News & Election Videos
Related Topics
Election 2008 Democratics | Republicans | General Election: Heads-to-Heads | Latest Polls

Send to a Friend | Print Article

Special Report Roundtable - June 15

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are telling our people that streets here are free, and there is not fears and anarchy, and people can walk in the streets in safety, and Hamas is protecting all of it, and we are going to have this place secure and safe.

This gun battle is finished.


BAIER: This gun battle is finished. Those were Hamas leaders holding a very unique news conference in the Gaza Strip today, fully masked, as you say there. Hamas now in control there, Fatah in the West Bank, what now?

Some analytical observations from Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard, Mort Kondrake, Exectuive Editor of Roll Call, and syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer, Fox contributors all.

Charles, where to we go from here?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: That clip is an extreme example of "we're the government, and we're here to help you." Imagine a government run by masked terrorists.

What's happened here, I think, is on the one hand ominous, but also illuminating. It's ominous because you have men like that who are terrorists, run by a terrorist party, who are in control of Gaza, and even worse, this is an Iranian client, so Iran now has essentially a frontier with Israel in the south, and Egypt as well.

It is illuminating because up until now you have had all of Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza, in a kind of unity government, which was of course a phony, half Hamas, half Fatah, half rejectionist have not rejectionist, which has now collapsed.

And you have had a kind of chemical separating out. You now have Gaza, which is all Hamas, all rejectionist, all terrorists, and you've got the West Bank, run but Fatah, which is a lot stronger the West Bank, run by Abbas.

And that means that for the policy implications for America and the west are easy. Up until now with a unity government, you didn't know how to act. Well, now it's obvious. We have to deal with Abbas in the West Bank, try to build him up. Israel will begin to release the taxes. He'll get aide from Europe and America, and you try to deal with him.

Hamas and Gaza we have to cut off utterly diplomatically and politically, and if Israel ought to act in a way where if Hamas continues to shoot rockets into Israel, they should cut off electricity and water in response.

BAIER: Mort, the U.S. role?

MORT KONDRAKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: Well, the U.S. role would be to help Israelis support Abbas in the West Bank. What Abbas is doing is he's cancelled the government which was a Hamas run government because they won the last election and controlled the most of the ministries.

And now, he is talking about having new election. Now, the danger is that the new elections would be won even in the West Bank by Hamas, in which case this is a real setback. Then they have legitimacy in the West Back as well as Gaza.

So what we have got to do, and I hope that the Israelis would offer something in the way of negotiating opportunities with Abbas to build him up to the point where the people on the West Bank would see that it was in their interest to support that government as opposed to going to Hamas.

BAIER: In the situation as it is, Fred, I mean, are elections a possibility is? I mean, it doesn't seem like they are going to get down that road that far?

FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EIDTOR, WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, you have them, you can hold, I doesn't mean that they are going to be a truly democratic exercise. And I agree with Mort, Ham as could win in the West Bank.

Certainly Abbas is a very weak reed to lean on for Israel and for the United States. I think we have to first and foremost say look, we are going to support Israel. Israel now has a terrorist state right on its border, that is the Gaza Strip with Hamas.

And then has a questionable neighbor on the West Bank as well. There are huge terrorist elements that are part of Fatah, which is notoriously corrupt in the first place, and particularly in using monies from the U.S. and the United Nation, and the European Union.

But I want to say one other thing. Look, Gaza was a test. The Israelis turned over Gaza to the Palestinians. All the Israeli's left, there aren't the guard stations and so on in the West Bank that the Palestinians complain about, that they're jerked around and blocked from going from this town to this town, if was all Palestinians. And they returned it to a state of nature.

They could have turned it into a--the could have had a real economy there, they could have had real schools. They could have done all kinds of things. They could have had, at least theoretically, a stable Palestinian government running Gaza.

And look what they did, quite the opposite. It should not encourage anyone to think that there is any real peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

BAIER: So any hope for a peace process erased?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, no. Look, I think Fred is right. People have always assumed what the Palestinians wanted was a state. What they actually had wanted was the destruction of the Israel.

They have had 15 years since Oslo to do state building, they've done nothing. No schools, no roads, no courthouses. As we saw in Gaza, an extreme experiment, turned it into civil war and terror.

We're going to test that proposition again, now, in the West Bank. Fatah is in control, it has a moderate leader. Israel's going to help it, America is going to help it, Europe is going to help it. It's a final test of whether there are any Palestinians who could actually build a state, live in peace, and have a future.

And this is, I think, the last test of the Palestinians. If it fails in the West Bank, it's never going to happen.

BAIER: Mort, last word. How long does this split last, this Hamas- Fatah split of Gaza and West Bank?

KONDRAKE: Well, what I'm afraid of is that it's not going to last for very long, that Hamas is on the ascendancy. In Gaza they're going to aid from the Iranians--it will be smuggled in, but they'll get aid. Military aid as well as, probably, economic aid.

And the question is, are the Palestinians truly willing to have a two state solution with the Israelis or not? That is the choice, that's going to be the choice in the next election.

BAIER: All right.

Up next, reports of the Immigration Bill's demise proved premature. The Fox all stars here will tell you how the measure came back from the dead and where it may head from here. Stay with us.



SENATOR TED KENNEDY, (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The idea of failure is not an option. And the idea that we're going to continue without this kind of reform is clearly not in our national interest, our national security interest.

I think all of your groups here were praying perhaps that wisdom would come to the United States Senate, and those players were answered.

REP VIRGIL GOODE, (R), VIRGINIA: Those, including you and including me, who are opposed to amnesty, and they call us names and demonizing adjectives. And now we will not surrender. We will march. We will organize. We will vote. We will stand up for the United States of America.


BAIER: Well, there you see the two sides of the immigration debate there. Senator Kennedy saying this morning at a prayer breakfast that the prayers have been answered. a Senate deal is here. Obviously opposition still stiff.

We're back with our panel. Fred, where does this go from here? I mean, obviously, the Senate's going to move it forward. Prospects of passage?

BARNES: I think the prospects are very good. And, of course, the bill could have already passed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has brought it back. I mean this arrangement of limiting amendments could have been worked out a week ago, and he instead pulled the Bill.

But, in any case, they're going to bring it back. I think it will pass, and the House is going to be very, very difficult. The fact that it passes the Senate will make it more likely to pass the House. But there's going to be tremendous opposition there among some Democrats and among a lot of Republicans, and I think they're going to have to make some--a Bill could pass the House, but it will look a lot different from the Senate Bill.

And Charles has written, of course, about the need for a fence. Not something like a fence, but a fence, in order to make people believe that they are really going to secure the border. This is the kind of thing the House may pass. It might be in it, and it could be in a bill that meets the Senate bill in conference, and then we'll see what happens.

BAIER: 4.21 I talked today to Secretary Chertoff, the Homeland Security Secretary, and he said, look, the argument that they're going to make with Republicans border security people is you will never get a better deal, and this is a much tougher bill than the bill passed in the Senate last year.

The border security restrictions, and especially the employer sanctions, are much tougher that they were before. And in addition to that they've figured out a way to dedicate $4.4 billion to pay for all this border security and employer sanction stuff, including fencing, and aerial vehicles, and sensors, and all kinds of stuff.

And he said that--I asked him about Charles' proposal to build absolute fence across the whole Mexican border, and he said it would cost $6 to $7 billion. It takes about 20 minutes to get over a fence, you put a ladder over then you get over the fence, so you have to have lots of border patrol in addition to that. And you have to buy a lot of land, and there's a lot of private owners of land who don't want to sell the land, et cetera.

And the Mayors all along the border, anybody who's got the Rio Grande as part of the border, wants to use it to water cattle and stuff like that. So you can do the same thing without a fence with technology that you could do with a fence.

BAIER: A proposal there, Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: I'll believe it when I see it. It sounds like--look there are all these excuses that you can hear about a fence. They work. Israel has a fence, nobody gets across. The Chinese built a wall that worked for about 3,000 years. Fences have a pretty good history.

What you have here is people who are trying to argue that you will never get a better deal on border control. Why not? Why do we have to purchase border control with legalization?

Once you show that you are serious about controlling the border, not by throwing inputs at it, but with results, then America will be open to accept legalization.

BARNES: Well, politically you can't get that deal unless you have tradeoffs. And legalization is part of it.

For more visit the FOX News Special Report web page.

Email Friend | Print | RSS | Add to | Add to Digg
Sponsored Links