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Interview With Guardian Columnist And "Unholy: Two Jews On The News" Co-Host Jonathan Freedland; Interview With University Of Edinburgh Professor Of Islamic And Interreligious Studies Mona Siddiqui; Interview With Gina Raimondo; Interview With Journalist And "Bad Jews: A History Of American Jewish Politics And Identities" Author Emily Tamkin. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired November 13, 2023 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
As Israel intensifies air and ground operations in Gaza, tensions, divisions and hate are flaring all over the world. We discuss the raging
conflict over the war with writer Jonathan Freedland and academic Mona Siddiqui.
Then, superpowers face-to-face. My conversation with the U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on the high stakes upcoming Biden Xi meeting.
Plus, author Emily Tamkin talks to Michel Martin about her essay, "What Should American Jews Do With Our Fear?"
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
No milk for babies, no food for patients, and no fuel for lights or incubators. Gaza's health system is crumbling under the weight of war, as
Israel says, it's going deeper into the territory. Battles rage around two main hospitals. The director of the largest, Al-Shifa, says the situation
is catastrophic and that all essential units have collapsed. He says about 7,000 people are sheltering there along with 1,500 patients and staff.
But Israel alleges that Hamas command centers are housed beneath it with a U.S. official now telling CNN much the same. They are charges that Hamas
and doctors there deny.
Nada Bashir has more on the desperate situation in Gaza hospitals. And of course, warning some of these images are hard to watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voiceover): These other sounds of the final gasps from Gaza's collapsing healthcare system. Medical staff in Gaza City
working under near relentless Israeli bombardment for over a month.
But now, this chorus of frantic voices seen here working under torchlight tells its own gut-wrenching story.
The Al-Quds Hospital, the second largest in Gaza has now collapsed. The hospital no longer operational, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent
Society. But these scenes are all too familiar across the besieged Gaza Strip.
The vast majority of hospitals here are already completely out of service, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah says, and those remaining now
on a cliff edge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There was a direct injury in the head, internal bleeding, and we can't do surgeries. No surgeries, no
oxygen, no electricity.
We work manually. We are using a manual resuscitator. It is a clear injury. It needs an urgent surgery, a life-saving one. He is less than a-year-old.
BASHIR (voiceover): Remarkably, this baby survived, but his father, who was in the very same building when an Israeli airstrike hit did not.
At Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, officials say newborn babies had to be moved and that at least three babies in the neonatal unit died after
generator-powering incubators was damaged in an Israeli strike.
CNN has reached out to the Israeli military for comment. The IDF regularly says it is targeting Hamas, but doctors here say the hospital is now
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The situation overall is difficult. According to our colleagues there, there is no water, no electricity. They cannot
communicate between each other. There is a lot of targeting around the hospital.
BASHIR (voiceover): The Israeli military said Sunday it has sent 300 liters of fuel to the entrance of the Al-Shifa hospital. to only be enough to
power the hospital's generators for 30 minutes. But the IDF says Hamas blocked the hospital from receiving it. Hospital officials, however, say
staff were too afraid by surrounding Israeli tanks to collect the fuel.
Inside the hospital doctors are overwhelmed. Morgues now long beyond capacity and with communications frequently cut off contact between medical
teams on the ground and with the outside world is growing increasingly difficult.
Hospital officials say thousands of displaced civilians are still thought to be in the compound. Taking shelter in what once was thought to be a
sanctuary in the midst of this seemingly unending nightmare.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We thought the hospital was a safe place, but it wasn't. If we had stayed another five minutes, we would
have been killed. They started to bomb us, and we ran away from Al-Shifa.
BASHIR (voiceover): The Israeli military says it is now enabling passage from three hospitals in Northern Gaza. Israel's prime minister, Benjamin
Netanyahu, telling CNN on Sunday that there is no reason why patients can't be evacuated from Al-Shifa. But doctors on the ground say a near constant
barrage of airstrikes has made it impossible for patients and staff to safely evacuate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is another form of torture. We have about six kilometers to go, no less. She got a stroke that caused her
brain damage. She can't speak and is paralyzed.
BASHIR (voiceover): Israel says additional routes have been opened to allow civilians to evacuate southwards, but the United Nations itself has raised
doubts over the so-called safe zones outlined by Israel. Warning that nowhere inside Gaza is safe for civilians anymore.
And for those too injured, too sick, evacuation is impossible. Many doctors on the ground vowing to stay beside their patients no matter what.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That was Nada Bashir reporting. Now, the war is triggering deep feelings all over this world. Here in London, pro-Palestinian protesters
took to the street this weekend. And today, a dramatic government shake up. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired the divisive Home Secretary Suella
Braverman for making inflammatory comments about those marches. While in Paris this weekend, over 100,000 people took to the streets against
Hate and division have flared since October 7th, making any discussion about this war extremely fraught. So, here to discuss is "The Guardian"
columnist Jonathan Freedland and academic Mona Siddiqui. Welcome, both of you, to the program.
Can we just start with -- I mean, it is a humanitarian catastrophe, as our Nada Bashir has reported and so many others. Gaza is a catastrophe for
those in the hospitals, those who are -- you know, looks like exodus all over again. But the outside world is having a really hard time even trying
to talk about it.
Jonathan, what do you make -- for instance, let's just take the march in London this week. Pro-Palestinian. Many say pro -- you know, pro-peace,
pro-ceasefire. And yet, a key minister who's now been fired, really generated a lot of division and hate over that.
JONATHAN FREEDLAND, GUARDIAN COLUMNIST: She did. I mean, she was reacting to the presence within a march that is overall committed to a ceasefire,
exactly as you say. The presence there of some banners, some slogans, some placards, which were off that message. And which were attacking or using
age-old antisemitic imagery or language or making, you know, offensive comparisons with, for example, an image of a Star of David morphing into a
swastika, so taking the most sensitive, chapter in Jewish history and deploying it against Jewish sensitivities.
So, she was taking those elements and saying that therefore is the whole of the march, which I think is wrong and unfair to have done that. I mean,
obviously there are a lot of people that are marching simply because they look at the kind of images we've all just seen just now and say, I want
that to stop. And therefore, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a hate march. You may say that's naive. That's not the whole story. But it's not
And then -- and what she then went on to say was that the police are picking favorites, that was a divisive thing to say. And she all but did a
sort of coded message to the far-right to then come out onto the streets. And you had a situation where British Jews were watching it, thinking,
we've got people here who are, on the one hand, holding placards that frighten us, and we're being, as it were, defended by people who we think
are far-right fascists who hate Jews as well.
So, Jews were nowhere to be seen. There were just these two sides sort of saying things and arguing about Jews, which made British Jews who were
staying away and feeling frightened at home feel even more frightened and feeling squeezed in between.
AMANPOUR: Are you surprised -- Mona Siddiqui, are you surprised by the level of really fraught discourse that's happening in public now? It's
very, very difficult. I mean, the protests are a manifestation of it. And I don't know what you made of the gigantic protest in Paris against
antisemitism over the weekend.
MONA SIDDIQUI, PROFESSOR OF ISLAMIC AND INTERRELIGIOUS STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH: I suppose I am -- I have been taken aback a little bit how
almost vicious this particular I suppose the war in social media and also the conflict on our streets has become.
But I think the longer this -- the longer it goes on, what's happening in Gaza, I think this will just get worse. And I suppose the problem is that I
think for the first time, a lot of people now, because of what happened on October the 7th, people are beginning to understand a little bit more of
the different complexities of this conflict.
And so, and on top of that, you have people's own views on social media, some of it true, some of it factual, some of it made up, and then you have
politicians also, many of whom are taking a particular stance, and the stance they're taking is not necessarily on the conflict, but using the
conflict to actually talk about other things, to which I think Jonathan's just alluded. And I think that's where the problem is.
So, you suddenly feel everywhere there's conflict in our politics, in our society, and that somehow the conflict of overseas, the war against Hamas
and what's happening in Gaza is almost like it's being played out on our streets. And I think for a lot of people, this has become very unsettling
and also worrying.
And I said, this is at a time when you really do need leadership, leadership that doesn't necessarily blunt the truths, but actually tries to
be a little bit more inclusive, a little bit more understanding to calm people's fears rather than raise the temperature.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, that's really important. I want you both to weigh in then because leadership appears to have been playing politics, whether it was
the full-throated green light or whatever you want to call it to Israel for its legitimate right to self-defense or whether it's now lots of leaders
from the United States to France, and we'll play President Macron in a moment, you know, talking about needing a ceasefire. I mean, the U.S.
doesn't say that, it says humanitarian forces.
But let me play what President Macron, and I was genuinely taken aback, genuinely taken aback when I heard what he said to the BBC over the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: De facto, today, civilians are bombed. De facto. These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and
killed. There is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So, we do urge Israel to stop. I'm not here to -- I'm not a judge. I'm a head of state. I
just remind everybody international law. I call for a ceasefire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, he's literally broken with the rest of the sort of coalition, right?
AMANPOUR: Jonathan, were you surprised? And I know -- and I'm going to ask you both whether you were surprised, and why you think this happened now.
Because I know, you know, lots of people jumped on it, oh, my goodness, are you causing, you know, talking about deliberate, he said no.
And de facto is not de jure. He was very, very clear. He said de facto, i.e., we can see it.
AMANPOUR: Civilians are being killed. What do you make of what he said and why he said it now?
FREEDLAND: Well, I mean, I was surprised by it a bit, because until then, the western leaders had accepted the Israeli argument, which is, look,
these pictures we're all seeing out of Gaza are hideous and terrible, but we're up against, this is the Israeli narrative, a very particular kind of
enemy that is happy to have, according to the Israeli version, it's military command post under that hospital.
If you're in that situation --
AMANPOUR: The U.S. intelligence or certain officials, as I said, are telling CNN the same thing now.
FREEDLAND: The same thing. So, if you're up against an enemy, which has said, not only we did this thing on October 7th, we filmed it, these brutal
murders, torture, mutilation of victims, we would do it again. You've seen the interview, that clip that's gone around. We would do it again, a
second, third, fourth time. If you're up against an enemy that will do that, and they're planning it from underneath a hospital, what exactly is
Israel meant to do? And Macron was part of that consensus that said, you know, Joe Biden and the others, we get it, you're in this terrible
He broke from that. It's tempting to say that he broke from that for the reason that a lot of politicians are getting nervous around the world,
which is they have constituents, voters, who feel bound up with this conflict. I mean, there are Jews who obviously feel intimately bound up
with Israel and its fortunes even if they oppose the government and have opposed it for decades, they want an Israel to exist as a refuge, as a
place of safety against antisemitism.
And on the other hand, you have Muslims -- and I was speaking to a Muslim writer just today who said, you've got to understand that Palestine is one
of the issues -- few issues, perhaps even in some ways the only issue, on which all the world's Muslims agree and have in common. They are not --
they don't necessarily, of course, all agree, but they are bound by that.
So, you've got voters in all these countries who feel strongly about it. It's not a foreign issue for the community I'm part of or the community
that Mona is part of, I would guess, it feels much more real and more intimate than that.
AMANPOUR: And, Mona, then, what was your response to -- well, what did you feel when Macron said what he did? And let's not forget, just for the
facts, France has the highest or the biggest Jewish population and the biggest Muslim population in Europe.
SIDDIQUI: Absolutely. I actually wasn't that surprised because I have felt for the last few days that opinion is shifting amongst western leaders. I
suppose it's the hardest or it's kind of remained almost steadfast in the U.S. and the U.K. but I didn't -- I wasn't particularly surprised.
And one of the reasons I wasn't surprised because well you allude to it just now by referring to the Jewish and the Muslim communities. But
actually pluralism, I've always argued in Europe, is both a gift and a task. It's a gift for people who say that diversity is a good thing, it's
enriched our societies, but it's also a task because pluralism is not easy. You have to manage it.
And when you have a conflict like this, people's temperatures are really raised. So, you have to think, how do I manage the different views, the
very heated passions people have on the streets of my country.
And I think what president Macron was seeing is there has been a lot of unrest not just by the pro-Palestinian -- not necessarily just the Muslim
communities, but everyone who supports the Palestinian cause, but also, now, as a country that has had a long history of antisemitism, what's going
to happen to these very forceful communities, religious communities that have a real presence here?
And I do think it's -- you know, Western leaders really need a different moral imagination as to how they're going to deal with this rather than
make kind of abstract comments that Israel needs to do this. And I don't see that moral imagination and that determination to do something coming to
the fore at the moment.
AMANPOUR: And just before -- I know you want to step in, but Macron had banned all pro-Palestinian marches around October 7th.
FREEDLAND: Yes. I mean, it was about marches that I was going to come in because I'm struck by what Mona says about moral imagination. I think it's
a very good phrase and I think what it would lead to, I would hope, is for people to think you could be on both the pro-Palestinian march, for
example, and that march against antisemitism. There should be no contradiction between them.
Similarly, you should be able to be on a pro-Palestinian march and be on a march to bring home those hostages, 240 Israeli hostages. Instead, these
vigils, these marches, have been separate. Now, I know lots of Jews feel they can't comfortably go on those pro-Palestinian marches because they
hear, for example, this chant, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. And they hear in that, even if it's not intended, from the river to
the sea, meaning all of Palestine, there is no room for an Israel.
Israel is 9 million Jewish people. It's the largest Jewish community in the world. That's what they hear. And I know that not every protester means
that necessarily. But if we could shed some of those -- for example, I've mentioned the antisemitic placards, the chants from that protest, you could
see a situation. I think it would require moral imagination and leadership, your word from before, to have people saying, let's do both. Let's march
against antisemitism and for the people of Palestine, and I would say, the people of Israel and the hostages. They're not actually in contradiction.
I think, you know, Mona and I have showed just now, we were agreeing on almost everything, but unfortunately, there are people who do want to drive
wedges and divide.
AMANPOUR: And I actually do want to talk about the hostages because it's really important. The Israeli people themselves are camping outside
Netanyahu's office and demanding -- I mean, it was a really, you know, humdinger this weekend. They were demanding that they put the hostages
first and foremost.
But, Mona, we know that from the river to the sea is very triggering for Jews, but Palestinians say it's all about freedom. What do you say about
that statement? Is it -- what do you say?
SIDDIQUI: I can only speak on what I'm seeing and either in the news or on social media. And I think this is a very poignant moment for a lot of
Palestinians because it is for them a second exodus, as I think that's the word you used. They are now once again leaving a land. And my concern is
what's going to happen next.
I mean, we can talk about chants and marches and everything. I think those will continue. My real concern is the temperature is going to rise if we
don't have a plan for what's coming next. Because at the moment, the Israeli government is constantly saying it's doing everything. because it's
going after Hamas.
Even if we believe that, and I'm slightly doubtful, I think a lot of people are, that that justifies everything, but even if we were to believe that,
what is going to happen next? And that's my concern, that this unrest in western societies is not going to die down for a long time until people see
a concrete plan for what's going to happen, both with Israel and also the Palestinians who've been forced out of Gaza.
AMANPOUR: So, this brings me to Benjamin Netanyahu, who described, you know, to us, in fact, he told CNN just this weekend, the following, and
this goes to what you're talking about, what's going to happen next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: First, the first thing we have to do is destroy Hamas because otherwise they'll do it again and again and
again, and they've said so. So, we'll destroy Hamas.
The second thing we have to understand is that there has to be an overriding and overreaching Israeli military envelope because we've seen
any place that we leave, we just, you know, exit, give it to some other force, very soon terrorism resurges, so we've achieved nothing.
The third thing we have to understand is that a civilian authority has to cooperate in two goals. One is to demilitarize Gaza, and the second is to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Jonathan, this is really fundamental. There are many who deplore what's going on right now, but hope beyond hope that at least it
can lead to some kind of sensible, at last, peace resolution.
He's -- I mean, he's talking about a military envelope. He's talking about occupation, doesn't want to say it or security control, whatever you want
to call it. What do you think about that? Is that what everybody wants to see?
FREEDLAND: No, and I think the Americans don't want to see that, and I think they've pushed back already on that vision of it. I also don't -- I
don't think it's plausible that Netanyahu himself will be involved in that. The Israeli public opinion turning against him, saying this happened on
your watch, that this is in a way a result of a 15-year policy of his, which was to build up Hamas at the expense of those on the Palestinian side
who were ready to reach across, shake hands and do a deal. He didn't want that because he didn't want the compromise that's involved.
It will eventually, I think, have to be the thing he said he doesn't want to do, handing over to some other authority, if Hamas is taken out of the
picture. And no other authority you can think of, whether that's the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas or Arab nations. will go anywhere
near it, unless there is a promise from Israel, more than a promise, action from Israel to end the settlement project, the expansion on the West Bank.
That is going to be the trade off, I think.
And I think there will be many Jews in Britain and elsewhere around the world who would be relieved to see that, because they have for a long time
wanted to see two states, side by side, secure Israel alongside a free Palestinian State. You cannot get that unless you have some compromise on
the West Bank and dismantling settlements and so on, a pull out there.
So, I think what he's saying there is partly for political consumption, but I don't think he's necessarily going to be part of this story.
AMANPOUR: That's interesting. And, Mona, finally, you know, let's face it. The Palestinians have turned down peace offer after peace offer. But do you
think that the idea of a revived Palestinian Authority or indeed a two- state solution is still in the cards? Because many people are saying it's not possible.
SIDDIQUI: I think whatever you call it, you know, people say two-states, but what does a state look like? Will the Palestinian State be like the
Israeli State? Will the Palestinians be able to leave? Will they have their own airport? Will they have their own military? Will they have their own --
you know, all the governmental machinery?
I think at the moment, what we want to see is less of the killing. What we want to see is -- Israel has the upper hand. Israel will have to -- the
Israeli government. The Israeli government will have to compromise on something that shows the world that they are ready to make peace, that they
are ready to give the Palestinians something in return for a compromise.
And I think largely the compromise will still be on the Israeli government's terms. But for me, living as, you know, distant from all this,
I feel that what we don't want is for what's happening there to so destabilize the communities that live side by side, and actually very
meaningfully in many ways, in European societies, that there is no turning back. And I think that would be so sad, but also catastrophic for the kind
of pluralism project that Europe has developed over the last 50 years.
AMANPOUR: There's so much more to discuss and we're going to have you back because, yes, it's really a huge reckoning right now for everyone in the
world, Mona Siddiqui, Jonathan Freedland, thank you both very much, indeed.
FREEDLAND: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: After months of buildup this week sees the first proper in person meeting of Biden's presidency between him and China's leader, Xi Jinping.
It'll happen in California on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit or APEC.
This is the most consequential relationship in the world. And Asia was always meant to be the focus of Biden's foreign policy, with the Middle
East intended to be kept mostly off his desk. Safe to say, the world has had other ideas.
One of the few top officials President Biden has trusted to engage directly with China is Gina Raimondo, his commerce secretary and the former Governor
of Rhode Island.
And I spoke with her about her recent trip to China, about artificial intelligence and the important matter, yes, of pasta diplomacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Secretary Raimondo, welcome to the program.
GINA RAIMONDO, U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, I said, as everybody knows that the world is in a total war footing right now from the Middle East to Russia, Ukraine. So, I want to
know from you, ahead of this meeting between the two presidents, should we be prepared and buckling in for war in Taiwan?
RAIMONDO: I don't think so. I don't think so. First of all, thank you for having me.
The -- as you say, we are in turmoil all around the world, and I will tell you at least once a week when I'm, you know, with the president and
watching him with world leaders, I feel so grateful that he's the man in charge of our country right now. He has the right temperament and
I was in China recently. I think they have a desire and we have a desire to stabilize the relationship. You know, in my case, when I met with my
counterparts, we talked about using the economic relationship as a ballast for the rest of the relationship. You know, we have to protect what we
must, but trade where we can. And I think that's really -- that's the direction from President Biden as it relates to China. And I think that is
where China is. You know, it's time to ratchet down the temperature and look to, I think the world, truthfully, Christiane, is looking to the U.S.
and China to be responsible in managing this relationship.
AMANPOUR: So, this is a really big deal. And the previous governor of California, Jerry Brown, told me that there's no substitute for real
conversation and getting a measure of each other for these two leaders. So, what do you hope will come of a face-to-face sit down over more than just
RAIMONDO: I would say, having worked for the president now for three years, he is at his best with these person-to-person meetings with world leaders.
He has an amazing ability to relax with them and just have an honest, authentic, direct discussion. And that's what I would expect.
I will be meeting with my counterpart, Minister Wang Wentao, and that's what I will look to do. You know, not to sugarcoat anything, not to pretend
that this isn't a great competition, but to be direct and honest. And also, to, as I said before, figure out what are the ways to most responsibly
manage this relationship.
AMANPOUR: So, what do you think that you achieved when you were in Beijing talking to your counterparts?
RAIMONDO: Well, first let me say I was the first commerce -- U.S. commerce secretary in more than five years to be in Beijing in person. So, candidly,
the fact that I showed up and spent hours with, the premier, the vice premier, my counterpart, was in and of itself extremely important.
You know yourself, having covered the world for so many years, when there's no dialogue that tends to devolve into conflict and increase tension. But
once again, we are talking. What I'm able to put onto the table, the fact that U.S. businesses are feeling that China is increasingly uninvestable
because of the Anti-Espionage Act, because of the lack of predictability in the environment, because of raids on U.S. businesses, and at least give
them an opportunity to respond and make changes.
AMANPOUR: I understand they really came at you hard to try to give on some of these major trade issues, and that is, for instance, these stringent
controls on exports and most advanced semiconductors as well as the equipment to make them. What was your response to that?
RAIMONDO: My response is that there can be no negotiation when it comes to matters of national security. You know, my response was that we need to, I
need to protect the most sophisticated U.S. technology. And I have to use every tool in my toolbox to make sure that our most sophisticated,
semiconductor chips, artificial intelligence models never get into the hands of the Chinese military. That being said, we also need to promote
where we can.
You know, the vast majority -- we have a $700 billion trading relationship with China. The vast majority, 99 percent of that has nothing to do with
AMANPOUR: And what about jobs? American people, people all over the world are worried for their jobs. But you have a personal, I guess, relationship
with jobs. Your own father was, you know, a part of a watch making company, eventually that company was shuttered, all the jobs outsourced to China.
You understand personally. What would you say to the average American worker in the relevant areas there?
RAIMONDO: I would say that President Biden is so focused and obsessed with bringing manufacturing back to the United States. It's why I took this job,
Christiane. When the president called me and said, hey, Governor, will you join me to be the commerce secretary and be my partner in revitalizing U.S.
manufacturing? That -- I leapt at that opportunity, and that's exactly what we're doing.
You know, by the time I'm done doing the work implementing the CHIPS Act, we'll have hundreds of thousands of new high paying semiconductor
manufacturing jobs in the United States. By the time we're done implementing the Inflation Reduction Act, we'll have thousands upon
thousands of new manufacturing jobs in the United States.
So, we cannot give up the ghost on U.S. manufacturing. And that is why we're making these investments to bring back a great deal of manufacturing
jobs to the United States.
AMANPOUR: What about A.I.? You were last week here in the United Kingdom, along with Vice President Kamala Harris, Elon Musk, all those people at a
very important A.I. summit. And Elon Musk has said something really scary, that actually in the future, there may be no need for any jobs, except if
people just happen to like to want to spend their time working.
RAIMONDO: We cannot let that happen. That is a terrible outcome. It's within our control. Obviously, this is a very powerful technology. We will
make those decisions, and we will not let that happen, and that is the whole point of all the work that we're doing.
President Biden signed a comprehensive and bold executive order recently related to artificial intelligence. A.I. is exciting. You know, when you
think about using A.I. to find cures for cancer or deal with the climate crisis, it's unbelievable. That being said, we can only harness the good of
A.I. if we first keep a lid on the risks.
AMANPOUR: You know, TikTok is a huge thing and a matter of great contention between the U.S. and China, and yet every young person in the world is on
it. It came up in the latest GOP presidential debate. Where does the United States stand on, you know, the matter of TikTok?
RAIMONDO: It poses serious national security risks. There is a bill weaving its way through the Congress right now, called the GUARD Act, which would
allow the Commerce Department to have tools to, restrain or disallow companies like TikTok in the United States, and that is a piece of
legislation which I support.
It is -- it's a fact that, when a company like that has so much data and location data on so many Americans, it poses extreme national security
risks. And so, we need to strengthen the tools here at the Commerce Department to allow us to do a better job of regulating TikTok but other
companies like TikTok.
AMANPOUR: I wonder if the -- you know, the Pandora's box hasn't already been opened and whether you're late to the game.
RAIMONDO: Perhaps. But I have to think about where we are now and going forward, and that's why I'm working hard with Congress to encourage them to
pass this law, so we can go ahead and do what we need to do.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you about being a woman in the top jobs. I've spoken to so many strong and, and powerful women around the world. Hillary
Clinton obviously comes to mind, but there are many, many of them. Nikki Haley is vying to be the first ever female president on the Republican
You were the first female governor of Rhode Island, and you've had so many, career milestones like that. How have you found it, you know, the race to
the top, being a woman? And what is the effect of having women in top decision-making positions?
RAIMONDO: It's hard. You know yourself. You know, I could ask you the same question. It's hard. There's no doubt about it. It's harder for women.
People are used to seeing men in the top job, particularly in executive positions.
At the time I became governor, I was one of four female governors in the country. I remember constantly being at governor's conferences with being
the only woman. But I'll tell you this, I'm not sure Rhode Island, the state where I was the governor, would have a universal all-day kindergarten
if we didn't have a mother that was a governor. I was the first mother to be governor of Rhode Island.
In the CHIPS Act that I'm implementing now, I've asked the companies who want to receive CHIPS money, what are you going to do about child care so
women can work successfully in your facilities? I'm not sure that would have happened if there were a man as commerce secretary.
And I know that having women in top jobs results in, you know, a different point of view and better decisions. I would argue, Christiane, as you look
around the world today, it is hard to escape the conclusion that we need more women in positions of leadership, leading countries, leading
companies, leading major nonprofits.
So, I won't pretend it's easy. I won't pretend that I -- that it's -- you know, women are judged by a different standard, but I will say we have to
stay in it because the world is a better place because of it.
AMANPOUR: And I obviously would agree with you, 1,000 percent. And also, in the realm of peace negotiations, national security and the like. But I did
tease a bit of pastor peace buildings. You famously had a rapprochement between a slightly recalcitrant Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and the
chief of staff at the time, Ron Klain. Tell me about it.
RAIMONDO: Well, it may be that I'm Italian, more than the fact that I'm a woman. Although, I will tell you, my mother, who was the most incredible
woman I've ever known, had a strong belief that there's no problem that can't be cured with a good Italian meal. And I do sort of believe that as
an Italian mother myself.
I think it matters, to your point about the meetings we'll have next week. At the end of the day, we're all people, with the same, you know, humanity.
At the end of the day, solving these problems is to the benefit of our shared humanity. And there is truly no substitute for getting together in
person, perhaps around a meal, perhaps in a casual setting, where you first talk about things that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.
And then, that rapport, that little bit of trust, that recognition of, you know, this person is a mother or a father too, this person has their own
health struggles they're dealing with. That basic bit of trust building can go such a long way. And I would say we've lost some of that. You know, I
would say arguably here in Washington today, you know, it sounds trite, but breaking bread, getting to know people really does make a difference.
And so, throughout my entire career, I have always said I'll go anywhere, I'll talk to anyone, I'll work with anyone if it helps to get the job done.
AMANPOUR: Well, we hope that when President Xi and Biden meet that there will be some of that ingredient in there to lower the temperature for the
whole world. Secretary Gina Raimondo, thank you so much indeed.
RAIMONDO: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Raising temperatures, though, is this ongoing clash of cultures, really, over this war in the Middle East. So, canceled classes in Jewish
schools, vandalized homes, synagogues locked up, the reality of an unprecedented surge of antisemitism in the United States that's creating a
climate of fear amongst Jewish communities. American Muslims are also facing a steep rise in incidents of Islamophobia, as the Israel Gaza
conflict seems to replace debate with hate and violence.
Author and journalist Emily Tamkin joins Michel Martin now to discuss all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Emily Tamkin, thank you so much for joining us.
EMILY TAMKIN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Of course. Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: You wrote this recent piece for "Slate" that, you know, really caught our attention. And you started by describing antisemitic incidents
that you've experienced from the time you were a little kid. And so, for people who've never experienced that or don't know anybody who has, would
you just tell us like one or two of the things that you started your piece with?
TAMKIN: I started the piece with an incident from when I was in elementary school, that I still remember to this day, which was somebody who drawn a
swastika on a bathroom stall. And there was this big assembly, and as a child, you don't totally understand what's going on, but I do remember just
sobbing in the car later on because the idea that somebody could have this sort of hate toward Jews, including myself was really heartbreaking.
And when you see that at a very young age and you experience that at a very young age it really, I think, can help shape your identity in a way that's
quite defensive and quite reactive. And so, I've always been very proud to be Jewish, but I think for many years as a young person, I really thought
of that as being about fighting and standing up to antisemitism.
And I still think that that is a part of Jewishness and Jewish identity, but I also think that only defining yourself through other people's hatred
and only defining yourself through your fear can be quite limiting and quite reductive. And if you're not careful, can close you off to also
seeing the pain and the fear that others are experiencing.
MARTIN: For people who haven't had a chance to read it yet, and I hope that they will, you say, what should American Jews do with our fear? We're
scared. But right now, we have to be more than that. So, just -- if you just start by telling me, like, why did you want to start the piece that
way? And why did you want to write this piece to begin with?
TAMKIN: Of course. I started the piece with acknowledging my own history with antisemitism and my own fear and more broadly, with the fear that I
know that many American Jews are feeling right now. According to a recent study that came out after this piece by the Jewish Federations of North
America, 70 percent of American Jews feel more afraid and have -- and are warier of increased antisemitism right now with Israel's ongoing war with
the horrific attack by Hamas in Israel, Israel's ongoing war.
And I started with that because I do think that it's important to acknowledge that people are scared and that there are real threats to
American Jews right now, and that I think we should speak up against those and call out antisemitism where we see it. And, not but, that that fear is
not the only fear that's being experienced right now. That is not the only pain that's being experienced right now.
And again, I think that fear can do one of two things. It can make you quite tribal and sort of only recognize your fear and your community's
fear, or alternatively, in a sad way, it can be an opening, an opportunity.
So, I know that especially on college campuses that many American Jews, you know, they're away from home, they're quite young, they're processing all
of this, you know, on their own, I know that that fear is real, but I am quite sure that their Muslim American peers and Palestinian American and
Palestinian colleagues are also feeling fear. And how do you have -- how do you allow room for both?
Speaking only for myself, I don't think that American Jewish fear is an acceptable reason to shut down discussion and debate on America's foreign
policy or on Israeli politics. Emotions are heightened and we're in quite a sensitive time. But U.S. foreign policy is also supporting ongoing
bombardment of Gaza. And I don't think it's antisemitic to say that. In fact, I know it's not antisemitic to say that. And I really do think that
it's important to distinguish between threats to American Jews, and -- which exist and which we should be very comfortable speaking up against,
The kosher dining hall at Cornell should not be threatened. An Israeli student on Columbia University's campus should never have been beaten.
However, does canceling a book about -- a book talk from an author who's written about a man in the West Bank, which Nathan Thrall did, or canceling
Palestinian writers and authors and speakers, does that keep American Jews safer? And I would argue that no, it doesn't. So, that's why I wrote the
piece and that's what I was trying to say.
MARTIN: This isn't the first time that Jews around the world, and American Jews in particular, have had disagreements with the way that Israel has
conducted itself, both domestically and internationally, and they should be able to talk about that. Do you want to talk a little bit more about that?
TAMKIN: Sure. So, my book, "Bad Jews," it looks at the last roughly 100 years of American Jewish identities and how we've formed our identities and
rendered ourselves both legible to the wider country, but also to one another, and how we've tried to figure out what does it mean to be Jewish
in America? What is -- what's the right set of politics to have in your own country and with respect to Israel, which for much of the 20th century,
supporting Israel was really one pillar of many American Jewish communities?
And for younger generations, especially though, not exclusively, that's really been tested in recent years. You know, if you are in your 30s or
your 20s, you've really only -- and you're an American Jew, you've really only seen the situation get more violent, right, and more seemingly
To put it another way, you know, the younger American Jews calling for a ceasefire can couch that argument in Jewish tradition and Jewish values.
The people who are saying that they stand with Israel unequivocally, they can also catch that in Jewish history and Jewish values. And to say that
either one is not Jewish as opposed to giving your interlocutor the space to make the argument and to have the debate and have the discussion, I
think, one, I think it's quite cruel to say that a person who is grieving and warning and angry and afraid isn't Jewish. That they're somehow an
imposter in their Jewish grief and their Jewish fear and their Jewish pain.
But it's also not an argument, right? Because you're just saying, well, you're not Jewish so your argument doesn't count. You're not actually
taking part in the discussion or the debate. You're just saying that your interlocutor isn't real.
And I think, you know, there is an American Jewish tradition of doing that, but there are -- I would suggest that that's not the most useful tradition
to hold up right now.
MARTIN: Are people basically saying that other people aren't Jewish because they don't agree with the -- Israel's conduct of the war, or at least raise
questions about it? I mean, are people doing that?
TAMKIN: Absolutely. We've seen the Jews who have called for a ceasefire have been told that they're not really Jewish. You know, we've also seen
the Anti-Defamation League come out and say that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.
And we should say that there are anti-Zionist Jews, right? There are professors at universities who do not consider the -- of Jewish studies who
do not consider themselves to be Zionist. And I think it's perhaps worth asking if they or if Palestinian students who are critical of what happened
to their own families, if they're only motivated by hatred of Jewish people.
You know, again, I understand that this is a time of heightened emotion and that people are very -- that people are afraid, people are in pain, but
it's precisely for that reason that I think we should be treating each other in good faith, acknowledging each other's fear and pain and not
trying to shut down discussion, debate and argument.
MARTIN: I don't want to get too far away from the current moment, which you've written so eloquently about. But I did want to ask if, you know,
what you're describing here, you know, groups and individuals or influential people who see themselves as pro-Israel denouncing people who
have questions about -- or who criticized Israel's conduct in this war or its response to the, you know, vicious assault by Hamas on October 7th,
people sort of denouncing them as antisemitic or anti-Israel. Is there a historical precedent for this? How did how did it start? Can you can you
help us with that?
TAMKIN: And there's absolutely a historical precedent for this. For much of the 20th century, as I said, Israel, really since its founding, but
particularly after the wars in '67 and '73, to be an American Jew, in many American Jewish communities, meant to support Israel.
And as the reality on the ground in Israel has changed, many American Jews, particularly of younger generations, have become less comfortable with
that. And so, even before October 7th, we were in this moment of push and pull between what has been and what will be and sort of it's a political
dispute, it's a generational dispute.
Interestingly, for the past -- for much of the past year, because the current Israeli government is so far-right and so extreme and says horrible
things, not only about Palestinians, but also about LGBTQ people and reform Jews, but just the largest denomination here in the U.S. and all sorts of
other groups, the liberal Jewish mainstream in the United States was becoming increasingly critical of the Israeli government supportive of the
On October 7th, you see these same groups and elected officials come out and just say, I stand with Israel, which I think -- I also wrote about this
personally, I think is quite understandable, right? And in that moment, you want to support people who are reeling from an attack. But in the months
since, I think the sort of liberal American Jewish mainstream has tried to sort out in a very polarizing moment, right, what what it means to stand
with Israel. Does that mean you're supporting the government? Does it mean that you are supporting the government, but saying, OK, now, we need a two-
state solution? Doesn't mean calling for Netanyahu's resignation? Does it mean calling for -- does it mean standing with the Israelis who are calling
for a ceasefire, right?
So, I think we were in a polarized moment before October 7th, but in times of crisis, that polarization is exacerbated. And I think that's what we're
seeing in American Jewish politics today.
MARTIN: I'll read what you said, and I'm just asking who -- to whom are you directing this? You said, I do not want American Jews, at this moment, to
reduce ourselves to our fear. We are entitled to our fear. But we are also simultaneously capable of nuance and empathy, and solidarity, and refusal
to see ourselves only as the objects of antisemitism. To whom do you make this appeal?
TAMKIN: So, that -- this is -- obviously, this is a personal appeal, and I hope that people in their own individual lives can find it in themselves to
do that, even though it may be hard and even though they are afraid, and they are in a moment of pain, right, to just going about your own life, to
be able to extend that same thing to others, that same empathy that you're craving to others.
It's also a political request. You know, I think there has been much -- many have commented on what a scary moment this is for American Jews,
particularly given Jewish history. I think that's completely valid. However, we should also note that we are afforded protections by the state
that -- and has not always been the case in American Jewish or in Jewish history. That's a very important distinction. We are not being
discriminated against by the state.
And so, I think, you know, to hear a member of Congress call for Palestinians to be deported from this country or to hear Islamophobia not
be as forcefully denounced by political leaders or by people in the media or of -- you know, I'm a member of the media. So, I'm chastising my own,
but -- or generally, you know, it's personal, but it's also political.
And the freedom of assembly and the right to political expression, you know, that's -- I want that for American Jews, but not only for American
MARTIN: You know, one of the things that sort of struck me is that is that how some of the people who've spoken out about what happened on October 7th
have really spoken to the sense of being alone or feeling alone, like nobody else cares. And one of the points you make in your piece is that,
yes, a lot of people care. Jewish people in America are not alone. You know, the president of the United States has expressed his solidarity and
concern and care. You know what I mean?
So, I'm just wondering like, what do you think that the divide -- what other divides are there apart from generation? Is it that some people still
feel very alone and don't see allies or what do you think it is?
TAMKIN: Yes. I mean, I think you're completely correct to point out that it's not only generational. You know, I've spoken to people who are much
older than me who have expressed real concern over what's happening to Palestinians in Gaza. I've spoken to people my age or younger who have --
let's say are to my right on some of these issues.
I think -- you know, and I think some would say, well, it's about how close they are to Israel. Because, you know, roughly half of American Jews have
never been to Israel. And so, if you feel a closer tie to that country -- to the country, if you have friends there, if you have family there, that
can also impact your decision. Although, I should say that many of the people I know who are most critical of Israel are critical because they've
spent as much time there as they have.
We should also note, I mean, there are several factors. So, most American Jews, their families came over in the 19th or 20th centuries, and they're
descended from Central and Eastern Europeans, there are also American Jews whose families came over later. So, for example, Persian Jews who escaped
Iran or Jews who left the former Soviet Union, they're likelier -- or many are likelier to have family in Israel, and many are closer to their own
sort of perceived moment of -- not perceived, their own moment of trauma and departure. And so, the State of Israel looms larger in their Jewishness
and their own understanding of self. And so, it's -- I don't think you can point to any one thing.
MARTIN: One of the things you point out in your piece is that these are -- these kinds of conversations take place in Israel all the time, and
especially among people who spend a lot of time there. So, I just kind of wonder why you feel like people who are here in the United States feel kind
of entitled to be so censorious about it. You know what I mean?
TAMKIN: Yes. I think that -- I mean, first of all, I don't want to overstate the size of the Israeli left or how many in Israel are calling
for a ceasefire. I do think that often people -- that often Israelis are far more critical of the Israeli government of what the state is doing than
people in the United States. There are two reasons for this.
The first is that I think many American Jews see it as, well, it's not my place, right? They're living there, so they can criticize. I'm here, so I
should -- I can't. And if I do, it will sort of allow other Americans to criticize Israel.
And I think the second thing is that for many American Jews, Israel is -- I want to be careful how I say this, but I do think that for many American
Jews, Israel is still an idea as well as a country. And that's not to say that any American Jews who care passionately about it don't have family
there, don't spend a lot of time there, don't have friends there, of course, but I do think that there is a tendency in American Jewish politics
to speak of an Israel that is somewhat divorced from what's happening on the ground.
And there are people who spend much more time on Israel particularly than I do who have said the same. So, I feel comfortable saying that. And I think
that's a difference as well.
MARTIN: Did you hesitate before writing this piece?
TAMKIN: I did. You know, I, first want to say that, you know, of course, this is a challenging time to be a writer or a journalist, but I'm not in
Israel and I'm not in Gaza. And I just think that as an American journalist, I feel a responsibility to acknowledge that there are people
who are actually in -- like, that's actually challenging. That's actual danger.
I hesitated because I -- not even so much that, oh, what if people yell at me, but I do want to be sensitive to this moment is the pain that people
are in and to the fear that people are experiencing. And ultimately, I decided to write it not despite that, but because of it.
MARTIN: Say more.
TAMKIN: Because I think that it is important to acknowledge American Jewish fear and American Jewish pain. And I also think it's important to encourage
people to see that not as a reason to turn ourselves off from the feelings of others or to shut down foreign policy debate.
You know, I really -- it's because I want to be sensitive in fear and pain that I think it's important to both acknowledge it and also to ask people
to consider it as an opportunity to hear others narratives and to hear their pain and their fear.
And that I -- you know, speaking only for myself, as an American Jew, I do not want my fear to be used to chill speech or discussion. And so, I felt a
responsibility with the small platform that I have in that way to put that forth.
MARTIN: Emily Tamkin, thanks so much for talking with us.
TAMKIN: Thank you for your time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Indeed, only speech and discussion will help resolve this.
And finally, tonight, more than a billion people over the weekend celebrated Diwali and the triumph of light over darkness.
The festival has Hindu origins, but it's observed by multiple religions across India, the South Asian Diaspora and beyond.
Diwali comes from the Sanskrit, meaning row of lights. And in Northern India, a record breaking 2.2 million oil lamps lit up the banks of the
Sarayu River, which runs through Uttar Pradesh.
This year, celebrations in some parts of the country have officially been scaled back as India battles hazardous levels of air pollution that
fireworks can make worse. Although, many couldn't resist.
That's it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. Remember, you can always
catch us online, on our website, and all-over social media. Thank you for watching. Goodbye from London.