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tv   Robert Satloff Previews Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahus Visit to...  CSPAN  February 16, 2017 8:23am-10:03am EST

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captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008 maybe they like it the way it is now. they get it all for free. meaning israel and the arabs can share security cooperation, counterterrorism, but they don't have to do anything that's formalized. is there a way to somehow bring more of it above the table? what's in it for the arab side? the arabs always say you have to do something on the palestinians. we have a public opinion, too. we might not be a democracy but doesn't mean we don't have a public opinion so this issue of what can be done here is going to be a key question now could
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netanyahu suggest why don't you get this quartet, the saudis, the emirates, egypt and jordan have diplomatic ties with israel could you find a way to somehow give this regional tie a push? the palestinians think worst-case scenario. they think it's all a plot to bypass the palestinians. could the ideas to create momentum in a way that would give palestinians political cover to deal with the bilateral route that has not borne fruit. the u.s. tried with bill clinton, with condoleezza rice and the subsequent abbas/olmert talks and the one that i was a part of in 2013 and 2014. if we can't hit a home run, maybe we can hit singles. but that might require some regional umbrella of some
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support and this will be a question. but i think it's a mistake to think that israel looks at the -- that the sunnis just through the lens of providing an umbrella on the palestinian issue they may think -- rob alluded to in his remarks. could there be closer u.s./sunni ties? i think israel likes the role as regional advocate. i remember the rabin years when before he would come to washington he would stop in cairo, he would stop in amman, he would stop other places because he liked to say "here, i'm going to raise your issues in washington." that has a lot of cache for israel and people in washington don't always appreciate that now in this case i don't think netanyahu will make visit but he has a good call relationship with sisi, they talk all the time and i assume he will try to
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reinforce certain themes. this idea of u.s. leadership in the region is something that he and the arab states would certainly agree upon and he might be a little nervous because basically he could feel -- could trump be more like obama that he emphasizes retrenchment. more than he talks about asserting american leadership, of course isis, iran, but how much do you buck up traditional allies? that might sound odd for people when you're telling me israel is coming to washington to advocate for the arabs and i think, yes, it's very possible. certainly the sisi case is -- it would be a case in point so i think this is something to look at. maybe we have to think along lines we haven't thought november the past. could israel think of finding ways to work with the u.s. to help give even the iron dome to the saudis? now there might be qme issues, but this is something that i hear raised by very serious israelis. so i just think we have to think
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anew, to quote lincoln, who said we've got to think anew, we have to act anew, that's what he said? the second inaugural. the final point on the palestinian issue, that's the subject of the transition paper that i did with dennis and here again we try to hit home runs but the leaders in my view can't do it. there's not enough overlap in the venn diagram between them and we should try to hit some singles, be more modest in our objectives but succeed because the publics are so disbelieving they don't -- they heard a lot of talk and until they see actual movement they're not going to be -- you know, that sense of public disbelief is not going to be helpful. what can the united states do? again, it takes time for the administration to get its people in place and so -- this isn't the number one issue on the agenda, we have no illusions about that. but i would argue that if you ignore this issue that the volatility on the ground could
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get worse. that the palestinian authority could collapse. if there's a series of things that come into place where where you have bennett and the jewish home party advocating annexation, 60% of the west bank. other things that the coalition members on the right are pushing, you have to assume that's an issue and that will create for israel a very difficult situation whereby a defacto binational reality will lead to people calling "let's have one person one vote, what's wrong with that? and that's against the raison d'etre of israel. so this is something in my view that i think you want to have addressed and i would argue and i'm curious to here yoaz's view but i think in a strange way the
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israeli politics actually cut for this with netanyahu. it's convenient for him on a certain level that the united states has taked out a policy on settlements because he can go back to his recalcitrant parties on his right and say "the americans insist, we have to do something." but now if there's a blank check that puts anymore a difficult bind with the right because mr. bennett will drag him over the fence so to speak into the non-block areas which is 92% of the west bank and i don't think netanyahu wants to go there. i think he wants to stay focused on the narrow area of 8% of the land where close to 80% of the israelis live if you include east jerusalemites in that mix, israel doesn't call them settlers. but then you're talking about 90% live in the narrow zone where almost all the palestinians live outside that
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zone. so if you get into the maps and some people know that we have a powerpoint we can discuss on the q&a, i think that's something that netanyahu wants. what is that magic formula? what is the way to get to that? might be the bush letter of 2004 that he whispers into president trump's ear, you know, we have this letter from -- that george w. bush signed with sharon, why not reaffirm it? the obama administration did not and that was the beginning of the deterioration with the relationship between those two countries was over the refusal to reaffirm that. will that letter it should be stated precisely doesn't talk about building in these settlement clusters or blocks tomorrow morning but it says the long term is a deal where -- that these population centers will be part of israel probably but it says there has to be agreed with the palestinians and basically implies although doesn't explicitly state the
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idea of land swaps. now netanyahu i'm sure would like to operationalize that letter and say if we're going to already, why not build there tomorrow? and so we get at that in our transition paper seeing that might be a way but i would like to emphasize and not be misinterpreted that this requires strong u.s./israel coordination. there's a precedent. i go back to the bush era between condi rice and sharon who basically said every step of the way of the barrier israelis called the fence that should be synchronized with the united states, not formally but quietly, before every round of the cabinet meetings in 2003 and 2004 they brought the maps to discuss this and i think that's important because i don't think any president wants surprises and i think the statement we saw at the end of king abdullah's meeting on thursday a couple hours later, whatever, was this
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idea of i don't think the -- the right shouldn't think that we're for settlements writ large, but he said new settlements might not be helpful. that might bring us back to the bush era period as opposed to saying they're part of the problem and not the solution, here you'd be saying some could be part of the solution and some are part of the problem so i see it kind of a reversion to the mean on the settlements issue. that might be useful here in trying to find a way. the u.s. would have to win support of the allies for this position but people say well, what do the palestinians contribute? if the whole idea is to show where this thing is going to deal with the realities on the ground, to avoid a deep impasse that could be destabilizing, what do the palestinians contribute? i think here because -- if this approach is to say i'm maintaining the vienlt of a two-state outcome, even if i can't implement it tomorrow, at least i have a direction. i know that i build in this area
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in coordination with the u.s. i don't build beyond the barrier. of course if israel could synchronize it with the palestinians it would be ideal but we have a dysfunctional situation so we're not dealing with the ideals right now. we here in the suboptimal space but what could the palestinians do. you have these martyr foundations and it's wrong that the p.a. through the plo is funding these foundations to give money to relatives of suicide bombers and stabbers. that's got to stop. if you want israel to signal a direction, a partnership, even if we can't solve the problem, we're showing where we're going, the palestinians have to do that, too. and maybe be more support i hiv grass-roots peace groups. what about meeting with the palestinian peace groups in ramallah? and maybe more of a focus on palestinian governance issues that have also not been the focal point since salam fayyad
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left. so i'm into the single zone. a solid single for me would be -- and that's what this paper argues for, would be a way to not to shoot for the fences where you could strike out a fourth time so a solid single. so i don't think we'll come out of this meeting with any big announcement. i'd be surprised if we did. it's an introductory meeting. they've met before but as president and prime minister but to introduce some of these themes that could be foundations going forward would be very useful as the two countries build a relationship and try to set its course for the next four years. thank you all very, very much. [ applause ] >> david, thank you very much. i think we'll have to put on our web site a -- an arabic/english baseball metaphor translation so that everybody who's watching
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this all over the world can understand all the metaphors. okay, i'm not going to turn to y yoaz hendle who is joining us from israel. >> thank you david and thank you the washington institute people for organizing this discussion. i would like to start -- we spoke about metaphors, i would like to start with a metaphor from sport and not from the soccer ball but from something that i used to do marathons and there is an interesting phenomenon when people run marathon s th marathons that that in one point in time they find themselves hitting a wall, psychological and physiological wall and this wall is very helpful. and i tell people if they're able to cross this wall and
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continue until the end line. now what we see today in the israeli government which based on right wing parties is a kind of a wall. a psychological wall which based on the fact that there is no one to blame. obama, president obama is not president anymore and in the government there are not parties from the left and for the first time we need to bring something to the table, a vision. an israeli vision with deep understandings that president trump might not limit our wishes and our visions and president trump is looking for ideas coming from israel, otherwise the only things that they will find is israeli declarations
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since the speech of two state solution which most of the israelis believe that do not exist anymore. now in order to understand that i will start with the bottom line. you're all probably familiar with the quote of henry kiss zwlaer isra -- kissinger that israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy. and this meeting that's going to take place in washington next week is is a lot about foreign policy but motivated by domestic policy one should understand first of all israel opinion which influenced netanyahu's next meeting and which influenced today netanyahu policy regarding the last bill and regarding the attitude that was that was a different dilemma
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and outside israel. first of all president obama is the president that tried to force a right wing government to free settlements and to compromise with the palestinian on core issues. secondly how many israelis see president obama as the man responsible for the fact that for the first time a right wing leader, the right wing camp leader actually said the sentence "two state solution." it seemed that day in the speech he used to repeat on this pitch is time after time. there are many people in israel go on believing.
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they don't have to real means to fulfill these declarations and the right wing thinks they just manipulate the war in order to cause a different -- but in the end of the day netanyahu said those words which were, i would say in the eyes of right wing voters in israel. thi third, there are many israelis that sees obama, president obama is the one responsible for the earthquake in the middle east which actually created destability in egypt and other countries and created add new reality which in one way helped israel to claim the obstruction of justice things that they -- we need to do is to strengthen our military power and make sure that we are not making mistakes
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and not gambling on our future. president obama in the israeli eyes removed from the table the option for military strike on iran. from the moment he spoke about agreement and signed agreement, he removed the military options and if we look today and we see the investment of china and russia, we understand that it becomes much more complicated even to think about ability to eliminate the five main well known nuclear facilities inside iran. now after he said that maybe we should cross to the new administration, trump administration and how israeli public opinion says the obama
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administration and talks about public opinion there are differences between left and right but the maturity of the israelis are in the pragmatic zone and i will speak about in the a moment. first of all, most of the israelis think we will find a new attitude to a peace agreement and limitations and possibilities regarding talks with the palestinians. secondly, there is a symbolic -- i would say national symbols that trump used in this campaign the embassy. it's clear he's going to move to jsz, most of the israelis including from the left it sound
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reasonable but are all of them willing to accept the outcomes that might come from this kind of movement, there are people that i would say they accept it. they accept that there will not be any outcomes but most of the israelis see jerusalem as the capital of israel and would like to see most of the embassies inside jerusalem, not in east jerusalem it's enough just to move them inside. fourth, most of the israelis hear trump with a simplified attitude what can be called crash of civilizations and to choose from bad and good in this
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case which they criticize it or in many aspects but in the bottom line, the israelis see the trump attitude and they understand that they are in the positive side of the gate. the fourth point, i don't know if you heard netanyahu one week ago in the government but he spoke about minds. most of the israelis haven't paid atoeptention to those word but many talk about what he's talking about. what is a state mind? and the state mind that he talks about we should -- new maps on the table and to look on the
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settlements lost which are between 8% and 12%. we should look on the jordan valley which netanyahu and i would say the majority in the right wing and part of the zionists sees as the elementary in order to maintain stheng and security and if we put all that together, it brings us to something like 30% of the territory which in any case by the eyes of many right wing voters and right wing leaders will remain in israel hands as a starting point for political negotiation and will -- and then we need to look on the 40% that today called the palestinian authority is which is the rest of israel, even though that from
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time to time we're talking about the possibility of collapse of the palestinian authority, 240e240eof the 40%, this is why we make sure the idea is arresting hamas leaders in order to keep abu mazen safe in his position and when you take all these numbers, actually you see that between those 30% that most of the israelis see, the majority of the right wing in israel sees as part of his early -- 40% today is the palestinian authority and there are no jews in the remain territory, which is 30%, you can see actually what netanyahu talks about or what he talked about when he mentioned that.
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after he said that about the public opinion we need to talk a bit about the objective conditions in order to understand the next reason of prime minister netanyahu in washington. first of all, there is a threat from gaza strip which just in the last week we saw a lot of tension, military tension, between the two sides, the israelis and hamas and many israeli israelis think that we might find ourselves in another military campaign because the hamas is the strong will through strength in public opinion. this is the first part and when you have to military campaign, you always need a declaration,
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specifically from the u.s. administration and of course from president trump. second, i would say again the public opinion i spoke about the pragmatic area. most of the israelis from the left and from the right as david said believers are disbelievers of the peace agreement between the israelis and palestinians. most of them do not believe it's possible to bridge the gaps. most of them are not willing to compromise on territories after they saw the outcomes of the disengagement in gaza. so in one side the right wing, they are less and less, the dreams about grand israel, about an accession of 100% of 2 territory with the arabs. no one wants israel to find
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themselves another two million minute dwlans wi palestinians that will vote for the knesset and they are not talking about an accession of all territory. he has a solution to annex to create some kind of an accession, 60% of the territory in order to create maximum territory with palestinians. on the other side the left in israel, i would say they all move to the center we could see it by the polls. more and more to the centralist s and they keep avoiding talking about any kind of compromises and solutions to the israeli palestinian conflict and the last part, which is i would say the most important thing that
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netanyahu today is facing a few domestic challenge is. first of all he's actually in a real political battle between him and the head of the jewish home party on the voters that make up the strong right wing in israel. in the past we can separate between the likud party which is the center right party in the government and the party of 20 years ago which controlled on the strong right wing voters today we can see how netanyahu and bennett are fighting on the same -- with the same attitude with the same ideas and actually tries to describe themselves as
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right wing leaders that believe in the motives and the metaphors of the right wing if you add to that affect that today netanyahu is also under a police investigation and under a lot of pressure which comes from this kind of a situation you understand that he has a real problem to put something new on the table which will risk his position. he's a strong right wing leader control on the strong right wing voters. now all those on these points brings us to the israeli dilemma. in the israeli dilemma regarding
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trump, if trump at all -- president trump at all is going to interest in the peace agreement between israel and the palestinians, in his campaign he talks about israel/palestinian conflict as internal conflict. since he was elected he changed and said the duration was still in the safe zone from the eyes of the government of israel. secondly, if it's possible at all to offer him a new attitude regarding the israeli/palestinian conflict otherwise if netanyahu comes to this meeting kout anything i would think his advisers would look for israel policy regarding
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juda judaea and sumeria and the only thing they can find is actually the declarations of netanyahu about a two-state solution which, as i said, in the eyes of many israelis does not exist anymore first of all because gaza and the west bank are not connected. without a connection to the palestinians, the palestinians have no ability to govern themselves and third because it's very hard for a right wing leader and even for a left wing leader or prime minister to evacuate such a number of settlers so is it possible to bring new ideas to the table? to think out of the box and put the ideal two state solution for the conflict out of the range and to maybe go back to the ideas of temporary steps in order to strengthen the
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palestinian authority, in order to minimize the conflict by a small amount of annexation or by a small amount of declarations even by -- to bring back the agreements between bush administration and sharon as david mentioned before. the last thing that i would like to mention is the fact that in order to bring something -- and this is a huge debate today in israel, the naftali bennett party talks about the fact that netanyahu actually hasn't done even one discussion, political discussion about his vision regarding israel. he's going to president trump without agreement, with his own allies, political allies in the government and no one knows what netanyahu is going to tell
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president trump and the key question, the big dilemma of netanyahu is if we can to say something new because if we offer the state as we mentioned before on new ideas that might cause right wing voters to criticize him, those ideas might hurt him back home and if we're going back to the affect of netanyahu domestically, he's under a lot of pressure and he needs to fight on his place in the right wing camp and to make sure the next elections, that there are many people in who thinks they will take place in the next year, they will still remain, skill keep this power if we pull this together, we bring netanyahu to washington with a huge dilemma and less and less
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answers. thank you. >> okay, yoaz, thank you, thank you very much. with that we'll open the floor to your questions. if you could be kind enough to, a, raise your hand, b, wait for the microphone, c, keep your question brief and, d, identify to whom of the panelists you are asking the question. yes, dan? . wait for the mike and congratulations on your new position, dan raviv. >> thank you. now with the relaunching i-24 news. this is for david makovsky. because you are rather privileged compared with most of us who are either journalists or analysts in that you were in the state department as part of a state department team, what do you observe? what can you share with us about the importance of the personalities involved right now at the start of the trump administration? rex tillerson's view is going to super important, who his middle east experts are really important or is it your view that the way it looks it's all
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up to president trump and perhaps two men who are closest to him and his world view, general michael flynn, his national security advisor, and his political adviser steve bannon. what's your view? >> i have to speak with some humility, dan, because i think every administration is going to have its own personality and i think we've seen things at the beginning of this administration we haven't seen at the beginning of others but it's all true with every administration it takes time to get their sea legs and therefore i think we cannot write things off in any way. we have to wait to see how things shake up and shake out a bit in terms of who are the key players. you were right talking about tillerson. he just started. we don't know who the deputy secretary of state is, we don't know who the head of near east affairs bureau is. we don't know how the state department is going to interact
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with the white house, often the white house is -- they've got so many issues. how much deep dives can they do? we just don't know. there's sometimes the policy is more anchored in the white house, sometimes it's more anchored in the administration. we could go back to jim baker's time who was very much a state department driven policy because of the relationship of bush and bak baker. we could look at another model of the george w. bush period, two republican periods, where it was driven more out of the white house when condi rice was national security advisor and elliot abrams was the senior official there. so i'm just -- i'm a little concerned about overgeneralizing and too much extrapolation. the only thing i think i feel certain about is the uncertainty to say that until they put their people in place, until we know more about the interaction between the nsc and the
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president and the secretary -- the nsc and nea, it's a little soon but there's no doubt a tone from the president is a sine qua n non. that it's indispensable and it matters who sits in that chair. there are a lot of judgment calls that they get the thumbs up or thumbs down even if they don't do the nitty-gritty work so i don't underestimate the role of who have is in the oef office but how it shakes out in terms of israel policy and palestinian policy i still think i want to be cautious in extrapolating. >> thank you. yes, please, up in front. >> thank you, i'm leon weintraub from the foreign service, retired. first a short comment about -- you mentioned about president trump saying he wanted to destroy isis and put some emphasis on the use of that word. don't forget he also said he
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wanted to destroy the johnson amendment about separation of church and state on funding so his use of vocabulary, i'm not sure how important that is. i'd like to ask david makovsky, when you mentioned about the palestinian need to stop the incitement and encouraging of funds to the survivors of the suicide bombers, i've seen increasing amount of material in the press about the role of unrra in encouraging this behavior of steadfast opposition and there's been discussion about serious efforts to defund unrra from the united states and other major supporters as well but some of the yiers have said well if unrra is not there and can't do its job it may make the situation even worse. so what's your view about the value in such a campaign for unrra? >> thank you, mr. wine straub. a lot of the -- israel knows a
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lot of kids that are being -- the schools are unrra schools and if you tell israel unrra -- on the one hand they don't like unrra and they can give you a lot of chapter and verse why they don't like unrra, that's the u.n. relief welfare agency dealing with palestinians which came into effect after the '48 war and it's outside of the u.n. hcr, the u.n. high commissioner on refugees but they will tell you chapter and first why they don't think they're helpful. then ask them a second question. would you rather end all aid to unrra? who fills that vacuum who will be the teachers in the schools? are we going to have to come in and spend money? i would say if there was an ideal solution -- and we did a study on unrra many years ago that should come under the high u.n. hrc. why is this issue singled out?
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that would be to me ideal. someone haas to deal with the refugee issue but shouldn't there be an international refugee agency that deals with it? but just to say i don't like unrra is half an answer. who fills it in? when israel doesn't see who the substitute is, they're not excited about pulling funding from unrra that i've seen wherever i've looked into it. rob might have some thoughts. >> on this question i think you posed a bit of a red herring here because the real debate is not about "defunding unrra" it's whether or not the functions of unrra should more appropriately fall under the u.n. hrc and here the -- ultimately the real question is should palestinian refugees be subject to the same definition of refugee as refugees elsewhere around the world? which is what differentiates refugees in -- that come under unrra, mainly palestinian refugees and all other refugees.
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namely it is a -- an inherited characteristic that you can be third and fourth generation you could be living wherever you might live around the world and still be a refugee according to the unrra definition. this gets to the start of the debate. i don't know anybody who is saying end the human services that are being provided by unrra take down the schools, close down the hospitals. i don't know of anybody saying that, the debate is really on a different set of issues. yes on the left and then we'll come back to the right and center because that's just the way we are. >> never been characterized as being on the left before but thank you. nay on this d nathan diamond, union of organized orthodox jewish issues. question about whether president
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trump and president netanyahu can communicate on the same way. we're coming out of a period of time where the palestinians more and more went to the u.n. and other international bodies and governments in europe to make an end run around things. they could have a kmom ground in saying we're going to put more pressure on the palestinians. netanyahu's government is going to have more backing from us perhaps manifest in early moves with regard to the embassy relocation to jerusalem, with regard to continuing mild statements at most about settlement activity within existing blocks and basically the message -- and we're going to block the palestinians, says the united states,er else they might go and the only avenue to be pursued a a resumption of bilateral negotiation which is the trump administration is prepared to play let's make a deal in that context. but the background regime shifts with a very strong and
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aggressive message of there's been -- you know, there's a new sheriff in town and we're putting more pressure diplomatically on the palestinians. is that a common ground approach? >> i think in practice you'll see the u.s. wielding the veto pen more often than it did in the last eight years. i believe the obama administration only raised the hand of veto. only did one veto in eight years and it was on settlements s is 2011. it abtim kaistained on the controversial resolution in 2016. i think ambassador nikki haley and her team will make clear that the "sun" not the arena to solve this issue. in my vuthy need to come up with a positive approach, then, while -- because my fear is if
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you just say resume diplomatic talks people will say okay, but these guys hate each other, they don't agree on anything so i'm his hesitant about putting the eggs on bilateral negotiations, i don't think it will lead anywhere. so that's why, nathan, i articulate it had approach that dennis and i came up with which is to come up with something programmatic of something people could see is a change on the ground but just to call for diplomatic talks in my view is going to be very lame but i agree about the u.n. that's just going to happen whether the u.s. declares it and which way they'll find way to declare it but that will be the reality that the u.s. will be pushing back at the united nations. >> i'll add one more thought on this and yoaz is welcome to weigh in. this is another conundrum for
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the trump administration. the president in his campaign he talked about i'm going to negotiate the best deal ever. and so i think yes there will be a desire to have the parties bet gak to the table. shut off internationalization, shut off the u.n., get them back to the table but most objective observers -- i like to say objective because that includes me and david and dennis, most objective observers just conclude that the objective circumstances for success aren't there and already al sorts of o things you need to do. you need to build up an effective palestinian governance, get corruption under control, do economic stuff to build the situation in which a real resumption of diplomacy might succeed. well, you know, that stuff isn't as sexy as getting around a table and negotiating the best deal ever so that will require a
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decision and it will require manpower and intellectual capital and real effort are they ready to invest that so maybe later in the term they will be able to come back and reap the benefits of real diplomacy? well, that's a conundrum. >> can i add and hopefully -- nathan you might not have meant this but when i say things about shut off the internationalization, there are things israel has to do, too. this law that was just passed this week which we didn't have time to go through a lot of issues but you know it's telling to me that the aide of netanyahu, the cabinet secretary and the attorney general has said he won't defend it in the courts and there's a report in that doesn't mean -- i know we have a correspondent here. i don't know if if it's true or false or what saying he's going to come out against it publicly,
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be proactively against it. it seems to me this law is going to get overturned. it's something netanyahu wanted a hole in the head before his visit to washington but here he was outflanked by bennett and a lot of the energy of the right is coming from win his party. it's not just bennett, it's levine, i can go on and on. so he feels caught betwixt and between. there was whole amona thing from last week we advantage situation where israel had police injuries. there's a lot of dynamics on the ground that he went ahead and he's counting on the courts to govern for him it's an interesting dynamic, that's all i'll say. but to me just as it's going to be to have some tough love about the united nations and i think it would be good i think also i think the trump statement of last week was to say don't associate me with the open check school. that's not where i am and i see
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it more as reverting to the mean of the bush administration more than anything else. >> yoaz, do you want to add anything here? >> yes, if i may. the fact that there is a new sheriff in town has a lot of positive aspects and hopes in israel and even part of the israelis that thought that the messiah is going to change everything but there is also a strong nightmare that the israelis share which is that one day president trump will wake up and decide he wants a nobel prize and he will call netanyahu and tell him i want to make israel great again, let's cut a deal, find the map, cut the line here and there and you can make a peace. it's not a problem and since we all understand that it's much more complicated than cutting a deal the idea today is to find
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ways to defund for the first time after 50 years, and this year we are celebrating 50 years since the '67 war, the first time to decide what we want, what the israelis want without pressure from outside and from that point we need to sit on the maps to decide which parts we want or we have ambition to make it part of israel which part we are going to remain in debatable areas, what we are going to do with the palestinians, how are we going to call them? in order to talk about that you need a lot of discussions, the talks between netanyahu and president trump, it's just a starting point a new attitude that whether change the fact that the idea of the two-state
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solution that we know from the '90s is not visible anymore and one can say it's because of the settlement or the palestinians, it doesn't matter. i participated in the peace talks in 2011 and i was responsible for the blame game. so the blame game is not important anymore. what is important is the fact that it's impossible to bridge the gaps and create the '67 lines and to create again the opportunity of the ideas that we knew in the '90s and if israel will not do that i'm sure president trump is not going to find different ways. it will just adopt the old ideas from the bush administration or for the obama administration and they will find themselves in kind of a conflict between
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jerusalem and washington. >> very interesting. thank you. why don't we just do -- i'm going to ask three people to do their questions and we'll wrap up here. yes, on the right? yes, fligright in the middle ans right here. >> anne gearan of the "washington post." i wanted to ask each of you to say a word about the possibility of elliot abrams returning to government and to this issue. do you see him as a mostly helpful force, a mostly unhelpful force and yoaz, what is the. of him from israel? thank you. >> okay, very good. yes? >> i'm not usually considered in the center, either. paul lasham, university of maryland. this is for david.
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you and others seem to assume the palestinians would sort of say the same. abu of saying the same. he is 88 years old. it is unlikely he will last four more years. there is no obvious successor. people talk about palestinians want. what do you think will happen when he leaves the stage, perhaps brought to italy? >> yes. right here on your left you get a mic. >> for both of you, let's say
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that prime minister netanyahu is coming next week to the white house and presenting to the president this idea of state minus s, is it something that can be sold right now to the palestinianens yauz the s becau a new sheriff in town. many palestinians believe the president of the united states supports israel and show it publicly maybe is something that the palestinians will entertain or at least it will be a base of negotiation. >> great. thank you. do you want to start? >> to ann's point i think -- i'm just speaking on the issue of expertise. i think having abrams would be a very important signal that someone who has experience in this issue will be very much at
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the center of administration policy. this is someone who is actually the architect to the bush letter and is well versed in a lot of the west bank issues. he is not starting afresh. this is not at all to denigrate new people come with maybe fresh eyes, of course. i think adding him to that mix in a key position would be a sign that here is somebody with experience who wants to really help out the new team. i think that would be in my view i served in a democratic administration. i think it would be welcome across the board by democrats, republicans and the analyst community alike which i associate myself most with.
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the second question about paul's question about succession. as you know he turns 82. he smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. i talked to one of the top security officials when he said two and i spoke with him. this is -- i don't see on the verge of succession. i don't see at a time of succession that mega decisions will -- i don't see it. in the middle east they tend to look over the right shoulder and not over the left shoulder. everyone jockeys for succession. yo don't see one dominant successor. some say it is true that no leader of the arab world or in israel has allowed a number two to take such hold. it is kind of more not the
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exception but more the rule. but we are where we are. i tend to see because there is no obvious successor the net effect is i see some sort of muddled collectivest leadership where no one is strong enough to dominate the others. they are just strong enough to block other potential successors. it is a protracted affair if they don't hate together they hate separately. collectivi collectivism, it's the middle east, these are messy. it's all true. i don't mean to suggest something very orderly, but something transitional to help the palestinians get into a new period. don't forget, when he -- and
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there was a parliament. those are three things you don't have today. you don't have an obvious successor. you don't have a parliament and you don't have an election because guys on the west bank are divided. i'm not saying just in the 11th year of a four-year term but that to me all points to the fact that it's going to be muddled where it will be a protractive thing. i'm sure someone will emerge at the end. the final question because i dhoent ug don't think we are ready for a state. you have to get ready for the five for five. what about refugees and mutual recognition. so i think that it's not realistic to come up with a bumper sticker, even a good bumper sticker or bad bumper
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sticker right now. it's more like what do you do now? how do you move off the impasse now? how do you give hope and dignity to both sides and change dynamics on the ground but don't touch the supercharged issues that each one is a political minefield. that to me is the question. >> thank you. just briefly on elliot. i concur with david. i think should elliot be appointed i think he would substantially enhance the human capital of expertise on these issues. and this is a complicated part of the world. it's a complicated world in general. and i think elliot would be a major gain to the administration. second, what happens after he
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dies question, there is every model. i can give you every speech. there is the model we didn't know who the guy was and he turned out to emerge as the big leader. there is the collective model that begins and ends in a different direction. there are the names that everybody here knows whether it is -- or could be somebody totally different coming out of the security establishment. i do think what is quite likely is that when the dust settles there will be a leader and that leader will be far more likely than the current leader to be able to take the decisions that will be necessary for peace. in my view he made an historic decision for which he doesn't get enough credit which was to end the official terror led by
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arafat against israel years ago. he went into a different direction. there is all sorts of stuff that goes on winking and nodding. there was a big decision that he took years ago. that in my view regrettably was also the last big decision he took. you can't survive forever on the fumes of that decision. so that is one of the big reasons why we are where we are. as for state minus, the reality is that if there ever is a palestinian everyone understands it will be state minus like dozens of other states around the world. there are numerous states around the kurworld that come into existence with sovereignty circumskrieped into their independence. this is quite common. this is routine. it's really the definition of where the sovereignty will be
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circumscribed, to what extend, how, when, for how long? in talking about i view as -- with that i will thank you so much for contributing in today's event and thank my colleague david and thank you all for being with us today at the washington institute. [ applause ]
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sunday night republican strategist talks about the election of donald trump in his book the making of the president 2016. how donald trump orchestrated a revolution. he is interviewed by susan ferrechio. >> what do you make of the response, the big protest that took place after the inauguration. is there a way they can permanently hobble him by trying to obstruct at every turn or should they have a greater voice because the popular vote went to hillary clinton? >> some of the demonstrations are paid for and orchestrated. others i think are sincere people who have concerns because they may be buying the car
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cuture of him that has been painted by some in the mainstream media. the real answer is real simple. if he restores our nation's economic prosperity or move in that direction you see uptick in jobs. you have seen the uptick in the market. you have seen uptick in small business confidence, but if he restores the economy i think a lot of this will fall away. >> sunday night at 9:00 eastern on after words. a signature feature of book tv is our coverage of book fairs and festivals across the country with nonfiction author talks, interviews and viewer call in segments. saturday book tv will be live from savannah, georgia for the 10th anniversary of the book festival. featured authors -- terry
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mcdonnell with his book the accidental life. william daugherty and dan slater author of "wolf boys." we will be taking your calls with featured authors throughout the day. be sure to follow us on book tv on twitter. join us saturday for the tenth anniversary of the savannah book festival. a confirmation hearing to consider david friedman to be the next u.s. ambassador to israel. he is a bang raeps attorney. he co-chaired the trump presidential campaign's israel advisory committee. some american jewish and


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