Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Crews Find Black Boxes from Ethiopian Airlines Crash; Ethiopia, China, Indonesia Ground Boeing 737 Max 8; Boeing, at this Point, No Basis for New Safety Guidance; CNN Team Ventures into the Last ISIS Territory in Syria; Frustrations Ahead of Brexit Deadline; Brexit Frustrates Northern Ireland's Catholics and Protestants Alike; Netanyahu Says Israel is Not a State of All Its Citizens. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired March 11, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Broadcasting from our Middle
Eastern hub in Abu Dhabi.
We begin with fast moving developments from Ethiopia this hour. In the past few hours, crews have found both the flight data recorder and the
cockpit voice recorder belonging to Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. That will help investigators work out why the plane crashed shortly after
takeoff from Ethiopia's capital on Sunday killing all 157 people on board. Well, in the meantime, several countries grounding the type of aircraft
involved, Boeing 737 Max 8. They include Ethiopia, China and Indonesia, as well as Cayman Airways.
Now this is the second crash involving the aircraft in just months. And this is people in 35 different countries have come to terms with the loss
of their loved ones. There's grief too at United Nations, 22 of the victims were U.N. workers. You're looking at images of a moment of silence
that was held earlier today at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
We are covering this from all angles as you would expect. The victims, investigation, the plane itself. First, though, to the scene on the
ground. Robyn Kriel filed this report from the crash site a short time ago.
ROBYN KRIEL, JOURNALIST: Anyone who's flown on Ethiopian Airlines before will recognize the telltale lime green of the pile of plane debris behind
me. Rescue workers have worked through the night to -- from what we understand to remove a number of bodies from the site. 157 people killed
in total. And just a few moments ago, three more bodies were pulled from the site and rescue workers gave a moment of silence.
Excavators are working to try and sift through some of the rubble and as we look around, there are still pieces of paper, personal belongings belonging
to some of the passengers and crew of flight Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 that are blowing around from the wind. Pieces of paper like burned out
newspapers, business cards, and other memorabilia belonging to those who have died.
A number of forensic experts are on the scene from the Ethiopian federal police. We also understand that international experts will come as well to
try and assist in finding their own countrymen's DNA. We understand that the Israeli embassy is sending a group of experts as well as the United
Robyn Kriel, CNN at the site of Ethiopian Airlines plane crash 302.
ANDERSON: For more, Farai Sevenzo, has the latest from Nairobi, Kenya where the plane was headed. Richard Quest is in London as multiple
airlines suspend the use of Boeing's top selling plane and in the U.S., our safety analyst, David Soucie, on the challenges now facing the air accident
investigators. Let's start with you, Farai, in Kenya where so many awaiting the arrival of their friends, their families, their loved ones.
What's the latest there?
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely right, Becky. People had been waiting as you say for their loved ones. When they heard about what
was on the manifest, that is the list of passengers in this doomed ETG02 flight. Many of them doubled up in grief. But today the latest is that
the Kenya government as well as Ethiopian airlines managing director here, were working to face any fears at all that Ethiopian Airlines were somehow
responsible for this. Listen to Tewolde GebreMariam, the director of Ethiopian Airlines here in Nairobi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEWOLDE GEBREMARIAM, CEO, ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES: We have more than 300 flights a day and it's a very safe airline and the operation is running
very smoothly. This is a very isolated and unfortunate incident -- accident. We are taking care of, as I said, the families and friends and
relatives of the grieving passengers and crew.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEVENZO: And of course, Becky, you've got to remember the relationship that exists between Nairobi, Kenya's capital, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's
capital. This is the U.N. shuttle. It's by no means extraordinary for humanitarian workers to take these flights. Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, Nairobi
is their headquarters.
[11:05:00] They live here many of them. And of course, Addis Ababa is the seat of policymakers for the African Union. So it was absolutely not
extraordinary that they would take these flights. 22 now, Becky, 22 U.N. staff, people we speak to about stories in Sudan and Somalia, about all the
urgent humanitarian needs of our region. They will be heavily affected and it's cast a very long shadow over this community.
ANDERSON: Farai is in Nairobi on that leg of the story. Farai, thank you.
Richard, we are hearing from Boeing now in the last few minutes, a statement. The vice president of communication says safety is the
company's top priority. And also, quote, the investigation is in its early stages, but at this point based on the information available, we do not
have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.
Richard, several airlines, of course, are grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 and the company is postponing the launch of another aircraft. Now this is
going to have huge implications for the company, isn't it?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND AVIATION EXPERT: Yes. The 777-X reveal was more of a PR exercise than actually anything more. So that's out of
respect that they've decided not to do that event but will put that off until later.
Go back to that map, Becky, and look at those -- where those planes are. Look over in China. That's the problem for Boeing today. Because Boeing
can put out the statement all they like saying that there are no new reasons yet to offer any new guidance. But the Chinese authority and
regulator has grounded the Max fleet. And China is one of the most important markets and it is one of the largest customers, for there are
more of them flying there pretty much.
So you've now got this unique situation where the U.S. and Europe are saying, well we've nothing more to say at the moment. And China saying,
well we're going to ground the planes until we find out something more. Honestly, it leaves the traveling public in an intolerable position.
Because nobody can say for sure whether the plane is safe. Based on the idea that the Chinese regulator says it's not.
ANDERSON: Well, let's have a look at the -- you're doing an excellent job in pointing out the global reach on this story, not only on the victims,
but on the scope of Boeing's business around the world. Shares already plunging on the Dow, down some 7 percent. That will have a huge impact.
It's going to sort of out waited the situation as far as the Dow is concerned. So what happens next?
QUEST: Two things -- the most important thing happens next, happens in Ethiopia and maybe they'll have to send it somewhere else if they don't
have the capabilities to read the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. They've been found. We'll know what condition it is in.
And there after it is a matter of only hours before you get the initial view. When they read out those two machines, we will know with authority
Now the issue becomes, Becky, do you wait until you get that information or do you act preemptively? The Chinese have gone preemptively. Once you
know from the data recorders, then Boeing has a very tricky task. Because if the data recorders -- and this is where, you know, I'm off piece for
now, forgive me. But if the data recorders show that there is a systemic problem with the systems on the Max 6, then Boeing will have a very big
problem. If it's something completely unrelated, if it is just one of those coincidences, then there are other lessons to be learned.
ANDERSON: Richard is in London for you. And let me just remind you viewers, Sunday's plane crash, a truly global tragedy. David, stand by.
I just want to remind our viewers here, citizens of 35 different countries among the 157 people who lost their lives. They included 32 Kenyans, 18
Canadians, 9 Ethiopians, 8 passengers each from China, Italy, and the United States. 22 of the victims were United Nations staff members. Six
of them from the U.N. office in Nairobi.
The U.N. Secretary General expressed his condolences to all of the loved ones of the victims. A Georgetown University law student from Kenya also
died in the crash. School officials called him a champion for social justice across East Africa. Also involved, the wife and the children of a
Slovakian lawmaker. He asked people to think of his family in a quiet memory.
And a Nigerian and Canadian professor quoted a very poignant bible verse on Facebook before boarding the flight.
[10:10:00] It read, if I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the utter most parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me.
This is a truly remarkable and tragic story. David, I want you to just sort of peel away the sort of chess board that faces these air
investigators. Richard talking there to what may or may not be found in these data recorders and how difficult it's going to be for the company
Boeing going forward. I want you just to sort of -- I'll bring up some images of debris at the crash site. Let's go back to sort of ground zero
as it were. You know, these air investigators now -- the important data is clearly now going to be available to investigators. But what about piecing
together the sort of debris that we now see at that site? Just talk us through the process here.
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, the first thing to do, what I do on any accident site, is start with the impact point. The point at which
the aircraft initially touches the ground. And that's where you learn a lot of information, because most of the heavy pieces of debris end up
there, end up right in that one spot. The shattering debris or the debris field at that point becomes incredibly difficult. The first and most
important thing is to honor those victims that were on the aircraft and to collect and understand everything about the remains of those victims. And
so that's the first priority.
The second priority then is to determine what we call the scatter pattern and see exactly what happened and how the aircraft hit the ground. That's
important information, but as Richard pointed out, too, the most important piece of information in solving this and being proactive about it is going
to be found in the cockpit voice recorder and in that data recorder. So that's really the next step. At this point this aircraft, there's not a
lot to be gathered as far as information about the aircraft impact site, but there's a lot to do with respecting the victims of this tragic
ANDERSON: Let me just suggest to you or just go over once again the information that we are getting from Boeing here. The vice president of
communications for Boeing issuing a statement just a short time ago, let's just get your response to this. We've spoken to Richard about it.
It said, the jetliner manufacturer is not planning to issue new guidance at this point in response to the Ethiopian Airlines crash of 737 Max 8
aircraft. Noting that the investigation is in its early stages. We've engaged our customers and regulators on concerns they may have and we'll
refer you to them to discuss the operations and the decisions.
What do you make of that statement?
SOUCIE: Well, if this turns out to be the same thing as what happened to Lion Air, I'm going to be incredibly infuriated with that response. If
it's not, it's an appropriate response. However, I've got data in my hands right now. I'm not Boeing, but there's information available right now on
a high definition download that I got from flight radar 24 that clearly indicates that there were erroneous signals for vertical speed on that
That vertical speed, even on the runway itself, it shows a 2,500 foot per minute climb before the aircraft ever leaves the runway. Following that,
the vertical speed indicator, which is -- this is now understand, this is information coming directly from that aircraft. This is not some erroneous
transmission. This is what the pilots and the computers on that airplane were seeing at the time that they took off and subsequently as well
throughout that flight. So they were fighting against this angle of attack indicator which is exactly the same type of indications that we had on Lion
So the fact that they're now saying we have no information to tell us to do anything and that it's early investigation, I admire that. They are making
a slow move on this, but -- and I've never said this before. I'm very cautious about saying something like this, but something needs to be done
right now. The flying public deserves that. They need to know who's been trained on this aircraft. Do they have it trained properly. That's what
the response was under the Lion Air accident. It's just we needed more training. Well, if this is indeed a cause by the same thing, then that
training didn't work. There needs to be a next step. And that next step needs to happen right now.
ANDERSON: David, it's a pleasure having you on, sir. Thank you.
[11:15:00] And just to give you the back end of that statement just out of Boeing. Safety is our number one priority. We are taking every measure to
fully understand all aspects of this accident working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved. The
investigation is in its early stages, they say. But at this point based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance
We will, of course, keep you bang up to date with the latest developments as they come in here to CNN. You can follow this story online. We have a
live news feed updating frequently with all the breaking news as well as some important analysis about how big of a deal this is for Boeing as
countries and airlines ground their 737 Max 8 jets. That's at CNN.com/Business.
Still to come this hour, stunning pictures and reporting you won't believe the images as a CNN crew takes you inside the final fight to end the ISIS
Israel's prime minister says his country is not a state for all its citizens. We'll see how Benjamin Netanyahu remarks have touched off a
firestorm. That's just ahead.
ANDERSON: You're about to see some remarkable images and courageous reporting. This is the brutal fight to take the last ISIS territory in
When U.S.-backed forces began their offensive here last month, it was thought only about 500 ISIS fighters remained in the area. It is clear now
there were many, many more than that. CNN's the only American network on the ground. Correspondent Ben Wedeman and his grew are incredibly close to
the action. About an hour before that fire fight started, the CNN team actually ventured out among the tents. The shot-up buildings and abandoned
vehicles that represent the last territory controlled by the so-controlled Islamic caliphate. Have a look because Ben Wedeman, producer, Kareem
Khadder, cameraman, Scott McWhinney, and team member, Adam Dobby, takes you right into the center of the conflict.
[11:20:00] (GUN FIRE)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We were going to go forward to an area closer to where the ISIS encampment is, but because of
this fighting, apparently a battle has broken out, a new one. So we're not going any further. This is as far as we can go at this point now. It
appears that -- you can see here gunfire is hitting around the corner from us. Because there's a sniper in an ISIS building just 200-meters from
where we are. So if we were to go around this corner here, we'd be exposed to that sniper. Now, Scott McWhinney is holding the camera around the
corner, but not going around the corner himself because of the possibility of getting hit by that sniper. I don't want to go out there. It's OK,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's talk about the tents.
WEDEMAN: OK, and then -- I don't want to go out there.
ANDERSON: That's remarkable stuff isn't it. Joining me now is CNN's senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman. That was earlier. Ben,
what's the situation on the ground now?
WEDEMAN: Right now at this moment it is very calm, very quiet, and we've seen and we've got images with using our telephoto lens inside that camp
and it looks like it's rush hour in ISIS's last sliver of land. There are lots of people moving around. We've seen a white truck driving down the
road, motorcycles as well. I would venture to guess that there is some sort of truce temporarily in place to allow people perhaps to go out. And
this is what has stalled the other two operations to try to regain this last sliver of land. That they are going to allow more people, fighters as
well as women and children, to leave before they resume operations, although now I'm hearing distant thuds behind me -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben, when you say people, how many people are we talking about still there? And how did U.S.-backed forces get the scope of the or the
scale of those still in that town so wrong? We were talking about maybe 500, 600 fighters left a couple of weeks ago and we've seen these sort of
apocalyptic sort of scenes of thousands of people coming out.
WEDEMAN: Well, this has been the problem from the very beginning. They have underestimated and this is something they are quick to concede. They
have underestimated repeatedly, time and time again, the number of people inside. So once we had the estimates of 1,500 civilians and 30,000 came
out. So they have -- they're not going to deny it, the Syrian Democratic Forces, that they made a mistake. At this point, any estimate of how many
people are inside is impossible to say -- Becky.
ANDERSON: And, Ben, before what you are currently witnessing and experiencing now, you spent a number of days speaking to those who have
either been driven out, fled, or surrendered, depending on who it is that you talk to it seems. And the world, of course, has this great predicament
at this point what to do with these people. What is their overarching attitude? Is this I want to get away, I should never have been there, or
are most of the people that you are talking to still in support of this group they went to fight for?
WEDEMAN: With a few exceptions, most of them continue to believe that ISIS has taken a few blows and that it's down, but it's not out.
[11:25:00] That eventually it will be able to regroup, regain territory, and at some point, in perhaps the distant future it will come back and be
victorious. As one man said, that is what the Koran promised us. There is very little in the way of contrition. A few people I spoke to, one young
Moroccan man said I was fooled, I was duped into coming. As soon as I came here, I came to the so-called Islamic state, I saw that I was completely
wrong. But he was the exception. For the most part, most of the fighters seem to think that the battle is lost but the war is not over -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben, some of those -- or these ISIS fighters have been handed over to Iraqi authorities after being captured by the U.S.-backed SDF.
Right now 14 French ISIS fighters are facing trial in Iraq. As you all know, their published confessions are quite remarkable. I just want to
take our viewers through one of their stories. Stand by.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, FRENCH ISIS FIGHTER (through translator): I was born in France and went to school there. I joined the French army in the year 2000
and went to serve in Afghanistan in 2009. When I got back, I worked as a driver in a petrol company and married a French woman. Joining ISIS
stemmed from a desire to live elsewhere in the world. I was searching on social media for them. I then moved to Belgium and I met a friend who
encouraged me to join. I remarried a girl. I entered Syria through Turkey illegally to Aleppo and then went on Mosel in Iraq. I pledged my
allegiance to the caliphate in front of an ISIS leader wearing a mask. Leaders were afraid of revealing their identity to foreign fighters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Ben, you've been covering this for an awful long time now -- too long. What's the solution to dealing with these people who chose to join a
WEDEMAN: Well, this is the quandary so many governments are facing. They don't know what to do. Many of the people who came from, for instance,
from Western Europe to the so-called Islamic state may have engaged in atrocities of terrorism. The problem is in terms of sort of the due
process of trials in Western Europe or North America, they don't have the evidence to convict them.
So there are cases of people returning from Syria and Iraq, from under the so-called Islamic state going home and then going free. Because by the
standards of Western courts, they simply don't have enough evidence to convict them. And certainly in this part of Syria, the authorities are
desperate for the countries where these people came from to take them back and do something with them. Because what we have now is there are about
5,000 ISIS fighters in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces. 1,000 of them are foreign fighters and many of them come from countries that
don't want them back.
The United Kingdom, for instance, has made it clear it does not want the fighters back. The French had sort of an unofficial policy of if they came
across French nationals on the battle field simply to shoot them without trial. But in terms of repatriating them, there's real resistance from
these countries. And what happens is, the problem is left in lap of this part of Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces and they don't have the
resources to maintain, to hold, let alone put on trial all of these people -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman in the thick of it there in Eastern Syria. Ben, your reporting is remarkable. Stay safe for the team.
Well, Ben pointing out what is a real conundrum for the international community. The exception it seems or the near exception at least, Morocco,
which has taken back eight captured ISIS fighters. The men were arrested in Syria as ISIS retreated and will likely be put on trial in Morocco.
Now the U.S. says this is the best way to deal with captured ISIS fighters. A state department spokesman said and I quote. Morocco's actions should
encourage other nations to repatriate and prosecutor their citizens who have traveled to fight for ISIS. Repatriating foreign terrorist fighters
to their countries of origin is the best solution to prevent them from returning to the battlefield.
Live from CNN's Middle East programming hub, you're with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Up next, it's one of the biggest weeks for British politics since World War II.
[11:30:00] But it's being felt far from the walls of Parliament. We're in Northern Ireland next speaking to both sides of the sectarian divide. That
ANDERSON: You're with CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. If you are just joining us, you are more than welcome.
A recap for you of our top stories. Ethiopia and Kenya have set up a joint response team to investigate the fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight
302, all 157 people on board were killed. Now the airline says both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder have been found.
Boeing 737 Max and passenger jet -- 8 passenger jet is the same model of the plane that crashed in Indonesia five months ago killing 189 people.
Now Ethiopia, China, Indonesia and Cayman Airways our grounding that aircraft. In a statement a short time ago, Boeing's vice president of
communications says safety is the company's top priority and also, quote, the investigation is in its early stages, but at this point based on the
information available, he said, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.
More on that story, of course, as we get it. We'll turn away for just a moment to Europe. We all know the feeling of waking up just before the
alarm clock goes off. Right? When you know that shrill sound is minutes away and you don't quite feel prepared to tackle the day. Well that could
be how the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is feeling right about now. Brexit's alarm clock is about to go off, but we still don't know if there
will be a deal. No deal, a delay, or even a new referendum. What we do know as things stand, the U.K. is set to officially leave the European
Union in just 18 days' time.
Well tomorrow British lawmakers are set for yet another vote on Mrs. May's deal and the ramifications of that will stretch much further than the U.K.
[10:35:00] That's why we have reporters all over for you. Bianca Nobilo is in London. Erin is in Brussels for you. The de facto home of the EU, of
course, and Nic Robertson is in Londonderry, also known as Derry, Northern Ireland. Let's start with you, Bianca. Not just tomorrow a busy day on
this Brexit agenda. It's a busy week. Just basically, in sentences of one syllable if you will, tell us what to expect this week with 18 days to go.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the reason that this week is so critical is if the Prime Minister's vote on her deal, this meaningful
goes ahead tomorrow, that's the opportunity for MPs to vote yes to approve it or know to reject it. And if it's rejected -- which is what's expected
-- then the follow day MPs will get a vote on whether or not to approve a no deal scenario. Now parliaments already rejected that twice. So we can
expect that that would also fail.
So then, on Thursday MPs would have another vote. That would be on whether or not to ask the EU for an extension. That's considered the least
controversial option. So to continue with your analogy, Becky, it would be like hitting the snooze button on Brexit. By how long we don't know.
Because that would have to be unanimously agreed between the EU 27 and Britain. So it is a very important week, one of the biggest in Brexit so
Now the reason that the Prime Minister looks to be staring down the barrel of another defeat tomorrow is because she managed to buy herself some time
by getting the House of Commons to agree to her going back to the EU and finding a way to replace the backstop with so-called alternative
arrangements. Now, it doesn't seem like she's been able to do that, so if she brings the vote back again without substantive changes, of course, she
risks another defeat. Which just makes us question her position not just as somebody able to negotiate this Brexit deal in the final stages but also
as Prime Minister. So there's a lot on her plate.
She's actually delivering a service just to my right in Westminster Abby at the moment. She's doing a reading for a commonwealth service and then
later she'll be maybe going into the House of Commons, maybe going to Strasbourg. It's so fluid, Becky, and there's so many reports about what
she may or may not be doing. It just shows us that we are in such an uncertain time in these final days before Brexit.
ANDERSON: Well whatever happens this week, it is no thanks to Europe many people will say. Erin, in Theresa May's defense, should this weekend up
with a sort of open-ended deadline. That is the worst-case scenario for a country trying to negotiate its way out of a group of countries with a half
decent deal. The Europeans know that. You know, to an extent, it's no good for Europe to have the rest of the world believe that they've offered
no helping hand in all of this.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Diplomats that I've been talking to, Becky, say that they certainly do not want to be blamed for Brexit.
They see this as a historic mistake, but that the mistake lies with the United Kingdom in all of this. They throughout this process have wanted to
make that extremely clear.
At this point the question being asked here in Brussels is will British Prime Minister, Theresa May, travel to Strasbourg tonight or not? That is
the question being openly asked by diplomats. That was the subject of a meeting of the EU ambassadors here in Brussels earlier today that were
briefed by the Michel Barnier, the chief Brexit negotiator. That was an open question. We heard earlier from the Irish foreign minister, Simon
Coveney, who says he believes she will be making the trip to Strasbourg to finalize an agreement with the European Commission both Jean-Claude Juncker
is currently in in Strasbourg as well as, Michel Barnier.
That has yet to be confirmed, however, by Downing Street. So we still are watching and waiting. It's a great illustration of the uncertainty of this
entire process. Foreign minister, Coveney, also said that any agreement that could come out of Strasbourg tonight would be in line with the EU's
redlines providing reassurances on the backstop but not going so far as to contradict the withdrawal agreement. Which the U.K. has been insisting on,
which Theresa May says she needs to get this deal across the line in Westminster tomorrow. We also heard from the German Chancellor, Angela
Merkel, earlier today saying very clearly that the ball remains in the U.K.'s court. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): It's a very important step towards the United Kingdom has been made and the ball is now
in Britain's court to respond to this.
[11:40:00] We want a good partnership with the United Kingdom. We shall do everything we can in order to make this happen. We will now wait and see
what will happen in the House of Commons over the next few days and what sort of decisions are taken with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN: So EU officials, EU diplomats are waiting, watching to see what happens, but diplomats described to me a pretty bleak mood here in
Brussels -- Becky.
ANDERSON: In "Irish Times", Ipsos MRBI poll conducted last week, Nick, found, quote, the majority of Northern Irish voters wish to see minimal
disruption to daily life with 67 percent believing that the U.K. should actually stay in the EU single marketing and customs union to ensure no
hard border with the Republic of Ireland and no checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The so-called Irish backstop, at the root of so
much disagreement. Nic, what chance that those who were polled will get their wish?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: At the moment, it doesn't seem to be that's an option on the table, but as we've been hearing
here, Theresa May seems to be running out of road with time in Westminster. As Prime Minister almost it would appear on one hand and certainly with
negotiations in Brussels at the moment, 536 people asked face-to-face questions in that poll, a significant number strikingly not only the
figures you just mentioned there, but 2/3 of people dissatisfied with the Democratic Unionist Party here, that crops up Theresa May's coalition, the
way they're handling things in Westminster. 3/4 dissatisfied of people dissatisfied with the way that politicians in London have been handling
Brexit so far. You know, 536 people, that's big polling. We went out to the streets as well in Belfast, asked quite a few people, many of the same
questions, and the thing that is beginning to unify people here across the historic divides, it's frustration. It is a desperate sense that the
politicians are making a huge mess of things.
ROBERTSON: Belfast peace wall for decades separating Catholic, mostly pro- Irish communities from Protestant, mostly pro-British communities. But Brexit may just be changing that historic divide. On both sides, murals
tell of a bitter violent past. The troubles that took thousands of lives, but as the Brexit deadline looms, there's common exasperation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It isn't Catholics and Protestants. They just want to get on with their lives and do that which is right for their families and
work, you know. Brexit is just being a mess from start to finish.
ROBERTSON: Do you feel that the politicians in Westminster, Theresa May and cabinet are doing a good job on this so far?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not. This has been disastrous. There been tensions in various parties in Westminster both the Conservative Party and
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Catholics and Protestants alike have simply had enough.
(on camera): What are your thoughts on Brexit at the moment?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just secularists and terror. I'm not being funny or anything. I do really want to know about it.
ROBERTSON: Among Catholics on the Fools Road a sense that thanks to Brexit pressing social problems, drugs and unemployment are being neglected.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not doing enough for kids, you know. The kids need work or at least socialize clubs or something.
ROBERTSON (on camera): You need jobs is the bottom line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Jobs.
ROBERTSON: And Brexit is putting those jobs at risk is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, Yes.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): On Shank Hill Road, the Protestant heartland, a number of people dismayed with their own representatives in the Democratic
(on camera): And the politicians here, are they handling it well enough?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a worse than other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting it wrong totally. Getting money for nothing, sitting in their houses, you know, ask for get this.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): On a straw poll on the streets suggest most people from both communities want to keep the border with the south open.
(on camera): Do you think it could make trouble in the security sense as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think so, I think that is a lot sort of been and gone.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): While a pharmacist in the Catholic area tells us that a hard border and hard Brexit would be disastrous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That potentially means that lifesaving medicines won't be available to the patients and that's just unacceptable.
ROBERTSON: Among the dozens we spoke to nationalists and unionists, the dominant emotions were weariness and anxiety about Brexit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will happen will happen anyway. It doesn't matter to working-class people in the Shank Road for sure.
ROBERTSON (on camera): The wall that divides Belfast stretches like a scar across the city. It won't be gone anytime soon.
[11:45:00] But in the communities, it separates, fatalism is eroding the usual factionalism as Brexit hurdles towards and as yet an unknown
ROBERTSON: Well, here in Derry, Britain seems to be biggest border city with the European Union, a city of about 100,000 people, 80 percent of
people in this part of the city voted to remain in the European Union. The border is literally just a couple of miles away. This is going to be one
of the cities that if Brexit doesn't go well could be most affected -- Becky.
ANDERSON: 18 days and counting. And absolutely no clarity on what happens next. Your correspondents in Derry, in London and in Brussels tonight.
Thank you all.
Well, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.
Coming up -- Israel's Prime Minister says his country is a nation for the, quote, Jewish people alone. So what does that mean for Israel's
Palestinian citizens? We're live in Jerusalem just ahead.
ANDERSON: Benjamin Netanyahu is under fire for highly controversial remarks suggesting that Palestinian citizens of Israel don't really belong
there. The Israeli Prime Minister isn't backing down. He's actually doubling down. It all started on Instagram. When Mr. Netanyahu said,
quote, Israel is not a state of all its citizens. He then repeated the inflammatory comments at a weekly cabinet meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Israel is a Jewish democratic state. This means that it is the national state of the
Jewish people alone. Of course it respects the individual rights of all its citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, but it is the national state, not of
all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Israel's President took to Twitter to rebuke Mr. Netanyahu's remarks posting in English and in Arabic. He says, Israel has, quote, no
first-class citizens and there are no second-class voters. Well Israel's Arab minority makes up about 20 percent of the population and some have
complained they are treated like second class citizens in their own country. Let's get more from CNN's Melissa Bell, who is in Jerusalem.
Melissa, is it clear what prompted Mr. Netanyahu to write that on Instagram?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: It all began over the course of the weekend, Becky, when one of the most famous faces here in Israel, Rotem
Sela, who is a well-known actress, television presenter, Instagram-ed this post in response to something that was being said on Israeli television by
a culture minister. This is, of course, election period here in Israel. In the culture minister had been talking about the possibility of an
opposition party coming into power and Arab parties joining some kind of coalition or indeed finding themselves in government. What this actress
posted was that it was about time that someone in public office, that someone in the government made it clear that it wasn't just Jewish people
who were citizens of Israel, but it was time that people understood and that politicians made clear that those Palestinian citizens of Israel were
also citizens of the country.
[11:50:00] And it was in response to that post, Becky, that Benjamin Netanyahu not only addressed it in that weekly cabinet meeting as you just
heard on Sunday. Really setting the tone for the coming week but doubled down then on social media. Going even further into explaining that very
controversial Jewish law that was passed last year. You'll remember at the time had stripped Arabic of its status as an official language and really
focused on the Jewish nature of Israel as a home for the Jewish people.
But what we hadn't heard as clearly was Benjamin Netanyahu saying that what that nation state law meant was that essentially Israel was the nation's
state of the Jewish people and not of its other citizens. As you quite rightly point out, nearly 20 percent of Israel's citizens are Palestinians.
Now we went out to one of those towns that is mixed today to try and find out precisely what Benjamin Netanyahu's words had meant and how they felt
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Who is he to decide what we are not citizens?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm a Palestinian citizen of Israel from 48.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator) It scares me because he is not anyone. He is a Prime Minister who is speaking. He should be responsible
for every letter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Those people are living with us since we came here. You can't suddenly say they don't belong to us. This
state is for all three religions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We're living together for 70 years here. We lived with the Jews as neighbors with no differences. He
is dividing us. I feel threatened because we can never guess what extremists will think when they hear him saying that. We feel scared
suddenly. He should be the one calling on people to live together peacefully.
BELL: We also heard, Becky, that people were in a sense not terribly surprised. Benjamin Netanyahu, as you know, is behind in the polls for the
first time in years going into next month's election and he has form in this respect. You'll remember in 2015 he posted that controversial video
to Facebook in which he warned that Arabs were heading to the polls in droves, a video for which he apologized the next day but only after winning
the election -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Well, Melissa is in Jerusalem for you this evening, thank you. We are going to take a quick break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: We'll get you the latest breaking news on what is our top story this hour. In a brand-new statement, Boeing saying they have no plans for
their new guidance on their bestselling 737 max 8 plane. That's after Sunday's fatal crash over an Ethiopian Airline's flight. Now despite
Boeing's statement, the company facing a lot of questions because the passenger jet now involved in two crashes in just a matter of months. Also
we are now learning that the flight and data recorders have also been found.
[11:55:00] They are typically crucial to figuring out what caused a crash.
Your Parting Shot this evening. We want to connect you to a cause that is very close to our hearts. CNN's "MY FREEDOM DAY". Well our ongoing
project to help end modern day slavery includes us teaming up with young people around the world for a day of action against it on March the 14th.
That's just a few days from now. And we are asking people what makes you, I'm talking about you, those of you watching now, what makes you feel free?
Well here are some of the answers from the fifth-grade teachers at the American Community School here in Abu Dhabi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well what makes us feel free is --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teaching my students about hard topics and teaching them to be truth seekers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to pursue interests and share my learning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reading great literature without censorship.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me means being able to live with my family and stay with the team at work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's being kind to my family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Traveling the world and reading great books.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: So join us March 14th for "MY FREEDOM DAY".
ANDERSON: Well tell us and the world what makes you feel free. Share your story using the #myfreedomday. That's it for us. That was CONNECT THE
WORLD. Thank you for watching.