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The Amanpour Hour

Interview with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry; Interview with former British MI6 Chief Sir John Sawers; Interview with U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Jane Hartley; Remembering a Martyr for Peace; United by Grief: Israelis and Palestinians Working Together. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired November 04, 2023 - 11:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: And finally, best shot, Lulu?

LULU GARCIA NAVARRO, "NEW YORK TIMES": Cats, cats -- I'm a cat lady, you would be surprised to know. And don't judge -- and I read a really interesting report that broke my heart a little bit that showed that cats do not purr because they love you necessarily, they're actually just snoring.

It's an involuntary reflex that they have. And so you're kind of a snooze for them. And that made me a little sad. So that's my -- that's my story.

WALLACE: Did you think that when your cat purred that it's because they like you?

KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT" & "ON": No. I don't think cats care about anything and I like it that way.

WALLACE: Thank you, guys all for being here for our first show. Thank you for spending part of your Saturday morning with us. We'll see you back here next week.

The premiere of THE AMANPOUR HOUR is next here on CNN.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. And in the next 60 minutes, we'll take you around the world to ask the questions, tackle the big problems and also let history be our guide.

So here's what's coming up.

First, to the tinder box that could spark a wider war.


AMANPOUR: Your president Al-Sisi has recently warned that the Middle East will quote, "become a ticking time bomb".

SAMEH SHOUKRY, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, we are doing everything possible for de-escalation. (END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Then, in London. My intel briefing from Britain's former top spy, warning Americans of the threat that could come next.


SIR JOHN SAWERS, FORMER CHIEF, MI6: You can kill individuals, you can't kill an idea.


AMANPOUR: And to the future. Elon Musk joins Kamala Harris and other world leaders at the first-ever global A.I. summit here in Britain. But can A.I. creators be trusted to control their creations?


ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA: We will have for the first time something that is smarter than the smartest human.


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

On Saturday morning, exactly four weeks ago, Hamas launched the worst attack on Israel since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. They brutally killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

Israel's vow to crush them, to never live next door to this threat again, has been unleashed ever since. Round-the-clock air strikes combined with a ground incursion has led to the capture and killings of several key Hamas leaders according to the IDF, and has also killed more than 9,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the Hamas authorities there.

Much of the world is in an uproar about it. And the mounting dead and injured have even caused the United States, Israel's staunchest supporter, to call for a humanitarian pause.

Meantime, the Rafah border from Gaza into Egypt was finally opened this week. And I've been speaking exclusively to the foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, a former ambassador to Washington, about negotiations so let thousands of foreigners out and into Egypt, and about fears of a wider war in the region.

Foreign Minister, welcome to the program.

SHOUKRY: Thank you for having me.

AMANPOUR: Wounded Palestinians, dual nationals, including a lot of Americans are coming out, and we understand this is because of discussions between Egypt and Hamas and Israel, and I guess, you know, Qatar, U.S. So many people, what kind of a line do you have to Hamas? SHOUKRY: Well, we have existing lines of communications which have

been longstanding which were necessitated by agreement between us and Israel, to maintain a dialogue and to play a role in creating calm and tranquility when violence has erupted.

It has erupted on several occasions during these last years in 2014 and 2018. And on those occasions, we have maintained those contacts to be able to intervene, and to be able to reach agreements between Hamas and Israel, on the point of de-escalation.

So we are utilizing those contacts now to be able to get the agreement on the exit of third-party nationals. Certainly there have been many who have been involved, but primarily it has been the United States and its ability to have these discussions and coordinate with the Israelis. The Qataris as well have played a very positive role.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you a different question, but linked? Many Palestinians, those who were wounded are coming out. Now a leaked Israeli intelligence ministry document has proposed the relocation of Gaza's entire civilian population, first to the south of Gaza, and then on into Egypt to the northern Sinai.

CNN says this is part of a plan, where tent cities would be constructed, more permanent cities being constructed at a later date. Even though Netanyahu has downplayed this, saying it is just preliminary, have you heard about this? Have you talked to Israel about this plan?


SHOUKRY: Hardly. I don't think we would, anyone would raise such a ludicrous proposition. If that was the case, maybe the United States would also contemplate providing the same access to its southern border that might be expected for us in Sinai.

States are sovereign. And they are well defined by their borders, well defined by their populations. And the issue of displacement in itself is a matter that is in contravention is a violation of international humanitarian law, so I would think that nobody would undertake an illegal activity.

AMANPOUR: You know, it is interesting you say illegal, because obviously forcible transfer, if that is what it amounted to, is illegal under international law.

But there does seem to have been an effort by the prime minister's office, even with European countries, the E.U., to try to get, you know, Palestinians relocated. They even mentioned countries like Greece and Spain.

Is this something that you are worried about? And you're trying to stop? We've even heard, you know, that they want to potentially -- elements of his government -- forcibly move Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to Jordan. What do you think is the end game here?

SHOUKRY: We are hopeful that there will not be any interventions from any external parties to the conflict. On the contrary, we want the conflict itself to end. We want a ceasefire. We see the scale of devastation, the loss of life, on the part of civilians, up to 9,000 -- half of them almost children have perished during this conflict. It is up to the international community and the United Nations to work for de-escalation and not to, in any way, contemplate or encourage any form of widening of this conflict.

I think we have to concentrate on that rather than speculate on the risks. But the risks do exist. And we have to take them into account. By ending the conflict and concentrating on the long-term resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, through the creation of the two- state solution and its implementation.

AMANPOUR: Do you actually think that there is still a possibility of that? I mean we know that there has been almost no attention paid to the two-state solution process by the United States, certainly not by the current Israeli government, in fact, they have a completely different view of the future. Do you think that still has any life left in it?

SHOUKRY: Well, the two-state solution remains the concern, the concern (ph) of the international community as to a resolution of the conflict. It has been existing now for 30 years, and I think for a long period, the international community has been paying lip service to the concept.

It says that we would like to see a resolution on the basis of a two- state solution, but it effectively does nothing to implement it. So there is a contradiction and a discrepancy here. I believe that the repetitiveness of the conflict and its consequences, both of the humanitarian level but also at the political level would warrant that we show a little bit more dedication and commitment.

We have the resources, speaking about the collective resources of the P5, permanent members of the Security Council, the institutions that exist in the Security Council, to be more effective in implementation of the concept of a two-state solution, rather than only aspiring to it as a potential outcome if all of the various components come miraculously together.

AMANPOUR: And finally, Sameh Shoukry, you used to be Egypt's ambassador to the United States. You have been a diplomat all over the world. Now you're foreign minister of your country.

As a human being, how do you feel about what's unfolded, October 7th and subsequently? And what should Americans and the rest of the world understand?

SHOUKRY: This has been a very emotional, impactful, painful experience all around. The images since October 7th and subsequently have been quite painful to me on a personal level.

At the same time, it has been a stark reminder that there's a degree of the double standards that still we are unable to address issues of principle in a consistent manner.


SHOUKRY: And this is a danger when we address the development of our rule-based order, and to what extent there is a consistency in how we deal with the various developments and challenges that we face.

AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, thank you very much for joining us.

SHOUKRY: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And U.S. Secretary of State Blinken was dispatched to the region again for more shuttle diplomacy.

Still to come, Britain's former top spy tells me that America needs to be on high alert for attacks.

Then Elon Musk, under fire for a rise in anti-Semitism and hate speech on his platform, takes part in the first global summit, to make sure that A.I. does more good than harm.




AMANPOUR: The whole world knows James Bond, but my next guest, Sir John Sawers, is the real deal. He was Britain's top spy for five years at MI-6, immersing himself in government secrets and gathering intel on all the world's hot spots.

He told me that Israel absolutely has the right to defend itself, and also what he sees as the unintended consequences.

Sir John Sawers, welcome to the program.

M2: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: So here is what I'm interested in. Because you have written an op-ed in "The Financial Times".

Israel's security chiefs know the goal of destroying Hamas is probably beyond their reach. Hamas has a political base and extensive external support from Iran.

They say they're going to annihilate Hamas. You don't think that's possible.

M2: Look, you can kill a lot of Hamas fighters. You can destroy a lot of Hamas infrastructure. You can take out these tunnels if you can find the full extent of them. But Hamas does have a political base inside Gaza and to some extent in the West Bank as well.

You can kill individuals, you can't kill an idea. They can't leave a vacuum because if they do, then Hamas will or something perhaps even worse might take -- might take that place in Gaza. And so we've got to start thinking very soon about what comes next,

and not expect it to be very straightforward because there will still be remnants of Hamas and there will be a lot resentment against the Israelis for the civilian deaths that they've caused over the last few weeks.

AMANPOUR: In the very short-term final intelligence question, there are Arab experts, European experts, Israeli experts who believe that Hamas has stored enough fuel and medicine and everything they need underground or wherever to be able to fight for at least three to four months.

M2: Well, that might be the case. I don't have any privileged information on that. But certainly Hamas, they will have known, part of the purpose of the operation, was to pull the Israelis in, so they would have been fully prepared for a long battle now on the -- in the streets, in the tunnels of Gaza.

So Hamas will be well equipped. And we shouldn't be complacent about the risk of this spreading. So far, this has been managed. But we've seen problems on the West Bank, we've seen attacks on military bases, in Iraq and Syria where U.S. personnel are based. We're seeing uptick of rocket fire across the Israel-Lebanon border.

I wouldn't be surprised if one of these groups in the region didn't think of targeting an American target at some point. We've seen that before -- American embassies, American battleships. It is quite a possibility that they will try to escalate further, not just against what they call Little Satan, Israel but the great Satan, the United States.

AMANPOUR: So you not only were head of MI6, foreign intelligence, but you were the British ambassador to the U.N. There is a lot of diplomacy going on. The Secretary of State Antony Blinken is talking about how potentially a revitalized Palestinian authority, the group that actually has a peace agreement of sorts and recognizes Israel, and works -- it has been working with Israel on security and all of those things.

Is that even possible? How is the Palestinian Authority, in the weakened state that it is, ride into Gaza?

M2: With difficulty. When secretary Blinken talks about revitalizing the Palestinian Authority, that's easier said than done. They have their own politics. They have their own leadership corridor (ph). We know that Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority is aging and he is not really got the capability to take on a major new challenge.

But America can't replace him. Israel can't replace him. A new leader needs to emerge from within the Palestinian political process. We might need some international presence, it would have to be Arab-led to hold the reins, to provide security, to enable essential services to be delivered, to enable reconstruction in the Gaza Strip to start.

AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Netanyahu has been, and his government, have been framing what they're doing, first it was 9/11, then it was Pearl Harbor, i.e., World War II. This is what he said recently.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: In 1944, the Royal Air Force bombed the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen. It is a perfectly legitimate target. But the British pilots missed. And instead of the Gestapo headquarters, they hit a children's hospital nearby and I think 84 children were hardly burned to death.

That is not a war crime. That is not something you blamed Britain for doing. That was a legitimate act of war with tragic consequences that accompanied such legitimate action.


AMANPOUR: Except that that has been deconstructed since. And first of all, there were no war crimes until after World War II, as you know, precisely because of that kind of thing.


AMANPOUR: And this implies that they missed in Jabalya. No, no, they went into Jabalya, they said to get the target. Do you have an issue with the World War II rhetoric?

M2: Well, this isn't like World War II. It's very, very, very, very different. This is not like Ukraine. This is a battle that Israel is fighting for its own security. I think it is perfectly legitimate for those of us in Europe and America and around the world to be a supporter of Israel's security, and at the same time, be very sympathetic to the suffering of the Palestinians especially those in Gaza at the moment.

And the British government and the U.S. -- traditionally U.S. administrations have always supported the so-called two-state solution. We need to find a way back to that. And I don't think it's right that it takes a Hamas atrocity of the sort that we saw on 7 October to wake us up to the reality that there is a lot of injustice in that part of the world.

There are 15 million people living in that small space. Half of them in the state -- there are two-thirds of them in the state of Israel, a third of them in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza. About half of those people are Jews and half of them are Arabs of different religions.

And we've got to find a way where all those people can live with decent lifestyles, with a degree of personal freedom. We do need to recognize that you cannot have peace in that part of the Middle East, and you cannot have a secure Israel unless there is some political process that satisfies Palestinian aspirations.

AMANPOUR: On that note, John Sawers, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

M2: Thank you, Christiane. AMANPOUR: And when we come back, the U.S. vice president in London

warns tech giants like Elon Musk, to keep their robots in check.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

80 years ago, it was where the Enigma machine broke the code that helped beat the Nazis. This week, Bletchley Park here in England took on the task of taming another Frankenstein's monster before it is too late, hosting the first-ever summit between the U.S., Europe, and China to tackle the consequences of technology far beyond our comprehension.

Depending on who you ask, artificial intelligence is either our savior or our downfall. But this much is true, even its creators are afraid of what might happen if we make machines that are smarter than us.

I visited the U.S. Ambassador, Jane Hartley at her official London residence to talk about the summit, the vice president's visit and the Biden administration's concerns about the evolving humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Ambassador, welcome to the program.

JANE HARTLEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO GREAT BRITAIN: Thank you to CNN. Thrilled to be here.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about A.I. because here we are, another Biden administration priority is A.I. and how to manage it. Right now, big conference happening in London this week, the vice president was here.

Why is she here? Why is the president so immersed in this issue?

HARTLEY: Because I think it is one of our key priorities. As you know, our administration recently put out an executive order, and we are looking at what, especially the Commerce Department can do. And the vice president said it this week in her speech, there is much positive, there is much good that will come from A.I., but there's also much bad, and everybody talks about the longer-range existential bad, which obviously is there, whether that's bio weapons, or cyber, or things like that.

But the vice president had focused on disinformation and misinformation, and how that affects not just democracies around the world, but how that affects individuals.

AMANPOUR: Hundreds of tech executives and scientists signed a one sentence letter, quote, "Mitigating the risk of extinction from A.I. should be a global priority alongside other societal scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war."

So you touched on sort of short-term versus existential. Do you think sometimes the debate over A.I. gets lost in the existential and they forget about what is actually on the doorstep?

HARTLEY: Well, I think that's what the vice president was trying to do this week, which is saying, we obviously have to do the long-term, and we are, you know. And one of the positives that I see coming out of Bletchley is a letter was signed by 28 of the countries that we would communicate and that we'll share research. That is all very important.

Now, I will also say, I don't think we should get lost in just the threats of A.I., but we should also look at the positives of A.I. And if you look at health care, if you look at education, there was recently -- I think it came from one of the big hospitals here, a discussion about what it would mean in terms of cancer diagnosis, and in terms of everybody would have their own specific cancer treatment, based on their own immunity.

AMANPOUR: Do you think a meeting like this will set the stage for a proper rigorous global responsibility? Because former President Obama said, you know, the promise of social media was huge but we never really tackled the threats, which you can see right now.

HARTLEY: Well, that's right, I compliment Prime Minister Sunak and I compliment the British government as well as our government. A.I. doesn't stop at the borders and we know that. So it has to be an international framework that we're communicating and sharing information.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you -- these are very difficult times to be an ambassador anywhere. The Biden administration, the president himself, has moved closer to the humanitarian side of the conflict, and he's now calling for a pause to allow humanitarian and even hostage negotiations. Explain to us why he has made this change?


HARTLEY: Yes, he pressed for a pause this week but this is something Tony Blinken, our Secretary of State has been talking about, pause and pauses, because we have made it very clear that we care deeply about, one, humanitarian aid getting in; two, the release of the hostages; and three, Israel obviously has a right to defend itself. This was a terrible, horrific terrorist attack.

But what Secretary Blinken has also said is how they defend themselves is very, very important. And that means in accordance with humanitarian law and the rules of war.

AMANPOUR: Do you get that feeling, do you hear that, as ambassadors abroad, the concern about the humanitarian?

HARTLEY: Yes, and you know, I think it is building. We are trying very hard to get more trucks in. I think the secretary said there may be 100 by the end of the week.

We've been working very closely with our allies and frankly, with Egypt in terms of the border crossing There and as you know, injured Palestinians and foreign nationals were allowed to cross this week, which is very important. So we are working hard publicly and we're working hard privately.

AMANPOUR: Finally, I want to ask you about "The Diplomats", the very, very popular Netflix series, I think the second season or the third season, anyway lots of seasons.

Keri Russell plays a reluctant U.S. ambassador to the Court of Saint James. How much of it is based on you?

HARTLEY: Well none actually, if you want to know the truth, although I will tell you a funny story. I have gotten to know Keri since she's been over here because they filmed -- they don't film at Winfield House, but they film at the embassy in our nonsecure areas.

And I can tell you that on their second episode of their second season. But what is fascinating, Debra Kahn, who's the executive producer, when she started this, it was because she wanted to get more women in foreign service. And that was her goal.

And she told me, when she first was approaching companies with this concept, she said all of them said, oh, yes but there won't be a female ambassador to the U.K., you have to change it.

AMANPOUR: And she was wrong.

HARTLEY: And she was wrong. Exactly.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Hartley, thank you very much.

HARTLEY: Thank you, Christiane. Wonderful to be here with you.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

And the ambassador reiterated the Biden administration position that they are against forcible transfer of any Palestinians, and they remain for the two-state solution.

When we return Israel, the Palestinians, and America lost their best hope for peace with the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 28 years ago today. A look back into my archive for lessons from history.



AMANPOUR: Now as war rages again in the most contested land on earth, I've been thinking about the peacemakers and what history can teach us. Exactly 28 years ago today, the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an extremist Jewish militant Yigal Amir, who opposed his efforts to make peace with the Palestinians under the Oslo Accord.

Rabin had been a war hero. Just before his murder, he declared I have always believed most of the people want peace and are ready to take a risk for it. So did the hope die with him? I wanted to remember his loss and what might have been and the

extremists who opposed him in this excerpt from our documentary "GOD'S WARRIORS".


AMANPOUR: At a ceremony at the White House in 1993, two mortal enemies, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, signed a peace treaty. The deal included withdrawal from part of what Israel captured in the Six-Day war. It was a historic step towards an independent Palestinian state.


AMANPOUR: Yakov Vaner (ph) the secular Israeli who helped capture east Jerusalem in 1967 was hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a tremendous appreciation for those who made it happen. And for Rabin's courage in going this way.

AMANPOUR: But Hanan Furat who also fought in the Six-Day War opposed the creation of a Palestinian state.

HANAN FURAT: if you think we are messianic with our beliefs, now what they think, those who belief in peace with the Palestinians is pure mysticism.

AMANPOUR: To God's Jewish warriors, turning land over to the Palestinians would just bring more blood and more tears.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- with the Palestinians against Israel. Against Israel to call these lies.

AMANPOUR: It was especially difficult to accept because Rabin had been a military hero since Israel's creation.

BRUCE LAWRENCE, RELIGIOUS HISTORIAN: And yet, he was going to make peace with the Palestinians.

AMANPOUR: Religious historian Ruth Lawrence.

LAWRENCE: All of the people who are described as fundamentalists have rhetoric which talks about good and evil, but the greatest evil is the Jewish compromise. And so Rabin becomes a symbol of the real enemy.

AMANPOUR: Yigal Amir decided that, in his words, he had to save the nation.

CARMI GILLON, FORMER CHIEF, GENERAL SECURITY SERVICE: I just put him in the same basket in which I put a suicide bomber of Hamas which means a fanatic, religious person who does his act for political purposes.

[11:40:02] AMANPOUR: Noa Rothman, Rabin's granddaughter was a teenager at the time.

Did he express concerns? Were you concerned about his safety from within Israel?

NOA ROTHMAN, RABIN'S GRANDDAUGHTER: No, we were never concerned. The feeling was that my grandfather was very much loved among the Israelis. They loved him.

AMANPOUR: But protests against Rabin's peace deal were often laced with hate. A few rabbis even invoked a medieval Jewish death curse.

LAWRENCE: It affected somebody like Yigal Amir.

AMANPOUR: On November 4th, 1995 Yitzhak Rabin attended a peace rally in Tel Aviv. Some 100,000 supporters were there singing Shir HaShalom (ph), song of peace.

After Rabin left the stage and walked to his car, Amir moved close to the bodyguards, pulled a gun, and fired.

Many believe the peace process died that night as well.

ROTHMAN: The tragedy, besides our personal tragedy, is that he was stopped in the middle of the way, and we can never know how the end of the path would have been.

AMANPOUR: Yigal Amir was sentenced to life in prison. Carmi Gillon, chief of Shin Bet was forced to resign over his agency's failure to protect their prime minister.


AMANPOUR: And seven months later in May of 1996, Rabin's widow Lea joined me for a CNN election coverage in Israel where Likud's w Benjamin Netanyahu was making his first run for prime minister trying to unseat Rabin's successor, fellow peacemaker and Labor leader Shimon Perez.

LEA RABIN, WIDOW OF YITZHAK RABIN: Of course, if Labor doesn't win today, then his loss was in vain and then his loss was a triumph to the murderer and to those who sent him because he wasn't there, free agent on his own. He was sent by someone. He was incited by many people in this country.

So (INAUDIBLE) and I don't want to see that happening. And I think if we win, then a peace can (INAUDIBLE) this murder wasn't totally in vain.

AMANPOUR: Your husband's successor Mr. Perez has accused his opponent of incited here again and staying on the fears of people during this election. If Mr. Netanyahu wins this election, can you support him and his policies, will you do so?

RABIN: Mr. Netanyahu? AMANPOUR: Yes.

RABIN: Never.

AMANPOUR: Would you be able to work with him? So how do you think it will --

RABIN: With Mr. Netanyahu? You must be joking. Of course not. I would never. I never will work with him. I never will support him.


AMANPOUR: The late lea Rabin and of course Netanyahu did win but never put his full weight with the U.S.-backed peace process. Perhaps though this war could breathe new life into the two-state solution. It is the only viable option on the table.

Up next his hour, they were united by grief, an Israeli mother and a Palestinian father who have both lost children to violence. Do they still think there is a path to peace in the Middle East?



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

After the horrific massacres of October 7th that killed 1,400 mostly civilians, Israel is vowing to destroy Hamas once and for all. Since then, the Palestinians say, more than 9,000 have been killed in Gaza, many of them children.

Amid the horrors of war, I often try to find the humanity, and there are extraordinary people, extraordinary parents like Robi Damelin whose son David was an Israeli reservist when he was shot and killed by a Palestinian sniper in 2002. He was 28 years old. And Bassam Aramin whose daughter Avir was only 10 years old when she was killed by an Israeli soldier in 2007.

They have been united in grief, like hundreds of other families there. Listen to their message of peace even now.


AMANPOUR: Robi and Bassam, welcome. We spoke to you several years ago about the terrible pain of losing children. You both lost children. But you were able to somehow shape that into a path towards hope and peace.

Robi, after what happened on October 7th, do you still believe that?


ROBI DAMELIN, ISRAELI PEACE ACTIVIST: Absolutely. Otherwise there's is no reason for me to do this work. Even more so. It is one of the saddest times that I've ever experienced, and I have a really dear friend called Vivian Silva (ph) who's one of the hostages.

But there are points of light here. Do you know that the (INAUDIBLE) from an unknown village came to the rescue of those kids at the music concert? There are things that people are not reporting that are so human and I know that there are many, many mothers (INAUDIBLE) who fought like we did before this happened.

And we need to visit them and give them some solace. Because only mothers I think, from my own experience, mothers really love children. We're the only ones that really understood this feeling.

AMANPOUR: So let me ask Bassam. You're not a mother, you're a father. You lost your daughter to Israeli rubber bullets outside a school. Do you feel the same way now, seeing not only what happened on October 7th to Israelis, but what is happening in the occupied West Bank where you are and especially in Gaza to civilians right now?

BASSAM ARAMIN, PALESTINIAN PEACE ACTIVIST: Unfortunately, the conflict didn't start three weeks ago on the 7th of October. It's decades before and we always said one day it will blow up. Let us make peace now. Otherwise it will be a disaster.

And who paid the price all the -- all the time? It's the civilians. So it's really a disaster.

But as Robi said, it's our mission, it's the time, even the darkest times, to continue raising our voice for peace and reconciliation.

AMANPOUR: Do you think, Robi, that there is space to try to find the humanity again? And I'm just going to ask you, because you told "The Times" newspaper in July, "I've received death threats mainly from Israeli settlers telling me that I should burn in Auschwitz and that a Palestinian should come and rape me." This is because of your activities -- your cross-community activities obviously this was before October 7th.

DAMELIN: You know, I just got up because there's a siren and they're outside my house. That's the way we are living now. And it is, of course, very frightening. I think fear in many ways is what's creating this hatred.

But I don't see a time now to give up. This is a time where we have to stand up and do whatever we can to make the government have a ceasefire to bring back all the hostages, to allow (ph) the mothers and children in Gaza. Can you imagine if you grew up in Gaza and every two years they would be in war and there would be bombs and you wouldn't have freedom of movement? Or you live in the West Bank and you also didn't have freedom of movement?

It is very tragic as well. If you grew up in that environment, if you grew up in Ashdod or Ashkelon or one of the kibbutzim and your life is constantly bombarded with rockets. So we can't go on living like this. We have to find another way.

And perhaps this terrible, terrible war will end and people will realize that unless we talk to each other, unless we find a way to exist side by side, we don't have to fall in love, we don't have to do anything. We have to also end the occupation.

AMANPOUR: Thank you both so much. And that you both remain friends and allies in this cause is incredibly inspiring to all of us.


AMANPOUR: And when we come back -- from the Middle East conflict to the climate crisis, your questions and my answers.

"Ask Amanpour" is next.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

In our unbelievably complicated world, clarity is more important than ever if we're going to cut through the noise and confusion. That's why I want to hear your questions about the events today shaping our shared future.

Let's find out what's on your mind this week.

Here we go.


FRANCES: Hi, Christiane. I'm Frances. And I'd like to know. Do you think there's a double standard how western governments are treating the Israeli people versus Palestinians? Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Frances, that is a particularly important question. And it's one that many, many people in many parts of the world do believe.

I had an interview with the Queen of Jordan who said Palestinian mothers love their children as much as Israeli mothers. And really, we have to hope that this moment can bring us to some kind of, you know, jump starting the peace process again.

Let's take another one.


AMBER: Hi, Christiane. I'm Amber and I want to ask you why is climate change not at the forefront of the conversation?


AMANPOUR: Amber, you are right. Climate change is the massive existential threat to all of us, to our whole planet, certainly to the human race. We do -- honestly, we do try to do the reporting on it. And it's terribly difficult, because there's so much other noise around. And we sometimes find it difficult to cut through. But we here have a special dedicated climate correspondent and a climate department. And we're absolutely clear that there's no room for hazy and muddy equivocation.

There's climate crisis and the climate change, and then there's just a handful of deniers and special interests like the fossil fuel companies who are trying to slow roll the change we need to make our country -- rather our climate and our planet safer.


AMANPOUR: That's all we have time for. I'll have more of your questions and my answers next week.

And remember, if you want to ask Amanpour, just scan the QR code on your screen and send us your video questions. Don't forget to tell us your name.

I'm Christian Amanpour in London. Thanks for watching and I'll see you again next week.