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Interview with Former Chief of Israel's Chin Bet Ami Ayalon; Interview with U.K. Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Chair and British Conservative MP Alicia Kearns; Interview with Friendship-West Baptist Church Senior Pastor and Rainbow PUSH Coalition President and Chief Executive Frederick Haynes III. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired January 31, 2024 - 13:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.


AMI AYALON, FORMER CHIEF OF ISRAEL'S CHIN BET: I cannot destroy ideas. And for me, I have to talk to everybody who accept the idea of two states.


AMANPOUR: What is Israel's exit plan from Gaza? Former security chief, Ami Ayalon, joins me.

Then, Britain says it could formally recognize a Palestinian State and how it's helping its most powerful ally as the U.S. struggles in the Middle

East. I'll speak with Parliament's top foreign affairs official, Alicia Kearns.

Also, ahead --



are a living nightmare for those who are living in Gaza.


AMANPOUR: -- over 1,000 black pastors are pressuring President Biden to call for a ceasefire. Reverend Frederick Haynes tells Michel Martin about

their campaign.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Pressure is mounting for Israel and Hamas to make that deal for hostage and prisoner swaps and a pause in the fighting. But Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu continues to reject key Hamas demands.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I hear talk about all kinds of deals. I would like to make it clear. We will not

conclude this war without achieving all of its goals. We will not withdraw the IDF from the Gaza Strip. And we will not release thousands of

terrorists. None of this will happen.


AMANPOUR: Meantime, heavy fighting continues in Gaza's Khan Younis area. Forcing nearly 200,000 Palestinians to flee, according to the U.N. My next

guest knows the security and diplomatic maze there very well. Ami Ayalon was head of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and he's been

pushing for negotiations for a two-state solution. And in a rare interview, he joined me from Haifa.

Ami Ayalon, welcome back to our program.


AMANPOUR: So, from your perspective, as a long-time military and intelligence, you know, chiefs and operatives and experience, is Israel

winning this war?

AYALON: Well, it's very, very difficult to give you a short and clear answer because since we do not discuss the day after, meaning we do not

discuss the essence of victory. So, if I cannot define victory, I'm not sure that anybody can tell you that we are winning something that we don't

know exactly where we are heading.

So, we have great achievements on the ground, in the battlefield. But there is a huge gap between winning the battle and winning the war. So, unless we

shall decide exactly on the day after, or what is the meaning of victory in this war against Hamas, I cannot give you a clear answer.

AMANPOUR: OK. Well, that's important to hear from you, because, you know, none of us have that answer, and it hasn't been stated by your government.

So, what I want to then ask you is, the mission, according to your government, is to defeat Hamas on the battlefield and to rescue the

hostages, the remaining hostages.

My question is, can that be something that happens at the same time? Can a military operation rescue the hostages and defeat Hamas at the same time?

AYALON: Of course, there are two views. One is the only way to persuade Hamas to give back the hostages is to create a military pressure. And the

other is that they will choose, in this case, what we call a Samson Option. And we shall lose all of them.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, let me put it another way then. Let's just talk about this ceasefire negotiations. As far as we can gather and -- or pause

hostage deal. I don't know. You know, there are many different ways to describe it. As far as we can gather, the idea would be to get all your

hostages, the remaining hostages, out in return for some formulation of releasing a lot of Palestinian prisoners, plus some kind of pause. They've

talked about six weeks or two months, even.


What is your opinion on a pause? What would that do on the ground?

AYALON: I don't have any view about it, unless I know where are we going on the day after, if the package is exactly what you said. And on the day

after, we shall create a framework of future of two-states. I will vote for it.

But if, you know, the future or the later day after will be, you know, ceasefire for one month, three-month, whatever, I know exactly that without

a framework of two-states, Hamas will not be destroyed. Hamas will flourish again. And of course, they're all -- the major goal of bringing back all

the hostages.

But we have to understand this war is on two fronts. One is the battlefield, but the other is a war of ideas. And Hamas will be defeated

only on the second front, the war of ideas. The major defeat for Hamas is a future of two-states. And unless we shall discuss the future of two-states,

there is no way to defeat Hamas and to create a better political horizon for Palestinians and for Israelis.

AMANPOUR: But your prime minister, even yesterday, was out in the field saying, no, no, no. We will not, you know, agree to a two-state solution,

even though the United States, his main ally, is saying this must be, and all the Arab states who he wants to normalize with say this must be.

So, who's going to win this battle on the exit strategy and the day after?

AYALON: It's a great question. Of course, I believe and I hope that we -- when I say we, is the people, is the majority of the people of Israel.

Netanyahu today do not represent more than 20 percent of the Israelis. But you know, in democracy, we shall have to go to elections.

So, today -- and we know it, because we have polls, and this is the most that we can do -- 70 or 70 percent of the Israelis would take the package

that you offer if all the hostages will be brought back and we shall have a ceasefire or whatever you call it, and we shall have to, you know, release

Palestinian hostages, but again, they will accept a future reality of two- states.

My prime minister do not represent the Israeli people. And unfortunately, you know, he's leading us, and we should have to wait until reserves will

come back. And we shall take to the streets and we shall explain in many, many actions and words what we, the Israeli people, do really want. And

hopefully, we should have elections in a few months. And we should find the right the right way to a better future.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you what you think -- because you've written about this and you've talked about it. What is the biggest misconception that

your government has, and maybe a lot of Israelis have, about Palestinians? You've talked about misconceptions.

AYALON: Right. There are two levels of -- first of all, on the political level, the misconception was led by Netanyahu during the last 14, 15 years

when he was in power. And we call it managing the conflict or shrinking the conflict, whatever you call it. The idea was that we have to rule and

separate, meaning we have to make sure that Hamas will stay in power in Gaza. And in order for -- to do it, he increased or he empowered the power

of Hamas letting Qatar to send money and, you know, doing everything in order for Hamas to stay in power.

And on the same way, to decrease the power of Abu Mazen, because Abu Mazen do not believe in violence. So, Palestinians -- the perception of Hamas, in

the eyes of Palestinians, although most of them do not accept the theology or the religious ideology of Hamas, they see Hamas as the only organization

who fight for their freedom.

So, most Palestinians, you know, left Abu Mazen. Today, Abu Mazen will not get more than 15 percent of support among Palestinians. And this was a

misconception because the idea that we can control the level of violence by Hamas is something that we do not understand. We -- you know, it's not

understanding the idea of Hamas.


Hamas is an organization, it's not only a military organization. Hamas leading an idea of a greater Palestine from the Jordan to the sea during

the '90s, they did not get support from more than 15 percent of the Palestinians because, finally, Palestinians want a better future and they

accept the reality of two states. So, this was empowering Hamas, decreasing the power of Palestinian Authority on the political level.

On the intelligence level, again, the idea that Hamas is deterred was a huge mistake, because I used to say, we measure hardware and they measure

software. Meaning, we saw, after May 21, that when they suffered a major defeat on the military ground, because they lost many combatants and terror

activists and military infrastructure, but they doesn't care. What they do care is the support of the Palestinian people. And we saw that after this

military defeat, the support of the Palestinian people was doubled.

So, the idea that Hamas is deterred and they will not attack, you know, brought us to believe that, OK, if they will not attack, we moved all our

troops to the West Bank and to the north. And this what brought to the horrible events of the 7th of October.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Ayalon, it's really interesting to hear you sort of analyze this. So, I want to ask you, do you believe -- you've talked about Hamas as

an idea? Do you believe that in the day after that you envision, the two- states, you know, elections, all of that, both in Israel and on the Palestinian side, that Hamas -- the idea -- the political Hamas will have

any role in a future solution, or do you see them -- go ahead. Tell me.

AYALON: No, of course. I mean, I cannot destroy ideas. And for me, I have to talk to everybody who accept the idea of two states. If Hamas want to

play a political role, first of all, he will have to agree to the -- all the -- you know, to the decisions of the PLO, because the PLO is a

representative of the Palestinian people, and he will not be accepted to the Palestinian people unless he accepts the resolutions, U.N. resolutions,

Security Council resolutions, and the idea of two states, which Palestinians -- majority of Palestinians and majority of Israelis can live


So, once he accept this concept, you know, we -- I have to remind myself and to you we have about 15 percent of fundamentalist, radical Jewish

supremacy, racism, whatever you call them, they believe exactly as Hamas believe that this land -- we -- it belongs to God, and we are not allowed

to give it to anybody. And it is the same for Hamas.

You know, they speak in the -- in a language of Islam and we speak in the language of Judaism, but there's a two minority. You know, the tragedy of

the region that during the last 20 for -- 20, 30 years the two minorities led us to kill each other, you know, Jewish terrorist assassinated our

prime minister. And Palestinian Hamas terrorist, you know, killed our civilians.

But finally, there are two minorities, less than 20 percent of both sides. And we, the majority of the two sides, with the role, the major role of the

International Community. And today, especially today, when, you know, President Biden is perceived as a ultimate leader because he filled a

vacuum of leadership in Israel, And I believe that he is -- at least in the eyes of the Israelis, the political power to lead us to the right way. and

the right way is the reality of two states.

AMANPOUR: That is so interesting you say that because every time he can, Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects anything that President Biden is saying in

this regard.

But one final question, you are a former naval, you know, leader as well, and I wonder what you think and how you think the whole I mean, there's a

whole shebang in that area, whether it's Houthis firing, whether it's the U.S. and the U. K. trying to stop them firing, whether it's just, you know,

the Iranians and their proxies and Hezbollah, where do you see this heading? Are you afraid that it's really going to explode into a much wider



AYALON: If I'm worried, I'm worried. I'm not afraid. You know, fear is not a strategy. So, yes. But I'm worried. We have to be very careful. You know,

finally, it is not a conflict between Palestinians and Israelis anymore, it is a regional conflict and in some aspects with global impact.

We have to create an opposite coalition led by Europe, America, a coalition of stability, meaning U.N., Europe, America, and in the region led by Saudi

Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Emirates, Morocco, and Israel to confront the axis of instability.


AYALON: And I think that what we see in Bab al-Mandab is part of it, but the whole picture, again, we have to be part -- we Israelis, we have to be

a legitimate member in this coalition of stability, and we cannot do it unless we choose the reality of two states.

AMANPOUR: I really hear you. And I think that you clearly want to get that message out. You've done almost no interviews since -- in fact, I think

this is your second interview only since October 7th, and you want to make clear that there needs to be an exit strategy with a political solution.

Can I ask you a slightly more local question? There is a big crisis right now with the U.N. agency that has been designated to look after Palestinian

refugees UNRWA. As you know, the U.S. and others have suspended funding, the Israelis have shared intelligence that suggests -- you know, I don't

know how many, but many are -- have been involved in October 7th.

So, that is a horrible thing. But my question to you is, what is the option to UNRWA? Is Israel going to provide the aid? Does UNRWA need to be

disbanded? What is the future of trying to, you know, cater to the needs of the Palestinians in Gaza?

AYALON: Well, I totally -- first of all, I totally agree with, you know, we have to stop. What UNRWA is doing now during the last, I don't know,

several years, we just saw it now. I believe that Israel do not have any interest and I don't think that we have the -- you know, the legitimacy to

do it, in the eyes of the Palestinians or -- and it will not be supported by the Israelis.

I think that the U.N. with the support of the donors to UNRWA, we'll have to find another framework, organization, and I know that there are several

other international organizations who should do it. I don't know enough about UNRWA itself and whether UNRWA itself can, you know, repair this

horrible, you know, intervention in what happened during the 7th of October. So, I really believe that we should not oppose.

It is very, very important for us, the people who suffer in Gaza will get their support. The last thing that we can say -- that we want to see is a

humanitarian disaster. And unfortunately, if we should not do something about it, this is exactly what we should see.

AMANPOUR: Ami Ayalon, thank you so much for joining us.

AYALON: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And as Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to resist the idea of a Palestinian State, Israel's allies keep applying the pressure. Britain's

Foreign Secretary David Cameron has even said they'll consider recognizing a Palestinian State. A move he believes would help make a two-state

solution "an irreversible process to end this war."

The U.K. is also playing a key role defending the Red Sea against the Houthis. Cameron is currently on his fourth visit to the Middle East,

consolidating Britain's role as a key U.S. ally in this crisis.

Alicia Kearns is chair of the U.K.'s Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament and recently returned from a visit to Washington. And she's

joining me now live in the studio. Welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Let me first ask you about what the foreign secretary say, former prime minister. So, he is known around the globe, and he doesn't say

things off the cuff, and he said it to a private reception of Arab diplomats. Can you tell us, were you surprised that your government in the

form of the foreign minister went this far? It's the first time that the British have ever said that.

KEARNS: So, I hadn't expected it and I don't think many people could say they had. For me, we've seen a real change in tone, attitude, and behavior

from the British government since David Cameron came back as foreign secretary. And he would have known full well the weight of those words that

he said, only last night, the night before.


The question is, does he mean it? Are we genuinely moving to that posture and that position? Or is he using it to save the Israelis? We still have

tools in our toolbox. We will move to this place that you don't want us to. But fundamentally, I think it's the right move. And I think in the same way

as anyone who would deny Israel's statehood should be condemned, anyone who should deny Palestinians the right to their statehood should also be

condemned. And there's a lack of balance, I think, too often on that.

AMANPOUR: Let me read this specifically. This is what he's written in the mail on Sunday. We must give people of the West Bank and Gaza the political

perspective of a credible route to a Palestinian State and a new feature -- future. And it needs to be irreversible. This is not entirely in our gift.

But Britain and our partners can help by confirming our commitment to a sovereign, viable Palestinian State, and our vision for its composition.

And, crucially, we must state our clear intention to grant it recognition, including at the United Nations.

So, as I've been saying, you know, the Israeli prime minister publicly has been, you know, saying, no, we don't want that. But just, for people who

don't understand the subtlety of what Cameron has said, because generally, the West accepts a two-state solution. What's the missing piece that he's

filling in now?

KEARNS: The missing piece is giving Palestinian statehood. So, recognizing Palestinian statehood, which is something the U.K. hasn't done and a number

of our allies haven't. So, what he is saying is --

AMANPOUR: The United States haven't.

KEARNS: The United States absolutely haven't. So, what he's saying is full recognition, not just by the U.K., but also, he's saying the U.K. will lead

an effort at the U.N. to see them recognized. And that must mean that he's had a conversation with the United States behind the scenes, because we

would need them to come alongside.

So, I think it's quite a big announcement. It's a big policy shift. And that will have a very strong impact on all the international relations that

are going on, but it's the sort of big shift I want the U.K. to be leading on. We are good at hardcore diplomacy. We are the right people to be

delivering that message.

AMANPOUR: And then just to point out what you say, it's the first time. And the PLO representative here, in other words, the group that actually

recognizes Israel, the Palestinian Authority. He says, this is a very significant moment in relation to what Cameron said. This is the first time

a U.K. foreign secretary does say that the recognition of the state of Palestine is not linked to a final agreement with Israel, i. e., finally

removing Israel's veto over Palestinian statehood.

Is that a correct interpretation? I mean, you've got to have Israeli buy in, don't you?

KEARNS: So, we do need Israeli buy in, but at the same time, no state has the right to determine the sovereignty of another. And that unfortunate

position we're in. And we cannot allow irredentism to play a role, but we also can't allow Israel to say that the Palestinians have no right to their

own homeland.

If we believe in a two-state solution, it follows that we therefore recognize and will recognize Palestinian Statehood, but that second piece

has been missing from the puzzle. So, this is an enormous shift. Husam is absolutely right to say that. And now, let's hope that we see other

partners around the world move in the same way.

AMANPOUR: It's really interesting because it seems to be almost coming to a head in the last couple of weeks. The Americans are talking about it.

Now, Cameron has advanced it. You've had the Europeans, and even Israelis who are not in the government.

You just heard former Shin Bet chief, Ami Ayalon. I mean, he basically said that we can't even judge what's going to happen next because we have not

had an exit plan delivered by the government. And the only thing that is going to make Israel and Palestinians safe, secure, and eliminate anything

like October 7th again, is a political resolution and a two-state solution. So, that's also gaining quite a lot of traction in certain quarters in


KEARNS: I suspect actually in quite significant quarters within Israel. I mean, we have to remember this was a government who, for what, 37, 38 weeks

had 100,000 people, Israelis, out on the streets campaigning against Netanyahu. This is the most ultra-orthodox, far-right government that we

have seen in Israel for a long time.

So, there's not a real surprise that there is a real shift when it comes to this. But also, in terms of that diplomatic will. Too many of the

conversations I've had over the last few months have been about the day after, not how we get to the day after. And this takes us to a better place

of understanding how we shift that way, as well as -- and I'm really pleased, because I've been asking David Cameron to do this since November,

the progress towards a Palestinian contact group.

AMANPOUR: What does that mean?

KEARNS: So, essentially, bringing together a cohort of international partners. So, obviously, we're looking at the U.S., the U.K., the E.U., and

then particularly Arab countries, this has to be an Arab-led solution, who come together to work towards a diplomatic solution. I worked in the Syria

Contact Group.

But for me, what we haven't seen yet, that I would love to see, is those track two negotiations. So, activists, academics, women, young people. Take

the politicians out the room. I know as a politician it may sound ironic that I'm saying that. But bring together those track two groups of people

who will talk about what their vision is for the future without politicians who too often, as we see with Netanyahu, are really performing for a very

narrow base.

AMANPOUR: I just want to read you a quote that I keep coming back to. And for me, it's the heart of the issue. It essentially is the chief

Palestinian negotiator and the chief Israeli negotiator around Oslo.


And at one of the meetings, the Palestinians said, this is Abu Alaa (ph), as you know, we have learned that our rejection of you, to his Israeli

counterpart, will not bring us freedom. You can see that your control of us will not bring you security. We must live side by side in peace, equality,

and cooperation.

So that was, you know, back, you know, in the mid '90s. And it's still the truth. Correct? I mean --


AMANPOUR: -- do you see any other way to bring Israel, the security it needs, and the Palestinians, the freedom and the statehood they need?

Because even yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu was out in the West Bank. I think he was saying, never going to agree to this deal.

KEARNS: You are absolutely right. And it is heartbreaking that something can be so present today that was being said in the 1990s. You cannot bomb

an ideology out of existence. How many times have we tried that over the last two decades?

The only way that you reduce the radicalizing narrative -- and let's not forget the treatment of Palestinians has been the number one radicalizing

narrative for every terrorist group pretty much in the world that come from an Islamic background. We have to have long-term security and peace.

But it's not just about the diplomatic. How Israel prosecutes this war -- and I wish they'd called it a counterterrorist operation. How they

prosecute it will also determine that stability, which is why we need to see such a shift. And the language we continue to see from the Israelis is

not bringing us closer to a solution where there is stability for all.

AMANPOUR: What is happening, as far as you know, inside Gaza? I know Britain has some humanitarian activity there, you're trying your best. You

have just publicized something that was little known, and that is one of your hospitals was attacked?

KEARNS: So, there's a U.K. charity called Medical Aid for Palestine, they've been delivering phenomenal practice on the ground.


KEARNS: Yes, MAP. As well as bringing in British doctors. So, on the 22nd of December, MAP told the U.K. Defense Forces, who then confirmed it with

the Israeli Defense Forces that they had this building in Al Mawasi (ph), which is a safe zone. The Israelis had declared it a safe zone.

And yet, despite having been told on the 22nd of December by the IDF, via the U.K. Defense Attache, that it was a protected site, demarcated, the

Israelis knew what it was and it was completely humanitarian in nature, on the 16th of January, it was bombed by an F-16 Israeli jet, and there were

four British doctors inside.

Now, we are very lucky that they were hurt and not killed. But obviously, as you can imagine, MAP have now had to remove their operations. The IRC

shared that site. So, I've also been speaking to David Miliband about this, who's very concerned. Both MAP and the IRC are saying, we cannot take any

foreign doctors back into Gaza now. It is not safe, because despite the IDF giving us reassurances that this site, completely isolated, there are no

neighboring buildings around it, it's surrounded by sand, so there's no feasibility that there were tunnels underneath, despite having

confirmation, it was demarcated, it was still bombed.

AMANPOUR: And did you -- you know, did you bring this up with the IDF?

KEARNS: So, I've raised this so far with our government, and I've said to Andrew Mitchell, the deputy foreign secretary, what are we doing about

this? I know it's been raised at the highest levels with the Israelis. The Israelis are saying, let us do an investigation. I think now is the time

for the U.K. to be very clear that time has passed. The U.N. are meant to be doing an investigation. I'd like to see the results of that as well.

But ultimately, it's very difficult to see how this can be justified in any way, sense or form. A safe zone, a demarcated humanitarian building, U.K.

and U.S. charities.

AMANPOUR: And what does that mean? I mean, we know how dire the situation is. We get reports quite regularly from the -- from our producers and

correspondents in the region who are able to call into Gaza, get pictures, talk about the health crisis there, the humanitarian crisis. What does it

mean not to have those British doctors there?

KEARNS: It's an enormous crisis, because what it means is four fewer doctors. And actually, it's not just those four, they've withdrawn all

their foreign staff who are providing urgent medical aid and expertise. All of them have been withdrawn. And they cannot put them back now because they

cannot trust that any of their staff will be safe. So, you have no foreign staff from those charities currently on the ground, certainly from MAP.

So, essentially, they need the reassurances that they can operate again because they're desperate to go back and help because as you say, the

health crisis is so severe. But in terms of Israeli targeting -- and I have raised this with both Rishi Sunak and David Cameron, what are the targeting

procedures that the Israelis are following?

We should have asked to see it. We want to know what their civilian casualty -- collateral casualty percentage is. But this targeted specifics,

how could they have signed that off? Because as you and I know, lawyers sit in the room for every single airstrike. So, what lawyer signed this off?

AMANPOUR: So, you speak as a British parliamentary, you know, committee head. This is not just me talking to an analyst.


AMANPOUR: How much does it trouble you that the Israelis have a major problem with UNRWA, the U.N. organization that is designed to help with

relief in Gaza for the Palestinians. That they have shared intelligence and the Brits have also suspended funding that a certain number of them, we

don't know how many, they said 12 first, now they say maybe 10 percent of the 13,000 members are Hamas and some of them, some 12 or so, actually

contributed, operated, conducted really terrible things on October 7th.


KEARNS: If UNRWA staff committed anything to those crimes against humanity, that is an enormous betrayal of trust, not least of the U.N., but

for their fellow Palestinians. How dare they put at risk an organization that is working to bring aid?

The State Department said only today no organization is better placed or is delivering aid more effectively than UNRWA. UNRWA have now said they will

run out of aid by the end of February if they do not get more support because they're being defunded.

I actually raised this question myself with the head of UNRWA in November when I met with him in person in Parliament, and I challenged him on the

security clearances and checks they were doing for their staff. He was confident that there were regular checks taking place, because this is a

question that the British Parliament has been discussing for a while around textbooks and also just delivery of aid and participation with Hamas.

They are operating in a very difficult environment, but that's why the U.N. needs to finish this investigation as quickly as possible, make sure it is

independent, as we understand it will be, and then we need to make sure that aid is getting back into Gaza. Because otherwise --

AMANPOUR: And the charges are really serious.

KEARNS: They're incredibly serious.

AMANPOUR: Against that dozen.

KEARNS: They are absolutely serious. And if those people are guilty, they need to be going through a criminal prosecution. But the problem is, that

if UNRWA isn't there delivering aid, and the State Department said no one else can pick up that space in the way that they were, we risk being, I

believe, in breach of our ICJ interim ruling, which said that Israel has to allow sufficient aid in, and there are repercussions for all of us with our

responsibility to protect, but also there is an active crisis going on the ground.

We cannot allow collective punishment, and we cannot allow people not to get the aid they need. So, we're in a very difficult position. We can have

no truck for those who had anything to do with Hamas or defended them. But at the same time, we do need to get aid in, and the entire organization is

not broken. I think it's important we don't allow certain narratives on those who want to push that to achieve.

AMANPOUR: On a different issue but equally important, the Ukrainians continued attempt to defend themselves against Russia's invasion. You've

just come back from the United States. Did you get any sense that the politicians in the House are going to, you know, unfreeze this this

military aid?

KEARNS: So, I came back with a slightly complicated pitch, which was actually more support for Ukraine than you might believe from the outside.

And I thought it was interesting, and we went to six chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees from six different European countries, all of us with

the message that we, in our media, in our countries, in our political systems, are discussing that we think you're going to cash out, you're not

going to stand steadfast behind Ukraine.

Actually, support for Ukraine remains incredibly high on the Hill. However, they are willing to exchange that support for their domestic political

arguments. And of course, this is all about the border. They don't want more money from Biden because he's agreed that, they want a change in

policy on the board when it comes to immigration.

So, I was left with more confidence they support Ukraine, but the fact that they're willing to compromise that for personal gain, that is not something

you would see in the U.K.

AMANPOUR: That's interesting. I'm going to ask you a bit more about that. First, I'm going to play, because today, also, the head of the NATO is



AMANPOUR: The secretary general. This is what he said about this freezing of the aid.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: When I visited the Hill yesterday, I met many politicians from both parties, and I saw broad

support for Ukraine, but then, of course, there is this link to the border issue, which I respect is an important and difficult issue, but I believe

it's possible to find a way forward to support Ukraine regardless of how the border issue is handled.


AMANPOUR: Can I just say, what you're saying and what he's saying reminds me, and I've just had a flashback, of what European leaders tried to

persuade Trump about the Iran nuclear deal. They -- and the climate deal. They tried to persuade him not to pull out. And they thought that they

could -- and you all thought that you could talk sense, but it's MAGA and the Trump wing that are stopping this, right? I mean, by and large, linking



AMANPOUR: You know, what is going to be the result if Ukraine -- I mean, you're seeing what's happening on the ground in Ukraine. How do you assess

what is happening on the ground?

KEARNS: So, I think one of my messages -- well, I have a few messages to the Americans. One was, we are with you. You are not on your own. And what

was amazing to me was the absence of understanding that Europe has committed $160 billion of support for Ukraine. You know, Estonia has given

all of its howitzers. Lithuania, 1.6 GDP. So, in terms of cost, that cost to Europe, let alone with refugee support, is far more significant.

Secondly, the threat of Putin seems to have dropped off the political narrative in the U.S. You mention Iran, you mention Xi Jinping and China,

you can pass any legislation you want and the commitment is there. So, were trying to remind them of the threat of Putin.


You know, organizations like the Heritage Foundation drafting Trump's manifesto, they have been steadfastly anti-Putin all this time. Where has

that gone in their calculations?

AMANPOUR: And has it gone?

KEARNS: It's significantly disappeared.

AMANPOUR: That's interesting.

KEARNS: I would say.


KEARNS: And then, the final argument was, Ukraine is making progress. They have made enormous progress since September because they are up against the

second or third biggest military in the world. They are a small country at their lives. They are doing an incredible job. And I really reject this

almost Disney-esque hero story that's been produced, where you hear Americans say, Ukraine needs to show me some progress. No, they don't. On a

moral level, on a legal level, or anything else.

Ukraine has no duty to show progress to you or to me. They don't need to prove themselves. They are a sovereign country invaded by an irredentist

neighbor who has their own ambitions of the history books. We need to give them enough not to survive, but to win.

And what I was pleased with was that last year went and we asked them to give a yearlong supplemental. Don't just give three months. They've now got

a yearlong supplemental, but they need to pass it.

AMANPOUR: Alicia Kearns, thank you so much.

KEARNS: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Thank you for being with us.

Now, the devastation and humanitarian crisis that's befallen the people of Gaza, as we've been discussing here, have also galvanized the whole world,

especially young people in America and elsewhere. As hundreds of thousands of Palestinians flee their homes, that have been reduced to rubble.

Reverend Frederick Haynes and Black Pastors across the United States have been lobbying for a ceasefire through open letters and in meetings with

White House officials. And Haynes now speaks to Michel Martin about the impact this could have on Palestinians and on U.S. politics.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Reverend Haynes, thank you so much for speaking with us.


having me. Thank you.

MARTIN: You are the senior pastor of a fairly large congregation in Dallas. Would you just tell us a little bit about the people who are part

of your congregation?

HAYNES III: Yes, we have a congregation numerically in excess of 10,000 to 12,000 members on Sundays. We will see anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000. And

that's not to mention the online viewership, which is much more. So, it's a growing congregation. It's also a young congregation and, a vibrant

congregation that is community conscious and very much in tune with the relationship between Jesus and justice.

MARTIN: So, I'm going to ask you to go back to October 7th. Do you remember what you preached on that Sunday? Because as I would imagine,

especially given the congregation that you have, they would expect to hear from you, you know, at a time like that.

HAYNES III: Well, I do remember the theme and that -- and my intent, and that was to provide some kind of balance. On the one hand, I wanted to

ensure that comfort was provided to the victim's families and all who were triggered by such an event.

I have a couple of members who were in New York on 9/11. And so, I knew that there would be comparisons to 9/11, and the horrors and the evil that

occurred on that day. Of course, that language has been used subsequent to October 7th. And so, I felt it necessary to provide that kind of


At the same time, I found it necessary to make sure that we not make the mistakes that were made in response to 9/11 in response to October 7th. And

by that, I mean, I think history has recorded that in the aftermath of 9/11, there was such a determination to exact revenge that the response was

disproportionate, and too many innocent lives were lost in response to 9/11. 9/11 was horrific. There is nothing that will ever be assuage what

happened on that day.

And so, my prayer was, my sermon was, on the one hand, let's offer comfort. At the same time, let's learn the lessons of history because it's well

known if you do not learn from the past, you end up repeating it. And in many instances, you magnified the mistakes that were made in the past.

MARTIN: And I take it the fears that you expressed in that sermon have, in fact, come to pass. Would that be fair to say, from your perspective?

HAYNES III: Unfortunately, yes. It's been horrifying to watch the response, again, disproportionate, and not downplaying, in any way, what

happened October 7th.


And I hope that we can erase the narrative that you -- just because you feel the response has been disproportionate, it does not mean that you are

erasing the memory of the horrors of what happened on October 7th. But again, to see hospitals, places of refuge being blown up. So, yes, my worst

fears have been realized. And my worst fears are a living nightmare for those who were living in Gaza.

MARTIN: You are one of more than a thousand black pastors in the U.S. who are calling on the Biden administration to support a ceasefire in the -- in

Israel's, you know, war on Hamas. How did this kind of organization, this decision to sort of make a statement as a group come to pass? How did that


HAYNES III: Well, many of us, of course, are part of group text, and we began to express in our communication our disgust with what was going on.

And as the notifications increased, as the news broadcast continued to show the nightmare unfolding in what so many of us have labeled the holy land,

we became increasingly impatient with the response of this administration.

And so, what began as informal text messaging conversations going back and forth, some of my beloved colleagues said, you know, there's no way that we

can just limit this conversation to our group text. We have to stand. We have to say something. We have too many people who believe in us for us to

be poor stewards of our leadership responsibility.

And then on top of that, many of us have inroads in the administration. And so, we asked for a meeting with the administration so that we could express

our concerns in a way that was respectful, but at the same time reflecting a sense of urgency over what we consider to be a state of emergency.

MARTIN: You mentioned that a number of pastors have met with the administration. Who they meet with?

HAYNES III: Right. It was representatives from the administration. It was not the president himself. But representatives, those who, I would say, are

-- they have it -- they have authority, but of course, they are representatives. We felt were heard, but at the same time, we felt that, in

the aftermath of the meeting, business as usual continued.

And so, given that we felt that the only thing we had to do now was to look for ways to exert as much pressure as we could from a moral perspective,

because that basically is what we are doing. You mentioned the 1,000 pastors whose names were in "The New York Times." Since that particular

piece occurred, I cannot tell you how many other pastors said, I wish you had included me. I wish you had reached out to me. So, the numbers are much


Reverend Haynes, what do you think justice for Palestine means in this moment? You know, after everything that has already transpired, what is

transpiring now, what do you think that means? And the second question to that would be, do you think justice for Palestine can coexist with security

for Israel?

HAYNES III: Without question. My predecessor at Rainbow PUSH, the icon Reverend Jesse Jackson, coined the phrase, security for Israel, justice for

Palestine. Of course, it's remixed during protest in the streets where we say, no justice, no peace, because there is a relationship between justice

and peace. There is a relationship between justice and security.

And so, I think when Reverend Jackson says, security for Israel justice for Palestine, of course, justice has a restorative component to it. Justice

has a component to it that says we have to rebuild. We have to restore what has been broken.

And so, right now, justice for Palestine not only includes a ceasefire, and the safe passage of humanitarian aid, but also rebuilding on the terms of

the indigenous people, the land that has been destroyed, restoring it to them, ensuring that they have their land on their terms.


If they have their land on their terms that have been -- that has been rebuilt, the hospitals, the homes, the schools, all of them have to


MARTIN: Well, what -- so, what exactly do you want President Biden to do? Because in fact, look, he has -- you know, he famously, you know, went to

Israel, the first sitting president to visit Israel, you know, at wartime, you know, he hugged Prime Minister Netanyahu, but he also, and other

members of the administration have also said what you've said, which is learn the lessons of 9/11. Be proportionate in your response. Don't seek


HAYNES III: Well, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. You can say that, but you continue to fund the carnage. We all know that

this country gives a huge amount of resources to Israel that has gone to fund a lot of what is taking place right now.

And so, we have the moral authority, but also the fiscal responsibility. If wear those two and say, Mr. Netanyahu, we will no longer give you financial

resources. We will no longer give you military resources and stand by, watching the carnage unfold, that is a profound statement. It's one thing

to talk it, it's another thing to walk it and exert it.

MARTIN: I mean, is there any part of you that worries that the criticism of President Biden makes it easier for Former President Trump to get back

into office?

HAYNES III: Of course. And I'm asking Mr. Biden to learn the lessons of history. 1968, Lyndon Baines Johnson had done some amazing things

domestically. We have, because of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 64 Civil Rights bill, the 65 Voting Rights bill, some wonderful things took place,

but his foreign policy disrupted the country in such a way that it set the stage for another administration to come in.

And they came in, ironically, on a southern strategy that was race based, a southern strategy that was white supremacy fueled. And I'm simply asking

Mr. Biden, as you proudly call yourself a Zionist, as you proudly say you stand by Israel almost by any means necessary, that is offensive to too

many, first of all, from a humanitarian perspective, but then you have Palestinians living right here in this country who are offended by what --

by the stance of Mr. Biden.

And so, yes, Mr. Biden has done some good things, that cannot be denied. In this instance, I'm concerned that he's getting in his own way. And when he

gets in his way, he may well be getting in the way of the future of democracy, for the lack thereof in this country.

MARTIN: Some people look at the same history you just cited and draw the opposite conclusion. The progressive left having abandoned LBJ is what

paved the way for a Richard Nixon who had zero sympathy for and interest in their goals.


MARTIN: But there are those who would say, you know, that's exactly why you need to put aside those feelings and support this president because his

-- the alternative is worse, who has zero sympathy for the Palestinian cause and most other things that progressives care about. And what do you

say to that?

HAYNES III: Yes, I say that exactly. The other side would be disastrous. As a matter of fact, it would be multiplied what is going on right now,

that cannot be denied. I also will clap back and say, it's not that the center left abandoned LBJ. LBJ abandoned the principles and values of the

central left. And we're saying right now, Mr. Biden has abandoned the principles of redeeming the soul of America. He's abandoned the center

left. And so, we're calling him back. Learn the lessons of history. Mr. President.

MARTIN: Are your congregants specifically talking about the election year? And, you know, the fact that it is an election year, does that come up in

your conversations? And are they talking to you about Trump and are they talking to you about Biden? And if so, what do they say?

HAYNES III: Oh, without question. And this is the earliest. I've been pastoring 40 years. So, I've seen a number of presidential election years.

This is the earliest that I have experienced an energized conversation about the election I've ever experienced


And I have to be honest, it's -- I won't say it's frightening, but it's concerning, in light of the stubbornness that is perceived as it relates to

the administration and their posture in the Middle East.

And so, I'm hearing conversations. And there are those who are saying, oh, I'm going to vote. And I'm not crazy enough to vote the other side. I'm not

going to vote for Mr. Biden. I'll go third-party. Well, my clap back is well, they don't have enough money to mount a serious threat. And so, a

vote for a third-party is a vote for who you really, really don't want. And so, that escalates the conversation. Well, I'm still not going to vote for

Mr. Biden.

And, you know, so it's -- I mean, the conversations are, how should I put it, the temperature is a lot higher than it normally is because there are

those who are really, really concerned. I also have members who will say, well, it's back to voting for the lesser of two evils. I hope Mr. Biden

does not want to be considered the lesser of two evils, but that's what many are saying.

MARTIN: You know, at the start of the war, there was this poll taken by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It found that 48 percent of

black respondents said at that time that they didn't feel connected to either the Israeli or Palestinian side or plight, I guess I would say.


MARTIN: Do you think that that's changed?

HAYNES III: Oh, without question, that has changed. Especially, I would wonder if that poll involved or engaged young people. Because when I look

at the young people in my congregation and in the community, the young people are on fire. Because again, this is a generation that, on their cell

phones, they have notifications coming at them all of the time. And those notifications, I promise you, continue to enrage what they see as this

country being complicit in what is going on because they feel a connection with what is happening to the Palestinians. So --

MARTIN: And why is that? Why do you think that is?

HAYNES III: They can also relate to because we are only three and a half years removed from the summer of George Floyd. We are only three and a half

years removed from Breonna Taylor and what happened to so many during that summer where we saw in real-time such horrors.

And so, you're talking about a response from the world community, especially young people in the world community to the horrors they saw in

the United States that was taking place. And I promise you, that same demographic, they have a moral compass, a moral consciousness that says

with Martin King Jr., injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. If you don't have justice for all, there's not justice at all.

MARTIN: As we are sitting now, 30,000 people -- at least 30,000 people have already been killed.


MARTIN: And, you know, huge swaths of the Gaza Strip have already been destroyed. And hundreds of thousands of people have already been displaced.

And I just wonder, in some ways, is it almost too late?

HAYNES III: Well, I believe it's not too late. I think it becomes too late if this lingers. It becomes too late if we do not, in a responsible way,

negotiate healing, a healing process to a strip that has been devastated and broken. It's time for America to step up and provide moral, clear


And if that takes place and healing begins, then the good news is things can turn around. But healing, and I must say this, must be on the terms of

those who have been broken, those who have been hurt and not on our terms imputing what we think healing is as an empire that participated in so much

of the brokenness.

MARTIN: Reverend Frederick Hayes III, thank you so much for speaking with us today.

HAYNES III: And thank you.


AMANPOUR: And finally, we end tonight on a different note, remembering one of Broadway's brightest lights, Chita Rivera, who died peacefully on

Tuesday. She was 91. Originating roles in iconic musicals like "Chicago" and "West Side Story."


Rivera was beloved by the nation receiving the Special Tony Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In light of her

passing, President Biden named this triple threat singer dancer actor "an all-time great of American musical theater." While Puerto Rican actress

Rita Moreno called Rivera the essence of Broadway.

That is it for now. And we want to leave you with this clip of Rivera on the "Judy Garland Show" in the 1960s, doing what she always did best,

performing a cover of a 1935 folk song, "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin." Thanks for watching. Goodbye from London.