Escalating Conflict in the Middle East

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AARON DAVID MILLER:  The question is not whether there are any things that the United States can do. The question is whether or not the United States is willing and able to do them. And, right now — I have been singing this tune for the last several months — getting inside the head of this president, I think, if he — if he — if you were inside his head, he would say — and he’s almost come close to saying it — that there’s simply no foreign policy issue out there or combination of policies that is of a greater danger or destructive capacity to the future of the American republic than all of the three or four crises that I confront at home. And they have made their foreign policy choices accordingly. Iran is a key issue, because they would argue to you, Christiane, that Iran is the only issue that could create a major confrontation that could cause rising oil prices and falling markets and weaken one of the president’s priorities, which is domestic recovery. The question, of course, is, where does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rank? And, at the moment, it ranks very low. So, we could come up with any number of creative, sometimes very tough-minded ideas that the administration could embrace. The question is, will they? And, so far, it seems to me that they’re highly risk-averse, even in the face of this — of this intensified conflict.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: And, meantime, scores of people, or at least several dozen, have been killed. And it looks like it’s following a pattern that we have seen too often in the past. So, Marwan Muasher, let me ask you. That is pretty depressing to hear Aaron David Miller say that. And you have also been in negotiations. And I didn’t mention that, of course, your country, Jordan, is one of only two Arab countries that made peace with Israel in the 1990s. Now we have the Abraham Accords. But, nonetheless, it’s a longtime peace partner of Israel’s. What do you think perhaps the king of Jordan or others can do on the Palestinian side, if there’s anything to be done, to de-escalate?

MARWAN MUASHER, FORMER JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Christiane, I think it’s important to realize that, for the last 30 years, we have been trying to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, under what was termed as the Oslo framework and a two-state solution. That has not materialized. And, in the meantime, we have forgotten that there are people under occupation whose human rights are being violated on a daily basis. This latest escalation started because the Jerus — Palestinian Jerusalemites were being evicted from their homes, to be replaced by settlers. The issue of human rights, the issue of rights for people under occupation.

About This Episode EXPAND

Aaron David Miller; Marwan Muasher; Ana Porzecanski; Niall Ferguson