tv Capital News Today CSPAN April 28, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
very good. i was on the phone with my dad the other night. i was mentioning i was going to and your book signing. he actually played with bobby fisher at the manhattan chess club. i was asking me about him. he said that at times, bobby would play 15 people at one time. >> absolutely. >> and he was always ten steps ahead of everyone. so no one really won, you know, against him. but he did mention that his mother had a lot of influence on him. i just wanted to know if you with elaborate on that. do you think that really protelled him to say the things he said later on in life? >> his mother was a great influence on him in many ways, she helped his career, she was like a professorial press agent almost. it was not a newspaper, magazine, or anything else in
the city that she didn't go to to try to get press for bobby. she encouraged him did they have fighting? of course. just like we all probably have had with our parents when here 16 years old. so yeah they had fights. but that's another misconception that i try to straighten out. they loved each other. they were in contact all of the years. he wanted her to come back. she went and got her doctorate in hematology and her medical degree in later years. he wanted her to come back to the united states because he missed her. when he was on his death bed, he asked for a photograph of her. they loved each other. and she was a professional protester, but she was a left professorial -- professional protesters. as i say, the pawn doesn't stray too far from the queen.
he became a protester, sort of on the other side of the anti-american and so on. she had a great influence on him. and she was both mother and father to him because she was a single mother. okay. couple more questions. a couple more. we have time, sir. two more questions. >> it must have been a unique experience for you as a biographer to revisit a subject that you had written about so many years earlier. and i can't imagine that when you are writing "profiles for a prodigy" you developed a bond with bobby. i'm wondering how that's affected you over the years. you touched upon it to a certain agree how it's affected you as you saw him change and degenerate over the years and what you feel ultimately was your relationship with bobby.
>> well, as bobby changed, i changed. relationship changed. when i wrote the first book, i didn't have a doctorate. i sort of learned. you know, the thing -- it sounds like i'm boasting. the thing about getting a phd, you learn how to research. if you don't, heaven forbid. i went ahead and learned something, and i wrote many other books between the first and this one. about nine or ten other books. so i changed and as i told you, or as i mentioned, i felt very badly about his anti-american statements and his 9/11 statements and so forth. i just -- i was horrified. and -- but i had to take a couple of years to get over that. when i did, i said i should tell the story. there's nobody better in the
world that can tell bobby fisher's story than me. there was an obligation on my part in a sense. i think i told it accurate and honest appraisal of his life. we got here. we got here. sorry. >> did he train physically? like an athlete would before matches? >> absolutely. he swam, he played tennis, he lifted weights, he was a very physical person. and, you know, he -- his walk if you saw him, he was like a tennis player. he would swagger like, you know, because he was so used to this kind of stuff. playing basketball, he was an athlete. he was a true athlete, and he kept that up pretty much all of his life. during the bewilderness years,
there were times when he didn't do anything. but he was also a walker. he walked miles and miles and miles. he walked my legs off. he would think nothing of walking from the upper west side down to the lower east side and back again. in the of course of an evening. you know, miles and miles and miles. he loved it. and he was a fast walking. it was practically if you were next to him, there was a wind that he would make because he walked so terrifically. he was in terrific shape pretty much all -- and he really trained before each match. so i think that's about it. unless someone has one anxious question that they want to ask. nick? yes? [inaudible question] >> i'm wondering if you had any romantic relationships. was he ever married? >> he was never married until he was in prison and then the woman that she was living with in
japan came quite honestly in a gamut to try to get him out of prison that he became, you know, he would be looked upon as a japanese citizen, but he wasn't married to the japanese woman. they got married in prison towards the end of his life. he was in love with a 17-year-old girl when he was 49. nothing ever consummated. however, he was in love with her. there were occasional romantical januaries in his life. i go into that in the book. thank you very much. [applause] >> coming up tomorrow night.
helen? >> are you still here? >> almost every year the president and journalist meet at the white house correspondence dinner to make fun of themselves at their own expense. president obama will head there again this saturday. watch live or go back and watch a past dinner. search, watch, clip, and sharecrop -- share online at the c-span video library. watch what you want when you were. >> now a foreign policy with elliot abrams, mr. bush, and robert wexler. the american jewish committee hosted this event as part of the annual global forum meeting in washington. it also includes a discussion on the global view of israel where the former israeli peace negotiator and former member of
the british parliament. this is just under two and a half hours. >> elliot abrams and robert wexler. moderating is jason isakson. [applause] [applause] >> good morning. hello from a.j.'s 2011 global forum. i want to make sure you picked up a copy of the "wall street journal" you will see in the center an advertisement. united states and israel an enduring partnership. please pick it up. good statement to resolve to continue to strengthen the relationship between the united states and israel. i am jason isaacson your moderator. i would like to welcome the
audience washington, d.c. and the global web cast. on the panel, we are joined by elliot abrams, senior fellow at the council of foreign relations and former deputy national security advisor, and robert wexler, president of the s. daniel abram ha center for middle east peace and former u.s. congressman from florida. a few notes about the debate, we will begin with opening statements. each debater will have five minutes for the statement and three minutes to respond to his counterpart. we'll then move to the question and answer portion of the debate in which each speaker will again have up to five minutes to respond. and finally, each debater will have the opportunity to offer five minute concluding remarks. these time limits will be strikely enforced. [laughter] >> now, i will turn the floor over to elliot abrams to kick us
off. good morning. >> good morning. thank you very much. good morning to bob wexler. i want to congratulation steve and jason for the awards that they received yesterday. as you can tell from the format, i'm here this morning to declare my candidacy. this is a copy of my birth certificate. [laughter] [applause] >> next year the meeting will be held at the trump washington center. [laughter] >> and now to the middle east. there's so much to talk about when the changes in the middle east that we could be here for all morning, all day. [cough] >> i think fundamentally the united states has a great interest in supporting democratic allies around the
world, and in the middle east. that sounds obvious, but i don't think it's quite so obvious. because i think, frankly, the obama administration has tended to focus more on multilateral institutions like the u.n. and less on traditional democratic alliances. nato is in tatters as we see in libya. i never thought i'd live to see the day when the british and the french are complaining about our commitment to nato. and rightly so i'm afraid. focusing on democratic allies, japan, india, germany, france, britain, australia, israel. israel obviously needs to be near the top of that list. here again, i think we have not done a good job in the last couple of years. relations need to be good at all levels.
military-military relations are excellent, for example. but relations at the top are clearly not excellent. and we pursued a policy over the last couple of years, until november when it was abandoned, built around a construction freeze. and in the words of senator john kerry, we wasted a year and a half. since november, there really hasn't been much of a policy. we are all waiting to see what happens now? the prime minister's speech in about a month was the building block. but now an event has happened yesterday that changes the context. the hamas-fattah agreement. we don't know a lot about that agreement. but i find it troubling. i don't think it'll last. let me say now. you remember the mecca agreement of 2007 led if not directly, fairly quickly just a few months to the hamas crew in gaza. announcing an agreement is one thing.
keeping it going from month to month is another. my observation it appears to be an agreement without conditions. the quartet reaction, including the united states, but eu, un, russia to the mecca agreement was, and to the hamas victory in the 2006 elections, was anybody who participates in the palestinian government needs to be commitmented to peace, nonviolence, recognizing israel's right to exist, and all previous agreements. hamas obviously does not meet that standard. it doesn't -- it didn't meet it then, and it doesn't meet it now. apparently there's some kind of security agreement. again, we'll find out what the details are, but it's very troubling. there's no agreement on releasing, for example. there's no agreement on -- well, here's an example of the trouble that i mean. apparently they are going to say under some kind of security
committee, hamas keeps gaza, fattah keeps the west bank. over the last couple of years, israel and the p.a. has worked very closely in the west bank against hamas. against terrorism. you talk to idf officers, they will tell you it's pretty good cooperation. does that cooperation continue? if that cooperation does not continue, does u.s. security assistance to the p.a. continue? while they are in a partnership with hamas? you've already seen reactions on capitol hill. i think this is extremely troubling. i'm running out of time here. i guess bob and i have to disappoint you, you know, we are friends. we agree on an awful lot of things. those who are looking for a kind of tough debate here maybe
slightly disappointed. but, you know, we'll try. we'll give it our best. >> i think we will. i think we will. robert, please. thank you, elliot. >> thank you very much. i want to especially thank the american jewish committee for allowing myself and elliot to participate this morning. ajc, which needs no introduction to any of you, is certainly in my humble estimation the prominent american communal organization. the impact that it has throughout the town, on capitol hill, and the administration, in the media, and in all of the thought-provoking community in washington is quite significant and the fact that the new chief of staff for the president is addressing your organization which i believe will be his first address as chief of staff to an american organization and an american jewish organization is primary testimony to the
prominence of ajc. i thank all of you for participating. elliot is correct in terms of if you think there's going to be blood letting, you will be sadly disappointed. just the opposite for my personal perspective. elliot is a extraordinarily patriotic and able american public servant who for decades has devouted himself personally and professionally to american foreign policy, a significant part of which, of course, was america's policy in the middle east, and my hat is off to him for a very long, distinguished career of service. let me start with this. my family and i, we arrived back from israel last night having the privilege of spending two weeks in israel for passover.
i'm sure many of you have had that privilege. if i could take 15 seconds and just be a part of the israeli tourism council, spending passover in israel, i don't think there's any greater thrill than anybody could ever experience. on top of the extraordinary wealth that israel provides to any visitor whether it's their first or 30th time, but to be able to go to italian restaurants in the middle of passover in jerusalem, that's worth whatever extra charges there maybe at the hotel. and one stay in only seven days, that to me is also worth whatever extra charges there maybe. [laughter] >> but as to the issue, if we had met three months ago, all of us probably would have been centered on egypt.
talking about egypt, and this extraordinary change that was about to occur. had we met six or seven weeks ago, we would have talked about libya, and this extraordinary challenge that was presented and the thought that america with our nato allies would engage in a military operation. that would have been the center of our focus. had we met 24 hours ago, i suppose the center of our focus would have been will bashar assad and syria last through the weekend? now since we are meeting today as elliot referenced, we will be in part focused on what is the meaning of fattah and hamas appearing to be posed to enter into a unity agreement.
i'm careful in saying appearing to be posed because they have not entered into it yet. the point of what i mention is simply that the degree of change that is sweeping the region is so fundamental and farfetched that to talk about constant or fundamental at this point, i think, actually is outdated. and i know i share elliot's enthusiasm for the premise that america should fundamentally be on the side of democracy. and here again, elliot has rolled during the bush administration. i would applaud actually for being ahead of the curve in terms of aligning america with democracy. elliot is not naive. nor am i. we all understand the risk that empowering people involves, but i also think we need to
understand the risks of not empowering people. and the risks of anchoring peace agreements with leaders as opposed to societies. let me close with this fundamental question that i would ask to our friends in israel, and this, i think, is maybe where maybe elliot and i may differ a bit. if our friends in israel calculate that the degree of leverage that they today hold leverage with america, leverage with the international community, whether it be the european union, the united nations, the quartet, whatever it maybe, the arab neighbors, the new governments in egypt, and tunisia and the like and the leverage they have had the pall stillian authority, the pall pa-
palestinian authority, and the advantage and economic interest. if our friends in israel calculate that the leverage that they have today is greater than the leverage they will have in five years or ten years, i will respectfully offer it's prudent to make difficult decisions when your leverage is greatest. if they calculate that their leverage in five years or ten years from now is likely to be less, then i would respectfully conclude and i fall in this category that it's wiser it make decisions when your leverage is greatest. and it is borderline irrational to wait until your choices, in
fact, are less. or your ability to affect a positive choice is less. and in that record, possibly i'm opening up the debate. i suggest that now is the time to make difficult choices. although it maybe somewhat counterintuitive to the traditional thinking. >> thank you for opening up the debate. so, robert? elliot please respond. >> i've never heard such -- >> there you go. >> how's that for an opening act? [laughter] >> you know, there is a good deal of agreement here in this sense. [laughter] >> israel has a consensus now, i don't know 90%, maybe 95% to separate from the palestinians. if used to be there was a large community that believed in greater israel. i think that community is very small now. i think people left, right, and
center since sharon recognize that all the may will be but don't want a one-state solution, you do want a two-state solution, you need to separate. this is logic, and that logic fundamentally remains correct today. jewish state, arab state. the question that i ask, and it's very close to what bob is saying. if that was israel's interest, it's not a gift to the pall -- palestinians. it's israel's interest to separate. the question i ask is why don't you separate? neither of us is knee -- is naive. easy to say, hard to do. but i wonder, for example, if it was clear to everybody that sooner or later what is beyond the fence is going to be not israel, let's say.
why continue to make investments beyond the fence? why not begin the process of allowing people beyond the fence to move back? by saying allowing, they can do it tomorrow morning, expect try seller your house. if you have put money into a residence beyond the fence. in the case of gaza, there was compensation for people who moved back. sooner or later, that will have to happen for the areas beyond the fence as well. it would be meaningful for israel's international physician, i think, to begin to talk about that, to begin to act in the asset to take steps that reflect israel's logic that separation is the right thing to do. now this has become a lot more difficult. i think because of the hamas-fattah agreement, which if it falls apart. because it well may. because it reflects the view
point of the palestinian leadership. i think it's going to lead to the departure of salem fiad. if there's one thing they hate, it's fiad. he's been resists the departure. his departure is going to trouble people on the hill and a lot of other donors, and people in the europe and arab that want to know where the money is going. with him there, they know where the fun is going. with him not that, there's not so clear. i think the logic for israel is clear to begin to move in the direction that their national interests call for. but the palestinians have once again made it a good deal harder. on the one hand, they won't come to the table. on the other hand, they are playing games with hamas.
if you haven't read the hamas charter recently, pull it out over the weekend. it's a violently anti-semitic document. not one word has been changed. they don't ask. >> thank you, elliot. before i ask robert to speak, if you have questions, fill out the cards. staff will be picking them up very shortly. robert? >> elliot introduces an interesting concept that i would agree with in part. separation. elliot rightfully referenced prime minister sharon. prime minister sharon, of course, implemented the separation theory in the context of disengagement from gaza. i don't want to be disengenerous, i supposed prime minister sharon, with respect to gaza. we've learned some things from the disengagement plan. unirally december december -- ul
disengagement will not help. if anything, what israel do is give up the bargaining chip that is it contains and possesses without getting something significant in return. and the significant in return, of course, first and foremost are security agreements from the palestinians, from the arab neighbors, from the united states, from the natos, and internationally recognized commitment that israel be the homeland of the jewish people, underline jewish people. but in order to do that, and again, i don't think anyone on this is naive. the israelis, the likelihood of the israelis and palestinians negotiating, a comprehensive agreement is between zero and one percent. closer to zero. the question is what can prime minister netanyahu and the israel he government do to better posture itself so has to
protect it's significant interests going forth in the future. i would argue that this is where prime minister netanyahu and the israeli government should be more forthcoming. they should say what is in their interest. like elliot said, not because it's good for the palestinians. i would argue it's good for israel. for the israelly prime minister to say my borders, my borders. the borders that are best for me and my people are the 1967 borders with significant allowments to make certain that 80% of the jewish-israelis that today live outside of the 67 lines will be within the internationally recognized borders of israeli if he were to simply say that, i know it would be a big gulp, if the israeli prime minister were to do that, he'd not be giving away anything. i would argue, and he would be
gaining enormously. he'd gain enormously here in america, he'd gain enormously internationally, and he would undercut entirely the efforts that will occur in september with respect to a unilateral palestinian declaration by the u.n. and so forth. you know who will tremble if prime minister netanyahu were to make such a mistake -- excuse me. such a statement. [laughter] >> they would tremble in hamas, they would tremble in tehran, and all of the naysayers, all of those that oppose israel's right to exist, and oppose israel as a jewish state, they would tremble. because the calling card that they have too often is the perceived correct or not, the perceived intransient.
this is not going to be a israeli jewish state from the mediterranean to the jordan. the numbers are not there. we can argue we took extraordinary tours pointing out the jewish presence and the jewish history in places far outside of the 67 lines. i would respectfully suggest that we should all agree there was a jewish presence 3,000 years ago in 3300 years ago in the many of the places if the goal is to keep them as a part of the internationally recognized state of israel, that's impossible. >> robert, thank you. before we turn to questions from the web cast audience and you in the room today, i'd like to pose a question. really recenterring on a topic that we wanted to focus on, u.s. policy in the middle east. where should the united states go now on two fronts? one, promoting democratic
change, and secondly on advancing toward israeli peace. do we restart talks. put down a plan. let me start with you elliot. >> first, we need to lead. some of you have led the article in the new yorker where the senior administration official says we are leading from behind. sorry. that's not now the united states can lead the free world and lead the alliance of nation. we lead from up front. we are as madeleine albright once again, indispensable. we need to show leadership. in india, where we need more military pressure. we need to show leadership on syria. syria is an enemy of the united states, a murder and torturer is the president of syria. why do we call for the departure
of mubarak, and not the departure of mossad. it's disgusting. [applause] [applause] >> so leadership, even in the case of syria, nobody is sending troops. it's moral and political leadership. now i think we need to have a reconciliation with israel. let's face it, we've had two rough years. there's no sense of confidence. this is true in the arab world too. when i go to israel, frankly when i go to west bank as well, i hear a sense of a lack of confidence in the united states and where we are. i would not assert ourselves through an american plan. because i think i know what's going to happen when we put forward an american plan. israelis and palestinians are both going to say this is great. thank you very much. but just have a few comments. this is what the israelis did
with the road map, 13 comments. where you will be left a week later, both sides will have said no, and that will make the president look weaker, and none of us benefit when the president of the united states looks weaker. i don't see how that leads to a peace agreement. it seems to me that we should be doing is saying to the pall pal- palestinians, if you want the state, build the state, build from the bottom up, build institutions, a lot of progress has been made. you need to continue that. israel has helped a lot. it needs to help more. the arab states need to help more. there's been a lot of progress who have losened things up in the west bank. we need to be very candid in saying to the palestinians, the way through the state is not through a partnership with terrorists groups. >> thank you, elliot. robert? >> many my last year of congress when arab diplomats would come
to my office, they would more often than not start with how's the health care debate going? i thought maybe that was their polite way of talking to me about something they thought i cared deeply about. i realed after the third or fourth or fifth time, whether it was egypt, bahrain, the health care debate, the health care debate. obviously, they didn't have a stake in words seniors in my hometown for going to pay x in the donut hole for medicare or not. but they have as elliot referenced a great stake in this strength of the american president. and they were calculating this is president going to have a significant domestic, political victory which will then translate possibly into stronger american foreign policy? the reason that i reference it, and i suspect you will hear it from the chief of staff, for a
moment, imagine you are barack obama. and this is your day. i presume, or something like it. the chief of staff and the security people and the intelligence people walk into your office in the morning. i hope the chief of stay is saying, mr. president, the job reports in ohio is x. the auto city is boom. this industry is there. interest rates are that. the chairman said this. the economy, economy, economy, jobs, jobs, jobs. guess what, gasoline prices have topped $4 a gallon. they may hit five. if they do, we have a huge problem. both in terms of economics and politics. then the guy comes in or lady and says, yes, mr. president, we need to do something significant. and the president looks at that brave young man or young women or elderly man or women and says, okay, if i do all of the extraordinary steps, tell me
what's likely to happen. elliot is not wrong. the israeli government is likely to say, no, i think they would take a page out of the of the play book and say, yes, here are the 28 exceptions, drafted by the most extraordinarily schooled lawyers. and the palestinians will do something the same. so what i think the american president needs to do, and i would agree with elliot, what's happening in syria today is -- i would argue, the most significant of the factor that is have occurred so far. why? because if events go in syria in a way that is not beneficial to bashar assad, i'll make one predictions. iran will be next. not necessarily two or four weeks from now. but iran will not escape the chains brewing in the middle
east if events in syria unfold in a way that is unhelpful. people -- the initial reaction with respect to the palestinian or the p.a. and hamas agreement was some in israel said this. this shows how weak abbas is. excuse me. yes. abbas is weak. we all know that. but a few weeks ago, the same people were arguing, oh the events in egypt are going to empower hamas. they will be uncontrollable in terms of their ego. wait a minute. hamas just entered into the agreement. if they thought that their stake was so high, why enter into an agreement in guess what, the hamas guys are looking at syria and they are saying oh no. what's happening to bashar assad. oh no, if he's gone on sunday,
or next sunday, or three sundays from now, what's going to happen in tehran. so they are shaking like a leaf. so the president should enunciate principals. not than american plan. but the president should once and for all, enunciate a set of principals that america can hold it's head high, and then in september when we go to the u.n. and we say to all of the european friends and those all around the world, no, american will not support a unilateral statement, why? because we've enunciated the principals upon which the israelis and palestinians should and must begin the negotiations. not impose anything, but a set of principals upon which to negotiate. >> thank you, robert. [applause] [applause] >> we have a -- we have a fewer named abdallah from the middle east. i'm not sure which country. we've been talking about this,
all due respect, can you please stir back the discussion to the u.s. foreign policy in the middle east and not discuss the best strategy for israel to trick it's opponents. thank you. let me amend that question a little bit. because we've been talking about u.s. policy in the middle east. let's talk about arab attitudes towards israel and ways that u.s. policy can affect the climate for israeli palestinian, more broadly. can we be doing more to encourage a better climate between peace and all of its nay neighbors throughout the region. there are positive examples. but in the past and not too many. please, elliot -- robert. >> the -- bob said the, you know, we need to make peace with people. i was surprised by the degree to which the israelis mourned the
passing of power as he's been a great friend of israeli. the problem is the arab states have used israel. it's bread and circuses. because they delivered nothing but oppression to their own people, they appointed israel. the hope would be democratic governments were legitimate. nobody elected any of those guys. they were just stealing elections. the hope would be with a legitimate government they wouldn't need to do this. they could focus on the development of their own country. and they would stop the spewing out of anti-semitism on state run tv and in textbooks. what we can do, i think, is say to them, say to the new government of tunisia, the new government of egypt when we get to it and i completely agree with bob, the key turning point here is syria. when we get to the next government of syria, the
relations with the united states depend on a few critical thing. this is one of them. we have let the palestinians, egyptians, and others, get away i won't say with murder, but vicious hatred in official documents and books and on government-run tv. now is the time at this moment of change in the middle east for us to say that's over. that has got to come to an end. >> robert? >> thank you, elliot. >> with respect to america's policy in the region, a number of people have talked about a modern-day marshal plan for the middle east. in terms of economic incentives that america might offer our arab friends. times are difficult in america. times are difficult after world war ii, of course, too. i think that while it may not be the degree to which the marshal plan actually affected change in europe, that we ought to look
and work in that direction. but some people may not be aware. we already have some of those tools. probably the most leverage that we had with respect to egypt is not the $2.2 billion that we provide every year, at least have so in the past. it's a concept called the qualified industrial zones which elliot is familiar with. tens of thousands of jobs in egypt are dependent upon their cooperation with israel in terms of their economic interest with america. now the next government in egypt, whether it is one we like, or one that we can stomach, or one we can actually possibly applaud are going to have economic problems that are extraordinary in their scope. and we ought to provide both the admonition if they do not honor their peace treaty with israel, we are not a part of their process. if they do, our qualified
industrial zones are but an example of the good things we can do together to help you grow the economy and answer a chance in the people in the street that put you in power and e -- elected you in the first place. where i disagree a bit with elliot is the administration and american foreign policy with respect to israel and in terms of the bilateral relationship. the security to security relationship between american and israel has never been strong person that's not an easy thing to say. because it has been strong in the past. and in terms of public pronouncements of support in times of need, this administration has been on record time in and time again on the right side of the equation. a few examples if i may. when turkey, a year and a few months invited, they miscalculated. that was four-part exercise. i believe they thought we'd stay
out of one. stay out of two. we are not participating. our european allies, us, leading the way, not from behind but in front then followed our lead. what did we follow with? just a muted statement? no, followed with the largest arrival of american military personnel in the history of state of israel. over 1,000 american soldiers in uniform in the state of israel for three or four weeks, working on anti-missile ballistic exercises. and the security to security arrangement whether you are talking to an israeli official or an american official has been seamless. now again, i'm not an administration official, had there been mistakes? sure. do i think making the issue of settlements and settlement freezes out of the box the way in which the administration did, was that a success?
no. asking an israeli prime minister whether it's a prime minister, or a kadima prime minister to make a recession on jerusalem as part of the opening act? not a good strategy. with respect to security and vetoing the resolution recently at the united nations, with respect to whether we are talking about weapons, or the administration had supported from the congress. whether we are talking about providing the israeli government with the kind of international protection that it justty deserves, the administration has been as good if not better than any. the notion that we continue to debate probably for some political purposes as much respectfully as substantive. whether or not this administration is proisrael. your ad to a certain degree answers it. this country, thank goodness,
has had a history with the unbreakable bond with the state of israel. it's as unbreakable as it is today as when elliot was partly in charge, or anyone else before that. >> thank you, robert. [applause] >> we have a question from the audience which i'd like to read to you as well. how can we promote democracy across the arab world and at the same time, assure israel's security? >> i don't think the two are incompatible at all. first because a lot of the dictatorships which were all illegitimate were using israel as a way of sort of throwing red meat at people in their societies. i think we need to make a real effort on the economy. here i agree with bob. look at egypt. 80 million people.
libya is small country. huge oil well. tunisia, small country. the most important one is egypt. 80 million people and not much in the way of oil and gas. we know from the experience of latin america what happens when you go to democracy? you have elections and then you are disappointed and frustrated. you end up in the populism that we see in venezuela, libya, to a certain extent argentina. it's bad politics and economics. we need to do all that we can to help them economically as well as politically. i'm not in favor of the marshal plan only because -- two reasons. first the marshal plan was a reconstruction of industrialized countries. this would be a very different situation. we're not talking about the czech republic here or france or germany. secondly, we don't have the money. had but i know who does. because i just paid $4.01 a
barrel of oil. it's $115 a barrel, and $4.00 a gallon. they announced $100 billion to buy off their own population in an effort to avoid reform. they have announced it as part of the bahrain and $1 billion for ohman. we need to talk about their responsibilities. obviously, they are not in favor of democracy. not at home and abroad. but they are in favor of a more stable future for the arab world. they are supposedly in favor of the palestinian state. they certainly have the money. through the world bank, imf, we need to talk to them about the responsibilities. i don't think the american taxpayer is going to say it's our job to come up with billions of dollars for egypt, syria, tunisia.
they mentioned the qiz. there's a place that we can make a difference. in trade rather than aid. foreign aid isn't the answer anyway. i want reject the notion that israel is a less safe country if it is surrounded by arab democracies. and the poll data that comes from egypt suggest that people don't want a war with israel. they don't like israel. they don't like jews. they don't want a war. the egyptian army doesn't want the war. they understand if they get into any kind of conflict, investment, tourism disappears, they will go spiraling down into greater poverty. i think there's reason to be optimistic about the changes, particularly, bob and i here are in complete agreement. if assad goes, it is the beginning of a gigantic change. it does lead to tehran. >> thank you. elliot? >> i agree. i would go actually in some
directions where we haven't talked even further. the notion that israeli security has somehow muturely exclusive from the growth of democracy in the arab world needs to be rejected entirely. in fact, i would argue that converse. if you are of the belief that israeli society and israeli security is better off being surrounded by the whims of nations determined by one man, then we'll never have one woman there, but one man, i would respectfully suggest that your ideology is more danger with respect to the security of the state of israel than anything any government official could ever identify and implement. because long term it will fail. and it will fail miserably. does having confidence in
democracy mean it's going to be smooth sailing. buzz it mean we're going to applause those that win elections? i'll bet more often than not we are deeply concerned with the election results. they said they hope the people they support needs the first election. if democracy works the way it's supposed to, the people that win the first flexion egypt -- first election in egypt are going to rebel in the ballot box in a significant way. hope for the second election for the good guys and women to come aboard. but the one thing we haven't talked about which i think is essential is america's relationship with turkey, and israeli relationship with turkey. there is, in fact, another democracy in the middle east. and it is a moderate democracy with an overwhelmingly majority muslim population. and while america's relationship
with israel -- with respect to turkey is very strong in certain respects, in terms of cooperation in iraq, in afghanistan, and in other key parts of the region, it has been strained in orrs. and certainly israel's relationship with turkey has been strained to an extraordinary degree. turkish elections. yes, elections occur in june. subsequent to those elections, i would suggest our foreign policy in america. one the top priorities so ensure stability, to ensure security in in region, both for america's benefit, israel's benefit, and turkey's benefit is to make priority number one repairing the relationship between turkey and israel. because that actually can be an extraordinarily important anchor for all of the commotion and change that is about to come after. >> thank you, robert. obviously one the questions on restoring that relationship normalizing that relationship will have to do with the subject of iran. but that is not the subject of
this debate right now. we only have a few minutes left. so in i think the last question i have your someone in jere jer- jerusalem, if hamas and fattah come to an agreement, will that help or hinder the campaign that they are pursuing to seeking unilateral recognition of statehood and independence? >> it cuts boths way. it can be argued what do you mean they are going to have a state. how can they have a state and declare a state when it's two states. it's completely divided. so this is a partial answer the palestinians can give. no, we are on the way to unity now. we have come together. they may try to keep the agreement until september in an effort to have the answer to the question. on the other hand, it's unity
fattah or the ph in a terrorists group. and the reaction is israel is clear. the reaction in congress is reasonably clear. if hamas or changing and meeting the conditions, that's one thing. but how do you support a state with the participation of a -- excuse me, terrorists group in the government. so i think it cuts both ways. i think it makes it a lot harder for prime minister netanyahu. for example, and i'll just end with this, the -- i wrote an article a couple of weeks ago after returns from jerusalem, suggesting that israel should get ahead of the curve. he mentioned the 67 borders with agreed swap. if the president says the basis is going to be 67 borders with agreed swap, i don't understand why it's important for israel to say this is catastrophe. rather than saying great, we all
agree. there will be no return to the 67 borders. it's so great that we agree on that. take advantage of it. i said the same thing about the u.n.. if the u.n. is clearly going to go for palestinian state, why do you want to go around saying this is the greatest catastrophe. this is the worst defeat that israel is going to suffer. you were going to turn it into a meaningful defeat that will help the radical forces. why doesn't israel say you know what, last week chile recognized, i recognize. israel recognized. people will say what does it mean? i don't know. what does it mean when chile did it? you defang is. you leech some of the poison out of it. [laughter] [applause] >> but i have to say -- it's harder this week and it's harden. how do you do this as an reaction to the an agreement between fattah and pa, and
unreconstructed violent terrorists group. if you say that's important, let's forget about that. i think it does cut both ways. it's a huge complication for israel and for the united states. bob and i were talking before i came out here. i said to them, i don't know how bb writes a speech now, expect having little modules. >> thank you, elliot. robert please. >> i hate to disappoint you, but, i agree. of course, i'll go further. [laughter] >> to answer the question specifically, it depends. it depends, i think, in great part whether or not fattah and hamas really do create unity and what that unity actually means when it's implemented, but also it's highly depended on what we in the united states do between now and september, and even more
important what israel does between now and september. with respect to the israeli reaction, i understand it, i agree with it, but the quick israeli quote was fattah, the palestinian authority will have to make a choice. a choice between hamas or peace with us. agreed. yes. a palestinian entity that does not reject violence, and does not recognize the state of israel, that does not agree to the past agreements will not make peace with israel. america will not recognize it. agreed. but that's not a policy. that's not smart thinking. smart thinking is, okay, let's think, these two warring factions, fattah and hamas, have just potentially entered into an agreement. there maybe meaningful palestinian elections in roughly a year. what can the friends in israel
do in the upcoming 12 months and what can we do in america in the upcomes 12 months to help those that participate in the election that will promote policies that will be beneficial to israel and to america? to peace in the region, and to the rightful -- the rightful demands to the palestinian people for dignity and respect. :
and that person gave me an answer that i didn't expect, which was the mt. of olives has of course extraordinary jewish tradition, history and meaning and it can't ever be separated and the jewish people and the jewish state. on the other hand, it is very difficult to imagine that if he you were too in to in fact draw a border how you would get all the way over here to include it in wester islam or the israeli jewish capital. i said well, how do you bridge that? he said look at this convention center on top of the hill. there is a little hotel there that is right above the mt. of olives. and he said that looks like a perfect place for the israeli embassy to the mill -- new palestinian state and guess what
the mt. of olives should be the garden of the israeli embassy. [laughter] now that is the kind of creativity and that is the kind of reaction that we in america and our friends in israel ought to be providing as this extraordinary exchanges whipping through the nation. >> robber, thank you. [applause] we have time now -- thank you. we have time to sum up and we are going to begin with you elliott for a couple of minutes and then you robert for a couple minutes. >> first thank you for having me. desires a great pleasure to meet with members and officials in the agency which is the great american jewish organization and everyone in the u.s. government has always known and continues to understand it. this is a moment of unbelievable turbulence in the middle east.
it has gone further than anyone had predicted that it is a moment of tremendous opportunity and i want to close on a hopeful note. israel's great enemy in the region is iran. the only state that says we want to eliminate the state of israel and there is in accidents between iran, syria, hezbollah and hamas. hamas headquarters is still in damascus. syria, iran's only arab ally, the way in which iran ships arms to hezbollah. the middle east really changes a lot if that regime falls. you are not going to get a worse regime. certainly are not going to get a more brutal vicious and despicable regime in human rights terms. this is a 74% sunni country. with hezbollah and with iran. these are huge developments for
the security of the united states and of israel. this is the first major defeat for iran. this is the beginning i think and i agree with bob, this is the beginning of the end of the end may take years but it is the beginning of the end for the ayatollah because they know their own population despises that regime. in this turmoil and turbulence which makes the israelis very nervous. when i was over there i suggested there is some of this reason to be hopeful and the israelis responded hare you live 5000 miles away. we live here. is very nerve-racking. it is nerve-racking. and we may see lots of setbacks. not every air countries going to move in a revolution to democracy but there are tremendous opportunities here to improve, i wouldn't even say in the long run, in the medium run. israel situation in the region, run situation in the region to bring about the fall of the horrible regime in tehran and
replace it with a democracy. the building block for all of this has got to be american is racing -- american israeli relations. here bob and i have a disagreement because military-to-military are terrific. i really agree with bob have never been better. political relations are not so good. relations between the president and prime minister have been a lot better and a lot of administrations. we need to do better in the coming two years. we need to improve those relations. we need to solidify them. we need to make it clear to the arabs and the europeans that the alliance between the united states and israel is completely unshakable and will remain the key building block for israeli security and security and democracy in the middle east. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, elliott. robert. >> i am hopeful.
i am hopeful because as americans and for our friends in israel, the strength of democracy is so layered and so pervasive throughout a society that we can weather storms. as many times as i have been her out yad vashem i wish i could have been a fly on the wall in which i imagined there was the debate on how to end this exhibit in yad vashem. when you go through the halls of horror and the history and the end of course is the open view. i was just there last week, springtime, extraordinary greenery of hope and promise and what a people with determination and ambition can do.
that determination and ambition is not unique to americans. it is not unique to israelis. and i think war than anything our policy and our consciousness should respect the dignity of those people in the world and in this case in the middle east who today do not enjoy dignity. and it should be our efforts in america and israeli priority as well to give and help those people achieve dignity. and a dignified man, a dignified woman is far less likely to create a violent or a problematic situation for you, for me and or our friends in israel and this will not be without ups and downs and it will not be without risk. but i happen to think that we
are living in what may be the most hopeful time that the middle east has seen arguably in the history in the context of modern history. and before you react sometimes two events and say oh i am afraid of the change, which is perfectly reasonable and prudent to do, i think you should remind yourself that the ultimate goal is to create a scenario where there are more winners and less losers and with respect to the israeli-palestinian conflict, that is why i so fundamentally believe that forthrightness and a bit of courage on behalf of the american president and the israeli prime minister will actually be rewarded in a far
greater fashion than any of us will rationally believed. elliott points out history, which showed differently and that is correct. but i would argue that we are in a historical moment where great leadership whether it be in washington or jerusalem or other areas is required, and that great leadership will at times require defying conventional wisdom. thank you for having me. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you robert. thank you elliott. please stay their places for@ another second. please remain seated. i would like to tank or c-span audience and their webcast audience drawn from across the globe and for taking part in this informative debate. please do join us again for additional webcast session.
>> ladies and gentlemen welcome to this morning session. please take your seats and welcome to the stage lorna fitzsimons, rafael bardaji and allen. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen i would like to welcome you, those of you in the audience as well as those on our global webcast and those that will be viewing us on c-span two this session this morning. our session this morning is entitled, delegitimization, the global assault on israel.
i am allard rich. i chaired a jc international relations commission and as i told the panelists the less i say in the more they say the more i think we will get out of this program. joining me for this panel today are gidi grinstein, rafael fitzsimons the executive director of the friends of israel initiative and from spain and from the u.k., lorna fitzsimons chief executive of bicom, the britain is ripped medications and research center. before we begin our discussion, we have a brief introductory video to help frame our discussion. >> delegitimization a word that is has come to signify their political media and ideological assault on israel's very right
to exist. it is a campaign that predates the creation through a u.n. resolution of the jewish state. many of the tactics we see todae jewish connection to the land of israel, the portrayal of zionism as a form of colonialism were adopted by arab leaders in the decades before israel declared its independence. >> palestine is rocked by full-scale war is the new jewish state is born. >> as israel struggle to survive in its early years, it called for its elimination. following the 1967 arab-israeli war, the soviet union led the propaganda campaign against israel culminating in the notorious u.n. general assembly resolution of 1975, later rescinded touting zionism as racism. today it is a complex network of
ngos, the adl that's an extremist activists that is leading the charge against israel. that the message is the same, israel's existence is the original sin. across the world like seattle, london and madrid and cape town as well as across the arab and muslim world, anti-israelite activist push boycotts, violent demonstrations and the ultimate lutemack that israel is the reincarnation of apartheid south africa. our panel today asks, how can we we -- against this? >> the format this morning will be questions and answers and discussion with the panel for the first half-hour or so. i will be asking the questions but then it will be you, both the people in the audience as well as on the webcast. so let us begin. gidi i would like to ask you the
first question which is a general question of what are the roots of this whole delegitimization campaign that is occurring in the western world? >> first of all thank you and it is a great pleasure to be here this morning with ajc which is uniquely situated to play a critical role in this campaign against the assault on israel's legitimacy and i am very honored to be here with you. you know it was mentioned in the movie that the basic arguments about israel and zionism has existed for a century and the bias is over focused on the land of israel, the holy land that existed for a century as well. it has to do with religious focus, viewed this as their holy land it has to do with colonial -- of our former imperial friends, lorna from london.
[laughter] tomorrow the real wedding. all of the ladies will be watching. all of these basic elements existed in the question i believe you are asking is what has made all of these sort of explode over the last few years so i would like to point to a few of the trends that convergef these trends that have allowed this assault on israel's legitimacy to take such a volume and have such an impact on israel. first and foremost i would say that new technology like social media that allows people to come together in new ways, we are seeing arab and modern communities in europe much bigger and much more assertive and aggressive. we are seeing the radical left following the collapse of white south african looking for a new cause. we are seeing a wave of very
strong anti-american feelings over the last decade especially around the second iraq war and israel is sort of -- there is collateral damage. there is also the element of the weakness of the israeli response we have been very late in the game. we have been laid in understanding this bum him on the mac, organizing ourselves in responding to it. there's also the crisis in the jewish institutions. we are seeing a decline in institutions ability to create a collective response that that is weekend and last but not least i will say there is also i believe the crisis in the level of israel's education within our community. for too long we have taken the support of the jewish community for granted. we have not invested in education and members of the community so many of these
people when they go to colleges and they confront a direct assault on israel that is fact-based, our lines crumbled and they have a very hard time offering a robust response to this assault and the support for israel a roads accordingly so we are seeing all of these trends toward a converged over the last few years to what probably this room and many others that belong to the community could view as an assault that already has strategic implications for the state of israel which could be existential if we ignore them. this is the time this year as was said earlier during the movie for us to turn the tables and begin to respond in sort of a systemic and systematic manner to move into the office. >> lorna, rafael you live in cities that are at the hub of the delegitimization movement.
what have you perceived? >> it is very interesting. i am not jewish. i come from a little village that is very unfriendly to any newcomer whatsoever, and i never knew a jewish person until i went to college. and so, why am aa gentile atheist zionist? because, when i was on my political journey when i first went to college, i met a group called young jewish students and non-jewish students who understood the secular roots of zionism and the history rooted in the european left.
and it was permissible for me to assume she wasn't sure for relationship with organized religion although i'm a woman of faith to actually understand the jewish people, a people, a nationhood, and if i believed in my rights as a national group of people for self-determination i should therefore confer on the jewish exactly the same rights. and the problem is that there is not enough people that understand that very very simple but crucial political., and therefore it allows for confusion and perceptions on behalf of israel's true enemy, and i think we should all be clear, israel's true enemy, the people that are both anti-semitic and anti-zionist or both lots together and are actually small in number.
but there is a smoke and mirrors game that is conflated -- issues of being completed. there is a perception that the tide is moving away from israel and therefore it makes people question their previous judgments and so when a situation happens like a flotilla they become more prey to the -- of our enemies. the other issue is an issue not about israel but about those in the west which is a crisis of confidence. for britain is post-colonial guilt. it has to do with post-iraq crisis of moral authority and so a lot of what is being projected in the arena of britain on to the debate on israel does actually got nothing to do with israel and everything to do with our crisis and our own identity,
and we will be playing our enemies game if we conflate all these people and all these issues into one big delegitimization camp. there are delegitimized respectably do them more service if we paint them bigger than we are. there is the hard-core and as gidi has rightly pointed out in the brilliant report on delegitimization and there is a soft fellow traveler and we need to get that are not actually understanding the core constituency of that are the soft vote and peeling them off because we have the argument, we know they work, we know what works because in the sentences in britain we were fighting motions of zionism equals racism after the u.n. vote on our campuses and we brought back movements to be friends of israel. so we have been here before to
some degree and therefore we have to have confidence and courage both in our own argument and our ability at the good sense of ordinary people that they will be receptive to a well put argument. >> rafael? >> i agree. i think what we are facing is a war of a different time. it is not the war of 48, the 50s were the 70s or the terror of the -- it is a war against the idea of israel and its existence. as lorna also mentioned delegitimization of israel also means delegitimizing what we are in the west because we share the same values. we share the same goals and visions for a political system,
opportunities, dignity, human rights so when israel is put on the spot ultimately western civilization will be conveyed as well. you mentioned that there are increasing communities in europe, industrial and unless we realize europeans particularly that israel is an integral part of the western civilization in the western world, we will be having a difficult task to explain why it is impossible to trade off the security and peace in israel. we must defend ourselves because israel is on the frontline of -- that that is why it is so important for non-jewish white myself to stand up in europe and say israel has the right to persist. >> the universal nature of the
challenge you are talking about i think resonates with a great many of us. i want to go back to a point that you made lorna which was specifically that the actual core of delegitimization movement is relatively small. the people that you would characterize as truly anti-semitic and anti-zionist. are they coordinating this effort? is there any conscious coordination going on, and if so, who is it that is coordinating it? >> i mean i think gidi's report outlines a lot of the connectivity's and they are better organized over the last 20 years. they have learned dramatically and ironically they have learned from the self organization within and they revere how the community organizes. i was a member of parliament in britain for eight years, represent my hometown which has
a very significant south asian population from pakistan, kashmir and bangladesh and i still live in my hometown. the conversations often happen which is a great irony to my jewish community friends, where they revere, not as in -- etc. but they say why can't we be organized? why are we so pathetic at putting our case while it doesn't feel like it from our side, but they think that we have or phrase in the north of england. it is very difficult and they don't think that they are very effective but the truth is that what they have done is they have been very very good just like state actors are and applying and adapting. they are opportunists. they are like good sailors. they smell a changing wind and they capitalized on it and a problem that we have instead our
architecture both in america and in europe is established like supertankers, like government and that is why israel finds it hard and as you know this stage and it is very similar to the organized jewish community versus basically the young organization that are capitalizing on defense. win in britain for example there was a huge war in spain, movements around the iraq war, they realize that there was the ability to recruit from that space for their reasons. so as always with these organizations they have really and infiltrators. they are actually like past masters at making friends. when i was -- and the problem is we are actually not as good as we think we are at making
friends because we say how high is -- am i truly a friend of the state of israel? can i really be trusted? it took me 20 years to get to the stage of being truly absolutely trusted and i had to lose my parliamentary seat to do it on the issue of supporting israel. my jewish friend said to me we know you are a friend, do what you need to do. so, in terms of where it comes from, it is a longtime studying what we do, applying it and using world events as our position and the electors within britain and within europe and that -- [inaudible] >> lead to my next question but before he do so i would like to remind the audience that we have distributed cards and if you have questions to ask please fill in the cards at this point
in time and they will be collected and likewise with regard to our webcast audience, hit the submit question but if you would like to submit a question. my follow-up question is, each of you is a director of an organization that speaks to this issue, that is tries to address this issue and countered the delegitimization efforts. i would appreciate it if you could spend briefly a couple of moments each scribe in your organization and what are what you are doing and maybe gidi i can start with you. >> strategy and impact group in tel aviv, our role in this assistance, the system of the state of israel is to identify areas where there is a strategic gap, understand the reason for the gap, offering a vision or a new path for progress and then
work to create basic momentum to see change, to see transformative change. the context of this issue delegitimization, our involvement in this started in the summer of 06. i'm sure you all remember this summer and the big frustrations that any of us had with the performance of the state of israel and his confrontation with hezbollah. when you listen to the israeli government you could have concluded that the frustrations of the summer of 2006 were now part of the confluence of technical problems, command-and-control, logistics, intelligence, the training of officers and so on. we looked at it from with our tools and we concluded that actually the war exposed that the national security, the security approach of israel has been exposed as failing and relevance which means the other
side, hezbollah, iran has developed an approach that allows them to frustrate israeli military superiority through the use of military tactics and diplomatic -- and 80 and diplomatic approach and the outcome of the war was a sort of undecided. so from that moment, we understood that there is a problem here that is much bigger than anything we have known before. israel came with the mentality of pr, hezbollah and they came with his whole campaign of the legitimacy so that our work was to understand the logic of their operation and then to devise principles and guidance for their response. after we had done that, and by the way a lot of this work was an inland because very quickly we understood that london is the hub of hubs of the
delegitimization -- delegitimization campaign so we route meeting dozens of people to try to understand what was going on. we have been working to create a coalition that could transform the response with many other great organizations and groups and by the way one of them is the ajc this coming weekend with access 2020. our role is to do the diagnostic analysis to be the catalyst for the response. >> rafael. >> it is a project that was launched a year ago. actually the same day that -- was stopped by the ibf in a meeting. is a group of, small group of people chaired by the former president of spain that includes names like laura trimble, the former peruvian president and the former president of the czech republic among many others
[inaudible] the goal is basically to defend israel. it is not any particular party or specific policy. it is our goal to protect them in a positive way as a kind of of --. it is a wonderful opportunity a land of opportunity and we have tried to spread our message in a very small sins niche let's say in the market. we are not a grassroots movement. we are not a think-tank that will we try to do is to help
current leaders to avoid major mistakes in in decisions. to give you an example, when the former president lula started last december to propose an american blog to recognize the palestinian state and the 67 borders, we took a delegation of the initiative and we toured all of the countries in latin america to try to explain why be considered that a mistake for the peace process benefit. so we try to help those who were -- to avoid making mistakes. it was the way of doing our business. >> lorna. >> bicom is a not-for-profit organization. our mission helps to create a more port of the environment in the way we do that is focusing on the policy.
people who form opinions in the media and people who are opinion for --. for example we are the home to what goes with empirical data on what britain thinks of israel and related issues and if at the tenth man might tell you because some of it might surprise you. >> i promise to tempt you. >> is an ex-politician i would just say that those people who think that they public aren't smart should leave politics because the public might not know much but they are not stupid. and, i'm and we try and make -- benefit the community so we are doing something quite unique on the 15th of may which is we brought together the most extraordinary group of communal and on camino organizations to
run the biggest conference that has ever happened in redsh history on israel with ambition of getting a thousand people, jewish, christian, to a conference on israel to show the breadth and depth of support. we have got cabinet ministers, international sigars, local politicians coming. i tell you this because britain has got the home of the english-speaking community. i'm going to give you some facts that might worry you. two years ago the bbc's research showed that there was a 26 year low in american owned media covering foreign affairs. there was a corresponding 58% growth in elite households from alaska to tennessee choosing
british on line media sources. the biggest market for the bbc, the guardian, financial times, the economist and now on line the daily mail followed by the telegraph is your market, america. and the biggest newsgathering monopoly in the world is the bbc and within me -- make way the media market is going that is only going to continue. now, i am the biggest and for all intensive purposes the only organization dealing with the media in london. guess what my budget is? 1.6 million pounds. and i get asked consistently from friends across the pond what are you doing? and everybody is very bothered about what is happening in london.
but minority support is funding row is real work in britain. so there is lots of organizations that are bothered about what is happening in britain and spain. the indigenous local organizations are key to the long-term sustainable sites that can change the balance of power are not seeing a penny of the money being raised on the backs of the concerned about delegitimization in london and spain. so we are doing what we can, but we need a lot more juice in the engine to actually change the balance of power. [applause] >> if i can just add one thought about this. you are asking about the global nature of the network that is engaged in a campaign of the delegitimize israel.
so what we have learned of this work is if you concentrate it in a number of hubs in major cities and a single-digit number of organizations that are truly dedicated to this cause. everybody else will take long in one way or another and the responses local. exactly as lorna said. there is an issue in seattle. the people that would be best equipped to respond to that situation in seattle is he local leadership and this is one of the most difficult elements here. no one from jerusalem or tel aviv or even washington. we may be able to give advice but the at the end of the day the local players will determine the outcome of the situation that is why it is so important to bring the network together. >> that is what we discovered at ajc that we are most effective in our regional office spaces, no question about it. as you can imagine the audience both here in washington and globally have a great any questions and i'm going to begin
to turn to those questions. the first question comes from an audience member and is as follows. and i am going to focus this question on you gidi these. with regards to the next flotilla why is the focus always on what israel should do? shouldn't we be demanding that europe and the u.s. do what they can to stop the flotilla from departing? >> sure. the way we should understand the first flotilla is a strategic strike against the political position of the state of israel. it was orchestrated -- some of you may not be aware of this -- and 14 months out in the open in places that are friendly to the state of israel and also london and the bay area and so on. it was organized by a hamas activist. the vast majority of the people in the flotilla were not
necessarily delegitimize his. there were people that were concerned about israel's policies and their concerns may eyes of people in this group but of delegitimize there's orchestrated the flotilla. the people in israel, if you look at the way the israelis have been frustrated about and talking about a response, it is as if we discovered the flotilla after it failed -- sail from turkey. it is all tactical rather than naval intelligence books book to the military intelligence and if the bbc were equipped. this is not the way to think about it. we need to go after the network that produces the flotilla and the same network that produces the bbs and the same network that produces the urban conferences in the same network that does a lot of the demonstrations hind, around the fence. this is what we need to be doing and our approach needs to be
very simple. with regards to these delegitimize her's as you said, few and far part. most of their positions that they presented present to the public are false and we can call them on this. with regard to their sort of collaborators willingly or unwillingly in liberal and progressive circles substantive engagement. we have to be a will to engage in said those sentence that doesn't prevent it to be able to build relationships. every success story of countering delegitimization in each and every one of the stories at first a relationship was deployed. what i mean is someone called another person on the other sida meeting with them had a conversation with them and talk them away from the delegitimization. the ability to deploy relationships and i'm talking to this audience. very few organizations are well
positioned to develop this network of relationships and deploy them. by making sure there is not a humanitarian crisis in gaza. also creating a campaign that will undermine the logical flotilla. >> what you are saying at the grassroots level we have got to communicate that. >> we have to talk and engage and build relationships and be willing to talk about substance. and take responsibility when we make a mistake. >> let's go on the top down. [applause] rafael what are the friends of israel initiatives doing in terms of reaching out to heads of state in this regard? >> as you know turkey was a member of nato and i think we need to make clear to anyone in
a live just a multiple support that they have to pay a price so what we can do is the decision-making in nato to the friends of israel like the czech republic, france to pass the message that something is ruing. for instance spain was taking us on behalf of the new flotilla organization. decree aid in environment. [inaudible] >> we have received a good many questions almost actually about a concern about what does the panel make of the fact that there are so many jewish you appear to be in the forefront of the delegitimization movement
and lorna as a non-jewish friend i would like to have your perception. >> i think you are bothered about that. i do a lot of work outside as my day job inside the jewish community and the conversations about why the jewish are part of organizations like palestine on the face that of it that title isn't that bad but the activity the organization are very pejorative and believing the people do not support the palestinians. and so there is a lot of -- but the truth is we play our enemies game if we focus on those individuals that only exists if we shine a light on them. i don't want to be too disparaging.
but we pay them and legitimize them. we need to concentrate on the final majority. that is how you win elections. that is how you change politicians minds. that is how you make sure apart from the key of relationships, which there is no short -- you have to have a personal relationship. what made tony blair and the and use the last political capital he had is of prime minister in supporting the state of israel during the lebanon war? it is the relationship that he had developed that meant in the end he made the decision to use his political capital on something that eventually cost him his job. you have to develop relationships. we constantly -- to those who shout louder. i consider a political party that spent 18 years in the wilderness because we didn't learn a lesson.
is not about those who shout louder because they only want your attention. is about the quiet people that you pursue them are against you. the truth is why did i become a gentile zionist? because somebody smiled at me and allowed me to ask the questions and didn't presume i was ignorant. okay, now the truth is yes you are skeptical. i understand the issues but the truth is you cannot do it without the non-and therefore excuse my french, i come from the north of england and we use intensive language occasionally. >> it's okay, i come from chicago. [laughter] speed cable you know what i might have said. they are like the naughty child. i am being slightly -- i've known some of them who are very serious but the truth is we are going to change the balance of power and the people you are not talking to represent those
people. [applause] >> gidi and rafael any further comment? >> i think the beauty of democracy is there is no single voice. there's a lot of discrepancy and you have to live with that. that is in our process. you have to focus on the group of people maybe i'm wrong but i think we have failed miserably when we have taken a reactive policy. we need to be on the offensive but we need to be on the offensive with a message and i think we have to change the narrative. that way we are trying to -- engage fighting other people who
are criticizing israel because they think for us an organization might be the right road to pursue but not for us so we try to change the minds of those people who were well receptive and try to avoid confrontation which always has proved to be -- to our cause. >> we live just launched in the house of commons in britain a campaign about the progressive case of israel and it was launched by labour members of parliament, deputy general secretary system the biggest regimes in britain. it wasn't about their for being defenseless. it was about giving people that narrative and if we are not doing it, who is? >> this is i think a critical point because in many ways we are talking about driving a wedge between the delegitimizers and liberal groups who are trying to bring on board -- that
it but in many respects they been able to drive a wedge between israel and jewish communities outside of israel. the ccp in applying issues for many communities and now are divisive issues. there is great fashion and many jewish committee same weekend engaged with israel telling the story of zionist. is not in the old way which was sort of simplistic and ended with the expectation for unwavering political financial support but in a new way, way that is more nuanced and more sensitive to the complexities that even the idiosyncrasies of life in israel, the right of the jewish people of the realization of the right of the jewish people of self-determination in a complex environment where the balance democracy and the quest for prosperity. this is a challenge for every voice in the jewish world is represented in israel and has
tried to shape its future so there is a big opportunity here to reengage with israel within the community. the second opportunity is for us to begin to work across the fault lines within our community, left and right. the assault on the right of every jewish person of self-determination. the last thing is we need to be able to talk within our community but two big questions who is the delegitimizers and what is -- because if we expand the tradition of what is a delegitimizers, and we narrow the camp of who is for israel which means if you don't support israel no matter what then we are fighting with a narrow base against a big community and we are not going to win. [applause]
the flipside is if we expand the definition of who is pro-israel they are more tolerant and we narrow the vision of who is delegitimizers and focus on the bad guy. then we will win this fight for sure because they are few and far apart but this requires left and right to understand. the right misunderstand the most credible voices standing up against delegitimization comes from the left and the lefties understand that there has to be a line. not everything goes. these are difficult conversations that lead to have within our communities but adults also a big opportunity. [applause] >> i think this is critical, absolutely critical. i found a middle ground on existence and -- but all the left wanted to do was prove they
were right in the right was wrong and all the right wanted to do was prove that they were right in of the left is wrong. now this conference, this conference is a juggling act. at the u.k. version of the new israel in the conference where the jewish national, all the pillars of left and right, it is like herding cats i have to tell you. all i say is as rafael said, if you want us to believe in the argument which we do politically and has spent her life supporting which is we argue and you are us in terms of israel. okay, then it is very very important in terms of winning that argument to therefore do
exactly as gidi says. if you can't have it both ways, you can't say actually we are inseparable because it is about democracy and the future. i took this job, okay, because i was a new middle-aged mother who suddenly realized that the best insurance policy for my precious child was to make sure that the one candle that was an the most undemocratic region was not alone out because i knew that meant they were coming for me next. and so i beg you, to not do not make it about you and about being right. make it about my son and all her children will stand a chance of being safer. [applause] >> here here. as you may imagine we have a great number of questions, so i
need to move on to the next, and then exits from abe who is coming -- one of our webcast audience and he asks, what relationship to your panelist see between delegitimization and the big lie of strategy in nazi germany? i am going to start with you rafael. [laughter] >> i knew it. it is a good question. i don't have an answer to all of the questions. i see the problem. >> lorna i knew you would have the answer. >> the relationship between anti-semitism -- you end up against the right of the jewish
people to assist and live and that is the connection but i think it is important to understand that the short-term goal or to reduce the ability of the state of israel to act and also to reduce the freedom of expression of those friendly to israel and i know coming from you when you say you are friend of israel you have to start worrying. there are some friends in europe left and the delegitimization campaign is making it difficult for those people to stand up and defend their situation. second they think we have to go beyond the rapid reaction force mentality. whenever there is a crisis somebody has to say something about defending israel because we won't have -- but i think it is very critical. with a plan to constant and consistent way if we want to win the battle of delegitimization because unless we do that consistently every day, every
single hour, instead of battling in a crisis, we are going to seem also a -- for israel and again as lorna said, we are doing this -- i'm doing this because of an altruistic sentiment. [inaudible] i am doing that because i'm defending myself. i'm defending my identity and my values. i want my son to live in peace and i will finish with a little anecdote. when i was five years old, my father brought me to a basketball match in madrid between the real madrid in the mccauley. through one does not matter right now. >> course it matters. left us be a few days or weeks i can exactly remember i was asked
a school to come up to the drawing board enlist the european country so i said well i saw them a copy in the champions league in europe so i put israel, spain and france and i got in fmat. i couldn't understand why and i don't understand why people are criticizing israel is not being part of the west today. [applause] >> there are delegitimizers in everything. i don't know whether any of you are familiar with robert kehl deanie's worked. any of you want to be influential over your fellow citizen with you are an aspiring salesperson or politician you need to read it. you seriously need to read it. you only need to read the first chapter sadat worried that worry but you need to read it. because it talks about how
innocent very very revolutionary world, and i don't mean the spring revolutionary i mean technological change that her parents can only -- at the amount of information that they need to stand still to exist as a human being in the modern world. and he talks about the animal kingdom's reference to a click society which is the -- another were to make a judgment that will be on the balance of your life and death literally sometimes on actually a perception with one snapshot. it is this perception and if you are confident and if you are standing with the right people and the perception is in this rapidly changing world where people decide whether they are going to give you the permission to communicate to them, whether they -- will leave the sound on world issues do in the cooking for the kids. okay, it is a confidence and it
is about perception and at the moment the opposition are gaining the balance of power. and we are not aiding ourselves because all we are doing is talking about delegitimization. actually the truth is we need to be -- actually not bothering about their confidence for bothering about our lack of confidence. we have got to get back the wind in our sails. andy and we know that it is a smoke and mirrors operation that our opponents are using to protect a balance of power. ..
who played the only real game in town for those of you that like the football in the united states would never entertain going on to the pitch without opponents were going to do but he would have his own strategy. so if we are going to be winning the next time we need his agency will be talking about our campaign and not of their campaign and we will be on our way to making sure we have to win back. [applause]
>> our next question in a way follows upon the comment that you just need and i will direct it to you first which is what strategies do you believe will work to legitimization and the social media, talking about what's current? what should we be doing a facebook, twitter, youtube and so forth? >> first of all laura is a true zionist because this is the steward of zionism when others are talking we are doing. when there were all the controversy in the early days in the early 20th century about whether what is the political future of zionism we are building settlements, roads and so on and one thing led to another and here you have the state of israel today and by the way i think this is the ultimate answer with a formal government objective, believe it or not, to be one of the 50 leading countries in terms of quality living life. i know that many of you are
still traveling on missions to israel where you go from one pocket of poverty to another area. [laughter] [applause] and by not saying there are no social problems, don't get me wrong, and then you end up in the cocktail in the king david. [laughter] but there's a different story brewing with all of its complexity. we want to be world leader. the israelis are disproportionately present at every humanity today. a relatively speaking, we are like the size of britain in terms of the technology and breakthrough ideas and many different areas so this is the real answer the end of the day, the ability to communicate the true character to the world i think is the platform and it has to do a lot with the branding is real project and many other ideas that are going on. and this, i believe, is the
mainstream of the answer and we have spoken about dealing with the delegitimizes which are few and far apart and support from the liberal progressive circles, and we've spoken about all of these elements. but, if we are able to do that this will come into play in the social media. and we have so many groups out there doing the work. the conference in london is very similar in its logic to what is going to happen this coming weekend here. bringing together a diverse group of people to talk to each other. the people of the frontier, in the ground, they have the knowledge and the experience, the insight and they can share and learn from each other. and each and every one of them is a broadcasting station. and they have many friends and all sorts of communities that they talk to and communicate with. so we are able to sort of
coalesce our network, educate, we get more effective, vibrant, learn faster than we will see the response, you will see us back in 2011. >> very good. i just want to follow-up on this for a moment in connection to what she was talking about earlier. and the question i have is whether the traditional media can place this whole debate and whether the media by which to, you know, contradict that or counter it. any thoughts about that? >> if you want to repeat the question, sorry. >> fair enough. you early on talked about the fact of the influence that for a sample british media has not just in britain but in the united states among elites or whatever and the impact that may have and the inference that can place the whole, you know, the
size of the deal legitimization movement and whether the social media is a means by which to, you know, to counter that. >> i have to say i am by trade and i don't have a facebook site and i have never tweeted in my life. [laughter] [applause] every single campaign i have ever run has relied on one individual asking another based on the relationship and i feel we are over relying in on the idea of the viral media or the new media, and we will repaint if we don't remember as said several times it's about people, stupid, therefore you need to go out and sit to the most of the
people and a smile at them. you can't tweet your way to success. [laughter] [applause] the other thing i would like you to do is to realize, and ensure that it's not about being clever. it's about being smart. the reason people want to be with you is for many reasons. it's not just because they share your political views. it's because they liked and respected as an individual. you are the "it" person, the elf a person, and we get too clever about the dynamics as human beings. and the truth is as the book really sets it from the way we respond is the scene from generation to generation and from century to century and we need to remember that first of all, nobody expects. and the most disarming thing you
can do is tell somebody that you don't know because it builds trust and respect. the second thing you can tell them is that there is no good answer to a question. complexity is our friend. but all too often because we are scared, we end up trying to pretend that israel is the only perfect democracy in the world. and therefore we put ourselves outside the normal consensus and therefore people don't want to engage with us. so although you would like to talk about the new media, the truth is i think it is a red herring to what actually most of us can do. and in the in what is going to count more than anything else. and remember, in the end, the reason that you buy a diamond, house or whatever is because of the individual as well by
looking into their office and i'm sure you've all got beautiful winning mize. [laughter] >> thank you. [applause] >> lorna, yet to say i'm your kind of person. i don't devotees took the jeter and i've never twittered and i'm the least technologically proficient person probably in this audience. there is a question from jonathan who is watching the webcast here in washington did to you and if i can read it, so organizations and individuals who identified themselves as pro-israel have supported sanctions against settlement construction stating that it is kind of tough love for israel. you also mentioned red lines. sanctions are red line and if so, how should pro-israel activists who believe the settlements are a part of the problem response? >> i had this coming, didn't i?
>> you really did. >> one of the difficulties in responding to the d legitimization is the sophisticated manner in which its challenge to us. it is that brings forward issues where alliances can be built deep into groups that are not legitimizes as well as within israel and this is why a lot of times it's not about the issue is about the person and i know this is a complicated answer. but let me give you two examples. if the person calling for the boycott on the settlement product is an israeli, taxpaying citizen from serving in the military, living in israel, building a home in israel, then it's whether you like it or not or agree with it or not it is a legitimate act of progress because the motivation is the security of the state of israel
and these are people that care deeply enough about the future of israel to make a controversial political lacked. but of those calling for a boycott on the settlement are people that promotes the once staid approach this is a euphemism for the political elimination of the state of israel and so on and it's an act of the legitimization. this is why the movement is a delegitimized movement, look at what they're singing and then you have a clear answer and the fact that the focus on softish use doesn't deny the true identity. in dillinger of these organizations are of course on the left. this is an issue that comes primarily on the left. if the answer is in my view if you want to see whether the group on the left is part of the pro-israel group even if you hate their position or not, you need to look for soft tissues,
intangible issues. can you see her love for israel? can you see is real receiving the benefit of the doubt? can you see the intent to provide the context where the actions could be understood even though it's not support, just understood? is there an attempt to show that win is rell -- israel fails but when it succeeds it is a societal look success because in many cases limousine is really success is a local marginal personal success but failure on the human rights issue that is the entire society. so these are the things to tell you where does this group stand, and i know that it's not so easy but those of us that have been in this business, we can smell and we can see and approve of the putting a lot of times is.
so, that is a little bit. it's not clear answer. >> thank you we are coming close to the end and i would like to pose a question to each of you if you could respond, limiting your response to two minutes and the sums of the essence of the discussion which is why is israel the only country in the world to have the right to exist which is the key point of the deal legitimization, and raw file, if i could open with you. >> for different reasons it depends on in europe we started to say in the beginning and there's a cocktail of reasons and historical reasons from the left and the right that there is
the complex environment to go against israel that's why it's a multifaceted way put in question but it's like the weather, like it or not, it is what it is, and there are people, enemies of the state of israel better using all kinds of weapons, soft approaches, hard approaches, anything that comes to fight the idea of israel as a free space state of the jewish people, and the thing we have to fight. i don't want to answer into whether we are here or there will build our wall here or there because those are the decisions to be taken by the israelis because the of the political institution, democratic and the leadership's will pay a price of their own
like the idea of freedom. so i think we need to focus on what we are trying to do in the focusing on the right of israel as a jewish state and avoiding the issues that are normally seen as the dates, normal dates in the space country in spain, the u.k. and here in the u.s.. but if the israeli is the only country that is put in doubt and the question continuously mightily for the jewish people listed at israel but for all of us chaim ephriam. >> thank you. >> lorna? >> i will not surprise you i agree with my eminent colleague. if with all these things it's like a nasty cocktail with all different things and it depends on where you are and whom you are which is the most preeminent reason for you being in the camp you might potentially question whether there should be a jewish
state in israel, and some of it say for example in britain is because people don't understand the jews are a nation for the people. the vast majority of jews in israel or ian glenchur secular and also their awareness has risen about the result nature of the conflict with the palestinians that they think they have a choice. they think somehow there's a choice on the table that would pick the fact that the state of israel exists. and in the original funding resolution is a jewish state which they seem to have had m. nisha about and why was it easy then and it's not easy now? the truth is it is back to the same issues that people don't understand what it is to be jewish and they also do not understand what it means to us in relation for the need for us
to stand side-by-side and protect and promote the state of israel because we are looking at the mirror image of ourselves, and if we deny israel and the jewish people that right then we take away our own right and it's only a matter of time. and so, it's not easy, but one of the things we base our work on in britain is the absolute non-sequitur of israel as a jewish state. it is no longer good enough to rely on the language of the homeland for the jews because the debate has changed and it doesn't mean to say that you take a position on to be or not and why he uses it. it means that it's far deeper and it's far more important to the future of the jewish people and of the free space world. >> as we say in the u.s., you are batting cleanup.
[laughter] >> it is confronted% since inception and part of the diversity is the complicated story we are telling where people in the sense that we shared history and heritage and memories and destiny and care about each other with their religious or secular we are a nation that is accurate in the specific area and the land of israel where it is the great deal of the civilization. we are also religion and these negatives are baffling all the time from the first days of zionism until today. all of these places are present in the israeli public sphere. it's very, very difficult for people to put their arms around this complexity. they want to pigeonhole us as a people come as a nation and a religion and make their life simple, but we are much more
complicated and it's hard to sort of put us in the box. but this is also our opportunity. because these are all different gateways to the story. not with just within israel but also within the jewish communities as these are different opportunities for the world to engage with us. one day israel will be one of the leading forces in the world in making a difference for the 2 billion people in the world that are poor. we can do it. we have the technology, the resourcefulness, we have actually agreed and we can bring value to the people they're struggling with the security and water security and so on. so, what i'm saying is all of these narratives from ancient narrative's are being played out in israel today and zionism for the last 200 years and in the future and that will continue to make the life of people outside
of our community difficult because they don't understand us. and therefore they are trying to make us into something simple when we are complicated. we are a mess but a mess in progress. [laughter] and this is also i believe the big opportunity within the community they would communicate as said a simple message about israel is over, but if we communicate the true story of israel about its complexity and its diversity many people can be brought on board and engaged with and i feel this is a big opportunity that is coming out of the challenge we are facing. >> thank you. [applause] >> i think that we have all found this the most enlightening and useful and frankly enjoyable discussion and i want to thank the three panelists, rauf il,
lorna fitzsimons and gidi grinstein. before we conclude the program though i want we have been on the front lines with regard to, vetting and countering the the legitimization many ways not the least of which is our project interchange seminars and we have a brief video that we would like to show on the project interchange. ♪
[applause] with medulla i want to think the audience watching and the audience will be watching on c-span and finally but not least the audience that just joined today in washington. thank you. the program is concluded. [applause] some ladies and gentlemen, please proceed to the breakout session listed on the back of your name tag. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
coming up next, booktv presents "after words," an hourlong program where we invite a guest hosts to interview authors. this week and global intelligence expert george friedman discusses his latest book the next decade. in it, the former political science professor called the u.s. and npv list culbert the will be forced to reduce its dominance. the author the next hundred years predicts china and turkey will challenge the remaining superpower in the coming decade in ways the government may not currently anticipate. he talks with the executive editor of the foreign policy magazine, susan glasser. >> host: george, thank you so much for joining us today. i'm thrilled to have the chance to talk to you in some depth about your new book, "the next decade." i see that it represents a little bit of the narrowing of the frame of ambition from your last book on the next 100 years.
so you've now taken on perhaps a slightly more manageable next ten years or perhaps that is a more unknowable so we can talk about that the next hour. some of your counter intuitive views about what direction you see the world headed, and in particular the u.s. encounters with that world whether it's on israel or china in your view of the rise or russia you have interesting things to say that you won't pick up in the papers every day so let's go ahead and jump in to that conversation. the next ten years, what are the three most surprising takeaways you are offering people in this book? >> guest: first is the war on terror has been overdone, not to say that terrorism is in a profound danger, but as a monochromatic structure of
foreign policy, it is simply unsustainable. there's too many other things happening in the world. the second 1i suppose is we could argue a long time that china has profound economic problems at this point. it's grown magnificent in 30 years and will continue to grow but it is going to go through adjustments. but i suppose the most important thing that are doing is the next ten years is really about the relationship between what i call the empire of the republic. between the vast global power of the united states, the difficulty in managing that come and maintaining the form of government and eisenhower spoke about the military-industrial complex and going beyond that i am saying that the requirements of managing an international system in which we are the only the global power with the institutions that we have with the intelligence organizations
creates a situation where no one had a clear idea what everyone is doing aside from creating unnecessary chaos in the world it creates real challenges for maintaining a space society. in the case of both accumulating and the non-transparent power so i can say those three things would be the most counterintuitive >> host: the word balancing as a word that appears a lot in the course of the book and what you're talking about in many different areas of the world is this question of what course is the u.s. going to chart now? are we going to adopt for lack of a better word es more realist approach rather than the direct intervention that we've undertaken over the last decade. you point out the united states has been on 100% of the time of the 21st century as opposed to the conflicts of the 20th century which amounted to i
believe you said 17% of the time. so are we going to find a way to back out of the war? >> guest: we are going to have to find a way to back out of the war without backing out of the responsibility for the area. i say at one point in the book the balance of powers to the foreign policy with a bill of rights and domestic policy. it is the founding principal of the entire. i'm not comparing the united states to these but germany, nazi germany tried to rule by main force. it doesn't work very well. the romans and the british incursions' rule solely and indirectly and than by managing the various players and controlling them and bringing them to the point that it wanted that. >> host: subtlety of until now hasn't been the hallmark of the diplomacy. >> guest: we are a very young country and it's only been 20 years as we were the only global power. and december 31st, 1991 as the
break point in history. first it was the first moment in which there was no european global power and the united states quite by surprise they were stunned that it happened. and it takes time to build institutions and bring the political culture. it's not surprising the first ten years you are as giddy and decided history ended and we were going to have other war and then suddenly line 11 happened and there was all about along war that would never end in the islamic world. the united states is off balance. it didn't expect to be and this is the unintended in higher. it didn't expect to be in this powerful position. it doesn't really know how to manage it and this is the decade, this is the third decade we are in that it must come to terms with the incredible strains not only creating of the international system, but also
in the domestic system. >> host: that's right. in a way i am struck by your arguing about the need for the new diplomacy and the new institutions to go along with it that will be the agents of the sort of rebalancing. there's not really this clear sense that we are two decades into the product of building the post cold war institutions. if anything that project seems to have been put on hold oregon in the wrong direction by the reef dreaming of the american foreign policy has a global war of terror. >> guest: and dean deily think that has to be adjusted but let's remember the british is the sort of empire in the seven year counterinsurgency in north america where they are badly defeated. the germans had their head handed to them by the germans, it's not uncommon for the great imperial systems as the merger, first totally unaware the ariana imperial system and second, to
suffer the serious reversals. we americans like others tend to the operatic as soon as we encounter a serious problem we've declare that we are phil years. in the first step of the process and its editing what we are. for the united states of committing that we are an empire is extraordinarily difficult. we are the first great antiimperial project, the american revolution. to avoid the need to avoid the foreign entanglement. we never as recently as world war ii argued europe is not our business and a large number of people feel we should disengage. >> host: login that is something that hasn't gone away. that's not a historical are too. cahal kaput that's going to be a debate over the next years. >> host:
>> guest: with the united states is 25% of the world's economy. how do you disengage from with everything you do and intended, and intended has devastating potential or great rewards for some region of the world. we put quotas on the project, large numbers of people either celebrate or cry and this is the problem. our institutions are not really aware of the problems and the decisions we make. the president's office is not always aware of what everyone is doing. and the public is unaware of how dependent they are on these relationships for their own well-being. so there is a lack of awareness both in our institutions and our political culture of the necessity of these relationships but we would like to imagine we could have the benefits out of all the nasty responsibilities would go away. >> increasingly that is the
dialogue that you see taking place between the u.s. and china which is to say china is probably running through the end of the course making the argument we are simply a developing country and we can't afford to bear the burden of the international leadership of the united states. the first is to china wants to be recognized as the second largest economy in the world from growing towards being at some point in the next couple decades the largest economy in the world and those conversations are going to meet and the question of who pays the bill for the global leadership and what is required in order to sustain that is going to come up, but i went back to december 31st, 1991 you call it the great point in history, the collapse of the soviet union is what happened on that day and the birth of the post-soviet era not only in the american foreign policy but in terms of literally read writing the map of the world as we knew it. two decades later we are going to mark the anniversary this
year. things haven't necessarily turned out as the optimists would have had them. we haven't seen the tidal wave of democracy and freedom wash across central asia and the caucuses in russia itself, quite the contrary. in many ways we've seen the resurgence of nationalism and conflicts break out and tempered expectations when it comes to what kind of political economic and social system it's going to be existing across. i want to walk through your map of the world two decades after the class of the soviet union. you have some views that are very controversial and are making some unexpected predictions that some of the readers won't necessarily know what to make tough. russia itself. tell me where you see russia hidden in the next decade. >> guest: russia is russia. it isn't a copy of the jfk
school. mashaal for 200 years has had at its center a security system on to the soviets. evin of the security system the states grew up. around the state grew up relationships throughout the country, market relationships and state-controlled relationships. russia is not the united states. it's never going to resemble the united states for geographic and other reasons. the russian and pioneer and the soviet union were not accidental. they don't together economically and politically regions that have a mutual independence. the vision of the liberals and russia and in the united states was that following the fall of the soviet union there was they reoriented themselves towards europe and the united states. but you have to understand that these countries cannot compete in any reasonable time frame in europe.
and they forgot that russia is a geopolitical entity. it's experienced some terrible war in its history and it's extremely cautious about the expansion of things like nato. re neto as a military alliance. we regard it as a club of nice people. it's a fairly mismatched. but it is the united states moved into the baltics and nato moved into the old politics as the orange revolution and ukraine took off, as the united states became very influential in central asia. the russians saw the second encirclement taking place, so if the containment one and came to russia after world war ii, putin from the kgb saw the second encirclement. the russians also flipped the economy and they stopped trying the great industrial force. they become exporters of the
commodities, not only the natural gas but everything else. >> host: in many ways their economy was based on the soviet. >> guest: if >> host: they saw the collapse of the industrial base. >> guest: they saw the collapse and would instead we are not going to invest to hold this up. we will look at the gas but also grain exports and would exports. there's nothing we can do now that builds the dependencies in other countries to continue to buy, creates political event it is for us where is under brezhnev the strategy was to take these enterprises, these industrial enterprises and continue investing in them and they emerge in russia couldn't
the first was fsb and the second was gas and the two institutions played off against each other to reassert the russian power. and also to increase the leverage particularly with the europeans and german. >> host: i was struck by your argument that russia into long term is weak but perhaps in the short term of the next decade or so they come once again to play a very significant role in terms of obstructing the u.s. goal in its dealings. what do you mean by that? what's the contradiction? >> guest: power is relative. within the former soviet union, russia is strong relative to that. you're not is i won't say who disarmed but certainly militarily weak and economically strong but has a heavy dependency on the natural gas. there are ways they can move beyond the dependency. but over the next ten years,
they are going to require russian resources. the germans also reached a point within the european union the are asking basic questions about what is the use of this? the need -- the of demographic problems. the need workers. they don't want to have any more turkish workers. that is a problem with that. when you can't have the workers come to your factories bring the factory to the workers. oddly enough russia even though it has the declining population still has leader. as much of the economies are underemployed and they welcome the russian technology. so, what i think it's happened here is russia and germany have increasingly intense economic relationships and neither of them are particularly happy with the world run by the united states. it creates a weight. but germany is not yet moved to
this point. germany is still sorting through the wreckage of the e.u. and trying to figure out which way it is going to go. i suspect it has strong interest with russia. in the long run there was a reason the soviet union collapsed and that reason hasn't gone away. so, if i look out longer and see those reasons and another weakness. but in the short run, given the state of the e.u., given the state of russia, given the situation in the former soviet union and especially given the massive preoccupation of the united states with the middle east as opposed to europe, this is an opportunity for russia to try to stabilize itself fairly well. >> host: so, let's talk of the middle east. what does the middle east tell us about the perils of forecasting and the dangers of accepting what we think is the conventional wisdom today?
>> guest: first we have to define the middle east which is a very vague term. when i speak about the area the united states is engaged in, i think about the manchurian to the hindu, from israel -- this is different from north africa. >> host: the greater middle east you're talking about. >> guest: some people use the middle east to include any islamic country. some people use it for arabs. it's a british term for a great deal of use. i am interested in the area where the united states is waging war which is iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, parts of iran, the battle of the united states. there's three balances of power in the region, the arab-israeli come here on iraq and the pakistani. each one of them destabilized over the ten years. and the arab israeli relationship barring some german the change in egypt over time.
israel is so dominant that it can create new realities on the ground and there is an indifference to what the united states really says very often. and afghanistan, the united states is asking pakistan to do things to create instability that weakens pakistan, that potentially created the independent regional power in india that the united states may not appreciate in the long run and of course they invaded iraq has destroyed the iran iraq what is the most immediate issue which is for getting nuclear weapons iran is the dominant conventional military force in the region if the united states isn't there. the united states has its policy for iraq, the potential for iran is extremely high and that changes the balance of power or the political dynamic in the arabian peninsula. they are vitally important decisions to be made.
so on the one hand, the united states must rebalanced the policy to deal with issues like russia, to deal with china and so on. at the same time the united states can't simply withdraw. it doesn't have the ability to simply exit and doesn't have been in the game in any of the areas so we have a very powerful nation much less powerful as it might be another circumstances because it is so off balance and over committed to one region. >> that is where i was surprised in a way to look at where you're taking the consequences of that analysis. let's take the three that you mentioned in india, pakistan, iraq, iran, israel and palestine and all three cases i think that you've gone out and looked at some ways in which with your is your fault of what i would call strategic distancing from
israel, not the rejection of israel, but 8d prioritizing of the mediation efforts in israel and palestine conflict. india and pakistan that's where i was most surprised they talk about the strategic prospects of a potentially invigorated new alliance and of course president obama made a big trip last fall and this falls on bush's foreign policy emphasis on building a new different kind of relationship with india and after the enormous disappointment of a long term u.s. strategic partnership with pakistan this isn't a new recommendation, we have a partnership with pakistan. it seems to have failed in some respects but i want to get back to that and then of course your third hearing is that you look at which is iran, iraq, the destabilization caused by the u.s. invasion of iraq and your
recommendation that ultimately we are going to have defined of mixing in china moment here where no matter how unpalatable what may seem, we've come to different kind of accommodations or even perhaps a new kind of alliance with iran. so let's take those three, israel and palestine first. >> guest: we are committed to the survival of israel. the survival of israel is simply not an issue. if iran were to develop nuclear weapons which the israelis say is three to five years out that's another issue with the issue here is in the survival of israel. in 1973, 74 it was. and at that time, we gave 3 billion which was 25% of the gdp, which today is 1.5% of its gdp. the relationship itself has changed. the foundation of the relationship guaranteeing the right to exist is not the issue.
the bill level of aid that we provide is not critical. it's not so much that i want to change the relationship, the relationship is changed. the question now is we have one set of relations where we gave very little aid to israel and there was a second period where the united states and israel had seen the partnership, not advocating changing the partnership. i'm wondering what are we partnering on? israel's view is that it must create reality on the ground in which settlements, institutions and so on that control the palestinians can be put in place and in that context negotiations are powerful. the united states has an interest in the stability of the region, not necessarily the solution to that. the idea that the united states
was simply track whatever is really government comes into power there's the question of what is the benefit for the united states. there's intelligence sharing with israel but will continue because israel needs it. the point of redefining the relationship is in that somebody at a think-tank is that there's a wonderful idea and that applies to the others as well. it's the recognition that the relationships have changed and the terms of endearment if you will are still there but not what they were before and adjusting to policies satisfactorily particularly the time the united states is bogged down elsewhere. >> host: were the tools in the toolkit for making those kind of adjustments i think is an important one. >> guest: the first is recognizing that it's changed already. it's not the toolkit that changed. the only thing the tool kit can do is adjust your policy to the reality that you're facing a
this moment or potentially facing in the future. >> host: again that is what is so striking. you have barack obama coming into office speaking in a different manner about the challenges in the middle east certainly dan president bush had before hand and i think what has been interesting to observe over the last couple of years is that in the end obama up until now hasn't managed a major shift. >> guest: and that is what is crucial is the speeches are very nice and they have nothing to do with making the foreign affairs. >> host: with analytical observations don't easily translate per say into policy shifts or the rebalancing. >> guest: which is why i'm not interested in the foreign policy. and obama is a perfect example. a person who genuinely wanted a different foreign policy. and was unable to do it. it's equally interesting to look to george w. bush and the question to what extent did he really have the options that we would like to do? we would like to view our
presidents with magical powers that they make decisions in a vacuum and create policies and people who speak to the president or semi magical and so on and so forth. i live in austin texas, pardon me to avoid the demagogue of washington. it's extremely important to understand how little choice obama had. the relationship george w. bush had with chancellor merkel wasn't based on the fact that george w. bush allowed then. it was based on the fact that germany as a nation has interests. they do not fully coincide any longer with those of the united states. it is impossible to pretend we are in the middle of a cold war and if you put a different president in regardless what his intentions are people in the with the same relationship and
it's my personal relationship, it's not that they dhaka long will it get along or they don't like each other. germany is a nation of many tens of millions of people, the united united states, but the president is the end product of that at times but he leads best when he's going to the place that we are going in the way. and obama is perhaps a clinic in the limits of foreign policy. >> host: certainly the limits of rhetoric. there's no question about that. >> guest: you can turn your rhetoric into many volumes of position papers and policy papers. his a central assumption i think it the beginning is the u.s. german relations could have been what they were 20 years ago had it not been for the unilateralism of georgia will you bush. the difference was like this. obama's position was i will be a much more pleasant person.
therefore the germans will do much more of helping. the german position is thank god we finally have a president who would ask us to do things we don't want to do. but they have this tremendous love affair the nobel peace prize and everything else and was suddenly realized my goodness barack obama caps the american president initial merkel is a german chancellor. >> host: i think you're right about that but i would like to go back to one of your earlier point which is what does it mean for the united states to grow into accepting its role as a sort of global empire if you will or in the power cents ann ponnuru, and you actually make the case that entire requires a much more sophisticated foreign policy in which to operate through regional alliances and even a sort of networks of much more sophisticated ways of looking at what's happening around the world to accomplish american interest rather than the sheer exercise or heart power if you will.
you could argue that in some ways that is what barack obama said all to do in the world, to enforce the multilateralism was in their view almost certainly an effort to rebalance the world where the symbol projections of american force -- >> guest: there is the rebalancing of the world, the vision of the president as an engineer. prior to that there has to be a level of sophistication of understanding the impersonal forces. what are the national interests? what are the things others cannot agree to? what are the things they must have? it's essential that a foreign policy be built on the concept of constraint. one's own constraints, understanding what it is you cannot give up, what you must have. understanding other people. so, the idea that building the alliance's takes place in a vacuum that you simply reach out and it is the problem.
the problem is that in the confines of the policy it is possible to manage, it isn't possible to abolish that so when the british dominated india, they reengineered it a way by taking advantage of the tensions and the balance of power within that area. they didn't simply land troops and try to take it over. similarly the united states had the option in the middle east to manage the existing relationships with the first thing you must understand of the existing relationships, what are the needs and the requirements, and i think one of the things obama had to learn, the good will was insufficient, you have to understand the limits and the constraints and that's what makes forecasting in a certain sense possible.
i certainly can't predict what humor barack obama would make and what initiatives he would like to take. i can talk about it because the other side can't possibly agree to it, and i can understand those things that tie the nations together. so whether putin is there or is not, russia is an exporter of natural gas. >> host: let's look at the two events you talk to us that have shaped the last two decades as the geopolitics neither of which were predictable or certainly were predicted by the vast majority of the analysts and the exports and the breakup of the soviet union in 1991 and the attacks of september 11th you could have said al qaeda represented an actual threat to carry out dramatic attacks and the only and. the had done so in '93. you would have been out on a limb and i am not sure anyone was predicting the would be the
force of the international affairs in the first decade of 21st century. the same for the brick of the soviet union. there were no accurately diagnosed internal routes just as today who've been diagnosed in the internal right across the regimes in the arab world for example. >> guest: which is why it is more to lead to easier to forecast and 100 years. >> the collapse of the castro regime in cuba for quite some time. >> guest: it wasn't a critical event. over the long run certain things above the war schenck to be a significant when we look back on the vietnam war with an enormous event of american history look
back context even today has a lesser significance in terms of what will happen. he began the conversation by a gun from a more ambitious less ambitious -- >> host: it might be harder to the tin your prediction -- >> guest: it's easier to look forward 100 years, blanking out to unexpected things and look at the main thrusts. they may be wrong but that's possible. the beginning of the 20th century as i'd written the book i wish to recover to about the collapse in the british empire, the rise of the mass were fair, things of that sort without getting into the specifics and of course h. g. wells and others they were about all those things. what i try to do is okay, what matters in the next 100 years, what is now the driving forces, the demographics, the political and so on.
i wanted to come back into the tenure from work because there is a point at which this has to play out and this is the point where the policy and history need each other, not in the kind of needed way of policy makers, but in the more complex way of policy encountering in the emerging reality. and that is really what i wanted to do in this book. i wanted to see the hard part where i take a look at line 11 and say what does this decade mean? and i make the argument in the and this wasn't a pivotal war. from the standpoint of the british politics at the time it was an enormously noisy thing so it was of 1998 in retrospect it was a fairly