Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  December 4, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST

12:00 am
12:01 am
12:02 am
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
12:03 am
12:04 am
12:05 am
>>. >> getting ready. >>. >> by military forces it would be some change in the chemical weapons whether they wanted to move them or whether they plan if syrians have always said they will not use these weapons on their own people. do they now -- go ahead. >> that's right and president obama in august clearly delineated those red lines that if they were to move these out of their storage site or to employ them against the syrian people or anyone else that would be a trigger point for some type of western action. now, depending -- the pentagon has drawn up preliminary plans to send as many as 75,000 troops into syria to secure these chemical weapons sites, but as of just today there have been no signs that any of those forces have been put on alert or there was any detail planning to do this. so there was some question here of whether assad may be calling t president's bluff. >> rose: and what exactly do you think they would be prepared to do and what would trigger that? clearly the movement of them. but it is more or less than that? >> well, u.s. intelligence officials were watching very
12:06 am
closely the movement of syrian forces and in also trying to divine the intentions of president assad. clearly the rebels in syria have had a very good few -- past few weeks and making advances on the capital of damascus and president assad really feels like his back may be up against the wall. but is he desperate enough now to play this card which would almost certainly draw some kind of western response. >> rose: one more time, the red line is simply moving the chemical weapons? >> well, this is interesting, charlie, because the president said either moving them or using them. today secretary of state clinton mentioned only using them. jay carney, the white house spokesman also repeated that phrase, did not mention the president's earlier condition about moving them around. so it's a little bit unclear whether the administration perhaps has changed its red line. >> rose: do you think the united states is thinking about doing this unilaterally or is this an
12:07 am
action taking place in conjunction with other forces from other countries? >> no, whatever action will be taken, charlie, would almost certainly be done in conjunction with other allies in the region. the jordanians, for instance, the turks, all have been closely consulted in recent months. the u.s. is actually operating out of a small business in jordan, about 150 troops there helping the jordanians deal with the exodus of refugees coming out of syria as well as preparing for the possible use of chemical weapons in syria itself. >> rose: how about the israelis? >> of course, the israelis -- of course they are watching this very closely in the region with intelligence and u.s. and israeli officials are keeping very close tabs on this and cob subtling each other very closely. >> rose: from all the sources you know about this particular question of the chemical weapons and how the war is going, what is it they -- how do they assess it at this particular point,
12:08 am
this -- as we begin the final month of the year? >> the fighting in syria, of course, has gone ebbs and flows with the syrian regime, of course, having -- using increasingly harsher tactics, in some cases flattening parts or entire parts of cities that the rebels take. the rebels in recent weeks, of course, had seized a number of military bases, government military bases and looted the weapons, taken the weapons from those to help arm their arsenals. rather than stay and occupy those bases, however, they've withdrawn knowing the syrian air force could attack those sites. so in recent weeks, the momentum seems to have swung the rebels' way, but right now analysts are very cautious in trying to predict what a tipping point could be for the fall of the regime overall. >> rose: and what happens if it falls? >> absolutely. and what steps next would we take. would assad retreat to the hills in an enclave of some sort,
12:09 am
taking some of his chemical weapons with him? would there be some kind of political deal, some brokered deal to get him out of the country? right now many of these are some of the options that the u.s. is exploring with allies and russia for instance, today. as we reported in the "new york times," the administration is communicating through russia to syria against not only using these chemical weapons but against these type of attacks. >> rose: how do you measure the relationship between the united states and russia on this particular question where they have in a sense -- they are very precise about what they say and they say they are opposed to somebody coming into the country. they're not, as they say, wedded to the assad government. >> that's right. they've taken a different position over the last several months in they're not necessarily wedded to that government. however syria remains the largest arms customer for russian weapons exports. the russians use a military base, a naval base on the syrian coast so they were very important in that sense.
12:10 am
but russia obviously wants to maintain influence in the middle east and through syria and if they can't do it through assad regime, perhaps another regime that would still be willing to deal with them could be acceptable. >> rose: what's the nature and size of the chemical weapons? >> well, we're talking about several hundred tons, really. different kind of nerve agents and other type of weapons, some of which the syrians have had for decades, some have been manufactured more recently so one of the big concerns here is what happens if the regime flees and some of these end up in the hands of some of the extremists. extremists they're even linked with al qaeda. there have been reports that hezbollah has operated training camps near some of these chemical weapons sites so there's not only the concern that syria might use these against its own people but that under the chaotic security conditions in syria, some extremists groups could seize these weapons for their own use.
12:11 am
>> rose: what's the status today of the organization of the rebels after the recent recognition on the one hand by france and britain, i think, and secondly the conferences that they have had to create some kind of umbrella group? >> well, you've described the political track that's evolving and has been have been endorsed by a number of countries, that could come as soon as next week. but you still have a very fractured military command on the ground. that's one reason this new political entity was created to help streamline some of the decisions that are made on the ground. and so the united states and other allies working with the opposition fighters can have a more coordinated approach to dealing with the fighters on the ground. the opposition now is quite diverse on the ground, the u.s. is trying to consolidate that with the help of allies.
12:12 am
>> rose: what's their assessment of assad at the moment? the intelligence sources both in the united states and overseas? >> it's very hard to know, charlie. i mean, one of the things that -- there was hope early on that he might take a deal and move out of the country. that's looking less likely perhaps now. he might continue to hold out try and see if he can go to this enclave in the mountains. it's not just asaid, of course, it's many of his family members who hold key positions in the government and the alawites, the sect he belongs to, too. many of those individuals, too, have their futures and fortunes linked to assad. so you're talking about a fairly large number of individuals. and one of the real problems here, one of the challenges for american intelligence along with others is to try and get inside of his head. what is he thinks right now and what steps is he going to take next? >> rose: and who has influence on his thinking would be the
12:13 am
question. mr. brahimi was sitting at the table with me last friday and he said you can't go in and tell him what you do, with assad. he said in his experience the best thing you can do is give him-- and the russians and others have done this and others i assume the iranians to a degree-- the assessment of the situation both on the ground and in terms of world opinion. and the question that comes unoften is how does he see the world where from wherever his prism is? does he continue to believe that he's stronger than he is? or does he continue to believe that there is not the level of opposition to him? bauds you would assume that his own military would have some recognition of that as they see the ground that they're losing throughout the country. >> right. and, of course, many of the senior syrian generals are alawites as the president is so their forces are tied to his. what's interesting is to watch and what many officials we've spoken to over the weekend are
12:14 am
concerned about is that -- is the rebel forces are -- gaining more territory and move -- make advances on damascus. one thing they fear is that assad may try to expand the conflict. that is there are shells going into turkey, turkey has responded in kind. if you creato talkheh i don't say, off multifront war with forces in refugee spilling across into turkey. iran getting drawn into it more heavily than they are now. in this chaos this would allow the theory would go allow for assad to survive everybody longer in some corner of the country as the whole region starts to explode. that's one of the major fears of u.s. policymakers. >> rose: it it also feeds into this larger question in terms of sunni/shi'a within the arab world and you have -- not arab states like iran, a shiite country, and you've got qatar
12:15 am
and saudi arabia and you've got turkey and other countries looking like there is a clear sunni presence coming together. >> that's right. my colleague had a very good analysis last week reporting on this and the big concern of course in recent years has been a shi'a crescent with iran and others. now it's looking more like you have a resurgent sunni movement here which, of course, the majority of syrians are sunni and so you have a natural affiliation with the people in syria and some of the opposition forces. there are two countries like saudi arabia and qatar which have been two of the main countries financing and helping to deliver weapons to the opposition in syria today. >> rose: it's an interesting aspect of the middle east that the qatarians are also close to hamas and have given money to them as well. >> absolutely.
12:16 am
right now the qatarrys are playing an outsized role for a small country. the emir is trying to put himself and his country on the map diplomatically. they were very involved, of course, in libya. one of the first countries, arab countries in particular to support the rebel there is in the fight against colonel moammar qaddafi. so qatar is playing an important role now on a number of fronts. >> rose: eric, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: eric schmitt from the "new york times." back in a moment. we'll talk to ehud olmert about how he sees israel today, president netanyahu, the coming election, iran and many other subjects. stay with us. >> rose: ehud olmert is here. he was prime minister of israel from 2006 to 2009. he left office under the shadow of allegations of corruption. in july he was acquitted of two major charges and found guilty of one minor one. some have suggested this paved the way for a political comeback. he has not announced whether he intends to run in the upcoming israeli elections.
12:17 am
n january, 2013. benjamin netanyahu is a strong favorite to remain prime minister. whatever happens in the elections, israel faces enormous challenges. on thursday last week, the united nations general assembly voted to recognize palestine as a non-member state. the cease-fire with hamas in gaza is fragile and temporary. the possibility of a nuclear iran has been called an existential threat to israel and throughout the middle east dictatorship which is could once be relied on to ensure israel's security are being replaced by unpredictable populist movements. i am pleased to have ehud olmert back at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: do you disagree with anything i just said? >> (laughs) >> rose: (laughs) well, like -- that prime minister netanyahu is the favorite to win reelection. >> that's right. >> rose: that's clear. >> that's the appearance at this moment, yes. >> rose: you have not decided whether you're going to reenter politics. >> right. >> rose: if you did you would run in kadima? >> well, the idea was that if i
12:18 am
run it will be in a group of a few different factions together. >> rose: where do you see israel at this moment after gaza, after the palestinian vote at the united nations? >> well, i think that the gaza operation was necessary. they -- the operation started with the killing of one of the murderers and terrorists. there was responsible for the almost endless attacks against israelis, innocent citizens inside of t state of israel. >> rose: but at the same time, hadn't he been doing some negotiations and dealings in terms of trying to promote certain ideas? >> after he's there, there were all kinds of rumors about it, but during the times i was prime minister there were always kinds of ideas that were raised by third parties that we may
12:19 am
negotiate indirectly with him but he was dedicated to one thing, to the destruction of the state of israel and therefore this outcome was inevitable. >> rose: but speaking of that, is it now understood that there will not be targeted assassinations in gaza? >> well, israel always said if there there will not be an attempt to launch rockets against israeli civilians then there will not be such activities then israel will not have a reason to defend itself. so it depends on the situation. if, indeed, they will not do anything then there will not be israeli actions. >> rose: the vote in the united nations. you have supported palestine's membership in this particular capacity, have you not? >> well, to be more accurate, i say that i don't find any reason to oppose it. there are certain dangers in this move, particularly the
12:20 am
status that the palestinians will have now to -- if they decide to do so, to appeal to the juvenile -- tribunal in hague against israelis for war crimes, which may create unnecessary aggravations in the relations between us and the palestinians. >> rose: any evidence they intend to do that? >> i don't know about that. but in general i think it's the interest of israel, has been the interest of israel all the time and that this is what i supported and the prime minister before me supported and i think the majority of the israelis support -- there will be two states. this is the solution. and as against those who are -- with the possibility of one state for two peoples, which is a prescription in my mind for endless consul stations and violence between us and the palestinians. so the fact that the united nations accept formally the patron of a separate state, a
12:21 am
palestinian state and a jewish state i think is a step forward that we don't have any reason to oppose was my position. >> rose: i understand. the argument made by some israeli politicians was that it should be negotiated, not given. >> well, it's true, of course. better to be negotiated but you need two for tango and i don't know that for the time being the two sides are eager to resume negotiations in the direction that i've set forth when i was prime minister. >> rose: you understand this because you've negotiated with mahmoud abbas. do you believe there's strength on fatah and the palestinian authority? the fact that they got this vote in the united nations and was that part of the reason was there an attempt to do it? >> first of all, they do have support and i think that this is
12:22 am
well known. it's been there for many years. i remember once that the president of the united states said that yasser arafat i can't say has more power in the united nations general assembly than he did, the president of the united states has. so it was obvious there that they had more support when it come tots the general assembly. and they decided they wanted to exercise this support in the general assembly in order to promote what they thought was important for the interests. had they been engaged in the negotiations for us and then is we did in the past i think it wouldn't have been raised by the palestinians so i think it's incredible that there are no negotiations. >> rose: you reject the idea expressed by some that if, in fact, there's a one-state solution it would end up as a kind of ar apartheid? >> well, i don't like this
12:23 am
comparison but on the other hand i myself said many times and i firmbly believe in this that for the long run that it's impossible that there will be five million palestinians, perhaps more in the future that will live within israeli authority without sharing full equal rights. that will not make israeli democracy and we want to maintain israeli as a jewish democratic state so there is no alternative to a separation between us and them unless, unfortunately, if it will come to it, there will be a one state for two peoples with equal rights. but then there is a danger that the palestinians will become majority. and if they will be a majority then they will determine the nature of the states which not what we dreamt of all our lives. >> rose: the recent announcement about settlements in east jerusalem, does that help or hurt.
12:24 am
>> no, i don't think it helps. >> rose: it does not help? >> it's a major mistake. i personally felt that this was a very unfriendly response by the state of israel to the -- made by president bush. i think had obama known in advance the response of israel to to this, to the fact that he was -- to use all the prestige and the power of the united states of america to be left almost alone in the united nations against so many other countries, including the best trends of america to defend the state of israel and then to find out the next morning that israel is doing something which america explicitly is against i think you'd have been thinking twice about his position and therefore i think it was a mistake. i think we should have manifested a much greater understanding for the sensitivities of the united
12:25 am
states and i criticize it -- >> rose: so the prime minister -- >> i think it was not the right thing to do. >> rose: when you looked a hamas have they been strengthened by this? >> well, their status, i think, has changed to the degree that at the final point of negotiations, the appearance was that the u.n. secretary general, the u.s. secretary of state, the president of egypt and a few more foreign ministers all came in a way to save hamas and the islamic jihad. now, this is rather strange that two terrorist organizations which are involved almost endlessly in killing innocent people which are exercising the most authoritarian regime in gaza are protected by these countries. but that was the result of the way in which the whole thing was
12:26 am
handled and i'm not sure that is helpful toward the future. >> rose: let me go back in the past. what exactly did you and mr. abbas negotiate and why did it not hold? >> well, that's a good question. first of all, it didn't hold because at the very end when we were a very, very, very close to conclude an agreement between israel and the palestinians which have -- would have resolve it had historical conflict between the two sides and would have created two states, palestinian state, you recognize boundaries and, of course, the state of israel is the home of the jewish people. in recognized bound reis by the entire international community at the very last moment abu mazen, dr. abbas, didn't say yes to a plan which was presented to him by me which -- >> rose: a plan he negotiated.
12:27 am
>> that we negotiated for a long time. we met six times for hours each time and a plan which i think former secretary of state condoleezza rice thought that it was the best ever plan that was presented by the state of israel. >> rose: you went further than anyone else had gone in order to get a two state solution and end the conflict. >> yes, yes, that's right. >> rose: why did you do it? >> i did it because i think that peace is the best guarantee for the security and the existence of the state of israel. to change entirely the status of israel in the international community. it would have created an entirely new relations with israel not just with the palestinians but possibly with 57 muslim states around the world would have changed dramatically. it could have opened up opportunities for both us and the palestinians instead of fighting against each other,
12:28 am
incorporating as -- cooperating as good neighbors in order to change the life of the middle east instead of talking of wars and consultations and terror we could have worked together in order to make life much better for millions of people. >> rose: i first met you when you were likud and mayor of jerusalem. >> correct. >> rose: so here you come from that place -- >> i've changed my mind. i've changed my positions. i was never hiding it. i had different positions in the past. but i came to the conclusion that the real options are the ones that you have outlined before. namely that there can be either solutions on the basis of two states, living alongside each other with peace and security or there will be a one state for two people which is a prescription, as i said, for endless consultations. there couldn't be one state for all people, for two peoples
12:29 am
without complete democracy which would have changed entirely the life of israel, the nature of israel and the future of israel. and i just -- when i had to make up my mind what i want i understood that we have to make painful concessions now. for many, many years many of my predecessors used this term "painful concessions." i was ready to propose these painful concessions to the other side in order to make this plan and this peace possible and i proposed it. i put it on the table. i told it to my american friends to the president, president bush and to secretary of state condoleezza rice. they were shocked by the extent of concessions that i was prepared to make and they thought that it was very, very constructive in order to achieve peace. and unfortunately, as was already mentioned by you before, dr. abbas didn't respond positively to this, which i
12:30 am
think was a grave mistake. >> rose: why not? >> well, there are many reasons. you know, i was about to retire. president bush was just retiring and a new president was about to come in. he had opposition within the palestinian community and i think that all these elements put together prevented him from saying yes at that time but he kept saying afterwards up until just two weeks ago that had we had three, four more months we would have concluded the agreement. so it was bad luck. >> rose: timing. if he had three or four months he might have been able to do it? >> yes. >> rose: what part of the analysis and assessment that you just explained does the present prime minister benjamin netanyahu agree with or disagree with? >> (laughs)
12:31 am
i'm not sure he would be happy to nominate me as his spokesperson. >> i understand that. but at the same time you were political enemies. >> he said -- not -- we were rivals, better than enemies. we were members of the same party at some point then we separated. he challenged me, i defeated him in the elections in 2006 and i pursued what i thought was the right way to go in order to really genuinely make peace, credible, serious peace between us and the palestinians that we resolve these issues forever. i think that it was against his better judgment, perhaps in the beginning but he say that he will agree to to a solution based in two states but nothing else was ever done other than just saying in the terms of the day to day negotiations or contact between us and the palestinians. >> rose: is there anything you think he would like that do, wants to do, believes he should
12:32 am
do but he doesn't do because it's not politically feasible within the coalition he is has -- >> i must say something. this is not out of disrespect for mr. netanyahu. i think he's a serious leader and great patriot of the state of israel, no question about it. he tries to do the best for the people of israel and he certainly deserves the respect for it. but i think that the nature of his party is not a result of some opposition that he can't cope with. this is netanyahu. the nature of his party, the fact that so many extreme right wingers are now going to be members of knesset in the coming elections representing his party is not against his desire. this reflects his attitudes and his opinions and the question, of course, is how can it be
12:33 am
reconciled with the needs of the state of israel to move forward to its nasa is but he has to answer this question and i'm afraid that his answered is not appropriate or is not acceptable and not practical. >> rose: his answer is what? >> his answer is that, you know, let's sit down and negotiate without any pre-conditions. which is a wonderful slogan. i'm entirely for it. but at the same time if he continues building thousands of units in the territory which is will have to be located -- >> rose: and with a full understanding that it makes the ultimate solution much more difficult >> it will make it much more difficult. it will not only make a solution much more difficult, it will not allow the beginning of negotiations in good faith because what the palestinians say is how can we seriously trust that the other side means to reach an agreement if they do the opposite of what can make an agreement possible. that's what they say and the
12:34 am
actions on ground somehow support it. and i know that netanyahu wants peace and he wants the best peace for israel and he wants a peace that would guarantee the security of the state of israel and i certainly respect him for it. however, what is done on ground is not -- but is in contradiction and there will not be peace if israel will not practically make these painful concessions that will force us to evacuate territory which is historically are certainly part of the jewish legacy and jewish tradition. but unfortunately they are inhabited by other people and we have to make a choice. what do we want more? the land with palestinians or smaller state which will not have the palestinians and they will have their own independent
12:35 am
state in the territories they will control? >>. >> rose: is it part of the problem that you and the prime minister and perhaps others have a varying degree of national security? the security of israel? >> charlie, i could argue, i think, rather successfully that during my time we did many things in order to guarantee the security on the state of israel which will never done before and certainly not by the government of netanyahu. some of the things we are not supposed to talk about that were publications in foreign press about operations in syria which were essential for the existence of the state of israel which were carried out by my government. we stopped stopped in what i consider to be a very successful war in lebanon. all the threats against israeli
12:36 am
citizens living in most part of israel, it's quiet for the last six and a half years, there was not one bullet shot across the border from lebanon after the second lebanese war. so we did the operation in gaza which -- that was more than two years. so we knew what to do in order to provide security and we were cooperating with america on various issues regarding iran with a lot of success that naturallyly not go into details of so we all share the same desire for security of the state of israel and all the presidents of america-- president bush was a great friend and great supporter for actions that were essential for our security and i think that president barack obama is equally committed to the security of the state of israel. at the same time, the best
12:37 am
security for the state of israel will be peace with the palestinians and in order to make peace you sometimes have to take risks. >> rose: do you think ariel sharon would have supported the agreement you worked out with the head of the palestinian authority, mr. abbas? >> i have no doubt in my mind that it would have been very difficult to accept everything i have that propose bud at the end of the day he would have supported it. >> rose: bauds he worried very much about the demographics and the end of the two state solution which is the reason he -- >> we started together under his leadership and his courage and his commitment the disengagement from gaza and we pulled out entirely from gaza and he did it and i had enormous respect for his courage and ability to change positions prior to -- in comparison to what he had in the past. he used to say this sentence, what you see from here is not what you see from there.
12:38 am
you know that president truman used to say that the buck stops here. the other prime minister -- you're the prime minister, you're the lasted a dress, you have to take the decisions, no one is behind you correct you and you have to assume the responsibility that comes with it and i think sharon understood it. i learned from him and i was very proud to follow in that same direction and to move forward what was needed to do in the west bank and i think it could have changed entirely the situation and i believe that he would have been ultimately very much for it. >> rose: the agreement to be had. how much difference is there between, say, what president clinton and yasser arafat and ehud barak negotiated at camp david, a, what you negotiated on the ground with the palestinians and what others did at the so-called geneva courts. is there that much sflens are we
12:39 am
looking at something that everybody understands basically what happens what has to be done? there may be a little bit exchange of property here and there or boundaries, but everybody knows where it has to end up. as long as the security of israel is guaranteed >> i'm not the best friend of defense minister barak but i have to say that in camp david in 2000 he took bold decisions in the right direction. i think in some areas it was entirely different from what i proposed. i agreed first time in the history of the state of israel that the prime minister officially on behalf of the state of israel was ready to actually keep parts of the city of jerusalem under the sovereignty of the palestinians and and the jewish parts under the sovereignty of the states of israel and i agreed also that the holy places will not be
12:40 am
under the sovereignty of any nation but they will be administered by a group of five nations, the united states of america, saudi arabia, jordan, palestinians and the state of israel in order to keep these places free for the access of everybody believer because they belong to humanity, they belong to religions and it will guarantee the security needs and interest of if state of israel and the palestinians. but this is a dramatic change from what barack was doing and it certainly is different from any other idea that came up through the years so i can say that barak under the influence of president clinton did a great deal but the in the end they messed it up primarily because of the reluctance of yasser arafat to make any agreement. i never believed arafat will
12:41 am
make any agreement because he was a terrorist. there is a big difference between him and abbas. mahmoud abbas, while he was with yasser arafat said officially and publicly and officially that he was against terror when arafat was conducting terror against the state of israel. so i think abbas was the best possible partner for a peace agreement. he and p.m. fayyad were doing many dramatic changes in the way that the administration of the palestinians is handled in the west bank which are very positive much beyond what most people anticipated that they could do. so they have to get credit and i think they are moderate and terror leaders that want to make peace with the state of israel and they are the natural partners and we have to work with them rather than fight with them and i think that the punishment of not giving the
12:42 am
money so we collect for them is another mistake that we are unfortunately making for no good reason. hamas received from qatar $450 million as a gift and abu mazen, mahmoud abbas and fayyad, the prime minister, for monies that belong to them. why do we do it as a punishment? because they went to the united nations. they went unilaterally to the united nations. this was a unilateral action. we pulled out from the gaza unilaterally, we didn't ask their permission, we just did it. >> rose: some people argue that what ought to has been, i think barak has argued this and others that if you can't find somebody to bargain with, go ahead and create two states. >> well, barak was repeating what i proposed. six and a half years ago you will recall i'm sure that i said
12:43 am
i will negotiate with the palestinians. if i reach an agreement with them, better. if i don't reach an agreement with them i would have then implemented a solution on the unilateral basis and i called it the convergence plan. this was the plan that i discussed first time that i came to america as a prime minister and i met with president george bush. he was very curious about this plan and i said don't worry, i don't propose it because i want to avoid negotiations. i will doctor go for negotiations in the most serious manner in order to achieve peace and he was very helpful together with condoleezza rice when they convened the annapolis meeting in november of 2007 which was a landmark in this process and it helped both sides to get an umbrella of international support for these types of negotiations. so if at the end of the day there not l not be an agreement
12:44 am
because the palestinians will be reluctant to sign an agreement which will be fair and honest and will provide them the basis for a viable palestinian state as i have proposed then israel always has the option of pulling out a unilateral basis to the boundaries which we propose to the palestinians. >> rose: and this is the basist of -- >> basis of the '67 with swaps of territory which was also articulated by president obama. >> rose: how do you see the threat from iran today? >> i still think this is a major threat. >> rose: but the united states has to take the lead in meeting that threat? >> absolutely. the united states already took the lead. >> rose: and israel should never go alone even if it defines the threat in a more urgent and immediate definition than the united states does which is basically said we have to allow sanctions to change behavior. >> rose: let me rephrase what i
12:45 am
think it should be. if at the end of all the efforts of all the countries, particularly the united states they will come -- the international community led by america will come to the cop collusion that there is no way to prevent the iranians from achieving nuclear weapons and israel will have the power and the capacity to do it then we will have to think about it very seriously. but i think that we are not there yet. there's still quite a time before you reach that conclusion. prime minister netanyahu in his famous statement to the united nations with his cardboard and all these drawings say that the red line is -- the deadline is a year from now maybe a year, maybe two years i don't know but it doesn't matter but we haven't preached that position where we
12:46 am
can say every effort failed and there is nothing else but to act on a unilateral basis. it's too early and we have to give credit for president obama and his secretary of state hillary clinton and the other agencies of the american government which are doing wonderful job and i think they have to increase their efforts and they will increase their efforts, i have no doubt about it, in order to prevent it and i trust that they will not tolerate a nuclear iran for many reasons: the security of the state of israel and the threat of a nuclear iran to other countries as well and therefor they will act. >> rose: you may have a former leader of the muslim brotherhood as the president of egypt who played a central role in finding the cease-fire because he could deal with hamas. >> so here you find the legitimate question and the
12:47 am
opening for an answer. on the one hand it's governed by the muslim brotherhood that are not known to be naturally the best friends for the state of israel and the jewish state and are more extremist fundamentally. we know from recent past experience that these administrations are not always moving in the right direction in terms of democracy in terms of neighborsly relations with other countries. on the other hand, the fact remains that president morsi of egypt was very active and positive in forcing a cease-fire on the hamas and the jihad. so i think that we have to accept the realities that our neighbors do not prescribe to the same principles and values that we share. but we have to live with them and find ways to talk with them
12:48 am
and we have to find ways to create rapport between the leaderships of our countries in order to maybe establish a different patron of relations but one that is based on mutual respect and mutual security for both sides. >> rose: it may be better in the end? >> i hope so. listen, we never can lose optimism to be and hope for the improvement in the situation and this is what has to guide us. i don't suggest that pessimistic people will be in positions of leadership in any country. you have to be optimistic, you have to try ever possible avenue to improve things and i think that this is what we have to do and i believe that our government, which ever government we will have whether netanyahu or another one we will continue on this direction of optimism to achieve peace and
12:49 am
better relations with our neighbors. this is our mission, this is our responsibility. >> rose: will you get back into politics? >> well, i think that i'll make my position known in israel definitely with your constituents about it. one thing is for surely make my positions known, i think israelis listen to me and i hope they will continue to say what remains to be my position remains to be seen but i will speak up. >> rose: tell me what your perspective is on those charges that result in legal actions? >> i was cleared entirely from any corruptions which, of course which is something that i knew from the beginning. >> rose: where did it arise from?
12:50 am
>> i never suspected that the prosecution which is a part of the legal system in israel and personal agenda or political agenda against me because that i never suspect and i don't think even now i think they will forces involved, political forces that they are trying to find all kinds of things. it was proved in court it was manifested in many different occasions. it was it was (inaudible) they are scared that i will succeed to achieve what i is forced to achieve which is peace with substantial concessions on the israeli side and they didn't want me to reach the point where i actually can win and to some
12:51 am
extent that succeeded. >> rose: you have one guilty charge and you plan to appeal that i understand? >> yes. this was a minor thing which was saved in the most explicit manner this was not personal benefit or no wrong decision that they achieved. i was sitting with someone who was not supposed to be sitting in the session that i ran as a minister at the time and therefore this this one on this particular charge the court. but in anything which smells of corruption i was entirely cleared. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: when will you decide about your political future? >> in the next couple days. >> rose: couple days? you're waiting to get back to israel to make that statement? >> that's right. >> rose: do you want to give us an indication of where you're going? >> it's going to be -- one way
12:52 am
or another it won't be dramatic because i am going to be there and i'm going to be seen and heard. >> rose: but will you be a candidate in the next sflex >> that i will say there. >> rose: how can you resist? you've been doing this all your life. >> sometimes you know first of all there is always a reputation people think of themselves that no one is better than them, this is a political person, he is led to think that he's the best in the world. i don't think so. i think i tried my best, i think i did lots of goold things. i made my mistakes as every political person does. and this opportunity will arise for me to help change the course of history for the people of israel. i'll do everything in my power to participate. >> rose: and you believe you can do that? >> well, i believe that -- i know the direction, i think i
12:53 am
have the trust of our potential partners, which is very important. i think that the palestinian leaders look at me in a general manner, perhaps different from what think about the present leadership from the state of israel and this is very important. i think i could build up important relations with the president leadership. i am very good friend of president bush. i have much respect with president obama. i like president bush. i think i could make good friends with president obama if i was in the position where we had to work together and i think that these are very essential elements in order to try and bring all of us into the desired point of making peace, providing security, of creating better lives for the people of the middle east and of supporting the values which are shared by all our countries. >> rose: it's hard to hear
12:54 am
anybody say that, especially one with your own background to assume that if it's not yes, i'm back i'm going to engage. (laughs) >> well, charlie, you know, you have a tough job, you know? sometimes you can't hear everything you want to hear. but i promise you we will discuss this in our next interview when you will invite me and i will share with you a reflection about my decision which ever way it will be. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time.
12:55 am
12:56 am
captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
12:57 am
12:58 am
12:59 am
>> this is n.b.r. >> susie: good evening. i'm susie gharib. just 28 days to go before the fiscal cliff deadline, today house republicans sent the president a counter-offer, calling for big cuts to entitlement spending, and no new taxes on the wealthy. >> tom: i'm tom hudson. auto sales speed up in november, with buyers taking advantage of ultra-cheap financing to ditch