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Interview With Special Adviser To The Israeli Prime Minister Mark Regev; Interview With "Burn Book" Author Kara Swisher; Interview With "LatinoLand" Author Marie Arana; Interview With Former U.S. State Department Official And Resigned From U.S. State Department Over Arms Transfer To Israel Josh Paul. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired February 29, 2024 - 13:00   ET




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

Israeli forces open fire in Gaza as hungry Palestinians rush towards rare aid trucks and a deadly stampede ensues. I speak to Mark Regev, senior

adviser to the Israeli prime minister. And I get an American perspective from a former State Department official.

Then, "Burn Book." Long time tech journalist Kara Swisher tells me about lifting the veil on Silicon Valley and its most powerful players in her new


Plus, Michel Martin. Marie Arana about the significance of the Latino vote in this year's presidential election, which is unpacked in her new book,


Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Life is draining out of Gaza at a terrifying speed, the words of U.N.

Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths, as more than a hundred people have been killed whilst gathered around food aid trucks in Gaza City, according

to the Ministry of Health there.

The IDF released these drone pictures earlier, and despite disputed timelines, Israeli forces said they did open fire. A local journalist who

witnessed the incident told CNN that the Israeli fire prompted a deadly stampede, which left hundreds of others injured as aid trucks and people

tried to leave the scene.

An Israeli official confirmed, as I said, that the IDF did use live fire, but said that the crowd "posed a threat to troops." This comes in the

context of a dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where the U.N. says over half a million people are "one step away from famine." Take a listen to

someone waiting for aid earlier.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am not ashamed to say It's become normal because we have reached the level of famine. Tens of children

have become martyrs because of the famine. I cannot wait until my child is martyred because of the famine. We all have reached the stage that we are

not ashamed to go and get a bag of flour.


AMANPOUR: Joining me now is Mark Regev. He's special adviser to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Welcome back to the program,

Mark Regev.

As I said, there are disputed timelines, either the shooting was first and then the stampede, or the stampede was first and then the shooting, but the

facts are the facts, there are dead and injured. I think the first question, if you could answer, is who were this aid -- who was this aid

being driven in by or for? The U.N. and the normal, you know, known aid agencies said that they had nothing to do with it. Do you know who it was?

MARK REGEV, SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I know the following, that in order to help alleviate the food shortage in Gaza, that

we authorized a convoy of, I think, some 30 trucks entered Gaza last night, headed for the Northern Gaza Strip. And this shows that Israel is

interested in seeing aid and foodstuffs reach the civilian population.

Unfortunately, we saw a situation where there was a mass casualty -- tragedy where it looked like the civilians were storming the trucks, trying

to take the food out of desperation. And people -- a crowd was pushing and shoving and people were killed. I can't tell you the exact numbers. I don't

-- as you know, I don't trust the numbers put out by the Hamas controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza.

There were reports that maybe their drivers were driving over parts of the crowd. It appears to be a tragedy, but I can tell you Israel was not

involved directly in any way.

AMANPOUR: When you say not involved directly in any way, what do you mean? I mean, you enabled this convoy, as you said, and your forces are there on

the ground and open fire. They said it themselves. What does that mean, not involved in any way?

REGEV: So, this was, we -- well, we allowed the aid to come in. We are involved that way. That's our policy to allow food to go into Gaza for the

civilian population.


But in the incident of people storming the trucks and the way the truck drivers behaved and people getting squashed and pressed and apparently,

they're being mass casualties, Israel was not there on the ground.

AMANPOUR: OK. But they did open fire and people were killed. So, I'm completely confused by what you're saying because they admitted, the IDF

spokesman said it. Said it on our air, that they opened fire.

REGEV: That's a separate incident.


REGEV: Not connected to the tragedy with the trucks. And that was different place, different time. In the general location, but not the same

incident at all.

AMANPOUR: All right.

REGEV: And I have to tell you that we are not aware that the IDF fired caused casualties at all.

AMANPOUR: Well, I can tell you that a journalist whose CNN works with on the ground has a different view of it. But maybe there were other

incidents. That obviously you say are -- is under review and we will hope to get further clarification.

But here's the thing. So, Israel is the only force in charge of security by your own announcements, by your own volition, by your own actions over the

last, you know, five months or so there. It is, as everybody is saying, Israel's responsibility therefore, if you let these trucks in to provide

security. And this obviously comes in the context of so little food going in that people are desperate, as we've heard from the international forces.

So first, aren't you the only law enforcement people in the Gaza Strip right now?

REGEV: Unfortunately, Hamas has not yet been completely destroyed, and I should have been clearer.


REGEV: In that -- in the first incident of the truck being swamped by civilians, there was gunfire, but it wasn't Israeli forces. There weren't

Israeli forces on the trucks or around the trucks. That was Palestinian armed groups. We don't know if it was Hamas or other armed groups, but

there definitely was fire, that we do know.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, my question again is Israel is the only law enforcement operation on the ground as you wage this war. Therefore, if you allow these

trucks in, who do you expect to provide the security for them? Because every convoy needs security. I mean, I've covered this from, you know, time

immemorial, back from Bosnia to Somalia and elsewhere. It all requires discipline, organization, and coordination, and security.

Who do you think should have been responsible for security in the convoy that you allowed in?

REGEV: So, it's a difficult question and we're grappling it -- with it, and we're talking to the International Community, to the aid organizations,

to the United Nations, to other partners who are relevant in this conversation because, of course, we want to see the aid safely Reach the


Now, it's quite possible. As you know, Hamas has been stealing aid, that's been documented. We've heard people in Gaza complain about this. So, is it

possible that people in Gaza don't trust that this aid that the International Community is giving to the people of Gaza is actually

reaching the people of Gaza and not being siphoned off by the terrorists? That could be one of the reasons to explain what's going on.

AMANPOUR: Mark Regev, I understand that is what you're telling us. But the context again is that you have been trying to dismantle all Hamas

infrastructure over the last several months, including the police. They have been bombed into inaction, and therefore they say, and the U.S. and

others are saying, that this is causing chaos, anarchy, and a complete breakdown of civil order. So, they're not there to help with any security,

should they be so, inclined.

And secondly, and this is really important, you, Israel, according to all the U.N. and all the NGOs like the Norwegian Refugee Council, are

preventing timely and sufficient aid from getting in, which is causing famine, starvation, hunger, desperation, and presumably can also lead to

this kind of chaos around a rare aid truck.

So, why are you preventing the timely insertion of aid into Gaza for the humanitarian population? And let's just say, the U.N. says it's halved

since, you know, in the last month.

REGEV: So, first of all, aid is going in, and this -- you know, as I said, that aid went in last night. I think the problem that we're grappling with,

and I'd like to tell you there's an easy answer. Aid is going in. The trouble is the internal distribution inside Gaza. And there are security

challenges that we've got to grapple with more effectively and we don't want to see a recurrence of today's terrible events. And so, we have to

talk to the aid -- the International Community and those providing the aid, how we can safeguard aid.

Now, we do know that there was Palestinian fire in today's tragic incident.


REGEV: Someone on the Palestinian side was there with weapons.


AMANPOUR: OK. That's your view. Nobody else has actually said that. You are going to have it under review, and others will probably as well. But

let me play for you then, Jan Egeland, the secretary general, the head of Norwegian Refugee Council, who basically says that trucks are still lined

up at borders, there aren't enough entrance points from the Israeli-Gaza side, and that so much minute checking is happening as to make these

entrances really rare.

This is what he said to me, and he said it's up to Israel, plus America, and to an extent Egypt, to fix this situation.


JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: There is very little aid, there is very little supplies there to start with, so famine is

breaking out there. There is no other way to describe it, which again shows that the Karni Crossing, which is also from Israel, Israel could fix this.

They are the occupying power. They have the overwhelming military superiority. They could have convoys going over Karni Crossing, which is in

the middle area from where you can easily reach the north. It's very hard from here south in Rafah and Kerem Shalom.


AMANPOUR: So, Mark, ABC News reports that you are considering opening the Karni Crossing. And last month, the Biden administration was said to have

asked you to open the Erez Crossing. Is that going to happen?

REGEV: So, I can't announce anything before it's decided, but I can tell you that those reports are correct in that Israel wants to work with the

International Community to make sure the aid gets in. And I repeat what you've heard me say before with the people of Gaza, we don't want to harm

them. We want to see them receive the aid that they require.

And there are logistic issues. There are problems on the ground. I think -- of course we've got to focus on getting the aid into Gaza. But as today's

incident shows, we have to work to make sure that that aid is effectively, distributed. There's no point to have aid coming to Gaza. It's just going

to cause problems. So, we have to do both those tasks, and we, as a government, are committed in doing so.

AMANPOUR: So, Jan Egeland says that when they take their trucks in, and he says, thankfully, theirs haven't been looted, he says they have a system,

they have a delivery route, they have a distribution route, and they know what they're doing.

He also said that they cannot move up north, that the Israeli checkpoints have prevented them from moving up north where the most dire situation is.

We, CNN, have also conducted an investigation with all the geolocations and everything else which show that Israel fired on an aid convoy February the

5th. So, there is a lot of insecurity that most say are coming from you.

He also said that Hamas has their food. That's in the tunnels. That's with them. It's got nothing to do with the civilians. So, this is about

civilians trying to receive aid. So, these are facts. And when you say you want to take more aid in, I mean, seeing is believing. How is -- how are

the people, how is anybody meant to, you know, believe that you want it if it's not going in?

REGEV: So, it is going in and more will be going in. That's our commitment. Do you think we have an interest in starvation in the Gaza?

AMANPOUR: Well, I don't know.

REGEV: Of course we don't.

AMANPOUR: OK. I don't know. I just don't understand it.

REGEV: I'm -- no, no, no. I think -- we are screening trucks. We are sending trucks in. The backlog is often on the Gaza side of the frontier

because of all sorts of logistic issues. But to say that the U.N. aid going into Gaza that Hamas is not stealing it, that's just simply not true.

The people of Gaza, they say that Hamas is stealing the aid. The other people in Gaza, unfortunately, with guns, they can take what they want. And

that's an unfortunate reality.

AMANPOUR: So, the question is then, have you disarmed Hamas or not? I mean, this is five months. Have you -- are you close to destroying them and

preventing this? This is your whole raison d'etre, and civilians are paying. So, have you -- how much have you destroyed them?

REGEV: So, Hamas has 24 battalions. We've taken apart 18. And we're well on the way to finishing the job. Obviously, we can discuss separately.

There are Hamas battalions in Rafah that are still intact. And we'll have to deal with them when the time is right.

But Hamas' military machine as an organized fighting force is being crippled. What you do have, unfortunately, is you can have lone gunmen or

small squads of people who can steal aid, who can cause problems, who can even fire a rocket here and there. They can shoot at our forces. But we are

winning this war. It's only a matter of time.


REGEV: A bit of patience, this can be over.

AMANPOUR: So, a bit of patience. As you know, the International Community and your biggest backers, the U.S., are urging no ground offensive into

Rafah. Have you made a decision? Has the government made a decision to, you know, go into Rafah, and if so, when? And added to that, do you think that

there will be this ceasefire that has been talked about?


REGEV: First of all, the ceasefire is dependent on a deal with the hostages. And unfortunately, I'd like to be optimistic. We're ready for a

deal to bring our hostages home. We want to see our hostages come home. We're willing to pay a price, even a price that is difficult for Israel,

which is painful for Israel. But to get our hostages home, we're willing to do that.

But Hamas has to be, you know, part of a serious negotiation. And unfortunately, so far, it's not clear that they are. And I'd like to tell

you, I'm optimistic that we can get such a deal which will bring a ceasefire. Unfortunately, I have to be doubtful today. It's not clear that

Hamas wants a deal.

But if they're serious, like in November, we can get a deal, but it's not clear to me at all today that Hamas is serious.

AMANPOUR: And Rafah, when will we see that?

REGEV: So, here, I think, with respect, I think you may be simplified the American position. The American position, which is actually, I think, in

many ways, identical to the Israeli position, is that we can go into Rafah, we need to go into Rafah, because there are those Hamas battalions there,

and you've got to finish the job.

But we said we will create a humanitarian corridor and we'll find a safe place for the people in Gaza there. We don't want to see civilians caught

up in the crossfire between us and Hamas, not in Rafah, not in any part of Gaza.

AMANPOUR: All right. Well, clearly, obviously, I assume that what happened today will be a learning moment for trying to do something like that on a

much, much bigger scale if you say you have a plan. Mark Gregor, thank you for being with us.

REGEV: Thanks for having me, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: And later on, we'll get some perspective on this incident from the U.S. with Josh Paul, who's formerly of the State Department. Now,

you'll remember he resigned in October over the American continued lethal assistance to Israel.

Now, though, turning to one of the thorniest issues of our time, how to manage social media and the role it plays precisely in conflicts like this.

So many and so much power resides in the hands of Silicon Valley billionaires, and no one knows the peculiarities and talents of this layer

of tech entrepreneurs better than Kara Swisher, who's covered the industry for decades and calls them out by name.

Now, she's chronicling her career and those she's covered in a new memoir, "Burn Book," and she's joining me from Washington, D.C. Kara Swisher,

welcome back to the program.

KARA SWISHER, AUTHOR, "BURN BOOK": Hi, Christiane. How you doing?

AMANPOUR: I'm good. What is "Burn Book"? Why is "Burn Book"? What does it mean?

SWISHER: Oh, it's -- well, I don't -- you have not seen "Mean Girls," I guess. A book -- it's a book that American high school students have where

they write things about people what they really think, and they might illustrate it, you know, this person is really like this. And they keep --

it's like a diary for a group of people about people around them.

And so, it's called a "Burn Book" because you burn people in it, like that person's really fake, or this person's really not this, or they -- it's

usually about physical stuff and sometimes it's about personality or relationships. So, it's an -- it's a thing people have, and it's been in a

number of movies, including "Mean Girls."

AMANPOUR: You're right, I haven't seen it. And are you out to burn people?

SWISHER: No. Well, I don't know. It's -- the burn books are often truthful, right? They're the real truth about people. And so, it's not just

errant gossip that you make up. It's actually quite factual. And so, it's a joke. It's a little bit of a joke because the next -- the subhead is a tech

love story. Because I love tech, as you know.


SWISHER: For many years, we've talked to each other. But at the same time, I'm like, that's enough. Here's my -- this is what I really think of these

people. And I think that's really what it's saying.

AMANPOUR: We're going to get into that in a second. But tell me about the love story. So, for those who don't know, this is your memoir about it. How

did it first start, the love affair with tech and the internet?

SWISHER: Well, the first time I ever downloaded a book when it was -- at Duke University, so many years ago, in the 1990s. And I started -- in the

early 1990s. And I started using it because I was actually dating someone who lived in the former Soviet Union and we were using all these crude

technology -- you know, technology, waste, FTP, I can't even go into it.

But when the internet really started with the World Wide Web and everything else, the minute I saw it, I was like, oh, a way to communicate worldwide

in a new fresh way. And when I downloaded a book onto my computer, I thought, wow, you can download anything. And so, it was a real revelation

that everything -- anything that could be digitized would be digitized. And I was working at "The Washington Post" at the time, and I was worried for

its business.

AMANPOUR: And again, back to the actual people and the sort of so-called tech giants. So, early in the book, you quote the French philosopher, Paul

Virilio, who you said -- you said, "When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck." So, in other words, every new creation also has its

destructive properties as well.



AMANPOUR: Yes. So, when did you first -- yes.

SWISHER: So, immediately, immediately. I started to see the consequences of it, whether it was Google taking over too much of search. I'd covered

the Microsoft trials here where they were dominating software, if you remember, that was an antitrust monopoly case, the federal government

brought against it. You could see the tech could encroach on everything. Like tech was everywhere. That was -- it was like electricity, right?

And so, I went once you saw it, and you couldn't look away. You could see, oh, they could move into cars. They could move into Hollywood. They could

move into music. And a lot of people in those industries, including media and especially media, didn't see it coming. And I kind of did. I was like,

when I was at "The Washington Post," I would -- you know, I grabbed Don Graham, who was the publisher at the time, and I'd say, classifieds are

doomed because of Craigslist. We had this classified business that was very lucrative, but it was static. It was expensive and customer service was

terrible and it didn't sell things, right? It didn't work.

And so, this was free classifieds when news started to be free all over the internet. And I thought, what's going to happen with subscriptions if you

don't have something that people really want, you're going to be in trouble. Same thing with display advertising, that it started to get taken

over by tech companies. And that was the heart and soul of the revenues of "The Washington Post."

And so, I just started -- I kept telling him it's about to flood and we got to get on higher ground. And unfortunately, a lot of media companies


AMANPOUR: Yes, and also a lot of it, I think, in your experience, it kind of depends on the people who are doing this. It's not just tech in a



AMANPOUR: It's the people who are wielding it. And in 2007, you did something pretty incredible. You got a major exclusive with the two big

giants of the time, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. What does -- what did their relationship and that interview tell you about where this invention was


SWISHER: Well, you know, we were there from another era, they're from the beginning of it. Now, it's dominated by the Elon Musk or the Mark

Zuckerberg or Microsoft is, of course, still very active right now with artificial general intelligence, and it's a huge -- one of those valuable

companies in the history of the world.

But initially, that interview was classic as they were sort of -- I don't know, how would you put them, the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of the --

you know, the one created, you know, software in every pot, and the other one created these beautiful products that we use now, they're ubiquitous,

to do -- to use all these services.

And so, we wanted to get them together because they didn't really like each other, they did later when Steve was dying, but they made up. They had been

intertwined together growing this medium over the -- overtime, at the beginning of this. And so, we did that interview because it was -- you

know, when do you get a chance to have those people talking to each other? I think it's going to go down in history that particular interview.

AMANPOUR: And do you think the one and your encounters with Mark Zuckerberg will as well? In that interview, in 2010, you -- he was still in

his 20s and he was pretty awkward, you say, about public speaking. You describe, "Rivulets have moisture rolling down his ever-paler face."

SWISHER: Yes. Yes.

AMANPOUR: What did this face-to-face exchange say to you about what we know about him now?

SWISHER: He needed to calm down, I guess. Does that happen to you in an interview or --

AMANPOUR: Not really. No, no, no. Not to me.

SWISHER: This was uncomfortable. This was a panic attack that he was having. He claimed he had the flu, but it was a classic panic attack. We

were asking about privacy. This is not something he hadn't covered before. But he got nervous for some -- I make him nervous. I don't know really what

weird interpersonal relationship is.

But I think the more significant interview is what I did in 2018, where I challenged him on misinformation, especially Alex Jones, who had been lying

about these kids that were murdered in Sandy Hook and why he let them run - - why he let him run rampant on the platform and cause so much damage. And he shifted to the discussion to holocaust deniers and said -- he

essentially said holocaust deniers don't mean to lie.

And I -- that was a moment. And I let him explain. I let him spool it out, which he shouldn't have done. And I basically wanted to show people, this

is the guy in charge of this toxic river of antisemitism, and I'll tell you where it's going, it's going to a bad place. These supercharges are already

existing antisemitic feelings across the globe. And this is -- you know, this is a version that scales it beyond belief.

And I -- you know, I didn't say anything because I wanted people to understand that this guy was not inept, but unable to deal with these big

issues. But he was making the decisions. Took him two years to throw these people off of Facebook, two years. And in that time, so much toxic waste

flowed into the -- you know, the digital veins of the world, and that's -- I'm not surprised by the antisemitism today or, you know, the COVID, you

could apply it to anything, election denial, COVID, vaccine denial, things like that.


SWISHER: Go ahead.


AMANPOUR: No, no. Just because, if you're not surprised by it, do you think there's a break moment? Is there some lever that we can pull to

reverse it?


AMANPOUR: That's the big question on everybody's mind about regulating, about just trying to mitigate the worst of this hate and disinformation and


SWISHER: Yes. Well, it would be nice if we had any rules. We haven't had any. This is 30 years in. I'm old. You know, this -- there's been not any

legislation. And the legislation that exists, which is in this country, Section 230, helps them, it gives them broad immunity.

So, I'd like -- I mean, there's laws in Europe. Europe has passed one, but it does -- it's got to be U.S. companies -- U.S. regulators that do this

because these are U.S. companies. And we're on the dawn of yet another major shift in computing, which is artificial general intelligence. Guess

who dominates that? All the big companies. They're making all the rules. We still don't have safeguards in place, you know.

And we should be able to do -- in this case, it has to be on a global level because, you know, killer robots. What if we ask it to solve hunger and it

kills a billion people? We've got to really start to put in safeguards, because that would be the logical thing to do if you want to solve hunger.

You know what I mean? If you're a computer.

And so, we've got to get with privacy regulations, safety regulations around this, antitrust regulations. None of this has passed. And therefore,

it -- our entire world is being controlled by private corporations that act like nation states and have -- are inept to the task of doing it. Not that

governments aren't inept, but at least they're elected, right? They're elected.

AMANPOUR: Well, Kara Swisher, with "Burn Book" and beyond, you have to keep holding them accountable because, you know, you lay out, you know, a

very dystopian present and future. Thank you very much.

Now, immigration is, of course, a top issue in the 2024 presidential election. As Biden and Trump head to the Mexico border today. Our next

guest moved to the United States from Peru at the age of nine and is part of the diverse Latino community, who number now 64 million people across

the nation.

In her new book, "LatinoLand," author Marie Arana sheds light on the lesser-known history of Hispanic America. And she's joining Michel Martin

to discuss the impact of this vote in the upcoming election.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Marie Arana, thank you so much for speaking with us.

MARIE ARANA, AUTHOR "LATINOLAND": Oh, it's such a pleasure, Michel. Thank you.

MARTIN: So, the title of your latest book is "LatinoLand." You emphasize in your book throughout that Latinos are not recent additions to this

country. I just wanted to ask if you would just read a little bit from the author's note at the beginning of the book.

ARANA: OK, absolutely. This is from the preface, really, to the book, my author's note in the very beginning. And it reads, we were Americans long

before the founders dreamed of a United States of America. Our ancestors have lived here for more than a half millennium, longer than any immigrant

to this hemisphere, and still we come.

Indeed, although we arrived long before the pilgrims, and although we account for more than half of the U.S. population growth over the last

decade, and are projected to lead population growth for the next 35 years, it seems as if the rest of the country is perpetually in the act of

discovering us.

MARTIN: What do you mean by that, it seems as if the rest of the country is perpetually in the act of discovering us? Tell us what you mean by that.

ARANA: We are virtually marginal, virtually invisible. We're not in the history books. Nobody teaches the fact that we have fought in every war

since the establishment of this country. We fought in the Revolutionary War. We fought in the Civil War all the way up to Iraq. That is invisible.

It's invisible to people that we represent. The 26 percent of the U.S. Marine Corps is Hispanic, is Latino. We have fought for this country a long


And of course, if you are Mexican-American, you are part, certainly, indigenous, which is to say that you have inhabited this territory for

millennia. In pre-Columbian times. So, what I mean is, perpetually in the act of discovering us, I think the image of the person jumping over a

fence, is, to many people, what a Latino represents. And, in fact, we represent so much more, so much more history.

People don't realize, for instance, Michel, that the first navy admiral of this country, David Farragut, His name was actually Ferragut, and he was

Hispanic. His bust is, you know, about three blocks from the U.S. White House.

MARTIN: In Farragut Square or Farragut Square. OK.

ARANA: Farragut Square, yes. Nobody goes by and says, hey, great Latino sitting there on the park. But -- so, that's what --

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

ARANA: Because we are the ethnicity that most intermarries in this country. We intermarry across races and ethnicities all the time.


In fact -- and I think history tells us that the first time that there was race mixing and in as massive a quantity in the world, on this planet, was

among the Latinos of this hemisphere, once the Spanish came and intermarriage began. And we have continued to intermarry here in the United

States. So, there is that sense that we lose our identity.

My grandchildren, for instance, are a small percentage of Latino, because the marriages have been with other with other races, other ethnicities. And

yet, there is a very strong, very strong cultural bond between Latinos, even though, we may be from different parts. Maybe we are Cubans and don't

identify with Mexicans. Maybe we are Dominicans and don't identify with Peruvians much, but we are still unified in the sense that when we come to

this country, the label itself unifies us. And we learn that there are many, many, connections between us.

MARTIN: Of people who identify or would be identified as Latino, you'd say Mexicans would probably be the largest group, right?

ARANA: Mexicans are very definitely the largest group. There are 37 million. So, more than half are Mexicans.

MARTIN: More than half. So, this is a group of people who you say -- people have often said, hey, we didn't cross the border, the border crossed

us. So, are there aspects of that story that you think are particularly important for people to know?

ARANA: Well, history has moved populations, certainly Latino populations in this country. You know, when I came in -- it was 1960 when I came, there

were countable 2 million Latinos in this country. Now, there are 64 million.

So, what happened? Let's start with the fact the Spanish colonial territory of Mexico went all the way from California the way to Kansas, and it went

all the way from the Rio Grande to Colorado. So, this was a huge, massive space that basically the American administration, the U.S. administration

in the Westward Ho movement, the Manifest Destiny movement said, go, take your family. Put us to -- carry a stick, put the stick down. It'll be your

land. Without any consideration of the fact that they were poaching, that they were invading. This was an invasion and incursion of sorts.

And, you know, families went happily off and created farms and ranches and whatnot, and pushing the Mexican population off of their land. After that,

we had -- of course, the Puerto Ricans, because America took over Puerto Rico, it -- in the Mexican War, in the Cuban War, also with Cuba, the

island of Puerto Rico became an American territory.

So, Puerto Ricans came streaming into the United States. So, the second largest group here. Of course, the Cubans came after the Castro revolution

got rid of the very corrupt system that the United States was supporting in Cuba under the Batista regime. And so, the Cubans came in in 1960s and

became a large group.

So, all of this so-called blowback of American policy in the United States has created these groups, has created these immigrant groups in the United

States. And that is history that's worth studying.

MARTIN: You -- I want to go back to the -- I want to talk about the nomenclature, because that's something that you talk -- you spend some time

on in the book. Is it Latino? Is it Hispanic? Is it Latinx? You say that, labels we never chose for ourselves, Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, Latine, have

been adopted and rejected and adopted again, willy-nilly, one after the next, causing grave doubts about their validity and reflecting the extent

of our identity crisis. All of this, mind you, in an effort to portray us as a strong and unified whole.

So, just say a little bit more about that. Like how do you think about that and what do you think about that?

ARANA: Yes, the nomenclature is really important and interesting. The -- you know, we are Peruvians, we are Ecuadorians, we are Argentines, we are

Mexicans, but when we come to this country, as I say, we become -- we start to be called these names.

The first person to say that we were Latinos or Latin, as he would have said it, was Napoleon. I mean, he had designs on conquest in the

hemisphere. When Napoleon invaded Spain, suddenly, Napoleon's heart jumped because, you know, Spain had this considerable colonial power in Latin

America with all kinds of extractions to enjoy.


And so, Napoleon as said, OK, you all are Latins. You're Latins like us, like the French, like all the places that I'm trying to conquer, you know,

are going to be Latin. So, we became Latin America. We became Latin Americans. We became Latinos to a certain extent.

And then, comes the 1970s with Nixon. And Nixon tries to -- Nixon has a very strong feeling about Latinos or Hispanics, whatever you want to call

them, because he grew up in California. His father was a grocer. He worked with people in the agricultural fields that he was selling their goods, and

they were all -- all the agricultural workers, of course, were Mexicans or Central Americans.

So, he wanted to make that sort of a strong electorate and to be part of his support population. And so, he gave them a name. And we became

Hispanics at that point. So, the name stuck to a certain degree. But then came the academics, the intelligentsia, which said, OK, we have to be more

inclusive, more gender inclusive. And so, we're going to be Latinx.

Well, that was trying to change the language because, the calling yourself Latinos is a grammatical point. It's not a point about gender. And so, that

only stuck to the extent that 2 percent of the population of Latinos, only 2 percent use it. And a lot of people reject it. So, where are we with


The point is, most people call themselves Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Dominican Americans. So, the aggregate term isn't necessarily

the one that we use you in a unified sense.

MARTIN: This is an election year in the United States. And so, there's always this question of what's the Latino vote going to do, right?

ARANA: Right, right.

MARTIN: Whose interest is it going to serve? You have a lot to say about that. That's one of those misconceptions, right, that you that you are

pointing up in your book and in your other writings, which is that the idea that there's the singular or Latino bloc is just false.

ARANA: Absolutely.

MARTIN: Would you say a little bit more about that?

ARANA: We come from very different backgrounds. Those who come from countries that have been really racked by communism tend to be more

conservative politically. Naturally, the Cubans are very much that way.

The countries where there has been, let's say, dictatorships that worked and that actually did something and achieve something, they tend to be also

conservative. So, when you try to actually define where we are politically, it's an impossibility. Because in truth, the -- we don't tend to think in

the binary. I, like many Latinos, will switch sides and have switched sides many times depending on who is running. We tend to be independents more

than anything else.

But because there are so many of us who haven't stepped up to vote because there is such a large percentage of Latinos who stay home and don't go to

the polls, there is an opportunity to recruit. And Republicans have been very successful in recent years in recruiting that lot of people,

particularly because more and more Latinos, especially from Central America, from Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, are becoming evangelical.

And of course, as we know, the evangelical churches encourage you to be political. Then they encourage you to go to polls and express your

political stripe. So, that is -- it's a very fluid, very changing population, and it could go any way in any election.

MARTIN: One of the things that has been really striking is that despite the former presidents, I think it's fair to say really outrageous and

demeaning remarks about Mexican immigrants at the launch of his 2016 campaign, accusing them of saying, you know, they're not sending their

best, they're sending criminals, drug dealers, rapists. You know, we are -- I think we all remember.

And despite his efforts, you know, at various times to shut down the border, despite these draconian policies, separating children from their

parents at the border when they crossed without prior authorization, he got almost 30 percent of the Latino vote in 2016. And he actually did better in


ARANA: Right.

MARTIN: And I just think a lot of people find that really intriguing.


ARANA: Absolutely. And there are very good reasons for that. They're very good reasons for that. The Koch brothers, David Koch and his brother, have

actually created a group called Libre. And Libre goes around the country, and recruiting the massively people to the Republican Party.

And why is that? Well, let me give you a couple of reasons why. First of all, we are largely a people of faith. OK. You can say, OK, Catholic faith,

evangelical faith, evangelicals are growing more and more by the minute in the Latino community, as I've just said. But -- so, we are a people of

faith. And any group that we're going to vote for is going to be very upfront with that.

We are largely very devoted to family life, anything that appeals to family when Libre does, Libre understands that. The -- of course, the other thing

and the hidden thing that people don't realize is that many Latinos, the majority of Latinos are really worried about the immigration situation.

They really want that flow to stop.

80 percent -- more than 80 percent of Latinos in this country are U.S. born. We are not foreign born. We are mostly U.S. born. We all speak more

than 80 percent -- 90 percent speak English. We are afraid, as much as anybody in this country, about those waves of immigration that are coming

across the border. Many of the strongest people, anti-immigration people, are people who came as children.

MARTIN: I think that sort of the perception is that there would be some sort of affinity or sympathy for people who are coming across, some sense

that, well, you know, they must have a good reason. So, why is it that you said that people are worried about it? I mean, that because they feel,

what, that they're going to compromise their own economic standing or because they feel, what, that just the sense of I waited my tur, why don't

they wait their turn? I mean, tell -- just say more about why that is.

ARANA: Well, if you're going to talk about immigration and feelings about immigration, you have to talk about the undocumented. OK. The undocumented

here are an extraordinary group of people. People -- I think people assume that the undocumented are a burden on society. And in fact, I think it was

the Carnegie Institution that did a survey and established that the undocumented population of Hispanics have zero-net effect on government

budget. So, there are -- the -- zero-net effect on a drain on budget on the government budget.

So, let's start with that. One out of three --

MARTIN: I'm just -- this is where I have to jump in. Maybe in the long- term, but certainly that can't be true in the short-term, certainly in the situation that we're seeing now, and you just can't have 300,000 people

cross the border in a month and then not have it have some impact on local budget. So, I take your point that in the long-term, that's certainly true.

ARANA: In the long-term.

MARTIN: But in the long term --


MARTIN: -- it cannot be true.

ARANA: In the long-term, it is very definitely true. And I think a Pew Research survey that happened just a -- not very long ago, it must have

been in -- within the last three years, established that one out of three undocumented Hispanics owns their home. Think about that.

Now, we can talk about, OK, this last group of the 2023, 2024 may be different, but we have to believe the surveys to some extent. And the --

MARTIN: Let's go back to your original point. When you say that people are worried about it, what are they worried about? Are they worried that this

group of new migrants will reflect poorly on the community as a whole or do they --

ARANA: That's part of it.

MARTIN: -- worry that their own economic foothold is not strong enough and firm enough to tolerate what seems like a shock? What is it that they're

worried about? Or how are people sort of seeing -- thinking about this?

ARANA: I think that's very much related to the image of the Hispanic. I mean, none of us wants us to be -- I mean, people cringe when something

like this happens, right? That we are seen to be a burden when we are not, and we know we are not. The population, when I go back to the beginning of

what I said, being marginalized and invisible, because you don't see the great contributions of the population. You only see the headlines where you

see people jumping the fence or coming -- you know, streaming into the farmlands in Texas or swimming across the river, and you're made to feel

that this is a stain on the rest of us. That's the problem.

MARTIN: Marie Arana, thank you so much for speaking with us.

ARANA: Thank you so much for having me, Michel. Pleasure.



AMANPOUR: Such an important issue. And returning now to our top story today, more than a hundred people dead in Gaza, according to the health

ministry there after Israeli forces opened fire as they were crowding around a rare aid convoy.

We heard earlier from the adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Mark Regev. Now, let's bring in former State Department official, Josh

Paul, who resigned from the State Department soon after October 7th in protest. And he's joining us now from Washington, D.C. Josh Paul, welcome

back to the program.

Look, I first want to just say that there are two disputed versions of this. Now, I don't know whether you heard it, but the fact is, there needs

to be -- you know, we're not on the ground. Journalists are not allowed in, and it's very hard, you know, to be able to distinguish. But we know

something awful happened and that Israeli forces were involved.

So, the question to you, as a State Department official, how much -- what does the U.S. believe is Israel's responsibility inside Gaza now? Is it --

does the State Department or the administration believe like what Colin Powell said way back in the Iraq War, the Pottery Barn Rule, you break it,

you own it?


much, indeed, for having me on. So, look, I'm talking to you today on a day where the official count, which of course the U.S. government has publicly

said it believes is an undercount of deaths in Gaza has crossed 30,000.

I think the U.S. -- oh, sorry, rather Israel has an immense amount of responsibility here, right? Israel is the occupying power, both in Gaza and

the West Bank. That is the case today. That was the case prior to October 7th. And as the occupying power, it has the responsibility for the health

and welfare of the people of Gaza.

I don't know exactly what happened this morning. It seems certainly to be a tragedy that was completely avoidable. I don't know how many were killed by

the IDF machine gun fire versus how many were run over or trampled. But let's be clear on the context. A U.N. expert has said this week that Israel

is using starvation as a weapon of war, that is a war crime. We've seen children starve to death in just the past few days, and we know that the

population of Gaza is increasingly desperate.

When you compound that with the destruction of infrastructure, and of course, linked to that, the complete destruction and collapse of society

and the social contract in North Gaza, the breakdown of order, and as you noted to Mark Regev, the notion of the IDF providing human security in that

context, in Gaza right now, is just an absurdity, and it's also not what they are trained for, even setting aside the inherent questions about the

intentions of a number of IDF soldiers, as we've seen on social media.

AMANPOUR: Josh, let me just interrupt you a second, because you talked about deliberate starvation. So, you heard, presumably, maybe, Mark Regev

say to me, you don't think we're trying to, you know -- you know, I think he may have said starve or whatever, a deny them food. We're trying to get

more aid in. Why do you say deliberate starvation?

PAUL: Well, so first of all, we have heard U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan express his own frustration that Israel was preventing the

provision of U.S. funded humanitarian assistance of flour, which I believe today's convoy actually represents a small part off. We know that

countries, including France, Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Qatar have had to resort to airdrops to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza. You know,

really, the answer, I think, has to be a seaborne delivery. And this is a proposal that the Geneva International Peace Research Institute has put

forward, in recent days.

But, of course, Israel has not only withheld food, it has also struck, Gaza's water processing plants. It has struck Gaza's electricity

infrastructure. So, I think it is very clear right now that the obstacle to the humanitarian assistance here, despite, you know, a handful of trucks

passing once or twice, you know, at the various checkpoints, is Israel.

AMANPOUR: So, Senator Chris Van Hollen called the denial of food, you know, a war crime on the Senate floor. And, a spokesperson for the NSC said

the White House is looking into this latest very -- it's "serious incident" is how they claim it. And they say it underscores the importance of

expanding and sustaining the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including through a potential temporary ceasefire. We continue to work day

and night to achieve that outcome.

So, how do you see that happening? I mean, operationally, clearly, the United States has been involved in delivering aid in the worst kinds of

situations, and now, apparently, is considering airdropping as well.


We saw in besieged Sarajevo an organized airlift, you know, that at least propped up the civilian population under fire and besieged for four years.

What -- there is a war going on. How do you see the ability to also take care of the civilian population, at least their food and water needs and

their medicine needs, or is that actually not possible in the kind of counteroffensive and the destruction of infrastructure that we see right


PAUL: So, I think when you're talking about over 2 million people, the need is dire and vast and will be enduring. It's going to take many, many

years, if at all, frankly, for Gaza to get back on its feet. And so, there's certainly a need for an international response there.

But as you say, I don't know how feasible that is while the bombs continue to drop in the absence of a ceasefire. You know, in the last few weeks

we've also seen food convoys struck by, for example, IDF tank shells and by naval bombardment. So, we need to see a resumption -- a real ceasefire. And

I think it's also important to ask, you know, as people say, well, is this really time for a ceasefire? A ceasefire from what, eight? Context is

important here.

If it were the case that the IDF, as they are fully capable of doing, was precisely targeting Hamas, you know, senior military officials, as they've

shown they're capable of doing in Lebanon, for example, that would be one thing. Ut in fact, what we've seen is, as Secretary of Defense Austin told

Congress today, 25,000 women and children killed in Gaza in the past four months. And in that context, you know, to say, well, if Hamas just gave up,

you know, the hostages and surrendered, there'll be a ceasefire, I think is a misunderstanding of what a ceasefire is.

What it's actually saying, those who say that, is well, if Hamas just gave up the hostages and surrendered itself, we would stop killing women and

children. And that's just an absolutely depraved position to take.

AMANPOUR: Well, I have to say the word -- the number 25,000 by the U.S. secretary of defense is very, very focusing and concentrating. And --

PAUL: It is. And I would note, if I may --

AMANPOUR: Just one question --

PAUL: -- that the same -- in the exact same --

AMANPOUR: Yes. I need to ask you another question though. You resigned in protest from this administration over their policy. Has anything changed?

Have you seen anything changing? You know, Prime Minister Netanyahu is like I mean really saying pretty much no in public to everything the U.S. says

just about.

Again, leverage on weapons. There's a lot of questioning now amongst young Americans, amongst the voters, not to mention overseas, about why doesn't

the U.S. use its leverage, the only leverage it really has, which is continuing to supply these weapons that are being used, certainly at this


PAUL: No, that's right. And, yes. So, I mean, in the context of those 25,000 women and children Secretary of Defense Austin said had been killed.

He also noted in the same testimony that the U.S. has provided, since October 7th, 21,000 precision guided munitions to Israel. So, there's a

clear impact that the U.S. is having here, a clear complicity and a clear leverage.

Look, I think the Biden administration has done two things. It has changed its tone, which I think is nice, but ultimately ineffective. And in recent

days, there has been an executive order on settlement of violence. There has been a national security memorandum on compliance with international

law. There has been a U.N. resolution the U.S. has floated, saying that this is not the right circumstances for Israel to go into Rafah. None of

that is the same as action, and what we need here is action.

But at the same time, I do think that the Biden administration is establishing at least a framework for escalation. It is signaling to Israel

that it has options available. Whether it will use those options, I think we need to be deeply skeptical until it happens.

AMANPOUR: Are you hearing from any other members of your former, you know, colleagues about concerns, the kind of concerns that prompted you to leave?

PAUL: Oh yes, I mean constantly. I was actually in the Netherlands this week meeting with Dutch civil servants who have been conducting daily sit-

ins or weekly sit-ins outside their own foreign ministry. This is a set of concerns held by civil servants across Europe and across America who

continue to speak out, and I think they should be listened to.

There is a disconnect here between the expertise of our civil servants, the policies, and the policy understanding of our civil servants and our

institutions, on the one hand, and the politics and the politicians and the direction they are setting. And I think we need to recognize that gap,

which is unique, in my experience, and pay attention to those voices.

AMANPOUR: Josh Paul. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.


And finally, tonight, we wanted to leave you with a little bit of a celebration of life and some incredible images that have actually never

been seen before, never been captured before as humpback whales have been observed mating.

Now, it's the first time this has been captured. And indeed, such amorous encounters are exceedingly rare because humpback whales only breed every

two to three years, and their calves take 11 months to gestate. But that probably won't even be happening to the humpbacks in these historic

pictures because both are males. So, I guess underwater is a safe haven.

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-over social media.

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.