tv Highlights from... CSPAN May 6, 2012 4:20pm-6:00pm EDT
editor or through journalist robert fisk. a more current example and more important one at this moment is when the arab spring occurred, everybody put words into his mouth that this was the end for him and they will hate this because people are rising up and overthrowing the government. what is clear in these documents is every journalist from the washington post to the times of london were wrong. they rejoiced at the arab spring. bin laden called it the most important point in the history of modern islam in reclaiming the muslim world for islam. there is no responsibility for data analysis, but should make a lot of people embarrassed when they read these things. host: our phone lines are open.
from champaign, ill., good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call and think it is for c-span. my comment is basically this. i next military and of world war two, with this country wanted less than two and half year, we have not waged all-out war. we did not do it in korea, we paddled around in vietnam for 10 years and piddle around in afghanistan for 10 years and pulled the same stunt in iraq. if you want to stop terrorist attacks against this country, the very next time they hit us, we need a commander in chief that is on every trip from all 731 basis we have around the world, we to have him come hit them hard commando quit hitting them until every last one of them is dead and decimated and gone. if you do that one time and these leaders of all these little terrorist groups around world would look at each other and say the americans are
actually serious. guest: and a little crazy. in many ways, i agree with you entirely. we are dominated by multiculturalism and diversity people to think people around the world are the same period in the muslim world, force is a when what frank up. the weak are taken advantage of and a strong who don't use their power are even more take advantage of. that is where we are. our military, the strongest in the world, has lost two wars in iraq and afghanistan, at least to the eyes of the muslim world, to men armed with korean war weapons. the correct response to afghanistan was a punitive expedition that would have lasted 16 months, destroyed as much as possible, unless all the people were there with the idea that the americans were not only serious but a little crazy. that's the way to make your mark. right now, our military is held
in contempt, except for the drones and air power, and they are finding ways to get around those. we in america have lost the idea of it is important to win. we're willing to compromise on anything. president obama the other day said we did not come here to beat taliban, which is 180 degrees different from what mr. bush said or what he said previously. the military is meant to kill. is not meant to dig ditches -- to dig ditches and wells. until we use the military in the form it should be, we are in deep trouble. host: you have been at the cia for two decades at headed up the osama bin laden unit. how long did it take you realize when the planes hit that al qaeda was behind it? >> it was not a surprise. it was a media. it was only in the senior bureaucracy that we had to wait a couple days.
we captured a computer in early 1995 and the fall of the bomb the world trade center the first time in 1993. there was plans to trade the will on 747 airplanes. -- to train people on 747 airplanes. there was no surprise when that came about at least among intelligence community. host: a call from hudson, florida. caller: thank you for having this man on. i respect him tremendously and you don't pull any punches, which is great. i have one question for you. who do you think is probably the most dangerous politicians we have had in the last 30 years that has helped expedite this thing with terrorism and their attacks on the united states? is it one person or many? who is responsible? >> i don't think there's a
nickel's worth of difference between the two policies in terms of foreign policy. the first president bush, mr. clinton, the sec and mr. bush and mr. obama have made it their business to light to the american people, to insist we are being attacked because of what we think here in north america or how we lived rather than with united states government has done. the core of the problem is intervention in other people's business. part of that intervention is unfortunately necessary. we have to defend the saudis and operate because we depend on oil. our support of israel and our intervention in south sudan, the relentless intervention of the united states on issues that are not very important to it is because of what is going on and it is a bipartisan stimulus. it's not just one person. until we stop that war think about stopping at, there is no
chance to stop this war and that is why so much about kite has spread so greatly since 2001. >> our guest is the author of a number of books that we have featured here on c-span. we are discussing the 70 letter released by the government written by osama bin laden from september to about six until just before his death in april of last year. caller: thank you for taking my call. i studied at virginia tech and day made s. reed -- they made us read "a bill limiting tower. the caller from illinois said we need to go and bomb -- i don't
see there be enough where we can go to war and that there are not going to be 19 people sending airplanes and to the towers. i feel like if we were to do that, it would fan resentment toward us and i wanted to your opinion was. >> i think that's true. anytime you bomb someone, you don't win friends. but the question is how do you defend the united states? the problem for the military and the american people is their leaders are out in the muslim world causing wars. no one has been more responsible for the alienates session of muslims then mrs. clinton, ambassador rise, and mr. obama. is odd that the clash of civilizations is really being waged by the united states.
mr. obama and mrs. clinton, with the support of john mccain and wendy gramm who want to install secular democracies in muslim countries and insist on women's rights and installing them by force and ready to see marines die said that mrs. mahomet can vote. until that kind of nonsense stops, we are creating wars. there's no way to cut the defense budget and stop attacks on that united states. if you stopped intervening and other people's affairs, perhaps you could reduce the size of the threat. but until then, the only option we have is to kill them and we're not doing that with efficiency or speed. host: last week, in his speech, the president said it america does not want to have a country, a mirror image, referring to afghanistan. we want the afghan people to determine their own destiny. >> that is what he said.
he has to say that because we don't intend to win the war there. mr. bush did not intend to do that. we are cutting and running and we're getting the muslims the idea that that we can be beat on the battlefield are rare. it's a very political speech at all last week seemed to be a very tawdry use of the valor of american soldiers and intelligence officers -- the leaking of all the information about how the drowns operate, the surprise visit to afghanistan, the publishing of these documents all within four days is not a constant. it was a tawdry political move and when i suspect a republican president would have also conducted. host: from twitter -- who is responsible for leading us to believe he was hiding in caves all these years? >> we have no respect for our
enemies. mr. bush, you have to assign the responsibility to mr. bush. it was called for a long while by mr. obama. mr. bush said they are running from rock to rock and cave to cave but as it turns out, osama bin laden led a very sedentary life for it -- sedentary life. for an intelligent person, somebody is moving around a lot, you'll catch them because they will make a mistake. the other thing they would say he could not communicate with his organization because he was so isolated. if you have been and a radio shack in the past 20 years, you know you can communicate with anybody on earth there's a satellite overhead. these documents make it very clear that osama bin laden and his isolation was very clear of what was going on in the organization not only in south asia but in somalia, yemen, and other places. host: a phone call from silver
lake, michigan. caller: good morning. i completely agree with your guest. the world does not fear us anymore is one problem. the muslim world, everything we do is strictly against the koran. to them, we are and develop and we all deserve to die and that is all that has played out. thank you very much. >> i think that's another popular misconception and it's encouraged by politicians because they don't want you to understand the problem, they want you to be afraid and let you do what you want to do. i would ask you why the united states hasn't been under constant attack since 1776 by muslims? we were and are a christian-
dominated nation. your argument is correct, we would have been attacked in 1824 and 1924, and we worked. we are being attacked for the post-1970's expansion of u.s. intervention and interference in the affairs of the muslim world, most of all our support for the israelis and arabs attorney. host: a follow-up from a viewer described as right wing -- obama foreign-policy = bush policy with drones and apologies. guest: i don't think there is a lot of difference between president bush and president obama in terms of the mechanics of their foreign policy except there's a difference in their words. when bin laden was alive, he was more worried about democrats because they spoke more softly.
they fought with a few muslims but he preferred them because he preferred than to the brash and cars rhetoric. but if you step back, you think we spend hundreds of billions on defense every year and hundred -- the defense is dependent on these airplanes with one or two missiles on each one trying to kill an enormous and anyone at a time, there is something rather comic about that. host: another point -- how many years to president bush and the government pay pakistan to harbor been lot? we did provide pakistan assistance. guest: we did. another failure of both policies and the political leadership is to leave every nation's foreign policy and national interest is ours. it was never in pakistan's interest to turn osama bin laden
over to us. he was a hero in the islamic world and pakistan is close to the saudis and the saudis never wanted him and our hands because he knows where the skeletons are buried in the kingdom. you accept reality as it is. pakistan helped us with overflight and allowed karachi to become a nato naval base. there's no way to supply our military in afghanistan without karachi. we expand our presence there and the leaders and the military into the tribal areas to help us and the result of that was a civil war on his own territory. when you look at another nation and ask them to do something against their national interest, you make a mistake that hurts you. they will say yes but they will never do it. host: we have been looking at these pictures of that bus, but
lot watching television and it has become almost a caricature. but you think he is thinking as he is monitoring cnn and other cable networks in an enclosed room in pakistan at his compound? >> is this the case where he is watching himself? he was a man very conscious of the fact that he was not the best educated person in the world, especially in terms of religious theory and grammar. he was intent on appearing to muslims as a very well spoken, very presentable person. in some of these letters, he talks about the problem of islamic resistance leaders appearing in an unkempt fashion are talking and dramatically. he maybe had admiring himself on that but if the evidence we have is correct, but he was doing was trying to make sure what he was
saying is grammatically correct and he looked the part of a leader. in the united states, we tend to forget the muslim world, because so much of it is illiterate, is an enormously world culture and leaderships come from the ability to speak and speak correctly. anan't say he wasn't egomaniac looking at himself, but if you believe we have in terms of evidence for the last 20 years, he was trying to see what he did and see if there was room for improvement. host: we welcome our listeners on c-span radio. next, a viewer from stateless, missouri. caller: thank you for your program and your guest. i'm curious about some of his ideas. i don't say they are wrong, but if we are the autocrats, these guys move to the western countries like england where
they talk about putting sharia law in place but don't have the numbers. they come over here -- are they galvanizing s to their holy land? are they replaced in to this den of the neck of the recall the last? i suspect there is heavy leaning on a group of religious leaders, and i think that is to cause these problems. i have to ask you can verify that. but they are afraid of the west, not because of the oil and the stuff, but there ideas that are contrary to islam corrupting their power -- that seems to be the whole thing and doesn't have much to do with the other stuff. can i get your comments on that? >> there is increasing worry in the muslim world that under mr.
obama, the intention to apply or force western values were paganism, depending on your review on the muslim world is a worry. the point i would make is first, part of the problem we have with muslim immigration comes from the absolute disaster of our immigration policy or lack of immigration policy. there's a good argument to be made or debate to be had at least that not all four of islam's are incompatible with american culture. the other point i would make is what is too often forgot is at this point in the muslim world, americans are not heated as americans. their government is heated, but americans in terms of their personal behavior and personal generosity, the money we give and send when there is earthquakes in pakistan or tsunami is in indonesia is very welcome.
most americans, myself included, have traveled in the middle east and muslim world find americans are very welcome. but your hosts are always very conscious of asking why are you giving f-16s to the israelis to kill palestinians? if americans ever got to the point that americans are hated as much as the government, we have made genuinely large problem. host: as the arabs bring was taking place, osama bin laden said this -- guest: that is a very straightforward statement and there are several statements in these letters saying that they welcome the advance of the arab
spring. we need to remember, we talked the beginning of the show that one of their goal was to get rid of the arab purity and clear the way for as long to become the ruling idea of government. they found out they did not have to do it themselves. the people rose up in places and the islamists have won every election that has occurred since the arabs bring began. the allies the u.s. dependence on for decades, american and western foreign policy in the muslim world was built on the strategy of maintaining the journal to dirty. that was the wrong move from the beginning, that was our policy. when egypt went and to be aware that we help libya to go, we find ourself with zero influence across the middle east and if you look at egypt, it is the
muslim brother head driving the political process at the moment. -- muslim brotherhood driving the political process at the moment and that will bar result in anything but an al qaeda-from the government. host: why was it that lawton killed and not -- why was bin laden killed and not captured? >> he would have been quiet and eloquent and the court room and talked to the muslim world for years or as long as the trial went on. i think it was a very wise thing to kill him and not capture him. i think they botched the aftermath in terms of the leaks and burying him at sea and that kind of thing, but they did make the right decision to kill him. host: how long will it take before the photographs of him before he was buried at sea show up? guest: i don't know why they
don't release him. there cannot be anything more gory than what we have seen on tv and the idea that they don't want to inflame the muslim world, worse than the picture was burying him at sea because that is not an acceptable way of burial in the muslim world, unless you actually die at sea. host: a call from cedar rapids, iowa. caller: i really appreciate this show. i had a few points at it like to make. i consider the announcement of bin laden's death a big intelligence failure. we should have tried for a month or two to exploit any intelligence. why have they never considered -- we know they have
geostationary satellites. why not determine the chokepoints' on the infiltration routes into afghanistan and destroy them? guest: on the first one, i think there is room for disagreement. your point is a valid basis for debate but my own view is bin laden was of a nature that we would not have gotten anything. if we spent two months and had to try him in guantanamo and give him a forum for his eloquence in the muslim world, there was a great downside to it. the second answer to your question as we -- they used to say let reagan be reagan. we do not let the military be the military. if anybody believes we've seen 10% of what the military can do in terms of destruction and bringing victory to the united states, they're crazy. there is an enormous amount we
could have been done. we could have protected our troops by said -- by spreading land mines, but we are more comfortable with dead american soldiers and marines and disturbing this anti-minded effort led by a half brained british princess diana. we are in and not a position where we are letting marines and soldiers get killed because we do not mind because we do want to upset people who don't like land mines. it's a crazy situation we are in. host: we don't know the author -- this could have been bin laden, but we thought was interesting to share with you as part of these documents, this is what it says --
host: why is this important? guest: first, the real big for al qaeda is the base of jihad. and in the newspaper impressed, it was shortened to leave out the universal part, the jihad part which would appeal to all muslims. the restoration of that would help. they're very conscious of how the media works and yet -- and how people perceive things. it also gives you a good idea that al qaeda as an organization was a modern, multinational corporation. it reminded me of the discussion of should we change our brand -- coca-cola's problem after they introduced new coke and nobody liked it. at to go back to coca-cola
classic and restore their image and get the products sold. that's the kind of thing that letter was talking about. we need to get this focus off of us as an organization and get back to where we want it to be, which is an organization that inspires the muslim world as a whole. host: the next call is from winnipeg, canada. caller: thank you very much. i'm a former officer from the iranian army and i have a question. our good friend told us we have islam, but i have a question about the forces -- we hear many things about al qaeda and other terrorist organizations. what is the place of the forces because those forces from iran
so many protection and financial support and technical and information to so many different terrorist organizations, can you share with us what you know about that because as you know, for example, the people who did the terrorist attacks on 911, what happened? what he has done there? aware of that -- that is their elite part of their revolutionary guard and it's involved in nefarious activities and iranian defense activities from the world. ultimately, we will go to war with iran if the israelis want this to and that will take care of that problem. i am not your expert on that. i really don't know much about
the bollix up there are very talented and very much a thing worth worrying about. host: a follow-up -- are you saying bin laden considered iran and the and what does this imply about u.s. policy? guest: bin laden, tried out in the documents and says we can never trust the iranians. there is discussion going on between iran and al qaeda over the fate of bin laden's family because there were held in iran. basically, and iran as a country in a lot of trouble. it is an island of shias in a sunni world that would rather kill them and kill us. their economy is in decline and they are surrounded by american
military bases. in a more rational world, that's the kind of country would look at as a potential ally or at least not an enemy. but we have not really changed our attitude toward the iranians since the hostage incident and the politicians use that as a means to keep driving us toward what would be an absolutely disastrous war with iran. >> our guest headed up the cia bin laden yet from 1996 through 1999. is the first wife and fourth son able to testify? guest: i can't remember her name, but there is a wonderful book -- "growing up bin laden." it was a book i used extensively in my biography of osama bin laden and there is interesting firsthand test money and another piece of
evidence if people in the united states wanted to read it of how this characterized bin laden, al qaeda, and their goals have been. bin laden is portrayed by his wife and his son and his son does not like him very much, as a man willing to sacrifice whatever for his faith. a man who put a tremendous amount of time into leading the organization and learning how to speak correctly and putting his own life at risk in fighting. it's a book a very worth reading if people really want to understand the enemy. caller: good morning and thank you for your guest. he is the first person i've ever heard on c-span i have heard that has any idea of what is really going on because normally you have the same old be up politicians and army generals
speaking the same old crazy stuff. to hear this guy come with a fresher breath there, there are several points i would like to make and get his response to. number one, our government is looked at as a government without justice and any real religion. that's number one. number two, i think a some of the modern, muammar gaddafi, and saddam hussein -- osama bin laden, muammar gaddafi, and saddam hussein should have been brought to trial but the reason they were not was because they would wake the american people up to what our government is doing in that part of the world. this gentleman is bringing up a lot of points, but the people who could have woken us up -- this guy's still light in the dark but the reason they had to be killed -- he says osama bin laden would have been speaking to the islamic world. they already knew what he had to say. in his doctrine and philosophy.
guest: you might have a good point there but the ability of the mainstream media to twist and x -- and excerpt what bin laden was saying, you would probably aptitude and to al jazaeera to get the gist of it. our politicians are adept at making americans afraid of this bogeyman, the islamists coming to invade the lock your atlanta or something. unfortunately, i come down to the idea that bin laden is better off dead than speaking to vietnam -- to the islamic world. the americans don't need any more from osama bin laden to understand what this war is about. we have not had an enemy since hope she men who has been so eloquent and frequently spoke and clearly spoken about what
they're grievances were and what they intended to do about them and how they intended to be yes. bin laden laid it out consistently since the 1990's yet the american people had very little opportunity to read what he said. the only thing that was ever put in the media was something that could be framed as a threat. host: let me conclude again with the words of bin laden. this came on the 10th anniversary of september 11. host: does this give you a sense of what he was thinking of? guest: very much. they're very conscious of media operations and appealing to the
next generation of young muslims. as we talked about when we look at the video of bin laden watching himself, oral communication is very important in the muslim world and that's what he was looking for their. host: will more documents becoming out? >> i don't know. from a politician's view point, is a foolish batch of documents to let go, especially the ones written by bin laden because they show president obama or linsey gramm, whenever they have said about him, one of the main features is his effort to get his organization to stop attacks in all places that would kill innocent muslims. the idea he is out there killing left and right, which is what our politicians want you to believe, is disproved by the documents state police. i wonder if they read these things beforehand.
host: you have two books, do have another one? >> i just published a biography of osama bin laden that just came out with a new ford. next year, i will have a book on the founding fathers and non- intervention and how our failure to abide their guidance on non- intervention has landed us in a great deal problems, especially in the middle east. host: for more than two decades, our guest headed up the bin laden unit at the cia. please come back again. >> tomorrow, a radio talk show host armstrong williams discusses the themes of the 2012 election campaigns. then education in the workforce -- the current job market for college graduates. from north carolina, conservative activist art pope talks about his time as the john william pope foundation, a
foundation against $10 million a year to support public policy, education, cultural and humanitarian efforts. that's on the "washington journal" on c-span. >> tonight -- >> i don't regard this as just a biography of lyndon johnson. i want each book to and examine the kind of political power in america -- this is a kind of political power. see what a president can do in a time of great crisis, how he gathers all around at what does he do to get legislation moving and take command in washington? that is a way of examining power in a time of crisis. i want to do this in full. i suppose it takes 300 pages and that's why i said let's examine this. >> the passage of power, the
years of lyndon johnson. the multi-volume biography of the president, tonight at 8:00 on the c-span. the second hour of conversation on sunday, may 20. >> when it comes to privacy for american citizens, corporate liability, and the ability to share formation, we look at protecting court and the structure, good enough is not enough. >> what is the future of u.s. cyber security? monday night at 8:00, the administration's concerns over the cyber bills in congress. >> the israeli ambassador to the u.s. spoke recently at george washington's university at the elliott school of international affairs in washington d.c.. he will discuss u.s.-israel relations and the future of that relationship. this is just over one hour.
[laughter] >> and the director of the military -- the middle east policy forum here at toward washington university and i want to welcome all to our forum this evening. the middle east policy forum was established in 2007 to bring leading analyst, scholars, journalists, diplomats and policy makers to the university to discuss current and emerging issues in the middle east region. we are deeply grateful for the generous support we receive from the exxon mobil corp. to allow us to have these programs. as you know, your part of a university community that seeks understanding and knowledge and
one at to achieving that goal is to bring knowledgeable and thoughtful experts to present an entire spectrum of views so that we become cognizant of the issues and see them from all angles. it is not a question of agreement or disagreement but an exposure to a variety of opinion that perspectives and our own quest for knowledge. i am pleased to extend a warm welcome to israel's ambassador to the united states and university president extended an invitation for him to speak. i would like to thank three organizations, the international student association and [inaudible] the initiative to see the doctor and encouragement to extend this invitation and i thank you for that invitation.
he assumed his position as ambassador to the united states in 2009. he is deeply involved in maintaining and building a strong and close relationship that exists between the relationship that -- and that exists between the united states and israel. dr. oren is not all a stranger to the academic world. a fellow of the university, the distinguished fellow in jerusalem. he was a visiting professor at harvard, yale, and georgetown. [laughter] and he is a graduate at
columbia. he has written extensively for a number of publications. it was, but a way, a contributing editor. six days of war, america and the middle east 1976 to present. those of which were a new york times best seller. we invite the ambassador to join us to discuss his chosen title. please join me in welcoming ambassador oren. [applause] >> thank you for plugging my books, which, by law, i am not
allowed to do. they are available at reduced prices on amazon if you should want them. [laughter] special thanks to those on my own staff, our academic counselor. and jason harris made this possible. [applause] it is especially gratifying for me, i do travel around the united states to california, michigan. a couple weeks ago, and chicago, boston. it is a pleasure to load up the car, packed for wheat and make a long drive to finally get here. it only took me three years. unbelievable. i want to begin with three
portraits were snapshots of a relationship between the united states and israel. the first was taken several years ago when one day, out of the blue, i get a call from the united states navy. they asked me if i would be interested in flying interested behalfuss truman aircraft carrier and give a lecture on the history of the u.s.-israel relationship. i've thought about this and i say, are you kidding? of course i do this. they brought me to let airport outside of tel aviv. they strappe dme in, they put a helmet on me. nobody bothered to tell me this aircraft was going to go 188 miles an hour to zero in less than one second.
when we landed, i thought we had crashed. i don't recommend you ever do this. they thought it was very funny but it was not. there was a floating american island between the coast of turkey with 5200 crewmembers and officers all standing at attention to hear me give a lecture about the history of the u.s.-israel alliance. the next snapshot took place a couple months ago when i was invited by the assembly of the state of colorado, a very nice day. and there are parts of colorado with large jewish constituencies. and there are parts of colorado with no jewish constituencies at all. i was invited by both houses because in both the congress and the senate and because they were
passing a resolution on the state of israel. they were completely an exuberant and unequivocal in their support for israel, their love for israel. they of asking unanimously -- both asked unanimously. a few weeks ago, sally and i made a visit to the nicety of cincinnati. -- nice city of cincinnati. don't laugh. it was recently voted the most fun city. on sunday, i like to go to church at talk of various congregations. it was the church of new drizzle on -- jerusalem. it was an african-american
baptist church. i was greeted with such outstanding warmth and unreserved love, true love. people were embracing me as the ambassador of israel to the united states. what is this all about? what other country in this what other ambassador would be treated this way in such an adverse scenarios? -- diversse scenarios. relationship today is the most multifaceted alliance that this country has had with just about any foreign country in recent memory. you have to go back to the end of world war two. what are the reasons for this relationship? you have to go back.
israel is celebrating the 64th birthday. you will have to go back much further and go back 400 years. i'll wait. really shouldyou stay. i come here to talk to you. that is what universities are for, folks. truly sad. you have to go back 400 years to the time when the first buckled shoe -- i am sure you remember it well. the puritan pilgrims were interesting group of people. they suffered terribly as a
protestant group at the official church of england. in an attempt to find a model in their bible that what led them cope with their suffering, they looked into the books of the old testament. they found a god who spoke to his people in their language. he he speaks hebrew. he made them an interesting promise, to rescue them from exile and restore them to the promised land. the puritans loved it, they became the new israel. england became the new egypt. he atlantic ocean became the new sinai. they landed in a new promised land. if you live in the northeast of this country, that is why there are 1000 cities and towns that have biblical hebrew names.
like jericho and bethlehem, bethany. they give hebrew names to their children like sarah, rebecca, david, solomon. you had to take hebrew. james madison was a hebrew major at princeton, and he failed. he had to go back because it is a lhard language. i shouldn't say that. don't tell james madison that. so deeply ingrained was this notion of the new israel and america, at the conclusion of the american revolution in 1783, it was a debate. a certain group of leaders thought it should be the bald eagle.
another prominent group thought that the image of the united states should show moses leading the children of israel out of bondage and into the promised land. it was a heated debate and america became this close to having moses as the national symbol. we got the bird instead. of the authors of the moses seo thomas jefferson and benjamin franklin. the fact that they were the new israel meant that they had a relationship with the old israel. they had inherited a new promised land and connection with the old promised land. to be good christians and good americans, it was their duty to help the old israel go back and restore their ancient kingdom. to rescue them from exile.
thus was born the notion of restorationism, which was by no means a peripheral motion. don adams, the second president of the united states, said it was his greatest dream that jewish soldiers would march back into jaijudea. they pledged to held jews go back to regain their sovereignty. woodrow wilson was the grandson and son of presbyterian ministers saying it was his greatest privilege to be able to help the jewish people returned to their holy land. woodrow wilson was absolutely instrumental in helping persuade the british to issue what they call -- the british empire
through its weight behind the recreation of the jewish land that was then called palestine. it became the basis for the 1947 un partition resolution creating an arab and jewish state in palestine that the jews accepted. and there was a debate to recognize the created jewish state. in an event that is completely unique in the annals of american foreign policy. the entire foreign-policy establishment of the united states, without exception, told the president of the united states not to deal with. there will be a cutoff of oil from the middle east to the united states. the jews don't know how to defend themselves, don't do it. george marshall would not vote for him and the next election.
but the president was a gentleman named harry truman that claim to have memorized the bible by age 14 and he joined a restorationist group. he locked himself in the white house for 48 hours and at 6:11 p.m. on may 14, 1948, 11 minutes after israel voted for independence, harry truman it was the first to have the united states be the first nation on earth to recognize the jewish state. when asked why he went against all of the advice of the foreign policy counselors, he said, "i'm sirus." an king ent persio that restored the jews to their sovereignty after the destruction of the first temple.
he's siras. america remains the most religiously observant country in the world. more americans attend one house of worship of one stripe or another on a weekly than any other country in the industrialized world. it is the same thing that john adams red, the same conclusion. and the reason there is support is that close to an all-time themselves as pro- israel. the only time it was higher was the 1991 gulf war. we're not being pummeled by rockets anymore, but one of the reasons is this great connection between the two countries. israel comes into being 64 years
ago not only as a jewish state, a democratic state. the middle east's only functioning democracy, and believe it or not, 64 years old, today israel is older than more than half of the democracies of the world, part of a very small club. america is a member, new zealand as a member, canada is a member. those countries in democracies that have never known a second of non-democratic rule. think about it. in spite of the unspeakable pressures that israel has known, they have never known a nanosecond of non-democratic rule. we are a state with representative government, different than your representative government. a lot louder than your
representative government. the shares tend to be screwed down. if someone curses out the president, it makes the news, but if someone yells at the prime minister of israel, it doesn't make the news. it is a rule of law, a country where nobody is above the law. nobody is beyond the independent judiciary. the president of israel was sentenced to lengthy prison term for sexual offenses and was sentenced to jail by a supreme court panel made up of three judges, to limit and an arab supreme court judge. -- two women and an arab supreme court judge. in terms of the rights that it of foreign lgbt communities -- that it affords to lgbt
communities, there was never don't ask, don't tell. there was a law that said no soldiers could be discriminated against because of his or her sexual orientation. the only instance where rabbis i,mams, and priests get together to agree on something is to block the annual gay pride parade in israel. if they have not succeeded. this coming saturday night, i am giving the opening speech at an annual lgbt convention. israel is the only country in the middle east that has had a memorial for jfk, martin luther king, we mark martin luther king
day. there is a very large memorial to 9/11. it has a park named for and containing an exact replica of the liberty bell. liberty bell park. you come to our home town, you have washington street and lincoln street. they call it link-o-lin street. [laughter] you have a great spiritual connection, and what there was not was a military or strategic alliance. anyone that says we have been allied militarily, they don't know history. n the post-cold war period, there was a vote about the
boycott of cuba. the vote was 188-2. imagine who the two were. voting records are virtually indistinguishable. israel fought wars in 1948, 1967, not one single american bullet. israel defeated three soviet- back armies and on the seventh the of the conflict, americans realize there was a super power in the middle east and thus began the u.s. strategic alliance that has blossomed and burgeoned the manifoldly ever since. talk about what america gives israel, roughly $3 billion in military aid every year.
75% is spent in the united states, they tell us what to buy and create tens of thousands of jobs. that a today will buy you about one half of a destroyer. america gets intelligence at the highest and most professional level of appearances in the middle east and we share our intelligence daily with the united states. i know, personally, it is deeply appreciated on both sides. you get an army, the israel defense forces that is highly motivated and train. a very sophisticated. we are larger than the french and british armies combined. we are situated at the nexus between africa, asia, and in the
middle eastern area out. where america does not have to deploy troops because hours are there. as opposed to the persian gulf because -- where there is a large american presence. we share technological innovation with the united states. military aircraft, whether it is 6-win or helicopters, every single one of them fly with israeli component and concepts. they all have israel inside of them. they have developed the most advanced anti-ballistic systems in the world. the they can take out short- range, middle-range, intercontinental missiles. the iron dome just this year became the first anti-ballistic system to prove effective in combat.
trying to use them in war is a different situation, but we have taken down dozens of rockets fired by islamists. it works. our battery recently scored 100% hit rate. it is literally rocket science, and they don't anticipate where the next rocket is going to fall. only if it is going to hit the city do we should interceptor at it. -- shoot intercepotrs as it. tors at it. they are patrolling the skies above the american service, the men and women serving in the region. we are involved in the war against drugs. we have developed anti-missile technology that protect tanks from rpg's.
we help with the technology of improvised explosive device is the ruinous -- devices that have been ruinous for americans in the region. the navy propeller jet was doing that when it picked me up to take me, they are landing everywhere. it is the friendliest port in the mediterranean for them. israel is not just involved in events in america's military prowess on the battlefield, we are just engaged in saving american lems and saving american lives. some of you may remember that at the outset of the conflict, american and military -- remember the vulnerable humvee's? they came up with an ingenious idea of making a do-it-yourself
instant of armor -- instant armoring kit. they have armored about 20,000 military vehicles serving in a war areas. we have saved countless lives, and we get a the thank-you letters from the parents, the husbands, wives, thank you for saving our kids with this vehicle that could directly -- but nothing thit but hit happened. there is an internal pressure system that applies pressure to a wound and stops bleeding. one of these bandages was in the medical kit of the swat team on that terrible they were congress -- or we applied 1
our team was flown in by the u.s. military. as we have done the same with u.s and turkey, we have been involved with famine relief in somalia, talking about not just fighting famines. we are engaged with the united states and, women's empowerment , it falls under the rubric of the alliance between the united states and israel. i more or less of this because i spent 30 years studying. it was humbling that i knew very little. it was deeply rooted and multifaceted because of the entirely new area of the u.s. how cozy relationship that was evolving. that was the commercial relationship. israel is america's twentieth largest customer in the world. america does more business with israel than spain, argentina, russia, saudi arabia. it is getting bigger every day. americans have invested $80 billion, and israelis have invested more than $55 billion in the united states.
at a time when american firms are outsourcing to asia, israeli firms are outsourcing to the united states. including many in the greater maryland area. you should never have to take pills, but one of every five hills you take in this country is made by an israeli company that employs tens of thousands of americans. and in the field of high tech, every major american high tech firm. aol, google, intel, apple, they have r&d centers in israel. if you have intel in your computer, you have is real in your computer. a usb flash drive is an israeli invention. if the browser knows what your looking for, that is an israeli
invention. we are there in your lives, in your high-tech part of existence as students. you are typing using israeli components as well. we are very much involved in the search for alternative energy. the better place project inspired to make israel the first completely self-sufficient electric car system. we hope for a system to help president obama reach his goal of putting electric cars on american roads. does this mean we agree on everything? we don't. allies can disagree. whenever the u.s. -- not remember the u.s. and britain in world war two? they disagree. we disagree on how tactical
aspects of the peace process, settlement policies, you probably have questions about it. most of those technical differences have been minimized. we have called for the immediate negotiationsf between israel and palestine. ont importantly, we agree the strategy. the creation of two states for two peoples. the jewish people of israel, palestine livng side-by-side in mutual recognition and peace. on the iranian issue, very complex. we are communicating daily at the highest and most intimate level of about -- levels about iran. we don't want them to acquire
nuclear capabilities. we agree the best way to do this is a combination of a crippling sanctions and a credible military threat. we agreed that containment is not an option, there has to bewt obama's comments were he said in front of 12,000 people that israel has a right to defend itself against any middle eastern threat. only israel as a sovereign nation knows best how to defend its citizens. we are living through some particularly historic times in the middle east. i don't have to tell you. you are studying international affairs and it's a highly fluid and flammable situation. everything is in flux.
anyone who tells you what they think is going to happen in the next two weeks, two hours -- we could get a note any moment now that things change. it can happen. there is one certainly -- one certain -- one certainty -- there will be a state that will remain economically and militarily robust, it will remain unalterably democratic. it's not going to change in that way. it will be capable of defending itself by itself. it is a country that will be sharing its innovation and technology with the united states and it is a country that will remain today, tomorrow, for any -- they are unequivocal a pro american. will not find an anti-american demonstration or american flags burned in the public there. how many countries in the world
are there like this? for that reason, historically, because of the deep roots and the democratic connection and our great military alliance and growing commercial relationship, i say israel is not just an ally of america, it's not a great ally of america, israel is america's altman ally. thank you. -- ultimate allied. [applause] >> any questions? >> the ambassador has agreed to respond to questions. you have that given some cards and i would ask if you could write your questions on the card for a very straightforward
and simple reason. if you write it on a piece of paper, that's likely to see rick -- i'm asking you to be concise and quick and ask a question. i know the ambassador said he will answer any question, but i will interrupt if you speak to long in a lecture or if you don't ask a question. >> you had your hand up. >> [inaudible] >> we would probably save time if you lined up at the microphone. >> you spoke a lot about
the area you call the west bank is the cradle of jewish civilization. they are our tribal lands. if you look in the bible, you will find haifa. you can find televisa, but it's a town and babylonia. you find bethlehem and jerusalem many hundreds of times. this is the cradle of our civilization. for virtually impossible any israeli government, left, right come up, down, that they cannot live in their ancestral homeland. it goes to the very reason to be to have a jewish state in your homeland. there is a strategic interest behind the settlements. before 1967, at its most populous area, was only 8 miles wide. that is narrower than suburban washington dc. we had to see to our backs and
we did not have a dispensable border. that is why the un resolution passed talked about secure and recognized borders, because our border was insecure. we had these very important components. one was spiritual and historical, the other is strategic and military. now you have had data head of the party, benjamin netanyahu, getting in front of the knesset and joint session of congress last may saying, making a two- stage solution. the official policy of his policy and the state of israel, -- i work for is a factor been in the '90s and he never came out in favor of the two state solution. it's in these areas we regard as vital for our national security. why are we doing this?
we know these same lines are the homeland of other people and those people are people who are in doubt with an inalienable right to self-determination, just as the jews are a people endowed with inalienable right of self-determination. the only way we're going to end this conflict is sharing it. settlements have not been an obstacle to peace. we were able to negotiate with the egyptians and jordanians and palestinians under to peace offers made to the palestinians in 2000 and 2008, the settlement issue was not what drove the palestinians to reject that. in 2005, we ripped up 21 settlements and threw it 91,000 people of their homes. -- 9100 people. there is nothing more dramatic to me than this and we got rockets, thousands of rockets fired at our homes.
settlements are not the issue. we can create a palestinian state that is contiguous, territorially viable, and our hope is nobody will have to leave their home on the border will be drawn in such a way that nobody has to leave their homes. do we know these settlements are an annoyance to the palestinians? we do. do we think there are the ultimate obstacle for peace? we don't. the palestinian leadership has been unwilling to pay the price for a palestinian state. the price for a palestinian state is recognizing the jewish state. >> [unintelligible]
don't know if america's declaration of independence bastions' democracy but it was the model for the israeli declaration of independence and the people who worked on were experts on the american declaration of independence and most of the language directly in folks the american declaration of independence. it employs the language of the bill of rights and guarantees equal rights without discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity or sex. it actually takes a step further on the sexual issue. between 1948 and 1964, parts of the arab community in the north were under a military administration. at that time, it was essential because that part of the country and wage war against israel. this was not a neutral population. every democracy, including this democracy over the course of this history during wartime has
taken extraordinary and at times controversial measures to preserve itself as a democracy. that is true of abraham lincoln, who threw journalists in jail, president truman did, we did not do a putting people into concentration camps and even under the patriot act, we have a more liberal policy related to torture. we're the first country in the world to take up the legal aspects of torture. we are a country that has never been without the threat of destruction and i can't think of any other country in all of modern history that has had to grapple with that kind of daily threat. and it's not just and -- not just the threat, it's eight -- the fact that israel has remained democratic and even in
the first election held in 1949, when over a thousand israelis were killed out of a population of 600,000, but imagining is 1% of americans were killed, it has never happened. the prime minister at that time specifically granted full voting rights to all of israel's arab population and so we will not begin with that type of discrimination. is israel a perfect democracy? is america a perfect democracy? is a perfect democracy not an oxymoron? we are work in progress but we're also a work of progress. today, israel is more democratic and has more equal rights than at any time in its history and i am proud of it. to me, is israel's singular achievement of that democracy. [applause]
there's a rapidly growing muslim population. they were trying to make the case that because of the occupation, the christian population with shrinking. but had you square with that that the muslim population is tripling? what looks like a fleeing population is a population shrinking because of its percentage, particularly in bethlehem. israel controlled bethlehem until 1995. there are no israeli forces in bethlehem. before 1995, christians were a majority and that the christian population went from 90% to 30%, but not because the christians are leaving, but because the muslim population is growing very fast. the point i made in the interview that was not broadcast -- they had to find the holy
land as the west bank, bethlehem and jerusalem. they were surprised there were christmas places in israel. how can you not talked about the total double -- total devastation in gaza? israel has the only growing christian population. the christian population has grown from will -- don't -- grown by 1000%. they're better educated and more affluent per-capita than israeli jews. their kids do better on s.a.t. scores than jewish kids. that's a big blow. [laughter] thousands have volunteered for service in the army. the idf had to print out new testaments in hebrew so they
could swear and christians. the arab judge who passed judgment on the former president of israel as a christian. they are in our polymer -- are parliament, our scientific community. their value and deeply cherished. but that did not make the cut for "60 minutes" and that was an important point. we will go left right and keep it bipartisan. >> [unintelligible] >> it has been our position for more than 50 years that israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons and to the middle east. not only will i reiterate that as many times as you want to hear it, but the important thing to remember is israel is not threatening to wipe another
country off the map and the country that is trying to acquire nuclear weaponry is a country that is trying to destroy another people. it is denying the holocaust wall trying to perpetrate a seconal crossed. that's a big difference, i think you will agree. -- second holocaust. [applause] >> [unintelligible]
>> as a very interesting question. are several reasons. going back to 1948, israel has always referred to direct negotiations because that confers an element of negotiation. by sitting with us, you recognize us. that should cut two ways with the palestinians. there is time israel would not sit with the plo and by that we confer recognition. mediation has rarely worked. it has worked on occasion but there's no substitute for two sites sitting directly. henry kissinger to shuttle between israel and dear cheap but it took the two men sitting together face-to-face to
conclude at camp david. it helped to have an american presence at table but there's no substitute for that. most poignantly for us is that in creating a palestinian state in particular, and the state will be adjacent to our most populated areas, we saw what happened in gaza -- we saw what happened in lebanon when we pulled out. we cannot create a situation where a vacuum in suits and is filled by iran delayed in a vacuum was filled -- 100,000 rockets and our neighborhood. that's an existential threat. we are taking an incalculable risk. we're willing to take it. the extraordinary thing about israel, after everything we have been through with all of the rockets and suicide bombings and
rejected peace officer -- police offerings -- the other side doubt if anyone is willing capable to do it but if we get somebody on the other side, it has to be direct talks. the obama administration and the quartet agree with us as well. only through direct talks can we build the type of trust and build in the security precautions that will be necessary in case the peace unravels. that is absolutely essential to our survival, not just our sense of self. >> [unintelligible]
>> there are to refugee problems. are more jews excluded -- expelled from arab lands than palestinian arabs left underdress or otherwise during the 1948 and 1967 wars. they also have claims. there are a lot of claims back and forth. the jews left arab lands that are larger than the state of israel. there will be a lot at the table to discuss. what we are willing to do is look at ways in which arab refugees can be resettled in the way ours are resettled in a national homeland. the palestinian refugees should be resettled in palestine. to do otherwise is to transform israel from a jewish state into a palestinian state because today, the descendants and
great-grandchildren of the refugees from 1948 number anywhere between 6 million and 8 million. their return to pre-'67 israel would be another existential threat to us. both of these issues can be resolved with the jews in their state and the arabs in their state and we can begin the process learning to live side by side with mutual recognition and security. >> i think we have time for one more question. >> [unintelligible]
>> good questions. that's a hard one. under the exchange of letters in september of 1993, israel recognize the plo as the sole representative of the palestinian people and that did two things -- recognize the palestinian people and the palestinian people. unfortunately, the palestinian people did not recognize the jewish people and that was a mistake. the plo is the interlocutor and its representative on the ground as the palestinian authority. there are supposed to be a elections there for 2 1/2 years, the palestinian authority has refrained for holding elections because they think they might not lose. -- they think they might lose.
last time, they lost to's, an organization recognize as a terrorist organization -- they lost to hamas, a genocidal organization that has called for the destruction of jews worldwide. they are not a partner for peace. they have to recognize israel, this about terror and accept all previous agreements signed by the palestinian authority and they will do none of the above. they are not an interlocutor. the palestinian authority has baulked at direct talks for many reasons. certainly since the outbreak of the of people, the arabs bring more whenever you want to call it, they have been increasingly reluctant because the mainstay
was mubarak's egypt. it is no more and the islamic brotherhood -- the muslim brotherhood is and day are the ideological partners and extensions of hamas and they are reluctant to hold those elections. largely secular, and elected regimes in the middle east have not fare well for the last year- and-a-half. they are aware of it and it helps to come to the table from a sense of legitimacy and credibility and strength and right now, and that is not particularly there. it is unfortunate because we are committed to the two-stage solution and reaching a conclusion within one year. netanyahu himself said he could conclude within one year. we know the price, we know, as
netanyahu told congress, there will be settlements beyond our borders. we know there has to be a solution for jerusalem. all we need is the palestinians to sit down and negotiate with us seriously. we had some preliminary talks in jordan recently and we hope they will be renewed and we hope it palestinians will askew unilateral union -- unilateral movements in the un that will get them nowhere. on this, the united states and israel agree completely. there is no daylight between us. we hope we can look forward to a time when the u.s.-israel relationship can be more about the spiritual ties to democratic and commercial ties and less about military ties. thank you very much. [applause] >> i would like to invite --
[applause] >> before you leave, i'm going to give you another chance to think the ambassador but i wanted to invite the rabbi up here and [unintelligible] >> i know everyone wants to get out of here, but a tremendous amount of gratitude for everything you do chance being the relationship between us and israel and thank you for spending time here. everyone has in the background making this a possibility, thank you. [applause] >> we want to present the ambassador with a gift and thank him for coming. for me, personally, my family is from iran and what you stand for
and what israel stands for is a light of hope for tolerance in the middle east. for me, it's a great honor to present this gift to you. thank you very much. [applause] >> you can give him another round of applause. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]