tv Israeli- Palestinian Conflict CSPAN March 26, 2019 4:09am-5:45am EDT
president, noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives. providing insight into the lives of the 44 american presidents. true stories, gathered by interviews, explore the life events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced and the legacies they have left behind. published by public affairs, the presidents will be on shelves april 23. you can preorder your copy as a hardcover or e-book today at thepresidents, or wherever books are sold. >> next a debate about the palestinian -- israel conflict. this took place in new york city. it is just over 90 minutes.
thank you for inviting me. thank you, danny, for joining the event. presupposessolution a detailed analysis of a hugely complicated conflict. that is the analysis i offer in my book, justice demands. here let me indicate a crucial point. so much of the debate and the discussion of the conflict is ethnicp in religious, and tribals premises. these get us nowhere. instead i suggest we need to adopt a different approach. ,e need to a drop a secular pro-freedom perspective. that is what i will be offering from tonight. i believe and i think you can demonstrate objectively, individual liberty is an objective moral ideal.
it is true for all people in all places at all times. the standard by which we should evaluate the adversaries in this conflict. us toerspective leads discard collectivist and tribal premises. one of the major steps in this way of thinking is we need to recognize a major distinction that is blurred and completely ignored by many. differencecrucial between the palestinian community and the palestinian movement. we have to keep the separate and distinct. has features of a culture and the palestinian movement is an ideological, political enterprise. it has specific goals and ideology.
it claims to speak for the palestinian community. there is overlap between them. that is true. it can't be treated as interchangeable. it is not. they are distinct. we have to keep them distinguished when we think of this issue. hinges on a moral evaluation of the adversaries. does the palestinian movement seek freedom? is it pro-human progress? writingncerned with wrongs? no, no and no. argue the movement is hostile to individual liberty, including and especially the liberty of palestinians themselves. israel ist, i argue, the region's only free society. it has flaws and moral failings, really serious ones. these need to be addressed and reformed. none of these warrant the
palestinian movements aggression against it. if you want to understand the conflict, it is crucial to see the palestinian movement is an obstacle to peace, a fundamental barrier to progress in this region. this debate does not hinge on the question of whether individual palestinians have grievances. they do. some of them are legitimate. they need to be redressed. i argue this in my book. for example, cases of israeli land appropriation or cases where it israeli police failed to protect the landowners, palestinians from jewish fundamentalists who attacked them -- that is wrong and has to be stopped. when you take these failings into account, particularly the grievances regarded as legitimate, they do not justify the militant goal of the palestinian movement, which is to liquidate israel, that has
been true since the founding of the major factions. the palestinian movement has exploited the people it claims to be serving and protecting and righting wrongs. the palestinian movement is hostile to freedom and does not care about righting wrongs. what is the palestinian movement composed of? two major wings. hamas. and both are founded with a shared goal of bringing an end to israel society, both are hostile to rights and individual freedom and they actively now in the present day, not in some future state they are claiming to seek, right now they are trampling the rights of their own people. the plo runs the palestinian authority, and interim cause i
state, which was supposed to be a step toward full sovereignty. this is mostly in the parts of the west bank. it is an authoritarian regime. entity,ident of this his four-year term as president ended 10 years ago and he is still in power and he is not leaving. he will appoint the next prime minister, it seems. heyou try to live there, will realize there is no freedom of speech, association. if you criticize him, the dictator in place, you may well be thrown in jail. god help you if you are a christian or gay under the palestinian authority. you will be hounded out, if you make it out alive. the palestinian authority moreover incites its own people to commit atrocities, attacks against israelis, and other violent actions, and they
celebrate the perpetrators of these attacks as martyrs to the cause. the palestinian authority, led by the plo, this is what is considered by many people as a moderate wing of the palestinian movement. let's look at what people regard as beyond the pale. hamas. the islamist faction that runs gaza. it took over in a bloody coup in 2007. it has injected islamist ideas to the area where it rules and has conducted executions in the street. they have fought rocket wars against israel numerous times in 2014, with smaller skirmishes in between. there were rockets fired from gaza last week toward tel aviv. hamas is notorious for inciting people to commit suicide bombing and to celebrate their acts of destruction of other people.
this, not only through the mainstream press, hamas controls, but through children's programming and magazines, it is inculcating perverse ideas. when you look at the palestinian movement you realize this is a movement that is hostile to freedom, that does not care about the lives of the people it governs. this is a movement committed to liquidating a free society, the region's only free society, in the middle east, that is what i suggest in my book. indicategued, let me things it is not concerned with ing wrongs done to palestinians. tothe way it is covering, the extent that it has self-government in gaza and parts of the west bank, the palestinian movement has inflicted injustice. there is no freedom of speech under its control.
minorities are persecuted horribly. religious and other minorities. worse than this, to the extent they have control of these people, the palestinian community, it is not really opposed to the kinds of crimes it accuses israel of, such as arbitrary arrest, censorship, appropriation, because it itself is committing its crimes against its own people. qatariable example, businessman came to palestinian territories to open a bank and out the doubt -- build palestinian authority. his bank were expropriated from him in broad daylight. there are many other examples of this. one other thing to note about the palestinian authority, which is the wing within the movement
that many people regard as president invited to visit the white house, he has that diplomatic status -- under the palestinian authority, it is a crime to sell land to choos -- to jews. the kind of punishment you can get his hard labor for life. people actually face this punishment. the maximum penalty is death. keep that in mind. let me turn to look at israel briefly. what i want to argue is if you take seriously the value of human life, human progress and , it is crucial to recognize the moral difference between the movements. israel stands out as a basically free society, one with many flaws and moral failings.
yet it has freedom of speech, it has religious freedom, intellectual freedom. all citizens regardless of race or creed have the right to vote and be part of government. there will be objections to israel's moral standing. i anticipate some of them. it is an ethnic national state and an apartheid state. i oppose these elements. it is a combination of individualist elements that are good and national ethnic elements which i regard as a problem and a source of failing. the apartheidout claim, which deserves more attention in the question period, and i invite you to ask me about that. the main barrier to reaching, moving to peace, is the palestinian movement.
extent that the current approach has been tried, the two state solution, it has led to empowering the palestinian a militantiving them regime hostile to the lives of the people it controls. process thatpeace led to the solution, the entrenched approach, will lead to the same kind of outcome. it will not change until the ideas animating the movement are changed or it gives up its goal, which is what i advocate. the approach that has been tried so far has only made the conflict worse. more people have died in violence since the signing of the famous peace process deal then bill clinton in 1993, did in the 25 years before that. this is a bad attempt to solve the problem. it evades the character of the adversary, particularly the
palestinian movement. what i am advocating for instead, what i'm suggesting is it is the necessary condition to reach peace, the palestinian movement be defeated. this is because i think what is happening is it is a protracted war between two sides and wars typically end when one side gives up its goals, puts down its arms, and its goal is not achievable. that is what i am suggesting needs to happen with the palestinian movement. it needs to give up its so-called armed struggle and it's jihad, and through a combination of pressure, the infrastructure of the movement in the west bank and the gaza strip needs to be uprooted. this is a long-term process. it will not happen overnight. the crucial thing that has to happen is a psychological or mind shift. needeaders of the movement
to abandon their goal of liquidating israel and creating a society that is authoritarian, which is what they have been acting on all this time. a major thing that can be done from outside the conflict is all of us who have influence, particularly the governments in the u.s., canada and europe need to withdrawal their moral endorsement of the idea that the palestinian state is a goal to be achieved. what we have seen when it has materialized to a small degree is that it is hostile to freedom and it is militant that seeks to undermine israel. sanction,g that moral and the financial support that makes it possible, is critical to reaching a point at which the palestinian movement feels defeated and gives up its goal. . thank you very much.
>> thank you. negative.the [applause] thank you. my opponent has undoubtedly laid out a passionate, detailed defense of israeli policy over the last half-century. he has highlighted the worst aspects of what he dubs the palestinian movement. where his remarks merely in introduction, the simplicity of the model would likely be persuasive. unfortunately, as a veteran of two wars in the middle east and a budding scholar, i find matters more nuanced. resolution,e this along with the black and white thinking that informs the framework. i cannot promise unique models, nor simple reassuring solutions.
i hope to present a middling approach to conflict resolution that accepts as genuine the fears for israeli security but does not dismiss the plight of the palestinians outright. mine is a path of empathy and an attempt at evenhandedness. for one-sided solutions such as my opponent has crafted, will never bring peace to the holy land. crisisaeli-palestinian is a veritable third rail in american political discourse. it may be necessary for me to start with disclaimers. i speak as someone who is not anti-semitic, who opposes anti-semitism in all the ugly forms it takes and who believes he is really state -- the israel state has a right to exist. i have to address the caveat. palestinians, for both moral and strategic reasons also deserve state sovereignty and equivalent civil rights.
that should be the stated position of libertarians, all conservatives and my debate opponent tonight. israel is neither saint nor saint in, and neither -- saint nor satan, and neither is palestine. this is not a manichaean world of duality. i shall oppose the resolution on the basis of three major arguments. first, i reject as deceptive the term, palestinian movement, especially as he has defined it. this movement is no single thing and it is not nearly as simple jihadi, theamist labels my opponent prefers. i shall demonstrate the vast majority of palace taurean -- palestinian organizations, even hamas, can be dealt with in negotiation. the blood spilt in recent years,
hamas is more willing than even before to make peace along the borders and tacitly recognize israel's right to exist. it has often been israel, especially under the contemporary government that has provoked thomas, broken truces -- provoked hamas, broken truces. not --he sessa tates -- peace sessa tates requires the isolation and condemnation of most terroristic elements of palestinian resistance and demands we condemn israeli policies that hinder conflict resolution, indeed in some cases making peace impossible. that is what is missing from my opponents remarks. the notion that israel has a role to play in reforming. in the way it has been laid out,
the palestinians are people. there movement, their leaders are people. they cannot be dealt with. i reject that. necessitates any solution in the holy land will not be forthcoming unless the israeli government reverses course in militarization and escalation of the occupation regime and opens its mind and heart to authentic negotiation. let us begin. the resolution's problematic definition of the palestinian movement. take a moment to read the resolution tonight. the staggering sentence. clear that myis opponent places israel and israelis at the center of the model. israel represents everything good, juxtaposed with the people arab states of the region.
israel can do no wrong. this is problematic because there are good-faith movements in the middle east. he let's israel off the hook for its own flawed policies, sometimes undemocratic tendencies. israelis should seek to improve their own society, just as american should. it does not make you not patriotic to critique american policy. the same applies to israel. you will hear little of that tonight. this is a one-sided tail my opponent is telling -- tale my opponent is telling. you will hear little of the absent palestinians from my opponent tonight. the palestinians are almost the elephant in the room, no one dear speak of -- no one dare speak of. conductedcer, having counterinsurgency in the middle defeat, has come
to seem absurd, highly unrealistic. can oneone people, how defeat a people's movement? can one win a true counterinsurgency? i'm quite doubtful. that is the presumption. israel can and should defeat the palestinians. this is fantasy. it is wishful thinking at best. lastly, we returned to the problematic phrase, palestinian movement. my opponent believes today's movement is the enemy, an entity where the only of destruction. when he looks at palestine and palestinians and their organizations, what he sees as isis. palestinians are little more than terrorists in this telling. that is not accurate. it is a dangerous conception. it leads to a lack of empathy, a
lack of concern with civilian lives. the demonstrable fact is this, the vast majority of palestinians, like the vast majority of muslims, are not civilian slaughtering terrorists. they are a manifold diverse people. they are the most highly educated arab people on the planet. there are monsters among them but this is a small fraction of a beautiful whole. the very framework, the language and construction of the resolution is poorly defined, factually inaccurate, unachievable and one-sided. so much so that on this point alone, one should vote down the resolution. vast majoritythe of palestinian organizations, even hamas, can and should be dealt with as potential partners in negotiation. the post 9/11 wars have taught me that oftentimes one must work with, talk to and compromise with certain of various actors.
the u.s. military tried nationalism inni iraq with no success to the tune of 2000 dead soldiers. only one forward thinking kernels and a willing general began talking to the tribesmen and dividing them from the most extreme elements of the insurgency did the army achieve a drop in violence. this was a hard pill to swallow. many of our new partners in the tribes had literal american blood on their hands, still there was no alternative course, with any hope to lower violence, ultimately protect u.s. soldiers and bring a semblance of peace, then to work with the muslims in the region, work with the sunni islamists. anyel must deal with organization that is ready to accept a long-term truce and a two state solution. there is no other path to peace. none. isolating hamas will alienate
three quarters of the palestinian people. the notion that upon the defeat of hamas leadership, the palestinians will just lay down and give up and form some sort of new version of themselves, is fantasy. to keep on this path will freeze any movement toward peace, increase violence and i promise you, birth a generation far more radical than the past generation. even hamas, is a far more complex and evolving movement. it formed as an islamist response to 20 years of israeli 1994ation in 1987, after that engage in suicide attacks, and though the early charter denies the right of israel to exist, even hamas has changed and come a long way. in reality, the hamas of 2019 is
not the hamas of 1987. it can be dealt with, not defeated. hamas,has often provoked such as in 2004. the targeted killing came on the "hamasf a statement could accept a palestinian state in the west bank and the gaza strip." that leader had offered a long-term truce. this was a significant shift that should have been capitalized on. instead, israel turned to violence, refusing to compromise. in 2006, hamas published a manifesto lacking any reference to the old goal of eliminating israel, another positive change in the direction of negotiation. both the u.s. and israel punished hamas and the majority
of palestinian people who voted for them in the gaza strip. both impose sanctions and withheld funding. this was part of the plan to "destabilize the palestinian government so newly elected leaders will fail and elections will be called again." this sounds like a coup. this appears to be the israel and the united states overturning a democratically sanctioned election. by associating the movement with the dictator oriole nation and nature-- the dictatorial of other arab states, he denies the struggle. i reject that assumption. the third argument. israel has its own flawed policies. i will flip the resolution. not everything about israel, but aspects of the israeli movement must be reversed before true
peace is possible. among others, these are a perennial military occupation of the west bank and gaza. illegal settlements regime, a colonization of the west bank. a brutal blockade of the gaza strip and an unacceptably disproportionate lack of concern for palestinian civilian casualties. now, there is no time for a history lesson, i have three or four minutes left, but let me briefly address these grievances. it's an indisputable fact that the founding of israel in 1948 and the expansion of it after the 1967 war displaced many palestinian refugees. my saying this does not mean that israel must give it back. that's not unrealistic, or cease to exist but rather it recognizes the genuine suffering and grievance of the palestinian people that there are two sides in this argument. mine is the side that says there are guilty parties on both sides. but there are those we can work with on both sides. but you don't have to take my word for it. consider a 1969 interview with
the israeli defense minister where he admitted we came to this country which is already populated by arabs and we're establishing a jewish state here. jewish villages were built in place of arab villages. you did not even know the names and i do not blame you because the geography no longer exists. not only do the books not exist but the arab villages are not there either. this is one place, there is not one place built in this country that did not have a former arab population. then there are the settlements. the bottom line is until israel dismantles it's settlements and returns the land to the rightful palestinian ownership then it is in violation of international law and impeding the peace. the idea that the palestinians are going to lay down and accept any sort of solution while massive, massive numbers of israeli citizens, upwards of 500,000 are living in these settlements, it's fantasy. these people are not going to quit. that's not how insurgencies end
historically. >> the brutal blockade of gaza -- the brutal blockade of gaza is enormously cruel. to demonstrate the cruelty and premeditation of this blockade let us consider that a prominent israeli governing official actually took to literally calculating the number of calories a person in gaza needed, lest there be an outright famine. one of the aides to sharon reportedly joked because they voted the wrong way for hamas, palestinians would undergo something like an appointment with the doctor. they would get a lot thinner but they won't die. let me conclude my opening remarks in a rather solemn way. i would be remiss if i did not recognize the historic crimes perpetrated against jews and the worst crime in history, holocaust. among those reasons i believe israel has the right to exist and be secure but here's what i also believe. there is a second side to this conflict. there are palestinians with
genuine grievances with leaders who can be negotiated with and should be negotiated with. they cannot be defeated, nor should they be, if there is any sense of equity and fairness. thank you. [applause] >> the rebuttal. >> the palestinian movement, i said, needs to be distinguished from the palestinian people, and i guess that didn't sink in so let me amplify that point. there is no question there are palestinians who have suffered wrongs, and i think they need to have those wrongs addressed, but let me focus on the claim that the palestinian leadership and the movement, that seems to be the crux of your argument, the palestinian movement is not monolithic. i said there are two major wings, and it's correct to
equate it with islamic movement but it's not the same as isis. the islamic movement is rather large including both saudi arabia and iran, which are conflicted countries, and isis, which both of them dislike. the palestinian movement originated primarily as an ethic nationalist movement and then it morphed over many years into what's now primarily a religious islamic movement. you can see, this is documented in the rise of religion in the territories and reflected in the rising fortunes of hamas. now, it is important to recognize what hamas's goals are and what they remain. so it's certainly true that hamas has issued documents and manifestoes and the most recent one was not 2006, it was 2017
where it issued a policy statement and this was read as hamas's moderating. i'll concede hamas has changed in tactical ways. for example, it joined the elections in 2006, which it won by a landslide, these are tactical moves and the most recent one, in 2017, to insulate itself from the muslim brotherhood in egypt and qatar, who does not like the muslim brotherhood and hamas wants to be funded by. hamas, i think, retains its goal. it's not disavowed its goals of liquidating israel. in terms thatself are meant, how shall i put it, to fool people into thinking that hamas is somehow dealable with. i don't think that's true and i
think the principle that you can deal with anyone, this is a very common principle in diplomacy, it's false. you cannot. it's not true that you can make a deal with anyone and that there are factions within hamas that are to the point where you can deal with them. that's just not valid. and you can see evidence for that when -- we had the same argument about the palestinian liberation organization changing its position and accepting israel and it went through a number of hoops to do that and prove itself in 1988. that went exactly how one would expect. it was a lie, and the same thing happened in 1993, when arafat stood on the stage with bill clinton. the movement did not then and it has not since repudiated its goal even in tactical ways it's moderated its position to seem more appealing and to lure people back to the negotiating table.
what happened when this was taken on faith was the palestinian movement was given a quasi state in the palestinian authority, enabled it with money and arms, to carry out what was then called the second intifada, or rather a war against israel by suicide bombers and other kinds of attacks, that was one of the most lethal outbreaks of violence that there has been in this conflict. let me mention, you raised some of the historical points which i invite people in the audience to raise in the question period when we can have more discussion of it. i think it's important to recognize that, in fact, the grievances are treated -- they are obviously wrong. there are real wrongs here. i am in favor of nuance. it took me a book to argue my point. i think you're missing some of those including with the settlements, which cannot be treated as a uniform phenomenon. i'm certainly not in favor of
israeli policy. i'll not here to defend it. i'm arguing for israel's position as a free society to the extent it's free and for as long as it's free and as long as it's carrying out policies that are consonant with that. i do not support -- i certainly don't support all the policies, and i oppose many of them as you will find in my book. thank you. [applause] major sjursen: thank you. so i have about five minutes to address some of the rebuttals from my opponent, who is very educated on the topic. i have one question. why is it, and this is hypothetical, israel's state to give to the palestinians? the whole framing is problematic. it seems if there is a right to exist there is an equivalent
right to grant what is being called a quasi-state to the palestinians, which is little more than an open-air prison in many ways, little more than a collaborationist regime in many ways. my opponent spoke in his earlier remarks about a proponent of freedom perspective, and i agree that should be the framework, but what about the life of actual living, breathing palestinians in gaza today who lack civil rights, who lack basic freedoms of even arabs within israel who do not have the same rights of jews within israel but who have lived under occupation 50 years after the war in defiance of every single ruling of any international court, organizational organization? perhaps 180 countries in the world are all just anti-semitic and only israel and the united states are correct, or maybe there is something to these
grievances, not just for the palestinian people, but for their movement. i agree that this hinges on a moral interpretation, but a moral interpretation again will make one wonder why there are no civil and political rights in no palestinian state sovereignty. my opponent also says the palestinian movement is an obstacle to peace but what about israeli obstacles? except for just a vague notion of israel is not perfect from my opponent there is no list to what the israeli obstacles to peace are. why is there nothing about this? i would argue the silence on this issue is more telling than anything my opponent says. i think it's a fallacy that the palestinian movement is dedicated to the destruction of israel. in 1993, actually before then, the plo did accept the right of israel to exist. did accept the two-state solution. even hamas, while it didn't change its full original document has made it clear that it's willing to accept a two-state solution from its highest leadership levels, and that it will accept the long term truce.
the truth of the matter is, israel never made steps towards the final settlement, that the 1993 oslo was supposed to create. if the palestinian movement is so harmful to palestinians, why did they vote it in? why did so many turn to hamas? could it be that part of it was frustration with the lack of progress towards the palestinian state? could it be the intransigence of israel in many cases? not every time. not every palestinian leader is a saint. not every israeli leader is a villain but the reality is there are two sides. there are two sides to this situation. the question for me is what if palestinians vote the wrong way? it appears you either have to believe in democracy or not. democracy appears okay for israelis because we can -- we're happy with the way they vote but what about when the palestinians democratically elect hamas into government. who then has the right to determine that hamas can't be dealt with?
like i said in iraq and afghanistan we dealt with people who literally had the blood of soldiers on our hands. it worked and we didn't like it one bit. still don't. but i knew we were never going to defeat the iraqi nationalist movement in iraq. we're never going to defeat militarily taliban and -- taliban in afghanistan. good luck the soviets tried. we've been trying. spoiler alert -- it's not going to happen. they are not just going to give up and roll over. this won't happen. it's, a, historical, from a military history standpoint. putting down their arms is not how movements end. compromise and politicalization of movements is how they end so these steps of hamas towards negotiation are the signs of possibility for peace. take the irish republican army. after 30 years of being told that the ira will never, ever settle for peace, they didn't just lay down their arms. they were brought into the movement.
so much so, that today, members of parliament in britain, used to be ira brigade commanders in northern ireland but the british swallowed their pride and realized they had to deal with people who had blood on their hands. otherwise, they would fight this war for another 1,100 years and that's the reality. do the palestinians have some sort of biological predilection for evil? i think not. perhaps there is historical injustice and some role the israelis are playing. i think the silence on the issue of israeli, perpetuation of violence and even rights abuses is instructive. thank you. [applause] gene: thanks to you both. we go to the q&a part of the evening. i take moderator's prerogative to ask a couple of questions
first, and then of course you can comment as well. you have affirmed your own support of israel's right to exist. most recently, hamas seems to be ambiguous about that. you say that hamas' basic document, they deny israel's right, my particular question is what is your best evidence that hamas has affirmatively stated, as you have stated, that israel has a right to exist? >> that's a great question. >> oh, no, no, no, we are recording for posterity. major sjursen: that is a great question. there have been three wars in gaza since 2008. there was one in 2008, 2012 and another in 1214. -- 2014.
the u.s. state department actually recognized as well as an international terrorist analysis organization in israel that the hamas fighters actually showed a fair amount of acceptance of the long-term truths and it was actually israel that broke the truce in each of those cases so in all three cases israel actually conducted raids into gaza, broke the truce at which points rockets were then fired. very inaccurately into israel, and, of course, response was overwhelming palestinian casualties. 1,371 in operation cast lead of which 772 were civilians and some 320 were children. so i think what we can do is look at how hamas acts rather than what's in their founding documents. hamas is dealing with radicals in their own ranks. they are dealing with moderates in their own ranks and dealing with folks who want to work with israel, who want to work with the palestinian authority. so i think what we're seeing is hamas is waging a battle, because it's a fluid organization, to maintain the truces and what we know is hamas
is capable of maintaining a long term truce. it's as capable of holding a long term truce as israel which at this point is enough from my perspective to negotiate with. it doesn't mean we have to fall in love with hamas. we have to deal with their reality. they win elections and they will have to be dealt with on some level. >> do you want to comment? i'll give it over to either of you or to the audience. you said a couple of times, there are legitimate palestinian grievances that should be redressed. can you elaborate on those grievances that should be specifically redressed? elan: sure. can i be heard? >> yes. elan: i mentioned them because they speak to the moral framework that i am bringing. one of the worst things that is happening in israel right now is jewish fundamentalists are
trying to illegally settle lands. i think that is wrong. it is a violation of the rule of law, and one of the ways they do this if they basically squat. in english law, squatting is when you take over someone's property and sit there and exclude them. they do this, and then they expect the government to come and protect them. they have accomplices within various levels of government. i think this is wrong. it essentially steals land that belongs to the palestinians. the israeli government has removed many of these illegal outposts by force, and i think that is one example where the real wrong done to palestinians right now, living, breathing people now who are suffering, and another example is not only those kinds of squatting situations but attacks on chards carrieda
out by fundamentalist jews. you basically ruin their farms. the perpetrators of those crimes have to be stopped, put in jail, and punished to the full extent of the law. one of the things i would say about grievances is that danny mentioned the refugee problem. i think the refugee problem is probably the thorniest one, and it is really complicated to untangle, and part of what danny has not really brought out is what led to the war is the initiation of war by neighboring arab states in 1948, and the culpability for that has been evaded over time. and that the attempts to resettle those refugees and the attempt to reduce the number and compensate them, they were all pushed aside and refugees that are settled in lebanon, for example, are in a situation that's worse than gaza.
if you want a place with a wall around it and they can't bring in cement and they can't become citizens, look at lebanon. that's a real crime. i have heard nothing about the crimes against the palestinians done by the arab regimes that refused to give them any kind of citizenship or even to get a job if you're in lebanon. so i think there are real grievances. one of the problems with the refugee grievances, is that it's been inflated. there are seven times more refugees now after 70 plus years than there were at the time of this war and one reason for that, there is a politicized way in which they are defined. you can be a citizen of jordan, who is fully resettled in jordan, and yet be counted as a refugee, and you can be a refugee who is in a refugee camp. there is something really wrong with the way that's accounted for so i think the politicalization of that grievance makes it hard to untangle. the worst part is the palestinian movement, this is uniform including the supposed
moderates, they hold it an absolute wholesale right of return. basically six million people have to come back into israel. there is something fishy about that, i think you have to agree and that's not easily remedied because you have to think about what happened in history and figure out the culpability of all parties, not just israel, which is usually the one that's painted as the villain here. >> do you want to come in ? >> i think it's important to note, it's mostly towards a natural high birth rate, and what's not mentioned is that there were plans in place by the israeli military or the nascent military to conduct cleansing in 1948. the most esteemed israeli historians like benny morris, david ben-gurion has admitted to
it, he's been on record, i can read quotes, this was a historical crime. it pales in comparison to the holocaust. any time people try to equate them i think they are wrong but it doesn't deny there was truly a grievance there. also, many, many of them may have become out of necessity, citizens of jordan, but i would imagine that people who left poland in response to world war ii, though they quickly became citizens of the united states if they could, would still consider themselves refugees from poland. as for rights of return i think it's very interesting. first, i don't think that six million people can actually come into israel. that will have to be arbitrated with a symbolic right of return and compensation. it's not possible for jewish to remain both democratic and jewish while letting six million palestinians in. i recognize that but you know who does have a right of return? based on religion? israel. a right of return for any jew worldwide. so what i'm interested in is why does that right which is based
purely on religious ethnicity but why does that exist, but the right for palestinians, whose grandparents were kicked out of villages should be so easily dismissed. it's a fascinating dichotomy. >> you want to address that? >> the right of return, israeli's immigration law, permits almost instant citizenship to jews. i think that's a real problem. i don't think we can treat that as a principle by which to hold both sides accountable to, because a lot of countries have that kind of rule but i think it's a problem. i think it reflects the motivations for establishing israel but i think, a couple of corrections on some of the things you said. morris, as far as i read him, there is a plan to cleanse the land. i think he's written on the contrary, the opposite. in fact, the evidence, and i think it's worth reading other
historians, too, that part of what happened, there were a lot of people who left as a consequence of the war and it was military contingencies that fleeing.eeing. them the high number of refugees is not exclusively birth rate related. it is the fact that unique among refugees in history that we know of their defined -- you could be a refugee through your father's bloodline. so if you are born to someone who is a refugee, even if you are not born present where that happened coming are a refugee. that is not the same standard the u.n. holds. heart of the issue is it is a politicized definition of refugees. i want to a knowledge that there are refugees invited to come back and resettle. that is a fact. but i don't think either side should be held this idea that israel has a right of return and
that's what we should hold. i think it's a problematic rule and i do not think it is easy to say what israel's immigration rules should be but those are different things in understanding the issue. gene: people in the audience want to ask questions. do you guys want to wait for audience questions or do you have any questions you want to ask? a question to ask danny? elan: what do you take to be the basis for israel's right to exist? >> one could argue it is a problematic framing for any state to have the right to exist. i think the historical wrong against jewish people which is unique to a certain degree, especially in the aftermath of the holocaust, meant that there , and global need understanding amongst the states of the post-world war ii world that there was a special
situation and thus israel should have the right to a sovereign jewish state, which is why there was a commission, a partition, even though arabs were still the majority gave 85% of the land to israel. this is problematic. problematic. jews only owned 7% of property at that time. i do would you please define what you mean by the "defeat of the palestinian movement?"
>> i think it is a multi-generation process. it does not happen overnight. it requires the kind of shift that happened after world war ii with the nazi regime in germany and with japan. essentially what it required, i don't think it required necessarily a large-scale conflict that armed and violent but i think it requires a psychological shift. the abandonment of a goal that is animating the hostilities on one side. in my analysis the palestinian movement is animated by the goal of making the whole of the territory that is now israel ruled by palestinians. that means from the river jordan to the mediterranean, that is the phrasing that is commonly used. i think the achievement of that pressure andained communicating that violence is
not going to pay which is the way in which the negotiations you seem to be an advocate for really encourage. the peace process model, we pretended the palestinian doable and they were moderating. we sat down with them numerous times, on the premise that you should speak to anyone. i think that is empirically false. what that led to, they were given the encouragement to think we spent decades attacking israel we did not get as far as we wanted we just got invited to the diplomatic negotiations. look at the way we been given a dignity we never earned. arafat was a pioneer of international terrorism and violence. that cannot be disputed. here you are celebrated as somebody who -- he has given that up. has he? has he really?
i think that was a misconception. ,hat those negotiations led to a rewarding of that kind of behavior and a continuation and a funding over time. you want to reverse that. defeat means not rewarding that behavior that showing the more you do that kind of thing, the more you attack, the less likely you are to reach your goal and it is a lost goal. it is a long-term process that requires shifting the understanding of what is achievable and that requires significant pressure over time. do you believe they can be militarily defeated, the palestinian movement? it seems like you are saying palestinians have to wait more multi-generations. it's been three or four generations now we are saying it's going to be multigenerational to defeat them. a palestinian refugee might have to wait seven or eight generations what japan got its
sovereignty back in 1952 despite attacking pearl harbor and west germany got sovereignty back in 1954 and was armed and given tanks and put into nato. it only had to go through nine years of occupation prior to regaining its sovereignty. i'm wondering if you believe there is a military solution to the palestinian resistance. >> i think there can be. the premise of your question is what i think is essential to challenge. i want to raise that. you seem to be operating on the premise that palestinians are entitled to a state and you are challenging me for saying they don't and that is part of your argument that i'm being one-sided. let me make it explicit. i don't think the right to self-determination can mean that you are entitled to create your and resolve the people in your group to authoritarianism. there is no such right.
so long as that is what animating the palestinian movement they should not be permitted to pursue a state. if there is a point in the future that is no longer the kind of state there working to , i am all in favor of it. to beandard is, in order justified in pursuing the momentous step of creating a state which means you have the monopoly on the use of force within a geographical area, that is a momentous step. the only basis for that is you are going to create a state that protects leaving a you are situation in which you don't have freedom and you are moving toward a situation -- my central premise for israel's basis. if palestinians really wanted that and there was evidence for that i would be in favor of it. i would say build yourself a state. i'm not opposed to that. i'm opposed to palestinians demanding and the idea of a
democracy is the all-purpose solvent for meeting everything good. enough people voted for it which is completely wrong. if that is the principle they should have a state but that is not the principle. way into be -- the only which you can make sense of self-determination for a group of people is they are trying to reach freedom and that is not what the palestinian movement has been pursuing. we can talk about the situation in which they live in today which is really difficult but i don't think there's evidence to they are trying to do is move toward greater freedom. that is the basis of my objection. the issue of how long do they have to wait, they have to wait until they change their mind about what kind of society they want to build. -- japanendant abandoned its goals after world war ii with a great deal of pressure. germany was defeated. both were defeated and i think those are outstanding examples because it was so rapid. the fact that the military
defeat came first. i don'tpened in iraq, believe the search and that whole thing of handing out money is a solution. so that did not work and i think we saw that with the rise of isis which i think was a fruit of that attempt to solve iraq by dealing with everybody. the issue is not how long they have to wait it is what is the standard by which you judge it. >> i do have a comment about that. it feels like the palestinians are being held to a different standard than the israelis. who is to determine what the people want except for the people themselves through democracy? as churchill said it is the worst solution except for all the others potentially. in your book you said you believe that palestinian grievances "cannot explain let alone justify the armed struggle of the palestinians," but article 51 recognizes the
protocol one of just -- recognizes armed conflicts in which people are fighting against alien occupation. one could argue that because the palestinians are still in a insurgency,istance, we have never really seen what a palestinian state would look like. israelis have pulled settlements out of gaza and pulled the furthest outpost out of the west bank nothing has been done about the 500,000 jewish israeli settlers in the west bank. westu seen a map of the bank it looks like a piece of swiss cheese. it is a problem. >> i will make a brief comment. to thereal objection are twot there
different standards. i think there is one standard, are you trying to achieve a free society. i think democracy is not the standard. democracy is a subordinate part of what makes a societydemocract u.n..t makes ai am not a fan oe i think there are serious problems with the customary so-called laws of war.
including the moral premises that governed the conduct of war. i think morality is essential in conduct of war and having standards for what you do in the battlefield. i think there are real problems with the standards that are imposed because a disadvantage those who obey them and empower those of disobey them. there's a clear problem with that. the idea that we treat u.n. bodies or international law essentially like a papal pronouncement that is unquestionable i think is a mistake. you have to think about is this right or not. you can make an argument that the palestinians are trying to resist occupation and i'm sure they hate being under occupation a lot of them being told this is all israel's fault. theirestion is, what has life and light during occupation. i'm sure nobody in this room would choose to live under occupation. i'm sure this has come up in your reading of this.
however bad you might think occupation actually has been the material measurements of life for palestinians are better 20 years into the occupation than they were before. infant mortality, hookups to electricity were like 8%. they were at 90% within 15 years. you might say i still hate the israelis. if you're talking about thevidual human beings and wealth they need to live you cannot argue they are not materially better off under occupation even if they still dream of a palestinian state. are they seeking freedom and a better life? that is the standard by which we have to evaluate these things. [applause] questioner, fraser question as a question if you could. >> i would like to thank major danny for his service and
-- dualy iran has citizenship has worked well for you. i cannot believe i'm old enough to be both of your grandfathers. >> do you have a question grandpa? [laughter] with thebrought up fact that all wars are beggars wars. at the same time i was taught to follow the money. it is not a mistake that yasser ago.t left over 10 years he was killed under suspicious circumstances. but the family -- my question is how do you expect to end a conflict nation that exists right now especially with the arabs, who are really the palestinians, i don't know where
palestine came from. >> what is your question? >> my question is how do you end the conflict that exists right now if what is behind the conflict is something that really is not what we can put our fingers on? >> i think both of you guys have tried to address that question. do you have anything in particular in relation to the question? >> if the question is about economic conditions that the palestinian leadership have enjoyed there is a difference , theynoting that the plo are much more in the model of secular arab dictator who not only dominates his people but also exploits them economically. a great deal of documented graft and racketeering under the palestinian authority. , and thisence, hamas
speaks to ideological character, one of the which is one of the ways in which it is gained support in credibility, it is seen as an corruptible because it is religious. the way it gets funding is not from outside regimes according to its propaganda it gets its money from a religious ties. hamashamas does get outside fun. the essential issue
true that the economy of the occupied territories grew rapidly. this was only tying the palestinian economy and was never accompanied by any major internal development as its own society. one major economic report noted the growth witnessed in the not sustainable and ending the occupation is the prerequisite for transforming the territories economic potential into reality. >> two brief comments. that book what i argue is the palestinians have not had the full expression of a state with. it to. that is certainly true. what you can measure is to the extent that they have achieved some measure of self-rule, a degree
of self governance, you can see that in several places. a palestinian authority -- the which israelom which withdrew every last person -- in all of those cases commonality is in terms of the way they governed which was authoritarian . they have the practices of the control and arbitrary course. the kinds of things you don't want to see. this got full expression -- full or expression under palestinian authority which is a step toward a full state. i get when you are saying that you want the palestinians to have the room to create the kind of state you think they should have but i would love to know what is the evidence for thinking it would be anything better than, and in fact not
worse than what we see in the palestinian authority today and .n gaza where you see the evidence for that? >> we don't have the evidence for that because there has been no sovereignty for the palestinians in anything except a statele that is a collaborationist regimet. as muchians have sovereignty as their masters give them. the ones with the american weapons and the american money. they cannot militarily defeat israel that israel cannot defeat them militarily or eat we don't know what real sovereignty would look like because it has not existed since 1948. [applause] >> we have questions from the audience. please ask your question. .> my question is to elan you based a lot of your argument on defeating a movement in the
fact that hamas wants to eliminate israel. in american war if someone wants to kill me does not give me the right to kill the person. why do you think americans should support that defeat? >> what we are dealing with is a situation that not governed by american law. the principle is not you have a right to kill the person attacking. you have a right to defend yourself. what i'm arguing for and i argued in more detail in the book than i do here, to understand what hamas is about and what the palestinian movement has been doing since it came to the four is it is a sustained campaign over time with that goal. are they in a position to destroy israel? i don't think they are but they would like to be. they have shown with numerous attacks that that is what they are after two essentially psychologically destroy israel by terrorizing it. that is the goal. my argument is israel has a
right to self-defense. because this is a long-standing war the way out of this conflict is if you give them to believe through action that their goals are unachievable. wars have ended because one side has given up its goal and been led to believe this is hopeless. fantasy isat ignoring the fact that we've seen this in other contexts. world war ii ended not because we negotiated with nazis but because we defeated them. we defeated the japanese. there is a great deal of reluctance to fight and defeat people. obama said he does not like to use the word victory and danny does not think that is achievable. iraq was a no-win war but not because before to win it because we did not fight to end. -- did not fight to win. i'm sorry you had to suffer some of the consequences of that.
i've been arguing about the failure of american foreign policy in the middle east for a long time and i think it's a misconception to believe you -- cannot ands wars -- >> i fought to win. there was no victory over the iraqi people so long as we tried to create a country in our own image. we violated iraqi sovereignty and so long as we did so there did so thererever would be a forever insurgency. world war ii ended -- to -- i't have time challenge your understanding -- i challenge your understanding
of the palestinian authority. and it's nota lot like the nazis and it's not like the japanese and it does not have to be defeated in the same way. my bigger question is about the two state solution. without a two state solution you have basically what's close to apartheid or you have a single entity which would mean there would be no jewish state. so there's really no other solution that is satisfactory to people who either believe in the idea of a jewish state and want one or who believe in democracy and do not want a revival of the evils we have seen in south .frica and other places >> i think it is relevant to think about what it means for there to be in and to this conflict and i don't you start with what does the configuration
of the society look like. i think you have to start with what is driving the conflict and how do and it. there will be questions about what happens then. what kind of society should there be once the palestinian movement is not seeking to liquidate israel. we certainly don't want a whole population that is denied citizenship. the israelis will not accept eating a minority. i think they are fearful of that. for a number of good historical reasons. i don't think that is an easy problem to solve. it is a mistake to turn that around and say the obvious solution is there have to be two states. i don't think that is obvious. i think the way to begin is to say why has this been going on for so long and what is driving it. what are the ideas going on here? of what is the principle
governance? i want to say something about what we can expect from a palestinian state i don't think it's true that we don't know. i think we have a lot of empirical evidence of what the ideas of the palestinian movement mean in practice and i think it's also telling if you of aat the scholarship palestinian scholar, a columbus -- at columbia he wrote a book about why the palestinian movement has failed in its attempts at state building. one of the things that struck me in reading this is that he says he does not take it as seriously as i do but he says in passing they have given so little thought to what it would look like to achieve a state that it is alarming. to me that is not only alarming it is suspicious. if you spent decades yearning for sovereignty wouldn't you give it more thought about what it would actually look like? i think the absence of doing that speaks to this is not a
maybe we have to do something else and if so what would it be? statehink a palestinian is desirable. it is not currently feasible so long as there are jewish only roads, jewish only settlements, 500,000 israelis in the west bank, gaza shut off from the sea and the land. the most densely populated place on the earth. half the people get their goods from the united nations organizations. it is as it stands relatively infeasible for there to be a palestinian state but largely i would argue that is due to the intransigence of israeli policy
and self-defeating violence on the behalf of terrorist elements within the palestinians and i -- whatth rashida tlai must be remembered as he is one of the preeminent historians in favor of palestinian nationalism in favor of a palestinian sovereign entity. i think in its current state is not feasible but through honest negotiations removal of military occupation and removal of the settlements, it is possible. >> we want to go to the some asian and you can answer that question and take the podium. >> i will try to give you my summation and tried to address that question you raised last.
i am an atheist, and individualist, an advocate of liberty. and i believe the principle of freedom has to be the framework by which to understand the claims in this conflict and the character of the adversaries. i don't accept that we have no basis for thinking what a palestinian state would look like. i think we have a great deal of evidence to know what to expect and i think it is the responsibility of anyone advocating for that as an outcome anyone who is in favor of a palestinian state in the present to make the case that it would be a moral state meaning it would be it would protect the lives of palestinians and do so ire so than ever in the past don't think anyone has put forward that basis and i think it's a dodge and unfortunately i think there's a great deal of evidence dodging to say we don't
think we know would look like. development enough in political thought over the last 200 years for people to pick up the federalist papers and learn something from it and say this is the sort of thing we're thinking of doing. does that make sense to you? we can make a case of this is what we are doing but just to say we are a group we deserve a state and you're not letting us have it and we will rage against that that is not an argument that deserves credibility. add there are many more historical issues that have been raised and we did not get a chance to answer and claims my opponent has raised. some of them are addressed in the book and i courage you to look at that. the issue i want to stress is that the palestinian movement does exist.
it's a real thing. they think of themselves as a movement even if the opponent tonight says i'm simplifying it. there is a progression you can track over time and maybe it is difficult to conceptualize. what brings them together, the goal of a state in place of -- what dothat state find that state is some sort of authoritarian or theocratic type model we see plenty of in the middle east. that is the unity of this movement even if the justifications for overtime arab nationalism, palestinian nationalism and now more framed in islamist terms. but that is the unifying thread through time. i have not made the case and i'm sorry if you're been led to believe this. i have not made the case that israel is blameless or somehow a saint. that is not the view i opened with and it is not the view you
will find in my book i castigate israel for many flaws and there are more that we can talk about i think it's a mistake to present the major obstacle being israel. even if it is not being entirely fair and has committed wrongs. , the pattern is that israel is responding to aggression that is significant reason to believe it is seeking to do significant damage to life and property. in response to that i think it is been justified in retaliating against them. if it's going beyond that it is wrong and that is the standard i apply. , thenk what is missing silence i'm glad was partially isken tonight not completely
you have to judge a movement not only by its ideas and it's founding documents but also by actions. tonightthe issue here is the palestinian movement has been true to its ideas and we have to take seriously what those ideas are and pretending they are not there or trying to whitewash them or say let's just by our tongue and we have to talk to anybody i think that it is the point significant that the palestinian issue has become not only islam -- it is acting on the ideas of an islamic society. it is aligned with other forces in the region pensively iran and qatar, supporting this idea. i suggest in this sense the terms ofis start in
the ideas. do you believe it's better to have a free society or do you believe in tyranny, whether it is nationalist or theocratic and that to me is the question. thank you. [applause] >> why am i here tonight? taking this position in favor of a palestinian state? by any logical measure with islamist organizations in iraq and afghanistan taking the lives of so many i love one would think i would take the position of many of my soldiers which is to hate islam, to hate arabs in the case of iraq i came to a place of respect for the vast majority of the people in the middle east and i realized that there were strategic and ethical reasons to care for both sides in this conflict and thus i
applied it to the israel halestorm conflict. i hope to illustrate not a pro-palestinian position but a middle road that recognizes the strengths of israeli democracy at times and the plight of the palestinians. i do think you've heard another approach that is rather biased that notion that palestinians as a movement have any meaningful grievances or right to self-defense. else.something it applies to my third assertion that israeli policy must carry some blame for the intractability of the conflict. israel is not alone in carrying some of that blame. additionally the united states must recognize its own complicity. hatred for the u.s., israel and islamist terrorist plots in the west will not meaningfully decrease until washington begins to address the roots of the problem and rebalance is one-sided relationship with israel. it is the right thing to do
second it is a pivot away from these more unhinged policies and will actually make american soldiers and civilians in both toieties ultimately safer which this army officer whose interpreter from iraq is here tonight, we heard your full's about israel policy, about america's support from israel. moderates around the middle of the road in iraqi society. decorating dingy baghdad apartments with pictures of the dome of the rock in jerusalem was common. these people cared about average palestinians. even general petronius recognize this when he said that u.s. favoritism toward israel and dangers his troops. he was predictably lambasted by certain lobbying groups but that did not make him wrong. if you want to protect the homeland and the troops and the
israeli troops from islamist inspired violence insist that washington and israel demonstrate some sense of equity and justice. that is what is missing from the other argument tonight. compromise is the only way to peace. it was the case in northern island. it is the case in almost every anticolonial movement. compromise requires personal humility and self awareness from both sides. the palestinian movement must swear off counterproductive and speakable terror attacks on civilians and israel must measure its own violent attacks with a degree of proportionality and care for its usual victims, palestinian noncombatants statistically. all serious groups must accept the existence of israel at a two state solution. this may sound of a tall order
but notice how unlike my opponents affirmation it recognizes the guilt and responsibilities of both sides. it recognizes the notion of sovereignty for both sides. my opponent most the state of israel. it leads through as an admirable quality. but he's missing the fact that just liking israel's democracy more than the secular arab regimes or the islamist regimes does not make it any more likely they will be a political victory coming in the occupied territories. i'm through with such make believe. arael can no more defeat narrowly defined palestinian movement in the massive american military machine could win any sort of military victory in iraq or afghanistan. now is the time for realism, not fantasy. israel must negotiate. whatever your personal beliefs or inclinations i ask that you show the rationality and
intellectual honesty to reject this resolution. to do so does not reject israel, its people, its existence or right to security. it merely recognizes there are two sides in this tale, that there may still be a middle path to peace that involves a two state solution reject this resolution because you have heads and hearts and you know there's no other rational way. [applause] both.nk you to you we are now going to do the final voting. elan is going to be signing books. he will be at that table and he can chat with you. danny, please stick around as well because a lot of people will want to chat. we are going to be debating on the issue of climate change.
hope you can make it. debating we will be bitcoin once again. that event has had -- our previous debate had 450,000 views on youtube and was sold out weeks in advance. you may want to buy tickets to that event in august. i'm going to be debating againstm in november somebody who is sort of my only size. an emeritus professor named richard wolf from university of massachusetts debating the broad issue of socialism that will probably not be at this hall because we usually get hopefully a lot of socialist to show up. we sold nearly 500 tickets to the last socialists debate i -- did not was to me when i
told him you could start the socialist revolution right now just put some of the money together it could happen. he has preferred to go the intellectual route and i'm not surprised that he did that. where do we stand on the voting? one more minute on the voting. i want to thank my wife who catered this affair and thank c-span. c-span has films this so it will beon c-span and it will also shown on video by reason and will be available on our website in may we are going to be debating vegetarianism. may, versusfight in the rather tame debate we had this evening.
again, -- we were a little nervous about the import of this debate. i want to commend you all and our speakers, especially on the civility for each other. [applause] >> can you guys change hands? -- can you guys shake hands? >> usually there is hugging. if you guys just want to shake hands. no hugging? ok. the voting went this way. the yes vote for the resolution the yes vote picked up nine points, went to
points, went to journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, kentucky republican congressman james comer discusses the release of the mother report and future investigations into president trump's illness and political affairs. washington gemma craddick congressman susan dell than her priorities -- tt
as vice chair in the democratic coalition. jason palmyra pennsylvania and republican tom davis of virginia on ways to make government more effective, civil and less partisan. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern this morning. .oin the discussion >> the american israel public affairs committee is holding its annual conference in washington. vice president mike pence spoke to the group about the trump administration's commitment israel and its security. his remarks or 30 minutes. >> our next guest has a deep and personal relationship with israel and with a pack -- w