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tv   Washington Journal Martin Indyk  CSPAN  May 22, 2021 1:45pm-2:26pm EDT

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>> c-span's washington journal. everyday we take your calls on the news of the day and discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up sunday morning, critical race theory and school curriculum with assistant professor of education chanelle wilson. american enterprise institute resident ian rowe. the future of u.s.-russian relations. watching c-spans'washington journal on sunday morning, can join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. -- where you get podcasts. >> washington journal continues. host: we are back with a distinct fellow at the council former relations and former special envoy for
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israeli-palestinian negotiations and former u.s. ambassador to israel, good morning mark. guest: thank you for having me. host: we just talked with a person who gave us the palestinian side of what is going on. you are an american, i want you as a former ambassador to israel give us your reaction to the cease-fire that was announced. guest: it is welcome. in is important to stop the killing -- it is important to stop the killing. try to pick up the pieces. we have seen this movie before. it ends the same way. that it ended is important, but it does not lead to any horizon for ending the conflict is what
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is depressing. both sides claimed victory. both sides go back to rebuilding capabilities, they collided again -- go at it again. nothing seems to change. the question is how can we change that? host: do you have any expectation that this cease fire will hold? or do you expect violence to begin because there is no solution to the problem? >> it will halt for the time being because both sides have limited objectives. hamas wanted to promote itself among palestinians, arabs,
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muslims as a defender of jerusalem, the only palestinian group fighting israel. in comparison the palestinian authority is weak and sidelined by this and the approach of making peace with israel seem to have failed. hamas achieved its objectives and that regard -- in that regard. it had israelis in air raid shelters all the way into tel aviv. hamas showed that it could fight israel, fire rockets at israel even though it has been under siege. on the israeli side, the
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objective was to reestablish deterrence, takedown hamas infrastructure and tunnels, take out militant leadership. they achieved those things. another site had greater objectives -- neither side had greater objectives. hamas is an gaza, israel tries to get on ignoring the challenges of the palestinians. they ignore it because they do not find they have a solution. host: there seems to be a hint of a political shift in the united states. i want to play for you what president biden said yesterday when he was asked about the opposition within his own already to support for israel. -- party to support for israel.
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[video clip] pres. biden: there is no shift in my commitment to israel. i will tell you what there is a shift in, the shift is that we need a two state solution. it is the only answer. what i am convinced of is that we can move as i was able to negotiate before the cease-fire. i made it clear when i spoke with president abbas that we are going to provide for security in the west bank and renewed the security commitment as well as economic commitment to the people on the west bank. i indicated to the israel is that i thought it was important that they stop in jerusalem this intercommunal fighting by extremes on both sides. it has to end.
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i am prepared to put together and will attempt to put together a major package with the other nations to share our view to rebuild the homes, without re-engaging, fighting, some the opportunity to rebuild weapon systems. rebuild gaza. they neither help and i am committed to get that done. i think that my party still supports israel, let's get something straight, until the region says unequivocally that their acknowledge the rights of israel to exist as an independent jewish state, there will be no peace. host: do you think the fact that he has to say these things means that there is some weakening of support politically for israel
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and the democratic party and american government? guest: certainly in the democratic party. he has made clear his commitment to israel and its security. he did it in the midst of this crisis under a lot of criticism from within the democratic party from its progressive line. that is what has changed within the time correct party. -- democratic party. if you look at the polls, the gap between democratic support for israel and republican support for israel has grown wider. evangelical support for israel is very strong. progressive support for the palestinians has grown at
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israel's expense. that has driven down numbers on the democratic side, there is a 40 point spread between democratic and republican support. that is going to find expression in congressional representation. it has taken time. there has been a lagging factor. the first evidence on the hill was the squad who were active advocates for the palestinian cause as well as other progressive causes. that was four years ago. that has been building momentum because of the attitudes. when something like this corrupts and the images every
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are of israel bombing gaza citizens, buildings, apartment blocks, that gives a boost. to bernie sandy's and others -- sanders and others, it has impacted democrats on the hill who are the staunchest supporters of israel. menendez, chuck schumer in the senate, jerry nadler in the house, these are people who are always in israel's corner. they have criticized israel on this latest crisis. joe biden hester said that we are still pro israel -- has to say that we are still pro israel. that has not had to be said
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before. that shows a trend that will be impossible to reverse as long as israel is unable to come to clinical terms with palestinians. -- political terms with palestinians. host: we will open up the phone lines bite region. if you are in the eastern or central time zone, your number is (202) 748-8000. if you are in the mountain or pacific (202) 748-8001. we will open up a special line for those of you outside of the united states, those watching outside the united states call (202) 748-8002. keep in mind you can always text us at (202) 748-8003. we are always reading on social media, twitter @cspanwj i and facebook.com/c-span -- @cspanwj
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and facebook.com/c-span. for our viewers who do not understand and have not been following this issue, explain why the u.s. is so invested in what is going on in the middle east and playing such a large role in the negotiations of israel and palestine. guest: it is a role joe biden would prefer to not have to play. three president starting with barack obama, donald in his own way and joe biden have wanted to focus elsewhere in the middle east. because of the challenges from china, russia, climate change, global issues like the pandemic, nuclear proliferation are seen as higher priorities.
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we spent too much blood and treasure in endless wars that have not served our interest in the end. there is a feeling that we need to be focused elsewhere. a feeling i identify with. the middle east has this habit of not letting go, you try to turn your back on it but it will not turn its back on you. as a result, joe biden finds himself having to pivot back to the middle east. how he addresses them will be different to the past. why is the united states so engaged? the broader answer used to be is the united states had a
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strategic interest in the free flow of oil out of the persian gulf at reasonable prices. we had interest in the security and survival of a jewish and democratic state of israel. that goes back to harry truman's recognition of israel when it was established by the united nations. it has only deepened and broadened sense -- since. israel has become our ally, strategic micronic state. -- strategic ally, and democratic state. our relationship with israel is a special one, we have special influence because we provided with $4 billion per year in military assistance.
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it has a burgeoning high-tech economy, we provide security assistance to israel. we give it strong political backing especially in united nations where test be isolated because there is an automatic majority for the palestinian side. because we have that relationship, because they are dependent on us for political support, the world looks to the united states to exercise its influence at the top one israel is engaged in defending itself and an actions that people have problems with. there is a strong call for the united states to intervene and use its influence. host: let's let our viewers take part in this conversation.
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beth is calling from maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. i am glad that you are having this conversation. i think both sides have areas in which i can feel sympathy. this comes down to what we did to native americans in this country when we founded it. we have been conquerors and occupiers in their minds all along. it did not happen in a time when there was a modern age with television and we can see what is going on and chime in on twitter. there's not much of a solution, i do not think the u.s. should be overly involved. i do not think anybody in the u.s. wants people from other countries coming over to tell us how to deal with native americans. the native americans have been forced into a situation where they do not have much of a part in this country the way they showed -- should.
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for better or worse, they have accepted their situation, there is no great solution. it is sound on both ends. no matter who is in charge or who has control, somebody is going to be considered a loser. host: go ahead and respond martin. guest: what beth said reminded me of this old reddish movie -- british movie, shirley valentine i think was called. she looked at the camera in exasperation and said marriage is like the middle east, there is no solution. beth is right. as much as we americans believe in solutions, approach problems in trying to resolve them, the
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united states has played an active role and been very involved in trying to resolve this conflict. we have come up short every time. i think it has reached a point where our interests are elsewhere. we have a commitment to israel security, we want to see peace in the holy land, but who rules is not of vital interest to the united states. the israelis have come to realize it is a vital interest of israel. israel needs to be the one that takes the initiative. israel and the palestinians need to stop being victims and take
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their fate into their own hands. we can support that effort. until we have both sides committing to trade -- committing to trying to change the status quo for the better, we cannot change this by sheer will of the msas alone for dictating to other side. they will have to come to terms. we need to tell them that honestly. that they will have to take the lead. host: mark is coming from fort lauderdale florida. good morning. caller: 20. -- caller: good morning. i like this point, counterpoint. during the previous ladies period on air, i kept thinking to myself, wouldn't it be great if the follow-up guest who was going to take israel side against her that they could talk together.
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he is so pragmatic and diplomatic and even killed -- keeled compared to the previously who was a spokesperson for the poo. so she said that she was no longer in favor of a two-state solution, i was going to ask what you would think as possible way to solve this? you think that there is no answer outside of those countries -- entities acting together and working at alta. the effect -- working at it. the problem is with the government that they keep picking, it is hard to do.
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netanyahu it was like a godsend for him, who knows what will come after him. hamas from gaza, they used it as a way to make themselves look like tough guys. am i wrong in this? there has to be some solution, some way of solving something that crops up every two months. guest: there is a glut in what you said. i have the opportunity to listen to the tail end of her very articulate explanation to the palestinian approach, her approach. what she was saying is, we cannot believe anymore in the two state solution and she laid
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out the reasons why. what we believe in is a one state solution, in which israel becomes a state for jews and arabs, palestinians, israelis, all of those who believe -- who live between the river and the sea. equal rights for all. what she does not say is in such a state, palestinians would be a majority. there would no longer be a jewish state. the zionist dream will have been forsaken. the notion that the jews of israel will cooperate in their demise as fanciful -- is fanciful. diana knows that. she is trying to make a powerful
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point to israelis. if you will not of us -- give us, a viable, continuous palestinian state, we are going to resist. the reason that this approach gains credibility is because there is no viable two state solution. even though the two state solution in which the independent palestinian state lives in peace and alongside a secure state of israel remains a goal of president biden and american foreign policy.
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we cannot get there from here. the argument for a one state solution which is not a solution, it is a recipe for conflict. it is not going to lead to peace. it is going to lead to conflict overrides dust over rights. -- conflict over rights. as the one state solution gains greater credibility and velocity by the palestinian side, israelis will eventually see that they are better off separating from the palestinians and agreeing to a independent state in gaza. host: pamela is coming from upper marlboro, maryland. caller: thank you for taking my call.
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i am appreciative that c-span would have a fork like this today. i have never very -- i have never heard somebody speak from the palestinian situation before. why does it seem like the macy's in europe tries to justify the conflict -- why the americans and europe tried to justify the conflict? why can't the palestinians live in their homeland, why can't they have full rights and citizenship like the jews that were sent there and took over their land? europe did not want the jews to remain in europe, the united states did not want them to come here. like you explained earlier, with our strategic reasoning, to support and enable the jews to exist over in palestine. that is palestinian land.
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what she said about from the river to the sea, what you did not say as if all of the people live there, that there would be more palestine's than jewish, why would not there be? it is their land. host: go ahead and respond. guest: part of the problem is it is jewish land. it is not all palestinian land. jews were palestinians before israel was created. there is an issue of territory. it is not as straightforward. the notion that somehow we can with eight magic wand and undo 70 years of history at solve
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this by by telling the jews they cannot have a state of their own , they have to accept minority status is not a solution. it is a way of continuing the conflict. a perfect example is what triggered this round was a land dispute in east jerusalem. where palestinians who had been affected from their homes in west jerusalem decades ago moved to east jerusalem, taken up residency in these buildings which were owned by jews. the jews are reclaiming that, they have reclaimed ownership
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rights. the court of israel is judging whether to recognize that. whose land is it? the palestinians who were evicted from their homes do not have the right under israel law to claim back their properties. there is a discrimination there. if you focus on whose land is it, you do not end up with a satisfactory answer second resolve the problem -- that can resolve the problem. host: one of our social media followers has a question for you that fits in for your former job. do you think president biden should have appointed an ambassador to israel sooner? guest: thank you.
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he needed to do that from day one. when i was ambassador in israel for president clinton, at the end of the clinton administration, the intifada broke out. when president bush became president, even though i was clinton's appointee, colin powell was that secretary of state asked me to stay on because of the intifada. i stayed there until there was a new ambassador, confirmed by the senate and able to move in in july. for those six months i was ambassador there. that is what they needed to do now because the biden administration did not want to pay attention to this. if you're going to shift focus, you will need an ambassador there who is working the issue.
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giving you an early warning seek make a course adjustment. they did not do that. they have not announced the ambassador. they could have put in an interim appointee. this week they decided to do that. a distinguished foreign service officer who used work for me, is the interim appointment until they get around to an ambassador. it is unfortunate they did not do that from day one, that they do not act immediately. the campaign promise to reestablish the consul general in jerusalem to deal the palestinians. we did not have a means of talking to the palestinians. when things started to deteriorate we were not aware. some alarm bells were sounded but they were not paying attention. it is important that we get
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senior people on the ground, not just to deal with israel but the palestinians. we need the consulate general established. in that pc plate of the president speaking yesterday, he was outlining a series of steps. there were small steps but necessary steps to rebuild the authority of the palestinian authority, rebuild gaza physically. diffuse the issues in jerusalem. all of these things need people on the ground in senior positions who can deal with leadership there. and not that -- not have it as something of president biden's plate every other day. host: let's talk to laura from spokane, washington. caller: i see something
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different. i know that hamas is a terrorist organization sworn to kill all of the jews, as many as they can. they want to commit genocide like they did the christians in the middle east. what i have seen in some films is that often times israel warns when they are going to bomb a building. hamas will force the palestinian people to stay inside the building so they get armed and -- bombed so they can come back to the media and state what the jews did. the jews up in their first 4000 years. the whole thing behind this is hamas, hezbollah and isis. they did genocide on the christians in the middle east. it was horrible. the middle east was drenched in
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blood. now we have our own terrorists here, aoc, omar, all organizing what i consider terrorist attacks against jewish people in america. what i want to know is why is that not being brought up? hamas is the one that is promoting all of this. host: go ahead and respond martin. guest: let me just say those have some things that not accurate. let's be careful about throwing around the world -- word terrorism. we are not seeing terrorism of the ice age we are seeing communal violence.
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in a separate -- it is separate from the anti-semitism in recent years that has been growing. intercommunal violence in the streets of new york in particular are a ripple effect of the conflict in the region. hamas is a terrorist organization. decidedly so. it is on the state department terrorism list because in support of its objectives which is illumination of the state of israel -- elimination of the state of israel, not all jews, the tactic is indiscriminate violence against civilians. firing rockets indiscriminately into israeli cities.
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up to 4000 of those rockets. the reason that you do not have the same casualty toll on the israeli side is the palestinian side is israel has this antimissile system which is protecting its citizens. that is not because of hamas 's intent. hamas rules in gaza. the only way to remove the rule from gaza is by military force. on the ground invasion, which israel tried in the past. they do not want to read occupy -- reoccupy gaza, they tried and gaza came after them.
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the objectives are limited and does not include removing hamas's rule. they will be ruling in gaza for the foreseeable future unless there is some way to rebuild the palestinian authority's control of gaza. as long as this is a zero-sum game in which hamas sees the palestinian authority as much of an enemy as israel and vice versa, the president was going to have elections, when he saw that hamas was going to win, he took down the elections. present but it wants to delete a reconstruction effort with the palestinian authority not hamas. i did not see how he can achieve that even hamas is that hamas
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--hamas's rule in gaza. we have to find a way to come to terms with hamas. how do you do that when hamas is committed not to peace with israel but to eliminate israel? host: next call from silver spring, maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. i have been listening for a while. i can tell that israel does not need anybody for the fight. the u.s. officials, current and former officials are doing that. this is not complicated. everybody is thinking this is complicated. how about we go back to
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international laws. there is an illegal occupier, occupation coming on according to the u.n., u.s. government, european countries. israel is occupying illegal. host: i will let you respond before we run out of time. guest: it is definitely an occupation. it is not illegal. it is according to a security council resolution of 1967 which came after the six-day war in which israel can continue the occupation as such time as its neighbors negotiate peace. then it should withdraw from the territories it occupies.
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in favor of peace, security, normalization of relations. that is the principal that was established in international law that there should be a trait of territories -- trade of territories occupied for peace. 50 years later that is the principle that still applies. host: we would like to thank martin intact -- indyk for being here and lending his expertise. there is a collection of c-span products. your purchase will support our nonprofit operations.
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he still have time to order the congressional directory. shop now to get a 20% discount. go to c-spanshop.org. >> today on the communicators, we are talking about cancel culture with randolph may and will reinhart. >> there is too much speech we should all agree within public debate that is stifled or canceled. >> they cancel culture is an expensive term used extensively in a bunch of range of different concerns. i typically narrow into questions of, as much as randy said, shame, ostracism, and more specifically those areas where people are fired for their positions. >> watch the communicators today
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at 6:30 eastern on c-span. >> remarks now from republican senator jim inhofe. he spoke about his opposition at abolishing the electoral college. this is hosted by the heritage foundation. >> hello and welcome to the days event on the electoral college. we are so happy to have you with us and i am president of the heritage foundation. for over 200 years america has elected its president through the electoral college. while it is a unique method for choosing a president, our country's framers intentionally designed it this way. they wanted to strike a critical balance between the people being able to choose their leader "washington journal and states having proper representation in the process. the framers realized that if the
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