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Interview With AEI Director Of Foreign And Defense Policy Studies And Former State Department Official Kori Schake; Interview With Istituto Affari Internazionali Director And Foreign Policy Adviser Nathalie Tocci; Interview With "On the Move" Author And ProPublica Reporter Abrahm Lustgarten; Interview With Palestinian And Ukrainian Refugee And One Young World Peace Ambassador Zoya El-Miari. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired April 22, 2024 - 13:00   ET



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

Opening arguments in Former President Trump's criminal trial, and I ask how all this impacts America in the world. Former State Department official,

Kori Schake, and former E.U. foreign policy official, Nathalie Tocci, on how allies would be most affected by another Trump term.

Then, Americans are on the move, and our impact on climate is to blame. On Earth Day, I speak to Abrahm Lustgarten about his new book.

Plus --


ZOYA EL-MIARI, PALESTINIAN AND UKRAINIAN REFUGEE AND PEACE AMBASSADOR, ONE YOUNG WORLD: It's very important to point out that both sides of me are

worth living, whether I'm Palestinian or Ukrainian.


AMANPOUR: -- twice a refugee, Hari Sreenivasan talks to Palestinian- Ukrainian activist Zoya El-Miari about her work as a young peace advocate.

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

Opening arguments were heard in the first ever criminal trial of an American president, as a jury of 12 determines whether Donald Trump engaged

in 2016 election interference over the payment of hush money to an alleged lover. This just six 2024 election, where he's vying to get his old job


Foes and allies of the United States around the world will be watching closely, some with increasing alarm, especially Ukraine. The embattled

nation did get that much delayed, badly needed boost from the House this weekend after Speaker Mike Johnson defied the Trump wing of his party to

pass a crucial aid package that'll also benefit Israel and Taiwan.

But whether the U.S. continues such support to Ukraine in the future will depend on what Americans decide in November. Joining me now from Taipei is

Kori Schake. She's a former state and Pentagon official now at the American Enterprise Institute. And joining us from Rome is Nathalie Tocci, a former

special adviser to the E.U. foreign policy chief and at the International Institute in Rome. Welcome, both of you, to the program.

Kori, can I ask you first, since I assume you're getting a lot of questions as an American overseas, about what's going on. I'm sure about the

election, but can we first ask whether just this trial is raising any questions from people you meet in Taiwan and on the road?


a reminder of the chaos premium that Donald Trump brings with him into American politics. Because it's a reminder, both for American voters and

for allies, that there -- that the former president doesn't appear to have any actual principles to help guide and anticipate his decisions, and that

he's profoundly corrupt.

AMANPOUR: Well, you know, you say that with a sigh of sadness. I understand what you're saying. And I just wonder, I'm going to ask Nathalie as well,

whether his, you know, assault on the democratic institutions, every day going in and out of the court and essentially denigrating the independent

judiciary and calling it a witch hunt, I just wonder how you in Italy, Nathalie, are interpreting that and how Italians interpret that.


really disbelief. I mean, it seems absolutely incredible that someone with the number of indictments that Donald Trump has and that will be spending

the next, you know, a few months in and out of court on that who may well end up being convicted for criminal charges could end up being president

again. I think there's a sort of fundamental lack of understanding of how this could actually even be possible.

So, I think, you know, disbelief is probably like the first reaction. And then, of course, there's a lot of concern because it is clear that what is

happening in the United States is only going to increase that polarization further on the more polarized America becomes and the greater the

isolationist instincts, you know, more likely those are going to prevail.


And of course, as you were saying, we've already seen how this is playing out on absolutely crucial questions such as the war in Ukraine. And again,

you know, we can only imagine that more of this is going to happen in the weeks and months ahead.

AMANPOUR: And I'm going to come to you about Ukraine in a sec, because you've just returned from Kyiv. You've written quite a powerful article for

"The Guardian." But also, the other massive issue for the United States, Kori, is China. And you know, the defense of Taiwan, which is a democracy.

And how the U.S. is going to manage this in enormously complex and vital relationship.

What do you think -- how do you think they're looking at the United States right now? China in terms of whether it can count on U.S. defense --

rather, yes, Taiwan and whether it can count, and China, whether the U.S. is going to get even more protectionist, get even more, you know, face off

over the military expansionism and the like.

SCHAKE: Yes, well, I do think that, you know, a Trump administration, President Trump has, on more than one occasion, pointed out Taiwan's a

small country on the edge of a large one, but two really important things are being demonstrated in the U.S. right now. The first is the justice

system holding even a former and current presidential candidate accountable before the law, that really matters. And that's a signal Nathalie and

America's friends should also take.

And the second thing is three quarters of the House of Representatives, 75 percent of America's legislators voted not just in favor of aid to Ukraine

and aid to Taiwan, but also to force the divestiture of Chinese government ownership of TikTok.

So, what we are seeing is Congress. beginning to assert itself, even against the reflexes of a very powerful Trump candidacy. And I think that

matters hugely too, because traditionally the Congress has been much more assertive than it has been in about the last 20 years.

AMANPOUR: So, that's really interesting because, you know, everybody was wondering what's happening to this Congress with the powerful Trump MAGA

wing and obviously, Mike Johnson, the speaker, broke with that group and did what he said was the right thing by finally passing all this aid.

So, Nathalie, let me just ask you because you've been there. You've heard President Zelenskyy, you know, be really sad and complaining about how the

West and all the allies went to the help of a of another non-NATO ally, Israel, when it was being attacked by, you know, missiles and drones from

Iran, but never helps -- and certainly the anti-aircraft systems are dwindling, never helps Ukraine against Russia, or hasn't in the last few

months. What are you hearing there?

TOCCI: Well, firstly, one thing that actually did surprise me quite a bit, I didn't actually hear much about Trump on what would happen or may happen

after November. What the Ukrainians were really focusing on is what they define as their window of vulnerability, which basically goes from, you

know, where we are now and where we have been for the last few months up until the end of the year.

And they were -- obviously, you know, when I was there, the U.S. supplemental bill had not gone through yet. They were hopeful that it

could, but that really is, in a sense, the bare minimum. You know, the analogy that they used to me is, you know, this really is like, you know,

being thrown into a ring. And being told that for every 10 punches that you receive, you're only allowed one back. And doing all this while avoiding a

K.O., right?

So, this, in a sense, is the predicament that Ukraine is going to be in over the next few months, regardless of what happens. And again, you know,

assuming obviously that these weapons now are going to come online, it's not sufficient to put them in a position to be back on the offensive.

AMANPOUR: Exactly.

TOCCI: If then you put onto this context, you know, this absolutely dramatic situation of their air defense systems where, you know, this is

not weapons that we don't have. You know, we have a problem and we know it in terms of ammunition and artillery. We woke up two years late that, you

know, there was a war going on in Europe, and we've only now started ramping up production, but we've got these air defense systems in Europe,

and they're kind of collecting dust in different European countries, deterring tomorrow's war when the war is going now and it's happening in

Ukraine and Ukrainian cities, civilians, critical infrastructure, those are the ones that are being hit today.


Which -- so, it's absolutely shocking that, you know, today there was a Foreign Affairs Council meeting and still, you know, the resistance for

reasons that frankly speaking, escape me, the resistance is still there as to why are we not, you know, providing more of these air defense systems to


AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to ask you why do you think, but you've just said it defies logic, but you also wrote today, if European air defense

systems continue lying around rather than being provided to Kyiv to save lives in Ukraine, they may end up being needed where they are currently

stationed. Not a subtle hint to the fact that. Putin might expand his operations.

But, Kori, I want to ask you as an American. I mean, Anne Applebaum, the -- you know, the respected author, journalist, and expert on this region,

wrote her latest piece saying the pro-Russia GOP caucus has been defeated, in other words over this bill, and now, Ukraine has to win. But defeated

for how long, I'm not sure.

But I want to read what you -- I want to play what John Sawers, the former head of MI6, told me over the weekend about what could be expected in



JOHN SAWERS, FORMER CHIEF, BRITISH SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE: Certainly, for the rest of this year, Ukraine's task is to hold the frontline where it

is at the moment rather than push it back.

I think we will probably get to a point at some stage where the fighting is not in either side's interest. I don't think Zelenskyy or the Ukrainian

government will ever recognize Russian control of Ukrainian territory, not even Crimea. And I don't think the Russians will ever pull back from land

they occupied.


AMANPOUR: So, that's interesting. It's a real lay of the land that Ukraine has to spend, you know, 2024 really holding and defending what it has. And

presumably these weapons will help, kind of better late than never.

But, Kori, how much influence do you give or, you know, to the Russian propaganda, which "The Washington Post" has looked at very carefully and

has, you know, documented how they have really targeted Congress people and the American people to try to get them not to want to help Ukraine.

OK. They got this bill passed, but what do you think might happen, you know, in the next weeks and months down the road?

SCHAKE: Well, I'm pretty confident that the support for aid to Ukraine. I mean, this was a really important vote, the supplemental -- the four

supplemental bills that the House pass, and they were really important, not just for the immediate assistance that they provide, but as a marker that

an America engaged in the world makes us safer and more prosperous.

68 cents of every dollar spent on aid to Ukraine actually gets spent in the United States. It assists in us rebuilding our defense industry and it

helps us prepare for future conflict. And I think that argument has been accepted by representatives. And so, this was a bellwether vote about

America and the world in addition to being a vote about the specifics, and I think that makes me more confident than it sounds like Nathalie might be

that we've laid a foundation for continued American support, continued American engagement.

And I agree with John Sawers' assessment. You know, it's fashionable to think that military force can't solve problems, but exactly for the

political assessment John gave, only military force is going to determine the outcome in the war between Ukraine and Russia.

AMANPOUR: So, then let me ask you, Nathalie, do you feel a little bit more confident after this message from the Congress that yes, in fact, it will

do the right thing after exhausting every possibility not to do that that China has learned a lesson, Iran has been sent a message, Russia has been

sent a message, that actually Ukraine will continue to be supported?

TOCCI: I mean, I think, Christiane, that, you know, what this bill indicates is that we can be, I wouldn't say confident, but we can be

hopeful that 2024 will be a year in which, you know, that window of vulnerability that I was referring to is not going to actually end up in

something catastrophically bad. And that 2024 will end up being a little bit like 2023 in which Ukraine lost a little bit of territory, but not too

much now.


I think that from there, which is, you know, better than where we could be -- you could be, but it's still a way off from what needs to happen to

actually ensure that this war ends in a manner that creates sustainable peace in Europe. And, you know, this is, as -- you know, has been said many

times, this is not some sort of civil war, right? I mean, this is an imperial war. Normally, imperial wars don't end in a fudge. Normally,

imperial wars are either won or lost. And we're still a way -- you know, a way off where we need to be to ensure that this war ends with a defeat of

Russian imperialism, which is what generated it in the first place.

So, I would -- on a whole, I would say, you know, good that we are where we are. We could be in a much worse place, but we're still a very long way

away from where we need to be to ensure that European security is restored.

AMANPOUR: Well, and, you know, accompanying question to that, then again, John Sawers is suggesting that it's America's allies that are going to be

mostly on the -- in the worried back foot under another Trump administration. You know, maybe not that he'll pull out of NATO, but maybe

weaken the whole Article 5 commitment. Do you hear that worry in Europe, Nathalie?

TOCCI: Yes. It's a huge worry, which is why what I would say to You know, we're headed now to European elections. I would say that actually, almost

regardless of who wins those elections and, you know, who are the leaders that are going to emerge as a result of those elections, defense is

probably going to be the first priority of the next political institutional cycle in Europe, and that is not so much a question of, you know, right and

left and who wins and who loses, it's simply the consequence of a realization, two years on, about time, that our continent is at war.

AMANPOUR: And, Kori, do you think that that could be, you know, a result of -- if the administration changes? Obviously, President Biden is rock solid

in supporting democracy, as he said over and again, and Article 5, you know, defense of, you know, an attack on one is attack on all. Do you think

America will remain committed to Article 5?

SCHAKE: Yes, I do, because Americans remain committed to Article 5. I think that's one really important takeaway from the House of Representative votes

that members of the House were wavering about whether to support Ukraine heard from their constituents. And that's the foundation for continued

American engagement in the world. It's actually that Americans get it.

AMANPOUR: And what about Americans and the Middle East, Kori? You know, where do you think, you know, after -- well, first of all, do you think the

immediate danger between Iran and Israel has subsided for a moment? And then how do you think the bigger war could happen -- well, the hot war at

the moment, can be concluded?

SCHAKE: I don't know how the war in the Middle East could be concluded because it looks to me like it's bad and it's going to remain bad for some

considerable period of time. I don't see a political calculation. Any potential government structure for Gaza that's going to be acceptable to

Israel, acceptable to Palestinians, and participated in by other countries in the region or by the U.N. So, I think that's going to be problematic for

a long time.

In terms of Iran and Israel, the Israelis had to respond to an attack from Iranian territory on the territory of Israel. And I thought they did so

with real elegance, that is three-missile shot, taking out the air defenses of a military -- a nuclear site in the middle of Iranian territory when

Iran had fired, what, something like 350 missiles and drones and not been able to do significant damage to Israel.

It was a restrained reaction. It reinforced the technological and military dominance of Israel and showed what else they can hold at risk if Iran

continues to escalate.

AMANPOUR: So, let me just ask you, Nathalie, from a European perspective, the Iran-Israel thing on one hand, but is there any hope that there's --

you know, Kori doesn't have much hope for any, you know, political solution any time soon, which is going to be needed to resolve the Israel-

Palestinian crisis. Do you see anything? I mean, is -- are there any European leaders with any ideas?


TOCCI: Well, I mean, you know, frankly, Christiane, you know, whereas in the case of Ukraine, one can criticize Europeans for not doing enough, but

at least doing the right thing when it comes to the Middle East, it's been an utter catastrophe. Europeans have been divided. They have belatedly

moved on to say that they're in favor of a ceasefire, not quite entirely united on that position, but moving in this direction. Some countries have

suspended assistance to UNRWA.

In discussions in the Middle East, Europeans are totally off the map. You know, before even talking about what Europeans think, you basically kind of

ask yourself what, you know, the Gulf countries and Turkey and, you know, China, Russia actually think.

So, Europeans have really kind of excluded themselves from this equation, and the little they have done has actually gone in the direction of

perpetuating the conflict even further.

AMANPOUR: Gosh. Nathalie Tocci, Kori Schake, thank you both so much for being with us.

Now, the other concern about Donald Trump is his effect on climate, after rolling back many environmental provisions in his first term. April -- not

to mention pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.

April 22nd, today, is World Earth Day. And my next guest says, the verdict is in. Americans are already being displaced by the climate crisis, and

it'll only get worse. Abraham Lustgarten is a climate reporter and he works for ProPublica. His new book, "On the Move," explores how climate change is

about to profoundly reshape American life. He's joining me now from Berkeley, California.

Abraham Lustgarten, welcome to the program. Tell me --


AMANPOUR: Hi. -- how does your personal experience and the moves you've made inform this book about Americans moving around due to climate?

LUSTGARTEN: Yes, it was the catalyst for taking a story about global migration in response to climate change local and starting to look at how

Americans might also be displaced from climate change.

I had been working on a story for a couple of years for "The New York Times" about displacement around the world, and we had a terrible fire

season, this was 2018, 2019, string of fires near where I live in the San Francisco Bay area. And it really made clear how much Americans are also

being affected by rising heat, by smoke, by the danger of fires, by sea level rise on our coasts and caused me to start looking not only my own

situation, but to consider from a reporter's perspective what this means for Americans as the climate gets hotter.

AMANPOUR: So, we're going to discuss the effect in a moment, but in your book, you write, people have always moved as their environment has changed.

But today, the climate is warming faster and the population is larger than at any point in history.

And in one chapter you talk about Hurricane Katrina and what it did to Louisiana. You do tell the life of one woman who became a climate migrant.

Just one story, but explain how climate, you know, affects just this one individual.

LUSTGARTEN: Yes. So, Colette Pichon Battle is the subject of this story and she is from a town called Slidell, Louisiana. It's just a little bit north

of New Orleans. And when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 in her area, her town was really devastated.

She was living in Washington, D.C., and she moved back to Louisiana, and she moved back with this hope of -- from a legal perspective and from an

organizational perspective and as a member of her community, seeing if she could get help rebuild and help keep that community in place and kind of

prevent this migration this diaspora.

And her story is a 15-year battle to do that. And sort of slowly coming to realize that, in some sense, it is a losing proposition or a difficult

proposition in Southern Louisiana, and that's because Hurricane Katrina, so many years ago, was really the start of a shift of population out of that


And we see, you know, along Louisiana Coast, which is sinking and being subsumed by sea level rise already a gradual decline in population. And so,

Colette's story is kind of an example of the nuance of American climate migration, where it's not black and white, it is not a disaster happens and

people move, but it is sort of a long and emotional battle and a difficult decision to make you try to stay, you leave for a short time, you come

back, you try to rebuild, the rebuilding doesn't work out, or it's too expensive, and then slowly, you kind of give up.

And she's still there and she's still fighting that battle. But that's what her community has gone through over all these years.

AMANPOUR: And interestingly though, you know, we're often looking at, for instance, Colette's story and stories around the world, you know, migration

is often associated with catastrophe and calamity, and where they go next, they're even worse off or barred from going to places where they could find

some kind of life.


But you also say that there are potential positives to moving from one location to another in the United States. Positives for whole new parts of

the country.

LUSTGARTEN: Yes. I mean, my hypothesis is is that when I look at the data that projects the climate risks across the United States geographically,

it's going to squeeze from the coasts, from the West, especially and from the south northward and that you likely see a shift of population in the

United States over the next couple of decades northward into the northern Midwest and into the Great Lakes region where there's ample water.

And what that means is a potential revitalization for a lot of those communities, or at least a lot of the opportunity for growth that comes

with a growing population, maybe an influx of younger families, you know, energized middle class families. But to seize on that growth, a lot of the

experts that I talked to talk about the need to carefully plan, develop policies that support that migratory movement, that prepare things like

infrastructure and prepare things like housing and -- you know, and are ready to witness and smooth the path for that movement.

But if that is done that, yes, there's enormous growth potential for certain parts of the country and of the world, just as there will be

difficulties in other parts.

AMANPOUR: Yes. So, you're describing sort of climate migration boom towns, as you say. And you say, if -- you know, if the system reacts to this. Is

there any evidence that there is preparation for this? Are there any parts of the country which are preparing to welcome, you know, new, new migrants

from inside?

LUSTGARTEN: Yes, I think that's beginning, but it's early days. So, for example, I did a quite a bit of reporting up around Detroit and the

Southern Michigan area. And there, people were starting to have conversations, deep planning discussions about this issue, but hadn't

necessarily put those plans into action. But there was a recognition of the need for the kinds of things I said, like investment in infrastructure.

And you see cities like Buffalo, New York, claiming that there'll be a climate refuge and marketing themselves that way, but not really developing

the policy yet, but presumably that would come.

And another interesting case study that I looked at in my reporting is the City of Atlanta, which, in some ways, is the furthest along. Atlanta is

modeled to be a real recipient of potentially millions of American climate migrants, and Atlanta has spent the last decade greening and improving its

infrastructure across large parts of the city in really positive ways that make parts of the city more sustainable.

But now, it's grappling with a new set of challenges, which is sort of a teaching moment, you know, which is defending against the gentrification

that's resulted from some of their greening and the need to -- you know, to protect some of those communities as you plan for incoming climate

migration. So, that's just an example of how some cities are beginning to think about this now.

AMANPOUR: And how the balancing act has to be gotten right. On the issue of farming, you also talk about that. You know, that this could cause

industries and habits to change. Southern regions, you know, could get, you know, less yield nor northern regions. Talk to us about farming, which is

so essential to Americans.

LUSTGARTEN: Yes. So, two segments of my reporting, one examined the water scarcity in the Western United States, in the Colorado River Basin in

particular, which feeds a great deal of our winter fruits and vegetable production in Southern California and also a good deal of the agriculture

across Arizona and New Mexico that industry in that region is extraordinarily imperiled. It will need to really reorient its use of water

if it needs to -- if it hopes to remain in the region where it -- where it's currently operating, or potentially we might have to see that

agriculture shift.

And then, more broadly, I use proprietary data analysis from the Rhodium Group, the economic and environmental research firm. And that data projects

agricultural yields declining across much of the country. And in fact, we've already seen about a 12 percent decline in crop yields due to climate

change since the 1960s. And now, Rhodium projects that those crop yields could decline as much as 90 percent in Southern Texas, 30 to 40 percent

across the Great Plains, where we have, you know, really the breadbasket of the country.

So, all of that suggests that with rising temperatures, which is what is really affecting those crop yields, we're going to have to reconfigure and

reimagine our agricultural industry. We're not going to face food shortages in the United States, but where that food is grown might change and the

amount of wheat, for example, that we export and that we use foreign aid, that also might shift. There's just really enormous changes in store over

the next two to three decades, even under a fairly modest climate warming projection.


AMANPOUR: Interesting. You also have a chapter called "The Great American Climate Scam." What is that?

LUSTGARTEN: Well, one huge question that comes up when you look demographically at where people live in the United States is why, as

climate impacts have grown, as hurricanes have become more common and more powerful, and as heat has overwhelmed the South, why those are still some

of the fastest growing parts of the country, and there's a lot of reasons for that.

But one of the sets of reasons is a host of perverse incentives that the United States has always had to attract people and effectively blind them

from the risk that they face in moving to places like Coastal Florida. And one of those subsidies is the provision of homeowners insurance or property

insurance. And Florida is a great example of this.

After Hurricane Andrew, in 1992, insurers were leaving the state and it might have suggested that property was uninsurable, but the state stepped

in and said, we don't want all these people to leave the state because of this economic risk. We are going to provide our own insurance. And so, they

created a state subsidized plan that basically said, anybody can get insurance and will promise it's going to be cheaper than any other

insurance on the market. And that's the type of thing that has attracted many more people to Florida and has been replicated across 30 odd states in

the country and that's a kind of just one example of policies that tend to sort of blunt the risk and the personal economic household decision-making

that people have to make about where they live in this country.

AMANPOUR: And now, if you pull back a bit and look sort of more globally, when you see the progress or not, being made on trying to achieve that --

you know, the magical, you know, 1.5 degrees, well, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, but do you see globally sort of any progress

towards maybe slowing this migratory process that you see?

LUSTGARTEN: Yes. So, there's this study about the human habitability niche and it basically projects that conditions that support human life for

shifting northward. And as that is happening somewhere between 2 and 6 billion people on the planet could be, you know, displaced from those ideal

conditions, potentially migrating.

And so, that research suggests that if you cut emissions, if you keep temperatures closer to -- you know, to 2 degrees Celsius, which maybe is a

realistic target at this point, that the number of potential migrants globally, and in the United States, would be cut by -- you know, by up to

half, by close to half. So, it really makes a big difference how quickly we cut emissions.

You know, we have reduced our warming projections from where we were six or seven years ago, that's some progress. The legislation that's been passed

in the United States and the goal set here is some progress. It gives me a little bit of hope, but none of it is happening fast enough. And globally,

we don't yet see the signs of countries like India and China hopping on board, changing as quickly as needs to happen to reduce the net global

emissions. And it's just critical that that happens immediately at this point, you know, to also stem the flow of that human displacement.

AMANPOUR: You just mentioned India. What about China? I don't know whether you noticed there was a fairly interesting positive analysis about what Xi

is actually doing and that he might yet be seen as somebody who did push the green agenda. Do you see that even though they still have their coal

fired and trying to figure out how to kickstart their own economy?

LUSTGARTEN: Yes. So, the smart thing that China is doing is establishing its leadership in a renewable economy in -- you know, in electric vehicle

production and producing batteries and in creating renewable energy resources. So, that's all great. And I think that's what that analysis was

about. And I have no bones with that, but its emissions are still astronomical. And those initial those emissions, they just have to plateau

or decline as quickly as possible, almost immediately.

And the sooner that that happens, you know, the more the global effects of warming will be blunted. And by extension, again, you know, the migration

that will result. So, yes, there is a positive example that China is setting. It's opportunistic, which is great. It should seize that

opportunity to shift its economy towards renewables. But as long as it's still using all of those carbon emitting energy sources that their work is

not done.

AMANPOUR: And very briefly, we've got about 30 seconds left. Do you -- are you concerned about -- you know, since the evidence of Trump in his first

term was to, you know, roll back so many protections, are any locked in and sort of Trump proof now?


LUSTGARTEN: No, nothing's locked in. And there's enormous risk of reversing some of the positive progress, not both American emissions cuts, which have

been legislated, but the example that we set globally. So, I think it's a very precarious position. And if you if you take back some of those

measures the -- you know, it'll have dramatic consequences globally.

AMANPOUR: Abrahm Lustgarten, thank you so much indeed.

Now, as we know, the climate crisis isn't the only issue that drives migration. According to the U.N., over 10 million refugees and asylum

seekers were forced to flee their homes due to conflict in 2022.

Being half Palestinian and half Ukrainian, our next guest has been displaced not once, but twice. First leaving Lebanon in 2021, and then

Ukraine when the war broke out two years ago. Now, Zoya El-Miari is a peace ambassador for One Young World. It's a charity that supports young leaders

across the globe. And she joins Hari Sreenivasan to share her complex experience as a refugee.


HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Zoya El-Miari, thanks so much for joining us.

Zoya, thanks for being here. You are in an almost unique position of being a refugee twice over. You are both Palestinian and Ukrainian. I guess for

the audience, tell me a little bit about your backstory. Where'd you grow up?


Palestinian, half Ukrainian. My dad is Palestinian from Lebanon. My mom is Ukrainian. I grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp, Ein El Hilweh, which is

the largest refugee camp in Lebanon. These Palestinian camps were built after the Palestinians were forced to flee their homes back in Palestine in


And after that, the communities, they're kept on growing and growing. And I lived in this refugee camp, which was a community filled with child abuse,

mental illnesses, ongoing clashes until the age of 15. And later in 2021, when the situation in Lebanon was getting worse and worse, we decided to

move to Ukraine for a fresh start. And later in 2022, the war starts in Ukraine, and we have to escape the war for a second time in our lives and

becoming refugees for a second time.

SREENIVASAN: When you were growing up as a kid, I wonder, did you tell your friends in school that you lived in a refugee camp, that that was part of

your identity?

EL-MIARI: So, I went into a very good school. Unlike my siblings, they were going to UNRWA schools, which were -- they were facing some kind of

challenges. And with the good quality education that I got, the children there were coming from richer communities. And in that situation, I was

really scared because of the associated stereotypes.

So, I remember when other students were worried about their grades. I was really scared that they would ask me where do you come from, that they

would discover my reality living in a refugee camp. So, I was really scared to tell them that I live in a refugee camp or I was really ashamed about

this reality.

SREENIVASAN: So, you had the option to go to a private school or a better school, and there, you weren't that proud of your refugee status or

identity. What happened when you were, well, leaving Ukraine? I mean, at that point, did that change?

EL-MIARI: When the war started in Ukraine and we were escaping the war for the second time, because back in 2006, the war between Lebanon and Israel,

we were also forced to flee Lebanon to Ukraine because Ukraine always represented a safe space for us, a safe haven.

So, whenever something bad was happening in Lebanon, we would always go to Ukraine. And this time that the war was happening in Ukraine, we had to

escape the war for the second time. And I remember when we were in the train heading to Poland, my mom told me, Zoya, we should sing. And we

started singing Ukrainian folk songs. And with each song, our resilience was growing stronger.

And this time, I promised myself that if I make it out alive, I refuse to become the victim I once was. But rather, I would become a warrior and a

fighter. I would fight for those in Ukraine and I would fight for my Palestinian side, the side, that as a kid, I was afraid to fight for.

SREENIVASAN: You know, I'm struggling to figure out like how these two identities that you're living influence your life.

EL-MIARI: So, ever since I was a child, I always had this internal conflict, because when the war happened in Lebanon and we escaped to

Ukraine, my dad was only Palestinian, and in Lebanon, we are considered stateless refugees.

So, my dad stayed in Lebanon and was not allowed to go with us to Ukraine. And it was really -- like, it created an internal conflict in me, like, why

would I be able to escape to a safer space when my dad stayed behind? And now, that the war happened in Ukraine and we escaped the war, suddenly I

felt that the whole world was welcoming the Ukrainians and we truly appreciate that. But that is something that really conflicts the other side

of me.


And here I felt these double standards of one half of me being completely humanized, when the other side is completely dehumanized. So, it's really

as if one paper, one document defines the way I would live, defines my life.

SREENIVASAN: So, explain that to me. The Ukrainian side of you, you feel is humanized and the Palestinian dehumanized, am I hearing that correct?

EL-MIARI: Yes, that's correct. And I can talk about the language that is being associated with Ukrainian refugees, for example, and my other half

being Palestinian. For example, growing up, we always got used to Palestinians being portrayed as barbarians or terrorists. And on the other

hand, now as Ukrainians, we were refugees, European refugees who the world saw as part of them, you know, part of those people.

So, often the language that is being used in western media, European media, always portrays the Palestinians as terrorists. So, in a way, that is how

the genocide that's happening in Gaza right now, in a way, people are not able to see that what's happening is terrible because of the media that has

been portraying the Palestinians over and over again as barbarians or terrorists.

So, that's the conflicting double standards that's happening when the media portrays the Palestinians, one side of me in one way and the other side of

me in another way. And it's very important to point out that both sides of me are worth living, whether I'm Palestinian or Ukrainian, or wherever I

come from, I am worth of living. I deserve to live.

So, yes, we are not terrorists. We are actual human beings. Even as refugees, we are not just numbers or statistics to be portrayed on a screen

or mainstreamed on the media. We are actual human beings. We are children who are full of dreams and aspirations. We are mothers and fathers who

really love their children unconditionally. So, no, we are not terrorists. We are human beings just like everyone else.

SREENIVASAN: You live in Switzerland now. How do you stay a family when parts of your family are here, parts of your family are there, and you know

that they're both in lands where there is danger?

EL-MIARI: This is a very sad reality, and this is what refugees have to go through when the families are scattered all around the world because of the

lack of safety and security. So, there is some type of survival guilt, of course, because in a way we were saved. But also in Lebanon, the situation

is very bad, in Ukraine as well. So, it's always continuous worrying about what could happen here. What could that could happen there? Also in West

Bank, also in Gaza. So, it's continuously really being in a survival mode, of course.

And in a way, that really also makes me question, like, what is home to me? I grew up questioning myself, what is home to me? Because so many people,

if you ask them, like, what is home to you, they can really specify, like, that's my home, that's my home. And to me, like, how can I say that

Palestine is my home, if I'm not even allowed to visit my home country? Or how can I say Lebanon is my home if I grew up as a Palestinian refugee

there? Or in Ukraine now, there is a war.

So, this also reminds me of the conversations I used to have with my grandfather who was forced to flee Palestine back in 1948, and he was

sharing with me that, at the time, they thought that they were leaving their homes just for three days, and that they were going back home. And

they left Palestine with their keys that they kept on holding for so long, wishing that they can only use them back home.

And my grandfather died in Lebanon, Palestinian refugee died in Lebanon with his only one dream, to use those keys and go back home buried with

him. And this really makes me question like why some people from Brooklyn or Europe can come to Palestine and take the Israeli citizenship and take

the -- enjoy their human rights when us as Palestinians who grew up outside of Palestine, around 6 million Palestinians outside of Palestine, and we

are not even allowed to go and visit our country, not only not go back to our home, but not even visit.

So, my dad even -- my dad, who grew up in Lebanon, he's never -- he has never visited his home country in Palestine, because he's not even allowed

to go there and visit.

SREENIVASAN: What do you find are parallel between the conflicts in Ukraine and what's happening in Gaza right now?


EL-MIARI: So, there is occupation on both sides. And it's very important to notice that. And this is something I've been mentioning that we cannot

fight for one part of me and not fight for the other, because really, there's no one -- no one is free until everyone on this earth is free,

whether in Palestine, in Ukraine, Sudan, Congo, Yemen, everywhere. That is how true liberation -- collective liberation is achieved.

Also, in Ukraine, everyone knows the narrative. The whole world knows the narrative, knows the Russian propaganda, knows the occupation now happening

in Ukraine. And when it comes to the narrative, when we want to talk about Palestine and Israel, suddenly, the language becomes very complicated and

the whole situation becomes complicated when it's really clear that there is the oppressor and there are the oppressed, there's the occupier, and

there are those who are being occupied for decades long.

SREENIVASAN: You're working as a peace ambassador. Now, what does that mean?

EL-MIARI: Yes. For so long I was questioning what peace means to me, because as a child growing up in a refugee camp, honestly, all what I

wanted was peace. I did not understand in my community where, I hated that community growing up, honestly. For so long, I couldn't understand or

comprehend why people that were so angry all the time or resort to violence as a way of expressing themselves or their pain until I grew older and

understood that those people, my people are actually oppressed. They were never taught ways to express themselves in a more healthier way.

And that's where I felt that that need to become a peace ambassador, to teach people how they can express themselves in a way that their pain could

actually be used as a peaceful weapon. So, I became a peace ambassador after participating in a One Young World Summit back in Manchester. And I

was questioning myself, what does peace mean to me after the situation, the genocide and Gaza started.

And I came to realize that peace is something I value. That's one of my top values in life. But I also understood that with peace comes justice. If I'm

fighting for peace, that means that I'm fighting for justice as well. Because when there is no justice, there is no peace.

So, today, that is what peace means to me. Peace means fighting against the occupation, ending the occupation. Only then we can achieve peace.

SREENIVASAN: How do you deal with people who have a totally different point of view of the world and reality, right? Like there are Israelis wanting to

ensure their safety and security. They feel like they're living next to a government that has sponsored acts of violence and terror against them. So,

when you, as an ambassador of peace, bump into people who have these worldviews that are so diametrically opposed to how you see things, how do

you approach them? How do you communicate and how do you see them and hear them?

EL-MIARI: That's a very good question. And maybe here I can share a little story that I had experienced. When we escaped the war in Ukraine, the first

thing that I wanted to do was to go to Auschwitz camp because my grandfather used to tell me stories of Jews who were killed during the


And I went to the Auschwitz camp just six days after the war in Ukraine started. And what I saw there really terrified me. I saw pictures of

children hanging on the wall. And I really wondered how did the world allow this to happen back then? What type of propaganda justified the killing of

those children?

And now, I'm also asking myself, what type of propaganda is allowing people to be blind to an extent that the killing, the slaughtering, the murder of

children today is somehow justified or the killing of over 30,000 souls is also somehow justified.

And I remember reading there, in Auschwitz, a code that says something like, we need to know our history for it not to be repeated. And what's

happening today in the world? Where's the humanity? Why is the history keeps on repeating itself?

So, I feel like, today, in our position as youth fighting against the occupation, against injustices in the world, what we want is the end of

this cycle of violence once and for all and for everyone.

So, I remember talking to a Jewish person who also became my friend and she was sharing about those Jews who are fighting for a free Palestine to whom

I had a huge respect, but we were also talking together because she has a different view of seeing things from -- maybe from the Israeli perspective,

the Israeli propaganda.

And we were talking. It's important to talk. I was talking to her and I told her, please send me everything that you are seeing. I need to

understand the way that they are thinking. And I was sending to her how I am seeing things and the reality. I'm sharing with her the truth, because

we need to know the truth. It's time to acknowledge the truth for -- to stop it from being repeated once and for all.


So, that is one way to start the conversation by sharing that, yes, I was in Auschwitz. I respect those Jews who are fighting for a free Palestine,

but what I don't understand are the Zionists who are using the pain of the Jews as an explanation or justification for what they are doing today in

Palestine, in Gaza, in West Bank, not only now, but for the past 75 years.

So, yes, everyone deserves to -- everyone can live freely on that land, on every land, but not when it comes on an expense of other people, not at the

expense of displacing thousands of Palestinians for so long.

SREENIVASAN: You've said before that, I did not choose my struggles, but I get to choose how I perceive my own story. Explain that if you will.

EL-MIARI: What I realized when I came to Switzerland, I started sharing my story. And in Lebanon, I did, in a way, victimized myself by being ashamed

for things I did not choose, for lying to my friends that I come from a refugee camp, for lying to my friends that I lived in a single room with my

whole family for the first 15 years of my life. So, I was really ashamed.

But when I started sharing my story, I realized that the way I tell my story to myself will have a direct impact on the way I will lead a life for



EL-MIARI: So, today, I could see myself as a victim, but I choose to see myself as a warrior and a fighter. And this is what I want other refugees,

displaced people, migrants to see that we should not hide behind our realities, but rather, celebrate our resilience. We should no longer feel

ashamed for things that we did not choose, but rather celebrate the power and the strength and the love that we still have within despite all the

traumas, all the struggles.

SREENIVASAN: Zoya El-Miari, a peace ambassador from One Young World, a Palestinian and Ukrainian refugee, thanks so much for joining us.

EL-MIARI: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And finally, we remember a reporter who covered that region demonstrating immense bravery in the face of war. Terry Anderson, the

American journalist who was held hostage by Hezbollah for almost seven years has died aged 76.

It was a decade into the Lebanese Civil War when Anderson became a part of the conflict that he was covering. March 16, 1985, he was dragged into a

car by three gunmen under the rubble strewn streets of Beirut in barely lit cells, Anderson was held for six years and nine months. He became the

longest held western hostage.

I spoke to Anderson and his daughter, Sulome, back in 2016, after both had spent years trying to find peace with the past.


AMANPOUR: For CNN, you did a documentary, I think it was called, "In the Lion's Den," and you found Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, and you

asked him about the kidnapping, and I'd like to play that.


SAYYID HASSAN NASRALLAH, SECRETARY-GENERAL, HEZBOLLAH (through translator): The group that took hostages in the past did not want to start a

revolution, but they wanted a more civilized regime. They just wanted to pressure the United States to make the Kuwaiti government stay the

execution of some prisoners.

I'm not saying whether their methods were good or not, right or wrong. These actions were short-term, with short-term objectives, and I hope they

will not happen again.

TERRY ANDERSON, FORMER HOSTAGE: Can you say, Sayyid, flatly, that this was wrong or a mistake?

NASRALLAH (through translator): I can't make such an absolute judgment.


AMANPOUR: All these years later, what do you make of what Nasrallah told you?

T. ANDERSON: I think they're much of a piece. I mean, this people convinced themselves that this was something that they had to do, and they told me

that many times, we have nothing against you, it's just this we have to do this because how else can we fight Israel and America?


AMANPOUR: Now, Sulome was born shortly after her father's abduction and she was only six when he was finally released in 1991. Both of them told me

about the moment they met for the first time.


SULOME ANDERSON, DAUGHTER OF FORMER AMERICAN HOSTAGE: We flew to Damascus where I immediately fell asleep on a couch in the American embassy and my

father woke me up. And it was quite a -- you know, a defining moment in my life.

T. ANDERSON: It was a tremendously joyous moment, but I realize now, and I think you can see it if you look at all these pictures carefully, I was in

some form of shock. It had been hours since I was in a cell chained to the wall. And suddenly, I'm here in Damascus and meeting my daughter and

talking to the president and then the press conference and the lights, and it was just -- it was quite an impact.



AMANPOUR: It was difficult readjusting to life after captivity. Sulome has said though, her father found a comfortable peace in recent years, and

would want to be remembered for his humanitarian work for all sorts of causes, including the protection of journalists.

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.