All-Star panel: Would the US actually abandon Israel in the United Nations?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," March 19, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: You can't force the people of Israel who just elected me by wide margin to bring them peace and security, to secure the state of Israel, to accept terms that would endanger the very survival of the state of Israel. I don't think that's the direction of American policy. I hope it's not.

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Our preference is certainly, and it has been, it is today, it was yesterday, it was two days ago, for a two-state solution negotiated between the parties. Certainly the prime minister's comments from a few days ago brought into question whether he remained committed to that.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: President Obama called the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to congratulate him this afternoon. Meanwhile this back and forth with the White House, the State Department saying there may be a change in U.S. policy when it comes to two-state solution, pushing the U.N. to pressure Israel to do that.

Here's exactly what Prime Minister Netanyahu said before the election the other day about this topic, this is through a translator, "Anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, anyone who is going to evacuate territories today is simply giving a base for attacks to radical Islam against Israel. This is true reality that was created here in the last few years. They who do not understand that stick their heads in the sand. The left are doing it, sticking their head in the sand time and time again." The questioner, "So if you are prime minister, a Palestinian state will not be formed?" He says, "Indeed." Megyn Kelly asked him about that.


MEGYN KELLY, HOST OF 'THE KELLY FILE': In 2009 you said you supported a peace deal that would recognize the Palestinian state, but the day before Tuesday's election you completely reversed that. Why?

NETANYAHU: I didn't. I didn't retract any of the things that I said in my speech six years ago calling for a solution in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes a Jewish state. I said that the conditions for that today are not achievable.


BAIER: Because basically the Palestinians are tied with Hamas.

Let's bring in our panel: Tucker Carlson, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend," radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, and Charles Lane, opinion writer for "The Washington Post." Laura, you think this is pretty clear?

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, well, I don't think he completely turned his back on a two-state solution. He was in a hard-fought campaign. Obviously he was concerned about whether he was going to survive or not. But look, the bottom line here is that Obama's credibility is at question in negotiating what's best for America. That's why we're in this position with our relationship with Israel being so frayed. So we can pick apart everything that Netanyahu said, and maybe he should have stressed it a little differently. I get that. But a lot of things are said in campaigns. Our president said a lot of things about how ObamaCare was going to work, and obviously that didn't turn out to be true. In fact they probably knew it wasn't going to be true. So I don't think that is the basis for judging how we're moving forward in our relationship with Israel.

If this Iran deal is not good for the safety of our ally Israel and not good for the safety and security of the American people, it shouldn't be agreed to. That is the big problem we have today.

BAIER: What about, Chuck, these messages from the White House, the State Department, that we're going to reevaluate our position in the United Nations to Israel potentially? Are they searching for a reason to do that?

CHARLES LANE, OPINION WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think it was kind of a continuation of a pattern I have been seeing throughout this last three months where Benjamin Netanyahu does something in the heat, as Laura says, of an election, unfortunately an election period that seems to overlap with the final stages of the Iran agreement, says something or does something like coming here and giving a speech that is provocative, and the administration kind of can't help but rise to the bait and overreact to it and say something that they're probably going to regret later, because Netanyahu, as we just saw, has already started to dial back that campaign rhetoric and fit it into what he had been saying before. And he's doing the same thing on the Iran deal, by the way. I don't know if you guys noticed today, but he started to say the problem here is the number of centrifuges in the Iran deal. We can't live with a bad deal. We need a good deal. He's already kind of deescalating from campaign mode. And frankly, I think as the phone call indicated, the White House already within a day of saying that is starting to deescalate a little bit on its side.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: That's so smart. That's a great analysis, I think. Here's the White House rising to the bait. Nobody is surprised that Netanyahu is not for a Palestinian state. Look at his actions over his three terms as prime minister. The building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem will tell you flat out he's not for it.

I think the danger here, though, is that his words, which were politically motivated, obviously might be seen as contemptuous not just to the administration but of America or American policy, and that's not a good thing for Israel's long-term security I would argue, because a two-state solution may be silly. We wasted a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of energy on it, I think that's probably right. But it's still American policy and has been for decades. So I think it's sort of important for the Israeli government no matter who runs it to keep in mind we're not actually peers. We're not equals. One country helps the other a lot -- and that's good and the American people support it. But you don't want to give off the sense that you have contempt for your benefactor, which is us.

BAIER: Right, but to be clear about the connection between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and that that cannot continue, that's Israel's point. You can't negotiate with Mahmoud Abbas when he's tying with Hamas and Gaza.

CARLSON: I completely agree with that 100 percent, and I'm actually not disagreeing with the substance of what Netanyahu says, though I do think as someone who cares about the future of Israel, it would be interesting to know what is the plan exactly? If it's not a two-state solution, you have an awful lot of Palestinians who are hostile to Israel living in these territories and within Israel, 20 percent of the population within Israel is Arab, Christian and Muslim. What does it look like 100 years from now? How about 20 years from now if it's not a two-state solution? What is the answer? I don't know, but hopefully someone is thinking about it.

BAIER: All right, let's turn to Iran. Many Democrats are now coming out publicly and saying there is concern and they need Congress to weigh in on whatever deal it is. Here's Representative Engel.


REP. ELIOT ENGEL, D-N.Y.: There really cannot be any marginalization of Congress. Congress really needs to play very active and vital role in this whole process and any attempts to sidestep Congress will be resisted on both sides of the aisle.


BAIER: We have just confirmed that Congress is going to put off a vote on any kind of Iran package, any resolution, until April 14th, mid-April. Laura?

INGRAHAM: Again, there is an eroding sense that the president and his team are good negotiators. And I think in the end, if you're going to say to Iran, as we heard leaked today or yesterday, you can only have 40 percent of your centrifuges, does that sit well with the American people? I don't know how it sits with Netanyahu. I don't know what he is going to think about that. But I think we have also gotten to this point where we only have so much leverage against Iran right now. We can say we're going to pile on more sanctions. I'm not sure if they believe we're going to put on more sanctions. I think there's such a disconnect between the White House and Congress. And as we see even with Engel's comments, I don't think the Democrats have a lot of confidence in them.

So Kerry is making a show of it and the third day of tough negotiations, we have made some progress. The credibility, Bret, is not there for this administration. And I think the administration has handled this terribly. The way they treated Netanyahu, they should have put their petulance aside and the personal, hurt feelings aside and say what's best for Israel, what's best for the United States, let's figure it out together. I don't like your attitude toward us, Mr. Netanyahu, but we have got to figure this out together. We've got to have a united front. I think the administration did not handle this well. They took it all way too personally.

BAIER: Chuck, administration officials up on the Hill back and forth with congressmen about a possible vote. Do they get to vote, do they get to weigh in? And basically the answer was the U.N. Security Council weighs in, Congress would weigh in eventually if they lift sanctions.

LANE: Right. The president has never wanted Congress involved in this because there's a lot of skepticism in Congress about this. And that goes back to what we're talking about with Netanyahu. Another reason, in addition to the bad optics and contentiousness and the personal ill-will between the president and Mr. Netanyahu, I think the White House was upset because they knew that when Netanyahu went to Congress he was pushing them at their weakest point. He was building up the doubts and skepticism that already existed on the Hill about this whole thing.

Now there's going to be a question as to whether they could ever come up with a veto-proof majority over anything the president decided to do. And I'm not sure they are there yet, but I do know the White House doesn't want to ever have to test that.

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