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CONNECT THE WORLD
Israel Set New Daily High In COVID-19 Cases Monday; Palestinian Authority PM Calls Signings A "Black Day" For Arab World; Kremlin Critic's New Message To Supporters; Palestinians Oppose Normalization Deals With Israel; Ashrawi: Coercing Arabs Won't Bring Peace Or Dignity; Soon: UAE, Bahrain Sign Normalization Pacts With Israel. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 15, 2020 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is "CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We are just an hour away from watching a scene that we haven't seen in a quarter of a century. We will
soon witness history at the White House. Israel will sign agreements to normalize relations with not just one, but two, Arab nations, the United
Arab Emirates where I'm based and the small Kingdom of Bahrain.
Now the Bahraini delegation arriving at the White House just within the past few minutes today's diplomatic deals throwing the United States for
decade of keying broken Middle East agreements back in the spot light.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter helped broker the first ever peace deal with Israel and an Arab nation in 1978. The historic Camp David Accord, between
Israel and Egypt. Then, in 1994, President Bill Clinton helped to broker the Jordan/Israel peace accord.
Flash forward to today and President Donald Trump will host the signing ceremony on the White House South Lawn, calling these agreements peace
deals, even though the countries involved have never actually been at war with each other.
Still, it is a big coup for the president just weeks out from the election. A large crowd is expected, but in the midst of a global pandemic, while
masks are recommended, they are not required. A lack of a mask requirement is concerning to some officials, particularly the Israeli delegation.
The country has just smashed its daily high for new Coronavirus cases with nearly 5,000 on Monday. It is just days away from a second general
lockdown, which will last three weeks and run through the Jewish high holidays.
Well, Yuli Edelstein is Israel's Health Ministry and he joins me now via Skype. As I understand it sir, you and several other senior officials and
did quarantine exactly a week ago after a staff member in the government's COVID-19 Tack Force caught the virus, so I have to ask you, how are you
holding up, sir?
YULI EDELSTEIN, ISRAELI HEALTH MINISTER: Thank you very much, Becky. We all tested negative. We are finishing the quarantine soon and I do have to say
if I had any illusions that I would be able to have a short break during this quarantine, I was definitely mistaken. We're all the time working via
Zoom and all the other facilities available.
ANDERSON: Got it. All right, well, today, of course, a big day for Israel, so I do want to start there. There are those who consider today's signing a
big achievement for Israel. It is being offset by one of the country's greatest failures, which is containing this COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister, of course, is in Washington this hour. Back home Israelis grappling with a health and economic crisis amid what is this
second general lockdown. I want you and our viewers to hear from one Tel Aviv resident who had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OMER ZUKER, TEL AVIV RESIDENT: I don't see why we need to go and sign a peace treaty when we're experiencing such a deep crisis in this state. And
the first priority should be what's happening here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We've heard that from others. What is your response? And, sir, what went wrong with regard to COVID-19 in Israel?
EDELSTEIN: Well, first of all, I'm not sure I agree with this kind of a statement. Everything that is happening right now in Washington, D.C. is
the best interest of this country. I personally had the pleasure of speaking to my counterpart in the United Arab Emirates, and we are planning
to cooperate closely, combating against COVID-19 and all other fields of mutual interest as far as medicine is concerned.
At the same time, I do have to say that we are facing a very big challenge as far as the second wave of COVID is concerned. I don't think that we can
immediately say something went wrong. We closed the country very soon after the first rumors about this pandemic.
We were very successful. We opened it pretty early when most of the other countries on this continent and overseas were still closed, and the result
is quite obvious. The economy is getting much better, but we have high numbers, actually, too high as far as new cases are concerned.
ANDERSON: Let me put this to you, sir.
ANDERSON: You have said, and I quote you here, the Coronavirus is not a political issue and not a matter of populism, it is a matter of life and
death. However, sir, the government's pandemic policies have been widely perceived as inconsistent.
And there are complaints that the lockdown unjustifiably closes down the entire country rather than focusing on these COVID-19 red zones with
allegation that this is politically impacted with the government reluctant to be seen as, for example, singling out ultra Orthodox areas. So which you
say what? What is your response?
EDELSTEIN: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't heard of any country where governments are being applauded when they start with lockdowns or
other strict measures against public gatherings, you name it.
Having said that, I can say first person singular that all the decisions of the House Ministry, and hence, the government, were not motivated by
anything except for health reasons. They are sometimes very unpopular.
I'm very well aware of the fact that many in Israel complain about the second lockdown. The only thing I have to say is that it's something that
is badly needed from the medical point of view. Sometimes it hurts, but in order for all of us to feel better.
ANDERSON: Let me put this to you. Hundreds of delegates from Israel, and indeed, these other countries will be convening on the White House South
Lawn in less than an hour. You are Health Minister. Are you concerned that there won't be as many precautions as there might be that ensure that
complying with pandemic regulations should effectively demand that masks are required?
EDELSTEIN: I work closely with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with many other senior members of the delegation. I watch
their behavior on a daily basis, and I do have to say that they can serve as a personal example of how to take good care of yourself and those
surrounding you during this Coronavirus pandemic?
And I sincerely hope that during this ceremony, all the precautions, the necessary precautions will be taken without hurting the celebrative nature
of this very important gathering.
ANDERSON: Have you told the Prime Minister to wear mask and will he be wearing a mask?
EDELSTEIN: The Prime Minister tells everyone around him to always wear a mask, though in this case I don't think I have to remind him even once of
that. But I do have to say that they now call him in the Knesset and in many other places, I as Health Minister sometimes find myself in this
position of someone who has to walk around and say, guys, be careful, wear masks. These simple means can help us in our calm with against the
ANDERSON: So you would expect to see Benjamin Netanyahu wearing a mask at this signing ceremony today?
EDELSTEIN: Except for the time and he approaches the microphone, but I do believe that during the ceremony, most of the guests that comes to speak
for other countries will be very careful. They'll be social distancing, they'll be wearing masks because the whole world is watching this very
important ceremony. The message coming out of there is very important.
ANDERSON: And we've just been looking at live pictures of the setup ahead of what will be this historic signing on the White House South Lawn, less
than a week after the U.S. announced this agreement between the UAE and Israel.
You spoke at a conference saying that you absolutely oppose the creation of a Palestinian State, saying this, and I quote, to create a terror state
from which attacks will be launched against Israel is an absurd situation.
As an elected official, you said, and as a government minister, I won't let us get to that situation. Under Donald Trump's Middle East plan, it set out
a four-year plan towards the creation of a Palestinian State.
The UAE has been emphatic about supporting a two-state solution and says that by taking annexation off the table and normalizing relations, it
expects to see the groundwork laid once again for a two-state solution.
ANDERSON: So will Israel go ahead with annexing the West Bank at this point and going along the route that you might want, or can the world rely on
these diplomats who have said this is with a view to ensuring that Palestinians get a state of their own?
EDELSTEIN: I don't see any contradiction between the statements which says there will be no terror state; there is no reason in the world to create a
terror state, and a very honest and fair desire to improve the life of Palestinians, to find a solution by negotiations for the Palestinians
living side by side with the Israelis. That's how we should act, and I do have to say, Becky--
ANDERSON: Let me be very, very clear here. Let me be very clear here. I just want your response. The Crown Prince here has said categorically that
the UAE support a two-state solution and the aspiration for Palestinians set out in numerous narratives.
So I'm asking you specifically, will you support the conditions laid down in the normalization of these relations by, for example, the UAE and
support dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians with a view to a separate State for the Palestinians?
EDELSTEIN: I support the dialogue between the two sides, Israelis and Palestinians, without any preconditions. I know very well what the position
of the Palestinians is. They know very well what the positions are of someone like myself and many others is, and we have to start talking and
start negotiation, something that, unfortunately, we haven't been doing for years.
But, Becky, this breakthrough is very important for one more reason. But Becky Palestinian leadership believes that they can hold the whole area
hostage, and as long as they refuse, stubbornly refuse, to come to the negotiations with the Israelis, no Arab countries will ever shake hands
Now the paradigm is different. And the Palestinians have to think twice whether they want to stubbornly refuse to start negotiating or if they want
to sit down at the table and say hi, our Israeli neighbors, let's find the solution together. The moment they do that, you'll find me at that table in
ANDERSON: So you are supporting those who have criticized this normalization of relations between the UAE and Bahrain and Israel who say
that Israel gave up absolutely nothing and got normalization in return. You do not want to see anything come out of this for the Palestinians, as far
as I can tell.
EDELSTEIN: I want to see everything coming out for the Palestinians, not from these agreements, but from the very fact that we will have to learn to
live together side by side, without terror, without hostility, without rockets flying, missiles flying from the strip of Gaza into the Israeli
We have to start talking, negotiating, cooperating, and I think now we have a very good platform to do that together with the Emirates, together with
Bahrain, to bring the Palestinians into all kinds of co-operations and agreements.
Look, we are now facing COVID-19. Yes, I know we are helping, but we could do much more were the Palestinians willing to start really talking and
cooperating. So I'm saying that we are not the obstacle to that, we are part of the solution for the area, and I'm very glad that there are more
and more Islamic Arab countries that understand that.
ANDERSON: There will be Palestinians watching this who will say you are absolutely the obstacle to peace for Palestinians.
EDELSTEIN: They have the right to say that.
ANDERSON: We'll leave it there. Thank you for explaining your position. I was going to give you the last word, but I think we finished. Thank you,
sir, and thank you for joining us.
Meanwhile while the official signing is happening today, concerns about the deals between the UAE, Israel and Bahrain do remain. I spoke to one of the
key UAE power brokers for this agreement, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
I asked him for his response two critics who view this deal just weeks out from an American election as purely through the prism of a foreign policy
win for the President Donald Trump, have a listen.
ANWAR GARGASH, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I think the most important thing why this peace agreement was juxtaposed very close in this
period to the American election was really the opportunity to suspend annexation.
ANDERSON: Which has been applauded by the Democrats as much as it has by the Republicans.
GARGASH: Exactly. So, really, if one is asking the question why now, I think the key, really, is in the issue of annexation. Everywhere was
appalled by the decision of the Israeli government and part of their electoral pledge, really, to annex Palestinian lands, and that was sort of
hanging over a two-state solution.
We could have signed this next year, we could have signed it the year after, but I think that's really the critical part if you're asking the
question why now?
ANDERSON: So why it that the Palestinians say that it is seems clear to them they can no longer count on certain Arab states for support?
GARGASH: I mean, not all our sovereign decisions here have to be completely about the Palestinian issue. We think that we can have the right balance of
having normal relations with Israel, but at the same time, being, you know, steadfast with regards to our goal towards the two-state solution and
dependent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its Capital.
So I would say it's really about a fresh approach. Clearly the old approach of the empty chair, the old approach of no communications, no bridges, in
our assessment, has not worked.
ANDERSON: So in reality that means what? What can you offer to the Palestinians in support of a new dialogue or a dialogue, at least, with the
Israelis and the possible re-tabling of a two-state solution?
GARGASH: That's a very good question. I think it's a very good question. I would say number one is we already have a tangible outcome, which is the
pledge on suspension of annexation. Again, is this going to be in perpetuity? I doubt it. But at least we have a quite comfortable window--
ANDERSON: You're talking about what, five years?
GARGASH: I don't know. I really don't know. And I think our ability to influence the Israelis will be more pronounced. I don't see it immediately
to deal with tomorrow, but as you build, I would say political and economic and investment profile, your wait becomes more important in a bilateral
relationship that's the nature of things.
ANDERSON: Turkey has accused the UAE of, and I quote here, betraying the Palestinian cause for its own interests. The Turkish Foreign Minister
saying, and I quote him here, it is a country that puts pressure on some Arab countries regarding Palestine, your response?
GARGASH: Well, again, Turkey's position is really not about Palestine. Turkey's position is about polarized region where Turkey has tried to play
an outside role within the Arab context.
ANDERSON: You have accused them of - expansionism.
GARGASH: Well, true, and I think this is also part and parcel of Turkey's image with itself.
ANDERSON: Gargash, it does remain significant bipartisan opposition to selling F-35s to the UAE due to concerns that that would degrade Israel's
technological and tactical military advantage in the region, while this deal, the normalization in and of itself, has bipartisan support. That
element does not, as we understand it.
GARGASH: The debate will always be there. I mean, I was reading comments, I think, the day before yesterday by a Former Israeli Prime Minister arguing
that these F-35s should be sold to the UAE and that it was ridiculous in any way that the F-35s undermine Israel's security but make, actually, an
American ally perhaps more secure.
ANDERSON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, and I quote, we have a 20-year plus security relationship with the UAE, we've provided them with
technical assistance and with military assistance. We will now continue to review that process.
We are deeply committed to ensure that the UAE has and I'm paraphrasing here the equipment they need to secure and defend their own people from the
same threat that we face that of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
ANDERSON: Is that what this is all about?
GARGASH: We do have our issues with Iran, and many of these issues are substantial issues. I think that we see that these issues need to be
resolved with through de-escalation and through diplomacy. This is not an agreement about Iran.
This is an agreement, firstly, about the UAE, about the UAE's role and position in the world, and it's, secondly, about that of the Arab/Israeli
theater and what can be done there and what messages to send? This is not about Iran.
ANDERSON: And that was Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs here in the UAE, and what we were looking at as you were listening
to that discussion, were pictures of the UAE delegation arriving at the White House. Let's just have a look at those again. That is Foreign
Minister Abdul Bin Zayed, known as ABZ locally, arriving at the White House moments ago.
Well, there have already been several business deals between the Israeli and Emirati companies including deals on artificial intelligence and indeed
on Coronavirus researches. Let's bring in my colleague John Defterios who has been crunching the numbers for you live out of Abu Dhabi.
The pace of business agreements between Israel and the UAE coming together, it has to be said, very, very quickly. Is that speeds due in part because
the two share a common enemy in Iran, despite what the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has just told us?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, you know, I was listening very carefully to his final line there. He says this is not about
Iran, but clearly having a common enemy, Becky, allows him to cement the ties under the umbrella of business.
I also thought it was interesting what he said, that their influence will grow in investment with Israel on the Palestinian issue. But I have to say,
in less than two months, they laid a very clear path to co-development here.
Let's bring up those three deals you were talking about because it covers medical extended to COVID-19, technology which would include, I'm sure,
security going forward, and banking. Isn't it fascinating that the UAE Central Bank will - what the Prime Minister's office in Israel.
But you know UAE incur Becky. The strategy you hear with the trillion dollars of cyber wealth is to have the investment fronts already with
exposure to technology, mobility, renewable energy, mobile phone technology and the next generation in 5G reaching into Silicon Valley with that Nexus
comes to the fore finance technology and defense in Israel.
That is a perfect match. We also have to think about the Eastern Mediterranean. Israel has made some major discoveries there they could use
the expertise of ADNOC the National Oil Company here in Abu Dhabi that seems like a kind of a no brainer going forward.
And then you have to think in the context that nobody else is talking about Becky Israel has not been able at least in a transparent way, to reach into
a market of 400 million Arab consumers. This always had its sights on Europe and the United States.
In fact, when I tried to book interviews over there in the past, and I'm sure you faced this, they would say well, you're based in the Middle East,
we're European. That changes completely with this new accord that's going to be signed in the next hour.
ANDERSON: What's the potential for Israel here, John? Most of its businesses or businesses being generated of course, in the U.S. and in
Europe, you talk about opening up this whole new frontier, and it's a really, really good point that you make.
And you used the term Silicon Valley the appetite for investment and knowhow in artificial intelligence here, in technology. Like you said, in
health technology, in Coronavirus being the sort of a rapper that we are discussing at present, what are the specific opportunities?
DEFTERIOS: Well, this is great that you flag it, because you have to think two months ago we couldn't make phone calls to Israel, right? So that's a
whole new frontier just on communication alone.
DEFTERIOS: But if you look at the diversification here in the United Arab Emirates, it's to move out of just oil and gas and to diversify the
economy. Artificial intelligence, the latest in technology, high security technology because of a threat - priority Saudi Arabia hasn't signed on to
the Abraham Accord though Becky.
But it is the largest economy in the Middle East by a wide margin. That would be a phenomenal discussion for the Israelis if they could collaborate
with Mohammed Bin Salman. I think Salman of course of Saudi Arabia.
And I don't think we have to overlook here in Morocco for example stretching all the way to the west to close ties between the Crown Prince
and the King of Morocco in liaison with Israel opens up a very wide market.
DEFTERIOS: They haven't been able to touch in the past.
ANDERSON: John Defterios, in the house crunching those numbers for you following the money with a good thing to do and always expert analysis from
John to that very point. Thank you, sir.
Well despite, all the good vibes in Washington in the optics of course for those parties involved, Palestinians call the agreements between Israel and
the UAE and Bahrain a betrayal. We will get their side, up next.
Plus, that speaks volumes the most famous critic of Vladimir Putin is posting again on social media after being poisoned. Up next a live report
from Berlin with the very latest on the condition of Alexey Navalny.
ANDERSON: Well, a new message today from Russia's best known anti- corruption campaign. After weeks in a medically induced coma, Alexey Navalny is posting once again on his social media. This is his first photo
since he was poisoned last month.
Now, German doctors say the Russian opposition leader is recovering from the nerve agent Novichok. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is with us in Berlin for you.
What is the latest that we are hearing from Navalny, Fred?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi there, Becky. This certainly is a remarkable photo that Alexey Navalny's account
posted there, seeming to show Alexey Navalny on that hospital bed in the Charite Hospital here in Berlin with his wife and what appears to be his
They're obviously wearing masks, so it's a possible tell for sure, but that's we believe who that is. Obviously all of them very, very happy to
see that Alexey Navalny appears to be improving and that's certainly is what the hospital here in Berlin is telling us is telling everyone as well.
They are saying that he is now being mobilized and that he is able to get out of bed at least for short periods of time, which is almost miraculous
considering that he was obviously poisoned with Novichok, as the Germans say, which is of course a very serious poison. Now one of the other things
that the Germans were also saying is that he is now able to breathe on his own, and that's also actually what this post is about.
I want to quote it for you. It says, quote, hi, this is Navalny. I miss you. I can still hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on
my own for the whole day just myself. I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat. I liked it very much. An amazing
underestimated process by many, highly recommended.
That's Alexey Navalny there. However the German hospital continues to also caution, that of course, despite the fact that Alexey Navalny is improving,
that his road to recovery is still quite long and that also he might not make a complete recovery at all, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen on the story for us. Fred, thank you for that. Well, the UAE, Bahrain and Israel may be waving their flags together. We
will get you live to the White House within the next hour, of course. We will witness the signing of agreements to normalize relations between two
Arab states, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
The Palestinians' flag won't be waving any time soon. After the break I'll speak with Hanan Ashrawi who has been on the front lines of the Palestinian
fight for statehood for years.
ANDERSON: We are just about 30 minutes from an historic moment taking place at the White House. Officials from the UAE and Bahrain along with the
Israeli Prime Minister offset to sign an agreement normalizing relations with Israel. It's an event that's only happened twice before with Arab
countries and the White House eager for a diplomatic win in less than two months of course before the election.
But unlike the previous agreements with Egypt and with Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE let speak clear were never at war with Israel and they've been
quietly cultivating ties for years. Well, Palestinians remain firmly oppose to these agreements and see them as a betrayal.
Palestinian Prime Minister calling for Arab countries to reject the deal as they see them as going against the 2002 Arab peace initiative back then
Arab nations off at Israel normalized ties in return for a viable statehood for the Palestinians. That is clearly not the reality anymore.
My next guest is a member of the PLO Executive Committee ahead of the signing, Hanan Ashrawi tweeted, if you really want to advance the cause of
peace, dignity and opportunity, economic opportunity for the Palestinian people, how about ending Israel's ruthless occupation and its theft of our
land and resources?
Coercing and cajoling Arabs to normalize with Israel will not bring you peace or dignity. Hanan Ashrawi joining me now from Ramallah in the West
Bank and we are delighted that you can join us today as we anticipate the signing of these agreements between Bahrain and the UAE.
HANAN ASHRAWI, MEMBER, PLO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Thank you Becky.
ANDERSON: After three decades of failed peace efforts, let's be quite clear here. Many Palestinians believe the fault lies at the feet of their
leadership, President Mahmoud Abbas and by many as corrupt and incompetent. Do you believe the Palestinian government bears any responsibility for the
lack of peace and where we have effectively arrived today?
ASHRAWI: Well, it's very easy and very convenient to lay the blame on the weaker side than on the Palestinian side, and it's very easy to criticize
the Palestinian leadership. The fact is we are all living under occupation.
The fact is Israel from the beginning was acting in bad trades in the sense that they had no intention of ending the occupation or order of accepting
international law or that two state solution per say on the 67 borders (ph).
Israel was buying time to create more facts to expand, and this is what created a problem for the Palestinian leadership and in the sense that the
people felt that the PLO had invested in a peace process that led to greater Israeli expansion, that led to more violence against the
Palestinians, loss of land, loss of life, loss of resources, homes being demolished and Israel superimposing greater Israel on historical Palestine,
while pretending to be engaged in peace talks.
So, yes, you can say the leadership did not deliver on its agenda, but it is living under occupation. And Israel is in control of the land of the
territorial ordinance of the aerospace of the exit and entry points and is making life hell for the Palestinians daily. So that's why now people ---
ANDERSON: I'm sorry, our communications are a little bit rough, so apologies for jumping in, but I think you absolutely made your point. And
you have described the suspension of annexation which of course came from Israel in exchange for this normalization deal with the UAE as a ploy.
Recent statements from you, you said Israel's willful policy of displacement of the Palestinian people is accelerating on the ground. In
addition to demolishing homes, you say and I quote you here regrettably instead of holding Israel to account and stopping these war crimes.
Some countries, you say, are rewarding Israel for its lawlessness and criminality, and this, you say, is encouraging a culture of impunity. Some
countries, let's be clear here, are you referring to the UAE and Bahrain?
ASHRAWI: I don't miss words. Yes, I'm referring to the UAE and Bahrain and countries that are responding to pressure by the Americans and by the
Israelis in order to reposition Israel in the region, in order to transform it into a major economic political security, military, intelligence power.
And in order to sideline the Palestinian issue, and to deliver Palestine to Israel, and at the same time create this extremely deceptive polarization
in the region as though you have one enemy, which is Iran, and Israel is an ally of the so-called moderate in the Sunni regimes.
This is a dangerous mislead in our regional reality. These cannot be made between people who have never at wars. There are lots of areas in the
region that need peace. Look at Yemen that is being bombed, innocent civilians are being - with American weapons. Look at Syria, major disaster,
Look at Libya, look at even Iraq, and now look at Lebanon that is in desperate need for positive intervention. But the real key from region ---
the best international law is the Palestinian question because this is the issue ----
ANDERSON: The UAE has committed to - let me just jump in, so I want to get as much done as possible with you, because it's really good to have you on.
The UAE has committed to a two-state solution. The Crown Prince here says the normalization of relations was to ensure that annexation was taken off
the table, as I understand it, for at least five years.
I interviewed the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, a man I know you know well about this agreement. Have a listen to
what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARGASH: In our assessment has not worked. And we look really at the Egyptian peace overtures and initiatives of the late '70s and '80s as a
successful episode in Arab/Israeli sort of narrative. And we look also at the Jordan agreement overall as also successful.
So what do you draw from that? You draw from that is that the empty chair approach, the no communication approach, the sort of higher rhetoric
approach doesn't really help anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Okay. So what he's saying is by empty chairing the dialogs, the talks as it were, which is effectively what the Palestinians have done.
This just doesn't work. So I guess there is a really important question here.
What do you want to hear, from what sort of support do you want to get from the UAE, Bahrain and anybody else who may follow their suit in normalizing
relations? What the Palestinians need next from these Arab states if there is to be something positive out of this normalization of relations with
ASHRAWI: Very frankly, there is a clear difference between the Egyptian agreement and the Jordanian agreement with Israel. The Israeli agreements
in order to regain occupied Arab land. Egypt regained its land and the long war with Israel, much of it on Palestine, and Jordan the same thing.
It ended the state of war with ongoing conflict and bloodshed. The UAE and Bahrain have nothing to do with this bloodshed, they never had anything to
do with wars, so let's not read this in generous and say they're successes; they're not successes because if you ask the Jordanian people and the
Egyptian people, they haven't normalized.
Very few Egyptians, if any, come to Israel and Jordanians do not come to Israel. There are no normal human relations and interaction. What we still
want Israel to do is normalize without needing, actually, to ask for anything in return because they want to help because they were made to help
Trump in his elections to be good leaders.
Trump and Netanyahu, both are in desperate need. Both are in trouble at home. Both have mishandled the COVID crisis. Both of them have mishandled
the economy. Both of them are seeing them as patients everywhere.
So in steps, these two countries let the Trump Administration has dragged into the situation. Now you have to go out in the open about your secret
relations and help me with my elections.
ANDERSON: You describe this as a win-win for the U.S. and for the Israelis. If you talk to anybody here in the UAE, or anybody in Bahrain, they say
this is very clearly a win for these two sovereign states. Let me put this to you.
We are just 49 days away from the U.S. General Election. Hang on. You have said, and I want to quote you here, it's very difficult to envision anyone
doing more damage than Donald Trump. At the same time, you said, I would like to caution against thinking that Joe Biden is a knight in shining
armor. Explain, if you will.
ASHRAWI: Yes. Well, we're shifting, but let me just explain about the two states thing. This, again, can be very misleading, because even Trump and
his so-called deal of the century talked about two states. But what he meant was Israel as a major state controlling these Palestinian -
maintaining as under Israeli sovereign to controlling everything in the name of security.
And then saying, you can call it a state if you want, but it has no attribute of sovereignty or power or control. So two-state solution could
mean Israel and most of Palestine and leaving us as population centers with no attributes of state.
Having said that, you want me to talk about American elections? Look, Trump is very clearly pandering to his own base. He said that the evangelicals
and the extremes - fundamentalist evangelicals are a major proportion of his on base, and he is trying to give them what they want.
And at the same time he knows that Israel plays into this, and he wants before elections, to not only present himself as a peacemaker where there
is no peace to be had, by the way, but also to tell the people America and to his donors and - others that I have delivered.
I have given Israel everything it wanted. I have best the Palestinians - and having been unable to do that? Yes, he is not going to the Gulf. Joe
Biden has represents the mainstream let's say American Democratic Party that is a rising progressive wave within the Democratic Party that is being
ignored. There is a new language.
There are people who are saying you have to condition assistance to Israel as though Israel needs assistance. You have to condition it on the way it
treats Palestinians. You also have to condition it on the way it complies with American law, and Israel doesn't comply with American law.
And at the same time they are saying that the business as usual approach of attempting to put pressure and blackmail and deprivation on the
Palestinians, to make them submit, while rewarding Israel and giving it advance payments and so on and shielding it from accountability. This isn't
going to work.
ASHRAWI: So unless there is a real shift in mentality and understanding that there has to be equality before the law, equality before human rights,
that the Palestinians deserve exactly the same considerations as every other nation in the world, otherwise they will not be able to make peace
and they will go ---.
And the democratic majority for Israel has in any way hijacked the agenda of the DNC and has strived to remove any reference, real reference to the
illegality of the settlements as they vote to Palestinians and --.
ANDERSON: And with that Hanan, thank you. You explained. And thank you for doing that. Let's be quite clear as we go to the pictures from the White
House and thank you so much for joining me today.
These normalization agreements have bipartisan support and perhaps Hanan's explanation there goes some way to explaining why both Democrats and
Republicans find, certainly at this stage, find these agreements satisfactory.
Let me just show you live pictures from the White House. There is a mixed bag of people not wearing masks, but there is virtually, as you can see, no
real social distancing. This is, of course, the South Lawn of the White House where we are expecting moments from now a signing ceremony. Israel,
Bahrain, the U.S. and the UAE all present with their delegations back after this.
ANDERSON: Right now the American president's strained relationship with science once again on full display. I'm surprised; I even have to say that
out loud. But, anyway, the American president has got a strained relationship with science as the country's COVID-19 deaths near 200,000.
Live pictures from the White House where you can see virtually no social distancing going on at what is an event coming up for an historic signing
of normalization agreements with Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.
Take a look at this picture from the Monday's indoor roundtable in Phoenix. No social distancing and very few masks. Mr. Trump on stage, the only one
protected as he sits at a distance while shoulder to shoulder. Unmasked, his audience looks on. Well, president told one reporter over the weekend
he is not worried about getting the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aren't you concerned about getting COVID, though, in an enclosed room?
TRUMP: No, I'm not concerned.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about people here?
TRUMP: I'm more concerned about how close you are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry about that.
TRUMP: Because you know why? I'm on a stage and you're very far away and so I'm not at all concerned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Donald Trump there acknowledging, he feels safer on a stage far away from the crowd, while hundreds of his supporters are packed in down
below. Well it mean, no surprise that a pew research study shows that America's image oversees has plummeted, especially in how it is handled the
Thousands of people for thirteen advance economies in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region took part partner; Isa Soares has been
crunching the data for you. She's live out of London. What does it show you specifically in this research? What are the headlines?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky. Good to see you. Well, what the headline is that the American - the image of the United States around the
world Becky has plummeted, quite drastic in some countries to a new record. And what's driving that is the President of the United States' handling of
COVID-19. This is according to Pew Research Center that you just mentioned.
They polled more than 13,000 people, 13 nations. Many of those developed nations, many of those, Becky, I may add, also allies of the United States.
Let me break it down for you. Have a look. Favor of the United States, 59 percent of South Korea key ally of the United States, United Kingdom 41
percent. Now that 41 percent Becky, that is a record low, two decade low, I might add.
It looks pretty promising, but when you think about it, putting it in context of previous years, that is pretty low. Let's have a look now at
those who compare the United States' handling of COVID-19 with their own country, with the W.H.O. and indeed, with China.
The second graphic I'm going to show you. And this is really interesting, because it puts juxtaposition straight away of the United States alongside
the W.H.O. Now the Spain there you're seeing red in that column 20 percent there approval of the COVID response in the United States.
In comparison, though, Becky, the W.H.O., if we compare it with the United States, fared much better than the U.S. with the exception of Japan.
Remember that W.H.O., Trump pulled out W.H.O. pulled the funding from W.H.O but still gets top marks.
Even China, look at the numbers on China, even China fares better in people's eyes than the United States. When you look at the numbers, the
median there, Becky, is 15 percent, 15. 15 percent of the people surveyed right around the world believe that U.S. has done a good job in dealing
These are not numbers that President Trump would like, not many of they probably care about, in all honesty. But when you hear him day in and day
out defending of course, defending his track record of COVID-19, what it shows is the rest of the world doesn't really trust his own conclusions of
his self-appraisal, Becky.
ANDERSON: Isa Soares on the story for us. Thank you, Isa. Good to see you. Our special coverage at the UAE, Israel and Bahrain deal signing continues.
This is an historic moment and that is the Israeli Prime Minister and his wife. Benjamin Netanyahu, no mask, his wife, no mask. Donald Trump, no
mask, his wife, no mask and social distancing, well, not really.
That's a live picture for you from the White House. We are taking a very short break. We will be back there after this.
ANDERSON: Well, we are just moments away from the signing of what is an historic agreement, the Abraham Accord at the White House. This is the
Israeli Prime Minister arriving the hedges moments ago, no mask. Israeli Health Minister told me just in the past hour that he would be wearing a
mask. And certainly he has been given advice to do so.
Well, Jeremy Diamond is at the White House with just minutes to before the big event missing on these pictures. As we see, Donald Trump and the
Israeli Prime Minister. What is the mood like there?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we've already seen the arrival of the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and the UAE before
Prime Minister Netanyahu arrived. And we know that the presidents met in the Oval Office with the Foreign Minister from the UAE, and he's about to
do the same thing with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
They're running a little bit behind schedule here, about a half hour or so. So I expect that we'll see that meeting with Netanyahu first, and then
eventually that signing on the White House South Lawn.
As we talked about earlier, Becky, the White House is doing everything they can hear to stage this like one of those very significant, historical peace
treaty signings that we saw in 1979 when Jimmy Carter brought together Israel and Egypt and then in 1994 when President Bill Clinton brought
together Jordan and the State of Israel for their peace treaty signing.
So no doubt this is a significant day. You will see Bahrain and UAE become only the third and fourth countries to sign a normalization agreement with
the State of Israel to recognize each other, to begin engaging in trade and other direct diplomacy.
But there is no question, Becky, that there is a huge difference between what is happening here and what happened with Egypt and Jordan? Both
Bahrain and the UAE, neither of them has actually engaged in direct conflict with Israel during Israel's 70-plus-year history. Becky?
ANDERSON: Jeremy Diamond is there at the White House. This is an historic day. We will be back with more after this.