updated 3/25/2013 12:17:22 PM ET 2013-03-25T16:17:22

UP WITH CHRIS HAYES
March 23, 2013

Guests: Matt Duss, Jim Antle, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Gary Younge, Rashid Khalidi, Noura Erakat, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Ann Lewis>

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris
Hayes.

For the first time in four years, the Senate passed a budget proposal
early this morning. It calls for almost $1 trillion in new taxes over the
next decade.

And in a non-binding amendment to that budget, the Senate voted 62-37
to prove the controversial proposed keystone pipeline.

Right now, I`m joined by Democratic congresswoman, Carolyn McCarthy of
New York, Gary Younge, columnist for "The Guardian" newspaper and "The
Nation" magazine, Congressman Xavier Becerra of California, chairman of the
house democratic caucus, and Jim Antle, author of "Devouring Freedom: Can
Big Government Ever Be Stopped" and editor with the "Daily Collat News
Foundation."

Coming up, the presidential election and the tragedy of Newtown, the
two biggest domestic policy priorities for the president and Democrats on
Capitol Hill are overhauling the country`s immigration laws and
strengthening its gun laws. In the twin tales of how these legislative
priorities have fared in the first few months of the 113th Congress reveal,
I think, a lot about the political pressures Republicans are and are not
facing right now.

On Tuesday, Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, announced that he
would not include a measure sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein to ban
assault weapons as part of the gun safety legislation he`ll be bringing to
the floor, instead, he said it would be considered as an amendment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID, (D-NV) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I want people to have
the ability to vote on assault weapons, mental health, safety in schools,
federal trafficking, clips, everything. But I cannot do that until I get a
bill on the floor. Right now, her amendment using the most optimistic
numbers has less than 40 votes. That`s not 60.

I have to get something on the floor so we can have votes on that
issue and the other issues that I talked about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It`s prompted this headline on Wednesday from the satirical
newspaper, "The Onion," "The Time for Watered-Down, Effectively Meaningless
Gun Laws is Now." Then on Thursday, Senator Reid released a statement
assuring gun control advocates with a measure to expand universal
background checks would not suffer the same fate as assault weapons ban.

"Later tonight, I will start the process of bringing a bill to reduce
gun violence to the Senate Floor. This bill will include the provisions on
background checks, school safety, and gun trafficking reported out by the
Judiciary Committee."

Meanwhile, on the immigration side, a bipartisan group of senators has
said they want to unveil a draft of an immigration reform bill next month
and the initial post-election enthusiasm that many in the GOP establishment
and conservative elite showed for comprehensive immigration reform has
managed, somewhat I admit to my surprise, to hold firm. The Republican
National Committee released a report on Monday that endorsed comprehensive
immigration reform.

And on Tuesday, Republican senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, gave a
speech to the U.S. Hispanic chamber of commerce in which he sold his
proposal for immigration reform by insisting that Latinos are natural
Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: Republicans have been losing both the
respect and votes of a group of people who already identify with many of
our beliefs, in family, in faith, in conservative values. Hispanics should
be a natural and sizable part of the Republican base. But they are
steadily drifted away from the GOP in each election. I think this says
more about Republicans than it does about Hispanics.

Defense of the unborn, defense of traditional marriage are Republican
issues that should resonate with Latinos but have been obscured by the
perception that Republicans are hostile to immigrants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So, the Rand Paul calculation there is interesting because I
think that everyone thinks about Rand Paul as a possible 2016 candidate.
Obviously, he`s kind of carving out a natural profile. And I think there`s
this question about was he going to see an opportunity to get to the right
of where the establishment is because that`s where the space is much as
Mitt Romney gullibly (ph) got to the right of Rick Perry back in the
primary.

And I think, this seemed to me a real indicator, a real tipping point
moment about whether Paul would seize that opportunity and the fact that he
made the calculation he did, Jim, seems to me to cement what I thought at
first was possibly a conventional wisdom that had cemented too quickly
which is that you`re going to see the GOP establishment, the conservative
elite, keep the sort of coalition together on immigration reform.

JIM ANTLE, AUTHOR, "DEVOURING FREEDOM": Right. It`s particularly
interesting given that it was an opportunity to get to the right of Marco
Rubio who is definitely somebody who will be competing for similar voters
if they both run for the nomination in 2016. You do have to remember,
though, that Rand Paul is somewhat philosophically libertarian.

HAYES: Right.

ANTLE: And core parts of his base are libertarian. And therefore,
they are hostile to immigration restrictions. They -- I wouldn`t say
they`re open borders, but they believe in a more expansive immigration
policy. So, that`s a component to it, but it does show you the political
incentives for the immigrations. Restriction as position is not as strong
as it --

HAYES: Were you surprised?

ANTLE: I was mildly surprised. I thought he would have at least
couched it in terms where he was more clearly to the right of Rubio. There
are some nuances of it where the border security metrics, I think, he could
argue are to the right of Rubios, but still, not decisively so.

REP. XAVIER BECERRA, (D-CA): Chris, I think it`s -- they`re all
running to a new political reality. And it`s a result of election of
November 2012, and there`s also a strain of pragmatism in there. There are
many republicans who want to dispose of this issue in a very sensible way.
It`s just that they`ve been afraid to do so with the party so strong these
days.

So, I think what you`re seeing is Rand Paul saying this is where I
would want to go on a pragmatic basis, but at the same time, think about
what`s driving that element of the Republican Party that sort of -- that
libertarian side, the young folks, and most young people will tell you,
absolutely, treat these folks like they`re here. They`re my student
friends.

HAYES: Right.

BECERRA: I know them well. So, let`s be pragmatic. Same thing on
gays and lesbians. Let`s be pragmatic.

REP. CAROLYN MCCARTHY, (D-NY): The other thing is, too, and I think
people have to understand that members of Congress and certainly on the
Senate side realize, you know, I know for the last campaign everybody was
saying, you know, we`re going to ship 11,000, 11 million, 12 million out.
Really think about that. It`s just not going to happen. So --

HAYES: Talk about big government.

MCCARTHY: We really have to look at -- I mean, can you imagine having
the ships and the planes --

HAYES: Right, right.

MCCARTHY: -- you know, hauling off people. And I agree that, you
know, right now, if you really look to the future, we need to have these
new workers. We need them for hi-tech jobs, but we also need them for
agricultural jobs.

HAYES: Your district is a place that, you know, there`s been an
interesting story about, about the way immigration has worked on Long
Island and it`s changed Long Island in a lot of ways. Places have gotten
far, far more diverse quite quickly. And I remember when I was covering
the last big immigration fight over McCain-Kennedy in 2006-2007.

One of the hot spots of that clash was actually in Long Island partly
because things had changed very quickly. There were a lot of day laborers.
There were tensions around day laborers, congregating in -- and I`m
curious, what are the politics for you and your district on this issue
right now?

MCCARTHY: Well, the politics for me, to be very honest with you, and
I think I have very extremely intelligent constituents --

HAYES: As does every member of Congress. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCARTHY: They follow what`s going on as far as in the news and
everything else like that. But my district, the immigration issue is so
diverse. I mean, it`s not one solid large group.

HAYES: Interesting.

MCCARTHY: So, you know, I have Asians, I have Latinos. I have just -
- you name it. If you really look at the percentages, they`re there. So
it`s not an issue. I will say to you eight or nine years ago, it was an
issue. I was speaking at a temple, and they were saying, you know, they
didn`t like the way downtown was going because these people were buying the
stores.

And I said, so you`d rather have an empty town or you`d rather have
someone opening up businesses.

HAYES: You have put your finger on to me what is the most fascinating
thing about this about the way the politics are playing out this time.
There are two things happening. One is that the kind of conversion, the
pragmatic political conversion of the Karl Roves of the world who can read
an exit poll, who say we cannot win national elections losing 75-25. Pull
stop. Boom! Cannot do it. Cannot do it. OK?

But then, what`s interesting to me is when I covered the 2007 fight,
you know, those office switch boards were flooded every right-wing talk
show host every day was in the weeds of everything on McCain-Kennedy.
There was this massive genuinely grassroots backlash and you saw it in town
halls. Very tea party stuff. And Gary, I know you covered this event.
What are you -- why are things different now because that to me is the most
interesting. The pragmatic calculation on behalf on the part of the
Republican elite I get. I don`t get this part.

GARY YOUNGE, THE GUARDIANNEWS.COM: I think that there`s a sense that
they love -- that the right loves power more than it hates immigrants. I
think that`s the point. That, if they carry on doing this, they`re going
to lose and there are so many other things at stake if they lose that they
can`t carry on in their way. So, there is that sense of inevitability
forces a reconing.

There was a time in the 1960s when nobody would engage with -- you
know, a large section of the population would not engage with civil rights,
then they can (INAUDIBLE) we have to find a way to do this. And to be
honest, there`s no reason why immigration reform and Rand Paul says
Hispanics are natural Republicans, which they used to say that about Black
people, too.

HAYES: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

YOUNGE: Lots of people in America have faith in family and they`re
not Republicans.

(LAUGHTER)

YOUNGE: But Republicans should be natural to immigration reform.
Actually, many depends on what kind of immigration reform. They could
favor immigration reform that brings in -- that brings in large number of
people driving down the wage rate who don`t become citizens for an awfully
long time and stop the hugest big government project I can think of which
is building a useless wall between America and Mexico.

There`s nothing conservative actually about the immigration, the
nature of the immigration conversation that Republicans will have it.

HAYES: Congressman, I want you to respond to that and I want to talk
about the kind of devil in the details issue as where we are right now and
where we are in the House and I also want to counter pose to where we are
on guns right after we take a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Congressman Becerra.

BECERRA: You know, Gary makes an interesting point and I want to make
sure we recognize something. The deal is not done.

HAYES: Yes.

BECERRA: We still have a long ways to go. And we were chatting off
camera that all these big issues have to take some time to percolate and
boil because they`re not easy.

HAYES: Yes.

BECERRA: And what I fear is that we still have some elements out
there, for example, what we do -- not about those who are here right now,
but what do we do about all those folks who waited in line. We`ve got a
long backlog. We make sure that everyone who try to do it at the right way
will get to come in. At the same time, what happens in the future? How
many folks are we going to allow -- starting tomorrow?

HAYES: Yes.

BECERRA: And that`s a big question because the farmers will tell you,
well, we need a whole bunch of folks and the farm workers will say, wait a
minute, there`s a whole bunch of Americans who are unemployed. Let`s get
them --

HAYES: And in fact, the AFL-CIO and the chamber of commerce have been
working together on this, have been in talks with the bipartisan group in
the Senate about what`s called future flow issue in immigration policy
circles, particularly, the people on the low skilled end of things and what
their wages will be and there`s a disagreement that`s happened between the
AFL-CIO --

BECERRA: It could be those who are currently here aren`t the problem.
It`s those who will come in the future.

HAYES: And as to your point about this not being a done deal, this is
kind of a warning shot from six members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
the chairman, Patrick Leahy, who are basically saying slow your roll, wait
up on the hearings here. The last time Congress considered legislation of
this magnitude, it was written behind closed doors and passed with no
process.

It resulted in sweeping changes to our health care system and negative
consequences of which are only now coming to life. We bring these
important issues to the Senate floor without having been worked through
committee. It is a prescription for a real problem. So, there`s going to
be some fight among GOP senators on this?

ANTLE: I think Jeff Sessions is going to lead the opposition to it in
the Senate, and I think Steve King has emerged as the leader of the
opposition to it in the House. I do think the lack of a voice like a Tom
Tancredo does somewhat change the calculus a little bit in having people
like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul not supporting the Sessions/King position
but change (ph) as well.

BECERRA: They are (INAUDIBLE) on this. They can`t claim that this is
being done by people behind closed doors without them -- they`re in the
room equal number. This is, hopefully, going to be a truly bipartisan
bill.

HAYES: Explain that. The Senate process got a lot of attention.
There`s a House process as well.

BECERRA: Yes.

HAYES: That you are part of.

BECERRA: Same conversations. Actually, our process is actually older
than theirs. We started longer -- quite some time ago. And, we`re as
close as they are. We are all having conversations.

HAYES: But we are means what? I mean, there are members of both
parties working together?

BECERRA: Equal number of Republicans and democrats working in the
House and the Senate to try to come up with a bill. The bills, I think,
will be very similar.

HAYES: There`s this threshold issue that - Congresswoman --

MCCARTHY: I was just going say, you know, when we talked earlier in
the beginning that, you know, this issue has, you know, it`s revolving. We
understand that. And by the way, I happen to agree that we should be going
slow on it, but we`ve already known that we`ve been working on this for a
number of years.

It`s not a matter of like, oh, tomorrow we`re going to have a bill.
It`s something that`s been worked on for a long time. But the country is
changing. Now, that upsets a lot of people. And the country is changing.
But that`s who we all were. I mean, don`t think anybody at this table,
certainly (ph), being Irish, we weren`t welcomed many years ago and yet it
takes time to get into this.

So, when you think about, wherever you go, wherever you go and I don`t
care where you go, you are going to see people that don`t look like us.

HAYES: Right.

MCCARTHY: That`s the truth of it. People are getting used to that.

BECERRA: I think they do look like us.

(LAUGHTER)

HAYES: Yes -- representation.

YOUNGE: I think that there is -- there`s an age thing here, too. You
mentioned that earlier, that we can compare this to gay marriage, to a
range of things where there`s a different generation of Americans who are
born with a different sense of what is real, what is acceptable, what their
world is, what their future is.

2042, the country`s minority White. If you were born in 1940, the
prospect of that and you`re White, the prospect of that may scare you. If
you were born in 2000 or 1990, the prospect of that is just your life. And
so, this conversation about immigration in some ways is a proxy for what do
we think about the country that we are becoming and the country to some
extent that we already are.

HAYES: And that`s where -- it`s precisely this political question,
the kind of tipping point or let`s say threshold issue is this line of a
pathway to citizenship precisely because the most crass political
calculation, I think, from the part of if you`re being a Republican
strategist and operating completely amorally is why do you want to add 12
million new voters that are going to vote against you 75-25, or you know,
70-30 or whatever the margins are going to be?

And that`s why this issue, pathway to citizenship as part of this
comprehensive immigration plan has been a kind of test. There was the Jeb
Bush book that came out that surprised people by shooing (ph) a path to
citizenship. Here`s Rand Paul attempting to endorse it while minimizing
its importance which I think is the new Republican rhetoric. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: The immigration debate has been trapped and it`s been polarized
by two terms, path to citizenship and amnesty. I`m not granting any new
pathway or any new line. The only thing I am saying that may be different
than what we have now is that I don`t think you should have to go back to
Mexico and apply. I think that if that`s the primary country we`re talking
about or Central America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: And here`s the polling on this pathway to citizenship all
Americans, you know, if you believe pathway to citizenship is best way to
deal with illegal immigrants, all Americans 63 percent, Democrats 71
percent, independent 64 percent, majority of Republicans 53 percent. The
Tea Party, self-identified Tea Party, are the people not surprisingly that
oppose it.

YOUNGE: -- 45 percent. That`s pretty --

HAYES: That`s pretty good. Right. You know, when you considered --
if you asked about Obamacare or something like that.

BECERRA: I think Republicans have learned that while these folks who
were undocumented can`t vote their kids who are born here, who are now
becoming citizens are voting and they`re not voting for Republicans. And
at the same time, that poll shows the people are way ahead of the
politicians on this one.

They`re ready for this. They want it. They want to see the system
work. And so, they want to do -- they want a pragmatic approach and
there`s a really good political and pragmatic sweet spot that we can hit if
we just work this the right way.

HAYES: It`s a pretty small spot, though. I mean, we shouldn`t -- I
mean, I don`t think we should -- having covered the complexity, there`s a
lot of moving pieces when people talk about, you know, what the enforcement
part of it`s going to be, what the current pathway to citizenship is going
to look like. That pathway is going to have a number of hurdles people
have to jump over. You can build eight foot hurdles or you can build two
foot hurdles and it`s going to -- a lot of people are going to run smack
dab into that if you don`t get that right, right? I mean --

BECERRA: Tough, smart, and fair. It`s going to be tough, smart, and
fair.

YOUNGE: I mean, the fact that the country does immigration reform
doesn`t mean that the immigration reform is good.

HAYES: Right.

YOUNGE: And the fact that it`s bipartisan also doesn`t mean it`s
good. Financial deregulation was bipartisan.

HAYES: Right. Yes.

YOUNGE: The Iraq war was bipartisan. There`s a lot of things both
parties agree on but aren`t (ph) actually a very good idea.

ANTLE: You also have to look at the shadow of the 1986 immigration
reform which has been what has fueled a lot of Republican opposition to
future comprehensive legislation. The 1986 reform was number one supposed
to solve the illegal immigration problem. It did not. It had a balance of
enforcement and legalization that did not really produce the balance that
they wanted.

And thirdly, it didn`t really produce an upswing in Hispanic votes for
Republicans. And the post -- amnesty post-legalization cohort (ph)
actually voted more Democratic.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, I think Republicans are absolutely fooling
themselves and hilariously deluded if they think that comprehensive
immigration reform bill that comes out of this Congress is going to correct
their margins.

BECERRA: In our DNA, no. It`s not in our DNA.

(LAUGHTER)

HAYES: I don`t know about -- I don`t know if it`s DNA per se. I`m
not really essentialist in that regard. I want to talk about -- I want to
play this one bit of sound just because it`s so good and we put it together
which is a montage of Rand Paul during his speech and the kind of -- it`s
sort of perfectly embodies this kind of earnest, I think, calculated and
also clumsy outreach to Hispanic voters. I want to play that when we come
back after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: I live, worked and played alongside Latinos. Growing up in
Texas, I never met a Latino who wasn`t working. In college, I read Miguel
de Unamuno (ph). He wrote (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

Republicans who`d criticize the use of two languages, I think, make a
great mistake. I`ve never met an immigrant looking for a free lunch. Some
say to generalize about any ethnic group is to be a racist. I`m a great
fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (ph). No one captures the romance of the
Latin culture more than Pablo Neruda. How come we not embrace such
passion? My hope is that, today, we begin a dialogue between the GOP and
Latinos.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Rand Paul, a great fun of the -- essentially, Marxist Pablo
Neruda, which I love that. I think -- the perfect distillation of this
political dance that`s going on in the Republican Party. Congressman, you
want to respond to Jim`s point about the 1986 amnesty because it`s true.
That is viewed as the kind of big policy failure. We all got together. We
did comprehensive. It was under a Republican president and it didn`t work.

MCCARTHY: Well, what I was going to say in 1986 was a different time
than what we`re facing today. In 1986, it was a blanket amnesty program.
But we also didn`t have the problems along the borders of gun smuggling,
drugs and everything else like that. We also didn`t have 9/11 where we
have to watch the borders to make sure that terrorisms -- terrorists don`t
get into our country.

We also -- the American people weren`t ready for it, to be very honest
with you, because all we saw were more and more immigrants coming in and
what I tend to think that we`re going to be working on not only do we look
to see how we take in these 10 or 11 million people, but how do we make
sure that we can slow down everything else because the country can only
take so many people anyhow.

HAYES: You said before which I thought was really interesting about
the kind of rightness of this political issue. And the reason that I want
to compare and contrast the status of gun safety legislation and
immigration is because they were the two priorities, but they came from
very different places. The immigration was percolating. It percolated
through the campaign. It was talked about a fair amount in the campaign.

There was then an electoral decision made and that was reflected both
in who was elected to be president of the United States but also in the
exit polls. And, then, there was a kind of come to Jesus moment for many
Republicans. Gun safety was largely, I think, the product of the just
sheer overwhelming horror of what we all saw in Newtown.

Very different -- so many way opposite kind of political trajectory, a
kind of exogenous event that comes out of nowhere, although, it doesn`t
come out of nowhere because people are dying from guns every day in this
country.

MCCARTHY: Exactly.

HAYES: But, it captures the imagination. It creates this moral
outrage we have to do something. And, what is your understanding of what
the politics -- did Newtown change the politics of this less or more or
about the same as you thought it would?

MCCARTHY: Oh no. I knew that the politics has changed and is
changing but, again, it`s evolving. You know, after Virginia Tech, people
started talking about it. And then with each large shooting, people
starting to talk about it even more, Aurora, certainly Newtown. But also,
people now are being more and more aware of the shootings that were
happening in their communities every single day, because those numbers are
coming out.

How many people have died since Newtown? So, I mean, people are more
aware, like, why aren`t we doing something about it. The media has
certainly stayed on to this story. And when you think about time wise,
that`s amazing. Usually, a story would last ten days.

HAYES: So, what I`m hearing from you actually is you think that it
did permanently alter or alter for a longer period of time the conversation
about gun deaths and the politics of the gun issue?

MCCARTHY: Yes. Absolutely. And plus, people are looking at now,
looking at is it a public health issue also which I happen to believe.

HAYES: Right.

MCCARTHY: I`ve been talking about that for many, many years.

YOUNGE: See, I think while Newtown was a catalyst -- actually really
think, what`s Obama`s response to it, actually, because Obama could have
gone out and done what I`ve seen do many times before --

(CROSSTALK)

YOUNGE: You shed a tear. You say, let`s all hug our children a
little bit closer tonight. This is a terrible tragedy. Now is not the
time for politics, but he didn`t do that. And, he followed through. And,
I think the one way in which those two things are similar is leadership,
that when we talk about people not being ready for it, I know what you
mean, there has to be something for them to be ready for.

And what`s different now about gun control is that people are actually
discussing it. I mean, what comes out of this particular round of
discussions and horse trading is one thing. But previously, it wasn`t even
discussed.

HAYES: I want to talk about what calculations members of the
Republican Party are making on this, the politics of this issue because I
think it`s quite different, although, there is some bipartisan work. Talk
about that 2,883 people killed by guns in the U.S.

YOUNGE: Eight kids a day.

HAYES: Eight kids a day since Newtown. More after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: So, there`s some bipartisan collaboration on gun legislation
in the wake of Newtown. And, I guess my question to you is, have on the
right has the politics of this issue changed? My sense is it hasn`t that
much.

ANTLE: I don`t think it`s changed at all. I do think that the Sandy
Hook shootings revived gun control as a national issue that kind of been a
dead issue for 20 years. Even many Democrats were ignoring it. The
national party, certainly, had backed away from it. It wasn`t a point of
emphasis. It is now.

I think Democrats think it`s a winning issue. But I don`t think
Republicans have changed very much on it, unless, you`re from a suburban
district with a high percentage of Obama voters.

MCCARTHY: I need to jump in on that.

HAYES: Yes, please.

MCCARTHY: Because everyone says, you know, nothing has been dead (ph)
for 20 years. After Virginia Tech, I was able to get passed in the House,
in the Senate, and signed by President Bush the national instant background
check system, we improved it. Something that really, really could work.
Unfortunately, it`s been starved by not having the funding that it needs.

But you can do things that can save lives. And we had a unanimous
consent on the House floor. Now, mainly because a lot of Republicans
didn`t want to vote for it. I understand that. And Democrats, too. We
have certainly our Democrats. but to say nothing can be done, you know,
that`s something that nobody --

(CROSSTALK)

ANTLE: But the politics did substantially change after 1994 on this
issue and for a lengthy period of time.

BECERRA: My sense is there has been some -- I would disagree with Jim
a little in that. I do believe Republicans are looking at this differently
because the public is looking at this differently. But I don`t believe,
unlike with immigration, that the public has yet gelled on where it wants
to go. I said earlier on immigration --

HAYES: That`s interesting.

BECERRA: -- the public is way ahead of the politicians. They`re
ready to go. I don`t know if even responsible gun owners have yet ready to
say, yes, that also means we have to ban assault weapons.

HAYES: This is the central most fascinating thing about politics,
right? We talk about public opinion, what the public wants, right? And
it`s this phrase we throw around, the publics here or there. And it`s just
-- no one actually knows what it means. Literally, no one knows what that
means. You call people up and they say, sure, yes, background checks.
That makes sense. That`s common sense.

And then, they put down the phone and they go about their day and they
take their kids to school and they go to work and do they ever think about
it again? Maybe, maybe not. They call their congressman. Did they write
a check? Did they show up at, you know, a town hall? And then, there are
so many things that do that.

So, when we talk about, like, where the public is, you know, it`s this
incredibly mysterious thing that ends up occupying the center of every
conversation we have about every issue.

YOUNGE: It measures breath, but it doesn`t measure depth. So --

HAYES: I totally agree on the gun issue.

YOUNGE: So, with guns, there was a majority in favor of --

HAYES: Background checks, particularly.

YOUNGE: Background checks. But, it`s whether -- whether you can
mobilize that majority and actually people -- gun advocates are -- they`re
far more likely to write a letter, they`re far more likely to lobby,
they`re far more militant. And one of the kind of interesting differences
between this and immigration reform is the immigration reform has a
readymade electorally (ph) mobilized community behind it.

Without -- I don`t think it would happen. They`re trying to actually
create a community around guns.

HAYES: And this to me -- I want to just read this quote because this
is a "Politico" report on a deal the White House made with groups that are
advocating gun safety legislation. They basically said, "The groups could
have access and involvement. They`d have to offer silence and support in
exchange."

The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those
involved, no infighting, no second guessing to the press, support whatever
the president and Vice President Joe Biden proposed, and most of all, don`t
make waves, forget ahead of the White House. In exchange, a voice in the
discussions, a role in whatever final agreement is need, and weekly
meetings to the White House with Biden`s chief of staff, Bruce Reed,
provided they don`t discuss what happens there."

This is exactly what happened with Affordable Care Act. I know
because I reported on it. I reported out those meeting. Is this -- this
seems like the White House did not learn its lesson, because though, you
want to have people doing the advocacy. You don`t want them just falling
in line. I don`t understand that political calculation.

MCCARTHY: And I understand that philosophy in the beginning, but to
be very honest with you, the president has been out there more than ever,
certainly, Vice President Joe Biden has been out there more on the face of
it, which is fine. But behind the scenes, believe me, because I`m working
--

HAYES: No, I know. These are your -- these are your homeys.

MCCARTHY: Basically, they`re out there. I mean, emails are going out
on a daily basis. Phone calls, too, of people are going out there.

HAYES: Right. Buy my point being that what you saw in this was when
the assault weapon ban portion of the Senate bill was cast off. I mean,
it`s going to get a vote on amendment, but of course, it`s not going to
pass. We all know that it`s going to pass closure (ph). So, it`s dead,
right? There was no outcry.

I couldn`t find anyone taking the microphones. I couldn`t -- so
there`s no political cost -- I know but the point -- is that the point? I
mean, the point is what the then -- what is the political calculation
that`s being made?

BECERRA: Democracy works slowly, but it gets us there. And on
immigration, I think, this year we may get there, but think about it. I`ve
been here 20 years in Congress. I`ve been trying to do this for 20 years.

HAYES: Yes. Right

BECERRA: We`re going to, finally, I hope get there.

HAYES: What there is -- talk about what`s actually going to be in
this legislation. What we are going to get when, say, something has to be
done and something will be done on guns and what it`s going to be right
after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Big news of the week on legislation that the Senate is going
to the floor is that the closing the gun hole loophole or making background
checks genuinely comprehensive, mandating they`d be used even in citizen to
citizen, you know, point of sale.

MCCARTHY: Right.

HAYES: That is going to be in the legislation that`s going to be sort
of base body, and then, there`s going to be other stuff in amendments, but
the assault weapons ban and magazine -- extended magazine clips are not in
that base bill.

And I wanted to play you this clip and get your response,
congresswoman, from a very thoughtful sort of conservative, although,
interesting ideologically person we have on the show sometimes named James
Poulos who made this distinction between gun control and people control and
the difference between the two. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES POULOS, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM: You can look at gun control as
something that people are advancing as a policy idea. But then, when you
sort of peel off the first layer of the cake, you see what`s in here, it`s
actually people control. And if you want to do gun control by doing more
people control, then you should say so. And that`s like a policy option.
We should be clear that the project is to do people control in the same way
that it is and that`s the way --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: And I thought this was an interesting distinction in terms
when we`re talking about background checks, we`re talking about managing
and control who can have weapons. I mean, you`re talking about this a lot,
and then, you`re talking about what the weapons can be.

MCCARTHY: Right.

HAYES: And it seems to me the politics on those two issues, it`s much
easier to get the first than it is to get the second.

MCCARTHY: Well, I agree with you. And you know, I think one of the
things that we found during this whole debate, especially when you talk
about the background checks, majority of Americans including gun owners,
including NRA, they had no idea that so many people were not getting
background check. That bothered them quite a bit.

HAYES: Right.

MCCARTHY: And that`s why you see the polls, you know, almost 90
percent on background checks from gun owners and from the general public.
We have a good chance of getting that through. I have not given up on the
large magazines. I do believe that if people really look at it, if you
stop the amount of bullets from the average is between 10 and 15 across
this country, that we can stop, you know, these mass murders.

At least have Americans that, unfortunately, go through this have a
sporting chance as they say. So, that might be a little bit harder.
School safety, I think, we can get through. I also believe that`s moving
fast is making sure that the gun trafficking -- that has a good chance.

HAYES: Yes. The straw purchasing, sort of cracking down on straw
purchasing and gun trafficking rules are going to be in the Senate bill.
Here`s my question, what`s the path forward in the House -- let`s say this
does get out of the Senate in something like its current form and the
amendments don`t get added to it. What`s in the base bill is going to come
out of Senate? What`s the path forward in the house?

MCCARTHY: Well, to be very honest with you, that`s going to up to
Speaker Boehner on what -- you know, he always said we will wait until --

HAYES: Yes. This is the new leading from behind posture of the House
of Representatives.

MCCARTHY: Right. So, we`ll see what gets through the Senate. That
will be his decision. He might bring up one, he might put in some school
safety issues because the education committee has actually done something
on that, mental illness. But it`s the beginning, Chris.

BECERRA: And Chris, he owes the people of America a vote.

MCCARTHY: A vote.

BECERRA: Whether or not we pass something, he owes the people of
America a vote. Certainly, the families of the victims, he owes them a
vote. And I believe that the percolation we need to see so we can finally
get some sensible --

HAYES: Yes. I mean, as the Hastert rule is out the window and he`s
brought up other stuff for vote, and in fact, he may be rolling the dice
much less on this than in previous -- I mean, when he brought up the Sandy
(INAUDIBLE), he was going to lose it and when he brought up the fiscal
cliff deal, he knew he was going to lose that, too.

He may bring it up for a vote and, you know, there`s not enough votes
to sustain it in which case he can look like a hero to everyone.

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York, Gary Younge for "The
Guardian" newspaper and "The Nation" magazine, Congressman Xavier Becerra
from California, and Jim Antle of the American Spectator and the "Daily
Collar News Foundation," thank you all for joining us this morning.

MCCARTHY: Thank you.

BECERRA: Thank you.

ANTLE: Thanks.

HAYES: Obama and Israel, after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: President Obama wrapped up his first trip to Israel on the
west bank as president yesterday. A three-day trip that showcased
noticeably warmer relations between the Obama and Israeli Prime Minister
Bibi Netanyahu. But no substantive policy changes or announcements.

Throughout the trip, Obama`s rhetorical talents were on full display.
While speaking to a group of Israeli students in Jerusalem, he received a
rapturous applause in response to his call for a viable Palestinian state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have the
opportunity to be the generation that permanently secures the Zionist dream
or you can face a growing challenge to its future. Given the demographics
west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a
Jewish and Democratic state is through the realization of an independent
and viable Palestine.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: That is true.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The president used the trip not only to urge young Israelis to
fight for peace but also reiterate the United States position on Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Iran must know this time is not unlimited. And I`ve made the
position of the United States of America clear. Iran must not get a
nuclear weapon. This is not a danger that can be contained. And as
president, I`ve said all options are on the table for achieving our
objectives. America will do what we must to prevent a nuclear armed Iran.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: President Obama seemingly repaired relationship with Benjamin
Netanyahu in the very warm welcome in Israel, however, because it`s not
mirrored (ph) his excursions into the west bank where he was greeted with
apathy or outright protests.

The two very different receptions the president received indicate that
however rocky the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu has been, this
presidency has made no progress in producing movement toward Palestinian
self-determination.

HAYES: Joining us now are Rashid Khalidi, author of "Brokers of
Deceit: How The U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East," also a
professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, Ann Lewis who co-
chaired the 2006 American-Israeli women`s dialogue, sponsored by the
American-Jewish Congress and the University of Tel Aviv and a former senior
advisor to Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign where she oversaw
outrage to women voters into the Jewish community.

Noura Erakat, returning to the program, adjunct professor at
Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, human rights
attorney for the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian refugee and
residency rights, and Jeremy Ben-Ami, executive director of J Street, a
pro-Israel, pro-peace lobbying group. Great to have you here.

Well, I thought this trip was fascinating. So, here`s my first
thought and I would be -- I`m curious to hear your thoughts. You know,
there was this -- you said in this your new very excellent book, "Brokers
of Deceit," Rashid, that -- you said something about no president had faced
quite the intense backlash that was a kind of combination of domestic
backlash and backlash in Israel where he had low approval ratings or as
much mistrust and frustration that this president had, this kind of deep
mistrust of his intentions vis-a-vis Israel.

And watching the Israel trip where he just basically gets off the
plane. He says "shalom." People go nuts on the tarmac. I just -- why
didn`t he do this for years ago? Like, if these were the thing, if there
was this kind of gut thing that was part of what was hemming him in
politically, maybe he should have just gone earlier.

If it was all going to be this easy for him to go and tell -- didn`t
do all this stuff, why didn`t he go earlier and this did trip accomplish
something in terms of transcending the restrictions that are inherent in
him being a defensive crouch about how much he is supporting Israel.

RASHID KHALIDI, AUTHOR, "BROKERS OF DECEIT": I mean, he did the kind
of schmooze that he did across the street at -- I say Israel because the
synagogue two blocks away from his home in Chicago. He`s capable of that.
I`ve seen him do it. We`ve all seen him do it many, many times. I don`t
think that he pushed anything substantive, however.

I mean, if the problem is if Israelis don`t feel love enough, God
knows he gave them love. I don`t think that`s going to produce anything on
the ground. There`s not going to be a measurable change as a result of
this. It may be that Israelis will feel better. I`m very happy they feel
better.

I wish Palestinians felt better, but because of (INAUDIBLE) in this
scenario, but he didn`t talk about that. As in every single one of his
speeches, the only victims are Israelis. He went to Ramallah and talked
about a poor Israeli child who had killed. Palestinians were infuriated
listening to that with the casualty ratio of 4-1, that he talks about
Israeli --

HAYES: But that`s not entirely true. In the speech, he does talk
about a child growing up in the west bank whose parents were restricted,
who can`t attend university, who have to go through checkpoints to go to
work.

I mean, he did do this classic Barack Obama thing, which was I`m going
to -- you know, the structure of that speech was, everything right out of
the how you talk to Israel playbook of, you know, the history of the Jewish
people, persecution, the holocaust, et cetera, establishing this history
that`s obviously very meaningful and then he had this section about
Palestinians and viable Palestinian state and the indignities and rights
violations and oppression the Palestinians face.

NOURA ERAKAT, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, even when he was
mentioning the rights of Palestinians and what they go through and
appealing to Israelis to be empathetic with that --

HAYES: So, put yourself in the shoes of --

ERAKAT: But he was doing it in the same breath that he was explaining
to Israelis that the choice of Palestinian freedom is yours to make. And
you can do that for self-interested reasons to preserve the Zionist
democratic dream or you can do it because you`re empathetic. Either way,
it`s up to you. It`s not an obligation. It`s a choice. And I don`t think
that that was the right message to --

HAYES: Well, that`s very interesting.

JEREMY BEN-AMI, J STREET: I don`t know that he said just as a choice.
He said it`s necessary to absolutely for Israel`s survival to exist in its
form. It`s necessary. It`s just. And it`s right.

HAYES: That`s right.

BEN-AMI: I mean, that was the three-part framework. So, he did say
that it is an absolutely existential need for --

ERAKAT: For Israel.

BEN-AMI: Yes. No. And he`s making the case to the Israeli people.

HAYES: He also said it`s just. There was this --

(CROSSTALK)

ANN LEWIS, FMR. SR. ADVISOR TO HILLARY CLINTON: Yes. I guess -- one,
I am so enthusiastic about the trip as someone who once worked on
presidential trips. Wow! I got to take my hat off to what they
accomplished in this trip. First, reaching, connecting with the Israeli
people, saying I understand why you might be afraid. I understand the
needs of security, but together we can do better.

We can reach out and build a better future. Talking about what we can
do for Israeli children and Palestinian children. That was a terrific
framework to ask people to move on -- go ahead. You got to --

HAYES: Let`s continue. I caught myself interrupting you.

LEWIS: As you know, President Obama began as a community organizer.
As a community organizer, he starts with people where they are. You don`t
start up here and start lecturing to them about what they should do. You
start with where you are and then you`re able to move them to where you
hope together they will go.

KHALIDI: He certainly didn`t start where the Palestinians are nor did
he speak to them with anything like the same kind of empathy.

LEWIS: Again, I heard as Jeremy says, when he talked about
Palestinian children, when he talked about the future, I heard a degree of
empathy that we don`t often hear and it was very welcomed and the fact that
it was so welcomed to that audience which --

KHALIDI: For the Israeli audience.

LEWIS: But there were Israeli-Jews and Israeli-Arabs as we know when
you read some of the responses from people in that audience. It did
include a cross section of the Israeli population --

BEN-AMI: Twenty percent of which is --

LEWIS: Is Arab.

ERAKAT: And they`re excluded from the Zionist dream because they`re
Muslim and Christian and not considered as part of the population that will
be privileged by Israel`s policies. And so, Obama wasn`t necessarily
speaking to them. He was ignoring them.

(CROSSTALK)

BEN-AMI: He said that, you know, that Israel to survive has to be a
democracy and be the home of the Jewish people. And then, there has to be
a state of Palestine that is the home of the Palestinian people -- to them
what type of state, but very clearly, it has to be a democracy.

HAYES: I want to go back to this thing that you said because to me,
what the broader frame of this is about the position -- the rhetorical
position adopted by the president in his relationship to the two parties.
And the theme of your book is that the U.S. has played a dual role,
essentially, which you did is simultaneously both these things, the
staunchest ally, the best friend of Israel and also -- so a teammate of
Israel and also the referee in the dispute between Israelis and
Palestinians. And it can`t be both. And I want to talk about that right
after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Hello from New York. I`m Chris Hayes here with Rashid
Khalidi, author of "Brokers of Deceit: How The U.S. has Undermined Peace in
the Middle East," Ann Lewis, former senior advisor of Hillary Clinton`s
presidential campaign, human rights attorney Noura Erakat, also an adjunct
professor at Georgetown University, Jeremy Ben-Ami, a pro-Israel, pro-peace
lobbying group, J Street.

I left off talking about the role of the U.S. in the peace process
because much of this, that`s the background context for this. And you`ve
made the argument in your new book, Rashid, that basically the U.S. has
played a destructive role in the peace process because it`s simultaneously
tried to be Israeli`s closest ally and then hold itself out as essentially
a neutral broker between the two parties.

RASHID KHALIDI, AUTHOR: Right. There`s an O narrative in
Washington, and the media unfortunately, some of it, buys into it, that the
United States has been engaged in a peace process. Well, there`s a
process. If you go back in the last couple of decades, it has no produced
peace, it cannot produce peace.

I mean, I try analyzing in the book why that is, and I really think
that this is like giving more methadone to an addict, is what the president
did.

This process was designed to produce the outcome it`s produced over
several decades -- occupation has gotten more intensive and stronger.
Settlement has expanded. Those are the results. Palestinians are cooped
up much more than 20 years ago.

When I was living in Jerusalem, Palestinians could go anywhere, with
an exception of a very limited subset. They are all now --

HAYES: OK. But let me just say this. The peace process has
produced -- I mean, peace with Egypt is a big deal. And peace with --

KHALIDI: I`m talking about Palestine.

HAYES: OK, OK. I just want to make it clear like that there were
strategic calculation on peace.

KHALIDI: When the United States wants something as it wanted peace
with Egypt because it was important in the Cold War, the United States gets
it over Israeli objections.

HAYES: So, then -- yes, please, Ann?

ANN LEWIS, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO HILLARY CLINTON: No, go ahead,
because (INAUDIBLE). Some of it, in my perspective, goes back to the
Clinton administration because I was working for President Clinton in the
second term.

He was clearly personally dedicated to peace. He reached out. I
think we got close. He got close at Camp David.

I think it does show that the United States in that example can be
both Israel`s ally and the broker who brings everybody together. And, by
the way, we would be talking later if you look at -- I don`t think peace
with Jordan, for example, had much of a Cold War significance.

HAYES: Right.

HAYES: I think we really have tried to encourage --

KHALIDI: That`s true. But anybody could have gotten that any time.
That was an easy deal.

LEWIS: I`m not sure it was that easy but it happened. Let`s cheer
our successes when they do. There are some examples where Israel has been
able to make peace with its neighbors. It`s a good thing.

HAYES: So, here`s my question, though, because I think this is a
really interesting point. If you move in the circles of basically kind of
center left over, right, which people who are liberals Zionist, people who
want -- who love Israel but want also want a two-state solution, all the
way to people that are, you know, don`t agree with Zionism or believe in a
one state solution and believe in full democracy in the land west of the
Jordan River, that there`s this sense of the U.S. has to play the role,
they have to, the U.S. has to lead on peace.

And you`re making the argument maybe benign neglect from the U.S.
would be better. I mean, would it be better if there was not U.S.
leadership?

JEREMY BEN-AMI, J STREET: I mean, that is the question. What`s the
alternative? I mean, I think that benign neglect would be terrible. I
mean, to let this fester would be bad for the United States. It would be a
black mark against its leadership in the world.

I agree with you that there`s been no results. I mean, that I
absolutely agree.

(CROSSTALK)

BEN-AMI: Right.

But to say that the process has been designed in order to facilitate
occupation I think is an overstatement. I mean, it has --

KHALIDI: You have to go and look at the archaeology of all the deals
that have been signed, including the things that President Clinton worked
on. All of these things really go back to ideas that are generated by
(INAUDIBLE) back in 1978. We are still within a framework of the autonomy
agreement that President Carter in 1978 made as part of the Israel-Egypt
peace treaty. That is the framework within which Prime Minister Rabin,
that is the framework within which President Clinton negotiated and that is
not designed to prevent Palestine sovereignty and statehood.

BEN-AMI: It`s not American policy.

KHALIDI: It has become American policy.

BEN-AMI: It isn`t.

KHALIDI: Under people like Dennis Ross (ph), who also worked for
President Clinton.

NOURA ERAKAT, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: If you look at Oslo1993, we
don`t even have to go back to 1978. But just looking at terms of Oslo,
right, where there are terms of reference to international law. There is
no definition of settlements or the prohibition of settlements as war
crimes.

Instead, 54 percent of the settlers at the time of the signing of
Oslo were considered living in Jewish neighborhoods, so that the expansion
of that settler population is completely legal under Oslo which the U.S. is
completely in support of and illegal under international law.

HAYES: Right. OK, but part of that is a concession in the context
of negotiated framework. I mean, you can`t say, well, they are making this
concession. I mean, that`s what a peace process is.

ERAKAT: Well, that wasn`t supposed to be a concession. The
Palestinian delegation fought hard to keep that out but lost, but lost and
then --

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: Here`s my question.

BEN-AMI: The framework seems, at least the road map, is not back
into Camp David has been two states for two people. It has not been some
form of occupation. It has not been settlement expansion.

The idea is to get two states living side-by-side.

HAYES: Right. But the argument they`re making is that fundamentally
it`s a bad faith project that basically it has been pursuing the goal -- so
my question for you is, if it is bad faith project and I don`t want to
stipulate if it were, but if it were a bad faith project, then what would
you like to see the U.S. do?

ERAKAT: Great. There are alternatives. If the U.S. provides $3
billion a year to Israel and it`s vetoed 43 out of 79 vetoes in the U.N.
Security Council, then it`s unwilling to take us to the finish line and I
think we need to internationalize this issue. I think that that`s the
Palestinian responsibility to internationalize it.

Obviously, there`s clear support in the U.N. General Assembly to do
more and better than the U.S. has been able to do.

HAYES: Please?

LEWIS: Let me go back -- again, one of the reasons I was so pleased
with what we saw with what President Obama said and with what the world
heard what President Obama say he severely explained this is what the
United States policy is. It begins with Israeli children and Palestinian
children, deserve a better future. How are we going give to it them?

Second, the way to do that is two states, side-by-side.

Ad then third, the way to get to two states is the through direct
negotiations. You may not agree with that third step. I hope people will.
But the fact is we start with what`s the best way to achieve what Israeli
and Palestinian parents want for their children and one another.

HAYES: But this is a perfect example of precisely the dual role that
Rashid has talked about. The position of direct negotiations is the
position of the Netanyahu government right now which would like to have a
negotiated peace process while they have doubled subsidies for settlements
while they continue to expand settlements. So, the president comes and
says, here I am as your neutral arbiter. And believe me, we all as
humanists, I think, believe that the aspirations, autonomy, and self
determination of every Israeli child and every Palestinian child is fully
equal.

Yes, right. But to then say, yes, fully equal but we should start
direct negotiations which happens to be the position of the Netanyahu
government that that seems to me exactly the problem that you`re pointing.

BEN-AMI: There`s a big distance between direct negotiations and an
active American role.

I mean, I think that there`s long term research into conflict
resolution that shows you don`t put two parties in a long run in conflict
and like into the same room and say work it out. It`s kind of like a bad
divorce. You don`t say to the husband and wife just go into a room and
figure it out.

You have a mediator, and maybe the husband and wife never met. I
mean, Sadat and Begin never met at Camp David before that agreement was
negotiated. The role that the U.S. has to play is far more active than
just saying it`s time for direct talks. And that`s the fundamental
distinction.

(CROSSTALK)

KHALIDI: Chris pointed to something which has between case for
decades. It`s not like the United States comes into the room and is a
mediator. The United States coordinates its position with Israel always,
every time in the administration you work for and every one I looked at and
in this administration. So, you have --

HAYES: In some ways let me say if it didn`t --

(CROSSTALK)

KHALIDI: -- Israeli position at the table.

HAYES: Right, and if it didn`t do that let`s be clear if it didn`t
do that that would fail the expectations of people --

KHALIDI: There would be hell to pay.

HAYES: This isn`t some sort of conspiracy theory. There are many
people in America who think that`s exactly what the U.S. should do. It
should coordinate position with Israel because it`s our greatest ally, et
cetera.

KHALIDI: Technically, there is a letter that an American president
sent to an Israeli prime minister saying the United States is obligated to
that, it`s a memorandum of understanding, sent in `75 by Kissinger on
behalf of the president. And I believe the United States has been faithful
to that memorandum. It does not put forward anything on Palestinian issues
without running them by the Israelis first.

HAYES: Can we --

LEWIS: But again, what I hear is some of this is -- this is the fate
of a superpower, if you will. United States is the one government in the
world right now that can step in in moments like this and try to, again,
achieve something. I wish I had Noura`s I`m sure, I can do this right,
Noura`s faith in the United Nations.

ERAKAT: OK.

LEWIS: But watching the United Nations deal with other examples of
international conflict does not leave me thinking, oh, yes let`s just leave
this up to the United Nations. They got a lot on their plate that they are
working with --

ERAKAT: (INAUDIBLE) the U.N.

HAYES: Could we talk about, because it seems to me there`s a little
bit of background context in the trajectory of the Obama administration
through the first term that`s useful here and we talk about relationship of
the Netanyahu government and settlement freeze, the Cairo speech in 2009
and how that kind of pre-history, although not pre-history, recent history
set the context for today`s trip.

We`ll talk about that when we get back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: This is the president did this big speech in Cairo from June
2009. It was a big part of the idea of kind of resetting the relationship
of the U.S. to the Middle East after the eight years of the Bush
administration and one of the things he did was call for an end to
settlements in that speech. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Israelis must
acknowledge that just as Israel`s right to exist cannot be denied, neither
can Palestine`s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of
continued Israeli settlements.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: This construction violates previous agreements and undermines
efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It is time for these settlements to stop which is strong
language. There was a call from Netanyahu government to freeze
construction on settlements and basically what happened was Netanyahu
government said no. I mean, at first they said, OK, sort of, and then
basically they said, no. And the 2010 election which empowered certain
constituency in American domestic politics meant that the president
basically had to retreat from this position. I think that`s a fair
statement, I think we`ve all agreed to that.

LEWIS: Again, as I heard the president in Israel two days ago, I
didn`t hear him to retreat. He said the settlements are not helpful. It`s
not constructive.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: It`s different than it`s time for settlements to stop.

LEWIS: Let`s get that -- again, what he said that`s why I think you
should get together and start talking. We can change the rhetoric. We
can, among ourselves, think of lot was different ways to complain about the
settlements and I would join in most of it. Sooner or later, what you`re
going to do about it?

(CROSSTALK)

KHALIDI: Change U.S. law so 501c3s are not funneling to racist
right-wing Israeli really extremists who are taking land and beating up
people and getting away with it. That`s one thing we can do. That`s in
his power. The IRS can do that. The Treasury can do that.

It hasn`t stopped under any administration. It`s getting worse.

ERAKAT: The other thing you can do it condition USAID on the Foreign
Assistance Act to the Arms Export Control Act. There`s a lot of things the
U.S. can do while instead of getting them together, while talking together
for the past 20 years, settlers have grown from 200,000 in 1991 to 600,000
today. If we keep talking, they are going to go up to a million.

LEWIS: Good. Let`s not keep talking.

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: Let`s do something.

BEN-AMI: But the issue is the lack of a border. This is kind of
like in medicine when you focus on the symptom rather than the disease.
And I think that the settlements are a symptom of a problem, which is
Israel and Palestine don`t have a border. And if I were advising the
president and I was to say, what should you invest, the capital --

HAYES: The settlements are a constituent of the fact that Israel and
Palestine don`t have a border.

BEN-AMI: If you have a border, if you settle on where the line is
between these two states whatever is being built on the Israel side is
legal and whatever is built on the other side is no longer.

HAYES: Right. But, of course, well --

BEN-AMI: But invest the capital in achieving the border.

HAYES: But here`s -- the domestic political thing, when he went to
AIPAC and he mentioned the `67 lines and everybody agrees, in the universe
of two-state solutioners, that the `67 lines are the basic framework with
swaps, right? He got this huge amount of blowback. It was like he had
completely --

BEN-AMI: It was absurd. He called on the need for the people to put
pressure on their leaders to do things that are politically difficult, and
the `67 lines with swaps was a good example. He needed to back up on that.
He needed American-Jewish public opinion, and American public opinion and
say yes, if you`re going to have peace, if you`re going to end this
conflict, the `67 with swaps is the basis.

LEWIS: Jeremy just made a very important point. Yes, by the way,
the president did say the `67 lines with swaps. What he said the bottom
line is, agree on borders. If you start with borders and security, then
tissues of settlements solve themselves. So, if we start with what we
disagree with, we`ll keep exchanging again language about how far it went
and how bad it is.

But if we start talking about what should the border be, how do we
keep security and sovereignty on both sides --

HAYES: You`re having negotiations about a border and you`re building
on one side of the border, those don`t strike me as particularly good faith
negotiations. That seems to be the problem here. I mean, I`m just, right?
I mean, if the thing is the subject of the negotiations is land and while
the subject of the negotiation the proposition on the table is how this
land is going to be divided and one entity is able to build wherever,
whenever with whatever resources, negotiations are about leverage. If
that`s the leverage on one side, what`s the leverage on the other side?

KHALIDI: It`s like negotiating about a pie. One side is gobbling up
the pie.

HAYES: I heard this in Ramallah many times.

KHALIDI: Well, it`s something that we realized in `91 to `93 when I
was an adviser to the Palestinian delegation. And we went back to Tunis.
I wasn`t part of the group that went. And they told the PLO leadership,
the Americans gave us assurances that this wouldn`t happen and it`s
happening.

How can we negotiate when they`re pulling the rug out from under our
feet? And these have been now going on for decades and decades, once the
Palestinian demand for settlement freeze.

HAYES: OK. So, settlement freeze, it didn`t happen. Now we`re
talking about building in this section of Jerusalem called E1, which would
make it impossible to have a contiguous state between East Jerusalem and
the Palestinian West Bank.

KHALIDI: There`s several such bands of settlements that were
designed just to serve that purpose, continuity to prevent the --

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: I sat on a hill in Jerusalem. I looked out across E1, and
had Danny Snyderman (ph) who knows Jerusalem as well as anyone. You guys
go on that same trip and he takes you up there and he points to that, and
that`s where the peace process dies, he says. He points to this settlement
area because it would make it just impossible from a geographic
perspective.

And so my question is, OK. They are talking about doing that. The
president goes to Israel, clearly was a successful trip from a political
perspective. I think there`s no question about that from a political
perspective, the president`s domestic politics, his politics vis-a-vis
Israel and Israeli leadership.

What next? What comes out of this? Is there anything that comes out
of it substantively?

BEN-AMI: Absolutely. I mean, the first thing that you see is that
John Kerry is back in the region right now. You know, he went right back
to with the -- to meet with Netanyahu. And I think that probably the best
thing that can happen for the next few months is actually we don`t see any
large summits convening public displace and there`s hard work of diplomacy
going on behind-the-scenes with the sustained and ongoing commitment.

Then, I think that`s -- you know, John Kerry is putting this at the
top of his agenda for his tenure as secretary of state. The president has
given him the political push to do it and I think if we don`t read or see
big public displace, then quiet diplomacy behind-the-scenes is what should
be going on.

HAYES: I should point this is a "New York Times" report on talking
points provided to Mahmoud Abbas basically saying, you know -- so the idea
is how can we restart negotiations. Right now the Netanyahu government
says we should begin direct negotiations right now, forget about
settlements, let`s talk. The P.A.`s position is there has to be a
settlement freeze.

And so, one of the talking points is, the Israeli government can
pledge to you secretly he will stop settlement activities during the period
of negotiations, one talking point referring to President Netanyahu of
Israel, he does not have to announce it, as a kind of way of essentially
way threading the needle, right? His political base will go crazy if he
announces a settlement freeze. A settlement freeze is a necessary pre-
condition from the perspective of the P.A. to talks.

What do you think about that?

ERAKAT: My opinion is I don`t think diplomacy is the way to go.
We`ve done it for 20 years. It`s been disastrous. Palestinians are
ghettoized in Gaza within the West Bank several times. Palestinians do not
have equal rights within Israel.

And so, at this point, I have more faith and I`m looking forward to
the Palestinian leaders on the ground, the Gandhis, who are leading
movements to internationalize this issue. When President Obama got there,
there were a group of young Palestinians who had set up a camp called Bab
al-Shams, basically the eye of the sun, to protest the expansion and we
didn`t give them any attention in our news media, and I think that`s where
we need to start looking.

HAYES: That`s always interesting. There`s been a lot of nonviolent
direct action protests in the West Bank. We`ve talked to some people.

And I thought, I just want to play this final bit of sound, because
this was the one moment I think on the trip that Bibi Netanyahu was
probably losing his mind, which is when the president invokes very subtly
the civil rights movement when he`s standing with Mahmoud Abbas in the West
Bank.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Whenever I meet these young people, whether they are
Palestinian or Israeli, I`m reminded of my own daughters and I know what
hopes and aspirations I have for them. And those of us in the United
States understand that change takes time but it`s also possible, because
there was a time had my daughters could not expect to have the same
opportunities in their own country, as somebody else`s daughters. What`s
true in the United States can be true here as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: What`s true in the United States can be true here as well.
Of course, the way that equality was achieved in the United States was
nonviolent direct action.

I want to thank Jeremy Ben-Ami of the lobbying group J Street. Glad
to have you here as always.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We`re joined now by Matt Duss, director of Middle East
Progress of the Center for American Progress.

And I want to widen the lens a little bit because this was not just a
trip to Israel and to the West Bank. It was a regional trip. And there
was a very big regional news that came out of it.

I mean, I think, generally, the feeling about these diplomatic trips
is that they are largely pomp and circumstance. They were lowering
expectations of substantive policy plans beforehand, right? And we`re not
going to go out there and unveil a new peace plan or something like that.

And yet, on the last day, apparently, on a trailer on the tarmac as
the president was leaving Israel, he and Netanyahu got together and called
Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey to essentially have a kind of
rapprochement between these countries that have been very, very close
allies and had an intense falling out. That falling out was precipitated
by a number of things. The election Erdogan, who comes from a political
party that is sort of a Islamist democrat party if that makes sense, kind
of like Christian Democrats, kind of center-right religious party.

His rhetoric on Israel had been more pointed and critical than
previous members of the Turkish establishment, particularly the secular
establishment in a very close military ties with Israel. So, that was the
one place they started. And then the real precipitating incident of the
freezing of diplomatic relations was the flotilla sent from Turkey to break
the blockade in Gaza. It was raided by Israeli defense forces commandos
killed nine civilians on that boat and this froze diplomatic relations
between the two countries.

And the big surprise outcome of this trip was that Prime Minister
Netanyahu called Erdogan and apologized, not in abject terms but
apologized, in a very sort of distinct diplomatic threading the needle
language.

Was this surprising to you guys?

LEWIS: Now, I`d just say, when I talk about the president`s trip for
me such a triumph. I`ve worked on presidential trips. He`s just got to
work very hard. It was both state craft and stage craft.

So he goes through, he meets with leaders, he has this really
emotional good conversation with young people. And then, as he`s leaving
on the way out he sort of brings two of America`s biggest allies who have
been at odds for two years, and gets them together, OK you guys you got to
start talking.

It was something to see. It`s good for us. It`s good for our
policies, but it`s also something to marvel at.

MATT DUSS, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I agree. This was -- I was
surprised by it. A lot of people were. People have been saying for at
that long time not only in Israel`s interest and Turkey`s interest to ease
tensions in the United States, these are important partners on a number of
fronts.

But this was I think classic diplomacy. This was Netanyahu -- if you
remember, just to go back last year, you had the makings of this apology
that was torpedoed by the Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the last
minute. We`ve got Lieberman sitting out right now, facing some legal
troubles. Essentially, Netanyahu was acting as his own foreign minister
and I think took this opportunity.

And the way it was phrased essentially was Netanyahu saying it`s not
that we weren`t right to do what we do, there were operational mistakes.
We regret the loss of life. And Erdogan said, I accept this as an apology.

HAYES: Come from the conversation.

DUSS: And that`s diplomacy. Both sides got what they wanted.

ERAKAT: Well, not necessarily because Erdogan had originally said
that as part of the apology, he wanted to lift the siege on Gaza, which was
the perfect (INAUDIBLE) to begin with. So, now, they didn`t even bring up
--

KHALIDI: That`s supposedly it`s still being negotiated.

HAYES: Being negotiated. In the phone conversation if I`m not
mistaken from the read out of the conversation, I`ve got Netanyahu stressed
the wider array of goods that are now being let into --

DUSS: Let me amend that both sides got some of what they wanted
which is again diplomacy.

KHALIDI: The bars of the prison have been opened just a little more
and the slot through which the food goes through is a little bigger.
That`s a big deal. I mean, for Gazans, that`s the big deal.

HAYES: That`s a big deal.

KHALIDI: But that is still a prison. I mean, let`s being --

HAYES: Right. So, the question is does -- when you talk about
internationalizing the conflict and you talk about what matters might play
this kind of role does Turkey -- I mean, there`s been talk about him
Erdogan wanting to play a key role in this, and that I think became
untenable when the diplomatic relationships between Turkey and Israel
became frayed.

So, but I wonder if this restores their role as central in mediating
this part of the conflict.

KHALIDI: I think the important thing is that we`re talking about a
democratic country in the case of Turkey.

HAYES: Yes.

KHALIDI: And the change in 2000 was not you had a moderate Islamist,
or whatever you call it (INAUDIBLE), a party coming to power. It is for
the first time, it was not the security establishment, it was not the army,
it`s not the deep state that run Turkish foreign policy. It was the
Turkish parliament.

(CROSSTALK)

KHALIDI: We can see that during Bush`s war one Iraq, when the deep
state, the army, the military, everybody, and the prime minister wanted to
allow Turkish territory to be used for American forces to transit into
Iraq. The parliament wouldn`t go along.

HAYES: Right.

KHALIDI: And I think that`s a marker not only of the importance of
Turkey because this is not just a power in the region that`s ally to the
United States. It`s also a power that at this moment, fortunately, is a
democratic state.

HAYES: And you make the argument in your book that democratization
of the Arab regimes --

KHALIDI: When and if it happens.

HAYES: -- when and if it happens -- will completely make
unsustainable the current U.S. policy in the region, that it is pretty
indicated on being able to be a strong ally of Israel, not have its
interest threatened vis-a-vis oil, particularly in Saudi Arabia, and the
only way that is preserved is because of the lack of democratic domestic
political pressure.

KHALIDI: You summed it up brilliantly, Chris. I think when and if
that changes -- and I mean it`s a huge if and I don`t think this is going
to be an easy or brief process -- when and if that changes, I think that
our current, incredible tilt towards Israel is going to be unsustainable in
teams of our interests. I mean, there`s a link to Israel irrespective
because a lot of Americans care about Israel, because there`s always things
between United States and Israel.

But we have been able -- the United States has been able to
completely take for warranted our countries which do not have democratic
governance, where the views of the people count for nothing. And I think
the difference with Turkey or difference with Israel, Americans can`t push
an Israeli government around the same way they can push a dictator around,
because an Israeli government will fall or if the public doesn`t support
it.

HAYES: Right.

KHALIDI: And that never happens in most of the Arab countries,
notably, the autocracies of the Gulf, but all of them are dictatorships.

HAYES: I want to get your response to that after we take a quick
break.

(LAUGHTER)

LEWIS: OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The last presidential trip to Israel was George W. Bush in
2008 and this trip in 2013, the region looks in many ways unrecognizable.
You would have been hard pressed in 2008, Matt, to predict what would be
happening five years later. It`s been a tremendous tumult.

How does that shape American foreign policy? How are we doing
muddling through this remarkable period of uncertainty?

DUSS: You know, I think we`re muddling through is the best way I can
put it. Certain steps I think that have been positive, many that have been
negative. I think the president when we saw the demonstrations in Tahrir
in early 2011, I think what the president did in calling for the end of
Mubarak to step down, I think it was a recognition that this is a big deal
and we need to get on the side of the populations, understanding that the
publics in these countries are going to be more empowered.

Now, the consequence of that have been serious. I mean, other
governments, as Rashid said, the other governments, dictatorship, regimes
in the Gulf, are close allies -- let`s admit -- but still non-democratic
allies saw that and we`re frightened and disturbed that. And they
constantly bring this up when they talk to their American partners.

HAYES: The Saudis were on the phone.

DUSS: Exactly right. We saw you doing that to Mubarak and we were
like, OK, are we next?

HAYES: Right.

DUSS: So, you know, there are consequences to doing that. But, you
know, as you said, it`s a hugely momentous error and it`s hard to know what
kind of feeling our way around.

ERAKAT: In fairness, we didn`t immediately step in. We didn`t see
people revolting and automatically take the side of the people against
autocracy and authoritarian. So, we were late on that, as we continued to
be late across the region.

So, we`re very supportive of a Syrian revolution and yet clamping
down on a Bahrainian revolution.

HAYES: Right.

ERAKAT: Where the people of Bahrain, and especially in the eastern
province of Saudi Arabia have been clamped down because it doesn`t serve
U.S. interest.

HAYES: Let me just be clear, what Assad has done in Syria is way
worse than what`s happening.

ERAKAT: No. Let`s not equalize them.

HAYES: I know, I just want to make that clear.

ERAKAT: But it`s to make clear that the U.S. doesn`t necessarily
step in.

HAYES: No, of course, it makes strategic calculations about what its
interests are that are balanced against domestic calculations.

But in the case of Syria, I mean, the worrying thing about the
situation in Syria, the first wave of this, particularly Tunisia which was
entirely nonviolent, the Egyptian revolt which was nonviolent although
there were sort of skirmishes and different forms of violence, to the
Syrian movement which began as nonviolent and faced such massive, brutal,
horrific massacres that they armed themselves and has now become a long,
bloody civil war that has really profound regional consequences. I mean --
and fear about spilling out and Hezbollah that seems to loom large in the
imagination of everyone in the region.

KHALIDI: I wish we had more historical depth to the way we look at
these things, because this is the third Arab state to be devastated by a
civil war and by external intervention. Without, you know, pointing
fingers of blame, Lebanon for 15 years was devastated by civil war and
external intervention -- foreign armies, foreign intelligence services.

After the U.S. invasion in 2003, Iraq went through a different but
similar process.

HAYES: Let`s point fingers, please.

KHALIDI: In case of Iraq, we can point finger at the Bush
administration, it`s very clear.

And it`s not just displacement of millions of people. It`s not just
people being slaughtered for consequential reasons, which is also happening
now in Syria tragically. It`s the deconstruction of institutions of state,
the idea of a state of law, all kinds --

HAYES: And the empowerment of the worst elements in society.

KHALIDI: And, finally -- exactly -- giving free rein to people whose
objectives and aims and means are horrific as far as, including most
Syrians are concerned or most Iraqis or most Lebanese were concerned, and
stopping this as quickly as possible is something we should really, really
be concerned about, because it gets -- as this continues, the
radicalization and extremism gets worse.

LEWIS: And the ripple effect, I mean, the reason when President
Obama is in Jordan, right, it`s because Jordan has how many hundreds of
thousands of Syrian refugees who fled?

DUSS: Almost 500,000 now.

LEWIS: Five hundred thousand come to a small country with very few
resources. We are trying to help, the United States is trying to help.

You`re right. What`s happening in Syria is horrific. The ripple
effect around the globe is horrific. And I just -- I cannot listen to,
again, talk about the Arab awakening. You`re right. We`re settling in
some of the worst settlements without expressing my own concern for what`s
happening for women in some of these countries.

Look at Egypt, look at again Tunisia. Women were on the front lines
in many of these revolutions and now they are being shoved aside. So
there`s a lot to be concerned.

HAYES: On the Syrian issue, the foreign intervention on the Syrian
issue seems to me such a thorny thing. Because at one time we`re saying
that foreign intervention is exacerbating the conflict because arms are
flowing in and money is flowing in. On the other side, we need to do
something to bring this to a close. And those two things are at contention
with each other, right, because doing --

ERAKAT: Not necessarily.

HAYES: Why not?

ERAKAT: Not necessarily because I think what Rashid is also pointing
to is that the foreign intervention takes the form of arms and training and
support and encouraging --

KHALIDI: To both sides.

ERAKAT: To both sides, exactly. So the idea is not to intervene as
we did in Libya.

HAYES: We`re not arming both sides, just --

ERAKAT: No, not to do what NATO did to Syria, what it did it in
Libya. It`s a completely different context. And that`s not a one size
fits all and we`ve seen the spill over from that.

And so, the idea is that we can come to a diplomatic and political
solution without having to --

KHALIDI: And the problem with that is, just to pick up on what Noura
just said. The problem with that is it involves dealing with the Russians
and the Iranians.

HAYES: Right.

KHALIDI: Because it takes two to tango.

HAYES: Yes.

KHALIDI: You can talk to the Saudis, or you can to talk Qataris, so
you can to the Turks, or you can talk to the Jordanians, or Israelis.
That`s all well and good. But that`s one side.

HAYES: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: -- side is Russian and Iran.

And I`m glad you mentioned Iran because I want to talk about Iran.
That was also one of the big items on the trip, right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I`m absolutely convinced
that the president is determined to prevent Iran from getting nuclear
weapons. I appreciate that. And I also appreciate something that he said
which I mentioned in my opening remarks, that the Jewish people have come
back to their own country to be the masters of their own fate and I
appreciate the fact that the president has reaffirmed more than any other
president Israel`s right and duty to defend itself by itself against any
threat. We just heard those important words now and I think that sums up
our, oil say our common view.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: One of the major through lines in the plot of -- between, you
know, the story arc of Netanyahu and Obama`s relationship is about Iran,
and Netanyahu has at times seem to all but threaten a preemptive strike
with or without the U.S. There`s been lots of behind-the-scenes action on
the part of the U.S. to get Israel to climb down from that position which
was successful largely, I think, in 2012.

Now it seems like they converged a bit.

What`s your read on where they are right now coming out of this trip?

DUSS: Well, my read is pretty much that. I was watching before what
you said about the president going there and there were no real policy
shifts. But I think there was a policy shift from Netanyahu, and this is a
culmination of a policy shift starting at the U.N. speech you remember the
famous bomb with the red line, where he essentially said, OK, there`s more
time but I`m still going to don`t make noise about the Iranian threat.

Here at the joint press conference, he was saying, yes, I agree with
the president`s assessment and that, by the way, this is the assessment of
both the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services that if and when Iran
decides to make a nuclear weapon, it will take them a year. So, I think
this is significant.

It`s Netanyahu really climbing down.

HAYES: So, you think this is an example of the president bringing
Netanyahu towards the American position.

DUSS: I do, I do, yes.

ERAKAT: Well, I also think that the Israeli military establishment
has been cautioning Netanyahu along the same lines. And I think that it`s
necessary as we listen to these speeches to really question the assumption,
why Iran can`t have nuclear capability at all. I mean, I think that we
start from that assumption and then have a discussion and don`t consider
that its neighbors, India, Pakistan, Israel, all that have that nuclear
capability and weapon, and yet we`re afraid for Iran for reasons that are
masked in leadership being irrational and that`s somewhat racist.

DUSS: Well, no, again, this is a difference between Netanyahu both
on the questions of the red -- you know, a capability versus the weapon,
the U.S. policy is Iran should not have a weapon. It`s line is not a
capability.

And again, Netanyahu has made statements about the irrationality of
Iranian regime. Again, he`s something of an outlier in his own country,
amongst the intelligence services on the rationality and the cost benefit
analysis that Iranians.

HAYES: Major general and director of military services for the IDF,
Aviv Kochavi, told the annual conference (INAUDIBLE), which is a big
security conference every year, he assesses Iran`s nuclear program as
advancing slower than they planned. So, I think there`s some of that in
the defense.

LEWIS: But to the question, again, as much as the United States
policy is very clear -- our policy is prevention, not containment. It`s
not OK, you can have a little weapon over there and we`ll watch it. It is
that Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon based on its record
and based on its actions.

This is a country that will not allow IAEA inspectors into Parchin.
It has been in the past couple of years. It`s been less than truthful or
accurate about the stage of its nuclear program.

This is a country that arms and supports terrorism frankly all over
the world. As we know, last week in Egypt, seven Hamas representatives
from Iran were captured, caught in Egypt, trying to do some harm there.

This is a country that tried assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the
United States in the United States.

HAYES: Very unclear that that report is accurate.

(CROSSTALK)

DUSS: I don`t think anyone would argue that Iran has engaged in some
very bad behavior, but I think the point here is that we now have Netanyahu
very much in line with Obama`s position. It was that the way this gets
dealt with is through negotiation and he gave that more time.

HAYES: Can I split the difference between your two position and just
take the comfortable center here? Which is that my feeling about Iran not
getting a nuclear weapon is grounded in a more broader vision of
nonproliferation.

ERAKAT: Which I agreed with.

HAYES: Let`s not have more nuclear weapons. And, in fact, I would
like to see a nuclear free Middle East. As a goal, I would like to see a
nuclear free world and it`s hard for me to imagine a universe where Iran
getting a weapons which brings us further towards de-proliferation. But I
agree that there`s deferential analysis applied to different regimes.

KHALIDI: Let me pull back in just a second, because we are obsessing
on the nuclear team. It`s very important and I agree with you on
nonproliferation. If you don`t bring Israel`s nuclear weapons into the
picture, it`s going to be hard to agree on anything.

But the Iranians it seems want a grand bargain of some sort.

HAYES: Yes.

KHALIDI: That`s going to be very hard to achieve. Here the
president`s instincts have been right from the beginning. I`m saying
something nice about the president.

LEWIS: Thank you.

KHALIDI: He`s been, I think baffled at every turn by the consensus
of idiocy within the Beltway, if I may say so, that you can`t -- that Iran
is evil and so on and so forth, and by the pressure from Netanyahu and from
Israel lobby.

But if he really pushes on this, he might, he might be able to do
something. I think it`s really, really important. It will change the
whole regional situation.

HAYES: So, what did we know now that we didn`t know last week? My
answer after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: So what do we know now that we didn`t know last week?

Well, we now know just how extreme the impact of climate change may
be for coastal cities. According to new research from the Niels Bohr
Institute, if global temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, which is
probably the minimum in the amount of change we`re headed for, storms like
the one from Hurricane Katrina will become more frequent.

Aslak Grinsted, who is the lead author of the study, said this means
this will be a Katrina magnitude storm surge every other year. We know
that Hurricane Katrina caused over $100 billion in damaged, killed more
than 1,800 people and that we shouldn`t have to live in a world defined by
near constant death and destruction.

We know with all the rage for smart fiscal policy in Washington D.C.
these days, the massive cost of future disasters should be front and
center.

We now know one way the NFL is responding to concerns about team
players` safety. Team owners passed not one but two rules this week that
may reduce some of the risks of players. They banned blocking an opponent
from his blind side, which had resulted in season ending images for some
players. The league also barred ball carriers from initiating contact with
the crown of their helmets. The new rule classifies such contact as a
foul, resulting in a 15-year penalty.

We know that former professional football players have tested
positive for a chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a nerve degenerative
disease that can lead to depression, memory loss and dementia. Some of
those players were diagnosed after killing themselves. We know that while
these rule changes may be a step in the right direction, they`re not enough
to undo what Ray Easterling, Junior Seau, Dave Duerson, their families and
many, many others have endured because of the sport they loved.

And, finally, we now know the White House reportedly may take a major
step to address the increasing criticism of its drone program. According
to "The Daily Beast," the White House is considering transitioning drone
operations now overseen by the CIA to the Defense Department where they
will be subject to stricter standards, regulation and review.

Under the military, drone strikes would be subject to interagency
vetting, which shift from being covert to clandestine, which means the
government can no longer deny the very existence of the program. We don`t
know how this will change the drone program or whether it will increase its
transparency and accountability.

We do know we deserve who our government kills and why it kills them.
Maybe with enough pressure, we might get the government to tell us.

I want to find out what my guests now know they didn`t know at the
beginning of the week. Rashid Khalidi.

KHALIDI: Well, one of the things that we know is that the president
showed us on his trip to Israel that you can appeal over the heads of
obstructive politicians to public opinion. He did that with the Israeli
public. I wish he had done in the past.

He can do the same thing with his own public on this issue. I wish
he would. I wish he would say some of the things that he laid out in a
very brief form in his to the American people in a aggressive fashion, such
that the obstruction that our politicians and representative institutions
like AIPAC, with all due respect, are putting up can be overcome by the
fact that most Americans, I think, agree with changing our policy in the
Middle East.

HAYES: Ann Lewis?

LEWIS: Well, I`m going to use my time to cheer my old boss, Senator
Barbara Mikulski, who after just three months as chair of the
Appropriations Committee in the Senate put together a continuing resolution
which your listeners will know is how we actually spend money, got
bipartisan support for it and has the effect of ameliorating some of the
worst excesses of the sequestration and avoiding a government shut down.

So, what do I know? I know that there will not be a government
shutdown in the next month and Barbara Mikulski is a heck of a leader.

HAYES: Noura Erakat?

ERAKAT: I know the school to prison pipeline is devastating for
youth throughout this country and that some people make it through, like
Frankie Gusman (ph) and the San Francisco Bay Area, who has able to
overcome all odds. But I also know that we shouldn`t expect all youth to
be superheroes and super people --

HAYES: Yes.

ERAKAT: -- like Frankie and that we should take part in destroying
that pipeline.

HAYES: Matt Duss?

DUSS: I learned this week that the king of Jordan, King Abdullah,
really likes to chat. In an interview with "The Atlantic`s" Jeffrey
Goldberg, he was very, very open about some issues in his country,
criticizing tribal leaders, his own extended family, his secret police for
stymieing his reform efforts.

And, you know, we`ve all gone off after peers (ph) and complained
about our families and our secret police. But we don`t do that on the
record. So, that`s what I learned.

HAYES: And thanks to Rashid Khalidi, author of "Brokers of Deceit",
Ann Lewis, former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton presidential campaign,
human rights attorney Noura Erakat, and Matt Duss of Middle East Progress -
- thank you for getting UP. That was fun.

DUSS: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Thank you for joining us today for UP.

There`s been a lot of news about the program and me over the last
week. I`ll be launching my new weeknight program on Monday, April 1st.
Set your alarm -- well, not alarm. You`ll be up, through Friday, 8:00 p.m.
Eastern -- Monday through Friday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Tomorrow on this program, we have news about the future of "UP",
which is not going anywhere. So, join us tomorrow, Sunday morning 8:00.
We`ll also have author and columnist, Dan Savage. Plus, four candidates to
succeed Mike Bloomberg as mayor of Kansas City, a New York City mayoral
roundtable right here on tomorrow`s UP.

Coming up next, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY". On today`s "MHP,"
Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin. That`s
"MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" coming up next.

We`ll see you right here tomorrow. Thanks for getting up.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
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