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tv   [untitled]    February 4, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm EST

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discuss the future of israeli egyptian relations i'm joined by joel beynon in stanford he's a professor of middle east history at stanford university in washington we cross to use of moon air he is the executive director of the jerusalem fund for education and community development and another member of our cross talk team yell on the hunger or a gentleman crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i think go to a. statement made by netanyahu recently about the events playing out in egypt and this is what he has to say about the treaty that was the result of the camp david here we go he israel israel believes that the global community must demand that any egyptian government preserve the peace treaty with israel joel if i can go to you first i mean is that an unusual demand i mean here's a country israel demanding that a sovereign country and hopefully an elected government out to get through all of this violence. keep to
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a peace treaty that that is genuine generally not popular in egypt right now. it is an unusual demand but it's very much in line with the kind of demands that israel routinely makes israel doesn't see itself as a country that has to live in the middle east with its neighbors on mutually acceptable terms on the other hand even though the peace treaty is unpopular in egypt i don't believe that any government that might be installed as a result of a genuine democratic transition would actually abrogate the treaty the treaty is unpopular in egypt not because of anything having to do with egypt's relations with israel but because when the outline of the treaty was negotiated at the camp david summit in one thousand nine hundred seventy eight there was supposed to be along
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with the treaty a resolution of the palestinian israeli conflict and then israeli prime minister menachem begin stonewalled and nothing happened and essentially nothing has happened until now well despite the failed i'll slow process ok if i go to you in washington i mean do you see you a rocky road ahead for these two countries because a lot of people have called their relationship of the last three decades as a cold peace. the true peace treaty is not popular among egyptians but as joel has pointed out more maybe if i can imply what he was saying i mean it doesn't necessarily mean they could heat up i mean he could be still genuinely dissatisfied with it and maybe maybe at some point in time there could be some kind of renegotiation of it i mean it also will do depend on if the u.s. will still be giving this hopefully new government in egypt aid. you know first let me just say one thing about the statement you read from prime minister netanyahu it's rather ironic i think at this point that this particular israeli government is
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calling on other governments to maintain previous agreements despite. the international community calling on them for several years now to you know keep keep the agreements that they have made with the palestinians and particular entering into the road map agreement. the first phase obligation in which was a settlement freeze so hearing this kind of language now from the israeli prime minister is ironic to say the least but getting back to your question about the future of this relationship it really all depends on what type of government ends up emerging in egypt i think that we can say for certain that this relationship will never be the same unless we see the emergence of a nother dictatorship in egypt very similar to the mubarak regime of course that is
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what the israelis would like to see their preferable candidate is the newly named vice president in egypt marsland men who they have been working with very carefully and he has been sort of the architect an overseer of the siege of gaza from the egyptian side but it's unlikely that a new government in egypt whatever that government is will be able to ignore the will of the egyptian people in the way that previous governments have particularly visa vi the israeli palestinian conflict and the past egyptian governments have occasionally opened up release valves for the for the the discontent of the egyptian people but given what we've seen over the past. almost two weeks now in cairo those sorts of tactics will never work again in public opinion in egypt and for that matter the rest of the world will have to play
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a much greater role in the decision making an ample i'm glad you're going down there that's exactly the question i want to ask joel here i mean this is an interesting precedent here because if you have egypt is the lynchpin of american foreign policy in many ways at least for the arab world in dealing with the region . depending on what happens in egypt i mean we'll have people hopefully that will actually have a maybe an import into what foreign policy is because so much of the region has dictators they determine what the foreign policy is despite the wishes of their people i mean not only of the tunisians and the egyptians setting a precedent about what kind of government they may have they may be able to start impressing upon the government their government quote unquote and hopefully it will be real what their foreign policy would be that i mean that's a dramatic change for the for the arab world right now. if that change in fact happened yes it would be very dramatic we don't know who is going to emerge at the head of the egyptian government at the end of this process if it is all marceau non
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then we will have best a cosmetic change and in terms of egypt's relationship with israel egypt's relationship with the united states not much different than what's gone before will happen if it's almost anyone else then we can expect that any egyptian government will have a much less friendly attitude towards israel and towards the united states and almost certainly will not collaborate with israel in maintaining the siege on the gaza strip at least not in the way that it has been over the last two years joe if i can stay with you here i mean the reason why i think bringing up foreign policy here is because the indigenous problems the economic problems social problems that egypt has is really quite horrendous is going to take any new government let's say it's a genuine popularly elected government of course it'll have the goodwill of people but you know there are serious problems there and and governments all over the
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world i don't care what stripe they are do like to use foreign policy to keep people on board and this this peace treaty could be a lightning rod if it were a genuinely popular popular elected government i mean do you are you concerned about that because even though you know both sides could see the some of the advantages of keeping it in place or at least in some form a government might turn around and say you know we really need to keep the people energized keep the quote unquote revolution going you worry about that. i don't think so. many many egyptians perhaps a majority although it's hard to judge what the majority wants in a author tarion state like egypt has been but many egyptians would say look we fought several wars for the arabs and the palestinians we bankrupted the country we suffered a lot we of course support the palestinian cause we don't like the fact that our
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current government is working hand in glove with the united states and israel to suppress the aspirations of the palestinian people but we're not going to fight any more we will limit ourselves to political support now that political support if the government really allows it to express itself. will have an impact it will mean that there will be perhaps large demonstrations in front of the israeli embassy in cairo which the egyptian government has not permitted to happen it will mean even large demonstrations in downtown cairo whatever happens in egypt has a resonance throughout the arab world that's a little different than tunisia which is a much smaller country and marginal to arab politics so if there is a real change in egypt and if the foreign policy aspirations of the majority of
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egyptians people are allowed to express themselves then we can expect to see reverberations throughout the arab world and especially in countries like jordan for example where the majority of the population is palestinian you see if i go back to you but we gaza was mentioned up here don't you think it's going to be incumbent upon any new government in in egypt to reach out to the plight of the people in gaza and break the longstanding illegal blockade there. because i mean that's something the egyptians and actually can do when they can open the gate they can actually start letting things go back and forth and then to end the siege there i mean isn't that the very least a new government hypothetical new government could do to show its new independence from the peace treaty and and show its real concern for the plight of the palestinian people because that's actually something very tangible they could do right away. right well
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a democratic government if one emerges would certainly come under tremendous pressure from the people in egypt to begin moving in that direction very very quickly the siege of gaza is extremely unpopular throughout the arab world and the role of the state of egypt in the current egyptian government's role in maintaining that siege is extremely unpopular in the arab world and among egyptians themselves the mubarak regime has gone to of course great lengths to try to demonize the government in gaza and even has begun using that as sort of an internal bogeyman within egypt and most recently of course we heard the interior ministry blamed the bombing of a coptic church on new year's eve that took place in alexandria on elements from gaza so that that entire dynamic is going to change your we have
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a democratic government in egypt but really we're we're we're not sure if such a government is going to emerge and you can be sure that there will be tremendous pressures from the outside both from washington and from television use of it to achieve here the new job here after a short break we'll continue our discussion on egypt and israel stay with us. for the full story we've got it's. the biggest issues get the cuban voice face to face with the news makers. well when one deals with war for the stability of this tremendous amounts of damage that are done not to. human damage but damage to
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the physical environment in which the battlefield takes place tremendous amounts of damage gone viral bombs by napalm boy chemicals that whether it's a sonic boom say factory or in mammals or it's the burning oil fields here in iraq or it's destroyed. in the pacific for ramming purposes the list just goes on and on the geneva conventions of nineteen forty nine states that are shall be taken in a war to protect and by against widespread long term and severe damage the united states although it is accepted almost all of the provisions of protocol one has taken exception to that. wealthy british style seinfeld's in the past not on the front.
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lines on the credit. markets why not scandals. find out what's really happening to the global economy in the kinds of reports. it is easy to. eat. six. o'clock. in the. welcome back to cross talk i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the
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implications of egypt's turmoil on the region. but first let's see what russians think about the middle east peace process what does the crisis in egypt mean for israel the palestinian relations most readily and palestinian leaders develop what many call the cold. well almost thirty years egypt has been israel's strongest ally in the middle east the public opinion foundation ask questions if there could be a loss to the conflict two parties in the region thirty four percent said peace is possible however another thirty two percent disagree it remains to be seen how regina egypt well impact the region back to peter and now we are joined by gil troy in jerusalem he is a professor of history at mcgill university professor choice thank you very much
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for being with us here scouring the really israeli papers yesterday and this morning i thought it was quite interesting that a lot of editorials are asking where the ironically in many ways can israel make peace only with dictators and of course we're talking about the political changes happening in in egypt and this kind of you know interesting is that israel does have a lot of understanding that has a peace treaty with egypt it has understandings with jordan but what can it really deal with a democratically elected government because it doesn't want to deal with hezbollah in lebanon. the late being the prime minister of israel said that you have to make peace with your enemies and unfortunately in the middle east you have to have a corollary to that which is unfortunately you have to make peace with dictators because they're leading your neighbors the israelis don't get to choose who their neighbors are so what's happened is that you know they made peace with egypt they made peace with the jordanians and now there's concern that if there is this
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popular vote and we don't know which direction it will go but the popular vote leads not to a true democracy not to democracy which doesn't war on its neighbors but has a let's say islamist ideology then there's a danger that this whole peace process which has been the center for stability for thirty years will be put in danger and that's the current concern with israel hezbollah is a problem because they have an extermination ideology they're the ones who want to wipe out the jewish state so it's kind of hard to be friends with them ok if i go to jol i mean it wouldn't be ultimately better for israel to have to deal with democracies and if the us stops supporting these dictatorships and lead popular governments come into being and you know this this is what we say we're all about but the rhetoric and actions on always mean but it would be easier in the end in theory for democracies to negotiate with them that's what we preach. and in the long run of course that's true democratic egypt or democratic regimes in other arab countries would be much more stable in the long run then autocracies
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what professor troy has said is really a straw man there isn't going to be as a result of this popular uprising in egypt a radical islamic regime coming to power the muslim brothers have four years in jail indicated that they are willing to participate in the parliamentary process they run in the two thousand and five elections had eighty eight representatives elected to the parliament about twenty percent of the parliament the mubarak regime considered that to be too much and held even more undemocratic parliamentary elections in december two thousand and ten then had been held before so first of all the muslim brothers are saying at least and based on their practice in the two thousand and five parliamentary session actually acting according to democratic procedural rules they have lots of criticisms of israel but that can't be
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a reason why they can't participate in political life in egypt moreover the muslim brothers have agree that mohamed el dorado eighty who is a liberal secularist nobel peace laureate and former head of the international atomic energy commission should lead the transition to a new democratic regime in egypt and is very clever on their part because he's already announced that should he do that he would arrange elections that would allow everyone from the muslim brothers to the communists to participate i can't see why anyone would have a problem with that you see if you know a lot a lot about the power of the plight of the palestinians in light of what's happening in egypt in tunisia some of the other protests that we've seen in the region and the palestine papers do you think the palestinian people now. or look at that example and say we need new elections we need and elections not only in the west bank but in gaza true elections where they reflect the people including hamas
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whether you guy fatah and hamas going to have to somehow come to some kind of agreement and then deal with the israeli government with a popular mandate because the palestine papers certainly don't does not show a popular mandate representing the palestinian people when they palestinian negotiators deal with israel. sure let me let me just begin by saying in regards to the israeli egyptian peace treaty that when that was signed yasser arafat when he was in beirut at the time. stated that you know they can sign whatever they want to force peace will not last and here we are today realizing that agreements made with dictators that do not necessarily represent the will of the people of the countries which they rule will not last and we are perhaps at the brink of having to rethink completely how.
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israeli relations will be. the palestinians are in a very similar situation with the division within palestinian society and unless as as you mentioned they have a truly representative leadership they will not be able to come to a an agreement with the israelis or achieve their own national liberation and certainly this is a feeling that is apparent not only among palestinians but throughout the arab world now particularly since the successful revolution in tunisia so people throughout the arab world including in the occupied palestinian territories are thinking about who represents them and if the people who represent them currently are acting in the best interests of the people professor troy if i go back to you i
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mean did don't you think israel is kind of in an awkward position where even egypt's got great ally the united states the president of united states is saying transition needs to be done now and then you look at the israeli meet israeli media saying you know do you know stop being so hard on mubarak and stuff like that but that kind of an awkward position to be put in when everyone in the region is cheering the end of this dictator. ship and israel is the sole party there saying well maybe not the sole party maybe other dictatorships are worried too but. i mean is how does this change israel's foreign policy towards its neighbors because you know democracy may be in the air and some form of democracy and it may even involved obviously islamic elements i mean this is israel has to reconsider its entire foreign policy to its region to it to its neighbors. i think there is a major reassessment going on right now first of all let me say that i absolutely agree with the other two that the best case scenario would be a true democracy in egypt among the palestinians in syria in lebanon true democracy
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which would mean even if there were islamist elements the elements weren't dictatorships the elements didn't use violence to advance their goals and they almost didn't call for the extermination of israel that truly would be a fantastic scenario and if these riots and if these uprisings lead to that then you know going to be extremely happy and i think most israelis will be extremely happy notice that you're talking about and you're reacting to the israeli media the israeli government has been extremely quiet which is rare for a government which is such a messy coalition and is not known for disciplined they're being quiet because they know that ultimately they can't control what's going on and let's roll back the clock thirty years ago or thirty years ago the israelis said you know what we're not going to make peace with the egyptians because they're a dictatorship everybody has said look the israelis are obstructionist the israelis about to deal with the realities of the middle east the realities of the middle east are tough complex so right now there is what i consider hope and skepticism there's skepticism because yes for the first time in thirty years this egypt israeli peace treaty might be questioned might be shaken and israelis are you know
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have lost their illusions thirty years ago they hope to be a true peace would be a peace between the peoples and not just government to government and that hasn't panned out largely because of egyptian anger at israel as opposed to israeli anger in egypt so that's number one number two is there is hope there is hope that perhaps it will be major shift and we're talking about and we've learned this during the bush administration not just fake democracy. where there's an occasional vote and then dictatorships in name basically but we're talking a true democracy respect for minorities respect for women respect for gays respect for your neighbors and then of course we'll have a whole new middle east ok if i go to you do you agree with what we just heard there i mean a lot of people would say the palestinians are not there are a minority you know treated very badly under israeli control i mean what i'm saying is that you know democracy can benefit everyone but it that it's not it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a very friendly community i mean there would be certain core values that people have and
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a lot of people in the region an expression when you look at the palestinians and you look at the egyptians that look at gaza i mean it's not going to be a cozy relationship but do you think that it with a democratic wave the all of the countries including israel can have a pragmatic start working on a pragmatic understanding without necessarily liking each other. sure i would just say to professor troy that for the past forty three years between the river in the sea there has been one one all timid authority and that is the state of israel and half of the people which it controls within those territories have no rights within the israeli political system so i think that democracy there would do a great deal to push the entire conflict to a resolution but but you know that's not something that we've seen either and you know it's a reality that you know israel made peace with the options when they did
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because of the reality of power politics not because they sought a genuine peace with the egyptian people if they sought a genuine peace with the people throughout the region they would have found a genuine solution to the conflict that they have with the palestinians the ongoing occupation and colonization of palestinian land ongoing judaization of which we can go on an illegitimate really great she was running out of time many thanks to my guest today in jerusalem stanford and in washington thanks for viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time remember prostate. demanded
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a wise man waiting no word from the egyptian president as hundreds of thousands take to the streets they flood my rose main square calling on robotics to step down on what they've dubbed the final friday. saw major political figures in the west bank demonstrators trying to oust the egyptian leader leading to criticism they're taking sides in an internal uprising. sacrificing freedom for the country it isn't us that nor makers are for denying essential civil liberties with the renewal of the patriot act allowing me a limited spying on citizens.
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a very warm welcome to you this is live from moscow with me alex hit now by some estimates in egypt over a million people have packed into kyrie's main square and surrounding area for what's been labeled final friday it's the latest show of force to try and make president hosni mubarak leave all face it's the eleventh day of the mass uprising in the country which has been accompanied by a wave of violent clashes between pro and anti government protesters well these are the latest pictures we have inquiry essential to your square where massive crowds are staying put refusing to leave until the president stands down the media effect . it's leah is keeping a couple of other things. nice has fallen a flight in ninety two in the egyptian capital and indeed a deadline that protesters gave to president mubarak to resign has come and gone with no word from him some of those protesters in fact many of them of the.


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