Mitchell Reports | November 21, 2012
>>> and rejoining me now is former u.s. ambassador to israel martin indyk , vice president of poren politics at brookings. and james zogby . your initial reactions to the terms as we understand them?
>> to comment on what richard engel said, it's much easier for the prime minister of israel to defer to the president of the united states and that's part of the reason why the united states needs to be involved. there's many times if the israelis can say the americans made me do it, it's much more acceptable. as far as the terms of the agreement itself, there really are bare bones as we're reading them here, in real time . it's essentially a return to the status quo and nothing more than that. and, therefore, in itself is not a stable arrangement. and the question would be, what else is there going to be beyond this? if all we have is a return to the status quo , then there's a good chance we'll be here again with an eruption sooner or later .
>> hillary clinton , i just want to tell you, is wheels up at 1:24 eastern, she was wheels up, and --
>> she's out of there.
>> leaving cairo and after 11 days on the road, i'm reading now from the state department , australia, singapore, thailand, burma, cambodia and egypt , is now heading home and planning to take the next be holiday weekend off and everyone is wished happy holidays from the state department from hillary clinton 's team. after a lot of work and a lot of miles. jim zogby , so hillary clinton went, she helped put the pressure on, the -- as martin pointed out you have to have american engagement, she delivered, she's heading home , what happens?
>> that's the big question. i would disagree that this is a return to the status quo because there were a number of issues here that have changed. one is that hamas is in political asen densy. there should be no question about that. they're going to be riding high .
>> as richard engel was pointing out, egyptian foreign ministers and turkish foreign ministers --
>> this was a process beginning beforehand for them offering a huge amount for reconstruction. the game has changed somewhat. secondly the role of egypt has changed. they've become the new mubaraks and we'll see how that plays out. they're the stabilizing force as seen in maintaining the status quo . that's the problem, as i agree with what martin says, after 100 something people dead on the palestinian side, what we've got is we're back to where we started but with the difference of hamas in a -- having more ledgitimacy on the street, the palestinian authority weakened and egypt now in the position of maintaining the status quo . what needs to happen to break this, is the united states has to exercise a different qualitatively different kind of leadership, probably after the israeli election, not before, to move this thing off the dime. because if -- i do not believe it's sustainable to maintain this occupation at this point for a prolonged period of time and not have another eruption some time soon.
>> does president obama briefly have to go to israel now? he has not been there. that was a source of controversy. does he have to go early in the second term after benjamin netanyahu 's re-election?
>> the first thing he has to do is decide whether he's going to reinvest in the effort to resolve the israeli/ palestinian conflict . i think at the moment it's a stain on his legacy. if he saw there's an opportunity to remove that stain, i think he would want to do it. but first of all there's going to be an election in israel . he has to see who the prime minister emerges and what kind of coalition had he's got. and then there's the question of what happens on the palestinian side. we've been discussing how divided they are, how weakened the leadership of the palestinian authority has become as a result of this. hamas is the anti- peace party , not the pro- peace party . it really depends on whether there's --
>> i would disagree with the anti- peace party in the sense --
>> see the destruction of israel --
>> hamas would like to be is the replacement for the peace party . given the chance, i believe they would probably want to function very much like the plo functioned in the old days. they want the legitimacy. they want to be driving the street just as the muslim brotherhood became the new mubarak, the hamas people would become the new palestinian authority if given the chance. the question is do you want to reward them for 20 years of very bad behavior, sabotaging peace when it might have been possible and simply so they could be in the driver's seat running it on their terms. that's i think the issue.
>> we will have to leave it there. martin and jim, thank you both so very