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tv   [untitled]    January 25, 2013 7:30am-8:00am EST

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this is. a low in welcome to cross talk where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle the israelis have voted the outcome shows an electorate clearly divided down the middle at the same time it appears that israelis might have voted for the status quo there is little interest in coming to a just peace with the palestinians and palestine nor does it seem israel is on course to change its behavior in stable hood so what exactly happened in this election. to cross-talk israel's election i'm joined by patrick tyler in washington he's a former chief correspondent of the new york times and author of two books on the middle east a world of trouble and fortress israel and in jerusalem we have robert restraints
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he is a professor at hebrew university and author of a lethal obsession or a gentleman crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want all right patrick i'd like to go to for you first in washington before we talk about the meaning of the outcome of the election let's talk about the election itself was quite lackluster and a lot of people commented that foreign policy and specifically the palestinian issue was hardly mentioned even by the labor party you find that surprising what does it tell us go ahead. and i did i did find it surprising i think if you if you look at benjamin netanyahu his first term there was one issue on the table most of the time and that was iran and whether iraq and whether israel was going to start a war with iran and bomb its nuclear facilities or whether it was going to convince the united states to do so that it's been issue number one all of the sudden all of a sudden we find that the election for the israelis was really about homegrown
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issues the economy reform of government the the wealth distribution in the country the affordability of housing all those issues that a half a million israelis were out on the mall over in the summer of two thousand and eleven so it's quite surprising ok i mean robert were you surprised by that because i mean again you know netanyahu is you know beating his chest about iran all the time even started doing it right after the election even though he had his nose bloodied quite badly i mean what are the internal dynamics of this election because i think just as patrick pointed out it was very domestically driven is that unique in this time around for israel i would say that this was the first election that i've witnessed in the last thirty years in israel in which the domestic issues clearly were overwhelmingly domon and there was there was a survey done just on the eve of the elections which showed sixty percent of israel is considered the bread and butter issues such as the cost of living taxes
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the way that the burden of military services is distributed unfairly these were the predominant issues twenty percent thought security was the main issue and only sixteen percent thought that the question of peace was central so i think that is the first time that economic issues have actually prevailed over security issues in particular but i was no surprised that the promise to. issue was very much on the back burner because that accurately reflects the dominant sentiment among most israelis ok patrick do you find that worrisome you know the occupation does continue the palestinians are making headway in the international community you know some people say the israelis are kind of in denial well in the in the broadest strategic sense of course it is it is worrisome we are now you know six decades on
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on a on a refugee issue and a palestinian national rights issue that has been deferred and deferred and deferred so in the largest sense of course it's worrisome but the world is waiting for barack obama in his second term to define where the peace process goes but because without a powerful intervention by an american president there's not going to be a return to the table without obama pressure on the netanyahu government to return to the table and a new you know more centrist government if he includes the parties of the center left that. that did well in this election there's not going to be a return to the peace table so i think barack obama has a lot on his plate on his own domestic economic issues but if he gets them sorted out as we may see him come back to this issue that for him is a matter of idealism i don't think we should decide how well i don't know politics
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i mean how you can say that i mean not whining about it when the state department says settlement growth is unfortunate unfortunate and helpful what kind of language is that what kind of language is that that's what's called a spoiler plate and it's been. it's been the state department position for a long time ok benign it is not strong enough it is it reflects the fact that obama lost the battle in his first term with netanyahu over that very question ok robert where do you came in on that ok why why wasn't the palestinian issue at the for the . go ahead. look i think that we have we have to be more realistic about this it always takes two to tango the reason why most israelis have become deeply disillusioned with what's called the peace process is very much bound up with what they perceive to be complete intransigence on the other side if you ask
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most israelis today this was not true a few years ago but if you ask them do they really think that right now in the present conjuncture there is a serious negotiating partner on the other side they would say no so i think to a large extent that view is justified which doesn't mean that they shouldn't be more effort on israel's side as well to try and find a way to break through the deadlock now a criticism that suddenly can be made and i think this election has indirectly made it netanyahu is that he didn't do enough but i think the main reason for that apart from his let's say predispositions is the nature of the coalition he formed and this is where i see some room for flexibility i think the results of this election a good in the sense that they have recent israeli politics we want to have
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a narrow right wing religious coalition will have a different kind of. centrist approach which although it is not going to make any dramatic concessions will definitely be more willing well what can you can only way one concession what reopen it goes one concession give me one concession that's meaningful. i don't look i said that i i said without making any major concessions because i think that the old formula that the outside world always applies to the israel palestine conflict is land for peace but i think that that has basically been undermined because as long as you feel that on the other side there's no recognition of israel as a jewish state why would you want to give up land and into ensure your own security
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and that's not a common sense patrick looked like he was here i would only need to find i think not jumpin go right ahead patrick ahead. i would only disagree by saying that that. much of what he says is has validity but it takes three to tango history has proved in the palestinian israeli conflict and without a forceful and a strong and engaged effort by an american administration history tells us that the parties devolve to that default position which he was describing as you know there's not a partner on the other side i have all these grievances i have all these preconditions this is no longer about land for peace well the basic issues are there if you look at nine hundred forty eight to the present the trajectory of movement. to get a completed deal has moved to a last small margin on each of the big issues security right of return in jerusalem and president clinton had him there at the table and they were close so history has
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moved this issue a long way there is peace with with with egypt it was done with the help of jimmy carter there is peace with jordan it was done with the help of president clinton and it takes three to tango and until the american president says what he's going to do in his second term and netanyahu second term we're not going to know where the peace process is going now that's just one issue i think the elephant in the room is iran and i think we should come back to it because i thought up until two days ago that we were going to be at war for months from now and now i'm not sure that's the case because the israelis have voted for domestic tranquility and prosperity and a return to the focus at home and away from settlements and war and tumult in the region ok if i can stay with you do they don't they do that at their peril i mean this conflict isn't going away patrick.
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conflict with the palestinians it's certainly not going away and it's a very important point which is why i say it's strategically this is of great concern i mean at any moment you could trigger a third intifada if you start building new settlements in the e one district east of jerusalem if you start sending strong messages as netanyahu was on the precipice of doing and with his right wing partners really sticking the needle in the eye of the palestinians over threatening to taking the settlement drive further into the west bank that could trigger again a domestic conflict a third intifada and that is very dangerous for the region because the region is very unstable right now to begin with ok robert what do you think about that agree with the last point about the instability which is actually a very low key word for what we're seeing in the arab world i mean there is a massive upheaval going on during the past two years which is an additional factor
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why many israelis are skeptical about the possibility the realistic possibility of making any last ing agreement because the key point for most israelis is not that they oppose a two state solution most surveys show about sixty percent of israelis favor it but what they realize is that until there are stronger and teased that this will be an end of conflict then that makes no sense particularly in an arab world that is undergoing tremendous changes in which you don't know from one day to the next which government you might be dealing with and this is particularly true even in the west bank because the the hold which the fatah movement. is all right gentlemen we'll get when you look at the salary exactly the break and after a short break we'll continue our discussion but it's really politics. without.
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is a. welcome back to cross top or all things are considered on people delta mind you we're talking about israel's course. and now we're joined by susan i will pull it off here she's a writer and political commentator susan thank you for being with us on the program as a palestinian what is your initial reaction to the election result in israel and we'll talk about the palestinian reaction later go ahead well i mean this election means very little to palestinian life i mean nothing. it doesn't change anything on the ground for palestinians. you know the checkpoints are still going to be there the land confiscation is still going to continue the incessant colonization will
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continue unabated. you know the only difference. in the various political parties in israel is how they go about eradicating palestinian society that's really it's just in the details but otherwise they are all ideologically aligned in that in their desire to minimize palestinian presence or if they can get away with it robert in jerusalem would you like to react to that. yes i think it's very unfortunate to hear the use of a word like eradicate posting in society because this is so divorced from what i think most people in israel think about. in relation to palestinians i don't think that this is is a serious thought except in the most fanatical
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a marginal so close which has not done very well in this election i think that what. what is striking to me when i look for instance at the. palestinians who live in israel and how they voted and i think that their leaders have reproached many of the electorate the palestinian electorate in israel for not having. voted in larger numbers because had they done so they could actually have significantly affected the balance between the two blocks of right and left because it was quite a close call so i think all that talk about you know that on this day that they really know where you know it's democratic rights i'd like susan to react to the you know the right and left that the idea of right the idea of right and left affects only jewish israeli society it does not affect palestinian society and i
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don't know why you take objection to the word eradicate because that's precisely what's been happening to palestinian society i mean you can physically look at the map to see the space that is allowed to us now going from you know historic palestine to to now less than what amounts to less than historic less than ten percent of of our historic homeland that's where palestinians are located most of us are in refugee camps or in a diaspora in the rest of those those who live inside palestine live under a horrible military occupied. ation that that is slowly and daily confiscating more and more palestinian property pushing palestinians out of their homelands imprisoning them ignore izing them how can you see how i don't understand how in the face of all these overwhelming facts that you could take any objection to the word eradicate when that's precisely what's been happening and not just not just you know these these are these are indisputable facts and secondly you know
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the rhetoric coming out of out of this election. is even is it is even more proof of that i mean on the one hand you have you know. i think during lieberman's party for example used to be the far right now you actually have people who are who are to the right of your lieberman as if that was even possible and you know there are there are calls to remove palestinian citizens of israel and annex the west bank get rid of me how can you say you're ok so let me just you know what i mean retention of patrick she's got a slightly less she's got a point why should the palestinians really care because it doesn't really make any difference the same policies but i would just say i would disagree with susan on the point that the election didn't mean very much it is the it didn't change anything fundamentally it's sending netanyahu back to the prime minister's office but it did instruct the government very firmly to pull back toward the center to
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a centrist israeli position that is interested in the two state solution so the peace camp is not dead it you know there's not much of a pulse there which is why i think susan goes on to her next point very strongly and the palestinians continue to live under a subjugation that is truly historically brutal and that should worry its long term strategically but i would i would i would disagree with with robert and in saying that this that her v. us an extreme view this is the default position the palestinians don't see a partner on the israeli side and the israelis don't see a partner on the palestinian side so what is new and that's why it takes three to tango it takes a forceful intervention and this is a profound responsibility of the west but most pointedly the united states to get over its own internal divisions and provide some leadership to bring these parties back to the table robert not
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a lot's been said there you go ahead first of all. these comments of a truly brutal occupation and the other kind of terminology used i mean this is kind of completely decontextualized saying the kind of threats which are for a pretend lee been made in which are still made on a daily basis for instance coming out of gaza which is no longer under israeli occupation which is in fact under the control of hamas we're talking about a lot for the palestinian people perhaps more not in terms of the future who talk openly and a mistake a believe about the wiping out and destruction of israel so how can you expect israelis to feel that they have a partner. on the other side i mean one can't ignore this is if it doesn't exist one can ignore the rocket attacks which were made with impunity and thin no good reason and which held a million israeli citizens in the southern part of the country in
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a kind of paralysis only less than a year ago these are the down realities on the israeli side so there are two sides there are two sides to this story ok susan jump in go ahead. no no no you know what there are no two sides to the story any more than there are two sides to apartheid in south africa are two sides to to the israeli holocaust this is this is a brutal military occupation a colonial power that is slowly and surely removing an indigenous population from its from its historic homeland so you know those are the two sides if you insist on having two sides it's a colonial power and an oppressed call nice people so and you know if you want to talk about daily realities in the south gazans israel is limiting their caloric intake for god's sakes and what are they supposed to do just lie down and die
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quietly i think that's what israelis or the israeli government would very much like to happen in gaza and you know and don't give us this stuff about you know this this paralyzed daily life in israel the fact is you know israelis overwhelmingly overwhelmingly voted on economic issues which really shows that their concerns are not necessarily security issues they you know the the palestinians are largely sort of out of their consciousness for the most part with the exception of you know the appearance on the world stage of israel so gaza is and was has always been occupied completely controlled by israel whether they were actually on the ground with their soldiers or bombing them constantly from the air limiting their movement from the sea from land the like and that's just that's just disingenuous for for you robert to say that gaza is ok let me jump in here i'd like to go to paris let
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me go to pat. ok so if you want to reply to that real quickly i'd like to go to patrick ok gotcha occupied go ahead i'm sorry i didn't hear that the question is is gaza occupied while. ok let's let's let's let's let's consider let's consider the facts israel controls the movement of food and medicine and goods and everything else in and out of gaza were not for the tunnels that they that they bombed every once in a while gazans would be starving right now secondly israel controls the water they they don't allow fisherman to even make a living off of the coast they don't allow humanitarian aid to enter gaza from sea so they control the water they control access points ok. so i want to go. i want to go to patrick is over almost run out of time here why would obama
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intervene now you keep talking about a third party ok a third partner ok and i tend to agree with you but why would he. he wouldn't do it now he can't do it now the reality of an american president with so much on his domestic agenda on the economic front the debt ceiling unemployment in the united states the slowly recovering economy means that he has to work with congress. to get through the milestones this year that he has to get through to save it and rescue the economy which means that he can't get up on the high wire on a foreign policy venture and that that will antagonize important constituencies in this country including the jewish american constituency and a number of senators who are key to the votes that he will need them on that being said if he is successful in putting the economic agenda back into its on on to a stable plane i believe this president like president carter before him like president clinton before him kind of burns idealistically to take on the
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palestinian israeli conflict again k. we're almost out of time robert i mean he's the last word and of god we actually were almost at a time when i go to robert robert you know nixon went to china ok maybe now they will netanyahu go to the ramallah look. few minutes away from jerusalem and in fact it's one of the saddest. irony is perhaps tragedies of this conflict in order for palestinian or israeli leaders or even the goetia to meet they very often have to come to washington or to europe when actually they could so easily just run out of time it really going to go that would be a breakthrough many thanks today they might get some watched in philadelphia and in jerusalem and thanks to our viewers for watching us here see you next time when we remember crosstalk rules. we leave you with.
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islam. there are twelve cities in the united states in which half of the people with hiv aids lives within a year of a diagnosis of each i.v. over sixty two percent of those patients i diagnosed with eight specific problem that frankly is substantially preventable it was like the big elephant in the room and nobody wanted to talk about it there were really good public health campaigns and if people were really focused on this problem you know you certainly should be able have a lot less h i feel a lot less human suffering. hello
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. and thanks. and.
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i. you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so for langley you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know what i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture.

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