During this episode of “Face the Nation,” hosted by Margaret Brennan,
- Dr. Christos Christou, Doctors Without Borders International president
- National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan
Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, currently serves as the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Michael McCaul, a member of the Republican Party from Texas, serves as the chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee.”
- Isaac Herzog, President of Israel
Clickto browse full transcripts of “Fac the Nation.”
My name is Margaret Brennan and I am reporting from Washington.
This week on Face the Nation, there is mounting pressure on Israel to agree to a cease-fire or humanitarian pause, as the situation in Gaza continues to worsen.
Israel is still trying to destroy Hamas, but the situation for civilians and the number of Palestinian deaths have led to increased demonstrations globally. Some people in Gaza are trying to escape the most heavily affected areas, while others are facing challenges to survive in places that are being attacked and lacking necessary supplies.
We will receive updates from the area and have conversations with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Additionally, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Mike McCaul will join us from Tel Aviv.
Reworded: Despite an unpopular president, Democrats have found some positive outcomes from the recent off-year elections. Will they be able to secure victory through their stance on key issues?
Senator Mark Warner from Virginia is joining us.
Everything is coming up next on Face the Nation.
Hello and thank you for tuning in to Face the Nation.
It has been six weeks since Hamas’ violent assault, resulting in the death of 1,200 Israelis. According to the Israeli government, the number has been revised to 1,400 as they continue to identify remains.
Discussions about freeing the 200-plus individuals being held captive are ongoing privately. Publicly, there is a conflict involving accusations, counter-accusations, and troubling visuals. Our efforts will persist in providing you with accurate details and perspective.
Today, we will start our coverage with Debora Patta’s report from East Jerusalem.
Debora Patta narrates: Thousands of Israelis gathered, chanting “Now, now,” as they demand the prompt return of their loved ones, who were abducted by Hamas on October 7. This serves as a reminder that in war, there are no winners, only pain, and after more than five weeks of fighting, the toll is evident.
In Gaza City, intense clashes are taking place on the streets near multiple hospitals, including the largest one, Al Shifa, which has become a battleground. Exhausted medical professionals are working by flashlight in a struggling healthcare system. While their goal is to save lives, they also fear for their own safety and the safety of their patients.
This forlorn message was sent by Dr. Mohammed Obeid.
Dr. Mohammed Obeid, a surgeon, stated that the individuals were repeatedly harmed. As mentioned previously, the circumstances are extremely dire. It appears that we are currently without assistance and no one can hear us.
DEBORA PATTA: The medical personnel are seeking assurance that the approximately 600 individuals currently remaining can be safely removed.
The Israeli army has continued to make allegations against Hamas. They claim that the hospital is being used as a base of operations by the group, although Hamas denies this accusation. Many Palestinians are still trying to escape to the south, but the journey is dangerous.
Ghaith Hasune (sp?) sobs as he shares the heartbreaking news, “My son was killed by a bullet to the chest. I was forced to leave his body behind.”
Ghaith Hasune is speaking in a foreign language.
DEBORA PATTA: Even as they reach the southern region, such as Rafah, the bombings persist.
“I am speaking in a foreign language.”
This man is crying as he states, “We are not a part of this. Our house does not have any fighters. I simply run a donkey cart.”
The actual price of this conflict is immense – countless innocent people have lost their lives, often only known by a mere number. Men, women, and children are now being laid to rest in anonymous mass graves.
According to the Israeli military, they have recently established a path for evacuation from the Al Shifa Hospital.
Unfortunately, Margaret, this is not feasible for many of the patients who are in critical condition.
Margaret Brennan interviews our correspondent Debora Patta.
Last night, Marwan Al Ghoul, a producer for CBS News, submitted this report from Gaza.
Reworded: The situation in Gaza City, as described by Marwan Al Ghoul, is one of increasing suffering. The lack of food, electricity, and fuel has reached a critical level, making it a matter of life or death for its residents.
However, discussing Gaza City inevitably leads to discussing Al Shifa Hospital. The hospital currently houses 500 medical beds, all of which are currently occupied by injured and sick individuals. These displaced individuals have taken to living in both the hospital and its courtyards.
During my phone conversation with Dr. Samir Al-Bosh (sp?), he informed me that there is a strong smell of death permeating the hospitals due to the presence of 100 deceased bodies. The hospital administration is faced with the challenge of finding a suitable burial location for these bodies and has considered digging a mass grave on the premises.
According to Dr. Samir, the hospital and doctors are unable to provide any services to the injured individuals due to a lack of fuel, electricity, and resources.
Margaret Brennan: Marwan Al Ghoul, a producer, reporting from Gaza.
Currently joining us from Rome is Christos Christou, the president of Doctors Without Borders International.
I am aware that several of your physicians are currently employed at Al Shifa Hospital, and have reported that two infants passed away due to a power outage, resulting in the inability to maintain the incubators. There are 40 premature infants who require evacuation. Is the Israeli military able to assist in the evacuation of these children?
“At this time, there is no update on any organized efforts to evacuate the neonatal patients.”
Unfortunately, we currently do not have any updates regarding a successful evacuation plan. Instead, we are faced with the situation of numerous patients who have recently undergone surgery and are unable to simply leave the hospital.
Next to them are newborn babies who require assistance – premature babies who need to be in incubators. However, there are no working incubators currently available at Al Shifa. In fact, the hospital itself is not operational.
Margaret Brennan: The Israeli prime minister stated that there is no obstacle to simply removing the patients from the hospital.
How do you respond to that?
Dr. Christos Christou stated that evacuating a hospital takes time, typically weeks, and cannot be done within 24 hours.
In the past, we have emphasized the importance of proper organization in evacuating a hospital. In addition to coordination, a cease-fire is essential in ensuring the safety of those attempting to leave the hospital. There are reports of individuals being shot while trying to evacuate the hospital.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Who is responsible?
Dr. Christos Christou reported that there were incidents of accidents and sniper attacks within the hospital, and there is also uncertainty about what is occurring inside the hospital due to bombings. The airstrikes have also impacted the hospitals.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The Israeli army denies having attacked the hospital compound, which I understand is quite extensive.
However, they state that there is a Hamas command center located in the hospital. I understand that you are discussing delicate topics, but the safety of your employees is also at risk. How can this situation be resolved?
“At this moment, it is important to recognize that hospitals are currently filled with people who are in need – our patients and our children.”
Our children, we have this acronym, the WCNSF, wounded children of non- surviving families. We have several families that they are there. And these are patients. We need to understand that. We have to protect the hospitals. Any attack in the medical care at the moment is an attack on humanity.
MARGARET BRENNAN: If it is confirmed that the hospital is being used as Hamas’ command center, Israel’s military will likely target it. I assume you are aware of this potential scenario.
You mentioned that it would require several weeks to evacuate everyone. Is there a plan in place?
Dr. Christos Christou states that there has been no planning in regards to the current situation. He mentions that even health workers are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, to the point where they are unable to provide any assistance at the moment.
It is probable that there will not be a formal evacuation, but rather a sense of panic that will result in destruction.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Allowing fuel in has been a big sticking point for Israel, which worries that Hamas will get the fuel. You need the fuel to keep the generators on.
Is there a source of fuel available to maintain electricity and sustain the lives of these individuals?
Currently, the hospital does not have any fuel. This is also the case for other hospitals.
At this time in Gaza, I am unable to represent all hospitals. I am aware that there is currently no electricity and we have no internet connection. The information you are receiving from our colleague, Dr. Mohammed Obeid, is from yesterday.
We lost communication in the evening. We are unsure of the current situation. And we have been aware for a while that many people lack access to clean drinking water.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
I am at a loss for words to respond to your recent statement, Doctor. Thank you for sharing. We also send our well wishes to your medical team and their patients.
DR. CHRISTOS CHRISTOU expresses gratitude to Margaret.
Margaret Brennan: We have the pleasure of being joined by Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser for the White House.
Welcome back to the program, Jake.
The conflict in Gaza appears to be highly intense. Doctors Without Borders has urged the Israeli government to stop their continuous attack on Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure.
Does the United States agree that this accurately describes the current situation? Is the U.S. advising Israel not to target hospitals?
According to Jake Sullivan, the U.S. National Security Adviser, Hamas is utilizing hospitals and other civilian buildings for their command and control operations, storing weapons, and housing their fighters. This information is based on publicly available sources and cannot be disclosed further.
This goes against laws of war.
Having said that, the United States strongly opposes any violence taking place in hospitals. It is unacceptable for innocent patients to be caught in the middle of a firefight. We have been actively discussing this issue with the Israeli Defense Forces.
Just yesterday, the Israeli Defense Forces publicly stated that they are seeking solutions to protect patients in hospitals while also addressing the issue of Hamas using hospitals and human shields in a manner that goes against civilized norms.
This is a live discussion, but our main goal is to avoid any conflicts in hospitals.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.
Do you agree with the Israeli claim that Hamas has a command center located beneath Al Shifa Hospital?
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JAKE SULLIVAN: I’m not going to get into a specific assertion related to a specific hospital, because that would be getting into intelligence matters.
Generally, based on publicly available information, it can be observed that Hamas has a history of utilizing hospitals and other civilian buildings for their own agendas during this conflict.
Can you provide an update on the approximately 240 individuals who are currently being held as hostages by Hamas?
During our conversation, we had the chance to interview Congressman Mike McCaul who had recently met with the Israeli prime minister while in Israel. He shared that Israel is currently reviewing a proposal from Hamas to release Palestinian women and children from prison in exchange for the release of hostages held by Hamas.
Does the U.S. believe that should occur?
“I must be cautious in my response, Margaret, as the negotiations are sensitive and carry significant importance.”
The current focus is on rescuing a large group of innocent individuals, including Americans, who are currently being held captive by Hamas, a violent terrorist group. Israel and Qatar are currently in talks, with the assistance of the United States, regarding the situation.
I will not delve into the details of the current situation, but I can confirm that we are actively striving to secure the safe release of all American hostages and others detained by Hamas.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The State Department reports that approximately 400 Americans are still trapped in Gaza. Is there a plan for their evacuation?
Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, has made it clear that our priority is to guarantee their safe departure.
Numerous individuals have left, while others remain, as you stated. This includes not only American citizens, but also their close relatives. Our goal is to ensure that each of them can leave Gaza safely. The gate has been opened and closed at various times and the list of individuals allowed through changes daily, sometimes including Americans and other times not.
However, the main point is that currently, the gate is accessible. We are facilitating the departure of American citizens and their loved ones. Moving forward, our goal is to guarantee the safe evacuation of all Americans wishing to leave Gaza.
Jake, during the previous week, a high-ranking official from the State Department gave testimony to Congress stating that the Gaza Health Ministry’s calculations of 11,000 Palestinian fatalities could potentially be lower than the actual number.
Is the White House in agreement with that evaluation?
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JAKE SULLIVAN: We don’t have fidelity on the numbers of casualties, fatalities in Gaza. We don’t know how many are fighters and how many are innocent civilians.
However, as mentioned previously by both myself and Secretary Blinken, it is evident that thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives in the military actions that commenced on October 7. The loss of any innocent life, regardless of nationality, is a devastating tragedy.
We mourn for each and every one of those individuals who have lost their lives. We strongly believe that Israel has the right and duty to take action against Hamas, who remains a danger to the nation of Israel. However, this must be done in accordance with the rules of warfare.
Secretary Blinken also mentioned that there have been too many Palestinian fatalities thus far, according to Margaret Brennan.
I am focused on the future, a topic that you have discussed since the beginning, specifically on what will occur in Gaza. You have also addressed this issue with the Israeli government.
Secretary Blinken has been clear that it’s the West Bank and Gaza that needs to be under unified control, and the Palestinian – Palestinian Authority likely to govern that. It doesn’t sound like the Netanyahu government is on the same page as the Biden administration, because the prime minister said something very different just yesterday.
According to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, the path ahead is clear and based on simple principles.
Last week, Secretary Blinken publicly stated that there will be no retaking of Gaza or forced removal of Palestinian residents. He also emphasized that Gaza must not be used as a launching pad for terrorist activities and its land should not be diminished.
Secretary Blinken expressed the desire for the West Bank and Gaza to be united under Palestinian leadership in the future. Currently, the Palestinian Authority holds leadership in the West Bank.
In the end, it will be left to the Palestinian population to determine their own destiny and leadership. The United States will aid in facilitating this process…
MARGARET BRENNAN: It has been a long time since elections were last held.
Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, stated that there have not been any elections held since the early 2000s, as Margaret mentioned.
However, after October 7, it is no longer possible to return to the state of affairs that existed on October 6. This also means taking steps to prevent Hamas from posing a persistent threat to Israel. In fact, representatives from Hamas have expressed their desire to continually repeat the events of October 7 until Israel is completely destroyed, indicating their intention to remain in a state of perpetual war with Israel.
It was featured on the front page of “The New York Times”…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
According to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, the statement was made by a spokesperson for Hamas.
Israel will launch a campaign against a terrorist organization, but the issue of governance cannot be reversed to October 6.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, believes that the decision on the Palestinian people’s future governance should be left to them. This should include reconnecting the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as stated by Secretary Blinken.
Thank you, Jake Sullivan, for taking the time to speak with me, Margaret Brennan.
The program Face the Nation will return in 60 seconds. Please continue watching.
Margaret Brennan: Now, let’s continue with Mark Warner, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from Virginia.
The Democrats were rejoicing over the outcome of Virginia’s recent elections.
You stated that the events in Virginia were the initial election of the 2024 national election cycle to the White House.
What is your intended meaning?
Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) clarified that the media gave a lot of attention to the Wisconsin Supreme Court election and the abortion issue in Ohio, but in Virginia, a state with a mixed political landscape, other important issues such as gun rights and voting rights were also at stake in the recent election, highlighting the differences between Democrats and Republicans.
I believe it creates a good foundation for the president. One aspect that has not been thoroughly discussed is the impact of abortion. Additionally, Virginia heavily depends on the federal government, with a significant defense presence and a high number of federal employees.
I believe the recent chaos from the House of Representatives conveyed a warning that even if the Republican party in Virginia attempted to present themselves as moderate, Virginians were wary that granting them complete control of the state government would result in extreme actions from the MAGA supporters, just as it is occurring on a national scale.
I believe this contributed to the Democrats regaining control of the House, maintaining control of the Senate, and halting parts of their agenda.
According to Margaret Brennan, the president’s approval rating is currently low.
Do you agree with the notion that Democrats will easily win the next election based on their current success? Or do you think there may be concerns with President Biden’s approval ratings being low?
Senator Mark Warner: I recognize that the president’s approval ratings are challenging.
However, I believe the president has consistently stated that ultimately, the decision is not between Joe Biden and a flawless alternative, especially if the options are Joe Biden and Donald Trump. I believe Virginians and Americans will refuse that choice.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The level of enthusiasm and voter turnout can also play a role in close elections.
We have observed a group of youthful progressives expressing their strong opinions on the topic of Israel and Gaza, displaying their frustration. In closely contested elections, states such as Michigan hold significant importance. With a population of over 200,000, the Muslim American community in this state can greatly influence the outcomes.
Senator Mark Warner nodded in agreement.
Could this disagreement potentially harm the president’s relationship with Democrats?
Senator Mark Warner believes that there is a possibility for it to happen.
Therefore, I believe that we are all urging Israel to exercise its right to self-defense and take action against Hamas. Hamas is using innocent Palestinians as shields, which is unacceptable.
We all witnessed the disturbing images on your show earlier today. It is crucial for Israel to understand that we have been advocating for these breaks, in order to control the violence from settlers on the West Bank. This is not just a military conflict, but also a fight for the perception of Israel.
The sentiments and beliefs of people extend throughout our nation and the surrounding area. If there is not enough thought given to the harm caused to Palestinians, this unfortunate situation could potentially lead to more conflict in the West Bank and Lebanon. It may also make it more difficult for America to continue its longstanding support for Israel.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
The United States is the primary supplier of weapons to Israel. This is a consistent practice. Do we need to alter the potential aid package currently being discussed in the Senate?
Senator Mark Warner has expressed concerns about the potential use of this aid. He has raised these concerns in private conversations.
We must also combine this with aid for those in need. This is extremely important. Once again, we have witnessed these disturbing images.
However, I believe it is important to consider, as we discuss this proposal, that there are many Republicans who continuously criticize Iran.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
Senator Mark Warner understands the perspective that the Iranians are considered adversaries.
However, they appear to disregard the relationship between Iran and Russia. Additionally, there are individuals who express support for Israel but also advocate for distancing from Ukraine. In my opinion, abandoning Ukraine at this moment would be a significant error with long-lasting negative consequences.
Can you assure us that the package involving Ukraine, Israel, border issues, and Taiwan has a good chance of being approved?
Senator Mark Warner expressed confidence in the ability to combine all the necessary components. He also stressed the importance of implementing both financial resources and policy adjustments in regards to border security.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
Senator Mark Warner believes that if the package is combined, it will definitely pass, although the specifics are crucial.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Let’s pause and resume our conversation after the break.
Therefore, we kindly ask you to remain with us, Senator.
There will be additional episodes of Face the Nation.
Yesterday, over 300,000 demonstrators supporting Palestine gathered in Central London, demanding a halt to the violence in Gaza.
Police and far right counterprotesters engaged in conflict, resulting in nearly 100 arrests as they attempted to disrupt the primary protest.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will return shortly with additional coverage on Face the Nation.
Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you for tuning in to FACE THE NATION once again.
We will now resume our discussion with Senator Mark Warner from Virginia.
As the head of the Intelligence Committee, you have been monitoring the competition with China, specifically in the realm of technology. The White House appears to be prioritizing the establishment of military connections with China. What outcomes are you monitoring from this summit with Xi Jinping?
Senator Mark Warner believes that it is crucial to restore military connections and communication, as demonstrated by the lack of response when we shot down a Chinese balloon. Unlike our long-standing conflicts with Russia, our conflict with China is relatively new and lacking in back-channel communication. Therefore, it is essential to reestablish these lines of communication.
I believe that the president should urge President Xi to address the ongoing issue of intellectual property theft, which results in nearly $500 billion in stolen intellectual property each year. I strongly believe that national security in the modern era extends beyond traditional military weapons and involves dominating in areas like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced energy. China continues to heavily invest in these areas and their large investment in rare earth minerals from Africa is a prime example. It is important for the US and our allies to be able to compete with this level of investment.
Margaret Brennan: It seems that you are advocating for safeguards to be put in place with China regarding artificial intelligence and similar technologies. However, creating legislation in this area is a complex and slow process.
Senator Mark Warner stated that the bill he worked on was highly bipartisan, with equal representation from Democrats and Republicans (13 and 13).
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
Senator Mark Warner stated that we require a strategy that looks at not just TikTok, but also any foreign technology that could present risks.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
Senator Mark Warner expressed concern about the potential national security threats posed by China, Russia, or Iran. However, there has been pushback from both the far left and far right regarding legislation addressing this issue. He believes it is important for this legislation to move forward, especially since a large portion of young people rely solely on TikTok for news. He hopes that these issues will gain momentum following the recent summit.
In the past, our technology competitions have included military competitors such as Russia. However, we have not yet seen an economy like China’s that is investing heavily in these emerging technology fields.
According to a recent report from Microsoft, it is believed that Russia, Iran, and China will attempt to interfere in the 2024 presidential election, as well as other closely contested elections around the world. The report asserts their certainty in this prediction.
Will your laws prevent something like that from happening?
Senator Mark Warner believes that our proposed laws will address concerns about platforms like TikTok, which could potentially be utilized as a tool for spreading CCP propaganda. He clarifies that his criticism is directed towards the CCP and not the Chinese people or those in the Chinese diaspora.
But around artificial intelligence where I think we need to be humble because candidly we’ve done nothing on any guardrails on social media and on technology writ large. The two areas where artificial intelligence could have an enormous negative effect tomorrow is interfering in our public elections, but it also could have a tool in terms of interfering in our public markets. And I’ve been surprised we’ve not seen more manipulation, for example, of stocks using AI tools. So, my hope is, perhaps we can get a coalition between those who favor making sure our public markets are not interfered with as well as those who were concerned about interference in our election to build the kind of coalition because taking on big tech –
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
Senator Mark Warner has been in office for many years and has not made much progress on this issue, which is also true for other members of Congress. I believe we need a strong coalition to address the potential impact of election interference.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Can you confirm if the report from the “Washington Post” stating that Ukraine was responsible for the attack on Nord Stream is accurate? And do you believe that targeting civilian infrastructure is acceptable?
Senator Mark Warner stated that he will not provide any comments on information that is classified. It is known that Russia has a track record of spreading false and misleading information, but the matter will continue to be monitored.
Senator, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.
Senator Mark Warner expressed gratitude.
Earlier today, we had a conversation with Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, from Tel Aviv.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I know you’re wrapping up what has been a pretty quick and busy trip to Israel. You met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Did you get a sense that his government is close to wrapping up this military operation?
Representative Michael McCaul from Texas stated that he does not believe the ground game has begun, despite the ongoing airstrikes.
When we entered, Margaret, the initial sight was a shocking Hamas video depicting the brutal murders committed by these savage extremists. It was a highly charged and impactful moment.
The prime minister was visibly emotional about the recent events, comparing it to their own version of 9/11. They are determined to eliminate the threat and we discussed strategies for ground operations, humanitarian efforts, and met with the minister of defense.
Can you discuss the recent increase in humanitarian assistance? I am aware that the United States is the main contributor to the United Nations relief agency in Gaza. Some members of the Republican caucus oppose providing aid to Palestinians, including civilians in Gaza. Do you think the proposed aid package in Congress should include this type of support?
MICHAEL MCCAUL: Well, I do. And I think the Israelis do as well. I think, you know, I talked about this with the prime minister. They have put a buffer zone in the middle of Gaza to create this humanitarian zone in southern Gaza. They opened up the Rafah gate, that’s Egypt. About 100 trucks a day are coming in. But it has to be like food, water, and medicine. It can’t be fuel because Hamas can use that to light their tunnels and operate them.
MARGARET BRENNAN: According to the State Department, there are approximately 400 Americans currently unable to leave Gaza. Have you received any information on their well-being?
MICHAEL MCCAUL: We successfully engaged in delicate discussions with the Qataris, who served as the main intermediary for this negotiation. Right after this interview, I will be meeting with several families of the hostages, whom I previously met with in the US. This is a highly complicated issue.
I believe that Hamas desires a prisoner exchange between Israel and Palestine, involving the release of both American and Palestinian captives currently being held in Gaza. This is an ongoing issue and I am hopeful that a resolution can be reached. It would be challenging to establish a cease-fire without an agreement to release all hostages.
Can you clarify if Palestinian Americans in Gaza are also part of the hostage negotiation you mentioned?
MICHAEL MCCAUL: No, this is a –
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.
Michael McCaul stated that the prisoners in Israel who are Palestinians are being negotiated for the release of prisoners from both Israel and America who are being held captive in Gaza.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I see. So there is consideration being given to the proposal from Hamas. It is intriguing to learn that.
Can you discuss the potential for Congress to provide aid to Israel? Do you believe the current speaker of the House has the influence within your party to pass a package that includes aid for Israel, Ukraine, and other national security matters?
MICHAEL MCCAUL: The assistance we provide to Israel is critical and time-sensitive. It is crucial that we deliver this package promptly.
I am aware that there are offsets in place, which is reasonable. However, I do not believe we should manipulate this situation for political gain in order to aid our ally. If they were to fail and we were to fail, it would have negative consequences for the entire Middle East region.
Ukraine and Taiwan are both crucial in terms of importance. The southern border is also a key factor in defense. Therefore, all of these threats are interconnected. It is still undetermined whether we will address them as a whole or separately, such as focusing on Ukraine and border security. The proposed CR by the speaker is a step towards progress in handling these issues.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The deadline for government funding is fast approaching on November 17th. Yesterday, the speaker suggested a unique approach called a “laddered, short-term funding deal.”
MICHAEL MCCAUL: Right.
Margaret Brennan: The White House claims it is not a serious matter and a pointless use of time. Will there be a government shutdown?
Michael McCaul stated that the power of the purse is in our hands and we need more time. Continuing to pass Continuing Resolutions (CRs) has a negative impact on our military and national security. Passing the first CR until January would allow us to address the remaining four appropriation bills that have not been passed yet. This would give us until February to negotiate with the Senate and ultimately get the bill passed and approved by the president. This plan would also provide us with additional time to work on crucial matters.
MARGARET BRENNAN: However, the first step is obtaining enough votes to approve this measure. Therefore, can the Republican party come to a collective decision and successfully pass this temporary funding deal?
Representative Michael McCaul stated that action must be taken immediately due to the urgent state of the world. He mentioned conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the need to help Ukraine and secure the border. He also noted the threat posed by Chairman Xi in relation to Taiwan and the Pacific.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
According to Michael McCaul, the Senate is expected to create a package and send it to the House after Thanksgiving.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Let’s see if the proposal for government funding can be approved by next week to prevent a shutdown.
“Thank you for joining us this morning from Israel, Congressman.”
We will return shortly.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Let’s now shift our focus to the president of Israel, Isaac Herzog, who is joining us from Jerusalem.
Hello, sir. Good afternoon to you.
President of Israel, Isaac Herzog: Hello, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your country lost 1,200 of its civilian citizens on October the 7th. And I know you’re still reeling from that. But what we’re seeing in Gaza right now with Hamas and this concentration of very intense fighting around al-Shifa Hospital, if that is indeed Hamas’ command center, does that mean this war ends if you take control of it?
ISAAC HERZOG: Well, the war we’ve – we’ve taken on against Hamas is a war that – which matters to the entire well-being and safety of – of the world, I would say, and therefore our main aim at this stage following the atrocities we’ve gone through on October 7th is to uproot the capability of Hamas. It doesn’t end in Shifa Hospital. They are based all throughout Gaza.
I understand that you have personally spoken with numerous families of the approximately 240 individuals who are currently being held captive by Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Could you clarify the reasoning behind Israel’s reported consideration of releasing Palestinian women and children from prisons in exchange for some of these hostages held by Hamas?
According to Isaac Herzog, both Qatar and Egypt are involved in mediation efforts to secure the release of hostages. While there are ongoing talks, Herzog cannot provide any specific information and emphasizes that the international demand is for the release of all hostages.
At the moment, there is no significant progress being made. The United States is playing a significant role in the matter as well. Therefore, there is nothing concrete that I can disclose.
Can you clarify if Israel has rejected the proposal to release Palestinians from prison in the past? Is this report inaccurate?
ISAAC HERZOG: It is not equivalent. It is not equal. Forty-eight individuals have stated that Israel is prepared to free our convicted murderers serving life sentences. During my address to a joint session of the House in July, mid-July,
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
I stated that the main obstacle in the peace process in the area is terrorism. Terrorism is hindering progress and advancement. Those who have experienced years of attempting to achieve peace with our neighboring countries understand that peace is possible with those who uphold agreements and combat terrorism. However, we cannot form a partnership with a nation that supports and assists terrorism.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
The outcomes have been abhorrent, as Isaac Herzog has pointed out.
I comprehend. The US regards Hamas as a terrorist group and has done so for many years. This stance is firmly established.
However, as you previously stated, you have been a proponent of peace with the Palestinians for a long time. Unfortunately, there are members of the current government who, prior to October 7th, did not support or advocate for a two-state solution.
Do you still have faith in this as the ultimate path to attain peace?
ISAAC HERZOG: Why would anybody agree right now to any progress with our neighbors when we don’t see truly their ability to fight terror and many, many of them, including those in Gaza, are hailing and smiling and celebrating in the most atrocious way the world’s greatest atrocity almost since World War II.
Can I also mention that a significant aspect of the problem is the societal acceptance and glorification of these heinous acts.
Margaret Brennan asked, “Which specific culture?”
ISAAC HERZOG: These atrocities cannot be agreed – accepted in any way. It means it has nothing to do with the conflict. It has nothing to do with the borders, with settlements or anything. This is simple. Simple, clear, barbarism, Jew hate, other hate, which is advocated by ISIS, Hamas, al Qaeda, which, if we weren’t here, then Europe will be next and probably the United States is the end game for all of them.
I acknowledge the increase of anti-Semitism worldwide, which I do not dismiss.
However, regarding the ongoing security of Israel as a Democratic and Jewish state in the long term, it appears that you may have doubts about the effectiveness of the peace process. Given the current situation in Gaza and your desire for security for your people, do you not have concerns about the potential radicalization of individuals due to the high number of civilian casualties?
ISAAC HERZOG: If we eradicate the capabilities of Hamas, we’ll give hope to the Palestinians in Gaza too, to run their life decently, as we’ve expected in the accords we had with the Palestinians. We enabled the Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza and they lost it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
In 2007, Hamas violently overthrew them.
The problem is, I repeatedly asked President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority if they would intervene if Israel removes Hamas, but he said no. I am not sure of his current stance or their ability to do so. However, it is clear that our top priority is ensuring safety and security for Israel.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I understand. However, the government of the United States acknowledges that the reported death toll of 11,000 Palestinians may be too low. They claim they are unable to distinguish between civilians and Hamas fighters. Nevertheless, it is an immense number of fatalities.
Therefore, how can you confidently assert that Israel’s military and intelligence are accurately targeting their objectives at present, and that the resulting casualties are essential and beneficial for your safety?
I am grateful for your question, as it allows me to share my deep sadness for the innocent lives lost on the Palestinian side. We are committed to following international humanitarian law and our top priority is to warn people of potential danger. The situation here is that our enemies, these terrorists, have launched attacks and attempted to harm us by using their homes as bases for firing missiles and sending terrorists. Therefore, we are forced to target these homes and destroy all infrastructure, including tunnels and missiles.
We have distributed leaflets, made phone calls, and sent text messages to all the civilians in the designated area, urging them to evacuate. We have also provided ample time for them to do so and have created humanitarian corridors to assist with their relocation. Additionally, we have significantly increased the amount of aid being delivered to those seeking refuge in a safe zone.
Regrettably, there may be fatalities, some of which may be caused by Hamas. I am unsure of the accuracy of their reports and the exact number of casualties. However, I want to stress that we are doing everything in our power to minimize harm. These unfortunate events do occur, and we apologize for them, but ultimately, we must dismantle Hamas’ infrastructure in order to fulfill our obligation and right to protect our citizens.
President Herzog, thank you for taking the time to speak with me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will return shortly.
Margaret Brennan: The Democratic party had reason to rejoice after a successful election on Tuesday, with notable victories such as an abortion rights amendment passing in Ohio and gaining full control of the state legislature in Virginia. Additionally, liberal candidates were victorious in multiple school board races across both red and blue states. What was the reason for this trend?
This is Nancy Cordes, the primary White House correspondent.
Nancy Cordes explains that school board elections often go unnoticed during election season.
If you are going to raise your voice, simply stand up, yell, and then depart.
Nancy Cordes (voiceover): However, this was prior to school board meetings across the nation becoming a source of contention for debates on censorship of literature.
MAN: Our children’s minds are being violated.
NANCY CORDES (narration): Inclusivity –
Person: Why am I being detained?
Nancy Cordes reports on the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
The film was not authorized and was deemed unsuitable.
WOMAN: Know that you are making Orlando (ph) County unsafe and an unproductive working and learning environment.
In 2021, there was an increase in conservative individuals running for school board positions to oppose school closures and mask mandates during the pandemic. However, on Tuesday, the trend seemed to shift as more liberal candidates won school board seats in states such as Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia.
I began to witness the impact of the disorder and dysfunction within our school board on our classrooms.
Nancy Cordes reports that Valan Rodas is both a teacher and a recently elected member of the school board in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
I will not allow my microphone to be muted while I am casting my vote.
In 2021, the board gained national recognition for its decision to remove books deemed sexually explicit from school libraries.
The woman expressed that the situation seemed to only worsen and involve other contentious cultural matters that are not the pressing issues that need to be addressed in order to assist our students.
On Tuesday, the school board in Spotsylvania changed from having a 4-3 conservative majority to a 5-2 majority in favor of progressives.
NANCY CORDES: What do you believe was the main point voters were trying to convey about the school board?
The female individual indicated that they desire for us to collaborate.
NANCY CORDES (narrating): April Gillespie is one of the last two remaining conservative members.
The woman stated that she thinks both sides are exhausted from the constant fighting and legal battles. They want to move on and concentrate on the division’s operations rather than getting caught up in political matters.
The school board elections from last Tuesday are seen as a preview for the 2024 election, where all 50 states will hold polls. Democrats are counting on this topic, along with abortion, to increase voter turnout and make up for the decreasing enthusiasm for the presidential ticket, as indicated by surveys.
Nancy Cordes is providing this report, according to Margaret Brennan.
We will return shortly.
Unfortunately, there is some sad news to report today. The Pentagon has confirmed that five members of the United States military died during an aircraft training mission in the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the families of these individuals, and we express our utmost gratitude and admiration for all those who have served or are currently serving in the military.
Next week on FACE THE NATION, I will be Margaret Brennan.