tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 24, 2011 8:00am-10:00am PDT
to gather in n great anticipation of -- in great anticipation of this important speech. obviously you're looking at the leadership, democratic as well as republican leadership, beginning to gather. a lot of handshakes as they enter the chamber. and this is really a critical time for both president obama and the israeli prime minister because when we look at this, there are critical ties between the two countries. we are talking about political ties, religious ties, as well as real concerns, big questions about security. security in the region, in the middle east, among the dramatic changes that we have seen over just the last four or five months or so. and the question about whether or not middle east peace, israelis and palestinians, can actually achieve any kind of breakthrough through this administration. we have seen it time and time again from previous administrations, cannot be done, has not been done, can this president do a better job? and now we have the israeli prime minister who is trying to appeal to congress. >> yes, appeal to congress. he's also addressing his own
electorate. this is -- there's a political overtone to all of this in both the united states and in israel. this is a joint meeting of congress, it happens a handful of times a year that a world leader addresses a joint meeting of the u.s. congress. it is an important occasion. at the same time, president obama is not in the country. he's on a european trip. wolf blitzer is in washington also following events this in the nation's capital. and the anticipation is so -- associated with this address by the prime minister of israel. >> it's a rare honor indeed for a world leader to be invited to address a joint session of the house and senate. it's only been done a few times. i'm told that the countries that have had the most leaders addressing a joint session of congress have been britain and france. but right behind them, italy, ireland, and israel, their leaders are invited right behind. it underscores the nature of the u.s. relationship with those countries. the vice president of the united states, joe biden, who is the
president of the senate, he'll be there sitting behind the prime minister when he addresses this joint meeting of the house and senate as will the speaker of the house, john boehner. pretty soon we'll be hearing the announcements coming in from the sergeant of arms introducing the prime minister of israel with the famous words, "mr. mr. speaker, the prime minister of israel." we are joined in studio, what's the most important thing you want -- you would like to hear from the prime minister of israe israel? >> well, i think we need to hear from him to go beyond the nationalist ideological slogans and start talking substance. i think it's an important day for him, but he knows as well that if he wants to make peace, he has to make peace with the palestinians, and he should be talking to us because we are his partners in this attempt to end the conflict in the middle east. >> is it acceptable to the palestinian authority, the
leadership of president abbas that what the president said the other day that the basis of negotiations should be the pre-1967 agreement with the land swaps? is that acceptable to you? >> the palestinian leadership has welcomed the speech of president obama. we continue to appreciate the efforts that the president and the administration are making in order to bridge the gaps, get the parties back to the negotiating table. the 1967 basis have always been the starting point -- >> but are you ready to adjust the lines in negotiations? >> two for two, 338, the terms of reference for the madrid peace conference, they all talked about 1967 with minor modifications. and this is -- this has always been the palestinian position. it has to be based on 1967 with very minor modifications. >> the president didn't say very minor. he said mutually agreed land swaps which could be minor or
could be major. >> but the word agreed, mutually agreed. we have to agree that -- another thing with the bush guarantees to the prime minister sharon, president bush did make it clear after that that any final agreement between the palestinians and the israelis on the border should be mutually agreed to. regardless of what the previous administration said, they always said that it has to be agreed between the two parties. >> what about the whole issue of the united nations general assembly in september coming up with a potential resolution recognizing the creation of an independent palestinian state? you heard the president -- they're getting ready to introduce some of the distinguished guests coming in. the diplomatic corps, members of the joint chiefs. here's john boehner. let's listen to the speaker for a second. >> the joint meeting will come to order. the chair appoint as members of the committee on the part of the
house with -- his excellency benjamin netanyahu into the chamber. the gentleman from virginia, mr. kantor. the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy. the gentleman from texas, mr. esterling, the gentleman from georgia, mr. price, the gent gentlewoman from woman, the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, the gentlewoman from south dakota, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. scott, the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden. the gentleman from california, mr. dreyer. the gentleman from illinois, mr. roscom. ms. ros-lehtinen. knowledge that from california, mr. mckeon. the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot. ms. pelosi. the gentleman from maryland, mr. o'hare. the gentleman from south carolina, mr. clyborn. the gentleman from new york, mr. israel. the gentleman from california, mr. waxman. the gentleman from new york, mr.
aman, the gentleman from california, mr. berman. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. the gentlewoman from new york, ms. lowey. the gentlewoman from nevada, ms. berkeley. the gentlewoman from illinois, miss tchaikowsky. mr. shift, from california, ms. shatter. ms. wasserman shultz, and the gentleman from florida, mr. deutsche. >> you can see this is going to be a formal introduction. the vice president, joe biden, is now using his capacity as president of the senate to offer a few remarks. hala, suzanne, this is one of those moments that's not that often a foreign leader comes to capitol hill, addresses what's called a joint meeting. it's not technically a joint session, it's a joint meeting of the house and the senate. but benjamin netanyahu, he really wanted to come at this particular time. and the speaker, john boehner, obviously made it happen. >> and you know, you can't help but ask some of the questions about the politics.
we talked about the optics involved but also the politics involved here because you have -- the invitation from the house speaker, you have both democrats as well as republicans coming out, very strong statements saying they believe the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu's plan to move forward is one that they're in agreement with, that there are issues that they take one president obama. and you have to wonder how is this going to play out with members of congress and the president's chances in 2012. there are already some people -- our own dana bash would know this better than anyone -- that are using this occasion to make a political argument here that they don't believe president obama is strong enough when it comes to his position on israel. there's a powerful jewish lobby group here that are looking at how this plays out. >> you mentioned some of how this plays into the overall political landscape in the united states as well as israel. and you mentioned that in the president's own party there's been criticism of his mention of
the 1967 lines. elliot engle, democrat from new york, simply not defensible to go back to those lines, this echoing prime minister netanyahu. steve rothman, democrat from new jersey, reverting the borders would only embolden hamas. all this is going to have to have an impact somewhat politically, domestically on president obama. >> sure. and wolf, i don't know if mr. arakat is still available. his a question because we've heard powerful statements coming from president obama, coming from the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, about the role of hamas and the fact that you have palestinian moderate mainstream palestinian groups now talking in a coalition with hamas which is considered a terrorist organization by our administration. how do they -- how do they resolve that? because our administration says there will be no discussions with hamas, and israel says the same thing. >> well, first of all, there is no coalition with hamas at this
moment. the agreement that was signed between fatah and hamas called for the independent technocrat government that will call for democratic elections and will help in rebuilding the gaza strip. this is one of the misperceptions that have been spread here in this country and in israel about a national, so-called national unity government between fattah and hamas. actually the members of the future cabinet must be -- must not be affiliated with any political factions. therefore, the elections will give the palestinian people the chance to elect their own representatives and hopefully the palestinian people will vote for those who are advocating the peaceful resolution of the conflict with israel. before we go to elections, before we allow the palestinian people to exercise the democratic rights to choose their president, i think the existing plo policy, the
policies of the existing cabinet will continue because the plo is in charge of negotiations and the political fight. >> what thor is pension of the role the -- the perception of the role that the united states can and is willing to play as far as the peace process is concerned? do you view america as an arbiter, or do you view america as a one-sided party supporting israel? what do you think the role should be and can be of america? >> we would like to see a role played by the united states that is more even-handed, more balanced. i know this word doesn't sit well with some people in this country. in order for the united states to be able to end the conflict and bridge the gaps between the palestinians and israelis and bring about a larger middle east peace, they have to be more even hand wanted in their approach to the conflict. we believe that the administration, president obama,
are sincere about their efforts. we need to see that translated into a more concrete step and more even-handedness. >> do you think that the president of the united states's speech the other day was fair? was even-handed? >> mr. speaker -- >> we understand studying the speech the leadership is meeting tomorrow to assess it. we are this close context with the arab countries. and hopefully we will be able to make our evaluation public in the next few days. [ applause ] >> these are the diplomatic corps, at least a couple members of the diplomatic corps who have been introduced. the acting dienst diplomatic corps -- dean of the diplomatic corps is from the republic of palau. normally the real dean of the diplomatic corps in washington, as mr. arakat knows, is from jibuti, but jibuti does not have relations with israel. obviously they're not going to come to this event. >> mr. speaker -- >> what about the vote in the united nations? there is talk that the israelis
clearly want the united states to preempt that vote, to stop it, recognizing a palestinian state. >> well, president obama was clear in his speech at apac on sunday when he said that he understands why the palestinians are contemplating going to the united states. he said the impatience, the frustration for the lack of progress in the peace process, the bilateral track did not produce any tangible results, not to the occupation, not the establishment of a palestinian state. our leadership said clearly that going to the united states is not our only option. that we will continue to be committed to the political option, but we have to create clear terms of reference, clear time frame, and an end game to whatever process that we want to embark on. and the other issue is the issue of settlements, which is -- you know, prime minister netanyahu said it clearly when he said 44
years of changes. it has been stated obviously by the prime minister that the aim of the settlements was to change the facts on the ground and to create a new realty. so settlements are meant to be -- >> you intend to go ahead with the palestinian vote? >> again, if something happens in between that will produce a genuine, sincere process with clear terms of reference and clear time frame and an end game when in our view is an end to the israeli military occupation, the establish. of a sovereign, viable palestine state with freezing of settle. activities, i think our leadership will consider getting engaged again. >> hold on a moment. momentarily, the deputy sergeant at arms of the united states congress will spruce the prime minister of israel. he will then walk in and i'm sure will be very, very warmly received. he'll be escortsed by the delegation -- escorted by the
delegation announced earlier by the speaker of the house. the formal announcement could have come very soon. we'll see what happens. this is, as you point out correctly, this is a very sensitive moment. and as the plo representative oppone pointed out, whatness in december could be -- what happens in december could be a decisive element in whether or not the peace process moves forward dramatically or there's a serious setback. everyone is watching this closely. a lot of folks believe the president made the statements on the pre-'67 lines with mutually agreed swaps to try specifically to head off the u.n. general assembly vote. >> that's right. he said that that's what he wanted to do, essentially that he did not approve of the palestinians moving forward and using that international body to set up a palestinian state. that they should come forward to a two-state solution under the previous negotiating terms. i want to bring in our own dana bash, senior congressional correspondent. she is there watching all of
this. she has a sense of the tone, the tenor, the flavor taking place. two questions -- why this invitation from congress to have the prime minister there? secondly, why have we also seen these strong statements in support of israel coming out before his speech? >> reporter: well, to answer your second question first, the fact there are strong statements in support of israel coming from congress, as you know, is not a surprise. this is -- this congress is so pro-israel and in a bipartisan way. and that is why i think what we are going to see here is really going to be a contrast to what we have seen and heard over the past week or so with regard to the prime minister's relationship with the president. and it's interesting -- i was talking to some lawmakers about this earlier. they made the point -- this is true. from the israeli perspective, suzanne, presidents come and go. but congress, the relationship that israel has with congress is far more important because there are relationships they build here for sometimes 30 years. so that is one of the reasons
why the prime minister wanted to come here. one of the reasons why the house speaker invited the prime minister. he personally has been here before. he was here once in 1996 when he was prime minister the first time around. but it is -- it is going to be very interesting, and i think the optics of it will be fascinating to watch the kind of bipartisan support that he will get here in the u.s. congress. >> dana, is it unusual for -- i don't see hillary clinton there, the secretary of state, i don't see the secretary of defense. the special abroad, is it unusual for the cabinet members and the president not to attend a joint meeting of congress when a world leader addresses both parties? >> reporter: that's a good question. i think every speech like this is different. they don't happen very often, speeches by any world leader -- very rare. and israeli prime ministers have spoken just about as many times as any other or world leader that the u.s. has close relationships with like england and france. i think there's no formula if
you will for the prime minister and for the protocol for the cabinet to be here. but the realty is that he has had meetings with the administration. this is not about the administration, this particular speech. this is about the united states congress and in many ways the republican-led house making it clear with this invitation that they also have a different kind of relationship with the prime minister and stand by israel from their perspective in a different way from the obama administration. >> dana, real quick here -- has there been any talk, discussion about whether or not it's appropriate that you have a foreign leader who goes before congress when the president is overseas, when he's away from home? >> reporter: you know, i've been trying to get the answer to the question what happened first, the chicken or the egg, for lack of a better way to say it. when the prime minister was invited and what they knew in congress about the president's trip. what i can tell you from talking to republican aides in the house is that they -- when they
invited or thought about inviting the prime minister, they did check with the white house, and the white house had no problem with the prime minister's visit here on this day and this speech. >> all right. the chicken and the egg question -- >> if i could just weigh -- i think i know the timing issue of how this happened right now. it was all timed around -- hold on a second. [ applause ] [ applause ]
[ applause ] >> you can see a very warm, enthusiastic reception for the prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu, as he walks in, meets some members of the obama cabinet and gets ready to address the joint meeting of the house and the senate. he's walking up to the podium right now. that woman you saw in the gallery, that's his wife, sara netanyahu, sitting next to the wife of the israeli ambassador in washington, as well. joe biden represents the obama administration.
that's the wife of prime minister netanyahu, sara. and the speaker of the house, john boehner, is obviously there, as well. once again, they will introduce him. there will be another standing ovation. then he'll begin his carefully prepared remarks. i'm going to be listening. i'm going to be listening specifically what he says on the pre-'67 swaps. about settlements on the west bank and specifically if he says anything about jerusalem. jerusalem is the subject the president said has to be kicked down the road. i'll be listening to see if he gets into those specifics of the refugees, the palestinian refugee, will he get into the details or not. most of the speech, though, probably will deal with u.s.-israeli relations. [ applause ] >> i suspect, wolf, as well he will address the issue of hamas and whether or not it's appropriate that they're at the negotiating table and whether or
not that's acceptable to israel and the united states and other very contentious -- another very contentious point with the palestinians. >> and will this be "make news," let's see what the prime minister has to say. >> members of congress, i have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you his excellency, benjamin netanyahu, prime minister of israel. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. >> vice president biden, speaker
boehner, distinguished senators, member of the house, honored guests, i'm deeply moved by this warm welcome. and i'm deeply honored that you've given me the opportunity to address congress a second time. mr. vice president, do you remember the time that we were the new kids in town? [ applause ] >> and i do see a lot of old friends here, and i see a lot of new friends of israel here, as well. democrats and republicans alike.
congratulations, mr. president. you got bin laden! good riddance! [ cheers and applause ] >> in an unstable middle east, israel is the one anchor of stability. in a region of shifting alliances, israel is america epps unwavering allya -- america's unwavering ally. israel has always been pro-american, israel will always be pro-american. [ applause ] my friends, you don't have to -- you don't need to do nationbuilding in israel. we're already built.
[ applause ] you don't need to export democracy to israel, we've already got it. [ applause ] >> and you don't need to send american troops to israel, we defend ourselves. [ applause ] >> you've been very generous in giving us tools to do the job of defending israel on our own. thank you all, and thank you, president obama, for your steadfast to israel's security. i know economic times are tough.
i deeply appreciate this. [ applause ] >> some of you have been telling me that your belief has been reaffirmed in recent months that support for israel's security is a wise investment in our common future. for an epic battle is now underway in the middle east between freedom. a great convulsion is shaking the earth from the kyber bass to the straits of joy bralter. the -- jgibraltar. they have toppled governments, and we can see that the ground is still shifting. now this historic moment holds the promise of a new dawn of
freedom and opportunity. there are millions of young people out there who are determined to change their future. we all look at them. they muster courage. they risk their lives. they demand dignity. they desire liberty. these extraordinary scenes in tunis and cairo evoekt those of berlin -- elk invovoke those of and prague in 1989. [ shouting ] [ booing [ [ applause ]
the lemiddle east and iran that they'll be able to do what that young woman did -- i think she's young, i couldn't see quite that far -- we must also remember that those hopes could be snuffed out as they were in tehran in 1979. you remember what happened then. the brief democratic spring in tehran was cut short by a ferocious and unforgiving tyranny, and it's this same tyranny that smothered lebanon's democratic cedar revolution, and inflicted on that long-suffering country the medieval rule of hezbollah. so today the middle east stands at a fateful crossroads. and like all of you, i pray that
the peoples of the region choose the path less traveled, the path of liberty. [ applause ] no one knows what this path consists of better than you. nobody. this path of liberty is not paved by elections alone. it's paved when governments permit protests in town squares, when limits are placed on the power of rulers, when judges are beholden to laws and not men, and when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule. israel has always embraced this path. in the middle east that has long
rejected it, in a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, christians are persecuted, israel stands out. it is different, and this was seen -- [ applause ] >> there was a great english writer in the 19th century, george elliot. it's a she. it was a pseudonym in those days. george elliot predicted over a century ago that once established the jewish state is -- here's what she said, "the jewish state will shine like a bright star of freedom amid the
despotisms of the east." well, she was right. we have a free press, independent courts, an open economy, rambunctious parliamentary debates -- [ laughter ] >> now, don't laugh. you see -- you think you're tough on another -- on one another here in congress? come spend a day in the knesset. be my guest. [ applause ] >> courageous arab protesters are now struggling to secure these very same rights for their peoples, for their societies. we're proud in israel that over one million arab citizens of israel have been enjoying these rights for decades.
[ applause ] >> of the 300 million arabs in the middle east and north africa, only israel's arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. [ applause ] >> now, i want you to stop for a second and think about that. of those 300 million arabs, less than one half of 1% are truly free, and they're all citizens of israel! [ applause ] >> this startling fact reveals a basic truth. israel is not what is wrong about the middle east. israel is what is right about
the middle east. [ cheers and applause ] >> israel fully supports the desire of arab peoples in our region to live freely. we long for the day when israel will be one of many real democracies in the middle east. 15 years ago i stood at this very podium -- by the way, it hasn't changed. [ laughter ] >> i stood here, and i said the democracy must start to take root in the arab world. well, it's begun to take root. and this beginning holds the promise of a brilliant future of
peace and prosperity because i believe that a middle east that is genuinely democratic will be a middle east truly at peace. but while we hope for the best and while we work for the best, we must also recognize that powerful forces oppose this future. they oppose madernity, they oppose democracy, they oppose peace. foremost among these forces is iran. the tyranny in tehran brutalizes its own people. supports attacks against american troops in afghanistan and in iraq. it subject gates lebanon and gaza, it sponsors terror worldwide. when i last stood here, i spoke of the consequences of iran
developing nuclear weapons. now time is running out. the hinge of history may soon turn. for the greatest danger of all could soon be upon us. a militant islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons. militant islam threatens the world, it threatens islam. now, i have no doubt -- i'm absolutely convinced that it will ultimately be defeated. i believe it will eventually succumb to the forces of freedom and progress. it depends on cloistering young minds for a given amount of years, and the process of opening up information will ultimately defeat this movement. but like other fanaticisms that
were doomed to fail, militant islam could defeat all of us before its demise. a nuclear armed iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in the middle east. it would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. it would make the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world. i want you to understand what this means because if we don't stop it, it's coming. they could put a bomb anywhere. they could put it in a missile. they're working on missiles that could reach the city. they could put it on a ship inside a container, could reach every port. they could eventually put it in a suitcase or in a subway. now the threat to my country cannot be overstated. those who dismiss it are
sticking their heads in the sand. less than seven decades after six million jews were murdered, iran's leaders deny the holocaust of the jewish people while calling for the annihilation of the jewish state. leaders who spew such venom should be banned from every respectable form on the planet. [ cheers and applause ] >> but there's something that makes the outrage even greater.
you know what that is? it's the lack of outrage because in much of the international community, the calls for our destruction are met with utter silence. it's even worse because there are many who rush to condemn israel for defending itself against iran's terror proxies. not you. not america. [ applause ] >> you've acted differently. you've condemned the iranian regime for its genocidal aims. you've passed tough sanctions against iran.
history will salute you, america. [ applause ] >> president obama has said that the united states is determined to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons. the president successfully led the security council at the u.n. to adopt sanctions against iran. you in congress passed even tougher sanctions. now these words and deeds are vitally important. yet the ayatollah regime briefly suspended its nuclear weapons program only once. in 2003, it feared the possibility of military action. in that same year, moammar gadhafi gave up his nuclear weapons program and for the same
reason. the more iran believes that all options are on the table, the less the chance of confrontation. [ applause ] >> this is why i continue to ask you to continue to send an unequivocal message that america will never permit iran to develop nuclear weapons. [ applause ] >> now as for israel, if history has taught the jewish people
anything, it is that we must take calls for our destruction seriously. we are a nation that rose from the ashes of the holocaust. whether when we say never again, we mean never again. [ applause ] >> israel always reserves -- thank you. israel always reserves the right to defend itself. [ applause ] >> my friends, while israel will be ever vigilant in its defense, we'll never give up our quest for peace. i guess we'll give it up when we
achieve it. because we want peace, paubecau we need peace. now we've achieved historic peace agreements with egypt and jordan, and these have held up for decades. i remember what it was like before we had peace. i was nearly killed in a fire-fight inside the suez canal -- i mean that literally. inside the suez canal. i was going down to the bottom with a 40-pound ammunition pack on my back, and somebody reached tout grab -- reached out to gra. and they're still looking for the guy who did such a stupid thing. i was nearly killed there. and i remember battling terrorists along both banks of the jordan. too many israelis have lost loved ones, and i know their
grief. i lost my brother. so no one in israel wants a return to those terrible days. the peace with egypt and jordan has long served as an anchor of stability and peace in the heart of the middle east. [ applause ] >> and this peace -- this peace should be bolstered by economic and political support to all those who remain committed to peace. [ applause ] >> the peace agreements between israel and egypt and israel and jordan are vital, but they're not enough. we must find a way to forge a lasting peace with the palestinians. [ applause ]
>> two years ago i publicly committed to a solution of two states for two peoples. a palestinian state alongside a jewish state. [ applause ] >> i am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace. as the leader of israel, it's my responsibility to leads -- to lead my people to peace. now, this is not easy for me. it's not easy. i recognize that in a genuine peace we'll be required to give up parts of the ancestral jewish
homela homeland. and you have to understand this. in judaish sumaria, the jewish people are not foreign occupiers. [ cheers and applause ] >> we're not the british in india. we're not the belgians in the congo. this is the land of our forefathers. the land of israel to which abraham brought the idea of one god, where david set out to confront goliath. and where isiah saw a vision of eternal peace. no distortion of history. and boy, am i reading a lot of distortions of history lately, old and new. no distortion of history could deny the 4,000-year-old bond
between the jewish people and the jewish land. [ applause ] >> but there's another truth. the palestinians share this small land with us. we seek a peace in which they'll be neither israel's subjects nor its citizens. they should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free viable and independent people living in their own state. [ applause ] >> they should enjoy a
prosperous economy where their creativity and initiative can flourish. now we've already seen the beginnings of what is possible. in the last two years, the palestinians have begun to build a life for themselves. by the way, prime minister fayad has led this effort and i wish him a speedy recovery from his recent operation. we've helped on our side -- we've helped the palestinian economic growth by removing hundreds of barriers and road blocks to the free flow of goods and people. the palestinian economy is booming. it's growing by more than 10% a year. and palestinian cities, they looked very different today than
what they looked just a few years ago. they have shopping malls, moving theatres, restaurants, banks. they even have ebusinesses, but you can't see that when you visit them. that's what they have. it's a great change. and all of this is happening without these. so imagine what could happen with peace. peace would herald a new day for both our peoples, and it could also make the dream of a broader arab/israeli peace a realistic possibility. so now here's the question. you've god to ask it. if the benefits of peace with the palestinians is so clear, why has peace alluded us?
because all six israeli prime ministers since the signing of the oslo accords, agreed to establish a palestinian state. myself included. so why has peace not been achieved? because so far, the palestinians have been unwilling to accept a palestinian state if it meant accepting a jewish state alongside it. you see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a palestinian state. it's always been about the existence of the jewish state. this is what this conflict is about.
1947, the u.n. voted to partition the land into a jewish state and an arab state. the jews said yes. the palestinians said no. in recent years, the palestinians twice refused generous offers by israeli prime ministers to establish a palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by israel in the six-day war. they were simply unwilling to end the conflict. and i regret to say this. they continue to educate their children to hate, they continue to name public squares after terrorists. and worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that
israel will one day be flooded by the descendents of palestinian refugees. my friends, this must come to an end. president abbas must do what i have done. i stood before my people, and i told you, it wasn't easy for me. i stood before my people, and i said, i will accept a palestinian state. it's time for president abbas to stand before his people and say, i will accept a jewish state.
those six words will change history. they'll make it clear to the palestinians that this conflict must come to an end. that they're not building a palestinian state to continue the conflict with israel, but to end it. and those six words will convince the people of israel that they have a true partner for peace. with such a partner, the palestinian or rather the israeli people will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise. i will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise.
>> this compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967. the vast majority of the 650,000 israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines reside in neighbor hoods and suburbs of jerusalem and greater tel aviv. now, these areas are densely populated, but they're geographically quite small. and under any realistic peace agreement, these areas, as well as other places of critical strategic and national importance have been incorporateded into the final borders of israel.
the status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations, but we must also be honest. so i'm saying today something that should be said publicly. by all those who are serious about peace. in any real peace agreement, in any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond israel's borders. now, the precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. will be generous about the size of the future palestinian state. but as president obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on june 4th, 1967. israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967.
so i want to be very clear on this point. israel will be generous on the size of the palestinian state, but will be very firm on where we put the border with it. this is an important principle. shouldn't be lost. we recognize that a palestinian state must be big enough to be viable, to be independent, to be prosperous. all of you and the president too have referred to israel as the homeland of the jewish people. just as you have been talking about a future palestinian state, is the homeland of the palestinian people. well, jews from around the world
have a right to immigrate to the one and only jewish state, and palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate if they so choose to a palestinian state. and here's what this means. it means that the palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of israel. >> you know, everybody knows this. it's time to say it. it's important. as for jerusalem, only a democratic israel has protected the freedom of worship for all faiths in the city.
throughout the millennial history of the jewish capital, the only time that jews, christians and muslims could worship freely, could have unfettered access to their holy sites has been during israel's sovereignty over jerusalem. jerusalem must never again be divided. jerusalem must remain the united capital of israel. >> i know this is a difficult issue for palestinians. but i believe that with creativity and with goodwill, a solution can be found.
so this is the peace i plan to forge with a palestinian partner committed to peace. but you know very well that in the middle east, the only peace that will hold is the peace you can defend. so peace must be anchored in security. in recent years, israel with drew from south lebanon and gaza. we thought we would get peace. that's not what we got. we got 12,000 rockets fired from those areas on our cities, on our children by hezbollah and hamas. the peace keepers in lebanon failed to prevent the smuggling and the weaponry.
the european observers in gaza, they evaporated overnight. so if israel simply walked out of the territories, the flow of weapons into a future palestinian state would be unchecked. and missiles fired from it could reach virtually every home in israel, in less than a minute. i want you to think about that, too. imagine there's a siren going on and off, and we have less than 60 seconds to find shelter from an incoming rocket. would you live that way? do you think anybody can live that way? well, we're not going to live that way, either.
the truth is that israel needs unique security arrangements, because of its unique size. it's one of the smallest countries in the world. mr. vice president, i'll grant you this. it's bigger than delaware. [ laughter ] it's even bigger than rhode island. but that's about it. [ laughter ] israel, on the 1967 lines, will be half the width of the washington beltway. now, here's a bit of nostalgia. i came to washington 30 years ago as a young diplomat. it took me a while. but i finally figured it out. there is an america beyond the beltway. >> but is real, on the 1967
lines, would be only nine miles wide. so much for strategic depth. so it's therefore vital, absolutely vital, that a palestinian state be fully demilitarized, and it's vital, absolutely vital, that israel maintain a long-term military presence along the jordan river. solid security arrangements on the ground are necessary not only to protect the peace, they're necessary to protect israel in case the peace unravels.
because in our unstable region, no one can guarantee that our peace partners today will be there tomorrow. and my friends, when i say tomorrow, i don't mean some distant time in the future. i mean tomorrow! peace can only be achieved around the negotiating table. the palestinian attempt to impose a settlement through the united nations will not bring peace. it should be forcefully opposed by all those who want to see this conflict end. i appreciate the president's clear position on this issue. peace cannot be imposed. it must be negotiated.
but peace can only be negotiated with partners committed to peace. and hamas is not a partner for peace. hamas -- hamas remains committed to israel's destruction and to terrorism. they have a charter. that charter not only calls for the obliteration of israel, it says kill the jews. everywhere you find them. hamas's leader condemned the killing of osama bin laden, and praised him as a holy warrior. now, again, i want to make this clear. israel is prepared to sit down today and negotiate peace with the palestinian authority.
i believe we can fashion a brilliant future for our children. but but isreal will not negotiate with the palestinian version of al qaeda. that we will not do. so i say to president abbas, tear up your pact with hamas. sit down and negotiate. make peace with the jewish state. and if you do, i promise you this. israel will not be the last country to welcome a palestinian state as a new member of the united nations. it will be the first to do so.
my friends, the momentous trials of the last century, and the unfolding events of this century attest to the decisive role of the united states in defending peace and advancing freedom. providence entrusted the united states to be the guardian of liberty. all people are charged freedom. all a profound debt of gratitude to your great nation. among the most grateful nations is my nation, the people of israel, who have fought for their liberty and survival against impossible odds in ancient and modern times alike. i speak on behalf of the jewish
people and the jewish state when i say to you, representatives of america, thank you. thank you. thank you for your unwavering support for israel. thank you for ensuring that the flame of freedom burns bright throughout the world. may god bless all of you, and may god forever bless the united states of america. the prime minister of israel speak for almost 50 minutes or so before a joint meeting of the house and senate very warmly
received numerous standing ovations. as you can see, another one at the very end right there. you see the vice president, joe biden, speaker of the house, john boehner right behind him. right behind them, i am guessing there are at least almost 30 moments he was interrupted with not just applause, but withstanding ovations. laying out his vision of peace in the middle east, obviously a lot easier said than done. suzanne? >> and we'll -- let's listen in. i understand he's still speaking. shaking hands, thanking the audience, acknowledging his wife, as well. this was a speech, a lot of standing ovations. we've been keeping a close count. how many by your account? >> 26 standing ovations there.
and some very provocative statements. but coming forward, saying the conflict has never been about the existence of a palestinian state but a jewish state. he also talked about the fact that jerusalem must remain the united capital of israel. that palestinian refugees -- that issue would be resolved outside the borders. again, he called for a fully demilitarized palestinian state. >> i also heard, one of the statements that got him the loudest standing ovation is in the west bank in adjudicatia and sa maria. jews are not foreign occupiers. he said that any final border would be the result of negotiation, but then went on to say israel will be generous on the size of the state, but firm on the location of the borders. and then ended by saying essentially no talks, so long as fatah, the party of the palestinian authority president,
is in some way, has found a way to deal with hamas. saying it won't negotiate with the palestinian government, quote, backed by the palestinian version of al qaeda. >> i want to bring in man arikot to get your response and reaction to some of the things we heard from the prime minister. was there anything that stood out in your mind that was a jump-off point, if you will, for negotiations. >> i don't think so. i think it's a peak of all positions and statements. i don't think the speech of the prime minister represents the basis for a resumption of meaningful negotiations. although he expresses a desire to go back to the negotiating table tomorrow, he laid down so many conditions, preconditions about the future security arrangements, about jerusalem, about refugees, which are
paramount status issues that should be negotiated between the palestinians and israel. the prime minister offered a solution before these issues -- before the negotiations have started. >> okay, if you would stay with us, we're going to take a quick break and also bring back our white house correspondent brianna keilar and dan abash after this quick break. [ alarm buzzing ] another victim of frequent flyer red tape. [ tires screech ] seat restrictions got him stuck in a vicious circle. it's just not right! i keep earning miles, but it seems like i can never use them. the all-new rapid rewards doesn't have any of that nasty red tape. here he comes again. let's set him free! [ male announcer ] join rapid rewards and enjoy unlimited reward seats, no blackout dates, and no red tape. ♪
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coverage, cnn "newsroom" covering benjamin netanyahu's address. all of the points he made -- some people felt he moved the ball forward, others frustrated there was not somewhat of a breakthrough. i don't think we anticipated a breakthrough, but a lot of points he made when he talked about the fear of -- the threat of a nuclear iran, and, of course, his vision moving forward for a two-state solution, palestinian state as well as israeli state. >> and as we heard from ambassador kati, representative to the united states, nothing much new out there, but in the benjamin netanyahu style, very comfortable, leaning forward on the pole podium, cracking jokes at the beginning, the middle, the end. getting 26 standing ovations, frequently interrupted by clapping and cheers from u.s. men and women. so this was just a very warm, friendly, collegial event for
the prime minister. this is not his first appearance at a joint meeting of congress. but the question is, has anything that was said today changed anything? has it changed anything with the game? we want to ask the ambassador arekat in washington was there anything else you picked up on what the prime minister said that stood out to you? >> well, let me clarify that. i'm sure that the palestinian leadership is also, you know, studying the speech of the prime minister netanyahu. and i'm sure there will be an action by the palestinian leadership in the coming hours. about this. when he talked about the recognition, the plo recognized this in 1988, and he even -- in 199 8, we convened the palestine national council upon
his request after we signed the memorandum in the presence of president clinton. regarding the recognition of the state of israel. so, you know, for him to demand and say this conflict of not establishing the palestinian state, but rather recognizing the jewish state of israel, i think that is a bit of history here, because it is the palestinian state that needs to be established and recognized. >> mr. ambassador, do you recognize a jewish state of israel? because that was the point he kept saying, you might recognize israel, but he kept saying he would want to hear from president abbas, the leader of the palestinian authority, that he recognizes a jewish state. >> well, our position is clear. we recognize a state of israel in 1988, in 1993, in 1996, 1998. we recognized the state of israel. now, you know, the way israel calls itself, the way israel was
to characterize itself, this was something left for the israeli's to decide. and there are so many other issues to resolve that we have to resolve before we get to that issue. both of the issue of refugees and the issue of rights of the arab minority in israel, which is 1.3 million, by the way, not 1 million like the prime minister said. >> how do you respond to the prime minister when he says tear up your pact with hamas? >> well, you know, we don't interfere in israeli politics. there are certain coalition members government -- >> it's a nonnegotiable for him. >> it has advocated the transfer of the palestinians that today they called for the transfer of the palestinians out of their homeland. that they called jordan the homeland of the palestinians. they are part of the israeli coalition government. we don't entire interfere. the palestinian people, when the elections take place in may 2012, will elect their representatives. there is a democratic process. we have to respect the
democratic process. one. two, we are still in the process of forming a coalition -- not a coalition government, but a technocrat-independent government, and there is still much to be done in that regard. we cannot continue to be divided. before when we were divided, the same prime minister will come out and say, how can we negotiate with the palestinians when they have a government in -- and a government in the gaza strip. now how can we be uniting with the palestinians? i think that ending division is important. because if you want to reach historic agreement with israel that will end the conflict and end all the claims, you have to have the support of the majority of the palestinians. if we continue divided, we are not going to be able to do that. >> let me button up this issue of the september and united assembly declaring a palestinian state. you heard the president of the united states urge you, don't do this, this is not the time.
are you going forward with that? >> well, the president, again, said also that he understands the impatience, the frustration of the palestinian. there isn't international support for a palestinian state. and the president alluded to that. he said that we cannot basically stand against europe, latin america, asia, the rest of the world who are pushing us to recognize a palestinian state. we are not talking about unilateral action. going to the united nations -- united nations is a multinational, multilateral body. it's not -- it's not a lateral action. >> let me interrupt for a second. so you will go ahead and seek this resolution. >> the palestinian leaders said clearly that political engagement is our first option. it's not either/or. if we can't prepare the ground for genuine, sincere negotiations based on clear terms of reference, clear time frame, an end game that will lead to the end of the occupation of establishment of a
palestinian state, then in an utmost fear of a freeze of settlement of activities to reach an agreement, we will get engaged politicly. >> but you say you'll move -- you'll drop that provost. >> if there is a viable alternative. >> in other words, if there are negotiations under way between now and september, you'll draft the proposal. >> but you have to be careful also about what are the bases of these negotiations. we don't want to engage in a process that will not lead to peace. we want to talk about substantive issues that will end the occupation and lead to the establishment of a palestinian state. >> mr. ambassador, good of you to join us. thanks so much for listening closely. you were taking notes throughout that entire nearly 50 minute speech that the prime minister of israel gave. we will continue our conversation. let me go back to hala and suzanne. >> wolf, one of the points he made that was so important was this whole idea of the border. where is the border, is it pre1967, is it post, what kind of compromised negotiation is actually around what this will look like, israel and palestine
together? i want to play a quick bite, if we can, a bit of sound from the prime minister on that. >> as the leader of israel, it's my responsibility to lead my people to peace. now, this is not easy for me. it's not easy. because i recognize that in a genuine peace, we'll be required to give up parts of thein sesstreeal jewish homeland. and you have to understand this. in judian sa mara, the jewish are not former occupiers.mara, e not former occupiers. want to bring in matthew chance in jerusalem to get
reaction to the prime minister's speech there. matthew, what did you hear? >> well, palestinian reaction, except for the stuff we have been hearing on cnn the last couple minutes. but clearly, there's not going to be enough in this speech by benjamin netanyahu, the israeli prime minister that's going to make the vast majority of palestinians i've been speaking to, many of them over the past couple of days, going to make them anymore believing in the idea that there's going to be some kind of negotiated settlement with israel, with this prime minister in power. he talked about the borders of a future palestinian state and a future israeli jewish state, as well. but he didn't appear to make any of the kind of compromises i think that the palestinians would be looking for when it comes to settlement blocks for instance. netanyahu made it clear that those constructed on land, it
was captured in the 1967 war, the six-day war by israel, would stay within the borders of a future jewish state. that's not something that would necessarily be acceptable to the palestinians in their negotiating position. and that's, of course, before he even got to this central issue of the old city of jerusalem. benjamin netanyahu making the point that in his opinion jerusalem would remain united as the capital of the israeli/jewish state. and that's something that's going to obviously be a major sticking point in the future. >> all right. matthew chance in jerusalem, thanks very much. dana bash is live on capitol hill with more on what's happening now. so benjamin netanyahu exited the chamber. what's going on now on capitol hill? >> reporter: now he is going to meet with members of the congressional leadership, the senate and the house and democrats and republicans.
they're going to talk to us and then have a private lunch, just them. and then the prime minister is going to stick around here in congress. he is going to have another meeting with jewish members of congress. so as we talked about beforehand and as we saw for lack of a better term, this was a love fest. this congress now just as over the past many years has been incredibly pro israel, and you can see the more than two dozen standing ovations he got. i was talking to a couple members of congress about what really struck them the most. one told me that it was the idea that he talked about the holocaust, saying we never forget, and we really mean it, talking about the fact that israel really has to protect itself from its neighbors who want to annihilate it. but the other thing that i think was very clear in watching the members of congress was the fact that he said that dealing with hamas is like dealing with the palestinian al qaeda. boy, did that resonate here in the united states' congress. and it just bollsteres thester that the prime minister in
israel is getting from this congress. >> dana bash, thank you so much. we want to bring in brianna keilar in had london with obama. did you hear any daylight between president obama and what we heard from the prime minister? >> suzanne, no response yet. in fact, if you were watching president obama here in london, you wouldn't have even had an indication this speech was going on. he visited a school with british prime minister david cameron for sort of an education and innovation effort. but even as there has been this rough spot between the prime minister and the president and we're certainly going to be peppering jay carney, the press secretary, when he has a briefing here in london not too long from now. but even with this rough spot, i think you would hear the white house emphasize that the president is going to be dealing with this issue here. the israeli/palestinian peace process, as he talks to european allies and also that he tried to go out of his way on sunday to really assuage some of those concerns that prime minister netanyahu has, suzanne.
>> thank you, brianna. appreciate it. and we appreciate all our viewers for this cnn "newsroom" special on that address by the israeli prime minister. >> all right. thanks very much. i'm going to be joining in about half an hour for all our international viewers at the international desk. >> i'm suzanne malveaux. cnn "newsroom" continues. i remember the days before copd.
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missing is will norton. a tornado tore his seatbelt in two, yanked him through the sunroof of a hummer. will was driving home with his father after his high school graduation. >> the hummer was destroyed. it was in really, really bad shape. and so my family, we found it. so we went back today, and we have been searching with -- search and rescue team out of tulsa, oklahoma with their dogs. and my son found this in the car. and this is actually his cap. >> he had just graduated. >> he had just graduated within 30 minutes. >> mark norton got trapped in that twisted hummer, and he is reported to be in stable condition today. the people of joplin are simply stunned by the devastation they are finding. the tornado wiped some 2,000 homes and businesses off their foundations, turned them into splinters. one woman says split-second decisions made the difference between life and death. >> this is my grandmother's car right here. it was parked across the street,
which now you can see what it looks like now. so that's where she is just so lucky to be alive right now. >> and this is -- she was just getting ready to leave and get in her car and take off. >> yes. she told me she got very scared and she was about to walk out the door until this lady told her not to go outside. shes with going to go home, and a lady grabbed her and told her no. >> the tornado shredded the roof and walls of saint mary's catholic church in joplin. but it left the cross standing on top of the building. the priest survived by taking cover in a bathtub in the church rectory. and the mayor of joplin urged people to keep the faith. even using a bit of colorful language, probably not appropriate for the church. >> this is just not the type of community that's going to let a little f-4 tornado kick our ass. so we will rebuild, and we will recovery. >> this is what president obama will see when he travels to joplin on sunday. he is going to go to missouri
the day after he returns from his working trip to europe. and the president spoke today about this from london. >> american people are by your side. we're going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt. until every business is back on its feet. >> president obama is in great britain for a state visit hosted by queen elizabeth. he received a 41-gun salute on his arrival at buckingham palace earlier today. the obamas will spend the night at the palace. flooding from the lower mississippi river is targeting butte, louisiana today. a mandatory evacuation took effect just minutes ago. the small town is in the path of the morganza spillway, which was open to cut flooding in baton rouge and new orleans. floodwaters have been slow to reach butte larose, and most of the 800 residents left two weeks ago. aviation experts say that gritty volcanic ash from iceland
will cover the entire british isles by the end of the day. now, this cloud forced airlines to cancel 252 flights today. most routes are between scotland and northern ireland. and so far, this eruption has not caused the kind of problems another volcano did when it blew last spring. >> it goes up in the air and might go to other countries, as you were just mentioning. but listening to you describing what's happening in the united states, we can be blessed here in iceland that this hasn't really caused any damage to the people. but, of course, great difficulty to the farmers. >> there may be more severe weather on the way for joplin. our own chad myers has more on the weather that is headed for that tornado-ravaged city. building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity,
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here's your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. today's question, are republicans right to radically change medicare? our carol costello with that question. good to see you. >> "talk back" is better late than never. we demanded our politicians to be more fiscally responsible, quit spending willy-nilly and tell the truth. if entitlements add to our deficit, fix them. republican paul ryan is trying. he wants to radically reshape medicare by private advertising it. in other words, instead of funding medicare, it would help
elderly americans buy private insurance. critics say that would mean no more guaranteed coverage for seniors, those on the liberal left go a step farther. ♪ i know, it's awful. what is this, medi-scare? this year's version of death panels and quote, obama care? you remember the backlash from that caused the democrats to lose the house in 2010. that ad, as vile as it might be has staying power. in one conservative new york district, a democrat may just win a traditionally public house seat in a special election. the reason, the republican candidate support's ryan's medicare plan.
some political analysts say new york 26 is a sign of pending republican doom. others say republicans are engaging in a much-needed dialogue. so our "talk back" question today, are republicans right to radically change medicare? facebook.com/carolcnn. i'll read your responses in a couple minutes. >> a very, very jarring and shocking commercial there. >> it's all over the internet. >> really? >> oh, yeah. and people don't like it. but as you know, sometimes the more vile the political ad, the more staying power it has. >> thank you, carol. can't wait to hear what folks have to say about that one. more on the deadly tornado up next. our own cnn's tj holmes is in joplin, missouri with an amazing story of survival. >> reporter: yeah, suzanne, i want the viewers -- you have to stick around after the break. because just off the camera, i am watching a woman right now in tears. her husband is still alive today, because he did something that goes against what he usually does. which is ignore the tornado
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i thought me and my dad were going to be gone. but we lived through that terrible tornado. >> unbelievable. so far, rescue crews have pulled 17 people alive from the rubble out of the tornado in joplin, missouri. and also, emerging from the devastation, we've got some amazing stories of survival. and our own tj holmes is there in joplin. tj, you've talked to an individual, and you have his story. tell us what happened. >> reporter: suzanne, i have heard this story time and time again, since we have been in joplin. people who say, "it's joplin, it's the midwest. we get tornado warnings and watches all the time. we hear the sirens, and we just keep going about our business." rick morgan did the same thing, for most of his life. would that be fair to say? why do you ignore these sirens? >> i don't know. just, you know, they go off, and it's like, you know, tornado never comes, it seems like.
and so we have a little storm shelter in our house, and, you know, i can't tell you how many times -- only got a four-foot ceiling so uncomfortable going down there, so my wife and kids go would go down there and i would stay up and watch the storm and say if it's really bad, i'll go down there. >> reporter: rick, will you admit right now, and forgive the language, but that's a pretty stupid thing. >> more than stupid. it's more than stupid. >> reporter: okay. now let's get what happened to you. >> i'm about to cry now. >> reporter: no, really. but you're at a place now, sunday -- i doubt you'll ever ignore another siren. >> no. >> reporter: sir, how close were you to ignoring it? this time? >> let me tell you what happened. it was the day before on my birthday, my birthday was yesterday. and my kids were going to take me out for dinner, and so i left church a little early to go home and make sure our dog got let out. >> reporter: you knew the
weather was getting bad. >> they already had tornado watches, let us know we were under a tornado watch, which means it's already sighteded, not a warning. the sirens hadn't gone so i'm driving home and thinking it's just going to be another thing. and i think, well maybe i should get some milk. so i stop at the store, dylan's store, 20th street here. on my way home, and you know, it's raining a little bit and the wind is blowing a little bit. and -- >> reporter: you get in and the sirens go off. >> i get into the store and the sirens go off, and the store manager says, you know, everyone is in the store, you need to go back to the produce cooler, right now, because the sirens are going off. well, instead, you know, following my m.o., instead i'm going back to the produce cooler, i think, i'm just drive home. >> reporter: he's telling you the tornado siren is going off, and you still want to get in the car and drive off. >> that's what i wanted to do. >> reporter: what made you stay?
>> i got to the door, and he said, you can't go out there. and he opened the door and people literally -- some -- like four people ran screaming into the store. already at this point, i guess the wind was so high and the debris was probably cutting them to pieces. they ran screaming into the store. and when i saw what was out there, it's like, oh, this is the real thing. this is not, you know -- and the thing is, we had from that point just a minute before destruction came. maybe two at the most. and we all just ran back to this produce cooler. and there was probably 35, 40 of us crammed into this little tiny probably 6 x 10 foot space. >> reporter: what would have happened if you got in that car and had done what you normally do and ignore the siren? >> i would be dead. without a doubt. i would be dead. so -- anyway.
i -- we all crammed into this little produce cooler, and then, you know, people have asked me numerous times, you know, what was it like? what did it sound like? you always hear people say it sounded like a freight train. i don't remember the sound. i just don't. i'm sure there was some huge roar. what i remember is, like, armageddon. i mean, it's like -- like everything you think is, like, real and solid is suddenly -- everything is like blowing up. as we stood, the door was open on the produce cooler, and looking into the rest of the store, and it just exploded. i mean, and everything is flying everywhere, and there's just -- i mean, i don't have words to describe it. i've told people -- have you ever woken up from a really bad nightmare? and then later on you remember it? and it's like, oh, it's just a dream. >> well, mr. morgan, this is why we wanted to have you on. because i'll admit, i have been guilty of the same thing, and
i've heard stories from many people here. and suzanne, i'll bring you in here and hand it back to you. but so many people say we just ignore the sirens. we get them in georgia all the time. you hear them and go back to sleep. this man here, mr. morgan, has a testament to why you should stop ignoring the tornado siren. he is still here. his wife is walking around right now in tears, suzanne, seeing some of this for the first time herself. she wasn't even in town when all of this was happening. she couldn't get ahold of him. and he has been literally watching tv sometimes while the siren goes off. i'm not here to get on to you. i'm guilty, too. but still, it's a good story to hear, suzanne. >> yeah, we're so glad you're okay. >> you hear it as a platitude of perspective. i'm a computer programmer. business people have been laid off. and it's like i've been discouraged. and, you know, i am -- this so puts things into perspective. i know people who have lost their homes. our home wasn't hit. and i'm so thankful. and i know my kids and my family would be happy if our home was
destroyed and i was alive. so i will go down to the basement the next time the siren goes off. >> reporter: suzanne, let me hand it back to you. but thank you for allowing us to bring that story again. important for people to hear, suzanne. >> thank you so much, tj. our own chad myers is joining us with the outlook for later today. we're talking about bad weather in missouri, midwest, some other folks. what's the outcome here? >> sirens will go off today. and they will go off for big reasons. for real reasons. we'll have significant tornadoes today from kansas through oklahoma and texas and even into missouri. and the people there that are trying to recover -- now, they have a lot of loose boards. you have to understand this. this is kind of a situation where a 40 to 50-mile-an-hour storm could significantly impact those people that are in joplin in that tornado zone. 40 mile an hour winds will pick up things already demolished. it won't take off a shingle off a house, but there's no shingles left. if you see a storm coming in joplin, you need to get away from that damaged area.
period. that's all i have to say on that one. that's all i got. right now a couple storms coming into kansas city from the west. 40, 60 miles per hour. also into parts of west virginia, kentucky, tennessee. the big story, though, will be parts of oklahoma and texas. look at this map. i will show you the severe threat. it is big. it is important. and these tornadoes will be huge today. kansas city, all the way back down west of oklahoma city, down to dallas, texas, little rock and that's our joplin, missouri right there, right in the middle of this. they will fire about 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and they will be begin. and some could be f-3s, f-4s. it's that type of day. this is a tornado day. i know we don't need it, with you it's hear. >> all right, chad, thank you very much for the warning. to find out more on how you can help those who have been devastated by the tornados in missouri, go to cnn.com/impact. and there you're going to find all of the organizations, all of the different ways you can help those folks who are in need.
starr. a pentagon spokesman saying that stealth u.s. chopper, the helicopter used in the raid to kill osama bin laden has arrived now in the united states. arrived over the weekend. but we now have official confirmation that that stealth helicopter, state of the art, as well as full of some secrets, as well, which was in pakistan, was clipped during that raid to kill bin laden is now in u.s. custody on the grounds, on u.s. soil. that was something that the administration had been asking pakistani officials to comply with, and that is finally been done. so now that stealth chopper back in u.s. hands. it's election day for new york's 26th congressional district and medicare is a top issue, even ahead of budget and jobs. that brings us to today's "talk back" question and carol. >> very conservative district could elect a democrat, all because of medicare. our "talk back" question, are republicans right to radically
change medicare? mark says yes, it's past the time to say a proposal is wrong without any proposal of their own. this from belinda. there are tens of millions of americans being thrown off the cliff when it comes to paying for medical care. it's not just the elderly, but now they are going to be abandoned also. this from candy. politicians should be obligated to do what serves the countries not just their own self interest. medicare needs to be changed. social security needs to be changed. politicians need to demonstrate courage rather than self preservation. this from one sinus. the republicans had no problems spending billions in wars and freeing people around the world. supporting schools and health care, hearts and minds programs in afghanistan and iraq. but when it comes to the people who pay for it, the american electorate, they say, off, don't even mention veterans. this hypocrisy blows my mind. and from chris, would it be possible to go back to 1967 prices for medical coverage? please continue the conversation. facebook.com/carolcnn and thanks
>> unbelievable. that's -- just not much else you can say to explain it. it's hard to believe. >> i was on the highway and turned on to the interstate, and i was trying to get underneath an overpass, trying to get some sort of protection and stuff. we started seeing debris flying around, and then we saw this whole just wall of debris coming right at us. >> trapped in the bathroom. because all of the dining room furniture came in. and -- because i thought it was buried. it was a very, very long tornado. >> it was starting to hail, i'm used to that, and then it just went insane afterwards. >> the winds were so strong, it made my ears pop. my ears kept popping. the force, you know, the suction of it. i mean, it literally lifted up the ceiling. and it dropped it back down on us. >> after a few minutes warning, i have never taken any of the warnings seriously, but something snapped in me. and i put blankets and pillows in the bathroom. and we were
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