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CONNECT THE WORLD
Palestinian Authorities Says 60 Killed Near Border; Israeli Military Says Hamas is Using Protesters; U.N. Security Council Meets Over Ongoing Violence; What is the Future of the Middle East Peace Process?. Aired 11- 12n ET
Aired May 15, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: This is the face of a nation in mourning. It's less than 24 hours since 60 Palestinians were killed,
including this 8-month-old Palestinian baby, Leila. And today, these scenes of grief are being replicated again and again across Gaza.
A glaring difference with yesterday's images of celebrations, smiles and applause at the new U.S. embassy here in Jerusalem in sync with that
violence on the Gaza border.
I'm Becky Anderson here at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.
Well, less than half an hour away from us, the situation after a day of violence, Israeli troops used bullets and tear gas on Palestinian
protesters along the border on Monday. Eight children are among the dead, including that little girl whose funeral we just showed you.
Our Oren Liebermann is on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza. Where yesterday we witnessed such deadly scenes. Oren, the result of which are
these funerals today in Gaza.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 60 funerals carried on throughout the day. The last just wrapping up a short time ago from what we understand.
And as you just saw, those pictures, and as you just mentioned, the youngest among those put to rest was an 8-month-old child baby who suffered
from asphyxiation from tear gas and died overnight. A number of other youth, some as young as 14 years old were also put to rest today as those
funerals carried on throughout the day.
It is normally after those funerals that we see an uptick in tensions, demonstrations and escalation. And yet looking behind me here at what's
going on, it doesn't seem like there is that. So, it is a fundamentally different feeling out here today from what it was yesterday.
Yes, we're seeing tear gas. Yes, we're seeing the black smoke from burning tires. Yes, we're hearing the sound of live fire from the Israelis. And
yet from the numbers we're hearing from the Israelis military, there are a few hundred riders as opposed to Israeli military saying, yesterday there
were thousands upon thousands of rioters. So, it's a fundamentally different feeling out here today. 60 people -- 60 Palestinians were killed
by Israeli fire yesterday. Those funerals -- as we just mentioned going on today. Becky, one Palestinian has been killed by Israelis fire today.
ANDERSON: Israel, justifying its actions Oren, by blaming the violence on Hamas. Let's just take a listen to the Israelis military spokesman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LI. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, ISRAELI MILITARY SPOKESMAN: Hamas is using the demonstrators. The unarmed people that are participating here and are
sending them forward. We've seen women and children being sent forward in order to tear down the fence. For then for a second wave of terrorists to
get inside and run for the nearest Israelis community. That is a risk that we, the IDF cannot tolerate and will not tolerate. And we have been very
clear about that in the past that we will not allow it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Oren, what has been the response from Hamas?
LIEBERMANN: Hamas blames the number of dead on both the Israelis and the Americans for providing cover for the Israelis. And they have promised a
retaliation, an eminent retaliation and yet they've given no indication as to what form that may come in. As I mentioned today is at least so far --
and of course, this could change, because the situation remains so volatile. Today the situation is much quieter out here.
Could it come in the form of rockets which is something we would have expected months if not years ago. Yes, but, Becky, it's worth pointing out
that we haven't seen a single rocket fired if I'm not mistaken in the last seven weeks. So, perhaps that seems unlikely.
As to the question as to why it is so much quieter out here, Becky, we supposed that to the Israeli military spokesperson we just heard from a
short moment ago. And he basically said the military is still trying to understand such a dramatic change from what they're seeing on the Gaza side
of the border between yesterday and today.
ANDERSON: Lest we forget amongst those who died yesterday who were killed yesterday, one small baby Leila. If there is one image that the world will
be morning alongside Palestinians today. It is that little baby -- Oren
LIEBERMANN: Absolutely. And that's a picture that has been played on our air and other media as well.
[11:05:00] It's an emotional -- of course anytime you talk about a young child, and eight-month-old child dying for whatever the reason. Whether
it's live fire or tear gas, it is a gripping image. It has resonated as will so many of the other funerals as there were other youth, not that
young, but youth as young as 14 years old, teenagers who were also killed. Palestinians killed by Israeli live fire.
ANDERSON: Sure. We are monitoring a Security Council meeting. The U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been speaking. Suggesting that Israel has shown
restraint. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has, she said -- Oren.
LIEBERMANN: It's no surprise that the U.S. has sided firmly with the Israelis here. In fact, a spokesperson for the White House when repeatedly
asked at a press conference yesterday, are you calling for Israel to show restraint? Are you calling for Israel to take any different actions?
Repeatedly said the blame lies squarely on Hamas.
We understand that Kuwait is trying to introduce a U.N. Security Council resolution, in their words, to protect Palestinians. Even if it might gain
favor amongst all the other members of the Security Council, it will almost certainly be vetoed by the United States. There has been condemnation from
other countries. Even close allies of Israel. For example, the United Kingdom saying it would support an independent, transparent, third-party
investigations of Israel's use of fire here.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann on the Israeli side of the border. Well we've seen this tragic movie play again and again. Deadly violence, then global
condemnation and hollow calls for restraint. Followed by the blame game with each side pushing their own narrative. This is a conflict many
reporters have covered for years. Reporters like my colleague, Ben Wedeman.
Now before I bring Ben in. I want to do something different today. I want to read you parts of an analysis piece that he has written for CNN,
published on CNN. You can find it at CNN.com.
In it, he writes, less than a year after the signing of the Oslo Peace Accord in the White House Rose Garden on that hot, humid, hectic day, it
seemed the Middle East's Gordian knot was starting to unravel. Peace in our time. It was an illusion.
This Monday, May 14, 2018 was the day the last, fleeting remnants of that illusion finally died. No single day highlights just how far this conflict
has strayed into the disjointed, the absurd, the hopeless.
Under the Trump administration, the United States has utterly abandoned any pretext of evenhandedness. And the Palestinians have been abandoned
Let's get you to Ben Wedeman who is today in Gaza. And Ben, just place what we are seeing now, what we saw yesterday. The funerals that we are
witnessing. With that what you have witnessed over the years?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I haven't seen anything on this scale. I must, however, point out that today it does seem
quieter than yesterday. But in terms of this sheer nihilistic desire of some of these protesters to essentially run to their deaths at the fence.
It really does underscore that there doesn't seem any effort being made to resolve this problem that has gone on now for 70 years.
That the Arab world has abandoned the Palestinians. The Saudis have made it clear that their real concern is Iran's growing influence in the region.
And the Palestinians look to the Israelis who clearly realize that this is their moment when it comes to the American administration. President Trump
has been more vocally pro-Israeli and not just in terms of vocal expressions, but real expressions of support for Israel. With his breaking
with decades of diplomatic tradition and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
I'm just going to step out of the way as we see another volley of tear gas being dropped from these air Israeli drone on the protesters. What you're
hearing now is a small arms fire from Palestinian, -- probably Hamas fighters who are trying to shoot down that drone. But so far, it doesn't
appear that they've hit their target -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben, Doctors Without Borders say the violence at the border is unacceptable and inhumane. Saying in the statement and I want to read this
It is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time.
[11:10:00] Obviously referring to what we have seen Monday at the border. As, of course, the U.S. Embassy here in Jerusalem was opening. The group
added that most of the wounded -- and they are in their thousands -- will be condemned to suffer lifelong injuries. A strong statement there. How
does this end -- Ben?
WEDEMAN: How does it end? If I knew the answer to that question I wouldn't be here, Becky. It doesn't appear to have an end. There doesn't
appear to be any real effort to bring it to any sort of conclusion. An effort was made by first the George H.W. Bush administration. Followed by
the Clinton administration. We had the Oslo Peace Accord which did for a few years bring a glimmer of hope to this region.
But really since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in September of 2000, you have seen repeated efforts by the George W. Bush
and the Obama administrations to somehow bring the peace process back to life.
But on the one hand, you have the Palestinians divided between Hamas and Fatah where I saw in 2006 -- 2007 that they were fighting in the streets
among themselves. And you have an Israel that feels ever more empowered. An Israel that is a nuclear power. That has got a vibrant, very powerful
economy. A military establishment that has no peer in the region.
And Israel doesn't appear particularly moved to resolve the problem itself. Israelis will always tell you that many of them live in what they call the
bubble. Places like Tel Aviv where you might as well be in Los Angeles. You see no sign of the occupation that for many Palestinians is a very
difficult existence -- Becky.
Sorry. I'm trying to keep an eye on what is going on around me.
ANDERSON: For those who may just be joining us -- Ben, yes. For those who are just joining us, if you want to stand away from the camera perhaps and
just again explain what it is that is going on around you.
WEDEMAN: Well, in the foreground, rather the background, you have -- there are tires that have been burning for hours now. Very near the fence that
separates Gaza from Israeli-controlled territory. And we've been hearing occasionally these drones that fly overhead and drop their tear gas on to
Like I said, it is not -- I, of course, wasn't here yesterday. My colleague Ian Lee was very capably covering what was going on. And clearly
was more of a chaotic scene. At least 60 people were killed yesterday and last night many of the funerals took place.
More took place this morning. I think many people think that after the bloodshed of yesterday not such a good idea to come back here today. Even
though today is Nakba day. The 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. The day the Palestinians call the day of catastrophe --
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman on the Gaza side of the border. Ben, I appreciate it. And you can read the article by Ben on the web site. Check out why he
believes the dream of peace in our time in the Middle East died on Monday. That is CNN.com.
Whilst we've been discussing the U.N. Security Council meeting on the ongoing violence along the Gaza border is ongoing. Kuwait had offered a
proposed statement to the Council which expressed quote, outrage and sorrow of the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful
But according to a U.N. diplomat, the United States blocked that draft from going forward. Let's find out what else we can get from the U.N. Our
senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth is standing by for you -- Richard.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Becky, very hard to follow veteran correspondent Ben Wedeman in the thick of the action. Here at the
U.N. today, anger, passion and theater as usual for a Middle East meeting. An urgent meeting regarding the developments there in Gaza and elsewhere.
Here at the Security Council, many countries expressing their regret and condemnation of all of the violence.
[11:15:00] France and Britain, unlike the U.S., are calling for an independent inquiry, an investigation into what's happened. But U.S.
ambassador Nikki Haley was strongly critical of Iran for backing Hamas and for the Palestinian leadership in Hamas for fomenting this violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday. I ask my colleagues here on the Security
Council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint
than Israel has.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: The Bolivian ambassador to the U.N. challenging Nikki Haley in effect. Telling the Palestinian representative to his face, the Security
Council in effect has failed you. It's inoperative and apologized to 6 million Palestinian refugees for the failure of the international community
to act on their behalf.
Now, Becky, the Kuwaiti ambassador says he's going to introduce a new resolution design to, quote, protect the Palestinian people. Doesn't
involve an attempt to establish U.N. peacekeeping, which has been a failed idea for decades. That resolution though is not expected to be voted on
eminently and would likely be blocked by Ambassador Haley. Israeli ambassador, Danny Danon, using charts and pictures from the scene that we
saw with Ben. Said that war crimes are being committed by Hamas against the Israeli people. So, the meeting here will go on. We will hear from
the Israeli and Palestinian representatives shortly -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Richard Roth at the United Nations in New York. We are here in Jerusalem for you. My colleagues fanned out across the region. Still to
come tonight, medical facilities in Gaza are struggling to treat all the wounded protesters. We're going to speak with the U.N. humanitarian
coordinator who says hospital staffs are stretched to the limit and supplies are running out.
ANDERSON: Strong condemnation today as we've heard from the United Nations Human Rights Council accusing Israel of violating international rules on
the use of force again and again. The day after at least 60 Palestinians were killed during protests in Gaza.
[11:20:00] The U.N. council says, and I quote, it seems anyone is libel to be shot dead or injured, women, children, press, first responders,
bystanders. Essentially almost anyone at any point up to 700 meters from the fence bordering Israel.
Live from Jerusalem this hour. Welcome back. What we have been witnessing some 40-to-60 miles or so, two hours as the crow flies from where we are
here at Jaffa Gate. Many countries around the world expressing deep concern today about the killing of Palestinian protesters. Urging Israel's
forces to show restraint. But as far as the United States is concerned there is only one group to blame.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: We believe that Hamas is responsible for these tragic deaths. That they are rather cynical
exploitation of the situation is what's leading to the deaths. And we want them to be stopped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no burden on Israel to do something to rein it in?
SHAH: No. We think that we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Hamas is the one that frankly bear responsibility for the dire situation right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The proportion of forces being used by the Israelis, a question we have asked ourselves again and again and again. Certainly, when I say
us, the international community. The humanitarian situation in Gaza was grim at the best of times. Now medical facilities are overwhelmed.
Struggling to keep up with the huge number of casualties. The U.N. humanitarian coordinator just visited Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Jamie
McGoldrick says the staff are stretched to the limit. He says, they are struggling to treat hundreds of people including women and children. But
are running out of essential medical supplies and critical fuel reserves. Jamie McGoldrick joining us now live from Gaza with more. Things sound
very difficult there. Just describe what you saw at the hospital, if you will.
JAMIE MCGOLDRICK, U.N. HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR (via Skype): I visited hospital yesterday and again today. And yesterday, obviously was
overwhelming because of the numbers of patients coming in. Showing a woman with gunshot wounds and at the same time, you know, you get large numbers
of crowds coming in. The place was chaotic. The staff I spoke to again this morning. Some doctors, vascular surgeons stayed up to were treating
wounded. The hospital was overwhelmed in terms of its capacity and in terms of its capabilities. But also, the fact they don't have enough
medical supplies and few to keep this going for much longer.
ANDERSON: When you witness things like that, just put it in context for me if you will. Just how bad is this?
MCGOLDRICK: Well, I mean, the fact that you mentioned the collapsing systems that have been in place for many, many years here. It's a very
fragile, precarious environment. The health system has always been difficult. It's gotten worse over the years. As the inability in bringing
the right material. Salaries not getting paid. It makes it very, very difficult. You put on top of, you know, this catastrophe. You put on this
very acute crisis. And it would overwhelm capital of the world. The numbers that come in through the doors yesterday and you put that on top of
a very fragile health system. It's no surprise they are struggling to do this.
We need more funds. We need more resources. We need more equipment to come in, essential equipment. We need money to make this happen for fuel
and keep these systems going. Otherwise they will face many, many people who have been injured and wounded and unable to survive. Secondly, they
will lose limbs and be incapacitated for the rest of their lives.
ANDERSON: What sort of cash are you talking about?
MCGOLDRICK: We need millions. Because it's this acute crisis we face right now in which we need millions, like five or 6 million. We will take
it over this point in time right now. But we have a humanitarian response plan which addresses the fundamental crisis in the health system of this
country and in Gaza. And we need that money in order to make sure the systems don't fully collapse. And the demands on the system before these
days of demonstration was a mess anyway. And what was a very difficult system that could provide the services needed, and when you have now is
them coming close to collapse.
So, we have to have an injection into that. Health workers and front liners, you mentioned, first time responders. I met one this morning who
had been shot in the abdomen trying to rescue someone at the frontline yesterday. And he was ready to go back to the frontline again. That's the
resilience and the courage these guys face. So, them and journalists and others who have put themselves in harm's way to make sure -- to save lives
or to tell the story properly.
ANDERSON: Jamie McGoldrick in Gaza for you, witnessing the scenes yesterday. Live from Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. A lot more ahead on what is
a very busy show. Jordan's foreign minister joins me in a moment as the wider region here reacts.
[11:25:00] That's next.
ANDERSON: The decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem sparking outrage here and across the region. Hundreds marched outside the American
Embassy in Jordan on Monday and burned U.S. and Israeli flags. The protesters were also incensed by these killings along the Gaza border.
Jordan, of course, homes more than 2 million Palestinians.
We are live from Jerusalem this hour. CONNECT THE WORLD coming to you from Jaffa Gate. Welcome back.
As we saw the moves here in Jerusalem then reverberating across the region and beyond. Ayman Safadi is the foreign minister of Jordan. He joins me
now from Amman. Firstly, and very briefly, your reaction to what we all witnessed yesterday. The scenes, these deadly protests.
AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Let me start by offering deepest condolences to the victims of the uncalled for, unnecessary, unjustified,
illegal, inhumane Israeli aggression against innocent civilians protesting against occupation yesterday. What we saw yesterday is a sign of things
that are going to deteriorate unless we're able to recapture the moment and move effectively towards ending occupation and fulfilling the Palestinian
people right to freedom and statehood on their land with East Jerusalem as their capital.
ANDERSON: These protests were in part a response to Israeli policies. Why is that embassy move that we saw yesterday so detrimental to peace?
SAFADI: It is because Jerusalem is an extremely emotive subject. It is sacred to Muslims, to Christians, to Jews. That is why it has always been
a final status issue that international law says needs to be resolved through negotiations on the basis of international law which recognizes
East Jerusalem as the occupied city. That should become the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
To come and determine the future of Jerusalem outside of context of a broader East plan that would bring the comprehensive peace that we all seek
is something that sends the wrong message about our collective commitment as international community to end the occupation and bring justice to the
Palestinians and fulfill their basic human rights to freedom and independence.
ANDERSON: Foreign minister, just last year, President Trump's point man on the Middle East, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said this. I think that if
we are going to try and create more stability in the region as a whole, this issue -- this conflict must be resolved. Now listen to what he said
just yesterday at the opening of the embassy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO U.S. PRESIDENT TRUMP: As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking
violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution. The United States is prepared to support a peace agreement in every way that we can.
We believe that it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give so that all people can live in peace, safe from danger, free from fear and
able to pursue their dreams.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We don't know is are the details of any peace agreement that is promised now for some time led by Jared Kushner. What should the pillars
of any Kushner peace plan be at this point?
SAFADI: Well, Becky, from the very beginning, we were clear that Jordan is committed to doing everything it can to bring about the comprehensive and
lasting peace that all people of this region deserve. We said we'll be there working with the U.S., working with the Europeans, working with
everybody in the international community to bring about that peace.
However, we have to recognize that the source of all evil is occupation. You cannot build peace on crushing people's rightful aspirations. You
cannot build peace on blood. You cannot build peace on violence. Peace is built in recognizing the rights of all people's dignity to have their
independence, to have their freedom. And that is why we believe any peace deal should address the Palestinian right to freedom and independence. A
Palestinian state on the basis of June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital. Living in peace and security within Israel that is recognized
and accepted by the whole Arab and Muslim world. This is the pillar of peace.
And again, unless we're able to realize that there is a reality. A very terrible reality. And unacceptable reality which is occupation. I think
we'll be finding ourselves, unfortunately, moving towards more violence. And let me just reaffirm that violence is borne out of despair. Is borne
out of denying the Palestinian people their right.
ANDERSON: Nobody wants a continuation of this cycle, Foreign Minister. If the Palestinians won't talk to the U.S. because they say the U.S. is no
longer an honest broker, I do wonder where things go from here. And what can Egypt and Jordan, crucial regional actors and other Arab states,
including Saudi Arabia do to help deliver both parties back to the negotiating table at this point?
SAFADI: Our commitment to peace is unwavering. It's proven in deeds and words. And we've been working all through to try and support efforts to
bring about peace. But then again, we want peace to be lasting. In order for peace to be lasting, it has to address the inalienable rights of the
Palestinian people to freedom and statehood.
Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, other Arab countries have been working, are willing to continue to work with the U.S. and with others to bring about a
peaceful solution to this conflict who is the cause of all evil in our part of the world. This is what needs to be recognized. And again, all efforts
need to come back to realize that if we continue things to go the way they have gone yesterday.
[11:35:00] On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, of the greatest injustice in modern time. Instead of sending a message of peace, we're
sending soldiers to shoot at innocent civilians, we're not going to get anywhere. What we need to do is for all of us to get together and realize
that the two-state solution is the only way forward and move forward.
ANDERSON: Foreign minister, the problem is, I guess the question is isn't it. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, other Arab states will try their best to
ensure that this cycle doesn't continue. But if the U.S. quite frankly has said they have taken Jerusalem off the table, that aspirations for the East
Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state going forward are no longer an option. Do you have any confidence you can get the Palestinians back to
the negotiating table? And if not, how concerned are you that this cycle will just continue for years to come?
SAFADI: Becky, we'll bring the Palestinians back to the table. Our constructive ideas will ensure everybody that we're moving towards a
lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution. Which again is the only way forward. As far as Jerusalem is concerned, Jerusalem is an
occupied territory. It should be a symbol of peace. In order for it to be a symbol of peace, occupation has to end, and oppression has to go away
from the streets and neighborhoods of the city.
Jordan, as you know, has been working to push that message of peace forward. His Majesty is the custodian of the Christian and Muslim holy
sites in Jerusalem. He has repeatedly said that Jerusalem is the key to peace. And Jerusalem should be again addressed within a broader solution.
That would bring about the two-state solution. Again, the only way to make sure that we end the conflict that has taken so many lives. That has
caused so much suffering and that will continue to deteriorate unless we are able to create political horizons. And tell the Palestinians that they
have a future and they can ultimately live like any other people on earth in freedom with dignity and without oppression and without occupation
haunting their days and nights.
ANDERSON: Live from Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Welcome back. Let's get you over to CNN's Ben Wedeman who is live
with us in Gaza.
[11:40:00] And we've just have been talking, Ben, to the Jordanian foreign minister about the likelihood that any Arab countries, Jordan and Egypt to
begin with, to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The former U.S. special envoy for the Israeli/Palestinian negotiations, Martin
Indyk, tweeting earlier. Saying Israel needs to change live fire tactics or Palestinian demonstrators will grow and spread.
So, we're seeing what's going on the ground. We are getting comment on that. You are witnessing that. And yet the wider picture it seems is a
cycle that just continues. Let's talk about what's happening on the ground for those of our viewers who may just be joining us. And then we'll talk
about the wider context. What are you seeing and hearing?
WEDEMAN: Well, Becky, just about 15 minutes ago, we saw something we haven't seen yet. And I don't think others have. Is that the Palestinians
were able to shoot down with small arms fire one of those Israeli drones that have been flying over all day dropping tear gas on the crowd behind
me. In fact, they've been flying further and further back into the crowd. And they were able to finally shoot one of those drones down. That caused
quite a lot of celebration among the people here. And it does seem to reinvigorate them a bit more. We were seeing once they finish their
celebrations of the downing of the drone, more people going back toward the fence.
But evening is approaching and normally by sunset, most people have left. So, it's been something of an anticlimax for today. Which is, of course,
is Nakba day. The 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel and for the Palestinians a day of catastrophe. A day when hundreds
of thousands fled or were driven from their homes. And it was the beginning of what we are still living today. This never-ending cycle of
violence that just seems to get worse. And at this point, there is no sign of any real diplomatic effort to resolve this decades long crisis -- Becky.
ANDERSON: So, what you are saying is, you are as pessimistic as you have ever been, Ben, given that you have been covering these conflicts and this
region for as long as you have.
WEDEMAN: You have a combination now, Becky, of the U.S. administration that is more pro-Israeli than any in the past since 1948. I was listening
to the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley's speech to the emergency meeting at the U.N. and certainly the speech sounded like it was not from
an American diplomat, but from an Israeli diplomat.
And so, I think for the Palestinians, there really is a feeling that they don't have friends in Washington and increasingly they don't have friends
in the Arab world. They see Saudi Arabia has increasingly seen eye to eye with the Israelis when it comes to the perceived Iran threat. They see
that many other states in the Arab world which in the past, at least, provided lip service to the Palestinian cause. Are too busy with their own
wars and civil wars. For instance, Libya, Syria, Iraq, they're completely distracted.
And so, the Palestinians have very little left at their disposal. But to do what we're seeing here is these really sort of hopeless approaches or
attempts to get near the fence that separates Gaza from Israel that have left yesterday at least 60 people dead. And no sign that that's actually
going to achieve anything other than to remind us, the media, the world, that this is a problem yet unresolved -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman there on the other side of the border. I'm in Jerusalem. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, we've heard reaction
from around the region. Next, what are Americans saying about these developments in the Middle East? That here on this show. Stay with us.
[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Live from Jerusalem. You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. A very warm welcome back.
From the United States we're a number of prominent voices speak out on what was this embassy move here yesterday. And the violence that we witnessed
across the border. Senator Bernie Sanders called the killings a staggering toll. He went on to say, Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on
unarmed protesters. Representative Barbara Lee, called the situation horrific. She said, the U.S. should be laying the ground work for peace
not fueling conflict with unnecessary and counterproductive moves. Senator Chuck Schumer, a frequent critic of President Trump, praised the embassy
move. On Monday, he said it's long overdue and every nation should have the right to choose its capital.
Meantime, a poll taken six months ago in the United States showed 63 percent, almost half of them Republicans, opposed moving the embassy. I
want to bring in Noura Erakat. She's a Palestinian/American human rights attorney and assistant professor at George Mason University in the U.S.
She's also cofounder of the online magazine, " Jadaliyya". I want your response -- your reaction first to what we witnessed yesterday. Scenes of
celebration and triumphalism to a certain extent at the U.S. Embassy at its inauguration event, and those that we witnessed across the border, if you
NOURA ERAKAT, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Yes, absolutely. I thank you for having me. I think that the juxtaposition of those two images of
celebration almost in Orwellian reality alongside the mass shooting, a bloodbath, of unarmed Palestinians with flaming kites. Who are on their
own land being gunned down like birds, including 55 Palestinians and 6 children. Tells us a lot and should be a reminder to the world what this
situation is about.
That we are basically enabling Israel to expand its settler enterprise across the West Bank. Entrenching its presence in Jerusalem. Which is
predicated on Palestinian dispossession, removal and exile. Which is predicated on an equation where Palestinians can also exist as human
beings. And so, that juxtaposition of images should remind us that we are now 70 years into a conflict where the solutions that we tried which is to
only satisfy Israel at the expense of Palestinian human rights, doesn't work and now we need other solutions where all peoples can exist.
ANDERSON: It wasn't just the embassy move, but that was seen as entirely provocative. But it wasn't just the embassy move that has caused these
protesters to come out in Gaza. We know it is other Israeli ongoing policy. But I want to talk about this embassy move. Legislation back in
1995 in the states allowed for this move at some point of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
[11:50:01] Every single president since then has basically kicked the decision -- kicked the can down the road, as it were. Decided not to do
it. Because they've all known that leaving Israel on the table was always important for the potential for a solution for peace here.
Why did Trump do it? And given that he's done it, how well supported will or not will that decision be? I'm interested to hear it from you given
that the U.S. is so polarized across the divide at the moment. And yet this decision actually seems to bring Democrats and Republicans together.
ERAKAT: Well, I think it is important to point out two things. One for Palestinians, this is less about the embassy move and what it means is a
loss of the Palestinian capital. Because the two-state solution has long been dead. Israel torpedoed that. This is about the claim of Palestinian
belonging. Palestinians are protesting to be able to remain on their lands. And what Israel has said explicitly is that it wants to alter the
demographic balance in Jerusalem by outright removal of Palestinians in order to maintain a Jewish demographic majority. So, that's one.
On the second, what Trump has done is basically consecrate five years of U.S. policy making. On the face, it looks like a rupture. But if you did
just a little deeper, the U.S. for five decades has spoken in forked tongues. On the one hand it said, it's against international law and
policy. On the other hand, it's facilitating Israel's settler, colonial encroachment.
And so, what Trump did was remove the emperor's clothes which has now brought everything to the fore and remove the pretense that there is a
peace process and exposed for what it is. A process of Israel's expansion and its opposition to the establishment of the sovereign Palestinian state.
If you show a map -- and I hope that you do -- you will see that Palestinians live across a series of dis-contiguous Bantustans where they
are policed and removed from one another. This is not about protecting Israel from Palestinians, this is about entrenching Israeli sovereignty
over all of the lands in a way that makes Palestinians supplicants, second- class citizens. Neither sovereign nor equal citizens of Israelis. And that's an untenable solution.
ANDERSON: Right. I'll leave that there for the moment. I really appreciate your thoughts and analysis, Noura, today.
I want to bring in my next guest, Ilan Baruch. He's a former Israeli ambassador to South Africa. He's joining me live here now in Jerusalem.
Sir, just for complete transparency, you are no fan of the Prime Minister here, Benjamin Netanyahu.
ILAN BARUCH, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA: No.
ANDERSON: If you can leave that aside. I'm not sure you can. Just reflect for me if you will on the events we witnessed over the past 24
hours both here and in Gaza and tell me what do you think happens next?
BARUCH: Well, we have seen a situation here with jubilation in Jerusalem and grief and rage in Gaza. And I would like to say to your audience that
I represent a large constituency in Israel that are enraged and in grief for what seems to be the wrong way of dealing with the demonstrations.
Shooting into unarmed crowd is totally unacceptable. And we are definitely against it.
ANDERSON: Do you fear for the future? Is this a cycle that will now continue without an end?
BARUCH: We will need to see a fundamental change in the paradigm of relations between Israelis and Palestinians. Not only in order to contain
the Gaza eruption that might spread into the entire Palestinian/Israel space and into the Arab world. We need a statement of fair intent on the
side of all parties concerned.
ANDERSON: Do we need to see the details of this Kushner peace plan that we have been promised for some time? Is that crucial?
BARUCH: It is crucial. What I feel is that the Trump administration was going for a take it or leave it rather than giving us and the Palestinians
a road map by which we can actually run negotiations. As it was meant to be in the last American initiative conducted by Secretary of State Kerry.
[11:55:00] ANDERSON: Donald Trump when he talked about delivering the embassy to effectively Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said he would
carve out the deal of the century for Israelis and Palestinians. We know nothing of the details.
Hold on for one second, sir. I want to get to the U.N. Security Council. Council. The Palestinians are now addressing the Security Council. We
should listen to this. This is important.
[U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL]
RIYAD H. MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: President of the Security Council, for the holding of this important emergency session. We
also would like to express our thanks for the sympathies and the condolences expressed by all members of the Security Council during the
minute of silence in honor of the martyrs. We thank the members of the council for having felt the urgent need to discuss the serious
deteriorating situation in occupied Palestinian territory. In particular in the Gaza strip. Because of the heinous deliberate crimes created by
Israel against unarmed Palestinian civilians.
We also show deep gratitude toward Kuwait because of the efforts it is making as the only Arab member of the Security Council. We would also like
to thank Mr. Mladenov for his briefing.
Madame president, we meet today as a sad and painful moment for the Palestinian people with great sorrow and bitterness. We express our most
sincere condolences to the families of the martyrs. May they rest in peace.
We also wish a prompt recovery to all those injured because of the brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinian people who expressed their resistance in
the besieged Gaza strip on the eve of the sacred month of Ramadan. We condemn in the most emphatic terms the odious massacre committed by Israel
in the Gaza Strip.
We call for a halt to the military aggression against our people immediately and we call for a transparent and independent international
inquiry to be conducted. The occupation is the main source of violence in our region. Any attempt to falsify this by some does not match reality.
To those who have a different rhetoric and agendas, we ask, why have you so often blocked a transparent, independent international inquiry? We say
this in this council. We accept the results of such an investigation beforehand. Even before it takes place. The Secretary-General has agreed
to such an investigation. Mr. Mladenov and 14 members of the Security Council on many occasions agreed to it. We accept whatever the outcome of
such an investigation is as long as the other parties accept such an investigation themselves.
Why are some blocking the will of the majority of this council? What is happening on the ground is not clear. If this is not the case, then let us
investigate what is happening on the ground. And as I was saying, we accept the outcome of such an investigation. Are the other parties willing
for such an independent, impartial and transparent investigation to take place under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations?
So that those things will not remain on the level of accusations and mutual suspicion. Let's have such an investigation. Israel continues its brutal
attack on unarmed Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. In a flagrant violation of international law including international humanitarian law,
human rights law .