tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 11, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EST
an academic council so this group of academics can select that person quote, who has made extraordinary intellect yul contributions, social welfare of political understanding, as did irving kristol in a number of ways. the council of academic advisers this year has chosen to bestow this award to benjamin netanyahu, prime minister of israel and we're very honored to have you here to receive this award. as arthur mentioned, tonight's program will consist of a discussion between prime minister netanyahu and danielle putka, ai's director of foreign and defense policy studies and considerable intellect. danny, i am certain will raise many important issues with the prime minister. but i would like to address to prime minister netanyahu with
all humility, in order to set the stage, a question that i think was raised and discussed by members of the council and is of course broader concern to all of us including to all citizens around the world. how is it possible to achieve peace in the middle east? 20 years ago, at around the time of the first -- i asked this question to a friend of mine and who later was the chief justice of the israeli supreme court. it's common maybe just for americans to believe that wars have a beginning and end. although of course the recent american experience in afghanistan and iraq would be changing. can i ask my friend, would there be peace between palestine and israel and my friend answered we've been fighting for 2,000 years, why should it end now?
there's probably a deep truth to that point, though it is not an assuring answer, but i would like to put it, danny put this question to with all respect to prime minister netanyahu. and danny i'm sure will have other questions as well. the, this institute, the american enterprise institute is committed to promoting through it studies, the benefits of free markets, free trade, open interactions between scitizens s to how best they can improve their lives. there is an old saw in the political science literature that provides that democracies do not go to war against each other. there's no strong theoretical support for the proposition beyond the idea that citizens voting democratically would not support destructive wars. now, of course, the proposition
has been belied impirically. hitler was elected democratically and particular by the palestine israel dispute today frk one can view a citizen that elected hamas as a functioning democracy. the more important generalization might be that wars do not occur and have no reason to occur among countries that embrace the market order. in the context of market economies through destructive war and combat that cannot be achieved more sustain bly through mutually beneficial transactions in the market, so with all respect, i would put this question to prime minister netanyahu. why shouldn't israel promote a lively economy for dgaza and th west bank? put them on their feet in economic terms. i believe that a vibrant palestinian economy would change the relationship between israel and palestine. i very conscious of the security
concerns that remain. which are not at all trivial. but i believe that they will deminnish every time as a gaza and west bank economy develops. as an example, the settlements become not a colonialist intervention, but money to buy palestinian services, just as a small town in america welcomes the arrival of new neighbors. i'm sure that danny and many others in our discussion tonight, we are all looking forward to the remarks of prime minister netanyahu. >> and now, for the event, this is the largest in aei history. and number four, perhaps you're thinking it's because of the food and band. you'd be wrong. our team has ensured both are
good, but it's because of out of honored guest. few leaders are important as benjamin netanyahu. we are fond in america of favorablety ratings and polls, so it's noticeable that he is kurntsly polling better in america than our own leaders of either party. this i suspect is an interesting opportunity for the prime minister given that we have an election coming up. prime minister netanyahu has been an unflinching supporter of the democratic capitalist values that we share at aei and in this room. he has not had simply a political, but also a great economic career. he was the finance minister of israel that helped manage israel's transition from a good and successful country to a wildly successful start up nation and all along the way, he's maintained toughness for his country and our shared cause in a part of the world that is
frequently pretty hostile to both. he is an unapologetic friend to america. not democrat america or republican america or jewish america, but to every single one of us. his accomplishment in politics and world fairs, his accomplishments are well-known and too numerous for me to &u&@. it is our honor to have him as the awardee of the irving kristol award and hear his thoughts in an interview. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome with me, prime minister benjamin netanyahu.
disturbance, mr. prime minister, you've been welcomed only three or four times already. let me welcome you again. we're delighted to have you here. >> well, thank you very much. preesh yacht iappreciate it. i want to tell you, i'm not used to receiving awards in israel. especially not from the media. i do get them from the public on election day. but it's very moving for me to be here. i do remember irving kristol as a great intellect. as a fearless intellect. political correctness was thrown out of the window. he called it like he saw it. and he had a profound influence on many. had a profound influence on me and i consider myself honored privileged to spent many hours with him.
i think he's left a great legacy and he's left a great family. and i want to especially welcome his wife, bee, i've read her books recently, a book, believe it or not, on semitism in britain, can you imagine? a tremendous book. this is a tremendous family. it goes on in the next generations. i am deeply honored to have received this award from you. thank you. >> i don't think anybody sitting here in this room would underestimate the affection and respect that the american enterprise institute, our entire family and community has for the irving's legacy, so, thank you so much for saying that. now let me pick up on our remarks. just a quick, brief word. for those of you who have been with us for many years, in years
past, we have had our honorees give a speech from the podium and this year, we asked you to have a conservation and thank you for doing that. we thought it would be more interesting, more enlightening perhaps for some of us and in addition, it would provide an opportunity to hear about a range of issues that would be of importance to everybody. but perhaps, more importantly, i think there are some who may with a little disappointed that i'm not going to interrogate you in washington style about a variety of issues. i'd like to remind our guests, aei is not a news organization. i may dispoint you, i'm sorry, but we are a think tank and we're interested in the big questions and i hope that if we can take something away, it will be some big answers. >> well, i hope this catches on. it's wonderful. >> we're all about leadership.
mr. prime minister, you've said israel has always been pro american. israel will always be pro american. you yourself spent many years in the united states as did your father. tell us a little bit about what is at the heart of israel's and your affection for the united states. >> common values, first. i think the values of freedom. free societies. the idea of individual choice. that is enveloped the collective purpose. i think that defines israel defines america. these are two societies built on a purpose. on the idea of freedom. as spoken in the congress a number of times, and each time, i look and i see the emblem of moses in the american congress. and it says a lot.
it's the, the idea of the promised land, a land of freedom. freedom of bondage. freedom to pursue your future. so, i think this is the, the identity of conviction. but there is something else that i think has to be seen in an historic context. we were a people scattered among the nations. we had no capacity to depend ourselves and by dent of historical regularity, we should have disappeared. most nations that existed in the past do not exist today. and certainly a nation scattered from its land and becoming utterly defenseless, subject to the whims, worst whims of humanity should have disappeared. we gathered our resolve, came back to the land of israel, the promised land. rebuilt our country when we
repoerep repossessed the power to defend ourself, but it was said before, all power, even great powers, need alliances. we need an alliance, too. we did not have that alliance in the first half of the 20th century when the founding fathers of zionism identified the threat of antisemitism in europe, we had no capacity yet to build our nation, we built it having lost 6 million of our brethren and i believe that in the united states had been the preeminent world power in the first half of the 20th century, things might have turned out differently f. and yet, israel was born in mid
century. the united states became the global power at that point. and what a difference it made. it made a difference for the entire world by guaranteeing liberty, by facing down soviet totalitarianism. it made a difference for us in that we had a partner. and i think that not only the common ideals of israel and the united states, there were mentioned here, but i think it's also the role, the active role of the united states in defendinging liberty around the world and standing by its alli s allies. in this case, the best possible ally, the united states israel, i think it's made a world of difference and i met on this alliance. i wouldn't sell the united states short. i wouldn't sell israel short. and i would not at all dim inish the porps of this alliance. i think it's pivotal for the
future of our world and if you ask me about it, i'll tell you more. this is what i believe. with a sore throat. >> i've got tissues right here, too. >> that's all right. >> like the united states and -- >> okay, sure. >> like the united states, which was founded on a big idea and on a by a group of people seeking freedom, israel, took into consideration was founded on a big idea, but the country's come a lopg way since 1896 when huds el word the jewish state. is strks ionism still is animating idea of the state of israel? is there another direction that israel goes in? where does israel go in the 21st century? >> having not had a state for
2,000 years, we have secured it again, but we have to assure the jewish future. that's what zionism is about. giving the jewish people the ability to have their own independent state, but you know, this is an ongoing effort. the challenges keep changing. what you want to make sure is that you have the inner strength to confront these challenges and also, to make these alliances that i talked about. nobody makes alliances with the weak. and nobody makes apeace with the weak. so, the first obligation we have to further the future of israel is to make sure the country is strong. strong militarily. but that's expensive. i hope you know that.
it's very expensive. so, the only way you can actually fund israel's defenses to safeguard the jewish future is to have a very vibrant economy. the only way you're going to have a very vibrant economy is to make sure it's a free market economy. that is something that i've to do and i think that we're successful in doing that because in israel, what is happening now is that we are harn harnessing is power of innovation to free markets. if you have technological brilliance, but no free markets, it's not going to go anywhere. the former soviet union had incredible met lurnlgists, physicists, mathematicians, but they were utterly useless. if you put them on a plane and
took them to palo alto, they were producing value in three weeks. israel had incredible technologists, incredible scientists. incredible. but we had to liberate our markets, which is a process i had something to do and as a result, israel is becoming i would say the preeminent or one of the two great centers of innovation in the world. and as a result, the our ability to make alliances is shifting. we are now in a extraordinary relationship with two small countries in asia. india and china. and japan. together, we account for roughly 2.5 billion people in the world. now, they're all coming to this new israel, you ask where is israel going.
in the century of conceptual products and knowledge, the ones who will prosper are those who can innovate faster. israel is a speech innovator. we don't have that large a number of innovatorinnovators, have a very, very large number of very fast innovators and our culture promotes that. so, i think israel is moving into a leadership position. i'll give you a number to illustrate this because i think it's important i take this away from general concepts and make it concrete. in 2014, as a result of a deliberate policy that my government is leading, israel had 10% of the global investments in cybersecurity. that's 100 times our size.
in 2015, we tracked that number. we received double that amount. we received 20%. of the global investment in cybersecurity. in cyber, we're punching 200 times above our weight. this is an indication of how you can increase your capacities and tl innate ingenuity, both for national power and international connections. i read a book by a wonderful rider named will durante. well, he wrote some 12 volumes on history. and towards the end of his life, i think in the late '60s, he wrote a small book. it's 100 pages long. and it's called the lessons of history.
well worth reading. i subject aei reprint it. it's tremendous. every sentence is potent and pregnant with meaning and insight. i want to give you the good news and bad news. the bad news, if i have to, if i can use the word crystallize, what durante is saying, he says that in history, numbers count. that is big nations overcome smaller nations because you know, they have bigger gdp, so they can have a bigger military and so on and so on. and then i think on page 19 or so, he says, there are exceptions sometimes, where nations can harness is cultural force. and he says the young state of israel may be an example of such an exception. well, half a century later, i
think we proved the point. so, where do we xwo? we maintain the defenses of the jewish state. we develop its economy. we allow our ingenuity to flourish. we become a technological power house and we hope that in the great battle between ma teterni and medicine evilism, that, if that's the case, we all win. >> there is though a great battle going on in your part of the world. and if you talk about democracy being the idea that made israel strong and the markets and capitalism being the idea that
will propel israel into the 21st century and beyond, there are other ideas at play and a lot of people who suggest that -- throughout the region and are tirnizing many of the people in the middle east, that thir founded on an idea and that as many drone strikes or air strikes or even ground wars that happen, without having an idea to substitute their, you cannot win. as the leader of the only truly democratic market economy in the middle east, what is the idea that is going to beets this? is it democracy? >> it certainly created freedom. i think there's a process in which the arab world and parts of the islamic world move towards the idea of greater
freedom. it's not automatic. but it's certainly a good contrast to the kind of tyranny they're experiencing now. and the brunt of the savagery is inflicted on muslims right now. millions have been displaced and hundreds of thousands butchered, so they have a good idea of what they don't want. i actually think that sometimes, in these kinds of battles, it's first of all important to win physically. win. fight. i mean, combatting -- you had denounceification after you won. you have to win. it's very important not to allow these beasts the freedom to prowl. because what they're doing is they're emptying parts of the
middle east you have these two human streams fleeing the ministry. i spoke to david cameron, prime minister of britain and to angela merkel in the last few weeks and i said, i don't want to talk about isis. that's politically loaded. you can a sk me privately later, but i wanted to speak about boca haram, about al shabaab. there must be at least 12, probably closer to 20 leaders of african nations who came to israel just as asia is coming to israel. and they only want three things from us. israeli technology. the african states come and say we want israel the technology and agriculture and health care
and irrigation, whatever. and they all come down to one word. so, i suggested to some of the european countries, a simple partnership. consortiums to deal with individual countries, help them with their security. the islamist movements in africa. they could be defeated today, they can be defeated. be a lot harder tomorrow and my point is in addition to the battle of ideas, there's the battle. you have to win the battle. and the earlier you win it, the cheaper it will be. the longer you wait, these forces will disapate because there is no hope, no future for
a world of darkness. my people, i think defeating is important. but on the ground as well. >> i hope you won't mind if i press you on this question because there are plenty of voices growing who sukt we are better off with the gadhafiys as and saddams and assads in place to tamp down on the islamists who rise up and that secular dictatorship is really the solution we should look for for the rest of the middle east.
where do you come down on that? >> i went to serve in the united nations 100 years ago as israel's ambassador and there was a woman there, her name was jean kirkpatrick. and i had read an article that she had written called dictatorships and double standards. soviet toll tall tear yanism and on occasion, we decide for the larger goal to make arrangements with secular dictatorships.
that's basically what she said. brutal killer. so is gadhafi. no question about that. i had my own -- they were bullies, they tormented their immediate environment. but they were not wedded to a larger goal. iran leading the shiites with their proxies and hamas or even though hamas is a sunni, or the militant sunnis led by dash, by isis. they have a larger goal in mind.
their goal is to world. it's unbelievable. people don't believe that. they don't believe it's possible to have this quest for an immate or cal fate in the 21st century, but that is exactly what is guiding them and against his who could represent two states, one, dash, and the other, iran. each one of them nuclear weapons in the case of iran, that posed a threat to our world. therefore, if i have to cat accountize the threats, i would say that these are the larger threats. it doesn't mean you have to form
alliances with secular dictatorshi dictatorships, it means you have to cattize what is what is the larger threat and that's something that i think is required from all of us. political leadership involves always choosing between bad and worse. i seldom have had a choice between bad and good. i we can ilt when it happens, but these are by far the easiest choices. it's choosing between bad and worse. and i think i know how to choose that. >> let's talk about syria for a moment and i want to turn quickly to iran. syria is spirals out of control. situation seems to be going from bad to worse. when you think about this, how do you see the imp implications
and solutions that israel can affect? >> i have this weakness. you know, i've done a lot of economic reforms in israel. i think about 50. a lot. you can ask me later about them. >> i'm not taking this hint enough. >> well, they want to have dinner, but i want the tell you about that. so, these economic reforms, the most difficult problem contrary to what people think is actually conceptual. it's getting a concept right. getting the idea right. especially if you can borrow from others and see where it worked, okay? then you just have to fit it to your own country. then you have the battle with all the rest of your interests
and so on, but i find that boring. it's the first part, deciding what is the right thing to do. that always takes the largest effort and also the greatest intellectual investment and it's pretty easy to do in economics, in education. it's pretty easy to do in other things. if i see a situation where i don't have a clear concept, i don't charge in. in syria, i do not see a simple concept. because you choose between a horrible secular dictatorship or the two other prospects or that would be purposed by iran and you would have iran run syria. a horrible prospect for us. or dash. which is also there, touching our borders on the -- when two of your enemies are fighting each other, i don't say strengthen one or the other.
i say we can both or at least don't intervene, which is what i've done. i've not intervened. i have acted several years ago and i think i was the first country to do that. to put a military hospital ten yards away from the border with the gulan with syria and we've taken in thousands of syrians, children, women, men, amputated, horrible conditions. given them treatment in israeli hospitals. we never show their picture. because if their photograph is seen and they are then rehabilitated and go back to their villages or towns, they'll be executed on the spot. but other than that, i've left the internal battle in syria untouched because i'm not sure what to choose and you have to
openly admit it. but here's what i do define in syria. i don't want syria to be used as a launching ground for attacks against us and i have said this to vladimir putin when i flew to moscow to see him. i went to see him first to make sure that our planes don't crash at each other, not a good idea. but i told him, here's what we do. in syria. we will not allow iran to set up a second front in the gulan and we will act forcefully and have acted forcefully to prevent that. we will not allow the use of syrian territory toed by the sy army or anyone else and we have acted forcefully against that and third, we will not allow the use of syrian territory for the
transfer of game changing weapons into lebanon, into hezbollah's hands and we have acted forcefully on that. i made it clear that we will continue to act that way. i explained that to putin. i said, whatever your goal rs in syria, these are our goals and we'll continue to act that way. and i think that message was received. now, there is talk now of an arrangement in syria. and i spoke about it today in a good conversation i had with president obama. and i said that any arrangement that is struck in syria, if one is achievable, i'm not sure. i'm not sure humpty dumpty could be put back together. i have strong doubts. i'm not sure if syria as a state could be reconstituted, but
whatever arrangements are made in syria, that do not preclude iran from continuing its aggression against us direct ly we have clear policy demands in syria. we keep them and will continue to. the defense of israel is what concerns me in syria first and foremost and on that, we'll continue to act forcically. >> i know you want to talk about the economy, but let me ask you quickly about iran. otherwise, the audience won't forgive me. the iranian certainly are embroiled in syria, but these have been pretty good times for them, actually. we seem them in yemen without too much pushback in bahrain and
lebanon, of course. they're still active in the west bank and ga sa. do you see iran as moderating its actions because of the joint plan of action better known as the iran deal? how do you see iran's ambiti ambitioning playing out? >> it's no secret we had a a disagreement, president obama and myself on the nuclear issue. that a deal was signed. i think right now, we have to concentrate on three things. the first is to prevent iran from violating the deal. i was concerned with two things about the deal. one that iran violated the deal. the other that they keep the deal. and within 15 years, they have a clear path to producing the ed
arsonal. i'm still corn wd that as tect of it, but right now, we are in agreement that we want to keep iran's feet to the fire. we want to make sure they don't violate the deal. and the president and i spoke about that today. at some length, so we'll cooperate first of all to make sure that iran doesn't cheat and believe me, it has a proclivity for cheating, so that's the first thing. the second thing is we have a vested interest and by we, the united states and israel, not only israel, to prevent iran's conventional aggression. remember that iran is not only arming hezbollahs, trying to build a second front, supplying hamas and gaza and islamic jihad with a technology of attack
drones. acting in yemen. trying to undermine jordan. you name it. also, building an arms industry 50,000 man strong that produces submarines, satellites, precision rocketry. and many other and iran could pursue this aggression if not met with force. so, i think the second thing, other than keeping their feet to the fire is supporting your allies. and the most important ally for iran is the state of israel. support israel. if i can be settle enough and the president and i are discu discussed today, a memorandum of understanding for american military support for israel for the next ten years.
imagine, well, imagine the middle east without israel. what do you think would happen in our immediate vicinity? and the foreign ministry, so have to be dip dipmatic. i leave it to your imagination. now, imagine a middle east with three israels. one in afghanistan, one in libya, one near yemen. it would be a far dimpt situation. the support for israel that i'm talking about, well, united states supports israel to the tune of $3 billion a year, okay? you spent on the wars in afghanistan and iraq, a trillion and half, so that's five centuries worth of support for israel. i think the president said that supporting israel is not just important for israel, something
that we deeply appreciate, but it's also a very solid investment in american security as well. we're an ally that doesn't ask for any american troops. we never have and we don't intend to. we just want to have the tools. so, i think the second thing in fighting iran is giving israel the tools to defend itself and deter iran. there's a third item. that i think is essential. iran is not merely practicing aggression in middle east. iran is building a terror network in both hemispheres. adding the new terrorist cell roughly every four weeks. when i say both hemispheres, that obviously includes the western hemisphere. this hemisphere. and i think this terror network that is growing rapidly, should be torn apart. so, three things. keep their feet to the fire.
support your allies. this ally. first. and third, bring down that terror network. i think that's what i can say about iran. it will be left to history to see. if iran will modernize and reform under this clique. i have my doubts. i hope i'm wrong. i suspect i'll be proved right, but i'll be delighted, delighted if the google kids take over tehran. that has not yet happened. >> i think we'll all be delighted. normally, i would cut things off because we're about to run out of time, but i want to press you on an issue i don't know your reluctant to talk about. that is israel's economy. >> i love that one. >> you said ask me about israel's economy. you tell us. what do you want people to know?
what do you want people to take away? that's my last question. so go for it. >> i think the supremesy of free markets is not self-evident. i think it has to be explained. i think the task of leaders is to get things conceptually right. but the second is to communicate it effectively. when i became finance minister in the midst of a crisis in 2003, we were in a horrible crisis. our economy was shinking, gdp was shrinking, terrible unemployment. most people thought it was because of the -- or the collapse, the nasdaq bubble bursting and so on. that had an effect on us. i thought that certainly contributed to it, but i didn't
think that was the major problem and so, i had about three weeks to come wup an economic plan. that ultimately made many, many changes in israel. but i thought no less intensely about how do i communicate this to a country that doesn't have lemonade stands when you're a kid? you have little cards. that when i was a child and you could see this was a nick fighter and a mistier area fighter. that's what we traded as cards. didn't have lemonade stands. we had a fairly semisocialist economy, so, how do i explain the idea of free markets in their centrality in today's world? and so, three weeks later, i'm at a press conference and i said i want to fall back on my first day in basic training in the israeli parra troops.
the commander put us in a straight line and he said you're not going to take, you're not going take a race. but it's a special kind of race. each man look to his right. you are the first man he pointed to me, put the guy to your right on your shoulders. and the next guy did that. and the guy after him did that. and i got pretty big guy. was heavy. the next guy, was the smallest guy in the platoon and he got the biggest guy on his shoulders. and the third guy was a big guy and he got a small guy and so on. and then commander blew the whistle. i barely managed to move forward. the next guy, the guy next to me, the small guy with a big guy on his shoulders collapsed. and the third guy took off like a rocket, you know, and won the race. i said in the modern economies, all national economies are pairs
of a public sector, sitting on the shoulders of a private sector. in our case, the public sector became too big, too fat and we're about to collapse. so, we have to put the fat man on a diet. and we have to strengthen the guy at the bottom. give him a lot of only in his longs, lowering tax rates, and third, we have to remove the obstacles, the barriers to the race. barriers to competition. by the way, this became known as the fat man thin man. thing and taxi drivers could repeat it. but effectively, we ended up doing that. we constrained the growth of public spending, lowered tax rates. i had a big argument about that. they said who's this guy loafer,
i said, no, his name is laugher. laugher. we actually tried it and it works. worked for us. big time. and we instituted a lot of reforms. i mean, even earlier as prime minister in my first term, i removered you know, all constraints on foreign currency exchange and that was supposed to collapse our economy. of course, everybody was warning me that a mountain of mown would move into the country. you know, and so, we did all these reforms. and the consequence of that was that we grew at 5% a year for a decade. exception of 2008. we still grew. but we grew at 5 a%. per decade. and we have now overcome past many leading economies in the
world. and if we continue to adhere to free market principles, and encourage innovation and open new markets with ease, new product, new markets, deregulation. and infrastructure. which we're investing in mightily. then i think israel has a brilliant economic future. the thing that i have to tell you that is that although our gdp per capita is rising rapidly, we have a small gdp. we have 8 million people. we can be number one in cyber. we are. we can be number one in many other things. but we're small. and therefore, we have to compensate with other means. among others, the american military assistance, which is inval invaluable. but i think, but i think that
the race that i described, the thin man fat man race is is ongoing. you always have to improve the performance of your economy. you have always have to improve performance of your economy. you have to make sure that government does not interfere with ingenuity, but promotes it and you can never rest on your laurels. you should always hone your competitive edge. this is not something that consultants tell you. it's some things that leaders have to do. you have to hone the competitive edge of your people, and you should have other like-minded
alliances as you can like the united states of america. [ applause ] >> amen. let me say -- >> i think there mr. george asked me please to explain why we don't have peace. do you have until tomorrow? here's my short answer. i have two rules when i'm at a press conference when i have journalists. i put a board on and they ask me the questions. i write all the questions. i write all the questions, and then i go through each one and here's my answer to that, here's my answer to that, here's my answer to that. and this one i'm fudging. i don't want to fudge. i tell them that i fudge. i don't want to fudge. i want to tell you what the answer is. the reason -- first of all, the conflict that we have in the middle east is multiple. it used to be said that the core of the conflict in the singular
in the middle east is the israeli/palestinian conflict. the core of the conflicts in the middle east is the battle between modernity and early primitive medievalism. that's the core of the conflicts. the core -- [ applause ] -- of the specific conflict between israel and the palestinians is the persistent palestinian refusal to recognize a jewish state in any boundary. this is why this conflict persisted for 50 years before there was a state, before there were territories, before there were settlements. if that were the core of the
conflict, the settlements, why did it take place in 1920? jews were murdered for what. that continued 1921, 1929, 1936, 1939, 1948. what was that all about? 1969 -- 1967. for nearly half a century we were being attacked because there was a persistent refusal to accept us in any boundary. well, we got into these territories as a result of the conflict, and what our prop beg has done -- because we left gaza completely, every last centimeter, and they're still firing rockets at us from gaza.
when you ask them why are you doing this, is to it liberate the west bank, and they say, yeah, sure, that too, but no it is too liberate palestine. so now i turn to the other guys to the palestinian authority, not to hamas. at least they don't practice violence, which is important. and i say, well, what about you? are you willing to recognize the jewish state? are you willing to recognize the fact you'll have a nation state for the palestinian people? how about a nation state for the jewish people? after all, we've been there for almost 4,000 years and we recognize there are two peoples there. we're willing to make the deal. are you willing to make the deal? are you willing to recognize the jewish state? because there's no point in making another palestinian state, another arab state, that
will continue the battle from improved lines against the jewish state. are you willing to end the conflict? give up the claim of the so-called right of return. make peace. you know what happens when you ask them that? they move. they say, oh, we're willing to recognize israel. i didn't ask israel. i said are you willing to terminate all claims to the jewish state. you won't flood us with refugees. are you willing to do that? and the answer is they're not. we will have peace when the palestinians will accord us what they ask us to accord them. we're willing let them have a state of their own. they have to reconcile themselves to the fact that we have a state of our own and it's here to stay. that is the core of the problem. in the middle east, modernity
against medieval, israel against the palestinians, the persistent refusal to recognize the jewish state in any boundary. i hope that changes, but i have my mind on making sure that until it changes that, yes, we work out the economies to great at least an economic vested hope in the future. if the palestinians follow the prescriptions i've given here for market development, they'll be better off economically and we'll move two steps closer to peace too. thank you very much. thank you. [ applause ]
[ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the formal part of our program, and we move on now to a delicious dinner and dancing and a safe drive home. god bless america. god bless israel. and god bless all of you. [ applause ] all persons having business before the honorable supreme court of the united states are admonished to draw near and give their attention. >> my fellow americans, tonight our country faces a grave danger. we are faced by the possibility that at midnight tonight the
steel industry will be shut down. therefore i'm taking two actions tonight. first, i'm directing the secretary of commerce to take possession of the steel mills and to keep them operating. >> in 1952 the united states was involved in a military conflict with north korea, and at home a dispute between the steel industry and its union had come to a head. >> the korean war was a hot war, and they needed steel for munitions, tanks, for jeeps, for all of those things that you needed in the second world war as well. so if the steel industry went on an industry wide strike, that was going to be a real problem because it's basic to the things that an army and navy need and air force need to fight a war. >> to avoid a disruption of steel production crucial to the military, president harry truman seized control of the mills and as a result a pending strike was
called off and steel production continued. however, the steel companies in ohio disagreed with the action and took the lawsuit all the way to the supreme court. we'll examine how the court ruled in the case of youngstown sheet and tube company versus sawyer and the impact on prs presidential powers. joining our discussion, michael g gerhardt and william howell, author of "the wartime president, power without persuasion." that's coming up on the next "landmark cases" live monday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span 3, and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of the "landmark cases" companion book.
it is available for 8.95 plus shipping at c-span.org/landmarkcases. c-span has the best access to congress. watch live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate on c-span 2. watch us online or on your phone at c-span.org. listen live anytime on our c-span radio app. get best access from behind the scenes by following c-span and our capitol hill reporter greg kaplan on twitter. stay with c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org for your best access to congress. next a discussion on isis foreign fighter recruitment and international efforts to counter violent extremism. experts examine how the middle east, europe, and u.s. are dealing with the problem and what the current strengths and weaknesses are for each continent.
held by the brookings institution, that is an hour and a half. all right, everyone. welcome. my name is will mccants. i direct the project on u.s. relations with the islamic world here at brookings. today we are here to talk about counting violent extremism through early interventions program. brookings is doing this with the program on the partnership with extremism at george washington university. joining us today is lorenzo bodino to my right who directs the program on extremism at george washington university. to his right is rashad ali who is a senior fellow at the institute for strategic dialogue. to my left is angela king, who is deputy director of life after hate. and to her left is daniel koehler, who is a fellow on the program of extremism at g.w. and founder and director of the german institute of radicalization and
deradicalization studies in berl berlin. okay. so the countering violent extremism discussion has been going on for several year news. if the phrase sounds vague to you, it's also very vague inside the u.s. government and foreign governments. no one is quite sure what this thing means. i remember when i was working at the state department i asked another agency to give me a list of everything that had been justified to the congress as countering violent extremism across all agencies of the u.s. government. pretty amazing. everything from building forward operating bases in afghanistan to english language programs for young mothers. essentially, it became a way for the government to protect their budgets and their programs. in an effort to become much more focused we are here today to talk about one slice of this
that's often neglected, but i think honestly is the most valuable in the effort to stop or counter recruitment for terrorist organizations and that is early interventions. and so, i wanted to begin our program today by asking daniel koehler to tell us what early interventions are, how they differ from other programs, sayo deradicalization of foreign fighters, what have you, and then we'll get to a more wide ranging discussion. daniel. >> thank you for the introduction. early intervention in countering violence extremism is an unusual term. usually when we look at other states in their counterterrorism policies we see there are three types of tools they usually use. the first one is prevention. so usually anything that is
related to education, civil society. anything that tries to prevent people from ending up in radical groups can be seen as a tool. the second level is repression. containing an actual existing radical threat. law enforcement, anything that is related to core group, sting operations. then we see the third level which is called intervention. in most western european countries. so early intervention would mean that we actually have someone who is in the process, in the early process, of the violent -- potentially violent radicalization process but has some connection to it, has some connection to a radical group, some connection to radical ideology, is on a path that's considered dangerous. so it is part of those tools where deradicalization programs, programs part of it.
early intervention programs or tools usually focus on the social effect of the environment of those persons who are about to become a violent radical. so we know from terrorism studies, from criminology, that there's a phenomenon called leakage. that many persons leak some kind of sign directly or indirectly to family, colleagues, employer, anyone around them. and these persons are usually the first ones to notice a change. to notice a potential threat and danger. and in most cases, the so-called gate keepers, the associate gate keepe keepers, do not reach out to the authorities, do not reach out to the police or anyone else because they feel a strong sense of loyalty, obligation to their friends and family members. they fear what might happen to them.
maybe they're responsible for their son or daughter being put into jail for 20 years. so we need to figure out a way to give these family, friends, associates, gate keepers, tools, a third-party mentor they can turn to for assessment, for advice, for counseling, but also as some form of intermediary between authorities, between social services, health services to give them an understanding, an assessment, of why this is happening in the family or in their environment. and these early intervention tools are really those who focus on friends, family, colleagues to give them a tool as early as possible to reach out and ask for help. later tools would be deradicalization programs for returning foreign fighters or those in prison, prison inmates,
and these focus on individual levels. and early intervention levels to the effect of social tools. there are many out there. specialized trainings for teachers, for police officers, for community leaders. >> so, daniel, to my mind, these kind of programs make a lot of sense. because it's a small population that you're working with. they have already demonstrated they're interested in radical ideas, but generally, they have not committed any violent crimes yet. so you're working very, very close to the problem. and the game is to try and make sure that these folks don't go over the line. over the line and commit a criminal act, particularly a violent criminal act. but legislatorenzolorenzo, thes haven't caught on in any many places, particularly here in the united states. when we talk about countering violent extremism it runs the gambit, but this is not really part of it. working in this space is usually, from my experience,
often left to law enforcement, people that are already entertaining radical ideas that are thought to be a security risk and better to let law enforcement handle it than have these early interventions. give us the scene from europe. how does that compare with the united states? >> it's very different. if i fe first of all, let me open by thank you for hosting us here. it's very good to have this conversation on the way we partner together on this and try to mainstream the debate that comes to the u.s., and experience that comes to europe and bringing people from the european experience. because some europe 15 countries have seen 10 or 15 years of this kind of intervention. everybody makes whatever they want out of it. and a lot of the attention in the u.s. has been focused on sort of the large target, the counter messaging, the counter narratives, the engagement of communities, which is also
extremely important, and the europeans have done that kind of work. also the pro-integration work. it's very large for the europeans spend a lot of resources on it are very difficult to assess. very difficult to prove negativity. that what you're doing to stop people from radicalizing. i think what we have seen the last few years, the europeans have focused more on the one-on-one interventions for some of the reasons that also daniel was mentioning in the u.s., as you correctly pointed out, that has not been the case. we've seen a lot of messages, more with the foreign partners or engagement of communities, which is basically what cve has been on the domestic front. >> you can explain what we mean
by engagement of community, what that ends up looking like? >> yes, this is basically dhs, the fbi cells have been doing for a long time, which is building trust-based dialogues and relationships within communities. >> which communities? >> this is probably one of the points in contention and one of the most debated points is that cv is unfortunately limited for the most part to the muslim community. it's limited to targeting what was traditionally known as al qaeda inspired radicalization to today what is isis radicalization. i think most people would agree that there should be nonetheless 99% of the resources devoted.
i think in the u.s., we're limited basically -- we had been limited mostly to engagement. we're starting to see signs that they're working on one-on-one intervention. the very tailored interventions. which if successful are quite cost effective. and it's much easier to prove the effectiveness, not very easy, but easier, than some of the larger programs. and the european experience tells us that. so we have very different models that we'll talk about largely, depending on what the degree of involvement of government and a variety of other factors. in the u.s. we're starting to talking about utilizing these tools. traditionally, we have seen a law enforcement-based approach. the traditional use of sound, very harsh law enforcement techniques. the fbi is basically in charge of investigation. if the european approach is on individuals who are clearly radicaliz radicalized, the european approach is to try to push, to pull back people into a pre-radicalization stage. the fbi approach has been in
some cases, of course, to try to push the individual to have this kind of sting operations, have the radicalization process go further in a controlled setting with the fbi controlling everything and eventually arrest the individual, so two different philosophies. there's a growing realization in the states that that kind of tactic cannot be used all the time. it is very effective from a prosecution point of view, a very high success rate in court, but it cannot always be used. we're seeing more and more minors attracted to isis ideology. and it's difficult to use for a variety of legal and ethical reasons to use sting operations when it comes to minors. the numbers are also very high. we hear from the fbi a couple weeks talk about 900 investigations, open nationwide. and individuals linked to syria and mostly to isis. that's a very big number
unprecedented from the past. and it's difficult to tackle all of these cases with traditional law enforcement tools. i think that's something that the department of justice fully understands and is trying to explore some of the alternative tools. just to give you an idea, just this morning, we had meetings with the department of justice, with a particular working group, that is trying to find alternatives to prosecutions. we understand we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. we decided it was useful to sort of introduce the tactics that they use in europe in order to advance the debate in the u.s. obviously not all the tactics used in europe can be transported and adopted here in the u.s., but there are a lot of ideas that with the proper caveats, with the proper ad adjustments, could be used here.
>> daniel, i want to come back to you just to get a sense of what's going on in europe. in terms of early intervention programs, it's uneven across the continent. some countries embracing this. some not. which country would you hold out as the exemplar in holding that, and why? >> that's impossible to answer. you can't have a country like germany, for example, where they have almost 20 years of experience in practical work against far right and extreme n neonazi groups. and they have -- at last count they have 12 to 15 specialized deradicalization programs in the area of countering violent extremism. you can't have a country like denmark where you have a very
state focused police-run organization, where everything runs through the police. you can't have a country like sweden where they have one or two organizations doing that work in cooperation with the government. in countries like the u.k. where they have a strong complement or attendance -- >> depends on the political culture? >> absolutely. depends on whether or not ideology should power the program, and it's not that popular in denmark. not that popular in the u.k. very strong in germany for example. i would say deradicalization or intervention can be ranked or classified according to three criteria. first of all, ideology. technically spoken, do we have a disengagement program without ideology, just a physical role change, getting someone out to do or to stop committing criminal acts versus deradicalization, really trying to get a dismantling of radical
ideology. the second criteria is, is it state or non-state. is it run or organized by a government body like police, social services? or is it non-government based? and thirdly, is it active or passive? is it actively reaching out in prison groups or in germany, some have a list where the neo-nazis live. they just go there and knock on the door and ask if they want to leave the movement. or are there passive programs, those wanting to get out? in europe, we've seen a very wide and broad array of different programs and constellations. i would argue the most promising the public/private partnerships, because usually, there are aspects that are being done more effectively by government bodies and on the other way around more effectively done by civil society organizations. so we have seen several attempts
in germany or sweden or the u.k. where the government body started a core hotline or a core program incorporating civil society organizations that do the long-term counseling in a specified framework like ideology is part of the program or not, how long it should take. germany and denmark are definitely on the forefront of that. >> thank you very much. angela, i want to try and give people a sense of how one of these programs really works practi practice. and you work at an institution that focuses on far right extremism. i'd like for you to talk about how an early intervention works with somebody who hasn't yet broken the law. and i as wonder if you could say a few thoughts about the role of ideology. not necessarily in terms of
inspiring somebody, but when you're doing these kinds of interventions, do you really need to deal with the ideology, or do you focus on other things first? >> well, it's been a little slow going. we don't have as developed programs as europe right now. but with what we've done, we're out there doing interventions, doing counter messaging, doing cv. and for us, personally, we have not found that it's successful to immediately go in and aggressively attack ideology. what we do is share very real, rue human -- raw human experience and connect on a different level.aw human experit on a different level. i think it's important to mention that we really have to be aware of what propels people into these movements. what's broken? you know, what is the underlying issue that made them feel they
were messing -- missing out on something, that they needed to belong. a variety of factors that really push people into it. so when we go in and we talk to an individual, we have to have an understanding of what drove them there. that kind of gives us the foundation and the base that we work from. we draw on our experience. life after hate was founded and is run by former violent extremists. so, instead of justifying the individual, instead of attacking the ideology head on, we ask them personal questions. you know, what has affected them in their lives. what is important to them. what are they interested in. what are their goals. and from there, we fall back on our own personal experience. and share that in a way that shows them that they are not alone, that they're not the only ones. that it is absolutely possible
to disengage, to deradicalize. but at that point, they're not concerned with being deradicalized necessarily. and the referrals that we get come from a variety of places, whether it's a parent who is worried about a child that may be getting involved, some government referrals, human rights, and then we have people who contact us on their own and say, listen, i'm thinking about getting involved in this. i have a certain belief about a certain thing, or i had this experience that's really pushing me in this direction, but i don't know. i'm not sure. can you talk to me about why i shouldn't, or what are the consequences or things like that? it's been in that way that we've been able to go out and start having successful interventions. and these are literally some of them -- people who by their own account are on the verge of
committing acts of violence who are then prevented from doing so. >> are you doing any of these interventions purely online or is there always a real-world component? >> both. there have been cases where we have traveled and done face-to-face sit down interventions. we get contacted a lot by social media, by our website, and we definitely don't have the funds to travel the country, you know, to do a personal face-to-face every time, but it is part of what we offer is one-on-one mentoring, whether it is phone calls, text messages, social media. and we, you know, get these individuals involved. for instance, we have a private group that consists of almost 30 former violent far right extremists, and these
individuals, some of them have been disengaged and deradicalized for decades. some of them have just now come out within days or weeks or months, and we are using that network as a means of support, as a means of talking through issues, some of those issues that propelled them in in the first place, and it provides kind of the support that daniel talked about, whether it is a family or a community, that kind of support that is not there to say, you're horrible because you believe these things. it's let me share my experience and how i got beyond that and finding that common ground. >> have you ever encountered anyone who was radicalized purely by what they had read? they're normal in every way, high functioning, but just consumed a lot of hate literature, or is there always something else underlying it? >> every case is different.
some of the information that we're finding now is that not every person suffered trauma or abuse or has mental health issues or anything like that. some people came from perfectly stable, loving homes and for some reason felt a need to belong in that way. and it's different. in small percentage, were actually raised in an extremist environment, that were taught violence. you know, there are individuals who were raised in a prejudiced household or they were taught racism literally as children. some will grow up and rebel against that, and others will grow up looking for a place and say this is it, this is what i already know, this was what i was taught. and there are individuals who will have maybe one experience that from that point on, pun intended, it literally colors their view of the world from that point on.
and then there are some who will just read history or maybe think some things happened unfairly in history or one group is being represented more than another. we can't classify it all across the board. it really literally is case by case. >> thank you. so rashad, i want you to help give us the u.k. perspective on this, but i also want you to talk about the role of ideology. again because i think for many people when you're thinking about early interventions, the first thing that would come to mind is you need to take on immediately the ideas that political radicals would espouse. have you found that to be the case in your experience when we're talking about islamist radicals, or is it like angela says, you're going to come at it obliquely by ly bly by looking
the more deeper personality issues or societal issues? >> in our experiences, what you have is -- i look at four broad trends just to make it easy, although as you mentioned all the individual pathways are very different. there are those that have a political perspective. they have a political lens. they buy into a narrative, and they look at the world as very similar to kind of what was old school leftist. you have the evil capitalist west, which is dominating the world. at its forefront is america and its allies which is suppressing the natural aspirations of most people in the world. and in this instance the conflict used on the communism and the west and now it is islam. they look at everything in the world through that.
they look at israel/palestine through that ideological lens or political lens. they look at any conflict against iraq because of various different economic sociopolitical reasons, but actually it is a manifestation of another attempt of america to dominate over the middle east and suppress the rise of islam. so all of everything is viewed from that lens. you get others that are not politicize as such, but they've had various different grievances in the sense that may have had questions which they faced in their life that related to their identity. they may be questioning their sense of belonging to wider society. they may have grievances related to racism and therefore the narrative appeals to them because of those things. they're approaching because they already feel they need something
else. you then have others who have neither necessarily had a specific problematic set of grievanc grievancesé2=ç embracing a polil ideology, but embrace a form of religion that automatically separates them from everybody else. therefore they are separated from other muslims, who they see as not being true muslims or not muslim enough. they are seen as puritanical. they have from there a religious inspiration for their political world view. the way they look at the world is nothing is truly representing the pure islam that should be re-enforced in society. the purism comes from a direct scripture.
therefore they have this very theological political ideology. then you have the other trend of people that do actually just suffer various different ailments. they suffer various different mental health issues, and therefore those things have pushed them towards embracing a black and white perspective and therefore islamist ideologies are appealing in that context. most people will be a mix of those things. and therefore when tackling or engaging with an individual, you need to be able to ascertain what are the push-pull factors. is it someone who has embraced theology which is telling them this is what the meaning of islam is, it is a political ideology that is aimed at ruling the world? if you're reading scripture in that way, it should be enforced
and the government's role is to enforce that particular interpretation of scripture and there's only one view. then actually, i guess, the only way you can engage with that person is to break down the methodology and the way they're approaching scripture. if someone has a particular world view that is very, very narrow, then the only thing you can do is make them realize the complexities in the way that the world is made up. and this actually works in the u.k. in politics as well, i guess. if you've been to kosvo or bosnia and you meet little tony blairs and bill clintons, because they were figures that were saviors for the people there, that isn't the case in the u.k. tony blair is not the most popular politician in the u.k. but at the end of the day once they start to see there's a complexity to their world view, then you can start to have more
complexity and nuance in the way you understand people, society, and religion as well. and then you will have other people who actually they do need their grievances addressed. they do need their needs met. i guess that was the u.k. approach is multidisciplinary, is a multipro-pronged approach. we have the contest policy in the u.k., which is the broad counterterrorism measure, which has what they call the four ps. protect. so as an example, there are boulders outside the u.s. embassy in london to stop cars driving into them. there's practical measures done in that respect. there is prepare. the other two areas of counterterrorism strategy are pursue, which is investigations, intelligence gathering, finding plots, disrupting them,
arresting people and prosecuting them. and prevent. and prevent then is this area of what we've spoken about now, the individual kind of engaging with people who are either vulnerable towards radicalization or have become radicalized. that works in the prison space, the probation space, and primarily in the pre-criminal space, which is people that have been referred, whether it is by police, the public in general, or as an example in the cases that we have -- as an example in the u.k. where there's hamas in communities that have said we have had your young individuals come into the mosque. he wants to know how he can fight jihad in syria. we don't how to deal with this. they will contact authorities and say, how do we deal with this? the authorities will spend someone who is appropriate to engage with that individual to make an analysis, a diagnosis, and then put a plan together.
>> but there's been some criticism of the program as well, right? >> yes. oh, huge. >> why? >> i think this is important to look at. actually i think there's some very good ethical questions we need to ask. what we're talking about -- and the language is pre-criminal. we're talking about engaging with someone before they have gone on to commit a violent act. how do we determine that? what type of referral process? how do we know this is the case? which is a reasonable kind of concern to have. the second, i guess, is the broader moral question that when engaging in deradicalization, especially when somebody has a theological foundation, what you're going to do -- and there are a number of different approaches, but you're going to engage with their religious proclivitie proclivities. the question of a secular
state -- in reality we are a succe secular state. our policies are founded on secular values. then that comes down to the logic behind early intervention. actually if you have an individual who is starting to experiment with soft drugs, be engaged with them because they may lead to harder drugs. if you have a young kid who is truant from school and we've seen them around and they're getting involved with gangs, do we have engagement and an early intervention? we should have an intervention if we have a kid who is mouthing off about how great isis is. whatever it may be, that actually may require some form of intervention. and the other side of that, i
think, is more the problematic criticism. so as i mentioned, there's a difference in pursue, which is the investigative side, and prevent, which the strand of channel intervention is one side of prevent. it actually has nothing to do with the investigation side, has nothing to do with the surveillance side, has nothing to do with the intelligence gathering, but there is a lobby called protect and prevent. the state, which is inherently evil, i get that, therefore what we should do is monitor everything state does, which is good. but then it becomes the state must be using this for intelligence gathering. it must be spying. it must be targeting the muslim community and therefore all of these things come into this anti-prevent narrative. some of those things can be easily dismissed. 25% roughly of individual referrals have nothing to do
with islamists, but actually to do with right-wing extremists that are planning plots. the overriding majority as mentioned there may not necessarily be a theological engagement. many referrals come from the mu muslim community and out. and you have to remember people also have political -- it's not surprising that an organization, which i will mention, which is previously supported anwar al awlaki. they're al qaeda apologists.
therefo therefore, you have to understand there are groups that buy into the islamist narrative. on the whole, i think a lot of the criticism is based on propaganda rather than actual analysis. >> daniel, i want to turn back to you. the counterterrorism part of my brain hears about early interventions and says, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. you're focused very narrowly on people who may become a problem. they've demonstrated. they may like the propaganda of a violent group. that's the one you really want to focus on. but then the american part of my brain speaks up and says, well, wait a minute, these folks are entitled to free speech like anyone else. this isn't exactly criminalizing speech, but it seems to get right up on the line, if not over it.
i'm trying to figure out how to strike this balance, and i gather from your comments that a lot of it has to do with the unique political culture in each country. if we were in germany, they would have a different answer versus in the united states. but how do we find that line? how do we keep this focused on a very narrow problem without running afoul of the proud tradition of free speech that we all value in a liberal society? >> i think that is the core question of how you make deradicalization programs work. deradicalization has a built-in moral problem. it works usually -- it is supposed to work in a democratic pluralistic society, but we know on the other side that starting when something criminal happens,
a criminal act or in the prison system, it is much more ineffective. it is much more expensive, and there is a process leading to that criminal act, leading to that violence that is dangerous, inherently dangerous, to democratic society because it embraces an ideology that is actively attacking and sub versing and trying to destroy the democratic pluralistic society. neo-nazis in germany have always tried to hide under that freedom of speech. even though the german freedom of speech is much more restrictive than in the u.s., obviously for traditional reasons. i would say that this problem, to figure out this problem, when an inherently dangerous process starts and balancing it against what is morally acceptable in terms of a program is essentially a question of how do
you structure that program and who finances the program. for example, i get the fact -- and i'm very critical about government-run active programs who try to change a political religious world view, for example, in prison. and there are programs who are more or less coercive in prison. don't expect to get any special or beneficial treatment or anything like that. so then on the other hand, there are non-governmental programs that can have close associations with the government, but they have an own political fill l philosophy, so people come to us when they need help and we are transparent. ngos say we have an own version of how democracy goes. if you come to us for help, this
is what we expect in turn. so in these instances, deradicalization can be morally completely acceptable in a democratic pluralistic society because there are many ngos, people are free to choose, they can go to another ngo, so i think it should be somewhere in the middle. i have worked with the new dutch program and they're currently building a new deradicalization strategy and program, and they have set out a very interesting framework. they have set out the framework where they work and how they work in close cooperation with ngos, and they are very firm and strong on their own political philosophy. intervening with people in prison or shortly before doing something is too ineffective and too expensive. we need to figure out, especially in northern america, what is the point where we
figure out that it's not acceptable. this kind of ideology, this embracement, is kind of propaganda spreading is trying to destroy the society that you're living in, that protects you. deradicalization programs when they are private/public partnerships can benefit. what they're doing now is they're directly aiming at destroying these central rights. just ask yourself the question. would any person who is not part of your group, racial group or religious group, have different or the same rights, or how would you treat them? from today or tomorrow, would you force them to leave the country? would you put them in camps?
would you grant themless lesser rights of speech? would they have to pay an extra tax? would they be killed right away? these indicators are essential to figure out what you're going in that. >> thank you, daniel. i hear daniel. you know, it's -- i can feel the response in the audience from americans. it's a very european perspective. >> guilty as charged. >> yeah. and in this country we let an awful lot of stuff fly. and so i wonder again, rashad, how does the united states, which has barely put its toe in the water of these sort of interventions, how does it find that line? >> well, i think actually i was going to comment on a couple of things. in the u.k., it's a voluntary process, so there cannot be any coercive approach towards individuals. either they choose to engage or they don't. and if they choose to engage,
then it is a voluntary process of them dealing with the whole deradicalization or prevention strategies. so in that sense it's something that the state supports, lends its support to it. >> if they are radicalized, why would they engage? >> why do radicals engage? i mean, i don't know if i should make any comments. it's very difficult for me to talk about trump or anything. >> let loose. >> why do people put themselves forward because they fundamentally they have something to offer no matter how utterly ridiculous it may be? it's either a benevolent or nationalistic motive. they want to persuade the rest of society around them that their radical world views is dramatically better for the u.s.
or for their communities or for muslim communities or for british muslims. secondly, with a lot of individuals, they obviously have doubts about what they're doing as well. so human beings aren't black and white. they generally have a set of complexities that push them towards engaging with other people. the reason you have leakage is people also want an intervention. it's the same reason why people will talk about suicide because they are feeling -- and when they do, we know we should take it seriously, but actually they are reaching out for help as well. and so there's those factors -- in almost all cases, you have a high rate of people who want to engage with you. now, i don't think that is a problem because we do similar early interventions. the problem really here is because it seems like we're controlling the political persuasion of people or the religious proclivities of
people, and that is really where we have a problem because we do believe in free speech. in that sense, i believe there are some very reasonable criticisms to be made of what's called the counter extremism policy in the u.k. or in the u.s. because they're talking about disruption of people who have extreme views, which are illegal, people who are anti-democratic, or anti-liberal, or banning organizations that undermine pluralism, democracy, and human rights. that is something that is absolutely impossible in the u.s. context, thankfully. it is quite a horrific conservative regressive idea. on the other side of that, i think there is a moral imperative of civil society as a whole to stand up and do something about this. and so what really you have with
the counterextremism measures is a partnership between government, you mentioned this earlier, a partnership between government and civil societies. we as civil society can engage in the deradicalization process in countering these arguments, and government's role may be to support or facilitate that. actually, the argument put out on an economic basis alone is saying we should actually do something. on a social moral perspective we can't sit back and do nothing about this. to explain what i mean, we've had a huge number of migrants coming out of syria and iraq. i think europe is talking about 2 million people, between a million and 2 million people at european borders. are we talking extremists in
europe? on the one hand, we have a moral responsibility to not send terrorists abroad, which is essentially what we've been doing and hence my point about al awlaki earlier. so we have a responsibility to do something in a policy space as well. >> thank you. angela, i'm still trying to find this line or this balance between public and private. your deputy director of a private ngo. if you can, just -- and you can talk about in the abstract if you like, but what's the right relationship between an ngo that does these early interventions and the government? or should there not be one at all? >> are you trying to get me in trouble? >> not at all. >> well, from our perspective, we all can play a part in
interventions and disengagement, but we have to define the roles, what's needed, and who's best suited for each different aspect. so for instance, the easiest example i can give is when i was an adolescent and i was becoming radicalized, i was getting involved, i was headed towards violence, i'm always asked what could have stopped you, what could have been done, what kind of a person could have approached, what would you have heard that could have changed your mind? and i thought about this for years and i know with the kind of teenager that i was it would have taken someone with real-life experience that actually understood what i felt, what i was going through, the obstacles that i faced, the issues that i dealt with.
so i think when we go out and look at these relationships, there has to be support. there have to be people who can go out and act. there have to be all these different aspects of it. this maybe on popular and i apologize if it is. i do not believe that relationship between ngos like mine and say law enforcement should in any way be intelligence. it should not be telling on people, giving up information. if we are to truly go in there and do this work, we have to create communities of trust. another example i can give. when we get feedback -- for instance, we recently produced four psas investments. we targeted individuals in the far right in the u.s.
we expected a negative response, but in essence what we're doing out there is saying, number one, we've been there. so behind closed doors when you're feeling like this really isn't what you thought it was going to be, you know, there are things that you just didn't understand, those feelings of guilt or shame or doubt are creeping in, we get a response from some individuals that is so intense, so filled with rage, and we'll hear things like you're the worst traitors of all because you knew the truth and you walked away. those are the kind of responses that are telling us we're striking nerves. we're doing a good job because those individuals that are voicing that, they are probably the ones that are having those doubts. they're the ones entertaining them and they feel ashamed. they think they're going to get caught. they don't know what to do.
so when we look at things like that and start to build these relationships between government, between ngos and people on the ground, we need to keep this in mind. i'm going to be a lot more successful going out and doing some intervention work, some cve, because i'm a credible voice. because i've been there. and especially with the far right in the u.s., we're dealing with people that cling to conspiracy theories, paranoia, they already don't trust the government or law enforcement. so we need to be very clear about those lines in the relationship there. so there's always room for collaboration. we all have a part to play. we just need to define those roles very carefully. >> thank you. daniel, you had a point you want to make. >> i want to comment on this problematic or highly debated question of the relationship between an intervention program, the clients and authorities, security agencies. i know that there are programs
run by intelligence agencies who just use that for hard intelligence gathering, names, addresses, group structures, anything like that, which actually hurts the idea of intervention but also hurts the families. it puts the family at risk or the social environment at risk and it's accepting risk to burn them by simply getting a couple of names. but i'm very positive about counterterrorism acquisition programs. many people think, i suspect in the u.s., that it is seen as a weird, soft approach to something that should be handled by the pros, by agents, fbi, intelligence. so if you look at how do de-radicalization programs operate, many include former military, they know what they're doing. they do risk assessment in an
area that overlaps. you can identify concrete aspects like reduce manpower of a terrorist group. you pull out human skills and knowledge out of that group. the group needs to refill that gap. needs to invest resources in recruitment and train other people within the hierarchy and it's proven that this organizational cost that you put onto these groups by getting people out can even cause a complete collapse of a terrorist group or radical cell. plus, what i would call soft intelligence gathering. i'm not talking about individual names and addresses but for example you locate where a new recruiter is active or a new group is active or a new topic of recruitment is active or a new style of jihadism has emerged. obviously that's something that you can pass onto the authorities. you gain a lot, especially knowledge about radicalization process, about connections that you can use in training and
skill building for probation staff and police and for teachers that is very, very influential and very important, and you make the work of law enforcement much easier and much more effective by providing that additional angle. working with families and people who want to get out themselves closes the gap of that network of counterterrorism network and actually it helps to remove a blindfold of that area, that social area where radicalization occurs and you can actually help the police to become much more effective. >> thank you. i want to open it up for questions. before i do, i want to ask lorenzo a final one. i'm in a think tank. you're in a think tank. we have to think in our tanks about what kind of policies come out of this stuff. you and i have been thinking a lot about why it is we don't
have intervention programs in the united states for political radicalism. even angela's program, you were telling me, is unique in this country. i know working on jihadism there's the word organization in d.c. and some others that work on it, but it's still in an early stage and there hasn't been a lot of support from the u.s. government for these kind of efforts. i got my own ideas as to why. i'm curious why you think there hasn't been a groundswell in the government for these kind of programs? >> that's a very good question. i think there's a combination of overlapping reasons. there's not really even a debate into building some kind of intervention when it comes to the right wing extremism. the debate is just on jihadist threat. something that again we can discuss.
we have seen a lot of talk but in reality very little resources, very little action. i think there's a variety of reasons. one is the fact that at the end of the day the threat has not been as big -- the domestic side at least -- as in european countries. we have never seen the sense of urgency that exists in european countries. if at the end of the day you look at which european countries are most active, those are touched by some sort of an attack. >> is it worth doing? >> i would argue yes some small scale intervention. i'm saying that has somewhat prevented the initial trigger, the dutch have been very active. the brits very active. it's after a trigger event. we had some of those in the u.s. boston is a pilot city now when it comes to cv. it is justified.
the numbers here are so much smaller than most european countries so there's not a sense of urgency and add to that the tools law enforcement has here is more powerful than most european countries. at the end of the day the fbi can do its nice sting operations which no european law enforcement agency can do and it's a very safe space. now, we can talk about the problems, the ethical problems, the community engagement issues that go with that. if you are the fbi, it's a very nice tool to have. it's very effective from that point of view. i think a lot of it has to do -- i'm acknowledging somebody that's written a lot about this issue which is jerry. the fbi is an organization that's very much based on numbers. on effectiveness. if you run an fbi field office somewhere, you make a good name for yourself, you make a career
based on the number of people you prosecute and not the number of people you prevented from radicalizing. i think the fact that the fbi has such a big role and the fbi has this sort of mentality -- i'm not saying that in a negative way -- prevents a lot of discourse to go forward. >> would you also say it's political culture as well? >> absolutely. >> reading the channel document which channels the program that intervenes in the u.k., that document is a sober document. they talk about risk and what happens if someone goes through the program and carries out an act and who gets the blame and what happens. my sense here in addition to everything you say is that politically also no one wants to put their name on this kind of program because they're terrified that one person goes through the program carries out an attack and the program is done and the person's career is done. you signed off on it.
>> that's the reality in which we are now which is somewhat problematic. we are seeing that the fbi and more in general the counterterrorism community understands that they need to use these kind of tools and they are occasionally sporadically doing it but without clear guidelines. we see cases when it comes to minors where we see people with mental issues as the case in denver where the fbi or other agents, mostly the fbi, does this kind of intervention but they do not really have guidelines on how to do that and the legal part is one of the big ones. it's one of the things to some degree we've been advocating as a center. do it but do it right. do it with the right training. do it with the right knowledge. do it with the right partners. do it with the right legal guidelines. that goes for the fbi but also goes for people in the community that want to help. it's a concern that we hear from people in the community. they do want to help without clear guidelines they are afraid that engaging with somebody was an extremism and might become a terrorist and will be charged with material support of
terrorism which potentially is something that might happen. so to work in that space where most people recognize the next step for u.s. counterterrorism policies domestically it needs to happen but it needs to happen with clear guidelines coming from the top. that's what we're not seeing. >> the top means department of justice? >> that's one of the other problems we see. there's a lot of entities that are somewhat fighting on who should be running that space. the whole alphabet soup of agencies there, everybody sort of claiming one part of the portfolio. dhs, fbi, we do not have a leading agency there although some things are moving there. but those -- then you have the federal, state, and local level. all those issues come together and really nobody takes charge of this. >> okay. let me open it up to the audience now. le