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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Long, Slow Recovery After Sandy; Israel vs. Hamas; Millions in Harm's Way; Egyptian Demonstrators Enter Gaza; Deadly Dose
Aired November 18, 2012 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Gary. Have a great week as well.
I'm Don Lemon. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
With millions of people on edge and a region the brink of war, the eyes of the world are watching to see what will happen next between Israel and Hamas.
But for now, the rockets just keep flying. And it's civilians who are caught in the crossfire. Hamas says 10 members of the same family were killed during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, their house reduced to rubble. Israel says it was targeting a top militant.
On the other side of the border, air raids sounded in Israel's largest city for the third time in as many days. But the rocket aim for Tel Aviv was intercepted.
CNN's Frederik Pleitgen spent the day in the Israeli city of Ashkelon where air raid sirens went off a number of times. One sounded when he was on the air with CNN International anchor Colleen McEdwards. Here's what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The crews now working on the ground and that seems to indeed be part of the rocket that has handed here. People here spend most of their days indoors, Colleen -- there's another attack. There's another rocket alert going on right now. We've got to get out of here.
COLLEEN MCEDWARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: OK, go, Fred.
All right. There you see it -- a strike in Ashkelon just a short time ago that we're seeing pictures there. We've got the pictures you up as Fred and our camera crew get out of the way. The sirens sounding again in Ashkelon, which is a sign that another strike is coming.
Can we listen here?
PLEITGEN: Now we have the impact. Colleen, we can stay on. We can stay on. We can stay on.
MCEDWARD: OK, we're with you. We're with you. We're with you. PLEITGEN: You still there?
MCEDWARD: Yes, we're with you. Go ahead.
PLEITGEN: OK. Colleen, basically what just happened is the air sirens went off, and we then ran to a -- sort of a shelter we have right here. This is a residential building that we're in right here. We're sort of in the house. We heard one impact just now, which appears to be from a rocket. The alarms seem to have died down.
We're going to sort of get up and wait. It seems that though -- no, down? Stay down? OK, we're going to stay down, actually, for a little bit.
It seems as though some people are getting up again. The alarm sirens seem to have died down and now I see people going back on the street again. But we did hear an impact that seemed to be somewhat in the distance, but certainly here in the Ashkelon area.
I mean, as you can see, obviously, these rocket attacks having a big effect on people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: One of the big differences between the conflict and the last four between Israel and Hamas that left 1,400 people dead is Israel's Iron Dome defense system. We've heard a lot about it, and it's playing a big part in stopping rocket attacks, but the missile shield can only do so much.
Here again is CNN's Frederik Pleitgen.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): A kill that possibly saved lives on the ground. This video shows an Iron Dome missile intercepting a rocket fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv on Sunday. The defense system had just been installed at Israel's largest city a few hours earlier.
Several days into the conflict, it's already clear the Iron Dome is having a big impact, picking off hundreds of rockets. I got a tour of the Israel Aircraft Industry's plant that assembles the air defense system.
Dr. Israel Oznovich is one of those in charge. One key element is an advanced radar.
DR. ISRAEL OZNOVICH, ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY: The radar searches, locates, tracks and intercepts and guides the intercepting missiles within several seconds, few seconds within the launching time.
PLEITGEN: It's extremely hard to shoot down short-distance rockets like the ones coming out of Gaza in part because they're not in the air long enough for older radar systems to lock on to them.
OZNOVICH: The target is moving extremely fast. When you want to intercept it, you have to work -- you have to move faster with more agility, with more maneuvering power relative to your market.
PLEITGEN: The Iron Dome was only put into service in 2011. With breakthroughs and technology, it can detect and shoot down multiple targets in mid air.
But it isn't perfect. This is the aftermath of a rocket strike in Ashkelon.
(on camera): One of the rockets that hit Ashkelon actually came here and hit this car port and you can see did substantial damage to the car, as well.
The Iron Dome system has been billed as a game-changer in this conflict, but as hits like this show, it cannot intercept all of the rockets coming at Israel from Gaza.
(voice-over): Still, Israel's military says it's very happy with the performance of the interceptor system.
MAJ. ARYE SHALICAR, ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES: Rockets were going down -- were usually down. Usually these rockets, the ones who are sent or launched from the Gaza Strip from the terrorist factions towards bigger cities, where you have more people living, we usually down them. But it's not a 100 percent solution, unfortunately.
PLEITGEN: And so the engineers at the assembly plant are working extra hours to assemble more Iron Dome batteries for immediate deployment.
Fred Pleitgen, Ashkelon, Israel.
LEMON: And a follow up now on a story from Friday about the death of a 4-year-old boy in Gaza. The child's death got a lot of attention after his body was kissed by Egypt's prime minister during a tour of a Gaza hospital.
We need to warn you about the video that you're about to see. It's heartbreaking and may be considered disturbing to many of our viewers.
For our report, CNN visited the child's home that neighbors said had been bombed five hours previously. Neighbors and family members told CNN they heard an aircraft before the explosion.
The Israeli military told CNN today it did not carry out any airstrikes at the time of the child's death. The Israeli Defense Force says it stopped attacks because of the visit of Egypt's prime minister, raising questions about what cause the fatal blast.
Among the other possibilities, the misfire of a Hamas rocket intended for Israel.
CNN's crew in Gaza, excuse me, said it saw two such rockets passing overhead, apparently fired not far from where the boy lived. Well, since the airstrikes began on Wednesday, at least 65 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed and neither side is showing any signs of backing down.
CNN's senior international correspondent Sara Sidner is in Gaza city right now.
So, Sara, what is the situation like there now where you are?
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm not sure you can hear that buzzing sound but that's the sound of the drone. Those have been in the sky al day for the past four days. We've been listening to that sound and after that, you'll hear the sound of planes flying overhead and airstrikes. We're also seeing quite a few rockets coming out of Gaza, in particular some areas of Gaza City in very densely populated areas, seeing the trail of smoke and sometimes actually hearing those rockets shoot their way towards Israel.
A lot of concern, obviously, on the ground by people just, you know, kind of trying to go about their daily lives. Most things are closed here. Most of the businesses are shuttered. There are very few people in the streets.
In some of the neighborhoods where the airstrikes have happened, we're seeing more people come out in those neighborhoods looking around and trying to assess the damage, maybe pull things out of some of the homes that have been hit. But certainly, this is not the kind of city to be completely quiet and lately it has been eerily quiet -- very few people in the streets at night. If there are cars, we see them speeding to the streets to get to their destination. No one wants to be out at night in particular -- Don.
LEMON: You can absolutely bet that.
Sara, take us to the streets and what's happening there. People are interested in what's going on in Gaza. And we keep saying people are being injured, people are dying. And we should say, it's not just Israelis, obviously. Palestinians are dying as well.
And I'm hearing a lot of people saying we want to hear more about these people and what exactly -- what's happening to them.
SIDNER: Sure. Men, women, children, certainly some militants have been taken out and there have been a few commanders of the Hamas military wing, and Israel saying they're looking for top brass of the Hamas government, as well. And that's why you hear those drones. They're trying to do these targeted strikes. In some cases they have. In other cases, people on the ground are saying they have either missed or targeted an area where there are so many people that there are a lot of people getting hurt, a lot of people getting killed.
We do know that the hospitals have been dealing with men, women and children. And we've seen for ourselves children coming in with things like shrapnel wounds, many children have also been killed, as well. We also know, though, that there are quite a few militants who have also been killed, especially those from Hamas' military wing. So, of course, there's concern on the ground whenever they hear the sound of the drones, they hear the sound of the airstrikes, anywhere near their neighborhood, it really does rattle you quite a bit. There's also been a lot of activity and a lot of action over the past 48 hours from the sea, something that seems to be ratcheted up over the past 48 hours. We're hearing a lot of bangs and booms, and artillery fire coming in from the Israeli navy that's off the coast of Gaza.
LEMON: Sara Sidner reporting. Sara, thank you for your reporting.
It has been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast. Many are still without electricity, water and heat. The federal response to the disaster is being heavily criticized. Straight ahead, we'll talk live with the head of FEMA's recovery efforts about what, if anything, could have been done differently.
LEMON: Vice President Joe Biden is in New Jersey, visiting areas destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Biden visited a volunteer fire department in Seaside Heights, meeting first responders who lost their homes. And he talked about his personal connection to the region and pledged long-term help.
Nearly three weeks after the storm, only about 2,000 people are still without power in New York and New Jersey. More than 900 of those are on Long Island.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to see an outpouring of support. As of Friday morning, the relief agency raised $145 million.
Well, many communities are still reeling from the aftermath of Sandy, but the most difficult time may be to come.
Joining me now from New York is federal coordinating officer Mike Byrne. He is in charge of FEMA's recovery efforts.
You're a native New Yorker. You're a former New York firefighter. You worked on the recovery team after 9/11.
I mean, this has to be a tough time for you. How is this recovery from this disaster different?
MIKE BYRNE, FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICER, FEMA: Well, it's just the sheer enormity in terms of geography. You know, 9/11, as tragic and horrible as it was, you know, most of the impact was confined to Lower Manhattan. This is taking up the greater part of three states.
LEMON: We all remember, you know, after hurricane Katrina, the FEMA trailers. Do you think FEMA is doing a better job this time around, and it's just, as you said, because of the normality of the situation that there may be some criticism of the job that FEMA is doing?
BYRNE: It's not my job -- my job is to think we always need to do more. And that's what I'm focused on. I think there are some things that have gone incredibly well. For example, the dewatering of the tunnels and the subways -- over 475 million gallons of water were removed. I don't think anybody predicted it would be done this fast, given the sheer scale of it.
The FEMA assistance that we've gotten on the ground, we have over half a billion dollars in the hands of survivors. And New York alone. But that's not enough. We know we've got to do more. There's a huge challenge for housing, because of the -- you know, just the lack of available rental and hotel space.
LEMON: Yes. Mr. Byrne, our Deborah Feyerick talked to residents on Staten Island on Thursday. Let's listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one -- no government agency has shown up here to do anything to help us. So these people from the goodness of their heart have come here to help me.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you ask people who is helping, who is it? Is it the official people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It's the everyday people that are coming out. But it's not the government. Let me tell you.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
LEMON: We've heard that over and over and over from people. There are six FEMA disaster recovery centers on Staten Island, Mr. Byrne. Yet you heard the residents there -- what they were saying. How do you respond to that?
BYRNE: You know, first of all, I'm encouraged to know that there's other agencies out there, other voluntary groups, because we're really all one team, the city, state and federal government. But I do know that we have over 200, you know, community relations folks going door to door.
But it's the sheer scope of this disaster. It's hard to hit everybody. But we're trying. We're working hard, and we're going to keep at it every day until we reach everybody.
LEMON: Where could you have done better?
BYRNE: You know, I always think that we could do things faster. I always think that there's a possibility that, you know, we could get into a neighborhood quicker, that there's this place -- I'm always -- I'm comfortable with what I know. What makes me worry is what I don't know, which is why I blanketed the New York area with over 1,000 community relations, and that's just a forced multiplier to the local fire departments, police departments, other first responders and we're here to support them also.
LEMON: Let's talk about preparation. I remember being on the air two nights before the storm hit, and then the night before the storm hit, telling everyone to get out, everyone to prepare, talking to all of the officials in New York, New Jersey, all along the Eastern Seaboard. And the critics of your response and recovery effort say the region had plenty of time to prepare for Sandy. We knew it was coming.
Why weren't we better prepared?
BYRNE: You know, we moved a lot of commodities. We had a lot of commodities we moved up to our staging areas. But we can only bring it so close. You don't want to bring everything into the impacted area before the storm.
You know, we were on the ground. I was on the ground days before the storm hit. And in preparation, bringing FEMA into the management teams in place, coordinating with our state officials and city officials.
You know -- but again, you know, this was a really enormous storm. It lasted a long time. It had a surge that was catastrophic in nature. So, you know, I think we were prepared. We can always do better, but I think we really did move heaven and earth to get in place before the storm.
LEMON: Mike Byrne, thank you.
BYRNE: Thank you.
LEMON: Is the U.S. doing enough when it comes to helping in the bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Many say no. What else could be and should be done? We're going to weigh in -- weigh the options, next.
LEMON: Israel and Hamas on the brink of war. Is the U.S. doing enough? What is the appropriate role for the U.S., if any, at this point?
Today, President Obama said he is actively working with all parties involved to try to stop the missile attacks. He also said he fully supports Israel's right to defend itself. Some say the president has been indifferent.
I spoke with Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOUAD AJAMI, SR. FELLOW, STANFORD UNIVERSITY'S HOOVER INSTITUTION: Can't afford to ignore this conflict, because we look back on the last four years, and the indifference, if you will, of the Obama administration to what's happening on the West Bank, in Gaza. And I think we are -- there will be -- there will be pressure, there will be pressure from Egypt, there will be presume from Turkey, there will be pressure from Qatar. These are the three countries that are most sympathetic to Hamas. There will be pressure to produce some kind of settlement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Let's bring in CNN contributors, Will Cain, L.Z. Granderson.
L.Z., you're first. Is President Obama being indifferent? Does the White House need to do more?
L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't understand -- I don't understand how someone can consider the White House being indifferent when this administration has given more money to Israel than any other administration before it. I don't understand how you can consider this president to be indifferent when it's because of the president they had the technology and the military equipment necessary to protect themselves from the bombs coming into the country.
I don't want to see us go to another war. I know quite a few Americans feel the same way. And I talked to some sources in D.C. this weekend and a lot of the congressional staffs also feel the same way. We don't want to see the American people dragged into another war.
And so I think what the president is doing is exactly what needs to be done, which is finding a diplomatic solution, using our friends as well as our, you know, allies in the area to try to find a resolution that we don't have to get more involved than just talking.
LEMON: Will, what is the appropriate role for the U.S., if any, at this point? I mean, can we really do anything effective in the Israel/Hamas conflict right now?
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Don, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on this. But I would say that our measure of influence is somewhat limited. That being said, we can to one thing clearly and that's to have Israel's back, right?
Israel is surrounded by an ever-increasing unstable and dangerous world. And this conflict could spill over in so many -- in so many ways we couldn't -- we couldn't fully talk about them, we couldn't encompass them all.
You know, I have a great respect for Fouad Ajami who you just played a clip from. And I think when he suggests that the United States has been indifferent, I think that might be a reflection of this -- that entire world has changed drastically over the last two years, right? It went from a world where United States had a great amount of influence, yes, with some terrible dictators, to a world where we don't have much now. And a lot of these countries, Egypt, Turkey and so forth, were the countries to put pressure on Hamas, diplomatic pressure from that end of the spectrum to end these conflicts.
So, now, do we have that lever? That's hard to say these days, and maybe we need to be more proactive.
LEMON: OK. Switching gears now. Republicans are blasting Mitt Romney for his gifts comment, saying President Obama won because he gave huge gifts to key groups like African-Americans, Hispanics and young voters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: This is not where the Republican Party needs to go. Look, we want -- if you want voters to like you, the first thing you've got to do is to like them first. And it is certainly not helpful to tell voters that you think their votes were bought. That's certainly not a way to show them that you respect them and you like them.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I just think it's nuts. I mean, first of all, it's insulting. This would be like Walmart having a bad week and going the customers have really been unruly. I mean, the job of a political leader in part is to understand the people. If we can't offer a better future that is believable to more people, we're not going to win.
FMR. GOV. HALEY BARBOUR (R), MISSISSIPPI: I mean, we've got to give our political organizational activity, you know, a very serious proctology exam. I think that's the only -- we need to look everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
LEMON: And so as the GOP grapples with the election loss, are they scapegoating Romney or are they generally searching for new identity? That's the question.
But, Will, what is going on with Republicans? Are they covering their own behind or is this a genuine GOP rebooting?
CAIN: A little bit of both. I think a lot of those guys are being political opportunists.
I've said in this week, Don. When you look at Mitt Romney's comments, first of all, I can we can easily say it's not very sportsmanlike. You just lost and now you're saying all the reasons you lost when really --
LEMON: They call it hating -- drinking the haterade. That's what it is.
CAIN: Right, right. However, no, I say this as well, that what Mitt Romney had to say was also not inaccurate. It wasn't politically advantageous but the Democratic Party has been --
LEMON: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. What?
GRANDERSON: Did you just say it isn't inaccurate, Will? Did you just say it wasn't inaccurate?
LEMON: It wasn't inaccurate? What are you talking about?
CAIN: First of all, I think you guys' two reaction is outstanding. I mean, it was amazing. Yes, I was saying that --
GRANDERSON: I think your lack of reaction is amazing. CAIN: All right. I'm a little taken aback by the chorus of surprise. I really am. From both of you guys.
Yes, his statement is accurate. The Democratic Party has been crafting policies that are tailor-made for various constituencies, whether or not that is breaks up by gender, age, ethnicity. Absolutely those policies have been crafted to win over votes and appeal to every demographic.
LEMON: Isn't that the point of an election, Will? I see where you're going with this, but that's the point of an election.
LEMON: That is a winning strategy. If the Republicans had done it on their side, that would be a winning strategy.
CAIN: Great. That's an awesome political analysis. But I'm talking about governance here and what's a better way to govern. If you want to win elections, it's absolutely wonderful to pander to every single group you can hope to get votes from.
LEMON: Hold on, hold on. L.Z, I'll let you handle this.
GRANDERSON: You know what, Will?
LEMON: The thing is, Will, is that governing --
CAIN: This is an astounding interview.
LEMON: Hold on, let me finish, Will. Let me finish.
Governing means governing all of the people, no matter what demographic it is, whether it'd be black, white, women, straight, gay, Republican.
CAIN: Excuse me, wouldn't that mean --
LEMON: And so -- if someone is tailoring their message for one group or another, that's what they should be doing. That's what a leader of the free world should be doing.
CAIN: No, that's amazing contradiction you just said within two sentences of yourself, Don. If you're governing for everyone, why would you craft policies that only apply to some people?
LEMON: I didn't -- someone was talking in my ear. Hold on, Will. Say the end of your sentence again.
CAIN: If you're governing for everyone, why would you craft policies that only apply to some people?
LEMON: I don't think that's what I -- that's not what you said. You said what he said was correct.
GRANDERSON: Will, here's the situation. CAIN: You're right. I did say that. I think you need to rationalize these two things. I'm not inconsistent here.
GRANDERSON: Will, here's the situation. Here's the deal. Listen, Will --
CAIN: I'm listening, L.Z.
GRANDERSON: -- President Obama is not handing out gifts, all right? He's being a president.
Now, the only thing I found really consistent with this is that Romney has been essentially hating on half of the country for almost two years. I didn't necessarily find his comments out of line with everything else he has talked.
We've been characterizing them as gaffes. I've been trying to say this is who he really is. He really believes half the country is a bunch of moochers.
Now, I think what's really interesting, if you strip away all the areas, the urban areas that's predominantly minority, right? He still lost a whole bunch of white people, too. The man is refusing to take personal responsibility, which is the height of irony when you think about what he went around and talked about with 47 percent of the people not being personally responsible for their own lives.
Here he lost an election, mostly because of the fact that he was a bad option. The GOP knows he was a bad option. That's why they fought him so hard during the primary, because he was a bad choice.
But they ended up with him. They reluctantly had to get behind him. And what you're seeing now are the chickens coming home to roost. That's all you're seeing.
CAIN: All right. I know you've got to run. I know you've got to run.
LEMON: Listen, we've got to go.
CAIN: I know you do. So many things to --
LEMON: I just cannot believe you said what he said was accurate.
GRANDERSON: I can.
LEMON: It was the height of insulting. It was so insulting and so condescending.
CAIN: Let me make a suggestion.
LEMON: Hold on. And to say that -- it's just insulting to a whole bunch of people. I can't believe you would even think that way.
CAIN: OK. So let me make a suggestion, since you guys happen to know me and it kind of -- since you know me and you happen to know the kind of statements I make, let me explain them. I know you've got to run on to the next thing, but I can assure you, what I said is highly logical and makes sense.
LEMON: It makes sense -- it's highly logical and makes sense to you.
LEMON: And it makes sense to -- the numbers and the polls all made sense if you're doing some fuzzy math. It doesn't make sense, Will. I'm sorry. Thank you.
CAIN: Now you're lumping me in with people that didn't believe the polls.
LEMON: And it's insulting. Tough love. Thank you, guys.
GRANDERSON: No, all I'm saying is that Maine is filled with white people and he didn't even win Maine, dude. Maine is filled with white people. He didn't win Maine.
LEMON: Thank you, guys. All right. Bye-bye.
Israel versus Hamas. Can the conflict ever be settled? Ahead, we'll ask an expert on the region what it will take for the violence to end.
LEMON: Half past the hour now. Take a look at the headlines for you.
International leaders are scrambling to find a solution to the Israeli-Hamas conflict that is now in its fifth day. But as the wheels of diplomacy are spinning, Israel is continuing its massive military build-up along the Gaza border. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is ready to significantly escalate its operations if needed. For the third time sirens sounded in Tel Aviv today as Israel intercepted a Hamas rocket.
On the Gaza side, Hamas-run media say 100 members of the same family were killed when a rocket destroyed their house. Israel says it was targeting a top militant. It's not clear if he was taken out.
The crisis in Gaza is just the most recent flare-up of the ever- present tension between Hamas and the Israeli government. Although Palestinians elected Hamas to power in 2006, Israel and the U.S. both consider it a terrorist organization.
Joining me now with the perspective on the conflict is Aaron David Miller, he's the vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
It's a long title there. Welcome back. We talked -- you and I have spoken before about these conflicts in the past. Will these violent eruptions continue as long as Hamas is in power, Mr. Miller?
AARON DAVID MILLER, V.P., WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS: I mean, look, the reality is, Don, last time you and I talked about this in '08 and '09, we agreed, I think, that you can't have solutions, you can only have outcomes, and that's what you've had for four years. In large part because you've got Israel and Hamas, the religious manifestation of Palestinian nationalism, that have fundamentally different objectives, both military, security and political objectives.
So under the best of circumstances, given the track that everybody is on, we can hope, perhaps, for another interim agreement that somehow stabilizes the situation. If you wanted more than that, if you really wanted more, you'd have to do a couple of things that right now neither the Americans, the Israelis and the Palestinians are willing or able, frankly, to do.
And that, I think, is the real tragedy here because chances are, if these things aren't done, then you and I are going to have -- are going to be having the same conversation next year at this time.
LEMON: Can you drill down more on this for me?
LEMON: What's needed to achieve a ceasefire?
MILLER: Well, here -- well, here's the thing. You want more than that. You want more than something that is -- that is interim, because if that's -- if that's all you're going produce, that's not sustainable. Look, I think you need four things. Number one, you've got to shut down the tunnels. And you've got to get the Egyptian government to assume ownership and responsibility for stopping the importation of high trajectory weapons. That's number one.
Number two, you've got to open up Gaza. You've got to allow a million and a half Palestinians in Gaza to breathe economically, to create some measure of hope that there are economic horizons for them.
Number three, you've got to figure out a way to unite the Palestinian National Movement. Because right now it's like Noah's arc. There are two of everything. Two security services, two constitutions, two leaders, two prime ministers. And the fact is, unless you have one gun, one authority, one negotiating position, there is no way the Palestinians are ever going to get their state.
And finally, you've got to figure out whether you have a government in Israel that is willing and able to negotiate with a unified reasonable centrist Palestinian government, all the big issues. Those four things would take us way beyond where we are now. And frankly, sadly, tragically, I suspect where we're going.
LEMON: Yes. Better before it -- it's going to get worse before it gets better?
MILLER: How about this, Don? It's going to get worse before it gets worse.
LEMON: Really? Yes. That's a good way of putting it. What can Mideast states do to aid a ceasefire? MILLER: Well, I think they're on the right track. I mean, the good news is that you have a government in Egypt that is itself the progenitor of Hamas. I mean the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ikhwan, really was the inspirational force for the creation of this organization in the early '80s. And Mohamed Morsi, president of Egypt, himself a member of the brotherhood although he's resigned, once a brother, always a brother. The fact is, he can have influence, and Hamas needs him.
Remember, Gaza shares a common border with Egypt and it's a very important connection. So you get the Egyptians, you get the Turks, the Qataris, maybe even the Saudis.
MILLER: To weigh in and you get the Israelis to provide the space and time to allow this diplomacy to take -- to take hold, and maybe, although nobody ever lost money betting against Arab-Israeli peace, maybe, just maybe, you can get out of this.
LEMON: Aaron David Miller. Thank you, sir.
MILLER: Always a pleasure, Don.
LEMON: Cyberspace is part of the Israel-Hamas battleground. Ahead, we're going to show you the latest on how both sides are pushing their messages on Twitter and other social media.
LEMON: I want you to take a look at this incredible piece of video sent by an iReporter, Troy Roach. He's in Tel Aviv, Israel.
You can hear the air raid sirens going off, rockets are approaching the southern part of the city. You see the Israeli Iron Dome missiles fire up. There are two of them. And a few seconds later, intercept the rocket fired from Gaza. You see the flash? And you hear the boom. There it is.
As soon as the rocket is intercepted, the sirens stop. Roach says people get back to normal. Walking their dogs and driving away. Obviously, very secure in the Israeli Iron Dome defense system.
Brand new images, information and tweets are coming in virtually nonstop from both sides of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Josh Levs is at CNN International, at the desk, with the very latest for us. What are you seeing, Josh?
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Don, you know, throughout the day and throughout the night and really throughout this entire conflict, this CNN NEWSROOM right here, including this International desk, has been following all the latest images as they come in from both sides of the conflict.
Take a look at this video here, this is one example of what we've been getting out of Gaza. This video takes you inside one of the media centers that was hit. An Israeli strike. And you can see a lot of the devastation and the damage inside there.
We also have something similar to what was in that iReport there. Take a look at this from Israel's Channel 2.
What you're seeing here are some of the responses to the Iron Dome. There you go. Interceptors going into the sky to halt those Hamas rockets as they come in. And you can see some of the drama that's been unfolding inside Tel Aviv from the Israel side of the conflict.
Now these are the kinds of images a lot of people are seeing. But I'm about to show you some photos that will give you slices of life, of what's going on right now on both sides of the conflict that are very different from what you might be seeing.
Take a look here. First of all, some really striking pictures that we have up for you at CNN.com. This is a family grieving in Gaza after members of the family were killed.
Take a look at this one. This is a car that we've been talking to you about today that was hit in southern Israel by a rocket from Gaza.
This one is really striking. This is a picture out of the West Bank. This is after some people in the West Bank clashed with Israeli troops on Saturday.
One more picture I want you to see here. This is a man returning to his home in southern Israel. Now I want to get one more picture here, because Twitter has become really important part of all this. And what we're seeing on both sides here are tweets that involve a lot of images. This video right here, something that the IDF has sent out, a YouTube video saying that Hamas is using all sorts of false claims and they take you through it on YouTube.
And one more thing to show you here. This is a picture that Hamas has put on its site on Twitter. This is the Hamas militants, Qasam brigades, showing a militant with a foot on what appears to be the head of an Israeli soldier.
And, Don, as you know, Twitter has become an essential part of the fight for the public support in this battle worldwide.
LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, Josh.
LEVS: You got it.
LEMON: Egypt is sending aid to Palestine, and CNN is there when a convoy of supplies crosses a border. That story is next.
LEMON: As Israeli rockets continue to rain on Gaza, about 500 Egyptian activists enter the Palestinian territory today through the city of Rafah. At the border crossing, demonstrators called on the Egyptian government and other Arab states to intervene to stop the offensive that started Wednesday.
Besides showing support for Gaza's nearly two million residents, the convoy planned to deliver medical supplies.
CNN's Reza Sayah spoke with several activists before they headed out.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We were at the Rafah border crossing where Egypt's border meets Gaza. Gaza is a very small piece of land, about twice the size of Washington, D.C. It has four gateways, three of them are inside Israel and they're pretty much blocked off in an effort by Israel to choke off Gaza.
This is the only one that leads from Gaza into an Arab ally, that's Egypt.
While the air assault continues in Gaza, while the violence increases, what's increased here is the anger by Egyptians who want Egypt and the government to step up and intervene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAMI SHAATH, PROTECTING ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES: The people have changed, we have changed and we're not going to take that for -- we're not going to wait for the government move. We're going to take things in our hands and we're going to lead the government into certain positions that is required for Egypt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAYAH: There's roughly 500 protesters here. They've made a seven- hour journey from Cairo. Now they've lined up down the street, each of them are showing their identifications to security forces and then heading into Gaza. We've asked them, when you think you'll come back. They say, we don't know, we're just happy we're going in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAYAH: Are you scared?
DIANA EL LASSI, PROTECTING ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES: Yes, I mean, absolutely I'm scared. You hear bombs, you don't know what you're going in there for. But I think that's -- I think that's what we've got to do. You have to be scared and overcome that fear by just going in there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAYAH: As more demonstrators continue to file into Gaza, back in Cairo, the Arab League, a group of 22 Arab states, has announced that on Tuesday they're going to send in more than two dozen Arab foreign ministers into Gaza. This is part of the Arab League's push to publicly stand with the Palestinians.
Also in Cairo, Egypt's spy chief in talks with Hamas officials and Israeli officials trying to establish a ceasefire. This is the same spy chief that in 2011 helped secure the release of Israeli soldier Dilat Shalid. Many say if there is going to be a ceasefire, Egypt's spy chief is going to play a key role.
Reza Sayah, CNN at the border crossing.
LEMON: All right, Reza.
It's a deadly epidemic, prescription drug overdoses. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us live to reveal which prescription drugs might be the most deadly.
LEMON: If you thought that car crashes cause the most accidental deaths in the U.S., you better think again because on average, someone dies from an accidental overdose every 19 minutes, making prescription drugs and pain killer overdoses the number one accidental killer in the country.
I want to bring in our chief medical correspondent now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Many, many people think when they think of this, they think of Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
LEMON: About overdoses, but you have been looking into this and it is a growing problem and it's not just for celebrities.
GUPTA: Yes. If you think of the numbers alone, you just said it, every 19 minutes. It's obviously not just celebrities. I'll tell you something else to consider, 80 percent of the pain pills in the world are consumed in the United States. So, you know, we consume a disproportionate, a much disproportionate share of these pills. We could give a dose of pain pills to every man, woman and child every four hours for three weeks. That's how much these pain pills are around.
I think also, Don, there's another issue which is that we have this perception of who these people are.
GUPTA: That are overdosing in this way.
GUPTA: And I think you'd be surprised, sometimes, you know, one of them was a former friend of President Clinton, former President Clinton, and I just want you to hear a little bit of how this man was described. We profile him in the special. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STUART BRIDGE, FRIEND OF VICTIM: He worked for the State Department, and he -- you know, was going to graduate in a year with a dual law and MBA degree. You know, the type of person where it doesn't even run through your head that he's having a problem because he does so well.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: He was industrious, but he was normal, you know, he likes to have a good time. He had -- I promise you that night he had no idea that he was turning out the lights. None. And if it's true of him, it's got to be true of a lot of other people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I mean when you have the former president of the United States come out and say something like this -- two friends this year.
GUPTA: That's right. He had two friends within 10 days of each other that had both lost sons in this manner. You just heard a gentleman, you know, who worked at the State Department for Secretary Clinton. You know, so, I think again this preconceived notion of who these people are, they're our friends, they're our families, they're our neighbors. You know, so they're -- it's all around us because the problem is so ubiquitous.
LEMON: This special you have -- that airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. It's after this broadcast, which is actually a little over an hour away. You say people who use pain killers less frequently are more at risk in some ways?
GUPTA: Yes. This may be a little counterintuitive because, again, the idea is we're thinking of addicts, we're thinking of people who are very dependent. That is -- that can be a problem, no doubt. And there can be very legitimate uses of pain medications as well, Don. I want to point that out. People who are in pain that need tease meds, but sometimes people who are, quote-unquote naive users, their bodies are not used to these medications --
LEMON: Haven't built up a tolerance.
GUPTA: Haven't built up the tolerance, and they have these Vicodin or some pills sitting in their medicine cabinet. They got him after some procedure and they're just sitting there, and on one night, they decided to take a couple of those in combination with wine or beer or something like that and that could be a lethal problem.
So these naive users, you know, give them to friends, kids can get into them. That's where -- how the problem really starts in the vast majority of these people.
LEMON: Remember during Whitney Houston, we were talking back and forth that this is going to open in the conversation about this.
GUPTA: That's right.
LEMON: Now you're talking about this. Is there one pain killer that's worse than another?
GUPTA: You know what? The thing to keep about pain killers, whether morphine or hydrocodone or oxycodone or heroin for that matter. They all come from the same derivative which is opium. These are called opious, so, you know, when you think about a pain pill, you think, well, this is something I got from the prescription, from a pharmacy, so different from heroin or different than morphine.
Oftentimes it's not. They could be the exact same active ingredient. Some of them have longer half lifes. They're going to stay in your body longer, but all these are powerful medications. Just because they come with a prescription doesn't even they're necessarily safe.
LEMON: You need to watch this special. You need to watch it. Make sure you tune in tonight, 8:00 Eastern for more of Dr. Gupta's special report, "DEADLY DOSE." And Dr. Gupta is going to be back with us in our hour to tell us more about what we can expect to see.
Thank you, Dr. Gupta.
GUPTA: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit, most of the power has been restored to the East Coast. But many are still asking why so many people lost electricity.
CNN's Tom Foreman takes us about the subject, talks about the subject in this week's "Building Up America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we want it?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For all the angry people still without power after Sandy, there may be few more frustrated than a man who lives hundreds of miles away. He's with the American Society of Civil Engineers. His name is Otto Lynch, and he is certain the storm's impact did not have to be so bad.
OTTO LYNCH, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS: No, the damage did not have to be this bad at all. With a little better planning we could have certainly eliminated much of the damage.
FOREMAN: What he is talking about is the subject of some highly advanced research at Georgia Tech, a lonely, but critical part of the electrical grid, the power pole.
REGINALD DESROCHES, GEORGIA TECH PROFESSOR: It's focused on trying to get a better understanding of the vulnerability of some of these wood poles as they're exposed to in this case extreme wind loads.
FOREMAN: Specifically researchers are studying what makes a power pole break, its age, the stress prom wind, water, ice, of flying debris? Combine all of that with weather patterns and they're creating a comprehensive map of tens of millions of poles so utility companies can replace vulnerable ones before big storms hit.
MIROSLAV BEGOVIC, PROFESSOR, GEORGIA TECH: It is important to identify which ones are the most compromised and how to direct those funds without wasting huge sums of unnecessary treatment and unnecessary replacements.
FOREMAN: Others believe the National Electrical Safety Code should also be rewritten to require more robust poles, especially where powerful storms are likely.
Lynch insists that would cost less than $100 per pole, and he says if such measures have been put into place years before Sandy came calling, he estimates power losses might have been half as bad.
OTTO LYNCH, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS: You know, even if it's just 25 percent, that's 25 percent less people that didn't lose power.
FOREMAN: And in a tough economy, building up America begins with keeping the lights on.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.