tv [untitled] January 11, 2012 5:31pm-6:01pm EST
lead. more news today violence is once again flared up the film these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada the food chain operation the day. the food. if you. want to. blow in welcome to cross talk here about the republican party presidential contenders are falling over themselves in their support of israel is this a reflection of gross ignorance of history in the israeli palestinian conflict or is it gross pandering to the israeli lobby in the us is this the kind of support of
israel in america's national interest and in the end is it in the national interest of israel and its future. to cross-talk the g.o.p.'s backing of israel i'm joined by small rosner in tel aviv he's a senior political editor of the jewish journal and a fellow at the jewish people policy institute and in washington we cross to sarah wildman she's a journalist and a foreign policy correspondent for politics daily dot com all right folks this is crosstalk that means you can jump in anytime you want but first let's listen to what some republican contenders for the presidency have said about israel. for decades station of israel has ranked high on the u.s. foreign policy agenda and has continuously come into play during the campaigning of presidential candidates this year the matter has received no less attention from the republican candidates with an overwhelming majority of them proffering endless support for israel i will travel to israel on my first foreign trip. i will
reaffirm as a vital national interest israel's existence as a jewish state. candidate romney is scarcely alone in his sentiments congresswoman michele bachmann and former presidential candidate professed her commitment to stand with israel and right the wrongs of president barack obama's policy less the us by god meanwhile senator rick santorum has denied the palestinians in title meant to a land deemed occupied under international law saying that those who live in the west bank are israelis and not palestinians finally former speaker of the house newt gingrich has gone so far as to deny the existence of a palestinian identity calling them in and then to people i'm sure. this is unfortunate. but.
indeed the pro israel anti palestinian rhetoric can be seen as a way to lure away jewish voters from obama and target even jellicoe christians who are fervent supporters of israel if so it seems that everyone in this g.o.p. race safe perhaps for representative ron paul has resorted to the method of slamming iran on the one hand and praising israel on the other and time will show if this will suffice to sway electoral considerations. for cross-talk are to. go to small first in tel aviv reading your article that you wrote and israeli in iowa and you pointed out in the. what you saw. the different campaigns that were played out in that primary is that one country that got mentioned every single time is israel but almost maybe china every once in awhile russia never. brazil maybe but israel is always mentioned here why is it
such an important role you think in american politics domestic politics. it is true that israel is mentioned much more than other countries in the word is somewhat puzzling to discover that israel at least in the eyes of the american voter becomes more important than even countries as important as china or india or russia or any other country in the world i think it is mainly because israel had come to symbolize to the american voters some basic. concepts of good good and evil all of the things that america would like to stand for and the things america would not like to stand for and israel is a fairly simple example with which the candidates can demonstrate their support for the good and their opposition for the in this case it is obviously you know you
can ask your question do these events of the fair value marry is that a fair bit of binary argument there i mean i mean when you look at the presidential candidates the g.o.p. side there is really gross ignorance of the power stein israel conflict there is really i mean santorum is even ignorant of american history i mean one of the reasons why i'm making this program here is that it's extraordinary the lack of knowledge these candidates have. but you know this is not a question is this is. a political environment this is a that's been going on if you expect during the brain to have a nuanced discussion. i think. maybe you want to do you want to jump in there going. well i actually think that this is really a proxy argument and domestic conversation in a way i think that is your i mean feeding off of what you said i think that
israel's become a domestic conversation it's almost like abortion rights it does become a sort of black and white mannequin scenario but it's more i think an actual subtle nod to internalized american islamophobia i think it's something that we've kind of merged into in a post nine eleven era i think it's something that signals in the united states it's not about the conflict at all in a way it's about a mythical israel i mean there's no concept of what's happening on the ground in israel let alone in the west bank or in gaza territories it's not it's not about israel in a strange way it's really much more about signaling to the united states we're strong on things that are wrong and that becomes very very big and because there are really good actors and bad actors and in strong ways i mean it's very hard to talk about good and evil i think that you will has something something right here but if i would i would like to push it a little further i think it's about anxiety around the muslim world and israel
comes to stand for our ally in the muslim world wink wink which is the non muslim nation in the near east and i think that's part of the problem what do you think about the. reason it's not it's not just these. countries these also these really is the only country in this region that stands. for many of the values that americans tend to appreciate like democracy and liberalism and such other values so. the issue of being a non muslim countries probably contributes to the support of israel gets from americans but i don't think you should put all of it on this factor alone i mean sarah do you think you would you agree with that i mean because people criticize israel for a lack of values in the growing lack of values the weight about palestinians are treated within israel be the occupation of the of the west bank the recent
slaughter of the palestinians in gaza i mean these are not american values or maybe they're george bush values ok neo con values. well i do think that of course this is about a marriage and going back to the idea of it being a domestic political scenario this is a marriage between neo cons evangelicals and you know small but influential group of more conservative jewish voters and of course jewish voters tend to be liberal i will say i do think that israel is a democracy and it does represent american values for the most part that said the occupation is becoming increasingly clear that the status quo can't continue as it is and there are two sort of two sets of laws in israel there's a set of laws for the west bank and then there's a set of laws for internal to israel of course israel compared to its neighbors is a democracy and as much it's not even just compared to its neighbors it is a it is a kin to the united states we can't say that it's not and it is an ally of the
united states the problem with the republican position is more that it is ready to create a conflagration for example the idea that each of the republican candidates has proposed moving the american embassy to jerusalem without any kind of final status agreement is something that would start of it would and it's also something that all globally we've agreed won't happen until the status of jerusalem has been decided so to say that is really an internal signaling it's not something that any of them could do once in office or if they did it would be so dramatically wrong that you know would isolate the united states and israel at the same time i think. things could be any more isolated on this issue when it comes to the palestine. issue i mean when it's really the united states and if you pacific islands that the the resolution that goes to the general assembly every single year i mean it's been going on for i don't know how many years i've lost count i mean how much more
isolated can you be there. i mean that's fair and we've actually moved further and further and that there was a piece in haaretz a couple of weeks ago talking about actually the american progression on israel has changed dramatically since the reagan era ronald reagan never went to israel and george the first bush actually proposed is setting up a set up where if the settlements weren't frozen that we would hold back loan guarantees and we have actually moved in a direction that is no more about carrot and stick it's no more about well you know the settlements need to stop or you know the occupation needs to be resolved we've moved into a position where now you have romney saying i'll consult the israelis on whatever they want now that's not a democratic system either so we're moving in a direction where we're almost we're speaking in in some kind of cartoonish way it's not almost about again i go back to this idea that is really not about facts on the ground or what's happening in israel and it's not even about israel being
a democracy in the middle east it's about our cartoonish idea of of what signals to american domestic political. signals to voters here in the united states and not actually what could happen or what anyone would want to happen once in office what do you mean what do you think about the. cartoonish. perception of israel in the united states would you agree with. well i don't think there is more to a picture of israel than other countries in the world the thing most many americans are not very. sophisticated when it comes to world affairs and i'm not sure if there's any reason for them to be more knowledgeable about world affairs i do think however that these will indeed became the issue within the united states and within the american political system and that is not because of the candidates a lot of knowledge or because the candidates have the wrong views or their neocon
views or they are impacted by some kind of lobby the lobby for israel within the united states is the american people and any few go and read the polls year by year month by month the american people show support towards israel much more than any other. religion for years i'm going to go short i want to go to a short break here going to short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the g.o.p. and israel state party. wealthy british. that's not on the title of.
markets why not. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike's cause or for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to kaiser report on. you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harvey welcome to the big picture. of. me it is easy to get.
to. see. the book and you can see. the book of mormon the be. welcome back to cross talk about beautiful country mind you were talking about the g.o.p.'s talking points on israel. and. the be. ok so i'd like to go to you first. i'm sure both of you know of the book from time immemorial the origins of the arab jewish arab conflict over palestine by joan peters that came out in the i think in
the mid eighty's and it's been completely debunked by scholars ok and even people in israel say is just fiction but when we look at the presidential contenders that's what they are joan peters just in the twenty first century i mean newt gingrich is a very good example i mean how is that happened was so much. research and studies in efforts into studying this conflict you get this cartoonish view in media and by people who are supposed to be you know going to be running the free world i mean i again it's going back to what i said earlier i mean this is just outrageous or is it just done purposely it's just to pander to the lobby. well i think it is done purposefully and but i would definitely quibble with the idea that it's pandering to a lobby i think that she will was on to something with the idea that the lobby is the american population it i think the problem here is that the republicans are sort of trying to split the democratic party i mean of course you have
traditionally very strong jewish voter presence the democratic party and i think the republican candidates for president are trying to sort of outflank us in some respects it's sort of a jew the jews and some terrible expression of what they're trying to come so far to the right and you know and they are going back to a again we use the term cartoonish but a caricature of what the palestinian president is that palestinian is standing in for the idea of a terrorist i mean i think we're not talking about real people we're not talking about peace and we're not talking about a peace process this is beyond a post in some respects it's both casting backwards towards a time when there was a very clear set up between who was right and who was wrong and israel was under attack and a kind of post where you've given up on the idea of a two state solution but you haven't come up with an alternative scenario and all you're doing is kind of reinforcing the status quo which israelis know and many
americans do too even if they're not completely up to speed on global geopolitical politics that is it's unsustainable right it's not maybe it's not going to end tomorrow but sometime in the next decade sometime within this generation this occupation has to end and what direction it will go in is is not clear and it is creating a scenario where it is undermining the gorgeous democracy of israel which is vibrant and strong and is important and is an ally of the united states but the problem is that this uncomfortable and totally different situation the west bank is bleeding in to other parts of israeli life and i mean we can talk of. whether or not the democracy sort of niggling pieces of legislation that are went their way into the knesset regarding free speech or or these various issues that have happened recently if people have been following around segregation of women in orthodox society in israel are they connected to this situation to some degree yes
to some degree no but the fact is that the republican party is creating a situation where the palestinian has become. a cartoon a caricature of a palestinian terrorist that might be something out of you know the movie munich it's not it's not really about who the people are on the ground it's not about what can happen going forward and it's certainly not about advancing an idea for peace i mean what's remarkable about what each and every one of the republican candidates has said is none of them have put forward an idea for peace all of them have sort of hands to the point i want to go to you about that i mean when you look at israeli society and needless to say they understand what's going on on the ground i mean they may have different political points of view but i mean how do you do educated israeli looking at the american campaign these republicans and what they're saying about israel are they happy about it because it's obviously very pro israel or is there a worry that such lack of knowledge could be
a danger to israel's national security at some point. well that depends of course on the person to which you referred the question i think most israelis generally would be. really happy with the support even the few support for republican presidential candidates i don't think they really follow the nuances or statements of the different candidates but only you know what he's doing with these republican candidates is that these candidates have realized the recognize the fact that all these talk about. sustainable situation. about the fact that we need to achieve peace now or tomorrow all these talk that the israelis believe in because they all think that. right now is not something that is really viable they see within the republican party the kind of candidates the do understand the
complications we have here i really don't see any on their agenda patiently injury is that all i mean for achieving peace will not get us. closer and his we won't hear i mean you can't say he has any idea what he's talking about it all as a matter of fact when he talked later on c.n.n. he wouldn't even use dates because he doesn't even know the dates of the conflict i mean it's pretty extraordinary i mean syria if i can if i can go to you i mean is this the republican that you are. contenders they've criticized obama's foreign policy towards israel but i mean for the most part a bomb is just said please negotiate just please ok i mean getting criticized for that i mean well what can a republican do they would move the peace process forward because the peace process has been dead for twenty years what could a republican do i mean just you know agree with the israelis and have an expulsion
of the west bank. and i may be procedures i'm being facetious here but if i were in there i don't see how in any way shape or form obama's been anti israel iraq. you know and i don't actually think that israelis believe that either i mean i think that the question is i mean right of course obama has. self said that he thought that the obama administration had been the best on israel in years and i'm not sure that anyone would argue that george w. bush did anything for the for the for the israelis or for the peace process and i understand what she was saying the fact is that there is no clear path to peace right now yes talks have fallen apart but the fact is until we set down and discuss the issues that have been the issues on the table for for decades settlements refugees final status of jerusalem these issues aren't going away and the republican party it seems to me is not advancing any kind of path towards peace or
any time kind of path towards ameliorating the status quo well they're doing it sort of assuming and reaffirming the kind of dominance of israel in the situation which i don't see as helpful and certainly not helpful on an international stage it's definitely not helpful for american foreign policy positions elsewhere or america's isolation or lack of isolation and i ultimately don't know that it's all that helpful for israel either because just to have someone say great do it you know keep going where you're going and we're going to move our embassy to jerusalem to reaffirm the fact that true slim is the eternal capital of the jews i'm not sure what that does other than sort of light a second in a nation that doesn't need any more matches struck. what do you think about that i mean if a republican does come into power and. as we're speaking right now we have the new hampshire primary going on. and his first foreign trip is going to be to israel i mean what the world is he trying to do what does he want to accomplish i mean is get it to say that you know we're going to restart. we're going to go backwards
we're going to i mean what world could he possibly offer that wasn't already tried with the the bush people and no one wants to give obama a chance to have negotiations i mean he's given up to. well for a civil first of all he can offer the position that strong american support for israel is the way forward even for those wanting to achieve peace in the middle east whenever. a strong support from israel israel was tempted to move forward with the peace process as happened with the first i'm sorry with the second rubin government in the early ninety's this is exactly what happened with the. government in the late ninety's when american support for israel was strong and was unquestionable israel's war much more willing to take risks for peace or for change as a real sharon did with the strong support he got from president bush that made him
withdraw really settlements and troops from the gaza strip so this. would see this humiliation. oh sorry you want to jump in there but i mean sure i mean i agree with you but how is barack obama done something different i mean the problem like there was i don't see them. explaining to you when when barack obama started he's. united states president his first action was to try and pressure israel into freezing settlements this signal to israel which was what. went wrong with. the. legal under international law what's wrong with the president stopping raining international law doesn't make any sense look i understand that you do not you do
not you do not agree with the policies of the current israeli government and i appreciate that but do these really public these signals lack of sufficient support on the part of the american president signaled. different president not to be strong. or not is not going to back to the same extent that his predecessor both the republican president bush and the democratic president bill clinton supported israel and the israeli public really government grew to distrust the current american president right now the last word in the. thirty seconds. i don't think this is a question of american lack of support or waning support for israel the fact is the obama administration has done as much if not more than any other and has pulled back and not enforce any type of settlement freeze has pulled back and not had any
kind of stick and carrot and stick scenario the problem is the status quo is untenable and the republican candidates pushing an idea that it is is not helpful for israel and it's not helpful for the united states and it's not how it will for the for global peace it's not something that we should look towards as a model of. what we should do going forward the relationship between israel and germany a very interesting conversation many thanks to my guests today washington and in tel aviv and thanks to our viewers for watching us here on see you next time it remember.
markets why not. come to. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike's cars or for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into cars a report on our. welcome to the lower show and get the real headlines with none of the mercy are coming live to washington d.c. now tonight we have a horrible new video that's been released of u.s. marines urinating on dead afghan bodies get some commentary from our guest michael hastings and also talk about his new book the operators he's the rolling stone reporter the became notorious for ending general stanley mcchrystal career but he hasn't stopped there then today is the ten year anniversary of the opening of guantanamo bay we're going to speak to and the words.