This is a rush transcript from "America's News HQ," December 29, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, HOST: And here now to talk about how greatly this new conflict will set back the U.S.-brokered peace process in the Middle East, FOX News foreign affairs analyst, Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, former U.S. ambassador to Morocco.
How will this affect the president-elect?
MARC GINSBERG, FORMER U.S. AMB. TO MOROCCO: There's no doubt, Kimberly, that one of the great challenges that the Obama administration has is putting the Arab-Israeli peace process back on track. What Hamas is trying to do here is to make it virtually impossible for the United States and Israel to, in effect, strengthen the Palestinian authority at Hamas' expense. The Egyptians have tried to broker a process by which Hamas and the Palestinian authority would reconcile themselves, so to speak, so peace talks could resume.
What you really have here now is underline all of these attacks as a much more sophisticated political chess game that involves Israel's elections, involves nuclear programs as well as Egypt's own future stake in the peace process.
GUILFOYLE: What do you think the U.S. should be doing right now? It's a difficult time frame because we have the president-elect and still have the Bush administration in office. But Americans are, generally, very supportive of Israel and they feel that, essentially, Israel isn't getting the show of support that they should with respect to this issue.
GINSBERG: Well, there is no doubt that with 4,000 rocket attacks that occurred against Israel since the end of the (INAUDIBLE), in Arabic that means the lull of cease-fire. That Israelis are fed up with impending elections in Israel, Israelis want to see a show of support around the world, but as you know, as civilian casualties occur inside Gaza, it's the Arab street that is seen on Arab television, these civilian casualties. And, of course, very little is being discussed about how many Israeli casualties have occurred as a result of these rocket attacks, which, by the way again, was started strictly by Hamas.
GUILFOYLE: That's right.
GINSBERG: There is no reason for Hamas to have started these attacks in the first place, except again, for the political reason of striking on itself and Iran's posture into the Middle East and at Israel's and the United States' expense.
GUILFOYLE: What's the next move for Israel?
GINSBERG: Well, I'm not sure. Because there's a lot of debate within the Israeli military establishment on whether or not, indeed, a military incursion could satisfy the political requirement of ending Hamas' political reign of terror. The most important thing here to keep in mind is that Israel does not want Hamas to develop the same deterrence capability that Hezbollah has with 30,000 missiles on Israelis Lebanese border.
You just saw, as Mike Emanuel and David Lee Miller just mentioned that there had been an attack by sophisticated Iranian-produced missiles, this Grad missile, against the port of Ashdod. This means that Israeli's major population centers are far more in range than they ever have been before by Iranian-supplied Hamas rockets.
GUILFOYLE: All right. Ambassador Ginsberg, thank you for that insight.
GINSBERG: Good to be with you.
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