Return to Transcripts main page

Laura Coates Live

Biden Will Visit Israel In High-Stakes Trip; Hamas Releases Video Of Woman It Claims Is A Hostage; What Will It Take To Take Hostages Out Safely?; Jim Jordan Fights To Win Support Of GOP Skeptics In Bid To Become House Speaker; Six-Year-Old Boy Fatally Stabbed In Alleged Anti-Muslim Attack; Matthew Chances Reports From Israel's Northern Frontier. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired October 16, 2023 - 23:00   ET



CHRIS CHRISTIE, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Abby, we got to have vigorous conversation. That's why I objected to the RNC a couple weeks ago, stopping Vivek Ramaswamy and I from having a discussion on another network for 45 minutes, to be able to talk about these issues and talk about Donald Trump and what he has been as a candidate.

That's why if your viewers out there care about it, keep me on the debate stage. Go to, donate a dollar. You'll keep me on the debate stage because when Donald Trump shows up, believe me, Abby, the last person he wants sitting there is me.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: We'll see if he does show up at any of these debates. Governor Christie, thank you for joining us tonight.

CHRISTIE: Abby, thank you and good luck.

PHILLIP: Thank you.

And thank you very much for watching "NewsNight." "Laura Coates Live" starts right now. Hey, Laura.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Hey. So good to see you. You passed that.

PHILLIP: Looking good over there.

COATES: Oh, well, thank you, Abby. You noticed. Thank you so much. You look great yourself. It's such a great show, and especially at trying times, so informative. Thank you so much.

PHILLIP: Have a great show, Laura.

COATES: We'll see you right back here tomorrow.

A high stakes presidential trip, a hostage video, and the tragic effects of the war being felt right here at home. That's tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

Now, if you thought for a moment that what was happening in Israel and also in Gaza would not affect what is happening here at home, you are sadly mistaken. As the sun rises on yet another day of war in the Middle East, an American president is now preparing to head that way.

We already had a secretary of state, secretary of defense, they've already gone to the region. Well, let me add a word to that. They've gone to the now dangerous region.

And we are in the middle of a war with Hamas and airstrikes and bombings above civilians trying to get away from the ground, perhaps nearly 200 hostages might very well be below.

And President Biden is set to undertake a very risky trip on Wednesday. It will be a huge show of support for Israel and obviously recognizing the stakes here at home.

Now, when you really think about all this, it can't be overstated just how risky it must be for the president to go there, to do this. And one can only really imagine the security protocols that are going to have to be in place for an American president to go in the middle of a war zone.

Look at the security issues on the ground that are happening right there and all -- and I mean all of the unknowns, like, where are the Hamas leaders who planned this attack? Where can the civilians who have nothing to do with this war, where can they go to escape? And where are the hostages that were taken?

Well, tonight, Hamas releasing a video that it claims shows a hostage, a 21-year-old French-Israeli woman, Mia Schem. Now, CNN is not going to show you the video because, well, frankly, we don't know when it was taken, we don't know the condition of this young woman, and the video serves really no purpose beyond propaganda for Hamas. Her family spoke to Anderson Cooper tonight and said this.


KEREN SCHARF SCHEM, MOTHER OF MIA SCHEM, WOMAN HELD HOSTAGE IN GAZA: We are begging the world to bring my baby home. We are begging the world to interfere and to bring her home.


COATES: Now, that was a mother who just wants to protect her child. But remember, if you think that what's happening to mothers there is only happening to mothers there, well, tonight, the effects of what's happening there are indeed being felt here in this country.

In the Chicago area, a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy was stabbed to death in an alleged anti-Muslim attack. His mother was seriously wounded. His last words to his mommy were, mom, I'm fine.


UNKNOWN: He's a very kind kid. He likes to jump up and down. Wadea is dead. It was less words to his mom. Mom, I'm fine. You know what? He is fine. He's in a better place.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: Mom, I'm fine. You know when I heard that, honestly, as a mother of two, I actually had to compose myself for a second. They always say out of the mouths of babes, right? But fine? None of this is fine.

Children in Israel, in Gaza, and here in the United States killed in their own homes. Families in absolute mourning. And a president known often as the comforter-in-chief now heading to Israel, the day after a vote to elect a speaker at the House is scheduled to take place. Now, how will that go? Tonight, it's anyone's guess.

So, let's start where we can take the guesswork out of what's happening. We have experts here that will help. We're going to take it back to the basics, the who and the what in all of this, and maybe even the why.

Here with me, three people with unparalleled expertise who know this region and can help us understand not only the military and diplomatic, but also the humanitarian issues.


We have CNN Jerusalem correspondent Hadas Gold, Kim Dozier, who not only reported from and on this region for decades but is actually fresh from a briefing on President Biden's trip to Israel. Also, here, Brigadier General Steve Anderson, who had a 31-year career in the Army.

There's a lot to get to there and a lot of questions to talk about. I want to begin with you, Kim, because you were just at this briefing from Admiral Kirby talking about President Biden going to Israel. The big question everyone is asking, of course, is, why now? He has offered support. He has spoken about it. He had a speech. His top officials have already gone. Why him and why now?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, look, Netanyahu publicly invited him. But what Admiral Kirby explained to the reporters in this briefing is that the president wants to go, first of all, to have face-to-face discussions about Israel's security, what does it need, is it getting what it needs? Also, to talk about the fate of the hostages. Is there any way to negotiate, rescue them?

And then also, the third main issue is establishing some sort of humanitarian corridors inside of Gaza to get dual citizens out and to get the Gazans fleeing the fighting some measure of safety.


COATES: But general, she used the word "security." I know we're all picking up on that. This is a president going into really an active war zone. I mean, it's not something that we are accustomed to, perhaps, in this country and thinking about. It was, I think, maybe months or more that he -- before he went to Ukraine, for example. Even that was a huge undertaking.

When you look at the security that's at issue here, what are we looking at for the president to go there?

STEVE ANDERSON, RETIRED U.S. BRIGADIER GENERAL: We're looking at a huge amount of security. I worked on the joint staff and provided airlift support for presidential travel 20 years ago. And I can tell you that it has taken extremely seriously. There'll be an advanced planning team that goes on the ground, that walks every step that he's going to go. They're going to take every single precaution they possibly can to make sure that he's as safe as possible.

And the other part of this is intelligence and making sure that we have the best possible intelligence about what the threats are out there, what risk he might be under. And, of course, operational security. We don't want anybody else to know where the president is. So, it's a big mission, but we're really good at doing this kind of thing.

COATES: I mean, we do know in part where he's going, in a general sense, and I take your issue and your point well. Hadas, you know this region so well. You've reported from there for so long. You can have your finger on the pulse of what the Israelis might be reacting to. What will the presence -- I mean, the actual physical presence of the president of the United States mean there now?

GOLD: It's huge. I believe this is the first time a U.S. president has been on the ground in Israel during any sort of conflict or war. So just that sentence by itself goes to show you how much of a momentous occasion this is. So, this is not only a show of support and a message to the Israeli public, this is also a warning to the other regional players there. This is the same sort of warning we are seeing from those U.S. carrier ships off the coast.

It's almost less of a message to Hamas as it is a message to Hezbollah, to the North and to Iran. The border between Israel and Lebanon has been very tense over the last few days. There have already been deaths between Israelis and Lebanese up there and skirmishes up there, rockets being fired, artillery being returned.

And so, while it has been so far at a very kind of simmering level, President Biden being there, I think, is also a very clear message to Hezbollah and Iran. Don't get involved. Don't let this blow up into some sort of broader regional war because that could completely change the equation in the Middle East.

COATES: I mean, one thing that's changing for so many people and just thinking about this, if you're a military strategist and obviously on the ground, there are hostages, right? There are hostages that we believe -- we don't really know where all of them are or if they're together or not. But there was a hostage video that was released.

And I want to just play for a second what the mother of the woman who is in this video purportedly taken. We don't yet know where. Listen to what she has to say about it.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Does it -- does it help to see her? SCHARF SCHEM: Of course, because until now, I didn't know if she's dead or alive. I mean, it has been 10 days until Saturday she was missing. And on Saturday, they said that maybe she has been kidnapped. That's all. So, I didn't know if she's alive or dead.


COATES: I mean, just thinking about what she has been going through, Kim, and the uncertainty, are we going to see more videos released by Hamas? And I wonder, we're not showing this one for propaganda reasons. Will we see more?


DOZIER: That is what Israeli officials are bracing for, the psychological operation of video after video. Possibly, we're going to see Israeli soldiers pleading for their colleagues not to invade. The worry is that maybe some of these were recorded and then the hostages have already been killed. It's a way of lessening the will inside the Israeli public of prosecuting this operation.

It's also a way of damaging Israel and the White House on the larger stage for like, oh, you're going to go ahead and invade with putting all of these people at risk, whereas when you talk to military planners, they're like, look, these people are probably split up in several different groups inside booby-trapped tunnels, and the moment we try to approach, it's unlikely we're going to be able to bring many of them out alive.

So that is -- it's high stakes either way, but you've got to leave the families with some hope that it's possible.

COATES: And yet there is the cynicism of obviously thinking about this as psychological warfare and what propaganda is and does to people. When you look at the prospect of hostages in Gaza, are videos like this going to create pressure for how the Gazan civilians will be treated or aid provided because of the fact that these hostages may be alive and well as they are saying in these videos?

GOLD: I mean, it's so hard to understand exactly what Hamas is doing right now, and it's so hard to believe what they are sending out. Every time we see something from Hamas, I think we should be very, very skeptical about what they're sending and what they're saying.

You know, at one point, they were sending out messages that they said, you know, we haven't harmed civilians. We had them on GoPros, their own GoPros. You know, their own body cams harming civilians. So, you should be very skeptical of this.

But yes, the pressure on Israel is growing. We've seen this before. You know, they get attacked. They start an operation in Gaza. There were a few days where they kind of have this leeway to start this operation, and then the pressure starts building as the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens.

And I think what we're seeing right now is that the patience is sort of wearing thin. I'm sure the Americans are warning the Israelis. Listen, a lot of -- there's a lot of sympathy for you right now, but the narrative and the images are now changing from the images of these massacres of Israeli civilians to now the humanitarian situation in Gaza. You are running out of time.

And also, this is an unprecedented situation. Israel said from the beginning, we're shutting off, you know, the electricity, the fuel on the water until these hostages are released. It's unprecedented situation. It's an unprecedented response. I have never seen this type of rhetoric from the Israelis before. And that gives you the type of -- that helps you understand the trauma that Israel has been through. This is their 9/11. This is why we're seeing this type of response.

So, I'm not sure when this pressure will essentially break and Israel will be able to help improve the humanitarian situation. I know they want to. They want to create this humanitarian zone. They're also up against Hamas, who purposely hides within civilian populations.

It's a very, very difficult situation to try to grapple with. But the number one priority right now, from the American point of view, from the international point of view, is to get that humanitarian zone established, get that aid into Gaza, and to help get at least some of those Gazan civilians out of Gaza.

COATES: General, I see you nodding your head. I'm going to come back to your expertise on this as well. I really want to tap and pick your brain on this issue, as Hadas was talking about, in just a moment. Hadas, Hadas Gold, thank you so much. Brigadier General Steve Anderson and Kim Dozier are going to stick around as well.

But tonight, it remains unclear just how many hostages we're even talking about, how many are being held by Hamas, where they are, and with every hour that passes, the concern is growing over just how to get them out safely.

I want to bring in the brother of one of those hostages, Amit Shem Tov. His younger brother, Omer Shem Tov, was among those taken by Hamas at the Supernova Music Festival in Israel. Amit, thank you so much for being here. I mean, you heard the breaking news tonight that President Biden is heading to Israel. Do you think that this is going to help get your brother released?

AMIT SHEM TOV, BROTHER ABDUCTED BY HAMAS: I think it's going to put some pressure on Hamas and help it in some sort of way. Um, I just hope it happens anytime soon.

COATES: Of course. I mean, you learned your brother -- Excuse me. Go ahead. I want to hear you, Amit.

SHEM TOV: We haven't heard anything from Omer the past 10 days. And you know, it's swelling. We've seen just one video of Mia and kind of gives hope, but we can't really rely on that because it might be just some propaganda.

COATES: It's hard to see what we're all seeing, especially for you and your family. I mean, you learned your brother had been taken captive from a video that you were shown. Tell me, how did you recognize him in that condition?


How is your family viewing him? And when they saw that, what was your reaction?

SHEM TOV: Well, first of all, shock, denial.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

SHEM TOV: We managed to recognize him because he has a globe tattoo on his arm and a full 44. He has two tattoos that we managed to see. And also, he had a bright yellow shirt and some recognizable pants, like collaboration. Like by his clothes, his tattoos, that's the way we managed to recognize him.

COATES: It's just shocking to think of something as every day that you must have seen for years, the tattoos, the clothing, to then recognize him under these circumstances. I understand that your parents are part of a group of family members who are pressuring the government to help bring the hostages home safely. They actually met with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday, your time. Tell me, what did they learn at that meeting?

SHEM TOV: I haven't heard much from that meeting, but what I heard was that Netanyahu puts the hostages at top priority.

COATES: Did he discuss any kind of an exchange or anything?

SHEM TOV: I don't know anything about this.

COATES: I hope that we learn more on that issue in particular. Obviously, they're likely working, of course, to help. And as you know and you've likely heard, Israel is actually poised to send hundreds of thousands of troops into Gaza, and we're told it could be at any moment. How concerned are you about your brother's safety and what the reaction from Hamas might be?

SHEM TOV: Of course, I'm concerned about this. But I know Hamas wants to keep the hostages leveraged, and I know that the IDF will do the best work in order to keep the least amounts of casualties.

COATES: I want to thank you so much for coming. It's such a difficult thing to even discuss. And we're thinking about your family, Amit, and also thinking about your brother. And we will keep in touch with you, okay?

SHEM TOV: Thank you. Good evening.

COATES: Thank you so much.

You know, there could be up to 250 hostages, 250 hostages somewhere, somewhere in Gaza. What will it take to get them out safely? Alaska former Navy SEAL, next.


COATES: President Biden is now preparing to go to Israel. But the situation in the country, it's incredibly tense. There are rockets firing, there are strikes on Hezbollah in the north, you have hundreds of thousands of Israeli troops that are massing at the border, and some 200 hostages desperately hoping for rescue.

Joining me now to discuss, journalist and former Navy SEAL, Kaj Larsen. He has been in touch with members of Israeli Special Forces as they prepare for possible operations inside Gaza. Also, back with me, CNN global analyst -- global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier and retired Brigadier General Steve Anderson.

Let me begin with you, Kaj, because I think it's so important to tap into your experience as a Navy SEAL and in your contact with Special Forces. There are as many as 200 hostages at the mercy -- at the mercy of Hamas tonight. So how would Special Forces even find, let alone rescue them? Is it even possible?

KAJ LARSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Laura, let me say thank you for having me on. It was heartbreaking to hear your last segment with the brother of one of those exact hostages. I think the situation is extremely difficult not just in Israel and the Middle East but around the world.

My sister is a physician in Arizona, and she told me a story of two doctors at her hospital arguing about this. So, I think these are very, very challenging times.

And what you're talking about from a special operations perspective, hostage rescue and counterterrorism are two of the most difficult missions that we undertake in the special operations community.

And while on the U.S. side, we've had two decades of practice of sharpening the knife in these kinds of operations, and Israel, I've had the privilege and pleasure to work with the Israeli Navy SEALs, the Shayetet, who will be at the tip of the spear of this fight, these are still extraordinarily challenging situations.

In all candidness, quite often, hostage rescue, it goes more wrong more often than it goes right, and that is really hard.

COATES: Well, walk me through that, because I'm a layman in this space. I want to go behind the scenes, though, as to given the difficulties, what would you be doing now to find out where they are? How is the preparation? I know it's speculative in some respects, but what is that prep like?

LARSEN: Well, the first and primary component they need to understand is that intelligence drives operations. So, you can't fire in the blind. And the Israeli Special Forces, the kind of units like the Shayetet that will be conducting these kinds of hostage rescue missions, will need good intelligence on the location of the hostages to even begin to put together a plan to conduct a direct-action kind of mission. That being said, I think that the conventional arithmetic has changed. Israel seems to be preparing to go into Gaza regardless, and that will put even more pressure on special operations.

And you have to remember that Hamas, at least from our perspective, was trying to provoke this kind of reaction. They were preparing for this. So, they likely have these hostages in extremely difficult areas to penetrate, hardened bunkers, tunnels, IEDs, VBEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs. There could be an array of obstacles for any unit that's trying to even attempt to rescue the hostages.


COATES: Hmm. Let me bring the general into this conversation because you wonder, given all that he said, it is startling to think about what preparation needs to happen. They certainly anticipated by taking hostages, there would be a response. Walk me through behind the scenes. What would you do in this circumstance?

ANDERSON: Well, Kaj got it right, intelligence is what drives this whole thing. So, what we need to do is continue to create conditions to get the best possible intelligence. And the way to do that is to continue to tie the noose with this blockade. That's the best way to make the Palestinian people uncomfortable.

And the opportunities that they could come up on the net, make that anonymous call. Hey, there are bad guys down here in my basement. I mean, you're going to have people that are suffering, water, food, medical shortages, et cetera.

The opportunity is going to be much, much more prevalent in that kind of a scenario when they're unhappy, they're dissatisfied with their situation, they don't like what Hamas has been doing, Hamas got them into this. They're asking, get us out of this. And people are going to be, hopefully, stepping up and providing intelligence and information that can help us locate the hostages, because until we do, we really don't have a good shot at this.

COATES: What strikes me is to put all the onus on the Gazan civilians who, given the power dynamic -- I mean, they don't have the power to overturn and overthrow Hamas independently, right? That's part of the issue. And is it possible that the tunnel system means that they might not actually know where people are held as well?

ANDERSON: Well, it's going to be very difficult, absolutely, like Hadas just said. I mean, the tunnel system is probably half the size of the New York City subway. I mean, that's how extensive it might be. I mean, they're claiming it's that big.

But yeah, the tunnels make it much, much more difficult. So, you're going to have to use technology. They have sonic technology now that they can help identify movements in the ground and use sonic beams to essentially -- ways to create information that we can gather and --

DOZIER: To map the network. ANDERSON: -- to map the network. We can also use robots, get robots down in those tunnels. Start surveying as many as we possibly can. There's lots of technologies out there that America is going to help them out with. But no one is better at getting hostage and hostage rescues than have been more successful than the Israelis. So, I'm sure they're doing everything. But again, it's all about intelligence, as Kaj said.

COATES: Well, that's unfortunate given there's discussions right now about intelligence lapses that are happening. I'll be curious to see what you have to say about this as well, Kim. Kaj Larsen, thank you so much. Brigadier General Steve Anderson and Kim Dozier, do stick around.

Look, here at home, the House is coming up on their second week without a real speaker. And we are barreling towards yet another government shutdown a month from tomorrow. So, will House Republicans figure it all out in time? Well, I'm going to speak to one of them, next. But you can imagine it, just the blockade being enough. You know, you wonder.



COATES: Well, Secretary Antony Blinken said that President Biden does plan to reaffirm the United States' solidarity with Israel. That's a quote. He'll do during his visit on Wednesday. But without a speaker, the House can't vote on an aid package to get Israel the help that it may need.

Just last hour, though, we learned that there are at least five hard votes against Jim Jordan with additional four maybe leaning no. And remember, Jordan can only afford to lose about four votes, not about actually four votes tomorrow, if all members are in attendance.

Straight from his meeting with Jim Jordan, Colorado Congressman Ken Buck joins me now. Congressman, thank you for joining us. First of all, I'm wondering, tomorrow is this vote, do you have a plan of whether you'll vote yes or no in favor of Jim Jordan?

REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): So, I met with Jim for about a half hour tonight. I'll have another meeting with him tomorrow. But I told Jim tonight that I'm a no and look forward to our meeting tomorrow and answer some more questions.

COATES: Why are you a no?

BUCK: Well, there are a few issues that I'm concerned about. One is the aid package to Ukraine. It has been fairly and surprisingly, frankly, controversial within the Republican conference. I have asked Jim to make a public unequivocal statement that that aid package will go to the floor.

He wants to see certain things before that happens. He wants to see a plan from the president. He wants a special inspector general to be appointed. There are some other things that he has asked for. I want to make sure I clarify that before I make a commitment to Jim.

The second thing is I'm concerned --

COATES: But wait, I'm sorry, what's the timeline for getting those answers, though? There's a vote tomorrow.

BUCK: There is.

COATES: Is it possible to get those answers before then?

BUCK: Well, like I said, I have a meeting with him scheduled for tomorrow morning, and we'll talk then. So, I also am concerned about January 6th and Jim's involvement in that or non-involvement. We had some conversation tonight. I want to go check some things and then ask him some more questions about that tomorrow.

And then finally, the spending level is an issue that I care about. We are really -- nobody believes me, but we have an existential crisis in this country over spending, and we need to make sure we get that under control.

COATES: Let me ask you on the second point. What could Congressman Jordan say to you to convince you to vote yes, particularly on January 6th? I mean, that seems like it's set in stone whatever he did or did not do or, you know, support for an election or not. What could he do now?

BUCK: I think it's really important that the Republican Party state unequivocally that President Trump lost the 2020 election. I think it's important that we recognize what happened on January 6th, and Jim does.


When we talked tonight, he absolutely recognized that January 6th was a disaster, it was terrible, there's no excuse for it. But the events leading up to January 6th, I think, are important for us to just get our hands around and for Jim and all of us to say that this isn't the way we want to conduct business in the future.

COATES: So, if Jordan were to say Donald Trump lost the election, you would be a yes vote?

BUCK: I would bet closer to yes. I have asked him in conference in front of other people, and the best answer I've gotten at this point is, I just don't know.

COATES: So, if not Jim Jordan, who?

BUCK: Well, I think there is a plan afoot that we get a 30-day speaker during that time so that we can deal with issues. Right now, we don't have an aid package from the White House to deal with, but it is coming.

COATES: Yeah. BUCK: And so, in the meantime, we need to get a speaker in place and then we can have our discussions on who we want to lead us for the next 13 months.

COATES: Could that continually be McHenry? He's temporarily the speaker of the House. Could that be him?

BUCK: It absolutely could be him, yes.

COATES: Does he say that he wants it to be him?

BUCK: I have not heard that from him yet.

COATES: When you look at obviously McCarthy being ousted as speaker, losing that gavel, you were one of the people to support that decision. When you look at this now, do you regret that choice given it has been almost two weeks now of not having a speaker?

BUCK: No. I regret voting for Kevin in January of this year. I don't regret voting for the motion to vacate. In January this year, a lot of my friends voted against him because they didn't believe the promises he made on spending.

I said the guy has worked for a number of years getting Republicans elected. He deserves this chance. If that -- if he backs off of the promise, then we can deal with it. But, obviously, he gave a lot of promises to a lot of people, and that's the unfortunate part of where we are.

COATES: You know, tomorrow, you have meeting with Congressman Jim Jordan in the morning. The next day, President Biden is going to be going to Israel, as you've heard. What kind of pressure does his visit put on the speakership race?

BUCK: I don't think it puts any pressure on the speakership race.

COATES: Really?

BUCK: Yeah. I think what we need to do is pick the right person to lead us for 13 months. I think if he presents an aid package to Congress, we'll either have a speaker or a temporary speaker in place to deal with those issues.

COATES: Assuming that aid package comes this week, though, there would be no permanent speaker in place and there's no indication yet McHenry would take on that role. How quickly could you -- would the fact that an aid package came put the pressure to get a speaker in place?

BUCK: I think both Ukraine, Israel, what's happening in the Pacific Rim, with Taiwan, all those foreign issues are going to put some pressure on this situation. I also think that we will deal with that in overwhelming support. I think both on the Democrat side and Republican side, an aid package for Israel will pass. Not unanimously, but overwhelming support.

COATES: Well, there's the aid issue, of course, and then your fellow congressman, McCaul. You're also on, I think, the Foreign Affairs Committee along with him. He's the chairman, and he told CNN moments ago that the committee is drafting legislation, I'm going to quote, to authorize U.S. military force -- quote -- "in the event it's necessary," if, of course, the conflict between Israel and Hamas broadens into a wider proxy war as well. Do you think there will be American boots on the ground in Israel?

BUCK: I pray that there aren't. I think that Israel has to make that request. Israel has not made that request to this point, not just in this conflict but in past conflicts. Obviously, we have some boots on the ground protecting the embassy and some other assets. But overall, I think it would be very unusual for Israel to ask for U.S. military involvement.

COATES: So, what would that mean for U.S. troops, exactly, if you have this in the event it's necessary to authorize U.S. military force? Do you have a sense of what that would look like for the military here?

BUCK: Well, yeah, I think that, you know, when you look at Israel, obviously, there is some pressure now from Hezbollah in the north, and that is probably where the U.S. would try to shore things up so that Israel can conduct its activities in Gaza.

COATES: Congressman, nice talking to you.

BUCK: Thank you.

COATES: A Princeton Tiger, my friend. Give me your hand. Nice to see you as always. Thank you so much.

BUCK: Thank you.

COATES: Well, tensions are rising here at home with both Jewish and Muslim Americans concerned about the effects of the war between Israel and Hamas. In our way tonight, a six-year-old Muslim boy is a victim.

Thank you so much. Nice to have you on. We appreciate it.



COATES: Mom, I'm fine. Those were the last words of a six-year-old Muslim boy fatally stabbed in an alleged anti-Muslim attack. The suspect? His landlord. Tonight, court documents reveal new details about the days before the horrific attack.

The suspect's wife says that he listened to conservative talk radio on a regular basis and had become heavily interested in the recent events in Israel. She also allegedly texted with the boy's mother days before the incident, discussing what she calls her husband's hatred of Muslims. And then just moments before the attack, the suspect allegedly told the boy's mother he was angry at her for what was going on in Jerusalem.

Back with me, Kim Dozier and Steve Anderson. You know, again, this is according to court documents, Kim, that the suspect's wife says he -- quote -- "listens to conservative talk radio on a regular basis and was interested heavily in the events that occurred in Israel." You have been a reporter in regions of -- with wars going on, of high conflicts and tension.


You must have thought about the responsibility of the media in times like this, of how it's reported, what's being said. What are your thoughts?

DOZIER: Every time you put something on the air, you are teaching the public what to think about something, which is why when I used to report on the ground from Iraq, on the ground -- oh, one of the hardest things was covering the first and the second Palestinian uprisings because I would spend time in Palestinian parts of town and see the daily humiliations that they would have to go through, getting through checkpoints to try to get to their jobs.

And then I would live on the Israeli side and there was a suicide bombing campaign that had me scared everywhere I went. You had to -- when you sat down in a restaurant, you sat yourself behind some barrier so that if a suicide bomber came through the door, you wouldn't get hit by the flying shrapnel.


DOZIER: So, when I think about the message you're putting out, you want to try to tell the humanity of what both sides are going through, also so that they can start to see each other more as human. But it depends on what you choose to listen to.

Um, one of the things that gave me a little bit of pride in our business is a recent poll among Americans in the past few days that said more than half of them were worried about getting aid to Palestinian civilians.


DOZIER: And I was like, okay -- and made a distinction between the civilians and Hamas. And I'm like, okay, we must be doing our job if they understand there's a difference. This man, obviously, did not.

COATES: There's the implications from the media, and then there's the military thoughts that -- I don't know if it's compartmentalization or if they're the same priorities in terms of how to think about it in that panoramic way.

When you hear this and hear about President Biden, obviously, the commander-in-chief, you know, saying that his administration is going to prioritize preventing threats against communities in the U.S. impacted by this conflict, you've got protesters arrested at the White House today, I would add, how do you do this?

ANDERSON: Well, it's very, very difficult. I mean, we've got to teach Americans how to get along and to listen to each other. I mean, I know that sounds trite.

COATES: It's a tall order.

ANDERSON: It's a tall order indeed. But I mean, extremism is killing this country. You know, we've got people going to their camps, left -- be they left, be they right. And they're living in these camps and they're listening to things that just fill their minds with hatred against the other camp.

We deal with this in the military every day. Military extremism is a big problem in this country. Look at what happened on the 6th of January. A lot of those people that perpetrated that assault on our Capitol were military people with a military background. We've got to do something.

Now, this is one of the things what I think that President Biden got right, when he said, hey, listen, we've got to make sure that the Palestinians, even though we're going to destroy Hamas, which he supports, they still have a Palestinian state. We are not going to have some kind of a constabulary army that is going to be occupying Hamas.

The Israelis cannot do this. They've got to make sure that the Palestinians have an opportunity for their own self-government, their own self-rule, a second state. That has got to happen.

So, regardless of how we tack this and how the Israelis go into Gaza City, as difficult as that's going to be, at the end of the day, we've got to make sure the Palestinians have a government that can essentially lead them back home.

COATES: Self-realization and manifesting it in so many ways. Kim, general, thank you so much for all of your expertise today. I really appreciate it.

Next, our exclusive report from Israel's tense northern frontier with Lebanon.



COATES: The Israel Defense Forces struck what they called Hezbollah terror targets in Lebanon early this morning. Matthew Chance has our exclusive report from an area so dangerous Israeli Shultz (ph) soldiers don't even want to show you their faces.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're bracing for a dangerous second front to regain exclusive access to Israel's tense northern frontier.

(On camera): Well, the Israeli army have now sealed off as a security zone some of the areas close to the Lebanese border because of the threat being posed. But they're taking us now to the closest period, the closest place they can do that they say is safe to see the lay of the land.

(Voice-over): And that land is hostile. None of the Israeli soldiers here wanted their faces shown to hide their identities from Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militia with a vast arsenal trained on these positions from across the border.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): We're ready. If they choose to come, they'll make a huge mistake.

CHANCE (voice-over): War with Hezbollah would be brutal, said this senior Israeli commander who asked not to be identified. But it is now also necessary, he told me.

(On camera): Do you believe there will be a second front open here or are you hopeful still that Hezbollah will stay out of this war?

MK, LIUTENANT COLONEL, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: I hope there will be another front. We need to destroy Hezbollah.

CHANCE (on camera): You hope there will be another front?

MK: Yes.

CHANCE (on camera): You want the war?

MK: Yes.

CHANCE (on camera): Why?

MK: What Hamas did in Gaza, it didn't come from nowhere. It came from Hezbollah. It came from Iran.


And in order for us to stop what happened from Hamas, we need to stop them also.

CHANCE (on camera): All right, well, this is as close as the Israeli military say we can go. Just across there is territory of Lebanon controlled by Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia. And Israeli soldiers in this position in Israel, they tell us that over the past few days, there have been multiple attempts by Hezbollah fighters to penetrate the fence and to come into Israel. But they've been fought back. If there is going to be a second front in this war in Israel, the likelihood is it's going to start here.

(Voice-over): Already, there have been exchanges of fire, forcing local Israelis to flee, terrified what happened in Israel's south could happen here, too.

NOGA, RESIDENTO OF KIBBUTZ MISGAV AM: A terrorist attack at this scale has never happened, and I'm scared that I live on the border. What's to stop them from doing it here? I want to be strong and I want to come back and live here, but I need to think about my kids first.

CHANCE (voice-over): Back from the border, Israel is bolstering its forces with some of the 360,000 troops mobilized after the Hamas attacks last week. If war in the north is coming, Israel seems ready, even bristling to fight.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Northern Israel.


COATES: Matthew Chance, thank you so much. And thank you for watching. Our live coverage continues after this short break.