- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
On this "Face the Nation" broadcast, moderated by Margaret Brennan:
Jon Finer, deputy National Security Adviser Michael Herzog, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.
Palestinian ambassador to the U.K. Husam Zomlot Reps. Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado, and Tony Gonzales, Republican of TexasOksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S.
Clickto browse full transcripts of "Fac the Nation."
MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning. I'm Margaret Brennan in Washington.
It has been just over four weeks since the terrorist group Hamas staged its brutal attack on Israel that killed 1,400. Since then, Israel's response has been powerful and deadly. The conflict has drawn outrage around the world. And the calls for anything from an immediate cease-fire to a humanitarian pause, which is what the U.S. is calling for, have become louder.
But as we come on the air, the situation is bleaker than ever. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling in the region and made a surprise visit this morning to Ramallah to meet with the Palestinian Authority president to talk about the future of a Palestinian state.
The U.S. is also continuing its push to get Hamas to release hostages, to protect and get aid to civilians in Gaza, and to keep the conflict from expanding, all while standing with Israel against terrorism.
We have several reports from the region this morning, as well as interviews with three key voices in the diplomatic efforts.
But we begin on the ground in Israel with Charlie D'Agata.
CHARLIE D'AGATA (voice-over): The secretary of state's unannounced visit to the West Bank is the first since the war in Gaza began.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas joined other Arab leaders in calling for an immediate cease-fire. The secretary of state had come to the region trying to build support for a humanitarian pause in fighting, roundly rejected by Israel, with no letup in the fight raging inside Gaza.
This morning, Hamas accused the Israel Defense Forces of killing more than 40 people in an airstrike at the Al-Maghazi refugee camp. The IDF says it's investigating, but it appears to be the latest in a series of attacks on targets with a heavy civilian presence, from the multiple explosions at the Jabalia and Barij refugee camps to more recent strikes on a convoy of ambulances outside the Al Shifa Hospital, which Israel says targeted a Hamas terror cell.
(GIRLS SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHARLIE D'AGATA: And schools-turned-U.N.-shelters that ultimately provided no safety at all.
The dead placed together in delivery trucks acting as makeshift morgues, families unable to let go of loved ones, their lives and homes torn apart day after day in four weeks of heavy bombardment.
The Israeli government insists troops are waging war in accordance with international law to avoid harm to noncombatants. Hamas health officials say the death toll has topped 9,400 people. As its forces encircle Gaza City, the IDF released new videos showing troops pushing through the ruins of densely packed urban neighborhoods, from gun battles on the streets of Gaza to IDF units firing from beaches on the Western strip of the territory.
This said to show forces blowing up tunnels while bulldozers clear routes for more incoming soldiers. With Hamas militants releasing their own footage said to show street-to-street fighting, Israel's defense minister has already warned, this phase of the ground operation could take months.
CHARLIE D'AGATA: In an effort to avoid more civilian deaths, the Israeli military says it opened up the highway leading from North to South Gaza for a window four hours today, dropping leaflets from aircraft, again urging remaining residents to leave for their own safety.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That's our Charlie D'Agata in Tel Aviv.
We turn now to the occupied West Bank and Debora Patta's report on reaction there from Secretary Blinken's visit.
DEBORA PATTA: Palestinian outrage over the soaring death toll in Gaza is mounting. And here in Ramallah on the West Bank, that anger is directed not only against Israel, but against the United States, which is accused of giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complete carte blanche in his war.
And this crowd here today is chanting "Blinken, you have blood on your hands," the visit by the U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken, clearly not welcome in Ramallah.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to Gaza and CBS News producer Marwan Al Ghoul.
We caution that some of the images are quite disturbing. The number of casualties cited are from Hamas-backed Gaza Health Ministry.
MARWAN AL GHOUL: Today, at the end day of the month of the war, the life becomes more and more miserable, as Israel keep bombing Gaza around the hour, which caused more than 11,000 deaths and more than 24,000 injuries.
Half of them or more are children and women. And don't forget that more than 1,500 killed are missed under destruction still now. Hospitals almost collapsed. The health system in Gaza can't apply its service to the patients, to the deaths and injuries.
That's matter of life. It's collapsed. People didn't know where to go. I can tell that more than one million of the Palestinians in Gaza, I mean, half of the population, are displaced, with no electricity, lack of food, lack of water, and a lot of destruction everywhere.
Today morning, I was driving in Rafah city, and I saw thousands lined and stand on lines waiting for bread. A woman told me that she had been standing for six hours to get some bread. Might not be enough for her family.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to White House Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer.
Good morning to you.
JON FINER (White House Principal Deputy National Security Adviser): Good morning, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, the U.S. has been trying to get roughly 400 U.S. citizens out of Gaza. I understand some have made it out. Are all of the Americans out, and were there any casualties?
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: Margaret, we believe that there are still a number of Americans inside Gaza, but that, over the last several days, through pretty intensive negotiations with all sides relevant to this conflict, we have been able to get out more than 300 Americans, lawful permanent residents and their family members.
This is obviously a major priority, and one that we're going to continue to work out until every American who wants to leave is able to do so.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And where do we stand with the negotiations to get hostages freed by Hamas?
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: Those negotiations are going on quietly behind the scenes.
They have taken longer than any of us would like. But we continue to believe that there is the possibility of getting a significant number of these hostages released. And you've heard both President Biden and the Prime Minister of Israel say that there could be a pause in the fighting to enable that, the way there was when two American hostages were released very early in the conflict. And we're going to continue to work on that as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Has the Israeli government agreed to pause for a hostage release?
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: You heard the prime minister of Israel say yesterday that the context in which they would consider a pause would be related to a hostage agreement.
We don't, obviously, have yet…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: … a hostage agreement. But, again, we're working very hard to get one.
And if that were to take place, just being able to move hostages around the battlefield in a way that is safe, get them to a gate leading outside of Gaza would take time. And we would want to only be able to do that safely. So we believe a pause would be appropriate in that context.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Understood.
Secretary Blinken has said that what Hamas is doing with using human shields is monstrous. But he also said that he shared with the Israeli government steps they could and should take to minimize harm to civilians.
That is the closest I have heard a U.S. official come to you saying the administration isn't 100 percent comfortable with what the Israeli military is doing.
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: Margaret, I think we've said versions of what you heard from Secretary Blinken a number of times, including from the president.
Look, we've been quite clear that the way that Hamas conducts this fight, launching an appalling attack on Israel, and then retreating into the Gaza Strip and essentially concealing themselves among a densely populated civilian population, is unconscionable.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: At the same time, while that raises the burden on the Israeli military to conduct this fight and go after Hamas, it does not diminish their obligation to do so in a way that distinguishes between civilians and fighters.
And we have had many direct conversations with the government of Israel on that topic, and we will continue to do that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, but could and should suggest they are not currently.
The U.S. provides more than $3 billion a year in military aid to Israel. Does the U.S. need to set conditions on how that U.S.-paid-for weaponry is used?
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: We build law of armed conflict assurances any time we transfer a security assistance to any country, including Israel.
And when we see a circumstance, events, that – that concern us, we raise those very directly with the government of Israel. And, again, we will continue to do that as this conflict transpires.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But, Jon, you know that your fellow Democrats – I mean, Senator Chris Murphy said he urges Israel to "reconsider its approach and shift to a more deliberate and proportionate counterterrorism campaign."
Arab leaders, Arab foreign ministers said yesterday: "How can we justify that killing 9,000 people is self-defense?"
How close are we to this stopping?
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: So, what I would say is, Israel continues to face an enormous threat from Hamas.
Obviously, we've seen that threat manifest itself. And not only does that threat continue to exist, but you continue to see Hamas say that, if given the opportunity, they would conduct a version of what they did on October 7 again. So the threat has not been eliminated.
At the same time, as you say, the devastating toll that this has taken on civilians as one deeply concerns us, one that we raise in a very direct way both publicly, as Secretary Blinken has done, as others have done, and privately and directly with the government of Israel. There are certain responsibilities that any army has in the context of waging a military operation like this, and they're widely known.
They're related to international humanitarian law, and we expect them to be followed.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Jon, Secretary Blinken was in Ramallah in the West Bank, as you know, today meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, and he was reportedly talking about a future for the Palestinian Authority and some kind of role in Gaza.
How close are we to the end of the war, if we're talking about a future government here? And is the Palestinian Authority really up to the task?
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: So, I don't want to speculate about how close we are or are not to the end of the war.
But what I will say – and President Biden has been very clear about this - - is that, whenever this conflict is over, we cannot go back to the way things were before October 7, either in Gaza or in the West Bank.
We've obviously been very concerned during this conflict, but also well before it, about the rise in violent incidents in the West Bank. President Biden has spoken to the role of extremist settlers in that context. That behavior has continued. We've expressed that concern directly to the government of Israel.
And we give a lot of credit, frankly, to the Palestinian Authority for the work that it has done to prevent the West Bank from spiraling into greater instability, even in the context of what's happening in Gaza. And in the aftermath of this, the president has said we need to get back to the urgent work of working towards a two-state solution that includes both Gaza and the West Bank.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But I just to make sure I'm understanding you there.
There are some ultranationalists within the Israeli government who have been very clear their positions, one of them saying he was going to cut some funding to the Palestinian Authority, because he didn't think their reaction was strong enough to October the 7th.
Another one was also handing out weapons to settlers in recent days. Have you convinced the Netanyahu government to stop that?
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: You've heard the president speak to, again, serious concerns about the behavior of extremist settlements – settlers, violence that has been perpetrated by them in the West Bank that could lead things to spiral out of control.
So we obviously don't accept that. We raise those concerns very directly and have done so. We believe now is not the time to reduce support to the Palestinian Authority, given that they are working in many cases alongside Israeli security forces to try to keep a lid on things in the West Bank, and we believe that they should both continue to do so and be supported in that endeavor.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Jon Finer, thank you for your time today.
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JON FINER: Thanks again, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And Face the Nation will be back in one minute with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog.
Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog.
Ambassador, good to have you here in person.
MICHAEL HERZOG (Israeli Ambassador to the United States): Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It's hard to believe it's been a month since we last spoke in the wake of the horrific attack on your country.
I want to tap into some of your experience here, because, before you were a diplomat, you were in the military.
The White House said on Friday, in the coming week, the Israeli military will have more of a tactical focus on the ground campaign to clear out specific areas.
Are we moving into a new phase of this war?
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: So, let me explain what we're up against.
Gaza is probably the biggest terror complex in the world. You have tens of thousands of armed terrorists, tens of thousands of rockets. We estimate over 500 kilometers of tunnels, terror tunnels, with rockets, all their leadership, command-and-control structure.
This is what we're up against. And we have to uproot it, because, if we do not, they will strike again and again. And they're saying it. They're saying it publicly. This is a very complicated military operation in a densely populated area, and we're trying to move the population away from that war zone.
We are moving very slowly, very deliberately, but we are – our operation, we believe, is effective and will continue.
MARGARET BRENNAN: There are still 400,000 people in the North of Gaza, according to the U.S. threat, area you say you're trying to clear out.
But your military has encircled Gaza City. It has killed a lot of leaders of Hamas and praised that as success. So at what point do you declare success? And at what point do you stop this aerial campaign and move into more strategic tactics?
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: First of all, most of our campaign right now is carried out by ground forces. It's not an air campaign. That was the first phase.
Now, we are not going to put a time frame on – on this war. We did not stop – start this war. We don't want – we did not want this war. But we cannot stop before we dismantle the terror machine, or else, as I said, it will strike again and again.
And we have to make sure that, when this ends, they are unable to strike again the way they did on October 7. I think everybody in Israel is united around this goal.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your prime minister said no cease-fire without the return of hostages.
How close are we in those negotiations to get hostages freed?
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: We are making every effort to get hostages released.
And when people – people talk about pause in the fighting, we are all for a pause that would allow for the release of hostages. Unfortunately…
MARGARET BRENNAN: And…
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: Unfortunately – I will explain the humanitarian issue, but, unfortunately, we – it is not our impression that Hamas is serious about releasing them.
They are playing full time. They're trying to stop our pressure and rearm and regroup themselves. When we see that they are serious about it, then we're all in. Nobody has to urge us. Most of the kidnapped are Israelis. And our government is responsible to the families. So, nobody has to urge us on this.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But the White House has said it was a test case, and a successful one, to have those two Americans and then those two Israelis released.
Why do you think hostage talks are not successful now?
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: Because Hamas is playing for time and because Hamas is trying to stop our military efforts.
And I think, the more pressure we put on them, the more chances there are that they may agree to release hostages.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, according to the U.S., there's the 400,000 people stuck in North of Gaza. There are thousands of Palestinian civilian casualties. This is according the White House national security adviser, 70 or more U.N. workers, 30 or more journalists who have been killed.
Will your military change tactics, as the U.S. has asked?
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: We are making every effort to distinguish between terrorists and civilian population.
We called on civilian population to move to the south out of harm's way. And Hamas is doing everything they can to keep them in harm's way. Most of the population moves to the south. And, as we speak, and we are pressuring – pressing Hamas in the north, we are calling people to move out of harm's way.
I would be very careful, very careful about judging those numbers, because neither you nor I know how many of them are armed terrorists and how many of them are civilians. I don't know, and you don't know.
Let me tell you on…
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: Let me tell you more than that.
On October 7, Hamas attacked us with 3,000 armed terrorists.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: We're still collecting the bodies.
We have 1,000 bodies of armed terrorists on our – do they count them in – in their numbers, or no? I don't know, and you don't know. So, let's be very careful about that, because I don't know how many of them are terrorists and how many are – our military says that…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: … it kills numerous terrorists in – in armed clashes. So let's be very careful about that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. Well, you just heard that the U.S. – one of the U.S. national security advisers raising concerns here.
In terms of national security interests, there is that question of unintended consequences, right, and that if you – we know from polling that there are a lot of people in Gaza who didn't support Hamas. But now, with this campaign this brutal, with these number of casualties, there is the risk of radicalization of that population.
How concerned are you about that?
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: We are. In every war, there are unintended consequences and there's collateral damage. That's tragic. Every human life is tragic, Palestinian or Israeli. Doesn't matter.
We act according to international law. We make every distinction that we can make between civilians and terrorists. Now…
MARGARET BRENNAN: But is there an end point?
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: Now, we call the population to move to the south to keep them out of harm's way.
We – before we did airstrikes, we call specific families, buildings, asked them to leave. And Hamas is deliberately keeping them. And in part of our clashes in Gaza, they sent like 100 civilians to face our forces. That's the way they operate. This is tragic. This is tragic, but we cannot allow Hamas immunity just because they hide behind civilians. We want to separate between the two and strike the terrorists.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, there's a lot more to talk to you about.
Unfortunately, I have to leave it there for today. But I hope that we will have you back to continue covering this.
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL HERZOG: Thank you very much.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be right back with more Face the Nation.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The war in the Middle East has fueled anger and outrage in the U.S.
Our Mark Strassmann reports.
MARK STRASSMANN (voice-over): Fury's march, pro-Palestinians, tens of thousands of them, rallying this weekend in Washington.
PROTESTER: Palestine will be free!
MARK STRASSMANN: Sentiment simmering here, but seething elsewhere, venom and menace on the prowl, elbowing aside empathy and grace.
MARK STRASSMANN: From in-person bullying to online barbarity.
From the first Hamas gunshot on October 7, the Internet became a welter of hatreds, scuttering across mainstream and extremist platforms.
In London, Hannah Rose with ISD, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, monitors online hate speech.
HANNAH ROSE (Institute for Strategic Dialogue): It's still far higher than at regular levels.
MARK STRASSMANN: And is that true of all hate speech, Muslims, Jews as targets?
HANNAH ROSE: It's true of antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred.
MARK STRASSMANN: In the three days after the initial Hamas attack, ISD reports, antisemitic comments on conflict-related YouTube videos increased by almost 5000 percent. Anti-Muslim keywords spiked more than 400 percent.
HANNAH ROSE: What we know about online antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred is that it never stays online.
MARK STRASSMANN: A Palestinian-American boy of 6 stabbed to death near Chicago. His attacker reportedly yelled: "You Muslims must die."
In New York, this suspect allegedly punched a woman in the face. He told her: "Because you are Jewish."
America's Jewish community is understandably skittish. Less than 3 percent of the country's population, they're the targets of roughly 60 percent of all religious hate crimes. And that was before the October 7 Hamas attacks.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY (FBI Director): This is a threat that is reaching, in some ways, sort of historic levels.
MARK STRASSMANN: FBI Director Christopher Wray testified this week the threat is real.
DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER WRAY: This is not a time for panic, but it is a time for vigilance.
MARK STRASSMANN: Everyday Americans a half-world away from Gaza, but caught in the crossfire, including, horrifically, a 6-year-old boy.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mark Strassmann reporting.
We will be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Today kicks off a big week in politics. Anthony Salvanto will be along in our second half-hour with a new national poll.
And then it's Tuesday, Election Day, 2023. And CBS News Streaming will have live election night coverage starting at 8:00 anchored by Norah O'Donnell and featuring the rest of our CBS News political reporting team.
We will be right back with the Palestinian perspective to this conflict.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION.
Husam Zomlot is the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Kingdom. He joins us from London this morning.
Ambassador, thank you for joining us.
You were most recently also the representative of the Palestinian Authority here in the United States.
Secretary Blinken was in Ramallah today. There were no public statements made. Was this a tense meeting with your president?
HUSAM ZOMLOT (Palestinian Authority Ambassador To The U.K.): Yes, because there are differences. Our president demanded an immediate ceasefire to the atrocious, murderous assault by Israel on our civilians, on our people. This is not a war against Hamas. It's clear since it started it's a war against our people, not only in Gaza, by the way, but also in the West Bank. Ten thousand innocent civilians, almost half of them are children. And, therefore, this is the key point now, not only because we want to stop the atrocities, the carnage, the deliberate killing of our people, but also we don't want this to spread over. Every minute we wait there is a risk of spreading over.
And, thirdly, we need to see the U.S. playing the role of an honest mediator, not adopting the Israeli narrative and the Israeli line, given how historic and, you know, with the genocidal rhetoric coming out of Tel Aviv right now. We needed a grownup in the room, and that is the U.S.
Unfortunately, we haven't heard that. And that's why we did not come up with a joint statement.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: We had some good ideas from Secretary of State Blinken about the future. We heard his commitment to a political resolution that will bring about an end to Israel's occupation, a comprehensive one that includes the West Bank and Gaza with east Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: And we - we agree with all of that. But there will be a time to discuss that. Now is the time to stop the barrels of the gun, to stop the murder of our civilians.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, you were talking about in –
HUSAM ZOMLOT: And this whole talk, Margaret, about pauses -
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: Pauses, humanitarian pauses, is simply irresponsible. Pauses of crimes against humanity.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Look -
HUSAM ZOMLOT: And so, we're going to pause for six hours, killing our children, and then we resume killing the children.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well -
HUSAM ZOMLOT: I mean this – this doesn't stand even international laws.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Let me ask - let me -
HUSAM ZOMLOT: So, yes, there are disagreements and we seek more.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Let me interrupt you here and say, you know, the deputy national security adviser to the president gave the Palestinian Authority credit for maintaining stability in the West Bank today. Israeli forces say they detained 1,200 people since October 7th, 740 of them associated with Hamas in the West Bank. So how stable is the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority right now?
HUSAM ZOMLOT: It is not stable and that's not an accurate description of the situation in the West Bank. Our people in the West Bank all over are subject to attacks by the settler militias that your – White House and secretary of state spoke about. It's very volatile and dangerous. Many, many Palestinians over the last three weeks. You're talking about more than 134 the last number I got, killed by Israeli – illegal Israeli militias and Israeli army.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: We're talking about provocations in Jerusalem. And you know how volatile the situation in - in Jerusalem. And you're talking about an assault against our people everywhere. So, this isn't about West Bank and Gaza. The West Bank and Gaza are subjected to the very same exercise. Now, (INAUDIBLE) - allow me - allow - allow - allow me, Margaret -
MARGARET BRENNAN: Understood, but I want - I'm asking about - about your - let me ask you, though, about your government because there is a serious conversation being had by American diplomats about the Palestinian Authority taking on a role of governing in Gaza as well.
So, talk to me about that because we just heard, you know, that you have a financial problem right now, in part because the Israeli government is withholding some of the tax revenues and claiming they're doing it because Palestinian Authority hasn't condemned Hamas adequately in those October 7th attacks. So, do you want to clear the air and clearly condemn the attack in (ph) Hamas today?
HUSAM ZOMLOT: No, I want to clear the record. First of all, the Palestinian authority is not what represents the Palestinian people. It's the PLO. It's the Palestine Liberation Organization. I represented the PLO in Washington. Now I represent the PLO in - in - in London. The PA does not have external arms. The sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people is the PLO.
Number two, let me clarify another matter. It's the state of Palestine that will take over and protect its peoples and the West Bank in Jerusalem and in Gaza once the Palestinian occupied territory is liberated.
Number three, it is the opportunity for the U.S. to be the peacemaker. Number one, the leaders have made - leaders have made - let me - let me - leaders have made - leaders have made the PLO –
MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm sure you're concerned about that tax revenue, though? Do you want to clear the air and condemn it?
HUSAM ZOMLOT: De-designate the PLO from the terrorist list in the U.S. Congress. He – your secretary of state just shake the hand of the - of the head of the president of the PLO after 30 years of signing the Oslo Accords, after 30 years of committing to international law and negotiations, the U.S. should do that. The U.S. should recognize the state of Palestine and allow us to be a full member in the U.N. And the U.S. must immediately stop voting - vetoing, sorry, our attempts at accountability (INAUDIBLE).
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes. These are decades worth of problems.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: This will bring - this will bring - this - this will bring an
MARGARET BRENNAN: These are decades worth of problems. I'm just asking about this one specific issue on October 7th and the tax revenue.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: No, no, no, not decades. Not decades. Not - not - not - not decades. No. It's the result of us not really focusing on the root cause. This is the moment of the U.S. to play the role of the global - the global - the –
MARGARET BRENNAN: I understand there are deep root causes, but on that specific condemnation it would just be a very quick answer.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: No. And allow me, Margaret, because I watch your interview with Israeli ambassador, and he said two things. Very important. He said, you know, those are unintended consequences, the 10,000 innocent people, the almost 5,000 children. I want to also clear the record here. This is deliberate and this has been the Israeli military doctrine since its establishment. Hitting the civilians so they put pressure on the fighters from the time of the (INAUDIBLE), 1948 -
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: And pushing out, ethnically cleansing two-thirds of the nation to Beirut and sub-Russia (ph) and (INAUDIBLE).
MARGARET BRENNAN: I understand.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: To Gaza and everywhere. This is a military doctrine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: Number two, he – Israel commits to international law. If they commit to international law, this is not a war. A war does not happen between an occupied and an occupier.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
HUSAM ZOMLOT: This is an oppression - an oppression of our people. Wars only happen between two sovereign states.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. Well, Ambassador –
HUSAM ZOMLOT: So, this is a moment when you empower the state of Palestine that will be able to protect its people, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. We have to leave the conversation there, but it's very clear that it's really the United States talking about a peace settlement, two state solutions, and you did not clearly condemn that.
So, Ambassador, thank you for sharing the Palestinian point of view. We have to leave it there. Thank you.
We'll be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: On Friday we spoke with the heads of the For Country Caucus, a group of veterans in the House led by Colorado Democrat Jason Crow and Texas Republican Tony Gonzales. We began by asking them about their bipartisan efforts.
REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): What this caucus is all about is respecting each other and being able to have those debates where we can agree on some basic facts, we don't call each other evil, we don't call each other names. We're not maligning each other personally. We're actually having policy debates and figuring out how to move our country forward.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Why do you think, Congressman Gonzales, that being veterans somehow changes the - the way you're able to speak to each other about these things?
REP. TONY GONZALES (R-TX): I mean it's as simple as service and folks that have worn the cloth, and regardless of service, they love this country, and we work together to solve real problems.
The Afghan special interest visas. I mean these are very important issues. A lot of us spent a lot of time, I spent five years in Afghanistan. We don't want to lose sight of our allies, and we don't want to leave those people behind. We've pushed hard with this caucus to - to give Ukraine everything they need to win this war, to include F-16s. We were very early. We were the first bipartisan caucus to push the administration for F-16. And now you're seeing them start to come around.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You have both, I should say at the get go, been outspoken in your belief that Israel has a right to defend itself in the wake of those horrific terror attacks that were carried out October 7th. You, Congressman Crow, have said just this week, Israel's military confirmed it was an Israeli attack that bombed that Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza. You said, "This should not have happened. I fought wars in crowded cities. When civilians were present, it changed our plans." Arguably, this is potentially a war crime. Why did you think it was important for you to say this?
JASON CROW: Because I stand with Israel and its right to defend itself. And I believe very firmly that Hamas must be destroyed, cannot be allowed to exist as a - as a terrorist organization and pose threats to the Palestinians and to the Israelis.
I fought three times in Iraq and Afghanistan. This – this nation spent 20 years at war, spent over $3 trillion to destroy al Qaeda, to destroy ISIS, and yet those organizations still exist. So, the lesson drawn from that is that you cannot destroy a terrorist ideology with military means alone. You have to have politics, you have to have diplomacy, you have to have humanitarian aid, because you can kill a terrorist, but if you destroy or kill innocent civilians, you create more terrorists in the process. So, that is why I am adamant that to support Israel, to do this the right way, we have to put front and center the protection of civilians. And every time the United States makes a mistake, or strays from our path, I call it out because the path to getting better and improving is being honest. But that
MARGARET BRENNAN: But this is often framed as either for or against terrorists.
JASON CROW: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You're saying, no, you can prosecute a war on terrorism without causing mass civilian casualties.
JASON CROW: Well, I spent years in my earlier career fighting terrorists, literally fighting terrorists, and seeing some of my friends give everything during that process. I am a very ardent national security Democrat. I know that there is no military solution to these issues alone. And because I want success, because I want us to do better and to learn from our mistakes, we have to be honest when we do make those mistakes, and when our partners make those mistakes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you agree with that, Congressman Gonzales?
TONY GONZALES: I think war is ugly. And I think in war there's a lot of nasty things that happen. I think it's important – what you saw this week in the House is the House passed aid to Israel in a bipartisan manner. And many – many people on the other side of the aisle didn't agree with the structure of it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
TONY GONZALES: But you saw a dozen Democrats unconditionally support Israel. I unconditionally support Israel. Whatever comes over our way, I think we have to unconditionally stand with our allies.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But unconditionally is different from what Congressman Crow was saying, which was you can prosecute a war on terrorism without causing mass civilian casualties. Do you agree with that?
TONY GONZALES: I would – I would argue that Israel is not trying to - to cause civilian casualties. They've - they've –
MARGARET BRENNAN: But - but they have was the – the fact of that bombing.
TONY GONZALES: In every war – in every war there's casualties.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You think it's unavoidable?
TONY GONZALES: I think it's unavoidable with what is happening. But I also believe Israel is doing everything it can to make this military targets and not punish a population. But how do you eradicate a terrorist organization that is embedded in every aspect of – of a civilization? It's a very difficult problem set to have. But think back to the 1,400 Israelis that were slaughtered. I mean, Israel didn't start this war.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
TONY GONZALES: I'm of the mindset, you know, a ceasefire needs to occur when Hamas is eliminated.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. But you were drawing a distinction between Hamas and thousands of civilians. And that's the pushback on your argument is that there needs to be a brighter line when it comes to civilians?
TONY GONZALES: Yes. There - there does. There - there - there needs to be a distinct, when does this war end? How does this conflict end? In my eyes the conflict ends when Hamas is - is eliminated. And also I think back to, these threats are not just abroad, they're here in the United States.
MARGARET BRENNAN: There has been a rise in anti-Semitism. The administration has talked about – we've talked about, the FBI has talked about. In fact, the FBI director said, Jews make up 2.4 percent of the public but account for 60 percent of the religious based hate crimes. That was before October 7th. This has been a problem in the United States of America.
Let me ask you about rhetoric, though. Do you oppose Donald Trump's repeated calls for a ban on Muslims? He just recently brought that up again.
TONY GONZALES: I – I don't pay attention to what the previous president is kind of–
MARGARET BRENNAN: You endorsed him.
TONY GONZALES: Well, but I don't pay attention – I mean, OK, I mean, ban on Muslims, folks coming over here from these different countries, I'm of - - I'm of the mindset of this –
MARGARET BRENNAN: Because it would contradict what you were talking about with the Afghan Adjustment Act.
TONY GONZALES: Well, I'm of the mindset of this. People that can come over here legally, people that are coming over here to do, you know, to visit our - our schools and do these different things, perfectly fine. I don't care where you come from, what religion you are. But if you are actively going against the United States, if you're actively encouraging, inciting a riot and terrorism, your visa should be immediately revoked and you should be deported.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Sure.
TONY GONZALES: You can do both. It doesn't have to be a universal ban on everyone.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
TONY GONZALES: It also shouldn't be a - a – no laws are enforced. This is where the administration is getting it wrong.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Sure.
TONY GONZALES: They're not enforcing anything.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Sure.
Just on the theme of civility, I think preciseness in language and not using ethnic groups or religious groups, would you advise that, that anyone in - in office not call for bans of religious groups or ethnic groups, or deportations?
TONY GONZALES: I don't - yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I know you pay a lot of attention to immigration issues.
TONY GONZALES: Sure. I don't look at the – I don't look at the race, religion, creed, I look at the action. And I think if we focus on the action, the action in which these individuals are doing, and we focus on that, and then we hold them accountable. Once again, the administration is not deporting anyone that is actively opening – that is actively inciting this terrorism. This is where the words - you know, when the president gets up there and says, I stand with Israel, your words have to equal your actions.
JASON CROW: And I'll just say, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization is against the law.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes. Already.
JASON CROWN: There are – there are numerous investigations along those lines. There have been numerous prosecutions. And I have no reason to believe this administration does not enforce those laws and to take that very seriously. They do. I know they do. And they should continue to.
I'm extremely concerned about the surge of anti-Semitism. It is unacceptable. I condemn Hamas and I condemn those who support or provide a permission structure for Hamas. And I'm very disturbed about incidents on campuses and incidents around the country where we see young people doing that. Obviously, there's freedom of speech, but there's a point at which freedom of speech becomes a violation of law if you are providing material support.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And the full interview can be seen on our website and on our YouTube channel. Check it out and stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we're back with Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova.
Good morning and good to have you back here.
OKSANA MARKAROVA (Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S.: Good morning. Good to be back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your president has said that the war in the Middle East is diverting some attention from the war that's happening in Ukraine. And he said that's part of Russia's goals. So, I want to hear from you, where you think the conflict is, because I know that Ukraine has said it is running very short of U.S. provided aid.
OKSANA MARKAROVA: Well, it's – the war still continues the way it was going. You know, the front line is 800 kilometers, it's 628th (ph) day. And the battle continues on all of this 800 miles actually not kilometer, miles. It's longer than from here to Chicago. So, we do need ammunition. We do need air defense. We need all of the capabilities that we have been receiving and we were discussing. And, of course, you know, right now all the eyes are on U.S. Congress because we need the continuation of that. We already run out of some of the programs. We completely utilized them. And, yes, we have thanks to the planning and Congress and the administration. Some remain in money (ph) that we are using. But the time is of the essence.
And, of course, Russia is not only trying – we see all these visits of Hamas and Iran to Russia and we see how Iran and (INAUDIBLE) helped in Russia to fight, but also Russia helping a lot of them and helping Hamas openly. So, you know, we just have to understand that this war on terror have to be won everywhere and that we cannot afford to lose focus in one place or in other. That's why in order to be able to stop not only Russia but other terroristic regimes, we also have to win in Ukraine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You're talking about the fact that Hamas leaders recently visited Russia and that Iran is providing drones for Russia to use against your people in Ukraine.
The new speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, has changed his positions publicly on Ukraine. He did recently say he wants - he doesn't want Vladimir Putin to win and that he would bundle any Ukraine aid with U.S. border aid. Has he agreed to meet with you? Can you persuade him to move quickly?
OKSANA MARKAROVA: Well, I would be happy to meet, of course, whenever there will be time and opportunity, but I'm very glad to hear the speaker said that we cannot allow Putin to win. I think all of us, Ukrainians, but also Americans, on a very strong bipartisan basis, understand that it's important for all of us. We cannot let aggressive terroristic non- democratic country to win, which just started a war of choice with no provocation. This is a violation of international law, but it's also violation of principles on which America is built, the values of Americans, but also what we are trying to build our country on. So, we have to win, and America has to win in this one.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your president was on another network this morning and said that he still doesn't have any reason to believe Russia wants to negotiate a peaceful end to this conflict. But there are a lot of reports that there's pressure on your government to agree to some kind of way to negotiate an end to the fighting. Is there any movement?
OKSANA MARKAROVA: Well, it's just the reports. Russia never intended to negotiate. They don't – their intent is to destroy us. An we see it on the battlefield and we see it in all the – if you can call them diplomatic interactions of their ambassadors. But, no, you know, they are – intent is very clear, they are bombing civilians. Just today they again bombed Odessa. They're bombing our country everywhere. They are preparing, of course, to bomb us even more during the winter. And they are trying everything possible on their long frontline to - to achieve some kind of military goal. So, that's not how people who want to actually negotiate peace act. People who want to negotiate peace first stop their aggressive war, get out from our country, and then negotiate. So, no, I don't think we should – let's not get fooled by any of the reports, whether they are on anonymous sources or even some Russian sources.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The – your president has also talked about the need for more air defense because Russia has strengthened its abilities. He said the F-16s the U.S. promised, they won't arrive for a while. That Ukraine would like to borrow planes. How would that work? Is there some kind of immediate way to address this need?
OKSANA MARKAROVA: Well, there are a number – like we are open for any ideas to cooperate. So, we're very grateful to American people for all the equipment that we are getting on these programs, you know, was your funding from your own stocks and we really again count on Congress to continue that. We are ready to rent or lease or use any other equipment, including the American equipment. It's not only from the U.S. We are ready to co- produce together. It's one of the very important outcomes of the president, Zelenskyy's visit to the U.S. And we are working in that direction with American companies.
So, you know, we understand that we need much more to win now, but we also need to build our future force because even after we win, Russia is not going to disappear somewhere. And they will continue to be a threat, not only to us, but to European Union, to the U.S., to everyone, to transatlantic community.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, thank you for your time.
We'll be back in a moment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Today marks exactly one year from the 2024 presidential election and what could end up being a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Our new CBS News poll shows Biden continues to trail Donald Trump in that possible head-to-head. He is now down 3 points.
For more on why we go to Anthony Salvanto.
Good morning to you, Anthony.
ANTHONY SALVANTO: Good morning, Margaret.
To understand those numbers, we wanted to look at views about both today and the future. SO, first, the number of Americans who think that things are going badly in the country today has hit its high for the year. So you might expect any incumbent to be down, as Biden is.
But then look at these positive views and what people think will happen to them finally if Donald Trump wins. Way more voters think they'd be better off. And Biden, for his part, hasn't fully convinced as many Democrats that he'd help them as the middle class still reels from inflation.
Then let's look overseas. There's more voters we find who think that it's Trump that would keep the U.S. out of a war if he wins. Now, that's driven by a lot of Republican unity on that idea.
Let's look at Israel in particular. Americans sympathize with the Israeli people. Most Democrats think that Biden would show the right amount of support, but Democrats are more divided over military aid to Israel specifically.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Anthony, thank you.
And that's going to be it for us today. Thank you for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.