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Haley: U.S. Will Remember Being "Singled Out For Attack"; Palestinian Perspective On Symbolic Rebuke Of Trump; Israeli Ambassador: Resolution Belongs In Trash Bin Of History; Voters Choose 135 Lawmakers In Regional Ballot; Driver Plows Into Pedestrians Injuring 18; Disgraced Cardinal Law Receives Vatican Funeral. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 21, 2017 - 15:00   ET




HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones sitting in for Hala Gorani here in London.

Tonight, despite warnings from the White House, the United Nations rejects the United States' declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We

will have full coverage on that decision.

Also, this hour, a cardinal implicated in the coverup of pedophile priests gets a full Vatican funeral. We are live in Rome.

And Apple's biggest mission, the text giant explains why your older iPhone may be slowing down.

In the end, warnings and threats weren't enough to stop a powerful rebuke of Donald Trump's Jerusalem policy at the United Nations today. The

General Assembly passed a resolution rejecting his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The vote, well, it wasn't even close, 128 in favor, nine against and 35 abstentions. The rebuke itself is non-binding, but Palestinians call it a

victory, nonetheless. U.S. President Trump had threatened to cut off funding to countries that voted for the resolution.

In her remarks, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley didn't spend much time talking about Mr. Trump's actual Jerusalem policy saying there was, quote, "larger

point to make."


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General

Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world's

largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us as they so often do to pay even more

and to use our influence for their benefits.


JONES: It's pretty clear from what Nikki Haley said that the United States is taking this vote personally. Let's get perspective now from CNN

military and diplomatic analyst, Rear Admiral John Kirby. He is a former State Department spokesman and former Pentagon press secretary.

Admiral, great to have you on the program. Thank you. For many this is the world teaching what has been dubbed to some a bullying and arrogant

U.S. a lesson. But at what cost I'm wondering? Who has the most to lose here? Is it the U.S. or the U.N.?

JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: You know, it's interesting. That's a great question. I think there's no winners here.

Everybody loses. The United States is going to lose yet again more influence in the world. We are now being increasingly isolated thanks to

the policies of the administrations.

The Palestinians lose even though they think this is a victory, it doesn't help advance their efforts to get any sort of recognition for their

presence in Jerusalem or any greater progress towards a two-state solution.

And frankly, the Israelis lose as well because this just sets back even further any sort of progress in the Middle East peace process. Just draws

this out longer and harder. The international community loses because obviously we all want to see peace there.

So, frankly, there were no winners here. I think this was an embarrassment for the Trump administration. It was an embarrassment I think they knew

was coming because that's why they issued this bellicose threat in advance. But, unfortunately, again, nobody comes out of this thing looking really


JONES: If you listen to Nikki Haley, she said, "Effectively, if you want our money, don't criticize our policies." What does that say to you about

America's standing on the world stage, its leadership?

KIRBY: Yes. It's really kind of a ridiculous thing to say for a couple of reasons. Number one, yes, we are the largest contributor in many ways

financially to U.N. issues and U.N. processes and programs, but there's plenty of times when we ask the U.N. for support as well.

We have gone to the U.N. and asked for their -- for instance on the Ebola outbreak in Africa a couple years ago. So, we need the U.N. and we need

multi-lateral organizations as well.

It's also a very petty, very small thing for the world's largest economy and the most powerful nation on earth, both economically and militarily,

even politically perhaps, for us to actually come in like this and say, well, we're going to hold you to account, we're going to create a naughty

and nice list.

If you don't take our side on this, you are going to face retributions. The last thing I would say on this is it ignores the reality that from a

United States perspective, foreign aid and assistance actually works in our best interest.

This isn't a charity donation that we are making. This isn't just altruism although there is altruism there. Our aid and assistance programs are very

much in keeping with our national security interests and the interest of our allies and partners.

[15:05:07] When we can work to secure and make more stable other places around the world, it actually helps our security here at home. So, it's a

very self-defeating attitude to take in the beginning.

JONES: Just very briefly, though, I want to pick up on one point. You are saying this is bad news for the United States. They did get 35

abstentions. Israel would argue this is effectively the rest of the world saying, you know, America has the right to make its own decision when it

comes to its policy on the foreign stage.

KIRBY: Of course, we do. They knew when going into this that this was going to be a controversial decision. The issue has always been one for

the outcome of negotiations. That's why no other nation has ever claimed to make Jerusalem the capital except for Israel because we all know that

the final status should be a result of the negotiations. By doing this, they have torpedoed any chance of success for negotiations going forward.

JONES: Admiral John Kirby, always great to get your perspective. Thank you, sir.

KIRBY: My pleasure. Thank you.

JONES: Now, our next guest has said U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would be the kiss of death for the two-state solution.

Husam Zomlot is the chief Palestinian representative to the United State and a key adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Ambassador, thank you for joining us on the program. This vote in the United Nations today isn't legally binding, but what does it mean for

Palestinians in the future?

HUSAM ZOMLOT, PLO CHIEF REPRESENTATIVE IN WASHINGTON: It means the restoration of international law. This was not a win for Palestine. It

was actually a win for internationalism, for multilateralism. For international legality, system, otherwise, we would in the rule of the


And today, I think was a clear day that the world has voted for its own resolutions on the status of Jerusalem, the whole issue of the Palestinian

cause, international clearance and very clear policy about it.

The whole battle was a policy one. Since we started our action, since President Trump's announcement on Jerusalem, we focus on two things.

First, upholding international consensus and law, and second, restoring hopes for peace. This brings me to your first question about the two-state


Today's vote was restoring hope in a meaningful real two-state solution based on international legality, law, and the U.N. Security Council

resolutions that the U.S. itself has voted for over the years.

So, today, I believe we can move on and be much more hopeful about us the Palestinians actually cooperating with international community towards a

different future.

JONES: Donald Trump himself has been in favor of a two-state solution. He says that that's his priority even after this policy move on Jerusalem.

Let's just listen to what the president had to say earlier this month. We'll talk off the back.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. Without question,

Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.


JONES: Husam Zomlot, I'm wondering then why focus on today's U.N. decision and this resolution and why not focus on the positives coming out from the

United States saying that they still want a two-state solution?

ZOMLOT: Well, that was nothing positive. Allow me, Hannah, because first, the U.S. president has unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of

Israel in contradiction with the long-held U.S. policy, U.S. law and international law.

And in contradiction with the U.S. promises for the Palestinians and the rest of the world upon the start of the peace process in 1991 that the U.S.

will never recognize Jerusalem's control by Israel or annexation by Israel.

The issue here is that Israel has annexed Jerusalem that's occupied according to international law since 1967 and are called into U.S. law

that's number one. Number two, the U.S. president did not say that the U.S. supports the two-state solution, which was the U.S. historic position.

He said if, and once the word if is mentioned, then it's up to the two sides practically giving Netanyahu a veto power and this is exactly the

whole deal, Hannah. The whole idea is Netanyahu and his cabinet, and this is public not secret, are so against the two-state solution.

Their ideology they have been declaring that they don't want to see a state of Palestinian on the 1967 borders. Therefore, this whole thing was really

unfortunate and has just played in the hands of the maximalists and those who want to see a religious war rather than a political and legal conflict

that could be actually resolved.

In the hands of the extremists all over, this has been a precious gift. That's why we needed to restore international legitimacy and legality

today. That's why we needed to deliver a message from the world today that it's crucial that we keep the policy of the two-state solution and we keep

the policy not according to Israel's non-peace agenda but according to the global consensus of Palestinian independence on the 1967 with East

Jerusalem the capital of the state of Palestine.

[15:10:12] JONES: Ambassador, I want to ask you about the U.S. tactics. Nikki Haley's tactics in particular when it came to this vote. She said

that she would be taking names. She sent letters, some perceive them to be threatening, effectively blackmailing countries saying if you don't support

us, you will have pay the price on that. Do you think that helped or hindered the Palestinian cause when it came to this vote?

ZOMLOT: It's very unfortunate. It does not help or hinder anybody. That approach has been totally rejected by the world today. We had, as you saw,

we got an overwhelming majority voting for the resolution, for the status of Jerusalem, against Trump announcement.

Therefore, evidently it didn't work. But, you know, since the beginning of this whole crisis two weeks ago, our action has been solidly, primarily

focused on policy, restoration of international legitimacy.

We never targeted the U.S. by the way. It was the U.S. itself and what you have called it now by Ambassador Haley who have made it a fight between the

U.S. and Israel versus the rest of the world.

On the forum of the General Assembly that the rest of world has delivered their verdict that we stand with the legality, Palestinian legitimate

right, status of Jerusalem not recognizing Israel's control or annexation of it that East Jerusalem is an occupied city.

That it will be the capital of the state of Palestine and any future arrangements, and therefore, regrettably, I think today we have to take a

step back and look firmly at the international consensus and start the journey to implement it, not deviate from it as happened in the last two


JONES: Well, we appreciate your time on the program with us this evening. Husam Zomlot, thank you.

Israel's U.N. ambassador says he has no doubt that today's resolution will end up in the, quote, "trash bin of history." Danny Danon addressed the

assembly before the vote today and he joins us now live as well.

Ambassador, thank you very much for joining us. I'm wondering about your reaction first of all to this vote. Remind our viewers of the figures.

There were 128 votes in favor of the resolution, nine against, and 35 abstentions. Those abstentions, it's not so much a sign of support for the

United States and Israel, but rather a sign that this whole process has just been very, very unhelpful.

DANNY DANON, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: Hannah, we are used to bashing. When we see ridiculous resolutions come to the General Assembly,

the numbers are much higher. So, actually, we are surprised with the number of countries who chose not to participate in this facade with those

65 countries that chose not to take part of in this today.

We know that no U.N. resolution, no UNESCO declaration would change that Jerusalem is, has been, and always will be the capital of the Jewish

people, the capital of the state of Israel. So, we are not worried about that. It was only a declaration.

We will continue to work with our allies. We want to thank the American president for taking a strong stand supporting Israel, supporting the

capital of Israel. It reminds us of the decision of President Truman who took a similar in decision in 1948 when he was the first man to recognize


JONES: But Ambassador, I'm wondering about your allies. Those allies, the numbers of them are dwindling somewhat at the moment. How concerned are

you about alienating your country, Israel, from 128 others, and 35 abstentions?

DANON: We are not concerned at all. As I told you before, we are used to that. We use the public U.N. and the private U.N. So, publicly people

will condemn Israel, will vote against Israel. But privately, they will work with Israel, will appreciate, admire Israel.

Even some of the Arab countries will cooperate with them when we fight radical forces in the Middle East. We share our technology with them. We

have similar threats. We are not worried at all.

Actually, we think that today the Palestinian understood they cannot come to the U.N. They are not gaining anything out of those empty victories.

They should understand the only way to move forward is to come back to direct negotiations.

We did it in the past when we negotiated with the Egyptians, the Jordanians. They can come every month to the General Assembly, pass

another resolution and then what? We have hundreds of resolutions in the archive of the U.N. Now you have additional resolution.

JONES: The Palestinian guest we were speaking to just now, Husam Zomlot, he said that the two-state solution is not a policy priority for the United

States right now, nor is it for the Israelis. I'm wondering what reassurances if you have had from Nikki Haley that the two-state solution

is still a priority for the U.S. above and beyond building embassies in Jerusalem.

DANON: Why we get the U.S. involved? I'm telling you right now, we are willing to negotiate with the Palestinians in New York, in Tel Aviv, in

Ramallah. The U.S. can support the process.

[15:15:08] We think they should support the process. Arab countries can support the process. So why come into the U.N.? Why to attack the U.S.?

If you want to move forward, you have to recognize Israel. You have to sit down with Israel and negotiate with us, the Israelis.

All those games in the U.N., all those resolutions, they will not lead to anything. They're not going to support the lives of the Palestinians in

Gaza or Ramallah. It's just a show.

JONES: Ambassador, the Turkish president has since said in the aftermath of this vote that he expects President Trump to rescind this policy

decision on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Your reaction to that?

DANON: I think it's between Turkey and the U.S. We appreciate the bold decision of President Trump. That is leadership, when you take a decision,

which is not popular, but you show the way to other nations. We are grateful for that.

We heard from Ambassador Haley, the U.S. is major player in the U.N. that support many initiatives, many countries. They will continue to do that.

I think people here in the U.N. appreciate the involvement of the American people.

JONES: Ambassador Danny Danon, many thanks for joining us on the program this evening. Thank you.

DANON: Thank you very much.

JONES: Now, the polls closed just one hour ago in Catalonia, the region on that tried and failed to declare independence from Spain earlier this year.

The government says turnout for the election to choose 135 lawmakers was more than 82 percent. That is a 7 percent increase in turnout from the

last election in 2015.

Isa Soares joins me now with more on the significance of this vote and what it means for the region. It's not a referendum, of course, like we saw

just a few months ago. It has pitted the independents -- the separatists against the unionists.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very much so. It's not a region election, but it's an independence referendum and everything but a

name, isn't it, in many ways? But the results are starting to come in. We're at 2 percent. I won't tell you who is leading at the moment. It

might take a while.

We knew it was going to be very, very close, very tight, very contentious. But we have a couple of candidates that we should really be looking at and

that is a pro-independence party that's led by (inaudible), who is in prison. He was the deputy of the former president, who was himself exiled

in Belgium.

We also have an anti-independence pro-union party that perhaps will be leading the polls and results today. Those are the two main parties, but

even if one of them wins, Hannah, they won't have enough for majority.

So, expect this to be a long night, protracted results and perhaps more divisive than we thought. We could be looking at a coalition between the

pro-independence parties in order to get those 68 seats of 135-seat parliament.

JONES: There's going to have to be some compromise clearly along the way somewhere, but will the Madrid government recognize whatever comes out of

this election?

SOARES: Well, it was a huge gamble, first of all, by Prime Minister to have these elections. The way it's being held is Mariano Rajoy to actually

go ahead and have these elections. It's worth reminding viewers that, you know, the way this election is being held is rather surreal.

Madrid is still in control of Catalonia since they put Article 155 in October. So, if the independence parties have enough for a majority, a

coalition, the question is what happens with Mariano Rajoy?

Will he then concede to a referendum because a lot of these parties, independence parties are actually calling for another referendum. Mariano

Rajoy said time and time again, Hannah, it's unconstitutional. It's not going to happen.

So, the thinking of perhaps killing the independents nipping in the (inaudible) may not happen if the numbers -- the early polls suggested that

perhaps the independence parties may have a slight edge in they have a coalition.

So, a long night, but I think it's going to be even longer few months next year until we get an idea of what the parliament looks like.

JONES: Possibly more votes ahead as well. Isa, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

All right. Still to come on the program this evening, a car plows into a crowd of people in Melbourne causing scenes of panic and horror right in

the heart of the city. We'll have more details on that.

Plus, Pope Francis gives the final blessing to a cardinal who many say didn't deserve it. The latest on the controversial funeral at the Vatican.

Stay with us for more.



JONES: Horror and trauma in Melbourne, Australia as a driver deliberately plowed a car into a group of Christmas shoppers. Police say the driver has

a history of mental health issues and they don't think it's an act of terrorism, but that is, of course, a little comfort to the 18 people taken

to hospital including a young child. Police say four of those in hospital are in a critical condition. Sarah James was on the scene today.

SARA JAMES, JOURNALIST: A shocking scene in Melbourne, Australia today as a car raced down a main street in the center of the city plowing into a

group of pedestrians who were holiday shoppers. Eighteen people in hospital, four of them in critical condition, including one child.

The suspect is in custody tonight. The suspect is a 32-year-old Australian man of Afghan dissent. The authorities say they do not believe this was a

terror incident, but it was a deliberate attack.

They say the suspect is someone who has a history of drug problems and mental health issues. They are continuing their investigation.

Authorities say there will be a heightened police presence here in the area as the holiday season continues.

But a shocking incident here, what is being called an act of evil by the state premier. The prime minister of the country has said that he will

coordinate activities between the federal authorities and the state authorities to ensure that people here are safe. Sara James, Melbourne,


JONES: Sara, thank you. Now Pope Francis' involvement at the funeral of a disgraced cardinal is drawing widespread criticism. Before an unusually

small congregation, Pope Francis presided over the final rites in the funeral mass for Cardinal Bernard Law, held today in St. Peter's Basilica.

Law resigned as Boston's archbishop 15 years ago amid allegations that he covered up for pedophile priests. Many say he did not deserve the honor of

a full Vatican funeral. Church officials, though, say the pope was simply following protocol.

Let's go live to Rome where Delia Gallagher is following events for us. A small congregation we understand, but a full Vatican sendoff, nonetheless -

- Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Hannah. As you say, it was a low key and sparsely attended funeral. There was no

direct mention made of the sex abuse scandal, aside from some Vatican cardinals and bishops. Also in attendance was the new U.S. ambassador

designate to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, and her husband, Newt.

Pope Francis came in at the end and gave a final blessing over the casket. He read a standard funeral prayer in Latin, which commends the soul of the

deceased to God and asks for his merciful judgment upon him.

As you say, the Vatican has said that it is standard protocol when a cardinal dies in Rome that the pope offers the final blessing. We know

Pope Francis is a pope who doesn't always abide by protocol if he sees fit.

So, the decision to hold this funeral in St. Peter's Basilica with a final blessing from the pope for a cardinal whose name has been so closely

associated with years of pain and indeed crimes against sex abuse victims is being questioned this evening -- Hannah.

[15:25:20] JONES: Delia Gallagher live for us in Rome, thank you. Let's get the perspective of CNN's religious commentator, Father Edward Beck.

Father joins us from Westchester, New York. This is a man who left such a stain on the Roman Catholic church. He had a thunderous fall from grace.

So, why such a sendoff for such a man?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGIOUS COMMENTATOR: Again, as we just heard from Delia, it was not a spectacular sendoff. It was the funeral rite,

which every Catholic is entitled to. I think the main question, Hannah, is, should it have been at St. Peter's where all other cardinals are


Pope Francis did not preside over the mass. The dean of the cardinals did. Pope Francis gave the final commendation when he asked for mercy and

forgiveness and commends the soul to God.

So, the real question is, could Pope Francis have broken protocol and said, you know what, because of the controversy surrounding this particular man,

maybe we should have the funeral elsewhere, maybe St. Mary Major where he was archpriest would have been more appropriate.

So, that's debatable, but whether or not he should have been granted a funeral is not debatable. Sinners get funerals. It's about mercy and

forgiveness and asking for that. The judgment lies with God is what the church believes.

Remember, Pope Francis is the pope of mercy. Certainly, the pope of mercy is not going to in the end demand less of himself for his cardinal who has

died, even though the cardinal had, yes, a notorious past, made many mistakes, was a sinner as all people are, perhaps even more egregious

because of how many it affected. But I don't think one can say, therefore, he should be denied the funeral rite.

JONES: But nevertheless, the church, the pope in particular has been accused really today of prioritizing, protecting the church rather than

protecting the victims. We do actually have a bit of sound we can hear from one of the victims in Boston. Let's speak on the other side of that.


ALEXA MACPHERSON, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVOR: You made us disappear. He wrote a letter to the archbishop in Thailand where my priest originated from. He

said, you need to recall him so that we can avoid grave scandal for the church. Where was I in that letter? Nowhere.


JONES: Father, has the Catholic Church just decided to draw a line in the sand underneath this scandal? It happened. It's in the past. They have

dealt with it and it doesn't matter today.

BECK: No, I don't think so. I think what that woman just voiced is heartbreaking. I think Cardinal Law, when he resigned, did, in fact,

apologize and ask forgiveness. But, I think what the church is saying is, we are trying to deal with this as an issue, but it's a never-ending issue.

There have been mistakes made in the past. There are new regulations that are in effect right now and the church is trying to make reparation and to

do better. Does that dismiss the false adults and sinfulness of the church in the past as certain cardinals and bishops dealt with it? Of course,


That's why we have litigation. There are lawsuits still. There are payments. There's counseling for victims. All of that occurs. Yet, I

think sinfulness of the church certainly and the mistakes of the church are there for everyone to see.

I understand the pain of that woman saying, where am I in this? She's right. She is right. Yet, we limp along like other institutions and

hopefully a future is better than it has been.

JONES: Well, father, look, a lot of our viewers will probably be watching this thinking, you know, it's very good and well to follow protocol, which

is what the catholic church says it was doing today in giving the cardinal a full and proper sendoff, a lavish funeral if you like. But then most

cardinals aren't implicated in pedophile rings so why not break the tradition and do something different today to make a bigger statement?

BECK: Well, again, that's a good question. Pope Francis who is known to break protocol could have said we're not going to have it at St. Peter's.

He wouldn't have denied the funeral because as I said, the funeral is a ritual that every Catholic, sinner, not sinner is entitled to because you

are asking forgiveness and mercy for god for his soul.

You are not saying that they didn't do anything wrong, therefore, we're honoring them. It's not a ceremony of honor. Remember, people didn't show

up for today's funeral. It was not video streamed. Conservator Romano did no great tributes. No cardinals went on media extoling the virtues of

Cardinal Law --