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Interview With Senator Angus King (I-ME); Interview With Road To Recovery CEO Yael Noy; Interview With Journalist And Author Sarah Helm; Interview With "Life After Power" Author Jared Cohen. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired February 12, 2024 - 13:00   ET



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


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay.


AMANPOUR: American allies aghast after Trump invites Putin to invade NATO countries. I get reaction from independent U.S. Senator Angus King.

Then --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is an operation that we have been preparing for a while.


AMANPOUR: Israel rescues two hostages and the death toll in Gaza shoots up. I speak to Israeli charity CEO Yael Noy about carrying on her mission to

help sick Palestinians.

And Netanyahu targets Rafah even as Biden urges restraint. Journalist Sarah Helm joins me on what could be coming.

Plus --


JARED COHEN, AUTHOR, "LIFE AFTER POWER": We've never looked at the most dramatic retirement in the world.


AMANPOUR: -- "Life After Power." Author Jared Cohen talks to Walter Isaacson about presidents finding purpose after leaving the White House.

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

As Vladimir Putin continues his quest to control Ukraine, Donald Trump gives the Kremlin leader a green light to invade America's own allies. The

GOP presidential frontrunner raised alarms in Washington and around the world after saying this.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, well, sir, if we

don't pay and we're attacked by Russia, will you protect us? I said, you didn't pay? You're delinquent? He said, yes. Let's say that happened. No, I

would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills. And the money

came flowing in.


AMANPOUR: NATO's leader stepped in with some quick damage control. He said Trump is putting Europe and America at risk. This as U.S. lawmakers worked

over the weekend trying to get an aid bill passed for Ukraine and Israel.

President Biden says the failure of Congress to support Ukraine would amount to criminal negligence. The President is also growing publicly more

frustrated with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling operations in Gaza over the top.

Independent Senator Angus King spent the weekend with colleagues working on this foreign aid bill, just days after making an impassioned speech on the

Senate floor.


SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): Whenever people write to my office, they say, why are we supporting Ukraine? I answer, Google Sudetenland 1938. We could have

stopped a murderous dictator who was bent on geographic expansion at that time. I say we, the West, at a relatively low cost. The result of not doing

so was 55 million deaths. That chapter has haunted me because it echoes so strongly in what's happening now in Ukraine.


AMANPOUR: And Senator King, welcome now to the program. That was a very, very dramatic and historically focused comment. And I wonder what your

colleagues, you know, said to you about that, or do you think it will focus them to eventually pass this aid bill?

KING: Well, I got good -- I got a good response from my colleagues. A lot of them saw it, or they saw the video of it. And most of them agree. When I

say most, last night, we got, I think, 67 votes to move forward on the Supplemental Bill. That's a pretty good indication of solid bipartisan

support. And I'm deeply hopeful that that support will continue over the next couple of days as we work through this process to get this bill --

this crucial bill passed.

As you point out, Christiane, this is historically important. It would be a catastrophe if the United States walked away from Ukraine in this

situation. It would embolden Putin. It would embolden Xi Jinping. It would undermine the confidence of our allies. There could not be a worse mistake

in the 21st century than walking away, quitting on Ukraine.


AMANPOUR: Senator King, you said about emboldening adversaries like Putin. So, what is your assessment? How did you take Trump's comment, which we

played, at a campaign rally essentially, he used the word encourage Putin to do whatever the hell he likes?

KING: Well, when I first saw it, I thought it was a joke. I thought it was some, you know, parody or A.I. generated fake. I mean, I can't imagine

someone saying -- like saying that.

The essence of our national security strategy for 80 years has been deterrence. The best war is the one that's never fought. And the way to

avoid fighting a war is your adversaries know that they will face overwhelming results and consequences if they commit aggression.

To have said something like that, which basically he said to Putin, I don't care what the hell you do if they haven't chipped in adequately, according

to his standards, is unbelievable. I mean, it just sort of -- it completely undermines the concept of deterrence because it's not only deterrence, it's

an invitation.

And by the way, on -- in terms of support for Ukraine, I often hear around here, well, we're doing too much. The Europeans aren't doing enough.

Christiane, as a percent of GDP, we are 15th in the world in terms of our support for Ukraine. Number 15. Virtually, all the European countries are

ahead of us. I think Estonia is contributing something like five times as a percent of their GDP than we are.

So, this idea that the European countries aren't stepping up, aren't participating, as I said on the floor that day, is just bunk.

AMANPOUR: And actually, just a week or so ago, the Europeans very conspicuously stepped in with a 50 billion dollar -- or euro aid package

for Ukraine while, I'm sorry to say, you in the United States are still fumbling around.

Can I -- I know that you're trying to get them to pass it. But I want to ask you more about this Trump quote. You know, the secretary general of

NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, doesn't usually quickly rush out to talk about internal, you know, U.S. policy or statements by -- you know, by

candidates, but he did immediately step out and in a prepared statement said that any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines

all of our security, including that of the U.S. and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.

So, that's that point. I want to ask you whether like some of Trump's defenders, do you think that was just a Trumpian crazy comment on a

campaign or do you believe that Trump should be taken at his word given that he is the frontrunner, you know, for the GOP?

KING: Well, another quote I used in that speech that you played a clip of was Maya Angelou who once said, if someone tells you who they are, you

should believe them. He told us who he was. He told us what his policy would be. He's been threatening one way, shape or form to get out of NATO

since he was in the presidency.

So, this comment was shocking. And as I say, pretty much unbelievable. But it's consistent with the direction that he's been moving ever since. It

goes this whole idea of America first. You know, that has echoes from the 1930s. And that means we don't keep our commitments. We don't side with our


But NATO has worked. It held the Soviet Union in check for 70 -- 60, 70 years. And to undermine the confidence that our allies have, and also to

invite aggression from Vladimir Putin is the sheerest folly.

I -- as you can see, I'm -- for a U.S. senator, I'm sort of speechless. It was really an amazing, appalling statement.

AMANPOUR: You know, as you heard, President Biden, along with the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, essentially said that if the Senate doesn't

approve the foreign aid package it's close to criminal neglect.

Republican Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, made a big appeal. You know, GOP Mitch McConnell made a big appeal over the weekend.

Just take a listen.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I know it's become quite fashionable in some circles to disregard the global interests we have as a global power. To

bemoan the responsibilities of global leadership. This is idle work of idle minds. And it has no place in the United States Senate.


AMANPOUR: I mean, again, that's pretty direct commentary and advice to the Senate, of which you are a member, of course, and you were probably there

when he was saying that. So, we talked a little bit about whether you think this bill is actually going to get through.


KING: Well, number one, I was there when he made that speech, and it was a very powerful speech. And as I say there's strong bipartisan support. We

got 67 votes last night. I think we could be headed toward even a more lopsided vote in the next few days. I certainly hope so. But are we going

to get it done? I think so.

Here's what's going on now. And as is typical in many pieces of major legislation, both sides have amendments that they'd like to raise. In order

to process amendments, you have to have a time agreement. Because under the arcane rules of the Senate, each amendment theoretically could take hours

and, in fact, even days before you would get to a vote on the amendment.

So, it involves a little bit of comedy, a little bit of cooperation to say, OK, we're going to do the amendments, but we're going to collapse the time.

Right now, several of the members are saying, we're not going to cooperate. We're not going to collapse the time. We're going to require this, you

know, for -- to go for weeks.

And I think once that happens, if indeed that's what happens, we may end up moving to this bill without amendments, which would be a shame. But I think

the people who want the amendment should be the ones saying, hey, let's make a reasonable arrangement here so we can get this thing done.

AMANPOUR: And can I just switch a little bit to, you know, another very, very difficult war, and that's the one in the Middle East? Which

increasingly, President Biden and his team are publicly expressing frustration with their ally, Netanyahu in Israel, and urging restraint on

civilians and a proper workable plan to remove any civilians from Gaza out of harm's way. How that would happen is difficult to say. But, you know,

even the British foreign secretary has said, you know, that they are very, very concerned.

What do you think U.S. policy should be right now on this issue, given the, according to the -- you know, the Palestinian health authorities, you know,

there's 20 -- nearly 28,000 dead, including children in Gaza since October 7th?

KING: Well, three weeks ago yesterday, I was in Benjamin Netanyahu's -- in a meeting with him, you know, directly across the table and made the same

point. One of the points I made was the bombing that you're now doing is harming Israel and civilians more than Hamas. It's counterproductive. And

the same goes with their sort of half-baked lack of cooperation with humanitarian aid. Now, we're talking about an attack on Rafah.

You've got to remember that a month and a half, two months ago, the Israelis were saying, move out of Gaza City, move south to the civilians,

move to the south of Gaza, because we're going to concentrate and get Hamas. The civilians did that. And now, they're talking about attacking the

very regions where the civilians went in order to seek safety.

I understand the president's frustration. Benjamin Netanyahu, if he were here, he would say the Israeli people are shocked and horrified by what

happened on October 7th, the worst attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust in Israel, and you've probably been there, Christiane, in Israel,

it's still October 7th. That horrendous act is still reverberating.

However, what the Israelis -- the Israelis need to go after Hamas, but the question is how to do it and how to minimize civilian casualties because --

and this is what I said to Netanyahu, I said, you may be winning on the ground -- and I'm not even sure that's happening now, you may be winning on

the ground, but you're losing the information war.

And this bombing of civilians, finagling with aid and those kinds of things are not doing Israel any good. I said this as a friend of Israel and as a

supporter of Israel, but this is a very difficult situation. One idea that I've suggested to the White House is that we move one or two hospital ships

to the Mediterranean on the side of Gaza.

Gaza borders the Mediterranean. Let's move those hospital ships there so important health care can be provided without Hamas being in the basement.

And I think that's a way that the United States could make a really significant contribution.

AMANPOUR: Yes, and one of your allies, France, has done that, and it actually has worked. So, that would be interesting to see. Can I just

finally ask you, because it looks like it's going to be a Biden-Trump matchup. Bob Bauer, who's President Biden's personal lawyer, said the

special counsel report about Biden's memory went "off the rails."

So, from your perspective as an independent, when it comes to November, what do you think voters will think? Are they going to be focused on

Biden's age or Trump's volatility in the kind of things that he said about Russia and the like?


KING: I think the answer is both. There's no question from just talking to people, polls, all the information that people are concerned about the

president's age. They're also concerned about the nature of Donald Trump, what he's talking about doing, the damage he would do to the country. So,

it is a concern.

I think what Joe Biden has to do, between now and November, is demonstrate to the American people that he hasn't lost a step. That he's able to give

and take and work in an open and unrehearsed setting and convince them -- the American people that he's still got it. That's going to be -- it's

going to be an issue in the campaign. There's no reason to deny it. And we'll just have to see how and in what way the president steps up.

AMANPOUR: Senator Angus King, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

And, as we said, two hostages are free today after Israel conducted an overnight operation in Rafah to rescue them. The two men are dual Israel-

Argentine nationals, and Argentina's new president thanked Israel. The operation also killed dozens of Palestinians in Rafah. And access to food,

water, and medicine is growing increasingly limited.

Before October 7th, Israeli charity Road to Recovery worked tirelessly to help take sick Palestinians, mostly children, from Gaza to Israeli

hospitals. On October 7th, Hamas killed some of the volunteers. Amid the 1,200 Israelis who were slaughtered were women like Vivian Silva, who

worked for this charity.

But despite such horror, the charity is vowing to continue its work. Why? Well, CEO Yael Noy says that, I'm fighting to be good. I'm fighting to stay

moral when both sides are in such terrible pain, I'm fighting to be the same person I was before. And she's joining us now from Tel Aviv.

Yael Noy, welcome to the program and thank you for being with us. I want to just start with that statement because it's pretty profound and goes to the

heart of humanity. And I wonder how you have been able to keep your humanity after this horror that your friends and relatives and people have

been subjected to?

YAEL NOY, CEO, ROAD TO RECOVERY: I really don't know. I just couldn't stop. I thought I just -- must keep on doing what I'm doing because otherwise I

will driving nuts, you know. It was so -- such a terrible days and we are still in those terrible days. So, I think when I'm doing my job, I'm just

taking care of myself. You know, before even the Palestinians, I'm just taking care of our society to stay moral and good because it's really,

really hard in these days to do it.

AMANPOUR: Tell me, what did you used to do -- just for our audience to understand, what did your group used to do before October 7th?

NOY: We're doing the same now. We take a Palestinian that need to go to treatment in Israel. So, we are picking them up from the checkpoints in the

early morning to the hospital, and while they finish, we're -- they're calling us and we're taking them back to the checkpoints. So, we did it

with Gaza patient and also the West Bank patient.

And since the 8th of October, we take just the people from the West Bank because we have no border with Gaza now.

AMANPOUR: So, you know, just some of the stats. Before October 7th, your organization, Road to Recovery, ferried more than 1,500 Palestinian

patients from Gaza and the West Bank to hospitals inside Israel every year.

And of course, you were taking them to aid that was completely unavailable for them in the Palestinian territories. And way back in May, before the

attacks, you said, I couldn't live here without doing something. We live in such a complex and difficult reality. This is a tiny gesture I do in order

to face this reality.

I'm assuming from what you said, you stand by that now. But how has your relationship changed in the intervening months between yourself and those

Palestinians who you are still helping, between you and your group?

NOY: I don't think we change. We're still -- we -- I have a lot of friends, also colleagues in Gaza and in the West Bank, and we keep on trying to be -

- I don't know enough to say friends, but we -- to be neighbors, like a good relationship between both of us because both of the society will stay

here even after the war. So we are doing just the same.


Sometimes in the ride, while I'm taking while patient, there is silence in the car and they sometimes even get sleep. But I think that the time that

we are together is like seeds of hope for the other days that they know us and we know them and they will remember that we give us our hand, even in

those terrible times.

AMANPOUR: And to remind people, many of the Israelis who were in those villages and kibbutz is near the Gaza border have had to be evacuated to

other parts. So, you're doing this -- or many of your volunteers even having been, you know, forced to relocate.

You have a nephew -- a couple of nephews in the IDF and your brother's a pilot in the air force. How does your family react? How do your Israeli

friends who are not involved in this work react to your continued outreach?

NOY: Wow. I think this is the hardest thing because with my family, with my brother I try not to talk a lot about what I'm doing now because it it's

very painful. You know, all of our society is so wounded now and I don't want to hurt anyone about talking about what I'm doing, because I know some

of them really don't like it.

So, I'm keep on doing it, but I'm more cautious when I'm talking about it in -- to the Israeli society because some of them say now you have to

choose a side. You cannot help the enemy, even though I don't think those patients that I'm taking, they are my enemy at all. But not all of the

people in Israel can hear it right now.

AMANPOUR: Yael, your own parents were hiding on October 7th. They are from the Kibbutz Alumim, which is one of those that was attacked. Tell us how

they managed to survive? How you felt? How that day went down for you?

NOY: Wow. Listen, this was a terrible day. And I think most of the day we didn't understand how bad it is, because my parents are religious. So, in

the beginning, in the morning, their phone was closed. They even don't put on the phone because they're not talking on the phone in Shabbat, you know,

it's a -- they're religious.

So, after a few hours, they understand they should open the phone. And I talked to them and they said they are safe in the safe room, but they are

hearing things outside. And we just asked them to stay safe and not to go out.

My father in the morning, he even didn't know. So, he went to the synagogue, you know, he was just walking in the kibbutz and someone see him

and said, run away. And so, my parents were there in the safe room. And we were driving nuts, me and my sisters and my brother. And we were just

praying that it will end.

AMANPOUR: Well, we're very happy that for them it did end safely. You still have two members of Road to Recovery who are being held hostage. One of

them is Oded Lifshitz, he's 83 years old, and Haim Perry, who's 79. You know, do you think that you're going to see them again?

NOY: Wow. I'm praying for -- every day that they will be back. But, you know, we cannot lose the hope. So, we're just holding the hope and making

the hope every day again and again. They must come back.

AMANPOUR: I want to play this from you -- for you. It was actually October 17th. So, about 10 days after this. We had Sharone Lifshitz here in the

studio for one of our, you know, several interviews with her. And as we know, her mother was one of the first, if not the first, to have been

released early on. This is what she said about her father and his commitment.


SHARONE LIFSHITZ, MOTHER RELEASED BY HAMAS, FATHER STILL HOSTAGE IN GAZA: My father had very strong opinion about things, but he always felt that you

make peace with enemies. That our job is to find a shared ground, I think grounded in humanity, and that there's no alternative. And I don't think

history show us that there is an alternative.


AMANPOUR: And, Yael, one of the ironies is that the people who were attacked were the very people who actually helped a lot with the

Palestinians. And I wonder -- the people who were attacked by Hamas. And I wonder what you think now when you think of your patients, the people in

Gaza, you see the death toll mounting, the injury toll, you know, skyrocketing, do you hear anything from them? Are you able to contact? I

mean, they clearly don't have access to the kind of help you were providing before.


NOY: No, we cannot help them. But we're -- I think the most important thing that I can do now is to be a witness for their suffering, you know, and I'm

talking with them and they call me. And even my dad, he's in in touch with one of the patient that he was taking a small child and he was taking her

and her dad a lot to the hospitals in Israel, and he's in touch now with her father. And he -- they're both worried for each other.

So, I -- we cannot really help them We tried to send medicine in the beginning of the war, but the medicine didn't get into -- they didn't get

them So, now, I just can talk with them and say, I know what they're going through and I'm a witness, you know, just to hold this with them.

AMANPOUR: Yael Noy, Road to Recovery, thank you so much indeed for being with us and continuing your important work.

NOY: Thank you. Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

NOY: Thanks a lot.

AMANPOUR: Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ABC News this weekend that Rafah is "The last bastion of Hamas." President Biden spoke to him for

the first time in weeks and pressured him to ensure the safety of civilians there. Listen to one man say that he feels completely trapped now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If by some misfortune there's an invasion of Rafah, it means that two-thirds of the population will die.

Everywhere else, there's always a way to get out and escape. But we can't get out of Rafah. We have no other alternative. Either we die here or we

die in our homes.


AMANPOUR: Either we die here or we die in our homes, he said. Journalist Sarah Helm knows Gaza well, having visited and worked there, and is

sounding the alarm bell about the consequences of pushing into Rafah next. Welcome, Sarah, to the program.


AMANPOUR: So, you have spent a lot of time as a Middle East correspondent for "The Independent." You've written books and you've spent a lot of time

in that region and specifically in Gaza.

HELM: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Tell us what we need to know about Rafah now. What is the configuration? Where can people go?


AMANPOUR: What can they do to get out of this?

HELM: So, Rafah has long been known as -- it's basically a border town. So, it's right up against the border with Egypt to its south. The Sinai Desert

literally blows in across Rafah. There are these huge -- or there used to be these huge sand dunes on the edge of the town. And then, to its east is

Israel. To its west, is the sea. To its north, is the rest of the Gaza Strip.

So, what has been happening over the last -- since October is that the Israeli army has pushed people south. And their obvious intention, in my

view, has -- and in many people's views, has been to gather everyone by the Rafah Border in such a situation where they create such a horrific

nightmare of crowds, million -- more than a million people pushed up against the border fence, very little access to humanitarian aid, and they

will create a sense of desperation and hysteria that Egypt will have no choice but to open its border, and they will end up going through that.

AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you this, because that gentleman there said, you know, we're either going to die here or in our house, you know. Are you

hearing from people there? Are you in touch with people there now?

HELM: Yes, I am.

AMANPOUR: Because there is a sense of panic we're hearing.

HELM: I think one of the problems is that there isn't any international media on the ground. I speak to people as best I can. I speak to people

outside who are Palestinians with family inside. They are brilliant at being in touch with each other. They have their ways.

So, I spoke, for example, to a very, very good friend last night, a woman translator who's currently in America. And she worked with her a lot. And

she was -- her mother and her two sisters and their husbands and their small babies are all in Gaza. They lived in the middle area.

She gave me a very different picture, not in any big sense, but just kind of a texture. So, they had fled from their house in the middle area, as

everybody else had, to Rafah, and they'd set up their tent, and they'd made their tent with old blankets and old towels, and the babies had no nappies.

And everything that we've been hearing, desperation.

And the mother had said, actually, this is -- we can't tolerate this. This is appalling. We're going to go back. So, a few days ago, they walked back

-- or they didn't walk, they walked some of the way, it's too far, they got a truck or something. And they made their way up the coast road back to the

middle area. And they're back now home.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, this is interesting because the Israeli prime minister or spokespeople have said, well, why don't they just go back to the north?

We've cleared Hamas out of the north. And maybe they're going to go back there. Is that actually possible? Maybe these people had houses left, but -



HELM: Well, I think it's a very, very mixed picture. I think it's very confused, and I think, you know, we're not getting full picture. But what I

can gather, in the north, quite a lot of people didn't leave, less people than you think stayed.

Now, what I'm told is that if you're wandering around and this -- you know, these people have huge connections. All the different groups of

Palestinians in Gaza have set up their own, sort of, if you like, WhatsApp groups. So, there's the Nusrat WhatsApp group. But it's not WhatsApp, it's

their own version of it. Rafah, Gaza, et cetera.

So, apparently, if you're in the north and if you're in Gaza City, you will probably find about three families living in each street, that kind of

thing. Most of it is gone. Most of it is destroyed. But a lot of them are just going back and living in the rubble.

So, I have asked people, so how are you feeding yourselves, particularly in the north? They are incredibly inventive, the Palestinians, and the Gazans

particularly, because they've had to be. And they've -- you know, they're described as the greatest patcher uppers in the world, because that's all

they've ever done. And so, what they're now doing, which I hadn't heard before, is they're going -- a lot of shops and a lot of stores were

destroyed, and supermarkets even in Gaza City, by the rubble. They're going into the rubble of the stores and getting food out. Tins, pasta, rye, stuff

that was in the stores that just went under the rubble. So, they're doing that.

And my friend who's in America at the moment, her little brother, is -- have been -- they've got home now. He is deputed to go out and find food.

And so -- and which he enjoys, because it's kind of something he can contribute to the family's survival. But, you know, they are living --

there are drones over them all the time, and bombs dropping sporadically still now.

But the other important thing to say about that was that I'm told that this middle area, there are very few Israelis in it, and they haven't -- the

army --

AMANPOUR: Is the middle area -- is that Gaza City area?

HELM: No, it's south of Gaza City.

AMANPOUR: South of Gaza City. OK.

HELM: But between Gaza City and Rafah.


HELM: So, it literally is in the middle of the strip. And the Israeli army has not yet pushed or has not pushed right through to the sea, because --

the sea. So, there's a sense of freedom there, in a way, but of course, there's no aid, no nothing. Although they're setting up little clinics.

Now, her mother is a diabetic, and she needs medicine. And I said, how is she doing? She said, well, extraordinarily, there's a little clinic that's

reopened. And I said, who's running it? And she said, volunteers. So, they're incredibly.

AMANPOUR: So, it's a total DIY situation?

HELM: Total DIY situation. So, in terms of your question about can people move back north, I don't think that the Israeli army or the prime minister

or anyone has a clue what they're doing. The Palestinians in Gaza will do what they can if they think they can get back up north.

Now, apparently, when this particular family went north on the sea road, I said, there must have been checkpoints. She said, no, there weren't. I

mean, it was dangerous, obviously. There are drones and there's stuff going on all the time, but they got back. So, I think some of them will start

going back north, yes.

AMANPOUR: You know, in your times that you were there, I wondered, did you have any encounters? Did you interview Hamas leaders?

HELM: Yes. Many.

AMANPOUR: And what did they say about their essential inability to provide for the daily needs of the Palestinians? I mean, there were protests by

Palestinians in Gaza shortly before October 7th. And the fact that, you know, they've spent so much time being "resistance."

HELM: But how could Hamas provide for the inhabitants? There's absolutely no way. Gaza has been under blockade. Everything --

AMANPOUR: But they get the money, you know what I mean. They've been getting $30 million a year. Famously, Netanyahu said -- a month rather,

said it was OK for the -- you know, for the Qataris to send it in, for humanitarian reasons.

HELM: But they can't import anything. I mean, you know, Israel controls everything going in in terms of food aid. I mean, UNRWA -- this brings us

on to the question of UNRWA. I mean, OK, Hamas rules Gaza. And in a way, I always sort of saw it as more as a sort of internal jailers for Gaza,

frankly. They do rule it internally. They control a lot of the stuff.

But in terms of -- which brings me to the most important point that everybody has to remember is that nearly all the people in Gaza are

refugees from 1948. They -- people talk now about going home to the north of Gaza. Actually, where they want to go home to is the villages just

across the fence.



AMANPOUR: That's a whole other story.

HELM: Well, it is, but it's related because I don't think you can understand, or that anybody can understand, the trauma or the way they're

reacting as Palestinians, unless you know this.

AMANPOUR: Yes. They call it. They've called it the new Nakba.

HELM: Yes.

AMANPOUR: They've called it that. But I want to ask you, because this is super important right now, and you mentioned it at the beginning. This idea

of pushing them out into Egypt. Well, you know, the Israelis say it's not their aim. The Americans say we won't support that. The Egyptians have

fortified the border militarily.


HELM: Yes.

AMANPOUR: They don't want that either.


AMANPOUR: It's unlikely to happen, right?

HELM: It's extremely unlikely to happen as things stand, because the Egyptians absolutely won't let them in in the current circumstances. Not so

much because they don't want to let them in, but because to do so is precisely what -- well, back in 1948. So, you let them into Egypt, which is

what a lot of Israeli leaders, by the way, have said.

AMANPOUR: Have said. Yes, we know. Yes.

HELM: And they will never go back. And then you'll just have another set of refugee camps, like you've got in Jordan, like you've got in Lebanon. And

they'll never be able to return. And the Egyptians know that. And the Palestinians themselves don't want to.

But my understanding and my prediction is, unless, you know, world leaders, Biden obviously in particular, step up and see what an abomination is going

on under his watch, what a horrific slaughter and catastrophe has already gone on, then we might have such a humanitarian crisis that the world feels

they've got to let them into Egypt.

AMANPOUR: And including the new foreign secretary, Lord Cameron, has told him to be --

HELM: Indeed.

AMANPOUR: -- think very carefully about any next move.

HELM: Yes.

AMANPOUR: But do you think it's going to have any effect? Lastly, briefly.

HELM: Not on Netanyahu, no, I don't think it will. But I think it might have effect on other world leaders, maybe.

AMANPOUR: Sarah Helm, thank you very much indeed.

HELM: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: That was really interesting on the ground information about the survival of people there.

HELM: Yes, yes.

AMANPOUR: Now, it is no surprise that all eyes are on the U.S. as Joe Biden and Donald Trump vie for the presidency and the most influential job in the

world. But what happens when leaders leave the White House?

In his new book, "Life After Power," former State Department Official Jared Cohen takes a look, a close look, at seven past U.S. presidents and the

paths they took afterwards. And he's joining Walter Isaacson now to share his key takeaways from their stories.


WALTER ISAACSON, CO-HOST, AMANPOUR AND CO.: Thank you, Christiane. And Jared Cohen, welcome to the show.

COHEN: It's good to be here, Walter.

ISAACSON: You know, in 1797, when George Washington leaves office, I was looking at your book, "Life After Power," and I realized that the world

wasn't really -- didn't have many examples of what happens. I mean, Napoleon hadn't yet gone to Elba. We didn't have the life after power

syndrome. Tell me, why did you start writing this book? And what are we looking for when we look about life after power?

COHEN: Look, I've always been interested in this elusive question of what do we do next? And if you think about where we often look for case studies

to inform our own transitions, whoever we are, and whatever we do, it's usually business executives and its athletes.

We've never looked at the most dramatic retirement in the world where you have the biggest fall from power to just being an ordinary civilian, which

is the presidency of the United States. And at a time when we're worried about our democracy, it's important to reflect, even before George

Washington, the founding fathers were very worried about this question of what to do with ex-presidents because they hadn't really experienced the

peaceful transfer of power.

So, it's quite amusing. You know, Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, he asked the question, does it promote the stability of the

republic to have a half a dozen or so men who've been elevated to the presidency basically wandering around us like discontented ghosts?

And more than 200 plus years later, I think we finally get an answer to Hamilton's question, which is ex-presidents could either be, you know, a

tremendous partner to their successor or their most formidable adversary.

AMANPOUR: Well, the person who sort of sets the tone right off is George Washington by doing the peaceful transfer of power, stepping down, being

Cincinnati (ph), so to speak. How important was that?

COHEN: The George Washington precedent of two terms is one of the most important decisions that cements this, you know, kind of idea that ex-

presidents are meant to kind of leave power and stay out of power.

What's interesting is it doesn't get codified until after FDR is elected four times with the 22nd Amendment. So, just because Washington set the

precedent doesn't mean it was formally codified as law. And so, we kind of winged this from George Washington until it was -- the Constitution was

amended, and it pretty much held.

You know, it's interesting. We now find ourselves in 2024 in the only time other than 1892, where we are likely to have a rematch between two

presidents of the United States were the nominees of the two major parties. The only other time that it happened was 1892 when Grover Cleveland came

back to challenge incumbent Benjamin Harrison. So, it gives you a sense of just how off script we've gone from our political evolution.

ISAACSON: Well, in some ways, the precedent for ex-presidents, the model was set by Thomas Jefferson. It's a very interesting chapters in your

chapter in your book. Tell me about why, what he did after power was so important and so reflected, the notion of principle being what you do when

you do a next chapter.


COHEN: So, one of the things I argue in the book is that Thomas Jefferson was the first former president to make something of his post presidential

years. And each chapter looks at a different ex-president and the specific model that they followed.

And what I describe Thomas Jefferson as is he's kind of the quintessential serial entrepreneur or serial founder. He has three things etched on his

epitaph that he personally authored, two of which happened before he was president, including the Declaration of Independence and one that he

accomplished at 82 years old, which was the father and founder of the University of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson never wanted to be president. He tried to retire three times. But as a co-founder of the Republic, he had a founder's obligation

to continue to serve in the republic. And all that did was make him lose time and get closer to mortality. He believed very strongly that the

republic that they had founded was imperfect, and if you didn't create a proper institution, an arts and sciences institution to train the next

generation, you wouldn't be able to pass the torch to a new cadre of revolutionary minded people who could fix and perfect the mistakes that

they made in the Constitution.

And so, UVA was meant to be that university. And poor Thomas Jefferson, when he opens the doors at 82 years old to the university that he had

literally personally architected, you know, six months in, you have a group of young students, you know, covering their faces with mass chanting down

with university professors, throwing bags of urine at professors, beating one with their cane, throwing. And all it takes is Thomas Jefferson at 82

years old to call an all-school assembly before the disciplinary committee that included Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, by the way, the most

intimidating disciplinary committee, past, present, and future. And for him to exude such a status with these students, one by one, they confessed.

And Jefferson remains the only ex-president to create an institution that's now lasted more than 200 years, although every president with their center

and their library and their institution hopes to achieve the same thing.

ISAACSON: Yes, you've said that Jefferson's principles nowadays and current life are somewhat complex. Being scrutinized. And yet, in some ways, as you

mentioned in the book, that's Jeffersonian to do that.

COHEN: Look, this may be a controversial thing to say. I think the very idea that -- I think Jefferson would have found the very idea that his

imperfections and his flaws were criticized by later generations as the norms evolved. I think he would sort of smirk at that and say, I accept

that. And in some respects, I view that as an accomplishment because that is core to my principles. And yes, very. Jeffersonian.

He had a tremendous self-awareness about the imperfections of his own life and what he and his fellow founders had actually architected at the dawn of

the republic. And he had a lot of faith and hope that the next generation would fix those problems. And this is why, you know, when his beloved

University of Virginia is engulfed in a student riot where they're chanting down with university professors, it's so appalling to him because at 82

years old, there's not a lot of time left, and he wanted to make sure that that institution would survive long enough that he could kind of go out

gracefully and be rest assured that the next generation would carry the torch forward.

ISAACSON: I confess my favorite post presidency, at least from deep history, is, of course, John Quincy Adams. Totally amazing what he does,

including, going back to the House of Representatives, but mainly fighting for a particular principle. And that sets the tone for your book, which is

that your next chapter has to be based on principle. Explain what John Quincy Adams did and why he's so important.

COHEN: Out of all the seven presidents that I write right about in "Life After Power," the reason these seven found a greater sense of purpose after

the White House is they had a dogmatic sense of and pursuit of what they were principled about, and they doubled down on that in the post

presidency. And it's part of what made them successful.

In the case of John Quincy Adams, that chapter I call "The Second Act," because John Quincy Adams' presidency, it's just a one term, was an

intermission between two of the greatest acts in American history. The first one architected for him top down and handed to him by his famous

parents that set him on a path to being president.

And the second act was one that he inadvertently found, which was he went on to serve nine terms in the House of Representatives. Were in a much

lower station. He found a much higher cause and became the man who mainstreamed what in the 1830s and 1840s was a fringe and radical

abolitionist movement.

John Quincy Adams begins his career appointed by George Washington to serve in his administration, and he dies in 1848 at his ninth term in the House,

serving alongside a freshman congressman from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. So, he's this living bridge between multiple generations.


And he goes back to the House of Representatives because he's already served every other public position, including in the Senate. So, he doesn't

know what else to do besides serve. And so, he does what any congressman does, you know, in the early 1830s, which is you just start reading

petitions. And some of those petitions were from abolitionists.

And when he saw the reaction of the slaveocracy in Congress, he thought it an affront to the right to petition. And this was the beginning of

something that he was so principled about, which was the freedom of speech, the right to petition, and the right to assemble.

The angrier the slaveocracy got, the more petitions he presented. The more petitions he presented, the more inundated he was with abolitionist

positions. He had not been an abolitionist. And over time he just sort of wakes up one day and finds himself the leader of this movement. And I

believe that the abolitionist movement was accelerated a full decade just in time for Abraham Lincoln to join the House because of John Quincy Adams.

ISAACSON: We biographers sometimes think it's all about (INAUDIBLE) do you think his abolitionist sentiments came from the fact that his father, John

Adams, the second president had that as part of his core?

COREN (on camera): No, I mean, I think what's interesting is John Quincy Adams talks very little about slavery before he goes into the House. And

some of that is a function that in between the Missouri Compromise and the time that John Quincy Adams goes into the House in the early 1830s, it's

just not a hotly debated topic, which, again, is why the abolition abolitionist movement around that time is more fringy and seen as more


And so, he found slavery abhorrent, but it was not a dominant issue during that kind of interregnum. And so, this is what I find so prescriptive about

John Quincy Adams. We always assume for that great second act, you have to know exactly what you wanted to do. Thomas Jefferson knew he wanted to go

found a great university. It was the third volume in his life trilogy.

John Quincy Adams didn't know what his cause was. He knew what he was principled about, and he submitted himself to those principles, and the

cause found him, rather than him finding the cause.

ISAACSON: One of the post presidencies I have trouble getting my head around and assessing, of course, is Herbert Hoover. You say he was once a

hero. And yet, as -- I didn't know this, I read in his book about how, in 1938, he goes and visits Hitler in Germany. Yet he does other things that

are very useful.

How did he end up becoming so much, I guess, more conservative after he leaves office and even setting the ground for appeasement before World War


COHEN: Well, look, some of it is -- you know, he was a Quaker at heart. So, he sorts of loathed the idea of war. You know, the book tells the story of

Herbert Hoover, a man who lived to be 90 years old and is basically defined by three and a half years of his life because of the Great Depression.

People forget that Herbert Hoover, before he became president of the United States, was known as the great humanitarian. He was the man who fed the

world after World War I. He was the man who led relief efforts after the Great Mississippi flood of 1927, you know, which affected mostly African

American populations. He was an orphan who became a self-made millionaire. He was known as a great business executive. And he waltzes into the White

House in 1928 with a sweeping electoral victory.

And he had been courted by Democrats and Republicans alike. So, he was a kind of bipartisan figure. And, you know, when the Great Depression happens

and he loses his bid for reelection in 1932, he loses all that which he had gained in his life. And, you know, feels no regret over his policies over

the Great Depression.

You know, he believes that FDR has essentially manipulated and duped, you know, the country into this idea of collectivism, and it breaks the

entrepreneurial spirit. He was dogmatic in these beliefs. And, so he's in this self-imposed political exile, you know, during the sort of 12 years of

FDR's presidency. And he tries to be a great humanitarian again, go to Europe to sort of stop, you know, the tide of war. He doesn't intend to

meet Hitler, but Europe is the one place, you know, in the entire world where he goes and streets are named after him, and he's popular because he

fed them after starvation, you know, following World War I.

And so, he goes to Germany to meet with, you know, NGOs and the like, and he gets summoned by Hitler. And he becomes the only president and the only

American other than the ambassador who's there with him to meet Adolf Hitler at that particular time. And he comes back to the U.S. and, you

know, the president doesn't want to read out, he doesn't brief anybody, was never summoned to Washington. And just single digit days later, Anschluss


And so, you know, it just shows you the disconnect. But then when Harry Truman becomes president after his 82 days as vice president, he too knew

what it was like to live in FDR's shadow, and there was only one man in the world, as they're staring the end of World War II in the face out on the

horizon, who knew what it was like to be president, knew what it was like to be in FDR's shadow, and knew how to feed the world. And so, he

resurrects Herbert Hoover.


ISAACSON: Jimmy Carter, I think, has had the longest post presidency. And certainly, he's helped redefine the idea of service in a post presidency.

What lessons did you draw from him?

COHEN: So, if Herbert Hoover was a story of recovery. And getting back the sort of the platform that you once had. Jimmy Carter was a different

version of that because he too left office in 1981 deeply unpopular. He made a decision that Herbert Hoover did not make, which was, you know, the

moment he got out of office, he knew he wasn't going to make another run at the presidency.

And so, as he began what he described as his involuntary retirement. You know, he was a man commanded by deep faith and incredibly principled about

this idea that my faith commands me to do whatever I can for as long as I can, whenever I can. And, you know, unshackled from the presidency, he

decided to create the former presidency. And he basically built a post presidential administration that unlike his presidency would never end.

And he was the first former president to build infrastructure around this idea of being a former and make it a platform in and of itself. And he

becomes both a great partner to his successors and a tremendous nuisance to his successors, right? So, the two examples of a nuisance are, you know,

when George H. W. Bush is getting ready to launch Operation Desert Storm to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, Jimmy Carter secretly writes to several

permanent members of the Security Council, you know, trying to advocate them going against the U.S. position.

This was, you know, one of the most successful, you know, U.N. Security Council moments of collective action, not really seen before or after, and

Carter is kind of secretly opposing it. Or in 1994 when Bill Clinton sends Jimmy Carter to Pyong Yang to meet with the leader there, he knows exactly

what Carter's capable of. And so, he tells him, you're a messenger. You're not authorized to make policy. And then Bill Clinton turns on CNN and finds

Jimmy Carter announcing that he's negotiated a nuclear breakthrough on nonproliferation with the North Koreans.

So, look, Jimmy Carter, you know, represents that Alexander Hamilton -- you know, the answer to Hamilton's question of being a formidable adversary or

nuisance to your successor being a partner. And at 42 plus years, he's had the longest active, you know, post presidency. And I think it's ended up

being instructive for every successive presidents that's followed.

ISAACSON: When you look at the lessons in the post presidencies, what do you -- what would you hope that Donald Trump could take from that? What

lessons should he learn from your book?

COHEN: Look, the number one lesson from the book is anybody making a transition, whether it's to retirement or a micro transition in your life,

the sooner you figure out what your core principles are and let those principles guide you, the sooner you're able to extricate yourself from ego

and vanity and lust for power.

And so, I think it's -- if you're looking at sort of dangerous power or, you know, discontented ghosts wandering around us, those that feel like

they lack principles, those that feel like they're meandering without principle are oftentimes the most dangerous people to have aggregated


And so, you know, I think what we're seeing right now is, you know, in addition to this being the only time since 1892 where you have a

presidential rematch, you also have the two oldest candidates in history eclipsed only by the last time, these two same candidates ran against each

other four years prior.

And you have to ask yourself the question, perhaps we're in this situation that we're in where you have the two oldest candidates, they're less

popular than they were four years ago. It's only once repeated rematch. Maybe we're in this situation because you have two presidents that don't

want to give up power.

ISAACSON: Jared Cohen, thank you so much for joining us.

COHEN: Thank you, Walter.


AMANPOUR: And finally, this weekend, we learned that a transformative figure in classical music has died. Seiji Ozawa, conductor of the Boston

Symphony Orchestra for nearly three decades.

Ozawa galvanized the music world with his extraordinary energy and trademark fashion sense. Astride the podium in Nehru jacket and turtleneck,

beads swinging, hair flying, he personified the power of music to build a bridge between Asian and Western music and performers. And he helped ease

relations between Washington and Beijing when he led a groundbreaking orchestral tour of China.


I got to see Ozawa in action myself in Europe in the early '70s. His brilliance and his dynamic energy left a deep impression. And in 2015,

Ozawa was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor by President Obama. It was his last trip to the United States.

And that is it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. And remember, you can always

catch us online, on our website, and all-over social media.

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.