Alex Witt   |  December 14, 2013

Office Politics Part II: Martin Fletcher

Alex Witt continues her talk with Martin Fletcher, getting his opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian deal and what he believes to be his best story.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and in today's office politics , a man who covered the middle east for 35 years weighs in on the prospects of an israeli-palestinian deal. martin fletcher talks about the one story he's covered that stands out most in all those years. but first he talks whether israel would ever really consider military strikes against iran .

>> israel is doing everything to try to make that scenario believable. and the latest stretch is that hey, they could do this together in some way with saudi arabia which has a very strong air force and israel could use their landing fields. so they're trying to make it realistic. is it actually credible? a lone israeli attack against iran while iran is negotiating with america, russia, china, the great powers? it's unconceivable.

>> how much do you think this whole thing is affecting the u.s./israeli relationship?

>> well, i guess it's a bit like the chicken and the egg . you know, what came first? it's not really an iranian issue that's affecting the -- that relationship i think. it seems to be the behavior of the israeli prime minister who's misjudging everything, it seems. you know, on the one hand he's crying hey, the em emperor has no clothes. the iranians are only going to get closer to building a bomb. in that sense, he probably is saying the truth, but the bigger quell is israel 's relationship with the united states .

>> but do you think that will benjamin netanyahu , he's appealing to his home country politics.

>> he swears that he's not, and it's clear that he is. but at the same time, he's also telling the truth about the agreement. all he's saying is this is a rotten agreement as it stands. he's also saying we have to give it time, we have no choice.

>> a nuclear bomb armed iran . what kind of terror does that strike in your heart?

>> not a lot.

>> really?

>> no, i mean, north korea 's got it. again, from the iranian perspective, look around the close neighbors, israel has got it. intia and pakistan have got it. iran is about the only major power in that area in terms of its traditional enemies who doesn't have it. they feel very exposed. i'm not arguing for an iranian bomb. are they going to drop the bomb just because they've got it? having a nuclear weapon historically has made those who is have it more careful and more open to negotiation. than before they had it.

>> the two-state solution, israeli and palestine, is that ever going to happen.

>> i always thought peace is around the corner and i wanted to be there for that. 35 years later, i'm still waiting. i think the only real solution is a two-state solution. it has to happen. israel has got its state, the palestinians have to have their own state and they have to live in peace together.

>> what hurdles have to be crossed to get there, and why has it taken this long?

>> because neither side yet really wants it. that's the bottom line. each side needs to be convinced that it's reached the limits of its own strength.

>> you've covered so many historic conflicts. what stands out the most in are mind?

>> well, the best moment in my career was the fall of the berlin wall . in 1989 . to be there on that day when those first east berliners came across the wall after they'd heard that hey, there's freedom of transport, freedom of movement , which was announced by the minister of transport in a press conference at 4:00 in the afternoon, and they didn't know what it meant. the first ones approached the wall and walked up to the east german security guards who normally would have shot them dead on spot if they walked past and they didn't. it was an amazing moment for me because when i was going live for nbc at 4:30 from the brandenburg gate and all the lights were on me. we saw this one young couple coming from east berlin and didn't know where to go. they saw lights and came to me and aid who are you? i said who are you? and interviewed them. and it was a fantastic young couple who had heard on the radio about this freedom of movement and tried to test the waters. when i finished the interview, i said this has been great. i'll show you around west berlin . and it will be a great story for "nbc nightly news." they said no, we've got to go home. i said what do you mean? history is here. you've come here for the first time in your life. they said yeah. we couldn't find a baby-sitter. that's a great moment that sums