tv After Words with George Mitchell CSPAN December 11, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm EST
i've been reading you, seeing you on the air waves and now comes this new book which was interesting to read and it arrives just as the time of presidential transition and i think a lot of people want too hear about it. >> jane, it's nice to see you again and thank you very much for doing this and for having me here. i wrote the book with a colleague who worked with the state department while i was the u.s. envoy of the middle east and israeli law and other areas. we wrote it before the election, so, of course, we didn't know what was going to happen as nor did anyone else, but we wanted to make a contribution to the discussion primarily to defend
two-state solution. there has been much criticism justified after all it's been more than half century and for a large portion of the state, the two-state solution has been the stated objective of the united states and israeli leaders and palestinians leaders, it hasn't been achieved. many people feel that it's not a viable solution. >> host: hold that thought because i want to brag about you in a minute. i didn't get to that yet. i was georgia to say we were catching up on our experiences before congress and after congress. now it's going to be in the middle east bc and ad, before the election, be and ae, this election being as -- as consequential as it is.
along my career before congress, b.c., i worked in the carter white house and people used to joyce that jimmy carter used the white house as a steppingstone for a serious career. and what i want to say about you is you had a serious career in the united states senate for 15 years and then you used the united states senate as a stepping tone to an even more serious career and for anyone who doesn't know that, you were the majority leader for the last six years, instrumentam for negotiating a peace agreement in northern ireland. you were awarded the presidential medal of of freedom by president clinton. you were chairman of a major law firm so far and in the middle of this you became special envoy
and not just interest in the middle east. >> guest: yes. i did two tours in the middle east after the outbreak of what became known as the second palestinian in late september of 2000 president clinton then prime minister broc and chairman arafat met with many other regional leaders including former president mubarak in egypt trying to do something to bring the fighting to an end and to get the parties back to negotiations. they asked me to serve as chairman of the international commission which i did while we were engaged in that activity, two elections occurred in the
united states. president bush was elected, george w. bush in israel. prime minister sharon was elected but we continued our efforts in may of the following year. we did a report to two leaders and many others. so i served then and then later as you described as president obama's special envoy for a period about two and a half years. >> host: well, you are known and you should be known for your huge success in northern ireland before we get on how to two years went in israel and, of course, we want to talk about your recommendations. why do you think you were picked as middle east on or negotiator, twice, i guess, because chairman of the commission? was it northern ireland or was it your lebanese background which i bet a few people know about or was it both? >> guest: i don't think my lebanese background had anything
to do with it. my mother was lebanese and my father was irish. >> host: he was raised by lebanese parents? >> guest: he was born in boston, but never knew his parents. he was early on sent to an orphanage and he was raised in an orphanage in boston, ultimately adopted by an elderly couple who had immigrated from lib -- lebanon and as often happens in immigrants countries, one person came and his brother came and his husband an pretty soon you had 24 -- 2 to 300 families. everyone came over and worked in the textile. my mother was 18 when she came
and spent 50 years working the night shift in textile mills. that was then a substantial industry in new england. it's now long since gone, but the fist time i was asked to go there was by president clinton and it was following the effort in northern ireland where i had spent five years initially at president clinton's request, so i think the principal reason the president asked me to chair the international commission beginning in 2000 ending in 2001 was because of the experience that we had together not only senate majority leader during presidency but then in northern ireland. i think that was the principal reason. >> host: did that experience translate to the middle east? my guess is the middle east is a very different place. >> guest: far more different, far more difficult. just about a year ago i spoke to a large group of irish americans
in new york and i told them i'm about to say something i've never thought i would believe or ever say publicly but after five years in northern ireland, i thought it was very tough. then i went to the middle east twice and now the irish seemed very easy. >> host: difference with ireland and northern ireland is a western country. the middle east is the middle east and you had a part lebanese background but i would assume it was a much harder set of people to navigate on both sides israel side and palestinian side? >> guest: very much so. important to keep in mind in mind in discussing the israeli-palestinian issue is it does not exist in isolation. it is part of a larger region that is itself upheaval and
affects the israeli-palestinian relationship. i think many people tend to try to focus the israeli-palestinian issue as though it existed, it exists all by itself. you can't do that. it's much more complicated. islam is now driven internally by many conflicts, most prominent which is the division between sunni and shiite but there are many internal conflicts. the whole middle east is torn by the range of intersecting sometimes contradictory conflicts, turkey and the kurds, arabs and the persians, as i said the sunni and the shiite, a whole range -- >> host: us and the russians jocking for position. >> guest: yes, hugely affected and so you -- you have to keep
that in mind as you consider what should or shouldn't happen in terms israelis and palestinians. hoos host am i right that most of historians in the region say we can't make peace until this issue is resolved? it was used as the excuse for not making piece? >> guest: it was and it was important to the internal politics of many of the countries in the region but i think there's now a widespread recognition that principal, and they in fact, share with israel a common goal of resisting iran region and difference and depth
of animosity between persians and arabs. there is one story and i don't know if it's true. i read it that when saddam hussein was hung after he was defeated, captured, tried an convicted his last words as the news was slipped around his neck were damn the persians. there was an annual shient -- ancient conflict and it will be turbulent for quite a period of time to come. >> host: everything in the middle east for centuries nothing is short life span but when we concluded the iran deal
-- when we concluded the iran deal, i think, perhaps our country underestimated the anxiety in the sunni world about this deal with persians let alone shiites. there's some of the immediate neighbors and potential partners and potential enemies. >> guest: well, drawn closer together in a relatively private limited way and one of the arguments for resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict is that it would remove a large and, i think, principle obstacle to revert cooperation between gulf states and israel in
furthering their principle objective. i thought it was the right thing to do. >> i did too. >> guest: it doesn't purport to end iran's ambitions in the region. it will be less effective. i i do think that we have to recognize that this struggle between persians and arabs and sunni and shiite has gone on for centuries is likely to go on for a long time into the future and i believe that it will be very much in the interest of both israelis and saudis and others in the regions to have the israeli palestinian issue,
together address what is -- what they share what is a principal foreign policy objective of iran. >> i obviously agree and the iran deal has at least contained iran's nuclear ambitions for 10 to 15 years, maybe i don't think anything is forever in the middle east but never mind, but it has not contained iran's the proxy terror groups funded by iran and one could argue they are getting more money since iran now has access to some funds that were tied up, but israel is still threatened by the ring of terror groups, hezbollah and hamas and others. >> guest: certainly, it's also true on the sunni side there are terror groups. the principal of which is, of course, is isis, which is an off shoe on one side as hezbollah
and hamas are on the other. so you have the complex situation, perhaps nothing better illustrates it than the conflicting attitudes and forces in syria. so all of that threatens stability of any country in the region and principally israel. one of the things that it's important to maintain the two-state solution as a viable option and the united states should continue to promote and add view cait for -- odd voa cait for it that israel's long-term interest is best served by being accepted in the region by the arab states that share comoon interest with respect to iran. the demographics in the region, for population trends are decidedly dangerous from israel -- >> no question.
how can it be a jewish state where the birthrate is higher with the exception of orthodox jews in the arab population. >> guest: consequences of the birthrate, the numbers of people are changing dramatically and it is likely by 2020 in the area between the jordan river and mediterranean sea there will be more arabs than there are jews and if there is a so-called one-state solution which we do not believe is a feasible result but if that were to occur, israel would have to face the choice that a who barack has said israel should not have to face choose being a democratic state or a jewish state. >> host: right.
israel's formation, he would choose a smaller land mass? a jewish state over a bigger land mass. >> guest: yeah, it's been a disagreement within israel for a long time. the whole notion of land for peace, israel is a very vibrant democratic society as you know. >> host: no question. every cab driver has free opinions. >> guest: they've had many internal disagreements and they continue to this day. separation from the palestinians and many within israel including many in the current government who believe just the opposite that israel's destiny is to have total control, some favor complete annexation of all of the territories that they --
that they roord -- regard as historic israel. the coon flict continues -- conflict continues there. president habas has accepted israel's existence and have opted for peaceful negotiation to achieve a state therefore gives ammunition, no punt intended to hamas and those in palestinian society that believe that only force, only the use of violence will end the occupation and provide a palestinian state so in both societies you have substantial groups that do not favor a twoo-state solution which makes it complicated. >> host: i want to know what ewe recommend and the interesting idea of providing incentives
which might help get there but a couple more questions. the arab spring has really failed and has created sadly or fueled many failing states in the region when you add to that the refugee flow out of syria, another huge, to quote our president elect, huge problem, one thing that occurred to me that's interesting about that is the argument of those who wont to overthrow corrupt and governments, it's not about israel, it was about their own government. it was a bottom-up revolution. i thought it would lead to something positive.
for once israel is not the target, do you agree with that and what do you think? >> guest: yes, i do agree with it. i think we should put it in some historical perspective. 425 years the middle east was dominated by the empire based in turkey. when the ottoma empire collapsed in first world war, the peace agreement reached at versailles between britain and france then in their imperial modes. that political record order lasted about a hundred years and it's now collapsing within many countries that ewe -- you
described and with islam itself and the upheaval that is now occurring is the next political that we are now establishing. we should not be too condescending to the arabs, in the west when these political collapses occur, it took a long time to establish new forms of government. in france 60 years elapsed from the revolution to the establishment of the french republican in its current modern form. so it's going to take some time. i do think there will be successes, there will be failures, there will be considerable period of time in the future and i argue that's
one reason why it's in israel's interest. >> settle this now. >> settle it now. israel has an agreement, treaty with egypt, treaty with jordan. israel values those agreements. they are helpful to israel. obviously in the interest of egypt and jordan. i say there many that disagree with that. i believe that to be the case and i think the region which will continue is an argument for reaching an agreement as opposed to not reaching one. >> host: so you spell out in this book what are the -- sort of the essential four parts of an agreement and then you spell out this point on incentive. >> guest: yes. >> host: why don't we just go through this and i can read them off or i know you know what they are. why don't you just explain your
big four issues that would be involved in a final agreement between israel and palestine? >> well, we talk what already have been established by the party over many decades of negotiations of principal issues that have to be resolved. there are many that are called minor but only in relation to the larger. >> host: nothing is minor or what becomes minor becomes major tomorrow. >> guest: we discussed the principal ones who are territory, refugees, security in jerusalem. each of them extraordinarily difficult and each of them has been the subject of much debate discussion and controversy over time. they would have to be resolved in negotiations between the
parties, we feel strongly that an agreement cannot be imposed on them or the region. we think that's obviously very difficult, that's clearly everyone in so much effort has been put on with no success. 12 presidents. trump will be the 13th, 20 secretary of states, his secretary of state will be the 21st. many palestinian leaders. >> host: george mitchell. >> guest: all of us failed to get an agreement. that doesn't mean an agreement is impossible. i think it's very much in the interest of both israelis and palestinians and what we argue is that we shouldn't force it on them, the incoming president should act when he judges parties themselves are serious enough to promise a reasonable
prospect of success. one argument we have made is that in opposition to those who the united states should punish both sides as a way to get them there, we argue that punishment won't work. it was common for arabs to say to me, israel is so dependent on the united states, if you cut off funding, they'll do what you want and the israelis from prime minister netanyahu said palestinians are so dependent on the united states, if you cut off -- i don't think either will work. creating incentives and what we suggested is that we do know now what is needed at the end of the process that leads to an agreement. clearly some mechanism that compensating refugees for taking care of the transfer costs, the housing, the whole new
construction as you move many people, both sides. >> host: both sides. settlers back into israel and the right of return is compensated for -- >> yes, well, what we believe that there will not be the unrestricted right of return. that's a bitter pill for the palestinians to accept. they know that israel will not permit unlimited number of palestinians number of refugees to end up in israel. >> host: and return to what? their former homesteads, something they can prove they live there -- >> guest: it's simply not feasible. but when prime minister omert, president abaz had a serious discussion during the presidency of george w. bush u what's called the annapoli process, they actually exchanged ideas about some limited number being
able to return, families reunions, i think it's going to end up that way. so having the fund that would be in existences only in an event of an agreement to meet that need would create a tangible incentive for the two sides to proceed because they wouldn't have to worry about doing this after they reached an agreement. from the standpoint of the united states u we -- we are strongly committed and one of the reason that is the united states policy and the palestinian makes sense is not just palestinians ought to have their in the united states but many israelis and americans don't agree with that but that's the american policy. that's the basis of which our
policies are set forth by george w. bush in a stroong speech he made in jerusalem in 2008. to the u.s. incentive to israel ought to find ways to guaranty israel security by, for example, encouraging their integration into western military and other alliances. we should be using our influence with europeans to make sure that israel becomes part of those institutions that guaranties security and stability in -- >> host: for example, what alliance? >> guest: oecd is an economical organization. it's very important. israel, ewe know, faces the prospect much publicized about palestinian efforts to organize the international community against israel and what we are saying is that we should be helping israel enhance its prospects within the
international community, economics and other ways. finally, i think that we should in addition to the compensation for refugees, establish a specific fund to deal with the need for housing and state building that will be essential on the palestinian side when they do achieve their state. they already began under a man who was an outstanding public official salam who i think you know. >> host: i know him well. >> guest: highly, capable respected individual who began the process of internally building up state institutions so that there -- they would be ready. >> host: let's just start right there. the parties have to want this and often it's said we want this more than the parties want this. if they don't want this and they
won't come to an agreement, it won't happen. he was a marvelous man. he moved home and ultimately became prime minister. >> guest: that's right. >> host: he started out in a financial role, finance. >> guest: finance minister. >> host: he cleaned the economy and viewed as noncorrupt effective official and things were growing and he was focused on development in the west bank and building jobs through call centers and construction and so forth and i remember going there, one of many my trips, i went to the middle east region 25 times as member of congress. a lot of those trips to israel and i have been many times since, but i remember seeing the progress and seeing the effort that we and the jordanians were make to go secure security force in the west bank and how it was growing into something effective. we had training camps and joint
exercises and many of the towns were quiet and so forth, and then as i understand it, salam was forced out. so what was that and is that evidence of the fact that the pa-ains really -- palestinians don't want somebody like him to bring them in a more advanced state so whatever deal they cut one would think would be a more effective deal? >> guest: internal politics exist in every society. >> host: yes. >> guest: we are pretty aware of that. but salam would be the first to tell you that the state building enterprise, the creation of institutions that would be able to govern effectively in an agreement was viable and sustainable only so long as there existed a parallel process
that brought hope that there would be a palestinian state and that the economic aspect was not sustainable and you didn't have a realistic horizon for having a state that this would fulfill, and so i think it is bad which is lacking that the reality is you mentioned you mentioned palestinian security forces, the united states, of course, organized and led that effort and has been successful. >> host: right. ..
i don't agree with that analysis but that the problem he has internally within the palestinian -- >> host: to be perhaps more accurate about this, it was a history of palestinian leaders a special after arafat who were offered a pretty interesting deal and walked away. he might blame it all on the israelis not ready to deal bu bi would sit and let me ask you, i would say that's unfair, that both leaders had lots of excuses about why this can't happen.
a constant argument about no preconditions but he is imposing preconditions on the has blogged it down. one of these things. >> guest: while i was in the region, i met many times separately with prime minister netanyahu and with president abbas pickens and i and secretary clinton with only two persons present when the two of the met on four occasions in september 2010. and i argued the following to each. my argument to buy metronet yahoo! was that interest out any position of unparalleled strength, politically, economically, militarily. this is a good time to get involved in negotiations and be prepared to make the case of concessions that inevitably are required to reach an agreement between two sides so bitterly
divided. two president abbas and before him, to arafat, i made the argument that in 1947, the united nations proposed the partition -- the petition of the reason to create two states. israel accepted it, the arabs rejected it and the first of several wars begin each of which has one with increasing military dominance. i don't think there is a reasonable arab leader today who would not welcome the partition which was rejected in 1948. but it doesn't exist anymore and it's not coming back. you haven't accepted other offer set of the made because you regarded as unfair, but the offers are not going to get better. sit down, negotiate and of the
the best deal you can. you may not think is fully fair but to get estate and build on it. and i think both sides have to recognize that their best interest lies in an agreement. >> host: but they don't. >> guest: but they don't. let me tell you what i concluded. this is now a personal opinion of mine, based on those experiences. both societies are divided. any political leader, prime minister met yahoo!, present a boss or their successors, who makes what appears to be a concession to the other side will be harshly criticized. so for them to get into a serious negotiation, they have to believe that there's a possibility of success that will enable them to withstand the opposition within their own society. right now i don't think that's the case. i think that prime minister netanyahu believes that president abbas does not have
either the personal or the political strength to enter into an agreement and implement an agreement. and that's why he won't get into serious negotiations. and for netanyahu, why should i get into this, make concessions when it won't work anyway he comes of him? on the other hand, president abbas believes that netanyahu is not serious picky doesn't we believe in a two-state solution and abbas sites prime minister netanyahu was against and then for it and then against it, now he says he is for i but the time is not right. and so abbas feels that net and yahoo! was not and why should he, abbas, expose him -- expose himself to all the flack? >> host: you must'v must have cp against this the northern ireland. how did you break a logjam like this? what did you do that obviously no one, not you, not john kerry,
not others who really want this to happen, are able to do in the middle east? >> guest: jane, as you pointed out at the outset the circumstances are so different that i don't think that the northern ireland experience provides a close enough parallel to the middle east to make it relevant, but i will tell you what i did and what happened. we were in negotiations for a very long time, years. the parties were very far apart. i established, with their permission, and unbreakable deadlock. and as we came up to the deadline, i basically repeated to them what they had been telling me for years, that this process had to continue. because if it failed there would be a resumption of violence on a scale that dwarfed previous
violence, which was vicious and terrible, and he did not want to return to that violence. it was the fear of failure that led them to take the huge risk in entering -- >> host: but there is no fear of failure in the middle east between israel and palestine. >> guest: there is a fear of failure but the military imbalance is so great that it's not the same context where people have the fear of this internal violence. i mentioned earlier president bush's speech in jerusalem, articulating american policy. in my judgment he was particularly persuasive when he put the argument in these terms. israel has estate, a very successful state, but, but the people of israel do not have security. they live in fear and anxiety, constantly new waves of attacks
and other unsettling actions. the palestinians come on the other hand, don't have a state state and they want one. but president bush said to them is, to the israelis, you are not going to get security until the palestinians get estate. and to the palestinians he said you are never going to get estate until the people of israel have reasonable security. so each of you should be vested in the other's success. stated another way, you cannot achieve what you want by denying to the other side what it wants. >> host: each is invested in the other's failure. each has a raft of excuses about why this isn't the right time, this isn't the right leader, the propagation that happened last night is terrible. the wilson center has a very articulate board member named sandra to industry focus on the fact, the palestinians pay
bonuses to palestinians who commit terror attacks against israelis. there has been a rash of stabbings and murders in the west bank. i'm sure if you asked the israelis they will come up with a list of palestinian incursions -- sanders is probably right. i'm not arguing that and i think that practice is horrific and has to be stopped. but then there is some list of israeli publications, especially the border closings. not just the inconvenience to palestinians but literally locking them from coming to israel, blocking them from jobs. some of the tax rebates, this kind of stuff. and, of course, the israelis will say that in response to what they did, and the palestinians was a vessel we're doing is in response to what they did. but it almost sounds like the united states congress where it's better for election reasons to blame the other side for not
solving the problem, which both parties do. that is my opinion. rather than work with the other side. because if you do and you in negotiation and you are bipartisan, someone will run against you in a primary, in both parties. and so the political value politically is and not solving problems. he has that something that paradigm between israel and the palestinian authority? >> guest: yes. the code is the case on both sides, to which my response is the following. each side has a long list of grievances, wrongful actions perpetrated by the other side. and so there is a deep sense of victimization that exists in both societies. it's very difficult to overcome, but i believe that ultimately societies like individuals act out of self-interest.
that the people of israel are going to make the judgment at some point that their self interest lies in separation from the palestinians, and that can only be done politically by the creation of a à la stinging state, a demilitarized palestinian state, or the phrase they use is non-militarized. that does not pose a military threat to israel. the argument, of the prime minister and others who are concerned about that is that it's a palestinian state fails, we will then confront a hamas takeover in the heart of israel. my response is that the likelihood of a palestinian state failing is greater in the absence of an agreement that it would be after an agreement. so this is the best alternative
to take. from the palestinian standpoint my argument is they've endured 60 years of an occupation, and they are not going to get their state until israel, the people of israel, have reasonable and sustainable security. and so their best interest lies in doing everything they can to ensure that security. that's the nominal policy of the palestinian authority, and they have to act on that policy by getting into serious negotiations with the united states, present and assisting both sides and getting to an agreement. i think it's possible. i think it's in their best interest. i hope and pray that they will come sooner rather than later that it would be accomplished, although i'm well aware of the extreme difficulties and the main obstacles to reaching that. >> host: so the latest effort that i know about was john carries baroque effort.
and god knows how many -- hunger walk effort -- hundreds of hours, and he failed. this was recently. did they come and your effort was a successful. >> guest: for the same reason every effort has failed. >> host: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. i am here and you and one thing i would add to that is i know many israeli businesspeople who have their counterparts in the palestinian authority and these business groups all want the two-state solution. there seems to be a disconnect between we want to do business together, and that is it seems to me a very hopeful future for the region. one economic block with the enormous israeli innovation, and
the resources of other parts of the block. anyway, these people all want to states, and yet the political leadership doesn't. so there's that disconnect. the political leadership doesn't either because it's too weak or because they find that its own political future is more secure by not making the deal. >> guest: all complicating factors, all illustrate the great difficulty. you said trying the same thing often, getting the same -- insanity. at the same time i believe the pursuit of peace is so important that you can't take for the final answer the first snow, the second note or the ninth no. you have to keep at it. it is so much in the interest of the people of those societies, as well as the people of the entire middle east. i said earlier that the
israeli-palestinian conflict is affected by the tumult in the region. but i also believe that the reverse is the case, that a palestinian-israeli agreement would enable israel to normalize relations with neighboring arab countries. >> host: that was an offer by saudi arabia in 2002. >> guest: that's right. >> host: which is never been accepted. >> guest: actually it didn't receive the serious consideration that it wanted. it was relatively brief and many israelis didn't believe it sincere, but i do think the united states policy has always been that we should try to achieve the objectives set forth in that initiative. and the normalization of relations for israel and its immediate neighbors is very much in the israeli self-interest. looking into the future.
let me cite a couple of statistics. i don't want to bore you and the viewers with demography. right now of the seven point 5 billion people in the world, one in three is muslim. about a billion and a half, maybe a little more. of muslims, about one in four is arab. about 400 million. by 2060, it will be close to 10 billion people on earth. that time it's estimated that one in three will be muslim. three point 5,000,000,000. that is the total population of the world as recently as 1970. and the arab population will grow from 400 million to somewhere around 600, may be somewhat higher. the jewish population in israel will grow slightly but the demographics are daunting, and given the internal conflicts within islam, which we all hope
are resolved in a manner that establishes democratic institutions and opportunity for people, the chance of people to have a good life which is what most people want ever in the world. this soon that israel can establish normal relations with the arab countries in the region, the more secure its future will be. the better it will be from an economic standpoint not just for israel but for the surrounding arab countries as well. and in political and military terms as we discussed earlier will enable them to work together to deter iran's try at a jiminy. if you look at it from a long point of view and also a short-term of view, it's best served -- >> host: you are making a rational argument, and the emotional argument at least fueled by frequent provocations,
we can't trust the other side, there's a trust deficit. those are your words in your book. and using each side has to take a risk for this to work. but to get to a virtuous cycle you have to somehow find a way out of the vicious cycle. right at the moment one of the other things happening is, as i read a few days ago, the knesset in israel, not supported by the prime minister, is trying to pass a law to legalize the illegal settlement in the west bank. some of them are far into the west bank so that if they were to be legal, it would be a much harder thing to reach a deal on territory. one of the four pillars of a final deal. i don't know if that succeeds come if that succeeds, is that succeed doesn't this all get worse? and if that succeed what does the united states do? i don't know what president
trump will do but if that happened tomorrow morning, what should president obama do? >> guest: is a complicated issue. it would be a serious setback. there are corresponding actions on the other side, both sides, so this isn't one or the other. >> host: i hope i am not implying that. this is just the latest thing that's happening. >> guest: that's right. the difficulty is from the israeli government standpoint, the land of the west bank is divided into different categories. they have permitted and encouraged and assisted settlement construction on so-called state land, which is not owned by private palestinian citizens. what you call the illegal settlements are outposts,, relatively small in size at the
beginning, which are on private palestinian owned land -- old land. it would be a new chapter, a new step, a new new policy in the history of the region. and i believe, unfortunately, a very disruptive one, were israel to adopt a policy that now permitted settlement construction on private palestinian land. >> host: and that's what this proposal is i think. >> guest: and force them to accept compensation for this which is really a separate issue. every israeli prime minister in the past decade has committed to the united states that israel would remove identified a prepared a list of so-called -- >> host: and some have done some of this, having not? >> guest: once or twice, but
it's such a difficult emotional issue. it requires the use of force, not shooting, but soldiers coming in. >> host: when you look at gaza by prime minister sharon. >> guest: right. it's an exceedingly difficult issue. the problem is that, i think that action would severely set back israel's efforts to gain more access to and support within the international community. it would cause great difficulty with almost all u.s. allies. when i was the envoy doing president obama was first term, i spent a great deal of my time in europe, meeting with europeans in asia and other allies tried to keep him behind
america's support for israel, and not join in efforts to internationalize it from the palestinian perspective. the view that a palestinian state can be created by means other than a direct negotiation with israel. american policy has been under both democratic and republican presidents since this issue first arose, that it can only be resolved by the parties through direct negotiations in which they are involved in which the united states is involved in an assisting role. and his efforts to go around that ultimately will not be successful and will make the direct negotiation even more difficult. and i fear that if this occurs it will be a huge setback to israel, around the world, and harmful to the effort by the united states to harness broad
international support for israel and for acceptance of its position. >> host: the u.s. as opposed, proposed u.n. resolutions, condemning israel or outlining frameworks and so on and so forth. do you think you an action would be fueled by this, should this legislation passed? >> guest: i don't know but it certainly will be initiated. i might say this is an aside but i think it's worth saying. while a bomb has been criticized by many as not being sufficiently supportive of israel, the facts are to the contrary and one of the most important facts is that he is the first president in many, many years during his tenure no u.n. security council resolution -- >> host: i have noticed that. >> guest: there were several and prior presidencies for presidents who are deemed in
retrospect to be very supportive of israel. that's only part of history with respect to president obama. the security and intelligence cooperation between the united states and israel is the best it's ever been, according to israeli officials and the united states. >> host: we just signed a huge animal you with israel, unprecedented, tinge of guilt about mostly all focus on defense needs of israel. >> guest: provide u.s. assistance of a total of $38 million over 10 years. >> host: and protecting is called having an over its neighbors. time is extremely short so i thought, i did as to whether obama should do anything in the last month, i think it's too early to predict what trump will do but i maybe it will be worth asking you to make the case to the viewers of this program for why they should hang in there for two-state solution and not give up, given all the negativity.
>> guest: the reason that the two-state solution has survived so long, despite the inability of its supporters to have it approved by the parties, is it that there is no credible alternative. the fact of the matter is that a one state solution will lead back to the very circumstances that led to the proposed partition by the united nations in 1947, that the two sides are religiously, ethically, culturally separate. each wants fully to express its own sense of self-determination, and it can't, it's incompatible for them to do it within one state. they are best off being, having separate states side-by-side living in peace, as i said, a palestinian date that is not present a direct threat to israel otherwise i feel the violence will increase and it
will, both societies will not achieve their objectives. the people of israel who want security do not have it, will not have it. the palestinians who want a state do not have it and will not have it. >> host: let me just add because i am in agreement with you. i visited the killing fields of poland in august, and i saw what happened to some members of my own family, just to personalize abyss. you see that and you think never again and you think israel was created as a homeland for the jews. many people out there, i am sorely, sorely one of them, want it to remain that, secure homeland for the jews in a safe neighborhood with the rights of everyone else respected and whether regional economy takes off and build the jobs of the future. so george, got to say, you want to give peace a chance, you have the credentials to do it. i expect you to come back as
middle east envoy in round three, three is the charm, and fix this in the near term. >> guest: i have done my duty. i will just say this. the president-elect of the united states has an awesome responsibility, but a but in magnificent opportunity. in many areas including this. and i hope that he and his administration will choose wisely and judge appropriately, and make a real effort to achieve what i think everyone agrees is an important result, however different, however much we may differ about the best route to that result. >> host: on that note thank you very much. >> guest: thank you, jane. great to be here. >> the problem with the phrase all lies matter is that in many ways this it's an assumption many of us begin with. the point to think black lives matter is to really highlight the extent to which black lives
have not mattered in the united states. most recently concerning the issue with police abuse and violence. and i think the reluctance to embrace that really shows the depth of the lack of understanding about what the condition of african-americans in this country actually is. to some extent i think we can understand that. we live in a deeply segregated country where white people have no idea what black people slides are like in this country. and it's not the same necessary for african-americans who see the lies of white people on television all the time, but that does speak to an additional problem, which is there's more general issue with the absence of seeing poor white people and ordinary white people. and so there's a whole number of
ways that our lives are distorted in this country. and talking about black lives matter is really about bringing attention to the conditions of black people, which i think for most americans are shrouded and that they have absolutely no understanding of. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. .. [laughter] >> lots of events going on but i