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CONNECT THE WORLD
Shimon Peres's Legacy; Russia Denies Responsibility for Downing of MH17. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 28, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:14] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a statesman instead of a politician. And those kind of people are very rare today.
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BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tributes at home and abroad for one of Israel's founding fathers. Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93. Tonight, we
look at his life and legacy, a man who was revered and respected, but also controversial and criticized.
Connect the World live from Jerusalem this hour.
And from Ramala, we hear from a man who two years ago told me Peres was failing in his quote moral and political responsibility to say no to
violence. An interview with Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghuti just ahead.
Hello. And welcome to Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson bringing you the show from Jerusalem as Israel mourns the loss of one of its founders.
Shimon Peres, the former president and prime minister died early on Wednesday at the age of 93 after suffering a devastating stroke.
Born in a tiny polish town, Peres went on to spend more than six decades in Israeli public life.
As Oren Liebermann now reports, he will be remembered by many as an architect of Peace.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The story of Shimon Peres is the story of modern Israel. One of the longest serving politicians in Israel's history, Peres was there from the very beginning.
During the war of independence he was responsible for buying weapons. He was briefly head of the navy, established the country's aircraft industry,
and during the '50s founded the country's nuclear program.
In government, he held virtually every major cabinet position and was prime minister three times, but never won an election. Many Israelis considered
him aloof, an intellectual who wore a suit, not a uniform.
ETHAN DOR SHAV, SHALEM CENTER: Never got the public love that he was yearning for. He was never hugged by the populous as our leader. He was
hated as much as he was loved.
LIEBERMANN: Most of all he was loved, and hated, for the 1993 Oslo peace process, which saw Yasser Arafat return from exile.
DONE GOLD, JERUSALEM CENTER FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS: His name was attached to the Oslo peace accords, which were at the center of the polarization of
Israeli society and political life.
LIEBERMANN: It won Peres the Nobel Peace Prize, but a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings and other attacks which followed left him struggling to
defend the peace process.
SHIMON PERES, FRM. PRIME MINSITER OF ISRAEL: I know we're moving on a road full of dangers, but I know also that this is the right road, the best
road, the only road upon which we have to move.
LIEBERMANN: Ultimately, the increase in violence cost him the 1996 election. Israelis turned their backs on Peres in favor of the
Conservative Benjamin Netanyahu.
Peres would often speak in terms of grand visions.
PERES: I do believe that there will be peace in the Middle East.
LIEBERMANN: It earned him derision from some Israelis, but international acclaim.
BILL CLINTON, FRM. PRESIDENT OF HTE UNITED STATES: I'm grateful for him for a
lifetime of thinking big thoughts and dreaming big dreams and figuring out practical ways to achieve them.
LIEBERMANN: And he never stopped striving for peace. He believed in a two-state solution up until the very end.
PERES: You know, I might too young, but too old to pay too much attention to what people say. I would rather see what they do. And maybe in the
conversation some people will say this and that, but the official position and the real desire of the Israeli state of
two states, an Arab State and a Jewish state, and I think that's also the conclusion of the Arabs.
LIEBERMANN: Of all the Palestinians, Saeb Arakat, the chief negotiator, he may have known
Peres the best.
SAEB ARAKAT, PALESTINIAN CHIEF NEGOTIATOR: When I met him 25 years ago, I was a young professor. And I was angry about something. And he looked at
me and he said, Saeb, negotiating in pain and frustration for five years is cheaper than exchanging bullets for five minutes.
LIEBERMANN: After nearly 50 years as a member of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, Peres became the country's president, serving until his
retirement in 2014. But when asked how he wanted to be remembered, he didn't mention a life of civil service.
PERES: I would like that somebody write about me that they saved a life of a single child, this will satisfy me more than anything else.
LIEBERMANN: Perhaps a better answer came a decade earlier.
PERES: I feel like a person that's served this country rightly and properly and that is in my
judgment the highest degree a person can feel.
LIEBERMANN: On this day, there are few Israelis who would disagree.
[11:05:20] ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Oren Liebermann joining me now from the Knesset to talk about plans for the funeral and how the next few days will
And Oren, what do we know at this stage?
LIEBERMANN: Becky, the focus of tomorrow will be right here behind me at the Knesset where Shimon Peres lie in state. First, Israeli leaders, then
world leaders and the public will come here to the Knesset, to the Israeli parliament, to pay their respects.
The flag here at the Knesset already flying at half staff in mourning in respect for Shimon Peres
for his passing early this morning. Then the focus shifts on Friday to Mount Herzl, that's where many
Israeli leaders are buried. Early in the morning his body, the body of Shimon Peres, will be moved from here, from the Knesset, to Mount Herzl,
which is also in Jerusalem where there will be eulogies, a funeral he will be buried.
Interestingly, from what we understand, he will be buried between Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir, those are two of his great rivals in his
political life that also became his great partners in what he was working on.
As for Israeli leaders and world leaders, the condolences, the messages, have been pouring in all day. Perhaps one of the most powerful comes from
his successor, President Reuven Rivlin who had this to say about what Shimon Peres means to Israel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUEVEN RIVLIN, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL: There is not a chapter in the history of the state of Israel in which Shimon did not write or play a part, and
then who was a symbol for the great spirit of his people. Shimon made us look far into the future. We loved him even when they did not see things
eye to eye because he made us. He made us dare to imagine not what was once here, nor what is now,
but what could be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: That is but one message that is but one message that has come from Israeli leaders and world leaders paying tribute to Shimon Peres. The
list of guests, the list of world leaders coming to the funeral is quite long, absolutely impressive. Perhaps the biggest name that we have
confirmed right now is President Bill Clinton who was a close friend of former president Yitzhak Rabin who came to pay his respects. He will come
and pay his respects once again, Becky.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann, outside the Knesset. Oren, thank you.
Well, current and former world leaders describing Peres as both a friend and an inspiration. Here is some of the reaction for you. President Obama
saying a light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever. Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice,
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who together with Peres, championed the 1993 Oslo peace
accords and will be here for Peres's funeral said in a joint statement with his wife, Israel has lost a leader who championed its security, prosperity,
and limitless possibilities from its birth to his last day on Earth.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair tweeted Peres, quote, "was a political giant, a
statesman who will rank as one of the foremost of this era or any era."
And UN chief Ban Ki-moon said this, "even in the most difficult hours he remained an optimist about the prospects for reconciliation and peace."
Well, a testament to the esteem in which he was held they on the other side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also paying their respects. The
president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas lauding the peace efforts of statesman. In message of condolence sent to his family he said
-- Abbas -- in expressing his sadness at the news and describing Peres as a partner for peace. He also praises his, quote, unremitting efforts from
the signing of the Oslo agreement until the last moment of his life.
Let's hear more now from the Palestinian side. Mustafa Barghouti is the founder of the Palestinian national initiative. He and joins me from the
west bank. And we just heard the words of Mahmoud Abass. Mr. Barghouti, your response to the news of the passing of Shimon Peres?
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, FOUNDER, PALESTINIAN NATIONAL INITIATIVE: Well, this is of course a very sad moment for his family and for his colleagues, of
course. And we should respect that.
But on the other hand, I think for many people Shimon Peres was a rather controversial figure in many ways for Israelis and Palestinians.
From one side, I think he was the most clear Israeli leader in trying to advise Israelis to take the risk of peace and not just the risk of war. On
the other hand, he was one of the first people who initiated settlement activities in the occupied territories, which represent today the biggest
obstacle to peace and the biggest difficulty in establishing an independent Palestinian State.
His name is very much linked to Oslo agreement and that is another very controversial issue, because now it is praised as an agreement that paved
the road for peace, but we don't have peace. After 23 years, that agreement allowed settlements to continue, allowed the occupation to
continue. And now we are hitting the 50th year of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
So unfortunate, the way it was done in my opinion led to a loss of a very good opportunity of
making peace by ending occupation. It did not end occupation. And that's why we still have a problem.
[11:11:04] ANDERSON: I want to show your viewers a moment that was one of the high points of that peace process in the Middle East. Shimon Peres,
Israeli foreign minister at the time standing there in the center between the late Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. This, of course, in 1994. And
you were alluded to this, Oslo accord -- that have just been jointly awarded -- they had been jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize following
the signing of the accords. visibly more optimism then than there is now.
Mr. Barghouti, you have said this about the agreement, it was the greatest idea Israel ever had. It let them continue the occupation without paying
any of the costs. When you hear the words of Mahmoud Abbas and those of so many people around the world, do you concede that Shimon Peres was an
architect of a peace deal that, sadly, hasn't worked?
But he always said he believed that he would see peace in his lifetime and he wanted a two-state solution. Do you concede that? He was an architect
of a process?
BARGHOUTI: Well, out of all people, he is definitely the most -- the one who deserves the description of the architect of Oslo, for sure.
But in my opinion, he abused the imbalance of power between Israelis and Palestinians and
pushed the Palestinian side to accept something that led to the problems today by pushing Palestinians to recognize Israel without Israel
recognizing Palestinian -- or Palestine as a state, he created an imbalance. And by pushing Palestinians to accept an agreement without
stopping settlement activities he unfortunately opened the road for his enemies of peace, because the Likudnicks the extremists in Israel took over
The number of settlers when the peace agreement was concluded was only 111,000. Now there are 700,000. Who is responsible for that? I think all
parties, but especially him.
ANDERSON: With respect, this is, of course, something that Shimon Peres was disappointed by. And he has been an outspoken critic of the
settlements for many, many years now, hasn't he?
BARGHOUTI: Yes, but he could have stopped it. He could have take the decision that no settlement activities would be allowed to continue after
signing the peace agreement. The peace agreement, unfortunately did not include that. And Palestinians asked for it, but they couldn't get it.
And he could have also called for recognition of the Palestinian State, at least in the last years of his life. He could have tried to push the
Israeli public to recognize Palestinians so that we can have a mutual respect and a possibility of two-state solution based on coexistence.
Unfortunately, this did not happen. This asymmetry, this imbalance, was all rooted in Oslo
agreement. I know today many people are celebrating the notion of peace, maybe the illusion of peace, but in reality, we still don't have peace.
And the main reason, the main problem is the continuation of the Israeli occupation, which is like a cancer for Israeli people as well.
It's a cancer for both people. It's a cancer that destroys the future. And what we need is an alternative path that is decisive that says yes we
want peace by ending occupation, by allowing at least the minimum of justice for all sides.
ANDERSON: Mr. Barghouti, how could Shimon Peres's passing provide new impetus for
the peace process some 23 years after the Oslo accords?
BARGHOUTI: Well what the question? I didn't get it. Sorry.
[11:15:04] ANDERSON: How might the passing of Shimon Peres and his legacy as an architect of a peace process that hasn't worked -- how might this
period actually provide some momentum on both sides to try and find a solution to this crisis?
BARGHOUTI: Well, this whole celebration and idealization of the notion of peace should, in my opinion, push those Israelis who are now saying there
is no place for Palestinian statehood and for a Palestinian free state to reconsider. It should also push the people of
Israel to stop electing the most extreme leaders like -- the Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu Naftali Bennet and others.
They should have chosen -- or they should try to choose different leaders.
ANDERSON: Let me ask you one question at this point. And how might the Palestinians also
organize themselves to provide some momentum within this process? This is -- there are two sides to this. And you have been critical of the
Palestinian leadership in the past.
BARGHOUTI: Well, I think unfortunately now the Palestinian leadership is in a very weak position. It is an authority under occupation. Yet I think
we are very clear. We are advocating that we should get our rights and we should conduct a non-violent resistance. I believe in that. I believe by
proceeding with our non-violent resistance and by our insistence on internal democratization we can really help in paving a road forward.
But what we also should do is to make it clear to the Israelis and to the world what is -- what can be a real peace. It cannot be an illusion. It
cannot be an agreement that is not justifying the basic needs of the people or the basic needs of justice. We should make it clear to the Israelis and
to the world that peace means ending occupation. Peace means mutual recognition. Peace means that we will be free people and not subjected to
a system of occupation that is transforming or has transformed, actually, into the worst system of apartheid, this is not good for us or for
ANDERSON: And with that, we're going to leave it there. Out of Ramala on the West Bank tonight, Mr. Barghouti, we thank you very much indeed for
This city, Jerusalem, has witnessed some horrific violence in recent months. Despite his wishes Shimon Peres never got to see lasting peace
here in his lifetime. But will any of us? Well, we'll be discussing that and we will continue to do so. I'll ask an expert on the conflict for his
perspective just ahead.
First up, though, two years on from the devastating crash over eastern Ukraine, investigators say
they know more about what brought down MH17. That is next.
[08:20:24] ANDERSON: You are watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, welcome back.
We are live from Jerusalem for you this hour as Israel takes stock after the loss a towering figure, former president and prime minister Shimon
Peres. We are going to have a lot more on his legacy throughout this hour. So do please stay with us for that.
First, thoguh, to another developing story and the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17.
A Dutch-led team says a buq missile brought down the plane two years ago. Investigators say the missile was brought into eastern Ukraine from Russia
then returned to Russian territory. Nearly 300 people were killed in the crash in 2014, most of them were Dutch.
Well, let's go live to Moscow and get the latest from Matthew Chance and what is reaction there to this news, Matthew?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you might expect, Becky, the reaction has been one of categorical denial. That was
what the line has been in Russia ever since July of 2014 when this catastrophe took place. The Russians have been at pains to distance
themselves from any involvement in that whatsoever, including any involvement in transferring the weapons system to the pro-Russian rebels in
eastern Ukraine. It was suspected of carrying out this attack, or indeed any connection with their own armed forces with the attack.
Since this latest report from the joint investigation team in The Netherlands, there has been released a few hours ago in that press
conversation that we all saw was broadcast, the Russians have come out with further statements, the Russian foreign ministry saying that
it is disappointed by the Dutch-led investigation and that the investigation is biased and politically motivated.
And so that's, again, been the -- been more or less the line of the Russians all along. And they are sticking to it despite the growing
evidence that the joint investigation team has acquired pointing to another conclusion.
ANDERSON; And there is the reaction. All right, thank you for that.
Matthew is in Moscow for you this evening.
Now to northern Iraq as the Iraqi army is fighting ISIS for the strategic city of Mosul. They are getting some help. The U.S. has agreed to send up
to 500 more troops to the area ahead of the fights. One Iraqi woman has been fighting ISIS, and before that, al Qaeda.
CNN's Ben Wedeman has more. A warning for you, some of you may find the images in his report graphic.
WAHIDA MUHAMMAD, HOUSEWIFE: (Speaking foreign language).
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wahida Muhammad (ph) counts all the times her house has been blown up: 2006, 2009,
2010, three cars in 2013 and 2014, she says.
Describing herself as a housewife, Wahida, better known as Um Hanadi (ph), took up arms and leads men into battle against ISIS and Al Qaeda before
"Six times they tried to assassinate me," she says.
"I have shrapnel in my head and legs. My ribs were broken. But all that didn't stop me from fighting."
Her first and second husbands were killed in action. And ISIS killed her father and three brothers.
"This justifies," she says, "the following, I fought them," she tells me, referring to ISIS.
"I beheaded them. I cooked their heads. I burned their bodies."
Grisly photos from her Facebook page bear out her words. Her men showed me the machete they say they use. General Jemaah Anned (ph) heads combat
operations in Saladin province.
This is his explanation.
"She lost her brothers and husbands as martyrs," he says, "so out of revenge she formed her own force."
Last week Um Hanadi (ph) and her men took part in the battle to drive ISIS out of her native Shirqat (ph). All ISIS left behind was booby traps and a
few dead bodies. Many of the residents stayed put or, like Um Hanadi (ph), joined the fighting.
These boys recount the travails of life under ISIS.
"There was no food, no school, nothing," says one.
"They ruined us."
"If we lose Iraq again," says Um Hanadi (ph), we'll lose it forever.
In ways both tangible and intangible, this ravaged land has already lost itself.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Shirqat (ph), Northern Iraq.
[11:25:23] ANDERSON: Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead, viewers. Plus, deadly shelling in eastern Aleppo strikes hospitals and a
bakery where people have been lined up to buy bread. A report from Damascus ahead.
And more on our top story this hour: the death of Israel's Shimon Peres. We'll get reaction from Washington and look to the future of Peres's dream
You are watching CNN. We are in Jerusalem for you this evening. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is holding Russia responsible. He says the U.S. will end its talks with Russia over the
crisis unless Moscow does something to stop the Aleppo attacks.
CNN'S Fred Pleitgen is in Damascus with the latest for you.
[11:30:04] FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the situation continues to be dire for the people there in eastern Aleppo.
The latest that we are getting from the Syrian government is they say that they're continuing to press their offensive on those opposition-held areas.
The Syrian government claims that they've won back some territory around the citadel near the old town, however the opposition sources say that that
isn't true, that they cannot confirm that.
At the same time, of course, the situation continues to deteriorate for the civilians in eastern Aleppo. A bakery was apparently hit, also two of the
last remaining hospitals also taking some hits. Apparently, those are now also out of order.
And, you know, one of the things that aid organizations say is they say that it's not only a big problem for them that they cannot bring aid into
the city now, but they also say another big problem is that they can't get people who have been wounded, who are sick, who are malnourished out to get
them some real medical attention.
At the same time, you do have one organization here in Syria, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent that's trusted both by the government as well as by
opposition supporters. And that organization has had a very rough month with one of its convoys being hit. But still it continues to press on.
A horrifying attack on humanitarian workers. Aid trucks and a warehouse of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent destroyed near Aleppo a little over a week
ago, killing a dozen, sending shock waves through the organization.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people said we should stop, we should only for three days, stop only for three days to say that we are sorry. But
nobody can stop because you see that people need help. So we cannot stop. We can never stop.
PLEITGEN: But shortly after, trucks are being loaded again. Aid convoys back on the roads. After the attack on its convoy, the Syrian Arab Red
Crescent only halted its activities for about three days. Since then they say that their convoys are running at full capacity again.
The Red Crescent is one of the few organizations in this country trusted by both government and opposition supporters. They cross battle lines to
deliver aid all over the country, run water projects, and even bakeries.
And they risk their lives to provide first aid in this war zone. CNN was on hand shortly after a bomb went off in central Damascus in 2013. Most of the
rescue workers are volunteers like first aid squad leader Iman Hamoudeh.
IMAN HAMOUDEH, FIRST AID SQUAD LEADER: So you have to help other people if you can. You need to feel like you are doing something. Like you are you
have youth, you have a power. You need to do something to help other people who are in most need.
PLEITGEN: Together with the U.N., the Red Crescent even coordinates air drops to besieged areas in Syria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two minute to drop. Proceed to drop.
PLEITGEN: We were in their operations room when aid was parachuted into Deir Ez-zor, which is besieged by ISIS. The head of the organization says
his plea to the powers involved in the conflict is simple. Don't target the aid workers.
BDUL RAHMAN ATTAR, SYRIAN ARAB RED CRESCENT PRESIDENT: We have been lost more than 57 volunteer in the front line. And all of them are young,
between 18 to 26 year. This is really showing what does it mean the volunteering work in Syria.
PLEITGEN: September has been a bittersweet month for the Red Crescent. They won the American Red Cross International Humanitarian Service Award. But
only a week later its convoy was hit near Aleppo, a loss no award in the world can make up for.
And you know, Becky, one of the things that really surprised us when we were there at the Syrian Arab Red Crescent headquarters is that even after
this hit of the convoy and even after they've lost other aid workers over the past couple of years is that we still saw additional people coming in
and saying they want to volunteer for doing humanitarian work for this organization as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen reporting for you from Damascus.
And we are in Jerusalem this evening with our top story, the passing of Shimon Peres.
U.S. President Barack Obama is among the world leaders and dignitaries invited to Israel on Friday for the funeral of Mr. Peres. In a statement
from the White House, Mr. Obama praised the Israeli statesman as a powerful force on the world stage, quote, there are few people who we share this
world with who change the course of human history not just through their role in human events but because they expand our moral imagination and
force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people.
Well, CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joins us now from Washington.
And, Elise, you were at Shimon Peres's 90th birthday bash with -- am I right in saying Barbara
Streisand? You knew Shimon. You interviewed him a number of times, and very recently, of course. Just describe what you believe his legacy will
[11:35:01] ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, that's right. It was me, Barbara Streisand, Shimon Peres and Bill Clinton and a lot of other
star studded people.
And I think that, you know, what he really represented to everybody, Becky, was this was a
man who everyone saw as a man of peace, but he was not a dove. I mean, this is a man who really built up Israeli security and even as he looked
for a peace with Israel's Arab neighbors and the Palestinians, security was always on his mind. And that's what he would talk about when we did our
interviews. It was never peace at all costs. And that's why you are hearing from so many people here in Washington from President Obama to
Secretary Kerry, to so many congressmen -- Bill Clinton talking about the courage that he had in the fears -- with all the fears of Israeli security.
And you remember that kind of historic handshke that he did on the White House lawn with Yasser Arafat.
He was saying to the world, we are scared. We have fears about our security, but the only way that we are going to overcome this is to make
And so this was not a man that was naive. He did not have rose-colored glasses. Some people thought maybe in his later life he did. But he
always was in foremost had Israeli security in mind as he looked for that peace with Israel's Arab neighbors. And I think he was
seen as a formidable negotiating partner. Relations with the White House weren't always great under his watch. And certainly, when Prime Minister
Netanyahu took over, he tried to smooth things over between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama.
I think this is a man who everybody thought was a calm, cool, statesmanlike man even after he was not the prime minister anymore and didn't have a
cabinet position. The president is largely a figurehead position, but because it was Shimon Peres, he was really seen as a statesman and a
grandfather to Israel and to the world, I think.
ANDERSON; Elise on U.S./Israeli relations and the legacy that is the man Shimon Peres. Thank you, Elise.
Peres was the last alive among Israel's founding fathers. And his story is very much the story of Israel itself, of the necessity of war but the
longing for peace. Some think these scenes made Peres a war criminal when as prime minister more than 100 civilians were killed when Israel shelled a
UN compound in southern Lebanon. It came amid fighting with Hezbollah.
But here he is in parliament, victorious not after a fight but after helping to lock in a major peace deal with Palestinians. That peace
process, however, eventually gave way to violence. And things came to a head in 2000 when then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon took these
steps onto what Jews call Temple Mount. Right after, furious Palestinians rampaged into their second intifada, or uprising, lasing five years.
Well, I spoke to Shimon Peres two years ago myself right here in Jerusalem. He was still president at the time. We talked about a surge in violence
that was going on then. Even in the midst of that he was still optimistic about peace. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERES: I don't imagine a Palestinian mother, or an Israeli mother that will forever pray that her children will be at war all of their live and
all their future. It's nonsense. All of us are human beings. Unfortunately, we have both blood and tears. I wish that the amount of
blood will go down and that tears will be tears of happiness, not tears of regret and sorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Shimon Peres speaking to me a couple of years ago.
So, what hopes, if any, are there left for peace in the long-term? Well, let's talk with Padraig O'Malley who is with us in Beruit. He is a
professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and the author of the "Two-State Delusion."
What your thoughts, first, on Shimon Peres's legacy, if you will.
PADRAIG O'MALLEY, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS-BOSTON: Becky, let me very blunt. In the West, Shimon Peres was a lionized -- he was the moderate
voice. He was the accepted voice. He moved in all the right circles to Davos to celebrities to Barbara Streisand to the Clintons to that whole
shamass of insiders, insiders in beltway, and insiders in cities around the world.
But when you look at what is his legacy, he had a hand in the Oslo agreements of 1993. Those agreements were, from the beginning, flawed
because they did not say at the end of the five years when the final issues would be determined that the Palestinians would get a Palestinian state.
Indeed, (inaudible) went to Yasser Arafat and said Mr. Arafat, we have not been promised a Palestinian State, it's not in the agreement. And he said,
well, but am the embodiment of a Palestinian State.
And the agreement really fell apart because there was no outcome to the question of a Palestinian state. He was involved or went through
negotiations in the year 2000 at Camp David, in 2007 in Indianapolis, in 2013 and 2014 -- the Kerry-sponsored talks. And nothing ever changed. The
only thing that changed were more settlements, more settlements.
I think that's the context we should use.
ANDERSON: Your book is the "Two-State -- and I appreciate your words. "The Two-State Delusion" is the title of your book. To your mind, t'was it then
ever thus? Or weren't the Oslo Accords a real opportunity lost?
And should Yitzhak Rabin not have been assassinated in 1995, do you not concede that the prospect for peace was a possibility at that point?
O'MALLEY: Well, it was -- it would have been a possibility if we knew what the endgame was. If you are going to negotiate, you have to know what you
are negotiating towards. And the Oslo Agreement did not point a direction, a clear direction as to what would be negotiated at the end.
Indeed, Rabin himself in his last speech to the Knesset said that he was not contemplating a two-state solution, he was contemplating some kind of
autonomous region for the Palestinians.
So the question of whether it will be or not be two states is based on the incredible real distrust that exists between Palestinians and Israelis that
has been kind of magnified in the last two years by the statement of Mr. Netanyahu and by the statement of Mr. Abbas to the point of where there is
absolutely no trust. There is absolutely no leadership.
And you cannot embark on a negotiating process that will lead to anything when you have
such a huge gulf in the intentions of the other side. For example...
ANDERSON: So, let's.
O'MALLEY: Most Palestinians believe -- give me a finish. Most Palestinians believe that if Israel -- a two-state solution that Israeli,
that only first step to overtake all of Palestine and most who Palestinians believe in a two state solution believe it is only a first step for
Palestinians to take over all of Palestine. The tween is not meeting the demographics, the interconnectedness of the settlements that have grown
enormously just make it not possible.
ANDERSON: This is fascinating.
Listen, I'm well aware that you have been in conflict mediation most of your professional life. You are a professional mediator. And you have had
some success. The world has seen some other extremely bitter conflicts of course. Take Colombia. The war there came
to a close just this week after more than 50 long years. All the fighting in Northern Ireland, you're very familiar with that, of ocurse. It dragged
on for some 30 years, or closer here, Lebanon's civil war, it went on for a decade and a half claiming hundreds of thousands of lives along the way.
Ideological, religious, ethnic, all these conflicts were divided along deeply entrenched lines, yet there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Are you really very pessimistic or do you believe there is light here as well?
O'MALLEY; The light at the end of the tunnel appears when each side comes to the conclusion that it cannot defeat the other, neither side can win,
and neither side can lose. So if they continue in their present patron of of violence towards each other, neither side is going to lose or gain very
much. So, a scene is set of absolute impasse. And at a scene of absolute impasse, people like the IRA, like FARC, began to think in different terms.
You can't get what you want, what will you settle for.
The same thing on the British side -- or rather government side. You can't get what you want, what will you settle for.
Unfortunately, that is not the case at all in Syria. You have too many external actors. You have the U.S., you have Russia, you have Turkey, you
have Iran, you have Saudis, you have Qatar.
[11:45:13] ANDERSON: Right.
O'MALLEY: Internal actors. You have got a whole host of them. Every one has a different agenda. If you were even negotiating, nobody is
negotiating towards a defined end, everybody has a different end in question.
And indeed, in the last couple of weeks the Russians have showed the kind of clever game they play. And it goes back from their actions in Crimea.
They went to Crimia and the west kind of muttered and set some sanction. Then it went into Ukraine and the U.S. muttered some more and set some
sanctions. Now it is taking actions in Syria. It is dropping bunker busting bombs that are intended to destroy people not just buildings. It
is intended to destroy people. And they want to push the people of Aleppo into surrender.
They are not interested in negotiating until they have a far higher and better hand. And the Americans are reduced...
ANDERSON: We have been reporting on this story this evening as well.
Sir, I am going to have to take a break, unfortunately. It's been an absolute pleasure to speak to you. We thank you very much. Do join us
again on Connect the World.
Tonight, live from Jerusalem as we've heard one particularly thorny issue in Shimon Peres's legacy is the Israeli settlements. More on that just
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the downside of retail therapy: not being able tofind your receipt when wanting to return a product. And sales receipts
cause needless clutter. They aren't very friendly to the environment either.
Now one South African startup says the time for paper receipts may just be reaching the end of
its role. Pocket Slip is a mobile app that enables stores to send digital toll slips directly to your phone.
Entrepreneurs Francois Liebenberg (ph), and Reiner Kotsia (ph) are the duo behind the paperless platform.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While working as a banker, I quickly realized that banks saved millions annually by replacing the paper receipts that you
could find at the ATM and always wondered why don't retailers follow suit?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Initial trials of the technology proved successful. This led to financial backing totaling $320,000 from investment companies
and group holdings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The receipts are stored in the cloud so that shoppers can receive their historic receipts at any given time and they can use it
for things such as warranties, tax returns, and even to take an item back to the store.
They are also able to rate the shopping experience to let retailers know when they're happy or dissatisfied.
[11:50:13] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pocket Slips says merchants can also use the
system to track their customers' buying habits in a different way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we have here is receipt totals, so that would be the total amount spent. And this would be the number of receipts that were
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But getting businesses to adopt a new way of doing things has been a challenge.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: With Pocket Slip being a new technology, there is some education
involved in teaching the retailers the benefits of having digital receipts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The company says receipts are stored for up to five years and so far business is good.
UNIDENITIFIED MAEL: The way that we generate revenue is by either charging a transactional fee for a retailer with very high volume, or for smaller
retailers we charge a flat monthly fee.
Currently we process around about 6,000 transactions and generate a revenue of more or less $12,000 per month.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: with two registered international patents and global expansion plans in the pipeline, mounting paper receipts and that bulging
wallet may just be a thing of the past.
ANDERSON: Well, the world is bidding good-bye to Shimon Peres, one of Israel's founding fathers, and also a central figure in the Middle East
Let's continue to discuss his legacy with David Horovitz, who is the founding editor of the
online newspaper The Times of Israel.
And this was a man who was seen at times during his life as a hawk and others as a dove. And his legacy will be different depending whether it's
seen through the prism of the Israelis or the Palestinians and perhaps even within those communities.
Who was the man that you knew?
DAVID HOROVITZ, FOUNDING EDITOR, THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: He was around for so long. He was an aide to the first prime minister at the time that Israel
was revived in 1947, '48. And yet we are now about to bid farewell to him 67 years later.
He moved across the spectrum over the years. I mean, he was relatively hawkish compared to the late Yitzhak Rabin. He was to Rabin's right for
awhile. And then he became sort the preeminent dove.
And in his later years, the Peres that I interviewed a lot, because he would give interviews. Every independence day, for example, and he would
always talk about peace. He would talk about -- there is a partnership to be built with the Palestinian Authority, with Mahmoud Abbas, where Israelis
really, I think, in the consensus have soured and been traumatized by terrorism.
Where the Palestinian peace process is concerned, Peres was the great believer and he said, you know, this deal can be done and we have to -- if
we think that we need a two state solution then we have to put aside our doubts and work for it.
ANDERSON: Many people will say that he talked about a two state solution, but his critics will say he was an early proponent of a very divisive
issue, certainly in this city, that of settlements.
Now, he changed his views towards settlements over the years. But let me play a clip from an advert showcasing a development of luxury houses not
far from here, but it's no ordinary place, because the homes are in an Israeli settlement on land that Israel's detractors have said is stolen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have always felt a deep yearning for Jerusalem now is a once in lifetime opportunity not only to stand within its gates
but also to build the home of your dreams there.
A prestigious residential project is taking shape called Ramat Ivatsika (ph), brought to you by the real estate company (inaudible). A unique
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Studies show government spending is as much as high on people living in settlements like this than elsewhere in Israel, yet construction
does continue. How damaging was Shimon Peres's view on settlements to what people in this region and beyond might consider his legacy as an architect
HOROVITZ: Look, it depends where you stand on the spectrum. I mean, even the dovish later life Peres would always have said we have history in that
land. The biblical narrative of the Jews plays out in Judean Sumaria, in Hebron and Bethlehem. And the areas when they were captured by Israel in
the '67 war Israel chose to encourage and at sometimes allow Jews to go and live.
So, even though Peres in his later life was somebody who have encouraged really dramatic compromise, but don't confuse that with the notion that he
didn't think Israel had rights there.
You know, way across the spectrum in Israel and at odds with much of the international community, is a conviction that we have rights there, too,
but we should be prepared in part of the political spectrum, they say this, to compromise for the sake of a partnership and a two-state solution and so
ANDERSON: 93 years old when he passed away. You pointed out, and rightly so, that he had been in politics for some 67, nearly 70 years. That's
HOROVITZ: It is astonishing. I don't know of a parallel. And what's amazing about Peres, really, he was endlessly curious. I mean, people
always say lovely thing about people who have passed away. Some of the things that should be said.
You know, he -- I once saw him about five or six years ago give an hour long talk without notes about nanotechnology. When Barack Obama visited
here as president in 2013, they had an exhibit for him at the Israel museum about Israel technology who was the natural person to show him around the
exhibit? 89-year-old President Shimon Peres.
HOROVITZ: I mean, he was endlessly curious, and vital, friends with Mark Zuckerberg. That was Peres as well.
ANDERSON: David, thank you.
I'm Becky Anderson, live from Jerusalem for you. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching.
CNN of course continues after this short break.