tv [untitled] CSPAN June 7, 2009 9:30am-10:00am EDT
arab states are increasingly concerned about iran's growing power in the region, the possibility that iran may have nuclear weapons, the possibility that iran will continue to expand, and it has hezbollah allied with hamas in lebanon growing in power. it has hamas increasingly as a proxy on one side of israel. it has syria as a client state. is there any sense that egypt and perhaps even saudi arabia and some of the gulf states at this point would functionally ally themselves with israel against iran or is it that the enemy of my enemy can be useful but that doesn't make him my friend? ..
i done of i completely by ed wood made that cover, i think it would be more of a fig leaf or anything but we know where their feelings are on the prospect of an iranian nuclear weapon and do whatever they can two hopefully for iran from achieving. >> i want to look for questions out there and make sure you have a microphone before you start to talk in moscow right over here if we can, start here. >> i have two questions. and the first is can you give some background on the fatah
hamas negotiations sponsored by egypt which have been apparently totally unsuccessful, and my second question has to do with what you just alluded to which was american support for the peace process. it would be manifest that the u.s. government knows that there is no palestinian interlocutor and therefore there is no real prospect in the near future for any peace coming yet the administration is pushing mess. i thank you suggested a moment ago that the purpose of it was basically as a fig leaf that this was all a charade and that is going on to provide cover for the so-called moderate states. can you confirm that that is your view and if you have any discussions with the administration are they aware that this is a quixotic effort on their part?
>> okay, two very good questions. in the first, the talks taking place between the two palestinian factions in egypt have been going on since the end of operation, i think the arab world and egypt particular is trying to take a leadership role. realize that the palestinians were in dire shape. this is the first time at least to my knowledge that a war took place, it will out war took place inside the gaza strip while the west bank stood by absolutely almost complete silence. and they were even in instances where fatah members were providing targeting information on hamas or the israelis to better targets hamas weapon caches and leadership, so this was something that i think we realized was going to be a problem. now, we have seen over the last couple months there have been four rounds of talks, each one after the other has failed.
there have been times were different committees have tried to get together to work out their differences on a smaller scale, times were both factions that together and try to hammer things out. each time it has failed and we have a situation right now we're in appears that fatah is going to great a caretaker government which hamas has completely been opposed two actually raises the specter of yet another round of violence so we are concerned to see where things go. it is no one's interest to see chaos continue in the region. and now as for whether the administration understands what is happening and whether this is a fig leaf, i believe the administration fully understands the there really is no chance right now of jump starting the peace process. there could be peace between israel and fatah, there could be, but that is assuming that fatah wants to enter into negotiation without having all of the palestinian people beneath them and i don't think that is fine to happen anytime
soon. so we are still at a place where there is no interlocutor and that the palestinians cannot agree on who they listen as a negotiating table whether they are truly interested in peace, you have to remember that 60 percent palestinian support hamas and is steadfastly opposed to the peace process so we are in this place where i have trouble understanding the administration, on the one hand, but if the goal is to sort of provide political cover for the sunni arab regime i would think the best -- that would be the reason we're seeing this push for peace but i think everybody knows. is the elephant in the room that is long -- as long as the palestinians are at war there is no chance of an agreement to settle the agreement. >> let me pick up on that, in europe and other places there are pushing hard to try to get not israel and the palestinians back to the table but really fatah and hamas to the negotiating table with the idea they should form a unity government. how would that work? how to have a unity government, obvious and nobody knows this,
but is there any realistic option of having in getting government and would that government said down at the table with israel and negotiate peace with half a unity government says there can be no peace? >> that is exactly the point when you have a hamas as part of a unity government and hamas are projected israel and actually rejects the legitimacy of the plo palestine liberation organization and i don't know how you before in this. people have suggested that hamas just nominally take part in foreign relations but really it is about control over the west bank and gaza but i believe at the end of the day there will be no compromise because both sides have their hands on a state, in any state. you have it hamas speetwo land in either one wants to let go so i think it is for that reason alone forget about ideology i just don't believe that a compromise is imminent. >> the other proposal is you would have a truce and that hamas while at can't have peace
with israel could have one that lasts up to 10 years based again on theology and then those who are hopeful say that troops will allow ideas and attitudes to a halt overtime and the investment in peace and you'll get something out of it, those who are less optimistic would say over those 10 years you'll see an arms buildup for a round of fighting that will make everything else looks like kindergarten. >> and that is exactly the problem. a sense in the hamas takeover in 2006 up until operation we saw that hamas was amassing weaponry more food sophisticated and high-powered sniper rifles and anti-tank mines, all sorts of weaponry they ended up using against israel during the operation, so the fear is when you know that hamas continues to seek the destruction of the state of israel but at travel position and why would you want to allow if you are israel which you want to allow this and more over if you're interested in peace why would you allow this.
>> is the obama administration want to see a fatah hamas unity government? >> i think the ideal would be they would like to see it in which, in a case where both factions actually support peace. but we have to deal with the hand we are dealt and deal with reality and i think the reality is that both factions actually forgetting about hamas and for the moment, you have got fatah which still calls for the destruction of the state of israel so they're calling for a unity government that openly call for the destruction of israel and i think for what ever reason both factions will continue down a path of peace. so this is why i think we really are at a place where we are stock. if you were to ask me where things should go right now i would say, okay, it on the obama administration is a each to your corner and the palestinians i want you to figure out who speaks for you and exactly what your position is with regard to peace with israel and after that in a couple months start to work on a word to go from there, israel can figure out what it is
you are willing to do in the name of peace, what kind of concessions willing to make based on previous agreements, and after both of those positions have been settled then bring the two of them together. but calling for the two together now to me makes absolutely no sense given the realities we have on the ground which i think just has not been adjusted out publicly. administration understands and are working with the same body of knowledge i am and all of us are but they just for whatever reason have yet to come out publicly and say to we know the palestinians is a big stumbling block on the palestinian side. >> as go to another question if we can, lascivious and somebody else. >> hi, there was an interesting instance of a piece about syrian negotiations and their failure and seems to be floated to the state department and other agencies with a golden goose and help the peace process. in the u.s. crime to that belief
and if not, why is it so provocative and why do we keep going back to this idea of negotiations with syria? >> this is something that dates back to the beginning of the clinton administration. i actually just read in a book called innocents abroad where he talks about the idea of syria first as sort of the icebreaker that will lead to all of the peace. i personally don't believe that syria is in a position where it can make peace with israel given the fact that is embedded iran and can get out of bed with iran given the fact that his -- hezbollah could draw syria back into conflict with israel even if syria tried to pull away. why this continues to be attractive to policy makers is really beyond me. and syria is a smaller world a regime but a world regime on the last. >> we have a question up front if we nine.
>> my question is about a lot of people seeing the great hope of potential moderate palestinian leadership and what you see as his future and will be able to gain the credibility among the palestinian populace in the near future? >> fayad is an interesting case. he ran in the 06 election but didn't get a lot of support and i think a couple feet under a party known as the third way. his legitimacy really stems from the international recognition that he has in the former world bank and imf official. he is a quintessential moderate. he does not want to be seen as a fatah or hamas member and takes pride in the fact that both factions don't entirely trust them and that this makes them an excellent go-between for the two factions. my problem with him is that even though he has a legitimacy and into national kennedy and could probably attract donor funds and help rebuild the palestinian territories, he does not control
any malicious, any weapons and that actually in my mind is a good thing but in the ride of the palestinians to respect power on the streets this is a very big weakness for him and that makes me wonder how much power he will be able to accumulate in the press to gather this caretaker government there are talking about right now, what he actually be able to gain more power in that way, i would say probably not. he will probably serve an excellent role as this sort of caretaker prime minister for a boss but that is the extent of it. >> two what extent is the charisma of vital in this? what every say about arafat u.s. for many a charismatic figure. i don't think that's abbas is a charismatic figure in that way and, on the other hand, i'm not sure that others to have hamas from syria are charismatic figures. is there a need for a charismatic figure to be a leader as opposed two simply fractions and ids and politian's?
>> one of the things i argue in the book is that yasser arafat for all of his failings had captured their imagination of the palestinian people. here was this character who wear fatigues and have his black-and-white checkered keffiyeh trip over his shoulder in the shape of palestine and the pollster at his side and the today all this double and am working around-the-clock too liberal palestine -- this appeal to the palestinian people so much to the point that when he died in 2004i actually really believed that was when things began to unravel. the and i really took over in the west bank and gaza because the laws as if he held these two territories to gather here and i would argue that with him gone these two territories are separated by more than 20 miles of -- desert. they really are many states at this point that may be extremely difficult to put back together. in order to bring them back together again we will need to see the charismatic figure, the person that captures the imagination of the people that comes up with a vision of a palestine is going to look like and that is one of the things i
talk about in the last chapter of the book and that is that we need to see on the palestinian side for any of this to move toward reducing the next martin luther king or a hot madani or nelson mandela, somebody who has a forward-looking vision for what the puget -- futures and the palestine is to look right because at this point we are looking at two factions that are at war that are both based on the destruction of something rather than the creation of something. i don't think that hamas or fatah have put together a platform that chile talks about what a future palestinian state living the look like and that is one of the main reasons when we see them in the position they are today. >> a question right over there. >> just to step back for a second, when you were discussing at the united states policy vis-a-vis fatah and propping them up, as you know both of the previous administration and the current administration one of the episodes of success that
every policymaker can point to is the mission by it lieutenant-general keith data and to provide security of my training, and coordination for the palestinian forces under president abbas and prime minister fayad. considering we are actively training and least one faction to be properly professional and paramilitary outfit, since that is an assigned that has minority support among palestinian people and on the ground hamas mesa big deal at of the army etc. etc., in what way is the united states showing up its position as being either seen as honest broker or otherwise seen as somehow facilitating peace, as a corollary two that sense right now american legislators and policy makers are tearing themselves up over in his interrogation techniques were used in the past and here we are supporting your shame that actually uses real torture, not
in his interrogation, real actual torture in what way again does this actually produce a result that is further u.s. interest in the region? >> these are all -- this is all great stuff and we'll probably talk about it for another 20 minutes, but to try to stop, i think that this support of the west bank government is a continuation of a policy that has served the u.s. poorly in the past when you look back and our support for egypt for instance and the fact that there is a corrupt government there that is autocratic and doesn't have a lot of respect on the street, this is essentially what we're doing in the west bank. what we're doing that here is trying to i think iran something rather than prop up something else. that would be the way i look at the with the bush administration approached it after the june coup of 2007, and one could even argue that the propping up of these forces -- we are not
giving them too much strength by giving them enough strength to counter the activities of hamas and so what you could argue and i don't know if this is exactly the strategy involved but this could be something akin to and iran iraq or on a small scale with the palestinians. in other words, propping up, knowing one side you really don't want to, if you prop it up enough so it is strong enough to keep hold of the west bank but not too strong because it is not the old cement government that you are looking for. and so i don't of that is the goal but a survey appears that would be a logical strategy if that is the way the cia or the white house's approach to it. >> let me ask, the people are living better i assume on the west bank and in gaza, higher standard of living. is that having an impact on the thinking of palestinians on both sides? >> the poverty level in the west bank is similar around 2225 percent and you compare that to the gauze the strip or is probably more than 50% at this point in some has to do the
fact there is a much larger refugee population in it gaza than the west bank. but part has to do the fact that when both of these territories have occupation of jordan and egypt, jordan invested at heckuva lot more into the west bank economy to the point there was more industry there than in gaza. but gaza, hamas essentially has destroyed a lot of whatever was available to other industrial zones that are made available to it, the greenhouses' the israelis left after graduation in 2005 and all these things could have been put towards better quality of life for the average gaza resident but what we have seen is hamas has essentially destroyed it. and this raises the question of whether hamas is less popular because of the way they have governed the gaza strip and i would say that they probably are, but the extent to which they are unpopular is just almost impossible to tell given
the problems we talked about earlier with regard to media and the way freedoms have been curtailed drastically. a piece that i just wrote to tell the taliban of the gaza, not just the fact that the media was closed but there are sharia courts, there are these groups in that drive around and beat people up and not dressed properly, the sort of the savvy style vigilante groups and as we continue to see problems throughout the gaza strip based on the use lack of freedoms so it is at this point just too soon to set tal. >> since you raised jordan i need to introduce back to the discussion, people i think no farewell the jordan is a moderate arab country and jordan at peace with israel and what they may not know as well is what we call the country of jordan is the eastern part of what his starkly was palestine, trans jordanian palestine, and that most of its population is palestinian without any no way
different from those folks on the west bank. it happens to have a king who is exiled by the saudi family from arabia name to saudi arabia, he was exiled and put -- and now he is in power in jordan transjordan in palestine and there are those who say west bank as an independent entity cannot possibly be viable unless it is integrated at least economically with what is now jordan. talk about jordan's role a little bit here. >> jordan is in a tough spot. there is no doubt there is a this historical link from one jordan controlled the west bank from 1940 to 1967 and continues to be i think of relations between the power structures of the west bank and jordan. the problem stems from jordan's own palestinian population. jordan is more than 60 or 75% palestinian so there is a lot of concern over the demographics. people talk about the
demographic threat to israel, it is far worse in jordan at this point and the hashemite kingdom is concerned about then and has taken steps to assure the west bank ever becomes jordan, they don't want to include the west bank palestinians into jordan because it would essentially completely diluted whenever national identity that exists in jordan today. in 1987 after the outbreak of the first intifada, king hussein actually renounced all claims to the west bank because of this hearing a spill over into the east bank of palestinian violence so you have a big kingdom of jordan that was to make sure that those divisions remain although i think there is probably a good argument that can be made this is a chart and should take control and storage chip and economic control whenever the case may be, but it is really the palestinian narrative driving it and they don't wish for this to happen. on top of that, of course, the jordanians have no interest as well. >> was still in the back there.
josh. >> outside to return the conversation to the question of palestinian leadership, he said they're missing the charismatic leader and the obvious question is who in the public's fear could perhaps take on a bad position or step up to the talent? one name from 2003 to 2005 that came up in the argument you're seeing a lot of people who rarely were against the idea of moving toward a more preposition letting bugarti at of an israeli prison where he is now getting the politics on the grounds that the time for him to have the change is the mainstream in their current coming up all remember him, he has been in jail for their entire lifetime so you're talking about the bugarti idea, and it is there anybody else to see who could take up the challenge and help with the palestinians forward? >> with regard to bugarti we have seen this movie before and we know how dance.
you think about yasir arafat and dedicated his life to liberation of the palestine is there any means necessary, have blood on his hands and decided i can be the leader of the palestinian people and i will therefore renounce violence and all of a sudden you've got a government under his control. this is a fear that we would have it with bugarti, here is a man with blood on his hands and saw what his role in the violence associated with the in fontana in the early part of the decade is being completely legitimate so to invite him to leave the palestinians again for the israelis to be open to this, i know there are courses within israel and the united states steadily in the territories this is the best chance and only chance. i am still waiting to see a real choice emerged. i don't believe that he is that, not to say it won't happen leaders in the arab world and specifically in the palestinian
territory gain their own fees because of the fact that they fought. this is what makes him a leader, and that is the argument that can be made for him but i can think of 10 or 12 others against. >> one more question here. >> going beyond the subject of the book "hamas vs. fatah" and more to some of the other articles you have written, can you comment on a rahm emanuel supposedly said that the path to any arrangement with iran lies through palestinian israeli peace. again, does that make any sense even to him? what is the context their? and number two, i think we recently heard king abdullah suggest that if there was in peace within 18 months there would be this huge middle east war and falling everybody. could you comment on that as well? >> well, with regard to your
first question with a linkage which is what we're calling now the l word, we continue to hear that unless the israeli rededicate their efforts towards peace than the united states can help for to the iranian drive for nuclear weapons. this is to me i just don't understand the logic of it. i understand how the figleaf of peace could help with the sudanese as a mentioned before, that the sunni arab states and the saudis and egyptians could get behind israel a little bit more and events that israel seized the decision and has to bomb iran. but i don't see this as, i don't see how you can leave one with the other parent you should in my opinion, both should be pursued it independently and obviously in everyone's interest to see peace brick out of the middle east but again and we've got these problems of trying to figure out who speaks with the palestinians but at the same time you got iran which is pushing toward nuclear weapons,
edging closer every day. it will only be up to the united states. we have seen a pretty much every international actor and cliff can talk about this as well, backed out of the iranian challenge. it will be left up to the u.s. and israel as always in the middle east. and for this administration to say that it can't do anything until peace talks which are hinged on a lot of factors at of israel's control coming to me is not a very logical position. i hope that answers your question. >> king abdullah? >> you know, what i can say about that is the leaders across the region and pundits. the united states and israelis as well are always talking about the next war to come and how it is going to be worse than the last in the disaster awaits. this is a part of the world where such predictions are commonplace. i would place a lot of stock in it. we like to see -- i think if there's a confrontation between iran and, yes, we have a lot of
trouble on our hands but that does not 18 months, that could be six months to 10 months from now. so i think it's a little but of an exaggeration but there are real dangers ahead and i think those dangers them from primarily iran. >> let's follow-up on that for a moment. i guess i put it this way -- start anyway, if iran a word to get nuclear weapons in the means to deliver them how does that change to the equation for israel, hamas, fatah, palestinians in the region? >> it puts israel in an automatic imposition. it strengthens the hand of hamas, hamas knows it. >> with a basic impunity knowing its big brother is standing behind them. the same would go for hezbollah and syria, if sudan wanted to get into the act which is also people overlook the fact that sudan is also a proxy of iran, you've got the sort of a pause that surrounded israel and iran has been a masterful game of chess. >> chess was invented in persia.
>> and we can see that even if iran doesn't get these weapons it has placed these bonds perfectly round israel and if it gets the nukes and all these actors can do what they please and with an even necessarily need to be a nuclear attack, it could be just a torrent of missiles. it weakened the the 30,000 plus that are in the hezbollah position and other by to 10,000 possibly chemical weapons in syrian hands and the homemade weapons that hamas buyers into southern israel which increasingly can reach demonic and televisa according to some reports not to mention whenever saddam wants to do so having all these ponds in place to put israel in a great amount of danger and also from the viability of a fatah led a faction in the west bank. it for obvious reasons the strength will wane. there are a lot of permutations about the way this is going to work out but at the end of the day it comes down to iran not getting nuclear weapons and the shifting the balance of power
that right now gives the region, and that clinton is a stable of more stable than it could be. >> that is the other side of that which is that a barack obama has said it would be intolerable for the iranians regime, not in general, this regime to get nuclear weapons. president bush said the same thing, the israelis are saying it and some people think the israelis really mean it. >> well, i continue to hear about possible plans for a strike, but as i understand a strike would be probably one of the more complex military operation is not just in israeli history but military history given in the idea of a fly over of the mediterranean and turkey and over i reckon into iran hitting every side would provide intelligence and hitting it multiple times with u.s. munitions and needing to get underground into concrete bunkers. not to mention what ever reprisals iran would have in store for israel to an attack
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