Israel's response to Syria's civil war
Amb. Michael Oren weighs in
- Duration 9:04
- Date Dec 9, 2012
Amb. Michael Oren weighs in
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The bloody civil war in Syria took an even more ominous turn this week.
With the reports the Asad regime -- -- and might use chemical weapons against rebel forces.
Joining us now is Michael Oren.
Israel's ambassador to the US and ambassador welcome back to fox is always good to be here thank you Chris there's a report in the Sunday times of London that Israel -- spotters on the ground inside Syria what is your latest intelligence.
About a -- preparing possibly getting ready to use chemical weapons is he still mixing the Sarin gas that we saw signs of this last week.
Or have the warnings from the president and secretary of state Clinton.
Irritable while we're watching the situation very carefully -- we -- watching it for many months now it's not new to us Syria has a very varied.
Deep chemical weapons program -- geographically dispersed as well.
And word those weapons the pass into the wrong hands into his -- -- -- for example -- game changer for us.
And at this point any signs as to whether he is continuing.
To nix the Sarin gas or whether he's pulled back from that why can't confirm those reports but I can say again we're watching it.
And I will tell you that we have a very clear red line about those chemical weapons passing into the wrong hands can you -- -- -- Hezbollah.
But -- 70000 rockets would get its hands on chemical weapons that can kill thousands of people.
Well look let's talk about about that the US drew a red line this week and their red line is different than Israel's -- red line as if aside uses them against his own people Israel's line as -- -- -- If -- -- were to lose control or give the weapons to extremists.
Which raises the question how big a presence do -- harness and especially those allied -- al-Qaeda play and the rebels who were opposing and fighting.
Assad in Syria but we support you may be president's red line as well.
-- you should know and prime -- and now has come out publicly support president Obama's red lines regarding the use of chemical weapons and in Syria.
The -- -- presence is big.
And getting bigger and the longer the conflict goes on there the bigger we'll get.
Do you worry about the possibility -- you lose aside as somebody that's no friend of Israel but on the other hand then get a situation where you have al-Qaeda factions.
Running part of Syria we've long advocated for -- -- -- departure of long before actually -- outbreak of hostilities that we we came to that.
To the administration years ago and said Abacha Los it is is too.
Reckless his father was -- member -- he was you -- was reckless but somehow predictable reckless somehow responsible his son is reckless.
And and irresponsible and ruthless.
And he is provided 70000 rockets to Hezbollah and Lebanon tens of thousands of rockets terrorists everywhere.
He had try to create a military nuclear.
Facility secretly in -- -- -- author probably never would have done something like that's that he had to go.
He was a loose Canon throughout the whole region in danger to the entire region.
If he goes now we -- view that as a very positive development.
He is an ally of Iran is an ally of Hezbollah we understand that if jihadist were -- -- -- it wouldn't be good.
But it perhaps wouldn't be as bad as the current situation all right let's turn to Egypt where.
Egyptian president -- this weekend has rescinded.
It appears most of the -- that gave him sweeping powers bought.
He is moving a hat with a referendum next weekend on a new constitution.
Does Israel care whether Egypt becomes an Islamic -- well Egypt's stability.
And democracy needs it is very important -- Israel has an interest in stable peaceful and democratic.
Egypt when I get involved in the internal politics to be just like we don't expect -- to get involved and our internal politics.
-- we think that -- Egypt needs stability in order to revive its economy.
And Egypt -- -- it's not just an Israeli interest it's an Egyptian major interest as a regional interest we think it's that -- global interest the Egyptian Israeli peace.
And we hope that Egypt overcomes its internal difficulties as quickly and as peacefully as possible does your government.
At this point.
Given particularly his role in in helping to broker the cease fire with Gaza with Hamas.
In Gaza do you trust -- to keep the peace with -- While he has said repeatedly to two Americans others who have visited Egypt that he has every intention of upholding the peace and yes he did play a constructive role in helping.
To achieve a cease fire -- surrounding this the recent fighting in Gaza and we hope that Egypt will continue to play that kind of constructive role in the future.
Immediately after the Palestinians.
At the weakest or go with -- -- voted non member observer status as a study non member observer state status.
In the United Nations.
Your government or prime minister Netanyahu.
Announced that it will go ahead with plans at this point just plans.
For a new settlement on the West Bank called.
Here's a map of the project -- the Obama administration says would drive a wedge.
Into the heart of the Palestinian West Bank possibly.
-- off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
And I question I guess is will Israel developed.
That little -- UN and international bodies.
This is what we may do if you don't.
Maybe we want -- map a little bit misleading which you saw that little yellow chunk there that is actually a suburb called Malek a -- 40000 Israelis live there.
It's about 88 it's less than two mile stretch of barren desert road from that suburb to Jerusalem that's he won us the road.
And we have to worry about situation in the future where Molly had to mean that's suburb could be caught off from -- -- it is you see in the -- doesn't cut off the West Bank.
You can get from Ramallah in the -- the Palestinian city of Ramallah north of the Palestinian Bethlehem in the south.
By going around.
And if there's true peace between us and the Palestinians the problem is very simply solved by a -- -- for a tunnel.
Going under the road that links Molly had -- -- -- Jerusalem but yes and he said it best Chris it was a way that the Israeli government set down a marker.
The Palestinians violated their agreements with us and with the United States by going unilaterally to the UN to declare -- state all of our agreement say there's no alternative.
To direct talks between us and the Palestinians.
We're still wedded to help -- talker and -- to have them today if the Palestinians join us at the table.
If not we're gonna have to take -- measures that are gonna enable us to defend ourselves and our citizens in the future.
Well I just -- but not this issue would be one witches of eight I you know you you.
Put your spin on at the US and it talks about a driving a wedge into the west bank and but making it more difficult to have a viable contiguous state.
The question is is Israel necessarily going to build on a one war are you saying it depends buying -- it's a preliminary stage.
That was announced last week it could take years to fulfill that.
Let's see if the Palestinians come back to the negotiating table just wanna I -- reiterate we're ready to negotiate today here in Washington Ramallah -- Jerusalem.
To work out all the core issues between us one of those issues is Jerusalem.
And the question of settlements which -- for -- part of the territorial issue willing to talk about all -- it.
If we just get Palestinians does that look are well -- talk about a different negotiation with the Palestinians not over the final solution.
But the cease fire in Gaza.
A couple of weeks -- Israel agreed to the cease fire and through Egypt agreed to talks.
To try to subtleties of the the issues they wanna listen to -- of the blockade use wanna stop.
-- weapons being smuggled into Gaza missiles that are end up being fired on on Israel.
Two questions where those talks stand and what do you make of the remarks of hamas' political leader solid national who this weekend said.
He will never recognize Israel's right consensus about the talks Chris they are going on right now.
Almost literally as we're speaking and we're working out various issues the most important issue from our perspective is stopping the flow.
Of Iranian missiles and other weapons into Gaza and has there been any progress on -- we're discussing this openly with the egyptians and it and it's keep that's for the bottleneck as most of these weapons when they come from the Libyan direction or from the Sudanese direction -- at some point through.
Through Egyptian territory into Gaza so -- can stop that.
We can do we can do a tremendous amount toward a reinforcing the cease fire.
-- -- -- the head of Hamas was in Gaza this weekend and he talked about.
Destroying the Jewish state there's no chance for negotiation we're gonna liberate.
Tel Aviv -- -- -- hype and he did it from this huge paper -- model of a rocket.
And I think I there's no better.
Indicator of what we're dealing with with Hamas -- that speech by Colin Marshall.
Ambassador -- -- thank you so much for coming in we will continue to monitor the developments in the region.