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CONNECT THE WORLD
Special Edition: U.S. President Visit Israel. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired May 22, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:11] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have come to this sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the
United States and the state of Israel.
RUEVEN RIVLIN, ISRAELI PRESIDENT: We are happy to see that America is back in the area.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Never before has the first foreign trip of a president of the United States included a visit to
Israel. Thank you, Mr. President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, a trip full of firsts. And Connect the World is in Jerusalem reporting on every step.
A trip, but more a pilgrimage connecting Islam, Judaism and Christianity. After Saudi Arabia, home to Mecca, and before The Vatican, the American
president is right here in Jerusalem where it is just past 6:00 in the evening.
But also another time, the year 2017 for Christians, but 5,777 for Jews and 1,438 for Muslims.
The 4 billion faithful between them each look here for holy sites set up all around me right now. My team on the left near the Jaffa Gate for you.
Well, powerful images from this presidential trip. Just a short time ago, Donald Trump closed his eyes and placed his hand on the holiest site in all
of Judaism, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall. It is an extremely sensitive spot as the compound is also home to
some of the holiest sites in Islam.
Notice that no Israeli government officials accompanied Mr. Trump as he tucked an note into a crack between the ancient stones.
Well, President Trump is now getting back to business trying his hand as peacemaker as he turns his attention to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
He's due to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu any time now. The government rolling out the red carpet for Mr. Trump when he
stepped off Air Force One earlier today.
Even that flight made history going direct from Riyadh to Tel Aviv for the first time officially ever.
CNN's Sara Murray on the president's mission and his message.
TRUMP: On my first trip overseas as president, I have come to this sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United
States and the state of Israel.
SARAY MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Trump's visit to Israel coming as he aims to negotiate what he calls the ultimate deal: a resolution to the Israeli-
TRUMP: It's a -- something that I think is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.
MURRAY: Trump set to meet with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to further that
TRUMP: I'm looking at two-state and one state and I like the one that both parties like.
MURRAY: One cloud hanging over the trip, the revelation that Trump divulged highly classified intelligence from Israel in a meeting with the
Russians. The stop in Israel comes after Trump's first foreign speech Sunday in Saudi Arabia where he made a
dramatic departure from his inflammatory campaign rhetoric.
TRUMP: I stand before you as a representative of the American people to deliver a message of
friendship and hope and love.
MURRAY: Trump sounding more like President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush than candidate Trump on his road to the White House.
TRUMP: I think Islam hates us. There's something -- there's something there that's a tremendous hatred.
MURRAY: That rhetoric absent from Sunday's speech.
TRUMP: This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations; this is a battle between good and evil.
MURRAY: Speaking to a silent room of more than 50 Muslim majority nations, the president steering clear of the term radical Islamic terrorism.
TRUMP: That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.
MURRAY: The commander-in-chief urging the Middle East to take matters into their own hands.
TRUMP: America is prepared to stand with you, but the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them.
[11:05:05] MURRAY: And encouraging leaders to drive terrorists out.
TRUMP: Drive out the extremists. Drive them out.
MURRAY: Trump paying little mind to the Saudis' human rights issues, instead leveling his harsh criticism squarely at Iran.
TRUMP: It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America and ruin for many leaders and
nations in this very room.
MURRAY: The first stop on his foreign trip off to a comparatively smooth start, offering the president a break from scandal at home.
ANDERSON: Well, Sara Murray reporting for you.
Israel's prime minister may be hailing Donald Trump's visit as historic then but Mr. Trump's
approach to the peace process here will be how history truly remembers him. Benjamin Netanyahu says the U.S. has a strong ally in Israel and insists
that securing peace is an ultimate ambition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: Mr. President, Israel also shares the commitment to peace that you expressed yesterday. We've already made peace with Egypt and with
Jordan, and Israel's hand is extended to peace, in peace to all our neighbors, including the Palestinians. The peace we seek is a genuine and durable one in which the Jewish state is
recognized. Security remains in Israel's hands, and the conflict ends once and for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. presidents have tried for decades to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. And let's hear from the Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu who is actually speaking right now. Let's listen in.
(PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU PRESS CONFERENCE)
[11:10:57] ANDERSON: That is the U.S. President Donald Trump with the Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closing out what's been an extremely busy six hours here in Israel.
Donald Trump arriving around about midday on what was a -- an historic flight. The first direct, official direct flight from the Saudi kingdom
from Riyadh, where the president has been over the weekend to Tel Aviv and to Israel.
Well, I'm joined now by Tzipi Livni, a prominent Israeli opposition lawmaker who is a veteran of what are these peace efforts. She's a former
justice minister and former minister of foreign affairs.
Tzipi, what do you make of what you have heard and seen both here, this afternoon, on what is the second leg of Donald Trump's first ever
international presidential trip, and what was said in Saudi Arabia?
TZIPI LIVNI, ISRAELI OPPOSITION LAWMAKER: Quoting Trump who said today that there is a rare opportunity here for peace. And this is the
situation. There is an opportunity. We have the Arab world, the Sunni Arab world understanding that Iran is their friend, willing to make not
only justice, but they want to see peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
We have the Palestinians, I believe, in an understanding that they don't want to say no to President Trump. And I hope that also here in Israel,
leaders and Netanyahu will make the decisions that are needed.
ANDERSON: His critics will say he simply doesn't understand the complexities of a conflict that has defied peacemaking efforts for decades.
LIVNI: I negotiated twice as the chief negotiator on the Israeli side, and I can assure you that it is very complicated. But it's possible. And for
many years now, we negotiated. We didn't achieve peace, but we closed the gaps that we had. So now we have narrow gaps that need to be breached.
And my advice to the president is not to start from the beginning. It can put substance on the table that would be the basis for negotiations, and
then there is no need to reinvent the wheel. The wheel was invented. He needs (inaudible).
ANDERSON: Well, this is self-declared ultimate dealmaker and perhaps for that reason, any master negotiator is short on specifics ahead of any
negotiations. Certainly, Trump shortens specifics ahead of this trip.
What is absolutely clear, Tzipi, let me bring in my other guest Vali Nasr, who is the dean of John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
with us out of Washington today.
Vali, what is absolutely clear is the U.S. position under a new administration, run by Donald
Trump, with regard Iran ratcheting up the rhetoric, with the support or perhaps having won the support as it were for his America first project to
the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars from Riyadh and his Gulf allies.
VALI NASR, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Right.
Well, it was for Saudi Arabia the president's speech, his visit to the kingdom was a major
coup, it essentially reverses the trajectory of the Obama administration's Middle East policy which was to argue that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf were
no longer important to the United States, that we don't have a commitment to that region. We're not going to get involved in their issues and that
the United States can talk to Iran and as President Obama said, that Saudi Arabia has to find a way to share the region with Iran.
So President Trump erased all of that, went back to a containment strategy that had existed before President Obama during the George Bush period. But
there are also contradictions in this policy. Iran is also a very close ally of Russia and Syria with whom President Trump is trying to
play nice. It's not very clear how very aggressive policy on Iran will play out in the U.S. attempt to
engage Russia on Syria. And in Iraq, a lot of the fight against ISIS actually has had tacit coordination with Iran, which is the force on the
ground that has been fighting ISIS and its allies in the Iraqi government who are not at all happy with what they saw as a very sectarian speech by
President Trump and endorsing Saudis' vision for the Middle East which is not very friendly toward the Iraqi government.
So, President Trump has still to deal with a lot of these issues. And I do think if he goes down the path of the peace process, it will cloud the
clarity that he's trying to create in the Middle East, which is that Israel and the Sunni Arab countries share a very clear priority
which is called Iran and they can build the strategic relationship around that.
Bringing up the Palestinian issue is going to divide division on the Arab street. There's going to be immediate, you know, debate about are the
Israelis getting the upper hand, are the Palestinians getting the upper hand, and that's not going to be smooth sailing.
ANDERSON: Stand by.
Tzipi, the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, recently reelected. And perhaps the timing of this Trump trip to Saudi not lost on the voters in
Iran, the trip coming as it did on the day of the election results of what is a moderate reformist president in Iran.
He said today, a superpower will not eradicate regional challenges. Those within the region who are able to stand up to terrorism are the people of
Iran, the people of Syria, the people of Lebanon. If what we are seeing is a closer alliance between the U.S.,
Saudi and its Gulf allies and Israel at this point, all after countering the influence of Iran, what are the consequences of that?
LIVNI: We need to understand that Iran is part of the problem. Iran supports (inaudible) in the
region, so Rouhani supports Hezbollah, that basically is a terrorist organization. So Iran is not the solution for Da'esh or ISIS, but is part
of the problem.
This is the understanding of other Gulf state and moderate Sunni states.
ANDERSON: It suits Israel perfectly, doesn't it, this alignment for all intents and purposes.
LIVNI: Yes, of course, because it can change. We can have a camp of those understanding that Iran is the threat, but the relations of the Saudis and
other Gulf states with Israel, the glass ceiling is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. And, therefore, solving the conflict with the Palestinian helps
us to be part -- helps us to be part of this region and to re-create relations or better relations with those that we have peace treaty like
Egypt and Jordan and normalization with the Arab Muslim and Arab states.
ANDERSON: Vali, what do you believe the consequences of this U.S./Saudi/Israel triumverate, as it were, all declaring this ideal of
countering Iranian influence in this region. What does it mean, practically, sir?
NASR: Well, that's a good question as to whether there's going to be direct confrontation with Iran and what does that mean for Iraq and for
I actually agree with the minister that if Israel was able to arrive at a peace process with the Palestinians, it removes a very big issue on the
table and it makes it much easier for Israel not only to engage the leaders of the Arab world, but acxtually to engage the popular
masses in the Arab world.
The key question is whether Prime Minister Netanyahu actually thinks like Minister Tzipi Livni. If Prime Minister Netanyahu has in mind that just by
focusing on Iran he actually can avoid a serious peace treaty with the Palestinians, then I think President Trump is going to have a problem on his hand because, you know, I think the mood sin
the Arab world is where Minister Tzipi Lizni is. they want to see a peace process. And I think Israelis are up to how does Israel's prime minister
think about this?
ANDERSON: With that, we'll leave it there. Out of Washington, we thank you for your views. As ever, a regular guest on this show, and an
All right, live from Jerusalem, this is a very special Connect the World for you. U.S. President Donald Trump is in Israel on his first foreign
trip. Lots more from us after this.
[11:22:00] ANDERSON: Live from Jerusalem, I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching CNN. This is a special edition of Connect the World. And if you
are just joining us, you are most welcome.
Let's get you some of the key moments from Mr. Trump's afternoon tour of Jerusalem's old city. These are scenes from just hours ago as he visited
the western wall, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so. A somber moment at Judaism's holiest site wearing a
yarmulke as he placed his right hand on the wall and stood there with his eyes closed. He then placed a folded up note into a crack in the wall
which is tradition.
And he wife visited the church at the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest sites for said to hold the tomb of Jesus. They were greeted by the leaders
of the religions that jointly oversee the church.
Well, he said a lot today. It has been many platitudes. He also said at the end of a brief press conference just in the past few minutes the
following. I've got our correspondence up for you. And I just want to read out exactly what we got just in the past few minutes.
President Trump says he never mentioned Israel during an oval office meeting with Russian officials when highly classified information was
CNN's Oren Liebermann and Sara Murray joining me from Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate.
Sara, let's start with you. This trip surrounded by controversy, or dogged by controversy, from the off, not least these allegations, of course, that
President Trump shared Israeli intelligence with the Russians.
You just heard his response to questions from our colleagues in the press corps here. Your thoughts?
MURRAY: Well, in many ways, this was a tightly choreographed day up until this point. We saw the president really walk this political tightrope when
it came to visiting the western wall. We've seen him sort of dodge a number of missteps he could have made throughout the day, and then he
said this as he appeared alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And of course, President
Trump's comments about Israel go back to that meeting he had with Russian officials in the Oval
Office where he did share highly classified information, sources tell CNN, with Russian officials.
And the source of that, some of that information, came from Israel. Our partner, someone we share intelligence with.
Now the story never said that President Trump said the word Israel during these meetings, but they did raise the fact that you could be putting some
of the sources of that intelligence in danger, that it would not be that difficult to figure out where the intelligence came from. And I think that
pretty clearly came to fruition when we saw a number of news outlets, including CNN were able to piece together that Israel was the source of
So you see the president once again on defense, once again dealing with a story that he had hoped to move beyond in this trip.
[11:20:07] ANDERSON: Oren, this has been a trip to date long on symbolism and short on specifics, so far at least.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. There were a lot of symbols here, one of which was President Trump becoming the
first sitting president to visit the western wall.
But Trump has been very careful with how these symbols have been interpreted. And we've seen that in his language, in the messages. He was
hoping from initial expectations to have a sort of big concrete meeting, perhaps even a trilateral meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud
Abbas, and himself to show how much he's doing on the peace process. That has backed off two steps,
steps and goodwill gestures taken towards each other by the Israelis and the Palestinians.
So, he's backed off some of those big expectations, and now it seems he's just making statements without offering concrete steps.
In terms of the meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that focused on Iran. That's exactly what Netanyahu wanted to hear. His
earlier statements, navigating very carefully the sensitivities about the region. The fact that Trump became the first sitting president to visit
the Western Wall could have been interpreted very easily as Trump accepting Israel's position, which to say that the old city will end up under
He's been very careful to make sure it wasn't interpreted that way. He didn't go with Netanyahu.
His secretary of state Rex Tillerson just a couple of hours earlier saying that the Western Wall is in Jerusalem, refusing to lock it down as in
Israeli or in the West Bank or part of a future Palestinian State.
So, though there have been moments and movements here and gestures that could have been
interpreted as taking a side here, Trump, it seems, has been very careful as he tries to pursue peace. He has understood, or is beginning to
understand, at least, the sensitivities around just about everything here.
ANDERSON: Sara, the U.S. president calls himself the ultimate dealmaker and perhaps for that reason, ahead of this trip, he was short on specifics
of how hewould go about cutting a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. And perhaps that is the art of successful negotiation.
What do we know, if anything, about how the U.S. will position itself as it tries to foster a deal between these two parties, the Israelis and the
Palestinians. And what sort of leverage can he use to foster that deal?
MURRAY: Well, I think one interesting thing is to look back at the moment where President Trump created quite a stir when he said he didn't care if
it was a one-state solution or two-state solution in the Middle East peace conflict, he just wanted a solution that both sides could agree to.
Now, one of the things to remember about this president is he's not necessarily ideologically driven. He wants to do a deal. He wants to notch
victories and be successful. So in that way, he comes into this deal- making process a little bit differently than what we've seen from previous presidents.
But I also think that we've seen from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and from President Abbas of the Palestinian authority sort of a wariness about
crossing the new president. Everyone knows President Trump's twitter proclivities. They know that when he's angry, he tends to lash out. And
so I think that's why you're seeing both sides sort of send signals that they are at least willing to go to the negotiating table. Of course,
there's a very long distance between showing up at the negotiating table and striking a deal for Mideast peace.
And as the president has discovered a number of times since being in office, just because you may think it is simple, once you start to see the
realities on the ground, he will certainly realize it's much more complex than he appreciated earlier.
ANDERSON: The seemingly intractable conflict that has defied peacemaking efforts for decades. We'll see.
Sara, thank you.
Let me show you viewers a photo snapped just a few moments ago. This is the welcome book at the president's house here in Jerusalem. It's quite
hard to read. so, let me tell you exactly what it says, that, quote, it is such a great honor to be in Israel and be with all
of my great friends.
If only the walls behind me could talk. The table -- or the tales that they would tell. While they can't, we've got some fantastic guests who
can, viewers, because even in a city literally brimming with history, the American president is breaking new ground. And you need to hear how it
will impact your life. Much more on that is just ahead.
[11:32:21] ANDERSON: If you are just joining us, we are live in Jerusalem this evening. It's just after half past 6:00 here. This is Connect the
World. I'm Becky Anderson. The top story for you this hour, and Donald Trump trying his hand as peacemaker meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. The U.S. president attempting to get the Israeli-Palestinian peace
process back on track. Tomorrow, he heads to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Well, in other news, this just in, President Trump traveling, but his problems back home aren't
going anywhere. A source tells CNN his former National Security Adviser plans to invoke the fifth amendment against self-incrimination and won't
cooperate with a Senate committee looking into administration ties to Russia. We are talking Michael Flynn.
And Turkey has summoned the U.S. ambassador over the treatment of Turkish security officials in Washington. A brawl, you'll -- you may remember
these images - erupted outside the Turkish embassy between President Erdogan's entourage and protesters. Turkey claims U.S. security was
aggressive and unprofessional.
Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just spoke briefly. Here's what the U.S. president had to say just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia, (inaudible) an amazing two days and their feeling toward Israel is
really very positive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Very positive.
Let's get some perspective on the trip. Dan Shapiro is a former U.S. ambassador to Israel serving under President Barack Obama, joining now here
The U.S. president on his second leg or on the second leg of what is his first international trip
as president, touching down in Tel Aviv here about six hours ago. You have seen and heard President Trump since then. What do you make of what we've
DAN SHAPIRO, FRM. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: I make that, first of all, he's being very careful. Most of his remarks have been fairly general,
positive, certainly familiar. He has reiterated, as any American president would and should, the strong U.S. commitment to Israel's security. He has
talked about his desire to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace, but he hasn't offered any specifics for how that's going to be done.
It is probably the case that he is becoming acquainted with some of the obstacles to that goal. Nevertheless, where he did take some risk today
was by going into the old city and visiting holy sites: the Church of the Holy Speculchre and the Western Wall, which are among the most sensitive
pieces of real estate in the world, and certainly central to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict or at least disagreement about the future disposition of Jerusalem.
He handled that I think sensitively by treating them as religious sites without visiting them with political leaders. And I hope that that will
not do any damage to his other goal that he is pursuing, which is the resumption of peace talks.
[11:35:31] ANDERSON: This is Donald Trump's first time in Israel. But get this Barack Obama came here smack bang in the middle of his frenetic bid to
become president, of course. And wheen he was here, he gave Israel more American military hardware than anyone else ever. So what was this about,
just a few hours ago? Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVLIN: Mr. President, we are happy to see that America is back in the area, America is back again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDEROSN: America is back, Israel's president says. But, sir, did it ever leave?
SHAPIRO: No, America never left. Now I'm familiar with this feeling that comes at the beginning of a new administration when parties in the Middle
East are a bit weary of the disputes they had with the previous administration. Why am I so familiar with it? Because that's exactly the
situation President Obama found himself in in 2009.
He was elected after the region had sort of had its fill of George W. Bush, the Iraq war, the freedom agenda which rankled many of our Arab partners
and a steady push for a two-state solution that was also unsuccessful. There were many Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs and others who saw Barack
Obama as a breath of fresh air and a chance to start over.
Well, fast forward eight years, and we had our disputes and our disagreements, people sometimes look to the United States to solve every
problem in this region, and we can't. We simply have to do that in partnership with allies.
But that creates certain tensions. Certainly the push for peace talks that ultimately failed, created tensions here. The push for the Iran deal
created tensions with Arab states. So, many of these countries are happy to see a new president, but it doesn't mean America was ever gone, it just
means there's a change of face.
Well, Mr. Trump had some harsh words about Iran. He just name checked Iran, so let's do that.
Both in Saudi Arabia and here in Israel. So, as you might imagine, Iran's president has a fair bit
he wants to say as well, fresh from his big election win at the weekend.
These comments were made just a few hours ago. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The congregation in Saudi Arabia, in my opinion, was a theatrical gathering. I don't see it
as having any political value. A superpower will not eradicate regional challenges. Those who are able within the region to stand against
terrorism were the people of Iraq, the people of Syria, the people of Lebanon.
We are still awaiting certain positions of this U.S. administration to be solidified and properly be able to reflect those positions based upon
which, at that time, we will be able to pass more precise judgments on the government in Washington, D.C.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A theatrical gathering among other harsh words used by Mr. Rouhani. Look, this is a man who will now serve a second term, perhaps
inconveniently to some of his enemies or foes in that this is a moderate reformist. To all intents and purposes, things could have been a lot worse
for Iran's enemies should there have been a more conservative new president.
And you would expect him to react to what he is hearing at present. I wonder how you read, though, what we are hearing from both the U.S.
president, from Saudi and now from Israel with regard this ratcheting up of rhetoric about Iran and what the consequences might
be. What does it mean in reality?
SHAPIRO: Well, we don't know yet what it will ultimately...
ANDERSON: Does it worry you?
SHAPIRO: It could be worrying.
Listen, I would say it this way, the Iranian government, even though Rouhani is not as extreme, maybe more of a reformist than some others,
remains a government that sponsors terrorist organizations, that interferes in the civil wars in Yemen and Syria and in other countries like Lebanon
and Iraq that calls for Israel's destruction and develops ballistic missiles and other hardware to try to do that, and probably still harbors
ambitions for a nuclear weapon, even though that is, at least for now, on the shelf.
So, I think it's appropriate that the United States and our other other partners in the region, including Israeli and the Sunni Arab states, put
Iran on notice that we will continue to hold their feet to the fire and continue to build pressure on them to stop those destabilizing behaviors.
Now, there is a place for diplomacy. And I was pleased to hear that our Secretary of States Rex Tillerson did say that his phone was open to
anybody who would call, meaning that if the Iranian foreign minister wanted to start a dialogue with him, there was potential to do that, because
problems can be solved with deterrents, but also with diplomacy.
ANDERSON: Let me just ask you this, as a former U.S. government man effectively, this former ambassador to here, you worked very, very closely
with the State Department, of course. How does a Trump administration go about, and I quote him, eradicating extremism and terrorism if at the same
time he's about to allegedly or reportedly slash the budgets in the very department that is engaged in efforts to do exactly what he wants to root
[11:41:00] SHAPIRO: Well, I'm quite worried about that. I think the cuts in the budget that have been proposed by the administration are very
harmful in terms of the counter extremist programming, in terms of humanitarian assistance, in terms of promotion of Democracy and human
rights. They certainly go hand in hand.
And it's also a personnel issue. There are many, many senior positions in the State Department and in the Defense Department that there is simply
nobody there and there's nobody named or nominated for those jobs. It's very difficult to implement a policy, including the one that President
Trump described in Saudi Arabia about combating extremism if you don't have people, personnel, budgets and programs to do that.
So I think they need to rethink this. I actually think the congress may be part of the solution to this because I don't think the congress will
support all of the cuts that have been proposed by the administration.
ANDERSON: Great analysis as ever. Joy to have on. Thank you, sir.
SHAPIRO: Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: Dan Shapiro in the house.
We just showed you some of that the photo opportunity with Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. Nice and civil, right? Well, as it ended, the whole
place seemed to descend into chaos - shouting, rushing. Check out what we mean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned it during that conversation. They were all saying
I did. So you had another story wrong, never mentioned the word Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Live from Jerusalem, that moment just moments ago. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, President Trump may be
making history, but will his trip make a difference? That up next.
[11:45:48] ANDERSON: Well, you're watching Connect the World. And this is the Donald and Melania Trump enjoying a walk in the gardens of the Israeli
Reuven Rivlin said, and Iquote him, "America is back in the area. America is back again," end
quote. He added, "our destiny as Palestinians and Jews is to live together in this land."
Live from Jerusalem, welcome back to Connect the World.
Well, let's look ahead to what's coming up tomorrow for the U.S. president's visit to the holy
land. President Trump travels to Bethlehem in the West Bank to meet with the Palestinian Authority president there, Mahmoud Abbas. He also visits
Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on Mount Herzl where he will lay a wreath. And then Mr. Trump will deliver some brief remarks at the
But in this region tomorrow isn't a very long time. Sometimes in fact, it feels like a thousand years can go by in the blink of an eye. Let's ask
David Horovitz about all of this. He is the editor-in-chief of The Times of Israel, one of the country's leading online newspapers.
And David, you told students, quote, the longer one lives in Israel, the less certain he can be about anything. Correct?
DAVID HOROVITZ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, TIMES OF ISRAEL: Look, the conflict that we agonize over, we agonize over because the dilemmas are anguishing.
Israel made peace with Egypt, we made peace with Jordan. There were leaders there who said they wanted peace. We gave up the territory that
Egypt required. The Palestinian issue is incredibly complicated.
ANDERSON: I was interested to hear the Israeli president who said after pronouncing that America is back, America is back in the area, he said --
let me repeat this. He added our destiny as Palestinians and Jews is to live together in this land.
Now this is a man who, at least in the past, has been accused of being more at times a one-stater as it were, than a two-stater. So were you - this is
speaking to whom?
HOROVITZ: A very interesting man, Reuven Rivlin, right. He was born in Jerusalem. He's from the Likud Party originally, then he became the sort of
nonpartisan president. He thinks that all of the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river belongs to the Jews. He thinks that
the Jews have historical rights there and it should all be ours.
But he's also a Democrat, and he calls himself a utopianist because he thinks the non-Jews should have full equality and full democracy, but he
thinks the whole area should be run by the Jews.
And you see his well-intentioned internal contraditions playing out in remarks like that one.
ANDERSON: We've been discussing today what sort of leverage we think that the U.S. president might bring to what are these negotiations which have --
I keep saying this, defied peacemaking efforts now for decades. Is it any clearer yet?
HOROVITZ: Listen, if he was scandal-free and trouble-free, then maybe he would have some leverage. He would say, listen, I'm the new president of
the United States. I'm not getting into the details. You guys are both telling me you want peace, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas, go into a room and
sort it out.
I think because he's so troubled at home, the power of that argument, which might be what he's making, I think it's somewhat dissipated. So he has
less sway than he would have wanted.
ANDERSON: What is clear, and I know this trip was -- ahead of this trip he was - and his administration have been short on the specifics of how he
thinks he can cut this ultimate deal, but what is clear is that at least in principle, he has given both parties, the Israelis and the Palestinians, a
sense that he has their backs.
HOROVITZ: Look, the Israelis are very -- we're very happy. He's come here so early in his presidency. He went to the Western Wall. But he's also
meeting Mahmoud Abbas for the second time in a month. He's going to Bethlehem.
So, yes, he's given both sides the sense he's listening. But I don't think he's going to get into the
nitty-gritty. I think - you know people are saying he talk about a two- state solution, he talked about a one-state solution. He wasn't doing anything of the kind. He was saying, I don't care about modalities, you
are the guys who have to sort this out. We'll have your back if you do.
ANDERSON: His critics will say he simply doesn't understand the complexities of what is this
seemingly intractable conflict. His supporters might say, he doesn't care. He's dealmaker. He's a master negotiator, and if he gets any closer,
David, to sorting out a solution for what is this incredibly damaging conflict, which affects not just this region, but the wider region and the
rest of the world, then he will at least have played a part in history, won't he?
HOROVITZ: OK, so two things. First of all, he does know less about the details than some of his predecessors, but they didn't get there either.
So, you know, that's not necessarily a no-no.
On the other hand, you can't bring these sides together, I don't think, until both sides have a sense of imperative. On the Israeli side I think
there's a consensus in Israel, we want a Jewish democratic Israel, that means we need to separate from the Palestinians. I don't think there's a
parallel sense on the Palestinian side.
I think changing that requires some upwork - education, the inconvenient narrative that the Jews have history here, too. I think you need to have
both people pushing their leaders to do a deal.
On the Israeli side if there were a chance, I think the leadership would be supported. On the Palestinian side, I worry that a palestinian leader who
shows a willingness for compromise is running against the will of his people. And that's where I think you have to change.
ANDERSON: David Horovitz with analysis for you this evening viewers. Thank you.
HOROVITZ: Thank you.
ANDERSON: When we were younger, we all had a lot of firsts, don't we? First steps, first date. But Donald Trump, America's 70-year-old
president, can't stop doing things for the first time. He's a history- making machine on this trip. We're going to tell you all about that up next.
ANDERSON: Well, we know what comes last for the American president, two scoops of ice cream apparently. But as for what comes first...
(BEIGN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: America first! America first. America first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: America first, sure. But this trip, there have been loads of Trump as American
president firsts. So hold on tight. Here is a firsts overload for you.
Just hours ago, he was the first to stop by one of the holiest sites in Judaism, the Western
Wall. And the first to go to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, very important for Christians. And now for you I need a breather myself.
Israel's leader can take over for the next one...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: Never before as the first foreign trip of a president of the United States included a visit to Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Right. Where were we? Oh, yeah. Another first, how Mr. Trump got to Israel in the first place. The first to fly there straight from
Speaking of Saudi, he's the first to go there as his first stop on his first ever or very first trip. And the first to spend so long there: two
And there it was the first time he put his head down on a pillow that wasn't his since getting into office.
Clearly the Ritz weren't half happy to see him. In case you were wondering, and let's face it you were, I just said first 14 times which is
the first time I've said it so many times on air.
And that's a Becky first.
Sadly, there's no first to be had on Facebook. We simply have way too many follows there. But this could be the first time today you don't miss out
on something awesome - phone, computer, tablet, whatever takes your fancy, pick it up andcheck out Facebook.com/CNNConnect.
Live from Jerusalem, the first day of a holy land trip that's been full of firsts, I know, I know, it's boring, isn't it, as we've been hearing. But
it continues. We'll be here for day two. Join us here same time, same place. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World from the team here
in Jerusalem in Atlanta, at headquarters in London and in Abu Dhabi, thank you for watching.