a bill to try to address some of the problems at the veterans affairs department. that is next on c-span. then, russia's ambassador to the united nations takes questions about the ongoing come -- conflict in ukraine. member of jewish organizations meet in washington to talk about the israeli/palestinian conflict. the head of the u.s. citizenship and immigration services will testify about u.s. immigration and deportation policies. this comes as congress debates the influx crossing the u.s. border. the ukraine's foreign minister said monday that pro-russian
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separatists are continuing to manipulate the wreckage of the downed malaysian airliner. in the afternoon, we will talk about the ukraine/russia conflict at the atlantic council. that is live at 1:00 eastern, also on c-span3. is reachedisan deal on the v.a. bill that would authorize about $17 billion to hire more doctors and nurses, make it easier to fire executives at the veterans affairs department. senator bernie sanders and congressman jeb miller. this briefing is about 20 minutes. >> ok.
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much for all very being here, for what i think is a very important announcement. let me introduce chairman miller of the house v.a. committee. this conference committee legislation that we are bringing far from what i would have written if i had to do it alone. i suspect it is fair to say it is far from what chairman miller would have done. legislationromise has been given take on both sides. then we say i strongly support we have come up with. that weke certain address the immediate crisis, of veterans being forced onto long waiting lines for health care.
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the v.a. will be able to hire the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel so that we can put -- to the long waiting list. it makes certain that this seniorand in confident official at the v.a. does not remain employed there. in addition, there are other significant benefits for veterans and their families. needs must veterans be considered a cost of war. and appropriated as emergency spending. arees and tanks and guns across the work, so are the people taking care of those people who use the weapons and fighting a battle. mccain bill passed the senate with 93 votes. it is the funding mechanism in this bill. must hent sums of money provided so that the v.a. has the resources to immediately and
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unacceptably long waiting periods. this country does that by contracting out with private medical providers, a new deal center, the department of defense facilities. this is something that was contained in that house bill. we accept that language. this agreement consistent with the standard mccain bill. it offers veterans who have a seven mile walk to get health care out of the v.a.. awayu are a hundred miles and you're sick, you should be able to go to a provider in your community. will, in terms of dollars, was some $10 billion for contracting out of health care and for those veterans who live 10miles or more away, million dollars. veterans organizations have made it clear that we need to make
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sure that they have the doctors thisurses and medical -- is about five million dollars for the car to strengthen your capabilities. this is consistent with bills passed in the house. senator mccain authorizes funds if the 27a. to answer major facilities in 18 states of puerto rico that will cost about $1.5 billion. we have all been outraged by the distortion of data and so forth. this bill contains language which will allow the secretary to fire people immediately who are doing -- who are underperforming or lying. it gives them a 21 day. of appeal. without pay during that. periods that
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veterans who experienced sexual trauma. it expands the john david said scholarship program to improve spouses who died during duty. let's all veterans qualify for in-state tuition under the post 9/11 g.i. bill. it also extends a program regarding tbi. money, this bill .ill provide 17 billion dollars it is a five dollar off saved with the v.a., approximately 12 billion dollars of new money. this is a difficult process and it takes place, chairman miller and i are working within the context of philosophically house and senate being very different institutions, looking at the world for differently, a lot of partisanship going on. it is been a very difficult process. i want to thank chairman miller very much. from day one, he understood that it is absolutely imperative that
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we get this all done and we get it done now, before the august break. it would not have happened without his determination and hard work area thank you very much. thank you very much to my friend, the chairman of the self-defense -- of the defense committee. this agreement will go a long way to helping resolve the crisis that exists out there today. helping to get veterans off of waiting list is extremely important. this bill does that. it also holds people within the department accountable. that is something that both bodies wanted to do. if i had written this, secretary would have had the ability to fire the top senior-level individuals without an appeal. we have been working on this
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diligently from the days that this has passed both oddities. the fact that there had been little action or movement for a long. .f time i think was exaggerated senator sanders and i, among other members of the conference committees, have worked for digital -- diligently to try to bring this into closure before we left for the august recess. that has always been the deadline that we had set to be able to get this bill passed by both houses before we went home. the other thing it does is it starts a conversation. i think about v.a. for the future. senator sanders and i differ about certain things, but one thing that we do agree about is that the veterans of this country deserve the best quality health care that they can get in a timely fashion. that has not been the case as of late. as i said in my opening statement with acting secretary gibson in our committee the other day, the v.a. is not sacred, the veteran is.
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that is most important thing for all of us to remember as we have gone through this process. we still have to have he'll approved by the conference committee, and of course both houses, the house will meet on thursday, the senate i believe on friday. with that, i say thank you to my good friend senator sanders for working in good faith throughout the entire process. and look forward to moving this in-house. >> we have two chairman here. >> pick whichever one you want. >> i want these -- the chairman. suddenly, >> this legislation is doing is foropriating $10 billion veterans who are currently
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enrolled in the v.a., both to get emergency care if they go to a facility and there's a long waiting line they will go to a private doctor, community health center, or us. there's money available if you're living more than 40 miles away. you'll be able to get the health care you need in your community. there are $10 billion appropriated, it may well be that at some point in the future we will need more money. that is a debate we will have him across the bridge. would say, that again, the biggest issue that we had to confront was the cbo score that was given on oath the house and the senate bill. the strong negotiations, we went to the -- i don't believe any of this leave this would cost that much. with the house said as we began talking with the senator, was we believe it will be lost on the first-year cost of 10 billion. we are willing to lock the number in and it will continue
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as long as that money is there. adon't believe there will be flight of all of the veterans out of the system, but we don't programil we start this is actually going. this first-year is a benchmark program. of the thatnd we all agree on is one of the important things in our bill was to have a commission that would go through and independently look at the department of affairs from top to bottom. the v.a. will tell us any more money and more people, but what they won't do is help us understand where efficiencies can be found within the system. our doctors seeing patients at the ship, is there space being used adequately. two they need to close and only see people doing the normal business hours?
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there are a lot of things we will find out in the next year that hopefully will change the way v.a. delivers health care. >> i agree with the chairman said. in addition, we hope that coming intonurses the system, they will be able to accommodate many times that. .> this is a two-part question you said you believe there will be a flight of patients out of the system. how can you be sure there will be many coming back into the system? will the parsec be able to fly and house of representatives when they have some i.t. party conservatives concerned about the bottom line? >> as we discussed in a .onference or is in our members understand that. this is not a process in which we found ourselves because of
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congress is lack of oversight, because oversight is what brought this to the table. we have a serious problem that needs to be resolved. the v.a. has caused this problem . one of the ways that we can help solve it is to give veterans a choice, a choice to say in the system or a choice to go out of the system. there may be folks that actually will not come back into the system. there are a lot of veterans of doug is v.a. because they have the ability to seek their health care somewhere else. i think we will begin to see what that number is. v.a. always says 90% plus of the people in the system are satisfied. here is a great way to test it. if they are, you expect and percent will stay in the system. -- 90% will stay in the system.
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the additional money we do have additionald, if money is needed, it will have to be done through the normal perspiration -- appropriations process. responseans need quick . this is the way that we need to be able to make sure that veterans are not standing in line as they have been. let me tell you something. it doesn't matter what senator saunders roy or conference committee passes, we can't legislate good morals and good character. as long as people are inside the system, they're willing to gain the numbers that they had in the past, v.a. is not going to be able to fix itself. so hopefully, as we both have talked with the incoming secretary, he will be able to make the change that is necessary from the top. >> about 5 billion of us will be
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offset. where others offsets coming from? >> always in the -- >> $5 billion offset from other programs in the v.a., which i feel comfortable with. >> do think you're compromise can change the culture inside the v.a.? right now, and i hope this week within the next few days, mcdonald's will be voted in as undersecretary. send gibson will remain. we have a new team in there. i hope very much that the v.a. fully understands that some of what we have seen and heard about in the last few months is this is not a political issue, this is unacceptable from every member of the united states
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congress. there's nothing to be manipulation of data. there were not the line about weightlessness. --re'll be a relationship they will provide information to us when we need that information. i want to say what i believe and have said this many times. i think it is absolutely true vermont and many parts of this country. when veterans get into the ba the field at about the care they have been getting. people going to have a doctors and so forth. willr term i hope the va have the doctors, nurses, and cultured to ensure each veteran gets quality health care when he or she needs it. what wass a sense of the biggest sticking point.
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the congress is a dysfunctional institution. majoris major issue after issue. havinghere together done something that happens rarely in congress. i am proud of what we have accomplished very at >> as you mentioned this compromise will allow for too much red tape and bureaucracy? >> the weight will be written is on the secretary makes the decision to fire someone they will be fired. and they lose their salary at that point. they will have one week into --
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and which to appeal and the board will have a 21 day period do it.h they can do not want an we appeals owing on month after month and year after year. people have that concern. this is the compromise we have reached. >> you mentioned the short-term sunset there a specific on this provision, a goes free two years and that is it or will it be rick stated or how does that work? what about the way times that trigger allowing veterans to pick other care. if the ba changes what it says
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its way time is. >> the senate had 30 days and we had the 30 day. >> how are you selling this one ?hen it is mostly not offset >> i come from a sales background before he came to congress. i think i can do an adequate job. we will be able to sell it to our conference. we will probably not get a unanimous vote as we did when the bill was coming out of the house.
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>> always trying to one up me. >> as we go through the process there will be an educational process that will have to take place. some of our members will need a little more educating than others. >> at the end of the day whether you are a conservative or a progressive people understand must goue should and beyond politics. we have people who have put their lives on the line. it would be a disgrace to this country if we did not address that so it will be widespread support. process, when do you expect the conference committee to vote and what chamber do you expect to go first >> who want to get this done as quickly as possible. it would be appropriate to say we hope to have everything done by the end of the day in regards
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to the conference committee signing off on the report. the mechanism as to who goes first is not as critical. as other pieces of this in putting it together. i will step out and save the house will go first but that has not decided yet. the important thing is we get this done as quickly as possible and we do this before we recess. >> your view is that congress is dysfunctional, there is nothing getting done. you did say that. not focusing on how long this took to get this done there is a tense moment at the end of last week. can you give us a sense of what it took to get here? congress is very divided and and thee has its use
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senate has its use. at the end of the day what is is that he understood and i understood that it is not democrats, republicans, or independence. we have a moral obligation to do this. and, we do. >> there has not been one time that senator sanders or our staffs have not communicated. a lot of media made hay out of what took place last week and we continue to negotiate. even as that they was unfolding, we communicated. >> ok. one or two more questions. >> for the members of the pennsylvania don't ration -- delegation, can you talk about if infectious disease reporting was part of the conversation? >> it was not. we both agree that some of the issues, specifically, in pittsburgh and other places around the country will not stand and we must try to resolve
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the veil of secrecy that caused the issue to crop up in pittsburgh. >> let me just add to what the chairman said. this is not the end. this is the beginning. we are dealing with a crisis and we have done good work in addressing the crisis. god knows that there is more work to be done. all right? all right. thank you all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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>> we will talk to mississippi senator roger wicker about the health -- house-senate deal on the veterans health bill and the debate over immigration and border security. and weighing in on the legislation and immigration. nivale willny car discuss workforce training -- from grams.nd -- programs. arehe house and senate scheduled to begin their august recess. should congress pass
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southern border security legislation before the august recess? you can vote and add a comment on facebook. com/ over 35 years, c-span brings public events from washington dreck etu, putting hearings,gressional briefings, and conferences and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house all as a public service of private industry. we're c-span, created by the tv -- cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. watches and hd and follow us on twitter and facebook. >> russia's ambassador to the u.n. deny reports that russia is helping separatists and ukraine. he spoke to reporters at the u.n. in new york.
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x i wanted to say a few words, i told you were too lazy to move from this place to the steakhouse. i moved to this place but there are comments on two subjects. we are pleased that we are able to adopt [inaudible] and financing through the means of treating. it is a long-standing concern of the russian federation that such trade can be used to finance as to tuitions and i hope that those who engage in this kind of practice heat that reminder of
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the security council that this amounts to a very serious transgression. of course there is a more general goal not to finance terrorist organizations. and otherwise subsidizing terrorist organizations. we believe this is an important statement from the security council. the second issue which i want to address is that of an investigation of the malaysian happened july 17. the security council passed a resolution 2166 on the investigation of that disaster. calling for impartial international investigation and we stand behind that resolution. it was on the insistence of the russian delegation.
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the causes of the -- clauses of the resolution provided for immediate end of fighting in the area of the conflict. unfortunately, this is not what we have seen happen. the fighting continued. also, president poroshenko promised there would be no activity of the ukrainian military within the radius of 40 kilometers. that date continue and that fighting did not allow international investigators and those who are supposed to accompany them for the purposes of protection to reach the crash site. all this is extremely disturbing. today with some statements by ukrainian security officials that it was their intention to take over the site, militarily, that would amount to a direct
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violation of resolution 21-66. i was encouraged to hear minutes ago that the dutch and -- the foreign minister of the netherlands and australia, they have had a meeting with president poroshenko. finally, the dutch were able to sign their agreement with the kiev authorities on the presence of the investigators at the crash site. the combination of the signing of that agreement and the promise which we understand once again it was given to them on the end of fighting in the area that would allow the investigators to come to the site as quickly as possible. it would allow them to take care of the bodies, which remain there. and would allow them to collect the pieces and to launch the next stage of this very important investigation. >> ambassador churkin, thank you
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very much for the briefing. from cbs. there were u.s. intelligence that has shown information about rockets from russia going into ukraine in the last few days. they report president obama was going to share with the ukrainian government. information about the surface to air missiles. you have complained that there has not been, on the malaysian flight, there has not been any intelligence sharing. has there been? >> not that i am aware of. i would encourage you to look at the press conference foreign minister lavrov gave in moscow. he reiterated our frustration with the lack of exchange of information and we are very open as he indicated. we invited, we see observers to
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the border crossings controlled by russia and after some procrastination, we see finally they're coming there. we indicate that we will be open , we will use various technical means to control and observe the rest of the border with ukraine and the investigation. there is a dramatic contrast on the mode of operation. our senior officers went public in the foreign ministry giving all the technical information we have and describing the observations our military had on july 17 when the malaysian airliner tragically went down. where listing specific things that need to be looked into. our ministry of defense listed 10 questions that need to be addressed.
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our organization is in charge of investigations, and has enormous experience in that kind of investigation. including the experience while they were investigating the 2001 incident when a russian airliner was shot down by ukrainian air force. they listed 28 areas which need to be looked into, for investigation. the one that we see from our american colleagues is just the accusations and the conclusions without the sharing of evidence. we have seen that before, we will see that again. some unnamed people from u.s. intelligence community's show up and basically say that they know nothing. and the people who are there at the briefing, they do not give their names, they do not show their faces. they don't given him information except conclusions. your colleagues who emerge from that briefing completely bewildered about what kind of information of united states is
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relying on. while making these accusations. i'm not here to make any accusations, i'm here similar to reiterate that we want to have full and impartial international investigation. our experts are ready to participate, and i encourage that some of them are going to be included in that investigation. we would like to make our expert input into such an investigation as possible. and we don't want anybody to interfere in that investigation. of course, he continued military activity by ukrainian forces in the area in the vicinity of the crash site is clearly not compatible with the resolution which the security council adopted on the 21st of august. generally speak, i hope you are following the news. ukrainian military activity in the area has exceeded all humanly imaginable limits.
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they are shelling with long-range artillery populated areas. civilians are dying by the dozen. you recall when their operation started we were assured by some members of the security council that they are going to act with restraint. i wonder what kind of definition of restraint they were guided by? because what we see they were going after the civilian population, which justifies our description of the reaction as a punitive operation against the population. other than gauging whether other hopes might be in the area. this all amounts to a very ugly mode of operation, and very to the so-called peace plan of president poroshenko, and his assurances that the ukrainian military will not be engaging the civilian population. they are directly targeting the civilian population.
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populated areas, apartment buildings, hospitals, parks. the territory integrity of the country is not about the territory. it's about the people. if this is the mode of operation, in which kiev wants to reunite ukraine, as is going to have serious long-term, consequences. >> thanks for the briefing. i wanted ask you, with this talk of the netherlands and australia deploying either unarmed or armed -- they keep changing. would this require some kind of action from the security council to authorize -- i wanted ask you this. there was a readout from the state department between the the call between kerry and surrey lavrov. they said there was a mutual cease-fire.
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what is your understanding -- did the u.s. supported cease-fire? >> what their messages in private to the ukrainians, it's a different story. what we've observed in the course of this crisis -- every time they have a visit from some american official or high-level contacts, the ukrainians are intensifying the situation. last time, there was a phone conversation reported in the media and between vice president biden and president poroshenko. they went up another stage in escalating the conflict after that immediately. but i do hope that watching tv coverage, and today they announced their calculation is that well over 1100 civilians have been killed in the conflict. but they will understand, finally. this is an extremely dangerous
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crisis, and extremely dangerous course of action. and they will give a proper signal to the kiev authorities, they will have to listen. we know how much they depend on the advice of the united states and their political support. on this other question -- we understand what the dutch and australians and malaysians are trying to do. we were supported from the outset, the moment they told us their intention was to send policeman along with the experts on the ground. we really supported that. to the extent that we told them we are prepared to pass the security council resolution right away. endorsing in establishing such steps by the dutch and australians.
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they told us they first wanted to negotiate an agreement with the kiev authorities, which has logic behind it. but then in my view, the ukrainian started procrastinating. was it because their idea was to try and take over the site militarily? i don't know. it was only minutes ago that the dutch were able to sign this agreement with ukrainians. and then, bizarrely, the kiev authorities told them we also need to ratify those agreements. you know what is happening in ukraine, the parliament was dissolved. are they going to reconvene the parliaments? i understand they're hoping to do that on thursday. it would have required quorum for this kind of boat. to me it looks quite suspicious. why it took so long for the kiev authorities to negotiate this agreement with the dutch, and the dutch were trying extremely
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hard, along with australians. their foreign ministry was always somewhere on the ground negotiating with some ukrainian authorities. why does it have to take under such extruder circumstances, days to negotiate this agreement? and to sign it after only your parliament had already been resolved. i want to use any strong words, but it looks quite suspicious. i hope with your literary talent you will find the proper words to describe this behavior. i would really keep my judgments myself. >> thank you, ambassador. two questions. did civilian planes fly over ukrainian territory before this week? and while the ukrainians are
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certainly messing up the next investigation on the crash site, why did not the separatists secure the crash site area, perhaps calling russian experts to help them rather than to allow grave robbers to run all over the place? the mess that occurred before the security council would like let me say this. it is extremely emotional and tragic. >> is extremely emotional and tragic. let's not make it worse. i challenge you to give one example of grave robbers on the site. i think some of that isn't happening. i think this is not
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professional, speaking for journalists or even politicians. to resort to this type of language, especially in a situation where it is grave and tragic enough. why didn't they do that, why didn't they do this? so those may be very good questions. when such things happen under normal circumstances, people know how to deal with it. they have procedures, the teams of people who are trained to do that. that was not the situation then. they did not have those experienced people. they had people which were completely taken aback by circumstances. if there were some transgressions, that was their fault. they could have made better judgment of what to do, and what to do about the situation. they were told first not to touch the bodies or any thing else. the next day, they got complaints as to why the bodies were there on the ground. again, it may well be that many things were done wrong by some people. and we agreed, we accepted rather strong language in that resolution.
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on the other hand, let me remind you the return of the black boxes intact. and i have yet to see any proof of tampering of any evidence. so again, i hope there is going to be objective reporting of what is happening. and what may have happened on the ground. and why they invited or did not invite the russians? if they did invite, then immediately there would be complaints that russia's tampering with evidence. you didn't ask you question yet, please go ahead. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. i wanted to ask you something about the presidential statement. i wondered whether in the almost months since you first circulated this, whether you have seen any evidence of isil selling oil to finance their terrorist activities, either in syria or iraq. and as a second sort of minor question, i was just wondering
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why in the press statement the reference to resolution 2044? the resolution regarding the action in libya in march, condemning the illicit export of crude oil from libya and authorizing u.n. states to board suspect vessels. why was that taken out -- it was in the original statement and it was dropped? >> first of all, we had evidence before we compose that draft. we were engaged in trade of oil, that was one of the sources of their financing. to your last question, i will give you a frank answer. that's what took so long to
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produce this p.r.c. we had discussions with united states. it was best to water it down. we would have preferred broader stronger statements, but for their own reasons, they were trying to water it down. this is what we came up with. even as it is, we think that this is a good text. it is worthwhile for the security council to make that statement. please. >> ambassador, you have information about the involvement of isis and oil trade with partners. do you know any of these partners? >> i'm not prepared to talk about it now. >> i just want to follow-up on pam's -- >> once you grab the mic, go ahead. >> i wanted to follow up on pam's question regarding the reports and videos of shelling coming from the russian side of the border into ukraine.
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whether russia categorically denies those reports, and whether reports of preparations to possibly send it more advanced missiles across the border -- >> you have heard the statement coming from moscow. but i personally -- i wonder what i hear some of those accusations from some of our western colleagues. you member the last year, we had a treaty on the transfer and sales of conventional weapons, adopted here in new york. and the russian delegation in the course of the negotiations
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was insisting on including a clause which would ban the supply of weapons to nonstate actors. that proposal was rejected by our western colleagues. why? they do it all the time it. they provide weapons to whoever they believe is a good recipient of those weapons for political considerations of theirs, including syria. now they are so emotionally laming russia for doing things they themselves did not allow us to prohibit in an international treaty. on the specifics of it, you heard again the statements which are made in this regard. i have nothing to add. again, i urge you to look up the press conference of sergei lavrov today, where he described it the proposals we are making, and the possibilities we are open to come in terms of control by oec of whether or not there is arms flow between russia and ukraine. >> the french president just
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recently announced over a phone conversation, u.k., u.s., france, germany will take further measures against russia over the ukraine crisis. you have a reaction to that? >> we think it is wrong. >> i'm wondering, given russia's role in the middle eastern quartet, if you have any response -- or if you are satisfied with the response of tony blair and how he has responded to the crisis in gaza? and also you think the palestinians call for an international monitoring force in gaza? >> i'm not aware what kind of response tony blair came up with. he is not one of the key players under the circumstances.
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let me tell you that of course, we are disappointed with the kind of response the our national community was able to provide. we were able to adopt a document that i hope is useful. to my liking, it was too little too late. they could've come up with a stronger and better articulated response from the security council, even sooner. russia was trying to make the work of the quartet more active. under the circumstances, we failed again for obvious reasons. for a long time, the united states has decided to go it alone, and to keep the quartet somewhere in the back of the room. i think to some extent, we are reaping the consequences of that policy. >> there's no talk about the disruption out of the united
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nations. especially the dysfunctionality of the united states security council. the finger blankets pointed at the russians for obstructionism. the bending international laws for things like the annexation of crimea. >> i have to go to lunch. thank you very much. russia is increasing the supply of weapons and fighters to separatists across the ukraine border. he also spoke about imposing sanctions against russia. here is part of the briefing.
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>> if you're talking about actions i want to go active something that josh said about being and putin comfortable with the downing of flight 17. could he be charged with war crimes with all that is going on right now? >> when it comes to russian culpability the record is clear. they have been directly supporting the effort and we a11 came fromthe s russia. we believe the weapon came from russia. the three top leading separatist leaders are russian nationalists . russia has a significant influence over the separatists and could give it so desired get
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them to cease and desist. there is a clear ongoing culpability for events and eastern ukraine and for the context in which all of this is happened -- happening including the shootdown of the airliner. can developif we that information. russian bears responsibility that -- for everything that is going on. the main point is to emphasize that russia bears responsibility and has the ability to de-escalate this crisis by moving it on to a diplomatic track. of the u.s. citizenship and immigration services will testify about u.s. immigration, deportation policies. the amount debates
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[inaudible] pro-russian separatists are trying to manipulate the wreckage of the downed malaysian airliner. in the afternoon there is a discussion at the atlantic council at one p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> sunday, former presidential candidate ron paul with his a-list. join the conversation as he takes your calls, e-mails, and tweets live for three hours at noon eastern. turn -- tune in for mary frances married. -- discussing court
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sessions past and present. michael corday is the guest in november and in december arthur brooks. in depth on book tv. television for serious readers. >> leaders from a number of jewish organizations hold a conference on the conflict.lestinian this is two hours, 20 minutes. >> can we ask her one to please be seated?
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>> ssh. they think they are in -- ok, steve? sirens]d
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continuing] everyone.noon, i will allude to what we just heard a little bit later, but right now, i want to welcome all of you to this really important event on behalf of the conference of presidents, it's 50-member organizations -- 50 member organizations, and most particularly, those organizations which worked tirelessly over the past few days to put this together. phonesturn off your cell or put them on quiet. the conference did a mission to
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israel two weeks ago, and we visited several cities and had many meetings with ministers, analysts, and others, but undoubtedly, the emotional highlight of that trip was a and when ih a woman, greeted her on behalf of our group, i talked about the conference call that she had with the leaders of the council when her son's fate was not yet known. on that call, in the midst of her travail, she urged the rabbis, and through them us, to maintain the unity which emerged in the wake of the kidnapping of the three boys. and the rally that is taking place as we speak in which goes from the plaza 2 2nd avenue, is --
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[applause] is testament to the fact that that unity continues. in this room are jewish leaders from all over the country, from l.a., to dallas, to miami, to boston, leaders of all of the religious groups and thenizations representing whole spectrum of political and ideological points of view. we are here to show our unwavering support for israel and the people of israel as they fight to protect themselves from hamas attacks from above, on, and below the ground. [applause] we may each have our own views on the best course of action for
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the israeli government, but we are not there. we are not bearing the physical and psychological impact of incessant rocket fire. we are not on the front reince i front lines in gaza, though am sure everyone in this room has a friend or relative who is. and we continue to support the decisions of the government, whatever our personal views might be, and continue to urge our government to support those decisions, as well. [no audio] when we were in israel and on a bus, we heard what you just heard at the beginning of this program. , and it was an amazing experience. we started to get down on the
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ground, which is what you are supposed to do when you're on the bus, and then we heard a boom, and that was an iron dome rocket taking out a hamas missile right over our heads. is nothing short of a miracle. it has saved countless lives, and we have heard time and time again from israelis, whether members of the knesset, taxi drivers, the men and women on the street, how grateful they are to the government of this country for its significant role in funding iron dome. [applause] we have a group of distinguished ,peakers who will address us and while they, as we, may disagree, they, as we, share the
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safe,oal, creating a secure, and peaceful state of israel and strengthening the israel-u.s. relationship, and i am sure we will receive their import messages with that in mind. let me close where i started. thanking you all for being here at this very critical time. your presence demonstrates the strong and broad support in our and they for the state people of israel. thank you. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here today. hen, and i havecoe the pleasure of serving as the aipac president. havethe past weeks, we
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seen more than 2500 rockets raining down on is really cities. we have seen -- on israel he -- issraeli cities. and we have seen many with capabilities to kidnap israelis. we have even seen scores of children used as human shields, risking their lives to protect rockets. sensitive and dangerous moment, it is essential that the withd states works closely our democratic and indispensable ally, israel, to assure jerusalem is able to keep its citizens safe from terror. [applause]
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as a first step in any agreement, hamas must stop its relentless terror attacks. the iranian-backed group must be prevented from carrying out rocket attacks both via and tunnel. as the deputy national security adviser said last week, we must seek the demilitarization of gaza. terror groups like hamas, dismantling them is vertical for peace and prosperity. let us be very clear. there can be no true peace until hamas is disarmed. [applause] however, until those terror attacks stop, israel will be forced to confront the iranian-backed group in order to keep its cities safe, and thanks to the leadership of congress,
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israel knows it is not alone in this fight. now, i have the great honor today to welcome a few congressional champions for the u.s.-israel relationship, who have demonstrated in word and in deed the strength of this everlasting bond. backingsing resolutions israel's rights to self-defense to funding iron dome, which has intercepted more than 500 rockets in the past few weeks, leadership is making a tangible difference in keeping israelis safe and secure, so i will begin along with my colleagues in introducing our first member. .enator ben cardin i am certain -- [applause] i am certain that if senator
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senator,re not a u.s. he would surely be in this room as a concerned and connected jewish leader. that he sits on the foreign relations committee, and it is now my distinct honor to welcome the old -- welcome him to share the floor with us. thank you. [applause] >> bob, thank you very much, and thank you all for being here. last week, i was with linda, one of our great national leaders, one of our leaders in baltimore, and we had stand up for israel in baltimore, and we asked every up, and weo stand are united in support of israel. [applause] on my ride in from baltimore today, i was listening to the cable news, and every once in a
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while, they said something positive about israel. every once in a while, they would say, you know, israel has the right to defend its citizens, but. they just cannot seem to get this. equivalent more between israel and hamas. [applause] there is no moral equivalent. israel mourns the death of every and has gone to the extreme in order to protect innocent life. who else gives warnings to the communities and gives relief before they send in an attack? netanyahu has said they are using their civilians to protect their missiles. israel uses the missiles to
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protect the civilians. there is no moral equivalency here. for the responsible tragedy and the loss of life. that message must be loud and clear. [laughter] bob, thank you for mentioning the work of the united states senate and my colleagues from the house of representatives here, and 10 days ago, the united states senate unanimously passed a resolution, and we do not do too many things unanimously these days -- [laughter] said israel had the right to defend itself, and i said they had the obligation to defend its population. [applause] it called on hamas to end the missile attacks, and it said to you cannot have a unity government and seek peace with hamas as part of it. give up your relationship with hamas. [applause]
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week, i teamed up with senator graham, senator schumer, senator blumenthal, senator rubio, and others to make it clear about what the united nations is doing these days. the language that they have used, how extreme it is, and how unfair it is. we know we are isolated, but the facts -- we know what israel is doing, and we know how we would were comingiles into our country, and, yes, israel wants a cease-fire, but you cannot have a cease-fire until you eliminate the missile threats against israel and get -- of those titles tunnels, get rid of those tunnels, close them down. [applause]
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so, clearly, what hamas is trying to do -- there were missiles coming at israel. israel does not want missiles coming down on the people. israel will not tolerate that, and, yes, i am proud that the united states, in partnership with israel, iron dome has saved and morey lives, and than 400 missiles have been brought down thanks to the partnership between israel and the united states. you helped bring them down. you help to bring that about. [applause] let me tell you about one thing that has me gravely concerned. i was just talking to some of the leaders about that, and that is the rise of anti-semitism. now, we saw that before this carnage. between israel and hamas. we saw the rise of anti-semitism, but, you know what is really troubling?
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not since world war ii have we seen governments encouraging anti-semitism in europe, and now with these events, they will use that as justification to increase anti-semitic activity. last week at a hearing at the helsinki commission to speak out against the rise of anti-semitism, we need your help. we need your individual organizations, your collectives to speak out against the rise of ventas semitism, to speak out for justice, to speak out for , andafety of the israelis to stand united on the side of what is right, on our democratic ally. today, we stand in solidarity with the people of israel. i am proud to be here today. thank you. [applause]
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>> my name is les, and i am a chairman of the board in greater los angeles, and i am here proud represent los angeles and to say loud and clear that los angeles stands with solidarity with israel's right to defend itself. introduceleasure to the chairman of the house of representatives committee on foreign affairs, this fellow southern californian has helped to ensure that congress has israel's back 20 four/7, 365. please join me in welcoming congressman ed rice. [applause] >> les, thank you very much.
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what i thought i would share with you or some of my i hadations about trip taken during the second lebanon war, and i had an opportunity to into rockets slammed civilian parts of that city, rockets that were deliberately aimed, deliberately aimed at and what wasets, was goingg, as well, down to the trauma hospital. there were 600 victims there of those rocket attacks, and, of course, if it was not for the iron dome, if it had not been today, youisraelis, would have losses in excess of what i witnessed, because the beings that were then supplied by iran and syria, the rockets i saw coming across, each one had 90,000 ball
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butings, and it only had one purpose, and that was not to hit a military target, no. whens to find the time people were out on the streets or in their homes and slam in and kill civilians. now, let me tell you what i saw on the israeli side. isight painstaking effort to do work in order to stop those rocket launches. part that really surprised me. i was following the coverage on the bbc and other international news organizations, and there was all kinds of reporting in terms of the counter battery fire by israel to try to suppress the rockets, but none on the fact that at that point, hezbollah was targeting israel's
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civilians, so i went up to a bbc reporter, and i asked her, i was pushing for her to come with me and interview some of the victims, and she said, well, i can't do that. my editor says that would not be balanced, and i said, how could that not be balanced, because all i have seen is a slant, you know, from what i have observed, at least the programming i have observed on the bbc, that about the time those sirens went off, i went into a bunker, and there were the air raid sirens, and then i heard a couple of rockets hit, and i came back out to give it one more shot, and my wife was in jerusalem at the time, and she said, pick up a lot of the shrapnel. start going on cnn and other shows and show that this is being fired on civilians. let me tell you the difference between then and now. now, iran has developed
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longer-range rockets, and it has put those rockets in the hands of hamas, and now, instead of just sitting -- hitting some, what the terror networks are able to do, what hamas is able israel,s it 80%, 85% of including firing at the airport, including firing on the capital. you know, jerusalem and tel aviv are now targets, and but for the iron dome, those thousands of rockets that you have seen launched would be hitting those targets. one of the realities is that 10 years ago, israel pulled out of gaza. it was not supposed to be this way, but what did hamas do in gaza? toas set up the capability bring in these long-range missiles, and then on top of it started the time owing -- tunnelling, and now we find over 30 tunnels directed at some
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communities where they intended to come up, and one of these is near an area, and take hostages. now, the reality is that this is a war of aggression by hamas. we are holding a hearing this week. we are holding a hearing in asks,to show that hamas asks their citizens to be human and the leader that makes that request that they go up on the rooftops, that they be human shields, he and other hamas leaders hide in these tu h nnels. the great irony of this is that those winning their citizens at risk asking them to be human shields while they hide in the
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theels while they continue orders to launch the rockets and missiles. that is why it is important for us to look at the situation as it really is, a case where israel is trying to defend itself against an organization that calls for the destruction of all jews in israel. thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is ronald. i represent over 100 jewish frankly, thoset, communities do not have a government like the u.s. they don't have protection, and yet so many communities stand with israel. they are proud. in spite of all the anti-semitism, children are proud. they stand up, a


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