tv Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on U.S- Israel Relations CSPAN December 21, 2015 2:55pm-4:15pm EST
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space program and mariner iv flyby of mars. and rick burns how the public learns about history through film and television american history tv, on weekends and holidays, too, on c-span3. up next, the israeli defense minister discusses u.s./israel relations at annual forum. thank you. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming mr. jaime sabaan. >> thank you. thank you. thank you all for being here. shalom.
this is our 12th forum, and i want to take this opportunity to thank all the folks at brookings for their hard work. thank you, martin. thank you, tamara. thank you, the rest of the brookings team. and thank you moshe david and your team in israel. paris, beirut, isis, duma, houthis, libya, russian airliner, alnusra front. al qaeda, hezbollah, boko haram, sinai, assad, hamas, and many more. all the name, places and
organizations i just mentioned are united by a common theme. this theme can be summarized in two words -- chaos and confrontation. everywhere we look around the world there is mayhem. and no one -- no one -- is better positioned to address these challenges and to speak with us about them tonight than the israeli minister of defense, moshe yaalon, also known to his friend as boogie. a little background on boogie. he's been israel's minister of defense since march of 2013 after serving as vice premier and minister of strategic affairs. before entering his political life, he was chief of staff of the israel defense forces between 2002 and 2005 at the
peak of the second intefadeh. throughout his career he's played an instrumental role in keeping israel secure and in strengthening the ongoing security and military cooperation between israel and the united states. but there's another side to boogie that i'd like to share with you. my wife cheryl and i, we are staunch supporters of the fidf which is friends of the israel defense forces. what we do is take care of the well-being of the young men and women who defend the jewish motherland. and i can attest to the fact that minister yaalon hasn't just admitted himself to the protection of israel and its people. but he also carries a personal sense of responsibility towards every single one of these young men and women who protect the
jewish motherland. and for that, we are forever thankful to you, minister. so, tonight minister yaalon will begin a conversation, david ignatius of "the washington post" who you know is the associate editor and a distinguished columnist at the "post" and the author of eight spy novels, filled with tension, with nothing to do with reality, all fiction. but a lot of fun. so, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome defense minister yaalon and my friend david ignatius and my friend also.
>> well, thank you to jaime sabaan. it's nice to be called seasoned, although i would note that boogie when he heard that leaned over and said to me and said, it sounds like a salad. so maybe not so great. it's great to be here with boogie yaalon, i'll call him mr. minister, unlike everybody else in the room. and i want to begin with the issue that i think everybody here is thinking about today. we have had a terrible tragedy in san bernardino, california. and we have learned that the shooters, certainly the wife, tashfeen malik, has had a connection online, at least, a swarn allegiance online, to the leader of isis, which means that we're now living with the kind
of terrorism in our midst that israel has lived with really for all of its history. so, mr. minister, i want to ask you to begin by giving us some dos and don'ts, based on israel's experience. you know what we ought to do. you also know what we should not do. so, why don't you begin with that. >> before answering the questions, good evening to everybody. it's good to be here. thank you, jaime, for inviting me. it's good to be among friends here. and i can't start answering the question without mentioning both the foreign minister and sandy bernier. i knew both of them while i was in uniform. both of them were committed and
devoted for the security of the state of israel. and god bless them. going to your question, david, isis, or as we call it in the middle east daesh, is not just a group of terrorists. this is an idea. how to have a sunni caliphate as soon as possible to defer for al qaeda, they prefer to take over country after country and then to have the caliphate. daesh, they want a caliphate now. an instant caliphate. a way of thinking about having everything now. and this idea, which has spread
all over the world, by social media and other innovation of the modern time, we have to deal with it everywhere. now in san bernardino, in paris, in canada and, of course, in our country as well. although we manage to contain daesh regarding the threat in our country, and regarding the daesh threat around us, they prefer to deal with israel just in the end. we claim that we are considered by them as a dessert. the main course are those around us, but this is a global idea. now, how to deal with it, we have to fight daesh everywhere, especially in the islamic state,
in syria, in iraq. but we have to look around especially in the islamic world, trying to fight the heart and mind. easy to say. it's so difficult to do it. actually in israel now the wave of terrorism is part of the social media influence effect. individuals were affected by this ideas, whether daesh or something else or even nothing, they are affected by the idea. they are available in the united states and it's available in order to kill the non-muslims, whether christians, jews, buddhists or whatever. all muslims who are not going their way. this is a challenge, i believe a global challenge, in which, i
believe, united states should be the leader of the western world in order to meet this challenge. >> so, i need to ask you what every commentator is asking, is president obama being a strong enough leader in this moment? does he need to speak out more as commander in chief? >> going to our -- going to our tough neighborhood, the middle east. syria is a very good example to demonstrate the difficulties and the challenges. what is happening now in syria is we have daesh in the eastern part of syria, generally speaking. we have the assad regime. we have the moderate sunnis and so forth.
unfortunately, in the current situation, russia is playing a more significant role than the united states. we don't like the fact that king abdullah of jordan is going to moscow, egyptians are going to moscow, saudis are going to moscow. it should be -- it should have been very different. and we believe that united states can't sit on the fence. if you sit on the fence, the vacuum is filled, syria is an example, whether by iran or the shia axis, supported now by russia or by daesh, by isis. it should have been. that's why we claim that the united states should play a more active role in our region. and there is an opportunity.
the new geopolitical division of the middle east of today is we have the shia axis, very solid one, iran, the assad regime, hezbollah, the houthis, others, saudi arabia, today supported by russia, solid axis. we have another axis very complicated. we deal with gaza, qatar is part of it, and turkey, a member of nato. leading the muslim brotherhood camp of today. very complicated. they are not on the same page neither with the united states nor with us. then we have the global jihad element. the enemies of everybody, daesh. but we have the sunni arab camp. the most significant camp in the region looking for leadership. and it appears to be that we, israel, are on the same page with this camp, not just with egypt and jordan,
which we share with them, with saudi arabia, with kuwait, bahrain, united arab emirates, north african countries like morocco, looking for leadership. >> so, i think i hear you saying the interesting contrast between vladimir putin and president obama that president obama needs to take leadership of the sunni camp if he's going to have any hope of success maybe with israel as a silent partner. so, let me just ask you, you heard, as we all did, susan rice, talk about the administration's strategy, their search so far unsuccessful to find sunni partners on the ground who can wage this fight. what advice would you offer about how we can give stronger leadership and maybe end up having the sunni partners we don't have now?
>> what is needed is to orchestrate the sunni parties, the sunni elements, going back to syria. we don't believe that the only two options, which are very bad for us, is to have iran on one hand, gaining hegemony in syria, and this is the case today, they enjoy hegemony in iraq as well, trying to gain hegemony in yemen, not quite successfully because of the sunni coalition. very interesting. sunni coalition fighting back. it's a new phenomena. now, to use this only parties to approach sunni tribes, sunni elements in syria as an example, it is so needed. and in order to avoid what is called here boots on the ground,
western boots on the ground, on one hand -- and you can't defeat daesh without boots on the ground -- let's empower the local boots on the ground mainly the sunnis. also the kurds. there might be other elements in syria who are looking for something different, and they don't want neither iran with bashar al assad regime nor daesh. this is opportunity. and this camp should be orchestrated and led in order to make it in a better way. >> there are people, they include sunni tribal leaders that i talked to, other sunni leaders who say, look, we are not going to make the kind of commitment that you're talking about unless the u.s. has more -- we say skin in the game. has more of a commitment, meaning, there are more u.s. troops committed. and i want to ask you, as israeli defense minister, do you think that's right? do we need to think about having more troops in this fight? >> western troops in our region
should be the last resort. it's better off to empower, to support, to finance, to arm local groups to fight for their case. they don't fight for us. looking to the kurds as an example. when they were supported, from the very beginning they lost kobani to daesh, but united states decided to support and other western party decided to support the kurds they started to win and they defeated daesh in their territory, in the syrian kurdistan, which is the case in iraq as well. and we know many elements who are ready to fight as allies. not for western interests, for their interest. they should have been supported from the very beginning, but it is not lost case. there is still chance to do it. >> susan rice also talked about a very interesting part of this
strategy, which is the effort that secretary of state kerry has led in the talks in vienna to try to work towards a cease-fire. he's managed to get around the same table, strange collection, iran, saudi arabia, turkey, russia, united states. is israel comfortable with that process, with us sitting down drawing iran into this regional diplomacy, what do you think about that? >> we worry about it, as this process might bring about two better options as i mentioned. daesh on one hand and iran on our border. you know, that we have very clear strategy regarding syria. we don't want to intervene. we are in a very sensitive position to declare whether we
were for assad or against assad. we do not intervene, although we have our opinions about it. but the only -- we absorbed in the last two years from the syrian side in the golan heights were perpetrated, operated by the iranian revolutionary guard corps. they were representative in damascus, they operated different factions to perform acts of terror against us. now, unfortunately as part of the deal, the iranian deal, one of the implications of the iranian deal, is more confident iran to see as part of the solution in the readiness to fight daesh and gaining hegemony everywhere, in iraq and now in syria. i'm not sure that bashar al
assad is interested in the golan heights, but the commander of the qods force of the iranian revolutionary guard corps, ignores him, and they try to open a terror front against us. now, to leave us in such situation is going to be a challenge. now, we are talking about the iran regime after the deal feeling more confident, waiting to get more money, to use this money to produce more weapons. they have quite an advanced defense industry. to procure more weapons not just the -- which will be operational in a couple of weeks in iran, to procure more weapons, they talk about $20 billion deals for procurement of weapons. then they will be able to
finance and to arm hezbollah as they do today with less money. to finance hamas for islamic jihad in the gaza strip, they are not able to smuggle weapons because of our activity and the egyptian activities so they provide the know-how. this is iran supporting the houthis in yemen. i'm not sure it's within the interests of the united states. smuggling weapons from iran via oman to yemen. supporting other elements in the region to undermine saudi arabia or bahrain. this is not in the american interests. so, we have to realize that vienna poses, which i'm not sure if they'll be successful, but provides iran the opportunity to gain power, to gain hegemony. very dangerous.
>> so, the question that you're faced with, and that we're faced with also, is whether it's more dangerous to your interests, let me ask you as israeli defense minister, to have isis strong in syria or to have iran strong. because it looks like right now like there's a choice there. that you're not going to have the isis coalition given that russia's come down so strongly with iran and bashar al assad without some continuing iranian presence. so, let me ask it. isis or iran, what's the bigger threat? that's the question. >> i said -- i said there is a third option, to support the sunnis, to support the kurds, to support
the jews. we're ready to fight isis. and most of them, of course, want to fight bashar al assad. no, they don't want iranian influence in syria. and the vienna process is, yes, is very complicated. and it comes to the russian presence in syria. the russian presence in syria is to launch an offensive, they thought about three months' offensive in order to gain more territory for bashar al assad regime. first of all, it's not going to happen because of the military difficulties, the incompetence of the forces and the lack of the determination of the iranian
revolutionary guard corps troops on the ground and hezbollah and activists on the ground. it seems to be a failure. nevertheless, they try to conclude it by any kind of political settlement. with whom? you can't settle it with the internal elements in syria, daesh are not around the table. till now even the sunni moderates and the kurds are not around the table. so, they decided to go to external parties, with contradictory interests how can you manage? on one hand you have russia and iran. their interests is to keep bashar al assad in power. on the other hand, you have turkey and saudi arabia. they're not ready to hear about bashar al assad in the future of syria. and you have the united states and other parties with their own interests. the idea is to postpone the problem for about 18 months. this is actually the idea.
in 18 months to have elections. our understanding regarding syria, that syria is going to suffer from chronic instability for a very, very long period of time. we can't see the end of this tragedy of civil war. 300,000 casualties, 10 million refugees, part in your country, part of them outside your country. a tragedy. but there is no way to conclude it. we claim, you know, you can make omelet from an egg. you can't make egg from an omelet. it has become omelet. so, all these ideas. launching a military offensive for three months and then concluding it by political --
syria is going to stay kurdistan in the north, and hopefully the sunnis will be able to get rid of daesh in syria by being a power by the west. this is only good option that might come out of this tragic situation. >> so, i think we all appreciate what was a very frank and direct set of answers about syria. it's not what the administration would want to hear. it's not what u.s. policy is. but it was very, very frank. let me turn now to the question of iran and the iran nuclear deal. israel was against it. israel fought to stop it. your prime minister obviously went to great lengths. but here it is. and we're now in the pathway toward implementation of the
deal. so, i want to ask you, as defense minister, as the senior representative of your government here, what your top concerns are in this next phase of implementation? what are you most worried about in terms not of whether the deal happens or not now, but in terms of how it's implemented. >> yes, we consider the deal as an historic mistake. and talking about the nuclear issue. what we have achieved regarding the deal is to delay the iranian nuclear program for about 10 to 15 years. it's around the corner. what next? now, not incidentally now we have the egyptians and jordanians approaching moscow to get the know-how to construct
civil nuclear facilities. not incidental. the result of the nuclear arms race in our region. talking about proliferation. we are there already. we should be ready. then we have i said -- >> when you say we should be ready, let me drill down on that. is there a way to prevent that proliferation? are there things the u.s. should be considering that would reduce the danger of this nuclear genie totally in the hands of every player? >> the key is iran, you know, there were talks in the region that someone else has a nuclear capabilities, it wasn't an excuse to any party in the region to try to acquire these capability. i'm not talking about iraq or syria. i'm talking about egypt, about
turkey, about saudi arabia. but they can't tolerate iran, a nuclear iran. with the current regime, of course, the apocalyptic regime, they don't trust them. we don't trust them either. nevertheless, this is a key element, whether iran will become nuclear or not, which will affect our situation in the region and by one way or another, the idea of nuclear iran should be stopped. nevertheless, we should be ready to defend ourselves, by ourselves, and i'm talking about our relationship with the united states, and i mean it regarding what should be done regarding capabilities and what has been mentioned earlier and so forth. but now we have iran not suffering any more from
political isolation and waiting for the sanctions relief within a couple of weeks. having more money to spend on what? to produce more weapons? to transfer more weapons to hezbollah, more money to hamas and palestinian islamic jihad? and one of the implications of this deal is arms race -- the conventional arms race in our region. talking about $200 billion procurement of arms by now the sunni regimes. we are now on the same page, but who knows what it will be in the future. >> so, the cornerstone of this deal, as the president tried to present it, as secretary kerry has presented it, all the senior officials of our government, is the idea that we'll be able to verify iranian compliance, that
we have, through the safeguards in the agreement, through our intelligence capabilities, we will be able to know with a high degree of confidence whether iran is cheating. i want to ask you, as we begin this implementation phase, are we kidding ourselves? >> we just have to read the iaea report recently published. >> the one that says iran which we thought wasn't developing nuclear weapons after 2003 continued until 2009. that one? >> yes. that one. it has been exposed. we know it. it has been published now. so, we are talking about compliance. we are so experienced with this regime. i personally -- i know them from the '90s when we exposed for the first time their intention to
have a military nuclear capability. they cheated the west again and again and again. now i believe that they're going to comply. why? because they need money. the first indicator for any change in iran will be for ourselves rehabilitation of the iranian economy. they're under pressure now. they have more money. they will be able to rehabilitate the economy. we will meet them not in 15 years' time, in five or seven years' time. this is the nature of this regime. they are still committed to become a military nuclear power. they haven't given up. now, talking about compliance, you know, the u.n. security council resolution regarding the proliferation of arms. they violated it on a daily
basis. we have hard evidence when they transfer weapons to hezbollah, it's a violation. when they transfer weapons to the houthis in yemen, this is a violation. there should have been sanctions again because of the proliferation of arms. now it is ignored. why? because the iran deal it should be implemented. >> so, we have a lot of prominent american political figures in the room, and i want to give you a chance to lobby them. you're in town in part to talk about the new memorandum of understanding and about how to keep israel's qualitative military edge in a new period in which we're going to be supplying additional weapons to our gulf arab partners. and so i want to ask you, to keep that edge, talk a little
bit about what you need that you don't have now. and nita loewy is sitting in the front row. >> with all disputes, with all differences, there is really, as martin said, unbreakable, unshakeable, unforgettable bond between israel and the united states, and we are thankful for that. and i know what i'm talking about. the relationship between our two defense establishments are superb. superb. not less than that, between the pentagon, the ministry of defense, the two armed forces, the intelligence agencies, for the benefit of the two of us. and just six weeks ago i was here. long meetings with my friend, my
counterpart, secretary of defense ash carter, discussing the capabilities that might be available -- american capabilities, might be available to our country. we have concluded it for our satisfactory. regarding capabilities, regarding policy issues, yes, we are very satisfied. now, the mou for the next decade is discussed, as ms. rice mentioned. we try to orchestrate and come to any kind of conclusion in less than two months. this is the president directive actually. it was decided in the meeting between the president and the prime minister. and hopefully we will be able to conclude the mou for the next decade and to have a good plan,
built-up plan, for the idea especially and our intelligence agencies for the years to come, in order to keep the qualitative military edge in our region. yes, this u.s. commitment is very important, and we appreciate it very much. >> so, i'm going to turn to the audience in a moment, but i want to ask a couple more questions. not quite yet, jaime, but i will turn. a couple more questions from me. and i want to ask you about the palestinian situation. you have faced, with the protest that surrounded the temple mt. jerusalem and attacks on israelis something that is a different kind of intefadeh, it's not centrally coordinated. it is not -- doesn't appear to be led and directed. it's something different.
and it requires a different tactic by the idf. and i want you to just talk about how you're going to deal with this very diffuse, uncoordinated, but dangerous situation that you've got. how are you going -- how are you going to stop that? >> yes, it is a new phenomena. but it's -- you know, the social media which i mentioned, the incitement, the hatred, daesh websites, hamas websites, unfortunately palestinian authority website claiming now that we execute the terrorists and there are no terrorists, we plant the knife after the attack and so forth. incitement. but when it comes to incitement, i would like to start talking
about the palestinian education. and, you know, i supported that personally. and my first meeting with the reality was when i served as head of the intelligence head of the intelligence under late mr. rabin. it was summer '95, the year after we started to implement the oslo accord or taking responsibility of the palestinian authority, gaza and so forth. i came to prime minister rabin in one of our routine meetings saying, mr. prime minister, i have to warn you, this is strategic early morning, i don't see any early sign for reconciliation for the palestinian side. they don't prepare their people in co-existence with us, in contrary they prepare them for jihad, holy war. and i didn't have to use my sophisticated intelligence sources in order to realize i
just had to open the palestinian textbooks. this is the case still now. not talking about hamas, which is obvious. talking about the palestinian authority. it should have been our partner for any kind of political settlement. and with this background, it's very easy to mobilize 14 years old, 16 years old or whatever, youngsters. takes a knife which is available and to try to kill the first jewish guy that they meet. very easy. it is according to their educational curriculum. first of all, there is no jewish state. neither nationality or people or why the jews should have a jewish state. then we have the -- there are stories about jafa is a
palestinian city and hifa and so forth and tel aviv is a settlement. this is a way to try to conclude any kind of political settlement based on territorial compromise. so, with this in mind, it's very easy to mobilize these youngsters to try to kill israelis, whether by stabbing, ramming or whatever. what can be done? first of all, we still try to work with the palestinians, trying to convince them, first of all, to condemn the terror attacks. not only to condemn. then to stop the bloodlettings for executing those terrorists, like innocent people are executed by the israelis. then, of course, to work with our military troops to have more troops on the ground in any junction, in any station, to be
early to any kind of terror attack which takes a couple of seconds. and to complete it by killing the terrorist and not killing the israeli in this case. and, of course, it is not so easy in an open world in which the social media is affecting the people. we try, of course, to convince certain website not to allow this incitement or to show on youtube or something videotapes, whatever. it's a long process. but the end, i believe that in order to stop it, we should be very determined, in any case, to accomplish or to complete any incident by winning the tactical incident.
and then to deal with the leadership, you know, the men authority to try to convince them to behave themselves, to deploy securipartners in order prevent it. it's a long process. it's not something that can be done like that. but we had in the past more devastating attacks, most significant. and i believe that even this wave of terror is going to be defeated by us. >> let's go to the audience, starting with our host and friend, haim saban. >> you stole my question. i was going ask him about the palestinians. but then i found another angle to ask him about the palestinians. there is a lot of questions about the palestinians.
minister, if you were to lay out a resolution of the israeli-palestinian issue long-term, not how you're going to overcome the stabbing, and, okay, we'll trust you and your apparatus to eventually take care of the problem. how do you long term resolve that conflict? >> first of all, i would like to emphasize that although we hear again and again that the israeli-palestinian conflict is a call for instability in the region, i strongly deny it. it even seems to be ridiculous to say it in. current situation. the civil war in syria or in iraq or every is not because of
us. first of all, should it be well understood. in order to put this conflict in the right priority, in certain countries it is a first priority. not daesh, not the iranian. the israeli-palestinian conflict. secondly, it should be very clear that we, the israeli government, we don't want to govern the palestinians. and we are happy that they have already political independence. they have their own government. they have their own parliament, municipalities. they decided to be divided to two political entities, actually led by hamas and palestinian authority in the west bank.
and our interests is to improve, to enhance, to strengthen the competence to govern themselves. we want them as a reliable, accountable neighbor, by all means. having said that, we tried again and again and again to settle the conflict since oslo with all the stations camp david, with barack, clinton proposal the end of 2000. we tried in the last seven years to sit to the table to discuss, to negotiate. i would say that we haven't witnessed yet palestinian leadership which was ready to recognize our right to exist as a nation state of the jewish people. and this is the root of the problem. it's not about conflict we start
in '67. it's a conflict which existed before the creation of the state. it's not going to be concluded according to their perception on '67 lines. but we succeeded in creating a kind of modus vivendi. even now, looking around, the israel is most stabilized entity in the region with the wave of terror, with the hostile neighbor like hamastan in gaza. keeping the mow does vivendi with big stick, the outcome of protective relation. part of it is what we do now when someone is provoking or lounging, but as well. 900 trucks on a daily basis are unloaded. they're dependent on us. we're not there anymore. they're dependent on us, on the
matters of the economy, infrastructure, water and energy. not talking about the west bank. in the west bank, the palestinians are dependent on us. the real economy in the west bank, the viable economy in the west bank, is coming from palestinians employed in israel and employed in the industrial zones in the west bank, in the settlements, subcontractors of israeli working in hebron, or whatever. and selling commodities to israel. can they be a viable state economic wise without us? then infrastructure. water, electricity. can they be a viable state without us?
so we are like siam twins. we can survive without them. they can't survive without us. but we might be living by terror or whatever. even talking about security. can they survive now without security activities in the west bank? no way. looking towards what happened in gaza, hamas took over gaza in a couple of months. to have hamastan in the west bank with palestinian islamic jihad, as this is the case in gaza with zash in the west bank, it doesn't happen because we enjoy the freedom of operation securitiwise. to have such situation, that my
kingdom can survive with such a situation? look at egypt. look at the hamastan as a hostile entity. so our proposal is very clear. we don't want to govern them. make borders, we call it the bottom of the porch. let's make progress on the economy, security, as well as on the political clock. but slowly, slowly, bearing in mind that at the end, this entity, whatever it will be called, the new palestinian empire or whatever, will be dependent on israel. otherwise they are not going survive and they are going to harm our interests as well jordanian interests.
>> mr. minister, i do have to ask you that description you just gave of siamese twins that are joined, a lot of people would say that's the one-state solution. and there was an ad this morning in "the new york times" signed by two people who succeeded you as chief of staff noting that it's estimated that in 2020, the population of that entire territory will be 49% jewish. so aren't you describing the one-state solution in what you just said? >> i'm not in favor of this idea. and i believe that the palestinians are not in favor of this idea as well. now, when we count, you know, we do lose demography. as i said,
we are happy from the political separation, for them enjoying political independence. we don't have to have the knesset. there is their own parliament and government an municipalities. that's fine. we should keep it. and i am not sure that they are looking for such solution. i'm not sure that they are going to what is called to solve the -- with israel, to have a one-state solution. they have their own interests to keep their governing, to keep their business, to keep their interests. so i'm not in favor of one-state solution. and i'm not sure this is the option that the palestinians are looking for. >> dennis russ? >> i want to take you back to iran for a second.
i understand the concerns you have about the deal. but actually the deal is done now. now, if the deal is fully implemented, if the deal is fully enforced, then you actually could buy 15 years where iran would not have a nuclear weapon. given the fact that you could buy those 15 years, what could you do with the 15 years to address the concerns that you are identifying? how can you take advantage of that to effect the landscape to reduce some of the risks that you see? >> yes, i agree that we have to take advantage of the delay, whether it would be 15 years or less. there are those who claim that taking advantage of this 15 years or so is looking or generating an internal change in iran. we thought about it even in the '90s. i was the head of the
intelligence, talking about the fact that 70% of the iranians are not happy with ayatollahs. since then, this apocalyptic messianic regime has succeeded in strengthening their grip in governing. and i'm afraid with more money now is not without political isolation. so without external pressure, this regime is going to enjoy more room to maneuver even internally. i don't see any change in the visions, the ideology of iran claiming that america is a great satan. and we are lucky to be considered the minor satan. and we should be wiped off the map. it's not going to be changed.
and i don't see the chance to have internal branches into iran in the near future. we might pray for a change. but i'm not sure this is a nea. we might pray for a change but i'm not sure this is a policy to pray. nevertheless, we should watch very carefully the implementation of the deal, but again, when there is no political interest, the recent poll which is going to allow the sanctions relief and it will be a matter of political interest whether to conforont the regime if they're violating the agreement or not to confront the
regime. we have now certain issues to confront the regime. i mentioned the proliferation of weapons, human rights issues into iran, oppressing, suppressing dissidents, hanging dissidents might be an issue to deal with regarding this regime, sanctioning this regime. it's a matter of political interest. so at the end it's a matter of policy, political interest whether to deal seriously with this very dangerous regime or not. >> let me turn here and i see four other hands. anybody else who would like to ask a question, please raise your hand. yes, if we can get a microphone.
>> hello. thank you. i'm elliott angle, the ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee and you met with our committee the other day. i'm wondering, dennis sort of touched on it but i'm wondering if you can could share with us tonight what you told us when you met with us that why you look at iran as the greater strategic threat to israel than daesh, than isis, why iran concerns you more. and the second question i have is, i agree with you that israel is the nation state of the jewish people, but there are people who say what does it matter, why do the palestinians have to acknowledge that. when i raise that and nina was there on the west bank, he said
israel can call itself whatever it wants, they can go to the united nations and have their name changed. why do we have to agree to that before anything else happens. i'm wondering if you can answer those two questions. >> i wouldn't dare summarize the congressman's question but i'll -- the question was what we were discussing earlier. you told the committee that you saw iran as a greater threat to israel than isis. could you elaborate on that.
why do they have to recognize -- >> in that situation, isis is the enemy of everybody. look at the coalitions against isis. the western coalitions, the arab coalition, russia is not the main target but after the crash of the airline they intensified the air strike against daesh and actually engage in killing and threatening the assad regime. but nevertheless, muslims are ready to fight daesh. daesh is daesh. thousands of troops financed by the oil now, the oil should be
targeted. it's very important to target the oil. this is the main source of the money. and actually the money serves them in order to mobilize other elements like in sinai county. sinai county of daesh has become sinai county of daesh just because of the money. understand they are going to get more money from daesh. we have villages across the border, which we provide them humanitarian support. they are a part of the free syrian army. in the longer proximity, we have the same villages, the same population. they're not al qaeda followers. so we believe in the end daesh
is going to be defeated. iran is very different. it's actually the original super power. high technology with very significant defense industry. but apocalyptic ideology to sacrifice for it in the times of the regime. the first priority was to finance hezbollah and have money for the people, to arm them, to export the revolution. that's why we worry about this regime and if they're now perceived a key for the solution because they are ready to fight daesh, then they are going to gain more division as i mentioned, to be more dangerous,
to be situated in our border as part of the political settlement of syria. this is very dangerous. >> the other question was the importance of recognition of israel as a jewish state. >> you know, there are those who claim that we didn't ask the egypt shans and jordanians to recognize our right to exist as a nation state of the jewish people. it was and it is a nonissue between us and the egyptians and jordanians. they don't claim tel aviv. this is a way to educate the young generation. all palestine, it's a palestinian land. it's not a jewish one, not
israeli one. now, when we signed the code with sa data and later king hussein, they said no more war and bloodshed. we signed a peace code with arafat. what did we get? always a conflict. from the gaza strip, no violence anymore. what did we get? rockets launching pad aiming to tel aviv. they fight the entire of the country. that's why we have to insist without this recognition, there
is no chance for the end of finality of claims based on any territorial compromise. that's why we insist on it. >> david mckof ski? >> two points related to u.s./israel relations. one, you've gone two rounds with secretary of defense ash carter in six weeks. do i hear from what you're saying and the intimacy on the security to security relations that you have a very high degree of confidence, that the united states and israel will work closely together on iranian implementation? this has been a big question during the debate over the summer. as you said, it's a done deal. you were the first israeli to say it's a done deal.
so i think it's an important signal if i'm hearing correctly that you have a high level of confidence that there's going to be a lot of sharing of information and the like on iran and that whatever difficulties between the obama administration and the government are not going to spill over in the implementation phase. i just want to make sure i understand if you have that high level of confidence. and the second and i think i joked to you once that israel has become the first sunni state to be jewish, but you talked about the importance of the u.s. orchestrating this pragmatic coalition with the gulf states, egypt, jordan, morocco, et cetera, are there things the u.s. can do and i'm talking about not just getting the gulf state on syrian issues, but are there things that the u.s. can do with israel in these sunni states that you're not already doing in your quiet, below the radar -- we're not talking about
political things that are linked to the palestinian issue, fairly or unfairly but i'm talking about the security relationship that you're not already doing. what is the american difference as an orchestra conductor? >> the first one, we do share information, intelligence, whatever to include the iranian iss issue. we might have differences in interpreting the information. we might have differences, but if we agree that the deal should be strictly implemented, then there is a lot to do together of course. not just the united states and israel. i believe that other western parties as part of the deal are
ready to share their information in order to watch very carefully the implementation. having said that, we might have differences because of policy, not because of hard evidence. we had such experience in the past. we had the same information but we have different interpretations or policy decisions because of different interests. it might happen. for the second question which was -- >> second question was how can the u.s. help israel in this implicit set of relationships that are emerging with the sunni states. >> israel is in a very sensitive situation with the region. although you can hardly mention
the term israel arab conflict, the israeli palestinian conflict, other conflict. you can hardly mention the israeli arab conflict. i believe that we are on the same page with most of our arab neighbors regarding the immediate interests as we are in a very sensitive situation, israel can support from behind the scenes as we did in the past, as we do today. there's a sensitivity regarding israel's part of any coalition. so we can find a way to support any effort which should have been orchestrated by the united states and the region.
>> a last explosive -- i want an explosive question from jeffrey goldberg. you can ask a question any time you want but i was asking jeffrey goldberg. >> explosive? you want explosive? mr. minister, let me come back to something that david asked you before. you gave a very interesting answer. i didn't directly relate to his question, but it was an interesting answer. the question had to do with what constitutes a one-state solution. you said that you don't believe in a one-state solution to the conflict, but the question has to do with what the demographic reality is going to look like in a few years. you're going to have a country that is going to be -- a single government that's going to control two populations.
one about 50% is jewish, and roughly 50% is arab. the jewish populations, the jews all have the franchise. they're allowed to vote for their leaders. but on the arab side of this, only a portion of that arab population can choose their leaders. i would disagree with you in your description of what you have now on the west bank is political independence for the arabs. they are completely dependent. they don't have freedom of movement. they don't control their own borders. so what do you call that situation when you hit that moment when half of the people under the control of the israeli government are arabs and many of those arabs do not have the vote, how do you describe that? >> we have to distinguish between the israeli arabs who are part of our society, 1.5 million israeli arabs sharing the same civil rights.
i wish to see them more integrated in the israeli society. i don't like all the political slogans against them, the hatred from both sides. the vast majority of the israeli arabs want to be integrated to our society. they benefit from it of course, following the situation of the arabs in syria or yemen and iraq. they're happy to be part of the israeli society. so we have about 20% of the israeli electorate. the israeli arabs, it's given and we can live with it and we should work in order to integrate them. when it comes to the
palestinians in gaza, they are not going to be integrated. they don't want to be integrated for those who claim one-state solution. the people in the west bank which the situation is more complicated because we live like that, israelis and palestinians. in jerusalem and somalia and so forth, i don't see them prefer to vote. the idea that israel is a one-state solution, it's an israeli idea, not a palestinian idea. even when they talk about swaying the keys, you will take
responsibility for it. there are many to take it. all those who are supposed to be successful, many of them -- i'm not talking about hamas ready to take the keys and not to allow us to have one-state solution. so society is an israeli idea which has been adopted by the palestinians and it is circulated now. i don't see it as a real threat. again, our policy is not to govern them, to sanction their ability to become more comfortable and enabled. this is our policy. not by a different way of one-state solution. so i'm not afraid of this threat of one-state solution. we should do our best to make
progress in a kind of model which was mentioned earlier. this is the only way to keep a relatively stabilized situation. just to imagine if we had even to give up now the freedom regarding security in the west bank. in a couple of months we would have witnessed mortar on the airport, rockets launching toward tel aviv and so forth, homicide bombing attacks again and again coming to our cities. what about civilability of the regime? i can assure you that if we are
not there in a couple of months, hamas will take over, so we should understand the complicated reality on the ground and not to be in a hurry to go to well known solution we've failed again and again and again. let's keep making progress on a political level, security, and economy. this is the only way to keep a relatively stabilized situation between us and the palestinians. >> when martin index says to me i have a quick followup question, my answer is, yes, sir. >> first of all, thank you for honoring us with your presence tonight. it's very good of you to join us and to play this keynote role. i just want to follow up quickly on this because i accept what you're saying about you don't want a one-state solution but what you're, in fact, portraying, what it sounds like
to my ears is a one and a half state solution in which the palestinians have half a state on 40% of the west bank with highly qualified independence and certainly no real sovereignty, but what about the other 60% of the west bank? there you're legalizing settlement outposts, demolishing palestinian houses, you're not giving construction permits or permits for them to use any of the territory, even territory that private palestinians own there. so is that going to become part of israel? is that the one and a half state solution that you described? you have control. you personally have control over that 60% of the west bank. what is going to happen with that? >> in any settlement, my recommendation as the defense
minister will be to control the boundaries, the external boundaries. otherwise, we would have witnessed iranian influence, daesh, whatever in the west bank. so anyhow, it's not a palestinian state in the way that you might imagine. it's something different. i've been quoted a political entity less than a state. when it comes to territory, the old issue of settlement is part of the process, the political process. now, we as the israeli government are committed to understanding between president bush and prime minister sharon not to construct new settlements but to allow the natural
development which allows normal life in the current settlements. but let's talk about the settlements, very sensitive issue in which we are offended again and again. i don't claim that the arabs in the land of israel don't have the right to live in the gal laia or jerusalem, not talking about jericho and so forth. i don't claim it. how come it has become common knowledge that jews in the land of israel don't have the right to live in certain territories? another element, if we are talking about coexist ans, reconciliation, living side by side, benefitting from each
other, why not allow jews to live as palestinians? regarding our withdrawal from the gaza state, 12 territories without jews. ethnic cleansing? do you know the 7700 palestinian families enjoyed employment of that zone. so we can benefit on each other. if we are talking about peace, coexist ans, living side by side, the only way is to get rid of the jews in the area, so we should find a way to live together and create a model in which, yes, they will enjoy the