Skip to comments.Clovis Maksoud Walks Off Alan Keyes Making Sense Set-- Transcript
Posted on 06/20/2002 5:18:30 PM PDT by Keyes For President
Joining us to get to the heart of the matter, Israeli embassy spokesman Mark Regev and Clovis Maksoud the former Arab League Ambassador to the United Nations. Gentlemen, welcome to MAKING SENSE.
MARK REGEV, ISRAELI EMBASSY SPOKESMAN: Thank you.
KEYES: I want to thank you both for joining me tonight. I want to start, Ambassador Maksoud, with a question thats been kind of aching in my heart as I have watched the developments in this bombing today, particularly because of the gruesome nature of the bomb, the shrapnel, the children that were involved, the terrible wounds inflicted even on those who are wounded. One of the problems that I see with this kind of violence is that it engenders deep-seeded responses in the people who are attacked that because it seems to be saying to the people of Israel this kind of violence, you are not human beings.
We do not respect you in any way. We want you so dead that you will be utterly exterminated in the most painful fashion possible. If that is the mind-set coming against the people of Israel, doesnt that naturally lead to enormous barriers to peace, that its going to be difficult to bring down. Doesnt this violence cause a problem that its going to be hard for a peace process ever to overcome?
CLOVIS MAKSOUD, FMR. ARAB LEAGUE AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Mr. Alan Keyes, I the way you framed the situation seems to apply to both sides. I think that the sporadic suicide bombings, which have caused despicable casualties among the people of Israel and which has been denounced and continues to be denounced is matched exactly, if you frame the same language, the same discourse that you have applied to Israel, it seems that you have been oblivious to the fact that far more Palestinians have been subject to violence women, men, fighters, children of the Palestinian camps, the Palestinian villages and towns for so many years.
And as if they dont exist in the conscience of the discourse that you have so well articulated and therefore, that you find that as if violence is a mainstream Palestinian or Arab trait while the attacks that the Israeli army has doing has been doing for the last several years, but particularly in the last few months with the tanks, with the helicopters, with the airplanes, with all the arsenal of the most powerful army in the region, that doesnt seem to even interrupt the sequence of your of your outrage, moral outrage about the civilians who have been killed in Israel.
In fact, if you can apply the same standards of what you have applied to the Israeli victims, which...
KEYES: Well let me...
MAKSOUD: ... I sympathize with you, but on the other hand...
KEYES: Let me explain that.
MAKSOUD: If you if you if you apply them to the sustained victimization of...
KEYES: Let me let me explain that.
KEYES: Ambassador Maksoud...
KEYES: Yes, absolutely, Im about to lose patience with this response, but...
MAKSOUD: Im sorry that you...
KEYES: No. No. No. I want to demonstrate...
KEYES: Just hold on a second please.
KEYES: Mr. Ambassador, Mr. Ambassador, I have the floor now. Hold on a second.
MAKSOUD: OK, youve always had the floor.
KEYES: Because youve asked me you asked me a question. I want to answer it and I think Mark Regev, can I ask your help here, because it seems to me I always hear this response from folks, that somehow theres this equivalence, and I would like to ask a question that serious a question, very simple. Has the Israeli army employed ordnance against civilian targets that uses the kind of devastating shrapnel that we saw employed in this bomb today? Has that been done by the Israeli defense forces?
REGEV: Alan, very clearly we do not.
KEYES: You do not employ such things. Now, Ambassador Maksoud, I am going to have some patience with all the junk I hear all the time when folks can stop talking in generalities, I can see what was done today. I have seen it as many have over and over again. All I hear when folks come on the program to say that theres some moral equivalence here is talk because you cant show me...
KEYES: ... these terroristic acts from the Israelis.
KEYES: And when and no, I will finish. I gave you time, sir.
MAKSOUD: You did not give me time.
KEYES: I will finish what I am saying. I gave you plenty of time.
KEYES: Youll just hold on. I gave you plenty of time.
MAKSOUD: Maybe you did...
KEYES: I listened to all of the garbage that was put out there about Jenin and the so-called massacre...
MAKSOUD: That was about Jenin...
MAKSOUD: No, wait a minute wait a minute...
MAKSOUD: I will not allow it.
MAKSOUD: I will not allow you to say garbage about Jenin.
KEYES: When it didnt materialize...
KEYES: ... when it didnt materialize...
MAKSOUD: Dont say that.
KEYES: Dont say that? Not one...
KEYES: ... shred...
MAKSOUD: Im sorry...
KEYES: ... not one shred of truth.
MAKSOUD: You should not say garbage about Jenin.
KEYES: ... and the claim of hundreds of casualties...
MAKSOUD: No, you...
KEYES: Not one shred of truth in the claim...
MAKSOUD: Im very sorry...
KEYES: ... of Israeli defense...
MAKSOUD: Im very sorry...
KEYES: ... forces committing conscious atrocities...
KEYES: I am sick to death, sir...
KEYES: ... of people coming on this program thinking that I should have patience with this kind...
MAKSOUD: If youre sick to death...
KEYES: ... of falsehood.
MAKSOUD: I dont I want you to live, so Im leaving.
KEYES: But Mr. Regev, Mr. Regev, Ive got to tell you, I look at what happened in Israel today, and I just wonder how a people subjected to this kind its not just the physical harm. There is a mentality involved in this that seems to bespeak an utter cold-blooded disregard for all humanity in the way that one approaches this problem.
How can one negotiate with this? I dont understand. Where does it come from in the people of Israel to go on with the peace process that involves folks who seem to have this kind of enmity toward you?
REGEV: Well, I think we have to face a cruel reality, and that is that groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not interested in peace. They share that bin Laden vision of some Islamic extreme ideology.
Can I say something personal Alan? I have an 8-month child, a baby at home, and for these people, such a such a baby is a legitimate target. Were dealing with people who have a different sense of values and extremist ideology that sees children, babies, as legitimate targets.
And I think what we have to say to the Arab world, to the Muslim world, is surely these people dont represent you. Surely you have to exercise. You have to throw these people out from within. You have to say that these people dont represent you. And Im, of course, very concerned when I hear Arab spokesmen justifying these sort of attacks.
KEYES: Well I am more than concerned. I am so outraged that Im sick to death of it. Ambassador Maksoud has walked off the set. He doesnt want to talk any more. And frankly, if I was in his position, Id walk out too, because having to continually repeat this kind of garbage in the face of the realities that are out there, I think would get tiresome for anybody. It gets tiresome for me to hear it. Im sure it gets tiresome for folks like the ambassador to do it.
But I want to take a minute here. We have Bob Arnot who is out in Israel right now, and I want to talk to him for a second. Hes on the telephone in Ramallah and I want to talk to him for a second because folks out there, you all might not understand why I am so upset right now, and why it has been difficult all day as weve prepared for this program for me to contain myself.
But in talking to Bob Arnot, Id like you to get a sense of exactly what happens, because you read about it in the paper and youll hear 19 dead, 50 wounded, 55 wounded, 57 wounded. I dont think we get any sense at all of whats really going on.
Bob, are you there?
BOB ARNOT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes Alan, youre right. You know, you get no sense from just hearing it. And I heard the sirens first thing in the morning in Jerusalem, and I made my way out to the site and the first thing I saw looking through the window of this bus is this beautiful arm of this young woman, and I could see her blouse, but she had been decapitated.
I came around the side to where the body bags are one, two, three, four, all the way up to 19, and tragically on the front of the bags you see the picture of a young student the same age as my kids who did nothing but get up to go to school in the morning. And then the technicians would come over and bring a foot or hand over a piece of hair and put it into the bag.
Parents crying hysterically at the line unable to come and to find out whether that was their children or not. Two young boys who came up to me said, we were on the bus behind this. We were going to go to school. We dont know what to do. Were so scared. Do we go to school? Do we stay here? Where are my parents? I dont know what to do.
And the thing is you look down at these body bags, and these are not long body bags. Theyre short body bags because these are children children going to a school thats about a half-a-mile away.
The bus itself looked like someone had taken a can opener and taken the top off it. We talked to the hospital. When these kids came in, it wasnt just a matter of a bomb, but they had nails, and now they have ball bearings in it. So when the orthopedic surgeons looked on the X-ray, they saw nails and screws.
And what theyve done, is theyve doubled the impact. Theyve been able to double the fatalities in these recent attacks using not just mega-bombs with more explosives, but by having all of the shrapnel that goes into them.
And most grevious of all, theyve actually used, in past attacks, rat poisoning, which means youre going to bleed more than you otherwise would. And now the surgeons at the hospital tell us theyre trying to use, or about to use chemical warfare agents within these.
KEYES: Now that means a lot of these things mean that the shrapnel gets into you, and if you dont die right away, the effect of the shrapnel can cause your death later on, right?
ARNOT: It can. We interviewed three boys from the last bombing, 15-year olds, 14-year old, 13-year old boy. One boy I saw as he woke up from a coma with his mother hugging him, crying as his eyes finally opened. He had stones in him that they used in one bone; stones that had dirt and muck on it where they had to take every single one out that would cause rejection and infection as time went out, that this isnt a military advice (ph), theres no air force or army in the world thats designed something like this. This is something thats meant to humiliate and destroy the lives of these children.
You know 17 dead, but 50 injured and these are each one of these 50 injured, there are hundreds of lives that are ruined where these children are going to be in rehabilitation centers, where theyre going to be walking around with an arm or without an arm or a leg. I mean, its the greatest tragedy. I mean, as you say its not a number. Its not a number, because you look at the face...
ARNOT: ... of these parents.
KEYES: ... tell me something. In terms of what you have seen, what is the mentality that would go into to designing a bomb like this?
This is what I dont understand. Ordinarily youre dealing with folks that want to achieve a military result. Weapons are intended to try to inflict damage on an enemy so that you can bring the battle to an end. This doesnt seem to have anything to do with that.
What is going on with this...
ARNOT: Well Im here in Ramallah now on the West Bank. Ive spoken to students here. Ive spoken to students in Saudi Arabia.
And what they say, when I challenge them and say, what does it do to you? Doesnt it break your heart to see these children in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem whove been blown up by bombs?
And they turn very cold-heartedly and they say, you know, we dont have jet airplanes. We dont have Howitzers, we dont have tanks. All we have is our bodies. We hurt inside, and were going to go and were going to use our bodies.
Now the chilling thing thats changed, Alan, is that it used to be we heard they did this out of desperation. Now we hear they do this because of hope hope that theyre finally going to have an impact and that their side is going to win.
And when I talk to kids here the same age as the children on that bus, Palestinian kids here, they will tell me, theyll say you know what, we think were finally winning, and we think were going to push them into the ocean. Were not talking about a settlement for just the West Bank. We believe we can push them into the ocean.
And when you challenge them on that...
KEYES: Well but that...
ARNOT: ... they say...
KEYES: If I may interrupt for one second, though because it seems to me that push them into the ocean is a euphemism. What I detect in this kind of a weapon is a will to exterminate, a will utterly to obliterate the humanity in its manifestation in the body of the person that youre dealing with.
Thats why it chills me to the very core of my soul. And it is something that I just think its so horrifying that I cant imagine the kind of mentality that produces it.
ARNOT: It is. I mean, you listen to both sides, and you hear both sides. You hear them say that they hurt and that theyve been humiliated and that theyve had all of these deaths, and that their children have been shot too.
But its only when you walk on a scene like this and you see the body bags and you see the pictures of these pretty little children who are dead and the parents cry inconsolably wondering whether its their child or not.
Its only when you come on that scene and you dont see a number and you dont (UNINTELLIGIBLE). If you look there at the body bag on the floor and you see the reality, what the vision is of these suicide bombers.
KEYES: Yes. Bob, thank you so much. I appreciate...
ARNOT: Youre welcome Alan.
KEYES: ... that insight, which I think is so necessary to folks in our audience.
I want to go back for a moment to Mark Regev.
Mark, I look at a scene like this and I think of the Israeli governments proposal to place a physical barrier that might inhibit the ability of people to come across and do this kind of damage. I will confess I was a little skeptical the first time I heard of that some months back. But as I look at the depth of annihilating hatred that seems to be expressed in the instrument used here.
Bob was talking about the results and yes, there have been children killed on the Palestinian side. There have been deaths on the Palestinian side.
But deaths that result from what soldiers do in war dont bespeak, in my opinion, the same mind that has designed a bomb in order to produce these gruesome and long-lasting effects. That is a depth of nihilistic hatred that wants to annihilate the foe, not just defeat the foe in a way that would leave nothing after except that annihilation.
In the face of that, is there any recourse thats going to contain the violence that results from such a heart, if a physical barrier isnt put in place?
REGEV: Well, I think the idea of a physical barrier is just to make it that much more difficult for these suicide bombers, for these terrorists to come into the population centers in Israel.
Is it a perfect solution? It obviously is not. Is it a practical way to make their life more difficult and to safeguard Israelis? Of course it is. If its that much more difficult for them to come in, itll be it will be saving lives.
Its not a perfect solution. A perfect solution will require some more fundamental political changes. We have to have Palestinian society and Muslim society thats not going to tolerate these murderers. Thats the real solution. And for people...
REGEV: ... to stand up immorally and say this is disgusting and were not going to tolerate this anymore. And...
KEYES: But one of the proposals that I had heard, and Ive heard repeatedly, involved possibly putting international forces in as opposed to a physical barrier like this.
I guess the one question that occurs to me, though and its not entirely fair to put it to you, but Ill just throw it out there anyway is if hearts are filled with this kind of annihilating hatred, why wouldnt they turn against anybody who stood between them and the object of their hatred, including peacekeepers and everybody else with the same kind of forceful attacks to annihilate them?
I thats why Im more and more thinking that something like a physical barrier may be the only way to create a space in which some reduction of this violence allows passion to subside enough for talks to go on.
REGEV: I think youre right Alan. I mean those people who think that international forces and of course the assumption is the American forces offer some sort of magical solution, I think its very wrong. The same fanatics, those same people, those groups with hatred like Hamas, like Hezbollah, like Islamic Jihad, the first theyre going to do is theyll target the Americans, and theyve done it in the past.
They killed those Marines in Lebanon and then what will the United States (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with our problem? How do you respond? Theyll be in the middle of cities. Theyll be in the middle of towns. Will you go house-to-house in Ramallah and find the bad guys? I mean, there is no quick fix. There is no speedy solution.
What we have to say, is we have to say to the Arab world, to the Muslim world, to the Palestinian people: There are political options. We want to live in peace.
But Hamas doesnt want peace. Islamic Jihad doesnt want peace. These groups want murder. They are extremists. They share bin Ladens fundamental theology and ideology of hatred.
You have to throw these people out of your midst. Its incumbent upon you, if you want to be accepted as members of civilized humanity, not to tolerate these sort of extremists, who are a bunch of bloodthirsty murderers.
KEYES: Well I have to say that what you have just said there has, as you probably realize, been a position Ive expressed on this show since it came on the air.
I think thats the only message, in fact, that we should be sending to those who aid, abet and facilitate terrorism all over the world, and especially in the context of the Middle East. And anything that muddles that is actually facilitating their murderous path.
And I guess I just seriously demonstrated it, too, because Im not going to pull my punches in the hope that folks will keep coming on my program just in order to make the same excuses for death that are contributing, in my opinion, to this terrible situation.
Thank you Mark, for being with us tonight.
And I will have to say, I know well get a lot of calls and letters, I make no apology for Ambassador Maksouds departure. It was his decision.
But Ill tell you something, I understand it perfectly. I do. And I will not, any more than I would recommend that the world now have patience with those making excuses for this annihilating, hateful and absolutely unacceptable approach. This isnt making war. They lost that a long time ago. And people need, everybody needs to stop making excuses for it. Thanks.
Still to come, the FBI says the American Muslim Council is mainstream and the FBI director is going to speak at its convention. Well debate that coming up next.
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I am sure going to miss his show.
Sporadic????? Sporadic???!!! If this weren't so tragic, his remark would be hilareous. And to equate this barbaric inhuman act of terror with Israeli military defense is ridiculous.
What did he mean by that?
One should never let a propagandist talk as if they have an equal claim to the truth with their lies.
The Mohammedan ambassador got what he deserved for the first time on a major, televised, public affairs program. I hope all of the Keyes bashers are happy now that his show is being cancelled.
What did he mean by that?
Now that I think about it, it looks like a death threat. "You don't want to be the next Salman Rushdie," in so many words. Filthy scumbag.