tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 29, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 57, the nays are 40. and the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of daniel d. crabtree of kansas to be united states district judge for the district of kansas. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is: is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of daniel d. crabtree of kansas to be the united states district judge for the district of kansas, shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 57, the nays are 39, and the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of cynthia ann bashant of california to be united states district judge for the southern district of california, signed by 18 senators.
the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of cynthia ann bashant of california to be united states district judge for the southern district of california shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 56, the nays are 41, and the motion is agreed to. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i have seven unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session. they have both been approved by me and by senator mcconnell. i ask consent these requests be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: is there
objection? without objection. mr. reid: this will be the last vote this morning. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we the undersigned senators hereby move to bring to a close the debate on jon david levy of maine to be district judge of maine, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of jon david levy of maine to be united states district court judge for the district of maine shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 63, the nays are 34. and the motion is agreed to. under the freef order, the senate will resume lenl -- under the previous order, the senate will resume legislative session. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. a senator: i wish to speak as if in morning business for one minute. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wicker: thank you, madam president. i simply want to take a moment to say a few words about the devastating storms that swept through my home state of mississippi yesterday. my prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives,
those who were injured and the communities across the state state now hard at work to pick up the pieces. we are grateful for local officials, weather forecasters and first responders who saved lives by getting the word out that people should seek shelter from the storm. this is government at its best, madam president. when state, local and federal forces alongside the news media and private businesses work together to keep people out of harm's way. there is no doubt that this cooperation and communication saved hundreds of lives across the south yesterday. both will be instrumental in preparing for additional storms in the forecast today. mississippians are known for being resilient in the wake of tragedy. we have overcome unprecedented challenges in the past and we will do so again. nature's wrath may be fierce but the american spirit, including
that of my fellow mississippians, of fellowship and perseverance will move us forward. thank you, madam president. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m. >> a break in the action in the senate, so senators can attend their weekly party lunch meetings. when they a earn at about 2:15 -- return at about 2:15, we expect more work on district court nominations that got the go ahead during this morning's vote. we'll have live coverage of the u.s. senate when members return here on c-span2. >> secretary of state john kerry says he chose the wrong word in describing israel's potential future. the daily beast reported yesterday that secretary kerry, speaking in a closed meeting friday, said the jewish state could become an apartheid state
if it doesn't reach a peace deal with the palestinians. secretary kerry is speaking today at the atlantic council here in washington commemorating nato's 65th anniversary. we'll have live coverage, that'll get underway at 1:30 eastern. c-span3 will be lye starting at 1:30 -- will be lye starting at 1:30. state department officials will testify before the house foreign affairs committee. again, that'll be live on c-span3 starting at 1:30 eastern. >> some of my critics in the international community call me arrogant. i will not even honor that with a response. [laughter] screw 'em. [laughter] no, don't say screw 'em. let's hit them with some rhetorical eloquence. [laughter] my friends, our purple mountains with ramparts' red glare, white
with foam and justice for all, fruity plains gallantly streaming from sea to shining sea above a shining prairie and maybe some shiny trees and i see a shiny america. [laughter] >> watch this year's white house correspondents' dinner live saturday night. president obama and joel mchail of nbc's "community" headline the event before an audience of celebrities, journalists and the white house press corps. our coverage starts at 6 eastern followed by the dinner live saturday night on c-span. >> c-span2, providing live coverage of the u.s. senate floor proceedings and key public policy events. and every weekend, booktv now for 15 years the only television network devoted to nonfiction books and authors. c-span2, created by the cable tv industry and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider.
watch us in hd, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. [applause] >> secretary of state kerry live at 1:30, he's expected to talk about his recent comments on israel. meanwhile, the israeli ambassador to the u.s., ron dermer, says if hamas is at the negotiating table, israel will not be there. he spoke yesterday at the anti-defamation league's national leadership summit in washington. >> of both israel -- [inaudible] someone who has dedicated his life to the state of israel and to promoting strong u.s./israeli relations. ambassador ron dermer was born and raised in miami beach, florida, a city where his late father and his brother both served as mayor. in 2004 ambassador dermer co-authored the best selling book "the case for democracy:
the power of freedom to overcome tyranny and terror," which has been translated into ten languages. since serving of israel's ambassador of economic affairs in the united states, ambassador dermer became senior adviser to prime minister netanyahu, and in this capacity he was labeled as bebe's brain by "tablet" magazine. ambassador dermer assumed his post in washington in december 2013 and resides here with his wife, rhoda, and their five children. ambassador, mr. ambassador, it is our honor to have you here today. [applause] >> thank you. i have to say that's the strangest texas accent that i've ever heard. [laughter] it's a pleasure to be here today. this room is very, very wide and
very narrow. it's like the opposite of israel, so i suppose the podium should be facing this way. [laughter] and i understand that you're going to be giving an award to bill burns. i don't know if bill's here, is he here yet? he'll be here in a few minutes, but i don't want to compliment a person in his presence, because that's not something we do in israel. [laughter] but let me just say that bill burns proves that you can be a first rate diplomat and a first class mensch, and i think it's great that the adl is awarding him this award today. i want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today, particularly today. as many of you know, today is holocaust remembrance day in israel. and on this day the jewish state remembers the most horrific period in the history of the jewish people. it's a day when we reflect on the past, and we recommit ourselves to making sure that
the phrase never again is not merely an empty cliche. it is also a time to recognize that the condition of the jewish people is fundamentally different than it was 75 years ago on the eve of the holocaust. our condition is not different because there is no longer hatred towards the jewish people. you see that hatred every day. you see it in the pledges of the iranian regime to wipe israel off the map, you see it in the terrorism and genocidal, genocidal incitement of hezbollah and hamas against israel, and you see it in the murderous actions of a modern-day nazi near kansas city. so the hatred is there. and the hatred is there despite the hopes of the founder of modern zionism, theodore hertz el. now, herzl hoped and, in fact, believed that the establishment of a jewish state would make the hatred toward the jewish people fade away.
and herzl was a man whose vision turned him pretty much into a modern-day prophet. but on this point that hatred for the jewish people would end with the birth of the jewish state, he was mistaken. and, in fact, history has kind of turned what herzl thought on its head. of a hundred years ago -- a hundred years ago people thought that by establishing a jewish state you'd end hatred towards the jewish people. now there are those who believe if you dismantle the jewish state, you'll stop hatred towards the jewish people. and in the 1920s and 1930s and throughout the first half of the 20th century, what the anti-semites said in europe was jews go to palestine. and now what the anti-semites say is, jews, get out of palestine. so that didn't change. this hatred did not change with the birth of the state of israel. but the birth of the state of israel enabled the jewish people to fight this hatred.
and in that sense, israel fundamentally transformed the condition of the jewish people. now, it transformed it by providing the jewish people with two things they did not have on the eve of the holocaust. first and most important is the capacity to defend ourselves. the capacity to defend ourselves. you know, this is the reason why israel exists today. it is often said that the u.n. created the state of israel. that is false. ben-gurion declared israel's independence, and the army, the newfound army of the jewish state defended israel against attack. all the declarations of the united nations would not have helped the jewish people one iota if israel had lost that war of independence or lost any war for that matter. what has protected the jewish
state has been the capability of the jewish people to defend themselves. and that's enabled us to build the remarkable country that we have today. after 66 years we're a global, high-tech power, a pioneer in medicine, in science, a leader in the world in agriculture, in water, and those of you who have been to israel know that we're a place teeming with innovation and culture and creativity. and i tell people when i go to israel, i say just -- you better buckle in and get ready for the ride. because israel's the most intense place on the planet. israelis go to manhattan to unwind. [laughter] okay? israel's an exciting place. and we built that because we have the capability to defend ourselves. and that's the reason why we've been able to navigate israel through some very choppy seas in the last few years.
very choppy seas. at a time when the middle east is bloodshed and violence everywhere, israel has remained an island of stability and calm, and i think that's a credit to the robustness of israel's military strength and also to the prudent leadership of the prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu. but along with his capacity -- this capacity for self-defense, we also have something else that we did not have 75 years ago on the 'of the holocaust -- the eve of the holocaust. we have a voice. the jewish people have a voice. and you hear that voice sometimes when a prime minister of israel speaks at the united nations or when an israeli ambassador, like me and my counterparts throughout the world, have the privilege of speaking in the world's capitals. but in speaking up for israel and for the rights of the jewish people, we're not alone. and here is where i come to you, to this organization, the adl. now, as you heard my -- i was born and raised in miami beach,
florida. my mother was born in prestate, israel, in a place called me dare rah. but i was born in miami beach, and somehow all those adl newsletters were strewn all across the house. everywhere i would alternative i would see -- turn, i would see the latest bulletin and newsletter. and i remember reading them a lot. and i learned something about the adl. you taught me something very important early on. you taught me that in defending the rights of the jews, you were defending the rights of everybody else. and in defending the rights of everybody else, you were defending the rights of the jewish people. so year after year, decade after decade under the remarkable leadership of abe foxman and many others -- we're not letting you go. this swan song, we're hoping, the prime minister gave me instructions to make sure that your swan song lasts for a few decades, not a few months. under your leadership and the leadership of many people in this room, you have raised your
voice loudly to defend the rights of the jew,s and to defed the rights of everybody who's facing discrimination and persecution. so i'm here today to say, first and foremost, to say thank you. and i couldn't think of a better day to express that thanks than on holocaust memorial day. thank you for giving meaning to the words "never again" by making clear that you will never be silent again. now, i want to talk briefly before i get your questions about two challenges that israel is facing. first, the need to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons and, secondly, israel's unyielding pursuit of peace. on iran's nuclear program, which is by far the singlemost important issue facing israel. i know that sometimes all these issues are thrown at you, you watch the news cycle and one day something's happening in israel, and then it's egypt, and now
it's a pact twean hamas and the palestinian authority. the single greatest challenge israel faces is iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. so let me state very clearly what israel's policy is. our policy is simple. let iran have only a peaceful nuclear program and nothing more. that's israel's policy. the truth is that we all know that iran does not need a peaceful nuclear program. iran's awash if oil and gas, and if iran's regime would stop brutally repressing its own people, stop helping assad slaughter tens of thousands of civilians, stop perpetrating terror attacks across the globe, stop leading mass chants of "death to america," stop calling, as it does over and over, for the annihilation of israel, stop arming terror groups that fire thousands of
rockets at our cities, in short, if iran stopped being a rogue terrorist regime, then they could take advantage of all their wonderful natural resources to their hearts' delight. still, if diplomacy demands that iran be allowed to have a peaceful nuclear program, then so be it. so be it. but there are 17 countries around the world that have peaceful nuclear energy, they don't enrich uranium on their soil, they don't stockpile enriched uranium, they don't have underground enrichment bunkers, they don't have heavy water facilities. iran needs none of these things. none of them. yet it insists on having them. you know why? because iran is not interested in peaceful nuclear energy. iran wants nuclear weapons. and the p5+1, the leading powers in the international community, must not let iran keep its
nuclear weapons infrastructure. its capability to produce nuclear weapons. the only deal that should be acceptable to the international community is one which fully dismantles iran's nuclear weapons capability. and one more thing that has to be dismantled, and a lot of people are not talking about it, and that is iran's long-range ballistic missile program. iran is developing icbms. the missiles iran has can already reach well beyond israel. iran is developing icbms. and intercontinental ballistic missiles. and the only purpose of an icbm is to carry a nuclear warhead. now, only in cartoons do you put tnt on an icbm. in the real world, icbms carry nuclear payloads. so if iran wants what it says it wants, a peaceful nuclear program, then it has no need for
icbms, no need for icbms at all. and if iran insists on keeping its icbms, well, then the jig is up. you see, iran's icbms are not a smoking gun, they are the smoking missile. they tell you everything you want to know. and you need to know. ladies and gentlemen, israel is very concerned about the current discussions with iran because all signs, all signs point to the p51 accepting a -- p5+1 accepting a deal that would leave iran with nuclear weapons-making capability essentially spank and not even address -- intact and not even desperate the ballistic mys sill program. the deal that is now being considered would leave iran with thousands of centrifuges, thousands of kilos of enriched uranium, a heavy water facility and an advanced missile program. such a deal would effectively
leave iran as a threshold nuclear power. at best, a i few months -- a few months away from having the fissile material necessary to build a nuclear weapon. and such a deal would be a much worse situation than we have today. because while iran is now two or three months away from having that fissile material, they are under tremendous pressure because of the sanctions. after a deal they would be only marginally further away from getting that fissile material, but the pressures on them would be drastically reduced. the interim deal, you remember last year, was supposed to have had iran take a tiny step back in exchange for what was hoped would be a small reduction of the sanctions. and israel appreciates the fact that the obama administration is doing everything it can to try to make sure that the sanctions regime does not unravel.
they're working very hard to prevent this from happening, and we appreciate it. but an agreement with the p5+1 itself would willingly unravel the sanctions regime against iran in return for iran parking a short distance away from having the fissile material necessary for a nuclear weapon would be a terrible mistake. it would leave iran as a threshold nuclear power and leave the world on the threshold of an abyss. it might prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon today, but it would virtually insure that iran has a nuclear weapon tomorrow. that must not be allowed to happen. iran's nuclear weapons capability and long-range missile capability must be fully dismantled. that is israel's position, and
it will not change. the prime minister yesterday spoke, he was as clear as he can be. i encourage you all to read exactly what he said. this nuclear weapons capability must be fully dismantled. now, let me address in a couple minutes israel's impasse with the palestinians. and explain israel's position regarding the recent pact that president abbas signed with hamas. hamas is an unreformed terror organization. unreformed terror organization. it is openly -- it has openly called for israel's destruction. it has fired thousands of rockets at israel's cities, it has sent scores of suicide bombers to our pizza shops, our restaurants, our discotheques,
our buses. hamas denies the holocaust, and its charter calls for the murder of jews worldwide. i don't know if you know this. it calls for the murder of jews worldwide. three years ago hamas condemned the united states for killing osama bin laden, and two weeks ago some of you may have read this, hamas praised the murder of an israeli who was gunned down in his car while driving with his pregnant wife and family. that is hamas. be you -- you know, it's said yu make peace with enemies. that is a completely facile statement. you make peace with enemies who want peace. hamas is an enemy that does not want peace. hamas as not changed -- has not changed, it has not recognized israel's right to exist, it has not renounced or abandoned terrorism. if hamas does recognize israel's
right to exist, if hamas does renounce terrorism, then it would be an entirely different story, and hamas would no longer be hamas. but it hasn't done any of those things. and because it hasn't done any of those things, palestinian unity is not a unity for peace, it's a unity against peace. so israel will not negotiate peace with a palestinian government backed by hamas. it does not matter to israel if the government that is established in this, after this agreement is a technocratic government that will serve as a front that says all the right things. if hamas is in the back office, israel is not going to be at the negotiating table period. [applause] we have said for a long time that the problem with the
palestinian leadership is that half is committed to israel's destruction, and the other half is not willing to confront that half. well, the half that's ostensibly prepared to live in peace with israel. last week president abbas went from not confronting hamas to embracing hamas, and he has to choose. it's very simple. peace with israel or a pact with hamas. he chose hamas, so israel chose to suspend the talks. now, if president abbas chooses peace, we can go back to the negotiating table, and israel wants peace. we are committed to it. we want a solution of two states for two peoples. the prime minister is fully committed to it. he has made sacrifices in order to achieve it and will continue to make the tough decisions necessary to advance peace, but we need a partner who's committed to peace and not who's making a pact with hamas. now, ladies and gentlemen, israel faces enormous challenges, and i know there is much concern in this room and in rooms elsewhere throughout
america and throughout the world. how will israel navigate the very rough seas ahead? but on this day, on holocaust memorial day, let's keep things in perspective. the parents, grandparents and great grandparents of virtually everyone in this room would have done anything to trade their problems with ours. today the jewish people are no longer a powerless people. today we have a jewish state. today we have an army that can defend that state. and israel's not alone. we have the support of so many friends around the world, especially in this great country, the united states. friends who know that israel's cause is just. the jewish people have weathered the worst that history can throw at us, and we will weather this storm as well. so on this holocaust day as we remember this horrific past, as
we recommit ourselves as you will in this conference to the fight against anti-semitism, racism, discrimination, all forms of prosecution, we should all stand very tall and very proud, because we are a uniquely blessed generation, a unique hi blessed generation. blessed to have the united states of america, the country that has been the greatest force for good in history. we are messed to have the united states as the pre-- blessed to have the united states as the preeminent power of the world, and we are blessed to have witnessed the rebirth of jewish sovereignty in modern times and with it a renewed hope for a secure and peaceful jewish future. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, mr. ambassador.
we have a few questions from the audience. as time permits. first question is, what's the likelihood of numerous other countries obtaining nuclear weapons if iran gains nuclear capability, and what's the -- how does that play into the strategy for both the united states and israel? >> well, i think it's a huge concern. it's not something that i mentioned here today, but certainly it would basically turn all the nuclear proliferation efforts, you would essentially in attempting to stop one country from getting nuclear weapons, by leaving iran as a threshold nuclear power, you are going to open up with the prime minister of israel -- what the prime minister of israel called at the united nations a pandora's box of proliferation. i'll explain why. because if you've just allowed a country that has violated six security council resolutions on its nuclear weapons program to actually have, to be a threshold
nuclear power, to have the right to enrich uranium on its soil, how are you going to go to any country around the world and tell them they can't? every country will demand that right. it's important to understand. the idea behind the peaceful spread of nuclear energy was to essentially prevent countries from domestically enriching uranium. there are two paths to building a nuclear weapon. there's a plutonium past, and there's a uranium path. the plutonium path runs through a heavy water facility. there's also a uranium path, and the way you can be sure that iran will not have a nuclear weapon is to not allow it the ability to enrich uranium on its soil. if you cede that to iran in this debate, what iran is insisting its right to enrich uranium, i know that people of iran all from a very young age talk about life, liberty and the right to enrich uranium. that's what they say. [laughter]
well, if you leave the iranian people with this ability to enrich your uranium, you will se many, many countries throughout the world, certainly in the middle east, that will demand that right. and how are you going to prevent them from having that? what are you going to say to them? you've just let the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world with the ability to enrich uranium on its soil, so you're going to stop other countries? i won't name the countries that will do it, but you will see at least three or four in the middle east, and you will see a few countries beyond. and that's why we're very concerned. i'll just say one other thing about i. nuclear -- about it. nuclear proliferation is not the most important concern we have. because we have a regime in iran that is openly calling for our destruction. and so when people put the threat of nuclear proliferation as the number one concern, i'm a little puzzled. i'm a little concerned that they're not fully determined to prevent this threat. because when my neighbor across the street says he's going to kill me, my big concern when
that ak-47 is being shipped in the mail to him is not that my other neighbors are going to get ak-47s as well, it's that this guy is going to get a nuclear weapon. our concern with iran is unique because iran calls for our destruction. and the nature of the regime matters. remember this as well. if all of what you have in north korea would move 50 miles to the south, no one would lose any sleep over it. all nuclear proliferation is bad, but it makes a difference whether holland has nuclear weapons or whether a country like iran has nuclear weapons. [applause] >> so a question about domestic issues in israel. what is israel doing to aid and assist its israeli-arab citizens? >> to aid and assist. well, israeli-arab citizens are, i talked about uniquely blessed? they are uniquely blessed as
arabs in the middle east to live in a free country. israeli-arabs enjoy the right that is no ore arabs in the -- other arabs in the region enjoy. and i think that israel should not be embarrassed of what has happened in the last 65 years regarding israeli-arabs. we should be proud. because we have built a thriving democracy. it is not perfect. you always have room for improvement. and in all societies on earth, you can always improve it. but israel, understand something. they say, well, israel should not be judged by the standards of dictatorships. you are a democracy, and you should be judged by the standards of democracy. that's true. so judge israel by the standards of a democracy. judge israel by the standards of a democracy that is threatened. israel is the most threatened nation on the face of the earth. the fact that we've been able to build this vibrant with democracy in the face of all these threats is astounding.
and the only way that i can explain it in current american terms is remember the feeling in the united states on september r 12th, the day after the attacks on september 11th. remember the concern that you had for security. and all societies have a debate where should you draw the line between security and civil liberties. and over time that debate changes as you feel more secure. your demand for civil liberties is stronger. but it's a debate all the time. but understand something, israel has been in september 12th for 66 years. for 66 years. so not only will i not apologize for israel's record, i'm very, very proud of israel's record. and we will continue to work to improve that record, we will continue every day to try to be better, to be a better democracy as the united states always says, to be a more perfect union. but the attacks against israel, the arguments against israel, the wild allegations of
israel -- against israel are false. they should be challenged, they should be rejected, and we should be very proud of the country we have built. [applause] >> thank you. the question of settlements and construction in israeli settlements on the west bank has an outsized importance in the media. could you comment on the public relations and communications challenges posed by the settlement question? >> thank you. well, it's a big challenge because if you repeat something over and over and over again, you know, it becomes conventional wisdom. for instance, there used to be people that would say that the reason why you have problems in the middle east is because israelis and palestinians have not resolved their conflict. you remember that? that was the reason. that was the core of the problem of the middle east. there were serious people with very high iqs that would stand before podiums like this and
make that type of statement. now, since the events of the last three years in the middle east, there's not a single person on the planet who actually -- well, maybe there's a few people who believe that, i don't know. i haven't encountered many of them. i think there are probably still communists sitting in certain departments in some universities somewhere. but it's not serious. it's not a serious argument. so when it come toss the settlements, the settlements are an issue that have to be resolved in the negotiations. but this argument that the settlements are the reason why you do not have peace between israelis and pal sin januaries is an absurdity. the conflict between israel and the palestinians went for 50 years before there was a single settlement in the west bank. it began in the 1920s. my prime minister has spoken about it over and over again. so what was that all about? the 50 years of conflict before that, before all those settlements. everyone says, well, go back to the lines of june 4, 1967. what happened on june 4, 1967?
there was a war! so, obviously, there was a conflict. the heart of the conflict between israel and the palestinians is the refusal to recognize the legitimacy of a jewish state in any border. that's what the conflict is about. that's what the conflict has always been about, and that's why the prime minister insists on a peace agreement. not as a precondition to negotiations, but in a peace agreement that the palestinians would have to recognize the right of a jewish people to a nation-state, to recognize the jewish state. just as they ask us to recognize the right of the palestinians to a nation-state of their own, they would have to recognize the right of the jewish people to a nation-state. now, we're going to have to resolve the issue of the settlements. it's going to be part of the negotiations. and i'm sure there'll have to be very, very difficult decisions. and anytime israel was faced with a leader, with an arab leader who wanted peace and who spoke peace, we made difficult decisions. and that was true when reagan --
when begin withdrew from the sinai and had to uproot settlements there. it was true when sharon didn't even have a partner, and sharon uprooted all the settlements of gaza and some settlements in the west bank. he uprooted them. didn't bring peace. the settlements are an issue that have to be resolved. it's notes the core of -- it's not the core of the conflict. people have made it into the beall and end -- be all and end all because a lot of enemies believe this is the issue where you can defame and besmirch the jewish state. understand building the, the jewish people building in these territories is not a crime. i aerothat, and -- i hear that, and it sort of makes my blood boil. that a jew would build an apartment in jerusalem, and this is supposed to be some kind of war crime is wild. so the fact that people say it doesn't make it true.
these territories are disputed territories. they are not occupied palestinian territory to matter how many times they say it. the western wall is not occupied palestinian territory. it doesn't matter how many times they say it on tv or on the bbc. it's not. this is a dispute. we have a claim to these territories. they have a claim to the territories. we have to have a border between us. we have a policy of two states for two peoples. we have to work these things occupant, and we will work themselves out, but let's put things into perspective. let's understand what the true nature of this conflict is and not get lost by a sideshow. [applause] >> mr. ambassador, you've been very, very gracious with your time today, and we really appreciate your time here and your service to the state of israel. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause]
>> as you've been seeing here on c-span2, we're standing by to take you live to the atlantic council. they're going to hear from secretary of state john kerry. he's supposed to deliver remarks today on some historic milestones in the transatlantic community including commemorating nato's 65th anniversary and the ten-year anniversary of the european union. he also may talk about recent comments about the israel-palestinian peace negotiations. the secretary says he chose the wrong word in describing israel's potential future. the daily beast reported yesterday that secretary kerry, speaking in a closed meeting friday, said the jewish state could become, quote, an apartheid state if it doesn't reach a peace deal with the palestinians. so he may address that. "the new york times" in writing about that says the secretary's recent comments came at a particularly sense ty moment with the -- sensitive moment
with the peace talks put off after israel's decision to suspend the negotiations because of palestine's announcement of its reconciliation with hamas, the islamic militant group that governs gaza. >> here on c-span2, waiting to hear from secretary of state john kerry. we will have his comments live once they resume. senate's coming back at 2:15 eastern, we'll have that live as well. while we wait for secretary kerry, some comments from this morning from senator ron johnson of wisconsin.
>> and we're back with senator ron johnson, republican of wisconsin, sits on the budget committee and has begun a lawsuit. we'll get to it, but you are on the foreign relations committee as well, so let's start with ukraine and this latest round of sanctions, the fourth round. is it enough? >> guest: probably not, but the sanctions are going to be very difficult to have any effect anyway. it's very difficult to target sanctions that don't also hurt western interests as well. so as a result, you're never going to have europeans signing on to real strong sanctions, and they can kick back at america as well. so i think what you need to do in eastern europe and ukraine is you need to have a more robust, strategic response. first of all, recognizing what gives vladimir putin his strength. it's his oil wealth, his oil reserves and then, of course, europe's dependence on those
reserves. so you have to bust up that monopoly in terms of the supply. i come from the private sector. the customer really ought to be in control of the situation, but here we have the supplier in control. so the way you put the customer in control is we have to open up world energy markets, and probably the single greatest strategic move that the u.s. could make is open up our exports of things like lng. let's approve the permits, let's stop flaring so much of our natural gas because we have to capture that so we're not wasting it, and let's make that available to europe. i think that's probably the single greatest long-term strategic move we can make. but then, let's face it, vladimir putin's massing tens of thousands of troops on the eastern border. he's got his agents in eastern ukraine already. you've already got a mini invasion. we also need to show some military, certainly train aring exercises, far greater military strength. he's amazing tens of thousands of troops, we're sending a couple hundred. it's simply not -- i'm not recommending tens of thousands, but we certainly should be supplying the ukraine with some
defensive weaponry so they can actually defend themselves. >> host: you think we should be arming the ukrainians? >> guest: absolutely. here you've got people that showed the courage to try and rid themselves of corrupt governments which really is a holdover from, you know, their soviet domination 20 years ago. and you've got people rising up in the streets, showing a great deal of courage, being slaughtered by, basically, a soviet-backed government. and when they're now asking to be able to defend themselves, their military was hollowed out by the former regime, the least we can do is provide them some pretty effective defensive arms. >>st what do you say -- >> host: what do you say to those that were polled by "usa today" that said sanction russia but don't arm ukraine, that is what they found out in this poll. >> guest: i disagree. sanctions i don't believe are ever going to work because we'll never have a unified regime of sanctions that are going to have enough teeth where it doesn't hurt western interests as bad. and so we'll never have the
types of sanctions. you need sanctions in an, in types of countries that can't bite back. sanctions work good, i think, in north korea, potentially iran. i think it's much more difficult against an economy as large as russia. again, nobody's calling for a u.s. or nato combat troops on the ground to engage, but we are talking about providing some pretty good defensive weaponry, things like antitank weapon, that type of thing, to change putin's calculus so he doesn't mass a full-fledged invasion. give the ukrainian people a chance to stabilize their government, stabilize their country. >> host: i also want to ask you about what secretary of state john kerry said about the mideast peace process. your colleague, senator ted cruz, republican of texas, came to the floor yesterday and said that kerry should step down for saying that israel risks an apartheid state. >> guest: well, the comment was, obviously, unfortunate is probably the best word you can put on it. but i think what it also does is
it basically betrays what i've always felt is an attitude of the left to blame israel first. i do not see how you can achieve peace in the middle east until the palestinians actually recognize israel's right to exist. (at concession t of the palestinians, i think all these peace negotiations, i just don't see how they're ever going to bear fruit. i think it's unfortunate. but, again, obviously, israel's not an apartheid state. it was really a, it was a stupid comment. >> host: so should he step down as senator ted cruz said? >> guest: that's up to president obama to decide whether, you know, that comment so marginalizes secretary of state that -- >> good afternoon, everyone, i'm fred kemp, president and ceo of the atlantic council. we are enormously delighted to have secretary kerry here who has been such a great friend of
europe for years, the purpose of this gathering. mr. secretary, as the administration grapples with what brzezinski earlier today called the most serious challenge since end of the cold war, your presence here is a powerful message. it's also a testament that you have kept the promise you made when you accepted the atlantic council's global citizen award in 2011. i'd like to say in 2011 that we anticipated that you would become secretary of state with the great predictive capacities of the atlantic council -- [laughter] but we certainly celebrated the decision of president obama to put you in this position. as was said earlier today, you have tackled the toughest strategic challenges in this position. thank you for that. back then when we gave you that award, you pledged to put, quote, the transatlantic relationship at the forefront of u.s. foreign policy to meet today's global challenges. you did that with the
understanding, and let me quote you again, that, quote: the obituary of nato has been written and rewritten for more than two decades, but our alliance remains the cornerstone of security on both sides of the atlantic. we witnessed your tireless efforts in the past months where you have taken the promiseover europe whole and free to the front lines and have been a powerful voice for sovereign and secure ukraine, one that just doesn't, doesn't just survive, but thrives. and you reiterated this promise when you called for a transatlantic renaissance at this year's munich security conference and reminded us the task of building a europe that is whole and free at peace is not complete. with that, join me many welcoming -- me in welcoming one of the great american public servants of our generation, of our times, a strategic thinker, a creative diplomat, a principled patriot and at hasn'tist, the 63th secretary -- 68th secretary of state, john kerry. [applause] >> so after that i thought i'd
just stand up and say i accept the nomination. [laughter] fred, thank you very, very much. very, very generous comments. thank you all for the privilege of sharing some thoughts with you at this both timely and very, very important gathering. it's my privilege to be able to be here, and i'm particularly happy to be here with so many of my colleagues, both our foreign ministers and defense ministers who are here. we had a chance to chat briefly out there. we have been meeting regularly along the trail, and i have come to admire and respect each of them for the clarity of their vision and for the way in which they have been really prescient on many of these issues. i love the new digs and thank all those who are responsible for that. and also, fred, thanks so much
for your leadership and for the tremendous work that is being done at the atlantic council lately. the success of this particular conference, but also the groundwork you've been laying and the focus that you have had on the criticality of the nato relationship, the european relationship which has, as we know thinking back to comments of the near past about old europe and new europe and other things that have been floating out there over these last years, this discussion is even more timely and relevant. this year marks a number of different milestones that are really worth remembering, obviously, beginning with the fact that it is 65 years since secretary of state dean acheson and his european counterparts came together to sign the north atlantic treaty.
and it's been 25 years, amazingly, since the fall of the berlin wall. and that wall, as we all know too well, symbolically and literally divided east and west and europe. it's been 15 years and 10 years and 5 years since then that nato as welcomed new partners into the post-cold war era. and as we have expanded as an organization, as nato has expanded as an organization, i think it's safe to say we have also expanded democracy, prosperity and stability in europe. and we have opened new opportunities in order to be able to advance security even further, and we have spurred economic growth around the globe. year after year, importantly,
nato's newest members have proven their mettle in ways that we hoped for but necessarily weren't able to predict with certainty. and so today i can tell you that i've seen it firsthand. governor huntsman and others have had occasion to travel, and we've, we know what has been achieved in afghanistan. where our allies in central and eastern europe have served a alongside us and others with distinction, on occasion not just making a sacrifice, but asking their young soldiers to join in making the ultimate sacrifice. and that perhaps more than anything else can define an alliance. in addition, over the decades-long history i think nato without any question has done more to promote security, more to promote prosperity and
more to promote freedom than any other alliance in human history. but today it serves us well to remember the words of president eisenhower who said about nato when he was talking to our nato allies, he said: we can take satisfaction from the past but no complacency in the present. as we come together then to reflect on 65 years of partnership, perseverance and protection, we also have to take a hook, a hard, cold, sober look at the clear threats that regrettably still exist. not because of some inherent, continuous push over these last years but, frankly, because of a fairly -- it appears -- uniquely
personally-driven set of choices that are being made. after two decades of focusing primarily on our expeditionary missions, the crisis in ukraine now calls us back to the role that this alliance was originally created to perform, and that is to defend alliance territory and advance transatlantic security. the events in ukraine are a wake-up call. our european allies have spent more than 20 years with us working to integrate russia into the euro-atlantic community. it is not as if we really haven't bent over backwards to try to set a new course in the post-cold war era. and so we've pursued serious bilateral engagement. we invited russians to join
organizations like the wto, the nato-russia council. but what russia's actions in ukraine tell us is that today putin's russia is playing by a different set of rules. and through its occupation of crimea and its subsequent destabilization of eastern ukraine, russia seeks to change the security landscape of east and central europe. so we find ourselves in a defining moment for our transatlantic alliance, and nobody should mistake that. and we are prepared to do what we need to do and to go the distance to uphold that alliance. our strength will come from our unity, and the strength of our alliance always has come from our unity over the course of the 65 years.
so together we have to push back against those who want to try to change sovereign borders by force. together we have to support those who simply want to try to live as we do or as others do. i remember being in kiev, and a man came up to me and said, you know, i just came back from australia, and i had to come back here, and i had to be part of this, and i had to work so that people here could live the way i saw people living in australia. in today's era of, you know, mobile devices and smartphones, everybody is in touch with everybody all of the time. and that sense of aspiration and hope and possibility is something that fills the package nations of young people all -- the imaginations of young people all around the planet. so together we have to support those folks who want to live free, making their choices about their own future. together we have to continue our strong support for ukraine, and
we can do that through economic assistance, and we can do it through support for free and fair elections, for constitutional reform, for anti-corruption and for demobilization efforts. most important, together we have to make it absolutely clear to the kremlin that nato territory is inviolable. we will defend every single piece of it. article v of the nato treaty must mean something, and our allies on the front lines need and deserve no less. now, obviously, there have to be consequences for those who want to put to test what has been the norm of international relations and the goal, if you will, of international behavior ever since world war ii. two weeks ago i traveled to geneva with my counterparts from
russia, from the e.u. and from ukraine. we agreed on a number of steps that needed to be taken in order to deescalate the situation in ukraine. i will tell you we had a very candid conversation. and foreign minister lavrov agreed with all of us that we needed to be reciprocal in the steps that we need to take, both sides needed to do things in order to move forward. well, i will tell you that i was that afternoon directly in touch with prime minister yatsenyuk and gave him the full download on those things that were legitimate expectations out of that, and he went to work immediately. immediately. and so it was that from day one ukraine undertook to implement both the spirit and the substance of what was laid out in geneva. he immediately agreed to help to vacate can buildings, and he set out to do so, and they did
vacate some buildings. they immediately began to remove barricades from the maidan. even now in the last 24 hours or so they've vacated an entire building in the maydan because that was a specific complaint of russia. they proposed a specific amnesty bill in the legislature in order to follow through on the amnesty for protesters so that they could leave buildings with sense of security about the justice system. they withheld their legitimate right to use their power of the state to remove people from buildings. instead, stood pack and canceled -- stood back and canceled their ct operation over the course of the easter weekend. they actually took a trip, the prime minister himself, out to the region to indicate a willingness to listen to people in order to shape the constitutional reform, and in every respect began to open up the dialogue ares which even
today they are pursuing throughout the region in order to discuss constitutional reform. that's what ukraine did starting on day one. meanwhile, i have to say to you not one single step has been taken by russia in any public way that seriously attempts to live by the spirit or the law of what was assigned in that agreement. they have not announced publicly to their people that they need to come out of the buildings. they haven't engaged with the osce in order to negotiate people out of the buildings. of every time you have a conversation it's pointing the finger at what the ukrainians haven't done without even tallying what they have done or acknowledging their own zero in the column with respect to what they have undertaken. in fact, it's fair to say they have escalated the crisis even further. there is strong evidence that i
laid out several days ago of the degree to which russian engagement exists directly in the east and has been building up over some period of time. yet what do we hear regrettably? what we hear are the outrageous claims from from certain people that the cia somehow invented the internet in order to control the world with. or -- the world. or that the forces occupying the buildings, armed to the teeth, all wearing brand new military uniforms with the same lack of insignia with the same faces in some cases of people who were identified as being in crimea and in georgia, they somehow want to assert to people that these people moving in disciplined military formation to take over buildings and then bring the local separatists in to occupy building while they move on to another building in an orderly, absolutely
discernible, trackable fashion, they assert that these people are merely local activists seeking to exercise their legitimate rights. as we have made clear, those kinds of claims are absurd. they defy any common sense, they defy the facts, and worse, they're an indicator of the disingenuous dissembling, the policy of complete fiction it is a being pursued in an effort to pursue their own goals and their own ends. the russians claim the government in kiev is illegitimate. but it's a government that came to power with the vast supermajority of the rata voting for it including president yanukovych's own party who deserted him because he deserted
his country. and if your fear is illegitimacy, then you would step out of the way and encourage an election which is set for about three and a half weeks from now on the 25th of may, and you would encourage that election to take place in order to provide the legitimate massey. but instead they're doing everything in their power to undermine free and fair elections. they claim eastern ukraine is too violent for monitors from the osce to be there, but when it comes to the armed pro-russian separatists, the ones who are actually perpetrating the violence, they do absolutely nothing to prevent them from taking those prisoners and hostages they've taken or to free them, and they allow them to be paraded in front of the press, and we see no evidence, no evidence at all that russia has actually pressured any of these groups in order to release any of these people or change course.
now, i, you know, i say this with a certain element of sorrow because of all of the effort and energy that has been expended to try to create a structure by which we would behave, all of us, differently. representing the best hopes and aspirations of all people on the face of this planet. that's what all of our predecessors worked so hard to achieve setting up a structure of rule of law, of international law and multilateral mechanisms by which we try to resolve these kinds of differences. so as a result for all of these reasons, yesterday the united states announced again, president obama announced additional sanctions on more russian individuals and entities, and we've also restricted export licenses for high-tech items that could be used to bolster russia's military capabilities. now, these steps and other steps that we and our partners have taken over the past few months are already forcing russia to
pay a steep price for its efforts to create this instability. and i mean that. you just have to look at the ratings on the bonds, you look at the capital outflow, you look at the gdp numbers that are trending downwards. this is having an impact. and as long as russia decides to continue to fan the flames rather than help to put them out, we stand ready with our partners to do what is necessary. not to necessarily punish somebody, but to find the way forward that restores in this process we've worked so hard to honor through the years. the russians have a clear choice: leave you crane in peace and -- ukraine in peace and work with us together to create a strong ukraine, a ukraine that is not the pawn pulled and tugged at between east and west, but a ukraine that could be a bridge to both with the ability
to have an open trading mechanism on all degrees, 360 around ukraine. and whatever path they choose, i can guarantee this, the united states and our allies will stand together in support of ukraine. this crisis is a wake-up call for us to accelerate the other work that we've been doing to promote a stronger, more prosperous transatlantic community. so to start, we cannot continue to allow allied defense budgets to shrink. clearly, not all allies are going to meet the nato benchmark of 2% of gdp overnight or even next year. but it's time for allies who are below that level to make credible commitments to increase their spending on defense over the next five years. and if we're going to move the trend line in a positive direction, this has to be an