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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 21, 2016 8:30am-10:31am EDT

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>> we are bringing you live coverage of the american israel public affairs committee, the attack annual policy -- apick annual policy session. we're expecting remarks from hillary clinton, kevin mccarthy and minority whip steny hoyer also. the main program expected a little bit later this morning, about 20 minutes from now. we will return to live coverage at that time. while we wait, the american educational trust hosted a recent conference to discuss israel's influence on the u.s. one of the keynote speakers, gideon levy, called the two-state solution a trap. >> all right. so as we roll along, i know those who attended last year
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when they heard gideon levy address the conference were really amazed, to we had no -- so we had no choice but to bring him back this year for his encore speech. gideon is, of obviously, a well known journalist in israel. he writes frequently and oftentimes controversially if you are a zionist israeli. last year, like i said, his speech went viral online, over about 300,000 views online, english and arabic. arabic, actually, is very popular as well. and today he will be addressing what i would tell a visiting congressional delegation. so with that, gideon, i invite you to the podium. [applause] >> thank you, dave. thank you, everybody.
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thank you, washington report, who invited me here last year, and i was prepared for a lecture in front of a couple of hundred of distinguished guests. and two months later i started to realize that something is going on. wherever i go in the west bank, refugee camps, villages, people start to tell me they saw me -- [laughter] speaking at the press club. [laughter] and it went on and on. and then came the trips abroad. and wherever i get, people talk to me about this legendary speech which i totally forgot about. [laughter] and then i realized that it became viral and some 200,000 people around the globe watched it. which then puts me in a very
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impossible position today because i can't repeat myself. [laughter] and as part of you might know, i am a singer of one song, i am a pony of one trick. and then you were helpful enough to give this framework of what would i have told to american congressmen or congressmen delegation, and this gives me a different framework. but i'm really, really grateful to you and to your people for inviting me again and for making me so famous in the world. [laughter] so many congress minnesota are coming -- congressmen are coming over and israeli brainwash machinery is so efficient that it would be very, very hard to compete with this machinery. but still i would like to try
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this time at least virtually. the question that stands on the basis of two main questions are, first of all, do they know the truth? because one can claim that they know the truth, they just ignore it or they don't care about it or they think that the truth, that the reality is the right one. or really can we open their eyes by showing them the real truth, the reality, the back side of israel, the backyard of israel? and the second question yesterday over dinner someone was mentioning the question is american foreign policy in the middle east based on interest or based on values? and i have my doubt cans about both. -- doubts about both. and, therefore, to change this
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is a hell of a mission, but that's the main source of hope for us, for people like me in the middle east. the key is now in your hands, america. the key is now in your hands, act vests. -- activists, scholars. [applause] because, as i said here last year and this i'm sure will be the last sentence that i repeat myself from last year, the chances that change will come from within the israeli society are so limited. when brainwashed system is so efficient and life is so good, why would israel go for any change? what is the incentive? and, therefore, as big as the hope is was also the disappointment in the last seven years. but i'll try with a virtual tour with some congressmen who will be ready to listen to me.
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at first i would take them to certain places that the propaganda system of israel wouldn't take them, and i would like to introduce them to some people that they would never meet if council through aipac. i would maybe tart our tour -- start our tour with meeting a family in gaza, the latest victims last saturday. two and a half, at night, in the morning, two and a half. an american-israeli plane in the sky, an f-16, very accurate as we know with the most moral pilots in the world who never mean to kill any civilian, who never mean to kill any children, who are busy day and night only in saving lives of palestinians.
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an american jet supplied by your country, financed partly by your country with a pilot which was, i guess, trained partly by your country is going to gaza to take revenge for four rockets which were sent few hours before on friday night. didn't hit anything, didn't harm anyone. they were all falling in open spaces. but revenge must be taken. and this f-16 flies over gaza, over the neighborhood of the north part of gaza. children -- and this i know for a fact -- most of the children wake up in hysteria because they know the noise be already, and they know what follows this noise. those who were, and most of them
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were already there in 2005 and 2008 and 2014 and all those operations that israel had done there know what does it mean, an israeli jet in the sky. and soon later the missile, the very, very accurate and precise and sophisticated and clever missile false on the home. to say "home" is an exaggeration. falls on their hut or whatever you call it. and the two brothers, one 6, one 10, have been killed. i'm not sure if they woke up before this or they were killed in their sleep. this attack, which is one of many, should be presented as it is. as a revenge operation of
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israel. nothing to do with fighting terror, nothing to do with the security of israel. then i would love to introduce these congressmen and women to a bunch of victims of the recent months of this recent intifada. children and adults and the families who are executed, part of them, almost most of them without any sufficient reason. i would introduce to them to an american, american citizen, 16 years old. maybe they would care more about an american. the army claims that he came to a checkpoint two weeks ago and had a knife. in any case, did he have a knife
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or didn't he? we don't know because there are very few witnesses. he was shot dead immediately. 16 years old. with a background that makes the belief that he wanted to stab a soldier almost impossible. he came to palestine to spend some years in his village. he was born here. in tampa, florida, he had his plans and dreams to go back to study medicine. his life even in palestine was good, very well-off family. did he go really to stab a soldier? did he endanger the soldier? was there only one choice but to kill him dead and to shoot him three or four bullets? wasn't there any other choice? is there any definition but execution?
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and i give this example, but we have them, unfortunately, on a daily basis in the recent months. american congressmen should know that the life of palestinians in israel right now is the cheapest ever. with everything we went through, never was it so cheap. never was it so easy to kill palestinians. never was it so little discussed. never was it hardly covered by the israeli media, the biggest collaborator of the occupation. never was it so natural that any palestinian must be held as a suspect and any suspect must be executed. american legislators should know this. i would take the american
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legislators to a few places just to show them and to trust their consciousness. it's enough to go to the city of hebron, it's enough and nothing more. just take them there. i never have known a human being who had been to hebron and didn't come back after a few hours in shock. it's one thing to hear about those things, it's another thing to see and experience it in your own eyes. and anyone who argues still that in the occupied territories the regime is not of an apartheid regime, just come to hebron. stay there a few hours. and i want to meet one person who would tell me after visiting hebron that this is not apartheid. it looks like apartheid, it
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walks like apartheid, it behaves like apartheid, it is apartheid. and it is not yet an apartheid state, but the regime there in the occupied for stories is -- cannot be defined but apartheid. and then i would ask the congress delegation are you accepting an apartheid system in the 21st century? do you understand that you are financing an apartheid system in the 21st century? do you know that your president compared once the palestinians to the black slavery? do you live in peace with the fact that you are supporting it automatically and blindly? and then to conclude our tour, i would take this mission, this congress mission to the most unexpected place, to tel aviv. activists usually don't come to
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tel aviv. i always tell activists, please, come to tel aviv, because you will understand it only if you be in tel aviv. look at the wonderful life in tel aviv. one hour from gaza, one hour from hebron. look at the lines for restaurants. listen to what people are talking about in cafés. look at the clubs. look at this vivid society. look at the beaches. many times when helicopters are doing on their way to bomb either hebron or gaza -- hebron, i'm sorry, lebanon in its time or gaza, look and listen to what young people are talking. try to ask them what do they know about the occupation. there is now a survey showing that israel is number 11 in the
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world in the happiness index of the u.n. the israelis are happier than you americans. [laughter] they are happier than the germans, the french, the buritz. 11th in the world. 86% of the israelis claim that life is wonderful. american legislature should know it. because this happiness is partly financed by the united states. and is really israel the first on the list to be supported with so much money in is it the poorest country, the most unprotected country, the weakest one? what is the answer to all those questions? why? without watching the life of tel aviv, it's very hard to
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understand this total loss of connection with reality of the israeli society, this total moral blindness, this total interest in any kind of solution. why would tel aviv go for a solution? tel aviv, ah, the state of tel aviv, this bubbleing one hour away from the place where those two brothers were killed only five days ago. you think that they are, there's 1% of israelis who heard at all that the idea of killing two children just five days ago? can you imagine yourself what would have happened if palestinian terrorists would have killed two babies in their sleep? what would we have heard about the palestinians, about their cruelty, about their brutality, about their behavior, those animals.
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but israel with a jet, with very precise bombs and missiles, that's fine. i would take those congressmen to some of the refugee camps. they should see it. i would have taken them to gaza, if i could. remember what the words -- what the world promised gaza just a few years ago? where's the word of the world? remember how many signed obligations to reconstruct, to rebuild, to open up gaza, and gaza is forgotten again. and the only way for gaza to remind its existence is only by launching rockets. this is the message that's the only way to reminds its existence. and then the israeli right-wingers will tell me, what do you want?
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go to syria. look what's gown on in syria. -- going on in syria. it's so much worse. [laughter] and then i'll tell them the killing in syria is not financed by the united states. the killing in syria is not supported by the united states. the killers in syria do not have a carte blanche to go wild and to kill and to conquer and to depress and to confiscate. and the killers in syria are not the biggest ally of the united states. coming back to this question from the beginning, is the foreign policy in the middle east driven by interest or values? it contradicts both, dear friends. it's not for me to judge americans' policy, but for me it's an enigma, i must tell you.
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it is an enigma. what interest does it serve exactly? and what values do they really share? yes, the american congressmen who would come to israel would find quite a common language with most of these early politicians. we have our donald trumps, we have our hillary clintons, unfortunately so. [laughter] the level would be also most of the same. they will find most of them common language, cynicism would be also quite equal in both sides. but still americans should ask themselves, and legislators above all, why do we go on with the same policy for so many years? why don't you realize that it doesn't lead to anywhere?
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don't we see where does it go? don't we see that with these enormous sums of money that the united states is investigating in this occupancy project at least the minimum would have been to use this to some kind of constructive purposes, to some kind of pressure on israel, to some kind of effort to put an end to the occupation, to change the values or the interests, the policy, the behavior, the conception that the pal stints are not -- palestinians are not equal beings like anything else. the conception that the palestinians were born to kill which is shared right now between the united states and israel. i would have expect a mission of
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the congress to ask itself did this policy of supplying carrots can and only carrots to israel, did it prove itself? what came out of it? next year we are celebrating 50 years to the occupation. you see, when you enjoy yourself, time is passing so quickly. [laughter] it's only the first 50 years of the occupation, i'm afraid. but any american delegation would come to israel should ask can itself where is it -- should ask it, where is it heading to? when the chances for the two-state solution are either totally gone or really in the last moments, i believe that we missed the chance. i believe, by the way, that both america and israel never meant
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to go for the two statement solution. two-state solution. i believe that the two-state solution was a trap which me, personally, i fall into it as well. but america -- [inaudible] now, you can say don't put everything on us americans. take responsibility. you israelis. right? but america cannot not be taken responsible when everything that israel is doing today is, was a total approval of the united states and the total financing of the united states. we have now those discussions. this is really, when you hear it, you really don't believe what you hear. the united states, the leader of the free world, the biggest and only superpower in the world is now negotiating with israel
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about the military assistance over the coming ten years. first of all, israelis say, no, we think we'll wait until the next president. this president is not good enough. .. there were $4 billion a year for 10 years. israel wants five or israel is ready to cooperate on 4.5, 4.3 a
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year. but if you look at the mechanism, if you look at the way it goes, you come again and again to the same question, for god's sake, who is the superpower between the two? and to his in the pocket of whom? [applause] it's really not for me to answer, to give an explanation for this. i would go, me asking you. because i have so many questions to you. how can it be possible? how can it be possible for so many years such a blind and automatic support, carte blanche to israel. how can it be that america, who
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claims to care about this place, who cares but existence of israel is important, who claims that israel is the only democracy in the middle east? how can it be that administration after administration with very little differences between the administrations. they are always competing, the candidate, who will be more pro-israel. and in the same time they are corrupting israel. to even from a point of view of an israeli patriot, for me, aipac is a far friendlier organization to israel. doesn't matter fact i see aipac is one of israel's biggest enemies. [applause] because when, because when you are drug addicted and people, i say, i'm afraid i mentioned it
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also last time, so it's a second, but only two sentences in the whole speech, but it is so clear that i can't help but mention it again. a drug addict, hoosier family, a drug addict who is your friend supply with more money he will be so grateful to you. but all you really caring about him? do you really take care, do you really love him? tie this into a rehabilitation center. he will be so mad at you. but isn't his real care? does anyone here have the slightest doubt that israel is occupation addicted? do you have any kind of doubt that this addiction is dangerous? first of all, from israel's future. the real victims are obviously the palestinians. and in many ways the entire middle east.
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by the end of the day the occupation will end on day one way or the other but the occupier look what happens to the occupier. i would've taken this mission, this congressional mission and introduce them to some colleagues in the israeli parliament. look at the last legislations in the israeli parliament. does this meet american values? a book which is being banned because it was describing intermarriage between races? can you see yourself comfortable and attractive being banned because it described in a marriage between two races? in israel it happens with the common ground between americans and israelis. can you see an american
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president calling the voters of the day of the election to run to the balance because the afro-american, the native american or the hispanic community is running to the ballots? can you see it happening? it happened last elections in israel. and those are the common values. can you see an american president, after a terror attack made, let's say, but and afro-american, calling the whole afro-american community is responsible, speaking about their everyday on a list -- loyal, because of on the terrorist like the israeli prime minister did a few weeks ago?
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can you see it happening? but no, we're talking about the only democracy in the middle east, the only democracy in the middle east has the right to do whatever it wants it and then to end up there's a virtual tour of those congressmen who would never come to listen to me and will never let me take them around, i would end this tour like the israeli propaganda machinery which started in the holocaust memorial museum a. i would have taken in because it all started there. because israel would've never been established without the holocaust, and it should be remembered, absolutely. but then i would ask my guests who will never come, what is the lesson of it? never again -- never again in
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any prize to the jewish people, which gives the jewish people the right to do whatever they want after the holocaust is delayed. golda meir once phrased it, anything. or should the lesson be never again to any other people? [applause] i believe that most of the american legislators are a big part of them know the truth. they know what is being done with their money. they know that the idea which is based so much on american money in training and equipment above all, they know very well what is the use of this army. they know very well that the
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main role of this army, the most in the world come is being an occupier force chasing after children, detaining children, shooting children on a daily basis. they know very well that with all the sophisticated bombs and submarines and air jets that israel has, maybe the most sophisticated army in the world, by the end of the day it's all about maintaining this occupation which no country in the world recognizes, even israel's best friend after the united states. they know very well what use is being done, and they support it, and they compete no one against the other who will be more pro-israeli than the other, and
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american society accepts it. wait for the coming days in aipac year. weight to hear, i saw already drove declared he is the biggest friend of israel. way for hillary clinton's answer that she's the best friend of israel. and i can tell you, dear friends, not have been is in israel's friend. noted in cares about israel. [applause] -- none of them cares about israel. and if this policy will continue, of this automatic in blind support which enables israel to go wide like never before, israel never had this freedom to react as it reacts, never. i remember still years in which every new terrorist in the settlement which was built, was immediately to see what with the americans say. now i think obama is much more fearful of what netanyahu would
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say rather than the opposite way. so the red light is already here, and the red light is shining for so long time in the relationship between the united states and israel. lelet me tell you the date that there will be an american president who would like to really and sincerely put an end to it, who would really like to put an end to this set of crimes, to this criminal occupation, the occupation we come to see within months, within months, israel will never be able to say no to a decisive american president. i would conclude my lecture by saying, so please vote for him, but who is he?
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thank you very much. [applause] >> thanks again for a fabulous speech. and as a look at these questions can i think you're right. these are questions you should be asking us and we should not be asking you. but nontheless, i'll give it a stab. so the first question concerns i guess the high number of extreme right wing israelis, and kind of the notion that a lot of congressmen, especially democratic ones, at any time they see a gun toting american, are quick to push for greater gun reform and stuff like that if they are pretty lenient in supporting gun toting american settlers thousands of miles away in israel.
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the question is kind of what you make of that kind of hypocrisy, i guess? >> could you repeat? >> sorry. just the existence of right wing israelis and how that's kind of, you know, the right wing in the u.s. is often slandered but not in israel. >> first of all -- does it work? i would just like personal sins because when i was on the podium, came in a very, very different of mine, maybe the biggest musician who lives today, and a great, great, great friend of justice in the middle east, mr. rominger walters and i'm so thankful for him to be with us here. [applause]
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>> now we understand why i wasn't so concentrating on the question, because i realized -- ithis for me has a very, very deep meaning. i do believe that the problem in israel is not the right wingers, not the extra \mr.{-|}\mister the problem is the mainstream. the mainstream choose to close its eyes, the mainstream wants to feel so good about himself, and mainstream wants to show the beautiful face of israel, how gay friendly we are, how we invented the cherry tomatoes out how they contributed so much to the international high-tech industry. look how beautiful we are here we invented the keyboards and we are the most moral army in the world. don't you dare to think that it can be the second moral army in the world. that's the most moral army in the world. look at us we are forced by
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those arabs to do all those things. it's not our choice. we are the victims. we live in fear. we live in the drama of the world that we live in the trauma of 48. we live in the drama of the missiles and the trauma of the knife holders and the trauma of terror to end with the happiest people in the world. [laughter] after all those crimes into victimization, number 11 in the world in happiness. standards. very strange. but in any case the mainstream who decides to close his eyes to ignore what's happening in his backyard. this is the main problem. and then the right wingers can do whatever they want. and right wingers find common language with right-wingers anywhere else. and you have your right wingers and we of ou our right-wingers. i don't know which one is worse than whom.
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but by the end of the day, and you can take it also by your elections, by the en end of they i will always prefer an honest right-winger on a bluff of someone who wears a mask and discuss in claims that he is a liberal and a wonderful. and by the end of the day he does the same. in the case of israel, when you look at what labor did and what did the right wingers do, labor kerrcarry so much more responsibility for the occupation project. peace global prize winner shimon peres did much more for the settlement project and putting in a possible obstacle to reaching any kind of justice in the middle east and many right wingers. [applause] >> a couple questions on your description of the west bank as an apartheid system.
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onone person wants to to extend that to israel given the violence in jerusalem and other places? and the second person would like to know, after all these years of apartheid and occupation, where is the hope of? >> first of all i didn't say there is hope. did someone -- [laughter] you will never find me hopeful, never. but this is an exaggeration because there is some kind of hope. i have more hope seven years ago when obama came to power. then i was really hopeful. this i was maybe the last time that i was hopeful. but in many lost cases, or would seem to be lost cases, like apartheid in south africa, commented regime in soviet russia, the wall in east berlin, et al. happened within months, and nobody had foreseen it.
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i'm sure that if i would've come in the late '80s until he all this is going to fall within months, you would never invite me again because this guy is out of his mind. and it happened. so first of all there is room of hope because many times the unexpected does happen and many times it happens when you don't expect it to happen. like those huge trees we are not in the cherry blossom season, but still you see from time to time a tree lives on the ground. it looked so healthy, so strong. what happened? and if you look inside edges it was totally wrong. and what is more wrong than the israeli occupation? [applause] but answering the first part of the question about apartheid, listen, i always think that we should be very precise and not exaggerate because things are bad enough also without any exaggeration.
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israel contains today three regimes. there is a kind of democracy for its jewish citizens. the our corrections in this democracy but still it is a democracy. i may be the best proof, my freedom of speech, today, totally unlimited. there is a the second regime which is aimed at the israeli-palestinian citizens which live in a democracy but our discriminate on any possible basis. but still gained formal civil rights. and then comes the third regime in the occupied territories which can be defined but as an apartheid regime when two people share one piece of land, when people has all the rights and the world, the other one has no rights whatsoever. this is apartheid. and israel is not yet an apartheid state that israel has
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those three regimes. may be the only country in the world made without borders but also with three regimes. it goes toward become an apartheid state because it will not stay there. it doesn't stay in the occupied territories, but right now i would define israel according to its three regimes and not one regime. >> we are running out of time but i will squeeze in one last -- >> i am ready to spare five minutes for my book signing. >> and there we go. there's a question here about, do you think that congress people generally are ignorant on what's happening there or willfully ignorant? >> that's a question for you. i am much more concerned how israeli congressman are ignorant, how israeli legislators know nothing. how israeli young people know nothing. at my guess is, my guess, i didn't check it but my guess is that most of the american legislators know nothing, and what they know is usually a
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product of brainless system, full of lies and prejudice and stereotypes. we know muslims in general are treated today in the world and how they are perceived in the world. and by syrians. i'm not sure that there are many americans, i know by far the are very few israelis have received the palestinians as equal human beings. very, very few, even those left if you scratch under the skin you will always find the belief that they are not exactly human beings like us. i think that, i once wrote palestinians are like animals and i got so many complaints and threat letters from animal rights organizations. [laughter] that i have to be very careful. i'm in great favor obviously of animal rights, but i think that most of the israelis do not
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perceive the palestinians as equal human beings, and maybe this is the core of issue. and i believe that this is true also in this country. you know it better than me, and above all that are so many lies spread. you know, when you read the media the israeli media and also many times part of the american media. you read and you can't believe about how many lies can be spread so easily, and how can you fight when you confront such a huge machinery with basic facts are not only not know that are totally twisted. and then you can't blame by the way public opinion. because if they get this information, maybe they are right in their conclusions. maybe it was those animals you can never get to peace. maybe the palestinians deserve it. maybe palestinians fall, yeah. if we're in a situation which what i write about this brother
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and sister who were killed last saturday in gaza, two babies. and if i read then the talk in israel at least, for the basic journalistic mission just to tell the readers what happened there. and you get so much hate. hatred, only because he chose to portray the two palestinian innocent poor children as human beings. this is a crime in our country, and i believe that in this way american israel are really sharing the same values. >> and just one final question here, combining two questions. do you believe that jewish nationalism can continue to safeguard the jewish people peaceably while accepting human rights for the palestinians, and also just a question on the role of palestinians within israel
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and how their views are in all this? >> snored you give me another two hours because those are two new lectures. no problem -- so in other words, you give me -- my flight leaves tomorrow evening. look, it's really two very, very basic and complicated questions. usually i say when people say it's so complicated, i say listen, this is actually much more simple than you think. it is like a white, and those who always portrayed as a very complicated question want to, say let's find a solution because it is so complicated. many things are very black and white. [applause] and justice is very black and white today between israel and palestine. very, very black and white. but getting to those two questions, the first of all we
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have to define if jewishness is a religion or nationality, or both are and what is stronger than what. are we dealing with a jewish people or the jewish religion? what is zionism? what is left of zionism? many times i ask if i'm scientists i tell me define what it is that i don't know what it means. like any minute of conscious in the world. but what does it mean to be jewish today in israel? the extreme jewish are not the majority in israel but they are the only active group in the society. and when the mainstream is busy with having sushi and buying new jeeps, the extremists are the only ones who are ready to sacrifice something. and then you get what you get. by the end of the day, this can
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be changed, and i don't, many times people speak about jewish values and other things that i never understood what does it mean. i know what it means global, universal values. i don't know what it means a jewish values. and if jewish values is the state of israel today, so it has nothing to do with morality. so in any case how will it live together? look, we have to change basic of basic beliefs. nothing to move without changing those very, very basic beliefs. and this, you know, someone has to lead it and but does anyone even tries to go for this change. as long as this change will not take place, nothing will change because as long as israelis will continue with their racist attitudes toward the palestinians, and that's the core of the issue, nothing, nothing will change.
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as long as israel will be as long as it is in the palestinian will be as divided, it is because they are, let's not forget that are the weakest point ever the world is forgetting them. the world is sick and tired of the whole conflict. the arab world couldn't care less about this. and even, i mean, they are really left with some people of conscious in the world, but we know how cheap is conscious and how unappreciated it is, to be a man of conscious today almost any society is to be a traitor. to be a leftist in israel is a curse today. so coming back to the second question about the israeli-palestinians, they are between really torn between the state and their people. and one should be sensitive
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enough to understand outworn they are between -- how they are between the people and their state. and 81 who asks them for more faithfulness, for more patriotism, towards the state which depresses of their people, again doesn't treat them as normal human beings. normal human beings care about their people. the jewish people should be the first ones to understand it. what did we do when russian jewry couldn't get out from soviet russia? the whole jewish world was recruited for a campaign against russia. is a direct cousin who lives half an hour away from his home who was deported in 48, lost his land, lost his dignity, whose life is really the garbage. and let me tell you, and maybe this will be my last sense
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because you're going to kick me out. i truly believe, and this comes back to the original issue original topic of today. i really, i don't know how knowledgeable are the american legislators. i know one thing. there's not one single american legislator who can't imagine himself what does it mean to live as a palestinian under the occupation, under the israeli occupation. he cannot imagine one day of -- [applause] -- of life danger, of daily lack of hope, despair, not having any chance for anything, being humiliated really on a daily basis. and this is literally on a daily basis. not knowing what does it mean to see the beaches which are half an hour away from your home.
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children who never saw those beaches. so there is not one single american legislator, and very few israelis, if at all, who can imagine themselves what does it mean to be today a palestinian under this brutal occupation. and as long as this is the case, the chances for change are so small and, therefore, if you could arrange a delegation of congressmen or any other who would come, i truly believe that once they will experience the occupation, once they will see how brutal it is, how total it is, how it penetrates the children's room and bedroom on a daily basis, how you don't have one day of dignity and one day of hope, even in peaceful times. and now we are not in a peaceful time. once legislators will see it, i
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give them the credit that this will touch them and maybe this by itself is an exaggeration. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> we went a little over but i think i'm going to integrate it was well worth it. there will not be a 10 minute break or so. gideon will be in the exhibition hall signing books and answering more questions these you have them. [inaudible conversations] >> that was part of a daylong conference on israel's influence on the u.s. you can see it in its entirety if you go to our website c-span.org. we are going live now to coverage of the american israel
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public affairs committee, the aipac annual policy conference. adjustable we expect remarks from house majority leader kevin mccarthy a minority whip steny hoyer, and a little bit later democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton. this is live coverage on c-span2. >> america is changing as a pro israel community in america needs to continue to change with it. our movement needs a variety of life experiences, history and backgrounds to ensure that multiple, meaningful conversations are taking place with our country's leaders. we know this strengthens our community and our work. case in point, almost 10 years ago aipac education foundation let the first trip to israel for pro-israel christian activists. participants in that trip --
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[applause] participants in that trip returned to their hometowns inspired to do everything possible to strengthen their communities involvement in pro israel politics. one of those activists, john buehler, an engineer from huntsville, alabama, founded to statewide pro-israel christian organizations. he built strong friendships with key legislators, and he forged deeper ties with the alabama jewish community. over the past few years, john has become increasingly motivated as a pro israel christian to do something about the growth of the anti-israel boycotts of the sanctions movement, having already build relationships, john spoke to his friends from the state legislature.
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with john leading the way, legislators and key members of both the jewish and christian communities came together. last month, alabama's legislature unanimously condemned the movement and reaffirmed alabama's support for the one and only jewish state. [applause] that's what happens when we worked together. that's what happened when leaders like john buehler are part of the aipac family. [applause] >> we need more on earth like john buehler. we've made a strong start, not it's still just a start.
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our goal is not only to fill arenas. our goal is to fail our country with men and women who know and understand as we do that a strong israel means a strong united states of america, and a safer world for everyone. [applause] to grow our movement and meet the challenges ahead, each one of us needs to make our own commitment. we need to take the energy of this weekend and bring it back to our home communities. by working in a bipartisan manner, by growing aipac and pro israel politics, and by making sure aipac continues to reflect the rich diversity of this great country, we will ensure that we
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don't leave the future to chance. years ago during my first aipac policy conference, there was a young man sitting next to me. i would say he was in his early '20s. i looked over and i noticed tears were streaming down his face, so i turned to him and asked, are you all right? he introduced himself. he didn't have to tell me where he was from. i could hear his israeli accent when he spoke. he said, yes, yes. i'm okay. i just never imagined this. i just never imagined this.
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my friends, he never imagined so much love and support for israel in one room. you see, he said -- [applause] >> i know. sometimes in israel it feels as if we are all alone. that's stayed with me. it motivated me further to want to help ensure that our brothers and sisters would never be isolated or alone. not now, not ever. [applause] and so when sirens wail in the town of southern israel as they still do often do, the people of those communities know they are not alone. you and i work with our elected leaders in congress and the
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administration to fund missile defense systems that keep them safe. [applause] and when those same citizens hear sounds coming from beneath the ground, you and i work with our elected leaders and the administration and congress to fund the technologies that can detect and destroy those terrorist toggles. -- tunnels. [applause] when israel is safe with the growing arsenals, you and i work with our elected leaders in the administration and congress to secure the funding needed to maintain israel's qualitative military edge. [applause] and when children, mothers and fathers are murdered, when an american veteran is murdered, when a teenager, a young man
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filled with promise who sat in the audience with us just last year, when they are murdered, we make our voices heard. we send a clear message that america stands for israel, that the incitement and murder of israelis must stop. [applause] >> time and again you and i respond with action, action that says clearly and without hesitation, israel, you are not alone. [applause] on tuesday, that's tomorrow, we will go to capitol hill and we will advocate for a strong u.s.-israel friendship, for a safe and secure israel.
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because justice demands no less. because israel makes the world a better place. and because america and israel, like all of us here together, are always stronger together. [applause] thank you. thank you. a note ♪ ♪ thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. ♪ >> there's one thing i to all the members when you leave the country, it's not about republicans or democrats. you are americans first and that's the relationship that america has with israel. it's not partisan. it's unique relationship.
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>> the relationship between israel and the united states is not based upon partisan politics. this is about a sense of unity between our two countries, and the acknowledgment of the commonality of our values. >> congress as a very human business, and to get things done you need people to work together. so to be here in a foreign country, to us, which we are americans, i think it was really helpful. >> we had a chance to talk but it's just remarkable because where both from new jersey, the size of israel and we are saying how would we react if we were under constant pressure of being attacked? that takes a toll. >> the republicans and democrats to walk together and listen to people together, and then share
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with each other their impressions, their feelings is so valuable to what we share in common will only become more and more evident despite our diversity is. >> i think we both the to get back at the same time and the we can come out of the river jordan with a whole new perspective on working together. >> wing at two groups of folks that are ideologically opposed on most issues, standing shoulder to shoulder and to look at the risk of that israel faces config gives us all a chance to link arms and become stronger in our support for the individual and for the israeli people. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome former cnn anchor frank sesno. they note ♪ [applause]
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>> well, good morning, everybody. nice to wake up with 18,000 friends in the middle of washington, d.c. i have had the great privilege of joining aipac for several years, and several stimulating discussions. and while the topics of those discussions are very, there has been on the threat of the remains the same, and that his of his commitment to bipartisanship when it comes to this issue and this is what we're going to discuss this morning. so in that spirit i would like to welcome our next two guests to the policy conference stage, two leader leaders in congress o simplify what it means to stand on this issue together and across party lines. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming house majority leader kevin mccarthy and house democratic whip steny hoyer. [applause]
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>> anywhere you would like. well, gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the rotating stage. so as we've just seen in this video, both of you participated in the nation to israel. that's not your first time doing it. i've spoken introductions about the sense of bipartisanship to tell us about your own story what motivated you to travel to israel and take the freshman class with you. what you get out of these trips. congressman order? >> first of all the for someone to issue was 1976. my wife was still alive and we had an extraordinary experience for seven days.
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and expensive that changed my life, change my perspective, and i've been back 13 times the sense in every decade. [applause] spirits in 1976 till now. what you get out of the? >> i get something out of it every time i go. first of all i to people i get a revival out of the. i get a reinvigoration of my principles and my commitment, and a critically important the relationship between israel and the united states is and how we need to work very hard to make sure that it remains a bipartisan issue and effectively sending a message to the world that israel's survival and security is a critical issue for the united states of america. >> what do you get out of it? >> well, the first time i ever went i wasn't in congress. i was in the state is him and a bipartisan basis. i knew my love for israel but it created a unique bond. you don't understand the size or
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the proximity or the threat of the challenges of what they are able to overcome. and it's such an emotional time, just a one week you are there. so we did something much different to when i became majority leader i went down to steny on the floor and we talk very often. i said why do we do something different? why don't we do it when they go, overlap because when you leave this country your in american first. and you know the most unique thing? stensteny a great white way, les than a couple days republicans and democrats together while we are there. and do you know where we went? [applause] we broke bread. we had lunch but we went and stood before the iron dome, looking down to gaza. and would you think a lot of these a bipartisan vote of what we support, but there is a bond that breaks party, that understands israel is our
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greatest ally and if we are not supported can where does it break the world? >> we don't hear a lot about bipartisanship these days in this down to is this the real deal on this issue? >> i think there's more than you would hear about because confrontation is what you hear about. but having said that israel is unique, and a commitment to israel i think is unique and it bonds both republicans and democrats in common cause, and i think that was true yesterday. it's true today and will be true tomorrow. [applause] >> well, you just watch when ms. biggert all coming to you've got everybody coming on every side of the aisle. i don't know of any other organization that can do that but they all have the same mission, too. that we know the bond between israel and america has to be the strongest that it's not, we will lose. >> let's begin for a few minutes. this is a region that is on fire across the region it is more
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tumultuous, more unstable, violent, unpredictable than we have seen in many, many years. that indicates what did each of you see as perhaps the most serious threat facing the region and where they see the israeli-u.s. relationship addressing that? >> i think iran is clearly the number one threat that exists. [applause] they clearly have a policy to impose hegemony on the region. they clearly want to be a power of which people are afraid, clearly one of our major responsibilities of israel's and the united states working together is to usher that iran never gets a nuclear weapon good with that controversy about that, but that commitment needs to remain strong. vice president biden talked about it last night. that needs to be our number one focus. it is interesting, however, in this time and it's a relatively unique time that the surrounding
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community now is having its own internal issues and are confronting one another as much as of their confronting israel, and that i think is a change in circumstances, but it is a destabilizing effort in the middle east, very dangerous. [applause] spent it's no doubt iran. using the resources now to fund terrorism. they feel a new apartment within the region. what we need to do is make sure our relationship has not only close it that we wor worked cloy together from cybersecurity to military advantage. when israel and america are strong, the world is more peaceful and the world is more stable, and we need to have a responsibility. [applause] >> when there is question and out come with iran feels they have an advantage, as you noticed the world becomes destabilizing. >> we have time for just one more question. >> very briefly.
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one of the things i think is our reality that the surrounding world needs to know, the idea and the department of defense are cooperate us closer to do as they ever have. that needs to continue and be expanded. [applause] >> very, very quickly. we'll have a couple of minutes left. i want to ask you both the u.s. and israeli government is trying to wrap up this 10 year agreement, this memorandum of understanding to provide security guarantees and support over the next decade. how will congress respond to these conversations? >> congress is responsibility would be to appropriate the money. and i want to permit bipartisan basis there's more commitment a special after the iran agreement, let's make it longer agreement, a stronger agreement where there is no doubt come israel -- [cheers and applause] >> our premise has been for a long period of time now that our
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investment in israel is an investment in our security. [applause] that premise needs to be maintained. hopefully we will receive come we will achieve a new memorandum of understanding in the short term. and again, indicate a bipartisan consensus that we have in defense of visual. that is an important message to send to the middle east still when do you think a slap in? >> sooner rather than better in we need to make sure that israel has what it needs to defend itself, remain secure and sovereign. [applause] >> when you talk about this agreement, this arrangement, what is the most important component of it besides longer and stronger? >> to meet its innovation and advantage. when israel is strong, they will not be challenged. when they know the bond with america is strong, the world is safer. so if you want peace in the middle east, the relationship
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with america and israel has to be at its strongest and tightest come and cooperation beyond all. [applause] >> gentlemen, our time is up. i would say, however, it is very encouraging to see that there is conversations across the aisle and there isn't an important place where bipartisanship -- >> not only conversation but cooperation. >> and i will do you this. the issue with israel and america brings more bipartisan inside congress. so it's only a helpful a building that we can work together. we stand on the stage together and we traveled to israel together. >> and gentlemen, congressman, thank you very much. appreciate your time. [applause] ♪ ♪
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>> my goal is to enable me to take a taxi on my own. >> being such a cool guy, he also likes to ride bikes. >> we are creating musical instruments for kids. [inaudible] >> under the value upper bring the world it's working together in order to really impact humanity.
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and to channel them to do with neglected social problems. >> having difficulties to move their hands and to use the instruments such as piano and guitar. we want to give them the ability to play music by themselves. >> he realize he can't reach the breaking weber anymore. >> being here we have 120 dedicated people from around the
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world, jews and arabs, together with which is on purpose, which is to do good. >> but the magic happens when the people of talent and engineers, programmers, not designers bring their talent and solve the need of one person with a disability. >> our goal is to end the 72 hours with a walking prototype at what we're doing is basically the equivalent of six months of development into three days. >> it's one mode that does two things. it brings in the chair to the trunk and faults of the legs.
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>> against the backdrop of everything that's happening around the world, we are so proud of the fact it's a platform for bringing people of all religions and many cultures to work together. >> i'm not doing it for myself. i'm old. i'm doing it for the next
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generation. >> we are just scratching the surface so far. in my vision, -- it gives us a global reach and a way to really ring people from all corners of the world to help the world. >> ladies and gentlemen, the gree--[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please
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welcome democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ [applause] >> thank you so much. [cheers and applause] it is wonderful to be here and see so many friends. i've spoken at a lot of aipac conferences in the past, but this has to be one of the biggest yet, and there are so many young people here, thousands of college students. [cheers and applause] from hundreds of campuses around the country. i think we should all give them a hand for being here and beginning their commitment to this important cause. [applause] you will keep the u.s.-israel
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relationship going strong your you know, as a senator from new york and secretary of state -- [applause] i've had the privilege of working closely with aipac members to strengthen and deepen america's ties with israel. now, we may not have always agreed on every detail, but we've always shared and unwavering, unshakable commitment to our alliance and to israel's future as a secure and democratic homeland for the jewish people. [applause] and your support helps us expand security and intelligence cooperation speed is really
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aipac for just a brief moment as abuse in as about the gavel in for a quick pro forma session but we will return to aipac as soon as the senate recesses. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., monday, march 21, 2016. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable john cornyn, a senator from the state of texas, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch, president pro tempore. ev >> the oval office -- >> and back live now to the
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aipac conference. hillary clinton. >> perils we must meet with strength and skill and opportunities we must seize and build on. the next president will sit down at that desk and start making decisions that will affect both the lives and livelihoods of every american and the security of our friends around the world. so we have to get this right. as aipac members, you understand that while the turmoil of the middle east presents enormous challenge and complexity, walking away is not an option. [applause] candidates for president who think the united states can outsource middle east to
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security to dictators or that american no longer has vital national interests at stake in this region are dangerously wrong. [applause] it would be a serious mistake for the united states to abandon our responsibilities or cede the mantle of leadership for global peace and security to anyone else. [applause] as we gather here, three evolving threats -- iran's continued aggression, a rising tide of extremism across a wide arc of instability, and the growing effort to delegitimize israel on the world stage -- are converging to make the u.s./israel alliance more
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indispensable than ever. [applause] we have to combat all these trends with even more intense security and diplomatic cooperation. the united states and israel must be closer than ever, stronger than ever and more determined than ever to prevail against our common adversaries and to advance our shared values. [applause] this is especially true at a time when israel faces brutal terrorist stabbings, shootingsing and vehicle attacks -- shootings and vehicle attacks at home. parents worry about letting their children walk down the street. families live in fear. just a few weeks ago a young
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american veteran and west point graduate named taylor force was murdered by a palestinian terrorist near the jaffa port. these attacks must end immediately -- [applause] and palestinian leaders need to stop inciting violence, stop celebrating terrorists as martyrs and stop paying rewards to their families! [cheers and applause] because we understand the threat israel faces.
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we know we can never take for granted the strength of our alliance or the success of our efforts. today americans and israelis face momentous choices that will shape the future of our relationship and of both our nations. the first choice is this: are we prepared to take the u.s./israel alliance to the next level? this relationship has always been stronger and deeper than the headlines might lead you to believe. our work together to develop the iron dome saved many israeli lives when hamas rockets began to fly. [applause] i saw its effectiveness firsthand in 2012 when i worked with prime minister netanyahu to
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negotiate a ceasefire in gaza. and if i'm fortunate enough to be elected president, the united states will reaffirm we have a strong and enduring national interest in israel's security. [cheers and applause] and we will never allow israel's adversaries to think a wedge can be driven between us. [applause] when we have differences, as any friends do, we will work to resolve them quickly and respectfully. [applause] we will also be clear that the united states has an enduring interest in and commitment to a more peaceful, more stable, more secure middle east. and we will step up our efforts to achieve that outcome. [applause]
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indeed, at a time of unprecedented chaos and conflict in the region, america, america needs an israel strong enough to deter and defend against its enemies, strong enough to work with us to tackle shared challenges and strong enough to take bold steps in the pursuit of peace. [applause] that's why i believe we must take our alliance to the next level. i hope a new ten-year defense memorandum of understanding is concluded as soon as possible to meet israel's security needs far into the future. [applause] that will also send a clear message to israel's enemies that
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the united states and israel stand together united. it's also why, as president, i will make a firm commitment to insure israel maintains its qualitative military edge. [cheers and applause] the united states should provide israel with the most sophisticated defense technology so it can deter and stop any threats. that includes bolstering israeli missile defenses with new systems like the arrow iii and david's sling. and we should work together to develop better tunnel detection, technology to prevent armed smuggling, kidnapping and terrorist attacks. [applause]
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one of the first things i'll do in office is invite the israeli prime minister to visit the white house -- [cheers and applause] and i will send a delegation from the pentagon and the joint chiefs to israel for early consultations. [applause] let's also expand our collaboration beyond security. together welcome build an even more vibrant culture of innovation that tightens the links between silicon valley and israeli tech companies and entrepreneurs. [applause]
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there is much americans can learn from israel from cybersecurity to energy security to water security and just on an everyday people-to-people level. and it's especially important to continue fostering relationships between american and israeli young people who may not always remember our shared past. they are the future of our relationship, and we have to do more to promote that. many of the young people here today are on the front lines of the battles to oppose the alarming boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as bds. prison -- [applause] particularly at a time when anti-semitism is on the rise across the world, especially in europe, we must repudiate all
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efforts to malign, isolate and undermine israel and the jewish people. [applause] i've been sounding the alarm for a while now. as i wrote last year in a letter to the heads of major american jewish organizations, we have to be united in fighting back against bds. many of its proponents have demonized israeli scientists and intellectuals, even students. to all the college students who may have encountered this on campus, i hope you stay strong, keep speaking out. don't let anyone silence you with, pulley you or try -- bully you or try to shut down debate, especially in places of learning like colleges and universities! [cheers and applause]
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anti-semitism has no place in any civilized society, not in america, not in europe, not anywhere. [applause] now, all of this work defending israel's legitimacy, expanding security and economic ties, taking our alliance to the next level depends on electing a president with a deep, personal commitment to israel's future as a secure, democratic jewish state and to america's responsibilities as a global leader. tonight you'll hear from candidates with very different visions of american leadership
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in the region and around the world. you'll get a glimpse of a potential u.s. foreign policy that would insult our allies, not engage them and embolden our adversaries, not defeat them. for the security of israel and the world, we need america to remain a respected global leader, committed to defending and advancing the bear national order. -- international order. [applause] an america able to block efforts to isolate or attack israel. the alternative is unthinkable. [applause] yes, we need steady hands, not a president who says he's neutral on monday, pro-israel on tuesday and who knows what on wednesday, because everything's negotiable. [cheers and applause]
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well, my friends, israel's security is nonnegotiable. [cheers and applause] i have sat in israeli hospital rooms holding the hands of men and women whose bodies and lives were torn apart by terrorist bombs. aye listened -- i've listened to doctors describe the shrapnel left in a leg, an arm or even a head. that's why i feel so strongly
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that america can't ever be neutral when it comes to israel's security or survival. we can't be neutral when rockets rain down on residential neighborhoods, when civilians are stabbed in the street, when suicide bombers target the innocent. some things respect negotiable. [applause] aren't negotiable. and anyone who doesn't understand that has no business being our president. [applause] the second choice we face is whether we will have the strength and commitment to confront the adversaries that threaten us, especially iran. for many years we've all been rightly focused on the existential danger of iran
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acquiring a nuclear weapon. after all, this remains an extremist regime that threatens to annihilate israel. that's why i led the diplomacy to impose crippling sanctions and force iran to the negotiating table and why i ultimately supported the agreement that has put a lid on its nuclear program. [applause] today iran's enriched uranium is all but gone, thousands of centrifuges have stopped spinning, iran's potential breakout time has increased and new verification measures are in place to help us deter if detect -- deter and detect any cheating. i really believe the united states, israel and the world are safer as a result. but still, as i laid out at a speech at the brookings institution last year, it's not
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good enough to trust and verify. our approach must be distrust and verify. [applause] this deal must come with vigorous enforcement, strong monitoring, clear consequences for any violations and a broader strategy to confront iran's aggression across the region. we cannot forget that tehran's fingerprints are on nearly every conflict across the middle east from syria to lebanon to yemen. the iranian revolutionary guard corps and its proxies are attempting to establish a position on the golan from which to threaten israel, and they continue to fund palestinian terrorists. in lebanon hezbollah is amassing
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an arsenal of increasingly sophisticated rockets and artillery that well may be able to hit every city in israel. tonight you will hear a lot of rhetoric from the other candidates about iran, but there's a big difference between talking about holding tehran accountable and actually doing it. our next president has to be able to hold together our global coalition and impose real consequences for even the smallest violations of this agreement. [applause] we must maintain the legal and diplomatic architecture to turn all the sanctions back on if needed. if i'm elected -- [applause] the leaders of iran will have no doubt that if we see any indication that they are violating their commitment not to seek, develop or acquire
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nuclear weapons, the united states will act to stop it and that we will do so with force if necessary. [applause] iranian provocations like the recent ballistic missile tests are also unacceptable and should be answered firmly and quickly including with more sanctions -- [applause] those missiles were stamped with words declaring, and i quote, "israel should be wiped from the pages of history." we know they could reach israel or hit the tens of thousands of american troops stationed in the middle east. this is a serious danger, and it demands a serious response. [applause] the united states must also
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continue to enforce existing sanctions and impose additional sanctions as needed on iran and the revolutionary guard for their sponsorship of terrorism, illegal arms transfers, human rights violations and other illicit behaviors like cyber attacks. we should continue to demand the safe return of robert levinson and all american citizens unjustly held in iranian prisons. [applause] and we must work closely with israel and other partners to caught off the flow of money and arms from iran to hezbollah. if the arab leaguing can designate all of hezbollah as a terrorist organization, surely it is time for our friends in europe and the rest of the
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international community to do so as well and to do that now! [applause] at the same time, america should also stand with those voices inside iran calling for more openness. now look, we know the supreme leader still calls the shots and that the hard-liners are intent on keeping their grip on power. but the iranian people themselves deserve a better future, and they are trying to make their voices heard. [applause] they should know that america is not their enemy, they should know we will support their effort to bring positive change to iran. [applause]
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now, of course, iran is not the only threat we and israel face. united states and israel also have to stand together existence the threat from isis and other -- against the threat from isis and other radical jihadists. an isis affiliate in the sinai is reportedly stepping up attempts to make inroads in gaza and partner with hamas. on saturday a number of israelis and other foreigners were injured or killed in a bombing in istanbul that may well be linked to isis. two of the dead are u.s.-israeli dual nationals. this is a threat that knows no borders. that's why i've laid out a plan to take the fight to isis from the air, on the ground with local forces and online where they recruit and inspire. our goal cannot be to contain isis, we must defeat isis.
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[applause] and here is a third choice. will we keep working toward a negotiated peace or lose forever the goal of two states for two peoples? despite many setbacks, i remain convinced that peace with security is possible can that it is -- and that it is the only way to guarantee israel's long-term survival as a strong jewish and democratic state. [applause] it may be difficult to imagine progress in this current climate when many israelis doubt that a willing and capable partner for peace even exists. but inaction cannot be an option. israelis deserve a secure homeland for the jewish people.
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palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state. in peace and dignity. and only a negotiated two-state agreement can survive those outcomes. [applause] if we look at the broader regional context, converging interests between israel and key arab states could make it possible to promote progress on the israeli-palestinian issue. israelis and palestinians could contribute toward greater cooperation between israel and arabs. i know how hard all of this is. i remember what it took just to convene prime minister netanyahu and president abbas for the three sessions of direct face-to-face talks in 2010 that i presided over.
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but israelis and palestinians cannot give up on the hope of peace. that will only make it harder later. all of us need to look for opportunities to create the conditions for progress including by taking positive actions that can rebuild trust. like the recent constructive meetings between the israeli and palestinian finance ministers aiming to help bolster the palestinian economy, or the daily on-the-ground security cooperation between israel and the palestinian authority. but at the same time, all of us must condemn actions that set back the cause of peace. terrorism should never be encouraged or celebrated, and children should not be taught to hate in schools. that poisons the future. [applause] everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions,
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including with respect to settlements. now, america has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. and as president, i would count the pursuit of -- i would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. and let me be clear, i would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution including by the u.n. security council. [applause] there is one more choice that we face together, and in some ways it may be the most important of all. will we as americans and as israelis stay true to the shared
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democratic values that have always been at the heart of our relationship? we are both nations built by immigrants and exiles seeking to live and worship in freedom, nations built on principles of equality, tolerance and pluralism. [applause] at our best, both israel and america are seen as a light unto the nations because of those values. [applause] this is the real foundation of our alliance, and i think it's why so many americans feel such a deep emotional connection with israel. i know that i do. and it's why we cannot be neutral about israel and israel's future, because in israel's story we see our own. and the story of all people who struggle for freedom and self-determination.
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there's so many examples. you know, we look at the pride parade in tel aviv, one of the biggest and most prominent in the world -- [cheers and applause] and we marvel that such a bastion of liberty exists in a region so plagued by intolerance. we see the vigorous, even raucous debate in israeli politics and feel right at home. [laughter] and, of course, some of us remember a woman, golda meir, leading israel's government decades ago and wonder what's taking us so long here in america? [cheers and applause] [laughter] but we cannot rest on what previous generations have
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accomplished. every generation has to renew our values and, yes, even fight for them. today americans and israelis face currents of intolerance and extremism that threatens the moral foundations of our societies. now in a democracy, we're going to have differences. but what americans are hearing on the campaign trail this year is something else entirely. encouraging violence, playing coy with white supremacists, calling for 12 million immigrants to be rounded up and deported, demanding we turn away refugees because of their religion and proposing a ban on all muslims entering the united states. now, we've had dark chapters in our history before. we remember the nearly 1,000 jews aboard the st. louis who
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were refused entry in 1939 and sent back to europe. but america should be better than this. and i believe it's our responsibility as citizens to say so. [applause] if you see bigotry, oppose it. if you see violence, condemn it. if you see a bully, stand up to him. [cheers and applause] on wednesday evening jews around the world will celebrate the festival of purem, and children will learn the story of the man who refused to stay silent in the face of evil. it wasn't easy. she had a good life.

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