tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN May 21, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT
we will open the flooro questions. please use theicrophone. we will start over here. >> george bush made a statement on may 26th, 2005. why do you think it differs so fundamentally from what obama said yesterday? george bush said changes to the 1949 lines must be mutually agreed to. he did not use the word swap, but can actually, i think that y, iassumed -- contextualis think that was assumed. it would have to take account of post-1967 demographic realities. is this really so different, what obama did?
i agree with most of what you said. certainly, in terms of style and body language, he seemed to be sticking a finger in theye of israel moments before netanyahu walked into the white house. again, that is iortant. that may be the major outcome here. but its terrifically different? >> i believe the answer is yes, or would not have said what i said. i think it is very important that that statement does not say that it is the view of the united states that a resolution to this conflict will require israel to exchange territory from inside 1967 israel in order to amend and repair territory the on the 1967 borders. what it says is, if the two sides decide, it will have to be
mutually agreed. that is not such a great insight, since the entire agreement is based on mutual agreement. this is the president articulating the american vision for how the parties will reach that agreent, and what precisely that agreement wl be based upon. it is a very different approach. the traditional american approach is, we provide the context. we set the environment. we reduced the risks and enable the parties to do their business. i know the argument about, this really is not so different, and i am afraid that i disagree. for the president of the united states to put his personal imprimatur on the specific path to the resolution of this conflict, especially one that requires -- in his view, requires the opening up of 1948
israel, is a new position for the united states. >> over year. >> -- over here. could you use the microphone please? >> you called it a substantial new u.s. policy. lots of us who follow this as you do have seen sectary clinton make the same statement a number of times in her speeches, including at a pac last year and the center for middle east peace speech. this is not a change from secretary clinton opposes beaches in the past, is it? speeches in the past, is it? >> most of the time, what the secretary says is that we can envision a solution that meets one side's demands for x with the other side's mands for
why. it is in that context that she talks about 1967 borders with agreed swaps. the vast numb of times that she makes this type of reference, it is we ar working for a policy, for an outcome that meets the palestinian demand for the 1967 borders and agreed swaps, and the israeli demand for secure and whenever whenever. there may be exceptions to that, but 90% of the time that is how she phrases it. it is a very different statement, the policy of the united states is a resolution conflict based on this principle. it is no longer how we facilitate with the two parties -- what the two parties may be trying to achieve. it is now what we believe the only path for the solution of this will be.
this gentleman right he. >> isn't the positn that president obama articulated regarding the 1967 borders entirely consistent with the reported position negotiated at the end of president clinton's term, basically going back to 1967 borders with agreed upon swaps and the other side is unwilling to consider that. >> it might be. i do not really remember what a he was saying back in 2000. i do know what president clint put on the table in 2000 and what was on the table in camp david that summer. again, i have to repeat, this is
the first time a sitting president has publicly, formally endorsed this kind of u.s. policy to resolve the territorial dispute. the nature of these questions is exactly what i feared. this issue now dominates and distracts from the important themes that scott and andrew spoke about. so, i would like to take a moment and ask everybody here if they have questions for scott and andrew. let's focus on that for a minute. we have three over here. let's go in order. >> the word power-sharing -- isn't that an oxymoron when you make that statement? it is either a saud stays in power or he leaves -- bashar al-
assad stays in power or he leaves. there is no w for anything else to happen over time. >> in the sense that it is -- i think it is an outside chance. i think because of the way that regime rules -- will it be forced to go in that direction as part of the transition? possibly. i do not think that the fall of that regime is going to look like cairo or tunisia. this is why i said we need to come up with the plan about what it is that we would like to see in syria after bashar al-assad. whether that happens next week, next month or next year, i think it is going to be a very long process. if, along the way, bashar al- assad tries to cut a deal, well,
we will have to see. but my experience of that regime is i do t think anything is going to create the necessity for them to truly loosen their ip on power. president obama is giving him -- ushering him into a way or an avenue toward the kind of change we would all like to see. it is not just the united states. it is also the turks who a believe will be hosting an opposition conference. turkey is the closest country to that regime perhaps other than iran. this shows that the is a consensus among not only allies of the united states, but also countries like tkey and so on that his regime needs to go away. >> i just want to add very quickly, one quick point on this. i think to the extent that ther is a strategy involving, clearly
as the president has not moved entirely to the position that bashar al-assad has to go, the implications of the sanctions and the way he is speaking should be clear. but, if they are clear, why not a stated? but that is neither here nor there. to the point i would like to make is, the one hope they would have, and hopefully the turks and others are working behind the scenes on this, is that the community as a whole may not prefer to jump off the cliff that bashar al-ass and his family is leading them toward. so, if they were to get rid of bashar al-assad, then perhaps there could be a means of negotiating a settlement that would lead to a fall on transition -- full on transition. barring that, i think andrew is right. it is going to be a long, bloody, drawn out conflict.
>> trying to get syriao the negotiating table. do you think syria could buy our good will, if you will, by talking about opening up negotiations with israel now? >> yes, this is an interesting question,sn't it? you are saying basically, if he can stuff this genie back in the bottle and really put a clamp down on it and all of a sudden really start talking about peace, would we buy it? i think that what the protests call into question is his legitimacy. at is not always important for a dictator, is it? but it is indirectly important. there are basic principles on which bashar al-assad rules.
obviously, he does not have very much -- or any -- legitimacy based on reform. there are many people in washington that thought he did, many people that carry water for him in washington and said he was a reformer. his legitimacy is based on what? resistance to israel. is the way he consolidated his regime in 2006. the question is, how can a regime that has no legitimacy based on reform, as military deployed throughout the country, and the protesters are still coming out, how is that guy going to sign on the dotted line with israel? he can sign it, but how is he going to implement it? and kick the ryans out at the same time? and distance himself a -- the at the samet time? and distance himself from hezbollah? >> i did not say sign on the
dotted line. i said open himself up -- >> i do not think it is possible for him at the moment. could he do it down the road? perhaps. but nobody is biting. >> just on that point, paid advertisement. i would urge you to look at an essay that the general and i wrote that came out yesterday, which is called "syria, the case for the devil we do not know. ." it is no small issue that the man who served until last november as the head of israeli intelligence would co-author a peace which debunks the argument against change in syria. so, i would -- i think that,
maybe -- i do not want to read too much into it, but i think that may be reflective of a rather substantial shift in strategic thinking, at least among many in the israeli security establishment. >> question for scott. scott, you said that the president's speech yesterday was largely a restatement of the sh doctrine and noted at least tacitly some success in iraq, a war he famously opposed. is the difference that the change in the leastow seems to be coming from the ground up, not from outside, not from washington? do you have a sense that the arab revolt is an afterock of the bush policies in the middle
east, and if so, would you share that view? >> i am not going to ascribe the bush administration or any particular policies that were adopted, or even programs that were adopted, that led inexorably to this. i think it is undeniable, however, that this huge rock that week threw into a very still pond in iraq did have reverberations. i did not ask this question, but when i was into uneasy about one month after the revolution there was -- the revolution there -- i was having dinner with some people, and i asked them, when did you know this was possible? i thought the answer was going to be when so and so did ts in thisown, or when this person abandons the president. unsolicited, the person said, when we saw saddam hussein being
prosecuted, that is when we knew our president could go. that is not the answer i was looking for. ah,m not going to say, ro rah. but i would also say, when you talk to the activists who were there, they are very grateful for programs like the middle east partnership initiative, for instance. thmiddle east partnership initiative allows groups like freedom house and the national democratic institute and the international republican institute to build partnerships with people all over the region which we did not have before. one person was recently in benghazi. the reason he had any connection there at all was related to programs launched under the bush administration in 2006 when we
convinced gaddafi that there had to be some sort of -political program. what we argued, and you helped us argue in our report, the task force report, was do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. unfortunately, i think they did throw the baby out with the bath water for a time. inadvertently, it actually, i think, contributed to the final back, whichamel pose a bac's was the deeply flawed elections in egypt, tunisia, and of grain which immediately preceded these revelations -- bahrain, whh immediately preceded these revelations. it allowed the national democratic party to run an election which was particularly
egregious. in the past, the muslim brotherhood, for instance, onwon 88 seats in 2005, having no opposition seats whatsoever for anyone in th parliament. this complete arrogance, which i think contributed inadvertently to the -- i think, obviously having a view toward the united states and governments who are authoritarian, and who are our ales on democratic reform, political and economic -- egypt, we are delighted in the reforms that are taking place there, even as we recognize that there is no trickle-down, expectations are rising, people were feeling a complete lack of ability to shape their lives in any way.
these two things need to go hand in hand. i think the president's speech in that respect is a reiteration, a very clear reiteration, of things that president bush said many years ago -- not that he implemented them, in every respect. >> it is an interesting debate. to what extent did the president's outreach, beginning in cairo, set the stage for the past 120 days? there are legitimately differg views on this. some argue that what the president did was diffuse animosity enough for people to focus on their own domestic problems and therefore not have easyamerican bogyman as the e strongman to attack. there are others who argue that it was mostly irrelevant, and
that if anything, the back door benefits scott pointed out -- the reluctance to talk about democracy only fed greater frustration with their entire situation and the explosion we have seen in the last 150 days. i tend to put myself in the second camp. other people believe that the president's engagement was more important in setting the stage. it is an important but still an academic question and i think what we now have is this new approach going forward, and some of the tensions scott pointed to i think are really the key issues. i just want to underscore this enormous lacuna of saudi arabia and everything it stands for. it did not merit a mention, as far as i remember from the text of the speech. i ntioned, whether in terms of bahrain, radical extremism, the
ne for a wealthy arab state to support other states in the region, or the need for political change within saudi arabia at all -- it was just -- it is too big to discuss. so, there was a punt. i think that really underscores how difficult this issue is. let's go to theront of the room now. >> i was struck by what i thought was a superficial treatment in the president's speech -- the palestinian side of the process, in which there remains no consensus, far from it, between hamas and abbas, and
given that, the notion that the burden of a new initiative should be on the israeli side is kind of an astonishing leap o faith. to compute that they're either has been or is about to be some kind of epiphany in hamas about israel is a giant leap of faith to say the least. neither you nor scott commented on that. i wonder if you could address it please. >> luck, in telegraphic form, the administration came off as -- look, in telegraphic form, the administration came off as acting as if the prerequisite was a settlement freeze.
this has been american policy for almost two years. then, in november, the administration decided it would no longer demand an israeli settlement freeze for its participation or for its effort to promote negotiations. the result was no real effort to promote negotiations. indeed, from november until today, the american peace envoy, george mitchell, travel to the middle east once. there was no sense that what we needed was palestinian negotiation. it is difficult to understand that the missing ingredient in making all of negotiations possible, since they fell apart last november, that the missing ingredient was the definition of principles on the tritorial resolution of this conflict that the president offered yesterday. that's, that, that is what
really has changed. this is the key, missing ingredient. i think that is a misreading of the situation. i think what we have seen over the last six months is a decision by the palestinians to go a different route. to go for an alternative to negotiations, whether it is international is asian of the conflict -- internationalization of the conflict, a peaceful opposition, crossing the borders, whatever you want, an entire range of options, but not pursuing direct negotiations to resolve this conflict. i think it is a mistake. if the presumption is that what will change this dynamic, what will produce the negotiation that we have not been able to produce is merely the preside's definition of how this conflict should be resolved
in a territorial dispute, that that was what was missing, i think that is a misreading of the palestinian's fundamental difference in approach to how they are looking at the situation. i agree with you. i think it was a missed opportunity to look at how this has evolved and how palestinian politics is shifting into a regrettable dection despite all of the very positive things that are going on on the ground. this is really the, you know, the -- this -- um, the contradiction here, because we have had enormous on the ground progress between israelis and palestinians. the longest time in israel's history without terrorism emanating from these territories. the good relationship between security forces.
the good relationship between administrators and paltinian authority and the operation of the government of israel. good relationship. there was no effort really to articulate why this was what we should be building upon, rather than an alternative world view. i think it was a missed opportunity. >> we will take a few questions, but we are going to try to wrap up by 1130 am >> i really enjoyed your analysis. i think one of the things that you neglected to -- well, there are a couple of things you neglected to point out. one is that, i think, after 1967
there had always been a perception of an ally between the united states and israel. i think it might be somewhat reckless at is point to see this huge failing while the palestinians are feeling this huge empowerment. every piece of land that has been seated has become an iranian puppet. there is a good possibility that if an election was held on the west bank today, because they elected hamas in 2005, because of corruption, which is, again,
and powering iran, which is destabilizing most of the region. could you comment on that? >> i read today that the syrians call the american and ench ambassadors and gave them a plan for reform, a plan the goes as far as june 14th. i was wondering if you have heard anything about that and if people in washington are taking this seriously? >> we are going to take a punch and then not answer the ones we do not want to answer. [laughter] >> even though obama said in his speech that the core issues must be negotiated, you just answered the gentleman's question talking about how the palestinians are looking to go to the
international arena instead. so, that says, given that he did not offer any ways for the u.s. to have any influence or a way to begin negotiations, in that area, what is our influence? you talked about egypt where we have the clothes security cooperation with the egyptian army, -- close surity operation -- cooperation with the egyptian army. you said the people in the arab world did not really listen to presidenobama as speech. it was too little, too late. even though each country is somewhat different, how do you see the u.s. influence? >> great. briefly, please. >> you mentioned a mechanism for negotiations. israel is being asked to
relinquish territory, degrade their security, for what? for absence of war? and of conflict? of conflict? the big questions can still be left on? >> thank you. >> question for scott. this sort of built on the previous question, on the question of relevance. america is not relevant. we heard in thenterior square. we heard yesterday after -- we heard it in tahrir square. we heard yesterday after the speech. what can be done further?
>> right here, very quickly. >> palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves. >> i agree. >> question addressed to scott. we just saw a public opinion poll that [unintelligible] the question is, how do you reconcile the opinion of the people with getting involved? how do you do that without actually hurting those in organized states? and why? >> in cairo, two days ago, a group of people tried to attack the israeli embassy. my question is, does the united
states have a better idea of the level of danger that israel faces right now in the midd east? >> scott, why don't you start and answer the ones that were directed at you? >> ok. about american influence, i think -- look. people are upset with the united states about all sorts of things. someone mentioned too little, too late. what was really curious to me, reading the reaction in the arab world across the region, was how little their reaction to the speech had to do with the comments the president made on the israeli-palestinian peace process. it was all about it is too little, too late. it does not go far enough. he was a better friend to dictators than he is to the new egypt, this sort of thing. ny people commented on the fact that he made no mention of
saudi arabia, etc. ry few people were talking about the peace process, which again, i think it is ironic. you know, the way my father taught me to fill a hole is one shovel load at a time. i think that the united states and the esident's speech is important in the sense that he tried to reorient us and give us an opportunity to try to make amends in some ways by being better partners with a democratic egypt than we were with an autocratic one. there are many things more that the president can do, but i think what was appropriate in the speech was to focus on egypt and tunisia in terms of what we are doing. i think to recognize the weight of egypt and the potential of tunisia was extremely important. and the way in which he is intending to leverage the europeans and others -- i do
wish he would have talked about what the gulf can bring to the table, because i know that there is extreme reluctance onheir part to help egypt. your question was about to -- ? the other thing about opinion polls. please, please, please. it depends on the question you are going to ask. if you are going to ask, do you like the united states? how strongly do you like the united states? you're going to, but -- who cares? most people, if you ask them, is it a good thing or a bad thing that the united stas is going to give $1 billion in debt relief to egypt, most egyptians will say, yes, we want more, but it is a good thing, we are excited about it. i think that some of this is -- when you make it very concrete, people are ready to work with the united states. ey want to work with the united states.
they want to work with an american organization. it is not always about american policy, but what can you do for us here that is more important. >> i think the only question was, if the reports are true, and i am not sure that they are, this is not surprising. the syrians will -- the next step for the syrians is having some sort of national dialogue to come up with a political soluon to this in junction with the security solution,he iron fist/a velvet glove. what i can tl you -- there is an understanding. it is not just in washington, but in europe as well. opening up a couple of banks and some new money changing shops in damascus is not reform. and it is not going to be enough to deal with the situation that
is in front of us. there are policy metrics which are now being developed to measure that. and there are a lot of people who have experience -- one of the fortunate things about this situation is that there are many people who work in syria before, who have had to leave the country, and have a deep knowledge about these reforms and about how they go. the track record of the bashar al-assad regime on implementation is terrible. do not think it is simply passing new laws that is going to be enough. it is going to be after you pass it, do you actually issue executive instructions? do the executive instructions, trick large parts of the syrian constitution? today -- contradict large parts constitution? contributi at the same time, this is going to be a long process. there are two groups that have
to organize themselves. one is the syrian opposition. the other are the lebanese. how are they going to -- both of these groups -- how are they going to get their acts together to be able to capitalize on this situation as the bashar al- assad regime is under the gun and under scrutiny? this is very important for the u.s. to keep its objectives going forward, as well as those two groups. >> let me very quickly answer some of the specific questions that were posed to me. first, contiguity in is reay policy towards palestine means two things. one is contiguity within the west bank. the idea that there would not be of swiss cheese of settlements that would not the west bank and kate and make it impossible for palestinians to move for -- west
bank landscape and make impossible for palestinians to move from the territory in the north to a territory in the south. the other is contiguity between the west bank and gaza. in the context of this speech, since the president already said that the 1967 borders would be the basis of negotiation, by inference, the contiguity statement refers to the connection between the west bank and gaza. this adds another layer of the president articulating a position which involves israel to cede control, if not sovereignty, of territory inside pre-1967 israel. the idea that there is a land bridge between gaza and the west bank is ofourse not new. it is how you do it and under whose control and whether it is a palestinian land bridge in
which the israelis have certain rights of hot pursuit, or an israeli land bridge in which the palestinians have certain rights of transit. that is the basic disagreement here, and the president seemed to suggest the latter -- the former. that is just another arena of impingement on the 1967 boundaries. he quite correctly points out that there is, of course, a problem with security in the territory first, which is that israel makes some enormous concessions in reaching agreements on these two issues, which will tn not permit it to have concessions in the pocket to reach good agreement on refugees in jerusalem. and, along the way, does not give israel the finality of ending this conflict.
so, in theory, israel might make agreements on thestwo issues not have the overall end of the israeli palestinian conflict, and yet have given up some of its major cards in negotiations. there is an argument for this approach because these two issues appeared to many to be more amenable to compromise, but i think it is quite useful to point out that there are some major structural problems with this approach, which is one reason the parties have not endorsed them up until now. we have to assume that they are fairly rational negotiators, and there is some reason why smart people have not engaged in this approach up until now. the larger queion about the u.s. influence. it is painful whenever the united states proposes ideas that are not adopted, because that means american influence and american ability to exert power suffers. so, i only want to see american
presidents succeed. i want to see them husband their initiatives when they are going to succeed. wheat for moments when they are going to transform the situation for the week -- wait for moments when they're going to transform the situation for the benefit of american interests. i think the president did a relatively good job of recognizing some of the look and we were talking about today. i think the peace process has been relatively eroded. i know that sarah asked a very important question and it connects to this. will this project the impression in the region that there is daylight between us and israel on core issues, and how will ofs affect israel's sense america? i think the president tries to address that with his -- i thought -- very good comments,
very strong comments vis-a-vis iran and the bankruptcy of the iranian position, but i do think that if the end result -- and this will be my closing comment -- if the end result of this episode is a public breach between the united states and israel focused on the peace process, a result which i think everybody has to entertain as a distinct possibility, even if it is papered over in the next 48 hours, then it cannot but have an impact on israel's determined posture. and that should not be a surprise. that should just be a direct and simple obligation. so on that, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today and i am sure we will be back before long. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
[unintelligible] >> as in the bond and binyamin netanyahu met -- has sent obama and binyamin netanyahu met yesterday. at 7:00 a.m., your calls on "washington journal." >> on book tv, the gaitherburg boat festival. india and the middle east, plus a panel discussion on the book industry. the former ambassador to yemen on the u.s. counter-terrorism efforts in that country. and then one of the most
significant standoff he bends in the cold war era. they are scheduled e-mail directly to you. >> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu says that his country cannot go back to borders that existed in 1967 as part as a peace deal with the palestinians. those remarks came following a meeting which president obama called extremely useful. the president said the 1967 borders should be the basis for starting -- restarting peace negotiations. this is about 15 minutes. >> well, let me, first of all, welcome again prime minister netanyahu, who i think has now been here seven times during
the course of my presidency. and i want to indicate that the frequency of these meetings is an indication of the extraordinary bonds between our two countries, as is the opportunity for the prime minister to address congress during his visit here. i know that's an honor that's reserved for those who have always shown themselves to be a great friend of the united states and is indicative of the friendship between our countries. we just completed a prolonged and extremely useful conversation touching on a wide range of issues. we discussed, first of all, the changes that are sweeping the region and what has been happening in places like egypt and syria and how they affect the interests and security of the united states and israel, as well as the opportunity for prosperity, growth and development in the arab world. we agreed that there is a moment of opportunity that can be seized as a consequence of the arab spring, but also acknowledge that there's
significant perils as well, and that it's going to be important for the united states and israel to consult closely as we see developments unfold. i outlined for the prime minister some of the issues that i discussed in my speech yesterday -- how important it was going to be for the united states to support political reform, support human rights, support freedom of speech, religious tolerance and economic development, particularly in egypt, as the largest arab country, as well as tunisia, the country that first started this revolutionary movement that's taking place throughout the middle east and north africa. we also discussed the situation in syria, which is obviously of acute concern to israel, given its shared border. and i gave more details to the prime minister about the
significant steps that we are taking to try to pressure syria and the assad regime to reform, including the sanctions that we placed directly on president assad. we continue to share our deep concerns about iran, not only the threat that it poses to israel but also the threat that it poses to the region and the world if it were to develop a nuclear weapon. we updated our strategy to continue to apply pressure, both through sanctions and our other diplomatic work. and i reiterated my belief that it is unacceptable for iran to possess a nuclear weapon. we also discussed the hypocrisy of iran suggesting that it somehow supports democratization in the middle east when, in fact, they first showed the repressive nature of
that regime when they responded to the own peaceful protests that took place inside iran almost two years ago. finally, we discussed the issue of a prospective peace between israelis and palestinians. and i reiterated and we discussed in depth the principles that i laid out yesterday -- the belief that our ultimate goal has to be a secure israeli state, a jewish state, living side by side in peace and security with a contiguous, functioning and effective palestinian state. obviously there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language, and that's going to
happen between friends. but what we are in complete accord about is that a true peace can only occur if the ultimate resolution allows israel to defend itself against threats, and that israel's security will remain paramount in u.s. evaluations of any prospective peace deal. i said that yesterday in the speech, and i continue to believe it. and i think that it is possible for us to shape a deal that allows israel to secure itself, not to be vulnerable, but also allows it to resolve what has obviously been a wrenching issue for both peoples for decades now. i also pointed out, as i said in the speech yesterday, that it is very difficult for israel to
be expected to negotiate in a serious way with a party that refuses to acknowledge its right to exist. and so for that reason i think the palestinians are going to have to answer some very difficult questions about this agreement that's been made between fatah and hamas. hamas has been and is an organization that has resorted to terror, that has refused to acknowledge israel's rights to exist. it is not a partner for a significant, realistic peace process. and so, as i said yesterday during the speech, the palestinians are going to have to explain how they can credibly engage in serious peace negotiations in the
absence of observing the quartet principles that have been put forward previously. so, overall, i thought this was an extremely constructive discussion. and coming out of this discussion, i once again can reaffirm that the extraordinarily close relationship between the united states and israel is sound and will continue, and that together, hopefully we are going to be able to work to usher in a new period of peace and prosperity in a region that is going to be going through some very profound transformations in the coming weeks, months and years. so, mr. prime minister. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you very much. >> mr. president, first i want to thank you and the first lady for the gracious hospitality
that you've shown me, my wife, and our entire delegation. we have an enduring bond of friendship between our two countries, and i appreciate the opportunity to have this meeting with you after your important speech yesterday. we share your hope and your vision for the spread of democracy in the middle east. i appreciate the fact that you reaffirmed once again now, and in our conversation, and in actual deed the commitment to israel's security. we value your efforts to advance the peace process. this is something that we want to have accomplished. israel wants peace. i want peace. what we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure.
and i think that the -- we both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of middle eastern reality, and that the only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakeable facts. i think for there to be peace, the palestinians will have to accept some basic realities. the first is that while israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines -- because these lines are indefensible -- because they don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. remember that, before 1967, israel was all of nine miles
wide. it was half the width of the washington beltway. and these were not the boundaries of peace. they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on israel was so attractive. so we can't go back to those indefensible lines, and we're going to have to have a long- term military presence along the jordan. i discussed this with the president and i think that we understand that israel has certain security requirements that will have to come into place in any deal that we make. the second is -- echoes something the president just said, and that is that israel cannot negotiate with a palestinian government that is backed by hamas. hamas, as the president said, is a terrorist organization committed to israel's destruction. it's fired thousands of rockets on our cities, on our children. it's recently fired an anti- tank rocket at a yellow school bus, killing a 16-year-old boy.
and hamas has just attacked you, mr. president, and the united states for ridding the world of bin laden. so israel obviously cannot be asked to negotiate with a government that is backed by the palestinian version of al qaeda. i think president abbas has a simple choice. he has to decide if he negotiates or keeps his pact with hamas, or makes peace with israel. and i can only express what i said to you just now, that i hope he makes the choice, the right choice, in choosing peace with israel. the third reality is that the palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved in the context of a palestinian state, but certainly not in the borders of israel. the arab attack in 1948 on israel resulted in two refugee
problems -- palestinian refugee problem and jewish refugees, roughly the same number, who were expelled from arab lands. now, tiny israel absorbed the jewish refugees, but the vast arab world refused to absorb the palestinian refugees. now, 63 years later, the palestinians come to us and they say to israel, accept the grandchildren, really, and the great grandchildren of these refugees, thereby wiping out israel's future as a jewish state. so it's not going to happen. everybody knows it's not going to happen. and i think it's time to tell the palestinians forthrightly it's not going to happen. the palestinian refugee problem has to be resolved. it can be resolved, and it will be resolved if the palestinians choose to do so in a palestinian state. so that's a real possibility. but it's not going to be resolved within the jewish
state. the president and i discussed all these issues and i think we may have differences here and there, but i think there's an overall direction that we wish to work together to pursue a real, genuine peace between israel and its palestinian neighbors, a peace that is defensible. mr. president, you're the -- you're the leader of a great people, the american people. and i'm the leader of a much smaller people, the -- >> a great people. >> it's a great people, too. it's the ancient nation of israel. and, you know, we've been around for almost 4,000 years. we've experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. we've gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions. but i can say that even at the dearth of -- even at the nadir of the valley of death, we never lost hope and we never
lost our dream of reestablishing a sovereign state in our ancient homeland, the land of israel. and now it falls on my shoulders as the prime minister of israel, at a time of extraordinary instability and uncertainty in the middle east, to work with you to fashion a peace that will ensure israel's security and will not jeopardize its survival. i take this responsibility with pride but with great humility, because, as i told you in our conversation, we don't have a lot of margin for error. and because, mr. president, history will not give the jewish people another chance.
so in the coming days and weeks and months, i intend to work with you to seek a peace that will address our security concerns, seek a genuine recognition that we wish from our palestinian neighbors to give a better future for israel and for the entire region. and i thank you for the opportunity to exchange our views and to work together for this common end. thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> next, "washington journal."
then the senate hearing on postal services. >> history is, as you know, much more than politics and soldiers and social issues. it is also medicine and science and art and music and theater and poetry and ideas. we should not on things in the categories. it is all part of the same thing. >> samuel morse, thomas edison, henry adams -- sunday night, part one of two weeks with david mccullough on the americans who made the "greater journey" to 19th century paris at 8:00 on c- span. >> this morning, josh rogin talks about the middle east, obama is meeting with
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