Last week, Israel’s attorney general announced his intention to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges. The news comes a month before elections in Israel and just as the Trump administration had planned to roll out its peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians. Douglas J. Feith, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the George W. Bush administration, and Aaron David Miller, a twenty-year analyst, negotiator, and adviser on Middle Eastern issues at the Department of State, join Deep Dish this week to discuss the future of US-Israel relations.
Brian Hanson: This is Deep Dish on Global Affairs, going beyond the headlines and critical global issues. I'm Brian Hanson, and today we're talking about the US-Israel relationship. Last week, as you probably heard, Israel's Attorney General announced his intention to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, and this news comes a month before elections in Israel, in which Netanyahu is seeking his fourth consecutive term. It also comes just as the White House had planned to roll out what President Trump has called the deal of the century, a peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians. We want to take this opportunity to take a look at the US-Israel relationship now and where we're headed, and to join me in this conversation are two top experts. First, I have Douglas Feith who is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and he also served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the George W. Bush administration. He's written a memoir entitled, "War and Decision," and right now, he is writing a history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Welcome, Douglas. It's great to have you on Deep Dish.
Douglas Feith: Good to be with you.
Brian Hanson: Also joining us for this conversation is Aaron David Miller, who is Vice President and a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in DC. He served in the Department of State as an analyst, negotiator, and advisor on Middle Eastern issues for over two decades. His latest book is, "The End of Greatness," and he also has a new essay in POLITICO on the very topic we're discussing today. Welcome, Aaron. It's great to have you as well.
Aaron David Miller: Brian, it's a pleasure.
Brian Hanson: So this conversation is going to be about the state and the future of the US-Israeli relationship, as I mentioned. We can't really have a conversation today about that without addressing the issue of what's going on with Benjamin Netanyahu. Aaron, I wonder if you could start us off by just filling our audience in on what the Attorney General is thinking about bringing charges about, and what does this mean for the election campaign happening in April.
Aaron David Miller: That's a complicated subject. Benjamin Netanyahu has proven himself over four consecutive terms and one that began in 1996 to be far more than a speed bump in Israeli politics. So, even though the odds, I suspect, of his remaining Prime Minister over time have probably diminished, I still wouldn't count him out. Look, after a two-year investigation, Attorney General Mandelblit, who was very close to the Prime Minister at one point, has brought charges, on three separate cases which fall into categories from bribery to fraud to breach of trust. And this is not a final indictment, nor is it indictment grounds for the Israeli Prime Minister to resign. Only a conviction would do that, but they are serious charges. The first sitting Israeli Prime Minister ever to be indicted. And I suspect it will have a considerable impact on the campaign. It will not, and I think Mr. Netanyahu's opponents, who have come together to form a new party, Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz, a former Chief of Staff and Israeli General and three other individuals, Yair Lapid a member of Yesh Atid, a charismatic popular politician and two other Israeli Generals are aware of the fact that, right now, probably Mr. Netanyahu has a better chance of forming a government. Remember, since the Israelis eliminated direct election of the prime minister, you can actually get more mandates as a single party and not be able or even be asked to form a government. So, right now, if elections were held tomorrow, most of Mr. Netanyahu's base has stuck with him. He has a clear and easier path to the actual formation of a government. What will play out in the next 30-plus days until the elections is anyone's guess. The polls right now, of the last 13 or 14 polls, most suggest a soft bleeding of votes of these votes of moderate, soft right elements away from Mr. Netanyahu. Now, whether those are going to the new Gantz-Lapid party or to other right wing parties are unclear. But, right now, this is still very much an open election.
Brian Hanson: So, we have some uncertainty about where this election is going, but what we do have, in helping frame this conversation is a really long record of Prime Minister Netanyahu's period in power. Douglas, he's had a very big role in shaping how the US-Israel relationship has evolved in the last decade. What do you see are some of the defining legacies how he has marked the evolution of this relationship?
Douglas Feith: Well, I think that he gets a fair amount of credit in Israel for improving Israel's position in international diplomacy. He's generally considered a large, successful figure with a major voice in world affairs and he gets that credit even from in Israel who don't like him. The Israelis have a sense of what a tiny little country they are and they're constantly amazed and somewhat gratified that they get a lot more attention in the world from various accomplishments. Some of them are the economic accomplishments in the country. Israel punches way above its weight in business and in innovative industries and the like. But it also punches way above its weight diplomatically and their prime minister gets received as a major world figure in Washington and Moscow, in Beijing and in New Delhi, and other places like that and Israelis generally like that and give Netanyahu some credit for that. And, as I said, I think he gets that credit. I've heard it from Israelis who don't like him at all and hope that would lose, but they say, "You know, there's no question he's done a lot for the country on the world stage." And I think that's one of the major developments, including when we talk about the world stage, there's been a substantial change in the Middle East, in that the major issue in the Middle East throughout the Muslim world in the Middle East, is the Sunni-Shiite divide, is basically that the threat that the Sunni Arabs see from Iran and Iran's very aggressive behavior in the region. And the development of that problem for the Sunni Arab states, the Iranian threat problem, has led to some substantial changes in the diplomacy of the Sunni Arab countries. And they've reached out in a very public way to Israel and Israel has relations, and even sometimes overt relations, with Arab countries participating in sports events, participating in political discussions and the like and including with public appearances with Saudi officials and former Saudi officials and that has also made a lot of Israelis very happy because it relieves the tensions of complete isolation in their own neighborhood and Netanyahu gets some credit for that, too, and for having made such a major issue of Iran, that he wound up being viewed by the anti-Iran Sunni Arab states as an important ally.
Brian Hanson: Yeah, and certainly that's been a centerpiece of his own foreign policy priorities in Iran. He's also been controversial here in the United States and some commentators have posited that he's exacerbated partisan divides in Israel, whereas, there was really a long tradition of bipartisan support, for support for Israel. Increasingly, that this has become a more partisan issue, particularly with Netanyahu's relationship with the Republican party. Is that a fair assessment and what are the implications? Aaron, let me bring you in.
Aaron David Miller: Let me just make one additional point to add to what Doug said. It's stunning, actually, to think about what is happening with respect to Israel's relationship with the rest of the world, at a time when you have one of the most right-wing governments in the history of the country, a prime minister frankly, and I'm just reporting here, who frankly has no interest in entering into serious negotiations with Palestinians at a time when Israeli settlement activities are expanding. You have an extraordinary outreach to the world. Israel now has more ... some form of diplomatic representation in over 160 countries. Netanyahu has personal relationships with both the president of the United States and with Vladimir Putin, whom he sees at least 10 times, expanding relations with India, with China, with African countries and historic trips to Latin America. It's really astounding and it reflects, I think, an exhaustion and frustration, particularly in the Arab world with the increasing unlikelihood that you're going to have an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and a high degree of compelling attraction on the part of the Arabs and others, the Chinese and the Indians, in particular, with Israeli technology and a sale of military equipment. So, it's rather remarkable and I just think back on the 90s when one of the promises of a peace process was a legitimization in expanding reach of Israel in the region in the world and this is happening without that, without a peace process. So, it's rather remarkable. On the second point, look, I worked for Republicans and Democrats. I've voted for Republicans and Democrats, but I am very concerned, frankly, that the US-Israeli relationship, still one of the most relationships that we have with any country in the world, despite the stresses, the imperfections and the fact that, let's be clear, American and Israeli interests cannot possibly be expected to coincide across the board. Where you stand in life is where you sit. And let's be clear, Israel and the United States sit in very different places. I've had two Israeli Prime Ministers, Rabin and Netanyahu say to me, in no uncertain terms, "Don't preach to us about our security. You live in Chevy Chase, Maryland. We're sitting on top of a volcano," in almost identical words, 10 to 15 years apart. But the reality is, I think, that Mr. Netanyahu and certainly Mr. Trump have willfully cultivated the impression and the notion that the Republican party is the party of intense, consistent, and reliable support for Israel and the Democratic party is not. And I would argue to you ... Doug may or may not agree ... that if you lose that sense of bipartisanship, the fact that are very few things Republicans and Democrats can agree on these days. And, traditionally, support for Israel has been one of them and I find it very worrisome, frankly, that that sense of bipartisanship is now under threat.
Douglas Feith: Well, if I could jump in ... I agree that Israel has, historically, had strong support from Democrats and Republicans in the United States and I think it has a great interest in maintaining bipartisan support in the United States for Israel. So, the relationship is, I think, healthier if it has bipartisan support. But, I don't think anybody can deny that the Republican support, and the polls are very clear on this, grass roots Republican support and leadership support is extremely strong and on the Democratic side, there is a split and there's a substantial part of the Democratic party, including a lot of the younger people, who are not at all friendly to Israel and some of them are very actively hostile. And it's an interesting question why that is. Some people blame Netanyahu for it. I understand the argument. I'm not particularly persuaded by it, partly because if you look what's happening with progressive politics in Europe, a lot of it has become very anti-Israel and I think what you're seeing in the United States, as often is the case, you get certain intellectual trends that develop in Europe that then get adopted in the United States and I think that the anti-Israel-ism and, for that matter, anti-Semitism that is very much on the rise in Europe, is beginning to have an increase in support here in the United States also. I think there's still a fight within the Democratic party over the question of friendliness toward Israel and so we'll see how it develops. And the fight is, right now, showing itself in the dispute over the new congresswoman, Ilhan Omar's recent anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements about dual loyalty that are being condemned by other members of the Democratic party in Congress.
Brian Hanson: Yeah, and so you both see the split going on. Is this something that should be a focus of the Israeli government, whoever is running the government after April 9th, to actually actively try to restore the same kind of bipartisan support and levels of cohesion around policy toward Israel or is this really not something that they can or should try to influence?
Aaron David Miller: I think it's, as Doug suggested, I think it's a fundamental benefit for an Israeli government to have the credibility on both sides of the aisle. I mean, after all, why do we support the state of Israel? You can go through all the explanations, the moral debt that America believes it owes to victims and survivors of the Nazi genocide. The fact that 24 hours from now, probably the fate of any other American ally in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia could be changed by one bullet and American aircraft would be able to land reliably in Israel, should that be required. The influence of a pro-Israeli community that has a right to lobby and does it extremely well, even though, in my judgment at times the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee can have too much influence, particularly in Congress. And the conception of Israel as a strategic ally of the United States, all of these things are important. But the one thing that binds the relationship and, in my judgment, without this, the relationship would not have proven to be as resilient in the value affinity, the notion that it is in the broadest conception of the American national interest to support like-minded societies that share American values. And even though there are major differences between the United States and Israel in many areas and fights over the Israel occupation and practices toward the Palestinians, Israel is still the only country in that region, without exception, in which there is a high degree of confluence on interest and values. My concern is when the image of Israel changes in the mind of America if, in fact it does, that that special relationship will decline and I believe the key to maintaining that special relationship and that value affinity is bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans. I mean, you know, the paradox is that the community in the United States probably that has the least divided position on Israel are the evangelical Christians. Doug is absolutely right. The Democratic party is increasingly divided. So, yeah, I think Republican and Democratic support is critically important to the future of the relationship and I would think any Israeli prime minister would want to go out his or her way to create the perception that they are interceding or intervening in American politics and that they prefer one party over the other.
Douglas Feith: I think that's correct. There is one point that's worth making and we haven't quite touched on it, but I think it's extremely important, both on the question of the Israeli elections and on the question of the US-Israeli relationship and that's the issue of what became of the peace process? What became of the Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians. And I think ...
Brian Hanson: Perfect. That's exactly where I wanted to go next.
Douglas Feith: Okay, well if I may, what I wanted to point out is that maybe Netanyahu's political success is based on something that actually happens largely before he became prime minister again in 2009 and that is there was an intense process of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, or the PLO, which dominated the Palestinian Authority throughout the 90s, as Aaron mentioned. And it culminated in a very intense effort that was led by President Clinton in the year 2000 when he got the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak together with Yasser Arafat at Camp David and the Israeli Prime Minister made a proposal that was more generous than, I think, pretty much anybody, any of the analysts believed was even possible. And he basically proposed giving up virtually all of the territories with certain land swaps and even dividing authority and responsibility in Jerusalem. I mean, it was an extremely generous proposal. It was by what the peace camp in Israel had been advocating. And Yasser Arafat basically said, "I'm happy with all of that, but one more thing," and the one more thing that he proposed was the so-called Palestinian right of return, which even people in the Israeli peace camp said was tantamount to asking the Israelis to commit suicide. And so, Arafat's answer was, "I'll take all the things that you're offering, but one more thing, you have to commit suicide."
Brian Hanson: The concern there was that so many people would be returning, that it would fundamentally change the population composition of Israel, right? That's the argument about why it would suicide?
Douglas Feith: Right, it would destroy the Jewish majority and the Jewish character and the state. And so the point that I think that's important to understand is history rarely gives like laboratory-type experiments, but this was a laboratory-type experiment of what the strongest stalwarts in the peace camp wanted as a basis for a deal and people in Israel, in the peace camp were really shocked that it was rejected by Arafat, as it was rejected. And then it triggered the so-called Second Intifada, which was extremely bloody and the consequence of that is the gigantic debates about peace and security in Israel that were extremely divisive in the 90s, largely went away. There was a remarkable, kind of demoralization of the peace camp. There was a sense that they had tried their best and that there was nobody on the Palestinian side to talk to. And that, to a large extent, remains the view, so one of the things ... and then Bibi Netanyahu came in as Prime Minister again in 2009, and this peace and security issue has not been the heart and soul of Israeli politics as they were in the 1990s and he's benefited enormously from that and it's even interesting that in the current election, the things that he's fighting about, with General Gantz and Yair Lapid and his main opposition now, are not the peace and security issues. They have to do with more things like personal corruption and all the rest of that.
Aaron David Miller: Yeah, I'd just like to point out, I feel sort of personal responsibility for this, having been one of the 12 Americans at Camp David and having doubts about whether or not this summit made any sense, although I went along with it, to say the least. I would say that Arafat's real transgression at Camp David ... there's no point in arguing about the details of the American proposal ... but Arafat's real transgression at Camp David, I think, was not that he didn't sign on the dotted lines, the fact is that Ehud Barak, who was the prime minister at the time ... and Doug is quite right ... he made an offer that was, no doubt, more generous than any Israeli prime minister has done before ... but Barak having turned around three months earlier before Assad died ... and, in March in Geneva, the Geneva Summit and having offered 99.9% of the Golan Heights minus 300 yards off the northeastern portion of the lake, and this to a man and to a regime who wouldn't even allow his foreign minister, Farouk al-Shara, to shake Barak's hand seemed a stretch for Arafat, who was not going to accept the 92% that Barak offered, even with swaps. I heard Arafat say during that summit at least three times, "That you will not walk behind my coffin." The fact is that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians were ready for the kinds of choices that needed to be made at Camp David. Clinton, unlike Jimmy Carter, did not take charge of the summit, but even if he had, and I don't want to diminish Bill Clinton's commitment to this, he was very committed, but the fact is this was an ill-timed, ill-advised, and ill-planned summit that should never have taken place. And the sad reality, and Doug is 100% right, the Israeli-Palestinian relationship had not yet recovered from the trauma of descending to top of the mountain at Camp David and then, by September, descending into the valley of despair, terror, and violence, in which the violence ... the Palestinian tiger was let out of the cage by Arafat, he acquiesced, if not supported it in an effort to gain better terms, which he actually did, by the end of the year when Clinton offered his parameters. That peace process had not yet recovered and the fact is, if we're transitioning to the peace process, let's be clear, right now on the six core issues that drive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — border security, refugees, Jerusalem, recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jews, and end of conflict and all claims, I'll make it very clear. There is no conflict-ending solution available and therein lies the problem for Mr. Kushner, for Mr. Trump or any other punitive American mediator, unless the Israelis and Palestinians are willing to own this, and own it in a way that even Barak was not willing to do or Arafat, to say the least, we're going to be having this conversation next year and the year after.
Brian Hanson: So, Doug, do you feel the same way about the prospect for a deal of any kind?
Douglas Feith: My view is I would not put it in the neutral fashion that Aaron just formulated, saying the parties aren't ready. I think it's quite clear the fundamental problem is that the Palestinian leadership is a catastrophe and it's been a catastrophe for 100 years. They've had a series of leaders that have done some harm to the Jews and the Israelis, but catastrophic harm to the Palestinians. The leadership is corrupt, the leadership is dishonest, the leadership is violent on the Palestinian side. They need new leaders and better political institutions if there's going to be any hope of resolving the conflict consensually. And I think that anybody who wants to promote peace and I don't know what Kushner's plan is, but if he has a plan, the strategic aim of which is to promote new Palestinian leadership and new Palestinian political institutions, perhaps through greater involvement by the regional countries of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and others, if that's his plan, it might do some good. If that's not his plan, then I don't see any prospect for success.
Brian Hanson: And how big a priority do each of you see this pursuing a peace plan, in terms of the relationship with Israel and, more broadly, US policy toward the Middle East? When we started the conversation, you both emphasized the change in the politics of the region in which, in some ways, this conflict has become less central to the broader political dynamics in the region. Bluntly, how important, what priorities should this be for US policy makers to pursue a peace plan between the Israelis and the Palestinians?
Douglas Feith: Well, I think Aaron made an enormously important point earlier when he said that there was a view that really was predominant in American national security circles for decades that the central issue in Middle Eastern affairs was the Israeli-Arab conflict or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that you could not have any significant improvement in Israeli relations with its Arab neighbors unless there was major progress with the Palestinians. That was a predominant view. Recent events have contradicted that view. There's a kind of interesting historical questions whether that view was ever correct. It is clearly not correct today. I would argue that it was never correct. I think that what we've seen in recent years is a refutation of that view, but it's a separate question whether it was true in the 50s or 60s. It is certainly not true now and that's a major lesson and I think the United States has a great interest ... I think Israel has an even greater interest, in a consensual resolution of the conflict. If they can get it, it's worth getting, but it is quite clear that lots of other positive developments in the region are possible for Israel and for the United States, even if the Palestinian leadership doesn't get itself situated and organized to make progress toward peace with Israel.
Aaron David Miller: You know, I'd only say that I was, having spent most of my adult professional life trying to help the Arabs and Israelis, Israelis and Palestinians come to some sort of resolution of their differences a believer in this central proposition, that the key to American credibility and the stability in the region, lay in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that if only that were resolved, things would be much improved. Well, the last seven years should have put to rest any illusions that that was, in fact, even true at the time. The Middle East today is a broken, angry, dysfunctional place. It has more violence, more terrorist groups operate there, according to the CIA than ... I think of the 10 most deadliest, seven are located either in the region or in southwest Asia. It is a region most disconnected from the rest of the world. Democratization, respect for human rights, transparency, accountability, gender equality, all of those remain thought experiments through most of the region. In fact, I would argue to you that the three most consequential states today, in that part of the world, are the three non-Arabs. Israel, Turkey, and, of course, Iran. They are all stable domestically. They all have tremendous economic potential. One is a member of NATO. One is America's closest ally. The third is an outlier. But they have the capacity to project their force and they have quite functional intelligence organizations and military. When I met Mr. Kushner for the first time, I told him, I said, "I wish my father-in-law had as much confidence in me as your father-in-law appears to have in you, because he's given you Mission Impossible." He said, "It's not just Mission Impossible, it's Mission Improbable." And the US confronts far greater challenges and has far more vital interests than what I would argue to you is the important discretionary issue of solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem, which we cannot do ... and I would disagree here with Doug, that's no surprise, this is not one-hand clapping ... I agree with his description of the Palestinian leadership. Dysfunctional, corrupt, and largely extractive, but that still does not negate the fact that both sides have choices and responsibilities and decisions to make that will require very painful decisions on both their parts. I can say without hesitation or reservation that Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu are not the two leaders that are going to show the pathway forward. So, my own view is we have three vital interests in the United States. Preventing attack on our homeland, maintaining access to Arab hydrocarbons even though we are weaning ourselves off of them, and preventing the emergence of any regional hegemon with a nuclear weapon. Those are things that we need to care about because those are things we can actually do something about.
Brian Hanson: So, you anticipated where I wanted to go with my closing question which is what should be the core agenda, from a US perspective, what should be the core agenda in the U.S.-Israeli relationship? What should we be trying to achieve in that relationship and Doug, let me go to you.
Douglas Feith: I think that security is high on the list and security means, of course, working with Israel so that Israel can protect itself from enemies that want to destroy it and, right now, the principle threat in the region is coming from Iran. But security also means that the United States and Israel can work together in ways that serve common interests and there are some very serious security threats to the United States in the region, Iran being one of them, but the disintegration of Syria, the large Russian military presence in the region, the fact that the Chinese are pushing out to become a global maritime power and are building their first overseas military base in Djibouti at the entrance to the Red Sea with an obvious interest in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. All of those things are of concern and Israel has, by far, the most capable military, most capable intelligence service and highly capable industry, including in the cyber field, and so Israel is a valuable partner to the United States on security issues that go beyond the question of securing Israel's existence, but also helping the United States secure America's interests. So, I would emphasize, it's not the be-all and the end-all of the relationship, but I would emphasize the large importance of security in the US-Israeli relationship.
Brian Hanson: And, Aaron, perhaps building on the answer that you gave a moment ago, what do you think should be at the heart of the relationship?
Aaron David Miller: I mean, again, I'll come back to my central point. No other country in this region in the Middle East, in the Arab Middle East, let's put it that way, has a higher degree of coincidence of values and interests, than the one we share with Israel. And while there is no way that our interests can coincide, I'm always struck, frankly, by the high degree of coincidence that exists, given the disparity of our roles and our sizes. With non-predatory neighbors to our north and south and fish to our east and west, what one historian called our liquid assets, we are not in the same position as the state of Israel and it may well deserve the title of a military super-power. I think it does, but it's still a tiny country under tremendous constraint and threat. I just think that, frankly, with the exception of the one issue over which, in my judgment, we really don't have the capacity to fundamentally rearrange how to help the Israelis deal with an unresolved Palestinian issue, which I think is consequential to the image of Israel and the nature of this relationship, I think that the US-Israeli relationship is functioning at an incredibly high degree of stability and I'm not sure ... Doug's right, security is always the central consideration. We deployed THAAD yesterday.
Brian Hanson: Missile defense system, right?
Aaron David Miller: Right, it's a THAAD exercise, along with 200 US troops and the Israelis are incredibly competent with respect to defending themselves, so we are trying to ... Mr. Kushner, I know, is trying to create a regional dimension to his peace plan and I think that's of real value and utility, although I am very worried about another relationship, frankly, one that developed roughly around the same time as our relationship with Israel, and that is the US-Saudi relationship, because I think we are getting sucked into something that, frankly, is undermining our interests and our values with a very impulsive and reckless crown prince. But, I think that the US-Israeli relationship, absent the one issue that I identified, is actually both under Republican and Democratic Presidents has demonstrated its utility and its resiliency.
Brian Hanson: Aaron David Millerler of the Woodrow Wilson Center and Douglas Feith of the Hudson Institute, I want to thank both of you for taking the time to come on and talk about a very important relationship in U.S. Foreign Policy and helping us get a better set of insights into where we are now in that relationship and how to think about it, so thank you both for being on.
Douglas Feith: Nice to be with you.
Aaron David Miller: Brian, it was great being with Doug, as well.
Brian Hanson: And thank you for tuning into this episode of Deep Dish. If you liked the show, do me a favor and tap the "subscribe" button on your podcast app. You can find our show under Deep Dish on Global Affairs wherever you listen to podcasts and if you think you know someone who would enjoy today's episode, please take a moment to tap "share" and send it to them. We'd like to invite you to join our Facebook group, Deep Dish on Global Affairs, where you can ask our guests followup questions about anything you heard today or submit questions for upcoming guests and episodes. That's Deep Dish on Global Affairs on Facebook. As a reminder, the opinions you heard belong to the people who expressed them and not the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This episode of Deep Dish was produced by Evan Fazio. Our audio engineer is Andy Zarnecki. I'm Brian Hanson and we'll be back soon with another slice of Deep Dish.