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tv   Senator Chris Murphy Addresses J Street Conference  CSPAN  February 27, 2017 10:11am-12:01pm EST

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jobs every day, be that at the white house or at the various agencies in washington, or be that the journalists who cover wars or anything else around this country or around the world. host: we are talking with jeff mason of reuters, president of the white house correspondents association. you can call. democrats on (202) 748-8000, republicans, (202) 748-8001, and independents, (202) 748-8002. i want to read trump's statements to the media is enemy of the people. the other, i love the first amendment. no one loves it more than me. guest: also on the media, he said that the media had left out the "fake" part and mis-portrayed him, saying he does not like all news.
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but it is important to say that in the original tweet, where he said the media is the enemy of the american people, he listed the five major television networks. >> liberal forces find themselves asking questions and under attack. liberal forces who believe in civil liberty, in peace, coexist beings,lity among human are feeling threatened. this is the opportunity to say we are strong together. in two months, we will mark 50 years to the israeli victory in war, which strengthens considerably, 50 years with an open question, what do we do with our palestinian neighbors? the records of the israeli cabinet in 1967, the prime minister is asking cabinet
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members not how do we, but what do we do? that is the question pair the only answer after considering is we the elements separate and distill the idea of a two state solution whereby palestinians will have their own side withng side by israel in peace and based on clear understanding of security concerns. the un's general assembly has adopted a resolution calling for two nations, to state. a jewish state and an arab state. we pursue this aggressively. terror, to pursue this in order to preserve israel as the nationstate of the jewish
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people, israel is faced with two major threats. one from the outside, iran, a vile eminent dutch enemy which asked destabilizes, our worst onmies, want to go with us opportunity, and on the other hand, the other threat from inside is the option race recently in the white house of the possibility of a one state solution. that there will be an arab jewish state rather than presuming -- preserving the vision of zionism, the homeland of the jewish people, this is the real risk we are facing. we should reject any option of a one state solution. we should object to a jewish arab state and preserve the auction of the nationstate of the jewish people. israel's side by side with a palestinian state. despite all of this.
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for this, we need you, i call upon you. i tell you don't give up. all moderate forces in israel and the united states, especially the jewish community, should work proactively to pursue the option of the two state solution. .hank you very much did luck in your deliberations. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the chair of the j street national finance committee, diane. ♪ diana: good morning. i am the chairman of the national finance committee. i first wanted to thank the leader of the opposition for those wonderful remarks.
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more than a year ago, the joint competences land of action was successfully implemented and marked one of the greatest diplomatic achievements in a generation, successfully blocking iran from developing a nuclear weapon through diplomatic and not military means. all with largely to the leadership of legislators like senator chris murphy, who i am privileged to introduce today. senator murphy had been connecticut politics for decades before his election to the in 2012.ates senate his seat on the senate foreign relations committee. in the few years since, he has taken a leave promoting a policy first approach to managing conflicts abroad. thehe ranking member on subcommittee, the southeast asia counterterrorism,
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senator murphy was one of the most eloquent and informed advocates for the iran agreement. during his robust and spirited of thetouting the merits agreement, senator murphy invoke israel's negotiations with the palestinians. the enduring assertion, peace is never easy, but history almost always judges that it is worthwhile. a year on with iran passes nuclear program successfully defanged, an unprecedented inspections regime in place, the -- persuasive support for human rights, and the preference for this death diplomacy over belligerents has won him growing favor in the nashville -- natural constituency. that senator
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murphy's approach to foreign both highlyhat is principled and pragmatic, will shape the future of american leadership in the world. it is my privilege to introduce to you senator chris murphy. [applause] sen. murphy: thank you very much , diana. thank you for the kind introduction. you are in for a treat today. i was backstage with panelists up next. effort largely here is to get out of the way so you can hear from real talent. thanks to jeremy and dylan and being a at j street for friend of mine during my
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on americane foreign policy and the role in the world and inviting me to hear. j street is an important ally for those of us in the united dates senate who consider ourselves friends of israel and friends of the u.s. israel relationship. you are a clinical partner for those of us who still believe in the transformative power of diplomacy. you are a vital contributor to the debate over the future of the middle east. to just applaud you for all of the work you have done and continue to do and really, the remarkable growth you have seen over a very short time. us in the senate these days are talking about supreme court politics. i have been thinking both in the context of that debate and in myparation for today about most favorite jurists.
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as a young law school student, i loved reading oliver wendell holmes and i thought about him when i was thinking of what to say this morning. holmes's senior year in college, he voluntarily enlisted in the massachusetts militia to join the union army during the civil war. few soldiers saw more action than homestead. he fought in the wilderness campaign, he was at chancellorsville, antietam. he saw hundreds of his friends and fellow soldiers all too vicious injuries. he returns to boston scarred deeply by what he saw and his experience in the civil war is deeply affecting his view -- had been -- deeply affected his view of the law as a journal -- as a jurist. the revolutionary era natural law. abounded, he said men make their own laws. these laws do not flow from a missed serious on the present the sky.
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eyes, he had seen the horror of the civil war where each side would not capitulate. they believed in the natural basis for their cause. he founded a new lisle school of legal realism, the understanding that law was based in power and in politics. i think about him a lot when i told -- when i am told that all policy flows from the bosom of a just cause must be in and of itself just as well. i think about him when i'm told when one thing is back or white, then everything else that flows from it must also be. america's support for israel is absolute. it is a black-and-white issue. in the righteousness of a permanent jewish state in the middle east is unbreakable. i suspect if you are in the hall today, you believe the same.
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be the man who will likely the next ambassador to israel called my work on behalf of anti-semitic simply because i do not agree with his particular vision on the future of israel. i was not alone being on the receiving end. he called the president's actions anti-semitic as well and i don't have to tell you what he called all of you. remarkablen gave a performance upon which he effectively recanted almost every strong statement he has made, castigating those of us who support israel without perfectly parroting the positions and amos of the current israeli government, and though it seems more than a little coincidental that this epiphany with the hurt fullness of his words happened at confirmation. i truly hope he regrets these words.
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because while our nation's support for israel cannot be questioned, we do have asked some questions about what it means to say you support israel. in his legal writings, he begged us to consider all opinions, not to be so closed minded as to refuse to see all sides. he knew the civil war was a just cause but the inability to see the other side buses respective doom to the war to last too long, taking countless on our lives are at j street demands the space to expand the scope to be pro-israel. to understand if you are for israel, you don't have to be blind to the cause of palestinians. to understand if you are for israel, you do not have to reject the genius of diplomacy. [applause] i don't support settlement construction inside
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the generally accepted boundaries -- [applause] sen. murphy: inside the generally accepted boundaries of a future palestinian state because i support israel. [applause] sen. murphy: a two-state future is essential for israel's's long-term survival. barack explained if you put in one room all of the living former heads, the israel defense forces, more than 90% of them would say it is simpler to protect israel from a border that ensures our security interest next to a palestinian state than to protect a greater israel with millions of palestinians living under control. putting up more and more settlements makes a future viable sustainable palestinian state less likely. i was one of the first senators
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to announce my support for their rendered layer agreement because i support israel. [applause] nuclear irana auld be disaster year -- disaster for israel. there is no doubt it is working in israel is safer because of it. more than two thirds of iran'centrifuges are preserved to 98% of enriched uranium has been shipped out of the country. removed and the core filled with cement. everost intrusive negotiated, giving all of the necessary access to iran is happening now. it is complying with the deal. thought it was a horrible and dangerous idea for prime minister netanyahu to speak against the agreement in congress because i support israel. [applause] in order to influence a domestic political
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debate only served to heighten the growing politicization of israel. it made it look falsely like republicans stood with israel and democrats did not the speech did not affect the outcome of the debate but served to help republicans who wanted to return support of israel into an election-year wedge issue area i oppose president trump's muslim band because i support israel. [applause] last week, i stood at the new haven area jewish community center talking about fear sweeping across communities in connecticut and the nation because of this vicious increase in hate speech against jews. how can we effectively push back against this hate beach when our government is proposing to pass hateful policies against another
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religious group? [applause] sen. murphy: we need to urgently come together to oppose the anti-semitism that has come roaring back into public view. just this past weekend, a dozen more swastikas and racial's worth were drawn on cars and buildings in buffalo and new york. we need to come together, republicans, demo s, liberals, and conservatives, and our government needs to be morally consistent condemning discrimination and violence against all religious groups. and so, i am thrilled to be here as a member of the foreign relations committee at the center of what is a perilous moment for the world, as the fires of the middle east continue to burn, i am watching the influence of the united astes shrank in real time
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the trump administration fumbles its way through initial forays into international relations. the only thing that is consistent about this administration's foreign policy so far is that every day changes. israel,bad news for frankly, and other allies across the world who rely on consistency of american influence. what is also bad for israel is a debate in the united states were some people try to say there is only one set of policies considered to be pro-israel. be room for debate within the pro-israel community about what u.s. policy test serves the long-term security interests of the jewish state in the middle east. that is what it stands for, creating room for that debate and making sure there is a place in the debate for progressive israel -- pro-israel voices.
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[applause] sen. murphy: i know this seems like a more difficult endeavor today than it has been in the past, and it frankly is. your work will be more difficult over the next four years than it has been before but you are here because you know this. it will also be more important that you invest in this debate over the next four years than it ever has been before. i'm going to leave you with closing words. if you ever have a chance, read a brilliant speech he gave in 1884 during memorial day. about all of the factors outside of one's control and trying to take on a just but difficult cause, he reminded his audience that the one and only , which is his to command, is to bring to his work a mighty heart.
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streetworked with jay since its beginnings --j street since its beginnings, having seen the influence and command , knowing the urgency of the cause to which you all street hasi know j this in spades. thank you for having me this morning. [applause] ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our moderator and panel, new york times columnist thomas freedom, ambassador martin, dr. .obert, and michelle
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♪ [applause] thomas: good morning. great to be here. non-right-wing jewish organization. [applause] thomas: the actual heart and soul of the jewish community. [applause] thomas: my name is thomas friedman. no relation to david freeman. [laughter] thomas: we have a great panel this morning. rob, former senior adviser to the president in the middle east, former everything important on the middle east for several administrations.
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i want to begin by posing a question to all of you. what strikes me about this moment as someone, like the three of you followed this region and this conflict most of my dough life, is having been having been to a time and place where israel was to be what it ever -- whatever it wanted to be, i cannot imagine a time when the countries surrounding it were weaker, when europe was more distracted, and when we had an administration in washington that either did not care or would not care. about whatever israel does. martin, let's start with you and go down the panel.
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what do you think this means? what do you expect to come out of this unique situation for the israeli government right now? martin: not much. [laughter] martin: hi, everybody. great to see you in such large numbers. i have had the honor of conferences.street it is great to see how much you the last fewer years. i could add a few other points to your lead-in to the question. in terms of the strength of the israeli economy, the strength of
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its military, the strength of its relationships with major europe, even, though those are often under strain. course, with the united states, israel has never been and more capable of peace.risks for given the imperative of resolving this conflict with palestinians for the sake of its clearly,e, outlined so , when you havee the president of the united states saying whatever you decide, i will support it. certainly congress will. if not now, when?
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[applause] martin: i say this with great regret as someone who strongly identifies as a zionist and cares deeply about the jewish state and jewish people, something has gone very wrong. deep -- a operating in israel today that will make sure that peace with the palestinians if it involves giving up any kind of territory in the west bank, simply will not happen. instead, they see the opportunity to take advantage of the rising populism and greater nationalism in the united states and around the world to provide their narrow, nationalist agenda of annexation of the west bank. we know where that leads.
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it will lead to a binational state, not a jewish state. yet they are determined to press on. ofy have the prime minister israel by the throat politically. danger that int this permissive environment, they will achieve their objectives. i think it really underscores see clearly what the agenda is here and call them on it every step of the way. up, becausek follow of your experience, what does it mean to have an american ambassador to israel who will be to the right of the israeli prime minister? i should not exaggerate the influence of the ambassador.
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he will be in jerusalem, he will not be in washington. he will not be in the white house. , but hiss channel ability to actually influence policy, when his job is to implement policy, it should not be exaggerated. instead of focusing on policy as it is constructed in the white house, we're looking at the wrong place. what is important in that regard the boastingnding about how he will move the embassy to jerusalem, it did not happen. the point.cores
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don't need to get into it but the point is, he clearly wanted and expectedmbassy it to be moved and it did not happen. , since few ofct my productions have ever come that donaldict trump will not move the embassy to jerusalem short of an agreement between israelis and palestinians. because thehat prime minister of israel is telling them not to? the prime minister would not dare to tell them not to. of course we want the embassy, great idea, no. it is because it seems the theory of the case that jared kushner has is that there is a way to achieve regional peace, andsunni arabs into peace,
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that will somehow facilitate and lubricate the deal. once he started down that road, he heard from the sunni arabs, don't embarrass us. you want us to play, don't create problems for us. i have reason to believe that is why they delayed. they will continue to delay. that reason will not know away. michelle, you served in a senior pentagon position. give us your take on what you think 12 evolve out of this unique moment when israel is home alone more than it has ever been in terms of its diplomatic options? michelle: when i was in the pentagon, i spent a lot of time on the question of how we bolster israel's security, working on edge issues and so
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forth. nowst say i am more worried about israel's long-term security than ever. agree with martin that the idf .s stronger today than ever the u.s. commitment to israel's security is rock solid as ever. thisdisturbs me is administration has cavalierly walked away from a u.s. commitment to supporting a two state solution that every administration, republican and democrat, has held onto and advocated for four decades, the reason for that is referred to by the senator as the only way secure could ultimately peace for israeli state that is both democratic and jewish, is with a two state solution. [applause] administration
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, without really delving into of could a one state solution ever be secure? as was mentioned, every security professional on the israeli side , 90% plus, say the answer is no. we have done a lot of work on the question of could you secure a two state solution, bringing american and israeli military officers together to design what that would look like. the only thing that can secure long-term is a two state solution. it is somehow now in question i find more disturbing than anything i have seen in all of my years working on the israel security issues. thomas: i was going to bring up your work at the think tank. give us the highlights of the security plan if you could.
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, why should we understand there is a way for israel to have a secure such -- separation agreement with palestinians? understood the paramount issue for israelis is the question of security. we wanted to demonstrate the question could be satisfactorily answered. what is involved is a multilayered security system where first and foremost, we give the israeli state the capacity to defend itself to every extent possible. we also did serious capacity building work. very important is the role of the neighbors. the jordanr securing valley, the role for egypt in , what role forre the united states and the international community of guarantors of the arrangement? it is a detailed report.
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it was not just a bunch of americans. the report is now published. you can find it on the website. using this to have a series of conversations not only here but in israel with the egyptians and with others to try and build consensus around the approach. thomas: thank you. rob, when the trump transition team sat down with you all and said what can we learn from what you learned in the previous eight years, what did you say to them? robert: what makes you think the conversation took place? [laughter] it is my first time speaking for j street since i joined the administration, thank you jeremy, real shout out when we were fighting for what senator murphy just spoke about,
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we had all of you behind the effort and we knew we could not do it without you. is tremendous good for the united states and for israel, prevented iraq from acquiring a nuclear bomb, and opened the door to multilateral diplomacy. to the teak that this was done and gave around $100 billion, first of all, it is at most $50 billion, and second of all, it is their own money, to prevent itself from having a nuclear bomb. of the dealan art man, he should appreciate the outcome. thank you all for everything you have done over the last several years. [applause] is, theree truth really was much of a transition and passing the baton to the middle east. i cannot really answer that. expect from do you
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an israeli government that is really more free than ever. ? will they miss obama? the be used obama a lot to say to his cabinet at times i suspect, i will do this except obama won't let me. i will take a slightly heretical lean on this. i do not mind which upset for the following reasons. if he had said i believe in a two state solution, how many people think he would have achieved it? i do not see many hands. and he said, martin knight -- martin and i and many others did not succeed, and president bush tried the two state solution and did not succeed. president obama and secretary kerry tried to reach a two state solution and did not succeed either. it is time for israel to ask itself honest questions about
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what direction they want to head u.s.d not look to the either for salvation or protection or cover. the fact that the cover is removed, there is some benefit to it. there is an honest conversation that has to take a spirit israelis have asked the question without the illusion of the peace process or the notion of restraint which did not really restrain much and ask themselves what do we want, how will we secure our future as a demo attic state, and if it is not a two state solution, -- [applause] is it too late for the conversation? i'm not sure what that means. thomas: if they have a is it just too strong that basically nothing could happen?
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reach thati were to conclusion, i would be doing something very different these days. maybe it is just for self-preservation that i am not compared to say that what is built through political decisions cannot be unbuilt through political decisions. [applause] robert: it will be difficult and the politics will be wrenching for any prime minister but i do not know what the mathematical formulation that tells us the two state solution is dead and buried here at it as a matter of political will, energy, and courage. ultimately, the u.s. and the rest of the world. thomas: martin, -- martin: i think it is dead. thomas: let's talk about that. i was going to ask you about the weather. climate change. [laughter] thomas: why do you say that? martin: first of all, it is
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important to understand, in the holy land, there is a difference between being dead and being dead and buried. [laughter] [applause] martin: it does not get wrecked .rected -- resurrected i imagine there are circumstances under which it can get resurrected. i think at this point we all understand a number of realities. the first is one i described. the second is it does not reduce the solution. the alternative to that solution, they are just recipes for continued conflict. it may be quiet now but it will not be forever. is impossible to imagine that
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peace between israel and the palestinians will be achieved through anything other than a two state solution. for the time being, there is no way i can see the two state solution can be achieved. not with the current configuration of the israeli government, the most right wing in history and most opposed to a two state solution such that the prime minister is not even allowed to say the words when he comes to washington, also, let's -- onest, divided doesn't feel the mandate to make , that makes it impossible to move on his side.
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the notion that somehow the a realrabs because of common interest they have with israel in combating the ambitions of the iranians, somehow leads to them being compromisein effect palestinian rights and take the risk of being accused of doing that, which they will be accused of, there is no egyptian leader who will take that kind of risk, so given all of those realities, with all the will in the world, donald trump will not be able to achieve a two state solution. a one state solution is not achievable either. what are we left with? the people pushing for a one state solution, pushing against a two state solution, are the
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people particularly on the israeli side, but also advocating for a one state solution and they are pushing it politically, gaining strength in the west bank, consolidating control. it is like the era of the one where jlutions, that is street and everyone else who cares about the future of israel to the palestinian needs redouble your efforts, our efforts. circumstances,e if the one stators are the little ones out there pushing, they will drive off the two state solution for a long time and it will eventually explode. in the short-term, it looks sustainable. we have to watch out for the
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that we use that it is not sustainable. it is sustainable. in the long, it is not sustainable and it will explode and i fear for the consequences for israel. we must never give up on the effort to maintain belief in the two state solution, even though today, it does not look possible. thomas: if jared kushner were here, the president's son-in-law and seemingly designated the next martin of this administration, what would you tell him? i would tell him first of all, [indiscernible] thomas: thank you, thank you. [applause] martin: i am not just telling you that only to flatter you. that is what i tell everybody.
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to thinke does seem they have rediscovered the wheel. the arab state, those of us who , iw something about saudi was 20 years ago. but why do i say read , you unpack for the naive american solution-ists who come into the middle east bazaar oldeving that in the good american way, every problem has a solution. try aore, we will just little different, outside in, bottom-up, you know, and somehow because we have the will to do it, we will find a solution no one else was able to find. what you explained in the book
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is they are all just waiting for you out there. israelis and arab league's alike. they are experts at selling and dreams ofdise peace and nobel prizes to naive andicans at twice the price no peace at the end. i say that as a naive american who went through the experience. -- because weok keep on doing it, every time, every administration. that is who we are. that is the beauty of america. besays i believe it can done. don't be naive, don't be full by in youro whisper ideas ear about how we can do it this way or that way. just designing a rabbit hole for
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you to go down. true of all. equal opportunity. they are all great at it. secondly, i actually given credit for this, take your time to listen to everybody. they need to talk more to the palestinians. , his assistant in this, clearly will have a role in it. i think taking time to listen and get a sense of what actually can be done realistically is really important. have got to get the structure right. be done without the state department, p or and simple. -- pure and simple.
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[applause] thomas: why not? martin: he has a lot of other things to do it he cannot be the envoy. it would be a terrible mistake. he would be set up for failure. i strongly recommend he not be the envoy. as he gives to donald trump's real estate foyer, maybe that is the right thing to do, but he needs to be in the state department. michele and rock can speak to this, the white house conducting its own diplomacy will lead to bad results in the end. because the problem is so complicated, especially a future right to bring the arab state into it, in the fall session, in terms of engagement and , thesary engagement structure to sustain it in engagement will be very important.
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then you have to see what will happen. worked with ahave group of other foreign-policy experts, a report on friday, in the middle east, we came up with a bipartisan strategy for the trump administration. we need to spend some time rebuilding relationships, and to deal withisrael iran in a sophisticated way. out of that, a better understanding of the way in which they can understand -- they can help with the dimension of the policy. first thing's first. relationships, establish an understanding of what is possible, then see what can be done. you remind me the
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central story there was when i was living in beirut with my wife in the early 1980's, we used to watch -- walk by a carpet store every day. they had a beautiful blue persian blue carpet in the window. we admired it every day and one day we said, let's just go in and see what it costs. the owner takes it out of the window and lays it down on the takes a high intensity lamp and puts it on top so we can examine the threads. we then said, would you flip it the threadsan see on the back and the second he did that, there was a power surge and a high-intensity lamp exploded. bernie schartz came down on the back of the carpet and without missing a beat, he said sometimes they are worth more this way. [laughter]
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never forget that. that is the story i would tell jerry cush. michele, martin really set you what for me is an important question, the iran question. , there has been a lot of talk out of the administration but no action of getting rid of a moren deal or adopting aggressive posture toward iran. happen you expect to , and whate characters do you think should happen vis-a-vis america and iran that would actually enhance the possibility as martin alluded to to advancing the israeli-palestinian peace process? the good news is they
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took the nuclear question off or with iran. notprogram is halted if roll back in certain respects. at least for a decade or more. with the -- what the focus is now is on iran's other destabilizing conditions in the region. regimes, undermine trying to create civil wars in syria or iraq or yemen, and trying to gain power itself in the region. i think that concern israel. i think this administration right now is speaking loudly and , while wemall stick all know the right equation is to speak loudly and very a big stick.
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the right course of action would intelligence, special operations, interdiction between the united states and resume and other -- and israel and other ball state partners. when we put up some resistance to their behavior, not to public --eats, but widely dated quietly they hit a u.s. wall, they back off. we need to do that in a way that does not create so much tension crisis and overt undermines the important progress we have made on the nuclear side. it have to be delicate. there are people inside the administration like secretary mattis whosecretary understand that. train going to drive this
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when you don't really have a national security council process that is leveraging the talent and experience you have in your cabinet and within the departments to inform the decisions that are being made by the president? ofcan there be a cystitis that successful and sustainable israeli-palestinian peace process without a sustainable sunni-shiite peace process. >> one makes the other much more complicated. about iran, three points. first we need to repair relations with the region. i am not going to deny that the obama administration had rough relationships. this is not the matter only of bad management, but there are substantive differences. israel,e process with the issue on iraq, and both of our neighbors on iran.
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there are differences on the wisdom of elections and allowing the muslim brotherhood to govern and the role of democracy. easy not going to be unless the nation of israel puts all those to decide, and it was not easy to keep those issues in the state they would like them to be given these differences, which are real. part of obama's approach was to clarify these relationships that it standsg for a two state solution, it does not want to intervene in syria, and we will have to manage those problems and not sacrifice the views the administration had. point number two, it is going to be very hard to crank up. when people say push back against iran, tommy concretely what does that mean in iraq,
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syria, yemen. how are we going to push back? does it mean military, other steps, reinstating sanctions that have been lifted? at some point iranians might say, what is in it for us? now you are imposing them on grounds of regional activities. you good come to a point where the deal unravels. my third point is i think in terms of iran the trump administration is going to face what i call a trilemma. there are three objectives that president trump during the campaign said he wanted for the middle east. , but isis, crush iran america first, meaning keep our presence in the region modest. you can have two of those three, and the two of those three. you cannot have all three of them. saycannot simultaneously
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that the priority is to defeat isis, keep our presence on the ground modest, and at the same time say you're going to go after iran. iran has many ways of retaliating against our presence in iraq, which will make the fight against isis and possible unless we increase our presence to the point where we can wait to front wars against isis and iraq. that is where it is going to win largest in terms of what the trump administration wants to means beingd that careful about how far you push and how confrontational you are. there was also what i called us trilemma. it is not a menu where you can eat everything you want. you will have to choose two of the three. the obama administration chose to. at this point it is that clear which to the trump administration will pick. >> the obama administration chose to crush isis, keep a
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modest american presence, and come to a standstill with iran. >> the gamble with iran was pretty well achieved, though not entirely. through sanctions and multilateral diplomacy and some engagement, you can keep them in a place where it is manageable. address the concerns that we have about iran or the concerns iran has about its own security situation. that was not part of the deal. if it was part of the deal, it would still be negotiating today. it is a compartmentalized deal. i would argue everything else would be far worse if iran was russian to the nuclear bomb. that was the deal. it was not people thought it would be great if iran did not continue with this program, support of hezbollah, or other regional activities, it is just that if you add that to the mix,
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negotiations will go on for a decade or more. >> what you say to some of the arab allies when they say you have not taken the iran threat seriously? iran is now the influencing power in for arab capitals. iffirst of all, it is not as this happens all of a sudden. beirut, damascus, baghdad. yemen is kind of a different case. good luck to anyone who wants to govern there. i don't want to a little their concerns. the united states has to make a difference between understanding their concern and buying into the notion of sectarian war or a war between arabs and persians. there is a line there. i am not sure that the purpose of a lot of our allies was simply to keep iran in a box.
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some of them have far more progressive agendas. that is why i think the obama administration began, it did not completed, and i am the first to admit where we fell short. there needs to be a clarification in our dealing with israel and the arab states. what do we see as the future of iran? it is not going to go away. we're not going to defeat it militarily. it has proved that it knows the middle east better than we do. as an anecdote, when i met a lebanese -- this was before, right before the uprising began in syria, and i was talking to him about what happens if that goes. i said it was not going to go. after i pressed him, he says let's assume you americans get what you want. things are going better. who is better at dealing with chaos? you are us? iraq, syria,
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lebanon. you can get your limited political objective. themately, hezbollah and iranians will be better at understanding and manipulating and dealing with chaos and uncertainty and confusion. we have to be clear about what is the role iran is going to play in the region, and until we have that meeting of the minds between us and our allies, we're going to be -- and i'm talking about the obama administration or the demonstration. there will be a gap. that.'s get up on i won't repeat it in a different way. can we have an israeli-palestinian process without an iran-u.s. peace process? the iran u.s. cold war has distorted the process in the middle east as much as anything
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else. wouldn't it be interesting radical move for donald trump be to apply the art of the deal to the iranians? i think that is a very good question. there is a way that donald trump could actually approach this. let me say, first of all understand the perspective of n, they see us coming always. they are very smart. they understand the relationship between the arab-israeli conflict and the hegemonic relationship very well. now if the sunni arabs will align against them, and they're going to try to promote their palestinian base as part of this, they will make sure to start something in the israeli-palestinian arena to prevent that from happening.
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one of the unintended consequences of all of this talk place is thel chance between conflict between jihad,nd israel, islamic they will still get in one way -- will stoke it in one way or another. always be aware of unintended consequences. of the art of the deal. here is the thing. if the iranians see that donald trump under the influence of goes to netanyahu congress with his automatic support for ratcheting up the sanctions, and they had already started down this road,
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particularly the financial sanctions, iranians will get to the point where they say, that is not the deal we may. -- made. it was sanctions for our nuclear article or program plus increased sanctions. that is part of the calculation here. by ratcheting up the sanctions, the iranians will be the ones that walk out of the deal, not the united states. that could lead to very bad consequences, which i don't think donald trump actually wants. i think he likes to be able to trust the deal in terms of description, but actually to maintain the deal because he .nderstands it buys time
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better i think, the long way of answering the question, to start to reach out quietly to the iranians and say the following. , we can up the pressure on you with sanctions. instead, let's talk about a deal that will remove our bilateral actions. that is what we are prepared to put on the table. here is what we need from you. first of all, you're going to have to back away from exploding sectarian tensions in the region. we can talk about the details of that. secondly, you're going to have to back away from your efforts to subvert the israeli-palestinian negotiations. thirdly and most important, we need to talk to you about
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extending the deal. we want to talk about the sunset provisions of the deal. in other words, to take the things that the critics of the deal say is wrong and fix it by offering not to increase the sanctions, although it is out , but, hanging out there rather to take the sanctions off. that gets to your point about how maybe, maybe with a smart negotiator you can ask a get their radiance to a point where you want them to be not to confrontation but negotiation. >> very interesting. [applause] there is a domestic parallel to that. you can actually make the point that if donald trump wanted to be successful, because there is a mood out there that this administration reflects. you saw it in brexit. what i call rip it, don't fix
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it. i use a different word for the first part that starts with an f. obamacare, ripped it, don't fix it. it, don'tnafta, rip fix it. if we pursue all of those, they will have negative implications. the interesting move would be to obamacare, called chuck schumer and send the top negotiators to camp david and come up with a fix for this thing. we will both get credit. i will get more. it will be ok. he would be a 70% in the polls are now instead of this. michelle martin knows i have 50 rules of middle east reporting in a safe somewhere that are long gone that someday i will publish.
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they are so politically incorrect. the first one is that any u.s. general appointed to operate in the middle east, you have to take a test. the test is very simple. it is one question. do you think the shortest distance between two points is a straight line? if you say yes, you can serve in korea or japan, germany, but not the middle east. for all the reasons martin just gave you, that is a perfect scratcher left ear with your right hand approach. take what martin is talking about. apply to moscow and putin. this administration has this is our relationship with the russians, which we do not know the bottom of. nothing disturbs me more than that. putin right about now, ukraine, syria, influence on iran and the iran deal, how
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do you look at the u.s.-russian relationship evolving? does the fact that we have all of these unanswered questions about donald trump's relationship with the russians, questions that go as deep as wondering whether they have compromising material on him, does it actually limit his ability to collaborate with russia going forward? and what might the implications of that the? >> the easy question. that until we have a investigationent that gets to the bottom of interference in our electoral process and with the trump campaign and people around the trump campaign, there will be
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questions about any agreement in negotiates on any topic when it comes to the hill and the american people for support and potential ratification. the first step is we have to have a full independent investigation. let it go where it goes and get to the bottom of this. when it comes to russia and the putin hast, i think played a relatively limited hand very well. he has wanted to reassert russia as a world power. one of the ways he has done that is stepping into what he saw as this possible vacuum in syria. he did it without a lot of cost. he has put himself in the position of being a real powerbroker in whatever negotiations ultimately occur to end the catastrophe that is the syrian civil war.
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anything i worry about in trump-putin deal, if donald trump goes into the negotiations thinking the objective is to lower tensions, we will get a bad deal. it would be nice to have a less tense relationship with russia, don't get me wrong. we have very clear u.s. objectives in the middle east. that is what we have to protect. by the way, israel has a real stake in the kind of deal that comes out of the syrian negotiations. if it ends up with iranian forces in the golan heights, that is not a good deal for israel. israel really has to care about how this comes out. it is very difficult to separate all of these issues. even what you are talking about,
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if donald trump really does want to make substantially more progress with isis, you have to worry about iran. right now iran is pushing baghdad to maintain a hard-line in iraq. as long as that approach of marginalization continues, we will have a very hard time even if we are successful in mosul of keeping isis out. the same is true in syria. you cannot solve the isis problem unless you get a solution to the broader problem that does not completely marginalize the majority of the population, which are sunni. these things are going to be connected. this is where i worry that a simplistic approach to a deal, which is let's reduce tensions with russia will not actually
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deliver on the very real security objectives the u.s. has in the region. >> very important. i want to get your take on it. both questions michelle raise, -- michelle raised. trump's and donald unknown relationship with the russians limit his capacity to do any major deal with them? does is rather naive approach to work with the russians to extirpate isis when russia's allies are hezbollah and iraq, and russia did not go to syria to extirpate isis but to reinforce a genocidal dictator, is there any sort of u.s.-russian deal to be had? >> the answer to your question is paradoxically it does constrain the administration.
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it is notable that after talking about how they wanted to work with russia on syria, we note the u.s. is not even sent a high level delegation to the talks russia and syria is sponsoring. it makes sense that they don't want to give more validity to the notion that there's something untoward in their relationship with russia. i spent most of the last two years doing with the russians on syria. the u.s. is not going to be able this if russia is not part of it. i make no apologies are that even though we failed. there are many reasons that explain that. the question is what the deal looks like. the problem right now is within the four corners of syria itself, it is hard to see what the u.s. gives russia that russia does not already more or less have. the question is whether you going to do expand it to other areas, ukraine and others, which
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is dynamite. if i am putin, what i want is not syria related. i basically have it the way i like. yes i want to cooperate more with the u.s. against isis, that would sort of make russia look like they are a superpower in the fight against terrorism. the main payback will be in other theaters, particularly the european theater. i'm not sure this initiation is prepared to contemplate that now. >> cooperation with russia in syria. it is important to understand that russia, correct me if i have this wrong, but my sense is that russia is not fighting against isis. it is fighting against the sunni arab opposition. their objective in syria is to
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-- in power after the defeat of vices. what are we going to partner with them to do? what they will get out of any partnership is the assurance that assad is there to stay. as long as that is the case, there cannot be a solution in syria because the sunni arabs killed so many and displaced so many more, will not accept that. happens in that kind of deal, who the beneficiary is not just us but iran. they, the assad regime is their proxy. linchpin between
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yemen and iraq and syria and lebanon. recognizing this, some in the trump administration have already said the problem here will be is that we will wean russia from iran and syria. good luck with that. i don't think there is any chance the russians will turn syriat the iranians in because right now the consequences of that for iran, it is of poor interest. everybody else, syria is critical to the iranians. if the russians were to go down that road, he will competition. i believe they will not. what they need to be doing in syria is weaning turkey away from russia, not russia away from iran.
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turkey can and wants to play a more assertive role in syria, and we need to concert our approach with them, especially in the east if we are to succeed in defeating isis. >> rock, i want to jump back to you for a second. this issue has been out there. should we declare the muslim brotherhood a terrorist organization? >>no. >> why not? >> the legal foundations do not exist. to be a terrorist organization, you have to root that the leadership has been engaged, and you cannot make the case. the muslim brotherhood is a vast organization. some of their branches are terrorist organizations, others are not. they have ties to organizations here that have nothing to do with terrorism. part of the reason why it was on a list of priorities of the executive orders that the trump
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administration was going to roll out, it does not happen because some cooler mind look at it and said we don't know where to draw the line. what do you do with turkey? the akp is affiliated with the muslim brotherhood. countries do in like jordan and morocco? part of that is these misconceptions that have come up in trying to appease mastic and foreign constituencies. prevailely reason will on that. it would be another long goal on the executive order on muslims in immigration. >> i listen to you now, as we close on all of these issues and complexity and the irreconcilability of dealing ofh them, and i am reminded an interview with robert strauss
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, great texas lawyer in negotiator who was briefly sent to beat the american middle east negotiator. he had never been to the west bank. he came to israel. ae israelis gave him helicopter tour of the west bank. afterwards he gathered at the king david hotel with a group of reporters. asked him what he thought of the west bank. he said, i cannot tell you. they said, tell us what you think. he set off the record, i don't know why other of them would wanted and the other wouldn't just give it to them. i think about when i think of the job of being. defense or secretary of state or national security adviser. is this not the worst time to be responsible for american foreign policy? if someone comes to you and says
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, i would like you to be secretary of state, wind you really want -- wouldn't you really want to say, i had my heart set on agriculture? the cold war was all about managing power. the post-cold war was all about american power. the post post-cold war is all about managing weakness, hours, allies, collapsing states. mark? michelle? managing thet chaos that is all around us. what i would say is i don't know given our historical role, architecting the post-world war ii order that has provided the basis for stability, economic growth, incredible peace and prosperity around the world, given the pressures on that order, the frame of that order, this is the report that i
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participated in is all about, america has to leave. we don't get the choice to step back and say we don't have an iserest in whether the order adapted to deal with new realities. to do that is to throw away not n historical legacy, but any hope that we will get a better future that is more conducive to our interests, our values, and our ability to continue to be a force for good in the world. >> i wanted michelle to lead on this because she says it much better than me. there is an international order out there that is now being threatened. it was already being challenged before donald trump came along. donald trump has around him people who consider that this is a teardown, not a renovation job.
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and rework them . it is a long thing. so that is the challenge here. it is difficult. it is always difficult. hugenited states has ability to lead the world. there is still a great deal of desire for american leadership. when the president of the united states says we are going to put america first, it sends a signal to everyone else, let's put our own interests first. particularly the larger powers like china and russia who want to do that anyway. the rest of the world looks to the united dates not just to put -- own interests fores first, but for freedom, rule of law, protection of the small state versus the stronger one,
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-- promotion of all of >> i'm already on my desk agreementsilateral on climate change in so many other ways in which the united a worldas constructed order that serves american interests in the interest of the vast majority of humanity. if we give that up -- [applause] now for give that up some sense of narrow, selfish purpose, we will, in the end, reap the whirlwind. we will pay the price in terms of our interests in the world. not only is it really important on the state back
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in israel and preserve the idea of a two state solution, the future of a jewish democratic israel, but it is really important because who but the jews amongst all of them have such an interest in a liberal democratic order? we need to push back on that as well. [applause] rob, you are batting cleanup. >> i'm going to be very quick and try to turn your question around. your question is this the worst time to be the u.s. given the state of the world? the other question because this the worst time to be the world given what is happening in the u.s.? panel's think this great -- thank this great panel. [applause]
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>> thank you. ♪ [no audio] ♪ >> good morning. my name is victor kovner. i'm a founding member of the
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board of j street and cochair of our political action committee. [applause] the chief palestinian negotiator, a passionate supporter of the two-state solution, and good friend to j street was scheduled to join us today. unfortunately, we learned just a few days ago that he is unable to make the trip. we are very grateful that his investor, -- ambassador, another friend of j street was able to join us on short notice. ambassador -- is the chief representative of the general delegation of the palestinian liberation organization to the united states.
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he has dedicated his life to bring about a two state solution for israel and palestine. let me say that again. a two state solution for israel and for palestine. [applause] as a pro israel american jew, it is a high honor to introduce him today. over the course of his career, he has served as a leading palestinian diplomats and negotiator, attending peace talks and representing the palestinian people in countries around the world. last fall, he joined jeremy been that the on a joint speaking to ur around the midwest. the first of its kind. acked houses in seattle and san francisco.
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they showcased the value of open debate and working together to find common ground for progress. ambassadornd the wrote together in the seattle times, these discussions allow us to recognize our common humanity and interest. they are vital if we are going to move forward toward an acceptable solution that both sides can claim. our main focus must be the future and how we can only reach an arrangement that will satisfy the national aspirations of both peoples. he also knows firsthand that negotiating, compromise, and peacemaking are built on ed disagreements and debate. that has not stopped some in the american public that charge pro israel associations and other palestinian leaders are somehow
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outside the tent. on behalf of j street, i cannot take of anything more important for the pro israel, pro-peace movement than continuing to engage with you toward our common purpose. so honored to are have you here to speak with us today. in the spirit of our shared commitment to these, please join , pleaseving -- to peace join me in giving a warm welcome. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you, victor. i don't think i will need my glasses. i will put them on when i need them. good morning to all of you. it is an honor and pleasure to be here today.
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i am filling in. he really planned to be with you. unfortunately for some unforeseen reasons, he could not make it to this conference. it is an honor to speak at your sixth annual conference, congratulate you. a few years ago, not too many people thought that he will last that long. -- you are [applause] doing what you have to do, which is to serve the cause of peace between palestinians and israelis in the middle east. [applause] much criticism has been directed at j street for officialsalestinian
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to speak at your activities. my dear friend jeremy came under attack when we were on our tour last october in san francisco from the usual source of criticism for associating with me and being with me on that joint tour that took us to seattle, san jose, and san francisco. the role j street is playing today is very important. we do not agree, as palestinians, with everything that j street is advocating. we do not agree with some of the there is aowever, strong shared value of agreement between us, which is there is no way out for this conflict between palestinians and israelis but the two state solution.
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[applause] this seems to be getting difficult every day. unfortunately, the current policies -- or the policies of the current right-wing israeli government is making things more difficult on the ground to realize that objective of two israel palestine and living side-by-side in peace and security. the israeli government, the current israeli government is acting with total impunity, defying international law, defying signed agreements, and violating signed agreements with the palestinians, and also undermining the creation of the palestinian state that would put an end to the conflict and would put an end to all historical
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claims. this is something people tend to forget here. he has repeatedly said that the agreement we are seeking what israel would not only and the alllict that also end historical claims between the two peoples. this is very important for you to remember. [applause] this shows you that our objective of creating a palestinian state is not a tactical objective. it is a strategic objective. when we made the historic copper mines in 1988 to accept -- accept thein 1988 to west bank, the gaza strip, we accepted the creation of a state on 22% what used to be historic palestine. that was a very painful compromise for us.
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we are still committed today to that painful compromise. compromise ofnnot the compromise. [applause] i enjoyed with the panelists were the guests earlier, a very fine group of people that i have the pleasure of working with. the ambassador i met for the first time in 1993 or 1994 when he worked for the clinton administration. rob on two occasions. they both spoke about one state versus two-state. if this current israeli government and its supporters in this country do not want a two state solution, what do they want?
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they want one state with equal rights? fine. let's go for that. if this is what they want, we are willing to accept that as a solution to the conflict. however, you all know that is not exactly what they are seeking to achieve. they are trying to along the conflict, to sustain the status buildingto continue illegal settlements, continue to swallow more palestinian land and once and for all to destroy any possibility for the establishment of a palestinian state. this is an outcome that neither you nor us are working to achieve.
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all the actions that israel is taking on the ground, we continue to be committed to a two state solution because what we are having today is one state with two systems where we have an occupation, the settlement population and a that does not have any control underts life and is still military occupation. about two-state and one state, we have to be careful. the alternative to a two-state is not going to be favorable to either israelis or palestinians. that is why we share that with j street. we commend you for your courage. the work you're doing among the american jewish community, with
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congress, with the government to continue to drive this message across and to continue to rally support for the two state solution. true, on the ground is fading away. however, there is no other solution that will put an end to the conflict and allow both palestinians and israelis to develop their national identities and to be good neighbors and to turn the page and open a new chapter in their lives. [applause] now, of course, we cannot ignore the recent changes that took place in this country, the new administration.
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the confusion about one state, two-state, and then back. everyone is confused. we are as much confused as you are. it is going to be difficult to predict the course of action this administration is going to take. however, as palestinians, and we have not been approached yet by this new administration, believe it or not. they have approached arab countries in the region. they had sought the advice of arab diplomats in this city about the future of the region, and they still are calculating or waiting for the right time to approach us. we have had indirect contacts parties --hrough third parties. thatighest level meeting
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took place with the new administration was when the cia director visited the west bank two weeks ago and met with the president. we are ready to engage this administration. we are ready to engage this administration based on mutual law,ct, international long-standing u.s. positions that do not condone or support and doest activities not turn their eyes away from any violations or actions that israel takes to undermine the prospects of peace between palestinians and israelis. [applause] transferring the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. now, jerusalem is a sensitive
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issue. arabs,em is important to muslims, christians, jews, and israelis. we understand this. our vision of jerusalem, as palestinians, the city of peace to all thee opened followers of the three monolithic religions. all religions have the right to protect and preserve their holy sites. ,his is our vision of jerusalem not a divided city is is today where east jerusalem is a totally different sector. what we envision jerusalem to be is the capital of all capitals for all israelis and palestinians. jerusalem is a vision of peace, coexistence, and tolerance.
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that is what we want to continue to promote. states cannot take any unilateral action to undermine an issue that is agreed between palestinians and israelis to be decided in final status negotiations. neither west nor east jerusalem are recognized by any country in the world as being the capital of palestine order of israel. or of israel. we need to sit down to figure out this question. any emotional decision to move the embassy from tel aviv to veryalem is going to have negative repercussions and could seriously complicate and undermine any future efforts to dissolve the conflict between the palestinians and israelis.
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we have made our position clear to the new administration, directly and indirectly. i hope that this administration will be wise enough to understand how sensitive and delicate is the issue of jerusalem and leave it to the parties to reach the final agreement on the future of the city. you hear many talk about outside, inside out. the spoke before about economy first. they spoke before about security first. peacepoke before about with the arabs first. now we are hearing this once again. they are trying to first make peace with the arab countries. i don't like the description,
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with all due respect, that was used earlier of sunni countries. i am a sunni muslim. i never really thought of myself as a sunni muslim until recently when they started talking about shiite-sunni caliphate, i am a muslim. herettempt, i urge people not to further divide among muslims by describing some to be shiite and some to be sunni. it is time that we stop that. [applause] if you look at the arab , 20tries, 22 arab countries of them are sunni. iraq is not divided shiite and sunni. lebanon is a different situation
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of coexistence were christians and muslims share the country. what is the purpose of continuing to describe the arab world as being divided between sunni and shiite? our allies the sunnis. at, and i urge everyone to be careful about these descriptions. we don't want more religious sectarian strife in our region. we have had enough. [applause] -- this is an issue that many, maybe in the administration, think could be done. let's bring the saudi's, the gulf countries and tried to make them since this common danger with the regional power, iran, and hopefully maybe israel can
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manage to convince them to accept to make peace with them first before they make peace with the palestinians. this has been tried many times before. it did not work. even if there are certain circles who want to do that in the region, it is not going to happen. it is going to be difficult to justify two arab peoples and all rf these countries why thei governments are normalizing peace with israel before the palestinian conflict is resolved. instead of doing that, circumventing the error peace initiative, let's push the arab peace initiative that will enable israel to have peace not only with 22 arab countries, but with 57 arab and muslim the conflictd end
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with the palestinians, not normalized relations. this is the best approach to resolve the conflict. [applause] talk much,t want to but i want to touch on the issue of fanaticism. semite. i am a muslim semite. have to all work together to make sure that these anti-semites,s, phobics do not succeed in this country. [applause]
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we -- thank you. we know history. we know history very well. it is not a surprise when a mosque is attacked or torched that the first to come to condemn it are american jews in this country. [applause] see anot a surprise to group of muslim charities raise $100,000 last week to repair damage to jewish cemeteries. [applause] fight that we would like to see our christian brothers in this country also join us. [applause] room forno place, no bigotry.
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islamophobia, and those who are exporting fear should not avail and should not succeed. we want this country to continue to be the example of tolerance between different --igions, different deafness ethnicities. his opposition to the islamic ban should not only be because he supports israel, it should be -- i want to protect israel. thes because it undermines very basic foundations this country was built on. [applause]
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dear guests and friends here, we .ill continue to work with you we will come under attack. you will come under attack. i will come under attack. however, we do have fundamental cnn to thiss to conflict between palestinians and israelis. we talked about your children and my children. i want palestinian children and israeli children to have a better future and a better life. we can only do that if we put an conflictis perpetual ,ased on a two state solution palestine and israel. a viable, sovereign, democratic, contiguous palestinian state
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that can live side by side with israel in peace and security. security for both because we need security. [applause] slogan.not a believe me. it is not a slogan. commitmentery solid on the part of palestinians, hte plo, the palestinian leadership to continue to work with you to promote our joint message and achieve our joint objectives. thank you very much. [applause] [cheers] ♪
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> if you missed any of this, you can find it online at the members will debate several bills. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., february 27, 2017. i hereby appoint the honorable jeff denham to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2017, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 2:00 p.m. today.


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