tv Israeli- Palestinian Conflict Middle East Policy CSPAN January 12, 2018 2:53am-4:20am EST
an reform, when all of us know this is necessary. you could easily get your way out of all these problems. >> then, usa today reporter alan and the trumpess administration's approach to daca recipients. also, an executive director holly harris joins us to talk about risen and performed during the trump administration. reporter for failingn week discusses infrastructure in u.s. schools. be sure to join us for c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern friday morning. next, a look at the israeli-palestinian conflict, and the u.s. role after the trump administration's decision to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem. if florida congressperson is the head of the -- as i head of a
cup -- a subcommittee, and begins the discussion. this is about 1.5 hours. >> good morning. welcome to the heritage foundation. welcome to those who join us on our website on all of these occasions and our in-house tests, would you be so kind to check your mobile devices to see if they are silent or turned off . for those watching online, send questions or comments email email@example.com. following the initial presentation, my colleague will lead our panel discussion.
he is a foreign-policy analyst and has worked for heritage since 1979 and offered papers on foreign policy issues and testified before congress on a wide variety of middle east issues. hosting and introducing our special presenter is luke coffey who is director for center of foreign policy. he served in the united kingdom ministry of defense to then secretary of state of defense. first ever non-u.k. national to be appointed by the prime minister. prior to this, he worked in the house of commons as adviser on defense and security issues for the conservative party and he is a veteran of the united states army, having been stationed in italy and southern europe task force command. please join me in welcoming
luke. [applause] >> thank you and welcome everyone to the heritage foundation this afternoon, did -- to discuss a very important and timely matter about israeli-palestine crisis and the recent announcement about the move of the embassy from tell -- tel aviv to jerusalem. the timing couldn't have worked out better. it's my pleasure to introduce ron desantis, a native floridian who has served in congress since 2013. prior to his election, he served as a j.a.g. officer deploying to iraq in 2007 during the troop surge, adviser to the u.s. navy seal commander in support of the seal mission in iraq and served as a j.a.g. officer at guantanamo bay. and as a former military
policeman, i know how important the j.a.g. officer is. he is currently a lieutenant commander in the reserve component of the u.s. navy. in congress, he has been a leader on issues pertaining to national security and been an outspoken advocate for the state of israel. as the chairman of the national security subcommittee and as a member of the foreign affairs committee, he is deeply engaged in developing policies to combat foreign threats supporting our allies in the middle east. the congressman has been the key player in the discussion surrounding the relocation of the american embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. he also launched the israel victory caucus on the challenges faced by our nations. so it is my pleasure to welcome the congressman and join me in welcoming him. [applause] >> thank you.
it's great to be here. one of the things that i think you learn around here is that there are a lot of things that get repeated and that people will just say, conventional wisdom that has no basis in fact and proven not to be true over and over again and one is the subject of this forum, you will never have peace in the broader middle east until you solve the arab-israeli conflict. and until you do that, you can't do anything else. i never bought into that from the time i got to congress and i think that there are very few members of congress who really think that that view carries water anymore. i think the trump administration is showing that that view is not the view that represents the reality on the ground in the middle east. it's important to think about what this administration had
inherited when they took over. you had a middle east that was in chaos. the islamist regime in iran was flush with money due to the iranian nuclear deal. there were problems in yemen and syria, funding groups like hezbollah and defacto control of baghdad in iraq. you had the emergence and growth of the terrorist group isis that happened after american troops pulled out of iraq in 2012 and of course the deepening conflicts in syria and yemen. and really israel isolated in bash on the world stage in part by u.s. actions such as the obama's administration pursuing u.n. resolution 2234 at the end of the administration, which really, the u.n. -- i don't know what they do other than afack -- attack israel. they did 24 resolutions and 20
of them were against israel. by the u.n.'s very low standard, resolution 2334 was a disgrace and said that even things like the western wall were considered occupied arab territory and that would have been something that i think almost any administration would have vetoed. and so the obama approach was first and foremost empower iran. they believed in reproachment and ben rhodes idea that they are going to turn over a new leaf, that's what they said publicly, and people admit that was nonsense. they believe if you empower iran, that will be better for the united states in the middle east. they also did things like failed >> they also did things like and whoembrace leaders
are very strong in identifying by militantosed challenging even the radical clerics in egypt to reform some of these teachings that incite violence against other countries or other faiths. yet, they prefer groups like the muslim brotherhood in egypt to president al sisi and blame israel for every problem in the region. so that was one approach. i don't think it was a successful approach. i was very much opposed to what the obama administration was doing from the day i got into congress, but i can tell you, i wish i would stand here and tell
you i was wrong about some of , but i think the results have been sub-optimal to say the least. the trump administration has come in and pursued a different approach to the arab-israeli conflict and i think when the president did the press conference with prime minister netanyahu, he basically said look, we want to be for israel. we'll stand for israel. we're good with. much different posture than saying this whole problem of middle east conflict is because someone's building an apartment in parts of jerusalem or in other parts -- so, that was refreshing to hear. now they are trying to broker a peace. i don't know what's going to happen with that. i don't know if that was worth spending capital on. but it was done on a pro-israel prospective. i think that it's a good thing for it if you look at trump's
tweets last week about palestinian incitement in support of terrorism, i don't remember very many people, and some of us in the congress have been willing to use the power of the purse so we are penalizing bad behavior instead of rewarding it. but, trump said we need to stop doing this. why aren't we insisting on better behavior? we send hundreds of millions of dollars, but yet after all this time, they still incite violence and hatred against the state of israel and actually pay families of terrorists who murder israeli jews in public places, after terrorists who commit heinous
acts. you think about, is that something that is causing them to change their behavior if you keep sending the money? so i would think we should condition the funding on better behavior and you reward good behavior and penalize bad behavior. that was not in the prior administration. trump has come out and done that and made those statements. i think that would be very, very fruitful to do. when you talk about the conflict between the arabs and the israelis, the number one issue as why there is a conflict is the palestinians arabs do not recognize israel to be a state. the land and all this other state, they don't view israel as having a right to exist. they want potentially a deal at some point only if it is a stepping stone to israel's ultimate destruction. so for us backing anial eye like israel, we shouldn't be pressuring them to do a deal.
so i think that how the trump administration has gone with this and it was flushed out when the president made his jerusalem announcement is to look at the conflict and trump put this in his tweet, we put jerusalem off the table. i think that makes it more likely that you get a deal because they are not going to be under any illusion. but with the embassy decision that the president made, i thought it was one of the best speeches that i can remember an american president making. it was something that i was invested in from the beginning of the president's term because you had other presidents said we are going to move the embassy. they say american jews support it and american christians support it. they'll talk to evangelicals and we are going to move the. bush and clinton and obama -- i hardly believe he meant it. but i think he said something along those lines. well, trump made that promise. and i think the president is somebody who he does not want to
be somebody who is not following through with his word. it matters to him, his campaign and he is going to deliver. so i thought that history would not repeat itself. i thought he would make the change and willing to lead on the issue. i organized a letter in the beginning of the year where we got over 100 congressman, mr. president-elect pull the trigger, let's do this and shake up the middle east in a positive way and show your leadership. so he got that. i can understand why he didn't do it on day one. there weren't too many people at the state department who supported recognizing jerusalem. i understand that. i took a trip on the national ski chairman for oversight and we do a lot of embassy issues and we went and identified the
potential sites where you could establish an american embassy. >> big question about whether trump was going to sign it in may or recknies jerusalem. in that trip that could insided the 50th anniversary of the liberation of jerusalem that he could do it then. he decided not to do it then. we weren't deterred. a big hearing with great guests like ambassador bolton highlighting why it would be great to recognize jerusalem. and there were a number of components to that. one that is being borne out in the arab world, if you are acting swiftly and with strength that is something that makes a big impression on those leaders. if you are the strong horse, that's something they respect. if you are backing down and be a weak horse, even if you are
except maybe the vice president were telling him, just sign -- we don't want to ruffle any feathers. and being you, going briefed by people on the ground from the state department and other agencies, i did not find a single person within the career single service who said recognizing jerusalem would be anything other than a major disaster that would cause the middle east to erupt in flames. i did not find one person who said it would not be that big of a deal. they all said this would cause all these problems. leadership, because that was the information they were being given. they expected that. and the president said, no, we have to deal with this. what's the plan, let's do it. and his decision to recognize -- and he ended up signing a waiver and recognized jerusalem and ordered the state department to
get this done. i thought it was a debate act of statesmanship and if the plans that are being discussed now end up being implemented we could have a temporary embassy open sometime this year. instead of saying next year in jerusalem, at least for the embassy, this year in jerusalem, which would be nice. that posture of support for israel, i think has been very, very important. and i think he had the freedom to do that because the administration took a different posture toward the islamic republic of iran. trump said it was one of the worst deals ever negotiated, that it was a disaster. same things happened with the embassy. you have to recertify. he did it and did it again. why am i recertifying this? and finally, he told them, so that decision to where he wasn't going to certify under domestic law showed that this is a president that understands the threats posed by iran and iran
nuclear deal. that is music to the ears of the gulf states places like saudi arabia, the united emirates, they fear iran's influence and do they want our embassy moved to jerusalem? no. but are they going to cry a river over that when they need to work with us and israel to combat iranian influence? of course not. their interests were to align with the united states and israel to combat the iranian threat. and there is a lot of discussion what to do with the nuclear deal. my view is that it was a bad deal and can't going on because it leads to an iranian bomb,
either they cheat and get a bomb because we don't have access to their sites or abide by the deal and get the bomb in the neck decade. you have to do something different. other targeted sanctions and other provisions that have a different policy. and i still believe that. but i can tell you this, what is going on in iran right now is potentially historic. and if i could pick one thing to have happened, you know in the world, i don't know if i could find too many things that would be better for peace in our time than having those protestors overthrow this regime, which is an illegitimate regime which has suffocated the persian culture for decades and spends money on promoting terrorists.
the president has come out in support, much different than the previous administration because the obama administration effectively sided with the regime in 2009 because they wanted this deal. i think -- whatever tools that are disposal that can be effective and do it smartly and strategicically. but i don't think we can miss this opportunity to stand behind those protestors against one of the truly evil regimes in the world. just imagine if that regime were to collapse. north korea will still be an issue. but the most likely purchaser of their nuclear arsenal is iran. so threat would go.
hezbollah's money starts to dry up. and baghdad could turn. yemen will cool down. syria may be able to be dealt with in a positive way. israel would lose a threat to its existence. the dividends from that would be absolutely phenomenal. so i hope the administration gets more engaged in this. you don't want to do things that are going to undercut those protestors. the decision on the nuclear deal now, i'm against the nuclear deal entirely, but i would make that decision with an eye how it's going to effect the factors on the ground. but this is an important, important moment and we all need to stand by them. i just think where we are now, it is this outside-in approach and i think it is much more effective. there is a lot that need to be done but can't look at the world right now after one year of trump's administration in the middle east and say that we are worst off than we were when he took office. i didn't mention caliphate and isis crumbling. but that is a major deal. it has been an exciting year in
temperatures of international affairs and i think the president has gotten his sea legs after making these tough decisions and we could do a lot more. it's an honor to be here and going to take some questions? >> thank you for that great overview of the current situation in the middle east, especially your depth of knowledge of not only the israeli issues but issues facing the region. we do have time for a couple of questions. please identify your name and affiliation and keep your question short. gentleman in the front and i go to the gentleman behind the gentleman. you first. >> i'm from the heritage foundation. just a question regarding north korea, can you comment on that? what's your take? it is really serious now. ron: i give the president for engaging in the issue.
the prior administration just neglected it. it's not going to go away. the fundamental issue is kim jong un his arsenal is his ticket for survival. i don't think it has been sufficient to convince him that his current course is actually more dangerous for survival. but we're not at that point yet. and i think it's a dangerous situation. the talks are fine. but we are not snipping on negotiations on the nuclear program. >> the gentleman here. >> very disgraceful and sad that you said as an elected official. they offered 76 and one was related. you can double-check your facts. ron: i don't think it's much up for dispute. >> how do you see the negotiations happening between palestine and israel? do you see with the u.s. as a
third party, we as a broker between u.s. and palestine or multi lateral form? ron: we shouldn't be a broker because our interests align with the state of israel and i think we have more affinity with israel with both our interests and our values and doesn't mean and our values and doesn't mean you can't work constructively but we shouldn't take the posture of brow beating israel to be offering these concessions when the palestinians will not recognize israel as a jewish state. that would be a pre-condition for negotiations.
>> you have had your say. so that's enough. he mentioned my background. i'm a military veteran and sworn an oath to the constitution and i represent my constituents and america's interest. it's in america's interest to have a good relationship with countries that share our interests from a security perspective and that share our values. and israel does both of those. there are other countries this the region that share our interests and may not share our values and if you listen to what i said, i said you should be working with people like sisi and saudi arabia to fight
iranian influence. if we share neither interests nor values, it's very difficult to have any type of relationship with those countries. it's all from the perspective of the united states and i think your question was somewhat ridiculous. >> we have one final from the lady. >> i want to thank you immensely, immensely, thank you and thank president trump who i once doubted. there are millions of us who are thrilled at what he's doing and what you're doing. two questions. >> one question. >> how is the state department taking this? and what do you do about a state department that has clearly been on the wrong side of history for a very long time? >> it's a good question in the sense that you have the permanent bureaucracy and then you have administration policy and political appointees and permanent bureaucracy. they offer resistance from time
to time and you probably had close to as unanimous as possible an opposition. i'm not saying every single one. >> if there's not, there are people in the congress that can conduct the oversight and make sure that the policy is being followed. the state department works for the american people, not the other way around. when we have an election and have policies implemented, it's the job of the department to implement those policies and shouldn't matter your personal views. in kabul on election night, 2016, the state department at the embassy, they had a trump pinata to break open and that's their views and that's fine, but you have to follow the policies
that are handed down. if you are doing that, then it will be good. but i think they have at least have to have perspective about the lack of follow-up they had predicted. the fact of the matter is all of the predictions i was told, not one of them has come true from people who have been studying the region for a long time, who work in the region and work in the u.s. government for a long time and whether it's group tanks -- and it's not just the state department but other agencies. >> great, i'm afraid that's it in terms of time. i thank the congressman on behalf of the heritage tounges -- foundation. please join me in thanking the congressman. congressman. [applause] >> we'll proceed with the rest
of our panel at this point. let me introduce the panel, the trump administration, like many administrations before it has committed itself to fostering peace treaty between israel and the palestinians. this goal has become the holy grail of the american presidency, as president trump has called it the ultimate deal. yet there has been little progress on peace negotiations since the possess negotiations broke down in the 1990's. is peace possible? and if so, what should be the role of the united states in creating the conditions for such a peace? we are fortunate to have with us today two of the more distinguished conservative experts on the middle east and i'll introduce them. our first speaker iselle yot abrams, a senior fellow of middle eastern studies at the council of foreign relations.
he has carved out public service deputy assistant to the president and was in the administration of george bush where he supervised u.s.middle east policy and national security council. he was an assistant secretary of state in the reagan administration and received the secretary of state's distinguished service award from secretary of state george schultz. in 2012, the washington institute for near east policy gave him the scholar statesman award, educated at harvard and before joining the bush administration, he was the president of a think tank here in washington, the ethics and public policy center and was a member of the u.s. commission on international freedom rising to become chairman of the
commission in 2001 and later served a second term as a member of that body. from 2009 to 2016 he was a member of the u.s. holocaust council which directs activities of the museum and he is a member of the board of national endowment for democracy. he teaches u.s. foreign policy at georgetown's university and author of five books including "realism and democracy, american foreign policy after the arab spring and he spoke about this at heritage last fall. gives me great pleasure to welcome elliott back here again. [applause] >> pleasure to be here at heritage and be with daniel price.
we went to college together. so i think you asked the right question is peace possible? i say that because frequently the way the question is asked how do we get to the two-state solution. the right question is how do we get to peace? the two-state question is derivative. if it helps peace, it's a good thing. if not, it needs to be rethought. u.s. as we are saying has been
engaged in the peace process for decades. we invented the term middle east peace process. and it's probably -- a lot of writing about this -- partly the american legalization of policy. lawyers that i meet involved in policy, lawyers like process, so you have the peace process. and keeping the process alive has actually become over the years more important than whether the process actually achieves anything. we have had carter and camp david and oslo and the current process since 1991. we had bill clinton at camp david in 2000. we had annapolis in 2008. -- 2007 and the negotiations that followed. so the process has been going on for decades. but it hasn't produced peace. and i would have to say in my view, it is unlikely to do so.
because in a way, the goal hasn't been peace. we fixed upon a goal early on, even if it wasn't announced of an absolutely sovereign state and that's what we have been pushing for rather than saying what's up, what is happening, what is the condition? also the case it's very difficult to get to this achievement if the palestinians keep saying no. and actually they have been saying no for before 80 years, starting from the pre--world war ii discussions when the palestine mandate was in the hands of the british. and proposals that arafat said no and a more liberal proposal in 2008 just before he left the prime ministership where president abbas said no. i think the window for this was
open widest from roughly 2000 to 2008. but i think it is closing. why is it closing? for one thing, the palestinian refusal to admit the reality that -- they have been defeated. but with the support of many in the arab world and muslim world and some in europe, they refuse to acknowledge this. if you refuse to acknowledge reality of their defeat militarily by israel, then you are going to have attitudes and
approaches in the negotiations that are unreal. so that's one reason. the refusal to acknowledge reality. the outside support particularly from the arab world. third reason is terrible leadership. sometimes you get lucky. and you have mandela. and sometimes you don't get lucky and you have arafat. the level of leadership has not been what anyone would have hoped for. would a palestinian state be viable? that's a question we should ask if our policy is going to be support to support palestinian statehood. think about this experiment. let's assume you create a palestinian state and counter
factually there is no security problem. there is no security problem. no terrorism. it has been removed from the face of the earth. the palestinian state that you have thus created has no port. it has no productive economy. so i would think that the logic would be that that entity is going to be tied to, you might even say fall upon, one of its neighbors, israel or jordan for survival. and the logic of it, i think is the logic that existed decades ago, it makes more sense for it to be related to or in the form of a relationship with an arab-muslim-sunni state than a jewish state. the logic it seems to me is the major city you turn to is amman. to peoplet you turn say it's unrealistic,
unrealistic today. i don't think it's so easy to say it is unrealistic 10 years from now. the jordanian population itself is changing. there is a population of four million. quarter of a million iraqis who did not go back to iraq and that is realistic. over a million syrian-sunni refugees, are they going to go home or another big change in the population of jordan. the middle east is changing in many, many ways. it seems to me that the notion that the only possible outcome is a truly sovereign independent palestinian state needs to be thought about again. it shouldn't be so shocking actually.
that would be a change in the american view point. there have been other changes in the american view point. i worked for george schultz in the reagan administration. the policy of the united states was to oppose the creation of a palestinian state, clear stated policy. and then we changed. so the notion we could say, we changed since the world changed. the world keeps on changing so we want to have another look. we could change again. in the short run, it seems to me , next five or 10 years, i wouldn't predict much of a change. we all know the line. the israeli occupation is unsustainable. 50 years is a long time for something unsustainable to be sustained. it strikes me if we do this back in five years, will you invite us, please. things will not have changed all that much.
things can get better. the palestinian economy can get better. governance in particularly the west bank can get better. the attitude of the united states and more broadly donors can improve and help improve palestinian politics. we see this in the taylor force act, which is a statement to the palestinians that the world is tired and no longer permit paying money to people who have committed terrible crimes of terrorism for those crimes. you see moves on the hill which suggest that the united states congress is getting tired of a situation that perpetrates the palestinian, quote, refugee
crisis, closed quote, rather than doing what we do, which is to try and solve a refugee problem. and finally, the more general incitement and textbook problem which needs to be addressed because over time, one does want to create a much greater chance that israelis and palestinians, whatever their political relationship, can live together peacefully. during the bush administration, , the was a famous phrase soft bigotry of low expectations. palestinians have suffered, i think, from the soft and sometimes not so soft bigotry of low expectations. we should have higher expectations and we will get, i think -- and they will, and that's the important part, they will get a much better outcome. thank you. >> thank you, eliott.
our next speaker is dr. daniel pipes. he is the president of the middle east forum, which he founded in 1994, to promote american interests in the never-ending debates over middle east policy. he's one of the world's foremost analysts on the middle east and muslim history. and he's been far ahead of the curve in diagnosing policy problems, particularly in identifying the threat of radical islam, long before 9/11. "the washington post" has called him perhaps the most prominent u.s. scholar on radical islam. the "boston globe" concluded that if pipes' admonitions had been heeded, there might never have been a 9/11. and those are strong words. he's a graduate of harvard university, seems to be something very common here. with both a b.a. and ph.d. in history. and he's been recognized as one of harvard's 100 most influential living graduates. he's taught at harvard, princeton, chicago, the u.s.
naval war college, and pepper -- pepperdine university. he's worked at the state and defense departments, held two presidential appointed positions, testified before congress and worked for five presidential campaigns. daniel's a prize-winning columnist, formerly for the new york times syndicate and now writing independently. he's also written 12 books and his writings have been translated into 35 languages. his website, danielpipes.org, is among the most accessed sources of specialized information on the middle east and muslim history. he has a stellar record of anticipating middle east crises. for example, in 1993, within days of the signing of the oslo peace accord, he wrote, arafat has merely adopted a flexible approach to fit circumstances, saying, whatever needed to be said to survive. the p.l.o. has not had a change of heart.
merely a change of policy. enabling it to stay in business until israel falters and when it can deal a death blow. in 1995 he wrote about radical unnoticed by most westerners. war has been unilaterally declared on europe and the united states. al qaeda invited him by name in a september 2006 video to repent and enter into the light of islam. [laughter] >> he declined. [laughter] >> saying, and he said, i am faithful to my own religion, to my own country, and to my civilization. i thank you for being such a faithful exemplar of all those. ladies and gentlemen, gives me great pleasure to turn the floor over to daniel pipes. [applause] mr. pipes: thank you so much, jim. good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen. what he didn't mention is i worked here for a summer in 1984. and what eliott didn't mention is that last time we did an event together was 1971. in reply to the question before us, president trump's ultimate deal is israel-palestinian peace possible, my answer is yes. but i would like to propose a completely different approach. i do not think that the existing approach, which goes back 30 years, of peace processing, about which you've heard quite a bit now, is going to work. it can be improved, perhaps. which i think the trump administration is doing. it's improved version. but it ultimately will crumble because it depends on palestinian acceptance of israel, which has not come about. and is not coming about. and therefore that is the topic that needs to be addressed. that cannot be addressed in diplomacy. that needs to be addressed in a very different way. so i'd like to take a step back
before proposing an approach. i'll start by giving you three dates. actually six dates. the first three are 1865, 1945, and 1975. the end of the civil war, world war ii, and the vietnam war. all of those were conclusively ended wars. it ended. there was nothing more. the south never rose again. the germans didn't rise again. and we didn't try and go back to vietnam. let me give you three other dates. 1917, 1953, and 1967. i'm sorry, 1918. the end of the first world war, the end of the korean war, and the end of the six-day war. those were inconclusive. any day the korean war could restart. any day there could be hostilities between arabs and israel. the difference between these two sets of dates is the sense of defeat.
in the former, there was a sense of defeat. it was over. in the latter, there wasn't. simply to lose a round of a war is not to have a sense of defeat. giving up on one's war goals means being defeated. that's what we americans experienced in 1975. victory, i would define as imposing one's will on the enemy. the enemy gives up. you've prevailed. when you take this and apply it to the palestinian-israeli conflict, what one sees is that for 45 years, from 1948 to 1973, the israelis were seeking victory. after that, since 1993, since the signing of the oslo accords on the white house lawn, they have not been seeking victory. they have been trying various different fancy approaches, appeasement, unilateral withdrawal, putting out brush fires, but they haven't been
seeking victory. the peace process has been dominated, has been dominant in those years. the emphasis on diplomacy, unassuming that what arafat said on the white house lawn in september, 1993, was valid. that the palestinians now accepted israel. the war was over. but it wasn't. and it isn't. it continues. so what is needed is an approach that confronts this irreducible problem of palestinian rejectionism. palestinian rejectionism goes back a century. it means saying no to zionism, to jews, to israel. no, no, no. no political contacts, no economic relations, no personal relations. no. it's fractured. it's no longer as strong as it was a century ago, but it's still there. palestinian rejectionism is the core of the problem and it is what needs to be confronted.
and as eliott pointed out, there's this delusion, due to bad leadership, due to international support, i would add, islamic doctrine, israeli security services, mentality, there is this delusion that exists among the palestinians that they can defeat israel, that they can cause the jewish state of israel to disappear. that needs to be confronted. that is what we as a great power, looking at this conflict, need to deal with. so, what i'm suggesting is that the u.s. government should adopt a policy which encourages the israelis to win. to win. as in 1865, 1945, 1975. to end the conflict. by winning. by causing the palestinians to understand that the gig is up and they lost. it's over. done with. when they're really upset they write a very strongly worded letter to the editor saying we're unhappy. ok. but enough with the u.n. resolutions, however many there are.
and there are very many against israel. enough with building up militaries. enough, over, it's done. i'm hoping that some president, this one or a future one, will say to his staff, yeah, diplomacy isn't working. we've been at this for decades. it's not going anywhere. is there some other alternative? and yes, there will be another alternative. which is what we call israel victory. and as you heard in representative desantis' bio, he is co-chairman of the house israel victory caucus. there are now 32 members. there are 26 members of the knesset israel victory caucus. we began it a year ago. the director of the middle east kimball, who is the head of our israel victory effort in washington. we're building the political base for it and we're building the intellectual base by giving talks like this.
having studies, commissioning studies. bringing this up as an alternative to the existing paradigm. let me emphasize that it is an approach. it is not a number of policies. we're not saying two state or not two state. i have my own opinions. but that's not the point. the point is that israel needs to convince the palestinians that it's over. the conflict has been resolved by the fact that israel is a flourishing, powerful state. the palestinians have a very oppressive and weak policy that isn't working. it's a long-term effort. the goal is not to change policy in the next few months. but it is with time to put something else on the table that fits the historical pattern. you don't end wars through negotiating. think of vietnam.
it didn't end through negotiations. it ended by the north vietnamese army coming in and taking over. that's how wars end. wars end when one side gives up. and we have close relations with israel, as representative desantis said, we share interests and a moral base with it. we want to win. we should help it win. and the ironic thing is that once the palestinians give up, then they can go on to build something good. when they give up this foul goal of eliminating the jewish state, then they can build their own economy, society and culture. and so in the long run, the palestinians will actually gain even more than the israelis. yes, the israelis will not be murdered on the way to the pizzeria and will not face this barrage of hostilities. but they lived a good life. the israelis do.
the palestinians don't. they live under oppression. backwardness. they will be able to build once they give up this rejectionism. once they move on to something that's more constructive. so, i hope you will join us in advocating for this approach. with members of congress, intellectually. i think it offers a new paradigm that pulls us out of the mire of this endless processing that goes nowhere. and in fact is even counterproductive. i would argue to you that palestinian-israeli relations are worse today than they were 25 years ago when the oslo accords were signed. so we need something new. we need new thinking. i offer this to you as new thinking. and as a way for the ultimate deal to be achieved. thanks. >> thank you. [applause] i will open up to the floor after i ask one question. the thing that troubles me is
that in a lot of the analyses of peace prospects, there's an assumption or a presumption that the palestinian authority is the be all and end all. i think many analyses don't take into account what i consider to be the malign hammer lock that hamas has on exactly what kind of negotiations are going to produce. and i would say even if you could assume that tomorrow the palestinian authority and israel negotiated a perfect peace deal that satisfied all their various prerequisites, whatever they may be, that the next day, hamas could explode it with another round of rocket terrorism. and to me it seems like peace really is impossible until the palestinians themselves come under a more unified government. and i wonder if what either one
of you or both of you think of this triangular -- and then now we have the islamic state moving in, to challenge hamas and gaza. i mean, how can there be peace given all these cascading radical movements? >> analysis over the past century, 80% of palestinians have been rejectionist and 20% have accepted israel. and the goal must be to expand the 20%. it is not nothing. don't start at zero. start at 20%. and that 20% has been very important over the century. my goal is to encourage, increasing number of palestinians to recognize that the conflict is over. i'm more focus on leaders. i'm less focused on hamas and the p.a.
i think you want a change of heart. you want to get people to recognize that it's no longer worth their while to engage in, say, suicide attacks, because it's futile. so long as you think that you are part of a movement that's going to lead to the elimination of the jewish state, well, it's worth doing it. but if you see this futile, you're not going to do it. i'm looking much more at the populous than at the leadership. >> with leadership, i think what you're saying points to a real problem, which is, somebody has to do that negotiation. whether it's tomorrow or 10 years from tomorrow. and the palestinian leadership today has a declining legitimacy. this is partly because they won't hold elections. because of hamas. president abbas was elected in 2005. the parliament was elected in 2006. and those were the last elections.
and fattah, the fattah party is not confident that it will win elections. but that creates a situation where you have a palestinian leadership, whose democratic legitimacy has been severely undermined. and which is looking over its shoulder at hamas, knowing that, let us suppose it signed a compromise, we know exactly what hamas would say. yasser arafat wouldn't sign, you signed, you're a traitor. that's not obviously going to be a very practical proposition for anybody in the palestinian leadership today. so that makes the possibility that this leadership will sign such a deal much lower. i would add to that that the palestinian people have not been prepared for the compromises that any, any agreement would require, so that you get arafat
backing away in 2000 and you get abbas backing away in 2008. i think because they genuinely wonder whether, i don't know whether those numbers are right today, but they worry that in fact the majority of palestinians would reject those compromises, which would, of course, be rejected by hamas and the islamic jihad and other groups. >> ok. let's go at this point to the floor. we'll ask this gentleman here and then this woman. >> is there any palestinian in any leadership position who has basically said, ok, we've lost, now what happens to us? and if one does, what is israel's reply? >> yes, there are. bas amid comes to mind. there are plenty of others. but they are part of the 20% that has no power.
>> what does israel say? what happens to the palestinians? >> i'm encouraging the u.s. government to encourage the israeli government to take those steps within legal, political, and moral bounds, which will encourage the palestinians to change their behavior. let me give you one example. two days ago, an israeli rabbi, father of six, was murdered in cold blood. obviously, the israeli government is going to try and find the murderer. but one of the israeli leaders, naftali bennett, suggested that's not enough, that because this rabbi lived in what is called an illegal outpost on the west bank, now you murdered someone, here's what we do in response. that's the kind of thing we'd be pointing to. it would send a signal rather rapidly that murdering fathers of six is not really a helpful
step for the palestinians. in fact, it is counterproductive. >> hello. i work at the heritage foundation. thank you so much. although we're dealing with the question of whether peace is achievable, what should the u.s.' next step be? i wonder if there's a way, maybe this sounds cynical, if there's a way for the u.s. to somewhat force both parties to finally sit and take these peace talks and process seriously versus nitpicking on small details whether of importance or not on borders and so forth, would be for the u.s. to take a stronger move in either reducing or cutting the aid that it sends financially to the palestinian authority, which is supposed to be going to helping fund infrastructure, fund schooling and education, and yet has proven time and time again to actually help the palestinian authority pay off terrorists and so forth. so is that a good next step that would actually force both parties to come and seriously take the peace talks, well,
seriously? >> i sort of agree with you or the implications about 50%. that is, i think it is not sensible for us to force the parties to come to the table if they don't want to negotiate, because it won't succeed. one price is it's always bad for the president of the united states to fail at anything. anything. it's bad for him. it's bad for the country. and if you have endless negotiations that don't go anywhere, it creates a kind of cynicism on the part of israelis and palestinians about the whole question of peace. so i would not say, well, if you don't go to the table right now, we will cut this part of aid, that part of aid, but i would look at the aid program and the way that congress is doing it. i mentioned taylor force and question of honor again. i think we should start
rethinking not with the goal of saying, you know, our purpose here is to cut the aid really low, but rather to say is the way we are giving aid actually helping the possibilities of long-term peace or not? >> and i'm against the negotiations, so i complete, 100% disagree with you. that's easy. >> ok. yes, this man in the back here. yes, sir. >> my name is david edmond on the board of the middle east forum. i wonder if the speakers could forecast what they expect palestinian leadership and palestinian governance to look like one year from now and let's say ten years from now. this violates the famous line of yogi berra -- never make predictions, especially about the future. [laughter] >> one year from now it doesn't
-- i mean, because of president abbas' age, palestinians are thinking about succession issues. so that's a question one would have to assume he would not ten years from now be the palestinian president and the head of the p.a., plo, and the fatah party. one year from now, you know, the assumption would be it will look pretty much the same. i think palestinians are trying to figure out now how changed is washington? there is a story in "the jerusalem post" today saying that palestinians, that the plo, which is officially the part that negotiates with israel, in charge of foreign affairs, the plo is thinking of saying we're not going to work with the americans anymore, the americans -- there has to be an international effort at negotiation, and we're going -- the israelis and the americans have killed oslo, so -- it's reasonable for them to say those kinds of things.
the truth is no other country could substitute for the united states in trying to convene negotiations, whether it's a good idea or bad idea. the french can't do it. the british can't do it. the russians can't do it. it's not sensible. so i think you'll hear a lot more of that rhetoric, and, you know, the palestinian ambassador from washington was recalled, but i gather he's been sent back or is being sent back. so there will be a lot more friction, but i would suspect a year from now, things would look very much the same. >> i find it amusing and very happy that the palestinians have decided to boycott the united states. made my day. [laughter] >> as for what things look like in the future, should the existing paradigm be continued with the peace processing, which i call war processing, looked
-- it will look the same. may not be abbas, but it would be in that same tradition of rejectionism. harder rejectionism or softer rejectionism but rejectionism , and we'll still have the same conditions we have today. only if there's a complete shift will there be a prospect of something better. but at this point, that's only something we hope for. there are no signs of it. >> this woman right here and then demand -- the man behind her. >> i'm donnie jackson with the national black public council, almost a member of the heritage foundation as well. can you hear me? oh, good. i want to thank the entire panel for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today. we appreciate it very much. i also want to ask a question to dr. pipes. you mentioned that israel would never be accepted due to the palestinian rejectionism. and of course it's hard and
soft. you just mentioned that. you said go back 100 years, bringing us around the 1900s. now we're in 2017. and my question to you is, with the bloom or the boom of social media, how does that affect the palestinian rejectionism? is it more harder or more softer? >> what's the impact of social media? i would say it has led to it becoming harder. people tend to talk to their own. you are in discussion with people who share your views and whatever it might be. and therefore you tend to get more excited and stronger in your feelings. so i think, as you can see in this country, left and right have become harder, more hostile to each other. i think you'll find the same elsewhere. let me point out, though, that
we're talking about palestinians. we're not talking about arabs. we're not talking about muslims. one of the striking things that happened that representative tis noted, andsan what's most especially striking is the arab states, of which there are 22, the arab states were quiet. i mean, they made modest condemnation and the saudis called it irresponsible, but they didn't want to deal with it, and there was an extraordinary "new york times" piece a week ago which had the tapes of an egyptian policeman calling up talk show hosts and saying, leave jerusalem alone. remarkable. a policeman calling up a talk show host, saying stay off this subject. it's not an egyptian national interest for you to talk about this. we only have that one concrete incident but clearly across the , board this is what we're talking about. this is not arab israeli. this is palestinian israeli. it's very different. while there are so more arabs
than israelis and so many more tanks and everything, they have very little economy. this looms large over them. winning a war is rather simple. not talking about winning over morocco or malaysia. talking about winning over the palestinians alone. also striking in contrast to the arab states being quiescent is that the hotbeds of hostility were in iran and turkey and in europe. >> this man right here. >> i'm frank alshore with the center for a free cuba. my question is how did the policy of president obama toward iran impact on the israeli/palestinian situation, and how is the current policy of president trump impacting on the same?
>> i think the main impact of the obama iran policy was, oddly enough, to produce a kind of rapprochement between israel and many of the sunni states, because they have a common enemy. not obama, iran. that common fear of iran, of its support for terrorism, of its support for war, has led to what appear to be improved relations. i'm not even talking -- i mean, one assumes there are lots of secret meetings, but you can see in the tone of comments. dan just mentioned the reaction to jerusalem. it's striking to me now when there is a terrorist attack in israel, the official saudi reaction on it is always we condemn this attack, we condemn all terrorism, this is
unforgivable, period. that didn't happen ten years ago. so i think it's -- that is an oddly beneficial impact. i don't think there was much of a long-term impact on the israeli/palestinian situation. and if you think of it, there were eight years of no negotiations despite considerable efforts by the president and especially by secretary of state kerry in the obama second term. tremendous amount of time put in on this, but nothing happened. so i would say i think it just kept the process going weakly for another eight years but had no significant impact on it. >> as a historian, i savor the ironies of history, and one of them is that the huge amount of money that we pay to the iranian government created a rise in expectations that led to the outbreak of revolts in the last few weeks.
looks like they've been suppressed, but it was a factor that in the long term i think harms the iranian regime more than helps them. another irony is that u.s./israel relations, i tend to like it when u.s./israel relations are not so good, because when they're really good, as, for example, during the bush years -- elliott, don't listen to this -- the bush, george w. bush years, the bush administration would make demands of israel such as to be technical, leaving the corridor, which were dumb demands that the israelis because of the flourishing regulations just felt they had to do. but when there were tensions, as there were during the obama years, the obama administration makes these demands and the israelis happily ignore them. i like poor
relations. >> that's a two-hour question and answer. but i would take exception on the detail of philadelphi, where i would argue that ariel sharon as a general came to the conclusion that if he was going to get out of gaza, defending what is actually a line, was simply militarily nuts. so i don't think it was actually something he did because of american pressure. i think it's something he did for military reasons, but you raise it, so ok. >> this man right here. >> thank you very much for coming. i'm max lonegan. yesterday president trump had a press conference with the norwegian president and he got a question regarding a comment a
general made. he said that war is coming and specifically, you know, with his strategic -- where he is in norway, you would think it's with russia. but where do you see russia especially making strategic movements in the middle east in the next few years? >> you want to start? >> well, i think putin to a surprising degree has been able to reinsert russia as a great power in the middle east, and i think part of that was the obama administration's policy in syria, its failure to push back, and behind that i think also was its focus on striking a nuclear deal with iran and everything else came second. so i think russia is back, and i don't think it's back to the
extent that it was, say, before 1973. i don't think it has much of a role to play in peace negotiations, but as a security force i think it's back definitely in syria and it has a growing alliance with iran. majoree two vulnerabilities. one is the fact that moscow has aligned with tehran and has created hostility in so many other places. and secondly, russia is a declining power. it's demographically and economically going down. so, you know, good luck. hay while the sun is out. china is going to be the problem of the future, much, much more serious. >> ok. this man right here. >> maybe dr. pipes addressed
this in passing with neftali bennett's recommendation, but talking about the population, how do you expand that 20%? and in the foreseeable future -- i'm sorry. my name is louis morano. i forgot to identify myself. in the foreseeable future, especially in terms of considering abu mazen's advanced age, would you anticipate any palestinian leader, nonrejectionist, being able to survive physically, as well as politically? >> my focus is for reasons you're implying not on leaders but on the populace, reducing that 80% rejectionist element to something less than 50% so that eventually a nonrejectionist leader could survive. but no. it's a long-term project. it will take time.
it will take one palestinian after another coming to the conclusion that hoping to eliminate israel is a forlorn dream. it's just not going to happen. >> let me ask a question. where do you get the 80/20? i haven't seen that. >> i have it from a lot of statistics. i have a web log entry on this , going back to the 1920s, various surveys that have shown this. i'd be happy to send it to you. i think if you looked up 20% palestinians, my website, you'll see about ten different surveys and historical researches that point to this general number. >> there was what i would call a positive effort under salam fayad as prime minister, that
is, an effort to build -- i'm not quoting but as he put it more or less, we need to build palestine despite the occupation. forget the occupation. that's israel's business. our business is to build institution by institution, create a government, create an economy. it is a sort of zionist concept, that is the zionist movement had no way of knowing would there be a jewish state in 1918 after the war or in the 1930's or in 1945 or in 1960. all they knew is build, build, build, you have to be ready if and when the day comes, which is i think essentially what fayyad was saying. now, his party only won two seats in the palestinian legislature and he was ultimately forced out, forced out by the fatah party, of which he was never a member.
there is impressionistic evidence -- i will have to look at the data -- impressionistic evidence i have heard from a number of palestinians that younger palestinians are more concerned with building a future than they are with some of the old formulae, like our future can only come when israel is destroyed or even perhaps like our future can only come when there is an independent sovereign palestinian state. they're more concerned with how do i get an education, how do i get a job, how do i raise my children? which is precisely what in a sense we would want. we would want people to be thinking less about politics and less about israel and more about their own society. but i think -- i mean, that's the right question. i'd say one thing is for sure. that percentage, if it is 20%,
cannot expand if a lot of money is being given to the people whose life's work it is to make sure it can't expand. for example, by paying you a large amount of money if you try to kill israelis. that should be obvious. and it can't expand if we continue the model in which what we're telling you is no, no, no, despite the fact that you were born in, let us say jordan or lebanon ten years ago, you're still a palestinian refugee with "he thought of "going back. so we are, by directing money in, american money, american taxpayers' money, to chose institutions, practices, expenditures, hurting very much the cause of expanding the 20% to 80%. >> the title of the blog is how
many arabs and muslims accept israel. i began it in 2003 and have been following it 15 years now. >> i think we have time for one more question. this man in the back here. >> thank you very much. i was outside briefly and somebody here asked me whether i thought of what you're doing. i said most of what they're saying not of interest to me, i know about that, et cetera, et cetera. i said elliott abrams made a statement which would be the future, not matching with israel but they will have to match with jordan, because smaller states like we know in africa, are not viable, and very soon the palestinians will understand that. >> ok. maybe at this point, if i could
just ask the two of you to sum up your comments. if you had to advise president trump how to proceed on this issue, what would you say just, you know, the top two or three things? >> well, the president clearly from everything we can see now , is still focused on trying to get a comprehensive agreement, what's called a final status agreement, something that eluded every president since clinton. i think that's very unlikely. and i think it would be more useful to focus on more pragmatic ways of improving the lives of palestinians, the palestinian politics, and the medium and long-run chances that israelis and palestinians and jordanians and egyptians,
because gaza is out there, too, will be able at some point to live together in peace or to live apart in peace, which may be more realistic. >> the middle east is aflame. there are civil wars in libya and yemen and syria and arguably in lebanon and iraq and afghanistan, in turkey, there is a near civil war, sinai has something close to a civil war, anarchy, problems all over. it is remarkable that we're still talking about a problem that is 70 or 100 years old when there's so much going on, when -- i mean, think of the syrian refugees. half of the syrian population, 22 million, has been displaced internally or become refugees outside the country. huge numbers. far beyond the numbers of palestinians, which have 600,000 back in 1949. and this is not 1949.
this is 2018. so given this fact, given the iranian rampage of aggression, given the fact that turkey has become close to a rogue state, given the dramatic developments taking place in saudi arabia where i think mohamed bin salman is undertaking a transformation, wishes to undertake a transformation as deep as the ottoturk period in turkey, given all that's going on, i would say let's outsource the palestinian issue to the israelis, let them take care of it, and let's focus on the much bigger, more dramatic, and more dangerous developments taking place in the region. >> and with that, i'd like to invite the audience to join me in thanking our speakers for a very illuminating presentation. thank you.
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