Mitchell Reports | September 13, 2012
>> joining me now, martin indyk , former u.s. ambassador to israel , and back in 1993 , president clinton 's top adviser on the middle east at nsc working on that very event. i was standing on the south grounds, broadcasting like. you were in the rooms trying to get that handshake to happen.
>> yeah, it's amazing to think how far things have deteriorated since that bright september day when it seemed like everything was possible in terms of peace. raben saying enough of violence, bloodshed, time to make peace.
>> and clinton holding his arms out saying what we promise you, people of the middle east , is the quiet miracle of a normal life .
>> the quiet miracle of a normal life . now look at yemen today, look at libya, cairo. is egypt our biggest challenge potentially because of its size its importance, its strategy relationship the peace treaty with israel and the fact that president morsi done seem to have decided which way he wants to go.
>> look, there's no doubt egypt is the cornerstone of our whole strategy for protecting and promoting our interests in the region. the egyptian/ israel peace treaty makes it impossible for other arabs to contemplate war with israel . it doesn't make it impossible for iran, but they're not arab . it makes it possible to try to resolve the arab / israel conflict. if we lose the peace treaty , basically, we've lost 30 years of effort to resolve the arab /israeli conflict.
>> what did you think of what the president said to jose diaz -ballart of telemundo last night when asked about israel and morsi? he said, he's neither -- i wouldn't consider him an ally, i wouldn't consider him an enemy. what does that make the egyptian president ?
>> well, i think it's a work in progress , which is very realistic in terms of where the situation is today. essentially the united states has made a bet, a big bet , a gamble, but there's not a lot of alternative, to see whether it's possible to engage with a democratically elected muslim brotherhood president whose ideology is antithetical to the united states but whose pragmatism, his need to respond to the people who put him in office, and provide them with jobs and housing and a decent life, that's what they expect of him. and the hope is, the gamble is, that that will prevail over his anti-western, anti-secular, anti-democratic ideology. he's against the -- against women's right, minority rights and so on. so we'll have to see how that works out. but it's, you know, alternative is what? to abandon the effort, abandon the hope that we can somehow work with a democratically elected government in egypt to try to find a better way to promote our interests. i don't think we really have any choice to do that. but today he has criticized -- i wouldn't say condemned, du criticized the attack on our embassy. he's walking a fine line . he's got salafis to his right that are harder line than him and he has to condemn the den gration of the prophet muhammad . but this is a work in progress and we will have to test it day by day . we necessarily have to hold to our standards and requirements and see whether they can live up to them.
>> we have to leave it there.
>> embassy martin indyk , someday we'll return to hope and peace on the south lawn of the white house , i hope together.