tv Martin Indyk Master of the Game CSPAN January 29, 2022 4:15pm-5:17pm EST
i'm the president of the middle east institute. i'm in washington dc and it gives me great pleasure to welcome our friend and colleague ambassador martin indict for a talk about his new book called master of the game henry kissinger and the art of middle east diplomacy. i exhibited here and encourage you all to read it. i've been reading it all of last week and taking copious notes and very eager to discuss it
with martin. ambassador indic is currently a distinguished senior fellow at the center for relations in new york. but as you know, he's had a long and distinguished career in the us diplomatic and foreign service particularly relating to the middle east and the israel palestine conflict. that involved ambassador to israel a number of times served as assistant secretary of state for near east affairs. it was a special assistant to president clinton also as special and void to president obama on the israeli-parestinian negotiations. somebody who's really been on all parts of this. us peacemaking history in the middle east and certainly was there in the early days when henry kissinger was secretary of state or national security of that advisor. martin has also had a career
outside and after his diplomatic career in the think tank world. he was the founding director of the washington institute for nearest policy one of our sister organizations here in washington dc. he was also at the brooking institutions where he was the founder of the center from at least policy director of the foreign policy. program and executive vice president we meet with martin today to discuss his new book on mr. henry kissinger and martin. let me start with this open question. this is not the first book on henry kissinger. there are a lot of books on kissinger by kissinger and a lot of other books on kissinger by by other authors. why why did you take the deep journey of writing this book? what did you see to discover? that was new? and what did you come out with that that really you felt was
different and you and that people need to do to know about over to you thank you very much. paul and let me congratulate mei on its 75th anniversary. you don't know this, but the first time i came to washington as a graduate student doing research the first place i went to was the middle east institute's library there on end streets. so i've watched it grow and and thrive and it's wonderful to see under your directorship how well it's doing now, and i'm very honored to have the opportunity to participated in this discussion with mei as the host. so thank you very much. why write another book on kissinger? well, you're absolutely right. they've been plenty written. but there hasn't been a book written about his middle east diplomacy. he's remembered for the other big things like they talk to the
soviet union or his opening to china or the vietnam welles, cambodia debacle or the the other throw the regime in chile, but the fact is that for the four years that he was secretary of state? bridging the nixon and ford had been illustrations he spent most of his energy on the effort to build an american-led peace process in the middle east and so that that was one reason why i decided to do it, especially because there's a treasure trove of documentation. the archives are open mighty five percent of his documents are declassified and he made sure as a man of history in a student of history to document every conversation every foreign
call and on top of that the israeli archives for that period of open as well. so there's much to be learned from a deep dive into that. plus i had access to dr. kissinger himself. and my own experience. there's a diplomat on the same middle east high roads as henry kissinger engaging in with some of the same leaders there in my time in clinton administration and and with obama i could triangulate and illuminate the story with my own experiences and and that's what i tried to do. thanks martin, let me i felt to welcome our audience who's joined us on zoom there's others who are joining us on youtube i'm going to be engaging martin in a bit of q&a for the first part of this session, but please
send your questions to the if you're on zoom on the q&a function, especially in a you know, later on in the session. i will be keeping my eye on that q&a function and pitching your questions to ambassador. indic if you're on youtube send your questions to the following email events at mei dot edu. that's events at mei dot edu, and thank you for joining us. martin i'd like to maybe divide our conversation initially into two parts. there is kind of the a big picture his macro approach to you know, general strategy to building stability and working towards peace and then there is sort of the nuts and bolts of you know the timeline and how it you know his visit to egypt and this happened the jordanian issue which will get into as kind of the blow by blow and some of the opportunities missed or opportunities taken that you
indicate in the book in the big picture, which i've always found very interesting and you're very much, you know rooted back to his massive phd thesis which was about the long piece in europe in the 19th century engineered by metric and castanore and his approach to building stability through building a balance of power as you put it as he puts it a kind of legitimate order among powerful states. could you lay out first what his conception or how you see it? and then maybe we debated a bit. well it was one of the things that i discovered along the way in this eight-year project. i started out. thinking that henry kissinger was pursuing peace in the middle east and i could learn something from that. his efforts had been successful
the efforts that i had been involved in had some successes but ultimately failed. and so i wanted to go back and try to understand what it meant for peacemaking. but what i came to learn was that kissinger actually had quite a jaundice view of peace and and indeed new referenced his doctoral thesis, which he publishes his first book. called a world restored metternich castle rey and the problems of peace. it's right there in the title the problems of peace. and that that captures it he saw pieces problematic the pursuit of it he argued. especially for american presidents who were seeking what he called immortality. you could also call it the nobel peace prize. the pursuit of it with too much energy and passion he argued on the first page of his first
book. could achieve the opposite. that is war conflict that pursuing peace was actually disruptive to the order that he considered more important. and when he studied 19th century europe you referred to it as the long piece. and he points out that peace was kept between the major powers for almost a hundred years before it all collapsed in the first world war. and and so he was taking that template. and applying it to the middle east after the 1973 yom kippur war. and his overall approach was very similar. in 19th century the early 19th century post napolionic europe. casa ray and ethnic resolved to flip france from the revolutionary power that had
caused so much destruction in the napoleonic wars to the status quo power. and therefore he tried to do the same thing and succeeded in flipping egypt from being a revolutionary revisionist state to a status quo power, but he could only do that. through the mechanism of a peace process that addressed arab grievances. he came to understand that a kind of classic balance of power which relied on in the middle east coast israeli military power backed by the united states to deter the arabs from going to war or was insufficient because in the end you had the yom kippur war so his idea was you had to have a balance of power and an equilibrium in the balance of power that we'd be bolstered by the fact that egypt was moved from the the revolutionary side to the status
quo site, but you also had to a peace process. to legitimize the order and to address arab grievances when it came to the territory israel had occupied six years early in 1967. and that was the way in which you would stabilize the order so peace itself was a problem a piece process was the mechanism by which he legitimized the order he was trying to build. yeah. i mean i was it's i mean one it's very powerful and i've always sort of founded powerful that henry kissinger was one of the few secretaries of stayed with who really came with a very thoughtful thought through studied template. and that really informed his strategy and tactics and actions and that's i think that's kind of a you know a model whether you agree with what he did or
not or his strategy, but to have a thoughtful approach to things is is extremely important. but so wonder yeah, he called it conceptual conceptual. there we go. but i do i mean i will also wonder. kind of was he bound by a victim of whatever in a way of his phd fees that he looked at a particular period which had its rules. he applied those rules to to the middle east. some of it worked some of it didn't work. it's interesting you refer or he refers you referring directly to his attitude or reaction to the wilsonian principles woodrow wilson the american president after world war 1 which created a stillborn, you know league of nations. that didn't go anywhere and then you had the rise of fascism and the holocaust, you know his takeaway from that.
was as you say, you know if you try to pursue peace to naively you might end up with the worst opposite. however, you know those will sony and principles ended up after world war ii at least informing the establishment of the united nations international law the outlawing of war a whole new order which which stephen pinker and his reset book enlightenment. now really take seriously that we shouldn't we shouldn't take that not seriously plus when you look at european history, he looked at the 19th century. and the 20s and 30s you could also look at the visionaries like jean monet and conrad adenauer. who figured out or decided that in order to have a peaceful europe? you need to have you need to pursue. peace. you need to you know, treat it directly. and that project worked.
in a post war peaceful europe and bringing it to the middle east a number of reflections. i mean, it's clear that kissinger. approached his task as creating a balance of power between the major states. so egypt in syria israel and so on which meant stateless peoples like the palestinians, they really don't matter in his you know, but then again, they're not addressed and hence then you have you know, injustice all of what happened and be fathers and it becomes a problem. and secondly what it what's interesting to me on the egyptian israeli front. is that at the end of the day when said that? really just you know really wanted to go for these. you know get surgery said if you want peace kind of prepare for war kind of and have a balance of power so that eventually disagreed with it. is that if you want, peace you make peace. you just go there and you get it done and you reflect on that in the book and if i wish you'd
reflect on does he have any regrets and the lessons learned you have any lessons learned from all of different approaches that we're trying? well, you make a very good point i think and it is you could say a blind spot. in kissinger's approach. first of all, he was taking lessons from european order and applying them wholeless bowlers to the middle east. he didn't know anything about the arab world. why his own admission? he'd never studied or written about it. you never even written about the ottoman empire given his interest in 19th century europe. you would think at least he would have some interest in that he'd never visited the arab world before he became secretary of state. he visited israel six times before he went into the white house as national security advisor. and he had this view of the arabs as kind of romantic who had trouble, you know facing up
to reality were dreamers who imagined that there would be some deus ex machina that would come in and and change everything. and his biggest fear was that they would see in him this day or six mechanother would just deliver israel and they wouldn't have to do anything. so that was his kind of you could you could say orientalist view of of the middle east and yet. there was enough of the kind of realist power dynamics. in the region that his approach actually could work in terms of establishing a stable order, but there were several problems with it and you allude to them. the first is that in a in his hierarchical. approach to international order it was the big powers that counted and the small powers that did not and the only way
that the small palace could count was if they disrupted. the order which most of them didn't have the power to do and even if they did normally the large powers would come together and squelch them. so for the palestinians he regarded as a as a problem that needed to be addressed because they were creating some kind of static. they murdered two american diplomats in the sudan on his watch so he opened a channel to them. through the cia. to the hassan brothers you remember them colored and honey? o hassan? and he had at this dialogue on the side. but it wasn't too advanced palestinian cause it was to calm them down and to keep him quiet while he went off and and introduced his process and and he saw the palestinians as a
problem for israel and jordan to take care of. similarly jordan let alone lebanon. really didn't didn't count in the balance of power given this more. power status and even though he liked the king that's a quote. i like the king. he didn't feel that he should pay much attention to the king's concerns because they didn't really matter compared to egypt with its size and power and role in the arab world if you took egypt out of the conflict with israel, which was his plan. then you could stabilize the region effectively make war between our the arab states and israel irrelevant no longer operational. and if you could get syria the beating part heart of panera's
arabism to legitimize. that process of taking egypt out of the conflict. then you could stabilize it and as for the rest, well palestinians that was israel's problem and he kept on warning the israelites do a deal with jordan. otherwise you'll end up with the plo. he understood exactly the dynamic. but he it wasn't important enough for him and any totally israelis to deal with jordan sort it out. but he was never prepared to invest in which as i point out in the book was i believe a mistake a product precisely of his approach. that he missed the opportunity. to deal with the palestinian issue in a jordanian context he negotiated. disengagement agreements between israel and egypt between israel and syria he had the opportunity to negotiate one between israel and jordan which would have put
the king back into the west bank in a limited way, but it would have given him a position on the west bank and and responsibility for the palestinians at a time when the plo was in no position to prevent that from happening. and kissinger simply he saw the opportunity at a moment there. he kind of was attracted to it. but as soon as they'll be a family the egyptian foreign minister came to washington and said so that once another deal off he went across rub in one of the deal with egypt as well, but that that as a consequence. and i real opportunity i think was missed the last opportunity. as we can see historically to put the palestinian issue into a jordanian context. i mean a couple of reflections / questions one is kind of his not
great power but regional great powers that say, you know regional great power approach that he took to create deterrence and balance of power and some kind of stability among the major states of the region you could argue, you know has somewhat worked, you know, there have been no major state to state wars since well, iran, iraq war was not exactly in his purview was in his thing but the last really state to state war was back in 1973. and today really no major arab states are war with israel or israel with them. iran is in a state of belligerence, but has never had a war with israel and as unlikely ever to have a war with israel so you could say at that level. this strategy worked made sense still prevails in a certain way. obviously a lot has changed. but he did not.
maybe take a count of two things one is you know this non-state actors. i mean it started with a stateless people than the plo and now you have a whole bunch of obviously groups affiliated in many different ways at the middle east is no longer a zone simply of states. that you have to worry about and i wouldn't necessarily say that that is a consequence of a certain approach but it is interesting that it's the most non-state actor written region of the world. and secondly that is a that he said the us on a course. including on the west bank which as you say i mean really did not take the palestinian issue itself into consideration and enabled and brought about for the palestinians and for israel and for the region because this is you know, it radiates. a a intractable conundrum problem which almost has no
solution but is also not. it's not well, it's not it will continue to erupt it erupt every few years, but that too is a consequence of something. he said in motion and even you know when you discuss how we thought about he thought about the jordanian option. but even in the book you say the palestinians never thought that jordanian option was an option for them. so yeah, i mean, what are your reflections about sort of those well well it's true. it's not that he ignore the palestinian problem. as i said, he regarded it as a as a problem not worthy of his attention us. yeah. yeah was israel and jordan that needed to deal with the problem. and he will say he won the israelis he better deal with jordan oil. you'll end up dealing with the plr. but you know later on in his life. he was quite gratified that when
rabin came around to dealing with the palestinian. he adopted a kissingerie an approach. which was kissing just approach was always because he was skeptical of jumping an end of conflict. agreement it was always gradual and incremental he called it step by step diplomacy. and that's what he did with egypt to two steps in syria one step. and and then he was planning a third step with with egypt bandwidth syria and with jordan actually in his last year. that would have involved moving to non belligerency in exchange more territorial withdrawals by israel. so the first point is territorial withdrawal from arab occupied territory was always a fundamental principle of his process. that's what lubricated the process. and so when robin came forward with the oslo accords, it was a
three-phase step-by-step incremental approach involving yielding territory through the palestinians in the west bank and gaza. and no defined endgame or outcome. that was to be negotiated later and rub in was quick to say there are no sacred time tables here. so it was kind of ironical. because kissinger had a knockdown drag out fight with rubbin as i detailed in the book in 1975 when he was trying to get rubbed in to give up the strategic passes in sinai and the oil fields given back to it sadat so that they could have this second second interim agreement. and robin was insisting in those days on a ben game he wanted. peace. and kissing just said, you know, it's not worth having. countries can commit to base and they go back to war. so so, you know, let's not worry
about that. but robin at that point was insistent. the irony is kissinger brought him around when it came to dealing with the palestinians. he adopted kissinger's gradual step-by-step approach and the ultimate iron. is that way when i include me in this the united states under bill clinton? did not appreciate. kissingers step by step gradual approach so that when eric barack newly elected came to washington. and said to clinton, let's end this conflict in your last year in office and my first year. let's go to camp david. let's take our up there and let's end this country. clinton went for it and his aids did not argue against it. including me we thought we could
somehow end the conflict. kissinger would have never gone from would have accepted but arafat was not ready. and therefore to try to push him to it would only lead to a disaster. and and you know i said to him in my last interview with him. did he ever regret? not going for the peace treaty with egypt after all jimmy carter negotiated the israel egypt. peace treaty two years after kissinger left office, and he had laid all the groundwork for it. and as i show in the book there were plenty of indications that seduct and rugby and were ready. but kissinger wasn't as i said, did you ever regret it? and he said no. said because i always feared that if i pushed it too hard. i would break it. and it was like a light bulb going off in my head was like, yes, exactly. that's what we did. we pushed it too hard and we broke.
yeah, it's very very interesting stuff. i mean when i'm back up a couple of elements, i mean he does again have a very sort of 19th century. a view and i think you just mentioned it in part of his approach to things that peace is just you know, the spaces between war it's just a few years where there is a war and then then you fall back into war which was kind of the the reality in the 19th and 18th and 17th centuries. but it is it is no longer the way states actually behave. in the last, you know post-war certainly late 20th early 21st, there have been no major state to state wars. you know major one since world war ii again. this is something steven pinker gets into in great detail, and i think very seriously that it is it is not the case that states are sort of perpetually at war
and just try to keep them out of war for for a period of time and that's that's the objective that would you know modern economics and integration and investment and trade and so on things are quite different. i just want to kind of operant put that in parentheses, but in his own approach, which you which you described which is obviously very brilliant their elements. of buying time which are very productive towards peace and probably contributed to the peace treaties in that carter eventually negotiated and others, which is that when states and societies are at war they can't jump directly from more to peace. they can't do it culturally values emotions trust. then you need to create a period of 10 20 30 40 years where there is no war. and then it changes the dynamics so that may be later down down the road.
you can talk about these and i think this is very relevant even in recent conversations with friends in the middle east. these are the iran, you know, none of them. you know, they like peace with iran if iran would behave it. so, but they can't see it. they don't they don't see it happening, but they are trying to see if they can at least. i don't want to say coexist, but maybe that is the word at least not to have war for a while and then maybe at a later date, you know, that will bring something better. but you also mentioned in the book. a more negative or a more white one what might see nefarious way of using time that kissinger used and you talked about it. which is buying time. it was in relation of his description of the policy towards the west bank that he promoted a didn't go for peace, but he went for a peace process. in order to buy time to enable israel to consolidate its hold on parts of the west bank which
kissinger that were necessary for israel security that giving back the 67 borders was was not sustainable from his point of view for israel and that the buying time could also have other purposes. how would you unpack those two elements of time that were used? yeah. well several things i think he would. probably if he would talking to your arab friends about what to do with iran. he would introduce the concept of a daytime with iran. just like he did with the soviet union and he would have no problem with that. he sees iran. as a great power. a great civilization the kind of became a revolutionary state. and in his terms, you know, it has to. decide whether it wants to be a revolution or wants to be a state. and until it decides and it's taking a lot longer than i think he expected until it decides. you know, you have to treat it
as a revolutionary state and you have to contain it and deter. and then eventually if it's willing, i mean you have to see whether it's willing for dayton and i think he would see what the arabs are doing now by talking to the iranians to see whether there's a way to have a kind of motor city. but his overall objective is to bring iran back into the community of states as a great regional power in its own. right and he has no problem with that. he's not interested in regime change. he doesn't believe it and maybe he believed it in chile because that was in america's fear of influence, but definitely not in the middle east is not into that. now the question of time is very interesting because i think it's important to understand what he was talking about and what he wasn't. time for him was important because he believed that peace would eventually come and you mentioned this.
he had a cantian view that eventually there would be peace, but it would only come as a result of the exhaustion. of the powers in effect after trying everything else. they finally come to to accept that is the best option. and so that's the way he viewed it. and he he couldn't convince israelis to give up territory for peace because as i said, he had a drawn distribute of peace. so instead he argued. that they should give up territory for time. time to exhaust the arabs so they would eventually come to accept israel. time to build israel's strength reduce its isolation. but not what you said not time to consolidate its hold on arab territory. it's true that he was against. forcing into our to the 67 lines
but it's not so much that he regarded them as in defensible. but he regarded israel's unable to do that. at the time because of its weakness because of its domestic political circumstances and so on so he didn't want to try to push them to do something that they couldn't do. in his opinion but it was not to consolidate the territory. that was the cruel irony of what happened. is that he was so successful in convincing them to accept this principle of territory for time that it became the foundational basis for their strategy. towards the conflict. and in the process of buying time, which they did very well over the years. they consolidated their grip over over the west bank. and and you know he ends up saying in his book on world order that israel will have to yield territory.
otherwise it will consume its moral substance if it relies on naked force alone. so it's kind of quite clear that that he does not consider the west bank as something that israel needs to hold on to. rather it needs to give it up in stages just like rubbing envisaged in the oslo process. so that when the palestinians are ready to accept israel israel can afford then to give up. to the west bank more or less, you know with minor adjustments mutually agreed swaps. no, thanks. yeah, that's an important clarification. i misunderstood that and thanks for the clarification. let me try to throw in some questions here from the audience again if you have questions put them on the q&a function or if you're on youtube send it by email to events.
at mei.edu. let me ask a question from nirmal verma, which is already at area we were we were sort of present in which is here can kissinger's worldview and view of and all of that. and since you've talked to him on and off recently, what would all of this mean for us policy today in the middle east? big question, but very relevant what with this injured do right. so first of all, it's it's very relevant i could just add. because like the period of history the kissinger was dealing with the united states is in a retrenchment mode. it's withdrawing from afghanistan and the broader middle east in the way that kissinger oversaw the withdrawal from southeast asia and the pull out from vietnam.
it's also a time of domestic political turmoil back in kissinger's day. it was all about the impeachment of richard nixon and the turmoil of that caused internally. today, of course. it's about donald trump and division between the democrats and republicans. so there's a lot of similarities in the circumstances. kissinger's approach and you mentioned it early on. when we talked about thoughtful conceptual time, there's always to start with the concept and the concept depends on the balance of power. so the first requirement he would have is to establish an equilibrium in the balance of power. try to stabilize the balance of power. and in that sense, i think he would look to whoever who are the friends the united states that we can support since we can no longer lead and dominate the order. we've got other things to deal with in china russia climate
change etc. so let's get behind. a balance of power that that is supported by regional powers that are status quo powers, so that would be you know, the arab gulf states the sunny arab gulf states egypt, jordan and israel. and and the overall approach would be as i said earlier to contain and deter iran. and to forge that kind of alliance, which is already basically there in a tacit way. and and support it and and that is i think the way would approach it in the case of palestinians. he would go back. to the route to the oslover chords, which by the way is the only agreement that's still stands between the israels and palestinians not withstanding the fact that it's been observed in the in a both sides, but you also chords provides for a
gradual incremental approach. the israeli government is taking some steps economic rather than political not territorial. he would want to add a territorial dimension for the reasons. i already explained. and you know the third further redeployment. as provided for in the also records was never fulfilled. so you could go back. and get to get get the israelis in the palestinians talking about that. that would be the kind of incremental territorial step which would give both sides greater confidence about where this process was leading. give the palestinians more control over parts of area c, which is under 60% of the west bank completely under israeli control at this point and try in that way with the economic steps of the government israeli government has taken to rebuild confidence and trust so that you can then approach the final
status negotiations later on down the road. let me ask a question that is posed and link it to another one to go sort of both smaller and bigger on the smaller side. we have all these armed non-state actors. maybe there were very few of them when henry kissinger was an office, but obviously in the middle east today, they dominate huge swabs of territory. some kind of belong to states or very close to states others. do not because maybe he didn't have the at the time having approach to that issue because they weren't maybe very prevalent. has he developed a view about how to deal with massive non-state actors that do not fit into his westphalian balance of state power. so that's only sort of more micro view and then a question from one of our participants here. he worked during the cold war
where there was great power competition with the soviet union. that's very much part of his calculus. in the middle east policy as well. we are returning to a time where there is, you know research in russia. there's a china looming and that is relevant to the middle east. so how would he or how would you kind of being a kissinger whisperer attempt? how do you deal with the smaller groups, you know like that are not states and and the you know the big the big great powers which are not the soviet union. but they're they're a big challenge just to the us at least in the region. how do you think that fit into his framework? yeah, so i want to make clear that i'm not speaking for henry kissinger. i understand that i accidentally no in the sense that i haven't talked to him in detail about about how he would deal with the current situation my conversations were about very
dealt with the situation back then because that's what i was focused on in the book. but if i try to apply disengerian principles. to the current situation, i would say first of all. that in terms of the non-state actors. he had no time for you know unless they were going to become a state. then they could fit into the west failure in order as you refer to it. but as non-state actors, they needed to be vanquished pure and simple they represented a threat to the state system. and and therefore they needed to be conquered. by the great powers in the system now the palestinians there's different story because they gain, the right to self-determination and gain that recognition. from the international community
and from israel and from the united states and so from his point of view the question was how to to develop. palestinians into a state that would be have a stake in maintaining the order. and so he talks about a state in the making. and the need to to the palestinians to acquire what he calls the attributes of sovereignty. which is very much fits within what robin was trying to do originally with the oslo chords, and that's as far as i know. that's still the way he looks at it now in terms of the outside. powers, i think that's a very interesting question. the idea the principle is do they support the status quo, or do they support? countries in the region who are seeking to disrupt the status quo. if russia in syria is trying to
re-establish a stable situation. which the russians you know claim to want to do. and a working with israel in some ways to do that. then you know he would he would be all in favor of working with the russians on that. he never regarded syria. as a country that he needed to have in america's pocket like egypt. syria had a legitimizing function as i explained. but it was not important enough in the balance of power. that you had to deny it to the soviet union in those days or to russia today. their whole question is is russia prepared to stabilize syria? and prevent isis or other radical non-state actors from creating problems same with turkey. are they prepared to stabilize the order or are they coming in
to disrupt it for the sake of expanding their position of influence in the region? that's how he viewed the soviet union. and he decided that the only way to really deal with the soviet union was in effect to sidelines in the unit then in the region to push it out. so he it would be judged in a kind of black and white terms if you if they're ready to stabilize work with them. to contain iran to squats the non-state actors to bolster the order, but if they're not if they're going to support these non-state actors in disrupting the status quo then you have to counter them as well. yeah. yeah, and that's a very important reflection on yeah on current us. policy and views of the region and interaction with the rising or resurgent great powers china and russia you all can find it
just a knee jerk and it's but, you know great power competition. we must win the others must, you know, retreat and so on without taking into account. we the potential common interest. of a state order that everybody can benefit it from stability absence of war that's almost never taken into account as as a measurement as but you're as you're laying it out. it depends what china is doing, you know if china's helping stabilize and build states. okay, we compete with them, but they're basically contributing to order and it's not and they're not so i just wanted to underline that let sort of link. little bit go back to kissinger, but then to you get your views and there's a lot of bunch of questions. maybe let's start with the you know the jordanian option that you talk a lot about but really zeroing in on the question of the palestinians initially was
you know as you recount in the book jordan as the state would be the state option get jordan back involved and the palestinians would become part of some expanded hashemite something or other some federation or something. but as you say over time, that is, you know became discounted and you know that astonians as a, you know, a nation a people and then recognized a pretty internationally and moving towards deserving of their own state. coming to the point where we are all the way now. we're given as you said sort of the settlement policy and all of that one can hardly see we let alone palestinian leadership and divisions and problems and corruption and their own set of problems. one cannot see really a pathway. to a two-state solution one cannot see a pathway to a one-state solution. and and if kissing joe's approach to peace was create a balance of power eventually that
would lead to peace. there's been such an imbalance of power between the israelis palestinians that it prevents. now they're too powerful. you know why you know, why? but i guess boils down to what's your view? where are we? given your long history and understanding and struggling with these issues. what's the path? is there a path forward? what does it look like whether it's an indic view or a kissinger view? how can we move forward on the palestinian israeli issue? abraham accords have done breakthroughs of other areas we could talk about them but the palestinian israeli issue that internal issue almost it's almost a civil war that's been going on since the 20s. remains unresolved what? what is the martin indicue on that? well first of all are very
strongly believe that it is a huge mistake. so the palestinians particularly young. smart highly educated highly professional and very admirable advocates for for palestinian cores who have been shut out of palestinian politics. i think it's a huge mistake for them. to go down the road of the one-state solution, which is where they're headed now now for me. it's a rabbit hole. it it will not achieve their rights and to abandon. the right to self-determination when it has been recognized. by the whole world including israel is is a mistake of historic proportions? it should not be abandoned. it should be rehabilitated. palestinians should have a state of their own and that is the only solution one state
solutions are not solution for just recipes for continuing the conference pure and simple. so i understand fully the argument that you know, it's hard to believe in the two state solution. it's hard to imagine that the palestinians will a viable contiguous state. and that israel will ever agree that but i do think that it's essential to keep the hope of that solution alive, and then we go back to something i said about kissingerie and principles. the first is that the palestinians should have a state. and the second is that we need a gradual. process that involves incremental steps that get them there. and and in along the way they need to acquire attributes of sovereignty. they need to become a state in the making this was very much. fiatism the approach promoted by
solemn player we need to get back. to that practical approach of state building and recognition yeah in the pit the alternate prime minister of israel and the foreign minister now. it's like you. that israel should recognize a palestinian state with its borders to be negotiated later. that would be a kissingerie instead. but there are a lot of other things that need to be due done lapid is actually up like the planet a few weeks ago which started with a hoodner a long-term ceasefire with hummus in gaza. that would eventually lead to the palestinian authority taking over in gaza, which will only happen as you and i know paul if thomas and and the palestinian authority reconcile so, you know, there's a lot that needs to be done, but you kind of put
the abraham chords to the side and said well, that's a separate process. no, it is not a separate process. and it should never be viewed as a separate process. the emiratis stopped the annexation in return for normalization. and the saudis will not normalize unless there's progress towards a palestinian solution progress towards and is their position as i understand it and that is precisely what we're talking about here in a kind of step-by-step kissing during an approach. jordan and egypt have critical roles to play egypt is beginning to play that role in gaza in a way that it was not willing to do before. what is their roles they as states neighboring israel at peace with israel? now able to move forward with israel because they have legitimacy that comes from the
abraham accords and the normalization that other arab states have made towards israel. you notice how they feel it more comfortable about moving forward because they're not isolated. and that's that's equivalent to kiss and just getting to legitimize what egypt? they ever have a court is legitimizing a role for egypt and jordan in the solution of the palestinian problem. not to impose their will to take it over but to support the palestinian state in the making. and jordan has an important role to play there. these are two states capable with institutions. they can commit and fulfill commitments in a way that the palestinians have a terribly hard time doing because they don't have those institutions of state of so it's that kind of approach in which which is incremental which is territorial.
but also involves the arab states particularly egypt for gaza jordan for the west bank in helping the palestinians achieve attributes of sovereignty and eventually statehood. thank you martin. that's that's a very detailed. excellent answer also hopeful and realistic at the same time. let me ask a question that asked in the number of questions on on the q&a function, which is about nuclear weapons obvious. it's mentioned in the book the issue of israel's israel's weapons at some point and a nuclear weapons were not a big part of the 67 war or the 73 war. that you know the thing thought of using them came up in the om kippur war. yes. they were not a major factor, but let's bring it to today's world. obviously the iranian nuclear program has mobilize a lot of us administrations and different
ways to try to deal with this problem obama through negotiation trump through maximum pressure biden again through attentive negotiation libyan iraqi, syrian programs motivated a lot of us action to try to block that. we're moving into a 21st century where a nuclear power is going to be. have to be part of non-carbon energy mix i understand. i mean, so again talk that's about your views. maybe kissinger has a kissinger death with it with the soviets and with the chinese obviously not so much context. israel today as you say is extremely powerful. they're not vulnerable the way they were, you know many decades ago where maybe the argument in the defensive way that they need nuclear rapids because they're so weak. iran sometimes although it denies wanting them. it says oh well, you know vulnerable and we you know,
where we need some protection and so on but what would a do you see a nuclear-free or a pathway to a nuclear free middle east is that achievable obviously with iran involves the negotiations that are ongoing and hopefully, you know pathways in that direction. israel continues to deny or not, you know not even engage that issue. but i think it's a very serious issue for the remainder of the century. what are your thoughts on that? so and i think again it's kind of like like the canty and approach to peace eventually. you would want to get to a nuclear-free zone and it's it's an admirable objective like this. but you can't get there from here. so you know kissinger cut his
teeth on nuclear strategy. that's how he became famous. as a public policy intellectual with his american nuclear weapons study for the council on formulations that really projected him in the 1960s onto onto the them into the public policy debate. so during the time when he was in the white house. he crafted. the strategy of nuclear ambiguity that israel has adopted ever since in which the united states was? very alarmed at the way in which they felt that israel was advancing towards nuclear weapons. and so they reached and understanding mix it with gold in the ear. but forge pakistan, which essentially israel would adopt the policy of nuclear ambiguity.
never declaring that it had nuclear weapons are always obfuscating that it should. and never doing anything that would indicate that nuclear weapons. and in return the united states would look the other way about america and israel's nuclear program and that understanding continues to this day the great one of the great dangers in iran's advanced towards a nuclear threshold. and you may have already seen it in reporting from israel. so the israelis are now talking about ending then nuclear ambiguity. and and the implication would be that they would. you know bring the bomb out of the basement if that's where it is and and declare themselves as a nuclear power. and the purpose of that would be to deter. the iranians from ever thinking about actually using nuclear weapons if they were to require
acquire them. that and it just nigerian approach would be a big mistake. why because it would together with the iranian youtube program triggering nuclear arms race across the region. and so as you write approaches the nuclear threshold. and kissingerion approach. i'm not saying that this is what kissinger believes because i haven't really talked to him about it. and i'm not sure that he's thought it through. but a kiss nigerian approach would be to focus on containment of urata so explained before and deterrence of iran. and deterrence in this case. would mean in my view. extending a new american nuclear umbrella to israel and the arab states, why would israel need a nuclear umbrella precisely so that it maintains its and nuclear ambiguity, but enjoys
the strength and deterred to the united states. and the other arab states in this kind of coalition broad coalition that i was describing of status quo powers that want to contain iran. those arab states would also enjoy the nuclear umbrella of the united states and and in that way you could stabilize the situation and tell all these powers you have no reason and no justification in seeking nuclear weapons because you've got protection. you've got a nuclear umbrella to protect you. it's kind of like a nato type article 5 commitment on the nuclear level not on the conventional. i made that's never really been discussed. but i think when now moving into a world in which it needs to be on the table and and discussed. well martin, we've run out of
time. i want to thank you. this was. unlike many book talks. i've been very good. this is been extremely it thoughtful. it's like kind of reading chapters of the book. so thanks martin for being so thoughtful and responding to the questions in the comments in a very studied and thoughtful way. again, this is the book that you must purchase a very important and interesting read. thank you martin for writing it next time. i see you you will you will sign it for me. so i have an author's car pleasure. thank you everyone for joining us today. and thanks for the meit team for putting this all together. have a good rest every day every everybody and martin cell. see you soon. inshallah. take care. thank you. thank