How Far Away Is a Ceasefire? An Update on Gaza and the Rafah Invasion | Ian Bremmer

TED
9 May 202446:26

Summary

TLDRThe video script discusses the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with a focus on the Israeli military operation in Rafah and the challenges of achieving a ceasefire or sustainable peace. Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, provides insights into the perspectives of both Israelis and Palestinians, emphasizing the lack of common ground between the two sides. He highlights the Israeli demand for the destruction of Hamas' military capabilities and the Palestinian aspiration for territory control. Bremmer also discusses the international response, including the U.S. and Egypt's efforts to mediate, and the potential implications of the conflict on regional stability and U.S. domestic politics. The conversation underscores the complexity of the situation, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the difficulty in finding a peaceful resolution.

Takeaways

  • 🚨 The Israeli military operation in Rafa, Gaza, aims to eliminate Hamas fighters and infrastructure, causing concern for the 1.2 million Palestinians in the area.
  • ⚔️ There is a significant ideological gap between Israel and Hamas, with no overlap in their goals, making a sustainable peace or even a ceasefire challenging.
  • 🇮🇱 The Israeli population broadly supports the destruction of Hamas's military capabilities and leadership, irrespective of defense capabilities.
  • 🕊️ Hamas continues to fight for control over territory they believe belongs to Palestinians and does not recognize Israel's right to exist.
  • 🤝 Negotiating with Hamas as a terrorist organization has been difficult, with the U.S., Egypt, and Qatar trying to facilitate discussions.
  • 💣 Israel is not yet at a military endpoint where they feel they must change their approach or offer more in the negotiation process.
  • 🔍 The situation in Gaza is dangerous and operates in a gray zone, with the potential for broader regional and international implications.
  • 👤 Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, suggests that personal suffering of Hamas leaders might influence their decisions, but ideology remains a strong driver.
  • 🏛️ The Israeli government, despite international pressure, does not feel compelled to change its approach significantly.
  • 🛑 President Biden's administration has shown reluctance in directly confronting Israel, even suspending some offensive weapons to Israel.
  • 🕰️ The timeline for a potential resolution is uncertain, with Bremmer suggesting that a full-scale invasion of Rafa by Israel is still possible.

Q & A

  • Why did Israeli tanks enter Rafa in southern Gaza?

    -Israeli tanks entered Rafa as part of a military operation aimed at eliminating Hamas fighters and their infrastructure.

  • What is the estimated number of Palestinians sheltering in the area during the Israeli invasion?

    -There are an estimated 1.2 million Palestinians sheltering in the area.

  • What are the Israeli population's general sentiments towards Hamas?

    -The Israeli population, spanning the political spectrum from right to left, generally wants Hamas destroyed, its leadership brought to justice, and its military capabilities eliminated.

  • What is the stance of Hamas towards Israel?

    -Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist and is ideologically committed to fighting and representing their aspirations for control of the territory they believe belongs to the Palestinians.

  • What has been the role of the United States in trying to facilitate peace between Israel and Hamas?

    -The United States, along with Egyptians and others, has tried to facilitate negotiations and a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, despite the challenges posed by the lack of common interests between the two parties.

  • What is the current status of the Israeli military action in Rafa?

    -As of the time of the discussion, Israel has conducted significant airstrikes and tank movements into parts of Rafa, distributed evacuation flyers, and is managing the evacuation of territory, but a full-scale invasion has not yet occurred.

  • What are the conditions the United States has set for Israel regarding the situation in Rafa?

    -The United States has set conditions that include ensuring the safety of Palestinian civilians in Rafa and allowing adequate humanitarian aid into Gaza.

  • What is the likelihood of a full-scale invasion of Rafa according to the discussion?

    -The discussion suggests that a full-scale invasion of Rafa is still a possibility, depending on the outcome of negotiations and the conditions set by the United States.

  • What are the challenges faced by Bill Burns, the director of the CIA, in his mission to negotiate a ceasefire?

    -Bill Burns faces challenges such as the ideological divide between Hamas and Israel, the difficulty in communicating with Hamas's military leadership, and the political instability within Israel's government.

  • How does the discussion assess the chances of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's political survival?

    -The discussion suggests that Netanyahu's survival skills are notable, and it is likely that he will remain Prime Minister at least until November, considering the recent conflict has bolstered his image as a patriot and strengthened his coalition.

  • What is the potential impact of the conflict on the global stage, particularly with regards to anti-Semitism?

    -The conflict has the potential to escalate anti-Semitism and intensify extremist rhetoric globally. It may also influence the decisions of leaders and affect diplomatic relations, particularly in the context of the United States' role in the conflict.

Outlines

00:00

🚔 Israeli Military Operation in Gaza

The paragraph discusses the Israeli military operation in Rafa, southern Gaza, aimed at eliminating Hamas fighters and infrastructure. It highlights the anticipation and fear among Palestinians, the ongoing war, and the humanitarian crisis. The speaker, Ian Bremmer, provides insight into the conflict, emphasizing the differing goals of Israel and Hamas, which makes achieving a sustainable peace challenging. The Israeli population's desire for Hamas' destruction is contrasted with Hamas' aim to continue fighting and represent their ideology. The discussion also touches on international efforts to negotiate a ceasefire and the potential implications of the conflict on the region and globally.

05:01

🏺 The Humanitarian Crisis and Negotiations

This paragraph delves into the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with a focus on the impact of the conflict on civilians and the challenges of negotiating with Hamas. It discusses the personal suffering of Hamas leaders and the potential leverage of hostages in negotiations. The paragraph also explores the possibility of a safe passage for Hamas leaders as part of a negotiated exit. The conversation touches on the role of the United States and the CIA in facilitating negotiations and the potential consequences of a full-scale invasion of Rafa, including civilian casualties and regional instability.

10:01

🔍 Assessing the Prospects of a Ceasefire

The focus of this paragraph is on the likelihood of a successful ceasefire and the potential actions of the Israeli government and military. It discusses the possibility of a temporary ceasefire, the challenges of negotiating with a far-right coalition, and the potential for a full-scale invasion of Rafa. The paragraph also highlights the role of the United States in providing humanitarian aid, ensuring the safety of civilians, and the pressure on Israel to adhere to certain conditions before proceeding with military actions. The discussion also touches on the potential for a broader conflict involving Iran and the risks associated with escalating tensions in the region.

15:02

🌐 Global Response and Political Ramifications

This paragraph examines the global response to the conflict, the rise in anti-Semitism, and the political implications for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. It discusses the polarization and misinformation contributing to the rise in anti-Semitic sentiments and the complex political landscape that Netanyahu navigates. The paragraph also explores the potential impact of the conflict on the US election and how the Biden administration's handling of the situation could influence voter sentiment. It emphasizes the importance of decisive leadership and the challenges of managing ally relationships during international conflicts.

20:03

🕊️ Path to Peace and Two-State Solution

The paragraph explores the possibility of a two-state solution and the challenges to achieving peace in the region. It discusses the potential for a technocratic Palestinian government, the role of the Gulf States, and the need for security and economic support. The paragraph also highlights the changing political climate in Israel, where a majority now opposes a two-state solution. It touches on the divisions among Palestinians, the impact of Israeli policies on Palestinian refugees, and the potential for normalized relations between Israel and Arab nations, contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

25:05

📉 Rising Tensions and Future Predictions

This paragraph focuses on the rising tensions in the region and potential future developments. It discusses the potential for attacks from the Houthis, the possibility of a broader conflict involving Iran, and the need to monitor the situation closely. The paragraph also emphasizes the importance of watching for signals of new developments, such as the outcome of Bill Burns' trip to Israel, the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and the potential for escalation in the region. It concludes with a call for vigilance and a hopeful outlook for future negotiations and the potential for peace.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Rafa

Rafa, also known as Rafah, is a city in the southern Gaza Strip. In the context of the video, it is the site of a significant military operation by Israeli forces aimed at eliminating Hamas fighters and infrastructure. The city is of strategic importance due to its border with Egypt and has been a focal point of the ongoing conflict, with the Israeli tanks entering as part of their operation.

💡Hamas

Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist and militant group with political and military wings. It has been a key antagonist in the Israel-Palestine conflict, as mentioned in the video. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and does not recognize the state of Israel's right to exist, which is central to the ongoing hostilities discussed in the script.

💡Israeli War Cabinet

The Israeli War Cabinet refers to a small group within the Israeli government that has the authority to make decisions regarding war and national security. In the video, it is mentioned that even beyond this group, the broader Israeli population holds strong sentiments against Hamas, seeking its destruction and the dismantling of its military capabilities.

💡Humanitarian Crisis

The term 'humanitarian crisis' is used in the video to describe the dire situation faced by the Palestinian population in the conflict zone, particularly in the area of Rafa. The crisis is characterized by a severe lack of essential resources like food, water, and medical supplies, and it is exacerbated by the violence and instability of the ongoing war.

💡Eurasia Group

The Eurasia Group is a political risk research and consulting firm. Ian Bremmer, who is featured in the video, is the president and founder of this group. The欧亚集团 (Eurasia Group) provides analysis and advice on how political decisions, risks, and events can impact businesses operating around the globe, which is relevant to the discussion of the geopolitical implications of the conflict.

💡Two-State Solution

A 'Two-State Solution' is a term used to describe the concept of establishing two separate, sovereign states for Israelis and Palestinians in the region that is currently Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The video discusses the challenges and current unlikelihood of achieving this solution, given the widening gap between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples due to the conflict.

💡Axis of Resistance

The 'Axis of Resistance' is a term used to describe a group of states and movements that are opposed to Western influence, particularly American and Israeli policies in the Middle East. In the video, it is mentioned in the context of potential retaliation from these groups if the conflict escalates further.

💡Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian Authority is an interim self-government body established to govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. In the video, it is suggested that a reformed Palestinian Authority, with a technocratic government, could be part of a potential path to peace, but the current political climate makes this unlikely.

💡Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism refers to hostility or prejudice against Jewish people. The video discusses the rise in anti-Semitism, particularly in the context of the global response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is suggested that the conflict and the perception of Israel's actions have contributed to an increase in anti-Semitic sentiment worldwide.

💡Normalization of Relations

Normalization of relations refers to the process of establishing normal diplomatic and bilateral relations between countries that have previously been in a state of conflict or non-recognition. The video mentions how some countries are willing to normalize relations with Israel despite condemning certain actions, which is a significant development in the region's political landscape.

💡Humanitarian Aid

Humanitarian aid encompasses the assistance and support provided to individuals or groups in crisis or in need, often in the form of food, shelter, medical aid, and other essentials. The video discusses the importance of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip and the challenges in delivering this aid due to the ongoing conflict.

Highlights

Israeli tanks entered Rafa in southern Gaza as part of a military operation to eliminate Hamas fighters and infrastructure.

The invasion of Rafa was anticipated with fear for the 1.2 million Palestinians estimated to be sheltering in the area.

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, discusses the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis.

Israeli population and government aim to destroy Hamas, seeking justice for their leadership and dismantling their military capabilities.

Hamas continues to fight for their ideology and aspirations for control of territory they believe belongs to Palestinians.

Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist, making negotiations with them challenging.

The U.S. and other countries have tried to facilitate negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas has not faced enough damage to feel compelled to accept Israeli offers for ceasefire.

The U.S. has suspended some offensive weapons to Israel, indicating a shift in their stance.

Saudi Arabia has warned Israel against what they call 'genocide' against the Palestinian people.

Israel does not feel the need to change their approach despite international pressure.

The U.S. has not declared a red line regarding a full-scale invasion by Israel into Rafa.

Bill Burns, the director of the CIA, is involved in negotiations to attempt a ceasefire and prevent further escalation.

A full-scale invasion of Rafa by Israel is still considered possible despite current negotiations.

The U.S. election could impact how the conflict is handled, with Netanyahu's political future tied to the outcome.

Iran's involvement in the conflict and potential retaliation against Israel is a significant concern.

The global response to the conflict has been divided, with rising anti-Semitism and angry rhetoric worldwide.

The possibility of a two-state solution seems distant as both Israeli and Palestinian people move further apart.

Transcripts

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on Tuesday May the 7th Israeli tanks

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entered Rafa in southern Gaza as part of

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a military operation to rid the city of

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Hamas Fighters and infrastructure The

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Invasion had long been anticipated with

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much fear for the 1.2 million

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Palestinians estimated to be Sheltering

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in the area it feels like a pivotal

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moment in an ongoing war and

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humanitarian crisis so we thought we

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would try to get a deeper sense of what

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is going on and what we should be paying

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attention to I am delighted to be joined

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Once More by Ian brema president and

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founder of political risk research and

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consulting firm Eurasia group and my

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conspirator in this Ted explains the

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World Series even though Ian has a

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terrible voice right now a terrible

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voice a terrible voice I mean how do I

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sound so non-an likee it's horrible you

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sound really terrible but the good news

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is that the insight and the wisdom will

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flow all the same so thank you for being

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here Ian and welcome thank you Al good

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to see it okay so can you lay it out for

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us share your perspective of what is

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going on right now and crucially what

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are we not seeing or appreciating In

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This Moment well look so much of this

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conflict has been about the fact that

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the two

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antagonists um the Israeli government um

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and Hamas have virtually no alignment no

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overlap in what they're trying to

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accomplish um and and it's very hard to

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come to a sustainable peace or even a

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ceasefire that can lasts for anything um

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when that's true uh I mean the

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perspective of the Israelis and I'm not

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just talking about the war cabinet but

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the whole Israeli the Israeli population

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and there have been some that have been

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protesting and demanding that you know

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the the Israeli government accept the

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Hamas ceasefire most

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from the the right the center and the

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left want Hamas

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destroyed they want the leadership of

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Hamas brought to Justice either killed

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or captured they want the military

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capabilities of Hamas destroyed Beyond

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an ability to continue to launch rockets

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against Israel irrespective of Israeli

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defense and they want um the fighters

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the 30 some 30 to 40,000 estimated Hamas

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Fighters uh to be gone uh and they're

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not close to that military outcome

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yet um

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Hamas uh of course is trying to find a

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way to continue to fight and uh to

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represent uh their ideology and their

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aspirations for control of territory

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that they believe belongs to the

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Palestinians um and of course they don't

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recognize the right of Israel to exist

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so I mean even negotiating with a

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terrorist organization is something that

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we don't in normal times think a lot

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about doing that is what the Americans

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the Egyptians the cutteries have tried

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to facilitate over the past months but

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the reality is that while everybody else

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in the world wants the fighting to be

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over that the two groups that are

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actually fighting don't share common

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interests they don't um and and no one

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has been forced to cry Uncle I I mean

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Hamas just obviously hasn't faced enough

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damage that they feel like they have no

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alternative but to accept what is being

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offered to them by the

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Israelis um and the Israeli government

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despite the isolation they're feeling

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and and you know with even President

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Biden now suspending a small number of

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offensive weapons which he was

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incredibly reluctant to even talk about

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as a possibility just a couple months

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ago he's now doing it and the Saudis

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coming out and saying warning the Israel

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to stop what what the Saudis are calling

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a genocide against the Palestinian

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people that is a big step for a country

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that's preparing to normalized relations

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with Israel despite all of that Israel

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does not feel the need um that they have

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to change um and and give more um to the

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negotiating process and and that's why

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despite the ultimatums that have been

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given consistently by the United States

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not to go into Rafa um they've gone in

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and to be fair they haven't at this

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moment you and I talking they haven't

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gone all the way in they've done more

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than dip a toe um there are significant

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air strikes there are tanks that have

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rolled into some of it they have given

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evacuation flyers and they're moving a

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lot of the territory out of big parts of

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Rafa um but uh but you would not call

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this um a full on crowned Invasion and

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at this point the Americans have not

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said that the Israelis have breached the

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red line of which there is one um what

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the American will do if they proceed as

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an open question uh and so we're you

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know we're in a bit of a gray Zone a lot

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of the Middle East operates in Gray

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zones in Conflict all the time but this

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is very dangerous both for the region uh

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and uh more broadly uh and and uh and I

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think that's it's a good time to be

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talking about what's at stake

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here so it's interesting that you say

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that Hamas doesn't feel like they have I

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don't know if you put it suffered enough

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but you know 35,000 Palestinians have

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died in this conflict what do you think

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will bring Hamas to the table in some

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meaningful way look I mean their leaders

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some of their leaders have lost a lot of

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their families that's true um I my

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understanding is that uh the uh the

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military leader of of Hamas has actually

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had over 30 members of his family killed

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um you know so clearly uh there's a

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level of personal suffering

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and while ideology is driving them in

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ways that is hard for you and I to

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imagine um it is hard to hard to say

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it's driving them blindly you have to

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believe that there are other things that

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are also Weighing on um their decisions

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like the well-being of their families um

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and like their ability to continue to

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live and fight another

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day now I'm I'm sure that that's a part

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of the reason they don't want to give up

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the hostages not just because there

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aren't that many left alive for them to

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give up and of course that that has been

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a wrinkle in the negotiations over the

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past weeks as well as the Israelis have

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learned that the um that the first

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tranch of hostages that were going to be

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released weren't all going to be alive I

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you know no one's going to accept that

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bait and switch um in Israel um and and

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also uh the fact fact that the only way

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that Hamas is protecting their leaders

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in all likelihood is because they're

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deep um under Raa in tunnels with those

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hostages um so you know one of the ways

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that you get them out is if there is a

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possibility of safe passage I mean I

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remember when you and I were talking

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about progan if Genny

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progan who was you know marching Moscow

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and he was in an absolutely no win

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situation and yet he was willing to cut

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a deal with Putin that gave him another

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few months of Life on this Earth and

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allowed you know his left tenants and

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some of his advisors to continue with

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their contracts and their jobs you and I

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both knew that he was dead man walking

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so I mean part of the question is Hamas

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has gotten themselves in terms of their

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leadership into an

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incredibly impossible position they will

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be marked no matter where they are for

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death by the Israelis by the Americans

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by many others for the rest of their

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lives that hardens their position it

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makes it harder to negotiate with them

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but even then if things get too

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impossible for them they might be

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willing to accept an exit clause to get

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out for a third undisclosed country for

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a period of time and I got to tell you

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most of the world would accept that if

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it meant that we could have an end of

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Hamas in Gaza uh an end of the fighting

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in Gaza but but again at this point you

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know what we're negotiating over right

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now and Bill Burns the director of the

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CIA who has been the adult from the

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United States writing heard on these

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negotiations him going to Israel is the

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last opportunity to get a deal done to

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get any time of ceasefire and back away

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from fullon onslaught of Rafa that will

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cause many thousands more civilian

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deaths much more famine and hardship for

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the other Palestinians living in Gaza

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and much more retaliation from the axis

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of resistance and more broadly across

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the Middle East so he's going there but

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what we're talking about even if he is

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successful is not a permanent

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ceasefire and I think it's almost

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impossible to get this Israeli

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government and particularly its prime

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minister and his far-right Coalition off

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of the idea that they still have

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unfinished military business on the

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ground in Gaza and they may delay it for

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a month or six weeks but they are not

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going to delay it indefinitely that that

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is not on in the cards in my

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view so you mean an A full-scale

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invasion of Rafa is still on the cards I

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do I absolutely believe that um now what

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is defined by fullscale Invasion it's

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interesting the Americans have never

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told the Israelis that they oppose a

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full-scale invasion they haven't said

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that they haven't you'd think they'd

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said that they hadn't said that they've

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said that they want

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guarantees that the palestin Ian

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civilians living in Rafa um over a

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million as you say 1.2 million have a

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safe haven have an ability to evacuate

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that the Americans consider to hold

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water and that's number one number two

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that adequate humanitarian Aid is able

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to get in to Gaza across the territory

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to allow the Palestinians to continue to

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survive in anything that looks like life

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and as of right now neither of those two

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conditions have been upheld um you know

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the the and and so if if the Israel and

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the Americans have made that very clear

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as of today so if the Israelis were to

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persist with a full on Invasion absent

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those conditions the Americans would be

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forced to what suspend cut off offensive

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Weaponry make the Israeli buy it on the

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market reduce their ability to actually

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continue a fight for more than a few

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weeks the way they would like to in Rafa

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that is what the Americans are trying to

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say to Israel right now um but it is not

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it is not the case um I mean I I feel

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like what if we don't get a

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ceasefire a temporary ceasefire what is

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likely to happen is that the Israelis

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will evacuate more people uh

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non-military a men right um but others

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um and they can't force them they're not

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ordering them but they're you know

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they're flying leaflets and they're

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saying get out and we'll give you sayfe

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passage for a period of time a couple

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days four days whatever it is um and

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they'll let in more humanitarian Aid

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some of which is no longer frankly in

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their control they've said an American

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private security company is going to be

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given control of the border that they've

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just taken over at Rafa that's new

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that's the last 24 hours and they've

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also of course allowed um though they

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don't formally occupy it so it's not

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really up to Israel to allow it the

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United States to build this pier to

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allow Goods to get shipped in which

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might be open in the next few days even

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to allow some additional Aid in I think

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that those things will happen Israel

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will say that they've met American

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demands and then they'll do full-on

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Invasion I think that is the plan right

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now absolutely short of Bill Burns being

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success ful when he gets to

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Israel how do you rate his

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chances if it was anybody but him they'd

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be really low uh he's well respected by

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all sides he really is he wouldn't be

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going if he didn't have a serious plan

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he's not going for window dressing he's

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not going to show that the Americans are

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giving their all he believes there's a

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way through I have a lot of respect for

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bill um so I mean I I'd like to say it's

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at least a coin flip um I think they're

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still really talking they're still

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really engaging but let's also keep in

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mind Ellen a couple of things here first

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um talking to Hamas is hard getting

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messages to the military leadership just

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one message back and forth can

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frequently take one to two weeks by the

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cutteries so between the time that they

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have said something and when you are

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responding to them them frequently the

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facts on the ground change and that

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makes it a lot harder to get to a deal

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and that's how the Americans have

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earlier a couple of months ago said yeah

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we think a Deal's about to happen and

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then you know you hear back from Hamas

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and it turns out life is different than

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you thought and Biden's being a lot more

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careful more cautious this time around

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than he was a couple of months ago

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everybody has noticed also the fact that

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if

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nanahu gives too much up um in a deal uh

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he will lose his right-wing government

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and then he'll fall and and this is a

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government who have ministers in a

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sitting government who have called for

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genocide against the Palestinians right

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I mean publicly who have said Gaza

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should be leveled full ethnic cleansing

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they should be occupying it this is you

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know these are ministers of the Israeli

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government they are not members of the

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war cabinet thankfully so they don't

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have control over the war in Gaza but

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they are indispensable to nyaho

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maintaining his power and so he is being

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pushed I mean I have no doubt that BB

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will find a way um you know to come to

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terms with the deal if he can survive

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politically with that deal but if he

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can't he'll throw it away and and so

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that's where we are right now it's hard

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to work with a on

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it's hard to work with this Israeli War

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cabinet because of the leadership um and

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and that's just to get a temporary deal

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of a few weeks which everyone will will

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see as an incredibly improbable win like

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we are at the brink right now and I

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would consider it you know a big breath

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of fresh air oil prices will go down we

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will have a cessation of attacks in the

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Red Sea by the houthis um for as long as

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the ceasefire is going on there'll be

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huge shuttle diplomacy to talk about

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next steps Palestinian leadership

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governance all of these things but the

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reality is we'll still only be looking

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at a temporary ceasefire with Hamas

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holding on to a smaller number of

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hostages each of whom mean a lot more to

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hamas's survival right and the Israelis

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being pushed harder and harder say what

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are you doing to get them out and and

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what are you doing to end Hamas so I

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don't think this gets easier even if we

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manage to pull a rabbit out of a hat

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with these negotiations these last ditch

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negotiations how do you rate netanyahu's

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chances of surviving as the

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leader um I mean you know he has

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survived longer over many

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administrations than almost any of his

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detractors would have expected so his

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survival skills um are are quite

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something um his political instincts his

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ability to play higher stakes poker than

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you are willing to and push all of his

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chips in does it repeatedly um there's

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no question that BB thinks he's got a

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better chance with his Coalition if he

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can make it through the US election and

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Trump wins not because Trump loves BB he

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doesn't Trump doesn't trust nanyu didn't

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like really didn't like the fact that na

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promised to be there with the Americans

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when the US was going to assassinate

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kasum sulamani and then a week before

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hand pulled out also really didn't like

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that nanahu immediately called Biden to

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congratulate him after the election say

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I'm ready to work with you Trump

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couldn't stand those things Trump

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remembers those things talks about it

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but but Trump on Israel supports the

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far-right position and Trump's advisors

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foreign policy advisors around the

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Middle East support that position this

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is the guy that recognized um Israel's

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uh ownership of the Golan Heights he's

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the guy that moved the embassy the US

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Embassy to Jerusalem he didn't have a

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problem with expanded settlements um in

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the West Bank uh I mean so a lot of

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places where Biden is strongly Pro

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Zionist but is more of a Centrist in

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terms of who he supports in the Israeli

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political Spectrum you know Trump would

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support

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the far right that um BB has as his

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Lifeline it's lud right-wing party

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center right and it's the farri

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Coalition that's it so I think that Dao

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thinks that if he sticks around there

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can be other things on the table that

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can that can allow him to be a leader

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for

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longer but but he has to stick around at

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this point I think it's more likely than

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not that he's still prime minister come

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November

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uh because even if you have a no

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confidence vote um and you force a new

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election it's three months from when

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that happens to the election and you

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know we had this big I'm sure we'll talk

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about this but we had this big fight

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between the Israelis and the Iranians

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that made nanahu look like more of a

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patriot he had been responsible for

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October 7th that's his legacy then he's

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responsible for Israel with allies

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defending itself against unprecedented

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Iranian strike without a single Israeli

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casualty so I think he's bought himself

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More Time by virtue of how this war has

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go has gone and how the war has expanded

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and also how he's managed to keep his

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own Coalition on side so yeah I think if

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you made me bet I think he's got at

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least another six months in him at this

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point so the mention of Iran I think is

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is really important as as you mentioned

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like in April we saw Iran launched

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hundreds of drones and missiles onto

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Israel in response to an Israeli attack

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and I think there was real kind of

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everyone holding their breath to see how

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that actually shook out do you think

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that Iran will respond to this attack on

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Rafa or do you think that they're going

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to get involved in any bigger way at

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this moment not directly but indirectly

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but you know here's a really interesting

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point Helen you know the Israelis have

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had a common practice of killing um irgc

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members when they can find them in other

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parts of the Middle East not in Iran

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itself they've had major cyber

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attacks in Iran against their nuclear

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program they've assassinated nuclear

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scientist right I mean there have been

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all sorts of Israeli attacks against

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core Iranian interests it's fairly clear

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from what happened just a few weeks ago

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the Iranian response to an Israeli

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attack against an Iranian uh Consular

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building basically part of the Iranian

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Embassy which Iran considered attack on

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its own territory the 300 plus missiles

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and drones against Israel and they said

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you do this again this is going to be

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much worse so the stakes for the status

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quo

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anti policy of Israel have gotten a lot

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higher

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next time Israel is thinking about okay

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it's time to go after Iran's nuclear

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program again the potential for that to

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become a war much higher so let's talk

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let's break down two different parts of

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this first let's look at what happened

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between Israel and Iran then let let's

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look at what the Iranians are doing

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going forward first what

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happened so the Israelis who have been

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on the receiving end of attacks from all

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of these Iranian proxies across the

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region and Iran gives the money and

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weaponry and training and intelligence

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so then the Israelis see this Target in

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Damascus the irgc Islamic revolutionary

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guards Corps they head for Syria and so

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they send missiles in they blow up the

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building they kill him and some other

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officers um and so then the

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Iranians on the one hand they clearly

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don't want a war so they tell the Turks

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and Iraq Iraqis in advance here's what

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we're planning on doing they wait a week

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the messages get to the Americans just

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going to attack military targets not

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going to attack any civilians this isn't

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about the United States we don't want

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the US involved then they send the

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weapons over while the weapons are in

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you know in transit the Iranian uh

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mission to the UN says hey this is all

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we're doing it's in response to what the

play23:24

Israelis did we consider this now

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closed that all sounds pretty good

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sounds de-escalatory tit fortat except

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they sent over 300 missiles and drones

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and I will tell you that no one in the

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Biden Administration in the Pentagon in

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the White House no one thought that that

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was going to happen they they thought

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that was such a larger response from

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Iran I mean if you wanted to just hit

play23:51

Israel to show that this is serious you

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send 20 30 drones whatever you know

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they're going to knock them down you

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send over 300 the intention is for a

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bunch of them to get through the

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intention is to blow up a major Israeli

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base to kill Israeli military men and

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women if that had

play24:11

happened the ability of the United

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States to contain the Israeli response

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to something symbolic would have been

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very very challenging we in other words

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we might right now be in an Iran Israel

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war that theic Americans got sucked into

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the Straits of Hormuz would have been

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disrupted Iran also bordered in Israeli

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linked ship just outside the Straits of

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hero right before they sent those

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weapons showing this is where this can

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go if this gets really ugly that's $150

play24:46

oil that's Trump as the next president

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right that's a that's a major war in the

play24:51

Middle East the Americans are actively

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fighting with allies horrible situation

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I don't think it was like

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but the Iranians were prepared to risk

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that at least to a limited degree and

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that's something that everyone in the

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region now understands and the Israelis

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understand it too okay so that's what

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just happened fortunately that's that's

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that's in the rearview mirror going

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forward if this attack on Rafa goes

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ahead either in the coming days because

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there's no agreement on the hostages or

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in the coming weeks because there is an

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agreement agreement and then it's over

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and and they haven't extended it um then

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you're going to see uh the Iranians

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continuing to provide all sorts of

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support for

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these so-called axis of resistance

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members who the US considers to be

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terrorist organizations they don't

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recognize the right to Israel to exist

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um they're going to be engaging in

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strikes on shipping on warships and

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Military targets of the US and the UK

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and also against Israel and the Israelis

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are likely to make strikes against Iran

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as a consequence going forward so we

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could very easily have a repeat of what

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we just saw between Israel and Iran but

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with that deterrence having failed we're

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now at a new point of escalation more

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dangerous than it was last time around

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got to do more to show that you're

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serious right also final point in case

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that wasn't enough you've got over a

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hundred th000 Israelis that have been

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evacuated from the north of the country

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evacuated because at the beginning of

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the war they were concerned that

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hasbalah was going to continue to send

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missiles against them and make them

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unsafe kill them so they're out but

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there's a lot of pressure to get them

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back in especially by September start of

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the school year the only way you get

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them back is if you either have a peace

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plan that's agreed to which we don't

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have or you've taken some actions

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against he baah now most of the

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conversations I've had with Israeli

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leadership and even with some Centrist

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members of outside of the Israeli

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government is that action needs to be

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taken against Hezbollah and if it's a

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two front for war it's a two front War

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it's one of the reasons they don't want

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to have a lot of troops in Gaza most of

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them pull back is because they have to

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defend themselves against

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Hezbollah so if the only way you get

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your 100,000 citizens back to their

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homes is you need to start striking

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Hezbollah a more serious degree

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Hezbollah is by far the most important

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Ally of Iran in the region they're the

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ones the Iranians would do much more to

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defend so that's another proximate way

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that we get from the war that we have

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right now to something that could expand

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and bring the Iranians in there's just a

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lot of vectors of instability as we look

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over the coming

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months is there any genuinely credible

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path to a two State solution or to peace

play28:01

in the region anytime soon I I think

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there's absolutely a credible path I

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just don't know that it's anytime soon I

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mean the credible path is you have a

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Palestinian

play28:13

Authority um that uh that appoints a

play28:17

technocratic government for Gaza

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Palestinians who have worked in

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multilateral organizations and

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understand what it means to actually

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build um and economy those people exist

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and there are certainly people that

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could run a Palestinian Authority in

play28:34

Gaza that are some of them are in the

play28:36

Emirates in Egypt they're you know ones

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in jail in Israel I mean you've got

play28:42

there are possibilities right um and and

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then the military the security would be

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funded by the Gulf States maybe the US

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with a lot of the physical security

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provided probably by Egypt maybe a

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little with Jordan maybe some others

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right um maybe the UN would get involved

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um that's feasible and there's been a

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lot of conversations involving the Gulf

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States around precisely that and some of

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the conversations even in the Bahrain

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peace conference that was the precursor

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to the Abraham Accords under Trump

play29:17

discussed that so I mean the these

play29:20

Solutions exist but Helen over the last

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seven months you know October 7th has

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radic ized a generation of Israelis

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against a solution like that not all of

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them but a majority a majority a

play29:37

two-state solution is no longer

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something that anybody in Israel with a

play29:41

big party wants to run on because it's

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very unpopular in Israel uh particularly

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among Israeli Jews Israeli Arabs

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different story Israeli Jews strongly

play29:51

oppose a two-state solution right now

play29:54

then you've got the Palestinians and not

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just in Gaza but in the occupied

play29:58

territories of the West Bank where much

play30:00

more land has been taken illegally over

play30:04

the past months I mean Nan yahu

play30:07

appointed a member of the far right to

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be in charge of demolitions in the West

play30:12

Bank they're taking more land more

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Palestinians are fighting more

play30:15

Palestinians are getting killed fighting

play30:17

against settlers also fighting with the

play30:19

IDF so we're farther from a two-state

play30:22

solution even in the West Bank you know

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and and then of course we have the

play30:27

anamos from Palestinians who are

play30:29

refugees living without full rights in

play30:32

Jordan or in Lebanon um you know you put

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all of that together um and and this is

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an incredibly an incredibly difficult

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path to get from here to there I mean

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look the Saudis are holding out we will

play30:47

normalize relations with Israel even as

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we say you're committing a genocide

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when's the last time you've had a

play30:53

country say we're going to normalize

play30:55

relations with you you're committing a

play30:56

genocide but we're we're prepare to do

play30:58

it just stop just stop and and let's

play31:01

have a a defined path for a new state

play31:06

for the Palestinians that you will

play31:08

recognize and then we'll do it but and

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the Americans have spent a lot of time

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with the Saudis working on what that

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plan would be and I think you could get

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that through with a new defense paact

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that that would pass Democrats and

play31:23

Republicans in Congress but you have to

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have Israeli normalization that means

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you have to have have a Palestinian

play31:28

State Helen there is much more support

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for a Palestinian state today around the

play31:33

world than there was when you and I were

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talking about this last time when

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October 7th happened it was in part the

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result of years and years and years of

play31:46

everybody talking about Palestinian need

play31:49

for self autonomy and determination and

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no one actually doing it um we now have

play31:57

a lot more people recognizing talk is

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cheap this is causing a real problem we

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need a Palestinian state but I mean if

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the people that are fighting the war um

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have uh inclinations against each other

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that

play32:14

prude any such possibility you asked me

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at the beginning why don't we have a

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deal we don't have a deal because

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there's not overlap between Hamas and

play32:22

the war Cabinet why don't we have a

play32:24

two-state solution pathway because the

play32:27

Palestinian people people and the

play32:28

Israeli people have gotten further apart

play32:31

despite all of this pain because of all

play32:33

of this

play32:35

pain it is so painful there is so much

play32:38

pain everywhere what's interesting too I

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think is that the global response to

play32:43

this in has been so divided itself there

play32:45

is so much anger at Israel for what

play32:48

people are seeing that is happening to

play32:50

the Palestinians the death and the

play32:51

destruction of Gaza and the pictures

play32:53

that we see the support for Israel that

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I think material realized after October

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the 7th does in some ways seem to have

play33:01

evaporated on a global kind of basis but

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I'm I'm wondering if the rise of

play33:07

anti-Semitism and the rise of the kind

play33:10

of angry rhetoric that we see rolling

play33:12

out and playing out across the world is

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playing into any of the factors on the

play33:16

ground and with the leadership who are

play33:18

actually making the decisions what is

play33:20

your response to that and how how are

play33:22

you seeing this type of strife that is

play33:25

happening around the world actually

play33:27

impact anything that's happening on the

play33:28

ground I mean of course um we're seeing

play33:31

a rise in

play33:33

anti-Semitism uh which frankly uh

play33:36

predated October 7th those numbers were

play33:39

going up in Europe and the United States

play33:41

before that um and it's gotten worse and

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I think a lot of that has been just the

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polarization um and the misinformation

play33:50

in society the extremism that is carried

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algorithmically through social media I

play33:54

mean things that you and I talk about

play33:56

that's getting worse

play33:58

and you know you mentioned that there

play34:00

was a you know an outpouring of support

play34:02

for Israel after October 7th and that's

play34:05

true and we saw big demonstrations

play34:07

massive in Germany in the United States

play34:09

and elsewhere but there was still a lot

play34:11

of

play34:12

anti-Semitism and you know even in the

play34:14

early days if you were an Israeli Jew um

play34:18

you felt like there wasn't as much

play34:21

support as you would think there was a

play34:23

lot more Sympathy for the Hamas position

play34:27

even as they just carried out the most

play34:29

brutal atrocities we'd seen against Jews

play34:31

since the Holocaust and you know Joe

play34:33

Biden on Holocaust Memorial Day

play34:36

Remembrance Day came out and you know

play34:39

seven months after reminded people of

play34:42

that that that you know the hostages are

play34:45

still there these atrocities were still

play34:47

committed the people that were

play34:49

responsible for those atrocities that

play34:51

carried them out that ordered them

play34:53

they're

play34:54

still commanding their forces and that's

play34:57

clearly not acceptable right I mean the

play34:59

Americans didn't consider that

play35:00

acceptable after 911 no country that had

play35:03

that brutality um against them would

play35:05

consider that acceptable but but it's

play35:08

also true um that more broadly um there

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is uh Israel today is in a very isolated

play35:16

Place almost the entire when Hamas

play35:19

accepted the um the plan that was

play35:22

offered by the Egyptians and the

play35:24

cutteries and the Israelis said no

play35:27

pretty much the entire world was in the

play35:30

Hamas negotiating position and that

play35:33

that's not good for Israel now has that

play35:36

really made a difference to the people

play35:39

engaging in the substance of this

play35:42

conflict and potential resolution no and

play35:44

has it led to any major attacks no not

play35:48

yet uh I mean look the major terrorist

play35:50

attack that we've seen since you and I

play35:52

have spoken to each other an islamist

play35:54

extremist attack was in Moscow uh for

play35:57

for some tajiks that were um attached to

play36:01

Isis k um and and the reason it was

play36:05

mosow is because you know Putin is a big

play36:08

friend and Ally of of Assad in Syria and

play36:14

helped to take Isis out of the territory

play36:18

that had been their caliphate now that

play36:21

was a while ago but it takes a terrorist

play36:25

organization a long time to organize a

play36:28

spectacular attack you know everyone's

play36:31

trying to get them they need to operate

play36:33

under the radar with a lot of anonymity

play36:36

and they don't have a lot of

play36:37

resources a lot of them aren't very

play36:39

capable so um I I I fear that the fact

play36:44

that we haven't seen anything yet is

play36:48

just because there hasn't been enough

play36:49

time for those plans to manifest I mean

play36:53

certainly uh us and Allied intelligence

play36:56

believes

play36:58

that we are going to see a generational

play37:00

change in support for anti-israel and

play37:04

anti-us islamist extremist Terror

play37:08

because of what has transpired in the

play37:09

last seven months on the ground in Gaza

play37:12

I absolutely expect that I hope that the

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amount of effort and resource that has

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been put into combating that post 911 uh

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will enable us to prevent it or at least

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the vast majority of it it but you know

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I don't know how lucky I

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feel well that is depressing thank you

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um so what are you watching for next

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what should we be looking out for what

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are the signals that we should be

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looking for that something something new

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and interesting and big is happening

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that we should be paying attention to

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well first of all what we talked about a

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few of those in the region we want to

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watch very carefully what comes out of

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uh Burns Bill Burns's trip um to Israel

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if there's going to be a short-term

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agreement that's what it is um and and

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or if more time is bought uh in terms of

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a Rafa attack um full bore Rafa attack

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um and and we want to watch how many how

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much the Israelis move on the other

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precursors humanitarian Aid and the

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evacuations because then they've checked

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the boxes they can go in right so it's

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the American perspective it's the

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Israeli perspective that's what we want

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to watch assuming Rafa happens we want

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to watch very very carefully um all of

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the attacks uh from the houthis um and

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because they've been expanding they just

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threatened the Mediterranean for the

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first time they also struck a ship in

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the Indian Ocean for the first time

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using ballistic missiles clearly that's

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a problem they're attacking a lot of

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American warships uh while the Iranian

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supported uh proxies in Syria and Iraq

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have stopped ever since the um the three

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servicemen and women were killed in

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Jordan a few months ago the Americans

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brushed them back pretty hard and that

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that stopped but but the houthis are

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still hitting the Americans and if they

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were to blow up a warship or kill a

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bunch of American servicemen and women

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um I think that would clearly lead to an

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escalation finally in the region want to

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watch the Hezbollah Northern Israel

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front the Lebanon front and as we get

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closer to the fall what are the Israelis

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preparing to do on that don't fall

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asleep on that but beyond the region

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well the one thing we haven't talked

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about is the US election because Biden

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is in no man's land on this issue right

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I mean you have a very L very few

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Americans consider Gaza the issue

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they're going to vote on but this makes

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Biden look weak he has been telling his

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top Ally in the Middle East you must let

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humanitarian Aid in you must do more to

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protect the civilians you must protect

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journalist you must protect Aid workers

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do not dare go into Rafa and I mean at

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every you must support a two-state

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solution and the Israeli Prime Minister

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has told Biden the president of the most

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powerful country in the world who is an

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enormous supporter of his country has

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told him talk to the hand talk to the

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hand um and has even told him you know

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on on Holocaust remembrance the eve of

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Holocaust remembrance that the Israelis

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have to only count on themselves can't

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count on any other countries around the

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world after everything the Americans did

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to defend Israel with the Iranian

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strikes despite the opposition of like

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almost every country in the world to

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what Israel is doing right now um and

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the American vetos at the security

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Council I mean everything the US is

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doing to stand up to Israel and Natan

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yahu at least I mean it may work in

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Israel it certainly works for his

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coalition but in the United States in an

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election year it's insane and so Biden

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is in damage control mode and this is

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hurting him and this War I think that n

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is still going to be there in November

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and I fear the war is still going to be

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going on and if it's still going on in

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the summer and in the fall I mean the

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students are going to go home they

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graduate um and I mean I'm doing the

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Colombia sea graduation ceremony on

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their speaker on Monday that's going to

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be a very different speech than I

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expected when they originally asked me

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to give it so I'm going to go and and do

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do my best for the students um but

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they'll all go away but then come August

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we've got the convention in Chicago

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which is fraught with Incredible

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symbolism and a lot of anger and and

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certainly will be a place where you know

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professional agitators will show up to

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make this look bad for the Dems um and

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then after that I I mean if if if this

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war is still going on when campus gets

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back in place August

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September you know the these

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universities are going to be lit uh it's

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going to be a serious serious problem

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for Biden the kids are not all right um

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and and in a in an election that is

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tight with a small number of Swing

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States and that counts on people coming

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out and being supportive of the

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incumbent Biden is in serious danger of

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of of losing critical vot on this issue

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obviously there's no quick fix for Biden

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but what do you think he should do look

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I think Biden should have um come out

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very very strongly against nanyu and

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with Israel on day one after October 7th

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uh which by the way is the position of

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the overwhelming majority of the Israeli

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people you know I mean give direct

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interviews to the jpost and harats um

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and and say you know how the Israeli

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Prime Minister failed his people right I

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mean in other words really put your

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thumb on the scale which would have you

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know been it would have been painful but

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it's BB would have done it to Biden

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would have been happy to right um and

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and and Biden's not that kind of a guy

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but when you're playing against that

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that sort of person that's what you need

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to do and the United States doesn't just

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support Israel it also supports Israeli

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democracy which Natan yahu is an enemy

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of right that that's what he needed to

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do and he could have absolutely done

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just as much to provide the support for

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you know get get the is get the money to

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the to to the Palestinians there's Aid

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going in but also get Military Support

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to the Israelis redouble the American

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defense support so that the Israelis can

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make sure that they can deal with

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incoming missiles and Rockets you can do

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both of those things at the same time I

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find thing is I don't I think Biden

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should have talked a lot more about the

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American hostages in the early days and

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I don't know I'm not privy to whether

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the Americans seriously considered um a

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raid but um I I'd like to believe from

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the day one they were saying the

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Israelis are in charge of the hostages

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the Israelis are in charge of the

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hostages you've got American citizens

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that are hostages I don't know why the

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Israel should be in charge of those

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hostages I think that's either a joint

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raid or the Americans go in and do it

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themselves um but I I would have wanted

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Biden on top of that and it's not that

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Biden wasn't it's not that Biden refused

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that a lot of people were coming to him

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with that advice Biden's

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81 and I just don't think he's willing

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to be as decisive as assertive on these

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issues as he was 10 15 20 years ago I'm

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hearing a lot more of like yeah yeah

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that sounds interesting let's think

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about that as opposed to being decisive

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on the issue and this is one where Biden

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being too cautious too late too

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slow um in in articulating a position

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that he has gotten to he has now

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actually you know suspended some of this

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military aid but you you don't want to

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wait until you know after the world

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Central Kitchen debacle this was

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happening before to lots of Aid workers

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they just weren't Americans but it was

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happening I mean they've been incensed

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with what the Israeli Prime Minister has

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been doing and the war cabinet for

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months now but they've been very careful

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I agree that your allies you should be

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you should talk to privately differently

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than you talk to publicly and and that

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the US policy towards something that the

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Israelis do when it's wrong is not

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shouldn't be the same as when the

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Russians do something that's wrong

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because they're your ally I get that but

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this is beyond the pale for the Israeli

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pm and I think he thinks he can walk all

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over the United States right now and

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that's not a good position to be

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in Ian it is always a pleasure to talk

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to you despite the toughness of the

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conversations I'm so glad your voice

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held out thank you so much for being

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here and we will see you again soon

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let's hope for the best on these

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negotiations uh let's hope that we at

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least get some good news uh and and and

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stop some of this fighting for a period

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of time get some of this Aid in but

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either way I'm sure you and I will be

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talking again soon thanks you

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Related Tags
Israeli-Palestinian ConflictMilitary OperationHamas FightersHumanitarian CrisisMiddle East PoliticsCeasefire NegotiationsTwo-State SolutionGlobal ResponseAnti-SemitismUS Foreign PolicyConflict Resolution