Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Israel's Labor Party Leader Yair Golan; Interview with UNICEF Global Spokesperson James Elder; Interview with "Queenie" Author and Executive Producer Candice Carty-Williams. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 17, 2024 - 13:00   ET




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

disbands his war cabinet amid fears of a full-blown new front with Lebanon. The new Labor Party leader, former IDF General Yair Golan joins me.

Then --


JAMES ELDER, GLOBAL SPOKESPERSON, UNICEF: There's nothing normal at all about children live in a constant state of fear.


AMANPOUR: -- no let up to the devastation in Gaza. We bring you a report on the patients trapped inside. And I speak to UNICEF's James Elder from


Also, ahead --


DIONNE BROWN, ACTRESS, "QUEENIE": Loud, sassy, confrontational. I cannot be a strong black woman.


AMANPOUR: -- a 25-year-old Jamaican-British woman straddling two cultures. Author Candice Carty-Williams talks to Michel Martin about turning her

bestselling novel, "Queenie," into a new TV series.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. So, who will run the war on Gaza now that the Israeli prime minister has

dissolved his war cabinet? This after opposition figures Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot quit last week amid growing disagreements over Netanyahu's

handling of the war. An Israeli official says, Netanyahu will "hold smaller forums on sensitive matters," and decision making will now move back to the

government's main security cabinet.

Meanwhile, the war between Israel and Hezbollah across the Lebanese border is heating up, and U.S. Special Envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Israel

today, meeting with Netanyahu and the president, Isaac Herzog, to urge de- escalation in the north.

Ben Wedeman has this report about how a wider war could be on the brink of erupting.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day, the message goes out from South Lebanon in slick propaganda videos

accompanied by a stirring soundtrack. Hezbollah is ready to go from daily skirmishes to full-scale war with Israel. Mired in what appears to be an

unwinnable war in Gaza, Israel has vowed to turn its military might on Hezbollah.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the border, saying, we are prepared for very strong action in the north. But

the Iranian-backed group is by far the most formidable battle-hardened foe Israel has faced on its borders since the 1973 October war. After its

guerrillas forced Israel to pull out of South Lebanon 24 years ago. In 2006, Hezbollah fought Israel to a standstill. Although the war left parts

of Beirut and much of Southern Lebanon in ruins.

Retired Lebanese Army Brigadier General Elias Hanna knows the militant group well.

GEN. ELIAS HANNA, LEBANESE ARMY (RET.): Hezbollah is an exclusive club, well-disciplined monitor, and they have, which is the most important issue,

a charismatic leader, Syed Hassan Nasrallah.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Since October, Israeli strikes have killed more than 300 Hezbollah fighters, including last week high-ranking commander Taleb

Abdallah, given a hero's farewell in Beirut. At the funeral, senior Hezbollah leader Hashem Safieddine warned, we will increase our operations

in intensity and force, in quantity and quality.

Analysts believe Iran has provided Hezbollah with an arsenal of sophisticated long-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and beyond.

Until now, Hezbollah has mostly limited its strikes to military targets along the rugged mountainous frontier, hitting Israel's extensive network

of surveillance posts. It also says it is taken out an Iron Dome battery, the backbone of Israel's missile defenses, and has used ground-to-air

missiles to shoot down three top of the line Hermes 900 drones.


In the process, forcing tens of thousands of Israelis to flee their homes in the north. Hezbollah is learning faster than Israel can adapt, says


HANNA: They are learning. It's like a learning process. It's like trial and error. So, as far as you go in time, you are seeing more intensity,

more combined use of weapon and then more in-depth and more effectiveness against the Israelis. And what is the problem? That the Israeli have no

answer for that.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Since October, Israel has both stirred its forces on the border and held exercises to prepare for war. Hezbollah is also ready

for war, a war that is just one miscalculation away.


AMANPOUR: Ben Wedeman reporting from Beirut. Now, all across Israel, anti- government protesters are taking to the streets again, adding pressure on Netanyahu to call early elections, an outcome that he seems determined to

avoid for as long as possible.

But would a different government really change things? The once powerful Labor Party recently voted overwhelmingly for its new leader, the former

IDF commander, Yair Golan. On October 7th, he put on his old uniform and drove to the kibbutzim to save as many people as he could in the hours when

government forces seemed to be paralyzed.

If he can revitalize the traditional left and a peace camp, he could prove key to Israel's future and to that of the Palestinians. He attended today's

anti-government protests in front of the Knesset, and he's joining us live Jerusalem.

Yair Golan, welcome to the program. Congratulations on your recent nomination as head of the Labor Party. Can I start by asking you though,

about what we just heard from our Correspondent Ben Wiedemann in Lebanon?

You used to be Northern commander, you know, that whole area and that dynamic really well. What do you think is going to happen?

YAIR GOLAN, LEADER, ISRAEL'S LABOR PARTY: Well, what happened in Lebanon is a good manifestation for the fact that we are countering a massive

Iranian front against Israel, composed by Hezbollah, Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthis from Yemen, as well as the Hamas and the

Jihadist Islam heavily supported by Iran in the Gaza Strip.

And I think this is -- it symbolizes the fact that Israel is in the front line of international liberal democratic front against the most

fundamentalist religious fanatic jihadist elements in the world. So, we need to understand this, you know, very basic fact.

AMANPOUR: And many, many thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes up there in the north, also on the other side in Lebanon. Up

until now, it seems that it's been "manageable," that it hasn't erupted into full-scale war like in 2006. Do you think it will, and what do you

think the American Special Envoy would have said to your president and Prime Minister Netanyahu today about de-escalation?

GOLAN: Well, I think that this escalation is available. We need to reach hostages deal in the south as soon as possible. We need to reach a

ceasefire in the south as soon as possible. There are chances, reasonable chances that -- by ceasefire in the south, we will gain a ceasefire in the

north and we will be able to conduct the political internal process in order to replace the untrusted -- this untrusted government and in order to

be well prepared for future challenges from the north and from the elsewhere.

AMANPOUR: Yair Golan, how do you read the disbanding of the war cabinet? What will it mean that Netanyahu is gets moderate or that the right-wing

has more influence or what? What exactly do you think it'll mean for the prosecution of the war in Gaza?

GOLAN: No doubt that Netanyahu is totally governed by the most extreme fanatic elements in the government, irresponsible elements or persons like

Bezalel Smotrich or like Itamar Ben-Gvir, they are the ones who really lead the Israeli policy right now.

This is outrageous. It doesn't represent the majority of the Israelis. It's against the interests of Israel. And therefore, this is a great

manifestation that this government need to be changed as soon as possible.


AMANPOUR: You -- I guess for that reason to try to change the government, you have been taking part, even today, in anti-government protests in

Jerusalem. What are you trying to achieve? What are these protesters demanding now?

GOLAN: Well, we think that this government, because of the unbelievable failure disaster of October 7th, and at the same time because of the

misconduct way they lead this war, from all the reasons, from the past, from the present, and concerning the future, this is a government that

cannot worth the trust of the people, and therefore, they need to be replaced.

We are in -- we are a nation in a crisis. And the nation in a crisis needs trusted leaders, trusted leadership. And we think -- we're sure that we can

provide much better leadership for the people of Israel.

AMANPOUR: Yair Golan, did this come to you after, I guess, your heroics on that first -- in those first few hours on October 7th? When you started to

hear what was going on, you were woken up, I think, by one of your daughters asking what's happening, and you jumped into your uniform and

went down to try to do what you could. Tell me about what motivated you then and your thought process now.

GOLAN: Well, I'm an Israeli patriot. And what they took me out of home on October 7th is the same thing that take me right now out to the streets,

I'm willing to protect the Zionist project, the Zionist dream. Israel should be and should remain a homeland for all the Jewish people, and at

the same time a free, egalitarian and democratic state.

Unfortunately, this government endanger the very basic democratic nature of Israel, the very basic nature, a democratic sentiment of the people of

Israel. And therefore, this government should be replaced as soon as possible.

We are entering a time of decisiveness. And in time of decisive decisiveness, we need trusted leaders and trusted leadership. I said it

again -- I say it again and again and again, but we cannot cope with these emergencies without trusted leaders.

AMANPOUR: So, I need to ask you about that because you have become head of the Labor Party. So, the Labor Party was once one of the great parties.

Your founding prime minister was the head of the Labor Party. But it's really, really lost almost all its trust by the people, all its position in

parliament. You know, you -- I don't know, last election it got only four seats.

What do you realistically think you can do to revitalize a credible, I guess, left leaning opposition? And I assume that you believe in a day

after that sees a political solution and a two-state solution.

GOLAN: Well, the goal is, first and foremost, to become a much bigger party. I think that the reasonable goal for the coming elections is about

15 mandates. And with 15 mandates, we can be a prominent element in any future coalition, maybe even lead this coalition. We don't know. It's a

matter of, you know -- to see the way the political map in Israel will be reorganized after this government.

And I think that concerning the two-state solution, right now, what is most reasonable for most Israelis, we lost a sense of security, is the

following. First, we need to disintegrate ourselves from the Palestinians, from any civilian aspect in order to keep a wide and secured path for the

two-state solution. And at the same time, we need to keep a responsibility for security in our hands.

And I think people around the globe need to understand that we have no intention to compromise our security. People in Israel need to know that

they won't be raided by terrorists, by butchers, by people who want to kill them tomorrow morning. And therefore, without security, we won't be able to

move forward with any political consideration.


AMANPOUR: As you know, one of the things that makes the American backers very angry and Israel's allies very angry, and maybe even protesters, I

think, people like Gadi Eisenkot and Benny Gantz left the war cabinet because there was no day after plan.

So, I'm wondering, what is -- what would your day after plan be? Right now, the latest from one of the extreme right coalition members, Ben-Gvir, has

been to say we need to get back into Gaza in full-scale. We need to encourage all Gazans to emigrate, to get out. That seems to be a

maximalist, you know, ethnic cleansing version and an occupation version of the future. What is your vision for the future of Gaza?

GOLAN: Well, I think, you know, the British doctrine concerning counterinsurgency warfare. And no doubt that concerning that, on the one

hand, we need to fight furiously all militants, but at the same time, we need to build an alternative.

And we are not the alternative. Israel is not the alternative for the Palestinians. And therefore, we need to figure out how to consolidate a

trusted alternative with our regional allies, with the moderate Muslim countries backing by the United States of America, by the E.U., by other

democratic elements in the globe in order to ensure that Gazans have -- will have some sort of a reasonable alternative. And at the same time,

Israel will gain enough security in order to feel safe and secured in this troubled region.

We won't get rid from all our, you know security problems, but we need to make sure that the future of the Palestinian arena Is positive for Israel.

And if it's positive for Israel, it will be positive also for the Palestinians.

AMANPOUR: And, you know, you may have also been reading this, but there are more and more stories coming out of Gaza of ordinary Palestinians there

expressing real anger at Hamas, real -- you know, blaming them for this terrible situation that they find themselves in. And even before October

7th, there were protests by Gazans against Hamas for bad governance and all the other things.

But I need to ask you, because many Israelis have said there's no such thing as a Gazan civilian, everybody is Hamas. And you yourself were quoted

right after October 7th as saying the following. First of all, close all supplies to Gaza. I think in this battle we should not allow a humanitarian

effort. You have to tell them, listen, until the hostages are not released, for all we care, you will starve to death. It's completely legitimate.

So, that's what you said. I mean, you're a Labor leader. But it's also similar to comments that, you know, the ICC stated as a reason for seeking

arrest warrant against, for instance, Yoav Gallant. Did you mean that then, and do you mean it now?

GOLAN: Well, what was reasonable and even, you know, the right thing to do in the very first days of the war is irrelevant right now. And therefore,

we need to be realistic and we need to look to the future.

Looking at the future, we need on the one hand, say the following. First, we need to fight Hamas in the most decisive manner as long as it's needed.

And at the same time, we need to provide all Gazan citizens a reasonable alternative, positive alternative that ensure their prosperity. And at the

same time, ensure security for Israel. I think it's quite simple. It's hard to implement, but the principle is simple.

And concerning the implementation, we cannot do it alone. We need to work hard with the Egyptians, with the Saudi Arabia, with the United Emirates,

with other positive elements in the region, of course, with the United States of America, in order to make sure that, yes, for the Gazans, there

is a reasonable alternative that we can trust.

It won't happen in days or months, it's a matter of years, but we need to move with this process forward in order to secure our citizens. It's not

for them. It's for us. And I would like to repeat it, it's not for them, it's for us. And we need to do it in the most decisive, deliberated manner.


AMANPOUR: So, you said that there needs to be an election. There needs to be a change in Israel. You said that a change in direction. Do you --

you're talking about a coalition. Do you think you would, A, try to get a coalition with Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot and those members of the

opposition? Is that possible? And, B, how do you come to an election? Because one is not planned for a couple of years.

GOLAN: Well, let me begin my answer with the second part of the question. In order to bring elections as soon as possible, we need to be in the

streets, we need to be million people in the streets every day, every night in order to force this government to admit that they cannot control, they

cannot lead the Israeli people anymore.

And concerning future coalitions I'm -- I swear to sit with anyone. We are -- you know, it -- Democracy and we need to legitimate every element in the

Israeli society except those who are totally corrupted like Netanyahu. And we won't see it, and there is no comparison concerning that with the most

messianic, extreme, violent elements in the government. So, therefore, I have no intention to sit with Ben-Gvir or Smotrich.

AMANPOUR: And just one quick question, because I'm moving on to a guest -- UNICEF guest in Gaza. There was meant to be a tactical pause for delivering

humanitarian aid, but fighting continues and as such, there hasn't been the ability to, you know, free up more humanitarian aid.

What is your response to that? Do you think there should be more aid going in?

GOLAN: Well, I think that concerning humanitarian aid, Israel should be extremely generous concerning that. But at the same time, we need

international backing in order to make sure that all aid that entered the Gaza Strip goes strictly to the hands of civilians, not to the hands of


This is a tough business. This is very complicated that needs, you know, the willingness to cope with the Hamas militants inside the Gaza Strip. Up

to now, I don't see any foreign element that want to take responsibility for that. So, we need to work on it with the international arena in a very

serious manner.

AMANPOUR: Yair Golan, thank you very much. New leader of Israel's Labor Party. Thank you for being with us.

Now, there are conflicting signals over the strategy in Gaza. As we said, the military had announced a daily tactical pause in activity along that

route that you can see now in the south to allow aid to be distributed. But, the agencies say, the U.N. agencies, have not seen improvements in aid


Now, UNRWA is warning that more than 50,000 children in Gaza require treatment for acute malnutrition. The IDF later clarified that there would

be no letup in fighting in Rafah. Even in urgent medical cases, many Palestinians are unable to get the attention they need. Paula Hancocks has

this report on nine-year-old Hanan facing that painful reality. And of course it's difficult to watch, but Hanan's parents want their daughter to

be seen.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hanan Aqel had gone out to buy some sweets when the air strike hit.

I miss seeing mama, she says. I miss my mama and my sisters.

Nine-year-old Hanan has not been able to open her eyes since the strike 10 days ago. Doctors say she has 20 percent burns on her face, hands, chest,

and leg. One of thousands of patients trapped inside Gaza without hope of the treatment they need.

Her mother says, she tells me, I want to play. What have I done to deserve this? She can't sleep properly because of the pain, her whole- body hurts.

Surrounded by war for eight months, this was Hanan and just hours before she was hit. They had been forced to leave their home in Rafah when the

Israeli military moved in and were sheltering in someone's garden in Al- Breej (PH) says.

Hanan says, my sister went to a grandfather and asked for one shekel for her and one for me. I went to the shop and was about to pay the man and a

missile fell. I didn't hear the whizzing. I just saw a red light.

Hanan's doctor says she was in critical condition when she arrived. They removed shrapnel from her face and reconstructed her nose. He says they now

have no choice but to wait to transfer her out of Gaza, hoping her wounds don't get infected.


Most children need medical transfers, he says, for a more qualified treatment than here. We don't have the treatment, the tools. We don't have

the supplies.

The Rafah Crossing has been closed since May 7th, when the Israeli military took control. Egypt says it will not open the crossing until the Israeli

military withdraws for security reasons. One Egyptian soldier was killed last month in fighting along the border.

Israel says they will not hand over control of the crossing to Palestinian authorities, fearing Hamas would use the area to smuggling weapons.

RIK PEEPERKORN, WHO REPRESENTATIVE FOR WEST BANK AND GAZA: The Rafah Crossing should be reopened as quickly as possible or there should be an

alternative. We have no estimation at the moment how many of the patients, which should have left, actually have already passed away.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Khloud Al-Sharqi (ph) says she was displaced three times while pregnant. Her baby, Malak (ph), born four days earlier, has a

heart defect, spending most of her young life in an incubator.

The doctors did what was necessary, she says. But they said that she must be transferred out of Gaza quickly.

She adds, one of the doctors told me not to have high hopes. That sentence is so difficult to hear.

Malak (ph) is not the only baby desperately needing medical treatment outside of Gaza. Her doctor confirms, if these children do not get

treatment, they are likely to die.

Ali Darwish (ph) has a broken spine, ribs and leg after an airstrike hit his house, killing his siblings, his aunt says. Without urgent specialized

treatment outside of Gaza, she has been told by doctors he may be paralyzed. For these children, a escaping Gaza may be their only hope for

the future.


AMANPOUR: Eight months now. Paula Hancocks reporting on the children that are bearing such a heavy brunt. My next guest has been in Gaza for a week,

his third trip to the enclave, witnessing the difficulties of delivering aid first hand. UNICEF spokesperson James Elder says it took him 13 hours

to travel 40 kilometers, spending eight hours held at checkpoints. And he joins me now from Rafah itself. James Elder welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you because the -- you know, the reporting started with this poor child, Hanan, but also, the closure of the Rafah

point for just about everything. We've seen sick and distressed children have been allowed out. They've gone to hospitals in the UAE and Qatar, et

cetera. From where you stand now, is there any question that maybe some of these worst affected children will be allowed out?

ELDER: No, at the moment. I mean, to see Hanan, I just -- a hospital a couple of hours when another one -- he was on the third -- of his home and

missile next -- his arm and his leg. Father's -- he will not make unless he gets out. I see children like this every single day.

And months ago -- for some -- really enough, Christiane, for something -- right now, none of them are -- there were times last four days I've seen a

child who -- two days later and that child -- it's the reality now and the reality is we'll have more attacks tonight. It's -- it's losing children

that shouldn't, but they're -- they are under some amount of strain from a health care system that is just limply, repeatedly, systematically


AMANPOUR: James, we have some audio difficulties. So, I would like you to stand by and we're going to try to call back and get a better audio

connection. In the meantime, we're going to go to another report, but please stand by for several minutes and we'll try to be back to you.

And so, next we do go to the black experience in modern day Britain. "Queenie" is a new TV series about a Jamaican British woman navigating

London life in her mid-20s, from struggling with personal relationships to her cultural identity. Take a look.


DIONNE BROWN, ACTRESS, "QUEENIE": Loud, sassy, confrontational. I cannot be a strong black woman. A girl is vulnerable.


BROWN: I can't breathe.

I'm so far from where I was, I don't even recognize myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forgiveness is hard, but I've seen you conquer things that were much harder.



AMANPOUR: So, the series is based on the bestselling novel by Candice Carty-Williams, and she's joining Michel Martin now to talk about how the

show aims to defy racial stereotypes.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Candice Carty-Williams, thank you so much for joining us.


MARTIN: You have described Queenie as a -- as the black British Bridget Jones. For people who may not know what that means, just say more about

that. What does that mean?

CARTY-WILLIAMS: So, when I was initially talking about the book, I really wanted people to think about the scale of what the book should be. And so,

where Queenie isn't Bridget Jones per se, because she is obviously way too political, I really wanted people to understand that the scale of this book

should be the Bridget Jones scale and it should be in every household.

MARTIN: People love her so much. She's so real. She's regular. She's messy. She's a little messy. She's very smart. You -- throw some adjectives

out. Tell us about her. Who is she?

CARTY-WILLIAMS: She is -- she's someone who is -- I mean, she's often described as a problematic fae, whichever you like. But she's funny and

she's smart and she's questioning and she's heartbroken and she is kind and she is inquisitive and she is someone who is trying to (INAUDIBLE) from

being strong, I would say.

MARTIN: How did she come to you as a character?

CARTY-WILLIAMS: So, I knew that I wanted to write a black woman who was trying to break free of the strong black woman trope. And I was like,

that's probably quite easy to do. She just has to reject everything that's been put onto me and like me. And when I was about to write her -- so, I

won a place in a writer's retreat hosted by Jojo Moyes, the author.

And on the way there, I was like, OK, I should think about writing something, shouldn't I? And she came to me in sort of bits and pieces and

stories I'd heard and things I'd seen or things that my friends had told me or things I'd seen on the internet or, you know, maybe a couple of

experiences with dating and the like. And then, when I started writing her, this kind of fully formed character emerged, and I just had to kind of

follow wherever she took me, you know?

MARTIN: Look, she's a smart, funny, you know, spicy black woman, and so are you. So, obviously, people want to see it as, you know, biography, as

memoir, but that's --


MARTIN: But that's not the case.

CARTY-WILLIAMS: No, no, no, no, no. And it's so interesting because, you know, if I'd put myself -- you know, if I'd written it for TV and put

myself in it, then maybe you could be like, OK, maybe is that you? But I just kind of wanted to present a fictional character to the world who was,

you know, we might have things in common. We're both from the same background. We're both from South London, but we both have Jamaican family.

But, you know, we diverge in a lot of ways.

And actually, I think Issa Rae put it best when she said that she wanted to write a character who was outside on a Friday night because she was inside

on a Friday night. And I could definitely, definitely relate to that.

MARTIN: You said this in one of the many interviews that you appropriately have done to celebrate your work. You said, you were desperate for a black

woman that wasn't the sassy sidekick or angry girlfriend, but was just real and honest. Say more about that.

CARTY-WILLIAMS: You know, the presentations that we had of black women growing up were always that person, they were often the sassy best friend,

the magical negro, they were the angry girlfriend, and I was like, oh, but what if you're none of those things, or like the confident colleague? And I

myself, I'm a relatively shy person. I remember always thinking I wasn't good enough because I could never match up or be as loud or confident or

stand up for myself. And I realized that actually, I'm not those things and I won't ever be those things. And I didn't think I would be alone in those


And so, I also wanted -- I wanted that, but also, I wanted Queenie to be a lead character. I wanted her not to be someone who comes on the screen

every so often and you want more of her. I wanted her to be front and center and I wanted her to be surrounded by a cast of people who are

equally smart and funny and interesting and engaging.

MARTIN: So, "Queenie," of course, started as a novel, bestseller, and was adapted into this eight-episode series. It's called a drama series, but

it's really kind of more of a dramedy, isn't it? I mean, there's lots of laughter, even when she's getting a gynecological exam. And I must say,

I've never envisioned seeing a television show start with that camera angle.


BROWN: Things I should have done today. One, had a wax. Two, not had another dumb argument with Tom. Three, prepared for my pitch.

How long is this going to take?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm afraid it's going to take as long as it needs. So, what do you do?


MARTIN: So, very real. And you're also the executive producer and you're the showrunner. So, you had the opportunity to kind of really shape this



When you are adapting the novel, you know, it was already very well loved and you're adapting it for the screen, what was your primary consideration?

What was front and center for you?

CARTY-WILLIAMS: I think because I was working with three sets of executives, my thing was protecting Queenie, protecting her world, and

protecting the politics of the show. And I've always -- I always wanted Queenie to be bold and political and say what she needed to say.


BROWN: We just focus on the big names. Like, yes, thank you to Mary Seacole (ph) for everything you did, but it's --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean?

BROWN: I just meant that it was nice to see Nanny of the Maroons, and Althea Jones LeCointe, and Jocelyn Barrow, and even Dawn Butler. Oh, and

Khadija Saye. I think it's important to break the tradition of what a black woman has always been. Also, to shift the focus away from what she did for

white people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but then you know what they say, tradition is peer pressure from dead people. So --


CARTY-WILLIAMS: Also, I wanted to have the through line of her family and the trauma and everything that she's gone through. And so, it was about

making sure that I could make those things heard. And yes, Drama Day, I've had this before with "Queenie." And it wasn't meant to be. So, I think it

just ends up being funny because I feel like we have to be funny if we're going to talk about really difficult things, which isn't necessary, but

that's definitely the person that I am.

I'm someone who is like, if I'm going to talk about something that's very hard hitting, I'm going to sort of wrap it up first nicely so we can -- so,

your back isn't up, you know.

MARTIN: You've said that "Queenie" is 1,000 times more political than Bridget Jones. And one of the ways in which I think that was expressed is

you see her at work. So, talk a little bit about that.

CARTY-WILLIAMS: So, Queenie joined the Daily Reader, it's the Daily Read in the book, but the Daily Reader in the TV show for, you know, reasons of

copyright, et cetera. And she joined as a social media assistant, but her plan was to sort of sneak in and then start writing pieces and changing the


And in the novel, she's constantly pitching about political matters, environmental matters, black matters, and she's always being shot down.


BROWN: This is what I met the Daily Reader to do. I'm going to change the world. But not today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, keep your head up. You got this.

BROWN: The new boy makes one good pitch and he's giving me advice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're almost there. But maybe we can work on your delivery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Queenie, could I grab you for a second?


CARTY-WILLIAMS: And so, Queenie in the workplace is somewhere where she is, I guess, in the biggest way, straddling both cultures because she has

tried to come into this space and she tries to make herself heard and she tried to change the world and let everyone know there's stuff going on in

your own backyard that you're not seeing and thinking about, but she's constantly pushed down and told just, you know, stay in your lane

effectively. And it was really important that she was the only black person in the office, as I have often been many times, I think every time.

And so, for me writing that, it was thinking about how there are so many, black women who are the only black woman in the workplace. And I actually

went to South Africa to talk about this book. And loads of women were like, you're in South Africa, which is, you know, there are black people here,

but I'm still that person and it really helped me to understand what it felt like.

And so, it was really important for me to capture that and to capture that hostility that you feel when you have, you know, a dozen eyes on you that

are kind of like, why is she here? What does she want to do? She's not good enough.

MARTIN: I think one of the things that I think many people will enjoy and feel just really appreciate is the way you lift up her friendships.

Queenie's friendships are very important to her. But I just wanted to talk a little bit about that. How did this idea come to you? And why was it so


CARTY-WILLIAMS: So, it was important for me in this realm of Queenie straddling two worlds to be having work as sort of one world and family as

another, but the intersection of friendship that sits kind of in the middle space and actually the people who know her for who she is, not the people

who were like, OK, well, you're working with me or her family who were like, this is who you need to be.

And I really wanted to show the friends that she has chosen as she has gone through her life. She has a friend from school, a friend from university, a

friend from work, and they all know kind of the truest sense of her. And that was really important because I think that without friendships, a lot

of us, you know, what -- you know, that our friendships make up so much of our identity.

And Kyazike is obviously kind of like her best, best friend, because that's the person she's known since school. And then, you have Cassandra who's a

little bit frostier. And you sort of -- you know, like she's the person who sort of like tries to steer Queenie in the right direction, even though it

doesn't always work.


And then you have Darcy, who is very kind, and maybe a little bit too kind to her because she can see what Queenie's going through. But I think that

we see ourselves through our friends a lot of the time, and I wanted Queenie to be able to be telling her problems to her friends, and then they

will kind of come back with their different versions of what she should do and how they see her.

MARTIN: The other thing is that she's -- as we meet her, she's kind of navigating her relationship with her white boyfriend, Tom, and his family.

And I thought that was very -- it was funny, but it was also very poignant. And talk a little bit about that.

CARTY-WILLIAMS: Well, you know, we come into the point where Queenie and her boyfriend Tom have been having some problems and she's talked it up to,

oh, you know, I've moved house, you know, I've just got to adjust to living with you.

And then, as we get into it, we recognize that what's actually happened is her moving has disrupted this idea of home that she doesn't have a good

relationship to in her head, and we explore that in this series. We understand what home means to her, what relationships mean to her, what

abandonment means to her, and we kind of -- we start to understand that things have begun to unravel and that she's not telling her boyfriend

what's going on.

And he's had enough and he's someone who says, you know, we've all got stuff. But as we understand, his stuff isn't Queenie's stuff, you know.


BROWN: I should have handled that better.

He should have handled that better.


BROWN: Oh, jeez. You scared me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's going on with you?

BROWN: What your gran said wasn't OK. And you know that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you know it's not OK to tell my gran. You know she's dead by the time we have kids, right? She's from a different

generation, Queenie.

BROWN: Fine, but you're not. This is what I'm saying morning --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Listen, listen. I don't want to get into this, OK? It's late. I've been drinking.

BROWN: Well, there's always a reason that you're not on my side, Tom. I mean, what happens --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I can't always be on your side, Queenie, OK, because I can't always be angry.

BROWN: Always angry?


CARTY-WILLIAMS: And so, they -- you know, they go on what Queenie thinks is a break and she does a lot of things to distract her that are not very

good for her. But in the back of her mind, she has this idea of the relationship and it resuming again and everything being OK again. But

actually, what she needs to think about is her relationship to herself, rather than with anyone else, obviously.

MARTIN: I think people who have been in relationships with people of a different backgrounds that will relate to some of this kind of frictions,

you know, his family and some of the ridiculous things that sometimes people say, you know.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to admit, they would be lovely. Color of milky coffee. And if we're in luck, they'll have your eyes, Queenie, which are

just gorgeous, all those lashes. But they'd get Tom's lovely straight nose.


MARTIN: But I think you're also really honest about some of the stuff she's bringing to it. You could have sort of made her a saint. You didn't.

I was curious about her own immaturity. I mean, she could have figured out like how to communicate better to tell him from a -- you know, what's going

on with her? She doesn't. I was really curious about that choice.

CARTY-WILLIAMS: You know, I think the thing is, Queenie is 25, and I meet so many women who want her to, you know, navigate her problems properly.

They want her to take a break. They want her to, you know, go to therapy sooner. They want her to not sleep around. And they want her to sort of

answer all the questions that you'd answer. But I'm always like, she's 25 years old, and that's a lot to put on a 25-year old's head.

She's doing everything for the first time. This is her first relationship. This is her first big break up. This is her first-time moving house and

living with someone. This is her first time, you know, sleeping around with people and she's making mistakes. And, you know, if we met her when she was

in her 30s, it would be a very different creed. She would be knowing what to do. She would know how to do it. What's best for her.

But in this instance, I really wanted to paint her as a human person who we are following as she kind of figures things out for the first time, you

know. It's really important that she wasn't someone who had all the answers because, then where would we go, you know?

MARTIN: know that one of the things that I think you've said in this conversation and others is that the work itself, creating these characters,

presenting them in their fullness is its own message. But apart from that, is there any other message that you hope people will draw from the novel

and from the series?

CARTY-WILLIAMS: I think one of the most important things about Queenie is that she's trying her best. I do think there is something to be said for,

you know, when I wrote this novel, I was trying my best. When I wrote "Champion," "People Person," "Queenie" for the Screen, you just try your

best. And I think that's all you can do, you know. Life is -- life will throw things at you, but as long as you try your best, you'll be OK.

MARTIN: Gosh, it's been a delight to speak with you. What is next for you?

CARTY-WILLIAMS: So, a big rest is next for me. Just because I've been writing, as I said, every day for about eight years. But also, writing

another novel, which is really nice. So, kind of going back to my roots.


But also, there are a few people who want to develop a few projects. I've just got to figure out the right thing to do. But it's been a really good

time, just kind of coming out of this and sort of having time for myself again. Yes.

But I like to spend time with my family and spend time with my friends. So, it's been nice to catch up with them. And it's my birthday soon. So, I can

throw a big party and see everyone.

MARTIN: That's right. Well, happy birthday. Happy almost birthday. Congratulations on everything. Candice Carty-Williams, thank you so much

for speaking with us.

CARTY-WILLIAMS: Thank you so much for having me.


AMANPOUR: "Queenie" the series. And let's return now to our top story, Israel's war in Gaza. And bring back in James Elder, the UNICEF

spokesperson, who's standing by in Rafah for us. James, I'm glad you're back, and I hope we have a better audio condition.

Because I want to ask you, you've been in Rafah, in Gaza, for about a week now. Just in general, what have you seen, and how does it affect you? You

know, compared to what you saw when you were there last?

ELDER: It's utterly dire, Christiane. It shouldn't be surprising how much worse things are now because, of course, I haven't been here for two

months. And in the last two months, it's been that relentless bombardment, a ferocious bombardment. It's -- I thought I understood what the bombs were

like. It -- the proximity is such that it's like someone banging pots next to your head. The drones, the attract drones are like a lawnmower. This is

every day for 250 days.

When I was in Al-Aqsa Hospital on Tuesday, Christiane, with doctors walking over children missing limbs, with horrendous burns like we saw earlier in

your program, children who urgently need medical attention outside, but cannot get it. And if they cannot get it, they will die. And at the same

time, we will have more bombardments tonight.

On top of that, these last two months, continual restrictions and denials of aid, meaning you have a nutritional crisis on the ground, a lethal lack

of water, one or two liters per day, a shower every two weeks. Grandmothers and teenage girls, Christiane, queuing up all day for a shower.

So, we've had two more months of that. So, the physical and psychological capacity of people has been smashed. And they are just holding on. And I

mean, just holding on.

Yes, there is hope. Gazans are amazingly resilient. There is a spirit I've not seen before, but I've also had far too many young people say to me,

Christiane, that they don't mind if a missile hits their tent, they're done. And that is harrowing, but that is indicative of just how bad things

are here after 250 days of this.

AMANPOUR: Wow. It's horrible to hear children saying something as awful as that. And as, you know, final as that. I don't know whether you heard our

first guest talking about aid and needing to get aid into Gaza. And, you know, about the government having -- or somebody in Israel having called

for a tactical pause and then the prime minister saying he didn't know anything about it and no, they're not letting up in their fighting. What is

coming in, if anything?

ELDER: Yes, not nearly enough. And it's so important -- it's such a good question. We have to go beyond statements. We must look at evidence on the

ground. Enough of this he said, she said. We must look at the simple facts on the ground.

And if we look at a few things, many less crossings open than previously. So, areas in the north that we advocated for has closed. Rafah, Christiane,

the lifeline for humanitarian aid has not been opened since that offensive started in -- on the 7th of -- 6th or 7th of May. Remember, that was a so-

called limited offensive. That "limited offensive" has led to a million more people having to leave. Go from their homes, onto rubble, and then

pick up their tents from rubble and leave somewhere else. So, there's -- that humanitarian crossing is shut.

Even when we seek to get aid in, the key thing to remember is it's not just about getting it in, and there's far too little coming in, that's why we

have an unprecedented nutrition crisis for the youngest children in Gaza. It's about a safe place, an enabling way to deliver that aid, to go north

to south, and that remains the responsibility of the occupying power of Israel.

And there is a reason why we have such shortages of water, of medicines, of food, of all the things that people need. I've seen denials of so many

things. Christiane, I've had a woman outside a hospital a few days ago succumbed to me in tears. Her husband -- a missile had hit their home. Her

husband had been killed. She had her two children in tears, just asking for a tent. This is denial of dignity.

We have just gone so far beyond and it's so wildly disconcerting that still, people somehow justify, excuse away the killing of so, so many



AMANPOUR: James, Yair Golan, the new head of the Labor Party, along with other Israeli officials, have basically said, you know, there just isn't

the -- you, there aren't the internationals to be able to safely and properly and efficiently distribute aid that they -- they're pushing it all

up to the border, but you guys aren't able to do it. You guys say, you know, well, that's not the case because here we are and we're not actually

getting the aid in and so much is being turned back

What are the actual facts? I mean, if aid was coming in, do you have even the infrastructure to deliver it?

ELDER: So, yes. Exactly, the facts. Thank you, Christiane. So, in May, the United Nations got half the number of trucks in from April. Already, when

we are dealing with children with an imminent famine from the most respected nutrition body on the planet. So, half the number of trucks.

There are less crossings now than, than several months ago. Erez in the north, Rafah here. The peer is no longer functional. So, they are the

facts. When aid comes in, yes, absolutely. We have incredibly brave colleagues from UNRWA, the backbone of the United Nations, UNICEF, with our

nutrition, our water, our medicines. I've been on those missions that have been denied and seen horrendous acts on those missions.

So, yes, we have the capacity. Granted, it is a very dangerous place to work. This is -- we've seen more United Nations colleagues killed in the

last eight months than in any war since the advent of the United Nations. But no, we are absolutely ready to. But we have now seen scores and scores,

not a handful, scores and scores of denials and restrictions and delays. That is the reality. That is what we are combating.

And we want to move away from war of words with simple facts, and we are absolutely ready to deliver, and we will continue to do that. But those

restrictions are very real, and those restrictions are costing lives.

AMANPOUR: And, James, you know that the Israelis really believe that Hamas is essentially contaminating the aid distribution process, that they're

stealing what might come in for their own militants, their own fighters. I wonder whether, A, you have any knowledge of that, B, whether you're

hearing what we seem to be hearing now that more and more Palestinians inside Gaza are expressing anger at Hamas for, you know, eight months now

and they've basically had it as, you know.

Can I just play for you, I hope you can hear it over the line, a bit of a conversation between our correspondent, Ben Wedeman and Osama Hamdan, a

senior Hamas official. They spoke in Beirut a few days ago.

Right. Well, I was told we had that. But the bottom line is, you know, he said, what about 37,000 dead? And Hamdan responds, we're talking about

3,000 Palestinians killed in the first intifada, more than 70,000 from 2001 to 2004. You know, if that happened, it would be the right next move. In

other words, they kind of appear to be willing to let this death toll mount so that they achieve their political goals. What is -- what do you make of


ELDER: Look, it's so troubling to think that people can move away from the most obvious thing, a ceasefire. It's the only thing people hold on to

here. Hold on to this hope. There's a woman and many people have said to me, Christiane, words to the effect of, I've had my husband killed. I've

lost a child. I've lost my home. I've lost the ability to look after my remaining children. All I have left is hope.

It seems that those -- the powers who have the ability to make a ceasefire happen. In whatever capacity that looks like are so disconcertingly removed

from the suffering of Gazans here. So, whatever the military aims are -- and UNICEF, the reason we are a front-line organization, as you know,

Christiane, from here to Yemen to Ukraine is our impartiality.

But whatever the military aims are here of these warring parties, it's clear, as UNICEF has said for many months, that this is a war on children.

Now, we do not say that for a headline. We say that, again, because of evidence. We say that because when we look at how war affects children,

again, from Yemen to Afghanistan to Syria, and the toll it takes, here we have seen a disproportionate number of children killed and maimed to any

other conflict.

And yes, that speaks to the density of children. Yes, that speaks to the number of children, but it also very much speaks to the indiscriminate

nature of these attacks. And when we look at a numbers game, I don't know what number is too many when it comes to children, but I've certainly seen

far too many parents whose lives will never be the same because their child is dead.

I never thought, Christiane, I would hear a child say that they'd lost their mom and their dad and their brothers and their sisters and their

grandparents. I've now heard that so many times it's no longer rare. And the psychological torment now for those children, we're in uncharted



So, yes, those who have the power to make these decisions need to understand the suffering of civilians on the ground. And I think, yes,

civilians on the ground would very much like those in power to understand their situation. And as someone said to me a few hours ago, we just need to


AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, everybody needs to see this war end. James Elder, thank you so much indeed.

And finally, another war. We fight in the war, we fight on the pitch. That's what one Ukrainian supporter said ahead of the national team's Euros

match against Romania. Although, Ukraine just three-nil in Munich's football arena, before the game, the team's manager said, it was a chance

to showcase the Ukrainian spirit as the war rages back home.

Damaged blue and yellow seeds from Kharkiv stadium are on display as a stark reminder of the conflict. They had been built when Ukraine hosted the

2012 Euros, but since they've been destroyed by Russian missiles.

That is it for now. Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.