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Interview With Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba; Interview With "The Zone Of Interest" Director Jonathan Glazer; Interview With Haaretz Editor-In-Chief Aluf Benn. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired February 20, 2024 - 13:00   ET



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

The cost of defending democracy is bloody. As Ukraine also remembers the lives lost in the Maidan democracy protests 10 years ago.

Then --


DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We wouldn't lose Avdiivka if we had received all the artillery ammunition that we needed to defend it.


AMANPOUR: -- Ukraine's foreign minister tells me his forces lack weapons and ammunition. And he asks the West, do you actually still believe in

yourself? Our conversation here in Kyiv.

Plus, "The Zone of Interest," the Oscar nominated film about life next door to Auschwitz. I speak to director Jonathan Glazer about its important

relevance today.

Also, ahead. Israel's self-destruction, Netanyahu, the Palestinians, and the price of neglect. Walter Isaacson speaks to Aluf Benn, editor-in-chief

of Haaretz.

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

Today, Ukraine remembers lives lost a decade ago when police and government forces opened fire on protesters at Maidan Square, not far from where I am

now. They were demonstrating against then President Yanukovych's decision to turn away from the European Union and towards Moscow under Putin's

pressure. More than 100 people died, a group known here as the Heavenly Hundred. President Zelenskyy says they are being honored on the



VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Today, Ukraine honors the memory of their feet, the memory of how Ukrainians can

fight for their freedom in the squares, on the barricades, and today at the front. The memory that in the most difficult moments of history, we never

give up.


AMANPOUR: Ten years on, that struggle against Russia's grip is proving more urgent and more costly, more costly for Ukraine than ever before. It has

lost the frontline town of Avdiivka, which it had held for a decade since Russia's initial 2014 invasion. And from there, harrowing stories are now

emerging of injured Ukrainian soldiers who've been left behind.

As we found, the country is reeling from the lack of ammunition, weapons, and the loss of so many sons and daughters struggling to hold Russia at



AMANPOUR (voice-over): At first it looks beautiful, all the colors, the sheer density flying in the wind, so much Ukrainian yellow and blue. But

when you realize that each flies above the body of a beloved, the pain is palpable.

A mother cries for her son. He came from Poland, from abroad, says Lyubov (ph). He went to liberate our Ukraine. He said, Mom, I'm going to defend

you. A woman seems to be talking to her fallen loved one.

And this widow, Nataliya, moves in for a kiss. Her husband, who had volunteered for the Eastern Front, was killed just shy of his 30th birthday

five months ago, when shrapnel hit his head, leaving her and her small children alone.

I'm proud of my husband because his sacrifice is worth a lot, says Nataliya. I believe that it's the duty of every man to defend his homeland.

Having three children, he could have not gone, but understood that he was going to defend us.

Lychakiv Cemetery in the western city of Lviv is like cemeteries all over Ukraine today.

AMANPOUR: Two years ago, this was a grass field. Today, it's a field of flags and the graves of those who've fallen defending this country. And on

this two-year anniversary, families are asking whether Ukraine can continue leaving it up to their volunteers, or whether there needs to be a call up

to mobilize for the front.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Nataliya agrees. Yes, definitely, she says, because if we don't defend ourselves, what kind of fate awaits us next? And if we

don't defend our lands, Russia will be here soon.


In the center of Lviv, there is a small recruitment office for the Army's 3rd Assault Brigade just through this courtyard. Sergeant Pavlo Dokin is in

charge, and he shows us in.

AMANPOUR: So, Pavlo, this is the recruitment office, the recruitment center, yes?

AMANPOUR (voice-over): It is exhausting, not only physically, but also for morale. Soldiers need to have normal rotations, Pavlo tells me, so that

they can rest from all of that and start working with renewed vigor.

The office is open all week, sometimes a few show up, sometimes none. While we were there, just one.

AMANPOUR: Why do you want to be in the military?

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Someone needs to defend our Ukraine, says Volodymyr (ph), a 43-year-old builder.

And that's the point. Starting a third year of full-scale war against the Russian invasion, they are heavily outmanned, and vital weapons and

ammunition for their fight are tangled up in Washington's political gridlock, under Former President Donald Trump's direction.

Speaking to world leaders in Munich this past weekend, President Zelenskyy said he'd invite him to see the war with his own eyes.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: If Trump -- Mr. Trump, if he will come, I'm ready even to go with him to the front line.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Back at the 3rd Assault Brigade, this poster says, rush to the decisive battle. And they did that this weekend, just as the

small town of Avdiivka in the east was falling, to help withdraw forces before they could be encircled by the Russians. At least then they could

live to fight another day.

President Zelenskyy told me, for every Ukrainian killed in that battle, there were seven Russian deaths.

ZELENSKYY (through translator): I'm telling you, frankly, we don't have long-range weapons. Russia has it, and we have too little of that. That's

true. That's why our main weapon today is our soldiers, our people.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Back at the cemetery in Lviv, the people, the bereaved, say the nation needs a new call up, if it can properly arm them.

I would say they should, says Lyubov (ph), but only if they had weapons. The guys have no weapons, they have nothing to fight with. Believe me. My

child used to buy his own uniform with his own money.

And here, more ground is already being prepared. The fight for freedom and democracy will be bloody, hard, and long.


AMANPOUR (on camera): Well, some are stepping up even more to help in the fight. Canada says it will up its donations with 800 drones to Kyiv. While

Sweden has announced its largest support package so far, a record $683 million.

Earlier, I spoke to Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba. As this war approaches its third year, an anxiety about the allies staying power is

running high.


AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister, welcome back to our program.

KULEBA: It's good to see you back in Kyiv.

AMANPOUR: Because we met a couple of days ago at the Munich Security Conference. And there you heard your president. I interviewed him on stage.

He gave a speech. And he's particularly, first, invited President Trump to come and see the front line for himself and then urged the Congress, urged

the United States primarily to deliver what its promised. Do you think that's going to happen?

KULEBA: Yes. I think it is going to happen because the United States of America, irrespective of their political affiliations, understand that what

is at stake in Ukraine goes far beyond Ukraine and is of national interest, national security interest to the United States.

We regret that it's taking so much time. We suffer from enormously insufficient supply of artillery, ammunition, and other types of weapons.

And therefore, all we can do is just to urge to make things happen faster to save lives here in Ukraine and to allow us to keep our territory under

control and liberate those territories which were occupied by the Russians.

AMANPOUR: So, both President Biden and yourself and others have said that essentially the slow rolling of aid is showing up on the front line. And

you have said, we are paying with our lives for the failure or the slowness of certain Europe to ramp up its defense industries.

KULEBA: Yes. Again, yes. The problem, and our European partners recognize that, is that it took them too much time to admit that they have to invest

long-term into production of weapons. I mean, let's be frank, the weapon production is not the most popular area for investment in Europe. Europe

has -- is used to living in peace. But --


AMANPOUR: It's because your countries allowed the peace dividend when the fall of the Soviet Union happened.

KULEBA: Without a single drop of blood. But now, there is a war, and the Europeans have to accept the fact that the era of peace in Europe is over.

Whether someone likes it or not, it's over, and you have to invest long- term in the production of weapons. And I'm making the point when I speak to my European colleagues that every piece of weapon, every round of

ammunition produced in Europe should serve the purpose of defending Europe. And the place where Europe is being defended is Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: I want to read something from my panel on stage, and I know you heard it all, Senator Pete Ricketts, Nebraska Republican. He actually at

least showed up. Senator Lindsey Graham did not show up. He was actually meant to be on that panel, and he's a senior in -- you know, in the

security establishment. I'm going to play this, what Pete Ricketts said.


SEN. PETE RICKETTS (R-NE): It takes time to bring democracies along, and the same thing is going to happen in the United States. We will get there

with regard to making the investments in our defense industrial base, supply the weapons to Ukraine, but it's going to take time to get there.

There may be different paths to get there.

I'm reminded of Winston Churchill's, "Americans would do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities."


AMANPOUR: That's what he said. What and how long can Ukraine hold out for America to do the right thing?

KULEBA: Well, we will not fall whatever happens. But if we want to save lives, if we want to decrease the cost of repelling the Russian aggression,

then the assistance has to come literally tomorrow. People have to understand one simple thing, adopting the law is important, but delivering

stuff to the front line takes time.

And while this decision is still pending and then add logistics, all of this time, our soldiers will be sacrificing their lives at the front line,

holding up against an overwhelming force of Russia. They are making miracles, and they must be credited for that. But the reason they have to

sacrifice themselves and die is because someone is still debating a decision.

And I respect domestic politics. We do not interfere into it. But I just want everyone to remember that every day of debate in one place means

another death -- a death in another place.

AMANPOUR: Or the fall of a town or a city. While we were talking in Munich, Avdiivka fell. Some hundreds of Ukrainians who were wounded were unable to

be evacuated. And as -- you know, as your commander said, the Russians were advancing over the, you know, corpses that were in their way.

And now, we hear -- we see pressure being put on the Kharkiv region. Can you hold out? You say you will not fall, but a big town has fallen or a

medium sized town, and they're putting pressure on the second biggest city in Ukraine right now.

KULEBA: We wouldn't lose Avdiivka if we had received all the artillery ammunition that we needed to defend it. That is my answer to your question.

AMANPOUR: Simple as that.

KULEBA: I don't think it requires any additional comments. There is a war. This war will continue. Russia does not intend to pause. Russia does not

intend to withdraw. They will undertake other offensive operations, and they always act in a very simple, I would say, even salami tactics. They

slice one town or one village, and then they focus all of their resources on another one.

So, once Avdiivka is under their control, they will undoubtedly choose another town and or city and begin to storm it with ruthless -- in a

ruthlessly systematic way.

The only good news here is that they are unable -- and we should not overestimate the might of Russia. They are unable to maintain large-scale

operations simultaneously along the front line. They don't have resources for that. But they switch on one city, one town after another. And, you

know, the fall of one city means that someone else -- someone else's time has come.

AMANPOUR: So, here's the thing. Your president said in Munich that the battle for Avdiivka was the biggest defeat since Bakhmut, which also was a

big psychological blow to your side and a psychological, you know, reinforcement to their side. He said for every one Ukrainian killed, seven

Russians were killed.

OK. Let's just say that is the fact. But they are pumping out so much more ammunition. Their defense industry is up and running in a way that NATO

never imagined. They're pumping out tanks, hundreds of them. You know, hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds. They're probably going to call

up another several hundred thousand people to fight this war.

Are you really sure that they're not winning and that they might not in the next year?


KULEBA: Well, they're not winning because you and I are talking. You know, we were not supposed to talk here because the position of Ukraine's foreign

minister would not exist by now. Russia wanted to destroy Ukraine in three days. We're still talking, and Russia is far away from taking over the

whole country.

AMANPOUR: But people are telling us that it's almost today like it was in the bad days, the beginning of the war when nobody expected you to be able

to stand.

KULEBA: Yes. But the this is exactly the point. No one -- again, you know, you did not -- not you personally, but some people in the West did not

expect Ukraine to actually survive the Russian attack. Today, they do not expect that Ukraine will stand against Russia.

I don't have a question to Ukrainians, actually. I have a question to the West. Do you actually believe in yourself? Because if you're not able to

win and to help us win in this war, who else are you able to help? It's very simple.

What is -- again, this is what is happening here, it's not just between Russia and -- a mess between Russia and Ukraine, the whole global order is

being tested. And if Europe, America, Canada, other partners are not able to match the production of artillery ammunition, then someone else is

watching you guys. And someone else understands that you will not be able to oppose him in different place -- parts of the world.

AMANPOUR: When we spoke last summer on this very balcony, you were telling me that there is going to be a ramp up in Ukraine's defense industry. Is

that happening?

KULEBA: It did happen. We ramped up our production enormously. We started to produce ammunition that we had not been producing for years. We will

produce more than 1 million drones in 20 24. We did our best, but -- and we will keep ramping up and beefing up our defense industry. This is why we

are working so much on co-production with other countries.

But there is not a single country in the world that can single handedly satisfy the needs of the world of this scale. And this is why we are

calling on all our partners, call it NATO plus. All our partners should create kind of a common collaborative space for defense industries for them

to collectively oppose the aggression that can take place in any part of the world.

AMANPOUR: To that end, you know, clearly President Zelenskyy wants to bring the Global South on side. They seem to be more sympathetic or more

receptive to Russia and to Russia's story. And I just wondered whether you are making any diplomatic inroads into bringing more of the U.N. community,

you know, to understand what this is, a war of aggression and invasion?

KULEBA: Absolutely. This is our big focus. And right after talking to you, I will be having a phone call with a foreign minister of one Latin American

country. And every week, we're talking to Latin America, Asia, Africa, engaging them, explaining them. But Russia also has its foot in these

regions. And of course, this is a different type of a diplomatic war that is being fought.

AMANPOUR: You spoke with the Chinese, your counterpart at Munich, I think, and Wang Yi promised that China, "Will not add fuel to the fire, take

advantage of opportunities to reap gains, or sell lethal weapons in conflict zones or to parties."

Are you convinced that they're not putting their thumb on the thing on the scales for Russia?

KULEBA: Not in terms of weapons supply. We don't have any evidence that would suggest that China is supplying Russia with any types of weapons, but

North Korea does. And North Korea -- and China has leverage on North Korea. So, you know, there are ways to operate in this world.

But yes, I mean, I can confirm what Minister Wang Yi told -- what you just quoted. And we had a very meaningful conversation with him focusing

actually -- exactly on the peace effort on how to make Russia act in good faith when it comes to ending the war in Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: What did they think about the death of Navalny? You say act in good faith. A lot of people have said -- and you told me this when

Prigozhin was killed. You said, how can we trust Russia when they don't even keep to their promise? You remember that Putin had promised Prigozhin

safe passage.


KULEBA: Well, we -- the death of Alexei Navalny was not an issue in my conversation with a Chinese counterpart. But I think this murder can strip

President Putin of the title president. I mean, you cannot consider him as a legitimate ruler if he does not stick to his word and his solution -- and

his most conventional way of doing things is to promise something and then kill a person he gave a promise to in order to waive himself of this


This is not a person you can truthfully negotiate with. So, it is needed to find the way how to force or motivate him to act in good faith. And this

was the purpose of our conversation.

AMANPOUR: I don't know whether you've seen "The Washington Post" story. They've found documents in which there is evidence, they say, that the

Russians, Putin and the establishment there, are using all sorts of known tactics, you know, the troll farms and other issues to sow disunity in this

country, disunity between President Zelenskyy and other leaders here to try to convince the people of Ukraine that, you know, Zelenskyy is not popular

or whatever, that there should be elections where there haven't been elections. Are you aware of this?

KULEBA: I don't need to read a "Washington Post" article to learn something that I'm living in the middle of. I mean, we've been in this since our --

since 1991 when we gained independence. Russia has always systemically tried to sow divisions and undermine unity in Ukraine because, you know,

divide and rule was -- is their strategy.

But, yes, you're absolutely right. What they are now trying to do is to shatter the unity in the society, to sow divisions between political class

and public opinion, to put in question the legitimacy of the president. I mean, the country that knows no democracy puts in question the legitimacy

of a democratically elected president. This what they do. But they do it not only in Ukraine, but in other places as well.

AMANPOUR: But here, two years on, in the midst of a terrible war, a grinding war with so many casualties on the eastern front, do people remain


KULEBA: I think so. But people are tired. That's so -- and the more tired you get, the more emotional you become. So, this why Russia feels that this

the time to move in and try to play with it. But as long as we're united, we have a chance to win.

AMANPOUR: There are others who've asked about elections. For instance, they're meant to be elections, but there's martial law, so there won't be

elections. What does that say about Ukraine's democracy and its commitment to democracy?

KULEBA: Well, first, we wouldn't survive the Russian attack if we were not a democracy. And we will not win in this war if we do not remain a

democracy. And I realized that people love to make tests in Ukraine, to test their ideas.

If they can quote a country that was successful in holding elections, national elections, during the war of this scale and intensity, I will be

happy to sit down and learn how a list of problems were solved in order to make these elections happen.

This not an issue of willing or not willing to hold elections, this an issue of finding answers to very specific questions. How do you ensure the

security of voters who will go to the voting station? Every voting station is a target. People will be simply afraid to go and cast their votes. How

do you ensure the right of a soldier to both run in elections or to vote while he is in the trenches on the front line?

As foreign minister, I have to make sure that millions of Ukrainians abroad will have the right to exercise their voice -- their vote. So, there are

tons of issues. But look around, this a country that fights because it is a democracy. Otherwise, we would have already lost.

AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Kuleba, thank you for joining us.

KULEBA: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And indeed, every time we ask these exhausted soldiers, they say we must defend our democracy, and it's painful.

And in wartime, of course, it would always be easier to look away from the horror and not to face the ugly truth. That kind of complicity is the

subject of "The Zone of Interest," a new film depicting the seemingly idyllic life of the Hoss family in their picture-perfect house and garden.

But the patriarch, Rudolf Hoss, is the commandant of Auschwitz. And on the other side of their garden wall, Jews are being sent to the gas chambers.

Here's a clip from the trailer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): And here is kohirabi. The children love to eat it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The heartfelt time we spent in the Hoss house will always be among our most beautiful holiday memories. In

the East lies or tomorrow. Thanks for your national socialist hospitality.



AMANPOUR: Now, the film has been nominated for five Oscars, and it won 3 BAFTAs, the British Academy Awards this weekend. Director Jonathan Glazer

joins me now from London.

Jonathan Glazer, welcome to the program and congratulations, not just for the awards but for the incredible amount of interest and conversation that

"Zone of Interest" has sparked. Did you think that it would be so relevant today when you thought about making it all those years ago?

JONATHAN GLAZER, DIRECTOR, "THE ZONE OF INTEREST": Hello, Christiane. Thank you for having me on your show.

I think, tragically, it's always relevant. I think it's a continuum. So, it didn't feel like I was ever going to approach the subject as a sort of

museum piece, you know, something that happened 80 years ago that we could have a safe distance from and look at as if it was sort of in aspect, but

rather make it and think of it as something ongoing in more in the present tense.

So, obviously, the events of -- you know, the film predates current events, obviously -- or rather themes of the film predate current events by a

number of years.

AMANPOUR: When accepting the Oscar, the your producer, James Wilson, he said this, and I'm just going to read it out, those walls aren't new from

before or during or since the Holocaust, And it seems stark right now that we should care about innocent people being killed in Gaza, or Yemen, in the

same way to think about innocent people killed in Mariupol or in Israel.

So, I'm talking to you from Ukraine, and, of course, Mariupol is where the initial bombardment siege and destruction by the Russians really took

place. But what was Wilson trying to say, that sometimes we have empathy with one and not the other?

GLAZER: Yes, I think he's talking about that it seems so clear that we care for the safety of some groups of people from violence, oppression, and

injustice, our own tribe mostly more than other people who are who are not in our tribe. And I think as soon as we think about -- as soon as we think

these -- as soon as we consider these ideas from a tribal perspective, we are inevitably othering and dehumanizing people who aren't in our tribe.

So, I think he was talking partly about that.

AMANPOUR: Let's get back to the film because it is extraordinary in the way you chose to depict the holocaust essentially without showing the victims,

but showing the commandant and his family and showing the comforts that at least the wife and children were used to and really liked and ignored what

was happening just over their walls. So, I'm going to play this clip.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Which one was she?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The one I used to clean for. SHe was the one who had the book readings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, yes, yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): God knows what they were up to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Bolshevik stuff. Jewish stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): And I got outbid on her curtains at the street auction. Her opposite, she got them. I loved those curtains.

These flowers are so beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes. The azaleas there.


AMANPOUR: So, Jonathan, it is chilling the way you've depicted that. Talk to us about it. What were you saying by doing it adjacent to the camp?

GLAZER: You know, obviously, there have been many films made about the Holocaust, and many of them -- most of them, in fact, would -- you know,

would be with the prisoners, would be with the incarcerated, and I thought what was a very interesting starting point and perspective was the point of

view of the perpetrator.

And the sort of grotesque stark situation here is that the Hoss house, Rudolf Hoss lived with his family. I mean, what you see in the film is

really a direct simulation of how they did actually live, where their garden abuts the death camps that he was in charge of. So, on one side, you

have this, you know, cornucopia and on the other side, of course, you have hell.

And that sort of wall, for me, is a sort of almost a manifestation of how we compartmentalize the suffering of others in order to -- you know, and

normalize the suffering of others some -- to some extent in order to sort of protect and preserve our own comfort and security.


And they did live like that, and they were -- you know, as Primo Levi said, you know, Rudolf Hoss wasn't made of different clay from any other member

of the bourgeoisie in any other country. It's really looking at them as Mr. and Mrs. Smith from number 26. You know, there was nothing exceptional or

dynamic or, you know, about them. They were they were grotesquely familiar.

And I think what we're trying to do with the film was to find a space or create a space where the viewer could actually project themselves onto them

and see how familiar they are rather, and not have the comfort and benefit of being able to kind of empathize with the victim, rather to the

discomfort of seeing ourselves in the perpetrators.

AMANPOUR: And getting that atmosphere across, I mean, it's really incredibly effective the way you've done it because you've done it with --

you said that there are almost two films. one is the visual and the other is the sound. Talk to me about the sound and how you recreated what was

going on over that wall through sound.

GLAZER: I knew right from the author that I didn't want to reenact these atrocities using actors and extras. I feel that that imagery is something

that we all know, and it is sort of seared into our consciousness as it is. And sound, of course, is interpretive, and we are able to see those

pictures in our mind's eye because we hear those sounds.

So -- and, again, because the film is sort of defiantly made from the garden side of that wall, from the Hoss side of the wall, I kind of wanted

-- I didn't want to ever go over there. I wanted to be -- but, nonetheless, I wanted the horrors to be sort of bearing down on this bucolic atmosphere

that they created for themselves regardless.

So, it's sort of -- it's -- in other words, it's sort of out of sight but never out of mind. And the sound was a yearlong workload really of

gathering field recordings and going out and shooting field recordings sonically in order to be able to then construct this sort of sonic

landscape, which depicts the horrors and the sort of perpetual atrocities going on over the other side of the wall.

It's -- I think the film, Christiane, is -- if not saying, look at what they did, it's saying, look at what we do.

AMANPOUR: Yes. I'm so interested because you've said that twice now several times in this interview, essentially saying, as you pointed out, that it's

not necessarily just a monster, but it's the potential for everybody to be a monster.

GLAZER: Precisely. Yes. But --

AMANPOUR: I guess the question then is -- yes. I mean, you talk about Hannah Arendt's banality of evil. But then, you know, if we all have that

capability, what gives you hope that we will all not act like that? And there are a few really amazing moments of hope that you visualize in a sort

of sometimes a dream sequence. Talk to me about that.

GLAZER: Well, I'm -- you know, I'm -- I believe, you know, we're not just that as human beings. It's obviously the -- what I would hope that we would

be able as a species to evolve out of that, out of our capacity for violence in thought and in action and what a -- and what the potential of -

- we would have as a species if we could evolve out of that. So, I'm certainly haven't given up hope.

And I do think that it was important to include hope in the film or the -- or something holy. And the girl that you've referred to, it was a local

Polish girl, based on a conversation I had with a 90-year-old woman who was that girl at the time, who lived two kilometers from the camps and took it

upon herself to leave food for prisoners at night where and where she could -- where and when she could. And it felt very important to include light.

It felt very important to include the other side of human nature and what we are -- what we can do, you know.

I mean, it's trying to sort of ask ourselves, as a film, to have a genuine human response, you know, why one life can be considered more valuable than

another. You know, human pain is pain and loss is loss, and at the most basic -- you know, the needs and desires of us are the same. You know,

violence and oppression, as we know, produces more violence and oppression, not less.

AMANPOUR: I'm just staggered and struck by the good fortune you had to speak to that 90-year-old woman who was then a girl, who then, I think, she

died shortly afterwards. But I want to also play for you a little bit of an interview that I did with Sandra Huller, the star of your film. She's the

wife, Hedwig Hoss. And she was talking to me about what it took for her to agree to do this. Because as a German herself, you know, she was very

conscious about not wanting to exploit the situation. Here's what she told me.



SANDRA HULLER, ACTRESS, "THE ZONE OF INTEREST": We talked a lot about the exploitation of the topic, if you know what I mean, and the -- what it

would mean to show the suffering of the victims again and again and again, which would mean that other people would have to embody that again and

again and again, and it would retraumatize again and again.


AMANPOUR: It is very interesting to hear those conversations that you had. And, of course, you didn't show the victims of the holocaust in this film.

And you also did something, which I think you're quite known for doing, sort of hidden cameras. There were just a load of cameras, and you've

described yourself as that not really being on the set, that the actors didn't really know where the cameras were in some of the scenes.

GLAZER: That's true. And this -- we designed a system which involved multiple cameras and positioned them in the house, you know, blocked the

scene, of course, and then worked out where the cameras would be. But I really wanted the actors to feel that what -- they were really walking into

1943 every day.

And everywhere they look, north, south, east, west, was their house and garden. There was no evidence of a film crew or anything. So -- and partly

it was to -- so that we get -- we had this -- so, partly, it was to be able to sort of stay away from those sort of screen psychologists and get

involved in the interiority of the actor playing these characters. Rather, I wanted to sort of watch them as if were documenting something that was

happening live.

So, kind of the approach was, I think, liberating for the actors. And I think, also, the approach allows the viewer to sort of project themselves

onto them, as if they were them, or rather to kind of tune into what is familiar in them and familiar, you know, to us.

AMANPOUR: Yes, yes.

GLAZER: So, you know, it was a very important decision not to fetishize, not to empower, which I think Sandra's talking about. And like I said

earlier, not to reenact the barbarity of these -- of what we know happened using actors.

AMANPOUR: It really is, I have to say, remarkable talking to you about this and getting into this film again, sitting here in Ukraine when so much

barbarity is happening all around us. Jonathan Glazer, thank you so much, director of "Zone of Interest."

GLAZER: Thank you so much.

AMANPOUR: And, of course, you can watch the film in cinemas. Thank you. And it's available to rent or buy now, too, on streaming.

Next, we turn to the horrors of the war in the Middle East. Palestinian health authorities say more than 29,000 Gazans have now been killed, while

the United States pivots at the U.N. proposing a resolution for a temporary ceasefire, and warning Israel not to send ground troops into an offensive

in Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians have fled.

Aluf Been is the editor-in-chief at Haaretz. His latest essay for "Foreign Affairs" is called "Israel's Self-Destruction: Netanyahu, the Palestinians,

and the Price of Neglect." And he's joining Walter Isaacson to talk about it.


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


ISAACSON: President Biden has been talking to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, they both urged him not to go

into Rafah so hard. Prime Minister Netanyahu posted on X a pretty defiant statement in reaction to that. It says, we will continue to fight until

complete victory with all of our strength on every front, everywhere, until we restore security and peace.

Do you think that Prime Minister Netanyahu is right to be rebuffing President Macron and President Biden?

BENN: No. I think he's wrong. I think that President Biden is actually offering Israel great -- a great promise, a very promising peace plan that,

you know, according to the reports that we've read at "The Washington Post" and other sources, he's working with several Arab leaders on a very

comprehensive plan for the day after the Gaza war with, you know, working towards the establishment of a Palestinian State, towards implementing the

two-state solution, wider normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia and perhaps other Arab states.

And of course, finding a mechanism for better security for Israel and its neighbors along the borders, both in Gaza and in the north. Whereas,

there's a lower intensity conflict with Hezbollah.

ISAACSON: Well, all that sounds good, but ever since the Oslo Accords, Prime Minister Netanyahu -- and even before the Oslo accords, has been

against a Palestinian State. In response to this plan, he wrote, Israel outright rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement

with the Palestinians.


How can we get from here to there if he's not even going to be open to the question of a Palestinian State?

BENN: Well, that's a very good -- that's the toughest question of all. Clearly, Netanyahu spent his entire career trying to derail the Palestinian

national movement. And especially since returning to power in 2009, when he began by saying that he would somehow conditionally agree to a Palestinian

State, he changed his mind, and his last coalition -- the current one, very right-wing, the most right-wing coalition in Israel's history, even

declared that nobody besides the Jewish people has any rights in the entire space between the river and the city.

Clearly, the Palestinians stemming again have shown that they're not willing to forego their aspirations, their dreams, their fights against

Israel in the case of Hamas. And time and again, this idea that we could simply ignore the problem came back to haunt Israel.

But for 15 years, Netanyahu has told the story that Israel could prosper without peace, could reach out to the wider Arab world without peace. And

to some extent, aided by the Arab Spring that, you know, dismantled and disrupted the Arab world, Israel was able to enjoy that quiet security,

prosperity while most of the time ignoring the Palestinians. But after October 7, clearly, this no longer the case.

Now, Netanyahu sticks to a coalition that is very right-wing, and suffering from a very low popularity due to the failures of October 7 and what got

Israel into this war. So, he's trying to rebuild his campaign by saying that he would be the only one who could oppose the international dictation

towards a Palestinian State.

And, clearly, President Biden too has his own political worries before presidential election regard the -- you know, vis a vis, the progressives

in his own party that are less for Israel than their parents and grandparents or the Biden generation, if -- the Democratic Party, if you


So, this fight serves them both politically, but it doesn't get us out of the war, and it doesn't get us towards a better coexistence or peaceful

solution in the future. And that's a problem.

ISAACSON: The more immediate problem is the hostages and the continuation of this war. CIA Director William Burns in the United States has been part

of a process with a lot of nations. They were meeting in Cairo to try to have what I think the president called a sustained period of calm for at

least six weeks and to have a hostage exchange. Now, Prime Minister Netanyahu is not even sending negotiators to be part of that process in


Will he face domestic pressure for not being able to release the hostages?

BENN: Netanyahu has been able -- you know, regretfully, has been able to paint this -- the call to release the hostages or to free the hostages,

bring them back home in return for the release of some Palestinian prisoners into a political fight. So, he colored it as if the opposition

that is against him and against his political base is supporting the hostage deal while he's standing up to Hamas and to the rest of the world,

while these hostages are dying there, and those who are alive are suffering the worst atrocities you can think of.

But clearly, there is not enough pressure on Netanyahu to conclude this deal. He's still suffering from criticism in his base towards a deal he

signed with Hamas in 2011 to release one Israeli prisoner of war, Gilad Shalit, in return for over a thousand Palestinians, including Yahya Sinwar,

the leader of Hamas, the organizer of the October 7 massacre. And so, now Netanyahu is trying to compensate that.

ISAACSON: Let me push back on you in that. Shouldn't he be criticized for that deal?

BENN: Well, you know, it's easy to say that, you know, looking back, it was a mistake to release Sinwar. It was not even so important to the Israelis

at the time. The Israelis at the time resisted the release of other of other terrorists, not Sinwar, who was seen as a smaller time terrorist,

because he killed only Palestinians and not Jews.

But look, the circumstances were different. There was a lot of pressure to release Shalit. And, frankly, if the country was better prepared for war,

the border was better protected, and, Netanyahu, rather than tear the country apart with what he you call legal reform, which was a kind of

autocratic coup through dismantling the independence of the Supreme Court and other civil liberties and democratic freedoms in Israel, we would have

been in a better shape. This was not a given that if you release someone from prison, they come back to fight you.


ISAACSON: You just published a piece in "Foreign Affairs" called "Israel's Self-Destruction," in which you say that Prime Minister Netanyahu's

policies paved the way for what happened on October7th . Explain.

BENN: Well, I think the major thing was the ignorance of Palestinians and the argument that Israel could live and prosper while not looking at the

Palestinians or treating them, you know, as bad as possible without paying any price or with, you know, occasional outburst of terrorist attacks or

occasional rocket fire from Gaza that Israel could live with and develop defensive systems to protect against. This obviously was not the case, as

we see.

But even more so, in the past year, since returning to power a year ago, Netanyahu did everything to split Israeli society through his judicial

coup, ignoring time and again, warnings from his own defense minister, from the heads of intelligence, of security service, from senior military

personnel acting and reservists telling him that this internal split is a temptation for Israel's enemies to hit, and that's -- the risk of war is

almost imminent.

True. They were not focused on Hamas. They were focused on stronger enemies like Iran, like Hezbollah, like other Iranian proxies in the region. But

still, Netanyahu ignored it. He did not see any risk. He also only saw political risk in these warnings. He never once said, OK, let's check the

security along the borders. Are we safe? He's tried -- he tried to fire the defense minister after he issued this warning. And he ignored the military

intelligence chiefs whom he saw as supporting his opponents, many of whom were former generals and pilots and so on and then people who were very

proud of their military service.

And Netanyahu, throughout his career, always had very tense relationship with the Israeli military establishment. His main political rivals

throughout the years, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Benny Gantz, Ehud Barak, were all former senior military officers. And even though he sees them as

timid, he doesn't like their politics of, you know, being strong militarily but flexible diplomatically. He doesn't like their ideas of conflict


And, clearly, it came to a head, and the price -- you know, we all paid the price. But Netanyahu, since October 7, has never once taken any iota of

responsibility for what happened, both before the war and during the war, or in planning and looking ahead towards the day after the war.

ISAACSON: Many people, including President Biden, have said that the response after October 7th has now become over the top. And you see

pushback around the world, anti-Israeli sentiment, because of the killings that have happened in Gaza because of the Israeli response. Do you think

it's been over the top, and what would have the alternatives have been?

BENN: OK. I think the war was and still is very, very popular among the system of Israeli-Jews. Very popular and still enjoys wide support. The

main division is -- as I said, is what comes first, releasing the hostages or destroying Hamas or winning the war. Now, Netanyahu is talking about

total victory without actually explaining what it means.

Look, Israel had to fight against Hamas because it would be very difficult to convince people to live not just along the border, as they did before

October 7, and still have yet to come back both around Gaza and around the Lebanese border, but also in other parts of Israel. And, clearly, Hamas has

been able to build a very sophisticated but -- by very simple means, but a very sophisticated plan and deploy it without the idea of noticing. So,

people are scared, and they want to see victory against Hamas.


Now, for most of the Israeli public, they don't see what's happening in Gaza. We at Haaretz are the only ones who even report in Hebrew to Israeli

audiences the level of damage and destruction in Gaza and killing. We interview people who live there. It has zero resonance within the Israeli-

Jewish public, which is a problem because then the military feels that they have a free hand to do whatever they want and look away and turn -- and

look away at looting and, you know, use as destruction and so on.

At the same time, it's very difficult to fight a paramilitary group that is residing in tunnels, underground tunnels and bunkers, and that, you know,

lives within the within the civil society in Gaza. So, it's very difficult to say what would be the exact point after which it's over the top.

Clearly, the operation in Rafah that involves getting into occupying an area that -- where most of the population of Gaza has fled to is very

complicated, and I don't see it coming. It's imminent to happen tomorrow.

There is military reasoning to argue that if you don't close -- if you don't seal the Egyptian border and find a way to prevent further contraband

getting into Gaza, and if you don't deal with the remaining Hamas force, you're at fault. But then again, you have to protect these civilians there,

and you have to think of a way of them to get back to where they live, where they live before the war, rebuild Gaza, and rebuild Gaza in a way

that is not just aimed at building a force to fight Israel, which they did, unfortunately, very effectively in those years of siege.

ISAACSON: Many within the Israeli leadership argue that this big response to October 7th was absolutely necessary. And you say that many Jews in

Israel generally agree with that. Does that mean that this approach is not likely to change?

BENN: Well, look, if we look -- if we judge by the past, whenever Israel was taken by surprise, either by the -- by Egypt and Syria in '73, Yom

Kippur War, or by the first and second Palestinian intifadas, usually, there is a major shift towards the right and towards just, you know, use

more force and deploy more soldiers and just crush them.

But then after a while, people realized that this not a long-term solution for coexistence, prosperity, and security. And therefore, they try to seek

the diplomatic peaceful solution, which, again, that's -- it's never an end in itself. And what we know now after 50 years of peace processing is that,

you know, it's a living organism that you need to feed and you need to worry about. It's not just signing something and then throwing the throwing

away the key.

ISAACSON: So, do you think there's a possibility of a peace process towards a two-state solution once this over?

BENN: Look, I'm -- I belong to a minority of optimists in this part of the world where usually pessimism is there is the surest way to be right most

of the time. Yes, I believe there is. The big question is who could play the role (INAUDIBLE)? The leader of Egypt who went to war in '73, and then

four years later came to Jerusalem and eventually signed the peace treaty that is still holding despite his assassination a couple years after.

But President Biden is trying to do is to fill in for the lack of that kind of Palestinian leader with MBS, with the leader of Saudi Arabia, and make

him sort of the custodian of that peace process in return for whatever security guarantees and other goodies that Saudi Arabia wants from the

United States. It's a very long shot, but it can be the beginning of something.

And we must remember, it took several years from the Kissinger Shuttle Diplomacy to the peace treaty that eventually was signed when Carter was

president, it took a while from Baker's Madrid conference to the Oslo Accord signed at the front yard of Bill Clinton, et cetera, et cetera. So,

it's not something that is going to happen tomorrow. But I hope that the Israeli public opinion would also realize that the Netanyahu approach and

the right-wing approach is a wrong approach because it only brings more tragedy and more problems afterwards, even if, immediately, it's seen as

the only way to deal with the problem.

ISAACSON: Aluf Benn, thank you so much for joining us.

BENN: Thank you, Walter.


AMANPOUR: And optimism is so important because where there is hope in the darkness, there is life.


And finally, tonight, a moment in the spotlight for Franklin, the first black character in the beloved "Peanuts" comic strip. This weekend, Snoopy

presents "Welcome Home Franklin," premiered on Apple TV Plus.

For the first time, it tells how Franklin met Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang. Franklin joined the "Peanuts" comic in 1968 amid

racial tension and political assassinations in the United States. The creator, Charles Schulz, hoped the new character would bridge divides

between black and white children. Now, the new special is here in time for Black History Month, trying again to bridge new divisions today.

That's 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-across social media.

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from Kyiv.