Skip to main content

tv   Dennis Ross David Makovsky Be Strong and of Good Courage  CSPAN  September 14, 2019 7:40pm-9:16pm EDT

7:40 pm
>> good afternoon. welcome to the washington institute with this post labor
7:41 pm
day gathering and a celebration of this timely important new book by my colleagues. when you are a leader and your faces chiseled into mount rushmore and your picture on a coin it's not because you did nothing during your time in office. but because you took big decisions affecting the state of the nation at moments of great crisis with decisions that were unpopular or risked
7:42 pm
that this would be your last term in office. such reflected the vision and if you made it to rushmore or if you made it on a coin is because decades later people look back and said thank you for making those decisions and israel today remarkably strong for many reasons. and far too complicated to go into all of them that was blessed with leadership all
7:43 pm
the way over the past 70 years in those moments and that is in a nutshell with this book is all about. of those leaders who rose to the occasion head on and to remind us and that rushmore like leadership will rise again to help the people with
7:44 pm
those questions. there is such an enormous service as we are all busy on our iphones tracking the ups and downs with the headlines of yet another election campaign of 2019 and israel to remind us of the really big picture. and for that, i want to thank you, dennis and david for doing that enormous service from thousands of miles away , to remind us about the big picture and the fundamental role of leadership that applies here, countries around the worl world, and certainly applies in this room so with
7:45 pm
that i want to do this plug in front of the global live streamed audience how israel's most important leaders shaped its destiny and what challenges remain for the next set of rushmore like leaders. with that congratulations to both of you. we have a very special program here today in addition to having dennis and david talk about they are fantastic new book, through technology we have guests joining us. after david speaks we have a presentation from dahlia of course who is the daughter of praveen serving as deputy
7:46 pm
defense minister and as the chair of the rabin center and after her pretaped presentatio presentation, i have to point out we have sharon live who was ariel sharon's son managing the family farm and the elite army unit with their respective fathers and then we will bat cleanup and turned to dennis to close the opening presentation and then after a couple of questions we will turn it over to your questions for the panel. so first i'm very pleased to bring to the podium my long
7:47 pm
time colleague which is the distinguished fellow director project on arab installations and has had careers in journalism and scholarship and government and the second obama administration senior advisor to the special envoy for negotiations. congratulations david for this fantastic achievement. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you to the institute and all the senior staff who help to facilitate this there is a bunch of research assistance
7:48 pm
thank you for your support and to make this possible. now, why did we write this book works facing very fateful choice so let's trade for the people i like talking about the rushmore precision this is a middle east mount rushmore they leave legacies behind them that doesn't mean they were perfect. doesn't mean we agree with every decision but they left a legacy to endure. so how did they make their decisions? and what is the political courage they have to confront with long-term allies to make those momentous decisions? i will focus and then dennis
7:49 pm
will summarize to focus on those two figures and there's a lot to say of everything including those two chapters. so what made these people great? each of these we could talk forever about if there are questions i'm trying to be telegraphic for purposes of time. he was great because he focused on what was truly important to in jewish homelessness after 2000 years and not an easy decision that he took on. he was tactically agile in his ability to achieve that objective with zionism in britain in 1939 and phased out jewish immigration and then started off all over again and then at the hamilton hotel he
7:50 pm
said i thought this is a way to achieve the goal but now we have to change. he believe you need an institution and a mindset if you want to link the people with the land. and with emigration - - immigration is unrelenting focus anybody to compromise on that issue was the rubicon and the red line he would not cross that's why he breaks from britain in 1939. his belief was to achieve that that immigration was central because they were a minority at the time but they had to have immigration and not willing to compromise on that.
7:51 pm
and understood the inside in of the world events also extremely well read speaking 13 languages taught himself how to read following the blitz is also where he got the sense the public could be backed by a leader who could communicate to the public he was prescient in this regard with world events that doesn't mean he succeeded in many ways he was a failure because he saw this as a race but zionism and that hitler would take over europe he predicted in 1933 after he got a hold of the munich train station he said there will be a world war here in a few years. that was central to him
7:52 pm
writing that compromise of immigration because the people will be killed in a few years. he didn't sense the enormity or the gas chambers but he did fail because in the thirties he understood the world events were greater than anything else and that i think was very important. also ahead of the curve to say what's the next challenge? that the arab states will go to war. and then the main defense institution that there will be a war with countries i want to know who runs that tank formation and then he would restructure the whole army and he favored people from the british army because they experience affirmation he got a huge fight internally over this talking about the next
7:53 pm
big thing in 1960 he said the soviet union will collapse in 30 years. he was right but not always right but he always looked outside in. he was not afraid to make a momentous decision even with the risk but once he locks in the country first you could not move him. he was a rock. this chapter is about his road to the decision to establish a state but bringing in 835,000 arab and jew states it lost 1 percent of the population in the war it was broke and 3 million americans to put that in american terms he accepted german reparations because the country was broke and said you're dealing with the devil and then though
7:54 pm
whole idea to declare the state itself against all odds. the biggest day of his career was he gets all the bad news coming back from george marshall to say i won world war ii you did not your generals are intoxicated this doesn't mean they will win the war and he tried to argue not to declare the state but he said at least agree to three months extension but they did not agree on the fundamental point that marshall said forget that but on the idea of a three-month truce he was there. so then golda meir comes back and says yes now i can't keep my promise we are a coalition of five i'm not independent. he gets the word there has been a massacre with the
7:55 pm
israeli settlement which is actually the west bank. and then each one of these we talk about but that his own generals are saying maybe it's not such a bad idea to wait three months 40 percent of our people in the army the former chief of staff is here and it's amazing how far they have come from that moment that he always said i will take in the information but filter that through the analytical lens. and his sense was the cease-fire will not be applied
7:56 pm
evenly the un will monitor the cease-fire in jordan and egypt? know. they will not our biggest resources are the weapons, money, peopl weapons, money, people, potentil immigrants fighting to open the gates and now we have the moment so what justification do we have if the british are leaving in two days? it is now or never so have the sense of timing i think was critical. so he was detached but always pushing for decision and it was an ambiguous but he took it in but he had that analytical framework. now what was the greatness i think if he wanted to end the sense of jewish homelessness for jewish victimhood they will never be victims again.
7:57 pm
he also had sense that there has to be equilibrium between the values and he really believed that zionism had to be consistent with civil liberties dealing with martial law in the arab communities was wrong. i know this surprises the people that are here but in the cabinet debate in the transcript the one guy they did not even call them palestinians said we have to give them the vote. it wasn't people to the left door to the right that the germans gave the french and he
7:58 pm
repeated it with a very brief period of a honeymoon with carter right around the time of his autonomy of 77. that the sense of justice of the cause of unity then to hunt the people and some people said to hold up the piece of paper to have a just cause between a just cause and a contaminated one.
7:59 pm
we don't have time to get into the details but then to say you can't be sovereign that you have the monopoly go and as the principal let's go back and then start killing some of those and vague and said no. and that really defines him. and to be very proud and not overwhelmed and then the last
8:00 pm
point i would say is that the beyond - - biographers of the carter. wrote their memoirs first. he got what he wanted he got peace with egypt but not on that palestinian issue. . . . . >> certainly we could say they didn't go far enough in terms of 2019, but by setting the template, everyone internally could use bag and for political
8:01 pm
cover. the last one was a sense of weighing the risk of action versus the risk of inaction. for the risk of inaction was missing the moment. and, he felt like he cannot miss that moment. the risk of inaction was too great. for bag and, the risk of not giving up the finance. his view been another war with egypt, this could lead to something with the united states. it caused really clashes against him by comrades, demonstrations against him, but he was attacked that he betrayed a cause, but he felt when all of these had subside the achievement of peace will endure. and that i think is the.that we forget is that peace has endured. the.is, look what has survived. it has survived the fascination
8:02 pm
of -- two wars in lebanon, it survived a muslim governor hood in egypt and no one has been killed in those 40 years that we just celebrated early this year on march 26. of the p streeter in 1979, now 40 years later. so i think you deserve some credit. of course these are books about israelis, i hope we feel another book on heroic leaders whether it is hussein or a guy like -- or some other key arabs that have make key decisions, but i think that the piece indoors, people forget what is that mean and in the 1970s, 30% of israel's gdp went to the military. today it's about 5%. if you break that down in terms of the gdp, my calculations is
8:03 pm
like a hundred and $30 billion difference per year. because of peace that's to put into roads, schools and clinics. so these people have long foresight and so, it is all of these attributes, i would go over them again but for the purpose of time i won't. but i hope i conveyed a sense that these leaders have a sense of foresight say and what is the legacy. i was rereading john of kennedys profiles of courage and we like to see this is a book about israel's profiles of courage and he quotes walter whitman the great columnist, kennedy does in 1956 and kennedy says the world with leaders is not to do what is popular, it is to do what is right and we hope this book conveys a sense that those who had the political courage and did what is right because even if they had some unpopularity at the time their legacies and achievements endured.
8:04 pm
thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you david. now we will trim the house lights down in turned to dolly and ruby. >> first i would like to congratulate dennis and daisy for the publication of the new book. i was very content to see the choice of the leaders that you chose to write about, not that i was disagreeing with the choice but i was very pleased from the stands that my father was included among the leaders that you chose to write about. my father's leadership was to my
8:05 pm
opinion quite unique. he was different. he came from a background of very -- parents and the labour party. he was raised on the values of labor and democracy. very rigid and strict. he graduated in the high school and spent most of his adult life in the army. i think that most significant part of his life that shaped was the war of independence. the way that we entered this war was so little ammunition, so little train and so little plans for programs for the war
8:06 pm
followed him afterwards doing a lot of rethinking and making the conclusion that he's going to devote his life to build a very strong army, very strong defense the whole part of the defense of israel the peak of his life was a six year war no doubt. but i won't go into this because you'll find it in the book. i just want to say that the symbol, the most important part of his leadership were first of all that he was very modest. actually most of the first
8:07 pm
leaders of israel were very modest in their private lives but he was more than modest, he was shy. he never ran after, he never took credit for things. he never thought about himself. he was totally devoted to the people he worked with, the soldiers he fought with and the needs of the israeli country and i think that he served as a role model for a leader who always took responsibility for whatever the results were. i think that my father was actually the occupant of the israel and the united states. after the six-day war, he wrote in his biography, now we have
8:08 pm
two transform to make the fruit of this big victory into peace and this was 1967. so, he understood that during this war to play with and to bring about peace to the region. and this was his idea going to washington and create the relationship and a deep understanding and a deep bond between united states and israel. he understood that the potential ally to our reaching for peace there was still the cold war, russia was still a supporting the arabs especially egypt, and
8:09 pm
he understood that we need the other superpower to support us, especially because united states was also a democracy, the biggest democracy and this was his vision when he went to be ambassador to washington. and rightly slow, it's true in the president by president we were very much supported by the admin or ken administration and he always head that we cannot take any steps forward without a clear support of the united states. and from his time as an ambassador israel started moving its force based on american financial support and the american arms missiles
8:10 pm
submarine. my father was not a hawk that turned into a dog overnight. he was sitting peace ever since he left the army and after the six-day war. he witnessed the price and he thought for israel it wants to have normal life. our society while more material life, more liking to be like the global village and our youngsters were more attached to the words and he understood with people no more wants to die for the country but they want to have good life here. so, he slowly, slowly tried to build the infrastructure for making peace in the region.
8:11 pm
first he signed an interim agreement with egypt and then he was very pleased he was very supportive and he was pulling the strings behind when he was ambassador trying to convinced israeli government but it was not very successfully at that time but after the war israel was more right for the piece. and then he tried to make it dialogue in the territories and he saw that whenever he came to an agreement with one of them they went to get the approval so after a long time his minister of defense he decided that if
8:12 pm
they go they have to bring things here and try to make the agreement. he was not friends he didn't like him especially but he saw him as one palestinian leader. unfortunately the good were dripping in very slowly. he was assassinated and while the antagonism to the peace process grew stronger and stronger. when i tried to convince congress and senate to help me build the center i was on the hill for three days and i got
8:13 pm
very significant support from the left of congressman to our mission, knowing my father and appreciating his contributions to the relationship. >> thank you. [applause] >> now we will turn to -- >> can you hear me? >> yes. >> i am happy to be invited to the special events. how my father with the leader of israel. at a very young age his mission was guarding the life of jews. protecting islam. making islam strong in years
8:14 pm
ahead this was the essence of his positivity, the purpose of his life. even as a young officer he change the problematic reality in islam. during the war during which she was -- he defeated seven armies but after the army after the war people left in the army lost its abilities and then the idea found himself helpless against thousands of terror attacks that started against islam in the early 1950s. the army could not find its way where they did find a way they just exchange fire. now my father was a student released from the army when he
8:15 pm
was called to establish unique 101 a commanding unit. in the change came very quickly after only two months the prime minister and minister of defense there was very curious they wanted to see who is this young officer that not only gets in order and ever since he had an open door with the prime minister is something that was very unusual even back then. it is a tiny little country the difference between -- and so what did he do you change the
8:16 pm
reality they set standards. we do not return until we execute. we do not leave our men behind. and very high level of performance of action these are the things that he brought. by doing it he gave the government the political level, he gave them to choose something they did not have before. the army by nature always push for military action and political level they have wider consideration and so sometimes they approve and sometimes they don't but he gave them their freedom to choose. he gave them the military option. after dozens of very successful
8:17 pm
operations it was completely different. before the six-day war with the chief of staff the president of egypt was talking about destroying israel, through -- and he entered the egyptian army. israel in danger of existence. and it seems that a political level lost its self-confidence. that situation my father is a division commander and had the main role in the war he attacked the main egyptian opening the way to the rest into the peninsula. during the war israel brought -- and many were killed in the army
8:18 pm
by crossing the suez canal a bold move in which she was pushing to from the beginning of the war he managed to change the course of the war he managed to change into a great victor. before the first while he was minister of defense they suffered from heavy shelling rockets and material and they use lebanon as a shelter. after a week from when the war was open the threat was removed. after 11 weeks 15000 terrorists in syrian soldiers -- when my
8:19 pm
father was elected as prime minister palestinian was going and it looks different. every day a bus would explode, it's not just if you're going but you did not want to stand by a bus as the prime minister he did not help the advantage that he gave the government years before. he had to push the armies used to doing nothing and rely on the palestinian forces which were committing most of the terror attacks. but when he left the operation he managed to change completely the situation. he brought israel to normal life. his victories were clear,.
8:20 pm
>> my father had been a farmer, his first love, he could have been a writer. he was very sensitive and talented. he had a beautiful way of expressing himself. so how is it that he became a soldier, commander, general, we are so used to the wars to the violence to the hostility that asking this question might seem a bit naïve. but really why. on november 29, 1947 the un general assembly voted in favor -- and so the jews got a very small part jews accepted this and why? because jewish state was the
8:21 pm
dream. what did they do with this resolution? did they consider it shall we reject it? they did not even think about it for a moment. the next day they gave their usual answer, five jews were murdered. this was the opening of the war. why didn't they accept the petitioner as the resolution? if they would accept it there wouldn't be a single refugee. all the territories they would have it and more. they would have today but they didn't even consider why did lebanon syria, jordan, egypt, saudi arabia, why did they all invite israel in the beginning?
8:22 pm
we have no conflict with them. we had no territorial dispute so, why? and then what did they do during 19 years between the role of independence in the six-day war besides the terror attack. they didn't even think about it because the source of the violence and hostility towards israel is not the outcome of the six-day war, this is the excuse, this is not the reason. the source of all the evil is the unwillingness to accept our right no matter what orders and this is the reason. this is the reason we are not --
8:23 pm
not even in the partition with borders. when we see beyond those maps and when they are educate their children that we have the right to live in this country then may be we will have civility to talk about this. and from that perspective nothing change. look how they making this among themselves. in syria and iraq, yemen bolivia, just imagine what they would have done to us he knew our neighbors very good and so he had no illusions. and that was the reason that any
8:24 pm
future arrangement if there ever will be one, he would never let our rights and our ability to defend ourselves our security will never be outsourced which is the biggest -- over the years and all the world displayed whatever he saw problematic reality, he set the goal and he change the reality. he made the impossible possible time after time. inc. you very much. >> thank you very much. and now, i will turn to my colic dennis.
8:25 pm
>> thank you. let me thank you more generally for creating the climate that makes it possible for us to do these kinds of books. i can easily go through the history and biographies of all four of them. you heard from david talk about -- and we have now heard -- talk about sharon and to the truth is, i am very tempted to talk about anecdotes of each. and maybe you'll ask me more questions about that. but we are actually also looking at policy and so what i wanted to come i want to focus more on the lessons you might distill from the past in terms of
8:26 pm
leadership and then apply it to what is the issue is that is facing israel today. not necessarily the issue in the election which i will come back to but the issue that will be facing israel and will require leadership. let me start by saying the following in terms of the distillation of the key lesson. one thing that typifies all four of these leaders even though they disagree ideologically, they're not the same ideologically, in some ways it's an accident that to represent -- and to represent labor, there is not the same ideologically but the way they defined the rule would be in a leader in prime minister was very similar. if they could've taken the harry truman additive, the buck stops here they would have accepted that. they operated on a promise and bore the responsibility of making decisions. those decisions were up to them
8:27 pm
to make. they were not supposed to be deferred, they were not to be put off to their successors, they would look ahead and say what are the stakes we are dealing with, what are the priorities we have to pursue, even if the decisions we have to take will be costly politically it is on our shoulders to take them. for them i'll say it slightly differently, all of them understood the cost of action. that was never an issue. what was clear was that they understood the cost of inaction and they knew to shirk making a decision was to shirk the responsibility. the responsibility was on their shoulders. sharon talked about the solitude of the leader. and what he meant by that was when you face these decisions, you face them alone. all of the people who work for your work with you, you can take their advice and input but the burden of decision-making is on you and you face alone. each of them felt this.
8:28 pm
something else each of them fe felt, he was known for not just assuming responsibility but if the decision went bad he took the responsibility. that was true for all of them. that was the natural instinct. not to be deflected to others. all give to anecdotes. one was for decision was made and -- was in the year he wrote two different letters, one was a letter to explain what happened in the other was to submit his resignation in the event it went very badly. and the instinct was, whatever happens here comments on my shoulders. i was in the israelis as a negotiator in 1994 when -- was kidnapped. and i was heavily involved in
8:29 pm
trying to get the palestinians to give us any information they knew, it turned out -- wasn't behind it. the israelis found where he was being held and conducted an operation and he was killed. ravine immediately went on television and he said the responsibility of this was mine, not the military, this was ravine. he and sharon in particular reviewed the institution of the idea, what drives much of their decision-making, in response to basically the first and sharon when it comes to making a decision on gaza, they are both heavily influence by the health and well-being of the institution. again, how they define leadership. all they defined responsibility, they made a reference to her father, staying in the military.
8:30 pm
he had a scholarship to go study water engineering at uc berkeley but he stayed to fight in the war and then he stayed afterwards because he felt even though, this was interesting one of the areas where he looks ahead and he is focused on building a military that is fighting conventional wars, ravena merges out and there are commander units and he feels too little tensioners devoted to them and he feels that ben-gurion did not do what was necessary to prepare everything. he decides he will stay in the military, his responsibility is not -- his responsibility as he owes debt to all those who died. he says, never have so many owed so much to so few. . . .
8:31 pm
>> if the arabs are part of the state of israel they will have full equal rights and then they can vote for go this
8:32 pm
is significant because of his real stays on the path it is on by default it will become unsafe for go this is not an issue clearly not in the forefront of the debate going on right now. some people write about it if you are an israeli looking at the region that surround you in the with precision guidance capabilities for those rockets and you know israel is small with high-value targets but that strategic placement to be a little overwhelmed with that defense with that integrated missile-defense but the price
8:33 pm
of the offensive missiles is one tenth the cost of defensive missiles so you are focused on how you do it that threat that is very real. not abstract. quite real. i ran trying to block us into western iraq. isys in the sinai and hamas in gaza. so it's not surprising the tendency is to focus on those threats if we talk about one state and two people that is real over time but that doesn't measure up to the immediacy. that's one reason and the second verse there are those that simply deny there's even a democratic problem.
8:34 pm
and if you read the last chapter there's a whole discussion that deals with this but i will give you one example to put into perspective. 1986 counting the jews and arabs in gaza, israel and the west bank. the percentage was 63 percent jews 37 percent arabs. 1986. this is before soviet russian jews come to israel. over 1 million in three years. so today they say don't count gaza with the demographics because israel got out when they withdraw i want to count them anyway there is something wrong with that approach. don't count gaza now it is 61
8:35 pm
/ 39. so that is to ignore reality to say it is a demographic problem even if it was close to 6040 you are only one state for two people there still a choice to make. one law for everybody or it doesn't. when one state becomes the sole discourse when two states cannot even be discussed than the only option is one state than the one thing you can guarantee the palestinians will have a new mantra that is one person and one vote will that be a problem for israel and legitimacy quick's that will be child's play compared to the impact that is a political freight train that will hit israel some describe
8:36 pm
it as the adam bomb. either way israelis have to make a decision to states is not available any time soon. not just gaza and the west bank and hamas but they will not recognize that anytime soon. this is reality. you also have succession looming on the west bank this is not what people are competing more reasonable it's more peer not more accommodating. to state is not an option anytime soon. but will israel preserve the option of separation? when you lose that option you lose the ability to have the two states ten or 20 years down the road and the issue of
8:37 pm
one state for two people comes to the fore. i will go through all the items i have to build your interest and not tell you everything in the book but there is one item the israelis have to make a decision to do and start building. 5 percent of the territory of 85 percent of those that live beyond that green nine. since they are not currently defined you could say no building beyond the security barrier. those who live there right now i cannot tell you when the tipping point will come but i continue it will.
8:38 pm
and once you passed it now you've lost the option. the israeli leader needs to make the decision to stop building outside to preserve bad option. it's a hard decision to make because obviously this is quite real but i have a suspicion they will identify the fundamental challenge with this character and who and what it will be. and everything about them. everything you see how it evolved in the nature of the journey they understood what had to be done and they never shy away from doing it and that would be a lesson for the future the last thing i will say is the book opens with sharon and me having lunch and sharon says all my successors
8:39 pm
are politicians that they will only make political decisions. not we are suggesting that is true but in the concluding chapter we also outline what the united states could do to make it politically easier to make those hard decisions that we outline but of course you will read that tonight. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you very much. i thought i word open up question discussion with you regarding your final comments of buying politicians - - by the politicians and the united states. but you have to be a politician certainly in the 21st
8:40 pm
century if you have an idea you want to communicate to the public and convince people of your thinking. so looking at these four leaders are there any lessons for that part of leadership? not just you are alone in the room making tough decisions but that you bring along your people to follow you down the path of that tough decision that is a critical part of real leadershi leadership. >> i mention the blitz in 1941. and he was struck by churchill thinking leadership was communication. had you get people to sacrifice for a greater cause.
8:41 pm
he thought if you could communicate well tell them what you are trying to achieve, they will be with you and self-sacrifice as long as they understand the stakes. to say that wasn't twitter there was radio they had tv but they could communicate. and that's the communication that he takes from the blitz. and they had a radio station themselves and he goes on and talks about the partition plan he did not like the partition and said history will - - history will not accept that eventually but what people know about fagan is that his
8:42 pm
whole job was as communicator. but this was that he was doing like dressing up to evade the british but he never fired a shot. he thought his role was communication and listen to the bbc every day. he lived by communication through the day that he died. the militants say they thought their job was about communication. i know 21st century they can be leaders today but i think that was essential.
8:43 pm
>> i always answer the question that first it is well taken for go they were leaders but also political leaders. to say i will make this decision i will ignore the political consequences. but they were not allowed to deter them from making a decision. it is a different way to describe what david said one possibility was to lead. that meant they had to change if they were confronting a black consensus when they felt it was wrong he felt the need to educate to explain the stakes to get out there and do it. sharon is someone who looks
8:44 pm
painfully over his speeches. rabin in some ways they were separate. but they pay enormous attention to their speeches is a remarkable reflection of who they are in rabin's case he gave speeches the impact the war has on him. and to see direct from the war of independence and to still hear the screams of the comrades know what the
8:45 pm
cemeteries are present. because that is try to lead and educate the public to describe how difficult it was to shake hands or to anyone that was there this is almost gutwrenching the private citizen. and not the father. and to not put our head in the
8:46 pm
sand to say this is a hard thing of ever had to do and that this is much harder who i knew might not return. and then to have that state of israel requires this it's my duty is not that they didn't have a need and then to understand the realities the
8:47 pm
political realities in which they operated and they made the case to lead the public. all of them but only vague and is that spellbinder. >> i want to ask both of you about the american relationship. each of these four leaders had real moments of difficulty here in washington with real moments of tension where the relationship almost fell apart with united states and israel. how did they navigate or see the value of this relationship for israel or how did that eve all? are due at that moment on the
8:48 pm
verge of utter disaster whether the nukes with kennedy or begin and carter or sharon any number of times. and even rabin and carter or rabin and kissinger. >> but in the case there was something no other prime minister had that if you look at the diary he feared the united states would attack israel. nobody in the united states ever heard this and it's not generally known but he sent him to see marshall he really feared that marshall would oppose there so much there
8:49 pm
would be an american military stretch - - strike and it does sound so far-fetched. >> the british naval ships in the eastern mediterranean in the summer of 1956 made a decision whether to go support the sinai had two sets of orders in the safe on the ships. one set was how to attack israel to defend jordan because of the violation of the treaty by sharon. or how to support the israeli invasion of sinai. >> enough to you point out on october 14 to call up the undersecretary of foreign ministry and tells him to get off his anti- semitic butt and call off the orders to attack
8:50 pm
israel two weeks before the war. so this is very different but he's not invited to the white house through his entire tenure. we are so used to seeing is really leaders to washington twice a year or use the excuse of another meeting but he was never invited 1964. sixteen years after the state that was the first time the israeli prime minister was invited to the white house and then met kennedy at waldorf-astoria but not at the white house. the first military aid was a defensive hawk missile with the kennedy administration. fourteen years into this space. so it is very different without relationship it is so
8:51 pm
breathtakingly striking of the challenges for golf course it is so breathtakingly striking of the challenges for golf course had to be suez and eisenhower and basically eisenhower threatening to kick out the united nations go on national television. stuff you could not imagine today. he did withdraw. he extracted some commitments but these were difficult moments and we did not have the relationship that we had today talk about the hamilton hotel he had faith in the american people getting back to communication he said i really believe in america if we can only explain the justice of our cause we will win the hearts of americans. that was his anchor and the
8:52 pm
ace in the hole. you have time for that now we write about it in the book but he had brandeis but he was 83 years old and in 1939. and then to start all over again we can talk to american make our case. there was a lot of low points maybe to get back out over the american military strike and that fear but he did not win the honeymoon in his lifetime. >> i will say with carter there was that brief moment were carter thinks the economy idea was fantastic he said i'm jealous of your polling numbers and israel right after the knesset.
8:53 pm
that he thought begin's ideas were very reasonable and he wanted palestinians to buy land in israel and things you cannot imagine any leader to say. but then things went downhill and then they never recovered. and vague and has faith to extricate himself and he was willing to do that separate piece on autonomy. but carter tried to push it and make this a package deal but the relationship never recovered. >> how do they seek to manage the relationship? sharon is the most interesting case because it is a close
8:54 pm
call the first two years of the administration were reagan does a press conference where he says and raises the issue of dual loyalty. and a lot of what is going on is what sharon is doing. as defense minister and then later during the bush administration, his approach is to push the israeli government to do what is the right thing regardless of the action. in sharon is minister his behavior is different perfect - . now he bears responsibility there is no more important
8:55 pm
relationship and does not want to be on the wrong side of the united states. it's true he makes the check slovak speech in 2001 but then that triggers an opening for a channel between the white house and him and he spent an enormous amount of time wants to be sure he does things right. one of the reasons he reacts he feels the need to come up with an initiative. so he spent an enormous amount of time focused on how he can manage the relationship when he becomes prime minister. he works hard to create a connection with president bush and in some ways feels a stronger need to do that because of what existed with the first president bush and
8:56 pm
learns a lesson and as prime minister focuses heavily on that and then to see the us relationship as the most important strategic relationship. >> do you have anything you would like to add regarding your father's relationship? >> [inaudible]
8:57 pm
as the most valuable asset and that was with the values and with that democracy and then to be so strong. and then to have a very strong connection especially the us because after israel the most populated country so this is what he saw for israel and
8:58 pm
that is something he always had in mind to see this as insurance and more important for all to come. >> american university. my question goes back to what started the whole discussion with the big worldview and to have consequences of those decisions made. i am wondering if anyone can add about the decision to give the power that it has and the
8:59 pm
terms of the consequence of the decision. >> he wasn't perfect. he didn't have 2020 foresight. and he had a young aid who negotiated the deal not to go to the army. and they said picture my grandfather who was in the holocaust maybe even before that. and they thought that this was a remnant of what is left of europe they did not foresee the growth of the orthodox.
9:00 pm
that was the mindset of extending sovereignty with the belief you had to shift the mindset and that character to link the people to the land. he did not foresee the growth of the birthright or any of that. me to suggest he had perfect foresight for go but there was a letter writing to his grandfather in 1959 he showed it to me to say i regret that decision to give them the exemption but he thought it was negligible to have that value but it wouldn't affect things in the big picture and he was all about the big picture. i think he had some regrets.
9:01 pm
>> thank you for your presentation. as leader with a good analytical abilities dealing with the information to see sharon close-up as a member of the foreign relations committee but as you thought those analytical abilities without putting the ideological edge on it we see this with current politicians. >> in the case of rabin and sharon they saw things as they were and were both superb analysts all the leaders i ever dealt with i never dealt with anybody who was as analytical and would present a case to say abcd used to say
9:02 pm
once he got something through there was no possibility in the world to talk about it. on the other hand if the reality showed he was wrong he would admit it. you were right and i was wrong. he came here to after the first intifada and i was on the other at the time and i said what will happen? he said palestinians cannot sustain this and it will go away. i traveled throughout the west bank and i felt the mood was very different and i said i have my doubts. several months later when i saw him he said to me you were right and i was wrong. that was the first time.
9:03 pm
because he thought things through you could not move him but if reality proved him wrong he was intellectually honest. what all these leaders had in common is that they could hear bad news and did not exclude it. >> last question. >> university of maryland so since a book leaves out golden meyer can you comment quick. >> i will answer more broadly because of the top four who did not make the cut. [laughter] we did go through this by the way to narrow it down to four
9:04 pm
was not easy because there were moments who took decisions sometimes the decision was not to act they didn't want to the yield to the generals for the six-day war but even the general said you're losing the element of surprise he thought the idea of the west was so important it was worth the delay and everyone was against him. so sometimes people did things. used to joke nobody does nothing but show me your bet by not responding during the gulf war he made sure the coalition did not fracture and the war could be persecuted against saddam hussein. it is hard with each leader we can show an example with a gold in my ear on --dash golda
9:05 pm
my ear with the rise of sadat and since and she did not pick up on those signals for go there is a whole debate on each of those signals but on the other hand maybe she was not top-tier on the piece issue if we ever did a sql book on what do the leaders do when it comes to other issues like soviet jews? 1million come out of the soviet union in 1989 that golda meir not just because she was ambassador has a key rule - - role in that movement maybe others are not known for his big moves on the arab front but he has a key role in
9:06 pm
that ethiopian issues with the jews in ethiopia. i was struck that seem like thousands of pages of declassified state department documents are all out there for researchers to look at but that was harder he said i have ideas on the jews of ethiopia operation moses is not until 1984 but the very first meeting he raises it so we look at the arab piece issue but some of these are issues are not peace related or the persecuted communities so maybe there is a room for a sql. >> so to take those decisions that you know are hard and then make them anyway.
9:07 pm
with golda there was a reference that both of them came up with creative ideas how to respond to sadat and she would not hear of it. it's interesting also that when the mission begins rabin has to come and explain there is no response and kissinger blows up. and can't get a response so golda has some instincts in the sense that a decision not taken is okay so from that standpoint she really doesn't measure up.
9:08 pm
>> [inaudible] >> we have three of you here on the stage for the middle east what is your reaction to the departure what does that stay about the perspective in the future of the deal of the century i felt with jason you could disagree on points here and there but there was a decency to the man i thought the three key members of the piece team to me his learning curve was the most pronounced of the three. he truly was looking for a win-win solution we can disagree and go through every one of them but the take away for me that this is the guy if
9:09 pm
jared kushner worked on the economic parts of the plan then jason was key on the final status issues on the political issues, jerusalem and the border so the departure has to be seen as a setback that he believes this plan is about to be unveiled even though he use the word vision but it also shows this is our reference point for the future as opposed to tomorrow at clock one - - tomorrow at 9:00 o'clock a.m. but i know he was staying just for this. i know there will be a conspiracy school but we will know within 12 days of that is accurate. but the school will start
9:10 pm
within hours if he quits because trump will make a move in the next 12 days to impact his plan. i am sure there will be speculation. who knows if he returns to trump he has been very loyal to this president and serves as his attorney and personal capacity does he go back all those who had a commitment to him to leave the private sector - - sector six kids three are all in college three in jewish state school you're definitely eating into your servant one - - savings going into public service. >> the explanation on the surface that washington never accepted. to pick up on what david was saying, having dealt with a lot you are completely decent person and very respectful i
9:11 pm
thank you made a genuine effort to try to understand the issues. he has made it clear for a long time i heard more than a year ago that he would stick around only until the plan was unveiled. so that would argue for doing it after not beforehand. but i think that's the explanation that will be offered and it may be true. but i think the timing is a little strange and probably opens questions and lower expectations about what would happen after you unveiled the plan if there is not really going to be a negotiation after. there's no real reason to stick around. but i don't think, selling the
9:12 pm
plan is already a long shot and taking the person out of it who really immersed himself of all the political issues , agree your disagree but to come to have an understanding with them to take a signal he takes himself out certainly sends a message of that expectation will put that out there but we don't expect much after we do. >> very good. swimming thank you david and dennis and for staying with us and for injecting your personal view of your father. that was an enormous contribution to today's event. thank you very much. >> think you've so much. [applause]
9:13 pm
so if you have to get a book right now we have a bookseller out front who will accommodate you. >> and we will be happy to sign them. >> thank you for joining us today. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> the wonderful thing about this is that they put all
9:14 pm
kinds of things in writing. john adams writing to a friend to say how should an american politician dress? i don't want look like a monarch or a french european aristocrat the clothing is from europe is that too much lace to be american? how many horses with the carriages appropriate? he didn't want to be monarchical which sounds trivial but on the other hand those little stylistic decisions which shaped the tone and the character of the government and to set that precedent to have a big impact
9:15 pm
so on the one hand it is almost comical but that in and of itself is interesting. 's been a good evening everyone. i am the owner of the strand. [applause] for a little bit of history founded in 1927 by my grandfather and was part of known as fourth avenue book row from astro place to union square and in its heyday there were 40 bookstores and strand t

13 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on