Return to Transcripts main page

The Amanpour Hour

Interview With Jennifer Siebel Newsom; What the World Really Thinks About Trump's Political Comeback; Volunteer Doctor Reveals Scale Of Gaza Civilian Catastrophe; Interview With Benjamin Netanyahu's Senior Adviser Mark Regev. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired January 20, 2024 - 11:00   ET



KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT" AND "ON": And speaking of rich people licking each other up and down, Dean Phillips in New Hampshire, I don't know what is happening.

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Let's quickly explain. That he's a congressman who's running --


SWISHER: Dean Phillips is running against Biden. And he's up in New Hampshire, he's being backed by very wealthy people including Bill Ackman and Elon Musk and Sam Altman. He has gotten a lot of money especially this week from Bill Ackman.

I'm not sure what he's doing up there. And it's kind of -- I don't understand why a congressman, when there's so many amazing possible candidates in the Democratic Party, is doing this. It's only for recognition and to pal around with his rich friends.

WALLACE: Well, supposedly he's also saying there ought to be a choice.


SWISHER: That is true.

WALLACE: And he's a proxy for that.

SWISHER: His ice cream is excellent.

WALLACE: You know, I learn so much from you.

SWISHER: Any time.

WALLACE: Thank you all for being here.

Thank you for spending part of your day with us. And we'll see you right back here next week.


Here's where we're headed this week.


AMANPOUR: Up first Jennifer Siebel Newsom, California's first partner talks gender equality in Davos and how surviving trauma shaped her mission.

JENNIFER SIEBEL NEWSOM, WIFE OF CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM: We won't achieve gender parity unless we address this culture where one in three women and girls are victims of both physical and sexual abuse in their lifetime.

AMANPOUR: Also ahead, what the rest of the world makes of Donald Trump's landslide in Iowa.

MARK LANDLER, LONDON BUREAU CHIEF, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Outside the U.S. they look at this with a sense of dread but not surprise.

AMANPOUR: Then a shocking eyewitness account from a volunteer doctor just back from Gaza and Israel's reaction.

DR. DEBORAH HARRINGTON, BRITISH DOCTOR: Looking around the emergency department, my overwhelming passion (ph) was why are there so many children here.

AMANPOUR: And from the archives, 33 years ago this week, U.S.-led forces launched the first Gulf War. My report from Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a warning about Gaza today.


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

131 years, that's how long it will take to close the gender gap, a sobering fact from the World Economic Forum, which none of us will be alive to see.

But my first guest has made it her mission to accelerate that needle. She's an actress, a film maker and an athlete who also happens to be the first partner of California, a title she coined after shunning the traditional "first lady" term.

She is Jennifer Siebel Newsom and her husband is a key Democrat force right now, Governor Gavin Newsom.

Before heading to the governor's mansion in Sacramento, Newsom lived through some very deep personal trauma. She witnessed the tragic death of her oldest sister, just eight, who was run over by a golf cart.

And then her encounter with predator Harvey Weinstein, who she accuses of raping her in 2005 and she testified against him in 2022.

Newsom spent week this Davos speaking to other women and allies on the urgent work of gender equality. She joined me from there to explain this is a crisis. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, welcome to our program.

NEWSOM: Thanks so much, Christiane, for having me.

AMANPOUR: So there you are at Davos and you are presenting the California All Women Initiative. Can you tell me what this is?

NEWSOM: Let me just anchor why I'm here with the fact that this is a crisis. Gender equity has stalled. We know that the World Economic Forum came out with a report that we will not achieve gender equity for 131 more years and we won't achieve gender pay equity for 257 more years.

So this is insane. So you know, if we think about what's happening in our world with geopolitical instability, a political divide, mental health, climate crisis, extreme wealth inequality, part of that I strongly believe, and I have, you know, data to back it up, is we haven't had diverse enough folks, in particular women seated at the tables of power making decisions when it comes to both the private and public sectors.

And so if we can move more women into leadership, more of a care orientation into leadership, we will fix some of these seemingly insurmountable global problems that we're all confronted with today.

AMANPOUR: How do you chip away at a mountain of more than a century or two centuries to get any kind of equity and any kind of parity in the important areas?

NEWSOM: Well, it's one I believe we're trying to do in California through California For All Women. So one of the first initiatives that we signed on to when my husband Gavin became governor of California was an actual pay pledge, basically committing at this point over 150 global companies head quartered in California to conducting an annual pay gap analyzing their hiring and promotion practices and committing to equal pay best practices like pay transparence.


NEWSOM: In doing this, we're moving the needle forward to close the pay gap. We have some of the strongest equal pay laws in the nation in California and we're trying to turn that gap into the smallest pay gap in the nation.

Similarly, we have been championing women in public company boards. There was legislation SB 26. What we have seen as a result of this legislation and our advocacy is that in 2018, 15.5 percent of board seats were held by women. Today, over a third of public company board seats are held by women.

And interestingly in 2018, 29 percent of boards had all-male boards in California. And today only 1 percent of public company boards are all- male boards. AMANPOUR: Can I ask you a little bit about how you have become so

resilient? You have had quite a lot of trauma in your life. Your own sister died in a sort of very tragic play time incident, you know, with a golf cart.

You yourself testified and took the stand against Harvey Weinstein in his sexual assault case. Basically, you testified that he raped you in 2005. He denies that.

But what made it important for you to stand up? And how has this trauma led you to take the public positions that you do?

NEWSOM: I experienced trauma at a very early age and never really healed from that trauma. And then had experiences related to a coach and Harvey Weinstein that informed my understanding of trauma in a way that I don't think we as a society still yet understand.

And you know, I'm just a truth seeker and speaker, and know that the damage that is done to women and girls and young boys for that matter, who have been sexually assaulted. And that we can cannot have this culture anymore and that there is a culture of silence and complicity that enables those men to perpetuate the harm the that they have done.

And I'm a firm believer that most men are good men. I have two sons myself. I'm married to a man. I have a very close relationship with my father.

But sadly, it's a few men that do so much damage. I believe there's a statistic that 94 percent of sexual assaults are committed by 4 percent of perpetrators.

And to me, if we can just hold those few bad actors accountable, and educate more men and women for that matter to speak up and out and not be complicit and not enable, that we could create a healthier culture for women and girls.

There's a study that came out recently that suggests that the cost to society of domestic and sexual violence is in the billions. The tangible costs are in the billions.

But the intangible costs to a woman's work performance and her life are in the trillions. And I know that we won't achieve gender parity unless we address this culture where 1 in 3 women and girls are victims of both physical and spectral abuse in their lifetime. One in three.

AMANPOUR: It is honestly staggering when you hear the statistics, as you put them out.

Your latest documentary, most recent film, "Fair Play", looks at the imbalance as you're saying in work and other issues, particularly, in work between men and women.

What is important about investigating this aspect of imbalance for both men and women? NEWSOM: So men need to model here at home if men do 50 more minutes of

care work a day or 40 percent of domestic care work, not only will their wives have more leisure time and less anxiety and depression and be able to pursue their passions and interest, their children will have better behavioral outcomes that are cognitive outcomes and healthier long-term relationships.

And men themselves will be happier. They will have better sex lives, greater longevity, be less likely to be on prescribed meds. The list goes on and on of all the benefits again, not just to the individuals in the family but to the family unit.

And we know from sociology, that family is the backbone of communities and society. And American families are fragile right now. And we have an opportunity to, given the fact that majority of American families are dual-income households or single-parent households mostly run by women.


NEWSOM: And that we're living in an age where there's just so much coming at us 24/7 with modern technology and the demands, work pressures, et cetera, et cetera that if we can socialize, you know, our partners and our boys in particular to be care-oriented, to be partner oriented that there's value in care. That care is actually everything.

We can create a healthier culture because what happens in the home is carried into the workplace. So if you have a more equitable, balanced relationship at home, those values were carried into the works place. And we can transform corporate cultures as we can transform public culture.

AMANPOUR: Jennifer Siebel Newsome, thank you so much for joining us from Davos.

NEWSOM: Thanks for having me. It's great to speak with you.


AMANPOUR: An incredible moment, important to speed up that needle.

Up next, a gripping account from a volunteer doctor who risked her own life to go to Gaza.

But first, a top European official breaks ranks and declares Donald Trump a threat to the continent and the alliance. How the rest of the world views the former president steamrolling his competition in Iowa.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program and our "Letter from London".

This week what the world makes of the U.S. political circus. Donald Trump's big win in Iowa this week amid stints (ph) defending himself in court, the 91 criminal charges and other legal fires he's fighting.

The Marxism card Trump has been playing since the loyal mob ransacked the U.S. Capitol is paying off. And now it's all but certain that he will be the GOP presidential candidate again.

Joining me now in the London studio, two seasons journalists Emily Maitlis who covers politics and America on her podcast, and Mark Landler, London bureau chief for "The New York Times".

Welcome both of you.


LANDLER: Thanks for having us.

AMANPOUR: Ok. So, you know, we're a few days since Iowa and a few days before New Hampshire. We cannot deconstruct the minds of the American voters, but how Mark, is the world reacting to Trump's blowout in Iowa?

LANDLER: WELL, I think you'd have to say that the world has been looking for reasons to reinforce a conviction that I found in talking to people in a lot of countries, which is that there's an inevitability to Trump being not just the nominee, but being restored to the White House.

So I think for a lot of people outside the U.S., they looked at this with a sense of dread but not surprise because they think there's been a great sense that this is going down a certain track. And that's one more off ramp that we now avoided. New Hampshire will be the next off ramp.

So that's my sense of it that there was no surprise, almost a reaffirmation of a fatalism that exists around the world that Americans are going to reelect this guy.

AMANPOUR: Ok. Can we just be clear. Reelect -- how, why, is that what you're picking up? Why would people -- yes, that he's going to be candidate but automatically think he's going to be president again?

MAITLIS: Well, I would go back to that result and what you call a blowout, which was 51 percent of the Republican vote for Trump. And I'd say the number here that people are actually looking at that is leaving people jaw-dropping is the 66 percent of Iowan voters who believe Donald Trump's lie. That they have been convinced that Donald Trump is the right president of this time and that his questioning of the legitimacy of joe Biden is something that he's taken to Iowa.

So I think all the reporting that we do should come actually from that prism (ph). That he is an election denier. That he has managed to convince people of the lies that he's been telling for the last three and a half years. That he's using his 91 indictments as a fundraising tool. And I don't think that any of us can be covering your election -- the American elections without actually starting from that place.

If that is not a sort of black cloud across your forehead of everything that you're saying or now, everything that you're writing and thinking about, then we're not doing our jobs properly.

AMANPOUR: I want to get back to that too because there's been some criticism in the U.S. about how the media covers this in view of what you're just saying.

Mark, I just want to double down a little bit. Are people in the world sure that he's going to be -- you say this feeling of inevitability. Is it sort of once bitten, twice shy, they don't want to look stupid and say he, of course, couldn't win because he did in 2016.

LANDLER: I think there's an element of that, yes. And, you know, I think if you drill down with people and you say look, do you truly, genuinely believe this is going to be the outcome, they will acknowledge we have no idea what the outcome is going to be. They have been surprised before.

Politics is inherently predictable. U.S. politics these days is particularly unpredictable. So I think that sophisticated analysis of this in the world at large acknowledges that nothing is inevitable here.

A president who, as Emily says, is facing 91 criminal counts, the idea or -- rather a candidate who is facing 91 criminal counts -- that he could emerge as president, there's something slightly incredulous about that.

So I think that it is more of an emotional feeling. That if the country was capable of doing this once before, and they see these kinds of numbers, this kind of incredible, resilient, unshakable loyalty on the part of MAGA nation, I think it just -- it more resides in the pit of their stomach. Well, if it happened once before, it could happen again. We need to start planning as though it may happen again.



MAITLIS: Except even that number, right, if you'd look at 51 percent of the Republican votes in Iowa, what you're really saying is hang on a second. This guy isn't untried. He isn't untested.

He's auditioning before his party for a job he's already done. He's already been president already, right.

AMANPOUR: Interesting.

MAITLIS: So if you look at it that way, then you have nearly half his party who do not want to see him do that again.

AMANPOUR: That is interesting.


AMANPOUR: And therefore I want to ask you about Plan B as you just said here in the world. There's a sense that some country, certainly allies are trying to Trump-proof their politics for next time he may be in charge.

Christine Lagarde, former IMF now ECB, she's very well known to the U.S. elite politics as well as in Europe. She has he's basically broken ranks in a very surprising way. Coming out and directly saying that Trump would pose a direct threat to the European continent and to the alliance if he was elected again.

And she specifically said just look at the trade tariffs. Just look at the commitment to NATO service. Just look at the fight against climate change. If only in these three areas in the past, American interests have not been aligned with European interests.

And you know, the commissioner of the E.U. says the U.S., you know, is very concerned that Trump wouldn't come, because he said it, to the aid of any NATO nation that is invaded. Do you detect any Trump- proofing?

LANDLER: Well, It depends on the country and it depends on the leader. If you're a leader who views their interest as being closely aligned with Trump, you can already see hedging of bets. People who style themselves in a way that they think would be congruent with a future Trump administration.

I think an example of that potentially is in Israel where Benjamin Netanyahu had a comfortable relationship with Trump. It's easy to imagine that in the coming months he might begin to think of that. That might enter his calculations even in so far as he's waging the war in Gaza.

Is that true of someone like Putin, another person who's viewed as being sort of simpatico with Trump. I think that's also possible. For allies, it's actually much more complicated.


LANDLER: Rishi Sunak, in the U.K. is a very good example. One of the major and I think correct fears that Europeans would have of another Trump administration is what would that mean for NATO. Would he actually deliver on his threat to leave NATO.

And if he did, it would be obviously a mortal blow to the alliance. It would also be a crushing setback for Ukraine.

So what do you do if you're Rishi Sunak? Do you distance ourself. Do you say, that's American politics, I have no place. Or do you as Jacob Rees-Mogg, a right-wing member of the Tory Party just did come out and say I would rather have Donald Trump than Joe Biden as the president because I think he's actually closer aligned to us.

AMANPOUR: And nobody will be looking more closely at who wins than Ukraine because their existence depends essentially on whether they get more aid.

I want to go back to what you said about the media coverage. Again, it seems like the media is falling all over itself to cover every cough and sneeze and you know, jump from campaign to courtroom that Trump is doing.

This is what media critic Margaret Sullivan (ph) said this week about the coverage. In a constant show of performative neutrality, journalists tend to equalize the unequal, taking coverage down the middle, even though that's not where true fairness lies.

And literally, you know, so what is your reaction to that?

MAITLIS: I think there's a real fizzle and a real sort of crackle at covering the Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire primary -- we all want to be talking about the horse race. We all want to be talking about the policies and about the stump speech and about the gaffes, and about the you know, tightening polls -- all the rest of it, it's exciting. I get that.

But I think unless you're cognizant that you're dealing with a race where one of the contestants is not going to abide by the rules, you're not doing your job properly. Because we've been there before. It's not like we don't know what happened last time around.

What's the point of setting parameters and go, he might be neck and neck with Nikki Haley in New Hampshire. He might just be to the polls (ph) there.

If you know that he doesn't actually standby the results of that race, what are we doing? Right.

And I understand that in our coverage, you don't want to be the preacher. You don't want to be constantly looking backwards and go, be careful because he might not do that. I don't think, to my knowledge, that he has confirmed whether he would accept any future results of the 2024 election.

So if that's the case, what are we doing? You know, you can talk about abortion policy in weeks or you can talk about swing states in poll numbers, but if we don't actually know whether he's going to accept the result, what game are we playing here when we just sort of treat them all as equal candidates. They are not.

AMANPOUR: Emily Maitlis, Mark Landler thank you very much indeed.

MAITLIS: Thank you.

LANDLER: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And coming up next on the program, a shocking insight into the huge civilian toll in Gaza from a British doctor who just returned from the war zone.



DR. HARRINGTON: I also feel ashamed and shocked that we are doing this to fellow humans.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Bullet wounds, burns amputations and orphaned children. These are the realities of war that doctors in Gaza are dealing with after three months of Israeli bombardment.

Last week we showed you new evidence that more than half of the Gaza's northern hospitals have been directly attacked since the fighting started. Israel says Hamas use many civilian structures as command centers and the goal of this offensive they say is to ensure Hamas can never repeat a slaughter like that on October 7th.

Still the 24,000 dead in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health officials there is causing the United States and its allies increasing unease.


AMANPOUR: British doctor, Deborah Harrington spent two weeks over Christmas volunteering at al-Aqsa Hospital right in the heart of the Gaza Strip. And she joined me this week to describe what she saw.


AMANPOUR: Dr. Deborah Harrington, welcome to the program.

DR. HARRINGTON: Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: You've just returned from Gaza, you are an OB-GYN, and you went to treat women and children, I guess. What did you see there? Why did you even go?

DR. HARRINGTON: I went because I've been to Gaza many times. I've been going since 2016 as part of a teaching group. I've never been in a conflict. I've never been in these circumstances.

And what I saw was -- in Al-Aqsa, which is in the middle area, was a hospital that was overwhelmed. It was overwhelmed with numbers of inpatients, it was overwhelmed with emergencies, trauma cases coming in all the time, at a level that it simply wasn't set up to deal with.

AMANPOUR: So, what did you notice most? Are they women, children, men, fighting age fighters? Who were they?

DR. HARRINGTON: So, I think -- so, I was expecting, in some ways, that this was a war situation and therefore, I was sort of anticipating that they were going to be perhaps young men or, you know, all sorts of casualties, you know, across the whole spectrum of society.

But actually what I overwhelmingly saw was children. And on one day, I was thinking this is New Year's Day. And there was one moment where I just looked at my watch, and it was about 2:00 in the afternoon, and we had mass casualties coming in.

And in fact, it was from a school shelter where there had been bombardments and blasts, and we had mass casualties coming in.

Then I looked around the resus room, which is where all the sickest patients are taken. And out of the five patients in the resus room, four of them were children. One with an injury, with a horrendous injury, a shrapnel injury to the brain, weren't going to survive. And then, the other children with horrendous mix of, you know, open fractures, partial amputations, open chest wounds, horrendous lacerations from shrapnel to the sort of chest and head and burns. And that was every day.

You know, looking around the emergency department, my overwhelming impression was, why are there so many children here? You know, there were so many children.

AMANPOUR: And why were there so many children here?

DR. HARRINGTON: I don't know other than the bombardment. We were obviously taking casualties from the area immediately around the hospital and they were coming in because those areas were being targeted, were being bombarded, sniper fire, shelling. And that's what we were seeing.

And you know, alongside the horrendous casualties, there were, you know, many people that came in dead. And some of the scenes, you know, I never expected to see.

I mean, I always thought I was really well-prepared for this. I had, you know, thought about what I might see, but that struck me.

AMANPOUR: You've been to Gaza, as you said, many times.

DR. HARRINGTON: Yes, I have.

AMANPOUR: The health system there has never been fabulous. But there are a lot of hospitals.

DR. HARRINGTON: There are a lot of hospitals.

AMANPOUR: What is the state now? Because we hear the whole health situation is collapsing.

DR. HARRINGTON: So, I think there has been a sort of systematic dismantling really of the healthcare system. It's almost like a kind of a fall really of, you know, one hospital falls after the other after the other.

And healthcare systems, healthcare facilities should be protected. They're there for everybody.

AMANPOUR: I want to play this soundbite, because when you say should be protected, I talk to, you know, a former, you know, mega U.S. commander who knows a bit about war and going after terrorists and civilians. This is what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I have felt that the hospital should have been kept open, Al-Shifa in particular, but all of them and treat the civilians in these hospitals.

Control them, though. Ensure that the tunnels underneath them, headquarters or whatever is being done in them --


PETRAEUS: -- is not allowed and is eliminated. But again, they need to provide for the people, without question.


AMANPOUR: He's saying, whatever the case in war, you need to provide for the people. Do the people have anywhere to go?

DR. HARRINGTON: They've got nowhere, and they're getting less and less.

AMANPOUR: How do you feel as a doctor? I mean, you're a professional. Do no harm.

DR. HARRINGTON: I just feel desperate. I also feel ashamed and shocked that we're doing this to fellow humans. You know, my -- as you say, I'm a doctor. My whole career, my whole reason for -- you know, for getting up in the morning is to -- corny as it sounds, to go and help people.


DR. HARRINGTON: I mean, the obstetrician that spoke to me this morning said, you know, they have got people everywhere, giving birth in the corridors and in the halls.

They haven't got staff to deliver them. They haven't got capacity in theatre to do cesarean sections. You know, babies are going to be asphyxiated, are going to die as a result of not being able to deliver mothers in a timely manner.

They also said their neonatal unit is full of infection. It's full of babies dying from infection. They just can't cope, and there isn't the capacity to deal with it because so many health care facilities have been dismantled.

AMANPOUR: Dr. Deborah Harrington, thank you.

DR. HARRINGTON: Thank you very much.


AMANPOUR: When we come back, I get the Israeli government response from the Prime Minister's senior adviser, Mark Regev.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Before the break, we heard a doctor's firsthand account of the dire situation inside one of Gaza's barely-functioning hospitals and what happens to the people of Gaza and Israel the day after, if and when the fighting ever ends.

I put that to Mark Regev, senior adviser to the Israeli prime minister.


AMANPOUR: Mark Regev, welcome back to the program.


AMANPOUR: My question to you is General Petraeus, Senator Van Hollen, leaders all over the world, the secretary of state, the National Security Council, the president of the United States, of France, of the U.K., everywhere, says, yes, you have a right to self-defense, but these civilian casualties are just too much.

So my question to you is, is there not a military way to separate civilians and take care of civilians? As Petraeus said, he's been through many wars against terrorists in civilian areas. Was there not a better way?

REGEV: First of all, we don't want to see any civilians killed. And I repeat that. We don't want to see any civilians caught up in the crossfire between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces.

But having said that, we're up against a brutal and horrific enemy who deliberately embeds itself not just in hospitals, but in residential neighborhoods, in schools, in U.N. facilities, in mosques, and underneath Gaza, underneath the cities of Gaza where cameras often cannot go. There is a subterranean terror network of tunnels, of bunkers, of missile launching sites, of armories of command and control.

Hamas has had more than 16 years to embed itself, and that's why this operation will take time.

And though we're doing our best to avoid civilians getting caught up in the crossfire, Hamas has a deliberate strategy of using civilians as a human shield, making our job just so much more difficult.

AMANPOUR: You see what's happening. There is a growing -- I'm going to use the word coalition of Israeli allies saying that there must be, in return for normalization, as you want with Saudi Arabia and others in the region, there must be an absolute Palestinian process to statehood and an end of the occupation. Your own prime minister has apparently completely said no to that. I'm going to just play a little piece of what he said in a speech to the nation.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): In any arrangement in the foreseeable whether with or without an arrangement, the State of Israel must control the security of all the land which is west of the Jordan River. This is an essential condition.

And it clashes with the idea of sovereignty. What can you do? That is a proof that I'm saying to our friends, the American friends and I've also blocked an attempt to force upon us a reality which would have hurt the security of Israel.

The prime minister in Israel must be able to say no, even to the closest of our friends. Saying now when it's needed and yes when it's possible.


AMANPOUR: So, that's it then. No political solution. You're basically telling your biggest friends and your biggest military suppliers, the United States, that no, you won't consider that kind of political solution.

REGEV: I think it's very important to hear what the prime minister says in its entirety. He has repeatedly said that the Palestinians should have all the powers to rule themselves, but none of the powers to threaten Israel.

And the second half of that formula, none of the powers to hurt Israel is especially, I think, relevant following what happened on October 7th.

We don't want to see ever again a repeat of that horrific attack on Israel by the Hamas terrorists or by any terrorists for that matter.

And so, the idea is to find a formula where the Palestinians can rule themselves, but not be in a position to threaten Israel.

That's -- I think that's the formula that can help us move forward and find solutions that will be good for Israelis and good for Palestinians, too.

AMANPOUR: Are you surprised that this is all coming to a head right now? I mean, it seems like the prime minister is trying to ward it off. And I have to say, frankly, many observers think that it's more about him and his own politics and staying in power than it is about a proper, just and fair and secure solution.

REGEV: You know, Christiane, you and me have been following this process for more years than we'd like to remember. And as you know, there's always been talk about demilitarized and security controls and things like this.

This is what Israel is talking about. And especially after October 7th, to ask the Israeli public, the Israeli people to say will light- pedal security, that security isn't the highest priority to keep our people safe, that is to ignore reality.

And if the Palestinians really want to move forward with Israel, I think they have to be willing to understand those concerns. They are legitimate concerns.

And that the idea that any areas next to Israel will have to be -- there will have to be security arrangements that allow Israel to defend itself, by itself, if need be. That has to be the basis of any political settlements as we move forward.


AMANPOUR: Now, I want to ask you about what is the result after 100 days in your war against Hamas? The French president said the total destruction of Hamas, does anyone think that's possible? If that's that, the war will last 10 years.

REGEV: Let me be clear. We achieved an amazing success in November where we got almost half the hostages out. 110 people released precisely because of the military pressure Israel was applying.

We have to win this war and we will destroy the Hamas military machine. We'll do it, Christiane, because we have no choice.

AMANPOUR: Mark Regev, thank you so much.

REGEV: Thanks for having me.


AMANPOUR: And up next on the program, remembering the moment U.S.-led forces launched the first Gulf War. My report from Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

And a warning from the past about Gaza today.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

And from the archive this week, how the first Gulf War and the destruction it left behind echoes what Israel is leaving behind in Gaza today. It was the morning of January 17th, 1991 33 years ago that Operation Desert Storm kicked off the campaign to oust Saddam Hussein's invading Iraqi forces from Kuwait.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Saddam Hussein's forces will leave Kuwait. The legitimate government of Kuwait will be restored to its rightful place and Kuwait will once again be free.

I have told the American people before that this will not be another Vietnam. And I repeat this here tonight.


AMANPOUR: Once the bombing was over, I met the people of Baghdad picking through the rubble as the long road to rebuilding their lives began.


AMANPOUR: The sound of bombings have given way to the sound of banging. Iraqis start to sweep away the remains of the allied bombardment and try to start anew, dusting off the services (ph), recasting the walls, these merchants want to set up shop again. A sense of optimism exists despite the debris.

But it will take a lot longer to rebuild this area. These few houses that were hit three weeks ago were razed to the ground. Most of the inhabitants haven't returned yet. Those who have say they lost everything.

This man says he has nothing left but the clothes he's wearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm waiting for our government to help us to rebuild.

AMANPOUR: Those we spoke to also expect help from countries with whom they have just been at war, particularly their Arab neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who live in Kuwait or in Fallujah or (INAUDIBLE), we are all people. We have one language, (INAUDIBLE) and we want people.

AMANPOUR: These people say they will rebuild just as they did after their eight-year war with Iran. But this time it won't be that easy. Officials here as well as international experts say this country's infrastructure could take years to recover from the damage done.

There's still no electricity in Baghdad and other cities except what's powered by private generators. The capital has no fresh running water, so people are drawing untreated water through the river.

The drainage system is backed up and sewage is starting to spew into the streets.

The mayor of Baghdad says all private and public services have ground to a halt and warns of disease spreading when the weather gets warmer.

As people start to lay the groundwork for the future, they say it might take a while to even get the basic rebuilding blocks. Officials say this cement factory used to produce a third of Iraq's total output. They say it will be at least a year before production starts up again.

Finding the means to rebuild may be difficult. Already billions of dollars in debt, some of Iraq's future oil profits may have to go towards rebuilding Kuwait, and the allies have indicated that some of the economic sanctions will remain in force as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power.


AMANPOUR: It all sounds so familiar amid the current crisis in the Middle East.

Now, I had been there on the USS Kennedy, an aircraft carrier in the Red Sea watching the fighter jets start the war in Iraq. And I can't help reflecting now on the parallels in unintended consequences.

As we now know the result of decades of bombing Saddam Hussein created decades of radical terrorist forces, including eventually ISIS.

One of the fears about the Gaza war is that it, too, will create a dangerous backlash. Americans and other allies now know that, which is why the only way out of this endless and brutal cycle of violence they say is finally a just, political solution.

When we come back, more of your questions and my answers. "Ask Amanpour" is next.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

And finally to our Q&A segment. So let's find out what's on your mind this week.

Here's one from Gwen in Chicago, Illinois.


GWEN, VIEWER FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: As a war correspondent, I know you have seen much cruelty throughout the world. How are you able to cope with that is still do your job so well?

Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Ok. Gwen, it's true that we witness and report on some of the worst, most savage acts that people can commit against each other. Since October 7th, the horror that was done to Israeli civilians, to women and children, and to the women and children in Gaza has kept me awake many nights.

But like all journalists on the scene, we have to somehow manage our feelings and emotions in order to put our full weight and our full strength into telling the story without fear nor favor and always remaining truthful, not neutral.


AMANPOUR: That is all we have time for. If you want to ask me a question, scan the QR code on your screen now or e-mail And remember to tell us your name and where you're from.

Don't forget you can find all our shows online as podcasts at and on all a other major platforms.

I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Thanks for watching. And see you again next week.