SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES

What will it take to broker a peace deal in Gaza?

Ambassador Dennis Ross breaks down the latest on the Israel-Hamas conflict

 

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," August 3, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Israel pulling some troops from Gaza, but still no sign of an end to the violence. Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures." Israel and Hamas playing the blame game today after another deadly attack near a school. What more can be done to get both sides to agree to a long-term cease-fire?

A former white house Middle East adviser will join me.

Plus -- Congress now on a long vacation without a solution to the border crisis. So will the president take action? Senator John McCain will join me, moments from now.

And more than 200,000 jobs were added to the work force for a sixth month in a row. Is that enough to move the needle on the economy and jobs? A former SEC Chairman and a leading economist will weigh in as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he will bring security back to his country. And vowing this morning to fight Hamas as long as it will take. Some Israeli forces have begun to pull back from Gaza, after finishing their mission of destroying the terror tunnels below the border. Now Israel is weighing its next move, despite the redeployment. There are reports of new violence this morning. A Gaza health official saying that a strike near a United Nations school has killed at least ten people. Is there any end game to this conflict?

Ambassador Dennis Ross is with me, a Fox News foreign affairs analyst and counselor at the Washington Institute for near east policy.

Good morning, sir. Good to have you on the program. Thanks for joining us.

AMB. DENNIS ROSS, FOX NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST: Nice to be with you. Thank you.

BARTIROMO: So it's the toughest question, of course. But what is your take on this? Why couldn't Secretary Kerry help broker some kind of a peace deal, and what is it going to take?

ROSS: Well, there was a cease-fire agreement that was reached for 72 hours, and Hamas violated it within the first 90 minutes after it came into effect. That's effective the Israeli view there is nothing that can be negotiated even indirectly with Hamas at this stage. So what you see is an Israeli posture that is designed to say, A, we will take unilateral steps, we will pull our forces out. There's going to come a point I think where the Israelis will only return fire, and they'll try to create a kind of pressure on Hamas to stop. And probably depend upon what is its larger realignment in the region, meaning Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and even the Palestinian authority to in effect, say, look, if there is going to be relief for Gaza, it can only come if Hamas stops firing.

BARTIROMO: Well, I think that's a really important point. You just mentioned, I mean, the Saudis, the Emiratees, the Jordanians, Egyptians, are all with Israel. They want Hamas to stop. And yet the U.S. is not with that enormous group.

ROSS: Well, I think it's very much in our interest to be that way. Let's be fair, I think when it comes to the Egyptian, Saudi, Jordanians, et cetera, it's not so much that they are with Israel. It's that they are against Hamas. They will be critical of what the Israelis are doing, because they also have their own audience to address. But I think the most important strategic development is that, they see Hamas as part of the struggle with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist in general must be weakened. And the U.S. posture needs to take account to this new strategic realignment and realize those are our natural partners in the region and these are the ones who need to be strengthened over time and our policies need to reflect that.

BARTIROMO: Yes. I think it is pretty extraordinary when you see the Saudis, Emirates, Jordanians and Egyptians wanting Hamas to stop, and, in fact, at the end of the day, partnering with Israel. Plenty more to talk about with you, Ambassador Ross. Please stay with us. Because we want to get the actions of Israel and Hamas, how they are influencing Israel's relationships with its neighbors.

And Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn, has more on that angle. Good morning, Eric.

ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. And good morning, everyone. It could finally be a turning point against terror. A defeat of Hamas and support from both Arab states for Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that possibility, hinting the continuing conflict with Hamas could ultimately realign the Middle East and backfire on the Islamist terrorists. Today is day 27 of the continuing conflict with Hamas, as Israel presses forward, targeting those Hamas terrorist tunnels. So far, Israeli forces have destroyed nearly three dozen of them, but it is the bridge to friendly Arab and Persian Gulf States that their prime minister pointed to for the future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through a translator): This may surprise many, but not us. The unique link which has been forged with the state of the region. This is well is a very important asset for the state of Israel. With the secession of the fighting and the conclusion of the campaign, this will open new possibilities for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN: Those new possibilities for us that he talks about closer cooperation with those neighbors, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other gulf states who hate Hamas almost as much as Israel does. While, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Qatar and also Turkey seem to be on the other side supporting the Islamic militant goals. It's a split of some called the moderates versus the extremists, pro-Americans, Arab states but also quietly seem to support Israel's objectives that could finally dampen decades of the Arab versus the Jewish State equation. The Muslim Brotherhood was replaced in Cairo, and ISIS though remains on the margin. Syria and Iraq. Some say the confrontation with Hamas puts the rest of us against the global Islamic terrorist threat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA DAFTARI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This is not just the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas. It's the extremists against the free world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN: Well, Fatah and the West Bank and Hamas and Gaza have joined to form a single unity government. New elections are promised later this year. The Gaza people did vote Hamas in. Will they vote them out and perhaps lead to a new path of moderation -- Maria.

BARTIROMO: Eric, thank you very much. Eric Shawn. More now with Ambassador Dennis Ross. Ambassador, why do you think the U.S. is not cooperating with Israel's partners against Hamas?

ROSS: Well, I think that -- I think, in fact, we will be. I mean, it's very much in our interest to do so. One of the things I would like to see us do, particularly now with the Obama administration, is to sort of see where we are today in the region, look to the next two-and-a-half years, use as an objective where we want the region to be when the Obama administration concludes, and the premise should be our friends in the region should be stronger and their adversaries should be weaker. And every policy decision we make as it relates to this region should be informed by that decision. So every day-to-day decisions are seen as supporting that objective and not detracting from it.

BARTIROMO: Well, you know, you make a great point. So why did Kerry propose a cease-fire? That sort of favored Hamas. I mean, you know, not calling for Hamas to fully disarm. What specific policy changes does Secretary Kerry and President Obama need to make?

ROSS: Well, I think, look, I think to be fair to Secretary Kerry, I think he was focused on how do you stop the killing right now, and can you allow the -- in that context, can you allow the Israelis to continue to destroy the tunnels? I think that was his objective. Now, the question that many in Israel saw was, was this something that in the end that would allow Hamas to escape the situation it was in. I don't believe that was Secretary Kerry's objective. I think now we look at where we are. I think the administration certainly saw the violation of the 72-hour cease-fire, and was very clear in terms of holding who was responsible, meaning Hamas.

The challenge now for us is to focus on how we ensure that we don't adopt any positions that in any way focus more on what Hamas can do to win out of this. Look again at what the Israelis are trying to do. By not being prepared to negotiate even indirectly with Hamas at this point, Israel is saying it's not just that we don't trust them. It's also that we don't want them to gain out of this conflict. And that's clearly where Egypt is, where Jordan is, where Saudi Arabia is and where the emirates are. And I think, in fact, where we need to be.

BARTIROMO: Yes, especially since Hamas has made it very clear that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

ROSS: That's correct. Look, no one should have any illusions about Hamas. And for all those who were concerned, at a certain human level about the absence of materials going into Gaza, let's be clear. Hamas had a chance to use materials to build Gaza, and they didn't do anything above ground. We know that they built an underground capability, the sole purpose was to fight Israel, not to help Palestinians, but to fight Israel.

BARTIROMO: Real quick. Do you think that the U.S. stance on Gaza is really as pro-Israel as it says it is?

ROSS: Well, I do think that we, the administration is clear that Israel has a right to self defense, and that's the right posture. I think the key, as I said now at this point is, how do we ensure that there is an outcome that actually weakens Hamas, weakens the Muslim Brotherhood and strengthens those whose basic interests in the region are, in fact, the interests that serve the United States.

BARTIROMO: Ambassador, we'll be watching for that outcome. Thanks so much for joining us.

ROSS: My pleasure.

BARTIROMO: See you soon, Ambassador Dennis Ross.

So, is the United States doing enough, meanwhile, to help Ukraine as its troops continue to wage war with pro-Russian separatists? Senator John McCain will join me next with some insight on that and to what he says is a lack of U.S. involvement. Hope you follow me on twitter @MariaBartiromo. Send me some ideas in terms on what you would like to see on the program. @SundayFutures. We'd love to hear from you. Follow us and join in the conversation. Stay with us, as we're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: International investigators finally getting control of the Malaysian Airlines crash site in Eastern Ukraine. Two weeks after pro- Russian rebels allegedly shot it down, killing all 298 people on board as dozens more Ukrainian troops have died in battles with pro-Russian rebels. Meanwhile, the United States this last week handed down its toughest sanctions yet on Russia, targeting the country's banking, energy and defense companies. But even with additional sanctions from the European Union, critics argue it is not enough to hurt Russia's economy and force Putin to pullback. What else should be done? Joining me right now is Senator John McCain, member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees. Senator, good to have you. Thank you so much for joining us, sir.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: First let's talk about these sanctions put down last week. Are -- is this enough? Is this going to be enough to get Putin to back down and pull out of this region?

MCCAIN: I don't believe so. But I think -- I'm glad they were enacted. Don't get me wrong. But I don't think they're enough. For example, there's two amphibious ships that the French are selling to Russians, which would give them enormously enhanced capabilities, particularly in the Black Sea. And there's other areas that obviously we would like to see more. But I'm glad that we did this. Whether Putin will be deterred from his path he's on, Maria, we won't even share intelligence with Ukrainians. I mean, I'm not making this up. We won't give them even defensive light weapons.

We won't give them the ability to defend themselves. Meanwhile, Russian artillery is firing across the border from Russia into Ukraine, and more and more troops are being masked. The question here is, I think in the next couple of weeks, is whether Vladimir Putin moves many of those troops -- not in a concerted way, not the conventional tank attack, but more and more of those people and equipment into Eastern Ukraine. Because I don't think he wants to lose Donetsk, and I don't think that these sanctions, frankly, have -- all his beneficial say may be, will have the desired effect.

BARTIROMO: Senator, why are we not helping Ukraine, sending them artillery? As you just mentioned, we're not even sharing intelligence. Even as Putin is, in fact, supplying the separatists with Russian artillery.

MCCAIN: It's impossible to understand. This administration keeps warning about provoking Vladimir Putin. I wonder what in the world else is necessary? I'm not making this story up. They finally decided to give MREs -- I'm not making this up now -- MREs, meals ready to eat, to the Ukrainian military. Although they didn't want to fly them in American aircraft, so they lease Russian trucks to bring them in. So as not to provoke Vladimir Putin. I mean, it's Orwellian.

BARTIROMO: I mean, are these sanctions even enough, Senator? What else should the U.S. be doing, other than supplying Ukraine with the help that it needs? We have been talking a lot about the fact that the Russian economy is plummeting, the ruble has plummeted and perhaps that would be enough to push Putin's hand to get him to pull back. But it's obviously not impacting him.

MCCAIN: Well, I also would point out, he just made an energy deal with China, he is continuing to orchestrate those deals. The Europeans are still totally dependent on Russian energy. Senator Barrasso, Senator Murkowski and I introduced legislation that we could get liquid natural gas which is being flared. Right now, in North Dakota, billions of dollars a year worth, take that natural gas, capture and get it through pipelines and shipping and export ports -- natural gas ports, and we could get them to Europe. And that's the best way. And we could do that within two to three years, if we did all the right things, get Europe and especially Ukraine independent of their -- free of their dependence on Russian energy. That could be the most important thing we could do. That, and give the Ukrainians have capability to defend themselves.

BARTIROMO: Right. And this, of course, should be a lesson to the United States, as well, by the way. Look, we're going to be watching in the next couple of weeks in terms of whether or not Putin is going to move those troops. But let me move on to the topic of immigration. I recognize, it's unlikely that anything significant gets done before the midterms. But what about an amendment, a bill, something, to put an end to these children, and who else -- and who knows who else is coming through our borders.

MCCAIN: You also make a good point. You don't know who else is coming. But the point is, the only way that we're going to stop this flow of children is by saying the 2008 act, which treated then differently from Mexico a contiguous country, has got to be repealed. Or amended. And that way, the families that spend a year's salary -- thousands of dollars on these coyotes and drug dealers, drug cartels that are bringing these children to the United States, that they will not do that. We have to export these children back to the countries from which they came. Set up in our consulates and embassies capability for them to go, if they need asylum. But if they show up on our border, they have to be returned.

BARTIROMO: Senator, I recognize Congress is going away now for the next five weeks. But you did -- you were able to pass funding for Israel's iron dome. Let's talk about that for a moment. How significant is it, and how far does this go to help the Israelis?

MCCAIN: Could I mention, we did pass the V.A. bill too. I'm happy to say. To give some reform and relief there. Iron dome, it's -- it was critical that we provide Israel with this help. They are running short of missiles. But more importantly, for their morale. Up until -- up until Friday morning, we had -- there had been objections to it. I'm happy to say on Friday we passed the legislation, they will get $225 million worth of capability in iron dome. And you can imagine what Israel would look like if it were not for iron dome. Those thousands of missiles.

BARTIROMO: But do you think this funding for the iron dome is going to make a difference?

MCCAIN: Oh, I think it makes a difference in their morale. It shows our solidarity with the Israelis. It shows that we are ready to help them. But most importantly, the situation will be decided, unfortunately, probably on the ground. We all want a cease-fire. But we also don't want it to be a cease-fire pause. We want an end to the tunnels, we want an end to Hamas' dedication, to the destruction of the state of Israel and we have to emphasize, there is no moral equivalency between those countries that attack a country and those countries that defend themselves.

BARTIROMO: Senator, before we let you go, quick word on the CIA scandal. You have been talking about this hacking for some time. What can you tell us in terms of the latest?

MCCAIN: I can tell you that the directive of the CIA steadfastly denied on more than one occasion that it was going on. We now know that they were hacking into Senate investigators who were duly appointed by the Senate to conduct this investigation. That's their job on the intelligence committee. This is a breach of the fundamentals of our constitution and the separation of branches of government. This in some ways is even more important in some ways -- not in all ways -- in some ways, more important than the torture issue.

Because we now have evidence that a CIA has decided to penetrate the computers of people who were investigating them and do what they can to impede that investigation. That is serious. We have to have an independent investigation of what went on, and it is absolutely serious if -- look, it's reading like a Jason Bourne movie for God's sake -- Maria.

BARTIROMO: Senator, we'll be watching you pursue that independent counsel. Thanks very much for your time today.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Senator McCain, joining us.

Meanwhile, a rough week on Wall Street. S&P 500 suffering the biggest loss in two years, despite what looked like a strong GDP report. We'll talk about it next. Harvey Pitt and Marty Feldstein. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: The U.S. economy getting a much-needed boost this past week, although Commerce Department data show that the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 6.2 percent. Second quarter GDP bounced back at an annualized rate of four percent growth. Thanks to healthy business investment and consumer spending. Despite July's job growth of 2009, thousands coming in below expectations, it still shows the sixth straight month of more than 200,000 net new jobs, making it the longest streak since the mid 90s. Let's shed some light on these numbers and what they mean for you and your wallet.

Martin Feldstein is with me, he's George F. Baker, professor of economics at Harvard University. And President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. And Harvy Pitt, is former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and CEO of Kalorama Partners. Gentlemen, good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.

MARTIN FELDSTEIN, GEORGE F. BAKER, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS: Good to be with you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Marty, let me kick it off with you on this really mixed week for the economy. GDP up four percent, but, of course, that was after a contraction of 2.9 percent in the first quarter. How would you characterize the data we saw this week? How is the economy doing?

FELDSTEIN: I think the economy is doing much better. As you know, when we talked in the past, I've been skeptical about whether we had really turned the corner, but I think we have now for GDP. I think we're seeing very good employment numbers, as you pointed out. But what worries me, and I think worries the markets, is that there's increasing evidence of higher inflation rates coming along.

BARTIROMO: Yes, higher inflation is I guess one of the questions, Harvey, out there. I mean, even though we got that four percent GDP number, it was met with a sizable selloff, down more than 300 points on the Dow Jones industrial average. Clearly, people are worried about something else.

HARVEY PITT, FORMER SEC CHAIRMAN: Well, I think that's right. They're worried, first, about the economic policies of the current administration. They're worried about the continued tapering by the Federal Reserve. And ultimately, they're worried that much of the boost and stock prices has been artificially induced and is likely to reverse itself over the coming months.

BARTIROMO: Well, I think that's the key. I mean, I was talking to one money manager earlier this week, and he said, look, the four percent number is a result of 2.9 percent contraction. Plus, we have several more revisions. The government will revise the GDP number again. So how -- you know, how likely is it that we see the four percent number come down?

FELDSTEIN: I think that's not really a critical issue.

PITT: We're only -- if you look at the first half of the year, still on an average growth of two percent. This is a very, very slow recovery. And while there are positive signs, I think there is a great deal going on that can have a very negative impact on that growth.

BARTIROMO: Marty, you think we have turned a corner. What specifically are you seeing?

FELDSTEIN: If you look at consumer spending, particularly durable spending, up very sharply. Auto sales, consumer confidence. Business confidence. So all of that tells me that the second half of the year is -- well, it's not going to be four percent, but it's got a very good shot of being three percent. But I think the market isn't so much worried about the GDP coming down as it is about the fed raising interest rates, because of inflationary pressures and those higher interest rates will bring down the enthusiasm for the stock market.

BARTIROMO: Harvey, even though the corporate sector looks strong and, you know, companies have so much money on their balance sheets, they're still not spending in a way that means higher jobs, that means more benefits for employees. What -- you mentioned regulations. What regulations, in your view, are most onerous right now in terms of keeping business from spending more money?

PITT: Well, I think, first of all, the point you make is right on target. The fact that corporations are retaining a great deal of their earnings is a suggestion that while they are confident, their confidence is being hedged by holding on to their money. Second, I completely agree with Martin that the Feds likely increase of interest rates is going to be a problem. If you look at the expenses of regulation you got, ObamaCare, much of which has not yet kicked into effect. You've got the activities, for example, of the NLRB and the general counsel's ruling in the McDonald case. And you have a variety now of distortions of the federal securities laws to promote social purposes, rather than meaningful disclosure. And all of that is adding to the costs of corporate business.

BARTIROMO: Yes. The McDonald story is something. Real quick, Marty, what's the next big event that you're looking for to give that confirmation that in fact we have turned the corner?

FELDSTEIN: I think we're going to keep looking at the employment numbers, and seeing whether they're continuing to expand. I think they will be.

BARTIROMO: Gentlemen, good to have you on the program, we so appreciate your time today.

Marty Feldstein joining us and Harvey Pitt.

The House finally passed an immigration bill late Friday night before following the Senate out of town for the summer recess, five weeks. What it means for the crisis on our southern border as we are looking ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAWN: From America's news headquarters, I'm Eric Shawn. Here are some of the other stories making headlines at this hour.

California Governor Jerry Brown, declaring a state of emergency, as more than a dozen wildfires sweep across his state, endangering thousands of homes and scorching thousands of acres and damaging crucial infrastructure there. Earlier this week, the U.S. Drought and Monitor Agency gave its worst drought rating to nearly 60 percent of the state.

One of the two Americans infected with the deadly Ebola virus seems to be improving this morning, that's according to the CDC. Dr. Kent Brantley arrived from Africa yesterday, he's being treated Atlanta's Emory University Hospital. Experts say it's one of the safest places in the world to treat Ebola.

The second American patient, a nurse, is due here in the U.S. in just a few days.

And I'll be back with Julie Banderas at noon Eastern for half an hour of news then the doctors will be in, Dr. Siegel and Samadi join us for "Sunday Housecall" at 12:30 Eastern, two hours from now. I'm Eric Shawn. Now back to "Sunday Morning Futures" and Maria.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BARTIROMO: Thanks, Eric.

House lawmakers finally taking action on the crisis at our nation's southern border. They hammered out an 11th hour bill late Friday night before going to summer recess. But the legislation may be a moot point, because President Obama has said it has no chance of ever becoming law.

Meanwhile, Texas Governor Rick Perry has says he's tapping into $38 million in emergency funds to deploy up to 1,000 National Guard troops along the border with Mexico.

I want to bring in our panel here. Michael Crofton is with the Philadelphia Trust Company, CEO. Judith Miller, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist and a FOX News contributor. And Ed Rollins, a GOP strategist who was formerly national campaign director for Reagan-Bush in 1984 and he is a FOX News contributor.

Good to see everybody. Thank you so much for being here.

Ed, gave me your take on this latest immigration bill and this push.

ED ROLLINS, POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: House Republicans passed something yesterday just so they can go back home and defend themselves. But it's not a bill that's going to go anywhere. The president is going to veto it. The problem is going to remain and it won't deal with it until after the election.

JUDITH MILLER, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: I think, once again, it looks very, very bad for the Republicans when you have John Boehner fighting with his own Republicans over what kind of bill he wants passed. They look in discord and they also look heartless and they look as if they're undoing the compassionate conservatism of George Bush.

BARTIROMO: Not to mention, one more uncertainty for the economy.

MILLER: Right.

MIKE CROFTON, CEO, PHILADELPHIA TRUST COMPANY: Yes, one more uncertainty for the economy. The Republicans almost lost it Wednesday and Thursday in putting that bill together and then They came to a compromise and passed it on Friday.

I think they're speaking to their base. They wanted to take something home and they're going to play a soft hand here. They're not going to -- they know the president is going to veto it and they will use that in the midterms to bring leverage against them.

I wonder if the president will start to veto things after the midterm elections, if, in fact, the GOP --

(CROSSTALK)

ED ROLLINS, POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: He has to get something to veto it. There is nothing being passed at this point in time. You have the bipolar lock between the House and the Senate and so my sense is his game is going to be executive orders and the critical factor here, which you need to watch, is what is he going to do by executive orders and this whole immigration issue. If he oversteps, will clearly be in a crisis as far as Republicans.

BARTIROMO: Yes, no doubt.

CROFTON: And they basically took away the power of the purse. So it's going to be very hard for him to do this by executive order.

MILLER: The only thing they could agree on is money for Iron Dome for Israel. That's the only thing.

ROLLINS: Something good, though.

BARTIROMO: We just speak to -- by the way, we were talking with John McCain about Russia, as well. And I was so taken aback that when they delivered the ready-to-eat meals, the U.S. chose not to deliver those ready-to eat-meals to the Ukraine military in U.S. trucks or planes. They leased Russian trucks so not to upset Putin.

MILLER: I know. It's --

BARTIROMO: I mean, you can't make this stuff up.

CROFTON: Well, we have no foreign policy in this country right now.

MILLER: Wait a minute. We got the sanctions through. That's something; 28 European countries finally agreed on something that would hurt Russia.

CROFTON: It's not going to hurt them, though.

(CROSSTALK)

BARTIROMO: Well Putin is not backing down. You would think the economy plummeting, with the ruble plummeting --

CROFTON: Russia is not all about money. They're about money and power. And I think Putin is more about power. As long as he has the power -- exactly right.

As long as he's got the power and the people are behind him, which they appear to be, there's not going to be any way we can deal with him.

MILLER: They won't be when their economy collapses. Remember how long it took to get the sanctions against the Iranians that brought them to the negotiating table? You need patience and you need steadfastness, you need cohesion.

BARTIROMO: Let's not forget, the Europeans are handcuffed because of their reliance on gas from Russia.

CROFTON: No question.

MILLER: And their reflexive passivity, their pacifism after all of these years, you have to overcome both. But at least they've taken the first step. It's very important. It shouldn't be underestimated.

ROLLINS: The only problem with taking first step like the Iranian situation that you talked about, we have now backed away from that and obviously we're not getting anything out of them, the nuclear deal that we were promised. So my sense is it's one of these wait and sees. And the bottom line is Putin ain't backing off.

BARTIROMO: Yes. Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

CROFTON: And as you said, they've got the gas.

BARTIROMO: We've got the gas, sure. But that's one more reason to become -- you know, energy independent for the U.S., as well as Europe. We've got to get to Gaza and a number of other things. The economy and the IRS.

But first, let's look at what's coming up on "MediaBuzz." Howard Kurtz in Washington right now. We'll see you in 20 minutes. What have you got, Howie?

HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST: Good morning, Maria.

We're going to look at whether the rising death toll in Gaza is starting to turn some in the American media against Israel. We're going to lead with this bogus drama about impeachment.

You have some very conservative Republicans who would love to see this president booted out of office. You have the White House and some Democrats talking it up, this whole thing is vaporware, it is not going to happen, and yet the media love this story. Can't resist it, despite the fact that it doesn't bear much relation to reality.

BARTIROMO: Yes, but I've heard the Dems talk about impeachment that the Republicans want more than I actually hear from the Republicans.

KURTZ: isn't that fascinating and actually raising some money.

BARTIROMO: It's a talking point, Howie. See you in 20 minutes. Looking forward to that conversation.

Meanwhile, newly released e-mails in the IRS political targeting scandal showing just how Lois Lerner really feels about conservatives. But what do they really prove as we look ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES? We're back with our panel, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. New Lois Lerner e-mails released this week and they contain a few private thoughts reportedly exchanged with her husband, a few days after the 2012 elections while on vacation.

OK. Let's take a look at them. In them, she curses conservative radio talk show listeners. In a separate e-mail released at the same time, Lerner refers to conservatives as crazies, writing, "So we don't need to worry about alien terrorists, it's our own crazies that will take us down."

But Lerner was not e-mailing with another IRS official in these e- mails. So what do they really prove? We're back with our panel -- Mike Crofton, Judy Miller, Ed Rollins. You know, this story bothers me so much because the IRS is a law-enforcing agency. And to bully people because they don't agree with the politics, is this going to move the needle on this story, these new emails?

CROFTON: Absolutely. These new e-mails just show a pattern and a trend, and this is the report, this is what she was thinking about.

So there are, I'm sure, going to be e-mails that come up that she used with the IRS with personnel within the IRS. One of the problems is, where is the media outrage on this? There is none. And where is the FBI? The FBI has only basically contacted a few of the conservative groups that were targeted in this. It's just an outrage.

BARTIROMO: Yes. That's a good point.

CROFTON: It's an outrage. Somebody has got to go to jail.

MILLER: Yes. It's kind of government out of control when you look at everything that's happened, OK, her e-mails to her husband are not a smoking gun. But they are reflective of her bias and of her position, what might have motivated her.

The fact that she took the Fifth, the fact we don't have the e-mails that she sent to her colleagues and to others at the White House, they're still being resurrected.

At what point do Americans say, enough, we want to get to the bottom of this, and we want someone, sometime, somehow, to be able to count in full?

BARTIROMO: You would think that anybody, whether you're Right or Left, anybody in the media would want this story out there. Because it's just such an abuse of power. Here's another one. Great. Maybe we are through it if there are that many blank holes.

ROLLINS: It clearly shows her bias. And she is not a file clerk. She was a senior, senior manager in the IRS, which basically shows it was prejudiced and obviously what that prejudice was used to do what she is accused of doing, which is just taking away the ability of these conservative groups to do what legally they're entitled to do.

BARTIROMO: What I'm afraid of is the fact that the IRS is now running ObamaCare.

ROLLINS: Absolutely. And the American public has never particularly liked the IRS, but they definitely won't trust them at this point in time. Used to trust them. You may not like them. You certainly don't want letters from them. But at the end of the day, people today are going to misjudge or judge their motives -- not misjudge their motives.

BARTIROMO: So the IRS will decide if you're getting any tax benefit as a result of whatever procedure that you need to get. It's part of ObamaCare.

ROLLINS: Their job is to enforce the law. And they basically in this particular case did not enforce the law.

CROFTON: I think it's symptom of a much broader problem if you couple that with what's going on at the CIA, you're going to find that we now have an administration whose operatives are operating outside the law and they're doing it deliberately.

MILLER: And we just had the president say he has complete trust in John Brennan, head of the CIA, his former adviser. Just in the same way there wasn't a smidgen of corruption at the IRS.

At some point, the president has to be held accountable for some of what's happening, whether or not he knew, if only because he's not responding to anything that's coming out.

BARTIROMO: Look what John McCain just said. They've hacked into Senate, you know, private computers.

Not only that, John Brennan has been around a long, long time. If he didn't bring these people in and say, did you get into those computers, and if you did -- he went before Dianne Feinstein and he lied to her. She is the chairman of that committee, she's a Democrat. He lied to her, and apparently lied to other members. That in itself is a fireable offense, as far as I'm concerned.

BARTIROMO: Where is the accountability?

CROFTON: Both of these instances are perjury and also throw in a little destruction of evidence. There is a lot of law-breaking going on and we need some answers.

BARTIROMO: Let's take a quick break and then we've got to get your take on what's happening in Israel. Turmoil breaking out around the world and the conflict in Gaza to the crisis in Ukraine, how the White House is dealing with all of these hot spots. We're looking ahead this morning on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. We'll be right back with our panel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: And we're back with our panel, Mike Crofton and Judy miller, Ed Rollins, the latest out of Gaza. I was really taken aback to see the Saudis, the Jordanians, the emirates, everybody is siding with we want Hamas to stop, Judy.

MILLER: Absolutely. I've been covering Saudi Arabia for two decades, and I never thought I would see the day when a Saudi king -- in this case King Abdullah -- actually steps forward and says, I blame Hamas for this mess.

But it shows you the extent to which the Middle East has been realigned by the Sunni-Shia divide, by the divide between extremists and moderates, a great opportunity for Israel and a great opportunity for the United States if there was a president who wanted to lead.

BARTIROMO: Where is the U.S. in this?

ROLLINS: Well, the U.S. should basically hold Bibi's coat and let them finish the job (INAUDIBLE) said today. They're the ones who are under attack. It has to get finished. They're the only ones that are going to clean this up. The Saudis may add money or something else, but they're going to need to be -- replenish their weapons. And they need to be able to finish the job this time.

CROFTON: Absolutely. We have to let them do exactly what they need to do, which is wipe out Hamas. And the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Egyptians have been told by Hamas, Hamas has clearly indicated that they're next. So that's why they're with Israel on this one.

MILLER: But this is a much bigger problem. Hamas is always going to be able to find friends in the world, people who have those like-minded horrific views and we have got to understand that Hamas is ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Hamas is -- in a weird way, is Iran, which is alive with its enemies. We are in a contest between extremism and moderation in the Middle East.

CROFTON: And that's why we can't be a half measure here. Israel has to go through full force, do the job completely, and then we have to take on ISIS because this is going to last for a long time. It's going to be really ugly and the newspapers are going to hate it.

But the survival of civilization almost depends on it.

BARTIROMO: Well, even when John Kerry, you know, called for the cease-fire, he didn't demand that Hamas end, stop, back down, it just doesn't appear that the U.S. is with this entire group that is with Israel.

ROLLINS: John Kerry ought to park his plane, get back to the State Department and supervise the 25,000 people that hopefully know something about foreign policy and stay the hell out of this battle.

CROFTON: This administration has done more damage to our foreign policy than any administration in the history of the country, in my opinion.

MILLER: Look, I think John Kerry tried, he did the best he could and his deal fell apart in seven minutes.

BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, he is getting really creamed in the press in Israel as, really, being on the group that's not supporting Israel.

MILLER: But let's remember that we resupplied Israel when they needed it and the president has said Israel is going to do what it must do.

So I think that's support.

BARTIROMO: How do you think this plays out in the next couple of weeks?

MILLER: Well, I think the important thing is does the fighting stop but does the war against the tunnels go on? I think what Bibi is trying to do is minimize, at this point, the civilian deaths because we have 1,700 dead Palestinians. That's a lot of civilians, women and children, and we have 67 dead Israelis.

ROLLINS: That's tragic. But the critical thing here is the economy of Israel, how long does it survive and how can they replenish their weapons? Because obviously they've used a lot too, so that's when we're going to become very important, that's where the Saudis are going to become very important if they put their money where their mouth is.

CROFTON: And the missiles hitting the -- getting close to the Israeli airport, their economy is in trouble.

BARTIROMO: Real quick, still to come, the one thing to watch for the week ahead, weeks ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: We're back with our panel with the one thing to watch for the week ahead, Ed Rollins, Judy Miller, Mike Crofton.

Ed, what are you watching?

ROLLINS: I'm going to watch the president's actions the next few weeks on immigration. Is he going to go around the Congress and try to do something by executive order? Something that probably is not proper.

BARTIROMO: Judy?

MILLER: I'm watching the Islamic state because while we're looking at Israel, the Islamic state, ISIS, has just taken over the Mosul dam in Iraq at a town on the edge of Kurdistan. They're on the move.

BARTIROMO: Mike?

CROFTON: I'm watching the market to see if the market finally takes a clue from what's happening in Ukraine and what's happening with Israel because that's a real key for our economic growth. We're at a big inflection point and we have to go through it.

BARTIROMO: Yes. Well, see, I guess, light on economic data next week. A handful of earnings. I'll be watching the U.S.'s response in Gaza to Gaza with all of these international friends wanting Hamas down, we want to see what the U.S. is going to do, how is the U.S. Going to react to this? We'll be watching that light week on economic data as I mentioned. A handful of earnings out.

That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." Thank you so much for joining us. Great panel as always. I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll be back tomorrow at "Opening Bell," 9:00 am Eastern on the Fox Business network. Here's a look at where to find FBN on your cable network.

Or on your satellite provider, click on Channel Finder at foxbusiness.com. "MediaBuzz" with Howard Kurtz is coming up next. And we'll see you next Sunday right here on "Sunday Morning Futures." Have a great Sunday, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us.

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